We love the entertaining and quirky TV show Grimm that is filmed and set in our hometown Portland, Oregon. The show is described on the NBC website as: A modern twist on the Grimm Brothers’ tales. It’s often a fun romp and it always starts with an interesting quote. A recent episode started with:
I’ve been bent and broken . . . but I hope into a better shape.
What a wonderful depiction of life’s journey. It spoke to us especially deeply as we each have individual clients struggling with really painful life events, business clients desperately trying to succeed in these challenging economic times, and friends and family members who have suffered great losses.
Life bends us. Not just some of us, but all of us. Sometimes it breaks us. Before we started doing this work, we—like many people—held the belief that some peoples’ lives were easy. Now, we know that everyone is bent and broken by things that come at us—despite what might appear outwardly as an idyllic life.
And, we have seen that there are some people who emerge from difficult times to become an even better shape. They’re wiser, more resilient, content, and often more connected with themselves and with others.
Today, we want to spend a few minutes talking about 3 things that you can build into your life today to increase the likelihood that you will come away from the things that bend and break you in a better shape:
Take care of yourself: This is not news but truly, getting enough sleep, moving your body daily, eating less sugar and more fruits and vegetables, and spending time in some form of mindfulness or spiritual practice can support you when the things that bend and break you hit you.
Connect with people who are good for you: Not all connections are good for you, so while many times you will hear “connect with family or friends,” what we know from listening to people of all ages and backgrounds is that not all people are good for you. Seek out two to three people in your life who are good for you. People who care about you as you are, they reflect back to you that you are of value, they listen deeply, they laugh with you, and when you leave your time together, you feel like you have more of yourself. These people may be family and friends, of course, but they may also be a clergy member, an exercise class instructor, a coach, a therapist, or the woman who regularly sits near you at the counter at the coffee shop.
Catch your self-talk: The simple act of changing your language from “my life sucks” to “this time in my life sucks” can make a huge difference to how you move through crises. People who go through the things that bend and break them and come out a better shape see the circumstances as time limited and look for the opportunities in what they are facing. They nurture a positive view of themselves and focus on what they want to create in the future rather than dwelling on the unfairness of current events. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take time to grieve your losses, you simply must not get lost in the grief.
This week, take some time to look at your life and see if you are doing the small, day-to-day things that will help you come out of the unavoidable difficulties of life—in “a better shape.”
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