To the hard moments, I salute you.

July 8, 2020

Not every day can be a perfect one. It can’t always feel like you’re on an island in the sun. I’ve personally struggled a lot with this concept over the years. I’ve felt that if I wasn’t having fun, or feeling extreme happiness, or filling the role of “life of the party,” that I wasn’t living to the fullest. If I wasn’t celebrating some big accomplishment, or making moves, or kicking goals, I was in fact just wasting time. Thankfully, someone far wiser gave me a simple piece of advice that’s helped when times were far from sublime.

They told me that it was “ok.”

That it was ok to feel any emotion that comes my way. That it was ok to slow down and take a beat. That it was not only ok — but it was healthy — to admit defeat, realize weakness and let it all hang out. And most importantly, they told me that it was ok to just enjoy the moment at any given time, for we will never have it back again. However, with all those things being ok , they told me that how you handle what comes next is what really matters. That our mindset and emotional state is often a choice. We can choose to let our feelings pull us into the darkness or propel us forward into the light. We can choose to let emotion take the wheel and steer. Or, it can simply be a reminder — or an example — of what it means to be alive.

If life was effortless all the time, would that be a world filled with excitement or energy? Probably not. It’s safe to assume most of us would get bored, feel stagnant or trapped. Living would be too simple.

To feel on every level is important, although complex. To process and internalize is too. But what defines who you are is what happens after that — how you show up enlightened, stronger and wiser next time around. How you take your learnings and apply it to do things differently when there was a misstep, or build on what you’ve done right. I’ve come to learn life is a balancing act of all the different facets of oneself and our dimensions. And being able to unlock all sides of who we are is what makes being a human so invigorating. As we evolve, we figure out the hacks to open up more to us than we ever thought possible. Just as long as the light side continues to guide how we open those doors.

So, what’s the point here? I have a few steps that help me get through some of the toughest times and allow me to continue to see the light. Even when it seems like the room is filling up with darkness.

1. Allow yourself to feel.
Whatever it is you’re feeling, that’s ok. You are allowed and should feel it. No one can tell you to feel differently as this is a part of being you. Without being destructive and hurting others, feeling things — good or bad — is a natural part of life and should not be suppressed.

2. Share what you’re feeling.
Once you’ve figured out what it is you feel, why and how you got to this place, it’s important to share. You can find the right person to communicate with — and it varies depending on your state of mind and the issue at hand. But having trusted sources in your life to confide in is cathartic and helps you think clearly. As long as it’s consensual and a relationship that’s open to this type of dialogue. If there’s no one you can talk to, writing it down helps to organize thinking.

3. Embrace the moment entirely.
Sharing helps the acceptance process and allows you to let go. But fully embracing what is happening in the moment, regardless, is paramount. It’s important to remember how certain things make you feel. It’s important to understand the negative to appreciate the positive. It’s important to feel it all so you can truly say that you know what it’s like to be alive. This is something that separates us from other creatures on this planet. Embracing it means you acknowledge your feelings and understand what has caused this — both with your own self and circumstantially.

4. Make a game plan.
Embracing does not mean fully moving on. It means you have acknowledged what’s happened and you’ve confronted yourself head on about how things make you feel. There’s no set timeline for how long it takes to fully let go. But what helps get us there faster, is crafting a plan. Start outlining the things in your control that allow you to move to the next chapter. What can you do to change your situation or state of mind? What is in your hands that will drive meaningful life change? What are the small daily steps that you can take that will see you through to the other side? One step at a time allows for small wins that eventually become a massive one.

5. Just get out there.
I used to spend way too much time game planning. Over the years I’ve become a master at this and I learned first-hand that sometimes you just have to get out there and DO something. Less talking, more action. Less analyzing, more trying. Because those who put themselves out there, at least are making an effort. The more you attempt, the more you win. If you don’t try anything, you will surely never see a single result. After you’ve spent some time thinking about your plan, just start bringing it to life incrementally.

If you’re reading this, you’re resourceful enough to use the tools at your fingertips to come up with solves. You have the know how to make things happen. You just have to believe and remind yourself that you can. And, that you’re not alone in feeling, thinking and doing these things — as many others have been there before and can help you.

In our lifetime, I was not expecting to see something like Covid silence our world. The thought never even crossed my mind that we would live through something of this magnitude. We’ve all had to make massive life adjustments in response to this. We’ve had to change. And with change, there’s always loss and sacrifice — no matter how good or bad it is for you as a person. However, in understanding that these things are critical to our survival and need to be tackled head on, we can start to evolve as individuals, communities and a species.

We aren’t always going to get what we want. The cards are not always going to be dealt in our favor. Learning what it takes to move through the hard times with ease will allow us not dwell and focus on the dark side. With change, loss and sacrifice, we need a little bit of faith, self love and some guiding steps to see ourselves through it. Life is always going to have its moments, but I do believe that those are the most transformative and should be looked at with optimism and excitement.

I’m sure you’ve heard that 2020 is cancelled from a lot of different sources. But, I’m here to challenge that. Maybe it’s actually not at all. Maybe it’s the year everything changes for you. Maybe this time will allow you to do more than you ever thought was possible. The best part: if that’s your mindset and what you want, that’s the first step in making it your reality. I can tell you that’s a choice I’ve made and there’s no looking back from here.

Good vibes only.