Inspirational Quotes To Get You Through The Week (February 18, 2014)

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Inspirational Quotes To Get You Through The Week (February 18, 2014)
It’s the start of a new week, which means it’s time to shake off your weekend, take a deep breath and try to think positive, energizing thoughts. We can help.

Click through the slideshow below for this week’s mood-boosting inspirational photo quotes. (And feel free to read, rinse and repeat as needed.)

What is your favorite inspirational quote? Share it with us by tweeting it to @HuffPostTeen and we might feature yours next week!

Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway
As I write, it’s 3:31 a.m., and I’m sitting in my kitchen with a freshly-brewed cup of coffee.

This is not normal, but I can’t sleep.

Then again, maybe it is normal.

If 47 percent of adult Americans say stress wakes them up at night, maybe I’m fitting right in.

To be honest, this has been building for the past few days.

It started with feelings of being slightly — how should I say this — on edge.

Not anxious, per se, but noticeably tight in the chest.

Then came emotion.

Since it’s pretty hard to make me cry, I knew something was up when I came this close to bursting into tears over something truly small.

Of course, the mindful response is to turn towards the issue.

To go deep.

And what you’ll usually find is that “stress” is just another word for fear.

In my case, I’ve been quietly working on a project that launches next week.

Yes, I’m nervous.

I wrote about something similar last December right before another big launch.

At the time, my head was spinning with questions about the feasibility of the idea, not to mention my ability to execute it.

This is what author Stephen Pressfield calls “the Resistance.”

Thoreau called it “the controller.”

I call it the inner critic.

It’s all the same thing: fear.

As my mindfulness practice has grown, one of the most extraordinary gifts I’ve received is the capacity to view fear as an impartial force and, thus, treat it impartially. In other words, when “the Resistance” comes, I just label it — “oh hello, fear” — and center back into doing the work vs. fretting about it. This is what allows me to move forward.

And yet here I am — awake and on coffee #2 — at what is now 5:50 a.m.

What’s interesting about the stress this time is that it’s not in my head. To be honest, I’m genuinely at peace with the work and confident in my ability to carry the message.

The stress is sitting in my body.

It’s in the tight chest, the borderline anxiety, the emotion, and the sleeplessness I’m experiencing while at the same time feeling content in my mind.

Odd, right?

Not really.

Because fear always, always, a-l-w-a-y-s comes attached to something we care deeply about, but we still act surprised, overwhelmed, and uncomfortable at even the slightest hint of it.

And so we get stuck.

But if fear is so predictable, why don’t we just plan for it?

In other words, next time you’re preparing for the big presentation, the big interview, the big wedding, the big course launch, the big whatever, why not factor in time for some good, old-fashioned emotional fragility?

That’s right.

Time to observe the fear.

Time to sit with it.

Time to allow it.

I mean this literally — as in calendar blocking.

As in a day with no meetings.

As in taking that hike.

As in scheduling that dinner with friends weeks in advance because you know you’re going to need it when the time comes.

Entrepreneurs plan for pivots so let’s also plan for the fear we know is going to surface as we’re giving birth to something new and exciting.

Yes, I am saying PLAN to NOT have it all together.

Then do it anyway.

Snowmageddon 2014: A Mindful Snow Survival Guide
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Snowmageddon 2014: A Mindful Snow Survival Guide

Here in Portland we are undergoing a twice a decade event we like to call Snowmaggedon. For many parts of the country, this amount of snow would be laughable, but here in Portland it frightens and delights us. We are used to snow’s cousin rain, but snow itself in large amounts is rare.

When the snow comes, we retreat into our homes, avoid driving, go sledding, and make snowpeople (as snowmen are too hetero normative for Portlanders).

But sometimes enjoying the snow is hard, because it’s cold, slippery, and generally inconvenient. It’s easy to forget the miracle of snow and instead focus on the problems. Nevertheless, part of living mindfully is learning to appreciate the beauty of whatever life brings. And so, in that spirit I offer you this simple Mindful Snow Survival Guide.

Step 1 — Look at the Snow

I remember one winter night in Tennessee when it started snowing flakes  so huge that I stood outside for at least a half hour just watching them fall. The sight of snow was both mesmerizing and exhilarating.

Don’t forget to watch the snow. Notice how it floats through the air. Watch how it settles on everything around you, coating the world is a soft powder. Taking the time to pause and look with the eyes of curiosity can bring you joy.

Step 2 — Go Sledding

The first winter I spent in Portland, it snowed so much the whole city shut down. The next day my friends and I decided to go sledding, but we ran into a problem. All the stores were sold out. We finally found a tiny hardware store that had sleds, and so we waited in line USSR style for over 45 mins to buy one. But it was totally worth it, because we spent the next 2-3 hours in pure bliss.

Let go of the way you want the world to be and just slide. Let the simple magic of sledding makes you relax and enjoy being alive in the mad and beautiful world.

Step 3 — Build a Snowman

When I was a kid, I built lots of Calvin and Hobbesesque snow scenes. But as an adult, there are far too few opportunities creative in a playful way. So whenever I get the chance, I build I take the time to build a snowman. I love it because making a snowman is a negotiation between you and nature, which invites you to be creative.

Best of all, there is no such thing as a bad snowman, because even the bad ones can’t help but be charming.

Step 4 — Take a walk/run

Whenever I run in the snow, I feel like I’m in that scene of Rocky IV where he is running up a mountain. Of course, I’m sure my snowy hills aren’t as steep, but there is something about running or walking is the snow that feels, both epic and magical.

Snow grants you magic powers. It helps you walk silently without it being awkward. It encourages you to look around because snow transforms the landscape. And it helps you realize how tentative our illusion control really is. Snow forces a sweet surrender that I find so rare and so special in this life.

Step 5 — Remember To Be Amazed

There a few things in this world as magical as snow. Snow is made up of millions of tiny completely unique crystals falling to earth every second. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is.

However, these miracles like most are easy to forget.

We forget because we don’t like the cold or because it makes us slow down. We forget because it’s so easy to take for granted all of these tiny little miracles in our lives.

But you can change this. Stop reading these simple black words  and instead stare out at the snow. Take a few minutes to appreciate the miracle of your earth, your eyes, and your life. You might be surprised at the peace that’s hidden in every tiny flake.

Do You Like Your Family?
If you are reading this, you are probably saying to yourself “What an odd question to ask. Of course I love my family.” But, now that the holidays are over and most of us have probably had enough family time to last a dozen more holiday seasons, let’s take a moment to be honest and reflect upon some uncomfortable maybe even unpleasant family “quality time.”

Also, please note that the questioned poised was “Do you LIKE your family?” not “Do you love your family?”

I believe that like and love is two totally different animals. We love a lot of things in our life. Love is an easy word to toss around and used more out of habit than a real emotional commitment. We loved our dinner, we loved a movie, we loved the sunset and on and on. But like takes a bit more thought. The word “love” is as overused as “sorry.”

Instead of telling folks that I truly care about “Okay, love ya. Good bye,” I often say “I like you a lot, good bye.” Sometimes their response is one of puzzlement. “You like me, but don’t love me?”

So, let’s go back to the family and if we like them. For many people, expectations of others are the biggest let down and most difficult concept to get past and/or over. I’m not talking about a big expectation that would be so out of character for the individual it’s not fair to even hope for an expectation met.

For example, a client of mine had a birthday over the holidays. It was a big birthday and she was throwing a lovely dinner bash at a swanky hotel.

She lives a few hundred miles away from her daughter and made an effort to see her before her big day. One of the first things her daughter said was that she didn’t know what time she would be able to make it up to the party.

My client was really hurt and sad. She was hoping that her daughter would say “what time would you like me to come up for your big day?” We had been working on her expectations and that she sets herself up for disappointment, but we concluded that in this case, her expectations were absolutely in line regarding a mother /daughter relationship. What would have been an expectation that would surely be out of line would be if her daughter had said: Hey mom, I’m going to take work off on Friday and come and spend the whole weekend with you for your birthday.”

My client felt guilty and ashamed that at that moment she didn’t like her daughter. She loved her, but just didn’t like her and viewed this as a painful jab to their friendship as well as mother /daughter. Families can be so difficult and disappointing. We want so desperately for everyone to get along; whether it’s a newly recovered alcoholic/addict or the black sheep that maybe has turned over a new leaf.

During the holidays it is even more tender, as everyone, everywhere — whether it’s the bank teller or the TV commercial are asking how great your holidays are going or how spending time with family and friends is the best part of the season.

Here are three offerings to assuage the pain of disappointment when you realize you really don’t like your family or specific family member:

• Keep the time with the family or family member down to a minimum.
• Don’t hope that things might be different. If they are great, it’s an added bonus, but don’t take it to the bank that they have changed or it will be like this from now on.
• Have an exit plan. After my client saw her daughter, she knew she had a train to catch so there was an end in sight.
• Come home to something special. A four-legged friend wagging his/her tail or purring in your lap is the very best of the best.
• Please, please don’t lose sleep wondering what you did or didn’t do to that family member to make them act this way. They are responsible for their actions, not you.

It goes against the morays of society and is taboo thinking that one should not like their family. We wouldn’t dare tell anyone that we feel this way as since we were a little tyke we were told that nothing is more important than family. Yes, maybe in the big, fairy tale picture that’s true, but ask this simple test question: if they weren’t your sister, son, father or whomever, would they be your friend? It’s okay if the answer is no.

If I can be of service, please visit my website http://www.familyrecoverysolutions.com or call (805) 695-0049. In addition, I invite you to explore my book Reclaim Your Life: You and the Alcoholic/Addict.

Need help with substance abuse or mental health issues? In the U.S., call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.

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