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  • Writer's pictureKurt O'Brien

The Wisdoms

When my daughter went to the other side of the country to attend college back in 2013, I wrote this for her - I share it now with a broader audience...

Seize the moment

Know what your goals are and go after them. Don't wait or succumb to fear and uncertainty (although these are normal reactions); identify a small step you can take today that will help move you in the direction you want to go. It takes courage to do this, especially when we don't have the energy, or when we doubt our capabilities. When those nagging voices are in our head, then we must really remember to focus on our goals, and to be in the moment (see wisdom #2).

Be in the moment

Breathe. Breathe again. What do you notice? What happens in your mind? What happens to your body? Be present. It's easy to say, hard to do - but not impossible. There are so many distractions around us, other things vying for our attention. It is during these times that we need to force ourselves to pause. Rest. Rest your mind, rest your muscles. A friend of mine once told me, "When we rest in ourselves, all of our questions and all of our doubts, will simply dissolve into who we are." I still carry those words with me today as a reminder to slow down and simply 'be'. It is easy to get caught up in the past, or to think about future events. But in one sense, these are all distractions from what you are called upon to do right now. Enjoy the moment, revel in it, soak it up.

Deal with adversity

Our lives our fraught with challenge. Events occur and things are said that result in us feeling frustrated, confused, angry, or hurt. This is part of being human, part of living. It is in these moments when we are faced with a choice: to fall victim to the frustration, pain, disappointment, or to rise above it and chose the path of determination, facing the challenge head-on and adapting to the new reality. It is not always an easy choice to make, but in the long run you will be much stronger for having faced the adversity and worked through it.

Explore your spirituality

What exactly is "spirituality"? How is it defined? How do any of us internalize it? In many ways it is a great mystery. In other ways it is beautiful in its simplicity. You are in a unique time and place to explore this mystery (and beauty) for yourself. A time to ask questions, reflect, make sense of things that seemingly have no answer. Embrace this time, this moment, and see what emerges for you.

The Power of Gratitude

We have to take time to reflect on what we are grateful for in our lives. We spend so much time thinking and worrying about where we are going, what is happening, what others may think of us, forgetting to pause and remember all of those things in life that bring us joy and happiness. To actually write, or say out loud, "I am grateful for..." changes us, makes us optimistic for tomorrow, and fills our hearts with love.

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