I arrived at 9 am for my scheduled physical therapy. The first thing my therapist did was to take measurements of my ailing shoulder’s flexibility. (It was pain and stiffness in the shoulder that prompted my referral to physical therapy). My therapist was not happy with the results; neither was I. They showed that I had regressed to the pre-therapy readings.
I did the prescribed stretch exercises for 45 minutes then we took measurements again. Excellent! I was back where I was the last session last week.
This is the enduring lesson: To maintain my shoulder flexibility, hence functionality, I must continually do stretch exercises as prescribed (or something similar). When I don’t do them I relegate myself to the category of disability.
It is equally important to similarly bear in mind that the even more important area of life – the spiritual – requires continual nurturing. It does not serve our well-being when we are so caught up with pursuit of everything external – wealth, success, achievement etc – that we neglect the soul.
Spiritual well-being is the beginning of the happy life.
Like me, you have probably been asked: “In hindsight, or knowing what you know now, would you have done differently?” Or, we may have mused in our thoughts what actions different circumstances would have prompted. And in some cases the answer has been affirmative, that we would have acted differently..That is because we have been informed by results or outcomes, and so our perspectives have changed.
What we need to bear in mind is the premise of the query, i.e “hindsight”.There is no hindsight until it is hindsight. At the time of decision-making there were only the circumstances then. We would have been informed by available knowledge, reason and intuition. We certainly don’t want to be reckless – or too risky – nor indecisive. And often while being cautious we may prove to be over-cautious. (Apart from politics, the now too familiar Clinton e-mail practices were probably borne of uber caution).
Since we will never have foreknowledge of the future we marshall courage to decide and act with honesty, integrity, good will and humility and be ready to accept and learn from the results, knowing that even if we would have done differently there is no guarantee that we will know a hundred percent, the outcome.
Don’t be paralyzed by indecision, act in good faith.
When interviewed on NBC’s Today Show after ending up with a silver medal when she could have won the gold, Olympic champion Allyson Felix gave this wonderful advice regarding setbacks. She said, “I hope that I just can get across that you’re going to have obstacles, there’s going to be adversity, but let your spirit shine through, keep fighting no matter how the cards are stacked against you, don’t let it keep you down”.
Indeed, that’s always our motto in this blog. It is not about the circumstances, setbacks or adversity. It is all about your attitude – the decision you make. Always choose to “let your spirit shine through”; consciously acknowledging that it is for you to make the choice.
That is a sign I saw on a storefront yesterday. Simple and eloquent: Every day should be this happy. No reasons given; no why’s or if’s. Yet, because of our own narratives we are quite often skeptical of such affirmations. We seek to find reasons as if we have no right to be happy. Or we want to dig out reasons we should not be happy – circumstances and situations and things that might go wrong, and so forth. The truth is: it is in the mind. Choose to be happy today and every day.
Consider the two recently concluded national conventions of the two major U.S political parties. This is not politics, but they highlight what we have presented in this blog, again and again, that reality is a creation of the mind.
One convention presented a picture of a nation under siege from within and without; at the brink of economic and financial demise and a future threatened by world events. One candidate referred to a picture away from “morning in America” to “midnight in America”. The other convention portrayed a picture of possibility even in trying circumstances; a nation used to and able to face challenges, and marching on the road of accomplishments.
James Allen published a booklet in 1903 under the title: “As a man thinketh” (and today it would have been “as a man or woman thinketh”). Allen stated his purpose as to demonstrate the power of thought, particularly its application in joy and peaceful outcomes. The bible also states in Proverbs 23:7, “For as he thinks in his heart, so he is…” – (and this too applies to both man and woman)
So, what is your reality today? This goes beyond our fears and anxieties; past failures or accomplishments and even present circumstances. You can have peace and joy now or work and plan for them to appear in the future.