"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Writer's Stress? Count the Ways You've Been Blessed



 
Not too long ago, I was feeling down and out. My singing the blues would rival Billie Holiday. It was a particularly tough week, where personal and professional setbacks and disappointments clouded my horizons and my perspective.

A string of events left me feeling stuck and frustrated. To make matters worse, the news of the untimely death of music icon, Prince, devastated me. I was a huge fan.

My usual “default” position of turning to comfort foods was no longer an option. I was already having trouble fitting into my skinny jeans, and, well… feared putting on additional pounds.

In an act of desperation, I decided to reframe my thoughts. To feel better, I made myself focus on my blessings, rather than my burdens. And you should too.

A PARADIGM SHIFT CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE

Far too often we become focused on the negative things that are woven into the everyday fabric of life (a bad boss, financial woes, family dysfunction, moral decay, violence around us), that we forget how blessed and fortunate we are. Not to mention, writers are typically sensitive souls.
We feel so deeply. True?
Still...

When I retrained my brain, and took the time to reflect, there were countless blessings I was able to recognize and embrace, in the midst of my rough patch:

BLESSINGS ARE ALL AROUND US…

Here is a short list of mine

Health blessings-- Not currently ill or on medication
Peace of mind blessings-- I’m not dealing with any grudges or unforgiveness in my heart.
Food & Shelter--There’s food in the cupboard and a roof over my head.
Relational blessings--I have friends and family that I love and who love me; I have self-love.
Simple pleasures blessings-- I know the joy of a good book, good music, good food, laughter, nature, bubble baths, herbal tea, personal freedom.
Spiritual blessings--I have a religious foundation and a relationship with God.             Creature comforts--An impressive candy stash, collection of diverse books, music, a big back yard for summer parties.
Creative gifts blessings--I am innovative and talented with expressing myself with words.
I love that I get to do what I love;sometimes helping other people to live better in the process. I love being part of the blogging community.
 
By the time I took inventory of my life, I felt much better. You should try it.
This “exercise” doesn’t require a gym membership, and there's no "heavy lifting" to strain you.

Go even further here. Why not keep a weekly “Blessings Journal” to capture and chronicle the many awesome things that may go unnoticed in your hurried state?
Referring back to it from time to time can help you move forward in positivity, grace and gratitude.

..And if you are blessed (like I am) to still be able to celebrate this "Mother's Day" with your mom, add that to the top of your list.

Happy Mother's Day to you and yours.
Have a wonderful weekend.

Thoughts? Do you keep a blessings journal?

13 comments:

  1. I too, have battled similar mental challenges lately and have found "counting my blessings" to be a helpful perspective shift. There is always something to be thankful for, whether simply waking up that day or knowing there's untold millions in the bank. Well okay, maybe not millions, but the bills are paid, anyway. :) Thanks for the encouragement. Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Amen to bills being paid. Right?! Thanks so much for the feedback, Karen. :-)

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  2. Well, add my name to the list of "boo hoo-ers". My writing career seems to be stagnate and what's worse it's not bothering me that much. ugh. But - Jennifer - as always you give me pause. I have many of the same blessings and sometimes they're heaped upon me. I should head smack myself. Really. But I'll come up from under the rock again. Soon, I hope. Happy Mother's Day - though belated. =0)

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    1. Sue,

      I feel ya'.
      Sometimes success can be cyclical. In the words of Annie, "The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar." :-) Thanks so much for taking time to stop by and share your thoughts.

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    2. P.S.

      Sue, don't forget to count your lovely fireplaces among your blessings, too. :-)

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  3. Honestly, this post is definitely a reflection of my current situation. I've recently had a few hardships that has started the voices of doubt to emerge, with contrasting remarks that really took a toll on me. Times of reflection and clarity are what's needed to remember one's true worth.

    Thanks for a great post!

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    1. Hi Dave,

      It's great to hear from you today. Your words were particularly appreciated, because I was reluctant, initially, to publish this post. I wasn't sure whether it would resonate enough with my readers. I couldn't have said it better: "Times of reflection and clarity are what's needed." I'll be rooting for you. :-)

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    2. It's an understandable hesitation to have, considering that posts, such as this one, will allow readers to see the author in times of weakness. Although this may be the case, I actually felt more of a connection from this post, because I could feel that this was something that was heartfelt. Judging from the other comments, I'm not the only one who feels this way.

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    3. Dave,

      Readers like you remind me of why I continue to blog, year after year. Much thanks. :-)

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  4. Jen,
    Your post came at a good time. We all have to deal with those gloomy days. The way we greet the day, no matter how many difficulties we have to face, is what makes a difference. I always wake with a thank You on my lips. Your blessings list is an uplifting reminder of my countless blessings.

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  5. Lin,

    ...So happy to hear that my words served as encouragement. May your blessings outnumber your burdens. Thanks so much for chiming in here. :-)

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  6. It is true it can be a struggle to see past the negative or even just slightly hindering things that happen in life and look towards a life that is greener on the other side. When infact all around us we are filled with greatness that we need to identify. I used to often keep a gratitude journal that was filled with the smallest of details such as my glasses to help me see in HD.

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    1. Hi there, Rox,

      Thanks so kindly for weighing in today. I love what you say about "all around us we are filled with greatness that we need to identify." Gratitude journals definitely help us to continue to see the "big picture." Thanks for stopping by today. :-)

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