Hope for Balance

Hope for Balance

Upon examining balance in daily living, the law of physics teaches me anytime you swing too far one way you need to swing back the other at an equal distance.  The side to side dance of the pendulum caused by the trajectory of its weight finally ends and balance is restored.

While it swings, some questions form in my mind.

Must we feel the frigid cold to appreciate the soothing warmth?  Do we have to walk in the death of winter to appreciate the new birth of sweetness?  If we give in to the obsessive force of negativity, must we then look for the excessive force of positivity to pull us back to the middle?

The pendulum swings on, forced by the heaviness.

Failures and disappointments cannot be avoided, and success cannot last forever.  Negativity will arise, and elation will plummet.  When this happens, perhaps the answer is simply allowing  the time for rejuvenation as we re-focus our lives on regaining balance.

When the frost comes and our steps are forced backward throwing off our equilibrium, remember baby steps forward are better than no steps at all.  

And if we happen to fall down on our faces in the frozen tundra, know that hope will bring restoration as the pendulum swings us into the warmth of Spring.  

© Erika K Rothwell

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Garden of Hope

Garden of Hope

What is the story you are telling yourself today?  

Are you facing anxiety because of a job that sucks life’s energy out of you?  Do you feel stuck in a bad relationship?  Or are you facing a difficult health decision?  Do your steps feel heavier as each day of the week passes?

You may feel suffocating sensations come to the surface as you face an endless cycle of forced obligations and nauseating habitual motions.  Your breaths may likely become shallower, you may neglect your basic needs, and you may develop a gloomy outlook as you forget to look for the sun each day.

As the sun rises, a promise is extended for a new day to make the necessary changes, to accept growth, and move in a direction that complements vitality.  Yet, so many wither in the repetition of monotony on an endless treadmill of dread.

Walk with me in the “Garden of Hope” for a moment.  Consider that we need space to breathe, water and food to thrive, and sunlight to grow.  At times our environment works against these necessities.  

So what do we tell ourselves at this point?  Do you hear yourself crying, “Nothing will ever change.”, Or “I have no choice.”  Mental mantras drive our actions and build foundations for tomorrow.  Why not instead focus on words of affirmation powerful enough to destroy the amplified barriers we place in our own way?  

“Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.” – Erika K Rothwell

Change the message, walk through a “garden”.  Breathe in the scent of inspiration and aspiration.  Don’t give up on your dreams.

We cannot let the weeds of distraction and hopelessness choke out our will to thrive.  When we remove the unnecessary overgrowth of negativity and self-imposed expectations space opens granting us breathing room, hampering the weight of anxious thoughts and giving us an opportunity for growth.

Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.  Plant the seeds of tomorrow in your imagination today.  Daydream for a moment.  And if you are a list person, write a bucket list and fill it with everything your heart imagines, no matter what the hurdles may be.

“Think of ways you can use obstacles in your current situation as stepping stones to a greater plan.” – Erika K Rothwell

As flowers need rain to soak their roots and make them stronger, we also benefit from the washing away of the old story to gain deeper insight into our desires. After the storm, let us be motivated to look toward the sun, as it shines its positivity on us and helps us set buds of change for tomorrow’s bloom.  

And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.

“And when the sun sets, on a day “outside” of the ordinary, remind yourself to look for it tomorrow as you begin a new chapter.” Erika K Rothwell

As soon as we embrace our freedom to choose genuinely and share our unique colors by following our passions, a refreshing array of authenticity will fill drab spaces with joy. 

And that’s the beauty in the “Garden of Hope”.

-Erika K Rothwell

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Hope Lives in Us – Day 10

Hope Lives in Us – Day 10

I woke up day number 10 of the year 2019 to this view out my window.

Hope is a breath of fresh air.  A long deep breath I so often forget to take as I allow the shallow breaths of time starvation and self-protective adrenaline to overwhelm my day.

The meditation I focus on is “Each day has its own sufficient amount of concern”.  If I magnify the effects of carrying my baggage of worry to the next day, I exponentially escalate negativity causing a snowball effect that only hope can melt.

That glimmer of hope lives within all of us.  A bright sunbeam of faith at times only barely sensed or an internal nudge toward a positive belief.  

I am reminded, “Choose to breathe in or tune in to to the message of hope.”   Sometimes it requires a quiet moment to focus on our breath, at other times we may need to turn up the volume to drown out our negative self-talk.  

Either way, we can all light up each new day with hopeful anticipation of that great something that is about to happen, within the world of possibility, as we are granted another sunrise.

As light powerfully destroys darkness, hope breathes life into despair with its promise.

Erika K Rothwell

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Hope is Regenerative – Day 8

Hope is Regenerative – Day 8

My apologies for posting a little late.  My mom, our Bubby, had a total knee replacement operation and it took the good part of a day to focus on regenerative hope.

Hope is regenerative.  Our bodies breakdown from the stress of life and a destined aging process.  Our choices can seem futile and our dreams fade with the daylight hours.

Yet, through the example of three amazing human beings, I feel the power of hope surrounding me at the end of this day.

Regenerative hope moved my son to run 22 plus miles through the darkness of negativism after it struck his equilibrium of contentment and drove him to push his physical body to the breaking point as he made it to the other side…positivity, cleansed by exhaustion.  

The belief in a better quality of life motivated my mother to overcome her fears, focus on optimism and go through a knee reconstruction surgery in her 80th year of life on this very same day.  

I was left in the dust.  Yes, I’m focusing on hope this year.  However, I was challenged by fear.  I lost my father two years ago after surgery.  The circumstances were very different, yet the memory is raw and ignited the core of helplessness when you watch your “as is” slip away into an “as was”.  

My father “lives” with all of us in our stubborn resolves to not only survive but excel in this life as we continually strive to better ourselves.  His ongoing search for the fountain of youth points to the regenerative quality of hope.  And as I viewed my mother, his wife, today after difficult reconstructive surgery, I saw evidence of that fountain, as her contagious smile of victory and proof that hope is regenerative lit up the room.

-Erika K Rothwell

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You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

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“Come on Eleanor, you can do it!”, she emphatically told herself out loud, struggling to open her newest prize in the back seat of the car while I was driving.  I smiled from ear to ear.  She’s only four years old, yet she presented a powerful message with her example of persistence, cheering herself on, as her own best advocate.

Lately, I’ve been feeling somewhat overwhelmed with all the things calling for my attention.  With that, disorganized thoughts and actions often follow.  Of course, there is always the list strategy.  Herein lies the problem with my latest lists; they are black holes.  No sooner do I check a box, another box grows from that same box. 

My approach to life’s “to do” list most certainly cannot be referred to as methodical.  In fact, I have been known to veer from one realm to another without any given notice.  This is what my husband refers to as my bubble strategy.  Actually, he just uses the word, “bubbles…” with an affectionate smirk and a long pause at the end to describe my style.

So, you guessed right, my writing is on the list.  And it is not getting much attention lately.  It seems to be the easiest and most forgiving box to ignore, regularly getting shifted to a lower priority.  I am quite saddened by the admission.

Negative talk has been reaching a loud chatter in my mind, for this reason, morphing into procrastination.  Though, all along, there has been a whisper imploring me to just sit down and write. 

After a few weeks of stalemate, the words finally are emerging in rough blobs of thought.  Discouragement stands in my way.  The creative work I believed I could accomplish effortlessly infused with passion begins to elude me.  The beauty of raw feeling appears to be stifled by the burden of a daily task list.  The irony of the black and white words I’m able to write stares at me, paralleling the non-emotional characteristics of a task list.

And I realize, I’ve been here before.  I spent years reigniting my creative lifeline, after snuffing it out with the burden of self-imposed secular aspirations, and financial obligations.  I found hope in my desire to share my experience of reconnection to my artistic self, with others, through my writing.  And this is when the healing happened.  I’m reminded, feel first…words will inherently follow.

If you have ever felt like this, you need encouraging reminders as I do.  Where can it be found?

Observing the simple examples of young children can teach us the greatest lessons.  The struggle to accomplish begins soon after our entrance into this world.  Those who love and support us can help along the journey, but it is self-motivation and self-advocation that fuels our drive.  And as usual in my life, out of the mouth of a babe, my little granddaughter modeled the positivity I needed to emulate.

Think how much more we could accomplish if we simply replaced our negative self-talk with self-encouraging words. 

It sounds rather elementary, but recall how many times, lately, you have actually championed yourself with the three little words, “You can do it!”

-Erika K Rothwell

P.S. For those of you who believe in serendipity, I published this post and celebrated by boiling a cup of tea.  The tea bag quote read, “Happiness is an accomplishment.”

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