Missing Muse but Shining Light on Others

Well, as many of my faithful followers must realize by now, I’m at a loss for words. I’m 60 years old, and have been writing all of my life, whether poetry, short stories, newspaper articles as a teenager, my own book a few years ago and now this blog. But now, there hasn’t been any real inspiration for months, perhaps even longer. I simply don’t know what to write about these days.

Normally I would have written another series on this year’s 11-week stay in Cuba. But I decided not to write it this year, in short, to protect our adopted family and friends there. We discovered some questionable issues plaguing our family there this past year that were too coincidental to be accidental, and appeared to have been directly triggered by my blog series from last year (the 2014 series). We were so deeply disturbed by these “coincidences” and the burden they caused our loved ones there, that I decided not to risk putting any more of our experiences there into the public forum.

So that left a huge void in my blog writings. I enjoy those travel blogs, but since we’re not traveling so much this year, it leaves me with nothing much to write about. I can always write about my angst and ongoing quest to evolve and transform my mindset and heal myself beyond that angst. But that gets old and tiresome after awhile, doesn’t it! (But just to note, I’m still evolving, which is better than regressing).

So I’ve been praying and wondering what to do now that my writer muse has gone on an indefinite hiatus. The answer came to me last night as I was reading an awesome article in another blog, written by one of my Facebook friends. Because it resounded so profoundly with me and articulated this journey that I myself am on (evolving my mindset to transform my angst), I wished I could share Linda’s blog here.

Well, why not?! So that’s what I’m going to do.

For the time being, while my muse recharges her writing batteries, I’d like to take the opportunity to share other people’s writings here. The first one will be Linda’s post copied (with Linda’s permission) from the site “Tiny Buddha”.

7 Habits That Keep You Strong (Even When Things Go Wrong)

Strong Man

“I’m stronger because of the hard times, wiser because of my mistakes, and happier because I have known sadness.” ~Unknown

It’s happened to most of us.

Despite our best intentions, something goes dreadfully wrong.

You suffer a heartbreaking loss, make a terrible mistake, or get blindsided by an injury.

In disbelief your mind cries, “Wait. What?”

And then, “No, no, no, this can’t be happening.”

After the initial shock, when the surge of stress hormones has subsided, you realize that yes, this is happening.

And you can’t help thinking: “But how could this happen? It’s not fair. I can’t bear it. Why me? Why now? How will I ever get through this?”

Your mind is reeling. You feel anxious and dejected.

Well, something like this just happened to me too.

After eight days away and a grueling fifteen-hour return trip, my husband and I were relieved to finally arrive home at 1:00AM on a Wednesday.

But as soon as I opened the front door, I knew something was terribly wrong. My beloved cat Tiffany had come to greet me, but she wasn’t purring in her usual comforting way.

She was yowling in distress in a way I had never, ever heard before.

“Wait. What? What’s wrong, what’s wrong?”

And then somehow I just knew. I ran further into the house and discovered evidence that confirmed one of my worst nightmares.

My trustworthy, longtime pet sitter had not been in to care for Tiffany.

My sweet, sixteen-year-old cat had been home alone with no food, water, or heart medication for eight days. How was she even still alive?

As a devoted animal lover, witnessing Tiffany’s trauma and subsequent physical and mental decline has been heartbreaking for me.

I’ve had plenty of negative, angry, and despairing thoughts vying for my attention over this. And I definitely felt weakened by the experience.

But as soon as I could, I consciously returned to the habits I’ve created over time that keep me strong no matter what shows up in my life.

1. Use your power of choice.

No matter what your circumstances, you have the power to choose your direction and how to use your energy. You can choose to use your energy in positive, productive ways or in negative, destructive ways. Either way, the choices you make now determine your future.

As soon as I opened my front door and saw Tiffany’s suffering, I had some choices to make. I could choose to stay devastated, distraught, and depressed.

Or I could choose to embrace the miracle that my cat was still alive and empower myself to give her the loving attention she deserved.

Practice choosing to focus your energy in positive directions until it becomes a habit. Once it does, you will be more empowered and experience less trouble in your life. You will feel like you are living on purpose, taking charge of your direction rather than viewing life as something that just happens to you.

2. Accept what is, no matter what.

Practice not mentally labeling what happens as good or bad; just let it be.

Accepting what is, instead of judging it, puts you in a state of inner non-resistance. You can still want to change things, but you have a calmer attitude, and any action you take to improve your situation is more effective.

I definitely rated my Tiffany’s circumstances as terrible at first. But by quickly accepting the situation instead of raging against it, all my mental and intuitive energy was available to discern what she needed most so that I could help her right away.

Allow things to be as they are rather than resisting them. Once this becomes a habit, you’ll find yourself calmly thinking of effective solutions for problems that used to be overwhelming.

3. Be grateful.

Besides enhancing your everyday life, finding things to be grateful for can help you cope during hard times by giving you a wider perspective that helps you feel less overwhelmed by difficult circumstances.

An eight-pound, sixteen-year-old cat with a heart condition could easily have died from such a trauma. So I had three things to be grateful for that night.

First, Tiffany was still alive. Second, I got home just in time to rescue her.

And third, I was grateful that my pet sitter had taught me to leave extra water out when going on a trip. This is probably what saved Tiffany’s life.

Practice focusing on what’s going right. Notice things to be grateful for every day. Soon, finding something to be grateful for will become your automatic response to anything that happens. And eventually you’ll find that your gratitude habit brings more joy into your life.

4. Neutralize the negative.

Sometimes our thinking is directed by our inner critic, who can say some harsh things. But when you pay attention, you can recognize unhealthy thoughts and change them to more positive statements.

My inner mean girl definitely spoke up that night. “Tiffany counts on you to keep her safe. How could you let this happen?”

I immediately cut this off by replacing the unhelpful thoughts with words I often say out loud to my sweet cat: “I love you, Miss Tiffany.”

Always question your negative thoughts, and practice changing them to positive, helpful statements. Once this becomes a habit, you’ll find that negative thoughts lose their power to upset you. Over time, you will be able to more easily let them go, and your mind will become more peaceful.

5. Return to the present moment.

As human beings, one of our favorite mental activities is to get lost in thinking about the past or the future.

Remembering to bring your attention back to “now” sweeps the debris from your mind and returns you to a state of simplicity.

Throughout that long night, I did my best not to get lost in thoughts of how this could have happened or what Tiffany’s health would be like from then on. I just kept bringing myself back to the present moment with, “I love you, Miss Tiffany.”

As you go about your daily activities, keep your full attention on whatever is happening here and now rather than getting lost in thought. Once this becomes a habit, you will be more connected to your inner wisdom. You will notice that decisions are easier to make, and life begins to flow more smoothly.

6. Trust yourself.

It’s better to trust in your own feelings and intuition—even if you make mistakes along the way—than to look outside yourself for guidance.

Even though this felt like an urgent crisis, I took my time considering the options.

I could put Tiffany in the pet carrier and go for a forty-five-minute drive to the emergency veterinary hospital. Or I could quietly care for her myself for a few more hours until my local vet’s office opened.

It was the middle of the night, and she had already been through so much. My intuition said that keeping her home would be less stressful, so that’s what we did.

Remember to always tune in to your inner wisdom for help. Once you make this a habit, you will feel less stressed and more positive. You will have a sense of inner security and self-contained confidence that is not based on the approval of others.

7. Forgive.

True forgiveness means that you accept the reality of what happened without an emotional charge. You recognize the healing and growth you have achieved from working through the upsetting experience, and you wish healing and growth for the other person.

My pet sitter was distraught by her scheduling mistake and begged me to forgive her. I knew she would never intentionally cause harm to any living thing. I also knew how devastated I would be if I was the one who had made such a mistake.

And so I did. I forgave her.

Practice forgiving others and releasing the toxic resentment that hurts your heart. Forgive yourself too; we all make mistakes at one time or another. Making a habit of forgiveness frees you to move on with your life and experience higher levels of inner peace.

You: Calm, Clear, and Confident

Life’s hard when things go wrong.

Feeling shocked, anxious, and dejected is no fun.

But practicing these habits when times are fairly good will enhance your life and help you stay strong during the hard times.

Imagine being in the middle of a disappointment or a crisis and being able to move swiftly through the shock and stress rather than getting stuck there.

Imagine feeling calm, clear, and confident during difficult circumstances instead of confused and overwhelmed.

Imagine even reaching a state of inner peace as you take action to make things right again.

Some of these concepts are easier to turn into habits than others, and they all take time to master.

But if you will pick even one and start practicing, you will become stronger, wiser, and more resilient no matter what life throws at you.

If I can do it, you can too.

Strong man image via Shutterstock

Profile photo of Linda RobinsonAbout Linda Robinson

Linda Robinson is on a mission to help 1,000 women shake things up in their lives, find their important life’s work, and contribute their unique gifts to the world. Check out her free giveaway: A Quick Start Guide to Creating Habits That Keep You Strong.

About Sharon

I love to write. I love to write myself into being right here right now. Writing releases something in me that needs wings, writing opens doors and windows that I often don't even realize are possible, writing helps me breathe out the dusty old, and to breathe in the new and possible. My hope is that maybe writing here in this blog will bring new light into these dusty old hallways and help me to clear out the thinking processes and mindsets that just don't work for me anymore. I seek to breathe new light and life into the nooks and crannies of a soul that has been feeling somewhat lost and frayed because of the last few patches of road I've had to travel.
This entry was posted in coping, empowerment, gratitude, hope, inspiration, mental health, positive, self help, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Missing Muse but Shining Light on Others

  1. Angelika Schwarz says:

    Welcome back to the blogging world! You were the one who inspired me to start blogging…now it’s my turn to get you back on the roll! 🙂 Entering blog contests is a wonderful way to find new topics, get inspired and connect to other bloggers. I’ve entered one contest so far, and plan to enter many more. So glad you are back, dear Sharon

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharon says:

    Thanks, Angelika…it would be fun to blog side-by-side.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for sharing my article, Sharon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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