I have a story about light overcoming dark. A story that I lived recently. A story you might benefit from.
The Doors sang about transformations and breakthroughs in their 1967 single, Break On Through (To The Other Side). The song starts with this verse: “You know the day destroys the night; Night divides the day; Tried to run, tried to hide; Break on through to the other side”. Day, night, run, hide — yep, there’s a challenge in this.
When a friend asked me what my “lessons” were from walking the Camino de Santiago, an 800 km (500 mile) walk from the French Pyrenees across northern Spain to the city of Santiago, I had an answer ready: it is something I thought about along the way, and in the months following. After sharing with him the three biggest lessons I gained, one “big” lesson really came to mind.
Being in charge of your mind opens untold freedoms to you. Viktor Frankl learned during his Auschwitz internment that even though he was locked up and abused, his mind was free to choose how he responded to those who abused him. Nelson Mandela had the same experience during his 27 years in South African prisons. They both chose to be kind, optimistic, and forgive their transgressors. They both chose to make something of their lives. If they can master their minds, so can you.
The quote, “Busy is a choice. Stress is a choice. Joy is a choice. Choose well.”, is one I love because it’s a reminder that you choose your life. Maybe not all the things that happen to you, but for sure the way you react and respond to those things. You choose your level of presence and mindfulness. You choose how effective a human you are.
Do you stand up for yourself? Do you stand up for what’s right? That’s part of what living “bravely” is about. Have you stopped to consider your level of bravery? Do you challenge yourself to work through your fears, like in doing things you’ve never done before and are uncomfortable thinking about? That’s another aspect of living “bravely”. So, let me dig a bit deeper and ask you if you are decisive, confident, and resilient? Can you live more boldly?
What is it you think about when you hear me talk about living an energized life? Do you dismiss my words thinking you have enough energy, after all you get up (barely?), you perform your daily activities (sorta?), and you interact with people during the day (kinda?), and that’s all there is to living an energized life. Right? Not quite.
Having clarity supports clearer communication. When you aren’t clear with your thoughts and wants, you can fall into shaming patterns, garble your messages to others or not be forthright, and you can give away your personal power. Surprising what a lack of clarity can do to your life, isn’t it.