Bad Times, Good Growth

March 2009

Lately I’ve found myself at times struggling to stay positive in a world that seems awash in bad news.  I don’t have to recount the troubling indicators and circumstances we are seeing and experiencing on the economic, employment, and emotional fronts.  These are unprecedented times, and many of us are grappling with dramatic changes in our lives.  More and more, I believe that how we respond to these adverse situations plays a big role in our self development.  Not just to grit our teeth and hang on, but to nurture our innate courage and strength so that we emerge better than we were before.  So, I wanted to share some of the ways that I use to stay balanced and resilient in tough times:

  • Daily quiet time – I start each day with prayer (always) and journaling (often); this helps me to get back to my center, where peace resides.
  • Physical activity – Walking, working out at the gym, playing chase with my dog, biking; these activities keep me alert and feeling strong.
  • Gratitude – I count my many blessings every day, and thank others for what they bring to my life; gratitude changes the way I see my troubles and gives me perspective.
  • Let go – I recognize the many things I cannot control and let go of those; I instead focus on what I can control or influence for good, and that is where I choose to focus my time and energy.
  • Help others – When my attention is off myself and instead is on how I can help, encourage, or serve others, even in small ways, I find reservoirs of strength that I can tap into.
  • Be productive – By turning angst into action, I take negative energy and convert it into positive effort that moves me forward in my work and learning; I also turn off the television to stay sane.
  • Take shelter – I hang out with people who love and accept me, and with whom I can be honest about my fears and talk those through; prayer, music and writing are also shelters from the storm.
  • Laughter – Funny movies, good jokes, sharing a funny story with a friend; despite all the negativity we encounter, there is much joy in this life and I try to embrace that each day.

I would love to hear your additions to this brief list.  Thank you for the privilege of knowing and serving you, through good times and bad times, and for all you bring to my life and my work.

Sharon Keys Seal

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