Trust in the Good, Trust in the Bad

I have a slight modification to my recent post on cultivating trust in one’s life. One of my best friends emailed me after reading my post, and told me she liked the post, and that she was trying to cultivate gratitude in her life. So, I wrote her back, and said, “Well why don’t you turn it into a gratitude box instead? Just write down things you are thankful for and slip it into the box.” She emailed me back and said “Okay, I will.”

Shortly after, I went through something kind of upsetting, and once it was over, I reminded myself to trust that all would be okay and to let it go, AND unexpectedly I also felt thankful. I was happy because of the immense support I had during the incident. So, I took out a piece of paper, and wrote “I am thankful for my friend, and her unconditional love, support and understanding,” and slipped it into my trust box.

When it comes to trust, I believe we need to trust in the good and the bad that happens in our lives. Often we fixate too much on the bad, and too little on the good, but it is unfair to give so much of our attention and energy towards the bad incidences. There is so much good that comes our way, and recognizing and appreciating that good is just as (if not more) important as letting go of or moving on from the bad.

SO, I would like to revise my trust box directions slightly, and suggest that you also use the box to practice gratitude. I started doing this, and have found that in times of strife, when I can also see the good, it helps boost my mood, calm my worries, and of course build my trust muscle even more! Also, it reminds me to be appreciative of all the good that I have in my life, which I admittedly tend to forget.

Here’s how it works:

  • On a small piece of paper, write down something good that happened recently or in the past, or something you are thankful for.
  • Then, fold the paper up, and put it into your trust box. Practice the act of identifying the good in your life, and appreciating the positive things that come your way.
  • Every day take time to write it down 1-3 things that went well, and put into the box to help build your trust muscle and to energize yourself.

And I’m out,
Peace sign
Ida

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How To Cultivate Trust in Your Life

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If you are anything like me, you struggle with trusting people. I hadn’t really realized this until now, but my lack of trust in people has developed into a lack of trust in the universe. Uh oh, this is not good, especially because I constantly preach that everything happens for a reason. Yes, I do strongly believe this to be true, but I suppose I have forgotten to remind myself more often to trust that the universe has got my back. To remember that when things go wrong, I am simply getting rerouted into the right path. When times are good this is of course much easier to do, but when times are bad that pessimistic voice enters the mind. So it is time to take action…or try to. Join me?

If you can’t already tell I don’t like uncertainty, and I love to have control over situations J But of course this is not realistic, and ultimately results in feelings of worry, anxiety, stress, and perhaps depression. So, I was listening to a lecture the other day, and I loved the idea of creating a “Trust” Box. Say whaaat?

Okay, here is how it works:

  • On a small piece of paper, write down something you want or that you’re concerned about.
  • Then, fold the paper up, and put it into your trust box. Practice the act of turning it over to the universe and releasing the need to control.
  • Every time you have a desire, concern or worry, write it down and put into the box to help build your trust muscle and to calm yourself.

This also works great for worrywarts, another lovely characteristic I possess. For some, there may be several papers to fold up and throw in the box in the beginning. That is okay. The point is you are practicing the act of building trust and letting go. Will it work? I don’t know, but I am on Day 3, and it seems to be helping. It feels good to write down my worries, and turn it over to the universe.

Now, let’s not go crazy here and start handing everything over. No, your laundry will not wash itself. But, there are some things, we can only put our best effort into doing, and trust that the ultimately things will unfold as they should.

You can use a shoebox, a small gift box, or whatever you desire. Place the box somewhere special and visible (as a cue and reminder for yourself). Decorate it, keep it plane, do whatever your heart desires. It’s your box. Now get to writing and start building your trust muscle. Here’s hoping the tactic works for you and for me.

And I’m out,
Peace sign
Ida

Stressed from work? Are you a Baby Boomer? If so, perhaps you deserve a bit more sympathy.

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stress-affects-the-body

Staying “fit” requires good heart health, as well as good mental health. Heart disease is often called the silent killer, and according to the CDC year after year it is consistently evidenced as the #1 leading cause of death in the US. Even with this highly credible data, I think there’s an even more prominent silent killer out there, and that is stress. A little stress can be motivating and good for us, BUT since 2008 I think many of us have started to feel surmounting levels of it. When you’re under a lot of pressure, stress does unrelenting damage. It kicks in and torpedoes its way through your life, impacting physical and mental health, including that awesome diet and fitness plan you were following. That said, you can definitely eat and exercise to reduce stress (and this is my haven), but there are other options as well. Whatever you do, it’s important to manage stress, as it impacts all other aspects of your life, from the people you interact with (friends, family, colleagues), to your body and mood, and general happiness and well being.

Stress stems from many places, but for the purposes of this post I am going to focus on one major cause that I have seen, felt and continue to hear about daily – stress from work. Too many of us suffer from workplace stress, but I would argue there is one particular generation suffering more than the others – Baby Boomers. Why them? Unfulfilled promises and expectations. Expectation setting is huge for me. If you tell me that you will not be there to help me and I have to figure out things on my own, and that the job is going to be extremely grueling and tough, and I signed up for it, then okay. Or maybe, I didn’t but you were honest and transparent enough to tell me the truth, then I’m also okay with it. Now, if you don’t tell me any of this, and my job takes over my life, or if you said the job is manageable and it really wasn’t, then I’m going to be pissed, frustrated, overwhelmed, burnt out, and drum roll please…STRESSED AS HELL!

Let me preface this by admitting that this is my opinion and experience, and I know that others likely feel and look at this from a different vantage point. So why does my heart go out to the Baby Boomers generation more than any other? For one primary reason – Job Security. They were stripped of it, impacting their long-term life plans (i.e., retirement and investment). Yeah, we are all screwed over by this, but unlike Millenials, Boomers have less opportunity, options, and T-I-M-E (no offense mom and dad) than many others. Also, for the older generation, it’s hard not to reflect back on the ”good ole days” when you could realistically balance work and life. Now they have “work-life flexibility,” meaning you still work a ton, but you can also work from home, the car, or the plane too. Um, thanks? Not really. This is nothing new to Millenials, practically born into this way of working, and many of us actually value this (I am one of those people), but it is a swift kick in the booty for Boomers. For years, they learned to separate work and life rather than merge them, and now they are being asked to independently learn how to balance the two to fit their lifestyle. On top of this, they have had to deal with changes such as advancements in technology, social media, the Internet, mobile contraptions, application mania, and the greatest change of all…dramatic increases in workload and expectations with an equal and greater reduction in compensation and benefits. In other words, goodbye secure stock options, pension plans, and health insurance and hello more work for less money.

Nobody handles change without some resistance, some people are more adaptable and flexible, but regardless I think it is harder for the Boomer generation to accept, because they are being hit with more changes all at once, and in a world they were not born or raised into. And, unlike many of us, they literally know what it “used” to be like. Back in the day, people worked one job, gave their loyalty and commitment to a company, and were guaranteed their jobs in return. As we have seen, job security no longer exists. Boomers were promised a job and retirement plans to help secure their personal and families financial future, and bit by bit these promises were taken away, to the point that now they don’t get nuttin, but a nice “retirement package” when they didn’t ask for it. This package is essentially code for, we can’t afford you anymore, you are getting older and not as productive as our younger workforce, who are also cheaper, and we are thinking about short-term profits in order to keep our shareholders happy, sooo there’s the door buddy. It’s not personal, sorry.

I, as well as Baby Boomers, understand that this is the nature of business today, and that in order for companies to continue to grow and compete, they must trim costs, capital and resources from all parts of the company, even the human variety. My problem isn’t so much with letting people go, although I do have a perspective on that as well…my argument here is that Boomers were promised one thing, and now living in a world that expects and requires something completely different from them. It sucks and it’s not easy, but for me (a Millenial) it is a bit easier to come to terms with. I entered the workforce thinking that at any moment I could and would be dropped like a fly, so I had better keep my skills in check, continue to learn and grow all my abilities, and keep myself marketable. From day 1 on the job, I was told to “build a brand, a name, a career; not a title and a job“ and that “no matter what, you are always selling yourself, so get good at it…you never know what could happen.” I don’t always like it, but the expectation was set, and that is the environment I have become accustomed to operating in.

I’m sure many of us (all ages) feel as if we have been deprived of the whole expectation setting/meeting phenomenon, but still I really feel as if Boomers have been hit hardest. I’m sure 20 years from now I’ll be faced with a similar situation myself, reflecting on “the good ole days” or how things used to be, dishing out frustrations to my fellow Millenials as we compare ourselves to whatever the newest generation is called.

Alright, alright, okay, okay…I talked a lot about stress, but what the hell do you do about it? I will say that is easier said than done, but if you are looking for tips to manage stress, I found this article, which is both enjoyable and helpful. Read when you have some free time, or bookmark it for frequent and future reference. Shout out to Tip #4! It’s my favorite and ties to the most important and practical message of the reading:

“Finding ways to manage workplace stress isn’t about making huge changes or rethinking career ambitions, but rather about focusing on the one thing that’s always within your control: you.”

YOU!!! I say this to my friends and family all the time, and it applies to far more than the workplace. There is one person you are truly ever in control of and that is yourself. If you can become the king or queen of self-awareness and self-control you have a bright future ahead of you, and those around you will benefit as a result.

If you’ve gotten this far, one last thing, and thanks for staying with me, as I know this post was long! Tip #4 is about EQ, and I am proud to say that I score relatively high in EQ! What’s EQ? It stands for emotional intelligence. Most of you have heard of IQ, well it’s similar in concept, but this is about one’s emotional ability, agility, and intelligence. I’ll likely write more about EQ in the future, but for those who are interested to know more about it now, here are a few slides from a class project I did about a year ago.

And I’m out,
Peace sign
Ida