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I don’t know about you, but I long for a rest when life remains full with relentless demands. Details are falling through the cracks as I attempt to pull off the impossible, managing way too much.

Sometimes we just can’t stop. We can’t change the circumstances and what we resist, persists. So what can we do at times like these to maintain joy during challenging times?

1.       Allow room for support and ask for help: I may be dating myself, but when things get tough, (women especially) we tend to go “Lone Ranger.”  Although there is benefit in being resilient and knowing you can do it alone if necessary, too often we push away offers of help or never speak up to give someone the satisfaction of offering to help by lightening our load. Freely ask, however don’t take it personally if someone cannot be helpful when you need it. We are all juggling. Collaboration and mutual support is key to sustaining happiness. Stretch your muscles and do what you can, but don’t hesitate asking for help and support. Even the Lone Ranger had Tonto!

2.       Find a REST AREA: We have long applauded hard work, however, like a muscle in your arm, in order to gain strength and stamina it is best to rest it from time to time, otherwise it will fatigue and become useless. It is necessary to take respite, even if only a deep breath here or there, or a nap of renewal. Perhaps a walk in stillness, or even two minutes hiding in the bathroom alone! This is necessary to prevent burnout and give you the chance to find your joy that got lost along the way.

3.       Love your body:  Far more often we judge and push our body rather than honor and appreciate it for all the ways it serves us. Listen to the messages it offers you. Do you need a drink of water or a lunch break. Is your back hurting and your knees aching, reminding you to adjust your posture? Do you have a headache from bending your neck holding the phone rather than grabbing your ear-piece? Are you forgetting to take deep breaths, signaling that you are stressed? Let your body offer direction for the journey. By honoring your body, it can help you get further down the road.

4.       Give Up and Let go: I don’t mean ‘Give Up’ to mean surrendering in defeat. I mean “Give Up’ to a Source bigger than you and trust that there is a perspective not revealed to you yet, demanding trust that the unknown brings something wonderful, perhaps not in the form you imagined. Hold on with a lose grip so you can be more flexible on the journey. Holding on too tight you will feel every bump and make the road harder than it needs to be.

5.       Be Brain-washed and Get out of your head: Let go of dwelling on the negative and expecting the worst. Our life is created by the quality of out thoughts. Stop the worry wheel. Find the choice point in each situation and choose joy. It is much more fun to be happy than right. Adjust the  quality of your thoughts and expand your ability to trust your own intuition. There is a trustworthy voice within that draws on a greater strength that is generated and nourished by your spirit and passion.

6.       Get into nature:  In some places, nature is a challenge to find. However, even if only briefly, unhook from the news, T.V. emails, cell phones and the clamors of a demanding world. Find a park. Notice the clouds in the sky. Smell a flower. Watch a snail shuttle it’s way slowly across the side walk, and allow yourself to be fascinated by simple pleasures.

7.       Connect with Spirit and Listen Within: There is a bigger picture we cannot fully imagine. Faith allows us to surrender to life being a co-created experience, trusting an energy and intelligence far bigger than we know. Although you may resist,  make it a priority to have time to be still, meditate, journal, or pray. Be curious about life being a spiritual adventure and listen within for trustworthy guidance. Transform the worry, fear, and doubt and listen more than you attempt to micro-manage and control life. After all, control is only an illusion.

8.   Forgive Yourself: Love yourself as much as you love others. Be patient of your shortcomings and suspend judgements of yourself as well as others. We are all doing our best with the consciousness we have. Life is messy, always a teacher, and a glorious mystery. To expand your consciousness and create sustainable happiness remember that choice is a powerful tool, so apply it to have fun and to take full accountability and responsibility for your own joy.

Happy Trails, Rhonda

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