Life is a journey

Fact: Life happens –

It is daunting to think about “Life” and what it all means, because you are venturing into the uncharted territory of abstract thought in an effort to find intangible notions of significance.  This is where metaphors can be helpful.  Metaphors are figures of speech  that can be used symbolically to  reflect on different aspects of life, almost like a lens with a distinct focus.  Some metaphors use humor to convey their message, while others are more thought-provoking, to make you stop and think about the choices you are making. One of my favorite metaphors is:

               “Life is a journey – not a destination”             

I often use ‘a journey’ to reflect on life mainly because, to use another figure of speech, I’ve been around the block a few times.  Now, with the benefit of hindsight, I should have slowed down to:

               “…smell the roses…”

There are many metaphors for life: an adventure (like a journey); a building; a roller coaster; a stained-glass window; a race; a classroom; a battle; a game of chess; a garden; a box of chocolates, etc.  They can be pressed into service to help with whatever it is that is bringing you down.  My mother was a wise woman who had certainly seen her share of adversity, and she would often say to me: “it doesn’t help to wallow in the slough of despond; get out, look around you and find the silver lining.  You’ll find the way forward.”

Develop a positive mindset

Whatever challenge you may be facing at any given time, the nature of the challenge matters less than your attitude towards it. Your mindset plays a huge part in how you react to and your ability to negotiate life’s rough terrain. To be mindful means the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you. Developing your ability to engage with your thoughts and feelings in this way will give you a headstart in coping with problems that bring you down. Reframing negative thoughts is a helpful technique used in cognitive behavioral therapy. For instance, rather than shaming or blaming yourself for something that did not turn out as you expected, reframe it as a useful lesson learned, and move on confident that you are now wiser, or stronger for it.

Coming up – living with intention and finding peace of mind.

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