Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to get in a "Really good place"...

A few days shy of my chosen month-long break, I find myself returning here inspired. After recently closing my business and handling the related financial and legal circumstances, I return to you not lesser of a man, but more so.

Being currently “in-between” jobs (P.C. vernacular for “unemployed”) I find that I have a bit more “flex-time” without the urgency of having to dart off to unlock doors, turn on lights, and heat up curling irons to prepare for my day. (I was a hairdresser in a past life.) This leaves me a few extra minutes to browse my email, web sites, news, and social networks. Although my domestic duties have expanded exponentially, as they should, I do not currently have an appointment book to dictate my pace of cleaning, groceries, cooking, and errands.

Today’s social network reading led me to stumble upon a couple friends exchanging pleasantries and one mentioned being “in a really good place.” Inspiration to write ensued...

I wondered, “What do we have to endure to get into a really good place?” Is it by comparison? Is it by fortune? Is it divinely bestowed upon us? What do we do to deserve it?

I also reflected that as I glance over my shoulder to my own past, what did I consider the “really good places?”

I found that it was often after the storms have passed.

I found that it was after taking a personal inventory of what I was surrounded with and those I loved.

I realized that I was not as bad off as what I perceived.

I realized I was still, at my worst, more fortunate that a large percentage of the planet.

I also realized I had a lot of ownership in the timing of when I realized most of this.

I also realized I can be in a really good place a lot sooner than I expected.

What we focus on is what we see. If we only choose to focus on what we are lacking, we are distracted away from the blessings we currently have. Often it is these blessings that will be the life preservers that keep us afloat in the torrents to come.

When we feel that things are most bleak, I find that a simple emotional detour is to take a moment to reflect on the things I have now that were once goals–some of them once perceived as lofty or unobtainable. At one time I could never picture owning a home, being in a partnership with a beautiful caring wife, and being the father of two loving kids. I have traveled; I have and have had toys. I’ve done stuff that I never thought I could at one time.

So I lost a business. Okay it sucks, but at least I had one to lose and it taught me a lot. The memories both good and bad are priceless. They also allowed me opportunities I would never have been able to achieve without it. I gained more than I lost. (Not financially)

I have battled addiction, estrangement, financial disappointment, conflict, illness, family cancer, challenges of faith, and damn have they made me stronger, wiser, more compassionate, and respectful of others to a degree that I would never have had not going through them. God sent me to college.

We must endure the sweat and pain to get the buff body. We must endure the knife, to remove that which ails us. We take a punch to know how to keep our guard up. We must lose to know the value of that which we hold. Love must sometimes leave our presence for us to realize the preciousness of its gift when we have it.

We can choose the frame we put around our life’s picture. We can choose our perspective. As I reflect, I see that the times I said I was in “a good place” were only as a result of the chasms I had crossed to get there. I see every, yes every challenge I have had, has eventually paid off in either wisdom, appreciation, thankfulness, and gratitude for where I end up. In seeing this, it allows me to say a humble “thank you” for every situation, no matter how perceptively challenging at the present, as a step on the journey to my eventual benefit. And yes I do fight this at times...

Sparing the details of a current situation that many would consider “devastating”, I find that where I am now is a “really good place.” I have decided to study the alchemy of turning a bad situation into a blessing. It will be. I just have to be patient. Although I may not be at my chosen destination, I can stick my head out the window, breeze in my hair, as I travel the road from one “really good place” to the next. Care to join me?

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Ardith Haws said...

Yes, please! Yet again, another great reminder to find the gratitude that all things deserve, even the bad ones. Very inspirational.

Wayne Coakley said...

Great stuff Tony, especially coming to terms that losing a business sucks, but you had one to lose in the first place, which is a blessing and one that many would give a limb to be able to do. The one thing about us (us meaning the mindset of an Entrepreneurial) is that you will not let it get you down so far that you can't get up again and figure it all out. Something really good will come out of this hurdle and you can live to tell about it-better yet-write about it!
Wayne Coakley

bigskygirl said...

Good reflection. And yes, pausing to reflect often helps one find that "good place." Yesterday I was raking leaves, which many would find a chore, which many use a mechanical blower to do. I rake. Always have. It is the repetition of the motion, the scratching of mother nature's back, the veriated leaves seen up close, the twirling of the tiny boats of color on waves of air that make it joyful to me. It is not a chore. It is a free gym and a chance to take the time to notice the beauty of autumn. Carry on, or chop wood, carry water, rake leaves, my online blogger friend.


Stefanie said...

After you take the time you need to mourn the loss of your business (at least you know you are not alone), what an exciting thought to know you have a new clean slate to start off in a new direction in your life! What adventure will you partake in next?

Tony Anders said...

Thanks Stephanie (and other for your kind words) - I am going to still pursue writing, but am also getting certified as a "Recovery Coach" and will look into helping others in coaching and some other related avenues. For now - I am simply hoisting the sails and seeing where the winds lead... ;)

Katherine Jenkins said...

Hi Tony-Beautiful post and I can see that your future is going to be very shiny from all you are giving here. Maybe I can repost this on my blog as a lesson. Send me an e-mail on Facebook if that's something you'd be interested in. Peace to you! Kathy

MsRefusenik said...

Hey Tony, you know what they say about doors opening and closing. It sounds like the new path of being a recovery coach is the door opening.

I was a certified substance abuse counselor (C.S.A.C.) for ten years, working in hospitals mostly. It was an experience I wouldn't trade although I eventually burned out. To be able to give freely what you have freely received is such a gift. The lives you will be privileged to not just touch but actually help to transform are a direct gift from God.

It is soul-satisfying work and I know you will thrive on it and be an exceptional coach with so much heart and wisdom to share. Things happen when they're supposed to and in the way they're supposed to unfold, right? Always right on time and perfectly.