Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Pandemic. How many times have we heard the word pandemic this year?… over and over again. What’s the first word that you think of when you think of a word similar to “pandemic”?… for me, it’s “pandemonium”. And that’s what we’ve had – a worldwide pandemic pandemonium. Followed by craziness with oil prices, the stock market and more recently racial tension here in the US. This year has been a wild ride. But, really – isn’t life a wild ride anyway? We can’t really predict anything. When it feels like there’s a hurricane around every corner, all we can do is try to control our own reactions. And in that regard no two people will ever be exactly alike. One of my favorite quotes that I’ve used before on many occasions is this gem from Wayne Dyer, “If you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.” We can learn a lot about ourselves during the stressful periods in our lives. How many of us can remain calm in the middle of the storms that are thrown at us all throughout our lives? Very few. Stressful times shorten the fuse of our anger, and open the floodgates of worry, despair and anxiety. Wouldn’t the great spiritual masters remain calm through it all? Isn’t that peace available to everyone? Of course it is, we just don’t seek it. Because we have way too much going on to devote any time to our own peace of mind. So we eat poorly, sleep poorly, meditate and pray poorly, and lead lives that aren’t as fulfilling as they could be – because… we forgot to take care of ourselves first. I personally function way better when I get enough sleep, but – still stay up to binge “one more” show every now and then… that one hour is often not replaced by sleeping later at all, it’s just lost. Which makes me groggy, so my workouts aren’t as great – or worse yet, makes it easier to skip entirely – and because my mind is weak my willpower gives in to poor nutritional ideas and habits (what harm could eating the entire bag of taco chips really do anyway, right?)… and the next day I’m down on myself for gaining weight, skipping workouts and generally being lazy and unhealthy, which starts the whole cycle over again. We can never pull out of an unhealthy lifestyle until we recognize it as such. Once recognized, the only way we can get better is to make the necessary changes to our lifestyle, which takes time and effort. And it doesn’t come fast, either. We’re so used to getting everything fast that incremental gains are tough to deal with, once again making it easier to give up entirely. But how we live is our choice. And if we don’t examine our lives, we can often find that where we’re at has nothing to do with where we’d like to be. Think about that. Where are you at right now? How do you react to pressure? Where would you like to be? Are they the same? If not, why? How far off are you?… at one point in my life, when I first got into drug and alcohol treatment – they were worlds apart. I’ve made great strides since then, but I’ve worked on it and continue to do so to this day. Incremental gains are better than the alternative. Pandemonium is a choice 🙂

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