Once upon a time, an average woman woke up on a typical day and went about driving her usual route to the job she had for years. As she stepped out of her car and headed toward her office building through the parking lot, she realized that she felt different. In an effort to keep a hold of the experience and identify this feeling, she stopped for a moment.
A few days later when she tried to describe the experience to her husband and a few close friends, she described it “as if something that had been holding me, prisoner, for a very long time had suddenly let me go.” Many many times she wished that she could be rid of the suffering of depression. When depression or anxiety is all you’ve ever known, you get used to the limitations it puts on your life. You identify so strongly with it, that you and your disease seem like one entity. In that moment, though, after years of working toward the goal, in the parking lot, she felt free.
Things like this happen to all of us. You labor intensely to reach a goal and even though you’re not 100 percent “there”, you have moments that are indicative of what it will be like when you finally get what you want. In everyone’s journey, there are moments of joy, peace, and connectedness.
Experiences like this are a gift. They give a little preview of what’s possible. If you really want to be healthy and happy and have been working hard and taking the necessary steps to better yourself, you’ll experience these moments. They’ll be just the thing you need to stay motivated. Maybe you’ve had an experience like this. Maybe you haven’t had an experience like this. If that’s the case, that’s okay. Let’s look closer at some examples so you’ll know what to look for as you move forward.
Some Examples So You Don’t Miss It Next Time
Let’s say you’re trying to eliminate white sugar from your diet in an effort to turn your metabolism around. Most days, especially in the beginning, it’s going to be hard. You’re going to crave sugar, you’re going to be cranky, and you’re going to tell yourself that it’s just not worth all the effort. You’ll want to quit eating healthier. But there will be days, hours, or moments when you’re not thinking about sugar. You’re not thinking about anything, and you just feel really great. Or maybe there’s a moment when you sit down to eat a salad for lunch and it tastes incredible and you feel so satisfied when you’ve finished it. When you experience freedom from cravings or enjoyment in something that’s good for you, savor those moments.
Let’s say you just started practicing yoga. You really want to gain flexibility, strength, and a calmer mind. When you’re just starting out, there will be plenty of days when you’re out of breath, can’t hold a pose for more than a second, and feel like you’re body is against you. You will feel like fitness is not in your future. You’ll want to quit. But after putting in the time, there will be those poses or entire sessions, that are so easy, it’s almost effortless. You will feel like you could hold a pose for days. You’ll feel alive and vibrant.
When you experience the freedom of movement, flexibility, and strength, you’ll feel like you can do anything. Use those moments as fuel to keep working toward your goals.
Maybe you’re trying to quit complaining, and you want to see the positive side of situations. There will be days when you realize you complained the entire day at work. Times when everyone got on your nerves, and you’re still rehashing the day’s annoyances even when you’re at home. You might even feel like a failure and think old habits are just too hard to break, so why bother? After some time, once you watch your thoughts and purposefully replace each negative thought with a positive one, you’ll notice a change.
You might have to force yourself to say a few good things at the end of the day. But you’ll find yourself being grateful for all the good things that happen to you at work and all the nice people you get to work with. In fact, there will be hours and maybe even days when you feel the love of your coworkers and customers. During those moments, you will feel like the luckiest person in the world. Remember those times on those days when you’re struggling to stay focused and positive.
Change is hard. That’s the reality of it. Don’t lose heart when it seems to be taking a long time. Do yourself a service and pay attention so you don’t miss the moments that make the struggle worth it. And when you find yourself in one of those moments, take it in.