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You know what it’s like…right? Sometimes life throws you a curveball, usually when you’re least expecting it. Things are chugging along nicely, your work is good, you’re happy, you’ve found your calling and life is good! But then maybe you lose your career, your business takes a downturn, you get sick, or a family member gets sick, or maybe you have to deal with a pandemic like COVID-19!

caution wet floor signage on gray rocks in seashoreSomething, somewhere, happens that’s out of your control, and you’re suddenly struggling to find your way – dealing with those challenging times that stress your mind, heart, and spirit. If they continue for a while, they can even stress your body – the physical effects of continued stress are well documented.

How do you keep following your calling when you’re finding it hard just keeping things together – just keeping your head above water? There are three simple things you can do to start to take back control of your life, stay afloat and not lose touch with your life purpose.

Simple Thing #1: Streamline Your Activities and To-Do Listflat lay photography of turned-on silver iPad beside Apple Pencil

Take some time to analyze all the activities that are taking your time and energy, and take a hard look at your To-Do list. Eliminate as many things as possible that are energy sappers, time wasters, or that just don’t honor your calling. If there’s something in your life that feels like an obligation or is something you dread, don’t do it!

Focus on the crucial things, the important things, the things that you must do, and then the things you want to do. Keep focused on your calling; it shouldn’t be a luxury or an obligation – it’s that important and making positive progress toward your purpose and goals is SUPER IMPORTANT. When challenging times are here, the ability to focus becomes even more critical – don’t let your purpose slip away from you!

Simple Thing #2: Maintain and strengthen your sense of self-awareness

brown wooden puzzle game boardIf you’re having a tough time, it’s imperative that you DO NOT give up your power. Your power lies in how you respond to situations. Take some time to notice how you’re feeling; what emotions are coming up. Acknowledge them. Pull out your journal and write them down – get them OUT of your head!

You’ll likely feel angry, hurt, even scared. And that’s natural and a normal response to stress. But you don’t have to stay there – and the longer you DO stay there, the tougher it becomes to change your emotions and pull yourself out.

You can choose to feel helpless or vulnerable. To lash out and blame others for your situation. Or you can decide how you will react. What attitude will you choose to take? Look outside yourself – see how the way that you respond and behave influences your friends, family, and colleagues. Will you be an inspiration and a helper, someone to hold up as a role model? Or will you surrender and act as a doomsayer and energy vampire?

Simple Thing #3: Choose to tune in to what makes you happywhite and purple heart shaped stone

Choosing to be happy in the face of adversity is not irresponsible or foolish. It is part of exercising your power – by taking control of the situation and choosing not to be crushed by it.

Keep your energy high and positive, and make space for the things that make you happy. Studies have shown that having a life purpose can help you deal better with stress and increase your resilience. So keep your calling – your life purpose – front and center, no matter what else is happening in your life. Make your life purpose one of the touchstones that bring you back to the path you want to travel instead of the one that’s moving away from your goals and dreams.

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About the Author Dianne Daniels

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and currently residing in Norwich, Connecticut, Dianne M. Daniels' mission is to empower women 50+ to Amplify their Self-Confidence, Deepen their Self-Knowledge, Inspire Creativity, and Glide into the next phase of their lives with the Power of Journaling, Affirmations, and Assessments.

You can learn how to use these time-tested, proven practices to create and manifest the life you want (and deserve) to live.

Dianne is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister with a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry. She's an avid reader, a lover of old houses (she renovated an 1850s vintage Greek Revival home with her family) and has been journaling since the age of 9.

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