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  • How to Pull Yourself Up When Life Throws You Down

    This vision loss thing has knocked me down hard plenty of times over the past year. And I know I’m not alone when it comes to the pain of this and other knock-out blows that life occasionally delivers. The only real question is how to get back on our feet once we regain consciousness and realize that staying leveled is depressing and won’t help anything.

    I used to think it was just a matter of making the decision. But now I know that choosing to stand back up is the easy part. The real challenge is the how-to part of this equation and it takes constant vigilance — especially if your challenge continues to volley punches your way. Though some mornings are harder than others, I now have a go-to strategy that I employ daily to proactively sidestep any surprise attacks, and to pull myself up when life throws me down. It takes about ten minutes, but the results have made all the difference for me — and I wanted to share them here in case you need some picking up too. 

    Step 1: One Minute of Self-Love Talk.

    My inner voice has been known to barrage me with cruel, demeaning comments — especially as it relates to my vision loss. Now I start every day with a self-love mantra. It usually goes something like this: I am powerful and beautiful and limitless. I am infinite and healthy and whole and have a message the world needs to hear. Our thoughts and inner dialogue drive our external reality, so choose words that ignite your inner power.

    Step 2: 5-Minute Deep Breathing Exercise.

    I never bought into the deep breathing hoopla until I tried it out for myself. And it’s amazing the difference it makes. I can actually feel the oxygen moving through my body; feel a burst of energy while calm washes over me. And I know it’s good for my overall health. The key is to imagine yourself like a balloon. Inhale through your nose as though you are blowing up your entire body, then exhale through your nose until your body balloon is deflated. I do this morning and night — at least five minutes each time.

    Step 3: Do a Happy Dance

    I crank up whatever feel-good song I’m in the mood for and jump around my living room. Just the act itself makes me laugh. And the upbeat music combined with blood-pumping movement gets my endorphins hopping and immediately elevates my mood. Pick whatever music makes you dance. And then start moving.

    Step 4: Practice Gratitude.

    Each morning I announce out loud three things I am grateful for in my life — and I try to change it up each day. It sounds so simple, but focusing on what’s right in our lives sets the stage for a positive day. It’s proven science that what we focus on, we energize. And what we energize, we expand. So if you want to draw more abundance and blessings into your life, make it a habit to express gratitude for all that you have.

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