The Rain Is Coming, No Matter What We Think.

It doesn’t care.

But what we think about the rain makes all the difference in our lives.

Without rain, we wouldn’t have food to eat, trees to shelter us, or water to give us life. Without struggle and heartache, we don’t have the perspective to recognize joy. Rain is cleansing and enables growth–without it, we die.

If we choose to recognize the clouds as a necessary part of our growth, we don’t ever have to waste a moment being upset when things are not as sunny as we would like.

It seems like all this would go without saying–and yet setbacks and struggles are the things that jack people up to the extent that they want to quit. It happens all the time–people quit on themselves when the going gets tough. And that’s why nothing ever seems to work, because the ‘work’ gets abandoned.

Listen, we ALL struggle with feeling as though we have failed from time to time. The important thing is to stop and remember it’s ALL a necessary part of the journey. Behind all those storm clouds, there’s always a blue sky waiting to show up again, and a sun ready to warm you back up.

The next time it rains, grab your umbrella and go for a walk–or skip the umbrella and let the rain wash over you. Maybe even jump in a few puddles. Embrace it–it’s there for a reason.

“If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” –Dolly Parton

According to the American Psychological Association, psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or signifcant sources of stress–such as family issues, relationship and health problems, or financial and work-related stressors. Every change affects someone differently and while we often think of the bigger things such as a serious illness or the death of a loved one as being something that will cause us to twist and turn off of our path, it can be something as simple as not losing weight quickly enough or having a pulled hamstring from working out without rest days that can throw a wrench in our plans.
Make no mistake–doing something as life-changing as committing to your health can be tough. And it’s not an overnight process to become the person you want to be. In some cases, it can mean facing fears that have lived within you for more than half of your life. It can get messy.
Being resilient doesn’t mean you’ll never encounter difficulty or distress–being resilient means you can handle these things and pick yourself back up. Like building a muscle, increasing your resilience takes time and dedication. And like muscles, they make every part of you stronger.
So what do you do when faced with a stormy forecast? Here are some ideas that you can easily implement.

Lean on your friends

Connecting with the ones in your life that are there for you no matter what will remind you that you’re not alone in anything big or small. Remember how good it feels to be there for them in their times of trouble and give them the gift of that feeling in helping you.

Join a group

No matter how much of an introvert you may claim to be, even virtual and online groups can help you get the support you need in your health journey. If you’re trying to make these changes alone, I applaud your effort but also recommend finding some like-minded travelers on this road for when the map gets lost.

Keep things in perspective

Can you feel the all-or-nothing thinking creeping in? The ‘oh I blew my diet today, so I might as well start up again next week’ rationalizations? Or ‘if I’m tired by the end of ten minutes, I’m getting off this treadmill and going home,’ promises? We’ve all been there. Try instead to slow down and make a plan for what you can control and do to fix things at your next meal or your next workout. What happened to you yesterday is not at all an indication of how tomorrow will be. You’re in control here. Be proactive and see where you might learn something from what you’re going through right now, so next time (if there *is* a next time) you’ll already be armed to handle it.

Stay hopeful

It’s hard to be positive when things aren’t going the way you’d like them to. Try visualizing what you want instead of worrying about what you fear, remind yourself of where you’ve been able to find strength in the past and most of all, be kind to yourself as you wait for the clouds to clear.
And above all, never forget that I believe in you!
Norma

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