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Nothing like getting sick to put things in perspective for you. The day before yesterday I had what I think was food poisoning. Needless to say I felt like I got hit by a truck afterward as my body did its best to recover.

Hence why there was no blog post yesterday.

Today, I feel so much better, I can see a lot more clearly and just have a renewed appreciation for what I normally take for granted when I am well.  Our bodies are so amazing and my body really does have a wonderful way of bouncing back once its dealt with the problem.

Sometimes life jolts me out a faulty perspective, giving me exactly what I need to see things differently, like it did this week when I became suddenly ill.

Sometimes I have flashes of moments in which I can step outside of my own stuff, long enough to see the beauty of life, the magnificence, the connection between all things. This makes my heart swell and normally brings me to tears. I’m not always there, as I can get very mired in my own stuff (but this, but that, but what about..) I also have a part of me that can be pessimistic at times, but I do believe that part of me is protecting me from being more engaged and thereby getting hurt.

But most of the time, shifting perspective is work, ongoing work that requires quite a bit of effort on my part.

exasperated me

And so what I notice is that there are certain things that help me shift my perspective from pessimist/apathetic/sorrowful Stephanie to  inspired, uplifted, optimistic Stephanie. Because I have had clinical depression all of my life, it takes effort and work to change my perspective and I can easily fall into my distorted thinking about life. It’s almost as if it is right there on the edge ready to creep in and take over if I am not careful.

Here is what I practice pretty much on a daily basis:

I read/listen to something uplifting, something that reminds me of who I truly am. (www.hayhouseradio.com, various inspiring books and audio) Listening helps me more than reading but both are helpful

I talk back to the voice of negativity.  I reason with it at times, sometimes I just tell it to be quiet, but I try not to have a party with it.

I engage with my art and it teaches me to trust my inner knowing.

I write in my journal and get some of the gunk out. Sometimes the thoughts are loud and overwhelming, and confusing. It’s important for me to articulate them somewhere which then allows me to see my own thinking more clearly.

I pivot from my negative thinking to what I appreciate and am grateful for in my life. This always gets me in a new frame of mind.

I affirm what I want in my life. I have my own personal mantras that I use in particular situations. For example, “see what happens” is my mantra while creating art.  “I am safe” when I am feeling particularly scared.

It’s very important for us to practice shifting our perspectives especially if we have tendencies toward fear and seeing things through the lens of fear.  We don’t have to believe everything we think.

And if you were treated less than growing up, abused, neglected etc…you may find that you have an critical and judgmental  voice inside your head.  To combat this voice, we must find ways to cultivate our own voice of truth, and remind ourselves of the truth of who we are.