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Archive for June, 2017

Finding Calm in the Midst of Crisis

Posted on: June 29th, 2017

Finding Calm in the Midst of Crisis

You may have heard the famous line from the poem “The Rainy Day” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It states, “Into each life a little Rain Must Fall.” At first glance this line appears sad and pessimistic. After all, we need to have a positive outlook in life. Thinking about the negative aspects of life cannot be good for you. Well, with my 40 plus years of living I have discovered something that I believe Mr. Longfellow wanted us to know. Sometimes Life Happens. There are moments in life when we are traveling down a smooth road with a bright sunny sky and then BOOM we turn the corner and potholes and storm clouds await. What should we do during those times? Should we become paralyzed by fear? Should we allow the stress of the situation overwhelm us? Should we avoid dealing with the issue and hope it clears up on its own? I believe there are three strategic areas of focus that can help us navigate the inevitable times of crisis we may face. These strategies are assessment, planning, and implementation.

  1. Assessment: The process of assessment involves questioning. It includes identifying what has occurred and the immediate impact made. It would seem that this would be an automatic response but often in crisis we find ourselves focusing on the event and not taking the time to objectively assess the damage done. Assessment is that moment to determine exactly what you are dealing with and thereby provide a focal point for immediate attention.
  2. Planning: The time of planning is the time in which we identify our coping skills. This can be a time of reflection in which we remember previous experiences with crisis and remind ourselves of positive coping strategies we developed. Some common coping strategies are prayer, meditation, speaking with a trusted confidant, focusing on what is good in our lives. Another part of planning is to identify your resources. There are often many resources at our disposal that we may not be aware of until a moment of crisis. Another important aspect of the planning phase is the development of goals and objectives. The development of goals and objectives contributes to regaining a sense of control.
  3. Implementation: As mentioned previously development of goals and objectives contributes to the sense of regaining control. The implementation of these goals and objectives should be realistic and attainable within a reasonable time period. For example, If your economy car was totaled and your goal is to replace it with the top of the line luxury vehicle the next day, you will be disappointed. This example is clearly silly but the purpose is clear. Your objective and goal should be measurable and contribute to your overall feeling of success. During a time of crisis when you feel you have been knocked down everything you do should be in effort to build yourself back up.

Crisis is inevitable. If you haven’t experienced it, keep living. Crisis doesn’t mean the end. It is an opportunity for you to develop resilience, patience, strength and wisdom.

Stay encouraged. Don’t give up!

Author

Alicia Lurry

Making an Impact Living on Purpose

Posted on: June 7th, 2017

 

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

I don’t know about you but I often wonder what is my purpose? Why was I born to this particular family, in this particular time period? Why am I who I am? In contrast, Are we just here by accident? Are our interactions inconsequential? Are we merely here to focus on self, live our lives and hope for the best? I prefer to believe we are all here for a purpose. That purpose is usually one that is greater than self.

Recently, my father in law died after many years of illness. We spent the week after his passing planning his funeral service, receiving visits and phone calls from family and friends, and listening to stories about the impact my father in law made upon their lives. As we grieve we are comforted by these stories. This man who lived a simple life as a husband, father, mail carrier and deacon in the church impacted the lives of so many people. The same themes of strength, humility, and service were consistent in every story told. I began to ponder. Did he realize his impact as he was living his life? That question led me to ask, Do I realize my impact as I live my life? Do I take every interaction for granted as if it is of no consequence? Do I live my life with purpose?

I believe to live your life on purpose requires a shedding of self centered thinking. If we really understood the importance of our lives and the effect they have on others we might be a little more careful of the words we speak. We might be willing to be inconvenienced from time to time. We just might be able to help make the world a little better place.

I am inspired by the life of service, humility, and selflessness exhibited by my father in law. My hope is that I will learn from his example and never again take for granted my impact on the lives of others. When we look at a life in an obituary there is the date the person is  born a dash and then the date they die. The fundamental question is for us, what will that dash represent?

Author

Alicia Lurry