The parts that are working.
When faced with a challenge, I am guilty of getting fixated on what’s not working. While this can be helpful to get me moving towards a solution, at some point it can also pull focus from what is working.
I was reminded of this last week when I hit an all-too-familiar emotional low. I had just let go of a contract that, while lucrative, was not aligned with my professional boundaries. With that decision came a sharp change in my income and the kind of financial fear that makes it difficult to breathe.
For a few days, I let myself get discouraged. I considered quitting freelance writing and coaching in favour of getting more stable employment. I honed in on all the mistakes I had ever made to date including ones that had nothing to do with money or the professional choices I had made.
Then, at the end of the week, my overwhelm and doubt erupted, as they usually do when I’ve tried to keep things bottled up for too long. I was at the gym and, despite my best efforts not to, burst into tears halfway through a conversation with some friends.
Over the next hour, between stretching, sweating, and core work, I cried and they listened. I cried and they gave me some much needed perspective. I cried and they reminded me of what is working in my life right now.
And they are right. Despite potentially being financially fucked, every other facet of my life is wonderful. When I take a step back to acknowledge what’s working, I can’t help but feel okay with where I am.
So here’s a list of what is working in my life right now that I’m choosing to focus on:
I have a community of humans around me who are invested in my physical, creative, and emotional wellbeing. From the CrossFit box I train at to the writer’s room I belong to, I am surrounded by friends who consistently show up and care about me.
I have the support of my family as I figure out what my next steps are. From letting me move back home to giving me access to a vehicle, they’re doing their best to help me get a professional and financial leg up.
My body is the healthiest it's ever been. From working out six times a week to eating in a way that supports my damaged gut to getting regular bodywork, I have come a long way from the havoc that a 15-year eating disorder wrecked on my body, spirit, and life.
I have a consistent creative practice. I am writing more for myself than I ever have before. My book is finally underway, I am working on a short story that I’m proud of, and I am preparing to launch into creating a podcast.
I am more financially aware than I’ve ever been. Despite not having a ton of income at the moment, I have a budget and a much clearer understanding of how to financially unfuck myself.
While my need for money is real and urgent, the fact that so many of the other things I have been working towards are falling into place must not go unacknowledged. If anything, being aware of what is working will only help me to sort out the parts of my life that are still a challenge.
So, what parts of your life that are working can you focus on?