Mind First

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“Everything in life starts with your mindset first and your actions second.  Your actions follow your thoughts, your beliefs and ideas.  To make a shift, to free your energy, start with getting your mind right, and then take action,” Sylvester McNutt III.  Over the last couple of months, there were many moments I wasn’t sure I was going go survive.  I didn’t know if I could endure one more thing.  That was just the physical component.  I waged a mental war on myself every day, hoping I would feel better, knowing I wouldn’t but not knowing how to resolve the situation.  Feeling like everything was my fault.  It became more and more evident that the moment I had hoped would be beautiful and provide some completion for my family was not meant to be. 

In all of that, I am grateful for my body because I genuinely had intuition that something was wrong from the beginning.  Even though we had been trying to have another child for some time, the hope I had could not outweigh the reality of the situation.  I have intense moments where I still feel guilty but I also have this sense of understanding that it all played out how it was supposed to.  I feel conflicted most days, and honestly, the guilt and the peace can come at different times in the same day.    

What I’ve learned is that moving forward is all about perspective.  Like McNutt says, “Everything in life starts with your mindset first.”  I’ve wanted to bury myself in my bed but my life doesn’t allow for that—and that’s a good thing.  I have a son to look after, a house to take care of, a husband who has also been affected by all of this, teams to manage, my personal goals to work on.  Letting this moment define me would be a death trap.  A life sentence of rehashing things I will never know—the what-ifs and the should haves.  None of that matters.  What matters is what IS.  And I am beyond grateful that I was able to recognize what a terrible mindset I was in. 

I’m more grateful that I was able to recognize how much good there still is.  How much beauty.  How precious life really is.  How fragile it is.  How important it is to respect and appreciate the time we’re given.  I saw my husband step up in ways I never thought he was capable.  My body withstood unimaginable trauma day after day for almost two months.  My mind endured the trauma of trying to keep some semblance of normalcy with managing my home, my family, and work—and I had many moments of feeling like a failure—all while dealing with love and loss and the possibility of losing my own life in addition to my child.  I still managed to pull through.  The mind drives the ship and mine took me through some dark places.  Not that I am entirely the same, but it pulled me through.

I’ve changed a lot over the last eight weeks.  I see the actions I need to take.  I see where talk is cheap and how I need to act on the things I want.  I see now just how much I am capable of.  I see how important it is to not take that for granted.  I see how blessed I am.  It is from that place where life begins.  Real life—not the bullshit we think we are supposed to do.  I see where I need to get my mind right and the people I can rely on to do that.  How I need to reach out for help.  I see how precious this life is.  One thing about being at your lowest is that your thoughts become crystal clear.  There is no doubt about what you hear at the bottom because it’s just you—there is no interference from anything.

Marie Forleo says, “Clarity comes from engagement, not thought.”  That is even more clear to me now as well.  We can spend our time theorizing or planning but we won’t get to the goal if we don’t act.  And for me, I need to make myself whole again so the rest can fall into place.  I used to think it was the opposite:  once things fall into place you feel better.  But that isn’t true.  You get clear through trial and error and learning what works for you.  It’s all about mindset and that is no joke.  Nearly losing it all helped me decide the actions I want to take next.  In spite of what it cost, I am grateful for that.  So welcome the possibility that you need a different perspective and that, sometimes, the things we think we can’t do are the very things that show us what we can do.  It all starts with you.    

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