I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.” –Alex Elle
“Storms make trees take deeper roots.” –Dolly Parton
Preparing for the storms in life is critical for our survival. Living in Louisiana I have lived through many of tragic hurricanes. I know it is very important to have a specific plan in place when a storm approaches. Fortunately here in our area we are amply warned when nature is ready to unleash its fury.
Storms in our personal lives are a different matter. Many of us are unprepared and at a loss for direction when life throws its curves. When the sun is shining brightly, when we are in good health, and when our job is financially rewarding it doesn't seem necessary to prepare for any major changes or “storms” that may descend out of nowhere.
In my lifetime I have experienced many challenges. Believe me, at the time they seemed like a terrifying storm. Through each of these experiences I discovered a tool that helped me survive and many times excel.
The best time to write in your grateful journal may not be when you are dealing with disappointments and hardships. However if this practice is part of your daily routine it is much easier to find a few things in your life for which you are grateful even when everything seems to be spinning in a downward spiral. Just being aware of those few grateful things can help change your negative thinking into positive possibilities.
When we have to evacuate for a storm our living expenses greatly increase. Lodging and meals out are not in our budget. That is why I have encouraged many people I have worked with to establish a prosperity budget with a reserve for a stormy day. A workable budget in our retirement years of fixed income has afforded us the gift to live life to the fullest.
I have often stressed the importance of creating a dream board with pictures of everything you desire to bring into your life. When the bumps in the road occur, as they do for all of us, my dream board lifts me up and offers me encouragement. My wife and I are getting close to working on our 2017 dream board. It amazed me to realize that 50 % of our “dreams” for 2016 materialized! There were certainly times in this past year when we were tested with storms. But here we are dreaming big again!
“You teach what you need to learn” are the words given to me often by a spiritual director over a 25-year period. That is why I am writing a Positive Pops blog. We were also often told as parents, “Your children absorb who you are, not what you say.” As mentioned before, this year has offered me many financial challenges coming from unexpected storms. In spite of that I have been practicing what I am preaching to others and I have managed to weather the storm.