I couldn’t tell what woke me up this morning – anxiety or excitement. It’s weird to think that the two can be confused for one another. I was anxious about the long list of things I had to do and the emotional baggage attached to some of them, but I was also excited to get things done. I toyed with the idea of staying in bed for a bit and reading for a while, but then I decided against it. Whether it was anxiousness or excitement, it was time to turn that energy into movement.

I got up and first forced myself to settle down for 15 minutes of meditation followed by journaling. I try to make morning meditation a habit, and I have always found that whenever I do it, I have a much better day. I had been slacking over the past two weeks though – and I was feeling the effects.

Meditation done, journaling complete. I was starting to feel a bit more settled and focused. Listening to Roxanne Saffaie’s latest podcast episode (Blackbelt Beauty Radio) on motivating words that fuel her helped me even more.

Blackbelt Beauty Radio

It was time for me to get moving. The first task was one that I was dreading – I had to go to a ministry office to get some information. I was pleasantly surprised. The people there were helpful. Although the answer to one of my main questions was one that I didn’t want to hear, it still gave me something to work with. That door was closed, but instead of gazing at it wondering if it will ever open, I could now shift my sights elsewhere. In this case, knowledge was power.

Next stop, an application for a visa to travel. I have applied for so many visas in my life, you would have thought that it would be a breeze. However, unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. After looking at my passport, I was told that they would have to scan it and send it to the immigration office to see if they could get me a visa. Ridiculous. They didn’t want any other information about me – just my nationality. Talk about judging a book by its cover! I had a sinking feeling. As frustrating as that was, I knew there was nothing more I could do at that moment, so I let it go and told myself that I would have to just wait for their phone call and deal with whatever they said then. At this time, I just had to let go. 

As I was heading out, I got a phone call. A job I had applied for fell through. It’s not that I wasn’t qualified or even that I wasn’t the best candidate for the job – indeed I was, but once again discrimination reared its ugly head and prevented me being allowed to move forward. It was hurtful and hard to swallow. At the same time, I felt relieved. Did I really want to work for a place that discriminated? Did I really want to work with people who had personal issues with someone else’s success? No. When your goal is to educate, you want to be in an environment that is uplifting, supportive, and progressive. Anything less than that was not a place I wanted to be. Yes, it sucked to not get the job, I but I knew it was a blessing in disguise. 

Feeling rather overwhelmed by everything I had already gone through that day, I found myself constantly fighting the urge to be agitated and relive the negative events. I kept repeating to myself, ‘don’t think about what has happened, just focus on the present.’

After a good yoga session, I started to feel calmer and more centered.

making progress in the yoga challenge

When I got home after class, I was greeted with more stress. We had been dealing with some issues with our property in the UK. Things had gotten quite bad and the evaluation received today confirmed some of our worst nightmares. However, I found that there were people who were ready, willing, and able to help. In fact, they took on our stress as if it was their own and were determined to help us out to turn things around. All of a sudden, the intense stress I was feeling turned into an incredible sense of gratitude. I was so overwhelmed by the graciousness of these people. It was in that moment, when I sat down and just let my head drop back that I thought to myself: this feeling of gratitude is so enormous – how lucky am I to be able to feel something so powerful.

As soon as that thought entered my mind, I jolted upright.

How lucky am I to be able to feel something so powerful.

What an unexpected change in perspective. It was so strange.

I realized that if we had not had this problem with our house, I would not have had the opportunity to realize what an incredible support system I had around me. I would not have felt this incredible gratitude that really did fill me up inside.

It was so powerful.

That’s when I looked back at the events of my day and started to write this.

Each obstacle and setback I faced was followed by a positive realization. Each situation gave me a choice – I could either focus on the negative or I could focus on the outcome.

  • I could focus on me not getting the answer I wanted, or I could focus on a new path instead of wasting my time banging my head against a door that wasn’t going to open.
  • I could focus on me not immediately getting a visa, or I could focus on being patient and spend my time on other more productive things (like looking for my new path!)
  • I could focus on not getting the job I applied for, or I could focus on the fact that I was saved from being stuck in an unpleasant work environment and search for something that would truly make me happy.
  • I could focus on the property problems we were having, or I could focus on the fact that I had people around me who were willing to do anything to help solve the problem. 

Today was such a good reminder of how perspective matters.

I realized that it was up to me to interpret how I saw the day. It could have been seen as a day full of obstacles and setbacks. Instead, it ended up being a day full of gratitude.