I've been through it one hundred times: paying a late bill. But by the time I pay it, the water or electricity has already been turned off, my card has been dinged with an extra fee, or the administrator of my children's private school has handed me a personal reminder to pay tuition (which is two months late).
After a while, paranoia sets in. You begin to wonder if it's worth it to go to the grocery store because you might run into someone to whom you've obligated yourself. Or you find answering the mail nerve-wracking because you're used to getting weekly reminders of your delinquent accounts. Once when I was pulled over by a police officer on my way home, he sat in his car for so long that I was CERTAIN he somehow knew I was late on my taxes.
All of these humiliations eventually made me angry, so I decided to do something about them. I began to cut everything out of my life within reason that represented an unnecessary expense or repeat failure. So I stopped the Melaleuca orders. I sold the cars. I sold the house. I pulled my children out of private school. I terminated quite a few brokering deals. That was MUCH better. But there was something else I needed to do. Now that I had rid my life of the unsustainable, I needed to STRETCH MY INNER LIFE.
As a gymnast, I knew something about stretching. When you first begin to stretch, your muscles don't comply. They resist. Because they aren't used to that motion, they equate the discomfort to a "bad" feeling and signal your body that something "bad" is happening. But if you hold a stretch for several minutes, your muscles begin to think "Oh, s/he means to do this. Well, then, I suppose that is ok." And they give in.
Of course, the benefit of stretching yourself is that it increases your range of motion. In my personal life I wanted to increase my range of awareness related to my financial responsibilities. So I sat down and preempted a budget. I found out the total of my debts, found out the averages of my utilities, and identified all of my recurring bills. I even found out what times of the month or quarter those bills were due. In the end, I had such a hold on my financial situation that I no longer was plagued with the fear that I was going to be sucker-punched with the unexpected when I walked out in public.
Eleanor Roosevelt said "You must do the things you think you cannot do." And she was right. We each need to be stretched beyond our regular range of motion in order to enjoy the unexpected twists and turns of life with ease, agility, and, most of all, enjoyment.
So where do YOU need to be stretched? Do you need to work LESS and be MORE present with your significant other, your spouse, or your children? Do you need to EXERCISE more to INCREASE your stamina so that you you can bond over a variety of activities with the ones you love? Whatever your situation is, IT ALL BEGINS WITH YOUR INNER LIFE.
Watch my video below to find out how you can increase your range!
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