This last weekend I was walking my doggie in a local park. Along with us, there were lots of other dogs, of all shapes, sizes and breeds cavorting happily around. I guess we were all celebrating the start of long, warm Spring days again – the gateway to summer.
As we continued on our walk, I came across a beautiful configuration of trees, a gateway, as seen in the photo above.
This brought to mind thoughts of the different Gateways and types of Gateways that occur throughout our lives. They can be options or opportunities, emotional gateways, new beginnings and even endings. Are we even aware of these Gateways?
With the busy and stress-filled lives we lead, how often we stampede through each day, bashing our way through events and obstacles, in the constant quest for survival and maybe even supremacy, the constant urge to be the best. In this state, do we even notice the Gateways and opportunities? Has the thought “I’m so stuck, I have no option but to carry on in this crummy job/relationship/situation”, ever crossed your mind?
You see, in order to see the Gateways, we need first to slow down and steer ourselves toward them. Then we need to be in a quiet, receptive state so that we can weigh up the pro’s and con’s of these opportunities, and their effect on our lives should we choose to walk through them.
Just as we would not notice a natural gateway that is overgrown by weeds or foliage, so too we don’t notice Gateways of opportunity while our heads are constantly buzzing with anxious thoughts. Consequently, we rush from one bad situation to the next, reacting and over-reacting to what is happening, feeling frustrated by the apparent lack of options open to us. We spend days torturing ourselves because we feel stuck, with no way out of our present conflict or unhappiness.
In this anxious, stressed state, we see life only as one more wretched day to deal with, and our future becomes a black hole of emptiness, with no respite in sight.
There are also times, when we fleetingly do see an option or opportunity, but are so quick to dismiss it, because, deep down, it actually scares us, and the thought of proceeding through that Gateway is far too daunting!
Think back to my original scenario of the dogs running in the park – puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs. They are continually sniffing around, looking for new hidey holes and places of interest to explore. They are not afraid of what lies on the other side of the Gateway. Life is one big adventure to them.
So, ask yourself, why can’t YOU approach life with the same zest?
7 Steps to chopping down the overgrowth of stress and anxiety and walking through the Gateways of Opportunity :
- Stop – and take stock
- Awareness – recognize and acknowledge exactly how you are feeling in this moment
- Willingness – be open to exploring, and using, alternative options
- Reflection – take time to reflect on the areas in which you feel stressed, stuck & anxious
- Clarity – instead of focusing on what you don’t want, look at what it is the you actually DO want, what would make you happy
- Action – what is the 1st step you can take in order to seize the Gateway of opportunity?- this could be reading a self-help book on stress, chatting to a friend or colleague about the situation or hiring a Life Coach to work with you, guide and support you, through this time of change.