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Gratitude vs. Suffering: Navigating Life's Challenges with a Positive Mindset

Live with intention

Your Magenta Monday Magic.

Surrounding Yourself with Positive and Supportive People

As I write this – in mid-August – I am walking through a transition and transformation of my own – just like you have been reading about all month.

I’ll tell you all about it, but first, here’s a little background…

Earlier this year, my sister Shannon and I decided to plan several trips so we could visit family who we hadn’t seen in waaaaay too long. We planned out our itinerary, she named it “The US World Tour of Us,” and we were off and running!

All in all our tour consisted of 3 legs:

  1. Visiting the Midwest to see our brother and his family before heading to the East Coast to see my daughter.

  2. Visiting our dad’s brother and his family in Ripon, CA, which is close to Modesto. Although it was a sweltering 107°, it was lovely to meet our cousin’s husband and new baby and to spend time with our aunt and uncle.

  3. Our final jaunt had been planned for August 11-14, when we would visit a cousin from our mom’s side and his family in Lake Tahoe. I hadn’t been there in years and was really looking forward to reconnecting with them while spending time in nature.

However, you know what they say about the best-laid plans….

I was due to fly out on Friday morning, but late Thursday night we got a message from my brother-in-law about his wife who has been battling cancer. She had just been hospitalized and he invited us to visit her – something he didn’t typically do.

After a deep gut check, I knew what I had to do: cancel our Lake Tahoe trip and get to her bedside.

The very next day, my husband came to me with news about his annual houseboat trip with the guys. One of his friends – the houseboat owner – was facing a complicated cancer treatment schedule and their plans had to be pushed out a week. The kicker? The trip was rescheduled for the week we had booked our own 30th-anniversary getaway.

When he told me the news, my husband paused in nervous anticipation of my response. I could tell he wasn’t sure what to expect. I paused, and after a moment simply said “Okay.”

His relieved response? “Wow - that went better than I expected!”

Of course, I was disappointed. But I knew life – especially this phase – is often about making tough choices.

You see, I was able to look beyond my initial disappointment and frustration and see what truly mattered: That connections and relationships with our family and friends are what’s most important. Yes, I would have to reschedule the last leg of our ‘2023 US World Tour of us,’ but right now I have the benefit of my health and I can plan the trip for another time.


Monday Mindshift

It’s the 1° shift that makes the biggest difference over time.

When things went sideways with my planned trips, I was faced with a choice. I could have easily pissed and moaned – and trust me, there was a time when that absolutely would have been my first response. (Not something I’m not entirely proud of by the way 🤷 but I’ll own it!)

Or I could choose to ground myself in the reality of the situation.

I could either create more suffering by wanting the situation to be something other than it was, or I could accept the reality in front of me – disappointment and all.

Even with all the illness going on around me, I was able to feel profound gratitude. From that place, I was able to see that:

  • we are in a position to support our family and friends who need us

  • we have choice

  • we are extremely fortunate to have our own health

And the beautiful thing was that once I made room for all of that – while staying centered and balanced and rooted in gratitude – the possibility to reschedule our trip on an earlier date became available.

And lo and behold, that’s what we did. I had little control over the changes coming at me, but I took control of how I let them affect me. By grounding in gratitude I was able to avoid getting mired in suffering and stay focused on what was most important of all. ♥

See if you can try that for yourself the next time things go sideways and life throws you a curveball. Gratitude or suffering – which will you choose?



Living BRIGHTer is...

B - Be Brave

R - Cultivate Relationships

I - Live with Intention

G - Practice Gratitude

H - Prioritize Health

T - Live your Truth

What is Magenta?

The color magenta is one of universal harmony and emotional balance. It is spiritual yet practical, encouraging common sense and a balanced outlook on life. Magenta helps to create harmony and balance in every aspect of life; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

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