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Three Thieves

Greetings from the road! I'm not sure where I'll be when you read this -- hopefully very near Florida where my whole family will be gathered to celebrate early Christmas with my Dad. I'm writing this a few days before so I can get it out "on time"! We're all in the thick of the Season. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Yule, or simply Solstice, you can't help but experience the decorations, carols, and advertisements, etc. This can be exciting and it can also feel like too much. Where are you on the spectrum between cringing and celebrating like there's no tomorrow?

Enthusiasm is a funny thing. Sometimes it wanes even when there are lots of good reasons for it to be up front. Life can be fun in many ways, but it can also be hard and drain us physically and emotionally. You may have had a lot of enthusiasm about life at some point, but something happened that sort of zapped your energy and took your enthusiasm with it. That’s normal.  What’s not normal, is going long periods of time without being enthusiastic for something or anything in life. 

Sometimes our enthusiasm comes from anticipating a special event or starting a new career. Sometimes our enthusiasm comes from sharing a good cup of coffee with a friend. Enthusiasm doesn’t have to come from outrageously extravagant things, it can come from everyday things experienced in an enthusiastic way.

In the same way, we can lose our enthusiasm if we aren’t careful. Something big might steal our enthusiasm for life or small things that add up over time might chip away at our joy without us even noticing. There are lots of ways to revive your enthusiasm, but it’s important to recognize the thieves that rob your enthusiasm in the first place. Here’s three of them:

  • Crisis

  • Boredom

  • Overwhelm

Suffering a crisis can steal your enthusiasm

Facing a crisis puts all hands on deck for survival mode. Whether it’s an illness or other catastrophe, working through a crisis can zap your enthusiasm. It’s hard to find the positive things to be excited about when you’re facing a crisis. All of your energy tends to go towards solving problems and getting through to the other side. Be kind to yourself and understand that no one expects a time of crisis to be joyful and it’s perfectly ok to do whatever you’ve got to do to get through to the other side.

Suffering a crisis can drain your enthusiasm, but most crises don’t last forever. It’s important to heal from your set back and revive your enthusiasm as part of the process. Bad things happen, but good circles back around too. Be sure to recognize if you haven’t bounced back from a crisis and lost your enthusiasm along the way and seek help and support from a caring, appropriate source. 

Being bored can steal your enthusiasm

Doing the same thing day after day can get really boring. Life can get humdrum pretty fast if you aren’t revving things up now and then. Sure, you can look forward to a special day on the calendar or get excited about an upcoming vacation but there’s a lot to get excited about day-to-day too.   

If you realize you haven’t been excited about much you might be bored. Finding something new and exciting can help revive your enthusiasm and spark some joy and excitement back into your life. Meditation is actually a tool that helps with this. It brings us into the present moment with an awareness that helps us see that things are always changing. Acknowledging that can give us a boost and the desire to look for what's new or different.

Being overwhelmed can steal your enthusiasm

Being bored is one thing. Not having enough to interest your mind and spark some enthusiasm is very different than being overwhelmed. Overwhelm can drain your joy and your energy. Dealing with family issues, starting a new career, making a big move, letting the holidays stress you out, or shifting through something unexpected. These things can cause momentary overwhelm and drain your physical and emotional health. Getting through them can help you rest and climb out from under the weight.

Some overwhelm comes from setting poor boundaries, taking on too much, and lack of streamlining what matters most. In this case, you’ve got to actively decide to make important changes that relieve your stress and create space to get more enthusiastic. Getting down to basics can be a big help like eating in a healthy way, going outside for a walk, especially if there's sunshine, having a spontaneous dance break, and not cheating yourself on getting enough hours of sleep.

If you’ve been managing a crisis, feeling bored, or overwhelmed, there’s a good chance your enthusiasm is out the window for a moment. You can get it back! Reviving your enthusiasm is easier when you recognize what's happening and decide what you want to do about it. Checking in with others can be helpful too. Often someone else might have similar feelings and sharing that lets us know we aren't alone or weird! Everyone has their moments of crisis, boredom or overwhelm. Take it easy and maybe it will help to simply recognize that the holidays are going to feel a little crazy sometimes. Look up some funny memes and take a moment to count five things for which you are grateful. Of course, as always, be care-full. 

I have a couple of spots for some short-term coaching opening up. Maybe you just need a few conversations in order to feel more grounded? Contact me -- you'll be glad you did.

Here are some real stories from happy clients...

"She held a safe and confident space for me to talk, and when I didn’t know what else to say, she knew just the perfect question to ask to help me dig deeper." - K.W.

"Today, I finally feel as though I'm on the path I'd envisioned for myself—healthier, less dependent on medications, and with a very optimistic attitude toward embarking on a vital and productive "Act Three." Barbara was instrumental in helping me get to these breakthroughs." - L.B.

Happy Healthy Habit Hump Day,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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