I recently signed up for a free, online community called SparkPeople.com. It’s chock-full of neat tools and gizmos, message boards and online support to help you meet your fitness goals. Problem is, I’m in no mood these days to be setting goals, fitness or otherwise. But it was free, so…
This morning I logged in and saw that I could earn three points just for reading this tiny article. (I might not be up for setting goals, but I’m always up for earning points.) The title, “Going Through the Emotions,” grabbed me because, although I am running low in the goal-setting department, I am spurting like a geyser in the emotions department these days.
Frog in a Bucket
The author, Mike Kramer, tells the story of the frog who falls into a pail of cream and can’t jump out. In his panic he kicks and squirms and kicks and squirms. Soon, his kicks and squirms turn that cream into a block of churned butter and he can hop right out of the pail. At the end of the story, Mike says, “Here’s how your story and his intersect. If he only saw the hopelessness of his situation and started feeling sorry for himself, he would have sunk to the bottom. But instead he kept kicking. He kicked not because he knew it would help him escape, but because he was compelled to, he had no choice. He kicked because the alternative was no alternative at all.”
I’ve been thinking about that; sinking to the bottom is not the fate I wish for me. So it looks like I’ve got to churn some butter. But how do I go about churning butter with all the required kicking and squirming if I don’t have the energy? Baby steps. And baby steps will work, too, because baby steps are the same as churning when you compare them to doing nothing.
My Baby Steps
Baby Step 1: I’m keeping a gratitude journal. Focusing on the good instead of the bad encourages me and reminds me that there is good in each day. I just have to look harder some days than others, but a little hard work might do me some good.
Baby Step 2: Reaching out to others. The quickest way for me to sink is to let go of the hands around me. So what if they’re not reaching out to me when I think they should? I bet if I reach out to them they will gladly clasp my hand and save me from another day at the bottom of the cream bucket. It’s worth a try.
Baby Step 3: Making time to laugh. I visit icanhascheezburger.com any time I want a good giggle.
Do you need to churn some butter in your life? Take a minute to list your own baby steps, then write me and tell me what you’re doing. That can count as your “Reaching Out to Others” baby step.