Change one word to change your life.

One of the many reasons yoga is so good for me is that it helps me through when I feel overwhelmed. Sound familiar? When all of my commitments and “have to’s” are flying around my head, I feel like I’m back in grade school playing monkey in the middle and I’ve taken the place of the primate. What I know is true, but tend to forget, is that most of my (perceived) stressors are blessings and I’ve brought them on myself.

After years in Corporate America, I’ve created a tapestry of a life, interweaving my passions with my long time career as a digital marketer. I’ve self-published two children’s books. I’ve completed 500 hours of yoga teacher training and am on my way to becoming a Yoga Therapist. I teach five yoga classes each week and work one-on-one with beautiful clients. I love my home and my big gardens. My giant dog, who needs lots of walks, loves me unconditionally. All of this makes my soul sing. And, sometimes, it stresses me the hell out.

Mae West said, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.” To which I would add “…and overwhelming.” Most likely, there are times in your life when your blessings get the best of you and it all seems like too much. (If this never happens to you, please tell me your secret.)

So, what can we do about it? A yoga teacher recently told me that when she struggles for contentment, she goes toward gratitude. Feeling grateful for just one thing brings her back to a place where she feels content and peaceful.

One small vocabulary change makes world of difference to me. When I’m feeling stressed, I substitute “have to” with “get to”.

“I have to put away the groceries,” turned into “I get to enjoy an abundance of food.”

“I have to weed my garden,” turned into “I get to live in a home with a piece of land to call my own.”

“I have to drive my daughter to her friend’s house,” turned into “I get to experience this beautiful human’s life.”

See if this word game helps you go from feeling discontent to grateful and back to contentment. The toughest part, like with making any change, is remembering to do it. I know I have to keep at it because, when I do, I’m more free to live beautifully in this life I’ve been given. And that is a gift I can give myself.

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