The ‘Pulse’ of Life


The inspiration for this post came from two conversations, one with a long-time hard-working Client, and a brief, but insightful talk with my wife, Julia, who is one of the wisest women I have ever met.

Progress in the areas of our lives where we tend to struggle often appears to be ‘painstakingly slow’.  We seem to take one step forward, then two steps back and this pattern very often leads to negative self-judgment and despair.

We seem to have to learn the same lessons over and over and over and …

Sound familiar?

A big part of my coaching work is to be the compassionate mirror that talks back.

This often involves acknowledging progress that my Clients just don’t see because they are caught up in striving to become the magnificent human beings that they already are in the core of their being.

When it comes to adaptively dealing with the challenges of life, I have found it useful to keep the following things in mind:

  • Life is a journey, not a destination
  • Take time to celebrate the ‘little victories’
  • Take your time, go slowly
  • Cultivate an attitude of gratitude
  • Cultivate self-love
  • Life has a natural ebb and flow; Cultivate patience

Life is a journey and not a destination

It helps me to think of my life as a long ride on the biggest, wildest, coolest rollercoaster I can imagine.  There are ups and downs, twists and turns, jolts and dips, slow parts, fast parts, beautiful views, dark foreboding tunnels, lots of surprises …. You get the picture.

When struggles present themselves I try to remember that I chose the ride I am on and strive to simply be present with the experience without judging myself or the circumstances.

I choose to view life’s challenges as adventures to be lived, rather than adversities to overcome.  I find this shift in perspective inspiring.  It also brings more peace to my daily life.

When it comes to my intentions and goals, I try to remember that I am the one who set the goals to begin with and then make a very conscious effort to enjoy the process as I move down the path I have charted.

I also try to keep in mind that I have the right and the responsibility to change my goals and my course if I am not experiencing the results I intended.

Life is now. 

The past is gone, the future never gets here, all we really have is what I call the eternal present. 

As Ram Das said, “Be here NOW”

Circumstances change, life goes on…. All the while, at my core, I AM who I AM, the awesome human being God created.

How about YOU?

Take time to celebrate the little victories

I can not count the number of times that Clients, friends, colleagues, even my beloved wife have shared their challenges with me without even a hint of positive self-acknowledgement about their accomplishments thus far. 

Naturally, I am guilty of the same thing: failing to acknowledge all of the small steps, accomplishments, and victories that I have achieved to get to where I am now on the wonderful path of life.

How about you?

What accomplishments are you either failing to self-acknowledge or worse yet, making light of?

It is not arrogant to acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments and victories …. No matter how small.

One tool I have used to help me to retrain my mind to get into the habit of positively self-acknowledging of my own little successes is to make daily entries in my ‘Victory Journal’.

I highly recommend starting your own ‘Victory Journal’.

You can do so right now.  Just grab a piece of paper and write down three things you have accomplished today.  Then, every evening set aside 10 minutes to note your accomplishments for the day.

Take YOUR time, go slowly

Life is not a race.  The path to true, lasting love is often long and circuitous.

Being in a ‘desperate hurry’ won’t get you the results you truly intend.

What will it profit you to find the love of your life, only to have your precious life cut short due to a preventable stress related illness you created due to overly fast-paced, out of balance living?

Take the time for daily self-care.  Remember to relax and breathe.  Take regular breaks in your work-day.  Enjoy the flowers, birds; the beauty of life.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

I have written several posts on this topic.

Common senses tells us that if we want to have a daily experience the ‘Grace of God’, the ‘support of the universe’, the ‘power of the force’ or whatever name one gives to the underlying forces that support all life, then we must live graciously.

The foundation of gracious living is a sincere attitude of gratitude. 

If you struggle in this regard, I highly recommend starting a Gratitude Journal’.

Cultivate self-love

From my world-view, self-acceptance and self-love are absolutely essential building blocks for positive, strong, meaningful, lasting relationships both romantic and otherwise.

A little exercise:

Get up and go look in the mirror.

Smile at yourself.

Thank yourself for being YOU.

If you can’t authentically do this exercise, then you will have a lot of difficulty attracting the loving partner you are truly worthy of.

If you struggle in this area, I invite you to contact me at for your complementary one hour Self-Acceptance Break Though Session

I am giving five of these sessions away during the month of July to celebrate my own recent deep breakthrough in this area. 

Contact me now to get yours! 

Please be sure to put Self-Acceptance BT in the subject line of your email.  Please include your time zone, phone number, and three good days and times to call.

I generally coach Monday through Friday.  Weekend times are by special arrangement only.

Life has a natural ebb and flow, Cultivate patience

The process that is sometimes referred to as self-actualization is a life long process that naturally involves forward and backward movement.

It sometimes helps me to visualize my life as an ocean with tides that come in and then recede.

I often make progress in a particular area only to retrace my steps as my learning generalizes from one situation to one that is slightly different from the situation in which the learning first took place.

This is why it appears that we are taking a step forward and then two steps back.

What is really happening is that we are learning to apply a particular capacity to different situations that require us to subtly adjust our thinking and behavior.  We simply lose sight of this process, become impatient with ourselves, and off we go to the land of negative self-judgment.

Here’s the rub.

Although we humans are constantly learning, it takes time and repetition to ‘lock in our learning’. 

Having peace requires us to recognize and be patient with this life-long process of self-discovery and learning.

I sincerely hope that this post shed some light on why we struggle so much.

My advice: learn to relax and go with the flow and to save your strength for those times when you really need to swim up stream.

I invite you to support our community by posting a comment on my blog.

See YOU next week!

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1 Comment »

Comment by stephen light
June 29, 2012 @ 1:12 am

Thank you Ron

The Victory Journal is a great idea, such a simple tool and so practical. Celebrate my successes.

Love & Courage

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