“we have more possibilities available in each moment than we realize.” Thich Naht Hahn

using what you have

by sarah barrett lepore

Along with a steady study of chakras, seeing clients in-studio and remotely, business marketing, personal training development, being a mom, homemaker and all of the jobs associated with that title, I’m also learning to play guitar. One of the phrases I hear Randy, my guitar teacher, tell me is to “use what’s available to you at the time.” He’s referring to which finger to use on which string, and sometimes there’s a reach involved, but it’s what’s “available.” If I’m not using what’s most available, I’d just be making it hard on myself to cross fingers funny or make that “twang” sound when the string isn’t completely held down correctly. There are a lot of adjustments to make with guitar playing, with wrists and finger shifting and placement, but it all comes down to playing with what’s available. HA! I smell a metaphor! My FAVORITE!

On a completely different note, this is a Monday. I don’t buy-in to the “case of the Mondays” as an ailment since I love my days. Every day truly is a gift, after all. Bad days even have something good, right? This Monday morning in particular, Kennedy had a deep cough, no fever but one of those scary demonic coughs out of nowhere. She was staying home because, well, it’s just not right to send her to spread that stuff around. It’s also been cloudy, like socked-in-fog-cloudy so it really feels like Autumn (in California I don’t much feel seasons change, just slightly with the breeze), so I love the chilly mornings… but it still creates a sleepy cozy vibe, rather than one that makes you want to jump out of bed and greet the day with any zest.

This day, I needed to take K to work with me. She’s used to it, but it’s another interruption to the mental focus I needed on my study day, so it does create extra chatter, literally and figuratively. Anyway, that’s not even the point. Once at work, the smoke detector wouldn’t stop chirping despite several efforts and a new battery, the internet wouldn’t stay connected, and I didn’t get out the door in time to pack a lunch, so the hangries ensued. Things weren’t flowing, the day was in a spin-out of disappointments and let downs. Not even the Copa Cabana song could flip my switch. My tail was spinning toward blocks and my thoughts were on a merry-go-round of disappointments.

In the midst of mini-stresses, inconveniences and the Monday to-do list remaining incomplete, I thought of my favorite new metaphor about AVAILABILITY. “What’s available to me right now?” I stopped the twirling thinking mind, took over my breath and brought it to my bones, to my belly, and allowed it to travel throughout my entire energy system. Sure enough, something shifted. I became available to play the day out, no strings attached.

What mini-tools do you have at your fingertips, or nostrils, or tips of your toes? Jumping jacks, calling a supportive friend, laughter meditation, treating yourself to a latte, taking the long way to work, take a nap, say 10 things you’re grateful for, meditate with your hands in a certain mudra…these simple tricks can quickly reframe yourself when “the funk” hits. (Speaking of, make my funk the P-funk.) You got this.

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T grab a cigarette, go to the bar, quit your job, break up with your partner, scream at your child. Best not to make detrimental, permanent decisions in a temporary state of mind! Be GOOD to you. Take challenges as an opportunity to treat yourself, to ease up on yourself, to take things slow…for tomorrow is another day.

Tune in to KVTA 1590AM every Saturday at 11AM and hear Sarah’s Health and Wellness report, or download the podcast “Girls On the Air” on iTunes. She can be contacted here to book a private session. 

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