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How to Feel Better Even When Something Does Not Work Out

Before I start anything, I just want to encourage everyone in the U.S. who has not yet had the opportunity, to please go out and vote. Your voice matters more than you know.  

So, it was just my birthday – in such a crazy year, in such wild times. I usually don’t make a big deal out of it, but this year, for some reason, it has more meaning. I feel more grateful in general, for the little things, the messages and phone calls that have come my way. Interestingly, I am actually giving myself permission to take it in and to savor the warm feelings, rather than rush to my next to-do. And it’s even more significant because on my birthday I received some bad news. Here are 3 things that have made all the difference.


  1. Decide to prioritize feeling better

I just learned some news that would usually get me down. It has to do with something completely outside of my control that just happened. Over the last year, there has been a dispute with a neighbor about wanting them to trim their trees, which obstruct our view. Yesterday was the hearing, and unexpectedly, the results were not in our favor. Usually, I would feel a cloud of disappointment, have that shade my day, and I might react: feeling down or angry. It was that way for my husband who is closer to the issue than I am. And for me too, to an extent. But I have decided not to get swept up in the drama of divisiveness, and in my mind accept that this is the situation. I am not trying to whitewash it or "rose-colored glass" myself AND… this is the interesting part - I am asking myself: What do I do with this now? How will I hold it, what choices do I have here? One thing I do know, it that I am prioritizing a better feeling place! 

Now, it doesn't have to be a situation like mine, it could be that you did not get a position you wanted, or were hoping for some good news, but got the opposite. How did you hold it, and did that help you get through it or did your thoughts extend the misery? You are not stuck- let's go to #2.


  1. Support your intention 

So, I’ve made the intention to feel better and decided that the disappointing results do not define me. That is KEY!  So, how do I keep supporting that decision so I don’t fall back into feeling reactive? The little things, that are really the big things, are receiving my attention - like observing the people I care about (even if some of them are bathing in emotional turbulence), which raises the question: If others around you are deep into their emotions, what is the balance between empathy and preserving your peace of mind? How much time do you invest in the drama, and what do you do to pull away to keep yourself centered? (It’s funny that right now, I am writing this post, and intentionally recalibrating!)

The point is that I am electing to minimize my time in the drama, and instead do things that make me feel better: My go-to choices now are:

  • doing something I love
  • movement, exercising, or taking a walk
  • noticing a plant that’s growing,
  • cooking an amazing piece of salmon (and I’m not a passionate cook!)
  • immersing myself in a book that’s perfect for my next project
  • connecting with a friend.

What are your “go-to” choices when you want to re-center? If nothing comes to mind, find out what works for you.


  1. Expand your Perspective & Focus on Gratitude

The first question to ask yourself is will this matter in 5 or 10 years? That gives you insta-perspective.  In my case, I can say for sure, the answer is no - it will not matter. Next, to amplify my intention to feel good, I have to return to a tried and true friend: GRATITUDE. I am making a list of all the things I am grateful for: my health, my family, curiosity, love of people, my home, wonderful dog, beautiful nature all around, beauty in so many places, yoga, friends, camaraderie, travel, memories of past special moments, inspiration for the future, the flow state I feel when writing, the people who have been, and are there for me, waking up each day, connecting to something greater, and feeling my small place in this whole vast cosmos…

Already, I can exhale, and shift perspectives. I feel how this irritation is actually quite small within the span of a life – this gift of life – this opportunity to feel, to grow, and to love even the hard stuff. It’s ALL part of the whole, and the challenges certainly do not have to define you. That’s a choice you can make. So here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Does this situation define who you are at your core?
  • Will it matter in 5 or 10 years?
  • While having empathy, how much drama will you invest your time and energy into?
  • What can you do right now to make yourself feel better, to re-center, and to find your way home... which is inside of you?  (share your answer below)

It feels good to ask these questions - I invite you to try it out too!




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