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  • Writer's pictureCarol Bridges

Winter in Indiana

In the midwest, the primary sensation of winter is COLD. It is below zero here in Indiana this week. Snow is now about 10" deep and snowing. It is fluffy and beautiful from my warm "computer cave," but, my water pipes have frozen and I have to melt snow in a bucket to do the dishes.

Life is always providing uncountable occasions for us to either take charge of our experience or wait for a direct order from someone or something outside ourselves to move us to action. When disaster strikes, the path of action is clarified.

However, when your decisions are made only when catastrophes happen, your life begins to feel like drudgery. You may be really good at spontaneous and creative action during these times, but if disaster management is how you live your daily life, your body is under severe stress.

If your ordinary day has you in a pattern of waiting for the roof to leak, the plumber to be too late, the dinner to burn, the insurance payment to be past due, the car to run out of gas, the dog to run away, the check to bounce, the traffic to be too busy, the coffee to spill, the house to be too messy, the movie to be bad, the cost too will soon exhaust your body's immune system. Then, chronic illness takes hold.

Overcome this pattern by becoming a life director. A director looks at her situation and prioritizes what needs to be done. She gathers the tools. Fixes what's broken. Decides how to prevent the problem from happening again. Then proceeds to something she enjoys doing. Of course, one can "over-direct." What we call the "control freak" is the opposite extreme of management by crisis. She develops stress from worrying about things that COULD go wrong, when, in fact, everything is currently just fine.

What prompts you to make your choices? Listen for the story you are telling yourself and others. What images does your story create? These images subconsciously guide our lives. They are the default program. Yet, we have other images at work as well, the ones we call our dreams and visions of a great future.

Our soul speaks to us in images, trying to tell us which way to head, trying to guide us to a fulfilling life. These naturally health-producing images are stored in our cells and can become corrupted by images of being a victim of outer conditions. The chronic crisis-responder gathers depleting images daily by devouring bad news, gathering data that supports a worldview of mean, overpowering people, constantly focusing on the problems at hand and the difficulty in solving them and seeking symptom cures through medications, drugs and distractions that distress the body further.

It is a viscious cycle that creates constant stress, the foundation of all disease.'s winter, cold, the road has not been plowed, the plumbing doesn't work. A great day to be in my warm computer cave, getting lots of work done so that when spring comes, I can go outside and play. And, yes, I am very lucky to have this home, this fuel, this food, and to have had a partner who created an emergency water tank in my pantry...just enough to get by for a week. I even have a neighbor who, when snowed in, invites walking distance friends over for a potluck.

Most of us are sometimes crisis-responders, sometimes life directors. It is wise to notice when we are heading toward an extreme that causes stress. Gently turn the tide by doing something you love (after you stop the leak, of course!) and mellowing out. No sharp turns are necessary, just a slow curve toward the health-enhancing life. Fill your memory banks with good images, not just of "long ago," but the best of now. Begin to create an environment that truly comforts you, a treat for all of your senses.

Make something beautiful to view. Touch the soft snow. Have a tasty hot chocolate. Listen to your favorite music. Smell the freah air. Look around. Build a supply of soul-nourishing images that well glide your through the rest of your day. Enjoy.

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