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BLOOM Where You Are Planted. Bloom where you are planted is a common phrase that means make the best of your current situation in life, use the skills and abilities you have to create a satisfied purposeful life. For people suffering with chronic pain and illness this can be a difficult notion to accept. Oftentimes with a diagnosis of chronic condition people feel "stuck" unable to move forward in life. A diagnosis of CRPS Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Post-Lyme or other chronic conditions can turn life upside-down. It becomes a rollercoaster of stress and emotional upsets. They may lose hope of achieving goals in life and even living a happy normal life due to disability, loss of a career and financial setbacks.

RETRAIN YOUR BRAIN & BLOOM WHERE YOU ARE PLANTED: here are several things you can do to bloom and thrive in circumstances that are not ideal by changing your mindset and cultivating a positive attitude in order to make the most of each day. Acceptance of your current setbacks and life changes is an important component to being able to move forward in life.

"You are enough just the way you are" Acceptance therapy plays a major role in being able to adjust to life changes. Acknowledge that life has changed, but that you still have worth, you still have life purpose and you are enough just the way you are.

ACCEPTANCE: Acceptance means learning to accept your current situation, and everything you cannot presently change with all the ups and downs. Acceptance is not about foretelling what life will be in the future, it is accepting what life "can be" in the present moment. This one practice of living in the present can help you bloom where you're planted as you will not waste time indulging in all the "what if" scenarios. Try to wake up every morning with a sense of acceptance that you will live the best life you can today.

ADAPT TO CHANGE: The only sure thing in life is change. No matter where you're planted, situations and circumstances will change with time. If you want to learn to bloom despite any circumstances, it's important you learn to calmly embrace change by being mentally flexible. You can retrain your brain do be more flexible by not being too rigid in your habits and being open to new experiences. Remember, change is necessary in-order to progress in any area of our life. If things always stayed the same, there would be no personal growth. If something has changed in your life recently, adapt instead of feeling upset or uneasy about the changes. Find a new perspective and turn lemons to lemonade.

SMALL STEPS: Try practicing acceptance with little things at first: for example, traffic is heavy, and you will be late for work. You cannot change this, so do not get upset. Try to accept it and not let this setback overwhelm you with stress and anxiety, do not let it interfere with your attitude for the day. As you practice taking small steps by not letting minor issues upset you, you are training your mind and body to respond differently to life's ups and downs will begin to learn how to accept bigger setbacks.

CONTROL YOUR THOUGHTS: You have control over your thoughts. While we might not always be in complete control of our feelings and emotions, there are things we can do to train our thoughts to more positive by being aware of our thoughts. Be aware of self-criticism and negative self-talk.

VALUE WHAT YOU DO HAVE: If you're feeling negative about your life overall, this can affect your overall health and well-being. A negative mentality makes it difficult to bloom. Instead of wishing for ideal circumstances, look for things you can appreciate right now. This can help you develop the positive attitude necessary to bloom. If you're unhappy with life, negativity can consume your thoughts. It's easy to forget the good things about life when you're faced with difficulties every day. Try to make a conscious effort to focus on what you do have.

PRACTICE GRATITUDE: Wake up every morning and remind yourself of everything you're grateful for. This will help you keep things in perspective and remind you that you're not solely defined by your circumstances. In the morning, try thinking of something you're grateful for right away. This can help you go into the day feeling positive. Try keeping a gratitude Jar or journal.

THE GRATITUDE JAR: One way to become more aware of the positive things in life that you have and even though you are disabled, to be grateful for what you have is to keep a gratitude jar. A gratitude jar is a reminder of all the things you have to be grateful for in life. Start with a clear decorative jar or vase and at the end of each day you will write on small colored sticky note paper the things you accomplished or are grateful for and place it in the jar. Before long you will have a multi-colored jar full of colorful notes and hopeful reminders that you are truly blessed. When you are having a down-day you can read the colorful notes of all you have accomplished and are grateful for in life.

STAY IN THE PRESENT & WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE: Constantly focusing your attention on past events, what could happen in the future, or what you could have done differently to prevent your circumstances can hold you back from blooming in the present. Even when you're frustrated, try your best to stay in the present moment, take one day at a time, and accept things for what they are right now. Try to see opportunities you can do to change your circumstances. Learn to work with the tools and abilities you do have. You may not be able to return to your previous career, but perhaps there is a skill you have that will lead you to a new career. I never imagined that I would write the self-help "retrain your brain" series of wellness books that would help people around-the-world find a new therapy approach to managing pain and making positive life changes, it was only after my own experience living in chronic pain with CRPS that the opportunity arose. Writing books has become a satisfying new career and renewed my sense of life purpose. You can find new life purpose too.

FIND YOUR NEW PURPOSE: You can bloom where planted by simply having a positive impact on the life of others. Helping people, rising people up rather than down improves the world around us all. You'll find that helping others, volunteering, is contagious, it helps to improve your own attitude, which can allow you to have the strength and energy to thrive. Think of what you can do (today) to become more selfless and do things for others without expecting praise or anything else in return. Serving others will make you feel better in addition to making a difference in your community.

Carol Charland-Cliche, Author & Wellness.

RESTORE WELLNESS COURSES BY CAROL CHARLAND For "Retrain Your Brain" wellness courses written by Carol Charland please visit



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