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When is nothing something?

Have you ever had one of those times when you think, "I've got nothin'"? You know what I mean? Someone is expecting something from you -- or maybe it's YOU, expecting something of your self. And for one of a million reasons, you think, "I've got nothing to give. I'm spent. Can't do it. I. Just. Can't."

What do you do when you believe you've got nothing to give?

First, you determine what is being asked of you and then ask yourself:

  1. Can it wait?

  2. Is it really mine to give?

  3. Can I give something in place of what's being asked?

There are probably (easily) a hundred more questions you might ask, but I think you get the point. In case you don't, let me state it more clearly: We always have something to give, but we often are blind to others' expectations. People, especially those who love us, are frequently able to accept -- even understand and sometimes surprisingly easily -- our limitations; perhaps even better than we do.

So, when you feel like you have nothing to give, remember S.T.O.P.

S. Stop berating yourself. Stop worrying. Stop everything.

T. Take a breath. Take another, and another, and as many as you need until you are grounded in your body, in the here and now, in just being. Just breathe for a moment, or a minute, or a while.

O. Observe what's going on within you. Note your own judgment about your own abilities, limitations (real or imagined), stamina and mood. This one's important. Observe your internal "weather report." Is it stormy? Sunny? Lightning? A hurricane? Take note. It matters.

P. Proceed. Now that you've stopped, breathed and observed, you are in a much better place to move forward.

Because life is always about moving forward, even when it doesn't feel that way. It really is. It does. Life moves forward. Even when you think you've come back to a place you've already been, remember that you've never been here as the person you are now.

So, with that, I -- who have nothing -- offer you something to think about and work with for the week ahead.

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