Weathering the Storm

Spoken Word : Valerie Lopez

I’ll share a really great suggestion I’ve taken to heart lately. It’s super simple. Works in daily activities and during challenging times. Keeps your head together when you feel pulled in a million directions. 

Maybe you’ve heard it a million times before in different ways. It makes sense, especially after coming up empty doing ‘it’ a bunch of different ways. Ways that resulted in barreling through situations, getting stressed out or becoming despondent because things felt chaotic, ‘just weren’t coming together’ or being overwhelmed.

We are born into a society that teaches ‘fighting’ for what we want, ‘pushing through’ things, ‘win at all cost’, ‘grin and bear it’. So hostile we are with ourselves in our incessant push to succeed, to win, to come in first, to beat everyone else to it – and to survive. It’s exhausting. Exhilarating at first maybe, until you come to realize the futility of it all. Winning doesn’t make you happy. It just sets you up for the next challenge, the next achievement, the next competition. That’s not true happiness, it’s a treadmill. If you’re into that, power to you. For the rest of us searching for a different way of experiencing life there is another way. I will not say better or worse than. I’ll just say different.

Here’s the suggestion: Focus on the 3 feet in front of you. 

That’s it. Be present. Do your best there and know that your best today might be different from your best tomorrow – and that’s ok. Embrace being human. Embrace not knowing what to do. Embrace not having the answers. Embrace making mistakes. Embrace failure. Because when you do, you give yourself permission to be human, to grow, to discover. 

It’s the fear of these things, of not being perfect, that keep us trapped and suffocated and unhappy. You don’t need to be irresponsible to do this. You need self compassion and a healthy version of self love. 

Taking time to be present – right where we are – can help us discover the talents we already have and the chance to develop new ones. Getting in touch with what really matters in the moment. Sometimes it’s basic survival. Sometimes it’s finding the right head space to deal with a difficult person. Sometimes it’s figuring out whether to say ‘no’ or ‘yes’. Going for something you really want. Or putting all that’s overwhelming you out of your head by focusing on what’s right in front of you – where you can make an impact, where you can get something done.

Focus on the 3 feet in front of you. 


We are all not destined to be millionaires. Having a lot of money comes with hidden traps and problems too. We all are, however, destined to create a life for ourselves. That’s why we’re here. We have been given free will to choose whether we see a good life or an undesirable one. Our choices have ramifications, for better or worse. The art of Zen says that there are no bad choices, only wisdom to gain from our experiences. 

I get that life isn’t that clear cut for many of us. Some people come into the world with opportunities and some come into the world with challenges from day 1. No one knows why this is, I certainly don’t. Keeping a positive mindset might be easier when you’re got money in the bank, a roof over your head, and a belly full of food. Much more of a challenge when things aren’t going in your favor. 

Still. Still, life is what you make it. There are tons of unhappy, depressed wealthy people who shouldn’t have a care in the world. And there are simple people who have little in their lives who are optimistic and happy to be alive. 

Regardless of what life throws at you, it’s important to find and operate from a place of personal power. The present moment, the choices we make in this present moment, these 3 feet in front of us, truly is where our power is. It is from there that we can choose – either with personal struggle or with ease – the mindset we look at life through. 

So go forth and prosper. And remember, focus on the 3 feet in front of you. It’s the best place to be, to live and to create your future. 

Copyright© Valerie L Lopez 2022  All Rights Reserved