Bold Moves for Tough Times

by Tess on September 1, 2009

Ukrainian Borshch, Gainesville, Florida
Creative Commons License photo credit: adobemac

Believe in yourself. You’ve solved your past problems and you’ll solve your current ones as well. Get creative, listen to your intuition and seek out wise counsel. You will survive.

Be Positive. The world isn’t coming to an end. It’s just changing. Stay away from any type of negativity:  people, places and things. You can choose your attitude. You can choose the bright side. My sister says, “If you have air in your lungs you’re having a good day.”

Look for good. Look for people performing good deeds. What you focus on expands. Ordinary people are donating and working in food kitchens daily. Others are sharing what they have with neighbors.

Do good. Who do you know that has lost their job or home? Have you contacted them and said, “I’m sorry. What can I do to help?” If not, what are you waiting for? There will always be someone who has less than you. Find them and help them.

Stay close to good friends and family. Everyone has been affected by our economy. Shake your shame, embarassment or feelings of inadaquacy and allow other people to comfort you.

Step up all principles you believe in. Pray, meditate, go to church. It’s time to put your faith and trust in what you believe in. Walk your talk.

Memorize affirmations. Use them when you feel you have doubts or feel “the sky is falling.” You have the opportunity to change your thoughts immediately.

Accept all invitations. My friend who lost his job and home says, “If it doesn’t cost money and if he’s invited he goes and has a good time.”

If you are invited to parties, dinners or potlucks, go! I had a friend who had cancer and arrived at a graduation party with one yellow rose. I believed it was the best gift given. It’s the thought that counts. Don’t stay home because you can’t contribute. Instead get creative. Get out and have fun!

Live simply.Pack your lunch, picnic basket and cooler. Refuse to make unessesary purchases. Clear your clutter and choose to live in a pleasant environment.

Stay active. Walking running, hiking and biking are a few things you can do that cost next to nothing. It’s a fact that exercise keeps you healthy and happy.

Look your best. Put on your best clothes and add a smile. When you look good you feel good.

Grieve. When you suffer a loss it’s necessary to grieve. Don’t look for people who have it worse than you and tell yourself, “I shouldn’t feel this way.” There is no hierarchy of pain. Be gentle on yourself.

Let Go. Think of what you have not of what you had.

Count your blessings! If you have your basic needs met count yourself blessed. Then count every thing else you have.

Never give up.  Ask friends and family for help. If you are depressed or having thoughts of suicide get professional help today. Free help is available in your community. Reach out.

Remember this too shall pass!

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    { 41 comments… read them below or add one }

    Angela Recada September 1, 2009 at 10:49 am

    This is a wonderful list, and a terrific blog! You really help put things into perspective. Thank you.


    Hilary September 1, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hi Tess .. that is an amazing list, written so, for the times of today. I hope that it reaches out to many people – it should do .. we should be helping ourselves and halping each other .. we are human – a human community.

    Love conquers all and our heart continues to beat .. thanks – brilliant post coming into the Autumn months ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories


    Positively Present September 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Fabulous advice — especially that be positive bit! :)


    Keith September 1, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Hello Tess,

    I found this post to very timely, for me and I bet many others as well. You started off well by advising people to believe in themselves and to also avoid all the negativity. It is easy to forget that so much GOOD is being done in the world. Our media loves to sensationalize the bad ( I recently heard a speaker who refered to CNN as meaning Constantly Negative News) and while it is good to stay informed, I don’t watch news much.

    I love what your sister says! She is so right, if there is air in your lungs, be thankful! Any day above ground is a good day right? :-)

    Of course, my favorite piece of advice you gave here is NEVER GIVE UP! This is my personal mantra!

    I know this post was probably born out of all that is going on in your life right now. I can feel the energy in this post and it’s great!

    Rock On Tess!


    Jane September 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I love all of these reminders. And living simply in these economically depressed times is perfect for us now. We recently went “day camping” as a family and discovered a park not 15 minutes from our home. The sites were on a lake and had grills, fire pits. When we got home that night, all sticky from s’mores, my 6 yr. old declared it the best day ever. A vacation just 15 minutes from home – who knew?


    Jill September 1, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I have done all of these things this summer and I will say that the tough times weren’t so tough because of it. Thank you for sharing this. It could very well be the beacon of light that some one needs.


    Zeenat(Positive Provocations} September 1, 2009 at 3:17 pm

    HI Tess,
    Very Power packed list. I am gonna make sure i try them all. Some i do already, but i do need to do more and this list will help stir me in the right track.
    Thank you for this. And you said it perfectly at the end “this too shall pass”


    Wilma Ham September 1, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Hi Tess.

    This post is like a good friend. It puts things in perspective when the mind goes into a muddle and only sees bad things.
    Reality always has 2 sides, a good and a bad one and guess who can help me see the other side when the side I see doesn’t serve me and only makes me fearful and without hope? My partner, my buddy Ann-Marie and posts like this. I cannot see the different side on my own, so thanks Tess for showing me the other side.


    Tess The Bold Life September 1, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Your welcome. I love your art work and blog. How refreshing!
    Yes love does conquer all. It’s the answer to everything in my life.
    Thanks and yes there is not a better time to be positive than today.
    I’ve never heard that about CNN it’s funny and truthful. There’s no reason to give up it’s just necessary to go with the flow at times.
    How fun is that…and you didn’t even know it was there waiting for you. One lesson for all is appreciation of the small things and your s’mores are to be celebrated.
    I like the thought of my words being a beacon of light for all.
    I believe you do most of these things or you couldn’t write like you do! Thanks for stopping by I appreciate it!
    I know exactly what you mean. That’s why is never good to go it alone. When I get stuck it’s because I can’t see the whole picture. I need input and insights from others.


    Mary B Sheffield September 1, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hi Tess ,
    There is an enormous value to your list ! I feel there is so many life lessons
    in the words .
    It is about being the best you can be and bringing out the best in all you meet.
    The worlds best teacher always finds at least one reason to praise the naughtiest of children every day . And before you know it the childs personality can change.
    We have the power to change our world around us one tiny step at a time.
    Be Thankful for what we have , not to long for what we want or had in the past.
    Thanks Tess
    Mary B


    Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord September 1, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Holy cats, that was a whopper of a post. It’s the type of thing I’d expect to read in a high-falutin magazine and cut out, so I could post it on my refrigerator.
    The ones I really resonated with were:
    - “if you have air in your lungs, it’s a good day” — when I’m having a tough time feeling grateful I start with something as basic as that: I’m alive.
    - there’s no hierarchy of pain — what a simple and effective way to put that. There have been many times when I’ve thought, “It could be worse, Megan. Keep it together, for heaven’s sake.” But as you pointed out, pain hurts and there’s never a need to justify grieving a loss of any kind.
    - Living simply — I’m trying to do this more and more. I ask myself, “Do I really need that?” And usually the answer is “No.” Besides, as other posts you’ve written so beautifully illustrate, the best things in life are free. For me they’re mostly experiences shared with another person or by myself out in nature.

    Mmm, this post is one I need to read again and savor. I appreciate the way your mind works, Tess!


    Tess The Bold Life September 1, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks for leaving your insights hear. They are important to me and I always enjoy what you share.

    Thanks for the praise! I love your first line. What a compliment. I know you walk your talk and pass on joy to everyone you come in contact with. Living simply…like you with other people and anything in nature. We are almost out of the triple digits here in AZ. I’m so looking forward to hiking again. I’ve also decided to get a bike!
    How cool is that… and how blessed I am!


    jonathan figaro September 1, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Believing in oneself is a great way to achieve your goals. At the end of the day only you can really create the life you truly deserve for yourself with belief that it is possible. You have to feel the internal inkling to push fears aside and move towards your goals daily for effective success. Discovering how to think positive is a great way to establish a solid base for further progression.

    Without progression, your mind will become stagnant. Imagine, not begin able to grown mentally? Living a life of mediocrity because you have chosen not to run with the wolves,but cower with the sheep’s? A weak belief in ones self can creates such a reality. So here is how you can become more than a poster on a wall but a kite in the sky.

    Start believing in yourself. This may sound easy , but the mental shift takes time. Allow yourself to think different about who you are and what you have accomplished. Asking your self key questions can bring out strength within your thoughts. The tougher questions you ask yourself, with honest answers the more you will clear the fog over your mind. Begin to judge yourself with sincerity and truth. As you begin to unfold the layer of false fabrication between your ears, life will begin to peel its layer also.


    andrea September 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    great list tess! and your blog is fantastic, nice to meet you :)


    Daphne @ Joyful Days September 1, 2009 at 5:16 pm


    I liked the way ‘Look for good’ was immediately followed by ‘Do good.’ Made me smile and remember that if we can’t find good, create it! Lovely list to live by.


    Avani Mehta September 1, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    Beautiful ideas. Each of them can add so much to our lives. I especially liked the ‘Accept all invitations.’ point – the best gift is one which is most heartfelt – money doesn’t matter.


    inspirational thoughts - stephen September 1, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    “Step up all principles you believe in. ”
    I think this one and the practical one of living simply is the most important. In the worst of times, it takes faith perseverance and honesty to truly make it through. You cannot allow yourself to succumb to the doubt and insecurity that is prevelant in a lot of the world today. It is in these hard times that we can really exercize our faith


    Karen Chaffee September 1, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    This comes at such the right time for me, and I am sure, for many.

    Thank you, Tess.



    Ann-Marie Fagan September 1, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    Hi there Tess
    Choose your attitude, contribute at your level, be gentle on yourself and be supported. What gems!!!
    When my ‘little voice’ is going off on a tangent, shutting me down and giving me a hard time, it really helps to have another perpective. Wilma, my buddy keeps me in check and ensures that I look after me when I can’t. She gently points it out so I get freedom. In a place of freedom I can then choose.
    As you say ‘Never give up. Ask friends and family for help’
    Thanks for that Tess


    Caity September 1, 2009 at 8:10 pm

    Great list. What fantastic things to remember in our walk through life.


    Tess The Bold Life September 2, 2009 at 7:21 am

    Thanks for such a long response! I find your heart is really in being positive and appreciate you answer. It’s so true, how can one go for their dreams if filled with negativity and low self-esteem. Impossible.

    This paragraph really touched me.
    “Living a life of mediocrity because you have chosen not to run with the wolves,but cower with the sheep’s? A weak belief in ones self can creates such a reality. So here is how you can become more than a poster on a wall but a kite in the sky.”

    Oh how I want to be a kite in the sky forever. A bright and shining one with bold colors! Make room for me causse I’ll see you up there. It’s our turn to fly!

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment. I’ll be over to your blog today!

    I didn’t think of that but I love that. If we can’t find good create good. That’s another post! You rock…thanks for that insight.

    Yes I loved that one as well. CJ is a great friend, she told me she was doing that.

    Yes those two 1. step up your principles and 2. living simply can take us amazing places. Oh the places we’ll go…

    I agree with you. If there’s anything I can do to help let me know, my friend!

    You are both blessed with each other’s wisdom. I happy to know the both of you and look forward to our friendship.


    Karl Staib - Work Happy Now September 2, 2009 at 7:40 am

    Letting go is my favorite advice on this list. I’ve been working on letting go and it’s hard. Letting go of thoughts and feelings has been a difficult practice. My ego tells me to hold on.

    I need to get back and start practicing again. It’s all about two steps forward and one steps back. Whenever I feel myself holding on I bring myself back to the present and just breathe.


    Peggy September 2, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Tess – this is so awesome!

    I just posted part one of a personal essay called “Silver Linings” – when I discovered I’d lose my hair AND gain weight during chemotherapy, I gave myself a pity party (no one came) and then fairly quickly mentally dope slapped myself and made a list of all the things that I did have that cancer could never take from me.

    Your sister’s comment about being able to breathe really resonated with me as I read your post!



    Joy September 2, 2009 at 11:29 am


    I don’t know how, but the very areas I am concentrating on in my life are the one you address each week in your post. How encouraging, and such refreshing reminders–thank you:)

    Believe in yourself.
    Step up all principles you believe in.
    Let Go.

    As for accept all invitations–I’ve practiced that in the last few months and it has really enriched my life with experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I have just decided to accept all miracles (I’m a great giver but not a good receiver so that is big for me). I think it’s all right there, you just have to be open to it. And miracles have happened in the last few days. What you focus on blossoms.


    Evita September 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    What a beautiful list Tess!

    You got me thinking about the invitations one, that is a good one!

    I am grateful for being able to incorporate most of these into my life today. As I like to say, there really are no tough times, just opportunities. And no matter what opportunity presents itself, there is a gift in it as well.

    And if something should really be extra unpleasant, frustrating, etc, I live by the last words you included “and this too shall pass”. It is so true, it always does.


    Jannie Funster September 2, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    The story of the lone yellow rose touched me deeply. We always have something to give.

    Wonderful Tess list, as usual. Thank you.

    I’ve got a post draft of linking to 10 touching moving posts and you just know at least one of yours will be on it, and if it becomes a series I bet you will be on it every time.



    Patricia September 2, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Great list and good thinking revealed. One of the the things I am repeating to myself lately is that, I have always paid my bills before and I will keep doing it now – just in a new way.

    Letting go is so hard – and sometimes when I am being the most successful that which I am letting go of – pops it’s head in the door….I usually have to start again.

    Thank you dear one for sharing such a dear message.


    Mark September 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Excellent advice to live by!


    Tess The Bold Life September 2, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    I understand Letting Go is Difficult. If it wasn’t none of us would have anything to let go of. It’s a process so go easy on yourself. I’m excited to get to know you better!

    I commented on your Silver Lining…you are an inspiration and model for us all!
    You go Peggy!

    I’m still trying to figure out how to leave a comment on your blog! You are living an amazing life. I think you would have more commenters if you could some how make it easier for people like me! If you read this leave me a clue and I’ll comment!

    Then the title could be Bold Actions for Unasked for Opportunities? But I can hear you saying, “We ask for everything we receive.” So Evita my new friend what could I rename this post?!? I’m looking forward to getting to know you better.

    Your so wonderful to me. I’m blessed, honored and grateful to know you!

    I understand completely. We only have to remember this too shall pass over and over. Did AA come up with that line? Who ever did it’s a good one.


    Tess The Bold Life September 2, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    I missed you somehow. Thanks so much for the compliment and for stopping by. I’m grateful.


    Jan Lundy September 2, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Tess you are terrific, as usual! Great list. I love each one. My fave might be look for the good. Nothing works better for me than a healthy exercise in gratitude. Focus on what is right, rather than wrong.

    I also love the advice offered by activist Frances Moore Lappe that I gleaned from an interview I did with her. “Just move.” Meaning, don’t be paralyzed with fear or worry. Just do something. Anything! Even sweep the floor. Just don’t sit there and mope or kavetch. When something tough comes to my door, I often say this to myself, “Just move!” Thanks for cheering us on! xo


    Walter September 3, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Such a powerful list. Oftentimes, when I’m facing the toughness of every living I sometimes forget to see the good things in life. I always forget to count my blessings. Thank you for reminding me here. :-)


    Tess The Bold Life September 3, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Just move! Well isn’t that the best and simplest advice I’ve heard for a while. Just move! It’s now my plan when I’m into fear. And yes gratitude is always an answer. One can never go in the wrong direction with gratitude. Never!

    Come by anytime for any reminders you want. I’m delighted you’re here!


    CJ September 3, 2009 at 7:54 am

    Thanks Tess, that all meant a lot right now in the midst of moving from my home to our new appt. I am working at keeping possative but I have also broken down a few times too. Letting go of things has been emotional but also good. It is exhausting to feel both at the same time.
    Miss you,


    Hilda September 3, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Wonderful list – I loved it all! But like Karl, the letting go bit jumped out at me the most. “Think of what you have not of what you had.” Even in times of plenty this is a key lesson to remember – focussing our attention on what we don’t have will always deplete our happiness, whereas focussing on what we do have gives an immediate boost! And as you so rightly concluded – everything is temporary, so no point in getting attached to any of it, the good or the bad.


    Amanda Linehan September 3, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Hi Tess – My favorite two sentences in this post:
    “There is no hierarchy of pain. Be gentle on yourself.” Well said. :)


    Caroline September 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Live simply, do good, let go…all things to do even if we have plenty! I love how you just make us all think. I love coming here and then leaving a better person. Thank you Tess!


    Omar September 3, 2009 at 10:40 pm

    This too shall pass is a true testament to life. We can get caught up in circumstances that are temporary instead of looking at the bigger picture. I know I do this. I’m still learning and growing.


    Tess September 4, 2009 at 9:07 am

    What you’re doing is about loss and letting go. I’m sure it’s bringing up a lot. Roll with it, be gentle with yourself and new doors will be opening soon!

    Yes I believe the “letting go” lesson is universal at this time. Non-attachment is a key to happiness. We are human so it’s a process!

    I’ll never forget the day I heard that when working as a therapist. It made such perfect sense and it allows for one to feel their pain and not feel quilty.

    Thanks for your compliment. It’s my pleasure and I love the way you have us look at the world through your photos. We compliment each other, I believe.

    I do it too and I think we’re all still growing…hopefully. You’re not alone.


    jenn September 11, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Tess you are amazing!!! Just amazing! What fantastic advise! I’m going to pass this on to a few a friends (no worries i’ll link it to here lol) but soooo true! thank you thank you thank you!!!!!
    jenn´s last post…A lot… My ComLuv Profile


    janice September 15, 2009 at 4:09 am

    I’m enjoying going through your archives this past month, Tess. You really have been on a roll! Another wonderful post.
    janice´s last post…The House of the Thousand Horrormoans My ComLuv Profile


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