What another odd year 2021 has already been. We are moving through spring and toward summer, and each of us could tell stories about adjusting to change. Uncertainty and questions and confusion seem to be traveling with us.

As we continue in this adventure of life in 2021, here are a few questions to ask and thoughts to consider: 

*What are practical ways you would advise yourself to notice what you normally ignore?

*What are practical ways you would advise yourself to ignore what you normally worry too much about?

*Take a walk through your house. Slowly. Notice what you often ignore.

*Yes, relationships are risky. And painful. And reminders of previous pains. But they are crucial to becoming who we should be. Let’s not avoid relational risk. Let’s invest in the lives of those around us.

*How does pain from past relationships inhibit your willingness to pursue relationships?

*What suggestions would you offer to yourself about becoming better at investing in relationships?

*This month, this week, today: think of your story. Your conflict, your resolution. Your pain, your victory. Your dreams, your hopes. Your past, your future. Think of your story.

*Believe in a bright future. Maybe your previous chapters did not finish well. Maybe your dreams did not come true. Maybe your questions found no answers. But, today, turn the page. Open a new life chapter. Begin a new story. Guide the story with faith and hope and love.

*Think of these three acts: REALIZING, RECEIVING, RELEASING. Enter the drama. Realize and receive who you are. Release what is holding you back from becoming who you can be. Believe in the story. And believe the story will end well.

*Spend time with a family member or a friend.

*Discuss experiences of life that remind you of joy.

*Find healthy, clean, appropriate ways to laugh together.

*Instead of thinking about school seasons beginning and ending, rather than viewing graduation and degrees as times of conclusion, let us remain enrolled in the class of life. By reading a book and discussing an idea, we can continue pursuing diplomas of depth and understanding.

—These thoughts are from various chapters in the book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life, One Word at a Time