I must admit, while ideas for articles usually flow through me in a flurry, I have been trying to decide what to focus on for my next article feature for several days. With still nothing really resonating, I took a moment to playfully bemoan this fact to my incredible husband over our protein shake breakfast this morning. With a cute little smirk and a yummy smooch on his way out the door, he said, "Oh, just write about my Big Old Puffy Toe."

I giggled as I reflected on his poor puffed-up pinky toe and said, "I just might! Your little toe may be the very inspiration I need."

"Of course it is," he smiled and gave me one more kiss goodbye.

Though he was teasing, here I sit; pondering his cute little puffy toe. I remember how the whole toe issue began. Gene had started noticing that his toe felt like it was "ON FIRE" (his words) almost a year ago. It just seemed to worsen over time, so he finally decided to go to a podiatrist. He learned that a tendon in his toe was slowly contracting and pulling his pinky toe under his other toes. So he was smashing it under all his body weight every time he walked on it. Ouch!

The Doctor said that they could fix this with a minor surgery in which they would snip that tendon to help release the toe to a more natural position. The only thing is, as in most choices, there were pros and cons to consider. If they did snip the tendon, the toe would be slightly floppy comparatively for the rest of his life (without the tendon to keep it in place). The poor little toe would also be quite puffy throughout the duration of the healing process. Not to mention that the swelling could take up to a year or so to go down. Yuck - more toe smashing!

In the end, as you've likely guessed, Gene opted for the tendon snipping; hence the puffy toe. And while the toe feels a bit odd and is sustaining the predicted plump and slightly limp demeanor, he is much more comfortable than he would have been if he hadn't made the choice to relieve the tension of the contracting tendon.

The moral of this story is: While there is often a price involved in releasing tension in our lives, the pay-off is often very much worth it.

In coaching we call these unpleasant tensions "tolerations" and they can take all forms. None of us are exempt from experiencing the tensions created by our "tolerations." The trick is recognizing when and what we are tolerating as quickly as possible so that we can make a conscious choice to accept, change, or remove the particular tension from our lives.

So my friend, what are you tolerating? What tensions are being created by you allowing these tolerations to remain as a part of your life? Consider your home environment: Do you have piles and messes or half-done projects that taunt you every time you walk by? Take a look at your relationships: Are you dealing with family, friends or colleagues that constantly drain your energy? Finally, take a look at your life: Are you living and working in alignment with your deepest core values? Are you living authentically and joyfully? Or, are you constantly stressed out or just "getting by"?

Take a moment to clearly and deeply reflect upon every area of your life and make a list of the tolerations that you recognize as situations you are "putting up with." Once you have your list take a few moments and decide what you can (or want) to do to effectively relieve these tensions.

1. Do you want to accept the things you are currently tolerating? For example, that unfinished project may be something you choose not to do anything about right now. But in that acceptance you give yourself permission to walk by it and be glad that it is started and that it will be there when you're ready to focus your attention back on it in the future.

2. Do you want to change the situation you are tolerating? Perhaps you need to respectfully decline that dinner invitation with the person that drains your energy and seek to develop new friendships with people who build you up.

3. Do you want to remove the toleration completely? Maybe you just need to dig in and complete that project; find new work that feeds your soul, or find completely new and healthier methods of self-care that take the place of things that aren't working for you.

As you can see, every movement you make toward eliminating tension in your life will hold within it both choices and outcomes. Some of the choices are simple while others are more profound. The outcomes of those choices however, can be, and often are, life changing.

As you take powerful steps towards eliminating the tensions in your life, consider my sweetie’s Big Old Puffy Toe. Remember that through every choice, every step you take toward eliminating unnecessary tolerations (and thus tension) in your life, the more room you make for true peace, abundant beauty and authentic joy.

I bid you a joyful farewell with this timely advice:

"Life is too short and too wonderful to waste time doing things you really don't want to be doing." - Bruce Isaacs

Author's Bio: 

Angel Hale is Founder and Owner of two powerful businesses: Leading Ladies and ACCES. She is a recognized Personal Life Coach and acclaimed motivational Speaker.

She is a masterful resource that you can tap into today!

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