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Believe In Yourself

How many times have you heard, “Believe in yourself?”

If you begin at the very beginning, your self concept begins from the day you are born and continues to build as the days go by. The important people in your life, especially your parents or a teacher, can have great bearing on the formation of your personal identity. Whether or not you have low self-esteem issues, or perhaps you have a hard time expressing your opinions or standing up for yourself, you are a person with the ability to recognize any perceived short-comings you have. You also have the power to decide to change.

When I was young and in the above-mentioned state, I read Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. I came to many realizations as I read this book. I could see the common sense of it. I began to implement some changes. My husband at that time did not like the idea at all. In fact, he tore up my book into confetti-sized pieces, threw them at me as he exclaimed: “You cannot be a person because you are my wife!” Did the marriage last? No, because once I knew I could stand on my own two feet with the ability to make new choices, the situation was untenable.

If I were to look in a mirror today all these years later, I can celebrate because I married a man who truly wanted an intelligent mate who can think, act, and be the person I need to be – even while I am working with him, side by side, in harmony traces. (This is like a pair of horses, pulling a wagon, where the strengths of one aids the weaknesses of the other and vice versa, pulling the load equally.)

When I was a senior in high school (many years ago), I took Speech. Of course, I had to speak in front of the class. The person sitting in the first desk could not have really heard me – no projection, shy, slow of speech, etc. However, as I began to age, I discovered that I can be in a room of any size and be able to have everyone hear me without the aid of the microphone. How is this possible? It happened because I discovered that I could begin to unwrap my God-given gifts that I was born with and learn to use them to benefit myself and others.

When I was in elementary school, an art teacher, Mrs. Able, told me to never attempt to do anything in the art field. I was crushed and did not attempt any form of art for a long time. A few years back, I took an art class on my lunch break. My teacher made me promise to finish and frame my pencil drawing of a Norwhal, a collage I titled “Quietness,” and another collage in blue titled “Flight.” He told me I could put my works on  display in any gallery in town. So I ask you, “What made the difference?”

The answer is simple: I discovered some of the gifts that I possess and did, indeed, learn to use them. My self definition changed from “I can’t!” to either “I can!” or “I want to try something new.”

You, too, can discover that you are a unique human being with many gifts inside of you which need unwrapping. The words, “Believe In Yourself” take on new meaning as you find what you are capable of doing. As you begin to set aside the old tape recordings of how incapable you are, the more you begin to actually live your life more fully. You can decide to make new choices instead of rehashing old memories/words or beliefs.

The only question remaining is: Are you willing? It is, after all, entirely within your capabilities to recognize that a change is needed. Then you find out that just the process of recognizing that a change is needed actually begins a synergy that can carry you forward as far as you want to go.

God’s blessings upon your journey!

believe-in-yourself-kitty believe-in-yourself be-yourself how-do-i-see-myselfn attitude

 

 

Fear

F is for Forever

E is for Evading

A is for Another

R is for Reality

Forever Evading Another Reality

Does this acronym speak to you? It explained a lot to me in my life and in how others experience FEAR.

The worst part of FEAR is that it is immobilizing, whether it is real (Is that a bear up ahead?) or an illusion (all the “What if’s” you can think about).

Fear always has a companion, WORRY. These two serve to make one’s imagination run wild. The more you concentrate on what you do not want to happen, the more these two become a driving force in your decisions.

Question: Why would one consciously put so much effort into something you do NOT want to happen when you could use that same energy to be constructive, formulating a better outcome?

Do you feel “stuck” in a situation that is harmful to you, your personal growth, your life? Is it because of FEAR and WORRY? These two are thieves that steal your potential good from you.

ANSWER: Only you can take action to make a better choice. You have to look at your daily life and see what you need to change.

FEAR and WORRY create a vortex which leads to nowhere. Are you willing to keep it going? How does it serve you?

If it does not help you to create a new synergy with a better goal, you are simply marking time.

Time is the one thing you cannot buy back. No amount of effort will bring you more of it. Life is so very short. Each moment needs to be spent wisely and well in lieu of languishing in a “Woe is me!”

Your history is just that: History, as in gone, as in cannot be changed. Each second becomes history, quickly.

Are you willing to keep spinning your wheels, or do you want more? If you do, now is the time to begin it.

The Chinese have a saying, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

Are you willing to look for a step towards a new beginning? Exit the quagmire of quicksand and begin anew. You have the power. Use it.

God’s blessings upon your journey. Remember that destinations are good to aim for, but enjoy each moment of your NOW.

better choices Change my tomorrows Do not stay where you are Past & future one step at a time

 

Do You “Push the River?”

One example of “Pushing the River” is: Have you ever been in a hurry to drive somewhere and getting really irritated at stop lights and pokey drivers? That is an example of “Pushing the River.” The fix is simple: be where you are, concentrating on the moment.

Perhaps things are not going according to your plans, or something unexpected happens to delay you. These are examples of “Pushing the River” because you are getting upset, excited, or angry about whatever it is. However, the answer is always the same: Be in the moment, experiencing your life and resolving the situation.

It sounds pretty simple, yet it can be as complicated as you make it. Life will go on, either way.

But the more you experience negative emotions (upset, angry, irritation, etc.), the less livingness you have. You are giving your power away to others and to situations that are, obviously, not under your control. Your response is your life expressing.

Have you taken the time to analyze yourself: Are you a Type A personality or Type B?

Type A personalities (per Wikipedia) are “ambitious, rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, sensitive, impatient, take on more than they can handle, want other people to get to the point, anxious, proactive, and concerned with time management. People with Type A personalities are often high-achieving workaholics, push themselves with deadlines, and hate both delays and ambivalence…Dangerous Type A behavior is expressed through three major symptoms: (1) free-floating hostility, which can be triggered by even minor incidents; (2) time urgency and impatience, which causes irritation and exasperation – usually described as being short-fused; and (3) a competitive drive, which causes stress and an achievement-driven mentality.”

Type B personalities (again per Wikipedia) are “noted to live at lower stress levels. They typically work steadily, and may enjoy achievement, although they have a greater tendency to disregard physical or mental stress when they do not achieve. When faced with competition, they may focus less on winning or losing than their Type A counterparts and more on enjoying the game regardless of winning or losing. Unlike the Type A personality’s rhythm of multi-tasked careers, Type B individuals are sometimes attracted to careers of creativity: writer, counselor, therapist, actor or actress. However, network and computer systems managers, professors, and judges are more likely to be Type B individuals as well. Their personal character may enjoy exploring ideas and concepts. They are often reflective, and think of the outer and inner world.”

It is readily apparent that Type B personalities are more relaxed and approach problems differently than Type A personalities. You can sense the wear and tear that Type A people experience. Can you recognize your traits as more of one of these than the other? It is possible to be a mix, of course. But it is the predominance of one over the other which can rule each day.

Pushing the River is like a Commandment: Thou shalt do this or else! “My way or the highway” people have less flexibility in living and choices that they see from their frame of reference. Every other possibility is nixed before they become aware of such an idea. Can you see how limiting that can be?

Would you rather be relaxed, floating on an inner tube, paddling at will than be on a Class V river rafting trip? Life can be hard enough without starting out every day with a Class V. Wouldn’t you agree?

Can you get the sense of flowing with life’s experiences each day, seeing where it takes you? Yes, there are things that need doing – in their time. Nothing wrong with that idea. It’s just proceeding as if you have a guided tour vs. a Tour de France push. Can you sense the difference?

Are you willing to look at your daily choices to begin to make some required changes so you can live with less stress, anxiety, and anger? It is, after all, your choices that will make a new beginning for you. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Life well lived

Change the Inside

Love – Reflection or Reality?

Today is Valentine’s Day – a time when most people find  a way to let others know how very much they care. Some use flowers, cards, and candy. Some cook a nice meal or eat out. Others find it is a day of loneliness because they are feeling separated, alone, and unhappy. Which category do you fall into?

Love has been described by many words, trying to express the emotions and thoughts which come tumbling through. In the end, words cannot encompass how one feels inside because there is such a distance between the head and the heart.

Is Love a Reflection in you, or Reality? If it is a Reflection, it is like an image in a mirror that one tries to copy. However, copies do not work very well because it originates in the head. If it is a Reality, the look in your eyes in the mirror, the smile on your lips, and the lift in your step comes through before you speak. The heart is expressing itself in Joy.

Yes, life can dim that Love expression, but it cannot remove it completely. The embers of that fire remain.

There are many illusions out there that can create feelings: Passion by itself burns brightly, but then is more easily lost; Hugs and Kisses feel good always – yet they are actually temporal; Gentle Touching can make one aroused, until sexual intercourse satisfies the longings. The plain truth is that it always ends sometime. The feelings themselves can cause confusion because men and women think they are Reality. When the feelings fade, they move on to the next stimulation. The problem is that satisfaction cannot be found there either.

Love as a Reality is present in every moment of every day. It is a State of Being, present always regardless of time and distance, life or death. It is like Light – shining outward to others and receiving their Light as well. Specific and Random Acts of Kindness pour forth. With that Light comes Respect and Friendship. They are inseparable.

Friendship is a key element of relationships. It has been observed that many people treat acquaintances better than they do their mates. That is a most strange phenomenon. Your mate should be your very best friend and treated accordingly.

In daily life, attitudes of barriers like “me” and “them” create situations that would not otherwise occur. Conflicts arise, causing stress and unhappiness for all. Perhaps it is time to take a look at that in order to find a different way to interact.

Many times, one may hear: “learn to love yourself first.” Jesus stated, “Love thy neighbor AS thyself.” Somehow, many people do not recognize the simplicity of those words. He did not say, “INSTEAD OF Thyself.”  Personal growth gurus have stated for years, “Begin in the morning, look in the mirror, wrap your arms around yourself and state: I Love You while looking in the mirror.” Sounds like a great idea to me. It is a start in the right direction, at the very least

“Love is a strange thing.

It is a flower, so delicate

that a touch will bruise it

and so strong that nothing can stop its growth.

Think how often we miss love in a life time —

by a wrong gesture,

by an unspoken word,

by not keeping silent at the right time.

We lose it by the interference of others,

by a lack of money and communication,

by a quarrel over a trifle,

and yet

we cannot live without it.”

Author unknown

May we decide today to Love in Reality in lieu of Reflection, spreading acts of kindness daily. Are you willing?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

 

 

Problem Solving

Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Sound familiar? So , how do you begin to change so you will get a better end result? One thought at a time. Sounds silly, but is, nonetheless, true.

Every day, life presents us with situations/lessons in disguise. How you respond to them is entirely up to you, your thought processes, your emotions, and your choices. Sometimes, we feel that circumstances dictate our responses, which can be partially true. I am not referring to “exiting a burning building” or “danger–run!” I am discussing things like an escalating argument where one participates in that escalation. Nowhere is it written that one must respond in kind till a situation gets out of hand. One can always withdraw from the room, decide to keep silent, or even listen with a verbal acknowledgement of what the other person is stating (which is the best way to defuse it according to Anger Management techniques). My Golden Rule which I have used successfully for many years: It takes two to fight – if one is unwilling, it cannot happen.

I am not addressing abuse situations where a victim and an abuser, either through emotional or physical actions, fuse into a deadly dance. Professional help is needed in those cases.

There are situations where we choose our response because of exterior demands: Working with a person with Dementia, sickness, disability, etc. We modify our own words through training, caring, or loving response.

Problem solving can begin as a written exercise, where one sits down with pen and paper (or computer or other electronic device) with the intent of brain-storming ideas for solutions. Then you take each item and contemplate its positive and negative merits. It may take time to really think it through. It can be as complicated or as simple as you make it. It may take several tries to come up with something you are ready, willing, and able to do. Just remember, you need to know that a resolution exists and you can find it, use it, and release that problem through whatever action you deem appropriate.

Just endlessly talking about a problem with numerous people does not change it. In fact, it can magnify it. The more you think about it without any solution that you can believe in, the more it becomes a permanent resident. If that is what you want, keep talking. If not, begin to look for a way to resolve it.

Life is a precious thing. It is more than an endless conundrum of existence, like a hamster in a squirrel cage, going round and round endlessly. One must come up with a different idea if you want out of said cage.

How do you begin? Answer: One step at a time.

Most situations do not change overnight. Yet, persistent effort to accomplish a different outcome does not go unrewarded. Every little bit begins a new synergy, which in and of itself, can accomplish more than going around in that cage another time. It is worthy of your thoughts so that you might find a new way to live.

Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

 

Small Steps

Small Steps

 

Getting Ready for 2016

Such an excellent idea! Negative things, no matter how big or small, need your time to write down and contemplate. Change does not come in huge sizes. They actually begin like a snowball at the top of a hill – small and then growing in size as it rolls down. If you do want some changes in your life, then you need to look at the elements of what is needed to accomplish these. It is well worthy of your time and effort.

Warmest wishes as you begin your journey into the New Year, 2016!

God bless your every effort.

Thankfulness

As I contemplate Thankfulness, I realize that it is an optimistic quality. It renders a feeling of lightness and levity. There is no room for pessimism here.

Life itself can give one a sense of heaviness and darkness. Perhaps prayer is not a tool for you to help you get through negative happenings. Another one of the tools – Meditation – to aid in changing consciousness is not thought about as a possibility. Goal orientation is as remote as the moon because “just make it through the day” is on your mind.

How then can one begin to arrive at a better place in mind? Smile! It lifts the spirit. It is a beginning.

Look around you. What are you grateful for? No mater how small, one can find something. Are you breathing? Is your heart beating? Do you have a roof over your head and food for your tummy? Life is in your every cell.

I, for one, am glad that I have so many wonderful friends and loving family members, both immediate and extended. I have once again achieved fairly good health, and I am able to deal with the foibles of this body as it ages. I have so much to be grateful for. I have already written my thank you note to God, expressing my gratitude. Have you? It is a great way to “get in tune” with all that is good in your life, accentuating the blessing and lessening the effects of the trials and tribulations that our existence brings on this “Third Rock from the Sun.”

If you try it, perhaps you will have a new perspective, which you can then expand on as time unfolds for you.

Are you willing? Your efforts can exponentially grow, making tremendous changes possible for you.

Three things to remember as you go forward: Take life day by day; Be grateful for the little things; and Don’t get stressed over what you can’t control.

God’s blessings upon your journey! May it be filled with Life, Peace, Love, Joy, Truth, Beauty, Laughter, Light, and Happiness!

Be grateful Think 3 things 2 b thankful 4 be thankful Be thankful for Life

 

Awareness

As I left Walmart recently, I looked to the east and saw the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen! It was so bright and clear as the sun was setting. Beneath the rainbow was a light blue sky. Above the rainbow was a darker, cloud-filled sky. Above that was a mystery rainbow that was almost there but not quite. What an amazing sight it was! I do wish I had my camera with me so I could capture it, but it was placed instead in my heart, mind, and memory as clearly as if I had taken a picture.

My point is that, if my mind had been busy on some problem, I probably would not have had the Awareness to see the Beauty in my surroundings in that moment of time.

Does your mind play tricks on you as well? We are so caught up in our thought processes that the Present just slips by, unnoticed. I wonder how much Beauty we miss every day?

What if one is so caught up in an electronic gadget that you remain unaware of anything but the screen? That happens more often as the technology produces even greater toys for us to play with.

Awareness and Focus are actually the same thing. How about you? What do you keep in your attention zone? Is it worthwhile? Or is it just entertainment?

While you are experiencing it, are you aware of time passing? You turn around and an hour, day or week have passed you by. Time is something you cannot buy back. Once it is gone, it becomes irretrievable except in your memory.

In short, Awareness is a valuable tool for you to experience your Present. Are you willing to consider this idea?  It is well worth it.

God bless you on your journey!

Life is short - carpe diem

Life is short – carpe diem

 

S — — T Happens!

S — — T Happens! Good Happens. These sayings are both true. We see them on car bumpers and on walls. Have you given them any thought at all? Do you just react to the bad stuff, without analyzing it? When good things happen to you, are you joy-filled? Sometimes, we are reluctant to enjoy that moment because we fear that something worse is just around the corner. Which one are you?

It has been wisely stated that it is not what happens to you that counts – it is how you REACT to what happens. When you get knocked down by incidents in your life, do you get back up again? Or do you “stay down for the count?” Do you nurse your emotional and physical wounds by proclaiming loudly to anyone who will listen to your statements about how bad your life sucks? If you do, you may find few who will listen to your sad tale for long.

It is a very true statement that: “What you think about/emotionalize over multiplies exponentially.” Is that what you want?

The questions then arise, “How can I pick myself up and get on with my life? Do I just pretend nothing happened? How can I change my reaction to the bad stuff?”

Answers can come to you slowly or in a flash. Your answers are personal to you. Awareness is the beginning of change.

Perhaps a class will come to your attention about your particular problem, or maybe a sermon, friend, or magazine will catch your eye. You will have an “AHA!” moment and begin to focus on something else.

Beauty surrounds us in many forms. When I have had very sad times in my life, I found that, if I went outside into nature, I became more peaceful. Bird song and twitters, flowers, walking barefooted in the sand at the edge of the surf, a nice long bath, reading a good book, listening to the breeze rustle the leaves of the trees, etc., enabled me to pick myself up again. In short, just anything that makes you feel better is a key to changing you from feeling like a victim to helping you deal with whatever happened.

Life is not an unending story of happiness. It is just moments of joy that your attention can spread to fill your days. Bad stuff occurs in all of our lives. Again, how you choose to react to what happens will determine if you “let the bitter root grow” in your heart, contaminating every moment of your days OR if you decide to not dwell on it, deal with the repercussions/consequences if there are any, and see where you go from there.

In my own life, I have had tremendous sorrows, many of which I did not think I could endure, from death and injury of loved ones, feelings of separation and loneliness, losses in many forms, etc . I have had many physical challenges over the years which have required physical therapy, pain pills, and medicines. I have had to change my vocation, which I loved. I had to find a way to deal with the pain so that my personality, which is optimistic, would not darken into pessimism. It is a natural flow if one stays with the problem but does not seek a better answer. Luckily, I have found many answers that help me stay optimistic, some of which are listed above.

Each person is different, however. You need to find your own way of dealing with S — — T till you can turn it into fertilizer for new growth.

Are you willing?

God bless you on your journey!

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Surfing Master, Waikiki, HI

Day Lilies

Day Lilies

Your response makes a difference

 

 

 

 

Do Feelings Pray?

The question arises: “Do Feelings Pray?

Some would reply, “What an absurd thought!” Some would think, “How could this be true?” Others would agree wholeheartedly. How about you? What reaction do you have to those three words?

That is the telling tale in how you live your life.

If you would be the first one (“What an absurd thought!”), your reality is based on what you can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, taste with your taste buds, touch with your hands, etc. Is that all there is? Nope! In fact, so much of our reality is just our perception of things, not the real hard facts about things. There is so much more to life than this.

If you are the second response (How could this be true?), you want a bona fide answer to all of life’s myriad questions. Some would say, “You are from Missouri – Show me, Prove it, etc.” Unfortunately, taking something on faith is not within your possibilities. The quandaries your mind must go through are endless.

If you are of the third type who would agree wholeheartedly, you have been able to work through some of life’s most troubling problems successfully.

Why? Because feelings begin in the unseen world of thoughts, rising up from that well deep within your being. Your Spirit resides here. Your Consciousness lives here.

Most people think that outer situations command a response – be it anger, bitterness, love, laughter, etc. Yes, there are messy situations outside of us. There are people on this planet whose main goal in life is to make others miserable. Yet there are others who are working for the highest good of all. There are so many in between these two extremes.

As for you: Have you laughed lately? Have you smiled? Are you “down in the dumps, thinking that life sucks without end!”

Have you given your power away to someone else who may be bent on making you incredibly sad? What do I mean when I say, “given your power away?” Just precisely that. Your interaction level with that person is solely within their control because you let it happen. If you want something badly enough from that person, he/she can manipulate you at will. Is it worth it? Only you can answer that question.

Feelings are precious. They are the seed of your tomorrows. If you plant feelings of sheer misery, how can you hope to grow plants of laughter and good things coming to you?

One must be always aware of what you are emotionalizing about because those emotions then quantify, multiply, and bring more. If it is good stuff, great! If not, guess what kind of crop you will receive? You got it. In other words, if you emotionalize over what you DO NOT WANT, you are sure to get exactly that! Is that really what you want? Doubt it. That can never change unless you do.

Outer situations cannot control you unless you let them. The difference is between ACT and REACT.

When you REACT to a situation, you are giving your power away. When you look at what is going on, analyze it, and think about how you want to ACT in response to it, you maintain your sense of  awareness. You actually DECIDE on an appropriate action in lieu of getting angry, saying mean things (which you cannot take back), or getting physical. Even SILENCE maintains a powerful influence on the outcome of events, especially if you cannot decide what to say or do in this instance.

It is OUTER vs. INNER. Some people would pray about it first before responding. Others would rather scream and yell. It leads to no good end, but so many use this response, it does make you wonder.

How about you? If you are pondering some of life’s events, both good and bad, where is the balance of your emotions? Are you feeling PEACE, GRATITUDE and THANKFULNESS for the good you still have, or is your heart bitter, complaining over all you have lost? Until you can release the latter, you will be unable to see the former. It is as far from you as the East is from the West. In other words, you cannot get there from here.

If you think about the possibility that FEELINGS DO PRAY,  you can begin to change your life for the better. It simplifies a complicated process of personal growth, of which AWARENESS is the Beginning of Change.

It is all up to you, after all. Do you want the sadness of your yesterdays to continue to rule your life now, or is it time to let it all go, turn your attention to this very moment of today, and look for something to be pleased about? Do you want to keep moping around, or do you want to begin to REALLY LIVE your life?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Seedlings

Seedlings

Orchids

Orchids

Maui Sunrise

Maui Sunrise with Rainbow (Promise of Peace)

 

 

 

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