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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

 

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

 

Where Is Your Focus – Problems or Answers?

Your focus is vital to your quality of livingness. Sometimes, situations demand your attention. Life can get really complicated. Answers may appear few and far between. Is there a solution to this conundrum?

Yes: Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians carved columns at the Temple of Karnak. One of those carvings demonstrate a person’s chin moving from looking straight ahead, turning to one side.  In other words, change what you are looking at – the idea of focus.

In the Bible, Matthew 5:39 states: “But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” In my Protestant upbringing, it served to teach me that I should be a rug and let others walk all over me as I was doing a holy act. This is known as Pacifism, which by definition is: “Opposition to the use of force under any circumstances; to not return insult for insult, abuse, or revenge .” Religions have been founded on this idea. However, as I grew up, I woke up one day. I realized that others learn nothing if you let them walk all over you, leaving their footprints on your back.  It was not “a holy act.” In fact, it was a form of violence, harming my spirit. I had to get up off the floor, remove the rug from my back, and stand straight. When others (whom I had trained by accepting their poor behaviors without resistance) tried to repeat their acts, I gently but firmly let them know that I was no longer going to accept it. They, of course, kept trying. (After all, I had trained them well.) Surely, I would eventually respond the way they expected.  (It is like someone puts a coin into a pop machine but does not get a can of pop. That person punches the button harder, thinking it will activate. When it does not, anger accelerates to the point of possibly kicking the machine, etc. ) In order to change the interaction level, the perpetrator eventually has to change his/her actions, accepting that you have changed. If not, he/she leaves. You might lose a supposed friend or two, but you will be better off in the long run because you will attract others who will respect you.

I found that “turning the other cheek” actually goes back to when Joseph was sold into slavery and taken to Egypt. He knew what the teaching was behind the Temple of Karnak carving. If one changes what you are looking at (your focus), you can become more aware of answers and solutions that were excluded by the narrowness of your focus – just like a camera lens – whatever it is focused on appears in the frame, and the rest is excluded. Life is like that.

If you want to stay on the level of the problem, all you have to do is keep thinking, emotionalizing, and talking about it. The more energy you pour into it, the bigger it appears. You are, in fact, turning a mole hill into a mountain no one can climb. You may want someone to rescue you (as you are a victim), saving you from whatever is going on. Fact: The more you claim yourself to be a victim, the more reasons you attract to feel that way. It reinforces itself, always.

How do you break the flow of negative synergy? Change what you are focusing on. It is that simple, and that hard. Habits are hard to break. That includes mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual ones. Awareness is the beginning of change. Realizing that something is not working is the beginning of a new plan of action. Find something that does work for you. Write out a list of possibilities.

The Power of Nonresistance has been glorified by many, but is actually understood by few. In Matthew 5:5, it states, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Meekness, again, is taught to us as: “Patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment; too submissive; easily imposed on; spineless; spiritless.” Here is an idea for you: Meekness actually means “teachable” – the ability to bend with the winds of life so we do not break. Think about it: Can you learn to “bend with the winds” instead of becoming rock-hard in your opinions and actions? Submissiveness and obsequiousness can only lead to more trouble. If you are a person, you need to stand up for what you believe in. You are entitled to respect, safety, and the ability to express your ideas and opinions.

It is a well-known fact that water wears away rock. Just look at the Grand Canyon to confirm that idea. Why does it work so well? Water flows around the rocks. It is the act of flowing that wears the rock away. Can you see that “bending with the winds of life” is the same principle as “water wears away rock?” It is, you know.

Meekness and turning the other cheek actually go hand in hand, after all. Interesting concept, isn’t it? Are you willing to contemplate how you might solve problems in your life by changing your attitudes, actions, and choices?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon, AZ

Grand Canyon - South Rim About Sunset

Grand Canyon – South Rim About Sunset

Grand Canyon - South Rim

Grand Canyon – South Rim

 

 

The Sound of Silence

A few days ago, we were on top of Haleakala Crater on Maui. The sun was warm, and the view of the crater was clear. There was no wind, for a change, and the clouds were far below us.  We stopped by a lookout on the way down from the top. It was there that I heard it: A profound Sound of Silence which touched me deeply. Somewhere inside of me, I heard and felt a stillness that I have never experienced before at this level. It was so peaceful and quiet. I felt so very blessed at receiving this precious gift. The surroundings were not only beautiful and majestic, but it inspired awe in the beholder. The Silversword plant, which only grows there, is wondrous. The clouds were coming straight up from the rain forest far below, like wisps of imagination. It was hard to leave it in order to return to the hustle and bustle far below us, catching our flight home.

I know that it is an oxymoron, for how can Silence have a Sound? Perhaps because it is the exception. Sound is a pollution present in every place inhabited by humans and animals. Some of it is pleasant, like the rustle of leaves in the wind, surf on the seashore, or a waterfall. How about the sound of a child’s laughter or a cat purring? However, most sounds come from our environment: Traffic, horns, overly-loud music, neighbors fighting over some trivial thing, etc. Some we like: a newborn baby’s cry, good music, conversation with a loved one or friend. Others we do not care for much because it is not within our frame of reference. Even when life is a little quieter, there are not many places where one can experience the Sound of Silence.

The stillness in my soul is now present with me, wherever I go. It is like it makes the song of birds more sweet, the flowers more colorful, and  my awareness  is more alive than I ever remember. I know I am more peaceful at the center of my being. I treasure this greatly.

In the Bible in Psalm 46:10, it states: “Be still and know that I Am God.”

In this stillness, it gives us a home base from which to operate. Eric Butterworth said it very well: “Be in the hub of a wheel, living life from the center instead of at the circumference.” If you are caught up in the sound and fury of all the activity, guess who is at the circumference? (Is it any wonder that, at the end of the day, you feel like you have been run over by something?) But if you take a few minutes for yourself in the morning for quiet contemplation/meditation, you can respond more from the hub of the wheel (for it is very motionless there) and with a more thought-filled response to everything.

Life itself is filled with cacophony. It begins with sound of an alarm clock  so we can get underway, and continues throughout each day. Perhaps the baby is crying, the young children are fighting, or the phone is ringing, and the TV is already on. Sometimes, we are so afraid of being alone that we fill our surroundings with noise, be it a computer, music, TV, cell phone, etc. Some, of course, is generated by our 24/7 lifestyles, earning money so we can afford to live in this economy. The only question is: Is your health suffering from the anxiety, stress, and overload that is in your life, caused by the choices you have made in the past? How, then, can one begin to get a handle on this? Easy: One thing at a time. Begin to thoughtfully look at your reality and see each individual thing by itself. Then you can make a decision to alter it however you can to make your life more peaceful.

Serenity of Spirit is a worthwhile goal. It has a price that it demands, however. One must stop responding to exterior stimuli the way you always have. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Will I forever be grateful for the Sound of Silence which I experienced on Haleakala?  You bet! I have a new perspective to add to the daily ingredients for living a fulfilled life.

If you are a scuba diver, a snorkeling enthusiast, a spelunker, a hiker or climber of mountains, you know whereof I speak. You have experienced the moments of Silence.

I believe that each experience becomes part of our Tapestry of Life. Some beautiful memories add in the rainbow colors, and the tears and grief add the contrast of the background. When all is said and done, your Tapestry will be unique to you alone. How do you want it to look? No one else can weave it for you. For good or ill, it is yours to do. Others can have an opinion about what you should and should not do. But you are the captain of your ship. You alone must decide how to sail it and where you are going.

If you have a stillness inside from which to make your decisions, you will be able to ACT vs. REACT. If one is always REACTING to external stimuli, you will always have greater chaos in your life. ACTING means you take time to think things through before responding. If you have a charging elephant coming at you (which few of us will ever have),  you will REACT. The rest of the time, ACTING is the champion of Self Control and Calmness.

Funny thing about that is people are attracted to you because they can sense your attitude before you ever open your mouth. It emotes from you like the scent from a flower.

How do you begin? The following quote (which is mistakenly stated to be from Van Goethe *) puts it very well:

“Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

By utilizing this idea, Synergy is thus  created. (The Secret of SYNERGY is that, once movement begins, it multiplies and continues.) Is it a worthwhile goal? Absolutely! But only you can decide that. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

* (The lines are attributed to John Anster in a “very free translation” of Faust from 1835, where the lines in question are spoken by the “Manager” in the “Prelude at the Theatre.”)

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Silversword

Silversword

Silversword - Done Blooming

Silversword – Done Blooming

Plumeria with Palm Tree

Plumeria with Palm Tree

Plumeria (leis usually made from this)

Plumeria (Leis are usually made from these.)

Habiscus

Hibiscus

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Maui Sunrise & Surf

Maui Sunrise & Surf

Waikiki Sunrise & Surf

Waikiki Sunrise & Surf

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

 

 

Are You Building Your House Upon the Sand?

Matthew 7:24-27 states: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

This Biblical story is now thousands of years old, yet it can guide us in our lives today because it is a story about CHOICES and VALUES. Think about it. What did you have for breakfast today? When did you get up? Why did you get out of bed? What are your plans for the day? Are you going to be a couch potato, or is it time for a family outing? Do you want a beer or a cup of coffee?

LIFE HAPPENS A MOMENT AT A TIME. THE CHOICES YOU MAKE, BASED ON YOUR VALUES, WILL MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE, EACH AND EVERY DAY!

The sayings are, of course, WORDS, and the rock is your BELIEF SYSTEM. It is more than what Jesus taught. It is, in fact, how you live your daily life. Your BELIEF SYSTEM is more than going to church every Sunday or whenever the Church door opens. It is more than what your pastor, preacher, Rabbi,  priest, or Holy Man says. IT IS WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT THEY SAY THAT MATTERS.

Are you doing ARK’s (Acts of Random Kindness)? Are you acting in a caring manner with your coworkers, family, friends, acquaintances, and the local confused sales clerk? Or are you spewing forth unthinking words just because the milk got spilled all over,  a mate does something you do not like,  a clumsy child breaks something, or a sales clerk rings something up incorrectly? The point is: WHAT YOU SAY AND DO EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY MATTERS BECAUSE IT IS YOUR BELIEF SYSTEM IN MOTION — IT IS BRINGING YOUR VALUES INTO REALITY.

John 1:1 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

This is more than a casual verse. It brings the importance to light of: WHAT WORDS YOU SPEAK ARE VITAL TO WHICH HOUSE YOU CHOOSE TO BUILD! Your actions will follow your words and thoughts!

If you think that words and actions do not matter, you are literally “BUILDING YOUR HOUSE UPON THE SAND!” Do you feel like you are on a treadmill, going nowhere fast? Every day is like all the others. Money goes out faster than it comes in. There is always more month left and no money to live on. CHAOS RULES! IT PROPAGATES ITSELF SO FAST THAT YOU CANNOT FIND THE OFF BUTTON! Confusion is the order of every day. Priorities change constantly. Perhaps you have great intentions in the morning, but by the evening you just collapse on the couch and turn the TV on, glad the day is over.

SYNERGY OCCURS AT ALL LEVELS. WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU BRING ABOUT! Do you ever ask yourself, “How is it I am thinking? Are my emotions running away with me? Is my anger a realistic reaction to the circumstances, or is it not commensurate with the situation?” Questions like these could begin to turn the tide of every day for the rest of your life. You see, questions indicate a change is possible – then the answers will come to you, teaching you what you need to do differently. The answers will come in many forms: Books, classes, workshops, preachers, teachers, etc. Your Spirit will recognize your answer because you asked the question in the first place. I actually write down my questions and then the answers when they come, dating them for fun. I have enjoyed watching the changes unfold. Are you willing to try it?

The house Jesus was talking about is your Spirit, which is inside of you. The sayings He was talking about is all the good, positive stuff which can help you make changes and have a better life. If you choose to follow the negative thoughts and emotions, your SYNERGY is stifled, no real changes in your life can be experienced,  and CHAOS RULES THE DAY! SYNERGY THEN MULTIPLIES THE BAD STUFF! Is that what you want…more of the same yuck?

It is your choice: WHICH HOUSE WILL YOU CHOOSE: BUILD IT ON ROCK OR ON SAND? Your words and actions are the expression of your POWER OF CHOICE IN MOTION. The power to make changes in your life is held solely in your own hands…nobody else can do it for you.

Kahlil Gibran stated: “If your garden is to be lit, it is you who must do it.”

God’s blessing on your journey!

Light on Poppies

Light on Poppies

Rose in the Light

Rose in the Light

 

Nothing is Forever

In Latin, it is expressed “Infinitum Nihil:” Nothing is Forever.

A powerful sheik ordered his wise men to give him a saying to be carved into his signet ring that covers all the events of his life, good and bad…upon pain of death, I might add. The saying they came up with? “This, too, shall pass!

Change is the order of the day.

My personal favorite is Ecclesiastes 3:1, which states: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Actually, it goes on through verse 8, stating that there really is a time for all things. As I age, I find this to be true in so many ways.   This is true for the good things in our lives, as well as the bad stuff. It comforts me endlessly to know that, just like a seed in the ground breaks its hull to send up a shoot through the earth to the sunlight, becoming a plant, then a bud, a blossom, a seed of new life, and then withers away, only to be replaced in its time by new plants. Some days I would like to hang onto some occurrence forever. Other days I wish it would pass quickly and take its garbage with it. That is life on this planet, which is the third rock from the sun. Sometimes things happen because we are human, living among humans who have frailties and make mistakes. We have to learn how to survive it all and not let it crush our spirits. We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and start all over again. And yes, that is a song. But it is also true.

Each of us has an inner strength to be able to do that, day in and day out. Some days, we might want to throw in the towel and call it good. But life never gives us that chance.

How do we go on? Step by step. We take the step we see, which gives us the vision of another step to take. We do what we can, and keep looking for more information to help us on our way. Just the seeking is enough to create a Synergy for Change, drawing to us that which we need, when we need it.  It has been said that, “From a different height, you get a different view.” That means that Life is like climbing a ladder. We put our foot on the step we can reach, go up, and suddenly another step manifests itself.

Just like Lao Tzu’s: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,” you just have to be willing to take the one step you see. Are you willing? Take courage, and begin it!

God’s blessings on your journey!

Colorado Columbines

Colorado Columbines

Peony in Full Blossom

Peony in Full Blossom

 

 

 

 

Do You Want To Die With Your Music Still Inside You?

“Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside us.” (Oliver Wendell Holmes as found in http://artquotes.robertgenn.com)

Each of us is born with a lot of inner gifts inside of us, yet without effort on your part, the gifts stay all wrapped up and are never opened. They never see the light of day. Each of us is unique, like a snowflake = no two are alike. Only you can be who you are.

Sometimes a person believes authority figures in  his/her life, be it a parent, a teacher, or a boss. If told long enough that a quality is not part of their makeup, a person believes that and never unwraps the gift inherent inside, just waiting to be unwrapped.

I was nineteen years old before I knew for certain that I could do anything right. I learned to ice skate. I flew across the ice with wings on my feet and in my heart. No, I was not Olympic material, but I found something I could do. I was raised with the emphasis on negative programming,  as in everything I did was automatically going to be wrong. I was raised in a traditional Protestant religion by a mother who was raised in a Catholic Orphanage by nuns. Guess who believed that she was going to be WRONG for the rest of her natural life? Yet, I broke that programming, beginning with the day I learned to ice skate. From then on, I claim the right to try to do whatever opportunity comes my way. I have used personal growth books, workshops, lectures, etc., to that end. When an opportunity comes my way, I want to be open to its possibilities for me. I am unwrapping my gifts still. What a joy it is!

The opposite is true of someone who is stuck in fear of the unknown or who does not believe anything else is possible. The gifts inside stay there, dormant. If one gives away their power to outside authority figures, nothing becomes the reality.

When I was young, I had an art teacher named Mrs. Able. She kindly informed me that I should stay away from art when I was in Elementary  School. So I believed her, and I did…until I was in my 40’s. I took an art class at lunchtime. The teacher said I could put my work on display in an art gallery and made me promise to at least frame it, which I did. Just look at the wasted years! I could have been having fun with it all that time.

How about you? Have you kept your inner potential of gifts under wraps, hidden deep inside you? Have you explored what they might be? What surprises are waiting for you? All you have to do is begin to believe that you can do something about your dreams and wishes. Perhaps you could begin by writing them down. It also helps to raise your awareness of how you can begin to bring them to life. That enhances the Synergy of movement into being. Are you willing to do it?

Blessings on your journey!

 

 

 

Personal Rejuvenation

Springtime is here! What a wonderful time of year to zero in on your bad habits and look around for a better way to live!

We all do things on a regular basis that do not serve us very well. The bad thing about habits is that the more you resist them, the stronger they appear to be. I use the word, “appear” because it is just an illusion.

This goes for the all the “aholic” words you can think of: Chocaholic, workaholic, alcoholic, couchaholic, tv-aholic, game-aholic, text-aholic, foodaholic, phone-aholic, depressed-aholic, party-aholic, etc. Anything you do that does not serve you well qualifies.

There is an old saying that, “Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing.” Ergo, anything done to excess can become “too much of a good thing.”

Moderation can assist anyone who chooses to change. A piece of chocolate, a little tv/game/text/food/party time, etc.

Spring time is a time of renewal. It is, literally, a new beginning. A time when the earth awakens to begin another cycle.

You could choose to look at the illusions you serve and treat as a reality. You can move from concentrating on the problem to one that is looking for an answer. If you ask the question, God can answer you with a magazine article, a book, a person, a teacher, or a class.

Let’s say you want to lose weight, have tried many things unsuccessfully, and have an attitude of hopelessness — one that says you have not done it before, so what makes you think this time will be any different? You are concentrating on the problem, not the answer. There is ALWAYS AN ANSWER — one that will work for you if you consistently try something new. You could NOT eat the whole container of ice cream at one sitting because you are depressed. You could take a class that is appropriate for your physical condition…something that is gentle enough to help you begin to make a difference. You could take a meditation or a yoga class to calm yourself and learn to breathe correctly in lieu of stuffing something into your mouth to anesthetize your overwrought feelings. You could say the same for cigarettes, which everyone knows is detrimental to you to the point of death.

The problem is that the gung-ho attitude for change rarely works. Sooner or later, gung-ho gets weary and leaves. It is replaced by feelings of failure, sadness, hopelessness, etc.

In order to make some changes, you need to have a dialogue with yourself and be gentler. (No strong-arming yourself, please.) Look at the people on the Fastest Loser TV Program. They have given themselves an incentive to do what it takes. Why don’t you try to do the same? Surely, there is something you want that will help you to firm your resolve and take action for a change that is beneficial to your life, your livingness, and your longevity. Make a personal reward part of the program…make the rewards small enough and doable so they reinforce your long-term goal. The only question is, are you willing to take a look at your life, make a list (short or long) of what you want to change, and then come up with at least one suggestion that will help you begin…to take that first step, even if it is like a thousand-mile journey. Again, build in a reward program as well. The journey may be shortened considerably by improved attitudes, more energy, feeling better, liking how you look in the mirror, compliments from others, etc. Then you keep putting one foot in front of the other, moving along, step by step toward the NEW YOU…in looks, actions, etc. Make up new lists of action as you move towards your goal, always keeping the steps small enough that you will be successful, creating Synergy towards where it is you are going.

REMEMBER, THE KEY TO CHANGE IS CONSISTENCY!

Does that mean that, if you make a mistake and eat a box of cookies, you just permanently trashed your choice to be healthier? No, it means that you begin again, this moment, to fix a salad and a piece of meat for dinner. Failure only occurs when you give up.

MAKE A DECISION NOW TO NOT GIVE UP, NO MATTER WHAT! PERSEVERANCE IS THE KEY HERE!

Only you can make this Springtime a journey towards changing whatever it is that is not serving you well. Are you willing to make a list, look at it, and begin?

God’s blessings on your journey!

Tulips in Snow

Tulips in Snow

Growth Happens

Growth Happens

Signs of New Life

Signs of New Life

These three pictures show how Mother Nature perseveres: Growth continues in spite of the horrendous forces that can happen. You can see pictures of trees growing out of rocks and on impossibly steep cliffs, flowers and weeds growing up through the cement, etc. These should give us impetus in our lives to overcome, to begin again, and to go for it!

 

 

 

5 Ways to Turn Happiness into Advantage

This information came from the Huffington Post picture/suggestions on 3-20-14, and I heartily agree with them:

5 Way to Turn Happiness into Advantage:

1) Write down what you are grateful for. Write down three new things you are grateful for each day. (Research shows this will significantly increase optimism even 6 months later and raises your success rate significantly.)

2) Focus on the positive: Write for two minutes a day, describing one positive experience you have had over the past 24 hours. (This is a strategy to help transform you from a task-based thinker to a meaning-based thinker who scans the world for meaning instead of endless to-dos.)

3) Exercise 10 minutes a day. (Trains your brain to believe your behavior matters, which causes a cascade of success throughout the rest of the day.)

4) Meditate for two minutes a day: Focusing on your breath going in and out. (This will help you undo the negative effects of multitasking. Research shows you get multiple tasks done faster if you do them one at a time.)

5) Send a positive e-mail: Write one e-mail first thing in the morning, thanking or praising a member of your team/family/friends. (This significantly increases your feeling of social support.)

These five things take only a few minutes a day, yet the fruit you would get from them could not only change your life, but it would create a Synergy that could ultimately make a huge difference. Are you willing to try it?

God bless your journey!

 

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