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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

 

 

Where Is Your SEED Being Spread?

Matthew 13: 3-9, 18-23 states: “And he spake many things unto them in parables saying, ‘Behold a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixty-fold, some thirty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.’

‘Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.’ ”

So, I ask you, which type of soil are you? Is your heart and mind open, ready for the good seed of words, thoughts, and deeds so that they may multiply? Or are you caught up in the daily vicissitudes of wear and tear, lack of money, somebody else got promoted instead of you, you see a gorgeous dress and know you cannot charge another item on your credit card because it is maxed out, etc.? Daily circumstances can wear you out to the core, creating lots of negative emotions and very few positive ones.

Words cannot help much with the stony places in your life, especially if you focus on what is NOT WORKING WELL.  The heat of the sun is living your life every day, trying to do your best – yet you are experiencing strong feelings of being OVERWHELMED and even HOPELESS. Each one of these feelings becomes a stone, impeding your growth and happiness.

The good ground is someone who, in spite of negative happenings, can press on and believe that things will get better. It may take time to unfold, but the possibility of change is enough to spur on that person as he/she seeks to know more and grow. How about you? Could you cultivate a better soil in you by slowing down, breathing deeper, meditate, do yoga, pray, or any other idea that occurs to you, like take a class, a workshop, or anything that will address the problems that exist in your life right now?

In Matthew 13:10 & 13-16, it states: “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?”

It continues: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.”

Do you have ears that hear? Do your eyes really see? That indicates a connection with the brain so that it begins to think about what is heard. Have you ever talked to a child or teenager, knowing that they do not hear a word you speak? You have to first get their attention, which involves the Hippocampus at the base of the brain. If you can get their attention (like take away their game boy,  electronic gadget, or turn off the computer, etc.), you can actually communicate. How about you? Is your mind so busy with all of the things on your To-Do-List, or other consuming ideas that you cannot be calm, quiet, and peaceful? Check your breathing. If your upper chest is breathing up and out instead of deep breathing from your stomach area, you are stressed out and in need of a change. Do you understand with your HEART? Only you can answer that question.

This is the time of the Summer Solstice and rebirth. You can see it all around you: The ducks and ducklings; geese and goslings, birds and baby birds, etc. Do you want a new beginning for you as well? You can have it every single day if you so choose.

Life does, indeed, happen, You are the only one who can see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and understand with your heart. Are you willing to take whatever action is needed to get off the merry-go-round of your daily life?  Think about your soil and the seeds. What is it you really want? Only you can answer that question.

God’s blessings upon your journey.

Baby Mallards

Baby Mallards

Baby Goslings

Baby Goslings

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Growth Happens From The Inside To the Outside

As you watch the trees, Growth Happens From the Inside To the Outside. Some of the bark peels off, but enough of it stays to add to the tree ring which scientists use to tell the age of the tree. Each ring represents a year of life for that tree. The tree draws sustenance from its root system, the sap, and the leaves, which use photosynthesis to feed the tree. No matter how little the tree is or how big, the above holds true.

So, if you were a tree, what would your ring look like? How is your root system? How do you nourish yourself? Would you be a healthy tree, or a spindly sapling?

Your root system is your beliefs. The Religion you espouse yourself to be is a belief system.  Do you live your beliefs? Or is it a Sunday only kind of thing? Is it a healthy one, or not?

The Aspen trees can become quite big. Yet, when you look at their root system, it is very shallow and small. A strong wind can blow it over.

When you look at a Maple tree, its root system is huge and can be up to 1-1/2 times its height.  Strong winds may break off a branch, but not the tree.

Cottonwoods can become rather large. Yet they rot and deteriorate from the inside. When the winds blow them over or break them, they are hollow inside.

Which tree would you want to be most like? Are your beliefs so strong that, though strong winds of life may blow, you are able to bend with the wind and not break? Or is it shallow and built on what others have told you for years? Have you put to use the words so they become part of your story? Or do they lie fallow, like a field that is not planted?

Do you sometimes feel hollow inside? Perhaps you are unsure of yourself and lack confidence in your decision-making capability. Perhaps you have low self esteem, established when others told you that you did not measure up. Believe it or not, these are repairable. You are not doomed to be that way forever.

The sap of the tree is likened to your mind chatter. How is it you are thinking? This is what feeds your tree. Are you sometimes poisoning your tree by condemning yourself for some shortcoming, either perceived or real? Self condemnation is the biggest inhibitor to growth and change that exists.

The leaves are your daily actions, which generate life-giving, spirit-lifting moments and experiences. Do you take action mindfully or do you just slop along, doing what you do without enthusiasm? What do your leaves look like? Are they vibrant and colorful or wilting and sad?

Together, all of these analogies speak to someone who is enjoying their life, whatever that looks like. The trees I speak of are whole beings, and so are you. One cannot take just one element of it and have it survive. It takes the entire system in order to be complete.

Jesus talked many times of ATONEMENT. What if you were to break it apart into AT-ONE-MENT? Would it mean something entirely new to you?

The winds of life come at us every day in varying force and velocity. How you tend to your tree (yourself) will determine how you can survive it, learn from it, and go forth with a happy heart.

Are you willing to look at the elements of your tree: Is your belief system firmly rooted, able to guide you come what may? Do you control your mind chatter, directing it wisely into good channels of thought,  or does it control you, dictating to you about every detail of your existence? Are your daily actions mindfully and thoughtfully directed or willy-nilly, being blown every which direction?

Take hope. You can use the power of CHOICE and begin to learn to change whatever you think you need to. Books, teachers, workshops, preachers, etc., can all play a part in your growth. Once you DECIDE to implement some new directions in your life, the LAW OF ATTRACTION will come into play. SERENDIPITY and SYNCHRONICITY will unleash their powers for you.

Are you willing to take a close look at your personal tree of life in order to determine if changes are needed? Is the Status Quo good enough for you? Are you willing to live the way you do for the rest of your life? Only you can answer that question.

Rest assured that growth does, indeed, happen from the inside to the outside of you!

God’s blessings upon your journey!

Colorful Trees

Colorful Trees

Colorful Leaves

Colorful Leaves

 

 

 

 

 

Talk the Talk OR Walk the Walk?

You have probably heard this phrase for many years: Are you going to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?

It has been used to explain the difference between someone who wants book knowledge so they can seem erudite and able to TALK the TALK, but when it comes to actually living what they have learned, they do not want to WALK the WALK, or make it personal by applying it to their own lives. One example would be someone who can talk about food, but is unable to fry an egg or make a meal. Until you pick up a cookbook or a recipe, nothing works — it is as meaningless as having a menu on a raft in the ocean, but no food at all. How about one who uses all the right personal growth words, yet still lives as though none of it applies to that person? We hear the words, yet the music that should accompany them never happens. It is obvious that two different things are happening here: WORDS vs. ACTIONS.

I once had an advanced math teacher who was the professor of his division. He could talk the principles and be very exacting in his English, but he could not convey the essence of what he was teaching to most of his students. I ended up in the Math Lab to find the teacher who could help me understand the principles of the problems. It was useless to me unless I could apply the knowledge I was attempting to acquire.

Have you ever been talking with someone, and they are speaking words that are English, yet they do not communicate at all in such a way that you can understand it? You can hear the words, but they do not make any sense to you. It might as well be a foreign language for all the good it does.

These are just a few ways of how we can get caught up in the sound of our own voice, yet never check to see if we are actually being heard and understood by our audience. (Forget Active Listening Principles as they are fast becoming a lost art.)

Personally, I have met people who can talk Religion in many forms, Protestants of many kinds, Catholics, metaphysics, New Thought, etc. They love the sounds of their own voices so much that they never consider whether or not they are actually communicating. They are reiterating some creed or dogma as though it was the only way to Heaven. Never mind that many others differ on just exactly how that will happen. Never mind that each person has their own definitions and points of reference. Just keep hitting your audience over the head with your words, hoping some of it will sink in so they can come to your point of view (whether or not it is good for them). TALK, TALK, TALK!

I have attended many workshops, sought after many teachers of varied personal growth subjects, done symposiums, heard lots of lectures from people of note, and spent a small fortune in doing so. I say to you that it is all for naught unless one actually USES whatever it is he/she hears with the best of one’s understanding — put the words into your heart and mind. Act from that new wisdom that is created when the head and the heart meet. The product of that meeting will influence you the rest of your days.  WALK the WALK!

If you hear a great sermon on Sunday coming from the pulpit, think about it long after the church doors close. Do not just go on your merry way and do as you please. Make a list of the ways that you can apply those good words to your life, and then do it.  WALK the WALK!

Ernest Holmes, the Founder of Science of Mind, stated that you can only fly as high as your roots grow into the ground. In other words, your mind can fly up to the ether, but your feet have to stay on the earth. You cannot over-reach in your zest and enthusiasm but must stay grounded in utilizing what you have learned in your every-day life. You have to realize where you are, and take the steps to grow into whatever else you are attempting to achieve. If you are a Caterpillar, you will have to go through the Cocoon stage before you can become that beautiful Butterfly! Take each step, one at a time, in the direction you need to go. WALK the WALK!

You are the captain of your ship, whether you want to be or not. You sail your ship as no one else can. If you TALK the TALK but do not WALK the WALK, you are rudderless in your journey. Is that something you want to do? Doubt it. You never get anywhere when you do that. That is usually accompanied by feelings of being out of control of your life and hopelessness, wondering if anything will ever get better. ANSWER: Nope, not till you change your attitude.

Read your books, go to the workshops, take the lessons, and listen to wisdom in any form. Just know that you are the only one who can make a difference in your life, and no one can do it for you. You cannot send your valet to the gym and gain muscle strength thereby. You have to do it yourself. It is no different in learning new ways to interact with your world, respond to others, and live a more fulfilling life. That is why you get on your computer, looking for good words, or read books, etc.

PERSONALIZE whatever it is you are seeking by looking for ways to use it in your day-to-day living. You can TALK a good game, but can you WALK it?

Life comes to us every day in many forms, some good and some not-so-good. How you react to what is happening will determine how you live your life and how it will unfold before you.

If you are a SEEKER, be a FINDER as well. When you find something that rings your chimes, USE IT to the best of your ability and understanding. It will change your choices, which will change your life permanently for the better.

The ball is in your court: Do you want to TALK the TALK, or WALK the WALK?

Caterpillar Stage

Caterpillar Stage

Cocoon Stage

Cocoon Stage

Butterfly Stage

Butterfly Stage

Change Your Orbit?

Your orbit/life path has been created by all the choices you have made to date. Your trajectory is thereby something that can be projected from today into the future. Is that a scary idea (if you are not happy with your orbit/life path)? Or is it something to look forward to and anticipate? Perhaps some of each, like the Pushmi-pullyu from Doctor Dolittle?

Sometimes, our orbits/life paths are greatly affected by other people in our lives. Sometimes it is a mate, a child, a boss, a supervisor, a job, or some other important person like a parent. Sometimes we give our power away to others…we let them dictate to us what our lives should be like and do what they want in lieu of what we know, innately, is best for us, whether they agree or not. Sometimes we want others to tell us what to do because we feel hopelessly lost in the wilderness. That can be anything from psychic readings, tarot card readings, or even a priest or minister.

The message here is that each person is a Divine Creation of God, Unique, Special, with lessons to be learned on this planet, which is the third rock from the sun. The Truth is that each person controls his/her destiny, which is revealed every day though the choices that are made.

Have you always wanted to take a class to improve your mind, expand your awareness, or just for fun? What is keeping you from achieving that? Have you a list of books to read…someday, when you have time? These books not only add energy and knowledge, but they can give you the momentum to escape your current orbit and create a new one.

The difference between an old orbit/life path/trajectory and a new one is that something has to change.

W. Foster Welborn has a saying: “You cannot keep doing what you have been doing and expect you will get different results!”

In order to get different results, something has to added to your life that becomes the new beginning you seek.

If you want to be more healthy, you have to put down that donut or Danish and select a protein and a fruit. In lieu of that bottomless cup of caffeine, you need to drink more water. Instead of catching the elevator or escalator, you need to walk some stairs. Instead of collapsing on the couch at night with  a remote in your hands, you need to set aside some time that fits your schedule and actually do something physical: Take a walk, ride a bike, take an exercise class, lift some weights, get on that exercise machine you bought (which is now a clothes hanger) and actually use it! Consistent effort here will pay off in so many ways, from a healthier you to a much happier you because, yes, exercise actually does lift the spirit!

Life’s daily demands of living, tasks to be done, obligations that we feel are required, etc., can use up every second of every day, with no room for anything else.

Your family, loved ones, and friends are important to you. Caring for them is vital. Do you take the time every single day to sit down and look into that person’s eyes and communicate with him/her, touching them like a hug or a kiss on the cheek? Your presence is a gift that no one can take away. Even a few minutes can make a difference over time. If you start when the child is young, for example, by the time they are a teenager with other priorities, they will still accept your presence. It is never too late to start.

I have read statistics that say that families are much more liable to text each other, even in the same room or in the same house, than they are to get up and go communicate face-to-face. One can laugh about this, but think of the opportunities you miss by doing it! Perhaps you might save some time, but at what cost? I have even heard that there are couples who can sit across from each other at a table and actually be texting each other!

Conversation is a lost art in our society, for the most part. Over a hundred years ago, they knew how to use words. They utilized a lot of words that have fallen out of use today because no one bothers with them anymore.

Are you willing to take a look at your orbit/life path to see if there is something that needs changing? Perhaps a choice that could be made differently if you took a class, like Assertiveness Training? Make a list – write it down. It takes it out of your head and gives you an objective to examine.

Only you have the power to change your trajectory. Are you willing to do that? It has power, Synergy, and life-fulfilling moments just waiting for you!

God bless your journey!

 

Having a Pity Party?

Pity Parties prevail, unfortunately. There are so many reasons to stay in one permanently. Would that do any good? Not likely.

In one of Og Mandino’s lectures, he said, “When I feel sorry for myself, and I don’t want to enter the world…I open the paper to the obituaries to see how many would trade places with me if they only could.”

Now that is definitely something to ponder.

He also said, “Never treat time as if you had an unlimited supply. No one has a contract with life.”

If you were to take a census of your prevailing attitudes, what would you say they were? If they center on a Pity Party, you have to know that direction will lead you nowhere. Are you willing to take a close look at the words you speak, the emotions you feel, and the ways you act? What is your body language saying? Can you look into a mirror and look closely at your eyes and your facial expression? What story are they telling you?

When you are depressed, one of the harder things you can do is to look into your eyes in a mirror and gaze upon your countenance. Why? Your eyes are downcast, for one thing. You are sad, your shoulders sag, and your head hangs down.

Did you know that depression is actually unexpressed anger turned inwards? Note I said, “Unexpressed.” I don’t mean you need to put your fist through a wall or hit something or somebody. There are many constructive ways to work on anger, such as working out, hitting a pillow, writing it all down on a sheet of paper and then shredding it, releasing it.

The point of a Pity Party is that you want to feel better. So, if you stay in one long enough, you should feel better, right? Nope, never going to happen. It perpetuates itself.

The only way to get out of a Pity Party is to change your focus from whatever is driving you crazy. You need to find something else to think about. Hopefully you will find something beautiful to contemplate, look at a rainbow, or listen to music. Many things can lift your spirit, from a good massage or warm bath to a quiet walk in nature. You just have to find something that works for you.

Again, it is in your capable hands to find a different way to express yourself. Are you willing to try that?

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