Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

Legacy of Faith

I woke up from a deep sleep thinking about you again.  This time it was different – not the usual “at peace” feeling I’m left basking in when you cross my mind.  From the moment I stepped out of bed I just couldn’t shake this deep sadness – a heaviness pressing down on me.  Feels like reminisce of a bad dream – the kind that cling and keep you in a series of dark flashbacks throughout the day. I throw myself into work, keeping busy – hoping the weariness would fade away.  Songs on my iPod continuously shuffle up your favorites; dragging me back to thoughts of you as the overwhelming heaviness tightens its grip. I close my office door to get control of my emotions only to have the confinement squeeze out what I tried to bury.  As the tears flowed I let out, “Mom – what are you trying to tell me?”

Since your passing seven years ago, you come to me through dreams and many days I feel your presence strongly surrounding me that I often sense you are trying to tell me something.  On that grief-stricken morning I could no longer avoid or deny that there was something I had to seek out. After spending time in prayer and silence, the answer was clearly revealed to me . “Did your faith influence and impact those you love?”

As I ponder over this powerful revelation, I can’t help but reflect on my younger years with having to go through the long suffering moments of “here she goes again with the preaching” as you aggressively express yourself with fierce intensity and a sense of urgency about the significance in having Jesus/God in my life.  Mom, I have to confess that during those “soap box” episodes I would tune you out but of course I would try to appease you by agreeing and saying, yes mom, I understand and know what I have to do. Then soon after you finish your sermons, I would go about my business and forget what you so passionately tried to fill me with. I’m sure in your heart you knew that I wasn’t paying attention and maybe there were times you just wanted to give up – but the radical believer in you would find the strength to continue to fight the good fight of faith for the sake of your family no matter what.

I watch the movie screen in my mind of your faith being put to the test. As it was well known, your temper often got the better of you, taking you on an emotional rollercoaster to complete exhaustion.  You would then collapse at the kitchen table with your head in your hands and cry out “Jesus help me”, then release a loud and long sigh as if you were being annulled from all that you carried.  After declaring those three all-powerful words, the peacefulness that came over you choked out the fear, worry and anxiety and you’d look up and say  “it is in God’s hands, only He is in control”.

No matter what crisis you were hit with – you would initially react then let go of the circumstance; lean on your faith, knowing that Jesus/God is taking care of the situation.   How strong and faithful a woman you were.

Mother, the fruit of your labor was not in vain; as the seeds of faith that you planted, cultivated and nurtured in me through the years finally produced a harvest.   Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for praying for me. Thank you for an extraordinary job of exampling your faith, teaching your faith and passing on the joy of it and the necessity of it.

Faith is the leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness.  Colossians 1:4  Amplified Bible

Step Out To Find Out

Many of us will stay in our safe environments to avoid fear and worry. When you back off from experiencing something challenging – it will temporarily relieve the anxiety and discomfort. However, I want you to seriously consider the price you pay when you back away from life’s challenges. Not only will it impact your self-esteem and confidence – you will feel a sense of powerlessness, frustration and unfulfillment. You sabotage your chance at change, success and happiness. To be brutally honest – if you don’t allow yourself to step outside your comfort zone, you pretty well guarantee yourself an uneventful and mundane life. Is this a price worth paying for the temporary escape from fear and anxiety? Unfortunately, most of us are far too willing to pay this dear price, simply to avoid discomfort and possible ridicule from others.

One step at a time..

In all honestly, Life does not reward those who refuse to expose themselves to difficulty. The degree of accomplishment you attain in your life is related to your willingness to be uncomfortable and take risks. In order to succeed in anything (work or personal), you have to take action despite fear. Most people focus on the possibility of the negative outcome such as failure, ridicule or rejection. When you should focus on a positive outcome. When you adopt a different outlook when confronting an anxiety-producing situation you allow yourself to grow into a more confident person.

Every one of us has our own non-threatening comfort zone. These barriers are familiar routines and part of everyday life. When faced with any activities and situations outside of the safe barrier – we experience anxiety and become uncomfortable. We tend to make excuses and in the end, avoid the challenge.

As we know from past experience, the fear and anxiety that we build up before a new challenge is usually greatly exaggerated. When we do the feared activity, we learn that it is not as frightening or difficult as we had expected. We tend to go through life doing what is most comfortable for us and what feels safe – but how many opportunities are we letting slip by because we do not want to feel uncomfortable? We are unwilling to step out and take the risk in order to achieve our dreams.

When you push through temporary fear and anxiety by taking action in one area of your life, you will develop additional confidence in other areas. I encourage you to face your fears – step out and do something different today.

I DARE you…

DARE to dream BIG and fly high

DARE to push out of your comfort zone and take risks

DARE to trust the universe and open up to miracles taking place in your life

DARE to say “NO” sometimes

DARE to question your old beliefs and adapt new ones

DARE to quit caring about what others think

DARE to be outrageous

DARE to smile at the face of obstacles and see them as opportunities in disguise

DARE to admit it when you’re wrong

DARE to ask for help when you need it most

DARE to follow your intuition and listen to you inner voice

DARE to dig deep to the core of your soul and understand the real YOU

DARE to love, to care, to share, to give

DARE to make that really tough decision. Whatever happens you can deal with it

DARE to speak the truth even if it isn’t popular

DARE to walk where you haven’t been before – to face the unknown

DARE to surrender and let go of what you can’t control 

DARE to forgive the past and move on

DARE to refuse to listen to the voice of fear

DARE to view life as an exciting adventure

DARE to be less critical of yourself and appreciate who you are

DARE to be your authentic self

The Good Opinion

“We can be bad company to ourselves.  As long as it is seen, it can be fixed”

Sit beside yourself and take a good look at what you see?  Do you speak and carry yourself as someone who likes who you are? 

One of the most powerful influences on your attitude and personality is the opinion you have of yourself.  Your self-opinion is the most important opinion that you will ever have.  It plays an important role in how much or how little you value yourself – its the foundation of living a life that is worthwhile.

In order to value others, you have to value yourself first. It’s about appreciating your self-worth and taking pride in your abilities, skills and accomplishments.

They see you as you see yourself..

We all have faults and weaknesses, but we should never go through life being against ourselves.  How you see yourself  is your perspective lens for your world – showing others how to treat you.  If you constantly send out unworthy messages, you will receive unworthy responses.

Too many of us go around feeling low on the inside and not realizing that how we feel about ourselves affects how we’re perceived by those we come in contact with.

When you think good about yourself – you are putting a high value on yourself and your capabilities.

You owe it to yourself and those you love to take good care of your most valuable asset…YOU!

Living Free

 

I recently crossed paths with an old school friend who I haven’t seen in over 25 years.  We  worked together on a project, so during those few months we enjoyed reminiscing about the good ole days and catching up on each other’s lives.   After a few weeks of  spending a lot of quality time together, she said something that totally threw me off guard and surprised me.  Telling me that there was something different about me – something unique that she doesn’t usually see in other people.  Telling me that I appear to be Free – that I carry myself as if I’m weightless – no baggage or drama from my past.  Radiating happiness and appear to be content with my life, open/approachable and I don’t  seem to have any ulterior-motives or expect anything in return.

Wow, I was’t expecting that HUGE compliment and was really in awe by her observation of me and my life.  To be honest,  I never really put much thought into how I’m perceived by those I come in contact with.  But to have someone tell me that I appear to be “Free” is certainly a compliment that I gladly accept and appreciate.  I guess the last 15 years and counting of being on a “letting go to find Me” journey is showing its true colors and is evident to those who are open to see it.   

What I know for sure about Living Free:

  • You are not fully Free until you reach a point in your Life when you no longer feel the need to prove anything or impress others.
  • We make life more complicated then it really is.
  • Happiness is living a purposeful life and being true to your authentic self.
  • When you find yourself in a useless battle – you just simply walk off the battlefield.
  • To move forward and allow change, you must let go of old beliefs, habits and thoughts – unlearn the many things that you’ve spent your entire life learning.
  • Letting go of all anxiety, stress, anger, grudges and resentment means that you are Freeing yourself up for many Blessings that are in store for you.
  • You are what you think – your outer world becomes a reflection of your inner world.
  • You must Believe and have Faith that your present and future holds the best days of your life.
  • You attract what you put out:  Learn to release the need to “control” everything in your life. 
  • Let yourself become Spiritually open to allow all good things to flow into your life.
  • Trust in your instincts and God’s nature to guide you.  Stop trying to make everything happen according to what you think should happen. Let things happen and unfold according to the natural flow of life.
  • Living one’s life with an attitude of gratitude.
  • It’s not possible to move towards what you want when you aren’t grateful for what you already have.
  • Letting go of your hurts, pain, resentment & unforgiveness is one of the biggest gifts you can give to yourself and share with others.

Success and Simplicity

A few nights ago I found myself watching the Walton’s.   John (daddy) Walton was avoiding his upcoming 25-year high school reunion.  He reluctantly agreed to help out – rounding up the “not so easy to find” mountain men who were also avoiding the reunion.  It wasn’t said, but it was obvious that John and the other country boys were feeling a bit  “less then” because they chose to stay on the mountain, living their simple lives while the more ambitious classmates ran after success.  

Throughout the show, each classmate revealed his or her true colors.  One guy who competed against John in everything during their school years became a very successful politician/businessman and eventually showed to be a very lonely and unhappy man.   John’s childhood crush moved away and married rich….four different times and was on the search for her fifth husband, while trying to make sense of where she went wrong with her spoiled grown children who had no direction in life.  Another classmate who also did well financially, constantly fought with his wife as his unruly kids terrorized the Walton kids.  Each classmate showed that their lives certainly weren’t picture perfect outside Walton’s mountain. 

At the end of the reunion, everyone was sitting around the dinner table reminiscing about the good ole days and when it came time to name “who was most likely to succeed?”..it was John Walton.  The rich guy paid homage to John in saying that he had what all of them were chasing after: integrity, character, living life on his own terms, having a zest for life, sense of adventure, peace, joy, is generous, loves his family and is a a good father/ husband/son.  They all agreed that John was truly living an authentic and successful life. 

Sure, the Walton series is from the 70’s and based around the 1930’s depression, but the message is timeless and that is that we all have a different perception of what success is.  So how do any of us answer the age old question: What is the true meaning of success? 

Success comes in many forms and many definitions. It all comes down to what you are searching for in life. Often people identify success with having a lot of money, achieving fame, having a good career, raising a family, owning your own home, possessing all the things you ever wanted. But countless people have achieved these goals only to find themselves feeling unhappy inside more often than they thought possible. They wonder if there is supposed to be more to life than all those things, or if they just missed a secret somewhere along the way.

My two cents worth:

To me, true success is something that comes from within. It’s about loving what you do and feeling at peace with yourself.  Being true to yourself and not being afraid to express yourself in everything that you do.  It’s about being successful in your own way.

In the end, if you enjoy what you do and have inner peace, you will be happy and success will follow.

Believe in…You!

There are and will be days when things don’t go the way we hope they would.  Those are the times when you have to tell yourself that things will get better. There are times when people disappoint you and let you down.  Those are the times when you must remind yourself to trust your own judgment – to keep your life focus in believing in yourself and all that you are capable of.

There will always be challenges to face and changes to make in your life and it is up to you to accept them. Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you.  It may not be easy at times but in those times of struggles you will find a stronger sense of who you are and you will also see yourself developing into the person you always wanted to be.

We are surrounded by people who go through life thinking they can’t do and be what they only dream about.   They fail to stay true to their ambitions and give up on their dreams as soon as they encounter an obstacle.  They do not believe in themselves.

Believing in yourself is being sure that you are going to do whatever you put your mind to – even if others don’t support you.  Usually, when you make the decision to take on a big challenge or do something they fail to do – you find these same people will try to talk you out of it or say that you are just wasting your time.  This should be all the more reason you need to remain focussed and believe it will happen, and then work to make it so.

When you believe in yourself – people around you will be forced to take notice and will also believe in you.

Tips To Help You To Believe In You…

Focus on the positive: Make a list of your best qualities. Keep them on your computer or in a notebook for handy reference. Knowing your own worth as a person will keep you balanced when things are falling apart around you.

Don’t give up, and don’t give in: Keep your dreams alive. Life is unpredictable and full of twists and turns. Fear of the unknown often causes us to halt our progress just when we are on the pinnacle of success.

We are all good at something:  Identify your strenghts.  List all the things you are good at doing and those things that come easily to you.  Take pride of the things at which you excelled.

Above all don’t give up on yourself: The future lies open before you and it is up to you to make the best of it.  Allow yourself to ponder the possibility of the limitless joys and exciting adventures that may yet await you.

It’s not what you are that holds you back, it’s what you think you are not. – Unknown.

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