Tag Archives: inner strength

A Lesson in Resilience

cherry tree resilienceOne of my brothers still lives on Cape Cod, the place where my 5 siblings and I grew up. This is noteworthy for two reasons – first, he is a scenic photographer – he captures amazing shots of nature; second, Cape Cod and New England has had snowstorm after snowstorm this winter. This has created one of his latest works – the amazing flowering cherry tree in his front yard in each of the four seasons. Amazing flowers in spring, great dense green leaves in summer, amazing fiery reds and orange foliage in fall and the bare brown trunk blanketed under epic snow in winter. This bold tree is resilient; it shows up powerfully in each season. It inspires my intention to be more resilient.

The lesson from the cherry tree is that we too are capable of shining no matter what happens. We are resilient to handle the seasons – and by seasons I mean the constant changes in our lives. We meet sunny days where things are going our way – we flower, we shine. We meet stormy days that seem unfair, unrelenting and scary. When we are intentional and determined about connecting to our inner greatness and strength – to the power deep in us – we find we have access to amazing resilience. This helps us show up strong and committed to life, regardless what comes our way.

It still amazes me that this tree can survive in temperatures from minus 10 to nearly 100 degrees. It stands there and faces what comes, doing what it does best – living its truest self. It doesn’t lament the rains or wind. It doesn’t give up when it snows. It doesn’t wish that its leaves would remain all year – it allows them to change color and sends them off to make room for new ones. It partners with life; it allows life.

We however, like to plan and control everything in life. And when things don’t go according to plan, we find fault. We get angry. We blame. We quit. We feel at the affect of our world – at odds with it.

Or, we could learn from this cherry tree. We could see that we have the strength and resilience to see the blessing in every event, and not to fight with life but live it as it is delivered. “Anyone can be cooperative, patient and understanding when things are going well and life is good. But it is the noble man or woman who can behave with grace and compassion, and even kindness, when times are bad,” shares Garr Reynolds, blogger of Presentation Zen. My intention is to be noble and act with grace, compassion and kindness regardless of what happens in life.

Resilience, or grit, is what enables us to show up committed to life when life sends snowstorm after snowstorm. Resilience is what enables us to show up big to life when our idea didn’t work, the relationship failed, or the job was lost. As the great Japanese proverb says, “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” We can choose to bounce back – we can choose to see what was, understand it, learn from it and get back into life’s driver’s seat. We, like the flowering cherry in my brother’s front yard, can just keep on keepin’ on. Resilient. Strong. Committed. Determined. Intentional. Living our greatness and ready for the next moment of life – whatever that might look like.

Find your resilience role model – nature, a pet or even a person. Mine is this amazing cherry tree. Let it share its wisdom with you; learn from it and let it inspire you to be intentional and purposeful about living powerfully, positively and resiliently no matter what comes your way.

Change Your Inner Voice with Positive Affirmation

peace

By Simona Rich

I was staying in a guesthouse room in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, Nepal. I was preparing for the night’s sleep – I switched off my laptop and was about to go to the bathroom to remove my makeup and brush teeth.

A thought came as a response to my intention to go to the bathroom – “Wait a minute, I already removed my make-up and brushed teeth! I’m so lucky!”

The last thought caught my attention. Was it really lucky to have brushed my teeth and removed make-up? It wasn’t, but the most important thing here is that my mind is so used to positive affirmations that they come out naturally, even in situations they shouldn’t.

I completely changed my self-talk. I used to put myself down a lot when I was a child and a teenager. Children always thought of me as different and thus I was alone most of the time. It was easy for me to make up imaginary reasons why I had so few friends.

When, after finishing school, I moved out of the family home and out of my country (Lithuania) to study in England, I felt more empowered to change my behavior and my life. It was as though I gifted myself a blank page of life to write whatever I wanted on it.

I started using positive affirmations to heal my mind and self-image. Although it sounded silly to tell something about myself to myself that I didn’t believe in, I continued with the practice because something in me felt it was the right thing to do.

It worked. I’m a living affirmation now. I am lucky. I’m one of those bloggers who succeeded to make a living of this art and I only need to work a few hours a week.  I live wherever I want – now in Nepal; soon I will be going back to India where I usually stay. Early next year I’ll be settling in London to organize sound therapy sessions.

I feel so blessed and happy. Yet the being that blessed me was my own self. Affirmations made me into who I am today, so my own life experience tells me not to underestimate the power of simple words said regularly and with complete focus on them.

What’s the mantra you’re going to use to empower yourself with? What is it that you really want to manifest? A change in behavior? Material riches? A loving relationship? This you can surely do if you dedicate a few minutes a day, every day, to repeating words that already embody the change you want to experience.

***

Simona Rich lives in tropical South India, rides scooter, meditates, does yoga and helps people create fulfilling and unique lives. Read her story to find out how she changed her life. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

photo by: lednichenkoolga

Finding Strength

 

Question:

My husband has cheated on me during our entire relationship and is in love with this girl and was in love with her before me.  I have always known this and have forced him to stay and be with me even though I know he loves someone else. He was forced into marrying me and it has been a disaster but I was desperate because I couldn´t find love and now I am too scared to be alone but I am in a dead marriage that never really existed.  How can I find the strength to leave and find someone who will love me? 

Answer:

To find your strength, you must go deep within and know that you are the strength of the universe, that you are made of divine love  and are invincible and immortal. That is your truth and your essence. When you know your truth, then you can stay or you can leave. You don’t need to find someone to love you, you are love and love finds you.

Love,

Deepak

 

deepakchopra.com

Follow Deepak on Twitter

6 Reasons Why It’s Good To Be A Loser

 

6 Reasons Why Its Good to Be a LoserIt was impossible to miss the white sign that hung over the wall of Saint Mary’s high school lacrosse field yesterday. The thing was as tall as our two-story house with letters as big as construction cranes. With just one word: “Prom?” On the hill behind it stood an adorable high-school junior with red roses. It would have been a perfect scene right out of a Jennifer Aniston movie… had she said yes. Ouch. So the poor guy packed up the humongous sign and his roses, and walked to his car with his chin buried in his chest.

I wish I could have run up to him and said, “This experience will make you stronger in the long run … trust me.” Because that’s not just a shallow attempt at consolation. It’s absolutely true.

John Grohol wrote a great piece the other day, “Be the Unpopular Kid” about how those of us who were not prom queens or football quarterbacks fare well in the world, perhaps better than our popular counterparts, because we have learned life skills that cheerleaders haven’t.

Looking back, I’m glad that I was an acne-ridden loser in junior high with a popular twin sister. 

Yes, it’s true… it built character. I learned that self-assurance is available to anyone who can develop a strong sense of self in the midst of meanness and stupidity. And I don’t think it’s merely a coincidence that my more intelligent, interesting, and successful friends wore the big L on their foreheads during the first two decades of their lives.

We really ought to celebrate our loserhood. Here are six reasons why.

1. We are realistic.

Unpopular folks have low expectations, which is a very good thing, because they never take anything for granted. It’s kind of like a boy from a third-world country walking into a supermarket to find 30 different kinds of cereals. Whoooahh! Now had the boy been brought up on the Kennedy compound with a driver who delivered him to the front door of the store so that he didn’t have to amble his way out to the parking lot, poor thing, then that boy is not going to fare so well as soon as he has to go grocery shopping for the first time in college. With a budget of $5.

2. We are resilient.

In a great piece called “What Makes Us,” blogger Erika Napoletano explains why high school losers are resilient among other things: “You can kick us time and time again and we’ll find ways to hide, morph, adapt and thrive.” Resilience not only serves a person well for her emotional well-being, but can be the difference between success and failure in the professional world. Just like the Japanese proverb says, “Fall seven times, get up eight,” a person who doesn’t let the personal blows prevent him from pursuing his goal is the winner in the end.

3. We are independent.

Popular people depend on the praise of their “subjects.” If you take away the loyal people who answer to them, they are not popular. So, essentially, they are a slave to others and popular opinion. Now the loser, by contrast, is completely independent. He doesn’t have to rely on anyone to say what he can and can’t do. If playing a trombone (like John Grohol, sorry John) is considered a very loser thing to do, he can do it anyway, because he can’t really become any more unpopular. I suppose it’s like being the least popular presidential candidate. That person can push any agenda he wants, because no one really cares about him. He’s free!

4. We are compassionate.

I don’t know if a prom queen would have felt a pang in her heart yesterday when that poor guy walked away rejected. But anyone who has ever experienced a similar kind of humiliation certainly would. Because, as American author Frederick Buechner, writes, “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.” At my old workplace, I bonded with a fellow twin who was on my administrative team. We formed an “ugly twin club” and laughed about all the mean comments we had been told over the years.

Teaching Others How To Treat You

Do you also believe that we teach others how to treat us? It is a motto I have religiously adhered to for most of my adult life. However, I must add that I have made some radical changes to my ‘teaching strategy’ over the years, and this change in my approach has brought me much inner peace and harmony with others. I have learned that we can ‘teach others’ with much less fuss and drama.

In my early adulthood I used to take a firm stand on just about everything and everyone who I felt were out of line. I am someone who often feels compelled to stand up for others, as well as for myself and my beliefs.

I also have this annoying habit of constantly wanting to side with the ‘underdog’ in any given situation. Like most empaths, I just cannot come to grips with any form of injustice or underhanded behavior. Circumstances that are unfair, dishonest or cruel really trouble me, and people who are unreasonable, inconsiderate or simply mean have always been one of my ‘pet peeves’.

 

Love is misunderstood to be an emotion; actually, it is a state of awareness, a way of being in the world, a way of seeing oneself and others ~ David R. Hawkins

 

Apart from being an empath, the desire for justice and fairness also stems from my youth. The trouble started long before I was born. Not only did I enter this lifetime blessed with the psychic abilities of my ancestors, I was also one of the many ‘first wave’ Indigo children who arrived on our planet in the 60’s and 70’s. I was a gifted and very unusual child, growing up in an extremely conservative and conformist society. I carried a target on my forehead from my very first day in kindergarten.

I was bullied and ridiculed for most of my childhood and teenage years. South Africa under apartheid was not the most friendly place for anyone who dared to be different in any way. Bigotry, prejudice and intolerance was to be found around every corner and in all walks of life. If you were discovered to be out of the ordinary, or if you did not conform to the norm, you were not very welcome in the politically controlled and socially engineered world which I grew up in.

Thankfully all of this changed when I was coming of age. By the time they released Nelson Mandela from prison, I had also been personally liberated by means of a tertiary education and the inner strength that comes from surviving several traumatic life events, as well as a growing personal acceptance of my psychic legacy. I was now a young adult and along the way I had also discovered that I am more than able to take a stand and defend myself, and others, whenever I felt it necessary.

 

There’s much more in any given moment than we usually perceive, and we ourselves are much more than we usually perceive. When you know that, part of you can stand outside the drama of your life ~ Ram Dass

 

I certainly wasted no time exercising my new found personal freedom. I was very much inspired by the newly achieved democracy in my country and those who had fought for it. In my own way, I also had a voice now and I wanted to use it. It was important to me to put the ‘bad guys’ in their place. Mean, nasty behavior had to have consequences. Keeping my mouth shut or backing down was no longer an option. I was never going to return willingly to that psychological prison created by others’ small-mindedness. I was, after all, busy teaching the world how to treat me and I had a lot of catching up to do. I certainly was not going to take any prisoners.

Fortunately, we never stop learning and over the years I have come to realize that this ‘fight for your right’ approach offers very little spiritual fulfillment or lasting inner peace. I have in time discovered that it is mostly the weak who react in anger or frustration. It is the weak who constantly seeks justice or revenge. It is the weak who feels compelled to be tough and defiant.

Standing your ground is trivial and has very little to do with your inner strength. The truly enlightened and wise find their power in unconditional love. Who is right and who is wrong is spiritually insignificant. Truly powerful people seldom have any need for excessive self-defense or forcing their views upon others. It simply does not matter. Do you want to be right… or do you want to make a difference in the world?

 

To offer no resistance to life is to be in a state of grace, ease, and lightness. This state is then no longer dependent upon things being in a certain way, good or bad ~ Eckhart Tolle

 

Instead of focusing on what others say or do or believe, turn your attention to your inner being. Focus on your own vibration. Work on feeling better about yourself and your life. Other people are not responsible for how you feel. If the words and actions of someone or something are currently determining your state of mind, or your self-esteem, it means that you have been giving away your power, and it is time for you to take it back.

You were born with the basic spiritual right to feel good and be happy. In fact, you have inherited a divine right to feel really great about yourself and your life. It is vital that we feel this way, because it empowers us to love others unconditionally. Once you feel happy and centered in your own being, it is so much easier to be kind and tolerant towards others.

Claiming your place in the sun and staying true to yourself does not have to involve any form of violent conviction, dogged persistence, foolish bravery or brute force. There is nothing that you have to prove to anyone. There is nobody that must be resisted or refuted or convinced by you at all cost. Not everything needs to be changed by you; everyone and everybody does not require your supervision or control. Your opinion is not always required. When you are in alignment with your higher self and your true life purpose, others can behave as they wish; you won’t even notice.

 

You are killing one another as you argue over whose way of life is the right way, when there is not one right way of life. There is just life…and you all get to choose the way. No one can threaten your way of life ~ Abraham-Hicks

 

When you are in that ‘zone ‘ it simply does not matter what other people say or do or think. What matters is how you respond to them. There are never any winners if there also has to be losers, no matter what the circumstance. Jesus referred to it as “turning the other cheek” and “doing unto others”; the Buddha talked of cultivating “a limitless heart” and the Prophet Muhammad encouraged the “conquest of self” and loving our “fellow-beings first”. It does not matter how one describes it. What matters is how ‘the zone’ makes you feel, and what it enables you to do in order to make the world a better place.

With this approach it becomes so much easier to ‘teach others’. You no longer have to deal with all the stress, drama and negative, destructive emotions. There is no longer any desire to be constantly affirmed or acknowledged by others. Gone are the regrets and the grudges. Conflict and arguments all but disappear from your life. It really does take two to tango and nobody enjoys dancing solo, especially if there is no music to dance to.

The results are amazing. When you respond to the mean, petty moments of others from within your ‘zone’, you will find that the guilty parties tend to apologize more often and more readily. When you’re true to yourself and aligned with the rest of the Universe, people actually become willing to listen and calmly consider your point of view. Even the really tough and deluded folks become a non-issue, because they will eventually give up and move on.

 

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich ~ Tao Te Ching

 

All of this may seem like a lot of hard work, but it does not have to be. Getting into the ‘zone’ is much easier than you may think. Deepak Chopra describes it as following the ‘Law of Least Effort’.  There are three components to this law, namely acceptance, responsibility and defenselessness, which he outlines in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success.

Chopra explains that “acceptance simply means that you make a commitment: ‘Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances and events as they occur.’ This means you will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be”.

Responsibility means “not blaming anyone or anything for your situation, including yourself. This allows you the ability to have a creative response to the situation as it is now. All problems contain the seeds of opportunity, and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it to a better situation or thing.”

Finally, he describes the most important component of getting into the ‘zone’, namely becoming defenseless. He defines this process as “relinquishing the need to convince or persuade others of your point of view. If you relinquish this need you will in that relinquishment gain access to enormous amounts of energy that have been previously wasted”.

 

If you knew your potential to feel good, you would ask no one to be different so that you can feel good. You would free yourself of all of that cumbersome impossibility of needing to control the world, or control your mate, or control your child. You are the only one who creates your reality – Abraham-Hicks

 

I also recommend three simple rules of thumb that I try to follow to help me stay in my ‘zone’. The first is to always pick your battles carefully and to let the Law of Karma take care of the rest. The second is to not buy into other people’s drama. The third is to recognize that you were never supposed to be anybody’s doormat, so don’t allow yourself to go down that slippery slope in the first place.

Does this mean that we should always remain silent when we are made victims, or look the other way when we see atrocities committed? Not at all. Nelson Mandela did not remain silent. Neither did Mahatma Ghandi. But they also came to the realization during the course of their lives that using force to convince others was not the best way to change the world. “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, said Ghandi. “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner”, said Mandela.

It is not about remaining silent or avoiding reality. It is about remaining faithful to your feelings, beliefs and values, without having to force it upon others. Your life and the rest of the world can be changed without violence or drama or force. We don’t have to shout our personal slogans from rooftops. Mandela and Ghandi are two excellent examples of how to achieve personal peace, spiritual wisdom and harmony with others… and yet, they both managed to completely change the history of the world!

 

When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall – think of it, always ~ Mahatma Gandhi

 

Now, I must admit, this alternative approach to ‘teaching others how to treat us’ remains a work in progress for me. I don’t always get it right in my moments of weakness. Some bullies just have the uncanny ability to drag you away from your ‘path of least resistance’ and, before you know it, you are completely out of your ‘zone’. On those occasions one tends to forget all your best intentions and give in to anger, hurt or frustration.

But it gets easier with practice and one does become stronger. And while I learn to let go more and more each day, I find comfort in the words of Jack Kornfield who once said that “a genuine spiritual path is not to avoid difficulties but to learn the art of making mistakes wakefully, to bring them to the transformative power of our heart”.

© 2011 Anthon St Maarten

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You Have More Than This Requires


I had a powerful conversation recently with my good friend Theo.  I was telling him about some of the intense challenges I’ve been facing and my underlying fear that I simply can’t handle all that is going on (and what I fear may unfold in the coming days, weeks, and months).  Theo listened to me with empathy and compassion, and then said something simple, but profound. He said, "Mike, it’s important to remember that you have more than all of this requires."

As I took a step back and allowed what he said to resonate with me, I was touched by a few specific things.  First of all, I appreciated his acknowledgment and reminder.  Second of all, it allowed me to take inventory of some of the adversity I’ve overcome in my life, and, in doing so, it reminded me that I am quite resilient.  And, finally, over the next few hours and days after Theo and I had this conversation, I got to thinking more and more about the power of the human spirit.

In just about every situation and circumstance in life, we really do have more than is required to not only "deal" with what’s happening, but to thrive in the face of it. As the saying goes, "if it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger." And while I don’t believe that we have to necessarily suffer and struggle in order to grow and evolve in life, one of the best things we can do when dealing with adversity or challenge is to look for the gifts and find the gold in the situation as much as possible.

Think about how this plays out in your own life and how it has played out in your past.  Often we have things happen that initially we don’t think we can handle – sometimes these are things we consider "bad" and sometimes they’re things we consider to be "good."   Feeling overwhelmed is feeling overwhelmed, regardless of what it is we’re feeling overwhelmed about.

However, as we look back over the course of our lives, we can probably find many, many examples of times we were able to overcome challenges, deal with fear, rise above limiting beliefs, and deal with things we didn’t initially think we were capable of.  Another great saying that I love is, "circumstances don’t define you, they reveal you."  Ain’t that the truth?

Here are a few things to think about and do so that you can remind yourself, especially when things get particularly difficult or scary in your life, that you do, in fact, have more than the circumstances or situations of your life require.

1) Remind yourself of all you’ve done, experienced, and overcome.  Take some inventory of your life from the perspective of resilience.  Think about all the times you’ve dealt with change, loss, newness, fear, pain, disappointment, failure, etc. – and been able to work through it.  You’ve also probably had many experiences in life where wonderful things and exciting opportunities showed up for you and you were able to step up and take your experience of life to a whole new level. Even though we’re all unique, our stories are different, and we have varying personalities and life experiences, most of us have done, experienced, and overcome a lot in our lives up to this point, and by remembering this and acknowledging ourselves for it, we can create an even deeper and more authentic sense of self confidence.

2)  Remember that you have a great deal of support and you can reach out for it.  One of the things that can get in our way when life gets intense, is that we sometimes think we’re all alone. No one understands me.  No one really cares about me. No one has time to support me.  Regardless of our circumstances, relationship status, or family situation, just about everyone of us has some important and powerful people around us who we can lean on and who would be happy to help us – if we’re willing to ask for and, more importantly, receive their help.  This one can be tricky for many of us, myself included, but when we remember that other people love being of service and our request for help is not a sign of weakness, but a clear indication of self care as well as a beautiful opportunity for people to serve, it can empower us to reach out and tap into the incredible amount of resource we have around us.

3)  Focus on what you appreciate about yourself and your authentic power.  Self appreciation and self love, as I write and speak about often, are the cornerstones of self confidence and authentic power. Having a fundamental belief in our own goodness, power, and beauty are essential to us living an empowered and inspired life.  While it’s not always easy to do and can sometimes seem downright counter-intuitive, selfish, and arrogant, self appreciation is truly the "key to the kingdom" when it comes to personal empowerment and resiliency.  Remembering that we are good enough just as we are and have all that we need within us and around us to deal with the stress, challenge, and uncertainty that is somewhat inherent to being human in today’s world, is essential to our well-being and overall fulfillment in life.

Regardless of what you’re dealing with in your life right now – however hard, easy, challenging, or wonderful things are – you truly have more than is required by any of the circumstances and situations of your life.  And, the more we remember this and live from this perspective, the more freedom, power, and peace of mind we’ll experience.

What can you do to remind yourself that you have more than the circumstances of your life require? Share your ideas, commitments, thoughts, dreams, and more on my blog
here.

Repressing The Inner Voice: Giving Away Power

Giving away our power is something we have been taught since childhood by unaware adults in our lives.

In many ways, we are taught from the time we are children to give away our power to others. When we were told to kiss and hug relatives or friends of the family when we didn’t want to, for example, we were learning to override our inner sense of knowing and our right to determine for ourselves what we want to do. This repression continued, most likely, in many experiences at school and in situations at work. At this point, we may not even know how to hold on to our power, because giving it away is so automatic and ingrained.

To some degree, giving our energy to other people is simply part of the social contract, and we feel that we have to do it in order to survive. It is possible to exchange energy in a way that preserves our inner integrity and stability. This begins in a small way: by listening to the voice that continues to let us know what we want, no matter how many times we override its messages.

Other examples of how we give away our power are buying into trends, letting other people always make decisions for us, not voting, and not voicing an opinion when an inappropriate joke is made. But with not giving our power away we must also be aware of the opposite side, which is standing in our power but being aggressive. Being aggressive is a form of fear, and the remedy is to let our inner balance come back into play.

As we build a relationship with our power, and follow it, we begin to see that we don’t always have to do what we’re being asked to do by others, and we don’t have to jump on every trend. All we have to do is have the confidence to listen to our own voice and let it guide us as we make our own decisions in life and remember the necessity for balance.

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / Matthew Fang

Being a Strong Container: Grounding Ourselves

When we are grounded, we essentially become a strong container in which our spirits can safely and productively dwell.

We often hear people telling us to ground ourselves, but we may not be sure what that means and how we might do it. Grounding ourselves is a way of bringing ourselves literally back to earth. Some of us are more prone than others to essentially leaving our bodies and not being firmly rooted in our bodies. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this, but while we are living on the earth plane it is best to stay grounded in the body.

One of the easiest ways to ground ourselves is to bring our attention to our breath as it enters and leaves our bodies. After about 10 breaths, we will probably find that we feel much more connected to our physical selves. We might then bring our awareness to the sensations in our bodies, moving from our head down to our feet, exploring and inquiring. Just a few minutes of this can bring us home to bodies and to the earth, and this is what it means to ground ourselves.

We can go further by imagining that we have roots growing out of the bottoms of our feet, connecting us to the earth. The roots flow with us so we can we always move, but at the same time they keep us grounded. We receive powerful energy from the earth just as we do from the forms of energy we associate with the sky, and our body is a tool that brings these two energies together in a sacred union. When we are grounded, we essentially become a strong container in which our spirits can safely and productively dwell. This is why grounding ourselves every day, especially at the beginning of the day, is such a beneficial practice. Fortunately, it’s as simple as bringing our conscious awareness to our bodies and the earth on which we walk.

PHOTO (cc):  Flickr / rachel_thecat

Take Down the White Flag

The temptation to quit is strongest the day before you realize your heart’s desire. The enemy of your soul waits patiently and then whispers the words he knows will persuade you to give up:

You don’t deserve it. You can’t possibly achieve it. So, why bother?

You listen. Nod in agreement and then raise the white flag to signal defeat. This is when the disappointment strikes you. The sudden blow takes your breath away. You fall to your knees trying to recover. The enemy of your soul gloats for a moment and then leaves you in your frustration.

The noise of the white flag flapping in the wind is one of the loneliest sounds you will ever hear.

That was then. This is now.

 It doesn’t matter how many times you have given up; what matters is how you will respond the next time doubt surfaces. And what matters most is learning how to take down the white flag for good.

There have been plenty of times when I raised the white flag. The enemy of my soul has taken advantage of my fear and exposed my doubt more than once. I wish I didn’t quit the high school baseball team; I wish I didn’t give up on going to medical school and I wish I didn’t stop writing the book that I know is inside of me.

But that was then. This is now.

You do have the power to take down the white flag. The following are choices you can make whenever the enemy of your soul begins whispering its lie:

1. You are stronger than you think. Anything worth having is worth fighting for – no matter how long it takes. Know you do have the strength, the resolve, to confront any challenge and to learn from the setbacks you encounter along the way.

2. Anything is possible. Why not you and why not now? When an idea is placed in your mind, it is put there for good reason. Honor it. Pursue it. Recognize you have been charged with the responsibility of seeing the idea come to life. When you do, the impossible will be made possible.

3. Understand your limits. You can only do so much in a day, week, month or year. Realize there’s no stopwatch on you. Your time and attention will be diverted to other responsibilities. They do not go away simply because you are pursuing a new dream. Understand in your humanness you do have limits. Rather than being discouraged by these limits, celebrate them. These limits are reminders of the rich, full life you already have.

4. Ask for help. You are not alone. When doubt begins to takeover, turn to family, friends and other confidants to receive the support you need. I have never witnessed someone not receiving help when it is requested.

5. Make a difference. The achievement of your dream will make a difference. Use this fact as motivation when the whispering grows louder. Your purpose, your mission, is uniquely yours. You were created to make a difference like no else can.

6. You deserve happiness. If pursuing your dream, and then achieving it, brings you happiness, then know this: You deserve to be happy. No one is doling out happiness – it’s available for all.

7. Just a heartbeat away. Your arrival to the place you want to be is just a heartbeat away. You will know you are getting closer when the urge to quit becomes glaringly tempting. Push back with your newfound power. Claim what belongs to you and honor it by never turning away again.

8. One step everyday. Rather than measuring where you think you should be, measure where you once were compared to where you are today. Realize that getting to your dream is about taking one step each day. The steps don’t have to be measured in feet or yards; inches will do.

9. Ignore negative talk. Not everyone will be an encourager. When you come across these people, understand their negative comments define who they are; their comments don’t define who you are.

10. Be the inspiration. You touch people in ways you may never know. Your positive attitude, your relentless pursuit of a dream and your ability to ignore the malicious whispering and focus on the goal at hand is admirable. People are watching you. They are inspired by your extraordinary actions even if you consider them to be ordinary.

The next time the enemy of your soul whispers the lie, stay strong in your faith. Practice replacing the lie with the truth. The truth speaks the words to persuade you to never give up:

You are worthy to receive your heart’s desire. You can achieve it. Go be the person you were created to be. Take down the white flag. Raise hope for all to see. Listen to your new flag flapping in the wind and be nourished by its sound.

Haiti and the Resiliance and Strength of her People

We’ve all been touched in one way or another by the images and stories from Haiti since the terrible earthquake in January. I know I’ve been humbled by the strength and resilience, the love and devotion of the people of Haiti.

Stories such as the husband who knew his wife was buried in the rubble of the family home and refused to leave the site for 60 straight hours while they dug using their bare hands and a single shovel – until she was pulled out alive.

Or the teens – one pulled out 14 days one 15 days after being buried alive. I don’t know if I could have survived … I think they were wrapped in the wings of angels.

Right now many people have sent money to relief agencies, and they need that. But there are also now hundreds of thousands of people living in tent cities with just the clothes they were wearing when they escaped the quake. And the rainy season is about to start, making life even more miserable.

Women, young girls, and babies, in particular were most vulnerable before the quake and are even more at risk now.

So we want your help to send some Love to Haiti and let them know we care.

Sponsor one of the shirts at http://www.half4charity.com – special shirts that are filled with Love and Hope and Compassion and over 200 positive words in 15 world languages printed INSIDE the shirt to wrap the body and spirit in positive words and energy – and let someone know you care.

We have a major aid agency already on the ground that will see that these shirts get to the most at-risk. The women, young girls, and babies.

When you sponsor a shirt you will receive what’s called a gift-in-kind receipt from the charity. A gift-in-kind receipt is typically where you purchase something at wholesale price, only in this case every shirt is at or below cost (this is not about us making money, it is about getting the shirts to people who need them), and in return you get a charitable tax receipt for the full retail value of the item.

For those that do not know us yet, you can visit our parent website, www.creomundi.com, and check out the testimonials on the client feedback page (www.creomundi.com/client-feedback.php).  Or go to the Creo Mundi Facebook fan page and read the reviews and comments there.

But right now, please go to http://www.half4charity.com and sponsor a shirt for as little as $11 and let someone there know we care.

With gratitude.

 

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