Move

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“If you don’t like where you are, move.  You are not a tree”

Are you afraid of change? Change makes me nervous.  I’m excited – filled with anticipation of what’s to come.  I’m also afraid – of the unknown. I don’t know what’s coming so I can’t control it, prepare for it.  If I listened to my fears each time change happened I’d be in the same place I was ten years ago.  No growth, no new experiences, just same old predictable me.

The good thing about change is you always learn something new, even if it’s  unpleasant.  It could be a life lesson- like letting go of that wrong “love” or not killing yourself for that self-serving boss. Change also allows you to move on from an unhappy place.  If there is something that you don’t like, change it….at least take concrete action to make improvements – spruce up that resume and network, call your sibling and work out your differences …. No one or nothing has absolute control over you.  We are free people.  So use that privilege to make the right changes;  it could mean your happiness and peace.

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Celebrate your Success

If you don’t celebrate success it won’t celebrate you.

Sometimes we forget to be proud of ourselves, to celebrate our accomplishments.  We get wrapped up in setting up/ meeting/ exceeding the next goal we forget to enjoy the present one.  Or we focus on what we haven’t accomplished, what weighs us down, daily responsibilities…kill joys.

But I have so many friends who are achieving goals and I want them to know I celebrate them, I’m proud of them, and they inspire me.  Some are taking charge of their health by meal planning, eating clean, exercising.  Some have started their own businesses, while  others have moved on from un-supportive employers to ones that  meet their needs.   Others have moved places to follow their dreams.  Many are raising successful families – some as single parents; some have written books, while others courageously face the world each day despite illness and anxieties.

What I realize all of these people have in common is faith and the belief that they deserve happiness and peace.  So they set goals and take action until they succeed.  It’s such a good feeling when you attain a desire.  This joy could be fleeting though if you don’t celebrate your accomplishment because you feel you must find something else to do right away.  Of course it’s good to keep growing and learning and progressing.  But it’s just as important to pause and reflect on your successes. You’ll feel a sense of gratitude, contentment, pride, and motivation to keep pushing forward.  If not, it will be a never-ending rat-race that will sap your energy.

So take a moment and reflect on how you showed up and showed out. I bet you killed the game.  Now I bet you’re beaming with pride.

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Resilience

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The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that 
resists.

 

Toughness.  The ability to recover from difficulties.  Resilience.

This is not always easy. Especially when the problem is challenging and long-lasting. You can feel defeated, hopeless, tired, and want to give up.  But giving up should never be a first option.  True, at one point you have to learn to let go, but that’s only after you’ve tried everything possible to make the situation work.  Once none of your efforts pan out then maybe it’s time to consider a different option, another angle, a new strategy.

In the meantime find the strength to endure by praying for courage and to have the right attitude.  Find a confidant and reveal your concerns, share ideas and solutions. Take time for self-care, to rest, have fun. Contemplate on all that you’ve overcome and survived, all your blessings.  Sing a joyful song loudly, go on a nature walk and enjoy the magnificent creation around you.  You’ll find a measure of peace and clarity.

Challenges don’t define us.  But the lessons we learn and the characteristics we develop from them often do.  So learn resilience.  Don’t give up quickly or give others your power. Resilience will help you cope with life’s challenges with hope -eager expectation, expectation of good .  This way you’ll always be victorious.

 

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My day off

“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

I took the day off today and tomorrow.  I feel so happy. I’m learning the importance of self-care and being in tune with my mental, physical, and emotional needs.  I woke up early still but an instant smile and a light- heartedness over flowed within me when I remembered I could use each hour in the next 48 hours the way I choose. I could be productive, I could be lazy, I could do something halfway in between.

That’s  exactly what I did. I took time to handle things that are important to me and I took time to rest- to let my mind wander, then caught it right on time before I started thinking of responsibilities and work. I must say I felt a little guilty laying around not doing anything. But why should I feel guilt? I think we’re so programmed to always be on the go that we find it difficult to relax, to not have to be busy doing something every waking hour.

So I’m really at peace today. So grateful for being able to take time for me, to de-stress, to enjoy the sunshine, to use time how I want.  I’m very happy today.  I hope the same for you. I hope you take time to do you.

Enough

I heard this word today by a motivational speaker. She made the point that when you know you are enough you will stop the struggle to get more and learn to accept, allow, and attract all that adds to you instead of who/what subtracts from you. When you know you have enough the desperate drive to get more will be replaced by the comforting flow of gratitude.

I paused and reflected on this and I must say she made valid points. Thoughts that kept coming to mind after this were: rat race, perfectionism, being over spent, overspending, keeping up with the Jones, anxiety, frustration.  None of that is appealing, or lead to happiness and peace.

When we’re content we’re happy. What defines your contentment?  I value peace tremendously. If it means staying away from the malls and online shopping for months to cut back on financial stress then I do it.  If it means getting together  with a friend at my favorite gelato shop I do it. If it means buying a plane ticket to an exciting new destination…yup I do it. But if it also means saying no….I do that too.  With time I’m learning to be content with enough.  I have enough of what I need, I am enough as a person so I make a great friend/companion/mate…

But truly, when you learn contentment- being satisfied with the things you have without constantly focusing on what you don’t have- your joy increases.  You’ll realize you have enough.

I long for peace that flows like a river.

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Self care

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It’s true if you’re discouraged your strength will be meager. Focusing on every problem that comes along and wallowing in it – then creating more problems in our minds that doesn’t even exist is not healthy. Stress kills. When it scares you to wake up each morning because you can’t mentally and emotionally face the day, or when you can’t quiet your thoughts at night to rest then you need to pause and examine what’s going on.

Do you need encouragement? Let your family and friends knows. A good word spoken at the right time is comforting.

Do you need some time off? Take it.  “A live dog is better off than a dead lion”

Do you need professional help? Seek it. Mental and emotional health is as important as physical health. They work together.

Everyday we have to face life’s challenges, and it’s hard not to carry the weight of the world when we care.  I find that turning off the news and all the negative stories on social media is sometimes necessary.

I caught a glimpse of the sun setting as I drove; Instantly I felt calmer because I saw the beauty in creation and remembered to be thankful for being able to experience  it. I was at the beach and as we walked along the shore I felt awe at its majestic power.  Where does the sea begin and where does it end? How much life is really down there?  I felt so small in comparison, but thankful for its existence. How unimportant and futile some things seemed at the moment – like the $2000 purse I recently saw at a mall.  There’s beauty in creation- so much knowledge to gain by studying it.

So I’m choosing to focus on these things. Yes, we have to deal with issues that arise, yes we have to problem solve and quench life’s fires, but we don’t have to dwell in negativity and lose joy, peace, or health. There may be truth to something I read: life is 20% what happens to you and 80% how you react.  Training our minds to remain happy and hopeful despite trials can build resilience.  Then we’ll be better prepared to cope with challenges.

Take time to care for yourself

Count your blessings

Focus on the good