Posts Tagged ‘inspirational’

LET YOUR HOPE BE GREATER THAN YOUR FEAR

October 22, 2013

     

Many of us are walking through fear-storms. When the world seems to turn upside down, some of the anchors on which we have relied seem to disappear and fear seems to rule the day. These days, it seems as if fear is at epidemic proportions. You might say that we are living in a polluted “atmosfear.”

People are afraid of any number of things….the dark, being alone, snakes, spiders, heights, water, flying, politicians, giant meatballs. I am afraid of wearing a swimsuit, but that’s just me.  Many people are afraid of dying, but sadder still…many are afraid of living.

Fear can be confusing. Sometimes we tend to feel that if we hold on to our fears, we are protecting ourselves by being vigilant. Ding dong, that’s wrong. It is wrong on many levels.  For one thing, there is a difference between being cautious and being scared stiff! Being zapped by the “fangs of fear” is like being stung by a scorpion. It can fill you with poison and immobilize you.

So what are we to do when things seem to be spinning out of control? Fear begins with a thought. It starts as a worry or a doubt and grows into a full-blown fear….of losing something that we love or of not getting what we want or think we need.  Fear is a bully and it thrives on our belief in it.  When we look at it for what it really is, a trickster who wants to cloud the truth and dominate us, we can begin to recognize that we have options.  There is really no reason to live in the grip of fear because to do so, strangles hope and prevents us from living in peace.   But it is difficult to toss fear out on its ear because it is sneaky! It appears in the form of worry, anger, jealousy, doubt and confusion. But it does have a powerful enemy and that is HOPE!  Just as it only takes one little candle to light the darkness, so it is that one little spark of hope can begin to loosen the grip of fear.  

Here are some steps that I have found helpful when I begin to feel the cold fingers of fear closing around my throat. (Whoa…Stephen King just took over my brain!)

                                      

  1. Determine whether you are facing a real threat or an imagined one.  Sometimes our minds run in all directions at once and a perceived threat becomes a huge monster in our heads. We blow it up to outrageous proportions and panic sets in.  Don’t catastrophize…calm down and look at things realistically.

 2.  If you assess the situation and feel that you are facing something real, put it into perspective and realize that you have the capability to deal with it without pushing the panic button.  You have options.  Make a plan of action.

 3.  Breathe.

 4.   Don’t feed your fear because it will devour you. Instead, feed your hope…. Hold Onto Positive Expectations. A fear driven life is a life not fully lived.

 

Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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One Piece of the Puzzle

October 25, 2012

I am really terrible at working on jigsaw puzzles. Apparently, I lack the eye-hand coordination, spatial awareness and patience to be successful at fitting a bunch of little jaggedy-shaped pieces together to make a picture.

I have been known to become so frustrated, that I have resorted to cutting, bending or biting a piece into the shape that is needed to fit a space. Yes, I am aware of the fact that makes me sound really odd, but that is the way it is. When it comes to puzzles, I am puzzled!

It would be my guess that most people would have more difficulty if there wasn’t a picture on the box lid, to show what the puzzle is supposed to look like when it is completed. And without a picture; no matter how proficient a puzzle “putter-togetherer” might be, it would be virtually impossible to look at one lone piece and figure out what the whole thing should look like.

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle.  No…Forrest Gump did not say that…I did! What I mean is that it is made up of a lot of pieces, we only get one piece at a time, and we don’t get a box lid with a picture! We really can’t see what lies ahead of us and sometimes, we can’t figure out why certain things happened to us in the past.  Of course, this is because we don’t have all of the pieces of the puzzle and we’re not supposed to have them yet. We may have formulated a picture in our mind of what our life is supposed to look like, but that picture might be totally different than the way it’s going to end up.

Every minute, every hour, every day and every experience we have is a piece of the puzzle. Sometimes they fit together and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes we have to wait for a while to get a piece that connects with one that we already have; because if we try to cut, bend or chew in order to wedge in a piece that doesn’t really belong there…well, you know that never works!

But if we are patient, we will begin to see a beautiful picture unfold which won’t be complete until we leave this earth. If we enjoy the process, we will see the pieces slowly move and shift, like a kaleidoscope; offering an ever changing variety of colorful pictures that will be more amazing than anything we ever could have imagined if we planned it!

Three Habits of Highly Self-Defeating People

October 14, 2011

Most of us have read books informing us of the habits of  highly successful people. We know that in order to be successful, we must  program our minds for success and we also know that particular mindset doesn’t  always come easily. I think it is equally important to know the habits we  should NOT embrace. I call these the habits of highly self-defeating people.

1. Always compare yourself to others.  This is a great way to feel lousy about yourself! If you measure your  every accomplishment against someone else, you will probably always be  successful in finding some shortcoming in your own performance.  This is because you are NOT someone else and  someone else is NOT you!  Every one of us  has a unique personality, style and talent. Modeling a successful person whose  accomplishments you respect is one thing but it is important to realize that  you cannot live anyone else’s life because they are already living it, so blaze  your own trail!     

 2. Always expect the worst and you will never be disappointed…and make sure  you always panic.  These are trying times and everyone  loves to talk about how we’re going down for the count! Watching the news will  straighten your hair if it’s curly and curl your hair if it’s straight! You  can’t pick up a magazine without seeing a headline about impending doom and it  is getting tougher to muster up any optimism.  Now is the time to just say “no” to despair! Panic doesn’t help anything  and it makes you look like a deranged squirrel. We attract what we most often  think about so if we expect failure and angst to come knocking at the door, we  will probably find it on our front porch. Maintaining an optimistic attitude  doesn’t mean believing that everything will be rosy; it means entertaining  alternate possibilities, fostering creative ways to meet challenges and being  proactive in your own success!   

  3.  Keep old feelings of past failure, guilt, fear and other bad things alive  and in the frontal lobe of your brain at all times….and don’t forget the  negative self-talk!  To maintain that fearful feeling of  never being good enough, be sure to constantly conjure up and nurture your past  woes. Right? WRONG!  You cannot move ahead while looking backward. Don’t allow  your mistakes to define your worth or dictate your future.  Fight the urge to relive the past. Get off of  the hamster wheel that keeps you on the same track and take a different path  with a different attitude! Refrain from reminding yourself daily that you do  not deserve any good things and treat yourself with respect.  Deal with the situations at hand, glean the good “stuff” from your past failures, do the best  you can and don’t rent your brain cells out to negativity! Above all….don’t be  your worst enemy! You may as well like yourself because wherever you go…there  you are!

How Not to Act Old

April 18, 2011

You’ve probably heard the saying, “We don’t stop laughing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop laughing.” We know that as we age, there is a risk that our fountain of youth will become clogged with the sands of time and a sense of humor is a good plunger to keep it unstuck. Fortunately, now that I am extremely…..uh….mature; I find that I have many things to keep me laughing and they’re all on my body!
I could easily become depressed when I think about how my skin now has a relaxed fit, my bra size is a 38 long and if a strong wind were to hit my upper arm flaps, I could achieve lift. But, I try to keep the elf in mysELF and maintain a sense of humor about the whole process. Therefore, I have chosen to rename some aging characteristics. For instance, I now call my cellulite “texturing”, my age spotting is “highlighting”, and I have chosen to think of the extra skin on my upper arms as “angel wings.”
I have also learned to be fine with my age and to know what I can no longer pull off. For instance, whereas I used to squeeze myself into jeans that needed to be zipped up while lying on my back; I no longer have the inclination, or the agility to do the tight pants tango! I have retired my halters and tube tops due to the fact that my breasts themselves could be called “tube tops.” The tee-shirts reading “So Many Men and So Little Time” now take on a different meaning, so they’ve been tossed. But I’m still not ready to wear the ones that announce, “I’m still hot…it just comes in flashes now!” Part of not acting old is not trying to act too young. Having a young spirit is great but stuffing a middle aged body into the same clothes you wore when you first got pimples just makes you look like an old person trying to look young which really just makes you look older. The trick is to feel comfortable in your own skin. As I said, mine is now fitting more loosely, so it is actually quite comfy.
Technology is a definite age giveaway. If you don’t keep up, you become a technology dinosaur….a Technosaurus, if you will. If you are wondering if you have fallen into this category, here are some guidelines to help you to know for sure. You might be a Technosaurus if you still own cassette tapes and a matching player. You are definitely a Technosaurus if you have an eight track player. However, this does not apply to owning albums and a turntable on which to play them. This just makes you retro and that is cool. You might be a Technosaurus if you think a Blackberry is a new kind of Marie Callender fruit pie. You might be a Technosaurus if you think that Twitter is something that only birds do and that Skyping is the act of birds winging across the sky while they are twittering. You might be a Technosaurus if your Smart Phone outsmarts you. This can be manifested in it using auto correct to edit your texts; causing you to send messages reading “I could hardly contain my excrement!” rather than I could hardly contain my excitement!” You might be a Technosaurus if you send texts which are set in grammatically correct paragraphs and are punctuated properly. This means that you are not up on the latest text abbreviations and you think that lol is short for lollipop. If that is the case, well OMG you ARE a Technosaurus!
It is important to remain on the cutting edge in business so the older person needs to make some changes. A colleague suggested that I add a menu to my business phone voice mail to make me sound like a major player. That way, people would have to press a number to speak to one of my staff. What most callers don’t know (until they read this book) is that I am my staff! I work from home. The only other potential staff members in my office have four legs, a tail and fur. My new foray into technology is presenting webinars. I will begin them as soon as I can perfect aligning my head with the webcam so participants aren’t hearing a session presented by talking eyebrows.
The important thing to remember is that as is the case with most things, attitude is everything when it comes to aging. We can either become bitter or better. There are some things that improve with age; wine and cheese, for example. Seriously, when we are teenagers, we are completely run by our hormones and are constantly worried about looking the right way and saying the right things and being with the “right” people. With age comes the wisdom to know that the people who are worth our friendship don’t care how we look and they will be the ones who will laugh with us when we stick our feet in our mouths and say the absolute wrong things. Actually, the older we get, the freer we should be to feel young. After all, we’re in pretty good shape for the shape we’re in!
To wrap up this topic, I have formulated a list of “Do Nots” to keep you from acting old:
• Do not step out of your house (even to pick up the newspaper or the mail) while wearing only your granny panties and a bra. This applies to women AND men.
• Do not eat your evening meal at 4:00 in the afternoon.
• Refrain from using the terms, “boss”, “hip”, “bitchin’” “far out” or “groovy” to describe something that is really great. This marks you as a child of the sixties. Also refrain from using “phat,” “fierce” “awesome” and “dope,” as these words said by a person over twenty just don’t sound right; particularly if the person is wearing plaid Bermuda shorts, a loud Hawaiian shirt and sandals with socks.
• Do not wear sunglasses over your bifocals. Choose one or the other.
• Do not pull up next to a car playing rap music and yell at the driver, telling him that he is going to damage his hearing and what kind of music is that filthy rap, anyway? And don’t turn your classic rock radio station up to the max to try to drown out the rap. Really really loud “Doo Wah Diddy Diddy” is no more pleasing to the ear than really really loud P. Diddy.
• Do not remind a young woman that the tattoo of the dainty little flower on her upper arm will one day become a long stemmed rose when her skin begins to droop and understand that the teenage boy with the nose ring doesn’t give a rat’s posterior that you think he looks like your Uncle Ed’s bull.
• While riding in a car with another person, avoid reading every sign, billboard and road marker out loud. On even a fifteen minute road trip, this may trigger violence in the other person and you may find yourself on the side of the road.
• Take the words, “In my day….” out of your vocabulary.
• While ordering in a restaurant, understand that the waitress or waiter does not need to know why you’re not ordering bacon and buttered toast. Your cholesterol numbers are your own business and of no concern to your server. And please remember that no one at your table, even your best friends, needs to hear what onions do to your digestive track.
These are just a few to get you started. Aging is inevitable but acting old is optional. I hope we all can remember to be grateful that we’re still alive and kicking and that there are good things to be experienced at any age. Just remember to keep in touch with that little child inside of you and make sure that he or she still comes out to play. There is a difference between being childish and being childlike, so don’t ever let anyone tell you to grow up!