Category Archives for Taking Action

I Choose to be HAPPY!

I choose to be HAPPY!
 
Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that much power over your life.
  – Mandy Hale
 
I totally agree and add to it, that my happiness should never be dependent on the things I have in my life. Happiness is a choice, not a result of anything that I have or what is going on in my life.  It isn’t dependent on your significant other, your family, your friends.  It isn’t dependent on your job, the car you drive, or the position you have achieved at your job.  It isn’t dependent on the size of your bank account.  It comes from owning the fact that you are the source of your own happiness.  It always starts within, and that is why transformation is always a part of the process of being happy.
 
The world is full of magic things patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
  – W. B. Yeats
I love how small children have this concept down. Have you seen the video of the baby that laughs when dad tears the paper? She gets so hysterical over the ripping paper, you just have to smile. A baby’s laughter always makes me smile, no matter what. Children open presents and half the time they have more fun playing with the boxes the toys came in, as they have in playing with the toys.
 
Happiness is always a choice.  You can’t wait for circumstances to get better.  You have to create your own good fortune.  So look for ways to be happy every day.
  – Joel Osteen
 
At any moment in time we can simply choose to let our happiness be bigger than our worries. We can focus on the inspiring things that we see around us. The man who opens the shopkeepers door for the woman carrying a baby and her purse. The teenage boy who stops traffic so that the ducks can cross the street. The little old lady who pulls out some coins and drops them in the parking meter that just popped up the expired sign as she walks by. The little girl who reaches down and picks up the mail that the elderly man dropped as he took it out of his mailbox.
 

For a few moments, be aware of your potential for change.  Whatever your present situation is, evolution and transformation are always possible.  At the least, you can change your way of seeing things and then, gradually, your way of being as well.
  – Matthieu Ricard
 
Many of us tend to wait for happiness – when we are on vacation or when we retire – then we will do what we want and be happy. Like the rest of our life is a payment for a few fleeting days of happiness each year. Instead, why not give yourself permission to be happy every day? 
 
I am the only one who can decide whether I’m going to let the chaos of life make me unhappy.
  – geniespeaks.wordpress.com
 
One of the keys to finding more happiness in our life is to learn to look at each situation and ask:  What is this situation trying to be, instead of putting a definition around it and then trying to make it fit.  How many times have we stopped listening to what someone is trying to tell us, and instead ran full speed ahead with our own negative interpretation of the situation?  Then after we have created a mess of the whole thing, discovered that we simply were not listening with an open heart, and so missed what they were trying to say?  I have done this many times, and it has happened to me many times.  When that begins to happen I try to remember to stop the conversation just for a moment, and say “I am not explaining this very well, let me try again (if I am being misunderstood) or I say to them, I think that I am not understanding what you are trying to say, can we start over?
 
When nobody else celebrates you, learn to celebrate yourself.  When nobody else compliments you, then compliment yourself.  It’s not up to other people to keep you encouraged.  It’s up to you.  Encouragement should come from the inside.
  – Joel Osteen
 
I AM is two of the most powerful words in our language.  What you put after those two words is how you are defining your world.  Remember your peace and happiness come from within.  It is always a choice.  I AM HAPPY.  Claim it.  It is a beautiful blessed day and it is a wonderful life.  Happiness is the truth.

Getting onto the Right Path

12650892_1300710919944004_1731674982206343112_nOne of my favorite stories comes from Love, Medicine and Miracles by Dr. Bernie Seigal. A young man wanted to become a violinist. His parents said no, become a lawyer. He went to law school and started practicing law. He then developed what was diagnosed as terminal cancer. Thinking he was going to die, he got a job playing violin for an orchestra. Years later, he was still alive because he realized he was on the wrong path. He had to live his life, not the life of his parents. Knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to do so is courage. Isn’t it amazing that cancer is what gave him courage enough to walk away?

We have all been placed on this earth to discover our own path, and we will never be happy if we live someone else’s idea of life.

  – James Van Praagh

Our bodies know when we are not living our authentic life, and we will receive a wake up call. It is important that we listen, look within, and then have the courage to make the changes that need to be made. It is also important to realize that just because we are walking down the right path, doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles. Our need of courage includes being courageous enough to know that we will still make mistakes, experience disappointments and despair.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.  Everything we see is perspective, not the truth.

  – Marcus Aurelis

This is where the ability to look about and within becomes important. It doesn’t mean that we are on the wrong path just because something goes wrong. It could just mean that we need to grow more, to be able to continue the journey.  U-Turns don’t take you back the way you just came.  Life’s road twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same.  So when you complete a U-turn it is just like turning down a side road.  You can’t go backwards, although it seems like it some days.  Trying to go backwards is very disappointing, because we can’t recreate what we left behind.  We changed and so did everyone else.

The light at the end of the tunnel is your life; it’s the tunnel that’s temporary.

  – Michael Josephson

Don’t allow yourself to become the boulder blocking the path. This is what happens when we try to go backwards.  We block our own path.  We might recreate similar patterns of self destruction.  If we do, that is when we know that it is time to listen to the heart.  Our heart and soul are like the magnetic needle on the compass. Always go to “true north” and you will be on the right path. 

Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road.  Turn around.

  – Edgar Cayee

I have always maintained that U-turns are part of every journey to some place that I don’t know. I expect them, I laugh when they happen. U-Turns can be really interesting. What I have learned in my life is that every single experience has something important in it that I needed to learn. I may only understand later, why that piece of knowledge was required.

I have been in the mortgage industry for almost 35 years. So I have lived through good and bad cycles in the financial industry. Years ago I had a good job, but the owner of another company kept calling me to come and work for him. Finally after months of getting his phone calls, I gave notice and went to work for him. This job would end up being a U-turn for me.

He had hired a free lance writer to create a manual for the mortgage brokers he worked with, and she seemed unable to finish the project, so as part of my job I took that project to completion. Then two weeks later I was laid off, when the interest rates hiked up and his business slowed down. I really yelled at myself, because I felt I had made a wrong decision in taking that job and should have stayed where I was.

Sometimes a wrong turn can get you straight to the right track.

  – Marva Ezzat

We ended up having to move out of state in order for me to find work. But what happened next, was really interesting. The Savings and Loan I went to work for needed manuals written for their servicing department, and because I had that experience I got the job of being both an underwriter and a trainer. I created several training programs for them, as well as the servicing manual.

Then I got a second part time job teaching at South Seattle Community College for an adult education class for loan processors and loan officers. I ended up creating new manuals for this position too, because their manuals were so bad. Both of these jobs would not have been available to me, if I hadn’t taken that earlier job and got the experience of creating a manual.

Move on.  It’s just a chapter in your life.  Don’t close the book, just turn the page for a new chapter.

  – Unknown

So we will fall down. We may even get lost. U-Turns are a given. But as long as we take out that compass, listen to our hearts and the courage in our soul, we will be on the right path. As long as we tune into true north, we can take that step into the unknown, knowing that this is the right path.

Life is full of surprises and serendipity.  Being open to unexpected turns in the road is an important part of success.  If you try to plan every step, you may miss those wonderful twists and turns.  Just find your next adventure – do it well, and enjoy it – and then, not now, think about what comes next.

  – Condelezza Rice

If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself

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If you want to soar in life, you must first love yourself.

You have to love yourself because no amount of love from others is sufficient to fill the yearning that your soul requires from you.

 – Dodinsky

So many of us have put the cart before the horse when it comes to love. We spend all of our time “earning” the love of others by being who they want us to be. By doing everything in our power to make their life perfect. We expend our body and soul and at the end of the day, nothing turns out the way we wanted it to and we are left feeling “not good enough”. 

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

  – African Proverb

There is a show on PBS called “Home Fires”.  It takes place in England during WWII.  It about a group of women who are part of a women’s group that contribute to the village and the war effort.  In the first season there is one woman whose husband abuses her.  Like all abusers he makes every time he loses his temper to be her fault.  The real issue at hand for the story line is that he is a newspaper writer who can’t get enough work.

A few of her best friends figure out what is happening, but at the point in history there really isn’t anything they can do about it.  She is too ashamed to admit what is happening.  The times that she struggles to fight back, he leaves her self worth in even more tatters.  At the end of the first season, one of her friends was successful in getting him a war correspondent job without him being aware of it.  He left the village to go to the front, and the character has the opportunity to start loving herself and building up her self esteem, so that she doesn’t fall back into the same situation when he returns.  One of the underlying contributors of why women stay is that they don’t love themselves enough to gather up what remains of their self worth and self trust, to leave and not look back.

Love yourself enough to take the actions required for your happiness.  Love yourself enough to cut yourself loose from the ties of the drama filled past.  Love yourself enough to move on.

  – Dr. Steve Maraboli

We may not be in such an extreme situation with our self love, but you only have to listen to the comments we make to ourselves, to know that it is something that we can all work on.  When we live our life this way, we bought into a lie, that loving ourselves first will take away from the time and effort we are spending to get others to love us. We think that the only way to be worthy of self love is to prove that others love us first. Why would we attract the love of others, if we don’t even love ourselves?

Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish – it makes you indestructible.

  – Unknown

Trying to in essence purchase the love of others by our self sacrifice of ourselves, is like trying to fit the square peg in the round hole, we can push it, twist it, and pound the peg until it shatters, but it will never fit. It won’t fill that yearning from our soul, that begs us to put “love us” first.

5 Things to Quit – right now.

  • Trying to please everyone
  • Fearing Change
  • Living in the past
  • Putting yourself down
  • Overthinking

We have the power to choose where we are going. We have the power to stop trying to get attention from those who hurt us. We have the power to stop hating our body, our personality, and the pieces of us that don’t fit in the square hole. We can start with loving ourselves, saying “I love my thighs just as they are”, “I love my imperfect smile”, “I love that I snort when I laugh”, “I love me”.  We can get the truth of the situation into our bones – nobody will ever love us more than we love ourselves.  It is critically important to our health and happiness – both physical and mental – that we treat ourselves right.

I have an everyday religion that works for me. Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

  –  Lucille Ball

What if for the rest of this year you devoted yourself to loving you more?  Your choices will change your life.  Make peace with your mirror and watch your reflection change.  The loss of judgment in your eyes.  The removing of the wrinkles of anxiety across the forehead, that you aren’t good enough.  The curve of the smile of self confidence, that says you are amazing and you are rocking that outfit.  The glow of inner peace and love that fills your space with light.  And – LOL – Best hair day EVER!

Forget all the Reasons it won’t Work and Focus on the One Reason it Will

Forget all the Reasons it wont Work and Focus on the One Reason it Will

I love this quote with this photo. When you are climbing, you have to have singular focus on what you are doing. Where is the next hand grip? The next place to wedge in your foot? Constantly looking up the wall of rock to find the easiest way up.

It is very easy to find reasons why we can’t do something. Can’t however is usually masking “I don’t want to”, “It’s too hard”, “too much effort”, “it won’t work”. These are all rungs up a ladder that goes nowhere.

At work I hear things, like I am stuck at this job because no one is hiring people over 50 yrs old. Or no one is hiring anyone without a college degree, or you need more experience than I have. No one in the past five years has been promoted or received a raise, so you have to go outside the company to get ahead. Whatever the complaint, the “reason” will be something that they can’t control or change.

All of these reasons why something won’t work will stand in our way as long as we have a belief in them. I love the work of Byron Katie because her four questions show us the fallacy of believing these “reasons”.

1. Is it true? (Yes or no. If no, move to 3.)
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true? (Yes or no.)
3. How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought? 
4. Who would you be without the thought?

Then she does what she calls the turnaround question – the turn around question puts the thought to the opposite end of the statement. The purpose of this is to welcome all your thoughts and experiences with open arms, so that you lose the resistance to what is actually true.

The 2nd question is my favorite, because in reality we can never know that our “reason” is absolutely true. This is because no matter what the rule is, there is always an exception to the rule. Most of the things that we believe about ourselves and others are just stories our minds have made up. None of them can pass question #2.

The follow up with question #4 – who would you be without that thought? You would be the person who uses focus to accomplish the dreams and/or goals that are set before them. In this photo, you would be the woman who climbs up the wall to the top successfully.

In our other examples, you would be the person who finds their dream job, because they focused on what they wanted instead of what they didn’t want. You would be happy for having accomplished what you set out to do, and didn’t allow negative thoughts to cloud your judgment or stop you in your tracks.

What Does The Term, “The sky’s the limit” Mean To You?

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What does the term, “the sky’s the limit” mean to you?  For me, it is where the comfort zone meets “what else is possible?”

What is stopping you is the unwillingness to live beyond this reality.

  – Unknown

It is an extension of “what is possible”, that is beyond what “normal” is for me. It is where all of the magic is, approaching life from that attitude.  All our of limitations are self installed.  We choose them either by accepting them from someone else, or our own inner critic forming them after a failure. The sky is not the limitation, we are. We see these limitations in our professional life, our personal life and our spiritual life. Some of these limitations come from our culture, through the “roles” we play with our friends and family.

Being on a spiritual path does not prevent you from facing times of darkness.  But it teaches you how to use the darkness as a tool to grow.

  – Unknown

When we go on a hero’s journey, the walls that we have built around us, to limit us, get torn down. When you take any really great story, you find within it what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey. My two favorite stories are “Star Wars” (the first three with Luke) and “Lord of The Rings”. 

The main character (Luke or Frodo) is going through a “normal” or boring life. Nothing much is happening. Then there is a call to adventure (Luke has R2D2 show up and Frodo has Gandalf), something new is introduced into the characters life.  This alters the hero’s destiny. At first the hero refuses the call to adventure – this isn’t for me. I can’t get involved. This can sometimes be because the hero knows that the role that you play within your family, or tribe will be forever changed once you cross the threshold.

Our worst days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God’s grace.  And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God’s grace.

  –  Jerry Bridges

Then the hero encounters the mentor – someone who gives advice and gets him ready. It could be someone supernatural, mystical or angelic. The hero crosses the threshold – leaves home and enters into the adventure. There are tests, allies and enemies are encountered in the journey which teach the hero a lot about him or herself. Plan A and possibly Plans B and C fail, as the hero experiences setbacks and has to rethink how to proceed.

Because you are alive, everything is possible.

  – Nhat Hanh

The hero has faith which leads them to access higher levels of knowledge and abilities to meet the tests with. The hero sees their limitations and ultimately has to defy and defeat them in order to pull through. The setbacks all lead to the ultimate crisis of life or death, where the hero struggles to complete their destiny (Luke battling the evil emperor and Frodo himself and the ring). Now the hero gets the reward – they have won out over the enemies. Many times the loses are mourned even as the victory is celebrated. The hero begins the journey back home, forever changed by the journey. The old limitations of what the hero thought they were capable of have changed. They have been forever transformed.

The reason people awaken, is because they have finally stopped agreeing to things that insult their soul.

  –  Unknown

I believe that we all take numerous hero’s journeys. We take them in our personal lives, our professional lives and our spiritual lives. We take small journeys and we take “dark night of the soul” journeys. Each time we need to transform our lives, we take a hero’s journey. We reinvent ourselves, we improvise, adapt and overcome our self made limitations. We get creative, we become flexible and adjust as we experience paradigm shifts.

There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.

  – Bruce Lee

So don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon. Use your imagination and creativity, to discover that the possibilities of your world are limitless.

If You’re searching for that one person that can change your life… Look in the Mirror.

If youre searching for that one person that can change your lifeErnest Holmes said, “Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” This time of the year is a great time to reflect back on what transpired for the past twelve months of our life. What happened to the goals or resolutions that you set for the year? Did you achieve them? Did you give up on them? Did you rise up or fall down?

Looking back helps us to see what we want to bring into our life. I trust that I deserve unconditional love. That I can have happiness and success every day in my life. That I can trust my wings and fly. I trust that I am right were I need to be, and that 2016 is going to be an amazing year.

If you look at your reflection in the water, you see of surface of you. But if you put your hand through the reflection, you can see what lies beneath. The question I always ask myself is “why am I doing this to myself? How can I do better?” Through the years of yo-yo dieting I have asked myself this question many times.

It is not the things that happened in my life that define me, but how I coped and adjusted through them, that made me who I am today. Somewhere along the way, weight became a protection. I release that. Somewhere along the way, my will power that had always controlled my life was crushed. I release that. I release the self destructive way of thinking.

Last year about half way through I hired a health coach because I haven’t been successful in losing it and keeping the weight off. So I ask myself “why am I regaining the weight?” The past few months new things have been brought up from the depths beneath the surface and released.

I am working on being a better person, and that includes my body, mind and soul. For whatever reason, the body fights back. So the reflection that I see right now, is showing me who I was. I am reflecting back to it, who I want to be.

I have been listening to all of the talk about Carrie Fischer and what she looks like today, versus almost 40 years ago when they filmed the first Star Wars movie. It is really sad that some of us feel the need to say negative things about how someone looks. Speaking as someone who is overweight I can testify that it doesn’t help me to lose weight. It doesn’t make me feel motivated to do anything positive. It just makes me feel depressed, because it is something that I am working on. I think Carrie Fischer is an amazing woman, who has had her struggles, just like all of us. She is courageous because she does it in the public eye, and says what she thinks. She is my hero.

So what do I do when I see someone extremely gorgeous? I stare, I smile, and when I get tired of holding up the mirror, I put it down

The Soul Never Thinks Without a Picture

the-soul-never-thinks-without-a-pictureI love the Emily Dickinson poem in which she says, “hope is the thing with feathers – that perches in the soul – and sings the tune without the words – and never stops – at all”.

Hope is perching in our souls and singing to us everyday. It tells us these wonderful stories of what we can accomplish in our lives. Visualization is critical to this hope, as it helps to bring in everything we want in our lives.

I think that is why I love to read from real books, and not on a computer screen. I order the fictional books on my kindle now, but for those books that I know that I want to underline and really think about – those books have to be paper.

In the movie “The Secret” and the book that followed it, they talked about visualization. Many people will tell you that they have a hard time with it, but if you tell your mind not to picture “your kitchen”, 99% of us immediately see our kitchen in our minds eye. It is a little harder to build a visualization of something that you have never seen, but block by block, with practice it can be done.

When I learned how to do it, I started with visualizing an orange. First I would see a circle, then I added color (orange), then texture (the dimples, feeling the smooth bumps), then I would see it squirting juice down the side of the orange, feeling the spray on my face. When I reached that point of seeing the juice, I could actually taste orange juice in my mouth as I watched the juice run down the side of the orange. I just practiced every day for several weeks, until one day I didn’t need to do it step by step, it just instantly popped into my head. Then I moved on to other things. They seem real, because I put all of my senses into the visualization.

This really helped me to connect deeper to my imagination. When I read books, I now see the story in my mind. The sun shining on the ocean as it flashes bright lights along the cresting waves, hear the waves crashing on the shoreline, feel the wind blowing and digging my toes down into the cool part of the sand, smelling the salt air, – I can totally enter the world being created by the author. When I am in this space, I see connections and possibilities that I have never thought of before.

This is how I learn from everything that I read, because I enter into worlds I have no experience of. I love it when a really good movie brings you totally into the world they have created. You forget you are even watching a movie.

I am sure that you heard the joke of the man who was on his rooftop, the water in flood stage cresting higher and higher towards him. He prays for help and God sends him some people with a canoe and he says “no thanks, God is sending me help”. He prays for help and God sends him some people with a motor boat and he says “no thanks, God is sending me help”. Then a helicopter comes and he says, “no thanks, God is sending me help”. Then the flood waters come higher and he drowns. Upon entering heaven he asks God, “why didn’t you save me?” God says, I sent a canoe, a motor boat and a helicopter, but you wouldn’t get in.

This kind of visualization is how we can attract into our lives, the things we need, to bring to us the goals and dreams we want. We have to remember that part of the journey, is the lessons we learn and how we grow and change, as we go towards our destination. By visualizing into the space the gratitude of already having it, by using all of the senses, we make it so real, that the divine is busy seeing what doors of opportunity it can open for us. What kinds of synchronicity it can bring into our lives. But we have to get into the boat.

The most important thing for us is to be looking for the doors and opportunities as they pass by us and grab them. Go through them, no matter how scared we are. Take the leap of faith that this is your answer, and climb up the ladder being presented and get into the helicopter.

How Does One Become A Butterfly?

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A caterpillar must endure a season of isolation before it turns into a butterfly.  Embrace the time you have alone, it will only make you stronger.

  – Steven Aitchison

Life is a journey of learning and discovery.  As young children we take in everything we can learn.  We are authentically ourselves.  Somewhere along the line of growing up, we learn to hide who we really are.  To keep ourselves safe.  To avoid ridicule.  To be the perfect person, so that we will be loved.   We have many reasons why we start hiding.  But there comes a time in our life, when we realize that in order to be truly happy, we have to transform back into who we really are.  We need to become the person we were created to be.

Butterflies can’t see their wings.  They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can.  People are like that as well.

  – Unknown

Transformation gives you the chance to rewrite the story of who you are and who you are capable of being. There are many things in our life that we give negative meanings to. But what if you gave pain the definition that it shows you that which is not for you? This would be a positive thing to know – what doesn’t belong to me or my life. Envy is another word that has a bad rap. What if envy simply shows you things which you may wish to empower in your life? That would be a great thing to know – things I want in my life and can empower myself to obtain.

To be nobody but yourself is a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody but yourself – means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight – and never stop fighting.

  – E.E. Cummings

The being that is forming in the cocoon is no longer a caterpillar. For the caterpillar the past is truly a place of reference. It can no longer live there, because that body is gone. Within the cocoon the caterpillars body literally melted into goo, and then formed a totally new body. As the butterfly’s body grows into its new shape, it becomes cramped as the wings want to expand out. It isn’t a place of residence for the butterfly, so it has to break loose and spread it’s wings and find a new home.  Even though everyone who knew you as a caterpillar is expecting you to still be a caterpillar, you can’t go back.  You have to fight to go forward, staying true to who you now are.

I tell you this to break your heart, by which I mean only that it break open and never close again to the rest of the world.

  – Mary Oliver

The butterfly had to break out of the old place of residence and begin a brand new journey, where everything is experienced for the first time. It must break open its heart to begin this journey, because it has to trust its intuition for flying, for finding food, for making a new home. Literally everything for the butterfly is a brand new experience.  You have to have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.

You will know you made the right decision when you pick the hardest and most painful choice but your heart is at peace.

  – Unknown

Transformation is a scary business. Because I am a perfectionist, I hate doing something new for the first time. I am doing the best I can with my posts, knowing that I will have spelling errors or grammar mistakes in my writing. I can proofread this a dozen times and the minute I publish I find something I missed. When I sponsor the post, I can’t make any changes, so anything I missed becomes a permanent part of the post. I am living with being imperfect in order to just get the post out there.

You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

  – Steve Jobs

When we listen to our intuition, we are right where we are meant to be.  We can impact the people that we share the world with.  It may be a tiny corner of the world.  Or we could be like a comet and affect the entire world as we fly through the night sky.  It isn’t up to us to say how much of an impact we will make.  It is up to us to live life as fully as we can.  To follow the dreams that have been written in our hearts.  To break out of the comfort zone and spread our wings and fly.  It doesn’t even matter if we know where we are or where we are going.  It only matters that we fly.  That we soak up the sun.  The we soar with the breezes.  And if we can do that, then whatever we leave behind will be sufficient.

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