From Hopelessness to Hope with Change in Place

March 10, 2009

I enjoy nature, the mountains, water, plants, flowers and birds alike.  However, I’m the first to admit that I’ve no green thumb and have only two plants in my home, both given to me as a gift. I placed one plant on top of my fridge and over a period of time I noticed the leaves falling off until there were two leaves left. A friend commented that I should put the plant to rest, but I responded instead with this statement “I’m not going to give up on it, maybe all it needs is a change”.  With that said, I proceed to move the plant unto the ledge in my living room within direct sunlight coming through the window.

Within that moment that simple action spoke volumes to me about how we sometimes handle life.

Just because we get knocked down, side swiped, insulted, ridiculed, or discouraged, it should never be taken as an indication or a sign to quit and give up.

I began to speak life to that plant as I stroked the two leaves attached; literally.  Within 2 months leaves began to grow and the plant took on new life. It was a victory and lesson learned because here was a plant on the brink of being placed in the garbage, and then hope stepped in.

We need to keep hope alive in us and encourage those around us who might be discouraged. We can avoid being consumed by hopelessness if we remove pride from our lives and let someone into our pain, who can then help us rise above and deal with that pain. If we’re consumed by hopelessness we can lose the strength required to win.

 

After new life took hold of that plant, I couldn’t wait for my friend to visit; when she arrived I introduced her to Hope, a refresher course was required to remind her of what hopelessness used to look like.

What is the message here?  A simple act of change within or without can cause hope to stir and rise above the depths of hopelessness.

Outwardly that plant did look like it was dead, it appeared lifeless, but though the outside had a hopeless look about it, inside it was still very much alive, there was life in its roots and simply needed some TLC – Tender Loving Care.

When life appears to be at a stand still and we find ourselves feeling hopeless or helpless it is an indication that we need to implement change.  Like the plant we sometimes just need a simple change – be it taking charge of our health, getting connected or reconnected to our spiritual roots, doing good for someone in need, enrolling in a course, making a change in career, starting a new hobby, bringing closure to a bad relationship, getting control of our finances, or take a break to travel. There’s always a connection to feelings of hopelessness as there is to the sense of being filled with hope.

 

Uncovering the root of the cause of hopelessness is the key to walking free into a life whereby hope can grow. We’re sometimes afraid of change; uncertain of the unknown keeps us from moving ahead, because we’re creatures of habit. Staying stuck in the rut isn’t for humans, trees stay stuck in the rut and even trees experience change that the four seasons bring.

Moving beyond the mental thought into practical steps starts the journey of replacing hopelessness with hope and the change that evolves produces a healthier, productive and better functioning human being.

 

If you find yourself in a hopeless place, or know of someone who is in a hopeless place – reach out you’ll both benefit and experience the joy of living with hope either way.

Relationship and life are about changes and it’s happening this very instant

January 30, 2009

This past week I’ve spent some time reflecting on the people in my life that I’ve some form of a relationship with. I look at relationships as a form of investment, and to some degree it actually is when you really think about it. You invest to get right? Wrong attitude. Invest to not see what you can get from them, but rather what you can give to them, because it is in giving that you’ll receive the greatest payback.  I’m fulfilled, and blessed when I invest into relationships with this attitude and dividends always come back to me, either directly or indirectly, but it returns to me. There is however a caution that must be taken as some could take that and abuse it, so using wisdom is crucial when investing in relationships.

 

 There are various types of relationships – we relate on different levels with people. Some are work related relationships, client relationships, family relationships, friends’ relationships, lovers’ relationships, partners’ relationships and so on. Whatever that relationship is, we communicate with words, and our body language to express to those we’re relating to how we feel. If the person knows us well enough they’ll be able to tell by our body language as to how we’re doing. With lovers, words are translated in the sweet language of touching, lovemaking and a look that can only be interpreted between themselves.

 

Regardless of what form a relationship take, it takes two people wanting to make it work, which requires each party investing into each other’s life. For relationships to grow it will take more than a one-time investment. We don’t plant a seed in the ground, water it once and walk away expecting the seed to produce a tree do we? Same principle applies to building a healthy relationship, we have to water it with goodness, nurture it with care, and remove weeds that might choke its growth. This is called investment my friends. As an individual you have the final say as to whether a relationship is worth your investment. Why are you doing what you’re doing? Is your investment for your own selfish gain or is it being done with unselfishness in place?

 

So as I looked at my relationships at all levels, I came to the shocking conclusion that the depth of relationship I once had has now been reduced to a surface or non-existent relationship. The connection no longer seems to be there, despite the reaching out, and making an effort, there’s that void that cannot be denied.  Being together for a number of years you’d think you have a better handle on things, but when someone or something changes you can’t undo them. Maybe, to some degree I’ve changed along the way, but you’d think changes that are healthy should strengthen what appears to be already strong?  It’s like a brick wall with “no, everything’s alright,” yet the message was clear – everything was actually all wrong but we play the game of pretense, and dance to a song without harmony, looking unified on the outside, but living on separate planets within.

 

As the days roll into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years, changes occur if you’re aware of it or not. Our circumstances change, our responsibilities change, our attitude changes, our outlook on life changes, we get married, have kids, career change, our priorities change etc.
And so it was; ready or not I suddenly awoke to this fact, and despite the feelings of sadness that accompany this realization, I had to accept that this relationship that I thought would sustain anything and stay strong for a lifetime had died.  The truth was in my face, and though I tried for a long time to deny it, to fight against it, and to justify it, I could not. I had to face the music as it were and admit that I was fighting against something that I had already lost. Accepting that I was powerless to control, alter, or change another person mind is never easy, and fighting to keep a great relationship that was once alive is not only difficult, but energy exhausting. It turns into a fight whereby I am the only real tangible body, punching ghosts that mocks me, and moves quickly away from my reach. It is simply exhausting!

 

Bottom-line, when it comes to dealing with relationships it requires two individuals participating actively to make it work. After spending weeks of talking and reasoning with my inner thoughts and feelings, I have surrendered to this truth, even though it hurts. Life is way too precious, and sometimes short, and this gift of living can be pulled any day, so despite the obvious pain, I did the right thing and moved on. It has been one of the healthiest, freeing, and sorrowful move I’ve made. Being sorrowful over the death of a life that was, that appeared too solid to be moved by anything. Healthiest because I realize the toll this fight had taken on my mind and body, and the freeing changes thereafter.

So, today if you can relate and find yourself in a similar situation, do what is healthiest for you – why whip a dying horse? Acknowledge the loss, deal with the pain, get healthy, and take your energy and find another person or people to invest yourself into, you’ll be richer for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s a vacation, journey and destination

January 28, 2009

Is life a vacation? journey? or destination? could life be a combo of all three? I’m on a life’s journey, vacationing and moving towards my destination? possibly! As a teenager I always lived in the moment; entertaining the concept that my life was one big vacation. As I got older and wiser:-) I realized that to me, life is a journey…I’m constantly moving, (not necessarily demographically), but if you’re alive, there’s movement…even if at times you don’t wanna move~

Life is a journey because of what I experience – good and bad, I learn from them, and learn what emotions are evoked through what I experience. In taking this journey I continue to discover things about myself that I both love and dislike. The things I love, I fuel to grow stronger, and the things about me that I dislike I am working on changing.

I’ll never find answers to a lot of questions, like why there are people in the world whose minds are so sick, that they derive pleasure from hurting people. Why so many people still die from hunger when there’s a surplus of food and money in other parts of the world that is being wasted.

Though I may never fully understand it all, I can do what I can as an individual to make a good difference. Sure talk is cheap, but action does speak louder than the “talk”.
So, as I continue in my life’s journey towards my destination (goals), and enjoy my vacation times, I aim to let my journey be one that is more giving, forgiving, loving, content and thankful.
How about you? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

It is all about personal choice

January 15, 2009

We all have equal rights to choose how each day will be – not that we have control over the events that unfold, but we have control over our attitude – good or bad.

Last night I flew into Kamloops on work related business. Though exhausted at 10:30pm I just could not settle down for a good nights’ sleep. Morning came too soon and I laid in bed after the alarm went and thought – boy, I’m tired and the minute that thought surfaced, I realized that I could carry my lazy, tired attitude out of bed and into work and seal my day by my attitude.

I decided that I’m not going to partner up with a bad attitude. I had a shower, got dressed and headed down for a cup of coffee – back in the elevator my swipe card would not work to activate my floor selection.

The desk clerk changed my card and it worked until I got to my suite and there I was – I turned back and headed down 11 floors to get a new card. This time I asked for 2…just in case!
All the while I keep saying to myself – this is a great day, I’m not going to have a bad attitude over this.
Walla, I’m in my suite – pulled up my laptop to read my morning devotion and cook my oatmeal in the microwave – it overflowed and what a mess, but hey it is still a great start to a wonderful day.

I’m glad these little hick-ups occurred this AM because it taught me a valuable lesson – I am in control of my attitude and it is up to me what I’ll allow to ruffle my feathers or not, who I’m going to partner with today as my companion – bad, good or great attitude? I’ll take the latter…how about you?

It is always too early to quit

January 8, 2009

As humans we all face situations that sometimes seem to get the better of us – we become tired of trying and not seeing any results or getting anywhere. We may glance at our neighbors or strangers in passing and wished we could either have the body they have or the man or woman connected to their arms, or their careers, or smile or something or the other.

Whatever it is, we all face those moments of wanting to quit – why bother, what’s the use right? Wrong!
Here’s why quitting should never be an option:
It will never give you the satisfaction of really knowing what you’re capable of achieving.
It leaves you in the unknown of “what ifs”.
It doesn’t give you a good feeling.

What keeps people going regardless of the obstacles that arise in their quest towards a goal? The three P’s
Plan, Persistence and Patience

 Plan

To get anywhere in life requires direction; if we don’t know where we’re going how will we know when we’ve arrived? Planning helps us to look ahead to see what will be need for the journey; it gets us mentally prepared to move ahead.

 

Persistence

Once we begin our journey we’ll need to have staying qualities; refusing to give up regardless of what obstacles or set backs may arise, we will stay the course.

 

Patience

Sometimes we can get discourage if things aren’t happening fast enough; if results are not being manifested as quickly as we’d expected. It is during these times that we need to have the fortitude of remaining steadfast without complaint because we know that if we’re following all the rules of the plan and staying the course, we will be rewarded at the end of the journey.  The results will speak for themselves.


Without planning, persistence and patience the race will be finished before the gun smoke is evaporated in the air.

Short or long term goals equally need a plan along with attitude of persistence and patience.
Keep in mind some short term goals become long term goals due to unexpected and unforeseen obstacles. Regardless, staying the course should be our only option because we’re committed to finishing at all cost.

Delays and set-backs don’t entail failure; failure comes when we make the decision to stop making movements by working the plan and disengage persistence and patience. Quitting is then engaged within our minds, and reveals itself by our outward actions.

Therefore, it is not only too early to quit, it should never be an option!

Best in 2009

December 31, 2008

Wow, 2008 went by quickly and as I take the time to reflect on my journey within this year I’m foremost thankful. Thankful for many things, but especially for being healthy. Once you have your health you can make movement to achieve your goals, improve your life and be a better human being.

Dec 2008 for me has progressively been a whirl wind of a month with personal changes going on. Based on these changes I am both nervous and excited to move into 2009. I’m expecting a year of manifest changes in all areas of my life, and if I could use one word to describe my expectations I’d have to go with the word “liberation”.

Alright, keep thankfulness in place as you move into 2009 may you experience deep peace, love, and fulfilment in all you do.

Compassion or Judgment

December 23, 2008

An interesting conversation took place between two people and here’s the break-down!

I was taking a walk, stopped to enjoy the view and people watch.
Being outdoors in a public place, we encounter all kinds of people of different class – from the way they dress, to their ethnic background, gender, to their hair color and body type. Within that mix every person though the outward appearance limits the true reflection of their real world, there are some who can’t hide how they live.
I’m referring to those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol, and those who sell their bodies as a profession – here’s what I happened to over hear in this conversation as a woman of the “red light district” and user walked by.

Compassion – I feel sorry for her!
Judgment – well, I don’t!
Compassion – that’s harsh…why not?
Judgment – well, we all have a choice and she’s obviously made hers’.
Compassion – fair enough, but we’ve made bad choices too.
Judgment – well, not to that extreme.
Compassion – true, but we don’t know her past and what got her to this place
Judgment – sure, but she obviously likes living like this or else she would change
Compassion – Addiction isn’t a habit that can easily be beat, and again we don’t know her situation.

Having heard enough, I moved on thinking about how compassion and judgment works – we live in a society where the voice of judgment rises strong over the voice of compassion. It is so easy to pass judgment and create our own assumptions, but if we’re to walk in the shoes of those we’re judging for one day; would we want to hear the voice of judgment or compassion? You decide!

 

 

 

Hang in There

December 17, 2008

I am always in awe at the timing of words. We should never, ever take for granted the power we have within us to lift others up, or pull someone down by simply activating the use of our mouths to release words, or the use of our hands to pen words, and we should always choose to use our words to lift others up. In saying that, I do acknowledge that there will be times when based on the circumstances, we don’t. In moments of anger or hurt we sometimes say or write the wrong thing, that we usually regret to some degree later, and that is understandably so.

However, we can all relate to those moments in our lives when we read or hear certain words that lift us, and gives us hope. Those are timely moments that touch us deeply and encourage us during the rough patches of life to keep strong, to keep hope alive, to keep moving, to stay the course and to never quit.

Sometime ago I was fortunate enough to have such a wonderful experience – I was getting tired about doing a certain task, when I opened a piece of mail and read the words “hang in there“. I instantly realized that those words came at the opportune time, and it was in connection to my present situation.

Those words still replay in my thoughts when I find myself getting mentally, physically, or emotionally tired. Hang in there! Obviously there are times when we need to do the opposite; let go of destructive relationships that are going no where, and are keeping us stagnant. So to you out there wherever you’re at and whatever you’re going through, may these words bring you some sense of hope and peace as it did me; if you know it is worth the fight “Hang in there“!

Laugh a little, laugh a lot

December 15, 2008

Living in a world that is too fast paced, we find ourselves moving to the beat, we’re caught up in the rat race; not knowing where we got on and exactly how to get off.
Not sure why I began to pay attention to this, but over the past three months or so, I found myself paying attention to the faces of people – most of the faces I see carry no smile or pleasantness. Why? Why the “oh so serious, sad, stressed, deep in thought look?” Is life that bad for a large percentage of this planet that we’ve either forgotten how to relax and let our faces reflect how we feel, or is it simply that what we see on our faces, is a true reflection of how we feel inside?

Could it be that the busyness of our lives have stolen the joy and peace we need to lead healthy, joyful lives? Or could it be that we have fewer things to smile or laugh about? When was the last time we walked about with a pleasant relaxed look on our faces, just because? Laughing yoga and laughing clubs are on the increase, because a majority of adults do not laugh enough.

A recent survey states that children laugh on average 417 times a day, compared to adults who only laugh about 17 times a week! How about taking a page from the books of kids and make the decision to do ourselves a great favor and laugh a little…heck, laugh a lot, and as we do we’ll find that the muscles in our faces will relax and when we make eye contact with another face, we’ll realized that the kind gesture is returned, and we’ll find ourselves smiling back at the face, and suddenly realized that hey, that face is ours.

If you fall into the category of not laughing enough or have a not so pleasant look on your face, take this challenge, and do this exercise – crack a smile at yourself in the mirror, do some facial exercises and make the conscious decision that you will project a pleasant facial expression and remember to laugh a little, laugh a lot!

Surround yourself with the right people

December 12, 2008

How important is it to surround yourself with the right people? Well, how important is your mental, physical, emotional, financial, and spiritual state to you? Who in their right mind would seek to hang around people who are negative, disagree with everything and everyone, see the worst in others, have a low self esteem, make fun of other people and lead a pessimistic life?
If you said yes, then you are that person or have little or no value in your personal self worth.

What you listen to, and hang around will eventually influence your life and will benefit or break you; it is that simple. Even if you have a leader type personality, you will eventually get burnt out or broken down.

If you’re married to someone like that, you aren’t stuck…no, you’re not! You just need to make the decision to begin to change you by empowering yourself with the right words, thoughts, people, and image to take the place of all that negative stuff.

Want your life to be better in every way? Then begin to take care of you! You are a gift and you have the power within to change. It begins by making the decision, then by acting on that decision.
You are worth it aren’t you?

Don’t sell yourself short for less than the best!

December 11, 2008

How often have we done what we really didn’t feel or know was right, but did it anyway? We find ourselves succumbing to peer pressure, and that can be at any age or stage on our lives. Peer pressure isn’t just about “Teen or Tween years”. It affects all of us, because we all want to be accepted and we all want to fit in.
However at what cost to your integrity, morals, beliefs and values? How will you feel after the fact?

We also sell ourselves short by the limitations we set within our own minds, and use excuses from our childhood to justify why we do what is harmful and destructive to our lives, or the lives of others.

We settle for less than what we’re worth when we lack the faith and confidence in ourselves that we not only can do it, but are worth it.

So, how about making a change right now and put a stop to this vicious cycle? It begins by simply believing that you are of value, and that you deserve the best.
What is your best? OK, now begin to make plans to go after your best, and don’t stop until you have it.

Don’t lose your shine

December 10, 2008

One day for no particular reason I found myself paying close attention to my place of dwelling. It is a six-year-old condo with a fresh contemporary look and feel. However, though it is still fairly new, and I’ve no pets or kids running around, I noticed that the walls have lost their shine; certain features and fixtures now have a dull look to them.
After making this observation I realized that as it is with lifeless things, so it is at times with humans.
Some of us are convinced that as we age in years, we tend to lose our shine, our edge, our sharpness and I must disagree. Well, we lose our shine as we age because we do so by choice. We think that way, because we buy into the norm, the stasis quo and that has a mental affect on how we think, dress and act.
You don’t need to lose your shine at all, nada, never, no way!
So, how do we as aging adults maintain our shine and keep shining? Let’s begin with the mind – we have to reprogram and reinstall the right thoughts about how we think and see ourselves. For one thing, we need to stop using our age as an excuse to avoid doing certain things. The truth is, when we challenge our minds we become mentally energized and fresh ideas with positive affirmation rises and grow strong within us. Then there’s the obvious overflow, which is portrayed in how we speak, act and carry ourselves.
Then there the physical aspect – get moving, commit to and actively get involved in some form of physical activity for about 30-45 min a day. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
And finally there’s the spiritual part to balance out keeping and maintaining your shine. Spend at least 15-20 min a day meditating, and make the decision to live a forgiving, thankful and giving life. With those components actively present in your daily life, you’ll never lose your shine!

Dig your heels in

December 10, 2008

When the going gets tough, when you’ve made a plan, when you’ve committed to investing your precious time, money and sacrifice. What is it about life that seems to rise up, ruffle your feathers, and stir the pot, to challenge your goals? You can count on obstacles to rare its ugly head to test the depth of your commitment. It is like nature seeks to confirm to self if you are really in for the long haul, or if you’re all talk.

So, what’s it going to be? You made a plan to get into shape at the beginning of this year – your intentions were solid, your fitness and nutrition plan in place, then you got side swiped by the cold and flu bug. Do you delay the plan? No, so you can’t exercise, but you can still implement your proper nutritional eating!

You plan to begin saving extra money for a holiday, or large purchase then the pressure to splurge tugs at your pocket book. Will you dig deep and stick to your budget or throw caution to the wind and spend, spend, spend?

You commit to spending more quality time with your loved ones or tackling a course instead of endless TV watching, but your favorite reality shows are hitting the screen faster than before, and can you keep up. You simply limit yourself to a certain amount of time for TV, and follow through on your promise.

Bottom line? You made promises to yourself with every intention on keeping them. No one likes being lied to, or let down, so why lie to yourself? You have it in you to follow through on the promises made, don’t disappoint and lie to yourself any longer. The fulfilling feeling you experienced while setting those goals will be over the top once those goals are kept and completed. So come on, dig your heels in and finish what you’ve started to build, it will turn out to be something wonderful!

 

Faith is a beautiful thing

December 2, 2008

I was surfing through the channels one night and landed upon a drama series; didn’t even catch the name of the show but was taken in by this one particular clip/scene “a young man was seeking his community votes for cause, and they basically wanted to know why they should give him their support. He took them to his home and on every mirror in his home had this word posted to it “Faith”. Questions were obviously raised as to why this word was posted to his mirror, and his story went something like this. “My dad raised me to believe that as long as you have breath, that you are empowered to have faith. Faith in yourself to reach your potential and every time you look in the mirror and see that word, you’re looking at yourself and see Faith”

The lesson I took away from this is simple – faith is a living thing and in the same way we’re all equally given 24 hours a day, we’re all given the same measure of faith. Faith keeps us going when things get rough! Why are the faith of some stronger than others? Exercise! If we choose to exercise our faith, it will grow and if we choose not to, it remains weak. Some could argue that they don’t have faith, but we all operate in faith every day even if we don’t acknowledge it as faith. Daily task like sitting, turning on the tap, investing, moving, reaching for a dream, to accomplish a goal takes faith.

Faith according to the Bible comes from hearing and doing – so what are you tuning your ears to hear? and what actions are you taking? Reminds me of the decision I made two days ago – to stop reading the newspaper; filled with way too many sad, negative news and not enough uplifting ones. Why? Because I noticed that there was a drop of my mental state after reading the newspaper, so why subject myself to things that are not uplifting?

The point I want to make regarding faith that when it’s put to work becomes a beautiful thing. It gives you a lift, it elevates your mental state to a higher plane that causes you to raise yourself up, and declare “yes, I can”. So make the decision today to strengthen your faith by exercising it, put it to work, by building yourself up, and weed out the things and people around you that are pulling you down.

Faith is a beautiful thing when activated!

Two types of pain and we get to choose

December 1, 2008
 

Any degree of pain is unpleasant -that is unless you’re some one who gets pleasure from the infliction of pain and that is a whole different subject altogether.
Today, my post is directed to the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.
We all know that to activate discipline takes work, it takes an individual effort to give 100% into something because we want to achieve something that will benefit us.
In the area of fat loss and getting health or healthier, discipline has to come into play in regards to our eating and exercising. We usually fail terribly in those areas because we start running instead of starting off with baby steps like eating less, using less salt, sugar, etc and commit to exercising 5 days a week for 60 min each day instead of starting off with 3 days a week for 30 min per session.
The pain that is involved with this discipline will deliver a reward that can be embraced and enjoyed; not forgetting the new lease on life, increased self confidence, energy to spare and the positive affect it will have on those around you. The pain of discipline is a temporary; it is felt periodically throughout the process, but is replaced with the joy, thus the discipline ends up being a good thing despite the pain involved. The pain of discipline produces pleasure at the end.
 
On the other hand the pain of regret is lasting – this pain lives with you, you can’t run from it, though at times you can hide it, cover it up from the world, but it is known to you. This pain eats at your core and unfortunately it is something you can’t avoid.  It comes out in your relationships even if you try to guard against it, it is seen in the way you speak, and how you dress. This pain takes from you and in end result is misery.
 
So, we’re down to the wire – we’ve concluded that no one enjoys any form of pain, but in this arena we get to choose which pain is worth it. Which will you choose? the pain of discipline or the pain of regret?
Remember, the pain of discipline is temporary and comes with a beneficial reward.
The pain of regret will last for as long as you decide and comes with a no reward-correction, it’s self inflicted misery.
The beauty about all this is that as individuals we get to choose-hope you select the right pain!

 

Build the muscle of the mind

November 25, 2008

For a long time I’ve always thought that building the muscles in the physical body is more difficult than building the muscle of the mind.  Not! And why not? Well, because thoughts are constantly running through the mind; there isn’t a moment, second for that matter when our minds aren’t processing thoughts and images…even when we’re sleeping.

So we can imagine the work it takes to reprogram the muscle of the mind – we have been programmed and influenced by an array of people, circumstances, TV, and life’s lessons from birth to now. Life affects us, does things to our minds both in positive and negative ways.

It is only later in life that we realized just how much our minds is the main key that if not reprogrammed and fed the right diet, can be to our demise.

The good news is that it is never too late to implement changes – to begin to build the muscle of the mind to empower us to live our best lives.  So where do we start?

1.   Pin down what thoughts/people who weaken you and weed them out.

2.   Start by forgiving yourself and loving yourself right where you’re at – not later when things get better, but now!

3.   Fill your mind with uplifting, empowering thoughts and like minded people.

4.   Write down quotes from others and your own that speaks life to you and gives you a internal lift.

OK, this is it for now, until next time…keep building…add something good to your life today and you’ll not just benefit personally, but others will also.