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Raising the Bar

Living through your Lessons with Joy

Your lessons shape you:

You are a product of the environment that you grow through, all your lessons build and shape who you are to become so they are definitely essential.  Even the more difficult experiences carry with them important elements of a plan that has not yet come to fruition.  No one knows their life plan and what things will look like ten, twenty or thirty years down the road.  Sure you may have ideas of what you want to see but how things actually turn out is really dependent upon how you play the hand you are dealt, how you process it internally and externally.

Your experiences and lessons are meant to challenge you to rise to the occasion and I guess the internal question to ponder is how are you doing with that?  Are you allowing the experiences to define you or are you daring to rise up stronger?  I can say with certainty that the lessons are not meant to tear you down to oblivion but instead to dismantle the elements you may have taken on that do no serve your spirit well, the elements you need to let go of or transform.  Not everything we carry with us emotionally is meant to continue past the experience except to be a point of reference (a signpost) for developing awareness.

My lessons have been challenging but not so challenging that I couldn’t recover or find a new path and that’s not because they weren’t very difficult but rather because I refuse to let any difficulty break me.  For sure they take time to go through and not every part of an experience is easy to step back from and be objective about but you need to be kind to yourself when you stumble.  It’s easy to chastise yourself for allowing something to go farther than it should have when you believe you should have known better and the inner dialogue that results can only damage your self-worth and self-esteem.  So the next time you are in the midst of a dilemma allow yourself a moment to step outside of that struggle, look at the experience as if you were providing an analysis or solution for a friend.  If it wasn’t your experience what would you advise a friend to do?  In that moment when you’ve stepped outside of it you’ve allowed yourself a little more objectivity and that can be very empowering in to finding resolution and/or a way to manage through to the end of the experience.

Fake it until you make it:

As difficult as some lessons feel keep telling yourself that you are loving them for the wisdom you know you are going to gain, embrace them even when they aren’t even remotely satisfying because without them you don’t get through to an ending, a closure.  Every experience can have a positive side effect come out of it you just have to want to find it.  It could be renewed strength, personal empowerment or an elevation of gratitude, many effects really.  What you are looking for to define the experience (positive or negative) is exactly what you will continue to find every time you relive it.  Your thoughts and how you perceive your experiences are entirely up to you, you can either lessen the damage or increase it, this is determined by the perspective you are encouraging.

When you talk about an experience you have the opportunity through your thoughts and words whether or not to let that experience be one that broke you or one that made you stronger, it’s your choice!  I say fake it until you make it, maybe at the beginning of that conversation it feels like it broke you but what you can relate to others is that it didn’t break you but made you stronger.  After a while of continuing to repeat those thoughts and words you begin to change the fabric of that story, you inevitably become stronger and while at the beginning you may have been faking it you are now making it true.

Stay present:

Not everything that happens to you occurs because of who you are, try not to take things too personally, I know at times that can be difficult but most often when you experience conflict it isn’t in direct relation to your lessons but maybe another’s, you may just be a part of their experience that is designed to awaken them.

It is a normal response to look for ways to escape the more difficult aspects in life, no one longs for difficulty or struggle but keep in mind it is a lot more taxing on the stress in your mind to resist the natural flow than to allow it.  As easy as letting go sounds in theory, it can be extremely difficult to actually begin that process, it starts with acceptance and brings immediate relief.  I think everyone at one time or another struggles with letting go, when I had the experience I hadn’t realized at that point how much effort it was taking from me to hold onto the resistance and how much relief I felt when I finally let things be.

Life’s ups and downs occur so you can develop boundaries, balance, happiness, clarity and direction.

Sometimes the necessity to find a way out when feeling overwhelmed can be the beginning of a new opportunity so it is important to stay present, eyes wide open.

It is important to me to learn from my past and look forward toward the future with hope while maintaining a strong presence in the now.

Connecting with others on a soul level is the most beautiful part of presence, don’t miss out pursue it passionately!

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2018 in Blog

 

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Forgive & Appreciate Your Way Back to Happiness!

Letting Go for Your Own Freedom

Don’t tell me how many battles you’ve won, tell me how many people you’ve forgiven!

I’m not sure who wrote this quote but I read it recently and it resonated with me immediately. My first thought was “Yes, that’s it exactly!” and the next thought was to wonder how many people are afflicted daily by the emotional prison that they trap themselves in as a result of not being able to embrace forgiveness.

Of course this isn’t to say that your emotional hurt is invalid but rather that it’s not necessary or fair to your inner spirit to carry it around with you like the badge of horror it can be. When you are unable to cross the line into forgiveness it doesn’t affect anyone as much as it does you. I think many people have a variety of reasons for holding on to a painful memory and while I’m sure the reason is valid it doesn’t mean it’s not having a negative effect on your life. It doesn’t mean the person you hold it against is being impacted in any way whatsoever and it doesn’t mean that by holding onto it that eventually retribution will come.

Forgive: stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw or mistake 

Easier said than done, believe me I know! When someone hurts you deeply it’s not just the emotional pain of the hurt but the emotional attachment you have to the person that has hurt you.

People you don’t have any attachment to can’t hurt you so much because they lack that personal connection. Those closest to you know where your soft spots of vulnerability are and you know theirs but it is because of a mutual trust that neither of you intentionally try to use them against each other. It is when trust is broken that hurt happens and that hurt can carry you into the mode of defense which raises your guard. The only thing that lowers that guard is honest and open communication and the willingness for resolve but sometimes that’s not an available option. So what do you do with all these feelings of hurt when there is no option for closure on the horizon?

I’m sure everyone (including myself) has asked these questions “how could you do this to me?”, and “why don’t you care?”, “how can you just go on in your life like nothing about this mattered?” Most often there is some sort of falling out or ending and if it’s the latter then I don’t think it’s likely you’re going to find the answers you would like for closure and without closure how do you let go and move on?

dirty feet

I’ve found that distance from a difficult experience, a break or mental vacation from it can be a temporary enough solution to help you put some space between your hurt and your emotions so you can find the positives from it, there are always positives, you just have to want to see them. Sometimes it may be a while until you see the wisdom behind the experience but eventually that “aha” moment peaks when you least expect it but when most open to it.

If you aren’t able to have that space to heal I believe it just means that your healing will take a little longer. Dedication, understanding and compassion toward yourself for the extra time it may take is the kindness you need to extend to yourself until you get there.

Appreciate: recognize the full worth of, understand (a situation) fully, recognize the full implications of

Being able to step outside of an experience long enough to gain clarity is the best path to understanding the “true lesson” behind the experience.Appreciation even in the face of difficulty will build inner strength and character, it has to right? I mean what else could come from hurt, disappointment and mental anguish except to get back up, dust yourself off and become the stronger person you were meant to be? It’s been said that when you don’t learn from an experience it keeps coming back around until you do, so if you have to go through it then best to only have to go through it once. Step back and really examine so you can find what it is that you are to take with you and learn. Why put yourself through it more than you have to, your experiences are not meant to break you, they are meant to build you.

As hard as it is to foresee the road ahead it is only through having appreciation for all experiences (positive or negative) that you will begin to cultivate happiness. Start with the smaller successes and after a while you will see that those successes will multiply and begin to shape a brighter, happier and more positive future.

Happiness: the state of being happy

It doesn’t get any clearer than that and where are you at with your own happiness? Happiness isn’t just for other people who seem like they have it all together. Happiness is a state of being, a state that you can access at any time, a state that doesn’t discriminate or align with only the lucky ones.

If another has done you wrong, mistreated you, taken you for granted or overreacted badly, that is not on you, it is on them which doesn’t mean you are now excluded from the state of happiness. Your own happiness depends on how you turn things around, how you want to view the world and what kind of life you decide to live.just be happy

It’s your choice but I’d suggest to “Choose Happiness”.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Blog

 

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Take Control of Your Power!

Your Strength Lies Within

Everyone has the potential to be great and what you feed into (positive or negative) weighs heavily on what the outcome may be.  When you don’t reach that greatness it doesn’t mean you don’t deserve it or it’s not part of your destiny.  It could be that you are feeding into the possibility that “you can’t” succeed rather than “you can” and that mindset is something we can build ourselves through fear and insecurity.  Fear can seem overwhelming because in our minds we’ve built it up that big, but we have the ability within us to change that obstacle from a mountain to a mole hill, it’s all perception.

believe in yourself

“A change of feeling is a change of destiny”  –  Neville

I believe that a large part of “taking control of your power” is found within being vulnerable, even though that vulnerability feels scary, it’s ultimately empowering.  The reason it’s empowering is because it takes a great deal of courage to embrace vulnerability and allow the chips to fall where they may.  Being vulnerable helps you discover that you innately have a reserve of strength to draw from that you didn’t know was there and that experience is not only empowering but also humbling.  We don’t always give ourselves the credit we deserve when it comes to our own personal power.  It’s hard enough when another person is discouraging by not believing in you but when you also do not believe in yourself you begin to limit your life opportunities and options and that’s just not right.

My personal inner voice and reaction to anything fear based and negative is that “I am not going to let it conquer or defeat me”, I will persevere, backing out is not an option!

My positive mind says “No Way is fear going to be allowed to win.  Turn around and go back where you came from, you have no business here!”

Negative thoughts like fear or failure don’t stand a chance when you affirm with yourself and the universe that you’re strong and you’re not giving up.  Things only occur because we acknowledge their presence in our existence, everything start with a thought.  Don’t think negatively and negative things will not occur.

By following Neville’s Law of Assumption you can increase your success in any or all areas of your life that you want to improve:

“If this assumption is persisted in until it becomes your dominant feeling, the attainment of your ideal is inevitable”

greatness within

Once you’ve accepted yourself for who you are, others will also accept you for who you are.  When you begin to accept and believe in yourself you won’t put as much emphasis on needing to feel accepted by others and that ease of contentment and peace is a quality that others will gravitate toward and relate to.

I always love hearing a good line from a movie and my most recent that I want to share with you is one that I thought was very inspiring and something we should all aspire to, it’s similar to my own thoughts about having faith in humanity.  The more people believe in others, the more others will rise to the occasion.

“I like to think that if you put your trust out there, I mean if you really give people the benefit of the doubt, see their best intentions that they’re going to want to live up to it.  It doesn’t always work out but more often than not I think that if you do, people will rise to the occasion.  I really do believe that!”

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in Blog

 

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