Unwavering Faith in Wavering Times

We’re all too familiar with the doomsday chants of recent times: “The stock market hit a new low.” “Real estate prices are bottoming out.” “Unemployment is at a record high.” “Bankruptcy is on the increase.” Just when you thought you were safe in your own little world, the rug is literally being pulled out from under you and you are set adrift in a scary, uncertain sea. As you struggle to understand, “why me,” you loose sight of what could be possible if you only remember what you’ve known all along: that you have the power to change your own circumstances by focusing on what you want instead of what you have, or don’t want. This may sound contradictory and perhaps over simplified, but it’s really not. When you get down to it, we each possess the ability to alter our lives for better or for worse, depending upon what we choose to focus on. Maintaining a balanced perspective when everyone around you is yelling, “the sky is falling,” may seem an unlikely option in today’s troubled world, but during those quiet moments when you’re not watching the news or reading the paper to learn about the latest debacle, you have an opportunity to refocus your thoughts; to visualize what you really want to accomplish rather than wallowing in the despair of current events. When you continue to think the same thoughts, you create the same results. Remember, a belief is just a thought you keep thinking. Our belief structure is what drives us in one direction or the other. Faith has been defined as a confident belief that does not rest on any logical proof or material evidence. Many have described it as belief and trust in God or Source. How ever you personally define faith, it must be said that possessing this belief system has brought about miracles in many forms. Personally, I’ve had many miracles in my life that I totally attribute to faith. Unwavering means to be steadfast, resolute, or firm. In this instance, it means not letting the surrounding circumstances affect your faith or belief so that you can rise up out of your own quagmire. It means kicking your negative thoughts to the curb when they descend on you like rain. It means maintaining an even keel especially in the rough waters of loss. Keeping your balance when your whole world is tipping may sound impossible, but it is possible when you believe you can do it. Decision sparks action! Decide that good will come from this and act as if it is true. Remember, you can only think one thought at a time, so make it a good one! But how do you find the faith to hold on when your own boat is sinking? What spurs the human spirit to decide to rise above painful circumstances? There is a basic human reflex to reach up when you feel your world is collapsing. This impulse allows you to believe that somehow you will be all right. You will make it through whatever afflicts you. Somehow, the strength will come and you will survive. Not only survive, but be better because of it! Personal growth takes many forms. It’s hard when you can’t see around the corner. It’s stepping off that ledge without a net that can shake the strongest among us. Knowing when to step off is even harder! This is where courage comes in. Having the courage to face our challenges and make the necessary course adjustments is what helps us grow into our own skin. Remember that a small change in the rudder can alter the direction of an ocean liner. And if that can happen, then a small change in your thoughts can bring about huge changes in your life’s direction. As you start to see a bit of light in an otherwise dark day, you breathe a sigh of relief and begin to take a step back from all the surrounding negativity. This action further stimulates your ability to realize that perhaps there is a silver lining. Perhaps all is not lost! You may not recognize it now, but down the road, you may be able to put some perspective on your current situation that will emphasize an ultimate good. We were all born with the ability to create and direct our lives. But sometimes we lose faith in ourselves as we travel through life getting bumped and kicked around by circumstances and events we are told were “out of our control.” Some of this may seem true at the time, but as we grow and develop a truer sense of who we really are, we begin to look back and see how we might have changed some of those circumstances to end in our favor. As you take the time to rethink and refocus your thoughts on what you want to see in your life rather than what life is presenting to you by default, you will be witness to changes you didn’t think possible. Empowering yourself and therefore regaining faith in your own abilities driven by the Spirit within you, will allow you to reclaim your rightful place as captain of your own ship! Instead of facing your problems with fear and sending out a frantic mental S.O.S., act decisively and positively, and focus on the end result you desire. Thoughts and dreams do come true. You only have to believe.


Lemons or Lemonade

“When life brings you lemons, make lemonade!” Who among us hasn’t heard THAT one before? But how do you really follow that advice? How do you move forward when you’ve just experienced something negative in your life, something that literally halts you in your tracks?

We all get blindsided from time to time. It’s a part of life that keeps us guessing and wondering.

It’s easy to go down the road to self-pity and self-effacement. It’s easy to feel like the whole world is against you when something unexpected happens. In a self-victimizing state we can at least raise our heads and say “poor me.”

But we have to be mindful of not going in that direction. Ok, so something happened to you that you’d prefer didn’t and you certainly didn’t expect it! And now your life is changed or sidelined for a while and you’re angry about it. That’s natural and its best not to hide your feelings. Let them out! Cry if you want to! Yell a bit if that makes you feel better for the moment. But don’t let this become your new way of living!

Let me share a very recent personal story:

On the first afternoon of a long weekend ski trip, I was minding my own business on a slope, stopped waiting for my husband to ski down to me. All of a sudden, an out-of-control skier plowed into me, launching me into the air! I landed squarely on my head (thankfully protected by a helmet) and thought that would be my only issue. However, seconds later, I realized her skis slammed into my boots and my left ankle hurt a lot! It turned out to be fractured! Talk about unexpected... I never saw her coming! My life suddenly changed in an instant!

Before I continue, I just want to take a moment to ask skiers and snowboarders to consider other people on the slopes. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with going fast. It’s fun as long as you are in control. But if you find yourself out of control racing toward some unsuspecting bystander, sit down on your butt!!! Doing that will at least start to slow you down and perhaps change your trajectory so you don’t mow someone else down! No one wants to hurt another person, but when you are careless and flying around all over the place, the likelihood of hurting someone increases. For skiing or snowboarding, stay within your control limits and don’t get too close to another person! LEAVE SPACE BETWEEN! If you are too close, one wrong step or turn and you’re TOAST! These are simple skiing/snowboarding etiquette rules that are easily forgotten by too many people until it’s too late.

So now back to my story. I was taken down the mountain by sled by a very capable (and kind) Ski Patrol member. Then, sled and all, I was pushed through an opening in the wall (the size of a small window) right onto a conveyor slide and onto a gurney in the First Aid Station! Impressive!

From there I was x-rayed, casted and given crutches! Yuck! My vacation was over and I was facing a temporary altered lifestyle! I was upset to say the least! Angry and frustrated! I cried and pouted “This sucks”, I complained. But in the end, nothing changed, I was still in a cast and still on crutches!

It was time to get into my own head and do some serious introspection. And not just once, but as a daily exercise, because with each new thing I realized that I couldn’t do because I was on crutches, I had to find a new way to do it, such as going upstairs to bed! I do that on my butt one step at a time backwards! And washing up at the sink, I use the support of a folding chair. Focusing on the positive, and how I can use my brain power to accomplish once taken-for-granted tasks, is helping to keep me in good spirits and facing forward.

Making peace with where I am is my goal. I’m doing that, little by little knowing that I can make each step with the crutches a growth step for me emotionally and spiritually. Sure I’m upset. And sure I’m frustrated. But in the greater scheme of things, this is nothing! It’s temporary and soon I’ll be back doing the things I love to do. Skiing is done for this season for me, but hey, it hasn’t been the best ski season anyway. And next year, I’ll be back on the slopes!

Soon I’ll be back doing other things I love, too, like horseback riding! Spring is a great time of year to do that! And I’ll be back working out at the gym again.

Now is a good time for me to catch up on special projects and reading some of the books I haven’t had time for. And I can use the extra down time to devote more time to growing my business.

Learning to shift gears when you have to will help you overcome whatever obstacle you may encounter! Be flexible. Be willing to go with the flow and look at it as an opportunity to expand your mental abilities. Know that whatever happens will turn out well for you in the end and you will be stronger for it. In the meantime, I’m still trying to figure out how to balance on one foot while making breakfast and feeding the cats!

The Hidden Truth About Fear

"He has not learned the lesson of life
who does not everyday surmount a fear."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear can be a powerful negative force in your life. It can limit and control you and stop you from any kind of growth, while at the same time filtering out much of the joy you can experience.

How does fear stop you? It causes you to see only a negative result of anything you might want to try. It gives you a feeling of anxiety that churns in your stomach at the mere mention of trying something new.

Identifying your fear is the first step in mastering it! Awareness of a fear takes it out of the shadows and bring it into the light. It allows you to see it for what it is: a controlling filter that only lets you see what the fear wants you to see! It hides reality in a shroud so you can't see what you're missing!

Once an unhealthy fear is identified, you need to find a motivating force and the strength to overcome it. Knowing you are never alone in any situation, that you have a power greater than yourself to rely on and make you strong, can give you the strength to push through it.

Having faith and finding a support group, family member or life coach who can relate to your situation and be there for you when you're feeling unsure, will help you plow through it.

And once you are on the other side, you will be amazed at how easy it actually was! All fear is tissue-paper thin! One confident step forward causes it to crumble.

Remember, fear only exists between your ears!

Be brave, allow yourself to be challenged. Be true to yourself and to your inner voice!

(based on "Chasing the Shark: A Journey from Fear to Freedom,"
copyright Giant Strides LLC 2010; all rights reserved)

Ride the Magic Carpet!

How would you like to be able to create a life you love? How would you begin to change your current situation into something better?

The answer lies in the application of what I like to call, "Mind Magic." Mind Magic is the innate ablility we all have to put our thoughts into action and bring about positive change.

When you are seemingly surrounded by negative thoughts and situations, pulling yourself up and out seems like a herculean task! One you might not want to consider without the help of a nearby army!

But, fear not! YOU are the army! You are fully equipped to start, step by step, to improve your current situation. How do you do that, you ask? You do it by focusing on what you want rather than on what you currently have.

Sounds confusing? It really isn't. When you visualize something you want very much, and picture yourself accomplishing it or doing it, you tap into the universal power of the Law of Attraction! This incredibly powerful law is ready for your command!

All you have to do is sit in the cockpit of your mind, adjust your focus goggles to see what you want to see, AIM at what you want, and let the magic carpet do the rest!

Once your mind is pointed in the right direction, your thoughts change, one by one, and your physical state improves to match your heading.

The secret is, your mind can be a magic carpet to your desires. All you have to do is believe in yourself!

The Choice is Yours! Fear or Freedom!

Fear in all its different phases of expression, such as worry, anxiety, anger, jealousy and timidity, is the greatest enemy of the human race. It has robbed mankind of more happiness and efficiency, has made more people cowards, failures or forced them into mediocrety, than anything else.

You have the choice everyday! CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS! CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

"There is a slave whose name is Fear,
A trembling, cringing thing:
There is a king whose name is Will,
And every inch a King." - Orison Swett Marden


The Magic of Today

"Spend some time focusing your thoughts of what's right with this day. Allow yourself to genuinely feel the goodness that is present right now." - Ralph Marston

We basically have three choices everyday on where to put our thoughts. We can put them either in the past, in the present or in the future. The decision we make, whether it's deliberate or by default, determines where we spend our energy because where our thoughts go, our energy flows.

Funny thing about the past, no matter how many times you rehash it, you can't change it! You can review some event, whether it's good or bad, but that's all you can do. No amount of wishful thinking will allow you to redo any of it.

The future can certainly be pondered. It can be feared or embraced, depending on what you feel lies ahead.

What you miss in all this is the present moment. Of all the days that have ever been and of all the days that have yet to be, today is the one you have now. Though it may not be perfect in all ways, it is here and it is the only one you can access right now.

This day is filled with precious moments ready to present themselves to you when your heart and mind are open to them. Live today's moments so they add value to your life. Feel the power you have as you live this day to the fullest!

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is truly feeling a joyful moment and allowing the Universe to bring you more.


Your NOW is your power base!

"The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." - Abraham Maslow

Being in the present moment releases the grip of past negative thoughts or events. It also stops our negative self-talk and thinking regarding something in the future that has yet to be created. When you are gently focused on the present and on what makes you happy, you are bringing more happy thoughts and events to you. When that happens, your mind begins to relax and your body responds on a cellular level to your positive attitude and mindset.

We are born connected to the universal energy stream of well-being. Our positive thoughts focused in the "now", allow us to remain in that stream and enjoy the fullness of our mental and physical wellness.