Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Winds of Change

Have you ever been in a situation beyond your control, a place where you were forced to be at the whim of circumstances? Was the outcome a learning tool, failure or victory? Oftentimes people who cannot learn to be flexible perish. They become bogged down with the “what ifs”. Instead of being a reed that bends in the wind, like an oak they snap at the first sign of resistance, the wind and rain of life pulling them down and washing them away.

When we decide that the world is against us, nothing works in our favor. We limit our dreams. We “dummy down” our intellect. We settle down with people who do not appreciate who we are. We belittle others. We neglect ourselves. We become excuse-makers. When it is time to make the next change, will you move forward, or be the person who crumbles in the face of adversity?

A changing wind can be the newness that is required to re-route the destination of your dreams, but if you decide to wallow in the past, you might miss out on an opportunity of growth. Humanity is filled with all sorts of unforeseen calamity, but joys as well. You must take hold of the opportunities that present themselves.

Maybe for you it is a reunion with a loved one, or an offer of a new job in a foreign territory. Those who have taken the leap will tell you that challenges, doubt and hard work are necessary. However, the result could be a turning point, step in the right direction, a catalyst that pushes you towards your destiny and true happiness.

I have seen my fair share of change this year, but the enlightenment that came from it could not have been bought or taught. It had to be lived. Ask yourself, “Am I living”? Can you afford to shun all change and adversity because of fear of the unknown or too much work? If so, you are not ready to receive what you want. History shows us that every great man and/or woman succeeded by overcoming an obstacle, working towards a goal, or being prepared for fortune.

I am a life-learner. I have the responsibility to make everything...yes everything a lesson. I made a vow to myself that mediocrity no longer exists in my world. I will forever be a student-teacher and risk-taker. The difference in this thinking is I do not just believe others can and will succeed, but so will I. I am not bound by obstacles, challenges, poor odds, people’s opinions, self-esteem issues or needless excuses. I am limitless.

I do not know when or how I will reach my destination but I tune-in to God and the things he reveals through people, places, and things. I have begun to recognize the “signs” and believe me this is more common sense then new age theory. You see what you want to see. You are who you want to be. No, you cannot be Paris Hilton, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sammy Davis, Jr. or Brad Pitt, but you can be the best you.

I choose my direction. I control my reactions. I move towards action. Will you accompany me on this journey of self-discovery and ultimately more joy? Anything worth having deserves some passion, a bit of bull-dog persistence and unwavering faith. I use these tools when I stumble or get caught in a road block. It has not been without its casualties and bystanders.

I leave you with this amazing excerpt:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we're liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others."

(A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles", Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3)

My question to you: The winds of change approach. This is the day. Will you decide to live?

My next blog could feature you! The topic is humor. Submit a funny anecdote or share how humor helped you get through something. Email me. Yes, you can choose to remain anonymous.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Have you found it, that thing that you cannot live without? If so, the taste of it in your mouth is succulent, tangible and you crave it through fantasies, day dreams, and envision it at inopportune times. Suffice it to say, many of us have lost sleep over it. Whether it is a person, goal or addiction, you know you would forsake all else for the promise of this exquisite pleasure.

Etta James' rendition of "At Last", speaks of her love interest as the pinnacle of her wants and desires. He is the epitome of everything that is right with the world. You can hear it in her voice, like velvet beckoning you, wooing your innermost senses. The words slink down your spine and trickle into your heart. Before you know it you are lulled to that special place where you share her passionate sensibility.

For many of us the ideal thought of an achievement, loved one, sign of wealth or an accolade stir up these thoughts. Some people may already have this feeling about their career, home life or significant other. However, all too often we are unsatisfied with our lives, nowhere near the mountaintop oasis of our dreams.

You can smile if you want to, but when others receive something, are you the person with " I Can't Get No Satisfaction", playing in your head? I bet you are hearing questions like, "why him or her and not me"? The internal banter begins and you make a list of all the reasons "this" should have happened to you. You tell yourself that you deserve that new house, great paying job, record deal, signing bonus, devoted spouse,pay raise, new SUV, etc...

Here lies the problem with this type of thinking. Are you a person that good things CAN happen to? I am not speaking directly to the Law of Attraction featured in books like "The Secret". I am talking about the basics. Are you a magnet for confusion, mishaps, overlooks, betrayal and the bad getting worse? It sounds like self-evaluation time.

Right now, yes, at this very moment, if you received what you are looking for, would you be able to handle it? How would your life change? Are your priorities and responsibilities in order?

So you want that big job...now, are you trust worthy enough to not to cut corners? Would you try to get away with everything you possibly could when people's backs were turned? If so, would you really want someone like you as a boss when it is time to fatten your pockets or think of the livelihood of the company's employees and their families?

Perhaps you want a wife/husband/significant other, yet your behavior does not warrant that blessing.You sit around grimacing at couples, disrespecting potential mates, and sabotaging every relationship you come across. Whenever you come close to the "L" word, you conveniently find something that you just cannot accept about he or she.

No money saved, no personal well-being goals, and hopping from one climax to the next is not the ideal situation for a serious love interest. You have to have a plan,even for attracting the right love interest. If you do find that person, you have to know what things you would give up or add for the good of the relationship.

It is time to get real. At some point, we have to be happy about the good things that happens to others. We are not decent family members, colleagues or friends if every time someone else gets a "blessing" we secretly harbor negative thoughts. If you feel someone does not deserve what they have received, then go ahead, be distracted by trying to be judge and jury.

If the only way you are gonna reach X,Y,Z goal realistically, is to sell-out, lose your soul, or become someone else...is it worth it? If your answer is yes, do not pass go! Morph into that person no one really wants to be around, but out of obligation, is required to brown-nose.

If you can live with the "fakeness", heartache, and stench of death that comes with using people as a footstool, the type of person who only does things to perpetuate hate and jealousy, why wait? Become a souless flake of a zombie now. Maybe I am speaking in extremes, but everyone should know their limits before someone makes them for you. Because by the, it may be too late.

If we truly desire satisfaction...we need to be people who satisfy, who are already satisfied, yet never satisfied. Say what? Essentially, we have to be satisfied with ourselves, but never satisfied in terms of how much we can accomplish or achieve. Be a person that is satisfying to be around, yet ready to raise the level of what satisfies you personally. No more complaining, silently brooding, or dismissing our feelings.