Archive | December, 2015

When We’re Ready

23 Dec

When we’re hoping for a change in our lives and working to make it happen, it’s frustrating when it eludes us.  When we want something badly it’s hard to wait.  We can try and try to make something happen, but sometimes no matter what we do we remain stuck and nothing changes.  And so we continue to do the other things in our lives that take our attention.  We learn new things and have more experiences moving forward, and after some time passes what we are trying so hard to achieve arrives.  The thing about life is that so often things don’t come to us exactly when we want them, but when we’re ready for them, which isn’t always the same time.  If we’re impatient, waiting is difficult, especially if what we we’re hoping for is something we want very badly and feel we deserve.  But impatience can’t rush anything.  It only makes the wait harder to endure.  Therefore, trying to practice more patience can only help us as we go forward.  It seems counter intuitive that we must exercise patience to become more patient, but that’s how it is.  We can do everything we can to initiate a change, but until we’re ready for it, it probably won’t come.  The trick is to be ready.

Once we’ve identified something we want to change in our lives, if it’s far reaching and requires us to alter our lifestyle or routine, we first need to make that happen to facilitate the change we’re seeking.  If we want to become a doctor, we need to plan and prepare to go to medical school.  If we want to become more social, we need to plan to attend more functions where we can meet others.  We’ll never be ready for any change without the proper preparation.  It seems easy when we first start thinking about it – we’ll just do what’s required.  But when it comes time to implement the alterations, to attend school, to study, to actually go out to the events we need to, sometimes uncertainty creeps in.  An established routine, even one we aren’t happy with, has a degree of security and predictability that makes it comfortable.  We’re familiar with it, we know how it works, and we know what to expect.  When we shake that up, we might find that taking the first step is the hardest.  We don’t really know where it will take us or how we’ll react.  But if we are brave enough to start we often find we are certainly capable of continuing, and because the first step takes us closer to where we want to be, it will bring satisfaction.

The road to change isn’t always easy or quick.  Sometimes what we’re trying to do turns out to be more difficult than we first thought.  And sometimes after we start the new path and look ahead, we see it will take longer than we realized.  But if the goal is something we want, there isn’t anything that can stop us unless we quit.  If we decide it’s too hard or will take too long, we can certainly stop and return to our old patterns.  But if we do that, it means we aren’t ready for the change after all.  And the goal will not be realized until we are.  If we really want to do something, no matter what it is, we can do it.  We just need to keep taking one step forward.  We don’t have to do it in a hurry, and we can take it one day at a time.  There isn’t anything we can’t do.  We can prepare ourselves, and we can be ready.  And when we are, we’ll succeed.

Today if you’ve been wanting a change in your life but aren’t sure you can manage it, remember there is nothing you can’t do.  Every single step will take you closer to your goal, and you can succeed.  Think about where you want to be, and plan to move closer to it no matter what.  If you’re ready, nothing will stop you.  And you can be ready now.  Take the first step today.  Tomorrow take another.  Keep going forward and the goal will come to you.

Shining

22 Dec

Life is full of ups and downs. We have successes and disappointments, good days and bad days, and sometimes if things have been going wrong for a while, we may feel heavy and dark. We have low periods where we feel out of sorts, and disconnected. We know that given time they will pass and we’ll be back in the sunshine again, but as the time lingers we can feel lost, and apart from those around us. During those times we gain strength from those who are bright and positive. When they smile at us we feel lifted, and when they listen we feel cared for. It’s a great blessing to receive when things aren’t going well and we are beset with concern. It’s said that recent studies show the human eye can see a small candle flame from over a mile away. The tiniest light can be seen from a great distance. When we’re overwhelmed and discouraged, we can feel far away. When we see light from someone else and feel it shine on us, we feel comforted. Everyone struggles from time to time and if we choose to, we can be that light and shine compassion and support on those around us. We’re all more connected than we realize. Being a light is the best we can offer.

In the winter if there is snow and ice, slush and mud, the headlamps on our cars can get coated over and over as we drive along. After a while we notice they aren’t working as well as they did, and take a look. When we see the dirt covering them it’s an easy task to wipe it away and let the bright light come through again. Our lives are like that in some ways. We face trials and challenges, and we struggle sometimes to find our way. Everything we face leaves an impact on us and if things have been hard for a while, we may feel dull and muted from the experience. If someone comes along and shares with us, listens to our concerns, and shows care for our well being, it’s like they wipe some of that away and we are able to feel a little brighter. The care of others in our lives can be the salve that heals our wounds, and the bandage that soothes our discomfort.

When things are going well for us, we can be the ones to shine. There is always someone who needs a friend and if we reach out we can make a difference for them. When we’re discouraged and feel bad, we often feel alone in our pain. We sometimes think nobody could understand how we feel so we keep it to ourselves. But we all go through difficult times and know what it’s like to suffer. If we can extend ourselves when we see someone who seems sad or unhappy, if we say hello and ask how they are and really listen, if we stop walking by and stay for just a moment, we may make a heartache more bearable, and brighten a day. We have the power to show we care. We have the power to let our light shine and help heal those around us. It’s a great gift and the more we share it the stronger it gets.

Today if things are going well, share with those around you. See those who are troubled and offer a listening ear and a kind word. You have a lot of light inside you and power to help heal those in need. Reach out, extend yourself, and let it shine. You have so much to give and you can make your world a brighter place. Today be the beacon. You have the power to change a life and make someone feel happy. Use that power today and be the light we all need.

Big Left Turn

21 Dec

Unfortunately, even though we try not to, sometimes we make a terrible decision. We do something that hurts others and is so egregious our lives are greatly impacted. Sometimes what we’ve done impacts us or others so greatly, nothing is ever really the same afterward. We may not have done it on purpose, or we might have acted willingly if we were angry enough, but whether we meant to or not, once it’s done it can’t be undone. If we’ve made a big left turn and broken the road we’ve been on, our lives will change. If we’ve hurt those we care about we may feel the repercussions for a long time.  Sadly, sometimes a relationship we really cared about is so badly damaged it cannot be repaired. When this happens, once we realize the full impact of what we’ve done, we may feel great remorse. If we’re still angry we might not feel sorrow for a while, but it’s destined to come to us at some point. Since we can’t change the past all we can do is go forward. We have to do what we can to make things right, and forgive ourselves. The road may have changed dramatically and we may feel very unsettled until we figure out what to do next, but going forward is our only option.

There are lots of reasons why we make big mistakes, but in the end, the reasons really won’t matter. The only thing that matters is what we do next. If we’ve lost a valuable relationship we can try to rebuild it. If we are able to regain the trust of the other person, it’s possible we may restore it.  However, if the trust has been broken too severely, we may never have that relationship back. If there’s someone we really care about and we’ve lost them, our only option forward is to love them from afar and let them know we want them in our lives. Over time we all change. Wounds heal, and feelings mend. After enough time has passed it’s possible we’ll be able to start again.

Our lives are fluid and ever changing. What we do today often affects what comes to us tomorrow. The worst decisions are often made out of anger and haste, when we rush to an assumption or try to even a score. We may prevent bad decisions if we stop and give ourselves time to think before we act. We know we should, but in the heat of the moment, sometimes things get out of control. Being out of control never brings happiness and often brings heartache. If we can take some time to breathe and think before we jump, we may figure out a way forward that will not destroy our relationships or the path we want to be on. Only we can decide what we’ll do. We can make good decisions and we can choose wisely.  If we wait just for a moment, and consider where we’re going, oftentimes we’ll make a better and happier decision. Hard times come to us all but we can prevent them from becoming disastrous if we stop and think before we act.

Today if you’re feeling edgy and upset, if you’re angry and determined to get even or make someone pay for some slight you think they’ve caused, stop for a moment before you do anything. There is a lot at stake. Your relationships, your future happiness, and your personal peace are a big price to pay for anger. Don’t pay it. Take a breath. This is just a moment and it will pass. Give yourself some space. The right answer will come and you’ll be in control. Then make the best decision and you’ll go forward with confidence. You know what to do. Today choose the right and peace will follow.

Inspiring

19 Dec

We have a choice every day to decide how we will act and what we will do. We all do some things well, and some things not as well, but as we make our decisions we can decide that no matter what, we’ll be the best we can be. It’s easy to go through the motions, and just take things as they come, but if we want to get the most from every moment we have to do a little more. At every turn, we can decide not to make just a good decision, but to make the best decision. We can choose not to do just enough, but to do the best we can. If we consciously decide to try our best to be our best, our lives will be more rewarding and more fulfilling, and we’ll inspire those around us.

We’ve all heard of the bell curve. When I was a child and got frustrated over some decision someone had made that impacted me, my father would say, “You’ve got to remember the bell curve.” I never really understood what he meant until I got older. As you might recall from school, the bell curve represents our performance with the majority of us landing smack in the middle in the land of mediocrity. If we want to just get by in our lives and do the least amount needed to move forward, we’ll have lots of company. But if we want to live closer to the edge, where we have to try harder, where we have to think a little longer before we act, and where every decision is measured well, we’ll have the best company. We design our lives the way we want them. If we want mediocrity we can surely have it. But if we want something more, and want to see what we’re really capable of, we need to focus and stretch. The choice is ours alone to make.

When we’re reaching for something better and trying to become more than what we are now, it takes personal effort. We can’t afford the luxury of complacency. We have to be engaged all the time. Each opportunity brings many choices. Paying attention to each option, looking at it objectively and seeing where it will lead doesn’t always take a lot of time. But it does take our attention. If we want to live an extraordinary life, if we want to do more than the minimum, if we want to be our best, we can. Once I heard two pianists perform the same piece within days of each other. Each was performed technically perfectly. Each was done well, but there was no comparison between the two. The first artist played perfectly without a single mistake. Her timing was exact and she was proficient. But the second artist played as though every emotion she possessed came out onto the keys. She felt the music, and she expressed it in a way that made the listener part of it. It was a breathtaking performance and many were brought to tears by the end. Both pianists were excellent, but one chose to put everything she had into the music and it made all the difference. If we lived our lives like that, if we put everything into each decision, we would be a positive influence. We would be inspiring. We can choose to be our best, and when we do our lives will be better. We’ll be stronger, more confident, and an example to those around us.

Today if you’ve been doing well but not giving all you can, rethink your plan. You have so many wonderful things to share. Open yourself up to being more, to thinking a bit more deeply, and to letting your very best self shine forward. You have the power to inspire those around you. Be your best. Reach further. You can change your world.

Easy Questions Hard Answers

18 Dec

When we’re making decisions about our lives, deciding where we want to go, and what we want to do, we have to answer a lot of questions. Some are quick, and we know the answers before we even think about them but others, although they look easy at first, can be hard to answer. Questions can be deceptive. Something simple like, “What do you want to do now?” seems easy on the surface, but when the answers we choose have far reaching consequences, they can be hard to resolve. We spend so much time doing what others expect from us, what we think we should be doing, and what is required to make things work that when it comes to questions about our personal choices they can be harder to answer than they seem at first. What do we want to do now? Where do we want to go? What do we want to accomplish? How can we make it happen? These all seem like easy questions, but the answers can be elusive.

It seems we sometimes forget who we really are and what we really want. We’re busy, and trying hard to get things done, we have a lot of responsibilities, and at the end of the day we may feel like we’ve been lost in the shuffle. But if we want to be happy, really happy with our lives, and stand on the road we most want to be on, we need to think about what we really want. Do we want to spend time doing the same thing tomorrow we did today? Are we doing what’s most important to us? Are we happy? Do we feel fulfilled with how we’re spending our days? All are important questions. If our lives are too busy, we may not take time to look at them and find the answers. We need to remember what we truly want, and who we really are. Our lives belong to us and we can live them any way we want to.

Sometimes we can tangled up in situations that take us off course. Maybe we commit to a relationship that isn’t working, or we keep a job we hate, or we continue to do something that makes us miserable because others expect it. When that happens, it takes determination and courage to step away and do what is needed to turn things around. But we have sufficient determination and courage to do it. We have everything we need to change our course, and we are the only ones who can make it happen. We don’t have to convince anyone we need to change, we don’t have to come up with a dozen reasons why what we’ve been doing isn’t working, and we don’t have to feel any guilt. If we need to change, we can change. We are in control of our time and our futures. We can have the lives we want most, be the person we want to be, and live happily. The moment we decide is the perfect time to start.

Today if you’ve been doing things that aren’t working and you aren’t happy, think about what you want the most. Remember who you really are and then make the changes necessary to bring happiness into your life. Every day is a precious gift. Your gift is today. Make it work for you. Make it the way you want it to be. You deserve everything you want. Reach for it, and make it yours.