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Thick Skin

12 Sep

We’re all different and everyone experiences the world in different ways.  The things that affect some of us deeply are hardly noticed by others.  We’re all unique in our expressions and interpretations and if we’re highly emotional we may feel developments more acutely than someone who is more pragmatic.  There is no wrong way to see the world but if we don’t feel strong or capable of managing whatever is happening, we may cave in and become overwhelmed.  Everyone has moments when they aren’t sure about what to do or don’t feel strong enough to face a particular issue.  It’s normal to feel overwhelmed at times but we need not let that paralyze us.  Lots of things will happen as we go through our lives and some of them may be quite intense.  If we allow the situation to control us we may fall down and struggle to regain our footing.  There really isn’t anything too powerful for us to manage.  Even if we’re shocked and have the wind knocked out of us for a moment, we have the power to engage our reasoning and stand firm.  Life can be complicated and sometimes things will go wrong – perhaps very wrong.  We can face whatever comes and hold fast knowing we will overcome.  We are stronger and more resilient than we realize and nothing is strong enough to hold us down.  Every answer we need is there for us and we can trust in our ability to do whatever we must to move forward.  We can be confident and courageous when trials come and trust we will prevail.  Nothing can keep us from success.  We can always win.

Sometimes the very thing we think we could never endure actually happens to us.  We may have imagined we aren’t strong enough to survive a serious setback.  We may do everything in our power to prevent things from going wrong, but we only have control over ourselves and there are lots of decisions being made we know nothing about.  If the bottom falls out of our plans and everything falls apart we don’t need to fall apart with it.  We can face any storm and push through.  Disappointments will come but no matter what goes wrong we have everything we need to get through.  We are powerful and strong, and nothing can stop us.

We can do everything in our power to avoid conflict, stay out of trouble, and keep the peace, and still problems will arise.  It’s the nature of life.  There will always be differences and opposition no matter what we’re doing.  Trying to stay away from it might work for a time but eventually we’ll go through trying times that are difficult to navigate.  We may get confused, feel unsure, and struggle to figure out what to do next but if we keep pushing forward we will prevail.  Everything we need to succeed is there for us.  We need only trust ourselves to find it and continue forward.

Today if you’re overwhelmed with an issue you don’t think you can manage, stand strong.  You are wiser and more capable than you realize and nothing is too difficult for you to understand and manage.  Every answer you need is already there for you.  Be confident and trust yourself.  Nothing can keep you from success.

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Back to the Beginning

15 Jun

Life can be complicated and there are all kinds of things that can happen or change in a second.  We can’t see beyond where we are and may be surprised by an unexpected development, a difficult complication, or trouble we couldn’t have anticipated.  Like dark clouds moving in before a storm, sometimes it seems things change from bad to worse and we are left confused and wondering what happened and where everything went wrong.  Sometimes the decisions of others we know nothing about impact our lives dramatically.  Sometimes one wrong turn takes us far off course, and other times the bottom simply falls out of our plans.  When things get jumbled up and we have to push through tangles and trials we may feel overwhelmed about what to do next.  We may feel beset and unprepared for the situation and unsure about the way forward.  Everything generally works out in the end but while we’re getting through the mists of uncertainty we may lose our footing. When we get knotted up and twisted around in turmoil or confusion it’s important to remember that what happens on the outside need not disrupt what’s happening inside us.  In times of stress and indecision we can go back to the beginning, center on our personal strengths and find respite and calm.  We have everything we need to manage anything no matter how convoluted or difficult.  We know who we are and can trust in our ability to move forward with confidence and clarity.  There isn’t anything so confusing we can’t figure it out.  All destinations are possible and we can accomplish anything we desire.  Going back to the beginning, and remembering our personal strength and wisdom will help us move ahead and find success.

It’s easy to get caught up in situations that are filled with conflict and emotion. We all have our own ideas about how things should go and what is right.  We don’t have to push others into agreement to find a workable solution.  Compromise is always possible and we can allow differing viewpoints to enter the equation.  Bending to find a solution doesn’t require us to give up our position.  We can work together and still hold onto the viewpoints we value most.

Problems and trouble are a part of life.  There will be few periods when everything goes exactly as planned.  Often there will be some disagreement or our expectations will not be fully met.  Looking at the big picture going forward will allow us to shake off minor setbacks we may face and continue with confidence.  We are stronger and more capable than we realize and we know how to move forward toward success.  We can trust ourselves to do anything and nothing is out of reach.

Today if you’re surrounded by trouble and it seems nothing is working the way you want it to, step back and remember how strong and wise you are.  Trust in your ability to understand any complication and move forward with confidence.  You have everything you need to do anything you want.  Step forward and embrace the challenge.  Success is just ahead and you will achieve it.

The Spots

14 Jun

There are all kinds of people in the world and we run into different types of personalities and behaviors every day. We like to be around people who share our viewpoints and interpretations but sometimes we may be attracted to someone who is very different. When we connect with them we may be interested in their differences at first but as time goes by we may want them to change to be more like us or in some way we think would be better for them. If we really want someone to change we may believe that with enough influence from us, they will. A leopard has spots that have evolved over time that make it unique and distinguishable. They don’t look like any other animal, nor do they try to imitate anything but what they are. We aren’t leopards but like their spots, we are unique and distinguishable by our behaviors and choices. Our personalities develop with each day that passes and every decision we make. We ultimately become the people we create. We can change anything we like at any time but it’s highly unlikely anyone else will be successful in making us change anything we haven’t chosen for ourselves. We are all responsible for our own lives. No matter how much we may want someone else to change, no matter how good our intentions are or positive the desired change may be, we can’t alter their spots. They belong solely to them and they are the only ones with the power to change them.

It’s easy to keep doing things the same way and changing course or expression takes work but we can alter our course any way we desire. We are all continually in motion and if we want to change something in our lives or behaviors, we have all the power we need to accomplish the task. The catch is we must be motivated enough to do whatever is needed and required to bring about the adjustment. It may not be easy and what we’re trying to do may take serious time and focus to accomplish. But if we’re determined there isn’t anything we can’t do. We can change our spots and direction, and more effectively find success.

Change must always come from within. If we love someone and want them to shift something in their lives we may suggest it to them. If they are reticent, we may cajole them, pester them, or continually nag them thinking that repeated reminders will make them desire the change. We can talk until we’re blue in the face and run out of air but we cannot make them choose our decisions. Our lives belong solely to each of us and every choice is ours to make. No matter what anyone else thinks, we will be the people we choose to be. It is enough to manage our own choices. We can let go and let others determine their own paths and accept their right to live their lives according to their own desires.

Today if you’ve been trying to change someone else thinking you can help them live more fully or happily, let go and focus on your own choices. We are all unique and valuable in our own way and deserve to express ourselves as individuals. You are wise and capable and can create the life you want the most. Focus on your own path and choose the best way forward. Find your own success and great happiness will follow.

Now What

30 Jan

As we’re moving through our lives, focusing on our goals, enjoying our associations with others, and working toward our destinations, sometimes things go exactly the way we plan. Events roll forward in predictable ways and the road ahead is open and unobstructed. When we’re moving forward and things are going well we feel confident and sure of success, and it’s only a matter of time before we achieve the goal we’re seeking. And then out of nowhere, sometimes everything changes. We’re steaming along and suddenly the bottom falls out of our plans. It’s like running headlong into an invisible wall. We may be stunned and rattled, speechless and unable to move. Sudden changes turn our course immediately, often without warning, and we may stand stupefied for a moment and wonder, now what? If everything we depended on disappears, and everyone who was with us turns away, we may be left standing, bereft and confused. Change is part of life and sometimes the changes we experience are extreme and unexpected. When they happen, it may be so dramatic and all encompassing that we may have no idea how to proceed. If we stop and stand still, and take some time to wrap our heads around all the changes and understand where we are now, we will find the courage we need to continue. The road we were on may be gone but there are countless others we can take and we can start again. We can regain our footing, refocus on what we want to do, and step forward.

When our lives are routine and things are happening the way we expect them to, we feel comfortable and sure. We know how our days will go, and everything is familiar. It’s good to feel relaxed and we may become complacent thinking we’ve got everything under control and all is well. If things suddenly change our first instinct may be to deny what has happened. We may believe if we don’t acknowledge the situation it won’t impact us. Looking away from an issue will not remove it, and ignoring problems will not solve them. Although we may desperately want things to stay the same, change will come, and we can do what is needed to continue forward.

When our lives suddenly change in ways we don’t want and didn’t expect, we may try to force them back to the way they were. We may attempt to restore what was, but there is no way to go back in time and no way to change what has happened. Life marches forward and will not retreat. We can step back, take time to process our new reality and then decide how we want to continue. All our dreams can come true but sometimes we must take the long way around to get to them. If things go wrong, we can find another way. If the bottom falls out, we can rebuild it. Everything is possible and nothing is strong enough to keep us from our goals. We can keep moving forward through any complication and find success.

Today if all your plans have suddenly gone up in smoke and you feel lost and confused, take a moment to understand where you are. Look around and decide how you want to proceed. The goal is still there for you and you can still reach it. Decide on the way forward and start again. The road is there and success is only steps away.

Bending

22 Nov

When we know where we want to go and have a plan to get there, we may make the goal a priority and begin to move toward it.  When things go the way we’ve planned we may make excellent progress but if something gets in the way, or some complication arises that makes it hard to push ahead, we may have to stop for a time and rethink our next move.  Life is unpredictable and there are many people around us making decisions that may impact our choices.  Trying to walk forward through a strong wind is hard and taking each step may be difficult.  If we don’t bend forward against the gusts we may fall backward.  Learning to bend into trouble will help us progress.  It seems counterproductive to think about leaning into something that is causing distress but when we do we can hear more clearly and see things we might miss otherwise.  If someone does something that prevents us from getting to our goal we can fight against them and try to make them change and do things our way.  Or we can step closer to them and try to see things from their perspective to find an easier road.  Everyone has their own ideas about how things should go and there will be times when our ideas will be in conflict with others.  It doesn’t necessarily mean anyone is wrong.  It only means we are different.  We can learn to bend a little away from the plans we’ve made and adjust our direction so we can continue to move forward.  There are countless ways to succeed in every endeavor.  We can be flexible and willing to listen to alternate ideas and then if we need to, create a new road that will take us where we want to go.  We can do anything.  Learning to bend will help us find success.

As children we learned the patterns of our families and may adopt those same patterns into our lives as adults.  What is comfortable for us may be foreign to someone else.  When we must work together those differences may bring contention as everyone campaigns for their own way.  Although every choice may have value they don’t have to stand alone to be effective.  We can allow other interpretations to blend with ours and combine ideas to find the best decisions.  We can’t make cookies using only flour.  We must bring all the different ingredients together to create the best result.

In some situations it’s impossible to bend and find success.  If we’re dealing with laws and regulations that cannot be broken without serious consequences we can find the way forward while still honoring them.  We can be true to the things we value most and still work within any bounds we must.  There are infinite ways to accomplish any task.  We are wise and creative enough to find the way forward.  We can bend when possible and hold fast when we must, and still find success.  We can do anything.  Nothing is beyond our grasp.

Today if you’ve decided how you want to move forward but something is standing in your way, look carefully and find a way around it.  You can go anywhere you want to go.  There isn’t anything strong enough or complex enough to hold you in place.  Be flexible and willing to bend, and every success will be there for you.

Looking Good

2 Aug

These days there is a lot of focus on our external appearance.  Everywhere we look there are ads for products to make us look younger, thinner, more desirable and more beautiful.  Some of us are short, some tall, some heavy, some thin, some old, and some young.  The scope of appearance among us is very broad and diverse.  We can try to look like all the pictures we see of famous, beautiful people and we may succeed but looking good according to the standards set by others may not bring us happiness.  There is great joy to be found in difference and if we all looked the same the scenery would be quite boring and uninspiring.  It’s important to embrace our own personal style and rejoice in our own special appearance.  We are one of a kind.  There has never been and never will be another person exactly like us.  We can love our own personal beauty even if it differs from what those around us think it should be.  When we are happy and content with who we are, when we are striving to be our very best and doing the things we most want to do our external appearance will reflect joy and peace and there is nothing more beautiful.  Finding beauty by looking good on the outside is only part of the story.  It also includes how we feel about ourselves.  We are all beautiful in different ways.  Living our lives purposefully and directing them toward the destinations we most want to achieve will bring us light and happiness that will be reflected in all we do, and will create more beauty than anything else ever could.

Our outward appearance is always affected by what is going on inside us.  If we are struggling with conflict and stress it will be reflected in our appearance.  It’s impossible to hide everything we’re going through and even if we’re great actors, there will likely be a crack in the armor.  Difficult times come to all of us and as we navigate them we may appear to be tense or even angry to those around us.  We will find comfort and respite from the trial if we remind ourselves we can manage anything that comes and will be successful.  We can overcome every challenge and continue to walk forward with confidence.

If we are living unethically or dishonestly we may try to appear to be doing things differently and we may be able to fool those around us for a time.  We may continue to smile and act as though we’re doing things well and it may work for a while but eventually what we’re doing secretly will rise and become apparent through our behavior.  We can’t look our best if we’re living deceptively.  If we want to be our best we must do our best.  We have everything we need to choose wisely and move forward on roads that will bring us true success.  Living honestly and true to our personal values will bring us joy and that will bring us true beauty.

Today if you want to be truly beautiful, make the best choices you can.  Choose to be honest and travel the roads that will bring you joy.  If there is stress and conflict, remember how powerful and capable you are.  There isn’t anything too difficult for you to manage and you will prevail.  You are a great blessing to us all and your true personal beauty is a gift to the world.

Common Ground

14 Mar

There are a lot of different kinds of people in the world. Many different belief systems, thousands of distinct traditions and rules, and countless variations of expression. We’re all unique and show our uniqueness in limitless ways. Despite our differences, we all share common wants and needs such as the need for care and love, physical safety, and a desire for connection to those around us. We may struggle trying to understand someone who is different than we are and have trouble relating to their views and behaviors, but no matter how many ways we differ we all have some things we share. As human beings inhabiting the same planet at the same time, there will be things we can relate to no matter how different we are. It requires respect for each other to look beyond our differences and find basic understanding. We may not agree on politics or religion, or what needs to happen or where we need to go, but we can agree to respect one another and honor our personal choices. We’re all important and each of us contributes to the world we live in. Nobody doesn’t count. We are capable of understanding things that are different than we are and we can learn from those differences to embellish and enhance our experiences going forward.

Conflict is sometimes the result of differing opinions. When we feel strongly about something it can be hard to understand and accept another point of view. We may not comprehend the opposing opinion but each is valuable even when they are far from what we believe. We can respectfully honor different ideas and see new perspectives by opening our minds to unique possibilities. Differences open our imagination and may help us understand life more effectively. We are capable of learning and understanding many things. We are all important and valuable and each of us enriches life in our own specific and unique way.

There isn’t only one way to do or see anything. There isn’t only one answer to any problem or situation. Variation and diversity are a part of natural life. Look at the trees on the earth. There are an estimated 100,000 varieties of trees in the world and each is unique and perfect for where it is and what it does. Although each is different they are all trees. We all have something exclusive to offer that no one else can give but no matter how different we are there will always be something we share. There is common ground we can relate to that will help us honor our differences. We are all valuable and worthwhile. We all have something to say and each opinion matters.

Today if you’ve been holding tightly to one point of view, allow others to share their perspectives with you. We all share common ground. Find it and embrace differences as you learn from those around you. The world is filled with diversity and every expression brings something unique. Everyone is important and you will grow as you understand many viewpoints and ideas. You are capable of greatness. Embracing differences and finding common ground will help you achieve it