Archive | June 2011

Be the Captain of Your Own Ship

OUT of the night that covers me,

Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Invictus- William Ernest Henley

Sometimes we all need just a little bit of a reminder.  Each individual should completely comprehend and embrace the notion that the only person who is responsible for your life and how it turn out is you.  That’s right.  We may come from less than desirable backgrounds, life may have dealt us a bad hand,  fate may seem to be conspiring against us, but ultimately how we live our life is on us.

You can let life knock you down or you can take the bull by the horns and hold on for the ride- eventually gaining enough control to dictate the path instead of just being along for the ride.  We have all heard the old adage “life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it.”  It’s true.  At some point in life highly successful people decide that they have to design for themselves the life they wish to live.  Yes, I said that properly.  You design for yourself the life you wish to live.  It is more than possible.  You have to see it, believe that it can happen and through work wait for it to fall into place.  Seeing and believing is not enough.  There is action required on your part.

That is the macro part of the story.  Last week I read on twitter the micro version of it  “I’m finding out that when someone is trying to drive you crazy, get out of the car. I drive myself everywhere else so why should I let someone else drive me there?”  This was a status of  Melissa Simpson who I was not acquainted with prior to this post.  Yet, upon reading that statement I thought “how brilliant” because it is.  And what makes it brilliant is the simplicity of the statement.  In this 21st century there are many people who are, well quite honestly, control freaks who are driven to succeed.  Within the confines of that drive, very structured lives are led.  Yet, many people, when things start to go awry with another person, state that said person is “driving them crazy.”

I am one who is quite familiar with the usage of said phrase.  It probably rolls effortlessly off my tongue at least once daily, I had to pause for a second and think “Melissa that is true.”  In many areas of my life I am fully aware that I am in control.  This ship travels in the direction in which I steer it.  But oddly enough, when I want to get pouty because I am distracted  and not fully focussed on managing my own life,  then someone else is “driving me crazy.”   Hmmm…. let’s be honest here.  The truth is that I do “drive myself everywhere else.”  Some random person on the expressway is not driving me crazy because they wont drive 15 miles above the posted speed as I wish them to.  I am driving me crazy because I procrastinated in getting out of the house, am anal about arriving anywhere late, and didn’t take the time to properly map out the directions.  So this senior citizen driving at or slightly below the posted speed limit is not driving me crazy.  I have to own the good and the bad about myself, and the truth is on this day I did not plan properly.  But this life is being charted by me.  The vessel is driven by me.  The spoils of the victory will be mine for “I am the captain of my fate.  I am the master of my soul.”  Let’s fully own this notion as we should, accept life’s lessons as the universe displays them to us, and move forward toward our best life taking full responsibility for ourselves and our charting/steering abilities.

Spread love…peace and blessings.

 

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All In Its Own Time

“You cannot learn other people’s lessons for them. They must do the work themselves, and they’ll do it when they’re ready.” – Louise L. Hay

There is a lot of power in this statement.  It is also empowering.  For me the message is not one of pessimism but optimism.  We are all here for a purpose with individual lessons to learn.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that your lessons are for you alone and in your own time?

The message is also freeing.  I  have come to the understanding that most people get where they need to be when they need to be there.  When that happens for them is out of my control and should also be out of my concern.  If I am concentrating on what I may have already learned and what you have yet to learn I am altering the timing of my realization of the next lesson.  And if the person does NOT get the lesson or desire to learn it?  Is it then my job to “assist” their learning?  Absolutely not.  Perhaps each lesson is not for each person.  Perhaps the lesson all along is still yours-maybe it is to share your knowledge and move on.  Focus on self evolution.

When we truly accept that others will do things “when they are ready” we are free to refocus our attentions inward.  There is peace in acknowledging that our time is not someone else’s.  We are not all scheduled to grow to the same point nor achieve the same accomplishments.

While it helps to acknowledge these points about others, we are especially at peace when we internalize the message.  Do not let someone else make you feel less than worthy because you are not where they expect you to be.  It is ok.  God/the universe recognizes and accepts that you will get there when you need to be and essentially on that timing you are only accountable to God and yourself.

So I guess the base of this quote is again one of  “gimme a break.” Release yourself and others from the expectation that someone else’s time frame must be adhered to.  Everything happens “all in its own time.”

What’s Not To Love About You?

Most people, on any given day are able at the drop of a hat to list all of their imperfections.  They have this list at the ready, no hesitation- ready, aim, fire.  Yet, when asked to list attributes, often there is a pause while one ponders the answer.  Most of us are far more comfortable with stating our flaws rather than our assets.  We don’t want to brag.  We don’t want to appear conceited or arrogant, or any other words that are sometimes applied to give a negative connotation to a positive self-image.  I’m suggesting a long-needed shift of perspective is in the air.  If you haven’t caught wind of it yet, I implore you to get while the getting is good.  In order to give your best self to others you must have a complete awareness of who your best self is.

And yes, that involves the ability to state at the drop of a hat all the things about you that make you beautifully wonderfully you.   Some of us are so programmed to be critical of self that we aren’t even aware of the steps involved in changing that self-image.  I am no psychologist but here are my recommendations:

  1. Look at yourself- inside and out.  What do you see?  Are your eyes an unusually beautiful shade of (insert color here)?  Do they shine especially bright?  Is your physique one that make grown men or women cry?  Is your hair a beautiful color that others envy?  Internally, does your spirit shine bright even when you think no one is looking?  Is your heart full of compassion for others?  Do you have a servant’s spirit?
  2. If this mirror view does not help you, think about the things that others always compliment.  I guarantee when you think about it there will be quite a list.
Once you are aware of the positive qualities that make you shine, embrace them.  When people compliment you, thank them.  There is absolutely no need to offer “that’s not true but thank you.”  Obviously the other party thinks it is true or they wouldn’t offer the compliment.  Don’t negate a compliment by offering an insult of yourself instead.  Honestly, that is unnecessary.  You are diminishing your own shine.

Love you.  Be you.  Shine.  Show the world your best.  I make you some promises that will result from this:

  1. The quality of your interactions will increase.
  2. The quality of people you attract will increase.
  3. You will feel better mentally and physically.
  4. You will encourage others to shine in like manner.
I would love to see your comments on this one.  What’s not to love about you?
Spread love…peace and blessings.

“With All That You Are Going Through…”

One of my least favorite phrases is “with all that I’m/you’re going through.”  Oh this one really makes me want to SCREAM!  Why say you? A lot of people are going through a lot, you say?  It’s really simple.  I don’t believe that theory.  I believe that most people are simply living life and contrary to what some of us have been conditioned to think life is not meant to be easy or a piece of cake.  Life is meant to be challenging in order for us to learn the lessons necessary to assist us in fulfilling our purpose.  So for me, at most times,  people are not going through anything ; they are simply living.  This does not mean that I am not sensitive to their challenges.  I simply don’t view them through the same lens.

Are there people,  in my opinion, who are “going through” something?  ABSOLUTELY!  For those in the midwest who lost their homes, all of their belongings, and in some cases family members due to the devastating tornado that hit- they are going through something.  For those who have life threatening illnesses and have to live with a death sentence daily, they are going through something.  For my twitter friend, AIDS activist Rae Lewis-Thornton, who daily lives with pain, getting IV treatments to fight a separate infection, and the stress of trying to pay her expenses while being unable to work a traditional job – yeah she is going through something.  Interestingly enough, however,  most of these people don’t look at their life that way.  My cousin-in-law who endured multiple bouts of breast cancer opted not to allow her doctor to tell her how much time she had left.  Why? Because she wanted to live her LIFE and not her DEATH.  Rae, who sometimes is so ill she can not get out of bed, continues to tweet positive messages to others while making custom bracelets (even from bed)  to support herself and her cause.  Telling yourself that you are “going through” some hard times is sometimes merely accepting  a victim mentality.

I think it most interesting that those who legitimately are “going through” something are the very last people you will hear use this phrase.  As I watched with tears the victims of the tornado in interviews, I heard them say how grateful they are to be alive.  They expressed how happy they were to find treasured items within the ruins, how they had a purpose to rebuild their homes.   As I tweet with Rae, I admire her go get  ’em spirit that forces her to continue on in spite of with very little complaint relying upon her extended network to sometimes bolster and get her through the day.  My cousin in law chose to have a baby who was only 2 and a half years old at the time of her death.  She did this as her parting gift to her mom and husband against doctors orders.

I am currently in the midst of one of life’s challenges.  But interestingly I’m not too worried.  I’ve been at a crossroad before- been in a place where I wasn’t sure which  road to take or where it led.  I felt like I had no one, but the universe stepped in to show me I had all I needed. In this case it was one great friend who at the time wore many hats.  I also had  a few sideline cheerleaders and  family who stepped in from the shadows at just the right time to guide me back home.  That experience prepared me for this one.  I know that I am doing wonderfully.  I am in the best physical shape of my life, I am in wonderful mental health, and I have an ever-increasing support base of people who truly love me.  So I ask, when armed with all of this how could I possibly be “going through” anything?  I awaken each day looking forward to a day that will be better than the one before which will lead to a lifetime of great days.  You see I’m going to let you in on a little secret, the more you see things to complain about, the more you see “wrong” with your life, the more the universe will give you.  After all, that’s what you want right?  Hmmm?? That’s all you talk about, so that’s what you are speaking into existence.  Every day will not be perfect, but see the perfect in every day.

So, even if you are aware of my current challenges I welcome you asking how I am weathering them, but please don’t preface your comments with “…with all that you are going through.”  The only thing I’m going through my friend are happy, love-filled days enjoying the blessings and joy that come from a growing inner peace.

Spread love…. peace and blessings