Life's Challenges

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they're supposed to help you discover who you are. ~ Bernice Johnson Reagon, Singer/Composer

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Beat the Winter Blues

Here is a great link to help fight off the doldrums of winter. Some of this is common sense and things you've heard before. But there are some tips I hadn't thought about. Since we still have some winter to go hopefully you will find something here to make it pass more quickly and enjoyably.

Make Yourself Happier - Four Ways To Happiness -

How to Stay Encouraged

1.     Be careful what you think.  Thoughts direct us, influence our choices, color our mood.  Try to see some good in the day, in yourself and in others.  Think of things and people you love.

2.     Smile.  I know that sounds like a corny bromide but it actually helps keep us cheerful.  Give a friendly smile to four or five unexpected recipients today.  No words, just a genuine smile.

3.     Focus on what motivates you.  Stay away from spending all day mentally consumed with duties, routines, obligations.  Get in touch with what really fuels your energy.  Follow today whatever gives you a sense of eagerness.

4.     Reach out.  If you are going through a really tough time, call or have lunch with a trusted friend.  Talk about what’s bothering you.  They don’t need to solve your problems.  Just having someone to listen always helps.

5.     Be good to yourself.  When we’re discouraged we often feel a lack of confidence.  Sometimes we dabble in self loathing and decide if we were better we’d be able to handle all of this.  Or we wouldn’t even be having these problems.  None of that today.  Extend some grace to yourself.  Treat yourself to something you enjoy.  There’s no such thing as selfishness when you’re feeling a bit down.

© 2011 Timothy Moody

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tips for Getting to Sleep

Watching the Clock? How to Stay Calm and Get to Sleep Faster - Sleep -

Making a Fist

For the first time, on the road north of Tampico,
I felt the life sliding out of me,
a drum in the desert, harder and harder to hear.
I was seven, I lay in the car
watching palm trees swirl a sickening pattern past the glass.
My stomach was a melon split wide inside my skin.

"How do you know if you are going to die?"
I begged my mother. 
We had been traveling for days.
With strange confidence she answered,
"When you can no longer make a fist."

Years later I smile to think of that journey,
the borders we must cross separately,
stamped with our unanswerable woes.
I who did not die, who am still living,
still lying in the backseat behind all my questions,
clenching and opening one small hand.
(c) Naomi Nye

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Greatest Problems

The greatest problems in life can never be solved.  They must be outgrown, by attaining a new level of consciousness. - Carl Jung

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Open Your Life Today

Something opens our wings.
Something makes boredom and hurt disappear.
Someone fills the cup in front of us.
We taste only sacredness.
~ Rumi, Persian Poet

What is that “something” that can do these things?
Making a difficult decision about your job, a relationship, a financial matter, your health, or some other personal issue.  That can do it. 

Being aware of small wonders—how easily children forgive, the rewarding companionship of a dog or cat, winter’s barren beauty, the amazing healing in laughter, the nurturing forces in a an affectionate touch. These can too.

Who is the “someone” the poet writes about?  A lover.  A parent.  A child.  A best friend.  A spiritual presence.  A musician.  An actor.  An author. A teacher.  A mentor. 

Open your life today to all the good influences around you.  Something, someone, waits to kiss you with grace, to embrace you in the glory that empowers and transforms.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Being Grounded

Without gravity to work with, there can be no dance.
          — Barbara Sher,  From her book,  “ It’s Only Too Late if You Don’t Start Now”

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wild Geese

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting--
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
© Mary Oliver

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Destiny Can Be Directed

One discovers that destiny can be directed, that one does not have to remain in bondage to the first wax imprint made in childhood. One need not be branded by the first pattern. Once the deforming mirror is smashed, there is a possibility of wholeness; there is a possibility of joy.-- Anais Nin

Monday, January 17, 2011

Any Other World

The unusual video below by Mika, carries a challenging message.  It asks us to "Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in."

What is that world?  Maybe it's a world of despair.  Maybe of defeat.  Maybe of sadness.  Maybe it's a world that seems so unfair and unbalanced.  Maybe it's a world of tears and sorrowful moods.  Maybe it's a world where you feel isolated, lonely, unloved.

Some people go their entire lifetime living in this kind of world.  The everyday requirements of survival keep them caught up in it.  A job to pay the bills.  A house or apartment to keep up.  Food to buy and eat.  People to care for or someone to need.

It all goes by so slowly but so quickly too until one day you wonder what the hell happened.  Why were you never fulfilled or happy or loved.

There are ways to say goodbye to that world and create a world where you live with a certain amount of peace, and self respect, and feelings of goodness and accomplishment, and real never to be forgotten experiences of love.

As the song below says, "Smile like you mean it and let yourself let go."  Take a risk.  Find a friend and be a friend.  Someone needs you as much as you need someone.  Take a risk.  Pursue that interest, that secret desire to create something that is uniquely yours--a book, a piece of art, a part in a community play, a song sung before an audience, a poem, a good deed for someone who needs a good deed.  Take a risk.  Create a world you love living in.

Say Goodbye to the World You Thought You Lived In

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Simple Wisdom

"Not only are you what you think you are, more so; what you think, you are."
Anthony J. D'Angelo, Education Reformer

Friday, January 14, 2011

How To Find Our Way Through Discouragement

1.      Face what you are feeling.  Trying to ignore feelings only leaves us more frustrated and wanting to shut down.
2.      Search for understanding.  See if there are insights in the messiness.
3.      Express anger, disappointment, fear, confusion in healthy ways.
4.      Reach out.  Talk to those you trust.  Listen for clues, within and from others, for how to move on.
5.      Stay open.  Be willing to accept and not get stuck in denial.
6.      Change your thinking.  Sometimes just deciding to stop fretting over something helps us begin to get past it.
7.      Allow some affirmation.  Be with those you love and those who love you.  Take in some good feelings from being in their company.
8.      Extend yourself.  Offer support to someone else who needs some care.
9.      Be aware.  Not everything is ugly or frustrating or hurtful right now.  Look for glimmers of goodness around you.  They are there if we care to search.
10. Treat yourself.  Buy some fresh flowers.  Take a modest shopping spree.  See a movie you like.  Have coffee with a friend.  Sometimes the smallest things have a way of lifting us out of the gloom.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

When It's Hard to Succeed

"It is very difficult to be successful if you are putting up with a lot." – Talane Miedaner, Life Coach & Author

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Your Understanding Voices

"The human voice, if it is an understanding one, is an almost spiritual vehicle." – Jules Supervielle, French Poet

Who are the understanding voices in your life?  The people or person whose voice carries warmth and reassurance, wisdom and helpful guidance?  Let them know what they mean to you.

In the work of encouragement we all need at least one person whose voice is comfort, whose presence is encouragement.

The goal is to become ourself an understanding voice we hear within and we share with those we love.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Our Sense of Self--Good or Sour

"There is a period of life when we swallow a knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside."
—Pearl Bailey, Singer/Actress