Sunday, February 2, 2014
It’s the middle of the night. You’ve been tossing and turning. Now, you stare at the ceiling – heart racing. Something’s got your stomach in a huge knot and it’s making you nauseous. Trying to figure out why you’re so anxious, you start to narrow it down to what happened earlier today. But facing reality is the last thing you want to do when you’re suppose to be in dream mode – peacefully drifting into a place where there’s no pain, no rejection and no suffering. Forehead sweaty, you sit up abruptly. You haven’t been able to get a good night’s sleep in 5 years.
There are six anxieties that are basic to all mankind: fear of criticism, illness, old age, death, poverty and losing a loved one. Has one or more of these universal fears taken over your life? Caring about these things is very different from worrying about them. Worrying is pointless and can lead to anxiety, depression and an inability to lead a positive, productive and full life.
The first thing to do is address the root of your fear. It could be any one of the fears listed above or something else entirely. Whatever it is, you have to first recognize it and acknowledge how you feel about it. For example, whenever you’re starting to feel anxious and abnormally stressed, say to yourself, “O.K. I’m afraid I’m going to lose my job because of the way my boss has been treating me lately.” After you’ve acknowledged it, choose to overcome it. Say to yourself, “I can’t change my boss; I can only change me.” You’ve just taken over the driver’s seat. In this situation, your feelings about losing your job may or may not be accurate. But all you can simply do is figure out a way to work more effectively, respectfully talk to your boss about his/her expectations of you and how he/she feels about the progress you’ve made thus far (or the lack there of). Planning and being prepared is always smart, so revisit your resume and make sure it’s up-to-date. After all, no one has absolute certainty about his or her job.
The moral is simple. When fear starts to suffocate you – you need to recognize it, acknowledge it and then decide to overcome it by doing something (positive) about it – And above all, have faith. God is bigger than any problem you’ll ever face in life. So, when you’re at a lost for words, or lack direction, ask Him to guide your steps. You may be surprised where that may lead you.
During the holidays, we can easily lose sight of what’s really important. Let’s make the effort to truly enjoy each other’s company and focus on the true meaning behind Christmas. Click to listen to my new Christmas song, “This Time of Year.” It’s my free gift to all of you – To download, click on the Sound Cloud link below. Merry Christmas!
It’s easy to get off track and lose sight of the goals you want to accomplish in life. Life happens: heartache, hardships and procrastination. To stay focused, pick goals that are meaningful and authentic to who you are as a person – and keep moving towards those things. We were each given a unique set of gifts that need to be nourished and fulfilled. With a plan, backed by faith, self-motivation, determination and a little help from others (if you let them), you’re more likely to attain those goals. There’s only ONE you. So live life confidently and with purpose.
To read more about the steps you can take to get your life back on track, go to November’s Shift Magazine: November Mag 2013
Defining who you are is complicated. Redefining yourself is even more difficult. Growing up doesn’t only happen when you’re a kid. Some of us adults are still trying. We’re mature in certain ways and not so much in other areas of our lives. The key is to not get stuck. If there’s a part of you that needs to change for the better, work at it until it’s changed – even if it means wrestling with yourself every single day. The saying, “That’s just the way I am…” can be very dangerous. To believe that there’s nothing within us that needs improving is denial. I don’t want to live in denial anymore. Do you?
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Would you jump at the opportunity to change form – morphing into someone else completely for a day? A month? A year? Could you handle not being you? Maybe you’d prefer it this way. Even if you’re happy, we all have those moments when we wish we could look like, be like and have like her, him or them. We often try and transform our exterior image to match or outdo those around us. When we do this, we lose our unique identities in the process. I challenge each of us to shift into better versions of ourselves. You were made on purpose. So let’s starting living with purpose – fueled by faith, love, hope and determination.
How many times have we passed by that lonely next-door neighbor, that elderly person, that homeless man on the corner or that woman struggling with her grocery bags – and did nothing? Do you remember the last time you went out of your way to help these strangers. If you do, have you done it often? It’s hard, isn’t it? Carrying out selfless acts of generosity and kindness towards others on a continuous basis is difficult for many of us – might even be torturous for some. We’re so busy trying to attain our own happiness in life that we forget to sometimes do things for others, expecting nothing in return. My challenge to all of us – Live altruistically. We might be pleasantly surprised to see how full our lives will become.
I’d like to think I’m the type of person who is brave enough to confront issues that need to be addressed. But that isn’t always the case. When life gets rough, sometimes there’s a tendency to try and run from it instead of working through it. It’s in the daily grind, hardship and suffering that builds character and strength in a person – although it’s hard to see it that way when you’re right in the middle of it all. Let’s stand up to and not run from all of our problems. If done in the right spirit, right way and right state of mind – the rewards will be great.