Life Is A Gift Open And Enjoy It
There is a bottle of perfume sitting on my dresser that I was given when I was ten years old! As you can tell I have pack rat tendencies! For me that pattern started as a young child. I could never bear to throw things away. There was more to it than not wanting to throw things away. I loved the feeling I had when I would receive something new, and would not want to spoil it by using it unless it was for something special. I would want to save it for a special occasion. A new dress would sit in the closet, until a special event to wear it. Perfume would sit on my dresser, not to be used for everyday, but for a special 'something'. This was a pattern in my life for many years.
Recently though I've realized that this is not the best perspective to live life. I don't want to be like that woman on the Titanic, who when was being lowered into the lifeboat said..."If I'd known this was going to happen I would have had that Chocolate Mousse dessert." This reflects a view of life that speaks a lie. It is a false belief that if I enjoy something now, I won't be able to look forward to anything good like that in the future. This belief steals the joy from living in the present, and also lies to me about what the future might hold. Often it takes sad or traumatic situation to cause a person to stop and take stock their life's perspective and lifestyle. For example, let me tell you how it happened for Ruth.
One day, out of the blue, Ruth got one of those devastating 'phone calls' that we all dread receiving. Her sister Jane had passed away unexpectedly. Ruth went over to the home to help her brother in law with the sad task of preparation for the funeral. They were in the bedroom deciding on clothes Jane would wear as she was laid to rest. He pulled out of the drawer some beautiful lingerie wrapped in tissue. Ruth gasped as she saw the astronomical cost on the price tag. "Jane bought this in Paris 8 or 9 years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. I guess this is it." he said. It was exquisitely, handmade in silk, with a delicate cobweb of lace .As he slammed the drawer shut he said something that changed Ruth's life for ever. "Don't ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you're alive is a special occasion!
After the funeral, Ruth began to evaluate her life from a different perspective. She began to see life as something to be enjoyed not endured. Ruth started to make changes, although small at first, for Ruth they had great significance. She sat in the garden more and didn't worry about the weeds. She wore expensive perfume on ordinary days, after all co workers and cashiers have noses that function just as well as party goers! She lit that candle that had been sitting as a centre piece on the dining room table collecting dust. She got that cracked window fixed, that she'd been meaning to do for years. She invited those friends round for dinner that she'd seen at the last sixteen weddings, and said we must get together.
Ruth determined that she would live each day as if it was her last. Now every morning when Ruth opens her eyes, she tells herself that this day is special. Every day, every breath, every minute of her life is truly a gift from God.
Your life perspective changes when you start living each day as if it was your last. You start to look at all the things that you want to accomplish in life and actually get started!! You stop watching everyone else doing it. Have the courage to start thinking "It's my turn now" and do what is in your heart.
Grandma Moses began a painting career at age seventy six. Golda Meir was elected Prime Minister of Israel in 1969 at age seventy one.
I recently met a lady in her eighties who, in the last two years, had been white-water rafting, and hiking in the Himalayas. She was excitedly planning her next trip!
Don't wait years, or until something traumatic happens to get your attention. Start now to reflect on your life's perspective and begin living without regrets.
I love this quote by Peter Sage, speaker and entrepreneur :
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "Wow - What a Ride!"
Free Tips To Increase Self Esteem
I have had many confidence issues in my life, all of which I have either dealt with or overcome. I have written about some of these issues below.
1. The Bald Patch
2. My height
3. My weight
4. The stutter
5. My lack of belief in myself
6. My career
THE BALD PATCH
Even though to some people it may seem trivial, I was born with a bald patch the size of a ten pence piece. As I went through childhood and especially the teenage years I became more and more self-conscious and paranoid about it.
It was especially noticeable when it rained or when I went swimming as my hair would become wet. People at school would ridicule me and I was forever trying to hide and cover the bald patch even though most people knew about it.
It hurt when people laughed at me and eventually I stopped going swimming altogether.
Out of all of my close male family and friends, I am the shortest at 5ft 4. This probably should not influence my confidence however with people continually looking down on me it did. I have been called many names, the nicest being "Shorty".
I was always jealous of other people taller than I was. I hoped that one day I might have a late spurt. This never came.
My height affected me with sport. I wanted to be a striker at football however the coaches only wanted people over 6ft tall. At snooker I am constantly have to use the rest which makes it difficult to play up to the best standard and at tennis I was constantly being lobbed. It also meant that I only felt comfortable dating women 5ft 3 and under which reduces the available market considerably.
During senior school I was very thin. This may have been the result of my parents turning vegetarian when I was twelve. At the time there were very few replacement foods and it seemed as though we went from having meat and two veg to just two veg.
As my parents cooked the food I had little option but to also turn vegetarian. After a few weeks I approached them and told them that I missed and wanted to eat meat. They were understanding to a degree and said:
"If you want it, you cook it"
At this age I could only really be bothered to cook properly a few days of the week and that gradually became less and less.
People at school would call me names like skin and bone and my weight became another area of paranoia for me.
At the age of four I developed a stutter. This became gradually worse as I became older even though my parents were told that I would grow out of it.
For what fluent people would class as simple tasks like reading from a book at school, answering questions, saying my name and address, ordering items at the bar or in a restaurant, and speaking on the telephone became a constant battle.
It was a very frustrating impediment, as I seemed to be able to talk quite fluently to people I knew well and whom I felt comfortable with, but at other times especially under any form of pressure could not say a word.
At the age of twenty two after about eleven months of sheer hard work and practice I managed to overcome the stutter and I now help other people who stutter to achieve fluency as well as helping people with confidence problems.
MY LACK OF BELIEF
I always had a lack of belief in certain areas.
I would notice a female in a bar for example and would want to go over and talk to her but would have the negative attitude of I'm not good enough, why would she be interested in me? I stutter, I have a bald patch, I have a menial job and I am very thin.
Even if I approach her and am successful, I would then be expected to buy her a drink, possibly phone her, possibly meet her parents, and maybe even get married! The thought of attempting these things with a stutter and with a lack of social confidence was far too daunting for me.
I left school at sixteen mainly due to a lack of confidence and the stutter, but then had the problem of finding a job. Again my lack of belief came shining through. Who would want to employ somebody with a stutter, who has a lack of confidence and who is shy around people?
After leaving school at the age of sixteen I now had to find employment. Suffering with a stutter and a general lack of confidence meant that work involving the phone or regular interaction with other people were not really an option.
I decided that I could probably cope with filing duties in an office and eventually gained a position at an insurance company.
I started at the lowest grade, a grade two and the work was routine and mundane. The average time to stay at this level before being promoted was six months. The grade three post involved sharing a phone and this is something I found very difficult to use.
To become upgraded you had to apply in writing to the personal officer and then if you passed the interview were then promoted. My attitude was that if I don't apply I would stay as a grade two, which is what I wanted. I was probably the only person in the country who did not want to be promoted.
My boss would ask me at regular intervals why I was not applying and I would make up an excuse. To keep him happy I took the insurance exams. After three years I had completed the first qualification which was a set of five exams. To my horror my boss congratulated me by stating that he was upgrading me to a grade three starting Monday without the need of an interview.
This promotion should in effect have given me a confidence boost however with my stutter out of control under the pressure and some of my colleagues mocking me I became more and more withdrawn and depressed.
I would be invited to social events and would make up excuses of why I could not go as I had a lack of belief that I could cope with the occasion and all the socialising involved.
Do You Need Reasons To Cheer Up A Bit
Are you a recent expatriate? Have you just arrived in your new location only to find out that you have by no means escaped certain annoyances that occurred on a daily basis back home? I mean issues such as: paying the bills, standing in lines, car repairs, meeting deadlines, endless meetings at work, and so on. Yes, this is life no matter where you live, where go and where you are right now.
However, to be very understanding, these issues can be especially tough when you are a newly arrived expatriate. Not only do you have to deal with all the daily events and routine, but you also have to manage a range of other expatriate-related realities namely; language barriers, visa problems, getting lost every other day, having to pass a driver's test again, driving on the "wrong" side of the road, getting used to the food, not being able to get a decent cup of coffee and the list continues ...
However, there is good news. Although the going may be tough, there are many upsides to being at this point of your life right now and there are reasons to be bright and cheerful. Let's consider a few:
* Strangers appreciate you for trying to speak their language. In fact they make you feel special for doing so.
* How about those friends you met at the local tennis club? They help you with cultural information, make phone calls for you and are available for any Q & A.
* People you barely know help you get the Internet hooked up.
* Colleagues take the time to show you how subway system works.
* Neighbors advise you on which grocery store to shop at and which markets offers great deals.
* New friends share their best-kept secrets of favorite locals and drag you off for fun nights on the town.
* The gym manager gives you a special membership discount as a way to welcome you into town.
* Teachers at the Dutch, French or Spanish language classes have more patience than you ever thought possible for any human being.
* People passing by on the street help you find your way around this new city.
* Colleagues support you in meetings and help you understand the company policies and rules.
And so, before you know it, you are beginning to enjoy your daily life and you begin to feel that you are a real and integral part of the community. Actually, at the end of the day, it all comes down to getting out what you put in. If you really want to give your term in this new land a fair go and be happy while living abroad, you may just need to go out on a limb, take some risks, put some effort into your experience and live your life with positive expectation.
Give your host country a chance and open your eyes for all it and its people have to offer. Be prepared to live outside of your comfort zone and don't compare everything to how it is done back home. You are in a different place now and if you make this place home and treat it like home and I can almost say with confidence, your new home will treat you back in more ways than you ever thought possible. You may not ever want to leave ...
Quote of the week
"Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness and its power of endurance - the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or the sullen." Thomas Carlyle
CHEERY HAPPENINGS IN MY WEEK:
* Free fruit.
* Translation help.
* A local public holiday.
* A new friend.
* Phone calls from home.
The Good Life
I was listening to the MSNBC on the radio the other day when a feature came on entitled, 'The Good Life'. They proceeded to discuss a $14,000 dessert being offered in Sri Lanka that included, amongst other things, an aquamarine. No kidding. This is how MSNBC characterizes the good life. It struck me how in our culture we define the good life more in terms of the consumption of material goods than in relationship to any other quality.
Simply listen to the vast majority of contemporary music on the airwaves these days for confirmation. I have two teenagers in my house so I know all too well: Cristal champagne, expensive cars, first class jet airline seats, bling...the list goes on and on. This is what our kids are being taught: the good life is about having things, not about who you are as a human being. Where are these values coming from? I believe it is a trickle down effect from what they see being honored in our society.
So if the good life is about having things, how is it that so many people who have so many things have lives that lack so much satisfaction and meaning? I am not saying that having money is not a good thing, quite the contrary. We all need financial security. We need to know that we can provide for our families and be free of the pressure of struggling to make ends meet. We all want to live a comfortable life. But where is the point of no return?
"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."
Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), (attributed)
The Worldwide Institute in its 2004 State of the World report explains:
Societies focused on well being involved more interaction with family, friends, and neighbors, a more direct experience of nature, and more attention to finding fulfillment and creative expression than in accumulating goods. They emphasize lifestyles that avoid abusing your own health, other people, or the natural world. In short, they yield a deeper sense of satisfaction with life than many people report experiencing today.
What provides for a satisfying life? In recent years, psychologists studying measures of life satisfaction have largely confirmed the old adage that money can't buy happiness
Keep Thinking Positive For A Happy Life
I have met many people in my life who are very negative. They moan about seemingly everything and walk around with the weight of the world on their shoulders. I was also like that until the age of twenty-two, at this age I decided to have a new approach to life.
For those first twenty-two years, I was forever feeling sorry for myself. My friends all appeared to have so much more than me, and my life was one long hard struggle, compared to theirs. I was caught up in a web of negativity and needed someone or something to help me to escape.
During an afternoon at work one day, aged as I say twenty-two, a colleague I was working with started to talk to me. What he said was a shock to me, however would have a profound effect on my future. He said to me:
"Your are somebody who always thinks in a negative way, you a right depressive person, aren't you?"
I said in a shocked voice as I believed I was no different to anybody else. He continued:
"Yes you are. You very rarely smile, you are negative about most issues and you always seem to be carrying the world on your shoulders".
This man was aged around fifty three and continued:
"I used to be like you and then I was given some advice, of which I am now going to relay to you. When you feel down, depressed or sorry for yourself, read the newspapers or watch the news on the television. You may then realise that you are in fact one of the lucky ones."
I had a long think about what he had said. I had never been a big reader or watcher of the news, but decided to give it a go. The advice he gave me was totally correct, the news from around the world and even my own country was quite shocking. I realised that the worries I had were actually quite trivial and that I needed to cherish everyday and start to look on the bright side of life.
Quiz Can Money Buy Happiness
Can riches buy happiness? Wealth can buy many luxuries, but not happiness. Money cannot buy contentment. Money can surely buy us time with a psychiatrist with who we can talk about our unhappiness, but no amount of money can buy us happiness. Sometimes more money, and status can rob us of happiness. Think of many very rich people. They cannot move around like ordinary citizens. They will be immediately stared at. They have lost a lot of freedom in quest of money and fame.
What gets us happiness? We get happiness by doing what we like. We do not get happiness by forcing us to do what we do not want to do. Our happiness comes from our satisfaction of doing our heart felt desires. Our contentment comes from that. Money can destroy friendships, and break family relations. The more money you have, the more people expect from you. If you refuse, your relationship goes downhill. Sometimes I wonder if we have more than our minimum requirement of money, will we be happy at all?
If you have a giving nature, money can buy you happiness of a different kind. When you visit an orphanage, and are able to donate as much as they want to feed the small kids, you will feel a sense of genuine happiness. Money can make you do good things in life that make others happy. When you make others happy, you become happy.
Money can help you do that. No expensive dinner can make you feel as happy as the smile on the face of parents to whom you have given money for their childrens medicine.
The Attitude Of Gratitude
Yes, it might feel great to win the lottery. Money, houses, travel - these are wonderful, but not enough by themselves. You need the right frame of mind to fully enjoy life. You need the attitude of gratitude.
Life is better when you feel blessed, when you can look around and say "Thank you, God." Religious or not, when you see life as a wonderful gift, your experience is a richer one than any amount of money can provide. Imagine going through life like you're a child, and every morning is Christmas.
It's tempting to think gratitude comes from having what you want. You see yourself giving thanks if you had money, a loving family, and maybe a house on the beach. Still, you know there are ungrateful, unhappy people with these things, and poor people full of gratitude for what little they have. Where does this feeling come from?
Gratitude arises from how you look at things. It is the natural feeling that comes from truly appreciating the people and things in your life. It is also something you can learn.
First, you have to stop and smell the roses. You can't be thankful for something you don't notice or enjoy. Roses really do smell great, by the way.
Then, you need to make this appreciative approach to roses and life a habit. There's no need to ignore the ugliness in the world, but you have to habitually see the beautiful things.
Start writing down every positive thing that happens to you, and all the things you like. Do this until you start automatically seeing the good things in life. If you've ever bought a white car, and started seeing white cars all over, you know how awareness can alter your perception of reality. To see wonderful things all over, train yourself to look for them.
When you are in the habit of "counting your blessings," gratitude, and a much richer experience of life is the natural result.
Healing The Hidden Self By Examining The Mind
Deep in the cavities of the mind is your subliminal channel that circles the subconscious, conscious and unconscious mind. In this region of the brain is the area where the psyche resides and holds hidden messages that when explored one can discover answers.
Using learning techniques you can extract from this area of the mind and have it assist you with discovering messages from your past that you can use to put the pieces of the puzzle together that will make you a whole person. Some of the popular techniques that can assist you with exploring the subliminal mind are meditation.
One must learn these useful techniques by practicing. Practice will push your mind and body so that it can adapt to changes that will occur during subliminal learning process. If your body and mind resists some techniques then you will need to use some strategies and perhaps other techniques to adapt to meditation.
Some people find meditation difficult. However, by learning some guided relaxation techniques, it can assist you with meditation. Practice is the key, since it will cause your mind and body to adapt to delving into deeper thoughts, or mediation.
Practices of meditation are a process of directing the mind and body to relax. Upon the point of relaxation, one can delve into a meditative state of mind.
Learning meditation by practicing will make it easier to probe into subliminal exploring. When you find it difficult to meditate, practice some guided relaxation techniques first.
How the process of meditation works:
Effective Meditation to start, one will need to find a quiet area. Remove all distractions from your setting. Get in a relaxing position, reclining on your back in a restful area. Close your eyes once you have relaxed. During the process, you want to use your visual aid tools or mental pictures and some self-talk.
Start the mediation process by visualizing your toes. Use your images and awareness so that you can focus on your toes and the reactions occurring. Continue to move up over our entire body while focusing on each sensation your body expresses. At one point, you will tense the body. Let it go and resume relaxing. Breathe in and out while you focus and relax. Let each breath come naturally. Continue to regulate your chest activities as you work through the breathing steps.
Continue to focus. Notice your thought patterns. When you notice, your thought patterns getting out of control, instead of repressing the thoughts, continue to encourage relaxation by breathing naturally while keeping your eyes closed. Let your thoughts roam. Go into a world that you would like to visit. For instance, picture you standing on a lovely mountaintop and off to the distance you can visualize natural surroundings with pure waterfalls in the backdrop. You can go anywhere you like.
Focus while you feel the sensations of nature flow over your body. Visualize until you feel at ease and then take a deep breathe,
Depression, like most mental illness runs the continuum of severity. It can be mild or major. It can last from weeks to months. It can involve anxiety symptoms as well. Depression is primarily characterized by sadness and/or loss of pleasure in nearly all activities. Additionally, there may be symptoms such as changes in appetite, sleep patterns, and psychomotor activity (changes in both mental and physical responsiveness and/or activity).
A depressed person may struggle with feelings of low self worth, recurrent thoughts of dying, as well as difficulty concentrating or making decisions. In children and adolescents the mood is often manifested as irritability rather than sadness. Some people may deny having feelings of sadness; instead they may report feeling numb or having no feelings at all.
First, it is important to look at how severely one's functioning may be impaired. If the person's level of functioning has been significantly impaired, i.e. they are having difficulty performing their daily routine, seek professional help immediately. A trip to the family doctor to rule out any medical conditions that might be causing the mood disorder is a good place to start.
Second, assess whether there have been any significant changes in circumstances, relationships etc. that may be contributing to the depression.
Third, if your loved one indicates they have a plan or intentions to harm themselves, take action immediately to get help. Call a mental health professional that you have been referred to by a reliable source or check your phone book for community mental health services. You can also call 1-800-784-2433 a suicide prevention hotline. If the threat is imminent, call 911.
Don't Wait - Get Help
One of the biggest reasons people do not seek help is the shame they feel about having a mental illness. The reality is that our minds are vulnerable to illness just like our bodies. There is no shame in developing the flu or some other medical condition, so why is there with the mind? Those who avoid seeking help because of the shame they feel only languish longer than necessary.
How Counseling Can Help
A counselor can help a person gain perspective about their illness; resolve problems that may be contributing to the depression and assist the person in developing coping skills.
However, in addition to counseling, depending on the severity of the depression, medication may also be a treatment option. You can discuss this with your counselor, who could then refer you to a psychiatrist to prescribe and manage the necessary medication.
Relief is available for difficulties that plague our minds. It is truly the wise that seek out the help, wisdom and counsel of those whom God has equipped to facilitate the healing of the mind.
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