A Perspective That Never Gets Old

January 30, 2014

I had some extra time recently and was looking through some old pictures from about 15 years ago.  I was amazed by how much younger I looked in those pictures. Although I still look decent for my age, I realized that I’ve aged significantly. I really don’t stress about getting older, and I don’t obsess about the way I look, but I admit I was a bit saddened  by this.

Shortly after this I passed by a mirror and took a look. First a thought entered my mind, then a smile came to my face as I reflected on this fact…I look so much younger today than I will 15 years from now!

As I thought about it, it made me realize how often we tend to be saddened by the past. We get down about lost youth, lost opportunities, and allow negative situations to continue haunting us. I took this as yet another reminder to focus on and completely appreciate life as it is NOW. Enjoy every part of it. If we don’t, we will look back 15 years from now dwelling on those same lost opportunities and looks.

Please don’t do that to yourself. Enjoy each day as much as possible. Instead, 15 years from now you will look back on how great life has been, how you’ve learned from any negative situations, and that even if your youth isn’t what it once was, you are a far better person on the inside than you were then.

Go ahead. Look in the mirror and see how great you look. If you don’t believe it, fast forward the clock 15 years from now and think again. Put things in perspective and fully enjoy what you have now. That’s when life looks great 🙂

Negative Thoughts Are OK

January 27, 2014

I already know what you are thinking…what is this, opposite day? If you regularly read my posts you know I am a great promoter of the power of positive thinking. So what’s this all about?

It was 6 years ago that I truly began to discover the power and benefits of thinking positive thoughts, and imagining positive situations. Plain and simple, it has changed my life. However, I am still seeking to grow more and take my life to an even higher level. One thing that has held me back is negative thinking.

Are you really confused now? I have shared many thoughts about positive thinking on this blog. Negative thoughts have held me back. And they’re OK?

In my personal growth journey I have learned so much, and the better news is that I continue to learn more excellent and helpful ideas. During the past few months I have learned that it is OK to have negative thoughts. Please allow to me to share some reasons why:

  • It proves that you are normal – It’s a fact that since the beginning of time, we have been wired to think negatively. Human beings are prone to think negatively, so you can feel assured that you are a normal human being if these thoughts enter your mind.
  • They are unavoidable – God Himself said that even the best of us will experience trials and difficult situations. It’s impossible not to be affected when these situations occur. It’s a fact that even for the most positive thinkers, negative thoughts will enter your mind.

After sharing this information, I will share the good news. It’s that you still have full control. What I mean is this. Negative thoughts will still enter your mind. It’s at this point that you have two choices. One is to let them control you, hang on to them, and allow them to hold you back. However, there are two better options. One is to acknowledge the thought and then simply dismiss it. The other is to use it as a motivation. You can acknowledge the negative thought, then immediately turn it into a positive one, or better yet a prayer to receive the positive.

The main idea I am trying to communicate here is that negative thoughts are not the problem. It’s how we handle them. As mentioned, it’s a problem when we latch on to them and let them control us. For me, another issue is that I tried to fight them and do all I could to avoid them. I began to feel guilty when negative thoughts entered my mind. However, this only enabled me to dwell on them more and brought negative feelings. This combination only gave me more of what I didn’t want. Instead, I have learned that if I fight the negative feelings, I am going against the flow of my own human nature. It’s a battle I can never win. Instead, I follow the advice of those who have taught me to simply allow the negative feelings to exist, let them know that they have no control over me, and use them as a motivator to bring positive thoughts and situations.

If you have been fighting negative thoughts, you can end the battle right now. Let them in, but instead of letting them take over, simply laugh them off and use them to focus on the positive. If your experience is like mine, you will not only feel a great peace, but an even greater feeling of empowerment and ability to take the necessary steps towards the completion of your goal. That’s the part that’s REALLY OK. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

Why I’m rooting for the Seattle Seahawks and why their new game strategy has the power to change the whole world

January 24, 2014

I am also rooting for the Seahawks for the reasons mentioned in this article. I have lost almost all interest in the NFL because the intolerable character that most players have is being tolerated. The only team I have put aside time to watch is the Seahawks because of the positive enthsusiasm of their fans. The leaders of this team are indeed doing things the right way, and it would be great to see them and their fans rewarded with the ultimate prize.

Pam Grout

“There are so many things telling you that you can’t do something but you take those thoughts captive, take power over them and change them.”—Russell Okung, Offensive Tackle for the Seattle Seahawks

I don’t consider myself a football fan. I’ve probably watched one game this entire season.

But I just found out (okay, so I’m probably late to the party) that the Seattle Seahawks meditate, that their coach Pete Carroll believes his players should quiet their mind and focus on the now moment and that their star quarterback regularly gets out a yoga mat.

Is this frickin’ awesome or what?

I mean this is a sport known for brutal behavior, where guys like Bear Bryant were ballyhooed for refusing to give water breaks, where coaches throw balls at player’s heads.

So when I found out that Pete Carroll is completely rewriting the sport of football, I got excited. It’s one…

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Forced Into Perspective

January 23, 2014

So how is your new year so far? I hope things are going according to your intentions. In many ways, the year is off to a great start for me. However, there is one area that really has me thinking, yet has me very confused and shaken.

At my job we have dealt with several tragedies since the year began. One teacher is still recovering from an accident sustained while attending a football game a couple of months ago. Another on my team is grieving the sudden death of her 27 year old brother. Our head of schools is out for an extended, unknown reason. Our principal lost her father in law. Another teacher on my team is dealing with his father’s stroke from a couple of days ago, though luckily it seems like it was nothing more than a major scare. The final (hopefully) axe was dropped yesterday. We were all called to a meeting to learn that a married couple of teachers in our school unexpectedly lost their 1 year old daughter.

As our assistant principal pointed out, “we are being tested”. Since I have been in major prayer mode all year, I don’t know why these things are happening, but I later dropped to my knees and asked God to release the Satanic hold on our school. I am confident that He will.

My faith is at the strongest point it has ever been. Still, as mentioned, I am confused and shaken. As I reflected on this and asked God for assistance on how to put it together, I was forced to put my life in serious perspective. Although you never know when something tragic can happen, I quickly realized that I have never had to deal with any of these types of situations. At that moment I thanked Him for the health and protection of my family.

Life has been very kind to me, and although I have struggles like everyone else, I am blessed. Still, like anyone else, I have goals to grow. There are several unfilfilled parts of my life. However, it is now in a much different perspective.

At the same time I reflected on this, I was presented with a sermon from Rick Warren about goal setting. I find it amazing that, the first of the 10 steps he provides is to consider and realize where you are now in your life and assess your current situation. I don’t know if this is exactly what he meant, but as I considered where I am, I received a flood of thankful thoughts, regardless of how some areas of life remain unfulfilled. For example, I am not satisfied with my job. However, I have one and it pays decent. I was also reminded that at one time it was my dream job realized. I desire more wealth and sometimes complain and worry due to the debt bondage I have. I was reminded though, that based on what I have, I am more wealthy than 90% of this world. I sometimes complain about lack of freedom, yet I am at least physically able to do and go whatever and wherever I please.

Sometimes it takes difficult situations to experience the necessary perspective. As I watch the people I work closely with grieve and struggle, I am certainly viewing my life in a different perspective now. It’s amazing how this feeling of extreme gratitude has provided peace for me during this difficult time. As I plan my goals according to this message I heard (you can hear it at rickwarren.org), I realize that where I am is not so bad after all. I challenge you to do the same. Please don’t stop pursuing your goals, and make constant attempts to learn and grow. However, I recommend you assess where you are. Hopefully you will see that, even though you may not be exactly where you want to be, you have come a long way. Hopefully you will see that the road to your goal is not as long as you may have thought. I always say it…when you are thankful for the small things you have now, you are provided bigger reasons to be thankful and you receive greater blessings. That’s my prayer for you today 🙂

What Are YOU Going To Do?

January 21, 2014

There’s a reason I read devotionals on a regular basis. It’s because I often pick up gems of excellent inspiration from them. I was reading one from Charles Stanley today. I was very much inspired, and I now share it with you.

In the entry it mentions that when we encounter difficult situations, we ask the wrong question. We tend to ask, “what can I do to make it better?” However, Dr. Stanley provides an excellent alternative. Here is his suggestion… “In a spirit of faith, instead ask ‘God what are YOU going to do?'”

What an empowering reminder that is! God regularly invites us to cast our cares upon Him and ask for assistance. Why not take Him up on it?

I recommend you take hold of this mindset during difficult times. Or take it as you pray about your greatest wishes being fulfilled. Yes, we have to do something. However, if you first prayerfully ask God to do his part, your steps will be much more simple and productive.

I remind you again. Ask God…”what are you going to do today?” Faithfully put the situation in His hands and enjoy the corresponding peace and power you experience. Please share your successes. Have an excellent day 🙂

Let Me Sleep On It

January 20, 2014

Ok, God is speaking to me again. No, I’m not crazy and hearing voices in my head. I’m just being shown the same information from several different sources in a short time, which I have learned is a sure sign that He is speaking to me.

The subject is sleep. I don’t know about you, but this is one of my favorite topics and activities, so it was easy to get my attention with this. To clarify, what I have been reading about is what I am quickly learning is the most important part of your day.

This most important part of the day is the few minutes immediately before falling asleep. Why? I have written many articles on the significance and power of the subconscious mind. I won’t explain too much about it here, but in a nutshell, it is this part of your mind that controls not only your life functions such as breathing, heartbeat, etc., but it’s also where your core beliefs are stored. It is these beliefs that determine your actions (or lack of them) which ultimately determines your level of success and quality of life.

I have also studied and written a great deal about how we can control the quality of thoughts that are in our subconscious mind. Again, I won’t get into detail, but we can use methods like positive affirmations, hypnosis, and visualization to impress the subconscious. For more information on those, I recommend you explore my other posts in those categories.

I apologize because I realize I’m leaving you hanging and I haven’t answered the question yet. Why is this time before sleep so important? It’s because this is the time when your subconscious mind is most receptive to the thoughts and ideas you feed into it. You want your positive thoughts and empowering beliefs engrained into your subconscious, and this is the time where it is most likely to happen. It is because you are in a very relaxed state. However, most importantly, when you impress positive thoughts and ideas into your subconscious at this time, you are letting them establish themselves and as Wayne Dyer says, “marinate” in your mind as you sleep.

So what’s the result? When you wake up you are starting your day with these empowering thoughts. I am sure you have experienced this without even trying. For example, when you go to bed angry or with worrisome negative thoughts isn’t that the automatic theme as you start the next day? It’s the same when you think positive and peaceful thoughts before falling asleep. You wake up strong and positive. What’s even better, is that these empowering thoughts become an automatic part of your mind. As a result, the action you take throughout the day matches the thoughts, and your chances of success dramatically increase. So does your faith in the ability to make it happen regardless of any obstacles you may encounter.

For whatever difficulties you are experiencing in your life, I believe this is an easy fix. Take full advantage of this wonderful, even magical time immediately before falling asleep. Pray and invite divine assistance to the situation. Then affirm success, visualize the successful outcome, and feel the wonderful feelings as you drift peacefully into sleep. When you do this, you are allowing the subconscious to take over and make it as automatic as breathing or riding a bike.

I am taking full advantage of this time and I have already seen great results. I invite you to do the same. All it takes is five minutes before sleep to positively affect your entire day, and ultimately your entire life. Even if you fall asleep in the middle of it, so what? You will still experience a peaceful, positive sleep that will empower you immensely. It’s a power you will never grow tired of. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

Why Would I Not?

January 16, 2014

Why would I not pray to the God who created me and the entire universe, has control of absolutely everything, and is ready and willing to provide abundantly?

Why would I not remain completely focused on the fact that God’s all-powerful and all-knowing spirit is the main part of my being, when I am promised that if I seek Him first I receive everything else?

Why would I not spend the time visualizing the success I crave, when I have read hundreds of books on the topic that ALL tell me how powerful this process is?

Why would I not tell myself the things I need to hear, knowing that positive affirmations are effective and powerful in changing my beliefs and increasing my faith?

Why would I not be eternally grateful for the blessings I have received in life, knowing that the more thankful I am, the greater blessings that will show up?

Why would I not serve and give to others, knowing that everything I give returns to me tenfold?

Why would I not take the actions necessary to reach my goal when I know God has not only set them up for me, but has set me up for success?

I can keep this list going with many other similar questions. I share these because these questions came to mind this morning. I know that I can’t even imagine the level my life would reach if I simply followed these actions. Yet I still often remove my focus from these areas and dwell on what I don’t have, my current struggles, and doubts that stop me from moving foward. I have grown signifcantly and am very thankful for how far I’ve come, but it still happens too much for my liking.

I share this because I know many other people have the same difficulty. When I thought about this and prayed about it this morning, I realized once again that I have full control of the quality of my life. I realized that I should only be focusing on those ideas mentioned above, and I pledge to keep my focus there. I share this as an inpiration to take as many people with me as I can. Why would I not?

Have an awesome day 🙂

The Joy of Having Your Wish Now

January 15, 2014

What would it feel like if you received your greatest wish right now? Seriously think about the answer to that question in a real, non-wishful way. Would you be thankful? Joyful? Feel more free? Have more confidence? Spend a few minutes reflecting and actually feeling those feeling.

What you just did in this exercise is what many faith and Law of Attraction experts say is the key to manifesting your desires in the fastest way possible. They say if you can consistently play the part and act “as if”, it’s only a matter of time before your goal is realized.

If you prefer Biblical evidence, I present my favorite verse which is Mark 11:24… therefore I tell you whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have already received it and it will be yours. Other verses say that you can have anything you desire if you have faith. What is faith? Knowing what you want and believing in the unseen and unrealized.

How do we develop this faith and knowledge that our goal is already realized? Several books provide an example of acting as if you’ve ordered from a catelogue. When you place your order, you know your item will eventually arrive. You don’t keep orderding and checking to see if it worked. When you plant a seed, you don’t constantly check to see if it’s working and the plant is growing, do you?

An even more powerful tip to help develop the feeling of success is provided by Ben Sweetland in his book, “Make Money While You Sleep”. He says to imagine that someone handed you a check for a million dollars. How would you feel? You would feel rich, free, grateful, and whatever else comes to your mind. However, there’s a slight problem. Does a check for a million dollars clear immediately? Is the money available right away? I’ve never had a check for that amount, but my knowledge of banking tells me it would take several days to clear and to actually have the money. However, that wouldn’t stop you from feeling rich, would it? You would still feel those positive feelings knowing that it was just a matter of time before the money was actually in your possession.

Herein lies the key to receiving what you desire. Feel and act like you’ve already placed the order or deposited the check. Live in the anticipation that it’s only a matter of time before the wish is realized. Keep alert for actions to take or places to go to make it happen. However, never lose focus of the fact that if you believe you already have what you want and play the “as if” part, you can count the fulfilment of your desire as imminent.

I ask you again…what would it feel like if your wish was fulfilled right now? Focus on those feelings and be that person that is living his or her dream. It’s possible for every one of us. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

The Most Simple Way to Create Positive Emotions

January 13, 2014

I will start with a story that I am not proud of, but led me to the theme of this post. Here in Buffalo last week we received some of the most extreme winter weather I have ever experienced. In addition to the foot and a half of snow, we had 4o mile an hour winds and wind chill temperatures of -30. Two days later, the roads were still difficult to travel, making even this simple 10 minute ride to pick up pizza a royal pain.

I am not patient with delays, and this trip had many with traffic, slow drivers, getting stuck at lights, etc. Between the still snowy roads and these delays, my patience ran out. All kinds of negative thoughts were running through my head, and all kinds of negative words were coming from my mouth. I was prompted and reminded by the Spirit about the positive thinking words I always preach, but it wasn’t working. In fact nothing was working to get me out of this funk.

Finally, after the Holy Spirit had tried all of its reminders and tricks, it reminded me of a message I had heard several years ago. It was about an author who discussed the effect and power of a smile. He had the readers try an experiment where they tried to think of something negative as they smile. I tried it then and several times since. It is extremely difficult. I decided to try that here during this negative tirade. Sure enough, I felt the cloud lift immediately. At first I was still complaining, though still with a smile on my face. Kind of like a toddler who laughs and cries at the same time. I could probably qualify because my actions were very toddler like : ) Anyway, it was about another minute before I was smiling all the way home, and the negative feelings quickly disappeared.

I will admit that there are times where we don’t want to smile, and obviously times like the death of a loved one where sad feelings will last for a while. That is certainly to be expected. However, there are many other times like my situation the other day. Sure I had reason to be frustrated. However, there was no reason to let it take me over as it did. I challenge you to try this little experiment the next time you find yourself allowing negative feelings and thoughts to take over your being. Keep a deliberate smile on your face, and see how long it takes before the feelings disappear. It may seem fake and foolish. However, that may even cause you to laugh a bit, and as you do the negative clouds will fade away much sooner.

I have said it many times, and it will always remain true. A smile is powerful. Even in a case like this where you may be all alone, holding a smile can change your attitude from negative to positive very quickly. If you don’t believe me then do so and find out for yourself. If you have a crazy story like mine, I certainly invite you to share. Enjoy the blessings 🙂

Feel It Now

January 12, 2014

One of my major New Year’s intentions (I refuse to call them resolutions) for the past few years has been to “do it now”. This to combat my natural tendency to procrastinate. I’m still not perfect in that area, but I was able to drop it from my intention list for this year because I have learned to “act now” on a much more regular basis. It’s simply a matter of continuing that momentum.

In recent years, I have also been taught another concept, one that I haven’t quite mastered. However, when I follow it I am almost guaranteeing the realization of what I want to accomplish. I share this with you today because the same is true for you. If you can get the hang of this idea and utilize it regularly, you are personally inviting the manifestation of your dream life.

The concept is to “feel it now”. What this means is to determine what you want, and deliberately feel the feelings you would feel as if you already had what you desire. For example, I am looking to double my income this year. How will I feel when this happens? I will feel freedom from debt, major gratitude towards God, the good feelings of giving to others, the joy of knowing I can enjoy my favorite activities more, such as going out to dinner, attending sporting events, more travel, etc. The key for me on a regular basis would be to imagine already having the extra money, then feeling and being thankful, joyful, and free. If I do this on a consistent basis, I will rapidly speed up the manifestation process.

I am now practicing my mind-reading skills and can hear you wondering…how can simply imagining the accomplishment of my goal and feeling the feelings bring it about when I am not even close to having it yet? It’s all about something I’ve discussed frequently on this blog. It’s all about the subconscious mind. Manifesting your desires is all about faith and believing that something can happen. If you look back on all of your greatest accomplishments in life, you will see that you believed in its possibility, and you then worked to make it happen. When you envision yourself accomplishing a goal and feel the corresponding positive emotions, you convince the subconscious that it is actually happening. The coolest thing is that your subconscious cannot tell the difference between a real or imagined event, so it is taking your visions and feelings as true. As a result, your faith increases, and with faith all things are possible.

Another question you may be asking is…what about taking action? Isn’t faith without works dead? I have found that if you follow the steps above, and your faith is made strong, the action becomes automatic. People procrastinate mostly because they don’t know exactly what needs to be accomplished, and because they don’t have faith in their ability to make it happen. By imagining and feeling, you know exactly what you want, and you now have the faith in your ability to bring it about. At this point, I recommend you ask yourself what action you believe you need to take. Consider it and pray about it. Once you feel led to act, do so as quickly as possible. With the added faith and confidence you now have, your actions are much more likely to be successful. Even if obstacles arise (which they will) you will have the strength to get around them. As you see more success and see yourself getting closer to your goal, your faith and confidence will build even more, and you will be more eager to act until you reach your promised land.

I can write for hours on this topic. Until recently, I have known this information, but didn’t apply it consistently. Since I have done it consistently, I have noticed an almost immediate difference. It is amazing how powerful your feelings are. When you bring yourself to experience the positive feelings and emotions you will feel upon the manifestation of your goal, you will feel that way on a much more regular basis. That is because your dream will quickly become reality, and those feelings will be a regular, automatic part of your being. I challenge you to try this for yourself and see how true this is. Enjoy the blessings 🙂