Saturday, October 30, 2010

Persistence & Passion: Never Give Up

I believe that we all have at some point or another have experienced such adversity that we have to question exactly what it is we're persisting for.  You know, those times when you just want to say screw it (all thought not so nicely in those words), when you've had enough, when the odds appear to just not be going in your favor, when you're ready to crack.  Yeah, those times.  I mean you literally do stand this line and look at both sides and MAKE A CHOICE to persist.  Why? What are the driving forces behind it? (one of my all time favorite websites....I'm not the best speller and I need help with grammar too)  Persistence:  continued existence or occurrence.  Persisting:  to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, to last or endure tenaciously, to be insistent in a statement, request, question, etc.

Tenacious, oh how I love that word.  Looking back at life I've yet to have a tenacious moment that didn't pay off big.  What about you?  Take stock of your accomplishments and transcendence moments in life.  What moments did you act tenaciously?
Yes, there are even those of us out there who've had it worse than others and struggle to persist at every never ending blow that life gives them.  You know, the ones with the 'black clouds' following them around, always beating life's storms.  They are the true champions.  No doubt, we all have to choose to fight.  It's a choice to decide to dig deep.  When we do, we gather and we shine.  

To persist is a choice, just as it's a choice to live a life full of your gifts and passions.  Persistence takes courage to execute.  It's a sure self esteem builder too.  Looking at the roll acceptance plays in the journey, it's pretty clear to understand that in order to persist you have to first accept whatever it is that's going on and become present.  I may sound redundant with the in depth analysis of acceptance, becoming present and choosing gratitude but the longer I practice this little mantra, the more I see it as a useful strategy in every area of my life.  It astounds me that I just didn't 'get this' sooner.

Why am I so astounded that I'm telling everyone who will hear me out this a, b, c stuff?  For years I've understood that it's not what we have, who we are in life, where we live or what we're doing that brings joy.  I long ago got the perspective is key and attitude is everything lesson.  This is probably why Dale Carnegie's words ring true with me so much.  He says,“It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Just another example of universal knowledge being shared.  I call that universal affirmation. :) 


"Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 


If we didn't have the adversity to transcend then we'd never get the message of the lesson.  If we don't persist and give up, we just quit learning.  Boring.  Game over.  Really, is that how you want to choose to live the last years of your life?  For me time passes quickly when I'm jumping life's hurdles.  Do I welcome them with zest and cheer? Uh, no. Do I fight against them as long as I used to in the past.  Definitely not.  So, at least I'm practicing what I'm so astonished over. 


Does it mean I don't feel lost at times?  No.  I was thinking about this recently given the changes in my own personal life as of late.  I know what I'm passionate about.  I know what I persist for.  Do you?  I'd actually gotten to the point where I'm learning to accept feeling lost.  Then the universe opened up with an affirmation.  How was my friend to know what I needed to hear just as how I'm supposed to know what she most needed to hear when I share such things?  Exactly, the universe at play.  No other way around it. :)  Here's the affirmation of my acceptance on feeling lost and questioning persistence. 


"It is good to feel lost because it proves you have a navigational sense of where "Home" is. You know that a place that feels like "being found" exists. And maybe your current location isn't that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it.

- Online Somewhere 

(Thanks for posting Kel! Seriously, I can't say it enough, good stuff!)

Coincidences, love them or hate them, they get your attention. 

When I choose to persist I have to let go of the ego, of the past, of daydreaming the future.  I have to choose to be of good mind and in the moment at hand.  This focus on the moment at hand is what allows me to execute that which I set out to do.  No matter what, life is forever changing.  My choice to grow through those changes is an option.  I must be willing to learn to grow. 
So, as for those coincidences that occur when I persist, I'm just grateful for them.  Einstein believed they were/are Gods way of being anonymous. I often see them as affirmations that I'm on the right path and with the right people. Others think they're a mystery not to be solved, a puzzle to admire and keep at a distance.  Many more believe that they're lessons to be learned, things for us to take notice of.  No matter what, they're amusing and the make the journey more enjoyable so I'll keep being grateful for them.

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Traveling the Path: Acceptance

You cannot travel on the path

until you become the path itself. - Buddha


Become.  Changing is a part of becoming.  We all learn sooner or later that nothing is permanent here, to celebrate what you can when you can.  At any fleeting moment it can all pass.  We are warned not to let a day pass without telling the people you love that you love them. We are told not to take any of this journey for granted and that every moment we live is an opportunity to choose happiness.
Choose happiness?  How the heck do you choose happiness when it seems nothing but misery is at your every waking moment?  How does one choose happiness when they are in physical or emotional pain, when they can't put food on the table or when they're laid off for the umpteenth time in a bad economy?  How in the world can someone choose happiness when someone they love dies or their marriage ends?  I have learned that it's not easy but that it is in fact possible, a work in progress so to speak.  I have seen it become in my own life, as well as the lives of those I admire or care for.  

How does it happen?  It's easy in part and complex in part.  The easy way out is this:  Accept, Become Present, Choose Gratitude.  The complexities of it are below.  You see, I sincerely believe that gratitude is the fastest and most direct route to happiness.  Gratitude comes after acceptance.  Gratitude can change your feelings.  They say feelings are caused by thoughts.  I can see that for what it is, can you?  When we are down and out and thinking down thoughts or limiting thoughts we're feeling distraught, limitless or depressed.  Just as when we are thinking about good times, great memories or those that care for us we are content.   

So, if I change my thoughts I change my feelings.  Repeat that please.  Really?  Let me try that out. Wow, yeah, that does work.  Yes, I can use every opportunity I find throughout the day to just be gracious or joyful (be, did you catch that,, yup).  I can enjoy the smell of my soap or shampoo, be glad I can still move my body and take care of it, admire the clouds and colors of the sky, be grateful for a good cup of coffee, a fun night out or a phone call from a friend.  I pick it.  This gratitude stuff is an opportunity by opportunity choice.  Problem for many of us, myself included, is that we're so caught up in our own business and internal crap dialogue we don't focus enough to accept, to be present and be grateful.  We also spend to much time resisting and fighting ourselves.

Being present has such a pay off though!  When we're present we remember that we don't mistakes, we just learn lessons.  We learn that we can rise up when we fall and bring ourselves back to center when we're sideways.  When we're present we remember we have choices in all things.  We learn to just let it be and get onto the fixing part.  Thank goodness we can fix our mistakes/change course my one dear friend said this week.  Exactly.  Thank you for the affirmation dear friend, I couldn't agree with you more.  

We can never loose sight that we have choice and that within that very valuable option we have the building blocks to not only effect our lives but the lives of those we love and share them with.  We do this best when we accept and are present.  It is not really something we come out of the womb with knowledge of either.

Think about it, most parents do not teach their kids how to love themselves, let alone how to be present or accepting.  Typically we become (read: learn) a nice little cocktail of the good and the bad (and sometimes not so much good out of either) of those who raise us.  We are told that we become the five people we spend the most time with. Thankfully, I was raised in an environment where someone amongst them did affirm that I was to love myself (Grandma Irene, yup, there she is again...).  Guess what, she was filled to the brim with gratitude too (no matter what crazy junk were going on in life).  She was the only one like this out of all of them around me.  Not that any of the others taught me to not love myself or be grateful, they were just trying to get through life like everyone else to realize that such things needed to be taught.  

It's not as if I haven't struggled with it myself despite this upbringing.  I can only imagine how tough it is to learn to love yourself when no one has ever loved you properly your entire life or when love has been linked to negative behaviors that really aren't love.  I guess this is why I'm driven to be so compassionate to those I care for who came from dysfunctional or broken homes.  I've been on both sides of the coin, loving and not loving myself and each day I have to make a conscious effort to keep on the right side.

By loving myself I've learned to do my best not to resist what is and that acceptance is the only answer.  By learning to accept I've opened myself up to being good to myself.  It's a two fold thing, one feeds into the other.  Once acceptance happens I become present and once I'm present I remember that I have a choice in my thoughts.  I therefore choose someone, something, somewhere, however far reaching I need to dig, to find a moment of gratitude.  

Once I'm in that state of mind I can spend time on fixing whatever it is that needs to be fixed vs wasting all that time on resisting whatever it is to begin with.  Know that acceptance doesn't mean that you're giving up, giving in or settling either.  It just means you get what is and that you're looking for solutions vs wasting energy and time fighting what you don't like.

If you're like me and you've learned the acceptance, becoming present and choosing gratitude part of the journey, I only ask that you tell someone else about it while you are breathing and still with us.  This is beneficial knowledge that needs to be shared. :)

Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Teaching & Learning: Universal Knowledge Should be Shared

You know, I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that the talents and gifts we cultivate are there for a reason and that the universe will put people in our lives who need them just as people will be placed in your life who can assist us with ours. When I notice this happening, I give thanks and know that yes, the universe is working its magic.  It happens for a reason after all.  It's the order of things.  I must say that I love when it does happen, sort of a here's your sign of life, of feeling alive not just being alive.  This ebb and flow of it is rather exciting.


Resistance is the exact opposite of what is, signs of life and ebb and flow.  Why resist something there is no control over?  It doesn't make sense does it?  Many times I'm given opportunities to use what I've learned.  Recent lessons were patience and solitude, both of which I struggle with.  So, I find myself practicing what I have learned. I look to find the good in the bad, accept what is and be at peace with all of it.   That's my choice to make and I realize that now.


 "  You teach best what you most need to learn."   

- Richard Bach 


What have I been teaching?  Patience, acceptance, solitude, passing knowledge on, living in the moment, being in the now, manifestation, spirituality, and the like.  What am I learning?  All of that.  These words gave me chills when I first read them.  Interesting insight indeed. When I look at my own life there are without a doubt common themes between myself and those I share the journey with. I've often believed that this is proof of why are choices are so important.


Alas, we have choice but life can and will still happen.  I have to remember that no matter how much we think or try to control life, things happen that are beyond our control. We do however have a choice as to how we greet such things.  So, by default we do get choice back yet again.  See how that works?  By being aware of this we're better equipped to just 'go with the flow' and keep moving forward vs wasting time on 'why me' and/or 'why now' thoughts. Besides, it's the bumps in the road of life that allow us to appreciate the times when our lives happen as we expect them to.


When I find myself knee deep in life's challenges I have to remind myself that the answer to all our concerns, doubts, worries or fears is simply to pause and be present in the moment. When I pay attention it seems as if all the inner chatter just comes to a screeching halt. When I pay attention, I tend to see what is vs what isn't. Just that pay off alone is enough reason to make it a point to be present as much as possible.  This one act alone has changed the trajectory of my own life.  When I'm present life's just easier to handle.  I can deal with the negative aspects of it.


Being able to better deal with life's negatives has instilled within me a great sense of gratitude.  I'm a better person having made it a point to have and show gratitude.  You just can't not have it in your life, it's a fundamental life law of happiness.  


Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ


"When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears." - Anthony Robbins


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” - Melody Beattie


"The only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is
the will to try it and the faith to believe it possible." ~ Rich Devos


 Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ


Copyright ©2010 Nita Clewis All rights reserved.
For personal use only. Commercial use without permission is not allowed.