Do it your way

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SUCCESS

Do it your way….

Setting goals and trying to be like the over achievers in our world is not for everyone. Success comes in many forms and it can be as simple as doing something you’ve never done before.

Do it your way and on your own terms. You’re the only one who can define what being successful means to you. If you try to live your life based on other people’s opinion of what your life should be, you will live a life of disappointment.

Find the truth of what being successful means to you as an individual. Stop trying to be someone who doesn’t feel comfortable in their own skin because of social pressures. The world’s view of being successful does not dictate who we are or what kind of life we would like to live in the future. We all have a different road to travel which will take us to our ultimate destination.

What does success look like for you?

 

 

Killer Hill

killer hill 3.jpg It was a beautiful spring morning and as I cruised through my neighborhood, I drove passed killer hill. I call it killer hill because when my children was very small, I decided it would be an adventure for us to take a nice long walk. Big mistake! As we approached the third block, there was grumbling and complaining and I had to try to carry them the rest of the way. Needless to say, I almost didn’t make it myself. It was really exhausting to say the least and I thought I was in shape. Ha!

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Well, this morning as I went past killer hill, I saw an elderly man who was short, bending over because he couldn’t stand up straight with a walking cane, slowly walking up killer hill. He looked like he was in his late eighties with a scruffy white beard.

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As I gazed at him with complete admiration, I began to imagine what his life was like before he got to this stage. Besides putting me to shame, walking up that hill, he had a past history that we will never completely know or understand.

What we can deduct is the commonalities from all our lives. He was someones child, educated through our school system in some capacity, worked in order to support himself and or family and went through good times and bad. I wondered if he ever served in the army. What else defined this man’s life? I began to think into the future and what my life would look like once I got to his age.

Life is short and getting shorter

Life is really short, and the quality of life getting shorter everyday. Anything can go wrong along the way. But what I admired about this man is his ability to stand up and walk even with his disabilities. Its easier to sit down and do nothing rather than stand up to do something. Will I have the desire, strength or motivation to follow his lead in spite of my age? Or will I sit down and play dead.

What I learned from this experience is to learn to enjoy each day to its fullest. While you have good health and youth on your side, don’t squander it on foolishness. Make everyday count for today is given and tomorrow is not promised. Dream and live your dreams and may your yesterdays yield better tomorrows.

 

 

 

I never want to do that again

 

I never want to do that againWho are we kidding? It’s the same story we tell ourselves over and over again in order to change our behavior, yet it remains the same. Amazingly, without realizing it, our lives are being impacted like a scene out of the Twilight Zone.

Traffic Jam

This morning, I woke up at my normal time and got ready for work in my usual manner. Side tracked with a minor problem, I left the house a little later than usual. I wish I can say this is the first time but there are everyday distractions which holds my attention every now and then. To my surprise, when I got on the Highway, there was an inordinate amount of traffic due to lane closures for pothole repair.

Beat The Clock

I got off the next exit in order to find a way around the traffic. Time was running out and I was driving a little faster than normal. Feeling stressed and trying to beat the clock, I went through several towns in order to get back on the Highway. Isn’t it funny in life when you’re running late, it never fails, there is always a truck driving very slowly, a person who is in retirement mode on a Sunday morning drive or someone going shopping on their day off in front of you. So while in your mind, you’re in the fast lane at 80 miles an hour, tense with your heart racing to get to work on time, they are driving 20 miles an hour. Ouch!

I pulled into the parking lot and got out of my car running fast as if my life depended on it, I made it just in the nick of time. Out of breath and trying to compose myself, I said, “I never want to do that again.” Really, it’s not the first time and it may not be the last. Life has a way of knocking you off your feet when you least expect it.

How many times do we tell ourselves we will never do the following:

  • We will never eat more than our stomach can handle. Then we eat more and more until we are uncomfortable and our stomach is bloated.
  • We will never be late for work to the point where rushing becomes a habit every morning. Unfortunately for some of us, it becomes a habit which is hard to break.
  • We will never spread gossip or slander our neighbor.
  • We will never spend more than we can afford. Have you looked at your credit cards lately?
  • We will never drink to get drunk to the point where it affects our ability to function in a normal manner. Hangovers is not particularly fun.
  • We will never drive over the speed limit and then suddenly you get pulled over for speeding.
  • We will never fight with our spouse, friends, or coworkers if possible, OOPS!

There are so many things in our life which we wish we can change. Unfortunately, if you do something habitually, it becomes a habit which is hard to break. It’s not impossible as long as we are willing to commit to making changes in order to break the cycle. For instance, I could have made a decision to leave my house a little earlier in order to compensate for any problems that may arise. But sometimes its easier to keep doing the same thing over and over again without thinking of the consequences that may result from this pattern of behavior. I believe at this juncture of our lives, its time to break the cycle and commit to making the changes which will make life more bearable.

Have you ever had one of those moments you wish you could change?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life is Precious

The Gift of Life

family-1428181_1280“Everyday above ground is a Blessing”

Life is precious and the more we realize the gift that’s been freely given by our creator in spite of our ups and downs, the better we’ll feel. Living a life full of real intention whether at work, home, or play will improve your mood and provide a spark of passion. I know you don’t always feel that way, but you can try to improve every aspect of your life by learning valuable lessons, while transforming like a caterpillar in a cocoon who goes through the necessary changes in order to convert into a beautiful butterfly.

The Matrix

If you ever saw the movie called The Matrix, you will understand the illusionary world that the humans are living in day-to-day. People are going through the motion, but like the main character, they feel like something is wrong, but they can’t figure out what it is which makes them so uncomfortable. In our present world, there is so much going on in our personal life as well as the world outside our window. Some people are getting more and more depressed and in some cases willing to take their own life. However, life is precious and we can’t allow it to beat us down as we stand defeated.

Building Relationships

Find people in your life you can lean on for support in times of sadness. We all need someone we can talk to who will help us through the tough times. Good relationships start with good people skills, so listen effectively and develop empathy. Be positive and appreciate others who may also turn to you in times of trouble. Life is precious and a gift therefore we need to connect with each other and invest our time to build each other up rather than tear each other down. Whenever possible spend more time with family and friends away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Start off each day with a song

Jimmy Durante was an American singer, pianist, comedian, and actor. He wrote a song which touches my heart every time I hear it. Life is precious and how you choose to see and live it makes all the difference in the world. His words of wisdom are very inspiring as it gives us a reason to start our day each morning with a smile on our face and a song in our heart.

Start Off Each Day With a Song

You gotta start off each day with a song

Now even when things go wrong

You’ll feel better

You’ll even look better

I’m here to tell you that you’ll be a go-getter

Now the way you shake my hand

Will tell me how I stand

Now isn’t it better to go through life with a smile and a song

Than walking around with a face 11 miles long

Now you know you can’t go wrong

 If you start off each day with a song

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone has a Story

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I met a stranger in the most unlikely of places who began to tell me her life’s story. She started by asking me my opinion of a designer fringed handbag she was thinking about purchasing. Her personal style is to dress more like the 60’s, a Hippie era of peace signs, bright colors and bands like the Beatles and Jimmy Hendrix. She wanted to stay true to who she is regardless of what’s going on in the Fashion Industry even if fringe was going out of style.

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We were able to connect on an emotional level and she felt quite comfortable opening up to tell me her story. She started by sharing the fact that Jesus is her lord and savior and that he saved her from many negative life experiences.

Her Story

At a very young age, she was placed in a mental institution for a short time. As she grew older, she was in an abusive relationship and finally ended it in order to save her life.  To add to her tragic life story, she was almost raped by a complete stranger. She asked me to open my mouth and share her story because she attributes her new-found life of happiness due to the saving grace of Jesus.

I felt so sorry, as I listened to her story, but there is hope in the end, she found Jesus and was happy filled with life again.

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We are not alone

Everyone has a story to tell, a tapestry filled with pain and suffering and some experiences we would rather choose to forget. We believe we are the only ones having such a difficult time. However we are not alone in the agony of life. When you hear another persons story, worst than what you’re presently experiencing, I don’t know about you, but I just want to shut up, no need to complain and thank God for his unmerited favor.

There is another side where love and happiness abides woven in the midst of all that we’ve experienced along the way. But although this tapestry is tattered and torn and perhaps weathered from the many storms, it survived and made us all into the persons we are today.

We are men and women of character not defeated by our stories as we continue to endure our life experiences. There is always a new chapter to be written of hope, lessons learned and change that brings light in spite of darkness which will lose in the end.

Nuggets of Truth: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 5:3-5

Are you living on empty?

img_2861There is a beautiful pristine lake nestled near a small town not too far from where I live. Last fall, due to the lack of rain, it started to recede and the water level was very low. There were patches of land peaking above the water, also in areas near the shore.

img_1120Fast forward to the winter rain and snow which increased the water levels revealing a lake filled with fresh water reaching normal levels.

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Living on Empty

Are you living on empty? When I thought about the lake, I started to think about our spiritual life. It’s so easy to live in a way where our spiritual side is unbalanced and slowly drying up like the lake above. At that point we start to lose the “fruit of the spirit which is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” The darker side of life slowly seeps in and before you know it, life slowly begins to take a nose dive. Living your life with joy is beginning to be more of a chore than pleasure. That’s because you’re running on empty.

Filling your spiritual Tank

We can’t wait till our spiritual tank is near empty before we begin to fill it with the things which makes life worth living. Besides our day-to-day life of work, and family, we need to take the time to nourish our spirituality. Otherwise, we will begin to feel unhappy, depressed, with very little energy. When was the last time you had a spiritual check up? Are you on life support? Or are you operating on normal levels?

Filling our spiritual tank starts by living each day to the fullest while practicing and living in the “fruit of the spirit.” It is also getting in touch with our inner man deep within and connecting with who we really are as an individual. Do the things which makes you happy. Take the time to recognize all that’s going on around you, good bad or indifferent, and yet realizing it’s what made you the person you are today.

Your spirituality also consists of accepting yourself with all your imperfections, knowing we are here to learn from our mistakes. Connect with nature whenever possible which will bring more clarity to your mind. Think about going on spiritual retreats which will help you focus on the positive aspects of life. As I’ve said in, previous blogs it’s very important to have time spent alone to think, breathe, pray and connect with your Creator.

Nugget of Truth: “It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

John 6:63

 

 

 

High Heel Pumps

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From Merillon ave to Penn Station New York

A little bit of vanity can skew your thinking in order to conform to the trends in society. I remember walking to the train station in high heel pumps in order to catch an early train from Merillon ave to Penn Station New York. My feet were strong in those days, and I never stopped to consider the consequences.  I tried to look as cute as can be in my pointy toes high heels pumps which were a couple of inches off the ground. I worked in the Fashion Industry, and Seventh Avenue, was my destination.

Following the Crowd

I was following the crowd, rushing to and from work without contemplating the result and discomfort of walking in high heel pumps. At that time, it was about walking in style and being in fashion. Who would have thought I would trade in high heel pumps for a pair of sneakers.

A Rude Awakening

One morning as I was walking in those high heel pumps, crowds of people were walking in unison to work. As we were all ready to cross on 34th street,  down I went in the middle of the street. Ouch! I turned around and got up quickly to regain my composure. Of course, not one person turned around to help me. People were in a zombie like state and was following their own agenda.  Years later, I laugh about that experience and thank God I wasn’t seriously hurt. My pride was a little bruised and that was more than enough.  I had a rude awakening about following the trends set in society.

From High heel Pumps to Sneakers

After that day, I traded my high heel pumps, and I started wearing sneakers in order to go to and from work. I didn’t care about the trends, but walking and being in comfort. That was the day I did a complete round about. I started thinking differently about the life I was living and figured out what benefited my lifestyle.

High heel pumps is a metaphor for in this article in reference to how we respond to life happenings everyday. Are you comfortable in your own shoes? Or are you ready to trade in your pair for a pair that sets your own trend?

Lessons Learned

I learned several important lesson that day:

  • It doesn’t pay to look cute if your comfort is at stake.
  • You have to think for yourself and not be a crowd pleaser.
  • Trends come and go and just because it’s a trend, it doesn’t mean you have to follow society’s way of thinking.
  • Set your own trends, be yourself and find out what works for you in all aspects of life
  • Sometimes, you’re on your own, as you look around for a helping hand. Don’t despair, get up dust yourself off and keep moving forward.
  • It’s ok to trade in High Heel Pumps for sneakers even if its only to and from work.
  • It’s all about finding remedies for the choices we make in life otherwise “we will reap whatever we sow.”

 

                                                                                                             Pat Fagan