Posts Tagged ‘attitude’

Blessed to be Free

During July, Americans celebrate freedom and independence. Fortunately, I was blessed to have been born in the United States of America where I am free to speak my mind, believe whatever I desire, own property, have multiple children, vote, practice any type of profession, travel and create a life of my own choosing. Many people around the world don’t have this kind of luxury. Perhaps you are one of these people.

One thing we all have in common however, is the ability to choose our own thoughts; that in turn reflects our attitude, and ultimately our life experiences. Regardless of political, social, religious, or economical oppression, nobody can control what is inside our heart and mind; this is 100% under our own control. We can choose to forgive and we can choose to have faith. Even in the case of “brain washing” or psychological torture/abuse, our soul/spirit is untouchable. This divine essence always knows the truth of our being and provides more sustenance than food or water.  There are countless stories of such experiences from people who have been imprisoned, oppressed, abused and tortured who have risen above all adversity as a result of this Truth. They never lost sight of their freedom to choose their own thoughts, attitudes and attitude despite any circumstance.

The story of Immaculée Ilibagiza, is a perfect example of this concept during the 1994 Rwanda genocide when she and seven other women huddled silently together in a cramped bathroom of a local pastor’s house for 91 days! During this horrific ordeal, Immaculée lost most of her family, but she survived to share the story and her miraculous transition into forgiveness and a profound relationship with God. To read more of her story, get her book Left To Tell or check out her website for yourself. http://www.lefttotell.com/

The story of Viktor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, is another example of someone who utilized his freedom of thought to endure unspeakable horrors. For more of his story, read his book Man’s Search for Meaning and discover what he learned about freedom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Frankl

When I think of these brave people, I am so thankful and grateful for the freedoms I enjoy and for the choice of thought/ attitude/ perception, that is inherent to every human being on this planet.

What freedoms are you grateful for? Take a moment to reflect on what you might take for granted or tell your story and comment below.  Here is what the books look like for featured authors mentioned above. They are definitely worth reading!

 

With love and blessings; gratitude and Joy,

Lisa

 

Thank You!

How could two little words mean so much yet be so simple? I think it’s the message behind them that counts because it convey’s deep appreciation, gratitude and love that acknowledges both parties involved. While this little phrase may seem overused, the practice of it never goes out of style because we all crave recognition for our good deeds in some way. There is nothing wrong with desiring validation for a job well done; however, the challenge comes when we seek this from outside sources (people, work, etc) because then we are giving others power over us and this is can be disastrous to our self-esteem in many ways.

Looking for praise from other people is a set up for resentment. This affects our attitude and behavior, teetering on the side of manipulation sometimes in order to gain approval from others. What if we could acknowledge ourselves? When was the last time you praised yourself? Often we focus on others to avoid looking at ourselves; even when its about acknowledging something positive within ourselves. Can you relate? Why is this?

To counteract this negative habit, I’ve instituted the practice of listing my accomplishments daily in a journal. This single activity forces me to look at all the things that I complete, do well, and achieve. Writing this out stares my monkey mind squarely in the face, and defies the illogical crazies. Try it today and say Thank You to yourself !

 

Fantastic, Wonderful, Authentic, Friends!

Friends pick us up when we are down. They provide comfort in the face of despair and laughter when life gets too serious. The gift of friendship goes way beyond socializing as it validates and supports the very essence of who we are as human beings walking through life together. Without friends, the stress of day to day life would become too much and we would miss the perspective and wisdom that comes from sharing of ourselves in such intimate ways. No other relationship has greater impact on us than that of friends, since they are among our choosing.

Friends reflect back aspects of us that we don’t see in ourselves. Sometimes this signals a need for healing or forgiveness and sometimes it helps us celebrate the preciousness of who we are. We get an opportunity to practice new behaviors, play, be our authentic selves, learn, grow, and make mistakes in the presence of a safe person who really knows and accepts us. A special bond exists among friends that lovers and family can’t fill; for friendship is all about mutual caring and support without the romantic or family ties that can stir up drama and dysfunction. Friends help us to see the humor within ourselves and the world around us. We also get to practice listening, boundaries, intimacy, generosity, and trust (just to name a few). Friends help get us out of our comfort zones and encourage us to grow and spread our wings. We in turn, help them to do the same and take this into the world with others.

While there are different kinds of friends as well as levels of friendships, the gifts are immeasurable and positive. At each stage, our evolutionary growth can be catapulted, just by allowing another into hearts and lives.  Even 1 friend who loves and supports us unconditionally is enough to change our personal world and alter how we show up in life; making us better people.

Tell your friends how much they mean to you; show them with appreciation, love, and gratitude. Treasure your friends today and relish in this most special relationship. Give them and yourself the gift of friendship.