Live Life Out Loud

Hi folks!

So we reach the end of another year! Have you achieved what you wanted this year, or has just another year “slipped by”? If you have just let 2013 breeze past you and you feel like you have not reached your goals (did you have any ?), do not lose heart! You are still alive and kicking and so that means that you can still achieve all you desire. 

I want to share with you something I saw written a few weeks ago on the back of a truck. It was “Live Life Out Loud”. Make that your motto/mantra for 2014!! Forget about 2013, it is over. A new year is upon us. A year full of opportunity and potential.

Live Life Out Loud! That does not mean that you have to be boisterous or “in your face” with everyone. To me it means going out and enjoying life, having fun, aiming for the stars as you reach for the goals you have set. For me I had a few goals I wanted to achieve in 2013, I achieve some of them but not all of them. Does that mean I should quit? NO!! I just refocus and reset my goals for this year. 

If you are not a goal setter, do not be worried. I wasn’t either until, for some reason, I decided on New Years Eve 2012 to write down what I wanted to get out of 2013. I got some things and I missed some things. But I do not concern myself on the things I haven’t achieved, I celebrate the successes!

So “forget what lies behind”, push forward. Face 2014 with enthusiasm, expectancy and joy. Sure there will be ups and downs throughout the year, but use those times to grow personally and become a stronger person. Set some goals for the year, do not make too may though, otherwise you will be so overwhelmed. Make at most 4-5 goals (if you are ambitious enough you can make more if you want, but be realistic) and go for it! 

Make 2014 the year that you “Live Life Out Loud!”

 

 

 

Allow the Rays of Happiness to burn!

Hi there guys and gals!

This morning it was a bit drizzly outside and, sometimes, if one is feeling a little”down and out” they feel more sad when the weather is grey and miserable. I remember a bit of sage advice that was given to me many years ago. It was this:

The Sun is always shining, it’s just that the clouds are in the way

At times it can be hard to be happy, especially when things are mounting up and getting on top of you. Nor is it realistic to expect someone to be happy all the time! Life can, and does, sometimes get you down. At times we feel like we are overwhelmed by circumstances and we may feel hope eroding. Here is a wee analogy I came up with this morning as I watched the rain drops run down my windows. 

The Sun is always shining (that is our happiness and positivity), but sometimes the clouds gather (these can be the overwhelming circumstances/situations we face) and obscure our happiness. The clouds may be so heavy (our circumstances/situations become too much to bear) that the only outlet is for the rain to fall (the rain is our tears as we cry in despair). But eventually the Sun’s rays burn away the clouds. The rain stops, the clouds part and we have a bright, sunny day! The end result is analogous to us have regained hope and focus for the future as the “rays of happiness and positivity” burn away the clouds of despair. Our tears (the rain) stops and we find the clouds parting as we face the future with a renewed vitality.

Next time you are feeling down, just remind yourself that the Sun is always shining! Allow the rays of positivity and hope to burn away the clouds that are gathering. Just because it may be “cloudy and raining” in your life at the moment does not mean that the forecast is for it to stay that way!  Let your forecast read: Bright, sunny days ahead full of happiness, hope and joy!

 

 

 

 

Let Love Destroy Hate

Hi there everyone!

This afternoon I was thinking about love and then I had an epiphany that I want to share with you all. Hate is so destructive not only relationally, but also emotionally and physiologically. It takes an effort to hate someone. To despise a person. Hate builds walls around others. Walls that are imposed, and maintained, by the person that is hating. The bricks that build the wall can be things like jealousy, threat, fear, the way a person acts, the things a person says. The bricks can be made up of the most ridiculous things too: the way a person dresses, the way a person talks or looks! 

Personally there are times when people have done things that have highly irritated me and down right annoyed the hell out of me. I found an attitude well up within me. It was “I hate you! I will forever hold a grudge against you!”. But I have found that it takes a lot of effort to hold on to a grudge! It is much easier to forgive the person and move on. 

“But how do I forgive?” That is a personal choice that we each have to make. It may help to realise that no of us are perfect. We are human and all have failings. Once you come to that conclusion, it is easier to forgive another for something they said, did or did not do. Another factor is that you should not think of yourself as superior to anyone else. We are all the same, but it is an unfortunate failing in some that they think they are somehow superior to the rest of us. Here is something to observe about such people: How often do they forgive? You will be surprised to find that it will not be that often. 

Love accept people for what they are: fallible human beings. Love does not hold grudges or offenses. Love does not take things to heart or personalise things. Love should be unconditional. In the Christian Bible we find this description of love: 

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely; does not seek its own; is not provoked; thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. – 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8(a)

What was the great epiphany that I had this afternoon? Simply this: when you love, it will destroy the walls of hatred that we may have built up in our lives and in the lives of those around us. 

Consider this: when someone hates you, what is your immediate reaction? To reciprocate that hatred! If someone loves you, you return that love. But if someone hates you, it takes an effort to love that person. But if you do, you will find that a brick in the “Wall of Hatred” has been removed! By your own decision, you have started to dismantle walls of hatred around you and others. It is unfortunate that maybe the other person has quickly rebuilt that wall. It maybe a defense against being hurt. They may feel safe by keeping other people out of their lives. There is nothing you can do if someone is deliberately maintaining their wall of hate. All you can do is love the person and accept that they are protecting themselves (maybe they have been hurt in past relationships, or their trust in people has been abused). 

But make a decision to be like a bomber pilot in a battle against hate. Drop “Love-bombs” and see what damage you have done to the defenses of hate, not only in your life but in your social interactions. 

It takes effort to be hateful and malicious (if you don’t believe me try holding a grudge against someone for a week and see how exhausted you feel). Make a decision to love and you will find a new found level of energy and a new outlook in life. Become a “Love-bomber!”

 

 

Introspection: How well do you know yourself?

Hi folks!

Yeah, I know. It’s been a while since I have written anything. I have been so busy with my psychology Diploma and now it is finished! But I apologise to my followers for being so unreliable with my posts. Will you forgive me? 

Today I want to talk about “introspection”. It maybe something that you are doing, but not realising what it is. Maybe it is something that you may want to do. Then, dare I say, there are those people who think that they do not need to do it because they see themselves as perfect (Oh, I wish I could attain such a high level of improvement!)

But what, exactly, is meant by introspection? Simply it is looking within yourself and analysing your mental processes and your emotions. Why do you react like you do to a situation? What thoughts are running through your mind? How accurate are those thoughts? What emotion(s) are you feeling? Is it an appropriate emotion to the situation? If not, what can be done to modify your emotional reaction? Here is a hint: Consider your the thoughts that are running helter-skelter through your mind. Thoughts are powerful influencers of emotion! Don’t believe me? Try this wee experiment: Next time you are feeling sad, stop and consider what you are thinking about? Likewise, when you are feeling happy and “on top of he world”, see what thoughts are running in that head of yours! 

Sometimes people may know us better than we know ourselves. They know how we will respond to a situation and why. But sometimes the “why” is something we, ourselves, try and deny. It is easier to ignore a cause than to face it. Have you ever come across a situation where somebody may blame everyone and everything rather than look at themselves? Those people need major “introspection”!  

Introspection is not a bad thing. It can be self-enlightening as you discover things about yourself that you have never known before. Those “a-ha” moments can be exciting and liberating. I have had many of those moments and it has helped me to rectify things in my own life! Plus they also seem to enable you to understand people in a deeper way. 

The process does not have to be long and drawn out. It can be as simple as asking yourself “Why did I react like I did just now? Is it because I misunderstood something? Could I react differently next time a similar situation occurs? If so, how?” That process can take as little as a minute or two! 

As you learn more about yourself by looking inward, you will be amazed at the self-discoveries you will make. It is those self-discoveries that enlighten you to who you truly are and, if necessary, allow you to discard those parts that you don’t like. You will also find that you will grow personally and that, as a by-product, your world will change for the better!

So…go forth! Look at yourself. Consider yourself! Introspect and grow!