Grateful To Be Alive!

 

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Sometimes I wake up in the morning rattled.  I bring yesterday’s struggles into the new day and can’t seem to get out of my own way!  But I’ve learned to turn things around by changing my morning ritual.

And so today, I’d like to share 10 habits you can start as soon as you wake that will ensure a happier, more peaceful day ahead.  And by the way, you don’t have to do ALL ten the first time you try this.  Begin with one or two, then add one or two more each week that follows.

  1. Expect the BEST, even in uncertain times.
  2. Focus on the present moment, do not dwell on the past or the future.
  3. Exercise, the benefits are numerous.
  4. Skip the news.  Unfortunately, there is so much negative in our news today.  No need to be the first words you hear in the morning.
  5. Choose to be optimistic, it will feel better.
  6. Set an intention for the day ahead.
  7. Eat a nutritious breakfast. It is the fuel to your body.
  8. Take 10 minutes to Meditate.  This will calm your nerves and set you on the right track.
  9. Stay in faith.  Always trust that you are fully equipped and ready to handle whatever the day brings your way.
  10. Speak life into people.  Always say a kind word, give a big smile, or simply listen attentively to others.  Make it a common practice to leave people better than you found them.  I can assure you this will be a twofold blessing!

Lastly, be grateful to be alive!  Remember having one more day is a privilege!

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Mind vs. Heart

“You can close your eyes to the things you don’t want to see, but you can’t close your heart to the things you don’t want to feel”

 

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I’ve always been called “sensitive”.  And for a long time, it felt like both a gift and a curse.

I am THAT person that “feels too much” and “cries too often”.  I open myself up to others and listen, sometimes for hours, to their problems, situations, and concerns.

Having empathy however, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although at times it can be a bit draining.  I still believe THS IS what life is truly about.  To feel more and think less.

Some people tend to struggle with “thinking” their way through life instead of “feeling” their way. The mind versus the heart.

And while thinking things through can be an important part of your decision- making journey, I believe we must give our heart the power it deserves.

So, I’d like to share some distinct differences between allowing yourself to be lead by the heart vs. the mind.

THE MIND

The Mind fabricates illusions.  It continuously seeks financial achievements, nicer homes, cars, jobs and educational degrees.  It always seeks a greater level of gratification and accomplishment.  It makes you believe once you attain all these things you will have true happiness. But this is all an illusion, for it is a game that can never be won.   

THE HEART

The heart seeks the truth.  It requires nothing of material possessions! The heart views compassion and love as an act of grace and truth. The heart honors the soul and what it yearns for.  The heart seeks wisdom and the higher purpose for your life.  It knows what you need and when you remain open, it will assist in finding it.

So the challenge for all of us today is to FEEL MORE! To quiet the mind by allowing it to rest. Stop the logical thinking and allow your heart to lead.

Don’t ever be too afraid to open your heart to hearing and perceiving the truth that YOUR SOUL is wishing to say to it!

A Changed Life . . .

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A changed life begins with a changed day.

A changed day begins with a changed mood.

A changed mood begins with a changed outlook.

A changed outlook begins with being true to yourself.

For it is only when you are being true to yourself,

that you will begin to be honest with what you feel,

deeply value, and desire.

You Are Not A Label

 

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“Labeling is definitive; once we say it then it holds meaning”

~Namka

How many labels do we use in a day without conscious thought?  We place labels on a person based on actions or behaviors of that person.  We place labels based on a student’s disabilities.  We also place labels on a person based on a medical diagnosis.

But how do labels impact others?  Think for a moment about students in special education and their labels?  Or how about the labels placed on people based solely on the way they look without knowing anything about them!  Or how about the many people that have labels placed on them once they’ve been diagnosed with a disease?

Not all labels are bad, I know they have a purpose.  For example, in education, a label is there to help the student receive helpful services that they would otherwise not receive without it.

But there is also another side to labels; a dangerous, negative side.

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.                                     ~Buddha

We will become what WE believe to be true about ourselves, with the help of course, of what others say about us!

When we label a person, we are only seeing “that label” and the label’s description about who we are,  instead of seeing the TRUE ESSENSE of the person!

HOWEVER, YOU ARE NOT A LABEL!

YOU ARE NOT . . .  a stereotype.

YOU ARE NOT . . . a color.

YOU ARE NOT . . . a size.

YOUR ARE NOT . . . your mistakes.

YOU ARE NOT . . . your diagnosis.

YOU ARE NOT . . .  your disability.

YOU ARE NOT . . . your IQ.

In closing . . .

It is important to recognize that the people we label “black”, “white”, “nerd”, “weak”, “rich”, “poor”, “sick”, “smart”, or “dumb” SEEM blacker, whiter, nerdier, weaker, richer, poorer, sicker, smarter or dumber merely because we’ve labeled them so!

 

 

 

Dreaming of You . . .

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“If you hand over your fears, I PROMISE I will take care of them!” 

 

It’s what I heard in my dream last night.  The voice was soft, yet firm.  Gentle, but with conviction.

And so, this morning I awoke in search of WHO this message was intended for.

Perhaps it’s for me or one of my family members?

Or perhaps this message could conceivably be for YOU, the person reading this RIGHT NOW.

Either way I wanted to share these powerful words, that gave me hope for my future and courage for today.  I pray it does the same for you! 

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears”

 

You May Bend, But You Won’t Break!

 

ChaleneJohnson_KeyPriorities_PalmTree.jpgGrowing up in Florida, I have experienced many powerful hurricanes.  Depending on their category, these hurricanes can carry very strong winds, some as strong as 156 mph. Watching this kind of power can be very frightening, to say the least!

One thing I’ve always wondered is how palm trees withstand these big, angry storms? While pieces of houses and large trees are tossed around like toys, palm trees are able to survive!  But what’s their secret?

PALM TREES ARE DESIGNED TO BEND!  When the storms come, palm trees can bend quite a lot, EVEN to the point of being horizontal to the ground.  BUT THEY DON’T BREAK! 

During the storm, you might look at the palm tree flattened to the ground and think it’s a goner.  But after the storm passes, the palm tree will be able to stand upright again.  And when the storm is over, the palm tree comes back stronger and better than before the storm!

What a beautiful metaphor for how God made us!  The storms of life are inevitable.  Sometimes we won’t be able to explain why they are happening.  Other times we won’t be able to see the purpose.  But God made us like the palm tree, able to withstand even the most difficult storms.

He made us so that we may bend, but not break!

Whether you’re currently entering a storm, or passing through one, remember that when the storm is over, you will be able to stand upright again and come out of it stronger than ever before!