Letting Things Go

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very true.

I recently pinned this quote to my Pinterest board because I thought it was so simple yet complex.   I wanted to reflect and meditate upon it.  It made me think of how much we put on ourselves just because we do not let things go.  Things like envy, strife, hate, worry, guilt, and many other insecurities that lead us to carry around so much baggage.

It reminds me of a song by Eryka Badu, “Bag Lady”.  If you get a chance you should listen to the song because the lyrics can pertain to anyone.  I especially like the following verse:

     Bag lady you gone hurt your back
     Dragging all them bags like that
     I guess nobody ever told you
     All you must hold on to
     Is you, is you, is you

The song is a metaphoric.  The physical bags are a symbol of the “mental” baggage that we allow ourselves to pick up and never put down.  Although, the song is about a lady, all of us – men and woman – are guilty of carrying too many bags.  So many of us are so quick to say, “She/he has too much baggage and I can’t deal with that”.  Yet, we do not realize what we are holding onto.

It is important to realize that the baggage we carry affects us mentally and physically.  If we carry too many bags, we become immobile.  Stress can be debilitating.  How can we move on if we cannot put down the bags we are carrying and let go.  (Another song comes to mind “Let it Go” from the movie Frozen.  Yes, it’s from an animated film, but has a great message for not only kids, but adults too).

As we move through the first couple of months of this year, let’s not collect any more bags.  Instead, let us get rid of some.  Let’s forgive somebody who has wronged us.  Let’s forgive ourselves for something we have done wrong.  Let’s stop worrying about things that are out of our control.  Let’s stop comparing ourselves to someone else.  Let’s stop walking on eggshells worried that we are going to offend someone. It amazes me at how much people hide of themselves so they will not offend someone else.  When most of the time you are just sharing your opinion or stating the truth.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying just go out and be rude to everyone by saying whatever comes to mind – because, I am also a believer of the old adage, “If you don’t have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”.  However, what I am saying is if you just focus on you and what you are able to control in your life, then those bags will disappear.

Don’t let things get so heavy and complicated that you get buried and lose yourself.  There’s no one like you and it would be such a waste to lose you because of some old baggage.  Let it go!

Quotes are Food for the Soul

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Have you ever read a quote and it resonated with you?  Did it leave an impression on your life?  That’s because quotes have a way of touching your soul.

They lift you up when you are down

They encourage you when you need support

They propel you forward when you are motionless

They help you remember where you’ve been

They keep you focused on where you are going

They open your mind to different points of view

They make you want to be a better you

They give you courage when you are afraid

They enable you to do the impossible

They help you to forgive

They make you think

They inspire you

They allow you to dream

They make you see the truth

They make you feel like you are not alone

They change your outlook on life…

Therefore, read a quote every day and nourish your soul!

 

To Travel is Better than to Arrive

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I heard this phrase the other day and thought some of the simplest phrases have the most meaning.  Then I wondered if the person who said this was younger or older.  What a blessing it would be to realize this when you were young.  Then you would have so much more time to enjoy the journey.  You wouldn’t spend so much time trying to “arrive” because you would know the beauty of the ride.  You would know how precious every minute of every day would be.

There would be no pretense, or time limits to worry about.  That’s the stuff that keeps us from enjoying the ride.  The “I need to be married before I turn 30”.  “I need to make 6 figures before I’m…, I need to make partner in 5 years”, “I needed 500 followers by the end of the month” and so on.  Why do we put such constraints on ourselves?  Why are we carrying needless burdens?  Some may say we need to set goals in order to accomplish things.  However, we sometimes confuse goals with deadlines.  The things I just mentioned are deadlines because they are actions that involve other people.  Whereas, a goal should be something that is obtainable by you alone.

There is so much to taste, see, and experience as you travel.  Now that I think about it, I am not so sure if it’s better to realize this when you are young.  They say, a fine wine gets better as it ages.  Therefore, in that respect, we must get wiser as we get older.  When we are young, we are just beginning the journey.  Sometimes we don’t even know who we are let alone what path we should take.

I always hear people say, “If I knew then what I know now, I would have done things differently.  Yet, if you could do it over, would you? (Check out my earlier post- If you had a do over button, would you use it?).  Sometimes, the best part of the journey is the stumbles and falls and how we get back up.  The lessons we learn are what shape and build are character.

I think we all realize life is a journey at the time that is right for us.  We could be 16 or 32.  It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we make the most of every moment we have in life.  This ride is the only one we have.  Therefore, look out the window and daydream often.  Sing out loud.  Act silly with your kids…or friends.  Dance every day.  Love deeply and live with a purpose.

I’m enjoying the ride.  Are you?

In What Direction are You Heading?

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As the New Year begins, it is usually a time for people to start new plans, goals or make “resolutions”.  Some want to lose weight, kick a habit or start a new endeavor.

I guess the New Year is a good time to start with a new slate.  It is the “official” starting time to do whatever it is you want to do.  The question is do you know what you want to do?  Or better yet, do you know in what direction you are heading?

Yes, it is easy to say I am going to lose weight this year or I am going to learn a new language or I am going to go back to school.  Yet, it is not so easily done.  What makes us think that we can accomplish any of these goals just because it is a new year?  Are the same reasons that kept us from achieving these goals in the past still present?  If so, we must identify them so we do not sit idly by, watching days, weeks, and eventually a year pass by.

If your roadblock is procrastination (for many of us it is), then you need to set mini goals each day to keep you moving in the right direction.  Let’s use losing weight as an example.  Perhaps your goal is to lose 20 pounds.  First we must right down our goal.  Next you need a visual aid, so you can see where you are headed.  You can use a goal chart and set up little rewards for certain milestones achieved.  You must decide how to get going – whether it be eating differently each day or exercise. The key is to do something that is realistic and that you will like.  If you set unrealistic goals then, you will get easily discouraged.

Next you need to eliminate anything that is not moving you toward your goal.  If you know that as soon as your turn on the television, you will be glued to it until you go to bed, then don’t turn it on.  You will be surprised at how much time you gain from not sitting in front of the television for hours.  Again, there is no need to go cold turkey, just start small by eliminating 30 minutes or 1 hour of television each day.  Another time consumer is reading.  Yes, reading.  Often times people are consumed by books and again spend hours reading and then have no time to do anything else.  Too much of anything is not good for you.

Once you have gotten the “excuses” out of your path, your focus should be clear.  However, you may need help to keep you moving forward once you have started toward your goal.  That could be a positive friend or family member that can keep you motivated when you start to waiver.   It could be a motivational quote or Bible verse that you meditate upon when obstacles arise.  Whatever your source of strength and encouragement, make sure you have it before you get moving.

Now I know there are many pieces of information out there on “how to do”.  They tell you the tools you need (and have to buy in most cases) and the time it will take you to complete the task or goal.  However, I find that they leave out one important thing – direction.  They do not know in what direction you are headed.  They do not know if you have backtracked several times or are moving sideways because you are afraid to move forward but you know you cannot move backwards.  There is only one person that knows in what direction you are moving – you.  That is the same person that has to have the will to keep moving in the right direction and determination to stay focused on the goal.  Remember you are not on a trip; you are on the journey of your life.  Set your course and do not let anything deter you from your purpose.  Naturally, there will be detours and breakdowns along the way, but you are not running a race, you are living your life!  Live it with purpose and direction and you can accomplish what you set out to do.

Are You Able to Forgive?

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Are you walking around angry with someone and just not dealing with it?  By not speaking to them, are you really not dealing with it?  Every day you may be thinking about it.  Every day it is festering inside of you.  Then when you see the person, the feelings surface again.  Therefore, you may THINK that you are pushing it to the side.  You may THINK by not talking to that person that you are not dealing with it.  However, by making that decision that is how you are choosing to deal with the situation. 

I know it is much harder to just speak nicely to that person, say hi, or smile.  Nonetheless, this is something that you must do.  At first, when you smile you may not mean it and that is okay.  Yet the more you do it, the easier it becomes.  Then before you know it all that angst, anger, and resentment is gone.  Then you feel so much better.  The first time I put this practice in place, I was amazed how good I felt afterwards.  I felt so much better, by letting it go, truly letting it go.  My soul was renewed and refreshed.  By forgiving that person, you are forgiving yourself.  Besides that person may not even know they have wronged you.  However, you are all upset and for what?  For nothing.  They are living their life not thinking about you.  So why are you thinking about them?  Let it go.

For example, you do not know that person that cut you off while driving.  Nevertheless, you get angry and may start calling them names, etc.  Then you go to work and tell somebody about it and get all worked up again.  You do not even know who that person is!  This is such wasted energy.  Your time is too valuable to be spent on such insignificant conversations.  In addition, your health is affected and can manifest in headaches or high blood pressure.  

Just sit back for a minute and look at the situation.  Is all the ill will worth it?  Do you feel better by talking badly about someone?  On the other hand, are you causing stress on your body?  Is your blood pressure rising?  Are you defaming someone’s character?  Don’t you know that words can kill…literally?  They cannot only kill you but they can kill others.  We read all too often about kids committing suicide due to cyber bullying.  My first post was about the power of words.  We have such power and do not even realize or comprehend it.

You have to realize that what you portray outwardly, affects you internally.  Perhaps it is human nature to be upset for that moment in time.  However, this is when we need to learn to control our emotion – to be in control of who we are and of our life.  To make our life abundant and healthy, we must learn to forgive.  Numerous things that go wrong in our lives are a result of us not being able to forgive.  People often-go crazy and become obsessed because they cannot forgive.  While it is not always an easy thing to do, it is a skill that can be acquired and one that definitely needs to be practiced.  Once you are able to do it, it is a blessing.  It is a blessing to you and the people around you because it begets a good-natured spirit and a healthy life.    

Please understand if you cannot forgive someone else, then you cannot receive your blessing.  You see, you are blessed so that you can be a blessing to someone else.  Therefore, learn to forgive so you can receive your gift and your blessing and be the person that you were meant to be!