You Can Never Cross the Ocean Unless You Have the Courage to Lose Sight of the Shore…

art wood sign on beach

I don’t know about you but personal growth always feels like a remodeling project to me – with too many walls being demolished and the new construction always fraught with delays. Yet, when the work is done, I never fail to look back and feel a heart full of gratitude.

Personal growth is such a blessing! Self improvement always requires a leap of faith and courage. Although we may see massive benefits to changing, where we are is usually where we feel most comfortable. God is our most ardent fan. He is mindful of our capacity and our abilities. No one knows us better – not even ourselves. You only know yourself from a mortal perspective. He knows your mortal history and your pre-mortal history. He knows your magnificence! Best of all, He believes in You!!

Are you feeling a need for some changes? Perhaps God is nudging you! Listen to your heart and allow yourself to really feel deeply what God is trying to speak to your spirit. Then use His guidance to start the step by step process that He will provide. He will help you across your “oceans” and you will never regret the journey.

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Do You Worry Too Much?

Worrying is a lot like a rocking chair, a lot of effort goes in but you don’t get very far Corrie Ten Boom

I know people who worry a lot…they are always worrying. They are anxious and unhappy and they refuse to give up their daily habit of dwelling on what is going wrong, what might go wrong and those things that already went wrong.

They are obsessed with all of the possibilities life might provide. They rarely revel in the here and now.

Life is a precious gift. A Gift that is sadly wasted when we don’t properly enjoy the heres and nows because we are so engrossed with the what if’s and what might be’s. Of course, the what if’s and what might be’s rarely materialize. However, when they do, it has been my experience that the Lord always provides a way to deal with them.

I have found that planning for the future and setting goals and then using each day to work towards those goals is a wonderful way to live my life. I love being able to bask in the blessings of each day as they are proferred to me.

If you find it difficult to let go of your worries, try a gratitude journal or a nice long walk with the intent of seeing all of the beauty that nature has to offer. You CAN change your thoughts and you CAN change your perspective if you choose to be deliberate about it!

As you read today’s story, think about your own life. If you had only a year to live, would you want to live your lift differently than you are currently living it?

I hope today’s story gives you lots of food for thought!

Parable About Worry

Joe is a typical guy that has what most of us want.  He has success, a wonderful career, a luxurious lifestyle and a wonderful family.

Still, Joe worries about a lot of things:

  • He worries about his project that’s connected to his promotion
  • He worries about how he can multiply his current income
  • He worries about the scholastic achievement of his first son
  • He worries about winning the golf tournament
  • He worries about his wife cold treatment when he stays up too late working
  • He worries about the island he wants to purchase
  • He worries about getting the presidential position of his business club
  • And his list of worries just keeps on going on

Then one day, he was hospitalized for a week with severe hypertension .  While in the hospital, Joe continues to worry especially now that he can’t perform his usual routines.  The doctor noticed Joe’s “worry behavior” and decided that he was going to do something to make his patient stop worrying or at least minimize it.

With an idea in his mind, he went into Joe’s hospital room.  He told the patient that he has severe disease and that he’s left with a year to live.

Surprised and saddened by the news, Joe’s initial reaction was to again worry until the reality of his illness began to sink in.  He realized that he had a lot of things he wanted to do but he hadn’t because he had been so busy working and making a living. He had spent most of his time working –  thinking that it was important to provide all of the good things he had earned for his family.

Now that he believed that he had only a year to live, he started to think of living his life instead of just making a living. He finally understood that living a life only comes from simple things, like a picnic with his family, traveling to places, playing with the dogs or even attending to family gatherings. These things he didn’t think were important until he was told that he was dying.  And as he started to live his life, slowly all his worries began to fade. As the months passed, he do not see them as relevant like before. His belief that he was dying was a blessing in disguise for him to start living.

Are you like Joe?

Well, Joe is like the many of us.

When a worry knocks at our door, we have the tendency to entertain it and let it sit in our favorite spot. Before we know it, it has found a spot at the window and made itself at home.

Living with our mind worrying on the future causes us to miss out the greatness of now. Living and worrying too much about the future is not living at all because we can only live at a single time, which is now.

Do we really need death to remind us about living today?

Death may visit us anytime and life is a very precious gift – too precious to waste in worrying.

Remember that worry is just a product of our uncontrolled negative thoughts.  One of the keys in eliminating our worries is to taking control of our thoughts.

According to the law of averages, what are the chances that the things we are worrying about will ever happen?  Worrying never give us any answers, it is only good in asking “What ifs?”

Written by: Maria Lourdes Macabasco-Yanuaria

Story shared from the following website: http://lifetofullest.com/about-worry/

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Adversity and Hardship…There is Help

Hardships often Prepare Ordinary People for an Extraordinary Destiny   C.S. LewisWe all have a story to tell and we all will experience Hardship and Adversity – not just once but many times. It is the stuff that life is made of.

Life has a habit of trying to teach us what we are made of. It is not a matter of if we will experience adversity and hardships – it is a matter of when. And…when we do, we can be prepared!

We can’t always know the life situations we will face but there are daily life habits we can adopt that will help us through good and bad – thick and thin.

When my spirit returned to my body, after my near-death experience, my pain and difficulties did not magically go away. However, the best helper in the world, my divine mentor and creator was there to help me.

Prayer, meditation, prayer, scripture study, prayer and an open heart were key components in my recovery. Most important of all has been my relationship with God.

Have you ever been on hold for an exorbitant amount of time? If so, you might know how the angels who handle my prayers might feel. Most days it seems like I have a constant prayer to God in my heart – my angels probably wonder if I am ever going to hang up. Yet, knowing what I know of heaven and what they know of heaven, I’m pretty sure they don’t mind. 🙂

I know that prayer, scripture study, meditation and being at peace with your conscience are key elements to handling any and all situations that life throws at us. We need each piece. Prayer keeps us in contact with God and his answers, scripture study provides a strength that I cannot quantify, meditation (quiet time) allows God to provide us with answers and being at peace with our conscience allows our soul to be at peace and teachable.

Today, I am sharing a few inspiring stories of individuals who have made the most of their Adversities and Hardships. I hope you will enjoy!

Kris Carr turned her cancer into a business of hope and healing.

In 2003, Karr was a 32-year-old New Yorker just enjoying life. But then, a regular checkup at her doctor’s office resulted in a diagnosis of a rare and incurable Stage IV cancer called epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, existing in her liver and lungs.

Instead of succumbing to the disease, Carr decided to challenge her diagnosis head on. She attacked her cancer with a brand new nutritional lifestyle, and turned her experience into a series of successful self-help books and documentaries. Eventually, she launched her own wellness website, which is followed by over 40,000 people. Today, Karr is celebrating a decade of “thriving with cancer,” and is now revered as one of the most prominent experts on healthy living.

Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC, twice.

You read that right. One of the most prolific filmmakers of all time, the man who brought us “Shindler’s List,” “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” couldn’t get into the film school of his choice. Maybe, just sometimes, education can be a little overrated. In the end, Spielberg would get the last laugh, when USC awarded him an honorary degree in 1994. Two years later, he became a trustee of the university.

Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the light bulb.

Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, it’s safe to say Edison tried and failed a whole lot before he successfully created his beacon of light. His response to his repeated failures? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Today’s stories were shared from the following website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/25/successful-people-obstacles_n_3964459.html

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Our Task is to Become Our Best Selves…

Our task is to become our best selves. One of God’s Greatest Gifts to us is the joy of trying again, for no Failure ever need be Final Thomas S. Monson

I have always believed in self improvement. However, since my near-death experience, I have had a deeper and greater appreciation for the gift of being able to improve myself.

You see, the me I witnessed during my near-death experience was not the me I thought I knew as a mortal. Yet, in all reality, both were, in fact, me.

Who would you believe in? The self that God showed you or the one that had been clouded by mortality and failure?

I choose to believe in the me that God showed me.

I still have failures and days that seem like they were written by a sinister author intent on creating a scenario filled with the most difficult of events. Yet, the wonderful thing is that those days end and I am blessed with a fresh new day every morning!

I have found that as long as I keep on trying and keep hanging in there that eventually everything gets better – including me.

I hope you are hanging in there too!

Please enjoy today’s story!:

The Elephant Rope

As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?

Failure is part of learning; we should never give up the struggle in life.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.livin3.com/5-motivational-and-inspiring-short-stories#5%20Motivational%20and%20Inspiring%20Short%20Stories%20About%20Life,%20Stories%20that%20Will%20Make%20You%20Smile.

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Being Your Own Self – You Are an Important Individual!

Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. Eleanor RooseveltI suppose that it only makes sense that when a person is passionate about something – they will talk about it a lot. I don’t have a specific theme for this blog. Instead, it is my hope and desire to teach others about what I learned in heaven (did I just give my blog a theme?)

I have mentioned it before, but here goes: We were all amazing in that realm we call heaven! Even more important: We were not clones of each other there either. We were unique individuals with unique sets of gifts and talents. Yet, in that realm, we honored each other and reverenced each other for who we were.

Can you imagine a classroom where the teacher loves and adores each student perfectly and where each student is honored for their abilities regardless of how unique they were? Can you imagine each student being perfectly instructed according to their unique needs and gifts? I can because I saw it in heaven. God was that perfect teacher.

I know I will repeat it again and again but heaven taught me more about life and what it is meant to look like than life will ever teach me. It is that instruction that I hope to share with the world.

Today, I share a blog post written by Amy Anderson on Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor made her mark on the world by being herself and being true to her heart. I hope you enjoy!:

Profiles in Greatness – Eleanor Roosevelt

by Amy Anderson

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right—for you’ll be criticized anyway.” Eleanor Roosevelt spoke these words from experience. During her years in public service, she was often criticized for her progressive and democratic opinions. While her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was initiating the New Deal policies that would enable the nation to recover from the Great Depression, Eleanor was breaking ground in race relations, women’s rights and international diplomacy. Her words of wisdom and determination are still an inspiration to Americans of all ages.

“I think I have a good deal of my Uncle Theodore in me, because I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on.”

Eleanor Roosevelt was born in 1884 in New York City to a wealthy family with a firm position in New York high society. But her childhood was anything but idyllic. After her mother died from diphtheria in 1892 and her father died from complications from alcoholism in 1894, young Eleanor and her surviving siblings were sent to live with their maternal grandmother. She was educated at an English finishing school by a progressive feminist educator, who enhanced Eleanor’s self-confidence and social grace.

At 17, while her uncle Theodore Roosevelt was serving as president of the United States, Eleanor met her distant cousin, Franklin. They married in 1905 and later had six children. Franklin Roosevelt first gave his famous fireside chats while was governor of New York in 1929. He later used them to great success as a way to reach a wide radio audience during his presidency. While Eleanor often agreed with her husband’s policies, she was not a passive bystander, as her aunt had been during Theodore Roosevelt’s terms in the White House. Instead, she made a name for herself a public reformer in her own right.

“You get more joy out of the giving to others, and should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.”

When Eleanor’s husband entered the political arena, she was a great ally in his efforts to institute reform while winning both public and political approval. In 1921, Franklin suffered a paralytic illness, and she committed herself to his care. She also began serving as his stand-in at public appearances, helping maintain his status in the Democratic Party.

During the 1920s, Eleanor began working with the Women’s Trade Union League to raise money in support of its goals, which included a 48-hour workweek, minimum wage and the abolition of child labor. Her prominent standing with Democratic women helped her husband gain their support and win the governor’s race in New York. Meanwhile, Eleanor taught literature and American history at the Todhunter School for Girls in New York City.

 “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.”

Throughout the 1920s, she engaged in an active speaking agenda, an unusual role for a woman at that time and unprecedented for a first lady. She spoke out in favor of labor unions, racial equality and women’s rights. Her business- and social-reform activities after the Roosevelts moved into the White House. Eleanor was the first lady to hold weekly press conferences for female journalists, and she wrote a syndicated column called “My Day.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

The FBI file on Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the largest in J. Edgar Hoover’s collection. He was suspicious of her affiliation with liberal groups like the American Youth Congress, her outspoken opposition to segregation and lynching and her staunch support of free speech. Her file contained records of her activities and correspondence, charges against her as a communist and even threats to her life.

Eleanor denounced Hoover’s methods and wrote angry letters protesting the FBI’s investigations of her friends and business associates. Her objections did not keep the file from growing; at the time of her death, it held more than 3,000 pages.

“One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education.”

Eleanor was much more outspoken than her husband on the issue of racial equality. She was a strong supporter of improving education for African-Americans. Her activity for the civil rights movement included speaking engagements at African-American institutions and public support of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. She caused outrage among conservative groups when she appointed an African-American woman to be head of the Division of Negro Affairs.

Later, Eleanor was the first and, to date, the only first lady to receive honorary membership in the respected sorority for African- American women, Alpha Kappa Alpha.

“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”

Eleanor continued her efforts for social reform after her husband’s death in 1945. The following year, President Truman appointed her as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. She served as the chair for the U.N. Human Rights Commission that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Roosevelt resigned her U.N. position in 1953.

But she continued to be active in politics well into her 70s. She was a strong supporter of the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960 and later chaired the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. She was also appointed by President Kennedy to the National Advisory Committee of the Peace Corps.

Over her lifetime, Eleanor was awarded 35 honorary degrees and the United Nations Human Rights Prize. When she passed away in 1962, her memorial service was attended by President Kennedy and former Presidents Truman and Eisenhower. This woman, who had lived a life of privilege and heartache, had become one of the most admired figures in American history. As Adlai Stevenson said at her memorial, “She would rather light candles than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.”

Story shared from the following website: http://www.success.com/mobile/article/profiles-in-greatness-eleanor-roosevelt

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