Where the Most Important Things Are…

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart Helen Keller

5 Inspiring Lessons Learned From Helen Keller

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

1. When Helen Keller was just nineteen months old, she developed an illness that resulted in both blindness and deafness. As Helen grew into a young girl, she and her family became increasingly frustrated with her inability to communicate. She learned to recognize her family members by touching their facial features, their clothing, or by detecting the scent of their perfume. Not knowing what to do, Helen’s parents consulted Alexander Graham Bell, who worked with the deaf. He suggested they hire a young woman by the name of Anne Sullivan as Helen’s teacher and mentor. This decision changed Helen’s life forever.

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

2. After establishing what would become a lifelong friendship, Anne began to teach Helen the alphabet by finger spelling the sign language letters into the palm of Helen’s hand. The most challenging lesson was to help Helen make the connection between a word and a concept. The world-changing breakthrough happened when Anne pumped well water into one of Helen’s hands while finger spelling the word water onto her other one. At that moment, Helen understood that a word represented a concept or a thing. Soon, Helen began recognizing the letter combinations and this lit a fire within her soul. From that point on, Anne had helped Helen develop a relentless desire to learn. With Anne’s help Helen soon learned how to read Braille, write, and even started trying to speak. With her newfound love for learning, Helen began to have a strong desire to attend college. Although she experienced many trials and hardships along the way, she didn’t allow her physical challenges to set her back from dreaming big and then acting on those dreams.

“It’s a terrible thing to see and have no vision.”

3. If anyone realized the importance of having a vision for your life, it was Helen Keller. One of her many accomplishments includes being the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree. Helen did not see her limitations as an excuse not to pursue her dreams. Many people go through their lives with perfect vision, but fail to have a clear vision as to where they want to go and who they want to become. Helen did not let her literal lack of vision stop her from having big dreams. Where many people would have used Helen’s disabilities as a setback and would be focused solely on surviving, Helen was focused on thriving.

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.”

4. Helen knew perfectly that without faith she would not have the strength to overcome her hardships. She learned to grapple with trials both big and small and learned the importance of looking forward to the future with faith and optimism. She recognized that without the faith that Anne Sullivan had in her, she would not have been able to become the accomplished person that she was. Similarly, if Helen did not have faith of her own that fueled her to believe in the beauty of her dreams, then she would have continued to live in darkness. She was diligent in sharing this faith with the world because she desperately wanted others to walk in the light she walked in as well.

“What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.”

5. Many people spend their entire lives chasing the next “big thing” thinking that some thing or person out there is going to make them happy and bring them fulfillment. Helen recognized early on that happiness was not found, but rather created. Happiness and confidence were attributes she championed from within, not things she would magically find one day if she searched long and hard enough. She was an author, speaker, and activist with a spirit of determination that served as an advocate for people with disabilities for generations to come. Helen triumphed over adversity and dedicated her life to helping others. Her legacy and beautiful spirit will never be forgotten.

Today’s article was written by Audrey Denison and is shared from the following website: http://faithcounts.com/5-inspiring-lessons-learned-helen-keller/

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Why Settle?

 Refuse to live a settle for it life Karen Salmansohn
Do you know of people who you would say have settled? Have you settled?
Settled in a relationship. Settled in a job. Settled with your weight. Settled in your education. Settled with debts.
Settling is not a good thing.
Doing so is denying yourself the opportunity to experience life as it was meant to be–one of fulfillment, freedom, happiness, etc. You know you’re settling when you are not experiencing these.
What if you were meant for more? What if you were the one holding yourself back? What if you didn’t have to remain this way?
Imagine a life where you were living the way you are longing for. What would that look like? What would you be doing differently? What if you could have that life? Do you believe you still can have it?
What if I told you, you could still have it, would you believe me? Okay. Enough with questions.
I believe you can have it if you want it bad enough. You have to begin by believing you were created for more. If this was not true, you would not have that desire you now have.
What has happened is that you have been burned in the past and you are fearful to try again. You are tired of trying and not seeing much result. You have listened to the wrong voices. People around you have themselves settled so you find it easier to tell yourself it’s okay. Others have told you that you can’t and you have believed them.
But who are you believing? How is “IT” working for those people?
Based on society’s message, I should have settled for my education and be happy that I had a 4-year degree. The message was, “Kingsley, you are the first one among your siblings to have done so. Be happy with that. And don’t forget: You. Are. Too. Old!”
If I had listened to those voices out there, I would not have my Masters Degree graduating Cum Laude a few years ago. “They,” said, whoever “they” are, I was too old. I was in my mid-40s at the time. And you cannot afford it. The latter was more me than them.
What if I had listened to “THEM?” Thank God I didn’t. I would have settled.
If I had settled I would not have my Masters Degree, taught at a University, started my own practice, written books, spoken on nations and international stages, and the list goes on.
What are you settling for and holding yourself from?
Stop believing the lies of the haters. Stop listening to those who are going nowhere and want you to go there with them. Stop listening to yourself.
I know this is easier said than done. But I am proof it can be done. I know what it was like to be where you are. I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t know what I didn’t know until I knew what I didn’t know.
What changed for me? My beliefs.
Surrounding myself with people who were doing what I wanted to do, reading books that inspired me, attending conferences, hiring coaches, and being a part of mastermind groups, all made a difference.
I felt I too could do it and didn’t have to settle anymore.
I also had people who believed in me and became my biggest cheerleaders and still are today. Some of these people came from new relationships I formed.
You too can experience what I’m experiencing. You don’t have to settle anymore.
Today’s article was written by Kingsley Grant and is shared from the following website: https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/12426-you-are-meant-for-more-so-don-t-settle-for-less

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You Can Be an Inspiration…No Matter What Your Age!

We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are Max Depree

Grandma Moses – An Inspiration

In her late 70s and struggling with severe arthritis, the farmer’s widow from Eagle Bridge, NY loved to do needlework, but her fingers no longer were as nimble for the small detail work of embroidery. The elderly woman found she could hold a small paintbrush much easier than a needle, and tried her hand at painting. She thought her farm and country scenes were good enough to show at the fair, but she only won prizes for her preserves and canned fruit.

Then one day an art collector noticed several of her paintings on display in the window of a local drug store. He bought them all. When he showed them to his friends in the art circles of New York city, they were more curious about the painter.

Soon, “Grandma Moses” gained an international reputation. Her widely-collected works of art were featured on calendars, greeting cards and in exhibitions in the leading galleries, including the Modern Museum of Art in New York City.

Even more amazing, it’s reported that twenty-five percent of her more than 1,500 paintings were done after she had turned 100!

Isn’t it time you got started?

Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: http://truthbook.com/stories/old-age/grandma-moses-an-inspiration

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Faith and Overcoming Fear

The Future is as bright as your faith Thomas S. Monson

Fear is Soft and Smooth

Marina was extremely afraid of the dark. When the lights went out, everything and every shadow appeared to her as the most terrible of monsters. Her parents explained to her, everyday and with great patience, that these things were not monsters. Marina understood her parents, but she could not stop feeling an awful fear whenever it was dark.

One day her Aunt Valerie came to visit. Valerie was an incredible woman. She was famous for her courage, and for having gone on many journeys of adventure, some of which had been made into books and movies. Marina wanted to conquer her fear of the dark, so she asked her Aunt how she became so brave, and whether she had ever been frightened.

“A great many times, Marina,” answered her Aunt, “I remember when I was small and I was terribly afraid of the dark. I couldn’t stay in the dark for even a moment”.

Marina became very excited. How was it possible that someone so courageous could have been afraid of the dark?

“I’ll tell you a secret, Marina. It was some blind children who taught me how to be brave. They can’t see, so if they had never discovered the secret of how not to be afraid of the dark, they would have been forever frightened”.
“It’s true!” said Marina, intrigued, “Can you tell me that secret?”
“Of course! The secret is to change your eyes. Since blind children can’t see, their hands are their eyes. All you have to do to conquer your fear is what they do. Shut the eyes of your face and open the eyes of your hands. Let’s make a deal: tonight, when you go to bed and put out the light, if anything makes you afraid, close your eyes, carefully get out of bed, and try to see what it is that’s making you scared. But do it using your hands as eyes… and tomorrow tell me how you’re getting on with the fear”.

Marina accepted, but she was rather worried. She knew she would need to be brave to close her eyes and go and touch whatever it was that was frightening her; but she was willing to try because she was already too old for this. When her parents took her to bed, she herself put out the light. After a little while, she felt afraid of one of the shadows in the bedroom. Following the advice of Aunt Valerie, she closed the eyes of her face and opened the eyes of her hands. And, summoning up all her courage, she went over to touch that mysterious shadow…

The next morning Marina came running into the kitchen, a big smile on her face, and a song on her lips. “The monster is so soft and smooth!…” she cried,
“It’s my teddy bear!”

Story written by Pedro Pablo Sacristán and shared from the following website: https://freestoriesforkids.com/children/stories-and-tales/fear-soft-and-smooth

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Begin and End with Gratitude

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance Eckhart Tolle

HOW GRATITUDE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” – Meister Eckhart

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present. In addition, behavioral and psychological research has shown the surprising life improvements that can stem from the practice of gratitude. Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

RESEARCH SHOWS GRATITUDE HEIGHTENS QUALITY OF LIFE

Two psychologists, Michael McCollough of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, wrote an article about an experiment they conducted on gratitude and its impact on well-being. The study split several hundred people into three different groups and all of the participants were asked to keep daily diaries. The first group kept a diary of the events that occurred during the day without being told specifically to write about either good or bad things; the second group was told to record their unpleasant experiences; and the last group was instructed to make a daily list of things for which they were grateful. The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism, and energy. In addition, those in the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, were more likely to help others, exercised more regularly, and made greater progress toward achieving personal goals.

Dr. Emmons – who has been studying gratitude for almost ten years and is considered by many to be the world’s leading authority on gratitude – is author of the book, “Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier”. The information in this book is based on research involving thousands of people conducted by a number of different researchers around the world. One of the things these studies show is that practicing gratitude can increase happiness levels by around 25%. This is significant, among other things, because just as there’s a certain weight that feels natural to your body and which your body strives to maintain, your basic level of happiness is set at a predetermined point. If something bad happens to you during the day, your happiness can drop momentarily, but then it returns to its natural set-point. Likewise, if something positive happens to you, your level of happiness rises, and then it returns once again to your “happiness set-point”. A practice of gratitude raises your “happiness set-point” so you can remain at a higher level of happiness regardless of outside circumstances.

In addition, Dr. Emmons’ research shows that those who practice gratitude tend to be more creative, bounce back more quickly from adversity, have a stronger immune system, and have stronger social relationships than those who don’t practice gratitude. He further points out that “To say we feel grateful is not to say that everything in our lives is necessarily great. It just means we are aware of our blessings.”

NOTICE AND APPRECIATE EACH DAY’S GIFTS

People tend to take for granted the good that is already present in their lives. There’s a gratitude exercise that instructs that you should imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one. In addition, you need to start finding joy in the small things instead of holding out for big achievements—such as getting the promotion, having a comfortable nest egg saved up, getting married, having the baby, and so on–before allowing yourself to feel gratitude and joy.

Another way to use giving thanks to appreciate life more fully is to use gratitude to help you put things in their proper perspective. When things don’t go your way, remember that every difficulty carries within it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit. In the face of adversity ask yourself: “What’s good about this?”, “What can I learn from this?”, and “How can I benefit from this?”

THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO PRACTICE GRATITUDE

A common method to develop the practice of gratitude is to keep a gratitude journal, a concept that was made famous by Sarah Ban Breathnach’s book “Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude”. This exercise basically consists of writing down every day a list of three to ten things for which you are grateful; you can do this first thing in the morning or before going to bed at night. Another exercise you can try is to write a gratitude letter to a person who has exerted a positive influence in your life but whom you have not properly thanked. Some experts suggest that you set up a meeting with this person and read the letter to them face to face.

Last year millions of people took the challenge proposed by Will Bowen, a Kansas City minister, to go 21 days without complaining, criticizing, or gossiping. To help condition the participants to stop complaining, they each wore a purple No-Complaint wristband. Several authors in the self-improvement genre have suggested that people do something similar to help condition themselves to be constantly aware of the things in life that they’re grateful for.

A variation of the wristband concept is to create a gratitude charm bracelet, with either one meaningful charm or different charms representing the things you’re most grateful for. For example, you could have a charm shaped like a heart to symbolize your significant other, figurines to represent different family members, an apple to represent health, a dollar sign to symbolize abundance, a charm that represents your current profession or a future career, and maybe a charm that makes you laugh to represent humor and joy.

CONCLUSION

Once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations. Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful; in this way, you’ll be on your way toward becoming a master of gratitude.

Today’s article was written by Marelisa Fabrega and is shared from the following website: https://possibilitychange.com/gratitude/

 

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