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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Looking on the Bright Side of Life…Having a Positive Attitude

If you don’t look for the Bright Side You will probably never find it

If you don’t look for the bright side you will probably never find it – Sheila M. Burke

I often work with people who are trying to improve their lives. Some of them are trying to improve their health and some of them are trying to overcome the pain and fear of previous life experiences. The interesting thing, for me, is that no matter what the life issue they are dealing with – I virtually always see a need for a more positive attitude. When we look on the brighter side of life and have a more positive attitude, we immediately open the door to healing and to solutions.

Think about your own life. Do you have a tendency to think or expect the worst?  Have you bought into the lies that the world tries to convince us of or have you made it a habit to buy into real truth? There is a quote by Thomas S. Monson that says, “Your future is as bright as your faith”. I believe that Thomas S. Monson is right on target.

Having said that, I do not believe that a positive attitude makes life easy breezy and that all problems flee at the thought of encountering a positive attitude. I do believe and have witnessed that a positive attitude makes every problem more bearable and more easily solved.

Think of Thomas Edison and all of his failed attempts at inventing a light bulb.  Thomas Edison never put a number on how many times he was willing to try. With his positive attitude in hand, he simply learned from each failure and kept trying.

If life has been unfair, dwelling on all the ways that you have been wronged will not change the outcome. In contrast. dwelling on all of the things that you can do to live a more positive life, in spite of the unfairness, will yield blessings and a greater amount of God’s light in your life. Who doesn’t want more light and happiness in their life?!!

Today, I share a wonderful story by an anonymous author. I love the lessons contained in it! I hope you enjoy!:

Regret City

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. This is my annual “Guilt Trip.”

I got tickets to fly there on “WISH-I-HAD” airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my “baggage,” which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was loaded down with a thousand memories of “what might have been.” No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regret City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

As I checked into the “Last Resort” Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year’s most important event — the annual “Pity Party.” I wasn’t going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the “Done” family; you know, “Should Have,” “Would Have” and “Could Have.” Then came the “I Had” family. You probably know old “Wish” and his clan. Of course, the “Opportunities” family; “Missed and Lost,” would be present. The biggest family there would be the “Yesterday’s.”

There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share. Of course, “Shattered Dreams” would surely make and appearance. “It’s Their Fault” family would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in their life. Each story would be loudly applauded by the “Don’t Blame Me” and “I Couldn’t Help It” committee.

To make a long story short, I went to this depressing party, knowing full well there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that this trip and subsequent “pity parties” COULD be cancelled by ME!

I started to realize that I did not have to be there. And I didn’t have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I CAN’T CHANGE YESTERDAY, BUT I DO HAVE THE POWER TO MAKE TODAY A WONDERFUL DAY. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as being encouraging.

Knowing this, I left Regret City immediately, and didn’t leave a forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I’ve made in the past? YES! But there is no way to undo them.

So, if you’re planning a trip back to Regret City, please cancel all those reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a nice place called: “Starting Again.” I like it so much that I made it my permanent residence. My neighbors, the “Been Forgiven” and the “We’re Saved” are so very helpful. By the way, you don’t have to carry around the heavy baggage anymore either. That load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. But don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself.

– Author Unknown

Story shared from the following website: http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories-6.html

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Your Freedom is the Most Expensive Thing You Have….

your-freedom-is-the-most-expensive-thing-you-have-soldiers-1010631From the time that I first stepped foot on Russian soil – during the Kosovo conflict, I have treasured my freedom and my U.S. citizenship. It was not until that moment that I understood what lack of freedom was or that it was even possible to lose it. The freedoms that this nation enjoys has come at a cost. I hope that each one of us who walks the soil of America as free citizens will cherish the gift that has been given to us by the soldiers of this nation and the inspired United States Constitution. Today, I am including just a brief portion of my book that addresses the trip my husband and I made to Russia to adopt our two youngest children. May freedom be a gift that we all enjoy forever!

From my book:

Greg and I were a little nervous about flying to Russia, but that  nervousness increased dramatically when our plane made its first  landing on Russian soil. Our first landing was made in Khabarovsk,  Russia. We were surprised to see that the airport seemed more like an  abandoned military base. Old weathered airplanes with questionable  functionality dotted the tarmac. Our initial astonishment turned to  tension as armed men in military type uniforms drove up to our  airplane and one of their commanders barked harsh words at the  flight attendants and demanded possession of their passports. Our  first touchdown in Russia made it painfully clear to us that while  on Russian soil, we would not have the same freedoms that we were  accustomed to in the United States.

Our second landing was just outside the city of Vladivostok,  the destination for our adoption. Though friendlier than our initial  landing, going through customs verified our initial impressions that  as foreigners in their country, we were not welcome visitors. 

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Gratitude…It Has Power to Empower!

Gratitude is so empowering that it ignites us to action Ed J. PinegarI carry a card with me everywhere I go – it is not a credit card or a gift card – it is a card with special meaning for me.

It is a Ronald McDonald room card. It reminds me of the kindness of strangers and the miracle of my granddaughter’s survival. Both fill me with gratitude!

During those weeks that I remained away from home and assisting with my granddaughter the kindness of strangers surrounded me. Sometimes it was a group from a business that was extending their support by cooking and providing breakfast for residents of the Ronald McDonald house. Other times, it was someone just asking how my granddaughter and all of our family was doing. Always, the support and kindness we received from others warmed our hearts and made a difficult situation more easily bearable.

The healing power of gratitude and kindness are undeniable to me – I have seen their effect too many times to discount them!

I was not surprised, when I read the book recently called The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness by Greg Anderson, that one of those laws was the law of gratitude!

I hope you will join me in making it a daily habit to find something to be grateful for! Reasons to be grateful surround us no matter our circumstances!

I hope you will enjoy today’s story!:

The Train Story – a journey, an experience, and a feeling!

I was traveling by train from Circular Quay to Central (in Sydney) one morning some years ago. Quietly sitting there reading, I found myself suddenly listening to the train guard’s announcements. Now train travellers reading this will readily testify that when the guard makes an announcement, rather than the recorded message, it’s often quite dull or hard to understand. Whether it’s the recorded message or the guard’s message, few people (apart from tourists) listen to these messages.

This one was different.

As I looked up from my paper, I noticed that other passengers (previously engrossed in their smart phones or tablets) were also looking up and appeared to be listening. Not only that, everyone was smiling!

Why was so much attention being paid to this message?

As best I can recall, the guard said something along these lines, ‘Good Morning Ladies, Gentlemen and Children, this is the 7.35am from Penrith to Central and you’ll be pleased to know that we are right on time. This means that we’ll get you to where you’re going in plenty of time. And what a lovely morning it is in Sydney today. The sun is shining, temperature is about 21 degrees, birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. I trust you have a great day wherever you’re going. Thanks for catching my train this morning and I hope to see you again soon. Have a great day.’

Wow! Have you ever heard an announcement like that? I certainly hadn’t.

And how contagious was it? As well as getting everyone smiling, there were quite a few people (obviously previously strangers) who started talking to one another. They were all talking about the guard’s fabulous message and how good it had made everyone feel.

I started thinking about this and as I exited the train at Central, I approached the Guard’s cabin and started to thank him, to which the guard replied ‘Don’t know what you’re talking about mate, I’ve just come on’. So I asked where the other guard had gone and he pointed to the exit stairs.

I raced down the stairs, taking them two at a time, and caught the young guard at the bottom. He had obviously finished his shift and was on his way home.

I tapped him on the shoulder and said ‘Were you the guard on the 7.35 from Penrith?’

The guard seemed a bit stunned at first replying, ‘Yes, yyyyes.’ (In hindsight I think I too would have been a bit stunned if someone had approached me like that).

Pressing on I said ‘Well, I just wanted to thank you for your fabulous message this morning on the way from Circular Quay to Central. The message was so upbeat and pleasant. Most importantly, it got everyone’s attention and had everyone smiling. Thank you so much for giving me and the other passengers such a good start to the day. Please keep doing it.’

There are two messages for me in what happened that day. Firstly, when people are happy in their work it shows in what they do and say.

Secondly, the story highlights the benefits that can accrue from thanking people for something they’ve done, particularly when it’s not expected. Can you imagine the conversation that guard would have when he got home . . .  ‘Guess what happened to me today – a customer actually thanked me!’

Written by Bob Selden

Story shared from the following website: http://www.agiftofinspiration.com.au/stories/attitude/index.shtml

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Change the World With a Smile!

Peace Begins with a Smile. Mother TeresaHeaven showed me that change in this world does not need to be complicated – a gesture as small as a smile will do the trick.

Mother Teresa understood the power of a smile when she said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”

There are times when we all need a smile!

Today, I share a story about the power of a smile! I hope you enjoy and that you will commit to changing this world for better by sharing your smiles today!:

Key to Happiness: The Power of a Smile By Maura Sweeney

Want a sure fire way to brighten your day? Consider a smile!

A few weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed a relaxing Caribbean cruise filled with service-minded staff. But it wasn’t until we disembarked that I truly experienced the power of a smile! As a proponent of living happy from the inside out, I considered this experience one worth sharing.

It was an early Saturday morning when we stepped off our ship. As some of the first to disembark, we joined a small group of passengers in the Miami Cruise Terminal to await the arrival of our luggage. While many passengers remained groggy and not yet awake, my happiness radar unexpectedly engaged.

Dozens of workers caught my attention as they filed into the cavernous building, ready to start their day. Suddenly, the atmosphere began to turn pleasantly and progressively electric.

Burly guys slapped one another on the shoulder while exchanging familiar, funny remarks. Smiling women awaited welcome hugs from fellow workers, some jesting that they hadn’t yet received a hug or a kiss. Despite the industrial work environment, the climate conveyed a sense of family and friends happily gathering for a reunion.

The bantering continued as employees readied themselves for what would become a massively busy work day. All were in motion but recognized and acknowledged everyone in their wake with a happy remark and a ready smile.

Initially, I considered these pleasant faces and genial interactions a corporate anomaly. Yet wherever I gazed, it was the same. Regardless of uniform or rank, smiling employees greeted passengers — and each other — with a pleasing confidence, welcome and warmth. The effect was tangible and powerful.

These people weren’t just happy to be around each other. They were happy to be at work.

“Do you credit this positive work atmosphere to your senior management?” I asked a few porters. They smiled at each other, evidently happy to hear that someone noticed.

“No one tells us to smile. We’re just happy to be here,” offered one of the men. Then he suggested, as if pleased to share the glory, “Can we introduce you to our manager so you can tell him, too?”

Within moments, I was introduced to the supervisor who soon introduced me to his manager, a jovial and outgoing woman. Each employee seemed to carry his or her own joy, a happiness that spread as each one extended it to others.

Here are a few things I’d learned about the power of a smile at the Miami Cruise Terminal that day.

Smiles don’t need to start at the top.

There was no corporate directive to be happy at work. Employees brought their own happiness with them and, as they shared it with each other, they created a happy and joyful atmosphere starting in the trenches.

Smiles make heavy work lighter.

Saturdays are long and stressful days at the Miami Cruise Terminal. Workers convey thousands of passengers, suitcases and supplies on and off several ships — all within the confines of compressed time frames and nail-biting deadlines. The uplifting power of a smile helps employees carry out the high levels of strength, coordination and cooperation required to successfully execute these herculean tasks.

Smiles fill our cup.

One worker offered me a secret to the joyous atmosphere I’d been observing. “Each day, I come to work with just a little in my cup. I share the little joy I have and, by the end of the day, my cup is completely full. There’s a lot of us here who work the same way. We leave feeling better than when we came in.”

A smile is a powerful key to living happy from the inside out. The next time you’re feeling weak or heavy-laden, remember to ask yourself: What’s in my cup?

May you discover your own smile, then multiply it by sharing it with the world!

Story shared from the following website: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maura-sweeney/key-to-happiness-the-powe_b_6340868.html

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