Archives for posts with tag: positive

Bravery

Today’s gratitude challenge is about Bravery. I began to think of all the common definitions of this term such as valor, courage, and fearlessness. I briefly recalled images of 15th Century Knights in battle. Why? I’m guessing this is the sort of thing we are taught as children. We read epic stories of the hero who must face some sort of danger, or we’ve watched too much television to make a clear determination for the definition. And then I asked myself if the average person can express bravery. I am certain of it; although I’m not exactly sure that some type of fear is not involved; for instance, when I was about to enter the hospital to allow a surgeon to deliver my daughter through cesarean section. I’m sure I wasn’t expressing the courage I hoped to have. Going under the knife was and is a scary prospect for any woman about to birth her first child. Anything can happen. Fortunately, for me, my doctor delivered her without any problems.

If I think back to that day, I was met with all sorts of procedures that would have left anyone frightened. At one point, I had to hold as still as possible, so that the spinal injection was completed accurately. Okay, but I couldn’t control the one performing the action. I’m sure my mind was conjecturing all sorts of woes had I moved or the needle suddenly slipped.

Later, as a mother, I faced many possible dangers. Raising a child is terrifying. Does that make me a brave person? I’m not so sure. What is brave is stepping up and fulfilling the role of a mother – working tirelessly to keep the child comfortable and secure. These are strategies that we are not taught. I fumbled my way through it all. Bravery is like that. We expand ourselves to do what is needed.

I’m not necessarily only speaking of motherhood. Many people face different types of demons every day – usually internal ones. We surmise what others might think of us. This fear can be paralyzing. Some of us would rather expire than to plunge into the fear that our thoughts create and keep us weak. Talk to people in sales who will explain the hours wasted because they could not pick up a telephone to call a prospective client. That fear of rejection runs deep.

Most don’t even think about the dangers around us. Starting a motor vehicle and driving in rush hour traffic takes bravery. What about beginning a new job? It takes a certain type of bravery to overcome new tasks and learn new names. Natural disasters seem commonplace these days. The news broadcasts are quick to show the devastating live footage.

How does one go about mustering up courage in times like these? Adrenaline might be one answer. Try these ideas instead:

* Aim to build up confidence by doing things that make you uncomfortable without any immediate danger
* Hone your skills in certain areas to help you do something you like, and do it well
* Believe in yourself – an area where we tend to demonstrate a deep, cavernous lack

And mostly, believe in yourself. Chances are, others believe in you and your abilities. It’s not hype.
Negative self-talk is detrimental to your well-being in all cases. Thank goodness we are not our thoughts.

Have faith; bravery is not elusive. You might surprise yourself someday. When you do, write it down. Tell some friends, and pat yourself on the back while you get ready to do more. Reward yourself if you need to.

These tactics will help build some resilient muscles.

My wish is that you become the best version of you.

Joy,

Cheryl

A = Acceptance – okay, it stands for apple, but I’m having some fun.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been learning about how to manage my inner game and found that my attitude greatly impacts my gratitude toward the things in my life. I wake up less grumpy if the first words or thoughts are ‘thank you.’ I’m a firm believer in sending my intentions into the universe without any type of plan or expectation for the outcome. And sometimes, I must accept how I behave and my current circumstances in order to change.

I decided to challenge myself by posting about one Virtue a day. It seems a daunting task, as there are many virtues which promote moral excellence. I thought about using the A – Z method, but some letters would be missing. Bear with me while I aim to capture the essence of as many virtues as possible into posts that add usefulness and beauty to the world.

Today begins with the virtue, Acceptance.

A while back, I posted about acceptance when I spoke of the lessons I learned from my dog. More recently, conversations with my friends have revealed even more about what acceptance really does for us and others.

Acceptance

● Helps us recognize the talent in other people and builds tolerance: When we recognize the talents in other people, we accept them without challenge. Having tolerance frees us from judgment, especially when we place our beliefs and expectations on others. Chances are, people will not live up, so we must not allow ourselves to push people away for their differences.

● Allows us to love one another at the deepest levels. All of us are searching for love in some form or another: love of our country, our fellow man, or in intimate relationships. Acceptance means to be completely willing to wonder at and breathe in another’s existence. Forgive the petty faults we tend to find in others. They are of no matter. If we can do this for everyone we meet, imagine the reciprocity.

● Defaults to self-love. Acceptance lets me love myself and who I have become over the years despite my perceived failures or imperfections. I must recognize my differences as assets, not faults. Without a doubt, self-love is the ultimate achievement.

Let’s aim to accept and love ourselves, so we can love others with complete acceptance.

Joy,
Cheryl

I typically won’t use first person narrative in my blog posts because the concepts I explain are universal. This post tells a story that helps me provide a basis for what I’m about to share.

One of the many salutations I could use to end my posts just wouldn’t capture the essence of what I felt when one of my favorite teachers had ended an email addressed to me with “Joy”. At first I was upset. Really? I complained. I had just sent a desperate note to him that I had a terrible case of writer’s block 40 pages into the dreaded 80 page thesis paper, due within days. The word jumped off the screen to me. Never has anyone used this salutation to end an email before. Never was I so disturbed. How did he expect me to muster up joy when writing the longest essay I had ever written?

Teachers are like this, Yes?
Assignments are difficult. Life is difficult. The thing is, the love he sent through email that day changed my life. Yes, love. Remember in the last post when I quoted John C Maxwell? Maxwell’s definition of friend resonates the type of challenge Dr. Daly posed to me. I grappled with it for a day or so before realizing something. I had forgotten to enjoy the assignment, the challenge, the journey, and my knowledge about the chosen subject. Once I felt “joy”, I was able to move through the last 41 pages like a breeze.

You see, the journey for writing that essay is a metaphor for life. Sometimes, about half way through, we panic. Sometimes we want to quit and turn in the gloves because we tire easily from the fight. We’d rather give up and go home. Friends around us can help make the struggle a bit easier. As a friend, you can ease another’s concerns. – We are all connected. Each of us needs another to stand along side through tough times. We are like blades of grass. Just one blade does not make a lush field. Stand with friends and give support. It doesn’t need to be much. It could be just a salutation. . .

Joy!!
Cheryl