Maya’s Magic! RIP Maya Angelou

Maya’s Magic! RIP Maya Angelou

maya angelouYesterday, the world shook with sadness at the news of the parting of Maya Angelou.

“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.”

Social media was filled with tributes to the amazing lady; even people who may not recognise her name instantly, would recognise her world-famous poetry, quotes and philosophies.

It was such a blessing that Maya passed away as peacefully as she lived.

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

It would be such a difficult, and very long, task to include everything I found inspirational about Maya in a blog post, simply because where could I start? Her entire life was inspirational. She had such a tragic start, living with abuse, being raped by a family member at the age of 8. Both the book and the film I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings had a lasting impression on me. The tragedy continued for a long time after that, however the challenges Maya faced, she used to transform herself into an icon of forgiveness and love.

“You may not control all of the events that happen to you but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

She went on to live her life leading by example. In her several autobiographies, she was always completely honest about what had happened to her, how she coped and how she learned from her challenges, bringing comfort to so many who could relate and learn from her strength.

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Every woman in the world will appreciate her beautiful poem Phenomenal Woman. What a pleasure to find this video of the wonderful lady herself reciting it.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Thank you Maya. I will never forget how you made me feel.

 

Maya’s Magic! RIP Maya Angelou

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

In this speech, Kamal Ravikant shares some wisdom on why self-love is really what truly matters in life. He then goes on to talk about the importance of truly loving yourself.

This is a raw, honest, 20-minute video summary of how a highly successful entrepreneur and investor was forced to re-evaluate his life. Kamal beautifully connects the left-brained world of Silicon Valley, with the world of the heart.

love yourself, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, kamal ravikantIn his book, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, Kamal talks about how not loving yourself causes crippling depression, even if the outside world sees someone successful. Kamal goes on to teach how to reconnect with your authentic self, realising what is truly important in life, and how being true to yourself can bring you back to unbreakable success.

Find Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk

Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

When things go wrong … (part 3)

When things go wrong … (part 3)

how you reactFollowing on from When things go wrong … Part 1 and Part 2

I slept for what seemed like only a few minutes. It was about 4:30am when I awoke.

Remembering that my hired car was parked where it shouldn’t be, I started worrying I would have to move it before about 8am if I was to avoid a run-in with the Spanish police. I didn’t want to go walking down dark streets at that time of the morning, even though I have never felt unsafe in Spain. Going back to sleep could be risky. I may or may not wake in time. The crazy thing about narcolepsy is my ability to sleep ‘on a washing line’, as long as it’s not at night when sleep is supposed to happen!

I got up and explored my room more thoroughly, as I hadn’t had a chance before flaking out after the events of last night. As I’ve come to expect in Spain, my room and en-suite shower room were immaculately clean. Wondering why my basement room would have curtains, I looked behind to discover an open patio door, leading out into a small courtyard, only about 2 metres square. At first I worried that the door had been open while I slept, then I realised my room was the only access to the courtyard, so I was safe. It added to the cuteness of my room.

I put on my coat and decided to go look for the kitchen up on the roof terrace I remembered vaguely being told about, and see if I could make a cup of tea. I grabbed my cigarettes, Kindle and headphones. I have some guided meditations stored on my Kindle, maybe one of those would help tame the negative thoughts I already felt creeping back.

Tea made, I found the roof terrace a quiet, serene place to sit. The sky was a blanket of stars, many more than I could ever possibly see over my cloudy hometown back in the North-East of England. One star in the East, right ahead of me, seemed to shine ten times brighter than all the rest. Something about it made me feel less alone.

The anger from the previous evening pushed into my thoughts now and again, but the serenity of the night helped my soul to tame it. I turned my attention to what I have learned, and what I would be advising someone else who described such a thing happening to them.

The first thing that came up was “You have to stop the anger”. My ego argued, “Why should I stop it, I have a right to be bloody angry?”. My soul returned, “you’ll only get more of it”. Of course this made sense to me: I knew that if I continued to carry this angry emotion around, my negative energy vibration would result in the attraction of more negative consequences to myself. It wouldn’t affect him one bit.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
Gautama Buddha

when things go wrongI thought of several other of my mantras I use when facing tough times:

  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • It always works out for me.
  • Things don’t always work out as we planned, but they always work out right.
  • I may not be where I expected to be, but I am where I’m meant to be.
  • At the times when its hardest to think it, you have to remember there is a blessing in Everything

“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.” 
― Wayne W. Dyer

Repeating these, and feeling the energy of the stars, the universe, and my guardian angels, really smoothed my frayed edges and blunted the spiky thoughts. I felt altogether more peaceful and sat there under the stars for a couple of hours. I played a meditation audio, I read some soothing words from one of my many Kindle books, smoked a few ciggies and had another cup of tea. I decided to check on a flight home later on when I could get a wifi connection.

Then I realised, I was awake early enough to watch a beautiful Nerja sunrise, a rarity for me. I’m not a morning person, and it had been many years since I had watched the sunrise from a beach here. What a treat! I headed down to the Balcon de Europa, just a 3-minute walk away, at about 6:30am.

Although the Balcon was deserted when I first arrived, I was surprised to see quite a few people arrive so soon after, a couple of obvious tourists – like me, with their cameras – and several Spanish people. How lovely, I thought, that they still make the effort to watch the sunrise, they don’t take it for granted, as many do of the beautiful scenes right at their doorsteps. It felt very spiritual, to see so many individuals, not talking to one another because each was absorbed in their own reason for being there, yet we were all connected in the soaking up of the energy of the morning. As the sun beamed “Good morning,” that bright star in the East whispered “Goodnight”.

nerja sunriseThere was a family there: they could have been grandparents, or they could have been mum and dad who had their two young sons later in life. The two adults were taking turns taking pictures of the family with the sun rising behind them. I thought, what a shame if they can’t all be in the same picture, so I walked over and gestured that I would take a picture of them all together with their camera. Happy with this, they returned the favour and took a photo of me with my phone. Language is no barrier to kindness, a smile speaks every language.

After moving my car to a better parking space, I returned to my room. I knew I needed to sleep and would not be checking out in time, so paid for another night. I would look for a flight home later. I slept all day.

when life throws you a wobblyWhen I awoke late in the afternoon, I looked for a flight. As it was such short notice, the flight prices were really quite high. I couldn’t change my existing flight, which was more than another week away, as I had already checked-in online and printed my boarding pass. I would have to pay for a new flight. It would take me way over my budget I’d saved for my holiday. After consideration, I thought if I was going to have to hit the credit card anyway for the flight, I could probably get a less expensive hostel over the other side of town, where it would be easier to park my car, and for the week it wouldn’t be too much more than the flight, add meals and spending money … Oh, blow it! The more I listened to my heart, the more I realised I HAD to stay. I hadn’t had a holiday in so long. I didn’t know when I would be able to afford or physically manage another. And my main reason was that I should not go home feeling like my holiday was ruined, not because I would blame him, but because I would blame MYSELF. I had options. While getting into debt is not something I would normally do for a holiday – being medically retired, unexpected expenses can be worrisome – it is something I felt I needed to do for peace of mind, and a week of straightening out my energy in such a lovely place. I decided I was not returning home full of regret, or blame for anyone, least of all myself.

After visiting a hotel just a couple of doors away from my favourite Irish bar, with plenty of free parking outside it, and getting a good deal on a week’s stay, I arranged to move in the following day as I’d already paid for the hostel.

I spent my last evening at the hostel focussing on the good things in my life: I was in a beautiful place. Several people had been helpful and caring in the last couple of days, this was the natural order of things. I was safe and as comfortable as I could be, despite the ongoing pain in my body which I have come to expect and manage the best I can. I was grateful to have hired the car, what would I have done without it? I was grateful that I had the emergency backup of a credit card. I decided this was going to be a lovely week ahead. I drifted into one of the most peaceful sleeps I had had in some time.

On arrival at the hotel the next day, I received a warm welcome by a young lady receptionist I had not met the previous day. She greeted me by my first name as I approached the desk as if I was an old friend. I appreciated the friendly informality.

I spent the week relaxing, chilling out, looking for things to appreciate and reasons to feel grateful, and I found them everywhere. The trauma of the event that brought me here faded into insignificance. I took walks along the beach, stopping at the regularly-placed wooden benches to sit and read a while, and to just watch the temperamental ocean.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” 
― Wayne W. Dyer

I sat at a beach bar for a coffee and a group of three Englishmen at the next table invited me into their company by asking me about my Kindle. They were new to Nerja, and asked if I could recommend some good eating places. I mentioned a few restaurants, but assured them they couldn’t really go wrong: I had never had a bad meal here. Knowing I was in town on my own, they invited me to join them for dinner. I thanked them for the invite and graciously declined, happy to just float along in my own little world this week.

The next day, sat on a bench reading, I happened to look up just as two of the men from the day before passed by. “Hey Kindle lady”, they stopped to chat. I realised we had not introduced ourselves by name yesterday, so I introduced myself and held out a hand to shake with John and Mike. “We’re just going for some lunch. If you’re at a loose end, you’re very welcome to join us,” John offered. “That’s very kind of you. Really, I’m fine thank you”.

I continued to sit and focus on all the lovely, kind, friendly people in the world, and in my life. This is the best way to deal with the occasional unkind, unfriendly person, by realising that they are not the ‘norm’, we will bump into them occasionally for whatever reason, but to focus on unkindness will only attract more of that, so to counteract that negative energy, you look for the good in people.

The next day, after a short walk, of long duration with my many stops, I passed by a couple of familiar bars, but there was a big rugby match on the TV’s so I didn’t stop, I headed back to my hotel room. However, something made me stop at my Irish bar, despite the rugby projecting from the big screen on the terrace, and I ordered a pot of tea. I was reading my Kindle, and my attention was drawn to a lady sat at another table. She had a hat beside her on the table and it reminded me of my favourite aunt, a boho, hippie-style lady. After a few minutes, she turned and saw me, and said “What beautiful nails you have”. “Thank you”, I said, and we began chatting. As it turned out, Amanda had been travelling on her own around Spain for six months, and she was a writer/blogger. This connected us further, as it has long been a dream of mine to travel around Spain, and more of Europe. I don’t know how the subject came about so quickly, but she mentioned a couple of people had suggested she read ‘The Power of Now’. “Oh, Eckhart Tolle,” I said. “Yes,” she said, “now I know I must read it. I keep bumping into people who know of it”.

Amanda and I got along famously over the next few days. We had read many of the same or similar books, we held similar beliefs about the powers of the universe, we were on a similar life path. I said wasn’t it funny how I had stopped at the Irish bar even though I really wasn’t interested in the rugby. Amanda said the same: in the several weeks she had been in Nerja she had rarely been to that side of town, and she wasn’t interested in the rugby either. Amanda was going home next week too. It really felt like one of those ‘invisible threads’ I have read of, and have come to know to be true. Our souls really connected.

Amanda introduced me to an Italian restaurant I hadn’t been to before: delicious and a budget-traveller’s dream. We had some serious discussions about how our beliefs had pulled us through some tough times, and we had some right big laughs about the synchronicities and the fun games we had played with the universe and our angels.

I may not have ended up where I expected to be but I was in exactly the best place where I needed to be. I had not only made peace with where I was and how I had landed there, but I had made the conscious decision to attract the good world I wanted to see, and so it was.

“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
Wayne W. Dyer

Read – When things go wrong … Part 1 and Part 2

When things go wrong … (part 3)

When things go wrong … (part 2)

When things go wrong … (part 2)

So, following on from yesterday’s post, there I was – struck with the shock of it all. I was in a foreign country, I didn’t know anywhere or anyone else in this town, I spoke little of the language, and it was after 11pm. The worst shock of all was that someone I liked and trusted had let me down like this. My body was immobilised for some time apart from the tears falling down my face …

What was I going to do now?

when things go wrongMy spirit was trying to look for solutions, but my head, my conscious and my subconscious human ego, kept interrupting it with thoughts of “How/why did this happen?”, “What did I do to deserve that? I did nothing to deserve that”, “They’re such an asshole/jerk/(insert whatever derogatory description you can think of here, I probably thought every one of them)”.

I could feel the adrenaline and cortisol, hormones produced by fear and a sense of panic, coursing through my body, When this happens I know it isn’t going to end well. While the fight or flight response was designed to protect us, I have come to know it as a precursor to intense fatigue and pain. Much of my learning over the past few years, many of the tools I have learned, such as meditation, EFT tapping, positive thinking, has been with the aim of controlling this automatic bodily response, with varying degrees of success.

However, this was a new situation to me: I was not in, or near, my comfortable home, to where I could retreat and shut out the rest of the world and concentrate on me. This was an emergency situation: I had to take effective, practical action. Sitting for an hour or two tapping, listening to a guided meditation, and drifting off into a nap was not an option at this time, unless I wanted to spend a chilly Spanish night in a hired car. While the adrenaline was keeping me awake for now, but wired and filled with anxiety, I knew it wouldn’t take long for narcoleptic sleepiness to take over (I could feel the stinging in my eyes and heaviness in my eyelids), and for the cortisol surge to start griping at my fibromyalgic muscles (my toes and neck were already feeling the familiar vice-like grip that would come to meet as it spread throughout my body), and I needed to be in a safe and comfortable place before that happened.

After what seemed like an eternity, but in reality was only about 20 minutes, the friendly but commanding voice that said “Di, you have to get through this”, began to take control. I started the car. I used to visit Nerja, the next town about 10 minutes along a single road along the coast, quite regularly. I knew a couple of British bars there that would probably still be open. So I headed for there.

Along the winding coast road I realised only the sidelights were working on the car, but when I turned the knob, instead of the headlights coming on, the lights went out completely, so I turned it back again. I realised I did not know how to work the lights in the unfamiliar car which I hadn’t driven at night before. So, hoping not to bump, literally or figuratively, into the Spanish police, and hoping there were no traffic cameras along that stretch of road that would catch me with inadequate lighting and result in a 100 euro penalty being deducted from the £300 deposit I had paid, I slowly and carefully progressed along the road, careful not to go over the ridge at the side into the Mediterranean ocean.

I got to my favourite Irish bar in Nerja, and was welcomed by the same owner and barmaid I had known on my previous visits several years before. I asked for a coffee (‘wired’ was definitely a better state to be in than sleepy at this point). I was still visibly upset, and although they were empathetic and tried to be helpful, they didn’t know of anywhere open this late at night.

A brief visit to the English bar around the corner, and a chat with the owner, whom I also knew from yesteryear, also yielded no suggestion of a place that would be open at this time, now after midnight. I returned to my car and again the tears flowed. By now, I was thinking I may have to sleep in the car, but also worried that if I did so, the pain which was spreading rapidly, would be unbearable the next morning and would likely result in the need for Spanish hospital attention. And, I would be needing the bathroom very shortly as the coffee made its way through!

I remembered a discovery I had made just the day before: my old Kindle had a free 3G facility on it. I had only used it for Facebook but I wondered how it would fare with searching on Google (it’s not the Fire type, it’s the e-ink version that doesn’t show any graphics but just plain text). I searched for hostels, and found one that said it had a 24-hour reception. The thought crossed my mind, “how fortunate that I discovered this feature on my Kindle just at the right time, thank you my angels”. Armed with a map I was given in one of the bars, I made my way to it, just a couple minutes drive away, but the difficulty was where I could park the car nearby. I ended up parking illegally, but had to be close enough to walk to the hostel with the tightening vice crunching on my feet and legs, and the crushed-glass-like feeling beneath my soles, my neck and shoulders screaming that they would make me pay for forcing my arms to pull this suitcase along a cobbled street, every stone shooting an agonising lightning bolt through me.

I rang the bell of the Hostal Bronce and a young man emerged from a room and opened the door. “Do you speak English? Can I get a room here now?” I croaked from a throat barely open enough to speak. When he said “Yes”, the relief that surged through me accompanied a buckling of the knees, and a torrent of tears and sobs. He gently touched my arm and guided me into an office, where a young lady appeared and kindly offered me a cup of tea.

After showing him my passport and eagerly paying for a room for the night, the gentleman showed me to my basement room, which was homely and perfect, and had it’s own bathroom. I could not have felt more relieved and grateful if I was in a luxurious palace. Then he carried my suitcase down the flight of stairs for me.

Collapsing onto the bed, I reached into my bag for my painkillers, which I took with the most delicious cup of tea I ever tasted and, fully clothed, I closed my eyes and thought “I am safe!”.

I knew it wasn’t over yet. I would have to decide what my next step was, how I was going to move forward from what had happened. How was I going to deal with the anger I felt at having my much-needed and eagerly-awaited ‘relaxing’ holiday ruined and, even worse, my trust broken? I’d think about that tomorrow, but I reminded myself that at this very moment I had everything I needed.

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you are trudging seems all uphill;
When the funds are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh;
When care is pressing you down a bit –
Rest if you must, but don’t quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns;
And many a fellow turns about
When he might have won, had he struck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow;
You may well succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the Victor’s cup!
And he learned too late, when the night came down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.
And you never can tell how close you are
It may be near, when it seems afar.
So stick to the fight when you are hardest hit,
It is when things seem worst you must not quit.

Author : Unknown

Read Part 3 here

When things go wrong … (part 2)

When things go wrong … (part 1)

When things go wrong …

when things go wrongIt’s a while since I wrote a ‘proper’ post. That’s because I have been on holiday – yay!!!

I don’t get to go on holiday so much these days, for various reasons. My last holiday was over 2 years ago. Due to health challenges, it can be physically difficult, not to mention the budgetary requirements. So when I received some offers to visit friends and family in Spain, I appreciated and gratefully accepted the invitations.

I hired a car. For the amount I travel these days, buses and taxis as I needed them would probably have been more cost-effective, and the buses in Spain are very reliable, comfortable and inexpensive, although the bus-stops can be a fair distance to walk to. So I figured the convenience of having a car at my disposal, even for short journeys to the shops and the beach, as I can’t walk very far without pain, would make my holiday more pleasant as I would be less likely to overdo things and end up wasting a week or more of my 3-week holiday in bed in pain.

The first week of my holiday was in Torrox. It was lovely to spend time with my cousin, who had moved out to Spain about 8 years ago, shortly after I had taken her there on holiday. The weather was bright and sunny, but quite windy, which made it too chilly for sun-bathing. In bed at night, I could hear the Mediterranean ocean lapping against the shore, so soothing.

almunecar
Marianne’s terrace, Almunecar

Then I moved on to Almunecar, where I stayed with my Swedish friend, Marianne, who I had met about 6 years ago whilst visiting a friend who was care-taking the villa next door to her and her husband Luis. We had got along so well, we remained friends and kept in touch, despite the generation gap. Marianne is 70 years of age, however you would not think it to see how she looks after her fruit garden and walks down her big hill into town to shop almost every day. This was my 3rd visit to Marianne since our first meeting, and the first time Luis would be absent. Sadly, Luis had passed away in December. Luis was Spanish. His wonderful flamenco guitar-playing and singing was sadly missed.

Luis had often talked about his favourite restaurant, El Capricho, in the village of Otivar, where they make a dish called Pollo a la Manzana (chicken cooked with apple), which he described as ‘the best chicken in the world’. Although Otivar is not far from Almunecar, it is inland along some hilly, winding tracks, and the buses to and from there are few and far between, so a visit by car would be easier. I didn’t get the chance to go there while Luis was alive, as he and Marianne do not own a car in Spain, so I felt it would be a fitting tribute to take Marianne there on this visit.

I asked Marianne if she could call to make a reservation, as was recommended on their website. I felt my Spanish language skills were a bit rusty. She said there was no need: a reservation is only necessary for large parties. When we got there, however, the Spanish waiter told Marianne we needed to make a reservation in advance to order the chicken, they had no extras available. I gave Marianne a mischievous smile, but before we had chance to be disappointed, a lady came out from the kitchen and told the waiter that the party of 27 coming in had just called to cancel one place. Haha this was so funny: whether it was my intention that I was going to have that chicken, or Marianne’s assurance that we didn’t need to order it, either way by the Law of Attraction (or perhaps with the divine help of Angel Luis) we did get our chicken. As there was only one portion we had to share it, however that was plenty for the two of us; Marianne said that when they had a portion each, they would take half home in a doggy-bag. Indeed it was the juiciest, most succulent, tasty chicken I ever had. We raised a toast to Luis and followed the chicken with Creme Caramel and a cafe con leche. Bless you Luis!

Marianne took me to some of the best tapas bars in Almunecar. Tapas vary from place to place. In Nerja, for example, you usually need to sit at the bar with your drink and you choose which tapa you would like from the tapas cabinet along the bar. In Almunecar, however, you can even sit outside with your drink and they bring a tapa to you automatically, for free, without your asking. You never know what you will get, it could be anything from a dish of deep-fried baby octopus to a ham and cheese toasted sandwich or mini cheeseburger. I have rarely been disappointed with the quality of tapas. I have wondered how the Spanish make enough profits to survive when they provide you with a glass of wine or beer and some delicious food for less than 2 euros; I am certain it is their innate generosity that ensures they always have enough.

heartsAs we sat at a tapas bar on the beach, I glanced down towards my feet (actually I think I was trying to shelter my phone underneath the table so I could see the screen to use the camera), and I spotted a little stone shaped like a heart. Two of my favourite things are to look for hearts every day, and also to look for pretty little beach pebbles to bring back from Spain (I have quite a collection now). I consider hearts to be my little messages from the angels saying ‘We’re with you, we love you, you’re OK’.

Then on my fifth and final evening at Marianne’s she went to a dish of pebbles in her conservatory and pulled out a purple ceramic heart and gave it to me, to end a lovely visit.

The following day I moved onto the next, and supposed to be final, leg of my visit to Spain. This was where things went drastically awry. After a somewhat pleasant day, suddenly, in the evening, without warning, one of my hosts (I don’t feel any identification is appropriate or necessary here) began verbally attacking me over something so trivial: my attempt to get the wifi working on my little netbook appeared to be affecting the TV reception. I shut down my computer, but in the minute it took for it to shut down their irritation had escalated into a rage. My attempt to defuse the matter by saying I couldn’t shut it down any quicker and was this really any reason to get so angry, did not work and they said they didn’t want me there anyway. At which point I did the human thing and became upset and angry myself and began arguing back. Not that I wanted to stay – I don’t want to stay anywhere I don’t feel comfortable or welcome, but to try to understand why this argument was even happening. Realising this was not going to change or fix the situation – some people’s behaviour can not be understood, especially in the heat of the moment – I headed off to pack my bags.

His verbal onslaught was not a short-lived one. He continued to scream at me. In the 30 minutes or so it took me to pack, due to my shaking with shock and anger, and not able to close my case for some time without bouncing on it, I could hear him screaming at his partner, who was trying to defend me and telling him how unreasonable he was being. His answer to her was “If you don’t like it, you can get out too (although in much stronger language)”. When I came back down the stairs, he screamed at me again until I was out the door.

I loaded my suitcase into my car, and sat in the driver’s seat. At this point, I was struck with the shock of it all. I was in a foreign country, I didn’t know anywhere or anyone else in this town, I spoke little of the language, and it was after 11pm. The worst shock of all was that someone I liked and trusted had let me down like this. My body was immobilised for some time apart from the tears falling down my face …

What was I going to do now?

Read Part 2 here

When things go wrong …

 

The problem is not the problem…

The problem is not the problem…

problem, solution, attitude, problem-solvingProblems are a part of life. They have accompanied us since birth, and will continue to do so until the twilight of our lives. But this is no reason to get upset. In fact, the thought that problems happen to absolutely everyone should come as a welcome relief.

Problems are not the result of being a bad or good person. They happen to good and bad people alike. Sometimes, even despite our best judgements and careful planning, challenges still occur in the most unexpected circumstances.

It can be easy to look around and think other people do not have problems. This is not true; they have just mastered the art of dealing with them effectively and moving more quickly towards the solution. They often recognise there are opportunities to be realised.

“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?”
Captain Jack Sparrow

Here are some tips to conquer your problems:

Trace the root of the problem.

The best way to start finding a solution to a problem is to try to figure out how the problem started in the first place. If you find yourself lost in the middle of the road, the chances are that you took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. This is why you need to go back, retrace your steps, and discover where you have gone wrong. This way you would be able to figure out which way you should go, which roads to avoid, and how to get there.

From this, you will learn how to make more effective decisions in the future.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Little problems are best dealt with by giving them a shrug of the shoulder. Having a bad hair day or breaking a nail is not reason enough to break into fits of hysteria. Sure, it is annoying; but get over it! People will be surprised how a little change in their attitude can go a long way in solving their problems.

In fact, a lot of problems people are facing will dissolve if they only change their attitude. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of their lives, and being so cynical, they should instead try to make the best out of every situation. If you are not satisfied with the situation you are in, you should strive to make some positive changes in your life.

When I find myself worrying about some things, I ask myself, “Will this matter in a year/week/day’s time?”. When I hear back the answer ‘No’, it is much easier to let go of the worry and think “This too shall pass”, making space in my head for a solution to manifest, if one is needed.

Confront your problems.

Not confronting problems can lead to bigger issues. Before problems can be solved, they must first be dealt with. For example, a person pretending not to be sick when he very well knows that he is suffering from an illness will not help him solve this problem. In fact, this will only make the situation much worse, if he refuses to seek out the medical attention that he needs.

The problem with choosing to ignore problems is that they can lead to bigger problems. Some who choose to escape their problems may turn to alcohol, drugs, or other self-destructive behaviours simply because they want to avoid the problems they are encountering. This, in turn, becomes a part of the problem. Instead of finding a solution, they find bigger problems.

Ask for help.

Strength comes in numbers. One of the best ways to quickly solve a problem is to ask for help. This is where friends and family come in. Not only will they be physically able to help you, they can also be a source of emotional help as well. Not only that, they would be able to throw in some ideas that just might be the key to finding the solution to your problem!

Having some problems does not mean that it is the end of the world. It just means that you are going to have to work hard at finding the solutions to your problems. By going through this process, not only will you solve your problems, but you can gain a lot of knowledge and wisdom along the way!

The problem is not the problem…

Fill your life with what you love and it’s hard not to love life

don't sweat the small stuff, find your purpose and do what you love, how to fill your love tank, Fill your life with what you love and it's hard not to love lifeFill your life with what you love and it’s hard not to love life

The internet is an absolute treasure chest for inspirational and heart-warming stories. I never fail to find something that touches my soul.

Today my inspiration came from one of my favourite sources; a young man named Jake Ducey posted this on his Facebook page.

“I just got back from sometime spent in downtown Los Angeles. It was raining. Tall buildings everywhere. It was about 10:00pm. I walked back to my hotel after dinner. I saw homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk. They covered themselves from the rain with plastic bags. I walked past and saw the lighted up logo of Chase Bank reflect off a mirrored window high-rise. I began to feel anger toward the world- how can we have so much money and so many people who can’t even get out of the rain and dirty sidewalk at night?

When I turned the last corner I saw a heavier set homeless man in all black with a beanie on. He had a sign that said, “Hungry Homeless Vet.” He was reading. I was curious, “Hey dude, what are you reading?”

He looked up, “a fiction book about sorcery and wizards. Do you like to read?”

“I like to write more,” I said.

We started talking. He was sitting and reading under the overhang of the Subway restaurant. He didn’t have anywhere to sleep because it was too rainy, Instead he read under the Subway lights. We talked for about fifteen minutes. He had a broken right foot that was in a cast. He said it’d been broken for over a month before it got treated.

“It’s okay though,” he said, “It’s just means more time to read.”

I asked him about not having a home. He laughed. Actually, it was a bit more of a giggle, a mature one though- the kind of giggle a sixty year old homeless World War II Veteran would make if they though something was funny.

“I just get to read all I want!” he said.

I laughed and told him I write. I pulled a copy of my book Into the Wind from my backpack. I asked him who I should make it out to?

“Truck,” he said.

I wrote, “… with love for all you love to do…” inside the cover of the book.

I handed it to him and he read it.

“I laughed when you asked if it’s hard being homeless. Life is hard no matter what. But i believe if we have a good book, or something we love, then life ain’t as bad as they say it is- it’s beautiful.”

“So it’s like the old saying, ‘fill your life with what you love and it’s hard not to love life?”

He nodded. I shook his hand and told him I’d come back to look for him next time I was downtown.

Now I write, reflecting on what I learned from Truck: no matter what you’re going through, there’s something out there that can fill your life with so much pleasure, that it makes all the pain worth it. Everyone has something they enjoy- they just got to take the time to do it. Reading books, writing books, listening to music or making it, working out, surfing, dancing, raising kids, teaching, drawing, gardening, skateboarding or snowboarding, accounting, running or starting a business, and a billion other things… there’s something here for us to get lost in, for us to love…”

About Jake Ducey:

At twenty-one-years-old, Jake is the world’s youngest published inspirational author, and is the Director of Self Reliance Institute, where he has built both a school and an orphanage in San Marcos, Guatemala. Since 2012 Jake has traveled to Guatemala, Australia, Indonesia, and Thailand. His experiences in such countries, after quitting a basketball scholarship and leaving a drug-filled life at 19 years old to wander the world without a map, have become his first full book, “Into the Wind; My Six-Month Journey Wandering the World for Life’s Purpose.”

Buy “Into the Wind” from Amazon.com

Buy “Into the Wind” from Amazon.co.uk

Enjoy Jake’s energy and zest for life by watching his videos and subscribing to his Youtube channel:

Turn your can’t do’s into can do’s

Didraws1“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, either way you’re right”
Henry Ford

One of Sam Berns‘ tips for a happy life was ‘turn your can’t do’s into can do’s’.

What do you often say ‘I can’t do that’ about?

Our limiting beliefs are most often caused by programming when we were younger. Of course there are many things you can do that you think or say you can’t. If it’s been done by someone else, then it is possible; anybody has the potential. It is just a question of learning, focus and practising.

Even if it hasn’t been done yet, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. The world has only ever progressed because of the great people in history who had a vision and overcame immense criticism to show that they COULD do it. What would our world be like if the Wright Brothers had listened to and believed the naysayers that said it was impossible for us to fly in a machine?

Didraws2In my case, it was drawing. I have always said ‘I can’t draw. I can’t even draw a cat or a stick man’.

I often wanted to be able to. I admired many of the great artists and the many people around me who could produce beautiful, unique works of art.

A while ago, I was shopping and bought my young niece some colouring pencils. I felt the urge to buy some to keep at my house for when she came to visit. I often saw them on the shelf and thought ‘I’d love to be able to draw’.

Didraws3When I was at school, one year I got an A in Art. The following year, I had a different teacher and only got a D. Obviously my confidence was knocked, and I chose to think the thought I was no good at Art. I spent the next 30 years reinforcing that thought until it became the belief ‘I can’t draw’.

“If you can’t you must, and if you must you can.”
Anthony Robbins

Didraws4So, over the next few months, my eyes kept landing on these coloured pencils and I thought ‘someday I’m going to learn to draw’, until the someday arrived when I was drawn to a picture on a notebook and I thought ‘I must have a go at drawing that’.

So I did just that. After 30 years of never picking up a pencil to draw, I had a go, despite realising I didn’t have an eraser or a pencil sharpener. I could have let that become a reason to stop me having a go, but I chose to have a go anyway. The result was the picture at the top right of this page.

It actually turned out OK. So then I thought ‘Well I’ve always said I can’t even draw a cat, so let’s have a go at that’. I got onto Google Images and searched for pictures of cats. As you can see from the next picture, I can now draw a cat. I couldn’t draw a stick man, so I found pictures of people, yes ok cartoon ones, but still figures of people, just so I couldn’t say that any more.

Didraws5Then I set myself my biggest challenge. It’s all very well drawing cartoons, as even if they don’t turn out exactly the same as the picture I’m drawing, I could still get away with it looking like a character. But how would I do with drawing a picture of a real person, and could I get it to actually look like the person it’s meant to be?

So to the right here is the result of that. Can you tell who it is? Please comment.

I was pleased that most of my friends could tell who it was immediately.

I can no longer say that I can’t draw, because I CAN draw!

OK they are not going to win any awards, or sell in any galleries, but they are a first step in changing a belief. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Another thing we say is that we need to wait until other circumstances are right for us to try things. If I had waited until I had an eraser and pencil sharpener before I started, I still might be saying ‘I can’t draw’. The fact that I didn’t have an eraser made me all the more focused on getting it right the first time.

Most of all, I really enjoyed my time drawing these. Doing something that really absorbs your concentration can take your mind off other niggling little everyday stresses.

So examine the things about which you say ‘I can’t do that’ and do something to overcome that belief so you can say ‘I CAN do that!’. When you develop your CAN DO attitude, your confidence will grow in many other areas of your life.

Would you like to be able to play the guitar, swim, sing, write or dance? Just have a go, devote a bit of time and focus to it.

What does the phrase ‘I can’t do that’ stop you enjoying in your life?

 

You want inspiration? Here he is

If, like myself, you live with a chronic debilitating condition, you will know how it feels to need to completely re-evaluate your life, your dreams, your purpose and the meaning to your life. You will also probably have experienced grief for the lifestyle you once had.

However, there comes a time when the pain of living like that becomes so painful, you find a breakthrough, one that turns your whole philosophy of life on it’s head. Often, that comes from hearing or meeting someone who has experienced far more serious challenges, and makes you realise actually how very blessed you are. It may not take away the illness, but many report a drastic improvement in symptoms when you develop a positive mental attitude.

At 2 years old, Sam Berns was diagnosed with the rare disease progeria, which causes rapid aging and various other side effects. However, these challenges could not stop Sam from living a happy life. About three months before he passed away, 17-year-old Sam Berns gave this speech explaining his strategies for beating obstacles.

In my opinion, Sam’s touching, emotion-filled speech has fulfilled one of Sam’s dreams, which was to make a difference in the world.

Sam’s 3 keys to happiness:

1. Turn your ‘can’t do’s’ into ‘CAN DO’s’

2. Be with people you WANT to be with

3. Keep moving FORWARDS

Please watch the video for Sam’s BONUS keys and, more importantly, to FEEL the inspiration of his message.

… and how to get your dream home

So yesterday I told you how my friend, AB, and I, each manifested a FREE holiday.

idealhomeBut it didn’t end there…

Going back to our conversation in August, we had also discussed AB’s need for a bungalow, and a move in general as she wanted to get a dog, and her landlord wouldn’t allow it. I had advised the same kind of relaxation and visualisation techniques. Imagine what you want, imagine you are walking around your perfect bungalow, imagine having your own dog you can enjoy taking for walks. I suggested that maybe she hadn’t got any of the bungalows she had seen so far because they weren’t quite right for her.

So AB focussed and visualised in her imagination the kind of home she wanted to be living in. A bungalow, in a safe neighbourhood, just the right size that she could maintain easily. AB wanted a secure, manageable garden her dog could play in safely. She wanted to be within easy reach of her family, for mutual support.

Within a few months, AB had found, been accepted for, and moved into her ideal home, with all the attributes she wanted, and right across the road from her father, so they could help each other. It then seemed obvious why the previous bungalows she had seen, hadn’t worked out for her, because the universe was lining her up with one that could not have been more perfect for her.

Not only that, but in that time, her father’s poodle had pedigree pups, and she got her very own poodle puppy, who is adorable I might add!

I asked AB, yesterday, when I told her about my blog post, how she felt about Law of Attraction and life in general since she learned about and started applying it in her life, and if she’d like to offer any comments to include in today’s post. Her response…

“Comments? hmmm, nice, kind, grateful, positive thoughts just come so naturally now, yes I have grim days but there’s so much to be grateful for that’s what I think about if need be and the positive, good stuff just continues rolling in, I’m not rich with money but I have such a happy grateful heart that I feel rich beyond my wildest dreams. Oh and I’m always elated when the good stuff happens, not so surprised any more but just thankful.

I am much more chilled about everything now. 2 things I always do, write 5 things I am grateful for every day and if I start getting twisty, driving, in a long queue stuff like that I always ask myself will this matter next week, next month, next year…then I usually smile.”

AB creates her sort of Vision Board by downloading pictures from the internet of things she would like to see in her life. She puts them on a screensaver so the images change every few seconds, and sits and watches them to remind her of her wishes. She added “I was thinking about changing my screen saver pics coz I’ve accomplished them haha”.