Radicalizing Your Transformation – Day 245 of 365 Days to a Better You

Before I begin, THANK YOU. Subscriptions to this blog have doubled this year. That’s thanks to all of you spending your valuable time reading and sharing with a friend. My deepest gratitude for it.

Many of you have probably encountered the serenity prayer at some point in your lives. It’s a beautiful, inspiring prayer that many, including me have found empowering. There’s a line in that prayer that reads:

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”

Today I came across a quote that twists this line in a radical way and it immediately resonated with me. It’s the rebellious cry of someone ready to challenge the status quo. Not surprising, because it was coined by a political activist and professor named Angela Davis. She spent her early life operating way outside the political and civil norms in our culture.

Here’s the quote. “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

The power of the serenity prayer is its reliance on the power of acceptance and rest there are forces beyond our control. All true. At certain times in your journey, this is a needed message.

However, if you’re feeling stuck, trying the same things over and over, and getting nowhere; you may need to radicalize your mindset to the second quote. It’s a statement filled with fire and determination to overcome the obstacles that stand between your dreams and you. It’s a refusal to accept what is anymore. It’s a statement of I’m ALL IN in on changing my circumstances.

I think we can find wisdom and power in both quotes. If you’re ready to kick your status quo to the curb, the second quote may provide the fuel to inspire it. I think you’re entitled to get radical for your dreams.

Ray

Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | PayPal

Advertisements

Balancing Acceptance and Not Giving Up – Day 240 of 365 Days to a Better You

The caterpillar must be a caterpillar, while never ignoring he is becoming a butterfly. You and I must accept our caterpillar-ness in this moment without conceding our butterfly-ness for a single moment.

I’ve found that deep breathing and affirmations work well together. So, I often incorporate breathing right into the affirmation.

Today’s affirmation is: Breathing in, I completely accept that what is is. Breathing out, I am absolutely determined Ed to change it!

I’ve been using a version of this affirmation for years. It hepls me balsnce two very important, but seemingly contradictory, principles. Those are acceptance and a strong desire for change.

Acceptance of what is is a critical foundation for any change. I can’t thin’ of an instance where denial of a present reality is useful or healthy. However, that reality might be something you’re absolutely determined to change.

  • You accept your current state of health as your real starting place, but you want to inspire change to live healthier. You can modify this very flexible affirmation to something like the following. Breathing in I accept that I am out of shape. Breathing out I am exercising every day to change it!
  • You accept the current state of conflict in the world. You can modify this affirmation to something like: Breathing in, I accept that peace is not our current reality. Breathing out, I am working like hell to change it!

You can apply this affirmation to virtually any current and desired state of affairs.

Using the affirmation regularly grounds you. It commits your mind to both acceptance and a determination never to give up on what you know can be. I recommend using your affirmation with with more aspirational affirmations to tilt the balance in favor of the desired state.

Examples:

  1. Breathing in, I accept that I have a C in chemistry. Breathing out, I am working my butt of to make that an A.
  2. I am a great student!
  3. I own chemistry!
  4. I am acing my final chemistry exam!
  5. I deserve to make straight A’s!

Give this a try. I think you’ll find it an effective way to deal with the now, while continuing to work for your goals.

Thank YOU for reading this blog. If you’re getting value from it, please like, comment, or share it with a friend. You’l find more motivational and thought-provoking content on my other social media accounts. Let’s connect there too.

Ray

Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | PayPal

 

Times They Are A Changin’

“Times,” Bob Dylan famously sang, “They are a changin’.” You may have noticed from my earlier post that time and change are on my mind today. As I mentioned the other day, we’re in the process of selling our house and moving back to Kansas City.

Change always makes me reflective. It also has a tendency to make us want to cling to what is familiar. This morning I sold our 2006 Kia Sorento to the junk man and will be waving goodbye to it for a couple of Ben Franklins.

This was the first brand new car April and I bought together back in August of 2005 and was our main family car for many years. This, too, has been coming for a while. In the four years we’ve been here, it probably hasn’t been driven more than 30 times. I put a new battery in it last Fall, but when I went to start it the other day it wouldn’t start.

This vehicle never let us down. We never had one morning when it was our main car that it didn’t answer the call. While it’s just metal and plastic in one way. In another, it’s memories of trips to Manhattan to watch K-State games and 43,604 trips back and forth up Highway 69 between Louisburg and Overland Park.

This move back to Kansas is a new chapter for us. Some things, including this Kia, will not continue on the journey with us.

Plato recorded Socrates saying the following. makes “Heraclitus is supposed to say that all things are in motion and nothing at rest; he compares them to the stream of a river, and says that you cannot go into the same river twice”

In our modern world, this quote has been culled down to, “You cannot step twice into the same river.”

Time passes. Everything stays in motion. What was no longer is. What is will soon no longer be. That’s the nature of all composite things…cars, rivers, and us.

It’s only attachment that makes it sad. If we can step back and see the big picture, the awesome symmetry to the whole cosmic dance comes into view. All IS well!

Ray

 

 

Leaving Boston and Clicking Our Heels Together Three Times

Life is filled with cycles, circles, and side-trips. Some thrill, some enlighten, and some just come into your life long enough to make the needed impression and move on. All are part of the great adventure that is our lives.

Four years ago April and I took one of those side-trips by moving to Boston. Literally, a few months before our arrival, Boston was not on our radar at all.

April was recruited here and accepted the job. Within two months, April, our black lab Mia, and I were on the road headed for Boston. Our time in New England has been extraordinary. We’ve often commented on how we still feel like we’re on vacation. This is truly one of the GREAT cities of the world. There’s so much culture, history, and there’s an ocean. It’s a place of poets and presidents; as much the birthplace of our nation as Philadelphia.

We got to experience the Boston Pops July 4th Concert twice. We’ve endured massive winter Nor’easters and blissfully soaked in fall colors found nowhere else on Earth. Coming from Kansas, we were surprised to learn that a heatwave is officially three days in a row above 90 degrees. We became old hands at the Mass Pike and the T. We experienced tall ships and and learned to sing “Sweet Caroline” at Sox games like the locals. We enjoyed Nantucket, The Vineyard, and The Cape. We walked Harvard Yard and the deck of the USS Constitution. We built the house we always wanted.

Yet, earlier this year we noticed a sea change in our thinking. When we moved here, only one of our two grown children was married and we had no grandkids. Now both are married. We have two grandkids and a third on the way. Suddenly, 1500 miles away felt like a million.

When we moved here, we had no expectation of how long we’d stay. We started talking about the possibility of moving back the second year. We also discussed living here for 20 and being the cool grandparents that our grandchildren would come to Boston to visit in the summers.

Alas, the gravity of family was too much and we decided to move back to Kansas. Our house spent three months on the market. Yesterday we accepted an offer and, barring hiccups, we now have an expiration date on this little adventure. By the end of June and four years to the week since we arrived, we’ll reverse course and traverse I-90 on a westerly heading.

Leaving Boston is bittersweet. This place got inside of us. It will never be just another place on the map again. Thankfully, April’s new job – still based here in Boston – will probably give us the opportunity to come back and visit. Perhaps, we’ll still bring our grandkids here when they’re old enough and show them the super-cool city where grandma and grandpa used to live.

The seven-week countdown is on. Soon we’ll be clicking our heels together three times and waking up in a Kansas bed. The tree-lined, windy roads of New England will be replaced by the wide-open spaces and skies of Kansas.

Yes! Life is filled with cycles, circles, and side-trips. Thanks goodness for this one! It’s been truly wicked!

Ray

 

 

Our Lives are Built from Our Choices – Day 46 of 365 Days to a Better You – Day 46

The Power of Choice

There is nowhere – not in the deepest, darkest cave or the highest mountain – where we can go and escape our choices. Look around right now. You will see the choices you have made everywhere you look.

For better or worse and on some level, if we are adults, the life we are living is made up of the choices we have made and the choices we have not made.

I know there’s a temptation right now for some of you to feel the word “but” coming to your lips. I say with love and respect, stop. You have challenges. You’ve been cheated and mistreated. The world has not recognized your gifts. I hear you. Everyone reading this hears you. That’s the human condition. We all start from that place.

Our situations may be different, but who has lived more than a week on this planet and not experienced difficulty?

I’m not saying this to point a finger at you or make you feel bad. I’m not saying it to diminish the challenges you’ve faced. Actually, what I’m telling you is an amazing blessing in disguise. It’s the key to the chains of your thinking that have oppressed you.

Because guess what? The fact that your choices lie strewn everywhere in your life is proof positive that you have the power – the power of CHOICE.

You see, our choices every, every one of them, are our chances to change. By choosing differently, we can change anything.

This power can be scary, for with it comes responsibility for our lives and our progress. Trust me, it’s way better than feeling like someone else or something else is responsible for your joy, your peace of mind, or your success.

What will you be next? Whatever you choose!

Ray

 

Three Affirmations to Spark Your Thursday

Here are three affirmations to keep you on track this Thursday. The choice is yours.

  1. Everything in my life is a choice and I choose wisely.
  2. I always have the power to choose my reactions to life’s challenges.
  3. I choose to see the best me and be the best me all day long.

Stay inspired!

Ray

Staying Happy in a Changing World

It’s our last morning in Palm Beach. The expectations of the trip were met and exceeded. April and I had every bit the experience we wanted. I’m sure, though, you’ve had that sinking feeling on “headed home day.”

How do we go from the amazing high of expectation to crashing deflation of vacation’s end? In Buddhism, impermanence is a large part of the discussion. One of Buddha’s great insights is that we are craving beings. We want things and experiences hoping they will fulfill us. They do temporarily, but there’s always that moment when we realize the feelings are passing.

Another of his insights is that we’re clinging beings. We try to grasp harder to keep the things, experiences, and people in our lives just as they are. Yet, in an ever-flowing universe, this is not possible.

So, we become suffering beings because the things we wanted didn’t bring us permanent joy and the grasping to them only made it worse.

What’s the solution? How do we having fulfilling experiences in our lives without feeling the suffering? We can learn to appreciate the ebbing and flowing moments of our lives without grasping on to them. We can find our joy in the only thing that is permanent – Change.

There are more things to have, experiences to experience, and moments to enjoy. In fact, as long as we’re here, they never stop.

Jon Kabat-Zinn has a great quote that captures this principle. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

You don’t have to suffer. You just need to let go and catch the next wave.

Have an amazing Saturday!

Ray

 

Click on over to The Affirmation Spot for more great motivational content.