Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘courage’

Determining Your Authentic Self

Have you ever felt that you are not being appreciated or that you are doing all the giving or supporting in a work or personal relationship? If you answered yes to this question let’s look a bit deeper into it. Could it be that you are so interested in getting others to accept or appreciate you that you have not allowed your authentic self to show? Is the fear of people really knowing you blocking you from showing the world what you truly stand for? If so, let me assure you that being authentic draws people to you – not ever away. People can feel truth.

Being authentic starts by first determining what is most important to you in life. As unique individuals we each have specific values that we hold most dear – those things that are truly nonnegotiable to us. Think about them as your personal mission statement. Values such as love, accomplishment, fairness, compassion, confidence, courage, health, freedom, family, harmony, integrity, kindness, optimism, patience, service, trust, orderliness, peace, spirituality, and gratitude are just a few from a long list of values to consider. Each one speaks volumes. Once you determine your own priority of values navigating through life becomes so much easier. In essence, you become more confident and decision making becomes easier because you are more at peace in your own skin.

A helpful way to determine your authentic self is to choose five values that you find most important. You know, the ones that seem to radiate energy back to you as you consider them. The list of words above can be a starting point to consider. The list is long for a purpose. The process is important. Evaluating each word forces you to take the time to consider what it truly means to you. Determining your top five forces you to prioritize as you remind yourself of who you are in your heart. Once you have taken the time to determine your own nonnegotiable values life becomes easier. When you encounter decisions, challenges or obstacles (the should I or shouldn’t I) in life you have a measuring stick to help steer you on a course of action reflects the real you.

Growing more confident as an individual means that you allow your unique identity to be known by others. But…’what if they won’t like me or accept me for who I am’ you may wonder. It’s true not everyone may like you. Just as you do not necessarily like everyone you encounter. It’s simply a cold, hard immutable fact of life. There are bits and pieces in everyone’s personality that leaves something to be desired. It’s called being human. These little quirks in others can be overlook but the values behind them cannot. A person’s values determine not only who they are but what they will do in a pinch. That’s important to know. Likewise, if we try to morph ourselves into something we do not truly value in order to fit in or be accepted it just doesn’t work. We project insincerity or insecurity that is easily felt by others.

Determining the values you hold dear helps you project with confidence who you really are at your core. Just as truth has no versions – your authentic self has no versions either. Any future role in life will never define you because deep down you know what you stand for – no pretenses necessary. Taking the time to determine your authentic self is critical to self esteem. The process alone will help you begin to truly love yourself for all the strengths you possess and there are many! Give it a try and take the time to decide on your top five values … you’ll be glad you did!

Have a great few days!

Be the Change!

Between the world and national events we need a little Christmas in our lives. What has happened may seem overwhelming and we may feel helpless as we struggle to try to make sense of it all. Without having all the facts we simply can’t figure out what really happened that has caused others such suffering as their lives implode. Maybe the best we can do is to remember that each of us can feed into the negative energy or choose to use our own positive energy to help ourselves and others realize the importance of life during this season. The challenge is not to be overwhelmed and forget our human purpose but to rise above it, as difficult as it may seem, as we remember that we are here to learn our lessons – the biggest of which is unconditional love of self and others.

The feelings of the Christmas season, regardless of our backgrounds, elicit a sense of peace, joy and understanding. It is a time when we remember those less fortunate than ourselves in both big and small ways. A smile to the clerk who is frantically trying to keep up with the line of people at the checkout counter, dropping a dollar in the red buckets outside the stores as the Salvation Army volunteers continue to ring the bells reminding us of the need of others. Even a simple phone call, email or visit to someone to brighten their day, can help to change our part of the world. We can make a difference, in so many ways, if we just take a moment to remember that we really do have the potential – obligation even, to change the world – one heart at a time. Although we can’t fix what has happened we can stand tall like a beacon in the night pulsating a signal of light that directs others and guides them home to the truth buried in their heart.

It has been said that it is darkest just before the dawn. Could it be that we are here to help the dawn – the light – surface in the lives of others as well as our own? Maybe this is a test to see just how strong we can be as we are faced with the anger, violence and hatred from the senseless random acts in our world that tear down rather than build up.
One thing is for sure, to quote Winston Churchill, ‘Never, never, never, never give up.’ He repeated this phrase when England was being brutally, continually attacked and all seemed hopeless. His statement reminds us of the importance of holding on to our strength, courage and belief in truth. We must stand for something or we will fall for anything.

Not being privy to all the facts of world and national events can leave us feeling both hopeless and helpless. Remember the phrase from Churchill and do not become overwhelmed or defeated. We can never give up on our truth. What we can do is to make a commitment to be the change we want to see in the world. A critical mass, believing in truth can accomplish what even the best minds in our world cannot. We have the power to change the world because we have truth, peace and love on our side. Visualize the effect of tossing a pebble in a pond and watch the motion of the water as the impact radiates out to the larger body of water. It was just a pebble but yet the effect changed the entire pond!

I believe there is a critical mass of us out there who believes justice will prevail and complete truth will eventually surface as ultimately love conquers even the most deep seated hatred that is directed at us. No one can stop us because, ultimately, love will prevail.

This week let’s go out of our way to project our beliefs. Together we can make the change we so desperately want to see. Just think it all started with a pebble – our belief – that love conquers all.

Have a great few days!

A Different Place

Emily Perl Kingsley a prolific writer for Sesame Street as well as author of over 20 children’s books is both an accomplished professional of her trade – winning 12 Emmys for her creative work – but more importantly a loving mother of a Down’s syndrome child. A special child that The Universe entrusted to her. She wrote this piece to help us understand how to accept differences. To me, it is a moving example of dealing with loss of our own expectations, acceptance of life changes and the strength to carry on. Her writing is a metaphor for life in general – accepting what we cannot change and having the tenacity to look for the silver lining in everything that is presented to us. Regardless of the life altering experiences we have the lessons are the same…

Welcome to Holland

“I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this …

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland!?” You say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m suppose to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. You’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills…and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that hurt will never, ever, ever, ever, go away…because the loss of that dream is a very, very significant loss.

But…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things …about Holland.”

Have a great few days!

Divine Virtues

This weekend I attended an amazing international conference and wanted to share some of the outstanding information and insights I was fortunate to experience. Robert Schwartz is a researcher and author. On Saturday afternoon he conducted a session on divine virtues and life challenges. There was standing room only for this break out session! I imagine that his next book will include these virtues with the accompanying exercise. He suggests we use this information to help us get to a deeper understanding of the lessons we have individually CHOSEN to work on in this life time. Analyzing your own life lessons just makes the learning easier. I will give you my interpretation of the definition of each of the virtues and what you can do with them. It will take two blog entries to synthesize this information. Since the exercise at the end will include doing your own individual ranking by life challenges, I would suggest you print off a copy of this blog and combine it with next Sunday’s blog so you will have a complete set. You may be as surprised as I was at what you discover about your life plan. I know you will experience some incredibly helpful insight about your life! Enjoy!

14 OF THE 27 LIFE VIRTUES

1. Faith (in a Loving Universe/God)

2. Trust (in self, others and the Universe)

3. Acceptance (being able to walk in another person’s shoes and allow them to be themselves; to accept your present/past life circumstances)

4. Compassion (for self and others)

5. Courage (to speak and live your truth; being your authentic self)

6. Kindness

7. Self Love (to accept that you are a unique individual who has the God/Universal energy within)

8. Unconditional Love (the nonphysical type of love that honors and celebrates the uniqueness of all living things)

9. Peace

10. Joy

11. Gratitude

12. Empathy

13. Patience

14. Self-referencing (realizing that your intuition/gut reaction is based on truth and following it; tapping into yourself for knowledge and wisdom)

Think about some of these virtues and how they may seem to REAPPEAR in your life – maybe as a challenge or lesson – until you have mastered them. On Sunday, I will complete the other 13 on the list and explain how you can use them to determine what you decided to work on in this particular journey. Until then – happy contemplating!