Choices and Decisions Shape Your Destiny

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Choice plays a key part in shaping your God-given destiny.

How you wish to be known rests in your making the right decisions, the right choices, at the right time in the direst and most difficult of situations and circumstances. First, let us establish what the difference between a decision and a choice is. The line between what constitutes a decision versus a choice may be small. A choice is an act of making a decision when faced with two or more possible solutions. It is the power, right or freedom to choose. A choice is an option. A decision is a choice that you make after taking time to think about it. A decision is a conclusion arrived at after due consideration. It is in your times of decision making that your destiny is being shaped.

Our choices make the difference in the quality of our lives and impact our sense of fulfillment.

Good choices lead to great accomplishments and a deep sense of well-being. In our lifetime, we will be presented with situations that require us to make a choice. A choice that will shape how the rest of our life pans out. A choice that will lead towards or away from our rightful path. Choices often require us to step out of our comfort zone and assert our authority, stand up for ourselves and fight for what we know is right. Some people will and some people won’t. Some will stand for something whilst others will stand for nothing, living in fear and allowing apathy to immobilise them into to choosing the wrong decision. They allow their need for self-preservation to silence them and stall the great accomplishments they have been designed for.

God has given each of us a beautiful precious gift in the shape of the dignity of choice

When faced with a choice to make a decision, begin with prayer and fasting, and take a look at the guiding principles of Gods kingdom and not what man or woman deems right and acceptable for you. This allows you to gain clarity and to come into alignment with the heart and will of God. During this time of prayer and fasting, you will discover what He is anointing you to deal with and what issues He may want you to address. It is a time to ask yourself ‘What is He calling me to address, to deal with and take action on?’

It is time to consider your values and see if they are in alignment with Gods values.

Ignoring and not taking your values into consideration will lead to a feeling of incompletion and discomfort. Values guide our behaviour, and to be able to make the right choices and decisions our values need to be aligned with Gods values.   Integrity, wisdom and will are required to make the right choices. Our whole lives are a series of little choices and decisions, that may either lead to regret and resentment or abundance and accomplishment.

People want all of the rewards and ill-prepared and unwilling to experience the discomfort in living out their purpose and God-given destiny. Taking action to discover your true purpose and progress towards your destiny requires a righteous hard choice and very few people are willing to pay the price.

Grab a journal and take a good look at where you are now and where you would like to be. Be courageous and ask yourself some questions, such as –

  • Where have your choices led you to so far in your life?
  • Are you feeling fulfilled or living with some regret?
  • Is it time for you to stand up, step out and take responsibility for your choices, instead of letting situations, circumstances and others take over and shape your destiny for you, which means you live out someone else’s destiny and not your own?!

What you do next is your choice and will shape your destiny.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.

 

 

 

 

 

STOP! People pleasing

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I asked myself this very question, perhaps if you are reading this it is time to ask yourself the exact same one: Am I a people pleaser? If the answer is YES, or I am not sure, or if you know someone who is this blog will benefit you all. It is time to begin again and live from a place of victory and not needing others approval. You are already approved of by one who will never reject you or see you as a failure. Turn to Him and draw upon his plan for your life, His teachings and His unconditional love for you.

Romans 12:2 ESV — ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.’

This is a great article on from Psychology today I pray it blesses you.

Why am I a People Pleaser?

Typically, the intense need to please and care for others is deeply rooted in either a fear of rejection and/or fear of failure. Fear of Rejection is the underlying feeling that “If I don’t do everything I can to make this person happy they might leave or stop caring for me.” Fear of Rejection can come from early relationships in which love was conditional or in which you were rejected/abandoned by an important person in your life (parent left or was emotionally unavailable or inconsistently available). Fear of Failure is the underlying feeling that “If I make a mistake, I will disappoint people and/or be punished.” Fear of failure can arise from early experiences with severe punishment for even small mistakes. People who had highly critical parents may develop a people-pleasing pattern. Early experiences with harsh criticism or punishment can lead to significant anxiety upon attempting a task. Even though the parent or other important people in your life who doled out the criticism may no longer be in your life, anxiety is an emotion that can live on for a very long time. To deal with that anxiety, we do everything we can to get things right, finish the job, and make sure everybody is happy.

Regardless of the origins, consistently putting others needs above your own can develop into the following five pretty bad consequences. I suggest some solutions for each.

Neglect self

People Pleasers devote very little time to taking care of their own health. Their efforts towards taking care of others usurps time they need to be active, de-stress, plan healthy meals, etc. As a result they may be more prone to health problems. If you are a People Pleaser your heart is in the right place. Wanting to take care of others is not a bad thing and if more people had a little bit of what you have, the world would be a better place. However, you cannot do this at the expense of yourself. A balance is needed. Consider that taking care of yourself makes you better equipped to take care of others by giving you the energy and vitality to do it even better than you are now. Imagine you are driving a Red Cross truck delivering food and water to hurricane victims. If you are in such a hurry to get to every single victim that you don’t stop once in a while to refuel the truck, eventually you will be stalled on the side of the road helping no one. Think of the time you put into exercise, de-stressing, and eating healthy as your fuel stops.

Passive aggression and/or resentment

Over time, Janet is likely to find herself silently angry at the people in her life. Her desire to be kind will suppress that anger but unexpressed anger often turns into passive aggression. We are being passive aggressive when we make sharp comments, crack sarcastic jokes, or make subtle actions that let a little of our negative feelings seep out (e.g., doing the favor but in a half-assed fashion). Making matters worse, mounting resentment is the biggest destroyer of relationships. Communicating your feelings is the only way to avoid resentment, although it requires taking the risk that the other person might not be happy to hear that you are upset or they may not take responsibility for what has upset you. The outcome doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you spoke up for yourself. Speaking up also puts people on notice that they will be informed when they have done something that has upset you. This alone can make people tread more lightly.

Reduces ability to enjoy other people and activities.

At one point Janet made the guilt-laden confession that she didn’t even enjoy going to her son’s ball games. She said she feels so stressed while she’s there, thinking of all the things she still needs to get done that it takes away from her ability to enjoy the game. I really can’t imagine that her son doesn’t pick up on his mom’s lack of enthusiasm. Your level of engagement in an activity or a person is impossible to hide. What message do we send our loved ones by being present but disengaged? Being present but disengaged is not better than being absent. By attending less frequently and recharging herself in the interim, she would get more enjoyment from his games and be more of an active and engaged participant in her son’s life.

Stress and Depression

The definition of stress is having more demands than you can handle. People Pleasing can turn into a vicious cycle of chronic stress and unhealthy behaviors. If you have the constant feeling like you are too busy and doing everything for everyone else but yourself, you might be stuck in this cycle. Stress and depression can be medicated but that won’t break the cycle. If pulling out of the cycle seems overwhelming, identify one small place you can start. Identify one responsibility you have taken on that you can cancel to free up some time for yourself. Work from there. Find one person in your life to share your plan with and ask them to help you implement it.

Be taken advantage of

By always saying yes to requests for favors, people may begin to take advantage of your kindness by asking for more than is reasonable. Even worse, you may become the target of exploitive people because they will quickly see that you can’t say no and take as much as they can from you. Even people who are generally not exploitive may take advantage because they don’t realize that you are overtaxing yourself and have difficulty understanding where your boundaries are because you have set none. Either way, requests from other people will become overwhelming. We teach people how to treat us by the behavior we accept or reject from them. If someone takes advantage of you, it is only their fault once. After that it is your fault for not teaching them different. Teaching different means setting boundaries about what you can and cannot do, and what you will and will not accept. Once you have established this, sticking to it is important. The other challenge is that if everyone is used to you saying yes, they may feel disappointed or angry when you begin to say no. It is extremely important to ignore feelings of guilt. You deserve to take care of yourself, it is nothing to ever feel guilty about. Keep reminding yourself of the Red Cross Truck.

 

How to Silence The Self Doubt Inside Your Head.

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“Why do others seem so self-assured whilst I struggle and battle constantly with feeling inadequate and not being good enough?”

In my roles as a life coach and emergency nurse, the most common confession clients and patients would share with me is that they thought they were failures and felt like a fraud in their own lives. My confession to you, is I know how they felt, I feel the same way. There are some days I have to draw on my faith, take courage and remain steadfast in Gods desires for me.

The reality is that those whose self-assurance we are questioning are asking the very same question. I know I have and just as I am encouraging you to do now, they too are drawing on their faith and using a few techniques that help to silence the self-doubt.

I truly know what you are going through, that feeling of inadequacy, the battle with that inner critic, that nagging voice in your head that often says you are not good enough, pretty enough, slim enough, organised enough, clever enough, talented enough, disciplined enough. That word ‘enough’ eludes us and we are set on trying to chase the ‘enough’ we think alludes us. That ‘enough’ monster that encourages you to compare yourself to everyone else, especially those you perceive to be better, prettier or more successful than you.

Not dealing with this allows worry to take over and eventually consume you, fear takes up residence in your soul, and you find yourself in a momentary panic often, that one day soon you will finally be exposed, and everyone will know you are not good enough, unable, unqualified and a failure, deep down you dread being found out and seen as an imposter. In your bid to control all this, you’ve become a control freak and perfection is your medicine to numb the ever increasing fear, everything has to be right. This cripples your ability to accept compliments and feedback, you often feel criticised, your heart has become critical towards others, and you are always coming from a place of defense and feeling constantly attacked by lifes challenges.

You are in a constant heightened state of readiness to protect your crushing secret that ‘you are a fake’. It renders you helpless, removes your ability to do anything without feeling stressed or anxious. This then affects how you do life, your health, your relationships, inside and outside of your home. You hate it, but feel unable to deal with it, as the fear seems so real and you ability to cope with feeling more of failure is too much. You are suffocating. You often feel like you can’t breathe. The anxiety is real.

Life is too short let’s deal with it now … ready?!

What is impostor syndrome

Studies show almost 70 percent of people experience impostor syndrome, or an inability to internalise achievements this is particularly common among people that like to do well and are deemed high-achievers.

At the very core of impostor syndrome is the persistent belief that you’re not good enough, aren’t equipped or are incapable of facing life’s challenges. Even though up to this point the evidence proves you can do it, you are good enough and you do have the skills, ability and are more than capable of living a successful life, having successful relationships inside and outside of your home.

You feel like a fake, a fraud, a failure, an impostor.

These setbacks can interfere with your happiness, health, and relationships. I encourage you to realise and accept that self-doubt is a normal and a very healthy emotion. We all feel it at times. Those you perceive to be super successful, presidents, prime ministers, church ministers, world leaders, church leaders, award winners and your own family and friends.

You see contrary to what you may have been led to believe to this point, I want to tell you is untrue, those very people you look at and see success, assuredness, and confidence, they were not born this way, these are not something we are born with. Thankfully, they are skills we can acquire through surrounding ourselves with confident caring people, the right circle of influence brings out the best in us. Taking control of your mind, body, and spirit with intentional, deliberate and purposeful practices is necessary. It all begins by allowing yourself to become more self-aware, and using this to help you manage your overwhelming feelings of insecurity.

It is time to shut that inner voice up.

Let’s silence that inner critic. Tell it to shut up. To help you get started, here are some tips to fight off those feelings associated with impostor syndrome so you can start feeling more assured, confident and in control today.

  1. Praise your creator — before you take any further action, give God the glory for your life, your design and His perfect plan for you. Philippians 4:6–7
  2. Pray for peace — protect your relationship with Jesus and ask God to show you His way and lead you to His will. Philippians 1:6
  3. Get to know your stress triggers — Impostor syndrome typically shows itself in one of two ways: the diligence camp and the avoidance camp.

Members of the diligence camp will respond to anxiety by trying to control the outcome through perfectionism and overworking.

Members of the avoiders camp, fear being exposed and do things to keep themselves safe, they procrastinate a lot, rarely speak up, or will stay in a job they loathe and hate even though it is stressing them out.

Sound familiar?

Identifying which stress camp you live in, will allow you to start dismantling defense mechanisms that have been put in place by impostor syndrome and liberate your mind to focus on new solutions.

For example, if you know you want to start voicing your opinion more freely and speak up, make a promise to speak out in the first 15 minutes of a conversation as this will short-circuit your natural tendency to hold back.

Turn the tables

5. Acknowledge your emotions — None of us likes feeling bad, so we try and avoid our negative emotions. It is time to turn the tables and do the opposite of what you have been doing, it is time to learn to cope with difficult emotions like self-doubt, this is exactly how you will increase your mental stamina. Studies show that people who continue to ignore negative emotions are likely to experience more distress and engage in behaviours like anger, aggression, drinking and over-eating significantly more than people who put their feelings into context with words.

When you are able to accurately identify and explain your feelings stress will be reduced and feelings that arise with impostor syndrome will minimise. As you expand your emotional vocabulary you will deal with anxiety and worry more easily when it arises. This skill, known as emotional literacy, is associated with increased resilience and greater self-esteem. You will feel victorious.

Here’s an example, when you feel overwhelmed by changing priorities in the workplace or home, explore it more. Do you feel disappointment as a result of your incorrect false self-perception of being ill-equipped to cope with the change or get the results you believe are required of you? Do you feel embarrassed because you may let others down? Simply identifying your inner experience is an extremely powerful way to keep insecurity from being your boss.

6. Tweak how you speak to yourself — Yep, that inner dialogue, we sometimes refer to as self-talk. When it comes to impostor syndrome, we are often our own worst critic, we become the enemy and do the enemies work for him. By dismissing your accomplishments or criticising your own capabilities, the victory is lost.

For this next week write down all of your thoughts. This is an eye-opener as you start to take note of the dialogue going on inside your mind. Note, what do you notice about how you judge yourself? If your inner conversations with yourself about yourself lacks compassion for you, use positive realistic phrases like, ‘I’m a work in progress and that’s okay. Jesus loves me’ or ‘I am loved by God and doing my best to become better’. This will stop the cycle of insecurity and self-sabotage you are trapping yourself in.

It takes courage to admit you feel insecure. But something I know for sure from my experience running my business and living life myself is that self-doubt is completely normal. If you are struggling and going through impostor syndrome, realise that it doesn’t mean you are broken.

It is a sign of growth.

Philippians 4:8–9

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

The Seeds We Sow is How They will Grow

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If you plant corn in a field you expect corn to grow and be harvested.

It is a straightforward natural law that what we harvest what we plant. What kind of harvest would you like to reap when it comes to your health, finances, and relationships? The harvest is as a result of the seed planted.

So what kind of seeds are we planting for ourselves?

As parents what kind of seeds have we or are we planting for our children? As wives what kinds of seeds are we planting in our marriages? If we are in a relationship not married? What kind of seeds are we planting? If we are grandparents what kind of seeds are we planting? As employees or employers, what kind of seeds are we planting in our jobs and business? Are they the best, healthiest sin free seeds? Will they yield an abundant, healthy, sin-free harvest?

Be a good farmer.

If we think of ourselves as farmers of our own lives always planting seeds and harvesting in all areas of our lives. There will be good crops and corrupted crops depending on the seed we sow. When we humble ourselves, step out of our own ego and allow God to teach us how to farm, plant, fertilise and cultivate the land of our minds, bodies, and souls and help us not to seduced by sin, we become more skilled at farming, we will be planting good seed, the right seed, that will grow and give us a healthy abundant harvest in our health, finances, and relationships. Our everyday living becomes rich and plentiful – our Christ living becomes easy.

Don’t be misled.

There may be people around you who mean well, offering you farming tips, bending the word of God to fit and suit the situation you find yourselves in and some who want to suck you into their way of thinking to validate their thinking, their emotional state, their actions, who try and teach you how to farm to meet their needs, the harvest of these will yield little or nothing they will be weak, poor and corrupt crops.

Seek wise counsel.

Before you plant anything begin by prepare the ground and take good solid advice. Don’t compromise Gods word and avoid ignoring His warning that the soil is poor soil, the seed is a corrupt seed, that the harvest will bring no return. Before you make any decision ask: Did God say? (Genesis 3:3)

Galatians 6:7–8 (NLT)

7 Don’t be misled – you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

Not Enough Hours

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Do you feel you lack discipline?

If you do I know how you feel and have often beat myself up for not sticking to a rigid routine that looks amazing written down on paper. Then reality sets in and life happens!

Perhaps you feel the same way. Well, I’ve been praying for more discipline and focus. I usually get loads done, but often I know I could do more if I were more disciplined with myself. I don’t know about you but if I am really honest, life does get in the way sometimes with unexpected, unplanned moments, but the truth is I let myself off the hook far too easily. Taking care of the family home and pets, devoting time to developing my women’s ministry, study, visiting elderly parents, dedicating time to being a good wife, friend and sister and a few more things besides all make up the framework of my everyday living. No doubt you live a similar life, you may have small children, mine are all grown up and independent but occasionally still require my time. Where do you fit time in for just you? If you are struggling for time, I hope this will help you begin thinking about your day and finding a solution that works for you.

Recently while having a morning coffee catch up with my friend Steve, he told me about a book he had read during his Christmas break. The thing that stuck in my mind was our discussion about time and how we often hear people say they have no time to do more for themselves let alone others. Yet what they really mean is they don’t want to do more. To get more out of your life it is important to be clear about what you really mean and what you really want. Being intentional and setting up expectation. The courageous thing to do is ask yourself if you are the stumbling block?

The book Steve read talked about us all having 168 hours in a week and if we were to note what we do with those hours, we can immediately see just how much time we waste. How about you over the next week you make a decision to note exactly what you do with your 168 hours, it will highlight where you need to devote more time and where you can be more productive. This will result in you getting more done, feeling more in control and enjoying a deeper sense of satisfaction with your active time. It also removes our excuses for not having time.

It has inspired me.

I made a note last week and prayed each day to become deeper focused, more disciplined and to experience an increased output. Today I woke up and knew I needed to get up and take action and make some changes to move towards my desire of being more productive, healthy and doing what is right for me to live a purpose-filled life over a procrastination-filled life.

Chuckling here to myself, as I type these words because God knows just what we need and when we let Him fully do His work within us. He lines our life up into a series of events that lead us to the moments that we have been praying for. I believe it was no coincidence I was introduced to Steve a few years ago and he has become (even though he doesn’t realise it, he is a humble man) along with a few other people in my life, an incredible mentor to me. It is important to surround ourselves with the right mentors, that will stretch us and challenge us and encourage obedience and have our spiritual growth at the heart of everything they share with us.

And as I am in the zone for being disciplined and getting more out of life. I am also committing to life without meat for the next 30 days, not because I want to be a vegetarian. For my personal wellbeing and after reading some health articles to give my gut a rest from eating animal flesh! So far so good. Fruit smoothie for brekkie and scrambled egg and avocado for lunch. Time to I commit to my well being, so it is time to trim down my Eskimo blubber. I am fifty this year … Ooh need a lie down I’ve gone all faint! I am determined to be fit and fifty, not fat and fifty. What goals do you have for yourself?

As I sit here I have one of my dogs Tink’s sound asleep and snoring next to me. It makes my heart melt to watch her so content and peaceful. She has what many people today are striving to find. I feel grateful that I am no longer allowing others to tell me who I should be, that I am no longer searching for things to make me happy, that money does not dominate my decision-making, that I am not looking for people to fill the gaps of loneliness and striving to be somebody I was not designed to be. I have found peace within, I feel cherished and completely loved and free to be totally 100% authentically myself. If you were like I once was and are still searching for answers, feeling lonely, struggling with a life challenge, then get involved with the good fellowship of people who are in life where you want to be, not stuck where you are. The quality of your friendships and fellowship = the quality of your future.

A beautiful friend gave me flowers on Saturday. They were a gorgeous cluster of closed white rose buds. This morning they were in full bloom. Proud in all their glory. Upright and victorious. They remind that God is all around us. He is continuously letting us know He is present in our lives. We can Him full glory for the beauty of creation, for the wonders of His mighty hand in our creation. With Him, we can stand upright and be victorious. When we are full of faith and trust our Heavenly Father we transform from buds into full blooms, we blossom and prosper. We let go of the labels of life and take on our true God-given identity and live a purpose-filled life.

Father, we thank you for this precious gift of life and to live the destiny you designed us for.

No Amount of Money Will Ever Prove Your Worth

 

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God says not only are you accepted; you’re valuable.

How much do you think you’re worth?  I’m not talking about your net worth; I’m talking about your self-worth.  Don’t ever confuse your valuables with your value as a person.  You can be rich or poor but it has nothing to do with your value as a person. 

I don’t know about you, I want simplicity in my life. Life has become overcomplicated don’t you think? Too many false and unrealistic expectations of how we should look, feel and behave, all of us looking for quick fixes to put right the wrongs we have created in our lives, buying into the grand illusion of perfectionism, fast cars, bigger houses, and more stuff than we know what to do with.

I know how that feels the trading time for more money to buy more stuff to fulfil a need. What need? A need for approval? Security, happiness?! Does money really meet these needs? And at what cost? There is always a price to pay.

I nearly paid it.

We are just kidding ourselves, that more money and more stuff will meet our needs, hiding behind our illusion because the reality is too hard to face. That we have lost ourselves in a world of greed, lust and desire, leading us to use poor judgement and make poor decisions that do not just affect us but those around us who share our lives, because we are too small minded, and downright scared, to take a look deep inside ourselves at what is really going on.

It hurts.

Those mistakes we make eventually lead to a feeling of overwhelm and then the apathy catches us with its horrid molesting hands, eroding at our ability to thrive, our sense of well being now completely threatened. Our lives have become a facade because we chose to live incongruently to who we really are, misaligned to our true innermost core values.

Is this what you really want?

I didn’t want that.

I had to STOP and take stock of who I had become. I didn’t like what I found so I changed it. Now I pass that baton on. It’s your turn to STOP and take a moment to really think about yourself, your needs.

Who have you become?

Brushing the necessary under the carpet as you allow other things to take priority is not the answer. No amount of Prada, Super Dry, Louis Vuitton will bring you that inner happiness you truly seek. The clue is right there in front of you.

Inner happiness — this is an inside job, it is who you become not what you have that determines your worth.

Are you willing to risk it all? to have it all?

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have” — Louis E. Boone

Garbage In Garbage Out

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We are products of our influences that is everything we hear and listen too, everything we see and watch, everything we speak and has been spoken to us, everything we do and has happened to us, everyone we associate with online and offline. Those who we spend most time with in our personal lives and professional lives. The loving question to you my dear friend and reader is ‘What are you feeding your mind?

There is freedom in being honest with yourself.

Perhaps it is time to take stock. What was the last text you received and sent? What was the last thing you read before this blog? what kinds of things do you share and like on social media? what was the last thing you watched on TV, listened to, the last words you spoke or who had spoken to you? Who are you hanging out with the most are they positively influencing your life for the better, encouraging you? Deep down you will know there are changes to be made or not as the case may be. How you feed your mind, is how you feed your bodies emotional health and how you do life. You may need to delete some people from your social media feeds or unfollow them you may need to make some changes to who you hang out with, the things you watch, listen to and how you speak to others and your own self-talk.

You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you are and where you are by changing what goes into your mind.

Zig Ziglar states that what you feed your mind determines your appetite. There is great power in becoming influenced by the things you read, watch or listen to. That’s why it is imperative to feed your mind in positive and holy ways

If you’re struggling with your health, your finances, your relationships, STOP and look at what information you are feeding that precious mind of yours. Every piece of information we take in from outside influences, the people we surround ourselves with, the jobs we do, the TV, films, books, we watch and read, the activities we take part in, are all sowing thoughts in our minds.

Do you want to reap a good harvest?

Then you must ensure that the seeds you sow are of a high-grade quality and that they are fertilised with nourishing organic goodness and not mind rotting rubbish. It’s good to note that if you’ve been feeding your mind rubbish for years, it’s going to take a while to detox and cleanse it. It will require effort.

A fulfilled life requires effort.

How do you treat your mind? If you treat it like you’ve treated your attempts at fitness in the past, sporadic and never really committing to doing the daily things required for transformation then the results will always be poor and end up affecting you in some negative way. You will experience poor decision making, paranoia, sadness, regret, apathy and fear.

Only you can change this.

It has to be your choice backed up with persistent, consistent, purposeful positive actions. Not a choice you make and never really commit too, not a wishy-washy decision with a lack of persistent, consistent effort. That will bring you zero benefit and change very little. Have you ever wonder why the world is passing you by, and people you know seem to achieve more than you, take a look at their efforts and compare them to yours.

You’ll find plenty of clues.

What if you modelled their pattern for success? You may just find your life brings you some unexpected positive rewards. Don’t live with regret. ACT TODAY. ❤️

 

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2 ESV

Six Signs of a Healthy Relationship

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Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance (1 Corinthians 13:4-7).

It could be said that true love comes with no conditions attached. The achievement of these things may be harder to fully practice, but I believe we owe it to ourselves, others and the world we live in to give it our best shot. It makes for healthy living and beautiful connections that empower and fulfil us as we do life.

Researching much about relationships and how to enjoy healthy connections, I have come across what seems to be universal signs of a healthy relationship. If you are seeking to make deeper connections within your relationships I encourage to explore these in more depth beyond this blog post.

Affection – According to the Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, engaging in affectionate touch increases how trustworthy an individual may appearEveryone needs a little tender loving care. In relationships, however, the importance of physical affection is well documented and plays a big part in the well being and depth of our relationships especially those more intimate connections we share. Physical touch affects our emotional health, there are many scientific studies documenting the health benefits of affection.

Respect – is a pattern of behaviour that is found in healthy relationships, it is also an important building block in developing and maintaining healthy relationships. I am a firm believer you don’t demand respect you earn it. You have to give respect in order to get it, and it is something everyone deserves. People who respect each other trust and support each other values and independence.

Shared Values – “Happiness is a state of non-contradictory joy–a joy without penalty or guilt, a joy that does not clash with any of your values and does not work for your own destruction.”  Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. They usually determine your priorities, and, deep down, they are the measurement tool you use to check if your life is turning out the way you want it to. When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is pretty good, you have a deep sense satisfaction and contentment.

When our values are compromised and others values don’t align with our personal values, that’s when things feel off-kilter, wrong and out of sync and this can become a real source of our unhappiness. In a healthy relationship, we may not be in complete alignment with every value of others but we will share some. Healthy relationships need to have an understanding of shared values over shared interests. For example, I love a good musical and going to the ballet. My hubby is not a huge fan, he likes war history, watching films with lots of action scenes and big plots and a good old fashion western. We respect each other’s likes and give each other space to enjoy these things independently. However, we also understand the need to spend quality time together and make time for that. This shared value is in alignment because we both understand and value it for ourselves and for each other.

Honesty – is a way of life, not just a behaviour. It is paramount in your relationship and will do more good than harm and keep the bad at bay. When you know you can totally trust each other in a relationship, it brings a freedom and deep sense of comfort that helps your relationship work in the best way possible. Without honesty, growth is hindered in a relationship. Being honest with one another helps us avoid a lot of issues. Honesty opens the door to meet, greet and learn about each person in the relationship.  It prepares you for the rough times, the tough times when the true colours come are revealed you have already had a glimpse of the full portrait already.  You can trust each other all you want, but if you don’t know the real version of the other person then trust is useless. It’s important to always act with integrity and make our actions match our words.

Trust – is integral to happy and fulfilling relationships in both our personal and professional lives. We require trust to develop over time to build successful and meaningful partnerships. Trusting someone means that you think they are reliable, you have confidence in them and you feel safe with them physically and emotionally. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to trust each other. People in high-trust relationships communicate well, don’t second-guess one another, they understand why they are doing things, and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that goals are met. People in low trust relationships communicate poorly, will try and guess the one another and will be drifting from the goals they were aiming for and the pursuit of mutual happiness becomes non-existent. “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” Stephen R. Covey.  

Self-awareness –  Psychologist Daniel Goleman, has proposed the definition of self-awareness in his best-selling book “Emotional Intelligence”, as “knowing one’s internal states, preference, resources and intuitions”. This definition places more emphasis on the ability to monitor our inner world, our thoughts and emotions as they arise.

Self-awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, who we are and how we are wired, we are then able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. This empowers us to make any changes necessary to be the healthiest version of us we can be, both emotionally, spiritually and physically. We can build on our areas of strength and identify areas where we would like to make improvements. Self-awareness is being conscious of what you’re good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn. This includes admitting when you don’t have the answer and owning up to mistakes.

Epiphany Moment

A new beginning

 

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Today “epiphany” carries a range of meanings, including “an intuitive grasp of reality,” “an illuminating discovery, realization, disclosure, or insight,” or simply “a revealing scene or moment.” My definition of an epiphany is “a moment of sudden or great revelation that usually changes you in some way.”

Sometimes life presents us with circumstances that we eventually have to deal with. There is no way around it. No matter how hard we may try to avoid dealing with it ‘that thing’ eventually provides a moment when ‘BOOM’ like a ticking time bomb it goes off! I am one of those people that carries my stress on the inside. Years of working in emergency healthcare I had learned to be calm in the storms raging around me. Recently I found myself in the midst of a situation that I knew needed dealing with. Not dealing with it was making me ill. I needed to step away from an unhealthy relationship that had become toxic and no matter how hard I tried to pretend I could handle it.

I couldn’t!

It didn’t happen overnight. A series of small seemingly insignificant moments interweaved with some larger significant moments over a period of six months all strung together to reveal something I had prayed as each moment happened would not become a reality. And then there it was that HUGE epiphany. That moment when time stood still and I was faced with what I hoped was not true. My friend, my confidante, someone I once looked up to had crossed the line of healthy boundaries into unhealthy territory one too many times.

The trust had been broken

As I sat there trying to process the experience and behaviour I had been exposed to, I knew full well that I was now going to have to make a decision that would not be well received and as much as it would be my wish to avoid drama, the reality was that based on my reason for making this tough decision I knew the recipient would create unnecessary drama. Their behaviour towards me had become so toxic it was poisoning every area of our relationship. I had to go to a place of acceptance.

The relationship was over.

As the days that followed passed by my revelation was replaced with an all-consuming inner turmoil an overwhelming sense of fear and sadness! So I turned to the one thing I knew brought me peace, the one person I knew settled my soul and would guide me through this unsettled period of decision making. So I began spending time in solitude, letting the stillness wash over me, cleanse my soul and clear my mind.

Peace filled me.

My prayer life became a daily meeting with my maker. I knew I could not control the actions and reactions of others towards me.  But the one thing I could control was how I acted and reacted and no matter how others behaved I could remain steadfast, grace-filled and full of faith.

False responsibility.

It is never easy when circumstances move beyond our control and we find ourselves at the mercy of others behaviour. Far too often we are led to believe that we are responsible for more than we actually are in relationships. We hang on in there as we don’t want to be seen to fail, so we assume a sense of false responsibility, reasoning with ourselves and others we don’t want to let others down. The healthy truth is we are responsible for our own well being first and if this is in jeopardy then we need to take positive action that will ensure our emotional health is protected.

Together is better.

I am so grateful for the profound wisdom, love and care of my husband of 30 years.  And being married it was important I shared the decision-making process with my hubby as it would affect him too. We sought wise counsel together, we reached out to godly people outside of our direct circle of influence, that we knew we could trust to advise us in truth and pray with us. We had a series of meetings over several months to help us understand our thoughts and ensure we were making the right decision, for the right reasons, at the right time. The situation I found myself in also required me to seek safeguarding advice and to see a counsellor for my own well being. Following this process, the final decision became clear, was made easier and we knew it was the right decision. It brought peace to our minds and soothed our souls. We had to step away and replace unhealthy boundaries with healthy ones.

 “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” ― Martin Luther King Jr

Hello 2018

A New Hope.

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The new year may officially begin on January 1st each year, but who made the rules that we have to begin a new regime and set new goals at that moment. I have learned over the years to gently ease myself into each new year and not run into it, pedal to the metal as it were because come February 1st the pace has become unsustainable and the setbacks more likely.

Over the last few years, I have taken a new approach, avoiding the hype of goal setting, fastidious healthy eating post indulgent eating over the festive period and letting go of the need to look too far ahead into my future with my 10-year master plan. I want to savour every God-breathed moment and embrace every entire second that ticks by and be in the moment instead of someplace else missing what is going on right where I am. I have learned to be still during January and let the noise and chaos of others getting their game on, pass me by and not feel guilty about following the crowds in search of perfection.

The dark, cold, starkness of January for me is a time to rest, reflect and refresh from a busy year gone by with the chaotic climax of Christmas, it seems to me now that to rush into the new year means rushing through the year ahead as you set a pace that is not maintainable and become disappointed way too soon, throwing out deadlines for goals and by February feeling a failure and playing catch up has taken over and I don’t want that anymore. The older I get and I will be half a century this year. The more I realise and have come to accept I do not need to conform to the hype of ‘new year, new me’! I can be happy with me full stop, not least because it’s a new year and the mistakes of the year gone by can be forgotten but because every day I wake up, I breath in the optimism of the hours ahead to enjoy being alive.

Society has gotten itself into the cycle of self-defeating habits of always embracing the new, instead of reflecting and potentially recycling what is working and not taking on new things but enjoy a steady pace of achieving, a lifestyle of good health, simple wealth and meaningful relationships. We have got into the rat race of having to be more than we are, do more than we can and have more than we need. Stretching, hustling and basically killing ourselves, because of our dire innate need to belong and be significant.

Reading this I would like to share new hope with you, that today you pause and ask yourself …

Your current goals – what are they really for? Your current lifestyle -who is it really benefitting? Have you really started your new year with a clean slate or have you just repackaged last year in a new format to fit in with what the rest of society is telling you this year should be for you and how you should go about getting it and will end up by December as tired, worn out and overstretched, and unhappy as you do every year.

Your significance is not found in the ‘hustle’ it is found in the stillness of the time you take to rest and take a deeper look at who you are on the inside and your true purpose on this earth. Everything you are on the outside is a reflection of the world you live in. Everything you are on the inside for many has yet to be fully unlocked.

Is this year just going to be a recycled rerun of every other year or will you make this year one that transforms how you do life forever? Be courageous and ask yourself ‘how is my soul, how am I on the inside?’ take time to listen to your inner answer and dare to explore the solution.

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

Matthew 16:26 | NIV