June 27 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Attitude of Gratitude

Attitude of Gratitude

Being grateful means counting the blessings in our life. We can wish for many things and miss the opportunity of living in the present moment by being grateful for what we have, here and now. Having gratitude opens the door for more abundance, not necessarily monetary value, but an overall satisfaction for life. We wake up each day and are thankful for another day of living that other people may not get.

Being grateful does not mean we stop striving to achieve goals and succumb to living a mediocre life. On the contrary, individuals who are grateful understand that success stems from appreciating what life offers and going for it. This example is gratitude in action and achieving any success without it, will feel hollow. Therefore, we will learn to incorporate gratitude in all our affairs. While we are practicing gratitude, when trouble arises as sometimes it does, we can embrace the moment with less tension and worry by knowing for every problem, we can find a solution. By practicing gratitude, we can inspire people to practice gratitude too.

Just for Today
I will wake up feeling grateful for my experiences and the lessons I have learned. I will live in the present moment while anticipating a future filled with opportunities by goal setting and putting gratitude into action. By living in gratitude, I know I am successful and can meet all life challenges with the attitude of knowing with every problem, there is a solution. Living and practicing daily gratitude means I will be living less in fear, doubt, and worry. I am grateful for what life has to offer, and I will not overlook things be thankful for: a smile, a warm place to sleep, food, clothing, and sunsets and sunrises. I know practicing gratitude is an attitude put into action.

June 26 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Treatment of People – Consistencies & Inconsistencies

Behaviors

Consistency and Inconsistency is a pattern we demonstrate to show people who we are with words and actions.  If I am consistently showing kindness, people will think of me as kindly.  If I am yelling at store clerks and constantly showing impatience, someone may consider me as a mean, impatient person.  What we need to pay attention to is not only how someone treats us, but how they treat other people in our presence.  For example, if you start dating someone who is kind and generous but is consistently rude to others, it could be a red flag to how he or she will eventually treat you.  If we are a person who is taken in by words, now is the time to watch for consistencies and inconsistencies in behaviors.

We should look for both consistencies and inconsistencies in all areas of a person’s life:  finances, health, relationships, and behavioral patterns.  Warning labelEverything that looks good is not good for us.  Appearance does not tell all.  We must get to know someone for at least a good year before we decide we want to continue to develop the relationship or not.  Keep in mind, no one is perfect, and you do not want to be on the other side consistently pointing out someone else’s character defects.  Sit back – listen and watch for consistencies and inconsistencies.  Also, and most importantly, now is the time to self-reflect upon your life and identify your consistency and inconsistencies for further personal development.

Just for Today

I will pay attention to consistency and inconsistency behavioral patterns, especially newly relationships.  I will not ignore if a person’s actions and words do not match and gather more information to make a formed decision if I want to continue the relationship.  I will pay attention to not only how well a person treats me, but how they treat other people in my presence.  Also, I will take note of my inconsistencies and make necessary changes for further personal development.  With further understanding, I know healthy patterns build trust and respect, inconsistencies breeds mistrust and suspicion.  While recognizing and developing healthier, consistent patterns in my life, I will identify and attract people who are doing the same.  Most importantly, we do not try to change people’s behaviors and sometimes need to gently tell a person if they are misbehaving while allowing a person to readjust his or her behavior.  We strive to be consistent in a positive way and correct any inconsistencies in our life.  We strive for progress, not perfection in all our affairs.

Just for today, I will be paying attention to the consistencies and inconsistencies in other people’s behavior and my own.

June 23 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries.png

Setting boundaries are essential for loving yourself and maintaining healthy relationships. Setting a limit is a loving thing to do when you assert yourself, “You can come this far.” The importance of personal boundaries is to teach people how to treat us and is the building blocks of respect and trust. The people who honor our boundaries are the people we want in our life.

If someone crosses a boundary unknowingly, we set a limit, and in time we find out if our message was received or not. If a boundary continues to get cross, we may inform the person, “If this continues to happen, I may have to make changes in the relationship or discontinue the relationship altogether.” As the saying goes, “We teach people how to treat us.”  Sometimes we do not set a limit with ourselves, and we disclose information too soon to someone who may not have earned our trust.  By trial and error – wisdom and experience, we set boundaries and have realized the importance of people earning their trust and respect as a way to have a place in our life.

Once again, it is essential to your emotional well-being to have and to set healthy, personal boundaries. Let me make one thing clear – until you can set boundaries without feeling guilty or shame and revert to an unhealthy pattern, you will stand the chance of continually being controlled, a doormat, taking advantage of, worse yet abused, or all the above. If this is you, you may want to look at patterns of people pleasing or codependency issues. Remember, we have a personal right to take care of ourselves in any given situation.

Just for Today
I will remember I have a personal right and freedom to think, feel, and pursue my life as I see fit. I have a right to my space and how close or far I want to allow someone to be. When someone continually crosses my boundaries, and I allow it, I am forfeiting my freedom, happiness, and personal rights of standing up for myself.

If I have had difficulty setting boundaries in the past, I can start today by letting people know how far they can go and why. I can practice by saying no to situations I do not feel comfortable with or re-evaluate relationships with people who may have gotten in the habit of crossing my personal boundaries. Regardless of unhealthy past patterns, I can start setting healthier boundaries and build healthier relationships today.

By setting personal boundaries and communicating what is and is not acceptable will encourage the people in my life to do the same. I will practice setting boundaries and to know it is a loving thing to do for myself and to build healthier relationships with others.

Just for today, I know who I am and what is acceptable and unacceptable.  In good faith, I will set healthy boundaries today.

 

June 22 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today:  Positive Thoughts 

 

Thought

Like the ebb and tides of the ocean – thoughts will come, and thoughts will go. We may not have control over an initial thought, but we do have control over our sensory faculties as far as what we watch, read, listen to, and discussions we participate in that create a positive or negative attitude.  We can be mindful of what information comes in and what information goes back out to create the type of environment we want to live in.

To change old ways of thinking, you must interrupt negative thought patterns and introduce your mind to innovative ways of thinking to change your attitude from negative to positive.  By recognizing the thought patterns that hold you back in life, you can take down old photos of yesterday’s gone by and put up new pictures in your life gallery – here and now.  We cannot change the past; however, we can be grateful for a chance to start a brand-new day.  We can turn old tapes of negative thinking into positive ones by interrupting the thought process.

You cannot help how you feel, however, you can change thought patterns to help you out of a sea of negative emotion such as anger, fear, and sadness. By dwelling on the past and creating stress by fixating on the future, you cannot practice mindfulness (focusing one’s awareness on the present moment).  A subtle shift in our thinking can change our mood from sadness to happiness by shifting negative thoughts to positive thoughts. Furthermore, could possibly change our entire life’s direction by practicing mindfulness.

Just for today
I will practice each day by waking up with a positive thought and being grateful for a brand-new day.  I will practice mindfulness and transform my life by letting go of what no longer serves me.  I will let go of the past and making predictions about the future that causes unnecessary worry and strife. I will strive to do my best every day by living in the present moment and expect good things to happen by the actions taken to make it happen.

I create peace and gratitude by knowing I can practice creating positive thoughts at any time and return my focus to – here and now. By practicing mindfulness, I will be grateful for a brand-new day and maintain a positive outlook on life.  By doing so, I will incorporate the ingredients of wisdom recipes for living a better life, one positive thought and grateful moment at a time.

Just for today, I am grateful for a fresh perspective by focusing on positive thoughts.

June 21 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Forgiveness & Redemption

Forgiveness and Redemption

To forgive is an act of courage.  When you grant forgiveness to yourself or someone else, you set free the person you are forgiving.  Forgiving someone else means we no longer let the offense control our lives.  We break free from anger, hurt, and resentment we have carried around – days, weeks, and years.  We do not condone the act of why we need to forgive; we do not allow the feelings to take root, cause bitterness, and thus, cause a bitter heart to influence all areas of our life. It takes courage and strength to forgive and let go versus holding onto bitter feelings and memories.

Forgiveness is a choice.  Therefore, when we decide to forgive someone, does not mean we allow the person back into our life or condone the actions of the other party.  Sometimes it does entail we continue the relationship, set boundaries, and start to re-build trust and respect again.  We give a person a chance to find out if he or she has changed and show redemption; hence, turned away from transgressions.  No matter how small or large the mistake may appear, redemption means we own the mistake and not repeat the committed incident again.  We have made amends and if necessary, taken actions to compensate for the occurrence.  It does not mean we make the other person or ourselves to beg and crawl across the floor for forgiveness.  For if anyone were to look at his or her own souls, we could find a blemish, committed against ourselves or someone else that if possible, we would set right if we could.

Asking for forgiveness does not necessarily mean we purge our conscience just to lay the burden at someone else’s feet.  According to the Twelve Step Program, we make amends only if we do not harm ourselves or another person by doing so.  Sometimes, the person is not available to make amends to so we take measures in other ways through volunteering or any act that helps heal the situation.  By doing so, we make the world a better place to live through forgiveness and redemption.

In conclusion, if someone you know is on the path of personal development and is doing everything to better his or her life, do not cause further hurt or shame by throwing it into someone’s face after you have granted forgiveness.  We do not make ourselves better by holding people to the flame for their mistakes.  Remember, the best revenge is to forgive, let go, and set out to have the best life ever.

 Just for Today

I declare today is the day I am going to forgive someone and set him or her free, including myself.  If I have made amends, I know I have taken corrective measures to move forward in my life.  By showing redemption, I will not commit the same mistake again.  This does not mean I live by a creed of perfection, but by a belief of taking personal responsibility for my actions.

By forgiving someone else, I set free – the person that needs forgiving and myself.  This does not always mean I allow the person to re-enter my life and cause further harm.  It means I can let go of emotions that are holding me back and set free the person that needs forgiving, including myself.  If I do allow an individual to remain in my life, I can set boundaries and give a person a second chance to show they have taken responsibility for their actions and have changed.   Also, I know it may be an opportunity to re-build trust, respect, and make the relationship stronger than it was before.

Furthermore, I show courage by not allowing someone to steal my joy and the ability to trust again due to holding onto bad memories and feelings of resentment and mistrust.

Just for today, I will believe in the courageous act of forgiveness and redemption.

 

June 20 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Focus

Focus

What you stay focused on will grow.” ― Roy T. Bennett

Our energy bank gets filled or depleted based upon what we focus on during the day. Having a productive day versus a day filled with busyness is based upon how well we focus and handle distractions. People either spend time wisely by focusing on the things they can change; others will drift through life, fixate on things beyond their control. Time is a precious gift.  We lose minutes, hours, days, weeks and unfortunately years to distractions that take up a lot of space in our life but offers very little value. Therefore, it is important to figure out how we want to spend our time and what is important to focus on.  People who want to master a skill or advance in personal development needs to understand the concept of focus and how to use it.

For example, are you trying to focus on solving other people’s problems and neglecting your own? Distraction.  Are you looking for ways to enhance your life skills and change your career? Focus.  Are you trying to change your partner into what you want him or her to be? Distraction.  Are you investing in a physical fitness program to help with your mental clarity and keep physically fit?  Focus.  Are you watching a television program on how to be more motivated?  Ah, this is a trick question.  Information, even positive, inspiring information can be a distraction if we are on informational motherlode and never take action on what we learn.

So, find the best time of the day that you can be focused.  Write down five things you want to accomplish and focus on the most important project first.   Break down major projects into manageable pieces and do not get overwhelmed by how you will accomplish the overall project.  If telephone calls are a distraction, turn off the cell phone until your project is complete.  Take fifteen minutes a day to meditate and empty the mind.  At first, it may be difficult to do, but with practice, you will look forward to meditating every day.   Walking is a form of meditation and exercise.  Taking a break before starting a new project helps to recharge the mind.

Most importantly, how you start and end your day is essential.  If the day starts out with the mind filled with distracting thoughts, we use up precious time and energy. The same goes for evening hours. Talking and thinking about emotionally draining topics right before bed could result in a restless, sleepless night which affects how much energy you will have for the next day.

For this reason, pay attention to what helps you focus and what causes the most distractions throughout the day.  Set boundaries with people who want to use up your time and energy on trivial matters.  Listen to your intuition.  If an individual or situation is causing you distractions and unnecessary stress, it is time to problem solve and figure out how to deal with it or change it.  Remember, you are responsible for how well you spend your time.  By learning how to focus well, you will accomplish more and have the energy to do the things you enjoy.

Just for Today

I will starve my distractions and feed my focus.  I will plan out my day by placing emphasis on the first priority on my daily list until the project or goal is complete.  I will set boundaries with people who gossip and bring drama to me as a way to throw me off course.  I will add meditation and physical exercises to help clear my mind and help me re-focus.  I will manage my energy tank by how well I take control of the day.  I will break down projects into manageable sizes and work towards completing tasks and accomplishing goals.  I will use mindfulness of what helps me focus and stay on target and what distractions me and throws me off course.

Just for today, I will remain focus and accomplish what I set out to do – developing a productive, purposeful, and fulfilling life.

June 19 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Opportunities

Opportunties

As a child, we understood very little about opportunities and viewed life through a circumstantial lens.  We took everything at face value and question things we did not understand.  We had limited control over our lives because we relied on adults to make choices for us.  As adults, we realized we could make our own decisions. An adult who has invested in personal development will come to know the difference between circumstances and opportunities.  A person who believes their life is a byproduct of circumstances will lack the initiative to make different choices and feel powerless over his or her life. An individual who recognizes life is what we make it, will create and seize opportunities as they arise.

Situations that happen in life that is beyond our control and we did not choose is one thing. However, each day we do have control over our lives by the choices we make. Some people will stay chained to someone or something for years because they are afraid of the unknown or do not want to go through the pain of letting go and moving on. Some people feel unlucky from the day they were born, and no matter what they try, life will never work in their favor.  The psychology term for this mentality is learned helplessness.

So, how do we change our thinking from life is nothing more than circumstances over to creating opportunities?  We take an honest look at our situation and evaluate what is working well in our lives and what needs to change.  We take the time to get to know ourselves, likes and dislikes.  We set goals. Achieving one goal can change your whole outlook on life.  It builds a good character and self-esteem.  We may ask for mentorship from someone we admire and is creating opportunities for him or herself.  We quit playing the negative tapes of being a victim of circumstances. We let go of the past.  We live in the present moment.  We search for opportunities at our job. We search and search for possibilities all around until a door opens up for us.  A person who makes a lifetime of personal development will constantly look for opportunities to better their lives.

Remember, if you keep making excuses and continue a learned helplessness pattern, opportunities will continue to pass you by.  If you look at your past and think your time has come and gone, you have not found your life purpose.  Everyone has a purpose in life, and it is up to each one of us to discover what our purpose is and how to obtain it. By recognizing life is filled with opportunities, your attitude towards life will be more hopeful and positive.  You will begin to notice opportunities that otherwise you would have one time overlooked.

Just for Today

I will look for opportunities and create ones for myself.  I will give up the victim of circumstances mentality and change it to life is filled with possibilities mindset.  I will be open to opportunities presented to me. Every day and in every way, I will look for opportunities to better my life and find my life purpose.

If opportunities do not come all at once, I will not be discouraged as I know it takes time and hard work to fulfill dreams. I will be mindful of my thoughts, and change my mindset to align with my intentions of the things I want out of life.  By keeping a positive mindset, the door of opportunities will remain open.  I will let go of the past because opportunities are only available in the present moment.  I will get to know myself and what is best for my life.  I will be mindful of when I feel like life is circumstantial or when I am in control making the best choices for myself.

Just for today, I will trust the universe wants the best for me and from this point forward the purpose of my intention will be creating and looking for new opportunities.

June 16 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today

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When we avoid stressful situations or idiotic arguments that fuel anger with little or no understanding, we are staying above the fray.  It is important to use wisdom by knowing when we need to confront and when it is best not to say anything at all. Often, people get into arguments out of insecurity; they want you to believe in what they consider by solidifying their beliefs.   By staying above the fray, we let people express opinions, but we do not have to respond or engage in lengthy conversations of this type.  Also, people may repeat, take out of context, or misquote something we have said and cause negative consequences for ourselves.  This concern is primarily with individuals who we do not know well, or we do know well and like to spread gossip.

Therefore, we can apply wisdom by listening and knowing our audience.  If you know a person is defensive or has an unwavering conviction over a topic, you may not want to enter a heated conversation, for example talking politics or religion.  It is important to know by using discretion; we can avoid the trappings by a person who purposely brings up conversations knowingly he or she will get a reaction out of us.  We can say we choose not to discuss the matter.  If a person persists, we can always excuse ourselves from the conversation. We must challenge ourselves by asking the tough questions, such as why we would want to keep company with people who debate just to prove a point without understanding our point of view or discuss topics to get a rise out of us? Why would we surround ourselves with people who like to gossip or we gossip ourselves?  A person with high self-esteem would avoid people who consistently fall below the fray.

So, can you recall the times in your life where misunderstandings have taken place because being right was more important than listening and understanding another’s point of view?  Think about the chaos and drama it caused, hurt feelings, and a wedge it might have placed in a relationship.  Therefore, to stay above the fray, we might want to evaluate conversations we are having with people; people whom we do not know well who could misinterpret what we say and use it to gossip.  The workplace is an area where people who may have their own agendas could use something we say, especially if we do not agree with as to cause triangulations and divisions amongst staff. Therefore, especially in the workplace, use discretion, keep opinions to a minimum, if spoken at all, and be wary of people who bring you gossip or spread negativity and gossip.

By staying above the fray, you will be reserving your time and energy for the important things in life that you can change and development – yourself.

Just for Today

I will be mindful to stay above the fray.  I will steer away from conversations with people who want to force their opinions on me or want to argue for the sake of wanting to start an argument.  When people want to express an opinion, especially if what they are saying holds no value, truth, facts, or reason, by offering no response, I will save myself the emotional drain and reserve my power.  If I know someone is intentionally trying to provoke anger in me just to get a response, I can ask to change the subject or discontinue the conversation.  I have a personal choice to respond or not to respond.  I will use wisdom and discretion to know my audience and who I can trust with my innermost feelings and who I cannot trust.  By knowing my audience, I will be staying above the fray.

Just for today, I have a choice to respond or not respond to the opinions of others.  By understanding this personal freedom of choice, I will stay above the fray.

 

 

June 15 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today

Inhale the future, exhale the past..jpg

People’s ability to make something work has everything to do with their ability to let go of something that does not work, grieve it, and move on.” ~ Dr. Henry Cloud

We cannot inhale the future if we do not learn to exhale the past.  By holding onto past hurts and wearing our old battles scars like a badge of honor, we cannot actually know true joy and satisfaction that life has to offer.  So, what does it mean to exhale the past? It means not only letting go of what no longer serves us but also letting go of what does serve us by playing a victim and getting sympathy votes for things that cannot be change and choices made – consciously or unconsciously.  It means we accept what cannot be altered – the past.

Unfortunately, people continue the victim or martyr role by reliving past mistakes and hurts because, there are caretakers in their life that will continue to feel sorry and to do for him or her, what they should be doing for themselves.  By feeling sorry for people, we do not help a person grow, we stifle his or her progress from moving into the future by trying to make up for their past hurts. We can be a friend and listen, but we cannot solve problems for others or change people; we can only solve our own problems and change ourselves.

Evidently, it takes time letting go of the past after recognizing we are holding ourselves back from a brighter future. By inhaling the future, we embrace the positive aspects of our past and release the negative into the atmosphere.  When old pictures in our mind show up, we can change the photo by realizing our present and future does not have to be a replay of past events.  By becoming aware of our thoughts, we can introduce new ideas of positiveness for a brighter future.  We can find resources on how to become more positive and write down sentences to reference when negative feelings and thoughts arise.

Understandably so, people have experienced horrific events in life that take an enormous strength and courage to overcome or manage the feelings that arise from such events.  With that said, people should always seek professional counseling if emotions and behaviors are preventing a person to function or move forward.  Keep in mind, you are never alone, and there are amazing stories of individuals, like yourself,  who have triumphed over adverse situations and have come out better on the other side after processing and dealing with it healthily.  Never be ashamed of your past, whether or not it was by choices you made or circumstances beyond your control.  By surviving through it up to this point, you are braver than you give yourself credit for it.

Therefore, if the past is holding you, hostage, find ways to break free, grieve, and move on.  Seek help and guidance from others who have overcome the difficulties of the past. Never let the past define you by holding on when it is long overdue to let it go.  Learn from the experiences of the past. Grow from it.  When you get to the place that you no longer experience overwhelming feelings about past events, healing is taking place, and you are living in the present moment – here and now.  What a beautiful place to be.  You will be able to inhale the future and anticipate the good things in life.

Just for Today

I will learn to inhale the future and exhale the past.  I will break free from thoughts of the past that hold me back and keep me down.  I will do whatever it takes to get out of the victim role and step into a victorious role.  I will not be overcome by emotions of the past; I will be an overcomer.  I will not shut the door on the past, because I may need to reference a point in my life where, by getting through a difficult time, I can get through a current, difficult situation.  By inhaling the future, I will not get stuck in problems but find solutions.  Above all else, if I need to make amends, I will do so.  If I need to forgive someone from my past that has hurt me, I set myself free.  If I need to forgive myself, I will do so and move on.

By inhaling the future and exhaling the past, I give myself the chance to receive and appreciate a precious gift – living in the present moment.

 

 

 

June 14 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today

Late Bloomer

Late Bloomers

People who are considered late bloomers are individuals who do not get recognized for accomplishments or do not bloom from the bud so to speak until later in life.  Late bloomers sometimes can be classified as underdogs or underestimated because they have chosen a safe path for years and something has triggered them to take a chance and muster up the courage they have been harboring for years. Sometimes something happens like a wake-up call, and they redirect the course of their life.  In the case of actors and actress, writers or some type of creative pursuit, the person has been practicing his or her craft for years, and the right person recognizes it, and their career path takes off.

Whatever the situation, people who live an all but non-existent life or an individual who lives in fear can always make a change, sometimes a radical one and break free from the mundane everyday living he or she has been living for years.  By making a change does not mean we are necessarily reaching for notoriety.  People have their own definition of success, and the most successful person can be making quilts from their home, selling it to the local Farmers Market, meeting interesting people and feel they are the most successful person in the world.  The point is we can always bloom where we are at before it is too late.

So, have you always wanted to write, but haven’t taken steps to put your words down on paper and take a chance of other people reading your material?  You can start today.  Are you an individual who has walked for years, but afraid to enter a marathon or walkathon and meet new people?  You can sign up today.  Life is about taking a risk, even small ones to live a fulfilling life.  You can be a late bloomer at any age by remaining open and challenging yourself to be creative in doing something you have never done before.  The spoiler-alert is you may find yourself living a whole new life and happiness.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

Just for Today

I will look for innovative ways to take a risk and challenge myself.  I know opportunities lay ahead of me.  By “acting as if,” I can bloom into the life I have always wanted.  I have faith my time will unfold into something beautiful.  The seed is planted, the showers of opportunity will rain down, and like a sunflower beaming with joy reaching for the sun, I will be satisfied knowing I did not idly sit and watch my dreams pass me by, but I rose out of the ashes of complacency and dared to take a chance.  With each passing hour, I know life is too short to remain a wallflower. I will do everything in my power to bloom and to know the best bloomers are the late bloomers for they have found the key to courage, perseverance, and wisdom.