July 13 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Friendships

Friendships

We do not choose family members, classmates, or co-workers, but we do choose our friendships.  To have a friend, we need to learn how to be a friend.  As Aristotle so beautifully said friends are two people who have a kinship. We tend to gravitate towards people who we are most alike and share a common bond.  We sometimes struggle finding good friends, because as the old sage reminds us at the end of our lifetime, we will be able to count our real friendships on the one hand; sometimes not realizing most of the people in our life are acquaintances.

So, we may ask, what makes a good friendship? Individuals who seem to genuinely care for our best interest, who we can call upon in times of trouble, and a person who we can laugh with at life’s intricacies and enjoy time together.  We may share a mutual interest with our friends such as bowling on a Saturday night, liking the same football team, and attend games together, or simply sitting together having an enjoyable conversation over a cup of coffee.  Without friendships, our life becomes to feel hollow.

Therefore, it is just as important to maintain healthy friendships as it is to make friends. Like any relationship, communication, honesty, trust, and respect is important in friendships.  We may travel down the same road with the same friendships for years. Sometimes we lose touch and reconnect years later. Sometimes we outgrow each other and move on.  Whatever the case may be, we must understand the concept of being a good friend to make and maintain friendships to enhance our quality of life. Most importantly, we need to be our own best friend.  Sometimes we may not have someone there to reach out to; we must be able to stand on our own.

Just for Today

I will appreciate the friendships I have in my life.  I will look for ways to sustain and deepen my friendships.  I know to make a friend I must learn to be a friend.  Also, I understand how I treat myself will determine how other people will treat me.  I know real friendships do not stem by connecting through gossip filled conversations, but through intimacy by disclosure of thoughts, feelings, and life events.  By working through conflicts with effective communication is essential to keep the friendship going and growing.

Sometimes I understand friendships end because one or both people involved are on different paths. I will appreciate necessary endings as well as new beginnings as a part of life.  For the most valuable friendship is starting with myself through self-care and setting boundaries in all my relationships.  By remaining open to meeting new people, there will be opportunities to make new friendships and furthermore, add value to my life.

Just for today, I will appreciate and value my friendships. Most importantly, I will appreciate and value the relationship I have with myself.

 

July 12 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Patience

Patience

Nowadays life is busy.   We rush around trying to get things done before settling in for the evening. It seems like there is never enough time just to sit and relax. In the world, credit goes to the man or woman who sets out to achieve and lives a busy life. With all the busyness, we sometimes become frustrated with our loved ones even if we try to be patient. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. All we need is a few quick breaths throughout the day to stop and appreciate what is going on around us. Sometimes we think we are too busy to take a walk and enjoy the weather outside.

While patience keeps are stress level manageable, being impatient will cause us anxiety and worry we do not need in our life. By recognizing when we are impatient, we can halt and take a few minutes to breathe in and out and start again.

Just for Today
I will recognize when my busyness is causing me to be impatient. If I find I am impatient, I will stop a few minutes and breathe in and out to catch up with the moment and bring myself back to a state of mindfulness. I will change my tone of voice and mood if my impatient is showing irritability with another person.

By practicing patience, I will be able to solve problems quickly without feeling frustrated and adding more stress to the situation. I will put into practice each day to stop and remind myself to remain calm and have patience by taking a brisk fifteen-minute walk, closing my eyes, and concentrating on my breath or whatever will assist with my impatience and lower my anxiety level. By practicing patience, it will help me think more clearly, lower stress hormones for overall better health, and give me the ability to communicate more effectively by practicing patience and tolerance with my loved ones.

Just for today, I will practice patience for my overall well-being.

 

July 6 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Dedication

Short Cuts

Challenging work and dedication come when we find our purpose in life and start working towards fulfilling a dream.  We acknowledge the athlete who shows up for practice every day and works hard to play the game well.  The student who never misses a class and studies to learn a subject and makes the honor roll.  The employee who earns a promotion by arriving at work early and the last to leave the office, who demonstrates a right attitude by learning the business and leads by example.  The single parent who raises children, manages a household, and still finds time to go to college to better his or her life.  There are many examples of dedicated people doing their best every day to fulfill a life purpose and watch dreams turn into reality.  Individuals who rise to the occasion and efforts are paid off by not making excuses.  The person who teaches all of us through his or her actions what dedication is all about and proves dreams do come true.

Just for Today

I will identify my life purpose and dedicate my time to be resourceful on how to achieve goals and fulfill dreams.  I know I increase my chances of success when I put in the time and effort to do so.  If I am not feeling dedicated in an area of my life, I may need to take a step back and figure out if I need to fulfill the space with something more productive.  For I know, dedication comes when I am passionate about what I am doing and continue to craft my skills to be proficient and fruitful.  By using my time wisely and managing resources will help me fulfill my life purpose.  For without dedication, I may find myself in stagnant waters without the joy of feeling purposeful and watching my dreams pass me by.  With dedication and vigorous work in an area I am passionate about, I will fulfill my life purpose.

Just for today, I am dedicated to making my life better by hard work and perseverance to succeed.

July 5 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: True Colors

True Colors.jpg

One of the biggest lessons I needed to learn in life is to see people for who they really are and not an illusion of what I wanted them to be.  I needed to recognize true colors (intentions) of individuals who were in my life:  family, friends, and acquaintances.  I needed to remove the pedestals from people who I thought knew better than me how to live life.  In my darkest hour, some individuals who were not obligated in any way to be there for me showed up. Some people who I knew all my life, fell to the waste side. It taught me the strength of human behavior and finding out who are my real friends.

Also, it has taught me (still teaching me) when to hold on and when to let go. Anything you hold onto that is meant to be set free will drag you down into despair.  I have watch people who cannot let go of the past display a false persona towards life and others.  It is not enough to be true to others; you must be true to yourself too.  We all want to be accepted and please other people, sometimes out of a conditional fear stemming from a childhood of wanting to be liked and not wanting to disappoint others.  However, you should never put yourself on a sacrificial plate and forfeit your authentic self just to be accepted and loved by others who, after scratching the surface, do not give a damn about you or what is going on in your life.  When you know someone cares, a person’s caring is shown through actions, not merely words.  You soon figure out if a person’s caring is genuine or there is a hidden agenda.

Therefore, it is important to develop self-awareness.  To be self-aware is to know yourself.  When you know yourself, you become aware of how you feel around the people in your life.  The word “energy” comes to mind.  Even though the word energy or vibe has been linked to the New Age movement, even in other religions talk about, “You will know them by their fruit.”  To be more specific, do you feel better around certain people or do you feel worse after sharing your problems or triumphs?  Do you have people in your life trying to make you second guess your decisions, dismissive, and try to tell you how to feel? Do you have people in your life offering constructive feedback, empathy, and encouragement?  You must be in touch with your emotions to be able to recognize who and what is best for your life.

The greatest gift for yourself is to set free what you cannot change and live for today. Also, we need self-awareness in order to love and accept ourselves.  Anyone that treats you less, when you love yourself, you will not tolerate, and you will not allow the person to remain in your life.

Just for Today

I will pay attention to how I feel around people I know and getting to know.  By taking the time to get to know someone or pay attention how I feel around people in my life, it will reveal a person’s true colors to me. I will continue relationships built on mutual trust and respect.  I will pay attention to my thoughts and feelings through self-awareness, and when something does not feel right, I will not be dismissive about it.  As I continue to have a loving relationship with myself and be authentic, I will be able to be authentic with others and develop loving relationships.

Just for today, I will accept people’s true colors as they are and not try to repaint them as I want to see them.

 

July 4 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Letting Go of The Past

Letting Go of The Past

Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.”
― Ann Landers

Life is made up of both good and bad experiences. Sometimes we think only of the past as glory days gone by and feel the present moment has nothing better to offer. Sometimes we re-live memories, at times painful ones as if the present moment does not count. But what about here and now? By holding onto the past, we are not able to enjoy the present moment and anticipate for a brighter future. We hold onto what no longer serves us by refusing to let go and not allow ourselves to start living in the moment.

Imagine what it would feel like letting go of what no longer serves us. Imagine a balloon released in the air and finally being free. We could be free by realizing the past is gone, and there is nothing we can do to change it. We can, however, recognize the present moment and appreciate what life has to offer. We can learn from our past, but we should not remain stuck in the past. By holding onto the past and what no longer serves us we miss out on opportunities today and possibilities for the future.

Some people never break free of what no longer serves them and are running in the same circles they traveled around ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Life is too short to stay stagnant in a fishbowl. Break free of the mindset of yesterday’s gone by and start practicing mindfulness by living in the present moment.

Just for Today
I will re-focus my attention to the room I am sitting in right now and be grateful for the present moment. I will start living a purposeful life by building new memories here and now. I know if I let go of what no longer serves me, I am opening up a door of opportunity to invite in what will serve me. By inviting in what will serve me, I will be offering myself a chance to live my best life now. I know by clinging to glory days and past regrets, I will watch today turn into my yesterdays and time slip by me. By living for today, I will no longer be living in regret of yesterday and find value in all my life experiences yesterday, today and hopefully, future days that lie ahead.

Just for today, I will let go of the past, and what no longer serves me.  I will embrace each moment – here and now.

July 3 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Inner Strength

Inner Strength

Many things describe strength, the ability to remain steady during adversity.  Capacity to show courage when faced with fear.  Ability to demonstrate empathy towards a person when we know we cannot fix someone or something.  Sometimes strength comes when courage is about to take the back seat, and all we have is the tenacity to hold on.  Strength is the inner core of our being, the ability to remain grounded when everything else around us is falling apart. Sometimes we are taught by other people to depend on others for strength.  But what happens if there is no one around to give comfort and provide strength for you?  We must build up inner strength within ourselves when everything else fails, especially if the person near and dear to us fails us too.

As we face a difficulty, we can reflect upon how we got through a challenging time in the past.  By doing so, we build up strength and courage to face any situation, no matter how hard it can be. It never hurts to ask for help, but we must understand that there will be a time in everyone’s life we must face certain difficulties alone.   No one can be there for us twenty-four seven even if they would like to be.  By learning to gain inner strength through each adversity, we can pass along our stories of how we got through a challenging time.  The anchor to our soul is inner strength and using the wisdom of past experiences are applied.

Just for Today

I will think of ways to build up my inner strength to face life challenges.  I will draw upon the times in my life when I have used my inner strength to meet and get through grim times.  By building up my inner strength, I will also be building up courage and the tenacity to face all life challenges.  I will use wisdom to meet challenges by using my inner strength and when I will need to ask for help.  Asking for help does not make me weak; also, I cannot rely solely on one person or people to help me get through every situation.  Sometimes I will meet challenges alone, and by building up my inner strength, I have the confidence of knowing I can make it through anything life may throw at me.  By building up and showing inner strength, I will be able to help others do the same by my example and demeanor.

Just for today, I will continue to build up my inner strength and courage.  By my example and maintaining a healthy outlook on life,  I will be able to help others do the same.

 

 

July 2 Wisdom Recipes Thought for Today: Active Listening

Active Listening

Being an effective communicator requires both listening and speaking abilities by looking through a lens of empathy and understanding. We never know what personality type we are dealing with, and the best course of action is to listen more and say less. Sometimes listening more and saying fewer words mean you learn more about a person instead of running interference (obstruction to revealing hidden feelings and intentions). By actively paying attention to what a person is saying, he or she feels more comfortable to be open and share thoughts and ideas. Also, by avoiding frequent interruptions and inserting our opinions will establish a safe place of trust and respect through positive, communicative interactions.

Communication does require an ongoing dialogue between two or more people. By listening, does not mean being an inactive participant to the conversation.  On the contrary, it means we are paying attention to what he or she is saying, and not forming a dialogue in our head of how we are going to respond.  By being an active listener, we add more to a conversation by understanding and empathizing.  The art of active listening and wisdom of mindfulness requires practice to pay attention to what is being said instead of the importance of what we are going to say to the person speaking.

Just for Today

I will practice the art of active listening.  I will be mindful of what the person is saying.  If the conversation is based upon a person’s need to vent a problem, I will show more understanding and empathy by paying attention to what he or she is saying.  I will do my best to not interrupt and obstruct the flow of the conversation.  Also, I could offer up suggestions if the person is willing and open to listening to my thoughts and ideas.  After the person has finished speaking, I will communicate in a way that the individual understands and ask for clarification if need be. Also, by listening and responding, I will intuitively know who or who not is a safe person to continue building trust and deepening the relationships through effective communication as both a listener and speaker.

July 1 Wisdom Recipe’s Thought for Today: Faith versus High Expectation

Expectations

Faith is having confidence in a person or thing.  When we put faith in someone or something, we believe in the best outcome.  Therefore, the goal is to have faith, but not predict an outcome, because the outcome may or may not turn out the way we plan. If we aim too high, our expectations may lead to not trying again, unlike faith that tells us to try again tomorrow.  The subtle shift from faith to high expectation:  faith is believing in the best and accepting an outcome; a high expectation predicts and locks in on an outcome.  If we make it a habit of placing too high expectations on people and end results, our expectations will never measure up. Misery and disappointment will be our constant companion.  Once again, having a high expectation is predicting an outcome or situation to turn out exactly as we see fit; faith is believing but not always predicting.

Having high expectation is a form of perfectionism.  No one or nothing is ever perfect.  We can never predict the future and sometimes it does not turn out the way we like.  Striving for excellence is accepting both successes and failures.  In the case of Thomas Edison, he may have expected the light bulb to work after trying it out the first time, but it took 1,000 times before the light bulb lit up the room.  In a world of trial and error, we live in the moment of faith without ruining tomorrow by placing high expectations on people and events.  The goal is to strive for excellence and accepting life is made up of imperfect moments that turn out perfectly.  By placing high expectations, we miss the mark of enjoying the moment and fill it with countless disappointments and heartaches.

Just for Today

I will live in faith and be mindful when I cross the line from faith to placing a high expectation on a person or an event.   I will strive for excellence, but not be discouraged if I fail on the first, second, or third attempt.  By accepting that life is made up of both successes and failures, I will drop idealizations and perfectionism that leads to more disappointment and frustration. By versus people for where they are at instead of my own expectations of how they should be, will allow me to appreciate the people in my life.  By accepting others and life as it unfolds, I will be able to accept myself and live in the present moment with peace and contentment.  The goal is to have faith and strive for excellence versus high expectations and perfection.

Just for today, my goal is to have faith and strive for excellence versus high expectations and perfection.