Friday, July 13, 2012
Why am I here?
It's a question I have found myself asking sometimes when things don't seem clear or if I have taken a "wrong turn" on the road of my life. For many they spend day after day wondering the same thing: What am I supposed to do? Does my life have any meaning?
I'm glad to say that the answer is yes.
No matter how difficult things might seem at times, we all have a purpose. What does that mean? Well, for me our purpose is our reason for being here, the reason why we were put on this earth. Think about this: out of all of the babies that were conceived, you made it when so many did not. Why? Well, you have a reason for being here. It's up to us to identify that reason and then live our lives in accordance with it. It's not always easy, especially when things don't seem as though they are going our way.
The good thing to keep in mind is that just as you have struggled to identify your purpose, so have so many others. It all begins with thinking about it and articulating it for yourself. That is all you need to get the ball rolling and to start living the life you were destined for.
I asked my Facebook and Twitter friends to share their purpose. Here are some of the responses...
"My Purpose is to make a difference in peoples lives. To be a positive influence in otherwise, a negative world." Dana Hampton aka @italiansongbird on Twitter
"My purpose is to find and step into my God given destiny in life so that I can help others find and step into theirs!" Kevin Benton Philadelphia, PA www.kevinbentonministries.com (Facebook)
"My purpose is to utilize my voice, excercise my rights, and speak the truth. In doing so I pray that it awakens, strengthens, and feeds the spirit of another and brings forth words that are thought lost, dormant, or in a trance-like sleep. I pray my courage ignites a fire within that voice. I pray my purpose encourages at least one other to SPEAK!!" Katandra Shanel Jackson Taylor, CEO @ FreedomInk/President @ Angel Eyes Foundation Atlanta GA (Facebook)
"My purpose is to help other writers reach theirs." Author Brian L. Thompson Covington, GA (Facebook)
"My purpose is to participate in the personal growth and spiritual healing of others by sharing my story of hope and healing." Author Lynn C. Tolson Colorado Springs, CO (Facebook)
"My purpose is to share the benefits of a miraculous herb called Ganoderma. It heals body,mind,and soul. It is the King of herbs" @Tiffanyscafe on Twitter
"My purpose is to spread love and beauty in the world by helping children embrace their unique gifts and delight in their authenticity to enable their dreams to come true." Sheri Fink (Facebook)
What about you? What is your purpose? Have you identified? Share it with us here on this post and let's work together to walk in it.
Thursday, July 12, 2012
"I am feeding my Love for Life by letting others know that we are not limited by our situation and circumstances. I started speaking because of a promise I made to a dying friend. She asked me to share my story with others even if it was just once. I was not to thrilled about the request but she was on her death bed. She died of cancer.
After she made me promise she died moments after. It was about two years before I honored her wish. My cancer doctor called me and asked if I would speak at a cancer support group in his place. My thought was to do something nice for him and knock out my promise. I mentioned my friend when I spoke and told the group that I was there in her honor. A lady began to cry in the front row. I asked her not to cry because It was breaking my heart and she looked at me and said that my friend had started their group and they had merged with another group. I was so stunned because I could feel my friend standing there with me. Even after that I was kind of in denial. I went through a divorce, lost some loved ones, my child was molested and also diagnosed with Autism.
"My thoughts were ,"how much more could I take? At the end of 2009 I started evaluating my life and realized that I had a story to share. My friend had been encouraging me along the way. I was just not open to telling my story and never imagined I would actually love speaking. The most rewarding thing for me is the letters I get and the emails people send telling me that because of my story they chose to get back up again. It is humbling.
"I am in the process of writing a book. It is called "365 days... 2 Learn 2 Love 2 Live 2 Dream". It is a series of lessons I have learned along my journey. I never thought I would want to write a book much less it be in the editing stages. And I know one day I will write MY story of getting back up when life knocked me down. As with everything it will take time.
"I speak and sometimes life coach.. I love traveling to different places and meeting new people. I also am very involved in my local Autism Society. I speak about my cancer in the month of October every year and I currently am on the board of Opera in my area where I chair an event called Diva's Closet. The event is to raise money for their education program. They teach kids how to create an Opera from their favorite story books. The actual event for me touched on several areas that touched my heart. We have women donate their clothes to the Opera and we create an event to sell them at discounted prices. This helps women who are starting off or starting over in life be able to afford nice clothing. I started connecting small and large businesses together so they could network on the same level. Not everyone has a budget for advertising so I made it where they could donate their time and services and get recognized."
How I Am Feeding My Love of Life?
I focus. I know that when I look for the things that I want to see like love, abundance, joy, and when I acknowledge and appreciate them in my reality, I attract even more of them. The realization that I create my reality through my thoughts and feelings and doing it in every moment is the force that I use to feed my love of life.
I have a lot of tricks in my bag of tricks that I use to focus myself into bliss. You must be wondering what they are and will I share them? Of course I will share! Once I have discovered a great method and tested it on myself and often on others, I feel exhilarated to be able to share it with those who are ready to apply it. Here are some of my favorite tricks:
- I always reach for a better feeling. If you are feeling particularly low, you cannot just quantum leap into bliss, but what you can do is reach for a better feeling. If you are desperate, you can't immediately jump into ecstasy, but you can focus yourself into hope and from there you can focus yourself into relief and from there you can focus yourself into positive expectation and from there you can focus yourself into joy.
- I bless a lot. What I mean by blessing is that when I look at something I want I bless it in my mind. Let me explain. When I was single and I saw a happy couple I trained myself into not feeling jealous but into thinking: "what a beautiful thing these two are having, how lovely" and I smiled. This is because like attracts like and I knew that if I wanted to experience a loving relationship I had to cultivate within me the feeling of love and appreciation for what I wanted. And surely enough it worked :) I have a whole chapter on gratitude and blessings in my best-selling book "Read Me - I Am Magical" (http://www.amazon.com/Read-Me-Happiness-Personal-Remarkable/dp/1451594364/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UT F8&qid=1320511960&sr=8-1)
- I meditate. There is nothing that grounds me faster and more effectively than meditation. When I meditate I immediately realize that I am the creator of my reality, I connect with the universe in a powerful way and immediately trust that all is well. I feel connected and one with the universal forces as opposed to alone and disconnected like many people do. I have a very powerful meditation technique I use which is a set of long and short breaths, head movements and visualizations or affirmations. It works every time. I describe it in detail in "Read Me - I Am Magical".
How do I encourage others to do the same?
- I am the host of the "Dream Life Creators" show, in which I interview people who created the life of their dreams and I share their techniques with the world. It is so wonderful to talk to like-minded people and see what they do to create their dream lives. There are a lot of common denominators! Check out my website www.mayafilippo.com for more.
- I write for children. Most of us get bombarded with negative thinking patterns from parents, teachers, games and TV as kids. This is the time when people develop beliefs that then impact their adult life and very often these beliefs are so negative that as adults those people require therapy or a whole lot of disciplined self-improvement efforts or coaching to shift their beliefs from limiting ones to empowering ones. Each book from my Maya & Filippo series conveys a message that will make sure children grown up into being happy, fulfilled, satisfied adults.
Already available are (on www.mayafilippo.com, amazon and your local book store):
"Maya & Filippo Make Friends in Auckland", in which siblings Maya and Filippo meet different kinds of people depending on their attitude (in Auckland, New Zealand).
"Maya & Filippo Play Chef at Sea", in which the children learn how they can turn one orange into enough for two. And most importantly they discover that you need to express your desires in order to have your dreams come true.
Coming soon are:
"Maya & Filippo Look for Happiness in Tauranga", in which the siblings discover where real happiness comes from.
"Maya & Filippo See 'Impossible' Things in The Garden City", in which brother and sister realize that the fact that they have never seen something before doesn't mean it does not exist.
"Maya & Filippo Visit The University of Dunedin", in which they discover what really matters when choosing a vocation.
- I spread the word out like through this article. One more thing. I always expect the universe to delight me and I invite you to do the same! Visit www.mayafilippo.com for more inspiration (for yourself and for your little ones).
Alinka Rutkowska, www.mayafilippo.com
"I am completely benefiting from Oprah's life class. I have watched Oprah for years, and she has helped me to grow in so many ways. I am relieved to have these classes for a few reasons, first of all, I have missed her so this is the way to get that dose of her, an
injection.... Also, the content she is sharing is vital to learning and growing (and isn't that what life is all about). What I love is how Oprah shares her personal experience, she is so in touch with life, she has experienced so many situations and she has interviewed so many experts, she has a gift of exploring important topics that we all benefit from at some point in our life.
"All of the Life Classes have been beneficial, there were two that struck me. The one on Joy was meaningful to me! It lifted my spirits on a night I needed lifting! It also reminded me once again what Oprah has done for me for 25 years.... She opened my eyes, she inspired me and she touched the core of my soul! Another class was the on the whisper--it spoke to me personally because I believe I have heard a whisper and I believe it is God's way of directed me down the path he has chosen. When Oprah talked about it, it hit a core for me, because it validated why things happen for a reason. I am now listening and not listening to the chatter in the world. Watch out world, here comes Pam Guyer!
"Here is what I think: I think life class should be taught in every high school across America!!!!
"LOVE LOVE LOVE LIFE CLASS & OPRAH!!!!"
Founder, HIPP MOMS
Executive NVP, Arbonne
by Jackie Gaskins
I am feeding my love of life by dedicating my life to serve God and young girls. I was a teenage runaway in High School. I grew up in a great home. I had very loving parents. I got good grades, played sports, and eventually was taken to church. I let the things of this world draw me away from all of this. I became rebellious and miserable. I thought of suicide but was too scared to follow through. Thank God! I
had praying parents that NEVER gave up on me though discouraged and disappointed in me.
God is faithful to the prayers of the righteous. He chased after me. I KNEW He was there. I would have a wave of conviction come over me when at a party or when about to do something that I should not. I literally called home one time to ask if they were praying for me and "as a matter of fact" they had people over that were praying over my room as we spoke. I KNEW it. I could feel those prayers. Those prayers saved my life! I went home for selfish reasons, but I was home. That summer I asked God to show me if He was real. I needed a life change. He revealed Himself to me. I knew that He was real and for the first time I truly took the hand of my Savior and started our dance. It was not an immediate deliverance from all things and I was NOT perfect but I had a hold of my deliverer. He was starting to lead me in a dance that has continued to this day. I am in the process of writing my second book (first a children's book) that is about this process that I call "Dancing with My Daddy". My dance now is so different from our beginning steps. I now rest my head on His chest surrendering each step to his leading. I love to hear His breath that breathes life into me. This dance is now one of encouraging others to join along and to find their dance.
In May of 2011, my children's book, The Four Princesses was released by my publishing company Boutique of Quality Books. This story was told to me as I slept. After hearing it a couple of times, I arose and saved it on my computer as the words flowed from my heart. When my husband's alarm rang that morning, it was complete. I showed him what the Lord had given me and we knew it was a book for young girls to encourage them. This book birthed a nonprofit outreach for young girls. We started it this past fall. Our vision is to pour into these girls of all ages and let them know that they have a Father that loves them. He created them with gifts and purposes to be used for His glory. When we use these gifts with all of those that we come in contact with, we can change and bless our families, friends, and communities. We desire for these girls to find their identity in Christ and not the things of this world. They live in the world but they have gifts to bless and change the world for the good. The Four Princesses book is all about the same thing. The Four Princesses, daughters of the King, have been given gifts to use and to
bless the nearby village in order to help set them free.
I guess you can say that the way that I am loving life and encouraging others to do the same is by writing, serving,speaking, and living for Christ. He has changed my life and my dance. I pray my dance will encourage others to take the steps to begin their dance. Their Father is holding out His hand and patiently awaiting the acceptance to His call...to dance.
We have four Beautiful daughters and we pray they each surrender their lives to their Father. They are Princesses created with gifts and we desire to see their dances effect many for the good of our Father, the King.
Find out more about Jackie at www.jackiegaskins.com.
by Tracey Pacelli
So glad you asked that question, because it honestly couldn’t have come at a better time. Ever since I rebounded from a serious cancer, two years ago, and have been given a new lease on life, I’ve been asking myself for what greater purpose am I still here? I wanted to contribute somehow, in my own small way, to the betterment of others. But what could I do?
As an author of a newly released teen fantasy novel, I decided what I had to offer was my experience. I could speak about the journey I’ve been on as a writer and as a cancer survivor, and impart some of the life lessons I’ve learned along the way. It may not be Oprah’s Master Class, but the scaled down Tracey Pacelli version may prove quite useful. I thought perhaps I might be able to inspire teens to embrace their creativity and run with it. No sooner did I decide on this course of action, that I received not one but three invitations to lecture at schools—including my daughter’s high school! I guess,when the teacher is ready, the students will come.
This has been confirmation for me that I am indeed onto something here, and I’ll continue to do all I can to inspire other budding young authors to embrace their artistry, and in doing so, to embrace life and all it has to offer.
Tracey Pacelli is the author of Time Warped. You can find out more about her and the book at www.timewarped.net.
The year 2011 has been probably one of the most difficult in my life, if not the most difficult. In January I came very close to dying as all the major parts of my body began to shut down for no apparent reason.
Then, on March the first, a tow truck that had lost its brakes hit the apartment building I live in. The 85 M.P.H. crash nearly totaled three apartments, and a condemnation notice forced all of us to move out for 11 days so the building could be thoroughly inspected and small repairs made in apartments that had not been directly hit by the truck.
On the morning of May second I collapsed in my apartment, and had to air-lifted to the nearest major trauma center. That trip resulted in the discovery of gangrene in my right leg to such an extent that my leg had to be removed below the knee, or I would die in just a few hours. After a month in the hospital, and a three-month stay in a rehabilitation center, I returned home to the long-haul of recovery.
This is a lot for one person to take, but as a piece of paper taped up inside one of the cabinet doors in my kitchen says, "God never gives us more than we can handle."
This whole process has been a very trying and difficult one, and I frequently wonder just how much more I can handle. But once you concentrate on a thought like that, something else can come along just to prove your level of tolerance.
We have to be very careful, because our thoughts can frequently become our reality.
In 2009 I wrote book called Keep It Simple and Smart. It's a tome about how we can simplify our lives, live smarter and become more sane in the face of a world that refuses to bend to what we want, and forces us to conform to the chaos. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, the book is a small, simple-to-read volume that is just the facts about how to truly change your life in very positive ways.
Interestingly enough authors rarely read their books once they have been published, being consigned to a spot on a bookcase to collect dust. But this book is something I turn to myself because I need to "hear" the words repeatedly in order to get them to sink in.
What I do to feed my love of life is to realize that for me God is in charge, and things are going to happen His way irrespective of what or how I want life to be. That fact, and the one that God loves me as one of His children, brings tremendous peace and serenity to my life. As I work to live a simpler, smarter and saner life, I realize I am the only one responsible for my life, as well as my beliefs, attitudes and way of life. Life is a whole lot easier when I understand I don't have to fix anything or anyone but myself, and leave the rest up to God (I highly respect the feelings and beliefs of those who don't believe in God in the same way and at the same level as I do).
By writing such a book I have been able to encourage a lot of people to make positive changes in their lives. By making no warranties or guarantees, each person is invited to identify and make changes that only affect them in the ways are simplest and easiest for them.
But the best way to encourage others is by example. I live my life the best ways I know how, never bending to the expectations of others, as an example, and it has made a difference as the number of people who make complimentary comments increases almost daily.
In May I was given a choice: cut of the leg or die. It really was a difficult decision as I wasn't sure about facing all the problems of learning to live with an artificial limb. Then I was reminded of two things: In the first I had been told that, after collapsing into an un-conscious state I had somehow managed to make it across the door and fell by the door, and to dial 911 without saying anything to them. That, I was reminded, is an example of a strong will to live. The other thing was that millions of people before, and just as many following me, have the same thing happen to them and they managed to survive.
Once I had those two thoughts come to mind the decision got a whole lot easier.
I guess I do have a great love and respect for life. I have lived an exciting adventure, doing many things most people can even dream of. But I realize one thing; in most cases I made it happen. I either got up off the couch or chair and created my own opportunities, or took full advantage to most the opportunities that came my way. It has always seemed like a no-brainer to me. But the vast majority of people just sit there and watch life go past them like their watching a parade, then complain that nothing fun, adventuresome, or exciting happens to them.
A love of life is what makes it happen and I encourage others to get up and get going to make it happen for them.
Ric Morgan, Gatlinburg, Tennessee
"When I was a little girl and there were things happening to my body that hurt and caused me to feel degraded and shamed, I was able to separate my emotional self from the physical and climb into a black cloud of safety, where I stayed as long as I needed to. It was a way to survive the years of trauma from physical and sexual abuse. As a young adult, I found myself confused and immobilized by depression. I learned through counseling some very tiny steps of healing that I could take and began to heal from a lifetime of pain. I experienced more healing when I began to read the Bible. I combined the steps and the healing verses and wrote a book, "Flame of Healing: A Daily Journey of Healing from Abuse and Trauma." As I wrote the book, I healed even more because I was in a safe place, the love of God. I was able to identify a deeper area of pain that what I could with counseling alone, a forced abortion that occurred at about the age of 11 or 12, and work through the many issues that surround such a deep level of pain.
"It is interesting to me that this website is about feeding my love of life. As a child, I learned to use food as a physical way to comfort myself. From my early school years and on into my adult life, food was a huge source of comfort. When I wrote "Flame of Healing," I was able to begin the process of re-defining comfort measures and re-establishing healthy eating. Food is no longer that source of feeding my love of life; I have relegated it to its better place of nourishing the body and now find my source of feeding my love of life in two areas that are much more healthy and fulfilling.
"First and foremost, my passion is my faith in Christ Jesus. He healed me and has given me a comforter, His Spirit, to be always with me and ever encouraging me. I know I am loved and feel filled to the brim and overflowing for the love of life. The second passion is experiencing the transformation of my pain and suffering to be the very point of compassion and empathy for others who have also suffered. Pain that grips and tears the life right out of a person is mitigated through this very personal devotional, partially because it includes a journal for very private, personal expression of emotions. Helping others through "Flame of Healing" has given the years I suffered a reason, a purpose and now, I experience joy unspeakable with the knowledge of the healing hearts and souls of those who are taking steps of healing in its pages.
"My longing is for "Flame of Healing" to be utilized around the globe; people everywhere are suffering. I have written in such a way that it is not limited to any one area of suffering, but it will indeed help anyone who has suffered any trauma. It is currently being used by a retreat ministry for healing from sexual abuse issues, Grief to Grace (www.grieftograce.org) for every attendee to continue their healing after the retreat. "Flame of Healing" can be used as a catalyst for healing in support groups, private counseling, a personal endeavor of healing and ministry to help others who are suffering and are searching for healing.
"Life is filled with love and being a part of the healing of another individual's searing pain of trauma is the very best high. I have no need of constant stuffing of food, nor do I crave the medicating of alcohol, drugs or even shopping! I feel the deepest of fulfillment, for there is peace in my heart and a life filled with hope and love. I am so very blessed to have the privilege of sharing the hope, healing and love I've found." Freda Emmons, author and inspirational speakerwww.flameofhealing.com
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
What Feeds my Love of Life is knowing that what I do matters. That who I am matters and that how I show up in the world matters.
Following a lifetime of hardwired thinking that what I did had no effect on the rest of the world, I have now immersed myself in the world of personal growth. It has changed everything for me and now I teach personal development to others so that it can have similar benefits and rewards for them.
Personally, I feeds my love of live by:
1) Working harder on myself than on anything else. When I stop blaming
others and look within the answers always appear. Always. I continuously
read, listen to audios, attend sessions and fuel myself with positive ideas.
2) Finding inspiration everywhere. It is at the grocery store, in the eyes
of the elderly, in the skip of a child, it is everywhere - we just have to
tune in and look to find it. Let the inspiration wash over you and motivate
3) Take action. Reading, listening, watching - it's not enough, it's the
getting out there, trying, failing, embarrassing, crying, fearing,
frustrating myself - all those things that add up to eventually feed my love
of life. Learning to push past obstacles is exhilarating.
4) Grow your group. My circle of friends and people of influence are
continually growing and changing as I grow and change. Being open to new
relationships and adventures with people who are not exactly like me, adds a
new element to life that makes it fun and exciting!
5)Knowing that by growing myself I am helping other people, making my
relationships stronger and helping to make the world a better place
ultimately is the pinnacle of feeding my love of life.
I have seen the lows and experienced the high and life is so much better on
this side of the fence. I will never go back!