Turning Adversity Into An Advantage

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Life is filled with painful moments, personal trauma and tragedy – like illness, the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or an unexpected breakup of a relationship. These can all leave their scars. They at times can break the spirit, mark the soul and leave the heart in a million pieces.  What doesn’t kills us makes us stronger right? Well, in your moment of strength, those tiny pieces that have become the casualties of whatever broke you, are gone! Your only hope is to pick up the pieces that remain and move on. This is when the reality of deciding IF the capacity to be happy again and become stronger to move beyond those hurt is truly there.

 

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Finding What Love Means To You

The problem is; We look for someone to grow old together, While the secret is to find someone to stay a child with! -(Charles Bukowski)

As adults, many times we take love for granted and never appreciated it until it’s gone. We trade love for pleasure, currency and satisfying the ego. When we fall in love we want it to last forever but somewhere along the way we forget the true meaning of love and that love gets lost, sometimes it even fades. Maybe instead of asking, ‘what can love can do for me?’ You should be asking, ‘what does love mean to me?’

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What’s Your Love Language?

“love is always a choice.”
― Gary Chapman

Love is a fragile thing. Many times people have no clue how fragile of a thing it is until it’s gone. When people think about love, they think of hugging, taking care of their partner, and maybe spending some quality time together. What we don’t think about,  is how to keep the novelty alive, how to keep the fires burning. There are so many ways in which we express love, but sometimes the love language expressed isn’t one the other person understands. One person can be speaking the language of caregiving, this is the most common language for a long-term partner, husband, fiance, or boyfriend and the other person is craving some other language. This is when both parties get lost in translation. What happens when the language becomes so ordinary that the other person gets completely lost in your language and finds another’s love language more stimulating? The language of affirmation, excitement, quality time!  You should never assume that taking care of your partners is enough to keep them interested, happy, or satisfied. There’s always something more that people crave, sometimes they don’t even know what this craving is until it’s offered to them by someone else, then that Ah-Ha moment hits, and they realize, this is how I want to feel for the rest of my life.

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6 Things to Remember When You’re Feeling Distracted

Chase that passion which lights up your soul like a billion stars. Once you keep mastering your passion, the passion will get the ball rolling to ignite your life with an unstoppable passion. Your inner gifts and passions have the power to conquer all the challenges & difficulties.

There are many things that I’m passionate about, however, the one thing that I’m most passionate about is writing. I love the way my words dance in my head and flow on paper. Then there’s the evilness of procrastination and that old imposter syndrome that is always there nudging me to push that passion aside to binge-watch the latest Netflix series or surf the internet for random facts or pop in on my family on social media and before you know if my day has gone. I can blame work for not having enough time in the day, I can blame my endless commitment to family, I can blame the rainy days for clouding my creativity.  If I want to be honest, the only person I can blame is the one looking back at me in the mirror. 

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Infatuation vs Love

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Infatuation is not quite the same thing as love; it’s more like love’s shady second cousin who’s always borrowing money and can’t hold down a job.
― Elizabeth Gilbert

A huge part of the adolescent years and sometimes well after, it’s easy to become captivated by someone. That boy or that girl that made your heart race, your palms sweat, and made beautiful fantasies run through your head. The thought of that person just took your breath away and life without them seemed impossible. You would give up your world to be with them as the desire becomes more and more intensified through each waking perception of them, their face, their smile, what they must smell like, the tone of their voice. It all makes it so easy to fall head over heels because at the moment nothing else or no one matters. In our youth it’s innocent, older, it can be life-changing, sometimes destructive because the only thing that matters is being with that person you hold that deep infatuation for. Merriam – Webster defines infatuation as a ” feeling of foolish or obsessively strong love for, admiration for or interest in someone or something.”

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The Impact of Trauma in Our Lives

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.
― Fred Rogers

All life experiences leave their mark. They impact our lives in negative or positive ways, they change the way we see ourselves and how we view the world. It’s impossible for someone to go through a traumatic event in their life without their body or brain reacting to that trauma, it can be a change as subtle as no longer having the taste for your favourite food, to something as big as walking away from family, friends or even relationships. Trauma can impact someone in ways even they find it hard to comprehend. It can also bring forward old habits that were buried.

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4 Things You Have No Control of In Life

There are many things in life we have absolutely no control over, though we may think we have and wish we have, we really don’t. You may think you are in control because you are leaving behind something old for something new, a happy more exciting life. But life has a way of tossing us a curveball, snapping us back to the reality that we are not in control. 

The only thing you have control over is yourself. Only you have control over your attitude, actions and decisions. Trying to decide on how to fist someone else’s problems or exhausting yourself trying to control the narrative is tiresome and a waste of energy. You have to learn to let go of these four things in life, simply because they are completely beyond your control.

1. Relationship: Marriage or romantic we have absolutely no control over our partners. When a relationship breaks, it’s always the what, why, how. But simply put, it takes two people to make any relationship work. When one of those people decide to take their life in a new direction. All that’s left is for the other person to forgive, forget and move on.  It’s painful to trash a relationship sometimes but you can’t make someone want you. For your own peace of mind, you have to let go and create a future alone. This is the advice I’ve always given to anyone who cried on my shoulder, however, your own pill is more difficult to swallow. 

2. Change: Unfortunately, everything in life changes. Even the good things turn bad, but bad things can also change to good. The beautiful thing about change is, nothing ever stays the same, you just have to learn to go with the flow of the changes.

3. The Past: Yesterday is gone, you cannot change what has already happened, what you can do is not let that past destroy your future. It will be difficult to leave the pain of the past in the past, but don’t let yesterday’s hurt or mistakes ruin your future. The healing process will be a hard and difficult one but you must heal yourself in order to move forward with a future you deserve. Let of those past mistakes, embarrassing memories, the heartbreak, the pain. It’s never easy but it will be worth it. Hold on to those beautiful memories of the past and allow them to fuel your passion to move forward. 

4. The Future: Not sure this should be on the list here because our actions have consequences, whatever decisions you make right now. Will determine your future. That Jelly Donut will determine how hard you have to work out in the future. While on the other hand, you can the best-laid plans for landing that perfect job, creating a perfect relationship and it can all fall to pieces. So, hard as we may, the future isn’t really something you can control. I have this out the hard way.

Pinned Message: We may think we’re in control of every aspect of our existence but we’re all just prisons of life.

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©Etta  D. Richards

Beliefs to Let Go of as You Get Older

Most of your struggles with managing your time are due to self-limiting beliefs. Change your Mindset and you will be able to do a lot more in a lot less time.
― Vivek Naik

We are what we tell ourselves all day long. Your story begins with you and your life is simply a collection of what you believe, what you perceive the world to be and your actions towards those perceptions and beliefs. If you wish to build a story, build yourself a wonderful story by letting of those limiting beliefs you’ve carried around with you all your life.

The belief in procrastination – the sun may come out tomorrow but one day we all run out of tomorrow. Life life is fragile and meant to be lived today, procrastination steals that away from us. It’s the stealer of dreams and goals, it’s the thief of happiness.  Accepting and appreciating each moment leaves us no regret at the end of life’s journey. 

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How Heavy is Your Glass

A psychology professor walked around on a stage while teaching stress management principles to an auditorium filled with students. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the typical “glass half empty or glass half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, the professor asked, “How heavy is this glass of water I’m holding?”

Students shouted out answers ranging from eight ounces to a couple pounds.

She replied, “From my perspective, the absolute weight of this glass doesn’t matter. It all depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute or two, it’s fairly light. If I hold it for an hour straight, its weight might make my arm ache a little. If I hold it for a day straight, my arm will likely cramp up and feel completely numb and paralyzed, forcing me to drop the glass to the floor. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it feels to me.”

As the class shook their heads in agreement, she continued, “Your stresses and worries in life are very much like this glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and you begin to ache a little. Think about them all day long, and you will feel completely numb and paralyzed — incapable of doing anything else until you drop them.”

Pinned Message: It’s important to remember to let go of your stresses and worries. No matter what happens during the day, as early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don’t carry them through the night and into the next day with you. If you still feel the weight of yesterday’s stress, it’s a strong sign that it’s time to put the glass down.

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©Etta  D. Richards

Life is Like a Game of Chess

“No one wins a game of chess by only moving forward, sometimes you have to move backwards to put yourself in a position to win. In life, U-turns are allowed.”

I used to get so frustrated at how unfair life was at times. Each time I made one step forward, it was like, BOOM! Something came along to pull me two steps back. Yeah, an arrow has to be pulled back in order for it to propel forward and the farther it’s pulled back, the greater the distance it travels. If you can convince yourself of this way of thinking, I guess it will keep you motivated for a while. At least until life pulls you back again. 

If that doesn’t work for you,  then think of life as a  game of chess. Players don’t win by only moving forward, they must also move backwards across the board. The same goes for life, just as chess players have to sometimes move backwards to win a match, life has to pull us back to get you to that win. When life takes you two moves back, don’t ask why, reevaluate your position. 

Like on a chessboard, in life, not all dead ends are dead ends, sometimes they are u-turns. U-turns into the direction of a new job, a new relationship, a new life or new opportunities. Don’t be afraid to rethink, reimagine and start over, even the best-laid plans can fall apart, don’t fall apart with it. Don’t get frustrated when life seems unfair, evaluate your next move and you could just win the game. 

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©Etta  D. Richards