Monday, 27 September 2021

Sweet Success

 We all would like to be successful.  We dream of achieving great heights in our careers, we strive to be faster or stronger in the sporting arena, we want to be great writers, dancers, or singers.  Success also does not mean the same thing to all people.  Some people consider success to be how much money they have in the bank, while others feel that being successful is how famous they are, and some view success as something more spiritual.  Whatever your idea of success might be, there is one thing to be aware of.  Success does not just happen.  We look at people who we consider to be successful and often we think that they seem to have it so easy.  We consider them lucky or unusually blessed.
Success is within everybody's reach.  However, success does not come from occasionally pursuing our dreams.  Success comes from consistently doing the things which will take us toward success.  It is showing up for the daily grind, doing the thousand mundane little things which will add up to the big successful accomplishment we desire.  Success is not fireworks and applause, it is every tiresome and tedious step along the way.  It is often a slow process, but perseverance is needed.  It means saying no to quitting.  It means sticking to it.  And remember, while you are pursuing success make every effort to be happy.  Happiness makes the daily grind worthwhile.

Monday, 20 September 2021


 "What an odd girl", "What a strange person", maybe you have heard somebody say these words about someone or even heard these said about yourself.  Maybe you, yourself, have uttered these phrases?  We all know somebody that seems radically different from the norm.  You may even feel that you are seen by others as not fitting into the box they have prepared for you.  I certainly am a person that has often found myself not conveniently fitting into anybody's preconceived idea of me.  As a child I have often found myself not being one of the "in-crowd", yet despite pressure to conform, I have decided to walk my own path.  I am proud to say that my children made the same choice.  Rather than giving up their own unique identity just to fit in, they chose to stay true to who they are.  Not always an easy choice, but the only real authentic one.  Have you found yourself in similar circumstances?  Not fitting in because you chose the road less traveled,  feeling isolated, weird, or different?  I have great news for you!!!!  It is perfectly okay not to be one of the faceless crowd.  In fact, you were born to be different and unique!  It is time to celebrate the wonderful you who you were destined to be!

How?  You may ask.  Maybe you have been hiding away for so long that you have lost track of who you are.  Then it is time to go in search of yourself.  I want you to find yourself and get to know yourself.  The true, real, unabridged, unconformed version of YOU!

I want you to go back to when you were a young child.  What was it you really liked to do?   What did you dream of being, what were your childhood dreams and desires?  Chances are that child of long ago was closest to the true version of you.  The version before you felt pressured to change.  Before you adapted to the world.  Before hurt, fear, and disillusionment changed you. Write it down then stick it up next to your mirror where you can see it every time you brush your teeth or comb your hair.  It is a reminder of the true you.  I want you to introduce yourself to that child.  Embrace that child and welcome her/him back.

Often the biggest reason people are afraid to be themselves is fear.  We are afraid that people will not like us for who we are.  We are afraid that we would be ridiculed and excluded.  We fear that people will not accept us.  News flash, they do not need to accept you, YOU have to accept yourself. Accept that no two people, including you, are the same.  We are each different in our own way.  Maybe you are weird, so what, you are also amazingly you-nique!

Stop wasting time trying to fit in, rather spend the time pursuing the things that make you happy.  Forget labels such as "normal", "fitting in" or "part of the crowd", these are all limiting beliefs.  Chuck that box away.  People generally like to put people into a box, neatly tagged with understandable and safe words.  It scares people when they cannot place you in a neatly characterized container.  Well, that is THEIR problem, and they have to deal with it.  Let them put you under a microscope and try to dissect every secret part of you.  Don't worry about it, just be you.  Truth be told, they are secretly admiring you and wishing that had the boldness just to be themselves.

Not fitting in, and not being part of the popular crowd can oftentimes be very isolating and lonely, especially during a person's childhood years.  However, it is usually these individuals that form deeper and more long-lasting relationships, and over the course of time, you will find that you have gathered your own tribe.  People, who like you, are true to themselves, and not threatened by your authenticity.
So, keep walking with confidence, blaze the way, and love every minute of your life.  Why blend in when you were born to stand out?

Monday, 6 September 2021

Rise Above

September is one of my favourite months.  It is proof that hope is never in vain.  Sprigs of green are appearing everywhere.  The morning air vibrates with anticipation.  Beautiful.  Many people, however, look at Spring with quite different eyes.  They talk about the dreaded heat of the summer, they complain about the dust storms sure to come and bemoan the onslaught of bugs and mosquitos.  Often it is a symptom of humankind to see the downside rather than the blessings.  We are quick to complain and rather slow to see the grace.  The simple picture of a flower blooming in the harsh environment of asphalt holds quite a few lessons for us.  Despite the little seed finding itself in difficult circumstances, isolated and separated, it still germinated and rose above the desolation.  There, against the bleak backdrop of the asphalt, it shares its beauty with those passing by.  It brings a message of hope and perseverance.  It shares its nectar and nourishes a butterfly, providing a place of respite to a weary traveler.  If it were planted in a flower bed amongst the abundance of other reds and yellows, its beauty would have indeed added to the spectacular show of the masses.  Yet, here, where perhaps the wind had scattered it, it adds value to an otherwise unforgiving environment.  So, we too might think life is too harsh, too unwelcoming.  We might wonder what value we could possibly have where we are now.  We might dream of being in the lush garden of life, surrounded by extravagant beauty and riches.  We might be yearning for fame, but the winds of misfortune blew us every which way.  We might be feeling the despair of unfulfilled dreams.  The message of this little flower is this:  bloom there where you are, and spread your fragrance.  A light shining amongst a sea of other lights is hardly noticed, but when a tiny flame is lit in a cave of darkness, its value is clearly seen.
Rise above it all, because you were born to bloom.