Tag Archives: God

2016 Training Tool for Success

A blessed new year to all!

Most of us have gotten so caught up in the negative thoughts of our minds that we stop ourselves from getting what we so desperately want. It’s 2016, and time we consciously join forces with the greatest power that exists, and achieve the good that beats relentlessly on our hearts.

With the guidance of God, I was able to develop the “A Path to Success”  tool (shown below) for learning to overcome  negativity and achieving the success we desire.

apts-chart-c

“A Path to Success,” is an acronym which helps us to create an unbreakable bond with the goodness within ourselves, the good people around us, and the good  Spirit which leads us. The principles in this tool were inspired by my life experience, the proven laws of Napoleon Hill, and scripture.

I have learned that it is not enough to know these principle, it is only through effectively integrating them that we see their power to make actual changes in our lives. In other words, information without continued strategies for implementing, and actual implementation, is often useless. That is to say, knowing we must help others, how to do this, and actually doing it are very different things.

Throughout the months of 2016, I will not only share the “A Path to Success” principles but also provide the strategies and training for integrating them into our lives. We will begin this month with the letter “A,” aim for what your heart calls.

 

Choose to Defeat the Darkness Inside

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends.  My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.

Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:

“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”

My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.

The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.

Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us.  How are you choosing?

Say a Prayer for Cecilia

ceciliaCecilia has been fighting for her life for the last couple weeks, as a result of a horrible hit and run accident.

Anyone who has had a disability as well as constant health challenges, yet at the same time is an uplifting beacon of love and friendship for others, deserves a great blessing. Cecilia, a gifted young lady who is visually impaired and a brain cancer survivor, is such a person.

I met Cecilia at the gym about 5 years ago. She was an arts and crafts volunteer, working with children at the gym where I workout. I admired her general love for my daughter and other children, including her gift for making creative little paper toys to put smiles on people’s faces (as shown above) . We became good friends, and shared about our personal health challenges. I admired the fact that she never used this as an excuse to complain or stop contributing to life.

We had been sending a text to each other every Saturday morning, just before we met up at the gym. If either of us couldn’t be there, we’d let the other know. So two weeks ago when she didn’t respond to my text and I didn’t see her at the gym, I was a bit concerned. The same thing happened the week after. I was so concerned that I tried to contact her this past Monday. No success. I knew something was wrong. I feared it was a return of her brain cancer.

On Tuesday I got the call from her dad. He told me about the horrible car accident, and the search for the driver who caused the accident and ran away from the scene. Cecilia was so badly hurt that she was on life support and in a coma for a while.  She just recently came out of the coma, and though she is unable to communicate with me, she told her dad to call me and tell me what happened.

Though she is pretty broken up, I thank God that she is alive and is stable now. She is still facing a great battle. Her dad is asking for much prayers.

I have no idea what God has planned for Cecilia or any of us. I can only hope and pray that His plans includes a healing miracle for this inspiring young lady. Please pray with me.

Good News

Our days, our lives , and our spirits flourish the more we surround our selves with good news. Below I lift you up with two inspiring stories, both of which are strangely linked to the Iraq war.

james with studentFor the first, we celebrate two  educators from Toronto, who came home from New York City with a 2015 Digital Book Award, leading the way to the creation of paperless schools.  Both men, James and Jamie are part of the Connect School for Languages, which James was inspired to create as a result of the Iraq war. Check out the article I wrote in Good News Toronto, about these ordinary guys and their really cool paperless textbooks.

The other even more evocative piece of good news relates to a man, who lost his leg and arm in the Iraq war, wowing the world on Dancing With the Stars.  A horrible situation enables him to inspire the world, as he displays like never before, the awesome beauty, courage and spirit he possesses. He is my greatest dancer.

Below I share a video of Noah Galloway’s inspiring story and performance.

How To Deal With Anger & Insecurities “Surrender To Your Better Self!”

Have you ever done something out of anger or frustration; something crazy, which in hindsight you realized was kind of crazy? I have. The other day, I got up to make a report at a church council meeting and mentioned the pain on the stroke affected side of my body. I also inadvertently indicated that it was triggered by a few miserable people in the room (my judgement, of course).

My upset and my pain had more to do with the fact that I was in no mood to be there. For some time I had been feeling useless, ineffective and completely immobile.   So when the meeting seemed held-up by some church members who I felt were unnecessarily vigilant, I wanted to rip their mouths off (or maybe just pinch them into recognizing their foolishness, not recognizing that if anyone was really foolish, it was me).

When I saw my craziness, I could have just forgiven myself and say ‘I am only human.’ However as people who are striving to better human beings, we need to have a strategy for handling our craziness, especially when triggered by the perceived craziness of others. It’s not enough just to be quiet, and give off the air of spiritual maturity on the inside, when on the outside we are ready to crucify someone with our words and our thoughts. How can we actually feel and display the type of spiritual maturity, inside and out, which changes us and the world around us? Judge Lynn Toler has a brilliant answer.

Could some of us be missing the purpose of life?

It is a new year and many of us focus the purpose of our life on achieving things. We concentrate on things like being more successful in business, getting a new job, losing weight and a whole host of other things. Yet all these things are useless without something much more important; something which is the true purpose for life and the foundation of our happiness.

Let me give you an example. I grew up being told by others, and noticing my own awareness, that my sisters were prettier than me. So I turned my attention to my brain. I became known as the one who did the best in school. What I didn’t understand was that it isn’t important how pretty, how smart, or how accomplished any of us are.

character
What really matters is how virtuous, loving, kind, and peaceful we are. I thought I could use my brain to become more accomplished or make better decisions than my sisters, my mother, and many others. Yet, this thinking allowed my ego to run away with me; until I had a stroke. Then the only meaningful part of me that was left to heal me and guide me through life was the love, positivity and spirituality within me. This is true with regards to all the things we consider important; such as profession, employment and relationships.

Buddha said:

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

When we have a character focused on love and doing good deeds for others, our ego is shut down. Therefore we cannot help but become better and better at being who we are, and doing the good we are meant to do. This is the foundation for whatever we want to achieve.

What will you do to strengthen your character in 2015? Consider the following.

character

Stop! Hear What Your Life is Saying to You

Have you ever had something go terribly wrong in your life? You find yourself in a senseless argument. You feel shattered from the loss of someone close to you. Or you lose a job you desperately wanted.  Did you know that such bad situations are also how life speaks to us, blesses us, and pushes us towards our life purpose? Let me give you an example.

I’ve been working on what should have been a simple article for Good News Toronto. The article features Alicia Vianga, the founder of the After Breast Cancer charity and the Premier Jour Fine Lingerie and Swimwear boutique.

The interview opened up my life, in a way I could never have predicted.  Due to the stroke and my subsequent disability, I am unable to drive. As a result, I felt I had to do the interview from home, using Skype. Perhaps more importantly, the thought of travelling alone for 2 ½ hours by public transportation to do a face-to-face interview, paralysed me with unconscionable fear.

Shockingly, the Skype interview also seemed paralysing; though it began well. Alicia said that when she initially came to Canada, she was a live-in nanny.  I asked her, “What were the obstacles that stood in your way of getting where you are today?”

She responded, “me;” that is, she thought that no one would hire her to do anything more than clean houses.

I questionably responded. “That’s not it. That’s not what I am looking for.” I was thinking that the obstacle had to be something like breast cancer. However, she had no such painful health challenge.

Not yet aware of what was going on, I asked the same question several times. With increasing frustration, Alicia gave me the same answer, while trying to be as tolerable as possible.

The problem was that even though I was listening to her; I couldn’t hear her. I was hearing the thoughts in my head that said I needed to go and see her.

We tried the interview by Skype again, but I still couldn’t get what I thought I needed; and the frustration continued. Interestingly enough, both Alicia and I knew that this was not about writing an article.

It was not long before I just stopped. I then could see that my irrational fear of taking public transportation by myself was getting in my way. I knew that a breakthrough was being called for.  So I reluctantly planned the trip to Alicia’s boutique, which required travel by bus, subway, and street car. I got myself ready to take the long trip by myself for the first time, since the stroke 7 years ago.

I boarded the bus, the train and the street car for what turned out to be a peaceful, sometimes eye-opening trip, to Alicia’s boutique. She was a beautiful and insightful person, who I was blessed to meet. As a result of that trip, my limiting world of stroke, anxiety and disability subsided, and invited greater freedom into my future.

I was reminded that we sometimes have to stop and listen before we can hear that our problems may also be our blessings. Do you have a problem in your life that may just be your blessing? Stop! Listen and hear. What good is your life offering you?

Could Your Worst Enemy Possibly Be You?

In my recently published book, I wrote about my enemy manager, who made my life a living hell. She was cruel and tossed me out like a dirty dish cloth. What I didn’t know was that she was mirroring me!

I did not want to admit it, but her arrival meant that I was no longer seen as the best on my team. I wanted her to fail. Whenever she was around me, my  disrespectful and hypocritical energy consumed me, like smoke around a forest fire.  My ego needed to prove that she was not my superior, and in fact was the very opposite.

In my story, Rising Like a Phoenix: When Life cuts You Off at the Knees, I saw how I disrespected her and was disrespected by her, how I hated her and was hated by her. When I saw my own insolence, as shown in chapter 4, she could no longer be my villain. She became my angel. Her presence in my life helped me to see that when I am hate, I create hate in my life. If I want love, I must be love.

It was a blessing to see the evil in me, so I can forgive the evil in others and create a better me. What about you? Can you see the people in your life you believe to be bad or evil? Can you see how they represent you? Can you forgive them and in turn forgive yourself? What would that give to you?

What Everyone Ought to Know About Rising Up

Zumba demonstration
Zumba demonstration

There was a time when I would be in front of an aerobics or dance exercise class, proudly matching the instructor with my high-level, high-energy moves. Now, as my stroke-altered body try to follow a Zumba class, I feel like a rhythm-challenged individual; moving in ways I once arrogantly found so humorous.

Instead of doing a whole lot of praying, and hoping for the day when I can again be the dancer I used to be, I had to let my body thrive where it is, and find its own awkward rhythm. Often times my right foot is so heavy, I can barely pick it up off the ground. During these times, I have learned to firmly plant my feet on the ground and joyfully move my uninhibited hips and upper body to the beat of the thumping music.

It took being knocked down to awaken my spirit, and experience what it truly means to rise above the limitations of the body and experience joy. We all have to love ourselves at whatever place we are, in order to rise up and live life now!

The Day I Crumbled

I read the prologue of my book to a group of writers. They felt that taking people through the experience of having a stroke was riveting. Read it below and tell me what do you think?

It was early Saturday morning, April 28, 2007, two weeks before my 46th birthday. I was a vegetarian and continued to go to the gym five times per week. I was healthy and as fit as an athlete, physically anyway. I believed I was in better shape than many thirty-year-olds.

Feeling sleep in my bones, I rolled my body to the edge of my bed, dangled my feet over and slowly sat up. I dropped my bare feet onto the hardwood floor, allowing my legs to drunkenly carry my body to the bathroom. Yet, once inside the toilet, my body wouldn’t do the functions it always did every single morning.   Even after sitting for maybe five minutes, nothing happened!  Pulled to the mirror by my subconscious or some other unseen force, I slowly raised my body up, shuffled a few steps forward, and gazed into the mirror. I can’t describe my reflection, but my right eye looked troubled.  This could have gotten my full attention, if it weren’t for the tiredness that seemed to be weighing my body down like a heavy load.

“Go back to your bed,” said a silent voice inside me.

I instantly turned around and allowed my head to carry my increasingly droopy body back into the bedroom. As I tried to hoist myself up the 25 or so inches onto the surface of my bed, my arms, legs and every other part of me came sliding down to the ground. It was like an unstoppable avalanche!

I was suddenly like a helpless baby, totally unable to pick myself up off the floor. I thought, maybe hoped, I was dreaming.

Frightfully confused, I crawled on my belly like a senseless, headless chicken, from the bedroom to the bathroom, and then turned right towards the kitchen. It was as if some kind of horrifying madness had taken me over.

I probably would have panicked to death, if Shani, my then five-year-old daughter, had not appeared. I knew then that I didn’t just have to worry about what was erasing me, I had to take care of her.

I somehow told Shani, who I imagine must have been freaking out, to get the phone. Desperately, I tried several times to dial my mother; but each time, after the 3rd or 4th number, everything became so mixed-up in my mind that I was unable to recognize or see even a single number.

A voice inside me said “Dial 911!” It was only 3 numbers.  I could do that.

Knowing the ambulance was on the way reduced the pandemonium that was itching to break loose from inside me. For a merciful moment, the reduced stress enabled my brain to somehow find itself. I correctly dialed my mother’s number, the hardest 9 digits my brain ever had to hold on to.

I did not hear my mother say hello. I have no recollection of Shani taking the phone. I can only remember her quiet fear-stricken voice.  “Grandma, there’s something wrong with Mommy! Who’s going to take care of me?”

My heart felt like it crumbled into miniscule peaces as I heard those words. I could not really see Shani’s face or the frightful tears, which must have hidden behind her desperate eyes; yet I knew she was scared to death.

Soon the Paramedics rushed in, a man and a woman. Working hurriedly outside the kitchen of my two bedroom apartment, they were doing doctor things to me and asking doctor questions, which I was too senseless to know or remember.

Then two firefighters rushed in. They assessed the situation and veered toward Shani, peering silently from the adjoining living room.  My eyes fixed on the two handsome firefighters as they played doll with my daughter, saying comforting little-girl things. I had no doubt they would care for and protect her until my mother came. Even for but a moment, my body relaxed with a feeling of tremendous gratitude.

I cannot recall much about leaving my apartment or travelling down the elevator. Yet I remember feeling some sort of pity for myself, as I noticed the rental agents peering through the window of their ground floor office, and as the Paramedics held adjoining ends of the stretcher and rushed me out the apartment entrance and into the ambulance.