I woke up this morning, picked up my cell phone and using the microphone began to dictate an email to a leadership group to which I belong. I was aware that the dictation can make some ridiculous mistakes; for example ‘an ungodly hour‘ turned out to be ‘an un-call ugly hour.‘ I thought I would correct the transcription when I was complete with the draft. However, as life would have it, my hand slipped, hit the send button, and the email went off.
Ahhhhhh! At first I panicked, for I believed I needed to change what would surely make me look seriously brain damaged. Then my spirit gave me this message I now give to you:
“NO. The mistakes and seeming nonsensical communication stand. Your worst or your best, it’s all a part of you. You must accept both to accept you. The world needs to accept both to know, accept and love you.”
Can you accept the worst part of you as much as you accept the best, knowing both the good and not-so-good is what makes you authentically and beautifully you?
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.
For 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.
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.
The time has come for us to go after many more opportunities, ask more questions, and take more risks, while welcoming the many instances that we will hear the word ‘no’.
Have you ever talked yourself out of going for a job, approaching a
person that interests you, or asking for something you needed; all because you feared rejection? Did you know that successful people experience more ‘no’ than others. They experience countless rejection and failures because they take more risks and do far more than others. We all can learn how to get what we want most in life, if we understand the true meaning of the rejecting word ‘no.’
Let’s consider the example of a mountain lion and its prey. When the mountain lion goes after a deer, it does not get discouraged, even though the deer says ‘no way!’ To many it would seem as though the mountain lion does not have a single chance of catching the too swift deer. Yet, the mountain lion does not fear. It does not get emotionally hurt. It does not take its failure personally. Instead, it keeps focus on its ultimate prize, which is to catch a deer and not necessarily the one that escaped. It uses all its many failures to become smarter, and looks for opportunities to try again, having no doubt that it will succeed. Eventually, it perseveres and turns an unsuspecting deer’s ‘no’ into ‘yes’.
The successful among us are like mountain lions. However, we all need to be like Mountain Lions and welcome the necessary rejections of life. We need these rejections to develop the perseverance, skill, and confidence of a mountain lion. We need them to test our faith, and develop greater patience and fortitude needed to fearlessly go after our greatest desires.
Rejection often brings a message that says ‘you are greater than that which you seek. You are worth far more than you imagined.’ If you allow it to, it will push you in a direction that promises something much greater that the ‘yes’ you were hoping for.
In 2015 and beyond, I will use this ‘welcoming no’ or ‘mountain lion philosophy’ to go after many possible rejections, for among this I will find my ultimate success. Will you join me?
I was recently privileged to write a wonderful story about Anya, a 21-year-old Deaf young lady, which has been posted on Good News Toronto. Just a couple years ago, Anya was lost and depressed in her isolated world. Today she is an award-winner and creator of a fun exercise and sign-language education program, called “Hearing The Deaf”. It is partially done in complete silence, teaching what it’s like to be deaf in a hearing world.
I told one of my best friends that I had signed up on a dating website. She too is divorced and would love a second chance at a relationship. However, as a professional, she found it embarrassing, and was afraid that people she knew might see her. I understood what she was saying for I felt that way, until I decided to live in the 21st century.
In my single yesterday world, years have gone by and I have not meeting any potential partners. I therefore chose to add to my comfortable normal hang-outs (church, the gym, and various professional places), and go where there are many potential partners waiting to meet me.
I had to go on-line, where I personally know of four professional women who met their partners.
It’s been a few days since I reluctantly signed up, and I am learning how to be real. This is not an easy thing, for I have a limp and limited income. Nonetheless, my supposed weaknesses have turned out to be my greatest blessings, for they are guiding me to myself and to my ideal partner.
Will I succeed in finding what I want? I have faith that I will, on the web or off. Either way, just looking and talking awaken something in me that has been sleeping for far too long.
I truly believe, if we go for what you want, we almost always find some great blessing.
This past Sunday my pastor announced the name of a lady who was about to address the church. I looked around for this stranger to emerge.
The lady in front of me got up. “Me backside,” as my Jamaican grandmother would say when she was shocked. I had been sitting behind and speaking to this lady for 2 years and didn’t know her name.
She thanked the pastor and others for their support related to the recent death of her daughter! I was shocked again. I had not even expressed my condolences, all because I didn’t know her name.
I decided that would never happen to me again. So I did some research. Here is one video that will help many of us who have gotten in that awkward place of forgetting names.
I will practice, practice, practice. The main strategies I will use are to tell myself several times I am going to remember the name, find opportunities to repeat it several times once I hear it, and associate the name with some picture. Do you have others you would like to share?
Yesterday, my favourite contestant on American Idol, Majesty Rose, got eliminated. She left us all with a powerful lesson about remembering what makes us special.
When she first came on the show, she showed off a quiet and angelic voice. Her sweet tone, which was like no other, was memorizing. As a result, she was listed among the favourites.
Three weeks ago, she must have decided that to win, she had to compete with the big voices of the other contestants. Each week I would go back, hoping to hear her angelic gift, once again. She would show it for a little; but never stopped trying to match everyone else. While everyone else got better at being who they were, she got worst at being who she was. She didn’t know the value of her special gift. As a result, her journey on the show ended.
I too forgot my specialness, and tried to be like everyone else. As a result, I nearly lost my life. Now I focus on doing what I love, and with love. I write, speak and lead from my heart, regardless of what others may think. It was knowing what made me special, that enabled me to write my book. Check out these comments from my editor.
What about you, do you know what makes you special? Are you sharing your specialness with the world?
Sometimes we do everything we can to finish a project; yet there is always something stopping us. In cases like this, life may just be showing us that we need to slow down or ease-up, to see the gift it is offering.
This is the case with the book I’ve been trying to complete forever! I posted the cover. A trusted friend said the cover needed improvement; so he referred me to another gentleman, who has experience in graphics and layout. After going over my book, that man told me “you’re not done yet!”
In setting a mood for my story, he noticed my strong desire, yet minimal effort, to include graphics and visual art. Real art work is something I had avoided because I have petty much no talent for drawing. Plus, I made it up that it was hard to find someone to do it, and this would slow me down!
I finally realized that I had to slow down, for this amazing story I am telling is not my story! I only had to see that I was not alone, decide that I really wanted quality art and layout, and reach for what I wanted, for the people I needed to show up.
This experience helped me realize that this is a story of the many people, with whom I joyously serve, and spread love throughout the world. It is the story of the artist, the editors, and many others who are on my team; people who are helping me tell our story to the very best of my ability. It is a story of the divine force that have taken me where I am, and give me a reason for living, for creating.
I am now looking at early April for our completion date. Regardless, the date is not all that important, for I have slowed down to enjoy these finishing stages and the awesome people with whom I am taking this journey.