View your surroundings with fresh eyes: resurrecting potential

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Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash.

Recently, we hosted our daughter for the weekend at our little cabin in the woods. To view the space through her eyes for the first time reminded me of the reasons my husband and I fell in love with the mountain retreat when we, too, first laid eyes on it. Yet it’s too easy to forget its potential when confronted with…[read more]

Top 2 Ways to Get the Most from Life

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James R. Doty, in his book, “Into the Magic Shop,” talks about growing up in an environment of poverty and neglect. At 12 years old, he entered a magic shop and, through a simple act of kindness extended toward him, the trajectory of his life was transformed. If Doty had chosen to blame his upbringing for a lack of potential, this world-renowned neurosurgeon likely would’ve proven another sad statistic. Instead, he focused on his abilities through the power of both the brain and the heart. When tempted to obsess over our circumstances, we must, instead, choose to focus on our capabilities. In other words, rather than look for excuses to set ourselves up for failure, we should latch onto everything we can do. And then do it. I’d like to take it a step further: It also requires faith. Because faith knows we’ve already received and then acts accordingly. It’s like dressing for success before walking out the door.

Do you focus on your circumstances or your capabilities?

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Hope begins in the dark


[Image credit: MR LIGHTMAN]

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you
just show up and try to do the right thing,
the dawn will come.  You wait and watch and work:
you don’t give up. ~ Anne Lamott

For years I’ve routinely lived by the mindset that things always look better in the morning.  At night, when the world is slumbering yet sleep doesn’t come easily for me, my thoughts run rampant and I only see the negative staring at me through the shadows.  With the new dawn, however, my day has yet to be written and its potential is endless.  In Lamott’s quote, she puts a twist on the dark and finds a kernel of hope there.  And she says if you hold onto it — your stubborn hope for something better — the day’s promises show up.  But if you give up waiting, watching and working, at morning light, you may miss the possibilities altogether.

Does your hope begin in the dark or in the light of day?

Shedding the old for the new

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[Image credit: wyiangya]

Continuing my thoughts from yesterday’s post entitled Practice what you preach, I think the concept of discarding aspirations or life lessons that don’t fit into the scheme of things makes a lot of sense.  After all, isn’t that simply a normal part of life?  If something holds us back from getting ahead, doesn’t edify or build us up, then shedding whatever it may be — an unhealthy relationship, a hopeless dream, a self-defeating attitude, etc. — allows us the room required for new growth (which brings me back to the topic of butterflies outgrowing their cocoons).  We have to understand that hanging on to the old will only obfuscate (conceal or obscure) our ability to soar, limiting our full potential.  Either way, there are no guarantees.  So maybe the question isn’t if I practice what I preach, but rather: Will I discard that which keeps me from being all that I can be?  In other words, will I remain a cocoon, or emerge the butterfly?  Stay tuned, there’s still a half year left.

Are you trapped in a cocoon, or have you shed that which holds you back?

Laying a solid foundation

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[Image credit: Worakit Sirijinda]

I’m pretty excited about how things are going on-the-job.  Last week my boss took me out to lunch to celebrate my six-month anniversary and discuss my position, as well as his ideas for expanding it.  We talked about the potential for me to write for one of our construction publications, something that both thrills me and causes a bundle of nerves to snake up my spine.  After all, I write pieces for a beauty and lifestyle magazine relating to body image, spider veins and migraine relief.  What do I know about the construction industry beyond the copy I read during the editing process?  I was discussing this very thing with a spin-class buddy who didn’t skip a beat when he pointed out that construction and beauty have a lot in common — starting with a solid foundation.  And I realized that’s the way it is with most things in order to succeed; i.e., relationships, fitness regimens, education, careers, etc.  Whatever your desired outcome, it’s definitely worth the effort to lay the groundwork first.  I can hardly wait to get started.

What would you say is your most solid foundation in life?