Tag Archives: inspiration

Don’t quit – a poem

 

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Don’t quit – a poem

This is a lovely to poem to read when you feel low and down trodden….hope it cheers you up if you’re feeling sad.    Mandy X

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,

When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,

When the funds are low and the debts are high,

And you want to smile but you have to sigh,

When care is pressing you down a bit

Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

For life is queer with its twists and turns

As everyone of us sometimes learns,

And many a failure turns about,

When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.

Success is just failure turned inside out,

The silver tint of the clouds of doubt.

And you never can tell how close you are,

It may be near when it seems so far.

So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit,

It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit!

  • Anonymous.

When life is overwhelming

 

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When life is  overwhelming

 

Life is weird. Life is strange. It seems the more I try to figure it out, the more confused I get. Despite knowing the various strategies required to deal with mental health issues and mood disorders such as depression as well as anxiety, I still have not found a fool-proof method to guide me through life and keep me happy consistently.

Part of dealing with life effectively is accepting that life is a series of ups and downs. I remember reading the book by Scott Peck called “The path less travelled” where Scott Peck states just that-but life has a hard brutal side to it. I guess being resilient means learning to cope with uncertainty and a constantly changing inner emotional landscape.

Something else that is crucial to surviving life is a good sense of humour. We choose to take life seriously and catastrophise what happens to us or we can choose to take a step back and detach slightly from what is happening. Counsellors refer to this as the “balcony method” where you imagine yourself on a balcony looking down on your life and watching yourself passively. Sometimes engaging in this passive strategy enables us to detach enough emotionally in order to see the situation differently.

I have recently found out that I’m severely allergic to my beloved dog – Socks. The allergy is so severe that my doctors have recommended I find another home for Socks. I’m finding this reality very hard as my dog gives me so much pleasure and keeps me sane. The saying “when it rains it pours” seems to be fairly apt for my life currently although I won’t go into details here on this blog. Life seems overwhelming for a number of reasons.

We are all in this “soup” together as the Psychologist Carl Jung once said. Possessing a degree in Sociology and Psychology does not make me immune to the various challenges in life. I do have better coping skills now than when I was younger and I’m sure part of that is just growing older and maturity.

I reckon when you feel extremely lost and at rock bottom, the best thing you can do is sit tight and ride the storm. Never let the light of faith and hope extinguish. Take life one hour at a time necessary. Everyone, no matter who they are has their own cross to bear.

For many of us, when life is overwhelming, we cope with anxiety and depression by withdrawing and isolating ourselves from others. This is a very common strategy but one which is not helpful as it further isolates us and fosters feelings of loneliness and the idea that we are apart and unique in our experiences. The truth is that we all feel overwhelmed at times and it can take extreme mental strength to get on top of the anxious thoughts. When life isn’t  going well at least there is only one direction to go in-and that is up.

Mandy X

How to be inspired

 

 

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How to be inspired

There are ways to tap into your inspired thinking but you have to know a few things beforehand…

Inspiration and reaching your full potential can only happen when certain things are in place. According to Abraham Maslow and his theory on the “Hierarchy of needs”, we must satisfy certain basic requirements before we can feel enlightened and use our creativity.

These basic requirements include things like a safe place to live, food and security. Once we have these basic essentials in place we can focus our energy on more ethereal stuff.

Maslow-hierarchy

 

There is a theory that states that we have three parts to our brain. We have the ‘lizard’ (reptile) brain – the most basic part of our brain (the limbic system)that controls our impulses and helps us survive. Many of the actions controlled by this part of the brain occur without much thinking – for example “fight or flight” – a basic response to danger.

Then there is the ‘monkey’ (mammal) brain. Slightly more advanced than the lizard part of our brain, the monkey part of our brain deals well with repetition, habits and many of the usual tasks that we have to contend with in our daily lives such as driving, doing repetitive tasks at work, cooking and daily chores. The monkey brain is satisfied with monotony and hates change. The monkey brain longs for security and prefers to stay within a comfort zone of safety. Unfortunately, tapping into our monkey brain too much can hinder our opportunities and our potential to grow.

Finally, there is the higher part of our brain (primate – frontal cortex), where the real important stuff takes place – creativity, pioneering ideas, entrepreneurial spirit and inspired living. This is found in the frontal lobes of the brain, the newest part of the brain to develop in evolutionary terms. When we use this part of our brain, we are tuned in to the most enlightened part of our beings. This is when we transcend world divisions (such as race, culture, the “us and them” attitude) and function at a higher level. Neuroscientist, Richard Davidson from the University of Wisconsin,  carried out research on Tibetan monks and found that when they meditated, their prefrontal cortex was highly active – especially on the left side which has to do with feelings of joy, happiness and compassion.

brain_imageThe lizard brain believes in resources it can touch, the monkey brain believes what it is told (this is why it is crucial to be a critical thinker and not believe everything you are told by the media, politicians and people in authority) and the primate part of the brain believes in the resources it can have control over. It is able to see the bigger picture and is more detached from the material goods and safety that is on offer (this appeals the the monkey brain).

The lower parts of the brain (lizard and monkey) have the power to shut down our higher level thinking when it feels threatened. Therefore, it is important to appease these parts of the brain. If immediate survival isn’t threatened (this will activate the lizard brain) and we are not stuck in a repetitive life with no prospects we will be able to think on a higher level. Don’t stay in a job that stifles your creativity or that undervalues you. If you do, your monkey brain is far too active.

When we live a life full of stress, paying bills, rushing from one appointment to the next, we never give our higher thinking a chance to flourish.

Learn to tune out from the noise, stop watching the news for a while, make sure you have some savings (to keep lizard brain happy) and reconnect with your higher thinking. This is when you will access what it is that makes you truly happy.

So many clients come to me and tell me that they are so busy, have the job, car, house and spouse yet still feel empty. I believe this is because they are functioning with their lizard and monkey brain. When they take time out from their routine, stop listening to what society dictates or what they believe is expected of them, they begin to see new possibilities. It works every time.

You need a lot less to survive than you think. You are safer and more supported than you realise. Adding a sense of calmness to life is important – get back to nature, detach from media stories, spend some time alone….all this will help you to be inspired.

Mandy X

50 great inspirational quotes

50 Great Inspirational Quotes

 inspiration photo

50 Great Inspirational Quotes

I have out together 50 of my favourite great inspirational quotes – hope you enjoy them!

 

1)  Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

2) I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~Thomas A. Edison

3). If you don’t value your time, neither will others. Stop giving away your time and talents- start charging for it. ~Kim Garst

4). A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him. ~David Brinkley

5) No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

6) If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous

7) Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success. ~Swami Vivekananda

8) The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away. ~Anonymous

9) Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.~Nathaniel Hawthorne

10) Do one thing every day that scares you. ~Anonymous

11) Nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. ~Anonymous

12) There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed. ~Ray Goforth

13) All progress takes place outside the comfort zone. ~Michael John Bobak

14) Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone. ~Pablo Picasso

15) People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. ~Zig Ziglar

16) We become what we think about most of the time, and that’s the strangest secret. ~Earl Nightingale

17) It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ~Anonymous

18) Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it. ~Maya Angelou

19) It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. ~Herman Melville

20) Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice. ~Wayne Dyer

21) You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky

22)  I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. –Michael Jordan

23)  The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. –Amelia Earhart

24)  Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. –John Lennon

25) We become what we think about. –Earl Nightingale

26) Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do, so throw off the bowlines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream, Discover. –Mark Twain

27) Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll

28)  The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. –Alice Walker

29) The mind is everything. What you think you become.  –Buddha

30) The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb

31) An unexamined life is not worth living. –Socrates

32)  Eighty percent of success is showing up. –Woody Allen

33)  Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. –Steve Jobs

34) I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions. –Stephen Covey

35) You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. –Christopher Columbus

36) I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. –Maya Angelou

37)  Either you run the day, or the day runs you. –Jim Rohn

38) Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right. –Henry Ford

39) If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh

40)  There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing. –Aristotle

41) Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb

42) Believe you can and you’re halfway there. –Theodore Roosevelt

43) Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear. –George Addair

44) When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy’.  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life. –John Lennon

45) Fall seven times and stand up eight. –Japanese Proverb

46) When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us. –Helen Keller

47) Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see. –Confucius

48) How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. –Anne Frank

49) When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. –Lao Tzu

50) Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. –Les Brown

Mandy X

think your way to happiness

Inspiration to Make You Smile

 

 

Inspiration to Make You Smile

We all need inspiration in our lives. It symbolises the positive energy flow, the fuel that keeps us going especially when times are tough.

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Inspiration Happiness


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Mandy X

Photo Credits:

Photos by symphony of love  Photo by seaternity  Photo by Feed My Starving Children (FMSC)

 

 

11 Ways Maya Angelou Taught Us To Be Better Women

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“I’m a woman, phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me.”

Maya Angelou, the beloved author, poet and activist who passed away on Wednesday May 28, was even more “phenomenal” than the words of one of her most famous poems can express.

During her 86 years, she wrote seven autobiographies, was active in the civil rights movement and worked with the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recited a poem at Bill Clinton’s 1993 presidential inauguration, became a college professor, befriended Oprah and was awarded the 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom — the list goes on. (As the NYTimes obituary points out, before her first autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, was published in 1969, Angelou had already been “a dancer, calypso singer, streetcar conductor, single mother, magazine editor in Cairo, [and] administrative assistant in Ghana.”)

In celebration of her incredible life, here are 11 lessons all women can learn from Maya Angelou:

1. Loving someone means risking everything — but it’s always worth it.
“In the flush of love’s light, we dare be brave. And suddenly we see that love costs all we are, and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.” “Touched By An Angel”

2. Women need to support each other.
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.”

3. The key to success is simple: enjoyment.
“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

4. Make changes where you can, but accept the things that you have no control over.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Don’t complain.”

5. Trust your own voice and instincts.

6. Learn the value of forgiveness.
“It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive. Forgive everybody.”

7. Looks aren’t everything. Not even a little bit.
“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.” -“Phenomenal Woman”

8. Dare to “kick ass.”
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.”

9. If you’re in a bad living situation, relationship or job, get out now.
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.”

10. Always remember to laugh.
“Women should be tough, tender, laugh as much as possible, and live long lives.”

11. How you make people feel is the mark you will leave behind.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We’ll certainly never forget how you made us feel, Maya.

Mandy X

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/28/maya-angelou-women-quotes_n_5404284.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

How to Overcome Hopelessness

 

 

Deutsch: Der Australier Nick Vujicic, der ohne...

Deutsch: Der Australier Nick Vujicic, der ohne Arme und Beine geboren wurde, bei einem Vortrag am 1. April 2011 in Ehringshausen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I just had to share this inspirational video with you by Nick Vujicic. In this TED talk, Nick talks about how he has overcome obstacles to create a happy fulfilling life. Nick is a fantastic example of someone who has managed to triumph over adverse conditions and has been able to overcome hopelessness. It is often, not what happens to us, but rather our attitudes to what happens to us that affects our happiness and quality of life. What do you choose to believe about yourself, about your life??

 

How to overcome hopelessness:

 

 

 

Mandy X

 

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An Inspiring Story

 

costa maya, mexico

costa maya, mexico (Photo credit: scaturchio)

 

I have been reading a book lately and came across this inspiring story in it. I thought I’d share it as it’s a good example of wisdom and leading a happy life:

 

An American businessman took a vacation to a small coastal Mexican village on doctor’s orders.  Unable to sleep after an urgent phone call from the office the first morning, he walked out to the pier to clear his head. A small boat with just one fisherman had docked, and inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish.

“How long did it take you to catch them?” the American asked.

“Only a little while,” the Mexican replied in surprisingly good English.

“Why don’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?” the American then asked.

“I have enough to support my family and give a few to friends,” the Mexican said as he unloaded them into a basket.

“But…What do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican looked up and smiled. “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Julia, and stroll into the village each evening, where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor.”

The American laughed and stood tall. “Sir, I’m a Harvard M.B.A. and can help you. You should spend more time fishing, and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. In no time, you could buy several boats with the increased haul. Eventually, you would have a fleet of fishing boats.”

He continued, “Instead of selling your catch to a middleman, you would sell directly to the consumers, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village, of course, and move to Mexico City, then to Los Angeles, and eventually New York City, where you could run your expanding enterprise with proper management.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, senor, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years. 25 tops.”

“But what then, senor?”

 

The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.”

“Millions, senor? Then what?”

“Then you would retire and move to a small coastal fishing village, where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your children, take a siesta with your wife, and stroll to the village in the evenings, where you would sip wine and play guitar with your amigos…”

 

I love this inspiring story as it shows you do not need to slog out on the corporate ladder in order to enjoy a good quality of life.

Mandy X

 

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