Challenging times build our inner strength. They develop our faith, refine our character, and GIVE US A UNIQUE STORY. It is always enjoyable to have the mountaintop experiences in life, but we learn the most during the valley times. Challenging times are often the gifts we do not want. As Hellen Keller stated, “character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” Three things to remember and ask yourself: (1) What you go through, you grow through. (2) It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. (3) We all have a story: How are you using your unique story to help others? (4) Are there some new avenues to explore?
“Sometimes, the road ahead is blocked, but clearing the way becomes part of our journey. Learn to tell when it’s time to let go, to surrender, to search for another road, a different path, another dream. But also learn to tell when it’s time to move forward, through obstacles if need be, because the dream is electric, charged by Divine energy and love. If a side trip is beckoning, perhaps there’s a lesson there: an old feeling to be felt, healed and cleared; a new attitude or belief to be acquired; a revelation, a surprise. Remember this: a side trip, with all it’s emotions, isn’t about another person. It’s about you and your journey to healing, freedom, and joy. Ignoring a situation that can take you off center won’t take you to the next place. Going more deeply into your own growth process, going more deeply into your soul is what will further your journey. Everything that happens to you can be used, felt, shaped and transformed to further your journey. This process of growth, of side trips and healing, is your destiny, the magical journey of your soul.” ~ Melody Beattie
“My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me, but failed. They are markings of where the structure of my character is welded.” ~ Steve Maraboli
What voice from your past, yours or someone else’s, do you need to silence today? Reflect upon the challenges in your life and be thankful for them. Three great rules to live by: no blaming, no shaming, no judgement. In gratitude, focus on those qualities in yourself and others that inspire you and spur you on!
WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU? Let’s journey together through a motivating meditation… Take a few deep, centering breaths… Now, reflect upon your ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YEARS and think of your FAVORITE TEACHER. Notice who comes to mind first. Visualize this special person. Did they have a unique voice, smell, distinguishing feature or mannerism? What did they say or do that was memorable and inspiring? How did you feel in their presence? What qualities did/do you respect about this teacher? And now, fast forward into your HIGH SCHOOL YEARS and choose one YOUTH LEADER, COACH, COUNSELOR or TEACHER who positively influenced your life path. Visualize this individual: their smile, their gaze, their listening ear. What did they say or do that was motivating and encouraging? How did you feel in their presence? What qualities did/do you respect about this leader? Now dwell upon a CURRENT MENTOR, COACH, TEACHER who challenges and lovingly spurs you on to the next level. Visualize their whole being, their essence—body, mind and spirit. What do they say and do that is heart-felt and wise? How do you feel in their presence? What qualities do you treasure about this respected guide? Encompass now these three influential people. Are there any common themes or threads in your teachers, coaches, and mentors? Can you choose ONE QUALITY, ONE WORD that describes them all? Notice what arises first. Looking at your own life, does this ONE QUALITY, ONE WORD represent you and how you desire to inspire and influence others? WHO DO YOU INSPIRE? How do others feel in your presence? What do you say and do that is motivating and memorable? Allow yourself to smile in gratitude and joy for those who have inspired you and for those you inspire. Never underestimate the POWER OF ONE. ONE PERSON. ONE SMILE. ONE WORD. ONE CHALLENGE. ONE INSPIRATION.
Remember, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. We all have a story, now use your story to help others.