So, yesterday was my birthday a big number, one I try to kind of deny to myself even. So last night I sat down and asked myself what did I actually learn this past year? Am I really a year older and wiser? Taking a deep look at my soul and reflecting back on the past year I came up with a few things that I think really have shifted for me this year.  I wanted to share them with you, because sharing is caring and if I can just help one person out there it was worth all the challenges that got me to the lessons learned.

  1. My relationship with God. Here is the thing, my relationship with God hasn’t always been great. It was more of a love, hate relationship similar to the one I had with my father. It was filled with fear and awe, yet never really close and full of faith. A lot has happened over the course of my life in which I did some deep soul searching and healing and learned that God is nothing like my father. He is kind, compassionate, caring and all merciful, and that the challenges we encounter in our lives are there for our growth. (this is a long enough topic for a whole other blog). Some of the challenges really where bigger then what I thought I could handle and overcome, but looking back I see a clear pattern. During the hardest times of my life there where only one set of footprints in the sand, for it is in those times that God was actually carrying me, rather than just walking by my side.  One of the most difficult moments of my life  happened two years ago when my husband had a heart attack and a stroke! My world came crashing down and I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. Yet I clearly remember a force of energy within me while sitting in the ICU watching my husband on the respirator. I clearly remember a spirit holding me up when I felt like I was falling apart.  I clearly remember talking to God and asking him to please not take away the love of my life whom I found after many years that where filled with pain.  My husband eventually woke up and started a long journey of recovery. There were days where I felt like dying inside, the challenges ahead seemed like huge mountains and I missed the man I had married terribly. He had to relearn many things and spend a long time in therapy and rehab. It was during this time that I realized clearly that on the days that I had full faith in God that things will get better I CLEARLY saw the improvements and the shifts. On the days that I spoke to God, expressed my fears and trusted he would help us, I saw miracles.  I now know that when I encounter a challenge all I have to do is connect to God, talk to him, ask him for guidance and direction and I right away feel calmer, more at peace and regain my confidence.
  2. Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t have. I am sure you have found yourself at times focusing on what you don’t have, its natural, we are all guilty of it. I have noticed a clear pattern in myself. Anytime I get feelings of frustrated or discontent they are a direct result of my focus. “Where Focus goes, energy flows” -Tony Robbins, and so when I find myself focusing on what I don’t have rather then what I do have I noticed that all of a sudden frustrations kick in and everything seems bleak. I actually just experienced it last week, while traveling with my family on a vacation. We were spending some time with other families and all of sudden it seemed like this couples life was just picture perfect, all smooth sailing. I starting focusing on the challenges my husband and I had to overcome after the heart attack and stroke and immediately felt myself shift into a negative place.  I right away said to myself “Stop, focus on what you do have”, he could have not made it all, he made it and he is alive and thank God well. That is why I am a big believer in having a gratitude journal or joining a gratitude support group. I find that when we express what we are grateful for in writing we train our minds to focus on the positive which makes all the difference in the world. The same goes for focusing on what you can change, rather than focusing on what you can’t change.  This mindset directly impacts the outcome of your life and relationships. I became strongly aware of the things that are out of my control and constantly remind myself to stop wanting to change them. Instead I focus on what I can change and think of solutions and strategies based on that.  Make a conscious decision to focus on what you can control. Focus on solutions instead of the problems. Focus only what YOU can do to change a situation, not what you wish others would do that would change the situation.  This mindset has helped me shift my mindset to happier more content place.
  3. Focus on the future.  We are all impacted by our pasts, childhoods, negative or painful experiences, but what we chose to focus on will determine the level of our success.  There are times when I would allow my past to define me and hold me back from what I truly want in my life. I sometimes feel that my failures or my story are ME and forget that it’s just a part of my journey. I learned that I can re-write my story and not be a prisoner to my past, perceived failures or painful experiences. Granted it takes a lot of inner work, healing and serious self-motivation, but I refuse to let myself be defined by my past and am on a mission to re-write my story. If you want to change your life then change your story.

Sharing these lessons, is a gift from me to you on my birthday and I hope that it helped you somewhat and perhaps gave you some food for thought….

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