Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What Life Are You Living?

Last week I had an interesting coffee conversation with a friend about "what kind of a lives" we were living. Especially in these times of economic uncertainty it's quite common for each of us to re-examine our lives and think carefully about our priorities, so this conversation was both timely and apropos. We both shared highlights about our current life events including our careers, relationships, special projects or interests, and also our hopes and dreams for the future—a good time to pause and ponder, something I truly enjoy doing as much as possible!

When I returned home I saw something that perfectly complimented our conversation. It was a small article from a newspaper written by an 85-year old woman about how she was reflecting back on her life and the things she'd wish she'd done if she could live her life over—a simple letter to prompt the reader about the importance of opportunity and appreciation. Somehow I'd kept this clipping for many years and this piece of paper managed to make the journey along with me. I usually ended up hanging it somewhere within plain view to remind me what's important when I'd forgotten—the things that make me happy and bring joy.

This week I'd like to share that small, yet powerful, letter with you. May you also be reminded to take the opportunity and say, do, and experience what truly makes you happy. After all, it's your choice!

Peace and better balance,

The Ambassador of Goodwill

If I Had My Life to Live Over

I'd like to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier
than I had been this trip. I would take fewer
things seriously. I would take more chances. I
would climb more mountains and swim more
rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles, but
I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly
and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I've
had my moments, and if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have
nothing else. Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those persons who never goes
anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water
bottle, a raincoat, and a parachute. If I had to
do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot
earlier in the spring and stay that way later in
the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride
more merry-go-rounds, I would pick more daisies.

Nadine Stair
85-years old
Louisville, Kentucky


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Accepting Your Decisions

Until a few years ago, I would often feel disappointed when a decision I’d made produced an outcome I hadn't planned. I felt I'd made a "wrong" decision and I would focus on how I should have chosen differently. This was until I realized every decision that I make is, indeed, always the “right” decision at the time—it all depends on my perspective.

So how can that be possible? Because life is a process of growing, learning, and making new choices, and making mistakes is an essential part of that process.

The basis for this belief is respecting ourselves. Whether we make (what we consider) good decisions or not, we need to respect and support ourselves—believing that we’re making the best choice with the information we have at the moment. If, later down the line we realize we didn’t make the best choice (i.e., the outcome of our decision did not turn out favorably), we have the opportunity to learn how to accept the outcome as a learning experience.

Love and accept yourself as you are—but also love and accept yourself as you were… even if who you were caused you disappointment. You cannot know what the future holds; you can only choose what feels best in each moment with the information you've been given. After the decision has been made you can choose to be disappointed by the results or you can accept them and treat them as life lessons—a necessary part of your journey. For without decisions with “less than desirable consequences”, how would we have the opportunity to know what not to do?

The next time you are faced with the unexpected outcome of a decision think about what you choose to believe—think about your perspective: Crisis or catharsis? Obstacle or opportunity? Instead of blaming yourself for the decision, think again—accept your decision and the undesired consequences as signals to learn from your choices and find the “lesson in the learning”. This is a perfect time to love and accept yourself and your decisions as necessary steps on the road of creating yourself and your experience. Besides, once you learn to accept yourself you will have the capacity to accept others—and that always brings us better balance in our lives.
To Your Better Balance!

The Ambassador of Goodwill

Remember to download the *FREE* e-book of 21 Days to Better Balance until August 21st at http://bit.ly/n0bnkO