Showing posts with label fulfillment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fulfillment. Show all posts

Friday, July 25, 2014

Overcoming Barriers, Hindrances, and Other Difficulties. First . . .



You know – Sometimes we must “break” a little so we can get a look inside ourselves to see what AMAZING POWERHOUSES WE WERE  MEANT TO BE!  Sometimes mistakes must be made so that wisdom can be gained!  Sometimes our background/history leaves us feeling fragile or weak and (for our greatest happiness) we must tackle those difficulties - after all, we were created with mighty powers of renewal (see previous blog post, “Barriers, Hindrances, and Other Difficulties…").   We – each of us -  were provided with the ultimate healing and renewing power of our Savior’s atoning sacrifice. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in a recent General Conference address:

In striving for some peace and understanding in these difficult matters, it is crucial to remember that we are living—and chose to live—in a fallen world where for divine purposes our pursuit of godliness will be tested and tried again and again. Of greatest assurance in God’s plan is that a Savior was promised, a Redeemer, who through our faith in Him would lift us triumphantly over those tests and trials, even though the cost to do so would be unfathomable for both the Father who sent Him and the Son who came. It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive.https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/like-a-broken-vessel?lang=eng

I’ll share thoughts a little later in this post on the trials we face that are not of our own making.  But first I would like to write a little about weaknesses and imperfections – and I’d like to say that, more and more, we are hearing the concept of imperfection being referred to as “incompleteness” (perfection = complete; e.g., see https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/04/wanted-hands-and-hearts-to-hasten-the-work?lang=eng).

Weakness

We are all very likely painfully aware of our weaknesses and imperfections.  And according to Kari Archibald, professor of Recreation Management at BYU-Idaho, this is actually the first step in spiritual renewal!  She said,  “A resilient person recognizes [her/his] weakness.”  And she expanded along these lines by saying that we will make progress if we have “humility and awareness of aspects of our lives that need some work.”  Heavenly Father strengthens us through this awareness of our weaknesses:
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”  (Ether 12:27)

So . . . . Stretch this thought a little further and recognize that our aim is to VIEW  OBSTACLES  AS  OPPORTUNITIES  FOR  GROWTH.

The trials of this life will ultimately lead to renewal, to greater resilience, to a closer relationship with our Savior, and indeed to joy if we patiently trust in God’s plan and discover how to use weaknesses and adversity to grow stronger. 

As we grow, let’s you and I keep these things in mind:
*Celebrate your efforts! 
*Yes, weaknesses can be painful to acknowledge and to work through,   but the alternative option is to stay in our comfort zone – and while a comfort zone is a beautiful place, nothing ever grows there!
*Love yourself now, even in your incomplete state.  Believe in yourself and who you have been empowered to become.  Heavenly Father does.

A Way to Deal with Life's Challenges

In an excellent article entitled “Raising Resilient Children,” https://www.lds.org/ensign/2013/03/raising-resilient-children?lang=eng, Lyle J Burrup noted:  “As children become resilient, they understand and accept these two facts. They see life as challenging and ever changing, but they believe they can cope with those challenges and changes. They view mistakes and weaknesses as opportunities to learn, and they accept that losing may precede winning.

Further he stated, “As children develop resilience, they believe they can influence and even control outcomes in their lives through effort, imagination, knowledge, and skill. With this attitude, they focus on what they can do rather than on what is outside their control.”  This is a great approach for all of us!

Difficulties Not of Our Making
Yet some things are outside our control.  Which brings us to another point:  What about those who have been dealt very difficult lives?   Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency addressed this in a General Conference talk as he said,   “…our lives may seem to be touched by, or even wrapped in, darkness. Sometimes the night that surrounds us will appear oppressive, disheartening, and frightening.  My heart grieves for the many sorrows some of you face, for the painful loneliness and wearisome fears you may be experiencing.  Nevertheless, I bear witness that our living hope is in Christ Jesus! He is the true, pure, and powerful entrance to divine enlightenment.

"I testify that with Christ, darkness cannot succeed. Darkness will not gain victory over the light of Christ.
I invite each of you to open your heart to Him. Seek Him through study and prayer.  As you walk toward the hope of God’s light, you will discover the compassion, love, and goodness of a loving Heavenly Father, “in [whom there] is no darkness at all.” (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/the-hope-of-gods-light?lang=eng)

Coming up – ideas for next steps in spiritual renewal . . .  




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Barriers, Hindrances and other Difficulties in Life -



Ever heard about the research study done on a bunch of young goldfish? They were raised in a fabulously long aquarium, BUT...
....there was a glass wall stuck right down the middle of it.  Every time these little goldfish tried to swim the length of the aquarium—clunk—they'd knock their little noses right into the glass wall.  Over time, they became resigned to their limits and made a life of swimming in just that half of the aquarium.  The researchers let a few months pass then removed the glass wall barrier.  Now the goldfish had full liberty to swim the whole length, BUT...
....the goldfish didn’t try.  They were no longer stopped by a glass wall.....they were stopped by their limiting beliefs!!!  
How are we humans doing in this regard?  When we experience obstacles and setbacks, do we pile up -even sometimes heap up- limiting beliefs about ourselves?  Observation tells me that we can tend to get bogged down; we can tend to consciously or subconsciously set up glass walls in our lives, limiting our happiness and our view about how life supposedly is or how we think it’s supposed to be.   Perhaps a set-back in love may be discouraging some of us, or the loss of a loved one.  Or perhaps we are in the grips of a downfall or weakness.  Or maybe we grew up amid dysfunction.  Please know – this is not to diminish the obstacles and pains we each uniquely face . . . yet, gradually we may allow these limiting beliefs and feelings to stop us from living our fullest, happiest lives. 



Notice how typically we view weddings and birthdays and promotions at work as some of the best times to celebrate.  But you know, there are many cultures around the world that believe with loss, death, difficulties, or destruction comes new life. For example, I have noticed in, frankly, every LDS funeral I have attended that the gathering becomes a rather uplifting, encouraging and reuniting event, even in a couple instances where the deceased person’s life was fraught with obstacles.  Similarly, in Judaism, shiva is the ceremony after the funeral where family and friends gather to share happy memories of the deceased – almost an opportunity to remind the living to recognize the abundance in this world and live well this day while you can.   As Edith Wharton once said, ““Set wide the window. Let me drink the day.”

Now take a look at this handful of examples from nature responding to seeming setbacks and destruction.  Kari Archibald, professor of Recreation Management at BYU- Idaho once shared,
             “Despite winter snows and sub-zero temperatures, a small delicate flower 
             called a spring beauty pushes up from the recently melted snow bank and      
             blossoms in the Teton Mountains. In the middle of an Arizona drought, 
             tough lizards of the Sonoran desert find water and food and carry 
             on. After a wildfire burns a mature forest to blackened stumps, small
             herbaceous plants emerge from the blackened forest floor after the fire.  That
             same God who created these beautiful environments and the species that 
             inhabit them also created us. He endowed us with the same abilities of 
             physical renewal.“  (italics added)


He endowed us with the same abilities of physical renewal!!!

She then went on to discuss the spiritual side of renewal, asking:  How do we become spiritually renewed? What do we need to rebound from spiritual challenges? What keeps us from being resilient in the face of spiritual setbacks? 

Sometimes it's the imperfections in this life (like the glass wall) that keep us from experiencing renewal.  We expect life to happen just as we have pictured it to happen.

In the next blog on this theme, I’ll share some ideas I've collected on answers to these questions.  Until then, remember these words the Lord shared with Moses concerning our abilities for renewal:  “For this is my work and my glory” (this is the greatest hope and reason for the whole Plan of Salvation), “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”  ~ Moses 1:39


 What glass barriers???

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tune In To You

Hey bloggers!  Tomorrow is the beginning of our Summer Series!!!


"Tune In To You" is a 4 week series in which we explore new ways to tune into ourselves and our world in a more purposeful way.

We are starting with Personal Power as our first focus; learning who we are, what we want, what gets in our way, and how to feel and act in more self-assured, confident ways!  Then we will move on to the Senses Experience portion of the event and tune in to our sense of Hearing.  And finally, we send everyone off for the week with our Summer Unplugged Challenge #1.

So, come to WSC 3380 tomorrow (Thursday) at 11:00 a.m. and spend some uninterrupted you time with yourself and your favorite office of women on campus, WSR!!!

See you there!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Ice Cream Diet

A summary of the would-have-been weight loss seminar today—if everyone wasn’t on vaca. OH, brother, brother.
We came back and ate ice cream instead.

But mindfully! And we liked it.

So…what exactly is mindful eating? You contemplate the flavors, blah, blah—I mean, is this just a fancy term for eating slower?

Well, yes and no. Mindful eating is about being conscious and aware of what you’re doing, and not multi-tasking. This is pretty much the opposite of what we’re trained to do—we, as women, especially pride ourselves on our ability to multi-task. I realize this. So now we’re telling you to unlearn all you've known, abandon modern life as we know it, and spend an entire hour eating a raisin.

Kind of.

The idea is that you are completely present in the moment of whatever you are doing. If you’re eating, eat; be so involved the PTA would be put to shame. Don’t eat and watch tv, eat and check your facebook, or eat and do basically anything else.
Being aware is the key ingredient in making eating pleasurable and being able to include all foods in your repertoire without binging, regret, or added poundage.

Eating slowly is definitely under the mindful umbrella. At first, it may seem theatrical, but eat as slowly as you can force your mouth to. Before the fork even hits your mouth, think about what you are eating. Where did it come from? How was it prepared? How did it get to your plate?

And please, please do use a plate! Set your table, with linens and silverware and cups and napkins—eating on the run is going to majorly damage your capacity to be mindful about it (can you really savor that incredible cheeseburger with Mr. Utah driver himself cutting you off and splattering your ketchup all over the dash?)

While you’re sitting at your lovely prepared table, stick your nose down to your plate and sniff. Drink in the aroma, the rich scent of the spices and flavors. Then pick up a small piece of your food and place it in your mouth. Describe the flavors to yourself, the textures--tell yourself about what is in your mouth. Concentrate your energies on the process of chewing and swallowing. Eventually you'll get into a zone, and become conscious of things about food you'd never noticed before.


And you get the idea. It may not be plausible to spend an hour fine dining every night, but even just committing to being engrossed in eating while you are doing so is a step in the right direction. You’ll leave the table feeling more satisfied--just try it.
I feel like I keep saying that, but really. Do.
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