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Category Archives: Faith

My Interview on the Radio Show “Magnificent Mind” with Steven Campbell

Happy New Year to you! I hope and wish that this year has started well for you.

As the new year just stepped in into my life, today I had a pleasure to be the guest speaker on the Radio show with Steven Campbell on KOWS 107.3 FM (Sonoma County, California)

A lot of times I get asked “What helped you overcome your tragedy?”, “Where do you get the strength and tenacity?”In this interview I answer those questions and share some practical tools, which will empower you to break through difficult times.

Here is the link to the audio of the interview.

Enjoy it, I hope you will find something that you can apply in your life.

Make 2016 to be your outstanding year!

Be strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable.

Till next time 🙂

Inga

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Interview postponed. Link to my other audio to Inspire you

My dear friend,

The interview which was planned to be aired on December 16, 2015 due to some reasons was postponed. New tentative date is Jan 6, 2016 9:30 – 11 am PST. Some people told me they tried to tune in to listen, but did not hear my voice.  Please accept my apologies.

I received a last minute surprise myself, but I believe that All things work together for good – even if at times they seem to be not good.  I have so many experiences, which proved me this. The most astonishing were times when I realized that years of pain, frustration and even despair, actually played a very significant role in my life AND they were for the better. At times it was hard to admit it, because the cost of emotional anguish was so high that I could never imagine this to be for the better. To my surprise though, the more I was analyzing and seeing where those tough experiences brought me to – I had to admit that it was truly only for my benefit. Today I am so thankful for those times, truly. 🙂 I share about it in my upcoming book “Unstoppable”. So, I trust that this time it was for the better as well for whatever reason. So, for now we are planning for Wednesday January 6, but I still will confirm it yet.

The content that I have prepared for this radio show aims to inspire you, strengthen your faith and also to equip you with some practical tools, which you could use when facing challenging situations. I still plan to do that on the upcoming show, and I look forward to that!

Meanwhile, as I was thinking what I could replace the Radio audio with, I thought why don’t I share the link to my last event where I was speaking for the same purpose. On the radio I will go more in depth about what empowered me to face and conquer despair and difficulties, and what practical mind management tools I use to overcome daily challenges. However, in this audio you may find something of value as well.

Enjoy listening, and would you please share it with others, if you know someone, who might enjoy it and benefit from it?

Merry Christmas to you and abundant New Year of 2016!

May this Holiday Season be joyous, inspiring and filled with wonderful experiences, which later would remain unforgettable memories to you.

Blessings, and till next time!

Inga

 

 

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A Little Discipline That Can Transform Your Experience

A Little Discipline That Can Transform Your Experience

As I am working on editing my book “Unstoppable”, today I am inspired to share this part with you. I do not know why I need to post this particular part, but I decided to follow that quiet inner voice.

… If you struggle with the thoughts that constantly pull you down or past experiences that make your life dim… This is about the moment that pulled me out of depression completely.

“There was a moment when I understood that this was the beginning of a new era in my life, but there was one thing that was holding me back: while I was getting ready to meet this exciting change in my life, my habitual thoughts of my past were sneaking in trying to get my attention and overshadow my hopeful anticipation of a new blessing. See, my constant memorizing about my beautiful past was a way for me to escape my reality and give myself at least some comfort. I was unaware though that at the same time it was causing pain and deep sadness, because while I was enjoying my beautiful memories I felt gut-wrenching awareness that I lost it and would never have such beautiful experiences anymore. And when I was observing my changed life, it was like I was in this bubble of my constant awareness about all the things I was no longer able to do. While I was making the effort to become as much self-sufficient as I could, thoughts like “I wish I could stand up and go get it…”, “It was so easy to do this before my arm was paralyzed..” were always present. I realized that unknowingly I would put myself through re-living the pain over and over again by constantly thinking about my beautiful past experiences, what I have lost, and what I could not do any more. Apparently, I was the one who was torturing myself without even knowing that! Those memories and thoughts of my loss were like a poison to me. Here I felt enthusiastic and anticipating the change that I so strongly desired and dreamed about and those depressive thoughts were infiltrating, as if I would put the dirt into a clean fresh water and turn it into a mud! I decided this had to stop. Today I have an opportunity to open a new page of my life, but I will not be able to do that if I will not close the page that has been read already. I needed to leave my memories of the past where it belongs – in the past.

That moment I made the decision that pulled me out of depression completely – I committed to myself to not put the dirt into fresh clean water: no more nostalgic memories about my beautiful past that I’ve lost; no more thinking about what I don’t have any more or what I am not able to do. I will soar above that, which could not be returned and look at the new life that is ahead of me. From now on I will set my sight on how to create a fulfilling future, instead of looking back and longing for my past.  I will focus on the life that I desire to have and what I need to do in order to turn it into reality. I will be grateful for what I have left instead of grieving about what I have lost. I will focus on what I can do with one arm and will find ways how I could get things done having my physical challenges, instead of emphasizing what I could not do anymore. I will use my energy to change my life instead of wasting it in pain and memories that are never going to change. I will be grateful for every day that is given to me and every single victory that yet I will have. From now on, I will think only what makes me feel uplifted and stronger and I will put all my effort to create the life I desire. I am opening a new page.

That moment I felt something has shifted in my whole essence. I felt peace and complete harmony within. I was filled with joy, hope and expectancy of something good that was still ahead of me. I let go of my past and all that was hurting me. Now I was ready to receive new opportunities and a new life. I closed the page that was full of pain, loss and fear, and opened a new one that was clean, full of new dreams, goals and faith. I believed that my life would be beautiful in spite of all.

“I can and I will live an extraordinary life despite the loss of my both legs and my left arm!”, I smiled to myself and went on about my new day taking further steps that ultimately transformed my life.

And you know, shifting my focus and changing my thought pattern totally changed how I experienced life.  Did negative thoughts completely disappear out of my awareness? No, of course not. There were circumstances that made me face my loss and thoughts about my pain would still come, but no longer was I like a doll on the strings. I simply did not allow coming negative thoughts affect me. Instead, I took charge of my thoughts and what I was focusing on. I would stop those hurtful thoughts each time before they became dominant in my mind. As soon as I would catch myself thinking about anything that made me feel bleeding, rejected or discouraged, I would interrupt my thought process and intentionally switch my focus unto something that was uplifting and empowering. At the time it was my connection with American specialist and anticipation of a change, or excitement about my trip to Istanbul that gave me hope and excitement, and I made the effort to focus on that. This was the only thing that gave me hope and joyous anticipation, and that was enough for me. At least I had one good thing that I could focus on to run away from depression. I would deliberately keep mind focused on this new hopeful opportunity that knocked on my life’s door and all the good that was around that. Soon I noticed that the more I focused on what was good happening in my life, the more goodness I noticed around me. The more I focused on my hope and anticipation of the change that I was so longing for – the more uplifted I felt. Figuring out ways to do things with one hand no longer was a burden; in fact, I was challenging myself and had fun with it. Every time I learned a new way to do things, I felt uplifted that I overcame and was one step closer toward my full independence. I became excited and optimistic again. I did not want any more to dwell on my previous life and my loss. I developed a new habitual thought pattern – gratitude for the present and hopeful anticipation of a blessing.  My comfort was no longer in the past, but through faith in the future. “

Since then my life took a direction that sometimes it’s hard to believe that this is truly my life and not some created story. That was the time when I learned that the way I experience my life greatly depends on what I was focused on, and I can be in charge of my own thoughts. My conscious discipline of what I was thinking about became my gatekeeper of my mind, and it completely transformed how I felt and how I experienced my life.

Today, I want to invite you to choose to think of that, which uplifts you and empowers you. A little self-control in your thought pattern will make a big difference. In fact, it might be all you need to look at everything from a whole different perspective and feel empowered.

8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)

If you were inspired and found it valuable, please share it with others. And, if you have your own story to share, I would love to read it; please write your comment!

Blessings, and till next time,

Inga

 

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How is this Possible?! :-) Testimony.

Have you ever had the experience when it seemed to you like some invisible hand moved events and circumstances in your favor like in a chess game? Throughout the years I have experienced this numerous times. It astonished me every single time. This time though, I ended my day being simply astounded. To be honest, when I was thinking about this incredible experience, I had a feeling that this happened for me to share with others, so they’d know that their Heavenly Father has it all under control and He takes care of them. Somehow, when I opened my email to send this testimony, I knew by name who I needed to send this to. After sending it to them, many responded to me thanking me for sharing, saying “Perfect timing! This is exactly what I needed to hear!” It’s been several days I have on my heart to share this with you as well. Maybe you are going through the time when you need to hear exactly This.

Just recently, in San Francisco Bay Area we had this harsh rain storm. Rainy storms here in Northern California are very much different than what I had ever experienced when I was living in Europe – they are much stronger. I still went to work, because I had scheduled a meeting that day, which I did not want to cancel. After hearing Weather news in the morning about the storm getting much stronger that afternoon, I decided to leave the office earlier to get home safe before it gets worse. I move around using electric wheelchair AKA my Beemer (BMW:) (I am the fastest pedestrian in the city 🙂 ), and it’s not good for the chair to get wet for the battery and a joystick that controls the chair. Besides, it’s quite dangerous for me to be out in the strong wind when with my one hand I have to hold the joystick that controls the chair and hold my umbrella at the same time. Since my left hand is paralyzed, often I need to be creative to be able to do things. In this case, I figured out a way to be out in the rain without getting soaking wet, but during the storm the smartest choice for me is to stay home. And so here I am speeding home as fast as I can, the rain starts pouring hard, the wind gets rapidly stronger, and as I am just 5 min away from home…suddenly my wheelchair STOPS DEAD. I look at the joystick…it’s flashing. The wheelchair is dead. I am sitting outside, the rain is pouring down so strong that you can see bubbles on the street, and it’s windy cold. I am trying to call my technician – he does not answer the phone and his voice box is full. I am trying to call another number – no answer as well.

“OK. Now what?”

My first thought – Thank God the wheelchair stopped right next to Trader Joe’s entrance doors (!!) and its roof was above me! So I was protected from getting immediately soaking wet. Then, I am sitting there, thinking “God… what am I going to do now..?! Who’s going to come out to help me in this rain..? What should I do?” My wheelchair never stopped like this while I am outside. A series of thoughts came through my mind in a flash – how can I get out of this situation, wonder why Lord allowed this to happen…this is too strange, who can possibly help me, what is the best way to get home and so on.

​After a moment, I look at the entrance doors to see who I could ask for help, and suddenly I see staff’s head popping out and I hear:

“Inga! Hi! I read the article about you, great story!!”

I could not believe this – that was the store’s staff, whom I see all the time when I shop at Trader Joe’s.

“Bob!!! Wow, it’s you! Can you help me??”, caught by another, but this time a pleasant surprise, I asked him for help.

He immediately came out and after explaining to him what happened, I asked him if he could wheel me to help me get home, which was only 5 min away.

“Sure! No problem Inga!” , Bob enthusiastically responded.

Other staff came out as well, loaned him the rain jacket, we released the power to make my Beemer as a manual chair, and Bob wheeled me home. On the way home, I find out that he was on his day off and he just happened to be at the store and by accident saw me. He reassured me that he was happy to help, and didn’t mind this weather – he was a fisherman and this kind of weather was not a problem for him at all, since he has seen much worse in the ocean.

🙂

As I was on my way, my technician calls me back, and after hearing that my wheelchair just shut down dead in the middle of the storm, says “I will be right there Inga”. M​y technician came to my place right when I myself got there ​(normally it is nearly impossible to have a wheelchair tech man come right away) ​to take a look at the chair what have happened. Apparently, the problem was with the joystick – it got too wet. It happened (!!) he had an extra one in his car and after he changed it, my Beemer was up and running like before. Also, he told me that I caught him at the perfect time – he happened to be in my area (!!) and so that’s the reason he was able to come so fast. Actually, he was just about to leave up North to see his client right before I called, and if I had called later, he would not have been able to come out and help.

So, after having my wheelchair breaking down in the middle of the storm, very quickly I was back home safe and my Beemer was fixed right away. And yes, my cat Musette was also happy to have her Momma back home and giving her treats earlier than she usually gets them. 🙂

Now, tell me how could this be…. my electric wheelchair stops damaged  right in front of Trader Joe’s entrance (what would it be like if it stopped on a busy street that I just crossed a minute ago..?!), the staff who knows me quite well happens to be there on his day off and he by accident saw me right that moment when I was looking who I could ask to help me, technician was in my area right before he drove away to another county and he came to me right away to check the wheelchair AND he had an extra the same kind of joystick, which immediately fixed my wheelchair.

​..?!?!

God’s Angels are watching over me. 🙂

​It’s incredible. Who can take care of us better than our God Father? He has it all in His power. My family is across the globe, but I do feel like I am taken care of; I have my  heavenly Father who is wherever I am and who protects me, cares for me and blesses me abundantly. I have experienced literally countless testimonies of God’s care for many years now.

Sharing this testimony, I want to encourage you – your life is in the hands of your Heavenly Father. Your circumstances, situations, problems, difficulties, anything that concerns or worries you, your sleepless nights, your every single tear and absolutely EVERYTHING is known to your God Father. He is going to take care of it. Just trust Him.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.​ (Matthew 10:29-31)

6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

 

If you know someone who needs to read this, would you please pass this along? Sometimes simple thing like this kind of message can make a big difference for another person.

Blessings to you…. And as always, be strong. Be determined and persistent. Be unstoppable.

And always keep in mind that with God all things are possible.

Inga​

 

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How to be Thankful when you Don’t Feel Like it?

How are you doing this Holiday season? I hope my message reaches you doing well. When I was recently invited to be a Guest speaker for the Thanksgiving season, it was interesting for me to find out that the reason I was chosen to come speak for this occasion was the same reason why I was invited last year by another group to come speak for their Thanksgiving celebration – they  wanted to know how I can be positive and thankful on a daily basis while dealing with pretty severe challenges having no legs and one arm. This inspired me to write a message about it on a blog.

During Thanksgiving we take a moment to think about what we’re most grateful for. It is a tradition on a Thanksgiving Day for a family to get together around a table, sharing what they are thankful for and having delicious food. On that day it feels like the atmosphere changes in the air, because on that day people make an effort to remember what they are thankful for, counting their blessings instead of problems. And then what happens? Another tradition is right at the end of that day – a famous Black Friday! On the very next day, and even that same night a thanksgiving mood and feeling of gratitude is often overshadowed by constant question on where to get the best deals, worries, stress, anxiety, full schedules and concern trying to find Christmas gifts and getting ready for Holidays.  Our focus is shifted into many other directions. Very soon we go back to our normal routine, and appreciation and gratitude of Thanksgiving Day is left behind. When we dive in back to our routine, facing problems and challenges coming our way, it is not always easy to feel a sincere gratitude, is it? Often times various events, people or situations that show up in our lives overshadows our joy and understanding how really blessed we are. It’s hard to feel gratitude when we have roaring storms around us.

 What can steal our gratitude? Usually it will be either some events that negatively impacted our life, bad circumstances or other people  that affect us in some negative ways. I sometimes hear people say to me “Well yeah, I am thankful for my life and what I have, but…” and then follows the complaint. Watching that person continue the thought, it looks like this thing that he complains about over-weighs all that he said he was grateful for. Can you relate to that at times? Before the car accident I definitely could. In fact, I did not even look into my life from a perspective of “What am I grateful for?” I never really thought of things that I was thankful for. I considered that my vibrant health, my physical looks, what I had and what I could do was supposed to be like it was.  It was just normal to me and it didn’t even occur to me that I could lose it all in one moment. Having all I wanted, I still would find various things that I was not happy about and constantly was sad about something. Now, even though I am missing nearly half of my body, I am very grateful for so many things that it overshadows my pain and  the loss I had in my life. I very rarely have “bad mood”.

How can this be?

First of all, my inner joy, hope, peace, endurance and inner strength comes from Christ. I receive it in a prayer and through faith. The Lord is my Rock and He is my main source of inner qualities that are so important to have. I always know that all things work together for good in my life. I feel thankful even for difficult situations, because I know they are going to work for my benefit in some ways. And I always smile when I see that it was truly for my benefit. I spoke about it last year when I was invited as a Guest speaker for Thanksgiving Celebration at Melhizedek Church in Sacramento, CA.  You are welcome to listen to the audio of it here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McDj7vHYBxc

There was a time in my life when I realized that in addition to that incredible inner joy that can be received from Jesus Christ in a prayer, the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and His blessing on a daily basis, my experience in life greatly depends on how well I manage myself.

In addition to what I receive from God and my faith, I do work on myself. I believe one of the greatest favors a person can do for himself is learn to manage his own inner state. It is much easier to handle difficulties when we know how to choose our response in a way that will empower us to make the right decision what we are going to do next. Gratitude becomes a normal daily inner state when we know how to get it and how to manage our own feelings. We can have a positive attitude at all times when we know what creates it and how we can maintain it regardless of what’s going on around.

My biggest and probably one of the most significant eye openings was when I realized that my experience about one or another event depends on how I choose to look at it.  In one of my blogs earlier, I shared about how our perspective about events determine our response and decision what we are going to do next. (https://ingalizdenyte.me/2014/04/20/self-management-how-perspective-affects-our-inner-state-and-decisions/ ) An event is a plain fact, and your own choice of perspective will give the color, feelings and emotions to that event. I know, a lot of times it is hard to consciously choose perspective, especially when it comes to dealing with people who hurt you. Our life experience can be very bitter only because of other people’s attitude toward you, their words and actions that hurt you. There is a way to deal with it. But today I want to take an overall look about managing yourself, so you do feel grateful even if the storms of life a roaring around.

What is gratitude, thankfulness, appreciation or joy? All these are feelings, right? Sadness or worry are feelings as well. What does create either of those feelings? You. How? By thinking in a certain way. It is not the event and it is not people who make you feel in a particular way, but your interpretation and your focus. It is you who creates your own feelings. Your feelings follow your thoughts, or in other words your feelings depend on your thoughts. You feel excitement when you think of things that excite you and you feel upset when you think of what’s bad and hurtful, right?  You won’t be able get  into a depression if you focus on things that make you excited or on new opportunities or when you  feel gratitude about where you are in life. Same way, you may lose your inner peace that you received in a prayer if you start focusing on things that worry or frustrates you. You may lose your inner joy if you constantly think about that, which irritates and angers you. You give the direction to how you feel by choosing what you think about.

Your daily experience will be much different when you fully understand that your feelings are created by your own thoughts, and you are in full control of your own thoughts.

Yes, you can choose how you feel by choosing what you think. You can put yourself into anger by thinking about things that make you angry and make yourself feel uplifted by choosing to think what’s good in your life. I am sure you experienced numerous times this: when you wake up first thing in the morning, you feel peaceful and good. But then, when you are fully awake and remember some negative situation, your joy disappears. Then you start analyzing it and slowly but surely you start feeling irritated and not feeling too happy. It’s what many people call a “bad mood”. And you remain in a bad mood as long as you keep in mind your bad situation. Then, let’s say you have some unexpected pleasant surprise. What happens then? You immediately get excited and joyous, right? Pleasant surprise creates positive feelings and you feel great because this surprise took your focus away from the bad situation and shifted it to a pleasant one. Here is the trick: you will feel great as long as you will be focused on the pleasant surprise and beautiful experience it has created for you. But as soon as you go back into analyzing and thinking about that bad situation that you were thinking about in the morning, you will go back into your “bad mood”. Learn to control where your mind goes. It may not be easy at first. But just try deliberately choose what you think about. When you see that your mind wanders around and leans toward that which saddens, frustrates or makes you feel in any negative way – stop it and redirect it toward that which will be pleasant, lovely, hopeful, empowering or exciting. It will get easier with practice, just as everything else. Discipline is like a muscle.

Of course there are times when we might not see any light and not even hope to see the light. It’s hard to be positive when we are in difficult circumstances and have difficult problems or if we are in pain. But we still can be in charge of how we feel. You know what helped me to hold on in my most difficult times? Focus on the beautiful that I had and gratitude for it all. Trust me, it was really difficult, because at times it seemed like my life was filled only with the continuous loss, immense pain and dark despair. A lot of times it felt simply unendurable.  I was left with nothing to hold on to and there was no hope for a change. There was nothing that could make me feel better. Physical pain could be numbed by medicine, but emotional pain not. Still, there were times when after surgeries even morphine would not affect my pain and I was left to  suffer with no way to ease the pain. When I was barely holding myself from literally crying out loud from pain and despair, that’s exactly what I did to hold myself together – I searched for things I was thankful for. In my mind I was thanking God for saving my life, for my family, for friends who did not leave me, for the love and care that I was surrounded with. I thanked the Lord for I had my right hand and I could move my body. I thanked my God for those little opportunities even though they didn’t seem very promising. But I thanked anyway. Gratitude for what I already had and hope is what helped me to endure the times when I didn’t see the end of despair and agony. My endurance came from hope that this shall pass and God will deliver me out of this despair and it will get better. And I never let it go. Interestingly, the more I focused on what I was grateful for, the better I felt. The more I focused on what I was able to do, the more I could do. The more I focused on what I liked about a person, the better relationship I had with that person. The more I thought of how thankful I was for the opportunity, circumstances were changing into my favor. I don’t know the mystery of gratitude, but what I do know is that gratitude is very powerful.

The more you focus on what you are grateful for, the more uplifted you will feel. In fact, I found that gratitude is a very powerful tool to change how you feel. You might say “How can I feel grateful if I am  surrounded by so many problems and circumstances that just have no positive solution?”  In reality, you have so much to be grateful for. But you will not notice that if you are going to be focused on what’s not good in your life. It may seem to you that you have only bad things happening in your life right now and there is no way you can find something to be grateful for. But you relax…take a deep breath and think for a moment… Let’s go through simple things. You have what to eat and nurture your body. Maybe you didn’t like the dinner that much today, but you are not one of the starving ones, who wish to have at least a bite to kill the hunger. Instead of walking in the streets and pushing a shopping cart with all your belongings looking for a safe corner or a homeless shelter, you have a home where is warm and your soft bed with many pillows..   You are healthy. You have all parts of your body and you function well. How would you feel if you lost it? If you do have some physical challenges, do you know how many people are in much worse position than you are? You are not doing that bad after all, right? You have family that loves you and cares about you. You have friends that love and care about you… What your life would be like if you lost those who love you and you were absolutely lonely in this world?  So many times you could have gotten in a horrible car crash, but you survived and in fact you were not even injured. You wouldn’t want to appear in my position, would you? Look. You truly have what you can be grateful for.

The question is what you focus on.

 I want to share with you a very interesting experience that made a major shift in my life. I remember  or very well this special moment that was like a turning point in my life. I think it was about  7 or 8 years ago. At the time I recently moved to the United States. I lived in a beautiful land of sunshine California, but I felt very unhappy. Everything in my life seemed dreary, cold and dark. I did not feel happy nor was I even pleased with my life. I was on the bus going home from work. I did not want to go home. I did not want to see anyone and I did not want to do anything. I just felt empty and depressed. As I was driving and looking through the window, black thoughts were bombarding my mind. I did not see even one reason why I could feel happy or at least at ease. I caught myself feeling this way and asked myself “How did I get to this..? How in the world I got myself to the point that I feel so unhappy..?!” Suddenly, I felt this quiet gentle voice within me “Rise above it. Rise above all your problems and what you are not happy about. Inga, look at how much good you have in your life! But you don’t see it because you are focused on what doesn’t go the way you want it to go and you are constantly thinking about what you are not happy about. Rise above all you are not happy about.  Rise above your dissatisfaction and look how much good you have in your life.”  In my mind I envisioned myself going up and leaving behind all that made me unhappy. I left behind my dissatisfaction, my daily routine, household and job duties, concerns, problems, worries.   As I left it all below, here above it felt so good and bright. I felt at ease!  I looked at the horizon and I saw Success, Happiness, Joy and Victories of my goals to be achieved yet. I was so longing for the sheer joy and easiness… I was so longing for the excitement of moving forward and achieving the goals that were getting me closer to my ultimate vision.  The victory was ahead of me waiting for me to reach it, but… I stopped moving toward it. Just a while ago I had so many goals that I wanted to achieve. I was striving for excellence every time I did something. I had such a beautiful vision for the life I wanted to create! But I lost my vision because I switched my focus on that, which was right in front of me  – facts of today’s reality. I focused on the parts of my life that made me irritated, unhappy and annoyed. I was constantly thinking about that, which made me unhappy instead of what I have achieved and what made my life fulfilling and beautiful. I focused on what was not working for me instead of seeking how I could implement the vision of the life I wanted to have. I knew I needed to switch my focus back to my vision. I needed to rise above all that made me so unhappy, leave it all behind and move toward implementing my dream. I had to walk in faith – I had to see my dream to be achieved. I had to choose to think about what I wanted my life to be like and how I could realize that, instead of what I was unhappy about. I will not implement my vision and I will not be happy if I am going to dwell on what was not working for me. I needed to shift my focus.

This was the day when my depressed inner state turned around. It seemed like someone opened my eyes and I saw what I didn’t see before – my life truly was amazing and I had so much beautiful in  my life!  All of a sudden I saw how much good I had in my life. I came to the U.S. knowing only one person and now I had so many wonderful people in my life. When I decided to move to California, I had nothing except my suitcase, few friends and my dream, and now I do live in this absolutely gorgeous spot of the world! I move around independently, work, travel and enjoy my life just as I did prior the accident. When I decided to establish myself in California, I said to my family and friends that my next goal is almost as impossible as a flight to the moon, but I am going to try it anyway. And I landed! I literally live the dream that seemed nearly impossible! My life is just a miracle… I have so much more to accomplish and I have the opportunity to do that!  That moment I felt that all those details that made me unhappy could not even compare to all what made my life so beautiful. I could not believe I did not see it before! And I did not see it only because I was focused on what was wrong in my life. I was constantly thinking about what I did not like and what I was unhappy about. Since that day I stopped doing that.

I made the decision to put my effort into turning away from my constant thinking about things that I was unhappy about. I had too many good things happening in my life to waste my time and my emotions on the negative. I decided to focus on how much beautiful I have, what I have achieved so far and what I was going to accomplish yet. If there were situations that I was not happy about, instead of sitting complaining or being drown in dissatisfaction about it, I was seeking for the ways how I could improve my circumstances, so I don’t have to feel this way anymore. And I did not even bother myself thinking about some things that were irritable. That was a new beginning for me. In my mind I kept my vision of the life I wanted to create, consistently worked on my goals, and by achieving one goal after another I improved my life conditions and my circumstances. Today I live my vision. Of course life had and still has its own moments and unexpected “surprises”, but I always remember what that quiet voice gently told me.

Today I want to pass that message to you.  Rise above it…. Don’t look what’s in front of you. Rise above it and look ahead. See how much good you have in your life and how truly blessed you are. Think more about that, than about your  problems and difficulties. The only reason to pay attention at your problems is to evaluate situation and find a way to resolve it. So when you look at your difficulty, focus on its solution. When you are not happy about some person, think more about what you like about him/her? When you face the unknown, fight your fear with faith and take action. Focus on that which empowers you. And know that all things work together for good to those, who love God and are called according to His purpose. Just realizing this  will create attitude of gratitude in you, because you will know that even difficulties are for your benefit.

Thanksgiving is not something you feel once a year… it is an attitude you carry within you all year long. It is very easy not to even notice the blessings that we receive every day, when we are focused on what makes us feel sad or frustrated. Make it a habit for yourself every single morning to start your day and every night to end your day with reflection of what you are grateful for.   Very soon you will notice how your list of what you feel grateful for starts expanding. 🙂

Meanwhile, enjoy this beautiful Holiday Season. Enjoy your time seeing your family and loved ones!

Make your Holidays extraordinary!

Inga

 

 

 

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No circumstance is your final destination. It can be changed, even if it seems impossible

Dear my Blog UNSTOPPABLE Followers,

 I don’t know your names, but I address this message to each of you. I want to say my sincere thank you for subscribing to receive my messages. Especially I want to welcome you, who just joined me in a month of June. What a nice surprise it was for me to see that from 360 followers in one month it grew to 390! Thank you for joining me.  I hope you will get  some value from what I am going to share in my blogs. I know I haven’t posted anything since then, but I will continue on writing. If you felt that my English is not “proper”, it is because  English is my 3rd language. But, I hope you will not mind. 🙂  I believe the important thing is that you understand what I am trying to say, and the language will be improved with time, right? 🙂

  After overcoming personal tragedy and successfully building a new  life after  losing both of my legs and the use of my left arm in a car accident, I have a passion to help others implement their goals and change/improve their lives.  I want to share with you what empowered me to change my life and achieve goals that truly seemed impossible, so you and anyone can do it too, no matter what situation is in your life. My tough, but incredible life journey shows that it’s not what happens to us what determines our destiny, but how we respond to it and what we choose to do about it. At the same time, it is a living testimony of God’s power to restore the broken and turn the impossible into possible. My faith became stronger than ever before.  I am eager to share it with the world, so anyone can experience God’s incredible power, and be an over-comer, leading a victorious life. Since my passion is to touch many people’s lives by sharing my message to inspire, empower and strengthen faith in Jesus Christ, I want to ask you: If you know someone, who you think may benefit from my blogs, would you please share it with them. Sometimes our simple act or a good word might change somebody’s life..

Today I have a message to share that illustrates God’s restorative power and that It’s not what happens to us determines our destiny, but what we choose to do afterwards. Also I want to extend my invitation to you to attend the event, where I was invited to be the guest speaker. I know it’s nearly the last minute announcement, but see if you live in the area and would like and be available to come. Hosted by Love Your Life Ministries,  this event is dedicated to empower women to overcome and thrive, and it will be held on Saturday August 23rd 10:30 am – 2:30 pm  at Hampton Inn hotel, Ukiah, CA. Please see the details below or visit http://www.loveyourlifeministries.org/

As you may know, originally I am from Lithuania, EU. I was born in Vilnius, gorgeous capital of the country. I have been living in the United States since 2005. This June I had a very special event in my life, which made me realize again that no circumstance is your final destination, and that’s what  I want to share with you in this message.

This beautiful event was my Mom’s visit – she came to visit  me from Lithuania for the very first time. She came for a month (5 weeks) and we had a quality time together after 4 years of not seeing each other. Due to various reasons I was not able to go back to Europe, so this was quite a long time not to see my family. God made a beautiful and the best Birthday surprise for me – Mom told me that she had saved up money for the airline tickets and finally she felt confident that she could manage travelling alone across the globe to visit me. Out of my excitement, I nearly fell out of my “BMW” (my electric wheelchair) after hearing her news!  For many years I have tried to have her come, but she would respond to me very firmly “It’s too expensive and besides, having no English language skills, I will not be able to make this trip by myself” So now, when she told me that she’s ready to come, I immediately started making arrangements for her trip, being totally astonished by a surprise. I had a secret dream – to give my Mom the best vacation she has ever had, and finally my opportunity to make that happen showed up! It was just incredible to watch how all the details started coming together as if some invisible hand was putting it all together: the airline round trip tickets during the summer season had the least price I have ever seen in all my 10 year travel EU – USA, we quickly received a permission for her to cross the border (Lithuanian citizens do not need visas) and all the necessary arrangements fell into place just perfectly. My Mom was a little anxious to travel alone across the globe though, since she has never traveled out of the country alone. First, I  prayed for her for the Lord to watch over her and make her trip easy and smooth.  And then, I  encouraged her to push away all her doubts and “What Ifs” , and replace it with Faith and Confidence, saying to herself  “yes, I can and I will make it happen”, allowing absolutely no doubt. This situation brought me back 10 years ago, when I made the decision to go to California and establish myself in the land of sunshine. It was a little intimidating to leave my family and absolutely everything behind and  go all the way across the globe alone, having no resources or guarantees to implement my new vision. I had no place to live, not a lot of money, no work  and not even clear idea how I was going to take make it happen. I did not even have the right to live and work in America, and quite frankly, I had no idea how I was going to move around in the city in my manual wheelchair, cook and do all the daily tasks having no legs and only one arm.  But I had my dream. I had a strong faith. I knew several American people. whom I met during my first visit in the USA.  And I was ready to work hard to make my desire come true. All my doubts and the unknown I replaced it with faith, and I got on the journey, putting my trust on the Lord. That single  step that I made in faith was life changing – it completely transformed my life into a living dream. Now, I saw my Mom was facing very similar doubts and I knew that she  would have the best vacation she has ever had, if she would just make that one step forward….And she did!  Very soon I  hugged my Mom in San Francisco Int’l Airport with tears of joy and smiles. Knowing how fearful my Mom was to travel alone having no English skills, I knew it took an enormous amount of courage for her to do this. I was so proud of her… Just recently it seemed totally impossible for her to make that step. I watched my Mom having this indescribable sense of victory over her fear and enjoying the sweet fruit of it – she made it happen. She arrived to the gorgeous land of sunshine and finally re-united with her daughter. Her flight turned out to be very smooth. She did not even feel that her second flight lasted 11,5 hours! She very much enjoyed her trip and arrived well. In fact, after over 20 hour trip she had more energy than I did! 🙂

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Lord blessed every single day of her stay here in California. She finally got to see how I live independently, which was the biggest gift to her. I have been sharing with her stories and photos of my work, meetings with friends, travel times and various exciting experiences I had, but she could not picture how this was possible. What she personally saw were those continuous obstacles for me to function independently, and she could not even imagine how this could possibly be different. Due to the inaccessible apartment, for quite some time  I was not able to get out of my room, and she did basically everything for me.  For a long time I just could not take care of myself independently and especially do any household activities. Therefore, she could not imagine how I was able to take care of myself and handle household on my own, having no legs and only one functioning arm. Our apartment house did not have wheelchair accessible entrance, and the only way for me to get out of the house was for someone to carry me out on their arms. I hated it with all my essence, and for that reason I spent 3 years rarely leaving my home. After watching me being imprisoned by my home for several years, she could not picture how I was able to get out of my apartment independently. In my home city public transportation was not wheelchair accessible, and now Mom could not imagine how I was able to get on the bus and go to work or any place I wanted to go. Mom still had very dark memories of those first 3 years since the accident that were filled with never ending agony and hopelessness. I knew that just from seeing me living fully and being totally independent would make her trip worthwhile.

 The vacation turned out to be absolutely outstanding. Every day was beautiful and there were no unpleasant situations at all. Not even one. Every single day was like God’s  gift to both of us. One of the first things Mom got to see was how I function independently, which made her feel speechless  at times and relieved. She saw how accessible California was for the wheelchair users, and now she understood why I was so eager to leave everything behind and move to this country – here I can live just as independent and as fast pace lifestyle as everyone else, regardless of my physical condition. She saw me independently  taking care of myself, cleaning the apartment, cooking, doing the laundry and taking care of any household task or whatever I needed to do. She saw me going out with absolutely no obstacles, using public transportation and  going to any place I wanted to go. Now she saw it all. I was handling daily tasks with no obstacles and she even had a hard time getting used to the fact that I did not need help, as it used to be. She experienced that, which seemed absolutely impossible – I live as independently and fully as if I didn’t have any physical limitation.  That was a confirmation for her that it was the right decision for her and my Dad  to let me go when I told them that I had decided to move to California, across  the globe from our home,  to establish my independent living. Being astonished by what she saw and experienced, Mom kept repeating to me that California was the perfect place for me to live. I saw how stress, worry and pain slowly were leaving her. Instead, daily I saw a smile and her joyous eyes, which I was so longing for…  In addition to the gift of her being able to see that I live fully despite my physical challenges, she got to enjoy Californian sun and  see the breathtaking beauty of California, which absolutely fascinated her. She also got to meet many wonderful people, which showed to her that I was not alone here in America.

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 There were countless moments that will remain as a beautiful unforgettable memories to both of us.  Among them, there was something that struck me and made me realize once again that no circumstance is our final destination. It all can be changed, even if it seems impossible at the time.

As we were driving around visiting places, in my mind I would stop and think to myself  – What a difference from the time when I started my tough but incredible journey! It was hard to believe this was really a true story, even though I myself am the main character in that story.:) After the car crash I was involved in Feb of 2000, my Mom was right there with me just as she was now, but everything was so different.. Due to the traumatic injuries I suffered, I was unable to eat or move independently for a while.  Mom was feeding me through the straw the half-liquid meal that she would prepare at home and bring me to the hospital.  She would help me to sit up from a lying position and  transfer me into the wheelchair. She would help me to dress up and  would roll me in a wheelchair outside in a rehab center’s area to give me the opportunity to have some fresh air…. We were in the unbearable anguish and shock, wondering how could I possibly continue my life being in such severe physical condition. The circumstances at the time were absolutely hopeless and the future did not promise anything better. There were so many sleepless nights and tears out of despair and fear of unknown…  And now, we were again together, but what a different reality! We were across the globe  from our home in the beautiful land of sunshine California! We were driving along the majestic Pacific ocean and seeing breathtaking views of the coast. We were walking in the beautiful city of San Francisco, crossing famous magnificent Golden Gate bridge and visiting worldwide known places! We were enjoying the stunning views of San Francisco and surrounding islands while we were cruising on the ship in the Bay area!  We were visiting gorgeous vineyards and spending time with wonderful people. Our days were filled with laughter and sheer joy and experiences that will remain unforgettable beautiful memories! We both had the best vacation we’ve ever had! What a dramatic incredible change! 

This is exactly what I decided to implement  14 years ago right after my accident – to live fully despite mLedson2_1y physical limitation. There were many suggestions for me to accept my “new reality” of me being “disabled”, because it looked like that’s my fate. I heard that God punished me and should just live with it. I also heard numerous times that my goals were beyond my reach and I would face a big disappointment if I would try to implement them.  At the time I didn’t know that my dream would bring me all the way to California 🙂, but I knew that my life must be different than me spending time in some rehab center or watching how my most beautiful days of my life are imprisoned among the four walls of my room. While I kept hearing “you are out of your mind, it’s impossible, you will never be able to make this happen”, I took action to turn my dream into my reality. I had a different belief and I was determined to make it happen regardless of what other people thought or said. I always had my sight on my vision, not on the obstacles. And I consistently moved forward, putting my trust on the Lord. I knew that with God’s help I would be able to make it happen, because with God all things are possible. And now, as my Mom and I were driving along the Pacific ocean, we agreed that the accident was not the end, but only the beginning of my life story…incredible story that the Lord has orchestrated. Where would I be today, if I had decided that my life has no future and would have given up..?

 

By writing this message to you, I want to ignite faith in you that you can make your vision become your reality. I am saying this not just to say it, but I myself have lived it and I know it can happen in your life as well. Your current circumstances can be changed if you are not happy with what you have today. I  encourage you to take that step, which may be even life changing.  

If you are experiencing joy and success in your life – it’s very exciting and I smile with you. 🙂 Enjoy it and know that you can go even further; the sky is the limit to all that you can do. Better yet, your success will taste even sweeter to you if you reach your hand to those, who need your help to achieve their success. It will make you fulfilled beyond what you can ever experience by making yourself successful, trust me.  

If you have a vision that you would like to turn into your reality – go for it. Your dreams and desired goals don’t have to remain your wish. You can bring it all to life. I learned that we can achieve even what seems impossible, if we truly desire it, are ready to pay the price of our work and persistent efforts, and have unshakable faith. Having a clear vision, empowering perspective and consistent action you will arrive to your desired destination.

 If you are experiencing difficult circumstances – know that  you can change it. You do not need to settle for whatever life brings along. You can change it. No circumstance is your final destination. Your further life does  not really depend on the event that had happened, but it depends on what you are going to do about it. And if today you are where you are in your life because of your earlier made choices – by making different choices today you can turn your life into different direction.

You can make incredible changes in your life if you make a decision to accept the responsibility, and do whatever it takes to implement your vision, while putting your trust on the Lord. Look at it this way – you are the author of your life story. You can pick up the pen and change your further story. You can change it at any time. Even today. Even this moment can be fateful to you, if you make a decision to open a new page and start writing in it what you want. This is your life. This is your story, and nobody is going to create it for you, except you. Realize that it depends only on you and the Lord God how you are going to continue your life. If you feel stuck and don’t know where to start, answer these  questions:

What needs to be different, what would make you  feel happy and satisfied with your life conditions?

What are the possible ways to bring it to fruition?

What action can you take to turn your vision into a reality?  What action are you going to take?

Where do you have to start, what will be your first step?

And when are you going to make that first step?

I asked these questions myself years ago, and they began my beautiful journey. 🙂

 Be determined and persistent. You may meet obstacles that will prevent you from moving forward, but don’t stop. Work toward your goal until you achieve it. The only one who can stop you is You.  

Do not be afraid of unknown, but make the first step forward in faith. My Mom made that  step and she had the best vacation she has ever had… 🙂 And finally, after 14 years of ongoing agony from that devastating event and the fear of unknown, she was able to take a deep breath out of joy and easiness. Now, her tears were from her sincere joy. She told me that now, after this visit and experiencing my current life, she will go back to Europe feeling at peace. She feels like she has broken through the chains of pain and sorrow, leaving it all behind. It’s a new life now for her. She saw what a significant role has played her decision and determination to break through her fear and step forward. Where would she be today if she had decided to listen to her fears and not travel? She would still be in pain and the unknown. 

I personally made that first step in faith and it literally changed my life.

 Make the step forward. Change your circumstances. Change your life.  

  

Please join me at the event, Empowering Women to Overcome and Thrive!​ It’s a great opportunity to meet new women, and make new contacts for your businesses. In addition, you will be Inspired and Empowered to be the best you can be! For your inspiration,  I will share my true story of how I was able to transform my life after the tragedy and then, I will share practical tips and strategies that empowered me to stay strong, overcome obstacles and systematically achieve goals that seemed just impossible. It’s $27, and if you bring a guest, it makes it only $13 per person. (No one is making money at this event, the cost is to help organizers to cover the expenses of putting on this event/lunch ) RSVP is required for planning purposes. Thank you, and I look forward to meeting you there!

Check-out the flyer, and you can reserve a spot by visiting http://www.loveyourlifeministries.org/

 

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Self-Management. How Perspective affects our inner state and decisions.

It greatly empowered me when I understood what a difference it makes when you are aware and consciously choose the perspective that strengthens. I wrote an article about it to bring the value to others. Of course it will be included in  my upcoming book “Unstoppable”. 🙂 For now, I encourage you to read about it here in my blog. It will empower you and will give you a tool which you can use when you face some difficulty.

 

Have you thought why some people give up and others overcome? Why some get depressed and give in to circumstances and others refuse to give in and find a way to improve those circumstances? I thought about it a lot. Is it really that some are stronger than the other ones? I believe, what sets those people apart is their ability to manage themselves. That’s all. What is self-management? It is the ability to control your response to life’s events, manage your thoughts and feelings/emotions. Or, in other words it is the ability to control your inner state. It is critical for us to be able to manage our inner state at all times, because we make different choices and different decisions, depending on our inner state. Would you agree, that you make different decisions and choose different actions when you feel hopeful, strong and determined and when you feel helpless, dis-empowered and doubting?

Our inner state depends on our Thought focus and Perspective.

What causes excitement and depression? Both inner states are the result of our thought focus. Nobody gets into a depression by focusing on exciting opportunities, or how grateful he is for everything good that he has. Depression sneaks in when a person pays close attention to what he is not happy about and constantly thinks about it. Same way, the more a person will focus on positive events,  new opportunities and compelling goals, there  will be no room for sadness, but the excitement and desire to implement his desired change. Our feelings always follow our thought focus.

I learned and realized that thoughts and emotions don’t just “happen” to me, leaving me powerless against them. I choose what I think and what I focus on, what meaning I give to the events and what I am going to do about it. Nobody and no event have the power to make me feel in any particular way, unless I allow it. I am the one who chooses my response, and that depends on my perspective and my interpretation of what it means to me.  

We always in our mind communicate to ourselves what things mean to us, how we feel about occurred events and what we are going to do about it all. When we are doing well, we are excited and think about how thrilled we are that things are going well,  what it took for us to achieve success, and having even stronger belief of what is possible for us, we move on to another venture. Likewise, in the event of various complex circumstances, we weigh our current situation, ask ourselves why it happened, and make conclusions and decisions for the future. While we are thinking about one or the other situation, we feel certain emotions. It’s easy to see the good side and feel positive emotions when the circumstances are in our favor. But it’s more challenging to feel positive if it’s a painful and difficult event for us.  The way we will feel about the event greatly depends on how we interpret it and how we communicate it to ourselves.

               One of the combining details that affects our inner state and our subsequent decisions is our perspective about the situation. Depending on our perspective we will give the meaning to that particular event, and from there follows our emotions and decisions what we are going to do next.

 I am sure we all have experienced situation, when we, after hearing some news or having some particular experience, automatically reacted to what happened accepting the event as a bad thing. Being overwhelmed with negative feelings, we got so fearful, frustrated or disappointed that we offended someone, hung up the phone or broke our relationship with someone, dropped pursuing our goal, gave up on a project we intended to work on, broke our commitments and similar.  After some time, when everything calmed down, we asked ourselves “Why did I do that…?”, then realizing that we acted that way because we were driven by the emotions that we had at that time. Unfortunately, our words and actions most often are irreversible.  But if we learn how to stop ourselves from the negative reaction and allow our empowering perspective to shape our response to a situation, it is much easier to accept and handle occurred problems, and we can save ourselves from unpleasant further situations that we might put ourselves into as a result of our reactive response.

Our perspective shapes our response. Having the same event, we have a choice of how we will look at it and how we will interpret it.

Is this a punishment or is this a lesson for me?

Is this a loss or an opened opportunity to have new and better?

Does this situation show me that I am not good enough or does this situation show there is an area where I can improve myself, so I can do better next time?

Is this a dead end or is it a challenge for me to find a way because I know there must be a way?

Is this a failure or is it an experience with the lesson of what I can do better and where I should improve? Is this a crash or is it just the end of something that will be replaced by something that really needs to take place in my life?  

Is this too much for me to handle or is this opportunity for me to overcome a new challenge and become stronger? 

Is this a problem or is it a challenge for me to find a way, to improve and create what I want?

 Let’s take a simple example. Ken, after a break-up with the woman he loves due to her lies and cheating, can look at it in various ways. Ken can come up with ideas that he is not good enough, something’s wrong with him, he has been lied to because there is something better than him and probably this woman only wanted to use him. What is he going to do next? Very likely, this kind of perspective will lead him into a belief that will lower his self-confidence and will greatly impact his decision what love and relationship means to him. He might start believing that he is not good enough to be loved, women are deceptive cheaters, it doesn’t work out for him because he is not worthy of a good strong relationship and similar.  From that belief and new perspective about himself and relationships, he might make a decision that close connection and love hurt, and he doesn’t even want to get into a new relationship, because he doesn’t want to be hurt and disappointed again.  

 Having the same situation there is a choice to look at it differently. Ken can look at the break-up as a good thing, because if his second half chose to lie to him and be dishonest, then this was not really his second half. He knows what kind of woman he wants to tie his life with, and this is definitely not what he wants. In fact, it would have been worse if he wasted more time with her and especially if he had made a life commitment with that person. Now he has a new opportunity to meet his true life partner, who will love him unconditionally, who will not hurt him and will be faithful to him. Actually, he is truly thankful for this break-up, because now he is free to meet his true woman for him and is ready for that special connection and relationship. How will this perspective make Ken feel and what kind of decision he will make? Much different, right? The same situation, two different perspectives and totally different results.

Another simple example in a different situation: let’s say I come to work and find out that I was let go. What am I going to do about it? It greatly depends on my perspective. I  can see it as I  am not good enough and they are getting rid of me, it’s a big  problem, it’s the end of my security and well being. But what if this is an opportunity for me to get a better position? What if this door closes, so I would open another door to have a career that I really want? Maybe this is an opportunity for me to apply for the position that I dream about or maybe even create my own business? Again, two different perspectives and both of them will create totally different outcomes for a person. 

 

What if we look at circumstances or occurred events as just the facts. The fact itself can’t make us feel in any particular way.  It is just a plain fact same way as any object. It’s how we look at the fact will shape our attitude and our feelings about it. Events, same way as objects or activities are simply neutral matter and they have both likes and dislikes, depending on what it means to people. Let’s take a gamble game. It is just a game, nothing more.  But how we feel about it depends on how we look at it and what gambling game means to us. We can look at it as a fun time with friends, excitement of a mystery of what’s going to happen next and a great opportunity to gain unlimited amount of money with no effort and work.  Also, we can look at it as a waste of time, opening doors to something that can bring a great destruction into our lives and it is just throwing away our money that we can spend on something more meaningful.  It’s all how we look at it will make us feel about that object or any event.  

Our perspective is the foundation of what meaning we give to the event or any circumstance, and depending on that we will feel about it in a particular way and will choose what we are going to do about it.

               Perspective depends greatly on our beliefs.

We have a choice to believe that we are capable and will improve in the learning process or we may believe that  we are just not good enough and will never be. We have a choice to believe that everything that happens in our lives is in God’s control and everything happens for the purpose and for the better. We also may believe that there is no God, life is whatever events happens to us, it’s all about luck and most often life’s not fair. We may believe that with our decisions we can shape our destiny, and we may believe that all life’s events and circumstances are out of our control; therefore, it is meaningless to work hard and make the effort. We may believe that we are not good enough and are not really worthy of love and strong family, and we may choose to believe that everybody is worthy and can have it, so we do as well and we will have it when the right time comes. We may have a belief that we will not succeed anyway, because we are not worthy of success or we are simply not as lucky as others, and we can believe that we will be blessed and will succeed wherever we go. These are just several examples of general beliefs about God, life, love and us as people, which shape our perspective about the events and our connection with people.  Belief is nothing more than what we are convinced about, which we can choose as well.

We can take another example to show how belief shapes our perspective and the perspective leads to certain decisions, followed by actions. To make it more real, I will take my own life. The car accident that I was involved in was something that neither I nor anybody else in my life could have ever expected. I was 22 years old, and this event was a major turning point in my life and lives of my family members. The result of that event was that I lost a person, who I was dating at the time (he was killed), and lost basically everything that made my life fulfilling and joyous with no way to restore it back.  In addition to losing it all, having multiple injuries and losing both of my legs and having my left arm fully paralyzed, made me totally helpless and not able to take care of myself at all.  From being active, joyous and having strong potential to be successful in life, suddenly I found myself helpless in bed not being able to move or do anything independently, except see, feel and speak a little bit.  Losing half of my body completely changed my life. There were many different opinions of why it happened, questions about my destiny and advice what I should do with my life at that point. I have heard people had ideas that God punished me; others said this was my destiny and I should just accept it. “Such is your fate…he broke your destiny” was a very common conclusion, implying that I needed to just accept it and give in, because there was nothing I could do to get it all back or make it better. I also had to hear advice not to try so hard pursuing my dream, because it was unrealistic. I disagreed with them all and decided to fight for my life, because I had a different belief.

Today, one of the things I am most grateful for to my Creator is that from the very beginning I had a positive perspective about what had happened and faith of what my future would be like. I had unshakable belief that my life’s in God’s control and therefore, I will not fear. There was a reason why I got into this crash and also there is a purpose why I survived, even though I was given 30% to live.  Since the Scriptures say that everything works for good to those who love God (Romans 8:28), that means there must be a serious reason why this had happened, and I believed somehow this was for my good. Even though now I didn’t understand many things, but I believed there’s a purpose in everything and Lord was going to restore my life. In spite of suggestions to give in, I firmly decided that I would not sit around for the rest of my life being a victim of drunk driving. I didn’t believe that this event happened for me to spend the rest of my life being in regret and depression, watching how my life passes by in sadness and restricted life style. I decided that I would not cry and wouldn’t spend my life thinking about what had happened being in self pity or collecting sympathy from others. I kept saying to myself that what I was experiencing at the time was only temporary. I would live a full life in spite of my injuries. I had a very clear understanding that my destiny was not going to be “broken” because of the event that had happened. I could change my destiny the way I wanted to and with God’s help that’s exactly what I was going to do. My understanding about it was so bright and clear, as if I were given a palette of paint, being told that I  could draw only black or gray house, and I knew that I could use all the colors I wanted, and paint not only a house, but also blossoming gardens, green trees, colorful flowers, bright yellow sun, blue sky… I did not know how my situation could possibly resolve to a better, but I knew that I would live well. I completely ignored people’s sayings “Such is your fate…” As soon as I heard such opinions, feelings of rebellion would instantly stir up inside of me and my response was “No. That is NOT my destiny. I will create the destiny that I want.”  I did not listen to what anybody said about my position in life and their opinions about my goals that I wanted to achieve. I always had a vision of how I wanted my life to be, believed that it was possible to implement it and did everything I could do to make it become my reality. My helplessness created a burning desire to do whatever it takes to lead joyous, active and independent life again.  I set the goals for myself, which step-by-step transformed my life from not being able to speak, move or do anything independently to travelling from Europe to the United States by myself and building my live all over again.   I had a vision that I would live a full active lifestyle in spite of my injuries, consistently worked toward my goal, and today I live my dream that seemed nearly impossible. In fact, today I feel happier than before the car accident.

Now, after a while, I clearly see that if I had looked at my circumstances “realistically” as many did, and would have agreed with people, who told me that I should just accept what had happened and let it be the way it was, because such was my fate – probably I would still be spending my days being stuck at home having no access to a full life. My belief shaped the perspective that gave me hope and empowered me to take action to change my circumstances and create the life that I envisioned.  My perspective about this event and my future gave a birth to the attitude that I can’t and won’t give up on my life, but will take action to improve everything, and had unshakable belief that I would succeed. I did not allow my loss to ruin my desire to live a full joyous life. Opposite, my loss gave a birth within to a burning desire to live and aspiration to achieve my dreams. I did not allow my desperate situation to destroy my faith. Opposite, my faith became stronger than it ever was. My adversity revealed to me the values that I never saw before. My belief and attitude made me strong, persistent and unstoppable.

 

As all of my above examples show, the same situation can have totally different outcomes, depending on which perspective we choose. Some beliefs are unconscious, and they come from people’s backgrounds, religious beliefs, experience, philosophy or other people’s opinions and their experience. If we are aware of our beliefs and our perspective, we can manage and choose the response that will empower us.

For instance, difficult situations is something that everyone avoids. However, they will be there whether we like it or not. Every single person has faced difficulty at some point in their lives, and the way they handled it greatly depends on their perspective about it and what they decided to do about it. In any case, naturally everyone has negative feelings about difficult situations. What if we take a different point of view at the difficulty? Opportunity. It’s an opportunity  to learn what better choices I can do next time;  opportunity to develop certain character traits;  opportunity to learn to trust more the Higher Power;  opportunity to test myself how I can handle challenges. In each situation it is possible to learn something. If we value learning and growth, we can look at every situation as a lesson and ask ourselves what we can learn from this experience.

If we believe that God does not give us more than we can cope with and there is a reason for everything, we will just know that our current situation is not more difficult than we can handle, and it is in our life for the reason. Our job is to handle it the best possible way and see the reason. After some time we might  see that actually particularly this difficult situation was for our good, because it directed our life path toward our dream, it tested us, developed necessary character traits and gave us more wisdom. After seeing that, our belief will get even more grounded, and when next time we will face difficulty – we will be even more steady in our  empowering perspective and we will handle the situation in a different way.   If we see that a certain challenge was given to us as a lesson or opportunity for our self-improvement, our mind will be focused on what we can learn from that and how we can improve ourselves, instead of how bad and difficult situation is, and naturally, we will handle the challenge differently.

We do not have control over other people and a lot of times we do not have control over what happens in our lives. But we have a choice of how we look at it all and what we are going to do about it. Depending on our decisions what we are going to do next, we will have subsequent events and this way we shape our destiny.  If we carefully and deliberately choose our beliefs and perspective, we will always have control over our response to various life’s events, challenges in our relationships or any situation in  life.

“It’s not what’s happening to you now or what has happened in your past that determines who you become. Rather, it’s your decisions about what to focus on, what things mean to you, and what you’re going to do about them that will determine your ultimate destiny.” Anthony Robbins

Be Strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable! 🙂

 Inga Lizdenyte

http://www.ingalizdenyte.com/

 

 

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