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Category Archives: self Management

Two Golden Rules that Changed My Life Experience After the Crash and in Many Circumstances…

Today I had a situation that reminded me something that I want to share with you. This changed my life experience after the crash, and it changes my experience in many circumstances.

Today there was one of those days when I was annoyed that I had to interrupt my work with my book and go to the kitchen cook a meal. The first thing I said to my friend – when the time comes, one of the first things I will do for myself – get a private chef so I would NOT have to use the precious time for cooking! (Those who know me well, know that I was never interested in cooking and don’t like to spend time in the kitchen.)

Then, my mind automatically reminded me one rule – golden rule – change the perspective. In this case, since I can’t hire a private chef ( yet :)) , I asked myself – what can I appreciate about this situation?

That same second, I realized how grateful I am that I actually CAN cook! It seems it was just recently when I was told that my left arm had a full irrecoverable paralysis due to the nerve injury in the car accident and I questioned how I would be able to live with only one hand in addition to having lost my legs, how I would be able to cook and handle the household duties with only one hand… And now I get to do it without even thinking about it!
Feeling of frustration began fading away. Instead, my heart was filled with gratitude that I get to do this meal.

Then, another golden rule came to my mind – never forget where you began your journey, what it was before you improved your life…so you don’t take for granted what you can do now.
That moment, I vividly remembered those times when due to traumatic injuries I was not able to do anything, then how I was learning to do things with one hand…how challenging it was to figure out how to cook meals, which require two hands. And today, I do those things with ease…I get to do practically whatever meal I decide to make. Now I was even more thankful that I get to make a meal!

And, then I asked what it would be like if you lost that which you have/have to do…that, which you are annoyed about?

That moment, my perspective about what I had to do suddenly changed, and I actually felt immense gratitude that I can cook! And, instead of being annoyed that ‘I have to do it’, I was glad I get to do it.
So, feeling sincere appreciation for what I was about to do, I made spaghetti with meatballs and mushroom sauce, while listening to some inspiring valuable audio, and my dinner was actually better than in the last two restaurants I had this meal. 🙂

I smiled to myself…

It’s all about the perspective, the way we view the world and things that we have to do. Perspective shapes our attitude and how we experience situations that we get to live.

When you can’t change your circumstances, change your perspective about it. Ask yourself a question that will make you look at that same situation differently, that would make you see it as a benefit for you, what you could appreciate about that situation.

It’s not the circumstances that make you feel in any particular way. It is you – your perspective and your thought focus – that shape your experience in given circumstances.

And yes.. never forget where you came from…where you were before you improved your life. So often we get used to the blessing and stop appreciating it, taking it for granted. We forget how fragile we are and it’s so easy to lose it all.

Life feeling grateful for what you have and what you can do completely transforms your life experience!

Blessings, Inga

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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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My interview on the Radio Show “Making your Mind Magnificent” with Steven Campbell

Depending on where you are – Good evening or good morning to you,

I wanted to let you know that this Wednesday, December 16th at 9:30 am -11 am PST I will be having an interview on the Radio with Steven Campbell. For Sonoma County (California)  residents, It’s on KOWS 107.3 FM, or you can listen online http://kows107-3.org/listen/

After hearing my story, Steven invited me to be on his show. The topic is “Making your Mind Magnificent”. I will be talking about the Self-Management aspect of how managing my mind empowered me to overcome obstacles after losing my both legs and the use of one arm. I will also share some practical tools that empowers me on a daily basis to take care of things independently despite my physical challenges. A lot of times people ask me “Inga how do you do it…all by yourself being in such physical condition?” On this program I will answer that question. 

In case you will miss it, here is the link to his archived talks, where you will find a recording of it.

http://www.stevenrcampbell.com/radio-show/past-shows/

Steven has pretty interesting Radio talks; browse it, you might find some interesting talk shows.

I hope this will inspire you and will give you some practical tools that you can use when facing difficulties. Tune in!

Blessings, and till the 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.

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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Feel defeated by problems and failed from past mistakes? Turn this around and make your experience work for you.

Happy New Year to you! I hope you enjoyed the beautiful Holiday Season, sharing your time with family and loved ones. And now, it’s a new year. It’s a new beginning. I noticed that in December more people have subscribed to my Blog. You made me smile, and I thank you for that!

As we all start a new year, many of us take the time to see what kind of year it was for us, and then we make new resolutions for the new year. This time I am inspired to write an article about how to deal with past mistakes or failure to achieve goals in a way that will empower you, instead drowning into gloomy feeling of failure and regret. Usually, among all the goodness and joy of success, life also has storms, and I want to share something that will empower you, if you did have some problems and failure to meet your goals successfully. Also, I want to share a resource about goals that will give you some ideas and insights how to actually achieve your goals and implement your New Year resolutions. This is a video with Michael Hyatt. I personally found this video very valuable, and you will see the link to it at the end.

But before looking into new goals and new resolutions, I wanted to share what I call a Self-Management tool that has greatly empowered me in my own journey. Every one of us go through trials, difficulties and we don’t always achieve all of our goals. Normally, looking back into difficult situations or goals that we wished to achieve but for whatever reason we didn’t, doesn’t make us feel good, right? 🙂 It may make us feel disappointed, upset, sad, failed and similar. Well, there is something you can do to turn this around. You still can feel the progress and and find the value when you look at your problems and failure to implement your goals. It is important because not having control over your own thoughts and feelings about your past mistakes makes a big impact on your esteem and confidence, which automatically affects your decisions and actions in the future. It all ties up in one unit. Our successful or not successful results greatly depend on our inner state. It is just one of the many key components, but is a critical one.

Normally, difficulties bring up negative emotions. Failure to achieve goals cause pain as well. But here is the trick: you will feel negative about it all only if you look at it from a perspective that makes you focus on the pain, hardship, failure and defeat. What if you look at it from a different perspective? Every situation has two sides of the coin –  good and bad.  You already know what the bad side looks like, and dwelling on it will only make you miserable. So, instead of focusing on the hardship and pain, asking yourself questions that bring even more pain, shift your focus on the other side – what is the value of it all?  Instead of dwelling on the fact that you did not achieve what you were aiming for or blaming yourself for making poor choices and wrong decisions, ask yourself questions, which will deliver answers that will  show you the value in all that had happened. Look at the good side of the coin and spend more time analyzing that side. You will be surprised what you will see! You will  see very valuable lessons in those situations. You will know what Not to do and what you can do better next time. You will have valuable insights. You will see what Lord was doing with your heart behind those difficult circumstances. You will learn something new about yourself. You will see testimonies of the power of prayer and unshakable faith. You will see a lot of good in all those problems and not achieving goals. I personally don’t even regret about tough times, because I see a great value in it all. I would not like to repeat it, but I honestly am glad I have gone through it and would not trade it now, because I see a lot of lessons that will greatly benefit me in the future.

So how to turn this around? First of all, ask yourself a question that will deliver you the answers that will empower you instead of the answers that will make you dive in to sadness and defeat. Ask yourself questions that will make you see the value in your experience, will equip you with lessons for the future and will give you direction what you can do to improve your circumstances and your strategy to implement your vision.

If you had made poor decisions or faced some tough problems, some of the questions you can ask yourself:

“What am I supposed to learn from this?”

“What insight does it bring to me?”

“What have I learned from this particular situation, which I would not have learned otherwise?”

“What purpose does this have in my journey?”

“What conclusions and lessons am I getting, so I know how to do better in the future?”

If you miss your goal and did not get to implement your vision, you may ask yourself:

“What can I learn from this?”

“What held me back from achieving it?”

“What do I need to change in order to get it this time?”

“What skills or knowledge do I need to acquire?”

“What can I extract from this experience that is beneficial for my future efforts to achieve my goal?”

Asking the right question will bring your attention to the value instead of the failure. Then, be in charge of your Focus. You will see that, which you choose to focus on. Are you going to focus on your poor choices and blame yourself for it, or are you going to focus on the lesson and the value this situation has brought into your life? Are you going to focus on the fact that you missed your goal and feel like a failure, or are you going to focus on the lesson and insights that you have extracted and will be determined to get it this time? This internal process will have a great impact on your inner state and your future decisions.

I am not saying we should neglect poor decisions and just be “positive“, pretending that everything is fine, no.  It is necessary to face the truth, but the purpose of it is to learn and see where we need to make changes, instead of blaming ourselves and feeling bad about it all. Make yourself a rule – the only reason for me to look back to my mistakes, wrong choices or not achieved goals is to seek for value in it.  It may sound like a cliche and too simple for it to do some big change. But please trust me, applying this simple rule will make a significant change in your life.

So, by equipping yourself with learned lessons from your mistakes and by extracting from them insights, empowering conclusions, understanding and new inspirations, you will grow. You will see that problems and tough circumstances can strengthen you. Mistakes can make you wiser and more insightful. All difficulties and mistakes can work for you, if you choose them to play this role for you.

And now, leaving mistakes, regret and pain behind, enter your new year with all valuable insights and lessons that you extracted from difficult situations and circumstances. At this point, you are stronger, wiser and better equipped to conquer your future challenges. This new year you will do better, because you have learned what Not to do and What you can do better. As you are starting your new year, imagine you just opened a new chapter of your life book, where you will write countless incredible testimonies of God’s love and help, new exciting changes, implemented goals and joyous experiences.

And here is the video about designing your 2015 by setting and achieving your goals. I found this video very inspiring and instructional. It has a lot of great insights and ideas how to set and successfully achieve your goals. Click on the link below:

http://resolutions.bestyearever.me/

Hope this brought you some value and empowered you to shake off the dust and set yourself up to win the game! Make your year of 2015 a significant one!

If you have other ways that empower you to deal with past mistakes, please post it below to share it with the rest of us. If you want to reach me personally, please feel free to email me at inga_unstoppable@outlook.com

May God bless you in your journey to have continued success!

Be Strong.  Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable.

Yours truly, 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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