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How to be Resilient, How to Recover from the Adversity? Step 2. Perspective.

How to be Resilient, How to Recover from the Adversity? Step 2. Perspective.

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Now that I look back and analyze myself what empowered me to recover my life after the devastating crash, I see there were several aspects that worked together intertwined. I talk about my faith a lot because the Lord has given me the strength, tenacity, opportunities, courage, endurance and a blessing in everything I aimed for. I would not have made it without the Lord. But then there are other aspects that I don’t talk much about – besides the Lord’s intervention and His blessing I work with myself a lot. There are several components that helped me to recover from my personal adversity:

  1. God’s blessing and unshakable faith
  2. Self-management
  3. Personal Action and relentless effort to do the best I can do under any circumstances.

Self-management plays a significant role and I want to elaborate on that aspect.  Overcoming deep depression, emerging from hopelessness, breaking through the impossible odds, achieving goals and positive mindset is not a coincidence, but it is a result. Or, in other words, it’s the fruit of my efforts that nobody sees. It’s the result of hard relentless work.

Have you thought about why some people give up and others overcome seemingly insurmountable situations which confront them? Why some people get depressed and give in to circumstances and others refuse to give in and find a way to improve their lives? Is it that some are stronger than others? I don’t think so. I believe that what sets those people apart is their ability to manage themselves.

What is self-management? It is the skill to master your perspective, your thought patterns, your thought focus and your feelings. It’s the ability to manage yourself. When you have the skills necessary to manage your inner state, you will be able to respond to life’s events in a way that empowers you. It is imperative to be able to manage your outlook and your inner state at all times because you make different choices and different decisions depending upon how you view a situation and how you feel at the time your decisions are made. Would you agree that you make different decisions when you feel hopeful, confident, tenacious, strong and determined, and make entirely different decisions when you feel hopeless and helpless, defeated, doubting and pessimistic?

There was a time in my life when I realized that in addition to God’s blessing, my experience greatly depended on how well I managed myself. My biggest eye opener and probably one of the most significant ones was when I realized that my experience about one or another event depended upon how I choose to look at it.

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 them. Nobody and no event has 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 an 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.

One of the combining details that affect our inner state and our subsequent decisions is our how we interpret it and how we communicate it to ourselves. 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.

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 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 an unrecoverable tragedy or is it a test for me?
  • Is this a loss or an opened opportunity to have new and better?
  • Is this a dead end or is it a challenge for me to find a way because I know there must be the way?
  • 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 very simple example. Let’s say Dave come to work and finds out that he was let go. What is he going to do about it? It greatly depends on his perspective. He can see it as he’s not good enough and they are getting rid of him, it’s a big problem, it’s the end of his security and well-being. How will Dave feel? Most likely he will feel defeated, not needed, self-insecure, stressed, fearful for his future, not confident to look for another well-paid job. But what if this is an opportunity for him to get a better position? What if this door closes, so he would open another door to have a career that he really wants? Maybe this is an opportunity for him to apply for the position that he always dreamed about or maybe even create his own business? How will Dave feel having this perspective? Most likely he will feel having a new beginning, intrigued, excited about the change to a better, opportunity to learn new things and improve, eager to take action, curious, hopeful. Having this kind of perspective will make him feel in a whole different way and a very different behavior than in the first case. A person can have two different perspectives about the same situation and both of them will create totally different outcomes.

Let’s take a gambling 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, the excitement of a mystery of what’s going to happen next and a great opportunity to gain an 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.

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 an object. It’s how we look at the fact will shape our attitude and our feelings about it. Events, the same way as objects or activities are simply neutral matter and they have both likes and dislikes, depending on what it means to people. 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 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 happen 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 success is not a mere luck but a result of our efforts and we will be blessed and will succeed in everything we aim for.

These are just several examples of general beliefs about God, life, love and us as people, which shape our perspective.  Belief is nothing more than what we are convinced about, which we can choose as well. I cannot stress enough how critical it is to pay attention and choose your belief and perspective.

In order to show it better and make it more real, I will take my own life. The car accident that I was involved in was something that I could have never expected nor was I ready for such drastic event. I was 22 years old, and this event was a major turning point in my life and my family members. The result of that crash was that I lost a person, who I was dating at the time (he was killed), and lost everything that made my life fulfilling.  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.  My life was changed overnight.

There were many different opinions on 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 has punished me. Others said probably 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 accept it and give in because there was nothing I could do to get it all back or make my life better. I also had to hear advice not to try so hard pursuing my dream, because what I wanted 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 under 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.  I believed there must be a serious reason why this had happened. Even though I didn’t understand many things, but I believed there’s a purpose in everything and Lord was going to restore my life. 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 lifestyle.

I decided that I would not be a victim and wouldn’t spend my life continuously thinking about what had happened. I refused to be in self-pity or collect sympathy from others. The decision to restore my life no matter how much effort it would cost fueled me with unbreakable determination. I had a very clear understanding that my destiny was not going to be “broken” because of the event that had happened. I believed I could change my destiny the way I wanted and with God’s help that’s exactly what I was determined to do. I was going to live a full life in spite of my injuries. 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…” 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.

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 traveling from Europe to the United States by myself and building my life all over again. I had a vision that I would live a fully active lifestyle in spite of my injuries, consistently worked toward my goal, and today I get to live my dream that seemed nearly impossible.

Now, after a while, I clearly see that if I also believed that God has punished me, I would have spent the rest of my life in misery, thinking that I would not have anything beautiful in my destiny. If I also had looked at my circumstances “realistically” as many did, I would not have even aimed for goals that I did. If I had agreed with people, who had their own beliefs about destiny and 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. If I believed that we can have only that, which circumstances allow, I still would be imprisoned by the walls of my home, watching how my youth pass by me and all I have is a dull existence.

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. My beliefs strengthened and encouraged me 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. We might be surprised how our beliefs are affected by other people’s beliefs or philosophy. Furthermore, based on that we make decisions that shape our lives. But the good thing is that we can change it at any time. If we are aware of our beliefs and our perspective, we can manage it and choose the response that will empower us.

If you believe that God does not give you more than you can cope with and there is a reason for everything, it will give you the confidence that you can manage it, and the solution is ahead of you. It will give you tenacity and encourage you to handle the adversity in the best possible way. After some time you might even see that particularly this difficult situation was for your good because it directed your life path toward your dream, it tested you, developed necessary character traits and gave you more wisdom. To be honest, I was shocked when I realized this in my own life. That’s why I am grateful today for all those hardships.

The quality of your life and your destiny is determined not by the events that take place in your life, but what you do afterward. While you do not have control over other people and a lot of times you do not have control over what happens in your life, you do have a choice of how you look at it all and what you are going to do about it. Depending on your perspective and decision what you are going to do next, you will have subsequent events and this way you shape your destiny.

Therefore, pay close attention to your beliefs and your mindset. What do you believe about the event that is going on right now in your life? What does this mean to you?

Choose wisely. And, Be Strong. Be Determined and Relentless. Be Unstoppable.

Blessings to you, until the next time.

Inga

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Thanksgiving. The Lord Made This Year Extraordinary.

Thanksgiving. The Lord Made This Year Extraordinary.

Amazing Things that the Lord has done in the past 8 months, made this year extraordinary. May these testimonies of how the Lord answers prayers and how He turns the impossible into possible, encourage you and strengthen your faith.

Thanksgiving is my favorite American Holiday because it’s the time when we can stop our busyness and think of what we are grateful for. As I reflect on the year that is about to end, I feel pure gratitude. It was an extraordinary year. Finally, I see my dream and my goals coming to a fruition. The vision that I had several years ago is turning into reality. The entire year is full of ongoing testimonies how God has a perfect timing, how he can change circumstances around like in a chess game and how He can perfectly arrange every detail in our lives.

The new year of 2017 began with focus and disciplined ongoing work continuing editing my book “Unstoppable”. On my days off from my primary work, I worked with the content up to 10 and at times 15 hours straight. It wasn’t easy. Interesting coincidence – I finished editing process a night before my move with a friend to a new apartment! With that, I opened a new chapter. 🙂

I am grateful for the new apartment that Anzhelika and I got. It’s quite a story how we got it, a testimony how the Lord can change circumstances. When I went to my Apartments manager to ask if I could move to a 2-bedroom apartment on the first floor, she said there were no apartments available, and there would be no openings in the near future. But I knew the Lord could re-arrange the availability and suggested to my friend to pray about it.  If there was Father’s will that we would move in together, He will make it happen. So we began praying for God to make apartment available for us if there was truly His will for us to live together. In my prayer, I also asked the Lord to arrange apartment that would have at least one room’s windows facing the West because I wanted to see sunsets in my home. It brought us happy smiles and astonishment  when despite manager’s assurance that there wouldn’t be any availability in many months and maybe even in a year or two, in 2 weeks one apartment became available for new renters – 2-bedroom apartment on the first floor and, it had all windows facing the West.:-) People are surprised why I don’t stop when someone says “No, it’s impossible”:) That’s exactly why – God whom I believe and worship has the last say in any situation. He can change any circumstances. We love our new home!

Anzhelika stepped out in faith and moved to Santa Rosa, leaving her secure job. Seeing how the Lord was leading us, blessing our work together based on the “Unstoppable”, and how He gave us the apartment, we decided to trust that the Lord would provide a job for Anzhelika in this area. Anzhelika, contrary to her personality of making sure she has everything securely lined up and in order, to her surprise she felt totally at peace, even though she had no idea where and how she would get a new job. And, the first miracle was instant – it turned out that her company had a branch office right here in Santa Rosa, and her employer did what they never did before – they allowed her to work from the branch office and work there as long as she finds a new job. Then, after weeks of searching for a new job, Anzhelika received an offer to join one company that she liked. When we prayed to the Lord about this new offered job, we told Him that we wanted to be sure it is from Him. ln order for Anzhelika to know this, we asked for three signs: the same or higher pay, the flexibility in her schedule in case she needs to travel with me for the “Unstoppable” and the last, that they would wait for her to return from vacation (the vacation could not be canceled). And, after the interview, Anzhelika told me the news – they offered a higher pay and much better benefits than she had before, she would have flexibility in her schedule and yes, they were willing to wait for her until she returns from vacation, even though there was another candidate for her position, who was more experienced in the field and could begin work as soon as the next day! So, that determined the decision.:-)

There was a valuable lesson in this. It’s easy to say “I trust God can provide” while you are in Church and have everything you need. But, it is not that easy to say it when you have nothing and to remain at peace, having unshakable faith that no matter how desperate it seems – the Lord will provide. I have experienced this time and time again, and now I got to witness it again – the miracle of how the Lord provides happens when you receive Lord’s revelation and direction to do something, you don’t wait for perfect circumstances to do it, but instead you step out in faith into the unknown trusting that God will provide, and do what you have to do. The Lord is never late, and He provides. Those who wait on the Lord and trust in Him will not be ashamed.

Then, On June 2nd I received the disABILITY Champion Award from California Human Development for being a role model to people with disabilities and all who seek to overcome obstacles to lead self-sufficient lives, and for vital support of CHD’s disABILITY Services programs through my work at Disability Services & Legal Center.  It was quite a surprise to receive a letter that I was nominated and chosen to receive the award. I never aimed for any awards or special acknowledgments. I just love life. And, I make a continuous effort to make the best out of what I have and improve my life, to fulfill my purpose. But it was thrilling to stand on a stage with the Senator Mike McGuire and receive the award. Thank you, CHD!

Then, my Mom visited me in California again. I was so happy to spend a quality time with Mom; living a half-way world away from my family is a very high price to pay for the life I’ve chosen to live. It was heartbreaking to leave my family and I long for them daily.  But, now we had fun! Thanks to Anzhelika’s family, we got to visit Yosemite. The majesty of Yosemite mountains and waterfalls are breathtaking! And then, for my Birthday, Anzhelika, Mom and I went on the adventure – luxury 10-day vacation in Jamaica! Exotic island, bright sun, turquoise water, palm trees, swimming with dolphins… That was quite a vacation, which will definitely stay in our memories forever.

When 17 years ago I woke up in ICU without my legs and with severe injuries throughout my body, I would have called that person crazy, if someone had told me that I was going to visit exotic Jamaica island and swim with dolphins.:-) I could not even dream about swimming with dolphins; it seemed beyond the possibility for numerous reasons. And now, when I was in a water giving a kiss to a dolphin Susie, it brought me to tears.

It inspires me to say – if your life had an adversity or even a tragic turn, don’t rush to make the conclusion that you are broken, that you will never experience delightful moments, or that your destiny is destroyed. Never give up on your life. You don’t know what the future holds for you and a lot depends on you. It’s not the events and it’s not other people that can ruin your life, but it’s your choice to give up. Choose life. Choose to fight for your life no matter how hard it will be. It’s not going to be easy. It will require relentless effort and a lot of times pain and exhaustion. But it’s going to be worth it.

Then, after delightful vacation and seeing off my Mom back to Lithuania, I went back to focus and disciplined daily work with the book, doing the second round of editing with another editor, and this time focus was on grammar and polishing it. I had to go through entire over 200 pages manuscript, checking every sentence, every word. After countless hours of work, on October 30th I submitted the manuscript to the publisher. Finally.. It’s hard to realize that it’s being in the process of becoming an actual book. It all came from an inspiration, from an idea. I never considered myself to be an author. Never. I had no idea how to write a book! But I followed the inspiration and did what I was inspired to do.

This project was quite a test of faith and my faithfulness to the work I had to do. It was 7 years of hard relentless work not knowing how in the world I was going to publish it. I had no editor nor did I have the money to publish it. But, I thought if the Lord directed me to do this, then He would provide and the editor and the money when He sees it’s time to publish it.

And here you are. When the time was right, the editor, who edited former President’s book and is an awarded writer,  showed up in my life through my work and he agreed to edit “Unstoppable”. I began praying to the Lord, thanking Him for bringing the editor, but now the question was – where the money was going to come from? I had no idea. But I knew the Lord could do the impossible, and I asked Him to provide the money to pay the editor and to publish it.

In several weeks, I met with a person with whom we haven’t seen each other for a while. After hearing the last updates on the book, he said he would like to sponsor the book publishing. I told him not to rush to this step because this was a lot of money. I suggested going pray about it first. A week later, he invited me to meet with him again. As we were having lunch, he handed me a check for $10,000, saying “I prayed about it and I know this money belongs to the “Unstoppable”. Go ahead, edit and publish it.” With my eyes full of tears, I accepted the check. And, got to work. Now the  “Unstoppable” is in a publishers hands. It will come out Ja-Feb of a New Year, 2018.

I am also so grateful that the Sonoma County fires did not reach our new home. At some point, we were surrounded by fires, and whichever direction wind would blow – the fires were going to get closer to us. I am blessed to have Anzhelika and her family, who were our shelter during the week of fires. We all prayed for the Lord to protect our home, and our home was not touched. Praise be to God… My heart goes to all families who lost their homes and everything you had. It’s heartbreaking. I would like to be helpful at least in some way so I will begin a Blog How to Recover After Adversity, where I will share steps that helped me to recover after the crash and other hardships I had encountered. I hope it will be a blessing to those who will read it.

 

And now, as we are about to enter into a new year, my friend and I are wondering, what 2018 is going to look like?  What’s next?

 

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Find a Gem in This Tale

Dear Friend,

 

Today, as I was working on my book doing last reviews, I was reminded of one story. It brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it. It associated with my personal experience and reminded me the secret of winning the game. The beauty of not giving up. It is a quite known tale about two frogs; I will re-tell it to you.

One sunny day, by accident two frogs got into a bucket of milk. They tried to jump out of it, but they couldn’t. They had no solid ground and sides of the pail were too high. One frog said, “Oh no! This is it. We won’t be able to get out of here.” The other one exclaimed “Let’s keep swimming! Maybe someone will see us and will help us. Somehow we will get out of here.”

They began paddling and tried to jump out. With no avail. After some time, the first frog said, “Swimming is of no use. We won’t get out of here no matter how much we try!”

“Don’t give up,” the other one responded. “Just hold on. Let’s continue making every effort. There must be a way!”

But it seemed like nothing they did seem to help. After several hours of paddling, the first frog said, “This is nonsense. There’s no point of doing this, we’re going to drown anyway. I can’t go on any longer.” And then he stopped paddling and drowned in the milk.

But the other frog kept on paddling. He kicked and swam in circles. He got so tired. All he wanted was to rest, at least a little bit. But when the frog stopped paddling to relax for a few seconds, he sank to the bottom of the bucket. His nostrils got filled with milk, he could not breathe. The frog was so scared and exhausted. It seemed that there was no hope. But then, he pulled all his strength that he had left, used his legs to push off the bottom and kicked with all his might to come to the surface. And then he kicked and kicked and kicked. The little frog was so tired. He had no strength and saw no chance to be rescued. No matter how much he tried to get himself out, nothing was working. Yet, he knew he could not stop and continued kicking, and paddling and swimming in circles, believing that somehow he will get out of that bucket.

And then, something happened. The frog started feeling something solid under his feet. Instead of sinking, he could stand.

Through all kicking and paddling and turning of the frog, the milk had been turned into butter. The little frog jumped out of the bucket.

 

Your journey might come to a point when you feel hopelessness.

You might feel that your efforts make no difference.

You might have sleepless nights, thinking that what you want is nearly impossible.

You may feel tired.

You may face obstacles that prevent you from achieving your goal.

But overcome those obstacles and just keep going. No one can break you down and stop you unless you allow it. Look for the solution until you find it. You will not find it only if you believe that there is no solution and will give up on it. Believe, there is always a way. You only need to find it.

When you face difficult times, remember that you have a source of strength. Seek for the strength in the Lord, for only He is an inexhaustible source of strength.

Always know that the pen is in your hands and what kind of story will be written in your life book depends on you, not on other people or some circumstances.

Do not give up. Never give up.

Inga

 

 

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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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Make Your Life a Masterpiece

Now, as my major event is over (one of my duties at work is organize annual fundraiser), I am happy to be able to focus again on editing and improving my book “Unstoppable”. As I was editing my last chapter of the book, which summarizes many experiences and lessons about choices, I was inspired to share a part of it with you. 🙂 I hope you will enjoy it. Please leave me your feedback, it is truly very valuable to me.

 

…I don’t understand many things. But what I do know that it’s not what happens to us and not really what people do to us what determines the quality of our lives, but how we respond to it and what we choose to do about it. Sure, we don’t have a choice of what happens to us or what other people’s choices are, but we always have a choice what we are going to do afterward. We always have a choice to complain, blame and spend our lives in misery and regret. But we also have a choice to get up and shake off the dust, accept the responsibility and relentlessly move on creating the life we desire. And that will make us either a victim who blames someone else for the unhappiness, or it will make us the unbreakable fighter, who gets to fulfill our intention in spite of all because we never stopped and never gave up.

I do know that we can achieve anything we set our minds to, if we truly desire it, do whatever it takes to achieve it and have unshakable faith that we are going to succeed. I do know that all things are possible with God if we believe. I don’t understand how it works out that way, but I’ve experienced this countless times and now I do know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are chosen according to His purpose, just as it’s written in the Bible. This has taught me a great lesson not to be stressed or terrified when things don’t go my way; all works together for good – even problems.

I also know that our own daily choices and decisions create subsequent events and ultimately direct our destiny one or another way. Sometimes, our one choice – ONE Single Decision – can literally direct our life journey one or another direction. Painful ad even devastating mistakes have taught me to be very careful with decisions I make. Also, our daily, weekly, monthly choices compounded deliver their results as well.  They may seem quite insignificant, and even they may not even appear like choices. But they are. And, those little choices repeated on a continuous basis over time soon will deliver its fruit.  Every time we decide to do something or not is a choice. We stand at those crossroads many times in life. They might not even feel like crossroads; yet, they are.  And the choice of which path we take literally directs our destiny.

 

You may make numerous mistakes yet and will fall down, but it’s not your mistakes what show who you are. It’ s whether you choose to get up each and every time and learn from your mistakes that show who you are. It’s what you choose to do with all that happens in your life that will make your life worth living or miserable.

Don’t waste your precious time for things that don’t matter. This way you will only create the life that doesn’t really matter. Use the given time to design a purposeful and fulfilling life. Make your life count.

Lay a firm foundation for yourself that you will always make a choice that will align with your purpose. You will always make a choice to overcome and do the best you can under any circumstances. Make a non-negotiable decision that you will never give up, no matter what it takes for you to take another step.

 

Remember, it’s all about the choices you make. We all have choices, and we are going to have what we choose.

 

I have learned that our destiny will greatly depend on whether we choose life according to the Lord’s will or life according to our own ways. What I do know is that living in a righteous way before the Lord God and trusting Him wholeheartedly at all times is going to bring a much more secure, fulfilling and purposeful life. And after all, we will have a joyous life that will last the eternity for our soul’s existence does not end the journey here on the earth. By bringing you my experience, I want to inspire you to choose wisely. Our Father God has His will for us and yet He has given us a freedom of a choice.

15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16 in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18 I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;20 that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; (Deuteronomy 30:15-20)

 

So, I invite you to take a deep breath with me. Let’s you and I choose life. Let’s continue on creating the lives that the Lord has called us to live.

Life is not a rehearsal. You get to do it only once.

Life is like an art.  Your decisions shape and consistent daily actions create this unique piece of art.

Make your life a masterpiece!

Inga

IngaMIV_1

 

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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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