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How to Be Resilient, How to Recover From the Destruction? Step 1. Know There is a Purpose Behind it All.

When the adversity hits us, the hopelessness brings enormous pain and feeling of devastation. But what if it’s not the end? What if there is hope? What if you know that there is a particular purpose behind this hardship and that it’s not more than you can handle? You are strong enough to take it. Take it and emerge with triumph.

 Step1 postEN

Lately, I’ve been surrounded by a lot of adversity in the lives of people who are dear to me. During the week of the firestorm in Sonoma and Napa Counties, California, many of us have been affected by it one or another way. Watching the devastation that the fires have brought into people’s lives was heart-wrenching. I was shocked and bewildered. My heart goes to each person and families, who lost your loved ones, lost your home and everything you held dear. How I wished I had my legs and my both arms functioning so I could be helpful to those, who were in need! Then, I began hearing that some of my friends have lost their homes and everything they had, someone got seriously ill, someone got their house foreclosed and were forced to leave their home while preparing for a heart surgery, someone got into the crash and got paralyzed… My heart was torn watching their pain. Their lives took a sudden turn that they could not anticipate nor could they possibly be ready for such adversities. I wish to be able to help, but there’s nothing much I could do. But, maybe there is a way I could reach my hand to those, whose lives were changed due to adversity, who goes through a hard time?

I haven’t lost anything at this time, but I know the taste of losing everything and anguish of grief. In my personal life journey, I have had to rebuild my life few times from devastating destruction, both tangible and emotional. The first time I came face to face with devastation was when I woke up in the ICU without my both legs, my left arm fully paralyzed and multiple severe injuries throughout my body. Losing nearly half of my body at the age of 22 and no longer able to function independently was devastating. My destiny seemed destroyed.

At that point, I faced the crossroads of my destiny – am I going to give in or am I going to fight for my life? Which way do I continue – left or right? Give up? Or fight? I had a choice.  I decided to reclaim my life no matter how much effort it would take.  Since then, my life turned into an incredible journey.  But then, after breaking through the insurmountable obstacles, and being only a step away from achieving the life that I relentlessly worked to attain, I faced the second crash, which brought more pain than losing my legs. Overnight everything was destroyed. Fruits of the hard work and continuous efforts to rebuild my life were ruined. The treachery, loss, and destruction of my new life broke me inside and nearly made me give up. I just did not have any more strength.

Realizing that it’s not events or other people’s choices that can break my destiny, but my choice to give up, with the Lord’s intervention, I picked myself up and resolved to attain my vision in spite of it all.

It’s been for over a decade that I live the life I desired to live, despite the devastation, the loss, the physical limitation and ongoing challenges. But I don’t want to enjoy my life for my selfish reasons. During the process of my recovery from adversity and other hardships, I have learned a lot and acquired experience and knowledge which I want to share with others. My passion has been to help others overcome difficulties, change/improve their lives, and share my testimony of God’s power to restore the broken and turn the impossible into possible.

My upcoming book “Unstoppable” contains my story and everything that empowered me to overcome the adversity and reclaim my life, but I don’t want to wait until it’s published. This fire disaster and hardships that so many people face, inspires me to begin sharing with you lessons I have learned, my source of endurance and everything that helped me to restore my life, so anyone could take it and use it in their lives. I am eager to share what will coach, ignite faith, inspire and equip you with knowledge of how to recover from adversity, break through hardships, overcome obstacles and achieve any goals, ultimately creating the life you desire.

 Since my faith in Jesus Christ has been the source of my strength and is the rock-solid foundation which I stand on, I will talk a lot about faith. I am not going to preach, but I will share how trusting in the Lord strengthened me, gave me the right perspective on events and hardships, gave me the courage, tenacity, and fortitude. I will also share what I call ‘self-management tools’ because, in addition to prayer and faith, our results will greatly depend on our mindset, attitude, personal character traits, discipline, personal standards, and actions. Just as my book contains both aspects, my posts will reflect the Unstoppable.

When the adversity hits us, the first stage is the shock. Have you felt that while you are in the state of a shock, you don’t feel anything? You are in a survival mode and there is not much pain or grief. I remember myself, I was feeling pretty well even though my both legs were severed. I felt fully determined to recover physically and rebuild my life.

But then, after the shock goes away, we come face to face with consequences of the destruction. That’s when the reality hits. The grief and anguish is enormous. And then there is a question – and now what? How am I supposed to live further?

At that point, you are at crossroads. This is a crucial moment, which can determine what’s next.  It’s important to understand that it is critical to not get panic or anxious, but be strong during hardships because your future circumstances will greatly depend on how you are going to handle the adversity.

One way of the crossroads – give in and indulge in self-pity; begin to think and act as a victim, blaming the disaster or other people for your brokenness.  Another way – resolve to reclaim that which was lost.

  1. Accept the new reality;
  2. Focus on the solution, what must be done to emerge from destruction;
  3. Do everything you can, do whatever it takes to improve your circumstances.

You are standing at the crossroads of a Choice. Remember, you have a choice. It’s going to be up to you which way you will continue. You have a choice to have unshakable faith or dive in into hopelessness. You have a choice to surrender to the hardship and go with the flow, and at the same time you have a choice to resist the destruction, be resilient and relentlessly aim toward your goal.

How to be resilient, how to recover after the destruction?

The first step – check your beliefs. Your belief system will lay a foundation for your mindset. The reason I begin with the mindset is because it will determine further decisions and actions, which ultimately will determine how you will handle the situation you are in. Since my beliefs are based on Christian faith, I will talk from a perspective of Biblical values and teachings.

My first advice for this time will be – trust that God doesn’t make mistakes; If He allowed that to happen in your life, then there is a purpose in it. According to the book of Job in the Bible, without God’s permission the enemy cannot do any harm to those who love the Lord and live according to His commandments. The enemy can do only as much as Creator allows him to. Moreover, in the story of Job, we see that God allowed Satan to bring calamities into Job’s life for a certain purpose.

 So, by faith, relying on the Bible, we know that what had happens in our life is not more than how much the Lord allows. So, knowing that, it brings a question- what for God has allowed this in your life? What purpose the Lord has through this trouble in your life?  Maybe you need to start looking sincerely for the Lord? Perhaps God stopped you, and you need to re-evaluate your values and who / what is the center of your life? Or, maybe there is something that you need to see and learn? Maybe you need to grow in faith? Can the Lord test you as He tested Job? Whatever that is, trust that the loving Creator is not going to allow his child to go through destruction with no reason. And, if this was allowed in your life, with the Lord’s help you will overcome.

 What helped me tremendously to recover after the shock of losing my independence and everything that I held dear was my faith that if my Heavenly Father allowed this car accident to happen in such a cruel way, that means there had to be a serious reason for it. Here is the excerpt from “Unstoppable” about the moment when I realized something that made me feel strong to accept the tragedy and conquer it:

“One day, as my friend Martynas was visiting, our light conversation turned into a discussion about my major questions – why it had to be so cruel. I knew I could be open with him and I shared with him my thoughts and how I felt.

After listening, he looked at me and said, “Inga, I don’t know why it happened the way it did. But what I do know is that God did not leave you then, and He is not going to leave you alone now. He would not have allowed you to appear in this position if you would not have been able to take it. With God you will handle it.”

              It felt like someone enlightened my mind and suddenly I got a very clear awareness: God is love. His purpose was not to torture me. He knows what I can and cannot endure. He never abandoned me and He showed me that He was with me the entire time. If He saved my life, even though I was not supposed to survive, and used His power to heal me so rapidly, there must be the purpose behind everything.

              Martynas reinforced my belief that there was a divine purpose in everything that had happened, that the Lord was with me. I was strong enough to take it. In fact, I wasn’t only going to live through it, but with the Lord’s help, I was going to have a victory.

              It felt like someone gave me a drink from the spring of life and suddenly, I felt alive. This was the first time I felt strong enough to accept the consequences of the crash. But I felt strong not just to cope with it, but to emerge from the tragedy and triumph over it. Since then, my life became an amazing journey.”

Since then, my life took an extraordinary path. It’s incredible what the Lord has done over the years. After some time, I did see why the Lord allowed this car accident and why this ended so cruel. Seeing what purpose my Creator had behind this tragedy, I sincerely thanked Him for it. Today, even if I could go back to change it all, I wouldn’t.    

It is natural that we react negatively to problems and adversities. But if we focus on what had happened and constantly think how bad things are, we make it only worse for ourselves. What we focus on expands. We need to have discipline over our mind, and not allow ourselves to drown in the negativity and fear, and direct our thinking into a different direction. In my life, a lot has changed, when instead of the question “Why did this happen to me? ” I began wondering “What is this for? What’s the purpose behind it?” Instead of feeling hopelessness or a victim of other people’s choices, I began feeling strong and confident. I began seeing troubles from a whole different perspective, which empowered me to change those destructive circumstances and, see the benefit in it all.  

Knowing that this is allowed for some purpose and this is not more than you can take, how do you feel? What thoughts come to you?

You are strong enough to accept what happens in your life. With God’s help, you will go through this. What does not break us makes us stronger, right? 🙂

Moreover, we believe that everything works together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. So, even problems somehow work out for the good. (Romans 8:28) This is a great mystery to me how it works out that way, but I noticed it in my life time and time again. I will share about this some other time.

In the meantime, – What is the purpose of this adversity in your life? What is behind this?

 

On this note, I will end my message to you.

You are strong enough to take this. With God’s help you will recover.

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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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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How To Keep on Going?

How To Keep on Going?

Do you have a hardship that it makes you feel like you are reaching your limit and you just can’t take it anymore? Are you facing obstacle that is like unmovable rock and after your continuous, but unavailing efforts you are contemplating on letting it go?
As we go through our life journey, every one of us experience heat and cold, sun and rain, valleys and hills covered with green and flowers, and also the dessert with no water or liveliness. Difficulties are just the same part of life as everything else that we consider good and we are not going to avoid them as much as we would like to. Even if we were absolutely perfect and did not make any mistakes, then there would be an impact from the outside that would cause us problems, right? Some are easier to deal with, and some of them sometimes bring us to the point when we feel like we just can’t take it anymore and we are very close to say “Forget it, I am done with this”. Does that sound familiar to you?

Quite often I am asked “How do you keep on going, Inga? You are so strong, where do you get the strength?” And since it is one of the most frequent questions I am asked, I decided to analyze myself, collect my observations and share it with others.

As I was on my journey of returning back to life by becoming independent and leading a dynamic life again after losing both of my legs and the use of my left arm, I had continuous battles with some serious obstacles, challenges and pain. Losing nearly half of my body at the age of 22 brought an enormous challenge just to function daily, in addition to the enormous emotional and physical pain. Then, life threw at me such challenges that at times it was simply unbearable to live another day. On my way I kept meeting obstacles that ironically smiled at me conveying the message that I won’t be able to move beyond them. Before I successfully achieved my Impossibles (it’s not a mistake; I just made up that word from adjective to a noun in a plural form ), for quite some time my strenuous efforts seemed absolutely meaningless as I did not see the fruit of my labor after countless hours, months and even years of work. The loss, wordless betrayals and disappointments appeared over and over and over…. How do you get up, how do you break through and keep moving on? Sometimes I even asked myself How much more can I take? But then, I would pull myself together and continue my journey toward my ultimate vision.

As I was analyzing what makes me get out of bed in the morning, break through those barrier walls and keep on going, I realized that all these years I was unconsciously applying the same strategies of how I deal with challenges and obstacles that try to prevent me from taking another step. It’s not that I am stronger than you. I just know my source of strength that is my Rock solid foundation and I know strategies to deal with challenges and tools to overcome obstacles. And I applied it. That’s all. I truly sincerely believe that anyone can successfully handle their difficulties. It’s just a matter of knowing and applying. I want to share this with you and others, so you can take it and apply it in your own life.

I will start with the first key, which may seem very invisible at first, but plays incredibly significant role in our lives. When I look back, I see that there was always a very fine line between continuing my life in misery blaming unfortunate events or other people, and me attaining a fully engaged and meaningful life. There is a fine line between some entrepreneurs, like for instance the publisher of Success magazine Darren Hardy, who became highly productive and successful and those who cannot see results that they dream about in their own businesses. There is a fine line between the Australian Christian evangelist and motivational speaker Nick Vujicic , who leads an extraordinary life even though he was born without his legs and without arms and those who are miserable even though they have everything they need to lead a fulfilling life. What was that fine line that made such a big difference in my personal experience and in the lives of many over-comers and high achievers? What can determine which direction our lives will take after some adversity strike us or when just simple daily difficulties take place in our lives?

It’s a Choice.

It was my choice what I decided to do when I was hit by those difficulties. I didn’t think about the power of the choice at the time, I was just totally committed to my ultimate outcome and I was doing everything possible to continue on my journey to implement that outcome. But after certain personal experiences, and observing other successful people, I clearly see that our choices how we handle those challenging times determine what’s next.

All of us have difficulties in our lives, and each of us handle them differently. While we are going through some hardships, we don’t always think about what’s far ahead, because we are focused on the moment and how we feel at that time. Often we make unconscious decisions in order to get away from pain as soon as possible regardless of its subsequent affect later on. But the fact is that our decision during the difficult time of how we are going to look at the situation (choosing the perspective) and what we are going to do about it, will determine what’s next for us. It is our choice during the difficult time whether we are going to allow that hardship to sweep away our decision to pursuit our aim or we are going to push through and continue our pursuit. So it is very important to keep in mind what is our current goal in the progress and what is our ultimate vision, and respond to the hardship in such a way that will support and not jeopardize our desired ultimate outcome.

There is always a choice to step into the victim’s role and blame somebody else for our broken destiny or failure to achieve our goal. At the same time, there is a choice to accept the responsibility for our current circumstances, be determined to make a change and take action to improve our situation. There is always a choice to take an easier route that does not require our efforts and discipline. There is also a choice to make an effort to change our life’s direction and relentlessly work to implement the outcome that we decide to have in our life. There is always a choice to use the given time to entertain ourselves, and a choice to use the same time to do something for the attainment of our goal and fulfilling our purpose. There is a choice to adopt the belief that nothing can be changed and go along with whatever circumstances show up in life, justifying it by “that’s just life” or another very famous one “I guess that’s just my destiny”. Right beside us, there is another choice to believe that there must be a way. With God’s help we will be able to make a change and improve our circumstances, regardless of how bad it is at the time. It’s not occurred events that determine how our lives are supposed to be, but God’s will for us and our decision what we are going to do in each situation. 

At the door of each difficult situation, there are always two choices that are waiting for our pick. These two choices are going to take us on different paths, and each of those choices will deliver totally different results.

“Sure, I would like to make the right choice. But how can I make it, how do I make that step forward, when I just feel tired, frustrated, disappointed, and at times I just don’t want to get out of my bed and do anything…How do I keep going on?”, – you may ask.
Yes, I know. It is very hard to think about things that you need to do when you don’t want another morning to come. This feeling is so familiar to me. But there is a way. I am going to share it with you as we move along.

Today, think about the power of the choice, because the determining factor whether you are going to live your dream or you will remain where you are now is your choices and decisions compound. Know that “I am done with this” or “I don’t feel like doing any of it today” is just simply an emotion, affected by certain events. Today you feel depressed and don’t feel like doing anything, so you decide to stay in bed and watch TV. Tomorrow you feel like you can’t take it anymore and you drop the ball. Another day you feel you need to take it easy, because it has been stressful lately, so you decide to entertain yourself. Time will go by very quickly, and those emotions will pass as well. And where will you be if you make your decision based on your emotions? You will have to live where your choices have brought you.
Is it worth it?
Is it easier to put it off to another day? Yes it is. But again, is it worth it?
Sometimes, our one choice – One Single Choice – can literally direct our life journey one or another direction. Also, our daily, weekly, monthly choices compound deliver their results as well. They may seem quite insignificant, and even they may not even appear like choices. But they are. Every time we decide to do something or not to do is a choice.

Just simply know that while you are going through a hardship, it is best to not allow your emotions to determine your decision what you are going to do with that situation and what you are going to do about your ultimate goal, because if you do – most chances are you will regret about it later. Have a rule to yourself that you are going to move forward relentlessly regardless of obstacles and any hardships that you will meet on your way.

Sure, there are times when some troubles can hit us very hard, and our well-being becomes a priority. (Our physical health, spiritual and emotional well-being is the #1 care, since we won’t be able to have any productivity if we are not doing well, right?) But with that, we need to be honest with ourselves, if this is a really serious issue that must get our care and attention, or is just a simple “feeling down” because we are not in a mood, the weather change or another routine disappointment. I believe the difference can make a person’s understanding that Procrastinating to get things done to “another time” or “when I feel better” is just a simple, invisible and yet dangerous time waster, which delivers an instant relief, but after a period of time brings us the irreversible result – we lose the time that we had to bring our vision to fruition. The longer we wait – the more time we waste, while our projects remain to be not completed. And what’s even worse, by waiting until we feel better we might miss our greatest opportunity. Again, there must be a balance in everything, but it is always good to have that awareness of what is really happening behind our decision “to do it another day.”
During my personal journey, I simply knew that the only way for me to get out of the pit was to be relentless and in spite of it all do everything possible to implement the outcome that I decided to attain. I was always aware that my daily consistent action is a step closer to the realization of my dream, whether it was to walk again or establishing my independent living in the United States. I knew that by canceling my daily work for whatever reason meant I was putting off reaching my ultimate goal to a later as well. In my mind I had a very simple math – doing the work meant getting closer to my goal’s achievement, and procrastinating in my action pushed my goal further away from me. I wanted to reach my goal as soon as possible, so I was committed to do exercises, work hard and just do what I had to do regardless of whether I felt like it or not. When I was facing betrayals and people’s acts that directly and destructively impacted my life, I knew that I could not allow myself to give up on my life only because of another person’s certain act toward me. My life was way too precious for me to allow anybody or anything to stop me from making it blossom again. I moved on because I clearly realized that it’s not other person’s act toward me that could destroy my future, but my choice to give up after that.
Other people and outside events can impact your life and they may even stop you temporarily. However, the ultimate outcome will be determined by you. Are you going to allow your emotions to put your project aside, or are you going to push through and make an effort to do at least something to bring yourself closer to your ultimate aim? Are you going to remain in the pit and wallow in your misery blaming the person or the event, or are you going to shake it off, learn your lessons and move on toward your vision in spite of it all? Are you going to give up when challenges show up, or are you going to break through and reach your destination anyway?
It’s your choice.
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 in any circumstances. Make a non-negotiable decision that you will never give up, no matter what it takes for you to take another step. So when you face some tough situation, don’t rush to do anything out automatic reaction. A lot of times we just react, making unconscious choices based on our habitual mental patterns. Stop. Make a conscious decision. Think about the situation in a big picture. Where are you going? Try to see those two choices, and ask yourself “The choice that I am going to make now, where will it bring me ultimately?”

What is that beautiful place in your life where you are headed? Look how far you have made it! I am sure you have had some obstacles on your way before you got here. And today, one of the combining reasons why you are successful or have not reach your desired outcome is how you dealt with those hardships and stumbling blocks, would you agree?

Today is your opportunity of many choices. Tomorrow is a new day, which is a new opportunity to use your given time and make choices that will get you closer to your vision, or away from it. Your own choice will determine it.
Life is like an art piece. Our decisions shape and consistent daily actions create this unique piece of art. Make your life a masterpiece.

I hope this add some value to you. I cannot stress enough how important it is. If you would like to share with me and other readers your thoughts, feedback and your experiences by posting right below, I would be absolutely delighted to hear from you! Also, please pass this on to others, if you know someone who might benefit from it.

I will continue sharing with you How to break through and keep on going. Until then, use what you just read. It will make a difference.

Here are few questions that you may ask yourself to help you:

  • Choices that I am making during difficult times – do they work for me or against me? Are they bringing me closer to my goal? If not, what different choices do I need to make in order to start consistently moving forward?
  • The choice that I will make now – is it going to bring me closer to my ultimate vision or pull me away from it?

If you would like to have some support through the coaching process, I am just an email away. Please email me inga.lizdenyte@gmail.com

And like always, I wish you to Be Strong. Be Determined and Persistent. Be Unstoppable! 

~ Yours, Inga

http://www.ingalizdenyte.com/Coaching.html

 

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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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Keep Going Forward Fully Trusting Your Creator

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

For some reason for the last few days I have been feeling I needed to post the very end of my upcoming book “Unstoppable”. Not sure why, but maybe someone needs encouragement. I wish I could speak to that person. Well…this is for You, who takes time to read it. I lived every single sentence and whatever situation you are in, I want to encourage you – do not let go, keep going.

Keep going forward fully trusting your Creator. Fight for your future no matter what happens and how difficult or painful it might be. Do not fear of anything because the Lord your God holds you in His hands. He directs your path and leads you the way you need to go. I do not say that your life path is going to be easy and you won’t meet any difficulties if you live a righteous life in the sight of God. Life is a journey, and you will experience heat and cold, sun and rain, valleys and hills covered with green and flowers, and also the dessert with no water or liveliness. But the Lord will be there with you at all times, will protect you and help you to go through any adversities. At the same time, in a way life is a battle and it depends only on you whether you win or lose.

There will be sleepless nights, when you will be thinking that what you want is nearly impossible. But trust that your Creator is all powerful and with His help and your efforts anything is possible. There will be times when circumstances will not turn the way you would like it to be. But trust that sometimes events, which seem bad to us or not to our benefit, really are for the better; we just don’t see it at the time. Accept what happens and always do the best you can. Sure there will be days when you will feel tired from constant trying to stretch and to do your best, and you will want to just let it go or do your job carelessly. But you rise above mediocrity. Win against yourself by doing the job better than you did it yesterday. Yes, there will be disappointments. But do not allow it to break down your determination. There will be thoughts that will try to discourage you when your circumstances will seem way too complicated to be solved in your favor. But do not give up. 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. There will be people, who will try to convince you that it is not worth doing what you are trying to accomplish. Also, there will be people who will try to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. But that’s just their opinions based on their beliefs and their attitudes. But really, only you know what is the right thing for you to do. You have your vision; you know what you believe in and where you are going. So hold on to that and do not let anybody talk you out of your purpose.  You will meet obstacles that will prevent you from achieving your goal and will try to get you off track. But overcome those obstacles and just keep going.

No one can break you down and stop you unless you allow it. And even if you slip and fall down – ask the Lord to give you strength, get up and continue moving forward. Just do not give up. Never give up. When you face difficult times, remember that you have a source of strength. The Lord your God is watching over you and always going to be there for you. He will hear when you call Him with your pure heart, and He will give you help. Certain people or events can impact your circumstances, and even can direct your life in a certain way, but they can’t determine how you will live your life. Things that happen can impact your life one or another way, but nobody and nothing can take away from you that, which is within you. No people, troubles or difficulties can take away from you your faith and positive attitude, which is a foundation for your life. When you do face the challenge – accept it with courage, because it was given to you for you to learn, not to break you down. If you hold unshakable faith and attitude that strengthens you, you will always have the courage to accept any situation in life and strength to move on no matter what happens along the way. And if you protect it, no life’s storm will be able to break you down.  So, cherish and protect that, which is within you. Be like a ship that lifts up its sails and moves forward despite any storms. 

Be strong. Be determined and persistent. Be unstoppable.

Inga Lizdenyte

UNSTOPPABLE, Copyrighted 2013                                

 

 

 

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