"Be your own awakener to the beauty and power that are alive in you right now."
At these times of unprecedented change and challenge, many are taking the opportunity to reevaluate their lives. Is the work you are doing truly serving you? Are your priorities where you want them to be? Would you like to be spending more time with your family? Is your life as meaningful as you would like? Are you aware of your personal value?
Personal value - what is that? I am glad you asked. Not the same as "values" which have more to do with how you relate with the world around you.
If you were to ask yourself: what does positive attitude or positive state of mind mean to me? you will come up with your personal philosophy. Being open and honest; communicating with integrity; giving a percentage of your income to charity - all come under personal values.
Personal value is the term I use for inner strength, your innate essence or the human spirit that sustains you throughout your life. Personal value has more to do with who you are, than how you act or behave. Building your inner strength will assist you to succeed in a job interview; to achieve your goals and objectives; to make a positive contribution within your family and community; to be inspired, creative and resourceful.
You recognize personal value in one who has a radiant quality of love; a powerful, peaceful presence that relaxes and reassures. A couple who exchange their wedding vows of loving commitment shine with the spirit of who they are. Those who have been in the presence of HH the Dalai Lama speak of the powerful quality he radiates. You can feel it.
"You don't need a reason to be radiant."
Davide de Angelis
To build your inner strength, try some of the following:
1. Take time to look within
Start to meditate , learn yoga, spend time in nature and reflect. Just sit, do nothing and observe as you breathe deeply and slowly. Get in touch with your inner nature, the beauty and essence that you are.
2. Affirm your qualities
What qualities make you unique? Enthusiasm, sense of humour, joy, persistence, courage, ability to connect with others? Affirm those in the present tense with "I am" statements. Choose 3 affirmations and repeat them, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. For example:
I am generous with my family and friends
I am caring and considerate
I am thoughtful and loving
3. Make agreements you know you can keep
Be on time. You will show yourself to be a reliable person. Renegotiate agreements you cannot keep - make fewer of them. You will know yourself as being trustworthy.
4. Learn to say "No"
Do not over-commit yourself. Refusing a request is not against anyone else. You are being honest with, and true to, yourself.
5. Accept, appreciate and love yourself through difficulties
When your life is in turmoil, you may not do things "perfectly". Give yourself permission to learn. Ask: What can this situation teach me? Remember that at all times, you are doing the best you can. When you know better, you do better.
6. Be forgiving
When you make a mistake, be tender, kind and compassionate. Do not punish, criticize and condemn yourself. Love and comfort yourself, as you would a precious child.
7. Prize yourself
Celebrate your "wins", the things that go well, and the good that you do. At the end of the day, notice the goodness of your intention and your actions.
8. Do what gives you happiness
Be happy with what you do. Choosing to be happy is a great spiritual discipline. When you are walking, smile to yourself. You will find things to smile about.
9. Focus on the positive
Even in the midst of disaster, look for the blessings and opportunity present. With a positive attitude, you can literally turn your life around.
10. Relax and be patient
While you may not be able to do anything about the global economy as a whole, you can make the most of each day and take steps to build a future you would like. This is not a passive, hopeless enduring, but an active, participative anticipation of a better life for yourself and those you care for.
11. Be open for the best
You never know what good is right around the next corner. Keep an open and receptive mind. Do not be tempted to believe all you hear on the news. The creative spirit in you, and in our human community, is a very wonderful and extraordinary resource.
12. Say thank you to life...
.... and for your life. Be grateful. If you feel down, look around you and be grateful for all that you have, right now. The attitude of gratitude will take you through life's worst storms and lead you toward greater joy, serenity and fulfilment.
"What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality."
Believe in the beauty of who you are. Salute your human spirit. Dare to shine!
How have you built strength in your life so far? How are you using these times to good effect? How will you celebrate your inner strength this 4th July?
I welcome your comments and thoughts, either below here or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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