I Appreciate My Freedom of Choice

Flags at Washington MonumentToday is Independence Day in my country and I’m reminded that “freedom” means so many things to many people.  I do appreciate that I live in a country where the ideals of freedom are engrained in our constitution. The Bill of Rights contains 10 amendments, some of which protect our freedom of religion, speech, and the press.

But this post isn’t about our constitutional freedoms, but rather an appreciation of how I always have freedom in my choices of how I react to any given situation. Observing social media outlets, I see some strong opinions expressed and sometimes hateful remarks towards others who disagree with these opinions. I’m reminded that we all have freedom to express what we believe, but we don’t have to agree with everyone. We get to choose. That’s freedom right there.

I appreciate that when I read or see hateful messages on social media, I can choose to ignore them. Things I don’t want or that cause me to feel negative feelings are called “unwanted contrast” in law of attraction circles. I appreciate the feelings that sometimes result from reading hate-filled comments as opportunities for me to focus in on what I truly want. I appreciate that I have learned the value of unwanted contrast in creating a more happy life.

Anytime we’re faced with something or a situation that causes us to have strong emotions of dislike, anger or other negative feelings, it’s an opportunity for us to exercise our freedom of choice: you can either simmer in those emotions and let them get stronger or practice focusing in on the opposite end of refining what you want. I’ve found that when I find myself getting heated up with passion about unwanted contrast, it’s a good time to jot down the opposite of what I don’t want, which is what I’d rather see and feel.

Once I’ve clarified what I want, I can exercise my freedom of choice in taking softer steps in getting there.  It might mean that I stop looking at social media for awhile, or that I don’t talk or associate with a certain people for awhile (until I can clean up my energy about them), or that I turn off the TV, or that I just distract myself with something else. I might meditate, go take a nap, do something that’s fun, pet my cat, talk to friends and family, or any number of things. I use Abraham-Hicks’ tip of reaching for that feeling of relief to move myself up the emotional scale into a better feeling place. I appreciate these tools for the happiness that I enjoy from using them!

I always have the freedom of choice in my relief from unwanted situations, and you do, too. Some people may interpret my reactions to people, things and situations sometimes as uncaring when I don’t engage in augmenting the negativity of the situation. But I do care – I care how I feel, I care about others and intend for their happiness, too, and I know how my happiness is dependent on me, just as yours is dependent upon you. I care enough to not let outside events destroy my well-being.

We always have a freedom of choice in how we react to anything, even in the most horrific situations. Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl expressed this beautifully in these statements:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.

I appreciate my freedom of choice. I appreciate it so much as it’s contributed greatly to my personal growth and made me a much happier person.   I appreciate that you don’t have to agree with me, and that’s just fine. We travel our own journeys in life and I appreciate all the people who have contributed to mine in all ways: the good, the bad and the ugly. For all these situations have served me well in learning how to appreciate any person or situation. I’m happy and looking forward to more freedom of choices in my life for the growth that they foster in me.

 

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Let’s Celebrate The Lottery Winners

Photo courtesy of PHPhoto.org
Photo courtesy of PHPhoto.org

The Powerball lottery jackpot is expected to reach around 1.3 billion dollars this week, the highest in all the world’s history of lotteries. When you talk to people, there’s excitement in the air with people dreaming and sharing what they’d do with their winnings. You also hear the nay-sayers, too, who point out the odds of winning.  Those nay-sayers are my unwanted contrast and a reminder that I love to bask in the feeling of fun, excitement and celebration of winning. Feelings of excitement for what is to come and for the possibilities of realizing dreams is what makes playing the lottery fun for me. It unites strangers in conversations that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. I see clerks smiling and laughing as they give out tickets, too. Everyone is talking about it, so people are more engaged with each other. That’s such a good thing to see and feel. I appreciate how the possibility of winning a lottery jackpot brings people together in a vibe of excitement, joy and fun.

When I turn on my TV or am on the internet, I hear and see stories of past lottery winners who either lost it all or are in debt. I’m really tired of hearing these negative stories! Aren’t you? Wouldn’t it be nice to focus on stories of all those people who have won the lottery that are doing quite well? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear their stories of how they paid off their debts, set their families up in an abundance of financial security, took their dream vacations of a lifetime, bought a house, gave generously to causes they care about and other success stories?

Pointing out the odds and focusing on the people for whom handling all that financial abundance didn’t go so well is taking away from the good vibes of excitement, fun, and the joy of winning. It creates doubts, fears or a let-down, frankly, if you allow others to influence you about your chances of realizing any of your dreams, whether it’s winning the lottery or going for that dream job, for example.

Instead, let’s celebrate the winners! Let’s celebrate that we are in it to win it! After all, you have to play in order to win. Let’s celebrate that we have the finances to play and be happy if we win or not! Let’s not judge who wins or wish for a group to win it, as opposed to an individual. In law of attraction terms, that’s splitting up your energy of being happy only for certain people, so you can’t possibly attract pure joy in that. Let’s be happy for whoever wins!  Let’s celebrate the joys we’ve had in the journey of playing the lottery and be happy, no matter the result.

We’ll all be happier when we quit casting doubts and fears about our chances in life, when we quit feeling jealous of what others have and we find a way to celebrate the little things in our lives and exercise our imagination about what is possible.  Appreciation is our best friend for happiness. I celebrate whenever I find money, even a penny I find on the ground. I celebrate I have the funds to pay my bills, too.

So celebrate and appreciate where you’re at right now. With the lottery jackpot being so high, I celebrate that I can stretch my imagination of what I’d do with all that money and stretching my imagination is something to celebrate! I’m appreciating and savoring the fun in all of this, just as I do when I find a penny on the ground. And if you can’t feel excitement for finding a penny, I suggest you start a daily habit of appreciating. When you appreciate daily, you may just find more pennies or a dime. Or maybe that lottery jackpot! Can you imagine? I can!

So let’s have fun and celebrate the lottery winners, no matter what!

Appreciating The Contrast – Day 14

Focus is possible through contrast

Today’s appreciation has to do with the law of attraction. The law of attraction works, whether or not we focus on what we want or we focus on what we don’t want: we get what we focus on. And we get what we focus on, whether we’re consciously creating it or just living life, reacting to events, people and circumstances. When I talk about focus, I’m not referring just to your thoughts, but also your feelings as we’re really talking about energy. So when you focus on being well, for example, but worry inside because you’re sneezing and fear you’re catching a cold or getting the flu, you’re really focusing on what you don’t want. Guess what happens? You likely will get that cold and end up in bed with the flu!

Contrast doesn’t have to be “bad,” but often we focus on what is unwanted because it doesn’t feel good. Unwanted contrast truly serves as a tool to clarify and focus on what one really wants. When you’re sick in bed with the flu, you really, really want to get better. Those desires are great, but if you keep reminding yourself of how sick you feel and tell others about how awful you’re feeling, you’re not aligning yourself to becoming better.

So as crazy as it sounds, you get what you want when you learn to focus and appreciate the contrast (the good and the bad). You learn to let go of “what is” and appreciate it because you know that something so much better is on its way.

So today, I’m appreciating the contrast. Contrast such as:

how sickness reminds us to take better care of our bodies, or can serve as a reminder to self to S-L-O-W down and relax

the confession from a child that s/he broke a favorite family heirloom as an appreciation of telling the truth (and our great relationship with the child who felt comfortable confessing)

rain on a picnic outing for the value it brings to making things grow (and appreciation for the shelter at the park where we can still have our picnic)

the loss of a job to help us focus on pursuing a better job or our own business

a family crisis for the appreciation it brings in bringing people together and strengthening ties

an earthquake for the appreciation of new buildings designed to withstand earthquakes, the emergency-preparedness of the community, the people who come together in times of tragedy, the emergency workers and the opportunities to re-build in new ways.

Tragedies serve to remind us to appreciate what’s important: people, our pets, the joy of life and being present.

In times of appreciating great unwanted contrast, others may feel that we are not truly caring. But appreciating unwanted contrast is truly caring: it’s caring about how we feel enough to not re-tell the unwanted contrast story that digs a hole of pity and sorrow so deep that we become depressed! It’s caring in a way that helps us find peace with where we are right now.  In doing so, we are offering ourselves and others a focused energy of appreciation, peace and love in being OK with “what is,” as we anticipate better times ahead.

Dogs Hanging Out of Car Windows

Today’s appreciation goes out to all dogs hanging out of car or truck windows. I’m actually on vacation and we are now dog sitting for a few days. Yesterday’s ride in the car with Stella reminded me how much dogs love hanging out of car windows, so I grabbed my phone and snapped a photo.  With the hot summer air, bugs and all, most dogs just love this. (And I would add that some humans do, too).  I appreciate that dogs don’t care if their fur gets messed up, or if the bugs fly in their face – they just love hanging out of those car windows.

While I don’t claim to be a dog whispererer or a Dr. Doolittle, I do bet if Stella were talking to me when I snapped this photo she’d say, ” It feels good and I feel free! Weeeeeee!”  Ask any dog owner about their dog hanging out of car or truck windows and I bet they’ll all say that their dog loves it.

Seeing Stella yesterday in the car reminded me of an earlier Abraham-Hicks’ seminar where the guest asks “Why do dogs risk getting bugs in their eyes sticking their heads out of car windows?” And the answer was that the guest had just asked the most profound question to date:  ” …because the contrast of the bugs in the eye is a small price to pay for the exhileration of that ride.”

We could all learn a lot from dogs hanging out of car windows : the key to being happy!  BE in the moment, FEEL good, enJOY the ride (including the contrast) and don’t forget to say “Weeeeeee!” 🙂

NaBloPoMo, Snails, & Appreciating Illness

Today I’m beginning my November month of blogging everyday as part of the NaBloPoMo’s challenge. I’ve done this before. Last year, I wrote on 2 blogs everyday during the month of November.  But this year I’ve decided that it was not in my self-interest to over-commit myself, so I chose this blog. After all, this blog is the “youngest” of my blogs and doesn’t get a lot of love from me often. Yet the topic is so important: appreciation is one of the most loving things you can do for yourself and others. So in a way, this is an act of self-love on my part: I’m not over-extending myself with a 2 blog commitment like last year and I’m giving this blog some extra tender care, which means more TLC for me. (Yes, what goes around, comes around.)

To start my 30 day “blogging for blogging’s sake” challenge, I decided to appreciate illness. I imagine many may be shaking their heads about that as an appreciation topic today. Why would anyone want to appreciate illness? As someone who understands the law of attraction and as a deliberate creator, I know the opportunity that “contrast” brings for better things. “Being sick” is a contrast I don’t intend for myself, but I recently experienced it and I’m grateful. Let me explain.

Photo courtesy of http://www.pdphoto.org/

I had a cold for about 10 days and stayed home for only one day in that first week (but ended up working all day), only to find myself out a couple of days the next week (plus a visit to the doctor) because I had a re-lapse. It was nothing serious, but it certainly did drain my energy. Having no energy and sleeping most of the days really was a wake-up call that I needed to slow down and get more rest!

So I was reminded of a snail, who by human standards doesn’t appear to move very quickly, often pausing for long periods of time before inching onward to a new leaf. Being sick is a reminder to be like a snail in that respect: slow down, take my time, pause, rest, then slowly move on again. My sickness and probably what created it (lack of self-care, over-working, little sleep, etc.) really emphasized how much I want to be well. It also served as a reminder to take better care of myself: by loving myself enough to say “no” to the increased demands in my professional life, by taking time for “me” everyday, by getting enough rest and making room for plenty of fun in my days as well.

So even though I hated being sick, I can sit back and appreciate the illness as it made me more aware to be present with myself each day: to take time for self-care and love.  In doing so, I can detach myself from the illness: see it as a catalyst for personal growth and change and appreciate it for creating wonderful wellness and healing that leads to more good things down the road.

Life is full of contrast and if you can recognize  the beauty of the contrast you’re in by finding an appreciation for it, it will open up wonderful, new opportunities and experiences later on. So while I probably won’t slow down as much as a snail, I can pause and be present in a spirit of appreciation and love, which creates excitement for what’s to come. I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Until tomorrow,

Barbara

I’m Tickled It’s Tuesday!

Well happy 2011 everyone! Now that February is almost over, here I am finally getting back to this blog. And it’s Tuesday and I’m tickled! Why, you ask? Honestly, I have no particular reason, other than it makes me smile and laugh out loud to say it! 🙂

Since today I was tickled it was Tuesday, that means that tomorrow is “Woo Hoo Wednesday!” What I’m really doing is telling a “new story” about the days of the week by the silly choices of words that make me feel good. It’s so much better than thinking of Tuesday as the day after Monday (or) Wednesday as “hump” day. It really makes the week go by much smoother with a lot more joy!

So I appreciate those mid-week days where I can come up with fun, silly names that make me laugh, while being reminded that I’m grateful to be here for another “Tickled Tuesday!”

So I challenge you to find new words and ways of thinking about “routine” days, and especially if you’re not smiling or laughing a lot these days. Go ahead–be silly! Have fun! Embrace the playfulness of it all. You’ll notice a difference in how you feel, I guarantee it. And don’t be surprised when you attract more things, events and people to tickle your Tuesdays, too!

GoodVibeUniversity

I’ve got one day left of the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), where we blog everyday for the month of November! It wouldn’t be complete here without sending my appreciation to my friends at GoodVibeUniversity (GVU for short).  I so appreciate this site and all of the people who are there. I love how just by signing in, I’m able to get uplifted in a second by all of the positive energy! It’s THE place to learn from top notch law of attraction coaches, and especially from GVU’s creator, also known as Good Vibe Coach, Jeannette Maw! She gives so generously of her time and talents and I  appreciate her very much! I appreciate everyone, especially those who consistently take the time to comment on posts and to give very inspiring insights, time after time. I love the Treasure Hunt fun and the rampages of appreciation, the Outsourcerers who are so very powerful and all of the special calls that are hosted and the recordings that are available (as I usually cannot make them ‘live’).

It would be impossible for me to recall all of the people there that I appreciate now, so I’m giving everyone there a BIG HUG and a “shout out” in appreciation today because I love you all!  Thank you for your insights, your friendship and for what’s to come!