Nelson Mandela

Monday Muse: A Valentine’s Day Lesson in Love & Healing

  Learning to love yourself-This is a prerequisite for all things when talking about love. It is when you can truly love others and help others that you can learn to help and to heal others. In The Growing Group, there are several unexpected Valentine’s to give to yourself this February on Valentine’s Day. And these are ideas and quotes and motivations that will stay with you through the year!   Find Your Virtual Mentor The first is to find your mentors as you read your favorite books. Today is International Book-Giving Day, and a wonderful place to begin is to remember and revisit all of the newly-acquired mentors that you will find when you read the quotes and passages from your favorite authors. The notion of finding a ‘virtual mentor’ is one that can be familiar to all as we have revised our thinking during the pandemic years. So let’s take a moment to find some favorite passages and quotations that were part of the books you’ve read and loved through the years. For my part, Atticus Finch would be one of my virtual mentors for sure! (See the end of this to look for more suggestions of books to help guide you…)   The Metaphors of Love in your life… Looking at some of the metaphors found in The Growing Group magazine, we see they are used to illustrate how to think of your burdens and to bring about a positive mindset. The positive perspective is one of the best Valentine’s presents to receive! Look at “The Weight of Water’ in the metaphor for a glass that is half empty/half full and see how to look at the glass you are holding in a different light.  Looking at the cracks in the bucket in a different light is a helpful metaphor for the realization of how the cracks and leaks can also be of use to all of usl! And seeking the realization of the delights of eating a tangerine, or the benefits of floating in water…all of these are ways to look at ourselves and our lives in a different light! Another way to seek positive affirmation is by learning to handle criticism well.   Author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin advises us  to listen carefully and to learn to ‘enjoy the fun of failure,’ as she describes it! Valentine’s Day Quotes on Love & Motivation… Another way to learn how to see love in a different light is to seek affirmations and to seek love through the ideas that others use to inspire and motivate us. Here are some quotes from our Growing Group magazine that deal with the notion of love in all its different forms. How you learn to love yourself can affect the relationships and the amount and quality of love you ‘bring to the table’ to give to your family and spouse. And it may also be a reflection of the love you can generate and convey to others in your life. In other words, Love is the driving force behind all you do or all you should be doing! And that is the other important message from Valentine’s Day…. Walt Disney’s Inspirational Quotes From Walt Disney, here are some unique quotes to further advance the notion that we need to start within and move outward as we grow and expand our capacity to love… Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Jones’ do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life was brought — sometimes it isn’t much, either.” “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”   Black History Month reveals inspiring quotes on Love & ‘Making the Impossible-Possible!”   In honor of Black History Month, here are some of the most prominent African-American authors and influencers who have helped shape our culture, talking about love and loving yourself and doing the impossible! It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” Eartha Kitt  “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”– Oprah Winfrey Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”– Muhammad Ali “You are your best thing.”-Toni Morrison “It always seems impossible until its done.”-Nelson Mandela  “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it-“Maya Angelou Recommended Reading to help you on your journey! Books to find your “Virtual Mentor” and to help guide you in your Growing Group journey! THE POWER OF FUN: HOW TO FEEL ALIVE AGAIN-By Catherine Price If you’re not having fun, you’re not fully living… A WORLD WITHOUT EMAIL: REIMAGINING WORK IN AN AGE OF COMMUNICATION OVERLOAD By Cal Newport LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST-By Devon Price For too many of us, our self-worth has become a function of our productivity. In other words, we only feel good about ourselves by working hard… TRACKING WONDER: RECLAIMING A LIFE OF MEANING AND POSSIBILITY IN A WORLD OBSESSED WITH PRODUCTIVITY-By Jeffrey Davis A refreshing counter-voice to the exhausting narrative hyper-productivity… Mantra: This week I begin with the thoughts of healing and of the power of love in healing. I will look at things I have taken for granted and now see and appreciate more.

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Your Monday Muse: Facing your Fears to Achieve Greatness!

The following is an excerpt from an essay by the great Scottish writer, George MacDonald: Where the Spirit-Lord is, There is Liberty; From George MacDonald “What it cost the Son to get so near to us that we could say “Come in,” is the story of his life. He stands at the door and knocks, and when we open to him he comes in, and dwells with us, and we are transformed to the same image of truth and purity and heavenly childhood. Where power dwells, there is no force; where the spirit {of the Lord is}, there is Liberty…” Here is a great testament to the spirit of what Liberty really means. With a liberating force, we can be transformed. As we work to define the terms of freedom and what having free will means, there is always a spiritual component that is found when we think of those who were imprisoned, such as Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and yet led such inspiring lives that their strength of character and dynamic spirit could never be contained within the four walls of a prison cell! In order to further explore the qualities of leadership that elevate great men and women, here’s a short list from The Growing Group to learn more about the quality of character that help achieve wonderful things! Your Growing Group Character Tip Sheet! Getting Better at Facing your Fears 5 Things required for Happiness The Science of Kindness *The Kindness Booklet will help! Stop doing these 3 things to get motivated Making Smart Decisions Mantra: I will think of those who led inspiring lives and faced darkness and fear, and came through triumphant! And after meditation and prayer, I can also look within myself to make wise decisions, to be kinder to myself and others, and to face my fears and emerge stronger than before Growing Group Weekly Exercises Monday & Tuesday: I will make a list and call it “Own It!” List, where I face up to those things that have held me back in the past. I can look to the people who had strength of character to better understand how to face up to my fears. Wednesday & Thursday: I will be mindful of the kindness that has been shown to me. And I will think of ways to make kindness become a part of my life and my character from this day forward. Friday & Saturday: After reading the Growing Group, I will think of ways I can make smarter decisions, start facing my fears, and learn to be happier, kinder, and more motivated as we move into the Holiday Season!

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Your Monday Muse: On Living with Doubt and finding Friendship

Living with Doubt   From the book Life Coach/ Christ Coach:  …Well, I’m not sure that having doubt automatically makes us weak. It makes us human and mortal and fallible. There is a great line by John Wesley, where he says: “I went to America to convert the Indians, but O! who shall convert Me?!…..I have a fair summer religion, I can talk well…and believe myself, while no danger is near, but let death look me in the face and my spirit is troubled.  This is great stuff, and I love the line about having a summer religion. Like a summer romance or cupboard love, it’s something that can be here today and gone tomorrow. Wesley recognizes this point and is honest in his assessment of his mortal failings.  We know that having doubts in our life and in our personal faith is not as unusual as you might have been led to believe. Mother Theresa herself, in her private diaries, expressed doubts in her faith. Wesley goes on to say “O! Who will deliver me from this fear of death? What Shall I do? Where shall I fly from it? Should I fight against it by thinking, or by not thinking of it? A wise man advised me…’Be still and go on.”  He muses that it may be his cross, and something that can be used to keep him humble and keep all his good resolutions.  To simply acknowledge the fear and the doubt does not make us sinful, it means we are human. To acknowledge doubts in our lives is part of the human condition…Own your doubt and don’t let it consume you.  Free Will From Life Coach/ Christ Coach: Much is written about having free will. There is a wonderful film, Lawrence of Arabia, that stands on the theme that Nothing is Written. In the film, Lawrence finds that he may be able to rewrite the script that has been laid out in Arabia where even matters of life and death are in the hands of those who use their free will and their abilities to find success. Naturally, as one would expect, the pitfalls or downside of the life where we have free will comes into play with Lawrence in this complex story. But in the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, those of us who tout our free will ‘mock thee when we do not fear’ and of free will, Tennyson says ‘our wills are ours, to make them thine.’ I think the idea of freedom and free will are things that people have somehow confused in their minds in recent days. When Nelson Mandela, trapped in a prison cell during apartheid, spoke of his idea of freedom, it is a very different thing from those who consider simple acts of kindness and decency to others in the community as somehow burdens upon our freedoms. Freedom, as many of us know, can be held precious when people are mindful of others who have truly lost their freedoms.  For those souls, they can better appreciate the inner peace of having a free will. And the irony is that those who are locked behind prison bars may somehow have more freedom of thought than the one who is free to move about,  yet remains trapped with a mind full of fear and darkness. Free will is something that we know is precious and we must be thankful each day for our own truly free will.   Friendship From Life Coach/ Christ Coach: Charles Kingsley, the minister and author, speaks of the great value in our lives of close and enduring friendships. Kingsley says, “ We must give and forgive, live and let live…We must hope all things, believe all things, endure all things rather than lose that most precious of all earthly possessions-a trusty friend. And a friend once won, need never be lost…”  In my Growing Group for self-esteem enhancement, we talk of the value of close friends to grow our own faith and strength and belief in ourselves throughout our lifetime. That is the message -that some of the treasures we build up here on earth that come without a price….. …. These are the things that deep friendship gives us, the strength to carry on, even when there is nothing left but to endure. Mantra; This week, I will acknowledge the doubts I have had in my life. They will not consume me, but I can own up to having doubts as all human beings do. I will acknowledge the wonderful possibilities of having free will, and at the same time acknowledge the awesome responsibilities it brings to me as a concerned citizen and human who lives in a society with others that need help and support. And finally, thinking of the obligations I have to others,  I’m also reminded of the great strengths I have found in lasting friendships and how much that means to enrich and enhance my life.  

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