When inner growth helps you to find inner strength

When inner growth helps you to find inner strength

As I thought about what to write today, I did a quick search to see if I could find some of the most common questions people have about inner growth (to spark my creative juices, so to speak).  To my surprise, Google’s results didn’t include anything about inner growth, but had a number of results focused on inner strength.  Then another interesting coincidence was a daily meditation activity I’m participating in also focused on inner strength.  So, inner strength it is 🙂

What I noticed as a commonality in the Google search results and the meditation session was people’s desire to overcome the challenges in finding inner strength.  Obviously, Google focused on tips, while the meditation session focused on the false path to finding inner strength versus the true path.  I’m a big believer that each person has their own truth, but when it comes to true and false paths I believe that can happen.  It’s not true or false based on an outside judgement, it’s true or false based on its connection to one’s true self.  So, inner strength that comes from within because there is inner trust versus inner strength that comes from external criteria and the outside world.

You know how they say that when you know something is true, you don’t feel the need to prove it.  You don’t have to prove it because in your heart you know it’s true; this truth brings peace to you, which is why you don’t feel the need to “fight” to prove it.  If on the other hand you’re battling to prove something, then you are also battling to prove that something to yourself.

The same goes with inner strength.  If you trust yourself you know you can find strength, that you have inner strength.  The keys that were provided by all those who have written on the topic start with looking to yourself and knowing you can do it.  We all have it in us to live, this is why we all have it in us to find strength.  If you are finding it challenging to find inner strength, one way you can go about doing this is looking back at the challenges you’ve overcome in your life so far.  When I say look back, I mean feel the feelings you were feeling in that moment, be in the mindset of that moment and relive that moment with the knowledge you had at the time.  You’ll find that you were probably feeling quite down or upset, but that you did overcome the challenge and that everything turned out alright.

If you notice that you seem to find your inner strength from others, that is something you want to contemplate.  Support is important in your journey; however, your one guide should be your heart, your ways, your insights, your experiences.  Your support should add to your inner strength, but not take away.  So just notice if there is a weakening of your inner strength due to others, there’s something you still doubt about yourself and your dependability to know what’s best for you.

The last note on inner strength that is super important is the aspect of defensiveness and being closed off from the world.  As long as you have a view of the world as against you, and therefore your inner strength comes to you to battle these opposing forces; you may be strong, but this strength isn’t based on trust in yourself, your heart or life.  This type of inner strength is based on defending yourself from the world, which also means you feel like the world can hurt you.  If the world can hurt you, you don’t really feel that strong, and this is what you want to explore.

At the end of the day, it’s always about perspective; however, trust that the key to your inner strength comes from within.  Trust that you have it, and that you can find it if only you look at the amazing things you’ve come to achieve so far in your life.

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Finding the time to do the things you love in life

Time is one of the most precious things we have, and as we get older we have to start managing it with work and other responsibilities (besides our usual day to day activities).  Some people struggle more with this change (in how we can use our time), while others have an easier time with it.  The reason for a greater struggle usually involves a certain level of unhappiness with the lack of time we have, to do the things that are more enjoyable to us.  However, there are various ways people can lessen this struggle and regain a sense of joy with time; instead of always feeling like there isn’t enough of it.

The first thing to consider are the choices you make for your future.  Whether we like it or not, becoming an adult and living in a society where we need money to live, means we have to work.  This is why it’s so important to do something you enjoy or at the very least, work in an environment that makes you happy.

People that pursue their passion as their job or follow their heart in choosing a job tend to be very happy to spend the day doing what they do.  At the same time, these individuals also don’t necessarily give their job a shape; they simply go with how they feel about it.  Expectations in general can bring disappointment.  This means that even if someone follows their passion, they could end up not being happy about their job if they’ve given their passion an exact shape and it doesn’t turn out how they envisioned.  It’s important to listen from within to be happy over time and with how you spend your days.

If there isn’t a choice of what job to do, then the second-best thing someone can do for themselves is ensure they work in an environment and with a team that they enjoy being around.  The people we surround ourselves with throughout the day will help make that time spent worthwhile.  If on the other hand, you work with people you don’t enjoy, then the time you spend at work will weigh you down.  This will make you look at the time you don’t have to be out with other people and doing other things.

Another way people avoid feeling like they never have enough time is appreciating what they have by being grateful for the fact that they have a job.  So, even if the job isn’t their favorite thing in the world and maybe their colleagues aren’t that enjoyable either, they make the best of it.  Perspective is always an option and what we choose to focus on can make a day better or worse.

Remembering that there are choices we can make (even if we only have 24 hours in a day) helps you to know that you do have control over your time; you just need to work at tweaking it until you’re happy.  This tweak includes appreciating the day and the things you get to do in life.

How do you make the best of the time you have and fill it with the things you love doing?

What’s the challenge with being considerate

There are plenty of considerate people; actually, I bet everyone finds themselves to be a considerate person (at least in some ways or circumstances).  In fact, often you find people talking about how considerate they are while they find others to be so inconsiderate.  Is this true?  Are they considerate and others just so inconsiderate?  As always it comes down to perspective and who’s talking.

Our world and actions revolve primarily around our own needs, whether consciously or unconsciously.  No one is exempt from this, even the most considerate person will make choices that won’t harm them.  We all make decisions, even if sometimes for someone else and a sacrifice for us.  However, the reality is that the choice (even if entailing a sacrifice) was a better decision for us than the opposite choice.  So, when it comes to being considerate I think intent plays a bigger role.

Understanding a person’s actions means knowing who you have in front of you and this includes their personality, environment, life circumstances, and their heart.  The hardest part of this is removing one’s own judgement and needs, which is why we see so many inconsiderate people.  Of course, I look at people and remember the challenges that life presents each one of us; and that I can never know how it is to walk in another person’s shoes fully.  I can try to imagine; but if I’m not living their life, how can I possibly know for sure what I would do and how I would act.  I don’t think I could, plus if I’m me, I could never think like them.

There are characteristics that seem to be a part of a consistently considerate person’s personality and those include empathy and the understanding of another person having to make decisions they will never come to fully understand themselves (since they are who they are and the other person is who they are).  These types of individuals can be considerate to a farther extent than others because they have in their peripheral view the knowledge of all these different types of people and circumstances, the awareness of the unknown when it comes to living another’s life.

The next time you think someone is being inconsiderate, you may be right; but remember that if their intent wasn’t to exclude your needs, then maybe they didn’t mean to be inconsiderate.  Also, when you are expecting someone to be considerate of your needs, aren’t you being inconsiderate of theirs?  It’s never a win-win if you want to stack up the points of who’s being more considerate or less considerate.

If a person is that inconsiderate towards you, the best thing you can do for yourself is remove them from your circle of friends, or simply stop being considerate of their needs and that way you’ll be on the same plane of give and take (for you, since you have the issue with them).

What do you think about the considerate/inconsiderate topic?

Avoiding confusion or misunderstandings when communicating

Everyone has an opinion, a perspective, a way they think and see things.  This point of view is the starting point of our thoughts and reasoning, which also means it’s the way we absorb information shared with us.  So, when listening to others, this means you could be listening with a tainted ear, one that listens with your own perspective in mind.  I say could because there is a choice you can make once you realize you’re listening with your own thought process and perspective, and not a neutral ear that listens (purely) to what the person is saying.  Before getting into the ‘how’ you could attempt truly listening to someone, let’s finish expanding on the tainted listening first and why it’s such an important topic to consider or at least be aware of for yourself and others.

I’d like to start with you.  How many times have you shared something (a story or experience) with someone, but no matter how or what you said you didn’t feel like you were being understood?  I want to venture a guess that this has happened to everyone at least once in their lifetime, if not more.  The reason you didn’t feel understood is probably because the person listening was either not really listening or they were, but with their perspective.  Those individuals that you do feel understood by on the other hand have your same perspective or have gone through a similar situation and therefore they can empathize with you.  The same thing can happen to someone who is sharing with you and doesn’t feel understood.  Listening from your perspective is an issue as it blinds you, at least partially, from what you’re being told by the other person.  This is why people also find themselves blindsided at times in situations where a person they think they knew, acted differently than what they thought they would.

If you look at someone or something in front of you with a filter, you are not able to see what’s in front of you, nor are you listening to what is actually being said.  If on the other hand, you’re able to become aware of your perspective and put it aside, you can tune in to what the other person is expressing (whether through actions or words).  At first it might be hard to see how you’re influencing a conversation, but if you become aware of your perspective in the act of conversation or observation you can start putting your filter aside and really tune in to the person in front of you.  This helps you to understand what they’re trying to tell you, as well as see who they are and not who you want them to be or think they should be.

In the end, dealing with other people involves two perspectives.  Even if your perspectives may be similar there’s always something they could experience differently from you and the same goes for you with them.  It is only through seeing that extra layer, your perspective, that you can remove your filter and see clearly.

How has perspective influenced your understanding of what someone tells you and vice versa?

Do you trust in life?

When it comes to trust, we have one of those intriguing topics.  People say they trust others and life, but when faced with doubt or struggle, that trust becomes fragile.  The level of trust depends on each individual; and when it comes to trust given to a person, that then depends on the relationship and the things that have happened throughout the duration of that relationship.  But when it comes to life, it seems like trust is constantly at play depending on a number of factors including the person themselves.

While in a relationship with another person, you can pinpoint specific events and reasons why trust is given or taken away, with life it has a lot to do with your trust in life.  When something happens that puts off your plan, particularly those events that seem catastrophic in nature; it is in this moment that your trust in life is tested.  Fears are overcome through reassurance, and this can come from seeking guidance and/or help from others, from your past experiences, and from signs that are tangible to you that things are moving in the right direction and that there’s nothing to be afraid of.  However, each time you’re faced with a challenge the same ups and downs can take place, and this is where you find out how much trust you really have in life.

The beauty of life is its unpredictable nature, that same nature means we have no certainty.  This is why trust in life depends on a feeling, your feeling.  Every time you face a challenge and overcome it, that can be an experience that strengthens your trust in life; but your inclination to trust life comes first and directs your thought process to consider that experience as an experience and not a catastrophe.

It’s like seeing the glass half full or half empty; whichever predisposition you have is what will strengthen.  If you trust life, your “catastrophic” moments will become less and less “catastrophic” as time passes.  If on the other hand, you are shaken from life and don’t trust it, each “catastrophe” will be that and life will not be ok.  You can gain trust in life thanks to the things that do go well, but if deep down inside uncertainty is what stays, anytime life throws you a curveball you’ll get hit.

It’s a matter of what you feel in your heart and differentiating if what’s in your heart is fear or an actual threat to your life in those challenging moments.  To give blind trust is said to be tough; and when it comes to life, it is somewhat blind trust that we’re being asked to give, since life is uncertain.

What do you think about trust in life, and what level of trust do you give it?

Do things come to an end in life or maybe

When something that you’ve been used to or have had in your life for so long comes to an end, how you handle it makes a huge difference in how you welcome the new, but also in how you feel as the old passes by.  We’re so used to being told how much we will mourn departing from something we’re used to that we’re not really prepared to look at it with a lighter heart, maybe even a bit of an excited heart.

As long as there is life, there is movement.  This also means that even though things may seem the same, they aren’t ever exactly the same in all the details of that moment.  In small doses, we are ok with endings or better said, we’re ok with endings that don’t look like endings.  However, a complete stop, all of a sudden, of something familiar to us is not welcome at a first instance.  This is where you can test your boundaries if you wish to do so and try to approach “endings” from a different angle.

With life experiences bringing about changes, those “endings” are really the next step to your new beginnings.  However, they are also a continuation of your life even though they may look different and as if they have ended.

Another way you could approach “endings,” if you aren’t of the idea that they continue with you, is through the acceptance of the fact that as your life moves forward, some things can’t move forward with you exactly as they are.  If you are 30, you can’t expect to still be in first grade, can you?  So, you accept this notion, but don’t mourn it, since you know it is part of what comes before what’s next.  As we get older, it seems we forget this idea. Instead, if we keep it in the forefront, we expect “endings” to happen because we don’t really see them as endings at all, but just stepping stones in life.

It always comes down to perception of course.  What we choose to see and how we see life, as well as the things that happen to us.  If you want to see “endings” as endings, then that’s great too.  It’s using your endings though to strengthen your beginnings that you want to achieve as you go through life.  So if you do anything with endings in your life, celebrate their existence and the way they were able to prepare you for what comes next.

What do you think about “endings”?  How do you see them in your life?

What do you see when you think about the things that have changed in your life

When you think about the things that have changed in your life, what do you see?  Do you stop to notice the types of traits you’ve acquired, some of the changes that have taken place to other traits that you thought would always be the same?  Do you stop to see the transformation that has taken place within following what you’ve experienced outside of you through life?

It’s quite easy to see the things that change in our outside world: career, household, people in our lives, acquired knowledge, income, etc.; but for the inside the lines aren’t always that clear nor should they be.  Since your essence is without form, even though it may be defined a certain way by those outside of you, it can take any shape or form it would like.  Although, the world has its generalizations, when it comes to how you are inside, it’s up to you to paint your picture.

You don’t only paint your picture, but you also know the true colors that make up your picture.  Personally, when I look at changes to the inside, I see more of a transformation than a change per se.  People I’ve known for many years have “changed” somewhat, but they essentially are the same in those pieces that make up their foundation.  Those components of them have through time and life experiences gotten them to be more of that one thing or less of it, but the component is still there.  So for example, someone who tends to take on very difficult challenges and be hard on themselves if they don’t succeed the way they wanted to; in time they have gotten a bit softer on themselves, but they still hold themselves to getting things done.

I like to think that life shares with us experiences that can help us dig deep and think about how we’re thinking, behaving, or feeling.  For sure, it seems like a trend for people as they get older to “soften” and be more patient with themselves, as well as with life.  On the other hand, there are plenty of older people that I know who are not patient at all, so it really depends.  All I do know, is that if you stop to take a look at your traits from inside, I know you’ll be able to see the transformations that have taken place so far thanks to life.  Some you may like, others you may not, and to those that you don’t like, I would say it’s a good place to start asking questions and seeing what you can do to change them.

What do you think about life and the changes and/or transformations that have come about?  Did you ever expect it to be this way?