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Be Resilient And Thrive

The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.

~ Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Your ability to bounce back from adversity can not only increase your energy, but can actually lengthen your life, according to a study from Florida State University College of Medicine.  Researchers found a positive correlation between “resilient” core personality traits - such as extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness - and cardiorespiratory fitness, a powerful predictor of disability and mortality. They concluded that resilience is a key contributor to leading a long and healthy life. "I believe this study is informative on the role of psychological traits in lifestyles that are associated with successful aging", says author and associate professor Antonio Terracciano.

How would you score yourself on personal resilience?  No matter where you think you stand, a resilient mindset can always be developed and improved with practice. Next time you’re facing change and adversity, try one or more of the following:

·      Respond with optimism. What seems to be misfortune can prove a catalyst for discovering new strengths.

·      Repeat a helpful saying. When caught off-guard by bad news, recall a favorite positive statement, such as “When one door closes, a bigger one opens” and repeat it to yourself.

·      Laugh or cry. Laughter is great for relaxing and releasing tension. If you can’t laugh, then cry and give your emotions permission to clear.

·      Reframe and reorient quickly. Ask resilience-based questions, for example “What is the new reality?” or “What useful step can I take right now?”

·      Choose to accept what’s happening. Highly resilient survivors do not waste energy protesting against what is already done.

·      Be curious and playful with the negative condition. Challenge its truth and even poke fun at it.

·      Look for any good in apparent misfortune. Shift your perspective with questions like “How can I turn this to my advantage?” and  “What unusual opportunity has this created?”

·      Take action. Do something different. Even the smallest “baby step” can improve your outlook and quickly begin to change conditions for the better.

From now on, when you think about a difficult past circumstance or tell others about one of your roughest challenges, include why it was also good for you. Having a resilient attitude, finding value and meaning in all your experiences, will certainly enhance the quality of your life.  You may also discover that it can enhance your longevity as well.

Live Long And Prosper!

Margery


Creative Aliveness

Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.

~ Marcus Aurelius

The late Dr. Wayne Dyer wrote and spoke often about how our thoughts shape our reality.  He believed that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. The following excerpts from his published work illustrate his great insight on the subject of perception.

You always have options. In every situation, you can choose how you are going to deal with it and how you are going to feel about it. The word option is most important, since you will be encouraged to have an open mind about attitudes which may well have kept you closed to being creatively alive. Wherever you find yourself in your life, whatever the circumstances, you can make the situation into a learning or growing experience, and you can choose not to be emotionally immobilized. 

Creative aliveness means looking around any setting where you find yourself and asking, “How can I make this into a terrific experience? What can I say, think, feel or do that will bring about learning and fulfillment for me?” This kind of an attitude is yours to have if you decide to want it, and to stop allowing yourself to be victimized by yourself or those around you. 

Your capacity to be creatively alive in virtually all life circumstances will depend in large part upon the kind of attitude you choose for yourself. The most crucial test of your attitude development will be in the face of adversity, rather than while things are running smoothly. 

You may find it much easier, albeit far more self-destructive, to give in to adversity and become a victim of your sour feelings. But if you are effective enough at not having victim expectations, you can also work at turning misfortune around and even making it work in your favor. The cornerstone of your attitude must be alertness for taking advantage of your situations, making your expectations revolve around wanting to emerge as a non-victim, and looking hard for the right kind of opportunity. Even if the opportunity does not surface, you can keep your attitude positive so that your glumness does not blind you to potential advantage.

You are the product of what you choose for yourself in every life situation. You do have the capacity to make healthy choices for yourself by changing your attitude to one of creative aliveness. By being ever alert for turning adversity around, by improving your attitudes and expectations for yourself, and by fearlessly implementing risk-taking alternatives, you’ll soon be gratified by the way your life can take a turn for the better. Be fully alive while you’re here on this planet; you’ll have an eternity to experience the opposite after you leave. 

— Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
 

Perceive - And Expect - The Best

The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.

~ W. B. Yeats

Most of us are constantly looking out for ways to improve our conditions. Whether it’s our health, careers, relationships, spiritual life (or maybe all of the above), we strive to create the best life we can for ourselves and for those we care about.  We tend to look outside ourselves for solutions, putting our confidence in other people and their advice to improve our quality of life. However, the truth is that we already have within us all we need to create true success, prosperity and happiness.

Your external experience depends almost entirely on two internal factors: desire and expectation.  Desire is the driving force, the motor power that moves you in the direction of your vision. Expectation is a powerful attractive force, an invisible magnet that moves your vision toward you.

It’s extremely important to notice your thoughts concerning what you expect in your daily life. Expectation of positive results can quickly trigger all sorts of synchronous events that bring you every good you desire. Negative expectation can also turn just as rapidly into a lethal enemy.  As James Allen observed, “In the armoury of thought man forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace.” 

The task of finding and focusing on the magic things of this world is a daunting one, especially where the dominant broadcast frequency is “CNN” (Constantly Negative News). It takes conscious, continual effort to hunt for blessings instead of looking for difficulties, but the reward is enormous.  Once you begin to perceive whatever is going right in your world as clearly the opposite, you may find that many so-called problems have a way of fixing themselves.  Most important, by focusing on the goodness, joy and beauty of life, you’ll easily attract more of the same in return.  

So practice looking for and expecting the best every day, even while the world’s dominant paradigm is shouting that “the end is nigh”.  This simple habit can radically improve your life in countless ways.  

To Your Best Life!

Margery 

The Best Investment Of All

If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

~ Benjamin Franklin    


It would be hard to choose a more appropriate individual than Benjamin Franklin to feature on the U.S. $100 bill. He not only played a key role in America’s founding, but through his unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit he was able to build substantial wealth, serve his community, and create a better world for future generations.  

Along with a myriad of inventions, this creative genius also left a great deal of personal wisdom and advice in his prolific writings.  Many of the most enterprising and financially successful people in America have taken that wisdom to heart, and as the school year begins, Franklin’s observations on the value of knowledge are especially worth considering.

These observations are not simply about creating a prosperous business or achieving wealth.  In fact, the Founding Father himself would counsel that true abundance requires investing in the personal aspects of your life – body, mind and spirit – as diligently as you do in your work.

Your body - Everyone would agree that keeping physically healthy and fit is critically important to both personal and professional well-being.  You can begin right away to invest in your body by researching and reading the wealth of available information on health and fitness, experimenting with a few strategies that appeal to you and choosing what works best. Then, follow up with consistent action for best results.

Your mind - Nothing promotes a youthful, optimistic attitude and enjoyment of life so well as stimulating the mind. Reading about things that interest you is a good place to start, but you can get a real bonus by exploring topics and activities outside of your usual routine. For example, read biographies of interesting people you're not familiar with, or publications you don't normally browse. Learn a foreign language. Pick up another skill or hobby.  It’s never too late to experience the thrill of something new!

Your spirit - Staying confident and upbeat is easy when life is all roses and sunshine. It's when the storms roll in (and they will) that your mental and spiritual toughness will be put to the test. A daily habit of prayer, meditation and/or visualization, consistent with your personal faith tradition, is a key resource to draw upon. Regular spiritual practice can help you develop a greater sense of purpose, encourage a positive view of your future, and enable you to face personal and professional challenges more effectively. Mastering your mindset – deciding how you will respond to the conditions of your life – is also worth a serious allocation of your time, effort and money. Among the ways this can be accomplished are extensive self-directed study, participating in a group, or by working with a mentor or coach.

Here are the most important messages to take away from all this. First, your most important asset is You. Never shortchange yourself, or underestimate the importance, to yourself and others, of investing in your own growth and happiness.  Finally, celebrate this season of “new beginnings” with a commitment to put your energy and resources into the  best investment of all – your personal development. 

To Your Best Life!

Margery 

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