mindfulness in adversity

In an instant life can become hectic and chaotic. Just when we think we have life all figured out, and our path forward appears to be straight; adversity happens! All the talk of mindfulness, living in the moment, and meditation seem to fall short in light of the adversity and chaotic realities of life.

Platitudes are not my message. My life has had its share of ups and downs so I will not trivialize the impact adversity plays on a person's thoughts and feelings. My message relies on my own experience of mindfulness and it's ability to lead us to finding and living with inner peace, regardless of what life may throw at us.

Mindfulness is a word I often use in my writings and in my life coaching sessions with my clients. One of the pioneers in the mindfulness movement, Jon Kabat-Zinn, defines mindfulness as: “a means of paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

The two phrases in this definition which I focus on are “on purpose” and “nonjudgmentally”. To find and maintain inner peace we need to consciously make the choice to spend time every day focusing our attention…

Read more: 6 Tips For Practicing Mindfulness When Upset

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personal power

Who doesn’t want to be in control? We spend a tremendous amount of effort and energy in controlling our lives and our environment, only to be “surprised” when our efforts fail. Even though we convince ourselves that we are in control of our life and environment, the reality is that we aren't in control of either.

Much of our stress and anxiety is caused by our failure at controlling life. So, finding where we do have control in life reduces our stress and anxiety. We do have control over our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. How I think and feel about myself influences my view, or perception, of the world.

Learning to gain personal power starts with an understanding of power. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, power is defined as “the ability to act or produce an effect”. In other words, our power is in our action. Power is not an outside force acting upon us, power comes from within. If we want to have personal power, we need to believe in our ability to control our thoughts and feelings, then to take action.

Many of the clients who come to me for life…

Read more: Steps On How To Gain Personal Power

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we are not helpless in adversity

In today's day and age, who hasn't been affected by adversity of some sort? It is the rare yet fortunate person who lives life unaffected by any pain or suffering. Living life means we take chances and place our trust and faith in other people and society. This trust in others can be betrayed while some of the chances we take don't work out the way we hoped or wanted. This is why we suffer from adversity.

I reviewed various dictionaries for the definition of adversity and found "misfortune" and "a difficult or unpleasant situation". I feel that it's important for us to keep in mind that some adversity happens to us, while some adversity may be caused by us. Nonetheless, I firmly believe that it is not the adversity which defines us, rather, it's our way of dealing with the adversity which is most important. The question is not "how do I avoid adversity?" The question is "How best can I cope with my adversity?" We can't escape adversity, but how we respond to the adversity will determine whether or not we are happy and at peace, or miserable and in turmoil.

The first step in learning…

Read more: Successfully Coping With Adversity

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book The Journey To Inner Peace Starts Here

Since the founding of Lifesjourney as a blog, I have continuously been focused on guiding us (myself included) toward finding inner peace. Finally, the moment has come that I can offer all of you a book. This book "The Journey To Inner Peace Starts Here" is a short reflection on the first steps needed to begin the journey on finding happiness and inner peace. The next books in this series will delve deeper into specifics such as meditating, finding and believing in hope, and overcoming adversity. Becoming less stressed and happy is possible, I know, and this book shows you how.

As I write in the introduction: "Thе раth tо innеr реасе iѕ nоt ѕimрlе оr ѕhоrt. Yоu саnnоt just wаkе uр one dау аnd dесidе уоu аrе gоing tо hаvе innеr реасе frоm thаt роint fоrwаrd. It iѕ a рrосеѕѕ, a jоurnеу thаt nееdѕ tо bе аррrесiаtеd еvеrу ѕtер оf thе wау. Yоu nееd tо bе willing to lеt gо and ассерt уоur full ѕресtrum оf еmоtiоnѕ. Yоu need to be rеаdу tо ѕtер оutѕidе thе bоx уоu hаvе аllоwеd уоurѕеlf tо bе рut intо аnd ѕtаrt frоm scratch, getting tо knоw уоurѕеlf all оvеr again аnd bе willing tо mаkе miѕtаkеѕ. And most imроrtаntlу, уоu hаvе tо realize thаt оnlу уоu hаvе соntrоl оvеr уоur еmоtiоnаl rеѕроnѕеѕ аnd rеасtiоnѕ аnd thеу саn bе сhаngеd for thе bеttеr."

You can find this book on Amazon (click here) and all major book sellers. Please leave a review on the book site, and leave your comments there or here. I am interested in what topics you wish me to write about in this series, so feel free to share with us. As a life coach I am focused on guiding us to to accomplishing our goals and finding our peace. 

If you're ready to explore life coaching, I would be honored to help. You can read more here about my life coaching practice or call me directly at 301-850-2177. 

... continue the conversation here or on social media ...…

Read more: NEW Book "The Journey To Inner Peace Starts Here"

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bird in window showing mindful, peaceful living

A few years ago, while travelling through South Carolina, I was touring an old barn when I noticed, above me in the ceiling, a large bird was frantically trying to escape the barn. The bird continued to fly into the closed window in its frantic desire to escape the barn. Attempt after attempt, nothing changed for the bird. It flew towards the closed window, smashed into the window, and once again flew into the closed window. Presumably unbeknownst to this anxious bird, the barn doors, one on each end of the barn, were wide open! Had the frantic bird simply stopped a moment to observe its surroundings, it would have noticed a very easy escape into the freedom of the outside sky. Yet, the bird was so focused on the task in front of it that it failed to see any alternate options.

I mention this story as I recalled it a couple days ago while at my house. I happened upon a butterfly, who, in similar manner to the bird I described above, was frantically flying against a screen on my porch in an attempt to escape the enclosure. Also, similarly to the story above, immediately behind the butterfly…

Read more: The Five Mindfulness Trainings For A Peace Filled Life

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