Adversity

Adversity

“Always seek out the seed of triumph in every adversity.” ~ Og Mandino

Adversity is part of life, but you don’t have to let it define your life. We all have our stories of adversity. Mine started with the seeming misfortune of being born to a 16 year old wild child who married a volatile man who abused me. I never knew my “real” father.  My grandfather was a predator too.  What’s a child to do? Tell someone? I told several people who did nothing. When I finally worked up the courage to tell the authorities, I was the one that got locked up and had to take a lie detector test to prove what I said was true!   

At age 15, and after two suicide attempts, my aunt and uncle took me in. For the first time in my life, I felt safe and free. But, I sabotaged myself by running away. Again, I faced adversity as I was preyed upon by grown men. Fortunately, God was watching over me and I returned home safely.

I graduated high school, got married and had a baby when I was 18! Adversity raised its ugly head time and again as I adjusted to my “married with children” life. It was tough at times, but we worked it out. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” right?!

Then adversity struck again when a flood and fire took away everything we spent a lifetime building. Within minutes our home and livelihood was gone along with our precious pets. We had been struggling for months to keep our automotive business afloat and many bills were unpaid, including insurance.

It would have been so easy to throw my hands up in despair, but instead I counted my blessings. I was still alive. My husband was still alive, even though he was in the hospital due to smoke inhalation. His story of overcoming adversity is ten times tougher than mine. When dealing with adversity, I think about the people who have it tougher than me – the kids who don’t get rescued, those that don’t make it out of the fire… 

Adversity is best kept in perspective. It happens. You just have to roll with it and you will come out stronger on the other side.

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Fill Your Life with ADVENTURE

Adventure

The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Fill your life with adventure! Make a bucket list of everything you want to do, be or have in your lifetime. Then pick out the top ten, assign a date to them, and make it happen!

I always wanted to visit Hawaii, but I knew we didn’t have the money. I didn’t let that limiting belief stop me. I affirmed that by my 25th wedding anniversary I would visit Hawaii. A year or so before my 25th anniversary, I started researching the different islands, looking at pictures of people having fun on the islands, getting brochures, reading hotel reviews, comparing airfare and car rental rates, everything I could think of to immerse myself in the experience of what it would be like to visit Hawaii. Where do you think I was on my 25th anniversary?

Nope! I didn’t make that deadline, but I didn’t give up either…

On my 30th anniversary, I was in Maui going to luaus, hiking in the rain forest, watching cliff divers, surfers, and snorkelers commune with sea creatures! I rode in a submarine for the first time in my life. We went to the bottom of the ocean. It was so cool. It was like being inside a giant fish aquarium. Coral reef and colorful fish were everywhere!

I got the bejeebers scared out of me and felt on top of the world at the same time on Hana Road. It is what I always pictured “paradise” to look like, but the road to get there is wild! It seems too narrow for two vehicles and is the curviest road I have ever been on. One side of the road is the mountainside. The other side are cliffs straight down to the ocean! We were in a yellow Mustang convertible with the top down, which was exhilarating. I closed my eyes and gripped the prayer bar every time we passed a vehicle, but the view was worth the trip! Roadside waterfalls, tropical gardens, breathtaking views, beauty beyond belief. So colorful and serene. It is what I picture heaven looks like.

The sunsets on the beach were like artist paintings. A mesmerizing golden sky tinged with pink and purple clouds that slow danced above the gentle ocean waves. Fisherman on shore with giant cane poles waiting for the tide to bring in the evening catch. It made for a Kodak moment that I wanted to stay in forever. 

And the pineapples. WOW! The Maui Gold pineapples are the sweetest, juiciest pineapples I have ever tasted in my life. My mouth is watering right now thinking about them!

Visiting Maui after years of dreaming and planning felt surreal. So many new experiences rolled into a few days. It was an adventure I will remember the rest of my life.

That’s just ONE adventure! I have been on many exciting adventures like being at Times Square on New Year’s Eve in 1999 after saying that is where I would be when I first heard Prince sing 1999 in the 80’s!

There was also the time I went to the first eBay Live Conference in Anaheim, California. On the way there, we stopped at the Grand Canyon, hung out in Vegas, got on stage at Universal Studios, and ran out of gas in the Mojave dessert. I’ve never lived that last one down, but it was a memorable once-in-a-lifetime adventure!

Adventures are the spice of life. I highly recommend you go on as many adventures as you can. And remember when you do what you love, every day is an adventure!

Addiction

“Every addiction arises from an unconscious refusal to face and move through your own pain. Every addiction starts with pain and ends with pain. Whatever the substance you are addicted to – alcohol, food, legal or illegal drugs, or a person – you are using something or somebody to cover up your pain.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

While incorporating the other “A” words will help you live a richer life, avoiding this “A” word like the plague will help you live a richer life!

Addiction is born from pain and as the wise Eckhart Tolle reminds us addiction covers up our pain. In order to avoid or overcome addiction, we have to learn how to let go of the pain, forgive those who have hurt us, and move on so we do not get pulled down into the abyss that is often disguised as pleasure.

Addiction leads to a limited life. I have struggled with a food addiction most of my life. It’s not just any food like fruits and veggies, it’s SOS (Sugar, Oil, Salt) aka processed food which is part of the SAD (Standard American Diet). Pizza, hamburgers, french fries, fried chicken, deep fried fish, potato chips, cookies, cake, candy, soft drinks, ice cream, sweet tea… those were the foods I was addicted to that led to morbid obesity and inflammation which put me on the sidelines of life more times throughout the years than I can count.

Obesity made me uncomfortable in my skin to the point that I avoided going out in public, especially to the pool, which is something I love to do. It eventually affected my health causing life-threatening abscessed diverticulitis which resulted in having 18 inches of my colon removed, spending six months in recovery, and racking up over $100,000 in medical bills.

Addiction, especially to drugs and alcohol, has very negative outcomes which includes incarceration, disease, and death.

The best way to avoid and overcome addiction is through faith, affirmations, distraction, and support: I cannot stress enough how important my higher power, that I call God and sometimes the Universe, has been for me in so many areas including addiction. I will go deeper into this subject in the “Faith” and “Spirituality” section, but I am sure you know that faith has helped millions of people overcome addiction.

For distraction, find a positive and purposeful outlet for stress such as work you enjoy, volunteering, writing, exercise, drawing, painting, music or whatever you favorite hobby is that is not associated with any addictive habits.

Writing proved to be very cathartic for me to release the strangle hold of my past which in turn helped me create the Break the Cycle book series that helped other people write to release their pain. It doesn’t happen overnight, but a definite healing takes place that opens you up to getting the help and support you need.

If you are struggling with addiction or want to understand it better, read “Finding Ultra” by Rich Roll and listen to his podcasts which you can find on his website richroll.com. Rich is a recovering alcoholic several years sober. He transformed his life through a plant-based lifestyle and the things mentioned above such as meaningful work, support, and exercise. In fact, he takes exercise to the next level as an endurance athlete. His show often features former addicts with powerful testimonies that are inspiring and prove that if they can do it, we can too!

The more I read books from survivors and connect with wellness warriors, the stronger I become. There are some powerful Ted Talks that makes a lot of sense about connection being the solution to addiction. Find as many of these positive messages, connections, and opportunities as you can to nourish your mind daily.  Believe that you are stronger than any obstacle that life presents you because you are!

Transcending Addiction – Jackie Hilos
 

Everything you think you know about addition is wrong – Johann Hari
 

The Power of Addiction and the Addiction of Power, Gabor Mate

Action

action
“A little less conversation, a little more action.” ~ Elvis Presley

Like the King of Rock and Roll said in his hit song in the 60’s: … a little more action! Talking instead of doing and overthinking about how much there is to do instead of taking little action steps is where we often get tripped up. We see the overwhelming tasks ahead and think it is impossible to accomplish our goals, when in reality all we need to do is break it down into little tasks and take action.

For example, I need to lose one hundred pounds, which my lizard brain translates to starvation and a full-time job of exercising. Not going to happen captain! Well, what if I just look at losing one pound a week? Okay, lizard brain thinks that’s doable. Same thing applies to money. Can’t afford to put $100 a month in savings? What about one dollar a day? Doable right? Come on, you spend more than that on coffee or soda pop. I’m talking to myself here too. Tiny tasks!

I believe one of the keys to a rich life is to take fast and consistent action. Action is what separates the dreamers from the doers. Action speaks louder than words, which means what you do trumps what you say you are going to do. This not only applies to others, but to yourself. When you take action, you are keeping your word to yourself which is a great confidence builder and helps you have courage to tackle the tougher things you choose to do.

I took action within minutes of getting the idea to write the book that inspired this blog. I didn’t want to give doubt or distraction time to set in! Success follows swift action around like a bird looking for a place to land.

What do you need to take action on today?

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It’s time for a little less conversation and a little more ACTION… 

Acting: Take 2

 

Act as if

“Act as if you were already the person you most want to be.” ~ Brian Tracy 

My last post was about the practical side of acting which can provide immense benefits in your life. This one will put your acting skills to good use! It is about the metaphysical side of acting which plays a major role in helping you live a rich life…

ACT AS IF

When you act as if, you suspend disbelief and move forward in faith. This “Rich Life” blog and upcoming book is me acting as if! I have complete faith that by acting as if I am living a rich life, the Universe will conspire on my behalf and it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Acting as if can work for you or against you. It is your choice! It can be empowering or limiting. If you act as if you are poor and have a scarcity mindset, so it shall be.

What does someone with a poor mindset do? Typically they are self-centered, have a “poor me” victim mentality, pessimistic, negative self-talk, blame others, make excuses, gossip, feed on fear and drama, and complain about problems rather than seek solutions.

What does someone with a rich mindset do? They are optimistic action takers with a “can do” attitude, love to learn, generous, grateful, help others, and look for the lesson or opportunity in every adversity.

Note that someone who is “rich” by the traditional definition of having a lot of money can have a “poor” mindset which more often than not leads to sadness and despair, despite the illusion of living a rich life. Conversely, someone who may appear poor financially, can be rich in health and happiness which is the greatest wealth of all. 

What would make you feel rich? Is it driving a fancy car? You can act as if by going to the dealership and test drive your dream car! Is it living in a mansion? Call up the realtor and go check out some homes for sale in your ideal neighborhood.

Does a rich life mean travel to you? Get brochures from the visitor center where you want to go. Watch videos about that location. Join an area Facebook group and talk to the locals. Picture yourself there in your mind’s eye.

Does being rich mean having a lot of money in the bank? If so, start saving NOW. Put 20% of every dollar you make in a bank account that isn’t easy to access. Learn about compound interest. Invest in real estate, a business, or whatever your interests and research determines is a wise investment. Attend financial networking events. Read finance magazines. Join or create a mastermind group. That’s what financially rich people do!

Does the rich life include giving back and helping others? I hope so, because this will bring much happiness to you! Take 10% of that money you are saving and donate it to your favorite charity. Donate your time to a local homeless shelter, food bank, hospice, animal rescue… whatever is important to you.

When you act as if, you are the star of the show and can direct the movie of your life anywhere you want to go!

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“Suspend your disbelief and move out in faith toward your possibilities.”Dr. Ken Christian
 

Acting

Acting

“Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.” ~ Alan Rickman

If you get the chance, take an acting class! What does acting have to do with living a rich life? A lot…

When I was in my 20’s I took acting lessons at our local civic theater. I was very fortunate to be taught by Jim Schildmeyer who had been involved with the theater most of his life and had experience as a writer, actor, director and producer! He taught me stage presence, how to project my voice, how to overcome my fear of performing in front of an audience (“Make your butterflies fly in formation,” he said), how to memorize lines, how to read (it’s always slower than you think it should be, nerves makes you talk fast), how to emote, how to work with a team, how to improvise, how to lead… ALL of these lessons have served me well, personally and professionally, throughout the years.

I was also blessed to be in the class with a veteran actress Jean Rosen who was in her 70’s and was very sick though most of us couldn’t even tell. She never missed rehearsals. On the night of the class play (Steel Magnolias – I played the feisty character, Weezer who was originally played by Shirley MacLaine), I remember going backstage between acts and seeing her lying flat on her back across the couch, arms pinned to her side, eyes closed “To keep the room from spinning,” she said. When her time to go on stage came, right on cue, she stood up, gave me a motherly smile and said, “The show must go on.” She sashayed on stage like the diva she was. It was a sight to see. I have never forgotten her or the valuable lesson I learned that night… When people are counting on you, you show up and give 100%, no matter what.

After the show, Jean needed a ride home, which I was honored to provide. She went home to an empty house. It was the theater where she felt loved, where she belonged. You can’t pay for those lessons!

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Achilles Heel

Achilles Heel

“Never be afraid to expose a weakness in yourself. Exposing a weakness is the beginning of strength.” ~ Robert Anthony

What is your Achilles’ heel (weakness)? The sooner you figure out your Achilles’ heel and address it, the sooner you will be on your way to living a rich life! 

My Achilles’ heel has been discipline and distraction. I have a whole story around discipline that I will share with you when I get to that word, but just know that lack of discipline can destroy your dreams, health and wealth!

Distraction is everywhere these days. For someone like me who loves to learn and is curious about everything, technology has been both a blessing and a curse. I absolutely LOVE that information on any topic can be accessed within a nanosecond of a Google search and that I receive hundreds of emails on subjects that interest me, but clicking on those links can lead down a rabbit hole that makes hours seem to pass like minutes. And with instant access to information and people now in the palm of our hands, distraction is at an all time high. 

I have wasted years getting distracted and chasing shiny objects. I get excited about projects and then abandon them for the next distraction that I believe deserves my attention. While the excitement of a new idea, project or venture creates an almost addictive high, it quickly fades into the background like a ghost town, leaving another failure and nick to my self-confidence in its wake.

An unchecked Achilles’ heel keeps you settling for less than you are capable of doing. It makes mediocrity seem okay. The bad news is your Achilles’ heel can prevent you from living a rich life. The good news is that once you identify your Achilles’ heel, you have the opportunity to turn it into a strength which can lead to a rich life like Phil Hansen has done with his art!

“What I thought would be the ultimate limitation turned out to be the ultimate liberation.” ~ Phil Hansen 

 

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