Believe It When you Feel “It”

Good Morning from an east coast with an apparent winter storm fast approaching! Given the weather reports, it sounds like my fellow east coast neighbors (and possibly elsewhere within the U.S.) will be snowed in this impending weekend. Not the biggest fan of snow or inclement weather in general, I’m hoping it will end up being more on the milder side, versus the opposite. That being said, it’s been a rather tumultuous week, to say the least.

When it comes to my car, one that I purchased from a three-year-lease last year, I’m always checking to ensure it is working properly. Bringing it in regularly for service appointments, checks and constant self-monitoring is always key and something I do on a consistent basis. For the past couple weeks, when starting my car, I began to notice something didn’t seem or “feel” right. It wasn’t a feeling I could easily describe and had difficulty placing it into words and explaining it to my family. Given I don’t drive a significant amount, when I was outside of my car, I pushed aside my worries and concerns over it and let it slide, believing it was probably just my irrational fears getting the best of me.

All the same, when it came time for me to drive my car, the fears and worries would re-generate and I would ruminate about potential problems with my car, anticipating the worst. Still, it failed to convince me to bring to the mechanic or auto center and I tried my best to privately silence the thoughts in my mind. Then yesterday, it all changed without much warning and the choice was no longer mine.

Monday morning the call I was hoping for came in: an invitation for a second interview for a career opportunity. I was surprised, excited and nervous. The interview was to happen yesterday, at 10:15am. Since the opportunity is only about 10 minutes from home, it was something I could easily manage, despite the short notice. I readied myself for the interview, making it out to my car to briefly warm up it (or so I intended to) around 9:45am and pushed the start button in my car (note: my car is a push start). The engine churned and churned and then… nothing. Nothing at all. I sat in my frigid car, with the temperature registering barely in the teens, wondering what I had done to deserve this outcome. Of all the times, I was home, with nothing to do, or no plans for the day, my car was always fine and yet, when something of a rare occurrence, a job opportunity of this magnitude surfaces, my car decides to fail. It was easy for me to begin the blame game (thinking I should have followed through on my concerns, I shouldn’t have let it go, I should have told someone), but I couldn’t have really known when I really think about it. Sometimes, these things happen without warning and they are beyond our control. As a 2012 vehicle, the end of this month signals it’s fourth year. I try to rationalize and reason with myself, that the battery was reaching it’s retirement, as they often last about 4-5 years, I’m told.

The best I could do, was focus on what needed to be done (i.e. getting to the interview on time, or within a reasonable timeframe and then working on dealing with my car issues afterwards), though it was challenging and all near impossible to silence the concerns and upset circulating within my mind. I had little time to fret about my car; I needed to quickly mobilize and plan for the impending ten minutes I had left to spare before the interview was set to commence.

Life sometimes gives us blessings in little ways, for whatever reason. With every unfortunate event, there is always a silver lining, hidden somewhere, no matter how small or minuscule it can seem. Yesterday, I was afforded a blessing: my sister, my best friend, my confidante, coming to my rescue. With a call and quick explanation, within minutes, she arrived. Words can never truly begin to express the feelings surfacing within my heart and mind as I spotted her SUV making it’s way down my street into the parking lot, quickly stopping in back of my car; she was here and somehow, through the ways life has ways of somehow working, we made it to my interview at 10:15 on the dot, without a moment to spare and when I found myself inside of the building, seated in a chair listening to the interviewer, I could all but pinch myself, wondering how it was all possible and how it is evidence that truly every second can bring change, either positive or negative. Life constantly catches me off-guard and though it may often feel or seem monotonous, it has its moments that truly make me question everything I’ve ever believed.

My family and I (specifically my sister and I) have an often unspoken relationship and what I mean by that is we can easily understand each other with or without spoken words. All it takes is a facial expression, a gesture, or really anything, to trigger a question, an action or a decision. Instead of wallowing in the “why me” attitude and feeling sorry for myself, I chose to operate under the belief of gratefulness. How grateful I was for my sister, coming to my aide. Sometimes things happen to us that are unfortunate, but we are NOT what happens to us; we can make the choice to see the bright side, no matter how dim it may seem at the time. Yesterday, I worked through not only the sadness and regret in not investigating my initial concerns about my car, the fact that it happened to me right before an interview and trying to not reason that it was an “omen” of some sort, and also the guilt of tearing my sister away from her day, wreaking havoc on her morning and overall day.

Help Quote

Instead, I chose to focus on my intention, as I so often to. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve spoken fairly frequently on here, in previous posts, about my concept of intention and strong belief in it. When I start to doubt myself, my decisions and actions, I choose to focus on my intention. I ask myself, when the self-defeating thoughts start to mount: what is my intention? Was my intention to do no harm? Was my intention to help others, including myself? In this instance, was my intention to solely travel to my interview as quickly and calmly as possible on my own? YES. The fact of the matter was and is, my intention was to travel to the interview independently, as I did the first time. Sometimes though, life throws obstacles our way that causes us to have to ask for help. In this instance, help was the equivalent of one of the most important people in my life arriving in her trusty SUV, with minutes to spare and today, I’m looking back on yesterday, thankful to have gotten through it and grateful for the incredible family in my life who make each day all the more worthwhile.

Though words can never truly express it, I hope my family knows how truly grateful and fortunate I am for them, each and every day.

Intuition Quote

 

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Motivation for Monday

Good morning and welcome to a new week. I hope your Monday is off to a pleasant start, thus far. This past weekend was a challenging one, personally, so I thought I would share some of the inspirational quotes and mantras currently providing me with some motivation and guidance this week. Perhaps you’ll find them as helpful and encouraging as I do:

  • “If you only have two dollars, spend one on bread and one on a daisy. Your spirit needs to be fed just as much as your body.”
  • “If you can’t change your circumstances, change your attitude.”
  • “Someone you haven’t even met yet is wondering what it would be like to know someone like you.”
  • Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
  • “Your greatest test is when you are able to bless someone else while you are going through your own storm.”
  • “Always help someone, you may be the only one who does.”
  • When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment. I told them they didn’t understand life.”
  • “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”
  • Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if the glass is half-empty, or half-full. Be thankful that you have a glass and grateful that there is something in it.”

If you’re a big fan of quotes, inspirational ones and encouraging ones at that, be sure to check out TODAY Show co-host Hoda Kotb‘s Twitter; she posts inspirational quotes each morning and many of the aforementioned ones I’ve posted are from her Twitter, as well as the company, Honest Tea‘s Twitter. Both Hoda’s and Honest Tea’s Twitter pages often provide me with perspective and knowledge, reassuring me when days can get difficult. I hope some of these words might help you, today, as well.

Have a good Monday, friends.

Sunshine

Friendly Signs: Don’t Wait for it, Show it

Good Monday morning, to you, wherever you might be today! I hope your weekend was a pleasant one, though my heart reaches out to those who are affected by the severe weather our country encountered yesterday. Sometimes, weather like this catches us all off guard and definitely makes me appreciative for all I have, the roof over my head, and my familiar community. Today, I’m keeping those affected communities close to my heart, wishing for a speedy recovery.

That said, thoughts and mantras, in general seemed to be a recurrent theme this weekend, again, as it was the preceding weekend, not that I mind, of course. On Saturday afternoon, I was in quite a sour mood, feeling sorry for myself, lamenting in all I wish I had and how I yearned for a different lifestyle. Instead of being grateful for my surroundings and family, I spent much of the morning and early afternoon groaning and complaining, failing to savor the uncharacteristically warm weather and laid-back atmosphere. Running errands, my mom and I quickly scurried into Lowe’s to utilize my gift card for some items we needed. The store was busy and difficult to navigate, but soon we arrived at the checkout line and were greeted by a friendly, welcoming cashier. She was gentle in her demeanor, smiled a genuine, pleasant smile, and thanked us numerous times for visiting and our patronage, urging us to return again soon. At her positive nature, I was surprisingly taken aback and overwhelmed with joy. My mom and I both left the store smiling and in shock at her kindness. As a frequent viewer of the CBS Television Series, “Undercover Boss“, I find myself even more attuned to the behaviors and customer service provided by store associates and to be honest, this Lowe’s employee exemplified true customer service and kindness. She truly made me feel as though she valued our business and presence.

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After our encounter at Lowe’s, my mood began to soften and continued to improve as we headed home down the familiar roadways. Stopped at a traffic light, my mom and I suddenly took note of a line on the billboard outside of a church which read, “Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them.” Wow, I thought to myself, how fitting was that quote. So often, I find myself waiting for others to appropriate me, or be kind to me, whereas this quote reminds me, we don’t have to wait, we can show others how accommodating  and friendly we can be. Just because someone else may be stand-offish or in a bad mood, does not mean we have to reciprocate. In fact, we have the ability to perhaps improve their day or mood, simply by a pleasant hello, kind word, or inquiry after them. It reminds me of another quote I am quite fond of, in the words of American author Leo Buscaglia, ““Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Since first reading this quote, I’ve always believed it to be true, as it has been proven to me numerous times.

Sometimes, I find I get so trapped and lost within my own mind, but the kindness of others and realizing how we can truly CHOOSE to be happy each day, changes it around and thought it may take awhile some days to realize this, it never ceases to improve my mood and present frame of mind.

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QUESTION: Have you ever encountered something similar?