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Posts Tagged ‘inspirational stories’

I went swimming in the nearby pool last Friday. As I was taking a break after swimming a few laps, some swimmers from the other side of the pool were gazing at me, I just thought. Wrong. Their eyes were not upon me; they were gazing at this tall, blue-eyed, white as a sheet, preggy woman. As I turned my head towards her, we smiled at each other. I tried not to stare at her because I’ve been taught that it’s impolite. But curiosity forced me to steal a second look at what should not be but is, what you are not.

When she plunged into the water, I was amazed by her speed and graceful aquatic moves as she tracked the pool lane. Boy! How I admired her knack with water. She swam the pool exceptionally well. I could tell by her silicone flag swim cap and by her swimming skills that she was a big shot swimmer. While she was cooling down by the poolside, with all guts, I candidly complimented “You’re such a good swimmer.” She just smiled at me and said that she lost her right arm in an accident. I was right; she was a competent swimmer and still is! She told me a bit of her story of her own accord. She wowed me by the things she shared. She, despite having just one arm, didn’t let the injury stop her from swimming. It’s one of her passions and she never gets tired of it. What’s more, she still does pretty much whatever else she decides she wants to do.

I am always inspired by stories like hers and use them to stay motivated with my own fitness goals. Whenever my body aches from gym-ing, I am grateful that I have the complete pack of it- from head to toe. When my legs hurt due to vein/muscle cramps, I just think that I can still walk and jog because I have both of them. Whenever I see my hands with lots of cat’s bites and scratches that left scars on my skin, I just think about how lucky I am to be able to grumble about having two arms and two hands.

There are a lot of things we can learn from people who got disabled from a terrible accident or misfortune. I’ve learned with disability in a situation there is ability. Meeting the one-armed swimmer in the pool is a short-time encounter but I will always cherish it. She’s one of the disabled people I’ve known who have a will and determination that put a lot of us to shame. Instead of dwelling on their conditions and feeling sorry for themselves, they’re out achieving their goals proving that just because they’re disabled, it doesn’t mean they can’t play a part and make a difference. Essentially, they are no different than anyone else. So next time we don’t wanna do something because we are crippled perceptually and emotionally by our painful or awful experiences, think about the handicapped and the disabled whose strengths are great enough to withstand the hard- hitting winds because they have the power to bend but not break.

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When I skimmed the word ‘changeology’ through the dictionary, I didn’t find a match on the word. Then I asked, ‘why not rope this word in my own vocabulary since I always love the idea of change?’

When people hailed me as a ‘chameleon’, I took it positively. However, I prefer being called a ‘changeologist’ which for me is a more substantial term. We know for a fact that a chameleon is a lizard that has the ability to change color, and why does it change its color? To camouflage itself from the harmful enemies and significantly, to adapt itself to its environment. Metaphorically, when a person is described as chameleon, the reference to the animal is generally a commentary on the person’s ability to blend into various social situations and the ability to fit or adjust himself to the ever-changing world.

For anyone who is tired of the status quo and interested in living a different life, the solution is change! It may be that you’re tired of the place you work, hairstyle, crazy lifestyle, bad habits/ attitudes, or rutty routines. It may be that you’re interested in living in a different part of the country. Or it may be that you’re entertaining thoughts of losing weight and living a healthier life. The list is endless, but if you’re serious about making these thoughts become your reality, then change must be a part of your future. As that old saying so aptly states, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done… you’ll keep getting what you’ve always got!”

Change is the one true constant in life. It has no boundaries, it challenges us all and it frightens many of us. But without change life is static – we cannot grow and we cannot learn. There is no progress and we will not evolve. But change is often challenging, so embracing change takes courage.

The force of change shakes up our comfort zone and puts pressure on us to re-examine long held beliefs that force us to let go of the things in life that no longer work for us. Death, divorce, job loss, financial difficulties… are formidable changes to wrap our heads and hearts around, yet the more we resist, the more difficult the changes become. The future belongs to those who not only accept change, but embrace it. Though being on the front end of change isn’t for the faint of heart.

Resisting change will only make you miserable over the inevitable. I have worked hard with the phenomenon of ‘change myself’, finally realizing that there isn’t a thing I can do to stop it. I now look at change as transformative and as constant as the seasons. My perspective has evolved from pure fear to a sense of adventure.

One of the most productive ways to embrace change is to approach it positively, believing that the outcome will be for the highest good, whether we want to change or not. Open your mind to contemplate what benefits could come of the new reality. The more optimistic we are, the more the universe allows us to experience new opportunities in life. Change keeps us evolving toward our highest goals and enlightens us as to why we are here on this earth.

If you are able to see or intuit changes coming your way you can grasp and work with them more effectively. More often than not the winds of change are breathed to us through gut feelings, déjà vu and synchronistic events. When you listen, you are rewarded with possibilities. When we ignore these signs we run the risk of suffering circumstances that are dumped into our lap.

Some find embracing change tougher than others. When unexpected change seems too merciless to even contemplate, look for support. Find a role model or a personal change hero, who is going though or has done what you need to do. Make a collage of this person and yourself surrounded by images that represent the changes and positive words or phrases. Look at your collage daily, reflect on the good things that have happened in the past, to regain trust that your future will include more positive experiences.

Meditate on potential positive outcomes instead of worrying about worst case scenarios, when change forces its way into your life. Instead of wallowing in the negative, why not try wallowing in the information for a while, to insure that decisions made in the face of change lead to a preferred future reality.

In conclusion, when fate steps in and rocks your life, get excited about the possibilities, use your sense of adventure, and look for the joy of growth, because in the end, “Change always takes us where we need to be!”

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Let me ask you a question, are you perhaps wondering, “what in the world is God doing in my life right now?” Have you ever wondered that? You are not alone. We all feel like that from time to time.

Hope you’ll also learn from this story. I really dunno who the author is of this work but I first heard this story shared by a famous minister at one of her conferences. This is supposed to be a review but it’s worth blogging anyway and I wanted to share it with all of you.

There was a couple who loved to visit England and shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially tea cups. One day in a tiny shop they saw an exquisite tea cup. “Oh! May we look at that one?” they asked. “We’ve never seen one quite so beautiful.” As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the tea cup spoke: “I haven’t always been a tea cup, you know. There was a time when I was raw, ugly clay. But my master picked me up, molded me and squeezed me over and over until I cried out, ‘Let me alone!’ But he only smiled,   ‘Not yet.’

“Then he placed me on a wheel,” the tea cup continued,” and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. ‘Stop it! I’m getting dizzy!’ I screamed. But the master said, ‘Not yet.’

“Next he put me in the oven. I never imagined such heat. I wondered why he wanted to incinerate me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the window and I could read his lips as He shook his head, ‘Not yet.’

“Finally the door opened. He took me out of the oven and put me on the shelf to cool. ‘There, that’s better,’ I breathed.

“But my relief didn’t last very long, because the next thing I knew, he was brushing me and painting me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag.

‘Stop it, stop it!’ I begged. He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’

“Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, but this was much worse than the first time. This time the oven was twice as hot and I knew that I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening shaking his head saying, ‘Not yet.’

“Then I realized there was no hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up.”

“At that moment, the door finally opened and he took me out and set me gently back on the shelf. Then, an hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Now look at yourself.’

“Curiously I peered into the mirror–and gasped at my reflection, “That’s not me!” I exclaimed, “It can’t be me! It’s beautiful!”

‘I want you to understand,’ he said, ‘that I know how much it hurts to be molded and shaped, but if I had stopped, you would have dried into an ugly lump of clay. I know that it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumpled. I know that it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have had no strength. I know that the fumes were terrible when I brushed and painted you, but if I hadn’t done that, you would have never reached your potential, nor would you have developed your own beautiful character. And if I hadn’t put you back into the oven the second time, you would have eventually leaked and your color would have faded away. But now you are a strong, beautiful teacup fit for use at the finest table.’

“You are now what I had in mind when I first formed you.”

Perhaps, like this tea cup, you feel like an old, hard, cold lump of clay. Perhaps you feel you are on a wheel that has gone round and round and round, and you have gotten dizzy and sick to your stomach from the circumstances that seem to surround you. Perhaps you feel like you are in that oven, that the door has closed and you cannot stand the heat any longer. Perhaps you have been set aside, put up on the shelf, waiting, and no one knows you are there. Perhaps you feel that you have been put back into the furnace and the heat has been revved up seven times hotter. You are being purified, tested and tried. God may be choosing you for higher ministry in the furnace of affliction.

“Don’t run away from your ugly or difficult circumstances because later on you’re gonna appreciate those circumstances. We don’t change in easy times, we change in hard times.”

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