phapulous

Living life being phapulously me!!

Are you toxic? January 24, 2013

Filed under: Food For Thought — p.h.a.p.ulous @ 6:40 pm
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For the past few weeks or so I have been doing a study on toxic thoughts.  This  study is teaching me how we have to power to control what we chose to focus on.  Often it’s easy to find your thoughts centered around the unknown.  Our thoughts matter so much, and I am not sure we even realize the magnitude of what they can unfold in our lives.  When people say “it’s the thought that counts”  it is really a true statement because what you think oftentimes determines your outcome. 

 This is something I struggled and sometimes presently struggle with.  I have really taken to heart this study and am putting the suggested practices in place.  Or so I thought, until a very familiar situation presented itself to me and I found myself at a crossroad. My first thought was to be fearful and give into the toxic or negative thoughts. It made me realize how easy it is to jump back into old habits no matter how hard we try to move forward.  I was paralyzed for a moment getting ready to think the worst.  I had to pause, take a breath, and say a prayer to remind myself that even though it is so easy to contaminate my mind with toxic thoughts I will CHOOSE to think positively and believe the best result will occur. 

I had to ask myself what was I really afraid of?  I took a few minutes to take inventory of all the crazy madness that was going through my mind.  I wrote them down, and for each negative I wrote a scriptually based solution.  This made me feel  better about what I am facing.  It reminded me that no matter the situation, I will find contentment in the outcome.  I am still in the process of facing the unknown but felt compelled to share this. I will eventually share the full story about the situation because I know it can help someone. Just not ready yet.

Until the next time believing in the power of positive thoughts.   Focusing on these words “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he”

 

 

 

Good Steward October 21, 2012

I have done a lot of thinking about life and how in life we always seek and want more.  We search and work ourselves to near exhausting in pursuit of the next best thing we have to get.  Whether it’s your dream job, car, or house, it seems our mindset is always on more.  Don’t get me wrong there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting more.  However in that pursuit of more, do we take the time to appreciate what we have in our current state.  This got me to thinking of what it means to be a good steward.  All my life I was taught to take care and cherish what you have no matter how big or small because it was all a gift from God.  This included anything from the food we ate to the bus driver that used to take us to school.
Fast forward 20 years and sad to say that teaching is still with me but not exercised as much as it should.  There are many things I want for myself in life.  Yes I want more and I will admit that wanting more sometimes causes me to neglect to cherish the here and now.

During my hiatus I had time to really evaluate and found that I was not a very good steward of the things I am blessed with.  I found myself always focusing and praying for more but never really taking the time like I should to thank God for the here and now with the exception of my family and health.  I never took the time to be appreciative of the fact that during this tough time I have a job that I am able to go to everyday.  In fact whether it’s my dream job or not  I should still  smile when I go there because that is a blessing.  I have a car that is reliable and gets me anywhere I need to go.  But rather than being thankful that I do not have a car payment, I am lured by all the new gizmos and gadgets on the newer models.  So I neglect to keep my exterior washed and may go 100 or 200 miles over my normal oil change/maintenance.  Again not a good steward.
I had to sit and have a long conversation with God to get to the bottom of this and the answer was very simple and crystal clear.  In order to be blessed I have to be a good steward over the gifts I have now and also bless others with  my gifts.  Each and everything we have comes from a blessing and it is our duty to share and pass the blessings forward.  This will give God glory.  I had to take the focus off of me and what I thought I needed, and in turn manage what I have to the best of my ability to help others and in turn glorify God.

 

Forgive and Forget?? May 16, 2012

We often hear the phrase “forgive and forget”.   This got me wondering how many of us truly do this?  How many truly forget a painful and awful act caused by a loved one?  A lot of times we are able to forgive someone of their actions because after all we are only human right.  I just wonder how many of us truly forget the painful act.  Can we forgive someone without forgetting? Or is that not really forgiving if we keep the memory of the hurt etched in our minds?  This got me to thinking of myself.  For a long time I thought I had forgiven this one individual for hurting me emotionally and not acknowledging their actions.  I confronted this person about how I was feeling, and they gave a haphazard apology.  I let them know that I felt the apology was not sincere, but I would accept it.  I thought that was it.  I should have been immediately cured of my emotional pain right?  Boy was I DEAD wrong!!  Even though I forgave the individual, every time I heard their name my skin would crawl.  My mind would immediately take me back to the pain this person caused me.

Then one day I had an epiphany and asked myself what good does it do me to hang on to a memory that causes me to become upset?  After all I am sure the person who offended me had moved on.  I claimed I had by forgiving, but why was I still kept in bondage by holding on to  the memory?  This was tough for me to grasp.  I mean let’s face it, I allowed another individual  power over me.  It is funny now that I think about it because I was walking around holding on to memories and I was far from a memory in their mind.  How did I let myself get so caught up in the offense that it allowed me to remain stagnant?  After all I HAD forgiven them right?  Wrong!!  To me a part of forgiving is also allowing yourself to let the memory of the offense fade into the distance.  It is working for me so far, however notice I said fade.  Which means the actions are still in the back of my mind reminding me of how far I can go with and what to expect from that individual.  It is truly a process, but each day is better than the day before.

I am curious to know your thoughts on whether it is realistic to forgive and forget???

 

Finding You and Bringing Back The Happy May 14, 2012

Filed under: Self Centered — p.h.a.p.ulous @ 5:09 pm
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In life we are faced with many ideals and messages about the person we should be, how we should live, eat and dress.  We go through life abiding by a checklist just because someone said so.  We never question why we should not wear white after labor day, or why we should not eat our dessert first.  We simply mull about living and secretly becoming a robot.  All the while we are thinking we are living and being the best we can be.  Why is it that we settle and never think outside the box????

I was challenged by a dear friend to do just that.  We were having brunch and he jokingly asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I casually laughed off the question and continued to enjoy my omelette.  He followed up with “seriously, what do you want to be when you grow up?”  My response was I don’t know?  He said exactly, we don’t know, and often are not given a chance to figure it out.  I thought Uh Oh, he’s about to get deep on me and I would soon find out I was correct.  His narrative when a little something like this.

He:  “How did you know you wanted to be in the field you are in now?’

Me:  “I really didn’t I just kind of fell into it.  In college I wanted a job that made a lot of money.”

He:  ” So you were driven by money instead of choosing what makes you happy?”

Me: “Well I was looking for something I could do that would make me money, thinking that if I had money I could do the things that make me happy.”

He:  “How’s that working out for you?”

Me: (laughs nervously and thinking is he a mind reader) But I reply “It’s okay”

He:  “Has that money made you happy yet?”

Me: “Depends on the definition of happy”

He:  “What makes you happy?”

Me: ” I have absolutely no idea at this point and that is truly sad.”

He: “You know what makes me happy?  Doing what I truly love and that is helping people, being carefree, trying new things, and just being spontaneous.  I believe I can do anything so I am not afraid to try things.  I have started businesses looking to make a quick buck and it did not go as expected, but the current one is doing very well.  You know why, because it’s not work to me and it makes me happy,and I am not in it for the money.  I love the work I do.  I am very happy and I get true fulfilment helping people.  My million dollars comes when someone tells me how something I said has changed their lives.”

Me: “That’s good for you.  I am glad you found your thing.  Not all of us are lucky enough to do something we love as a career.”

He: “Oh but you can.  There is nothing stopping you but you from doing whatever you want to do.  The key is figuring out what you like to do and turning that into a career if you choose.”

Me: “That’s easy to say, you have already figured it out.  How can I figure it out when I have all these bills and other responsibilities.  It’s not as EASY as you make it.”

He:  “Why not?  You are the only one stopping you.  You are using fear to make excuses for you to stay inside a box.  Why are you afraid to step out and do something that makes you happy? Isn’t you life supposed to be lived on your terms doing the things that you like and making a difference?  What is keeping you away from your destiny?  Why are you holding back on your dreams and life passions to fill a dream that has been sold to keep you bound and brainwashed into thinking you have to fit one certain mold?”

His statement left a lot on my mind and a lot of food on my plate as I suddenly lost my appetite.  I was thinking if someone asked me what I wanted to do if I could do anything, I honestly have no clue what I would say.  What does that say about me?  Am I lost? Wasting my life away?  Am I truly living?  All these questions ran through my mind.  How I am going to make a difference, what would I teach  my future children?  Am I truly happy and proud of the work I do?

I do agree with my friend I am the only one holding me back.  There are so many wonderful things I used to do that made me happy that I do not do anymore.  I asked my self why and I have absolutely no answer for.  The only thing I could think of is that somewhere in life I lost my happy.  I let life and career push the little moments of joy aside. I made a committment to myself to come up with a list of things I used to do that I would like to do again.  Once I have the list I will start doing them and let that provide me inspiration and get me back on my happy path. I do not have all the answers, but I certainly on a mission to figure it out.

 

Buyers Remorse? April 30, 2012

Filed under: Food For Thought — p.h.a.p.ulous @ 9:43 am
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You know the feeling you get after you made a splurge of a purchase.  You feel knots in your stomach and anxiety all over for doing something you know you should not have.  But you just had to have it.  You know what I’m talking about, that new Chanel bag or that new tech gadget.  Of course it was not a necessity, but something inside you just had to have it.  The rational side of you told yourself to run, not walk away as fast as you can.  However the impulsive side of you keeps you circling that prized possession you have to conquer.  You have an internal debate and impulse wins over and you make the purchase for this thing you absolutely do not need.  On the drive home it sinks in-buyers remorse.  You feel bad about being so impulsive and irresponsible.  You chastise yourself and promise to return the thing first thing tomorrow.

This got me to thinking if buyer’s remorse applied to more than purchases of the local fads.  Do we make impulsive decisions that impact us forever.  Do we impulsively jump into a relationship just to be in one, even though that little voice inside is saying slow down?  Only to find out a few weeks or months later that this person was not really what you expected.  The same can be applied to our professional lives.  Do you rush to take a job for the money even though deep inside you know it will not be fulfilling?  You then feel trapped or stuck because the big bucks you make have caused you to be more impulsive in purchasing things.  So you have to remain trapped to nurture your impulsive habits.

I have reflected over some of the decisions that I have made in my life.  I can honestly say the majority of the “good” outcomes came from well thought out decisions.  Most of my impulsive choices resulted in disastrous results.  Those disastrous results came with very valuable lessons that I have kept and applied to my life.  However as I get older and hopefully wiser, I am learning to keep a tight reign on the impulsive tug inside me.  But sometimes I wonder if the reign is so tight that I am becoming dull and boring.  Can you still be fun and rational?

 

Positive vs Negative April 11, 2012

Filed under: Inspire Me — p.h.a.p.ulous @ 6:21 pm
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Did you know  Linguists say that in the English language approximately  1/3 are considered “positive” and the rest, “negative.”  WOW!  That is a true testament to how powerful words are to our thinking.  No wonder most people are always in a sour mood.  Words are very powerful! With only 1/3 positive, I can see how we can easily be influenced by negative thinking, after all that is according to the article I read the bulk of the English language.  Since there are indeed fewer positive words, they are, even more powerful.     My goal is to  learn a new positive word everyday!!  By learning positive words, my hope is to also train my mind to look for the positive in every situation. I encourage you to join me.