How to find your gift?

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For as long as I could remember, I have always heard the term “gift” in relation to someone’s special talent or ability and wondered, what was my special gift?  What is that one thing outside of my physical attributes and personality that made me truly unique?  I never knew for sure what that special ‘thing’ was or how to find it and that sometimes left me feeling unfulfilled.

You see, despite holding various positions in different organizations over the years I could never shake the feeling that I was supposed to be doing something more with my life.  If you have ever been there or you are still trying to find yourself then you know how frustrating that can be.   I will share with you how I found my gift; some of the challenges I faced along the way and how I overcame them.

Definition – What is a gift?

When I use the term ‘gift’ here, I am referring to that unique ability or talent embedded within you that no one else can do the way you do It is what makes you – YOU! 🙂  It’s like a finger print – no one else in the world has your unique prints.  Whether that gift is singing, dancing, cooking, teaching, story telling, poetry, interior design, hair dressing or photography just to name a few – no one can execute it the way you do, no matter how hard they try.

Where does your gift come from?

Some say, that we’re born with it.  Others say that it is something you develop over time.  There is also the belief that, a ‘gift’ is a blessing from God.  I believe ALL of the above is true.

I believe that from as early as the womb we are blessed with  unique and special talents and abilities from God.  If we develop  them correctly can make us great and successful in this life.  Likewise, if the ‘gift’ is left undeveloped it could result in us feeling lost and unfulfilled in life.

This was something I struggled with for many years.  You see, I was not ready mentally and spiritually for the journey. My life was filled with all sorts of distractions such as negative and unhealthy relationships, poor view of myself and a poor attitude.  I lacked the drive and motivation to go after what I claimed I really wanted and often made a lot of excuses as to why I could not succeed.

The PROCESS –  here are some things I did  to help me through this.

  1. Freed myself from all the negative people in my life. I recognized how their contributions only held me back and decided it was time I moved on.
  2. I decided “enough is enough”.  No more self-doubt and self-pity. It was time to stand up and take an active role in shaping my happiness.
  3. I started to monitor my thoughts.  The saying “words have power” is so true especially when they are coming out of your mouth.  I was sometimes the negative voice in my head, so I told myself to “SHUT UP”.  “Starting from today, if you have nothing good to say about yourself or others just be quiet!”
  4. Improve my attitude.  Many times we often underestimate how important our attitude is to our success – not only in finding our gift but in our everyday lives as well.  To discover your gift, I’ve found that gratitude, humility, patience, positivity, determination and perseverance are key elements that we should foster to not only find our gift but develop it.
  5. I limited and removed any negative distractions.  The distractions I am referring to included: watching too much television, excessive gaming on my devices, excessive partying, hanging out with people who are constantly negative and any addictions. Don’t let your distractions continue to have control over your mind, body or spirit.  Take control of your time and you’ll take control of your life.
  6. I created a list of the things  that I ‘loved’ doing versus what I ‘liked’ doing.  These are the things that made me happiest when I was doing them.  Please note , that nothing is insignificant, trivial or unimportant, if it is something you LOVE doing, be sure to list it.
  7. I confided in someone I trusted and whose opinion I respected. Please note, that this would ideally be someone who has known you at least 5 or more years. This person should be someone who is constructive in their feedback.  If you feel you don’t have anyone, I would suggest keeping a journal.  List your thoughts, aspirations and fears.  Be your own best friend!
  8. I regularly prayed and talked to God.  God is always with you, don’t be afraid to reach out to him through prayer and he will provide the answers you need.  Ask him for guidance, strength, patience or courage whatever you feel you need and he will grant it to you.  Open your mind and don’t limit yourself to only what you can see and imagine for yourself.  THINK BIG!
  9. Don’t let FEAR of the unknown or what people might think paralyze you and keep you stuck.  I used to be concerned about what people might think about my new pursuit but when I weighed who stood to benefit the most when I succeeded – I didn’t care about those people anymore.
  10. I started believing in myself and my abilities.   We ALL have something uniquely specific to us that can ADD VALUE to the lives of others.  Explore and nurture it!
  11. I had to learn to be patient with myself. I found everything was taking too long and wondered if I would ever have my breakthrough.   I had to focus more on improving myself and my thinking and spend  less time worrying about the days that went by. Remember, it’s a process!
  12. No matter what that little ‘voice of doubt’ might chant as it sits in the corner of your brain.  Don’t ever give up! 
  13. Don’t focus on what others are doing or saying.  Your success, your happiness and your future should be your primary focus. The focus of this exercise is YOU no one else.  I understand how difficult it could be at times when we look at other people lives and it seems to be so much better than ours but trust me, they have their own crap and issues that they are dealing with too.  Stay focused!
  14. Power of forgiveness.  Unforgiveness has kept me stuck for a long time and it was only through forgiving those people in my life that wronged me that I was able to really grow and find happiness.  Until I released myself from the hurt, pain and anger they caused me, I could not really move forward.  It is time to set yourself FREE, this is not about them.

Many of us go through life without purpose and direction and it does not have to be that way.  If you are tired of doing the same old, same old and you are really ready to shake off fear and go after your passion, then there is no time like the present to take action. I am happy to say that my gift is writing and helping others.  This blog makes me happy.  The feedback from my readers encourage and motivate me.

When I use my gift it does not feel like work because I enjoy doing it so much.  I don’t get tired of doing it because there is a passion and love for what I am doing.  Your gift should  benefit others – always bringing joy, pleasure and happiness when you use it. I believe once your gift meets that criteria you are on the right track.

 Stay strong and keep pursuing your dreams.

 

Conquer or be conquered?

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Conquer or to be conquered? That is the question.  To ‘conquer’ is to defeat or overcome someone or something whereas to ‘be conquered’ is to be defeated or overcome by someone or something else.  I found myself pondering on this today. Do you know that we have a choice in how the situations we sometimes find ourselves in ultimately affect us?  Joy, sadness, fear, anger and depression.  We can choose to walk away the ‘victor’ or the ‘victim’ in most of our circumstances.

Yes, I said “most” because there are those situations where the victim did not see it coming or was paralyzed with fear and could not act.  These are really difficult situations that cannot be predicted and I am sorry that we even have to go through things like that but unfortunately it happens.

The situations however, that I am referring to are those that we struggle with everyday but have the control to improve and fix such as our relationships with each other and ourselves; our thoughts; our image (how others see us) and our self-image (how we see ourselves), our jobs, our addictions and our finances.  These various aspects of our lives can often feel overwhelming and stressful when they are not going in the direction we want them to. So, what do we do?

We often get stressed out, angry and depressed when things in our life don’t unfold the way we want them to.  In an effort to forget even if only for a few minutes we sometimes knowingly and unknowingly lash out at others, become introverted, over eat, not eat, for others it maybe more drinking or smoking and sometimes over spending.   Do these actions help us fix the issues or just temporarily numb us up to them?

None of these responses to our various problems actually fixes them.  In fact, those emotions create other issues for us that may affect our health and lives negatively. Some examples are frequent headaches, insomnia, develop eating disorders, acne and more. These symptoms vary from person to person but most of us have a negative reaction to stress in our lives.

When faced with difficult situations especially regarding some of the issues highlighted above we need to ask ourselves, “How do I want this to end? Am I going to conquer this or be conquered by it?”  We must then take the necessary actions to overcome our situations.  Here are some tips or suggestions.

  1. Change your attitude and perspective.  Stop being negative.  A negative attitude will only block the answers. A positive attitude will help you find solutions.
  2. Take action. Standing still and not taking the necessary steps to improve your situation won’t make it go away.
  3. Take responsibility for your own life, the good and the bad.  Some of our actions and choices have led some of us to where we are today.  Let us stop blaming others entirely for our problems –  as this keeps us stuck in the mess that we’re in.
  4. View your problem or situation with ‘fresh eyes’.  I have found more often than not that we usually have all the answers for others when it comes to their problems but sometimes feel stuck in our own issues.  Take a step back and try to view your situation as if it was someone else and think about what you would tell that person to do.
  5. Don’t hold onto guilt and regret, they only slow you down.  We have all made mistakes or did things that we aren’t proud of, so stop beating yourself up about it.  Choose instead to learn from that decision and move on.
  6. Talk about it.  I can’t say that enough. Having someone you can trust to talk to even if it is just to listen to your concerns can be so relieving in itself.  It gives your brain some much-needed time off.
  7. Do not accept defeat!   Fight that urge to quit.

From experience I can tell you, that to be a conqueror takes a mind shift.  It is easy to go through life existing because it takes very little effort.   It is choosing to live that really brings more happiness and peace of mind.

I do not know what your struggle is.  I don’t know where you’ve been or what you had to endure but what I do know is this, we ALL face challenges everyday and how we choose to handle them will separate the conquerors from the conquered.

I want to encourage you today, do not allow yourself to remain a prisoner of your circumstances.

What to do when you feel like giving up

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We all have moments in our lives when negative things happen that sometimes force us to ask questions like:

  1. “What is the point?”
  2. “Why do I even bother?”
  3. “How could this happen?”
  4. “Why is nothing I do ever good enough?”
  5. “Why me Lord?”

At these moments in life, we often feel at our lowest because in those moments it seems like nothing is going our way.  As if the universe decided you know what, “I’m going to turn his or her life upside down and see what happens!”

I’m here to tell you, you are not alone!  We all have our moments of frustration, depression, anger, sadness and loneliness that for each of us is a difficult period in our lives.  Yes, granted our circumstances themselves may vary but does that take away the emotional discomfort we all feel about our situations.

So what do we do when we feel to give up?  Let’s first take a look at what we should not do.

  1. Give up.
  2. Hold onto the negative thoughts
  3. Take out our frustrations on others
  4. Accept that this is how life is going to be

Now that we’ve seen how we are not going to act going forward. Let’s look at our situations with fresh eyes.  The first and most valuable message I can give you is:

  1. DON’T EVER GIVE UP! No matter how bad you’re feeling or how bad things may appear. Fight that defeatist feeling and instead choose to persevere.
  2. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way?”  By first determining the cause of your emotional discomfort, you would be better able to treat with your feelings.  I have often found that until I could pinpoint the cause of my upset – I remain stuck in my feelings for a longer time.   So if you want to feel better, you need to identify the cause.
  3. Ask yourself, “Is this a situation within my control or outside it?”   This is very important, too often we beat ourselves up over things we really have NO control over in particular other people’s actions and decisions.
  4. REFUSE to stay stuck in your negative feelings.
  5. CHOOSE to be happy and actively pursue it.  There is always something positive in your life that you can smile about. All is not lost, you will overcome this!
  6. Do not transfer your negativity.  Easier said than done, I know.  Take control of your emotions, do not let them take control of you.
  7. Talk about it with someone you trust and respect.  Keeping it bottled up inside is not healthy.
  8. Pray about it. Ask for God for guidance and clarity.

I understand that in the moment we feel how we feel and I respect that because I feel like crap too when I’m in that zone. However, I try to find the cause; determine if I can or cannot fix it; fix what I can and accept what I can’t.  I choose not to remain stuck in the negative emotion.  I choose to feel better and YOU CAN TOO!

Blogger Recognition Award

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Blogger Recognition Award – wow!

Thank you for the nomination besondersite.  I am truly speechless.  This is the second nomination I received today.  I am feeling super motivated and inspired right now.  There are so many inspirational bloggers out there so I recognize that must have been a challenge to select a few.

Please see the rules below:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

 

“Living vs Existing”– How it all began.

I was inspired by my sister, Candice.  After reading a book I was writing she suggested that I use my talent to inspire others.  She saw in me the joy and passion I felt when I was writing. Her belief in me is what prompted me to take action. I took action by researching what “blogging” was all about and then made a decision to commit to. Here I am roughly 1 month later, with no regrets!

Advice to New Bloggers:

  1. Do not let the blog traffic or lack thereof be your focus.
  2. Write, create and design as you feel moved to and don’t be afraid to share your post in the community pool for others to see and comment on.

Each of my nominees bring their unique styles and messages to the table. My list could go on and on but unfortunately I can’t.  I admire what they do and just want to recognize their efforts.  My nominees for this award are:

  1. eloisabunny
  2. hernandeznovels
  3. besondersite
  4. theslingsta
  5. writingnatural
  6. Bhavana Jha
  7. Charis
  8. jadecostello
  9. sibillerose
  10. iamsunnyd

To my fellow bloggers out there keep writing with purpose and passion.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts as well as reading yours.

 

Mystery Blogger Award

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What is it?  “The ‘Mystery Blogger Award’ is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates, it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – by the creator of this award Okoto.

I was nominated for this award by writingnatural.  I feel truly humbled and honoured to receive this nomination.

Please see the rules and guidelines below :

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. List the rules
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their  blog
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  6. You have to nominate 10-20 people
  7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  8. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  9. Share a link to your best post(s)

 

Three (3) Things About Myself

  1. I like to play online games like ‘Township’ and ‘Wheel of Fortune’ to relax.
  2. I can be very competitive at times.
  3. I love the ocean but I can’t swim. 🙁

 

These individuals are just a few bloggers who in their own unique way inspire and captivate others with their  work.  I appreciate what you do and ask that you continue to bring your passion in your work.  My nominations for this award are as follows:

  1. writingnatural
  2. iamsunnyd
  3. hailangeliccreation
  4. hernandeznovels
  5. poetrylover
  6. KaeJaye Xpressions
  7. misstalkaholic
  8. alalyak
  9. besondersite
  10. chaos-xd

 

Questions and answers:

1.What is the biggest challenge you face while blogging?

Answer: My biggest challenge would be my desire to always strive to be inspirational in my work. I want to always leave my readers with not only ‘Food for Thought’ but with a feeling of empowerment.  We can do anything if we put our minds to it.

2. How do you overcome writers block?

Answer: I try not to limit myself to anything in terms of topics and thus leave myself open to be inspired.  Sometimes I might read another blog and a topic, word, or phrase used might trigger a thought and that’s it.  A new post is born. 🙂   Generally though, I write based on what I feel passionate about.

3. What motivates you most in life?

Answer:  I am self-motivated. The desire to be my best self not only for myself but my kids is what motivates me.  I am a role model for them whether I like it or not so I always try to be mindful of that when I do things.

4. What is your goal(s) in life?

Answer: My main goal is to be the best role model and mother I can be for my boys.  Secondly, to make a positive difference in the lives I touch in person and in writing.

5. What benefits do you get from your blog?

Answer: My blog has created a sense of purpose for me beyond motherhood. It has shown me that my words can be an inspiration for others and that there are people out there who appreciate and value what I have to say and this makes me happy.

I found the questions from writingnatural  very appropriate and re-used them. I hope that is okay.

  1. What is the biggest challenge you face while blogging?
  2. How do you overcome writers block?
  3. What motivates you most in life?
  4. What is your goal(s) in life?
  5. What benefits do you get from your blog?

 

Best Posts – to be honest, I think all of them are great but here my best posts based on most views received.

  1. https://www.livingvsexisting.com/motivation-inspiration
  2. https://www.livingvsexisting.com/valentines-live-love-laugh
  3. https://www.livingvsexisting.com/signs-toxic-relationship

Thank you for the feedback and acknowledgement. Happy blogging everyone.

 

 

Take Action

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Image Credit: Pexels.com

You can’t help but wonder, “why even bother?”

As you sit there and sunder

About all of your silly blunders

Some say they feel something and yet, others feel nothing

Isn’t that strange, why is it, only a few change?

What’s the difference?  Some took ACTION

The rest with no traction, stayed stuck in the muck

Any progress made, just left there to fade

Still chilling with their crew, who often have nothing good to do

One step forward, two steps back

Angry with the world for what’s left of their soul

If you’re not getting traction, it’s TIME to TAKE ACTION

Please don’t sit there trying to refute

What we both know, is the undeniable truth

You’ve lost your way and I’m saying, it’s okay

It’s the dawn of a new day and you WILL find you way

For as you change your disposition

You will create a new position

One full of hope, strength and truth

Come one,  come all and pay tribute

To new beginnings

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By: Cherylene Nicholas

Message: Simply saying positive things is not going to fix your problems.    For real and lasting change to take place in our lives we have to take action, make changes in our thinking, behaviour and sometimes in our friends (removing any negative people).  If we can do this, then the real transformation can start.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Realities

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Credit: Pixabay.com

” She is so beautiful!,” they often whisper

Just under their breath because she’ll surely fret

Little do they know what lies beneath her beauty

Are tales of mistreatment and untold cruelty

She does not believe the kind words of others

Especially about such superficial  matters

She dismisses the matter as simple child-like chatter

Because she knows words do not really matter

As she heads home in despair

Thinking no one knows, no one cares

The voices in her head, wishing she were dead

But instead with haste she rushes home, “I can’t be late, I can’t be late”

She missed the bus, oh what a fate!

And now almost to tears she faces her fears,

As she cautiously enters the room she utters, “Honey, I’m home!”

Greeted with silence by what was once her loving partner

She braces herself for what might come after

He gestures to hit her but laughs at her manner

Hitting and belittling his wife was a laughing matter

With his words and fists, he would keep her in check

For NO wife of his would show disrespect

She is allowed to explain

As he twisted her arm inflicting pain

“This is my last chance”, she thought

Her chance to be free, free from this violence and misery

So she kisses him good night and goes to bed without a fight

For soon, she will take flight, in the middle of the night.

By: Cherylene Nicholas

Moral: Do not judge people by how they look or even by the words that come out of their mouth. You have no idea what’s really going on in their lives or in their minds.  Be grateful for the life you have.  

I felt inspired to write this poem let me know what you think.