It’s easy to forget what an amazing gift life really is. Our lives are nothing but a cosmic blink. Even our seemingly all-encompassing world is just a tiny blue dot circling an average sized star spiraling around a galaxy of 200-400 billion stars, which itself is just one galaxy among billions more. Yet for one brief moment, we get to experience the wonders of existence, of consciousness.
Our brains are wired to find things we’re looking for – if you’re always cynical or waiting for things to go wrong, then your life will reflect that. On the other hand, having a positive outlook on life will bring you joy and provide you with inspiration when you least expect it. (www.keepinspiring.me)
One of my favorite quotes is “We are what we believe”. Some days we all could use an extra dose of positive energy. On those occasions, I find reading and sharing inspiring quotes helps me re-focus and affirms my belief in the power of our thoughts.
So, as we trim the tree and wrap our packages, let’s remember to give thanks and treasure each precious moment as we reflect on our blessings from God.
I never cease to be amazed by the blessings in my life. The lessons I learned during my battle with Colon and Breast Cancer on patience and being present in each moment have deeply affected my concept of what it means to be. Each second is so precious and to under appreciate that fact robs you of the truth of happiness.
On March 22nd, the date of my final Chemotherapy treatment, I made a promise to myself to fulfill a lifelong dream of experiencing the beauty of Florence, Italy in the Spring.
Well, as I often say, God is good every day, because not only will I embark upon my Florence adventure in the Spring of 2017, but, as the cherry on top, I also snagged a killer deal on 2 tickets – 2 ROUND TRIP TICKETS to Italy for less than $1,000 dollars! Am I blessed or what?
At first, I just sat on my sofa and stared at the numbers on the computer screen. Did I enter the wrong destination? Is this fare for Florida? No! After calling Delta Airlines, who confirmed the legitimacy of the price, those bad boys were mine. And, today I sit in anticipation of this amazing gift while researching day trips to Venice, Tuscany and Rome!
I’m still pinching myself and giving praise. Thank you, Lord, for your love, your grace, and your favor.
One of the reasons I share my journey is to serve as a living testimony to the power of Faith. When you pursue your goals with Faith, you can live the life you desire and witness your dreams come true.
This blog is all about Faith because of its impact and my belief that our decisions, viewpoints and life are determined by Faith or the lack thereof. My Faith led me to surrender and put my life in God’s hands as I went through treatment for colon and breast cancer. My decision was based on Faith, my viewpoint on the outcome was based on Faith, and the enrichment of my life, as a result, was achieved through Faith. I heard “Don’t You Worry Child” a couple of years ago and the message resonated. As has been a pattern of my life, I sometimes come to music, actors or movies after the fact. By the time I heard this tune by Swedish House Mafia, they had already disbanded. They broke up in 2012 and ended with a series of world concerts entitled, “The Last Tour”.
“The Last Tour” served as a farewell letter to their fans. The group was a house music superband whose songs were driven purely by emotion. Between the visuals and the adrenaline pulsating beats, fans can’t help but drop into the groove. Recently, I caught the documentary Leave the World Behind: Swedish House Mafia’s Final Tour which highlighted the fans reactions to their breakup and powerful music which had everyone in a frenzy.
What was most intriguing about the band’s breakup was the reasoning. The 3 bandmates – Atwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso revealed that they couldn’t communicate their feelings toward one another or express anger at the lack of commitment to the Swedish House Mafia project. In addition, Axwell, the leader of the band, made a comment about not wanting to be a 40-year-old DJ. Being in a band can be a lot like being in a marriage, if the couple can’t be honest with their feelings, it can lead to a lot of unnecessary pain.
Maybe if the band had greater Faith in their friendship being able to survive the truth of their feelings, they could have worked through their challenges. On the other hand, maybe it was just time to move on and start the next chapter in their lives. That realization in and of itself is an example of Faith since just as they decided to separate, the single “Don’t Worry Child” made its debut at number one in the United Kingdom. In the United States, the song became Swedish House Mafia’s biggest hit, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it their first and only top ten single.
In its’ lyrics, the message and inspiration of this tune are, as we negotiate life we experience both happiness and lost. However, God is always there and has a plan for you.
Faith or the lack thereof contributes to the overall outcome of a situation or goal we’re trying to attain. It’s our attitude adjustment that sets us on the right path.
Stress, worry, negative thoughts are all manifestations of lack of Faith. Is the glass half empty?, making lemonade out of lemons are both expressions we use to describe Faith; how we approach challenges in our lives.
The teachings of my guru Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the philosophical guidebook, “The Four Agreements”, explains the relationship between Faith and manifest destiny. We manifest what we believe in our minds; the reality we create for ourselves. We’ve been conditioned by family, teachers, peers to think of ourselves in a certain way – “you’re lazy, beautiful, creative, evil” – but Faith can help free us from that mindset to create the life experience we desire. We write our own story and Faith is the key.
I’m a walking testament of Faith. My cancer journey started with me adopting the Fourth Agreement – “Don’t Make Assumptions” – as my mantra. I asked my doctors’ crucial questions and wasn’t afraid to express to the Universe what outcome I envisioned.
So, let’s not misunderstand, Faith is not passive. It requires actions alongside the belief that I will come out stronger and more empowered as a result of my challenges. To that end, I researched my diagnosis of colon and breast cancer and armed with that knowledge embarked upon the mission of beating cancer.
I had faith that I wouldn’t have any major side effects and I didn’t. I had Faith that all my cancer would be removed and it was. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself walking hand and hand with God and always believed that with him beside me I could make my Faith a reality. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but with Faith, Gratitude, and Prayer, I was blessed to come out on the other side stronger and my Faith endures.
If we can release fear and disbelief and embrace Faith and possibilities, there’s no limit to what we can achieve!
Years ago I asked my husband “would you rather your life be like a Ferris Wheel or Roller Coaster?” I told him, for me, I much prefer the coaster ride! The ups, the downs, the suspense and yes, the screams.
Taking chances, making that leap of faith. These are the moments that make us alive. I don’t believe our journey is meant to sit rocking in a chair, going nowhere.
This my self-realization: I want my world filled with opportunities to grow that may take me outside of my comfort zone and full on embrace the importance of taking a leap of faith.
Well, I asked for growth and faith and boy did I get it because my cancer fight and life journey has definitely been an adventurous ride but also in the process has truly strengthened my belief in the miracle of faith.
A bit of humor:
When we were planning our wedding I asked my then future husband, wouldn’t it be cool to do a free fall from a plane after we take our vows? His answer – You fall, I’ll meet you on the ground. 😄
Faith is a powerful force. And when faith and determination get together, lookout, there’s no stopping us!
“Coming out of the Dark”, singer/songwriter Gloria Estefan’s emotionally stirring 1991 anthem – is an expression of strength that’s so comforting. I remember the horrific accident when her tour bus was hit by an 18 wheeler back in 1990 and the painful physical therapy she had to go through.
She pledged not to be confined to a wheelchair as her father had been and fought daily to regain her body and her strength. Her belief and determination brought her back even stronger than before and she realized the power of prayer and preciousness of love, family, and friends.
Her comeback performance at the 1991 American Music Awards was triumphant and testimony to the force of faith. I applauded her then as well as now for her strength and grace.
Today, when thinking about inspirational songs, “Coming Out of the Dark” immediately came into my mind. Even though I haven’t listened to it in years, it still resonates.
These lyrics are so impactful and inspirational. Revisiting this song still moves me as much as when I first heard it. I’m reminded that as I travel through my cancer journey, faith and determination are on my side and that I’m pushing forward and coming out of the dark.
Coming out of the Dark – Written by Gloria Estefan
Why be afraid if I’m not alone Though life is never easy the rest is unknown Up to now for me, it’s been hands against stone Spent each and every moment Searching for what to believe
Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now It’s shining on me Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me You’re sharing with me
Starting again is part of the plan And I’ll be so much stronger holding your hand Step by step I’ll make it through I know I can It may not make it easier but I have felt you Near all the way
Coming out of the dark, I finally see the light now And it’s shining on me ( I see the light, I see the light) See the light Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me You’re sharing with me
Forever, forever I stand on the rock of your love Forever and ever I’ll stand on the rock Can’t nobody stop me from watching Forever, forever I stand on the rock of your love Love is all it takes, no matter what we face
Coming out of the dark, (Coming out of the dark) I see the light, I feel love shining on me (Shining, shining) Shining on me Coming out of the dark I know the love that saved me You’re sharing, you’re sharing with me, sharing with me, sharing with me
Coming out of the dark, Making it into the light Your love shining on me, shining on me, shining on me Coming out of the dark, I see the light, I see the light Shining, shining, shining on me Shining, shining Coming out of the dark I see the light now Yes I see the light
Recently I took a fun new year’s quiz from my girlfriend. One of the questions was – “What Do You Fear?” My response was nothing. I thought about my answer and yes, I have no fear because I have faith.
I believe having faith is not about walking around blind. I strive to live a conscious life with purpose. With my cancer journey, I researched to arm myself with knowledge and the ability to participate in my treatment and not just accept whatever the doctors said. When I went for a second opinion I asked questions and requested the numbers and facts. The doctors were surprised and responded that I was unusual because most patients don’t want to know. Not me, I am engaged and responsible for my life and health. I choose to participate with faith, not fear.
Having faith frees us to live our lives to the fullest. One of my favorite quotes and questions are, “What Would You Do if You Weren’t Afraid?”