Intention, bravery and your making your choices

This morning I enjoyed a beautiful breakfast on my own in my apartment. It was a rare moment of cosy calmness that just made me smile with joy. Not every moment is like this though. Life is made of a million moments, some of them calm and cosy, while others are crazy and chaotic.

I think that to stay sane in our crazy world we need to create intentional ‘moments’ of enjoyment. I’m committed as always to finding the joyousness that is all around us, even in darkest times. Life is hard: I’ve learned this in the experiences I’ve already come through. If you are in the middle of a difficult life experience, take heart… it will pass and you will most likely be okay.

Life is also beautiful and it evokes strength, providing opportunities to be courageous, adventurous and brave (quick heads up to Walter Mitty). Bravery isn’t required in times of enjoyment and comfort. It is required in times danger, darkness and despair. Bravery helps us to push forward towards those calm moments that restore our souls in the most beautiful ways.

Finding joy in hard times requires us to be brave, because when life crushes you all you want to do is fall in a heap of despair and do nothing. And that’s how despair wins. By causing us to fall and not get up again.

So today I’m calling myself to attention. I’m calling myself to stand up stronger and to create those calm warm moments. I’m telling myself to be adventurous, brave and courageous.

If I get knocked down I will rise again to laugh in the storm.

If I sense despair I will dance like crazy till joy comes.

If I feel broken I will call on bravery to give me strength to phone a close friend and talk it out.

If I sense confusion I will call upon courage, prayer and thoughtfulness to clarify my thinking until I can take some positive intentional steps.

Above all, I will seek out joy. I will find it. And I will embrace it, because joy is the source of strength to the human spirit in the darkest of days.

Where do you need to be brave today?

What choices do you need to make today?

What do you do to create moments of joy in your life to pick yourself up?

What encouragement could you give someone today who needs an emotional or mental lift?

Feel free to put your ideas and thoughts in the comments – I’d love to read your feedback and ideas 😀

Keep finding the joy 👣

Roots and depth of character

It is our roots that help us to stand tall in life. The depth of our character is not found in our actions (these are merely the evidence of our character).

True character begins deep down in the depths of our very heart and soul. Our attitudes, thoughts, and actions flow from our inner character.

Character is what we use to stand or fall in all of life’s trials and tribulations.

People of good character will always seek the best outcomes possible for those around them – this doesn’t mean that they act to please people, rather it means they will continue to make the kindest decisions possible for all concerned.

In your own journey of personal development, develop your character above all else.

Hold on to hope

No matter what is going on in your life please remember that there is always something to hope for. True hope leads to positive outcomes – it will not leave you disappointed.

Holding on to hope is a measure of your resilience and determination to overcome. You are able. You are strong. You are resilient. Hold on to hope.

Circumstances can be chaotic, but you CAN be calm

I have been considering lately the idea of ‘peace in a storm’. It’s a well known thought that the ‘eye of the storm’ is the most peaceful part of a tornado. While the tornado rages it’s centre is a place of calm. Chaos is external, while calm is internal.

With a little self-awareness and the development of personal self-control it is possible to maintain a place of calm when your life feels like a storm. It is possible to develop skills of peacefulness to navigate life’s hard times. Everyone has hard times at some point (you never really know the burdens another human carries).

Staying calm requires a level of emotional intelligence, as well as intentional emotional regulation. Stop for a moment and just be still: what are you feeling right now? Stress, joy, anger, frustration? All of them? None of them? Taking time to stop and notice our thoughts and feelings regularly will help us to develop the self-awareness required to maintain a centre of calm within ourselves.

But staying calm is not just about how we are internally: it is also about how we conduct ourselves externally. What comes out of us is what is first of all within us. If you have anger locked up within you, it will find a way out. If there is joy within you it will find a way of bubbling over into everyday life.

Emotions within are manifest in the actions out with our inner selves. It is important to process our feelings and thoughts so that we can deal with them in emotionally and behaviourally healthy ways. If we do not process what’s on the inside it will negatively impact our lives, decisions and relationships. Better to control the process internally than to have outbursts regularly. That’s not to say we are always in control – no one is – we get sad, angry, frustrated. The trick is to acknowledge the feelings for the reality they bring, and then decide how to act in response to those feelings.

Of course, every human being has at some point an emotional bucket that overflows in anger, sadness, and a spectrum of other emotions. That’s okay. Cut yourself some slack. The trick is to reduce the frequency of overflow and to grow awareness and skills that positively release those emotions towards resolutions.

Whatever you are going through right now, may you have the time to stop and acknowledge how you are feeling and thinking, and may you intentionally decide how they will externally impact your life in the most positive manner possible.

Move in the direction of your dreams

It is easy to do the expected thing, the usual thing, the normal thing. We are often encouraged not to dream, not to dare, and not to move in the direction of our dreams.

Dreamers are thought to be time wasters, lazy, or having their head in the clouds. This is as far from the truth as it is possible to be. Every great novel, poem, work of art, film, and invention started as a thought, a daydream or a silly notion. The creators of all these things had something in common: they all moved in the direction of their dreams!

Move in the direction of your dreams

Think of Martin Luther King crying out ‘I have a dream’. His dream became a movement that has transformed much of the world for the better.

Steve Jobs was fired from his own company, only to come back and transform how we use mobile technology.

What might we achieve if we were to really move in the direction of our dreams? What decisions would you need to make to align your reality to your dreams? What changes would you make to your life?

A million dreams | StuartWriting

To move in the direction of your dreams you might need to silence your internal negative chatterbox in your head. You might need to spend less time listening to the naysayers in your life who tell you to just stop dreaming. Let me encourage you to never stop dreaming: our world is the product of a million dreams come true!

Today I dare you to move in the direction of your dreams! You may find that following your dreams fills your life with more joy. You may notice you feel more hopeful. And you may find that you live with a deeper sense of personal purpose. We gave wine life and it really dies matter, so make it count in whatever ways you dream it should. And as you do…

…enjoy the journey 👣

Follow your dreams | StuartWriting

Rest to refresh your soul

Those who know me know that faith plays a large part in the strength I’ve found in my life journey. Taking time out to reflect and think have been important disciplines.

Isaiah 40:31

Putting faith aside, it is important to stop; to reflect; to rest and renew your strength. When we carry burdens our strength gets quickly depleted.

Soul care is essential

Take time to look after your soul. If you are a person of faith…pray. Lean into God. In my experience it really does help a lot.

Finding joy isn’t dependent upon your circumstances

There is a lie we believe about joy. We are told or taught, or somehow come to believe that joy is based solely on our circumstances. I don’t know where this notion comes from, but I know it’s not true in the experiences of many people.

Watch any movie and you will notice moments of joy even in hard times.

Think about the great novels: there are moments of deep human connection, descriptions of beauty, and glimpses of grace that make us smile and warm our hearts as we turn the pages.

Joy in a storm

It is even said of Jesus that because of the joy set before him he endured the cross. That’s a strong statement – there is an endurance that leads to joy. Like many songs, The best is yet to come by Australian band Sheppard testify to this. Sometimes life can be tough, but as we stop to notice the world around us and reflect on its beauty we can experience joy on the journey. During every war the sun rises and sets on each day, bracketing the war zone in glorious light and shades of beauty. I believe some of us need to hear that right now.

Finding joy is not dependent upon our circumstances. It is dependent upon our CHOICES.

Will we choose to find joy despite our circumstances?

This is an important question, and your answer will either help or hinder your journey.

May we choose to find joy and enjoy the journey 👣