NEW VIEWS. OR ARE THEY?

Cute boots, huh?

Cute boots, huh?

Explaining the meaning of life...

Explaining the meaning of life…

By Melissa Flynn

It’s 2013 and I’m still moving on. What about you?

Whatever you are doing, please tell me that you didn’t make New Year’s resolutions. Please tell me that you didn’t write down that you wanted to lose weight and dump that loser.

Instead let’s all make a list of life goals. Then every year, I want you all to review and revise those goals. It’s all about retrospection and redesign.

Recently, I did one of my “Moving On” workshops at a local church. I preached the same thing to them—forget resolutions and concentrate on the bigger picture.

My sister Halima has an interesting idea of rebooting that I also shared with the group. At the beginning of each year, she cleans the house, stocks up on all supplies and toiletries, and even backs up her computer. It’s all a bit more than I want to do, but I like the idea. Feel free to read more about her ideas on her blog. (halimaflynn.blogspot.com)

I think we can all agree that it doesn’t hurt to reboot, reorganize or re-evaluate our lives—especially for those times when we feel like we are hitting a wall. It’s like that saying that I have repeated to my son over and over. “If you keep doing something and it isn’t working, then try something different.”

Sometimes when we try to move on, no matter what we do it does not work. That means it is time to re-evaluate—revise your course of action.

I explained my notion of retrospection to the church group. But I also added that we must all pull together and help one another. As I talked, I saw a smile and a nod, here and there. Being presumptuous, as I tend to be, I took those expressions and body language to mean that they agreed and understood.

My talk continued, as it usually does, with me going on and on about my trials and tribulations. I decided to move on from my mess and reach out to help others. (FYI: Helping others helps you. Helping you helps others.) And as many do, I struggle along the way. No matter how great my determination, life doesn’t always work out as planned. I conjure up inspiration wherever I can: a Psalm, a MLK Jr. Speech, The Presidential Inauguration, and maybe even a glance from my mother’s picture in my office.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley

These and many other words, help me maintain my balance. The world needs more beacons of hope and inspiration—people who are willing and able to spread the word that it is never too late to get your life on track. I have decided to be such a person. So if you need a bit of inspiration for any cause, send me a note: movingontoinspire@gmail.com.

If you have a group who needs inspiration, send me a note. If you need a coach to keep you on track, send me a note. Even if you just want to say hi, send me a note.

We all find ways to cope with what life throws at us. Sometimes those coping mechanisms are not very healthy. I can give you some tips to find healthier ones. And in the meantime, I want you all to do two things for me.

 Make a list of goals
 Then get up every day and work towards those goals

And at the end, it is not important whether or not you complete those goals. What are most important are the journey and the people you meet along the way.

To reiterate, forget the making of New Year’s resolutions. According to the definition, resolutions could look a lot like goals. That I can agree with; just don’t wait until January 1st to try and push yourself towards succeeding within the next twelve months. Sit down and set some short and long-term goals for your life. Then be realistic about the things you need to do in order to reach those goals.

And in order to stay focused, I want you all to copy these things down and repeat them regularly.

 I AM SOMEBODY
 WE ARE ALL SOMEBODY
 WE HAVE TO WORK TOGETHER, THAT’S HOW COMMUNITIES GROW
 I WILL IDENTIFY MY FEARS
 I WILL OVERCOME MY FEARS
 I WILL STAY FOCUSED
 I WILL BE A LEADER
 I WILL BE AN EXAMPLE FOR ALL CHILDREN
 I WILL HELP MY NEIGHBORS

As I put this down on paper for you, I was remembering a couple of things: that movie “Pay It Forward” and Ann Curry’s 26 acts of kindness campaign.

So let’s move on and make the most of our time.

Mending and Ruminating

I’ve had my surgery. Ouch! Is the pain really supposed to be this bad? I thought they fixed it. Don’t mind me. Whenever I have surgery, I want the instant relief. Nothing in life works that way, but a girl can dream. It’s been over four weeks, and I know I have a long way to go. It’s just really hard not having the use of both arms.

This seems like a good time to share some things with you. I’m somewhat of an inspirational blogger on Cheshire.patch.com.  So, for the next few posts, I’ll share my favorites from The Patch.

Feel free to tell me what you think. And if you dare, share a related story.

I share this favorite first because I need to be reminded of how far I have come since that day in Marshalls. These thoughts still apply and the remembrance will help me survive my recovery process – which I loathe. Recovery is not fun.

In Reaching Distance

Posted on September 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm

 

During a few conversations with acquaintances and an editor, I was told, “why not consider being a motivational speaker or a life coach.”

I immediately thought, “Me?” What could I possibly offer someone, in terms of advice that is? Then I began to listen to myself as I spoke to friends and family. That’s when it hit me. I am a hopeful, inspirational voice in my circle.

So, now (in this blog) I venture out to share this voice with all that will listen – or read.

I’m a single mother of an estranged 20-year-old son, a displaced worker and a somewhat educated unmarried freelance writer. And yet, I am vehemently optimistic about my future. I have my bad days, like we all do. But most days, my goal is not to let the negative things in my life burden me to the point of insanity.

It’s all in the approach – the outlook. Regardless of where I am in my life, I do have a goal – a well laid out plan of attack. And each day, I awake with enthusiasm. Okay, maybe enthusiasm is too strong of a word. How about a determination?

I am determined to matter. I am determined to be happy and make my stand. How I do that is all in the attentiveness of my actions. Something as simple as coming up with a plan and executing it, whether or not I ultimately reach my goal, can be a useful tool in combating bleak outlooks.

Looking back to a conversation with one of my acquaintances, my advice was pretty sound and clear. For putting it on paper’s sake, let’s call her Lisa.

Trying to find that perfect interview top or just something for every day, Lisa and I comb through Marshall’s clearance section, all the while hoping that nothing fits because we can’t afford it anyway. As we both reach the middle of the aisle, she starts telling me of all her unrewarded job efforts.

Being over 50, unemployed and seeing the constant news of layoffs, Lisa was feeling hopeless. “This is the first time in my life that I wasn’t able to find a job right away. I always wanted to be an artist growing up. My dad said I had to do something practical – like accounting. So, I listened to him. Now look where I am.”

As I looked at her in all her despair, I smiled and said, “life will get better for you.” As she looked back at me, probably thinking “is she crazy”, I continued to tell her, “You can only do what you can – no more. So find some balance in your life. Get up every day, spend some of your day looking for a job (internet, library, newspapers, phone calls, etc.) and then spend part of your day only doing things you enjoy. Let these things include: books by favorite authors, going back to school, volunteering, favorite TV shows, relaxing, fun exercises, time alone, time with friends, etc. Our economy seems hopeless, but that you can’t fix. A lot of people are in the same position. Look at this time in your life as a time of rediscovery. You can be whoever you want to be.”

I look at it this way: we all have dreams of what we would love to be doing in life. And, unless that includes being superman or wonder woman, I’m pretty sure they are obtainable. So, stay true to yourself and the dreams you once had and go for it. Maybe even put up a few post-it notes around the house: I have many talents, we are all good at something, I’m gonna take a chance on me, my life is still unfolding, I still have time, I can succeed, etc.

It’s all about vision. As someone once said, “Only he who can see the invisible can do the impossible.”

So, no more “same old routine.” It’s time to make a list. What are you good at? What do you want to do in life? What can you work on right now?

Then every day, from now until infinity, let’s start checking things off that list.

http://cheshire.patch.com/users/melissa-flynn-3