Staying Positive

We are now living in a world where negativity seems to overshadow everything. Just turning on the television can make me depressed. People often seem to be on edge and short tempered. We can decide if we want to run with the herd, or if we will consciously fill our life with love, joy and happiness.

This is not as t as one might think, although it does take some effort. I know how I want to live the rest of my life. I will not listen to the bickering, doomsday preaching, blaming, finger pointing, and rough language. I am focused on a future filled with kindness, compassion, love, and empathy. I still watch the news, but I don’t linger there, staying just long enough to learn what is going on in the world. Then I go on with my life knowing that there is a bright future ahead, that things will work out, and that good ultimately prevails. I avoid blaming and judging and remind myself that there is no way to know why someone behaves in a certain way.

Meditation, mindfulness and affirmations are key to remaining positive, and I use them throughout the day and under any circumstances. Sometimes just counting to 10 before replying or reacting can be a great help. I practice this regularly and my life has become much easier and more peaceful. I listen, but I do not necessarily internalize what I hear. I respect other’s opinions and beliefs, even if they feel foreign and unreal. And by focusing on the good in everyone, even tense relationships can become pleasant.

Facing serious health challenges every day, I quickly realized that I don’t want to spend too much energy worrying and trying to change people. I really cannot change anyone. The future is uncertain for everyone, but I envision it bright and shining. By focusing on hope, optimism and faith, I remain positive and live in joy and harmony. Staying positive is and has always been a supporting pillar in my life.

Happy 4th of July!

Silvia Coggin, CPF
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

 

 

 

 

Independence Day – Happy 4th of July

Independance Day - Happy 4th of July 2Independence Day is an especially inspiring celebration for me. What courage and vision it must have taken for the Continental Congress to adopt the Declaration of Independence and it has inspired people and nations since 1776.

On this 4th of July holiday weekend, I found myself contemplating the meaning of independence. I consider it as a basic right for everyone. Although not born in the United States, it is my country of choice and the independence and freedom America offers played a big role in my decision to immigrate. It wasn’t that I didn’t live a fulfilling life before, but it was the freedom to dream as big as I wanted and knowing that I could actually achieve my dreams that attracted me. Like the pilgrims, I felt that America would allow me to live the life I desired.

Independence was always important to me, even as a very young girl. I wanted to choose my own clothes and shoes, and my mother allowed me to do so with the understanding that I had to wear them even if I didn’t like them any longer. Sometimes color combinations were not great, and I am sure my mother had some difficulty letting me make my choices. But I learned, and the most important thing looking back is that I was allowed to develop an independent way of thinking and feelings of self worth. We had very little money, but I enjoyed being allowed to make personal choices. It wasn’t a question of how often, rather that I was allowed to make my own decisions whenever possible.

It wasn’t only in the area of clothing that I was able to exercise my freedom, but in many other ways so long as my choices were responsible and in harmony with my mother’s and my values. I am so thankful that I learned at a young age that my choices have consequences. This also served me well when my mother died young. I was 17 years old and I had no guidance or loving care after her passing. I still had a lot to learn and made questionable choices sometimes. But looking back from a spiritual platform, I don’t believe there were wrong choices, just different directions with different outcomes.

In my opinion, independence is not only relevant to our American way of life, but is also a cornerstone in a relationship. We cannot attempt to control someone and claim that we do it out of love. This basic right of self-determination applies to everyone. Let’s celebrate our freedom and independence! They are a precious privilege and right we may sometimes take for granted, but which remain the hope and dream for millions.

I am always inspired on Independence Day by the vision of our forefathers and wonder what they would think of the nation they created if they could see it today.

Silvia Coggin, CPC
Author and Founder of NotJustCooking.com

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