Be Generous

Generosity is one of those things that is difficult to learn especially as an adult. We are not naturally inclined to be generous. Generous people are usually born that way. Have you ever seen a child playing with their toys. They usually don't want to share them instinctively. Usually after a while they do but it is not their first instinct. So trust me when I say that generosity is not easy.

However I think about things people have done for me whether it's my family or my friends and I thank God for how much of a blessing they have been. You see when people do things for you that have a lasting impact it become sort of like a gift that keeps giving. You are inspired to extend the same act of kindness to another person. If not inspired you feel some obligation to do the same because it has been done for you. To pay it forward so to speak.

The kindness of strangers makes me teary. I travel frequently and so I meet people from all walks of life. Their extension of themselves has a lasting impact. When someone you don't know takes time out of their day to help you or even spend a little time just talking to you they leave a lasting impression. 

Really that is the goal for today. To be generous with our time and resources. To pour ourselves out to other people. The only way you leave a permanent mark in the world is when you share yourself with people. This may be donating your time in your community, donating your money in a cause that will help someone, donating something that you know someone somewhere will need. Generosity looks different for different people. However it has the capability of transforming and changing lives.

I hope you have a great day today. Smile at someone, that in itself is an act of generosity.

Listening is loving...

Be Patient

Patience is one of the hardest things to exercise especially in an era of instant gratification. We are a generation of everything instant. We sometimes don't even care about the quality of what we get as long as we get it. We sacrifice the best and settle for mediocre because we lack patience.

The challenge today is one that requires a certain level of maturity. If you have ever watched a toddler they will scream and rant because they want what they want now. They do not have the capacity yet to wait. To be still. There is a certain level of discipline that comes with patience. You show up everyday for what you want, you do the work and you make small strides in the direction you want.
Patience is a virtue that recognizes that the reward of the wait is greater than the agonizing time you have to put in, sometimes not knowing if the desired outcome is guaranteed. It is knowing that whatever you are nurturing, mentoring, working towards is worthwhile.
Nothing worthwhile comes easy. It requires patience, determination and hard work.

Listening is loving

Be Healthy

Today's challenger is to promote your mental, physical and spiritual well being. In the 'Be Inspired' project the goal is to be a well rounded human being. To be intentional with every aspect of your life which includes taking care of your health.

Take care of your mental, physical and spiritual well being. Always listen to what your body is telling you. Are you sluggish, tired, sickly all the time? You need to start taking care of yourself.
Are you angry, temperamental, moody, depressed, anxious? Pause to find out why? Then do something about it.
Are you feeling uninspired? Do you need some spiritual uplifting? Then go find it.

Listening is loving...

Be Smart

by cybrain

Being smart with your time and money is so important. Time is precious because it is not a commodity you can recover or store up to use later. Once you lose it, it is gone. Reminds me of the 'use it or lose it' policy in many companies. If you don't use those vacation days you lose them. It's the same idea with time. If you don't use your time wisely you lose.

I say that money is vanity because you will never make enough and you will never really be satisfied. You will always want more.The illusion that you need money to be happy is one that we have to be careful not to 'buy' into. Certainly having no money is not something I am advocating for but learning to be happy with what you have is the key. This has been tough for me. I have had to learn how to leverage what I have to suit my purposes. Whether it is paying the bills, traveling, charity, whatever I need to spend my money on I have had to learn to use what I have in a wise way to enjoy life to the maximum without stressing myself.

I recently read the book, 'tuesdays with Morrie' and I remember this line, "We put our values in the wrong things. And it leads to very disillusioned lives." Learn to value your time and using it to get the best out of life. Spend time with the people who matter. Invest your time in them and make a lifetime of memories. Learn to use money that you have. Stop using money you haven't earned chasing things you don't need and spending all your time working to pay for them. Do you see a vicious cycle here?You spend your whole life working to pay for things you don't need meaning you never make enough money. So you use your time doing something you probably don't enjoy to make money that you don't get to keep anyway so you don't even really enjoy it.

Listening is loving...

Be Fair

I think it is easy to forget to see people for who they are. To really look at someone and really see them. Sometimes we have misconceptions of people. We form opinions about people before we even get to know them. Remember the expression about 'walking a mile in my shoes before you judge me'. It fits in today's challenge. It is so important to see a person for their journey. We may not understand it but it really is not up to us.

Often I have a preconceived notion of who a person is. I look at them and immediately judge them not really knowing what their story is. Most of the time my rush unfounded opinion of who they are has been completely off. When I travel I meet people who throw me off completely. The way they dress, the way they carry themselves causes me to categorize them and immediately group them in a certain 'box' so to speak. Only to talk to them and find that fundamentally we are so similar. We have the same issues, we like or dislike the same things and yet looking at us we couldn't be more different.

On the other hand with my family and friends I am too critical. I have expectations and don't you dare let me down! Who made me the queen of expectations? When did I create this imaginary bar that they have to pass? It causes unnecessary friction because if we fail to understand one another, to be fair then there is no harmony.

Lastly I think it's hard to be fair to ourselves. To put yourself first. To pick you. To prioritize yourself. We give to others but we never give to ourselves. Start choosing you. Strike a balance.

Listening is loving....

Be Aware

On day 4 we are in quest of awareness. The questions require some reflection on our part. As we ask ourselves these difficult questions if we truly pause to answer them candidly I have a feeling we will be motivated to shake things up. I am encouraged to use these questions to push myself to better and greater things. Hopefully to more meaningful relationships, more engaging conversations, more fulfilling careers among other things. To do things that will lead me to become the person I have always thought I was. Usually self reflection reveals things about ourselves that we don't like or are even aware we had become.

I would like to really live fully and to truly be happy. To experience joy. I don't think many people if they were asked would say that they were joyful.

Listening is loving...

Be Honest

On day 3 I am reminded to be honest with myself and with others. To take a critical look at my life. To remove the blinders we often put in our lives. To ignore the perfect representations of our lives that we put out on social media. In essence to face the reality of our imperfect lives. Take this time to have conversations that should have been had years ago. Take this time to rekindle relationships that have gone stale because the issues have long been ignored and swept under the rag. Take this time to deal with underlying resentment. Take time to be honest and to rebuild from the ground up.

Speak truth always. Act with integrity always. Be confident that you can be fully depended on to always represent an honest, biased or unbiased truth. Stand firmly in your truth.

Listening is loving...

Be Humble

On day 2 of the Be Inspired Project we are encouraged to be humble. To take a step back and see things from a different perspective. There are factors that have led us to where we are. Some may tempt us to take on a posture of pride. To think that the accomplishments we have made have been a solo effort. While this may be true for some folks, it is rarely the case. Often we have a support system. It may be small or it may be big but make no mistake they contributed to our success in one way or the other.

So today be humbled by this process and celebrate your victories. See each achievement for the blood and sweat it took to get there. Be proud of yourself but always remember to do so with humility.

Listening is loving...

Be Inspired Project

I love the month of September and every year I promise myself (with so much optimism) that it is going to be the beginning of the best year of my life. If you haven't already guessed September is my birthday month. Insert a small scream YAY!!! Honestly some years the months have just rolled into each other. Some years have been great and some not so great. BUT I am alive and therefore the possibilities are endless.

As I get older this year I am embracing a different type of celebration where I focus not so much on the 'party' itself but on my growth as a human being, as a woman, as a daughter, as a sister, as a colleague, as a christian, and all the different things I can be identified with. I decided to do a project for 30 days in September. 

The project or challenge is to post a quote/phrase that hopefully will inspire me and you as well to be better. Hopefully to be more conscious and to make intentional decisions. So here we go with the first challenge. As always thank you for reading.

Listening is loving...