Monthly Archives: September 2016

35. Rewind

letgoWe often hear that hindsight is 20/20. While there’s a great deal of truth in that statement, hindsight is meant to be accessed as a temporal tool. It’s a means to gain momentary insight from the past, so those truths can be applied proactively in our future. A problem arises when hindsight becomes a state of being, rather than a periodic reflection. Living within that continual microscope of the past, calls into question actions and decisions that are no longer within our power to change.

We have been given the incredible gift of starting over each and every day. Those unresolved situations can eat us alive if we continue to ruminate on them. Considering the “what if’s” that could have potentially brought different outcomes, changes nothing and only adds to our discontent. There was a time when this was my continual state. The energy poured into past events beyond my control, robbed me of the joy I could have been experiencing in the moment. I share this poem as a reminder that we don’t have to rewind to find the peace and gratitude that comes with moving on from our past! We don’t need a do over! I’ve learned to set aside my regrets, and place my focus and energy in the present.

Today is the day to leave the past behind us and move forward in grace, truth, and gratitude! I encourage each of us to release a person or situation that still resides in those uncharted waters of our unresolved past. It is our choices and actions, and ours alone, that can free us from the bondage of the weight we have carried for so many years. I challenge us to close one of those chapters in the book of our lives today. Feel the freedom that comes with truly letting go. Share your gratitude in a journal entry about the situation or in a letter to that person imprisoned in your thoughts. There’s no better way to create an environment for healing, for all parties involved, should we choose to partake! Whether others choose to participate or not, our hearts will be remarkably lighter. I can already imagine the gratitude bubbling up to the surface as we release our weights! I hope you’ll join me, as this can be such a freeing exercise.

Rewind

To go back and begin again
To know what I now know and apply it wisely the second time around
To right my wrongs
To carry out my fallen responsibilities

To love unafraid
To take the chances that fear had paralyzed
To be transparent all along
To feel both joy and pain instead of nothing

To touch the lives of others
To set myself aside and look far beyond
To risk all I have not for my own benefit
To forget my woes and address another’s

To learn to not build walls
To recognize the importance of the whole as well as the pieces
To remove my blinders that my vision might improve
To close my lips that destruction isn’t done

To guard my beliefs and not be swayed
To be a light to those who find themselves in darkness
To be a hand to hold
To help clear a path to follow

To be truly loved while here
To be truly missed when gone
To leave a legacy with significant impact
To know my life was lived with no regrets

This is what I wish if I could only rewind…

This was a poem I wrote many years ago from a place of longing for a better future, while residing in the perpetual past. I now spend my time in the present, with occasional glimpses backwards. The difference in mindset is stunning. I’m grateful for the shift.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

34. A Daily Dose Of Necessity!

habitsI ran across a quote today that got me thinking. The quote said, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily. ~ Zig Ziglar”

Why Most Fail At Making Life Changes

This is a much more profound statement than it may seem on the surface. Lack of consistency is one of the top reasons individuals fail when it comes to implementing change. If immediate, significant results aren’t seen, THEY STOP! Consistency and persistence are two of the single most important characteristics in succeeding. Yet, there seems to be a common, yet faulty mentality that if we do something a few times, that should be adequate to see us through for the long haul. NOT SO! Imagine bathing or brushing your teeth every day for 2 weeks, and then forgetting to do so for the next month! What kind of outcome could we expect? Not a very hygienic one, that is for certain! So what would we do? As soon as we realized we had forgotten, we would bathe and brush our teeth again! Right? Well, this is no different. You wouldn’t say, “Oh, I blew it. I forgot to bathe or brush my teeth for so long, I just won’t ever bother trying again!” That would be ridiculous!

Making Lasting Changes

Making lasting changes in our lives requires a commitment to daily action and consistency. We can’t just periodically exercise the new drill when we remember or feel like it! Many of the negative influences in our lives have become deeply embedded habits that must be replaced with new behaviors. New behaviors must be acted upon consistently, and for a long enough period of time to become habit. Otherwise, we revert to our old programming as soon as we become slack. It’s far too easy to throw in the towel once we find ourselves slipping back into old habits. We become discouraged and begin thinking we will never be able to conquer our old inner demons. This is absolutely not true.

The 21 day rule for new habits doesn’t always apply

They say it takes 21 days to make a new habit. I have found that to not always be the case. Many of you have learned first-hand, old habits often die-hard and may require a bit more persistence than 21 days. The key to success in making new habits is NEVER GIVING UP! If you do well for 2 weeks and fall off your horse, get right back on! It will not take much time to recover from a short lapse, if you get right back into your new routine. It is much harder to begin again and maintain that momentum once you’ve let a lapse continue for a longer period of time. The longer you wait to begin again, the more difficult it becomes. This only fuels discouragement.

The key is to always get right back into the new behavior immediately, as soon as you recognize you have faltered. We all make mistakes. We all have difficult days. The difference between those who succeed and those who do not is how we choose to behave after recognizing the lapse. Be kind to yourself. Get out of the bad habit of beating yourself up when you make a mistake. Yet, do not excuse your mistakes and allow them to continue. Acknowledge you made a wrong turn and have fallen. Get up, brush yourself off, and begin to move forward again in your new desired direction.

You will find that everyone has lapses in the beginning. Change takes time. You will also find that with practice, those lapses become fewer, and more time passes between them. With practice, you will find yourself not even having to think about your new behavior any longer. It will become an automatic response with time and consistency.

Attitude Is Everything!

Another stumbling block in bringing effective change is attitude. If you believe you can do it, you can! If you believe you can’t and that you will fail, you will. Our thoughts and beliefs are powerful forces that bring to fruition those things we focus on the most. If our focus is fear of failing in this new attempt, well then, we may be in trouble. Instead, place your focus on your expected, successful outcome. See yourself successfully implementing your new way of life. Delight in the thoughts of the positive outcomes. Imagine what your life would look like now if you had already mastered these new goals. If you place your focus on the positive, expected outcome, you will be pleasantly surprised with the result!

Starting Small Builds Confidence

One last thing to consider is starting small! Don’t start by choosing the most difficult change you can envision! It’s so much easier to take on another project when we have others victoriously under our belt. Each time we complete a transformational goal, our self-esteem increases and our confidence rises. This makes us more apt to take on the next challenge with enthusiasm and great expectations. Start with something smaller. As you pass each new milestone, the strength and confidence necessary to take you through the tougher journeys ahead will blossom.

Remember, the most important things you can do to affect changes in your life are:

1) Engage in daily, consistent behaviors to create new habits to replace the old ones.

2) If you stumble, immediately get right back up and continue in your new direction.

3) Place your focus on the positive, expected outcome.

4) Start small to build confidence.

Practice makes perfect! The more habits you successfully transform, the easier the next process becomes! I hope these thoughts and suggestions help shift your habit building processes into successful ventures that take you to the next level!

Love and Light,
Laura Lum Corby 🙂

 

33. The Art Of Being Mindful

 

Isn’t it just amazing that we have the ability to change the direction of the train just by thinking about it? What appeared to be clearly going one way was quickly reversed to the opposite, just by us switching our thoughts and perception. What if you could redirect your life’s perception just by choosing to see it going in a different direction? Here’s the great news… you can!

Not long ago, I spoke to a friend of mine who was a little frustrated that although she has made some efforts to become much more positive, she said it seemed the harder she tried, the more bad things kept happening to her. How can that be if she’s thinking more positively?

There are some principles at work in regard to the law of love that must be understood in order to harness the power to change things. Most of us do not realize how much time we actually spend in negative thoughts, on any given day. For so many years, our thoughts have been on auto pilot and though we are making an effort to begin to think positively, unknowingly we still spend the large majority of our day thinking negatively.

How many of you have driven somewhere, only to arrive and realize you don’t even remember driving most of the way there? There are landmarks, traffic lights, and stop signs you don’t even remember passing, because you were lost deep in your own thoughts. We do this quite often without recognition. The problem is, when our thoughts are in auto pilot, they have a tendency to be rather negative in nature. The things we typically ruminate about are rarely fantastic, positive experiences! More often than not, they’re the things we wish we had done differently, or are concerned about in the future! If we’re spending a good amount of our day in unrecognized auto pilot, those negative thoughts have a way of overshadowing much of the positive thinking we have tried to put in place.

Being mindful and living in the now is a skill that we must learn to develop to make forward progress. What does that mean? Well, being mindful is being FULLY AWARE of your present thoughts, environment, attitude, and choosing to instill course corrections immediately when you stray off course. It takes practice, but you will find the more mindful you become, the more you have the ability to maintain a positive influence throughout the day. This is where the scales begin to tip in your favor!

Emotions are always a good measure for where your thoughts are. Are you smiling and happy, or are you stressed, worried, doubtful or discouraged? You can tell where your thoughts are residing simply by looking at how you feel. When you recognize that you are not smiling and feeling as good as you ought, you have the ability to shift those thoughts and change those feelings and eventual outcomes. It’s all within your control, you just have to learn how to implement the right procedures to stay the course, and practice makes perfect!

Remember this rule, you have to maintain at least 51% positive thoughts to tip the balance  of the scales in your favor. If you think positively 20% of the time, but then go negative 80%, you are still going to be struggling. Try to pay attention to your thoughts and not let them wander. If you find yourself moving into negative territory, quickly move back to the positive. If you are not sure what you have to be positive about, start considering the things in your life you are thankful for or that you love. I know many I speak with say they have nothing to be thankful for, but the fact is, that’s just not true! Everyone has something to be thankful for, so start with the small things. Make a list of the things in your life you are grateful for and grow that list. Every time you think of something else, add it to your list. When you find yourself down, pull out that list and start remembering what you have to be grateful for. THIS ALWAYS WORKS! Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotional forces, next to love! Use it to shift your thoughts into a more positive realm and see what a difference it makes. Make sure you start every day with your list of gratitude. Starting off the day on this right footing will help to insure the rest of your day is moving in a positive direction!

As with anything, it takes a little time and practice to learn to control your thoughts and move into the positive majority. DON’T GIVE UP! You will find before you know it, you are required to put less and less effort into this process, and it becomes more second nature! It’s a habit that must be developed, and once you do, it reaps a lifetime of rewards!

Love and Light,
Laura Corby 🙂

 

32. It’s OK To Not Be OK!

not-be-okWe all face times of great difficulty. It’s not a problem to experience a down time. It’s part of the journey and often what leads us to new levels of awareness, that then lead to growth. Where we get into trouble is choosing to park there, settle in, and permanently take up residence. We all walk through darkness at times. The key is to keep walking!

This has been an incredibly challenging week for me. Even in the midst of some of the most tremendous growth I’ve ever experienced over the last few months, I’ve also seen some of the greatest difficulties I’ve ever known. As a practitioner, there’s often that internal voice, calling me to set the example, get back up again, brush off the dust, and get back on that darn horse! While that’s certainly something that must be eventually considered, there’s also something to be said for allowing ourselves to fully acknowledge, feel, and embrace the not so great times, so we can release and heal from them as well. The current psychobabble is all about being positive, focusing on just the good, giving no place to anything negative, and just making up our minds to not allow this to get us down, so we can move forward. Let’s be real though, that’s not always what the doctor ordered. The reality of the situation is there is a time and place to acknowledge and sit with our pain. It’s actually a very important step in the healing process, that often gets skipped by the positive only crowd. That time and place varies with everyone. There is no established norm set, that if we remain longer than a certain amount of time, we are then considered negligent and wallowing in our pity! Having said that, the amount of time is a very individualized thing that must be taken into account as we continually keep ourselves in check. There’s a vast difference between observing and allowing our difficulties to teach us, and giving up to the role of victimization, where there is no longer any desire to continue moving forward.

Today I was gently reminded that setting the example isn’t about never struggling, that’s ego speaking. What it’s really about is being authentic. Saying what I actually feel, meaning what I say, and bringing truth and reality to whatever is happening in my life at any given moment. The only time I’m in a wrong space, is when I choose to stay present with the pain beyond the time of learning, and when I am no longer able to balance it with the good I also have surrounding me. As long as I’m mindful of the boundaries, I’m choosing to look at both the pain and the good in my life, and I’m learning and growing from both, then I’m in a good space.

We all experience difficult times, there are no exceptions to that rule. To pretend everything is coming up roses when our hearts are hurting is anything but genuine. By truly acknowledging and embracing not only our pain, but the reality that we may not have, nor do we need all the answers at this particular moment, we give ourselves permission to just be present and be perfectly OK with not being OK. The amount of stress that alone removes from our lives is monumental. Contrary to popular belief, no one has it all together. No one! We are all here learning as we journey through this lifetime. Let’s support one another as we each experience our struggles. Rather than comparing or judging, let’s encourage and remind one another that it’s perfectly normal and even expected at times to not be OK. Fighting those feelings and desperately seeking resolution to end our discomfort, typically just intensifies the discomfort. There’s a time to just let it be. As I sit in my discomfort tonight, I’m reminded I’m not alone, this is definitely temporary, and there’s always a calm that comes after every storm. So I’m battening down the hatches, waiting for the storm to subside, and looking forward to the sun and warmth shining down on me again in the very near future!

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

31. A Time Of Rest And Regrouping

winterAnd don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous. – Rumi

I find the same to be true of our being as well. There are times when things appear less than desirable, or even downright barren. That doesn’t mean there’s not a lot going on inside that has yet to bear fruit! The seasons are a fantastic metaphor for the transitioning times in our lives. Winter often looks bleak, yet in short order, brand new shoots break ground and spring forth, ushering in a new season during which growth is rampant! I like to look at the “winter” seasons as a time of rest and regrouping, a regaining of strength needed for the upcoming germination and expansion to come.

Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby

This is a poem I wrote a while back, that illustrates those times of regrouping.

Soon Will Come The Spring

As winter came my petals dropped
My color disappeared
My stalk began to wither
As it had so many years
For months I just lay dormant
Hoping soon would come the spring
That once again I’d start to thrive
And growth would be my thing
As time passed by the warmth did come
And so did I soon grow
I also learned and understood
A truth that I must know
That I was a perennial
Eternal life was mine
But always with the winter months
Would come a dying time
To shed my weathered foliage
Knowing soon the sun would bring
A brand new life and garment
When again did come the spring

© 1995 Laura Lum Corby

30. Gratitude – According To His Will

Hanging

 

I am grateful today for Divine timing and grace, perspective, and the fact that I’m learning to no longer have the need to be in control!

We Can’t Always Immediately See How the Puzzle Pieces Fit Together

No matter how positive I believe I am, if I’m honest with myself, there are often times of difficulty and doubt somewhere along the journey! Control is a funny thing! It’s easy to stay calm and relaxed when nothing’s on the line! Yet when what I’ve had my heart settled on for many years (Hmmm… see anything wrong here?) seems to be slipping from my grasp, it’s not quite so easy to sit back and be the back seat driver, or better yet, just the passenger. Perspective and timing are critical factors in how things unfold in our lives, and I’ve been reminded a great deal of late that my perspective and timing are not really the best. I have some perspective vision problems that are impossible to fully correct while in this mortal body! What I mean by that is I’m obviously quite finite in every aspect of the word! My physical life here on this earth, my perceptions, and my ability to see the big picture in terms of how all the puzzle pieces fit together are dependent on my viewpoint, which quite frankly is limited! Like mostly everyone else here, (because you know there are always exceptions!) I have the privilege of only seeing where I have been and where I am right now. I can glean incredible amounts of wisdom from just the experiences alone that I have been through to date, yet there’s nothing that gives me a clear indication of what’s to come in its entirety! We may have glimpses, but even so, nothing is set in stone until it has transpired, and as I’m sure we have all experienced, life is ridiculously fluid and changes from moment to moment. The characteristic of infinite perspective belongs to the Divine only, and knowing that makes it a bit easier to relinquish my grip upon the wheel, and turn over the steering to One who can see far more clearly, perfectly to be more precise, in the distance.

Detours And Setbacks Have A Role To Play

Experience has taught me that not only does my finite vision lead to me driving into the ditch far too often, it also creates unnecessary injuries along the way, as most “accidents” do. Take heart though, as even these detours and setbacks have a role to play in carrying out infinite purpose! The decisions I have made in this lifetime up until now have been discerned on limited information, as I have no certainty of whether or not I will even be here tomorrow, let alone what those days ahead might hold! Hindsight has become an invaluable tool, as it has provided me with a testing ground, if you will. In hindsight, I can say with certainty and clarity that EVERYTHING that has transpired so far in my life (Yes, the good, the bad, and even the really ugly!) has carried purpose, yet not always purpose I was able to discern at that particular time. So often, it’s not until many years later that we can look back and see how all the pieces were fit together to form a whole, when at the time, there were some pieces we were not even aware existed yet!

It’s Not Always About Me

These experiences have taught me that I have a strong track record, a brilliant history of survival, as I’m still here! I can see how most situations have played into the strengthening of my skill sets (physically, emotionally, & spiritually), which in turn have typically prepared me for something I have yet to experience that will require those skills. Another thing I have learned is it’s not always about me! Yeah, I know, I really did say that! It’s so easy to look at circumstances and just not fully understand how they could have possibly benefitted us, as even in hindsight, there may not always be a clear answer for the inner questions we have about why things transpire. I believe that’s because we are often vessels in the lives of others. There are times that simply daydreaming and sitting too long after a traffic light has turned green, creates a change. That change delayed traffic, which then kept the vehicles back just far enough that the cars were not swept up by a freak tornado that just happened to spontaneously appear. Had they been 2 minutes earlier it would have taken their lives. This is actually a true story! Things like this happen ALL THE TIME, but because we don’t always have a front seat in the theater of the lives of others, we never really know that we’re a part of that scenario! This is happening much more often than you might think!

Things Are Exactly As They Should Be

All of this to say… our finite perspectives make it impossible to see any given picture in its entirety. We will only be able to see a skewed and limited perspective at any given time, and with trust and faith, not to mention a fabulous track record, we can breathe a little easier and know that whether we see it or not, all is as it should be. Things always have a way of working out in the end. The question in the meantime becomes, “What is it we are supposed to learn and take away from these experiences?” If we’re not asking the questions, we’re missing incredible opportunities for growth and depth.

In my case, it’s been trust and surrender, and let me tell you, they have died hard and periodically resurrect for another slaying! Be encouraged and know that all things do work together for good, even when it may not be visible at the time!

Love and Light,
Laura Lum Corby 🙂

This is a poem I wrote a while back that speaks directly to this discussion.

According To His Will

Many times we lack
The understanding that we need
While watching the events of life unfold
We question those around us
In hopes that we will find
The answers that only God can hold
We hope and pray in times of doubt
For wisdom in our choices
Wishing His entire plan was known
But finite in our vision
We often will not see
That through our trial another seed was sown
But when we meet Him face to face
Eternal in perspective
I don’t believe we’ll need to question still
We’ll see that all the tribulations
We had to endure
Worked for good according to His will

© 1995 Laura Lum Corby