Glass Half Full

As the end of the Jewish year approaches and a new one begins, I find myself without a clear mind. I have many thoughts and reflections on the past year and just about life in general. The one thought that I would like to focus on would be the idea of self-examination. Are you happy with whom you are right now at this point in your life?

This idea is a process that indicates one is ready to make an internal change—seeing oneself differently in the world, in your relationships, in your community; seeing the glass as half full if you’re normally a glass-half-empty kind of person; being able to enjoy life’s journey and make meaning out of it.

How can you see yourself differently in the world, in your relationships, in your community?

To quote Robert Byrne, “The purpose of life is a life of purpose.” We must strive to create lives that are filled with purpose and meaning. One way to approach this philosophy is to live a life with the glass-half-full mindset. Take a positive approach to all of life’s challenges, pains, losses, obstacles, etc…because, not to be negative, life is filled with them. That’s not always easy, but speaking from experience, trying to put a positive spin on negative occurrences goes a long way. You must gain the mindset and realize that whatever you’re going through could be worse, and chances are, someone else in the world does have it worse than you do.

Make meaning out of life’s journey—remember and reminisce about the past, celebrate the present, and plan for and be excited about your future.

These are just a few thoughts that are going through my head at this point in my life…and maybe some words of wisdom. Please share your thoughts with me!

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman

Here is some inspiration that I thought you may all enjoy.

You don’t just want to look back on your life and wonder where it went. You want to have memories, adventures, experiences with people that you love (and maybe even the ones you don’t). You want to learn and take away from each situation the most that you possibly can. This is your life–don’t just let it pass you by. Make it special and have no regrets. Live your life to your fullest potential because it will all be worth it in the end. It’s better to have a life of “oh wells” than to have a life of “what ifs.” Take chances and make mistakes because that is how you grow and learn. Believe in yourself. You can do anything that you set your mind to. I know it!

Inspiration

Second Chances, Strength, and No Regrets

“If you have made mistakes, even serious ones, there is always another chance for you. What we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.” – Mary Pickford

When I woke up this morning, my parents were watching CBS Sunday Morning. The cover story was about an ex-convict turned student, lawyer, and husband. He had been a successful high school student and football player who graduated with scholarships and planned to attend college. He couldn’t handle the stresses of college, dropped out after a semester, had a few jobs, married, had a child, and divorced. He then turned to drugs and alcohol and was convicted for several armed robberies. Sentenced to 20 years in prison, he thought his life was over. But, he turned things around for himself and took correspondence college courses in prison and was released 13 years early. He finished law school, got a job, and remarried. He is waiting to hear about his score on the BAR exam and he and his wife are expecting.

This story absolutely got me thinking about my life, second chances, and what wisdom I can impart on the blog world. We have to take each day as it comes and live life to the fullest because while this man did get a second chance, life may not always allow for that. A lesson that this man tries to teach everyone (especially those in prison—he goes and speaks to them about second chances) is that there are no excuses for not trying. He is the prime example of his lesson. There is no reason that an ex-con can’t make it because this man is proof positive that that’s just not true.

Life Tips:

  1. Second chances are rare but when given the opportunity, take advantage of them.
  2. Don’t live with regret because no matter how good or bad your experience is, you can always learn a lesson.
  3. Believe in your dreams and run with them—they will become your future.
  4. Find your niche in the world and set your mind, heart, and soul to anything that you think is worth accomplishing.
  5. Always make time for things that are important to you.

“The Important Things in Life Aren’t Things…”

I’m the kinda girl who wishes on 11:11 whenever I get the chance. I’m the kinda girl who throws a penny into a fountain and makes a wish. I’m the kinda girl who wishes on a shooting star (I’ve seen one once in the vast Negev Desert in Israel!). I’m the kinda girl who makes a wish when pulling a wishbone apart. I’m the kinda girl who wishes when my necklace clasp is spun around to the front. I’m the kinda girl who wishes on a loose eyelash that has fallen on my cheek. Get it? I like to make a lot of wishes, but I can’t tell you what they are. They’re my own secrets. Because if I told you, well, then, they wouldn’t come true. I guess I’m a little superstitious.

As I was driving home the other day after a torrential downpour, I noticed a vivid rainbow out of my car’s window. Stopped at a red light, I pulled out my camera and began taking pictures. It wasn’t until I got back home when I looked at the picture again (and showed it to everyone who was home—it was so beautiful!) and saw that it was actually a double rainbow! Curious about the significance of seeing a double rainbow, I googled (yes, it’s now a verb) it. Here’s what I found: “according to Feng Shui writer, Lillian Too, a double rainbow is a sign from the cosmic Universe that you are about to have something great fall into your lap, and that one good thing will lead to another.” Another source, The Osho Energy Transformation Institute, “says a double rainbow is the symbol of transformation.”

The definition of a wish is a desire or hope for something to happen. Now, you may be wondering what my wishing has to do with my seeing a double rainbow. Honestly, they’re not completely related. I’ll admit (but shhhh, don’t tell anyone!) that something great falling into my lap has been a wish of mine in the past, though. Having all of those wishes come true is pure luck. As is seeing a double rainbow. You have to be in the right place at the right time. I do believe that seeing that double rainbow is like having one of my wishes come true because of its strong significance. I’ve had to overcome a few challenges throughout my lifetime, but I still realize how privileged I am and that some people have experienced much worse than I have. So, having one good thing lead to another is something I (and most likely everyone else) always wish for.

Basic Beauty

Be yourself, follow your heart, and have a positive attitude: Do what you want to do and don’t let anybody stop you. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” It’s all about your attitude—if you have a positive attitude, positive changes will occur. If you follow your heart and believe in yourself (Yeah, I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true!) other people will believe in you and respect you more.

Trust no one else as much as you trust yourself: Of course it is wonderful to have friends and family who you can rely on to help you whenever you need that extra little push to get past that bump in the road. But you must solely rely on yourself to take initiative. No one will feed you all of the answers and no one will always be there to pat you on the back every time you accomplish something. You are your best friend, but at the same time, you are your worst enemy. Trust your instincts.

Stay smart and think smart: It’s not only important to stay smart (by reading, doing crossword puzzles or playing games like Scrabble), but it’s important to think smart. In other words, have common sense. Don’t do something you know is stupid or that will hurt you in the long run. Enough said.

Be your best possible self: Strive for your version of perfection (there is no definition of the word; what I think is perfect, you may think is utterly repulsive)—just always try your hardest and always do your best! Make an effort and show that you care and are passionate about what you are doing, the people who are important to you—make sure they know you care about them and how much you love them (those 3 little words can go such a long way!)—and your past, present, and future. Don’t let memories fade, live in the moment, and plan ahead.

The natural look: Physical beauty is important as well. Everyone is beautiful—inside and out. Some people may have to dig a little deeper to find it, but I promise, it’s there. Outside—it’s easy for us girls to put on some makeup and straighten our hair. But why not be natural? Both my makeup and my flat iron can be my best friends, I have to admit, but no one ever said I had to cake it on. Enhance your natural beauty.

Eat right and stay fit: What more can I say? Seems pretty self-explanatory. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to know that exercising is important and that eating right is all about portion control and getting a balanced diet—check out the list of healthy foods on my listography page.

The Constant Princess: From Midnight and Beyond…

Before I left my house for work this morning, I sprayed myself with some perfume (like I do most other days as well). Today I just grabbed a random perfume on my vanity without really looking at which one it was. When I finally realized it was a blue bottle with a “glass slipper” on the cap, I remembered I had bought it as a little girl in Disney World (shows how often I use that perfume because it is still pretty much full to the top). The perfume was called Cinderella—one of my favorite Disney princesses (it’s a toss-up between her and Belle). As I sprayed the perfume on my neck, I said to myself, “I’m a princess today.” But what I realized next is the best part—I’m a princess everyday.

You may be wondering how I came to that conclusion because it sounds pretty self-centered and as if I’m a spoiled girl if you ask me. Well, here is my thought: most every girl/woman is a princess everyday no matter size, shape, ethnicity, age, religion, etc. and we all deserve to be treated like one. We have to realize how lucky we are and how fortunate we are to be living the lives that we live. Even if we struggle or have numerous challenges, we have to think about all of the positives. That, to me, is the epitome of a true princess.

We can view Kate (and her spectacular Royal Wedding) as a wonderful example. She was just a “normal” girl living a life somewhat similar to all of ours. Once she met Prince William, her life changed from there. I’m sure like every other girl, she dreamt about being a princess, but her reality came true in the literal sense. Our dreams can all come true in the figurative sense that we are our own princesses, title or no title.