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Living On Life’s Terms

What does living life on life’s terms mean?

In a few words, living our life’s on life’s terms is basically the acceptance of who we are, with our desires and dreams, while honoring the mystery and vastness of fate.

When fate is an impediment to our desires, we get the amazing opportunity to learn. We get creative, discover and new avenues to get us what we want. We learn about love, compassion, self- awareness, forgiveness, patience, and faith.

Living on life terms means realizing that we cannot avoid suffering, trials and losses, but we can find meaning in them to move forward with renewed purpose and more serenity.

What abilities do we need to cultivate to be living on life’s terms?

1) Discernment: We need to cultivate the ability to discern what is in our control, and what is out of our control. When our ego feels audacious, it may mistakenly decide that it has everything under control. On the other hand, when our ego is fearful, it may have the wrong impression that little or nothing is in our control. This is a life-long lesson.

2) Acceptance of how little is in our control: Acceptance is the mysterious answer. Acceptance what is’ is not a passive state, it’s an act of recognition that things are the way they are… It’s one of the most powerful places we can find ourselves in. This is where we learn to humbly accept our limits, and we let go of a sense of control and entitlement. Most of us are ONLY open to accept life on our terms – we accept life only “IF” we were healthy enough; thin enough; serene enough; financially stable enough; in love enough; fit enough; successful enough. In short, we tell ourselves that acceptance is a state of mind reserved for when life works the way we want it and expected, rather than the amazingly freeing ability to experience life every day just as it unfolds.

3) Shift Perspective: rather than seeing what is out of our control as simply unfortunate, we can explore the possibility of discovering the opportunity presented by life with curiosity and wonder.

4) Self-Compassion: We don’t fear risks. We fear how we will treat ourselves if a risk we take generates an unfavorable outcome Therefore, in order to accept life’s terms of living our desire, we will need to learn to forgive ourselves when our actions do not produce the expected results.

5) Letting Go: letting go of the things we cannot control, letting go of expectations, letting go of blame, letting go of complaint, letting go of self-pity, letting go of comparisons, letting go of denying, letting go of resisting, letting go of anger, letting go of agendas, and letting be our experience just be what it is.

6) Trust: Trust in a Power Greater Than Yourself. Trust there are so many things that are happening in an extraordinary way in our lives. Trust that we are equipped with everything we need to face whatever life throws at us. Trust that we will be guided to a prompt and positive solution to what we are dealing with.

7) Control How We Respond: we can decide how we are going to respond to what life brings to us, moment to moment. Exploring our choices, discovering the opportunities, and taking full responsibility for our decisions and actions, is key to living a life of empowerment, serenity, and freedom.

Let the light of our dreams and wishes illuminate the path we belong on. When our desire is accompanied by acceptance for that which lies beyond us, we agree to life’s terms, and live a life well lived.

Accepting Change

Why must things change? Why can’t everything stay the same? Sometimes we wonder…

Do you find yourself continuing to fight against change and resisting situations that lead you to a different path?

We constantly face all kinds of changes; some good, some challenging, and some hard that are forced upon us….

So, we all know that change is inevitable and necessary … but nevertheless, we resist. Do you know why? Fear is the main reason we cannot accept change, fear of the unknown, fear of the uncertainty.

Accepting change, therefore, is not sudden thing we do; it takes many stages of personal transition to find the courage and face our fears. As we allow ourselves to turn through the changing curve different stages, we enable ourselves to move positively forward, where acceptance is the ultimate outcome.

Why is it important to accept change?

Accepting change allows us to adapt better to the situations and become more flexible. Accepting change opens the door to countless blessing and possibilities. And the better able we are to accept change in what is happening in our world, the easier it will be for us to live our best life.

How to start accepting change?

1) Surrender to the words: “I don’t know.”

When you surrender to “I don’t know what’s next.” you open yourself to the endless possibilities that will come. If you allow the space and patiently sit in the “I don’t know” area—which Buddhists call “nothingness”—then, something beautiful will be born.

2) Ask yourself: “What is the opportunity here?”

If you look, you will find it, and change will become something to appreciate and embrace rather than to fear and resist. Remind yourself that , you always have control over how you choose to respond to things. When you respond with an attitude of curiosity, and optimism, you’ll find it so much easier to deal with and thrive during the change.

3) Stay moving.

When things in our life change, it is easy to freeze and stop everything. Take some time to mourn, but then keep moving. Even if you don’t know what’s next, be it in work, health, or love, explore and stay curious. It’s easy to want to just hide under the covers, so do that a little, then take a hike, sign up for a new experience, do something, stay in motion.

4) Lean on your practice.

Consult with your higher-ups (your faith, your guides, your meditation, your breathing techniques, your yoga practice, and your prayers, …whatever you turn to when things get difficult.)

5) Externalize the change.

This one will help you embrace change at a deeper level. Something as simple as getting a haircut, change the arrangements of the furniture around your room, or painting the wall with a different color will reinforce your changes to translate to your surroundings.

6) Allow yourself to feel the fear – and don’t let it stop you.

Give yourself permission to acknowledge and experience whatever fears show up along the way, and then take action anyway. Take one small baby step after another into the unknown – and you will be surprised at how quickly the path forward will become clear to you. Approach the change with both fear and courage – and consider that this may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

Embracing Uncertainty

By Veronica Vidal

Uncertainty can keep us up at night, obsessing over ways to protect ourselves from anything that might go wrong…. Or it can motivate us to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

We don’t know … what’s coming tomorrow might not be easy—or it might fulfill us in ways we didn’t even imagine. What’s certain is that it will come and when it gets here, we will respond to it, learn from it, and move into another tomorrow full of endless possibilities.

If you ever think you’ve created a controllable, predictable life for yourself, you can rest assured that’s an illusion. Nothing stays the same forever. Life is full of uncertainty.

To our rational mind, when an existing pattern of expectations is not met it can be unsettling and cause fear, anxiety, and frustration. To relieve our worries and disappointments we must re-frame our assumptions so that we can adapt to new conditions. It’s no good fooling ourselves that everything is under control. Accepting uncertainty is a challenge, but it can stop us from living in a limbo state of confusion. The thing about uncertainty is that despite our plans we seldom end up where we expected. Embracing uncertainty is an essential component of well-being because it provides a foundation for mental calmness. One day at a time, let us focus on our possibilities, not our fears, and suddenly, we will feel a lot better.

Embracing Uncertainty is to accept paradox and ambiguity with humility and curiosity. Maybe it’s better to accept what cannot be changed, and adapt to what is emerging than to resent the inevitable.” ~ Steve Trivett

The following 8 steps will help you to embrace uncertainty

1) Replace expectations with plans. When you form expectations, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. You can guide your tomorrow, but you can’t control the exact outcome. If you expect the worst, you’ll probably feel too negative and closed-minded to notice and seize opportunities. If you expect the best, you’ll create a vision that’s hard to live up to.

What is in my hands is what I plan—what I will actively do to find balance, and live the life I want.

2. Prepare for different possibilities. The most difficult part of uncertainty is the inability to feel in control. However, one can plan for the possibilities. One can make a list for what one would do if “A” happens versus “B” or “C”.. All we really need is a basic plan and the flexibility to embrace change if necessary.

3. Become a feeling observer. It isn’t the uncertainty that really bothers us; it’s our tendency to get lost in our feelings about it. The second we start indulging fear, we get lost in a cycle of reactionary thoughts. “What if …” leads to “How I am going to manage to…?” Before you know it, we have somehow traveled all the way to a complete tragedy in our minds.

The point is that speculation leads to feelings, which can lead to more speculation and then more feelings. It helps to stop the cycle by recognizing the feeling—in that case, fear—and then remembering that we can’t possibly predict the future, but we can help create it, by fostering positive feelings about the possibilities.

4. Get confident about your coping and adapting skills. It’s more about assuring yourself that you can handle any difficulty that might come. To help you manage anxiety, ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” and answer your self how could you deal with that worst-case scenario, which makes the uncertainty a little less scary.

In her book, The Positive Power of Negative Thinking, Julie K. Norem discusses the concept of defensive pessimism—when you consider the worst so you can plan how you’d handle it. This has actually shown to help people manage anxiety.

5. Utilize stress reduction techniques preemptively. If you’re dealing with uncertainty, you probably have stress in your body, even if it’s not at the forefront of your thoughts at this exact moment. Over time, that body stress affects blood pressure, blood sugar, muscle tension, cholesterol level, breathing rate, and every organ in your body.

Incorporate stress reduction techniques into your day, such as yoga, breathing techniques, relaxation, and meditation, even if just five to ten minutes daily. Finding your center will help you feel better prepared to tackle whatever comes your way.

6. Focus on what you can control. Oftentimes, we overlook the little things we can do to make life easier while obsessing about the big things we can’t do. Focus on a short-term solution, stop complaining, and start some motion now, so that you can make this situation more bearable.

7. Practice mindfulness. Observe when your thoughts go into the uncertain future and bring them back to the present moment. When you obsess about a tomorrow you can’t control, you’re too busy judging what hasn’t happened yet to fully experience what’s happening right now. Instead of noticing and appreciating the beauty in the moment, you get trapped in a fear-driven thought cycle about the potential for discomfort down the line.

8. Reconnect with the blessings in your life. Focus on the gifts that you are enjoying at this moment, Even thinking about gratitude offers a profound sense of strength and tranquility.

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.” ~John Allen Paulos

Continue to stay safe, strong, and serene as we transition to our new normal.

Your loving support, referrals, and loyalty fill me with immense gratitude.

With Infinite Love

Vero Vidal
www.VeroVidal.com

4 Tips For Working On Acceptance

By Veronica Vidal

Acceptance is a very active process, there is nothing passive about it, it’s not passive resignation but an act of recognition that things are the way they are.

Acceptance doesn’t mean we can’t work to change the world or circumstances, but it means that unless we accept things as they are, we will try to force things to be as they are not, and that can create an enormous amount of difficulty AND pain.

Acceptance is about the courage to look at a situation right in the eye and say:” Yes, I have this problem”.

Acceptance is coming to terms with things as they are. Acceptance is facing reality as it is, which allows the possibility of moving in the direction of change or to be at peace with what is.

1) Avoid judging yourself, others and/or your circumstances.

Emotions are natural and everyone has them—acknowledging them can help you understand yourself better and move forward. Choose not to judge what happens to you. Instead, believe that everything happens for a reason and that better things will always follow. That’s the beginning of true acceptance. Develop awareness of your judgmental inner voice and cultivate a non-judgmental attitude.

2) Stop pushing away unpleasant thoughts and feelings.

Stop resisting. So much of our anguish is created when we are in a resistance state. Repressing our thoughts and feelings will not make them disappear. Resisting the reality makes us depressed, and eventually depressed.

Resistance and denial will not move us forward, nor will eliminate the undesirable. We don’t achieve acceptance in a moment. We often have to work through a mirage of thoughts and feelings – sometimes frustration, anger, outrage, shame, self-pity, fear, or sadness. Think about what you have to think; feel what you need to feel. Be mindful of what crosses your mind and heart, then, release it. A thought or feeling is not forever. The more quickly we can accept a feeling the more quickly we can move on to the next. Acceptance is the magic that makes change possible. Acceptance opens the door to growth, change, and moving forward.

3) Practice letting go.

How can you accept a devastating loss or change? We have two choices:

One is to hold on to the way things were. But if we can’t accept life the way it is, we have a big problem, because we cannot change what already has happened. Resisting the flow of life will only make us even more unhappy.
The other choice is to have the courage to accept life the way it is, which even though challenging, this process will empower us enormously.

4) Let beauty in.

When you’re focused on everything that’s lacking, it’s hard to fully notice, appreciate, and enjoy what’s present in abundance. Choose to appreciate what you have as opposed to giving too much attention to what you’ve lost.

Practice mindfulness, look around you; there’s beauty all around. Beaches and mountains, birds flying across the sky, music, and culture, blueberry ice cream, kissing in the sunset, and lifelong friendships. There is so much to live for; open up to what is truly beautiful and important in life.

Most of us keep the blinds shut, closing off to life. Take on the curiosity of a child. Open up and explore life as if it were your first day here, regardless of what you’ve had or lost. You can choose to focus on either. What’s your choice?

Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice nonetheless. I know it’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different. But the truth is, sometimes we can’t change our reality, even if we try.

So instead of staring at the closed door in front of us, or getting tired and bruised while we try to break it down, let’s turn around and see how many other windows we have open.

WHAT ARE SOME ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE THAT NEED ACCEPTANCE?

Reflecting On Gratitude In Times of Hardship

Several studies have found that more grateful people experience less depression and are more resilient following traumatic events. Multiple studies have found that people with higher levels of dispositional gratitude have signs of better psychological health, including higher levels of perceived social support and lower levels of stress, depression, and anxiety.

Let me share 4 coaching tools I am focusing on to cultivate GRATITUDE:

1) Keep a Gratitude Journal. This is the most basic and powerful practice in all of Positive Psychology. There has not been a single text on happiness published in the past decade that does not mention this exercise. Every day, write down three blessings from the past 24 hours. Pencil and paper or online journal work equally well.

2) Offer a Prayer of Thanks. Robert Emmons, in his 2007 book, “thanks!” says that 70% of people surveyed (all religions combined) pray daily. Those who say ‘thank you’ more often than ‘please give me….’ experience higher life satisfaction.

3) Accept your situation. See beyond self-denial. Instead, accept your current situation. Sometimes it helps to accept a loss. This means accepting what you don’t have currently, and doing the best you can with what you have. This makes you ready to take in anything life throws at you.

4) Include others into your expression of gratitude. By focusing our gratitude on individuals that we are thankful for (and not material items or specific circumstances) we enhance the benefits of our gratitude. Give a detailed description of what this person did for you, and what impact they have created in your life.

“Everything that happens to us has a blessing built into it.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer

I sincerely hope these reminders are of service to you.

WOHASU 2018 – ‘What Is Yoga?” by Veronica Vidal

Veronica Vidal is a Fellow Founder and  the Chair of  the Global Yoga Community Board  for The World Happiness Summit 2017, 2018 (WOHASU) 

In this video presentation Veronica explains what is Yoga and why practice Yoga as an integral part to find happiness ? 
“Happiness is a choice that one needs to cultivate, and yoga is a powerful tool to sustain happiness, as well as to become resilient to the inevitable vicissitudes of life.”