Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

You Can Do It

Sometimes we have been so conditioned by our negative environments and conditions that we can miss the opportunity to explore our own potential. Fortunately, we can break down those barriers that stump and stall us, and breakaway from that false way of thinking:

Commit to change. Whatever you know needs to happen to make you happier, do it. Plan it. Make it happen. Your negative thinking will continue to win your battles if you don't DO SOMETHING.

Shut down negativity and naysayers. There are always well-meaning people in our lives who tend to say the wrong thing and offer the wrong kind of support. We live with them. We work with them. They show up on the way to our dreams and destinies. It's senseless to react negatively. You're disappointed that they don't understand. You're hurt by what they say. You're second-guessing your decisions. Save that energy. It's put to better use when you apply it to your goals. Everyone won't get it, and that is okay.

Remove the barriers in your way. Fear. Uncertainty. Procrastination. These are all blocks to our achievements and success. Fight the fear in small steps. Make the call. Write the email. Make the inquiry. Talk to someone. Overcome uncertainty by knocking on a door. Research things. Learn what you need to know. Don't wait for a perfect time. Anytime is a great time to move the barriers. Once you get those out of the way, you will see your way forward a lot better.

Keep the vision. Keep the faith. Whenever it feels hard, or whenever you get discouraged, say "I can do this" over and over and over again. Picture it. Smile about it. Think about the finish line and what that is going to feel like. The vision say it's possible. Faith says "Yes, it is." ~S.R.F.

  

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Sun Is Shining Somewhere

Let the Sunshine In

I won't make it sound like cloudy days are easy to get through. Sometimes they are not. When we feel gloomy, for whatever reason, it can be hard to shake.

Life is like that, it's a matter of fact. Some days are wonderful, and some days suck. Things may not seem like they're going your way. You may be lonely. You may be in a crisis, or in grief. Whatever the cause, there is also a remedy, and it's within ourselves.

I've learned that I have to take responsibility for moving my clouds out of the way. If a situation or circumstance doesn't change, I understand that I have an option to come up with solutions or not. If I don't come up with solutions, nothing changes. Clouds linger. Dreariness looms and there is no opening for the sunshine to peer through. 

However, if I take courage and do what's necessary to move those clouds, the atmosphere in my life changes, often sooner than later. You see, somewhere on the inside of us there is some sunshine, even when it appears there isn't. It's there, above those clouds that we have let dominate our days.

Look within. Push through those clouds, the pain, the hurt, the challenge. When you do, you make room for the sunshine in your mind and heart to come through with some self-love to embrace, a happy, healthy thought or two, or a bright dash of wisdom that breaks through the dimness. Opening your heart to the sunshine can be akin to opening your blinds and curtains after a hard rain. You can see a little light peeking through, but when you open the curtains wide, the sunshine floods in.

I encourage you to not spend another minute under the gloom. Above those dreary thoughts and feelings is a burst of sunshine ready to change how you feel, how you see things and to bring you into many, many brighter days. Let the sunshine in. ~ S.R.F.


Sunday, January 1, 2017

It's The New Year! Are You Ready?

Ready! Re-DO! Reset!

Ready or not, here it is! Another New Year has rolled in! It didn't catch us by surprise though, did it? We've been thinking over a few things that we would like to see happen in 2017 and beyond, right? 

Many people make resolutions, whether we call it that or not. The new year usually will inspire thoughts of looking ahead to the things that will make life better and more fulfilling. So, in response to all the talk about "out with the old, in with the new" stuff, we reflect on the things we may want to "re-do" or reset. The New Year is a paradigm for change, and opportunity to challenge ourselves to continue transforming our lives and growing into our best selves:

See your potential. It's in your head. It's in your heart. The "new" change you want to make. The "new" thing you want to do. The "new" direction you want to take. You can do it. If it's in your head and heart, that's the first indication that you're ready. Now, it's in your hands to start the process.

Remember, the old way may not work. Maybe you tried something and quit last year. Maybe you quit because a different plan could possibly have worked better for you? Try again, and consider a different strategy, a "re-do" of your way of getting to your ideal results. This time, perhaps, using a new plan better suited to your comfort levels, and your life.

Reset daily. There are at least 365 opportunities to "reset" your mindset on the goal. Everyday, start your process with a new attitude about it. Yesterday was yesterday. Today requires new energy and new focus. When you hit your own reset button, it means you're intending to start with fresh eyes on the goal each day, a fresh consciousness as you proceed toward it, and fresh feelings of inspiration about achieving it. If you were tired, frustrated or disappointed yesterday, start "new" today, tomorrow and again, and again. Each day you can! 
~ S.R.F.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Faith Is Knowing God's Got You

"My own issues hardly mattered anymore.
 I really did know that I'd get through
them. I just didn't know exactly how."

I asked God "Is this really happening?"

Optimism comes easy for me, even when things look their dimmest. I've lived a life of faith and practiced positive thinking for so long that I'm deeply rooted in both, in both my heart and my head. With that being said, to say that 2015 was the hardest year of my life isn't an understatement. It's not a complaint. It's not negative thinking. It's just the plain, simple, unfortunate truth. One challenge after another seemed to meet me face-to-face last year, with hard and very severe,  life-shattering blows.

It all began in late 2013 when my daughter was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Consumed with a combination of faith and worry, I was standing firm as a mother, but devastated on the inside to see how she was unexpectedly catapulted into fighting the biggest battle of her life. As I mentioned, at the same I was barely pulling through a time of crisis myself after a series of events that literally knocked the breath out of me and pulled the rug right from under my feet. Even the best laid plans can change, and they had for me also. I was fighting for my own life, too, in an entirely different way. Even so, my own issues hardly mattered to me anymore. I really did know I'd get through them, I just didn't know exactly how. What mattered now was that my daughter was sick, and everything took a back seat to that.

I had recently finished my book and had such wonderful plans in the works for my launch. I was so proud and excited about this accomplishment, until the news of my daughter’s illness took over every bit of my existence. I had lost her twin sister many years ago when they were just little girls, in a tragic car accident. So, now I'm looking up at Heaven and asking "Is this really happening"? It was, and it was happening at the speed of light. 

I'm a fighter, and during that time I functioned best on my knees, praying fervently and constantly. The world around me was crumbling in my hurt and despair for my daughter's tough, new journey. I knew somehow I'd survive my stuff, but this ravaging diagnosis was saying she wouldn't. She had just made so many positive changes for herself after working at a company for many years, and she was about to live out her dreams in the sun and warmth of California. But, everything changed with that one statement: “It’s cancer”. 

Truth is, that news changed the lives of all of us who loved her so dearly and who found it so difficult to watch her fight this disease. Our hearts were broken, and our lives were broken when we lost her. She passed away in May of 2015. She was a real warrior until the end, refusing to die, until God said,  “It’s okay, Nikki. You can rest now.”   Her spirit departed, but her presence stayed. I read these beautiful words just this morning from my "Streams in the Desert" devotional, and they explain in the best way what I mean:

Death doth hide, but not divide; 
Thou are but with Christ on the other side!
Thou art with Christ, and Christ with me; 
In Christ united still are we.  

Yes, this is how I find my greatest comfort. My daughters are with Christ, and Christ is with me. It's almost the end of 2016 now, and I have been allowing myself the solitude I've needed to rest, and to restore my life back to some kind of really good "normal". It hasn't been easy. Like I said, 2015 was truly tough. It was equivalent to being hit by a Mack truck, then trying to make a comeback after lying in coma and being in critical condition all at the same time. I'm thankful, because I do know that many people find it difficult to survive the kind of things I've been through. It's only by God's grace and through faith that I have.

Believe me when I tell you, I'm blessed. I'm so grateful that I've gotten a lot of the rest that was really vital for me this year. I'm still here and I'm still in it to win it. My hopes and dreams are still alive and well. My restoration is still a work in progress, but I'm getting there. I have great peace, and great solace knowing that my girls are resting in heaven. Rest, indeed, Sweet Angels. Yes, faith is knowing God’s got you, and knowing He's got me, too. That's not just optimism, that's the truth. ~ S.R.F.

“What is FAITH? Faith Notes and Quotes to Encourage and Inspire You” by Silver Rae Fox is Available on Amazon.com!

"You will be blessed and
strengthened in your faith by
by the words and wisdom
of this book, I promise! 
What Is FAITH? is filled with quips, quotes and inspiring short stories that  will lift your heart and encourage your soul!

Included are pages for journaling your most heartfelt thoughts and inspirations, too! What Is FAITH? is a wonderful addition to your daily devotional experience and a perfect Holiday gift!

For more than 35 years, Silver Rae Fox has  empowered others as a personal and professional development coach, instructor, speaker and corporate trainer. She is also host of FOXOLOGY TODAY, a Lifestyle and Empowerment Media Program. The show airs on Blog Talk Radio.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Are You Running From Change?

Roll or Run?

Change. The word itself stirs up feelings of discomfort. We fear it. We curse it. We dread it. We run from it. While running and hiding sounds like a great idea, sometimes you gotta look that change in the eye and roll with it:

C: . Life is calibrating when change occurs. Yes, it is often hard to deal with. You may feel disillusioned. You may feel disconnected. You may feel discouraged. Find it in yourself to get the determination to face it.

H:  Hang on! You've got to go through it, so grab the bull by the horns. Sometimes the ride turns out to be less traumatic than you thought it would be.

A:  You'll adjust. Adjusting can take time, a lot of time. That's okay. Stay the course. Change itself is not unusual, it's just full of all kinds of unusual adjustments that will take some getting used to.

N: Don't let negative thinking or attitudes win. You may want to throw fits, but that won't help anything. Stay focused. Look for the light at the end of the tunnel. It's there.

G:  There will be gain. Something good can come from the change. On the other side you will find greater understanding and purpose if you look for it. Look for it.

E:  Rest assured, eventually you will have a "new normal". How good or bad that will be is totally dependent on your attitude while you're going through the change. You can run, but you can't hide. If you roll with it, you'll always have the winning edge. ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Are you PAYING attention?

Paying Attention to What?

You've heard it said before, "You live and you learn." When I think back over the years of my life, I really wish I had paid more attention to so many things. I didn't always learn my lesson from the mistakes I made. I made some of them over and over again and again, and it was costly. I was living, I was learning, but I wasn't always paying attention to the most significant parts of the lesson.


Life is always offering up information, ideas, concepts, guidance, inspirations and yes, many life lessons for us. It's so true. I've learned the hard way that the price you pay for them can be high. I can say I'm really rich with understanding about so many things now, however building up that "bank" of wisdom came with some very pricey deposits.

Change, for instance. Something happens and life changes suddenly. Our first response may be frustration, resistance, anger and fear. In the midst of that cloudy mindset and those overwhelming emotions, we can miss that the change may be the bridge to something bigger and better for us, something greater. The tendency is "fight or flight" and I took flight a many times. You know what? I overlooked some important opportunities because of that. If I had paid better attention, attention to what I could or should learn in the midst of the change, perhaps the gains may have been bankable, the tangible kind of bankable.

I pay lots more attention now to everything. I evaluate my own thinking. I evaluate my actions. I evaluate possible outcomes. While I love wisdom, one valuable lesson I've learned is that it doesn't always have to come with such a high price, like falling, failure and being your own worst enemy. Yes, you live and you learn. I've learned to give many things the attention they need at the start, and I assure the lessons are still rich, but the price you pay is much cheaper when you do. ~ S.R.F.

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

MORE THAN ENOUGH ROOM

There's Room For Your Dream

Got your toes stepped on? Somebody snatched "your" dream position? Somebody stole your idea? Got stabbed in the back? Or even worse, got stabbed in the front? You call them thieves and dreamcrashers, huh? Well, maybe they are, or maybe not.

I admit, some folks can be quite ruthless. Fortunately, it's not hard to tell who they are, but to give them credit for running off with your success is something we may need to reTHINK. If my one "good idea" got sabotaged somehow and I can't think of another one, I had better check my "idea gauge". Ideas are abundant. I can promise you that there is another one where that "one" came from. Believe that, and in the process, believe that there is more than enough room for it to take root and manifest into that big, big, BIG ol' dream you've got swirling around in your head. 

Don't dare wallow in anger and angst thinking that someone has taken "your space" away from you. Think again. Dream anew. Do something else. Let the thought go that you have been violated somehow. Even if that's true, move on to a bigger dream. There is no such thing as "no more real estate available" for what you want to do. It's your mind, and it's free and open territory for some of the most incredible and inventive thoughts and ideas to birth. Think. Cultivate. Grow them.

So, you got your toes stepped on? Well, okay. OUCH. Wiggle your toes, wipe the dirt off and keep steppin' FORWARD. Somebody snatched your dream position? Wish them well. Set your sights on an even higher rung on the ladder. Got stabbed in the back, or front? Sure, it hurts. You will heal. Take the knife out, but don't do the same to your haters and naysayers. Instead, use it to carve out the wonderful niche you are about to create for yourself. That's what smart dreamers do. 

~ S.R.F.

Monday, August 15, 2016

YOU ARE ON THE ROAD TO SOMEWHERE

Where Is Life Taking Me?

Have you ever asked yourself "Where is life taking me?" It's a darn good question, particularly when the pathway gets clouded with disturbances, distractions and detours. We wonder where we're going, where we are, and how did I get "here". If only there were simple answers, I would gladly share them with you. What I do know is this: we can look for the nearest pathway that will help us get back on the road to "somewhere" that makes sense.

Sometimes when I have found myself off track, I wanted to take the "expressway" to a better place fast. But, there was no expressway. In fact, there was no easy access to where I wanted to go and where I desired to be. Whatever caused my "detour", put me in the midst of roads that were under construction or places where I now had to take a longer, less smooth thoroughfare. Ugly, rocky roads are no fun, especially when you didn't anticipate that part of the journey. I've done a lot of cross-country driving, and so I've learned that to be true in life and on actual roads. Whenever I discovered I was in uncomfortable spots, I was forced to slow down and watch the signs very carefully until I was on smooth, safe highway again.

Life requires we do just that when our "roads" seem to be taking us somewhere, but nowhere. You may have to slow your speed, but keep the pedal close to the metal anyway. Watch the "signs". Pay attention to the directions that say "re-route". Know your "destination" is still somewhere ahead, even though you had to map it out differently. Then, the next time that life seems to put you on an unusual or unexpected path, and the question that comes to mind is "Where is life taking me?", encourage yourself with this answer: "It's taking me wherever I want to go"!

~S.R.F.

Friday, July 15, 2016

NEGATIVE THINKING: Get Outta Here!

Say "Bye" to Negative Thinking!


Negative thinking is a destroyer of hopes, dreams and aspirations. If you are among the many of us who feel like a plan or two got thwarted, you know exactly what I'm talking about. You leaped, but didn't land quite where you thought you would. It wasn't because you didn't do everything right, it was because of all the stuff that happened that made you THINK you didn't. That is what negative thinking does. It blinds you to the truth.

Well, what is the truth? I am so glad you asked! It's not new news, but let's cover some highlights anyway:

1.  The same faith that created the vision is the same faith that will help you get back on the right track. Pick yourself up. Dust yourself off. Polish up your faith. It ain't over. You may have to start again, and again. Don't let even one negative thought tell you that you can't. You can!

2.  You have run out of resources, you say? If I were to tell you how may times I had to create "something from nothing", you would say "Lord, Jesus! What manner of faith is that?!" It's the kind of faith that says I have God and all of the wherewithal inside me to press and pursue. Somehow, little by little it comes together again. When you allow negative thinking to convince you that you are down for the count, that you got the "knock-out punch", you will lose. However, if you know there is a winner in you, a true champion, you get back up. You may lose that fight, but you always get back in the ring ready for the next one.

3.  When crappy stuff happens, negative thinking will make you belittle and blame yourself for everything. Certainly it is smart to analyze mistakes and poor strategies, but all of us
experience crazy stuff. When those ugly thoughts start to bombard or block you, throw up your defenses. Say "bye" to them. Even if you don't know what to do next yet, start combating every one of them by kicking them out. Emphatically declare "Bye!" When you show them the exit, the entrance to a new train of thought opens up for you. When it does, you are back in the game.

Regardless of what those negative thoughts try to tell you, you can and will succeed. You can believe that. It's the truth and nothing but the truth.

~S.R.F. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

YOU LIVE AND YOU LEARN

Where Is The Lesson?


You live and you learn. How many of us have heard that a thousand times? How many of us have said it to ourselves when another experience has provided us additional clarity or another lesson? It's true that life is full of "educational" experiences, if we pay real good attention.

I don't believe the philosophy that "everything happens for a reason". I believe that everything that happens has happened "because of a reason". I know I dare to go against the grain of many individual belief systems when I say it, but I don't believe that there is perpetrating cause for every happening. I feel that we do ourselves a disservice when we go with that train of thought, because it assists us in avoiding underlying causes and effects in the situations and circumstances surrounding our lives, and creates a separation in our observation when we really need to apply common sense and reality to things that happen.

I think of some of the hardest places I've been, some of the hardest things I've faced, some of the excruciating situations I've dealt with, and I can honestly say that some of it was self-propelled in one way or another. I can't truly fault anyone other than myself, and certainly not the God I believe loves me. I have learned that I can look things squarely in the eye and say that these things that have happened can teach me, strengthen me, and provide me with experience that I can share with others. You live, and you will experience things. You learn, if you can grab hold of a lesson or two.

If you have questions about your life that have had you perplexed and frustrated, let me encourage you with a very loving suggestion: ask "Where is the lesson"? You will get an answer if you honestly and earnestly seek it. When you do, it will change your "Why?" into a self-awakening kind of clarity that will help you look at life much differently. 

Let's look at this: Suppose you really wanted to know why your car engine broke down. Unless you are an automotive expert of some kind, you don't know why. However, if the automotive technician dismantled every part and explained it to you, you would see and understand much better the "mechanics" of it all, and that many, many elements make it work. When we have "breakdowns" in life, similar things apply and the "reason" is apparent and sometimes obvious when we take a deeper look. "Why" the car broke down is because some part malfunctioned. "Why" life breaks down isn't necessarily because you were "targeted". Of the many "parts" and "systems" that make life work at its best, "parts" of it fail and malfunction for one "reason" or another. You learn what that is when you look for it.

~ S.R.F.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Can You Survive?

Rolling With the Punches


Heartache. Heartbreaks. Disappointments. Challenges. Failure. Grief. Loss. Hopelessness. Fear. Life has no shortage of unexpected events like these. They come, and they can be really hard to handle. Finding ways to cope is one thing when things do happen, feeling like you won't survive is another. Many of life's difficulties will take your breath away, and not in the good way. We can feel like we just wanna die. We feel like we can't take it. We feel like we can't make it. We are certain that we won't survive.

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I won't throw any cliches at you, because that has rarely worked for me when I'm suffering a blow. I understand how hard it can be when a hard thing happens, and that's why I want to share a couple of what I think are thought-worthy ideas about what may help you survive, or at least learn how to roll with the punches:

1. Face reality. After you come through the initial shock, facing reality helps to put things in perspective, even when it's a horrible ordeal. If you don't start at reality, it is very difficult to heal or come up with a healing strategy. It will be painful, but challenge yourself to do it.

2. Stir up your faith.  Having faith means that you know that you can survive. Faith doesn't always tell you HOW you will get past things, but continuous applications of faith work. Faith helps you remind yourself that you will at some point be better than you are right now.

3. It won't kill you. It won't kill you, unless you let it. You will survive if you decide to. You will conquer if you will it to be. You will live to tell your story of how you overcame such a terrifying, knockout blow. It takes time. It takes courage. It takes the ability to understand that stuff happens unfairly, weirdly, unexpectedly, and sometimes it is just some very hard stuff to explain. Accept that. Just know that when you get past all the head-wracking thoughts and questions, there are still more breaths to take. Take one at a time.

~ S.R.F.

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Friday, April 15, 2016

What's Blocking Your View?

Obstacles, Obstacles, Obstacles: Real or Imaginary?

Yep, stuff gets in the way. Stuff gets in the way of most everything, or seemingly so. There are few
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smooth pathways to success. There are often hurdles to clear and roadblocks to get around. Whether it be business or career, or life in general, anything can be  thrown off course or detoured if we're not careful. Here's the thing: sometimes there are real obstacles, and sometimes we just create them. Either way, to keep maneuvering we have to move them. It's not always easy or simple, but it is a must.

I've learned a lot about obstacles. They can feel much bigger than they are. The can seem insurmountable. They can discourage you. They make you question yourself and whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. Not only do they make you feel like quitting, they make you quit. I would never say "Oh, just push harder. Move that obstacle." I wish it was that easy. What I would say is this: Face off with it. Look straight at it. If whatever you are going for is important enough, muster up all of the mental strength, determination, patience, positive thinking, faith and fortitude you can, and NOW push harder! Obstacles can be moved, but not if you stand still or quit.

~ S.R.F.

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