Monday, June 21, 2021

SAY IT IS SO

Did you start your day by saying this is going to be a happy, wonderful, awesome, amazing, incredible, phenomenal, marvelous and magnificent day? No? Well, I don't use every one of those adjectives daily either, but I do make an attempt to to say what I believe will be a catalyst for carrying me through the day with the right attitude. Does that make things go right? I can say this, it keeps my thinking right, and that seems to attract many happy and marvelous happenings into my day. That's the truth.

I want everything good and wonderful for myself, but I know that if I don't think good and wonderful things, and say that my blessings (plans, goals, etc.) are coming to me, I won't have it. If I get up saying that today sucks and I gripe about everything throughout the day, I can be assured that no good will come of that. I can certainly say that people would not want to hang around such negativity either. Those are risks I dare not take. Understanding that my thoughts and words have creative power is going to guage what I think, do and say.

Are you following where I'm going? Don't be afraid to speak things that are positive. What if your miracle is in the manifestation of your words? Isn't it better to say that something is so even if you find it pretty unbelievable at the moment? It won't work against you like saying, "I want that, but it will never happen." Saying it like that cancels the transaction immediately. If you want something, say it is so. A house? A job? A business? Say it is so. It can happen, but not if you cancel it out with a "it will never happen" attitude. It just won't work.

Get a made up mind that you will stop saying things that don't bless your life or situations. Will things manifest immediately? Some things do, and others take process and time. Believe me, you will like the results better when you choose words that are positive, that speak potential, productivity and possibility. Speak what you want to see and what you want to be. Those negative words can curse and cancel not just the wonderful day you can have, but also the potential for a wonderful life. You want things to be good, don't you? You want a great life, right? Okay, I dare you to say it is so! ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Dealing With The "Crazy"

                                                  
Some stuff can really get to us. Things can go crazy in a split second, and throw us into a spin. If that second turns into minutes and hours, or even days, we can feel pretty crazy ourselves if we don't do something about it.

If you can't make the "crazy" go away, you have to make an uncompromised effort to go away from the crazy. What do I mean? I mean making an escape plan to get as far from it as possible.

Find a safe, quiet spot and gather yourself together. It may be a quiet breakfast or lunch alone. It  may be sitting in your car somewhere in a peaceful place. It may be in your bedroom closet. I used to go to the coffee room and gaze into the clouds for fifteen, twenty minutes when work felt like pressure. Those minutes looking into the calm skies gave me just enough peace and balance to keep working at my optimum, unstressed by things going on around me. Do whatever works. You and only you can protect your sanity when all else is going nuts.

Choose your battles wisely. Everything crazy that happens isn't an opportunity for you to step into the center of it. Even if the craziness is in whole or part about you, you can bow out. Bow out respectfully, until you can choose or decide how you need to remedy the situation, circumstances or problem. It's easy to make a thing crazier because we think our part in it is necessary. Make sure you know your position. Every battle is not yours to fight, especially those crazy ones.

Assess the craziness by asking yourself a few questions: Is this stealing my time? Is this any of my business? Can I fix this? There are other questions, however, prioritize keeping your head in place. Make the "agenda" about you maintaining your peace and balance. No one has to know that you are protecting your mental and emotional well-being in that way but you, but it's a must. It's not selfish, it's actually a very wise approach to being okay. This works whether you are the one who is putting out the fires at home or at work, or if things are swirling around you that you have nothing to do with. At all costs, guard your mental and emotional health. You will thank yourself for it again and again and again. ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Getting Over the "Humps" in Life

 

Life has many uphill climbs. We all have them. Some of them are easier than others, but some are truly very hard to get up and over. What do we do then, when scaling looks difficult and we fear we'll fail?

1.    Our mindset must come into full play under those circumstances. We know some things will be hard, that's a given. However, we can't strip ourselves of victory by not even trying. Things will be hard either way, if you do it or if you don't. The defining factor here is that going up and over will give you certain victory. Staying at the bottom of the hill, hump or difficulty, will leave you in a place of disappointment, discouragement and defeat. Instead, make up your mind to get up on your feet and start your trek even if you can't tell yet how you are going to do it. This is how you start: Put one foot in front of the other, one step at a time.

2.    Don't say to yourself  "what's the use?" If that kind of thinking is happening, it may be because you just haven't yet fully developed your climbing skills. Maybe you have tried to get over humps before and slid right back down to the bottom too many times. Listen, don't give up, because your next try may be your best try. Sliding back down to "bottom" is not unusual, it happens often, just don't stay there. It's not where you belong. Be determined enough to see what the other side of your difficulties has to offer. It is probably much better than you could have imagined. What's the use, you ask? You'll see that your climb was well worth it. You'll see the benefits. You'll see the rewards.

3.     Get yourself ready, rise and climb! Battle against the thoughts that say you can't make it. You can. Don't waste another minute wondering about that. Don't waste another second giving in to self-defeat. Until you are where you want to be, keep trying to get over those humps in life. If you fall down, dust yourself off and keep going. The only way to keep going is to keep going. The only way to get there is to get there. You can do it. Keep going until you get there. ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, March 13, 2021

Over the Hill? No Way! Come On Back Down!

Old?! Trying seeing things differently.
 Aging isn't what it used to be. I've heard 30 and 40 year-olds say "I'm getting old!" It helps us see why many people by the time they hit 50 and 60 have climbed "over the hill." Many have decided they're tired and have retired at the bottom of this proverbial "hill" and some have decided to just simply die there.


A new and different attitude is emerging about aging. This new perspective is helping change what we have previously thought about "old age." We are entering a new "age" revolution, embracing new thoughts about what's happening up the hill and over it. Yes, it's an aging journey for sure. However, this one takes you to a "peak" but this one hardly allows anyone who is climbing to head over it to just sit there until all is said and life is done.

We're taking care of ourselves better, more deliberately combatting and defying previous aging cognitions. We have become exercise enthusiasts. We're taking vitamins and supplements that we know renew our minds and bodies, and that restore our very cell structures. Our health "consciousness" is a key to getting a hold of the aging process. When we do the things that address good health, we redefine our lives. We look better. We feel better. We age better.

Most of us have had a bad habit or two, or three at some time in our lifetime. Habits are hard to break. We may have done things, and maybe still do things that abuse our body and mental health. A step toward breaking those habits is to stop making unrealistic reasons for not breaking them, and making excuses for everything, particulary why we believe we can't and shouldn't stop. We have to be audaciously deliberate about breaking bad health habits if we want to increase our longevity on this earth. Reaching those latter years is no guarantee, but we can have a healthier experience when we choose healthier things to live by.

Our happiness is a component that also needs to be on the top our lists of aging well. We must work on eminating stressors, the things in our lives that keep us anxious, worried and in discomfort, whatever they are. The process of elimination can be difficult and slow, but we can do it, and must for our own sanity and emotional health. Choose enjoyment over seclusion and stagnancy. Choose positive attitudes and actions over the things that tend to push us toward being cranky and judgmental. Enter into and enhance positive interactions with others and in personal relationships. Anything that makes you happy can affect how you face each day. You can face each day happier as you age.

What's it going to take for you to stop thinking and doing things the "old age" way? I'm hoping that something I said in this article will. ~ S.R.F. 

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Friday, February 5, 2021

THE WINDS OF FATE

 "The Winds of Fate"

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through the life:
Tis the set of a soul
That decides its goal,
And not the calm or the strife.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem "The Winds of Fate" has always been a favorite of mine. I came across it while investigating what it means to "journey" through life, particulary the faith journey. I'd been through many things, and I had so many questions about life. I've learned a couple of critical things that have helped me along the way, and things I believe can help any of us as we travel the landscapes of our lives: 


1. Winds blow from every direction.
Life's "winds"do also. We can either get blown away by them, or we can option to spread our wings and soar confidently in the direction of our issues and problems, knowing that we can save ourselves from being carried away in a fierce gust of life that could land us in a place of destruction. We can make the choice depending on our approach and attitude, as the poem so beautifully states: 'tis the set of the sail' which will take us in the best directions. We can look with gloom, or we can take a faith-filled, positive, opimistic view of what's ahead.

2. It is through our journey that we learn to tighten our ropes of faith. It doesn't happen overnight, or with our first, second, third or fourth difficulty in life. Winds vary, and problems do as well. Sometimes we can recognize and anticipate challenges that lie before us, but in most cases that isn't so. Varying problems bring varying challenges, as well as varying possibilities. We don't know what to do until we have to figure out what to do. Our hearts must be fixed on the possibilities. Our minds must be focused on all potential for survival. Our souls must be "set" in the direction of our goals, whatever that may mean or be.

3. Life's winds must be handled by maneuvering and mastering our emotional responses to our challenges. Ella Wheeler Wilcox says that it's neither the 'calm or the strife" that gets us through the stormy winds; it's because we anchored ourselves with the determination necessary for our journeys, the boldness necessary for standing firm against every 'east or west' wind that comes our way. Very often our emotions will take us in self-defeating directions, and we must be careful to avoid coasting on those winds and waves.

I hope you will let the words and the meaning of the poem sink in. You can be assured that regardless of the ways of the winds, you will learn to soar upon the stormy waters of life, without ever sinking because of them. ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, January 2, 2021

Face the New Year with Faith

 


Life Holds the Unexpected. 
 
Here's another kicker: It probably won't be the last time something devastating and unexpected happens. We lack the control to maneuver and monitor everything that will occur in our lives. The one element that we can use to our advantage is our faith. Faith says we can get over, through and past the challenges that come our way. How? We don't always know how, but when we move on and move forward by faith, we just know that we can.

Life Holds us Hostage Sometimes.   Often when things happen, we can experience a setback. We can experience what feels like immobilization in our lives. We can feel like we are inbetween a rock and a hard place, and there is no way out. Dark times, dark places and dark feelings come and seemingly put a halt to any efforts to move out of those valleys. 

Again, faith plays the most critical role in getting ourselves free from the bondages of hopelessness. Faith is a courageous act. It tells us that regardless of the terrible experiences we face, facing them with faith will pull us out of it. It may be inch by inch, breath by breath, but faith will help lead us toward freedom. Faith will help us take the handcuffs off of the thinking that holds us back. Faith will challenge the doors that seem closed, the roads that seem blocked, and the clouds that seem to loom. We must practice with emphatic determination this fact:faith is the greatest and most effective approach to dealing with daily life, and the difficulties it can bring us face-to-face with at any juncture.

Life Holds Victory.  Life will have many ups and downs. We will have critical moments when we are unsure about what to do. We will have situations that appear to have no promising answers. However, life keeps moving along, and so must we. We must remember that with all that can and does happen, as hidden as it may be, we can have victory again and again. We must believe that. We must know that. We must fight for that, no matter what the circumstances may present to us that say otherwise. We may lose some battles, but we will always win the war when we allow faith to be our most formidable weapon in life; and we must carry that conviction with us at all times. When we do this, we can always win, and we always do. ~ S.R.F.

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Thursday, December 10, 2020

FULL SPEED AHEAD


Don't waste anymore time.
The New Year is staring at us, and most of us are feeling inspired, hopeful that we’ll see lots of new things in the months ahead. We’ve come through so much; we welcome what appears to be new horizons. 
Let’s remember that wherever we are starting from, January 1st is surely the start of a New Year, but everyday is a new day, and an opportunity for a new start.

Here are a few tips:

Take charge.  Truly we have been tossed to and fro, following government protocols and guidelines for our lives for too long. As much as possible, take charge of whatever you can control. The things in your life that you are able to manage and direct will help you gain your sense of confidence back, even the smallest of things. 

It may seem that your ability to control life has been snatched from you, and in some ways it has; but in the most important ways, you can still be the captain of your ship. How you spend time with family, how you utilize your personal time, how you choose to plan for your future, how you adjust to change and reinvent yourself and your life is all in your hands.

Focus forward. Our focus is critical. We can’t afford to wallow in 2020. It’s been hard, indeed. However, focusing on the pain of it won’t help anything. Focus on healing. Focus on renewal. Focus on building. Focus on breathing again. Focus on your faith, it will be a bridge to everything you do.

Mold the days ahead. Write down your goals. Envision everything positive that you desire to see happen. Imagine seeing the pieces of your dream coming together like a beautifully crafted puzzle project. Search for the right “fit” for those special and important things you’ve been thinking about. Concentrate on the doors of opportunity that can open and the wealth of possibilities. Ponder good and necessary changes as the days unfold. Now is the perfect time to do it. Now is the perfect time to start molding a new life. It may not be easy, but you can.

The New Year is just around the corner. Don't let the detours of 2020 shut down your journey to a new destiny in the days ahead. It’s an open road out there. Don't waste anymore time. Full speed ahead! ~ S.R.F.

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Friday, November 6, 2020

PAST TO PRESENT

That was then. This is now.



This is NOW

Oftentimes, our past can leave us so shaken that we believe there could never be a promising future. We tell ourselves that all is lost, that there is nothing ahead that leads to a place of fruitfulness and fulfillment.

So much can happen in life, and we lose our footing, our sense of direction; however, it’s very important that we don’t lose faith, a vision of the possibilities within us and around us. Better days are ahead; in fact, I believe our very best days are ahead if we believe it, and  believing it most often requires change. Consider this:

Change Your Thinking. This is hard work. Declaring that you see something that you don’t isn’t easy, but it has to be a first step out of your past. Work on your mind’s eye. Instead of seeing past faults, fumbles and failures, see yourself doing new and incredible things with your life. See the “YOU” you want to become. In time, you’ll be the YOU you’ve envisioned.

Change Your Position. If you’re in a place physically and literally that does not support you, encourage you, build you, enhance you, or is not pointing you in the direction of your new future, it may well be time to re-position yourself. New surroundings? New friends and associates? New job? New business? Making those choices may be the only way to your new-level and your new future. Re-position yourself, and do it without fear.

Change Your Plan. So, you have been brooding, and lacking faith and confidence in yourself; that plan has no momentum. And, it’s sad to say, but that attitude can keep you dwelling in your past mistakes for a lifetime. But, you say “it’s not a plan, I can’t help how I feel.” Well, it’s a plan until you make another plan. “Hoping” something will happen to change things can happen, yes. However, I remember the first time I heard someone say “HOPE is not a plan.” Wow! It’s great to have hope, but it’s wiser and better if you can implement a plan that takes you where you are hoping to go.

Change directions. When you keep settling into thoughts of your past, it’s like going around in circles, going absolutely nowhere. Focus on your future. Don’t look back. Don’t keep making those U-turns. Stop reminding yourself of all the things that went wrong, things that you did wrong, and things that were done wrong to you. None of that will change. The only thing you can change is the direction you choose to go in now, and that shouldn’t be constantly re-visiting the past. That was then, and this is now. You hold the key. Put the key in the ignition and drive, straight into the great future God has planned for you.   ~S.R.F.

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Friday, October 9, 2020

MIND OVER MATTER

"Things feel crazy."

MIND OVER MATTER

Life has been pretty crazy of late, particularly difficult to manage in light of the circumstances currently surrounding our lives. What must one do to manage their sanity in the midst of such shaky times? It’s going to vary from person to person, but here are a few thoughts for consideration:

LOOK FOR HELP. Whatever you need, seek it. Ask for assistance, whether it’s emotional, mental, physical, financial or whatever, keep looking and keep asking until you no longer have to.

REMAIN HOPEFUL. During your “I don’t know how I’m going to make it” phase, keep telling yourself that you will, because you will if you just don’t give up. Things may not change overnight, but as long as you keep believing you will see a better day, that better day will come.

PRAY AND MEDITATE. Perhaps you have never tried praying or meditating, but this is an encouragement to give a place to it in your life. Now is truly a time to develop a fulfilling spiritual life, and you will be glad you did. The good news is, when no one else is around to listen or care, God always is.

DON’T BE AFRAID OF STARTING OVER. If the rug has been pulled from under you, your life, your family, your job, your business, then your only choice is to build again, even from scratch. Be patient as you plan, but be persistent about coming through the challenges. One step at a time will take you there, and there is always the possibility that it will be an even better “there” than before.

If you keep mind over matter as you consider these ideas and try putting them to use, it’s not likely that anything you’re going through will ever carry the weight it once did. ~ S.R.F.

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Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Theory of What “IF”


What "IF"

"I wonder what would happen if..."

Cause and effect is a very interesting concept. It’s at work all the time in our lives, work, businesses daily affairs, etc. It impacts us whether we are directly involved in the situations or circumstances or not. 

But, what if we take a look at our own little worlds, and more specifically our goals and plans? How does the principle of cause and effect directly impact those things? 

Well, it does, both negatively and positively.

For instance, let’s say you plan to take a trip, but every other thought you have while putting your plans in place is “but WHAT IF it rains?” “but WHAT IF we don’t like the accommodations?” “but WHAT IF the play gets cancelled?” “WHAT IF something happens and we don’t get to go after all?” Clearly, you can see where this is taking you, and it’s not on the wonderful trip to your vacay spot. 

Your “WHAT IF” attitude will cause you to thwart your plans altogether, or have a miserable time. It’s unfortunate, but many folks are guilty of doing this all the time, in various daily life situations and interactions. The "effect" is self-sabotage, and it’s the "cause"of negative thinking.

However, WHAT IF you planned a wonderful trip and it rained the whole time? WHAT IF you are not happy with the accommodations? WHAT IF the play that you were so excited to see gets cancelled? And, WHAT IF something did happen and you had to cancel your plans entirely? WHAT IF you took an approach that took you down a different road than the negative thinking journey?

If you have been around long enough, you already know that life happens. We have to decisively and intentionally choose how we are going to handle everything. I don’t know that complaining about rain ever made it stop raining, but I do know that consciously and creatively coming up with alternative plans can save the day. Disappointment in hotel accommodations means you have to move to a different place. Inconvenient? Yes. Doable? Also, yes. 

You do whatever is the most positive thing to do when things of a negative nature happen, whatever it is. It’s a choice to stay positive, but we can even in the most difficult circumstances. Often we forget we have so many other choices and directions available to us when we linger in the negative thinking valley. We have to regroup and choose them.

Life is full of challenges, a myriad of happenings that we must apply our intentional change of thinking to, in order to positively manage our outcomes for ourselves, and everyone concerning us. Certainly, we can’t magically change everything to be exactly perfect, but WHAT IF we work on causing ourselves to see the light at the end of every tunnel? Just imagine what the effect of that might be! ~ S.R.F.

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Friday, August 7, 2020

OVERCOMING LIFE'S HURDLES

When we see these highpowered athletes moving at record speed along the track, and clearing hurdles with the grace and experience of a skilled dancer, we marvel at such magnificent quests. We rarely stop to think about the time and commitment it took to create such a level of confidence and competence. Is there an everyday message in what we see in them, a message we can learn from in our everyday experiences? You can be sure there is.

Having a commitment to excel when you are trying to accomplish something produces great results. When you keep in mind that your intention is to produce high-quality in your work, in your home life, in your relationships, you can have a rewarding outcome. Athletes don't generally approach their goals with dire results in mind. They have committed themselves to do well, and even if they lose a race or a game. We can often achieve greater accomplishments with this kind of mentality. Living in a constant mindset of commitment to do well can change the game of life for many of us.

You've probably heard this comment stated frequently "if you stay ready, you don't have to get ready." Can you even imagine what it would look like if an unprepared athlete came out of the blocks and headed down a track toward several hurdles on the path to the finish line? It probably would not be as exciting or as enjoyable to watch as an athlete who had put the time and effort into perfecting their ability.

Unpreparedness shows. It shows in our thinking and in our doing. We can't possibly be prepared for every hurdle in life, as many of them "appear" unexpectedly. However, consider the possibility of having a level of thinking that tells you that with time and effort that you can get over the hurdles. Consider the kind of preparation that is laid through a foundation of faith, that gives you the confidence to know that hurdling over obstacles in life is doable. Consider that your own experiences and the experiences of others has "trained" and taught you that you have the mental and emotional skill and competence to lift yourself higher, stretch yourself further, increase your focus, and then journey yourself faith-filled over any hurdles on your path. 

You can't always see a hurdle coming, but these are some of the ways you can be prepared. Everyone faces them. Be committed to getting over them. Be committed to getting past them. Be committed to overcoming them. ~ S.R.F.

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Friday, July 10, 2020

SEE NO EVIL

One of the most difficult things to do in a crisis is to ignore the panic and problems that come along with it. Whether it's of a personal nature or a worldwide situation such as the one we are currently in, our own personal strength and stamina has to play a huge role in maintaining a sense of sanity. How in the world do we do that? Here are a few tips to consider:

1. Turn a blind eye to the gloom and doom messaging. Facts are one thing. Accuracy of a message is relevant. Projections of "the worst is yet to come" must hold truth to support it. If you take a moment to look around you, you'll see that not everyone is intimidated by those "messages" that are scaring the beejeebees out of you. Pause, and realize that seeing beyond where you are right now may not be filled with doom. And, if you do happen to reach a point where you fall first, make every effort to see yourself getting back up and getting going again.

2.See your potential.  Even if everything you have hoped for, prayed for, and dreamed about has come to ruin, you are still YOU. Your potential is not lost. Whatever you had strived for and gained, that same intelligence and greatness is still in you. See yourself as capable of starting new, starting over, starting again. You may not feel that confidence and strength at the moment, but it's there inside you. You can build again.

3. See the realities. Life is a series of highs and lows for most everyone. Finding yourself in a low place is not the end of the world. It may have ended some important things, but it's not the end of all things. There are a gazillion stories of personal and professional comebacks. Don't wallow forever in the dust of your issues. See your self making the comeback that's necessary. Slowly and surely you will.

Don't give up hope. Don't lose your vision. When you can see your future through the eyes of faith, you'll know that whatever it is that you need to do, it's possible. ~ S.R.F.

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