Wednesday, September 11, 2019

IN THE FACE OF CHANGE

It's a tough thing when you look in the mirror at yourself and realize that if you want things in your life to be different, it's actually you that needs to change first. Often, we will lead lives filled with chaos, disorder and confusion not realizing that we are the culprit of it all. How do you know if it's you?

Here are a couple of things to consider that may help you figure it all out:

Are you your own worst enemy?

Sometimes we are really good at tearing ourselves apart, as well as our lives. We have little motivation. We are lazy. We think only "certain people" are destined for the good things in life. We don't want to work for what we want. Our perspective of accomplishment and achievement is skewed by looking at celebrities and those who are extremely wealthy and successful.

Okay, so maybe you have to get up off your butt and put a plan together to get to a happy, healthy place of living by understanding that no one is holding you back but you. What's your desire? What's your dream? What's your gift? What's your talent? What's your passion? Search yourself and see where you land. Look yourself in the face. You can change things. You must make a decision that you will.

Are you guilty of self-sabotage?

There are other circumstances when opportunities are staring us in the face, being handed to us, and we literally destroy those opportunities single-handedly. The theory of self-sabotage simply means we tear down positive, purposeful things that may have helped us or benefited us in one way or many.

How do we stop such self-defeating behavior? Look yourself in the face. Ask "I am the problem?"
It's so easy to blame someone or something else when things fall apart or end, rather that doing a self-check on who is really responsible, especially if we have to point the finger at ourselves. But, if it's you and you know it's you, own up to it. All of us manage to create some of our own crises at some time or another, intentionally and otherwise. Either way, a surefire way to deal with it is to face it, and do whatever is necessary to do what is wiser, and whatever will take us in the direction of correction.

In the face of change...

Indeed, it will take a deliberate, very intentional effort to face the fact that you may be guilty of being your own worst enemy or of self-sabotage, as well as determining how to bulldoze toward a much needed change in how you think. It will largely take complete honesty with yourself. Where you have been blaming others, you will have to stop. Where you have made everybody else accountable and responsible for your forward movement in life, you will have to stop. Where you have been demolishing opportunities, closing doors and running away from the positive things offered to you because they scare you, you will have to stop.

Admittedly, these changes may not happen overnight. One thing I can assure of though is this: The moment you decide to look yourself in the face and know that it's all on you to change, a change is gonna come. The weight of the responsibility shifts to you, but all the wonderful things that will shift in your favor do, too. That is something to look forward to! ~ S.R.F.

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Friday, August 9, 2019

Hard To Say "I'm Sorry"? It Shouldn't Be

"What comes from the heart reaches the heart."
A couple of weeks ago I was standing in line at the store. There were several others ahead of me. I overheard the woman who was checking out asking about the limited number of clerks. We were in a long line and getting everyone through to checkout was taking a while. It seemed that most of us felt some degree of frustration about it, mostly because waiting is often caused by under-staffing.

One lane open, really?

I noticed that the clerk at the counter to my right left her post, picked up an item and got behind me in line. My first thought was that she had picked an untimely moment to decide to buy something instead of trying to accommodate the backup of customers. It was challenging for me not to ask so, I did: "What's the reason you're not helping?" She said "I am on my break." I said, in what I thought was a sort of humorous way "Not a good time for a break. Maybe clock back in?" She said "No." My eyebrows raised in surprise because I'm thinking more about work ethics than anything. Taking your break when the line is cleared is a smarter decision, but that's how I think. Wait to take your break, and wait on the people in line, maybe? This was a seasoned clerk who I felt should know this and know better.

Here's what happened next. The clerk at the counter where I was waiting decides to chime in. I am at least three customers down the line, but she made the decision that I needed to be "put in place" about my comments to her co-worker. She told me that once they clock-out for break that their system won't allow them to clock back in until the full fifteen minutes has expired. I said, as politely as I could "I didn't know that." She said "Well, now you do." She was really agitated about me saying something and she let me know it not only with the sound of her voice, but with her eyes. They were angry, with that "say something else" look in them. I didn't. I finally got to the front and she checked me out and I left. Yeah, WOW.

It stayed on my mind a little while afterwards because I didn't think that anything I had said seemed confrontational. Besides, I would never deliberately start a fight, it's just not my nature to do so. Well, yesterday I stopped at the same store again and as soon as I came in the door I heard a voice say "I need to apologize to you." I was moving quickly and it didn't even dawn on me that someone was talking to me directly. I picked the items I had come in for and got in line.

I was the only one at the counter this time and the clerk said to me, "I need to apologize to you." I looked confused for a few seconds, because I honestly didn't recognize her from my last visit. Then, my mind went back to the voice I had heard when I came through the door, but I was still not sure what she meant. So, I'm looking at her and I knew she could see that I didn't have any idea what she was talking about, then she said "I need to apologize for the way I talked to you the last time you were here. I'm sorry." It clicked! This is the clerk that delivered me all that attitude when I was last here! OMG! She's sorry?!

Well, yes, interestingly, she really was. It was written all over her face, and this time there was a distinctly different tone to her voice, so much so that it touched my heart and caused me to almost tear up. I looked at her expression for a few seconds, truly admiring how big of a person it takes to say those words. I went around the counter and gave her a big hug, and I let her know it was no big deal. I left.

I plan to stop back in and give her one of my books as a gift. I want her to have it. She doesn't know me, and obviously I don't know her, but here's what is for certain: we will always remember each other, and thank God that it will be in a good way. ~ S.R.F.

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Monday, July 1, 2019

THE FIRST STEP

You have to start somewhere. You may have been contemplating an important move, but you also may have been hesitating, or just plain old procrastinating. Of course, there could be many reasons if that is the case, but one thing is for sure: with most anything, a first step must be taken.
Why not take that first step today?

Here are a few tips that may help you get going:
1. If you are afraid and you recognize that fear is what is hindering you, find a meet-up group that gets together to network and celebrates what you are thinking of doing. You'll hear insights, wisdom, personal stories and get plenty of motivation. Importantly, you will realize that there is no real reason to fear. They did it, and so can you.


2. If your big question is HOW, be assured that everything you need to get you going in the right direction is at your fingertips. Unless your idea is truly original, you will find lots of info on the internet. Research it. Read about it. Get in the know. Ask where you can find resources for it. Participate in online groups and ask questions. Again, the important thing here is that you should get all of your curiosity and questions answered, and then make your next move. You will know what that is after talking with people, and after all of your online investigating.

3. Remember that this doesn't mean you are necessarily ready to launch out. That will depend on how complex your project is. Setting up a table to sell stuff is one thing. Setting up a business to sell worldwide is another. Plan accordingly, with much emphasis on the word "plan" either way.

That being said, getting going will be exciting. Why wait? Make a move. Why not take that first step today? ~ S.R.F. 

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Friday, June 7, 2019

WHAT'S NEW?

Get out of your own way. Get going!
We are often so afraid of change. Even when we know it's absolutely the thing for us, we hesitate and procrastinate about making something happen. When and if we overcome that fear, we can find ourselves in new and exciting territory. New opportunities surface. New people enter into our lives. New pathways open up. It can feel like a whole new way of life has begun.

Ask yourself, "when was the last time I tried to move past my fear to give my future an opportunity to look different?  Did you know that even some of the smallest changes can make a huge difference? It's great if you can do that "big thing" you've been wanting to do, but even a minor shift or change can make for a new and rewarding difference and direction. The main thing to consider is, pushing your fear aside.

You have dreams. You have aspirations. You have hopes. You want something new and different, don't you? Get out of your own way. It won't be as hard as you think. The hardest part is believing in yourself and your competence to get there. Get going. You'll see that "there" is a lot closer than you even imagined, that place where all things are new. ~ S.R.F.

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

DON'T GET OVERWHELMED. GET DETERMINED.

"A stitch in time saves nine."
Ever heard someone say "a stitch in time saves nine"? It's an age-old phrase with a powerful message, and this is it: When something happens that needs immediate attention, time, effort or fixing, don't put it off until later or you'll risk having an even bigger problem or situation to deal with. In other words, stitch things up now or you may have a lot more torn places to stitch up later.

We've all experienced what can happen when we neglect a problem or procrastinate getting to a resolve. We find ourselves sweating, fretting and regretting that we didn't handle things sooner and more efficiently. The "stitch in time" theory may not work in every case, but to use it as a standard work and life ethic is surely a good thing.

Think for a moment about something you didn't address in a timely fashion, something that you know you really should have taken care of when you first faced it. I've been there, and sometimes even hoping that maybe it would just go away. It didn't. 

Those lessons taught me that I should be ready to take the bull by the horn when things arise that need immediate attention. They taught me to be in "attack" mode when I needed to respond quickly and aggressively, before things got really out of hand. Those lessons taught me that if I stay on top of the things that require time and effort, I won't find myself under the stress and pressure of them later. Honestly, I hated learning all of it the hard way, but experience is truly an extraordinary teacher. I'm better for it. You will be, too. 

It's a given, things are going to happen. Our response to those things is everything. In short, here's the deal:

1. Get on top of it before it gets on top of you.

2. It's not likely to disappear on its own. Make it disappear.

3. Don't allow "later" to be an option. "Do it now" is not a new concept. Handle it now if at all possible.

If while reading this article several things came to mind, don't get overwhelmed. Get determined. Tackle those issues. Save yourself from the frustration that could snowball later. Whatever is in your power to do, do it. ~ S.R.F.

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Saturday, April 6, 2019

THE NATURAL ORDER

Remember, sometimes all it takes is a plan.

Hurry Up?

We live in an environment that is constantly compelling us to have things our way. And, not just that. Everything we want and need better hurry up and happen, and not later, right away. Trouble is, that is just not the way everything in life works. In many cases, and I'd say in most, we have become a society that is sorely lacking in what it really takes to do life and business. We want to hop, skip and jump past the places that get us where we want to go without going through the logical and sensible channels. It sounds crazy. That's because it is.


There are no "Right Now!" buttons.

We learn this quickly: There are no buttons to press that give us immediate access to all we demand. There are no hotlines to quick and easy solutions for many of our issues. We can't command things to be a certain way and expect that things will happen just because we say so. There are processes. There are procedures. There are strategies. There is also a "natural order" that is operating in many circumstances that regardless of how much we insist, scream and holler, command and demand, we cannot override them with a snap of our fingers, or any other way for that matter.


Intelligence vs. Instantaneous

Natural order means that there is an "order" to how something happens. For instance, tomorrow can't come before today. You can't be 25 before you're 24, and so on. You can't drive forward and backwards at the same time. You can't literally be in two places at once. These are just a few examples of things that can confuse us when we need and want something. We think we can "think" a thing to be so, just because we think so. Yeah, you read that right. The thinking part is right, we need to think. However, to believe that just because we think it, it can happen without logic, time and effort, is a fantastic error on our part. We falter and fail because of it.

If you're told that your package will arrive tomorrow, but you needed it today, you are not going to have it until tomorrow. If you expect an inheritance at age 25, but you're only 24 and want it, it's likely you will have to wait until you reach the age that it's due to you. Ever tried to drive backwards and forward at the same time? It can't happen, because you can only do one or the other. And, if you happen to try to be in two places at the same time, well...you already know you can't. You will have to figure out how to be in one place and then the other somehow. 

By now you may be saying "I'm not stupid, I know that." Okay, then I'm talking to somebody else and not you. There are a lot of people out here thinking stupid stuff. I'm talking to them. Many of us are truly guilty of thinking stupid, and doing stupid. Yep, me too. Been there, done that. Unfortunately, got some receipts for those silly experiences, too. We live and we learn, right? 


There is no magic.

What's the point? We stress ourselves immensely by putting unrealistic expectations on ourselves all the time, as if we really do possess some kind of Houdini skills and can magically make things happen. We rack our brains. We exert unnecessary emotional and physical energies. We even make ourselves sick trying to outdo what can't be over-ridden. 

What we will find out is that when we count on logic and intelligence to guide us, we will consider more often than not the natural order of things and how that will help us get what we want and need more often. Even though it may not happen so quickly, we'll certainly experience much less stress and craziness along the way. At least, we should. ~ S.R.F.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

MOVING ON: 5 Steps to Take to March Forward

Shake-ups are hard, but you're gonna be alright.
Have you ever said to yourself "I've got to move on"? We find ourselves in places in life when it's necessary to pick up the pieces of ourselves or our lives and keep it moving. It's not always easy to do so, but we can:

1. Shake ups are hard and unsettling. When the rug gets pulled from under us, it's shocking. At some point though, we have to face our tough realities and stand up to them. Shake yourself and wake up to what you need to do to get yourself heading to a healthy place mentally, emotionally and positionally. If you can, shake it off and keep going while you're still in the healing process. Things eventually get better.

2. Avoid concentrating on what happened. There is no moving on if you're looking at what is in the rear view mirror. Get a vision of a better place in life and give your all to getting there.

3. Let your trusted friends and family know you're in drive forward mode. Ask them to send you inspiring and motivating quotes, memes, books, etc., and to offer empowering support. Ask them to do positive things with you. Avoid getting caught up in pity-party conversations. Have a real party and celebrate the bright things ahead.

4. When you start to feel down or lonely, have some great music or messages ready that will uplift your spirit. Don't allow yourself to go into that place or down that street. Of course you can make a U-turn if you do, but why waste the time? You're going somewhere and that's the wrong direction to take.

5. Have a "MOVE ON" Plan even if it's an evolving one. Schedule your days, weeks and the months ahead. Map out your progress and make adjustments whenever you need to. If you wake everyday without direction, you'll be going nowhere fast. However, you'll find yourself moving forward fast if you consistently point yourself in the right direction. Keep putting one foot in front of the other until you're in your better place.

Moving on from challenges can be difficult, but you can. It takes time. Have faith in yourself and all the possibilities the future holds for you. Step by step, you'll get closer to them. Trust yourself. March forward. I hope you'll enjoy the journey. ~ S.R.F.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

That's The Power of Self Love!

Love yourself. There is power in self love.
I can remember many, many years ago when I first heard about the concept of self love. I was in a 20-week personal development program with an instructor whose words of wisdom always landed on me with delight. Among all of the wonderful gems of personal purpose she infused in us, one day she told her bunch eager students to "be your own best friend." I fell in love with the thought of that and pondered it many a day and night. I knew exactly what it meant to be a really good friend to others, so the thought of being that loving, kind and loyal to myself was intriguing.

From that day to this one, I've paid attention to the care I give myself and the nurturing required to feel self-fulfilled. I've learned that there is much strength in self love. I've learned that there is much satisfaction in self love. I've learned that there are powerful internal resources in self love. The more I love myself, the more courageous and fierce I become. 

I'm talking about a critical work within. I'm talking about when we go to the real heart of things within ourselves and love ourselves there, through distress, growth, pain, challenge, change or whatever happens. It's when we are paying so much attention to our personal well-being in all areas of life and making that a primary effort and a priority. It's necessary in order to be our best selves. 

As Valentine's Day rolls around, think about how you can honor yourself with love. Think of ways to make yourself feel the way you would if someone else did everything they knew to do to let you know they loved you. Be that person to yourself. Love you. Self love will change you. Self love will empower you. Self love will enable you. Self love will strengthen you. Self love will erase your fears. Self love will increase your faith. Self love will give you a kind of confidence you could not have imagined. You'll become a force within yourself. That's the power of self love! ~ S.R.F.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

WHAT'S IN YOUR FUTURE?

Wanna know what's in your future? Start creating it.
Life is often a creation process. It's constantly moving forward. It's constantly evolving. It's consistently changing. With all that being the case, we want to know what is ahead. We want to know what's in our future. We can't be certain about everything, but we can operate with a degree of confidence about other things. We can help create the things we want to be and the things we want to see happen.

When we visualize a dream or a goal, it's the first step toward manifesting it for the future. Visualizing is not a game we play with ourselves. It's a real preview to the things we can accomplish. It won't happen without a plan, a "creation process" that is laid out and worked on step by step. If you don't see it this way, and if you don't plan your work and work your plan, all you're really doing is fantasizing. That can be fun, but it won't make anything real happen. It's just a series of visions that make you happy when you think about them, desires that never turn into reality.

Here are some things to think about:

1. Write down what you are visualizing as picturesque as you possibly can explain it on paper. Be thorough. If it's an idea, or a journey or a series of visions, write it all down. When you do this, you will begin to see things in a new perspective, an achievable perspective, and that's going to be your big step toward believing you can accomplish it.

2. Ask yourself who, what, why, where, when and how you can make it happen. Answer those questions even if it takes days, weeks or months. When you have come up with clear answers, start a process of following through on them. Don't be afraid to ask other people who, what, why, where, when and how they can help, but only after you have some clear-cut answers for yourself.

3. Create your own miracles. You must realize that creating your dream or achieving your goals will be in your hands. Miracles do happen everyday, but God gave you the ability to create your own miracles with the gifts and talents you've been given, so do your work. You can make incredible things happen when you believe you can and when you have the faith to see it through.

What's in your future? Something amazing. Is it time to stop fantasizing and start creating the best life you've ever had? Of course! The answer is, yes! ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

It's just around the corner! You ready?
 
Christmastime is the favorite time of year for lots of folks. The malls are decked. Everywhere you go you hear the sounds of holiday music. Neighborhoods are looking brilliant with lights and displays. The energy and excitement seems to penetrate us. It really is a special time.

Unless you're not ready for it and especially if you don't care about it, all of the hoopla is just that. I know some people who feel that way. They are the bah-hum-buggers, and they are quite serious about it. It makes you wonder what caused that negative perspective of such a popular holiday that's filled with so much joy and meaningfulness. Was it a bad childhood? Is it because they don't buy the hype? Is it because they don't believe in the birth of Christ? Or are they just plain ol' naysayers, destined to be bah-hum-buggers for life about anything and everything? The latter is probably true.

With all the hype, energy and joy, you would think it would be an easy lure into one of the year's best holidays, but not so for some. Inwardly, many are suffering emotionally. Many are sad and lonely, especially during this time. Many feel the pain of happinesses stolen from other times in life and find it difficult to celebrate now or anytime. There could be a myriad of reasons why. Probably the most important thing for those of us who are caught up it the movement is to be understanding and compassionate whether we understand how they feel or not.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. While we are enjoying it from all of our various happy perspectives, let's remember to share our joy with a kind word to all. Someone may really need it. You may not be able to change their bah-hum-bug perspective, nor change the state of things for them, but you can be light and love for the moment. Keep yourself in ready-mode for that. ~ S.R.F.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

CAN'T BE THANKFUL?

We are entering the holiday season and with that usually comes more up close and personal contact with family, friends, associates and coworkers. It can be a fun and festive time. With Thanksgiving right before us, have you given any thought to the things that you appreciate in life? Sometimes it's the little things that we can be the most grateful for:
Can't be thankful? Think again.
1. Another day. Life doesn't always seem fair or even bearable, but each day is another opportunity to stay in the ring. Keep on fighting your fight and be thankful that somehow you still have enough fight in you to keep it moving.

2. Another chance. Do you feel like you have flip-flopped your way to this point, having accomplished or achieved very little? It's the story line for so many individuals. Life is simply hard to figure out on a lot of days. We often say in troubled times "If it's not one thing, it's another." That very well may be true for some, but fortunately we can add that we also have another chance to make things better and that is definitely something to be thankful for.

3. Another way. This is also the season when we begin to think about our challenges and changing things. We are about to embark on a New Year and we want to do better, be better and make better things happen. We can. We can be thankful that there are better opportunities and choices we can make toward our futures now and later on. We can assuredly move forward knowing that there are many positive, productive and promising ways to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.

If you're feeling like you can't be thankful, think again. When you're celebrating the holiday with family, friends, associates and coworkers this season, be thankful for that too. Remember, Thanksgiving is another day, another chance and another way to let others know you appreciate them. ~ S.R.F.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

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