Thursday, July 31, 2014

Visiting our sponsor kids

Today was a day of family! Thank you lord for answered prayers! It was a great blessing to meet vania, Stephanie and Joanne's mom. We even got to meet their old sister, Valanta. Tania and dania are Samuel's mom and little sister. Vania is a caring momma that gave us honest answers to our questions, smiled at us during our conversations, tease me and was firm guide to her children. She either coaxed Stephanie to fan me with a lid or did it herself. Valanta was introduced to us after marie, kim and I covered Joanne in hugs. They surprise us by walking into our hotel room. Valanta seems calm and her and Joanne look at each other marie and kim do. They giggled together and it made me wonder what sisterly inside joke they had. Joanne had the same kind smile and sincere hugs. She was wearing the same shirt as last year. Stephanie is taller and reserved around her mama. She sat by me for a long time and would fan me or play with my hair. Vania said that Stephanie and Joanne were social in school, which sometimes gets in the way of their studies. She also said they don't always understand the easiest. Still, Joanne passed the government test. Stephanie and jerry took theirs this year. Samuel seems so fragile & innocent. He says what his mama, vania,  plus all the other older girls and jerry tell him too. He said his favorite color is green. He like cars and reading. He stutter, despite me making fun of him. He walked up to me and I lifted him like a feather and hugged his little body. He sat on someone's lap almost the entire time we visited. Samuel's mom name is Tania. She seems very young, but has lots of responsibility. She used to live in port-au-prince but moved three hours away where it is less expensive to live. She seems very willing to let vania guide her children. She is even leaving Dania her sweet daughter with vania for an unset amount of time. She did all that because she can't afford to take care of her. 
Dania seems shy at first, but by the end of our time together, she was being scolded for asking to keep my Haiti necklace. She would mutter to me or anyone else that was holding her. 
Our time in vania he was pleasant as it could be. We learned about each other. We talked about our experiences with each other and she send us our way with a prayer.

Michael V. Reynold

Being grateful

We are all in control of our emotions whether they are positive or negative. Every situation we encounter through life can conjure up a host of emotions some of which at first appear to require negative thoughts. 

For example, let's say that you really are sick and tired of what you do for a living, and, your boss is a complete jerk showing no appreciation whatsoever for your hard and dedicated work. 

Obviously, when you think about this work environment your emotional language says negative. The strong message you should be receiving, then, is that it's time for you to make a change. But, this emotion doesn't mean quitting instantly. What it means is that you should change your negative to a positive by looking at your dissatisfaction as the fuel to propel you to search for a new job. 

So how does this dissatisfaction with work have to do with being grateful? First, you should be giving thanks that you have a job. The old saying is true - it's easier to find a new job when you already have one. Be grateful that you have the ability and confidence to search for a new job or career. Be thankful that you have the ability to move beyond moaning and complaining to one of action. Be grateful that you can see a future much rosier rather than most who seem to be content with suffering as if it is something to be proud of. 

Being grateful puts your energy to good use rather than letting negative energy occupy your thoughts, your leisure time, and hating the dreaded Monday morning and the return to a job you despise. Let gratefulness move you to look forward with excited expectation that Monday morning gives you another opportunity to direct your energy to look forward to finding a new and more satisfying opportunity. Be grateful that you've seen the light to move beyond self-pity that strangles countless individuals condemning them to a life of misery. 

Without failure, there is no success. Without gratefulness there is no energy left to move forward. Moaning and complaining attracts more moaning and complaining. Release yourself from this vicious circle by being thankful that you can direct your energy to greater things. 

To be thankful also means that you are willing to share your thoughts, feelings, good times, bad times, and energy with all those who have need of your caring, kindness and affection. To have the opportunity to give also means that over time you will also receive. 

The emotional energy that it takes to be negative is also the same energy that it takes to be positive. You choose everyday how you will react to events that cross your path just like those frustrations that you allow yourself to react to. 

The most important point to consider is that there are no events that happen that are emotionally charged – the events do not have power, will, or influence unless you give power to them. You are always in control of your complete being – it is not given to anyone, or anything unless you give it. 

There are many, many things in life to be grateful for and one of those most prized possessions is your own ability to cast your own net, to sail where you want to, to set a destination that will provide you with all those attributes that contribute to the well-being of your own soul and that of others. You have the total power to be anything, to provide for life, to help others when they are down, to influence a person who in turn can influence another and start a snowball effect of good. 

Michael V. Reynold. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Moving forward

“Even your worst times have value and can become, in retrospect, your best times.”
- Andy Andrews, The Noticer
I remember a year ago, the pounding, the darkness, the pain that I was feeling. I felt like I was about to rupture. I had it all locked up tight within me, the feelings, the stubbornness, pride, ego, humility; my truth.
I got to a point when it felt like my heart was beating and pumping outside of my chest. The stress and anxiety were taking a toll on me physically, all stemming from my emotional baggage.
The pain was damaging not only myself, but the relationships and connections around me. I thought the longer I could hold it off and keep pushing it down the more likely it would go away. As I suppressed it only festered.

This point in my life was the lowest and I knew I had to do something about it. I knew slowly but surely I had to crack the exterior of my being to be able to fix what was brewing inside.
How would be the journey of intentional self growth. It was a commitment I made, to me, to take care of myself first. I was the priority. I realized that if I am not my best self, I can’t give my best self to others, to those that need me most;
I committed to the process.
Though, I couldn’t tell you the process in detail, but I think it’s a level of intent with a mixture of deep desire to want to change that sheds light on the opportunities to take action on. The most important, though, is taking action.
I knew I wasn’t going to be given this key to turn and all of a sudden I would change. I knew it was going to take work, discipline and trust in the process; the journey.
This combination began to shape the lens in which I saw things; the opportunities. An opportunity presented itself when reading a book and listening to a podcast that would forever change my perspective and mindset I had on the source of all of this darkness.
It was discovering the in-between moments, slowing down and embracing the mundane.
See, up until that point I was in constant motion. I was always working and rushing towards the next big thing without noticing that my life was essentially becoming a blur.
I discovered how this very moment is a narrative to my story; my life. And at that point I realized how out of tune I was with both myself and the present moment. I realized how I was simply going through the motions.
This was ultimately the discovery that would open the door and nudge me towards self growth.
The transformation in which occurred had simply changed my life. The lens in which I saw things had shifted.
I now see the external circumstances, the failures and mistakes, that were causing such pain and stress differently. I am grateful for them. Without them I wouldn’t have had this opportunity to change, to reinvent. In fact, those exact circumstances are still in my life today, the only change, however, is how I choose to see them.
Part of this journey is instilling intentional actions that support self growth. Actions that act as a spring board in becoming a better version of yourself than you were the day before.
Committing to this journey I was slowly able to crack open the vulnerability vault; to dust off the deep and dark pockets of who I was. The things that have been suppressed and festering for so many years.
I began to quietly expose those things, through self reflection, journal writing and meditating. As this part of the journey unfolded, seeing my failures differently, being vulnerable, focusing on the present moment, the weight was gradually lifting off of my shoulders.
The more I exposed my vulnerabilities, the more pockets I began to discover within me, the freer I felt.
The pain in my chest has subsided. The stress I was used to carrying has vanished. It’s all because of the way I chose to view things. It’s all because I tossed my ego aside and started owning my mistakes and accepting my flaws.
It’s all because of the in-between moments, the present moment, the moments that are ultimately defining our lives. The very moments that are writing our story.
Committing to a journey of intentional self growth is trusting in the process and God.  It’s trusting that the pain you expose will lead you to growth; to a better version of yourself than you were the day before.
It’s trusting that the work you put in on your best days, will be your compass for your worst days. It’s understanding that this is a journey, a journey that travels through both mountaintops and low valley’s.
Take care of yourself first; spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Choose, and want, to connect with yourself on a daily and consistent basis; through reading, reflection, writing. It comes from within, from the soul, from the heart.
Take care of yourself first so you can truly give to others later, the best way you can and know how. To make a difference in, and be part of, something much
larger than yourself.
Looking back at your life, is there a failure or mistake that has changed because you now see.?