Thursday, September 20, 2012

The new paradigm is not set in stone!


by: Charles R. Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes.

 What is your new paradigm?  How has that new paradigm interfered with your original life plan and are you willing to let go of that plan if it is no longer attainable or relevant?   Life certainly is a mystery and a contest at times too.  Just about the time I think I have some insight about my life's direction and what the future may hold something happens to change "the plan".  Is that built into life so we remain resiliant and flexible in our response?  When I stop to think about the people I know and whether they are just barely
surviving or if they are thriving the common thread is always about attitude.  Those people that make excuses and blame others for everything in their life tend to view themselves as victims, which isn't a particularly beneficial response to life's little and big challenges.  On the other hand, people that take total responsibility for themselves, make no excuses and don't blame others for anything in their life tend to view themselves as winners and have more self-confidence and greater success.  Those are the people that thrive despite a new paradigm that interrupts an established life plan.  Did you ever notice how life plans never include life challenges such as divorce, pain, sickness, loss of a loved one, accidents and on and on??  Who would ever include the bad stuff, but is that at all realistic?  The more prepared we are to roll with a new life paradigm the more likely we are to thrive.  Be on the lookout for excuses and blaming statements, because they lurk around every corner and they can be deadly . . . they will destroy your quality of life.
People that have a chronic illness or injury have very big challenges to overcome, because their new paradigm has the capacity to destroy quality of life and can have deadly outcomes due to complications and thoughts of self harm.  I know because I have been there.  When I was injured 19 years ago my comfort zone and paradigm had been turned totally upside down.  I absolutely did not want to accept this new paradigm that had nothing to do with my original life plan.  That plan had already been altered a number of times and as difficult as those times were I was able to adjust my plan and move forward.  But here I was in severe pain and injured, which was so foreign to me.  I was always vital and athletic and it was frightening to me that I had lost part of myself.  I could jump any hurdle as long as I felt vital and in control of me.  That had suddenly been snatched away from me and I was lost and wanted to rewind back to a former time so I could avoid this reality.  But the more I resisted that new paradigm the darker my days became.  I was angry, sad and frustrated and wanting to blame my injury on anything exterior to my cocoon.  I was in shock and disbelief that this had happened to me and I was in denial.  And then I just kept getting sicker and sicker.  It soon became evident that all the resistance was not particularly beneficial.  So I began to look for the meaning and the message that was embedded in this  most difficult journey.  I began to realize that I had not been moving in the right direction and a higher power was trying to get my attention.  I must be extremely hard headed!  I still believe there are messages that I must receive since this new paradigm and new life journey has not been completed.  And I know that my attitude is critical for my success.  The last thing I want to do is get stuck in a bad space pity party, because then that would become my next new paradigm and I would be aimlessly wandering in circles with no end in sight except for that black pit in which I would ultimately descend.  So I get out of bed each day, check my attitude, and then comit to moving forward again.  The key for me is to get a little help from my friends, because this journey is a lonely place to navigate without friendship and companionship.

I don't mean to imply that we are helplessly tossed around in a sea of paradigms without the benefit of a life presserver.  As a matter of fact, we have lots of opportunity to change our life paradigms and regain some control over how our lives play out.  Adopting a positive attitude doesn't mean we should just be happy about our plight.  On the contrary, our ability to make choices and our free will provide a launching pad for making changes in our current paradigm.  The kinetic energy comes from a positive attitude that provides the momentum to make those changes.  This positive attitude momentum is supported by the key statement from Charles Swindoll's thoughts about attitude, which is so powerful :  "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."  It is the action we take under the guidance of a positive attitude that makes the difference.  We will certainly stumble at times and our good friends will help us get back on track.  With love and support we can do this and regain our quality of life.  This new paradigm called fibromyalgia may not have been the one we would have chosen, but we have the ability to still be the best we can be. 

There are two people that have accepted their new fibromyalgia paradigm and have created a new career as a result of this "opportunity".  Dannette founded FibroHaven support and healing group in September 2008.  She is also a gentle Restorative Yoga instructor and is a certified Life Coach.  She treats her fibromyalgia using natural healing concepts and is a gentle, caring and loving person.  Dannette has founded FibroHaven "on the belief that there is nothing I can do alone that isn't infinitely improved with the support of community."  Dannette is an inspirational presence . . . visit her site at  Dannette's site is uncopyrighted and she freely shares with the world community so I have shared her photo here.  In contrast, I recently found Simone in Australia, otherwise known as The Purple Law Lady.  She approaches fibromyalgia with saucy humor and enthusiasm and her site is an explosion of purple.  Simone's site is fully copyrighted.  Simone has developed her blog site around the premise that fibromyalgia awareness needs to be promoted every day of every year.  The positive energy of this site is palpable.  Simone has established a large group of followers and she even has her own store!  Find Simone at   Enjoy your time "meeting" these two women that refuse to let fibromyalgia create a paradigm without their consent.  Their positive attitudes have transformed them into strong women that believe their input into their fibromyalgia paradigm is 90% . . . or maybe even more!  Blessings to Dannette and Simone and to all those that serve as our inspiration!

P.S.  Charles Swindoll also said, "We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations."  For more quotes by Charles Swindoll visit the Web site  Blessings to Mr. Swindoll for his sense of humor that serves to lift us all up! 
Visit this You Tube site to see cats with an attitude!                                    
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