It’s amazing how little effort it really takes to make a difference in someone’s life.  The most seemingly benign act of kindness can make someone else’s load a little lighter and life a little easier.

Here are some easy ways to make a difference in the lives of others.  Choose one (or all three) each day and put it to use!

Smile

When I worked at the hospital I made it a point to make my patients smile.  It could be a challenge at times, given that they were in the hospital and of course that was not the ideal setting for having a happy face but most of the time it was easy … simply smiling at them when I walked into their room usually sufficed.

Returning a smile is almost an involuntary act in most situations.  Even when people were too sick, or in too much pain to smile back at me, my “plan” still worked about 98 per cent of the time.

Smile at everyone you meet, even strangers.  Make eye contact and show them your pearly whites!  Don’t be surprised when you also begin to feel better with each smile that is returned.

Watch Your Words

Words are powerful.  Your tongue can be a weapon of mass destruction, or it can speak life to everyone around you.  Use it wisely.

The old adage, “If you can’t say something good. don’t say anything at all” is still a wise a piece of advice.  If you don’t believe me, think back to a time when your whole day was ruined by one discouraging word from a friend or family member.

Now think of a time when your day was absolutely made by someone’s words of encouragement.

See what I mean?

Say something nice to someone today.  Tell the cashier at the supermarket you like her haircut.  Tell the kid at the pool what a great swimmer he is, or if someone consistently brightens your day with their words … tell them how much you appreciate it.

Actions Speak Loudly

Remember the “random acts of kindness” craze from a few years back?  People everywhere were doing little things for others without any expectations of recognition or reward.

“Random acts of kindness” was a great idea and probably one we would have done well to keep in practice.

What action can you take today that will make a difference for someone else?

Help the neighbor carry her groceries in from the car.  Hold the door open for a stranger at the store.  Send a “just thinking of you” card to a friend.

You don’t have to do anything complicated.  None of these things necessarily take a lot of time or cost a lot of money, yet they can make the difference between a “bad” day and a “great” day for the recipient!

God bless!

Becky J. Taylor

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

Follow Your Passion! Pursue Your Purpose!

Become the Person You Know You Were Born to Be!

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Sweet Success!

November 18, 2009

What does “success” mean to you?

Sadly, I find many people are determined to compare themselves to others in their definition of the term.  To some, “success” involves a seven-figure yearly income, nice cars and a big house.  Many tend to feel like they’ve failed themselves and society if they are unable to keep up with the proverbial “Jones ‘”.

(Not that I find anything wrong with having a seven-figure income, nice cars and big houses.)

My question would be, what good is a seven-figure income and all those other great things, if you don’t feel satisfied that you are doing what you were meant to do with your life?

You were put on this earth with a purpose to fulfill.  Maybe your purpose is to make a lot  of money so you can share your blessings with others, or maybe it is to live simply, foregoing all those things society has labeled as indicators of “success”,  and go instead to the mission field to dig wells for thirsty people.

The truth is, there are as many ways to be successful as there are people on this earth. No one else can judge your level of success. Only you and God can determine that.

So I’ll ask again, What does success mean to you?  Are you striving toward what you feel is truly important, or are you struggling to fulfill someone else’s expectations for your life?  Chances are, if you’re feeling empty despite your best efforts to succeed, you’re reaching for the wrong goals.  If you don’t feel a spark of passion when you think about your work, you’re probably not in the field to which you’ve been called.

As this year is quickly drawing to a close, think about your personal definition of success (not one that’s been fed to you by society.)   Are you on the right track?  Do you feel good about what you’re doing with your life?

If you feel called to be a mother and a housewife,  be the best mother and housewife you can be!  You will be a success!

If you know you were placed on this earth to be a great scientist and find cures for deadly diseases, then pursue that field with all your might!  You will be a success!

No matter what you know you are meant to do, do it with passion and enthusiasm.   Do it without regard to what others may think.  Do it without comparing yourself to any one else.

Simply pursue the passion God has placed in your heart, and you cannot … will not, fail.

To your success!

Becky J. Taylor

Certified Personal Life Coach

Bold New Day! LLC

http://www.boldnewday.com

What is stress? I’m glad you asked!

According to dictionary.com , stress is:

“A specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.”  

or “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”

Of all the definitions listed, I think this one sums it up best: 

Stress is “the physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain.”

This definition probably refers more to stress on tangible items, like crowbars against automobile rims, but I believe it also applies to the way stress feels to us.  If you’ve ever experienced stress (and if you’re old enough to read this, it’s safe to say you have) you’ll definitely identify with that feeling of  “force” being exerted on you by something, or someone in your life. 

Stress comes in different forms and as humans, we’ve developed many individual methods of dealing with it.  Some of us more successfully than others.  If you happen to fall into the “less successful” group, take heart!  You can learn to identify and conquer the stress in your life and even put it to work for you!

In order to understand effective methods of dealing with it, it’s helpful first, to identify the different types of stress one might encounter.

Consider these categories:

Shoo Fly!

This is “everyday” stress.   Everyone experiences it.  It’s the stress you feel when you’re late for an appointment because you got stuck in traffic.   It’s the familiar feeling of having too much to do and too little time in which to get it done. It can start in the morning when your feet hit the floor and last until you turn off the light that night. It’s that force that constantly presses on you during the day from all kinds of people and circumstances.  Like a fly that keeps circling you at dinner, “Shoo-fly” stress consists of all the minor annoyances that plague us on a daily basis.

Cute Kitten:

This stress is actually good in nature, yet it requires something out of the ordinary from you, therefore force comes into the picture.  It might be a much desired move to a new house, your wedding day, or a brand new baby in your family.  We look forward to these happy occasions, but they all require action from us above and beyond our normal routine and are therefore stressful. 

Little Foxes:

This type of stress is a bit more serious and tends to require more of our attention.  It’s the kind of stress that happens when your plans are upset by an unexpected event that suddenly takes priority.  Your child gets sick at school and has to be picked up, despite the fact you’ve got three appointments scheduled that afternoon.  If you cancel your appointments, it could have long term effects on your business.  Or say, you get caught speeding and have to explain to the nice officer exactly why you were going 75 m.p.h in a 60 m.p.h. zone.  The officer might invite you to visit the judge and tell him your story instead.  Whether in the form of looming deadlines or impending court dates,  this kind of stress is capable of  keeping you awake at night. 

Wolves At The Door:

This stress is relentless and you probably feel like you don’t have much control over it.   It wears on you for long periods of time, and keeps you constantly aware of its presence. Overdue bills combined with inadequate finances, as well as unhealthy long term relationships, all cause this kind of stress.  The effects of this stress carry over to other areas of your life and can leave some pretty serious damage in it’s wake.  Many consider this the worst kind of stress simply due to the nature of the beast.  It might not be any fault of yours that it’s landed on your doorstep, yet you are helpless to make it go away.

Shark Attack:

This stress is traumatic and can have a permanent negative impact.  “Shark attack” stress leaves you emotionally disabled.  Situations  like the unexpected death of a loved one,  suffering horrible abuse at someone else’s hands, or losing your home in a fire are a few examples.  While it isn’t quite as common as the other forms of stress, it isn’t something that can be ignored.  The majority of us will encounter this serious form of stress at one time or another.  Most often, victims of this stress need professional help to reach a satisfactory recovery.

So, there you have it!  Stress is “a physical pressure, pull or other  force exerted” on one thing (you!) by another (person or situation.)

Stress is inevitable.  As long as we have breath in our body, we will have stress.  The good news is this; there are many methods of minimizing the negative effects of stress.

We’ll cover that next time!

God Bless!

Becky J. Taylor

CTA Certified Life Coach

http://www.boldnewday.com

Sept. 28, 2009

The High Road

May 26, 2009

At some time or another most of us have been instructed by those wiser and more experienced to “take the high road” in our approach to life.

Personally, I’ve done my best to follow that advice.  Sure, there have been times when I’ve driven off course for a mile or two, but it doesn’t usually take long for me to realize the lower path is not where I belong or want to be.  I’ve found it much too crowded to suit my tastes.  I’ve also discovered that it’s significantly more difficult to maintain proper perspective from that vantage point.

Imagine driving a car through torrential rains behind one of those big eighteen wheelers.  The big rig throws so much water back onto your windshield that you can become disoriented and drive right over the embankment if you aren’t careful.

It’s a lot like that on the low road.

It’s better to stay on the high road where there is less distraction.

The problem with the high road is that it can get pretty lonely up there.  It isn’t usually the most popular route, as many people don’t seem to find it exciting enough. Since there is less traffic, there are also fewer accidents.  Some of us apparently need to witness an occasional crash and burn to keep us entertained (even if it means we have to personally run someone over the cliff in order to satisfy our evil appetite.)

Even still, there are times when circumstances can cause us to consider changing courses, or as they say “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

Ever been there?

I have.

As a matter of fact, that’s exactly where I am now.  I’ve been traveling this road as best I know how and frankly it’s getting a bit tiring.  I am beginning to wonder if it really leads to the destination I’ve been promised.   It’s time to pull over and regroup, maybe take another look at the map for reassurance.  On the high road, it is the destination that matters after all, and my map tells me that the low road will not take me where I want to end up.

As frustrating as that is, I know it’s true.  I can’t afford to take any detours.

Which road are you traveling?  Have you inadvertently wound up on the less desirable course?

One of the best things about the high road is there are plenty of on ramps.  You can always choose to redirect your path and leave the chaos and destruction of the low road behind.

Thank God, He has given us all that option … as well as the free will to choose which path we will take

Answer these questions.  What is your desired destination?  (Hopefully you’ve chosen one that will serve you and others well)

Which road will most likely take you there?

It’s really a no-brainer.  The high road is better.

Think about it, and make the right choice today.

God Bless!

Becky J. Taylor – May 26, 2009

A Case for Grace

April 18, 2009

Over the last few months, my blog topics have included things like faith, trust, miracles (and the lack thereof).

Most recently, I’ve been thinking about God’s grace.

I wasn’t taught a lot about grace as I was growing up.  The denomination our family belonged to leaned more toward the hell-fire and brimstone aspect of the Almighty’s personality.  Fear and trembling was an fundamental part of our church services, an approach to salvation that I would neither condone or recommend, much less teach to my own children!

Thankfully (and ironically enough, by God’s grace) I developed a more intimate personal relationship with Him as an adult and learned that despite all I’d been led to believe, God truly does love me.   Not only that, but He also has a plan for me and it is good! (Jer. 29:11-13)  No longer in my mind, is He an angry judge sitting on His throne just waiting for me to mess up so He can smite me!

Imagine my relief!

I think we all walk in God’s grace more than we will ever realize this side of Heaven.  His grace surrounds us every day of our lives and we don’t even notice. His grace is sufficient for all our needs.  That applies even to the needs that only He knows we have.

God showers us with grace at times when we unintentionally sin.  His grace abounds over our mistakes.  Thank goodness for that!

God’s grace is also evident in our lives when we are confused,  hurt, brokenhearted and angry. It’s at those moments when we want pound our fists against His chest in rage and ask him “why?”, that grace really steps in.  In grace and inexplicable love, our Heavenly Father simply let’s us express our feelings to Him, then wraps His arms around us and holds us as we cry.

That’s the grace I’ve come to appreciate the most.

We are human beings.  God created us that way.  No one understands our hearts better than He.

And no one loves us more!

God sees our future as well as our past and present.   He knows how badly we hurt as well as the source of our anger and tears.  He also knows the hurt will heal, the anger will subside, and we will smile again.

That is why at times when we probably deserve it the least …  He gives us grace!

Enjoy this great YouTube video of Israel Houghton singing about the grace that carries us  “through every season”  The title of the song is “If Not For Your Grace”

Sometimes disappointment turns into outright heartbreak.

You “did” all the right things.  You prayed.  You clung to faith even as your world was collapsing around you.

Then, just when you thought you couldn’t take one more thing, there came a blow so devastating that your soul was shaken to the very core.

At times like these, even prayer may seem pointless.  Instead, you want to shout at God in anger, telling Him how “wrong” or “unfair” you think your situation is.

And ask Him “Why?” … even though you realize that no explanation could ever make you understand.

When we are in such a state of sadness and confusion, it’s hard to believe in the power of that  “mustard seed” faith the Bible talks about.  If faith no bigger than the size of a grain of mustard seed can move a mountain, then why did that whole “truckload” of faith you’ve been traveling in just crash and burn?

“Why did this horrible thing happen?”  is a question that has plagued mankind for probably as long as human beings have existed.  As far as I know, no one has ever come up with a satisfactory answer.  If I’m wrong about that,  please let me know. I’d love to be informed!

When from all human perspective faith has failed us, we have no choice but to move up another level  of relationship with God and trust Him.

Although faith and trust sometimes seem much the same, there is an important difference between the two.

Someone once defined it to me this way:

“Faith is believing that someone can push a wheelbarrow across a tightrope spanning Niagra Falls.

Trust, is the willingness to ride in the wheelbarrow!”

The love our Heavenly Father has for us surpasses any degree of human understanding.  Contrary to some people’s beliefs, God doesn’t take pleasure in human suffering of any kind.  You’ll never convince me otherwise.  Rather, I believe that when we cry, He feels our pain.  When our hearts break, so does His.

So, back to the age old question of “Why”?   Sorry!  I still don’t know the answer.

But I do know there will inevitably be times when we will experience loss, sadness, pain, and grief.  No human being is ever completely spared from those things.  Even Jesus Christ himself was subjected to such during his time here on earth.  Why then, would we expect to be exempt?

Thankfully, God has been gracious enough to provide us with a vehicle for getting us through seasons of great sorrow.  When bad things happen, He wants us to turn to Him.  He wants us to trust, even when we do not understand why.

Don’t stop at faith alone and proclaim that you believe God is in control of your destiny.  Be willing to get in the “wheelbarrow” and know that He alone is able to get you to the other side of even the widest and deepest of heartbreaks!

Blessings!

Becky Taylor 3-9-09

Don’t Worry! Be Happy!

February 13, 2009

My five year old grand-daughter, Esther had a doctor’s appointment yesterday afternoon.  She listened intently as the Pediatrician explained to her Mother that he would get a “diagnosis” and decide whether or not Esther needed medication for her ailment.   At the word “diagnosis”, Esther’s cheeks grew red and her face took on a somber expression.

She looked at my daughter, Emily and said, “But Mama! … Diagnosis is what they give the kids at the St. Jude Hospital for children!”

Because Esther’s experience with the word was limited to what she’d learned from a few brief moments of contact with t.v. commercials, she believed that “diagnosis” meant something terrible must be happening to her.

Thankfully, Emily was able to reassure Esther and help her to understand that a “diagnosis” in her situation was not going to result in a long hospital stay or the potential loss of her beautiful blond hair.  Now that Esther has been educated, she’s no longer worried about the consequences of being “diagnosed”.

I must say that Mamaw Becky feels better now too!  I can’t stand the thought of my precious grand-daughter being frightened so badly by such an imaginary threat.  I am so glad she spoke up and voiced her concerns to her mother!  Otherwise, she could have literally worried herself sick over her impending “diagnosis”.

Research shows that the vast majority of  things we worry about never take place.  This is probably due largely due to the fact that we we base our reactions on incomplete, or unrealistic information.   Most often, if we take the time to investigate we will realize that our concerns are a bit on the irrational side.   When all is said and done, it becomes obvious that all our worry has been in vain.

What a waste of time and brain cells!

The next time something happens that causes your “worry alert” bells to go off in your head, resist the temptation to give in to feelings of fear or dread.  Instead, focus your emotional energy on finding the facts about the situation at hand.  Chances are you’ll find your concerns are either unfounded, or at least that the circumstances are not quite as bad as they first appeared.

As the old song says, “Don’t Worry! Be Happy!”   Try it!  I know you’ll find it a much more appealing alternative.