Life can be hard at times, unwanted events may happen to you, you may experience difficulties in your relationships and with loved ones, health or financial challenges may appear unexpectedly. These events are what we call life.
But they will be memories one day. Memories of how many difficult situations you overcame, of how powerful and resourceful you were, of how successful in going through challenging times you were, of how good things can be found in so-called bad things.
You have lived through a lot of difficult moments, I know. I have, too. You have scars. They have healed, but you have not forgotten the events, the feelings, the facts, the battles you fought. But you should.
Memories are just that, recollections of the moments, of things that don’t belong to your present, to the moment of now, where you have an opportunity to build new and better memories. What if you could look at your past in a different way?
I’ve had so many conversations with clients and people I met about their past. I’ve heard sad stories, difficult childhood moments, details of physical and emotional abuse, bad relationships, terrible divorces, trauma… and so much more. But what I have told everyone who has openened their heart to me is that it doesn't matter what you went through. You cannot change it, and it is for sure part of your story, of who you are, but it shouldn’t determine how you live today, because you are much more than your memories and experiences.
If you must hold onto a memory, it would be better to choose a happy moment, an uplifting one, a moment of achievement, of gratitude and appreciation, of shared Love, of laughter. Everything is stored in your mind, like a giant hard drive. Your mind is not very different from a computer, but it has something very powerful and important that your computer’s software does not include: Imagination!
You can build your life with the power to create from your imagination. There is no need to live in the past if you can live a reality that you can create. Believe me, it is possible. The only problem is that maybe you don’t know how to use it in your favor, yet.
Imagination needs your collaboration, your clarity, your focus, your intention, your elevated emotions, your fun, your engagement, your enjoyment. You need to Love the process of creation of your life and to stop living by the old programming that you (or someone else) installed in your mind’s computer.
What if the life you want exists in a pattern of possibilities called future? What if the future is not as far away as you imagine? What if your imagination is a much more powerful tool for creation than the memories of your past that keep you stuck? What if with a bit of guidance you, and only you, can create the memories of the future you want to live? Give it a try.
I know what you are thinking right now. I can even see your face while you read these lines. Yes, sure, Judith, it sounds like a good idea, but how do I do it? To start, write a list of all the good reasons you give to yourself to continue living the same way, your excuses for not changing what you don’t want in your life, or whatever doesn’t work, and your fears of failure, or of not being good enough. Take the list and make a conscious decision, a commitment with yourself, to overcome the written items, one by one. Do it right now!
I know what you are feeling and thinking because I went through it. Your mind can create powerful statements such as: it is not for me (this means “I don’t deserve it”), it is too late, (“I am too old to change”), this will change (“time solves everything”), I will do it (“tomorrow always seems a better day to start”), this is the life I have (“I don’t have the need to change”), this is what I can do (“I don’t have power”), I don’t have a choice and I have to keep going (“I am very responsible and I need to sacrifice myself and my life”), I don’t know what I want (“I prefer not to think about these things”)…
When you make your own list, you will see that all the sentences you say to yourself can be grouped in some categories: fear of the unknown, lack of Love for yourself, or procrastination and self-sabotage. Just answer yourself one question: until when are you going to live in the world of past memories and experiences? Maybe is time for a new present and future, don’t you think? Take action.
"To design the future effectively, you must first let go of your past"
Charles J. Givens
We have had lots of life experiences that we have not wanted to accept. Loses, so called `mistakes’, break ups, unforgivable events, abuse, arguments, disagreements, pain, and so much more. But they happened, they were real, and we cannot change them, but we can, at least, accept them. Acceptance will allow you to look to the future with more freedom. Stop looking only through the rear mirror, and look at the wonderful view in front of you, while you drive through the journey of your life.
There are people that think that to accept means to be weak, or that they cannot forgive someone who doesn’t deserve it. But in order to live your life in the present, this life that is real and happening for you at this exact moment, you must be here and now. You cannot be present if you only live in the past, in past experiences, in past feelings, in past grudges, in past resentment.
To let go, to release, or to forgive, are learnable skills. They are necessary for your survival. If you carry all these weight from the past, you will move slowly, with difficulties, and your life-journey will be much more unpleasant than if you walk through life weightless and free to enjoy every moment of it.
You need to accept the life you have in order to be able to create the life you want. What this means is that you can only create new circumstances, change, thrive, and become who you want to be, when you accept what is happening in your life now.
Doing it doesn’t have to generate guilt. You don’t have to blame yourself, to feel guilty. You don’t need to have a poor opinion of your choices, or to be a victim of the circumstances, or of your past. You only need to accept who you are, in a loving and compassionate way, offering yourself the understanding and kindness you would show a loved one.
Start planting the seeds of your new life and wonderful future. Nothing stops you from creating a life that contains what you want and deserve. Only you can sabotage your efforts, life is on your side. If you want something, you must become what you want. No Love can enter a closed heart. No abundance can arrive to those who feel they don’t deserve it. No health can be restored if we don’t pay attention to the needs of our body. Change starts with awareness and understanding and it happens with acceptance.
Live with acceptance and not for acceptance. We are subject to the opinions and expectations of those around us. We live our lives fulfilling roles. We want to be the best employees, managers, parents, children, partners, friends, or neighbors. We sometimes achieve our goal at a cost. We have internal expectations of what all of those roles imply, and in order to be that person that we want to be, to fulfill that role perfectly, to demonstrate our Love to others and to be accepted by them, we stop loving ourselves in the process.
What we need to have a happier life is self-acceptance, not the acceptance of others. They are not walking through life wearing our shoes. No matter how much they know us, they cannot live our lives for us. You can create a new life: a life of pleasure, of abundance, of happiness and fun. We live our life overworked, in busyness, and without time to reflect, take care of ourselves, or make the best decisions. Nowadays all happens fast, and we may feel stressed and tired. Just pause, appreciate your life, and take some time to accept.
"When you invoke the agent of change called acceptance, you must accept all that you are,
all that you've been, and all that you will be in the future"
Stay present and keep going no matter what. We tend to invest too much time of our lives looking at the past to see what could have gone wrong and how we could have done things differently, or to the future, daydreaming or worrying about a future that we are building.
Don’t stop yourself by thinking too much. Just do what you want to at the moment. Follow the energy where it takes you. Be aware of what is your desired destination, but give up the idea that there is only one way to get there. Things can be different than you imagine. You may have to take a detour.
Let go of the need to control your life, and learn to be in the moment. You are resourceful, you are more powerful than you imagine, and you don’t need to have everything ready before you start. A good idea of where you are going, of what you desire, and all your intention to get somewhere, are good enough to activate the necessary energy to have your desires fulfilled.
When we are in the process of doing something, sometimes we don’t see the progress we make day by day. If you feel stuck and impatient, look at your life and I am sure you will find something to celebrate, that you have accomplished, that makes you feel closer and able to reach your goal, dream, or desire.
Remember that the important thing is the journey, not the destination. Focus on enjoying every moment of the trip, without judging it. Don’t fight with life, accept it as it is. Nothing remains the same, there are infinite possibilities available to you. You can make changes, you can live in a different way, and it will happen if you continue on your way no matter what.
Believe in yourself. Don’t allow others, or yourself, to sabotage your life and intentions. Keep them for yourself if necessary. Don’t look outside of yourself to find approval and validation, or compare yourself with others. Focus on your resources, and you will find your gifts and talents, the ones you will have to use for the journey of life.
Persist, insist, resist if necessary. Life can be tough at times, but you will get where you want if you keep trying. Ask for guidance, talk to those who may help you, open your heart to receive support and resources. Live your life with freedom and happiness in your heart. You may not have the life you want yet, but you have a life to live and to enjoy.
Self-judgment can be a pattern. Something you do without realizing it. Be aware if it happens, and transform it into self-appreciation. You are good enough. You can do it and you will. You may not know the way, but it will be clear to you at a certain point of the path.
Perhaps what you want won’t happen in the timing you expect, but within a divine timing. But never give up on your dreams. They are only yours, and they are there to inspire you, and to take you to the next step in your life. Every baby step counts. Put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
"As long as you keep going, you will keep getting better. And as you get
better, you gain more confidence. That alone is success"
Do it slowly, do it gently, do it with Love. Whatever you do, do it because you want to, with all your energy, with passion, with commitment. When you really want to accomplish something, you don’t even need to set up a goal. Your energy shows up and things happen. It becomes real. Yet there are things that are difficult for each of us, that we want to change, but we cannot because the effort that it’d take feels like having to climb a mountain.
Take action and make changes because you want to, because you choose to, not because you believe you have to. Find the motivation within yourself. The Love for yourself is the energy that will allow you to introduce any change in your life or to achieve anything you set your mind to. There is no more powerful reason than that to find the strength to change those things that are not working in your life, or to start treating yourself with more care to become happier and healthier.
It would be easier to introduce new things in your life if you had a clear idea of what you wanted to accomplish in your life. See the big picture. What are you looking for? What do you really desire? What will make you happier and fulfilled? More energy, more balance, more fun, more health, more abundance, a relationship? You can divide your goal into different actions you can take, and just start, slowly but surely. Take one action after another, without looking much further into the future.
When you want to change something, every baby step counts. You want to write a book, then write at least a couple of pages each day. You want to exercise, realize that you need to create the habit and that one day in the gym is better than none. You want to eat a healthy diet, then maybe just looking at the menus you may like and buying groceries is a good first step. Take the first small step and the rest will follow. Find a way that works for you.
We tend to put so much pressure on ourselves. Whatever you commit to has to be realistic and achievable. Don’t make the challenge too big. Don’t try to do everything at the same time. Introduce small changes and when they become a routine in your life, then go for your next goal. Maybe you have tried to accomplish this before and you didn’t succeed. But the fact that you didn’t achieve it in the past doesn’t mean that you cannot do it today. Ask for help if you need it. Find a support group, do it with a friend, or hire a coach. You don’t have to do it alone.
Don’t focus on what you don’t want to do. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you are ready. First, find the strength you need and make yourself ready! Stop setting up the same goals and abandoning those days or weeks later. Just make a commitment with yourself to change something and go for it. It can be something small but important, and when you accomplish it you will feel more empowered and on control of your life. You are more powerful than you imagine!
"I started reading about people of great accomplishment... and it dawned on me suddenly that
the person who has the most to do with what happens in your life is you"
When you ask someone the question “How are you?,” the person you are talking to will choose something in the line of “I am fine”, “All good”, “I am doing well”, but they won’t tell you what they really feel or how they are really doing at the moment, they will give you an answer that is not real.
Some people think that nobody is interested in their problems, challenges or their emotional or physical health. They don’t want to bother others with their burdens, or maybe they feel that nobody will really listen with interest.
Others want to keep what is not working in their lives private, and they always show a happy face to the world, even when they don’t feel happy. In this new era we post all good news in Social Media, but who do we tell the not so good news?
We feel that we have to be ok all the time, that we cannot be down, that we need to be resilient no matter what we are going through, a divorce, a transition, an illness, legal problems, financial stress, the loss of someone we love... and we don’t.
The fastest way, and the one that will allow you to go through life with less suffering in whatever circumstances you are going through, is not to hide what is happening, not to put it aside, not to deny it. It is to face it.
When you do, be kind and compassionate with yourself and accept the situation, whatever it is. Give yourself the necessary time to process what is going on, don’t jump to the end of the process that you will need to do in order to overcome the difficulty and bounce back.
Be authentically you, no matter what is going on, be honest with yourself. Analyze yourself and your feelings, try to understand where your thoughts come from and revise old belief systems to see if they are still serving you, see your patterns of behavior as allies to point you in the right direction to change.
Yes, change. Here we are again, this magic word that nobody wants to hear. Life is change. Today you are not the same person you were yesterday… even if you want to keep yourself stuck, it won’t be possible, life will kick your behind and make a move for you if you don’t. Your body changes, your cells renew, and you experience new situations, different life circumstances, interact with others, travel, read, learn, and expand your horizons.
You are here to evolve and grow. You can do it smartly, easily, with Love for yourself and your life, being grateful for the opportunity to be alive. Or you can continue hiding your problems, being unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and going around with a mask and telling yourself “I am fine”.
What are you going to answer the next time someone asks you how you are doing? I have a suggestion: why don’t you take a minute of your time to figure out how you really are. This time, answer yourself honestly, accept what is, without judgment.
Later on, you may want to spend some time brainstorming about what you can do to improve your life and circumstances. Or you can have a pity party before you decide to let go of what is not allowing you to move forward, to release it, to move on. You always have a choice. Today, choose to make yourself happy. Do one thing for you, small or big, take action and see the change.
"Your preparation for the real world is not in the answers you have learned,
but in the questions you have learned how to ask yourself"
When you feel confused, uncertain, or stuck, don’t try to fix the external circumstances of your life, just look inside. The solution to everything you experience is within you. A change or perspective, a different approach to life, another attitude towards the same events, may be necessary to create a shift.
A change of consciousness is what the crisis you are experiencing is asking of you. It does not matter if your life is falling apart because of financial stress, health issues, a divorce, problems in your job, or something else. A change is required, and only you can do it. The clue to overcoming the challenge is hiding inside of you.
We tend to think that when we solve the issue, whatever is it, all will be well. If I get the job or the promotion I will be happy, if I receive the money I will be financially stable and be able to pay my debt, if I lose some weight I will find the partner I deserve... That’s not true. You will be in a better situation if you work towards your goals, but the reason why you don’t have the partner, the money, or the job, is because you don’t think that you can have it.
And let me tell you a little, but important secret, on how the Universe works: you cannot receive what you don’t have. All of us struggle in a certain area of our lives, or maybe in more than one. We can be successful professionals but our Love life is a disaster, or we might be so healthy but feel that we lack energy, passion, and purpose in our lives. We try harder to overcome whatever block might be stopping us from getting what we want, when the way to get what you really desire is to believe that you deserve it.
I will give you an example. You have to cultivate the qualities that you want to have in your life. If you want more peace, be more peaceful. If you want more Love, be more loving, if you want more abundance, feel abundant and grateful. We don’t realize that we close the doors to receiving, that we ask and we cancel the order right after we place it. We sabotage our own efforts to improve our lives and we do it so automatically, as a habit.
Lots of people procrastinate their happiness until a time when the world around them will match their expectations. Know that the easy way to create a life of fulfillment and purpose, a life that makes you jump out of bed every day, it to start being happy right here and right now.
If you accept your life situation, and see the blessings you have, you will create a platform from where you can build a foundation for the life you dream of and deserve. Look inside and see who you are in essence, a beautiful being, full of Love and joy and willing to share it.
"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self"
You are the only one that can live your life, the one that can take responsibility for what is going on, and the one that has the power to transform yourself and your life. You are more powerful than you think you are.
We tend to go through life looking at how the world affects us and putting limits on ourselves. We analyze how others behave towards us, thinking that they have the power to hurt us. We complain about our family, spouse, friends, colleagues, or boss. Everyone seems to be the cause of our pain and dissatisfaction when we think about it, or we complain to others about what we are experiencing.
You are the only one that can change these circumstances. You can change any circumstance with the power of your own Love, Self-Love. For example, when in a relationship someone disrespects and mistreats you, they are not the only ones that should change their behavior. You need to change too. Maybe you need to learn to say no to certain things, to respect yourself, or to set boundaries.
Don't wait until others change, do it yourself. Once you do it, this person that you think that is causing your pain won't be in your life anymore. Things will change unexpectedly, or you will abandon this kind of relationship knowing that you deserve a loving partnership, and that by staying in this relationship, you are hurting yourself. If you change the way you treat yourself and how you allow others to treat you, as a consequence, those around you will change too.
When you self-sacrifice in order to take care of your family or children, for example, and you don't feel well because you are exhausted and totally depleted, and you feel that you don't have a life anymore, you are hurting yourself. There is a way to change your life circumstances, but maybe not the way you have thought about. There is a way to ask for help, real help, from those who Love you, and also help from the Universe.
Think about a typical situation where you have too much to do at home. You can ask your partner to be more involved and help you, or you can ask the Universe to bring you the money you need to be able to pay for a cleaning lady, or for a nanny. That will allow you to rethink your schedule, or work from home, or part-time, to be able to take care of yourself and your family with energy, passion, and also feel well in the bargain. Only you can create these possibilities.
When the abundance is not there, and you feel that you are limited because without it, you cannot do what you want, only you can solve it. By loving yourself more, your energy will be better, your vibration higher, your creativity and inspiration larger, and you will feel more connected with yourself, others and the Universe, seeing more solutions and opportunities.
This shift will allow you to receive what you feel you deserve, to open the doors of your heart, and to share all the Love you have, and this will bring more Love into your life. This will improve not only your relationships, but every area of your life, and you will see abundance enter your life, that people around you are happier, that life becomes less a struggle and more a dance with the Universe, and then you will understand the magic of life. You can shift now, do it!
"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the season, or the wind,
but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of"
When things are not working the way you want, don't wait to take action. Every breath you take is a new breath, a new life, a new opportunity. We have the sensation that we need to wait until tomorrow, Monday or next month to change our lives. But your life can change now, in this exact moment. The only thing you need is to start moving in the direction you want it to go. All that is required is your intention. Where your energy goes is where you will see the changes. You don't need to produce them, just to allow them to happen.
The human mind is limited. We can see until a certain point in our lives. Not even with our best level of imagination, would we be able to create a plan as extraordinary as the one the Universe has ready for us. Your life is transformed each minute. I don't want to put pressure on you. This is not my intention. But let me ask you, until when are you going to continue living in an unsatisfactory way, being in a relationship you don't want, or doing the unfulfilling or unpaid job you are in? What needs to happen for you to take a baby step that demonstrates to the Universe that you are ready to change?
Everything is possible, you are limitless, you can do it... We use all these phrases, but do we believe in them? The problem is that sometimes we want impossible things, things that are not good for us, things that will require changes in our lives. We blame ourselves, our lives, and the Universe, for not bringing what we desire but we don't realize the consequences of what are we asking for, or we do it without a pinch of conviction, sitting on the sofa with a remote in our hand as a magic wand.
The Universe is waiting for your order. Dance with the Universe, allow it to help you arrive to the best place for you, to give you all you desire, to be balanced and whole, to have well-being and an amazing Love life. Ask yourself, "What can I do to achieve these things?" Is there anything that comes to your mind right now? If you came up with a simple idea, put it into practice now!
You don't need to do everything today, to solve all your challenges in this moment, or to start taking action in every area of your life. Just choose one thing, the most important right now. It does not have to be big or challenging, but it has to be important enough for you to commit to it. Don't wait any longer to get a fresh start.
"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers.
You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life;
and the procedure, the process is its own reward"
You were born free. You have the power to choose. You have options. You have the power to choose how to be, how to act, what to do with your life. You might be following certain rules, religious beliefs, educational patterns, or cultural ways of being, but at any moment, you can choose to change them and to create a new set of rules to live a happier life, a more fulfilled one. No one can dictate how you have live your life. It is entirely your decision. Everything in your life will change when you take responsibility of who you are, and start asking yourself questions about the way you really see life and want to live it.
It may seem to you that your life is decided for you, but not by you. You may think that the country where you were born, or the socioeconomic status of your parents, have influenced your life to a point where you will never be able to achieve what others already have. Maybe you think that your genes or the color of your skin determines the life you can have. Perhaps you believe that your childhood, the way you were raised, the lack of Love you experienced while you were a child will affect your life forever. Or you have arrived to the conclusion that your divorce, or the bankruptcy, or any other situation where you feel you failed, are signs that you are not good enough. This is not true!
You were born with certain life circumstances, but they are not you. You are much more powerful than you imagine. You cannot change past events, but you can change the way you are now, and build a totally different present and future. You do it with the power of your intention, your thoughts and your imagination, with the passion and commitment to become the best version of yourself, with the power of self-forgiveness, and by letting go what stops you from being authentically you. You are free to choose, every day, and every second of each day. You don't need to change your life circumstances. You only need to look at them with different eyes. They are not you. They are just events. Learn whatever you can from them and let them go.
Life is change. You can change, or life will change for you. Take the lead. Ask yourself what you want, and go for it. Take a leap of faith. Give a try to a new way of living. One where you are free, you choose, you decide. You don't have to continue living in a world where others tell you what your life is supposed to be, where everyone has an opinion about what you have to do except you. Ask yourself if you live in the country you want, in the place you love, if you have the job of your dreams, if you would instead like to do a different activity, what is your passion, what is your purpose, what relationships in your life you want to invest in or abandon. When you have all these answers, you will be able to design the life you want. Then it will be the moment to use your inner power to choose, and to set yourself free to live the life you truly desire.
"The secret to happiness is freedom... And the secret to freedom is courage"
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.