A Life Philosophy

Photo by Joe Mort

Photo by Joe Mort

I was recently asked about my view and overall thoughts on the world, what I think about today's polarized social climate, what I think about the future, applying my past and present, and did I have a life philosophy to counter the negativity? 

A life philosophy as defined by Merriam-Webster is an overall vision of or attitude toward life and the purpose of life.

For context, my mother, a single parent from the time my sisters and I were four, raised a total of five kids on her own. She was a police detective and highly active in the community. My father, a man who lived by his ideals, was an activist. He protested in the day and drove the city bus at night. I graduated from college with a degree in Communications. I've traveled around the world, to places like Japan, South Africa, London, and Paris. I've created opportunities for myself and have been given some as well. 

My life philosophy is we are all CREATORS. We are creating our lives by the way we think, speak, and move through the world; any self-help coach will tell you that. The application of this is much more transformative. The application that follows this belief has the power to unhinge a life of habits and traditions. This deep-seated belief has transformed the way I see my past, my upbringing, and my future. 

I believe that humans should live and exist in the present allowing the past to be a vehicle for correction and insight, learning from experience and disregarding what does not serve the now. Dismissing what does not help your present desires brings goals and dreams to realization. But ultimately I believe we are CREATORS, that if you or I don't like something we have the power to change it. 

A couple of years ago, I went through my church's recovery ministry because addictions to people-please and pride do not make for a healthy life. Later, I went on to lead the groundwork phase of that ministry. What I know from months of weekly meetings with others who are struggling to find a solid footing in life is that we happen to ourselves. 

We are both the problem and the solution.  

If this is true, which I think it is, the next steps are obvious. My thoughts create my actions so my "thinker," my mind, needs a revolutionary shift. 

I am not discounting bad parents, bad marriages, traumatic childhoods and other misfortunes life hands out. It distributes them equally in one form or another. All I am saying is, "what now?" What will you do with what you have been given? You had a bad family, CREATE a good one. You received a subpar education, CREATE one that fits your aspirations, read, challenge your mind. My mom used to remind my sister and me – the scripture say – you are “transformed” by the "renewing" of your mind. 

It is our mind that needs constant tending to.  

If we should all live by a philosophy, mine is this, because we have such a short time here, a short time to make a difference, a short time to make an impact you and I must choose the way of the warrior. We must choose peace, we must choose happiness, we must choose self-discipline, we must choose love, and we must choose life. When the world wants you to choose violence over peace, victimhood over solutions, don’t. Choose better. Choose higher ground or be swallowed by the waves of noise.  

Another commonly quoted scripture of my childhood says, "whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

If you choose to focus on what is wrong with the world if you choose to focus on what has been done to you, that is a choice and as in life, what we focus on magnifies. That does not mean you are silent and absent in moments of great injustice or inequality; it just means that you are focused on and in the direction of solutions so that you can get back to creating a life worth living. 

My Fear of Flying

flight to japan

Yes, I will admit it, I am one of those people who loves to travel but hates to fly. Why? No control, tin can flying, gravity. Any further explanation? 

The routine, stalk the flight stewardess up and down the aisles once the seat belt sign goes off for a gin and tonic or wine. I usually ask for two after being told that it's against policy. A confident smile and brief dialogue about how you are trying not to freak out during the flight is imperative to getting the second drink. 

The 13-hour flight to Japan was no exception, and my husband spared me no mercy by having us fly to Canada and then on to Japan, having to endure landing and takeoff twice. Sheesh! 

I call myself a Christian and am someone who practices meditation, I should be able to handle myself during an extended plane ride. Wrong! The big man knows my fears and I am sure he is ready with popcorn for the show and praise worship I put on before a flight. 

As the flight takes off, I start my breathing exercises, close my eyes, and concentrate on the positives things in my life. With my eyes closed all I can see is the plane crashing. Not vividly, just in the back of my thoughts after the fifth or sixth breath. It's the idea that when you try not to think of something you think of it anyways. 

Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. 

After some light turbulence, the plane lands fine and I am embarrassed because of the show I put on. 

The takeaway, do what scares the pants off you. Do it over and over again.