Last year I went on a long anticipated river cruise. It was something I had wanted to do for years and was excited when I had the opportunity to go.
Because good friends had done most of the research for our trip and had established our traveling plans, what was left for me was to determine what I would take with me for the fifteen days we would be traveling on a beautiful river boat up the Danube, Main and Rheine rivers.
It took careful thought to determine what I would need on the trip. The clothes I chose would need to meet many different weather situations: rain, sunshine and chilly winds as well as dress up and casual. At home I had a whole closet to choose from as needed. Now however, what ever clothes I took had to fit into two suitcases that I could carry.
What should I take? What do I need to purchase? What would I like to take but really could do without? Eventually, I came up with just the right amount, the right balance and was ready to take off.
Over the last few months we explored six little words that can help transform our lives.
Imagine Create Believe
Achieve Inspire Transform
These are words I want to remember as I step into the new year. I want them to form stepping stones to a better life, a renewed life, a transformed life.
It takes imagination to create a church, a cathedral or skyscraper. It takes time to build a structure that will rise thousands of feet in the air. We need to believe in ourselves and our abilities to achieve the impossible. It takes determination and a willingness to allow our inspirations to find a way to transform our dreams and goals into actualities and a willingness to be vulnerable.
Within each of us are great possibilities for doing great things. But it starts with the little things. It is more than belief in one’s ability; it’s a belief in others – in their potential. The possibilities then become how can we work together, how can we see the good in each other instead of all the things that divide us.
Christmas – we look at the twinkling lights and bright decorations and for a few seconds the Christmas spirit permeates our hectic schedules and “to do” lists.
We extend greetings and mail Christmas cards and packages and feel that “spirit” for a few more minutes. For some people, time is taken to attend candlelight services at a neighborhood church as a token to an old ritual or tradition.
But is that all there is?
Have we reduced Christmas to a few watered down traditions that we observe once a year before we go back to life as usual? Do we forget that we have this holiday because we wanted to honor and celebrate the birth of a tiny child who happened to be the Son of God? It is with this monumental event where transformation of the heart and soul begin.
What does it take to transform one thing into another?
Flour, sugar, butter and water are some of the basic ingredients that go into the making of beautiful pastries such as those that filled a window in this pastry and coffee shop.
Enticing and tempting, their tantalizing shapes and forms suggest the pure enjoyment we have of biting into such sweet confections.
Just as a baker transforms the simple ingredients we find in our kitchens into magnificent works of culinary art, so we can take the ingredients of our individualism, uniqueness and innate creativity and fashion them into a life that reflects beauty and substance.
In the process we become transformed from the mundane into the bold, audacious and adventuresome.
If you can imagine a better life, you can create it.
If you believe you can, you will find the strength and resources to make it happen.
To achieve, you must first believe you can.
Just like you, I have struggled with the enormity of problems over the years and have been discouraged when trying to find solutions.
But I continue to remind myself that I have found solutions and can take whatever is handed to me and achieve something positive from it.
When struggling with devastating odds, we are often flooded with self doubts. “How will I do this? How will I survive?” But when we stay in that space of doubt and fear, panic can set in and keep us frozen.
Last month, I wrote about five little words that helped inspire a young woman to put together the pieces of a shattered life.
Imagine – Create – Believe
Achieve – Inspire – Transform
If you can imagine a better life, you can create it. If you believe you can, you will find the strength and resources to make it happen. But first you have to believe.
We are often Unaware of our Beliefs
Beliefs involve a conviction, a mindset and attitude – an approach to life where we take a position or point of view and act upon it with the assumption that something good or positive will result.
We don’t often think about it, but our beliefs are influencing our decisions in one way or another all the time. Some we rarely give much thought to; such as the sun rising and setting even when hidden by clouds – we simply take for granted it is there. Others seem insignificant, such as believing your favorite sports team will win and cheering them on in the stands.
Yet, our beliefs guide and direct what we do all the time. In fact, when we do things that go against our beliefs and values, we will feel discontented, uneasy and distressed.
Not everybody feels they have the ability to create. But I’m not sure I would agree.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. . .” Gen 1:1
When you look up at a star studded sky or watch the first rays of the sun rise above the curve of the earth, or stop to appreciate a panoramic stunning display of clouds colored by a setting sun, we are silenced and awed by the beauty.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness . . . (Gen 1:26) and then God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. . .” (Gen 2:7)
Did we receive some of that ability to create when God breathed life into us? I believe we did.