Mentorship

Quote 03/07/13

 

Photo by Casey Keal

Photo by Casey Keal

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,

while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

Change 03/05/13

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.  And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom, a man cannot ride you unless your back is bent.” – Martin Luther King

 

Never believe that a few caring people cannot change the world,  for indeed that is all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead

 

Change is the one thing in this world that is certain.  Change comes into every life, into every circumstance, and makes it’s way into every situation.  Change simply…is.

How well we live our lives is directly related to how well we handle change, whether we live proactively and in a positive state of mind, ready for whatever life might throw our direction, or whether we live reactively and wind up being controlled by our on emotional responses to things that happen.  There is a choice to be made and we make those choices each day. 

What will we do? What if?  Don’t dwell on all the worries, live today, enjoy the moment, focus on what is right in front of you right now.  If you’re talking to someone, put down the phone, concentrate and hear the person in front of you. 

So many times we forget to slow down and just “be present.”  I know I learn to appreciate the people and things I have when I take the time to enjoy and focus solely on what I am doing.  It’s important, you will never have another moment like this one, change is coming.

Cherry Coley (c)

Begin With the End In Mind

startHave you ever struggled trying to figure out how to get from point A to point B?  One good way to figure out how to set priorities and goals is to visualize where you want to go, see yourself there, then start thinking of what you can do to get to the place you want to be. 

What about life?  Don’t you hate it when your employer asks you that dreaded question, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?”  How about looking even further into the future? Where do you see yourself in 20 years? What about when you retire?

If you really want to have something serious to think about, what would you want people to say about you in your eulogy? If you can visualize your friends, family, co-workers and the people at your church or the charity you work with getting up to share a few words about your life.  What sort of things would they say?  What do you want them to say?

It makes you stop and think doesn’t it?  It did me.  It’s made me realize where I’ve fallen short, the mistakes I’ve made and all the work I still need to do.  It’s made me realize I need to invest a lot more time in the people I care about and appreciate. 

Life is short, time is precious and there’s no time like the present to get started.  Start with the end in mind and put your heart and soul into where you want to be, the influence you’d like to have and the legacy you’d like to leave. You will leave a legacy, the great thing is you have a choice what that legacy will be. 

Cherry Coley (c)

 

The Biggest Mistake

l_5877c808254742e986ad6762af59ea91I look back on my life and realize I’ve made some major mistakes along the way.  We try to avoid mistakes when we can.  No one likes making mistakes, whether they are big or small one’s mistakes have consequences and no one likes the fall out.

The way we respond to our mistakes says a lot about our character and how we approach our lives.  Successful people learn that making mistakes is not a bad thing.  Mistakes can teach us what to do and what not to do.

Mistakes are choices we’ve made that haven’t worked out the way we thought they would.  However, the benefit of making mistakes is knowing we are taking an active part in life, we are trying, we are making choices and even though some may wind up being mistakes, if we learn from them then there is still a benefit.

Benjamin Franklin said, “The man who does things makes many mistakes, but he never makes the biggest mistake of all – doing nothing.”

I thought about that statement today, the biggest mistake being to do nothing.  How true a statement is that? There have been times in my life when I was afraid to move forward, to take a chance for fear of making a mistake.  There have been opportunities that I missed because I took too long to think things through and choose to move forward. 

To live, to really live, is to make the choice to participate, to meet new people, try new things, experience life.  To experience life means to make mistakes.  It’s okay, there may be consequences, but you can learn from the experience.  Just don’t make the biggest mistake by choosing to do nothing, the consequences for that one is called “regret” and regret is a hard thing to live with.

Cherry Coley (c)

Quote Jan 29, 2013

“There is little to be learned by doing nothing. When you conceive an idea in which you fervently believe, go after that idea – especially if people you respect believe it’s a good one. Hang in there and I’ll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!” - Zig Ziglar

Take a moment today to be thankful for the blessing in your life.  Be thankful for your job, your family and friends, the roof over your head, the ability to read, and learn.  There are so many things we take for granted each day.  Look around you today and be thankful.

I am thankful for you.  No one can ever take your place, you are unique, one of a kind.  Only you have the ability to do the things you do the way you do them.  Only you know all the people in your life that you can touch with a simple act of kindness.  You can make a difference.

Cherry Coley (c)

The End or the Beginning?

“Every Beginning has an end, every end had a beginning.” 

It’s a funny quote that can lead to some deep thought if you let it.  It’s sad sometimes when things come to an end.  There are a lot of things we don’t like to see end, yet everything in life has a beginning and an end.

When relationships end it can be a sad event.  You don’t really want them to, but things just start to drift apart.  Sometimes you can stop the drifting and sometimes you can’t.  I’ve been in relationships like that where things just changed and it was time for the relationship to change too.  On a few of those occasions I was fortunate enough to see the relationship evolve and become a lasting friendship, in other cases it was simply time to say goodbye.

How we respond to the changes in life can help define who we become.  After all, if there is one thing that is constant and certain in life it is the fact that life will change.  We will lose people, animals, friends, family, in our lives.  They will leave, move, die, or just choose not to be a part of our lives anymore.  It’s just the way things go

We have a choice how we will respond to these changes.  We can hold on for dear life and choke any chance for reconciliation or healing out of existence.  Or we can learn to truly love with an open hand and realize that love, friendship, all relationships (other than those of parent and child) are a choice.  Actually, in some ways I suppose the parent and child relationship is a choice too. 

Keeping in mind that the people in your life are there because they CHOOSE to be there can lend a different perspective.  Realizing that it’s a choice that they are there can make a you appreciate the other person more, treasure and make the most of your time you do have together instead of wondering why the person falls short of all the expectations  put on them. Take a moment to appreciate that they are there because they care and they want to be there, and maybe a different approach is what is needed if there is stress in the relationship.  Take a break.

This is life, there are no dress rehearsals, no redo’s, no rewind or erasing moments that suck.  You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.  BUT…isn’t it nice, we have a choice, we can get up in the morning and change our attitude to thinking that each day, is a new beginning and then make it happen.

Tomorrow, will be the start of something new.

Cherry Coley (c) 

 

Facing Fears

Dark forest

Dark forest

I faced another fear today.  You see, I used to have a major fear of getting up in front of people.  When I was growing up I was forced to sing solo many times in church.  I hated that.  I have the kind of singing voice that goes well with a duet or choir, but solo’s are not my thing.

I was also in drama growing up which didn’t go that well either.  I had some mishaps on stage and most of the time I couldn’t make myself speak loud enough to be heard.  Yet, after I had my kids something changed.  Suddenly I was “mom” and mom’s can’t cower in corners from monsters under the bed, or spiders on the wall, they have to face fears and protect their children.

When my kids were still little I did a Christmas play, I only had a small speaking part, and just as I was about to get that familiar stage fright, I remembered that I had to speak to classrooms of kids regularly, referee, and protect my kids from bullies so why should I be afraid of saying a few words in front of people?

Still, today was a big step for me.  I have felt like I should tell my story to others.  After all when you’ve been through so much in life, you should share your experiences, maybe it will help someone else.  I have gained some confidence in sharing things on blogs and social media, but that’s not the same as truly putting yourself in front of other people.

Today I shared part of my life’s journey in church.  I feel like I did ramble a bit, but over all it went pretty well.  When I stepped up I felt the old familiar fear, and all week I almost talked myself out of it, but there was a part of me that refused. I need to face my fears, they are self-made obstacles that have held me back for far too long.

A funny happens when you face fears, they dissipate just like that, they are gone.  I was nervous going up to the podium, then suddenly I wasn’t afraid anymore.  One fear down, many more to go.  One big step forward to what might be a very interesting future.

Take time this year to look at the things that have held you back in your life.  Are they real fears or are they self-made obstacles?  Take a chance and find out, false fears can’t hold their ground when you stand up to them.  Realize that the only limits you have are the one’s you’re placing on yourself.  Choose to make this year count!

Cherry Coley (c)

 

Catch the Spirit – Pass it On

“He who is not thankful for little, will not be thankful for a lot.” – Chinese Proverb

I am thankful for holidays and especially for Christmas.  I am thankful Christmas symbolizes the birth of Christ, although according to Jewish calendars I think he was actually born around passover.  Still the music is beautiful, the images are wonderful and the peaceful, quiet that comes in winter with the cold weather adds to a sense of peace.

I love everything about Christmas.  The trees and beautiful decorations, the sparkling lights, the candles, the dishes, the spirit that comes to inhabit the homes of those that welcome Christmas.  I’m not talking about the commercialism and greedy parts that Christmas has grown into,  I’m speaking of the true love and caring spirit of Christmas.

What I really wish is that this spirit of Christmas would stay with us.  Not the rush, the hurried and frantic parts, but the quiet peace that is Christmas that settles after everything is done, all the presents are unwrapped, everyone is fed and happy, and content.  The quiet hush that comes after a day of excitement, sharing, celebrating and being with people that we love.

I used to love to watch my kids sleeping among their new stuffed animals at the end of the day, smiling and cuddling a new toy.  We are blessed, truly blessed.

Today and every day we can capture a little of the spirit that is Christmas.  It doesn’t have to be a holiday to show someone you care.  It doesn’t have to be Christmas to contact loved one’s you don’t talk to that often. Kindness doesn’t have a season, thankfulness doesn’t have a limit. 

In everything give thanks.  Thank you, God for giving us another day, let us use it wisely.

Cherry Coley (c) 

 

Choose Carefully!

Today I am thankful for the wide range of emotions we are blessed with.  Emotions can make our world pleasant, sad, angry, happy, content, or restless, depending on how we apply them.

 My grandmother used to tell me a story that her grandmother told her.  It is an old Cherokee Legend that has been passed down through the generations – a bit of wisdom in story form.  I smile at how well-known this story has become, but know it’s because of such a strong message presented in a simple and memorable way.  The story goes like this:

 An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

 “It is?” said the boy.

 “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, and ego.”

The grandfather continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, comfort, humility, kindness, patience, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

 “What happens between the wolves?” the boy asked.

 “Sometimes there are great battles that rage on for a long time,” the grandfather replied. “This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

 The boy thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The grandfather replied, “The one you feed.”

I have never forgotten the message in that simple story.  It is a simple reminder that our thoughts become things.  The choice is yours – which wolf will you feed?

 Cherry Coley ©

Yay, Teachers!!

Today I am thankful for teachers.  I think most people go through a period in their life where they dream about being a teacher.  I did.  I could picture myself in a room full of children, teaching them to read, do math, history and science.  I could see the decorated bulletin boards, the slide shows, and projects that I would assign.  A few years I taught vacation bible school and helped my mom at the daycare, then reality hit and I realized I did not have the knack or the patience.

I am thankful for teachers being able to do the things I can’t.  Thank you for your patience and teaching me to read, write and even do math (though it’s still not my favorite thing to do).  Thank you for the guidance when needed.  Thank you for all the encouragement even when I am not sure I deserved it.

Teachers have the ability and daily opportunity to encourage, inspire, influence and lead.  I suppose in some fashion we all have the ability and opportunity to do those things, but teachers share their gifts with the age group of their choosing, and thereby help shape future generations as well as the present.

I have been blessed to have many memorable teachers that greatly influenced my life; their shared words of wisdom still ring in my ears even years later. 

 Thank you, Teachers, for the memories, the influence, the encouragement, the comfort when needed, the guidance and even the occasional challenge and kick in the butt to get me to try harder.  I can’t even imagine a world without teachers. 

 Cherry Coley ©