ALEXA PELLEGRINI: “Finding Beauty, Self-Awareness and Growth in Disappointment”

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All of us have experienced that terrible sinking feeling that accompanies disappointment. It’s all too easy to fixate on things that don’t go our way and resent life for not giving us what we want. But finding freedom from disappointment is as easy as changing your perspective on what disappointment is and the purpose it’s meant to serve in your life. Instead of seeing the disappointments you experience as tragic or punishments, you can use them to increase your self-awareness and spiritual growth.

Lose the expectations, lose the disappointment

expectationsFeeling disappointed is almost always the result of having unrealistic expectations. If our vision of what our lives should be doesn’t align with reality, our hopes are dashed and our spirits are crushed. The easiest way to avoid suffering from disappointment is to nix all expectations and open our minds to accepting everything life has to offer — disappointments included. Accepting disappointment allows us to live in the now and appreciate the present moment. No amount of sadness or anger we express toward our disappointments will make them completely disappear. And if we insist on getting our own way and coerce others into doing what we want so we can avoid experiencing disappointment, we’re simply cheating ourselves out of learning valuable lessons the Universe wants to teach us.

Behind every disappointment there is a lesson to be learned

If you feel like it’s impossible to cope with , it’s time to stop demonizing it. Many of us cast our disappointments in a negative light and fail to see the beauty in them. Our disappointments are meant to help us grow on a mental, spiritual and emotional level. As an intuitive counselor, I’ve worked with friends and clients alike who have struggled with disappointment, and I’ve drawn from my own experiences when giving advice about making the most of them. I avoid being overwhelmed by disappointment by seeing the potential for growth behind it, and I always urge others to do the same. 

disappointmentFor example: one of my greatest recent disappointments was submitting a few of my best poems to the Kenyon Review, an esteemed literary journal, and being rejected. After months of waiting for a response, I opened an email about my submission a few weeks ago and read that I hadn’t been selected. At first, I felt a sting of self-doubt and disappointment. The rejection even made me momentarily question if I’ll ever achieve my dream of being recognized by an acclaimed publication. However, I took a step back and saw that the rejection was merely a lesson meant to help me grow as a writer. I realized I was experiencing feelings of disappointment because I had expected being selected, even though my aims were unrealistic — I don’t have even a sliver of the experience of the background most writers have who submit to the Kenyon Review, a journal rooted in tradition. Instead of being swept up by my disappointment, I recognized that I need to slowly work my way up to avoid another incident of self-sabotage.

What you think you want isn’t always what you need

Disappointment arises when we ask for something and we don’t get it. However, it’s impossible for us to always know what’s best for ourselves. The greatest things that come our way in life are usually gifts from the Universe that we never asked for. While it’s tempting to believe we always know what’s best and can exercise complete control over our lives, the Universe is a powerful force that influences our existence in ways beyond logical understanding. Let’s look at relationships, for example: if you connected with your partner in one of your classes, at work or even through a friend, you never could have known your actions were leading up to you finding love. You didn’t sign up for a specific lecture or take a certain job with the intention of meeting your mate. Somewhere in your heart, you were finally open to the experience of love and embracing your worthiness, and the Universe responded to your vibrations. 

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Letting go of the desire to have total control over your life by recognizing the power of the Universe will allow you to free yourself from the prison of your expectations. The Universe gives us exactly what we need in the present moment so we can grow, whether it’s amazing gifts or challenging disappointments. Remember that what you want and how you think your life should be may not be what you need in this stage of your life.

©Universal Copyright 2016 is authorized here. Please distribute freely as long as both the author Alexa Pellegrini and www.QuantumStones.com are included as the resource and this information is distributed on a non-commercial no charge basis.

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JO ETTLES: “The 10 Greatest Gifts I Have Received In 50 Something Years”

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Time goes by in the blink of an eye. That is the one thing I know for certain. It seems like only yesterday that I was a teenager, then an adult, and now here I am, in my fifties. I have had so many incredible experiences to date; some brilliant, exciting, overwhelming, even joyous and uplifting. Then there’s been some experiences that have been challenging, devastating, and really confronting.

However, as I look back over the years, every single experience has gifted me in some way. Often, it can be challenging to find the gift in a difficult situation, but I can assure you, there is always a gift. It is always your responsibility to find the positive, beautiful, and inspiring present that is waiting to be unwrapped.

As we mature, we are often asked the following questions:

Would you go back and change anything?

Is there anything in your past that you would do differently?

Personally, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every piece of my past has enriched my life in some way. Every person who has come into my life has taught me something valuable.There have been no wrong choices – just lessons and gifts.

These are my 10 greatest gifts to date.

1. Manners

Times have changed, there is no denying that, but has society managed to keep up, in regards to manners? My parents instilled in us the importance of good manners, courtesy, respect for others, and most importantly, treating others as you wish to be treated. This gift from my parents has been one of my greatest gifts to date. YES, it is the gift that just keeps giving.

In business, showcasing proper business etiquette says a lot about you as a leader. As a person, and in regards to everyday life, good manners show your true essence and character. Manners can help you strengthen relationships, as well as change your life and the lives of so many around you.

2. Childlike energy

As kids, we were encouraged to have fun, play outside, and enjoy life. I never had a care in the world as a child. It was easy to create, imagine, and quite literally experience real freedom. My father (who is almost 90 years of age) to this day has still retained his love of fun, play, and sense of childlike energy. I have watched him with his great grandchildren, and I am sure that they think he is the same age as they are.

Having real fun can improve relationships. It can inspire us to be more creative and it can really help to reduce stress levels. Most of us are so burdened with commitments that we rarely stop and have fun. Somewhere in between being a kid and then being an adult, we forget how to play.

Don’t lose your childlike energy. Get outside, play more, and have fun. Laugh, dance, sing, be silly. Not only will it benefit your wellness, it will also keep you feeling young.

3. Family

There is an old saying, “You don’t get to pick your family”; but maybe (just maybe) we do.

Do we choose our parents before we are born to master certain life lessons? Patience, commitment, connection, tolerance, pure love – these are all life lessons my family has gifted to me. Family is always there, whether you need them or not. I treasure the gift of my family most of all.

4. Soul family

If you are really blessed, at some point in your life, the universe will gift you with finding your soul family. This year, I met my soul family. From one chance meeting that led to a gathering of like-minded souls, I realized that I had finally found my soul family.

Your soul family is the spiritual equivalent to your birth family here on Earth. When you meet your soul family and feel surrounded by kindred spirits, you will really notice that your heart and your soul can heal and regenerate.

5. Peace

I began meditating over 10 years ago. Meditation changed my life. It gifted me with real inner peace. It has provided me with the most priceless sense of well-being, as well as a clearness and clarity that has quite literally opened up a whole new world.

6. Setbacks and challenges

I don’t think anyone travels through life without experiencing setbacks and hard times. You can let your challenges knock you down or you can choose to let them be your greatest opportunity for growth. Life doesn’t always get easier, but we can always get stronger and more resilient. In turn, this gifts us with strength. Real strength is in your soul.

7. Self-belief

It is our birth right to have a healthy amount of self-worth and self-belief. It is the foundation for success. Believe that you can, and you are half way there. Self-belief has gifted me with opportunities and priceless experiences. It has allowed me to connect with the most amazing people worldwide.

In a society where we tend to put older people out to pasture and overlook their experience and wisdom, self-belief has gifted me with the determination to live a full life. If I let society take away my ability to share my life experiences to date, quite simply because of the number on my birth certificate, I would only be living half a life.

8. Loss

The passing of some of my precious family members and also my dearest friends has gifted me with the following:

Life is short, live it.

Your life can change in a heartbeat. Love it.

The people you love might be taken away from you, but their memory stays locked In your heart forever.

9. Love

There is no greater gift than love. Whether that love comes from heart-to-heart connections with partners, children, friends, or pets, love is the greatest gift of all

10. A new day

Every new day is a gift. It’s a gift denied to so many. A new day is a new beginning and another chance to change your life for the better.

Conclusion

In my fifty something years, I have come to believe there is a gift in everything.

Life is the greatest and most precious gift of all.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com