Bright Life Solutions Blog

Welcome to Bright Life Solutions Blog. Here is where I share some of the life lessons that I have learned. Feel free to comment or share them with others!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Right Environment

Lately at work, I’ve been challenged with a big assignment.  In the process, they have been stretching me and I have been doing things that I have never done as well as things that I’m familiar with.  The other day, I had a performance review and I was told that I have a "sense of urgency".  That truly caught me off guard because in my previous work place I use to get told that I didn’t show a "sense of urgency".  Did I change?  No, I don’t think so.  I still handle things with a calm demeanor.  The difference is the environment. 
Sure some people at my previous workplace really knew who I was and recognized that I don’t handle pressure and stress like most people.  There’s no need to scream and holler and run around like a chicken with your head cut off when you can just calm down assess the situation and get to work.  Everyone handles stress and stressful situations differently.  But I heard the criticism more than once.
As I reflected on the comment made and the two scenarios I began to picture a seed.  A seed that was planted in a small pot and it was nourished and fed and given the proper amount of light to grow. The seed turned into a lovely plant and grew as much as it could in the environment that it was in.  Eventually, the owner of the plant decided that it was time for the plant to be transplanted and placed in new soil and a bigger pot and a different environment.   The bigger pot and new soil would allow the plant to grow even more.  The roots can now grow longer and deeper and the plant itself can spread out and grow larger and taller.  All of this growth can happen because of a new environment and an owner with wisdom and foresight. 
 It’s amazing what being in the right environment will do for you.  You will grow and flourish like never before.  You will get this sense of fulfillment; this sense of peace; a sense of belonging.  I’m very thankful to my Owner for allowing me to be placed in a bigger pot and giving me the opportunity to grow and flourish more.  The transplant was not a simple process.  He had to do some pruning to cut off some dead leaves and stems that weren’t doing me any good.  It was quite painful at times but now this plant is settling into her new home quite nicely.  The longer that I’m here, the more I appreciate the new environment.   I’m sure that one day I will outgrow this pot too but for the time being, I will enjoy the moment and the environment where I am until the owner decides it’s time for another transplant.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Don't Settle For Less!

Why? Why do people settle? Why? The more I look around at people, the more I ask myself this question.  People settle in relationships, jobs and just life in general. It is like all hope is gone.  Don’t they know that they can do better?  We’re all guilty of settling at some point in our lives and sometimes it is good to settle but for the most part, it is not!  People even come up with plenty of justifications or as I like to say excuses as to why they settle.  That just makes it even more unbelievable. 
The most common place where people settle is in relationships.  People usually have an ideal mate in their head but somewhere in their minds they either talk themselves out of that person’s existence, they get tired of waiting, or they think they don’t deserve that type of mate.  Then they settle for someone else who comes along so they will not be lonely, or bored.  Thinking in their head, I’m just going to date them for the fun of it.  In their head, they want a nice, educated, Christian mate but they settle for a nice, non-educated, ruff-neck! 
People also settle in their jobs. They continue in a job that is high stress, does not pay well or it provides little to no satisfaction.   But they stay there, convinced they aren’t worthy of a higher pay check or a better job.   They think to themselves, it could be much worse or I could be laid-off.
Lastly, people settle where they are in life.  They are content staying in the same situations they have been in for years.  They don’t even look for an exit. They develop an attitude that things will never change and they just accept it. Some situations you do have to accept but the ones that you have the power to change, you should make every effort to do so.
There are several reasons why people settle no matter what area of life they settle in:  People like their comfort zones, they lack identity and self-esteem, or the biggest reason is fear.  People love their comfort zones.  They are a place of safety and refuge.  You always want to stay with what’s comfortable.  They are afraid to venture out and try something new.  Some people also lack identity.  They truly do not know who they are or what matters most to them. They have not taken the time to really get to know their selves or their values or they are disconnected from their identity and values. Most importantly, they don’t know who they are in God.   Lastly, people spend way too much time operating in fear.  We all know that fear is nothing but False Evidence Appearing Real but we still succumb to it.  They constantly worry about the negative that could happen instead of having faith in the positive that could await them.
When people settle, it leads to frustration and dissatisfaction.  In relationships, settling has long term effects.  It can result in a broken heart, a broken marriage, or a broken relationship with God.  Do you really want to spend time in a relationship, job, or live a life that is doomed or brings limited satisfaction?
So what do people need to do to stop settling? People should live life purposefully not passively.  That means to find out what your passion and purpose is and operate in it.  Do not just let life happen to you.  Excel at being who you are.  Ask yourself is this situation (person or job) the best for me? Does this situation (person or job) bring out the best in me? Does this situation (person or job) allow me to grow in my relationship with God?  See yourself as God see you – beautiful, valuable, and precious.
Another thing people can do is create some standards.  Create a list of your “must haves”.  What do you value most? What can you live with?  What can you live without?  It’s OK to be picky and create a list, just make sure that you are picky about the right things.
Be patient and trust God that He will give you the desires of your heart.  When you are anxious, you tend to create something out of nothing.  You try to turn something that is totally wrong for you into something you want to believe is totally right. Or you try to take things into your own hands as if God needs some help keeping His promises.  Abraham and Sarah were perfect examples.  God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations and Sarah had been barren. They decided to take matters in their own hands (Genesis 16) and they ended up with Ishmael.  Ishmael was great but he was not what God promised. (Genesis 17: 19-21)
Lastly, make a plan and take steps to go after what you really want.  Each step you take is a step closer to achieving your goal.  Make improvements to yourself to attract the thing that you desire.  Read some books on the subject.  Connect with the right people who can help you.  Whatever you do, just make a step.  Opportunities are all around you take advantage of them and use them for your benefit. Don’t waste time.
As my friend Amber so eloquently put it, “(do) something, anything, you can’t keep saying “when the time is right or this is better than nothing.”  As Albert Einstein said, you can’t keep doing the same things, expecting different results. That’s insanity.  But make sure you do something that is wise.  Focus on your vision, create a goal and set a plan into action that’s beneficial.  You don’t want to enter into a situation where you create an Ishmael in your life.  Love yourself enough not to settle for less than what you deserve.  God wants what’s best for our lives and we should want the same. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New Year, New Goals

At the start of the New Year everyone starts out seeking change.  They make New Year’s resolutions and they set unrealistic goals or they set goals but they don’t create a plan to achieve them.  The biggest resolution that most people make is to get in shape and lose weight.  The gyms are usually overcrowded from January through March and they start thinning out for various reasons.  Most of the time, it is due to a lack of commitment to losing weight and staying fit.
People should reconsider making resolutions.  Resolutions are defined as a formal expression of opinion or intention made and voted on by an official body or assembled group.  No wonder people have a hard time keeping resolutions.  They are only opinions or intentions.   People should set goals instead.  A goal is defined as the end toward which an effort is directed. 
Start the New Year thinking about the goals you want to achieve.  Make sure that your goals line up with the vision that God gave you for your life and you will surely have a better chance of achieving them.  Make sure your goals are measurable so that you can keep track of your progress.  Sit down and create a plan.  What steps do you need to make sure you reach goals?  Make a commitment to those steps and to that goal.
Start this New Year with a new mindset.  Let go of the resolutions!  Set goals so that New Year produces an improved you!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Relationships 101

The year of 2010 turned out to be a class on relationships for me.  During the year, I was introduced to various relationships and relationship challenges.  The main lesson that had the greatest impact on me was taught by Pastor Donald Bell of Covenant Blessings Fellowship in Gardena, CA.  This is my synopsis of the lesson. The bottom line is that if you are not anchored in the right thing, you will never be able to do relationships right. 
Relationships are when two people have a common goal, for the common good that is commonly defined and commonly executed.
God sets out with a goal and a purpose for everything that He created and He puts together.  When He created us, He created us in His image.  When God wants to bless, He forms a marriage: either an actual one or a symbolical one.  The marriage points to His true nature and character.  Therefore, our identity should be rooted in God. When our foundation is not rooted in God, we cannot execute God’s call of walking in dominion together.  When we do not have an identity, one has to be created.  When it is not from God, you have to search to find one and people usually find it in a culture that is heavily influenced by Satan and hinders us from being Godly. 
To be Godly is to be who God called us to be. It is natural.  When you do what is outside of God, it takes work to maintain the identity that you created.  Take perversion for instance, it causes more work for you to live that lifestyle.  When you aren’t operating how God wants and intended you to operate, life is hard.  God shows favor when you do what He says.  Favor is unmerited grace; having advantages that you do not deserve.
For people who are dating, you should pick the person God is hooking you up with. You should marry to leverage the advantage.  You want to be able to bring two favored situations together producing a double portion.  God favors that kind of union.  That type of union creates authority and dominion to take control of the environment.  When you have kids, your kids should be blessed and favored as well.  God said be fruitful and multiply. Multiplication is different from addition.  Multiplication is more of the same.  Fruitful is being productive. Produce what God wants and walk in dominion.
As long as we are on this earth, we will have relationships.  We have to do relationships.  The question is what is the nature of the relationship?  No matter what relationship you have, it will fall under 1 of 3 categories: a partnership, a predatory relationship, or a parasitic relationship.  Each relationship type has a specific survival strategy.
In a partnership, people work together.  When people work together, they are in the most favored state.  In a predatory relationship one person is the predator and the other is the prey.  In a parasitic relationship, one is the user and the other person is a host.  When you try to turn a predatory or a parasitic relationship into a partnership, you are playing with consequences.  It is not safe to take the wrong thing and force it to work.  Anything less than favored and advantaged is ungodly.  When you do not live in a favored state, you are disadvantaged.  In the unblessed state you are not fruitful or productive.  Fruit can grow in the wrong environment but it will take a lot of extra work.  Whereas seeds planted in a good environment will not take extra work.  You can pretty much throw a seed into a good environment and leave it and it will take root and grow.
All relationships that you have with people should produce the results that God wants not the results that you want.  God is our source.  He meets all of our needs.  It is not necessary to live in anxiety, or be anxious for anything. We just have to keep our eyes open and pay attention that God meets our needs.  This cannot always be seen in the natural.  It takes faith and spiritual eyes to see.  In order to do God’s will in your life, you have to know that God is where you get your identity and that He meets all of your needs.  In Society, whenever a need is met, a right is taken away.  Take 9/11 for instance; to be safe on an airplane, we had to give up the right to travel with regular size shampoos and lotions in your carryons.  When you choose to follow society or worldly culture, you lose the ability to walk in dominion and please God.
People who do not realize that their identity comes from God are involved in predatory relationships. When people lack an identity, they create one.  They have a manufactured personality that they have to protect and will not let anyone get to close to because they do not want the fake things exposed.  When people manufacture a personality, it’s the equivalent of Adam and Eve hiding behind fig leaves.  You are covering your identity and agreeing to do fake.  You present something for others to accept but it’s not who you really are.  You declare you have self-esteem.  You believe in yourself but it’s not in the real you.  It’s in the created you.  You are keeping people out and you usually do it with control and/or force.  Every encounter with you deals with shame.  You do not want anyone to see the real thing.  People say that men are afraid of commitment.  The truth is they are not afraid of commitment but of exposure and not being adequate.  Predators want the freedom to look at people when they want to and they want the power to look.  If a predator decides to commit, it is usually on and off and not consistent.  They live in fear of exposure.  If you get too close, you will see that there’s a gap between whom I am and who I should be.  That shame keeps you away from knowing God like you should.  You find out who you are when you spend time with God.  Spending time with God leaves you not being ashamed or feeling needy.  Needy people are always victims and they end up tearing up partnerships.
When God is not there, people look to others to fulfill their needs.  No one can meet those needs.  You are left feeling lonely and empty because you are looking for someone else to fill a need that only God can.  When people lack the understanding that God meets their needs they are involved in a parasitic relationship. When needs aren’t being met, there is a corresponding emptiness.  You lack the relationship in which your needs were supposed to be met.    The person that meets your needs becomes the god of your needs and pride enters the picture as a result. You cannot get identity from both God and culture.  That is hypocrisy.  Christ is a part of your lifestyle but He’s not truly a part of you.  Your mindset becomes one of I want God to meet my needs but I don’t need to get to know Him because I’m straight with my identity.  That attitude is how we get so many ungodly people in church.  When you have a God-given identity, you are not seeking a needy person.  You do not need anyone to define you and give you identity.  If you hook up with a needy person, you are taking on the role of God.
When God is not the source of your identity and He does not meet your needs, there is no common relationship. You cannot do a common relationship when you are empty.  God always brings provision and identity.  When you reject identity and provision you reject God.  Provision and identity are musts to have a good life.  Couples cannot work out their own issues when those two things are lacking.
Relationships require two things: you need a partner and you need to be engaged with God.  A relationship with others allows you to do God’s will and a relationship with God let’s you be like God.  You need both.  Quit saying all you need is Jesus.  Everyone needs a helpmeet that fits them.  When you have a helpmeet, it gives God glory.  You cannot be fruitful on your own, you need a partner.
When you declare that you do not need God, He can’t meet your needs.  Meeting your own needs does not work.  When your eyes are not on God, you are looking for something or someone else to meet your needs.  When you desire for something to work and it never does – check your focus.  Your eyes might be off God. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Trap

Last night as I was on Facebook, I almost fell into the "poor me" holiday trap.  I saw that two people that I previously went out with now appear to be in good relationships.  My first thoughts were: What? How is that possible? Did he get himself together? But the Holy Spirit quickly silenced those thoughts and told me that I was right where I needed to be.  Those particular gentlemen were not the best for my life. What a quick save that was because I was headed quickly down the holiday pity-party path!

This incident showed me how quickly you can  fall into the trap that some people do around the holidays.  I can't tell you the number of people I've talked to recently who have  "let the Grinch steal their Christmas" and they end up asking me if the Grinch stole mine yet.  Misery loves company and this year, I refuse to join the ranks of the miserable.  I choose life!

Sure life might not be how I would like it to be and I definitely don't have all of the things that I desire.  One thing is for sure though, all of my needs are met and I have plenty to be thankful for.  Even though I might not be in a relationship, I am blessed to have male friends I can hang out with or talk to on the phone.  I might not be where I want to be but I am right where God wants me. 

This year I choose life! No one can steal my holiday joy because I am not willing to give it up! Choose to find the joy in life and focus on the positive, not the negative!

Hope you have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Awesome New Year!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quick to Anger

Is it just me or does it seem like everyone is so quick to get angry and irritated these days, myself included?  Every where I turn, people are angry about something and most of the time they are angry over something little that does not even warrant enough energy to get angry.  If you are going to get angry, at least make it over something worth while like an injustice committed towards something not because of something that someone said or did and it hurt your feelings and you did not get your way.

We have all fallen victim to the "big baby" syndrome but there comes a time when you just have to let things go and let things roll off your back.  I know first hand this is easier said then done but it is much better for your health and mental state.  The bible warns of being easily provoked in Ecclesiastes 7:8 - 10:
"The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.  Do not say, "why were the former days better than those?" For you do not inquire wisely concerning this."
Most situations truly are better after they are dealt with and over.  How often do we say, "wow, glad that's over!" They usually just take a little bit of patience.  "Everything ended up working out, I was worried and upset for no reason."  We have all wondered why things were better in the past when it comes to some situations compared to how they are now.  "Last time, things weren't like this, they were so much better!"  But I don't think anyone wants to be called a fool! Ouch! Now that hurts!

I can not think of a better reason to refrain from being quick to anger. "Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools!" WOW! If you think about it, that is exactly where people usually harbor anger - right in their bosom.  Right there in their heart.  They hold on to it tight and they keep it close.

When I feel myself becoming easily angered and irritated, I have to examine myself.  Like the old saying goes, sometimes you have to check-in with God for a check-up and ask God to reveal why you respond and act a certain way.  Usually the source is frustration with a part of my life.  Frustration due to not trusting in God and not having the patience to wait on Him to work out life's situations.  It is definitely better to be patient and wait on God, rather than being prideful and doing things on your own.  When you take yourself out of the equation, it reduces the anger and frustration.

For others, that anger comes from guilt and dissatisfaction with where they are in their life.  The good news is that if you do feel guilt, repent, God will forgive you.  The hard part is is forgiving ourselves and taking the necessary steps to fix whatever is wrong.  The key thing to remember is that with God all things are possible!  If you are dissatisfied with your life, the same thing applies.  Take the necessary steps to change whatever it is that you are dissatisfied with.  If you need help doing that, you might want to consider a life coach. (Shameless plug - Bright Life Solutions would be happy to assist you. =) ) 

Usually, it's other people that tend to make us angry but we have to be more like God.  In many scriptures throughout the bible we read how God is slow to anger.  Let's take Psalms 103:8 for example: "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy".   Another translation reads: "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."  We also need to show folks some mercy, grace and compassion.  When we remember that God shows us those things at times when we do not deserve it, we also have to show His love to other people whom we feel might not deserve it.  It definitely takes some patience and commitment to be slow to anger, and it definitely takes the love of God.  Some people are not easy to love if we try to do it in our own strength.  Some people we just do not want to love; but if we have a true to desire to be more like God and represent His kingdom, we have to learn to love all people.  If we do not learn to love, we are no better than the person who made us angry. 
"A wrathful man stirs up strife, But he who is slow to anger allays (make less or alleviate) contention (arguments or lack of agreement). " Proverbs 15:18
I do not think anyone wants to be known as someone who consistently stirs up strife.  We would rather be known as peacemakers or the one who is slow to anger to diffuse the situation instead of adding more fuel to the fire.

So the next time someone pushes your buttons, take a deep breath and do a mental assessment of the situation.  Is it really worth your time and energy to get angry or will it be better for your mind, body, and spirit to let it go.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stop Trying to Figure Stuff Out!!!

Throughout my life, I have witnessed things that have happened to me and to other people and I wonder why.  Why did this happen?  Why did that happen?  Why me? Lord, Why!?!

Over the years, I have learned that sometimes you will never get an answer to your why questions because some things you just do not need to know.  Some things you just have to accept.  Some things you just need to stop trying to figure out.

Recently, I have found myself in a state where I have been trying to stuff out.  Why!?! Why!?! Why!?! Why is this happening? Why is that happening? Asking all those questions ended up leading to a state of frustration, a state of doubt, a state of fear, and a state of insecurity. All because I wanted to understand what's really going on!

There's nothing wrong with trying to understand how stuff works - that's just the engineer in me, that's just the logical side of me.  The problem is that every thing in life is not logical.  Some things are spiritual and logic does not work in the spiritual world no matter how hard you try to figure it out.

There comes a time when you just have to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5) Those times when you really want to know the why are the toughest times to "not" lean on your own understanding.   But God wants us to trust Him and not worry about the why! Why is one question that is never really addressed in the bible.  When we keep focusing on the why, we cause ourselves unnecessary worry, heartache, and pain.  John 14:1 Tells us not to let our hearts be troubled but to trust in God.

It's not always easy to trust God because in our physical world, people can't be trusted and some times without thinking we let that same mindset relate to God.  The bottom line is that people really can not be trusted.  They are going to hurt us, they are going to disappoint us, and some may not even like us although they pretend they do.  It might not always be on purpose but it's going to happen because we are all human.  But God can be trusted!  His words are true.  He's not going to lie.  If He said something, He's definitely going to do it!  His timing might not align with ours but He's going to keep His promises!

When frustration, doubt, fear and insecurities try to rise up in me, I have to knock those thoughts down. (2 Corinthians 10:5)  I have to remember that I am a child of God and that He truly has me in the palm of His hand.  He shows himself worthy of my trust time and time again.  God's thoughts are not my thoughts and His ways are definitely not my ways! (Isaiah 55:8) I must focus my attention and thoughts on things that are true honest, just, pure, lovely and of good report. (Philippians 4:8)

It's definitely not easy and my brain can jump into a decision analysis mode in a heart beat.  But one day with prayer and patience I will ask why very little and I will not let myself get so caught up in my thoughts such that I get frustrated, worried, doubtful, or insecure.  My faith is in God not man and therefore, I must realize that things are not always going to make sense to my mind, but as long as my heart and my spirit are at peace that's all that matters!  Let God handle the why!


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I am a certified Life Coach and owner of Bright Life Solutions.