Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Sky full of lighters Speech for Toastmasters
Yoda said “The force be with you”. I believe that each of us is like fire. Deep in our soul is a light that cannot be extinguished. Sometimes this light dims as we get involved with our lives, get caught up in unproductive endeavors or just ignore our inner flame, living for someone else and not our own hopes and dreams. Remember when you were younger and had a dream? Maybe it was to be a teacher or to play a sport and then suddenly life came along and off you went in another direction. Like the winds blow the fire around (and sometimes OUT!) so does our flame get diverted away from our aspirations.
I am asking you to become the Force in your life and put the FIRE back in it. If we want this world to change we have to do as Michael Jackson says and take a look at the “Man in the Mirror”.
Force yourself to take a look at your inner light. Is it burning strong? Are you going in the direction you want to go in your life? I, personally, have taken this journey and have learned that I was not going where I wanted to with my life and I took the initiative to change. You are never too old to change if you still take a breath every day.
Which leads me to IGNITION. Ignite yourself. And no, this doesn’t mean pour gasoline on yourself and set yourself on FIRE. You are needed in this world, please don’t do that! How DO you ignite yourself? First, take a look at your life. Do you watch too much television, get impatient with your children, ignore your spouse, get angry with your parents, put off doing things that you know will help you? Ignite your heart to help you change the things that are important to you. You do not have to live in anger, jealousy, hate, negativity or feel like your choices control you and not that you control your choices! A lot of these negative drafts are created because we are living in a box. I say burn the box!
Light up your personal desires and needs. Take a look around. You cannot see in a dark room without a light. You cannot open up a dark life without putting it out into the light.
One example of this is when my sister first moved to Louisville we had spent many years being “phone” sisters. I lived in DC and she lived in California. When she moved here we did not get along as well. I realized after we spent almost two years not talking that we couldn’t “fix” it by ourselves. I knew that having my sister was more important than being “right”. So, I called her up and asked her to meet me for a dinner. We talked and I told her that I loved her and that I really wanted to have a relationship. I told her that if she would be willing we could go to therapy to learn how to interact as sisters. She agreed to go. We met and were able to figure out a way that we could live and enjoy each other as sisters. So, ANYTHING can be changed, if you set your mind to how you want it to be and work toward it, it’s YOUR choice.
Choices mean Re-evaluation! Re-evaluate your life. What would you like to do? Lose weight, eat healthy, write, play an instrument, read poetry, have better relationships with family and friends, find your true life partner, learn a new language, get your degree, help others? It’s never too late. Taking charge of what you want to do empowers you and makes your light stronger! I personally have made many changes in my life in the last 5 years. I stopped watching television regularly, lost 100 lbs, I am “almost” vegetarian, and I write! I left an unhealthy relationship, I exercise more and volunteer more. When I first started, I meditated a lot on this and one of the things that kept coming to me was, “Beverly, you don’t have to do it all in a day”. Lao-tzu says a 1,000 mile journey must begin with the first step. I believe this and have taken my first step, now I have the momentum and fuel. My flame burns brighter. It just makes me want to be better every day. It is a hard journey on the path less travelled because you really have to look at yourself and say, Okay, I am failing here, I am failing there and I am not afraid to see that I need improvement here or need improvement there. Michael Jordan said, "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed." You can only just keep DOING, keep burning. Through failure, we can learn to succeed.
Success, means to ENERGIZE! Small steps, write down goals and work toward them. If you want to start volunteering, sign up for something. If you want to stop watching hours of television, limit yourself. Anything you do that doesn’t work toward your goal, you can change.
Energize means take action! If you are “bored” with coming home every night and watching television, playing video games or surfing the internet. Just do something different at first you can start by changing just 5 minutes a night. Or, sign up for that volunteer project. Go do something you always have seen yourself doing before you forgot that you had to make the choice to do it! Once you are energized the universe will bring to you all the things you desire. Happiness, health, wealth, whatever it is you seek. Because you are choosing to Energize and feed your fire!
In 1991, Former President George HW Bush said, “A thousand points of light”. Yes, we are a thousand points of light. Won’t you join me in igniting your fire and living like we were meant to live! If just one person listening to this or reading this is ignited and inspired to change, I will have succeeded.
Let me be the kindling to light your Fire and may the Force in you ignite many more too!
We are all a FIRE works in progress…