Dog Days, Why Not?

We’ve reached that point in the season when it’s often referred to as the ‘dog days of Summer’.

So as I flip the calendar to August I have to ask, is that really a bad thing?

We’ll explore the idea on this edition of “Becoming Today”.

While folklore suggests the dog days are meant to be derogatory as in describing days that are “not fit for a dog.” Still others claim, this is  the time of year when the extreme heat drives dogs mad. However the Farmer’s Almanac is quick to correct that the term is an ancient one and actually has to do with the stars in the sky. You can click here if you want to see how it has to do with the dog star, Sirius. Anyway even if the weather is upsetting to canines or us, I say why not embrace the dog days? Because when I look at Monkey, she always seems to be having a relaxing and amazing day…

So to help us handle the heat, let’s explore some recent conversations here on “Becoming Today”, that have focused on our commitments to empowering joy in our lives as well as being vessels of compassionate, positive energy. 

Operating within certain “notches”, what resonated for me was some positive reinforcement. I’ve known for a while it’s not the circumstances of life, it’s me. 

Not that I’m deeply flawed, though we are all imperfect,  we can still be living each day to always be becoming and live a fully enriched and rewarding life. 

Challenges are not lasting; they represent a season of life I can endure for the moment. Not embrace it, rather accept it and work through it, learning how to move past it, while building my momentum forward and upward. 

Recalling recollections and ramblings let’s begin with:

Contractually Committed 

Recently I asked for your input. I told you that coming soon,we would be undertaking a discussion about commitments. But wait,… there’s more.

What I didn’t tell you was I was having a bit of a quandary myself about commitments, covenants, the differences between the two, and whether or not my standards were too high. These are some of the issues we’ll focus on now. 

You may recall I posted a list of questions that I asked you to take some time and ponder. ICYMI or failed to submit your thoughts, here they are for review:

How do you define commitments?

Do you honor your commitments?

Why or why not?

Do you expect others to honor their commitments?

Can you define for us what a covenant is?

What is the difference between a covenant and a commitment?

Do you enter into commitments? Covenants? Both? Or neither?

Why or why not?

Why do I see these questions as so important, that’s what I’m about to reveal.

I take my commitments very seriously and even more so when it’s elevated to the level of a covenant. I’ll explain the differences in a moment, but first let’s talk about why commitments are so important to our shared path of Always Being Becoming.

Extensive and thorough goal setting, as I’ve previously shared, has been an important step for our household. Holding ourselves to some strict Standards and Practices, we in my household have set regular dates for goal review.

We committed to doing so because we wanted to be among the exceptions. Striving some might say to be part of a minority. When we examine the research into goal setting and New Year’s Resolutions, we learn that only half of all adults in the U.S. actively resolve to make the considerations. Of that half, only 10% will see it to fruition and 80% of those who do not, deem themselves a failure by just the second week in February.

That is why we have incorporated strict accountability measures into our plans for “Becoming”. 

You can not initiate a change  in your circumstances or affect yourself positively without remaining strongly committed to the ideas and whys. What you want or need to improve and why it is not only necessary, but makes you feel so becoming about it. 

Though before one can undertake any of that we must answer the first question:

How do you define commitments?

Let’s agree to define a commitment as:

An informed decision to dedicate our action or actions towards fulfilling a pledge, promise or obligation with sincerity, honesty, dedication and allegiance to a common goal or for the good of the whole.

Next I asked you:  Do you honor your commitments?

For myself I am confident in saying that I always strive to do my best. I don’t take commitments lightly and as we discussed last week in “The Golden Rule”, honoring my obligations is one of those universal truths that all should be dedicating themselves to.

So I’ll ask you again,  Do you honor your commitments? And expand upon it with our third query, Why or why not?

For me, the “why” or the reasonI do honor them is because of my deeply held beliefs and values. Including that all persons are entitled to be treated with compassion, dignity and respect at all times. If I fail to meet an obligation then I’m also not being respectful of others involved or affected by that decision. 

My fourth question was, Do you expect others to honor their commitments?

I suspect you may already be able to discern what my answer will be. Yes. Absolutely. Without a doubt I do. Allowing for humanness, life happening and subject to the timing of others, if someone has made a commitment to me I expect them to treat it with an appropriate level of respect, not only due me, but towards themselves. If you don’t take responsibility for your promises. Your words are not expressions of truthfulness and others can only perceive that honesty and credibility are not inherent in your nature.

I hope you are able to be beginning to see why this issue of commitments and covenants has been a concern for me.

Next I submitted for your consideration: Can you define for us what a covenant is?

Surely I can and will, glad you asked (insert audible giggle here). 

At its most basic meaning a covenant is described as “an agreement” but it is so much deeper than that. A covenant also involves a more legalistic, regulated and definition of a deeper level such as a compact, treaty, pact, accord, settlement, protocol, entente, pledge,, bond, indenture, and / or guarantee.

In our goal statements for this year of 20/20+1,  I noted, they were a covenant level accord, freely entered into and signed with the vow, 

I consider this a binding agreement between the Lord and myself, fully accepting all responsibility for co-creating my best life now.” 

Our next inquiry involved, What is the difference between a covenant and a commitment?

Already I’ve noted a covenant is a deeper level of commitment. It  consists of a greater understanding of the obligations, duties and responsibilities involved. It also necessitates a higher level of responsibility, duty and honor. 

The final two of the eight questions I posed to you were, Do you enter into commitments? Covenants? Both? Or neither? Followed by, Why or why not?

The short answer, if there ever actually is one for me, is both. 

I do not take either commitments and especially covenants lightly. So I carefully consider my levels of involvement and dedication before promising or pledging anything to anyone. 

We began this conversation with my revealing to you why I was seeking your responses. What I didn’t tell you  when I first posed then was hat tI was having a bit of a quandary about commitments, covenants, the differences between the two, and whether or not my standards were too high.

So let me ask you this. After our discussion today do you believe my standards are too high? Because  while I recognize that my levels of accountability are considerably different from many I encounter and definitely infinitely higher than many of the poor excuses who claim to be so-called leaders I do not feel I should stoop to their levels.

Empowering Your Joy

Joy is one of the greatest gifts we can receive. 

I pray that you are consistently developing and redeveloping your joy. 

Finding it, unleashing it, sharing it always be “Becoming” joyful, joy filled and joyous. A lack of joy is of our own creation, it is born from how we choose to respond to circumstances. 

So I encourage you to: Choose Joy. Choose a Joyous Life.

That we know can be accomplished by nurturing yourself with positive, compassionate self-talk. Not hanging onto old baggage. Releasing the present interruptions and focusing on who you truly are. 

Now coming from a place where you are more content, approaching all things, people, situations from a place of peace and remaining calm, it’s time to keep that momentum building… both forward and upward! 

If you feel you may be lacking in this area of self-empowerment, fear not, you are not alone. No one is born this way, we all have fears, doubts and insecurities. Plus all of us have the ability to overcome any lack. None of us are perfect, so let’s empower ourselves by first accepting who we really can be “Becoming”. 

When you have improved the vision of who you are, then you can shift towards where you want to be. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Dreams do come true. Trust yourself, do what you love and love who you are while doing it. Embrace your times of imperfection with grace and forgiveness and empower yourself to conquer any self limiting aspects. 

To prepare, you need to be practicing Self-Care, actively be involved in gentle, healing Self-Talk and be fully Accepting of who you are and where your momentum is aimed. As you know by now, I believe that momentum always needs to be both forward and upward!

Let go of all negative thoughts and release your  subconscious to heal itself with new beliefs, foundations and visions which are positive and boldly declared as already taking place right here, right now.

Therapists have found that using positive repetitions can reprogram thinking patterns and over time, those who affirm do  begin to think and act differently.

Reports also indicate the practice of daily affirmations have been used as clinical treatment for people suffering from low self-esteem and depression.

You can decide to use affirmations to improve any area of your life where you would  like to see positive change. These can include but are not necessarily limited to :

  • Boosting your self confidence. 
  • Overcoming negative emotions. 
  • Improving your self-esteem.
  • Finding a dedicated focus. 

The researchers agree that the power of affirmations comes from repeating them to yourself regularly.hem on a regular, consistent basis. Sometimes not only daily, but often several times each and every day.

To live an empowered life open yourself to a “Becoming”. Be purposeful in living for great expectations, realizations and continued growth. Empowerment means that you are stronger, bolder, more secure. Better able to deal with those distractions, circumstances and moments of stress. Deciding to empower yourself allows for you to make superior decisions, including having the conscious  determination to be “Becoming”. By that action you are committing to continue evolving to the next higher level.

Yes you will still encounter delays, obstacles and troubles. However accepting the responsibility for your own empowerment, by focusing on who you are and where you want to be, allows for you to live a life that is truly authentic, more rewarding and of significance. 

And if you encounter resistance, hold yourself with Grace. Haters will always hate. Gossips will run their mouths and the fearful will try to scare you. Hold your head high, shoulders back and nurture yourself in your new empowered confidence and in who you are “Becoming Today”.

Failure Is An Option

Too many times we hear, see, and read messages, attempting to reinforce that failure is not allowed. That failing at something marks you for life as less than. Nothing could be further than the truth.

Failure is not only an option, it is also inevitable. 

No human is perfect. No person is omnipotent. No matter how much they may believe it or desire for us to accept that they are.

You can not live life without making mistakes or screwing something up in one way or another. 

Anyone who preaches otherwise is either making a mistake (and proving the point of today’s conversation), or suffering from severe delusions that require our prayers and their need to seek assistance and guidance. 

Failing at a task or not reaching a goal in the predetermined time you intended does not define you as a failure. They are simply learning experiences, which if accepted as such can serve to bolster your confidence and reveal to you new ways, approaches, attitudes towards getting back on track and/or making necessary revisions.

Some of the greatest minds in modern history realized this.

Albert Einstein noted, “I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right”.

His statement is testimony to the fact that failure is inevitable.  Though it does not have to be a bad thing. Failure can be a powerful motivator. 

It pushes us to keep on trying and do better. It may even show us just how close we are to success. 

That is certainly how Thomas Edison viewed it. No stranger to multiple attempts on his nearly 1,100 inventions, he stated, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Further noting, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up”. Plus, “We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”.

He in his lifetime also overcame others’ repeated attempts to dissuade him. Teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” In addition he was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.”

Keep on trying. Never give up. Do not lose hope and never dwell on failure or mistakes. Forgive yourself and redirect your momentum forward and upward. That is the essence of our shared journey here on “Becoming Today”. 

In The Notches

There are times when getting their first doesn’t mean you’ve won. 

Speeding your way through life, rushing about in a hurry to what? 

Many times you’re not even sure. So why be so determined to always operate full speed ahead, or at warp speed. Many times if you let off the accelerator a little you will arrive on time, safe and in a more relaxed state.

Let’s  explore what it’s like living in the notches…

LIke machines, vehicles, ovens, thermostats and a multitude of other things we all use everyday, we also all have notches. A place where things operate more smoothly, efficiently and with less resistance. 

The speed limit sign may read 70 mph. However if you try and maintain that speed you notice your car may hesitate, use more fuel, and is not giving you as smooth of a ride. Rather than eventually cause damage to the vehicle, you need to readjust. Set your cruise control to 69 and not only do you still get there, in the long run it will pay off. Maybe it takes you less than a minute extra to reach your destination and it will be well worth it. In the long run you’ll have less maintenance costs, less aggravation, less chances of a breakdown. 

The same thought process should be applied to ourselves and how we approach traveling along our shared journey. It’s not a race. Getting to a perceived desired destination ahead of someone else does not ensure your success, nor does it have a great impact on your happiness. 

More often than not it is just the opposite. 

Stressed, hurried, aggravated, over-revved are not qualities of living a calm, peaceful, joyous life. 

We should not always be in a hurry to be first, and when we’re not it does not make us less than.

While we are operating in the notches there are waiting periods. However if you allow it, that is when God is working for us. Trust His timing, remembering you don’t have to wait until you reach the destination to live your best life in the best way.

Remain hopeful. Live expectantly.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” –  Philippians 4:6

Seek support in your prayers and with others. Many times feeling sustained simply requires shifting a notch in your thoughts or attitudes. 

I feel supported when I am able to allow myself to feel affirmed. When I put aside the disconnects of self-judgement, being overly critical and less than loving towards myself. I have come to understand that I especially need to cultivate kindness towards myself. 

We only have problems when we feel we are not getting the life results and outcomes we want. So realign yourself. Learn how and in what areas of your life  you can operate in a more positive, always “Becoming” notch. 

Accentuate The Positive

Quoting an old song, our headline today can be pronounced as Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive. 

Good advice. A positive mental attitude brings joy into our lives and boosts the spirits of all those we encounter.

On this edition of of “Becoming Today”, we’ll sing along in our discussion as we consider why,

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

Don’t mess with Mister In-Between…”

When you are feeling less than joyful, it’s a conscious decision for you to take the necessary action to foster the growth of Joy inside you. That’s where it resides. It’s not a destination, it’s more than an attitude.

Joy is power, a strength and a reward that exists within each of us. It’s our individual responsibility to nurture it , co-create it and share it.

It is through how we choose to react to obstacles, circumstances and life in general as to how we do or do not experience joy. No one can truly take it away from you. Only you can prevent yourself from experiencing it.

Joy is extremely important to overcoming tests and trials as well as on our path of “Becoming” as it is through joy that we lead ourselves out of the darkness with Peace. Joy is one of the tools we are equipped with, to aid us in finding our answers, soulutions, authentic lives and to “Becoming” our destiny.

So how then do we go about living in joy? First make the decision. Then use that thought to realign your attitude to not only being joyful but also to share that joy. Taking the action then opens you up to receiving new inspiration, direction, love and to receiving the life you are “Becoming”.

And you have the power to unleash that Joy within you and all around you,by taking one simple action. Turn that frown upside down. Smile!

Yes, smiling not only is a signal to others that you are filled with joyfulness, but it also makes physiological changes in your body. 

Choose to Accentuate the Positive.

Nurture yourself with positive, compassionate self talk. Do not hang onto old baggage. Release the present interruptions and focus on who you are truly “Becoming Today”.

Be content. Approach all things, people, situations from a place of peace. Stay calm and sing songs of praise.

Or sing along with this one if you like….

Enjoy the start to your week. I pray that it is a blessed and safe one for each of you.


One thought on “Dog Days, Why Not?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: