Ruth Friddle

Collected inspiration.

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Clutter keeps you tied to the past.

~ from becoming minimalist

~ full post here

… I discovered an important benefit of minimalism: Freedom from being tied to the past.

Clutter keeps you tied to the past. Your thoughts tend to dwell in the past as the things around you force your mind to reminisce. Solutions tend to be rooted in the past as the things around you conjure up the same old thought-processes. Additionally, our minds are tied to the past because there is no available space for anything new.

Some might say – you have to release the past to create a better tomorrow.


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Acceptance vs. Appreciation in a Relationship

~ from

When you are in a relationship with someone, especially a close one, there are going to be things that they do that drive you nuts. Whether it is a spouse, sibling, parent, friend, etc. There are just going to be those things that are different from how you would do them or diametrically opposed to who you are.

This is OK. It’s natural. People are different.

We can’t really ignore these things. It’s not like we can just shut off our feelings. It’s very, very, hard to turn off the way we feel.

If we just simply accept these things, that might be OK — for a while. Every time your partner does that thing you can just shrug it off. Pretend it does not bother you. Let it go — until the next time. And then the next. And all of this shrugging takes a fair amount of energy. Eventually, you will tire. It will wear you down. Then the resentment will creep in. Then, those tiny little annoyances will either become much larger annoyances or add up cumulatively be the thing that breaks your relationship in two.

I’m here to offer another path. One that I have taken.

Find a way to appreciate these things. Find the something in them that leads to why you love this person. The motivation behind the thing that drives you nutty might be the thing that makes that person a really good friend or great at their job. Find that, see it for what it is, and above all learn to appreciate it. Instead of a path to resentment, this then will become the path to deeper respect, understanding, and love.

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Rising to Overcome

Rising to Overcome by Ron Kennedy

color phoenix

A note on the origin of the ABSolute Fitness NC logo

The significance and essence of true change stems from the manifestation of one form transcending into another. Much like an alchemist turning lead into gold, dynamic change is not only the alignment of new principles and practices, but the metaphysical reconditioning of the object of that change. True and undisputed change cannot occur without the formal destruction of the former self. Much like destroying a packed and sealed formation of multihued powder with flame, the end result is a glorious, luminous, and explosive display of fire in the sky.
ABSolute Fitness NC was founded on the principles of dynamic change. Therefore from its inception, we chose a symbol that fully represents that belief: the Phoenix.
The legend of the Phoenix has several origins, but the best and most famous one is from ancient Greece. In a time of Gods, Demi-Gods, great monsters, and even greater heroes, the Phoenix was regarded by all as one of the most powerful creatures in the universe. As the legend goes, the Phoenix is an immortal and indestructible bird of raging flames. Not evil or causing harm to mankind, just so full of unbridled power that its very feathers ignite and burn as bright as the sun. Every 1000 years the bird builds a funeral pyre to which it lays itself upon, dims its own flame, and allows the fire to encompass and disintegrate the physical form. It dies. Its body is no more. Nothing remains but ash and cinders.
Several days pass. At dawning of the third day, just as the first rays of light touch the pile of wilted ashes, a spark turns into flame. Flame into fire. Fire explodes. And from that explosion, a burst of revitalized, recharged, and untamed power soars into the sky and forms the reborn Phoenix. Its soul renewed, its body mended and regenerated. It has retained all of its knowledge, all of its experience, all the memories and triumphs of its past life. Yet, it has manifested all of that energy into a stronger and new form.
What an incredible sight to behold.
Though stories like that seem far-fetched, modern day drakes do still practice the traditions of their legendary ancestors. Ravens and crows have been known to practice a peculiar form of behavior called “anting”. The bird will cover itself in honey or a sweet nectar, then sit and disturb an ant nest. The attraction of the sugar in conjunction with the drones protecting the hive makes the ants crawl over the bird swarming its body. Scientists think the crow allows this as sort of a back massage from the tiny bites and sensation of the insects scouring its skin. Or perhaps the ants feed off the ticks and other parasites the bird carries with them.
When the raven is finished with his spa day, he finds a strong heat source like a bon fire or smoke stack, spreads out its wings, and allows the heat to persuade his guests that the party is over and it’s time to end the ride. Its skin refreshed, and the troubling pests all devoured, the crow goes about his merry way.
Be it the assistance of baited insects, or the sacrifice of self to flame, both stories involve the recognition and more importantly the commitment to make change. Once that commitment is solidified, the creatures know that they will have to endure hardships, even pain to gain the results they seek. For even though the difficulty of setting yourself ablaze is enough to discourage those that lack the conviction, determination, and the burning desire to make change, the explosion and surge of power you feel from the rebirth of the new self makes those challenges worth the transformation.
Many have come to us with the need to be reborn into a new self. The stress and struggles of every day will cause the aging and breakdown of the physical self of even the most hardened and battle tested individual. No one can fight forever. The most dedicated, most stern, most devoted encounter times in their life when their faith is tested. When the test makes one question the meaning of their devotion, it opens the door for doubt and other negative emotions that plant the seeds of failure.
Napoleon Hill said in his book “Think and Grow Rich” that “Faith is the eternal elixir, which gives life, power, and action to the impulse of thought.” Thought itself is a physical action. When the mind creates a thought electrical impulses fire and stimulate the inner workings of the physical mind. Those thoughts have a frequency, and much like radio waves, that frequency is sent out to the known universe. It’s very important that you monitor your thoughts, for though some dismiss the creation of an idea as a trivial task in compared to the action taken behind it, how can any accomplishment begin or be completed without the initial thought?
When your thoughts lead you to take actions counter-productive to your original goals, it’s time for a
change. When you become complacent with the situation if you desire more, it’s time for a change.
ABSolute Fitness NC defines ambition as “Never accepting things just the way they are by breaking and exceeding the boundaries set by ourselves and others.” Once the boundaries are established, that’s when you ignite the fire within, welcome the flames as they consume the person you “were” and begin to give birth to the person you are becoming.
That is the symbolism behind our Phoenix. Nothing is beyond us, if we are willing to face the flames and burn brighter than the pests and old skin that keep us from soaring through the skies of our desired destiny.
“Some people succeed because they are destined to, but most people succeed because they are determined too.”- Unknown Author.

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Journey with Intention

from “Raven Reflections

Live awake. We all have an internal compass that will guide us if we simply pay attention. And listen.

Know who you are. This is not about the various roles each of us serves, but rather, “who am I, really?” Allow this and your core values to drive you.

Live with the end in mind. We all have a story to tell. How will yours end? What mark will you leave? How does this guide you in the present moment?

Living your life with purpose and intention starts with one small step. What step will you take today? Tomorrow?

Believe in yourself and your own best work. Unconditionally.

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Let It Be You

by Jim Rohn

Each and every day, there are people all around the country and world who are living their dreams. Millionaires are made every day. Families are experiencing tremendous relationships. People are becoming more and more healthy. Life-long learners are growing intellectually and improving their chances for success.

The fact is that living the life of your dreams is possible. People prove that every day. Someone somewhere is going to get rich, get healthy and improve their life. My recommendation is this: Let it be you!
Have you ever wanted to make more money? Have you ever looked at someone who has money and wished that it could be you? People think about getting wealthy all of the time, when only a small percentage actually does. But any of the masses could.

Someone is going to start a business. Someone is going to make a great investment. Someone is going to begin the journey to great wealth. So why not let it be you?

Someone is going to decide to improve their relationships. Someone is going to enjoy love with their family. Someone is going to schedule some meaningful time with their friends. So why not let it be you?

Someone is going to go back to school to improve their life. Someone is going to become a life-long learner. Someone is going to set a goal to read a book or listen to a cd each week for the next year. So why not let it be you?

Someone is going to look in the mirror and see that they need to lose a little weight and they will make the decision to become healthy. Someone will run their first marathon. Someone will join an aerobics class and improve their health. Why not let it be you?

I think that by now you get the point: Everyday people are improving their lives. Whether you do or not doesn’t matter to those who do. They are going to do it, regardless. It is simply a matter of a decision being made. Let that person be you!

You may be asking, “Okay Jim, but how?” Well, let’s cover the very simple actions.

The first and most important is to make a commitment to work on yourself. Are you going to improve or stay the same? No matter what you have achieved, you are at a certain point right now. What you have achieved in the past is fine, but it doesn’t make a difference for the future. The decision about what you will become is made each day and every day. Each day someone is making the decision to better him or herself. Let that person be you!

The second is to make a plan. Once you have decided to become better you will have to have a plan. It doesn’t have to be a long, intricate plan. It can be simple. Save a dollar a day. Walk a mile a day. Read an article a day. That is a simple plan with achievable goals. Someone is going to develop a plan that will take them into the future of their dreams. Let it be you!

The third is to begin to act. All of the great ideas, without action, become stale and useless. The key to turning dreams into reality is action. People who have great ideas are a dime a dozen. People who act on their dreams and ideas are the select few, but they are the ones who gain the wealth, wealth and wisdom that is available. Someone will act today. Let it be you.
My encouragement to you is to stop looking at others who live the good life, wishing that you were as well, and instead begin to commit to your improvement, develop a plan and act on it. Someone is going to. Let it be you!

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Beyond Typical S.M.A.R.T. Goals in 2013

~ fromLeadership Freakby Dan Rockwell


 The former CEO of Southwest Airlines, Jim Parker, told me,

“Don’t set artificial goals for yourself.”

Begin with noble ends:

Leadership is about people. Set people goals. Production and profitability are useful and necessary but never enough.

Increasing profits by 6% is important but not noble.

Two questions beyond artificial:

  1. How do you want to think and feel about yourself when 2013 slips away?
  2. What contribution will you make to the way others think and feel about themselves?

For you:

How do you want to think and feel about yourself?

  1. Proud. Does your behavior and attitude make you proud of yourself?
  2. Progressing. How can you enhance your strengths and minimize your weaknesses? What can you do for you?
  3. Beneficial. How can you help others?
  4. ???

For others:

How do you want others to think and feel about themselves?

  1. Hopeful. What can you do to make the future bright?
  2. Confident. How will you bolster self-confidence? Confidence fuels action.
  3. Meaningful. How will you let others know they matter?
  4. Connected. How will you make others feel they belong?
  5. Interdependent. How will you help others work with others?
  6. ???

Apply S.M.A.R.T to People:

S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

  1. Specific.
  2. Measurable.
  3. Achievable.
  4. Relevant.
  5. Time-specific.

Apply S.M.A.R.T. to you and the contribution you’re making to others in 2013.

Getting there:

Tell others where you’re going if you’re serious about getting there. Invite in. Share plans. Give permission to ask what you’re doing to reach your goals.

How do you want to feel about you when 2013 slips away?

How do you want to make others feel?