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Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

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“The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective – people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.” Deepak Chopra

Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

What I need in order to stay creative and centered is a certain amount of distance from the maddening crowd. You cease to be your best self if you’re running too fast. James Redfield
Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate. Zhuangzi
You believe happiness to be derived from the place in which once you have been happy, but in truth it is centered in ourselves. Franz Schubert

What can we do to stay centered? 1. Focus on Your Own Expectations not the expectations of others. In a tumultuous world with so much pulling for our attention, it is very easy to get thrown off course and get caught up in other people’s drama. Staying centered is imperative because we need to be both motivated and focused to accomplish our goals. When we allow every tremor to upset us or distract us from our work, we become unfocused, unbalanced and agitated. To write my weekly motivation Monday post requires a focus and commitment to my goal to encourage others to start their week with hope and purpose and, by doing so every Monday, I achieve the same for myself. Staying centered demands that we hold ourselves to a level of expectation that is not tainted or undermined by what others might expect. We can only serve when we are fully present so, while we value the expectations others have of us, we must stay true to who we are.


2. Choose Your own Path and Stay on it: Why would you want to follow someone else’s path when yours is rich with untapped promise? On Sunday, my pastor talked about choosing our own wardrobe and dressing for success with a clear vision on where we are headed.  If we don’t choose our path, others will choose one for us. If we don’t develop a clear agenda on where we are headed, and stay centered on that pathway, we will get derailed. I have brought this up on this blog several times; that we all have special gifts and talents that we need to develop. When we expend our time and effort building our skills in areas where we have natural talents and strengths, we excel. When we waste time trying to copy others and be like X or pretend to be Y, we lose steam and energy and find ourselves struggling to reach our goals. Choose and wear your own clothes with pride and confidence, and stay centered on what gives you great joy; even if no one else thinks it has merit.


A Story: Stay Centered
There once lived a great warrior. Though quite old, he still was able to defeat any challenger. His reputation extended far and wide throughout the land and many students gathered to study under him.
One day an infamous young warrior arrived at the village. He was determined to be the first man to defeat the great master. Along with his strength, he had an uncanny ability to spot and exploit any weakness in an opponent. He would wait for his opponent to make the first move, thus revealing a weakness, and then would strike with merciless force and lightning speed.
No one had ever lasted with him in a match beyond the first move. Much against the advice of his concerned students, the old master gladly accepted the young warrior’s challenge. As the two squared off for battle, the young warrior began to hurl insults at the old master. He threw dirt and spit in his face. For hours he verbally assaulted him with every curse and insult known to mankind. But the old warrior merely stood there motionless and calm. Finally, the young warrior exhausted himself. Knowing he was defeated, he left feeling shamed.
Somewhat disappointed that he did not fight the insolent youth, the students gathered around the old master and questioned him. “How could you endure such an indignity? How did you drive him away?”
“If someone comes to give you a gift and you do not receive it,” the master replied, “to whom does the gift belong?”
Source: Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors


“A mind at peace, a mind centered and not focused on harming others, is stronger than any physical force in the universe.”  Wayne Dyer

Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

So much of what blacks and women contend with is centered in how we view, and how the world views, our bodies. Gestures, voices, affect. Margo Jefferson
I have great respect for the past. If you don’t know where you’ve come from, you don’t know where you’re going. I have respect for the past, but I’m a person of the moment. I’m here, and I do my best to be completely centered at the place I’m at, then I go forward to the next place. Maya Angelou
I can be stressed, or tired, and I can go into a meditation and it all just flows off of me. I’ll come out of it refreshed and centered and that’s how I’ll feel and it’ll carry through the day. Ray Dalio

Did you know that February is Black History Month? During this month, we pause to celebrate the achievements of many African Americans, at home and in the diaspora, and their contributions to this nation and the community at large. As early as 1919, Carter G. Woodson and Jesse E. Moorland started an organization dedicated to documenting the achievements of African Americans. By 1926, they created a Negro History week to complement the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. The Civil Rights Movement propelled the idea even further and by 1976, President Gerald Ford declared February an official month honoring the History of Black people in the USA. It took staying centered in the belief that change was necessary and that the works and efforts of African Americans needed recognition. We can get to where we want to be by developing calm, clear strategies that will eventually bear fruit.


3. Don’t Forget/Discount your previous Victories: When I think about the Civil Rights Movement and the tremendous strides black folks, and the many supporters who joined hands, made to win freedoms and rights in this great nation, I am reminded of the power of staying centered and focused on a goal. I am also reminded of another centering tip which is to keep your small victories in front of you as you strive for more successes. Why is that important? When we are motivated to achieve a dream, a small victory is a gift or signpost that we are making incremental effort and achieving parts of our goal. The same can be said for any goal from weight loss to getting a college degree. When we celebrate our victories, we are empowered to continue and our fearlessness quotient increases. The Civil Rights Movement was fraught with so many challenges, attacks, loss of life and intimidation yet, the people rallied and stood, against all odds, for the right to equal access for all.


A Story: Centered on The Fearless
Many centuries ago, there was an old Native American who was called Dancing Bear, who belonged to a tribe now known as the Sioux. He had lived a life with much enjoyment of the little things, and as the years passed he began to feel pulled to go to a tall mountain that his tribe would pass by in their travels once a year. He found himself wondering what it would be like to climb to the top of that snow-capped mountain, and to be so very close to the golden sun, the vast sky and the moon.
And so the next time his tribe traveled by the mountain, he told his family that he was going on a vision quest. When asked if they would be physically seeing him again, he said probably not — that he felt ready to enter the spirit world, and they were accepting and respectful of it. And so he left on a cloudless morning when the sun had just peeked over the horizon, enjoying the solitude and the beauty of nature all around him. Sometimes he chanted softly, or said a prayer, or stopped to look at something.
That evening he came to the base of the mountain where he found a cluster of tall oak trees, and he sat below one as the stars shimmered overhead… and after enjoying the sights and sounds and smells of nighttime for a while, he quickly went to sleep. He dreamed of the sun and the moon becoming one. The next morning as the sun bathed him he started the arduous journey uphill, feeling the air get cooler and cooler, and was glad that he had wore his furs. Then he reached where the snow began, and the wind became extremely chilly. Though he began feeling very tired he was determined to reach the top, and so on and on he went.
Finally he walked up a knee-deep snow-drift that was near the crest, when he stumbled, and rolled down the steep slope for quite some distance. When he finally reached the bottom where the slope evened off his body ached, he had snow down his furs, and could no longer feel his fingers or feet due to the numbing cold.
As he sat there catching his breath he watched two large wolves emerge from a nearby group of trees and cautiously approach him. His heart leaped and his instincts screamed at him to run, but instead he laughed and said, “So are you two the ones who are to deliver me to the spirit world? I am ready.” And as he smiled and laughed the wolves sensed his lack of fear, and the friendly sound in his voice, and though they were very hungry and didn’t completely understand why, they sensed that he was a friend. And so they walked close to him sniffing and then rubbed up against him, letting him pet their fur that had never before been petted by human hands. And again he laughed, as the sun overhead grew brighter and brighter until it was all-consuming. Zen Antics stories via


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for January and February 2017 are:

01/01   –  01 New Year’s Day, Hanukkah ends, 06 Epiphany, 06 Three Kings
01/08   –  08 Golden Globes Award,  11 Human Trafficking Awareness Day, 12 Full Moon
01/16   –  16  Martin Luther King Day, 18 Winnie the Pooh Day, 20 Inauguration Day
01/23 –  27 Commemoration Victims of the Holocaust, 28 Chinese New Year
01/29  –  29 Inspire your heart with art

0/6 –    Black History Month, 6, Lame Duck Day, 12, Lincoln’s Birthday
0/13 – 14, Valentine’s Day, 15, Constitution Day,
0/20 – 20, Presidents’ Day, Washington’s Birthday, 24, Carnival/Flag Day, 26, New Moon
0/27 – 27, Clean Monday, 28, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday,

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2017?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.


— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab


More Below!

“No one can find inner peace except by working, not in a self- centered way, but for the whole human family.” Peace Pilgrim

Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

Motivation Mondays: STAY CENTERED

Philippians 1:21 is very special to me because it helps to keep my life centered. Allyson Felix
I try to stay centered in my faith and my family and the close people around me. Tim Tebow
We run around so much – with the best intentions: I want to save the rain forest. I’ve gotta clean up the oceans. I’ve gotta save the dolphins. All worthy efforts, but if you’re not centered and you don’t have the serenity in your life you need to accomplish that task, you’re not going to do a very good job. Ed Begley, Jr.

What more can we do to stay centered? 4. Leverage Your Weaknesses: Sometimes we get in our own way by making excuses about what we believe we can/cannot achieve. When we make a decision to achieve a goal, it is important to reflect on it and work on a game plan to help us reach that goal. One thing that some of us forget to do is to ask for help. There is no one alive who is a self-made man/woman, even though some people like to make such a claim. To become successful, we need to be focused, centered and humble enough to ask for help. When we feel stumped or when we know there is a gap in our knowledge base, we will achieve more if we solicit the expertise of others who can help us. When we gather supportive, positive people who believe in us, we can make leaps in our accomplishments in less time, and also do a much better job than if we went it alone. So assess your strengths and weaknesses, get help for your weak spots and stay centered on your strengths. We all need to remember this important step as we shift gears to reach our desired outcomes.


5. Dress for Success, Faith and Favor: Visualization is a powerful tool because it gives a way to imagine where we want to be, and then we can use other tools available to us to reach our goals. When we are invoking the positive in our lives by expressing our gratitude for the good, making our best effort to move our lives forward, and acting with a focus, faith and centered approach, we will see shifts in our lives. I believe in miracles but, I also believe that miracles occur when we move our feet in the direction we wish to see results occur. Sometimes, our efforts will open new doors that take us down a different more fruitful road and that is great too. When we stay centered on our efforts, we will become the beneficiaries of a bounty that will uplift us and help us continue on the path to success. Don’t waver or give up. Know that our efforts will produce results in due time. Stay centered and faithful!


A Story: The Raft of Life
“Monks, I will teach you the parable of the raft – for getting across, not for retaining. It is like a man who going on a journey sees a great stretch of water, the near bank with dangers and fears, the farther bank secure and without fears, but there is neither a boat for crossing over, nor a bridge across. It occurs to him that to cross over from the perils of this bank to the security of the farther bank, he should fashion a raft out of sticks and branches and depending on the raft, cross over to safety. When he has done this it occurs to him that the raft has been very useful and he wonders if he ought to take it with him on his head and shoulders. What do you think, monks? That the man is doing what should be done to the raft?”
“No, lord.”
“What should that man do, monks?
When he has crossed over to the beyond he must leave the raft and proceed on his journey. Monks, a man doing this would be doing what should be done to the raft. In this way I have taught you Dharma, like the parable of the raft, for getting across, not for retaining. You, monks, by understanding the parable of the raft, must not cling to right states of mind and, all the more, to wrong states of mind.” Source: Teachings of the Buddha by Jack Kornfield

This post was partly inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: – Center

Have a Happy, Healthy 2017!

Any Zen Antics stories via


Positive Motivation Tip:  Stay centered on what calls your heart and follow it through with action.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for the months above/below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
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PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos –   via Wikipedia, and/or  Centered via Pixabay

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet










27 Comments leave one →


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