Smiling man
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Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Whether you've had a bad day, month or year, keeping a positive attitude is the key to improving your situation. Ed and Deb Shapiro explain how to accept who you are and where you are on your life's journey and feel grateful for your blessings.
We all hear about amazing people who have overcome great obstacles in their lives. No one ever said life was going to be easy, yet how challenging it is can often be determined by your own attitude. We just saw a wonderfully uplifting and moving video about Nick Vijick. This extraordinary man, now 25 years old, can dive, play golf, fish and skipper a small boat and has sparkly eyes and a huge smile, yet he was born with no arms and no legs, just a small flap he uses as a foot. He also gives powerfully inspiring talks to teary-eyed children and adults that completely transform them. Nick has spoken to audiences in more than 15 countries and to more than 2 million people.

Watching Nick, who has overcome adversity that most of us will never come near to experiencing, leaves us in awe and invites us to confront thoughts that we are inadequate, useless or even incapable and moments in which we felt awkward, overweight, too short or too tall. We make our own, often small, issues appear so big that they easily dominate our behavior. You cannot always choose what happens in life, but you can choose to respond with either fear or love, with anger or with acceptance. You can't control the wind, but you can adjust your sails.

Someone like Nick can inspire you to accept yourself just as you are, warts and all, and to see that despite the flaws, you are actually beautiful. His optimistic and heartfelt attitude can free you from feeling repulsed by him, as he is okay with who he is, just as he is. It's eye-opening that we need to hear this from someone who has so obviously struggled before we can believe it for ourselves, but when you truly get that life is a blessing, no matter how hard it might be, then you are honoring that struggle.

At times, you can easily resent what life has given you. You may focus on what you don't have or what you can't do, which brings you down and deflates your energy. Instead, it is necessary to focus on what you do have and what you can do and to feel gratitude for this. If you believe it's impossible, it's impossible; if you believe it's possible, it's definitely possible! As Nick says: "It's a lie to think we are not good enough or not worthy of anything. Attitude is altitude!"

How to accept yourself

Ed and Deb Shapiro
Photo: Courtesy of Ed and Deb Shapiro
You may get a different number of days, months and years to live, you may have different issues you have to deal with that shape your life, but never give up. It's all about making the effort to get up and keep going. If you get up more often than you fall, then you can never fail. Optimism is a high-voltage power tool to have in your life skills toolbox, for optimists know how to bounce back and how to see difficulties as only temporary setbacks. Know you can't miss!

Watch Nick's inspiring video.

Or, try this meditation to accept yourself more deeply, just as you are:

Sacred Space Meditation
Find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight, settle your body, take a few deep breaths and close your eyes.

Now begin to develop a deep appreciation for yourself. You are not trying to change anything, just being with yourself as you are. Breathe in appreciation; breathe out joy.

As you breathe in and out, silently repeat: "My body is a sacred space; my breath gives me life; my mind is at ease; my heart is filled with love."

Ed and Deb Shapiro are the authors of Be The Change, How Meditation Can Transform You and the World. They are featured weekly contributors to, and Ed and Deb write Sprint's The Daily CHILLOUT inspirational text messages. They have three meditation CDs: Metta: Loving Kindness and Forgiveness, Samadhi: Breath Awareness and Insight and Yoga Nidra: Inner Conscious Relaxation. Deb is also the author of the best-selling book Your Body Speaks Your Mind, winner of the 2007 Visionary Book Award. 

Keep Reading More from Ed and Deb Shapiro:
How to better understand your pain and suffering
Unhook yourself from negativity
The beauty of living in the moment


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