Comparison – A Brutal Attack or An Opportunity For Gratitude?

About a year ago I joined Pinterest because I loved the idea of collecting and sharing positive affirmations, beautiful thoughts, joyful words and inspirational pictures. Who would’t want more of that? I found that this particular pin received quite a bit of response.

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CAMERON DIAZ PHOTO: JULIAN MACKLER/BFA NYC; ILLUSTRATED BY SYDNEY HASS.

“When you’re comparing yourself to someone else, you’re saying that what you have isn’t good enough. That’s such negative energy”. – Cameron Diaz [1]

Ms. Diaz’s words resonated with a lot of people who have lived and learned the truth of this statement and it made me think a little bit deeper on the subject of comparison.

FINDING YOUR ‘STAR’ QUALITIES!

We were created to shine! So why compare yourself to others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.

I am grateful for diversity, for unique people with distinct, different and wonderful gifts and talents. I am rejoicing in God’s creativity!

Gratitude will take you in the right direction.

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“Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it’s always your choice.” – Wayne Dyer

Comparison and Others

Society makes it somewhat natural to gauge success on the success of others. That isn’t necessarily so bad when it’s used the right way. That’s why we have mentors and teachers. They can provide positive aspirations and valuable guidance. But for the most part, comparison can lead you in a dangerous direction and damage your spirit. Jesus’ warned his follower’s to be careful. [2]

There can be some good found in comparison if, it is used to build people up, it inspires us to do good, and helps us move toward developing our own fullest potential.

“Success bases our worth on a comparison with others. Excellence gauges our value by measuring us against our own potential.” [3]

Comparison and Self

Each individual is important. We can get all wrapped up in the notion of self importance or move our focus to a bigger picture. Everything we do for the world or for another person, no matter how big or how small, has infinite consequences. We all have our limitations and imperfections but we also have everything we need to shine our light in this world because God is the One who has the last word. When my faith comes into the picture, the paradigm shifts.

God is God – We Are Not 

I know God desires my best. But he desires my love even more. I am not the sum of my abilities but the sum of God’s love and God’s word. My life is better when I align it with God’s word and seek Him first.

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Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg and Maria Lauren – Sharing Hatha Yoga at Crystal Cove

I am a daughter of the most high. I am GRATEFUL for the supremacy of Jesus Christ. I am CONFIDENT that he will line up my life to God’s wonderful plan for the world. I am JOYFUL that this will improve my life and the lives of those around me. I am BRANDED with Christ’s love and righteousness.

When I live out my faith and walk rightly with my Father, God, I shine by reflecting His light. He is the source of all light. My relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is like hidden treasure being newly discovered each day, its supernatural and beyond comparison. 

Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else. – Galatians 6:4

Our Lives Should Shine!

Anyone can be a ‘star’ in God’s Kingdom. God’s Son, Jesus, says to follow him and he will show us how. Trust in his provision and love.

I have to say, trust is not always easy. There have been times when I was afraid to give Jesus something that seemed precious to me. But when I have, I’ve always received something more precious, peace, health and freedom in him.

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Don’t let this dark world destroy your beautiful glow. Whatever you do in Jesus’ name, own it, and sparkle beyond compare.

May the kingdom of God’s love, rule and radiate in our hearts. Blessings, Linda Eichberg

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. – Psalm 139:14 

Refrences:

1) The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body – http://www.refinery29.com/2014/02/61667/cameron-diaz-interview#slide

2) John 21:20-22 (NIV)

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” Link to full chapter – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+21&version=NIV

3) Jon Johnson in “Christian Excellence: Alternative To Success” http://www.amazon.com/Christian-excellence-Alternative-Jon-Johnston/dp/0964501449

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog sharing my personal opinions. For medical and spiritual advice, seek guidance from a professional. Copyright, all rights reserved.

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Great Women Of Gratitude

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The Practice of Gratitude

While watching Hillary Clinton’s interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN recently, I was impressed with the simple, frank and wise words she had to say to a George Washington University student. The student asked, “if you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

The former secretary of state had this to say to her, “… I have described myself in the past as intense, as, you know, passionate, as service-minded, because that’s how I have tried to live my life. And, you know, sometimes, just like every other human being, I’m disappointed in what I did or didn’t do, or whether it was the — meeting my expectations and all of that. And then I have other less happy words to describe myself.

But one point I want to make really quickly, and that is — and I say this to young women and young men, but I’m primarily asked by young women — is, if you’re going to go into the public arena, how do you think about yourself and how do you behave? And, there, I think it’s very important for you to take criticism seriously, but not personally. And don’t let yourself get pulled down by other people’s opinions, because I think what you think about yourself, what you say to others about yourself really does affect how you present yourself and eventually who you are. 

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So, I do try to stay positive about other people and myself. And when I find myself kind of getting into a “uh” mood, I think about my blessings. And I try to practice what is called the discipline of gratitude. So, I’m grateful. That’s probably the number one word I would use”. [1]

I don’t agree with all of Mrs. Clinton’s political views but we do have what she considers to be, “the number one word” in common, we both want to be known as grateful woman.

A Life of Gratitude

Along with the rest of the world, I am saddened by Maya Angelou’s death last month. Many gratefully remembered this great, poet, author, activist and luminary.

Michelle Obama was one of the speakers at Maya Angelou’s memorial. The First Lady said to those who gathered to pay tribute to Dr. Angelou, “She told us that our worth has nothing to do with what the world might say. Instead, she said, ‘each of us comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory’. She reminded us that we must each find our own voice, decide our own value, and then announce it to the world with all the pride and joy that is our birthright as members of the human race.”

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At the same memorial, Oprah Winfrey told how, Angelou, her close and constant friend, could shake her out of bouts of self-doubt. She taught her to look beyond trouble and spot the rainbow in the clouds. Winfrey said. “Maya Angelou is the greatest woman I have ever known,” [2]  Winfrey wiped tears as she recalled Angelou’s guidance throughout her career. “She taught me the poetry of courage and respect.” [3]

 

“This, I know for sure, sure, sure. Being grateful is by far the single most powerful thing you can do to change your life… If you want to fulfill your desire and your destiny, start by being grateful. ” – Oprah Winfrey

 

During an interview not too long ago, Oprah Winfrey presented a side of Maya Angelou that not too many people are familiar with, Maya Angelou, the singer-dancer as Miss Calypso.

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Singer-dancer, Maya Angelou

When Oprah asked Dr. Angelou what would you tell that young Calypso singer today, Maya replied, “I would encourage her to forgive. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves.”

Ms. Angelou continued, “I had to get to a place where I could forgive the man who had raped me when I was 7 years old.” I had to get there, and that was a matter of incredible mental gymnastics and then I had to “think of what I had done to other people and see how I’ve been forgiven…”.

You can see the interview here:

 

Ms. Angelou has it right. The love found in forgiveness is a gift.

I believe God filled humanity’s greatest need for forgiveness with His Son, Jesus. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, the penalty for sin was paid. [4] We are justified by his grace as a gift. Through his blood, we have peace with God and are born into His life of love. [5] And for that, I am eternally thankful.

Our Grateful Life

This month my husband and I celebrated a milestone, our 30th wedding anniversary. Having a joyful marriage, after three decades, is a testimony to God’s goodness and my husband, Steven’s grace. It is  great accomplishment. a blessing for which we are very grateful.

My nephew Jeremy tied the knot this month and married his sweetheart Heleana. The vows they said to each other were very loving and touching. I wish them many blessings and gifts from above. Nothing is better than being with the one you love.

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Steven, Jeremy, Heleana, Linda and Lindsay Eichberg

Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. – Psalm 85:10

 

Sending blessings and love to all, Linda

 

Refrences:

1) http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1406/17/se.01.html

2) https://news.yahoo.com/poet-maya-angelou-remembered-memorial-143406002.html

3) http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/remembering-maya-angelou/maya-angelou-memorial-service-bill-clinton-michelle-obama-honor-icon-n125216

4) http://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-paid-penalty.html

5) http://www.gotquestions.org/justification.html

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.

 

Keeping Your Split

I love my work as a fitness instructor! I have the opportunity to teach wonderful woman of all ages in my job at Total Woman Gym. Although I am beginning my senior years, being a dancer in my youth, I am very grateful to have retained most of my flexibility and core strength.

About two years ago I challenged the women in my Yoga and Pilates classes to try and do a split. I heard a few giggles and groans when I went into my split for the class. I know they were saying to themselves, “Ha ha ha, you’re funny Linda; that’s not going to happen.” I’m happy to say, a couple of adventurous ladies did try it.

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I continued the challenge every other week or so (I didn’t want to scare away the new people). Now I have several ladies in my classes, from their 20’s to their 60’s, doing splits. Many are only a few inches away. They kept coming to class and they kept trying. Class by class, inch by inch, and then one day, they had it, a full split!!

Together, my sister and I enjoy giving ‘infotainment’ talks on fitness and woman’s empowerment. Maria is also a fitness trainer and she is a lifestyle educator at Kaiser Permanente. We both have a passion for helping women be the best they can be in body. mind and spirit.

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ALBERICI SISTERS Maria & Linda talk YOU GOT THE POWER – Be Positive, Be Fit

During a recent wellness forum and fitness demo, Maria and I talked about “keeping our split.” I have to say, when we simultaneously demonstrated our splits for the women, they were surprised and really perked up! In addition to speaking on exercise, gratitude and positive thinking are key talking points for us as well as the value of eating fresh whole foods.

Iron Sharpens Iron [1]

Maria and I influence other instructors as well. My gal pal, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, who is a fitness and water aerobics instructor came home from one of our presentations with a fresh vision for herself. She told me, “I warned my students, they are ‘in for it’, now that I have the goal of recovering my split!” Colleen is equally inspiring to me as she exudes the inner beauty that comes with a close walk with Jesus. She and her husband, Randy, have poured out a good portion of their lives into their ministry in “Young Life”. [2]

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Linda Eichberg and Colleen Jackson

Colleen, Maria and I met up again last month at a national reunion of the Dean Martin Show. We were all singers and dancers on that show in the “Golddiggers” group. So many of the cast and crew showed up for the reunion. It was a blast!

Photo: Colleen, Maria and I back in the day as Dean Martin Golddiggers

The Golddiggers - 1973, from left to right: Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Maria Lauren. Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner, Lee Nolting

THE GOLDDIGGERS – 1973, from left to right: Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Maria Lauren, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner & Lee Nolting

Some of Dean’s celebrity guest stars from the television show also made an appearance at the event. I had the pleasure of sharing some TV memories with Florence Henderson. You might remember her best as the mom from The Brady Bunch TV series. She has a lovely spirit. I enjoyed talking with her.

Florence Henderson with Linda Eichberg

Florence Henderson with Linda Eichberg

This occasion brought together all the different generations of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers groups. It was great to reconnect with the ladies I performed with for so many years and have the opportunity to meet other woman who shared the “Golddiggers” name. The highlight of the “Gold Event” was when we all came together for some singing and dancing!

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THE GOLDDIGGERS of the Dean Martin Show – 1968 to 1991 at the 2013 “Gold Event” Reunion

“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.”… as in “Golddiggers.” 

I have great appreciation for everyone who put this reunion together. There is something to be said for being with and working with friends who have known you for so long and know the good and the not so good about you. True love to be sure!

“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

Working on the Dean Martin Show and touring with the Rat Pack, was an amazing time in our lives. Check out our book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS. It’s a fun read that will transport you back to that glamorous time!

~ All the best, Linda

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters, is available at Amazon.com and BarnesNoble.com.

 

References:

1) “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

2) Young Life – http://www.younglife.org/us

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. This blog does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Grateful LIFE

“Practice gratitude often! GRATITUDE is the gateway to positive emotions.” – Linda Alberici Eichberg

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I always feel good when I see this photo of myself, with two of my sisters, taken at a family reunion. It reminds me of so many things I am grateful for: love of family, the sunrise, the beach, health & music (My brothers & sisters sang together on the beach that morning).

Positive Life

Doctors and scientists have found that our brain grows best when it is positive, additionally, a positive mind leads to better health. Practicing gratitude is a simple way to achieve the good feelings we need to stay positive, healthy and happy. Reflecting on the people and things I am thankful for, always lifts my mood. I sometimes think, “If I would wake up tomorrow with only the things I am thankful for today, what would I have”? When I think that way, my whole day feels abundant and blessed.

Thinking positive brings out the best in a person but life can deliver some surprising blows. You may be reading this and your heart is broken or you are in a situation where life is very painful and you don’t feel you have much or anything to be grateful for. Maybe the resentment or hurt you are carrying is the burning fire that keeps you going. Eventually, habitual negative or un-spiritual thoughts and feelings will take their toll on your health and overall wellness and it can lead you into a downward spiral. Positive emotion and energy leads you into an upward spiral. A study on gratitude found that participants in the “Gratitude Condition” were happier and were inclined to do more exercise. Exercise continues the upward spiral because it also leads to better health and has many physical, mood enhancing and psychological benefits.*

“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding.” – Harvey Mackay

Rewarding Life

When I have moments of sadness or disappointment that distract me from the joy God wants me to have, I am thankful I can turn to my faith. My greatest source of gratitude is Jesus. He is my Helper, Friend, Lord, Savior and Healer. With him, all things are made new. Each day has hope and purpose. I can renew my mind and fill my heart through Christ’s un-surpassing love and power.

If you have hit rock bottom, Jesus is the rock at the bottom. The light of God’s love found in Jesus can conquer the darkness. He abundantly loves and values you. He paid the ultimate price to be with you for eternity. Eternal joy is yours for the asking, if you believe in your heart.

~ Many blessings, Linda Alberici Eichberg

“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

References:
Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well Being in Daily Life – Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 2003, Vol. 84, No. 2, 377–389
Positivity – Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
Exercise and Depression – Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications
Understanding Depression – Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications

*Moments of sadness are a part of life but depression is different. It is more than a passing feeling and has tremendous staying power. If you are deeply depressed or you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a mental health professional.