Roll with It

At some point in our life, we all experience times when something doesn’t go our way, even when we have taken all the right actions.

For instance, we might have returned to school to study a particular trade, but didn’t land our dream job right out of school. Or we might have been turned down for a promotion we worked hard for, or didn’t get the dream house we desired after saving for many years.

It is normal to have certain expectations about the outcomes we desire. However, if we don’t get the results we want, then we have to let go in the present moment, and trust that the outcome will be better for us down the road.

Letting go, and accepting a particular outcome doesn’t mean giving up or abandoning our dreams altogether, it just means we might have to find another way, or move in a different direction for the time being.

Experiencing any disappointment can be a challenge while we are going through it, and it is usually only in hindsight, that we can see the blessings behind the postponements.

Thankfully, we usually end up finding a better job, starting our own company, or finding a better house than the one we originally planned on.

However, in the meantime, a good way to move through the waiting process is to cultivate a feeling of gratitude for the things we already have, and feel the appreciation that ensues.

 

What 5 things are on your gratitude list today?

 

The Right Relationship Starts with You

 

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Choose Your Word of the Year

Happy 2018!

Hope your new year has started off well.

Like many of us, at the beginning of each year I like the practice of choosing a single word or mantra, as a guiding force and direction for the 12 months ahead, instead of making resolutions.

Usually, selecting a word or phrase is an intuitive nudge from within.

For me, like last year, I am keeping my three word mantra, Keep Your Power.

So, for example, whenever I find myself worrying, I can internally utter the words, “Keep Your Power,” as a great reminder to not allow my peace to be disturbed by internal fear thoughts, and to upgrade my thoughts to something more positive.

Additionally, my mantra reinforcement can help to keep from reacting to external comments or circumstances, by remembering to not take the words or actions of others personally, thereby reducing feelings of hurt or anger.

It may sound like an easy task to keep our power, but almost all of us can attest to unintentionally giving away our peace of mind to someone else who pushes our buttons, and affects the way we think, feel, or behave.

That said, since we only have control over how we respond to external stimulus, or even to our own thoughts, and feelings, it’s important to have awareness practices in place to assist us in making healthier choices, and take more beneficial actions.

Some of those actions might be a dedicated meditation time, or special readings, that lift our awareness and feelings to a higher place.

Sometimes responding means to speak up for yourself, and resist the habit of staying silent for people pleasing purposes.

Even saying Don’t be mean in 2018 is a helpful reminder to put kindness first, when frustrations arise, and we’re tempted to react otherwise.

What positive words or mantras speak to you this year?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Start a Happiness Practice

As we approach a New Year, it can be fun to create ways to inspire a positive beginning and not necessarily by making resolutions.

Instead, one idea I heard about and love, is jotting down notes on little pieces of colorful paper about things that make us happy, and reading them at the end of the year!

We can include the recognition of an accomplished goal, fun memories, surprise gifts and other things we are grateful for while they are happening.

Each year is a clean slate so starting January 2018 with an empty jar and adding a note each day or week with a good thing that happened would forge a new focus on the great stuff that occurs.

We can also get creative with the type of jar or container we use too, and how we decide to decorate it, along with the paper we’d enjoy using.

Then, how fun to gather on New Year’s Eve and empty the jar and read about the wonderful year we just had, especially if we did this as a group activity with family and friends!

This happiness practice could certainly help to offset the upsets that garner our attention.

So, as we ring in the New Year, our first writing could be about the wonderful night of celebration we had with the changing of the year!

What positive New Year’s  ideas inspire you?

See Yourself However You Choose

“We see the world, not as it is, but as we areor, as we are conditioned to see it.”

Dr. Stephen Covey

One of the great things about our having an incredible mind is that we can use it however we choose.

We can use it to think loving thoughts about ourselves and others, or use it for the condemnation of both.

Either way is our choice.

Many of us never ask ourselves how we came to feel about ourselves the way we do. Usually, we are conditioned to see the world and ourselves in a certain way based on the environmental influences of our parents and peers.

Unfortunately, many of us have drawn faulty conclusions or adopted disempowering beliefs that were based on our interpretations of others behaviors toward us.

For example, if a caregiver was harsh in their treatment or words toward us, we may have interpreted that behavior as having to do with our being unlovable, instead of understanding that they have an issue with appropriately expressing themselves.

However, as we grow into adulthood, we become increasingly accountable for developing our own belief systems and changing the lens we have been looking through.

After all, what we choose to believe about ourselves has immense consequences in how we behave in the external world and how we feel in our internal world.

Fortunately, since our beliefs are learned, they can be unlearned and reconditioned in our favor. This is often easier said than done because our beliefs have become so ingrained and are such a part of us due to repetition in our thoughts.

However, writing down our own personal history or story can help us find and uproot any limiting beliefs that may be hanging out in our subconscious mind.

This exercise can be a fun adventure like a scavenger hunt.

Gaining awareness of what is not serving us can be an incredible gift toward challenging distorted beliefs or upgrading any thoughts that might be making us feel bad.

Once we locate a belief that is not serving our highest good, we can repeat an empowering refrain such as ‘I am willing to release this negative belief, and replace it with something more beneficial to my highest self.’

Since repetition got us into the beliefs we currently have, repetition can get us out.

What phrase will you repeat?

 

 

 

Raise Your Energetic Vibration

As a tribute to Louise Hay, the prominent author and speaker, I am reposting a former blog article of mine, which demonstrates the significant impact of her affirmations, and exhibits the powerful influence they can have in our lives.

One affirmation I particularly like is “Life Loves Me.” She suggested saying it throughout the day as a powerful mantra to increase our energy, attract positive experiences, and just feel great.

This, and similar positive declarations can instantly shift our mood, and feelings to a higher place, as opposed to the depressive state that often follows a negative statement such as “Life is one problem after another.”

Additionally, I have found that when combining our affirmations with the familiar technique listed below, we can turbocharge our energy levels as well.

  • Find a quiet and peaceful place where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Close your eyes and take several deep breaths.
  • Breathe in good thoughts, soothing images, and peaceful outcomes.
  • Breathe out tension, stress, anxiety and fear.
  • Select a positive statement or series of statements such as, “I am healed,” “I am well,” “Life loves me” or “Only good lies before me.”
  • Introduce those affirmations while you visualize a ball of light entering the top of your head and traveling down to the tips of your toes, spreading a healing energy throughout your body.
  • Repeat this as many times as you need to clear away any unhelpful thoughts, or projections that cause an internal disturbance.

As stated in my book, and offered through personal coaching, by deliberately focusing our mind and body in this positive direction, we will allow more room in our life for serenity and peace. This is especially true during challenging times or preventing some stress related conditions in the first place.

What positive words or practices work best for you?

 

Give Yourself the Gift of Forgiveness

Several years ago on this blog, I shared about a profound forgiveness experience I had with my Dad who had been very abusive when I was growing up. My Mom had died on this December date when I was 10 years old, and he became my sole guardian.

However, the purpose of this post is not to focus on all the negative accounts of my upbringing but to focus on the healing power of forgiveness, which is the best gift we can give ourselves.

That said, back in 2000 when I first got the call that my father was dying, I had a lot of concerns about the whole situation. We hadn’t seen each other for quite some time, and I wasn’t sure seeing him again was in anyone’s best interest.

However, my wise mentor and coach at the time encouraged me to see him, and said that I’d be going to heal myself and not as a favor for him.

So, I hesitantly went to where he was hospitalized, and upon arrival, I saw a man I didn’t recognize. He was no longer the big and tall man I remembered but actually looked quite frail, and was uncharacteristically, not in control of his surroundings.

Over the course of several months, my siblings and I took turns visiting with him, so that he was never alone. Then, on one particular day, when my sister and I were on our way out of the hospital, I got this extremely strong internal push to return to his hospital room.

So, I quickly turned around and headed back toward his room with my sister following behind. Once inside, I approached his bedside, which she said was like a scene from a movie, with the director calling out, “action.”

I walked right up to my dad and said, “Hi dad just wanted to come back and tell you that I love you.”

He said, “I love you too,” which are words I never heard from him before.

My sister, who was in the back of the room silently observing the whole scene, said that the nurses in the room had stopped in their tracks while these unplanned and unexpected words were coming out of my mouth.

Soon after that he died.

My mentor had been right about my going to see him, and how healing it would be for me, and I suspect it was for him as well. I would have missed out on this great opportunity, if I hadn’t taken the action and gone to see him, in spite of my misgivings.

I would have missed out on the internal freedom and good feelings that resulted from the experience, as it helped me to heal through much of the emotional charge and pain surrounding my past.

Forgiving another is not about condoning, reconciling, minimizing or letting the offending party off the hook, but letting ourselves off the hook from carrying around the pain that resides in our minds and hearts.

Forgiveness is a process and not an overnight matter but continues to be the best cure for resentment, anger and all other forms of internal suffering.

Therefore, it is extremely important to courageously take the necessary steps to release ourselves from the negativity and grief that may be keeping us stuck.

A few methods that can assist us in this process are:

  1. Writing a letter to the offending party and expressing all the hurt that we have inside but not mailing it.
  2. Praying for the resented person in order to get the spiritual help, and courage to release the potent anger within.
  3. Being willing and open to follow the guidance, opportunities and situations that present themselves toward our healing.
  4. Learning and understanding that hurt people tend to hurt other people, and their behavior isn’t because there is something wrong or unlovable about us.
  5. Talking to a professional or an understanding friend to discuss and process the negative feelings we have about a particular person, memory or situation.

We learn that it is up to us to ask for help and come to terms with our experiences. No matter what our relationship is with our fathers or anyone else, let today and this holiday represent the healing power of forgiveness.

What processes help you to forgive?

Action Step:

If you are struggling with unpleasant feelings and thoughts about someone in your life; ask in meditation that you be shown the way to forgiveness, and be given the courage to follow the actions you are guided to take.

Do What’s Right for You

 The nature of conflict means you can’t set a boundary in your life and take care of someone else’s feelings at the same time.   Martha Beck

Each holiday season is a good time to remember to strengthen our personal boundaries. During this festive time of year, many of us have an extra tendency to take on too much, and over commit ourselves. Sometimes, this is because we are excited about the season and enjoy the gaiety; while other times it is because we don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, and want to avoid feeling guilty.

Only we can tell the difference within ourselves if we are pleasing ourselves or people pleasing others. If we are engaged in the latter, then it is time to strengthen our boundaries by developing a stronger “no” muscle.

As indicated in my book, it’s actually more loving to have boundaries, be authentic, and take care of our feelings as they arise, as opposed to a passive approach to life. When we don’t speak up for ourselves, it can only breed resentment toward others, and inevitably lead to unloving behavior which is inconsistent with the intention of harmonious living.

Therefore, if what we are being asked to do is not to our liking than we have the freedom to graciously decline the request. We need to remember that we are not responsible for other people’s feelings but are responsible for how we communicate our responses to others.

Similarly, it is important to graciously respect the boundaries of others as well. We may be good at delivering a “no” but not so great at receiving that response from others.

Just as setting loving boundaries with others is a crucial step in self-care, so is setting nurturing boundaries with ourselves as well. Many of us push ourselves beyond the point of what is healthy such as neglecting to put parameters around the number of hours we work or by skimping on sleep.

With that said, below are some wonderful permission slips from Dr. Christiane Northrup, which we can start applying today! The resultant good feelings will create a wonderful ripple effect both within and around us.

  1. Rest when you need to. If you are tired, give yourself permission to sleep. The dishes, the laundry, and the work you didn’t finish today will still be waiting for you tomorrow.
  2. Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
  3. Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
  4. Love your body. Stop comparing yourself to the air brushed models in the media. Dress the way you want. Do your hair the way you like it.  If this is difficult, do mirror work and tell your body how much you love it.
  5. Trust your intuition. Step out of your comfort zone and go for whatever feels right – maybe it is a new career path, a new health or fitness program, or simply speaking up when you feel the need.
  6. Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
  7. Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
  8. Say “yes.” Saying “yes” to yourself is empowering. Say “yes” to whatever you want in your life, and say “no” to whatever you don’t want.
  9. Feel the guilt. Realize that the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
  10. Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.

What nurturing choices are you making?