Take a Break

At this time of year, there is often much excited discussion about where everyone is spending their summer vacations.

As would be expected, each person has very different directions and agendas in mind. Some are excited about a big city adventure, or flying to another country, while others desire the solitude of a book on a nearby beach.

Regardless of the location or activity we choose, we all share the common need for taking a break and giving ourselves some breathing room from our everyday routines and the busy activities we are usually engaged in.

I don’t think there is a wrong way to spend our time off except for becoming overwhelmed with the details.

Ideally, living in vacation mode all year long, with regularly scheduled sources of enjoyment, would be a worthwhile adventure as well.

Where are your favorite vacation spots?

 

The Right Relationship Starts with You

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Shine Brightly

Back in 2012, I wrote a blog post called ‘Shine Your Light” which included a beautifully written passage by author Marianne Williamson from her book A Return to Love.

Her wonderful message is about ‘shining our light’ and not playing small in the world!

Always a good reminder all these years later!

Yes!

How are you shining your light and not playing small?

Fear Criticism Less

I had a speech teacher many years ago whose words were very impactful and have stayed with me all this time. My classmates and I back then, had feared getting up in front of the class and giving a less than perfect speech.

Bluntly, she told us that nobody cared about how good our speech would be, because everyone was too busy worrying about delivering their own speeches and fearing the reactions they would receive as well.

For those that did care, she informed us that even if we provided a flawless presentation, there would always be someone who was not satisfied, and that no matter how ‘perfect’ our speech turned out to be, there would always be someone who didn’t like it or us.

Importantly, she taught us that we may as well relax, be authentic, have a good time and please ourselves, rather than worrying about pleasing everyone else!

Ironically, by relaxing and enjoying ourselves, we ultimately ended up giving better speeches anyway!

Ultimately, resisting criticizing ourselves is most important and replacing self critical thoughts with more approving sentiments is key! By doing so, we fear external criticism less and look to lead an authentic life more.

So, whenever we are tempted to submerge who we really are and not follow our goals, dreams or aspirations in an attempt to avoid external criticism, we need to remember that we can’t please everyone.

Instead, we can please ourselves by following our inspired pursuits, and experience all the joy that achieving our endeavors will bring us!

What approving thoughts keep criticism from stopping you?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Stay a kid at Heart

Recently, I had another birthday which was a lot of fun to celebrate, and a time of reflection as well.  No doubt, many of us can relate to asking ourselves where the time has gone! It definitely fly’s by quickly!

That said, understanding that ‘life is short’ can motivate us to focus more energy on how best to enjoy ourselves each day, and not just on holidays, vacations or birthdays!

Often looking at our childhood pictures can generate a sense of emotional warmth for the little person we were, and who still wants to come out to play.

Part of my recent celebrating involved going out dancing with my husband which felt great! We hadn’t done that in a while, so it was a good reminder to play more in that way.

My love of dancing goes way back to when I was a kid and my mom took me to weekly lessons. Though I’m still involved with dancing on a regular basis at the gym doing choreographed routines, it is fun to mix it up and explore other venues doing freestyle movements as well.

Regardless of our chronological age, it’s never too late to reignite activities we enjoyed in the past, or develop new undertakings to revive our childlike enthusiasm.

What activities ignite your younger self, or bring you the greatest joy now?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

End the Cycle

As we know, a self-fulfilling prophecy is the inclination to behave in ways that confirm our own or others expectations.

For example, have you ever had the feeling that someone didn’t like you?

If so, that unpleasant feeling has more than likely negatively affected how you treated that person.

In turn, that person experiences your unfavorable behavior toward him or her and treats you poorly as a result.

Their behavior seems to confirm your belief that the person didn’t like you in the first place.

This damaging cycle can be broken if you choose instead to treat the other person well, instead of interacting with others in the same old ways.

For instance, assuming we are liked is a much more satisfying, productive and beneficial belief for all concerned, than assuming we are not.

It encourages good feelings within ourselves and better treatment toward those around us.

This doesn’t mean to be in relationships with people who don’t treat you well, or be with those we don’t feel connected to.

It just means to be more mindful of our reactions in order to respond in ways that help us avoid creating the very behaviors or outcomes we don’t desire.

This new and positive way of behaving can become a self-fulfilling prophecy of its own and expand the potential for creating better results.

What self-fulfilling prophecy have you uncovered?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

Draw a Line in the Sand

A line in the sand refers to a point beyond which one will not go; a limit to what one will do or accept.

Are you allowing other people to make you feel bad about you?

At some point we have to stop allowing other people’s words, behavior, opinions, innuendos or attitudes control how we feel about ourselves.

This is easier said than done, especially when we receive an unkind comment, or experience betrayal in a friendship. Certainly, these scenarios can be confusing, and upsetting, which takes some time to process.

However, what adds to the pain is feeling bad about ourselves or blaming ourselves for why others are acting in certain ways.

Similarly, we have to cease allowing or believing any negative thoughts we have about ourselves as well, and quit making self-destructive comparisons with others.

For instance, there comes a time when we decide to not make our worth be dependent on how many ‘likes’ we receive or ‘followers’ we have on social media or comparing ourselves to others created personas.

Additionally, we realize that staying with certain friends, jobs, or activities that become unhealthy is personally harmful, and we rise above being scared or uncomfortable to make the necessary changes.

To that end, it is a blessing when challenges or discomfort occurs because it motivates us into action by:

  • Letting us know it may be time to move on
  • Forcing us to stand up for ourselves
  • Learning how to handle emotions in a less personally damaging way

In short, we eventually draw a line in the sand when the pain gets too great and we’ve had enough!

Where do you draw the line?

The Right Relationship Starts with You