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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?

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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

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

Acquire Contentment

There is no end of craving. Hence contentment alone is the best way to happiness. Therefore, acquire contentment. – Swami Sivananda

Contentment is often defined as a state of happiness and satisfaction.

Usually, we think that happiness and satisfaction can only occur once we get the dream house, perfect mate, desired career or other circumstance we want.

Certainly, there is nothing wrong with wanting and receiving any of those desires, however, it only becomes troublesome if we wait until their arrival in order to feel good.

What usually happens when our desired dreams haven’t materialized yet, is that dissatisfaction sets in and disrupts our peace of mind.

Ironically, sometimes our mere attitude of discouragement and upset can keep away or prolong receiving our coveted desires.

For instance, the negative energy that radiates from our unhappy feelings isn’t likely to attract a potential mate or prospective career opportunity. Unfortunately, anger tends to create an unpleasant atmosphere around us, and keeps positive opportunities away, which can cause even more internal upset or confusion.

Therefore, on the way to achieving our goals, it is important to feel contended ahead of their arrival and be in a positive state of mind as if they were here today.

It is vital that we create a contended life now, and enjoy the journey or process that is involved in achieving our objectives, rather than just enjoying the outcome.

I know when writing my book, I created a mock book cover and kept it on my desk, which was motivating and brought satisfaction ahead of its completion.

At the end of the day, life is too short to wait to be happy. We can usually find something or someone to be grateful for now, and joyfully walk toward other avenues of fulfillment as well.

What helps you feel contented?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

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