Tag Archive | self-care

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

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Be a Truth Teller

 

When asked how we’re doing, many of us can probably relate to saying ‘I’m FINE’ when we really aren’t. It is actually refreshing to hear someone admit that they don’t feel perfectly wonderful all the time, as presented in the video.

As mere humans, we have a whole range of emotions which thankfully means there isn’t something wrong with us if we aren’t feeling wonderful every minute.

The beautiful part about telling the truth or admitting we don’t always feel fine, is that it opens the door to receiving the necessary help we many need in a particular situation, and allows us to assist others as well.

Additionally, there are great conversations to be found with truth tellers who share beyond the level of ‘small talk.’ Small talk is defined as polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, especially as engaged in on social occasions.

Certainly, these types of conversations are more appropriate for certain situations, but a steady diet of it can be emotionally draining and deprive us of the needed connection that honest sharing can bring.

Saying ‘I’m fine’ doesn’t necessarily mean we aren’t telling the truth, but only we can be the judge of that, as we are the only ones who knows what’s really going on inside us.

How do you honor your truth?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

 

Grant Yourself Permission

Many books are written about the importance of setting personal boundaries with others and the emotional penalties for not saying ‘no’ when we need to.

However, it is equally important to say ‘yes’ when we need to as well!

We only need our own permission to start treating ourselves better now!

What wonderful way can you say YES to yourself today?

The Right Relationship Starts with You

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?

 

 

 

Keep Your Balance

give

Usually our bodies, mind and emotions will let us now when we are out of balance and need to adjust. For instance, I just finished an intensive 8-week course as part of a graduate program, and need to relax for a while to gain my equilibrium.

Naturally, balance is not a static occurrence and sometimes we will be required to work harder than others because of school or a specific project at work.

However, to the best of our ability, it is important to keep aware of what is needed at any given moment, and make whatever adjustments are applicable.

The same balancing principle holds true in daily relating as well. We need to balance giving with receiving and listening with being heard ourselves. Relationships flow better when there is a mutual give-and-take between each other. Additionally, balancing our social media time with private time is essential too!

Getting our needs met is ironically the best way to meet the needs of others, because we aren’t burned out or resentful from lack of self-care.

Therefore, do yourself and others a favor by taking good care of yourself today, and always!

How do you keep in balance?

Be a Victor Not a Victim

be-a-victor

In honor of author Louise Hay’s recent 90th birthday, I thought I would share some of her teachings below, which originated in her book entitled You Can Heal Your Life.

She has been an advocate, and teacher for helping people to love themselves during much of her adult life. She didn’t come from a privileged background or an adoring home, but managed to create a loving life, in spite of her situation.

Many of us come from similarly unhelpful upbringings, and know the internal challenges or insecurities that can result from that experience. However, instead of becoming a victim, she and others have become victors, who are changing their lives, and inspiring those around them as well.

Her example, and nurturing methods helped inspire the writing of my own book too.

In reviewing all the self-care reminders listed below, which has been your greatest challenge or greatest success?

Do Mirror Work.

Look into your eyes often. Express this growing sense of love you have for yourself. Forgive yourself while looking into the mirror. Talk to your parents while looking into the mirror. Forgive them, too. At least once a day, say, “I love you, I really love you!”

Have Fun.

Remember the things that gave you joy as a child. Incorporate them into your life now. Find a way to have fun with everything you do. Let yourself express the joy of living. Smile. Laugh. Rejoice, and the Universe rejoices with you!

Love Yourself . . . Do It Now.

Don’t wait until you get well, or lose the weight, or get the new job, or find the new relationship. Begin now—and do the best you can.

Stop All Criticism.

Criticism never changes a thing. Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. Everybody changes. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. When you approve of yourself, your changes are positive.

Forgive Yourself.

Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing, and you will live life differently.

Don’t Scare Yourself.

Stop terrorizing yourself with your thoughts. It’s a dreadful way to live. Find a mental image that gives you pleasure, and immediately switch your scary thought to a pleasure thought.

Be Gentle and Kind and Patient.

Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved.

Be Kind to Your Mind.

Self-hatred is only hating your own thoughts. Don’t hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts.

Praise Yourself.

Criticism breaks down the inner spirit. Praise builds it up. Praise yourself as much as you can. Tell yourself how well you are doing with every little thing.

Support Yourself.

Find ways to support yourself. Reach out to friends and allow them to help you. It is being strong to ask for help when you need it.

Be Loving to Your Negatives.

Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns.

Take Care of Your Body.

Learn about nutrition. What kind of fuel does your body need in order to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about exercise. What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Cherish and revere the temple you live in.

 

 

Give Yourself Permission

permission

Cheryl Richardson and Christiane Northrup are authors I really connect with on all matters relating to self-care. That being said, below are some wonderful permission slips offered on Dr. Northrup’s blog for taking better care of ourselves.

Enjoy!

  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.
  1. Feel joy every day. Paint, sing, dance, play music, and have sex if you so desire.
  1. Let go of toxic relationships. Toxic people drain you. Work on creating relationships with people who support you as you are.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. Simplify your life. Focus on what truly matters to you. Don’t let yourself get derailed by drama.
  1. Forgive yourself. Forgiveness is a process. Find time every day to practice forgiveness.
  1. 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.
  1. Feel the guilt. Realize that the guilt you are feeling is probably just cultural programming. Thank it for sharing and release it.
  1. Be yourself. Accept yourself exactly as you are. You don’t have to fit any cultural mold.

Which one speaks loudest to you today?