personal development · wisdom

You are who God says you are.

Life is challenging during a regular year, but especially during this past year; so many are struggling. Struggling with being the person they want to be, finding the friends they long to have, getting out and doing the things they wish they could do.

I’m reminded of the scene in Disney’s Moana where Moana approaches Te Kā the lava monster. Te Kā had her heart stolen and is blinded by rage and anger. Maybe we have lost heart and have become taken over with bitterness. Maybe we’ve shut others out and like Te Kā, we are blinded by our emotions. A turning point in the film happens when Moana reminds Te Kā, “They have stolen the heart from inside you. But this does not define you. This is not who you are. You know who you are.” We may need someone to remind us that we are off course and that we are not defined by what has happened to us or what has been done to us.

Maybe you’ve been hurt or isolated or unworthy. Perhaps you have felt betrayed, excluded, or written off. Maybe you have been misjudged, gossiped about or rejected. Or it could be that you have made legitimate mistakes and experienced guilt and condemnation. Whatever the case may be, you can let circumstances and misperceptions cloud your vision of the person you were put here to be. When this happens, more than any other time, we need God. We need to remember who he says we are and who he put us here to be:

God says you (yes you) are beautiful, unique, loved, special. You are created with a purpose. You are cared for, lovely, and precious. You are strong, important and forgiven. You are a new creation. You are protected and empowered. You are chosen. You are family and you are his.

God is God for all of us, no one is excluded. No one is written off or rejected by him.

If you struggle with seeing yourself irrationally through your own eyes, or make the common error of trying to see yourself through someone else’s eyes. Take a step back, and remember who you are in God’s eyes. That is the only perception that is 100% true and real.

kids · parenting · wisdom

You are good.

Last school year, when my youngest daughter was in kindergarten, she had homework to write three “I am” sentences. Three sentences that began with “I am” that were true about herself. As I was going through some of her old papers this week, I came across this homework paper again.

Her first sentence brought tears to my eyes:

I AM A GOOD PERSON.

I echoed back to her, “You sure are a good person.”

Don’t we all need to hear that? And to know that is powerful.

But the truth is we all have times in our life when we question our goodness. We feel less than. We allow the words or perspectives of others taint our self-image, or we let our disappointment in our own thoughts, words or actions affect how we view ourselves. The Eleanor Roosevelt quote comes to mind, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

But why did her words cause me to tear up? I think it was for two reasons:

1. I questioned if I ever made her feel she is not good somehow? As a parent, am I affirming her enough? Does she really know she is good? What can I do to make sure this precious child never questions that statement and maintains her self-worth?

2. Am I good? I want to be good – a good person, a good mom, a good friend, a good teacher. I want to be seen as good, perhaps more than anything.

A few of years ago, I picked “good” as my word for that year and thought I would share some words that brought me comfort then and even still as I reflect on them now.

In a world where we see evil at every turn, I want a constant reminder to combat it with GOOD.

When I hear complaining and gossip around me and feel tempted to join in, instead I need to remember to look for the GOOD.

When I have a conversation, interaction, Facebook post, or decision to make, I want to make sure I’m adding GOOD to the world with my words and choices.

When I feel envious, angry, hurt or resentful, I can choose to act on my emotions or I can choose to see it as an opportunity to do rise above and model what is right and good.

When those around me feel less than or unworthy, I will make sure they know that they are good, that there is much more right about them than wrong.

You are good.

 

personal development · wisdom

Staying in Your Power

Last night, I fell asleep listening to an audio. Then when I woke up, the last few minutes of the next “recommended for you” was playing and ending. It was a two hour audiobook called The Power Is Within You.

It’s all about reclaiming your power, and that it’s all within your control. That is great news!

The author was abused herself as a child, and she begins by explaining that those of us who experienced abuse will subconsciously place ourselves in situations of abuse (hers was physical, mine mostly verbal.) She addressed how you can break this cycle and get back to a place of self-love, through forgiveness and sending love to those who have hurt you.

The book points you to self-love so that you can then love others. And to love yourself, you must use conscious language and be very aware of the words you speak, how you speak to yourself and to others.

It goes on to say you need to stop complaining and gossiping, because negative words bring more negativity into your your life. When you complain, criticize or gossip, when you are talking about others, your mind internalizes it as if you are speaking about YOURSELF. When you talk negatively about someone you need to ask yourself why you feel those things about yourself. The things we dislike in others are the things we don’t like about ourselves. Mic drop!

We often don’t think we deserve. This comes from our childhood, and our power comes from our deservability. What keeps us from feeling we deserve is typically someone else’s belief that we have accepted as truth. If we can let go of this misperception, we can return to our power.

Another part that resonated with me the most was what she had to say about guilt. Maybe you were made to feel like a burden as a child. As an adult this can make you feel like you’re bothering others, you’re in the way, or you’re inconveniencing someone whenever you need anything. Maybe you find yourself apologizing to others when you’ve done nothing wrong. This again points to a lack of deservability which is you trying to see yourself through someone else’s misperception. Stop that!

By dropping these old patterns and leaving your past behind you, you can move forward in your power. Your past does not serve you.

One of the main concepts she proposes is using affirmations and making sure the words you speak are positive. But she defines affirmations differently than what you might think. The traditional meaning of affirmation is a positive statement. Anything we speak is an affirmation and we reap the consequences of all words we speak, good or bad. The book is very law-of-attraction-ish and teaches that the words we speak come back to us some how in the way of experiences. We have to really pay attention to what we say!

I can’t recommend this book enough, whether you listen to the audiobook like I did or if you prefer to just read it. It came along for me at the perfect time. If you have been walking through lows related to past guilt, unworthiness, negativity or not feeling you are deserving, this book will give you the tools and knowledge you need to stay in your power!

wisdom

Keeping your peace…in traffic

You wake up in the morning, have a cup of coffee, read, meditate, and get your mind in the perfect calm state. Then it seems within seconds of encountering other humans (traffic), your calm feels threatened. These moments can either derail your peace, or you can be intentional and maintain your peace in spite of these bumps in the road.

Morning commute was the time of day that tried me the most. In the morning, you have places to be, people to see, and time is of the essence. I could come unglued if I got behind a slow driver, afraid they would make me late.

Tailgaters wouldn’t make me late, but they would make me so anxious! I was in a hurry too, but was it really necessary to invade my personal space?

Worst of all was getting caught in stop and go traffic. Driving in large cities and on major highways made my heart race and my hands sweat. In school zones, if the crossing guard was in position, I was at their mercy. I would arrive at work a frazzled mess, and full of blame directed at whoever happened to cross my path and slow me down. Surely they were to blame.

Then one day, I heard a podcast that changed my thinking. It had never occurred to me that it was entirely my fault, EVERY time I’m late. Every time. How was it my fault? Simple. “If you think some other person is making you late, you need to leave your house way, way earlier,” the speaker said. This resonated with me and humbled me. It may sound obvious to some reading this, but that one statement was life changing.

Over time, I’ve trained myself to keep my peace by changing my perspective. These days, I make sure to leave for work pretty early, so I’m never worried about running late and therefore never in a hurry. Now when I get behind a slow driver, I go around them if I can, but if I can’t I choose to see it as an extra time to listen to my podcast or favorite songs.

Now, if there’s an alternate route I can take that has less traffic, I will choose it every time. When I’m in larger cities I always select the “avoid highways” option and take backroads instead of interstates and highways. These routes are longer, but usually save me time and stress.

And that tailgater? I just pull over to the side of the road and let them go ahead of me. It’s a win win. They get to drive faster and I get to keep my peace.

And I’m learning everything in life is like driving. Moments in life can send us into blame and knock us out of our peaceful state. But there is no blame. It’s all on us – we do it to ourselves. By taking responsibility and making simple changes in how we respond to the things that once frustrated us, we can see them all as good. Things are always working out for us.

Takeaways:

  • Leave earlier. Give yourself more than enough time so you’re not in a hurry.
  • Take an alternate route with less traffic.
  • Pull over and let tailgaters pass you.
  • Take responsibility. There is no blame.
  • Enjoy your drive. See it as a peaceful time.
Uncategorized · wisdom

Stop Using Shame and Guilt to Influence Behavior

Most of us have been on the giving and receiving end of guilt and shame. But is it effective? Does it get us anywhere when we dish it out or when we are forced to take it?

Have you ever shamed someone or tried making them feel guilty to get them to behave in a certain way? I think we all probably have in some form or fashion.

It could have been trying to make your spouse or significant other feel bad about some incident where you felt wronged. You want to make extra sure they NEVER do that again.

Or maybe it was shaming your child over a bad choice they made; you want to be certain they realize how terrible their decision was so they will make the right choice next time.

It could be that you wanted a co-worker or employee know that you are not pleased with their actions and felt like it was time that SOMEBODY let them know. After all, if you don’t tell them, they can’t change, right?

No matter what the circumstance, any time you try using guilt or shame to influence someone’s behavior, one thing is for sure, you’re not endearing the other person to you. Here is a news flash: shame never inspires or motivates better behavior. It only perpetuates low self-esteem and withdrawal.

Can you think of a time when you were shamed or made to feel guilty? Most likely, especially if you already had issues with self-worth, it sent you on a downward spiral of negative thoughts. Any and every incident where someone shamed you similarly may have come to mind. We are our own worst critics, and life is hard enough already. When someone has taken it upon themselves to point out your shortcomings, down, down we go. Whether done to your face or behind your back, it stings.

People may be well-meaning when they feel the need to shame or impose guilt, believing no one else has never addressed a person’s issues and so they need to be that someone who finally comes along and puts the person in their place. “Let me tell you how terrible you are and what you did. Someone should.”

What is missing from this is the big picture of what may feel like healthy venting to the one shaming, but in reality the repercussions of the harmful words sends the victim (YES, VICTIM) into an even weaker emotional state than they were previously.

I remember a co-worker having this awesome quote in the signature block of her emails and it is perfectly placed here: You will inspire someone much more by lighting a fire inside them than lighting a fire under them.

Isn’t that what we really want? To inspire? Uplift? Encourage? Oh my goodness, that language feels so much better!

Here’s what to consider instead. Consider catching people when they’re good. Consider making a list of positive aspects of what the person is doing right. Everyone does some things right. EVERYONE.

Your spouse or significant other? Consider letting them know when you are pleased with them. That issue that feel you need to shame them with or make them feel guilty? Instead, concentrate on what you want them to become instead. Believe in them, that they will become that vision of the person you want them to become.

When your child makes a poor choice, instead of raking them over the coals, think about the opposite end of the stick. The child you know they can be. Put an incentive in place for them to reach that positive goal.

When you have a co-worker or employee and you feel like it’s your role to let them know their shortcomings, INSTEAD, look at the flip side of the coin: encourage them and inspire them when you see them doing what’s right. Assume positive intentions. Let them know you believe in them. Typically, when someone is performing below their potential, what they REALLY NEED is encouragement. A positive word. They more than likely already are aware of any negative qualities you may feel the need to point out. We are all our own worst critics. If you really want to make an impact, SPEAK LIFE into them. Let them know positive ways you envision them in the future. BELIEVE IN THEM!

I hope this has challenged your thought process on how to influence change in those around you. Light a fire within them, not a fire under them!

law of attraction · wisdom

Vision Boards: Your Best Bet for New Year’s Goal Setting

You can count on hearing lots of talk about goal setting and resolutions on New Year’s Day. You’re probably doing it yourself in some form or fashion.

Did you also know that most people fall off the bandwagon in the first thirty days of setting their goal(s) for the New Year?

What might make a difference for you and keep you from becoming another statistic is creating a vision board.

What is a vision board? A vision board is a board filled with images that represent each of your goals for the coming year.

The idea is that you keep these images in front of you, placing the board in a prominent location where you will see it every day.

Seeing those images that represent your dreams on a daily basis help keep them on the forefront of your mind, and consequently make them more likely to manifest simply based on the fact you are giving more of your mental attention to them.

It can be cut and paste from magazines, or a collage of images created on your computer. It doesn’t need to take very much of your time.

Tips for creating your vision board:

  • Before you begin, make a list of goals or resolutions you would like to set for the coming year.
  • Goals are best if they are realistic while also a challenge. Somewhere within that range is ideal. You want some to be basic and very attainable to help you feel successful but some out of reach to keep you excited, eager and planful.
  • Gather magazines if you plan on cutting out pictures and gluing. I personally prefer digital images and finding these online. It opens up many more possibilities and makes quicker work of creating the board I really want.
  • When in groups of folks who were creating vision boards, I have noticed many were turning it into a board of inspiring quotes and words. This is fine, but then it isn’t really a vision board. I keep a book of words and quotes that inspire me separately. I try to keep my vision board focused on what it is: a collage of images that represent the goals I wish to attain.
  • It’s your vision board. You can make it what you want. It’s not really for anyone but you, so there are no rules. Anything I’ve mentioned above is just giving my own feedback from 10+ years of creating vision boards.

Here is my 2019 vision board, and just as always, so many of these have manifested or are about to. I will add my 2020 board once it’s completed!

You may also be interested in making vision boards with your children. Check out my post Making Vision Boards with Kids.

introvert · wisdom

Stop sharing your story with people who haven’t earned the right to hear it.

Introverts, this one is for you. If you are like me and surrounded by a world of pushy extroverts who don’t understand your need for quiet and privacy, read on.

Have you ever over-shared? I catch myself doing it more often than I would like.

I commonly have people ask me about things going on in my life because I do lead a pretty interesting and different life, but I am private and shy. But I end up spilling the beans on the regular, and then as the person asks me more and more questions, I can become agitated, feeling more and more uncomfortable sharing things I never intended to.

I can begin to feel cornered or trapped, like I can’t get away or like the conversation will never end.

Or, worse, my opinion often differs greatly from the majority, so when I do share, I feel uncomfortable as the interrogator lets me know quickly they don’t agree with me.

Even worse, when someone you know to be a gossip or who doesn’t have your best interest at heart, comes along and grills you. Um no. My heart starts racing and I get the feeling that I need to beat it out of there.

Recently, someone asked me about something going on in my life, and I didn’t want to share. But I felt obligated to, because I couldn’t think of how to say that I didn’t want to without coming across as rude.

If this has ever been your experience, since then I’ve come up with ten polite replies for those moments when you are asked to share but don’t want to.

1. “I wish I could chat, but I have to be (insert where you need to be) right now. Maybe we can talk later.”

2. “I’d rather not say if that’s ok.”

3. “You’re so sweet to ask, but that’s not something I can share right now.”

4. “That is still under way. I appreciate you asking.”

5. Repeat back their question to them: “I understand you want to know (insert question here). I get why you might be curious. I would be too.”  I like this response because it forces them to hear their own words and sometimes they will even retract, realizing that it is prying.

6. Just say, “isn’t that interesting?”

7. Do you have one of those “friends” who seems to enjoy your difficulties because it makes them feel better about themselves? Once you catch onto this,  just tell them “all is well now” about whatever drama they hope for you to elaborate on.

8. Do you have one of those “friends” who will take what you share and spread it to anyone who will listen in a heartbeat? Just distance yourself when you see them coming your way. Your mom was right when she gave you the advice, just walk away.

9. Do you have one of those “friends” who will use what you share to tear you down in order to build themselves up? You need Distance. You have no obligation to share anything with anyone. When someone has proven disloyalty time and again, this is toxic to you and ties need to be severed. You have to set boundaries to protect yourself.

10. Tell them you can’t. If you want to keep your peace, and do what feels best, you’re telling them the truth when you say you can’t share. You can’t afford to share something that feels off to you. Never let someone push you into something you don’t feel comfortable doing, including conversation.

 

 

law of attraction · wisdom

Stop Talking about Your Problems

Contrary to what you’ve heard your whole life (and what I’ve heard my whole life) “venting” and talking about your problems isn’t your best option. Let me share a few reasons why:

  1. Each time you talk about your issue you relive it all over again. Have you ever told someone about something bad that happened to you and found yourself getting upset and maybe even angry all over again, as you were telling the story? It was bad enough that you had to go through it. How many times do you want to retell that story and repeat that vibrational history? Have you ever had someone tell you about their troubles, then hours later they were still telling that same story to other people? It’s really a waste of their mental and emotional energy.
  2. You keep the problem active. You’ve probably heard that “you get what you think about.” Or “what you think about you bring about.” Or “as a man thinketh so is he.” You get the idea. Keep your thoughts positive!
  3. The worse it gets the worse it gets. I know I will meet some resistance and so many swear by therapy. I do believe it has its place! I’ve been to a therapist myself and also participated in group therapy. I can for sure tell you it gave me clarity in certain areas. But it also didn’t lead to a healthier happier me. That came years later. It was when I stopped beating the proverbial drum of “what is” and feeling the need to dredge up the past that things got better for me. Now I’m forward thinking. I’m focused on how I want my life to be. I don’t feel the need to declare “what is” or bring up old school. That’s in the past. I’m quieter, but more content. I’m less popular, but I’m ok with that.

I follow the teachings of Abraham Hicks and I think this transcript from one of her conversations really paints a clear picture of what I’m trying to say:

“Things tipped when I stopped doing talk therapy. I stopped talking about my problems over and over and over. I don’t talk about my problems anymore and they just seem to not be there. And it’s weird ’cause it’s a woman thing – whoever has the biggest problem, you’re the winner. So I’m not very popular anymore. I have some really good problems, but I just don’t talk about them. Then the problem is that I’m not getting any attention, but I’m still having the problems and that’s the part that’s hard. I’m not getting the accolades of making it through.”

“Problems can be entertaining and more people relate to them.”

“People get you more when you’re complaining than when you’re not. There’s never a crowd on the leading edge.”

“Notice that movies and the news aren’t oriented to what’s uplifting. They want to keep your fears active and keep you coming back.”

“Show me a popular person and I’ll show you a complainer.” – Abraham Hicks

To sum it up, if you keep talking about your problems, you may get the positive outcome of popularity because people find you relatable. It’s easier to find mutuality with someone when they share their problems. People may like to hear about your troubles because it makes them feel better about their own lives. HOWEVER, each time you share those problems, each time you complain, be aware that you are no doubt going to bring more things to complain about – more problems – into your reality. That’s law of attraction.

Will you be friendless now? Absolutely not. Rest assured, you will attract others. Contentment and well being is also compelling and everyone is hungry for it. You will even likely attract the same people. The difference is that you will attract the best from them. ❤️