Scratch the record

 

“I’d just kill myself if that happened.”  You’ve heard it before and perhaps, even said it before.  In case you had any doubts – this is NOT empowering.  It’s crap.This week I had two clients say something like this in passing. Neither was going to run out and do anything rash but neither had a better plan for handling life’s inevitable downs either.Our words are a reflection of our thoughts and thoughts like this start out in our unconscious.  At first we may not even notice the sinister voice bouncing around in our head telling us we are worthless, guilty, stupid, ugly, etc….. But eventually we will.  Because these voices come in so quietly, they won’t set off any internal alarms and will slip pass our emotional gatekeepers. Therefore they must be ruthlessly hunted down and eradicated. They are the worst kind of poison – the kind that kills slowly and painfully. Unfortunately, we all have some version of them.

Fact: You are here to be awesome.  These fear based voices are pushing a story line you need NO part of. Scratch them from your internal recording, blowtorch them from your psyche, vacuum them out of your brain,  smash them with your imaginary jackhammer.  I don’t care.  Do whatever it takes to get rid of them.

 

Then write a new recording and replace the messages with new empowering ones like “I’m going to rock this problem like the rock star I am.”  “I’m making great progress.” or “I’m proud of the obstacles I’ve overcome.”

 

You are writing the narrative of your life.  Change your language and you will change everything.

http://www.icontact-archive.com/kGDhztBOPN80FyJQEh5IoIxD0wKwGdiV?w=4

Find Your People

cry of my people

Finding your people and singing your song together is actually very important component of living a fulfilling life. You came into this world full of hope and excitement and ready to do great things. You were not alone when you arrived and you are not alone today.  There are many people with similar interests, senses of humor, and values who are working towards similar goals as you.  Working together you are much more powerful and everything is way more fun. This is an evidenced based statement. We know, for example, that people who have a workout partner or fellowship go to the gym more often.

 ‘Your people’ will change and evolve as you change and evolve. People, including family, with whom you were once close may drift away while others who were acquaintances drift closer.  This is a natural process. As the saying goes, “you can judge a man by the company he keeps” or  “birds of a feather flock together.”  From my experience working in the petri dish of a high school, I can tell you this is true. Good students hang out with good students, fragile with fragile, and drug involved with drug involved. I swear you can put two troubled students on opposite sides of a building and they will find each other within minutes.

 Take a look at your close friends and partnerships. They are a reflection of you. If there are things in your life you want to change look for people who embody your desired traits, habits, and outcomes. Invite them into your life. Do your friends/family complement you? Are you all headed in similar directions? Are your relationships built on equal ground? Do you like what you see?

 

 If you haven’t found your people yet it just means you are not looking in the right places. They are out there in all different ages, shapes, colors, backgrounds and ethnicities. They want your company. Go find them.

When the Haters Hate

complainYour life should never be defined by another’s actions, moods, or opinions. Your own source of joy is within you and the more you nurture it, the happier you will become.

When you let another’s actions, moods, or opinions define your own, you have unconsciously given away your power to them. Don’t do that. This is especially important in your workplace or, right now, as we move into this upcoming election year where negative political ads will dominate the media. Be mindful that a few minutes of negative political messaging can spiral you downward into a fearful state of mind. Don’t bite.

You are wise enough to know there will always be a group of people who are unhappy and want you to join them. They will actively nurture and energize problems by focusing on them through their complaints. These people are life’s victims. You will experience their kvetching by the water cooler, in the media, and at family gathering. Sometimes that person will be your own partner, and on occasion, it may even be you.

The good news is that you do not have to engage with this energy because you have free will and, therefore, get to choose your emotional experience. To quote Taylor Swift, “And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate. Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake. Shake it off” If she can shake if off, so can you.

This is an incredibly powerful aspect of self-leadership.

How to Enjoy Your Own Company

think im funny

You are meant to enjoy “you” more than anyone else in the world! You were fearfully and wonderfully made so it is natural and healthy to appreciate your uniqueness. Laughing because you are so funny to yourself is a form of self-appreciation and should be nurtured. In fact, you should always be looking for ways to enjoy who you are.

Tap into your potential today by enjoying your own presence because life is better when you are always in great company

How to Have More Fun than Anyone Else

 

You were born with a little magic in your soul and it has decided to make its appearance in 2015.  Your energy is your magnet for opportunities. When you change your energy, everything around you changes.  This is called the Law of Attraction and it is the reason why you are attracted to your friends.  It is also the reason you are not attracted to people unlike you. You are literally on different wavelengths.

You are destined for great things this year. I know it and deep down you do too. Should you choose to believe in magic you just might find there is magic all around you. And, let’s be honest, what could be more fun than living a magical life?

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

progress not perfection - Google Search

New Year’s Resolution: I Will Not Let Perfect Get in the Way of Progress

It is with the best intentions we make New Year’s Resolutions and with the flakiest of excuses we break them.  My advice: Give up now before you disappoint yourself.

Try this instead: Pick one character trait that you want to nurture and grow within yourself this year and focus on it. I, for example, want to be more generous with my time and resources. I can’t change my actions unless I change the way I feel so my “resolution” is to experience feelings of a generosity each day. And, if I don’t, to forgive myself and let it go.  You are welcome to do this too.

If we keep it simple and it just might happen.

4 Ways To Reduce Stress During the Holidays

4 Ways To Reduce Stress During the Holidays

The holidays… they are AWESOME and, of course, incredibly stressful. Our fond memories come from a time when we didn’t have to do any of the work and got all of the rewards. ….Ahhhh childhood, why did you leave me? ….. Then adulthood somehow set in and suddenly Bob Rivers 12 Pains of Christmas was a much better reflection of our experience than the classic 12 Days of Christmas.  With the  parties to go to, schedules to juggle, finances to manage, and visits from our crazy in-laws it is no wonder many of us experience an increased need to partake in stress relieving activities.

Here are four ways to keep your stress and trips to the liquor cabinet at a minimum.

First, Manage Your Expectations

Expectations are the root of all evil, or at least, of stress. We feel stress when things don’t go the way we want them to go. We expect that there won’t be traffic and then we end up in a bumper to bumper traffic jam. We expect our souffle will rise but instead it implodes.  Stress occurs because what we thought was going to happen and our reality don’t match. To reduce stress you either have to 1. change your expectations or 2 change your reality. Expectations are easier to change especially when you lower your bar for success right on down to the floor. Yes, I know this is counter to all the self-help books you’ve read this year but seriously, lower your expectations to meet your reality and it will seriously reduce the stress you feel. This will also allow you to be present in that moment.

 

2. Keep Your Focus on the Spirit

The holidays are a time of great coming together for many cultures. It is a time we truly celebrate what matters to us before beginning the new year. What truly matters to most people is being able to spend time with family and friends, unless you are a kid, in which case it is all about Santa and the gifts. Adults don’t care if the brownies are Little Debbies and the chicken is overcooked; they just want to hang out. When you feel yourself getting stressed, take a step back and ask ‘What is really important here?’ and focus on that one thing with the power of a laser beam and let everything else go.

 

3. Schedule Time Alone to Organize

The holidays involve a bunch of moving parts and people. There are events, concerts, meals to plan, last minute gifts to buy, dogs to leave at the kennel, etc…  Set aside one or two hours – yes hours – get yourself all comfy and cozy, pour yourself a glass of wine and write it all down. If you are a mom, you may need to lock yourself in the bathroom because that maybe the only private space in your house. What dishes do you need to have prepared? What presents are left to be bought? Who is visiting and when are they leaving? Doing this allows you to mentally preview and prepare everything. Is it all going to go the way you plan? Absolutely not, which is why we started with managing expectations first. However, if you do this, you’ve just increased the odds of things happening smoothly in your favor.

 

4. Communicate Plans and Expectations Early and Often

Jesus brought 12 people on board to help him and you should ask for help too. The holidays are busy and we all have a limited amount of RAM space. People, especially those closest to you, forget things. Use Google Calendar or some other device to track events and lists. Tell people specifically what you want from them for instance: “Kids I want you to set the table and sit down with us for dinner. After we are done you are free to go outside and play with your toys.” “Honey, please make sure everyone has drinks while they are here.” “Sam please make sure the dog is in the backroom when Grandma arrives.” This is akin to the warnings you gave your children when it was time to leave the park. Remember those? “Haley, we will leave in 5 minutes.” This is the same concept. Clear directions with many reminders helps set expectations. If those expectations and your reality meet you now have no stress and every reason to be merry.

 

The bottom line: be joyful, be merry and be bright. If you are happy, the people around you will be too.

 

White People Step Up

http://www.sevenof.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/hugkids.jpg

Our wonderful nation has a racial crisis that cannot continue. The root of the problem is/was slavery.

Because white people caused the crisis, I’m of the opinion that we should be working the hardest to fix it. I realize no one alive today had anything to do with slavery and the chances are actually very small that our ancestors did either. Very few whites could afford to have slaves and, just because they could, doesn’t mean they did.

But that really doesn’t matter because slavery was only the beginning of a public and private/conscious and unconscious movement to marginalize and even villianize African-Americans. It is a dark spot in our collective consciousness that needs to brought out into the public spotlight so that we can get rid of it. Vet your own heart. We all have prejudices that run deep. The problem is not working to correct them.

The only way to get through this and heal is to create a new vision for ourselves and our nation. As a white person, be the first to reach out, say “hi” or offer a handshake. Be the first to create a relationship. Be the first to offer a peace branch.

Rites of Passage: Little Ms. Muffett vs. the Spider

In anthropology, a rite of passage is a time in our life’s journey when we gain a new standing in the community or move from one status to another. Each time we experience personal growth, it typically involves overcoming some type of real, imaginary or existential fear. Case in point – Little Miss Muffet. Personally, I think Little Miss Muffet would have had a very different world view if she had stood up to the spider rather than running away when it sat down beside her. All cultures have some rite of passage that occurs around puberty; in the US it is getting a driver’s license. Remember how much freedom that gave us? …“Hello, mall, I think I love you…”

In any rite of passage, we lose some of our powerlessness from childhood and gain new privileges and responsibilities associated with maturity – whether we want them or not. With each completed passage, we become more under our own control and move closer into the fullness of our adult power. Other common rites of passage include graduating, attaining our first job, marriage, bearing children, etc. In each of these passages, we gain more responsibility and move closer to owning our role as a positive creator in our society.

With the completion of each rite of passage we gain power over our actions, our careers, and our world. This framework of advancement is used by every medium from video games, to schools, to corporations. In video games we must go through many levels to win; in school each completed grade is its own rite of passage; in corporations we get promoted; and in life each rite of passage we complete leaves us more powerful and free to live the way we choose.

If you’ve ever wondered “is this all there is?” then you are not at the right level of life satisfaction and it is time for you to make a move. It is okay to feel this way at times because it is part of the process of letting you know you are ready to go. Just don’t settle. Settling for a life that does not bring out your best is like sleeping on a mattress with a pea underneath it. You, being the royalty that you are, will never be 100% comfortable because you are not living to your potential. This is easier said than done, of course, and can be especially daunting when you’ve climbed high into the wrong career field, such as becoming a lawyer only to find that your true love is organic beet farming. Yet to achieve permanent success you must be open to and embrace change, since change is the only constant in the world. Keep going until you feel you are expressing your gifts in the best way possible.

The best-fitting job is one in which you are fully invested personally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. It should stretch, push and grow you as a person. Because you are evolving, there is no “one” perfect job that will work for your entire lifetime. Most people have many different careers during their lifetime, and sometimes overachievers have two careers at once plus a hobby on the side.

The rites of passage we experience as adults are “gifts” – though sometimes they don’t feel like it – individually designed to help us live out our highest potential. They are deep, which means that anything we’ve buried will be unearthed. Because they happen internally, they often go undetected by the outer world.

Since no one can see us growing on the inside, there are none of the traditional public recognitions or ceremonies ,which is okay because you may not want people going “wow, way to quit stalking your married ex!” Yet self-recognition of our growth is paramount to permanently achieving success. Yes, we should be throwing ourselves parties and reward ourselves, even if it is only eating a candy bar. If we don’t notice when we’ve been successful on our journey, we won’t notice how amazing we are becoming. This is not good. We should be enjoying every moment of our accomplishment and success.

Most people spend much more time dwelling on their failures as opposed to celebrating their successes. This must stop. We are too fabulous for this behavior. To come into the fullness of our power we need to recognize when we are being awesome and, of course, we should also be recognizing when others are being awesome and throw them parties too. Parties for everyone!

5 Ways to Get Direction

I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I have one of those moments when I look at my life and literally say to myself, “where the heck am I going?” (Okay, I really say “where the hell am I going!?!” but I know not everyone appreciates a good curse word the way I do.) I say this in moments when I feel lost, like I’m not headed in a particular direction and at the same time, headed in every direction. That typically happens once a week.

When I don’t know where I am are going, I feel lost. I hate being lost. Personally, being lost feels to me like being unanchored, as if there is nothing to hold me steady against the wind and currents of life. I’ve been know to get blown off course easily as it is so this feeling is particularly unsettling. Having direction and goals is important for keeping my brain focused on desired outcomes.

I’m not alone in this, either. If not reined in and focused, our very smart brains can turn on any of us! They can become a very formidable enemy. Our brains can make us chase bright shiny objects into nowhere land, they can make us worry about useless stuff, and they force us – absolutely force us – to lose hours on Pinterest or SportsCenter. Hence the need for identifying where we are going.

Here are some things I’ve tried myself that you can add to your arsenal of tricks if you find yourself needing to provide direction:

1. Add value. Whether to a business, relationship, or to the greater world, we are all on this planet to add value. Write a life mission statement about the value you plan to be adding, such as “I am here to help people live healthier lives.” If you can’t think of what you want to add, then it is completely okay to steal from others as long as they had good values. Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, or George Bailey come to mind.

2. Create small, low-hanging goals. Once you know the value you wish to add, set up some easy goals to accomplish. Some of your goals can be related to adding value, and some can just be fillers that you have to do anyway. If you put them on the “To-Do” list, they are legit and you can cross them off to demonstrate your progress. For example, call Mary, go by dry cleaners, vacuum car, send in one business proposal, research subject.

3. Set a daily schedule. Busy people get more done. It is the truth, even though it is not in the Bible.

4. Join with like-minded individuals. Find people to support you and hold you accountable. Most likely these people are not your close-knit group of friends.

5. Take care of your body. Sometimes we feed the pit of our stomach when hunger is not the actual thing that is creating the craving.

We all feel lost from time to time, so if you are feeling this way you are normal. It will pass. But if it doesn’t, hire a career coach like myself or someone else to help get you on track.