Who Am I? Is There Any Hope?

Who am I? What do I want? What is my purpose? Wow, these are some big questions. However, if you don’t start asking them, how will you get where you want to be? How can you become the active director of your life if you don’t start asking these questions? Would you prefer to just be reactive in life, allowing life to control you? Or do you want to play a more active role? Asking yourself who you are in order to learn about yourself is essential. How can you create what you want if you do not know what you are building upon?
Your purpose is distinctive to you. Each one of us is created uniquely with special gifts and talents. There is no one quite like you. Your purpose and what will help you feel most fulfilled is distinctively yours, so you have your own individual script for your life. Isn’t that exciting!
Your purpose is your why. Each person’s why is different. You don’t have to be just like this person or that person. You just need to learn more about your own creative self and start blooming.
Learning about yourself is extremely important because everything in your life starts with you. You are the beginning of your journey. Wherever you are on that journey, you can still make changes. If you’re fifty and feel there is no hope, you’re wrong. There is always hope. Better to improve how you feel now even if you can’t change the past.
Is it true that anyone can change his or her life? Absolutely yes! The sure way to fail is to not even try. No matter how many failed relationships you have had or how many times you have been let down in one way or another, you can take back the power in your life.
I have worked with clients with many, many different stores: some with severe trauma in their histories, some with fairly good home lives growing up. There is no limit as to who can change and grow. Each person’s journey is different, and the various blocks that have gotten in your way are specific to you and the many experiences that have occurred in your history. A lot of us have let the negative aspects of our history dictate our present. Well, no more. It is time to take charge and stop the negative beliefs and feelings that get in our way.

Try Acceptance For A Week!

Today I have been thinking about the concept of acceptance. The thought of us as a community, as a people, as humans becoming more conscious of being more accepting of both self and others. I do a lot of work with clients on the aspect of being more self-accepting and it is often very sad as I observe how so many people I know both personally and professionally are their own worst critic. And from my view point usually that critic voice is learned very young. So I understand that it is often hard to be accepting of others when we have such a hard time accepting ourselves.

From my experience there is plenty of judgment in the world. Imagine what it might be like if each of us could practice being a little more accepting; accepting of people who are different from us. Maybe the person looks different from us, comes from different background or possible believes differently than us, whether it be religiously or politically. Imagine what it might be like if we practiced learning how to be more accepting of people who are dissimilar from us.

I wonder what makes it hard for so many to accept that others may feel strongly in an opposite direction of what one believes. And wouldn’t it be something if we could allow that person to have their belief even if it is starkly different from our own. I wonder how we would feel inside if we were to practice being more accepting of others. It seems to me that being judgmental appears to be easier for most. Finding the differences between ourselves and others seems to be easier than noticing the similarities. Being defensive with another who believes or feels differently than us seems to be much more instinctual. And I believe being defensive is based on instinct, however, I also believe that each of us can learn to respond non-defensively.

There really is plenty of judgment in the world. I don’t think you have to worry about not being judged, because judgment is just outside your door. And wouldn’t it be nice if each of us felt more accepted amongst our peer group and in general. My encouragement today, this Monday, is to think over your circumstances currently, to be more mindful of your actions with others. To become aware of ways you can practice being more accepting of people who may be different than you in one way shape or form. To be mindful of keeping your opinion to yourself and just allowing the other person to be, without trying to change their viewpoint or trying to convince him or her to feel differently. I encourage you to practice this during the week even though it may be hard. Then, observe what it feels like to be more accepting. Try out this concept of being accepting. I have a sneaky suspicion that not only will it benefit the other, but that it will benefit you too.

What Do Your Investments Say About You?

What types of investments have you made in your life? Do you own your own home? Think of all the time and money that you have put into making your home the type of environment in which you want to abide. Maybe you devote a large amount of money in stocks, real estate, and other profit-producing endeavors. I imagine these take a good amount of your energies to ensure you are making the best investment for your money. Or maybe you invest great energy, time, and money into your career. How about your health? I know many individuals that spend long hours at health clubs and pay personal trainers a lot of money to help them stay fit. In fact, many sports cost a significant amount of money to participate in, even at an average level of performance. For instance, golf. Not only do you have to buy all the equipment and accessories, you usually have to take lessons, take time to play, and, of course, the more you learn, the better equipment you need. (At least that is what my husband says!)
I encourage you to take a moment and think of all the different endeavors that you invest your time, energy, and money. What do you notice about the areas in which you are making investments? What do they say about you? Are they in alignment with your values and goals? Are you happy with where you are putting your time and energy (and maybe your money)? How many of these investments are about you and what you need in order to be more fulfilled in your life? While some or all the areas you invest in may have a positive impact on you, one must ask, are you focusing on yourself enough? Are you making regular investments in yourself and your needs? If you don’t put the energy, time, and maybe money into becoming who you want to be, then who will? You matter and you deserve your attention.

Stop Letting Your Feelings Run Your Life!

“He makes me so angry.” “She made me feel so sad.” I imagine we have all used statements like these at some point in our lives. There is a really good quote, which I often don’t like to hear. It goes like this: “No one can make you feel anything without your permission.” Well, I am not always open to that statement. The concept that we each are responsible for our own reactions and feelings is sometimes difficult to accept. It can seem that the other person or situation made us feel what we are feeling. However, we do have the ability to take responsibility for whatever reaction or feeling we are having. When we do this, it will allow us to feel more in control. Feelings are just feelings after all!
If only each of us understood that statement, “Feelings are just feelings.” Meaning, our feelings don’t have to control and rule us. A great tool I share with clients to help put feelings into perspective is the concept that we each have what I will call three doors that we can walk through: Feelings – Thoughts – Behaviors.
Often individuals will let their feelings run the show. If one has positive feelings, then that is usually great. When you have good feelings, it is much easier to have thoughts that are good, which tends to lead to productive behaviors. However, when your feelings are more negative or pessimistic, they are not your best guide. Sometimes feelings produce thoughts that produce behaviors. Other times your thoughts produce feelings that produce certain behaviors. You have options. You do not always have to let the feeling door be your guide. When your feelings are more negative, you can rely on positive thoughts or productive behaviors to guide your day. Doing this will often help you to achieve an improved mood.
In becoming more of the active director in your life, you have access to using any of these doors. If I only did what I felt like doing, I may not do much. So when my alarm goes off, I get out of bed and start my morning ritual. I slowly begin to have good thoughts, and usually I end up with positive emotions. When my emotions are not so good, I use my tools and choose a different door, such as my thoughts, to be my guide. This conscious decision helps me then to choose more proactive behaviors. (Sometimes it takes more work than other times to actively direct one’s life.) So remember, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all available to you. You are not limited to just one dominating.

Loss Turned Into A Reminder Of Gratitude

This week our family suffered an unexpected loss of a loved one. In the process of this crisis, while watching this love one slowly die, I was reminded once again of the fragility of life and the importance of not taking any day for granted. I am reminded of how easy it is to fall into this negative pattern. How easy it is to take the people in our lives for granted. How easy it is to complain and notice all that one doesn’t have rather than noticing all that one does have.
It seems so easy this day and age to focus on the negative, on the “wants” and the “have not’s”. Sadly, it often takes a crisis of this magnitude to help one focus on what one has and all the good in one’s life and the needs that are already being meant. I share this with you today hoping that you will be reminded of all that you do have in your life. Of the wonderful special qualities you have within yourself. That you can honor these qualities, embrace them and share them. I also hope that you can remember and maybe even thank the people in your life that are available to you in positive, supportive, nurturing ways. I am reminded of the importance of expressing gratitude to others for what they do and for what they mean in one’s life.
So my hope this Monday morning is to fill you with the sense and knowledge of all the good you do have. And if you are going through a particularly challenging time right now I encourage you to reach out to the ones you know will be uplifting, understanding, supportive and encouraging.
It would be a wonderful blessing to each of us if this was more of a pattern for all of us; to be more aware of gratitude. Also, that it wouldn’t take a loss to remind us of how short life is and that we could remember the importance of living each day to its fullest. How nice it would be if we each chose to live more in abundance. May you enjoy the blessings your life is currently bringing you and anticipate the many blessings yet to come in your life.