Don’t Succumb To The Darkness!

Beacon of Light
It seems so many people are feeling dissatisfied in their lives. We hear it daily on the many newscasts about individuals making so many negative choices: from dishonesty, to addictions, to murders, to suicides etc. More so, we hear it closer to home, such as in our neighborhoods, workplaces and in our social situations. And, many of you reading this are struggling with general dissatisfaction and discouragement.

When we feel this way we tend to make decisions that hurt us in one way or another. What can we do to feel more satisfied and in control of our lives? Well, for starters, since we cannot control all the external events that occur, let’s start with an aspect we can do something about: ourselves! This is one area you DO have the power to effect positive change!

One area you can have an influence on is your thoughts and attitudes. Be mindful about not allowing yourself to get swallowed up by others negative attitudes. Guard the attitudes you have that serve your good; attitudes that are more focused on positive truths than negative truths. Even during difficult times you have a choice as to how to view the situation.

Same is true for your thoughts. Your thoughts have so much power over your feelings and behaviors that it is critical to stay aware of them. Certainly it is okay to acknowledge the bad event that has occurred and to speak whatever your truth is about it. Then I encourage you to be mindful of your thoughts in general. Remind yourself of the good people you have in your life today and the many good things you have done for others and they have done for you. Put the bad in perspective with the whole. Allowing dark thoughts to overshadow the light will only let the negative win.

Your reactions and behaviors are also critical to overcoming the negative that does occur. When something bad happens whether it be globally; to people you know; or even closer to home, your reactions and behaviors can help counter the bad by bringing in the good. If a violent act has occurred in the world you can teach and model peace and cooperation. Do the opposite. If someone you know has suffered a loss or is experiencing a painful event, be an encouragement. Visit them, bring them a meal, clean their house, do their yard, whatever you can do to show kindness. Remember, only light overcomes darkness. Be part of the light.

As long as humankind has existed bad things have occurred on all levels. Yet, humans have a way of overcoming. Choose to be part of the healing, not part of the divisiveness. Being an encouragement and a source of hope to a few is a wonderful gift to give. Never minimize what your light can do to those who need it. When you bless others you also are blessed.

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What Is A True Friend?

friendship blog 2
Friendships are a priceless gift that life grants us. For those of you who are fortunate enough to have a handful of good friends, you are truly blessed. A good friend is meant to bolster you; to encourage you to be your best self. A true friend is not intimated by your grand nature. I true friend only wants and strives for your ultimate good. A genuine friend sees your short comings and encourages you through them instead of just pointing out what is defective in you. That friend knows your good intentions and lovingly helps you to grow into your best self. Your life is better for having this person in it.

With a good friend you work through difficult times together; not abandoning the other because times are tough. A true friend is one of your anchors in life that help to calm you when the water’s waves are tumultuous. This friend aids you in claiming yourself in this universe. If you have several friends like this thank them today. If your friendships don’t give you these gifts then maybe you need to consider them more of an acquaintance rather than someone to really bear your soul to. Being the active director of your life requires that you be able to judge which friendships encourage you and which are more of a burden.

I emplore you to be picky about the ones you call your close friends. Your friendships ‘mirror’ you! They are a reflection of who you are. What do your friendships say about you? Be discriminative with the ones you allow to be in your close circle as it is your responsibility to yourself to surround yourself with those that have your best interest at heart. Trust your intuition about your relationships; it is usually correct.

Moreover, what kind of friend are you? Do you display these qualities to the ones you call friend? Receiving this support merits giving this support. What a wonderful experience it would be to both give and receive this with another; true friends indeed!

Savor The Moment!

Thoughtful1
There are many stages in life that each of us goes through and lessons we are meant to learn during those times. And at this point in my life I am reflecting on some of where I have been and some about where I am. As my dear children are now teenagers (which I am still in disbelief) it brings me to reflect on the past, and a part of me wonders if I really enjoyed those earlier times when they were younger; if I savored them enough.

When you’re the mother of young children you are the center of their universe; the apple of their eye. There is no greater love to me than when those boys would run up to greet me because they were so excited for me to arrive. I read a quote recently that said something to the effect of “Every parent of a teenager must own a dog so that when they come home someone will be glad to see them.” I just thought that was great. And that is how my life is different now.

Although I know my boys love me it’s not as cool to be around mom; they don’t talk as much; and I definitely am not the center of their universe. They are growing up and things are changing. This really does cause me to reflect on how quick time goes by. And during the younger years my husband and I were so busy; as I know most of you are. We certainly spend much time with our kids. However, there are times that I want to go back and go through those days more slowly, now that I know what I know.

And this is the message I want to share with you today; whether it be with your children or other loved ones in your life today; to savor the moment, to go more slowly and enjoy the moment. To try and focus on the person you are with when you are together. To not allow the many demands of life to take this from you, as time will continue on and I don’t want you to miss the joy and experience of that time with your special loved one.

There is so much wisdom that does come with age, if we choose to learn the lessons needed. And this would be a piece of wisdom I would want to pass along; wisdom that is well known and many books written about it; embracing the moment. Being completely and utterly engrossed in the experience of the moment you are presently in.

It is so easy to be distracted by the multiply demands that today’s life brings. And while we do have to pay attention to the necessities of life don’t do it at the sacrifice of your most important relationships. These people are more important in the long run than any worldly rewards or possessions. Cherish the moment!

How Could I Be That Selfish?

selfish blog
What do you think it is that makes it so hard for many of you to put your own self-care first? Is it selfish to think of your needs? If you struggle with this I encourage you think about what it is for you that makes this idea difficult or uncomfortable. It may be that you were taught this verbally or non-verbally by your caretakers. Or it may also originate from cultural or religious learnings. Whatever has influenced you to believe it is “bad”, or “selfish” to think of yourself and your needs usually is learned young and has significant power over you; sometimes even at a subconscious level.

I often use the analogy that we have an unconscious rule-book we are living by. If you don’t become aware of some of these rules that may be hurting you then you will continue to struggle. I invite you to think of some of the rules you may have learned about thinking about yourself and your needs. Write as many down as you can come up with. Here are some examples:

It is wrong to put myself first
It is more important to help others
Others feelings are more important than my own
My needs aren’t important
Good girls are never selfish

Hopefully you were able to personalize your list of rules that are influencing you. Each person’s may be very unique or if we compared them we may find similarities. Once you have listed 6-8 rules then I invite you to evaluate how you can correct these so the new message will be more helpful to you. For example, “It is wrong to put myself first,” might be corrected to “It is important that I put myself first sometimes.” Or, “Taking care of myself is just as important as helping others.” You can chance any messages that aren’t serving your best interest.

This can be done with any of our rules about any topic, but for today I am focusing on the topic of self-care because I find so many of the client’s I work with have great trouble with this. They come to me depressed, drained and often with physical health issue all because they have not learned how to take care of their emotional selves. You are all grown up now and no one else is going to do this for you! I vote that you learn more about how to give yourself permission to take care of your needs.

Does Your Life Reflect What You Value Most?

values
As you go through your day today I encourage you to ask yourself, “Does this day reflect what I value most?” Values are important because living in harmony with them brings fulfillment and contentment. If you are not aware of what you value most, then how will you have a harmonious life? When you are out of harmony with your values, you will be unhappy and unfulfilled. I am sure many of us would like to just not work or not have to worry about money and then we will be happy. I am not talking about living unrealistically. I am talking about becoming your own director in your life instead of feelings as if you have no power. Knowing how you really feel and what matters to you most is the first step in empowering yourself.

Living in a way that reflects one’s values is not just about what you do, it is also about how you do things. For instance, my life is very hectic. Between working full-time, managing my own business, and raising two very active boys-along with fitting in working out, my husband, chores, etc.-life can be challenging. However, how I do all these activities needs to reflect my core values.

Identifying your values is one of the first steps to writing your own script in life. You will have fewer regrets in life if you start focusing and taking responsibility for where you are and where you want to be. You will be your best self when you take time to understand what you really need, feel, and want. You are the only one who can do that.

So as you go through your day and your week, take time to pause and ask yourself, “Am I behaving and living in a way that honors what I value?” The more often your answer is yes, the more content you will be.