Monday, March 19, 2012

Hello my lovelies........I'm going to be out of commission for a few days, but after the seminar that I attended this weekend, I feel SO inspired!  I cannot wait to share some of the little gems with you when I am back! :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Power of 'I AM'

Two very simple words, but the power that they wield in never ending.  Everyday, usually without even thinking, we say things like, I am an idiot, I am not feeling well, I am so tired, I am fat, I am not pretty enough, I am not good enough, I am always late, I am a bitch.  A lot of times we say these things jokingly, but our subconscious doesn't know the difference between joking or truth.  It just takes it as that's the way it is.  It is a known fact that the more you say something, especially out loud, the deeper it sinks into the subconscious mind.  So if we are always putting ourselves down in this way, it's no wonder why we feel the way we do sometimes.  Eventually, we start believing those words that maybe started as a joke and now they have become our reality.  The more we say it, the more we think it, the more we think that other people see us that way, the more it becomes our truth! It's a nasty merry-go-round!  We get really good at putting on a confident face when we are out in public, but in those quiet moments at home, when we can take that public mask off, that is usually when a lot of these thoughts make an appearance, as your guard is down. We mull over the day, revisiting events that occurred, and start the process of our mental/emotional beatings. Now granted this doesn't (I hope) happen on a daily basis, but we know that in any given week, we've had those moments.

I had a friend tell me about this exercise that is quite good.  Write down all the characteristics that you would like to be perceived as. Things like: courageous, intelligent, gorgeous, athletic, adventurous, an entrepreneur.  Once you have compiled  your list, now re-write it by placing the words 'I AM' in front of each characteristic. Now the first time you look at that list, you may think 'yeah right'. This is where the work comes in.  Place copies of that list in certain places of your home so that you will see it often. On the fridge door, on the bathroom mirror, on the inside of the front door, by your bed. Every time that you look at it, read off your list OUT LOUD and say them with conviction! The more you say them, the more you feel them, the deeper it sinks, the more you believe them, the more people see us that way, the more they become your reality!

These two simple words are the most powerful in the English language.  So let's use them to build ourselves up instead of tearing ourselves down. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How Do You Show Love?

I have had a lot of people ask me for advice in regards to relationships.  The first thing I say to them is read the book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman.
This book has now undergone many transformations. This one was written for married couples, but no matter what your situation is, you can use it. I got a great deal out of this book.  There are ones for dealing with teenagers, children, family members, singles and even a men's version.  All the principles are the same, no matter which loved one you are wanting to have a better relationship with. What it talks about is that there are 5 different ways (languages) that people use to communicate their love to the people in their lives.  The problem is, if the other person doesn't know or understand your language they will not translate your actions as meaning love and this is where problems can occur in a relationship. The five languages are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service and Physical Touch. Most people have a predominant one, but you can be bilingual. In the book there is a series of questions that helps you discover which one is your language.  You can do a very simplified check here without reading the book.  It's easy to figure out one's own language, you just have to ask yourself what it is that you love doing for the people that you care about. Are you always trying to lift them up by using your words, do you love buying them gifts, do you love doing things for them, or is it all about spending time with them or are you always finding ways/reasons to hug and touch them?  Whatever way you show love to another person is also HOW you receive it.  It's kind of like a 'do unto other as you would have them do unto you' type of principle. Now the trick is to find out what language the people in your life speak. Now you could just straight up ask them, what is it that I do that makes you feel loved? If that would be uncomfortable, then it will take some time of really watching their reactions to things you do and say. If they have a strong, noticeable reaction, you've hit on the language.  Do they get REALLY upset when you criticize them? Their language could be words of affirmation.  Are they always complaining that you never clean up after yourself or do anything around the house? Their language could be acts of service. Are they always asking you to go for a walk, go to an event with them, or just sit and talk? Their language could be quality time. These are just some things to look for.

Now, some of you may think, why is this so important?  I show my loved ones that I love them all the time! Maybe you do, but do they receive it? If they don't receive it, it's like it doesn't exist. One of the tricks of a lasting relationship is making sure that the love meter stays full, when it starts to get low, that is where things start to get difficult and start to unravel.  I got turned onto this book right after I got divorced.  After reading it, I could pinpoint exactly when things in that relationship started to go south. For many years he spoke my language, but as the years went on, that stopped and I started to feel very unloved which caused me to detach.  At that point I didn't know how to tell him what was missing, I just knew something was.  Near the end, he tried many different ways, but unfortunately, none of them were my language, so it made absolutely no difference. I also had no idea what his language was. I believe there is a reason that I didn't discover this book until after the divorce, I wasn't meant to save that relationship, but I sure learned a lot from it!! When the time comes that I am blessed with a new relationship, I certainly know what to do differently and what to work on!

So figure out your language, let your love ones know how they can show you love (as they are NOT mind readers) and learn what theirs is.  This along with open communication will lead you to a successful relationship.  I won't say that there won't be bumps along the road, any relationship is hard work, but if you have a strong foundation in these two areas, those bumps will be short lived. Happy Loving!! <3

Monday, March 12, 2012

How Successful Were You Today?

You have 60 seconds, set your timer or watch the clock.........list all the things out loud that you have done in your life that have made you proud or you consider a success...GO! thinking about it, just say the first things that come to mind..........BEEP! Times up!  Could you do it, or did you stumble a bit and find it hard and a bit stressful to think of things that quickly? The first time I did this exercise, I found it VERY painful!  Sure, the first thing I mentioned was graduating from university TWICE.....but after that, I fumbled, I felt stressed trying to think of something that I thought was 'worthy' of saying. If you also felt that way, it's normal and I'll tell you why.

Our brains are hardwired to look for FAILURE! The reason it does this is because of a built in mechanism that we have for it to try to keep us safe.  Now that was all fine and dandy when I was a toddler and I wanted to touch that hot pan on the stove or when I just had to pull the dogs tail just one more time. At that age we were learning and processing how the world works.  As an adult, I know a little better now, and don't really need that type of safety concerns are a tad different and that is where my gut/intuition kicks in.  Our brains don't know the difference.  It will remember an event that caused you pain, whether physical or emotional, and when a similar event is presented to you, it will tell you what ever it has to, to try and convince you NOT to do down that road again.

Ever had a job that you really wanted to go after, or saw that handsome man/gorgeous woman across the room that you really wanted to talk to, or wanted to say something in a meeting, but just couldn't?  What went on in your head when you were presented with these? The majority of us, whether we want to admit it or not, had this negative reel going on in our heads with the likes of, "you can't do that", "you're not smart enough", "you're not pretty enough", "you're not good enough", "you're worthless", "no one wants to hear what you have to say", "people are going to laugh at you". 9 times out of 10, we most likely will listen to that reel because it just seems SO loud!! So we figure that it MUST be right.  Well you know what?  IT'S NOT!!!  It's ALL lies!!  It's your brains self preservation mechanism to keep you within your comfort zone because that is a safe place.  The unfortunate thing is, that is also the place where NO growth happens.

There is a theory that 80% of who we are is hard wired by the the time we are 8 years old. 8 YEARS OLD!!! Wow, when you sit back and think of that, that is astonishing.  If some sort of traumatic or emotional event occurs during that time period (and for an 8 year old it doesn't have to be a big event), this will forever hardwire your response in similar situations.  There is an area of my life that I have been struggling with for a long time, and I have had more than my fair share of that negative reel rolling on and on in my head.  When I started to look back to where it all started, I can pinpoint the exact event that did in fact occur when I was 8, and I can perfectly see how it has clouded and manipulated me when ever a similar situation came up, and that pissed me off!  When I think now of all the possible experiences that I missed out on because of it, it's shocking.  Now that I am aware of it, at least now I can fight it. Awareness does not guarantee that negative reel will go away, it may even become louder, but now  you know the root of why it's there and you recognize that what it is saying is lies, and you can over come it. When you start hearing "you're not good enough", you turn around and say, "YES I AM!" You counteract it with the TRUTH! It may be uncomfortable to do this, because we are so use to being 'our own worst enemies', tearing our selves down, using self deprecating humour, but we need to become our own biggest cheerleaders!

Something that a group of us have started is having a SUCCESS JOURNAL where each and EVERY day we write 5 successes that we have had in there.  I know what you're thinking, as I thought it too! 5 SUCCESSES? How in the world am I going to have 5 things that are going to be considered a success each day?  This is where we start comparing our selves to other people and that negative reel kicks in with, "that's not a success" or "your success won't be as good as so and so's success".  Again, toss that way of thinking out.  Any single thing that you accomplished each day is a success.  "I made an awesome dinner tonight" YEAH, "I finished all my homework" WHOO HOO, "I lost 0.5 of a pound" AWESOME, "I didn't choke my annoying little brother today" WAY TO GO!. Remember these are YOUR successes, not any one else's. There is no comparing.  Yes your successes may not mean anything to any one else, but who cares? It meant something to you, and that is all that matters. By doing this you are exercising that wonderful muscle called our brain and we are re-training it to search out success. It will be tough to start, but as your brain gets used to looking for success instead of failure, it will become easier. Success also breeds success, in that you will subconsciously be thinking all day, I need 5 successes, that in turn will push you to have more successes. Then each day you can answer that question that I posed to you today's title. When we feel successful, we can not help but feel happy.

So get out those pom poms and start cheering yourself on!! Let's start focusing on all the amazing things that we do each and every day and celebrate them!!! You ARE worth it because you ARE amazing!!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Respect Yourself!!!

In December I went to a seminar series that promised that I would learn a lot about myself.........well that was an understatement!! I went into that seminar with the intention of learning how to have better relationships with the people in my life.  Throughout the course of that weekend I came to a realization that the one person that I should have the BEST relationship with, in actuality I had the WORST!  That person was ME!

Now I have had people ask me, how am I suppose to have a relationship with myself?  Well, to me it has 3 heavily intertwined components.

1. Your Word:  I don't know about you, but I am the kind of person that when I give my word to someone, I keep it, as I would never want to let anyone down.  But when it comes to me,  when I say I am going to do something for myself, when I don't do it I use the excuse, "oh well, it didn't really matter" or "I'll get to that tomorrow". WHAT? REALLY?  Why would I let myself down, when I wouldn't even think of doing that to another person?  This one is harder than it may look, especially for a master procrastinator like myself.  It's a product of not having ourselves anywhere on our priority list. When you say that you are going to do something for yourself.............DO IT!!!

2. Integrity: Living a life of Integrity is not easy, as I find it comes with an emotional component.  We all have our own personal belief systems or moral codes.  When we go against that, we are not living a life of integrity. We all know when we are doing something that just doesn't feel right, we get that gut feeling or that little voice in our head trying to warn us.  More times that not, we ignore that. We do that, in my opinion, to avoid being judged by other people, we don't want to look stupid, "what will people think if I don't go along with this" can be peer pressure. As adults, we are not immune to this. This one, I find, can come at a cost.  A few months ago, I had to make a decision that ended up costing me a friendship that meant a LOT of me.  Since then, there has been many times of second guessing myself, wanting to reverse that decision, but I know if I hadn't of stood up for what I believed in, it eventually would have eroded that relationship anyways, as it would have always been a wedge between us.  It tore my heart out to make that decision, but I knew I couldn't live a life of integrity otherwise. Listen to your gut/inner is there for a reason!!

3. Respect: As children we are taught to respect our elders, respect the environment, respect other peoples property.  We are told to have self respect, but no one really says what that actually means or how to do it.  It's like we are just suppose to know.  Well, we DON'T! So, how do we do it?  If you do the first two thing that I have already mentioned, you are respecting yourself.  It can also be in doing the little things that you don't really think about that make you feel good.  For me, it's keeping my home clean and tidy, as clutter stresses me out.  It's making sure I wash my makeup off each and every night before bed, and lately, I have chosen to treat my body way better by changing over most of the things that I put into or on my body to organic.  I am making the change slowly, but eventually it will be the majority.  In my opinion, the massive increase of disease, mental disorders, obesity and children being diagnosed with ADHD all have to do with the massive amount of artificial crap that we are putting in and on our bodies.  Our bodies were not designed to deal with that kind of stuff. Now what ever way you choose to respect yourself, that is your own personal choice, it should NOT be based on what you think other people will think.  It should be something that makes you happy, makes you feel good, and something that means something to you.

Start making the relationship with yourself a priority and I believe that all your other relationships will benefit!

So, my question for you this weekend..........what are you going to do to show yourself some RESPECT??

Friday, March 9, 2012

What are you grateful for today?

People that are the closest to me know that Dec 28/10 changed my life forever.  That was the day that a fire started in the condo above me that caused the destruction of my home. As one can imagine, I was hit pretty hard by this.  It wasn't so much the 'stuff' that I lost, as I knew that insurance would replace that, it was the loss of what my home represented to me.  It was my safety, my security, my serenity.  It was my symbol of moving on after my divorce, doing it on my own, not having to depend on anyone......and now that was all gone.  Needless to say, I went to a dark place, consumed with grief, feeling like I was all alone just drifting in the wind.  Looking back on that time, I did a pretty damn good job of playing a victim! Spending hours upon hours of crying and asking God, "why me?", "what did I do to deserve this?".  I cannot say when or for what reason last year my thinking began to shift. Instead of asking why, I started asking "what lesson was I suppose to learn from this?". It all started to become VERY clear that this event was meant to give me a slap upside my head to start taking a long hard look at how I was living my life.  Now, I wasn't living a 'bad' life, the point was that I actually wasn't LIVING.  Little by little, I had allowed people and events to affect me to the point that I had just tuned out, I was just getting through the day, trying to survive life.  I was wanting more out of life, but wasn't willing to do anything about it. I was just numb.

Life isn't meant to be SURVIVED, it is meant to be LIVED!!  I realized that as much as I wanted more in my  life, I wasn't grateful for what I already had. I had been taken for granted all that I have done and achieved in my life. I was spending so much time thinking about what I wanted in the future, that I had forgotten to live in the moment. Once I realized that, I realized how much I have missed out on.  In the process of getting ready to move back home, I took the opportunity to REALLY look at the items that were lost.  The things that were the most precious to me (my cats and my photo albums) were unharmed, the things that were lost were mostly pieces of furniture that I had while I was married.  When I realized this, I started to laugh. I never really liked those items, and every time I looked at them, they reminded me of something that I had lost.  So, this was an opportunity to re-invent myself.  I completely changed the style of my home.  Even though the blueprint of my home is the same, the walls have been repainted the same colour that they were before, it looks completely different.  As I sit here writing this, I can barely even remember how it looked before, even though it looked that way for YEARS!  Now, every day when I wake up and wander out into the living room, I feel SO much gratitude for my home and every single thing that is in it.

But this is a two part story.  What about the safety, security and serenity that I had lost?  I am back living in the same place, the man whose negligence that started the fire still lives above me. I have been asked many times, how can I move back there? Will I ever feel safe again living there? It wasn't until I was having a conversation about a week ago with a lady that I have sort of known for a while, but just recently we have been spending time really getting to know each other, that it all became clear. I am SO grateful for her. In telling her my story, she said that going through all this I had learned that my safety, security and serenity was actually contained within myself.  I didn't need to look for it in stuff around me. The light bulb went off! We as a society are always looking to other people or to 'stuff' to fill a void or need that is missing in our lives.  What we need to realize is that every thing that we need is already contained within us, but is mostly likely buried under our life's events or emotional baggage.  We look to the outward world for ways to soothe our hurts, rather than spending time looking inwards to figure out what the root of those hurts are. We do that because it's easier, we just want the hurt to end, but by avoiding dealing with it and meeting it head on, we do nothing but stuff it deeper, where it quietly festers and controls our actions and feelings, whether we realize it or not. So, my friend was going through all this, I have learned how strong I really am, that life could throw just about anything at me now, and I could deal with it. I KNOW that I can depend on myself for my own safety and security and now have a sense of inner serenity that I have never had before.  So to answer the questions above, yes, I DO feel safe and secure living here, but I also know that I could go any where and feel the same, because all those things reside within me now and go with me every where I go!

Look around you. How would you feel if everything that surrounds you was suddenly all taken away?  How would you respond? What fears or anxieties would surface? What is the root of those fears and anxieties? What is it that you have felt is missing in your life, that you have been looking to the outward world to soothe or fill?  Find it within yourself to spend some time looking inwardly.  It is there that you will see that  you already have everything, you just need to cultivate it and allow it to grow! Everyday think about what you have in your life that you are grateful for, and actually say thank you for it.  If we started every day with gratitude, how could we not be happy!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The other day I woke up with this thought in my head....'cultivate your garden, cultivate your soul'......being barely awake, I was like......OK, where the heck did that come from?  So, I took it literally as I had been thinking about getting out on my deck and cleaning up all my plants as Spring is just around the corner.  So, I spent the morning getting that done, and as good as it felt to knock one thing off my ever growing To-Do list, I just, ok......but just left it at that.  As the days went by, the thought stuck with me and then I started thinking about it, a little more 'out of the box'.  We plant seeds everyday in the form of the words that we say and the thoughts that we think. Those seeds can be both positive and negative....they can take root and grow and can change the course of our day and if left to cultivate, our lives.  When we have a day where we are saying nice things and thinking happy thoughts, our mood and behaviour reflects it.  The problem is when the 'Negative Nelly' takes a spot on our shoulder and starts planting those negative seeds, we become grouchy, we say not so nice things to the people around us and our thoughts are generally grim.

Have you ever been having a pretty good day and then you meet up with one of your friends and they are in one of their 'moods' and after they go away, you now reflect their mood?  We don't only have to worry about the seeds that we sow, we have to worry about the seeds that the people that we spend time with sow as well!!   And those negative seeds seem to take root and grow faster than anything and trying to get rid of them is not so easy. They are definitely the WEEDS of our mind and soul.

I am the only one that has control over my thoughts and words.  No one else can think or say them for me. I have the final say as to what they are going to be.  In thinking about this, it made me more aware of what I am saying and what I am thinking.  Am I going to brighten someones day with my words and behaviour or am I going to darken theirs, so that they match mine?  I think if we took more control over and were more aware of our thoughts and words, just by that one action we would make this planet a nicer place to live.   We get stuck in our own little worlds, not thinking or caring about how our actions/words can effect the people that we encounter each day. Whether we like it or not, we are all connected in some way and we all have to share what space we have left on this planet.

Don't get me wrong, I am going to have bad days when it seems like everything is going wrong, but how I react to it, is what is important,  I can CHOOSE to be victim to those negative thoughts and words, or I can recognize them for what they are, acknowledge them and then move on and CHOOSE to replace them with positive words and thoughts.  This isn't easy and it takes lots and lots of practice, but in time you will notice that  as you train that wonderful muscle that is your brain, you will become a lot quicker at being able to flip the switch from dark to light.

So, my question to you each and every day is.........What seeds are you going to plant today?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Life is a RISK and I choose to chance it!! 

I have had the thought for quite a while now that I wanted to start a blog, but I didn't know about what.  This past year has been the hardest of my life.  I felt like I hit bottom, as I had the most precious thing taken away from safety, security, and serenity.  It took me a while to claw my way out of the darkness that enveloped me, and I decided to choose HAPPY.  I wanted to live POSITIVELY, but I found it to be quite hard to do all on my own. One by one, opportunities were dropped in my lap and thankfully I was brave enough to grasp onto them. In the process I learned WAY more than I ever thought I would about myself, and figured out that I had a LOT of work to do, to have the life that I wanted, that I knew I deserved!  I know it won't all happen at once, it takes work, and LOTS of practice.  It finally hit me, that THIS is what my blog was to be about, as I know that I am not the only person out there that is looking for some sort of direction, that is unhappy with the way things are, and  I am willing to do whatever it takes to make CHANGE!

This blog is a RISK for me.  I am sharing my experiences, my struggles, my innermost thoughts and feelings with whomever chooses to stop by.  Maybe some of what I write about will speak to you, maybe it won't, but opening one's mind to new thoughts and ideas is NEVER a bad idea! It's all a process of GROWTH!

This blog is still under construction, and is not ready to be *active* yet, but SOON!  I just have to figure out how all this stuff works! :)