Feb 8 ♥ Boundaries: You Need to Know What You’ll Put Up With

Personal boundaries are vital and an important part of our self-care because they clarify how we will let others treat us. Boundaries allow us to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior from others. It’s a way for us to maintain self-respect and demand respect in return.

So often we say, “Yes” when we mean “No”, we let people walk all over us and our needs or we don’t stand up for ourselves. Maybe we sacrifice our time, energy and resources to help others, while ignoring our own lives and priorities. We become too compliant, afraid that others won’t like us unless we give in.

And all of this leaves us resentful, emotionally drained, exhausted and feeling crazy.

Fact: setting boundaries is not about trying to control other people. It’s about drawing a line on what you will and will not allow into your life. It’s about standing your ground and recognizing that your needs are important. It’s about demanding respect from others.

And, yes, some people may fall away as a result but you will have gained self-reliance, self-confidence and trust in yourself. Priceless gifts!

 

Now It’s Your Turn

When have you said, “YES” when you really meant, “NO”? Why did you make that choice? What were you afraid would happen if you had spoken your mind? What personal boundary could you create to prevent this in the future?

Jan 25 ♥ 4 Ways to Kiss “Should” Goodbye

Should. Appears to be an innocent enough word. How many times a day do you use this word?

On the surface it means recommendation, advisability, obligation, expectation. But it also has an implicit definition: the “should” comes from someone else’s point of view, not yours. How many times have you done something based on what other people expect?

As in, “You should clean the house.” “You should dress in brighter colors.” “You should bake cookies, not buy them.” “You should lose weight.” Or the reverse. “You shouldn’t try for that more advanced job.” “You shouldn’t expect to be happy in your life.” “You shouldn’t take risks because of <fill in the blank>.”

Should. It’s a powerful, judgmental voice. It implies that you don’t have your own answers. How have you been talking to yourself lately?

How about making a shift? Making choices based on your values and needs, not those of others.

When you feeling a should coming on, see if one of the following phrases resonates with you. Then use that section to help you discover the real motivation behind the should. Make a pledge to let go. With practice you can replace the other voices and contrary agendas around you with your own values-based choices.

I feel a should or should not coming on…

  • Whose voice is really telling me I this? Often we have unexamined values that we swallowed whole from our parents, schools, or other authority figures. Where is your should/should not really coming from? Is it still serving you?
  • Am I going to do this because it’s what I’ve done in the past? Often we allow old, limiting beliefs to continue to influence our choices. Or, we adhere to old, outdated rules that we no longer question. How badly do you want to change?
  • Won’t <fill in the name> think I will be letting them down? Is this just a disguise for trying to please someone? Are you trying to take care of something that really belongs to someone else? Are you being manipulated?
  • What would people think, if I do/don’t…? This is really a question based on what you fear. So, what’s your fear factor? Rejection? Loss of a relationship? Realizing your own power?                                                                                                                                                                   Growth is about learning and unlearning. It’s about shedding a past that no longer serves us. It’s about reclaiming parts of ourselves that may have been cast off. The payoff: watching your own, true, inner voice grow louder. Feeling your personal power blossom. Overcoming your fear of change, which will lead to a more satisfying and fulfilling life. Pretty cool benefit, no?

Now It’s Your Turn

This week monitor your self-talk and notice where you are saying or thinking “should”. Whose voice are you channeling? Why is it present? If this doesn’t mirror your true, inner voice, how will you dismiss its intrusion?

Jan. 18 ♥ 5 Lessons Learned from Living without the Internet

I had every intention of posting a blog last week, but I involuntarily had to quit the Internet. This is the story of the lessons that I learned.Addiction when you can give something up something as long as it's next Tuesday

There had been a severe ice storm over the weekend and the tower that delivers my Internet connectivity was damaged. That tower lives on the top of an 11,000’ mountain, so the environmental conditions meant that it took 5 days until crews could safely ascend and make the necessary repairs.

And during those long five days I had no Internet, social media, Netflix, electronic news, email…well, you get the picture. I had tried using my phone as a hotpot and depleted my data plan. I felt completely cut off.

The first day wasn’t so bad, just a minor inconvenience. By day three I was actually feeling withdrawal. So much so that I drove the 25 minutes into town and camped out in a coffee shop multiple days.

I was miserable. However, there were lessons to be learned once I began paying attention.

A slower start to my day.

I could wake up in a more relaxed manner since I couldn’t reach for my iPhone or iPad to catch up on what had happened in the last eight hours. I didn’t rush to check my email. Social media didn’t consume me. I actually started my day on my own terms rather than adopting the vibes out in the ether.

More focused attention throughout the day

I could maintain focus on what I was doing because social media, news alerts, etc. couldn’t interrupt me.  No one could invade my personal space. Distraction and procrastination were minimal since my escape route was unavailable. Bottom line: I got a lot more done.

More real connection with people

I only had the option of talking face-to-face or by phone. In either case, there was more personal connection, not a social media one off. I had more meaningful conversations.

Less information overload

I was more relaxed because I couldn’t continually be inundated with information being pushed to me. Prior to my lack of Internet I had had to limit the amount of news I was reading because it often would send me into a tailspin. During my timeout, this choice was made for me and was more encompassing. Overall, I was more relaxed.

Being more present.

I had to be present while waiting in line, stopped at a traffic light, or while filling my gas tank. I noticed the weather, how I was feeling, how many others were glued to their devices. I could concentrate on my own life rather than getting tangled in other’s status updates or suffering their banal sharings.

This forced abstinence was painful, no doubt about it. But the experience caused me to examine the impact that constant connection has on my life, my demeanor, and my relationships. I recognize that I truly am the one in control of what crosses my device screens. I also saw in bold letters the insidious bad habits I have formed over time. And while I won’t be giving up the various electronic ways to connect with others, I have become much more mindful of my digital choices. And, I now recharge my devices overnight in the kitchen.

 

Your Call to Action

Try waiting in line this week while you keep your phone in your pocket. What do you notice? What would change if you recharged your phone somewhere other than next to your bed? Where might you be shortchanging your relationships because you need to stay electronically connected?

 

Dec. 27 ♥ Celebrate and Complete 2016

So many people have looked upon 2016 as the worst year, ever. And yet…

There have been really good times, right?

last-years-words-belong-to-last-years-language

This is the time of year when many of us hunker down, stay close to the fire and wait for the wintry blasts to end. And yet…

We want to feel hopeful for the bright New Year.

I’m recommending that we all — me included — take some time for reflection on this past year, taking stock of what occurred in our lives.

It’s really important to find the gifts, lessons, challenges and blessings from the year that is ending. In this way we can truly celebrate what has come before and release whatever needs to be so we can start fresh with clarity as our New Year arrives.

Along this lifetime path of discovery you will come to deeply know yourself, grow in wisdom, and rejoice in sharing your own, unique gifts, which the world sorely needs.

You need to review this past year to recognize it happened to you for a reason. You may totally understand that or maybe the meaning is hidden in a cloudy mist right now. Either way, it’s OK.

What’s important is the process of introspection and celebration that will help you clear the debris so that beautiful, gorgeous you can make room for the new possibilities that will be coming in your New Year.

And so, I am offering a gift to help you examine this past year and set your intentions for 2017. Complete and Celebrate 2016 is an exercise designed to help you honor and say buh-bye to 2016, and prepare yourself for your new beginning.

Access my gift here. Then grab your glass of champagne, sit back, say adios to the past, and welcome in the possibilities.

And, I’d love to hear how this exercise worked for you.

 

Now It’s Your Turn…

How will you celebrate the successes and growth you experienced this past year? What can you do symbolically to let go of the yuck from 2016? Now, gather up your courage, put on a big grin and go face the wonderful unknown of your New Year!

Dec. 21 ♥ Advice for the Holidays: Live without Expectations or Resentments

expectations-are-resentments-under-construction‘Tis the season to have expectations:

  • Everyone will get along.
  • The food will be perfect.
  • Every gift will be just what they wanted.
  • Happiness will abound.
  • Every family member will be on their best behavior.

Ah, Norman Rockwell may be alive and well in our memories but that’s not the reality of our lives around the holidays.

How often have you planned how an experience was going to unfold only to have your expectations rudely thwarted? And how often did you then let your frustrations come spewing forth onto those around you?

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why are we so certain that we know how the future will unfold? Why do we continue to believe we have so much power over life and other people?

Want a recommendation for a more peaceful holiday, whichever one you celebrate: let’s all act as if we have no idea what will happen. Let’s recognize that we can only control ourselves; everyone else is on their own autopilot. Let’s relish being in the moment, however that moment turns out.

I promise you, you can eliminate frustration, anger, disappointment, and sadness if you just let go of any preconceived ideas about how things should happen.

 

Now It’s Your turn

What can you let go of this holiday season? What difference will that make to you? To your friends and family?