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 … Continue reading

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. 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 … Continue reading

Sept. 7 ♥ What’s Your Line in the Sand?

What do these sentences all have in common? Sorry, I can’t do that. I’m spread far too thin right now. I will not allow anyone to speak to me that way. I need some time to think about that. These are all statements honoring personal power. Each shows various ways of saying, “No!” firmly and politely. Every one indicates a personal boundary, stated in clear, honest language. Could you say these things when needed? It wasn’t so long ago that these types of statements were hard for me to use. I’d let people manipulate me. I was afraid of confrontation. I swallowed my true feelings. On the surface I looked and acted like a happy camper. But inside…well, I felt depleted, angry and resentful because I willingly sacrificed my serenity for the sake of keeping everyone happy and everything on an even keel—for others but not for me. I let others intimidate and overwhelm me, often bullying me into submission. I let others usurp my personal power. I’m not like that now. So, what changed? I came to realize that it was my responsibility to take care of me. I couldn’t rely on anyone else to do this for me, and more importantly, I didn’t have to have anyone’s approval to do so. I came to believe this but it took longer for me to put it into action. Slowly I came to understand that it was my job to protect my time and energy. I couldn’t be everything to … Continue reading

June 29 ♥ Have You Set the Real YOU Free?

Have you set the real you free? Or are you stuck in presenting an image that is more likely to please others? Far too often we automate our people-pleasing mode because we’re not comfortable in our own skin. The internal voices swirl: “If they saw the real me, they’d turn away.” “I just want to be like them.” “I can’t be what they want me to be.” Notice that all of these thoughts are outward focussed — as if we’re seeking validation from outside ourselves. As if other people’s opinions are more important than our own. Or that it’s more important to be accepted by others than by ourselves. So, we tamp down our own personality, mute our strong points, and try to conform. We wear the plain, tailored blouse when the wild, loud, blotchy-printed top is so much more us. And yet there is the tiniest voice inside that keeps saying, “Please let out the real me. Being otherwise is just so exhausting and phony.” So here’s the deal: you don’t have to make the world like you or validate you. You have nothing to prove! You just need to trust that most people will like you just as you are. And, well, some just won’t. But that’s not your problem. It’s theirs. It’s more important to be genuine, true to yourself, authentic — the real YOU. It takes less energy. And comes from a place of believing, “I am enough.” So, be bold, celebrate who you are and … Continue reading

February 2 ♥ Being in Harmony with Your Spirit

I was reminded of how important harmony with my spirit is as I was completing an exercise for a course I am taking. The gist of the homework was to write for 10 minutes, without pause, answers to the phrase, “I know I am in trouble when…” Over and over I had to keep writing, without censoring, whatever popped into my head. Ten minutes is a loooooong time when you have to write quickly and steadily for that amount of time. What I discovered was that I really do know what throws me off kilter, because those things appeared over and over again as I wrote. Some obvious ones, of course, were to eat proper meals and exercise and get enough sleep. Just like Mom said. But, interestingly, what I also discovered is that I need quiet time — no schedule, no to-do items, just being. A time to listen to my heart, to dream, to connect to beauty, to learn who I am at my core. It’s essential for me, like plugging in my phone everyday. It has to be done or there’s no power. I can’t do what I need to do. And what I’ve found is that when I lose my harmony and get off-balance, I’m not really pleasant to be around, especially with myself. And I become my worst enemy. Nitpicking at the most minor things. But when I have a centered and harmonious spirit, my self-confidence soars. And I can present myself fully as I … Continue reading