Living

How to Be Happy Most of the Time

People tell me I always look happy.

Even though I feel sad sometimes I feel genuinely happy most of the time.

Living in places like Fiji, Bali and New Zealand helped bring a smile to my face. But happiness has largely been an inside job for me and all happy folks.

I felt equally happy living in New Jersey or Thailand nearly a decade ago as I began circling the globe.

This is the happiness secret; as within, so without. @RyanBiddulph (Click to Tweet!)

How to Be Happy

Be incredibly happy by feeling happy now independent of circumstances.

Live inside-out.

I feel happy right now because I am alive. Life is good because infinite potential surrounds me. I write these words for the million member Positively Positive community while coasting 40,000 feet above the South Pacific.

I wrapped up a vie month trip to exotic spots like Oman, Turkey and Thailand yesterday. Plus I also enjoyed the most satiating glass of soda five minutes ago.

Both globe-trotting and soda glass experiences give me cause for incredible happiness. This is the secret to being predominantly happy; choose happiness now no matter the circumstances.

Develop Your Mental Muscle

Mind is a muscle.

Develop your mental muscle by focusing on positive ideas.

Positive ideas induce happy feelings.

List 20 positive ideas in your mind now. Scan your life experience from today, yesterday and the prior week. What feels happy to you? What do you feel grateful for now?

Record these ideas on a piece of paper to make happiness tangible.

Where your attention and energy goes, grows. Give your mind to positive, happiness-inducing thoughts to feel happier and happier. Plus you build your mental muscle to Mind Olympian proportions by focusing solely on positive ideas for a sustained period of time.

Give Your Attention and Energy Only to Happiness

Give your focus only to happy people, happy circumstances and happy ideas.

Flock to positive folks. Follow happy, empowered, highly successful entrepreneurs.

I became one of the top blogging tip bloggers on earth in part because I only networked with happy, successful blogging tips bloggers. Feasting on their energy and soaking up their knowledge, I became a positive, successful blogger by following their lead.

Give zero attention and energy to negative, dour people. Allow them to develop their mental muscle on their own. Every human is solely responsible for their happiness.

Giving your energy only to happiness creates a steady flow of happy experiences in your life. Expect to magnetize yourself to happy people in the process.

Be with Sadness

Every human being feels sadness.

Incredibly happy humans sit present with sadness to move along these unhappy energies.

Much of humanity feels unhappy because resisted sadness bubbles under the surface of their being. Stop fighting sadness. Hug the emotion. Feel it. Cry or become angry. Release the feelings. Feel happy again.

Observe a small child having a fit. Three-five minutes after the explosion, most kids feel happy again.

Being with your feelings moves the feelings along beautifully.

Invest Money in Resources from Happy People

I invested a nice chunk of change in positive thinking books over the years.

I also invested in self-help programs.

Money circulates. This means circulating money increases as cash flow back to you.

Investing money in happiness-inducing books or programs from positive pros gives you access to knowledge, experience and wisdom influencing you to be happy. Boosting your net worth by observing how circulated money increases makes you even happier.

Practice Happy Affirmations

Plaster a smile on your face, relax your body and affirm your happiness.

Happiness quickly floods your being.

I live a dream life because I practice positive self talk. Charging the affirmations with happy emotions made me happier and nudge me into calm, confident actions that promoted my blogging success.

Affirmations work incredibly well for energized, persistent people.

Relax. Smile. Affirm your happiness.

Be happy.


Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who’s been featured on Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and self-published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. Ryan can help you build a successful blog at Blogging From Paradise.

 

 

Image courtesy of Haley Phelps.

The post How to Be Happy Most of the Time appeared first on Positively Positive.

Combating Stress Can Be as Easy as ABC

For four years in a row, I had to get a root canal. Four root canals in four years! Every year when I went to my dentist appointment, they would tell me that I needed another root canal. I couldn’t figure it out: I brushed, flossed, used mouthwash, brushed again. Why was this happening? Having four root canals in four years was not normal, was it?!

I needed to figure out what was going on. I had to find out what was causing all of these painful teeth issues before it was too late. I needed to save my teeth! After multiple visits with my dentist and many tool-filled, open mouth conversations (my dentist and I became very close over the past few years) we finally figured it out. Too much junk food? Nope! Bad brushing? No Way!

Stress? Yep! Wait. What?! Stress was causing all my root canals? It sure was!

You see, anytime that I was stressed I would clench my teeth. Anytime that I was anxious about something, on a deadline at work, frustrated with my kids, even working at my computer trying to get stuff done, I was feeling stress in my body. Little did I know that I was carrying my stress in my teeth and jaw. I was clenching my teeth so hard, and so often that I was causing damage to the roots of my teeth. Hence, the four root canals in four years!

We all have stress. It is an unfortunate way of life for so many of us. Although stress is common in our lives, it is not ‘normal.’ We are not meant to be consumed with stress. We are not supposed to eat antacids like candy because we have gut issues. We should not require pain relievers regularly because our heads, necks, and shoulders carry the weight of the world and cry out in pain. We should not need four root canals in four years because stress is destroying our bodies.

There are many strategies we can incorporate into our daily lives to prevent stress from consuming us.  But what about those in-the-moment stressors? Those moments when we are so frustrated we want to scream or cry. When we are freaking out because our boss wants to talk to us privately in 10 minutes. The times when our kids are driving us crazy. Or, when we are on our way to the dentist for another root canal. How do we deal with those stressful moments?

Surprisingly, combating in-the-moment stress is a lot easier than you think, all you need to remember is ABC.

A: Awareness: Become aware of how you carry stress in your body. What does your body feel like when you are stressed, anxious or overwhelmed? Our bodies are often in a constant state of stress or ‘fight or flight’ mode. We are so used to functioning in this state that we often don’t even realize we are feeling stress. This state of stress has become so common that it feels ‘normal.’ The first step to combating stress is to get a clear understanding of how it manifests in your body. Where do you carry your stress? Do you tense up your shoulders? Clench your teeth? Tighten your jaw? Do you feel it in your stomach or your gut? Are you popping antacids like candy? Are you continually having headaches? Spend some time taking notice of your body and become aware of where your stress is located and how it feels. Once you recognize where you are holding your stress, release it. If you are a clencher, unclench. If you tend to tense up your shoulders, release them. If your stomach is contracting or tight, try to bring relaxation to that area. Becoming aware of what stress actually looks like in your body and where you carry it is the first step to being able to release it.

B: Breathe: There are many different ways to use your breath to combat stress, but the most important thing to remember is that the intention, or goal, is to regulate your breathing. Take slow deep breaths to calm yourself down and release the stress. Breathe into the place in your body where you are holding your stress. Visualize your breath filling up that space. Here are some simple breathing techniques that you can use anytime or anywhere:

  • 4-7-8 breathing: Inhale through your nose for the count of four, hold for the count of seven, and exhale through the nose for a count of eight. Repeat this as long as you need until you feel your body slow down and relax.
  • 8 & 1: This exercise is one you might have to work up to, so you might want to start with four breaths and work your way up to eight. Inhale four ‘strokes’ (taking four separate breaths in through your nose without exhaling in between) then release all the breath in one long exhale through your nose until your lungs are empty. Repeat for one minute or until you feel a bit more relaxed.
  • Alternate nostril breathing: I learned about this exercise through my Reiki teacher. This exercise is excellent for in-the-moment stress relief, although it may look a little odd! You are going to use your thumb and ring finger to block your nostrils gently. Hold your right nostril closed with your thumb and breathe in through your left nostril then using your ring finger (of the same hand) cover your left nostril and exhale through your right nostril, then inhale through your right nostril. Cover your right nostril with your thumb and exhale through your left nostril then inhale through your left nostril. Repeat this as long as needed, alternating between nostrils. (This technique is a lot easier than it sounds, Google alternate nostril breathing to watch YouTube videos if you are confused!)

These are just a couple examples of breathing exercises that you can use as in-the-moment stress relievers, but they are also great exercises to use when you are just trying to relax or get into a meditative state. When feeling stress or anxiety in your body, the key is just to breathe. Whether you use one of these techniques or simply breathing in and out, the ultimate goal is to regulate and slow down your breathing. Make sure you are sitting up straight and taking full deep breaths in and out. You will be amazed at how something as simple as breathing can positively change your life.

 C: Communicate: The last trick in the ABCs of stress relief is communication. Although this is better explained as self-talk, the ABSs of stress relief didn’t have the same ring to it! When you feel any strong emotion like stress, anxiety, fear, anger, whatever, positive self-talk can help. All that you have to do is speak to yourself in a positive and calming way. Shift your mindset to focus on the positive. Say calming things to yourself. Not quite sure how to do this? Think about a friend or loved one being in this same situation, what you would say to them to calm them down? Now, turn it around and say this exact thing to yourself. The most significant stressors, or anxiety fueling situations, are often the ones that have never, nor will ever, happen. The ‘what if’s’ are the things that can bring our stress or anxiety into a tailspin. Get away from the ‘what if’s. Learn how to calm yourself down through your positive and loving self-talk instead of continually getting yourself even more worked up (which is super easy to do because, well, we seem to know our triggers and will often use them against ourselves!) Have a positive mantra ready for when these moments strike, maybe repeat “I am calm and confident’ or something similar. The most important thing is to speak to yourself with encouragement, kindness and in a loving way.

The next time you find yourself feeling stressed out, anxious, freaking out, mad as hell, or any other BIG emotion, use the ABCs of stress management: become Aware of where you are holding your stress, Breathe into it, and Communicate with yourself with love and encouragement.

Combating stress can be as easy as ABC.


Lisa Wyckoff is a wife, mom, teacher, and Confidence and Mindset Coach. She helps women discover how to own their power, shift their mindset, and transform their lives. You can read more articles like this, or find out about working with Lisa on lisawyckoff.com or follow her on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Brittani Burns.

The post Combating Stress Can Be as Easy as ABC appeared first on Positively Positive.

Manifesting Money Using the Law of Attraction (It Works!)

Given the opportunity, everyone would love to accumulate more wealth, make more money, and live an abundant life. However, many people have a poor relationship with money. They have trouble manifesting money and wealth into their lives, and as a result, never achieve the financial success they desire.

The truth is that financial success starts in the mind and the number one thing holding many people back is their belief system concerning wealth and money.

With that in mind, leveraging the Law of Attraction is one of the most effective ways to change your beliefs about money into a belief system that will open you up to the prosperity that is all around you. But first, you must take some steps to really see it work to change your life.

1. Identify Your Limiting Beliefs About Money

In order to activate the Law of Attraction in your life, you must identify and change your limiting beliefs about money. Throughout our lives, since childhood, we’ve created limiting beliefs about money that we’ve internalized over time and accepted to be true.” You’ve heard these limiting beliefs before.

They’re things like money doesn’t grow on trees and is therefore extremely difficult to acquire, or the idea that money can’t buy happiness, or the limiting belief that you can’t be rich and be a good person at the same time.

Before you can begin leveraging the Law of Attraction, it’s important to first identify and address any limiting beliefs about money that you might have.

Once you see money for what it really is – an accessible, unlimited supply of a resource you can use in any way that you desire – it’s much easier to form the habits and mindset necessary to acquire wealth.

One great way to address any limiting beliefs about money is through the use of positive affirmations.

 

For example, if you realize that you view money as something that is scarce and difficult to acquire, you could use a positive affirmation such as, “I’m a money magnet. Everything I touch turns to gold”.

Other positive affirmations you can use are, “I am releasing any and all negative thoughts and emotions about money, and am happy and free to visualize my dreams”.

Or, “I am creating all the money I want and need to accomplish everything I want to do in life.” 

Try the affirmation, “I am making positive choices about what to do with my money and enjoying the energy of abundance that it reflects.”

What you say to yourself becomes what you believe, and what you truly believe becomes reality. By using positive affirmations to combat limiting beliefs about money, you can develop a mindset concerning money that enables you to leverage the Law of Attraction.

2. Visualize Your Wealth as if You’ve Already Achieved it

The Law of Attraction dictates that the things you believe inwardly and project outwardly will be the things that you attract into your life. If you want to attract something such as money, therefore, it’s important to visualize it as if you already have it.

Visualizing a world where you have all of the money that you desire not only creates a mindset that is more receptive to financial gain, it also enables you to imagine what your life will be like once you have reached your goals.

This, in and of itself, can serve as a powerful source of motivation that will keep pushing you forward when things get difficult.

Visualizing money as if you already have it can also create an abundance mindset, as opposed to a mindset of scarcity.

One of the big reasons why the wealthy have no problem getting richer is that they see the money they don’t have as something that is both abundant and acquirable, while at the same time, seeing the money they do have as a tool that can be used to make more money rather than something that has to be protected or saved.

This type of abundance mindset comes naturally when you have a lot of money, but it can also be developed by visualizing money as something that you already have in abundance.

If you want to create a physical anchor point for your visualizations, try carrying around a hundred dollar bill in your pocket.

Simply doing this can make you feel wealthier and prevent you from ever being able to say that you are broke – and thus prevent the limiting mindsets that go along with being broke.

3. The Universe Will Provide You With More

Finally, remember that the Universe will provide you with more of what you’re grateful for. Never underestimate the power of gratitude.

Ultimately, the things that you are grateful for will be the things that you tend to pursue with the most passion. Truly being grateful for something also tends to eliminate any limiting beliefs you have, and will make you more receptive to new opportunities.

As you go about adopting a beneficial mindset regarding money that enables you to leverage the Law of Attraction, and don’t forget about the importance of gratitude.

Be thankful for the money that you have. Be thankful for every opportunity you get to make more money, and be thankful when those opportunities pay off. @JackCanfield (Click to Tweet!)

No matter how much or how little money you are currently earning, an attitude of gratitude is essential if you want to earn more.

What are your limiting beliefs about money? Learn more about the Law of Attraction from this free guide.


As the beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul® series, Jack Canfield fostered the emergence of inspirational anthologies as a genre—and watched it grow to a billion dollar market. As the driving force behind the development and delivery of over 100 million books sold through the Chicken Soup for the Soul® franchise, Jack Canfield is uniquely qualified to talk about success. Jack is America’s #1 Success Coach and wrote the life-changing book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and Jack speaks around the world on this subject. Check out his newest book The 30-Day Sobriety Solution: How to Cut Back or Quit Drinking in the Privacy of Your Own Home. Follow Jack at www.jackcanfield.com and sign up for his free resources today!


Image courtesy of Kody Gautier.

The post Manifesting Money Using the Law of Attraction (It Works!) appeared first on Positively Positive.

The First Time I’ve Spoken about the “Living Death” I Experienced Last Year—May This Help Your Own Heart

This is the first time I’ve publicly spoken about the “living death” that I experienced last year in the Fall of 2018. I went to the darkest place of my being—panic attacks and identity crisis, loss, disillusionment and… incredible awe. GRACE. I’m still mining it all and will be sharing the gold for years to come. But this is a natural reveal that I could only have done so easily with my dear friend, Jeff Krasno. Along with his wife, Schuyler Grant, Jeff is the co-founder of Wanderlust and, now, Commune… and he has a piece of my heart.

This is one of the most psychologically intimate conversations I’ve ever recorded. Some of the treasures I surfaced from my personal fire:

There is a kind of pain that nobody else can resolve for us. Not our best friends, not our lovers, not even skilled psychologists who know everything about us. Nobody. And that can be a brutal revelation. At the bottom of that personal pain, I learned to heal my unchecked self-hatred with boundless self-compassion. I got connected to God Source through all of that. That kind of pain has to be given up to Life itself––it’s the only release. I was stripped of all judgment. At the bottom of my brokenness was my wisdom, my love, my acceptance… a knowing of oneness.

So much of pain comes from the fear that the pain will never end. But if you can just be present with it—it will move faster. @DanielleLaPorte (Click to Tweet!)

What worked for me: the breath, the breath, the breath. Some days that’s all we have to keep us connected to something more meaningful.

Also: a (heart-centering) breath practice has got to work for a traffic jam AND transcendence. That’s my metric. It’s got to be practical. If you can’t use it in the middle of an argument with your person, or when your kid is testing you, or when the freeway is a parking lot… it’s not useful to me.

And finally… You don’t have to be “worthy” to deserve what you want. You’re good, no matter what. Even the most evil amongst us wants to go home—to return to the light. We’re all trying to get back to the same place.

Please have a listen. My hope is to shed light on the pain that we all experience to varying degrees, so that we can heal together. Togetherness is powerful medicine.

True Love,

Danielle


 

Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries. Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.


The post The First Time I’ve Spoken about the “Living Death” I Experienced Last Year—May This Help Your Own Heart appeared first on Positively Positive.

Goodbye Moody Tuesday

For such a dark and moody lot, we’re sure not wise to how often we go dark, not to mention how little a clue we have as to where our (inner) light switch is.

What’s up with that?

You might have heard the stats: According to science, the average human has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thoughts, guess how many are inspiring, dreamy, and original?

Uh, not many…

Turns out, a whopping 80% of our thoughts are NOT ONLY negative, but 95% of them are also the exact same thoughts as the day before. Let me repeat that…oh, right…no need. No wonder so many of us have such a hard time imagining our highest ideals/dreams for ourselves, let alone manifesting them! We are much too preoccupied with manif*cking them!

Mani-what-ing them?

If you don’t already know what manifesting is, or don’t know what I mean by manif*cking (primarily, because I made it up during a FB Live not that long ago), here’s the difference between the two:

Manifest [man-uh-fest] verb  

The act of causing something or bringing a specific result to fruition by thinking, feeling, and acting in accordance with a vision for what we want, no matter what our desire is – from a parking spot, to a lover, to a new job, to a vacation, etc.

vs.

Manif*ck [man-uh-f*ck]  verb

The act of thinking about the future and envisioning being screwed. To project, so much so, that you get yourself into a mood and unconsciously prove your projections, thoughts, theories, beliefs, and mood to be true. So much so, you think you’re having a premonition vs. a manif*ckation.

SO, according to us, if you’re a human, whether you’re a New Age-y one or not, whether you rolled your eyes at the secret to The Secret’s secret or not, there’s no getting out of your imagination or your inner dialogue.

The connection between our thoughts and our mood is a straight line

A straight line to where, you wonder?

Answer: to the dark side of town.

I mean, come on, ever notice how often, when we’re in a meh mood, we binge eat salad? Or, how frequently we feed our anxiety or depression steamed kale?

Um, never.

What if, unconsciously, our mind (a.k.a. our inner-dialogue, thoughts,  theories, and beliefs) knows that the more it manif*cks with us and our dreams, the more likely it is going to get rewarded. Rewarded? Yep. Think about it: if you’re thinking shitty thoughts and in a mood, isn’t your head already plotting its hall pass –whether it’s an extra drink, a smoke, a second helping, a dessert, passing on a party or a workout, or all of the above, etc.?

Yes, our mind has a mind of its own. But what if our mood was simply an indicator of what’s going on in our minds and a byproduct of our thoughts, period? It is.

Uh oh is right, and our plight.

Manifesting is an inside job

Twenty plus years of coaching humans later, there’s nothing I know to be more useful than trailing our own inner dialogue. If we’re not tracking our own thoughts, how would we know what we’re projecting and unconsciously manif*cking and potentially proving or causing?

We couldn’t. We wouldn’t. And, subsequently, we don’t.

Mastery over your mind comes from the learned ability to choose what is best for you to think AND feel. To get your own hands back on your life’s remote control and press mute when your mind messes with what matters most to you. @LaurenZander (Click to Tweet!)

Namely, your dreams.

In areas where you’re happy, I promise you, your inner dialogue, thoughts, theories, beliefs, and mood are great and you act accordingly. If you’re excited to see your partner, you bring flowers. If you feel great in your body, you feed it well, you head to the gym, you sign up for a marathon, etc. But in areas where you’re not proud, happy, or inspired, you’re being a bit of a manifarquaad.

[What?!! It’s a Shrek reference, sorta!]

You’re thinking: so and so is never going to call you back, or you’ll never find your partner on any of these godforsaken dating sites, or your teen will never turn out, or your mother will never {fill in the blank}…and guess what happens? Your actions dance with your thoughts, put you in a mood, and your worst thoughts get proven accurate.

This is why I have my clients keep a thought log. I have them write down their thoughts three times a day, not to see IF they have a dark side, because OF COURSE they do; I have them write their thoughts down in order to see just how much their inner dialogue is running amok and the results it’s actually causing. Because until we confront what our minds are actually doing for a living, we are in the Matrix [look it up youngins!] and we haven’t taken the pill.

Hacking into our inner dialogue is the pill.

Once you incriminate your head and fully see the C it’s trying to get you in any area of your life where you’re fearful, you can deal with it head on. You can put in the right promises to quiet it and even redirect it, so that ALL of you — your mind, body, and heart — are fighting for the same end goal: your ACTUAL dreams unf*cked, manifested, AND realized.

So, given that you = human, and according to science, 80% of your thoughts are negative and repetitive. Repeat after me: Check your mood. It’s a litmus test for your thoughts. Stop, drop, and roll when you catch yourself manif*cked up.

Love,

Lauren

P.S. What’s your life like? Sucky? Sexy? Somewhere in between? Take the Current Reality Quiz! It’s a quick, easy, and fun (we swear) way to self-assess and get a better idea (or at least an honest one) on what areas of your life you need to work on.


Lauren Handel Zander is the Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Handel Group®, an international corporate consulting and life coaching company. Her coaching methodology, The Handel Method®, is taught in over 35 universities and institutes of learning around the world, including MIT, Stanford Graduate School of Business, NYU, and the New York City Public School System. Lauren is also the author of Maybe It’s You: Cut the Crap, Face Your Fears, Love Your Life (Published by Hachette Book Group, April 2017), a no-nonsense, practical manual that helps readers figure out not just what they want out of life, but how to actually get there. She has spent over 20 years coaching thousands of private and corporate clients, including executives at Vogue, BASF, and AOL. Lauren has been a featured expert in The New York Times, BBC, Forbes, Women’s Health, Dr. Oz, and Marie Claire and she is a regular contributor to Businessweek and the Huffington Post. Click here to schedule a 30-minute consultation with Handel Group.


Image courtesy of kaboompics.com.

The post Goodbye Moody Tuesday appeared first on Positively Positive.

The Only Thing That Makes Me Happier

I was ashamed of everything. I moved about 100 miles away so there was no chance I could run into anyone I knew.

I didn’t have a job. It was snowing every day. I never left my new, tiny home because I was afraid I’d cry outside. Like my dad when he had become depressed 15 years earlier.

I had no infrastructure inside me to find hope.

I’d lock myself in a small office. My tiny daughters occasionally knocked on the door, a ball in their hands. “Daddy, do you want to play?”

But then something happened.

I couldn’t sleep at all. I was too anxious. So at 6 a.m. I’d go to the local cafe. One day someone brought a Scrabble set.

A few of us started to play. Soon it became a regular thing. Who were they? Nobody. All of us, nobody.

First one game, then two games were going.

I had zero friends from the disaster I had left behind. But after Scrabble, sometimes one or two of would break off and we’d take a walk around the Revolutionary War ruins that littered themselves around town.

What was there to talk about? Scraps. Mistakes.

We all had been degraded and humiliated by people better than us. We were afraid.

***

I can’t believe the things I shared. The things she shared. He shared. They shared.

A friend listens. A friend is curious.

A friend doesn’t judge.

A friend offers suggestions but doesn’t force their solutions.

A friend laughs.

I’m not ashamed to ask for help from a friend. I’m pretty much ashamed to ask for help from anyone else.

Sometimes I meet a new person and BAM! Magic! We don’t need to be friends for 40 years. We can’t stop talking.

***

Sometimes I really like people but I can also sense I can never really be friends with them. Eventually they drift away.

I miss my friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. Some friends can pick right up even if it’s been years.

Friends don’t expect a lot from me and I don’t expect a lot from them. Then… guess what? Our expectations are always exceeded 100%.

Friends share ideas with me and I share ideas with them. I have idea sex with friends and we grow idea families together.

All opportunities bloom from the seeds of friendship.

To be understood, you have to understand. To be listened to, you have to listen. @jaltucher (Click to Tweet!)

I didn’t know that until everyone had stopped listening to me.

Every morning at Scrabble was a little friendship party. I like those. I wish… I wish I had more of those now.

Too many people wonder, “What’s my goal?”

Too many times I’ve said, I can’t be happy without X or Y!

Friendship requires less naked ambition.

I wonder how many friends I should have. How many? In a city filled with everyone.

I’ve only gotten off of rock bottom by gripping onto the hands of friends who could pull me higher. New and old.

Sometimes now, I miss these moments of shame. These moments where I was shy and hoping someone would reach me.

Sometimes I miss friends I haven’t seen in a long time.

Don’t worry. Even if we never see each other again… we saw each other once.


James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Image courtesy of Anderson W Rangel.

The post The Only Thing That Makes Me Happier appeared first on Positively Positive.

When Life Cracks You Open

When life cracks you open and brings you to your knees, everything shifts inside. And the world, life, relationships… they start to feel really abrasive. Because they’re exactly the same as they were in the moment before you were altered to your core, but you can’t be. You’re not that person anymore.

More often than not, you look the same and probably even sound the same. You appear, on the surface, like a perfectly normal, everyday version of yourself. Like a perfectly capable and functioning human.

But you’re not.

Everything is different and you’re still figuring out what that means for you as a person, let alone how to relate to everyone and everything else. Life feels so incredibly painful and hard, because it just keeps going. The expectations and obligations remain the same. You have to pay the bills. You have to fulfill promises. You have to follow through on your commitments. You have to show up and do the work. There’s no leave of absence, no reprieve.

So you do your best, and you fail miserably. You try to show up and follow through, but mostly you fall short and let others down. You struggle. You cry a lot. Eventually, you begin to find your footing in the world again. You begin to find workarounds or tools and people to help you make this living thing easier and less painful. Seamless instead of chaotic and jarring.

You pay the bills.
You keep your promises.
You fulfill the many obligations.
You follow through on commitments.
You show up and do the work.

But you’re still a little bit broken. You’re still a little unsteady. You’re still figuring out where all the shattered pieces go, and what’s supposed to replace the ones that are missing. You’re still a work in progress.

They say sympathy doesn’t last as long as grief and I agree.

But I would add that compassion, understanding, and acknowledgment of all you’ve been through doesn’t last anywhere near as long as it takes to really return from the journey you’ve been forced to walk. Not nearly as long as it takes for you to really discover who you are in the aftermath and what you want to create in the many chapters that will follow.

All I know is that we have to fiercely commit to completing the journey on our own terms… because no one else has the ability to understand what it feels like for you to stand where you’re standing. Because this is the part where you really begin to see the gifts from all you’ve walked through, but that’s not going to happen if you let others tell you where you should go, who you should be, or how you should be living your life. It’s not going to happen if you bend and fold to meet the expectations others have of who you need to be, especially if it’s based around who you were before.

You don’t need permission from anyone else to move at your own pace, stand exactly where you are, or to heal and grow and return on your own terms. @StephenieZ (Click to Tweet!)

You just need to commit to it with your whole heart and soul, and have the hard conversations when they’re required.


Stephenie Zamora is an author and life coach, business and marketing strategist, and founder of CallOfTheVoid.tv., where she merges the worlds of personal development, energy healing, intuitive coaching, writing, and mixed media art to help individuals rise up and come back from the darkest, hardest chapters of life. She guides her clients through the challenging process of re-orienting to their lives, relationships, and work in a way that’s fully aligned with who they’ve become in the aftermath of loss, trauma, depression, and big life changes. After struggling with PTSD, grief, and anxiety from a sudden and traumatic loss, she navigated her own difficult healing journey, and has set out to help others find the purpose of their own path using The Hero’s Journey as a framework. She is also the founder of Stephenie Zamora Media, the author of Awesome Life Tips®, creator of Journey Mapping Sessions™, and is currently working on a second book, Unravel. Her work has been featured on The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Elite Daily, Positively Positive, and many other publications over the years. Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or at www.CallOfTheVoid.tv.


Image courtesy of Jeremy Bishop.

The post When Life Cracks You Open appeared first on Positively Positive.

Transcending Rigidity and Fragility

When people talk about leadership, they are often referencing the expressions of leadership and not leadership itself. They’re talking about messaging, speaking on stage, rallying people in service of a vision. But at its core, leadership is the state of being that allows all of those things to be done with depth, potency, effectiveness and alignment.

Without embodied leadership, any expression of leadership will fall flat. Presentations will feel like performances, requests will feel uninspiring, and messaging will feel bloated or deflated.

When leadership is deeply embodied by a leader – a mother, a CEO, a volunteer coordinator or a project manager – our presentations, requests, visions and messaging feel grounded and inspiring.

In working with women to nurture the development of their leadership, I’ve located one big thing that determines their success:

Their ability to embody both sensitivity and resilience.

Sensitivity translates to receptivity, openness, tenderness. A courage and willingness to feel deeply and feel it all. Sensitivity is a permeability, an allowing. It’s a connection to our humanity and the value of being open.

If we’re overly identified with sensitivity – disconnected from our resilience – we’ll experience fragility. In this fragile state, we may find ourselves cowering and quivering, feeling tiny and insignificant to ourselves or others, playing out stories of victimhood, or feeling small and numb.

Resilience is the bamboo-like blend of strength and flexibility. A courage and willingness to rise strong, and lean in. Resilience is a groundedness, a moving-towards. It’s a connection to our divinity and the value of being devoted.

If we’re overly identified with resilience – disconnected from our sensitivity – we’ll experience rigidity. If we’re rigid, we might experience ourselves as hardened and emotionally disconnected, fiery and quick to anger, playing out narratives of right and wrong, or feeling tough and numb.

When there’s a lack of integration of our sensitivity and resilience, we’re suspicious and untrusting of ourselves and others, emotionally cut-off or wildly emotional. We feel cold, unpredictable or unstable to others.

When we’re integrated in our sensitivity and resilience, we’re tender, open, receptive and feeling, while at the same time being strong, flexible, grounded and devoted. We feel warm and trustable to others.

Most of us were not modeled the embodiment of sensitivity and resilience by our parents, teachers, and other close adults in our lives.

In a culture that praises toughness and rejects sensitivity, many people perceive themselves as overly-sensitive and push themselves to be tough but are actually out of touch with their sensitivity because they don’t allow themselves to feel.

In new age circles, we often praise sensitivity and reject toughness, resulting in a disintegration of our resilience and an inability to be focused, clear and decisive, while being open-hearted.

You’re not the bull or the china. @AskNisha (Click to Tweet!)

TRANSCENDING RIGIDITY & FRAGILITY

Dignify sensitivity and resilience

To transcend the loss of power that occurs when we’re out of touch with our sensitivity, resilience, or both, we must first know the value of each. To understand the value, connect with the true qualities and not the often perceived qualities; We commonly mistake sensitivity for fragility (“doormatting”) or resilience for rigidity (“bulldozing”). In connecting with the true qualities of each and seeing how they complement and enhance one another, we can begin to embrace and cultivate those qualities within.

Acknowledge where you’re out of touch

Simply acknowledge to yourself, with honesty and forgiveness, the ways in which you’re out of touch with sensitivity and resilience. Remember: we want an integration of both.

Look for models

Whenever I want to embody a new quality, I seek out people who are already doing it with grace and seek to model them. I do this by spending time with them, or if they’re unreachable to me on a personal level, I connect with their work (watching interviews of them, reading their books, etc.). In the same way that a child learns by watching how the adults closest to them act and react, we can be influenced by those we seek to learn from by getting closer to their orbit.

Be willing to swallow the jagged pill

The hardest thing about transcending rigidity and fragility is that it requires us to drop the victim-perpetrator narrative. It requires that we – as free adults – recognize that we have the power to make choices for ourselves today, and that if we don’t like the unfolding story of our lives, we can either choose it or change it. If we don’t and keep running our lives from a sense of duty or martyrdom, we’re essentially waking up each day and knocking on purgatory’s door.

For example, for someone super-identified with their sensitivity and feeling victimized by the harshness of others or the world, I would ask them to recognize (here comes that jagged pill) that they are choosing to relate to the world as harsh and themselves as unable to handle it…that regardless of what “proof” they have that it is so, it’s a limited and limiting way of perceiving things and not ultimate truth. I would ask them how running this narrative was negatively impacting their life. I would ask them how this narrative might be keeping themselves and others in a holding pattern of disempowerment and disconnection. I would ask them to open their heart to consider a different story.

In the comments below, I want to hear from you. You can share… Where in your life do you feel out of touch with your sensitivity or resilience? What are some of the stories you tell yourself about why you’re not soft enough or strong enough? What are you committed to learning to embrace?


Nisha Moodley is a Women’s Leadership Coach and the creator of Fierce Fabulous Free, The Freedom Mastermind & The Virtual Sisterhood. Inspired by the belief that the world will be set free by women who are free & sisterhood is key to a woman’s freedom, Nisha creates communities of ambitious women to support them in redesigning their lives & businesses. Find her online at NishaMoodley.com and download her free Take Flight Action Guide to explore the next expansion of your freedom at TakeFlightActionGuide.com. You can follow Nisha on Twitter or FB.

Image courtesy of Clarke Sanders.

The post Transcending Rigidity and Fragility appeared first on Positively Positive.

Hand in Paw, Shoulder to Tail: Grieving for a Furry Friend for the First Time

There is an overwhelming feeling of loneliness that accompanies the initial shock of losing your beloved pet companion. The path of grief gives loneliness an entirely new meaning. There are some experiences one must endure alone, and grief is among them, further exacerbating the pain. You long for the bond that you once shared with your pet, one which cannot be replaced by any other.

When I was 17, I met who was to become my miniature companion. He would remain at my side for the next 20 years. Scooter was a shorthaired black, male, tuxedo cat, given to me by my father and brother who noticed him following them around on a farm in upstate New York. I couldn’t settle on a name at first, so I cycled through a few before one stuck. Scooter is the name of the lead singer of a rock band and for some reason, he quickly took to the name. It was almost as if he chose his name as he had chosen me.

Scooter began to journey alongside me as I forged ahead through life’s milestones from every first to every last.

 

Hand in paw, shoulder to tail, by my side he remained as I studied and graduated from college, moved out of my adolescent home into my first apartment until current day. He was in my life when I met and married my first love. I echo the sentiments of Joel Barish in The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in that I can’t remember anything without him.

Scooter was the umbilical cord from my youth which provided a sense of home away from home. We traveled to multiple cities and cross country from New York to California this year. Scooter witnessed my transition from that of a young girl to a woman.

My cat was my rabbit’s foot for every curve ball life threw my way.

Somehow his small presence provided me with a comfort I only now have begun to understand through one of life’s hardest lessons, which I’ve had to face this time without him.

After his passing, I rummaged through photo albums only to find sightings of my black mass of fur either huddled in a ball on my bed or just behind me in a corner. It was as if the world became one giant reminder of what I had lost.

The last day of your loved pet’s life can replay in your mind at first. You struggle in thinking what you could have done differently to somehow prevent the inevitable. Memories flash in your mind as if you have front row tickets to your movie screening except you are the only theatergoer.

I formed a smile that held together with the fragility of a poorly made shed of wooden sticks only to feel like a mannequin of my former self. A trip to the grocery store proved to be a challenge. I approached the register and avoided eye contact as one glance exchanged with kind eyes strikes the erratic urge to burst into tears and proclaim: “My cat died!” The deafening silence is louder than noise since he’s been gone.

My grief has become my never-ending story as time has proven more of its sporadic uncertainty than anything else. Finding my way out of grief is comparable to chasing the fireflies I ran after as a child, which were captured to watch the glow but only for a few brief seconds between folded hands, to hold the speck of light closer before it flickers away.

Just the same, this is what matters most, the beautiful moments with your pet that captivate and remain etched in memory.


Natasha Navarra is a Native New Yorker, writer, poet and newly published author residing in Southern California. She’s an avid pet lover and supporter of rescue organizations and animal-related causes. Her most recent work has been published in the Spring 2019 Issue of The Cat Magazine.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Jonas Vincent.

The post Hand in Paw, Shoulder to Tail: Grieving for a Furry Friend for the First Time appeared first on Positively Positive.

What Phrase Best Describes Your Year so Far?

Here is the prompt that popped up in my five-year journal today: “Write a phrase to describe your year so far.” And just like that. The words in my brain went completely dry.  What I thought would be an easy and fun and insightful entry turned out to be a complete stumper. I had no idea what to write.

I was hoping that some profound catch phrase might bubble to the surface or come to me as some sort of divine vision. Maybe something profound or philosophical or even witty.  Something that I could tie into an affirmation that would be meaningful and easy for me to remember and repeat in times of challenge or struggle. Something that would neatly sum up all the many memorable events that have marked the calendar these past months . . . which didn’t lead me to a phrase but to remembering some stand-out experiences that now serve as fence posts upon which I have strung the minutes, hours, and days.

My Top Nine Fence Posts of This Year So Far:

  1. Long and Short: I have learned that life is not always as short as others write about it being . . . that life can also be long, especially so when it is marked by sadness, sorrow, and overwhelm.
  2. Beginnings and Endings: Realizing a dream is not an endpoint unto itself . . . it is just the beginning of newly discovered passions, interests, and even a little dissatisfaction that fuel a new dream.
  3. The expense of poverty: Observing, living, and understanding the truth behind James Baldwin’s words: “Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.”  Not fun.  Just saying.
  4. Simplicity and Complexity: Teasing apart the complexity of a simple life and the simplicity of a complex life and recognizing the differences and knowing that they are one and the same during my fence post moments.
  5. Grieving and Celebrating: Again, on certain days, the co-existence of these two puzzles me.  On other days, the co-existence makes perfect sense. It is possible to feel what are thought to be two contradictory emotions at the same time. Like there is this mélange of real and true emotions that thickens up like a stew and threatens to burn the bottom of the pot if I don’t keep my awareness active and stirring.
  6. Thoughts, Feelings, and Things: [a continuation of #5] . . .Which leads me to wonder about the practice of intentional living . . . and how feelings become thoughts and then how thoughts become things . . . and how I now know why my life feels so conflicted at times [see #5]. Or wait a second. Do I have this backward? Do our thoughts become feelings which become things? Or do the things in life dictate how we think and how we feel [See #3]? Dr. Wayne Dyer once said, “What I think doesn’t become things; who I am is what becomes things.”
  7. Confusion and Clarity: [See #5.]  Thank you, Dr. Dyer. Advice to self: Be who you are. Give it your best shot.
  8. Moving and Standing Still: The fact that I have moved three times in the last year does not mean that I still don’t experience feelings of stuck-ness.
  9. Success and Failure: Many have written and spoke on this subject of success and failure in life. We are bombarded with ideas and quick fixes about how to jump start our motivation, our drive, and our perception of success. We also read of the power in turning failure into success. But I keep wondering? Where is the measuring stick that tells me that I have arrived at a place of success? I do believe that there is an internal sense of reward that tells us we have just driven in another fence post of “accomplishment” through the hardpan of our memory’s land bank . . . but then what?  Is feeling “successful” enough? Is it all just a big myth?  Just wondering.  See #2 and #4.
  10. Giving up and Persevering and Granting a Degree of Self-Permission: I know that lists like this shouldn’t end with nine items (the norm being “The Top Three” or multiples of five) but I can’t think of anything else right now.  I give myself permission to stop at #9. [See #9]

Looking Both Ways

“Looking Both Ways” . . . This is the phrase that I eventually wrote in my journal in large letters at the bottom of my free-flow scribbling. It’s the first thing that came to mind and now, after re-reading my list of Top Nine Fence Posts, it makes sense. “Looking Both Ways” implies some commonsense caution for life, like what our parents tell us before crossing a street: Look both ways!

Answering this prompt has given me time to pause and to reflect. To exercise some counter-intuitive caution . . . not with where I am now heading but with where I have been. It’s okay to look back but it’s also important that I don’t get stuck.

More advice to self:

Don’t let where I have been determine where I am going next. @theunseenwords (Click to Tweet!)

The second half of this year is just across the road. I have Looked Both Ways, and I feel ready for the uncharted territory over yonder. Maybe I’ll leave my work gloves, shovel, and fence posts on this side of the road and let my tracks leave a trail . . . which makes me wonder what my Phrase will be for the second half of the year.

So, how about you? What phrase best describes your year so far?  

You are an interesting person. Take some quiet time to re-discover who you are. Life is a lively event that keeps our minds and hearts active. Think Good Thoughts! And write your new phrase for the coming second half of the year with your Higher Self as author.


Kennedy Farr is a daily writer and blogger, a lifelong learner, and a true believer that something wonderful is happening right now in this very moment. Her passion for writing first caught light at the age of four when she learned how to write her dog’s name on a sheet of lined tablet paper. Kennedy lives high on the mountainside of a tranquil island in the Pacific Northwest. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Image courtesy of Trent Szmolnik.

The post What Phrase Best Describes Your Year so Far? appeared first on Positively Positive.

Do You Have These Friends? Must Friends, Trust Friends, Rust Friends, and Just Friends.

Ancient philosophers and contemporary scientists agree that a key — perhaps the key — to happiness is strong relationships with other people. We need to have intimate, enduring bonds; we need to be able to confide; we need to feel that we belong; we need to be able to get support, and just as important for happiness, to give support.

We need many kinds of relationships; for one thing, we need friends.

Now, the term “friend” is a little loose. People mock the “friending” on social media, and say, “Gosh, no one could have 300 friends!” Well, there are all kinds of friends. Those kinds of “friends,” and work friends, and childhood friends, and dear friends, and neighborhood friends, and we-walk-our-dogs-at-the-same-time friends, etc.

Obviously, such relationships are very different, although they’re all “friends.”

In Geoffrey Greif’s book Buddy System: Understanding Male Friendships, he identifies four categories of friendships:

Must friend: a best friend, a member of your inner circle, a person you count on when something big happens in your life

Trust friend: a friend who shows integrity, someone you feel comfortable with, that you’re always glad to see, but not in your inmost circle; perhaps someone you’d like to be closer to, if you had the time or opportunity

Rust friend: a person you’ve known for a long, long time; you’re probably not going to get any closer to that person, unless something changes, but a part of your life

Just friends: a person you see — at a weekly poker game, at your child’s school — who is enjoyable company, but you have no desire to socialize outside a specific context or to get to know that person better

I think it’s helpful to think about the different types of friends. Even if you wouldn’t invite some people to your wedding, they can still add a sense of warmth and richness to your life.

A friend of mine did an interesting friend-related exercise. She took a big piece of paper and made a chart of her friendships, based on clusters. As she did it, she highlighted the names of the people or institutions that had introduced her to a particular cluster. What she found — and this struck me as so interesting — was that a few people had served as very important connectors. Until she made that chart, she hadn’t realized that these few individuals had made such a difference in her social life.

I keep meaning to do this exercise myself.

What do you think of the four categories: must, trust, rust, and just friends? Are there any kinds of friends that aren’t captured in those four terms?

If you want tips for making new friends, look here, and tips for maintaining friendships, look here. I write about friendship in The Happiness Project, chapter on friendship.


Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home and Better Than Before. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.

 


Image courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez.

The post Do You Have These Friends? Must Friends, Trust Friends, Rust Friends, and Just Friends. appeared first on Positively Positive.

The Encouragement I’d Give to My past Depressed Self

In life, we often wish we knew the end of situations right from the beginning. Knowing that things would turn out wonderfully for me would have certainly made my depression easier to bear.

A decade ago, I struggled with depression. I didn’t recognize what was happening at the time, I just knew that my life wasn’t turning out the way I wanted it to. I felt that I wasn’t living up to who I thought I should be as a husband and father and it was crushing my spirit.

Buckling Under Pressure

It all started when I became an adoptive father. I was so excited to welcome our son to our family. I thought we’d have lots of fun and bond just like fathers and sons are supposed to. I quickly realized that wasn’t going to be. The closer I tried to get to him, the more detached and unresponsive he became.

I took it personally and saw it as a sign of my failure as a father. To make matters worse, I had just started my freelance business and was laboring under the weight of balancing constant demands and deadlines from clients with my family’s needs. The variable paychecks only seemed to confirm that I wasn’t hacking it as a provider.

Finally, the constant stress and pressure got to me and I just lost the will to go on. I spent days alternating between being withdrawn and irritable and I felt that my inner demons had won. It wasn’t until my wife begged me to seek help that I took a good look at my life and decided I needed to make changes. Realizing that I needed to prioritize my mental health, I took myself to a therapist. I identified that soul-deadening feeling as depression and started the long journey to a better me.

My bout with depression gave me valuable insight on coping with fears, worries, and anxieties. I have learned things I wish someone would have told me earlier. Here’s some of the hindsight advice I’d give my past depressed self:

Depression distorts your reality

Depression weaves a web of lies and convinces us that these negative thoughts are cold, hard facts. These thoughts distort your reality and give you false self-perception. I used to have a cycle of negative thoughts like these:

“I really suck at being a dad.”

“What’s the point in trying?”

“No one really cares.”

Even worse, depression robbed me of the motivation I needed to get help or do something to change my situation.

Now I recognize that such thoughts don’t reflect reality and that just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true.

Your feelings are valid

One of the things I recall about my bout with depression is how hard I fought my feelings. I thought that if I just thought positive thoughts and tried my best to ignore them, they would go away. At some level, I knew that those negative thoughts in my head weren’t true. After all, just because my son was struggling didn’t mean that my parenting was the problem. Furthermore, my freelance business was doing well enough for me to support my family.

However, as I discovered, emotions aren’t necessarily bound to facts. Depression is about being unhappy in spite of your circumstances. In my case, knowing that I wasn’t causing my son’s issues and that my career was finally taking off wasn’t enough to make me feel good.

Finally, I stopped trying to avoid my feelings and realized that I needed to find a way to deal with them, so I sought help.

It’s okay to ask for help

Asking for help to deal with my depression was hard. I thought that it showed how weak I was. After all, I thought men were supposed to be tough and here I was buckling under a little stress.

It took a long while to admit I needed help and even longer to ask for it. In addition to the shame I felt, there was also guilt. I didn’t want to be the guy who burdens others with his problems.

Although talking to others about my depression was hard, I finally got up the courage to explore different avenues before finding one that worked for me.

This experience will make you a better person

If someone had told me that going through depression would make me a better father and husband, I would have just scoffed. Looking back now, I can see how the lessons I learned during that difficult time have shaped the person I’ve become.

For instance, practicing mindfulness has helped me learn to cope with stress. Additionally, my own suffering has made me a more empathetic person and a better listener. The experience also led me to discover my passion for helping troubled teens get their lives back on track.

Perhaps the biggest lesson I learned is that life sometimes sucks and that’s alright. Eventually, things do get better as long as you keep working on improving yourself and don’t give up.


Tyler Jacobson is a proud father, husband, writer and outreach specialist with experience helping parents and organizations that help troubled teen boys. Tyler has focused on helping through honest advice and humor on: modern day parenting, struggles in school, the impact of social media, addiction, mental disorders, and issues facing teenagers now. Follow Tyler on Twitter and Linkedin.

 

 

The post The Encouragement I’d Give to My past Depressed Self appeared first on Positively Positive.

Sometimes You Just Need to Remember: You Were Here

When I’m feeling uninspired, disconnected, or defeated. When I’m rushing or pushing. When I’m adrift and need to find my footing, I look for signs of life. And every time I do, I’m reminded that life speaks to me, everywhere and always.

Life speaks to me in colors.

Girls in crimson dresses gather around a fountain. Strands of gold dangle from their necks and glitter in the afternoon sun. They remind me of roses sprouting through the sidewalk cracks. They laugh as a photographer takes their picture.

Birds flit through the trees, flashing their wings at the world below. A black one stays perched on its branch and watches as I pass. It tilts its head a little as if to get a better view, and when I get too near, it flies ahead to find a new lookout.

Watercolor clouds, grey with rain, sail above the golden desert. Blue sky peeks through the empty spaces between them.

Life speaks to me in touch.

My daughter rests her warm hand in mine as we walk from the car to school. We hop over busy ants, and her curls bounce against my arm.

The soft wind tickles my bare ankles. I pull my coat closer around me to keep warm.

My lungs expand, and my heart taps gently from the inside.

Life speaks to me in rhythm.

A mother pushes her children in a stroller. They talk about all they can see, and the wheels carry on a conversation with the earth. “I’m here, and here, and here” they seem to say.

The patter of last night’s rain fills the morning air as stray drops escape from the trees.

A train whistles in the distance and echoes back. A flag flaps in the wind. A clock chimes the hour. And in the room above my office, a flute begins to play.

Life speaks to me in memories and mementos.

Painted cats and salt crystals watch over us from the kitchen window, and crayon masterpieces tell me of a time that will be gone too soon.

Images flash through my mind as life says, “You were here. And here. And here.”

White steps, red brick building. 

Orchestra pit. 

Yellow gingham shirt.  

Prisms in the bathroom window. 

Deep green school bus seats. 

“And there’s so much more.”

If I ever have any doubts about who I am or why I’m here, I let life flow through me and remember:

Life chooses to express itself through me, to expand through me, to see itself through my eyes, to be here experiencing me for just a moment. @ralph_leslie (Click to Tweet!)

Right now, I am here, and there’s so much here to see.


Leslie Ralph is a psychologist, writer, and artist who hopes to leave the world a little brighter than she found it.  Her people are creative, sensitive spirits who crave love and peace, inside and out. Leslie is the author of There, I Might Find Peace: Poetry and Prose, Mantras and Meditations for Peace, Love, and Strength. Download her free gift, a ritual for receiving, a daily ritual for bringing more love and light, clarity and confidence, meaning and connection to your life. You can follow Leslie on Facebook or Instagram.


Image courtesy of Allef Vinicius.

The post Sometimes You Just Need to Remember: You Were Here appeared first on Positively Positive.

How Present Can You Be to “Negative” Feelings?

PRESENT WITH THE NEGATIVE

“Negative” feelings are part of the human experience. There’s no plainer or profound way to put that. To deny the negative feelings is to resist the power of our presence—we miss out on LIFE. Pushing away the darkness can be a precursor to numbing out and all kinds of addiction. We have to lean in, embrace it, even.

And, we often learn through contrast. That’s part of living in a dualistic reality. Restriction can lead to freedom. Shame can lead to pride. Weakness can lead to integrity. Again, lean in.

This is an exercise to examine your willingness to experience the more difficult feelings that life will inevitably bring. It’s a bit of “roll with it” training.

Important note: a “negative” feeling doesn’t have to be regarded as a “bad” or weakening experience. Anger can be creative, sorrow can bring us closer to Spirit. But for these purposes, “negative” feelings are what most of us would relate to as heavy, uncomfortable, painful and/or unpleasant.

We’re also aiming to understand why some feelings are easier or more difficult to experience than others. This way, when a negative feeling arises, you can see its associations and make a clearer choice to return to encouraging thoughts and your Core Desired Feelings.

  1. Negative feelings that I can experience with openness and intention. (i.e. Sadness, doubt, confusion, anger)…

  2. Why I’m able to experience those negative feelings with openness and intention…

  3. Negative feelings that I can be comfortable experiencing. (i.e. fear, uncertainty, overwhelm, melancholy, jealousy)…

  4. Why I’m able to be comfortable experiencing those negative feelings…

  5. Negative feelings that I have been extremely difficult for me to experience (they are CDF blockers). (i.e. Shame, anxiety, depression, apathy, unworthiness)…

  6. Why those negative feelings were extremely difficult for me to experience…

All Love,

Danielle


 

Danielle LaPorte is an invited member of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100, a group who, in Oprah Winfrey’s words, “is uniquely connecting the world together with a spiritual energy that matters.” She is author of White Hot Truth: Clarity for keeping it real on your spiritual path—from one seeker to another. The Fire Starter Sessions, and The Desire Map: A Guide To Creating Goals With Soul—the book that has been translated into 8 languages, evolved into a yearly day planner system, a top 10 iTunes app, and an international workshop program with licensed facilitators in 15 countries. Named one of the “Top 100 Websites for Women” by Forbes, millions of visitors go to DanielleLaPorte.com every month for her daily #Truthbombs and what’s been called “the best place online for kickass spirituality.” A speaker, a poet, a painter, and a former business strategist and Washington-DC think tank exec, Entrepreneur Magazine calls Danielle, “equal parts poet and entrepreneurial badass…edgy, contrarian…loving and inspired.” Her charities of choice are Eve Ensler’s VDay: a global movement to end violence against women and girls, and charity: water, setting out to bring safe drinking water to everyone in the world. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her favourite philosopher, her son. You can find her @daniellelaporte and just about everywhere on social media.


The post How Present Can You Be to “Negative” Feelings? appeared first on Positively Positive.

Healing Is a Game of Balance

As a Medical Intuitive I get the honor of helping people heal. I love paying attention to people that share their lives with me and helping them understand how their choices affect how they feel and the quality of their health.

Healing is a game of balance.

All of the things we choose to say yes and no to in a day ultimately affect our health and well being. There are a few questions I regularly ask my clients to help them find healing and balance.

Where are you giving your energy and focus? What is giving energy and focus back to you? As simple as these questions are, so many physical imbalances and health issues can be caused by living a life that is depleting.

So often we forget that it is OUR responsibility to rebuild our energy and rejuvenate our bodies and minds — it doesn’t just happen on its own. When we notice our body squeaking with headaches, constipation, fatigue, and insomnia — it is our bodies way of saying,” Hello! Remember me? Can I please get some TLC?”

How many times this week have you said you are stressed, or tired, or beat? And how many of those times did you stop to take a deep breath and ask yourself what you could do to rebuild or rejuvenate yourself? Imagine your body as having a battery – just like your cell phone. Start taking inventory of how you’re feeling! Don’t expect your body to recharge itself.

Think to yourself, “What gives me energy? What is taking away my energy?”

I often ask clients to make a list of things that are rejuvenating and a list of things that are depleting in their day to day lives. So often the depleting list is incredibly long while the rejuvenating list is pretty short. I remind clients that once they notice something starts to feel depleting its important to balance it out with something rejuvenating.

Some things that can be rejuvenating:

  • Reading or listening to music
  • Taking a nap, or getting more sleep at night
  • Drinking hot tea
  • Taking a bath
  • Connecting with friends, or snuggling with pets or loved ones
  • Getting a massage, manicure, or pedicure
  • Journaling or meditating
  • Eating healthy meals and drinking lots of fresh water
  • Sweet and loving communication
  • Lighting a candle, or diffusing essential oils
  • Taking deep breaths
  • Unplugging from social media and your phone

Some things that can be depleting:

  • Loud noises and overhearing other conversations
  • Daily responsibilities- like chores around the house
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Financial stress
  • Saying yes to too many social events
  • Stress/Pressure at work or school
  • Family
  • Not getting enough quiet time
  • Unhealthy meals
  • Arguing with a loved one
  • Too much caffeine/soda
  • Holding your breath due to stress and anxiety
  • Too much time on social media

The more you start to pay attention and commit to balancing out your energy, the more you will see your health balancing out! I promise you!

Days in our lives can blur together quickly. When we remember to make the day matter by taking a few moments to rejuvenate ourselves, it’s a simple way of expressing gratitude to our bodies for all that they give and do for us on a daily basis.

We are so blessed to be alive on this wonderful Earth!

We deserve to feel energized, happy, and inspired while we are here! What we choose to do with our time is crucial to us feeling amazing! @intuitionheals (Click to Tweet!)

Huge hugs!
Robin


Robin Lee is a medical intuitive, author, mentor, gratitude advocate, and speaker who has helped thousands of people around the world understand the language of their bodies. Robin believes that our bodies innately know how to balance and heal themselves if given proper care and support. Visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter, where she shares tips, tools, and techniques to honor our bodies and heal our lives!


Image courtesy of Willian Justen de Vasconcellos.

The post Healing Is a Game of Balance appeared first on Positively Positive.

Don’t: The B.S. of the American Religion

I lost a friend.

I didn’t tell her I got married. I didn’t tell anyone. I eloped. Later, I told people.

She wrote me, “I can’t believe you didn’t tell me.” And she stopped talking to me.

It’s a cliche to say, “Then she wasn’t really your friend.” That’s not true. I thought she was one of my best friends. I was sad.

It’s a cliche to say, “People tell you who they really are. You have to listen.”

Not everyone tells me who they are. And it’s really hard to listen.

“People are really good about making your happiness all about them. She was a thief of your joy.”

But I let her. I think about it. I wish we were friends.

It’s hard to open the door and let the world in every day.

***

I’m afraid to go against the American religion.

But Warren Buffett said, “You have to say no a lot!”

And some admiral said to make your bed every day.

But what about gratitude and waking up the same time every day? And if you don’t vote, do the terrorists win?

And meditation and working out and Marie Kondo?

Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo!

What the f*ck is up with Marie Kondo?

DON’T MAKE YOUR BED

When you sleep, up to a million microscopic dust mites crawl all over you.

They crawl into your mouth, your nose, and they dig into your skin. You breathe them in all night and they can trigger asthma attacks.

Over $1 billion a year are spent on mite-related illnesses.

Mites survive in moisture and humidity.

Like when a 98-degree human is sleeping in the sheets. But if the sheets dry out when they are left unmade, this will kill off the mites.

Don’t make a bed, save a life.

DON’T KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

I’ve been guilty of daily gratitude. Writing it down. I’m grateful for my kids, etc.

Here’s what happens: It becomes a chore. And then instead of writing down things I’m truly grateful for, I get superficial just to get it over with.

Plus, “happiness” is an addiction. If you get the happiness drug every day, you need more and more to get happy.

Like with any other drug.

Pace it out. “Studies show” writing gratitude once a week and going a bit deeper will result in higher levels of happiness.

DON’T VOTE

I’m vote-shamed every election. I never vote.

Well, I voted once. For town councilman in a tiny town of 100 voters. Three days later, I got a letter from the IRS. They found me.

Now I don’t vote.

People then tell me. “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a right to an opinion.”

People also say, “You don’t care about anything.”

And some people say, “When you don’t vote that’s like voting for [the opponent they hate that week].”

And others say, “How can you work for change if you don’t vote?”

Shut up.

First off, I don’t understand most of the issues enough to feel qualified to vote.

Everyone says, “This tariff WAR is out of control!”

It’s a war? Are guns being fired? Lives lost?

I ask one simple question: What were Chinese tariffs on U.S. goods? Nobody can answer.

I can’t even Google it. I still don’t know the answer. Hard issues are filled with nuances. But everyone has an opinion. I’m anti-opinion.

Secondly, I don’t care if I have a voice.

But I like to tell my stories. Everyone gets to choose what sort of voice they want to have.

Which is why I write. Which is why I respond to many of the emails I get based on my writing. Which is why I give talks and participate in innovations that I think will help humanity.

Part of the reason I care is because I want to make money.

When you create something that will help people, then you can make a lot of money.

I care about people but I also care about money because I want to feed my family and I’m getting older so I don’t want to work so much.

I want to stop giving time to the things I hate so I can give more time to the things and people I love.

Third, when I don’t vote, it doesn’t mean that’s the same as a vote for the candidate you hate. I didn’t vote for him or her either.

Fourth, there are many ways to work for change in life.

It’s really hard to be a good, decent person. Someone who doesn’t try to control the things they can’t control.

Someone who listens. Someone who tries to understand. Someone who is generous.

We are like a stone thrown in the water. If thrown at just the right angle, the stone will hit the ocean and ripples of the water will hit every shore.

The other day I gave a homeless person a Zimbabwe $1 trillion bill.

Every day he stands on the corner of my block and shouts all day long while asking for money.

I gave him the $1 trillion bill. He stopped shouting for a second. He was silent. He turned the bill over and read both sides.

He looked at me. He smiled. That’s change.

DON’T WAKE UP THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY

Experiment #1:

I tried this once: I slept from 4–8 p.m. and from 4–8 a.m. for a month straight.

I was unemployed and running out of money and doing random things to make enough money to live. I needed to make about $20 a day at the time. I had just been thrown out of graduate school.

I wanted to be a writer. I was trying to write 3,000 words a day.

My friends all worked. So from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. nobody bothered me and I was able to write.

Then I slept. Then from 8 p.m. to about 11 or 12, I would eat dinner and hang out with my friends.

Then I’d write again until 4 in the morning. Then I’d sleep from 4–8 a.m.

Eight hours of sleep a night. I felt great and I was amazingly productive.

Experiment #2:

For a month I went to sleep an hour later every day and then slept eight hours.

So the first day I woke up at 6 a.m. The second day at 7 a.m. The third day at 8 a.m. Etc.

Mid-month I was sleeping all day and up all night.

I still slept eight hours a day and felt great. The only time I don’t feel great is when I don’t sleep eight hours a day.

Sometimes my sleep schedule was so messed up I couldn’t see my friends. But I was very productive. And other parts of the month I was able to be more social.

I had an hour extra each day and used that extra hour to write. I guess the math works out that I lost a day each month but I only look like I’m good at math.

Plus I enjoyed telling people about my experiment. That was fun.


James Altucher is the author of the bestselling book Choose Yourself, editor at The Altucher Report and host of the popular podcast, The James Altucher Show, which takes you beyond business and entrepreneurship by exploring what it means to be human and achieve well-being in a world that is increasingly complicated. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.


Image courtesy of Naku Mayo.

The post Don’t: The B.S. of the American Religion appeared first on Positively Positive.

How to Use Your Body to Make Confident, Soul-Aligned Decisions

I sat in the bath, drowning in a state of utter paralysis.

I knew I had a decision to make; one that would shape the rest of my life. Should I accept the job in a new city to be with my partner (who’s been acting a little funny lately)? Or should I stay where I am, live with my parents, and focus on building my business?

I just couldn’t bring myself to decide. The pressure was too much; I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Our long-distance relationship was at breaking point. If I stayed, we wouldn’t make it. But if I moved, I’d have to take a job that didn’t allow me the freedom to work on my side hustle. Gahhhh.

How would I know if I made the right choice?

People often say, “trust your gut”, or “follow your heart”. In reality, it’s torturous for us to make decisions this way. After all, nobody ever teaches us how to tell if our gut feeling is actually correct.

I eventually made my decision, and stayed where I was. All along, my intuition had been telling me which direction to head in.

Here’s how I knew it was the right thing to do.

Intuition versus fear

My current partner recently told me he doesn’t trust his intuition. As a therapist, he said, he’s seen too many clients who mistake their ego (that loud, fear-based voice inside our heads) for their intuition, and thus make some pretty terrible life decisions.

To make good decisions, then, we need to recognise the difference between our ego, and our intuition.

We’ve all had experienced the voice in our head when things get tough, telling us crappy things like: “it’s not the right time… I’m not ready… I can’t do this”.

Sometimes these thoughts are helpful, but most of the time they’re not. It’s our old pal fear talking – our scaredy-cat ego trying to keep us safe from ‘harm’.

As I sat in that bathtub, this voice was incessant. It drove my crazy.

I’d evaluated all the pros and cons, made a lot of lists, and rationally assessed the situation, yet I was no closer to moving forward.

What I really needed was a framework to help me make a confident, soul-aligned decision.

Identify any secondary gains

If you feel stuck, think about what you’re gaining by not moving forward. The fear voice – the ego – is trying to protect you, by guiding you towards pleasure, and keeping you away from pain.

For example, if I moved (and abandoned my dream of starting a business), I would have avoided the uncertainty of not knowing whether it’d be successful. After all, I couldn’t be a failure if I never tried.

So ask yourself:

  • What am I gaining by staying right where I am?
  • What might it cost me if I do this (and fail)?
  • What might it cost me if I don’t do this?

Your “secondary gains” are a great indicator of your current comfort level.

If it’s clear that the potential benefits outweigh the risks – but you’re still resisting – you might be about to make a decision out of fear.

Recognise sneaky self-sabotage tactics

Once you understand your “secondary gains”, you begin to see how, when, and why you sabotage yourself. These tactics stop us from going after what we really want, and prevent us from fulfilling our true potential (sad face).

One of my own “secondary gains” was that because my relationship was long-distance and time-consuming, I had an excuse to only work on the business occasionally, without taking it too seriously.

When the issue of moving was raised, there was suddenly more pressure, and I was faced with either sabotaging myself (by giving up), or following my intuition (by making the business a priority).

Ask yourself:

  • How do you sabotage yourself (for example, giving up, avoiding important tasks, doing the opposite of what would help you get where you want to be)?
  • What feelings do you experience when this happens?
  • What thoughts do you have when this happens?

Our self-sabotage usually happens on a subconscious level, but reflecting on times you’ve done it in the past will help you spot your own patterns.

Then you’ll know that when these crop, you might be about to make a decision out of fear.

Tune in to your intuition

Now you’ve identified some of your self-sabotaging habits, it’s time to tap in to the wisdom of your body to distinguish the difference between fear and intuition.

This is the exact process I followed in that bathtub. I got quiet, closed my eyes, and asked for a little inner guidance.

If you have a decision to make:

  1. Close your eyes, and imagine all the possible outcomes of your decision, one at a time.
  2. As you visualise these, notice the sensations in your heart, solar plexus, and belly areas.
  3. Notice if you feel a sense of expansion (a flush of energy, openness, lightness), or a sense of contraction (tightness, tension, heaviness).
  4. A sense of expansion indicates an intuitive ‘yes’, and a sense of contraction indicates an intuitive ‘no’.

The sensations might be super subtle; but they’ll be there. Our bodies always give us the answer – the more you’re used to ignoring the body’s signals, the harder it might be to recognise at first.

The more aware you become of the expansive sensations, the more confident you’ll feel that you’re about to make a decision out of intuition.

Make confident decisions every time

Give this exercise a go for any decision you’re struggling with right now – and leave a comment below sharing your experience.


 Becki Sams is a writer, mindfulness meditation teacher, yogi, and wellness warrior. She spends her days writing about how we can all become happier humans. Subscribe to her email list to download your free stress melt meditation and a free copy of her Unplug, Unwind & Recharge e-book.

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of Andrei Lazarev.

The post How to Use Your Body to Make Confident, Soul-Aligned Decisions appeared first on Positively Positive.

There Is No ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ Thoughts

Focusing Awareness

Mindfulness is about being conscious of your mind and your body. It’s a practice of focusing awareness. When you are mindful, your attention is tuned into your emotions and all the sensations around you. It works with both the physical and psychological aspects of your daily life. As mentioned previously, reducing stress is one of the results of mindful meditation. There is evidence that it actually lowers the stress hormone in our bodies, and it also tackles stress by giving you perspective on all of your emotions. Mindfulness helps you to accept all your thoughts – positive or negative – and creates more resiliency. There’s no denying that life is stressful. The most effective way to deal with it is to acknowledge what you can change and what you can’t, and be mindful of moving through those feelings, knowing you can cope. Making situations disappear or transform, especially in the immediate moment, is not what mindfulness is about. Being mindful means you are accepting all that is happening, within you and your environment.

Non-Judgement

Non-judgment is at the core of mindfulness. There are no “good” or “bad” thoughts – only awareness. The choices that we make are based on either knowledge or ignorance. You can be living in an awakened state every day. When we make a choice in life it is neither good nor bad. It is just a choice that will lead you to the next experience that has already been programmed for you to meet. People think they have free will, but free will is only the choices we are given. Those choices come from being loving versus being non-loving. A great Master teacher, Sathya Sai Baba, said we should “start the day with love, spend the day with love and end the day with love” and if we do that we are constantly making the right choices in our lives. Every choice is a choice for love.

We should not be attracted to, nor have an aversion to what is given to us in every moment, but embrace and accept positive and negative as good. One cannot exist without the other. Being in a state of mindful meditation allows us to embrace both.

Getting Distracted

Life is meant to be a distraction. If you beat yourself up for being distracted, you’re creating more distractions. So start your day with a prayer that goes something like, “May all my actions today be for one purpose and one purpose only: to make God happy.”

Though you’ve set your intentions, one hour later you could very well be doing something that you know would not make God very happy. This is where your mindful practice comes in. If you notice your intention in that moment, there a good chance your conscience is going to tell you whether the action is in alignment with love/truth or not. And when it does, you have the opportunity to repeat your prayer again: “May all my actions just please You.”

You may be distracted again, sooner or later, but that’s all right. Saying the mantra or prayer starts a vibration that will automatically last for longer and longer periods of time. You will spend more time in a vibration of love and less and less time in the vibration of all that is not love. Focusing on love in the “now” helps to manifest your next moment – and all the moments moving forward – with love.

#LLLD


Derek O’Neill, fondly referred to as the Celtic Sage, inspires and uplifts people from all walks of life, offering guidance to influential world leaders, businesses, celebrities, athletes and everyday people alike. Distilled from his life work in psychotherapy, a martial arts career and study with wise yogis and Indian and Tibetan masters, Derek translates ancient wisdom into modern day teachings to address the biggest challenges facing humanity today. For additional insights listen to his free radio archives or or explore over 20 personal development books including Bullying, Love/Divorce, Grief, Mindfulness, Anxiety, Stress and Depression.


 

Image courtesy of Matheus Bertelli.

The post There Is No ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ Thoughts appeared first on Positively Positive.

Overwhelmed? 9 Quick Tips for Keeping Your Home Feeling Serene and Organized.

When I was writing my book, Happier at Home, I spent a lot of time thinking about—you guessed it!—how to be happier at home.

Here are a few very simple suggestions. These aren’t the most profound things you can do to make your home feel more serene and organized, but they’re steps you can take fairly quickly.

1. Be wary of bargains, sales, hand-me-downs and give-away. Do you really need this thing? Or love it? Beware: because of the “endowment effect,” we value things more once we own them. Once that thing enters your home, it will be tough to get it out again.

2. Never label anything “Miscellaneous.”

3. Remember: most decisions don’t require extensive research. Aim to be a satisficer, not a maximizer.

4. Don’t let yourself fall into “empty.” Keep cash in the house. Keep gas in your tank. Keep an extra roll of toilet paper squirreled away. Keep your phone charged.

5. Don’t keep excessive amounts of anything. Those glass vases that come from florists. Those ketchup packets that come with take-out food. A house with two adults probably doesn’t need fifteen mismatched souvenir coffee cups.

6. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the goodLower the bar. Actually spending ten minutes clearing off one shelf is better than fantasizing about spending a weekend cleaning out the basement.

7. Clean while you cook (literally and metaphorically).

8. Put things away in a specific place. It’s much easier to find things later, and it’s oddly satisfying to slot things into their precise places. “Ah, this particular basket on this shelf is the place for the AAA batteries.”

9. Make your bed. I know it sounds trivial, but it’s a bigger happiness booster than you’d expect.

In my new book, Outer Order, Inner Calm, I write about how to de-clutter and organize to make more room for happiness.


Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home and Better Than Before. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.

 


Image courtesy of Le Creuset.

The post Overwhelmed? 9 Quick Tips for Keeping Your Home Feeling Serene and Organized. appeared first on Positively Positive.

Feeling Stuck? Life Has a Bigger Picture for You.

Are you feeling stuck in what feels like a “too-small-for-you” life? Like a pair of britches from your adolescence, maybe they once fit. But now a deep breath feels impossible.

Perhaps the charge I used to hear from my mother has been leveled at you: “you’re too big for your britches.” No doubt, this was not meant to empower me. My mother wanted compliance, because encouraging my expression felt like more than she could handle. Compliance was easier, and in the midst of her own struggles, anything that seemed easier was a good thing.

Compliance was easier for me, too as a way to hide under the radar. But you can only hide out for so long.

Because compliance strangles. You cannot breathe in life’s fullness, nor express your soul’s voice.

stuck

Image courtesy of Angela Hawkins on Visual Hunt

Stuck Inside the Cage

What do you do when you feel stuck in something? A job that swallows your talent. A soul-killing relationship. Even (or especially) your own expectations of what you can and cannot do.

Do you feel yourself a “victim of circumstance”? You may not know what to do to change direction. Maybe you expect someone else to take action first, so that your situation changes.

How do you move beyond this feeling of being stuck

Here is how you begin: crack the cage door open. Even just a fraction creates space for the light to get in.

And for yours to emerge.

Then you get to question, and to explore. Notice if your pictures about what’s possible in life are open-ended. Are they limited by your expectations? Have you only considered actions that others would approve?

Have you forgotten the truth of who you are?

This is so important. You are so much more than your self-judgments and your imposed limitations! Yet in a moment of forgetting, you hand over validation to outside forces, firing up self-doubt and self-judgment.

A downward spiral of destructive thinking begins, your thoughts fueling a picture of yourself with no options.

These false beliefs become the whip you can use to punish yourself.

The downward path will continue as long as you believe in things that are not true. That you cannot rise above your situation, your obligations or your sense of limitation.

You have a choice to let go of self-critical beliefs. However, you must be ready to release your grip on self-denial.

Find the desire to be responsible for your own well-being. It’s there, even if it’s long been hidden in mothballs. Replace blame—of you or of anyone else—with a sense of curiosity about your patterns of thought and behavior.

Curiosity creates space for you to see. Once you see them for what they are, you can move on!

Trust that there is something more than you can see now, even if you have forgotten the details. With trust comes a recognition and acknowledgment that another place exists.

Image courtesy of Cornelia Kopp on Visual Hunt

Self-Discovery

Remember the feeling in your body when there was a sense of flow. You’ve felt it before, that clarity and sense of direction. Feel back into it. Breathe your way in, in order to give it life in the moment. This intimate relationship with yourself brings a deep feeling of connectedness, opening new possibilities for moving forward.

The light exists within you. Open yourself to experiencing it and you will.

When you surrender to the life force within you that keeps you alive, you will remember. Believe me, it will come. @TheBacaJourney (Click to Tweet!)

You will swing open the door.

And you will find yourself. This is what you have been searching for, isn’t it?


Laurie Seymour is a mentor/guide, #1 best-selling author, host of the Wisdom Talk Radio podcast and founder of The Baca Journey. She helps women and men who are in the midst of great change to have a direct experience of their inner wisdom, dissolving self-doubt. Then she provides the strategies to sustain their inner connection so that they live the life they know is possible with confidence. Start now with a complimentary exploratory session (virtual tea!). Let’s explore where you’ve been and illuminate where you’re heading.  

Feature Image courtesy of fusky on Visual Hunt.

The post Feeling Stuck? Life Has a Bigger Picture for You. appeared first on Positively Positive.