Celebrate! Dance to the Music!

copyright LMC Images
copyright LMC Images

Yesterday we talked about A New Day is coming.  Today, let’s build on that theme by taking a look back at all the fantastic progress you’ve made this month.  It’ll help with preparing for this coming month—another opportunity for a new start!

Let’s celebrate all your accomplishments this month because you’ve done really well.  First of all, you made the commitment to achieving your dreams and goals.  This is a huge step because it took courage and resolve to make this promise to yourself.  You should most definitely celebrate it.  Yay you!

Next, you identified some steps you’ll need to take in order to reach your goals and dreams.  This, too, is fabulous.  Recognize the intelligence it took to identify these steps, which means you’re smart and resourceful.  Yahoo for you!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thumbs_up_by_Wakalani.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thumbs_up_by_Wakalani.jpg

Then you broke them into small steps—some of them were infinitesimally small, which is just fine—and you committed to taking these small increments and steps on a regular basis.  Recognize the courage and resolve that it took to do this.  It’s a wonderful thing to behold about yourself.

Then you’ve actually taken some steps whether you’ve felt like it or not whether you were frightened or not, whether you were certain or not.  This proves you have what it takes to succeed:  the grit, the stamina, the determination, the persistence, the character, the integrity.  YOU ROCK!!

FEEL THE PRIDE!  You deserve it; you’ve most definitely earned it!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Face-smile.svg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Face-smile.svg

Your homework today is to revel in how strong and brave you are because you’ve taken steps toward your dreams and goals, and some of those steps were difficult and scary.  You did it anyway, in spite of your fears and anxieties.  Yay for you!!  This goes to show how awesome you are.  WooHoo!

Remember to rejoice in how fantastic you are because you have made progress.  You rock the house down!

MAKE SURE TO HOLD ONTO ALL THIS GOODNESS!

Do not let anyone—yourself included—or anything diminish or dismiss any of your accomplishments this month, no matter how seemingly small.  Small, teensy-tiny increments add up over time, so it all counts; it’s all good!  Stand tough and stand strong against any negativity!  This is important and it’s imperative that you do this!

You can do it!  Go you!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanesaMallory.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:VanesaMallory.jpg

I’m so proud of you!  You’re progress this month has been marvelous!  You’re terrific!

You’re Friend,

Lauren

A New Day Coming!

Copyright VNS Images
Copyright VNS Images

There’s a new day coming! If you’re reading this first thing in the morning, then you’re at the start of a new day. If you’re reading this midway through the day or in the evening, then in a few hours it’ll be a new day. A new day is a very good thing!

The good thing is it’s an opportunity to start fresh a anew. No matter what you did or did not do yesterday and no matter what did or did not happen, you have the opportunity to press the ‘reset’ button and start the day with a clean slate. It’s a relief to know that!

Granted, there are things that carry over from day-to-day but this morning, today, you can do them and respond to them in a different way. You don’t have to do things the same old way. You don’t have to think the same old thoughts. You can change; you can press the reset button starting this morning. Doing things differently than your habitual way and responding differently than your usual way is how you move forward.

You can do it!

Your homework for today is think about the small changes you can make—or big changes, if you’re brave enough! Think back over these previous 29 days and find a small something that you can do a little differently. It doesn’t have to be a big change—remember the small steps and even tiny pieces of steps add up;  it all counts!  Make that change today. Do it! I know you can!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=33364&picture=smiley&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=33364&picture=smiley&large=1

I’m so proud of you for pressing onward. I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nervous.gif
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nervous.gif

Let’s talk about anxiety and panic attacks.  If you suffer from these, you may have noticed that they may be showing up more now that you’re working toward your goals and dreams or they may have increased in their intensity.

I want you to understand that I’m not a trained healthcare professional and I’m not offering any type of diagnosis or professional advice; please consult with your healthcare provider. Having said that, here are a few things I’ve observed to be helpful that you might consider discussing with the professionals with whom you are working.

First of all, stay as calm as you can and know that this, too, shall pass.  You can remember a time when you weren’t panicked or anxious, which means you’re not constantly terrorized.

Then consider:

~Get out and get around other people.

When you’re feeling anxious or panicked, it can be helpful to get out of yourself.  What I mean by that is to stop focusing on yourself, your body, and the thing that triggered your anxiety/panic attack.  Get out and be with others.  Of course spending time with friends and family who care about you can be very comforting, but if that isn’t possible, you can still be with others by going to your local library or visiting a popular park.  Even visiting a grocery store, a coffee shop, or a church—any place where people congregate—can be reassuring.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balloon_Race_10June2006.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Balloon_Race_10June2006.JPG

~Give something away.

When you are out and with others, give something away to them.  Probably the most important, valuable, and helpful thing you can give away is your smile and a kind word or two.  Not only will the recipients feel better but you’ll feel great!

Your homework for today is to make a list of people you can be with and/or places you can go when you’re feeling anxious or panicky.  Also think about times and situations that might trigger your anxiety and panic.  Brainstorm ideas for how to be proactive and handle these things before they trigger your anxiety and panic.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thumbs_up_by_Wakalani.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thumbs_up_by_Wakalani.jpg

I’m so proud of you for doing this work and learning how to control your emotions rather than have them run roughshod over you.  You rock!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Positive Thinking versus Wishful Thinking

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Big_Chief%E2%80%99s_Fairy_Godmother.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Big_Chief%E2%80%99s_Fairy_Godmother.jpg

A co-worker of mine is a devotee of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, and other similar new-age success systems.  I read many of these books myself for tips and techniques.  I figure, if nothing else, you never know where an idea will come from that will make all the difference!

My co-worker, though, is confusing a positive thinking with wishful thinking.  She’s having financial difficulties.  Her solution is spending a lot of time crafting and repeating positive statements and affirmations.

Of course it greatly helps in your journey to have a positive, can-do attitude.  Without it you may miss opportunities and ideas that will help you succeed.  A positive, can-do attitude will help you bounce back a little faster when you hit obstacles.  With a positive, can-do attitude it’ll be easier for you to find the good—the benefit—in going through a few bumps in the road.  With a positive, can-do attitude it’s easier to retain your equilibrium and balance when you hit a rough patch.  With a positive, can-do attitude, on good days you feel super-charged and on “bad” days you still find ways to make some sort of forward movement.

Wishful thinking, on the other hand, is an idle activity.  Sometimes, wishing sounds like a positive attitude but the difference is no action is ever taken.  Wishful thinking is all talk, all planning, but no action, no execution of any part of those plans.  Without action, there will be no achievement no matter how wishful your thinking and hoping.

That’s the case with my co-worker.  She isn’t doing anything to help herself.  She keeps saying that her positive thinking and affirmations will bring the desired results to her.  She doesn’t realize that she has to take some action by going out to find her dreams.  She has to get busy and take steps along the road so she can meet up with her success.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Think-positive.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Think-positive.jpg

Positive thinking is holding your vision in your mind, thinking positive thoughts and repeating affirmations, doing what you can each day to advance toward your dreams and goals, and being open to tweaks that will be needed along the way.

We all indulge in wishing, it’s a normal and natural part of being human.  Many people who have achieved their dreams have started out with wishful thinking.  The difference is the people who achieved success eventually took action, took steps regularly toward their dreams.

Your homework today is to think about your journey to your goals and dreams.  Are you wishful thinking or are you putting some action behind those wishes?  If you’re wishful thinking, take a look at the first step.  Break it into small, easily doable pieces.  Choose one of those pieces and do it.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Handshake_(Workshop_Cologne_%2706).jpeg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Handshake_(Workshop_Cologne_%2706).jpeg

Congratulations!  You did it!

I’m so proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Start Your Engines!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:8_ball_face.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:8_ball_face.jpg

Has life gotten in the way lately so you haven’t taken steps toward your dreams and goals?  Do you feel like you’re behind, that you need to catch up?  Are you feeling overwhelmed at the prospect?

No worries!  Start right where you are.  Don’t think of yourself as behind or that you need to catch up,  This is not a race!  You are not in competition with anyone or anything else!  And, the fate of the world and the universe is not dependent upon you being up to date with your journey to success.  You can take as much time as you need to get to your goals and dreams.  There is no expiration date!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=1829&picture=internet-browsing
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=1829&picture=internet-browsing

Your homework today is to take a look at your responsibilities and oblications that you have each week.  Are there any that you can delegate?  Are there any that you can say “no” to?  Brainstorm ideas for opening up a little space in your week to fit in time to work toward your goals and dreams.  Be creative!

Now take a look at the steps on your journey.  Can you break them into smaller pieces–pieces that fit better into your schedule as well as ones that are small enough to be easily doable in small chunks of time?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Footprints_on_the_Beach_-_geograph.org.uk_-_889815.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Footprints_on_the_Beach_-_geograph.org.uk_-_889815.jpg

Once you’ve done this, then take a step–even an itsy-bitsy one.

Yay you!

You did it!  I’m so proud of you!  I knew you could do it!!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Go Team, Go!

Courtesy NASA Images
Courtesy NASA Images

Most of the time, we know what we need to do in order to reach our dreams.  We don’t need to be told.  All we really need is a boost.  So, here it is!

You have what it takes to achieve your goals and dreams.

You’re smart, intelligent, and have awesome street-smarts.

You’re strong, persistent,

You have grit, determination, you have grit

You’re smart, intelligent, and have awesome common sense.

You’re strong, persistent, and resilient.

You have grit, determination, and fortitude.

You’re creative, innovative, and your own special brand of genius is just right for helping you achieve your goals and dreams.

You’re in the right place at the right time doing the right things in the right way.

You’re on time and on track.

You’re a learner with an inquisitive and probing mind.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=6337&picture=winged-victory
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=6337&picture=winged-victory

You’re a champion, a victor, and a winner.

You are fully equipped, perfectly fitted out, powerfully enabled

You are authorized, approved, and specially endorsed to go for all your goals and dreams

You are powerful, mighty, and formidable

YOU ARE AWESOME!!  YOU ROCK!!

You’re homework for today is to find a mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and with as much emotion and feeling as possible, repeat these statements to yourself (substitute “I” for ‘you”).  Absorb the power and energy and let it sink into your bones–into the very core of you.  Now take a step, even a tiny one.

Go for it, you can do it!

I’m so proud of you!  I knew you could do it!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pale_blue_eyes.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pale_blue_eyes.jpg

Your Friend,

Lauren

Fill ‘Er Up!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chronic_fatigue_syndrome.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chronic_fatigue_syndrome.JPG

Are you having trouble getting up and getting going?  Is your energy at an all-time low?  Are your reasons for making this journey to your goals and dreams just not that compelling and motivating right now?

This can be a little disconcerting because you’ve been doing so well with coming up with a plan, breaking it into steps, breaking those into small, easily doable pieces, and then doing something every day that will take you to your dreams and goals.  Right now, though, a heaviness might have descended upon you making you feel lethargic and fatigued.  The slightest, easiest task may seem nearly impossible to even think about, much less do.

It’s natural to feel this from time-to-time.  It could be that you need to fill the well, as Julia Cameron says in her book The Artist’s Way.  If you don’t already have this on your shelf, go to your local library and borrow a copy.  Her chapter on The Artist Date can be very enlightening and helpful.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glass-half-full.jpeg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Glass-half-full.jpeg

Your homework today is to think about things you can do to give yourself a break when ever you need to re-charge.   In Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way, read the chapter on Artist Dates and use it as inspiration for things you can do to fill your own well.  Make a list and save it where you can access it easily.  Then do one of those things.  Enjoy the moment, enjoy the time you spend doing the thing.  Let it nourish you and fill you up.

One of my favorite things to do is to daydream.  I enjoy sitting outdoors—or looking out my window during inclement weather—letting my eyes rest on the scenery and then allowing my mind to roam free.

Another favorite thing is looking through quilting books.  I’m not a quilter and I never will be, but I love the colors, patterns, and creativity of each artist and each quilt.  I sense the stick-to-it-iveness that was needed to complete the project and that energizes me.  Of course, the overall beauty of each quilt is also inspiring!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LOLCAT.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:LOLCAT.JPG

You can do this; I believe in you!

I’m so proud of you for doing this.  You’re awesome!

Your Friend,

Lauren

PS  Giving yourself a break or taking an Artist Date is an important step in your journey to your dreams and goals.  How cool is that?!

Here Be Dragons

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dragon-Linda_BlackWin24_Jansson.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dragon-Linda_BlackWin24_Jansson.jpg

You’re frozen, paralyzed, and can’t move forward.  You know you want to take the step, you know it’ll take you that much closer to your dreams and goals, but you just can’t do it.

You feel out of control and nothing around you seems familiar.  Your old ways of responding to situations may not work and your mind is blanking out on what to do.  You’re beginning to believe the notations on the edges of antique maps might actually be true:  “Here be dragons”!

Believe it or not, it’s a good thing when you’re feeling this way!  All that’s happening is that you’re doing something different and stretching yourself.  Your brain no longer has a familiar template to work with so it’s sending signals to you saying “Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”

It isn’t unusual at all that–as you move toward your dreams–anxieties, fears, and even abject terror can be triggered.   It’s normal and not something to panic about.  All it means is that you’re moving out of your comfort zone.

Not a big deal, truly.  Slowing down and taking smaller steps will usually help you feel more stable.

Please know that I am not diminishing or invalidating anything you’re experiencing.  What I am trying to do is help you by pointing out that you’re still on this side of the dirt so this isn’t fatal.  It isn’t cataclysmic either because the world is still spinning and gravity is still holding everything in place.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SUNLIGHT_ON_YOUNG_PINE_-_NARA_-_542931.tif
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SUNLIGHT_ON_YOUNG_PINE_-_NARA_-_542931.tif

I’ll bet you can remember times when you weren’t anxious and you felt safe and okay.  So that says that your feelings of fright are not here to stay–they’re just passing through.  Soon, if you pause and take slow, deep, calm breaths and repeat to yourself that all is well, you’ll find yourself feeling less anxious and overwhelmed.  Your reason and logic will come back and you’ll be able to use them to further calm yourself down.

Your homework for today is to remain present in your anxiety.  I know it’s a tough thing to do because you want to run and hide.  Do what you can to get a grip on it rather than letting it spiral out of control.  The more you are present in the moment with it and the braver you are in looking at it right in the face, the better you’ll understand it and the easier it will be for you to find the gift it has for you.

For right now, you might be able to do this for only a very short while.  That’s okay.  Every time you do this, every time you don’t give in all the way and every time you push back just a little bit, you become stronger and you gain a little piece of understanding about yourself.  Challenge yourself each time to do just a little bit more than the last time, even if it’s just a tiny bit.  Tiny bits count!

If you can, for extra credit, after you’ve calmed yourself a little bit, think about what might have triggered your anxiety.  Remember who you were with, where you were, what was being said, what were you thinking, any scents or any other sensory details.  Scents and other sensory impulses can be very powerful and trigger long-forgotten recollections

It might not have been anything you actively did but rather something someone said or something you observed–or even an impression that was operating at nearly subconscious level.

Try to identify the trigger.  Knowing this can help you brainstorm things you can do when you find yourself feeling anxious.  If you’re prepared, then you can do something about it and help yourself feel better.

This can be hard work to find your way out of the panic, but you can do it!  Keep working at it, you’re doing fine!  It’s going to take a little bit of time and effort because it’s a new skill for you–remember the earlier post that you’re a learner!  You can do this, though, as long as you keep at it bit by bit.

For another extra credit assignment, find a teensy-tiny, itty-bitty piece of a step that you can quickly and easily do, then do it.

Don’t worry if these extra credits are too much for you to do right now.  One day you’ll be able to do it, I’m sure of it!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Love_heart.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Love_heart.jpg

It’s a very big deal that you’ve calmed yourself down, even just a tiny bit.  You’ve struck a blow against your anxieties, fears, and panics.  Yay you!!

You did excellent work today!  Feel proud of yourself because this is sometimes hard and scary work.  You did it, though!  Good for you!

**As an aside, when you do releasing-type work, whether it’s with physical things, such as decluttering your home, or if you’re working with identifying emotional triggers and other blocks, be sure you drink plenty of water to flush out your system.  Also, eat foods that are fresh with life in them, such as raw vegetables and fruits.  Finally, make sure you get plenty of rest and sleep.  Releasing-type work is strenuous and your body needs sleep and rest–maybe even a little more than usual.

I am so proud of you.  You rock!

Your friend,

Lauren

**Please note that I am not a medical professional and do not intend to dispense any kind of medical advice or recommendations.  I’m sharing what’s worked for me.  Please consult with appropriate health care professionals regarding your particular situation.

Release Me, Let Me Go

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dripping_faucet_1.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dripping_faucet_1.jpg

You probably have a routine of affirmations and you say them faithfully.  You’ve de-cluttered your environs, including your mind.   You have the education, the skills, a well thought-out plan as well as back-up plans.  You probably have a network of people and resources to turn to when, inevitably, the going gets tough.  Yet, you still can’t seem to press the “start” button–or your motor quickly comes to a sputtering halt.

What’s going on?

It very well could be that you need to let go of some outdated notions you have about yourself.  Subconsciously (or consciously) you may be hearing someone from your past telling you that you don’t have what it takes to make anything of yourself.  It could be that you view yourself as too old or too young, not the right gender or race, or some other thing.  Or you have the crazy idea that other people are lucky and destined to achieve success whereas you simply are not.

Let me tell you that success is no respecter of persons meaning that it doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, where you grew up, who your family is; how old, young, short, tall, fat, skinny, you are or anything else, for that matter.  All it takes to be successful is to consistently and persistently take the steps needed toward your goals and dreams and keep doing this for as long as it takes.  So what if it takes you your whole life to achieve your dreams and goals?  Can you think of any more exciting or noble thing to dedicate your life to?

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Discus_Thrower_Copenhagen.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Discus_Thrower_Copenhagen.jpg

So, release and let go of the unhelpful notions about yourself that you may be harboring in your psyche.  Whether they come from anyone else or if it’s something you came up with on your own, let it go!

Even if it’s an authority who says that it can’t be done, it still doesn’t matter.  They don’t know everything there is to know and you may have a shade different take on something that’ll make all the difference.

For your reading pleasure, here is an article on a few everyday items we all enjoy that, when they were first invented, experts scoffed at:  http://ecosalon.com/9_life_changing_inventions_the_experts_said_would_never_work/

For your homework today, search the Internet for sources listing other inventions and creations that experts laughed at.  Now, take a moment to absorb the fact that even the experts don’t have all the answers!  Feel yourself letting go of and releasing all those outdated notions you have of yourself and know that with consistently taking steps, eventually you will reach your dreams and goals.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jumping_for_joy.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jumping_for_joy.jpg

Get busy taking that next step!!

You can do it!  Go you!

I’m so proud of you.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Stop, in the Name of Love

 

Copyright VNS Images
Copyright VNS Images

When we make a mistake and when we suffer a setback or a failure, oftentimes we feel like a loser.  We chastise ourselves for not being smarter or for not anticipating this.  It may cause us to question our intelligence, competency, capabilities, and the legitimacy of our desire to go for our goals and dreams.

For the love of yourself and who you are, STOP!  Stop yourself before you go too far with this!

Just because you made a mistake or had a setback or experienced a failure, that does NOT negate or invalidate the fact that you have every right to go for your goals and dreams.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arkivhyllor_i_k%C3%A4llaren_p%C3%A5_Hallwyl_-_Hallwylska_museet_-_85989.tif
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arkivhyllor_i_k%C3%A4llaren_p%C3%A5_Hallwyl_-_Hallwylska_museet_-_85989.tif

You are NOT a loser, YOU ARE A LEARNER!!!

Let me repeat that:  You are NOT a loser, YOU ARE A LEARNER!!!

Did you get that?  You are NOT a loser, YOU ARE A LEARNER!!!

One more time!  You are NOT a loser, YOU ARE A LEARNER!!!

You may have to tweak your plans a bit or do more research or brush up your skills.  You may have to break the steps into smaller pieces.  This is normal and natural.  This is all a part of the journey to your dreams and goals.

Treat yourself kindly and gently.  Brush yourself off and tell yourself that this is not the end of the world, because it isn’t.  Think about how far you have already come in these first few weeks of the year.  Give yourself credit for all the things you’ve learned.  Pat yourself on the back for all the steps you’ve taken, no matter how small.  Take a moment to think about the good things you have done, whether or not it’s in relation to your goals and dreams.  I’m sure you’ll find that you’re a terrific person!

Take a little time today to do something nice for yourself (remember you don’t have to spend money).  Things like playing with your pet, visiting or calling family or friends, sitting or walking in nature, reading a good book, and listening to good music are all things that will restore your spirits.

You can do this, I know you can!

Your homework for today is to repeat to yourself:

I am a learner

I am a learner

I am a learner

Also repeat:

Every day in every way I am getting better and better (a quote attributed to Emile Coue, a French psychologist and pharmacist in the early 1900’s)

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Double-Rainbow.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Double-Rainbow.jpg

Repeat often throughout the day, especially first thing in the morning and the last thing before going to sleep.

For extra credit, read any biography or memoir about anyone who’s achieved a level of success and you will find that they’ve all had bumps–and out-right disasters–to deal with as they went for their goals and dreams.  By picking themselves up and trying one more time, they eventually achieved success.  You can, too!

I am so proud of you for loving yourself enough to take care of yourself.  I’m proud of you for loving yourself enough to give it another shot.

I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren