Leap Day 2016!

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https://pixabay.com/en/heart-two-people-hands-beach-ocean-1045210/

 

It’s LEAP DAY!

WooHoo! 

Time to make a Big Leap toward your dreams!  Let me know in the comments below what your Big Leap is.  Or go over to www.facebook.com/YesICanPepTalks and let me know there.  I want to celebrate YOU!

My Big Leap is making the change-over from http://www.dailypeptalks.wordpress.com to the new name and way to connect:   www.yesicanpeptalks.com. I have everything set up to go and I’ll be working on it all day.  Tomorrow you should see in your in-box the latest post and it’ll be from Yes I Can Pep Talks.

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https://pixabay.com/en/men-group-painting-crouching-158684/

WooHoo!!

The format is going to change a little bit–no worries, I am still deeply committed to helping you and cheering you on to achieve your dreams. I’ll be asking people I admire who have come through trials and tribulations of their own to share with us how they did it.

I’ll also be sharing resources and other information I find on the Internet–information from people I think are solid, know what they’re doing, are speaking from their own personal experience, and are keenly interested in reaching out a helping hand to others.

Also, over the upcoming months, I’ll be using additional ways to connect with you, making it much easier for you in your busy schedule. One of these will be connecting with you through a free newsletter that will alert you first of special information and resources.

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https://pixabay.com/en/athletics-sport-long-jump-659453/

Additionally in the upcoming months, I’ll be preparing booklets, checklist, and the like that will delve deeper into topics upon which my most popular posts have just touched the surface.

Most of all, I want to help YOU. I am very eager to hear what topics you’re interested in and how I can best help you.  I know how it’s so easy to become disheartened, confused, frightened, and frustrated as you go for your dreams.  I know how it can be very difficult, sometimes, to find good, solid information to shore up gaps in knowledge and strengthen weaknesses.  I also know how lonely it can feel and how it can seem like everyone–except you!–knows what they’re doing and are so amazingly good at it.

Been there, done that. Didn’t by the T-shirt, though, because sometimes I just wanted to wash my hands of it and move on.

So, stay tuned and stay in touch!

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https://pixabay.com/en/jump-fun-cotton-running-sports-493889/

Your homework today is to take a Big Leap toward your dreams! You can do it, I know you can!

Let me know in the comments below what you did and how awesome you feel about yourself. I want to celebrate YOU!

You’re AWESOME!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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Friends and Family

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Original_caption-_A_couple_of_hearty_characters_roar_at_a_good_joke_Art.IWMARTLD135c.jpg

 

 

Please note:  tomorrow is Leap Day and that’s when the name of this blog will change to Yes I Can Pep Talks.  You shouldn’t notice any change and should still have the blog come to your inbox as always.  If you have problems, please let me know at http://www.facebook.com/YesICanPepTalks.

 

I was talking to a friend this morning and he paraphrased a quote that he attributed to Jim Rohn and it struck home with me, especially since I had stayed up late last night reading the book by Bronnie Ware entitled The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.  The quote fit in perfectly with what I’d just read because one of the regrets is people wishing they hadn’t worked so hard, spent so much time, at their jobs.  Another regret is people wished they’d put more time and effort into relationships with family and friends.

Here’s the quote:

No business success is worth failing at home. ~Jim Rohn

 

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=24253&picture=good-friends
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=24253&picture=good-friends

I probably mangled the quote because I heard it second-hand from my friend. Although I couldn’t find the exact quote online, I’m sure I’ve captured the spirit of what Jim Rohn meant.

I can speak from personal experience that as I’ve navigated through the different challenges in my life over the years, including now as I’m re-building my life, the greatest gift I have received then and now is the heartfelt caring from friends and family. The biggest, most profound gift is knowing–and seeing it played out first-hand–that, when I’ve really been up against it, my friends and family are there, doing all they can to help and encourage me (and, naturally, I’m there for them).

Does that mean we never get on each other’s nerves from time-to-time? Of course not.  But through it all, the bond, the connection, remains unbroken.

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

Your homework today is to let your friends and family know that you’re thinking of them and that you’re grateful they’re in your life.  Then schedule in time each week to either spend time with family and friends or to drop a note to the special people in your life–or both!

Life is short; do it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

When Things Go Wrong – Update: Little Actions

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

 

In yesterday’s post (click here to be taken to it) I spoke of the difficult day I was having and what I was doing about it. Today’s post is letting you know how effective those strategies were.

I told of my friend who was a great help, holding strong for me when I couldn’t do it myself and who also reminded me that she thought I was on the right track and to keep on going.

Later on that evening as I was going through the items on my To Do list, periodically fearful thoughts and discouragements would try to creep in. Immediately, I would think about the belief my friend has in me and my work. I made sure to focus on that good energy from my friend and it helped me keep the worry and disappointment at bay. It was enough to give me a little bit of mental space so that those thoughts didn’t paralyze me. I was able to take teensy tiny steps and get some things crossed off my To Do list.

Today I mailed off the packet to the Heartless Bureaucracy and it felt great. Even though it has me flat on the mat, sending off the packet made me feel that I was at least kicking back. Yay for the underdog!

Doing this shows me that little actions–taking things one step at a time–really do pay off. Even though these situations may not be resolved in my favor, it has already paid off in my increased feelings of self-confidence, and that’s a good thing.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=133130&picture=flower
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=133130&picture=flower

Your homework today is to know that you have what it takes; you can take the next step. Breaking steps into little parts and pieces, and breaking those into tiny bits and jots—and then doing them—really does work!

You can do it!

I’m proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

When Things Go Wrong

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rozbit%C3%A9_j%C3%ADzdn%C3%AD_kolo_na_b%C5%99ehu_Daugavy.jpg

 

 

Have you ever had one of those days when it seems as if your life is crumbling around you–everywhere you turn there’s a problem, issue, challenge, obstacle = a big pile of steaming, smelly sh+t?

Yeah. Me, too.

In fact, today was one of those days (actually, it’s been going on all week but today was the Extra Big Kick in the Pants): An unexpected bill with a tightly knotted mix-up that needs to be straightened out, dealing with a heartless bureaucracy that just doesn’t care, a major client of mine deciding to do work in-house rather than out-source it to me, and glitches in the name change for this blog.

Oy.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=9652&picture=crying
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=9652&picture=crying

What I really want to do:

~Cry, wail, and make it all go away;

~Give up, quit, throw in the towel;

~Run away, hide, go to bed and pull the covers over my head;

~Find my fairy godmother and have her wave her magic wand over my life;

~Volunteer to (wo)man the first space flight to Mars as long as NASA agrees to shoot off the rocket tomorrow (no email, no phones, no texting, no apps, no computers…sounds like heaven to me!);

~Turn back the clock so I can lean on Mom and Dad.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madonna_of_Sacrifice_NGM-v31-p551.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madonna_of_Sacrifice_NGM-v31-p551.jpg

What I’ve actually done so far:

~Called my dearest friend and–literally–cried on her shoulder for a while. Although she didn’t have a magic wand (drat!), her calmness and strength gave me the reprieve I needed. For the time we were talking, I didn’t have to be strong or brave, I didn’t have to come up with all the answers. She gave me a safe and secure space in which to let it all out–all the frustration, fears, and general ickyness. She gently reminded me of the ideas I’ve shared with her that she thinks are great. She helped me realize that I do have options and, as Mom and Dad always said, as long as I have options, I can work myself out of whatever fix I’m in.

~Emailed a business colleague who I’ve collaborated with in the past and let him know my schedule is opening up. I told him that if he or anyone he knows has projects they need help with, then I’m your gal!

~Fantasized about where I would run off to and decided it would be fun to tour all of the national parks in the USA, especially in one of those trains that is designed for such a trip with those glass observation cars;

~Scrapped the blog I was going to write and wrote this one instead;

~Put together a big, fat packet for the heartless bureaucracy.

 

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sweet-dreams-dreaming-of-snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarves.jpg

What’s next on my To Do list:

~Get a good night’s sleep, as advised by my friend;

~Have a glass of wine so that I relax enough to sleep restfully;

~As I fall asleep, listen to Joe Dispenza’s Evening Meditation CD and meditate on why lately for every step I take forward, I take at least 3/4 step backward. What’s going on?  What am I doing or not doing that I need to stop or change? I’m going to sent thatout there to Whomever Is Listening and ask them to be very clear, and GENTLE (!!), with their answer so I easily get it and can do something about it!

Then I’m going to sleep well and wake refreshed, revitalized, rarin’ to go, with new ideas and a new direction.

At least, that’s what I’m hoping for. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Good night; sweet dreams!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

PS  Thanks for listening!

What I’ve Learned: A Better Way to Handle Crazymakers

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jester_20071028_Manga_Expo.jpg

 

Do you have Crazymakers in your life, those people that Julia Cameron in her book The Artists Way describes as: those persons that create storm centers (page 44).   They may not be Drama Queens or Divas or anyone who’s over-the-top in any way; sometimes they can seem very normal–and even nice–but they still drive you crazy!

I know I do!

Let me give you an example from my own life. I work with a woman who is agreeable on the surface but she has a very subtle way of casting those around her in an unfavorable light and, the next thing you know, you’re under the bus.  I’ll call her Sally.  Needless to say, I’m careful when I have to deal with her!

Just yesterday, I was in a meeting, which Sally also attended. After it broke up, three of us (me, Sally, and another co-worker) were chit-chatting as we gathered our papers and files.  Sally mentioned she was having a problem with a former friend of the three of us.  It was a problem that Diva always created, which is the reason that caused me and my other co-worker to drastically limit our contact with.

When Sally mentioned her difficulties with Diva, I debated whether or not I should reassure her by telling her not to take personally the things Diva said and did.

Any of my true friends I would immediately reassure them but Sally has a bad habit of twisting things–even things I intend to be helpful–into something that they aren’t. With that reminder, I thought I’d keep my mouth shut.  But then another thought came into my mind:  what kind of person do I want to be–the type of person who lends a helping hand where they are able to, or the type of person who lets others flail around instead of helping when they know full well they are able to?

I chose to try to reassure Sally.

Yes, as I suspected, she took my words and started to twist them, but then I remembered something about Sally: she loves animals.  In her current apartment she isn’t allowed to have any so she takes care of people’s pets in their homes when they are away.

I interrupted her and asked if she was still pet sitting for the adorable cocker spaniel puppy she had told us about the other day. She was momentarily taken aback at having been derailed but her love for animals kicked in.  She lit up and started telling us of the puppy’s latest antics.

Phew! Dodged that toss under the bus!  🙂

 

https://pixabay.com/en/puppy-cocker-spaniel-cute-dog-318161/
https://pixabay.com/en/puppy-cocker-spaniel-cute-dog-318161/

Your homework today is to ask yourself how you’re trying to connect with people–especially the ones in your life that drive you crazy. Certainly move them out of your life, if possible, and, if you can’t do that then limit your contact with them.

On the occasions when you have to deal with them, try to connect in a different way. Find out more about them–people are multi-faceted and there’s more to Crazymakers than the traits that drive you nuts.  Find something about them that that you find interesting or that you may even admire about them (perhaps they’re an avid movie-goer or they travel or they have an unusual hobby).  Then, when you have to be with them, connect with them through those other aspects.

I admit that it’s hard, sometimes, to use this technique with Crazymakers, but give it a try.

Let me know in the comments below–or on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/YesICanPepTalks/–how this technique works for you. And share with us any tweaks that you’ve found that makes this technique more effective.

Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Action Levels the Playing Field

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http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=89852&picture=turtle-crossing-sign

 

Often the difference between a successful person and a failure is not one has better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take a calculated risk – and to act. ~Maxwell Maltz

 

I like today’s quote because it’s telling me that the playing field really is level.

This quote is a version of the tortoise and hare story.

At first, it seemed as if the race between the hare and tortoise was a joke—the hare was a hands-down favorite to win, a no brainer. The hare has the speed and the agility to quickly and easily navigate the course.

The tortoise, on the other hand, would move inch by excruciatingly slow inch. No way was there even the slightest hope for the tortoise to win—or to be even the mildest of challengers. But the tortoise didn’t back down, didn’t turn away in shame or embarrassment when onlookers jeered him. He met the challenge of the race and doggedly moved toward the finish line.

The hare was over-confident and took a nap or two in the middle of the race—he stopped taking action. The tortoise was perseverant and relentlessly kept taking action, one step at a time.

The result: against all odds and logic and conventional wisdom, the tortoise won the race.

His win had nothing to do with who was fastest or more nimble, or which one was smarter or more talented. Winning the race came down to the fact that the tortoise believed in himself, was willing to trust himself in spite of the odds being against him, and then took step after step after step until he achieved his goal.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tortoise_Wins_by_a_Hare_title_card.png
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tortoise_Wins_by_a_Hare_title_card.png

The moral of the story is: forget about what the other person has; forget about what you don’t have. Trust yourself that you have what it takes, and then be unshakable in taking step after step after step until you reach your dreams.

You can do it, I know you can!

I’m very proud of you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Sighing Exercise

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Annoyed_Lioness_(3869878597).jpg

 

 

This morning I woke up feeling out of sorts and I couldn’t immediately identify what was bothering me. I was starting to get frustrated because usually I can check in with myself and, within a few minutes, start to decode my feelings.

But that wasn’t happening this morning.

Feeling even more irritated, I plopped into a chair next to my library books. The first one I saw was Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercises for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life by Tzivia Gover.

I thought to myself: You have got to be kidding me! On a day like today when my annoyance is increasing by the second?! Is this author nuts, or what?!!

Just for the heck of it, I opened the book to a random page and this is what I saw: “The Oy of Joy” (page 29). In this chapter, the author talks about days when it’s tough to find joy in anything—even the things that delighted you before or those things for which you are deeply grateful. **insert The Twilight Zone theme song here!**

She talked of the connection between separation and wholeness, heartbreak and healing. Then, on the following pages (pages 30-32, with a meditation beginning on page 33) she listed several exercises to help you find joy in the midst of discomfort. All of them would be helpful but today two in particular resonated with me: “Broken Bits of Joy” and “Sighing Into Sadness”.

The artist in me appreciated Tzivia Gover’s suggestion of making a point of looking at the broken things—glass on the side of the road and dried up pieces of leaves blowing along the sidewalk (the “Broken Bits of Joy” exercise). Not only did it challenge me to find the “found art” quality of these items, but it felt more authentic. It felt as if I was giving a voice to the not-so-pretty agitation inside of me, which actually did make me feel better. If I had made myself notice pretty flowers or breathtaking landscapes instead, it would have felt like I was lying to myself and forcing down those “icky” feelings, which would have made me even more agitated and unsettled.

As good as this exercise was, the exercise of “Sighing Into Sadness” was profound—a wake-up call. I was shocked at what I’d discovered.

I didn’t do the exercise the way she described it. All I did was sigh, as the title suggests, and then relaxed. I quickly realized I was feeling burdened and overwhelmed without enough time to do anything about it.

Ack!

I realized I needed to make room in my own life for me—which is a post I did a few weeks ago (I should make it a point to re-read my own posts!) click here to be taken to that post. For me, making room in my life means setting firmer boundaries: Saying “no” more often, making myself a priority in my own life, and scheduling time on my calendar to work on the projects that are important to me—regardless of whether or not they’re important to anyone else.

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GatosVestidos.jpg
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:GatosVestidos.jpg

The “Sighing…” exercise took less than 15 minutes, but it gave me back the rest of my day!

Your homework today is to take a close look at the things that are agitating you and try sighing into them as suggested in the book by Tzivia Gover, Joy in Every Moment: Mindful Exercixes for Waking to the Wonders of Ordinary Life.

Let me know if this helps you, or if you have other exercises that you do. You can comment here in the “Comments” section below, or you can go to my Facebook page and let me know what you think. Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/YesICanPepTalks/

I’m eager to hear what you do when you feel irritated and unsettled!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren