Other People: The Ones Who Have Hurt You and How to Deal With It

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We’ve all been hurt and angered by others. Usually we can shrug it off, but there are certain people or particular experiences that continue to impact us, even though the people may no longer be in our lives or that the experiences happened years–decades–ago.

Many times from numerous sources I’ve heard that forgiveness is NOT AT ALL about the other person but rather it’s all about me, my life, and staying on track with who I am and what my purpose in life is. But when the rubber meets the road, it’s really hard to put this into practice.

After years of working on this, here’s how I think about forgiveness, which makes it easier for me to put it into practice:

To me, the essential thing to keep in mind is to constantly be asking myself (being mindful of the question) “What kind of person do I want to be?”

Whether it was intentional or not on my part, do I want to be the person who doesn’t apologize, who doesn’t really care, that someone may have been hurt by what I said or did–or what I didn’t say or do? Do I want the other person to be sad or feel bad about themselves or be in emotional or mental or spiritual or physical pain because of me?

The answer is, no I don’t want to be that person.

So, whether or not I think they’re justified or being reasonable, if it is going to help them to hear me say that I’m sorry, then I want to do that.

It’s deeper than how my little piece may have impacted them. It’s probably that my piece is a small, small part of the huge iceberg they’re dealing with. I don’t know–and none of us can ever really know or understand–the internal struggles people are grappling with from day-to-day and even moment-to-moment. Just because I can’t see it when I look at them and their life, it doesn’t mean they have no struggles or battles. They–like all of us–are probably in the thick of an all-out war within–a war that they may feel they’re losing.

And this thinking goes hand-in-hand with forgiveness. Again, it isn’t about them, per say, but rather about what I need to have/be/do to be the kind of person I admire and want to become.

Do I want to be the person who holds onto memories, grudges, hurts, pains, disappointments from what people have/haven’t done to me in the past? Do I want to become embittered, sour, vengeful, grumpy, angry, and old before my time? Do I want to have a life that’s less than the one I’ve dreamed of?

The answer is, no I don’t want to be that person or to have my life so deeply affected.

So, whether the other person(s) deserve it or not, I am going to let it go. At some point in their life they may have a “Eureka!” moment and I want to have created enough elbow room through my letting go that they can fully embrace and step into their moment of profound change.

I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and presume that they are a good person and, if they weren’t so overwhelmed with their own cares and burdens, they would never ever ever have done or said those things that negatively impacted me.

I’m going to jettison the “stuff” that does not serve me–that does not make me feel excited and enthusiastic, feel capable and competent; that does not help me open my heart and soul to the fullness of Life.

Is this easy to do? No, of course not.

More frequently than I care to admit, I find my mind wandering back to the past and I have to take it in hand and refocus on the present, as well as the future I’m headed toward. I, too, have to remind myself of the person I want to be, and remind myself that it means letting go. And sometimes I have to pry my fingers off of the thing I’m grasping so tightly!

I can report that, like with anything, with practice it gets easier. I find the lag time is getting shorter between getting my feelings bruised, letting go, and then feeling better.

Practices that move us closer to living a soul-prospering life are a good thing!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

 

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Other People: Stay or Go?

 

 

I was looking around Youtube and came across this video about how to know when to quit being around a person, not only personally but professionally as well. The video had some interesting ideas and I thought you might find it helpful.

 

 

Let me know what you think about the video. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Goals: The Halfway Point of the Year

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In a few days June will be over, and so will the first half of 2017. As we move into the next half of the year, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the goals we set at the beginning of the year.

The other day I was looking through some videos on YouTube and came across this one by Brendon Burchard where he talks about S.M.A.R.T. goals versus D.U.M.B. goals.

 

 

I thought he made a lot of sense when he said we should forget about being sensible and realistic with our goals and instead set goals that are enormous and outrageous.

Let me know what you think about the video. Thanks! We’ll talk more about gigantic goals tomorrow.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Silence and Meditation: Grateful Heart and a Thankful Spirit

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Today, let’s celebrate the people who are special to us. Today, let’s treat them as if it’s their birthday.

And if it is their birthday, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Thank you for the gorgeous and priceless gift of YOU!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Silence and Meditation: What It’s All About

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Meditation and silence isn’t supposed to be hard or uncomfortable or a drudgery. It’s supposed to be enjoyable and a practice to look forward to doing every single day.

Meditation and silence is about deepening the connection with your authentic self.

It’s about quieting yourself so you can hear the Still Small Voice as well as hear the whisperings and urgings of your heart and soul.

Silence and meditation is about remembering and knowing there is Something Out There that’s bigger than all of us, bigger than the world, and bigger than the universe. And, it’s about remembering and knowing that each one of us can have a profound relationship with This.

Silence and meditation teaches us how to be calm and at peace even though we may be in the midst of chaos. It also teaches us to value, respect, and appreciate who we are.

There are plenty of choices of methods and ways of silence and meditation, and I’m sure you can find a few combos that work for you.

Here are a few of the ways I practice meditation and silence:

~doodling;

~blowing bubbles;

~letting my mind ramble as I gaze out my window

~sitting quietly listening to the sounds of nature whether it’s early in the morning and I listen to the birds singing or if it’s at night and I listen to the crickets and other night sounds.

~guided mediations (Dr. Joe Dispenza’s meditations  as well as Ros Place’s meditations  as well as others on YouTube)

~sitting in nature, preferably near water: the ocean, a pond, or a stream, etc..

 

What methods and ways to you enjoy practicing silence and meditation? Please share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Silence and Meditation: The “Bad Stuff” About Meditation is Actually Some of the Good Stuff!

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Some of the “bad stuff” about a practice of silence and meditation is that it’s too darn hard because our minds wander, we fidget, we just don’t wanna do it!, or we fall asleep!

Yep. At one time or another all of those things are going to happen to us. And, once we’ve established a practice and we’re humming along with it like clockwork, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re blindsided by a phase of restlessness, inattention, boredom, and lethargy.

What’s up with that?!

We use this to justify not developing a practice thinking that we really don’t have what it takes, it isn’t right for us, or we’re hopeless and doomed….

No worries! Believe it or not, all of this “bad stuff” is really the good stuff!

When you’re fidgety, when your mind hops from one topic to another to another to another, when you fall asleep, when you feel resistance to doing your practice, this is your mind and body trying to tell you something!

When this happens, go with it and be the observer, as if you’re an anthropologist or sociologist who’s studying a people in order to understand their way of life.

For instance, if you’re having trouble focusing your mind, observe what topics or issues your mind gravitating toward. Observe what’s going on in your life that your mind keeps coming back to this issue or topic. Think about it on a little deeper level to find what the core issue is, such as abandonment, unworthiness, incapability, etc..

On a more practical level, take a look at the time of day and the place you’re choosing for your silence and meditation. Perhaps they aren’t conducive to quieting yourself. Consider using another meditation method or a different way of silence and meditation.

Perhaps you’re restless and twitchy. Again, your body is speaking to you. Take a moment to tune in and find out what’s going on in your life that you may be avoiding because the squirming might be because you’re trying to get away from a situation or issue in your life.

Also, consider switching to a movement-based form of silence and meditation. Let your body work off the extra steam and energy as your meditating!

Maybe you find yourself falling fast asleep in less than two seconds. Again, tune into yourself. It might be that you aren’t getting enough sleep or taking enough rest breaks throughout the day. Perhaps you aren’t eating enough or the food you are eating doesn’t have enough nutrition. Falling asleep can be an avoidance issue so make sure you take a look at the larger scope of what’s going on in your life.

Also, experiment with changing the method of meditation or the type of meditation, for instance do a standing meditation or a walking meditation. Additionally, change the time of day that you’re meditating.

You may find that you just don’t wanna do it! Like a toddler who’s just discovered the word “NO!”, we can have the same frustratingly stubborn way, even though we’ve been a grown-up for decades! You have to work with yourself when you’re feeling this way. When I’ve felt this resistance, I’ve chosen a repetitive activity that’s fun that can be done quietly. For instance, my favorite is to blow bubbles (click here for my YouTube video about it!). Another thing I enjoy doing is doodling. I’ve also discovered that daydreaming as I gaze out my window is another method to circumvent the resistance.

The trick is to do something fun, that you enjoy; something that can be done alone and done quietly. I’ve found this helps calm my mind and my body and then I can do a little deeper pondering.

Meditation isn’t always about blissing out. It’s about discovering more about ourselves and our purpose in the world. It’s about building a deeper and richer life as a result. Yes, sometimes we get to bliss-out over it but there are times when we have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty!

As an aside, when you work with yourself through the “bad stuff” about your meditation practice, you may discover issues that are too big or too much for you to handle. In that case, I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to a counselor, your spiritual or religious leader, a health care professional, a support group, a trusted friend or loved one. Don’t go it alone when there is so much help and support out there for you!

Let me know the ways in which you work through the “bad stuff” of meditation. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 24 Ways to Do It

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Yesterday we admitted that one of the reasons we don’t have a regular meditation practice is because we’re afraid it may be painful–sitting in one twisted position for hours (days!) on end…! We talked about several different types of meditation and that one of them might be just the ticket for you.

I also wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there are plenty of ways to meditate, to “sit” in silence, that don’t require sitting in one position for a long time.

Here are some suggestions, 24 to be exact:

Taking a slow walk – being aware of the sights, sounds, aromas…

Observing nature – closely watching squirrels, birds, ants, bees…

Moving your body – dance, walking, yoga, gentle exercise…

Doodling – making random marks or shapes;

Studying closely a favorite photograph – of loved ones, a landscape, flowers…

Repetitive activity – gardening, cleaning, folding laundry, kneading dough…

Making sounds – hum one or two notes, play with wind chimes, experiment with pots and pans and empty bottles…

Still water – fill a bowl with water and make ripples, waves, splashes, or gazing into the stillness…

Running water – let water run through your fingers or dangle your feet in a pond or in your bathtub!

Gazing into a flame – a candle flame, flames in a fireplace or fire pit

Gratefulness – counting your blessings instead of your troubles

Laughing – yes, this is a valid meditation technique AS WELL AS yoga technique! Even if you aren’t in a good mood or feel stupid laughing at nothing, force yourself to do it anyway. Soon, you’ll be laughing on your own. If you need a boost to get started, there are YouTube videos of people laughing.

Focus on a peaceful image – water gently lapping on a beach, a burbling brook, a field of flowers swaying in a playful breeze, a beautiful spring day, a peaceful snowy evening…

Memory – remembering and re-living a happy event: the holidays with your loved ones, a special vacation, the birth of a baby…

Listening to music – classical music, sacred music, uplifting music…

Guided meditations – many, many choices on YouTube

Breath – focusing on your breathing, counting your breaths, breathing deeply and slowly…

Rhythmic playing – gently bouncing a ball, easy tossing and catching a ball by yourself, looking through a kaleidoscope…

Letting go – letting your body totally relax, feeling as if you’re melting into the chair or floor or bed…

Daydreaming – softening your focus and gazing out the window

Holding an object – rosary beads, smooth stone, special object…

Rocking – by yourself or with a loved one in a rocking chair, standing and shifting from foot to foot…

Human contact – hug yourself, hug a loved, hold a friend’s hand…

Ponder – an inspiring thought, a sacred passage, something a friend or loved one said that has resonated with you.

 

The point is that there isn’t only one right way to meditate…although the one right method is the one that works best for you (there can be more than one right method for you).

Choose several of these types because you may find that when you’re in certain moods that some methods work better than others for you.

Experiment and have fun with this! Then commit to doing some type of meditation every day; you’ll be very glad you did!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren