Top Post #9: Baby Steps – A Few Quotes to Encourage You

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This post was originally published at the beginning of this year, on 1/8/17.

 

I’m always on the lookout for good quotes.  The best ones–the ones that resonate with us–contain not only wisdom for the particular situation in which we find ourselves, but also they have a little packet of energy that’s just the boost we need to take the next few steps.

In the comments section, let me know of these will help you take the next steps in crafting your soul-prospering life. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

BABY STEPS: A FEW QUOTES TO ENCOURAGE YOU

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What baby steps are you going to take this week toward your dreams? Here are a few quotes about baby steps to “prove” to you that they really do work.

Enjoy!

Progress. Just make progress. It’s okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. It’s okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again – and again. Just make sure you’re moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps… Then change will come. And it will be good. ~Lysa TerKeurst

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

To make the quickest progress, you don’t have to take huge leaps. You just have to take baby steps-and keep on taking them. In Japan, they call this approach kaizen, which literally translates as ‘continual improvement.’ Using kaizen, great and lasting success is achieved through small, consistent steps. It turns out that slow and steady is the best way to overcome your resistance to change. ~Marci Shimoff
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop. ~Confucius

Pause and remember – Everyone gets discouraged and feels lost at times. Don’t worry – life will get better. A new way is being made for you. Keep moving forward even if it’s just baby steps. ~Jennifer Young

Babies learning to walk embody the deepest truth about deep practice: to get good, it’s helpful to be willing, or even enthusiastic, about being bad. Baby steps are the royal road to skill. ~Daniel Coyle
Little by little does the trick. ~Aesop
Go gently and slowly. These are baby steps. Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves. ~Julia Cameron
You’re never too old to take baby steps. ~Capital STEEZ

Don’t look too far in the future, don’t worry about how you’re going to have enough time or enough money or enough smarts; the “how?” is up to God. Just put your whole focus on this moment, doing this baby step at this moment; and then once you finish that one, God and the angels will give you the next assignment and so on and so forth. ~Doreen Virtue
I knew it was unrealistic to think I could build an institution overnight. But if I took baby steps, eventually it would happen. ~Russell Simmons
Seeing a pattern doesn’t mean you know how to put it all together. Take baby steps: don’t focus on the folks whose skills are far beyond your own. When you’re new to something-or you haven’t tried it in a while-it can feel impossibly hard to get it right. Every misstep feels like a reason to quit. You envy everyone else who seems to know what they’re doing. What keeps you going? The belief that one day you’ll also be like that: Elegant. Capable. Confident. Experienced. And you can be. All you need is enthusiasm, a little bravery, a sense of humor, and to regularly take baby steps. ~Kate Jacobs
In the comments below, let me know which of these quotes you like the best. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

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Top Post #10: Start the Week off Right: Get Up When Your Alarm First Rings

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This post was originally published earlier this year on May 7, 2017. Lately, I’ve revisited this topic of morning routines and have discovered a few astonishing facts.  I’m preparing posts now and they’ll appear in the new year.  Stay tuned!

One fact that I’ve discovered is that people who are living soul-prospering lives—those who are fully immersed in their passions and purpose—have very specific morning routines and they treat this time as sacrosanct.  They awake early, keep their environment quiet and have subdued lighting, and they don’t immediately check emails, social media, or start making phone calls.

Also, they allow their creative mind time to play. They may do this through meditation, contemplation, or prayer, or they may daydream or do some form of light, relaxed exercise.  Some people enjoy journaling or doodling as a way to let their creative mind have some fun.

As I said, we’ll be delving into this topic in 2018 and for now, please let the following post whet your appetite—and give you something to think about!

Enjoy!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Start the Week off Right: Get Up When Your Alarm First Rings

 

 

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I was listening to James Allen’s Byways to Blessedness, a Librivox recording.  The first section of the book talks about beginnings.

James Allen states that there are beginnings we have no control over, for instance we may have been laid off from work and now we’re facing the beginning of unemployment and the process of looking for a new job.  He advises to not focus on these beginnings, aside from taking care of our responsibilities, but rather to focus on the beginnings we have total and complete control over.  He says that these types of beginnings are of vital importance because they create the complex web of results that then make up our life.  He went on to say that these beginnings are controlled by our thoughts and mental attitudes, and the resulting daily conduct and actions we take.

According to James Allen, the first beginning to focus on—the easiest one to take control of—is the start of a new day, namely when your alarm clock first rings. He suggests answering these questions because “…much happiness or unhappiness depends upon the right or wrong beginning of the day…”:

~At what time does the alarm go off?

~Do we immediately get up?

~In what frame of mind do we enter the sacredness of a new day?

~How do we go about getting ready for the day?

 

One of his suggestions is to rise at an early hour, even if we don’t have to because this will help “…start the day strongly by shaking off indolence.”

 

Then this statement jumped out at me: “…How are you to develop strength of will in mind and body if you begin every day by yielding to weakness?”

 

He’s telling us to stop hitting the snooze button and to get up when our alarm first goes off. 

 

I get his point that by hitting the snooze alarm, we aren’t really getting a few extra Zzzz’s—in fact researchers have shown that hitting the snooze alarm does not help; the “extra sleep” you get is not restful.  James Allen is saying that when we hit the snooze alarm what we’re actually doing is telling our mind and body that it’s okay to procrastinate, it’s okay to indulge ourselves, it’s okay to go for instant gratification.

James Allen goes on to say:  “Self-indulgence is always followed by unhappiness.  People who lie abed until a late hour are never bright and cheerful and fresh but are the prey of irritabilities, depressions…and all unhappy moods.”

He then goes on to say that hitting the snooze alarm is like an alcoholic taking a nip in order to brace him/herself and steady his/her nerves for the upcoming issues in the day.

 

It’s our self-indulgence in hitting the snooze alarm that creates indolence and avoidance that is creating the issues–it’s our weaknesses and our pandering to our moods and emotions that are at the root cause of the issues that we’re avoiding!

 

James Allen adds:  :…Men and women are totally unaware of the great losses which they entail by this common indolence (hitting the snooze alarm):  loss of strength of both mind and body, loss of prosperity, loss of knowledge, and loss of happiness.

James Allen isn’t the only one who urges getting up early and getting up right away.  Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer and other successful people join him in this.  One of James Allen suggestions for this “extra time” is to take a gentle walk in Nature.  Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, and others advise filling the time with studying sacred and/or inspirational writings, studying the industry in which we work, and pursuing other avenues of self-development and education.

Wow.

Usually I get up the first time the alarm rings.  Occasionally, though, I’ve let myself sleep a little later, commonly on the weekends.  I have noticed that James Allen’s statement is true:  I seem to be a little less focused and less productive on the days I allow myself to catch up on my sleep.  In fact, I had been wondering if it wouldn’t be better to get up at my normal time and take a short nap during the day if I need it.  I guess James Allen’s answer would be YES!!!

This week’s challenge is to get up on time—when the alarm first rings. Let me know the differences you notice in your week. Feel free to leave your comments below. Thanks!

Please pass this post along to a friend. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Top Post #11: Year End Reflections to Make You Think

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This post was originally published almost a year ago on 12/17/16. The thoughts are as relevant today as they were a year ago. And, these ideas will still be powerful in the years to come.

Enjoy the post!

 

YEAR END REFLECTIONS QUOTES TO MAKE YOU THINK

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Here are a few quotes that’ll make you change your thinking–just a little bit.  And that little bit might be enough to let in the idea that’ll make the difference for you.

There is only one way to avoid criticism:  do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.  ~Aristotle

What this is telling us is that no matter what we do or don’t do, there’s always someone who will find fault with it, tell us they’ve already done it, that someone else is doing it better…etc..  So don’t worry about others.  Keep your mind and actions focused on what your heart and soul are guiding you to do.

UPDATE:

Aristotle is still right:   no matter what you do or don’t do, someone will criticize you and gripe about it. You may as well live your passions, pursue your dreams, and craft your soul-prospering life!

 

Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart.  ~Ancient Indian Proverb

There’s all sorts of flashy, sparkly things that capture our attention.  Oftentimes we think we ought to go after these because everyone else is.  But our eyes can sometimes mislead us so it’s important to take what our eyes see and run it through the wisdom of our heart and soul.  If it captures them, then we can proceed.  If not, then we should let it go and continue looking for that which thrills our heart and soul!

UPDATE:

Our world is noisy and brash; there’s always something flashy to capture your attention. The things that matter, though, are the ones that capture your heart and soul. THOSE are the things to pursue because they are resonating with the Still Small Voice within. Go for it!

 

Let me know what you think of these–if they’ve resonated with you.  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

UPDATE:

Keep these thoughts–or other thoughts that are favorites of yours–within reach. Refer to them often and let their wisdom and their power infuse you and give you the energy to take the next step. 

You can do it! I believe in you! 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Top Post #12: When Life Ambushes You Hard

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I wrote this post on September 16, 2015, eleven months after my father passed away. I’ve had my share of very difficult times and Dad’s passing had to be the worst.

I still miss him very much and there are days when it feels like he just passed the day before: I’m bewildered, I can’t catch my breath, and I wonder how I’m going to put my life back together. I even wonder if it’s disrespectful on some level to live my life, pursue my dreams, and be happy because Dad isn’t here and he can’t do those things anymore and maybe me doing them is a form of bragging….

Oy how our minds love to twist us into pretzels!

There’s a simple technique I use that I’ll share with you at the end of the post. It helps me stagger forward when I feel that I really really can’t.

For now, though, here’s the original post:

 

WHEN LIFE AMBUSHES YOU HARD

 

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Life is an expert at guerilla warfare. It loves to sneak up and ambush us with deadly precision in our most tender spots.

When it happens, we’re shocked–stunned. We can’t think; we can’t breathe. Panic sets in along with Terror, its BFF (Best Friend Forever).

We’re helplessly spinning, free-falling into the abyss, ripped from our moorings.

We’re absolutely convinced that we are being obliterated. If, by chance, there are any pieces of us left, we’re positive that they’ll be so infinitesimally small that we’ll never find them much less be able to put them back together.

We are convinced we are going to die.

Recovery is so far-fetched and outlandish of an idea that we don’t even consider it–it isn’t even the teensiest-tiniest blip on our radar screen.

But recovery is possible. While you may never be able to get back the life that you had before the deadly ambush, you can go on and build a life that you are proud of, one that’s fulfilling and that gives you great satisfaction and peace.

Even though this seems impossible, it can be done. Not by quitting, giving up or giving in, and not by throwing in the towel. As yesterday’s quotes point out, Life’s Ambushes and the resulting panic and terror are conquered by taking action (click here to be taken to yesterday’s post).

Do not dismiss, sneer at, or look with contempt or derision at taking teeny tiny bits of steps. They add up over time! As long as you keep taking the tiny bits of steps–being relentless about it–you will crush it, guaranteed.

The reason why is precisely because Life is a guerilla fighter. It can’t last through the long haul. And Life can’t handle it when you charge at it by taking action.

If you keep at it–keep taking action by regularly taking little tidbits of steps, Life will quit first. It will blink first. It will be the first to slink away with its tail between its legs.

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Your homework today is to take the next step. Break it down into little teeny tiny jots–specks small enough that you know for sure you can easily do them. Then do them!

You can do this, you are not alone. I am with you, cheering you on. I believe in you and I am convinced you can do it and that you will do it!

I am so proud of you for taking one jot of a step, then a speck of a step, then a crumb of a step…. You are AWESOME!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

The Simple Technique:

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As I said in the post, taking action is going to save you every single time. While it’s ideal to take action on your dreams–take a little baby step that will move you closer to them–sometimes just taking action is good enough.

For instance, when I’m in a bad place and am feeling hopeless and helpless and I know trying to take a baby step in the direction of my dreams is out of the question because it’s way too much for me to handle. Instead, I’ll do something that’s very very simple, something that doesn’t require a lot of thought or time or energy.

Here are a few examples of actions I may take:

Straighten up:   I’ll fold the laundry; I’ll tidy up the pile of books that I want to read that’s always beside my chair; I’ll wipe down the kitchen counter; I’ll throw in a load of laundry.

Give myself time off: I’ll read for fun (fiction); I’ll daydream; I’ll watch a favorite movie.

Take a nap:   usually when I’m in a bad place I find I’m also exhausted. After my nap, I may not be the sunniest most positive person around but my mood is always just a little bit better than it was before the nap. This helps me swing the momentum toward optimism.

Go to YouTube and listen to uplifting music or messages: YouTube rocks! I find when I listen to music with a upbeat rhythm to it, it improves my mood. And, listening to inspiring and motivating messages helps me get my thoughts pointed in the right direction.

These are a few examples of actions I take that help me get back on track. What are some of the things you do?

Thanks for sharing!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Top Post #13: Love the One You’re With

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A healthy self-love is vitally important to crafting the soul-prospering life of which you dream.

A healthy self-love gives you the confidence to go after your soul-prospering life.

It helps you work through the rough patches, especially when those rough patches seem to go on without an end in sight. Also, the healthier love and respect you have for yourself, the more love and respect you have for others–the more you can reach out, inspire, and help others.

The post below was originally published on Valentine’s Day 2017.

Let me know what you think of it. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

 

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY: LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH

 

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Back in the ’70s there was a popular song that was sung by Steven Stills of Crosby Stills & Nash called Love the One Youre With. 

 

People come and go in your life and you don’t always have control over that.  But you always have you.  You’re the one who will be there all the time, no matter what.

 

 I heartily encourage you to love the one youre with, the one youre with every day, all day and all night.  Thats YOU!

 

If you don’t already, learn to appreciate yourself.   Instead of focusing on the things that you perceive as not right about yourself, focus on the things you like and appreciate about yourself.  I’m sure you can come up with a list—which is what I encourage you to make for yourself.

Here are a few suggestions to jump-start you—remember that nothing is too small or too insignificant to include:

You make your bed every morning

You have a nice smile

Your laugh is infectious

You have a good sense of humor

You give good hugs

You’re good at math

You’re good at grammar

You’re a good speller

Your hair is thick and lustrous

Your hair is smooth and satiny

You like to sing

You see the beauty around you

You’re a good cook

You’re creative

You’re inventive

You’re resourceful

 

Keep going with your list!  Keep it handy and refer to it OFTEN!

Keep reminding yourself why you are soooo lucky to be you!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

Top Post #14: “I Like You Just the Way You Are.” ~Mr. Rogers

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This week and next week we’ll revisit some of the top posts from 2017.

This post about Mr. Roger’s quote was originally posted in 2014  but it’s still one that you, my followers, and guests to my blog consistently search out.  My thought on the continued popularity of this post is that we all need to be frequently reminded that we’re fine just the way we are.  Sure, we have shortcomings and we aren’t perfect, but on the whole, we’re pretty darned cool in our own way.  And “our own way” is just fine because Source has crafted us perfectly to lead our individual life.

Here’s the original post:

 

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“I like you just the way you are.” ~Mr. Rogers

Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers!  Today (March 20, 2014) would have been his 86thbirthday.

One of the most memorable statements Mr. Rogers would often say is “I like you just the way you are.”  What a relief to have someone say that to you!  What a gracious gift saying it to someone else—even if you don’t particularly like the person.

That last sentence sounds contradictory but think about this:  Most of us have struggles and we’re sometimes amazed to have made it through the day.   Most people are buried under piles of “you should, you ought to, and you’d better”.    It could be that we aren’t seeing the real person so we don’t really know if it’s them we don’t like or the way the pressure is twisting them that we don’t like.

Also consider this:  There are different levels of ‘like’ ranging from the kind of like that’s a common respect of all living things to the type of like that’s deep admiration, bordering on love.  So, when you say to a person, “I like you just the way you are”, it’s okay to intend it in a respectful way rather than meaning you’d like to be the person’s best friend.

More importantly, though, think about what it could do for the other person to hear someone say “I like you just the way you are”.  For a moment, they can let go of their burdens and cares; they can just be—maybe even take a breath, something they may not have done in a long while.  You saying “I like you just the way you are” can be a healing touch to a place inside them that’s been hurt too long.

 

Saying “I like you just the way you are” can have magical and miraculous results.

Your homework today is to join the many others’ in honoring Mr. Rogers’ birthday by putting on a sweater.  Be a good neighbor to someone by saying “I like you just the way you are”.  The second part of your homework is to go to your mirror, look deep into your eyes, and say to yourself “I like you just the way you are”.  Give yourself a big smile when you say it!

I LIKE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!!  I think you’re awesome!

Your Friend,

Lauren

UPDATE: 

This post is still as relevant today as it was over three years ago.  We all need to hear that we’re a-okay in spite of the mistakes we’ve made and the times we didn’t come through for friends, family, neighbors, co-workers when we know we should have.

Each day is a clean slate and an opportunity to start again.  Start it out with one of Mr. Roger’s most famous statement:  I like you just the way you are!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Walk the Talk: How

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You may be thinking that all these posts this week have been fine and dandy but what if you have no idea what your “talk” is so there’s no way you can do any walking of it and forget about doing the work!

No worries!

Here are a few techniques to help you get going:

Sit in Silence – I know, I know.   You’re rolling your eyes at this one because I ALWAYS recommend this technique.  The benefits of regularly sitting in silence and checking in with yourself, including the Divine within, are soooo worth it that it’s my first go-to recommendation.  If you aren’t regularly doing this, I urge you to set up a practice NOW, today.  It doesn’t have to be long—starting out with 5 minutes each day is a great start.  It’s the consistency of showing up for that 5 minutes every day that will give you the payoff.

Sitting in silence is a great place to start for hearing and understanding your “talk” and then thinking of the ways you can walk it.  Not only does the silence help you get in touch with the Divine within and give you the quiet to hear the Still Small Voice within, but the silence gives you the breathing space and elbow room away from the pushing and pulling, poking and prodding of the world.

That in itself is worth it!

 

Playlists – music is a great way to inspire yourself and keep you motivated.  Also, it’s helpful to listen to Audio books and Youtube speeches to encourage you and fortify yourself.

Because you’ve been regularly sitting in silence *ahem*…*wink*, you’ll know which emotions and feelings are your habit.  For instance, perhaps you are easily frustrated or annoyed, or maybe you worry and fret.  You may find that your go-to emotions are discouragement and thinking you can’t do it.

Devise playlists for each of these emotions and feelings.  When you’re feeling any of these, you can play the songs, speeches, bits of wisdom and pull yourself out of these and into a more productive frame of mind.  You can stop yourself from a full-on pity party or sinking into despair or getting stuck and wallowing in it.

 

Socialize with people who celebrate you – Blue Zones of Happiness by Dan Beuttner found that the happiest most well-adjusted people spend 3 – 6 hours a day socializing.

No, they aren’t at bars downing brews and jello shots, and no, this doesn’t give you permission to gossip or fritter away your time with useless activities.

Spending 3 – 6 hours daily socializing can take the form of working with your colleagues at work completing your assignments with excellence; it may mean working with others in volunteer and civic organizations on projects you’re passionate about.  Daily socializing can include taking classes as well as sharing your interests, hobbies, and favorite activities with other like-minded people.  And, it can also mean reaching out a helping hand to your neighbor.

Of course socializing also means sharing meals with friends and family, going to cultural activities with those you love, and enjoying an afternoon of golf with your buddies or kayaking with your girlfriends.

Get involved and stay involved with others.   Even if you’re an introvert or very shy, you can find a level that’s comfortable for you.

It’s through socializing—spending time with others talking, laughing, exchanging ideas—that you can get a better handle on what’s important and meaningful to you.  From this you can then determine your purpose and your passion.

 

Give these a try and let me know how they work out for you.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren