Summer is in full swing and Mother Nature is at her most bountiful abundant prolific time.
This week we’ll talk about the wisdom we can glean from Mother Nature. She has much to teach us, if we’d only pause a moment and become aware of her. She doesn’t use abstract concepts that we have to wrap our minds around, rather she actually shows us through the actions of living things the Guiding Principles of Life.
Let’s make a pact that this week, as we explore and extract the teachings from the natural world around us, we’ll spend as much time as we can outdoors quietly watching, looking, and seeing what we see. Then we’ll take the time to note our observations and ponder how they might apply to our life.
Let’s start this today!
In the comments below, feel free to let me know what you discover. Thanks!
When you’re feeling bad about yourself and can’t seem to shake it, here’s what to do:
1. Ditch the negative people around you as fast as you can! The reason you can’t shake feeling bad about yourself and your life is probably because you’re hanging around people who don’t value you, appreciate you, and/or celebrate you. They’re also the people who see nothing but woe and disaster ahead of you, which is most definitely NOT what you need right now.
What do you do? DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!
Call up a few of your friends who make you feel great about yourself and always have something nice to say to you. Be up front with them and tell them you’ve had a hard day and you need them to remind you of a few good things about yourself. Jot them down and keep them handy in a scrapbook or in a folder on your mobile device or computer.
2. You’ve forgotten or lost–or never had it in the first place!!–a vision of the fabulous future that awaits you.
What do you do? REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS FUTURE THAT’S WAITING FOR YOU!
Get out your vision board, your mission statement, your Scrapbook of Optimism and remind yourself that the rough patch you’re in right now is NOT permanent–it, too, will pass. Remind yourself that better days are ahead. Remind yourself that, no matter how wonderful your life may have been in the past, your best days are still yet to come–they’re still ahead of you!
And, if you don’t have an exciting future imagined for yourself, then immediately and right now and at this very instant start dreaming! Write it all down, make a collage, choose some sort of item or symbol that reminds you of your dreams and keep that symbol where you can see it every single day.
3. Get the icky feelings and emotions out of your system! Best advice from a dear friend: vent, steam, rant, rave, cry, gnash your teeth, shake your fist, scream if you have to and then take the next step forward.
What do you do? DON’T WALLOW; KEEP PRESSING ONWARD!
4. Pressing forward looks like this: networking to find a new job, bartering with friends and loved ones to get the help you need to clear out the clutter in your home, taking classes online to improve your knowledge and skills…. Put on your Thinking Cap and come up with the things YOU can do that will help YOU.
What do you do when you’ve done all you can? LET GO AND TRUST THAT THE GOOD WORKS YOU JUST DID ARE GOING FORTH AND BRINGING GOOD STUFF BACK TO YOU
5. Make your waiting time productive by pursuing things that interest you, that make you feel good, that bring you peace and contentment. I’m not talking about hedonistic pursuits, I’m talking about the soul-prospering pursuits.
What do you do next? GET BUSY!!
Some soul-prospering pursuits are: spending time with your hobbies, enjoying the people you love and who make you feel loved and cared for, following the thread of a new idea or activity that has captured your interest, taking a class in a topic that, for you, is “off the wall”, volunteering your time and helping others…. I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas to follow through on.
6. What do you do after all this? REPEAT THESE STEPS AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.
Let me know how these simple steps work out for you. Thanks!
Perhaps you’ve had a hard day where everything seemed to go wrong: the project at work you were excited about was given to someone else instead; an account at work that was your “baby” was shut down without warning; people whose character and integrity you thought you could rely on, end up ditching you at the first opportunity….
Here are a few quotes to keep in mind:
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. ~LiveLifeHappy.com
Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road; turn around. ~Edgar Cayce
People inspire you, or they drain you–pick them wisely. ~Hans F. Hansen
You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. ~Maya Angelou
Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. ~Henry Ford
Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day-to-day, and you are a success. ~William J. H. Boetcker
Defeat is simply a signal to press onward…. ~Helen Keller
Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future. ~Robert H. Schuller
Just because today is a terrible day doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of our life. You just gotta get there. ~Anonymous
If you want to improve your self-worth, stop giving other people the calculator. ~Tim Fargo
Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life–you didn’t settle for it. ~Anonymous
Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth even if they don’t. ~Anonymous
You are the hero of your own story. ~Anonymous
Which quote did you like the best? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!
When we think of giving and donating we think of our favorite charities and non-profit organizations. We may also think of community-based needs such as the local food bank, soup kitchen, or local fundraising efforts on behalf of a family or individual facing an overwhelming challenge.
But what about us? How often do we give to ourselves?
The kind of giving I’m talking about is the type where you cherish yourself and the life you’ve been given; you show your love to yourself by honoring and respecting yourself. For instance, you move yourself up on your list of priorities from the bottom to the top, or at least the middle of the list….
Here are a few suggestions of ways to cherish yourself and your life:
~Cleaning out the clutter in your home;
~Straightening up the landscaping;
~Working on that idea that will give you the soul-prospering life you seek;
~Scheduling time to pursue things that have captivated your interest;
~Getting rid of all the junk food in your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry;
~Adding enjoyable physical activities to your life–a fun way to get in your exercise;
~Each morning saying “I can’t wait to see what wonders, laughter, and interesting things this day will bring!”;
~Each evening saying “Thanks for the great day!”, then think about at least 3 good things that happened to you during the day;
~Saying kind and encouraging statements to yourself, especially if it’s a tough day…..
I’m sure you can think of other ways that will “hit the spot” in cherishing yourself.
Treat each day as if it’s your birthday because, in a sense it is–you birth from your nighttime slumbers into a fresh, new day filled with possibilities for you!
Make it a point, a top priority, this week to notice the good stuff that happens to you this week. Don’t wait for the big things like winning the lottery, getting that huge promotion, or winning the impressive award. Instead, focus on the small things.
Nothing is too small to be noticed. In fact, these seemingly small, inconsequential things are the things that make up your every day life and, strung together, form the substance of your life.
Here is some good stuff:
~you arrived at a meeting a few moments early so you were able to sit quietly, gather your thoughts, and take a deep breath or two;
~you glanced out the window and saw a bird soaring and it made you feel free;
~a passerby smiled at you and said hello;
~someone gave you a coupon for a product that you use all the time;
~on your commute, you noticed all the wildflowers growing in the median of the highway
~you watched the raindrops splashing in a puddle and it reminded you of when you were a child when your mom let you play in the rain….
These are just a few suggestions. Keep your eyes open for the good stuff that surrounds you each day, every day.
I was helping a friend do a little spring–um, summer!–cleaning and clearing of her home. She’s had a few tough knocks from Life in the recent years and she wants a new, fresh start. She thought clearing out the old from her home and repainting would help her press the reset button. She asked me to help her and I was glad to pitch in.
The problem was that it was slow going with throwing out things or putting them in a box for the local thrift shop. My friend kept getting bogged down with reminiscing and sentimental feelings evoked by some objects. A few years ago she lost her loved ones and, as you’d expect, her home had pictures of them, letters from them, as well as gifts they’d given her. I’ve had enough experience with my own grief and mourning that I knew she still needed time before she’d be able to clearly decide on this memorabilia.
But, I knew she was getting bogged down in the past–a past she could never return to or change. I had to do something to gently help her. She’s artistic and we started talking about how pleased her loved ones would be to see her growth and development. We talked about projects she has planned and the pieces she’s working on now. Talking about the here and now as well as her future helped her get going again. She told me later that our talk helped her see that moving forward did not mean that she had to leave her loved ones behind; she still could have a connection to them, even though it’s much different than the relationship she had when they were here on Earth.
This underscored to be how important it is to have some sort of vision for our future–even if that future is only a day or an hour from now. It helps us break free from the past as well as move through the rough patches that we come across from time-to-time.
Take time today or this evening to develop a vision for yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect because you’ll probably tweak it with nearly every step you take. And, if the thought of creating a vision seems too much, then think of it as having an idea of the wonderful future that awaits you.
Back in the day there was a business whose tag line was “What’s the story, Jerry?!” The spokesperson would then tell about the company and what they offered and would end the commercial with “And that’s the story!”
This is a reminder for us to know our stories. When we know who we are–when we know our stories–we’re more grounded, better adjusted, and more resilient when the twists and turns of life show up. The wonderful thing is that the story doesn’t have to be perfect or right, and our story can change as we grow and learn more about ourselves.
We all have stories that we always heard every time the family got together. These were stories not only about the ancestors, but also the ancedotes of silly or embarrassing or remarkable things that family members have done.
Listening to them, absorbing the stories, gave us a sense of identity. The stories also let us know the tribe we belonged to and how we fit into it. Even if later on in life we choose another tribe to belong to, knowing where we started off helped us orient ourselves in the world.
Ask yourself: What’s your story? Do you want to change or improve it? What’s your new story?
Keep this new story handy–it can be the start of your mission statement–and refer to it constantly. You want to get your new story into your mind so it’s second nature. Indoctrinating yourself with your new story is the way you can short circuit the tendency to behave in habitual ways, especially when you hit a rough patch.
You can do it!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Crafting a deeply meaningful, soul-prospering life