Category Archives: Bravery

Leaving: Hello!

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Yesterday we talked about taking ourselves in hand and giving ourselves a good, old-fashioned talking-to when we find ourselves backsliding in our quest to make a break from things that are not serving us. The other part of that process is to then give a warm welcome to the new direction in which we’re headed.

For instance, suppose you wan to spend more time goofing around with your kids but work, chores around the house, volunteer activities, and the like, keep tugging you away.   You realize it’s time to take yourself in hand and stop with all the excuses, justifications, and reasons.

It’s time for a good, old-fashioned talking-to!

I recommend sitting yourself down in a quiet place where you won’t have any distractions and you won’t be disturbed for about 15 minutes.

Step 1: Talk to yourself candidly and bluntly–NOT harshly but rather blunty, which means you aren’t sugar coating anything and you aren’t letting yourself off the hook.

~Remind yourself just how important your kids are to you.

~Remember when your parents spent time with you when you were a child and how that made you feel.

~Recall when your parents didn’t have time for you and dismissed you or, perhaps, they didn’t follow through on something the said they’d do for you or do with you. How did that make you feel?

~Do you think your kids are any different than you–that they’d have different feelings and emotions than you did?

~If you keep putting off spending time with them, do you think they’ll be less hurt than you were when your parents put you off?

 

Step 2: Add the warm welcome.

~Remind yourself how good you’ll feel knowing that you’re re-connecting with your kids

~Picture in your mind following through on tossing the ball back and forth with your kids or the fun you’ll have in making a batch of cookies with them.

~Focus on taking things in baby steps.

~Keep telling yourself that you can do it; it’s about connecting and not about perfection or everyone laughing and smiling and talking. It’s about being fully in the moment with your kids.

~Give yourself credit for the efforts your making and the following through on your intentions.   They all add up!

 

Although our example is about parents reconnecting with their kids, the steps can be applied to anything your making a break from and anything you’re moving toward.

Let me know how this works for you. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

 

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Leaving: A Good Old-Fashioned Talking-To

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Yesterday, we talked about how turning your back and walking away is the second part of making your break from the thing or person or memory and making a fresh start.

It’s one thing to release and let go, but it’s a whole different matter to actually make a break. You might find yourself backsliding every now and again, perhaps telling yourself it wasn’t so bad and maybe you were a little hasty in turning away…. And then one day you find that once again you’ve got to go through releasing, letting go, and leaving.

How did this happen? You were doing so well for a while.

It happened because you let your thoughts have free rein and then you listened to them.

You’re probably thinking that all you have to do then is to control your thoughts. It’s true. It really is that simple. However, it isn’t always easy.

There are techniques and tricks for getting hold of your thoughts: mindfulness, breathing techniques, meditation, and a host of other things that you can do. I encourage you to do a little research and come up with a list of actions you can take to get control of your thoughts.

Oftentimes, though, it comes down to the fact that you just have to take yourself and your thoughts in hand. Dispense with the tricks, the techniques, the cajoling, and the bribes. Sometimes you have to give yourself a good old-fashioned talking to and tell yourself to grow up. Remind yourself that you know very well that going down a new path is the best thing you can do for yourself. Tell yourself: “So then, let’s behave like an adult and let’s get on with doing what needs to be done.”

Then do it and be done with it!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Leaving: How?!

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I don’t know about you but sometimes I fight tooth and nail to hang onto something that’s leaving–or has already left–my life. Sure, I’ve heard the quotes about how each ending is really a new beginning and that no matter our success and achievement in the past, our best days are ahead of us.

 

But our thoughts go into overdrive:

What if our best days are behind us?

What if this new beginning is worse than where we had been?

Even though the people here maybe jerks, what if they’re worse at the new job or in the new neighborhood?

What if there isn’t enough money to pay all the bills?

What if we don’t like anyone in the new place and no one likes us?

 

Instead of giving in to these worries and fears, think about times in the past when you’ve left situations, even if you did so unwillingly. You’ll probably find that what got you through it was finding the benefits, the good stuff, in the new situation and focusing on this rather than glorifying the old situation and thinking it wasn’t so bad and you probably should have stuck it out after all.

Whether you’re the one choosing the leaving or if the decision was thrust upon you, give yourself the gift of honoring. What I mean by this is giving yourself understanding and compassion. Accept that this is a difficult time–even if you’re very excited about your future, there may still be some bittersweet feelings about moving on. Honor the old by recognizing that in its own way, it helped you–there were good things about it. But now, you’ve outgrown it.

Then, take the time to note the benefits of your new situation, even if you don’t want to be in it: What opportunities for personal and/or professional growth and development will you have in the new situation that you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed in the old? For instance, if you’re moving from the country to the city, the rush and noise may be overwhelming and scary, however, the variety of cultural activities, the exposure to different ways of thinking and living are all benefits for expanding yourself that you wouldn’t have had if you’d stayed in the country.

Find little things to be excited about regarding this phase of leaving.

And, remember that leaving is a phase and that it, too, shall pass.

Feel free to share your thoughts as well as the tips, tricks, and techniques you use to make leaving easier on yourself. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Leaving: 9 Thought-Provoking Quotes

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Whether we like it or not–or realize it–we’re constantly leaving. For instance, here in the US, this coming weekend we’ll be turning the clocks back an hour, signaling that we’re leaving Daylight Savings Time.

There are big leavings–significant leavings–such as leaving high school to go off to college, as a young adult leaving home to start a life of your own, and leaving your single status to become married.

Every day, though, is filled with leavings and, because they’re so small and we don’t fully appreciate them, these leavings slip by unnoticed. For instance, we leave each moment as it passes into the next. We presume that there will be a next moment and it’s sobering to remember that for a number of us, this is not always so….

With the topic Leaving in mind, here are a few quotes that will help us think about what leaving means to each of us and how it continues to impact our life.

If you are brave enough to say goodbye, then Life will reward you with a new hello. ~Paul Coelho

There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit’. It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over–and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying it’s validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry; that we are moving up rather than out. ~Ellen Goodman

When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn’t healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits–anything that kept me small. My judgment called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving. ~Kim McMillen

Try to learn to breathe deeply; really to tase food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough. ~Ernest Hemingway

Holding on is believing that there’s only a past; letting go is knowing that there’s a future. ~Daphne Rose Kingma

When we…go back into the past and rake up all the troubles we’ve had, we end up reeling and staggering through life. Stability and peace of mind come by living in the moment. ~Pam Vredevelt

Just remember–when you think all is lost, the future remains.   ~Bob Goddard

People always find it easier to be a result of the past rather than a cause of the future. ~Unknown

Happy trails to you,
Until we meet again.
Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.
~Dale Evans

 

Stay tuned as we discuss the topic of leaving this week. As always, feel free to share your thoughts. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Pilgrimage: From the Comfort of Your Cozy Armchair

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Perhaps you find yourself in circumstances that don’t allow you to go anywhere for a pilgrimage.

No worries! You can enjoy one from the comfort of your cozy armchair!

Your library or favorite bookstore is loaded with memoirs with the theme of “A Year of…” These are a few that I’ve enjoyed:

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
My Year with Eleanor by Noelle Hancock,
365 Thank Yous by John Kralik
Thrive by Arianna Huffington
Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower by Tom Krattenmaker
Holy Rover by Lori Erickson

The Internet is filled with images of Holy Sites, Shrines, as well as photos and videos of the wonders of the natural world. Here are a few websites to check out:

American Religious Sites

Huffington Post’s suggestions 

BBC’s suggestions

National Park Foundation

National Parks in the USA 

 

Also, you can refresh yourself with an afternoon of surfing sites related to activities and hobbies you enjoy. Here is one I’ve enjoyed surfing:

YouTube.com

Let me know the interesting pilgrimages you’ve taken from the comfort of your favorite cozy armchair! Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Pilgrimage: Why?

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Why make a pilgrimage either secular, religious, or spiritual?

Because of the following reasons:

Healing

Discovery

Connecting

Re-connecting

Closure

Letting Go

New Direction

Inward Focus

Fulfillment

Refocusing

Uncluttering

Simplifying

Groundedness

Remembering

Seeking

Finding

Community

Solitude

Encounters

Opening

Embracing

Wisdom

Self

Others

Endings

Beginnings

Limits

Limitless

Revitalize

Rejuvenate

Just Because

You Have No Idea Why…

 

The motivations are as varied, as individual, and as unique as you. There is no right or wrong explanation just as there is no right or wrong way to “do” or to “have” a pilgrimage. What ever, where ever, and how ever is meaningful–even sacred–to YOU is all that matters.

What are intentions for a pilgrimage that appeal to you? Feel free to share in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Pilgrimage: What Is It?

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When we say or hear the word pilgrimage we think of some sort of religious or spiritual journey. We may think of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales or the medieval practice of visiting Camino de Santiago de Compostela and other Holy Shrines, or we may have images of people of today crawling on their knees up steep hills and along sheer cliffs as they follow in the footsteps of their prophets, sages, and holy people. Also, the word pilgrimage may conjure images of travel to Israel, India, Asia, or other distant lands.

As I alluded to in yesterday’s post, going on a pilgrimage does not have to be religious and you don’t have to travel anywhere, either domestically or to foreign lands. Your pilgrimage can take place in the midst of your every day life. In fact, there are websites dedicated to digital pilgrimages.

I also think that you don’t have to prepare for your pilgrimage–there is no elaborate practice or ceremony or blessing required.

To me, a pilgrimage–whether you stay where you are or if you travel to a far-flung place or if you visit a Holy Site–is all about the inner journey and how it opens your mind, spirit, heart, and soul to discovering and connecting with and honoring the Divine within. And, in so doing, you discover, connect with, and honor the Divine within all creation.

In other words, you can start right here, right now, right where you are. I encourage you to do this now.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren