Category Archives: Dreams & Goals

Here Be Dragons

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dragon-Linda_BlackWin24_Jansson.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dragon-Linda_BlackWin24_Jansson.jpg

You’re frozen, paralyzed, and can’t move forward.  You know you want to take the step, you know it’ll take you that much closer to your dreams and goals, but you just can’t do it.

You feel out of control and nothing around you seems familiar.  Your old ways of responding to situations may not work and your mind is blanking out on what to do.  You’re beginning to believe the notations on the edges of antique maps might actually be true:  “Here be dragons”!

Believe it or not, it’s a good thing when you’re feeling this way!  All that’s happening is that you’re doing something different and stretching yourself.  Your brain no longer has a familiar template to work with so it’s sending signals to you saying “Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”

It isn’t unusual at all that–as you move toward your dreams–anxieties, fears, and even abject terror can be triggered.   It’s normal and not something to panic about.  All it means is that you’re moving out of your comfort zone.

Not a big deal, truly.  Slowing down and taking smaller steps will usually help you feel more stable.

Please know that I am not diminishing or invalidating anything you’re experiencing.  What I am trying to do is help you by pointing out that you’re still on this side of the dirt so this isn’t fatal.  It isn’t cataclysmic either because the world is still spinning and gravity is still holding everything in place.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SUNLIGHT_ON_YOUNG_PINE_-_NARA_-_542931.tif
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:SUNLIGHT_ON_YOUNG_PINE_-_NARA_-_542931.tif

I’ll bet you can remember times when you weren’t anxious and you felt safe and okay.  So that says that your feelings of fright are not here to stay–they’re just passing through.  Soon, if you pause and take slow, deep, calm breaths and repeat to yourself that all is well, you’ll find yourself feeling less anxious and overwhelmed.  Your reason and logic will come back and you’ll be able to use them to further calm yourself down.

Your homework for today is to remain present in your anxiety.  I know it’s a tough thing to do because you want to run and hide.  Do what you can to get a grip on it rather than letting it spiral out of control.  The more you are present in the moment with it and the braver you are in looking at it right in the face, the better you’ll understand it and the easier it will be for you to find the gift it has for you.

For right now, you might be able to do this for only a very short while.  That’s okay.  Every time you do this, every time you don’t give in all the way and every time you push back just a little bit, you become stronger and you gain a little piece of understanding about yourself.  Challenge yourself each time to do just a little bit more than the last time, even if it’s just a tiny bit.  Tiny bits count!

If you can, for extra credit, after you’ve calmed yourself a little bit, think about what might have triggered your anxiety.  Remember who you were with, where you were, what was being said, what were you thinking, any scents or any other sensory details.  Scents and other sensory impulses can be very powerful and trigger long-forgotten recollections

It might not have been anything you actively did but rather something someone said or something you observed–or even an impression that was operating at nearly subconscious level.

Try to identify the trigger.  Knowing this can help you brainstorm things you can do when you find yourself feeling anxious.  If you’re prepared, then you can do something about it and help yourself feel better.

This can be hard work to find your way out of the panic, but you can do it!  Keep working at it, you’re doing fine!  It’s going to take a little bit of time and effort because it’s a new skill for you–remember the earlier post that you’re a learner!  You can do this, though, as long as you keep at it bit by bit.

For another extra credit assignment, find a teensy-tiny, itty-bitty piece of a step that you can quickly and easily do, then do it.

Don’t worry if these extra credits are too much for you to do right now.  One day you’ll be able to do it, I’m sure of it!

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

It’s a very big deal that you’ve calmed yourself down, even just a tiny bit.  You’ve struck a blow against your anxieties, fears, and panics.  Yay you!!

You did excellent work today!  Feel proud of yourself because this is sometimes hard and scary work.  You did it, though!  Good for you!

**As an aside, when you do releasing-type work, whether it’s with physical things, such as decluttering your home, or if you’re working with identifying emotional triggers and other blocks, be sure you drink plenty of water to flush out your system.  Also, eat foods that are fresh with life in them, such as raw vegetables and fruits.  Finally, make sure you get plenty of rest and sleep.  Releasing-type work is strenuous and your body needs sleep and rest–maybe even a little more than usual.

I am so proud of you.  You rock!

Your friend,

Lauren

**Please note that I am not a medical professional and do not intend to dispense any kind of medical advice or recommendations.  I’m sharing what’s worked for me.  Please consult with appropriate health care professionals regarding your particular situation.

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Release Me, Let Me Go

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dripping_faucet_1.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dripping_faucet_1.jpg

You probably have a routine of affirmations and you say them faithfully.  You’ve de-cluttered your environs, including your mind.   You have the education, the skills, a well thought-out plan as well as back-up plans.  You probably have a network of people and resources to turn to when, inevitably, the going gets tough.  Yet, you still can’t seem to press the “start” button–or your motor quickly comes to a sputtering halt.

What’s going on?

It very well could be that you need to let go of some outdated notions you have about yourself.  Subconsciously (or consciously) you may be hearing someone from your past telling you that you don’t have what it takes to make anything of yourself.  It could be that you view yourself as too old or too young, not the right gender or race, or some other thing.  Or you have the crazy idea that other people are lucky and destined to achieve success whereas you simply are not.

Let me tell you that success is no respecter of persons meaning that it doesn’t matter what you have or don’t have, where you grew up, who your family is; how old, young, short, tall, fat, skinny, you are or anything else, for that matter.  All it takes to be successful is to consistently and persistently take the steps needed toward your goals and dreams and keep doing this for as long as it takes.  So what if it takes you your whole life to achieve your dreams and goals?  Can you think of any more exciting or noble thing to dedicate your life to?

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

So, release and let go of the unhelpful notions about yourself that you may be harboring in your psyche.  Whether they come from anyone else or if it’s something you came up with on your own, let it go!

Even if it’s an authority who says that it can’t be done, it still doesn’t matter.  They don’t know everything there is to know and you may have a shade different take on something that’ll make all the difference.

For your reading pleasure, here is an article on a few everyday items we all enjoy that, when they were first invented, experts scoffed at:  http://ecosalon.com/9_life_changing_inventions_the_experts_said_would_never_work/

For your homework today, search the Internet for sources listing other inventions and creations that experts laughed at.  Now, take a moment to absorb the fact that even the experts don’t have all the answers!  Feel yourself letting go of and releasing all those outdated notions you have of yourself and know that with consistently taking steps, eventually you will reach your dreams and goals.

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

Get busy taking that next step!!

You can do it!  Go you!

I’m so proud of you.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Make-up_mirror.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Make-up_mirror.jpg

A powerful technique for helping yourself get motivated–or helping yourself stay motivated–is working with a mirror. Counselors, psychologists, and healing coaches have used this tool for many years.  This method will help you counteract those harsh judgments and criticisms we think about ourselves every day, sometimes many moments during the day.

Working with a mirror does not mean that you are selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, pig headed, too big for your britches, or any other derogatory and unhelpful label.  You will not get a big head or become full of yourself.  Instead, this technique is like using a healing salve on an open wound.

Copyright VNS Images
Copyright VNS Images

You WILL begin to see the gifts and talents you have that make you unique.  You WILL understand the valuable contributions you have to make to your corner of the world.  You WILL genuinely like–even love–and value yourself.  You WILL have a positive impact on your own life, your family, your friends, and your community.  You WILL become kinder, more tolerant, and more generous.  You WILL have more energy and enthusiasm for your goals and dreams and for living the best life that you can.

Your homework is to get a mirror, one that you can keep in a pocket or purse.  Find a private space and several moments when you won’t be disturbed.  Look into the mirror and into your eyes.  Say positive things to yourself, perhaps things that you always wanted to hear from someone.  If you can’t think of anything, here are a few statements to get you started:  I love you; I’m so good looking, I’m very nice, I have pretty eyes, I like the color of my hair.  I’m so smart.

You can also use “you” instead of “I” statements such as:  You are awesome; You’re a genius; You’re cute; You’re very generous; You’re the kindest person I know.

Do this exercise the first thing in the morning and right before going to bed in the evening.  If you can also do it during the day, all the better.

It may feel awkward and you may be embarrassed doing this exercise.  Do it anyway.  You’ll be glad you did.

You can do this; I believe in you!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Face-smile.svg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Face-smile.svg

I’m so proud of you for pushing through your discomfort and doing this exercise.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Have I Told You Lately…?

Copyright by LMC Images
Copyright by LMC Images

This is what I believe and know to be true about you:

You are strong;

You are capable;

You are competent;

You are intelligent;

You have your own special brand of genius;

You are smart;

You have loads of common sense;

You can figure things out;

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Armored_Knight_Mounted_on_Cloaked_Horse.JPG
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Armored_Knight_Mounted_on_Cloaked_Horse.JPG

You are an overcomer;

You are a warrior;

You are a victor;

You are a champion;

You have what it takes to achieve your goals and dreams;

You are fully equipped and empowered to make your dreams and goals come true;

You have grit;

You have determination;

You are persistent;

You have high character;

You have high integrity;

You are a person of worth;

You are a person of value;

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=18648&picture=lighter-in-hand
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=18648&picture=lighter-in-hand

You are generous;

You reach out a helping hand to others;

You are beautiful;

The world is a richer place because you are part of it;

You are brave;

You are courageous;

You are in the right place at the right time doing the right things in the right way.

Your homework is to read this often and let the words sink into your mind and your bones.  Believe them because they are true.

You can do this!  I believe in you!

I’m so proud of you for moving forward.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sprawling_mountain_road_junction_-_geograph.org.uk_-_153203.jpg

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sprawling_mountain_road_junction_-_geograph.org.uk_-_153203.jpg

What do you do when you have several directions or opportunities to choose from?  Each one seems promising, as if they’ll all take you farther down the path toward where you want to go.

What do you do?

Take a moment for playful contemplation.  Hold each one in your mind, giving yourself time to play with them.  Let your mind come up with impressions and feelings and images about each one of the opportunities.  Give yourself about 10 minutes for this session–no more than 15 minutes.  This is meant to be a quick, fun session.  You are after first impressions because they are often truer than the ones you get after you think about it a little bit.  When you think too hard, it invites your Internal Critic to weigh in and oftentimes it can be a Negative Nick.  So give this a light touch and be open to what ever it is your mind has to show/tell you.

Candle in the DarkAfter the session, jot down a few notes about what you felt about each idea during your contemplation and what you feel now.  Soon, if not right away, you’ll be drawn to one idea/opportunity/path/step.  It will feel right or it may feel fun or you may “just know” in your bones or heart that it’s the right one.  The energy of that path or step will be a little different than the others–a little brighter or lighter in weight.

Your homework for today is to sit in playful, quiet contemplation and hold in your mind the steps and direction you are taking toward your goals and dreams.  Whether you have a clear direction with obvious steps or if you have several options and paths available, take the time to hold this in your mind.  For those of you with multiple choices, one of them will stand out, even a little bit, from the rest.  For those who know for sure you are on the right path, this exercise will confirm it and give you that much more confidence.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%2BBummerlzug%2B.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%2BBummerlzug%2B.jpg

Remember to take the next step in your journey, even if it’s just a teeny tiny one.  Keep the momentum up; keep moving forward!

You can do it!  Yay you!

I am so proud of you!  You are awesome!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Eat Up!

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

First thing every morning I read something inspirational.  I choose from a variety of sources; many are philosophical in nature rather than religious or spiritual.  I choose a short passage, sometimes even a phrase, and after reading it, I take a few minutes to contemplate it.

Today, my inspiration came from the “Today’s Word with Joel and Victoria”* daily email.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t even read the whole message; the title was enough to give me a wake-up call:  “Eat Your Fruit”.

When I read the title, the first image that immediately popped into my mind was imagining myself speaking words and them turning into fruit as they left my mouth.   That led to several other images and revelations.  Before I speak any words, first they are thoughts.  It occurred to me that positive, helpful words and thoughts are like fresh, ripe fruit and negative words and thoughts are like rotten fruit.

Images of rotten fruit hanging in the air filled my mind.  Would I want to touch them and put them into my mouth?  Would I want to chew them, then swallow them?  Of course the answer was NO!  Then what the heck was I doing, then, saying and thinking these negative words and thoughts?!

Your homework for today is to sit quietly for a moment and think about the various situations, people, things, etc., that trigger negative thoughts and words in you.  Perhaps it’s slow drivers or long checkout lines at the grocery store, or the neighbor’s garage light that shines in your window as you’re trying to fall asleep at night….  Choose one of these frustrations and imagine it as a fruit.  Put as many sensory details into it as you can.  Is it dark like a blueberry or is it the color of a pomegranate?  Is it soft and mushy or is it hard like a pebble or gritty like sand?  Does it have a rotten scent to it or is it sickeningly sweet? Is it heavier than it looks?  Is it prickly?  Does it ooze some kind of liquid? 

Hold that image in your mind so that you can recall it when you are in a situation where negative thoughts and words would normally be triggered.  This will help you pause and in that moment you’ll give yourself a little space in which to choose a different way of responding.  That slice of time will give you the opportunity to CHOOSE what freshness level of fruit you want inside you and what level you’re willing to send out into the world.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berries_(USDA_ARS).jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Berries_(USDA_ARS).jpg

Choose fresh ripe delicious fruit!

For extra credit, after you have an image or a sense in your mind of the fruit that your negative words, thoughts, and emotions is/are (it’s okay if there are different fruits for different thoughts, emotions, and words), now brainstorm different ways to respond to these situations and people.  You can always walk away from people who are annoying you; you don’t have to engage with them.  You can decide to drive to and from work using less traveled routes instead of piling in with the rest of rush hour traffic.  Perhaps you can go to the grocery store at a different time of day when it isn’t so crowded or you can go to a different store—perhaps a smaller one would be faster.

Take the time to do this homework.  You’re worth it, your quality of life is worth it, and the people in your life are worth it.  A happier, calmer you is better for reaching your goals and dreams and a better person to be around.

You can do it!

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-mage.php?image=28014&picture=cornucopia
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-mage.php?image=28014&picture=cornucopia

I’m so proud of you for doing this work and for taking the steps to move forward in your life. This is important work and so many people benefit from you working toward and achieving your goals and dreams.  People you don’t even know yet—and people you may never meet—will have better lives because you achieved your goals and dreams.

Yay you!

I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

*For more information on this daily email service, please visit http://www.joelosteen.com

I Am Stuck on Band Aid*…

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_band-aid_icon.svg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Green_band-aid_icon.svg

“I am stuck on Band Aid brand ’cause Band Aid’s stuck on me.”*

This is well and good if you have a wound that needs protection as it heals, but this isn’t that good as it relates to procrastination versus doing it.

At one time procrastination may have protected you because it caused you to slow down, re-think where you were going and what you were doing.  It helped you double-check and feel surer of your decision.

Now, though, it’s holding you back.  Time to rip off the Band Aid; time to do what needs doing.

Sometimes, before we actually take the step, things look bigger, farther off, and worse than they turn out to be.  I’m sure you can think of instances in your own life where this was true.  Afterward you may have wondered what you were so anxious about!

As long as you’ve done your due diligence, then go for it!  Have faith in yourself, your skills, and in your intelligence–that you’ll figure it out along the way.  Trust that you’ll be able to handle it.  And you will.  You’ve done so in the past and you can do it again now.

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

Your homework today is to take a moment to think about one thing you’re procrastinating about.  Ask yourself why you’re delaying; is there some part of it that needs a little more investigating?  Are you stalling because you don’t have every little answer or your skills aren’t masterfully perfect?  Recognize that you’ll never have all the answers and there will always be room for improvement.  Break the steps into small, easily doable pieces and then go for it!

You can do it!  Yay you!

I am so proud of you.  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

 

*Band Aid brand bandages are a product of Johnson & Johnson