Category Archives: Gratefulness

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

Advertisements

True Grit

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Extremsport_klettern_mauritius_266x200.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Extremsport_klettern_mauritius_266x200.jpg

Have you run into some setbacks or unexpected challenges?  Or, are you having trouble getting out of the starting gate—or nowhere even near the starting gate?

Are you feeling hopeless, that you’ll never get the hang of this or that the obstacles are too numerous and the obstacles are too large to overcome?

No worries!  The good news is you are not alone and you are not the unique in these experiences. Everyone runs into setbacks, challenges, and obstacles.  And, at one time or another, everyone has experienced difficulty getting started.

Forward movement is critical, especially when you’re feeling discouraged.  You may think this is the absolute worst time for you to make any kind of forward movement, even a minuscule one.  I urge you to challenge yourself.  You will be astonished to learn that there are depths and strengths to you that you didn’t know about.  You’ll discover them by daring yourself to take a small step.  And, you’ll be surprised at the burst of energy you feel and, most important, the surge of self-confidence and pride.

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

You don’t have to scrap the whole deal and start from the very beginning.  You don’t have to toss in the towel and give up because you think this means that you don’t have what it takes.

The good news is you can start right where you are.

Your homework is to take a look at your list of steps, break one of them down into a teeny tiny piece–a piece that you know you can easily do–and then do it.

You can do this; I believe in you!

Go for it!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_door_-_geograph.org.uk_-_798005.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Open_door_-_geograph.org.uk_-_798005.jpg

I’m so very proud of you.  Moving forward when you least feel like it and when you least expect to be able to is a very important accomplishment.  Make note of it.

Extra credit:  celebrate and revel in the fact that you did it!

You are awesome!

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

Ummm…Uhhhh…

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

“Ummm…uhhh…gee…thanks, Aunt Tillie.  This is just what I wanted.”

Yesterday we talked about negative people.  Today, let’s talk about the people in your life who you know mean well but sometimes they’re off the mark.

They genuinely want you to be happy and they want to help you get there.  But yet, occasionally, they may say or do something that is hurtful or insulting, or maybe they give you advice that you know is incorrect.  You don’t want to hurt their feelings or be discourteous of their honest efforts to be supportive but…

…what’s a person to do when this happens?

The best thing is to be respectful.

Recognize that the advice is coming from the person’s heart and is wrapped in their good wishes for you.  Thank them for their interest in you and what you’re trying to accomplish and tell them gently and tactfully that you’ll have to think about what they’ve said.

It’s very, very important that you thank the person.  They cared enough about you and your dreams to put in time and effort to be of help to you.   

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Be_Kind.png
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Be_Kind.png

Your homework today is to come up with gracious ways to thank someone for their gift of caring, even if it’s off the mark and won’t be helpful to you.  Be compassionate and have empathy.  Remember the times you tried to lend a hand to someone but they were inconsiderate of the help you tried to give.  That didn’t feel so good.  What did you wish they had said or done instead?

Here are a few sentiments to get you started on this assignment:

“Thanks for your idea.  That’s an interesting/creative way to look at it.  Let me think about that.”

OR

“You’ve given me a lot to think about.  Thanks, I appreciate it.”

OR

“Thanks for your insights.  I’ll have to think them through.”

The important thing is to say THANK YOU to the person.  And, letting them know you’ll think about it shows your respect for their efforts.  That’s what they want:  to be helpful and appreciated.

Go for it; you can do it!  Yay you!

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

Your Friend,

Lauren

 

Go Stuff It!

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

There is an important thing to do before taking the first step.  If you’ve started without doing this, no worries!  You can do it now–or when it becomes necessary.

Get some cotton (imaginary cotton is just fine) and then:

Stuff your ears with it so that you can’t hear what other people say about you and your dreams and goals.

Most people are trying to be helpful and show their support for you, but sometimes it comes out wrong.  They don’t intend to be hurtful or insulting but, without meaning to, their suggestions come across that way.

Some people in your life are naturally negative, even when they’re trying to be positive!  No matter how perfect the thing, they’ll naturally find the flaw or the problem.  And no matter how happy the occasion, they’ll find something that isn’t quite right.  And no matter how well you’ve done something, they’ll find a reason why it isn’t good enough.

Then there are those few people who don’t like you and who don’t wish the best for you.  They may even be openly hostile and venomous toward you.

The best way to deal with them is to not listen to what they say:  plug your ears with cotton!  As much as you can, avoid the negative and the venomous ones all together.  If you have no choice, though, limit the time your time with them as much as possible.

Don’t try to justify yourself and what you’re doing, don’t try to explain yourself, and– above all–don’t try to prove them wrong.  None of this will change their minds about you and what you’re doing.  If you engage them in any way, chances are the whole situation will devolve into a complete mess.  None of this will make you happy and it certainly won’t take you any closer to your dreams or goals

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=39477&picture=snake-animals&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=39477&picture=snake-animals&large=1

Engaging them isn’t worth it.

You have better things to do with your time.  You can’t afford to indulge in having bad feelings and negative thoughts.  Your goals and your dreams are too important, too valuable, to allow yourself to be derailed.

But, man oh man does that person–or those people–get under your skin!

What do you do about this?  How do you get back on an even keel?

The very best thing you can do is to take the next step!  You may be agitated and as a result only able to handle a little piece of a step; that’s okay.  Do something–anything, no matter how small–that will move you forward.

You may be so agitated, though, that you can’t move forward, even the tiniest bit.  In that case, do some self-soothing things such as talking to a person who believes in you, who always makes you feel good about yourself.  You can read a book that uplifts you and never fails to put you into a positive frame of mind.

Take a moment to remember and think about the accomplishments you’ve had so far, not only with your dreams and goals but also the times when you helped someone.  Perhaps you need to reach out now and help a neighbor or a friend.

You may need to spend time in nature–take a walk or work in the garden.  Perhaps it’ll help to play with your kids or your pet.

Once you’ve re-centered, then take that step!

Your homework today is to write down things you can do that will make you feel better when Life or a person has got you down.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madonna_of_Sacrifice_NGM-v31-p551.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Madonna_of_Sacrifice_NGM-v31-p551.jpg

For extra credit, find someone you know who’s struggling or maybe doesn’t feel so great about themselves.  Give them a pep talk.  Tell them the things you admire about them.  Remind them of what they’re good at.  You’ll make their day–and your own, too!

You can do it!  Yay you!

I’m so proud of you for turning around a negative situation.  You rock!  I knew you could do it!

Your Friend,

Lauren

The Unexamined Life….

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=36062&picture=binoculars&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=36062&picture=binoculars&large=1

“The unexamined life is not worth living by a human being” ~Plato

What if you look back over these past seven days and find that your energy and enthusiasm has dwindled?  What if Life has intervened in ways you hadn’t imagined so you’re not really taking any steps at all?  What if you never really got out of the starting gate in the first place?

What do you do about this?

Is it time to pack it in, give up, and somehow reconcile yourself to the seeming fact that you’re just not one of the lucky people who can attain their goals and dreams?

The answer is:  NO!

Don’t let these thoughts get to you!

It’s very common to find your drive and motivation flagging and it’s an all too usual thing for Life to mess up our best-laid plans.  And, many people feel discouraged and disappointed from time-to-time.

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4020&picture=woman-with-magnifying-glass&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=4020&picture=woman-with-magnifying-glass&large=1

When you evaluate yourself, be gentle.  I’m positive you can look back over these past few days and identify little things you did do to help yourself and small steps you did take.  Even if you’re at the very beginning point where you’re working on this in your mind, give yourself credit for the things you are doing.  Even just the simple awareness that you want something better for yourself and you’d like to–or hope to–one day do something about it is a reason to celebrate yourself.  Remember from previous posts that mind-work in the form of imagination, visualization, contemplation, and awareness is vital and valuable.  Also remember that teeny-tiny steps are the foundation of the larger steps you’ll take later on

http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=29416&picture=trophies&large=1
http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=29416&picture=trophies&large=1

Your homework today is to celebrate the victories you’ve had this week, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential.  It’s hard work breaking steps into small pieces, overcoming resistance and inertia, pushing aside fears and anxieties, and moving forward.  You did it, though!

You rock!  Give yourself a cheer!

I am awesome!

I am awesome!

I am awesome!

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

Your friend,

Lauren