Category Archives: New Beginnings

Leaving: Techniques that Help

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I came across a good article on the Internet about steps to take and things to do to make leaving easier.   The article is geared toward leaving a relationship, but the techniques can be applied to any scenario of leaving.

Here are a few suggestions the article made:

Establish new boundaries

While this is important in relationships, it can also be important in other scenarios, such as taking a new job. It might be necessary for you to stop going to the lunchtime restaurants or the after-work gathering places that you and your former colleagues went to.

Take a communication break

Stop thinking about and regularly communicating with people from your old circumstances. This will make it much easier to focus on your new situation.

Establish a new support system and communication network

This one may take a little time to establish, but be patient.

Let yourself grieve

There will be times in your new life that might be difficult and you may have wistful thoughts of your past circumstances. Be gentle with yourself during these times and let yourself grieve for what once was.   It’s normal and natural to miss things from your past, but also don’t wallow in self-pity and don’t second-guess your decision to make a break and move on.

Stay busy

Give yourself whole-heartedly to your new situation. Get involved with it. Meet new people, see new places, find interesting and fun things about your new circumstances.

 

Keep looking forward!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

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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

 

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: Letting Go and Releasing versus Leaving

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This week as we’ve talked about leaving, which sounds a lot like the act of releasing and letting go. But, it occurred to me that there’s a big difference between releasing and letting go versus leaving.
To me, releasing and letting go means that although you have made your break with a situation or a person or memories, there’s still a connection–a subtle one.

Releasing and letting go is a passive act. In a sense, you’re still looking back; you still have a longing for that thing, person, memory that you let go of. It can be likened to when a child is holding a helium balloon and it slips out of their grasp. They cry as they watch it float off into the sky, hoping that somehow something will change and make the balloon come back to them.
Leaving, on the other hand, is active and decisive. When you leave, you’re stepping away, turning your back, and moving in a different direction.

In fact now that I think about it, releasing and letting go is the first part of moving on and leaving–turning your back and going another way–is the second part of moving on.

The next time you have trouble moving on, even though you’ve released and let go of what’s bothering you, perhaps you need to take the next step of turning your back and walking away. I’m certainly going to keep this strategy in mind!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Happy Halloween! Leaving: It Doesn’t Have to be Permanent

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Happy Halloween!

When I think of this day, I vividly recall the excitement as Mom would take me and my siblings to the store to purchase costumes.  Sometimes, we’d cobble together our own unique costumes from parts of others we’d worn in previous years.  I can remember being a skeleton, a clown, a pirate, and a hobo.

Once I had a home and children of my own, I looked forward to helping the kids with their costumes:  a Panda bear, a cat from space, a fairy princess, and the all-time family favorite of a Math Wizard.   I also enjoyed seeing the neighbor kids in their costumes–so creative and inventive!

These days I’m more of an observer as my kids have their own lives now there aren’t many kids in the neighborhood anymore.  Just because I’m not a child and my kids are grown, this doesn’t mean that I can’t enjoy the holiday.

I can enjoy my memories, I can enjoy the decorations that people have up, I can enjoy overhearing kids in the grocery store as I’m shopping as they excitedly talk to their moms about the candy they’ll get and their costumes and who they’re going to walk around their neighborhood with.

And I can enjoy the happy surprises that come along.  On my way home I drive by an elementary school and last week the school’s parking lot was packed.  Parents were holding their kids’ hands as they walked to their cars; the kids were all in costume!  I found myself smiling as I remembered my own excitement when I was a child and taking part in my school’s Halloween Parade each year.  My kids’ school did the same thing.  And it was such fun to see the kids now still enjoying this same event!

This got me to thinking….

Although we leave things behind, we move on, and we let go of things in our past, that doesn’t mean that we can’t we visit them in our memories and still enjoy them. It can be great fun to make these trips down Memory Lane and visit the happy times, the pleasant events, and the people who cared for us.

What are your Halloween memories?  Feel free to share.  Thanks!

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