Category Archives: New Beginnings

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

True Grit

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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!

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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

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

Check In!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Braun_ABW41_(schwarz).jpg

Another seven days have gone by so it’s time to check in with yourself.  It’s time to acknowledge all the achievements you’ve had and the steps you’ve taken, no matter how small they may seem.  No effort is ever wasted.  Every tiny piece of a step contributes to your forward progress.

As you look back over the days, what good things stand out?  What are you pleased with and even proud of?  What happy surprises did you have?  Anything serendipitous happen?

Think only of the good, the progress, the forward movement.  This is not the time to beat yourself up; this is not the time for woulda’s shoulda’s coulda’s.

YOU ARE REQUIRED TO THINK ONLY OF THE GOOD STUFF THAT’S HAPPENED AND THE PROGRESS YOU’VE MADE AND THE STEPS YOU’VE TAKEN!

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

Congratulate yourself!  Good job!  You done good, Kid!!

Your homework for today is to CELEBRATE!  Take a moment to feel good about yourself.  Note where in your body that emotion lodges.  For instance, many people report that good feelings center in their chest and feel warm and glowy.  What do they feel like for you?  Revel in and enjoy those feelings!

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Just_because_(near_Oltu,_eastern_Turkey).jpg

For extra credit, treat yourself as a reward for a job well done.  It can be something as simple as spending the afternoon in the library reading your favorite magazines or it can be borrowing a DVD or a CD of music that you like.  Another reward can be meeting a friend for a picnic in the park.  You don’t have to spend money in order to treat yourself.

Have fun!!

You did it!  You rock!

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

Your Friend,

Lauren

Never Surrender

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Au_port_de_Venasque,_Luchon,_septembre_1899_(2589304595).jpg

Keep showing up, no matter what.  It may seem hopeless and like a total waste of time.  Your friends and family may make fun of you.  They may even be checking out facilities with comfy rubber rooms for you because they think you’re totally nuts.

But they can’t hear the Still Small Voice inside you; they can’t see the Vision that you do.  The Voice, the Vision, was put inside of you–not them.  And, because the Voice and the Vision is inside of you, that means you have the talents and the gifts required to bring that dream into manifestation.  Believe it because it’s true!

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

You may have some work to do–either formal schooling or a program of self-directed study–in order to develop your raw talents, but you do have the raw materials inside you.  And you do have what it takes to develop these into the abilities, aptitudes, and skills that you’ll need to make your dreams come true.

Don’t mistake not knowing how to do something–or not being good at it yet–as a predictor of your likelihood of success.  They aren’t related…unless you make them related in your own mind and then give up before you even take a shot at it.

For your homework today is think about your skills and abilities and which ones need brushing up and polishing.  You may need to hit the books, or observe others who are better than you at a particular thing, to learn more about it.   

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

Keep going!  You can do it!  Keep plugging away at it–keep moving forward!

Yay you!

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

Your friend,

Lauren

“…I’ll Never be Hungry Again!”

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lange-MigrantMother02.jpg

What does that line–one of the most famous in all of movie history–have to do with moving toward your goals?  Because it’s as important to know what you don’t want as it is to know what you do want.

The right kind of negative statement can be powerfully motivating.  In Gone with the Wind at the end of the film Scarlet is silhouetted in a blazing sunset with the ruins of her beloved Tara around her.  That’s when she declares “…I’ll never be hungry again!”

Here is the full text of the movie quote:  “As God is my witness, as God is my witness they’re not going to beat me. I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again. No, nor any of my folk. If I have to lie, steal, cheat or kill. As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!”

In those words, you can feel her steadfast determination and fierce resolve.  We believe her and we’re positive she succeeded.

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

Your homework for today is to draw that line in the sand for yourself.  Decide once and for all what you will not tolerate any longer.  Write it down using language that is emphatic, filled with powerful emotion, and something that makes the steely strength within you rise up.  Make the statement short and to the point; write it down and post it where you see it often.  Say the words to yourself every morning when you first wake up and make those words the last ones you say before falling asleep.

For extra credit, rent Gone With the Wind and watch the ending scene over and over again.  Absorb the force and intensity of the speech.  Make it your own.

You can do it!  Go you!

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

Your Friend,

Lauren