Rough Patch

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:BLOCKS_OF_CONCRETE_FROM_ROAD_REPAIR_HAVE_BEEN_DUMPED_ON_A_PARTIALLY_CLEARED_SECTION_OF_OHIO,_OR_%22SUNSHINE%22_KEY._HALF…_-_NARA_-_548742.tif

From time-to-time we all hit rough patches. These times can make us feel discouraged, or frustrated, or anxious.

Sometimes we retreat and look for ways to avoid the situation. We may develop a tense or snappish demeanor. We can also become morose—not too enjoyable to be around. Other aspects may suffer—we have a sour or worried look on our faces and we may let our appearance go, even just a little bit.

Now is not the time to lose ground: fight back! Take things step-by-step, breaking them into small pieces and tiny increments.

More importantly, though, is to do things that validate you as a good person who’s capable and competent, and who is a person others are glad to see.

How do you do this?!

First of all, take care of yourself. Get out your mirror and repeat your favorite pep words and phrases to yourself—focus on positive thoughts. Take care with your appearance. Make sure your clothing is clean and in good repair, and keep up with your daily grooming routines. Make sure you are drinking water and eating fresh, alive food—also getting a good night’s sleep. Stand straight and tall with your shoulders thrown back. These actions will help you regain a sense of control.

Then, take care of others. Look for opportunities to help someone else. Is there a neighbor, friend, or family member who is going through a rough patch of their own? Perhaps there is some way you can help, even if it’s just lending and ear as they talk about things. Or, there are probably opportunities in your church or community where you can volunteer. This will help you feel valuable and needed.

Copyright LMC Images
Copyright LMC Images

These steps will help improve your attitude and give you a boost of confidence so that you can better handle the rough patch. Give them a try!

 

Your homework today is to make sure you are taking care of yourself. Next, look around and see what you can do to lend a helping hand. It could be something as simple as holding a door open for the person entering behind you or giving a passerby a nod and a smile.

You can do this, I know you can!

Post in the comments section about the lending hand you reached out today.

I’m so proud of you! You’re the best!!

Your Friend,

Lauren

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Cautionary Tale

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MUTCD_W14-1.svg

 

Oftentimes we tell our friends and family about mistakes we’ve made. We want their sympathy and a shoulder to cry on. It could be, too, that we’re cautioning them not to make the same mistakes we did.

As parents, we tend to do this with our kids, encouraging them to make better choices than we did. We don’t want them to fall prey to the pitfalls that we have in our lives. Our children will make their own mistakes, certainly, but we hope to caution them against making our same mistakes.

It’s tiring, and embarrassing, to always be using ourselves as a cautionary tale. How about flipping that around and being the example? Be someone that people admire and hold up as a shining example of good and right living.

It feels much better to be an example rather than a cautionary tale!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Light_shining1-b.jpg
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Light_shining1-b.jpg

Your homework today is to set yourself up as the shining example. You do this by taking the next step. If it seems too big or too hard or your anxiety is getting in the way, then break the step into teeny tiny pieces. It doesn’t matter the size of the piece; all that matters is that you use it to move forward on the path to your dreams. That’s how you become the example rather than the cautionary tale!

Post in the comment section the things you’re doing today to be the shining example. You are awesome! I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

 

The Ripple Effect

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

 

Have you hit a rough patch? Do you think it’s okay to give up on your goals and dreams? Do you think they don’t really matter—that your life will be just fine without them?

Here’s something to consider: Everything you do has a ripple effect, not only in your own life but also in the lives of others and for generations to come. Granted, you can live a great life without achieving your dreams…but there will always be something missing, a mild discontent. And, of course your friends and family can still live great lives in spite of you not going for your dreams. But, if you do work toward your dreams and achieve them, think how much better your life can be—and how you can enhance the lives of those close to you.

I’m sure you can think back along your family tree and find someone who, when faced with difficult circumstances, decided to make a change. Perhaps they changed careers or move to a new town. Possibly, they started a business or maybe even moved the family to a whole new country. That change made all the difference for them and their immediate family. And you now are still enjoying the benefits of that decision. It could be that you’re working in the family business that your great-grandparents started. You may be living in a country with far more opportunities than the one from which your ancestors emigrated. Whatever it is, you’re standing on their shoulders and their achievements are your foundation. Their decisions made decades ago are still enhancing your life today.

The ripple effect also works the other way. Perhaps, decades ago, someone in your family tree made a bad decision. Maybe it sent their immediate family into poverty and disgrace. You and your family may still be working out from underneath that burden.

You can change this, though. You can change the course of your family’s river by taking the next step on the pathway to your dreams!

Copyright Sweet Doll Designs
Copyright Sweet Doll Designs

The point is, you just don’t know the deep impact your actions—or lack of actions—are going to have in your life, the lives of others, and the lives of those coming after you. That’s why it’s vitally important for you to keep your negative thoughts under control—over-write them with upbeat thoughts. Focus on the positive: your talents, the steps you are taking toward your dreams, and the constructive things that you can do each day. When you do this, you are benefiting yourself, your immediate family and friends, and you’re laying the groundwork for generations to come.

Use your ripple effect for the good, the constructive, in your life and others’ lives.

Your homework today is to take the next step. Marshal your thoughts; concentrate on the positive and what you can do. And then do it. Move forward!

You can do this, I know you can.

Post in the comment section about the ripples you’re creating today.

I’m so proud of you!

Your friend,

Lauren

 

Run Your Own Race

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-120602-M-0482P-196.jpg

We all have our own races to run that are on pathways purposely and exclusively designed for each one of us.  Sometimes our path intersects with another person’s.  Our path might parallel someone else’s, and be so close that the paths may seem to be one in the same.  There are slight enough differences, though, that makes each path unique to each particular person.

Your path is perfect for you.  If you were on someone else’s path, you’d fall flat on your face.  You’d struggle, be out of step, and off kilter.  It would not be comfortable or fun at all.  That’s because you are not designed for the other person’s path and the other person’s path is not designed for you.

It would be the same if someone else tried to run on your path.  They, too, would fall flat on their face.  In spite of their talents, skills, and intelligence, and no matter how successful they already are, they would be out of their league and over their head on your path.  That’s because they are not designed for your path and your path is not designed for them.

Competing in a race and on a path you were never designed for is a sure recipe for disaster, heartache, and spectacular failure.

So, stop wishing you were on someone else’s path running their race.  Stop comparing your differences and instead celebrate them.  They are the very reason you are going to achieve your dreams!  No matter how seemingly small or apparently insignificant, your path—your race—and the talents, skills, and intelligence you have are exactly what’s going to help you achieve your dreams.

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:USMC-101107-M-2360J-061.jpg

Your homework today is to tune your ear to your Still Small Voice inside.  Focus your attention on your talents, skills, and intelligence.  Do what you can to move toward your dreams.  Take the next step!

You can do it, I am absolutely sure of it!  I believe in you!

Post about how great you feel on your own path running your own race.  Yippee!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

The Great Law

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Copyright VNS Images

The Law of Success and the Law of Cause and Effect are one and the same.  This is neatly summed up in the following quote:

”The Great Law briefly and simply stated is that if you think in negative terms you will get negative results. If you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results. That is a simple fact which is the basis of an astonishing law of prosperity and success.  In three words:   Believe and Succeed.”  ~Dr. Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993)

Believe in the Still Small Voice inside you that urges you on.  Believe that within you are all the raw materials you’ll need to achieve your goals and dreams.

Shake off disappointment and negative thoughts.  Let go of resentments and frustrations.

Pull yourself up.  Stand straight and tall.  Throw your shoulders back.  You have what it takes—you can achieve your dreams!

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Copyrighted LMC Images

Your homework for today is to go to your mirror and look into your eyes.  Smile at yourself and stand tall.  With great energy and enthusiasm tell yourself:

I can do it!

I have what it takes!

I am approved and authorized to go for my dreams.

Yes I can!

Repeat these statements first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.  Also, repeat them throughout the day.  And, by all means, come up with your own pep phrases and use them frequently each day.

Post in the comments section any phrases you’ve made for yourself that you’d like to share with us.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Antidote for a Bad Day

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Old_Man_with_his_Head_in_his_Hands_(At_Eternity%27s_Gate).jpg

How many times have you had a bad day?  More importantly, how many times has that bad day affected the several days following it?  How long did you stay frustrated, angry, disappointed, negative, lethargic, and/or unmotivated?

Those were hours and days that you did not spend moving toward your goals and dreams.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, one of the leaders of the Transcendentalist Movement in the mid-19th century, had something to say about this:

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

He’s encouraging us to let it go.  What’s done is done.  We can’t go back to the past to change it and our worrying, anger, despondency, lack of motivation, and the like, is not going to change what happened.  Learn what you can from it; write down action steps you can take to improve, and resolve to follow through with it.  Then draw a line under it and call it a day.  Let it go.

Get a good night’s sleep then wake up in the morning with the promise to yourself that today will be a better day.  Expect it!  If your mind tries to remind you of the past, firmly turn your attention to something positive about the moment you are in right now.  Perhaps you hear birds singing or maybe the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee is in the air.  Keep your focus on the positive and on moving forward!

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

Your homework is to repeat pep words to yourself that make you feel energized when you say them.  Here are a few to get you started:  zest, zip, vibrant, pizzazz, sizzle, gusto.  Don’t forget to look through your thesaurus for new pep words.  Keep these handy throughout the day and repeat them to yourself as needed.  Then, take the next step!  No matter how small the increment, move forward toward your goals and dreams.

You can do it!

Post in the comments section some of your favorite pep words.

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Bull’s Eye!

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

Today is the first full day of spring (first full day of autumn for our friends in the southern hemisphere).  There’s no better way to celebrate the change of season than to review the week.

You can’t hit something that you aren’t aiming at!

Everyone aims at things—targets, they’re usually called.  When we think of targets, we think of bulls’ eyes and those silhouettes of people-targets at gun ranges.  But, consider this:  every time you start out to do something, you have a target—a goal—in mind.

For instance, suppose you’re planning stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner.  That’s a goal, a target.  Eventually, you pull into your favorite store’s parking lot because that was your target, your goal.  You didn’t wind up at a different grocery store or at the playground or some other place because you weren’t aiming at them—they weren’t your goal.  Your aim was to get to your favorite grocery store.  And you achieved it.  The proof that you were successful was that you served a delicious dinner to your family!

How did you know you were on track and that you would reach the store?  In reality, this process is automatic so you didn’t notice that your mind was busy steering the car, regulating the speed, stopping at traffic signals; your eyes were looking for the familiar landmarks along the way telling you where to turn and how much farther you had to go.  And, perhaps your eyes were noticing differences in the route and sending signals to your brain to recalibrate the way.

And, sure enough, soon you pull into the parking lot!

Same with our dreams.  We need markers along the way to let us know we’re making progress.  And, we need to be aware of them so we can make sure we’re going in the right direction and we can acknowledge our achievements .

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Copyright VNS Images

Your homework today is to review what you did this week toward achieving your goals and dreams.  What needs tweaking?  What steps need to be broken down smaller?  What abilities need strengthening and polishing?  What skills do you need to acquire?

The second part of your homework is to celebrate your achievements!  What went right?  What did you do well?  What are you particularly proud of?  What would you like to do again and again?  What new thing did you discover about yourself?  What happy surprises and serendipitous events did you experience this week?

You done good, Kid!  I knew you could do it!!

Post in the comments section about what you’re doing to celebrate yourself this week—we want to celebrate with you!

I’m so proud of you!

Your Friend,

Lauren

Crafting a soul-prospering life.