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

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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

Never Give Up

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:WPA_road_project.gif

“Never give up.  Never ever give up.”    ~Paraphrase of a quote of Winston Churchill’s *

It can be very hard working toward your dreams and goals.  It can be incredibly discouraging and disappointing.  It can be painful. 

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES GIVE UP.  When you quit, when you throw in the towel, when you give up then it’s all over and there is no hope and no way those goals and dreams will ever come into your life.

You deserve to achieve your goals and dreams.  You wouldn’t have them if they were not meant for you.  They have your name all over them.  They are yours!  Go get ’em!

YOU MUST HANG IN THERE.   Put your shoulder to that obstacle and push.  Even if you have only a little tiny drop of strength, give it your all.

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Renomm%C3%A9e_chevauchant_Pegase_Coysevox_Louvre_MR1824.jpg

Dig deep.  You have strength, you have might, you have a titanium core within you.  Life may have knocked you around so much that you think you’re weak and wimpy.  I am here to tell you that you are a mighty warrior.  You are a victor and a champion.  You are way more powerful than anything Life can throw at you.  You CAN do it!

So, take a breath and move forward.  You can do it, I know you can.  I am sure of it!

Your homework for today is to take a look at the steps on the pathway to your goals and dreams.  In spite of Life and your Inner Critic telling you it’s impossible and you’re so dumb for thinking you can do it, in spite of that, choose a step, a tiny one that you are positive you can do and then do it.  Do it with all the might and glory that you have within you.  Because you do have it, it is there waiting for you to tap into it.  Go for it!  You can do it, I am so very sure of that!

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

Go for it!  You can do it!  Yay for you!

I am so very proud of you for not giving up.  You are my hero!!  You rock!  I knew for certain that you could do it!!

Your Friend,

Lauren

* The speech was made  October 29, 1941 to the boys at Harrow School. ” Never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” The full speech is contained in “The Unrelenting Struggle” (London:Cassell and Boston:Little Brown 1942, and is found on pages 274-76 of the English edition). It may also be found in “The Complete Speeches of Winston S. Churchill,” edited by Robert Rhodes James (NY:Bowker and London:Chelsea House 1974).

Ummm…Uhhhh…

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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.   

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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!

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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

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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.

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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

“…I’ll Never be Hungry Again!”

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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.

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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

Jingle All the Way!

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

Jingles:

They’re catchy and tuneful, memorable and easily get stuck in your head.  You hear the first note or two and instantly your mind knows what it is.  You’re snapping your fingers and tapping your toes, and all day it goes ’round and ’round in your head.

You can do this for yourself with your own personal motivational statement.  Just think how powerful it would be to have a statement or a song that, to you, has power and energy in it–and have it looping in your mind throughout the day.  It’d be jet fuel, for sure!

For inspiration, think of your favorite company taglines, such as “Just do it” (Nike), “Where’s the beef?” (Wendy’s) and “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” (M&Ms).  Also, think of your favorite jingles, for example “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!” (Alka Seltzer), “My bologna has a first name it’s O-S-C-A-R…”  (Oscar Mayer), and “Mm, mm good, mm, mm good….” (Campbell’s Soup).

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Notes_on_the_staff.gif

Here is a link to an article naming a few jingles:  http://money.msn.com/now/12-of-the-best-ad-jingles-ever  (scroll through the comments for additional ones).  Here is a link to an article naming a few famous taglines:  http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/28/nike-bmw-amex-apple-cmo-network-best-advertising-taglines.html

Your homework is to create a tagline and/or a jingle for yourself.  If you’re having trouble coming up with something original, then rework a famous one (since it’s for your own personal use, it isn’t copyright infringement).  Have fun with this!  And don’t worry about making a mistake or not doing it right.  All that matters is that it’s meaningful, memorable, and fun for you.

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Colours_of_Happiness_3.jpg

You can even re-work one of your high school’s cheers or ones that your favorite professional team’s cheerleaders do.  If you can’t think of any, feel free to use this:

Rah, rah, rah! 

Sis-boom-bah!

I can do it!

I can do it!

Rah, rah, rah!

WooHoo!

You did it!  Yay you!

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

Your friend,

Lauren

 

Crafting a soul-prospering life.