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

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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;

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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;

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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

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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.

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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

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.

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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!

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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*…

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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.

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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!

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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

Crafting a soul-prospering life.