Tag Archives: annoyed

Productive Waiting: Gratefulness

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Yesterday we talked about using your waiting time productively by putting together your Vision Album for your future–doing this in either an “old fashioned” hard-copy photo album or putting together a digital slideshow.

Today, let’s do the same thing and build a Gratitude Album for ourselves. By doing this, we are aligning with the “good stuff” in our life and the more in tune with it that we are, the more of it we will notice and the more we will bring into our life.

Making a Gratitude Album and referring to it often reminds us that there are wonderful things in our lives even if everything around us looks hopeless. Looking at the album first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep helps us also remember why we’re pressing forward in spite of the odds and in spite of the naysayers. Taking peeks at the album throughout the day can give us that boost we need so that we don’t give up or knuckle under.

Just like your Vision Album, your Gratitude Album doesn’t have to be elaborate or fancy or contain every little jot of every little thing you’re grateful for. You can add to and tweak the album as you go along–it isn’t something chiseled in stone, so you don’t have to “get it right” the first time!

It can also have symbols. For instance, you can include a picture of the gorgeous cherry tree in front of the public library and this can be your symbol of your gratitude for all of Mother Nature’s majestic beauty.

Above all, have fun with this! Make it a point to pull a few pictures together today–even one image from a recent event in your life will do. Regularly add a little bit here and there as you go along!

Have fun!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Mother Nature’s Wisdom

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Summer is in full swing and Mother Nature is at her most bountiful abundant prolific time.

This week we’ll talk about the wisdom we can glean from Mother Nature. She has much to teach us, if we’d only pause a moment and become aware of her. She doesn’t use abstract concepts that we have to wrap our minds around, rather she actually shows us through the actions of living things the Guiding Principles of Life.

Let’s make a pact that this week, as we explore and extract the teachings from the natural world around us, we’ll spend as much time as we can outdoors quietly watching, looking, and seeing what we see. Then we’ll take the time to note our observations and ponder how they might apply to our life.

Let’s start this today!

In the comments below, feel free to let me know what you discover. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Noblesse Oblige: What to Do if You’re Feeling Bad About Yourself – 6 Steps to Take

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When you’re feeling bad about yourself and can’t seem to shake it, here’s what to do:

1. Ditch the negative people around you as fast as you can! The reason you can’t shake feeling bad about yourself and your life is probably because you’re hanging around people who don’t value you, appreciate you, and/or celebrate you. They’re also the people who see nothing but woe and disaster ahead of you, which is most definitely NOT what you need right now.

What do you do? DISTANCE YOURSELF FROM THEM AS FAST AS YOU CAN!!!

Call up a few of your friends who make you feel great about yourself and always have something nice to say to you. Be up front with them and tell them you’ve had a hard day and you need them to remind you of a few good things about yourself. Jot them down and keep them handy in a scrapbook or in a folder on your mobile device or computer.

2. You’ve forgotten or lost–or never had it in the first place!!–a vision of the fabulous future that awaits you.

What do you do? REMEMBER THE DELICIOUS FUTURE THAT’S WAITING FOR YOU!

Get out your vision board, your mission statement, your Scrapbook of Optimism and remind yourself that the rough patch you’re in right now is NOT permanent–it, too, will pass. Remind yourself that better days are ahead. Remind yourself that, no matter how wonderful your life may have been in the past, your best days are still yet to come–they’re still ahead of you!

And, if you don’t have an exciting future imagined for yourself, then immediately and right now and at this very instant start dreaming! Write it all down, make a collage, choose some sort of item or symbol that reminds you of your dreams and keep that symbol where you can see it every single day.

3. Get the icky feelings and emotions out of your system!  Best advice from a dear friend: vent, steam, rant, rave, cry, gnash your teeth, shake your fist, scream if you have to and then take the next step forward.

What do you do? DON’T WALLOW; KEEP PRESSING ONWARD!

4. Pressing forward looks like this: networking to find a new job, bartering with friends and loved ones to get the help you need to clear out the clutter in your home, taking classes online to improve your knowledge and skills…. Put on your Thinking Cap and come up with the things YOU can do that will help YOU.

What do you do when you’ve done all you can? LET GO AND TRUST THAT THE GOOD WORKS YOU JUST DID ARE GOING FORTH AND BRINGING GOOD STUFF BACK TO YOU

5. Make your waiting time productive by pursuing things that interest you, that make you feel good, that bring you peace and contentment. I’m not talking about hedonistic pursuits, I’m talking about the soul-prospering pursuits.

What do you do next? GET BUSY!!

Some soul-prospering pursuits are: spending time with your hobbies, enjoying the people you love and who make you feel loved and cared for, following the thread of a new idea or activity that has captured your interest, taking a class in a topic that, for you, is “off the wall”, volunteering your time and helping others…. I’m sure you can come up with your own ideas to follow through on.

6. What do you do after all this? REPEAT THESE STEPS AS OFTEN AS NEEDED.

 

Let me know how these simple steps work out for you. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Noblesse Oblige: Take Care of Yourself – 13 Quotes

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Perhaps you’ve had a hard day where everything seemed to go wrong: the project at work you were excited about was given to someone else instead; an account at work that was your “baby” was shut down without warning; people whose character and integrity you thought you could rely on, end up ditching you at the first opportunity….

Here are a few quotes to keep in mind:

Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. ~LiveLifeHappy.com

Don’t feel sorry for yourself if you have chosen the wrong road; turn around. ~Edgar Cayce

People inspire you, or they drain you–pick them wisely. ~Hans F. Hansen

You may not control all of the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them. ~Maya Angelou

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. ~Henry Ford

Never mind what others do; do better than yourself, beat your own record from day-to-day, and you are a success. ~William J. H. Boetcker

Defeat is simply a signal to press onward…. ~Helen Keller

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future. ~Robert H. Schuller

Just because today is a terrible day doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of our life. You just gotta get there. ~Anonymous

If you want to improve your self-worth, stop giving other people the calculator. ~Tim Fargo

Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life–you didn’t settle for it. ~Anonymous

Make sure you don’t start seeing yourself through the eyes of those who don’t value you. Know your worth even if they don’t. ~Anonymous

You are the hero of your own story. ~Anonymous

 

Which quote did you like the best? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Goals: The Halfway Point of the Year

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In a few days June will be over, and so will the first half of 2017. As we move into the next half of the year, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the goals we set at the beginning of the year.

The other day I was looking through some videos on YouTube and came across this one by Brendon Burchard where he talks about S.M.A.R.T. goals versus D.U.M.B. goals.

 

 

I thought he made a lot of sense when he said we should forget about being sensible and realistic with our goals and instead set goals that are enormous and outrageous.

Let me know what you think about the video. Thanks! We’ll talk more about gigantic goals tomorrow.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Silence and Meditation: The “Bad Stuff” About Meditation is Actually Some of the Good Stuff!

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Some of the “bad stuff” about a practice of silence and meditation is that it’s too darn hard because our minds wander, we fidget, we just don’t wanna do it!, or we fall asleep!

Yep. At one time or another all of those things are going to happen to us. And, once we’ve established a practice and we’re humming along with it like clockwork, we shouldn’t be surprised if we’re blindsided by a phase of restlessness, inattention, boredom, and lethargy.

What’s up with that?!

We use this to justify not developing a practice thinking that we really don’t have what it takes, it isn’t right for us, or we’re hopeless and doomed….

No worries! Believe it or not, all of this “bad stuff” is really the good stuff!

When you’re fidgety, when your mind hops from one topic to another to another to another, when you fall asleep, when you feel resistance to doing your practice, this is your mind and body trying to tell you something!

When this happens, go with it and be the observer, as if you’re an anthropologist or sociologist who’s studying a people in order to understand their way of life.

For instance, if you’re having trouble focusing your mind, observe what topics or issues your mind gravitating toward. Observe what’s going on in your life that your mind keeps coming back to this issue or topic. Think about it on a little deeper level to find what the core issue is, such as abandonment, unworthiness, incapability, etc..

On a more practical level, take a look at the time of day and the place you’re choosing for your silence and meditation. Perhaps they aren’t conducive to quieting yourself. Consider using another meditation method or a different way of silence and meditation.

Perhaps you’re restless and twitchy. Again, your body is speaking to you. Take a moment to tune in and find out what’s going on in your life that you may be avoiding because the squirming might be because you’re trying to get away from a situation or issue in your life.

Also, consider switching to a movement-based form of silence and meditation. Let your body work off the extra steam and energy as your meditating!

Maybe you find yourself falling fast asleep in less than two seconds. Again, tune into yourself. It might be that you aren’t getting enough sleep or taking enough rest breaks throughout the day. Perhaps you aren’t eating enough or the food you are eating doesn’t have enough nutrition. Falling asleep can be an avoidance issue so make sure you take a look at the larger scope of what’s going on in your life.

Also, experiment with changing the method of meditation or the type of meditation, for instance do a standing meditation or a walking meditation. Additionally, change the time of day that you’re meditating.

You may find that you just don’t wanna do it! Like a toddler who’s just discovered the word “NO!”, we can have the same frustratingly stubborn way, even though we’ve been a grown-up for decades! You have to work with yourself when you’re feeling this way. When I’ve felt this resistance, I’ve chosen a repetitive activity that’s fun that can be done quietly. For instance, my favorite is to blow bubbles (click here for my YouTube video about it!). Another thing I enjoy doing is doodling. I’ve also discovered that daydreaming as I gaze out my window is another method to circumvent the resistance.

The trick is to do something fun, that you enjoy; something that can be done alone and done quietly. I’ve found this helps calm my mind and my body and then I can do a little deeper pondering.

Meditation isn’t always about blissing out. It’s about discovering more about ourselves and our purpose in the world. It’s about building a deeper and richer life as a result. Yes, sometimes we get to bliss-out over it but there are times when we have to roll up our sleeves and get dirty!

As an aside, when you work with yourself through the “bad stuff” about your meditation practice, you may discover issues that are too big or too much for you to handle. In that case, I wholeheartedly encourage you to reach out to a counselor, your spiritual or religious leader, a health care professional, a support group, a trusted friend or loved one. Don’t go it alone when there is so much help and support out there for you!

Let me know the ways in which you work through the “bad stuff” of meditation. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,
Lauren

Silence and Meditation: 24 Ways to Do It

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Yesterday we admitted that one of the reasons we don’t have a regular meditation practice is because we’re afraid it may be painful–sitting in one twisted position for hours (days!) on end…! We talked about several different types of meditation and that one of them might be just the ticket for you.

I also wanted to draw your attention to the fact that there are plenty of ways to meditate, to “sit” in silence, that don’t require sitting in one position for a long time.

Here are some suggestions, 24 to be exact:

Taking a slow walk – being aware of the sights, sounds, aromas…

Observing nature – closely watching squirrels, birds, ants, bees…

Moving your body – dance, walking, yoga, gentle exercise…

Doodling – making random marks or shapes;

Studying closely a favorite photograph – of loved ones, a landscape, flowers…

Repetitive activity – gardening, cleaning, folding laundry, kneading dough…

Making sounds – hum one or two notes, play with wind chimes, experiment with pots and pans and empty bottles…

Still water – fill a bowl with water and make ripples, waves, splashes, or gazing into the stillness…

Running water – let water run through your fingers or dangle your feet in a pond or in your bathtub!

Gazing into a flame – a candle flame, flames in a fireplace or fire pit

Gratefulness – counting your blessings instead of your troubles

Laughing – yes, this is a valid meditation technique AS WELL AS yoga technique! Even if you aren’t in a good mood or feel stupid laughing at nothing, force yourself to do it anyway. Soon, you’ll be laughing on your own. If you need a boost to get started, there are YouTube videos of people laughing.

Focus on a peaceful image – water gently lapping on a beach, a burbling brook, a field of flowers swaying in a playful breeze, a beautiful spring day, a peaceful snowy evening…

Memory – remembering and re-living a happy event: the holidays with your loved ones, a special vacation, the birth of a baby…

Listening to music – classical music, sacred music, uplifting music…

Guided meditations – many, many choices on YouTube

Breath – focusing on your breathing, counting your breaths, breathing deeply and slowly…

Rhythmic playing – gently bouncing a ball, easy tossing and catching a ball by yourself, looking through a kaleidoscope…

Letting go – letting your body totally relax, feeling as if you’re melting into the chair or floor or bed…

Daydreaming – softening your focus and gazing out the window

Holding an object – rosary beads, smooth stone, special object…

Rocking – by yourself or with a loved one in a rocking chair, standing and shifting from foot to foot…

Human contact – hug yourself, hug a loved, hold a friend’s hand…

Ponder – an inspiring thought, a sacred passage, something a friend or loved one said that has resonated with you.

 

The point is that there isn’t only one right way to meditate…although the one right method is the one that works best for you (there can be more than one right method for you).

Choose several of these types because you may find that when you’re in certain moods that some methods work better than others for you.

Experiment and have fun with this! Then commit to doing some type of meditation every day; you’ll be very glad you did!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren