Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Less can be so much more

Less Can be So Much More

It was last year around this time I was trying to figure out what my New Year’s Resolution was going to be.  I began to write a nice long list of all the things I wanted to change and be different for the upcoming year.  When I was done, I was very disheartened.  Although I already knew it, there it was written in black and white, how completely unhappy I was with so many aspects of my life. 

That year, 2010, was one of the hardest years I had ever had.  It seemed one thing after another was going wrong.  Within that year I had someone I thought was a friend completely deceive me, my Mom was diagnosed with cancer, my finances were much less than desired, I had gained 20 lbs, and my relationship with my partner was falling apart.  My life was in complete chaos, and after writing it all out, I felt even more defeated.  Over the next few days, when I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, my inner rebel came out.  I made the decision that I could just refuse to accept this misery any longer.   As I repeated that statement the word “accept” became very loud and clear!  I thought to myself, wow, all of this feels so out of control and yet the only solution to all of this is acceptance.  I could not control what my “friend” did to me, I could not control my Mother was dying, I had to accept my financial situation and my current weight for right now, and as much as it broke my heart, I needed to accept my relationship with my boyfriend was over.  

I broke up with him right after New Years. I could no longer see the point of us both staying miserable.   I felt like everything had been done in an attempt to salvage the relationship, and there was nothing left that could save it. At the time, my focus was on everything that was wrong in our relationship and what I wasn’t getting from it.   I thought it would be less painful to do it then versus later.  However, what I was not prepared for was how painful it really would be without him. I tried to stay busy and move forward with my life, but every day I missed him even more. I regretted that decision and I prayed often that God would heal my broken heart and someday lead me to the “right” person.

The pressure was off and I felt like a boulder was lifted from me.  I no longer had to fight for all of the things that were out of my control.  What I realized that I could do was make the best of what I did have.   I could spend as much time as possible with my Mother before she died. I could let go of the anger I had towards my supposed “friend” and not allow her actions to have such an impact my life.  I could downsize and let go of the frivolous luxuries I didn’t need, but became spoiled and accustomed to.  I could eat healthier and love and respect my body enough to take care of it.  I could find gratitude every day and discover all I do have.  I could meditate and find inner peace, I could renew my faith and connection with God, and I could choose happiness every day! 

As the days went by, I started to shift my focus on gratitude, and away from the belief I was losing everything. Once that happened, my life completely changed and somehow everything came together perfectly.  Each morning I focused on what I was grateful for, and each evening found something to be grateful for, even on the bad days.  I created a gratitude list that I could look at every day as a reminder of all the “good” I did have in my life.  I prayed every day (usually more than once, and I still do!) and felt God beside me cheering me on every step of the way.  My anger was replaced by an understanding that people are who they are. Their actions are a reflection of their character and where they are in their own life. I cannot control what others do, only my response to them.   I chose to forgive her in my heart and then let the anger go. 

My Mom died peacefully in her sleep in early February.  As much as I miss her, I have no regrets in the time we spent together and the loving relationship we shared.  I can’t say this enough to people, “Children cherish your parents, and parents cherish your children”.  Neither is guaranteed to always be here. I have lost both of my parents and two of my own children, and can tell you, family is the most important thing in the entire world!  The best investment you could ever make is spending time with your family. 

By April I had purged all the junk/stuff out of my house, attic, garage, and shed.  I sold a ton of things I no longer wanted or needed.  My children and I then moved to a home that was 1000 feet smaller than our last one.  Less to clean, less yard to maintain, less of a commute to work, and less time wasted on things that aren’t really that important at the end of the day.  Unlike our last community, our new community was filled with wonderful, friendly, family oriented people.  We also found we had so much more time to spend together as a family. 

 As I began to shed the guilt and shame over my losses, I really began to love and accept myself.  I began respecting my body and found it easy to nourish and take care of it the way it deserved to be cared for.  I began to drink my Shakeology each morning for breakfast, changed to eating organic foods, and was up to drinking 80 oz. of water a day.  I exercised 5 days a week as well as mediated daily.   All of it felt so effortless to me.  I never said to myself that I was “going on a diet”, and I never told myself I had to give up anything.  I simply focused on what I was going to give my body to keep it healthy and full of energy.  By August, I had lost a total of 30 lbs!  (That’s right, even the additional 10 lbs I had left on from my daughter) I have never physically felt better!

After a few months break, God answered my prayer and showed me the right man was in front of me the whole time!  We became the best of friends and our relationship is better than it has ever been!   I discovered to love is to give.  My focus shifted to all the great things that were already within our relationship and what I could give to it to make it even better.   I opened myself up completely to him, and began to truly trust him with my heart.  It takes two to make a relationship work, and each have to be willing to give 100%.  I feel so blessed to have the love of my life back :)

You see, less can be so much more.  We only have one life to live. We can choose to be either happy or miserable, the amount of energy expended is the same.  If there is anything you want to change this year, let it be your perspective on your “losses”.  I believe the best is yet to come, so here’s to an awesome 2012!

I wish you all a Happy, Healthy, Peaceful New Year! 
Coach and Creator, Elements of Your Life

Sometimes when things look like they are falling apart, they actually may be falling together. During stormy times we sometimes feel like we are losing everything. But maybe this stormy time is really waking us up to something even better ~ Marilyn Monroe


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Are your beliefs serving you

Are your beliefs serving you

                       or sabotaging you?

We all have beliefs we have acquired over our lifetime.  Beliefs are simply our experiences and how we perceive them, or a thought we have made real.  We get to choose if we want to accept a belief or not.  How we perceive ourselves, our world, and our circumstances, will determine the end result.  Do you believe you will succeed or fail?  When challenges arise, do you stand strong and look for the lesson or opportunity in the challenge, or do you fall down allowing yourself to feel defeated?  Can you identify and accept what you can and cannot change; or do you fight to control the circumstances and people around you? Our beliefs can be either empowering or debilitating.  Perception can be used for clarity or distortion.  Therefore, a positive perception is vital to creating a positive outcome. 

The beliefs we have of ourselves are most important.  How do you view yourself?  Do you believe you have integrity and are a good person? Do you have a healthy dose of self-esteem and confidence? Do you believe you are worthy of being loved or deserving of success?  If the answer to any of these is “no”, then look for what experiences led you to deem them differently.  When you are able to see them for what they really are, you bring transparency and truth to the belief.  Most people with these incapacitating beliefs have been told by others, by either their actions or words, to accept these beliefs about themselves.  Someone else’s opinion or behavior does not determine who you are!  YOU determine who you are.  Take the time to prove it to yourself. Get a piece of paper and fold it in half.  On one half write “They said”.  Write down a list of what others have told you, to include what you perceived they said to you (verbal and non-verbal).  On the other side write “The truth is”. Now open up the paper and answer each “They said” with what YOU KNOW is true about you.  For instance:
                 They Said                                                        The Truth Is 

                  I am ugly                                                         I AM beautiful

                 I am worthless                                                 I AM worthy

We were never taught we have to believe in a lie! You know who you are and what is honestly true about you. The only two real judges whose opinion counts, are God and our own.

How you view your world is also very important. Do you believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket?  Do you lack trust for most people?  Do you feel “everyone is out to get you”? Do you believe there a far too few “good” people left in the world?  How you perceive your world, will in turn, determine your response to it. 

We are creatures of habit.  If we are exposed to similar experiences, we tend to re-enforce the same emotional reaction, further strengthening and engraining that newly created belief.   When that familiar negative experience arises again, unless you make a conscious effort to respond in a positive manner; you will auto pilot back to your previous negative reaction which you originally created from that experience. 

For example, your business of two years failed.  A year later a successful business associate presents you with an opportunity to go into business as a partnership.  Your emotional reaction would be anxiety with the fear of failing again, humiliation, and feeling crushed.  You will most likely decline the opportunity, as it feels like a safer decision.  We tend to remain in the safety zone vs. stepping back out in the minefield as we are expecting and fearing the same results will happen.  What you have done is taken your new opportunity and re-enforced it with the same negative emotion you did in your past experience.  Certainly this serves well the first time you touch a hot stove; you learn to never do that again!  However, in this situation, as well as many others, how do you know you are not turning down a potentially successful opportunity because your fear has created a barrier?  What if after your business failed, you honestly looked back and discovered there was a better strategy, a better marketing plan, or better time management that would have thrust your business into success?  With that approach you chose to learn and grow from your experience vs. becoming a fear filled victim.  Now when your associate offers you a partnership, you are eager to accept as you believe you can succeed!  Two very different beliefs; two very different outcomes. 

Take a look at some of your debilitating or limited beliefs and how they hold you back from where you want to be.  You don’t necessarily need to take the time analyzing how all of those beliefs came to be.  Just be aware that you do have the power to create them or disarm them.  Most of our self-limiting beliefs are fear-based such as; a fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of loss of control, fear of a lack of approval from others, fear of success, or fear of change. You have the choice to consciously decide you are no longer willing to hold on to a belief that is destructive or serves no purpose in your life.  The choice is yours in what you choose to believe in.

Brenda Slavin, Coach and Creator, Elements of Your Life

Friday, November 25, 2011

How high will you rise?

One day I decided to quit. I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God. “God”, I said. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?” His answer surprised me. “Look around”, He said. “Do you see the fern and the bamboo?” “Yes”, I replied.

“When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor, yet nothing came from the bamboo seed, however, I did not quit on the bamboo. In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed, yet I did not quit on the bamboo. In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed, and I refused to quit. The same in year four. Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall! You see it had spent the last five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle".

"Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo, and I will never quit on you. Don’t compare yourself to others.” He said. “The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful".

“Your time will come”, God said to me. “You will rise high”
“How high should I rise?” I asked.
“How high will the bamboo rise?” He asked in return.
“As high as it can?” I questioned.
“Yes” He said, “Give me glory by rising as high as you can".

I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Victor or Victim?

"What you consistently speak with emotional intensity, you will experience, you will create, and you will become. The words that you speak with emotional conviction become the life you live – this is your heaven or this is your hell" – Tony Robbins

There are no truer words than that! Are you living in heaven or hell? What we focus on we attract more of.
Within our day one bad event can become a catalyst setting the downward spiral. We begin to view our entire day as ruined and replay over and over in our head the horrific thing that just happened. Negative emotions such as fear and insecurity immediately set in. We now have allowed our negative emotions to determine what will come next. We await the next bad thing and project all the things we think "could" or anticipating "will" go wrong. We tend to believe the "what if" vs. the reality of “what is”. The domino effect ensues and before we know it everything starts to go wrong. You validate to yourself “See I knew that was going to happen!” From the very beginning you were down to two choices. Do you want to become a victor or remain a victim of circumstances?

So when things are starting to fall apart around you, how do you find a way to stop focusing on all that is wrong? It is all a matter of decision and 100% commitment to overcome, change, and conquer the circumstances you are in. If you can’t commit to wanting to do that, it will not happen. When we firmly make a true decision within ourselves, there is NOTHING that can stop us. We don’t allow obstacles to get in the way, we stop sweating the small stuff, and we remain only focused on the positive outcome in which we are seeking. This holds true in EVERY Element of Your Life; your relationships, your health, your career, your dreams, and your personal growth. Whatever we want bad enough, we are unstoppable in achieving! Do you want the downward spiral to continue? Just take the first step to decide and commit. We all have stubbornness in us; let’s use that to our advantage :)

One way to switch gears from all the negativity around us is we can choose gratitude. Look at the child with a room full of toys that complains “there is nothing to do, or I don’t have anything to play with?” It appears as they are being ungrateful. Would you go to the store and buy them another toy? Of course not! Adults have the same problem. We have the same childlike instant gratification as they do. Instead of looking at what we do have, we are focused on what we don’t have, or something someone else has. Take the time and write two separate gratitude lists. Make one of monetary value, and the other without. Ask yourself this, “Am I really without everything I need?” You may not have everything you want, but you do have what you need. You are far more blessed than you realize. There are people in this world that don’t even have what they need. They are without homes, jobs, families, food, clothing, friends, spirituality, and love. I’m sorry what are you missing again? I’m not saying we shouldn’t strive to achieve more, as I believe that we absolutely should. However, we also need to take a moment and express gratitude for the gifts in which we have already received.

When we don’t like what’s on a certain channel we change it, don’t we? Why would you choose to keep the negativity channel on if it’s not really what you want to watch or hear? You are in complete control to change the channel whenever you want to. Decide and commit to changing the channel!

We all have faced times of adversity and will continue to face more. We must not allow ourselves to be defeated or swallowed by our circumstances. These are opportunities for us to learn and grow stronger. These are the times later in life we WILL look back with a smile and say, “Wow, I can’t believe I made it through all of that!” or "That wasn't as half as complicated as I thought it would be!". You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for! Keep your faith, hope, and belief in yourself and decide “Do I want to be a victor or victim of my circumstances?”

Staying positive when surrounded by negativity

What does it mean to be positive person? Many people have different perceptions of what they believe positive people are, and are not. Generally, it is negative people who seem to have the most to say about them. These are the same people who become annoyed by motivational or empowering messages positive people share. They are defensive, confrontational, and will look for anything and everything to reverse those messages into something negative. I’m not certain what it really is that triggers or bothers them. Could it be these messages or statements make them feel unaligned of who they are compared to who they wish to become? Perhaps they take them as a personal judgment or feel they are somehow being insulted. Maybe the false perception they carry of what they consider to be a positive person’s character and beliefs, are the barrier to them becoming a positive person as well. Or is it they believe positive people are putting on a false persona and are aspiring to reach an impossible level of perfection? I have met an abundance of empowering positive people throughout my life which I have always enjoyed and appreciated being around. Based on my own positive attitude, as well as observing the same in others, I would like to share my definition of what I know and believe about positive people.

“Being positive doesn't mean every moment and every day is falsely perfect. Like everyone else, we all have bad days and face tough circumstances. Being positive isn't about suppressing negative emotions such as anger, hurt, or disappointment and replacing them with "positive" ones. It's simply embracing and understanding what it is that leads us to negative thoughts in the first place. Positive people choose not to wallow in misery or default to becoming or remaining a victim. Instead, we utilize our energy by exhibiting our gratitude and creating solutions. We believe in accountability, faith, hope, and authenticity” ~ Brenda Slavin, Coach, Elements of Your Life

For the longest time it did not occur to me, the company in which I was keeping, had any influence over me or my mood. Sure, I had been exposed to plenty of negative and critical people throughout my life. Yet, I was certain my strong desire to not be like them would protect me enough from leaving any kind of negative impression on me. Best known as the “Danny Downers and Negative Nellie’s” they can be sensed a mile away. These are people who are so weighted down by their own lack of happiness; they feel the need to expel their misery onto someone else. Their choice, preferably, is to find a positive person. Negative, critical people tend to be insecure, frustrated, bitter, resentful, argumentative, and angry. Simply put, they are a drag to be around.

After spending some time with a negative person, you note your baseline happy-go-lucky self becomes worn-out and despondent for what you believe to be no apparent reason. Indeed, there is a reason. Negative people possess a destructive aura, releasing their subtle “invisible toxicity” from themselves and placing it onto you. Being negative takes a lot of energy. Very quickly they become depleted; therefore, they need to steal your positive energy in order to restore themselves. Now it makes perfect sense that I used to consistently hear “I feel so much better after talking to you!” My thought was “Good for you, I feel like the life was just sucked out of me!”. After awhile recovering from feeling completely exhausted and drained, I vowed I could not continue to engage with the same negative people. Then the phone would ring, or they would come over, and the guilt would kick in that these people really needed me in their lives. Naturally, due to my acceptance along with the guilt trip I had placed on myself not to hurt another person’s feelings, the cycle continued and repeated. Before I knew it, I too began to feel consistently miserable!

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
~ Jim Rohn

Over time, my awareness of such people was further heightened as I invited more positive people into my life. It felt like I started seeing negative energy vampires everywhere. It wasn’t that there were an increased number of them, I just became more acutely aware of how encircled by negativity I actually was! These negative influences were family members, friends, coworkers, in addition to the media. The more I found myself in this cloud of dripping pessimism, the more I realized I did not just want to get out, I needed to get out. Their impact began to affect my attitude and my own motivation.

The first and easiest one to get rid was the negative media. The television went off completely and I only followed any “need to know” major news events from the newspaper or internet. I also only began listening to music on news/commercial free satellite radio. I didn’t need the constant reminders of all the negative happenings in the world. I’m well aware of the horrendous crimes that are committed on others, the corporate greed that ensues, misinformation, bias, and the relentless desire others have to argue and debate. Just listening to negative media, creates a trigger in many people bringing out anger and rage. It creates frustration as they feel a helpless victim, and can very well thrust them into a depression! Not long ago, I was placed in a waiting room with a television on while waiting for my car to be serviced. No kidding, after 30 minutes of the news, I went from being in a great mood to being angry at all the injustices of the world and disheartened by the selfishness that overtook someone’s morals at the expense of a child’s safety and emotional well being. Very few media sources offer any good news, hope, or solutions. They just repeat over and over the negative story, and consistently remind people how powerless and stuck they are living in a dreadful world. I made the decision not to engage in things I don’t personally believe in. What I don't believe is; most people are out to hurt one another, we should lose hope, this is an atrocious world to live in, or people are powerless victims. There are good people and good things happening in this world all the time, it’s just rarely reported or shared! Even on Facebook I began to notice the angry and negative status updates, the numerous shared links of horrific stories such as murder, child abuse, celebrity scandals, along with a ton of misinformation. I immediately utilized the delete and hide buttons and created a newsfeed of only positive people, who had something positive to share.

Next, I had to figure out how to handle the negative people that were currently in my life. I quickly and completely ceased interactions with negative acquaintances; that was easy. To cope with negative colleagues at work; I stopped listening to their personal negative stories, gossip and judgmental comments about others, consistent complaining, and only began to engage with them only on a professional level. There are no rules that state we have to allow everyone into our personal lives.

I was onto the more difficult challenge, what do I do about the remaining negative people in my life? I felt like I was down to two grueling choices; suck it up and accept them for who they are, enduring the consequences; or walk away from them removing them from my life completely. Ultimately, I made the decision, that some of them did need to be removed from my life altogether. Undeniably it was a difficult decision; however, I realized the relationship was far more damaging than it was encouraging.

So now all that lingered were the negative family members and close friends which I loved and didn’t want to lose. It became a struggle trying to figure out how to keep them in my life, without allowing their behavior to have an impact me. I noticed what I really wished for, was their behavior and attitude to change. Not just so I would no longer feel the poisonous effect, I genuinely wished for happiness for them. I wanted the people I care about to feel as good as I did waking up each day grateful, hopeful, and excited about the future. So I compromised with what I thought was the perfect solution. I spoke to each one explaining that I could no longer listen or engage in the negativity or criticism. If they wanted a relationship with me, their behavior and attitude needed to change. When they called or visited, and ultimately fell back into their old behavior pattern, I simply said I needed to go and hung up the phone or left. I waited and waited for the results. In my mind, I thought if they cherished our relationship enough, they would look inward, recognize their behavior and attitude, and would desire to make those changes in themselves. WRONG! I felt hurt and believed they didn’t think our friendship or relationship was worth the effort. What I did eventually learn, is we have no control over others behaviors, only of our own actions and responses. We do, however, have a choice in how much time we are willing to spend with them and if we allow their negativity to transfer over to us. I waxed and waned from being resentful of them and avoiding them, to missing them and wanting to spend time with them. My overall desire was to keep them in my life. After all, I loved them; I just needed to figure out how I was going to interact with them.

I had failed to see, was I had created an ultimatum. The reality is people are who they are and will be who they choose to be. Some seem perfectly content staying negative and miserable, regardless of the impact that places on anyone else. It was a few years later I learned there wasn't anything about their critical negative behavior for me to take personal. Remember, people who illuminate negativity are merely reflecting their own inner state, and regardless of their words or behavior, none of it has to personally do with you. Another thought I began to ponder is, do negative people really even want out of their negative circumstances? Some will accept them because it is more comfortable and safer to remain in unhappiness. Their fear of change and the “unknown” is far superior to their tolerance level of staying safely where they are.

Actually, it was when I started observing them from a sincere compassionate perspective, I discovered a completely different view. I really began to listen beyond their words and behaviors, and sought out the meaning behind them. What I discovered is most negative people don’t really want to be negative; they simply lack coping skills and fear change. Some even have a belief that has been instilled in them that they cannot set themselves up with false hope” because they will “jinx the outcome” and it may not work out. Refusing hope helps protect them from being hurt and helps validate their prediction it will turn out unsuccessful. Yet, without hope, what is there to ever look forward to? Some were raised and have lived negatively for so long; they have become complacent and conditioned to be negative. For others it is simply much easier and less painful to shift the focus from themselves to criticizing everything and everyone else around them. One of my favorite negative criticisms of all time came from a friend of mine who was complaining and whining about the same terrible circumstances she has remained in over the past 10+ years. I said something positive, in hopes to empower her and bring an end to her victim mentality. Her response was “We can’t all be Lil’ Miss Frigging Sunshine like you!” If the worse insult you can throw at me, is that I’m too happy and positive, then so be it I certainly can live with that.

Just because you are invited to a misery party, doesn’t mean you have to accept the invitation; misery loves company, and at anytime you can decline the offer. If you are consistantly surrounded by negative, fear-based people in your life, it will have an impact on who you eventually become and your progression in life. The good news is if you are well grounded, there may be only a limited impact that negative friends can place on you. However, know that you are also acquiring very limited benefits by spending time with people who are holding you back instead of surrounding yourself with people who will propel you forward. When you choose who you spend time with, you are literally shaping your own future. Begin by exploring the people you spend the most time with. Are these people encouraging you and cheering you on to be your most excellent self? If they are not, limit the amount of time you spend with them and analyze if they should continue to remain in your life or need to be limited. Recognize and invest your time with the people who will empower and encourage you to become the best person you can be.

Gaining Inner Peace

Gaining Inner Peace

Inner peace refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being "at peace" is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious. Inner peace is generally associated with bliss, happiness and contentment. Peace of mind, serenity, and calmness are descriptions of a disposition free from the effects of stress.

Imagine if day to day you could live like that? Life would certainly be much easier wouldn’t it? Since it is possible to achieve inner peace, why is it more people aren’t looking to obtain it? Simply, most believe they are incapable of finding it or deserving of it. Note the above definition doesn’t state, “With inner peace you will never face another stressor or problematic circumstance”. It does, however, state you can be free from the effects of them. Ironically, the time we crave inner peace the most is when our circumstances peak at their very worse. Unfortunately, we find ourselves getting caught up in the stress, anxiety, and worry as a result of our circumstances. We tend to go into a state of mental paralysis and find it difficult to climb out from the exhausting emotional repercussions.

If inner peace is something you are searching for, below is a list of ways that may assist you in finding your own inner peace. Understand each person’s journey varies and is based on their individual needs and how much they are willing to invest. There is no algorithm or ordered steps in which you must follow; however, you must decide you want it, and are ready and willing to receive it.

~ Become appreciative of all you have already been given. Only focus on these gifts and remove your focus from what others have or what you wish you had. Each morning as you rise, begin your day by stating what you are grateful for that’s in your life. Each night before sleep, state what made you grateful from that day.

Love yourself
~ Make time for yourself EVERY day for a minimum of 15 minutes doing something you love to do, that is just for you. It can be anything from a bath to a hobby you enjoy. Mix it up and choose different ways to achieve this. Make it fun! You are not spoiling yourself; you are simply taking care of yourself! Some people treat this as an option within their day and should be making it a priority.

Let go of control
 ~ For many people, this is one of the hardest things to do! We tend to attempt to control things in which we have no control of. We even try to control other people’s behaviors and actions. We only have true control over ourselves and our responses. The rest is completely out of our control. When we exert control, the outcome leads to more frustration, anger, and exhaustion. STOP! Expend your energy on what you can control within your circumstance, even if it is only acceptance. Acceptance is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. As we move further away from control and closer towards acceptance, our perception changes and we are exposed to a completely different view of our circumstances.

Give to others
~ Spend some time to giving and helping others. Volunteer your time, donate to a charity, help a stranger, or simply say a prayer for someone. Helping others in need is a great way to redirect your focus off your personal life’s demands and events. It’s possible that it may open your eyes to discover your situation may not be as bad as you once thought. Many people in the world are facing difficult times, we need to be helping each other, not ignoring or hurting each other. Paying it forward is very real, what you give comes back to you! Be certain what you are giving is the same as you would like in return.

Live in the present moment
~ Most times we are either reflecting back on our past or projecting forward about our future. Neither of those allows you to enjoy the present. The past cannot be rewritten or changed. Focusing on “what could have, should have, or would have” done is useless. You have the opportunity to live the way you want to right now. Continue to plan your future but stop wasting your time worrying about it. You had no way of predicting the place you are in today; certainly you will not be able to predict it tomorrow. Life is ever changing, enjoy the “right now”!

Being in the right place at the right time
~ Trust that you are right where you need to be in life this very moment. Every experience we have is an opportunity for learning and growth. What you learn along the way will benefit you at some point in your life. Look for the lesson, you will eventually find it; everything happens for a reason.

Meditate ~
Have you ever wanted to shut off the voice in your head that never stops chattering? How about if you could acknowledge negative emotions but not allow them to have an effect on you? Did you know how many benefits there are to meditation? Mediation has many benefits including improving your health by lowering blood pressure, increasing serotonin levels to enhance your mood, reducing stress, and increasing synchronicity and balance in your life.

Keep your faith
~ Hold very closely to your faith. Faith conquers fear and keeps hope alive, leading you exactly where you need to be. Not to mention, the life of our spirit depends on it.

“I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being. Cultivating a close, warmhearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. It helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the principal source of success in life. Since we are not solely material creatures, it is a mistake to place all our hopes for happiness on external development alone. The key is to develop inner peace.” ~Dalai Lama

May peace reside within you,


Forgiving can be difficult because you may think you're condoning the other person's actions by forgiving them. Forgiving is simply a matter of letting go of the anger, bitterness and resentment, to allow you to take care of yourself both emotionally and physically. It is a misunderstood belief that forgiveness is equivalent to letting the other person “off the hook".

Forgiving is for YOU, not t
he other person! When we refuse to forgive, it is our way of retaliating with the intention to "punish the other person". The reality is, you are only punishing yourself! You are the one who suffers the biggest repercussions.

Why would you allow someone who adds so little to you, subtract so much from you? Value yourself enough to refuse to allow their actions to have a detrimental impact on your life or change who you are!

Forgiveness allows you to return to the good person you truly are, and frees you from all the negative feelings you acquired secondary to someone else’s words or behavior. Yes, it is difficult to do; and it is absolutely worth it!