All posts by Dawn Gluskin

About Dawn Gluskin

Dawn Gluskin is a multi-passionate entrepreneur and author. Despite her experiences as the founder & CEO of a technology firm, her definition of “success” is not defined by these accolades, which have oftentimes come at the price of high-stress and misalignment. Instead, she believes in listening to the whisper of our souls which gently tug us towards our life’s true purpose. She finds much joy in her writing and coaching, sharing her journey and truth with others. She feels blessed to be “mommy” to two sweet little girls who teach her so much and she lives with her loving family in sunny Florida.

How to Overcome 7 Spiritual Blocks to Success

spiritual blocksEverybody has a dream in their heart. They stem from our unique gifts which are part of our higher purpose here on this earth to share with the world. When the life we’re living is not in alignment with this calling, it can result in feeling less than happy and fulfilled.

But, it’s not always easy to muster up the courage to go after your dreams and break status quo. What if you fall short? Where do you even begin?And those who do find the strength to go for it sometimes give up too soon upon realizing it’s more difficult than they imagined. Things aren’t happening as fast as they “should.”

I’m here to tell you – don’t give up on your daydream! What that little voice inside is telling you and the direction your heartstrings are pulling you is some not-so-subtle guidance on how to live your life with intent and purpose. If you want to be ridiculously happy, you have to follow the calling and live and breathe your truth.

But how? It takes time, persistence, flexibility, focus, energy, and a darn good sense of humor doesn’t hurt, either. As an unconventional 7-figure CEO that runs multiple business ventures, I have fallen flat on my face plenty of time. And, yeah, I’ve even felt like throwing in the towel a time or two. It sucks when the Universe punches you in the gut. But, it happens to the best of us. And, there is usual a pretty major lesson and opportunity for growth within … if you stay open to it. In these instances along my journey, I got up, brushed myself off, and kept trying. And, in the process, I learned a thing (or seven) about what really limits our success and learned how to overcome these blocks. They’re not what you typically hear about or learn in business school, either. While business savvy is important, these truths touch more on the spiritual side. They can help elevate your success to a whole new level.

How to Overcome the 7 Biggest Blocks to Success

  1. Don’t stop believing. Not believing in yourself & your vision will kill your dreams faster than you can say “hold on to that feeling.” (That’s a Journey reference for you young folks reading this!) Belief is the cornerstone of every successful person’s repertoire. When you don’t believe in yourself, other people energetically pick up on it, as will the Universe. You attract more of the energy you put out, so you don’t want to be putting out a lot of self-doubt and other negative and low-vibe thoughts. Self-love and confidence, on the other hand, are very high-vibe and will resonate with the Universe in a way that allows you to more easily bring your vision to life. Many people start out with a strong belief, but allow it to wane when the going gets tough. In trying times, it is important to always go back to the “why” behind what you’re doing. What impact do you want to have in the world and on your life? How do you want to feel as you go about your day? Are you more focused on the cause or the applause. Reconnecting with these pure intentions will help you stay connected to your dreams and vision in a positive way.
  2. Fix financial woes. Whether it’s not having clarity on what you need to make vs. what you need to spend, or not understanding the amount of capital it actually takes to start-up and fund a business, running out of cash is a very common reason that many businesses go under. But, digging even deeper, many people have money “issues” at a subconscious level. Perhaps it’s the notion that making money is not spiritual (as money being the ‘root of all evil’ is a common misconception), or it could be a deep-rooted belief that one is not worthy of financial abundance. These limiting beliefs are often a show-stopper when it comes to aligning your purpose with earning a living. As a result, dream-chasers can end up packing it up and heading back to day jobs they don’t love (That is, of those who weren’t too scared to risk leaving in the first place). Taking the time and making the effort to have a clear understanding of financials as well as uncovering and healing any deep-rooted money blocks can exponentially increase the likelihood of business success and financial abundance.
  3. Don’t quit before the finish line. Some people will never know how close they really were to success because they threw in the towel right before their big break. Times will get tough and you will be tempted with every ounce of your being to call it quits. And, there might even be times when that is the right decision. But, more often than not, if you are following your heart, you probably just need to look at things with fresh eyes. What makes one successful is digging in when you really feel like giving in and giving up. Instead of calling it quits, get back up, dust yourself off, be open to the lessons you are blessed with, revamp and try and try again. You wouldn’t train for a marathon and then give up a mile before the finish line. No way! Walking, limping, or even crawling across are perfectly okay. Same goes with your life and dreams. Just don’t give up!
  4. Bust through internal blocks & limiting beliefs. Energy-sucking thought-vampires come in all shapes and sizes. Much like the money “issues” that often come up, there could also be some deep-rooted beliefs that you will never be successful or that you don’t deserve to be. Or, perhaps it is your own greatness that scares you the most. These beliefs often stem from childhood and we might not even know they are there. I find that self-reflective journaling and meditation are highly effective tools to help bring these destructive thoughts to the surface so you can heal them. Find a quiet spot to mediate and before you begin ask yourself “What am I most afraid of? What is holding me back right now?” As you sit in silence, the voice of your heart and soul can rise up over the negative chatter in your brain. Be open to whatever thoughts come and go in your meditation and simply label them “thoughts.” When you are done, take your journal and allow the feelings and observations to flow out of you through free-writing. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar. Just let it all out. When you’re done, reflect on what you’ve learned about yourself. It can be pretty eye-opening and life changing!
  5. Listen to your gut! At any given point, we have at least a hundred other people in our ears: friends, family, business partners, random strangers on the internet. Many of them mean well (some not so much), but they all have opinions about what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. While it’s always a good thing to keep an open mind and give some value to the thoughts of others, at the end of the day: You are the guru. Always! We all have our own internal guidance system built-in. When we learn to become still, we can clearly hear the gentle guidance of our heart and soul. Learn to take what others say and do with a grain of salt and, instead, follow your own intuition. It will never lead you astray.
  6. Be adaptable. We often find ourselves out there trying to steer the river instead of just going with the flow and allowing the current to take us along for a ride. We get so attached to the vision in our own mind that we sometimes forget we are actually co-creators in our lives. Yes, I believe in taking accountability for our own actions and that we can manifest our own reality. But, at the same time, there is so much in our lives that is completely out of our control. Once we learn to become easy-going and less-attached, we soon realize that the Universe has an even greater plan than what we originally intended. What does that mean to you? Sometimes the plan has to change. You need to be willing to re-write again and again. We must learn to hold our vision and dreams ever so loosely (like a cute baby chick). Imagine what happens when you squeeze that baby chick too hard. (Oh no! Right?) The same thing can happen to your dreams. So, be easy. Learn the art of unattachment while striving for achievement. It’s a delicate dance.
  7. Be in alignment. When you’re listen to the calling of your heart and soul and what you do is alignment with your truth, amazing things start to happen naturally. Otherwise, it can seem like nothing is going like it should. This would be the equivalent of getting up and doing something everyday that you don’t love … just for a paycheck. Figuring out a way to line up some of your passions with your work is the recipe for a happy and fulfilled life. When you combine the use of your talents with fulfilling your purpose, the impact you can make in the world as well as your own happiness have limitless potential.

Of course, business savvy is always a plus when it comes to turning your dreams into reality. You need to bring a unique offering to the table or have the ability to solve problems and a strategic business plan that covers all the business nuts and bolts. But, there is so much more beyond the physical world that also plays a major role. When you combine both the practical and the metaphysical, you become a powerful creative force to be reckoned with, you dream-chaser you! Now go make some magic happen. xo

(To learn more of these strategies at a deeper level and turn your passion and purpose into profits, join Dawn Gluskin’s six week online course: The Time is Now! Registration is now open. Also, join the Type-A Zen movement by signing up for email inspiration & following on Facebook and Instagram.)

37 Life Lessons in 37 Years

Today is my 37th birthday.  And, I must say, it’s been a pretty interesting ride so far.  As I look back over the years and 8874397636_8fce870bcf_omany phases of my life, I realize how each stage, success, stumble, triumph and heartache has had a significant impact on where I stand right now.  And despite the rough patches, I love it all.

From a shy yet studious little girl, to an artsy and somewhat rebellious teenager, to a happy-go-lucky big-dreaming twenty something with a bit of a wild size, my metamorphosis were plentiful in my early years.  Now into my thirties, my heart has grown a few sizes larger and overflows with motherly love as I’ve discovered what matters most in life.  And, my entrepreneurial experiences have been a crash course in lessons of life, business and self that, at times, brought me to the brink of what I thought I could handle, only to be rewarded nicely for sticking it out and seeing it through.

As I continue to step more fully into myself each day and bring to light my mission of helping others build their own dreams with joy and ease, I’ve racked my brain to think of my top 37 life lessons so far. On this day of celebrating another trip around the sun, I share these with you and hope you find inspiration as I have. Enjoy!

Top 37 Life Lessons So Far…

  1. Happiness comes from within.  We spend way too much of our lives looking for outside validation and approval that eludes us. Turns out, it’s been an inside job all along.  Go inward.

  2. Be grateful for everything.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  Our entire life is a precious gift.  The pleasure, the pain – it’s all part of our path.

  3. Subtle shifts in perception will transform your entire life. When feeling fearful, angry, hurt – simply choose to see a situation differently.

  4. In being true to yourself, you can’t possibly make everybody else happy.  Still, it’s better to risk being disliked for living your truth than to be loved for what you are pretending to be.

  5. The world is our mirror.  What we love in others is a reflection of what we love about ourselves. What upsets us about others is a strong indication of what we need to look at more closely within ourselves.

  6. Everybody comes into our life for a reason.  It is up to us to be open to the lesson they are meant to teach.  The more someone rubs us the wrong way, the greater the lesson. Take notes.

  7. Trust.  In troubled times, just know that the Universe has your back and everything is going to be alright.  If you’re not there yet, trust in hindsight you will understand.  Your higher good is being supported, always.

  8. Never take things personally.  What others do is a reflection of what’s going on in their own life and probably has little or nothing to do with you.

  9. A walk in nature cures a lot.  Taking in some fresh air and the beautiful landscape of this earth is amazingly head-clearing, grounding, and mood-lifting.  Bonus:  you can learn a whole lot about life in your observation of the awesomeness which is nature.

  10. Hurt people hurt people.  Love them anyway.  Although, it’s totally okay to love them from a distance.

  11. You have to feel it to heal it.  Bring your fears and weaknesses front and center and shine a blazing spotlight on them because the only way out is through. The hurt of facing the truth is SO worth it in the long run, I swear.

  12. Perfectionism is an illusion.  A painful one at that.  Ease up. Strive for excellence, sure, but allow yourself room to make mistakes and permission to be happy regardless of outcome.

  13. Take the  blinders off.  Don’t become so laser-focused on your own goals and desires that you miss out on the beauty in life and the people around you. The world is stunningly beautiful when you walk around with eyes wide open.

  14. Celebrate the journey.  It’s not all about the destination.  Savor all of your successes, even the small ones.

  15. Forgiveness is not so much about the other person.  It’s about you and for you so that you can gain the peace and freedom you deserve.  Forgive quickly and often.

  16. We are all incredibly intuitive.  When we learn to become still and listen, we can tap into some pretty amazing primal wisdom.  Listen to the quiet whisper of your heart. It knows the way.

  17. Let your soul shine!  Be authentic. There  is nobody else on this earth just like you.  Step into your truth wholeheartedly and live and breathe your purpose.

  18. We are powerful creators. Seriously, bad-asses. With intention, focus, and persistence — anything is possible.  Know this.

  19. I am full of light.  You are full of light.  We are all full of light.  Some cast shadows on their own brightness.  Be a beacon of light to others and show them the way.

  20. Don’t take life too seriously! Nobody gets out alive anyway. Smile.  Be goofy.  Take chances.  Have fun. :)

  21. Surround yourself with people who love and support you.  And, love and support them right back! Life is too short for anything less.

  22. Learn the delicate dance. Have big beautiful dreams and vision.  Chase them with much passion. But, also hold on to them all ever so lightly.  Be flexible and willing to flow as life comes at you.

  23. Giving is the secret to receiving.  Share your wisdom, your love, your talents.  Share freely and be amazed at how much beauty in life flows back to you.

  24. On that note, be careful not to give too much.  If you empty out your own cup completely, you will have nothing left to give.  Balance is key.

  25. Say ‘YES!’ to everything that lights you up.  Say ‘no’, unapologetically, to anything that doesn’t excite you or you don’t have the bandwidth for.  Time is one of our most precious resources that we can never get back. Manage it wisely.

  26. Sometimes we outgrow friendships.  It doesn’t mean they’re bad or you’re bad.  It just means you’re on different paths. Hold them in your heart, but when they start to hurt or hold you back, it’s time to give space or let go.

  27. Fear is often a very good indicator of what we really want and need in our life.  Let it be your compass and enjoy the exciting adventure it leads you on.

  28. Overcoming your fears is one of the most empowering things you can ever do for yourself.  You’ll prove to yourself you can truly accomplish anything! Major self-confidence booster.

  29. Our bodies are our vehicle to our dreams.  Treat them with love and fuel them with the best health to feel vibrant and energized.  But, never obsess over image.  Looks are subjective and will fade in time, anyway.  Feeling good, healthy, and comfortable in our own skin is what matters most.

  30. Let those that you love know it often and enthusiastically.  You can never say it or show it too much. Your time, total presence, love, and genuine concern for their wellness is the greatest gift of all.

  31. The present moment is where it’s at.  It’s the only one promised to any of us.  Learn from your past & enjoy the beautiful memories, but don’t cling or let them haunt you.  And, dream big and be excited about the future, but don’t become obsessed.  Love this moment, always.

  32. Life is full of highs and lows.  We need them both to grow to our fullest potential. Just hang on tight and enjoy the ride.

  33. We are all connected as one human family. Nobody is better or worse than anyone else — just at different stages of our journeys and dealing with life the best way we know how.  Recognize that the other person is you.

  34. Practice daily gratitude for all the blessings in your life, large and small. Not only is this a high vibe practice that feels amazing, in practicing regularly you are creating space for even more abundance – of joy, love, health, and prosperity.

  35. We are not the center of the Universe, although our ego can make us feel that way at times.  Step outside of that way of thinking and see the world and other people’s perspective in a whole new beautiful light.

  36. The world needs more love, light, and laughter.  Go be love. <3

  37. You are the guru.  For much of our lives, we have been told what do, how to think, what looks good, what “success” is. You don’t have to buy into any of it. Feel free to peel back the layers. Think for yourself.  Break the mold. When you stop doing what everybody else wants you to do and start following your own intuition, you will be ridiculously happy.

In looking back at your own life, realize that every high and low is all part of your amazing story. Own it!  Take cues and guidance from the Universe and you will continue to go on an incredible ride as you fully step into your truth and power.

Age is just a number, but the higher it gets, the more wisdom and life experience we’ve amassed.  You are never going to be younger than you are in this present moment again.  So embrace it, love it, and enjoy it fully!

Here’s to many more beautiful years of seeking-truth, questioning all that does not sit right, and making your greatest impact in the world!  I look forward to adding more lessons as life continues to give me the opportunity to learn, grow, transform, share and expand.  Hope you will too.

With much love,
Dawn

(For more inspiration, visit the Dawnsense site and sign up for weekly love letters. Also, join the supportive Dawnsense community on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

10 Ways to Make 2014 Your Best Year Yet

Fireworks Say it again, “I AM a powerful creator!!!”  Yes, you are.  The super cool thing about this new year, is that we are also starting off with a new moon on January 1t!  The last time this happened was 19 years ago.  New moons bring powerful energy for change and fresh starts.  Combine that with the energy of a new calendar year turning over, and you have super manifesting powers!

With that in mind, here are 10 tips to help you make 2014 your most amazing year yet!

  1. Ditch the resolutions and create real change that lasts by writing goals with soul!  Instead of the typical, boring goal list that you feel obligated to write because everybody else is, dig really deep and listen to the calling of your soul.  What is your big intention for the new year? How do you want to feel? What impact do you want to have in the world?  By aligning with the feelings you desire, your deep-rooted intentions, and the impact you want to have in the world, there is a much greater likelihood of you staying interested, motivated, and totally engaged.  For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 10 pounds (and this year I’m really going to do it), a goal with soul would sound more like this: “I want to feel more alive and more energized!  I want to feel divinely feminine and sexy in my own skin.  I want the sense of accomplishment and rush of self-confidence knowing I finally did it.  I want tons of energy to enjoy chasing after my kids and still have enough left over to start that really amazing project.”  See the difference?  Which do you think has more staying power?

  2. Follow your bliss.  Whatever you have going on in your life, make sure you are doing something that makes you happy every single day!  Passion is the internal fire that lights us up and keep us going through the tough times.  Don’t put yours on the back burner. Instead, make sure your flame is kept healthy and strong by spending time nourishing it each day.

  3. Show up!  Often, the most difficult part of creating a new habit or practice is having the discipline to show up each day.  But, on the flip side of that, if you can just commit to showing up for it, the rest will happen naturally.  In other words, get your booty to the gym, the classroom, the meeting, in front of the computer typing feverishly, or wherever else it needs to be to make good things happen in your life!  In doing so, you’ve already covered the tough part.  Next, make sure you are showing up mindfully and without distractions so that you can be fully engaged in the activity.  Stay committed and you are pretty much guaranteed to see progress and success over time.  So, no excuses or compromise.  Show up!

  4. Make self-care a priority.  If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anybody else very well either.  And, the world needs you!  So, make sure you are loving and nurturing yourself regularly.  This includes your physical fitness, health, mental well-being, spirituality, relationships, finances, career, personal goals, and anything else that needs attention to ensure you are healthy, happy, peaceful and fulfilled in your life.

  5. Say “no” to anything that doesn’t totally excite your soul.  Our most valuable resource is our time.  We only have so many hours in each day and we can never go backwards to get it back.  Spend yours wisely!  Often, this means saying no, and possibly even disappointing others along this way.  But, this is your life and these are your dreams.  If your time is filled up doing stuff that you don’t absolutely love, than there isn’t going to be enough space for your true love and calling to seep in.  So, before saying ‘yes’ to something, ask yourself if it lines up with your vision and your goals with soul.  Sit on it for at least 24 hours. If the answer is not an excited “Hell yes!!” than consider taking a pass on it.

  6. Help others.  When your goals and dreams include more than just helping yourself, they seem to come alive that much quicker and more vibrantly.  It’s just one of those unexplained laws of the Universe. Bonus: it feels good.  Whether it’s sharing knowledge and wisdom, your time, or allocating a percentage of sales or income to giving back, consider some ways you can help impact the world with your gifts in a positive way.  It all comes back around.

  7. Practice humility and grace. When you achieve some amount of success in your life, always remember where you came from and how hard you worked to get there.  Also, be mindful that there is an ebb and flow to these sorts of things.  Be grateful and enjoy your achievements in the moment, but be ready and willing to continue to work hard to keep them up.  Success also has a way of sometimes bringing up adversity.  Make it your policy to embrace the positive, disregard the negative (with the exception of any valuable lessons you can extract), and handle any difficult situations or people with dignity and grace.  You will go far if you can master the art of this!

  8. Savor and celebrate.  Sometimes in our day-to-day routines, we don’t realize how far we’ve come.  Any progress is good progress!  Check in with your goals often and be sure to celebrate all of the big and small accomplishments along the way.  You deserve it!  It feels good to treat yourself and also serves as a reminder of the hard work you’ve put in to make steps in the direction of your dreams.  Life is about the journey more so than the destination. So, enjoy the ride!

  9. Don’t give up! When the going gets tough, so many people want to throw in the towel. This is when you’re passion and devotion is put to the test as you will need to dig even deeper to keep pushing along.  You wouldn’t train for a marathon and give up a mile before the finish line because you are tired. No way!  You push through it.  A spectator sign that I’ve seen in a couple marathons that I’ve ran is “Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”  So true! Change out a couple of words and apply it to chasing your dreams, and keep trying.

  10. Have fun!!!  Don’t take life so serious.  Nobody gets out alive, anyway.  Laugh. Be silly.  Dance.  Forgive.  Let go.  Embrace. Smile. Enjoy.  With two businesses, two young children, and a beautifully chaotic life of my own, embracing an abundance of unbridled joy is one of my biggest intentions for next year.  I hope you will join me, let loose a little, and let the corners of your mouth turn up more too!  Let’s change the world with smiles on our faces.

I hope these 10 tips will leave you feeling inspired at the start of this new year!  Revisit them any time you need a little extra boost.

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If you are looking for a little more help, visit the Dawnsense.com page and sign up for the email list to learn about the upcoming group coaching programs that will help you dig in and make 2014 your best year yet.  And, please also join us on the inspiring Dawnsense Facebook page.  I’ll be  cheering for you!
xo, Dawn

photo by: Amani Hasan

Get into the Spirit: Acts of Holiday Kindness

During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of overflowing schedules, maxing out credit cards to fulfill wish lists, and feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep up with it all.Gift

But, it’s important to step back and remember the true meaning of the season. The holidays are a time where we can honor traditions and create new memories, attend festive parties, spend more time with our loved ones, and rejoice in the energy of the pending new year with boundless opportunities ahead.

One of the most beautiful and heartwarming things about the holiday season is that it inspires many to be a little nicer, more giving, more social, and generally overall better to one other.

To gain some perspective on holiday giving, I reached out to a couple of kindness gurus for their take on the gooey heartwarming goodness of the season.

Kris Wittenberg, Founder & CEO of Be Good to People, a movement that’s changing the world one person, one kind act at a time notes, “People are full of good cheer, looking for ways to spread it to others and carry it on into the New Year ahead. There is a sense of altruism brought about by the holiday season. I think people oftentimes are exhausted at the end of the year. They have been running in the rat race, making their way in the world, and as the year ends, they let down their walls a bit and share a common humanity. People are thinking of others as they shop for special gifts, put together their holiday card distribution lists, attend holiday festivities together and spend time with family and friends. It’s just a jovial time.”

Elle Lanning, Senior Director of Communications at Do the KIND Thing: Projects, a program which crowd sources socially impactful ideas and gives away $10k to a winning project every month, adds “when people get in that holiday spirit, they feel compelled to go beyond giving just gifts but also their time, their kind words, and more. Spreading kindness or holiday cheer during this time can be as simple as giving a dollar to the homeless you encounter on your commute every morning, to volunteering, to distributing holiday meals to those in need, to treating a close friend to dinner. The possibilities are endless.”

The holiday season can be a dark time for those who are missing loved ones in their lives or who are struggling to make ends meet. How can one give back this season? It’s a time where we can open up our hearts to those in need while teaching the younger generations that there is more to this time of year than just receiving the latest tech gadget.

Kris Wittenberg gave a few great ideas on how to pay-it-forward over the holidays stating, “there are so many wonderful options for any budget or schedule.” She truly knows what it means to Be Good to People as she offered up these wonderful ideas:

  • Shovel the neighbor’s walk or clear their car of snow before they come out in the morning
  • Offer an elderly person, busy single mom, or someone fighting a debilitating illness help wrapping gifts or decorate the house for the holidays
  • Deliver homemade holiday goodies to a homeless shelter, women’s shelter or nursing home
  • Offer to read holiday stories to kids at the library or to residents at a nursing home
  • Adopt a family (check with your local social services, church or shelter) and surprise them with meals and gifts that fill needs and wants
  • Remember the people who serve with special gifts or notes of appreciation: the mail carrier, the garbage collector, the minister or choir director at your church, the crossing guard, librarian, lunch ladies or janitor at school, the first responders – anyone who makes your neighborhood run. And don’t forget your neighbors!
  • Host a holiday open house and ask that no one bring dishes or drinks but instead bring a new toy wrapped and labeled or a donation that will go to a local charity
  • Instead of just signing holiday cards and mailing them, write a personal note in each – come on, make time! What a difference that makes to the recipient!
  • Deliver warm clothes, socks, shoes, mittens, hats, scarves, and jackets to homeless people – include a warm meal or a gift certificate

While kindness knows no seasonal boundaries, the good holiday vibes, unfortunately, don’t always last forever. KINDS’s Elle Lanning explains, “most people get into the spirit and somewhat inherently fall out when the new year and busy schedules pick up again.” When asked about keeping the spirit alive she says, “The most important thing to remember is that it is simple to be kind and to do it all year round. People often think to do something good, they have to volunteer or write a check. Doing good for others could be simple daily tasks such as holding the door open for a stranger or buying coffee for your colleague.” By signing up for one of her local food bank’s newsletter, she stays in the know of everything they are working on or in need of throughout the year. Signing up for updates on causes you feel in alignment with is a good way to stay inspired and involved with your community as well.

There are so many ways to spread a little love and holiday cheer. Better yet, keep it going all year! What about you? In what ways do you and your family perform acts of holiday kindness? How might you keep the inspiration going year round? Please share with us in the comments below!

(For more from Dawn Gluskin, visit Dawnsense.com to sign up for her weekly love letters and join the inspiring Dawnsense Facebook community.)

photo by: asenat29

Having a Bad Day? 7 Ways to Lift Your Spirits

iStock_000002975252XSmallWe’ve all had those days where we roll out of bed on the proverbial wrong side as just a glimmer of our normal bright and shiny selves.  You know, those days when your fuse is short, you have zero patience for anyone and you just can’t seem to shake off the lingering grump.  Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep, are feeling a little stressed out or perhaps coming down with a cold or flu. Whatever the cause of your funk, don’t feel bad, it happens to the best of us.

In the meantime, you have a full day ahead of you and you’d prefer to stay on good terms with your loved ones by not subjecting them to your foul mood shrapnel. (Thank you very much!) How to turn it around? Try these 7 tips to help shift your occasional bad mood to a happier place.

  1. Honor your feelings.  Trying to bury the funk or pretend it’s not there will only create a pressure-cooker type situation where you are likely to explode later.  Instead, allow yourself to feel your emotions without judgement.  We all experience a range of feelings in our lives as a normal part of the human experience.  Accept that it’s totally normal and okay to feel the way you do.  Take a few moments to be the observer and just notice.
  2. Vent it out.  Use a journal or a good friend’s ear to bend as your chance to get it all off your chest.  Set a timer for 3 minutes and just allow yourself to be completely honest about how you are feeling in that moment.  Complain away, if it feels right.  (And this is coming from someone who is typically pretty positive, but sometimes you just have to let it all out!) The idea is to diffuse all of those yucky feelings by letting them flow out of you.  Just be careful not to get sucked even deeper into the abyss of your bad mood, which is why setting a short time limit for this session is a good idea.  You want just enough time to get those energy draining emotions out into the open to set them free, but not dwell or intensify them.
  3. Reflect. Your venting session may help you uncover the root causes of your foul mood.  Use this as an opportunity to reflect and make adjustments where needed in your life. Spend time nurturing and healing whatever ails you. Maybe you are being hard on yourself for slacking on a project. Get to work.  Or, maybe a relationship needs mending.  Pick up the phone.  Or, perhaps you are just overworked and burnt out.  Take a self-care day. Ask yourself what role you’ve played in getting to your current state and what subtle shifts you can start making right now to bring yourself to a more joyful place.
  4. Be grateful.  Nothing turns a bad attitude around faster than counting your blessings.  We all have so much to be thankful for, but most of us tend to take our many blessings for granted.  It’s a precious privilege just to be alive and able to breathe in life and love each new day! Take a few moments to list the top 20 things you are grateful for right now and notice your mood to instantly start to shift. (Bonus: Being grateful for what we have energetically attracts more goodness into our lives.)
  5. Shake things up.  Change your physical environment by actually getting up and going outside or into a different room.  Try breathing in some fresh air, observing the perfect beauty in nature, people watching, or just noticing the art around you.  New scenery helps take the focus off your troubles and bring your mind to a happier place.  This is especially true if you can become really present in the moment and keenly aware of the beauty that exists all around you.  One friend even told me that something simple like putting on lipstick or a pair of sexy heels can give them the little shift in perception and mood boost they need.  Do whatever works for you!
  6. Get moving. Countless studies show exercise produces endorphins and serotonin, which are natural mood lifters.  Whether you go for a run, dance around your house, or engage in any other form of movement that makes your soul smile, just do it and get those happy juices flowing.  Research has shown that engaging in just 20 minutes of physical activity can produce a noticeable mood lift which can last up to 12 hours.  What are you waiting for? Let’s dance!
  7. Take care. Slow down and take some deep, focused breaths, which will help you become more grounded and bring your stress levels down.  Some other ways to nurture yourself could be: a warm bath, schedule a massage, get some extra rest, cozy up with a good book, or maybe just make some time for yourself to sit and relax with a cup of tea.  The point is to honor yourself and your body and practice some good self-care when you need it the most.

We all have good days and bad days as part of the ebb and flow of life.  Honor your feelings, listen to your body, take good care of yourself, and you’ll be back to happyville in no time. You have so much to be happy about – we all do.  Tap into that goodness and shine!

What about you?  What helps lift your spirits up when you’re feeling down?  Please share with us below.  You might just inspire someone else to turn their day around! xo

(PS – If you enjoyed this post and want more, sign up for free weekly inspiration and join us over in the inspiring Dawnsense Facebook community.)

Is it Possible to Give Too Much?

Giving Hands I’m a giver. Being born with a giant heart, I’ve spent my life compassionately trying to help others whenever possible. When I see a group of kids standing outside the grocery store trying to raise funds for whatever cause, I always open my wallet. Same with those who show up at the doorstep. I’ve given up nights and weekends to serve on volunteer committees. As an employer, I’ve showered my staff with bonuses and growth opportunities in gratitude for their service. At home, we regularly clean out our closets and cupboards and donate any excess we can. These actions, as small (or big) as they are, have just been a natural extension of what I stand for. Being of service to others is very fulfilling and, frankly, something the world needs more of. However, like all good things, it can have a dark side. Yes, I do believe it is possible to give too much. Let me explain.

When I went in to business for myself in 2008, we were blessed with rapid growth and business “success”. As our employee size and bottom line grew, I knew that I wanted to give back even more. I created a program for our employees to pick a cause in the community and take paid time off to volunteer. We also donated to many others causes through sponsorships and workplace giving programs. I was invited to chair a local non-profit event, which was a pretty big undertaking, but my big heart told me to say yes as I dove right in to the responsibility. And, any time a friend asked for support on a project of their own, I was there to help them in any way I could. It felt great to have the capacity to give back so much. So, what was the problem?

After several years of very strong business growth, we experienced our first major down cycle. The company started losing money. Fast. Instead of laying people off right away, which would have been a strategic business decision, I felt compelled to work even harder to get our profits back up and keep things chugging along. Tried as I did, the economy was taking its toll. I was essentially losing tons of money to keep others on the payroll. Ouch. The ship was taking on water fast and I had to do something before it went under. Alas, I had to get smart and do what my heart dreaded – lay people off.

At this point, I felt like a failure. I was stressed about money. My heart ached for those who had to find new jobs and I felt guilty because they would struggle to pay their bills. I was hard on myself for not magically pulling it all together. On top of that, I was spread very thin with my volunteer work, my home life, and I had just recently become pregnant with our second daughter at the time. People continued to call on me to ask for help, but I finally had to draw the line in the sand and say “no”. I just couldn’t do it any more. It was time to help myself.

I secretly wanted my former employees to be like “thank you for keeping us on so long even though I know you were losing a lot of money.” Some of them did. But, others, of course, were stressed out about their own situation and a little less gracious. Some even hurtful. I wanted the organizations that I volunteered for to be like “Oh, we totally understand. Go take care of yourself and your family.” And, some of them were. But, others seemed disappointed and became less friendly when I couldn’t put in the hours any more. I wanted the friends whose projects I couldn’t support to be like “I understand you can’t support all of them..” And, most of them were. But, others took offense when I didn’t help.

So, here I was, at a pretty low point in my life. I was trying to resurrect my business, feeling horrible about it, and trying to take a step back to pull myself together so I could focus on what mattered most, the beautiful life I was creating inside my tummy. And, instead of offering support, some of the very people that my big heart had gone out of its way to help in the past were upset or disappointed in me because I could not or would not give to them any more. That twisted the knife even more. And, it hurt.

But, I couldn’t blame them, really. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it wasn’t their fault. It was I that had taught them how to treat me, after all. I had spent so much time give, give, giving that I never set clear boundaries for myself and what my personal limitations were. In my eagerness to help others, I forgot to help myself. People got so use to me being a “yes” that they seemed less than satisfied when I finally had to say “no.’ Also, it had occurred to me that, even in my toughest times, I never asked anybody else for help. I had let the world know that I was a huge giver, but sent a message that I was some sort of superwoman that didn’t need any help. Therefore people were, go figure, not likely to offer their support. Truth be told, whether in the form of understanding, compassion, or just a little pat on the back to say, “it will be okay,” I would have been wide open to receiving that type of encouragement.

Like with all times of trouble, here within lied some incredibly valuable lessons for me. I used the turmoil I was experiencing in my outside world as a reflection of my inner-workings and took some time to go inward and grow from it all.

I’ve since prioritized what matters most in my life and choose to focus my time and energy on what makes my heart expand with love. I accept that, inevitably, I will have to disappoint some people along the way. And, unapologetically so. We simply can’t help everyone. I’ve discovered that we can work more efficiently and have a greater reach when our own truth and boundaries are honored. Often, saying no to others often means saying yes to our own life and dreams.

I’ve learned that everything needs to be in balance to experience harmony. So, I’ve put my intention out into the Universe that, as much as I give, I also want to feel supported. It’s a yin and a yang thing. And, since then, many special people and blessings have turned up in my life. When we are open to receiving, the Universe shows up for us.

Don’t get me wrong. I still have the same big huge heart that I was born with. And, when my cup floweth over, you betcha I’m going to share with those who need it. But, now I am careful not to empty out my own cup completely in the process. I have to honor myself and my family first. Then, I can divvy out what’s leftover as I see fit. People respect and understand personal boundaries. But it is up to us to effectively communicate them.

It’s amazing how much more you can give when you’re careful not to give too much. It’s also pretty remarkable just how much more support you receive once you open yourself up to it and let the Universe know you are ready.

To my fellow big-hearted ones, may you continue to bless others with your graciousness. But, please remember to take care of yourself and be ever-so-careful not to empty out your own cup in the process.

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photo by: Artotem

Stop Talking Yourself Out of Your Own Greatness

Priska climbing the classic Star CheckRecently, as I found myself sitting in front of my laptop, tapping away at the final touches of my book  proposal, I’ve drifted away from my usual writer’s bliss and instead have been, oh you know, totally freaking out! You see, the deadline to submit the proposal to my dream publisher, Hay House, as part of the contest they’re holding for participants of last April’s ‘Writing from Your Soul’ conference is quickly approaching. And, wouldn’t you know, all of a sudden, my ego is totally tripping out on me! “Who would even want to read my book” “What are the odds of getting picked with over 500 others in attendance?” “I bet there are some pretty amazing book ideas out there.” As I’ve allowed these thoughts to creep into my brain, they have literally taken over, sucking the creativity and joy out of what is usually one of my most favorite activities, writing!!  I even started creeping into the “why bother?” territory. Yikes!

With just a little over a month away to finish up, fine-tune, and put my best step forward, I didn’t have time for this self-sabotage crapola and needed to snap out of it, stat! Through all of my spiritual work, deep down, I know that this is just the fearful illusion of my ego, trying to keep me “safe.” In reality, I don’t truly believe this crazy-talk deep inside. At first I thought it was fear of failure or fear of rejection. Then, I realized that it was a much deeper fear. All of a sudden, I had an a-ha moment as I heard Marianne Willamson’s voice in my head with her world famous quote:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Yes, this absolutely rings true! I was on the brink of psyching myself out into playing small. We all do this. It really is our own light that frightens us the most.

You see, all I’ve ever wanted to do is be a writer. When deciding what to major in college, I shied away from pursuing writing as a career because I didn’t see how I could make a living at it. I chose a different path to pay my bills. But, in more recent years, I have been strongly guided towards it again. It truly feel it is my calling. I’ve amassed a lot of experiences and wisdom through the years in my entrepreneurial and life adventures and through my spiritual studies, which has all helped me tremendously with my own personal growth and transformation. I feel that it is my duty to share this information as I know it can help so many others as well.  And, through my blogging, I’ve made so many beautiful connections with readers and affirmed this truth. So, I had to give myself a little Marianne Williamson-esque, “who are you not to be a writer?”

I share this story with you because I want you to be aware of your own potential greatness! But, also to be aware of your own negative self-talk that will try so hard to snuff out your fire. You are meant to shine, baby!! We all are. And by shining your light, you are helping others to do the same.

Try these 4 steps that I used to put a muzzle on my own negative chatter:

  1. Be the observer. Instead of owning these thoughts as if they came from you, “I won’t win” “I can’t do it” — take on the role of observer, as if somebody else is saying them to you. This is called separating yourself from your ego. While the ego may have good intentions of keeping us safe, instead it keeps us living in fear and not taking chances or reaching our full potential. That voice is not who we really are!

  2. Notice how silly it can be. As I listened to my ego voice as an observer, I actually giggled out loud. “Where do you come up with this stuff? You aren’t very nice!,” I thought to myself. Then, I said, “thank you for trying to protect me, but I’ve got this.”

  3. Channel your Marianne Williamson. ”Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?” Remember this line always. Seriously, who are you not to be?! Print it out and put it somewhere you can always see it. You are not alone. We all go through this, but you can rise above. You are meant for greatness!

  4. Remember who you really are. For me, I had to remind myself of my deep passion for writing. Also, I am not doing this for me, but I feel a calling to share information to help others. I’m not doing myself or the world any justice by copping out. Same applies to you! The world needs what you have to offer. Don’t hold back!

Finally, after doing all of the above, I sat down with more focus and clarity then I have had in a long time. The words just flowed out of me. I reconnected with my purpose. I might not be good at a lot of things, but writing is definitely my calling..

And, of course, this does not mean I am a shoe-in for the Hay House prize by any means. But, winning or losing this contest is not what matters most. It’s about pushing through personal boundaries. And, at the end of next month, I will have a completed book proposal. That is a big deal for me, regardless of the outcome. I will continue to push towards my dreams, silencing my own negative chatter along the way.

What about you? Can you think of a time when you were talking yourself out of your own greatness? How did you get back on track? Have you ever missed out on an opportunity because of your own inner-critic? We can all learn from each other and would love to hear from you in the comments below!

For more from Dawn, check out www.dawngluskin.com and join her inspiring Facebook community

Teaching Children Meditation & Mindfulness

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 3.35.56 PMIn today’s high-tech, fast-paced world, it’s pretty easy to become over-stimulated. Busy schedules directing us to go, go, go and electronic devices constantly in our hands, sucking us into scattered digital directions make inner-peace a fleeting want. Enter tension and fatigue. This is true for us, as adults, so imagine children as they absorb the energy of their parents and of the environment which they live in. Then, we send them off to school where they are expected to concentrate and focus.

As an adult, to be able to accomplish all of the above is a pretty remarkable feat. Imagine learning these tools as a young child and then being able to use them your entire life! What if an entire generation of children were blessed with this gift? While mindfulness is catching on and currently being taught in a handful of schools across the country, it is largely up to the parents to teach this powerful tool. And studies have linked mindfulness to better concentration, increased focus, and boosts of memory – so it’s well worth it.

The tips I’m about to share are my own experience as a parent and what has worked in our family. They are geared towards younger children, but much of it can apply to older kids as well. (If you are an adult looking to learn more about meditation, you may want to check out this article.)

Introducing Meditation and Mindfulness to Young Children

  1. Lead by example. As a parent, it is most important to first develop your own meditation practice and then show your children the way. They will naturally become curious as they so often want to emulate the behaviors they see in their parents and others whom they look up to. My five year old daughter has grown up her whole life witnessing meditation, and I even have many fond memories of her as a toddler coming out of bed in the morning and plopping herself down on my lap while I was in the midst of meditating! Once there is a genuine and natural interest, you can begin to help guide them into a better understanding and foster the growth of their own practice.

  2. Make it relatable, on a child’s level. There is a wonderful book about meditation called Peaceful Piggy that I’ve read with my daughter many times and would highly recommend. The story-telling approach is a wonderful way to connect with young kids. Above that, they suggest a really simple do-it-at-home experiment to demonstrate what meditation is all about. It says to take a jar and fill the bottom with a bit of sand. Then, cover with water. Shake the jar so that all the grains of sand begin swirling all around. Tell your child that each of those grains of sands represents a thought. It could be a happy thought, a sad thought, an angry thought. But, the grains swirling around represent all of the thoughts buzzing around our heads throughout the day. Next put the jar down and allow the sand to settle. See how the sand “thoughts” become calmer and the water becomes clearer? The thoughts are still there, but they are no longer all “crazy.” Peace and stillness have taken over. Explain to your child that this symbolizes the effect of meditation on the brain.

  3. Encourage discussion of their own feelings and emotions. Ask them for examples of different experiences: when something made them really happy, or really sad, a time they felt upset or their feelings were hurt, a time they felt scared. Give a few of your own examples to show them that we all feel this same array of emotions on a regular basis. Even young children, who seem to have such simple lives, still have a lot to sort through and deal with. They may share some emotions such as: happy on a fun family adventure, upset when mommy or daddy wouldn’t let them do what they wanted, sad when a family member or pet became ill, or feeling hurt when a friend in school said something mean. For children who are a bit older, the standardized testing system seems to be a source of worry. Meditation can help settle the overwhelming feelings and bring them to a calmer place in their thoughts. Being able to get outside of the whirlwind to just observe instead of being engulfed is truly a powerful gift.

  4. MinfulnessRealistic Expectations. It’s important to cover that there is no way to do this right or “wrong.” Like exercising, results become more apparent with repetition. Frequency is key to really seeing benefits over time. That being said, this should be an enjoyable experience for them and not feel like a chore or something they are being forced to do. Encourage their interest, efforts, and willingness. If you are into reward systems, this could be a good time to implement some small ones. “Let’s practice a few minutes of meditation and then we can play a little game” or “have a little treat.” This type of system is very encouraging for young children. Make it special! Designate a specific area for them in the house that will be their meditation spot. Make it welcoming with their own pillow or special pillowcase. Encourage them to bring a few trinkets that have special meaning to them: perhaps a family photo, their favorite artwork, a remnant of the earth such as gemstone or even a plant.

  5. Use a Timer. It’s great to have a goal time, but start small. Depending on the age, 3-5 minutes can be a reasonable beginner goal. A timer is nice because it is finite and they know to expect an end time. There are many great meditation apps that you can download for your smartphone. I like ones that use singing bowl sounds for start and finish. Let your child start the timer and put it somewhere they can see it. Encourage them to not worry about the time. Instead, just relax and know their meditation is over once they hear the singing bowl ring again.

  6. Guide them. Sitting down in lotus posture with eyes closed is not a must (although that is perfectly fine). Like I said, there is no right or wrong way. The point is to get them into a practice of settling their minds and become more mindful. Keeping the eyes closed allows for deeper relaxation, so would be suggested. Naturally, they will want to peek – this is okay! Lying down while meditating presents an opportunity to become a little too relaxed and possibly even fall asleep, so some sort of sitting position is best. Small children will be fidgety. Just encourage them to try their best to sit still with eyes closed until the timer goes off. Most important is to focus on the breath. Breathing is something we always take with us, so this can literally be practiced anywhere. Have them simply notice their breathing as their chest rises and falls. Then, start to encourage long, deep, slow breaths where their belly rises up on the inhale and contracts to small again as the exhale it all out.

(A fun visual: “Blowing out the Candle.” Have them clasp their hands together and raise their two index fingers, holding them in front of their mouth. Inhale slowly and deeply. On the slow exhale, have them imagine blowing out a birthday candle. Blowing out a candle is something all children can relate to, and it’s pretty fun too! When my daughter is having a tough time with something, I can simply tell her “breathe, blow out your candle” and she knows exactly what to do to calm down.)

  1. Let it be. Sitting still may not comes naturally at first. It is okay for minds to wander. It is okay to fidgety. As a matter of fact, expect it. Just encourage them to try their best to relax and refocus them back to focusing on their breath as often as needed. Know that over time and with regular practice, they will be able to sit still longer and they will begin to experience many of the other wonderful benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Don’t push it, but gently encourage them to practice regularly.

Our children are the future, and we have infinite love for them. What a beautiful gift to give them and to the world by teaching them to meditate. Namaste.

Do you meditate with your children? Do you have any of your own tips to add? Feel free to share with us in the comments below!

For more by Dawn Gluskin be sure to get on the free email list for exclusive content direct to your inbox and join the inspiring Dawnsense Facebook community.

photo by: AlicePopkorn

Why Real Life Will Always Be Better Than Social Media

CBR003159A recent study by the Public Library of Science shows that the more somebody uses Facebook, the more their satisfaction of life decreases. Apparently, many frequent Facebookers are scrolling through their newsfeeds feeling bad because they don’t think their own lives stack up to the fabulous accomplishments, vacations, and photo-shopped and filtered images they see plastered on their computer screens.

I love social media just as much as the next person, with the ability to easily stay in touch with long distance friends and family and to reach a broader audience with my blog posts. However, the dark side is it can cause some to experience negative feelings which can morph into criticism, judgement and competition with others or even depression and lowered feelings of self.

The deeper concern here is looking inward, not outward, for peace and adopting an “I am enough” mentality. We will never be happy when comparing ourselves to others. But, before taking that deep dive, it is important to scratch the surface and for people need to realize that social media is not even the real deal. It is simply a snapshot of a life — the very best moments that we all choose to share with our audience.

If I take a closer look at my own life and the lives of those in my social circle, there are many of us modern day ‘super-women’ types out there. We use our powers to do cool things like create beautiful babies, build a kick-ass career, leap tall hobbies and ambitions in a single bound, make the world a better place, and look darn good doing it all! Some run their households like a tight ship carting the kids to school and various extracurricular activities with ease, whipping up healthy & Pinterest-worthy meals without breaking a sweat, and a keeping spotless house.

While juggling such full plates with style and grace and making a difference in the world is certainly commendable, don’t you often wonder what is really going on behind the scenes?

Here’s a peek into my own life. Just last week, I was thanking my lucky stars for a busy day at the office as my tech company was finally picking up a little steam, after a very lackluster 2012. I was happily bouncing from customer call to PO processing to, oh crap! I was running late (again) in leaving to get my 5 year old daughter to dance class. Little twang of mommy-guilt ensues. Later, I was playing outside with my girls, when I realized “oh crap” (again), as it just dawned on me that I forgot to reply to an important client email that I had promised to deliver. Ugggh. Time to whip out the iPhone and sneak in a quickie one-handed email while bouncing the baby on one hip and pushing the five year old in the swing. People seem to get the impression that I totally have my sh*t together, but honestly it’s a never-ending quest for balance! I have to work really hard on it and often come up short.

And, sure, if I invite you over for dinner, my house is going to be squeaky clean, smelling divine, and I will be fresh-faced and greet you with a big smile, ready to be your hostess with the mostest. But, if you show up at my house unannounced, expect to find me in yoga pants, no makeup, possibly un-showered, frazzled, with kids and animals running around, toys strewn all about, and a possibly a mystery smell in the air. It could be the cat box, dirty diapers, garbage that needs to go out, or a smelly dog. Hopefully, it’s not me!

What is my point with all this? I’m just keeping it real. It gets messy behind the scenes. People usually post the happy and photogenic moments to share with their virtual followings, and I’m not going to judge that. I mostly do the same. Frankly, nobody wants to see photos of me un-showered, in my yoga pants and with regurgitated baby food stains on my shirt. Nor do I want to share every gut-wrenching decision I have to make or twang of mommy guilt that comes my way. And, I cringe anytime I see people post all their dirty laundry on social media. (I’m so not going there!) But, that doesn’t mean there is not a deeper story going on. The same applies to everyone online.

Think about an iceberg and how the majority of it is underwater and out of site to the naked eye. What people choose to share on social is just the tip of their iceberg. While social media can be a great way to keep in touch, it is no substitute for in-person interaction and you have to realize that you are only getting a small glimpse into people’s lives – usually the highlights reel.

To have your social media and your happiness too, the lessons to take from this are:

  1. Limit your social media browsing. Study after study continues to bring its dark side to light. Like all good things, moderation is key. If you are slightly obsessed (and, yes, it can be highly addicting), try setting time limits or even take a little time off. Enjoy your new-found happiness!

  2. Spend time doing what you love. What are you super passionate about? What works in your life for you and your family? If you invest all of your time and energy diving deeply into whatever passion burns inside of you, then you will simply not have the time or energy to aimlessly peruse the internet all day. Fall in love with you and chase your dreams. You are amazing and have much to offer the world.

  3. Remember all that glitters is not gold. Behind every shiny and polished exterior, there is most definitely a deeper story sure to include some struggle and sacrifice that has gone on behind-the-scenes. Remind yourself that what you are seeing is only one snapshot of reality. Don’t do the comparison thing! Just don’t. You are enough.

  4. Take notice & log off. If you notice yourself feeling a little down or upset when browsing Facebook, then that is a major sign its time to log off for a bit. There was life before social media – remember? Sometimes less is more. Get yourself out into the real world and live it up! And no need to post all about it, either. Spend that time actually enjoying and savoring each moment.

  5. Spend more time face-to-face. This same study associated spending more time interacting with real people with an increase in life satisfaction. Go figure. You get much more of the real enchilada in-the-flesh than on the computer screen, anyway. Spending more time being “real” social makes for both healthier relationships and better self-image. Get some friends together and leave your iPhone off. (Just for an hour or two. The world won’t end – I promise!)

  6. Don’t hate, elevate! Remember, the life you are currently living is a by-product of the thoughts and choices you have made along the way. If you are feeling a little down or even a little envious, don’t beat yourself up about it. It is just a gentle nudge for you to look deeper inside and figure out what direction you want or need to go with your own life. So, choose wisely how you react. Don’t let those feelings turn toxic. Instead, bless and congratulate others. Then take that positive energy and use it towards working on elevating your own existence. You have infinite potential!

Hopefully we can all learn to take social media for what it is and not allow it to become a negative component in our lives. In the meantime, maybe we can all start a ‘keep it real’ movement where we start posting “real life “pictures, like  when we first roll out of bed, pre-coffee (or green juice) and make-up. And, no editing or filters! Go ahead … you go first. ;)

What about you? Are you addicted to social? Are you one to “put it all out there” or just the highlights like most people? Have you witnessed or experienced a correlation with too much social and a decline in happiness? Sound off in the comments below!

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For more from Dawn Gluskin, join her inspiring Facebook community & sign up for her weekly love letters and receive a complimentary digital copy of her new ebook, “Make it Happen! Guide to Manifesting”.

Why Competition is an Old Model of Living

UnityCompetition is an outdated model of living. There is a strong calling for us all to begin recognizing our unity and working together, instead. Easier said then done, I know. We have all been taught from birth that we are separate from each other with every man or woman fighting for themselves in this so-called ‘dog eat dog’ world. We compete to get into the best schools and then to get the best jobs so we can buy the best things and everybody will think we are cool. But, is that really why we are here? So that other people think we are cool?? Prettiest, smartest, funniest? You get the point. Surely, there has to be something more! So much more.

While it is true that, as individuals, we need to create our own destiny, putting others down or feeling bad about ourselves in the process should never be a part of the equation. But, those are the exact things that manifest when we feel separate and the need to compete or prove ourselves. With everything going on in the world today, we really need to ban together. The power of collective consciousness is the only way to trump many of the serious challenges that we are facing and will continue to face. We need to respect each other and work together.

Competition is rooted in fear – fear that you are not good enough, smart enough, special enough or unique enough. This is the ego’s way of keeping us separate and small. It’s also a huge distraction from our life’s mission — to spreading all the goodness we can possibly spread. When you are taken over by feelings of jealousy, anger, animosity, and lack on one end of the spectrum, or vanity, superiority and self-righteousness on the other end, then how can you possibly be at your best performance to help the world?

And, believe me, I know. I am far from perfect and have to continually work as I grow along my own spiritual path. For instance, it used to really bother me when somebody would come to me and say, “I think so and so is copying you. Didn’t you just post something similar or doesn’t this sound way too familiar?” It has happened in both my business and personal life. It used to really bug me, as my ego desperately tried to cling to my perceived specialness and uniqueness. It was my own immaturity and insecurities coming out that made me feel like I needed to get the credit or the pat on the back. It has taken much work and shining the light on this weakness of mine, but I’ve learned to just be happy to see how far the ripple effect can go. Ideas and inspiration are supposed to be shared (as long as actual copyright or intellectual property is not being trampled on in the process), and we’re all so much better off when they are shared.. Who am I (or anyone else) to try to hoard them?

We’re all unique, like snowflakes. While we may have some similarities, there is nobody else in this entire world that is just like you or me. We all have our own very unique journey, life experiences, and perceptions. And, the world needs more of the special gift that each of us has inside. We should all feel encouraged and free to put our own unique spin on similar ideas and offer them to the world. There is plenty of space for all of us to do so! Instead of concerning yourself with what others are doing and how you compare, focus on what you love and what lights you up. Everything else will naturally fall into place!

Take me, for example. Sure, there are a million other self-help blogs, life coaches, and female entrepreneurs out there, but that doesn’t stop me from spreading my own perspective on common ideas. People need to hear these same concepts in many different ways! We each have our own unique light to shine and impact to make. I don’t spend my time worrying about how I compare to others because I don’t give my heart and soul for the pats on the back and recognition. I do it out of love and to hopefully make a difference to someone. It’s all about intention. When intent is rooted in pure love, you dreams will grown and manifest faster than you could ever imagine.

“When you want only love you will see nothing else” is a teaching from A course in Miracles. I find this very true in my own practice. Stay focused on offering your gifts and love to the world, in service, and any need to be “the best” or “the first” or “the coolest” will just fade away into the darkness, where it belongs. Instead, you will feel only love.  That’s what it’s about. Now, go out there and make your impact! Namaste.

To download a free copy of Dawn’s ebook “Make it Happen – Guide to Manifesting” – click here.  And, be sure to follow on Facebook as well for more inspiration & support!

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