In her book Daring Greatly, Brene Brown talks about starting the day with the feeling of not being enough. You didn’t get enough sleep. There won’t be enough time to get everything done. You are already lose the battle against today. Knowing this, we want to change the pace. Our intent of the day is to start the day with confidence rather than feeling like we’re at the bottom of a mountain. And how? We have 3 resources to help! Continue reading
“… go to the store and pick up fruits and vegetables.”
“… sit and breathe.”
“… to be positive.”
Really? Too busy to be positive?
Surely, you can clear a scant 30 seconds to do something positive for yourself, can’t you? If thinking about what to do takes up too much of those 30 seconds, here follow 8 suggestions!
8 Positive things that you can ‘accomplish’ in a mere 30 seconds.
- Breathe. 70% of waste is eliminated via your lungs! You can place your hand on your belly and feel it rise and fall with each breath cycle. Thirty seconds of breathing can do wonders!
- Affirmations. Repeat one powerful affirmation over and over again for 30 seconds. If it’s a short affirmation, “I am whole and complete,” you may be surprised to find how many times you can repeat “I am whole and complete” in just 30 seconds.
- Stretch. Stand and reach for the stars!
- Smile. Smiling relaxes hundreds of muscles and releases pockets of stress and tension held in your face.
- Stay Hydrated. Your brain is approximately 75% water, and it’s the first place in the body to lose water. Your brain needs water to think clearly. Drink a glass of water.
- Close Your Eyes. Give yourself a real break and allow your body a 30 second opportunity to re-balance itself. Close your eye, cup the palm of your hands over your ears and listen to the blissful sounds of the ocean playing. Just like when you were a kid and held that shell to your ear!
- Dance It Out. Plug your iPod into your ears and shake it up for 30 seconds. The ultimate energy boost!
- Do Nothing. Just sit and stare; perhaps out the window or at the ceiling. Just be sure to do nothing!
Surely, we all have a few 30-second pockets of time during the day where we can take the time to just be. Start NOW!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
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Originally published July 2011
“Mommy, I don’t like my face.”
She told me she thinks she’s ugly, that she hates her body, “The girls at school don’t want me in their group because my face doesn’t look pretty like their faces.”
She’s too young for self image issues. I was 12 before I started feeling insecure about my body, which is sad enough, but to be feeling this way at age 6?
How does a mother respond to that? Give a pep talk? Borrow a library book about self-esteem? Make a call to the school psychologist? And after I do all that, then what?
Carrying the burden of an unhealthy self image is like being an addict. You know it’s wrong, but no one can convince you of subscribing to another way of functioning until you’re ready. You’ve got to beat yourself up long enough to learn that accepting garbage into your life makes you feel like, well, like garbage – until finally you explode, “Okay, okay enough already! I want better for myself! I’m ready to make a change! Help me!!!”
My 6 year old is not ready for change because she doesn’t realize there’s a problem. Poor self image is her normal.
She doesn’t understand where her feelings are coming from. And honestly, I don’t either. A challenge from a past life? A side-effect of American culture? A chemical imbalance? I just don’t know. But ugly is her truth.
I can’t force her to believe that physical attractiveness is unimportant. No lecture can convince her that she was born perfect and complete. She needs to learn those things on her own. But she chose me as her mother for a reason – and I happened to be equipped with some pretty helpful tools with which she can empower herself and start fixing the bits she doesn’t know are broken.
To start, I talked to her about challenges, a familiar topic in my household and in my writing. I explained that we’re all born with a set of challenges, and it’s our job in life to figure out how to work through them. Challenges are sneaky. They feel like they’re real, but actually they’re more like a series of magic tricks. Smoke and mirrors. Divine booby traps set up to see if we can figure our ways past them and learn a lesson in the process. If challenges didn’t exist, life would be so boring that we wouldn’t exist either. So we deal with them – even welcome them – so we can continue to learn about love and life on this amazing planet.
Some challenges we can embrace and some challenges we can balance. The challenge that my baby girl is facing is one that requires a little of both of these actions. She needs to work on embracing, or lovingly accepting, her body just the way it is and balancing the way she feels about herself, inside and out, so that she can feel happy when she’s playing with other kids.
This idea is sort of lofty so we broke it down, talking about the divineness and perfection of her soul energy and decided together that she looks exactly the way the universe designed her to look. God doesn’t do ugly, only perfect. And there’s no arguing with God.
We also enlisted the support of my 6 year old’s personal hero – her big sister. Self esteem is cultivated safely at home, the perfect training ground for the outside world. We talk a lot about the power of our family and the strength that we emote through the way we love each other. Big sister agrees to help set the pace (as best she can) to help little sister with her challenge. She can help to provide safe harbor for her little sister by showing her kindness, affection, and forgiveness.
In Buddhism it is believed that a beautiful face is a gift from a previous lifetime of demonstrating kindness. But whether or not you believe in past lives, we can probably all agree that kindness and love manifest physically in people. We say things like, “I don’t know what it is. There’s just something about that person.” Or maybe you’ve heard the saying that by the time we’re 50 we get the face that we deserve. It’s rooted in the same idea – kindness IS beauty.
Insecurity isn’t about physical appearance. It’s about a deficiency in love and my family has no shortage of love to give my little girl.
So for another layer of healing, we coupled our breathing and meditation practice with Wayne Dyer’s “I Am” statements to program her brain with affirmations at bedtime saying, “I am loving. I am loved. I am compassionate. I am bright. I am kind. I am helpful. I am caring. I am good.” And she marinates in those words while she sleeps.
Notice that I do not use the affirmation, “I am beautiful.” I decided deliberately not to use that word because her current definition of beauty is solely external. Instead we focus on intangibles.
I’d like to tell you that we did this and it worked and my daughter is now a confident, carefree young girl. But that’s not the case. We keep bestowing our love while practicing our breathing and affirmations, and she continues to feel unsure about the meaning of beauty and her place in the social spectrum. I’m confident, however, that with time and mindful commitment, the momentum will shift and she will start to feel the peace that comes with finding balance and acceptance of her life as it is, just like her Mommy did.
By Sarah Anne Stewart
For a good portion of my life, I was a Vision Board junkie.
I wrote goals and affirmations, sketched pictures, snapped photos, and pasted dozens of magazine pictures onto huge, intricately color-coded collages. My “vision of the future” had to be precise, and represent all the things I was determined to attract. How else would I get from here to there, and attract everything I desired to experience in this journey of life?
Dozens of mainstream media writers and authors focus on this global phenomenon: the belief that thoughts become things, and only through thinking of what we want can we attract it into our lives. I agree but disagree. Let me explain:
On average, we think 70,000 thoughts a day. This in and of itself can pose some serious challenges. Unless you are the Dalai Lama, personally taking inventory of, managing, and controlling every thought is near impossible. Not to mention your subconscious, which is constantly active too.
That’s where meditation comes in. To manifest effortlessly, you actually have to STOP thinking.
Before learning meditation, I did seem to manifest things, but not effortlessly. There were bumps in the process and the results were less specific than I imagined. I manifested with huge delays in time, or after completely forgetting something tucked under dozens of other images at the back of my vision board.
About a year and a half ago, I learned–really learned–to stop thinking, and I now practice meditation every single day. Through my daily meditations, I have manifested things into my life faster and easier than ever before. I am sure you’re thinking, “Maybe you just had a lot of good karma that came your way?” But I truly believe it is much more than that.
Here’s why: For those precious minutes every day, you are free to have complete trust in the power of the Universe and what it can bring forth in your life. Meditation connects you to Source–the Universal power that we are all connected to. All those images you desire are no longer necessary for happiness. When we are connected to Source, we are experiencing all that was, is, and will be. You create a place of detachment from all earthly and material things. In this place there is no need.
Whether you feel gratitude or attachment, it will ultimately affect your ability to manifest. When you are attached to something, you fear its loss. As a result, you push it away. Meditation removes the fear, shifting you back to a place of love and gratitude.
It is extremely difficult to have gratitude for things we don’t yet have. Meditation gets us there without the obstacles of our own thought patterns. There is no battle with who-what-where-when-or-how it will happen. We are free of worries and fear-based thoughts. When we are in a feeling of “need” or “I have to have,” we are sending a vibration to the Universe, which responds with more “need.” As your mind tries to determine how your desires will manifest, it also pushes them farther and farther away. You are sending a message that your desires do not exist, and from this place of lacking, you cannot attract what you want.
It is also much easier to have a still, quiet mind, than to have pure, positive thoughts every second. In this stillness we also experience satisfaction, gratitude, and appreciation without doing, thinking, or having anything. Meditation also offers a sense of peace with everything and everyone that opposes you so you can come into alignment with the solutions to your desires. And more importantly, all those images you desire are no longer necessary for happiness. From this place of gratitude you are now sending a vibration that everything you need already exists in your life. Out of this feeling of pure gratitude, our lives can be manifested.
The practice of meditation most importantly helps train the mind to be in the present moment, leaving no need to control our 70,000 thoughts a day. When you are in the present moment, your goals, dreams, and desires can manifest because you are no longer thinking about them. Instead, you are only thinking about what is in front of you at that very moment.
The essence of manifesting your desires through meditation can be summed up in a quote from the teachings of Ester Hick’s, “[w]hen you quiet your mind you stop thought; when you stop thought you stop resistance; when you stop resistance you are in a state of allowing.” So yes, focus on what you want. Cut images out of magazines, then put them away, and let daily meditation connect and align you to Source to actually bring the things you want into your life. When your dreams become a reality, remember to bless everything you attract with gratitude.
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Sarah is a Holistic health coach, writer, world traveler, free spirit, and lover of life. Founder of Introducing Wellness LLC, Sarah Anne passionately invites others to experience a new-found “love for life” and wellness through holistic healing. She enjoys writing about her down-to-earth honest life experiences and de-bunking conventional misconceptions about health and wellness. Her creative and unique outlook on life is structured around creating positive change.
I often witness friends and clients overspiritualize their issues without dealing with them in an honest way. Some folks throw affirmations over their problems without getting to the root cause of their discomfort, while others spend hours talking about forgiveness with no real desire to let go. In this video I’ll help you get honest about how you handle your feelings and give you a concrete tool for truly moving through your issues.
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Feeling inspired? Check out my other recent videos:
Why Is She So Smart?
Have you ever compared yourself to someone with thoughts like: “Why can’t I be successful like she is?” or “I wish I was popular like him.” We all have.
Gotta Love That Brain
Usually, those sorts of thoughts just make us feel insecure, sad, or jealous, right? So why do we have them? It’s because our brains are hardwired to figure where we stand in the social pecking order. It’s a primitive survival strategy that says, “If I’m more powerful, then I’ll live to pass on my genes.”
I Want Jennifer Aniston’s Hair
Trouble is, having a fabulous haircut or a nice car doesn’t do much for ensuring the survival of the species anymore. But since comparing ourselves to others is programmed into our thinking, it’s hard to shut it off. Instead, we need some strategies to gently redirect our thoughts. One of the best strategies I’ve found comes from a story I heard about a now-famous Broadway dancer.
Lessons From A Dancer
As a young girl growing up in Brooklyn, this novice dancer was frustrated by her stumbles and missteps in class, so she asked her dance teacher when she’d be able to move like the other students at the studio.
The teacher told her, “Don’t look at the other girls. You’re not in competition with them. You’re in competition with yourself. Your goal is to be better than you were yesterday, not better than the other girls.”
When I heard that story, I immediately saw an image in my mind. Blinders.
Thinking About Horses
Growing up near New York City, the closest I got to horses was the Macy’s Day Parade on television, but I recalled that the horses wore blinders–small shields near their eyes that kept them focused on the path ahead without getting distracted by what was around them. Turns out, these blinders keep the horses calmer and when they run, they do it faster and better.
So what if we could wear blinders too–sort of metaphorically–to keep us focused on our own path without comparing ourselves to others? Could we be calmer and live better, just like the horses? I think so. Here are a few ways to do that:
How To Put On Your Blinders:
- Compare yourself to yourself. Instead of measuring yourself against others, rate your progress with yourself, just like the Broadway dancer. What’s better about you now than say, a year or two ago? Are you better at taking photos or a better listener? Ask, “In what ways have I improved from before?”
- Notice what you judge. It’s human nature to measure your progress on things you can see like jobs, money, or relationships. But success is just as much about internal qualities like wisdom or strength. Ask, “How have I grown inside?”
- Rethink the meaning of “losing.” There will always be things in life that someone else gets instead of you; the gold medal, the big promotion, the cute guy. But the mere pursuit of what you want has its own rewards. Maybe now you’re more persistent or more sure of your values than you were before. Ask yourself, “Who have I become in the process of striving for what I want?”
For me, I’ve found that putting on the blinders helps me remember that the race is only with myself. And that’s made all the difference.
How can you put on blinders in your own life? I’d love to know.
Click here to read part 1 of this post.
The following are C. James Jensen’s six key affirmations from Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind. These affirmations can bring about substantial improvements in your life. He says to use them every day for the first 30 days before adding your own affirmations:
1.) I like (love) myself unconditionally: This is a link to all other goals. It is an affirmation you should fully expect to use for the rest of your life, one that will continue to build high self-esteem. Start with, ‘I like myself.’ Over time this transforms to, ‘I love myself,’ which then turns into, ‘Now that I love myself, I find that I love everyone.’”
2.) I never devalue myself through destructive self-criticism: Some people with low self-esteem simply find it easier to accept a criticism than a compliment. You must immediately cease any and all destructive self-criticism. Never devalue yourself — or others.
3.) I have unconditional warm regards for all people at all times: This affirmation creates superior human relations. People who embrace this tenet focus on the essence (goodness) of the individual, which sometimes may be in conflict with that person’s behavior. People who have warm regards also have great empathy. They realize that everyone has had a different life journey and the variance of such journeys can cause people to act (re-act) radically different, often to the same situation.
4.) I am easily able to relax at any time and every day through every affirmation, I become healthier in both mind and body: Scientific evidence confirms that many health problems are related to tension, stress, and our inability to relax. You must proactively manage the stress in your life.
5.) I am completely self-determined and allow others the same right: Most of us don’t have a problem with the first half of this affirmation, but may put up a little resistance when our business partner, spouse, or others exert their right to do the same.
6.) I am completely responsible for all of my responses to all other persons and to all events: You must choose to control yourself. You are in command. You are responsible for your ship. You are accountable for your actions. You must take responsibility for what you do to the people around you and how you respond to the situations you encounter.
Rather than yearning for what we don’t have, by beginning with the above affirmations you will eventually learn to love, appreciate and see the value in what you do have. Health and happiness will be right there with you. And everything will be okay. I promise!
When I was a child, anytime I felt nervous or insecure about anything, or I didn’t feel well, I wanted my mother to assure me that all would be okay. But that wasn’t enough. I insisted she end her sentences with: “I’m positive.” I didn’t realize at the time that I was basically asking for a positive affirmation, what I later learned was a powerful tool to enable us to basically turn our lives around.
Indeed, C. James Jensen, author of Beyond the Power of Your Subconscious Mind, says that using affirmations is one of the best things you can do to get more out of every aspect of your life, and in particular, your personal health. “Self-talk,” he says, “is the means by which the power of the subconscious mind can be directed and channeled towards any greater good. The subconscious is forever present, always available to carry out the ‘commands’ given to it by the conscious area of the mind. The subconscious does not question the value of our ‘commands,’ but just proceeds to fulfill such ‘instructions.’”
Jensen asks us to imagine an ocean liner crossing the sea with the captain of the ship barking out orders to the crew who may be located deep in the hold, below the water line and unable to see where the ship is going. “The captain is analogous to the conscious area to the mind,” he continues. “In this example, the crew is like the subconscious. So when the captain commands, for example ‘Full speed ahead, 15 degrees to the North’ the crew simply responds, ‘Aye Aye, Sir,’ and carries out its orders precisely.” The crew, you see, does not care if it runs the ship into the rocks, collides with another vessel, or gets the ship safely to its destination. It is totally non-judgmental and does not question “The Boss,” who in this case is the captain of the ship.
This is a powerful metaphor of the relationship between the conscious and subconscious areas of the mind, Jensen feels. And these are not two separate minds, but two spheres of the same mind. “If you seek to harness this power, you must consciously be aware of how you talk to yourself and specifically what you say to yourself. You may want to ‘cancel’ certain thoughts or statements often said in frustration and substitute the language consistent with the picture you want to create.”
He gives us an example: “I am so lazy. I keep forgetting to go to my exercise class. I’ll never get in shape!”
But is that really what we want to be commanding to our subconscious mind when our goal is to become more orderly and punctual? “Of course not!” he insists.
According to Jensen, if you find yourself making such a statement in anger or frustration, simply put your record button on “Pause.” Then take a couple of deep breaths and say “Cancel.” As you do this, visually see yourself erasing the negative statement you just made.
“Now take two more breaths,” he advises, “and with a smile in your heart say to yourself: ‘Every day and in every way I am getting better at being punctual and always on time for my exercise class. I feel good about the fact I am steadily improving my health and fitness.’”
You must choose to repeat this to yourself 2-3 times every day. You want to totally erase (or cancel) the negative beliefs and leave the subconscious with a clear positive visual picture of the “new you” who “feels good about the fact you are always on time.”
You may be understandably skeptical that by just saying certain words you can bring about significant positive changes in your behavior. But affirmations do work. “Realize that the greatest testimony to the effectiveness of affirmations comes from millions of people who have shared their real life experiences of the positive changes, healing, growth in relationships, family dynamics, sports performance and business success, to name a few, that all come from having incorporated the daily practice of positive affirmations into their lives.”
Affirmations are most effective when you write them down and then prioritize them in order of their importance to you. It is also best to have no more than 15 goals at any one time. As you achieve each goal, one at a time, you can always add a new goal.
“It is crucial that you build balance into your goal-setting. Balancing business, family relationships and personal health is essential,” Jensen says. “And once you have your goals clearly defined, you want to create a mental picture of what the accomplishment of those goals would look like in your own life. Then you create the words to support the picture (goal) as though it were true today, i.e. ‘I look good and feel good at __pounds;’ or ‘I eat only enough to maintain my perfect weight of ___pounds;’ or ‘I enjoy the benefits of exercising every day and never miss a day.’”
Say these statements (your affirmations) out loud to yourself; and while you do, see the end result (the picture) in your mind as though it were true right now. It is not the words that record in your subconscious. It is the pictures your words create, along with the feelings or emotions associated with those pictures, that are implanted in your subconscious.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this post, in which I outline six key affirmations for improving your life.
Know how when kids get upset, they kick and scream and cry and bang their heads against the floor? And sometimes they even call you names! But you don’t take it personally. Naw, they’re just little kids, lettin’ off steam.
That’s how God is when you bitch and moan and call Him every name in the book.
Listen to new 10 minute podcast: "Nope, Can’t Happen"
You know, just because something is on TV doesn’t mean that it’s true—doesn’t mean that it’s good—doesn’t mean that it’s something you want to spend time watching. That’s why having a clicker is so great!
There’s a clicker for your life, too.
Listen to new 10 minute podcast: http://cowboyshaman.podomatic.com