Tag Archives: self-love

Why I Stopped Dieting (and you can make it your intent, too)

diet

Dieting sucks.

There, I said it. And, I think we can all agree.

Dieting implies restriction, deprivation, bland, boring foods and frequently guilt, self-hatred, and regret. No one wants that and no body responds well to that. Trust me, I tried.

I tried the low-fat diet, the low-carb approach, vegetarianism, no white foods, all of it. I tried shaming and criticizing my body into losing the weight. And you know what it made me? Fatter and more resentful.

Why? Because dieting doesn’t work on a physical level nor on an emotional level.

Good habits and self-love are what work. Continue reading

7 Quotes to Inspire Self-Love

This week you’re going to see a lot of advertising geared towards finding your soulmate or getting the best gift for your significant other. It’s the holiday of love after all, right? But we believe love isn’t just about finding a partner – there are so many different types! Each day this week we’re going to showcase a different “type” of love. Today we want to focus on the love for yourself, because until you can look at yourself with pride and joy you really aren’t capable of truly loving someone or anything else. So go ahead and pick up one of those pink and red bags of chocolate, and keep it for you! You deserve it because you’re awesome. In case you forgot, here are a few great encouraging quotes to help you get in the self-love mood!

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What are your favorite empowering quotes? Share them with us in the comments below! Let the self-love begin! 

How to make the New Year a YOU Year (Vlog)

On Intent.com, intentions are set by the community year-round to fulfill personal goals, reach for our dreams and realize our inner potential. What many tend to forget is that the most important step in reaching for the starts is reaching inward, giving ourselves the love and care we need in order to go forth. Whether it’s January 1st or any day of the year, there isn’t one day or moment that isn’t bettered when I take the time I need for me – it makes me a better friend, a better partner, a better daughter, and a better person all around when I have a full tank of my own from which to give to the world around me. Though it may be counter-intuitive, it’s giving myself the love and care I need that’s makes it much easier for me to do my favorite thing in the world: loving and caring for others.

Tell me how you plan to give yourself a little extra lovin’ in the New Year in the comments box below!

For more, check out my website, The Light Files, and follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

Like Laura’s post? Support these similar intents on Intent.com!

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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).

Gift to the Soul: The Space of Presence

Photo Credit: Kalliope Kokolis
Photo Credit: Kalliope Kokolis

For many of us this is a season when it feels that we are going faster and faster. Everything’s racing, through school semesters, wrapping up work commitments, entering the holidays; the currents of life are in full tilt.

Given the time of year, one student fell into a period of intense stress resulting from a cycle of classes, studying, working and little sleep. He didn’t realize how long he had neglected to write home until he received the following note:

 Dear Son,
Your mother and I enjoyed your last letter.
Of course, we were much younger then and more impressionable.
Love,
Dad

As you know, it’s not just students. Some months ago a friend described getting caught in this state busy-ness while trying to get her daughter to school. She was busy getting things ready while her daughter was trying to show her something. Every time her daughter would call her over she would say, “Just hang on a moment. I’ll be there in a second.” After several rounds of this, the little four-year old came out of her room tired of waiting. She said to her mother, hands on hips:

“Why are you always so busy? What’s your name? Is it President O’mama or something?”

Along with the speediness we have the sense that there is not enough time. It’s interesting to observe how often we are living with that perception. It is usually accompanied by a squeeze of anxiety:

“I’m not going to be prepared,” and a chain of insecurities. “There’s something around the corner that is going to be too much,” “I’m going to fall short,” “I won’t get something critical done.” There’s this sense that we’re on our way somewhere else and that what’s right here is not the time that matters. We’re trying to get to the point in the future when we’ve finally checked everything off our to-do list and we can rest. As long as this is our habit, we are racing toward the end of our life. We are skimming the surface, and unable to arrive in our life.

Thomas Merton describes the rush and pressure of modern life as a form of contemporary violence. He says:

“…to be surrendering to too many demands, too many concerns, is to succumb to the violence.”

When we’re speeding along, we violate our own natural rhythms in a way that prevents us from listening to our inner life and being in a resonant field with others. We get tight. We get small. We override our capacity to appreciate beauty, to celebrate, to serve from the heart.

Our mindfulness practice offers us the opportunity to pause and rediscover the space of presence. When we stop charging forward and open to what’s here, there’s a radical shift in our experience of being alive. As we touch into this space of Hereness, we access a wisdom, a love and a creativity that are not available when we’re on our way somewhere else.  We are home, in our aliveness and our spirit.

 © Tara Brach
Enjoy this video on: The Space of Presence

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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 Jealousy Preventing You From Getting What You Want? (Part 2)

Screen shot 2013-11-20 at 3.26.34 AMIn last week’s article, I talked about how negative emotions like jealousy and envy affect our energy and sabotage our manifestation efforts. This week, I want to provide some practical tips on how to recognize and root out these emotions when they do come up, and replace them with positive emotions like confidence, worthiness, security, and self-love instead.

 Step 1- Acknowledge the emotion.

Don’t get frustrated or upset when you find yourself feeling envious or resentful of what someone else has. It’s a natural emotion, and the fact that you are even conscious of it is a huge step in the right direction (some people are so accustomed to subtle negative emotion that they have trouble even identifying a feeling like jealousy). When it comes up, acknowledge it and feel appreciation that it is signaling something important to you about your own belief system.

Step 2- Identify the root cause / underlying belief behind the emotion.

Contrary to popular belief, the root cause of jealousy is not the object of the jealousy (in other words, the other person or what they have). Jealousy stems from a negative core belief about oneself. Some common negative (and incorrect) core beliefs are things like:

I am not worthy of getting what I want.

The Universe / God is not supporting me.

I have to work harder than other people to get what I want, and fortune is rarely on my side.

The other person got what they have through some dubious means, or just got lucky, and is actually not worthy either.

When you feel jealous, check yourself and see if at the core you believe things similar to this. Bring each belief to the surface and root out each belief, one by one. How do you do that?

Step 3- Replace a negative core belief with a positive truth.

Once you recognize that the statements above are  false, and just a symptom of a lack of self-worth and confidence, you can begin to replace them. Remember, you are God or Consciousness in a physical form. There is nothing that you cannot do, be, or have- you simply have to learn to align your thoughts and energy frequency with the frequency of what you want. That’s all the other person is doing as well; it’s not magic- they’ve simply tapped into a positive energy frequency and held their focus there. Here are some positive truths that replace the old low frequency thoughts you were holding:

I am Consciousness in physical form and worthy of all the good things in life. I am deserving by the simple fact that I exist.

I am capable of attracting what I want into my life, and the Universe always has my back.

I inherently know how to love and be loved.

Other people’s success is evidence of the truth of these laws, and gives me hope and inspiration of what is possible in my own life.

While some of these statements may feel a little far-fetched at first (especially if you’re a chronically negative or pessimistic person or you’ve held negative core beliefs for a long time), know that they are truths. The more you begin to acknowledge these truths in your own life, the more they will start making themselves self-evident in your daily experience and help you in creating the life you want.

Lessons from kayaking: Finding a Way to Be With Fear

Leaving the Marina with Morro Rock in the background and the MorMost of us spend a lot of our lives tensed up in fear, or pushing against fear.
The fear might be fear of:
  • Something going wrong
  • Not being good enough
  • Not being loved
  • Losing something or someone we hold dear
What fears do you live with?
The key to being with fear is in contacting what is here now, rather than trying to push it away. Here’s a story from the river that helps us understand that.  In kayaking, you learn about what is called a keeper hole. It’s a swirl in the river that catches a boat or a body and pulls it down under the water.  You can drown because you get stuck in that swirling current and you can’t get out of it.  If you get caught in a keeper hole, the only way out is actually to dive right into the center, down as far and deep as you can, toward the bottom, because if you get to the bottom you can swim out the side of the swirl.
So you do the opposite of what your instincts tell you to do.  Your instinct, of course, is to fight your way to the surface.  But it won’t work; you’ll keep getting pulled into the hole.  No, you have to dive down into the hole.
It’s like that with fear.  Our instincts are to pull away, to ignore the fear, or to distract ourselves.  We naturally want to escape the pull, the uncomfortable sensation, of fear.  But the skillful way of dealing with fear, just like the keeper hole, is to go into the center of it.
The training in facing fear is to directly contact it…to lean right in.  This is not something to do if your fear is from trauma.  It could be too overwhelming.  If you are dealing with trauma, you might need someone to work with you on that fear.  So you might try finding a thought that brings up fear,  a mild or moderate fear, and letting yourself feel the sensation.  Breathe right into the place you feel the fear, really letting yourself experience it for a moment.  On the out breath, let the fear disperse into the vastness of space around you, or the ocean you are part of.  See and feel the fear moving out into that larger space.
When you are kayaking on the ocean, or on a large lake, you can sense yourself as part of that spaciousness.  Allow the fear to disperse into the spaciousness.  You might find that it is possible to be with the fear, rather than push it away, when you are aware of your oceanness.
© Tara Brach
Enjoy this talk on Finding the Juice in Fear

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