Posts tagged #self-acceptance

3 Ways to Accept Yourself and Live a Happier Life

Social media is a breeding ground for epically low self-esteem, comparisonitis and basically wishing you were anyone else. Being bombarded on a daily basis by the supermodel instagrammers, the jetsetters who globetrot with their entourage of cats and funny memes and even your colleague with the new blindingly white smile, it’s a wonder we can even get up in the morning.

How do we accept ourselves when everyone else seems to be skinnier, happier and richer or spending time with someone who is skinnier, happier and richer than they are?

Self-acceptance is a magical force—the more we lean into it, the more we flourish and flower and thrive.

Here are 3 ways to start accepting yourself (so you can stop feeling bad by what everyone else is doing) and feel happier in your own skin!

1.       Let go of resistance to what is. Resistance looks like wishing, hoping, denying, criticizing, cursing, raging against, forcing, ridiculing, belittling, shaming, ignoring, depriving and disconnecting. The things about you that you can’t change are: height, age, race, orientation and past experiences. Not a long list is it? Sit with those aspects of yourself and say: I accept that I am ….. and read out these aspects. Spend every day accepting and acknowledging these aspects of yourself. When you feel comfortable with that, you can move into: I love that I am … read out the same aspects.
 

2.       Ask yourself what you’re unhappy with. Is it your weight? Your income? Your relationship status? All these things you can change. BUT FIRST YOU HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND ACCEPT THEM THE WAY THEY ARE RIGHT NOW. Ok, so I’m 180 lbs right now. I’m making $40,000 per year. I’m single. Say these things out loud. This is where the saying “say it like it is” comes in. You have to look at your life with an honest lens. You have to accept what is.
 

3.       Release the emotional charge around the sticky points. If you’ve always had a problem with your weight or if you can’t find a healthy relationship then there are a lot of emotions tied up in that experience. In order to change anything, you have to clear the barriers in the way of making change: negative emotions and beliefs. Use tapping (tap on one point and tell the story of that experience until you have a release) to let go of the emotions surrounding your weight, relationship status and income situation. From there you can actually move forward and start making changes.

One last point about all the fabulous, beautiful and fancy free people on social media. They deserve to be happy too don’t they? If they become unhappy or suddenly aren’t as beautiful as they were or lose all their money, would all that goodness transfer to your life? No. So stay in your own lane, but wave and blow kisses to all those beside you. They all want what you want: to live a happy and fulfilling life. Let’s cheer each other on.

For more resources on how to be who you’re meant to be while surrounded by other high-vibing truth seekers, join my Facebook group: Heal Your Emotions, Heal Your Body

Three Ways to Stop Devaluing Yourself

Do you ever do things that don't feel very good but that you think you should be doing anyway--to be a good person or to do the right thing? I get it--I just described most of my teens and twenties. The problem with behaving in ways that don't feel good is that you are not valuing yourself. We get so wrapped up in being the good daughter or the perfect employee or the helpful citizen that we lose sight of our own needs and desires. That is the ultimate devaluing practice. The consequences are far reaching; we may feel depressed, unfulfilled, anxious, bitter, resentful or just plain exhausted.

Here are three ways that you may not be valuing yourself and exercises that you can do to practice self-love instead:

1. Constant Improvements. If you are like me, you enjoy the practice of self-improvement and personal development. However, we can fall into the trap where we get so determined to improve this and improve that, that we don't stop and say, "This feeling is ok" or "I'm ok the way I am. Yes, I want to grow and evolve but I am perfect the way I am right now." You are ok the way you are--no matter what flaws you feel that you have. All your feelings are ok. Come from that place and move forward. Exercise: Write down all the things you want to improve about yourself and then write down beside each one, "I love this flaw. I love myself no matter what." Repeat these out loud. When you start to feel more loving towards yourself then you can move on to expanding into the new.

2. Holding back for others. You're a loving and compassionate person. That doesn't mean that you need to stay where you are because others are in a certain stage in their life. It may be scary to change and grow when others around you aren't, but there is nothing scarier than stagnation and wasting your precious life. Ask yourself--what will happen if my loved ones stay where they are and I evolve into my greatest potential? Will they walk away? Will they be angry, jealous or resentful? Will they reject me? I have relatives that no longer talk to me because they were so uncomfortable with my spiritual and personal growth. It was damn painful. But ultimately I came to the realization that I'm living my life, not theirs. On the other hand, I've bonded more than ever with other loved ones. The bottom line is that making others comfortable is a terrible trap and you're the one who will suffer the most. Exercise: Make a declaration in your journal: "As I grow, I invite others to grow. As I shine my light, I invite others to shine their light. As I love myself, others will be inspired to also go within and love themselves. I acknowledge my free will and the free will of others to take this spiritual invitation. I love myself no matter what the choice of others may be. I trust that those who love me unconditionally will surround me. My self-love sustains me through all. And so it is."

3. Doing things for the greater good. As a beautiful and giving person, you decide that you're going to be selfless and do what's for the greater good (best for everyone). You may decide to do your spiritual duty and put aside your personal desires and needs to help others or improve a situation. This is another big trap. We are here to model and show others how to love ourselves more deeply and more authentically. That means that as we value and honor our own desires and needs, we let others know its ok for them to do the same. This creates a ripple effect happens that spreads love around the world--for the greater good. Exercise: Visualize energy coming from above and below you, running through you and exiting through your heart space and expanding out. Do this every day for two minutes. You will train yourself to give from the inside out, filling yourself up first.

Looking for more practical ways to love and honor yourself? Dive in with my self-help ebook based on my spiritual journey from self-sabotage to self-love. Practical exercises and inspiration included!

What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After

Comment below: How do you practice self-love?

The Evolution of Self-Love: Three Phases (original poem)

Phase one: Other/Comparison/Jealousy/

If I was you
I'd be much better off.

Your grass grows greener
(like an envious brother)

Your smile seems cooler
(like an empty mother)

Your pocket runs deeper
(like a broken teacher)

If I was you
I'd be better off.

Phase two: Angst/Self-loathing

If I wasn't me
I'd be much better off.

I'd ring true
(like the weekly preacher)

I'd jump for joy
(like the tied-down seeker)

I'd be free of a limp tongue
and a chest full of
nos

If I wasn't me
I'd be better off.

Phase three: Acceptance and self-adoration

If I were me
I'd be much better off.

I'd hug the betrayals
out of my lungs

I'd sing the praises of
life's good graces

I'd slip me on
like a new suit,
freshly pressed with hope

I am me.

I am me.

I am.

And I'm much better off.

How to Make Your Inner Child Super Happy-Pts 1, 2 & 3

Check out this fun little activity I did with a friend on her balcony. Slow motion-so cool!!
Pt 1 below:

Part 2--Things take an unexpected turn! Oh how it makes my inner child giggle lol

Part 3--I wasn't known for being a giggle monster for nothing as a child! This reminds me--when did I get so serious??!!

People Pleaser Tips: How to Stand Up for Yourself PP Style

Are you a People Pleaser?

I sure am...er...I mean...was. At this point in my life I definitely wouldn't call myself one of the The Bold and The Beautiful, but I can hold my own in most daily interactions. Except if you put me on Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen. I'd be the first one sobbing in a post elimination interview: "Where did I go wrong?! Where?!"

Here are the ins and outs of the People Pleaser lifestyle and some pointers on how to steer yourself in the direction of your inner female warrior instead.
 

Behaviour

  • You swallow that lump in your throat called anger/annoyance/hurt because you don’t want to upset anyone by being upset.

Welcome to my teens and most of my twenties. On my deathbed I'll probably gasp out a final message: "It's rush hour. Tell them I'll hang on."
 

Scenario

  • I’m standing in a really long line-up and someone boldly steps in front of me.

People Pleaser response: Rolling of the eyes. And of course you don't let the unscrupulous person see this—that would be rude!

Non-People Pleaser response: “I was in front of you. The line is back there."
 

Scenario number two

  • A friend says they’ll call me back and then doesn’t. Then they do it again. And again. And again.

People Pleaser response: A programmed parrot: "No problem. No problem. No problem."

Non-People Pleaser response: "WTF is wrong with you?"

Non-People Pleaser response--less hostile: "Why aren't you calling me back?"
 

People Pleaser Life Consequences

What are the consequences of this type of parroting and swallowing behaviour? Inappropriate emotional outbursts.

The resentment starts a slow burn in the abdomen, like a cat growl working its way up from the low belly and climbing into the throat--but you don’t let it out. You swallow it. You continue to do this—until one day, out of the blue, you're ranting and raving to a friend like someone who stopped taking their very strong medication. You let them have it with both barrels in a voice like a frustrated Fran Drescher.

After a couple of decades I began to realize that these outbursts are not optimal for my life or my blood pressure. I set out to try and release the pressure little by little, in the moment. This is like opening the nozzle of an air mattress instead of violently stabbing it with a butcher knife.
 

People Pleaser tips

I use these strategies to stand up for myself instead of exploding like a hand grenade all over my unsuspecting friends and family. When something happens that doesn't sit right with you--stop and acknowledge the feeling. This is the do or die moment, the speak or swallow opportunity.

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Imagine that you are the other person-would you want to know when a friend is upset about something?
  3. Use the format: I feel______ when you_________. Example: I feel frustrated when you tell me that you’re going to call and then you don’t. I wait for your call when I could be doing something else and I feel like my time is not being respected.
  4. Say nothing else—don’t start babbling nonsense like an excited baby in order to soften the blow or muffle your message. Let them speak. Give them a chance to respond.
     

Insider tip

  • They may not say: “Wow I’m so sorry! I didn’t realize I was doing that! I’ll make sure I do what I say I’m going to do from now on.” They might say: “Screw you. You always make a big deal of everything! What a drama queen.” Granted, if they say that to you I’d want to check your friend-choosing skills because that is a much bigger mess. Future blog post?

Life is not a Growing Pains episode and people don’t really sit around having heart to heart talks that resolve in twenty-two minutes. When a friend or family member responds in a hurtful or reactionary manner that is about them, not you. The best thing to do is pull back and check yourself. Don’t jump in and get defensive. This may lead to a Maury Povich episode with lots of hair pulling.

The best advice I’ve heard on how to deal with conflict or upset is to get curious. Get curious about what someone is thinking/feeling or experiencing. This takes the personal twinge out of it.
 

Another insider tip

Try saying this in response to a doozy of a statement from someone (even if it’s the most insulting thing you’ve ever heard): “Oh, interesting."

It will diffuse the situation and cause an uncomfortable silence. Stay with it. You're coming from a place of—“that’s interesting that you said that. That’s interesting that you think that. Hmm….interesting."

I find these simple strategies to be as non-threatening as possible with pleasing results—for you. So, remember to acknowledge what you're feeling and then try telling someone else about it. You may give them the courage to speak their own truth and then you’ll have the makings of an honest and mutually pleasing relationship.

Self-acceptance: Valuable Lessons from Shrek and Fiona

At first, Shrek struggled to accept himself; he thought that because he was an Ogre, nobody would ever love him. He assumed everyone would hate him and so he found it hard to love or accept himself. He had a negative view of who he was.

Fiona lived with a secret—she went from princess to Ogre every day when the sun went down. She was terrified that people would find out who she was and consequently judge her. She felt like an outcast and a freak; she couldn’t accept the fact that she was part princess and part Ogre.

The turning point for both of them came when they met Donkey and, of course, each other.

What does this have to do with self-acceptance? First of all, weaving my favorite characters into a blog post is so much fun! Second of all, don’t be fooled by animated movies. A lot of them deliver powerful messages about life. And no, I haven’t been smoking the wacky tobacky.

Take a look at some of the lessons that Shrek and Fiona deliver (all with cleverly-timed comic relief and Shrek’s delightful Scottish accent):

1.       Self-acceptance comes in the form of a mirror

Sometimes we can’t see how wonderful we are so the Universe sends a friend or lover along to relay the message. Donkey repeatedly offered his friendship to Shrek until Shrek finally realized that he was a pretty great Ogre after all. Think of the people in your life who stand by you and tell you how amazing you are. They are here to tell you what you may not be able to accept about yourself. Try to see yourself through an admirer’s eyes.

2.      Self-acceptance means loving all of yourself

Fiona overcomes the spell she is under the moment she accepts all of herself. She sheds the shame of not living up to what she thinks she’s supposed to be (a beautiful princess) and embraces her duality (light and shadow). The gift in this is when she realizes that Shrek loves her for being an Ogre. She evolves into the beautiful Fiona—the princess or Ogre aspects are no longer important. The point is that she accepted who she was and then the miracles unfolded. Accept yourself as you are and watch how others respond to you. More often than not, people are drawn to those who are authentic.

3.      Self-acceptance is a risk

Shrek takes a risk in the movie; he accepts Donkey into his life. In other words, he lets someone in. He had to get to the point where he accepted himself enough to realize that Donkey wanted to be part of his life. Shrek took the risk and opened up; he found true friendship. However, just because we accept ourselves doesn’t mean that we are accepted by everyone else. Fiona tried to hide who she was, but when it was revealed that she was part Ogre, the Lord Farquaad rejected her. When others reject us for who we are it is painful. This doesn’t mean that our response would be to reject ourselves. This means that the person is not the right fit for us. They are not meant to come on our life journey with us. That’s ok. This realization is liberating; we can accept ourselves even when others don’t. We can make more room for those who love us for who we are. A note about family—sometimes our family members don’t accept us. Again, this doesn’t mean that we have to believe them or agree with their view of us. Our opinion of ourselves is all that matters.

The next time you start to reject yourself, think about Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and friends living happily ever after as themselves, in the swamp. Or at the very least, they are living as happily as they can when faced with killjoys like Lord Farquaad, Rumpelstiltskin and the Fairy Godmother.

Posted on November 11, 2015 and filed under emotional growth.

How To De-Clutter On All Levels

Clutter interferes with our life in many different ways. Regardless of the type of clutter—physical, mental or emotional—it creates a barrier between us and our natural flow. When clutter clogs up our life, we pay the price. If you’re feeling particularly stuck right now it could be time for a major de-clutter fest.

Types of clutter

1.       Physical

The body. If we have a cluttered body that essentially means that we are stuffing our veins, arteries and other pathways with debris. This can happen with too much alcohol, fried foods, or processed food with chemicals and additives. When we’re cluttered in the body things don’t flow—maybe we’re constipated or we have high blood pressure. Live by the basic rules of health to de-clutter: water, fibre, exercise. These guidelines may seem overly simplistic but if we don’t have the foundation, we don’t have the house, am I right?

What to do?

Drink more water—carry a water bottle or leave water at your desk; always have a reminder that you need to drink water; eat watery foods such as celery, watermelon, cucumber, soups

Eat more fibre—get this from your foods; the best sources are beans, fruits and vegetables (with the skin) and whole grains (whole wheat, kamut, rye, or quinoa)

Exercise—even walking is an excellent way to move the body and help it to process anything that is clogged or cluttering your system

The environment. When your office desk is hidden under ten years of old files and papers, topped off with gum wrappers and broken paperclips you are living in a cluttered environment. If your closet is a health and safety hazard you are living a cluttered environment. This creates anxiety, stress and overwhelm. You look at the mess and are paralyzed. This is clogging your flow.

2.       Mental

When our thoughts are recurring, relentless and negative our mind is cluttered. If you play the same unhappy scenarios in your head over and over again your mind is cluttered. This creates stress, anxiety and a heavy negative tone to your life. It blocks the positive, flowing energy from blowing breezes through your thought passages.

What to do?

Write down the recurring thoughts in your journal. Beside each one say or write—I accept you, I bless you, I forgive you. This level of awareness and acceptance helps to dissolve the need for those thoughts to loop around in your head. You are bringing light to them. Do this for every thought that comes up repeatedly.

3.       Emotional

If we have repeated emotional experiences on a playback loop we may have a cluttered heart. Maybe your goto feeling is frustration or loneliness or anger. Maybe all you can feel is: nothing. This is a sign that your heart is clogged. The myriad of emotional nuances available to you are waiting outside the wall of clutter. The clutter is your old, stale, repeated emotions.

What to do?

In the same way as the thoughts, write down your repeating emotions. Write the same or say the same phrases for each emotion—I accept you, I bless you, I forgive you. You are again bringing light and awareness to them. Sometimes all you need is acknowledgement and awareness. The emotional awareness is more of a process but you may be surprised what you can unclutter in a short period of time.

Try these de-cluttering activities for all aspects of your life and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter, more vibrant and fluid you will feel! During the change of seasons is an excellent time to embark on this journey as the energy of transition is also gently helping the process. Happy de-cluttering!

If you have any tips for de-cluttering comment below so we can all learn from each other.

The Plea and The Response

Don’t leave me hanging.
Hanging from the cliff, dangling over the chasm of wanting.
Looking down but trying not to look down.
 
Don’t look at me now because I’m ashamed.
I hang my head because you caught me. Caught me reaching out.
Caught me needing, kneeling over my own glass statue. Shielding it with my wary embrace.
 
Don’t look at me now—my face is embarrassed.
You caught me between poses.
In between stages. In between rehearsals.
Suspended between carefully orchestrated deliberations.
Don’t judge what I’m doing. I do it with blindness.
Without a reliable script.
 
The Response-
I love you.
I love you through your uncertainty,
your desperate grasping of another,
frantic groping for a plug to stop this sink.
 
I love you.
I love you through the shiny mirages,
the race to the horizon,
The realization of an empty sandy landscape.
I love you.
I love you through the utter humiliation of obvious need,
your naked body in the dream where you forgot to dress,
The revelation.
The revealing that seems so involuntary.
I love you.
I love you for your striving, for running to goal posts.
I love you for beating yourself at your own time.
I love you for wanting. For needing.
For despairing. For grasping.
For struggling. For reaching.
For yearning.
I don’t hold this against you. I hold you against me.
I wrap my arms around you and stoke the flames of your raging bonfire.
I love you.

Feel like something is missing in your life? Sign-up to receive my free mini-class here and discover how to connect with yourself again: 

Words of Encouragement to Help You Feel Good Again

Sometimes when life gives us lemons, we say “screw the lemonade--this sucks!” We may feel like crap and that’s just the way it is. Maybe our business is not doing well or we’re fighting with our spouse or we just feel like a shadow is blocking our sun. In essence, we’re feeling unmotivated and broody or we lack the energy to enjoy things that we normally would. Nobody wants to feel like this for long, so what can we do?

I’ve put together my favorite words of encouragement as well as a couple of wildly insightful life observations to help you feel like yourself again. I use these words for myself and in fact I just put them to the test this morning. The first quote I read made me cry like a baby—check. Operation Eleanor Encouragement in full effect!

1.       Never give up—this quote by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, has encouraged me throughout my life. The words are deeply profound in their simplicity—isn’t that always the way? This is the quote that got the tears flowing and opened my heart a little wider. Use this if it resonates with you as a way back home when the small and large circumstances in your life veer you off course.

Never give up
No matter what is going on
Never give up
Develop the heart
Too much energy in your country is spent
Developing the mind instead of the heart.
Be compassionate not just to your friends but to everyone
Be compassionate. Work for peace in your heart and in the world.
Work for peace and I say again
Never give up.
No matter what is happening, No matter what is going on around you,
Never give up.

-His Holiness the Dalai Lama
More beautiful inspiration below:



2.       Do what you can with what you have and where you are-Teddy Roosevelt. I love this one. Each piece of the quote is a beautiful invitation to self-acceptance.

  • Do what you can—you can only literally do what you can. There is no other way. Again, this truth is profoundly simple and simply profound.
  • With what you have—whatever set of circumstances, capacities, talents and abilities that you have, that is what you have to work with. Nothing more, nothing less. There is great relief in this truth. You don’t have to try to be something you are not. You simply work with what you have to take you where you need to go. Dream big but don’t set yourself up for what is not in the cards for you.
  • Where you are—this refers to the stage of life you’re in, the experiences you’re having and your mental/emotional state. It doesn’t mean you can’t go elsewhere, but it does mean that you need to accept this moment first. It all starts with acceptance and awareness—where are you right now?

3.      Circling the drain—when I feel as if I’m going around in circles, sometimes I can mistakenly think that I’m going down the drain. In other words, I feel like I’m spiraling downwards into oblivion. This is when I remind myself that the world operates in a vortex of energy; this energy is constantly spiraling. The spirals move upwards and downwards. That’s the truth. So, instead of thinking that I’m spiraling down the drain, I think of it as up-leveling. I’m going around in circles yes, but I’m spiraling with the motion of life itself. Whether I’m moving up or down, nothing is static and there is no judgement in that. I can be spiraling down to a certain point, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not evolving and growing. Whether up or down I’m always up-leveling in terms of growth and expansion. Change your outlook and you’ll feel an immense lightening of the soul-try it!

My final words of encouragement would be this: don’t go AWOL on yourself. Stay with the experience, accept yourself in all ways and trust in the fact that this too shall pass. Lots of blessings to you!
What encourages you when you feel down? Comment below!

Feeling disconnected and like something is missing in your life? Sign-up to receive my free mini-class here and discover how to connect with yourself again: 

Interview with Paul Lara-No Fluff Spiritual Fulfillment

In today’s world, we’re sold the allure of happiness every day. We may love the high or the “nice zone” of happy, but when we rely on happiness as the end all be all, it’s a recipe for disaster. Don’t focus on the fluffy and convenient side of life—the subtle realities in the background are much more important to be aware of (for instance, our shadow tendencies). That’s what Paul Lara, of Qi Belly, believes. The real learning is witnessed and achieved when we take a mind/body approach to all aspects of the Self.  

Lara is a practitioner with an experiential and dedicated background in Zen Meditation, Martial arts, Tai Chi, Reiki and Qi Gong. What I’m trying to stress here is that he lived in Asia and endured many years of no fluff training. Literally, no fluff anywhere. Or most likely toilet paper. No toilet paper and no fluff. Know’m sayin’? Hardcore.

You’d think that he’d be a bit of a hard ass. Nothing could be further from the truth. He’s as laid back as the Dude in the Big Lebowski, minus the drugs, but physically fit and much smarter. So not really at all like the Dude, but he does have a very calm vibe. So sit back, draw a deep breath and let his takeaway gems sink in:

1.        Sabotage: it is inevitable, initially. The experience in itself is the lesson. In the beginning we are of two distinct minds/two voices. We have our Conscious intent-this includes our self-improvement goals and desired outcomes. Then we have the other aspect of the psyche-the Ego. The Ego wants to keep things as they are. When we start delving into the unknown this creates fear. The Ego voice (that is trying to protect us from the fear and the unknown) is much stronger in the beginning of this process and has been reinforced for many years. The voice of Conscious intent is not as strong—it is new.

Zen theory: True freedom is understanding which inner voice is talking.

Note: when we become intimate with Self, we are very aware of which voice is talking to us.

2.      Patterns: The voice is what creates the patterns. This never goes away. It is all about the journey towards greater and greater awareness. Habits or patterns may be hard to witness at first—they are somewhat ugly. We may have shame. Once we have the practice and discipline to accept ourselves then we are on our way. The opposite practice would be to walk away or to lie to ourselves. This is moving further away from the Self.

3.       Environmental health: This means to live within the rhythmic understanding of the natural order. To live within nature’s seasons and in turn, our own internal seasons. We learn to exist within these cycles. In other words, “if we wish that every day is the first of July, it’s going to be a hard go.”

4.       Tips: Use consistency, honesty about what you see (about ourselves and others) and discipline. Handle situations with functionality; adapt; stay healthy as you change. Trust in what you feel and get your head out of the way. The heart knows best.

Please visit www.qibelly.com to delve deeper into what Paul offers! Also check out his new podcast here: www.groupstupidradio.com

How to Stop Your Inner Worry Wart from Taking Over

If you could model your fingernails for the latest Zombie movie, then you may be a bit of a nail-biting worry wart. You’d be in good company as I’m a recovering worrier—worrying about life was what I did. What if I’m late for my appointment? What if I can’t remember what I’m supposed to say? What if I show up in my underwear? I didn’t say my worries actually made sense—all the best worries are about as logical as a Tim Burton film.

Here are some tips that I used to go from worrier to warrior!

1. Get it out: when we let our worries knock around in our brain the effect is an echoing, repetitive series of thoughts. It takes over. We don’t even realize that the thoughts are running on a constant loop and that if we actually brought them to the surface, they would stop being so loud. Write down all the worries that come to mind. Take a break, go back to it and write some more. You’ll find clusters of worries; you’ll find things you had no clue were taking up space in your psyche! The main objective is to get them out in the open where you can look at them.

2. Forgive yourself: now that you see what thoughts and worries take up so much of your energy and make you feel so crappy you don’t have to beat yourself up. This is not an excuse to say: ok, I’m a worry wacko. You had a pattern, maybe from childhood, that you picked up. So what. Now you can make a change and do something about it. Make an intention that you will choose differently from now on.

3. Choose different thoughts: from this point forward commit to being more aware of what thoughts run your life and insert new, positive thoughts. I call these the counter offers. Your mind says: What if I bomb at this interview? Your counter offer would be: What if I do so well they hire me on the spot? Take that, worry track! Try this and over time you’ll notice that you may automatically start to think more positively. Of course the tendency may still be there to worry, but you have a way of balancing it out by offering the mind an alternative way to see the world. You can choose this. I did.

4. Take care of yourself: we all know that when we aren’t get enough sleep, eating properly and working without breaks that it wears us down. These bad habits make us susceptible to more worry. We aren’t at our best, therefore we can’t think at our best. We need a solid base of health to go forth into the world with a positive outlook. Eat your greens, get your sleep, take time to sit in the park. All these simple techniques will help you see the world as a wonderful place instead of a mecca of impending doom.

Happy thoughts to you! Do you have any anti-worrying techniques? Share them below so everyone can benefit!

P.S. Ever wonder what Little Red Riding Hood has to do with personal transformation? Find out! Check out my brand new e-book What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After.

Are you Heartless?

In my mid-twenties, I had a plan for everything: the five-year plan, the five-month plan and the five-day plan. I even planned what to wear the next day. Those around me were included too; my carefully crafted plans involved controlling everyone within grasping distance.

I wrote lists and maps and charts for my next goal, accomplishment or achievement. This feverish pace kept me going, going, going, so that I never, never, never stopped to feel into things. Have you ever felt into a situation? Back then I thought that was a foreign and pretty creepy practice. I would scoff “what is there to feel into about life goals and five-year plans?” It took several unpleasant life lessons to figure out that I was heartless.

The problem with acting heartless-cutting the heart out of planning-is that the heart starts to vie for your attention in very odd ways. You can write out plan after plan and logically bounce your way through life, but sooner or later the heart will stage a revolution. For example, you’re knocking off your lists like a bandit, but you start to feel angry…all the time. Or you feel sad every morning and it takes a lot of donuts and coffee to shake it off. These annoying feelings get more intense and stay for longer. Welcome to the world of the ignored heart.

The ignored heart is quite a nuisance. It will pester you to death and ruin all your well-thought out plans. Just as you’re getting a foot hold on your five-year plan, the heart will throw you off track and before you know it you’ll be in a ditch somewhere wondering what happened.

When I graduated from high school I wanted to work in the travel industry. I imagined myself jetting around the world riding camels and climbing mountains. What I didn’t understand was that in my heart of hearts I really wanted to live the travelling lifestyle not WORK so others could ride camels and climb mountains. I stubbornly continued with my heartless plans and finished the travel and airline program. Mission accomplished-hooray! Yet there I was feeling disappointed, sad and frustrated. If I’d explored what my heart was actually telling me—find a way to travel and get paid for it—my plans would’ve looked very different. Needless to say, my career in travel was short lived.

As I began to let my heart tell me things I was amazed at how intelligent it was. My heart led me back to writing. My writing led me to express myself and help others at the same time. Opportunities continue to unfold for me within this realm and I feel extremely happy. So the next time you want to lead with your head and ignore your heart remember this saying: the heart wants what the heart wants. And believe me it will stop at nothing to get it. But so what? Who really wants to be heartless anyway?

Please comment below on your experiences of living from the heart or of ignoring your heart. I would love to hear from you!

 

From my heart to yours,

Eleanor
 

Take the Fear Out of Self-Love

I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, so let us stick with the timeless February theme: LOVE. Love takes many forms, but it all stems from how you feel about yourself. Last year gave me plenty of insight into how I treated myself. Frankly, it was a shocker.

You know those strange little behaviours that form the basis of your unique personality? Well, some of them may be outright self-bullying until you take a look at them boldly. Here is an excerpt from Chapter three of my book “What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After” in which I explore my fear of facing myself:

“I wasn’t willing to look at myself. I wasn’t willing to look in the mirror and ask what’s wrong. Why are you feeling like this? Why do you have so much anxiety? Why is there so much pain? I didn’t want to ask any of that, so I put on my running shoes and ran.

This frantic hamster wheel motion went on for many years, taking me from one place to another with my suitcase and boxes. I was worn out, exhausted and constantly in a state of anxiety. It felt as if something was chasing me; I now know it was my awareness.

I encourage you to look at yourself in whatever form it may take (the mirror, on paper, with a trusted friend/advisor). Instead of running or jumping or diving into the sand…let’s face ourselves and you'll see that it’s not so bad. You might even like it. In fact you will love it, because deep down there is a part of you that really loves YOU for YOU!”

Here’s to looking full on at oneself in the name of self-love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
 

Take a look at some changes I made last year—you may want to try some of these:

  1. I no longer buy things that make me say: “that's good enough for now”, “not too bad” or “I’ll just ignore the fact that I don’t really like it” (don’t ask me it was just an unconscious habit); I do buy things that make me say: “fantastic”, “holy sh*t that’s awesome”, “I love this for life”. Translation: does NOT mean more expensive.
     
  2. I surround myself with pleasant and beautiful things: aka fresh flowers, new pictures on the wall, and happytastic photos of myself; I got rid of and I’m in the process of exchanging/replacing and burning all items connected to past relationships, hand me downs and anything heavily laden with emotional baggage.
     
  3. I take part in gratitude practices and focus on things/situations/people that make me feel happy (ex. 100happydays.com).
     
  4. I take time to pamper myself: I went for a full body Dead Sea scrub. That was amazing. Not to mention being introduced to disposable underwear—strange concept, but interesting.
     
  5. I find ways to purge negative emotions/feelings/vibes through yoga, walking and journaling.
     

All of the above brings me more joy, confidence, adventurous tendencies and spontaneous bursts of happiness! How will you bring more self-love into your life today?
 

Is it Always Their Fault? How to Update your Behaviour Wardrobe

When you were a kid did you think—when I grow up I’m going to whine and complain about my life and blame everyone else for my own issues? Of course not. This is something you try on, decide it fits and then you wear it. Pretty soon it’s your uniform. Eventually it becomes everything you stand for and you start to cling to it like a 40 year old man wearing his painfully tight, cracked leather high school football jacket every day. You don’t see how weird it looks, but everybody else does. In other words, we get so wrapped up in our drama and story about being hard done by, that we are deaf and blind to everything else. We miss the little whispers that try to nudge us towards the possibilities and to grab opportunities. Take a moment to ask: are you fixated on how everyone makes your life harder instead of figuring out how to make yourself happy?

What does it take to throw away that old school jacket? It takes courage. You decide that you’re going to open your eyes and ears to what you’ve been doing. This is like looking close-up at a rat in daylight—it’s ugly and frightening and it makes you want to run. If you decide not to, you can always wait for other people to step in (not recommended).

Let’s take my life for example. I was about nineteen when my friends sat me down and told me that I was acting like a real pain in the ass. Talk about a WTF moment. Apparently, I was a walking/breathing complaint dressed like negative nelly. They couldn’t take it anymore. I still remember the shock, pain and humiliation that came with this intervention. I’m not going to pretend that I took it well. I was an emotional mess, but eventually I came to terms with what was being offered to me: a chance to live a happier, more authentic life.  Are you ready to chuck that jacket?

Here are some steps you can take today to rid yourself of behaviours and patterns that stand in the way of a relationship with your True Self. To let YOU come through so that you can experience more joy and happiness:
 

This is the starting point:

  1. Make a decision that enough is enough.
    You’re ready to make some changes in your behaviour.
     
  2. Feel the feelings that will come up with this decision.
    Don’t judge them. Allow them to surface and leave your body.
     
  3. Realize that you’ve made every single choice to get you to where you are today.
    Accept this with compassion and love yourself anyway, no matter what.
     

Exercise for Victim Consciousness

Write down two situations where you feel that life was unfair to you. That somehow you ended up there through circumstances beyond your control. With each situation, imagine that you had fully intended to end up there. What would you have done to make sure that you ended up in those situations? Write out the two ways you bravely made choices in your life, whether you recognized them or not—title these your “best choices I made at the time”. Keep the exercise as a reminder of how you can make choices and to show you that you are in charge of your life. If you ever feel that life has plopped you down into the middle of a landmine, go back and re-read what you wrote.
 

Exercise for Chronic Complaining

Write out your top five complaints of all time. Are they about what other people are doing or not doing? Cross out anything that is not directly about you. What can you do today to start improving the complaints that involve only you? Write out three steps you can take to change them and start doing them!

If there are only complaints about other people and their behavior or actions, remember that we can’t change other peoples’ behavior. Re-word the complaints in a way that reflects how you feel but doesn’t blame the other person. Re-name the list of complaints to concerns. Then take your new approach to the streets! Express your concerns to whoever it is in a calm and kind manner; make sure the other party is willing to sit down and listen. For example, the complaint could be “My husband always criticizes me”. You could reword it to say, “When you tell me that I don’t listen, it hurts my feelings, because I feel that I do listen. Can you tell me more about that?” Have this conversation over a coffee in the backyard or on a walk. Material based on the soon to be released book: “What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After” Eleanor Healy
 

Five Quick Ways to Rebalance Yourself, Anytime, Anywhere

Sometimes as I go about my day, I suddenly realize, the sidewalk is lifting up to meet my face. In other words, I’m woozy, fuzzy and completely off balance. How does this happen?

A number of ways—maybe I didn’t eat enough breakfast, get enough sleep or stand in the shower long enough…those all need to be looked into. Body care comes first.

If you’re still seeing double and couldn’t care less what anyone says to you, just get me off this whirling merry-go-round, then you’re probably energetically off balance. I don’t mean dizzy. There is a difference. Feeling energetically off balance is like watching yourself in a movie—you’re removed, you’re unclear, you’re unconnected.
 

You may experience any of the following:

  • Bone-weary tired like you’d be happy to sleep for a week as a nap before you sleep for another week
  • People really irritate you
  • You feel overwhelmed with your daily tasks
  • You just want to hide under the covers—go back to number one here
  • Emotional—you want to rip your neighbours head off for waving at you or cry like a baby because someone opened the door for you (yes men go through this too!)

Being energetically off balance is nothing to be scared of—you just need some ways to right yourself-anytime, anywhere. Like straightening a picture. Obviously if you are committed to some deep healing work, you would go to a qualified practitioner to help you through the stages of healing. I’m talking about giving yourself a hand throughout the day so that you can function.

All these can be done without anyone knowing what you’re doing or why. It’s none of their business anyway. If you feel shy—that’s the great thing! All of this is completely private and internal.

  1. Breathe.
    Go into a public washroom somewhere and take 5 huge deep breaths and let them out slowly. Control the breathing-this is not Lamaz class or Rocky pre-training pump up. In slowly and controlled-out slowly and controlled. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile (you can leave that out if there is no mirror or if people are around or if you want someone to cock an eyebrow, go ahead!)
     
  2. This is great at work or in a meeting.
    Put your thumb and pinky finger together on the same hand for both hands, so they are touching. This grounds your energy quickly and brings you back to present. It’s amazingly simple!
     
  3. Drink a large glass of water.
    Energetically this is very helpful. Anytime you’re trying to replenish or clear your energy, you need water. This makes sense as the human body is made up mostly of water. You can even bless your water before you drink. The First Nations people did this all the time-ask the energy of the water to heal and balance you before you drink it. Give thanks. Again this is all internal-no one has to know. To everyone else at the office or at home, you’re standing there drinking a glass of water.
     
  4. Protect yourself energetically.
    This can be done in any denomination—this is not a religious act. If you feel comfortable using the word God or Angels or Spirit or the Universe—whatever you call it ask for protection from other people’s energy fields. There are people who even unbeknownst to them, are sucking all the energy out of you. If you feel completely tired and drained after talking to someone and they bounce away feeling great-guess what, you’ve found yourself an energy sucker. Just visualize a light around you holding you in the highest good for all those involved…you will still give positive love and energy to everyone throughout the day, but any negative energies will go elsewhere. This will keep your energy field up and you’ll feel great no matter whose around you.
     
  5. Sometimes in a tense situation, I start repeating an affirmation or positive thought in my mind over and over with amazing results.
    Either the situation resolves itself or the person walks away or something shifts the energy. Thoughts are energy so if you put a loving thought out into the world, things shift around you. Believe me you’ll be amazed!! Some of my usuals are: “All is well” or “I’m complete and whole as I was created” or “I can’t wait to see the good that comes of this”. You don’t have to feel embarrassed that they sound hokey because only you can hear them! Once they start working for you, you will only have positive feelings about them. They have to be repeated though—usually once is not enough. All the affirmations I’ve used come either from Dr Wayne Dyer or Louise L Hay.

There you have it! Easy and quick ways to privately shift the energy around you to reposition yourself standing tall and walking confidently through your day.