Posts tagged #treat yourself right

How to Say NO and Feel Good About It

When you form the word NO and let it pass your lips what does it feel like? Ick? Can’t do it? Guilt shower? Does your mouth even go like that? Since we obviously can’t very well go through life without the use of the word NO, let’s get to the bottom of this!
 

My first approach to anything in my life is to ask some questions—either out loud or in my journal.

  • What kind of person am I when I say NO?
  • What will others think of me if I say NO?
  • What consequences will I suffer if I say NO?

Anything interesting come up for you there? Sometimes you let things rattle around in your brain for a few days and then all of a sudden—eureka! Major insight happens.
 

Now that we’ve delved a little deeper with the questions, we can move onto some psychological beliefs we may have about saying NO

  1. Do I identify as someone who doesn’t say NO? Who would I be if I started to say NO? At times our identity can be a real jail cell. If we live our lives confining ourselves within the bars we’ve created, we miss out on plenty of experiences. Life becomes a very small arena of circumstances.
  2. Does saying NO really mean that I’m a bad person or unworthy or undeserving in life? This may sound harsh but believe me the subconscious doesn’t pull any punches. Examine whether these beliefs resonate with you and just through this awareness you may find that the pull of their influence starts to lessen.
  3. Do I live my life with the belief that I’m someone who only says yes? Do I strive to be the good person or whatever label I’ve given myself? When we live by these rigid rules of conduct we can’t respond in the moment as our authentic selves.
     

What to do about it:

Find ways to connect with our authentic selves: when we are grounded and rooted in our True Self, our true identity, we don’t need outside validation or recognition. We are free to respond as we are. Meditate in the mornings or even in the shower with the intention of connecting to your inner core. Ask for guidance or support on how to stay with yourself throughout the day and especially if things get hairy.

  1. Celebrate yourself:
    This is a way to validate yourself without the need for others and therefore without the need to please people by saying yes. Write down all the ways you are a good person—it could be very small things like you are kind to strangers and like to smile at others. You don’t really have to have a list of things that you do, it’s more like who are you on a regular basis? How do you greet the world in every moment? Celebrate that! You’re doing a great job.
     
  2. Write down all your fears around who you would be if you said no.
    Bring the fears to the surface. Give them a voice. Let them have their say. Then say thank you for sharing. You will notice that these fears may not have the Vulcan grip they once had over you.
     
  3. Saying NO does not make you anything.
    It is merely a way to show up in the world in any given moment. There is nothing shameful about being authentic and responding from your core. Say it with kindness and say it with me now: NO!
     

How to Go for it No Matter What Seems to Be in the Way

Perhaps you still have an old crumpled up job application from 2000 stuffed in your desk drawer. You meant to get to it, but somehow you just didn’t go for it. No worries! If you’re not sure why you can’t go for it, here are five practical steps that work as the salve for hesitation wounds. Try them out and let me know what you were finally able to grab by the horns (in a metaphorical way of course—I don’t recommend grabbing anything that has horns).
 

Ask yourself these questions to open up your awareness first:

  • What am I getting from not going for it? What is the pay off?
  • What would happen to me if I didn’t go for it?
  • What do I need to know in order to start going for it?
     

Now that we’re warmed up we can dive into these steps:

  1. Make a list of why you want to do something
    The more you get clear on why you want something the more likely you are to do it. As you write your whys down something will become abundantly clear. You’ll realize how important that particular desire is to you or you’ll see that it is connected to a deep and profound part of you. Once you see those reasons staring back at you, you won’t dare hesitate any longer! Keep this list visible—put it on your mirror or keep it in your wallet. Refer to it frequently.
     
  2. Make a list of your fears and worst-case scenarios
    Write down a fear then on the next line write: then what? Write down what would happen if the fear came true. Then keep writing “then what?” until you’ve reached the end of the line. Hint: you’ll know it’s the end of the line when you die or your house blows up or the world explodes. Once you get to the end on that fear move onto the next one until you’ve purged all the biggest fears you have. The point of this is to see how silly our fears can be or how deeply rooted they are. The more we voice our fears the less they grip our subconscious. It’s like shedding light on the dark scary stairway—the stairs are just in need of a good coat of paint. In other words, our fears needn’t run our life. We can look at them, accept that they are there and make peace with them. At least you’ll know what you’re working with. Keep this list visible and handy like the previous one and refer to it when you feel some anxiety coming up.
     
  3. Prepare and intend
    Put some ritual into your go for it. This is where you make a declaration with your quill pen and seal it off with hot wax, frame it and salute it. Make it official. I intend to xyz on such and such date. Declare it. This is the way to give your heart’s desires a voice and the attention they deserve. Better yet declare it on your Facebook page. There is no way you’ll change your mind once it’s in Facebook land. So, think about what you really, really want to go for and then make a ritual around intending to do it. You’ll be amazed at the power behind it!
     
  4. Gather your forces
    You need your team around you for this. By team I mean people, pets, those on the other side, your other worldly cheerleaders, whomever stands as a support system for you. You are going to tell them what you want to do and then ask for their support. Whether it’s a phone call, a prayer, a ceremony or a huddle, gather your forces and let them know that you need them!
     
  5. Celebrate!
    Whether you got the job, the date or the spot on the Amazing Race is irrelevant. The point is to celebrate the act of going for it. You went for it! No matter what the outcome was you did it. This is definite cause to shout your accomplishment from the rooftops! Go out for dinner, put your feet up or buy yourself the new juicer you’ve always wanted. You deserve it.

    I hope these five tips help you get out there and go for it! I would love to hear about your experiences—email me at eleanor@trulyme.ca

If you prefer listening instead of reading, here is the link to my podcast on this very same topic :

Stitcher

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Where’s the Fun in That?

How much fun do you have? If you said, “Eleanor, I always have fun” please empathize with me for the rest of this post. I come from a long line of ancestors with a record that skips like this: “work hard, get things done, roll up your sleeves, don’t be afraid of a little hard work, laziness is a serious offense, rest is not in our vocabulary, and what are you sitting around for don't you know there's work to be done?”
Of course, some of my family members manage to relax a little and get around the background theme song, but it’s in there like a well-worn brain pathway. Recently, I realized that i put forth a lot of energy “working” and not a lot of energy “fun-ing”.

Since, I don’t want to end up looking like an old sea captain with a leather purse for a face, I’m determined to change this! (I picture an old man in a wool sweater working his fingers to the bone every day with not a second of non-work related energy expended). If you can relate lets change that today!
 

Here we go, let the fun-ing begin: 

  1. Schedule in some fun. 
    As ridiculous as this sounds, according to an astrology reading I had, not only do I work hard, but I also approach fun with the same hard work ethic. In other words, I sit down and say—Ok, some fun needs to go on this week. How do I strategically insert the necessary amount of units? So I am gently reminding myself that I can just say—I’m taking the afternoon off to hit the streets of downtown—either walk the Lake boardwalk or go for a hike through a beautiful park or meet up with a friend for lunch. Check.
     
  2. Put a boundary around work times. 
    This is a similar thing but with more specific instructions. For example, I don’t work weekends. I only work until 6:30 pm at night as a general rule, except for evening meetings. I limit the amount of evening meetings. Being self-employed can turn into one long work day—from January to December—if you’re not careful.
     
  3. What do I love? 
    Beaches & flip flops, cooking classes, cute furry animals, the forest, documentary films, good conversation over wine & snacks. Now I have some tangible things to work with. I can take a vacation where I wear flip flops...look up the latest cooking class online...arrange a night out with friends...go to the hot docs fest! What’s on your list?
     
  4. Meditation. 
    Joy comes in all shapes and sizes. Fun can simply be the time I give myself to go within and re-calibrate my frazzled nerves. I make time for this ever day. This also opens up the ideas on how to have more fun!
     
  5. Spontaneity.
    This one is tough for me and not natural. It takes practice for me to say yes to things that pop up. I promised myself this year that I will say yes to all invitations that come across my radar. Like the Jim Carey movie! I’ll let you know how it works out.

I hope you enjoyed my list of ways to insert more fun into life. Think about how this sits with you and make your own list or use the suggestions I have here. Excuse me it’s three o-clock: fun time!
 

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?
 

5 Ways to Deal with Rejection and Love yourself More than Ever

When someone you care about deeply rejects you in some way, whether they leave, tell you they don’t love you anymore or somehow decide they don’t want to be around you—that hurts. In fact that is an obscene understatement. Rejection can knock the wind out of you so much so that you don’t know if you’re coming or going. Especially if you feel that the rejection comes out of nowhere as if you were merrily dancing along when you ran face first into the lamppost. I have experienced this many times in my life—rejection of my projects, my ideas and worst of all my heart. I have also rejected others, sometimes cruelly so. No matter which end you’re staring at, it stinks. I’ve also discovered that rejection can be an opportunity to hug your cherished ideals, dreams or your heart (the way you would hug a child who’s just run head first into a lamppost). What better way to recover from rejection than to love yourself more than ever? Here are five ways that soothe the pain of rejection and help me move forward with a stronger belief in myself. My hope is that these suggestions will also bring you relief. 

  1. Get angry.
    Don’t deny the feelings that come up. If you’re afraid of your anger or think it’s not nice to get angry you’ll push those emotions down and sooner or later they will pop up-like a soccer ball held under the water. So, just deal with the emotions as they happen-feel them and express them without berating yourself. Punch some pillows, scream in the basement, jump up and down—do whatever it takes to let it move through your system. I’ve learned over the years not to get onto the computer and send angry emails or leave voice messages. That just leads down a path of misery and having to deal with a bunch of unwanted consequences. Express the anger, but leave other people out of it. They are your feelings so deal with them yourself. The key is not to judge the feelings—just feel them. This goes for any feelings that arise. 
     
  2. Get rest.
    Usually after an emotional blow or intense experience you feel very tired. It’s like you’ve just run a marathon that you didn’t know you were in. Take the time to go to bed early. Come home from work and go to bed if you can or at least downgrade all activities to the bare minimum. This is taking care of yourself. This is loving yourself. In the end, this will help you recover and come out stronger and more able to help those around you. Don’t underestimate this point. Your mind, body and spirit need time to recuperate and process the rejection. Take your time until you feel your energy slowly returning.
     
  3. Get perspective.
    Here’s the chance to turn things around for yourself. Rejection is not personal. The person may be rejecting themselves, rejecting something that they don’t want to deal with, rejecting an experience they’d rather avoid or they simply don’t want to partake. Whatever it is, do you see that it is about them? It’s not wrong or right, it’s their choice. They chose not to accept whatever it was you were offering. That doesn’t mean that what you offered was automatically crap. That somehow you are flawed and unworthy. It means the person didn’t want what you wanted to give them. Period. So, all the pain and stories that we can come up with as to why they rejected it or what they didn’t like, etc. is an elaborate distraction from the facts. You offered something and the person said no. If you can get your brain to that point or tap into your inner awareness that this has nothing to do with you, then you’ve come through the thickest part. Yes, I even mean when we offer “ourselves”—our love. Your love for someone can’t be rejected. In other words, love can’t be destroyed or changed. You love someone and that’s that. The fact that they don’t reciprocate doesn’t diminish your love or make you less than.
     
  4. Get back up.
    When we react to something that hurts us it may feel like we’ve fallen and don’t feel like getting up. In my world getting up means to remind myself how amazing I am. How much I love being me. Yes, it sounds cheesy, but it’s worked so well for me countless times that I don’t mind when people think I’m a Pollyanna. If you think this is silly just consider how far you’ve come telling yourself how stupid, ridiculous, ugly, fat, irresponsible and unworthy you are. Try the other way—trust me it’s much more fun and helps you get back up. I do funny things like putting heart stickers all over my computer or I say I love you into the mirror in the morning. You’ll be amazed how fast the rejection sting fades into the distance.
     
  5. Get compassionate.
    The last piece is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try to imagine their life and why they might’ve rejected you. If you can spend some time thinking about their situation you will see that it might start to make sense to you. You don’t have to like the decision they made but reaching a deeper understanding of the other person may help. In certain situations you may not have the slightest clue what their motivations were. This may be more challenging but give them the benefit of the doubt that they had a good reason for the choice they made. In the end, all we can do is our best in each moment.