Wisdom From An Ancestor

My great grandmother had a saying; “You will never be truly happy until you think more about others than you do yourself” – Ura McGurran. When you make choices in life, do you consider how they affect others? Maybe too much. Maybe so much that you are living your life for others and not taking care of yourself. So how do you strike a healthy balance? There is so much emphasis today on self care and putting ourself first. How can my great grandmother’s words still be relevant now? Let’s take a look at some self care activities and selfless acts and see where the common ground lies.

Do you feel guilty when you participate in self care activities? There is no real reason to feel guilty for caring for yourself. Do your self care activities hurt anyone? One really wonderful thing about self care, is that by doing it, you set a good example for others. A recent conversation I had with a friend, was about her feeling conflicted because something she needed to do for herself, was being viewed as selfish by her daughter. I encouraged her to go ahead and do it anyhow because, by doing so, she was setting an example for her daughter about taking care of herself and following her dreams. Her actions didn’t hurt anyone. In fact her actions help recharge her to further help others. Even when we take care of ourselves we can still be thinking of others and the example we are setting.

Selfless acts can also be a form of self care. My husband helps a friend rake his leaves, every year. He has never been asked to do this. There is no expectation that he does it. He just does it because he cares about his friend. The really good feeling he gets in his heart from helping out his buddy is a form of self care also. Selfless acts can also be a form of self care. Does this idea surprise you? It is possible to think more about others and still find happiness and balance in your life.

When we think about people who have inspired us as a world, we see that their acts brought them both happiness and purpose. People like Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and the Dalai Lama; show us how caring for others is also caring for ourselves. I assure you, that new outfit will help you feel great, but there is no greater joy than helping another and seeing the true appreciation in their eyes. When we help others do something they could not have done for themselves, a ripple goes out into the world. The movie “Pay It Forward” taught us this. It entertained us while sending a message that “random acts of kindness” are a form of self care. They help us feel good and shift the energy of the world higher.

By thinking more of others than we do ourselves, as my great grandmother so wisely shared with her children generations ago, we are also taking care of ourselves. By lending a hand to those in need, we can find happiness, change the world, and set an example for future generations.

Yes, please care for yourself. Treat yourself to quiet walk in a pretty place or take a nap when you are tired. But remember, true happiness can also come from helping others.

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you. May your life be filled with true happiness, as if by magic!

 

 

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7 Tips to Remain Optimistic When Stressed.

Stress is a part of all of our lives! Here are some simple things you can do to help remain optimistic even when stressed. It may not always be easy, but a shift in focus, will certainly not hurt.

1.      Live in the NOW! – When you live in the ‘now” you are not worrying about what is coming (what is past) or how to make it be okay.

2.      Count you Blessings – Looking at all the positive things (happening) in our life, helps us not stress over the things that are making us feel stressed.

3.      Remember you are safe – Everything happens for the reason but even those things, that we do not want to happen, often teach us and help us grow.

4.      Paint a picture of what you want – Keep your thoughts on the outcome you want, rather than the outcome you do not want.

5.      Don’t forget to breath – All too often, when we are stressed, we either hold our breath or breath into our shoulders.  Taking some deep belly breathes helps provide a calming effect.

6.      Remember that failure is just a chance to start over – Some people think it is the end of the world but this is not true. It is a chance to start over and try again. By recognizing that failure makes success sweeter, perhaps will make it less scary for you. You now know what “didn’t work”, that will help you move towards the way that does.

7.      The sun will come out tomorrow – Like the song from the musical “Annie” says, the sun will come out, tomorrow is a new day, and good things are just around the bend. Even when we can’t see the sun, it is still there.

It is not always easy to remain optimistic when stressed or when (crazy) things are going on. It will, without a doubt, improve your outcome however. Whenever possible try and keep your thoughts positive and look to a brighter future. It is coming for you.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May your future be filled with sunshine and happy outcomes, as if by magic.

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Navigating the Changes of Now – Part 2

In part 1 we talked about discovering how we respond to changes and possibly exploring why we react in the ways we do. Today we will explore tips and techniques we can use when the pressure of change is causing us stress. Here are 9 things you can do to help you float through change more easily.

  1. Take a deep breath – Often times we breath into our shoulders. Breathing into our shoulders can increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Instead, take a deep belly breath; feeling that inspiration go all the way down into your lower abdomen, deeper than your belly button. During a couple of these deep breaths, allow the breath to slowly fill your lungs and then slowly leave your lungs over the course of 20 seconds.
  2. Visuals a happy outcome – Instead of worrying about the outcome you are worried about, visualize a happy outcome. Take a minute, get yourself into a quiet space, close your eyes, take a couple of deep breaths, and then spend sometime painting a picture of how you see the situation working out.
  3. Recognize your lack of control – This is a great time to remember what you have control over. You do not have control over the things going on around you. All you can control is your reaction to the events unfolding in your life. If you remember this, you can release a lot of the feelings of stress related to the need to “make things workout”. You can’t “make” them anything. All you can do is work to control how you react to them.
  4. Make a plan – Things are changing and you need to be able to roll with the punches. A great tip is to make a plan. A great plan starts with a goal. Once you make a goal related to this area of change; you can set steps or interventions to take to help you work towards that goal.
  5. Remain flexible – Of course I am talking about remaining flexible in you actions , your plan, and your response to change. However Yoga is also a great way to remain flexible as well as to remain centered. So stay centered and be willing to adjust your plan when the changing times call for it.
  6. Talk about it – Talk about your feelings with a close friend, confident, or Therapist. Sometimes saying it out loud can help you process it better. It gives you opportunity to hear your feelings spoken and this can decrease their power. It also gives you a chance to feel heard by someone. If talking about it doesn’t seem like a possibility for you , then journal about it. Keep a notebook, journal, or even app on your phone handy to give you a place to express yourself. There are some very cool journaling apps now, some even let you add photos or music to your entry.
  7. Look for the positives – There is good and bad in all situations, Yin and Yang. Even though change can be very difficult there are positives in it for you. Look for them and you will surely see them. It becomes easy to focus on the things you perceive as negative. When you shift that to looking forward to the good things about the change, it can change your whole opinion on the upcoming changes.
  8. Remember our exercise from part 1– You made your list of recent changes, you wrote down your reaction, and then you wrote about the outcomes. Exam those outcomes. Often change puts us into a better place. Just acknowledging that change can get you to a better place can help reduce your stress in dealing with new changes.
  9. Acknowledge your feelings – Don’t shame yourself for feeling fearful or stressed about changes that are coming. Many people have these same feelings. It is okay to be afraid or to feel stressed. What is important is to not get stuck in the stress of it. Don’t let it paralyze you. Take a deep breath and take a step forward into your future.

What things do you do to help you overcome nervousness about fear? Have you used any of these tips and techniques? How did they work for you?

Thank you for reading my blog today. May all your changes happen with ease and bring you to an even better place in your life. I love you.

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Navigating the Changes of Now – part 1

I have heard that now, more so than any other time in history, we are combated with multiple changes. Big changes and small changes are happening to us all the time. When I had my holistic healing business, this was one of the main things I wanted to help people through. Change can be so challenging for most of us as adults. Some people seem to effortlessly bob through the river of life, going with the flow, while others are like a rock slowly being changed and moved by the current. Which type of person are you? Are you somewhere in between? I am sure you can think of people in your life who meet both descriptions. Let’s explore why there is so much change right now and what we can do to navigate it more easily.

Why so much change right now? If you look at it from an astrological stand point; look toward what Uranus is doing. He is the planet of change and is associated with originality, progressiveness, and ingenuity. Pluto is another planet of change. He has to do with destruction, upheaval, and control issues. To learn more about the planets you can go to Cafe Astrology .com. If you want to learn more about how the planets affect you directly, you could consult an astrologist. I believe that the rapid changes in technology are another reason why we are having so much change. Few generations have seen the rapid advancement in technology that we are currently experiencing.

Whether change is related to technology, astrology, or something else we need to learn to navigate it. How do you feel when change is occurring? Does it make you feel sweaty? Does your heart race? Do you get angry or fearful and want to run the other way? Do you feel excited and look forward to its approach? Does change inspire you and cause you to set new goals? What is your relationship with change? Before you can make improvements to your navigation of change; dig deeply into how and why you react the way you do to change.

Understanding your response to change: Make 3 columns on a slip of paper. Table the first column change, the second my reaction, and the third outcome. Take some time and make a list of seven recent changes you have experienced in column 1. Think about how you reacted to each and put your reaction in column 2. Now think about how it all worked out in the end. Place that in column 3.  This will give you some insight into how you react to change. Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 10.27.47 AM

Once you understand how you reacted to past changes, think about the fear that was behind the reaction. Why did you have that fear? What kind of beliefs are behind that fear?

In Part 2 we will discuss some tips to help navigate the changes and deal with difficult reaction to and fear around change.

Thank you for reading my blog today! May all your changes are positive in outcome.

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Control?

Have you heard that control is just an illusion? This is true. There is so much in this life that we cannot control but what do we really have control over? We only really have control over ourselves and how we react to things. 

The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation. But you have a choice about how you view it. ~ Chris Pine

We all have choices in life, this is true, but we cannot control the outcomes of those choices. However, we can work on our perspective about the things that happen around us. You can look for the disappointment and sorrow in a situation or you can look for the silver lining. This is the most powerful thing you can do to control your life. 

You cannot change others but you can change how you react to others. If you are trying to change something or someone you are probably feel very frustrated, because we really do not have that power. We can try and force others to change but in the end the change will likely not be sustainable. If they are just making changes because we are trying to force that upon them, eventually they are likely to slip back into being who they are. I am not saying people can’t change. People can and do change. I have changed a great deal over my lifetime. But none of the change was because someone else made me. All of the change started within myself. There was a time in my life when I was going through huge transformation. It started by a stirring deep down within me. It drove me forward and I started pushing to know more about this. I started studying, reading books, taking classes, and joining discussion groups. And I did change. I changed a great deal. I changed so much that the me, I was before this all started to happen, would not recognize who I am today. The point is, I changed but not because someone wanted me to, it was organic and it came from within me. 

I once had this one particular friend. We started working together and things quickly went bad. She started gossiping about me.  Because of this the way other people treated me changed and they would stop talking when I came around the corner. I couldn’t control her or her behavior, nor could I control the way others responded to her gossip. What I could control (and did) was how I reacted to it. I got another job within the company at a different location. It was actually a promotion for me, so her bad behavior was a blessing in disguise. Because we were still within the same company, those same people could see that I was being quite successful and doing a great job, so their opinion of me started to shift again to the positive. I took control of what I could control. ME! 

The Problem is not your problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem ~Captain Jack Sparrow

With a positive outlook, good attitude and remembering that situations (and people) will happen, but that you can only control your response to them, life will feel a little less out of control. 

Thank you fo reading my blog today. May life always help you move forward in positive ways. 

 

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