They say, “CONFIDENCE IS KEY”… But what is it the key to?

I love to read little quotes that inspire me to be a better person, but sometimes, when I read something it really makes me STOP and think for a moment.

This was one of those quotes today.

I guess It hit me hard because I have spent so many years feeling insecure and inferior to everyone. I honestly believed that I was “LESS THAN” other people.

My life was a reflection of that belief too.

People treated me like I was LESS THAN.
Life treated me like I was LESS THAN.
I treated my body like it was LESS THAN.

Five years ago, I decided to stop hiding from life and step out into the light and share my experiences with whoever cared to listen.

I decided to share my art with whoever was interested.

And in the process of sharing, I began to discover that I was a pretty amazing person that deserved to have a life that was GLORIOUS!

So that is why I want to talk about the chain reaction that CONFIDENCE will create in your life, and why it is the KEY to a life that is Glorious.

 

When you have confidence you’ll believe in yourself.
When you believe in yourself you’ll have less fear and you’ll achieve more.

You’ll go after your goals and you’ll succeed.

That’s because when you believe in yourself
you’ll attract people who believe in you and they’ll help you succeed.

Then you’ll have even more confidence

And will now be able to achieve even more than you expect.

So aim to be more confident.


With confidence you can do just about anything.
When you’re more confident you’ll also make the right choices.

When you’re not confident,

When you don’t believe in yourself
you’ll, struggle, fail, and make the wrong choices.

Confidence is not something you were born with.

Confidence is something you develop over time.

 

Confidence is about how you see yourself and
what you think of yourself.

If you focus on all that is wrong with you and what you
cannot do or cannot achieve you’ll never have any confidence.

If you constantly beat yourself up,
think you’re no good,
not capable of achieving anything,
not able to do what you want,
then you end up creating a negative self-image and
you develop a lack of confidence and low self-esteem.

The first thing to accept is that the negative thought pattern that creates your low self-confidence is not something you were born with any more than you were born with confidence.

They are both just a thought process that you personally have developed over time.

Negative thoughts won’t allow you to enjoy high
self-confidence and get what you want.

They will produce more of the same negative situations and reactions in other people that you are presently experiencing.

So how exactly can you change or eliminate that negative thinking pattern and
have more confidence?

Start by changing the way you see yourself.

Focus on the things you’re able to do and the things that you do well.

Think of the past successes you’ve had, no
matter how small, and use those past successes as
building blocks to new success.

past success

Regularly think about the qualities you
like in yourself and work toward improving those that you don’t.

 

Create affirmations that make you more confident
I know this can be tricky at first, after all you want to get the
right affirmations and the right statements.


So as you can see building confidence is a lot like playing with building blocks.

One block added to another will eventually create a structure that resembles the image you intended to create.

Stop seeing Confidence as something you cannot have, and just start building it one block at a time, and watch the chain reaction it creates in your life.

When you do that I promise that you will naturally think less about all that is wrong with you and why you can’t succeed, and start seeing more of the reasons why you CAN succeed.

 

So develop the confidence you need to enjoy life, so that you get what you want,

so that you meet the right person,

so that you make more money,

so that you make the right choices.

 

Advertisements

This Virus is running Rampant…Do you have it too?

There is a virus that has been reported recently…

I’ve definitely suffered from it in my life.

Over the past nine years it has healed a lot, but it still flares up from time to time.

The virus is known as the “PEOPLE PLEASING VIRUS”

What is wrong with pleasing people you ask?

The answer to your question depends on where that pleasing is coming from.

If it’s a genuine

sharing

giving

responding

loving

respecting, etc.,

obviously nothing at all!

The people-pleasing ‘virus’ I’m referring to is one that comes from a less true or healthy place –

Such as a pleasing that may stem from

Fear,

Or a lack of self-worth,

a feeling that you must make sacrifices

Or you are seeking approval,

Or just giving in order to get something in return,

Or your motivation might simply be the avoidance of possible judgment

or needing to be liked

Or you are afraid of rocking the boat, etc.

The people-pleasing virus actually hinders your capacity to give and serve, because it compromises your integrity and risks you placing being approved over being true.

The greatest gift you ever have to give is YOU.

You can’t really offer yourself in a healthy manner if you are diluting yourself down by constantly trying to please other people,

Or trying to change who you are so that you can be that person you think others want you to be.

I am talking about your actions both overtly in what you say or do and your covert actions in what you don’t say or do.

When you behave this way you are no longer respecting and honoring yourself.

If you are not honoring yourself,

you will not be doing so to any other either.

The people-pleasing virus blocks you from showing up and expressing your true self.

It blocks you from being all that you are and all you came to be.

It will make living a life of truth extremely difficult.

You cannot hope to remain aligned to your values, principles and preferences as long as this virus remains untreated in your system.

If you are resisting treating this virus out of some misguided sense that you are helping people by agreeing with them un-authentically, or tolerating or turning a blind eye to something you feel is inappropriate, etc.

Let me set you straight…

Your not helping anyone that way!

The first step in curing this virus is a simple understanding that disagreeing and saying,”NO” CAN be very much a part of loving and respecting both yourself and another.

What’s more, we all desire authentic relationships where we are loved unconditionally, but the only way you’re going to find people that are a perfect fit for you is to be honest and genuine in your dealings with EVERYONE!

Seek not to be accepted, seek to be you,
and accept yourself for who you are.

Another way to cure this virus is by being conscious of your thoughts.

 You get to reflect,

to question,

and to seek out hidden intentions.

So what is it that feeds and spreads this people-pleasing virus?

Fear for one.

Fear of judgment,

rejection,

losing someone,

risking confrontation or an argument,

being seen as different or not fitting in,

being disliked, etc.

Another thing that will feed and spread this virus is the feeling that you are unworthy and not good enough.

This symptom will often cause you to begin placing more attention on other people’s happiness and value than you do on your own.

 

Another belief that will feed this virus is a ‘not enough’ belief in some way.

This symptom will often compel you to seek to attain that ‘enoughness’ through the validation of others, which is, of course, a futile quest.

Self-esteem comes from within: no amount of approval or validation ‘out there’ will ever give it to you.

 

People-pleasing can also stem from feelings of guilt and shame, from sacrifice, from family patterns or other types of learned behavior.

Recognize Social Anxiety Disorder Step 3.jpeg

For some of you people-pleasing can be rooted in a lack of boundaries (certainly has been with me) .

If you are highly sensitive or overly empathetic, you may experience other’s discomfort, pain, disappointment, anger, etc. to such an extent that you attempt to avoid that experience through appeasing behavior.

Don’t be hard on yourself or others if you spot the people-pleasing virus.

It’s love that’s needed,

NOT judgment.

 

Being loved and accepted, are very natural core human needs and desires.

If those needs aren’t met within, or maybe weren’t met as a child, there can be strong urges for quelling them externally.

It’s not surprising people-pleasing is a bit of a human epidemic.

It is one epidemic that it’s easy to have compassion and understanding for.

Please understand that breaking free from the People-Pleasing Virus isn’t about NOT having consideration or empathy for other people’s feelings.

It is simply taking the feelings of others into consideration, and then responding to them in a way that also honors your feelings too.

Unkindness,
Judgments,
Being rude,
Disrespectful,
Hurtful, etc.
under the banner of ‘authenticity’ is just making an excuse for the negative ego.

The best people-pleasing virus healer is self-love.

Self-love sets you free and allows you to express and be more of all that you are in truth and integrity.

Talk to Me Like I’m Someone You love: Relationship Repair in a Flash
That self–love may be an ongoing, ever deepening journey

I got out of my head and into life…Now what?

For the past two days I have been talking about how to live a more authentic life by getting out of your head and actively participating in your life.

 

So today I am going to give you some really great action steps that you can take to really cement those ideas I have given you this week.

Image result for cement an idea

The first thing you need to remember is this:

You have something special to share with the world.

Write notes with that sentence on it and post them all over your house, your office, your car, anywhere you spend a lot of time.

I want you to really search your heart so that you can discover for yourself that you really do in fact have something very special to share with the world.

Remember that it’s up to you to figure out what it is about you that is special and unique.

And then once you figure out what exactly that is for you…

I want you to commit to going out into the world where you can share that with as many people as you can!

Once you start living your life from a REAL perspective, you will find that your natural talents will begin to surface almost on their own.

But if you really don’t know what your special gift to the world is?

One of the best ways to discover what makes you passionate is to take a look at the people you admire.

Think about what it is they are being, doing, or having that you wish for yourself and then go after those things in your own life with a passion.

You must do this, even if it scares you, because you are here to help.

I am willing to bet that the people you admire are on your list because of the contribution they have made in your life, or the life of someone you know.

Very few of us admire a person because of their cruelty and selfishness, Right?

So find those traits that you are drawn to in others, and I am willing to bet, that you yourself possess those very same traits, but have just never brought them to the surface and shared them with the world.

Each one of us is here to realize our connection with others and our world through service and compassion.

If you hold the intention to serve in your heart, you’ll be astounded by the doors that open for you.

Once you have gotten really clear on your dreams and purpose, the next step will be to make a list of your fears, and then commit to facing them one by one.

Start with baby steps and move from there.

Fear occupies a lot of our mind.

I once kept a little notebook in my pocket so that I could simply put a tick mark on a piece of paper every time I felt FEAR, in one day, I accumulated over 30 tick marks. I bet if you did the same experiment, your results would be very similar to mine.

That was a big moment for me.

Getting control over your fears will transform you  into the person you were always meant to become.

Speaking of that person, strive to be your most authentic self in each and every moment.

Say what’s on your mind and tell others how you feel, even when it feels uncomfortable to do so because you may never have that chance again.

I have learned through my experiences that by making myself vulnerable I was finally able to know the depth of connection with others that was possible.

As an abused woman, I had learned how to hide from the world, so it was a really big step for me when I decided to stop hiding and start speaking about Victor’s suicide with strangers. That area of my life is extremely painful and I am very vulnerable when it comes to that subject.

But I knew that I could help others who were going through a similar situation find healing and peace like I was able to do.

But in order to help, I had to be willing to talk.

 

So now we have found our unique gift, and faced our fears…so what is the next step?

Show the world what makes you uniquely YOU.

Maybe it’s your love of crazy hair colors.

Or you might have one of those dry senses of humor.

Or a penchant for skipping down sidewalks.

If you stop worrying about how others might judge you and start being yourself, (opinions be damned), you’ll be surprised by how warmly you’re received.

If trauma, societal expectations, or stress have severed your connection to your true self, recall your earliest memories.

Allow “child-you” to lead you back to your essence.

While you’re doing all of these things, most importantly, be present.

The time to wake up and begin consciously living your life is NOW.

 

 

Within you lies the power to slow the passage of time.

Life contains an infinite number of moments; the trick is simply to notice them.

When you’re speaking with another person, look into their eyes and give them the gift of your full attention.

Accept each person, moment, and situation just as it is. By releasing expectations, you unlock the chains of dissatisfaction and grant yourself the freedom to be happy.

Image result for unlock the chains

When your mind wanders from the present moment, gently coax it back by focusing on your breath.

Training attention is no different than training a muscle.

With continued practice, you can begin to consciously choose your responses to people and situations rather than reacting to them.

And this, my friend, is when you finally begin to LIVE.

Don’t go back to sleep..

What is real anyway?

Yesterday I wrote about living inside our imaginations more than we live in the REAL world…

 

Today I want to take that discussion to the next level and see if we can really begin to get out of our HEADS and into our LIVES.

 

I want to start with a very strong statement- This statement carries a lot of power, so read it slowly and really allow it to sink deep into your consciousness…

 

Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it’s true.

 

When you believe all of your thoughts, you will find yourself immersed in suffering because thoughts can be deceiving.

Understanding and using this single concept in your everyday life, will literally give you the necessary power to ease your pain and lighten your moods more than you can imagine.

Most people, myself included, go through life thinking they are simply making observations, when in reality, they are adding to the facts and making judgments and forming opinions based on those observations and judgments.

Here is the second strong statement that I will make today-

Those judgments and opinions are what create our unease.

A fact would be something like, you ate 10 Oreo cookies.

This is something everyone would agree on and cannot be argued.

The distress enters your life when you start thinking you are disgusting because you ate the cookies, or believe you will never look good in a bathing suit because you can’t control yourself around sweets.

A belief is just a repeated thought.

So if you walk around telling yourself things like, “I’m not good enough,

or not pretty enough

or not thin enough,

or successful enough,”

You will eventually start to believe those things.

When you think negatively about yourself or others, it never feels good.

So why would you choose to buy into your own lies??

In most instances you cannot control the thoughts that enter your mind.

What you can control though, is whether or not you choose to engage them.

It can be tricky at first because most people aren’t even conscious of their thoughts.

This is because people are so used to believing everything they think.

I have found that it is definitely a learned behavior to question our thinking and then to begin to fully recognize that we are not our thoughts.

Pay attention to your moods.

If you find yourself feeling crappy, ask yourself, “What am I thinking about?”

Your feelings always come from your thoughts, so start thinking about what you’re thinking about.

My entire life, I have hated Wednesdays. Give me a lifetime of Monday, I can handle that, but Wednesday…NO THANKS!

If you ask me why I hate Wednesday, I won’t even be able to give you a good answer. I just hate them. 

So this was the first “thought” that put under the microscope.

When I did that, I was very surprised to discover that I did not have one logical reason for hating Wednesdays.

So I firmly told myself, “SELF”,

( that’s what I call myself when I talk to myself. 😉 )

“Self, We are going to stop hating Wednesday”

I wish I could tell you it was an instant transformation, and that I immediately started loving that day of the week, but I can’t.

What I can tell you however is that I no longer dread it. I am not a crabby woman all day long anymore, Wednesday has become just like any other day of the week for me.

And that my friends was a HUGE shift in attitude for me!

Understanding why we feel the way we feel, without placing blame on other people or circumstances is liberating.

Image result for stop blaming

 

Sticking to the facts, will allow you to feel much more calm and content in life.

 

If you could get cut off while driving without labeling the other driver an idiot,

or see the number on the scale without a running commentary, you really can cut out a lot of stress in your life.

If you can look for a new job because it’s time to move on, rather than labeling yourself a failure, you can avoid feeling depleted.

If you can understand your partner is not a mind reader, rather than jump to the conclusion he or she doesn’t love you, you can avoid anger.

If you can move on from a relationship without labeling yourself unlovable, you can avoid additional sadness.

 

Do you see where I am going with this?

We may not have any choice over the circumstances that come into our lives, or the way we instinctively react to those circumstances,

BUT…

We do have COMPLETE control over how we choose to engage with those circumstances and the feelings that we are having surrounding any given situation.

Questioning your thoughts is the next step.

Is it possible that the opposite of the thing you are worried about could also occur?

Can you come up with some reasons why your thought might not be true?

Can you see why maybe that person you are so angry with didn’t do anything to you, and it’s just your judgments that are causing you pain?

This type of questioning, loosens the grip of your painful belief systems.

Pain in life is inevitable,

BUT… suffering is optional.

When you compare yourself to others, you are choosing to suffer.

When you berate yourself because your body isn’t “perfect,” you are choosing to suffer.

When you blame others for the way you feel, you are choosing to suffer.

It’s nearly impossible to make positive changes from a negative place.

The more you question the thoughts that make you feel icky, the sooner you can get on your merry way, and enjoy life for all that it truly is!

SO… like I said,

“Get out of your head and into your life!”

 

Are you living in your imagination…or do you experience a REAL connection with life?

 

How Much time do you spend every day on “Auto Pilot”?

You know what I mean…

You stand in line waiting for something interesting to happen…

going through whatever motions that particular moment in time demands…

The entire time that we are PHYSICALLY “standing there”… mentally we are a million miles away.

We may be thinking of the next meal.

Or where we want to go on vacation.

Or how pathetic our lives seem…

We rarely even notice the people standing in line right next to us.

I want you to stop for just a second and honestly think of how often you find yourself experiencing this type of duality.

Please understand I am not asking this to INCRIMINATE you, in fact my intent is quite the opposite, I am wanting to simply open your eyes to the ways that you are wasting precious moment of your life.

 

Most of us don’t spend very much time living in the REAL world.

We are spending most of our time inside our imagination.

 

Let that truth sink in for just a second

NOW,

Allow yourself to accept the fact that by living in our imagination, we are missing out on the very things that we all want most of all…

A REAL connection with the people and events in our lives!

Think about it: We all seek after pretty much the same things,

we all desire to experience unconditional love-

To know simple joys-

And to grow stronger in spirit.

We all know that if we can just have these few simple things we will experience the unlimited freedom that comes from realizing that we are one with our spirit.

So what is blocking most of us from ever touching these few illusive treasures in life?

That is a tricky answer my friends, because it requires that you be in the right place to receive them!

If we truly desire a life that is REAL- A life filled with an  awareness of the countless miracles that we encounter each and every day that give life its richness and meaning, then we must be ready when it shows up on our doorstep.

If we are not living our lives from a place where we have the freedom to be real,

to be present,

and to live from our authentic self,

then we will miss the knock at our door when these blessings arrive.

As I look back over the past 20 years of my life it is so clear to me that all of the pain, abuse, and loss that I lived with for so long have been preparing me to accept the blessings that now surround me in my life.

Without the abusive marriages I experienced, I may not have been aware of the tremendous man that Jeff is. I might have missed out on all the love and passion that we share because I would not have been present and aware of his qualities.

But because I have lived with the opposite kind of man, and suffered abuse and betrayal, I am fully aware of the blessing that he is, and therefore I take the time to be really present with him in every way possible.

me and jeff

 

 

 

Without the loss of my son to suicide, I might not appreciate the time I have with my other children. I might get so busy and forget to kiss them, and tell them how much they mean to me. I might not understand how fleeting and precious my time with them really is, and never take the time to be alone with each and every one of them, talking and laughing and experiencing life together.

But because I know firsthand just how painful it is to bury a child, I treasure each and every moment with my children. I enjoy a very close and loving relationship with all four of my children because my relationship with them is a precious gift that I treasure.

Image027

 

 

 

 

Without knowing what it feels like to be homeless, I might forget to be thankful for the beautiful home that I now live in. I might take its security for granted, and complain to Jeff that it isn’t big enough, or good enough and in doing so hurt him and damage the love that we have.

But because I have been homeless, I know that any roof over my head is wonderful, and I am even more thankful because the home that Jeff and I share is a very nice and comfortable home that meets all of our needs and even most of our wants.

I am so very grateful for the blessings I am currently enjoying on the mountain top of life now BECAUSE I spent time walking in the valley and endured the excruciating climb to the top of this mountain.

I know that I may very well find myself once again in the valley, but I now have the wisdom and faith necessary to travel the valley with courage and strength.

I would not change one moment in my life, because they have worked so perfectly together to weave a beautiful tapestry full of synchronicity, and supernatural assistance that have combined with the pain and suffering to create a beautiful life.

A life that I am fully engaged with, and appreciate each and every moment.

Magic VS Mundane… What will your choice be?

I have been invited to speak at my class reunion this weekend.

It has been 25 years since we graduated, so I wanted to write a very eloquent speech that would uplift and inspire everyone to continue to reach for the stars for another 25 years…

But who am I to inspire anyone?

My life for the past 25 years has been kind of like one of those novels that you pick up at a truck stop…

My life has been one chapter after another filled with joy, sorrow, success and failure…

I guess all of our lives have probably been like that to some degree or another…

So I decided to write about the one thing I know for sure and that is that there is no better approach to living a fulfilling and meaningful life than to develop the habit of looking for the MAGIC that lies ever-present all around us—and within us—in each and every moment of each and every day.

Occasionally we’re surprised by a magical moment Such as  the joyful, uninhibited giggling of a three-year-old that goes right to our heart—

OR when an unusually beautiful sunrise takes our breath away.

But if we’re willing to look…
I believe that these magical moments are waiting to be discovered in EVERY situation.

Every moment is a miracle!

And to the degree that we forget this simple fact, we lose ourselves in mediocrity, conflict, and suffering.

Even painful circumstances inevitably hold within them a hidden magic with the potential to transform and uplift in ways we might never have imagined in our more unconscious hours.

Pain is a natural aspect of life,

But suffering is a choice,

Albeit often an unconscious one.

 

When my son died, The last thing I was thinking of was the hidden magic that held any potential for my future.

At that time, I was just barely hanging on to my sanity…

One of the ways that I choose to deal with my loss was to paint a mural in the elementary school.

cropped-nightmare-before-christmas-198.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

That one simple decision has led me down a road that I could never have imagined.

On my own, I could never have imagined the places that the mural in the school would eventually take me.

 

By choosing to be aware of the magic of the moment…

Even a moment as sad as that one was for me,

I was able to break free from the prison of fear, resentment, regret, hatred, and hostility.

I was able to somehow find the strength inside of myself to finally liberate me and my children from that world of pain and loss and emerge into a world of wonder, joy, inspiration, gratitude, and compassion.

By looking for the MAGIC, we find the tools necessary to leave behind both the guilt and resentment of the past as well as the anxiety and worry over an anticipated future.

Living in the PRESENT MOMENT is where the true magic always resides.

Pay attention to the magic inherent in your outer circumstances. And watch how your life naturally begin to reflect the peace and gratitude of acceptance as well as the power and insight to transform those difficult situations we all must eventually face.

Begin to pay attention to the magic inherent in other people. When you begin to do this you will see that where you once saw fault, threat, offense, and irreparable differences, you will begin to see innocence, beauty, humanity, and common ground.

 

Imagine living your life with the ability to offer aid and to connect sincerely with compassion and respect.

As we pay attention to the magic inherent in ourselves, we discover our previously un-imagined, un-tapped potential and our capacity to effect others in simple but profound ways.

In our hectic modern-world struggle to get ahead, I understand how you may feel that it’s far too easy to dismiss the search for magic as a possibly pleasant… but nonetheless impractical triviality with no real lasting value.

In reality, awareness of the magical may be the most rational and practical choice we can make.

In reality, the choice of openness to the magic of the moment evokes a clarity of thought and purpose which allows for far more effective and meaningful decisions and actions than are possible from our normal perspective of “have-to’s” and “can’t’s”.

This is the world of inspiration,

aspiration,

and certainty of purpose.

It’s the world where we begin to realize our true potential rather than remaining enmeshed in the mediocrity of self-imposed limitation.

In each moment, the choice is ours—

for the magical,

or for the mundane.

What will your choice be?

Here’s to the NEXT 25 years!