3 Signs You Are in a Fake “Textual Relationship”

textual

Oh.  You have another message.  Should you look at it right now?  You ignore it.  He or she knows you have your phone on you.  Something just doesn’t feel right anymore and you are really tired of this “textual relationship” nonsense.

For starters, what is a textual relationship anyway?  It is a “relationship” based in online messaging, private messages, Snapchat, or anything where you actually never talk in real life.  If you do talk in real life, it is not quite the same.

In a scary online world, where quite literally anyone can be behind the computer, are you sharing too much of yourself in these private messages?  How are you getting to know this person in real life?  Would you say the same things to them in the real world that you do online?  If the answer is no…maybe you should consider what you want out of this “textual relationship”?

What are some bad signs you should look out for?

  1. They use fake looking profile photos and have only had their account up for a few months.  Okay, I get it.  The photo looks great.  Unless it’s a fake photo or a photo of their cat.  Which never ever changes no matter what.  Also, were they living under a rock?  Why are they suddenly online, but have not been prior to 3 months ago?  Are they tagged in any family photos?  Any mutual friends?  Is their name even real?  Not if warning bells are going off and many excuses are made.  Oh yeah, and never send money.  <<< huge sign they are a scammer.
  2. They use a real photo…without their spouse.  They are sending you messages about meeting up…but you know they are married.  Why would people do this?  What are they hoping to achieve?  They are hiding something plain and simple no matter what excuse they use.  They say they are happily married, then that’s great.  Why hide behind a private message?  Does their wife know?  Probably not…oh and they won’t be leaving anyone anytime soon.  You can bet on that.
  3. They like everything you post…all the time.  Even that stuff from 5 years ago.  Red flag.  Why are they going through your old photos on every account you have?  Does it come up casually in conversation?  Does it seem like they are stalking you to find out where you hang out?  What if they are there, just watching you, because you know, you have never met them?  Better yet, what if they actually know you and this is a fake profile they are using to follow you around.  Yup.  Warning.  Warning.  Warning.

Nice try blogging lady, but this hasn’t happened to me…yet.

Is texting your sole point of communication?  If so, read on.  Do you feel like you know this person and could call them up?  Then try that idea on for size.  Ask them to Skype with you one night and casually bring up things only you two have chatted about.  See what happens.

After the chatting on-screen, don’t forget to make a date to really chat in person.  Once you feel comfortable…and of course, take the back-up friend to plant in the restaurant or coffee shop just in case things go wrong.

Texting relationships allow you lots of easy ways out, but they also have many downfalls.  You can read into the texts, dwell on why they haven’t sent you a text, but you see the read receipt, and it also allows you to only send them the best photos…perhaps with some touching up done.  This is so not like real life.  There are no filters for bed hair, morning breath, and real body functions.  Just saying.  In a world where you can be anything, be real my friend. 

Coping When a Dysfunctional Friendship Ends

 dys·func·tion·al

The friendship started innocently enough.  We had lots of things in common so small talk led to drinks after work, outings, and even group adventures.  I was so happy that I had found a friend who really listened to me and supported me.  As time went on, I started feeling heard less and less.  I tried to make adjustments in the conversation, but it always circled back to whatever new and terrible thing had happened to her.  Some nights, I would be on the computer for hours consoling her and helping her through something.  I would go to bed mentally and physically drained.  The “friendship” was not reciprocal.

My husband had enough and told me to just ignore the messages that always started out the same way.  It seemed she wanted to catch up and “talk”, but we never did anything anymore.  She didn’t call me on the phone, didn’t answer my text messages, and didn’t want to see me.  She just wanted to use messenger as her personal dumping ground all night long.

I felt alone and isolated in the friendship.  I was not important enough to make time for.  There were other examples as well.  An event we were going to go to together that she said we would plan…weeks later, photos of her with someone else at the event.  Exercise class no show…and excuses on nights I asked her to do something with me, or just come over and chat.  However, throughout this process, when she needed me or wanted to come over to see a mutual friend, I made the time.  I was always making time because trust is something I value.

That’s when it finally hit me.  I didn’t trust her anymore due to the lies and excuses.  I was nurturing a friendship that was crumbling because I believed she would wake up and see what she was doing to me.  It wasn’t going to happen because I was not the only one she lied to.  She lied to her husband, to her work, to mutual friends, and most of all, to herself.  I could not fix this.  She had to get back to seeing a weekly counselor and nothing I did or said would ever be enough until she was ready to work on herself.

How to cope when a friendship ends?

  • Make a plan. What would you do if you were to run into this person again?  What would happen if this person wanted back in your life?  I know the answers seem hard to think about, but it’s best to run through that now while you are fresh to whatever happened in the relationship.  The main question is does the relationship empower me or deflate me?  Is there capacity for an authentic, honest relationship or not?  Honestly, you already know the answers to these questions.
  • Write your feelings down. I know that this is not like a funeral…but in a way, it is.  You are dealing with the stages of grief, and it is a serious thing.  You have loved that friend, cared for that friend, and despite your best efforts, the friendship ended.  I haven’t forgotten the moments of happiness the friendship brought me, and despite the fact that for the better part of a year I saw the friendship going down a steep hill into a black abyss that sucked all the joy out of it, I still regret the way it ended.  But I also know it takes two working together to save a relationship.  Not one.  The primary emotion that comes to me is anger because of the way it ended.  Anger that I was made to be in the middle of something that was never about me anyway. 
  • Think about the qualities you really want in a friend.  I was in a bad place when we met, but as I started to get better, it seemed to make my friendship worse.  That doesn’t even sound okay to me now.  How could a friend not be happy for me?  I wanted someone who could talk to me in person and not make excuses because they were mad that I was doing better.  I am not sure why I didn’t notice it before.
  • That brings me to “Don’t take it personally.” Everyone is dealing with their own demons.  If the friendship ends, there is a good chance that it is freeing you up for something new.  It will hurt for a long time, but eventually you will realize that you have broken the cycle and moved on.  New friends await you, and this time, as soon as you see something that doesn’t sit well with you, be brave and have that conversation on what is important to you in a friendship.  If this person is meant to be in your life, they will understand, value you, and most importantly, make time for you.

As your self-esteem and self-worth improves, these old friends WILL fall away if they are not meant to be in your life.  You are making room for so much more my friend.  In my closed group, the Head|Heart|Health Club, we are working on exactly what we want to attract in our lives and that includes new boundaries for ourselves and realizing that it truly is okay to feel worthy.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life!

Well, we did it.  We made it to the first day of spring, but for many of us, it doesn’t quite feel like that outside yet.  In fact, there might have been sightings of snow yesterday or it might still be on the ground.  Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather has been a bit interesting.

For many of us though, no matter where you live or what the weather is, we can all use a little light cleaning, or perhaps some deep cleaning, of our lives.  It’s time to re-evaluate who and what you want to keep in your life so let’s get started.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life:

  1. I have no closet space!  Okay, so guess what this means?  It’s time to take out as much as possible, try it on, and part with it if it doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to wear it again, or you haven’t worn it in 3 years.  Yup.  Now make those piles, and include your shoes.  If you don’t love it, and it doesn’t work for you, it goes.
  2. Check the expiration dates…in your fridge.  It’s time to get some fresh food in there, you know?  Start with some nice leafy greens, more fruits and veggies and less processed stuff.  You will start to feel better.  More smoothies, and more prepping the snacks ahead of time.  Go ahead and add some fruit water while you are at it.  You will feel much better.
  3. And cue the Rocky music in your head.  It’s time to add a bit more exercise to your day.  I know, I know.  You have been avoiding it.  Well, guess what?  93 days until summer starts.  Let’s make the best of it right now!  Try some exercises at home if you don’t want to get out or even jump-start the next 4 Weeks of your Life with my baby-step plan.
  4. Clean the friend lists and streamline social media.  If you don’t really speak to acquaintances who send you requests because you might know each other from something long ago…or even better, have never met and they don’t speak to you, start thinking about clearing some space.  Especially if they are politically charged and you don’t have the energy for that in your face all the time.  Your energy is important…and keeping it clean is valuable.
  5. Mirror, mirror on the wall…I need sleep before I fall.  How’s your sleep schedule?  Try knocking off from technology an hour earlier.  No matter what.  Tell people as well.  Look friends, I really like you, but at 9p.m., I shut my phone off  There.  It’s done.  Now relax with a new routine.  Read a book, soak in the tub, and get some sleep.  Start a gratitude journal practice.  But try something new that helps get you into better sleep habits.

Start being more mindful today of what you allow into your home, your car, your work area, and of course, your life.  As you work to spring clean your life,  things will start to fall into place.

 

 

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How Irish Are You Really? A fun quiz.

Luck o the IrishHey lads and lassies, this is just a wee bit of fun for you today, but before you take the quiz, if you have Celtic Ancestry, or even viking blood in your veins, might I direct you to learn more about the Celtic Curse?  I happen to have it and so do many others, and if you have iron overload, learning about it can save your life.  I am totally fine now as they caught it when I was young, but I still have to have my levels maintained for life.  So now that I have taught you something serious, here is a bit of fun.  Feel free to share!

 

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10 Tips for Quitting Smoking

A Guest Post By Leo Babauta

I recently celebrated my one-year anniversary of quitting smoking (editor’s note, he quit in 2007). Well, of finally quitting … like most smokers, I had tried to quit many times and failed. But this quit stuck, and I’d like to share the top 10 things that made this quit successful when the others failed.

1. Commit Thyself Fully. In the quits that failed, I was only half into it. I told myself I wanted to quit, but I always felt in the back of my mind that I’d fail. I didn’t write anything down, I didn’t tell everybody (maybe my wife, but just her). This time, I wrote it down. I wrote down a plan. I blogged about it. I made a vow to my daughter. I told family and friends I was quitting. I went online and joined a quit forum. I had rewards. Many of these will be in the following tips, but the point is that I fully committed, and there was no turning back. I didn’t make it easy for myself to fail.

2. Make a Plan. You can’t just up and say, “I’m gonna quit today.” You have to prepare yourself. Plan it out. Have a system of rewards, a support system, a person to call if you’re in trouble. Write down what you’ll do when you get an urge. Print it out. Post it up on your wall, at home and at work. If you wait until you get the urge to figure out what you’re going to do, you’ve already lost. You have to be ready when those urges come.

3. Know Your Motivation. When the urge comes, your mind will rationalize. “What’s the harm?” And you’ll forget why you’re doing this. Know why you’re doing this BEFORE that urge comes. Is it for your kids? For your wife? For you health? So you can run? Because the girl you like doesn’t like smokers? Have a very good reason or reasons for quitting. List them out. Print them out. Put it on a wall. And remind yourself of those reasons every day, every urge.

4. Not One Puff, Ever (N.O.P.E.). The mind is a tricky thing. It will tell you that one cigarette won’t hurt. And it’s hard to argue with that logic, especially when you’re in the middle of an urge. And those urges are super hard to argue with. Don’t give in. Tell yourself, before the urges come, that you will not smoke a single puff, ever again. Because the truth is, that one puff WILL hurt. One puff leads to a second, and a third, and soon you’re not quitting, you’re smoking. Don’t fool yourself. A single puff will almost always lead to a recession. DO NOT TAKE A SINGLE PUFF!

5. Join a Forum. One of the things that helped the most in this quit was an online forum for quitters (quitsmoking.about.com) … you don’t feel so alone when you’re miserable. Misery loves company, after all. Go online, introduce yourself, get to know the others who are going through the exact same thing, post about your crappy experience, and read about others who are even worse than you. Best rule: Post Before You Smoke. If you set this rule and stick to it, you will make it through your urge. Others will talk you through it. And they’ll celebrate with you when you make it through your first day, day 2, 3, and 4, week 1 and beyond. It’s great fun.

6. Reward Yourself. Set up a plan for your rewards. Definitely reward yourself after the first day, and the second, and the third. You can do the fourth if you want, but definitely after Week 1 and Week 2. And month 1, and month 2. And 6 months and a year. Make them good rewards, that you’ll look forward to: CDs, books, DVDs, T-shirts, shoes, a massage, a bike, a dinner out at your favorite restaurant, a hotel stay … whatever you can afford. Even better: take whatever you would have spent on smoking each day, and put it in a jar. This is your Rewards Jar. Go crazy! Celebrate your every success! You deserve it.

7. Delay. If you have an urge, wait. Do the following things: take 10 deep breaths. Drink water. Eat a snack (at first it was candy and gum, then I switched to healthier stuff like carrots and frozen grapes and pretzels). Call your support person. Post on your smoking cessation forum. Exercise. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, BUT DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. You will make it through it, and the urge will go away. When it does, celebrate! Take it one urge at a time, and you can do it.

8. Replace Negative Habits with Positive Ones. What do you do when you’re stressed? If you currently react to stress with a cigarette, you’ll need to find something else to do. Deep breathing, self massage of my neck and shoulders, and exercise have worked wonders for me. Other habits, such as what you do the first thing in the morning, or what you do in the car, or wherever you usually smoke, should be replaced with better, more positive ones. Running has been my best positive habit, although I have a few others that replaced smoking.

9. Make it Through Hell Week, then Heck Week, and You’re Golden. The hardest part of quitting is the first two days. If you can get past that, you’ve passed the nicotine withdrawal stage, and the rest is mostly mental. But all of the first week is hell. Which is why it’s called Hell Week. After that, it begins to get easier. Second week is Heck Week, and is still difficult, but not nearly as hellish as the first. After that, it was smooth sailing for me. I just had to deal with an occasional strong urge, but the rest of the urges were light, and I felt confident I could make it through anything.

10. If You Fall, Get Up. And Learn From Your Mistakes. Yes, we all fail. That does not mean we are failures, or that we can never succeed. If you fall, it’s not the end of the world. Get up, brush yourself off, and try again. I failed numerous times before succeeding. But you know what? Each of those failures taught me something. Well, sometimes I repeated the same mistakes several times, but eventually I learned. Figure out what your obstacles to success are, and plan to overcome them in your next quit. And don’t wait a few months until your next quit. Give yourself a few days to plan and prepare, commit fully to it, and go for it!

BONUS TIP #11: THINK POSITIVE. This is the most important tip of all. I saved it for last. If you have a positive, can-do attitude, as corny as it may sound, you will succeed. Trust me. It works. Tell yourself that you can do it, and you will. Tell yourself that you can’t do it, and you definitely won’t. When things get rough, think positive! You CAN make it through the urge. You CAN make it through Hell Week. And you can. I did. So have millions of others. We are no better than you. (In my case, worse.)

 Editor’s note:  Lots of people have asked for this, so I pulled a guest post.  If you are interested in replacing some thoughts with positive ones and being more mindful of getting healthy, see the Work With Me tab as I would suggest the Gratitude Journal to keep you going on the right path.

Shedding Guilt and Regret in 3 Steps.

Wow.  Look at that post.  Shedding guilt and regret in 3 steps.  I bet that’s a really hard thing to pull off…says you.  It is actually, but it can be done if we repeatedly practice.  Practice?  Yes.  practice.

So the other night, I was at my yoga class.  I was waiting for some more students to come through the door, and the thing of it was, I had to check my social media for a minute as that’s how they reach me if they are going to be late.  A mom made a comment on my status that gave me a little pause in my head.  Should I feel guilty for being at my yoga class?  No.  That’s ridiculous.  This is not only what I do, it’s what I love.

Years ago, I had my girls 18 months apart and I took time off to raise them, breast feed them 24/7 (it felt like it), put my Master’s Degree plans on hold because I wanted to be there with my girls, and more.  Not once did I regret it…but other people seemed to think I should.  I went to college you know and I was “wasting” my education.

Other people sure do like to be in your business if you know what I mean.  Even family.  So fast forward through the years of health problems, pain, my return to my career only to leave it again, and then my new-found love of being healthy and creating a new identity for myself after going through what I thought was an early mid-life crisis.  <<< You might have been there, and no judgement.  Who are you after having kids, or your career changes, etc.  It happens.

Which brings me back around full circle to the deal my husband made me when I wanted to stop the 24 hour chronic pain in 2013.  He said for me to keep trying and he would fully support whatever direction I went in.  In 2014, I went to yoga.  I could barely hold myself up.  In 2015, I made it through 200 hours of Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training.  I felt invincible.

Now, take a wild guess when most people need yoga?  After work.  So I only taught one night a week and my husband knew that wasn’t really enough.  He encouraged me to teach and do what I needed to do and he would take care of driving the girls where they needed to be.  They are now middle school and high school.

I am only one person.  I can’t be everywhere and I have to accept this.  So if I had told people I was going to my “medically necessary” treatment, maybe it would have been better…for them.  So here’s the deal and the real way out of guilt and regret that you might be facing when you make certain decisions.

Try These Thoughts:

  1. Did you make the best decision you could at the time when presented with all the information?  The answer is yes.  I know that you did, just like I did.  When presented with information, whether you are thinking of something in the past or something right now you are dealing with, we can only choose from the facts at hand.  The mind distorts as we look back…so don’t do that.  You probably have said “If I only knew…” 100 times in your head.  The thing is, you didn’t.  I didn’t.  I can’t go back and change anything, and the truth is, you had all the information at the time and you did your best.  So we have to start with where we are now and move forward.
  2. Can you identify what the guilt or regret is prompting you to do differently now?  Okay, you did or didn’t do the thing.  You feel like crap.  OR someone else is trying to make you feel guilty and you really don’t.  Recognize where the guilt or regret is coming from.  Is it from you?  An outside source?  The past?  If it is from you and it is a healthy guilt that is prompting you to change an action, then you have learned your lesson and can move on.  Make a decision right now to make amends like leaving work on time.  Not missing a dinner date that has been on your calendar and calling the person back to apologize if you missed it.  Healthy guilt likes you to take care of yourself and your relationships.  Now, unhealthy type of guilt might come from some outside source.  You should feel bad because this person does everything and can be everywhere at once…but you need help.  That is unhealthy and not helping you to move forward.  No two people have the same circumstances, the same support system, the same exact thoughts and feelings.  This is actually your life.  So if it is unhealthy guilt, recognize it.  Perfection is a mask.
  3. Are you able to practice mindfulness and compassion…even with your own thoughts?  Want to know a secret?  The top answer all people tell me is that they are harder on themselves than others.  Why?  Because they don’t realize that others are doing the exact same thing in their heads as well.  I am not kidding.  I do anonymous surveys with my Club members, my newsletter list and poll the audience on my page to gather information about what problems we all face and how we feel we are handling them.  If we step back, snap into our bodies for a second and be mindful of our thoughts, we start to realize that others are having a hard time as well.  So someone made a comment…it’s because they wish they could put their health first right now and are actually struggling too.  Later, they might ask you for advice on how you make sure you put self-care first.  The guilty thoughts and regrets come because we think others might be doing things differently, or we could have changed things if we had known x, y, z, but the thing is, they were also doing the best at the time, and in order to forgive them, we have to realize this.  It’s a really hard concept, I know, but suffering through regret can be optional.

Each and every month, we work through these concepts in new ways in the Head|Heart|Health Club We work on being more present, connecting with our hearts and inner desires, protecting ourselves, and growing through the practice of self-compassion and awareness.  We learn to accept ourselves as we are and encourage non-judgement.  We are working each month to develop that “observing mind” that unlocks us from the pain of regret and guilt.  We would love to see you there if you would like to learn more!

The Quickstart Guide to a Decluttered Home

A guest post by Leo Babauta

One of my favorite habits that I’ve created since I changed my life 9 years ago is having a decluttered home.

I now realize that I always disliked the clutter, but I put off thinking about it because it was unpleasant.

The thought of having to deal with all that clutter was overwhelming, and I had too much to do, or I was too tired, so I procrastinated.

Clutter, it turns out, is procrastination.

But I learned to deal with that procrastination one small chunk at a time, and I cleared it out. That was truly amazing.

Amazing because I didn’t really believe I could do it until I did it. I didn’t believe in myself. And amazing because when it was done, there was a background noise that was removed from my life, a distraction, an irritation.

Decluttering my home has meant a more peaceful, minimal life. It’s meant I spend less time cleaning, maintaining my stuff, looking for things. Less money buying things, storing things. Less emotional attachment to things.

For anyone looking to begin decluttering, I’d like to offer a short guide on getting started. Know that this guide isn’t comprehensive, and it can take months to really get down to a decluttered home … but if you do it right, the process is fun and liberating and empowering, each step of the way.

  1. Start small. Clutter can be overwhelming, and so we put it off. The best thing I did was to just focus on one small space to start with. A kitchen counter (just part of it) is a good example. Or a dining table, or a shelf. Clear everything off that space, and only put back what you really need. Put it back neatly. Get rid of the rest — give it away, sell it on Craigslist, donate it, recycle it. The clearing and sorting will take 10 minutes, while you can give stuff away later when you have the time.
  2. Work in chunks. If you start small, you’ll feel good about it, but there’s still a whole home full of stuff to deal with. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (Not literally — I’m vegan.) So just like you did one small area to start with, keep doing that, just 10 minutes a day, maybe more if you feel really enthusiastic. If you have a free day on the weekend, spend an afternoon doing a huge chunk. Spend the whole weekend if you feel like it. Or just do one small piece at a time — there’s no need to rush, but keep the progress going.
  3. Follow a simple method. For each small chunk you do, clear out the area in question and put everything in one pile. Pick up the first thing off the pile (no putting it aside to decide later) and force yourself to make a decision. Ask yourself: do I love and use this? If not, get rid of it. If the answer is yes, find a place for it — I call it a “home”. If you really love and use something, it deserves a home that you designate and where you put it back each time you’re done with it. Then go to the next thing and make the same decision. Working quickly and making quick decisions, you can sort through a pile in about 10 minutes (depending on the size of the pile).
  4. Put stuff in your trunk. Once you’ve collected stuff to donate or give away, put them in boxes or grocery bags and put them in the trunk of your car (if you don’t have a car, somewhere near the door). Choose a time to deliver them. Enjoy getting them out of your life.
  5. Talk to anyone involved. If you have a significant other, kids, or other people living with you, they’ll be affected if you start decluttering the home. You should talk to them now, before you get started, so they’ll understand why you want to do this, and get them involved in the decision-making process. Ask them what they think of this. Send them this article to consider. Ask if they can support you wanting to declutter, at least your own stuff or some of the kitchen or living room, to see what it’s like. Don’t be pushy, don’t try to force, but have the conversation. Be OK if they resist. Try to change the things that you can control (your personal possessions, for example) and see if that example doesn’t inspire them to consider further change.
  6. Notice your resistance. There will be a lot of items that you either don’t want to get rid of (even if you don’t really use them), or you don’t feel like tackling. This resistance is important to watch — it’s your mind wanting to run from discomfort or rationalize things. You can give in to the resistance, but at least pay attention to it. See it happening. The truth is, we put a lot of emotional attachment into objects. A photo of a loved one, a gift from a family member, a memento from a wedding or travel, a treasured item from a dead grandfather. These items don’t actually contain the memories or love that we think are in them, and practicing letting go of the items while holding onto the love is a good practice. And practicing tackling clutter that you dread tackling is also an amazing practice.
  7. Enjoy the process. The danger is to start seeing decluttering as yet another chore on your to-do list. Once you start doing that, it becomes something you’ll put off. Instead, reframe it to a liberating practice of mindfulness. Smile as you do it. Focus on your breathe, on your body, on the motions of moving items around, on your feelings about the objects. This is a beautiful practice, and I recommend it.

These steps won’t get your home decluttered in a weekend. But you can enjoy the first step, and then the second, and before you know it you’ve taken 30 steps and your home is transformed. You’ll love this change as much as I have.

How Creating Self-Compassion Opens the Door to Healing

Self-compassion

Whew.  Some weeks are harder than others.  After coming off of my recent MCL knee injury, I was made to rest for approximately 6 weeks.  I had to learn things all over again that I worked really hard to teach myself when my body was so wracked with pain I could barely move.

How did I create self-compassion for myself and how did it allow me to actually heal in a more complete way?

I was working not to trigger those thoughts of pain, and in those first days, it was a struggle to practice everything I teach my group to do…which ended up being a blessing in disguise.  I learned now that I have those skills in mindfulness, which I previously did NOT have in my tool box, that I can get through the pain much easier. 

In our society, we are taught that bashing ourselves is not only okay, but it gets people’s attention.  Unfortunately, research has proven that this leads to consequences in the thought processes that actually perpetuate anxiety, depression, and of course lowered self-esteem.

Wait.  Where’s the good news?   Psychologist and author Kristin Neff, has said that cultivating self-compassion really centers around three things: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.  I had actually been practicing all three in my journal therapy and wasn’t even aware that it had been “studied” and researched.  I just knew intuitively that I had a knack for getting to the root of the problem thus helping others to heal as well.

Strategies for Creating More Self-Compassion

If you are working through emotional triggers and trauma, this part is a must do in your self-care routine.  I will kick your butt if you try that lame excuse of not having enough time.  Wake up at least 5 minutes earlier, put your sticky note on the calendar to journal and/or try one new thing a day for 30 days, etc.  Most people who tell others that they don’t have enough time are really saying Hey, I hear ya.  Taking care of myself right now isn’t a priority. 

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~H. Jackson Brown

Just saying.  ^^^

Now that some of you are pissed at me for telling the truth, let’s move on to the strategies.  By the way, if you don’t know who is writing this, read this link later. <<< You might be less inclined to be mad at me.  I have been there.

  1. Acceptance is key.  Thus the truth-telling.  I used every excuse in the book, blamed whatever I could, but the truth was, I needed to learn to love myself pain and all.  I needed to accept that I might not ever be well, and that my friends, was a bitch.   That was the other part of me that I denied.
  2. Dig deep.  Somewhere, deep inside of me, was the part that was hardest to make peace with.  It was the me before all this happened.  You know what, she didn’t ask for this.  Okay.  Got that.  But how would she feel knowing that I was staying stuck in my pain?  She’d be pretty pissed at me.  It is time to make peace with the old me, and become who I was supposed to be.
  3. Watch how the language changes.  I remember my dad.  Sigh.  He is still alive, don’t worry, but it was the way he dealt with this situation (bless his heart).  As someone who is highly sensitive to others emotions, I could feel his sadness.  He felt so sorry for me.  NOT helpful.  It was not his fault you see, but still not helpful.  As part of the parents who both gave me the hereditary condition, they both, in some small way, felt responsible.  Okay, so it is important to recognize who is around you when you speak to yourself as well.  You might be so programmed by your parents or others that you continue this woe is me…I am not worthy…I am so __________.  Insert your negative perception of yourself.
  4. Get out of your head!!  I am now great at this, but I was NOT for many years.  As a matter of fact, I have been practicing this now for 3 years and it has really changed my world.  In yoga, I mention this frequently as I teach my class this one thing.  Drop back into your body.  That sounds easy to do, but let’s try it right now.  Touch your scalp.  Feel your hair follicles come alive as you give yourself a scalp massage.  Touch the top of your ears, all the way down to your ear lobes.  Close your eyes.  Breathe deeply for a full round of three.  Say “I am worthy.” With each breath feel the worthiness come into your being.  Now open your eyes.  You have just soothed your parasympathetic nervous system.  Ta-dahhhh (you basically help the fight or flight response calm down).

Whew.  I don’t know about you, but I feel better just exploring how these tips really helped me change my life.  In creating my journal therapy content each month, there is so much more that goes into it.  I created a group where people like me could heal in a supportive environment and work through this “stuff” that truly gets in the way of our healing.  Never before had I ever, in 18 years, found a group that was working on healing the Head|Heart|Health of the matter.  Quite simply, I created what brought me back to life.

I hope this has helped you today and if you want to be included on my newsletter, the sign up is on the side of the blog.  Feel free to use the social sharing buttons if this article resonated with you!

She believed

 

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Reduce Stress Now With These 3 Tips!

tips for stressEvery single day, I see signs of stress.  The most stressed people seem to pop in to my yoga class as beginners.  They are literally alive with stress.  I can read their energy like a neon sign.  Do I have the right mat?  Let me look at my phone again for just a second to alert everyone not to bother me for an hour.  Oh, look at her yoga pants.  Is that what I should have bought?  My toes.  Crap.  I didn’t get a pedicure and this class sees my toes.  What if she makes me ohm?  I can’t be doing that.  It’s against my beliefs. 

Okay, so some of these have actually been said directly to me as the yoga teacher…and others said to a friend nearby.  It’s a small quiet space and I pick up on things.  The truth is, I can actually narrow it down to 3 tips because we just don’t do this in our lives.

Reduce Stress With These 3 Tips:

  1. Be present.  <<< I can actually end the article right here, but most people don’t know how to be present, so let me explain.  I read somewhere that being present is an ART.  And I want you to remember that.  In your Activities, Routines, and Triggers.  What we do daily…where we are.  Kids activities or yours.  Be mindful of your feelings and stress levels.  In your daily routines, pay attention to what you are thinking about.  Is it in the now or the past or future?  Focus.  Lastly, triggers.  These we need more help with.  <<< You can open my linked guest post after this.
  2. Are you taking a step back and breathing?  Most people do not take a step back and inhale deeply.  Even in my yoga classes, I actually have to teach deep breathing.  People even breathe quickly.  Like hurry up breath, I got things to do.  But instead, rephrase and mentally say “I can slow down and breathe today.”  If you take longer, deeper, more cellular breaths you will actually start to lower your blood pressure, so do that for a full round of three.  Daily.  Each time you feel stress, panic or anxiety come on.
  3. Think for yourself in a non-judging way.  As I said today on my FB Live, yes, this one is hard people.  Most people lack the ability to just let the thoughts pass by as observations.  Sometimes we think not nice things.  About ourselves, others, society as a whole, etc.  Sometimes, the thoughts aren’t even ours.  They were programmed in long ago by things we heard our parents say and now we say them to ourselves too.  But what if we practiced discernment?  The ability to practice more understanding or awareness.  What if we knew we sounded like a programmed robot on auto-pilot?

My glorious and wonderful friend was so scared of letting me down, her words, in my yoga class that she came in apologizing.  She hadn’t seen me in years, and wasn’t aware at all of how I taught yoga.  She knew she wanted to do it, and in her eyes, it was the Instagram version.  Umm no.  I am not an Insta teacher.  She thought she had to be flexible (no), dressed in the latest (no), and have a pedicure.  No.  It took several classes of me actually teaching the yogic breathing, philosophy and more to get her to come in to class and just breathe a sigh of relief.  No one was watching her.  They were all in their own heads.  It is okay to fall out of a pose.  It is okay to try something and fail.

The stress she had created in her mind was all based off assumptions of judgement, and fear of wanting to fit in.  As we practice patience, trust, acceptance, and letting go, we can begin to feel the stress melt away.  So what if you mess up?  In anything?  The beauty of life is that you can start again.   

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Own Luck!

Have you ever thought about luck?  Looking over at that guy in the corner office, with the view, while you are stuck in the cubicle, have you ever thought to yourself “Some guys have all the luck.”  Well, what if he didn’t just have all the luck.  What if he created it for himself?

For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.  ~Steve Jobs

I know that I often ask you some really hard questions on the fan page…or even during my live chats.  However, that being said, I have noticed a really great pattern.  There are some people who really appreciate thinking outside of the box.  These are the people who I can see changing their lives starting right now.  Today.  Going forth and using these 10 easy ways to make their own luck.

What are they doing that is different?

For starters, they are saying yes to things that they want to do…and aren’t just closing the door on opportunity because it doesn’t look exactly like they expected.  Sometimes opportunity is, in fact, disguised as hard work.  I borrowed that from Thomas Edison, who actually said: Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

10 Easy Ways to Make Your Own Luck:

  1. Reach out…and network.  I am going to be honest, as someone who works from home and has dachshunds as my office staff, when I need to reach out, I go through the interwebs usually or I message a friend who knows the answer.  I do admit that I have a hard time with this one and can count 5 people who are my go-to people.  If this one is hard for you, write down your go-to people right now.  See how many you can come up with!
  2. Is the glass half-full, half-empty, or are you missing the point?  It’s refillable.  Sometimes, the answer is one you haven’t even thought of.  Where is your optimism?  I love the question above because the first time I saw that quote, I laughed.  Why hasn’t anyone pointed that out before?  Duh.  So as you are looking at something new, think optimistically and out-of-the-box about what is going on.
  3. Do you spend time visualizing the outcome for success?  Let’s say you grew up in a household where ohhh I don’t know, let’s say your dad, thought that everything was going to turn out awfully.  There was always only one way it could turn out.  One way things were going to happen, and it was sure to be a natural disaster.  It is now up to you, and only you, to reprogram this kind of thinking by replacing this “programming” with better visualization techniques.  Start with the end result you want to achieve and work backward.  I talked about this last week, but that’s exactly what Jim Carrey did before he landed his first big movie role.  He wrote himself the check for acting services rendered, and he visualized every detail.  It is a powerful practice.
  4. Give freely of your wisdom to others.  If I have learned something that is working for me, I quite simply share it.  As you can read, I have tons of content on this blog shared with you guys about how to improve your life.  I believe in helping others by what I have learned…thus the title for this blog:)
  5. Trust your gut feelings.  This one also sometimes feels a lot like work to me…and sometimes it’s hard work.  I have to make calls in my business daily about what is working and not working.  Things that don’t feel right for me usually aren’t.  If something is bugging me enough that it is sending me a signal of my intuition to change something, well, I have to listen.  That is where the luck is.
  6. The uptight people are the luckiest…wait.  Hmm.  The truth is, the people who stay in their comfort zone, who only follow the same path, who have to do things this way and this way only, well.  Those are not the people I have seen creating their own luck.  I have seen the creative people going out on a limb and saying I wonder what will happen is I tweak this here.  I wonder what will happen if I put this large sum of money into this account or this investment or this new thing.  Trust me, it is hard to change old patterns of thought, but if you do, that is where the magic lies.
  7. Luck is going to jump out and find you…if you know where to look.  This is partly true.  I go with my hunches and call people up who I think might want to partner with me in my cool yoga adventures.  I have a wish list of people to call…and by doing so, I have created a really cool opportunity for me locally.  If I hadn’t done that, it wouldn’t have jumped out and found me.  I put it on my list and said, what if she said yes to this idea?  What have I got to lose?  Fear.  Okay.  I am calling.  And you know what?  She loves my plan and asked me to come back monthly.
  8. Take a big chance and push through the scary stuff.  Just like above, I have a “This is going to be scary, but what the heck.” list.  On that list is lots of ideas about things I see happening in the future for me.  One idea is for when I “retire”.  I already have ideas that far out, yes.  And it is so freaking wild that I love it.  Madly love this idea and want to do it now actually.  But, to be honest, I have kids at home still, so no Aimee, you can’t up and move to the mountains yet.  And have this cool yoga society of hippies.  But one day you will.  So if you need a 5 year list, or a 10 year list, create one.
  9. Don’t go back to that one time in the past when you failed miserably.  So, not everything always works out.  I have lost money.  Lots of it actually, and I have gained money, lots of it actually.  One of my dumbest things that seemed truly brilliant was my timeshare in Las Vegas.  HAHAHA.  No.  Just say no to timeshares.  They are like drugs.  Say no.  Anyway, for a while I thought about that mistake and then realized it was a learning experience…a costly one.  On where NOT to invest your money.  But hey, for a minute it was cool.
  10. Woo-hoo!  You have done it.  You created your own luck and are lucky forever now, so you can take a break.  Nope!  Not happening.  You will always be thinking so you will have to constantly realign your thoughts to the present moment and to what you are doing.  How are you viewing things?  How are you being?  What is your relationship with money like?  Do you think in the negative and live from a scarcity point of view?  Does one bill throw you over the edge like my dad this acquaintance I know?

Improving your relationship with your thoughts around luck and creating your own luck is what we are talking about in the Head|Heart|Health Club. <<< over there is how to enroll for less than $10 a month.  I teach people how to activate their gifts through daily practices in mindfulness and connection with the heart.  It truly changes your outlook on things and I would love to have you join my group!  If this article made you think, feel free to share it with others or use the pin button.

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