Monday, June 13, 2011
No matter how brave, strong, or levelheaded we are, sometimes we all get scared.
Life can take us on a roller coaster ride full of highs and lows and twists and turns. Even for those of us who enjoy unexpected thrills, itâ€™s frightening to suddenly find ourselves heading for a deep plunge. Yet, it happens to all of us. At these moments, it is important to remember that you are not alone in your experiences. No matter how brave, strong, or levelheaded we are, sometimes, we all get scared.
Our fears may revolve around our physical safety, particularly if we are not feeling well, living under difficult circumstances, or doing work that exposes us to hazardous conditions. Or, we may be experiencing financial woes that are causing us to be fearful about making ends meet. We may also fear the loss of a loved one who is sick, or we may be scared of never finding someone special to spend our life with. We may be scared to start at a new school, begin a different job, move to a new town, or meet new people. Whatever our fears are, they are valid, and we do not need to feel ashamed or embarrassed that we are, at times, afraid.
It may be comforting to know that everyone gets scared, and it is perfectly OK. Sometimes just acknowledging our fears is enough to make us feel better. And while it sometimes takes a lot more to ease our mind, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that life can be scary at times. Giving ourselves permission to be scared lets us move through our fears so we can let it go. It also makes it alright to share our fears with others. Sharing our apprehensions with other people can make our fears less overwhelming because we are not letting them grow inside of us as pent up emotions. Sharing our fears also can lighten our burden because we are not carrying our worries all by ourselves. Remember that you are not alone.
Friday, June 10, 2011
When we hide and try to be invisible and unseen by all we are only really hiding from ourselves.
At times, we’ve all wanted to crawl under a rock and hide away from the world. We may have preferred to be invisible rather than let other people see us or notice that we exist. This desire not to be seen often happens when we are feeling very hurt, angry, or simply weary of the world. And while we may console ourselves with the defense that we are shy, an introvert, or a loner, we may actually be hiding.
When we hide and make believe that we are invisible, we can think that we no one sees us even though, truthfully, we are only really hiding from ourselves. And while we may try to live life as inconspicuously as possible, we only succeed in becoming more conspicuous because people can’t help but notice that we are trying to hide our light. None of us are meant to hide; each one of us radiates a unique brilliance that is meant to illuminate the world. When we try to dim our light, we diminish the natural radiance of the Universe, and we deprive the people around us of the unique gifts and talents that we are here to share.
Stepping out of the wings and letting your light shine is actually a way to serve the planet. We each have a responsibility to contribute to our community, and we do this when we let ourselves be seen. It doesn’t do anyone any good when we try to hide. We are all beings of light and we are here to light the way for each other. When we let ourselves shine, we become a bright mirror that others can see their own reflected brilliance through, and they can’t help but want to shine also. Shine your light out into the world, bless those around you by sharing your gifts, and watch the universe glow.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
The troubles we face in this life only have the power to dishearten us if we allow them to do so. It is entirely up to us whether we will stand strong as we cope with challenges or permit those challenges to have a negative effect on our overall wellbeing. When we choose to tread the former path, we honor the self-determination that has empowered us to determine and fulfill a unique potential. Though we will inevitably find ourselves confronting difficulties that test our resolve, we regard these as natural and conquerable elements of earthly existence. Consequently, no one delay or roadblock can interfere with our choice to make the most of the blessings and opportunities we have been granted by a benevolent universe. You will feel truly carefree today when you recognize that you can control how you respond to the circumstances unfolding around you.
Monday, June 06, 2011
What do you hear in the following statements? "I spent the whole week cooking and baking ahead , completing renovation projects, working the garage sale" Plus keeping up with the every day household chores; "The town's 100 Centennial lasted all weekend and there wasn't a single healthy food choice at any of the events"; "My sister-in-law is visiting, and brought her three boys for the week."
Do you hear yourself?
How often do constant demands on your time coincide with your having had a unfavourable week, unable to commit 100% to your weight loss program? What I am speaking about here differs from the "Monday, I start" lie we tell ourselves. I am speaking today about how you experience and deal with constant pressure to do for and care for others, and the feelings that arise when you can neither catch up nor make any significant headway. These feelings are the effect of dangerously flawed beliefs that are entrenched in our psyches. The root of our inability to take control of our weight issues and practice Consistency can be blamed on one simple reality: We are Overwhelmed! We have all taken on too much! Women, for example, in our roles as wives, mothers, caretakers, and providers have assumed overwhelming responsibilities. Those very same things you just labelled excuses are no such thing. They are symptoms of a chaotic and frenzied lifestyle that has spun out of control without our even realizing.
And what happens when we get to this point? I can tell you. We give up. Ah, I can almost read your minds: "Give up? Never! If anything, I find time to work harder!" Now don't get defensive on me because you know what? I believe you; so how be let's talk about that. You are drained, frazzled, yet you continue to do it all. You have no time, yet you "find" time. You are exhausted, yet you work harder. Do you know what that sounds like to me? It sounds like you have definitely given up. It's true. You have given up on yourself and your own personal needs. And the toll all of this has taken on your health and self-esteem can be clearly seen in the state of your body, mind and spirit.
Please try to understand that because of the lifestyle you have chosen and your desire to please, basketball/soccer/hockey/baseball tournaments, student/teachers meeting deadlines, and other family obligations will never end. I can promise you that! So, what will it be? When will you carve out the time "find" time. to experience Consistency in honouring your weight loss commitment? As you think about your response, think how long the weight has been with you...That's an indication of how you have answered this question in the past. Perhaps, today, you might choose differently.
Ladies, your life is not going to change until you change it! You will never have any time for yourself until you take it! Are you waiting for someone to say, "Geez, Sue looks frazzled today? Perhaps we shouldn't ask her to chair the basketball tournament"; or "Wow, have you seen Jane lately? She looks so tired. Must be the new job. Why don't we offer to host Thanksgiving? After all, she's done it for the past 25 years!" Do you think you will ever hear these words? NO! You will NOT! You see, everyone else got the memo about the power of NO! Yours, apparently, went straight to your spam folder!
In their defense, your family and friends probably believe that you love being frazzled and worn out to the point of exhaustion since you've always done it so graciously and so well. And maybe you do. The question becomes, "What drives you to say yes in the first place?" Could it be that doing it all makes you feel kind of special, accepted? Do you thrive on the compliments and recognition, even just a bit? Girls, get real! Of course they shower you with the compliments: they've already found the schlep to do it next year. For goodness sakes! Whatever the reason, when the applause has died down and you're home, ready to collapse, dragging your sorry ass butt about and trying to play catch up, what do you hear? Compliments, or is it things like, "There's nothing to eat." "What? No clean laundry?" "Leftovers again?"
What can you do?
Simple. Just say, NO!
Before I go further, take a moment to think about how much you do for others. Now think about how much others reciprocate. Does enough come back to balance things out? If not, perhaps the time has come to think about doing things differently. Saying no is not about them; saying no is about you and about taking care of you.
How do you begin? How do you start refusing new opportunities to burn yourself out without hurting anyone's feelings? Could you possibly do something so radical as to change your idea of how you experience your life?
Should you decide to try, allow me to introduce the Buffer. The Buffer is a technique that buys you time between being asked and giving an answer. Here's how it works: We all have those people who call only when they need something. Since we have always said yes, can we blame them for doing what has always worked for them in the past? Of course not, but now is the time to re-educate them. The next time the phone rings and one of those names pop up on your caller ID, let the answering machine record the message. This gives you valuable time to think about your response. You can take as much time as you like to weigh your alternatives and honour your needs. It's just that simple, right?
The next step in Buffering is the in-person Buffer. This one takes a bit more practice because it calls on you to break your well-worn habit of automatically saying yes. When asked to take on an additional responsibility, the in-person Buffer sounds like this: "You know, I would love to, but I need to check my schedule and get back to you." Keep in mind that it is important to use the Buffer, even if you truly want to say yes immediately. The Buffer will give you the space to evaluate, carefully, the impact this "Yes" will have on your life. Remember, you are Overwhelmed whether you enjoy what you are doing or not!
Okay, you created the Buffer, used the time to make a decision, evaluated the impact of a yes and decided against it. Now you are ready to reply. You simply call the person and say, "Wow, I'd love to help out, but I have a little too much on my plate at this point." Or, you could opt to tell them the truth and say, "I'm a bit overwhelmed lately; I'm going to have to pass." That's it. No discussion; no further explanation offered.
From this moment on, the second you notice that you are not eating right, become conscious of the fact that you have given up on yourself because you feel overwhelmed and overextended. Immediately, invoke the Buffer. Practice it, perfect it, and own it! Most importantly, don't worry: there will always be someone else to pick up the slack. And when you attend the event that you didn't have to plan, thank yourself and think...
Saved by the Buffer!
P.S. "Too much on my plate" is code for there hasn't been enough 'me time' lately. If you can't give yourself permission to take time for you, then allow me! I, NOMORESTALLING, hereby give you permission to put yourself first at least once every day. Take time to breath, prepare a delicious meal, read something take a walk, or just sit and admire your awesome self!
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