Standing Up for Ourselves

Melody-Beattie-8x6.jpgMelody Beattie writes:

“We learn some behaviors have self-defeating consequences, while others have beneficial consequences. We learn we have choices” Beyond Codependency

It is so easy to come to the defense of others. How clear it is when others are being used, controlled, manipulated, or abused. It is so easy to fight their battles, become righteously indignant, rally to their aid, and spur them on to victory.

“You have rights,” we tell them. “And those rights are being violated. Stand up for yourself, without guilt.”

Why is it so hard, then, for us to rally to our own behalf? Why can’t we see when we are being used, victimized, lied to, manipulated, or otherwise violated? Why is it so difficult for us to stand up for ourselves?

There are times in life when we can walk a gentle, loving path. There are times, however, when we need to stand up for ourselves – when walking the gentle, loving path puts us deeper into the hands of those who could mistreat us.

Some days, the lesson we’re to be learning and practicing is one of setting boundaries. Some days, the lesson we’re learning is that of fighting for our own rights and ourselves.

Sometimes, the lesson won’t stop until we do.

Today, I will rally to my own cause. I will remember that it is okay to stand up for myself when that action is appropriate. Help me, God, to let go of my need to be victimized. Help me appropriately, and with confidence, stand up for myself.

via Blog | Just For Today Meditations | Maintaining A Life.

12 Rules to Live By

My Philosophy Bookshelf(top)

Craig Ballantyne writes:

The one thing I admire about people who have strong nutrition beliefs is their dogmatic behavior.

For example, a vegetarian, under no circumstances, will ever eat meat. There is no, “well, everyone else is having a burger, so just this once, I will too.”

That’s not how it works.

Not when a vegetarian has a strong personal philosophy that they never, ever, ever eat meat.

And that strong personal philosophy guides them to guilt-free behavior that is congruent with their goals.

I’ve also taught my fat loss clients to develop their own personal philosophy – essentially a set of rules that dictate decisions, and I’ve also created my own rules that determine how I live my life so that I reduce guilt, stress, and wasted emotional energy.

Now the purpose of this email is not to say that my personal philosophies are wrong or right.

Instead, they are simply here to encourage you to adopt your own rules for the sake of living a better, more productive stress free life. You may have your own rules in your head, but I encourage you to put them in writing. And you can adopt a set of rules for every aspect of your life, from health to financial to family and business.

Go to the source if you’d like to get the rest of Craig’s perspective: » 12 Rules to Live By :zenhabits

Nurturing Self Care

Today you get a double shot of Melody Beattie because I need it!

“…there isn’t a guidebook for setting boundaries. Each of us has our own guide inside ourselves. If we continue to work at recovery, our boundaries will develop. They will get healthy and sensitive. Our selves will tell us what we need to know, and we’ll love ourselves enough to listen.” Beyond Codependency

What do we need to do to take care of ourselves? Listen to that voice inside. What makes you angry? What have you had enough of? What don’t you trust? What doesn’t feel right? What can’t you stand? What makes you uncomfortable? What do you want? Need? What don’t you want and need? What do you like? What would feel good? In recovery, we learn that self care leads us on the path to God’s will and plan for our life. Self-care never leads away from our highest good; it leads toward it. Learn to nurture that voice inside. We can trust ourselves. We can take care of ourselves. We are wiser than we think. Our guide is within, ever present. Listen to, trust, and nurture that guide.

Today, I will affirm that gift to the Universe and myself. I will remember that nurturing self care delivers that gift in its highest form.

via Blog | Just For Today Meditations | Maintaining A Life.

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Laying the Foundation

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

The groundwork has been laid.

Do you not see that?

Don’t you understand that all you have gone through was for a purpose?

There was a reason, a good reason, for the waiting, the struggle, the pain, and finally the release.

You have been prepared. The same way a builder must first tear down and dig out the old to make way for the new, your Higher Power has been cleaning out the foundation in your life.

Have you ever watched a builder at construction? When he begins his work, it looks worse than before he began. What is old and decayed must be removed. What is insufficient or too weak to support the new structure must be removed, replaced, or reinforced. No builder who cares about his or her work would put a new surface over an insufficient support system. The foundation would give way. It would not last.

If the finished product is to be what is desired, the work must be done thoroughly from the bottom up. As the work progresses, it often appears to be an upheaval. Often, it does not seem to make sense. It may appear to be wasted time and effort, because we cannot see the final product yet.

But it is so important that the foundation be laid properly if the fun work, the finishing touches, is to be all that we want it to be.

This long, hard time in your life has been for laying of groundwork. It was not without purpose, although at times the purpose may not have been evident or apparent.

Now, the foundation has been laid. The structure is solid.

Now, it is time for the finishing touches, the completion.

It is time to move the furniture in and enjoy the fruits of the labor.

Congratulations. You have had the patience to endure the hard parts. You have trusted, surrendered, and allowed your Higher Power and the Universe to heal and prepare you.

Now, you shall enjoy the good that has been planned.

Now, you shall see the purpose.

Now, it shall all come together and make sense.

Enjoy.

Today, I will surrender to the laying of the foundation – the groundwork – in my life. If it is time to enjoy the placement of the finishing touches, I will surrender to that, and enjoy that too. I will remember to be grateful for a Higher Power that is a Master Builder and only has my best interests in mind, creating and constructing my life. I will be grateful for my Higher Power’s care and attention to details in laying the foundation – even though I become impatient at times. I will stand in awe at the beauty of God’s finished product.

Source: Blog | Just For Today Meditations | Maintaining A Life

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I Love You, But Please Stop Talking…

donna-gates.pngDonna Gates writes:

When we think and when we speak, we create.

Ask yourself the following:

Throughout my day, how many times am I thinking and speaking of:

1)Old things and experiences?

2)Things in society I dislike and wish would change?

3)Things I actually wish to create and experiences I wish to have?

Too often we play out the same dramas with different people.

Too often we give a voice to our worries, our fears, and our stress.

It can be difficult not to think and talk about stressful life events. When we speak about what is on our mind, we release some mental and emotional pressure. If we do not disperse the gloomy cloud that hangs around us, we at least have someone to share it with.

In conversation or in thought, the creative act happens in increments. Slowly, one small creation builds upon another. Before you know it, you are thinking about and speaking about the very experience that you do not want.

Every time we engage our fears and worries, we are putting our focus on things we do not want to experience. So then why are we spending so much time making them part of our reality?

During the first months of the New Year, many of us will begin a new exercise program, quit an unhealthy habit or choose a way of eating for vibrant health.

Whether it is the New Year or not, you can always give yourself the support that you need to succeed.

While each of us is unique, I often find that changing your inner ecosystem with fermented foods and beverages goes hand in hand with strengthening the will for transformation.

Raising your vibration on the inside helps to raise the vibration on the outside, including the good feeling states that promote optimistic thoughts and language.

Often at the end of the year, we focus on our flaws and our mistakes. This needs to stop. We need to change our perspective. Our misfortunes are clues. Our setbacks in health are communications from our body.

Thus we should see all the old events or trials and current misfortunes or imperfections as opportunities that bring us one step closer to understanding that the present moment is the right time for gratitude and the only time to focus on where you are going.

When we grasp that—we are one step closer to living our dreams.

via I Love You, But Please Stop Talking….

5 Ways to Keep the ‘Happy’ in Your Happy Holidays

Marci Shimoff shares a healthy perspective for the holidays:

For the last three mornings, I’ve woken up with the holiday songIt’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” going through my head. (Those store soundtracks have an insidious way of taking over your brain!)

My spontaneous rebuttal is “It’s the most STRESSFUL time of the year.”

While this can be a fun and fulfilling time, it can also be a time of great challenge. Depression is higher during the holiday season than during any other time of the year.

Is there a better way to live through the holidays so that you plug into the “fun and fulfilling” part and lessen the “stressful” part?

I’ve been exploring that myself this year, as I’ve been feeling some sadness these past few weeks. I’m missing my parents and some dear friends who’ve passed away over the past years, and I’m not in a primary relationship, which can make me feel a bit lonely during the holidays. Yet, I still want to keep my heart open and expanded during this time.

I’ve found a holiday prescription that’s working for me and can also work for you.

It’s based on dealing with the five main sources of stress that can lead to the holiday blues.

Those Five Main Sources of Stress Are:

1. Overconsumption: We tend to over-shop, overeat, overdrink, over-everything! Can you relate?

2. Loneliness: This is time when we can feel most isolated or alone, even if we’re surrounded by lots of people.

3. Time Pressure: In the mad rush of the season, we stop taking care of ourselves.

4. Financial Stress: No need to explain this!

5. Loss of Perspective: With such an emphasis on buying the right gifts, having the right clothes for parties and gatherings, and finding the right ingredients for our holiday meals, we often lose perspective on what really brings fulfillment.

Now, here are The Top Five Tips to Make It Through the Holidays, keeping your heart open and your joy flowing.

1. Connect to Your Heart

When you find yourself reaching for that fifth gingerbread man or cup of eggnog, stop and take a few deep breaths in and out of your heart. For extra power, place your hand over your heart to stimulate the happiness chemical oxytocin.

2. Find Community and Support

If you’re alone, make sure you seek out people to spend time with. Don’t isolate yourself. Once you have people around you, focus on the ways you appreciate and enjoy them rather than getting stuck in your judgments or criticisms. Yes, family can bring up your “stuff,” but see it as an opportunity to work on your limiting patterns and let love prevail.

3. Take Time for Yourself

In the midst of the holiday whirl is when we MOST need to set aside time to take care of ourselves. One of my favorite ways is to take a fifteen-minute hot bath with sea salt and lavender oil at night to relax. It feels delicious, and it rebalances the body’s energetic field.

4. Serve Others

Giving of your time and your heart to serve others who are in need will help take your attention off of the desire to overconsume. Altruism and service are a fast track to heart opening.

5. Go Spiritual

The time around the winter solstice, when there’s more darkness, is actually a very spiritual time. Take the opportunity to go inward—meditate or connect with spirit in any way that works for you. Spiritual practice is the best antidote I know of to help you keep balance and perspective during the craziness of the season.

With some gentle attention on these five tips, you’ll find yourself humming “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and meaning it.

May this season be nurturing and joyful for you.

Source: 5 Ways to Keep the ‘Happy’ in Your Happy Holidays « Positively Positive

You And Your Impostor Complex Are Not Alone!

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I first heard about the ‘imposter complex’ from my thoroughly lovely friend and client @jackiedumaine. Tanya Geisler lays it out here:

For a TEDxWomen talk on Dec. 1st, I’ve decided to talk about – and take down – the Impostor Complex. You know, that beast that wants to shut you down, reminding you of allll the ways you are not ready, capable, qualified, prepared and competent.

Yeah. THAT.

Which is perfect, of course, because my own Impostor Complex has a TON to say about why I’m not ready, capable, qualified, prepared and competent enough to deliver this talk. So my material, at the very least, is pretty fresh.

Just recently, I was thrilled to attend Mastin’s Super Soul Sunday event in Toronto. Mastin was generously answering every last question his hungry audience had for him. I asked him how he felt when the call came about going on Oprah with Marie and Gabby. His response:

“I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was a mistake. I didn’t think it would actually happen. I assumed it would be canceled.”

Familiar? You are not alone.

Any time we think that something has happened because of luck, or timing, or because someone made a mistake, we are in the hold of our Impostor Complex.

Is there ANY DOUBT in your mind that Mastin was supposed to be on that show? Is there ANY DOUBT in your mind that he earned it?

No? Me neither.

From the 1000+ hours I’ve been coaching clients, I can tell you with great certainty that almost every single high-achiever has at one point or another felt the weight of the Impostor syndrome, and it sounds like:

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” – Maya Angelou

“You think, ‘Why would anyone want to see me again in a movie? And I don’t know how to act anyway, so why am I doing this?’” – Meryl Streep

And guess what else?

The Impostor and The Authority are are both Illusions

John Lennon said, “Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

Can you see the illusions at both ends of that statement? Loser is an illusion. God Almighty is an illusion. The Impostor is an illusion. The Authority is an illusion.

You are never either. You know more than you think AND you will never know it all.

It’s the very nature of the ego: it wants to want more than it wants to get.

Can you feel the relief and the grief in that?

And while I may not be THE authority, my experience as the Impostor Complex – both mine and those of my brilliant clients – certainly makes me AN authority.

So, as you face your desires for stage, for mastery in the boardroom, for the book deal, for the TV show, for the new business or for the promotion, I want you to know this:

  • You are not alone.
  • Those belittling voices are not real or right.
  • You’ve earned your right to be here.
  • You’ve got this.
  • You are ready.

Agreed?

When I’m on stage delivering my TEDx talk, I intend to own it. There has been no mistake made: I’ve earned my right to be there. Speaking truth imbued with experience and love, in spite of what my Impostor Complex wants me to believe. It is, after all, a mere illusion.

Your call’s coming too. Answer it with an effusive YES.

Source: You And Your Impostor Complex Are Not Alone!

I was describing to Jackie my own desire to do a TEDTalk and the trouble I was having writing my book ‘Be Known’; mainly, that people would laugh. Understanding that this feeling is so common that it has a ‘syndrome’ attached to it helped me get beyond my fears. In my experience, if you can name it you can kill it, fix it, fight it, whatever you want to do with it. Watch out for the ‘imposter complex’ in your life!

How to Create A Breakthrough in Any Area of Your Life: Manage Your Strategies, Your Story and Your State

Tony Robbins writes here about STRATEGIES, STORY AND STATE and how they work together:

Question: One of the toughest things about chasing the dream is managing the disciplines of persistent action and hopeful patience that are required to ultimately see the vision come to be. This is an area of huge tension. How do dream chasers manage that tension and thrive?

Fulfilling your dreams and your ability to thrive in the areas of your life that matter most can be simplified by breakthroughs—a moment in time when the impossible becomes possible. If anyone wants to thrive in any area of their life, they have to reach a point of breakthrough where they will not settle for anything less than extraordinary in that area. Whether someone wants a breakthrough in their:

  • business
  • intimate life
  • emotional well-being
  • health
  • finances
  • career

There are only three areas to break through in order to feel lasting success.

One breakthrough area is your STRATEGIES. I personally live for finding strategies—those shortcuts that help people get more done in less time. What is it that gets some people to succeed while others fail who seem to have equal enthusiasm or passion for the tasks at hand? They have insights, distinctions, and strategies that allow them to achieve more quickly. For example, take someone who was born very poor, without an education, and had emotional and financial challenges but found a way to be highly successful and living an inspired life. I don’t believe that’s lucky—luck is what you do for a day or a week—strategies are what make it consistently happen for decades. A strategy can be found in the simplest or slightest distinction and it can happen in an instant.

As I described above, there are three elements that effect the long-term success or failure of a person and whether they break through or not. For example, there are hundreds or even thousands of strategies out there for losing weight, and frankly most of them are proven to work—if you work them! We’re not hurting for strategies. There are fitness clubs on every street, dieticians, health coaches, training videos, audios, books, etc. Yet 65% of the United States is overweight and 33% is obese, and those numbers are only growing geometrically. I would suggest to you that the problem for most people is not that they don’t have a strategy—it’s that they’re not using a strategy that works for them or acting upon it. Why? Because they have a disempowering STORY.

We all have stories—narratives we tell ourselves about why we can or cannot do or achieve something in our lives. Whether we believe we can or can’t, we’re usually right, because our expectation controls our focus, perceptions, and the way in which we feel and act. When a person succeeds it’s because they have the right strategy, and they found it usually because they have a story that it was possible or they could make it happen. Often people are not losing weight because they have a simple story that says, “I’m big boned.” With that as your core belief system you are never going to find a strategy, and even if you do you won’t follow through on it.

Your story may be true—you may have been through a horrific experience–but that’s not the reason why you can’t have the life you want. For example, you might have had a bad breakup five years ago, but that’s not the reason you haven’t found the passionate and loving relationship you deserve. A disempowering story is one of the things that controls people and makes them stuck in their beliefs.

Most people tell a story in a selective way so they don’t have to ever maximize their effort towards a strategy because they’re afraid they will fail. In order to get out of a story you have to be triggered by hunger and desire—if someone wants something strong enough they will breakthrough the story that’s limiting them.

Of course, whether you have an empowering story or disempowering one is influenced most powerfully by the mental and emotional STATE you’re in at this moment in time. As human beings we all develop emotional patterns—moods—that are mental or emotional states that tend to filter how we look at our lives.

This influences the stories that we make up about who we are, what we’re capable of, or what’s achievable or not. The states we go into most often then become the most powerful filter of all that will determine whether we find the strategies necessary to succeed and whether we come up with a story that will empower us. The big question then becomes, what is it that we can do to change our state of mind when we’re not able to maximize our true potential? One of our greatest scientific discoveries has been that you can change your emotional mood by a radical change in your “physiology.”

For people who are experiencing stress at any given moment, a form of relief can be to simply change your physiology—take a couple of deep breaths. Most people only use 20% of their lung capacity taking small short breaths, but 70% of the body’s toxins can actually be released when taking a full breath! By taking the time to fill your lungs and release you can not only improve your health but also radically decrease the anxiety related to that moment. There are many ways to change your physiology and in our seminars we prove this time after time by taking people who feel depressed and having them make a radical shift. Intuitively we know this can be changed not only by the way we move, but our breath and body temperature as well.

The second thing that affects our state is what we focus on. For example, if you’ve been at a funeral honoring someone you cared about and everyone is in a sad state and afterwards someone shares a story or anecdote about something that person did that was extremely humorous, suddenly everyone goes from tears to laughter. In an instant our states can be changed by what we focus on. What’s wrong is always available—but so is what’s right. Whatever we focus on effects our state and our state then effects the story we have about who we are, what’s life about, what’s possible and what’s not. From that story we will often determine whether or not we will maximize our capabilities and the strategies that will help us achieve what we’re truly after in a sustainable way.

Learning to put yourself in a peak state consistently is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and your life. It can transform your stories and give you the strategies to breakthrough. This is a huge focus that we just don’t tell people but what we train people to do with their minds and bodies in an instant, on cue, so they can shift the quality of their performance. Whether it’s a peak performance athlete like Serena Williams, MMA champion Jon Jones, a president of a company, a parent, or someone in prison—if we’re going to shift our life it comes down to these three fundamentals.

Change your strategy, change your result.

Change your story, change your life.

Change your state—you change it all!

Source: How to Create A Breakthrough in Any Area of Your Life: Manage Your Strategies, Your Story and Your State

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Affirmations

Melody-Beattie.pngMelody Beattie writes:

One of our choices in recovery is choosing what we want to think – using our mental energy positively.

Positive mental energy, positive thinking, does not mean we think unrealistically or revert to denial. If we don’t like something, we respect our own opinion. If we spot a problem, we’re honest about it. if something isn’t working out, we accept reality. But we don’t dwell on the negative parts of our experience.

Whatever we give energy to, we empower.

There is magic in empowering the good, because whatever we empower grows bigger. One way to empower the good is through affirmations: simple positive statements we make to ourselves: I love myself… I’m good enough… My life is good…I’m glad I’m alive today… What I want and need is coming to me… I can…

Our choice in recovery is not whether to use affirmations. We’ve been affirming thoughts and beliefs since we were old enough to speak. The choice in recovery is what we want to affirm.

Today, I will empower the good in myself, others, and life. I’m willing to release, or let go of, negative thought patterns and replace them with positive ones. I will choose what I want to affirm, and I will make it good.

via Just For Today Meditations » Daily Recovery Readings – December 11, 2012.

And, whatever we resists, persists…