Monthly Archives: December 2010

Reflections

As I wait for my husband to finish getting around so we can travel out west to babysit for our beautiful granddaughter for a couple of days, I realized I haven’t posted about my yearly gratitude to my friends and clients.

I don’t believe in making New Year’s resolutions because they’re usually just that – a wish that lasts a few days or maybe weeks into the new year & then forgotten or given up on. I try to live my life by being a better person today than I was yesterday – more open to love and to listening to whatever the Universe has in store for me.

What I do believe in is stopping occasionally to reflect on all that I have been blessed to experience. Much of that comes from you, my friends and clients.

The more connection we have with others, the more abundance we have in our lives. The fact that each of you have, on occasion, taken me into your confidence and trusted me with your deepest feelings and concerns humbles me.

I’m so honored to have you all in my life. Thank you and remember to choose peace as you move into 2011.

Recession-Proof Your Mind

This article is reprinted from my newsletter sent out in the Spring of 2009.  After 4 years, it still rings true today

These days listening to the news is a little like passing an accident on the street–it’s gory and awful, but somehow you can’t quit looking.

If you take on all the depressing, negative information as if it’s happening to you personally, maybe you shouldn’t listen to the news. It’s one thing to be informed about the issues, but these days the media is so reactive that I carefully choose where I get my facts. I’d much rather spend my energy pulling in more positive information. If something REALLY big happens, someone will let me know!

In spite of my best efforts, I find the news about the economy–and some of the realities we are facing in my household–pulling me down emotionally at times. But I think the key is that I realize I’m LETTING it get me down and I can pull myself out of those depressing thoughts.

How? First by eating foods that give me energy, rather than drain me of it. By working out on a regular basis, and trying to balance my life with some relaxation and play time.

But I think the most important thing for each of us is to pay attention to what we’re thinking. If our focus is on the Dow Jones, gas and grocery prices fluctuating daily, those other “crazy” drivers, etc, then our focus is on people and things we have no control over.

I’ve watched as our society has increasingly become one with a “quick-fix” and extravagance mindset–where more is always better. I had a real estate agent become angry with me a few years ago because I “qualified” for so much more than I knew I could afford! (Today, we all know where that mindset led).

I see this recession as a sign that we need to put our focus back where it belongs–inside, where we DO have some choices. When we’re at our lowest point is when we’ll generate the energy to propel ourselves to a higher place. To get a ball to bounce, we first have to let it drop. The harder we bounce it, the higher it goes when it comes back. We all know we grow from the rough times of our lives. It might be too hard to imagine right now, but we can even be grateful for these times. And that can generate more positive enery to move forward.

Which brings me to my last point. Behind every obstacle, is a hidden opportunity. If you find yourself jobless or with less income, maybe this is the time to get training for new skills or to consider starting a business in a field that has always excited you. Or if you just get anxious listening to all the negative news, maybe now is the time to find a way to conquer some of those fears that keep coming up.

Staying focused on what we can’t control doesn’t help our mood. The doorway to higher places and opportunity opens inward.

NEVER LET A CRISIS GO TO WASTE!   

Remember Your Choices During the Holidays

If you find yourself getting more stressed as the season continues, here are a few things to keep in mind.

CHOOSE to stay in the present rather than dwelling on past experiences and traditions that place high expectations on you and others.

CHOOSE to keep a sense of humor about it all.

CHOOSE to take a break occasionally and do somthing different — like taking a walk, deep breathing, or calling a friend who will understand and not judge you.

CHOOSE to avoid major life changes during the holidays. If at all possible, this is not a good time to move, change jobs, or begin or end relationships.

CHOOSE to keep a running list of Gratitudes — helps the attitude. There is much to be said about counting your blessings rather than stewing in your sorrows.

CHOOSE to start a new tradition this year. If your family isn’t healthy for you to be around, find something else to do that you enjoy — sleep in, take a short trip, read that book you haven’t been able to find time to get to — or just spend time with someone you enjoy being around. A change of scenery can be especially helpful – fewer reminders of the negative past experiences. And if you go somewhere you’ve never been, you have to be more in the moment just to find your way around.

CHOOSE to take one day – hour – minute at a time. We can get through anything for a short period of time, easier than thinking in terms of “forever”.

CHOOSE to rememer that we have choices in how we look at things.

Best Wishes for a great Holiday Season!!

Getting Through the Holidays

Today’s blog is courtesy of Melody Beattie from THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GO.

Sometimes the holidays are filed with the joy we associate with that time of year. The season flows. Magic is in the air.

Sometimes the holidays can be difficult and lonely.

Here are some ideas I’ve learned through personal experience and practice, to help us get through difficult holidays.

Deal with feelings, but try not to dwell unduly on them. Put the holidays in perspective: A holiday is one day out of 365. We can get through any 24-hour period.

Get through the day, but be aware that there may be a post-holiday backlash. Sometimes, if we use our survival behaviors to get through the day, the feelings will catch up to us the next day. Deal with them too. Get back on track as quickly as possible.

Find and cherish the love that’s available, even if it’s not exactly what we want. Is there someone we can give love to and receive love from? Recovering friends? Is there a family who would enjoy sharing their holiday with us? Don’t be a martyr; go. There may be those who would appreciate our offer to share our day with them.

We are not in the minority if we find ourselves experiencing a less-than-ideal holiday. How easy, but untrue, to tell ourselves the rest of the world is experiencing the perfect holiday, and we’re alone in conflict.

We can create our own holiday agenda. Buy yourself a present. Find someone to whom you can give. Unleash your loving, nurturing self and give in to the holiday spirit.

Maybe past holidays haven’t been terrific. Maybe this year wasn’t terrific. But next year can be better, and the next a little better. Work toward a better life – one that meets your needs. Before long, you’ll have it.

God, help me enjoy and cherish this holiday. If my situation is less than ideal, help me take what’s good and let go of the rest.

Control

Those of us with 12 Step backgrounds have learned to shy away from the concept of “control”. We often see it as a negative – and it can create problems for us if we focus on trying to make the outcome be what we think we want.

Here’s a novel idea: We may not have control over the events of our lives – but we do have control over the experience of our lives – by managing how we look at those events.

Think about it – but not for too long – get on to the experience!