Just Be Aware

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I used to think that certain triggers bring out the worst in some people. The truth is people show their true colors over time. Haters gonna hate, lovers gonna love, peace keepers gonna keep the peace. When I see some of the horrible comments people make and the all too willing judgements they are willing to pass, it’s hard to deny that there is an ugliness that exists in these difficult times. People are obsessed with complaining and demeaning and feel its their personal responsibility to be everyone’s judge and jury. Instead of getting angry, I do my best to use this realization to be a better person. We have to stop this negativity toward one another and find a way to rise above our own smallness and grow people tall. We are not in this world to make others look small and we certainly don’t appear any bigger cutting someone else down to size. As we go through this day, pay attention to how many times your thoughts lead to judgement. Count how many times you silently wish someone well. You may just be surprised at the quality and quantity of each thought. Awareness is the key to making significant change, so today just be aware. 

Are You making or Breaking Someone Else’s Day?

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I was reminded today how hard it is to keep myself in check. Often times, I have the best intentions. I look forward to the weekend or getting out to do something with family but sometimes the best intentions fall by the wayside. I was in a great mood yesterday. Sometimes I am able to step away from all the stress and just breathe again. That was my plan for the last two days. Unfortunately I absorb all that is around me and if I don’t find a way to reach that place of balance, I crumble. After hours of spending time around someone completely disengaged followed by another who dumps his responsibilities onto everybody else, I slowly deflate. The negative energy just consumes me until I become it myself. So my good mood has slowly come to a close. It’s easy to say that other people aren’t responsible for your happiness but I argue that the people around me are often responsible for my unhappiness. There are some people in our lives that we cannot just dismiss or remove. We can’t delete them like they are some random Facebook friend but at the same time we cannot allow them to destroy our happiness or inner peace. I am not looking for sympathy or having a pity party. I am writing this post as a reminder that who we are affects everyone around us. Our mood, our lack of concern, our negligence, our bad attitude, our words and especially our actions are equally if not more powerful than any positive we think we put off. Just ask yourself today, what is the energy I am bringing to this place? How am I affecting the people around me? It’s the only way to finally understand just how much we are all connected.

Shutting Down Your Inner Critic

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I love to evolve. Maybe even to the point that it’s painful. Seeing so many insults being flung among people lately, I have finally recognized how important it is to respond positively and respectfully. I’m not one to think before I speak. In fact, I am honest to the core and sometimes that can be extremely hurtful to anyone on the receiving end of my truth telling. But tonight, I have committed to a new gentleness in my speaking. I can choose to be critical or I can choose to be quiet. I can choose to make someone feel bad or I can say something that will make them smile. Don’t we all need to feel good these days? Don’t we want the people who make us feel special and tell us we do something right around us more than someone who always makes us feel like everything we do is wrong? Don’t we need to hear, of course you can rather than I don’t think you can? I did it tonight. I finally made the conscious choice to keep my criticism to myself. We need to give more compliments, more pats on the back and use more words to make someone smile. We can make little changes than can mean the world to the people we interact with. Let’s hope I can carry it through to day two. 

Just Don’t Say It

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I think most of us have that tingly sense that alerts us to when we say something we probably should have kept to ourselves. Self control is becoming a thing of the past and the result is the uncomfortableness that is often felt when we are part of conversations either in person or on social media. I was following a thread on Facebook earlier and a third of the comments would have been better left unsaid. I think people forget to ask themselves the important questions before they go and open their sarcastic mouths. Are your words kind? Are they necessary? Will they add value to the conversation? Will they insult or demean another human being? People have to stop posting and blurting things out without considering the effect it will have on the people around them. The energy lately is just not good and it is destroying relationships one comment at a time. Have some respect. Show some restraint and be accountable for the energy you bring to a particular space. Ask yourself one question? Would you like to be served back what you seem to love to dish out? Someday you will get what you give so why not give what you want to get?

Not My Game

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Some days, all I have to do is breathe and someone is ready to pick a fight. It’s taken me years to learn that sometimes I find myself on the receiving end of someone’s anger and frustration but most times the situation has nothing to do with me at all. When I learned to remove my personal self, the logical self was able to find the strength to not engage. We think everything is about us but most times it’s really not. It’s hard when someone is picking apart my every word to find the discipline to not join in a game I just don’t want to play. When I can pick myself up and move myself away, I feel empowered and relieved that I get to control not only how I will allow someone to treat me but also how much their words and attitude can affect me. Walking away is always better than an exchange of angry words that chips away at relationships over time. Not my game. Not a player. 

Nevermind

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Do you stick to a plan? For the most part I believe I do. If I say I am going food shopping on Thursday, I do it. If I have plans to meet a friend on Friday evening, I do that too. Why is it so many people have a difficult time following through? Your words should mean something. They should have substance. In order for them to hold any value, there has to be an action plan that backs them up.

I helped my son study for biology all weekend. Yesterday he came home and I was randomly  quizzing him. When he didn’t answer, I looked up and he was fast asleep. He was drained and tired and his brain was overstimulated from preparing for 4 tests this week. He was excited today to finally go in and check this one off the list. What does the teacher do? She changes the test to Thursday and then back to Wednesday. Mind you, we did not study for the other two subjects for the tests on Thursday because we wanted to focus on this one. Now, we will have to continue to go over this information another night when we paced and planned to wrap this one up today. How can we do our part to be prepared when life is so chaotic and unscheduled? What if you showed up for surgery and the doctor told you to come back the next day? You would probably be pretty upset because you did all the things the last few days to prepare for today.

Get it together. Stick to your plan. Make it happen. Follow through on your own life because like it or not, your life affects everyone else’s.

We Are All Energy

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My friend Danny over at Dream Big, Dream Often reminded me of something very important today. Sometimes we think our presence is much less significant than it actually is. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Make sure you check out his post from earlier today, http://dreambigdreamoften.co/2015/09/08/im-not-trying-to-change-your-life/

I have a 16 year old daughter who can be pretty moody sometimes. There are days she enters the room and brings her bad attitude with her. It is like a rotten grape that spoils the whole bunch. You can almost see everyone shrink in their chair trying to hide from the negativity that is as big as an elephant taking over a very small room. Other days, she is like a ray of sunshine and you can feel the energy in the room become much lighter. When she is her playful, silly self, happiness spreads through everyone like wildfire.

 One person does make a difference and it’s important to understand how significant that difference can really be.

We have to start to focus on the energy we carry around with us. In fact we should think of everyone we meet as a field of energy. Our attitude, our tone, whether we speak positively or negatively contributes to the energy as a whole. Sometimes we are so focused on someone else’s energy that we forget to be accountable for our own.

We cannot change anyone else. We cannot choose their words or actions but we CAN choose our own! Remember to check in with your own energy and ask yourself the honest question, what kind of energy do I bring to this space, be it home, work or anywhere else you might be. Your energy is one of many contributors to the overall energy of the world. Will you choose to add something negative or something positive? The choice is yours. What kind of imprint will you leave on the people around you? How will YOU change the world?

Do You Accept The Challenge?

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How come it’s so easy to tell someone what is wrong? Your lipstick doesn’t match your shirt. You need to be a better parent. You shouldn’t have done that. You should be working. You should cook dinner for your family. Seriously, the list goes on and on. It’s no wonder there is so much depression and unhappiness walking around disguised by a half- hearted smile on a really sad face.

Imagine if we made a commitment to point out only what is good about someone? You look beautiful. You are so smart. I love the way you interpret that. That lipstick is amazing. You are a really great parent. This meatloaf is delicious.

All I ask, is that you become aware of what you are saying to others. Make an honest effort to compliment everyone and be on a mission to make everyone feel good. Anyone can spit out an insult but not everyone can make someone feel like someone special.

Do you accept the challenge?

Build self esteem, don’t destroy it.

Knock Knock

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I had lunch with a friend today who shared a brilliant thought with me. I wanted to share it because I know I am going to apply it to my own life.

Every interaction is like a knock on the door. We are open and kind and we answer the door. Someone is there on the other side holding out a present. There are two kinds of packages. The first package is beautiful. It is wrapped in gorgeous paper and covered with a shiny gold bow. The second package was picked up out of the garbage can. It is covered in junk and growing mold. Other garbage has started to cling to it. It is in that moment we have to make a choice. We hold the power to accept the package or turn it away and shut the door.

This is how one very smart mother taught her kids to deal with people who say and do kind things vs. kids who do and say mean and hurtful things. When her daughter comes home and talks about someone who has hurt her feelings, the mother asks, why would you accept such a horrible package? Hand it back and close your door. It’s so simple and so genius at the same time.

I have always told myself that words are just words. Only I get to decide what meaning to give them. If someone says something unkind about me and it is untrue, why would I get my feelings hurt because the words hold no value. They simply aren’t true. But to be able to visualize kindness or unkindness in the form of a package and to feel the freedom in my choice to accept or decline, places the power right back into my own two hands.

 Next time someone gives you a compliment, grab that shiny package and feel good. Next time someone holds out a rotten package, hand it back and close the door. Don’t forget to lock it before turn and you walk away.