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3 Ways You Can Stop Beating Yourself Up and Be Happy
Blog Good for the Soul Soul Coaching® June 20, 2017

Stop Beating Yourself Up

Are there really 3 ways you can stop beating yourself up and be happy? It seems too easy but the ways we beat ourselves up are endless and the words we use do matter! It’s not just the words we say to others. The way we talk to ourselves is an important part of our spiritual development. Let’s start with others.

Words Can Kill

In Taunton, Massachusetts a woman who sent her boyfriend a barrage of text messages urging him to kill himself was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. A judge ruled that Michelle Carter caused the death of Conrad Roy III, who intentionally filled his truck with carbon monoxide in 2014. Clearly, her words mattered to Conrad Roy.

Let’s Get Personal

Lets take it personally. Every day, every moment, we beat ourselves up. We shame and berate ourselves. Horrible things that we would never say to another person we love are the norm. “You idiot! Why didn’t you…?” “You’re such a jerk.” You’re lazy, fat, stupid… Fill in the blank with your favourite way to beat yourself up. It’s very personal and most of the time, it’s not even our words. I wrote about a version of this recently in the Letting Go of My Old Stories. We are all “works in progress”!

Shift Happens

Who taught us to talk to ourselves that way and can we shift it? Can we learn to stop beating ourselves up and be happy? The answer is YES! Sometimes we are using the harsh words of our parents, our siblings, or negative teachers or the abusive bullies in our lives. For myself, I’ve done my share of self-trashing and when I trained in psychotherapy, I learned how much I did it. I learned to notice when I did it. It wasn’t until I trained to be a Soul Coaching® Practitioner that I learned some practical tools for shifting those hurtful habits and replacing them with more positive self-love. Don’t worry, I’ll share them with you!

What Me Worry?

Did you know that that worrying makes you feel like you’re doing something to solve your problem and in so doing, it activates the brain’s reward centre? Rationally, we understand that worrying doesn’t solve our problems, but that ancient brain of ours kinda likes it! Thanks to curious researchers like Alex Korb, who wrote The Upward Spiral, we now know that rather than getting off on worry, GRATITUDE boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine and serotonin! Take that you worry-wart! GRATITUDE is #1. Always #1. Apparently it doesn’t matter what you find to be grateful for, what matters is searching for something to be grateful for. Let the search begin!

Observe Your Life; Change Your Words

In the 28-day Soul Coaching® Program we spend 7 days looking at our beliefs and observing our thoughts and our life. What if you were to look at the events of your life as neither good nor bad? The meaning you give those events will determine how you see your life. Most of the time, we do this on automatic pilot, regurgitating someone else’s beliefs about our lives. In Soul Coaching® we become “the Sacred Observer” and observing how we talk to ourselves is part of that exploration. “No pain, no gain.” I’m too old to think about a new career.” “I never finish what I start”… and worse, the verbal abuse we heap on ourselves are more frequently repeated in our heads that you ever imagined.

We learn to notice and we learn to reframe how we think of our lives and talk to ourselves. Become the Sacred Observer then Say it Differently is #2.

Mirror, Mirror

We tend to unconsciously draw mirrors to us in life. What we believe about ourselves will be reflected in the people and events of our lives. Once you have found some newer, kinder ways of talking to yourself- it takes practice- find people, attitudes and philosophies that will support, reinforce and mirror the new you until it becomes second nature and a new habit.

They say it takes 21 days to change a habit but for most of us it’s more like a million and 21 days! You could start with something simple like the music you listen to, yet you may find, over time, that more and more supportive people come into your life. Try starting small and doable by making a new playlist of songs with lyrics that says all the wonderful things that are true about you. And if you have to curse at yourself, do it like this:

3 Ways =Happiness

Happiness is hard to define without using external measurements. I’ll be happy when I find love. I’ll be happy if I lose 20 pounds. When I get that raise, then I’ll be happy…. It’s always somewhere just out of reach and dependent on an external goal. What if happiness were measured in terms of love or gratitude? If I can find 3 things to be grateful for, then I must be happy! If I can say 3 loving things to myself, then surely I’m a happy person! Way better!

  1. Don’t Worry; be Grateful.
  2. Become the Sacred Observer & Choose New Words!
  3. Find Reminders

Now tell me….How will you talk sweetly to yourself? Your words matter!

 

 

 

 

 

family trees and other connections
Blog Good for the Soul Soul Coaching® May 23, 2017

I’m thinking about connections. I’ve started working on my family tree and I recently connected with a distant relative I didn’t know I had! It turns out that his paternal great grandmother and my paternal great grandmother were sisters! And the connection came through Facebook, which for all its imperfections is great for connecting or reconnecting!

Family Trees

I learned who my great, great, grandparents were…with photos! I was so moved to find out some of their history; that my great, great, grandfather was a bookbinder in Tsarist Russia and was favoured by the Tsarina. I had heard various versions of this from my mother over the years. To have it confirmed from an unexpected source was exciting! Through my newly discovered fourth cousin, I also learned that this ancestor was a scribe. For all the years I did calligraphy professionally (back in the 80’s), I never once suspected that it was a “family business” 100 years before!

Claff great, great grandmother

Your connections

How often have you considered the unseen forces that animate your life? When I need to connect energetically with someone, I picture the world as a globe fully encircled in a grid of light. Rather than “six degrees of separation”, it’s NO degrees of separation! We are connected to everyone in one way or another. That so-called “stranger” may not only be a cousin, but may be someone you knew and loved in a past life! And I believe this is true, not just genetically and psychically but also in the way we affect each other’s lives. Mitch Albom’s book, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, shows how our lives are intertwined with the lives of others in a way that we may be unaware of! Yet seen or unseen, our connections to each other impact our lives.

 “…that each affects the other and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one.” (M. Albom)

 One more connection

The connection to others, to our past and family history, are but a few types of connections we need to make in order to live life fully cognizant of what we are about. Additionally, the connection within, to our own Self, is one that I believe we should explore as well. Everything I do, whether journaling, reading, or watching a movie, or my professional work of as Dream Teacher or Soul Coaching® Master Practitioner and Trainer, all help me know myself. But every person I meet helps me know myself too….from clients, to family and friends to random people in the grocery store!

Explore your connections

Our lives are filled with mysterious connections! Will you explore your connections in life or will you let them get dusty like my family history? How do you know yourself? What is your favourite way to connect to others or do you prefer to stay disconnected? One thing I know, it’s easier to not pursue connections, but it’s so much more interesting when we do!

 

 

 

 

IMAGINE THAT!

Blog Good for the Soul September 23, 2012

Imagine that you have come to the end of your life. You’re not sick or infirm but you somehow know it’s the end. Imagine that you walk slowly up a path that leads to the top of a gentle, rolling hill. From the top you can see for miles around and at the base of the hill, people have gathered. These are people who have had contact with you, who know and love you, but also people who have heard of you. Your reputation has grown over the years and you are known as a person of wisdom and insight and have touched many lives. Imagine that you are on that mountain top to tell everyone what you have learned in this life. They are waiting and you begin…

“We cannot know everything”, you say. There is Mystery in life and we need to allow and make space for the unknown. But we can come close if we listen to our dreams. All the clues that we need to decode our own lives are there for us if we pay attention.” You pause and breathe. Then you continue, “Take the time to pause, breathe more deeply, and open your heart without fear and guarding yourself from the pain of being hurt, abandoned or unloved. Don’t be afraid to love. You are safe. Play more.”

And finally, because it’s the end of your life and you are so much less concerned about what people think of you than when you were young, you start to sing, “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.”  All the people join in singing with you because they understand what you mean.  They understand that you are telling them to row, meaning they have to be co-creators in their lives and do their part. They know that you are saying that they can do it gently, by rowing down-stream with the current, without resistance or struggle. They can do it with merrily with joy and finally, life is a dream. “All the world’s a stage” and they are playing their various parts, trying different roles in order to grow their souls, whether over many lifetimes or just one.

What if we were to actually do this? What if we climbed to the top of a mountain and surveyed the road we have travelled, looking at our lives from a higher perspective and then shared the wisdom from the journey? If you haven’t been to the top of your mountain lately, you might want to consider the possibility of getting a new perspective on your life, your problems as well as your joys and triumphs and then sharing it with the world. You can do this by taking some time for yourself to pause and reflect. It doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time. It can be done in an hour. But you do have to take the time to step back and survey the land by raising yourself up to a higher vantage point. From there, your life and your problems may look different. Then share what you’ve seen with someone you trust.

Know this: You have touched more people than you can possibly know and there is an intricate web of connection between you and others, between your thoughts and the ideas that are “out there” and your life. You have touched your family and friends, but also all those “strangers” who are gathering at the foot of your mountain. I imagine that they are waiting to hear from you.