Four Dynamic Ways to Live an Engaged Life



“An engaged life occurs when you experience happiness by using your positive traits (i.e. kindness, curiosity, perseverance) that are particularly characteristic of you every day.  When we use our signature strengths to accomplish something or meet a challenge, we feel “authentically happy” and gratified. We get lost in the experience and lose a sense of time—the technical word for this is “flow.”

For instance, Brenda, whose life was ruled by her cancer treatment, found solace in gardening. Aside from liking to dig her fingers into the earth, she had a deep sense of being in tune with herself in a positive way; that is what the engaged life is all about. Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps
 

Several years ago when I discovered my calling in life, I jumped at the chance to live authentically, which in turn led me to living an engaged life. As I’ve gotten more involved in the pursuit of my calling and making a difference, the door naturally opened for living my life closer to my true character.

Rather than just survive, thrive with enthusiasm, be fully engaged in your daily life. Live your life inspired and driven to do things outside of the box of normal, proceed with passion, curiosity and energy.

Methods for Living Fully Engaged in Your Life

I believe like anything else we do, practices are always a work in progress, so don’t be disappointed or dissuaded from living an engaged life if it doesn’t happen right away. Finding your signature style takes time, patience and daily effort, but it is well worth it when you’re authentic and true to your unique character.

One – Identify Your Top Strengths – Use your greatest strengths in new and different ways every day for a week. Doing this will help you become fully engaged in your own life. This will inspire you to want to experience ways to discover a life where you are living cultivating your virtues and strengths.

Two – Prioritize Your Values and Set Boundaries with Your Time – Protect the time you have with people you care about, your faith and the interests that engage you. That time is sacred, it’s easy for us to be distracted by what goes on around us keeping us from staying focused and engaged.

Three – A Life of Engagement – To accomplish this you’ll have to know your purpose and let that be the driving force behind your decisions. Identify your signature strengths by listing situations that engage you where you are so engrossed that you lose track of time.

Four – Be Present – This one practice is one of the most difficult to learn. It is common that we focus on the past or spend precious energy projecting the future, not being fully involved in the present moment. Being present takes effort and time. Meditation is a well-known practice that brings us into the moment, being still and at peace helps to focus on now, and it creates space to be more aware of ourselves.

Your Well-Being Improves when You’re Engaged


Listen to Patrick Munoz as he talks about your well-being when you live an engaged life. The video is only five minutes long, but the information is powerful.

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

Celebrate Your Dream – Create a Space that Inspires You

Your attitude and mindset are the most vital components in the pursuit of your dreams. How you wake up, spend your precious time and how you sleep at night are the catalysts for living an inspired life.  Your perception of yourself, beliefs and feelings about life are physically manifested in the space you call home.

Imagining and creating give us a sense of purpose – Tony Wagner

Creativity is an important component of pursuing your dream, it makes you happier, less stressed, more equipped and resilient when it comes to problem-solving in challenging situations.

An easy way to express creativity is to design your space using color, style and placement of the items you choose so wherever you call home can be an inspiration for your dreams. Someone I saw on a show recently said, “Where you lay your head at night can set the foundation for every aspect of your life“, I have to agree with that 100% because I know it to be true. When you create your surroundings with the intention and purpose of aligning yourself with your dreams, it makes an extraordinary difference in how you feel about yourself and your life.

Use these helpful tips below to get started with your space creation:

1. Don’t analyze or choose what you “should” like or what is trending.
2. Go with your gut and pin or clip things that you instantly respond to. You’ll pare them down later and, when you do, you’ll find common threads without even trying to make it happen.
3. Take your time and enjoy the process.

My Choice to Live Minimally

Because my focus now is my photography/lifestyle business, I choose to live very simply. I’ve consciously made a choice to be surrounded only by items I love, colors that speak to me and my unique style. Everything in my space has been selected very carefully.  I’ve allowed myself to feel something before I bought, which has made a huge difference in what I do have. My surroundings are also clutter-free, so my space is not only inspirational but harmonious and peaceful.  If I don’t use something or need it, I get rid of it.

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. The Minimalists

A Space for Dreaming:

  • Encourage yourself and design a space for dreaming, whether you live with people or have a space of your own, find a place where you can use colors and objects that you choose, even if it is a corner of a room.

 

  • Lighting is foremost, so make sure you choose wisely. Natural lighting in any room makes a huge difference, so choose window coverings to optimize the light and place furniture to take advantage of it. The combination of natural and soft lighting and candles helps to fuel your inspiration. Use natural oils and incense to fragrance the room, it makes a room feel magical.

 

Photo courtesy of Evija-Roberts Blog

  • Choose colors that you love and are inspired by. Color is the most tangible way to express yourself.  Remember to use bright and vivid colors sensibly such as on one wall, in throw pillows, a bed throw, or cover, decorator items or in curtains, too much of it can overwhelm you.  When you combine neutrals with color it will make the room an expression of you rather than the star, that is you, always.

Photo courtesy of Trendir

  • Use natural items, such as wood, cotton fabrics, plants, a water feature, metal, whatever you can find to help your space feel like you’ve invited nature indoors. Because we feel most connected in nature, bringing it into your space is motivation to be more authentic and true to what you are and your purpose in life.

This is part of my room, I found the dresser at a thrift shop, I fell in love the moment I saw it. To highlight the beautiful wood, I use soft lighting with a beautiful vintage style lamp, one of my photographs designed intentionally in warm tones and a lovingly handmade wooden bookcase that all inspire me.

  • Create a place with your dreams and intentions written where you can see them, it will spark your imagination, keep you focused and create a happy place to be a constant reminder of your plans.  One way to do that is to write them out and frame them.

Finally, declutter, this one act can improve your health, emotionally and physically, rapidly.  Here are some tips to declutter and the benefits from mindbodygreen.com.

HOW TO DECLUTTER

When we declutter around here, I use a method that I learned from a home improvement, when going through a room, we separate things into three categories:

  • keep
  • donate
  • trash/recycling

For whatever reason, separating things this way helps me work through junk drawers, backs of closets and corners of rooms that I’ve been ignoring for months. I hope it helps you, too!

It can also be helpful to keep your eye on the prize. Decluttering feels good, when it’s done, and keeping the important benefits of decluttering below in mind can help you stay on track during the “it gets worse before it gets better” part of the process.

BENEFITS OF DECLUTTERING

1. Less clutter equals less stress.

A cluttered home can make you feel disorganized and out of control. There’s something just plain calming about a tidy living space.

Clutter also makes it easier to lose things, which can be stressful. Have you ever torn apart the house looking for your keys, only to find them under a pile of papers on your desk that shouldn’t have been there in the first place? Just me?

2. You’ll save money.

A prime example of clutter costing money just popped up in my kitchen last night. My husband came home from work with a bag of groceries, including a box of green tea. This box looked incredibly familiar to me, and we discovered that, buried under a mountain of spice jars and other boxes of tea in the pantry, we had another (unopened) box of that exact same tea.

An extra $4 box of tea might not seem like much, but little things like that happen all the time when your living space is cluttered, and those small expenses add up.

3. There will be less cleaning to do.

Less clutter means less housework. It means fewer knickknacks to collect dust and fewer places for dust bunnies to hide. According to the National Cleaning Institute (formerly the National Soap and Detergent Association), clutter can add up to 40 percent to the amount of housework you have to handle.

Forty percent seems pretty high, but even if you’re just shaving 10-15 minutes of dusting off of your cleaning routine, I think decluttering is worth it.

4. Reducing clutter makes you more productive.

Decluttering your home can streamline your life, which gives you more time to get things done. Have you ever been late to work because your kid couldn’t decide on what pair of pants to wear? Or maybe you are still hunting for those keys that are under that pile of paper on your desk (still just me?).

When you have less clutter, you avoid these little hold-ups that make you late, derail your plans and interrupt your creative flow.

5. It’s good for your kids, young and grown.

If your kids are still living at home, clutter can cause them stress and hurt their productivity, just like it does to you. In extreme cases, it can cause your kids extreme anxiety.

This isn’t something we like to think about, but our clutter impacts our kids, even after they move out of the house. As we get older and less able to care for ourselves, that clutter is going to become our kids’ problem. Many adults I know stress about their parents’ cluttered homes, especially if their parents aren’t in the best health.

This kind of stress is tough on its own, but it also comes with a side dish of guilt, because they feel selfish for dwelling on what seems like such a small thing. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to finally tackle that embarrassing pile of papers on my desk and donate some knick-knacks to the thrift store this weekend.

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

 

Competition, Thief of Joy

Life for us has become an endless succession of contests. From the moment the alarm clock rings until sleep overtakes us again, from the time we are toddlers until the day we die, we are busy struggling to outdo others. This is our posture at work and at school, on the playing field and back at home. It is the common denominator of American life. Alfie Kohn

The title of this blog almost sounds like a misnomer because the majority of the human race thinks of competition as sports, games, fun, winning a medal or a trophy and as being a winner.  How can competition rob us of the enjoyment and pleasure we feel when it appears to bestow us with a high of being number one.

But, I ask that you think back throughout your life whenever you were involved in anything competitive, how did you feel when someone else won?

I’ve reflected on competition for a long time especially when the biggest and most well-known competition, the Olympics began.  I don’t watch the games but I realized that there are only a handful of “winners” and there are hundreds of people who no one hears about, people who didn’t place or win who worked just as hard as the few on top. People are mesmerized for two weeks with the glamour of the entertainment and energy of the games, but once they’re over, it’s all forgotten as we get on with our lives.  Interestingly, all of the people participating spend most of their lives focused on training and preparing to win and for that one big moment, then it’s over.  The winners stand on the podium and are handed a medal and the world applauds.  There is monetary gain for only a small percentage of the athletes who are given an opportunity for endorsements, the rest are forgotten and go back to their lives. Do we ever hear about or know how those who didn’t win feel or how their life went afterward?

Through my research,  I’ve learned that cooperation not competition is our natural state of being.  We aren’t born hostile with the intention of bringing someone else down, that behavior is handed down from one generation to the next. We unnaturally push ourselves to best someone because we’re taught that being a winner is the best.  But, in truth, competition is filled with selfishness while we hope for the downfall of others, it is filled with anxiety, stress and pressure. Once we start down the road of winning, once is never enough, it almost becomes necessary for our confidence and self-esteem, putting us in a constant state competitive power.

Emerging research shows that competition is deleterious in many ways.

  • With children, competition serves to dissolve self-confidence and spread self-doubt, even among frequent winners who learn to become dependent on external sources of validation.
  • Among adults, competition leads directly to hostility and greed, both of which are the enemies of progress.

If we want to advance our society and ourselves, we must learn that competition is not the path to victory — cooperation is. Tiffany Rowe

I’m  not competitive by nature, when playing games, I enjoy the process more than who wins or loses.  Putting that in context, for me the journey in any competition is more rife with tools to learn, skill building and enjoyment.

There are many tribal societies that thrive on cooperative living and have endured for centuries.  Competition as a whole encourages greed, betrayal, to be better than others, the importance of being a winner, the lack of compassion, cooperation and most of all an absence of kindness. Competition is toxic in relationships, in business, education, in all of life. There is no benefit when someone feels inferior, lacks self-confidence, is depressed or believes they aren’t good enough. I believe it is time to instill cooperation and encourage each other to be the best person we can be.

The  result of competition is radical climate change, biological and nuclear warfare, rampant habitat destruction, water shortages, and extremes in global wealth and poverty. Louise Palmer

Cooperation is beneficial not to a few but to everyone, here are some of the advantages:

  1. Cooperative Play – A bond is formed when challenge, discovery and success is shared by everyone.
  2.  Cooperative Learning and Work –  When we compete whether at work or in school, we are invested in ourselves and what will benefit us without giving thought to anyone else, we consider everyone our rival.  But, when we cooperate, we support and help each other, giving each individual value and respect. Rather than striving to be number one, the intention is that everyone succeed, it shifts us away from greed, selfishness, aggression, anger and hurt feelings. Cooperation creates an environment of unity, openness, honesty and trust.
  3. Cooperative Activities for our Well-Being  – Competition causes enormous stress, anxiety, hostility, embarrassment and tension, can you imagine the state of our health? Cooperative activities create an atmosphere of play, relaxation and enjoying ourselves without judgment, the foundation for healthy and playful fun.

I’d like to conclude with this very powerful quote:

We destroy the love of learning in children, which is so strong when they are small, by encouraging and compelling them to work for petty and contemptible rewards–gold stars, or papers marked 100 and tacked to the wall, or A’s on report cards, or honor rolls, or dean’s lists, or Phi Beta Kappa keys–in short, for the ignoble satisfaction of feeling that they are better than someone else.  John Holt

Thank you, I appreciate your time.

Laura

Did you Know that Creativity and Consciousness are Connected?

Creativity is a process of transforming the raw energy, information, and material of the universe into something that has never before existed. Whether you are creating a new business, an original piece of music, or a relationship, creativity requires a leap in awareness – a quantum jump from one pattern of thinking to an entirely new one, without progressing through incremental steps. In one moment a creative idea doesn’t exist, and in the next, it is part of our conscious world. In between, where was the idea? It came from the field of pure potentiality, which gives rise to everything in the universe.. Deepak Chopra

I was sure things had changed when I opened up to a life of consciousness because I’m naturally creative, drawn to the arts, photography, music, cooking and creative writing.  Because I am living consciously, I’ve become conditioned to rely on creativity in unique ways.  Part of that process for me is being still to let the vision or idea emerge, it is always fascinating to see what I can come up with.  What we are taught and what we are capable of is miles apart.

I find it interesting that when we’re young, we create entire worlds through our unlimited imaginations. When I reflect on my growing up years, the Beatles, Julia Child and Walt Disney stand out as a unique, creative people who conceived something that never existed before and what an impact each has made.  As some of us reach adulthood, we tend to use our imagination less because we’ve been made to believe that our brain loses its capacity to evolve and transform creatively.  Most adults believe if they can’t draw or sing, then they aren’t creative and that just isn’t true.

Have you ever gotten a great idea or imagined something and just let it go?  We all have unique ideas, use your imagination, you never know what you can create.  Whether we express our creativity through dance, music, art or communication, it is an essential part of who we are. When we are in the flow of creativity, we are also naturally in a state of mindfulness. The benefits of using our imagination is the ability to solve challenges differently and we will live our lives more creatively.  Scientists are now advising that our brain has the ability to form new neural pathways until we are very old, so don’t let old beliefs stop you from creating, go for it!

I live in a state of being open to creatively using my imagination to do things differently. After all, my date of birth is the same as Walt Disney’s, what a mentor to encourage creativity!  A few months ago I volunteered for a nonprofit thrift store.  I began by just processing donations and organizing the merchandise on the shelves.  As I became more involved and passionate about their mission, I intuitively found imaginative ways to display the merchandise which unknowingly helped to increase sales.  I continued to use my imagination to create ways to help the merchandise sell quickly.  The day I left to move,  the manager told me that I made a significant impact on their organization and all that happened was I went with the flow of my creativity and I had fun. A great pairing, consciousness and ingenuity, to germinate any seedling waiting to be watered with creativity to generate something brand new.

Creativity is the foundation for innovative problem solving, new products, inventions, ingenious ideas, new ways to benefit the world, the basis for re-creating a relationship or finding a new way to do something.  When we take the leap to tap into our creativity, we will be an inspiration and a force for using our imagination to those around us. Trust in your innate sense of creativity, change your life and change the world.

I believe in being an innovator. Walt Disney

Thank you for reading my post, I appreciate your time.

Laura

 

 

Making Your Life What You Want it To Be

Self-discipline begins with the mastery of your thoughts, it you don’t control what you think, you can’t control what you do.  MoveMe Quotes

I believe we all forget whose in charge of our lives, especially when we’re in the midst of situations that overwhelm us or seem uncontrollable.  For me, it used to almost feel easier to just give up or go back to living unconsciously. But then I’d hear the voice in my heart telling me to keep trying, to make a choice, to use my wisdom and let goodness happen and I have. This is a gentle reminder that we don’t have to be unhappy or live with the belief that only some “lucky” people have a charmed and satisfying life.

Being in control of your life comes by believing in yourself and by not allowing the fear of obstacles, challenges or change stop you. Remember you have a choice and you can learn to get past the old belief that you’re not good enough to make a real contribution to the world.  Believing we’re here for a purpose can greatly reduce our suffering and the feeling of being out of control because even if we forget, we are always in the driver’s seat of the direction of our lives. This is where we can rise above the limited life we’ve allowed ourselves to live by doing something on behalf of ourselves because we know we are worth it.

I can say with confidence that you can experience the impossible and that leads you from misery to unexpected joy and peace. As with any spiritual endeavor, this way of believing is knowing that you’ll have to take steps out of your comfort zone and be okay with it. This is where we learn to power through fear, head on. Every time we experience the unknown, fear will try to sneak in to stop us and that’s okay. Don’t ignore it or try to avoid it, just don’t be swallowed up by fear. Allow yourself to be afraid and just keep reminding yourself that you can do this, take a deep breath and keep going. 

Here are some ideas to consider to master your life:

  • Rely more on your “sixth” sense
  • Put your happiness and health first
  • Live in the present moment
  • Create plans that are open to change because that is how life in the control seat is
  • Be okay with living out of your comfort zone
  • Stop thinking so much, have faith in the unseen
  • Believe in the impossible
  • Create some rituals or routines for a well-balanced life
  • Nothing is set in stone, you have choices
  • Obstacles are a part of the journey for you to rise above
  • Take time for stillness or meditation, this is truly powerful step
  • Pursue meaning over pleasure, a life of meaning is why we are here
  • Be imaginative, create outside the box
  • No matter how things look, keep your eyes on the prize of a purposeful life

I’d like to end with this powerful and profound quote:

“Never say that you can’t do something, or that something seems impossible, or that something can’t be done, no matter how discouraging or harrowing it may be; human beings are limited only by what we allow ourselves to be limited by: our own minds. We are each the masters of our own reality; when we become self-aware to this: absolutely anything in the world is possible.

Master yourself, and become king of the world around you. Let no odds, chastisement, exile, doubt, fear, or ANY mental viruses prevent you from accomplishing your dreams. Never be a victim of life; be it’s conqueror.” ― Mike Norton

Thank you for reading my post and your time.

Change your life in 2018, Laura

Find Your Voice, How to Consciously Speak Up for Yourself

Speaking up for ourselves, mindfully is being assertive without being aggressive.  It is a way to let others know how we feel by expressing ourselves with dignity, confidence and self-respect. It isn’t about being right or wrong, it is about intentionally speaking the truth authentically and sincerely without justifying ourselves.

It’s taken years for me to allow myself to be heard. I’ve spent most of my adult life smiling and remaining silent, the words seemed to be stuck in my throat. It is an injustice to our soul to remain silent. When we don’t speak up, we give our power away and it leads others to believe that we accept how things are and being taken advantage of.

We are so afraid of what others will think or that we’ll end up being alone, we tolerate the unacceptable. I’d never been taught how to speak my mind without fear or thoughtfully. My education came from life bringing people and situations that helped me to overcome those hurdles.

How to Purposefully Speak Up for Yourself

Be Open and Honest

Teach people how to treat you by being transparent when you communicate instead of agreeing or smiling just to keep the peace. It takes practice, but when you speak honestly without being complacent, intimidating and defensive people will be more open to hearing what you have to say. When you do speak be consistent and firm, it will shift every situation.

Be Truthful, Calmly

Speak with confidence, be assertive without aggression.  If a bill is incorrect, don’t let it go, call and dispute it.  If someone is aggressive with you, instead of reacting, respond calmly and thoughtfully by telling them how you feel. No one knows what you’re feeling until you speak up.

Don’t Be Afraid to Disagree

What others do or say has nothing to do with you. There are always people who thrive on trying to control others, intimidating or set in attack mode without taking others into consideration. Don’t cater to them by reacting with anger, shouting or intimidation. Speak up, take a breath, calmly express your perspective. Be sure to clarify what you’re saying and either listen to their response or end the conversation.

Practice Makes You Better

When anyone criticizes or pressures you to do something that isn’t in line with who you are or they’re negligent of your feelings, say something.  This may also mean ending relationships with people who don’t value you or your circumstances. Practice asking for what you need as often as you can.  Your life will only be better each time you enforce the new habit of consciously speaking your mind.

Your Time is Always Yours

Most of us have a hard time saying no to giving our time away.  I know I did for years, I would say yes when I wanted to say no because I wanted everyone to be happy. Don’t let obligations or your kindness get in the way of how you spend the hours in your day, you are the only one who is in control of your time. Break away from people or situations that absorb your precious time.

No One is Responsible for How you Feel or Act but You

No one can invalidate your opinions, you are in complete control of what you believe, how you feel, what you think and how you act. Remember that when you try to negate others point of view, they’re perception is as valid as yours.

I hope this is useful for you. I appreciate your time, thank you for reading my post.

Authentic Living Helps you Comfortably Connect with Others

How Being Authentic Feels

How authentic have you allowed yourself to be?  Are you comfortable being exactly who you are? Being authentic is the only way that we can experience the best of ourselves. It is about being present, accepting, approachable and above all transparent. From my experience with authenticity, it is not only easier for me, it effects the way I interact and how people feel when I am in their presence. It isn’t anything specific that I do, it is just how I show up.

When you’re authentic, you will feel much more comfortable in your own skin. You’re naturally aligned with your own truth and easily able to discern those who are genuine and those who are not. To observe authenticity, go out into nature and observe wildlife. Animals and birds have no ego or agenda, they just are. Can you imagine living that way all of the time?  You can finally stop being a people pleaser and trying to live up to the expectations of others.

What I’ve Observed in Myself and Others

I am the first to say I led a dual life for many years. I was one way at home and another way at work. I believed that if I was completely myself, I wouldn’t be accepted. Toward the end of my business career I was so burnt out that being myself was the only way I could be, it was then that it was clear I wasn’t a fit with the corporate world.

I used to be so frustrated with people who were two-faced, I could not imagine how someone could appear to be friendly or honest, then be so insensitive or untrustworthy, it didn’t make sense. Over time, being awake to life has helped me to better understand that people can only be what they know. I don’t condone hypocrisy, but to those who are, I am aware, you are forgiven.

I’ve known many people throughout my life that have been disingenuous.  I’ve been betrayed, lied to and emotionally hurt because I took their inability to be real personally. One thing I’ve discovered is that how someone else acts is not directed just at you, they arc that way toward others and themselves. Like you, people are always doing the best they can, no matter how they appear. Until a person’s life is affected in a way that causes them to see who they really are, they won’t change.

Becoming Authentic is Like a Job

True authenticity is about going inward and looking at the patterns in your life, going into your past, why you choose what you do, how you feel about yourself and if you feel you are honest and can be trusted.

It is natural to feel discomfort with the thought of being authentic because of those parts of us that we keep hidden from everyone. That is okay, I dealt with some of my darkness on my own and I sought help with the deeper issues. You can peel through the layers of your dark side that you’ve stuffed down and heal without telling everyone. Authenticity is vital to a healthier life, you’ll feel lighter and more in tune with yourself.

Simple ways of authenticity that I’ve picked up:

  1. Always be ethical
  2. Modified Honesty (I am careful by always starting a conversation with, “If I may offer a suggestion or this is only my perception” with the thought in mind that my honesty is not to hurt or sway someone’s choices based on my opinions and beliefs).
  3. Love your body just as it is
  4. Accept what you look like and learn to see your unique beauty
  5. There is no one like you, so choose to love yourself
  6. Be comfortable with your own unique style
  7. Stop caring about what others think
  8. People pleasing becomes a thing of the past
  9. No longer looking for approval and expecting everyone to agree
  10. Seek help or guidance from someone you trust

Choose wisely, choose intentionally, thank you for reading this post, Namaste

A Self-Esteem Activity Including Ways to Enhance Your Confidence

Self Esteem Activity

How is your self-esteem?  Review the following statements, then indicate if they are True or False for you. After finishing, go back and check over your answers. Answer all of the questions to get a true picture of yourself.

This personal exercise is to help you to better understand your self-esteem. There are no right or wrong answers, this is just a way for you to gauge where you are and where you can relieve yourself of beliefs and unresolved issues holding you back from being who you truly are.

  1. I don’t feel adequate when I handle new situations.  True False
  2. I accept criticism without getting upset.  True False
  3. I accept myself unconditionally. True False
  4. I don’t exaggerate, pretend or lie. True False
  5. I am not afraid to express my feelings. True False
  6. I don’t feel resentful when I lose. True False
  7. I don’t worry about what other’s think about me. True False
  8. I don’t feel a victim. True False
  9. I accept my body as it is. True False
  10. I don’t need other people’s opinion to feel good about myself. True False
  11. I can stand up for myself without being aggressive. True False
  12. I don’t feel like a failure. True False
  13. I don’t feel guilty when I say “no”. True False
  14. I have good relationship with other people, I have no fear of abandonment. True False
  15. I don’t begrudge other people’s success. True False

Total Score 12-15 = You have a deep sense of worth, self-respect and live a balanced life.

Total Score 8-11 = You are on the right path, keep it up.

Total Score 7 -5 = You have a tendency toward self-criticism and to put yourself down. You’re afraid to take risks and make mistakes. You lack confidence.

Total Score < 4 = You are concerned with other people’s opinions and you may lack assertiveness. Your tendency is to ignore your needs because you want to please others. You might have self-destructive habits. You lack confidence, hide your true feelings and have problems establishing intimacy in relationships.

How Self-Esteem Can Affect Your Life

I struggled with self-esteem issues for years, trying to live up to an image of perfection that wasn’t who I was or honoring the beauty of my uniqueness. In all the years that I had a cynical view of myself, the relationships I had reflected how I treated myself. Since then I’ve spent some time concentrating on myself and things have improved notably. Raising your self-esteem isn’t easy when you’re drowning in comparisons and an accumulation of beliefs that you’re not good enough just as you are, but when you take the steps to dig into your shadows and rise above all of that, it is a magnificent feeling.

Advantages for a High Self-Esteem from Me and Henry Ford Allegiance Health

  1. Your expectations are more in line with reality, and as a result, you’re less critical of yourself and others
  2. You’re better able to handle stress (and avoid the unhealthy side effects that come with it)
  3. You’re less likely to develop an eating disorder
  4. You’re not as likely to battle feelings of worthlessness, guilt or shame
  5. You’re more likely to be assertive about expressing what you want, need or think
  6. You can build strong, honest relationships (and are less likely to stay in unhealthy ones)
  7. You have greater confidence in your ability to make good decisions.
  8. You bounce back more easily when it comes to life’s inevitable setbacks
  9. You’re more able to forgive yourself and others
  10. You will have a clearer sense of your values, worth, and integrity
  11. You will be less self-focused and more able to reach out to others 
  12. When you have a healthy self-esteem you will know yourself; be able to assess who you truly are, what your gifts are and ways to share them
  13. You will naturally love and accept yourself as you are, knowing that you can improve and develop any aspect of yourself that you choose

Secrets to Creating a Healthy Self Esteem and How to Apply Them

Live Consciously. Pay close attention to how you feel and the thoughts that come into your mind. Be aware of the view you hold of yourself and how it affects the way you act whether alone or with others.

Learn from Inaccurate Judgments.  I personally don’t believe in mistakes, we only know what we know. It is okay to say, “I was wrong or made an assumption”, own it and learn from it. We do the best we can with what we know, when we know better, we do better. You’ve discovered something about yourself and you will go forward a better person.

Listen To Other’s Point Of View without Judgment. It is easy to get caught up in our own opinion, even if it’s negative. Asking for and listening to other points of view can help you to realize your own truth and what you have intuitively known all along. It also helps you to realize that when someone offers their opinion it is based on their perception and life experiences. A good way to express your opinion in a non confrontational way, “from my personal experience or based on what I’ve learned.”

Take Care Of Yourself Physically, Emotionally and Spiritually. Taking care of yourself should be focused on your physical, intellectual and spiritual well-being to create new behaviorsWe all have choices, it is up to us to take responsibility for our over-all well-being. 

Take Responsibility for Your Life. Not owning up to our actions keeps us stuck, feeling miserable and unhappy.  Wayne Dyer said, “No matter how much I protest, I am totally responsible for everything that happens to me in my life”. Keeping this in mind will help you to create a different way of seeing things and being.

Speak and Act from Your Own Convictions. Be authentic and true to who you are and your values. Speak up and empower yourself to take control of your life. I guarantee you will feel better about yourself.

Have a Sense of Purpose & Direction. What do you want and where is your life going?  It is necessary to develop a sense of direction and focus on what you want to create a healthy self-esteem. 

Meditate Daily. Whether you take a walk in nature or meditate in a quiet and serene environment, take time to be still. This practice is vital to your mental and physical well-being and self-confidence.

Visualization – Use your ability to visualize your ideal situation, work, home, family, health, etc. See it in your mind as you would if it were real and the way your life would look, ideally. Visualizing is a great way to help create the life you want and stay focused in a positive way.

Forgive. Forgiving is never for anyone but yourself. Not forgiving is like carrying a heavy load without any relief, it is difficult and painful to move forward with your life. Forgiving is putting all of your baggage behind you and lightening your load. 

Avoid ‘should’ statements. If you find that your thoughts are concentrated on shoulds, it is time to let go of them, and the unreasonable rules you’ve held for yourself. Instead embrace new ways to enhance your life and the unique person that you are.

Focus on the positive. Think about the good parts of your life. Remind yourself of things that have gone well. This is a way to help steer you away from the tendency to be negative about yourself and your abilities.

Encourage yourself. Give yourself credit for making positive changes. Whether the changes are in your relationships, your lifestyle or within you, give yourself a pat on the back for taking the necessary steps to view yourself in a healthier and honest way.

  I decided to by happy for the rest of my life because it is good for my health, Voltaire

Thank you for taking time to stop by. I appreciate any ideas or thoughts you have about self-esteem or any questions that you have.

 

Creating Soul Sanctuaries – Shifting Your Awareness

No one else can choose your attitude.  Your perspective and choice of attitude give you the power to be in control.  That is the essence of freedom. Irene Dunlop

Creating your own soul sanctuary should be a vital part of the process in your journey to create a new lifestyle and change the direction of your focus from food to your personal growth. Shifting your thoughts and focus on unearthing the core of who you are and what your purpose in life is will begin the seeds of growth and healing within you.  When you begin to see yourself as a whole person rather than just the weight of your body or the food that  you eat. your life will change dramatically.

Three years ago I began my personal and spiritual transformation.  It changed my life forever. my focus shifted, my whole world changed.  How I perceived myself and who I was allowing myself to become was reflected in the people who came into my life   When you become clear on your direction and allow your authenticity to surface, you are aligning with your core.  When you open that space in your heart, things that you never imagined begin to happen.  People that are like who you truly are will come into your life.

Developing a healthy lifestyle has less to do with food and more to do with why you’re here, what your purpose in life is, what achieving great health is all about and rediscovering yourself. Whenever you embark on a new direction or focus in your life that is rooted in who you truly are, a major transformation will naturally occur.

Part of your “job” in adopting a new vision of yourself is to see yourself doing something that evokes your passion.  Something that creates energy and excitement to make a difference.  If your life revolves around the inspired part of yourself, the soul that whispers to you to create an abundant and joy-filled life, it will be  very easy to put food and eating in its place as a way to nourish and energize your spirit.

Have you ever done something that “took you away” or that you got so lost in time dissolved?  What was it?  Is it something that fills your heart and gives you peace? Creating a sanctuary within yourself allows the energy of the Universe to flow through you.  Rather then focus on mistakes, problems or contrast in your life, seek time to fill your soul with joy.  Be gentle with yourself, don’t get upset or frustrated when you miss the mark or don’t meet your own expectations, each day, each hour, each minute is an opportunity to start over.

Soul Blooming

The point of creating a healthy lifestyle is to turn your attention to all of your senses, mind, body and spirit.  Do you have or are you seeking spirituality?  Having faith and some form of spirituality in your life is so important.  Because when you have faith and a spiritual connection it can and will change the direction of your thoughts in a heartbeat.  It is more than positive thinking, it is an awareness of something greater than yourself allowing your soul to flourish.

As a flower blooms in spring to display its beauty to the world, as does your soul.  It is calling to you each and every day to be who you truly are.

From Deepak Chopra, the seven questions to discover your soul profile:

1. Who am I?

2. What do I want?

3. What’s my purpose in this life?

4. What sort of contribution do I want to make?

5. What are my unique skills?

6. Who are my heroes?

7. What is a meaningful relationship—what do I expect from one, and what do I give?

Can you feel it already? The transformation from a life focused on food and eating seems much less important than the creation of you.  It is a day by day, step by step process. Rather than hold expectations, hold none and allow yourself to develop at your own pace.  It is like a plant blooming, first the seed is planted, then watered to bring that seed to life.  Your energy will flow, your mind will become more creative, the love will flow from you to those in your life and the people who you meet.

Start your transformation by including meditation in your day.  I have created time in my day the first thing in the morning, it sets the tone for the day and gives you a feeling of harmony and peace as you prepare for the demands of the day.  If you’re a beginner, guided meditation is best to give your mind a diversion so you aren’t dealing with brain created thoughts that interfere with your natural stillness.  As you progress in meditation, your mind will begin to create visions of places and feelings that you want to experience.

Find a group that meets on a regular basis that will encourage your personal growth.  Meetup.com is a fantastic place to do that, I’ve joined a few groups myself, it’s changed my life.  If you join a group and find it isn’t what you expected, leave and find another.  Keep you in the forefront, be proactive on your own behalf. I know if you’re a parent, finding time for these things may seem difficult, if you are happy, relaxed, feeling positive and open to change, just think of the  message are you sending to your children.  While I don’t regret my past choices (if I knew better I would do better as Maya Angelou says), if I had made better choices for myself, things would have flowed easier.

Creating a soul sanctuary is making a determined choice to care for yourself.  A sanctuary is a place of peace and love so you can turn your attention and life to focus on the importance of creativity, happiness and joy.  Rather than seeking it in food, you will find it within yourself and what will spring forth from that fountain of love will surprise and delight you, you deserve it.

Peace and love.