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Category: Thoughts

Tuesday Thoughts: my motto.

Well, Hello! It is 2016 and I have been quiet these past few weeks. I needed some time to refocus and prioritize life and now I am back.

As it is my first real post of 2016 I want to address a common theme for the New Year. Resolutions. I do not make traditional New Years resolutions. When I think of something I would like to change or include in my life, I get started on it pretty quickly. Taking advantage of my excitement and energy, in order to create a new habit. This practice of mine leads me with little ideas for a resolution when the New Year finally arrives. However the past couple of years I started a tradition of my own. I choose a motto for the year, and write that baby down in journals, on notepads, and keep it as the screen saver on my phone as a constant reminder. Last year it was “expect less, appreciate more“. Seeing those words several times a day really did change my way of thinking.

I thought I would share this year’s motto with you. I chose it on New Years Day and I love it each time I read it. Are you ready?

Attract what you expect. Reflect what you desire. Become what you respect. Mirror what you admire.

What do you think? It is different than a normal resolution but incorporates the change I would like to see in my life in 2016. Looking forward to seeing how I follow my motto this year!

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts: curiosity. a cure for kindness and understanding?

For several years on a regular basis, I have met with a therapist/coach to help me navigate through my thoughts, feelings and experiences. We have spent hundreds of hours discussing relationships, whether it be relationships with my husband, family, friends, co-workers, bosses or myself. Like anything in life, relationships have their ups and downs. When they are down, I focus on bringing them back to a healthy state, or sometimes have to recognize the relationship has hit its expiration date. There have only been a couple relationships I have decided to move on from, and it has taken great effort to keep many of my most important relationships intact.

There are several strategies I have used over the years, like reaching out even when I feel its the other persons turn and going along to get along. Oftentimes most strategies do not work all that well. Besides letting go of any resentment and forgiveness (in circumstances it exists), the one strategy that never seems to fail is displaying genuine curiosity in the other person. My therapist recommended this to both my husband and me during a particular family crisis. I remember not believing her when she told us to stop focusing on what the other person did wrong and instead be curious about those who we were in the relationship with. She recommended we start asking them more questions about themselves. The questions could be  about their childhood, careers, or hobbies, to name a few. She said this will not only get your mind off of existing tension, but the other person would feel appreciated, honored, and happy to share their story. More importantly, we would likely gain a larger matter of respect for that person. We have a better understanding as to who they are and why tension may exist, making it easier to let go of resentment. When I started being curious, I listened, I heard and started to see more clearly. This lead me to understand and accept the person on the other side of the relationship, and allowed the relationship to grow.

This week, I came across the article “How Curiosity Can Help Us Be Kinder and Less Judgmental”, by Jen Picicci. This article is a story on how being curious helped Picicci become less judgmental of others (strangers included). She said curiosity helped her be less assumptive of others actions or behaviors. Picicci did not ask questions like I was, but instead dreamed of all sorts of reasons why someone would behave a certain way. When she thought of many reasons and was curious, it made the other seem more relate-able and she had a better understanding of them, therefore releasing judgement.

So the next time you find yourself having a difficult time in a relationship, or having judgement be curious. See how that changes your perspective and allows you to live a kinder, more accepting life.

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts: work. life. balance.

Work-life balance is something I strived for, for years. In fact, I left a stable job where I had achieved much success, in order to find more work-life balance. I could not stand the feeling of the “Sunday Blues”, or living for Friday at 5 p.m. EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. I wanted less work and more life in my life. After taking a new job providing me the flexibility to work from home, with a little extra time to pursue my passion, I feel I have achieved the work-life balance I had been striving for. However, this balance is different than I expected.

When working an 8-6 corporate job, I thought work-life balance meant having time for your work and life of which was separate from each other. Once I had time to focus on my true purpose, my work and life started to blend, creating balance. The reason being? I was working on my passion and passion is a huge part of one’s life. In doing work I am passionate about I no longer feel  I am working and instead feel inspired and more playful, two feelings I wanted more of from my life.

In Ted Coine’s article Work-Life Balance Is A Crock“, he argues, when we say “work-life balance” we are saying work is not a part of our lives. But work is a part of our lives. A big part. Work is where we spend most of our waking hours, and what generates income for our livelihood. We should not strive to separate work and life. We should strive to find work that is pleasurable and we want to be our lives (of course in addition to other important things). Coine recommends instead of looking for work-life balance, we find our “Flow“. Flow is, “work that is so fascinating to you, so fun, that you choose to do it when you get home. That joy of work that inspires you to lose track of time, to keep you going and going, getting energy from your work (or hobby) versus burning your energy up. Flow is where we all should be”.

If you are striving for work-life balance, perhaps you can look at it differently now. Perhaps you can make a change in your life. Perhaps you can realize you are not doing the work you are meant to be doing and start on your journey to discover your purpose. No need take huge leaps and bounds immediately but recognize if this is where you are at. You can start small to find your “flow“, you can pursue the hobby you have always been interested in, or start a side business in your free time. Stay engaged, stay focused, the right work will appear in time and you will find your “flow“.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts: thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving! I love Christmas, but as I have gotten older I have come to appreciate and adore Thanksgiving just as much. This year I have grown a lot and have used many different tools and practices to do so. The most impactful has been to make a habit of checking in daily (often multiple times per day) and practicing gratitude. Today as a nation we celebrate giving thanks, and this post will strictly be a list of 101 things I am grateful for. This is a personal list of what I give thanks for today and every day. Enjoy your turkey & see ya next week!

 

Faith:

1. God & his bringing me to existence, and continuous love.

2. God’s plan for me, my faith in riding it out, and my ability to see his signs proving I am on the right path.

3. Knowledge of religion but the choice to believe what I want, and acceptance of others who believe what they believe.

4. A faith-based community of which inspires me.

5. Guardian Angels who keep me safe.

 

Love:

6. My husband. That I found him so young, and we have already had 13 years together.

7. His continued support & love.

8. The fact we make everything work out as long as we work together.

9. The timing of our relationship and events. Everything happens when it’s just right.

10. The way we have grown individually and as a couple.

11. The way he loves and cares for our dog, & what an amazing Dad (to humans) he will be.

12. His work ethic. How hard and passionately he works to support us.

13. Date nights

14. A kiss in the morning and a kiss at night.

15. Holding hands.

 

Family:

16. My parents and the love and spirit they have for me. How they brought me up.

17. My brother who cares and loves everyone around him so deeply.

18. My sister who has no judgment and accepts me no matter our differences.

19. My parent-in-laws. I am fortunate to have 4 to love and love me back!

20. My sibling in-laws. Each treating me like one of their own from the very beginning.

21. My deceased grandparents. How they loved & what they taught me.

22. My grandparent- in-laws. That I still have them to nurture me as one of their own.

23. My extended family on both sides. There are so many of us to celebrate!

24. My Paisley Girl, who brings me, love, laughter and smiles every single day.

25. My God Children & the fact their parents picked me.

26. Talking to my mom almost every day.

 

Friends:

27. The best group of friends on the planet. Our Village. Our Tribe. Forever Friends.

28. The beautiful, smart and creative women friends in my life.

29. The guys married to those women, who treat me like a sister.

30. Friendships that no matter the distance between us never fade, & grow stronger.

31. Friendships of which we may not talk often, but it’s as though nothing ever changes.

32. The laughter and memories made between friends.

33. Friendships that form from other friendships.

34. Feeling free to be 100% myself around my closest friends, with full acceptance.

35. Seeing prosperity, love and success existing in friend’s lives & watching it grow.

36. Being a part of the biggest moments of friend’s lives & having them be a part of mine.

37. My BFF moving to San Diego.

38. Friends generosity.

 

Health:

39. My health, my husband’s health, my family’s health, my friend’s health.

40. Having the discipline to get up each morning to exercise.

41. That I am able-bodied to participate in physical activities.

42. Having the strength to make sure my mental health is as healthy as my physical.

43. My love for all foods, especially healthy nutritious food.

44. My female health, and the opportunity as a female to birth life.

45. My ability to fall asleep quickly and most of the time get 8 hours of sleep!

46. My teeth & my braces from teenage years, I get many compliments now!

 

Career:

47. Finding my purpose and passion and pursuing that as a career.

48. A job that pays very well, and allows me flexibility and balance.

49. A boss who believes in me and is respectful.

50. Colleagues and those I learn from and am supported by on a daily basis.

51. Clients who give me an opportunity to make more money!

52. Continuously learning new things that inspire me.

53. Working from home.

54. Those who have impacted my career, whether I worked with them or not.

55. Those who come to me for career advice, I learn from you too!

 

Home:

56. Living in the land of the free. The most accepting and supportive country there is.

57. My home. A home that keeps us warm, and we’ve been able to make our own.

58. A neighborhood that is safe, and allows me to walk to almost anywhere.

59. Our neighbors who look out for us and are fun!

60. San Diego. Fair weather. Peaceful People. Seeing the ocean every day.

61. California. Can get nearly anywhere in a matter of a day. It’s beauty.

62. A fully stocked pantry and refrigerator.

63. Beautiful pictures and things in my home bringing me joy daily.

64. Living close to our family, but still allowing for our independence.

65. Our comfy bed, and my hubby and pup to help keep it warm.

66. My Christmas ornament collection to remind me of all the places we have traveled.

67. Running water and solid plumbing in our home.

 

Lifestyle:

68. Having the means to have traveled to many cities, nationally and internationally.

69. Dos Pueblos Ranch, where we got married and share many family and friend memories.

70. My car and other means of transportation.

71. Ability to go out to eat, drink and partake in many events and activities.

72. My gym and Pilates memberships along with the amazing trainers that keep me fit!

73. Affording things and treatments that make me feel pretty.

74. The means to be generous, whether it be making a donation or buying a gift.

75. Reliable friends and daycare to watch Paisley when we are away.

 

Education:

76. All the teachers I have had in my life through school, work, and personal settings.

77. My college degree, and that I studied something I loved even if it was not that practical & alma mater The University of Arizona!

78. The new knowledge I am learning through a personal development program.

79. The enormous amount of books, podcasts, blogs and more I learn from daily.

80. The choice I make to continue learning as much as possible as often as possible.

 

Technology:

81. The internet for obvious reasons.

82. My IPhone for a million reasons including its camera, entertainment & navigation.

83. My Kindle. Makes reading convenient.

84. Amazon Prime. NEXT DAY FREE SHIPPING. Boom!

85. Skype & Facetime. I can see my sister when I talk to her while she is abroad.

86. Uber.

87. Bluetooth in my car.

 

Entertainment :

88. Judd Apatow. His movies are the only ones I can watch over and over.

89. E! News, US Weekly, sometimes accurate celebrity media outlets are necessary

90. Showtime. Homeland, The Affair, Ray Donovan. Can’t get enough.

91. Bravo! I love me some Housewives and Andy Choen. Thanks for the entertainment.

92. The Movies. Going to the theater. Indulging in popcorn and a diet coke.

 

Miscellaneous:

93. Red Wine & Craft Cocktails.

94. Coffee & Tea. On occasion a cold brew or skinny vanilla latte.

95. Sushi, Pizza, Cheese and frozen yogurt (my vices).

96. My daily gratitude journal, for keeping me in check.

97. Good customer service.

98. Forgiveness.

99. Airport security. Police. Firefighters. Pilots. Everyone who works to keep us safe.

100. Mail. Specifically receiving holiday cards or a handwritten note.

 

Most of all:

101. Today.

 

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Tuesday Thoughts: eternal love.

Lead with love, an affirmation I remind myself of daily. In leading with love, I have thought a lot about love, where I see it, where I feel it and what it means.

The strongest form of love I have witnessed is with my grandparents, their spouses, children and grandchildren. I recently saw true love displayed when witnessing a friend supporting her husband during his time of illness and death. I could see and feel the love they had for one another as she held his hand, told him stories, and smiled. The love they had been pure. The love they had been real. The love they had seemed endless. How could it possibly be ending?

A few days later as I was falling asleep I started to cry. I cried for their love, great love, the love no longer existing in the physical realm. I cried for how she must feel without him. I was sad to see her go on without him. Then I started to cry for the love in my life, the love I have for my husband, the love he has for me. I cried from a place of happiness and gratitude. Then I became sad. I was sad thinking us too will die inevitable deaths one day and we will no longer physically be together.

The next day, I came across this video, “Existential Bummer” by Jason Silva. Jason’s video questions love in a way I had never thought of before. His thoughts are if we eventually die, and what we love  no longer exists, then do you love harder while you are on earth and not let go, to make the most of that love? Or do you disassociate yourself from love because it will all end eventually? Which is it? To me, the later comes from a place of fear. Where the former comes from a place of faith.

I am choosing to love in the moment that exists, to hold on with as much as I have, for as long as I can, to give it all that I have got. I believe if you love with faith rather than fear, that love continues on. That is true love. That is real love. That is love that can not be taken away and does not end. That is forever love. That is love felt and exists for eternity. That is love that will live on. And this is the strongest form of love I have witnessed.

 

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Tuesday Thoughts: money.

Money is a funny thing. It is widely debated whether money buys happiness. Many people have a volatile relationship with money. Some work so hard for money and financial success but lose track of other meaningful things in life. Others worry they will never have enough, no matter how hard they work. Then there are those that seem to have more than enough money and are not deserving. However, not everyone has these types of relationships with money and have figured out a good way to look at and manage a money relationship. Realizing this, I want to share my financial story and what I believe truly successful people do in order to find financial peace.

Being married to a financial planner, you would think I have a balanced relationship with money. But I have my ups and downs. Growing up my parents raised me to save and to budget, and being the achiever that I am, I was really good at following the rules I was taught. As a teenager, I saved money from the time I was 9 or 10 from doing chores or babysitting to buy my first car. In college I spent each summer earning just enough money, to get by each week of the school year to keep up with my friends. After college, it was very important to me to live independently, but my job would not support that lifestyle. Instead of living at home, I cashed out 21 years’ worth of savings bonds, to help supplement. That money lasted me years. I earned, budgeted and saved, just as I had done my whole life.

I continued to grow my income year after year, but at the age of 26 things changed. My income suddenly multiplied by 5 in only 6 months. Instead of continuing to budget I felt a sense of financial freedom. I wanted a break from penny pinching and was spending (never lavishly, but a lot more than I should have) without thinking twice. It was a great feeling to feel free from all that saving and budgeting. My husband and I were able to pay for a large portion of our wedding with no sweat off our back, and without asking our parents for more money as wedding expenses grew. We took amazing vacations after vacations, fancy dinners out and bought really nice gifts for ourselves and others. Then things changed again. Our income stood steady, but we added to our lifestyle, bought a house (a house full of problems that cost us a lot more money), and started a business, while not budgeting back and re-evaluating our lifestyle. And today for the first time in our lives we have debt, which forced me to start thinking a lot more about money.

I wanted to share my money story, so I could let go of it and re-focus the way I look at money, (so thank you for reading). Our debt had been bothering me recently when someone took note and reminded me I was only getting in my way of more money coming in. I need to let go of worrying how it is coming in or how it is going out to continue my pursuit of success. That does not mean I live in denial, or am faking it till I make it, but to have faith it will all work out, which I do. I also believe one has to spend money to make money and supporting our business ventures in a responsible way is deserved and necessary to grow.

There are several other lessons around my relationship with money I have learned, and continue to learn. Nothing was clear until I gave myself a true reality check. Instead of not looking at our finances and allowing my husband to handle it all, I took a clear look and accepted what existed. I now spend time a few times a week looking at what is coming in and what is going out, but not being attached to it emotionally. Just having the knowledge has allowed me the power to let go and have faith.

I also remind myself things will work out because they always have. I am not preparing for things to not work out because that is just me worrying and getting in my own way again. We always find a way to make things work, and this is no different, there is always more available from where that success had stemmed.

The most important lesson learned has been to continue to be generous. I have always practiced generosity, but at times when there is not extra cash floating around it has been harder to do so. I am no longer looking at generosity as something that should exist only in a surplus. Instead, I remind myself that most of this world lives on only a few dollars a day and I am pretty damn lucky to be in the situation I am. For that I am grateful and would rather show abundance and spread what we have, than dwell on what we may not. Not only do I believe it is better for the world, but it makes me feel better. Additionally, if I express an abundance (again not necessarily lavishly), I will attract an abundance. If I believe it and work towards it, by giving back what I can, more will come.

Coincidentally or not, as I had been thinking about my relationship with money, last week Marie Forleo, put out an episode of B-School discussing money matters. This episode lead me to her episode “6 Little Money Mindset Shifts That Pay Off Huge”, identifying many of my existing thoughts on money, along with several other highly impactful tips. Between believing and practicing my new “money mantras”, and letting go of my “money story”, I feel very confident and my financial worry subsides.

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Thursday Thoughts: the key to change.

Change. We are always trying to find a way to change something. Whether it be our appearance, attitude or lifestyle. Quite often, and with much difficulty, we try to change others. This blog is even about creating change. Learning information that may inspire you to grow. A few days ago I had the equation to change reveal itself to me. That equation…

Modify Belief = Modify Behavior

It is that easy. You must believe you can change what you want. You must believe you will find a way. You must speak the words of your beliefs and take action in expressing your beliefs. Once you believe, you will feel, then you will behave. That behavior stemming from belief will rub off on others, but do not force it. Lead by example. It is that simple. Believe in yourself. Believe in Others. Most importantly, believe in something bigger too.

 

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Tuesday Thoughts: let it go.

As what many would call a bonafide control freak, I have a hard time letting things go. I tie myself to the good and the bad. Whether it be a vacation that has ended or an argument that needs to be put to bed, I have a hard time disconnecting myself from my experiences. It is exhausting for me and for those, I am closest to.

Over the years, I have relieved myself slightly from these antics, by practicing many different tactics. Recently the clearest message of all came about. I heard a speech about a particular successful person and what he has done to be successful. His key to success? He wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night. He does not stress about things he needs to accomplish, what he did not do, or how he will get to the next step. Instead, he lets go and with great faith, lets what is meant to happen, happen. It is not to be considered this man just sat on his couch and waited for a miracle. He followed his heart and did what he felt to be right every single day. He believed he had a path already created and meant to follow, he was not able to control what did or did not happen. He lived by the grace of his creation and knew he had a purpose, and the purpose came about naturally providing him with great success.

I have stopped stressing about life (well mostly) and instead have given my control away. Doing my best every day, living with intention, having faith, and accepting where I am has alleviated a lot of the negativity weighing on my shoulders. I am the happiest I have ever been and every single day I am given signs I am on the right path. It is amazing and freeing.

Funny enough, I wrote this entire post on Sunday night, and Monday morning I had this article titled “20 Things You Gradually Learn As You Let Go Of The Uncontrollable”, appear in my inbox. Again, a sign I am on the right path.

So go ahead and let it go, give your control away and see that the journey leads you to incredible places.

 

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Tuesday Thoughts: law of attraction.

In college, my Dad introduced me to the popular documentary and bookThe Secret“, by Rhonda Byrne. It was 2006/2007 and “The Secret” had become a worldwide phenomenon. I remember my Dad taking its message seriously while I questioned its theory. Primarily based on “The Law of Attraction”, Byrne’s film and book suggest humans have the power to bring what they want into their lives and this power stems from the mind and its focus.

It is said, “The Law of Attraction can be understood by understanding that ‘like attracts like’. What this means is that whether we realize it or not, we are responsible for bringing both positive and negative influences into our lives. A key part of the Law of Attraction is understanding that where you place your focus can have an intense impact on what happens to you. If you spend your days wallowing in regrets about the past or fears of the future, you’ll likely see more negativity appearing, but if you look for the silver lining in every experience that you’ll soon start to see positivity surrounding you every day. Therefore, the Law of Attraction encourages you to see that you have the freedom to take control of how your futures develops, shaping it in the ways you choose.

Even though I had questioned the theory at the time, looking back I was using it. I have always asked the universe and God to send me signs. Sometimes signs spark up so quickly, my husband thinks I am able to predict the future. In fact, I asked for a sign when I started dating my husband. I knew I had liked him and wanted to date him, but was skeptical after a few failed relationships. He had all the qualities I had been looking for, what I told myself existed, but had not found. To be sure while thinking of him in regards to moving forward, I asked for a sign while waiting for the elevator in my building one evening. Within seconds, he walked off that elevator. Just him. That was my sign. I did not believe it was a coincidence. I knew that was a purposeful moment, but who was driving the purpose? Back then, I am sure I believed it was God answering my prayers, however, today I think it has a lot to do with me and my intentions. I believe in God, but I also believe we have to work together and take it upon ourselves to make the magic happen.

Over the past several months I have spent a lot of time determining what I want out of life. Along the way I have kept positive and envisioned my future in ways I never have before. I am still, in the beginning, stages of taking steps to make my dreams come true, but along the way I ask for signs. As I practice mindfulness and focus clearly on my intentions I continue to receive signs I am on the right track.

I receive little signs and I receive big signs. For example, my husband and I have spent this year exploring different churches, looking for one we felt fit. Yesterday we had planned to meet friends for an early morning service at a church in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, we woke up later than expected and missed the service we were supposed to attend. We decided to go to a later service sans friends, but still were running very late. The parking lot and surrounding streets were a mess. Already five minutes past start time we were not sure we would be able to park anywhere nearby. Suddenly as we were about to pass by a car pulled out of a spot dead center in front of the church. There was a line of cars that appeared to be waiting, but they each went by, that spot was ours. We laughed, saying God really wanted to see us today, but it gave me an immediate feeling this was a place we belonged. We noticed a lot of those attending were similar to us, and really enjoyed the pastor and the sermon. In fact, the sermon was about taking opportunities that present themselves to you, and that they are there for a reason. Exactly what I had been thinking.

Beyond signs from church, recently I have had many people I do not know well confirm my thoughts and feelings about my future. It has been so clear. One person, I hardly know recently said in exact words I should be in a specific profession (the exact one I am pursuing). I could go on and on about the signs I receive. I believe they continue to arrive because I attract them through intention and am mindful in receiving.

It would have been wonderful to have better understood “The Secret” and Law of Attraction when I was younger, but I am fortunate for the knowledge now.  I plan to use this power in all areas of life and create my future to match my vision as best possible.

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Thursday Thoughts: developing emotional strength.

This last year I made a significant effort in improving my life. Doing so has led me to do things like, create this blog, take risks, develop passion, and get a clearer direction of my future. The most powerful benefit from this endeavor has been the improved relationships, with my husband, family, friends (the past, present, old & new) and even colleagues, acquaintances, and strangers.

Not long ago, I would have likely blamed other for a sour experience in a relationship. Often I would sulk, feeling sorry for myself because I could not get someone to do something my way, blaming them for my unhappiness. It was not until I started taking full responsibility for my actions and happiness when things started to change. Once doing so, miraculously the change I was looking for in others became, and I did not have to ask anyone to do anything.

This week Marc Chernoff, of popular blog Marc & Angel HACK LIFE, discussed how to take responsibility for yourself in relationships. In his blog post, “8 Ways To Be Emotionally Strong In Your Relationships“, he provides readers with tips to develop emotional strength. Below I listed these tips and elaborated on how I have used them to my advantage. (His tips in bold, my response in italics).

Sit by yourself for 20 minutes each day, without a phone, tablet, TV or other distraction.  Look inside – meditate.  Notice your thoughts as they come up.  Get to know your mind.  See how fascinating it is, as you jump from one thought to the next.  This in itself is an infinite source of entertainment and learning.

Meditation does not come easily to me. I have tried getting up daily before dawn to meditate prior to anything else. I have tried laying in bed, the moment I awake. I have tried guided meditations, walking meditations, yoga, even meditating in the sauna. I do think meditation and time to yourself without distraction is helpful, but for me, I have to do it whichever way suits me best that day. I have trouble focusing, and I can not say anything amazing has transformed (yet) from meditation, however, the extra volt of energy and taking time for just me is a small reward.

Create something – come up with ideas for building something from the ground up and then do it – a poem, a painting, a song, an action plan, a business, etc.  You don’t need anyone to do those things, and they give you added insight into your own abilities and passions.

Your reading it. When I decided to start this blog (officially), I had something to look forward to every day. When my husband says he is going to golf during the weekend, I think to myself, “great, I’ll work on the blog“. In the past, I would have been annoyed he was not available to spend time with me. This has been a hobby for me to enjoy. The ideas and aspirations I have developed because of this space continue to ignite me daily.

Curiosity is a boundless source of happiness for most people.  Exercise it.  Explore.  Travel.  Educate yourself.  Read good books.  Deepen your knowledge base on topics you enjoy.

Again, I decided to engage in all types of self-development information. I got curious about human communication, happiness, and authenticity. The time spent learning about these topics, lead me to practice them in my own life. They are subjects I am passionate about and never get old.

Talk yourself through your own problems.  Find a solution.  If you’re bored, fix it.  If you are lonely or hurt, comfort yourself.  If you’re jealous, don’t hope that someone will reassure you … reassure yourself.

Oh, this is a hard one. I wrote about establishing independence before, and in doing so, I have learned not to ask my husband for everything. I have taken it upon myself to solve my own problems, find my way, and tell him what I have done, rather than ask him how to do it. I am proud, he is proud. I am happy. I may still go to him from time to time, but I have learned to at least attempt to solve my own problems first.

Take responsibility.  If you find yourself blaming others, tell yourself that the other person is never the problem.  Of course, you can choose to believe the other person is the problem, but then you are dependent on them for a solution.  If you believe that they aren’t the problem, then you are able to look inside yourself for the solution.

This is probably the most important tip. I have learned when something goes array in a relationship, to ask myself “What did I do?”. Reflecting on my actions leads to a solution. Even if that solution is as simple as asking for forgiveness.

If you find yourself complaining, instead find a way to be grateful.

This tip is also very valuable. It is easy to complain. I can always find something to complain about. But you know what? I can always find more to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude has been huge for me and my happiness. This tool has been awesome.

If you find yourself being needy, instead find a way to give. If you find yourself wanting someone to help you, help yourself.

I have been practicing my listening skills. I tend to be a talker. I think my talking tendencies come from a place of wanting attention. Rather than doing so much talking, I have been trying to listen more. By listening more, I have had people open up to me in ways I had never expected. Constantly others thank me for listening. It is important to feel heard, and not enough people feel validated this way. Giving back to another is the biggest reward of all and quickest way to feel good again.

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