3 Lessons Rejection Teaches You

Admit it.  We’ve all faced some sort of rejection in our lives.  Sometimes, it feels a lot like failure, but in reality, it can be a blessing in disguise.

I never really liked paying attention in school.  I tried…I really did.  Honestly, there were just too many distractions.  But by the time I got to college, I knew I had to buckle down and so, I decided to graduate at the top of my class.

However, the truth is, none of that stuff matters if you get a degree, go out into the work place, and decide after doing this job for x amount of years, that underneath it all, it was definitely not what you thought it’d be. 

No one ever tells you about all the red tape associated with being a teacher.  There really should be classes on handling policy changes, curriculum changes, then going back to the old way you taught, then handling the parents, and, well you get my drift.  It wasn’t the teaching that I didn’t like.  I loved the learning and the beautiful children I taught.  It was the fact that I had absolutely no creative control what so ever.  Period.

It didn’t matter if I got on the curriculum planning committees, which I did, if I went to all the meetings on “brainstorming” new ways to teach this material, which I did, if I became a chair of a few teams, again, did that.  Nothing seemed to change.  Year, after year, after year.

So the same thinking was yielding the same results and it really was very difficult to live in this situation.  I decided to take a year off, and by that time, I was already dealing with health issues, so it really seemed a good time to think about what was happening in my career.

3 Lessons I Learned:

  1. Sometimes, rejection is a new lesson in what you don’t want.  I decided that I wanted to help a non-profit in some sort of form…at least I really thought I did.  As I looked at tons of job listings, I found one that looked “too good to be true” as it appeared made for me.  After applying, I thought to myself, why did I just do that??  I panicked.  I wasn’t ready for this big job.  I was actually called by a head hunter and had about 3 interviews, before the 2.5 hours interview in person.  The head hunter loved me…and at least one of the ladies in the panel seemed to love me.  The two who I would be working with; however, did not.  My ideas were too radical, except for the part where they were taking notes and saying “I’ve never thought about it that way.” I got a gut sensation that for whatever reason, the head lady instantly didn’t like me.  I was much better off as this job was actually 40 minutes from my home.
  2. Trust your gut feeling.  So I wish I had just turned around and walked out upon shaking the CEO’s hand, but I was actually invited to a lunch after…when I knew that I would never want to work there even if they offered me the job.  Energy never lies to me.  I stuck it out to make a good impression, and because honestly, I have manners.  Just because she was a prickly witch didn’t mean that one day I wouldn’t run into one of those people…somewhere down the line.  I knew it wasn’t right for me, but I stayed for my peace of mind.  Not theirs.
  3. Turn the lesson into a positive one.  Do NOT think about what you could have done differently.  That is what you are doing, isn’t it?  Instead, think about the ways in which this has taught you something.  For me, it taught me that I was actually one of the top three with almost zero experience for this really high-powered job, because I believed I could do it.  I had some of the qualifications and a true passion for what the organization was about.  That didn’t actually turn out, but to be a top three, the head hunter, who does this type of thing all the time, said my answers were the best.  I was still proud of myself.  And ermmm to be honest, I was proud of myself for not answering snarkily to the really dumb questions that I was being asked.  I could tell they were trying to catch me off guard, but I just kept on answering.  Two and half hours.  <<< I can’t get that back, but it taught me to stay cool.

I hope whatever your rejection is, that in the end, you see it really is pointing you in a better direction!

Rejection Note:  You might like this post on using gratitude to move forward.

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5 Ways to Work Through Grief

As I prepare to write this post, I want to say that grief can come over you at anytime.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a dear pet, or grief for something you can’t name.  It feels heavy on your chest like you can’t breathe and it stays there for a while.

The suffocating feeling lasts for a while, but after a time you notice you can take a little bit more air in and the knot in your chest starts to loosen.  Maybe you start to feel guilty about that, so you try to hold on tighter and love more, but just let it ease gradually.

Some people I know throw themselves into a million projects, classes, trips, and have literally zero down time.  They are not ready for the grief to process yet.  From what I have observed, this is somewhat like ripping the band-aid off and they are waiting as long as they can.  If that is their process, so be it.  Each person is different; however, if you are reading this, I will try to help as gently as I can.

I am on day one of a new round of grief.  Each time I feel loss it is different, yet the same.  Here are a few things that I have learned.

5 Ways to Work Through Grief:

  1. Sit with it for a while.  The first day, it is very fresh and raw.  You might want the ache to go away immediately.  Acceptance is very difficult.  In fact, we want to do the opposite.  We want to come up with a million reasons why we shouldn’t accept it.  A million “what ifs” or “maybes”.  All the while there it still is.  It has already happened.  So slow down your breathing.  If you pray, speak out your needs, thoughts and silent prayer to help you get through this first day.
  2. Support will come through…and many times it is people who have experienced a grief similar to yours.  As people begin to reach out to you, and they ask you the same thing, “Is there anything I can do?”, take them up on it if you want to just talk.  I reach out to people who I know have experienced a similar loss as mine.  For them, the loss that I have experienced has already brought up those thoughts, especially if they are reaching out.  There is something in that comfort that envelops you and hugs you close and says “I know.  I have been there before and here I am.”  It is comforting and warm.
  3. Work through it on your own time.  It is important to know that it truly is a process, but it is not the same length for everyone.  You can’t just wish it would go away…but you can write it away.  Little by little.  If writing isn’t your thing, you can join a group or speak to a counselor.  There are many online groups as well.  But make sure it is similar to your loss.  There is strength in numbers.  A quiet strength.
  4. Self-care need to be practiced.  When I say this, I mean it.  Eat food.  Make yourself take a small snack even if you are not hungry.  Hot tea.  Crackers.  Soup.  Comfort food.  Take a bath.  Get yourself cleaned up and read a book.  Watch a show that gets your mind somewhere else for a bit.  Make sure you are practicing self-care.
  5. I don’t even want to type this…because it still is raw, but it will eventually feel lighter.  Again, there is no normal here, okay?  Don’t compare your process to others.  It is said we go through denial, numbness and shock at first.  Then bargaining, depression, anger, and finally acceptance.  It is possible your process won’t even look like that, or you might skip parts.  So instead of my saying we go through 5 stages, which might not be true for you, I will say what I know to be true.  Eventually, you will feel lighter.

After some time has passed, the name of a loved one will pass through your lips and you will feel a connection as you say it, and love.  Not grief so much.  I know this is true because it took me many years before I could really talk about my grandmother with laughter again.  It didn’t matter that I knew she wouldn’t want me to be sad or any of those things that I would want for my own family…I selfishly held on to the sadness, and anger, for far too long.

So if you can start up your yoga, meditation, prayer, writing or anything you love to do on a regular basis, do it.  Feel the present moment around you and allow gratitude to come into your heart that you loved so deeply.

Sacredness

How to Create Meaningful Female Friendships

Because we do this and pose ^^^

“Oh my God, Becky. Look at her butt.”  Have no fear, that’s just some lyrics to Baby Got Back.  However, could it have been you or your friends commenting on another woman’s body at one time in your life?  The answer to this question is yes.  Yes.  Let’s be honest with each other.  We have all said or even thought something we regretted.  It is part of the human experience. 

I am going to be honest.  The first time I look at photos of myself, I usually cringe.  I don’t know why, but my guess is that pesky thing known as “karmic programming” which I will get to in a moment.  But when we notice these thoughts and feelings about other people, we have to wonder are we reflecting something back about ourselves we don’t like?  Then we have to dig deeper into our karmic programming, which is a history that has been passed down through the generations of how we feel about ourselves or how we view our bodies, etc.  Here is my example…and it’s just honest reflection, but in the south, women seem to dress up, wear make-up, and diet more than other places.  I could be wrong, but it is what I have observed.  The girls I went to school with were very concerned about appearance and hair, my Lord, was everything.

So to break out of that way of thinking, or programming if you will, requires lots of pausing and reflection that as teenagers, we just really don’t have.  In college, we might have a bit more, but as mothers, oh as mothers you would think we would know how hard it has been.  Sometimes this is not true.  So in order for all women to benefit from breaking this cycle of thoughts, we have to try to speak better, think better and build better relationships with the women around us.  We have to watch how we speak to ourselves and how we speak to other women…even if it’s in our heads my sisters.

How to Create Meaningful Friendships:

  1. Avoid feeding into the negative body image feelings that most women have.  This is the hardest one, so I started with it.  This weekend at a conference, we were asked to turn to the woman next to us and tell them what we saw in their eyes, their faces, and write it on these heart-shaped mirrors.  The woman next to me was sparkling, but because of my skills, I knew she didn’t think so.  I also saw her beautiful, vulnerable eyes.  She was an international woman, a woman who has her own business, but had just said to me, I usually don’t take my sweater off because of my arms.  The first thought that came in to my head as I turned to look at her was how dazzling she was.  Just pure love in her eyes, but such vulnerability that as I told her she was beautiful and dazzling, we both started crying.  Know that as you feel vulnerable, so does the woman you are friends with.
  2. Embrace differences and allow for growth.  Where your friendships are right now, in this moment, is not where they were 6 years ago.  Hopefully that is a good thing.  However, if they are in the exact same place as 6 years ago, and you are having the same conversations about the same things, ask yourself if you are feeling fulfilled in this friendship or is this just a “surface” level type of friendship where you don’t feel connected.  The surface level friendships just don’t last usually because they will always hold something back.  A deeper friendship should strengthen with time and feel different…like you have grown roots and might even be connected.  As you reach for that connection, test out your answers.  Do you feel comfortable with the entire truth in this friendship?  If the answer is yes, or even hell yes, I’d tell her anything and she just gets me, then you are a lucky sister.  We can find those friends, and when we do, we need to hold on.
  3. Don’t listen to others…feed your own soul.  Sometimes, there are those who are jealous.  They look at the surface and make nasty comments.  Did you see her outfit?  She needs to lose weight.  She acts so ridiculous.  Why is she so happy all the time?  These comments are usually a reflection of the person making them.  Point of fact for me…I sometimes have gotten a few nasty comments from people I don’t know on my FB page.  I can always tell as soon as I read their comments that it is a reflection of something they are going through and has no bearing on my life what so ever.  Delete.  Do not engage.  I know it’s difficult, I AM A SCORPIO.  Trust me.  However, I say a few nice things under my breath about how difficult it must be to carry so much judgement, hate, and malice and I really hope they think about how it would feel if they were being open, honest and vulnerable to sayyyy 100,000 people, and I let it go.

Remind yourself to do a mental check-in on how you are feeling during the day and if a friend is having a particularly rough week, try to be gentle.  No, it’s not easy.  Will it be worth it?  I think so.  Chances are, whatever is coming up for them feels awful, and they will notice it as well.  Re-direct on what is going right for them this week, or how great they look in the color whatever…and know that they are sometimes in the ego, and not in the heart.

It takes a long time and many hours to re-direct and shift our thoughts away from tearing each other down, or ourselves down, but it can be done and more meaningful friendships can be born out of this soul-searching experience.

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When An Empath Loves A Narcissist: The Lure Of The Broken Soul

empath loves a narcissistGuest post by Steve Waller

When An Empath Loves A Narcissist: The Lure Of The Broken Soul

They occupy opposite ends of the love spectrum, but empaths and narcissists often find themselves coupled up in unlikely relationships. But why? What is it that attracts one to the other?

This article will focus mainly on why empaths find themselves pulled towards narcissists, how they get trapped, and what they have to do to escape.

What The Empath Sees

Gifted with the ability to sense the underlying emotions and feelings of others, an empath is uniquely placed to see into the depths of a narcissist’s being to the wounded, unhappy soul that resides there.

Upon discovering this pained creature, the instinctual response of the empath is to try to help, heal, and love them.

Before they know it, they become entangled with this narcissist and the toxic relationship begins.

How They Get Sucked In

Narcissists can, when required, display copious amounts of charm and charisma. You might think that empaths would be less susceptible to this artificial persona, but it is precisely because they are beings of love that they wish to see the best in everyone.

They can sense the pain that is hidden behind the smile and the wit, while, at the same time, believing that this act is some sort of suppressed character trying to assert control. They think that they can help free it through their care and affection.

They envisage a time in the future when this narcissistic individual can become a changed person, cured of all their bad traits and free from pain. Once they believe in this possibility, they feel compelled to try to make it a reality.

What Stops Them Leaving

It won’t be too long before an empath begins to regret their decision to get involved with the narcissist. The person they initially fall for will quickly disappear, revealing the true nature of the beast.

The empath will shower love and kindness on the narcissist – to the point where it turns into adoration – in an attempt to purge the pain from them and soothe their damaged spirit.

But to the narcissist, this sort of attention is like a drug; they simply can’t get enough of it. And unfortunately for the empath, it only serves to reinforce the egoistic self-adulation.

Then comes the game playing and manipulation. To maintain their air of superiority, a narcissist will seek to control every situation involving their empath partner. They will use destructive and demeaning language to tear them apart, piece by piece, until they can exert their utter dominance.

In spite of all their good intentions, the empath will find themselves in a trap; one of loving a person who is incapable of caring for them, let alone showing love back.

But they aren’t yet aware of this trap; they continue to seek the narcissist’s affection in a vain attempt to mend the broken heart they see before them. They struggle to understand what is happening to them because, from their position, the behavior of their partner is utterly incomprehensible.

What happens next is quite possibly the most damaging aspect of the whole process: the empath looks at all of the pain and trauma now filling their life and pins the blame squarely on themselves.

Rather than accept that the narcissist is the cause of all their misery like they should, they insist that it is they who have failed. They wrongly believe that all the conflict and resentment in the relationship is their fault; that they somehow didn’t try hard enough to rid their lover of the pain they endure.

From this self-blame grows an unwillingness to do what is required; to break up with their narcissist partner. They proceed to lock themselves in their own prison by forfeiting their right to be happy. They insist that to do so would only heap more misery on the already tormented soul they have such affection for.

How They Finally Break Free

There is only one method of escape for the empath and that is to fully open their eyes to the situation they are in. In order to make a break for freedom, they must first understand that the original lure of the narcissist was misguided.

They must realize that it is nobody’s duty to fix another; that they have no responsibility to stay with their partner any longer. They must accept that whether the narcissist will ever change is not something they have any say in; they can only captain their own ship and it’s time to choose a different course.

This will not, by any means, be the last they hear from the narcissist. In an all-out bid to regain what they see as a possession, they will declare their undying love for the empath, swear they have changed, and make many promises that they know they cannot keep.

They will turn the charm back on and, for a while, the empath may see some of what they initially found so appealing. But if the empath can hold their nerve during this period, the narcissist will eventually unleash a barrage of malicious words and actions in a desperate attempt to pull their victim back in. This can be extremely difficult to endure and it can seem like the whole world is crashing down around you, but you must hold firm.

Leaving a narcissist isn’t the end of the story for the empath; it will take a long time for them to put the pieces of their life back together and even longer to regain their faith in the goodness of other people. But they will have broken the bond that so often draws empaths and narcissists together.

Are you an empath who has been through such a trial? Leave a comment below and share you thoughts and experiences.

Want more help as an Empath?  >> Workbook for your Soul <<

Just for fun, take this quick quiz.

Steve WallerSteve Waller is the founder of A Conscious Rethink – a growing voice in the world of mind, body and spirit. He has benefitted greatly from self-help books and other aspects of the personal development movement, and now wants to share some of his knowledge and wisdom with those who need it. His Facebook page reaches millions of people each week with its mix of inspirational quotes, motivational videos, and helpful articles.

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5 Tips for Developing Healthy Relationships Today!

I took a quick poll last week about the topics that my readers wanted to hear more about and this was one of the top three!  So to clarify for everyone out there, relationships don’t have to be romantic; however, I have been married for 18 years and this year marks year 20 with my college sweetheart.  My best-friend from elementary school and I have been friends for almost as old as I am…which is to say a long time.  Additionally, I have the greatest group of girlfriends who meet on a regular basis and are not afraid to let vulnerability be discussed.  Has it always been this way?  Heck no!!  All of the above relationships have been through some twists and turns, but I did pick up a few tips along the way.

5 Tips for Developing Healthy Relationships Today:

  1. Open lines of communication are the number one tip that I have for you today, and that includes the “trust factor”.  If you don’t trust your partner, your friends, or your family, how are you going to be open?  You aren’t.  You will always hold part of yourself back and that could even border on holding back the truth which will further work to damage the trust.  I had a friend for a number of years who I genuinely cared about; however, that being said, each and every time we talked she would hide things or craft some sort of story that never seemed to be quite the truth.  Time after time things were missing in our conversations.  I ignored these signs, until one day I simply could not.  The trust factor has to be there or the relationship will not be able to move forward.
  2. You have to be able to accept criticism that is honest and meant to help you grow.  That being said, if this criticism comes from a harsh argument, it will not be effective at all.  Moreover, you should develop active or reflective listening.  In active listening, we are genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting, or what the message means, and we are able to process this as a type of feedback.  This is hard.  It is.  But I have seen it done with my group of girlfriends.  One of them recently went through a divorce and has developed this skill through that process.  She brings questions to the table about things and genuinely wants to know what we all think or how we feel.  It has strengthened our friendship whereas before, she did not want to listen to advice before as it was painful to her.  She is really trying hard to separate fact from feeling as she actively listens to our advice about whatever she is asking.  It also helps that we are not giving her unsolicited advice.  We are all there to lift her up.
  3. Develop and hone in on your compassion and empathy.  Remember how I dislike the word judge?  Icky.  It makes us feel like we are on trial; however, there is a thing called discernment and that is different.  We become aware of the emotional response and might know what triggers our friends, partners and family members.  We then try to come at it from a place of compassion.  We are more open and connected to what is going on this way and can tap into our inner intuition about what is really at the root of a problem.  This saves us.  It reminds us to speak from love.
  4. Remember to have boundaries.  It is important to remember how to separate your feelings from that of your friends and partners.  Likewise, it is important to know you can’t heal them emotionally.  That is their job and not yours.  One of my favorite memes recently has the little guy holding the jar of happiness and his friend comes over and says “Where did you get that?”  And little guy says “I made it myself.” BOOM!  Microphone drops.  Have boundaries on your emotions before they get drained.
  5. Make time for the relationship…that isn’t on technology.  The phones.  The phones.  They are everywhere.  When trying to communicate they are a distraction.  Make time by shutting off the technology and creating a sacred space for you to unwind and be real.  This can be weekly, or monthly depending on your schedule, but try to get outside as well and enjoy some much-needed fresh air with your friend or loved one.  It’s not only a lifesaver…but a relationship saver as well.

FriendshipWant to know more about how to journal yourself to a better you?  Read more under 4 Weeks to Wellness.

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3 Tips For Opening Your Heart Chakra.

Chakras.  What the heck does that word mean anyway and is it fake?  Well, a chakra is actually an energy center and more and more we are learning that there is proof to this whole “theory”.  So opening up your heart chakra is actually a good thing and honestly can’t hurt you.

An unhealthy or blocked heart chakra sometimes lends itself to behaviors such as being defensive, critical, controlling, suspicious, withdrawn, possessive and afraid to let go and release what is not good for you.  Sometimes elf-esteem issues or relationship problems lead to a weaker heart chakra connection.  What can we do to open it or strengthen it then?

3 Tips for Opening Your Heart Chakra:

  1. Visualize your heart opening up with a strong, clear green light filling your center.  Repeat “I am love.” and allow yourself to be at peace with this feeling.  Practice giving and accepting love unconditionally today.
  2. Stop clinging to the past hurt and allow yourself to forgive and step into the present moment.  Whatever happened, accept it and move on.  Say to yourself “I release this blockage of hurt.” and visualize it releasing from your body.  Breathe deeply and repeat your mantra of “I am love.”
  3. Practice a yoga pose to open your heart. Try camel pose. A blocked heart chakra often means a blocked throat chakra, too, and camel pose balances them both. Focus on elongating your lower back while focusing on the stretch and opening your upper back. If you click on the above link, you can watch Esther demonstrate and she doubles the mat for bad knees or use a towel.

Additionally for the heart chakra, wear green and visualize love and compassion surrounding you.  The green ties us to all living things around us so you can also sit outside and meditate on a nice day and take in the air to clear your body.  Remember, the heart chakra is only opened by your choice.  Choose to show yourself some love and forgiveness today.

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3 Signs You Know an Ass Hat

Do you know an Ass Hat…or perhaps live with one?

To start this post off, first we have to define what an “Ass Hat” actually is.  The term basically means they are wearing their ass as a hat…or they have their head so far up their ass, etc.  You get the drift.  The person is usually quite arrogant, rude or even obnoxious.  Ass Hats can be found most anywhere.  Unfortunately, they think rather highly of themselves, so the natural habitat of an Ass Hat is anywhere other people might agree with them.

Sometimes, people can wear an Ass Hat and just be in a  bad mood.  You can recognize those people because they have the ability to actually remove the hat.  But just in case you need help, here are 3 signs you know an Ass Hat.

How to recognize an Ass Hat

  1. The person is angry and grumpy all the time…for no apparent reason.  You say hello to them and they glare at you, but you literally just arrived at work so what did you do?  Nothing.  You just exist and therefore they are angry.  The problem is not yours my friend.  Walk away.
  2. They put you down, your department, your project, your clothes, whatever it is that you actually like and worked really hard on…they hate.  Why?  Because you did something better than them.  That’s all it takes for the Ass Hat to rear it’s ugly, erm hatness.  Yes.  They put on an extra-large sombrero of Ass Hatness just because you did a good job and got praise from the boss.
  3.  They are a victim of “The Man”.  That’s right.  The Man is trying to hold them down, or back or whatever, but their head is so far up their ass that they don’t even know who The Man is…or if there ever was a man.  Maybe, truthfully, it was a woman and they are just pissed because a woman is doing a better job than they are.  Hmph.  Think about that Mr. Sombrero of Ass Hatness.

All in all, if you read between the lines, you know that an Ass Hat is merely around to try to hold you back from your full potential.  It’s even worse if you were ever married to one or dating one.  You are worth so much more than an Ass Hat is capable of giving you.  He sees only what’s in it for him, how far he can get ahead, or how to make you feel worthless if you are smarter than him.  He will try to make you feel like less, but you are so much more than that.  Recognize the signs of Ass Hat entrapment, and don’t play the game.

Ass Hat

3 Ways to Boost Your Self-esteem

Self-care

 

Hey friends…I have just spent the day working on a workbook that is available to all my clients and it deals with exploring your self-esteem.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem reflects a person’s overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth…so as my husband was looking over my shoulder, he asked me about the word “worthiness” and said don’t you mean “worthlessness”?  Ack!  No.  I certainly did not.  I meant worthiness.  I was developing a way to reflect on our feelings and where they might stem from.  Nearly everyone experiences fluctuations in their self-esteem and the way they feel about themselves or how they look, but sometimes it can be hard to see the world and your place in it through a positive reflection instead of these negative thoughts that take up too much space in your head.  So tonight, I wanted to share with you three ways you can boost your self-esteem.

3 Ways to boost your self-esteem

  1. The JOY list.  Make a list of all the places, people and things that give you joy.  If you have a favorite outfit that gives you a boost write that down.  If there is an activity that lights you up like painting, drawing or yoga, write that as well.  On days you are having a hard time, refer to your JOY list.  That’s right.  If you think a day is going to be particularly stressful, oh I don’t know like a review at work day, wear your favorite outfit.  Just feeling better will raise your vibration as you go into the meeting.  This truly helps others around you take notice of the energy you are putting out there.
  2. Replace negative with positive.  I know you think this is easier said than done because I hear that excuse all the time, but the truth is, it is easy.  Pay attention to your self talk and think about how you would want your children to talk to themselves.  Negative begets negative.  Take those unfounded negative thoughts and start to make a note on how what you are thinking is untrue.  Maybe a friend said that they needed to lose weight that day at lunch and it got you thinking about that.  They keep talking about it all the time, and you just start to feel the same way.  Recognize that that’s their shit.  <<< yes, I said shit, but it’s true.  It’s theirs and they need to own that.  Start re-framing your thoughts and perhaps help your friend to do the same if you would like.  It’s not your burden…it’s theirs.  And the truth is, if someone else repeatedly expects you to carry their burden, it can be a negative feeling.
  3. Self-care routines need to be in place.  This is essential.  I was working with a client and I asked her about the last time she took a bath.  I know that sounds like a routine question, but it isn’t.  She said “A bath??  The kids take baths.  I don’t have time.”  <<< BINGO.  You do have time.  Let me come over and pull a Moonstruck on you…okay, I won’t (for those too young to get the reference, she slaps her boyfriend and says snap out of it.).  I changed my entire way of thinking about self-care in the last two years and I want you to understand how critical it is.  Self-care practices are all those activities that we engage in to improve our overall sense of wellbeing. Self-care strategies work toward improving the many aspects that make up who we are, including our physical, relational, mental, spiritual, and emotional health…now imagine you don’t have these in place.  Exercise, sleep, hot baths and journaling are just a few of the things I talk about with clients.  I could write a book on this alone…but that’s for later.  For tonight, just remember, you are responsible for the energy you bring to the table my friends.  Take care of you.

energyCome join us in creating our own energy.  Head|Heart|Health Club.

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3 Reasons You Don’t Trust.

 “Every time I’ve trusted people in the past I’ve been let down, so now it’s easier and less painful to just rely on myself.”  as this thought floats across your subconscious, you begin to feel lonely again, and then angry.  It shouldn’t have to be this hard in relationships, any relationship which includes friendship, to let your guard down without getting hurt.  Sadly, it is a work in progress and you’re about to give up.

hope_despair

Why is it difficult to trust?

Sometimes, we hold onto anger like a hot coal.  Yes, I got that from Buddha, but he goes on to say that you are the one who gets burned.  You.  Think about it.  You are mad at your spouse.  You have been mad at your spouse for years.  He/she probably doesn’t even know why you are angry anymore.  All you do is constantly talk about it with your friends.  You have not left the spouse yet, instead you stay behind your wall of resentment letting it spill out into all others areas of your life.  Work.  Friendships.  Children.  And finally, your mind.  It’s all-consuming to the point that no matter what anyone does to help you, you cling to that grievance and bitterness until you look up one day and you are all alone.

You have to decide how to get your life back and ask yourself some hard questions.

  1. Is the past holding you back?  I know that people in pain lash out.  But sometimes, enough is enough.  Are you trapped in a victim mentality?  Do you lash out at others and operate on low self-esteem all the time?  Your past experience with broken trust might stem as far back as childhood and you are dragging it around daily.  It is weighing you down.  You have become almost unrecognizable to your friends and they are desperately trying to lighten the load you carry, but you won’t let them.  You are the victim here and unfortunately, your past hurts are now dictating your present and maybe even your future.  Only you can control what is happening within you.  No one else.
  2. Are you harboring unrealistic expectations?  Here’s an interesting thought…do you have unclear expectations and perhaps have not ever voiced them?  Unspoken expectations in any relationship will likely not be heard.  Hmmm.  Think about that.  Trust is huge in a relationship whether or not you realize it and it has to be addressed openly and calmly.  However, oftentimes people don’t try to address it until it is way too late.  For example, I would have rather have had an awkward conversation than be at the front desk checking in when someone said “Sorry I missed your party last night.  We couldn’t make it over.”  And yet my friend had told me she was going to bed when I asked her what she was doing that night as I was trying to make plans with her.  I felt shame wash over me in that moment…my face actually got hot.  She was standing right beside me and lied to me.  I was not worthy of the truth?  That hurts.
  3. Are you defensive instead of honest?  Do you still harbor some resentment from childhood that makes you feel you have to come up with elaborate stories?  Look back at your role models, the people around you, your beliefs…were you lied to as a norm and so have come to accept that you can’t trust people?  If you constantly think you can’t trust people, anyone actually, and are always holding part of you back for fear of getting hurt, you will not experience fulfillment in any of your relationships.  They will feel slightly empty and the only thing to do about it is to finally trust someone with your biggest fears no matter how scary they are.  We can only love someone we trust and trust is actually one of the building blocks to any relationship.  All your interactions with people in life use trust as a foundation.  Think about your performance at work.  If you don’t trust your boss and you think he’s got dirty unethical business practices, are you more likely to work harder?  No you’re not.  You are going to leave work every chance you get.

The people who cannot trust are architects of their own misery.  They begin to see fault where there is none…even if they know you are an honest person.  Part of that is because they don’t know how to be truly honest with themselves.  It is very difficult, but not impossible, to rebuild a relationship after trust is broken; however, one thing is clear.  It takes both parties and you cannot continue to go down the same path.  You have to reign in your old actions, your old ways, your old responses that might be vague.  You have to be clear and have honest expectations.  You have to build your friendship or relationship up, and use good energy because trust me when I say this, the other person knows when you are lying or hiding something from them and it starts to wear down any good relationship.  For more help, see the tab Head|Heart|Health Club for a supportive group.

Escape PlanLike this post?  Feel free to tell me how you have handled a similar experience in a positive way.  ~Aimee

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3 ways to build a strong friendship.

3 ways to build a strong friendship

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.   ~C. S. Lewis

Do you ever meet someone and things just instantly click?  How about over time, you come to realize someone you weren’t quite sure about at first, has crept into your heart and you realize that you would miss them if they weren’t in your life?  However your friendship starts, it takes lots and lots of nourishment to keep it going.  Just like any relationship worth having.

One of the hardest things when you get older, is to keep friendships alive that might seem to be dying off.  I know that when I was growing up, we’d call each other on the phone and make plans all the time.  But once you are not in close proximity anymore, it really takes a more proactive approach that some people just don’t seem to have time for.  The truth is, we are all busy so that’s just an excuse…it’s time to call friends, on the phone, and not just message or text them.  I know that seems quick and easy, but there’s something about hearing your friend’s voice even a few times a month that can really make a difference.

3 ways to build strong..er friendships

  1. Talk it out.  Even if you don’t always agree, arguments can be a sign that you still care enough about the other person to be concerned about a certain behavior.  If you didn’t care, you might not bring it up.  If they care about you, they will make time to listen to what you have to say and hear you out.  Not just jumping to the worst conclusion.  If they do that, well, it might be a sign that even when you talk, they only hear what they want to hear.
  2. They make time for you…face time.  I know that we have all had those friends who couldn’t get together unless they needed something.  If you want to get together, they have x, y, and z to do.  But if the latest band is in town and they want to go, they text you.  That’s not what I’m talking about.  Proactive friendships are different.  You enjoy spending time together and there doesn’t have to be an event, reason, or purpose.  As a matter of fact, before you leave that outing/meeting/movie or whatever, you make time in your calendar right then for the next meeting.  You are truly glad to get together…and it doesn’t feel like the other person is hiding anything or just making excuses when you ask what they are doing on a certain night.
  3. Seek balance in the friendship.  Sometimes, it seems you are the only one putting in all the effort.  At other times, you might be the only one making all the plans…asking when you can get together or even being the first one to text…without much response if any.  During those times, it can be easy to assume that perhaps the friendship is not working out.  Maybe the other person is truly not aware they are constantly giving you the brush off, or maybe they are.  But at a certain point, it’s time to realize that you are carrying the friendship alone.  There is no balance.  A proactive friendship is one that really makes you feel good about your friend.  You get together, you call, you actually carry out plans that you make.  You don’t feel let down by constant broken plans, or empty promises.  A balanced friendship makes you feel great.  You have someone who you can count on no matter what.

I saw something on Facebook last week that made me think of writing this post.  A person said she knew her “friends” had read the message she sent them as it said so, and they just didn’t respond.  Not only that, but she was liking and commenting on things her “friends” did, but no one seemed to do the same for her.  I understand how once in a while, messages can get missed.  But if you rely solely on messages as a form of communication with a friend, well, that might be a problem as well.  It’s time to look at your friendships closely.  Are you being proactive and sharing the responsibilities or are you just too “busy” to keep up?   Want more tips that you can use and a real support group?  Read more here >> The Club with Soul <<

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