Tag Archives: self-help

Gratitude for what “is”

Forever is composed of Nows.

~ Emily Dickinson


forever is composed of nows


Something to think about…


Gratitude for what “is” prepares us for the blessings just around the corner.  What is so necessary to understand is that our wait for what’s around the corner closes our eyes to the joys of the present moment.


We have only the 24 hours ahead of us.  In fact, all we can be certain of having is the moment we are presently experiencing.  And it is a gift to be enjoyed.  There is no better gift just right for us than this moment, at this time.


We can, each of us, look back on former days, realizing that we learned too late the value of a friend or an experience.  Both are now gone.  With practice and a commitment to ourselves, we can learn to reap the benefits of today, hour by hour.  When we detach from the present and wait for tomorrow, or next week, or look to next year, we are stunting our spiritual growth.  Life can only bless us now, one breath at a time.


Source (modified):  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations




Don’t be afraid of change

Don’t be afraid of change, because it’s leading you to a new beginning.


don't be afraid of change


Something to think about…


Everything changes.  Nothing stays the same.  And letting go of the way things are, anticipating instead what they might become, frees us to live each moment more fully.


Time marches on, and our destiny marches with it.  There is purpose in how our lives unfold; the ups and downs serve our growth.  We must neither resent the doldrums nor savor too long the elation.  Giving too much attention to either state interferes with our awareness of the present.  And the present has come to teach us.


We must move with time.  We must focus our attention on the moment and accept whatever feelings each experience elicits.  Emotional maturity is accepting our feelings and letting them go, and facing the next moment with fresh receptivity.  Our lessons are many, and they accompany the lows as well as the highs.  We can be grateful for both.


Nothing lasts forever, and within each struggle is the opportunity for real growth.


Source (modified):  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations



Body Language Cues

Kiss Me
She’s leaning in a little bit, she’s looking at you with an inviting smile, she’s touching your arm, she’s even tilted her head a little… what are you waiting for? Go for it!


Get Away From Me Now
Arms crossed and an annoyed expression? She’s pulling away every time you try to touch her? He’s backing away every time you try to get closer? All of these spell out one thing and we’re not sure what you did but you’d better leave them alone.


Slumped Posture
This could mean a number of things but we’re always sure that it’s a sign of a really bad day. They’re either sad, discouraged, hurt or fearful about something. You should definitely see if they’re going to be all right.


Try It And See What Happens
See, the phrase “try it and see what happens” could mean something completely different depending on how it’s said but the body language here is telling you that something good will happen…


Don’t Even Think About It
The body language here is telling you that if you do decide to “try it” then “what happens” is probably going to hurt. Hands on hips is never a good sign! We’re warning you dude, don’t do it!


Playing with her hair
This one is kind of a no-brainer, if a woman is playing with her hair while she talks to you, she’s probably flirting with you… but she could also be trying to get the hair out of her eyes. Make sure it’s more of a “you’re really cute” gesture and less of a “I really hate my new haircut” sort of thing.


The Handshake
A strong handshake is good but when it’s too strong it could be a sign of insecurity. When it’s too soft, it could mean lack of interest. The best handshake is when your palm touches theirs, it is a sign of sincerity and openness for a good relationship.


Mirror, Mirror
When someone is mirroring what you do, it means that they are on the same page as you. In dating it’s a sign of attraction.


Avoiding Glance
When a person can’t look you in the eyes while speaking it could mean they are nervous but it usually means they are being dishonest about something. When they avoid eye contact while listening, it could mean they are not paying attention, they’re angry or that they have some bad news to admit.


Maintaining Eye Contact
When someone gives eye contact while speaking, it’s a sign of honesty. When someone gives eye contact while listening, it’s a sign of respect.


Leaning In
This is a great sign. If the person you’re talking to is leaning in as you talk, it means that they are completely engaged in you and your conversation together.


Raised Eyebrow
This could mean that a person is confused but it’s also a sign that the person is interested in what you’re saying and they want to know more.


This is often considered a nervous habit but it could also be a sign of impatience or discomfort. If someone is fidgeting a lot, they may need some comforting words or even some space.


Eye Roll
This one is kind of a no-brainer, they are seriously annoyed by whatever you just said. Choose your next words wisely!


via neurolove.me



Celebrate the truths as they come



Something to think about…


We understand, today, ideas we couldn’t grasp yesterday.  We are conscious, this year, of details of our past that we may have glossed over at the time.  Our blinders are slowly giving way, readying us for the truths we couldn’t absorb before.


“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”  And the teacher comes bearing truths that we need to assimiliate into our growing bank of knowledge.  The truths we may be given today, or any day, won’t always make us happy immediately.  We may learn that a job is no longer right for us, or that a relationship has reached an end.


And the impending changes create unrest.  But, in the grand scheme of our lives, the changes wrought by these truths are good and will contribute, in time, to our happiness.


Let’s celebrate the truths as they come and trust the outcome to God.  We are traveling a very special road.  The way is rocky.  The bends limit our vision, but we will be given all the direction we need.


Source (modified):  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations



26 Questions To Get A Marriage Talking



What things did you see in this person that made you want to marry him?


What were your goals for your marriage when you were engaged?


What things in your marriage make you sad?


What things in your marriage make you happy?


If you could press a button and change your marriage, how would it change?


In what ways do you think God is honored in your marriage?


How would you characterize your communication with your spouse?


Describe how you and your spouse arrive at decisions.


Describe how you as a couple resolve conflicts.


How would you describe your spiritual life as a couple?


READ MORE:  26 Questions To Get A Marriage Talking.



Happiness Is How You Are, Not How You Feel


Excerpt:  Aristotle said, “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” For him and most of his contemporaries, happiness referred not to an emotion but the long-term pattern of action, the sum of which was your moral character. It is the habits of virtue that are acquired over years of exercising the appropriate virtues.


A person doesn’t feel happy as much as happiness is a general state of being. Viewing happiness as something in the world as opposed to an individual feeling is not the way we usually understand the term.


Read More:  Happiness Is How You Are, Not How You Feel | Psychology Today.



10 Good Habits to Develop

Vector pattern with cartoon sheep



1. Set yourself some daily goals. Keep them realistic and achievable. That will give direction – so you don’t fritter your time.


2. Read inspirational books and blogs; hang around people who are positive.


3. Stay in touch with what’s happening in the world. We’re not just islands – we are part of one another.


4. Make the effort to stay in touch. Just a “like” on facebook, or a brief text message, conveys to that person that they matter to you.


5. Invest some time in your appearance and health. We’re more confident when we look and feel our best.


6. Pay attention to your priorities. Do what’s most important, and not most urgent, first. (Note: If you never learn to prioritise then everything seems urgent – and that’s what runs your life!)


7.  Smile. It makes people feel more positive towards you – and it tends to lift our mood, and enhance our feelings, too.


8. Tidy as you go. It’s easier to work, and you’ll feel a lot less stressed, if you’re working somewhere that’s devoid of clutter. Also, if you tidy as you go then it feels less overwhelming.


9. Include some margin in your life so you don’t feel so stressed, as unexpected things always eat away our time. Expect that to happen – and leave some extra time.


10. Take time for yourself as you need to relax, unwind, recover, and recharge your batteries.


via neurolove.me



Purpose in friendship



Something to think about…


Preoccupation with self can be the bane of our existence.  It prevents all but the narrowest perspective on any problem.  It cuts off any guidance from our higher power that may be offered through a friend.  It blocks whatever truths are trying to gain our attention.  The paradox is that whatever our pain, it is lessened by turning our attention elsewhere, to another’s pain or joy.


When we open our minds to fresh input from others, insights emerge.  We need the messages others are trying to give us.  Nothing that is said in a loving spirit is empty of meaning for our lives.


We might consider that every conversation we have is a conversation with our Creator.  What we need to know, for our own growth, is guaranteed to be revealed in our many conversations with others.  But we can’t hear another’s thoughts until we let go of our own.


Source:  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations



When You Feel Anxious

sad young girl in red sitting on the rock


1. Relax your breathing. Take deliberate slow, deep breaths, and feel the tension begin to subside.


2. Clear your mind of disturbing thoughts. Remind yourself of all your strengths, of those occasions when you’ve coped in the past, and of things you still have to look forward to.


3. Shut off the critical parent in your head. We all have weaknesses and make mistakes. Don’t abandon, attack, or reject yourself. You need to support, and to nurture, yourself.


4. Practice self-care. Temporarily step back from the stressful situation. Maybe listen to some music, or message a friend, or play with your pet, or go for a walk.


5. Respond – don’t react. You don’t have to do anything right now. Take a moment to take control of your feelings and your thoughts. Then assess the situations, and think through different options.


6. You may have to put up protective boundaries. We often don’t have the energy to give at these times – so withdraw from people who would drain your energy.


7. A burden shared is a burden halved. Share how you feel with someone who cares. It’s good to ask for help when you’re worried or afraid.


via Psychology Facts.



Change is ours, if we want it



Something to think about…


We must learn how to act rather than react.  Unfortunately, we’ve had lots of training at reacting.  And we’re all such good imitators.  We are a society of reactors.  We let the good or the bad behavior of another person determine our own behavior as a matter of course.  But the opportunities are unlimited for us to responsibly choose our behavior, independent of all others in our life.


Change is ours, if we want it.  A scowl from a spouse need not make us feel rejected.  Criticism at work doesn’t have to ruin our day.  An inconsiderate bus driver might still be politely thanked.  And when we decide for ourselves just how we want to act and follow through, self-esteem soars.


If we are put down, it may momentarily create self-doubt; but when we quickly reassure ourselves that all is well and respond with respect, we grow.  A sense of well-being rushes through our bodies.


Being in command of our own feelings and our own actions prevents that free-floating anxiety from grasping us.  We are who we choose to be.  And new adventures await us.


Source:  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations


50 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships


If you can say yes to most of these, it’s very likely you’re in a healthy relationship.


1. You can name your partner’s best friend and state a positive quality that person has.

2. You and your partner are playful with each other.

3. You think your partner has good ideas.

4. You’d like to become more like your partner in some ways.

5. Even when you disagree, you can acknowledge your partner makes sensible points.

6. You think about each other when you’re not physically together.

7. You see your partner as trustworthy.

8. In relationship-relevant areas (such as warmth and attractiveness), you view your partner a little bit more positively than s/he views themselves or how most other people view your partner.

9. You enjoy the ways your partner has changed and grown since you met.

10. Your partner is enthusiastic when something “goes right” for you.


READ MORE:  via 50 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships | Psychology Today.


A lifetime of listening

Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you’d have preferred to talk.
~ Doug Larson




Something to think about…


Our personhood is denied; the self we are presenting to the world is negated each time we speak yet go unheard.  “The greatest gift we can give one another is rapt attention.”  If we want attention, we must also give it.  That means letting go of all the extraneous thoughts when we’re in conversation with someone.  We cannot expect to get from others what we are unable or unwilling to give.


Being heard and hearing another person is more than just listening.  It’s letting ourselves be touched, in an intimate way, by the other’s words.  We don’t want judgment, or shame, or to be discounted when we share who we are with another.  We want to know that we have been intimately heard.  And when we have a chance to hear another, we listen intently for the words meant for us, words that will stretch our personhood and bring us closer to our inner serlves as well.


The beauty of hearing each other is that it helps us to hear ourselves.  We know better who we are when we listen to one another.  Every conversation offers us a chance to be real, to help another person be real.


Source (modified):  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations


Library, Museum, or Zoo?

If you were forced to spend the rest of your life in a library, a museum, or a zoo, which would you choose, and why?

I thought this was a really interesting question!




via writingprompts.tumblr.com


All is well



Something to think about…


“When the pupil is ready, the teacher appears.”  Life’s lessons often come unexpectedly.  They come, nevertheless, and they come according to a time frame that is Divine.  As we grow emotionally and spiritually, we are readied for further lessons for which teachers will appear.  Perhaps the teacher will be a loving relaitonships, a difficult loss, or a truant child.  The time of learning is seldom free from pain and questioning.  But from these experiences and what they can teach us, we are ready to learn.  As we are ready, they come.


We all enjoy the easy times when the sailing is smooth, when all is well, when we are feeling no pain.  And these periods serve a purpose.  They shore us up for the lessons which carry us to a stronger recovery, to a stronger sense of ourselves.  Toi understand that al is well, throughout the learning process, is the basic lesson we need to learn.  All is well.  The teacher is the guide up the next rung of the ladder.


Source:  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations


Respect in a Relationship



Respect can be hard to quantify and measure. It means recognizing our own value and worth, and the value and worth of the other person. But what does that look like in relationships?


1. Think before you speak. Remember … you can’t take back your words no matter how much you regret them. So, don’t react in anger, and say mean and nasty things.


2. Acknowledge the other person’s contribution. Even when you have frustrations and some justified complaints remember to notice the positives as well. It’s likely that your partner does something right at times. Don’t write them off completely and see them as “all bad.”


3. Respect their personal boundaries. This applies to spending time, and doing things, with other people. Also, respecting their right to have their own views and opinions – without justifying their reasoning to you.


4. Being flexible and willing to compromise. Relationships are based on both give and take. It’s about the needs and preferences of both individuals.


5. Be considerate. Help the other person out; give each other compliments; and generally be thoughtful, kind and understanding.


6. Admit when you are wrong. If you’re secure, confident and have a healthy self-esteem you won’t be threatened by admitting you were wrong.


7. Never compromise the other person’s wellbeing. For example, if your temper’s a problemseek professional help. Also, don’t play with emotions, or attack their character.


8. Be honest and reliable. Be upfront and honest in your relationships. Don’t lie, pretend, play games, or let the other person down. This undermines that basic, and essential, sense of trust.


via neurolove.me


Life is a process of letting go

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.
~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross




Something to think about…


Life is a process of letting go, letting go of conditions we can’t control, letting go of people — watching them move out of our lives, letting go of times, places, experiences.  Leaving behind anyone or anyplace we have loved may sadden us, but it also provides us opportunities for growth we hadn’t imagined.  These experiences push us beyond our former selves to deeper understandings of ourselves and of others.


So often those experiences that sadden us, that trigger pain, are the best lessons life is able to offer.  Experiencing the pain, surviving the pain that wrenches us emotionally, stretches us to new heights.  Life is enriched by the pain.  Our experiences with all other persons thereafter are deeper.  Instead of dreading the ending of a time, the departure of a loved one, we must try to appreciate what we have gained already, and know that life is fuller for it.


Source:  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations



All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

All it takes is 10 mindful minutes


When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in strange positions.)


Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes – YouTube.


The Amazing Power of I Don’t (Rather Than I Can’t)



Excerpt:  If you think there is no real difference, you couldn’t be more wrong. Don’t and can’t may seem somewhat interchangeable, but they are very different psychologically. And if there is one thing that social psychologists have learned over the years, it’s that even seemingly subtle differences in language can have very powerful affects on our thoughts, feelings and behavior.


Click through to read more…

via The Amazing Power of I Don’t (Rather Than I Can’t) | Psychology Today.


We are both the teachers and the pupils



I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.
~ Galileo Galilei


Something to think about…


We must look around at the people in our lives today, and know that we have something special to offer each of them, and they to us.  We do travel separate paths together.  We may need to learn tolerance; perhaps a friend’s behavior pushes us to be more tolerant.  Impatience may be our nemesis, and everywhere we turn are long lines and traffic jams.  Our experiences with others aren’t chance.  Fellow travelers are carefully selected by the inner self, the spiritual guide who understands our needs in this life.


We are both the teachers and the pupils.  We need both our friends and those we may label our enemies for what they can help us learn.


Source:  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations


What do YOU stand for?



Ben Saunders: Why bother leaving the house? (video)



Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside! Not because it’s always pleasant and happy, but because that’s where the meat of life is, “the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days.” Saunders’ next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.


via Ben Saunders: Why bother leaving the house? – YouTube.


Give to feel good



Here are three top reasons why you should show you are thankful by giving back to your community:


1. Get your Dopamine boost! Did you know that giving of your time or volunteering can release the same feel-good sensation as eating chocolate or a candy bar. Dopamine is the feel-good chemical that is linked with pleasurable experiences, such as enjoying a good meal or spending time with a close friend. For example, when we see a chocolate bar, dopamine makes us want to eat it. When we eat it, we feel a rush of dopamine-induced pleasure. Dopamine reinforces behaviors that make us feel really good to make sure that we engage in that behavior again. Brain scans show a surge of dopamine when we give or volunteer our time. Researchers call this “the helper’s high”. So when you volunteer your time or do something good for others you get that same wonderful feel-good sensation.


2. Motives Matter: Volunteering or giving back to the community can seem like a selfless act. But, in fact, people volunteer for a wide range of reasons, from getting out of the house and meeting new people to doing something good for others. A study of over 3000 people found that people who volunteer because they want to help others, live longer than people who don’t volunteer at all. In fact, those mainly for some sort of personal benefit live no longer than non-volunteers.


3. Don’t use your busy schedule as an excuse–giving time can give YOU time: Researchers found that giving away time boosts your own sense of personal competence and efficiency. As a result, it ‘stretches’ our perspective of time in our minds, and makes us more willing to commit to future engagements despite our busy schedules.


2. Motives Matter: Volunteering or giving back to the community can seem like a selfless act. But, in fact, people volunteer for a wide range of reasons, from getting out of the house and meeting new people to doing something good for others. A study of over 3000 people found that people who volunteer because they want to help others, live longer than people who don’t volunteer at all. In fact, those mainly for some sort of personal benefit live no longer than non-volunteers.


3. Don’t use your busy schedule as an excuse–giving time can give YOU time: Researchers found that giving away time boosts your own sense of personal competence and efficiency. As a result, it ‘stretches’ our perspective of time in our minds, and makes us more willing to commit to future engagements despite our busy schedules.


Published on January 16, 2013 by Tracy P. Alloway, Ph.D. in Keep It in Mind


via Give to feel good | Psychology Today.



Courage and attitude



Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid.  Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.
~ Bethany Hamilton (shark attack victim)


Something to think about…


Life is full of dangers and risks and challenges.  We can choose to meet them fearfully or in a spirit of welcome.  To choose fear, to say, “I won’t take that risk because I might lose,” is to prevent ourselves from ever winning.  If we welcome the danger, the risk, or the challenge, we acknowledge that life is made up of losses as well as victories, of gains as well as pain.


Life holds the dangers as well as the rewards.  We choose how we will act.  Sometimes we may feel trapped in a cycle of fearfulness.  If we examine our own part, will we find that we are neglecting to take a balanced view?  Perhaps, through a fear of losing, we are missing many changes for satisfaction.


I will remember:  I have the power to choose what my attitude will be toward this day’s offerings.


Source (modified):  Each Day a New Beginning | Hazelden Meditations


10 Ways to Lift Your Spirits



The Nine Types of Intelligence




1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)


Designates the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers; it continues to be central in such roles as botanist or chef. It is also speculated that much of our consumer society exploits the naturalist intelligences, which can be mobilized in the discrimination among cars, sneakers, kinds of makeup, and the like.


2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)


Musical intelligence is the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables us to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners. Interestingly, there is often an affective connection between music and the emotions; and mathematical and musical intelligences may share common thinking processes. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are usually singing or drumming to themselves. They are usually quite aware of sounds others may miss.


3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)


Logical-mathematical intelligence is the ability to calculate, quantify, consider propositions and hypotheses, and carry out complete mathematical operations. It enables us to perceive relationships and connections and to use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns. Logical intelligence is usually well developed in mathematicians, scientists, and detectives. Young adults with lots of logical intelligence are interested in patterns, categories, and relationships. They are drawn to arithmetic problems, strategy games and experiments.


4.Existential Intelligence


Sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.


5. Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart”)


Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to understand and interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives. Teachers, social workers, actors, and politicians all exhibit interpersonal intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence are leaders among their peers, are good at communicating, and seem to understand others’ feelings and motives.


6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)


Bodily kinesthetic intelligence is the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.


7. Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)


Linguistic intelligence is the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence allows us to understand the order and meaning of words and to apply meta-linguistic skills to reflect on our use of language. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.


8. Intra-personal Intelligence (Self Smart”)


Intra-personal intelligence is the capacity to understand oneself and one’s thoughts and feelings, and to use such knowledge in planning and directioning one’s life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. These young adults may be shy. They are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.


9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)


Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Sailors, pilots, sculptors, painters, and architects all exhibit spatial intelligence. Young adults with this kind of intelligence may be fascinated with mazes or jigsaw puzzles, or spend free time drawing or daydreaming.