Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Had No Idea!

This week we're going to have some fun. Time for a few psychological games to recharge your engines.
How we view things is reflected in our choices. Let's find out what view you take.

First: Get a piece of paper and pen, or better yet, your journal. I'll wait. Smile.
Don't try this series of exercises without it. Have your paper and pen? Good.
Answer this question: What is your favorite color? Yeah, the one that first popped in your head.
Write it down.
Now write down three (3) verbs about this color. Yes-verbs. Action, doing words. Got them?

Next section: Visualize yourself looking through a doorway into an empty white room. No furniture, pictures, nothing. List three words that describe your feelings about the room. Great.

This is the last part. What is your favorite animal?
The first one that popped into your head. Don't edit your choice.
Jot that on the page. Now add the three (3) attributes you connect with this animal. Don't over-think.
Have you finished? Only move on if you've completed all 3 areas or you'll miss out.

In the first exercise you chose a color. This represents you. The words you chose describe how you see yourself. This is a huge window to your self-esteem, your talents and challenges.
No judgement, please.

Next: The empty white room. This represents your feelings about death. It may be a surprise. One man responded with the word castrated. 

The last was your favorite animal. This represents your mate or partner. The words you chose signify your significant other or how you perceive them. If you currently don't have one, you may have chosen what you want in a mate or your view of that type of relationship.

It's been said that our words define us. Apparently, they do.
That said, none of your answers are wrong. It's just information.
It's where you're at for the moment. Life changes and so do we.
Understanding more about yourself can assist you in moving in a positive direction.

Write down these exercises in your journal, what you've learned and your feelings.
What do you wish to embrace?
What do you want to change?

Hopefully, you now have more of an idea about yourself.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

But I need it!

It's as sad when your life revolves around the lack of money, as when its abundance is the focus. The trick is to learn to manage your finances, so you have enough to meet your needs, and be free of worry.  There are two ways to accomplish having enough money, earn it or save it.

Ah, but where's the fun in that?

The enjoyment comes when you can easily pay cash for your purchases. When you pay off your credit cards, your car, have money in the bank and your house is free and clear.

"But that will take forever," you groan. "I need stuff now. I'm lonely, depressed, and shopping makes me feel better."


It may distract you for a time, but soon enough the fix wears off and you look for your next hit. Too many of us use money as a drug. The truth, money is a tool, only a tool. Something to be utilized to your benefit like a hammer. Do you take it in hand and build your life or tear holes in it?

Buying more of what you don't need won't fill up what you do need.

I know a woman that shops compulsively. Her marriage is a bust, her relationships with her children are strained. So she shops. And when she returns home with her bags of merchandise, she hides them under the stairs and cries.

How are you using money? This week, list your purchases in three categories.

1. Necessity:  Pay the electric bill
2. Discretionary:  Buying coffee on sale now rather than when you'll need it, but pay full price.
3. Totally not worth it:  The bag of chocolate bars that ruined your diet.

At weeks end, tally where your purchases fall.

Are you using your money responsibly until a fight with your lover has you storming to the mall, credit card in hand?  It happens, but it doesn't have to. Who is in control here? It's not the money. Only you hold the reins of power.

Write how you feel in your journal rather than spend. Notice how you feel when you want to buy something and why. How do you feel when you say no? What self talk haunts you? What positive phrase could you use to replace that lie? Put it all in your journal.
Is the price worth the momentary rush?

You're worth more than a quick fix. Rely on the knowledge that you rule your actions. You're strong,  and deserve the freedom and peace of having enough.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

And You Call That A Friend?

You're sitting at lunch with a friend you've known for years. She's complaining about her family, her husband, her job or lack of one. This friend rattles on and on through lunch giving you time to grunt when she pauses to take a breath. When the bill comes, she throws a few dollars on the table and says she's got to run. You leave feeling used and drained.

Guess what--you're right.
You were used and drained of energy.

As you can see, this week we're covering relationships. How often do we waist time with people that suck the life out of us, because we feel it's our duty, or out of habit or proximity without getting much in return? I've done my share of suffering through such friendships.  Ugh! I'm over it.

Life is too short to spend it with people who don't value you, are self involved or wear you out. Do any names or faces come to mind? We all have friends or belong to groups that, either no longer serve us because we've grown, or they treat us with disregard and indifference. Who needs it? Not you!

People change. Chances are, if the relationship isn't serving you, it isn't doing much for your friend either. Let it go. There's no need to make a big deal about it, just spend less time with them and allow the connection to fade naturally.  You don't have to have a big talk. This is not high school. No drama needed. You're an adult, and people come and go in our lives.

It's okay.

There are relationships that need some honest conversation to mend. If this feels like the case, and you want to invest further, by all means, go for it. State what bothers you calmly without blame. If the friendship is strong, you may come to an understanding. If it doesn't work out, let it go and know you tried. No hard feelings.

If you've been diligently working  on the coaching lessons, it's likely you'll be letting go of some old friends, a critique group or partner. Make room for relationships that inspire you and aid you in the creation of your dreams. Remember, the universe abhors a vacuum. Make room, and watch for the good that will fill it.

This week, make a list in your journal of people and groups that suck you dry. Decide how to handle each case. Let them slowly fade or talk it out. Notice how you feel about ending these connections and why. Write about it and then act. Even a bad relationship ending brings a feeling of loss. Let your self feel it. Write what you'll miss or what you wished for that didn't exist. Be real and honest in your journal.

You have to be your own best friend first.

Monday, July 4, 2011

But I'm a nice person!

I  adored my grandmother. She was sweet, patient, and suffered in silence as she tended her mother through cancer, put up with a physically abusive husband, and cared for a mentally disabled son. That would seem to be enough on any persons plate, but no. Grandma drove the elderly to the store and doctor appointments. She cheerfully babysat for single mothers. If someone was in need, she served, and somehow found time to sew quilts for charity.

You might think this woman was a miracle. I know, I thought she was. She had many friends and everyone loved her. But when she lay dying in the hospital well past age 80, with tears in her soft blue eyes, she whispered, "I've wasted it. I've wasted my life."

How can that be? Grandma made a difference. And she did! I don't know what would have become of me and my siblings if not for her love and stable influence. Where had she failed?

She'd given her life away to others and never lived one moment for herself.
Not one dream.
How had the years slipped by without creating something for herself?

Grandma had the habit of saying yes when asked.

The woman had regrets.
 Not for what she'd done, but for what she'd left undone.
She'd said yes to everyone, but herself.

This week, we stop the habit of saying yes.
People will still like you. And if they don't, you don't need them in your life.

For one week, when possible, say no to requests.
Sorry, but you still need to feed the two year old when he asks.
For the rest, the answer is no.
Without explanation, excuse or justification.

Service is good, but loosing yourself and being used is not.
Poor planning on some one's part does not constitute an emergency on yours.
Let others take care of their responsibilities or get another yes addict.
You're in recovery.

Just say NO!
 "No, thank you." Also good.
Repeat if needed and don't justify.

If you can't make yourself do that, then answer them with,  "I'll have to think about it."
Giving yourself time, breaks the habit and gives them the chance of finding another sucker.
I have been such a sucker and I'm over it.
Life is better.

This week, stand up for your dreams and your life.
No one else will.
Don't end up at age 80 feeling you've wasted the gift of living YOUR life.

Write down your progress and feelings in your journal.
Who is pushy?
Who makes you angry?
Who is difficult to deny?

"Life is a banquet, and most poor fools are starving to death."