Monday, January 18, 2010

Change a Room in Your Home, and Watch Your Life Change.*

Recently a friend of mine was complaining about her bathroom. She told me that her pipes were obviously clogged up since the water would take several minutes to drain. Another complaint she had was the paint color of the walls. They were too dull and boring for her to enjoy. She pretty much despised her bathroom. This went on for months.

So I then asked her to take those same descriptions of her bathroom and apply them to her life, or a part of her life she felt was not satisfying. So she did. Her first thought was, “my life feels clogged”, and that hit home for her regarding her love life. Her current relationship was not running smoothly and she wanted to try to figure out a way to enjoy it more…*

Then she thought about the other descriptions and thought, “my life is too dull and boring”. That hit her hard. There were parts of her life that felt dull and boring. Specifically her social life. So I suggested that she fix and revamp her bathroom to reflect how she would like for it to be. She agreed to call her uncle who would come snake out her pipes, and go get some new paint colors for her walls. Then away she went. I also mentioned to her to keep in mind how this also is symbolic of the changes she wants to make in her life.

About three weeks later, my friend called me up and was ecstatic. She first told me how she did revamp her bathroom and how she now loved it. Her pipes were free flowing and the colors on the walls were much brighter. She smiled every time she walked into her bathroom as a result…*
Then she told me how her life had also changed in a couple ways. Having changed her bathroom gave her a sense of empowerment. Just as she called her uncle to come fix her pipes, she had decided to call her cousin, who is a relationship therapist, and asked for some guidance with her relationship. Her cousin suggested one change and that helped to improve her communication with her boyfriend. Having found a sense of inspiration, my friend also called up an old pal of hers and they have been going out on a regular basis, having a blast, improving her social life.
So, if you have a room in your home that leaves you feeling unhappy, consider fixing it up and watch your life brighten as a result.
* - Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A New Decade is Upon Us…May It Bring Persistence of Hope.*

I don’t know about you, but I still cannot believe it is the year 2010. Where does the time go?
I remember when the calendar turned 2000 and the clocks rang in that New Year. Many were hopeful for a new millennium, with dreams to be lived and goals to be reached. However, as most of us know, the past decade has had its share of challenging times, with some structures weakening and others collapsing.

So many are struggling with unemployment and making ends meet. Others anticipate losing their job and struggle with, “what then” thoughts…*

My hope is that for this new year…this new decade, everyone chooses to be persistent when it comes to hope. Whether you set some New Year’s resolutions, or not, one goal I would ask all of you to have is to be persistent when it comes to hope. Hope can be applied to anything. For example, hope for continued employment, or new employment. Hope for a relationship to continue, or for a new one to begin. Hope for health and happy living. Hope for peace…*

One exercise that can help you to be persistent with hope is the Narrating Your Story tool. All you need to do is find a few minutes where you can be alone with no interruptions. Take either a piece of paper and pen, or a handy laptop with a word document. Title your document, “My present story”, and then proceed to write down what is going on in your life. Try to write for at least ten minutes, or four to five paragraphs. Then when you finish, write a new title, “My hopeful story”, and then write down how you hope your story will play out and/or end.

If you are struggling with something very painful or stressful, just hoping for a little hope is enough to help. If you find you can’t muster up the energy to write something hopeful, then just hope for hope itself. Maybe something then will come to you. If not, then for just that split second moment, you hoped for hope.
* - Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It’s That Time of Year for “Happy Holiday’s” and New Year’s Resolutions.*

Well, the holidays are upon us and all around are the sights and sounds of hustle and bustle. Many will purchase exciting gifts for loved ones and others will plan to attend parties to spread joy. Unfortunately, some people may not recognize this time of year as joyful, and struggle through it with tears and pain…*

I just would like for all of us this time of year to practice acceptance if and when we encounter a “scrooge” during our holiday season. A friend of mine mentioned to me that she was shopping, and while standing in line, met a stranger who shared that they didn’t like this time of year at all. Immediately she replied to the stranger, “why not, but it is Christmas time”. While my friend was just trying to be friendly and wanted to see this stranger enjoy this time, she forgot one vital piece of information….acceptance for others.

I have come to respect that this time of year can be a struggle and painful time for some, and I no longer try to cheer them up. I accept that I do not know what experiences a person may have lived that brought them to a place of sorrow during a holiday season. So when I encounter a person that is less then happy to see a holiday season come upon us, I accept their thoughts and inside my mind, I hope for some joy or peace in their life at this time. So the next time you encounter a “scrooge”, then consider spreading some peace to them by simply smiling and inside hoping joy for them…*

This is also a time of year for New Year’s resolutions. Many people will create lists of desired hopes and dreams that they want to accomplish or experience in the upcoming new year. I want to just remind everyone of turtle steps while creating New Year’s resolutions. Turtle steps will allow for a much higher success rate of achieving and reaching your goal, as opposed to entering the month of February and realizing you just can’t stick with it and fall flat on your face. Creating turtle steps is easy. You just take a resolution and then cut it in half. Then cut it in half again…and again. Keep doing this until you feel in your mind, and body, that you can do that for sure.

For example, one resolution a relative of mine has is to quit smoking. A challenging task indeed. She smokes about 1 pack a day and her resolution was to quit completely. So I asked her to try this turtle step technique and she cut her goal in half (i.e. cut down to ½ pack a day). Then she cut it down again and again, until she reached smoking one less cigarette a day. That felt much more achievable then quitting all together suddenly. Thus, try taking turtle steps to help easily reach your New Year’s resolutions.
* - Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at

Monday, December 7, 2009

We Often Put Ourselves in Other People’s Shoes, But Beware of Placing Others in Your’s.*

A very popular phrase, and mental practice we bestow upon ourselves, is “Put yourself in their shoes”. When we put ourselves in other people’s shoes, it often leads to compassion and kindness. For example, when we hear of someone we know who has a death in their family, we often think about losing one ourselves and then feel that pain and sadness temporarily. That emotional experience then often leads to a kind gesture or action. In the form of a phone call, or in the case of a death, a sympathy card, or visit to a funeral home. In some cases, a person may also find that they would handle a situation differently, and in that case you learn about yourself.

However, beware of occasions where you might imagine having someone in your shoe’s, if you feel someone’s actions are disappointing you. If you are struggling with something, and feel the urge to wonder how someone else would handle a situation you are struggling with, try not to. When in this frame of mind, chances are you are judging someone else. In most cases, when we go there and think to ourselves that someone else would handle something the same as we were, then that can lead to disappointment and further judging. For example, “I lost loved one and Ann hasn’t contacted me or said sorry to hear. What if she lost a loved one and I didn’t contact her?” Try to catch yourself doing this and then try one of two things. Either let it go, or think of another more positive reason someone has not contacted you…*

Some may believe that asking someone to put the shoe on their foot, may lead to compassion or understanding. However, this too is very risky. In some occasional situations, the other person may see your point and agree with you. However, in many cases, a person may get defensive and try to deny or defend how they are handling it. This is partly because in a way, we are asking them to experience our pain or to face something they did wrong. Many people aren’t very welcoming of when someone tries to get them to experience difficult situations. Their defense mechanisms most likely kick in and they instantly try to avoid the negative experience being presented to them.

Placing yourself in someone else’s shoes can lead to compassion, but be cautious of wanting someone else to be placed in your’s.
* - Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Power of Negative and Positive Thoughts….Where Does Your Power Lie? *

I was recently skimming over the CNN news highlights and some of them read, “Bad hurricanes forecast, but few ready”, “Woman in iron lung dies after power failure”,
and “Do You Hate Your Commute Too?”

Now, as you read each of those statements, how do you feel? If you had to label each as a positive or negative news story, which would each be? As I read them, I realized that each of them was negative in nature. My initial responses to each of the statements were, “Yikes”, “Very sad”, and “Heck yah I hate it”. Many of you may be able to relate to those responses, and if you do, I want to point something out to you. Something that had occurred to me as I realized my own reaction to them. My thoughts about those stories left me feeling worried, sad, and frustrated. I then noticed how my thoughts continued to think of other negative thoughts about my own life and experiences. For example, I thought about a storm I had seen years ago that left me feeling as if I were in a re-make of The Wizard of Oz, the tornado scene. Then I thought about the day I had a very bad commute into work, as if I had been transported onto the streets of downtown New York. This went on for several minutes, until I realized how I was giving more power to my negative thoughts and disregarding any positive thoughts.

Negative thoughts can be useful and have a purpose in the sense that they indicate how you are feeling at any given moment. Once someone realizes that, “hey, I have been feeling frustrated or stressed”, then they can use that as a signal to
acknowledge what they are feeling and then ideally let it go…..*


Finally, a very effective question to ask yourself the next time you experience a negative thought is, “Is it the negative thought that is really upsetting me, or is it the power I am giving the negative thought that is upsetting me?” Once you figure out the answer, you will begin to free yourself from your negative thoughts, and then you can choose to focus on more positive thoughts.

* - Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at

Sunday, August 16, 2009

”Actions speak louder then words”…but being true to one’s self is to have our actions match our words. *

I can’t tell you how many times I heard this phrase, and believed it to be true. It seemed to make sense. I mean, in most cases, it is easier to say things then to actually do them. Or when we go to do them, we realize they are not as easy to do as we thought, so we don’t do them.

In recent years, I have come to learn that I feel most true to myself when my actions actually match my words. Not that they necessarily have to speak louder then them. In the past, I will admit that there were times when I would say something to someone, or commit to something, when I knew there was a very good chance I would not be able to actually do so. In those cases, my actions didn’t match my words and that caused some internal conflict….*

Another instance where conflict is created is when someone says things that can’t possibly be true. For example, a friend of mine was in a long distance relationship and one thing that her partner said to her was that he wanted to physically be with her every day. Yet his actions could not possibly match that as he was thousands of miles away. While the thought seemed nice, eventually it became disheartening for my friend to repeatedly hear one thing, but see and feel another….*

I would like for each of you to take time this week and try to be aware of your actions versus your words. Be aware if you are saying one thing, but your actions are doing another. If so, is there any pattern or trend you notice? Then, if you do identify instances where your actions do not meet your words, try to get them to match up. In some cases, you will find that changing your actions to meet your words is the answer. In other cases, you will find that changing your words to match your actions is what is needed to bring peace and balance back into your life.

A very important point to also keep in mind when changing your words to meet your actions is the use of the word (i.e. thought), “I can’t”. In rare and unusually circumstances, it may be true when a person cannot do something. But in most cases, a truer statement is that you “choose not to” do something.
* - Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Loving Someone, Being In-Love, and Love…Just as is. *

Love….is perhaps one of the most passionate and nurturing emotions possessed by humans and other creatures alike. An emotion most yearn for, and many receive.

Over the years, I have heard many people mention such phrases as “I love him”, or “I am in-love with her.” Several people I know believe that loving someone and being in-love with someone are two different types of love. I thought this was an intriguing belief so I decided to give it much thought. I also decided to ask a handful of people the difference, for them, between loving someone and being in-love with someone….*

The response I received, unanimously, was that loving someone meant in a deeply caring way for a relative, or very close and dear friend. Being in-love with someone was tied to romantic feelings for someone such as a partner, or spouse. I also thought more about it and realized that loving someone comes with conditions. We can love someone but still get irritated with some of their unusual habits. However, when we are in-love with someone, we tend to be a bit more unconditional and put on blinders to some less desirable habits they may possess. We also may find simple things about them very wonderful and intriguing. As if magnifying some of their attributes.

Personally, I believe that love just can be as simple as caring for any other. In some ways, I believe we are love. Underneath all the layers of other emotions and feelings, lies love….*

What I would like each of you to do is experience love, just as it is. Regardless of the types of love you have defined for yourself in relation to others. Take a moment and just relax and sit with the word “love”. Feel what love means to you within yourself. Most importantly, notice the love you have for yourself.
Please note, these are highlights from an entire article in Higher-Self Living Paychecks. For more information, please visit our website at