July 25, 2017

Bring it on 2016 – but only in little pieces!

Yep, another year has come and gone.  And now we are in 2016.    Many of us have high hopes for the new year:  Wipe the slate clean; get our ducks in a row; this is the year; get all my items on the to-do list done, cross off the things on my bucket list…  We have the best intentions, but for me when I say a grand statement like “THIS YEAR I’M GOING TO DO IT!  it honestly doesn’t motivate me to do everything I actually want to do, it just propels me into thinking I have a huge mountain to climb.  When I think about that mountain, I  realize it’s pretty big and I have a long way to go.  I want to get it done as quickly as possibly, so I go full speed ahead.  Below is an example of what happens:

My intention is set.  I want to lose weight in 2016.  So I buy a tracking steps thingamagig.  I pump myself up and buy a new walking outfit and sneakers.  I’m ready!   I tell myself I want to do 10,000 steps a day beginning on January 1st (even though on December 31st I estimate I took 215 steps…the entire day.)  Even so, I am committed to DOING THIS because that’s what I told myself I was going to do.  Other people around me were doing 10,000 steps and they were fit, so that’s what I’m going to do.  If they can do it, I can do it.

So what really happens?   I buy the outfit, shoes and tracker.  I set out on my 10k.  After a half hour or so  I’m tired, I start to sweat, my heart is pounding, I’m thirsty and I’m more tired.  I get a big blister on my toe,  my calves hurt and I’m hungry.  What am I nuts?  I can’t do this.  I’m not in shape.  I’m failing.  This was stupid of me to try.  I am a failure.  I’m a loser. bla bla bla

So from now on, starting in 2016, I’m going to start off the year with attainable, specific goals that I can actually commit to.   How different would my motivation level be if I set the goals like this instead?

My intention is set. I want to lose weight in 2016. So I will buy a tracking steps thingamabob. I pump myself up and buy a new walking outfit and sneakers. I’m ready! I tell myself I want to do 10,000 steps four times a week eventually, but beginning on January 1st I’m going to walk 1000 steps because I probably only took 215 steps the entire day yesterday!  That’s a reasonable goal.    Once I am walking 1000 steps for a week or so I will increase it to perhaps 1500 steps four times a week.  I will keep on increasing until I hit the 10k step mark.

As I read this I’m not so overwhelmed and anxious.  I am not setting myself up to fail by setting unattainable goals.  Even though I ultimately want to get to the 10,000 steps, it is better for me to challenge myself in increments when I am physically and mentally ready to do so.  I will even make myself a reasonable timeline to hit each milestone.

So as 2016 begins, think of breaking your goals into bite sized chunks rather than the whole enchilada.  Some ideas to consider:

  • Preparing your will
  • Getting more organized
  • Increasing your social life
  • Concentrating on how to grow your business and income
  • Getting life and/or disability Insurance
  • Adding more fruits and veggies to your diet
  • Writing your book
  • Learning more about web services
  • Attending a church service
  • Booking a weekend getaway with family or friends
  • Specific ideas to go outside your comfort zone
  • Saving money for that dream home or vacation
  • Looking for another job
  • Reading more
  • Making family time a priority

There are so many things we can work on to improve our lives and they all start with that first step.  Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to get it all done in a week.  When you pace yourself and do small tasks, at the end of the year you will be AMAZED at how much you have accomplished.  So set your heart driven goals, make that phone call, research a topic, put down that computer device and play a board game with your kids,  send an email requesting information, ask for a referral, go to the store and buy a bin or extra hangers,  spend some time in the produce section, join match.com, put a vacation change jar on the counter, check the want ads, ask a close friend who they use for the service you’re looking for.  Then once you make that step, build on it and take the next.  THIS YEAR YOU CAN DO IT, ONE STEP AT A TIME!

Bring on 2016 and watch your life soar!

www.gaylesuzanne.com

Gayle Suzanne, Coach, Author, Motivational Speaker

Thank you for making me your trusted choice.

 

It’s Time

For a few years now I have been presenting workshops and sharing tools to help people press through challenging situations. My audiences have been quite diverse. The attendees have included women’s group presidents, senior citizens, real estate professionals, female prisoners, Bar Association members, night life adult education students, home health aides, teachers, fundraisers, cancer survivors, corporate management leaders, and chamber of commerce members. Basically, folks from all walks of life.

As I discuss stress triggers that tend to keep us from moving forward, one topic typically creates more buzz from the crowd than others. That is “letting go.” Letting go of what?   Anger, resentment, the desire to be perfect, the questions of why and when, high expectations, things we can’t control? etc. As we dig further during group or one-on-one sessions, I am amazed by the amount of people hurting due to a broken relationship. The brokenness comes in many forms, but usually from a falling out with a close friend or family member.

I am reminded of a woman in her fifties who had not spoken to her brother in over ten years. He lives in another state with his wife and children. I asked her what caused the strife between them. With watery eyes she couldn’t remember exactly, she just knew they didn’t agree on something…whatever that thing was. As I questioned her more about the situation, I felt like she was ripping open a wound that had been scabbed over for years, but never healed. Obviously there was pain there but it was as if she dismissed it from her mind until she was forced to deal with it. As we continued talking, she made the decision to contact him.   Fast forward a few months, they are in contact and are trying to rebuild their relationship.

I have experienced brokenness in a close relationship and completely understand the feelings associated with it. The conviction that I was right and I will not back down, the frustration that I can’t attend an event because that other person would be there, the sadness I felt because I couldn’t share the happy news with that person. The thoughts I told myself:   it’s for the best, I don’t want to fight, it’s better this way, we can never get past this, I just don’t want to deal with it. Yet life goes on. The first birthday arrives and still not speaking. No card, no cake, no call. Holidays, graduations, kids birthday parties, anniversaries, special dinners come and go and the absense of that person becomes the new normal. My truth: even though they were not physically there, it didn’t mean I didn’t want them there. I wished we could work it out. On some level. On any level. Somehow.

There are many levels of brokenness in relationships. Obviously if someone is causing you physical or emotional harm, then detaching and removing yourself from the situation might be a healthy and necessary thing to do. If someone voted for a different condo association president than you did and you cut them out of your life, there might be an opportunity for restoration here.

There are going to be times when people let us down. That’s a fact. They might reveal your darkest secret, they might lie straight to your face, they might not get you a cup of cocoa when they get one for themselves, they might criticize every move you make,  they might party too much at that important event, they might try to make you feel less than,  they might have unrealistic expectiations, they might say cruel things behind your back, they might disagree with everything you say. And so on and so on and so on…

What if you decided to extend an olive branch to that person to help you move forward?   A short email saying “Hope you have a nice birthday.” “Thinking of you this holiday season.” Or send a funny card that reminded you of them. Or pick up the phone and say “Hello. I think it’s time we talk.”   It is your choice to decide how close you want to get once a reconciliation begins. You might not want that person to be in the delivery room when you are having your second kid, but you may agree that it would be acceptable to attend the same function together. It would be okay to say hello to each other at your cousin’s baby shower. You might suggest that you avoid heated topics that typically end up in an argument.  You might agree that no smoking or drinking is allowed around your children. You might need to vent and tell your side of the story without interruption.  You might need to refrain from telling this person anything personal.  You might need to quietly remove yourself from an uncomfortable situation.  Anything to help you press forward.

If you extend an olive branch and the response is positive, that’s wonderful! But if you don’t receive the response you had hoped for, just know you tried, you reached out and did your best to open a dialogue and mend the relationship. I know when I have reached out, there is a sense of relief and stress lifted from me. My shoulders relax and there is some resolve to the situation.  I can’t control other people’s reactions or response, but I know that I can move forward knowing that I tried to make peace.

With the holidays quickly approaching, a reconciliation on any level could be the best gift you could give someone else and yourself.   Never know what will happen when you open up the lines of communication.    That’s actually a priceless gift.  It’s time.

Many blessings to you!

Gayle Suzanne

www.gaylesuzanne.com

The Single Person’s Dreaded Holiday

Yep, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  For the couples, there are romantic dinners, roses, jewelry and chocolates.  For the singles, they wait patiently until the day is over.  I’ve been on both sides.  When I was single after my divorce, the first Valentine’s Day that rolled around was not a happy one for me.  I think I watched some sappy movie that made me even more miserable and depressed that I cried all night.  So depressed that I didn’t get out of my pajamas.  So depressed that the thought of my singleness snowballed out of control – I’ll never be with anyone – I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life – No one will ever love me.  I’m not loveable.  Can you hear the violins playing in the background?  When I was in that frame of mind, nothing anyone said could get me out of it.  Not a thing.  I had to come around in my own time.  I had to dust myself off and continue on living in my singleness.

Typically in January I would join a matchmaking service or hint around to my friends that I wanted to be fixed up on a blind date.  I have to admit that I thought about stretching out the natural shelf life of one of my dates so I wouldn’t be alone on 2/14.  In my mind I would come home to a big velvet heart-shaped box filled with 100 expensive chocolates and 6 dozen roses.  I’d jump on my bed and be surrounded by scented rose petals.  Then on 2/15 I’d have to break up with him, because we just weren’t a match in the first place.   But of course that idea didn’t sit well with me.  I was never the type to go out with someone I didn’t see a future with.

I did a lot of inner work on myself after that miserable Valentine’s Day.  I tried to love myself through the ups and downs of life and be more gentle on myself.  Who knew how long I was going to be single and I wanted to enjoy my birthday and Christmas and Valentine’s Day even if I was on my own.  I wanted to enjoy my life as a single woman and tried to think of ways to improve those days that I endured.  I didn’t want to endure any day.  I wanted to live each day to the fullest!

I made a list of things that were bugging me about Valentine’s Day.  The three biggies were:   1)  I didn’t receive any flowers;  2)  I didn’t get any jewelry; and 3)  I was lonely.   I wanted to counteract these things with positive actions I could do for myself that day.  Sounds corny but we all have the power in us to make decisions that serve our highest good and make us feel great.    One of the things that upset me was that everyone at work (it seemed like everyone) was receiving huge bouquets of roses.  Seemed like every time I walked by EVERYONE’s desk, they had a 2 foot high bunch of long stemmers.  So I decided that I was going to buy myself some flowers.  Flowers that were bright and vibrant in color.  I went to the grocery store and purchased a bunch of flowers.  I put them in a fancy crystal vase on my kitchen table.  They were $5.99.   Those inexpensive, vibrant flowers made me feel so good inside.

When I was shown the new sparkly diamond necklace or bling bling that a loved one bought for a friend, I felt a pit in my stomach.  I’m not a big jewelry person, I just wanted someone to buy me something special – go figure.  So, in order to take good care of myself,  I took advantage of a huge January clearance sale and bought myself a blue topaz ring that was 70% off.  I wrapped it right away and presented it to myself on February 14th.  I love it!  How did I know!?!  That was 17 years ago and when I wear that ring now,  I am reminded of that special gesture I did for myself.  Buying that ring was a turning point in my life.  For me, that ring is a symbol that I have the power to change my circumstances and I can make choices that literally can change the way I live my life.

Gratefully, I am past the ‘material’ things that I yearned for on Valentine’s Day.  Flowers and jewelry were definitely on my list but my biggest obstacle was spending the night alone.  Eating a can of Progresso soup next to my cats alone in my kitchen was how I spent that my first post divorce single VD.  I didn’t even like the soup I was eating.   How was I ever going to get through this?  I’m doing all this stuff to love myself but I’m still lonely.  I’m still depressed.

The answer was so simple.  I needed to reach out to someone else who was alone or hurting.  I needed to be the person for someone else that I wanted someone to be for me.  I knew it would not be a ‘romantic’ encounter, but I also knew that asking a friend to join me for dinner or a movie would probably make her night as well as mine.  Two people who are individually lonely when they are on their own, are not lonely when they come together.  I had to get past the mindset that I needed a boyfriend or a romantic person to go out with to make me whole and happy.

So, that Valentine’s Day was very enjoyable and I was content.  I didn’t go through a box of tissues watching Richard Gere in his hot white uniform scooping up Debra Winger that night.  I was fulfilled and peaceful looking at the pretty flowers, my symbolic ring and enjoying the company of my dear friend.  Quite empowering.

This Valentine’s Day, change it up a bit if you are dreading it.  Reach out to a friend who recently broke up with someone or a lonely widow or widower.  Send a card, leave a chocolate on their desk at work, buy a carnation and leave it on their windshield.  Do anything.  Reach out – just do it.  It is amazing how good you will feel!!

Check out my new book – It’s In The Little Things!  Hopefully will inspire and set you on a journey toward loving yourself and others!  http://www.amazon.com/Its-Little-Things-Gayle-Suzanne/dp/1493647695/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1391557818&sr=1-1&keywords=it%27s+in+the+little+things

Blessing

Several years ago when I was in a Bible study class, the pastor mentioned that he would buy Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds or Burger King gift cards in $2 or $5 denominations and would hand them out to those in need.  Personally, I felt bad for the homeless and wanted to give but in the back of my mind I had this nagging feeling that my money would be spent on alcohol, cigarettes or drugs.  So I refrained from giving.  This gift card idea was fabulous!

The other day I posted on facebook that I randomly gave a $5 Dunkin Donut gift card to a woman working at a convenient store.  The response to the post was overwhelming (because I’m fortunate to have so many amazing friends!)  My sincere motive for posting was not to show how awesome I was for giving her the card, but rather to demonstrate that such a small gesture can really make an impact.  I stopped in the store to buy a gallon of milk.  The woman, in her early 60’s I’d guess, was mopping the floor near the entrance.  I hesitated before crossing the clean, wet floor and she said “Oh honey, come on in, don’t worry about the floor – I mop 4 or 5 times a shift!”  She smiled a big gummy smile – she only had one tooth – lower left.  It was warm out and her shirt was pretty sweaty. She looked worn out and tired.   I went out to the car and grabbed a gift card from my stash (I keep them in my car so when I’m out and about I’ll have them handy) gave it to her and told her to get herself a little treat.  Her first reaction was “Oh noooooo – you don’t have to do that.”  But I put it in her hand and said it’s just a little blessing for you.  She smiled, hugged me and when I looked at her after her hug, her nose started to turn red and her eyes welled up with tears.  I had a hunch she hadn’t experienced much random kindness in her life.

The reason I share this is so that other’s can use this same idea.  Based on the response from my group of friends on Facebook, it was clear that everyone thought this was a super idea.  I’m sure many will be purchasing gift cards of their own to hand out.  There have been many times I wanted to make an impact but since I couldn’t afford to build a school in Africa, I didn’t think I could do anything that would matter much.  I know differently now.   The small things we do for each other can inspire, heal and give hope.  I’m convinced of it.

Clean out that front hall closet, bedroom closet, basement and donate your old clothes or the ones that don’t fit anymore;  donate your books, gently used bras, shoes, winter hats, gloves and coats; pay for someone’s coffee or toll or a coworkers lunch; give a hefty tip; let the person go before you in line, bake cupcakes for a fundraiser, knit a sweater for a senior center craft fair,   help an elderly person with her groceries, bring in a coffee cake for your staff, bring coloring books and crayons to the children’s floor of a hospital, give away that lawn furniture you haven’t used in a decade, give your pots and pans to a recent college graduate, send a baby blanket to an old babysitter who just became a mom,  make a commitment to randomly give out gift cards.  So many options!  Whatever you choose – just do it.

I look at my lifestyle and am grateful for all I have but I’m sure I take the simplest things for granted.  I’ve never personally experienced what it’s like to struggle, really struggle, financially.  I have been blessed my whole life with a good job, clothes, food, a home, ability to buy gifts etc.  The things I take for granted may be such an enormous gift to someone else.  I want to think outside my ‘bubble’ and realize that everyone is not as lucky as me.   Each year my church donates to the Samaritan’s Purse – Operation Christmas Child.  They request shoe boxes filled with crayons, puzzles, glue sticks, pens, toothbrushes, shampoo, stickers etc for children in poor areas.  These are children who will receive one gift for Christmas – this shoebox.  That’s it.

Sometimes I wouldn’t give money to charities because I wasn’t quite sure where my hard earned money was going.  So basically, ignorance or lack of knowledge on my part prevented me from donating.  Ronald McDonald House is the perfect example.  At the drive through I’d see the nickels and dimes in the plastic container – sometimes I’d put in .04 just to get rid of my pennies.  Then I had a conversation with a coworker of mine whose child had cancer.  His son was hospitalized for three months.  He told me he and his wife stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, which was minutes from the hospital, and they were provided with a nice home and meals each day.  Without the help of that charity they would have either had to make a four hour trip every day to see their son or pay thousands of dollars on hotel bills.  Thankfully, I’ve never been in that situation, but if I were, I would be so grateful there was a program like that.  So you bet your bippy every time I go through a McDonald’s drive through now they are getting more than a few pennies from me.

If you want to challenge yourself even further, try this.  When someone compliments your earrings or your bracelet or your scarf or your candle holders or your living room vase, take it off or pick it up and give it to them.  Ooooh that’s a tough one!  It is fairly easy to give those jeans away that you haven’t fit into for years, but quite another to give away something that you actually wear and have an attachment to.  I’m not implying that you should give away your home or your kids or your engagement ring, but if you really want to be a blessing to others, sometimes giving something away that means a bit more will be an even bigger blessing.  Giving away that pretty blanket might be difficult but I can guarantee the person you’re giving it to will be thankful.  It’s good karma baby!

Please take time to commit.  It’s a win win!  Would love to hear other creative ways of giving!

Oh baby!

My niece Heather and her hubby, Mark are having their first child.  Heather is 20 weeks along and they just found out they’re having a girl!!  The whole family is so excited!  My sister Chris (her mum) is beyond thrilled.  She has already bought a roomful of clothes, toys, a car seat,  has picked out her ‘mimi’ grandma name, and prepared the baby shower list.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she already bought the baby her first day of school outfit.  The anticipation of a new little member of the family is such a blessing!

I think back 19 years ago when my daughter, Becca, was born.  (Amazingly I’m still trying to lose that darn baby weight)  She was 3 weeks early and arrived by c-section.  She was perfect (as are all babies)  I remember being in awe of her miniature fingers and toes and tiny finger nails.  I would stare at her face amazed by her faint detailed eye lashes and rosebud lips.  Nothing short of a miracle.  I just made sure I was asleep when she let released her ‘tar’ poop.  That parenting chore I left for dada.

As new parents, we left the hospital with her in tow thinking “What the heck do we do with her now?  How could the hospital let us leave with her?”  But we stumbled and learned as time went on.  Because I had a c-section my hospital stay lasted for 3 nights, so I was able to learn her routine pretty well.  I would get up every four hours, go to the nursery and give her a bottle.  She was like clockwork.  8am, 12pm, 4pm, 8pm, 12am, 4am.  I was so grateful to have a scheduled baby right out of the gate!  When we arrived home, I fed her at 8 pm and collapsed in bed.  Becca was swaddled up in her bassinet right next to me.  For the first hour I stared at her chest making sure she was breathing.  Little bundle of love!  Then I fell asleep.  At 10:30pm she woke up crying.  Oh no!  No nurses!  No doctors!  Just me and her dad.   According to her perfected-hospital-eating schedule, she wasn’t supposed to be hungry until midnight so I picked her up and went through the new parent checklist.  Okay, let’s change her little diaper.   Try to burp her.   Rock her back to sleep and snuggle her up to my post baby comfy swelled bosom.  Nope still crying.  Put on some music and walk with her.   Lie down with her still and quiet.   Change her jammies and put something fresh on her.    Hold her like a football and walk.  Nope still crying.     By this time all of my options failed and the I don’t have a clue realization set in.   So I called the maternity ward at the hospital – I knew they’d be awake.   As a new mommy, I was panicked, in tears and desperate for help.  The nurse patiently (and probably laughing to herself) asked “Did you feed her honey?”  “No, she’s on a perfect 4 hour schedule and not due to eat until midnight.”  I replied, trying to show a hint of motherly knowhow.  “Why don’t you try that honey?  Maybe she’s a little hungry.”  “Okay.” I said, thinking I’ve known my baby for 3 days and that can’t be the problem.   But  I made the bottle anyway.  As soon as I put the nippy in her mouth, she sucked that thing down like she hadn’t eaten in 3 days!  I sunk further into the rocker and felt like a moron.  After she ate, I cleaned the little milk spills off the creases in her neck and put her back to bed where she slept peacefully for the next four hours.  Live and learn….

I would be remiss if I didn’t share that her dad had his own episode of new parent panic.  One night when Becca was a few weeks old, she was sound asleep in her crib in the room right next to ours.  Her dad and I went to sleep at 8pm – our new bedtime.  Being new parents, you sleep whenever you can.  About an hour after we fell asleep, I woke up to him screaming “Get her out of there! Get her out of there!”  I was scared to death – what was happening?  Not the best way to be awakened from a sound sleep.   I turned the light on and he was standing up in the middle of the bed and holding up the light that was in the center of the ceiling.  He was crazed.  I asked him Get WHO OUT OF WHERE??   He yelled that Becca was in the light fixture and he was holding her up so she wouldn’t fall out.  I admit I looked at the light to see if she was there (after all I was suddenly jolted up)  I assured him that she wasn’t in the light and he was still asleep…..yet he wouldn’t stop screaming.  It took several minutes to get him out of his night terror state and back to reality.  We walked into her room and witnessed that she was snug as a bug in her crib – sleeping like a baby.  I’m sure his heart was pounding out of his chest for a little while – as was mine.  It felt good, though, that I wasn’t the only wacky new parent in the household.

After a while, we understood her needs more and more – what she wanted, why she was unhappy.  We became parents who learned sometimes by the process of elimination and sometimes by instinct.  Either way, she is, was and forever will be the joy of our lives!

Babies bring so much happiness to parents, grandparents, step families, aunties, uncles, friends, cousins, neighbors, distant relatives, church attendees,  people you don’t know walking in the mall, other babies – just about anybody. I was at a birthday party recently and there was a precious 9 month old baby girl there.  She was so good – being passed around to everyone without a peep.  Each person that held her tried to get her to smile, and when she did – everyone lit up like a Christmas tree and oohed and aahhhed!   People don’t think twice about making goofy faces or talking with their voice raised 3 octaves when they are trying to make a baby giggle.  When she stuck out her tongue you’d think that we just watched a Seinfeld episode – fits of laughter all around.  Such pure, innocent, wonderful happiness!

Heather and Mark – we are so thrilled to welcome our own royal bundle of joy!

My Love Story

My Love Story

(By Kelli, guest blogger and my dear friend)

I lost my precious dog, Mini, this year.  I was very sad and lonely because she was my best friend.

My other friends (human ones) all rallied and found me “My Romeo”.

It was 7 am and my friend Lisa and I started on a road trip to Buffalo, NY.  It was a 7 hour ride.  I was told by a mutual friend, Tabby, that she found the perfect dog for me.  Tabby lives in Vermont so I was puzzled that she knew this was the dog for me, since she lives so far away.  I told Lisa, my road trip buddy, that I would go and ‘save’ a dog with her, but I wasn’t sure I could replace Mini so soon after she passed.  It had only been 3 weeks.

After settling into our hotel room, Lisa and I watched my favorite show The Bachelor.  We woke up the next morning and drove to our final destination two hours away.  I was so excited when we arrived on the farm.   There were animals all over and I met a wonderful woman who introduced me to my Romeo.  That’s what I named him.  He was tiny, black and sweet as can be.  He kissed my face all over as he was going to his forever home.  He was my savior.

Romeo rode home on my lap and looked up at me with his grateful eyes.  This dog is so affectionate and loves everyone he meets.  Romeo is the perfect name for this special dog.

Romeo was found in a snowstorm in Buffalo, NY.  He was rescued by animal control – lost and frightened.  His owner never came for him.  He was about to be euthanized on Tuesday of that week, but the wonderful friends who rehab animals saved him on Monday.  They brought him to their farm for me to take him home.

I gave them an adoption fee (which wasn’t requested) but gladly given.  They spayed him, gave him all his shots and took care of him.  I gave them additional money to help them save another animal and thanked them for making me smile again.

Please consider adopting a dog from your local dog pound or shelter before calling a breeder.  There are so many shelters who need your help in placing these dogs.  They only charge an adoption fee to stay open.  Most shelters don’t euthanize dogs and give these animals a home until they find their forever home.   A few weeks back I adopted another dog named  King who is Romeo’s forever brother.

My family is now complete.

Let It Gooooooooooo

If you start thinking about an incident that happened on May 10, 1971 at 4:36 pm (or even something that happened last week) and you experience some of these symptoms, it might be time to let go:

· Your back stiffens up
· Your emotional walls go up
· Your migraine visits
· Your mouth becomes a sewer – with ‘fa fa’ words flowing freely
· Your forehead veins pop out
· Your mood intensifies
· Your face breaks out
· Your palms sweat
· Your blood pressure rises
· Your heart races
· Your stomach starts to gurgle
· Your teeth clench
· Your hands make a fist
· Your voice starts to get louder and goes up 3 octaves
· Your face resembles a ripe tomato or beet
· Your pulse is visible
· Your body shakes
· Your tone gets snippy

I often thought that letting go meant I was letting person that hurt me off the hook for what they did.  If I let it go or forgave them I was saying it was okay that they did what they did. I actually thought it was a good thing and assured myself that holding on to my anger made me stronger and less weak.

Meanwhile, while I’m aggravated thinking of every little detail of the incident, all this unpleasant stuff is happening to my body. Simultaneously, the person I’m upset with is eating a sandwich – not an ounce of thought coming my way.

Hmmm……

Guess this explains why forgiving and letting go is a favor you do for yourself, not for the other person.  For peace of mind, mental health and living a positive lifestyle, it’s in my best interest to let it go. How on earth is raising my blood pressure affecting the other person?

Didn’t say it was easy, but it is something loving you can do for yourself. When something happens and you become upset, feel it. The hurt, the anger, the sadness, the disappointment, the frustration. Do what you have to do: punch a pillow, vent to a friend, run down the street screaming (make sure you watch out for cars), get on the elliptical machine, take a long soothing bath, have a good cry, listen to loud music – whatever works for you. Sometimes writing your honest thoughts in a journal can help. Try anything in a balanced, healthy way to release the frustration. Feel what you need to feel until it’s out of your system. If you find yourself getting irritated later on, take a deep breath and release it. Release until you don’t give it a second thought.

Stuff happens in life and it is for our own benefit to let go.  Just think how much money you’ll save on dental work!

Thank You…….but

When someone gives a compliment it should make us feel wonderful inside. What can be interesting are the responses after a kind word is said.  Many folks smile and say THANK YOU!

But far too many times, folks will smile, say thanks and continue on with the inevitable “but” …….

“Hey you lost weight – you look terrific!”    “Thank you but I’ve got a lot more to lose.”

“Your home is lovely”   “Thanks – but I really want new floors and my sofa has stains.”

“You are such a warm person”    “Thanks but I can be such a crab, you only see me on good days.”

“Your kids are so polite”      “Thanks but you should be around them at bedtime.”

Your arms are so toned”     “Thanks but you haven’t seen the cellulite on my thighs.”

“I love your car”      “Thanks, but it’s a pit inside and has 150K miles.”

“Your hair is beautiful”     “Thanks but I wish it wasn’t so curly and frizzy.”

“Your sweater looks so expensive”     “Thanks but I picked it off the floor at Walmart in the clearance bin.  It was $2.”

“You look so youthful”      “Thanks but do you see these wrinkles near my eyes?”

“Honey you look beautiful tonight.”    “Thanks darling, but I’m bloated and have bags under my eyes and this outfit makes me look fat.”

 

Strangely, accepting a compliment can be very challenging for us.

For some unknown reason,  it’s easier to accept negative comments.

We all have wonderful qualities and gifts.  Goodness knows there is enough negativity in the world so when you hear something nice, soak it in and enjoy!

If you tend to be a ‘but’ person, the next time you receive a compliment, try this instead:

1)      Look the person in the eyes and smile

2)      Say Thank you!

3)      Take a breath……….Say nothing more.

4)      Receive the beautiful words.

5)      Allow yourself to feel good.

For some of you, this little exercise might be uncomfortable and not a natural response, but try it again and again until it becomes second nature.

**Here’s a little tip (given to me by my beautiful, sweet, adorable co-worker)  When you are given a compliment and you want to say ‘but’– visualize an actual BUTT (bum, derriere, fanny).  You might giggle to yourself a bit and hopefully that will stop yourself from ‘BUTTING’.

Would love to hear comments on this!  Keep it up and it could change the way you feel about yourself!

p.s. Thank you to my coaching client for her humble inspiration! ;o)

For All The Women Out There Who Need Support……

I bet each woman reading this has a few bras in her drawer that are taking up space with no intention to be worn ever again.  I’m sure those bras haven’t held up anything in years.  And there are those bras that you should never, ever wear.  We all know the ones…..

  • Where the bra is too small and cuts off right in the middle of your boobs, so when you wear that bra with a tight sweater it looks like you have 4 boobs
  • You wear that same bra and the extra boobs are popping out of your back
  • The bra that you can barely clasp but one day you believe you’ll finally fit into it…..even though it’s been 10 years.  (Just like those size 6 jeans in your closet.)
  • The bra straps that leave a one inch laceration in your shoulders
  • The sexy bra that your husband / lover is so excited to see you in and you have no desire to wear – the thought of the girls being squashed so tightly….and cleavage up to your chin…..ugh
  • The sports bra that miraculously turns two boobs into a uniboob
  • The annoying bra where you are constantly pulling up the straps
  • The bra that’s held together by a safety pin…..or a paper clip….or a piece of tape
  • The maternity bra that you wore when you were pregnant or nursing.  I know mine was so huge that I could have strung the straps to a tree and used it as a hammock for my daughter.
  • The pretty, lacey bra – just the thought of putting it on makes you want to scratch your eyeballs out
  • The underwire bra where the end of the wire pokes through your skin and gives you a puncture wound that requires stitches
  • For those of you with small ones, the water bras.  Only heard of them…..can’t even imagine….
  • The bras that have 18 hooks that you just don’t have enough time to put on before work and requires four people to take off
  • The uber tight bra that makes you look awesome but when you take it off every inch of your chest screams for air
  • The bra that you wear that does not do anything – your puppies are in the same place they would have been had you worn nothing at all

My coworker buys bras for her daughters every year for Christmas.  Each year, she and her mom stay up late on Christmas Eve wrapping all the gifts.  They also enjoy a few spirits during this festive time together.  When the time comes to wrap the bras, they are so wiped and drunk they just string the bras up on the tree like ornaments.  This has become a tradition in her family.

Our fat little kitty Shadow loves my teenage daughter’s bras – she has a number of bras that stand up by themselves.  Her bras (and everything else) are strewn all over her bedroom floor.  Several times when I’ve peeked in her room Shadow’s been on the floor resting with a bra cup on his head.

Each year for Christmas my sister buys my niece a huge box of underwear and bras.  One Christmas my niece opened up a large package and inside was a few men’s flannel shirts and men’s socks.  She looked up “Mom, what’s this??”  Somewhere across town my sister’s ex-husband was opening up a gift full of bras and panties from his ex-wife.  ;o)

There are some things in life that we take for granted.  When my bras fall into one of the categories above, I don’t think twice about replacing them.  Others are not so lucky. In tough times, a woman will choose food and heat for her children over a bra for herself. The Bra Recylers is a non-profit organization that donates gently used, clean bras to women in need – all over the world.

Take a few minutes, clean out your bra drawer, get an envelope or small box, put a few stamps on it and make a difference in a woman’s life!  So easy.  Maybe a bra that looks and feels awful on you will be the perfect fit for someone else!  Make someone’s day today!!

The Bra Recyclers

3317 S. Higley Road

Ste 114-441

Gilbert, AZ  85297

Phone 480-988-2283

www.brarecycling.com

Just Be

Today is New Year’s Day…..usually a time to reflect on the past year and prepare a list of should’s and have to’s for the upcoming year.

This year my New Year’s resolution is going to be “Just Be”.  For me, that means trying my best to embrace life and accept me as I am – flaws and all.  I’m well aware that I should lose some weight, toss out most of the contents in my junk drawers, eat more apples, bring my lunch to work, floss daily, remove the dust bunnies that loom above, and buff the bottom of my feet until they are silky smooth.

But for this moment……or for a few hours…… or even a couple of days….. I will accept the things that aren’t perfect in my life.  It’s pretty easy to embrace the things that are not an issue – quite another to accept the things that need work.

With Christmas over, I want to relax and be okay with everything as it is.  I can be so hard on myself – always thinking I have to push myself to the next level, do more and accomplish more.  Gotta do this – gotta do that.  I rarely take time to soak in the now.  I know I have to do things at some point but I also realize that sometimes I need to sit still and embrace everything about me and my life as it is.  When I am just be-ing I am enjoying the present moment and I am in tune with all the wonderful things around me.

In order to truly love myself, I have to embrace all of me.  That includes my several chins, the few hairballs on the cellar stairs that I haven’t gotten around to cleaning up yet, my impatience while driving the morning commute, the 8 inch scar on my tummy that prevents me from being a swimsuit model (yet also saved my life a few years back), the irritation I feel when I’m around negative people, the lack of funds to buy a retirement home, the inevitability of finding pine needles in August,  my not-so-much dream job, the random hot flashes, the choice to eat Captain Crunch for dinner, the ball at the end of my nose (thanks ma)….  You get the point.  For this moment I’m going to accept it all rather than fight it.  I’m choosing to Just Be.

Wow that feels great!!!  Try it and see how you feel.

Then, slowly and lovingly, work on the things you want to improve or change.  Happy New Year to you!!!