Tag Archives: support

It’s Not Up to You to “Figure it All Out”

It always seems that when a chapter of my life is soon coming to a close that it’s easy and natural for me to get caught up in the whole thinking of: What am I going to do next in my life?

It happened when I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree.  It happened when I chose to not renew my teaching contract while I was living in Korea.  And it has started happening again recently upon knowing that, in less than a year, I’ll have my Master’s degree.

The thought patterns have often gone something like this:

Where I am going to live?

If I want to move, where should I potentially move to?

What kind of work could I find there?

Should I do X or Y kind of work?

If I do X kind of work, will the salary be enough to pay bills?

What if I need a new car?

Etc. etc. etc.

The questions could go on and on forever.

While finishing a chapter in our lives can be very exciting — the end of a degree program, a job, or a relationship — it can also bring up a lot of stuff.

When a chapter of our lives ends, we then find ourselves at a crossroad.  So I turn right or left?  So I take A or B?  Or, should I not choose any of those and turn around and go right back where I was?

We now find ourselves in un-charted territory.  It’s new.  It’s unfamiliar.  We haven’t been through it before nor do we know where this new journey might take us.

And, due to the unfamiliarly, it can be pretty darn anxiety-provoking.  We fear that something will go wrong and we won’t be able to make ends meet.  We worry that we may take the job and then absolutely hate it — or the career path entirely flops for us.

As a result of this fear that, somehow, everything is going to go completely wrong, we decide that, maybe, we can just plan everything.

So we create to-do lists.  We set goals.  We create our vision boards for a dreams for the future and we make our 10-year plan.

But you know what happens then?  And I can vouch that this has happened to me every single time that I have tried to set any kind of long-term goal.

Life happens.  And the goals completely change.

Why?  Because it’s not up to me. It’s up to a power so much greater than me.

When we’re caught up in fear and worry, we start to over-analyze everything, and we try to plan and control everything in our lives, then that’s the voice of our ego, our monkey mind, our fear-based mind.

Our ego mind is limited.  It makes us see the world and the universe with lack and it believes that we are not supported.  And it drains our energy, our life-force, our power.  According to A Course in Miracles, the presence of fear is a sign that you are relying in your own strength.

So when we are in fear, worry, and stress because we’re pushing ourselves to figure out what we need to do next in our lives, all it does it create more stress, more worry, and more fear.

In the grand scheme of things, it makes us unhappy.  It keeps us in a place of suffering because it keeps us completely disconnected from our inner guidance and our true selves.  It makes us believe that we are not supported and that we only have ourselves to rely on to “figure it all out”.

But you know what?  You don’t have to figure it all out.  In fact, you’re one and only job is to let it all go.  Release the fear.  Release the worry.  Release the anxiety.  Then give those fears to a power greater than you — in whatever way you like to call it, whether that be Source, the Universe, the Divine, God or whatever.  Give it to a power greater than you and trust and know that you are supported.

FearGiveSupported

Click to Tweet: When you are fearful, give it to a power greater than you and trust and know that you are supported. @jenilyn8705 

Then once you do that, be still.  Quiet the mind.  Breathe.  Meditate.  Allow the beauty of the present moment to wash over you. Feel your body sitting.  Feel the air around you.  Hear the sounds around you in this moment.

Notice your inner mind chatter.  Observe it, but don’t attach to it.  Recognize it as fear and only fear, as the thoughts are not of your higher self, but wounded parts of yourself.  Love them and let them pass.

Continue to breathe.

And then slowly and gradually, the mind chatter will subside.  It may not completely go away, but it will become quieter.  In the stillness of the moment, trust that guidance for your next right action is coming.  It may come in the form of a thought, a feeling, a sensation, or maybe even through something in your external world, like through a friend, family member, co-worker, e-mail, magazine or whatever.

Regardless, be open and receptive.  Exhale and remember: It’s not up to you to figure it all out.

7 Beliefs Worth Having

The original version of this article was originally shared on Elephant Journal.

In many spiritual circles, the idea our belief systems can hinder our growth and healing is quite common.

Though things like religious or political beliefs can easily be recognized, there are many internal beliefs that we have that many of us are not consciously aware of.  Many of us have beliefs like:

I will never be good enough.

I’ll never find a partner right for me.

I’m not pretty enough.

Bad things always happen to me.

People are ridiculous.

I shouldn’t pay for a massage because its too expensive.

Through this process of recognizing our limiting beliefs in order to heal them and let them go, it can be easy for one to fall into the idea that there are no beliefs that are worth having.

Well, I think there is a little problem with this.

There’s a reason we had those beliefs to begin with: Our beliefs give us a foundation. They help us to be grounded in the world.   They can provide us with a solid foundation to build, grow and heal from.

When we push ourselves to have no beliefs at all, then we may find ourselves confused and off balance.

Here are seven non-limiting beliefs to provide you with a solid foundation for your own self and spiritual development:

#1 – Everything in the world is constantly evolving

Nothing ever stays the same in this world. Just as the seasons change, so do people, places, and things. We cannot stop it or control it, but rather move with the flow of this natural evolution.

#2 – Nothing in this world is absolute

People die, relationships end, and we discover that what we thought works actually causes more problems than it solves. The universe will change and adjust as we do. It is conscious and has a “mind” of its own. Just when we think we know something, the universe shifts to prove nothing that we think to be true is absolute.

#3 – The world is filled with endless possibilities for creation

Simply, if we believe that anything is possible then nothing actually is impossible. If we believe nothing is impossible, then we create the mindset needed to create the seemingly impossible.

#4 – We are always supported

Completely taking away the possible religious or spiritual beliefs and putting them aside, if we believe that the universe will always support us then it releases any fear we may have of doing something.  If we believe that we can jump and something is there to catch us, then it makes it easier for us to jump.

AlwaysSupported

Click to Tweet: You are always supported. via @jenilyn8705

#5 – We deserve the life of our dreams

If we believe that we deserve everything that we’ve ever dreamed of then we hold no limitations on actually making that a reality.

#6 – We are happiness, joy, and love

If we believe that we and everyone in this world at the deepest core of their being is happiness, joy, and love already then we allow that to not only emerge within us but in others as well.

#7 – Heaven is a place on earth

Yes I know this probably sounds super cheesy, but its a belief worth having. When we believe heaven is already right here on earth right now then we can actually create and make it seen to more people.

What are some beliefs that you think are worth having?  Share them below!

I’m an Introvert. Here’s How I Learned to Be in My Power

I always used to be the quiet kid.  You know, the one that hardly ever said anything in class and was often referred to as “shy”.

Rarely would I ever raise my hand to participate.  It often produced too much anxiety to do so — and, I’ll admit, at 29 years old it still can from time to time.

I didn’t have many friends and I would often get teased by other kids for being so quiet and shy.

In grade school, I often saw it as if something was wrong with me.  Why was I not a social butterfly?  Why didn’t I like drawing attention to myself?  Why did I not have many friends?

After all, that’s how we are “supposed” to be in this society in order to be considered “normal”… so why couldn’t I just be that?

Despite getting older and going to college, feeling this pressure to be more social and extroverted didn’t go away.  In fact, it some ways, it got worse.

I got a roommate who was very extraverted and couldn’t understand why I’d want to sit in my room and read or write quietly for hours.  I’d get friends who would get mad over the fact that I would use text rather than call them.  I even got a supervisor from an internship who would hound me for not being “social” enough.

Rather than to accept my own personality traits and harness them, I found myself wanting to somehow prove people wrong.  In order to “show them” that I was capable of being outgoing and social, I found myself agreeing to do sales jobs when they came available.  I’d push myself to be more talkative and try to maintain many friendships.  I figured that, by doing so, I’d receive more acceptance and support from others.

But, at the end of the day… I only felt more distressed and unsupported. I often felt overwhelmed and drained because I was trying to please other people rather than myself.

After a few months of living overseas in South Korea a few years ago, things started to change.  Living as an expat forced me to really look inward and focus on myself.  It was at that point in my life where I realized that the only person who has the power to make me happy is myself.

Click to Tweet: The only person who has the power to make us happy is ourselves. @jenilyn8705

So I became unapologetic about texting rather than calling.

I became unapologetic about not being super-talkative in my work environments.

I became unapologetic about sitting at home reading rather than going to some social event with a lot of people.

And I let go of my desire to please others.  I stopped caring what other people thought or expected of me and I allowed myself to be who I truly was.

As a result, I started to develop an amazing relationship with myself.

By improving my relationship with myself I’ve managed to…

… improve my health.

… reduce stress.

… feel really truly happy.

And by developing an awesome relationship with myself, I started to find myself in work environments where people supported and accepted my introversion.  I found myself in relationships, both personal and professional, with people who accepted my introversion rather than to push me to be something different.

Because I started to accept and love myself exactly as I am on the inside, others started to reflect that on the outside.

AcceptLoveOurselvesOthers

Click to Tweet: When we love and accept ourselves, we give others permission to love and accept us as well. @jenilyn8705

Through loving and accepted myself exactly as I am, I’ve been able to finally feel stand in my own power and be in-tune with my true self.

Which, I suppose, someone who knew me as a kid would never expect.  How on earth can the shy and quiet girl ever stand in her power?

Well, ironically, she can… and it didn’t come from being super talkative, extroverted and outgoing as so many people have thought I “need” to be.  Rather, it’s been by fully loving and accepting myself the way I truly am and allowing my truth to be expressed, whether that pleases people or not.

What do you need to let go of so you can truly step into your power?  Share in the comments below!

The cart is still open for my 5-week course, Your Power: How to Harness Your Energy So You Can Truly Shine!  Click here to learn more.

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Feel Unsupported in Relationships

As originally published on TinyBuddha.

Many of us feel we’re not getting the support we want or deserve in relationships.

Maybe we’ve never felt supported by our friends or family. Maybe we don’t feel supported by our peers or co-workers. Maybe we don’t even feel supported by our partner.

This can leave us feeling drained, tired, and unhappy, like we’re moving through life without much fuel to keep going.

During my adolescence and early adulthood, this was a huge struggle for me. I rarely found a place or group of friends where I felt like I “belonged” and, therefore, I didn’t feel supported. When I did feel supported by others, it only lasted for a few days or weeks before it dissipated.

Today, this has shifted. I feel much more supported in my current relationships and don’t feel nearly as drained as I once did.

There are still moments when I feel like I did growing up, but I’ve realized that opening up to support is a life-long journey. It’s an ongoing process of healing old wounds and allowing ourselves to become something new.

There are three questions that always help me realize what needs to be healed and how I need to shift my perception. If you don’t feel supported in your relationships, ask yourself:

#1 – Is my story preventing me from receiving support?

Do you tell yourself stories like “Nobody understands me,” “He can’t understand me because he hasn’t experienced what I’ve experienced,” or “I always have to take care of others and nobody can take care of me”?

Or, do you repeatedly tell yourself, “I am never supported in my relationships”?

Whatever your specific story is, it blocks you from receiving the support you desire.

Some other stories that prevent you from receiving support include: “If I tell others about my problems, it will cause them more stress,” “If I share this with others, they will judge me,” “I need to give to others in order to be loved,” and “If I want something from others, I won’t be loved.”

Formerly, I told myself the story “I will be a burden to others if I seek help and support.”

I’d think this at work when I needed extra help or a day off, so I’d feel hesitant to communicate this to coworkers. I’d also think this when going through tough times, which made me feel scared to open up to friends, so none of them would know what I was feeling.

When we acknowledge our stories, we are then able to shift our perception and open ourselves to receiving support from others.

#2 – Am I reaching out to others for support?

Often when we feel like we are not receiving what we desire from others it’s because we are not open to receiving. It’s as if we have a little shop set up for business, but we have all the doors locked!

Be sure to tell others when you are going through a difficult time. Ask people for help rather than to try to figure it all out on your own.

By letting people know that we are seeking support, we’re much more likely to receive it.

#3 – Am I supporting myself?

What we experience outside of ourselves is often a reflection of whatever we are experiencing within ourselves. If we are not feeling supported by others, then it is likely true that we may not be supporting ourselves.

The key to shifting this is to find ways to feel full and supported within ourselves instead of focusing solely on what we want from others.

This was something I needed to do when dealing with various health issues. For a few years, I failed to address my health problems, which meant others couldn’t support me either.

I would not stay committed to diet and lifestyle changes that I knew would help me. This meant others didn’t have the opportunity to support me because my actions did not show that improving my health was important to me.

Ask yourself: Am I supporting my body when it’s sick or tired by letting it rest? Do I support myself by finding time to do the things that I love to do? Do I give myself the things I know I need—like going to doctor’s appointments when I’m sick or finding a therapist when I’m going through a difficult time?

Then take it a step further and ask yourself: Am I really “myself” when around others? Am I putting myself in relationships with people who truly accept me for who I am? Do I allow myself to share my authentic truth with others?

If we want to be fully supported in all aspects of ourselves, we need to choose to be in relationships where we feel free to be our authentic selves.

BeSupportedAuthenticSelves

Click to Tweet: To be fully supported, surround yourself with others who fully accept your authentic self. via @jenilyn8705

This might mean letting go of some relationships and releasing expectations that certain people will suddenly change and be supportive. By being in relationships with others who fully accept us, we are supporting ourselves.

In order to experience the highest degree of love and support in our relationships, we have to really love and support ourselves. So look within and become the master of your own self-care and self-love.

Take action now!

In the comments below, tell me one story that you are holding that is preventing you from receiving support from others?.

10 Tools to Help You Give Without Getting Drained

In our society, where we have a tendency to constantly be in a state of “go go go” it can be a real challenge to find the energy to give anymore without feeling stressed, tired, exhausted and just flat out, well, drained.

Maybe it’s after a long day of work and you find yourself getting a call from a family member with another problem and you just don’t have the energy to deal with it. Or maybe it’s struggling to have patience with that one difficult customer.

Regardless of the exact scenario, these situations can all be really challenging. If we don’t take time out of our day to really tune into ourselves and give ourselves some good ol’ self-care, we can find ourselves in this constant place of being drained and stressed out. And, frankly, that’s not good for you or anyone around you.

So here are 10 simple tools that can help you give without feeling drained:

#1 – Spend time in nature.

Go out and soak up some sun, breathe in the fresh air, walk barefoot in the grass, and marvel in the blissful sound of birds chirping.

#2 – Exercise!

When we strengthen our bodies, we also strengthen our entire being. So go for a run, do some yoga, or hit up the gym.

#3 – Eat well.

Are you finding yourself always in a hurry and rushing over to McDonald’s? Well if you really want to replenish yourself so you’re not drained and stressed out all the time, then find some alternative foods to eat that are much nutritious for you. Eat some fruit and veggies. Have a salad. Maybe even try out going paleo, vegan or gluten free. Find food that energizes you and makes you feel like you’re at your optimal health.

#4 – Get enough sleep.

One of the most important factors of our mental health and overall well-being is the amount and quality of sleep we get each night. After all, our brains can’t function optimally if we don’t give it a chance to rest! The general rule of thumb is to shoot for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours each night, depending on what your body needs.

#5 – Support yourself.

We can’t really support others, nor can we fully receive support from others, if we don’t support ourselves. So support yourself in the work you do by praising yourself for a job well done, rather than be super critical about it not being “good enough”. Support yourself in relationships by being in relationships with people who are kind, loyal, and respectful of you.

#6 – Meditate — often.

Enough said.

#7 – Breathe!

When we’re stressed and worn out, we habitually forget to breathe. So bring everything back to the breath and do it often! Take deep breaths and then let it all out.

#8 – Do things that light you up.

Be sure that you’re taking time each week (or even day) to do things that you really truly enjoy doing. Do what you feel passionate about. Take time to write, take photos, grow a garden, take your dog for a walk, dance… do whatever helps bring more fun to your life and energizes you.

#9 – Bring passion into what you do.

While it is important to do things that you already feel passionate about, it’s also important to put forth the effort to bring passion into what you do already. Bring passion into regular exercise routine, bring passion into your not-quite-dream-job, and bring passion into your new diet. When we bring passion into all aspects of our life, we can then find ourselves much happier — which supplies us with plenty of joy and love to share with others.

#10 – Give yourself some alone time.

While it can be easy with our busy lives to always be socializing and doing things with others, it is also important to give yourself some “me” time to do whatever with yourself. Take some time to yourself to journal, read, or reflect on your day. Take some time to go someplace by yourself so you have space to deal completely with your own thoughts, emotions, and overall experience. Allow yourself to take some moments to stop and look within — for it is within that our endless supply of love dwells.

LookWithinLoveSupply

Click to Tweet: Allow yourself to take some moments to stop and look within — for it is within that our endless supply of love dwells. via @jenilyn8705

Now I’d like to hear from you! Out of the 10 tools listed, which one are you going to do today to help you “fill yourself up”? Share it in the comments below!

6 Signs It May Be Time to Breakup With Your Friend

In my experience, I’ve learned that friendships can have a natural tendency to go into different stages.  At one moment you’re both super close and telling each other everything, but then a few years later you just chat and see each other once in a great while.

There are many reasons for these changes in the friendship dynamics… one getting married while the other is still single, one taking on a totally different career path from the other, one having children while the other has no children, and so on.

Even though these changes can be upsetting for one or both people, it is a natural and healthy change in the friendship.  We are all growing and evolving as individuals, so what we may have been interested in before may not be what we are interested in now.

However, putting all of that aside, there are a few moments in life where a breakup with a friend may be in order.  When we find ourselves questioning whether we need to breakup with a friend, it can be very difficult decision to make.  So here I have outlined 5 signs where it may be time to breakup with your friend:

#1 – They’re critical of you.

Do they criticize the way you dress?  Do they put you down for not doing something “perfect”?  That being said, do they talk badly about you to other people?

#2 – They seem to want to “compete” with you rather than support.

Do they make comments to you that highlight how they “did that better”?  Did they manage to accomplish something but then put you down for not doing the same?  Do they try to take up your interests or hobbies in a way to try to “beat you” in some way?

#3 – They’re users.

Are they always asking you to do them a favor?  Do they owe you quite a bit of money but keep making excuses to not pay you back?  Are they always coming to you looking for help but they are never there for you when you need help?

#4 – They try to make moves on your partner — or they start dating your ex without discussing it with you first.

Actions like this are a reflection of how much they truly value your friendship.

#5 – They lie to you — a lot.

A few little lies is one thing, but when there are many it can really negatively effect the genuineness of the friendship.  If you are the type of person that values honesty, vulnerability and creating depth in your relationships then having a friend that chronically lies isn’t going to support you in that.

#6 – They don’t really support you.

When you are going through a difficult time, are they there for you?  Do they provide you with a good listening ear?  Do they support you in your goals?  Do they “cheer you on” in your endeavors and ask you how you’ve been doing?

Finally, ask yourself the following questions: Why am I friends with this person?  What do I gain by being friends with this person?  What do I enjoy when being friends with this person?

If you can’t really answer those questions and a few or all of these 6 signs are true for you, then a legitimate breakup may be in order.

Ultimately, remember this:  Our friendships are a reflection of who we are.  As we are growing and evolving as human beings we may realize that some aspect of ourselves is no longer serving us.  As a result, we may find ourselves needing to let friends go as well.  It may involve creating some distance to give ourselves space to grow or it may involve needing to set boundaries for ourselves and “breaking up” with that friend.  Either way, both are a natural aspect to our growth.

FriendshipsReflectionOfUs

Click to Tweet: Our friendships are a reflection of who we are. via @jenilyn8705

In the comments below, share if you have ever had to breakup with a friend.  What was the cause?  What happened?  What did you learn from it?  How has it impacted your life?

5 Ways to Love Yourself Unconditionally

This article was originally published on SheNow.org

Most of us aren’t well-developed in the whole self-love department.  We are great at doing things for all the other people in our lives, but whenever it comes to doing things for ourself and giving ourselves what we truly need we struggle.

We loan that friend that extra money that they said they needed, but forget or feel bad whenever it comes to asking them to pay us back.  We tell our boss that we will work overtime, but we forget about all the things we will be neglecting for ourselves by working the extra time.

When we put ourselves and our own needs and desires on the back burner, we can find ourselves feeling emotionally and physically drained, tired, and unfulfilled.  So what are some things that we can do to love ourselves unconditionally?  Here are 5 ways.

Treat your body well! Are you starting every morning with a coffee and a McMuffin?  You may want to change that.

What we eat and how much we exercise directly correlates to our mental and emotional health and well-being.  If we’re feeling tired and drained, going out and having huge pizza with a pitcher of beer isn’t going to make you feel better.  Rather, it’s only going to make you feel more tired and drained afterwards.

So ditch all the fatty and processed foods while watching primetime TV after work and opt-in for some fresh fruits and vegetables and a trip to the gym.  The better we eat and the more we move our body, the more we are expressing our love for ourselves by giving ourselves a better chance to feel good!

Take time every day to get centered.

In the midst of all the hustle and bustle of our lives, many of us forget about the importance of taking some time to relax and just be still.

So take about 5 to 10 minutes every morning and evening to do something that allows you to get centered.  This may be through meditation, breathwork, self-reflection, journaling or even just some stretching.

Getting into the regular habit of taking a few minutes to stop and look within enhances our well-being by giving us the chance to stop focusing so much on what’s going on around us and to look within.

Forgive yourself — and others!

One thing that can keeps us in a place of suffering is holding on to past hurts and resentments.  These can be things that we feel bad about ourselves because we had not done better or known better, such as saying something to someone that you wish you hadn’t or agreeing to something that turned out to be a bad idea.

On the flip side, it is also very important to forgive others because otherwise we can find ourselves filled with bitter resentments that weight us down.  So in order to truly take care of you, it is vital to take the time to accept what is, release any resentments, and to just forgive.  In doing so you allow yourself to evolve, grow, and become who you are truly meant to be.

Accept where you are on your journey.

The trouble that many of us can have is that we have trouble accepting where we are in our journey.  We tell ourselves things like: “If only I had enough money to buy a house now” or “I wish I already had my book written.”

We can find ourselves on this train of always focusing on what we don’t have and what we want to have instead that we forget about all the things that we already do have!  We forget to acknowledge all the things that we already have accomplished.

So take the time to reflect on what good things you do have right now and be easy on yourself so you can fully accept where you are on your journey.

Create and sustain relationships where you are loved, supported, and appreciated.

Do you have people in your life that you always do favors for but they never acknowledge what you have done for them?  Do you have people in your life aren’t really supportive of you?  Then you may want to re-evaluate your relationships.

If you are in a relationship with someone who is not really giving you the love and support that you know that you deserve then you may want to distance yourself and find people who do love, support, and appreciate you as you truly are.  After all, you deserve it!

YouDeserveLove

Based on the list above, what can you start doing today to love yourself more?  Eat better?  Forgive?  Start meditating every day?  Tell us in the comments below!

The Real Reason You Try So Hard to Be Perfect

There have been several periods in my life where I have found myself caught on the perfectionism train and unable to get off.

  • That one college relationship where I desperately tried to be the perfect girlfriend who never complained or had any problems.
  • That flute solo that I practiced over and over again back in high school because I wanted to be absolutely perfect.
  • That first class that I had to teach as a student teacher where I prepared a ton of extra material for to be sure I had enough (the material ended up actually covering 3 or 4 classes).

We all find ourselves in these kind of situations at some point in various different aspects of our lives.  Though perfectionism can seem like a good thing to strive for at times (I mean, it was beneficial that I over prepared for my first class because then I had work done early!), the reality is that often times striving for perfectionism is what actually holds us back from moving forward.

Allow me to explain…

Let’s say that for example you have a research paper to write for school.  You want everything to be perfect, so you keep looking up and reading more sources to reference in the paper in order to make sure you have explained and referenced everything perfectly (*Raises hand!* I’ve done this all the freaking time, btw).  Because you are striving write your paper perfectly, you end up wasting time thinking about how and what to write rather than actually doing it.  Pretty soon it’s the night before the paper is due and you’re still up at 2 AM still writing.

Sound familiar?  I thought it would.

We tend to do this whenever it comes to our own personal development as well.  We may want to improve our relationships, so we start reading book after book about how to create a relationship filled with love and fulfillment.  Pretty soon, we find ourselves only reading and attending workshops on relationships in order to become better, but we never actually date.  We are so immersed in becoming perfect in our knowledge about relationships in hopes to avoid any further emotional pain that we forget about the absolute best way to learn: real-life experience.

The reality is that when we find ourselves stuck on the perfectionism train, we actually aren’t on the path to reaching any kind of “perfection” at all.  Instead, we are merely terrified about failure.  We are scared to be disappointed.  We are scared to be hurt again.

When we are striving for perfectionism, it’s our inner “I’m not good enough” complex coming to the surface.  It’s our inner dialogue telling ourselves that we are not worthy and that we are incapable of success, love, happiness, or whatever it is that we desire to have at that point in time.  We’ve forgotten that we are, in fact, good enough as we are and that we are still loved and accepted by the universe whether we mess up or not.

The reality is that we can only truly learn, grow, and become better if we hop off the perfectionism train and just act.

When we act, we give ourselves the opportunity to truly come closer to our heart’s desires.  By acting, we can begin to really embody what it is that we wish to be in life.

PerfectionJustAct

So what should we do if we find ourselves stuck on our perfectionism train?

For starters, remember that it is still important to do your homework.  Meaning, if you have a paper for school do and you need to do some research on it, then go ahead and do the research.  If you feel the need to read some books on relationships, then do it.  Go ahead and do the extra work that you feel need to do because just winging it completely isn’t necessarily going to help matters anyway.  My point, however, is to be mindful about getting too immersed in just studying and never doing.

Second, just do it.  So if you want to get some real-life relationship experience to figure out how to be better in relationships, then get yourself out there!  Go out with friends.  Follow through with the date you were asked out on.  If you want to write, then sit yourself in front of a pen and paper.  Ask yourself: How can I put myself in a place that is going to force me to act?  Then do it!

Ultimately, it’s important to remember that the universe is here to support you no matter what.  If you make a mistake or not, the universe still supports you and loves you on your journey.  If you mess up and if someone criticizes you or hurts your feelings, tomorrow always brings another day filled with endless new opportunities and lessons to nurture you and help you become whole.

Take action now!

Ask yourself: How has my perfectionism been holding me back from truly moving forward in an area of my life?  Once you identify how you have been holding yourself back, ask yourself: What can you do today to start busting your perfectionism?

5 Steps to Receiving the Emotional Support You Desire

This past week, I’ve been struggling with health issues in regards to my stomach and digestive system.  Last week was my third week of acupuncture treatments and I suddenly started feeling much worse then I did before I started.

And now, when I say that I was feeling worse doesn’t mean that it was simply just physically — but I also felt terrible emotionally.  For the first time in a very long time I spent a good few days being in this deep melancholy/depressed state where I had little drive and energy to do anything.  I just felt really down, but yet I couldn’t get myself to cry.

It was a weird experience because, upon reflection, I feel like I haven’t felt quite like that since maybe around high school age.  So, perhaps, the acupuncture triggered some old emotions to resurface from that age  in order to be healed — hence, why I was feeling the exact way that I did around that time.

So I took the time to really stop, get out a journal and ask myself what on earth I felt so down and depressed about.

As I started writing, I realized that the reason I was so down was because I felt like I had no emotional support.  I felt like I was all alone in trying to heal these digestive issues and I had only myself to rely on and trust.

The second those words came out on paper I finally started crying.

Once I let most of the tears out that needed to come out, I then asked myself with a clear mind the question of: At this point in time, is that actually true?

Well, yes it was true that I wasn’t feeling fully supported.  But, then again, how could I feel emotionally supported by others if I wasn’t reaching out to them in the moments when I really needed it?

I feel like many of us struggle with this in various periods of our life — some, perhaps, more than others depending on our upbringing.  For some reason it’s always easier to “give” than to really “receive” and allow ourselves to enjoy and be grateful when we do receive the very thing that we’ve been needing so badly.

That’s the irony of us recovering people pleasers — we feel like we are constantly “giving” and that we rarely “receive” but we never actually allow ourselves to receive

So here are some steps to help you receive the support you know you deserve:

1.  Recognize how you’re feeling.

Pay attention to how your body feels, your energy level, your mental clarity, and so on.  Is it easy for you to focus on tasks today and get work done or do you feel like you’re needing to push yourself through?  If you’re feeling like you really need to “push” yourself to get things going then chances are you’re doing to much.  Are you feeling sick or just really tired?  Then your body is probably telling you to slow down.

2.  Take a break.

Cancel your plans after work, don’t go to that extra meeting after class, or postpone those errands you have to run just for a little bit.  Turn off your phone, your computer, your TV, and anything else that can distract you and just take that time for you.

3.  Write!

Get out a journal and just write.  If you find yourself struggling to get yourself in the flow, then set a timer on your phone (after you’ve turned on the “Do Not Disturb” of course!) for at least 30 minutes — preferably an hour.

Try not to think too much about what your writing.  Just write down any thoughts that come up as they arise.  Make it a goal that every single thought that crosses your mind needs to come out on paper.  The more you focus on that goal, the easier it will be to get things flowing.

4.  Identify your needs.

As you get into the flow of writing down all of these thoughts that are lingering in your mind, pay attention to how it feels to write all of these thoughts down.  Does something make you feel sad?  Angry?  Anxious?

After you recognize that feeling, close your eyes look within and ask that feeling (and yes, in second person): What do you really want?  What is going to make you feel better?  What do you need to receive that you haven’t been?

5.  Act!

Whatever it is that you realized you need, go out and do it for yourself.  If it’s simply a break, then do that.  If it’s to allow yourself to actually enjoy reading a book or watching a movie, then do it.  If it’s to feel some emotional support by a loved one, then go ahead and reach out to someone you can trust who you know will be there.

(*Note: If you do feel that you need emotional support but others are reflecting back to you that it’s too much of a burden for them or if you simply don’t feel like you have anyone that you can reach out to, then please contact either a coach or therapist who you trust.  Clearly, something within you needs that emotional support to heal, so reach out.  Even if your mind is trying to tell you that what your going through is “not a big deal” or “that’s too expensive.  Your emotions are valid — and they deserve the space to heal and people are more willing to help then we often think.  We just have to be willing to ask.)

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Now, as for me, in the very moment that I realized I wasn’t allowing myself to receive I immediately contacted a friend to simply let all my struggles known.  I gave myself the space to simply “vent” for a bit and then be grateful that this friend openly welcomed me to share and provided the support I really needed.  It helped one part of this thing heal a bit — now I have many more to go.

 

 Take action now!

Go through the 5 steps sometime during the day today.  After you go through them all, share in the comments below what you realized you truly need.

5 Ways to Deal With a Stressed or Depressed Loved One

Sometimes life brings us into some situations that can be very emotionally difficult for us. We can find ourselves overwhelmed with emotions and struggling with how to cope with what it is we are going through.

Though it is challenging for us when we are the ones stressed out and/or depressed, it can be even more challenging when the stressed or depressed person is a loved one. We may find ourselves really empathizing with them and fall into a caretaker role to try to take their pain away for them. Other times, we may find ourselves overwhelmed and annoyed by their problems and wish they could just “get over it”.

The key here is to really set balanced boundaries, so that the other person has the space to really take care of themselves while you can still take care of yourself. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind.

Don’t expect that some advice will magically “clear it all up”.

Often times, if someone else is suffering (and even if we ourselves are suffering), go into “advice mode”. We either start giving advice or asking for advice. However, the irony is that ultimately advice is not going to solve the problem.

Yes, you read that right: More often than not, advice is not going to solve the problem. Sure, some little tidbits of advice can help here and there but most of the time it’s just a matter of emotionally processing the issue. So many times the best we can do is provide a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.

Provide a listening ear, but set boundaries so you don’t get drained.

As I just stated, most of the time people just need to talk through things out loud with someone else in order to fully process what they are going through. While this is a good thing to do, you also want to be sure that you’re taking care of yourself.

Listening to a loved one cry on the phone for an hour can be very emotionally draining – and taking phone calls at 1 o’clock in the morning can make you pretty tired. So be sure to set a boundary by saying something like “Hey sorry I’m busy right now” or “I’m tired, I need to sleep” when you feel it is necessary.

And if you happen to catch yourself feeling guilty for setting a boundary, remember that they will survive. More often then not, the world isn’t going to end for them simply because you told them you can’t right now or because you don’t answer right away.

Let the drama end with you.

Sure, dealing with a stressed or depressed loved one can be, well, stressful but try not to let your loved one’s problems take over your life. Meaning: You don’t need to talk to everyone in your life about your loved one’s problems. Doing so usually just causes us a lot more unnecessary stress both for ourselves and the other people we talk to.

Avoid being judgmental.

Sometimes after a while of listening to our loved one talk about their problems for so long, we can find ourselves annoyed and wanting to say things like “Oh can’t you just get over it already?” This is a big no-no!

Also, if they’re playing the “blame game” by either blaming the other person or themselves it’s often better to just not even “pick a side”. The truth is that the only people who really know what happened were the people that were directly involved. So it’s often best to try to keep it as neutral as possible.

Express your care.

Along with providing a listening ear, the simplest and best thing that we can do is to express our love and care to our loved one. We can simply do this by saying things like “I’m here for you”, “Let me know if you need anything”, “I love you”, “I care about you”, and so on.

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Ultimately, keep in mind that its the simple and little acts that we do that can have a much bigger impact than anything else.