Confrontations, EEK!

How are you with confrontations?  Some people run from them and may never tell someone what is bothering them until they blow up maybe years later and take the other person totally unaware.  Or they may quit their jobs out of the blue which will shock their boss because they never knew how unhappy the person was.  Does this sound like you or someone you know?  Do you or they put off working something out and always complain or grumble about a specific person or situation?

Think of something you wish you could say to someone.  How do you feel when you think about the approaching idea of talking to them?  Do you run screaming into the night…hyperventilate or freeze up?  Are you afraid the person will hate you, never speak to you again or fire you if it’s your boss?

First, take a moment and see what exactly is your worst-case scenario; especially if you avoid confrontation at all costs.  After you do that, realize usually worst-case doesn’t usually happen.  Next, take another moment and picture your best-case scenario.  What do you truly want to achieve from the confrontation you feel possibly looming in front of you?  It may calm your fears to realize that generally the result is between the best and worst cases.

When you know one is coming up, give this idea some thought…some of us have really good parking karma.  We drive toward a parking lot and ask for a spot, and then let it go and we just get one.  Sometimes someone pulls out right in front of us; a mini miracle.  After a while we don’t even have to ask, it just becomes a habit.  The same will work when we know a confrontation may be coming with another person.

If we can take a moment before the phone call or the meeting and visualize it going well; imagine it coming to a conclusion that is best for all involved.  Then breathe into the moment and be grateful.  Then let it go.  We don’t have to know how or exactly what we are going to say, just be grateful and know…that parking spot will be there, reserved just for you, and that confrontation may just turn into a wonderful conversation where you learn something about each other, grow closer and have something even better than the best-case scenario result.

Do You Build Bridges or Burn Them?

When you leave a job, do you walk out, give a two-week notice or give them lots of time to replace you?  I’ve done all three of these.  When you walk out, you may be burning your bridges, leaving hard feelings behind with people who would never hire you again or blackball you in the business.  I left behind a sales job that I hated and I knew I would never work in the business again because I didn’t want to, but I also went in with the, I’m so sorry but I can’t do this anymore, attitude; not the, this job, place, or you are awful and I hate you, attitude.

Many people also burn their bridges with friends or exes.  Did you leave an ex, but are still friends with them?  Or do you hold a grudge or maybe even still feel at war with them?  If they were awful or they left you for someone else or after cheating, you probably still carry hurt feelings, anger and maybe even a sense of betrayal.  You may burn your bridges with that person because of these feelings, and this could be healthy as you don’t need them in your life.  But then you need to heal and find peace and not hold that grudge for a lifetime.  Also if there are children involved, learning to deal with the person in a healthy way, will make your children’s lives so much more enjoyable, rather than continuing to be at war there. And, of course, healthier for you as well!

Many people are friends with their exes; sometimes they get along much better after they break up!  They like each other better and even treat each other better.  You might want to look at your exes.  Do you not speak to any of them?  Do you hate them?  Are you friends?  If you find you have the same pattern with all of them, take a look at that pattern.  Have you burned your bridges, and was that a healthy response?

I knew someone who dropped both friends and those they were dating at the drop of a hat, for reasons that made no sense to me, so I wasn’t all that surprised when the same thing happened to me out of the blue after 3 years of friendship.  A momentary hurt yes, but not surprised.  People have a pattern and most stick with it.  If you have one, do you like yourself and how you handle things or do you want to work on it?

Whether you burn your bridges or keep your lines of communication open, both can be a healthy choice depending on how you go about it and what feelings you harbor.  If you drop the other person or situation entirely why did you do it?  Anger, or maybe self-preservation…and if you stay, why are you staying?  Do it in the healthiest way for you and those you love.  And if you look at your life and don’t like what you see, just know you can break that pattern when you’re ready.

How Old Are You?

Don’t you hate it when people ask you that question?  You may not care, but it may seem rude or offend you when someone asks your age; or maybe you just don’t want to admit it.  So what do you say?

First, how do you feel about your age?  Is it just a number and you ignore it, or do you take it to heart and age the way people think you should?  You may be 60 and look 40 or 100 and look 70.  Or you may be 40 and look 60.  The number on your age doesn’t necessarily matter to your health and wellbeing.

A question to ask yourself is, if I woke up with amnesia and didn’t know my age, how old would I say I was?  The questions you would ask yourself would be:  How do I feel; what do I see in the mirror; and you would be aware of how well you can move and how clearly you can think…

Basically the number that people assign you because of when you were born is totally unimportant.  I met a woman who looked older, maybe 80 or so, who was with a lady who looked to be in her 50’s.  The older lady was moving a little slowly, but she seemed chipper and with it.  The younger lady said her companion was 102, which shocked the heck out of everyone in the room.  For all I know the younger lady could have been her granddaughter or a very young-looking daughter.  You just never know!

So take it to heart.  Allow yourself to feel like you are getting younger every day through meditation or biofeedback.  Take care of yourself.  Get enough sleep and water, get some movement in your life to keep you flexible and your joints in good shape, and then do things that brighten your day, be kind, help people… whatever puts a smile on your face.  At that point, whatever the calendar says simply won’t be important.

Loving Yourself in Spite of Everything

Do you often get depressed or tell yourself you can’t do anything right?  Maybe your go to is saying you’re stupid or ugly when feeling down.  Sometimes life has a way of kicking us in the gut because of something that happens, or maybe a person abandons you or betrays you.  And what do you do?  Do you blame yourself?  It happens more times than you might think!  You might think you aren’t good enough, or strong enough, or attractive enough, or smart enough…sound familiar?  That little voice can get awful loud sometimes!  This may not be you, but it may be someone you love that gets stuck in this mentality.

So now what?  First of course, we need to become aware that we’re doing it, because once we get stuck in that cycle, let’s face it…it can be really hard to get out!!  Even being aware is a step in the right direction.  And if you hear someone you love doing it, you can ask them why they say that, because you think they are pretty wonderful.  It may shake them up or they may snap at you, so be careful here for your own peace of mind.

If it’s you, then you need to make a decision.  Do you want to let other people or circumstances decide how you feel about yourself or do you want to take control and make your own decisions?  Once you realize that the best thing you can do for yourself is find ways to love yourself no matter what is happening, your life will start changing drastically.

So how do you get started?  There are so many ways!  One is to list every good quality you have…come on, everyone has lots of good qualities!  Whether you are a great friend, have a beautiful nose, are funny and can make people laugh, are trustworthy, good at a specific aspect of your job…so MANY things!  I say to write them down because we as people find it so easy to forget those good things at first when someone says something bad to us, or a situation happens that makes us forget we are really a wonderful person.

I Am Affirmations really can help here.  One choice is my You Tube channel for The Joy Corner.  Every week there is an affirmation that comes out to help you love yourself in a deeper way.  You can also try meditations and guided visualizations to help you find peace.

And of course, working with gratitude for what comes easy for us, what we have or aspects of ourselves we love or appreciate is also life-affirming and helps us love ourselves more and more.  This could be slow work, so have some patience, but you also may have a lightbulb moment that helps you quantum leap that self-love.

I believe you are a wonderful, beautiful soul…now you just have to believe it!

The Great Beyond – are You Afraid of Death?

No matter what religions say no one really knows what happens after death…the great beyond.  We have songs about it, whole religions about it, ghost movies and stories, and the list goes on.  And yet some people have a great fear of death and others don’t.  Why is that?

I know some people are thrill junkies and maybe death is the greatest thrill of all to them; but others simply accept it and know there is more, or they say they aren’t worried about it.

When you think of death, what happens?  If I thought too deeply about death for years I would basically curl up in a ball and sob, because death to me meant being nothing…being asleep without the dreams and never waking up.  Turns out my sister felt the same way in spite of my mom saying she had no fear of death.  But my best friend had a mother who said she had no fear of death, and she instilled that feeling in her child.

Number one, parents if you have no fear of death, please talk about it with your children in a natural way, helping them to not have this fear in the first place.  Because while most of us have fears of a whole lot of stuff, that one is a big one that can hold us back from living our lives to the fullest.

I got over most of my fear by doing a strange little tap dance with logic and sort of tricked my brain into letting go of the fear.  See if this helps…If death is real and there is nothing after life, I’m afraid because I’ll be nothing, so I’m afraid of the nothingness.  On the flip side, if there is life after death there is nothing to be afraid of.  (Clear so far?)

So if I live my life afraid of death and not moving forward, and there is nothing after death, I am wasting my life by not living the only one I have fully.  And being scared the whole time.  But if I live my life afraid of death and there is life afterward, I’m afraid for no reason because there is nothing to be afraid of – but again I’m wasting my life being afraid.  So I could decide I didn’t think being afraid of death was productive.

On the other hand, if I live my life unafraid of death, I live my life fully right now; whether I only have this one, there are more lives, or there is something else after death.  And if there is more, it will be an added bonus.  Somehow the logic worked out that being afraid of death was being afraid of…nothing and a total waste of time.  I had a big aha lightbulb moment that moved me forward and helped me try more and be more.

Whatever it takes for you to release that fear, give it a try.  Whether it is meditations to help you feel more peaceful, working through your fear with a life coach or a therapist, or tricking your subconscious to let it go…it is really worth the effort.  Your life will be much better for it.

Life Purpose, Myth or Fact?

We’ve heard about “life purpose” a lot over the years.  It was new for awhile and then it became overused.  It’s kind of like the “myth” of a soul mate; only one and you may never find it.

I’m here to tell you that there is such a thing as both a life purpose AND a soul mate, and neither one has to be the one do all, end all, and if you don’t find THE ONE, you’ll never be totally at peace or happy.  There are many roads to a life purpose and numerous soul mates for each of us, but I’ll focus on life purpose in this blog.

First off, while you may know the feeling you want to have when you find your “purpose”, you may not know the how or exactly what it is.  I knew from a young age that I wanted to heal and inspire others, but I didn’t care for blood so those sort of healing professions were out, and I thought I was thinking too highly of myself to think I could inspire anyone, so I let those thoughts go for years.

Do you remember a time when you had some sort of idea in mind like I did?  Look at what brings you joy…helping others, being creative, nature…so many things and directions we could take that would feel like our purpose is being fulfilled.  Sometimes a combination of what we love will take us towards our purpose.

For a long time I knew I wanted more “purpose” in my life. I had a decent job, a nice place to live, I performed in local theatre as often as I could get cast in a good part and had an okay life. But when I got right down to it, I was a bit lonely and felt like I was adrift without a real purpose.  Human beings may need love, but they also need to feel proud of what they are accomplishing, and most knowing that yes, they make a difference.  At some point I decided to go back to school to become a life coach and to help people move gracefully through the changes in their life, and then by also being a speaker, I truly felt I was helping to heal and inspire others; those two things that came to me when I was younger.

It took a long time for me, but it doesn’t have to for you.  Know that your purpose is something as simple as mine was, but how you make it happen can be in many, many different ways.  Keep testing them out until you figure out which direction is right for you at this time in your life.  The direction and the way you make it happen may change, but the underlying purpose will not usually shift all that much.

So life purpose, myth or fact?   You decide!

Ramp It Up!

Are you going through life in kind of a blasé way?  No real enthusiasm nor interest in much that’s going on?  Maybe you’ve had so many problems or issues that you just are done engaging, or maybe you came into this life with this lack of enthusiasm and drive.  Whether any of these scenarios feel like you (or someone you know) or you just lack energy to participate much in life, this blog is for you.

When I think of “ramp it up”, I think of being more engaged and being more fully present.  Giving whatever I want to be doing or having more energy and attention; staying focused and having the drive and interest to move my life in an exciting and fun direction.

How does that sound to you?  Good, but really impossible?  Do you have a direction to ramp up?

So first, if you have a lack of energy, are depressed or have a problem focusing your energy, you might want to get tested by a doctor; but if it’s something obvious like eating well, sleeping better, adding more movement to your life, drinking more water, adding meditation, or the like, start by ramping up your own health.  That could give you more than enough focus and energy to ramp up other things in your life.

And once you are feeling ready, look at the different areas of your life.  Where is a good place to ramp it up?  One particular relationship…your job…your home environment…your kids…  Try focusing on one area and find ways to ramp up the love, the focus, the enthusiasm, whatever it takes to make your life better for you.  It may mean nothing to someone else, but to you, the one area you choose might move mountains and make your life so much more meaningful than ever before.

You deserve a wonderful and fulfilling life.  By becoming more engaged and focused on what matters to you, your life will shift and change.  So think about it, and then ramp it UP!

The Winds of Change

How are you with change?  Good, horrible…or maybe you fear it and stay stuck on purpose?  While change may be inevitable in life, few people embrace it.  When we worry about our future, we may worry about what the change will mean to us individually, our spouse, our children, and basically just in general to our way of life.  But what is worry???  Fear of the unknown…yes?  I never thought of that when I was staying stuck due to not wanting to change.  I wanted more, yes, but I wasn’t willing to actually DO anything to make it happen, so everything remained a dream because change…well…it was scary.  Does any of this sound familiar to you or to someone you know?

Sometimes we are catapulted into change whether we like it or not; we lose our homes, our jobs, someone we love or who supports us dies, health issues come up…so many things can happen.  We are rudely awakened from where we are.  I know quite a few people who lost their jobs due to layoffs and each and every one said they had been thinking of leaving their jobs for awhile but probably would have stayed a number of years longer due to the effort it took and the fear factor of change.  They also said they were thrilled with the change.  Most made more money, moved upward instead of laterally, had a better environment, commute or a combination of those.  But the thrill of course came after they got over the shock and shook themselves out of their fear.

I’ve come to the conclusion that life is short this time around and that if we aren’t happy, we need to embrace change instead of fighting it.  This may mean you actually initiate the change yourself instead of closing your eyes and hoping for the best if you invite it in, or if it happens to you.

If you aren’t good with change, you can always practice.  Start with something small you want to make a change over.  Test the waters and give it a go.  Not every change will go perfectly without bumps, but those are just learning curves we need to have in order to navigate the shifts and our new surroundings.  Love yourself enough to find more happiness and joy in your life.  Change can make it happen even if you fear it right now.

Detour Ahead!

How do you feel when you see a goal within reach and suddenly a BIG DETOUR sign seems to be in front of you?  Sad, mad, frustrated, unhappy, angry…?  You might be a combination of all of these.  How long before you can release those emotions, at least enough to make a decision on how you want to move forward and actually bounce back from the detour?  Some people stay in the emotions and react directly from them, not necessarily in an empowered way.  And others stay stuck so long that they pretty much get frozen and the goal is lost.

What do you do when the detour seems to, if not derail you, at least seem to take a lot longer and takes you out of your way before you reach your goal?  Do you throw up your hands and give up?  Devise every way you can think of to plow through the detour sign anyway; thereby either making the goal happen because there may have been a perfectly good road behind the detour sign, or perhaps ending up wasting time, money and energy?

How we handle these detours says a lot, not only about ourselves, but also how important that particular goal might be to us.  Maybe we never thought we could have the goal outcome in the first place, either due to fears, low self-esteem, or some other specific block that may say…hey, I can’t achieve that for whatever reason.  Or perhaps we needed to have the seeming detour to realize that the goal IS important and we want to forge ahead.  And just maybe we find that the goal just wasn’t so important that we cared to take the time to go on the detour that sprang up.

What if all you had to do was shift the goal slightly or the road you were on and…ta da! The goal is fulfilled.  So many people are so set on an exact outcome that they can’t see any other possibilities out there for a different outcome to their goal.  And sometimes, what the universe has in store for us…IF we would only listen…is so much better than the goal we originally set for ourselves.

Perhaps the next time that big old detour sign shows up in the middle of working towards your goals this blog will occur to you.  See if that goal needs to be exactly as it is in order to make you happy; if you can release your worries and doubts and forge forward or adjust your course and keep moving on without giving up…can you let the best outcome happen, no matter what it may be??  Ask for clarity, move through your emotions in a healthy way and see how that detour sign helps you shift, adjust and handle the direction you want your goal to take.  You may be surprised how much more rich and fulfilling your goal outcome will be if you can embrace the process.

I Hate My Job!

If you say I Hate My Job! a lot, what do you plan to do about it?  Do you just whine and complain to everyone in sight and do nothing?  Or maybe you only complain at home how much you hate your job.

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First off, if that’s the case, what is it about your job you hate and what do you love…or maybe just like?  Be more specific, because if you change your job and you don’t realize what you like and what you dislike about where you are now, likely as not, you will have the same problem the next time.  So first, and this may be a short list…what DO you like about your job?  You may need to expand this to your career, but if you like the career and it’s just the specific job, stick to that.  Do you like what you do, how you do it…what?

Then, what do you hate?  Is your boss condescending or doesn’t appreciate you?  Is the commute long and slow?  Do you hate the money and the fact you are always being ignored for promotions?  What is it?

And then figure out if you do want to change your job or if you just need to shift something specific that would make your job more fun, or at least less hated.  Maybe you can delegate the thing you hate to someone else.  Maybe you can do what so many are nowadays and avoid traffic by telecommuting a couple of days a week.  If nothing occurs to you, maybe you can ask others, not at the office, to help you come up with some solutions.  Throw a wide net and see what comes up.  You’ll be surprised how well brainstorming can work if you haven’t tried it before.

And of course, you can also do what I have in the past and change your own outlook.  Wrap the person or the situation that you hate in a love bubble or put a force field around your desk or office that keeps problematic people away.  I like the bubble idea so that if anyone steps through it their negativity or whatever it is that bothers you automatically is left behind.  They can always pick up their bad feelings or behavior after they leave you again if they are attached to it.  It can be surprising how a person will shift when they approach you or totally change direction and stay away from you when you do this.  In either event, you feel better and life is less stressed.

And sometimes a new job will open up in your company either to remove your boss from your vicinity or to get you a promotion, or you’ll learn about a job opening somewhere else that is a perfect fit for you.

In any event, being aware and being proactive in dealing with a situation you aren’t in love with will make you feel like you aren’t helpless, and when you see people around you or situations shift it is an amazing thing.