See You On The Other Side

See You On The Other Side

I’ll see you on the other side, meaning my life is in tunnel-vision right now. I’m redoing the blog – gonna have a new theme shortly, a new product for purchase (it’s in the beta testing phase at the moment), working on new content, working on the book that will be another product a bit later.

And what’s it all about you may ask

It’s all about self-love. It’s a program on how-to love yourself, forgive yourself, forgive others, eliminate negative self-talk and step into your new story, releasing the old.

Most of us were not taught self-love, or how to love

Many of us were raised in desperate times. Our parents either worked all the time and weren’t there to ‘raise’ us or the parents that were there in body weren’t really there in spirit/ emotionally/ mentally. So many of us were not blessed with the nurturing we should have received. We were not protected or defended. Some of us were physically/ verbally/ emotionally/ mentally/ sexually abused. So now, we have to unlearn the behavior patterns and deconstruct the walls and defense mechanisms we felt we needed to put in place in order to protect ourselves. We have to learn self-love. Celebration of self. Because we are worthy.

This is just a smidge of what the program is about and what I’m working on. If you’d like to hear more, stay tuned.

I’m busy going through the program with my beta testers, studying up on better configurable themes that fit my needs and I’ll be back shortly to revamp everything so please be patient.

I’ll be back in 2 or 3 weeks. See you on the other side.

Let’s Call it Day 2 of the Meditation Challenge?

I’m only saying that because it’s Nov 2 and it’ll be easier to go with the day. Don’t ya think? I’ll double up one day so we can get at least 30 days mixed up into these next 29 days of November.

So welcome to day 2 of the new meditation journey or challenge or whatever you want to call it. The fact that you are taking part in this means that you care about your mental health.  It also means that you care about your physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, because I am here to share with you that meditation helps you in each of these areas.

If I had known the many benefits meditation had to offer, I would have started this years ago. In fact, I suppose I did actually “try” to meditate and I could blame it on not being able to find the ‘right’ meditation for me, or the ‘right’ music, or in the ‘right’ frame of mind. I actually believe – the truth, if I want to be honest here – is that I am very ADD. I always have been.

It wasn’t until I purchased a meditation course that MADE me choose to do the meditation. At first, I got so much out of it, but then the person guiding the meditations, along with her staff, started to annoy me greatly, so once I finished the 32 or 33 day course, I stopped using it. I still got enough out of those 33 days that I wanted to look for ways to continue this practice. I started researching meditation and the different forms and the many benefits and it really turned a light on for me.

If you are anything like me, and I know many of you out there are probably just as much ADD as I am, and very busy, you don’t want to add just one more thing to your already too long daily To Do list. But please believe me when I say you cannot afford not to invest your time in some form of meditation. Each day for the next 29 days, I will include several benefits where meditation can help you better your life. It’ll probably be difficult for you to believe at first, because we are fighters.

We fight tooth and nail not to do things that might change us. Oh, sure, we say we want to better ourselves, we want to live at a higher vibration but most of us want to stay stuck in our old story because it’s what we know. We’re good at it. New stuff? Well, it scares us, so we push it away. Or we don’t know about it and that scares us, so we say no way, it’s not for me.

Well, this challenge is for those of you/us that are choosing to be better, to feel better, to learn how to deal with daily stresses and depressions in a healthier way. There really is a better way to live. And you don’t need money to do it. You don’t have to purchase a meditation package. There are so many freebies out there. Just google meditation videos on youtube. Look for the ones that sound interesting, the ones that have the most views, or listen to it for 5 minutes and see if it’s for you. I will try to list some to help you out.

On to some of the benefits:

  1. It slows aging. Sounds crazy but it’s true. There is scientific evidence of this. Don’t take my word for it. Google it. Research it.
  2. It can help you overcome OCD.
  3. It assists you in learning to control your anger. This is HUGE for me! I have anger issues, okay? I actually think that behaviors can be genetic (not blaming anyone else – I own this), so this is something I must have gotten in the genes from my bio-father, and this is a behavior I work on. Every. Single. Day. And, honestly, I already feel less angry, partly because I will not allow myself to swear. Oh, yes, I can cuss like a sailor but I am attempting to mature into healthier habits and that includes my vocabulary, as well as getting my anger under control.
  4. And last (for today), but not least, meditation fills you with positive energy. We could all use more of that. Am I right?

One little tidbit – if you want to join in this 21-day meditation series that is free, Deepak Chopra and Oprah (hey! that rhymes!  😛  ) are putting on a series right now. I’m on day 4. Check out the link and if you have any problems, let me know. You will receive instructions when you sign up for the series. If you don’t, let me know and I can explain how to sit, etc.

Let me know what you think. If you don’t like this particular meditation, I’ll most likely post a different link tomorrow. All you need is about 20ish minutes of quiet stillness.

Hope y’all are having a great day or evening! Love you!

Carol xoxo

 

Be Gentle With Yourself

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We humans, or at least the majority, have a habit of repeating the negative self talk we received in our past. Not always received in words but also in actions or lack of attention/love.  Of course, we may know a few who always seem as if they are self-assured, self-confident, adore and love themselves. Whether that’s true or not, we perceive them to have it all together and perhaps that’s what they intentionally give off.

I have a lifelong practice of habitually sabotaging myself. Always beating myself up and tearing myself down for every little thing. The way I look, not liking this about me, not liking that. Not liking this aspect of my life, being self-critical of my talents or lack thereof.  Even if I receive positive reinforcement in the way of compliments and building up from others, it doesn’t go unappreciated, but it seems I reflect and focus on the negative about me. Why is it always easier to believe the bad stuff about ourselves?  I’m sick and tired of this limiting behavior.

Aren’t you?

I think it’s high time we learn how to reclaim our lives and in ways that is right for each of us. And I believe I have found the first few inches of this pathway into enlightenment or self-love or whatever you want to call it. Are you ready for it?

I am practicing being gentle with myself.

“What does this mean exactly?” you may ask.

For me, this meant taking a mental health day, which means a day for me, a vacation day, a day off from pretty much everything except for the fact of dealing with me. And I didn’t even really “deal” with me, but I did take time for me and with me and nurtured me and romanticized me and listened to me and talked to me. Yes, I talk to myself. Am I crazy? Well, the jury’s still out on that one, but I encourage you to talk to yourself, too. Positively.

 mirror kiss

 

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And you don’t have to be super weird and make out with yourself in the mirror like James Franco or anything but telling yourself “I love you” is a good thing. Hugging yourself is a good thing.

This is what I did on my mental health day (if you need an example for yourself):

I cannot recall if I slept in on this particular day but I didn’t get up early. I know this. I did wake up with a smile (prob around 6/7/8), because I went to bed the night before whispering to myself to just practice happiness and be grateful for all I have in my life. Just mostly be grateful and happy for my blessings.

1. So, wake up with a smile and intention that today is going to be a free and gentle day and whatever happens, I am okay, and everything is going to be okay.

 

I downloaded an app on my phone months earlier, because I wanted to try something, and I read about it, but I’ve never been able to fully embrace it, because…well, partly, I felt it a bit new age-y and partly, because I cannot seem to still my mind long enough to fully appreciate  the benefits that this action brings. Some may call it ‘lack of action’ but without further ado, I’m talking about – meditation. On my day, I did it. And I LOVED IT!

2. Besides enjoying my coffee and biscotti, I laid on the couch, listening to the guided meditation and experienced a more relaxed head-space and presence of self that I hadn’t before. (Comment me for the free app and free meditation.)

 

I lit fragrant candles, fixed myself a long hot bath and poured in some yummy smelling bath beads I forgot I had. I turned my phone music app on to Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Etta James and the like, because that’s how I roll…or that was my mood at the time. I shaved my hairy legs. I soaked. I got carried away, not by Calgon (some of you may get this reference), but by fragrance, out of this world magical musical tones and closed eyes, allowing my mind to transport me to wherever the wings of my imagination wanted to fly. And I just breathed. And relaxed. And didn’t live by a clock or schedule, for once.

3. Soaked in a hot bath, full of fragrant bath salts, flickering candle close by, listened to mood music, daydreamed happy thoughts, listened, breathed, smelled, relaxed.

 

I took a walk outside. We live in the country so it’s peaceful most of the time, unless someone is out in their yard with a chainsaw or have a tree-cutting company hacking 3 or 4 trees for 2 or 3 days, which happened recently. It was peaceful on my mental health day, though, thankfully.

4. Walked in the grass, feeling grateful for grass. Sat in my new lazy tree swing with my feet up, staring up into the tree bark and leaves that were lovingly shading me, feeling grateful for beautiful strong trees, grateful for a family that I love, feeling grateful for me and focusing on the good stuff that I have done (and do) in my life. My intention was strictly positive, so nothing negative came to mind during this time – actually the whole day!

 

I had made a video, just because I’d never done this before, of myself. Call me insane, but I felt the need to tape myself a day or two before my mental health day, right in the middle of my funk. I wanted to address it. I wanted to say it out loud. I wanted myself to see it and hear it from my other self (if you get what I’m saying here – no, I do not have multiple personalities). I wanted to be real and authentic. Then, I watched it and listened to it as if it belonged to someone else and thought about how I’d feel for this person had it been a friend or stranger. I watched again. And really listened. And then I deleted it, because it took up too much memory on my phone and because I wanted it to remain private. On my special day, I wrote a letter. (If you’d like tips on what I covered in this video, so you can do one of your own for self-therapy, comment me.)

5. I  wrote this friend (because we all need to be friends with ourselves) a love letter, telling her how wonderful she is, how brave, how courageous, how proud I am of her for her accomplishments, how much she has to give, how much talent, how much love. I told her she’s beautiful, inside and out and how she can do anything and I am here for her and she has others that are here for her and to trust herself and go after what she wants but to also be happy in the journey, as each step on our paths are meant to teach us something about ourselves and our lives. And to be mindful of each moment and to forgive – others, as well as herself.

 

I read a lot of different things – parts of different books that inspire me, different articles that I was in the mood to hear on this day, things I wanted to know more about, things on meditation, things on forgiveness, things on how laughing is healthy. I watched funny videos. I watched inspiring videos. I watched happy videos with the AWWW! factor – with babies and fur-babies. I put on funky music (play that funky music white boy!!!) that made me want to dance and I moved my bootie to the music. You have to pick tunes that inspire you to get up and dance a happy dance – one where you have no choice but to groove to the music, ya know?

dance

And hey, it doesn’t have to be a pretty dance. If ya look like a big ole weirdo, so bit it, but I wouldn’t recommend dancin’ a jig on the freeway. And if you’re super uncoordinated like this white chick (meaning me, just to be clear), just take safety precautions, okay?

6. Read things that inspire me, watched videos that inspire me and make me laugh, that uplift me, that show me how to see things with different perspective, played funky music that made me get up and dance and sing, even if it was probably scary looking and made the dogs cry.

 

I love hot tea. I know it’s summer and believe me, Mississippi summers suck. It’s hot as hell here!!!  Well, I’m guessing. Probably not, but it’s super freakin’ hot!!

GIFSec.com
GIFSec.com

But when you have the a/c on and it’s nice and chill in your house, so much so that it makes you forget about summer heat lurking outside the door (or almost), you might wanna put a kettle on. This is a nice way to spoil yourself, or this is how I spoil me.

7. Put on a kettle of water and steep yourself a nice cup of hot tea in one of your favorite flavors with some nice raw honey, which is also healing for your body.

Did you know honey is nature’s antibiotic?

 

And, well, this post has gotten too long, so I’ll stop here, but you get the idea, right?  Have a Be Gentle With Yourself Day. Talk nicely to yourself. Focus on what you have. Focus on what you’ve done well, what you’ve accomplished. Tell yourself “I love you.” Talk loving things to yourself and just know you are awesome and you can do anything, and you still have time, and forgive yourself, try to enjoy the ride, look for the good things, the lessons, and know you will be okay.

Ciao for now. Love you!  Smooches!  xoxo

Love Thyself

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

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Wow, how much I sound like Mr. Nouwen when it comes to believing in the negative voices!  However, I don’t even need those other voices.  I have my own and it can be plenty negative enough.  Some days, I feel I love myself, even like myself.  Other days, when things aren’t going so well for me, I tend to fall into that dark trap of my own inner voice – me, telling myself I’m worthless.  I’m so thankful that I do have many positive people, things and places in my life that bring me much happiness, joy, encouragement and comfort.

Now, if I could just get to that place of a true self-love the majority of the time, that would be amazing.  It’s great to have others that lift you up and love you and like you but it’s even more valuable to lift yourself up and believe – really BELIEVE you are awesome.  Even amazing, talented, worthy of great things, you’re fun, intelligent and you add so much to the world.

How is it easier to feel the bad stuff about yourself?  You can lift others up but not yourself.  Why is it easier to believe the bad stuff and not more of the good, the positives?

Do you feel like you love yourself most days?  Do you like yourself?  What are 3 things that you like about yourself, about what you do or what you’re good at?  This is not an exercise in narcissism but rather an exercise in self-love and self-nurturing.  We need to believe in ourselves more.

Mine?  Hmm.  (1) I’m a good mom for the most part but there is always room for improvement; (2) I’m a good cook but there’s always room for improvement; and (3) I’m a good daughter for the most part but (I’ll say it again) there is always room for improvement.

What are your 3 things?  Can you come up with more?  If you come up with more than 3, you get a giant gold star!!!  🙂

Love you guys!  Make this an AMAZING day, because YOU are already awesome!  *smooch*

-Carol