The following is a guest post by Theresa Nutt.
As I continue my journey of becoming my own beloved, I have noticed something important: a theme that is really standing out for me right now is the topic of toughing it out. Too many of us have learned to ignore our feelings and other parts of our experience that are not considered acceptable (according to who, I wonder?).
Here are a few of the common symptoms of toughing it out:
- We swallow feelings and let them fester inside.
- Others treat us poorly and we don’t speak up.
- Our needs come last after everyone else is “happy” or comfortable (which never happens).
- We stop pursuing our passions and wait for a magic someday.
- Our body tries to get our attention and we just keep pushing on because there isn’t enough time. Eventually, something big happens and we suffer as a result.
- We are exhausted, but afraid to slow down or rest.
- Instead of living a unique life that speaks to us, we try to fit in and be more like others around us.
Tune In Instead Of Toughing It Out
The obvious remedy is to tune in more deeply to ourselves and our experience. There are times when the most loving thing to do is notice that life is really challenging. Or, that despite our best efforts we can’t seem to make headway.
There are not enough spiritual gymnastics in the world to help us in certain situations. And instead of admitting we are struggling or instead of asking for help when we need it the most, we start beating ourselves up using our inner critic.
What if instead of all the critic’s responses, you found yourself asking what you needed most instead of how can you tough this out?
Help Yourself First Instead of Toughing It Out
Once you tune in, you have the good fortune of knowing what you most need. Is your inner child screaming for your attention in some way? Are you in need of a supportive friend to listen or give you a hand? Do you need some time in Mother Nature to calm your mind and deepen your breathing?
And in the end, if you could just remember that the love, attention, approval, appreciation and every other thing you seek from external sources is a neon sign. The neon sign is reminding you to stop, tune into what is true for you, and love yourself more fiercely than ever before.
The following is a guest post by Mary Hayes Grieco of The Midwest Institute for Forgiveness Training.
“Forgiveness is releasing an expectation that is causing you to suffer.”
– From “Unconditional Forgiveness” by Mary Hayes Grieco
In the last twenty years, nearly 4,000 new studies in psychology and medicine have proven what we intuitively know is true: forgiveness is good for our health and happiness. Numerous studies make the link between resentments and stress-related illness like heart problems, backaches, chronic pain and sleep problems. Most recently, the chief surgeon at The Cancer Care Centers of America stated that he believes there is a strong link between long held resentments and certain cancers. It seems like our growing awareness about the cost of resentment and unforgiveness will be the next big public health issue.
“Let it go – you’ll feel better” is something your grandma probably told you. Chances are good that you thought about forgiving the offender for about a minute, then dismissed the idea. We really don’t want to. Why is it that even though we know that forgiveness is good for us, we still have so much resistance to it? I think we resist forgiveness because we misunderstand what it is, and we don’t know how to do it. I want to propose that there are some unfortunate myths out there about forgiveness that need to be dispelled in order for the public to embrace forgiveness as a life skill and a good health habit.
Unfortunate myths about forgiveness that create resistance (and keep us stuck)
Myth #1: “Forgive and forget.”
Seriously, did that ever work for anyone? It doesn’t and we intuitively know that, so we don’t want to try and fail. What we actually need to do is forgive and remember and turn our wounds into wisdom. Forgiveness isn’t forgetting, excusing bad behavior or allowing people to continue to hurt us.
As Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them, the first time.” So, forgive them for your freedom, but don’t allow them to harm you again.
Myth #2: Forgiveness is hard and it takes a long time to get there.
In reality, it isn’t any harder than learning how to drive or how to floss your teeth – you must take a little time and be taught how to do it, and practice. And it doesn’t take forever once you know the steps; most of the time, once you’re educated and ready to go, it takes about an hour. See the steps on my website.
Myth#3: You must talk it out
Many believe that forgiveness means you must talk to the other person, make peace, and work things out – someone has to apologize. Nope. Forgiveness is actually a private healing experience which you do to release your pain and gain relief and healthy detachment about the person and the situation. You don’t have to talk to the offender at all or find a common understanding or extract an apology – all that stuff is in the category of “reconciliation,” which is a whole different animal.
Myth #4: There are some things that are unforgiveable.
Do you really want to believe that there are some things from which you will never heal? Everything can heal, eventually. Some things take longer than others, but they will heal if you remain open to the healing process.
Myth #5: You have to be some kind of saint to forgive something really big.
I’ve seen many ordinary people forgive some truly terrible things – human beings are phenomenally resilient!
When one person sincerely and effectively forgives another person, a miracle happens. The stagnant block inside them dissolves and melts away and the light of their soul slides in to replace it.
The following is a guest post by Michele Rae of The Center Within.
Sometimes I find myself guarded, timid and reluctant to express myself from my inner truth.
What part of me is afraid of being judged? Misunderstood? Rejected? Or even ridiculed? Buried inside I have mistakenly internalized messages from someone or somewhere that I am not good enough or lovable if I radiate from my authentic self. Today I am feeling the invitation to trust the certainty of my inner knowing and live more fully in alignment with my essence.
For me, my authentic self is an internal voice or awareness and informs my sense of self. It is continually evolving as revelations, curiosity, confusion, pain, awe and wonder push me beyond my comfort zone. Life breaks me open to new perspectives about what I know to be true. As I surrender and accept more fully what is, those beliefs that I am not enough are released.
Living an authentic life requires risk, courage and vulnerability. In return, I have more peace, discernment, tolerance and joy.
Expressing myself from this place of truth cultivates everyday miracles and surprises. Anything and everything is possible in the present moment, and I have enough free attention to fully embrace the intuition, synchronicity and insights that arise in my life. As I lay down my neediness for approval and acceptance and trust those in my life will encourage and celebrate my authentic self, my relationships are more real and mutually supportive. My work has more depth, creativity and effectiveness.
It is not always easy, but it is simple. So, the next time someone tells me I am shining too brightly and it makes me bad and wrong, I will send them a blessing and not dismiss myself. Today I more fully embrace my Center Within, my ever-present essential nature, which is fully aligned with the divine. From my authentic self, I can live as presence, navigating life’s conditions and situations from the inside out.
The following is a guest post by Louise Griffith of One Shining Light.
When divorce—like any other traumatic experience—enters your life, it can feel like your control is ripped out of your hands. You may feel helpless, victimized or completely exhausted. You may spend all your energy thinking and obsessing over your situation as your emotions wildly fluctuate between anger and depression. You might wonder “Will I ever feel like myself again?”
Although there are certain aspects of your situation that fall beyond your control (you can’t change the past!), you are still in charge of your journey. Even on your darkest days, you have the power to rise up, reignite your inner light and work toward positive results.
It starts with a single thought.
Tell yourself, “I have control.” Repeat it to yourself and truly mean it.
When you take control of your inner dialogue, you take control of your life. Positive thoughts lead to healthy beliefs and these beliefs drive changes in attitude and emotion. When your attitude and emotions start to improve, you tend to make better choices and take healthy, life-affirming actions. Eventually, you’ll start to find that continuous, positive actions will lead to results.
It all begins with thought. The things you tell yourself every day can help you overcome blame, seek support and give you renewed energy and purpose. Changing your thought patterns is not an easy task, but it is within your control. Start by tuning in and being conscious of what you are thinking. From this place of awareness, start talking back to your negative thoughts! Remind yourself why you are worth it.
Don’t be afraid to involve others in your healing journey. Confide in trusted friends and family members, consult a therapist or coach, or find networks of women undergoing the same struggles. Seeking the support of others is a positive coping behavior that can help boost your energy and improve your thinking patterns.
On the road to healing, you have the power. Your actions can propel you ahead or keep you frozen in place. Every step forward is driven by the power of thought. How will you change your thinking today?
Written by Barb Greenberg, Founder – Rediscovering U
The 2016 Minnesota State Fair has ended, and if we are craving any more treats-on- a-stick, we’ll have to wait for another year and be content imagining that extraordinary culinary creation in our hands, taking that first bite, sighing contently, and knowing nothing can be all that bad when you’re eating anything on-a-stick.
I found a mouthwatering list of of seventy-five foods you can get on-a-stick including frozen coffee, chocolate covered cheesecake, deep friend candy bars, spaghetti and meatballs, and even a Texas Steak Dinner. I had no idea!
A few tips for successfully eating (or trying to eat!) anything on-a-stick.
Concentrate on what you have in your hand, so it doesn’t fall off the stick and slide down the front of your shirt, or drip in a sticky mess through your fingers.
Sit for a while on nearby bench and focus on the treat in front of you.
When you feel you have nibbled this treat down to a manageable amount, you may decide to get off the bench and rejoin the colorful, vibrant flow of life. That is a wonderful decision, but you still need pay attention to what is in your hand, and in doing so, you may find yourself somewhere unexpected, wondering how in the world you ended up behind the horse barn or in the middle of Machinery Hill.
What would it be like, I wondered, if you could walk up to vendor and order Healing-on-a-stick?
It would seem like such a big serving, more than you could manage, but it has colored sprinkles of peace and joy that make you smile.
So you decide to sit and concentration on your Healing, taking one bite at a time. Sometimes it is messy and sticky and you lose parts of it down the front of your shirt. But you keep nibbling and eventually you are ready to re-enter the flow of life. Because you are not finished with your Healing, you may find yourself in unexpected places. Some may be upsetting. Some may be thrilling. Most will be comforting.
When you have finished your serving of Healing-on-a-stick you realize you have gained peace, not pounds, and the Healing was so sweet, you decide to ask for another serving!