Get Adobe Flash player

The Life Good Blog

Your Goal or Someone Else’s

Should I ?

Should post 1Sometimes we elect to reach for goals that at the time seem to be perfect ones, without questioning whether they belong to us or someone else. I wrote a blog post a while back which is still on this site called “Living in the land of should” In this post I wrote about a fictional place where we are all living in”shouldsville”.

Setting goals are terrific and necessary. We are always striving for something personally fulfilling to us and that makes our journey here interesting and fun but only if they are the goals you choose from your own set of values and beliefs. The most accomplished and fulfilling goals are the ones you set without the input from anyone or anything else. It’s highly critical to your happiness that you evaluate which goals actually belong to you and which goals belong to all of the “shoulders” in your life (and that includes the shoulder inside of you). When you question your goals you might discover that they really don’t belong to you at all.

Whose Goals are These Anyway?

Our culture, society, family, friends, bosses, television, movies all play a role in forming our idea of what we “should” be accomplishing and by when. Rarely do we take a look at these game of life rules that are laid before us almost on a daily basis. Add in social media in the mix where play by play achievements of other people’s lives are posted every second. Every time we see a post of a new author, a promotion, a bigger house, a wedding or an engagement adds another few feet to our ever growing measuring stick. We are always measuring ourselves against others accomplishments and unconsciously and controversially I say we also secretly feel better when we are doing better than others, that too is a measuring stick.

One of the most important things I do is help client’s define their goals. I can pretty much tell from the tone of their voice and the presentation of their goals, whether they are truly passionate about achieving them or they are feeling the pressure of the “shoulds.”

Break Your Measuring Stick Nowbreaking your measuring stick

When you learn to define for yourself what YOU really want you have a much better chance of achieving your goals. Not only will you achieve them with ease and determination but you will also feel more fulfilled as a result. So I encourage you to revisit your goals by understanding your values first. Once you know what you truly value, questioning your goals with a simple “Why do I want that?”  When you have that answer, ask again “Why do I want that”? When you get that answer ask again and again and again until you have exhausted your reasons why you want that particular goal. Your definition of successful completion of goals and accomplishments belong to you and you alone. Then you will take pleasure in breaking your measuring stick and there will be nothing stopping you from fulfillment.

What do you think? Are your goals in need of revision? Your thoughts are welcome. If you are curious about how coaching with me can assist you with defining goals that align with YOUR values and you’d like to break your measuring stick, give me a call or send me a note. I’ll be introducing a local workshop on setting extraordinary goals in March of 2015. If you are local and are interested in this program or need to explore coaching as a means to discover your goals let me know.

Your personal bill of rights. Yes. That’s right.

It’s the day after Christmas and a fairly blustery day. I had choices this morning. I could have stayed in the comfort of  the warmth of shelter or brave the cold and venture out.

Most people who know me would have guessed I would have chosen the warmth of shelter over braving the icy wind and icy streets, as winter is not my thing at all. I’m glad I chose to experience a walk under steel grey skies and crunching ice and snow. I set off  on my frozen journey feeling especially happy that I could feel the cold on my face.

With no other intention but to experience the aliveness of cold, my thoughts turned to becoming grounded with nature . I imagined roots growing from the bottom of my feet into the ground below, hooking me to the earth. In this grounding and being present to the sky, the earth and the cold I had  a sudden incredible insight. At least I think so, and I’m hoping you do as well.

2012 has been such an incredible year, full of twists and turns, loss and gains and all coming at the speed of light. Many others that I know personally also have experienced this same wild ride. Have you?

I have been chanting affirmations daily to counter act any fears and worries I have had on a daily basis. Being a practiced observer of my thoughts and feelings has taught me to shift my thinking surrounding any thoughts that are not of my highest self or for my highest good.  Chanting  affirmations daily has helped to transform those anxious feelings about the future, the unknowns and have brought me back to center at least for the moment that I am experiencing those thoughts and emotions.

Today on my frosty walk however, a thought surfaced which turned into a series of one line sentences which turned into my own personal “bill of rights“. “What do I have a right to have in my life?“, I asked myself.  The answers like water came flooding in rather easily. More easily than setting annual resolutions that tell me what I “should” do differently. You all know how effective those tricky should s and shouldn’t s are, don’t you?

I also thought about all the things that had transpired in 2012 and despite my positive frame of mind, affirmations, meditation, studies, still my life seems fairly unstable and uncertain. Thinking about the practice of affirmations and not wanting to lose faith in all that I believe is true for me, I wondered what more I need to do to become fully actualized, to live my truth.

What do I have a right to have in my life? What do you have a right to have in your life?

So just to get you thinking about your own bill of rights it might be helpful to review what Wikipedia tells us it is : The Bill of Rights is the collective name for the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These limitations serve to protect the natural rights of liberty and property. They guarantee a number of personal freedoms, limit the government’s power in judicial and other proceedings, and reserve some powers to the states and the public.

If I were to apply this meaning to my own life I would rewrite this description as such: My personal bill of rights for my life serves to protect me against my limiting thoughts, ego negative self-talk , fear and worry and guaranteeing me unlimited freedom to choose whatever I think I have a right to have.  In addition there isn’t a single thing outside of  myself that can interfere with my personal bill of rights, because I created them and I also create anything that is in opposition of them.

This mornings walk and  insight helped me to understand better why endless  chanting  of affirmations, meditation and staying present in the now in order to observe my thoughts and emotions have yielded some results, but at the same time  the practice is like washing your hair, shampoo, rinse and repeat. What is creating these blocks? What is keeping me from accessing what is rightfully mine to have?

Don’t get me wrong I love affirming. It serves to immediately shift me from any negative thoughts I may have about myself, others and my life. However, I’d like to share what I came up with on this mornings freezing cold, crunchy grounding  walk; my personal “Bill of Rights”.

My hope is that whomever reads this will craft their own personal bill of rights that they can use in place of weak resolutions and vows to change. The reason I say this is because  I believe you have a right as well as every person on the planet has a right to experience their life according to what you think you deserve, what is rightfully yours to have.  Consider carefully what you think you deserve because this is what is creating  your current life experience.

This is what I came up with for my personal “bill of rights” These are mine. What are yours?

 

My personal bill of rights:

I Sue Birkam as a member of this universe, this divine place where all things are possible if I choose to deserve them, have hereby today created my personal bill of rights. I will remember these and read them often when I forget who I really am.  I am free.

  • I have the right to be happy.
  • I have the right to be creative.
  • I have the right to be loved and be loving.
  • I have the right to forgiveness and to forgive.
  • I have the right to be successful.
  • I have the right to know my value and worth and to eliminate anything that is in opposition of  that.
  • I have the right to be free and live in full expression of this freedom.
  • I have the right to prosper and use my abundance for myself and to share my abundance in service to others.
  • I have the right to share my gifts and talents.
  • I have the right to my emotions, passions and dreams.
  • I have the right to experience receiving as well as giving.
  • I have the right to be in full acceptance of myself, the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • I have the right to be in full acceptance of others, the good, the bad and the ugly.
  • I have the right to be healthy and to do the things I need to do to remain in good health.
  • I have the right to be beautiful and to not allow what others define as beauty to affect how I think about myself.
  • I have the right to be cherished, respected and considered.
  • I have the right to be visible, to be seen and heard.
  • I have the right to clarity in my life and when I receive clarity I have the right to choose differently no matter what that clarity provides for me, bravely.
  • I have the right to the freedom to be me.
  • I have the right to stumble, fall and make big mistakes.
  • I have the right to laugh at my mistakes and to begin again.
  • I have the right to personal expression of my feelings and beliefs without being judged.
  • I have the equal right to treat myself the way I treat and give to others, with kindness, love, non-judgement, acceptance and with gratitude for all that I am and have become.
  • I have the right to surround myself with people who are supportive, caring and loving.
  • I have the right to amend my bill of rights and to expand it at anytime

I am thinking that if  I can live by this personal bill of rights in 2013, I’m guaranteed to have every thing I deserve come my way. I also think that I have a choice to abide by my “bill of rights” or understand what an injustice it would be to myself and others to ignore it.

What is on your personal bill of rights? Are you willing to create your own and begin to manifest what is your right to have? I sincerely hope you feel inspired and moved enough to provide feedback here and at the very least consider crafting your own 2013 bill of rights or at least think about what you deserve.

Happiness It’s a Jungle Out There

When we attempt to leave our comfort zone and go out into the jungle every day, it can really be a challenge to maintain our sense of well being and happiness.

This prayer sets the tone for the rest of this post:

Dear God,

So far today, I’ve done all right, I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that.  But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out of bed. And from then on, I’m probably going to need a lot more help.–Anonymous

In the past, my life view was that of a dangerous jungle. I was on alert for bad attitudes around me, crazy drivers who cut me off in traffic, injustice at work and within my family, slights on behalf of friends or co-workers, eye rolls from others, condescending tones of voice, people who were rude and basically on guard for snakes, lions, tigers and bears. And I found them. Does this sound odd? Some people call it having a chip on your shoulder; others might view it as victimization. I call it putting my happiness in the hands of someone else or giving away my happiness.

  • So how do you create a safer jungle, one that won’t rob you of your happiness?
  • How do you protect yourself from potential energy draining people?
  • How do you manage to conquer the jungle with a smile on your face?

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT

The answer for me was practice and more practice. Happiness is really up to you. By realizing you have no control over others is PRACTICE NUMBER ONE. You can’t control other people and their poor attitude. You can only pay attention to your response to that poor attitude. You can’t control erratic and unsafe drivers. Yelling and calling them names is ineffective because I have yet to see anyone who has successfully changed someones driving ability on the road through gestures and face making. I’m chuckling because I’ve tried this and it doesn’t work.  You can learn to explore your  feelings of injustice by examining your  interpretation of the circumstance surrounding that feeling, It is really only you who defines it.  Condescending people have struggles with their own worth, they must put themselves on higher ground in order to feel more confident and worthy, and again it’s your opportunity to redefine it for yourself.

PRACTICE NUMBER TWO is to expect happiness and you’ll receive it. Expect a pleasant day and you will attract it . Will people attempt to rain on your happiness parade? They may, but if you start your day with expectations of happiness and remind yourself if you see a storm looming that your entitlement is happiness, you can weather it. If you encounter that storm and before reacting you give yourself a moment to breathe, it can make a difference in maintaining your happiness.  Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, this has a very calming effect. If you remember to breathe you can actually imagine breathing in happiness. Notice how when you get upset or stressed your breathing is either shallow or rapid and sometimes we forget to breathe altogether. When you breathe it creates a centering effect , give it a try right now. Breathing also supplies you with a moment  so that you can get centered and choose to respond to the storm rather than react.

PRACTICE NUMBER THREE is to set your intention to keep your happiness today. When you allow others to rob you of your happiness you become their victims. There are people in the jungle who spend their time attempting to steal your happiness. They more than likely aren’t happy themselves. Happy people have a great energy and vibrate it outward; those who aren’t happy are attracted to happy people’s energy like a moth to a light. They want to feed off that energy and transfer their problems over to you; it’s really a cosmic vibration from which they are sensing and feeding .

Have you ever encountered someone and then remarked “I got a bad vibe” from that person”?  They may have not said a word to you, perhaps they are just in the same room as you. You may not even know this person but you can sense something is amiss.  When this occurs you are reading their aura or energy. Becoming a Reiki Master and practitioner as well as my coach training have taught me two great methods of protection. Using your own energy you can create a protective light or shield by envisioning a white or purple light surrounding you, prior to or during an encounter with an unhappy person. You can still remain friendly but with this light you cannot be drained of your happiness energy.

Another technique I have learned in my coach training is to create bigger boundaries. When you come to realize that your energy is precious and so is your happiness, you will protect it and treasure it.  If you know in advance that you will encounter those who drain your energy you can make an agreement to limit the time you spend with them. Picture an imaginary circle, the circle is the space you need around you. No one can enter the circle unless you give them permission. You control who gets to step into this space and who does not. This is your happiness space.

Practice makes perfect. If you start your day with a few tools for creating and keeping your happiness in your personal jungle you will succeed. It takes daily intention setting along with daily practice before before it becomes your new beautiful habit.  Then observe how your life changes as a result. You will begin to notice things just aren’t as difficult any more. People are nicer; those who wanted to steal your joy suddenly find other things to talk about, even your driving experience in the jungle will change. We are energetic beings who vibrate out to the world our happiness or sadness. It’s really  up to you the type of experience you really want to create for yourself.

My coaching practice is dedicated to those who are WILLING to step past victimization and realize their full potential for happiness. If you are ready, I offer a twenty minute no strings attached complimentary coaching session. I also offer long distance Reiki along with coaching for a more enhanced experience  if you choose. Contact me to schedule your complimentary session. Or visit the assessment page for three free self assessments that will assist you in learning more about yourself and your environment. Until next time, choose happy.

Happiness Basics and What You Value

One of the most difficult challenges some of us have is identifying our values. These would be values we consider to belong to us exclusively. Not the ones that we think we “should” have but the ones that truly come from our heart and spirit.

So often we choose values that belong to others just to be accepted and sometimes our values seem more like a chore to live up to instead of a joyful, beautiful and above all, a happy experience. Our culture, advertising, society and schooling sometimes paints a picture of what we “should” value. We then equate those values as “what will make us happy”.

The commercials and print advertisements that continually show us images of  wrinkle free people who are super think with flawless complexions and are aimed at showing us all that is wrong with us. We look in the mirror and compare ourselves to those images and unrealistically we strive to be that person. Instead of creating happiness, it creates unhappiness as it seems we are always measuring ourselves against that image. Those images fool us with just the right lighting, camera angles and the latest software which can straighten and whiten teeth, create flawless beauty with no character defects, fooling us into thinking we need to look that way.  For some this works fine. But if in owning the value of beauty becomes a value of “I should look like that” well then it’s not a heart centered value. It will more than likely create frustration  or a fleeting sense of happiness instead of our intended goal of  heart centered sustainable happiness.  However, if your value is physical beauty and you have a healthy attitude and definition of that value , there is nothing wrong with having beauty as your value. There is no right or wrong in creating what comes from the heart or spirit.

  • How do you identify your own values?
  • How do you know they belong authentically to you?
  • What are the benefits of identifying your values and their relationship to your happiness?

One way to define your values is to identify your interests and characteristics of which you have always been fascinated. These are the values that bring you happiness not the ones dictated by cultural or societal pressure, the “should (s)”.

By knowing your values, your life purpose becomes more clearly defined. When we have basic values met in all areas of our life, it brings satisfaction and a life that is based on happiness, realization and completion. When you comprehend that everything you do, feel and think is shaped by your values, you will then have a basic happiness recipe from which to gage and evaluate your life events; including career choices, relationships, relaxation and goals.

In my coach training I offer an opportunity for a client to identify key values along with a system for creating changes so that you can fully realize which of your current values aren’t serving your basic happiness goals and which of your values you would like to be in full expression.

Value categories can range from adventure, beauty, contribute, create, discover, feel, lead, master…to name a few. There are many subsets of these categories to consider when deciding which heart centered values resonate with you. When you re-acquaint yourself with your values, bewared of your basic happiness quotient increasing. Who can’t use an increase in happiness?

Your feed back and thoughts are valuable on this topic. When you share your thoughts you help other readers understand that others may struggle with this too, as well as providing your individual insight. Please share your ideas here and help others. If you would like to privately contact me regarding this topic or another please use the toll free number, or send an email. I currently offer a confidential and complimentary, no strings attached coaching session of one hour on any challenge you may be experiencing.  To arrange this session visit my site. Stay tuned for more topics based on happiness and confidence.

Happiness Just Jump off the Bandwagon

Please welcome guest blogger, colleague and friend Susan Sullivan, MA, Life Coach . Susan and I became quick friends in our Reiki training class. Not only do we share the same name but many other thoughts and philosophies. I asked Susan if she would consider blogging on the topic of happiness. She agreed to share her view point and her experience with the search for happiness. I think you will find the post below enlightening.

Jumping off the Happiness

Bandwagon

By Susan Sullivan, MA, Life Coach

Contact at ssullivan25@gmail.com

I turned on the television yesterday and watched an entire show devoted to happiness. People from all walks of life were searching for happiness, analyzing happiness, and sharing insights to find and create happiness. There seems to be a push in our society to encourage us to jump on the Happiness Bandwagon. Entire industries have been created to help us to be happy.

What is that innate drive that we all feel for happiness and peace in our lives? How can we quench that thirst for inner contentment that we all feel? I wish we could jump on the Happiness Bandwagon and let it drive us to our destination but the path toward “true happiness” is a path that each human being must travel alone.

There is an old Indian story about a musk deer. The deer can smell the scent of the musk and searches and searches to find the source of the scent. On and on it runs through the forest, searching, searching, and searching. Finally, exhausted, it collapses on a pile of cool moss, and realizes the scent of the musk is coming from its own navel. The deer had searched in every place possible except himself.

We are like the musk deer–searching, searching and searching for happiness and inner peace but always on the outside. More money, a bigger house, a better job, the right spouse, the perfect children, it goes on and on; always encouraged by society, the media, our friends and family to jump on the Happiness Bandwagon.

We are unique and each one of us must take the time to find the path that leads us to ourselves–our true selves, our immortal selves, the self that has no beginning and no end. This is who we really are and until we do a “meet and greet” with our true self, we will always feel that nagging, uncomfortable feeling that we are not complete. We will always be jumping on the Happiness Bandwagon.

When we open our hearts to begin our quest for true happiness amazing things start to happen. People, books, teachers, and classes appear, questions are answered and our path begins to unfold; a guidance system develops that is easy to trust, and “coincidences” become an everyday occurrence.

Just for today, jump off the Happiness Bandwagon and take that first step toward true happiness. Write us and share your experience of your “jump”

With love,

Susan

Disarm your insecurity alarm

We have all experienced times of insecurity; that creeping feeling of doubt in certain areas of our lives.  But when that unsafe feeling rules our life and keeps us from our gifts and from our best self, well it is like someone set off our insecurity alarm. It screams to us in any number of ways; retreat, arm yourself, don your shield and sometimes it tells us to attack .

If you are old enough to remember the television show  “Lost in Space” the robot would always warn Dr. Smith and the others by repeating in his robot voice “warning, warning, danger, danger”. Does your internal insecurity alarm do this?

In order to understand insecurity versus security it is important to learn the distinction between the two. Merriam Webster defines being secure as: freedom from danger, freedom from fear or anxiety; you can check for yourself here .  and Merriam Webster defines insecurity to mean; feeling deficient, not adequately guarded, not firmly fastened, or on shaky ground. Lets take the word insecure one step further and break up the word insecurity by defining the word “in”. What “in ” means is: in possession of, within.  These definitions are important because  what the word is telling us is that  insecurity is found only from within.  No thing , no person, no place or circumstance is responsible for our insecurity or security.  That is a great thing to know because it would be next to impossible  to change  our situations or people so we can be suitably secure and safe.

Start with 5 “in” questions when your insecurity alarm rings

  • What is it about this person, this situation or this set of circumstances that make me feel inferior?
  • Is it possible to feel inferior?
  • What would it take for me to feel safer or surer of myself? What would I need?
  • How is my current situation, current safety with people, or current circumstance reflective of my past?
  • In the present moment, in this present circumstance, with these people, how am I unsafe?

The more you can be aware and conscious of when your insecurity alarm is screaming the quicker you can calm it down by asking yourself a few questions. The more you practice the easier it will become. I also recommend in any insecure situation a simple affirmation repeating for four minutes  “I am safe” either just before you enter into the situation you are feeling insecure about and/ or every day until you reprogram the thoughts that created the unsafe feelings to begin with. If you are still having difficulty you may have to revisit some areas in your past in order to get clear of the belief that you are anything but magnificent. You may also need to forgive all situations that created this unsafe feeling, all people associated with making you feel less than secure. It is time to let that belief go, it isn’t serving you well.

I am really excited about my book Rewind, Rewriting your life script, currently in the editing phase. I discuss the insecurities I had  in just the process of writing the book and the steps I took to overcome that. Rewind is an abstract autobiography of my life looking at all the ill serving learned beliefs and how I got past them. I am really excited to share my journey with all of you very soon.

If you enjoyed this post, I would love your comments. If you have some additional advice to share I would appreciate leaving your wisdom on the topic of insecurity in the comment area. I will respond to all posts and questions. I have a few opening right now for new clients. To test the coaching process and to find out if it is indeed for you, I invite you to experience a no-strings attached complimentary coaching session of one hour in length . You can inquire about scheduling this call by visiting the contact page by clicking here.

Confidence Can be Created

Visualize your     Confidence

Closing my eyes I put myself on a stage and in the back ground is large screen emblazoned with the words “my life”.  There I am standing up straight and confident, my head held high in my best looking outfit, with my best looking hair. Surrounding me are people, some I know and some I will be willing to know. They stand all around me and I welcome them. I am smiling and they are too. There is a warm glow all around me and it radiates from me and expands into the area where all the other familiar and     unfamiliar people are.

My heart beats slow and steady and my palms are dry. I begin to move through the crowded stage as an equal, because I am. Any feelings of lack, feeling lesser than or thoughts of comparing myself to others melt like candle wax and are now running off of me and down the stage. Any limitations I hold  along with the uncertain image I have created, fall away. All the thoughts  that keep me frozen and unable to live the way I would like are now replaced with a knowing in this moment I am enough . I am safe right now.

The people standing with me on the stage of “my life”, now feel an energetic vibration coming from me and treat me as their equal  and I reciprocate in kind. I can be me because that is what I am and that is good enough. With confidence I converse freely moving without fear of the outcome. I am comfortable and confident because  I know that there is no way of predicting the outcome of any experience. I accept that. My confidence soars because I know who I am and I am proud of that. I realize my past and future have nothing what so ever to do with this moment. I am doing my best now, where only NOW matters.

If  you had a Chrystal ball with a solid guarantee of a successful outcome you would….

If you had a Chrystal ball and a guarantee of a successful  outcome, how would your self confidence change? What  would you then create for yourself?  Your need for a guaranteed  result puts you in a “future thinking mode”.  When you find yourself becoming attached to needing to know the results of your actions ahead of time you run the risk of lowered self confidence. When your thoughts are in the future you aren’t living  in your strengths right now, where it matters. How do you learn to remain in the present? Visit this link  for tips on moving  past fear (future thinking )When you are overly attached to needing to know the  outcome of your present situation  before you take action , it actually immobilizes you.This fear then creates the old pattern of lack of confidence and the vicious cycle remains.

Instead detach your self from the outcome and let go of the need to control. Focus your attention and energy so that you can create an aura of a successful outcome in the present. Use your senses to feel, smell, touch and taste successfully accomplishing whatever you are going after. This energy shift then vibrates outward.

What you see and feel is what others see and feel too

Confidence  is drawn from your self image . If you lack knowledge of your own strengths and abilities and your image is only focused on what you lack, your confidence level is projected outward and felt by others as lack. When you project lack in your minds eye you project it outward into every situation of your life. This  lowered confidence state of being  blinds you. Its only goal is protection from perceived pain (past thinking). In this state of being you fail to see what wonderful qualities you do possess.

To test the theory of  how you project your vibes,  remember back to a time when you woke up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed. In this state of being you may have noticed a chain reaction. The sour you starts off your day and the first thing you know,  you spill your coffee, you can’t find your keys and you get all the red lights. As you drive you notice rude drivers who lay on their horns because you didn’t accelerate fast enough for them. You flip them the finger and become more sour. You essentially carry this “wrong side of the bed” attitude with you through out the day and it spirals out of control. You may hear yourself saying “I can’t wait until this day is over”.  You might complain about how difficult “other people” made your day,  mentally hanging on to each incident, as it continues to build on itself.  In this sour state you are sending out a vibration which keeps attracting in more of the same miserable stuff.  Its the same thing with your confidence level. You vibrate out your emotions. It has nothing whatsoever to do with other people.

The Confidence Tune Up

When your self confidence needs a tune up you could begin with some analysis and questions.  Here are six core confidence questions which may provide a starting point for moving in to a more confident you.

1. When I am lacking confidence are my thoughts focused on the past or future?

2.  If I am focused on the past, what is the evidence that I will receive the same result?

3. If I am focused on the future results of an action I’ve not yet taken, what are the results I think I might get? Are those thoughts based on past thinking or on the present?

4. If I choose to remain in  low self confidence mode how will that affect me in the present?

5. What are some examples where I have been confident with a successful outcome?

6. In my most successful examples when my confidence was high what specifically did I draw on for this successful outcome? Who did I then become?

Self confidence can be created. It requires a commitment and willingness to operate in the present. The opportunity to visualize your most confident self  which sets the confidence vibe in motion. When feeling a lack of confidence it is the perfect place to question your thoughts. Remember to detach from the outcome and stay present in the moment where your strengths can be realized.

I am  interested in your thoughts and feedback concerning  self confidence and any successes or obstacles you may have encountered. Please utilize the reply area below as I respond to all postings. If you or someone you know finds todays post useful please feel free to share. For more information on my coaching services please  visit  the contact page.

Low Self Esteem Demons

Are you visited by a low self esteem demon?

If you could draw a picture of what your low self esteem demon looks like, how would it look?  I invite you to take out a piece of paper and think about the image of this demon then get out the crayons and choose your least  favorite colors and draw a picture of it.

Next to your demon image draw an even larger thought balloon, or a call out like a cartoon and  inside it write all the things your demon is saying about you.  Would your low self esteem demon say things like:

I will never have the position I want
I always mess up my life
Why try, no matter how hard I try something happens to thwart me
They have, she has, he has more of what it takes to have a perfect life OR I am so stupid, I am lazy, I am fat, I am unworthy…and your demon may go on and on like that.

Next, read  what you wrote in your thought balloon and hear the tone?  Does the voice sound familiar?  Your low self esteem demons reside in the closet of your mind where they are constantly lurking  and seeking proof and evidence to back up their lowly and sad story.  Your demon actually creates and even attracts unfavorable circumstances and provides the evidence that they belong living in the closet of your mind.

Your demon thrives on the attitudes and the self talk that says  “I told you so and see what I mean?  I knew that’s what would happen because I’m not worthy of  better”.  The language of your low self esteem demon continues to thrive partly due to basing its assessment on the past or the future.  It lives in a boxed up environment of distrust.  It questions all of your decisions and most times negates the one you’ve already made.  By negating your decisions the demon can take you back to the past (regret) or spiral you into the future (worry or fear).  Most of all, your demon feeds on dislike and the inability for you to love yourself.  Living in the present is a threat to your low self esteem demon, because to be living in the present moment it would no longer have a voice.  In the present you are whole, perfect and complete and that would be life threatening to your demon’s cause.  Make no mistake it’s mission is to keep you in misery and a victim of circumstance.  For a more clinical definition of Self Esteem visit this link  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-esteem

Shiny and Perfect You

You see, when you were born you arrived here with no lowly thoughts in your possession.  You arrived as a beautiful bouncing pink and pure human being who then  turned into shiny eyed cherub toddler who joyfully laughed and giggled and freely gave love and received it.  In fact as a baby and then as a toddler you were your number one fan and an expert in the self love category.  When you wanted attention you would get it, when you were hungry you said so, when you needed to understand the world better you were not hesitant to ask “why” and you did that a whole lot.

As you grow into your elementary school years, well meaning adults, teachers and not so well meaning siblings, friends and your culture /society began to compare you to others.  Because of that environment you got the idea pretty quickly that is how you are supposed to think about yourself; in constant comparison of yourself  to everyone else. Some other examples that gave birth to your demon  may be a feeling of lack of love and attention from family.  Or socially, you might have been left out when classmates were choosing  team mates and they didn’t choose you. Possibly you were  ignored, not heard or acknowledged as a child and learned that the only attention you could get was  negative attention.  There are a variety of scenarios of how you may have interpreted those events which shaped your self esteem and how you see your abilities and strengths.  Those emotions formed certain thoughts  based on how others treated you as a child and those thoughts turned into beliefs and the low self esteem demon took residence within your mind.

As adults we love to receive compliments and pats on the back from other people, while it is great and feels good for others to notice us whether our self  esteem is low or high ..  but when we lack self love, those compliments are short lived because the low self-esteem demon still camps in our mental closet.  In fact we can even be distrustful that the compliments are sincere or  true, because we can’t love ourselves enough to know that they are true.  The demon lies in wait for the first chance to pounce on the one comment or experience that feeds its need for validation with talk like this: “see I knew it wouldn’t work out, I never will have what I deserve, I don’t deserve someone that nice, why would this person love me , what if my work, friends, family and loved ones find out I’m a fraud”?

Good News! You Can Send the Demon Packing

If you learned how to love yourself from other people who may not have fully loved themselves, then everything you think about yourself is essentially manufactured by others..and you bought into it, hook, line and sinker.  What we have forgotten is, before all that  intervention by other people, we did love ourselves.  To regain a healthy level of self esteem it’s just a matter of remembering how it  feels to love yourself.  Loving yourself is who you were meant to be.  It takes about the same amount of energy to berate yourself  as it does to look at your most wonderful qualities.  The really great thing about this is you get to choose  how you spend your time and which thoughts you choose to give your energy to.

Begin to restore your self esteem by realizing your self esteem didn’t become low over night. It takes a willingness and a level of consciousness along with perseverance to restore self love.

1) Pay attention or become aware that your demon is speaking anytime it puts you down

2) Call your negative self- talking demon out!  Ask it questions such as: Is this thought from the future or from the past?  What would happen if I had a choice about this thought?  What would I choose?  Ask your demon open ended questions– because the answer is in the question.

3) Get reacquainted with the lovely you.  Draw a new picture this time of your whole, perfect, loving and complete YOU, the you that is sparkling, shiny and new.  Draw the call out or thought balloon again next to YOU.  What would this new shiny you say about you?  Be as specific as possible with words such as ” wow I’m smart, attractive and unique. I am joyful and curious and love all the wonderful attributes that I have to offer myself and to others.  I am inventive, creative and productive, I love my body, my  hair,my skin, my freckles”, use what ever the words that best describe the shiny you.  Then read them daily and place “I am”  in front of each one.  Notice your new fresh energy.  While you are busy loving yourself  you create less space for your low self esteem demon in which to take residence.

I assist people in creating a life of  empowerment and to become less of a victim of  circumstance.  If you or someone you know may benefit from coaching for low self esteem or other limiting self beliefs contact me here  http://freedomlifecoachingcompany.com/contact/

© 2010 Freedom Life Coaching Company

A ceremony for discarding the old up in smoke

I am sharing a very powerful seven year long New Years Eve tradition with you my friends for the passing of  2010 and the welcoming of 2011.  If there is one thing you can do for yourself at the close of this year it is to discard the old stuff that you care not to have repeated in the new year.  Once participating in this ceremony hosted by my church, I was addicted to its very positive results.

If you are local, the church is Renaissance Unity located in Warren, Michigan and the burning bowl service starts at 5:00 PM on New Years Eve with plenty of time left for fun and merriment. If you aren’t local you can host your own ceremony at home.

How to participate in your own burning bowl service.

Everyone of us has something that we care not to have revisit us again. What are yours *somethings* ?  It might be thoughts of lack, actual lack, limitations and lack of any sort.  Perhaps you wish to discard poor health, poor relationships, unhealthy habits, poor attitudes, laziness, fear.  The list could be endless.  In fact you might want your list to be very long so you can be released from these under serving aspects of your life from the prior year.

Write your list with a few words about what you want to release.  Not a novel but the best words to describe what it is.  The words you use are those that you wish to release yourself from in the coming year.  It’s great if you can find flash paper but if you can not a simple piece of paper will do. Once you have completed your list find a safe place to set it on fire. That’s right, burn the list.  I stress burn it safely.  I suggest  that you go outside if you’ve no fireplace and get help from an adult if you are a child.

Let the words you’ve written and all that they signify vanish into the flames and return to wherever they came from.  As they burn and release from you and your  present life condition —allow it to be gone!

Know that it is gone  from your life. You will feel it… I promise.

The next step to this ceremony is my favorite. You will take a fresh piece of paper and on it you will write in “present tense” all that you wish to have happen for you in 2011 as if you’ve already received it.

I start my letter off with Dear God, but certainly it can be to Dear Universe, Dear Creator or Dear Source of your good– what ever name you choose to give it, it matters not.  It is important to write the letter in present tense as if it is already the end of 2011 and you have received all that you desire to transpire in your life.  I use gratitude words such as:  “Thank you God for my continued peace and joy this year. I am happy and secure.  I am enjoying the rewards of a successfully published book that is transforming lives.”

You get the idea.  Be specific in your letter.

When you have completed your letter there are several options you can choose from.  The church has us address the envelope to ourselves and then seven months or so later  the church mails it back to us to check in with what we wrote.  It is amazing how accurate this intention setting is,  just seven months later. Your good is already created but sometimes we just don’t ask for it in the most effective way.

If you choose you can put your letter in an envelope and seal it.  You can give it to a friend to hold on to but some how you and/or your friend will need to make a note to look at it seven months later.  Know that all the words in your letter are on their way and let it happen, just know that you have asked it to be so and so it is.  You could also hide your letter somewhere, marking your calendar in seven months to retrieve it.  You could also put it in a safety deposit box for safe keeping.  I hope you will participate in this ceremony as I have witnessed the results first hand as well as in the lives of my children and others whom I have invited to participate whether through the burning bowl church service at Renaissance Unity and even on their own.

Wishing you all blessed holiday filled with joy, love, peace and abundance.

Its all there for your asking and  already created for your receiving.

Namaste

Labels Part III Highly Sensitive People or ADD

Sensitivity is beautifulIn my first post Labeled Part I,  I referenced my daughter who was told at age 15 that she was ADD by the only means of diagnosis, a psychiatrist.  After unsuccessful attempts at multiple ADD medications over a two year span she went off to college without her medication.

We located a therapist in Chicago where she attended school, as she still struggled with trichotillomania which started around the time of taking the first round of ADD medication.  After several visits with the therapist and her sharing of the unsuccessful attempts at being medicated, the psychologist concluded that he believed she never had ADD.  He believed she was HSP, the acronym for Highly Sensitive People.

She called me that evening after her appointment and having never heard of this I did some research. Google had a few sites that helped me to understand this new label.  One site www.hsperson.com was of particular interest.  It is interesting to know that 15-20% of the population are considered HSP. I thought about this figure and realized that this may be a larger percentage of the population if people knew about it to begin with.  I also wondered how many other adults and children may have been wrongly labeled ADD or ADHD, as this is not widely known.

As a child my daughter was unique in that she was extra sensitive to textures in both clothing and in food.  She, being my third child, I just accepted these peculiar traits  as her little *thing*.  I had to remove tags from most of her clothing. Food was another issue, as she had trouble with things that didn’t smell good to her . Meat was especially difficult for her to eat as she was sensitive to textures.  She also disliked foods that were mixed together and we would have to be sure that the food didn’t touch each other.

Other interesting things I noticed and just assumed it was her idiosyncrasy was her sensitivity to sounds. We would listen to music and from age three  she would be able to mimic many of the popular singers. As she grew older she would stop me and tell me to listen closely for this little subtle part that the average ear wouldn’t be able to hear. Once she pointed it out to me, I could then pay attention and hear it. Amazed by this, I knew at an early age this was a gift.

On other occasions while at a popular childrens venue called Chuckie Cheese, I noticed a phenomenon where she became overly excited, almost hyper-ventilating as she ran from game to game.  As all childrens venue’s this was a noisy place with sounds of bells, loud children, games, pinball machines and music.  I witnessed her cheeks becoming red and she was panting when she came up to me to get more tokens for the machine. Concerned about how she appeared, I had her sit down for a moment to calm down.

Another  interesting behavior was the need for me to warn her of any change in her schedule.  What I mean by this is, if she was busily playing in her room and I needed to go to the store for an ingredient for dinner I could not just go up to her room and say lets go.  It was not at all received well and she would throw a fit more than the average child who wouldn’t want to leave what they were doing.  She quickly trained me to give her ample notice before pulling her away from whatever she had been engrossed in.  The warning would be verbally delivered and I would say to her “we are going to the store  and you have 10 minutes”.  At the five minute mark I would do the same, and let her know that she had five minutes, then three, two and then right now. This was such a better way to have a peaceful and happy child.

When the therapist in Chicago told her that he thought she was HSP and while on the phone with my daughter that evening were were both astonished at the  the set of characteristics that HSP have and what I experienced with her as well as what she experiences. I’ll share a few of the traits from the website and credit the doctor who has done so much research on this set of personality traits.

Dr. Elaine Aron PHD –Highly Sensitive People are…

  • More aware of subtleties because their brain process information and reflects on it more deeply.  HSP see more than the average person.
  • Easily overwhelmed because they notice everything and becoming overly stimulated when things are too intense, complex or overly chaotic.
  • Sensitivity is valued differently in different cultures where it is not valued HSP’s can have low self esteem.
  • Other research has shown that HSP’s, due to their ability to take in sights, sounds, smells and emotions can often be labeled and misdiagnosed with ADD.  One example was explained to me that if a Highly Sensitive person walks into a party they will notice all at once, the vase with the flowers and will think  “I wonder who arranged those?” While at the same time sense the mood in the room, take in the smell and sound.  While all of this is going on it would be interesting to try to focus on one thing, and where I believe the assumption that she had ADD came from.

I encourage you to visit the website where you will find a self test.  It offers you the adult as well as a checklist for parents of  children.  The checklist can assist you in determining if your child is HSP.

The good news is no medication is needed. After my experience with my daughter, I am wondering how many others are medicating their children when they may have a unique set of traits and gifts that can be easily managed once you understand them.  I also want to entertain the idea that these children with their gifts for observation may be part of the divine plan to change our world in so many beautiful ways.  They may be a special type of empath which the psychiatrists haven’t readily endorsed.

I  am happy to report my daughter is entering her senior year in college and has a 3.9 GPA.  Her degree will be in Performance Art Management, with music as the focus.  We can drop the ADD label and now that she understands herself.  She is attracting similar friends to her circle who have similar goals, beliefs and traits.  She is spiritually connected to the universe and this path seems to have made all the difference in wrapping her arms around herself and embracing her uniqueness.

I encourage your thoughts on this subject, especially questions about how to understand the needs of Highly Sensitive children.  I wish I had known this set of traits existed when she was small.  As I mentioned earlier, if you allow it  they will teach you what you need to know.  If you think you would be interested in a group coaching or tele-class on learning how to be supportive of your extra special children please put that in your post as well.  It is something I and another coach are considering to offer others.