Self-Awareness is Key to Empowerment

Self awareness is the key to preventing the emotional drama that guides your reactions to situations and other people. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, thoughts and feelings is a big step towards knowing who you really are.

Without such knowledge, we end up vulnerable, frustrated, inauthentic, unmotivated and often unsuccessful in achieving our dreams.

Here are some quick self awareness tips to motivate and inspire you:

Slow down 

Have you ever noticed how fast you breathe when you are rushed or in a hurry to get somewhere?  Most of us rarely engage in mindful breathing and consequently we are in a state of anxiety most days. Learn to notice your breathing by setting aside a few minutes each day to breathe purposely and deeply. Sit quietly and inhale and exhale for five minutes each day.  I’m sure you will be less stressed, more relaxed, focused and energetic.

Let go of negative thoughts

From time to time, we all have thoughts that try to limit what we can achieve or become.  I’ve given these thoughts a name, “Negative Nelly” and a whiny voice. We all know how annoying “whiny” can be.  So, when Negative Nelly perches on my shoulder invading my thoughts trying to prevent me from reaching a goal or exploring something new, I imagine her sitting on my shoulder, whispering in that whiny voice.  I refuse to listen for a second and brush her off my shoulder like the pest she is.  Whether you’ve given your inner critic a name and voice or not, she’s there.  Don’t listen to her.  Instead replace your “Negative Nelly” with a “Patty Positive” whispering your virtues and strengths in your ear.

Create a vision for the life you want

It’s second nature for a lot of people to spend time thinking about what’s not working for them and what stops them from achieving what they want in life. Spend time creating either a visual (vision board) or mental image of the things you want to attract in your life  (a new career, a mate, more time, financial security, travel, etc.).  Whatever desires you have, a vision is essential. An architect first has a vision in her mind of the structure she wants to create. She then sets about to put into place the blueprint to support her vision.  The vision for your life is similar.  First, you must take the time to allow your vision to evolve.   Any thought, idea, concept or object that comes to your mind would not exist if you didn’t already have the ability, desire and talent to bring it to fruition.

And, to get more self-awareness tips, tools and resources that will renovate your relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers.

Morning Pages Can Become A Daily Routine

morning pages

Morning pages can easily become a part of your daily routine to clear your mind and order your thoughts for the day.

Morning pages appeared on my radar several years ago when I read The Artist’s Way, a book by Julia Cameron.

I had never heard of morning pages so I was more than curious. I discovered that morning ages are no more than three pages of longhand, stream of consciousness writing, done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do morning pages; it’s not high art. In fact, it’s not even “writing”  as we know it. It’s more about anything and everything that enters your mind first thing in the morning – your dreams, fears, goals, etc.

Morning pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize our thoughts. You don’t need to overthink your monrning pages –  just white until you fill one page, then another and before you know it, you have written three pages !

Morning pages are based on the idea that first thing every morning you write three pages of streaming thoughts, whatever crosses your mind. You are simply creating a space for all the things that cross your mind.  This will help you discover and sort out what you are actually thinking – positive or negative thoughts.

Writing morning pages is a way to clear a path to creativity and introspection. By allowing your thoughts and dreams to reside on paper, you can clear your mind to deal with the unending things that will take up space in your mind throughout the day.

You may be thinking, “I don’t have time to write three pages every morning”,  “I don’t know what to write”, “I’m not a writer” or “I’m too busy…”

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” – Wilford Woodruff

You don’t have to be a prolific writer or have hours of extra time to write.

You only need to write.

In fact, after you’ve gotten in the habit of writing morning pages, it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes out of your day.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Before starting your day – Write!  The reason for this is so that you’re not distracted by daily happenings that interrupt your thoughts. If necessary, get up a little earlier than others in your household so that you have uninterrupted time to write. Once you start writing, keep writing. Don’t stop writing. Don’t allow the pen to leave the paper. If you can’t think of anything to write, then write, “I can’t think of anything to write” until something comes to mind.
  • Don’t quit or beat yourself up if you only write one or two pages or less the first time you try this or even if you skip a day of writing. If you can’t think of anything to write –  write your thoughts about the number of pages you want to write, then write that. Remember, you want your thoughts to guide what you put on paper. Continue writing every day until you can reach three pages each day.
  • As you write, don’t censor, correct, cross out or even pause to think – just write whatever thoughts enter your mind. Your thoughts are for your eyes only. You don’t have to share them with anyone else.
  • Include as little or as much detail as you want. Remember, these are your thoughts. Write whatever you want. You’re not writing the great American novel. Just keep writing.

Write what you know. Write what you want to know more about. Write what you’re afraid to write about. ~ Cec Murphy

Come back and share your morning pages writing experiences with us.

And, to get more tips and life enrichment, tools and resources that will renovate your relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends, I invite you to get my book, Master the Genie Within to renovate your relationships with partners, family members, co-workers and friends.

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers.

 

Popular Self-Care Tip Posts

Woman stressed and frustratedHave you ever spent hours jumping from one web link to another trying to gather relevant self-care tip posts only to find yourself in a maze of information overload?

I have and I know just how time-consuming and frustrating that can be.

Don’t you sometimes wish you had a handy reference guide put together with several articles about your specific search topic all in one place?

Now you do…

Periodically I will publish a list of previously posted popular self-care tips and strategies that I’ve rounded up from various sources on the web to make it easier for you to get self-care tips and more all in one place.   Here’s the list:

15 Self-Care Tips for Anyone Who Works Too Much
Nichole Liloia on MindBodyGreen
Choose from these 15 self-care tips to make self-care a part of your regular practice so that you feel good about taking care of yourself (and you get a break from your work!).

The Absolute Worst Things To Do When You’re Stressed Out
Jena Pincott on Oprah.com
When life comes at you fast and furious, the last thing you want to do is make things even harder on yourself. Start by avoiding these 8 stress  traps

Girl on a Ledge – Moving Past Your Fears 
Marisa Leighon on Huffington Post
Girl on a ledge describes perfectly that feeling we have when fear keeps us stuck in the same old patterns, trying to decide how to make the transition from fearful to courageous.

How to Build Self Confidence
Zorka Hereford on Essential Life Skill.net
How we see ourselves is more important than how anyone else sees us. If we don’t work at loving and accepting ourselves, nothing anyone else thinks matters.

Four Ways to Deal With Stress
Posted by the American Heart Association
Use these four simple techniques to combat stress

How Fear Keeps us Stuck (and what to do about it) – Posted on Unstuck.com
9 tips to help you get unstuck and move past the fear

What’s in Your Self-Care Toolbox?
Posted on gladysanderson.com
To stay organized, focused, accountable and inspired, use these handy tools from your self-care toolbox.

If you enjoyed these popular self-care tip posts, please leave a comment to let me know what resonates with you and what other topic you would like me to pull together for you.

In the meantime, for more self-care tips and insights, I invite you to check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers.

 

The Power of Quiet Time

Quiet timeMost of us don’t have quiet time. We’re usually too busy to sit quietly for even a minute. We certainly don’t believe we deserve a space of our own in which to go within to replenish our energy.

In the book, A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf refers to a woman needing a quiet space of her own to write. I doubt if Woolf could have envisioned the hectic lives most women live today. Whether we apply it to writing or other areas of our lives, Woolf’s message is still relevant. We all need some quiet time and a space to reflect and reclaim a sense of well-being.

Some of us manage to build quiet time into our busy days but others constantly complain about a lack of time.

Most often, it’s not time we lack but rather, we regret forfeiting quiet time to reflect, re-center and regain a sense of well-being. Quiet time helps us to unwind from our daily stressors, engage in an activity we enjoy or just sit quietly to replenish our energy.

When I don’t build some quiet time into my day, it seems as though I’m on a merry-go-round – going nowhere fast. But when I make it a point to schedule some quiet time into my day, my life doesn’t seem quite so hectic.

There’s a reason why hospitals advocate for quietness. It’s so patients can restore their strength and regain health. You don’t have to be in a hospital to regain your strength and reclaim a sense of well-being.

Instead, use these power of quiet time tips to reflect and re-center yourself:

Request some quiet time if you live in a “busy’ household. I’ve found that often a request is all that is needed to get what you want. Rarely will your request be denied. And even if it is, you must take charge of your life by having the courage to do what is best for you.

Make space for yourself away from everyone else. A busy mother once told me that her quiet time was a relaxing bubble bath at the end of her day. She taught her family not to disturb her during this time.

Take a walk around your neighborhood for 15-20 minutes. I often find a short walk alone quiets my mind and re-energizes me.

Spend quality time with others. Most couples know that in order to stay connected and strengthen their relationship they must spend quality time together, focused on each other. Spending quality time with those you care about means listening and giving that person your undivided attention. You can’t give another person your undivided attention when you are busy checking email, texting or thinking about your next project.

Listen to soothing music. Music is a natural relaxant and reduces stress.

For more tips and insights like these, I invite you to check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You

 

Gladys Anderson helps individuals and couples to renovate their relationships with partners, family members, friends and co-workers.

Light My Fire

4th_July fireworksTalk about “light my fire”! I recently participated in a riveting 30-day challenge – “Reclaim Your Sass” – with awesome, Jennifer Boykin. I was faced head on with the reality of my fears, self-doubt and indecisiveness in a most gentle, caring authentic way that resonated deep within me. I usually shy away from these kinds of challenges because I get bored, think they are too hokey or require more time and energy than I’m willing to invest but something about this challenge peaked my interest.

I had already started the process of probing deeply into my fears and transparency,  which I shared with you in an earlier post.  So Jennifer’s challenge resonated with me in a profound way.

I completed the 30-day challenge on Sunday and  this Fourth of July weekend reminds me to light my fire and get on with the business of living fearlessly, joyfully and authentically.

Here in the USA, the Fourth of July is celebrated with sparkling fireworks, parades, grills fired up to cook our favorite barbecue and reconnecting with family and friends.  And, it keeping with the theme of fire( works), I thought this would be a good time for me to light my fire so I can sparkle and turn that smoldering flame into my own personal fireworks.

Do you need to light your fire?

If you are willing to light your fire like  fireworks decorating the sky on the Fourth of July, here are some tips to ignite you:

1. Rescue your sparkle – your sparkle is not gone, you just need to reach deep inside to reclaim it. Could it be it’s concealed under layers of self-doubt? If so, let’s start today peeling away just one layer.

2.Turn up the heat – If you cook, you know that the higher the heat the more of a risk you have of burning your food. The same principle applies when we move at record speed with no down time for self-care. It leaves us susceptible to burnout and fatigue. Perhaps starting a morning or evening ritual such as a brisk walk or quiet time will help reduce the chance of burnout.

3. Sing your praises – It’s not conceited or arrogant to honor your accomplishments. In other words, pat yourself on the back when you complete a specific undertaking.

If this post rings a bell for you, please take a moment to connect with us by sharing your comments, reactions or questions.

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

Show Kindness to Yourself

Show kindness to yourselfShow kindness to yourself even when you make a mistake, decision you regret or choices and experiences have you stuck, unmotivated and angry.

We all make mistakes.

If a friend made a mistake or choice that landed her in a shaky situation, how would you respond to her?

More than likely you would be there to support, encourage and uplift her.

So, why not extend the same courtesies and show kindness to yourself when you’ve made a choice that didn’t turn out the way you expected?

When you are beating yourself up with negative self talk, stop and use the following tips to show kindness to yourself:

1. Show kindness to yourself in the same way you would a friend who might be going through a rough patch
. Speak encouraging, empowering words, or perk yourself with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Don’t fall into the “woe is me” trap of negative self talk like “I can’t…” “I’m too…” or “I’m not…”

2. Leave your mental comfort zone. When you’re feeling in a rut or unmotivated, focus on something different. If you think long enough about what isn’t possible, your thoughts will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

3. Value your time. Time is a precious commodity and ought to be valued as such. Filling you time with negative self talk will add undue that stress to your life and is not a good way to spend your time. Instead, turn your attention to things that delight and inspire  you.

4. Forgive yourself. Blaming yourself for things that happened in the past will cause you to stay stuck in anger and unforgiveness. You are human and will make mistakes in judgment and engage in behaviors that you wish you hadn’t. Just as you would show kindness and forgive a friend for a minor transgression, forgive yourself.

5. Practice good self-care. When you practice good self-care, you are in a better position to ward off negativity, stress and anger. Set aside a portion of your day for “me time”.  Me time is uninterrupted time you spend meditating, relaxing to soothing music or just sitting with your feet up. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s a part of your daily routine to unwind and rejuvenate.

Keep the above tips in mind whenever you start to be too hard on yourself. Remember, you are your best friend! So show kindness to yourself by displaying the same nurturing, uplifting and positive support you would offer to a friend.

And, to learn even more about how you can show kindness to yourself, I invite you to get my latest book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You.

Escape the Responsibility Trap

Are you feeling confused, trapped and overwhelmed by the seemingly endless “responsibility trap” that zaps your time and energy?

Have you ever found yourself saying?

“I don’t have time for me”

“I have to take care of everything or it won’t get done”

“I feel guilty when I say “no”

“Something or someone always gets in the way of me taking time for myself”

If you’ve said or thought any of the above, you are not alone!

Our lives become unmanageable when we don’t you fully understand the differences between responsibility and choice.

Responsibility means you have some control or authority over a situation or another person.

Choice means you have options and the right to make decisions based on what you desire.

The truth is, many of us trade in time for our self-care for a “mask of responsibility”.  Of course, we all have things that must be taken care of but you get to decide how, when, where and if anything gets done.

The responsibility trap is just another mask we wear to cover up who we really are, hiding our feelings and desires underneath layers of “responsibility”. Your self care does not have to take a back seat, spinning around like a merry go round on autopilot just because you have “responsibilities”.

Escape the Responsibility Trap

1. If you are overwhelmed by all the things you feel responsible for, ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I delegate, dismiss or desire to do this at another time”.  Most often, someone else can handle the thing you feel most responsible for; it’s not your responsibility; or you can take care of it at another time.

2.  Make sure you’re not hiding control behind the mask of responsibility.  When you try to control people or situations, you set yourself up to become angry, disappointed and frustrated.  The only control you have is the control you have over yourself.

3. Take care of you.  Your self care is the most important task on your to-do list.  So why not add your self-care to your list of responsibilities and take authority over how your time and energy is spent.

4.  Learn to say “No”.  Set firm limits on what you choose to spend your time and energy doing. Don’t take on more than you are willing, able and desire to do.

It’s my firm belief that we create lives of joy and abundance or lives filled with drama and confusion. Taking on more and more that is outside your realm of authority plants the seeds of falling into the responsibility trap.

Will you shed the “responsibility trap” or choose to free yourself of overwhelm by setting limits on your time and energy so that your self-care does not get relegated to the back burner?

If you’re ready to escape the responsibility trap and get more tips and resources like these, I encourage you check out my book, Master the Genie Within: Uncover, Embrace and Celebrate the Real You