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So for those who do keep up with time, and who doesn't, you may have noticed I haven't updated my blog in three months. Long story short, there was an aspect of my life that needed my laser focus.

But I noticed that the longer I was 'away' from this aspect of my life coaching/writing consultation business, the longer I was putting it off.

So today I got to thinking about why this was happening; I came up with something to do with habits. And disapproval. And ugly stuff like shame. Now I'm no expert on that emotion but I can tell you I don't like how it feels. 

I like lists. To do lists, top ten lists, grocery lists, lists of things I need to keep or get rid of, lists of which fun things I want to try in the next month, lists of dreams deferred.

Have you ever done a vision board? Or do you own a journal?  Make this one fun by using pictures. Most of us have a pile of magazines somewhere in the house. Heck, I even like the idea of comic book images.  Whatever your source of inspiration, enjoy yourself. Cuddle up with the doggy, sip a glass of iced tea on your porch, and flip through pictures.  When the image calls to you, cut it out.  Look for words that pop out for you too. Let your intuiton take over.  Are there crayons in the house somewhere? markers? Go back in your mind to kindergarden. Have a glass of milk and cookies. 

When you're done take a photo of your creation. I will post  mine next week. And I will post others as they come in.  Go ahead. Spend an hour or visiting your dreams. You might really surprise yourself by what you uncover!

Happy Dreaming <3

 
 
Three stories you tell yourself every January that prevent you from having a chance at a greater, more fulfilling year! 
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Belief #1:  I am fat.   
   First of all, please be kind to yourself.  To really ‘get at’ an issue, I always say one needs to write about it.  Create a journal JUST for losing weight. Write the kinds of stories you tell yourself that prevent you from losing weight. For example, “I hate getting older. I get fatter and fatter every year.”  If you tell this to yourself then you have a bad attitude about a beautiful process; ageing has so many wonderful things to offer.  As you get older, you get wiser, you generally have more peace of mind, and you're REALLY GOOD at certain things. You might also feel great about growing and nurturing young people in your life … See what I mean?  Instead, consider researching foods that give you  good stuff: vitamins and minerals, natural energy, texture, great taste and a feeling of satisfaction.  Walk more, with the dog or a friend. Take up ballroom dancing.  Ban white foods from your plate (except popcorn). Keep boredom at bay. Sleep enough.

Belief #2: My job sucks.      
    I dare you to really EXCAVATE the stories you tell yourself. Maybe you blame your co-workers for how bad the job sucks. You work too hard. They don’t pull their weight. Do you blame your bosses? They are unreasonable. Blame your luck? Your family has a curse on it.  The CEO is a jerk for deciding that none of the hourly wage earners is getting a raise for the next ten years and the people who work for you hate you for that. 

Could your job suck because you do the same thing day in and day out and you are bored?  Talk to your manager and see what new things he/she can teach you.  Are you resentful of co-workers who don’t work with you? Maybe you need to stop being such a know-it-all and let someone else speak some of the time during department meetings. A leader doesn’t come up with all the ideas. He/she encourages everyone to be part of the process.

Work too hard?  Could you be killing yourself because you’re a martyr looking for more and more praise? Know when enough is enough.  If you are the hardest worker in your deparment, find ways to get the "slackers" to get more involved. Help them play up their strengths instead of picking up the workload for them. You aren't doing them or anyone else any favors.  The work is suffering because you can't do it all and they are suffering because they probably feel bad about themselves for being perceived as lazy.  Everyone wants to feel they make a meaningful contribution.

Belief #3: Your husband/wife doesn’t manage money well.
     This isn’t new news is it?  But is this the right way to look at the situation?  If money is what you really need to work on, yep, create a money journal.  So for the next several weeks you have to stop being so easy on your spouse. Those "To Do lists" have been way too short lately.  Make sure they do all of the handiwork. No hiring professionals. Go buy them Do-It-Yourself books.  “Oh honey, I forgot this last Christmas present … here!”  As a result, your dear one spends more time ducking household responsibilities and you end up fighting. Perfect!

Do you see the trend here?  Accept some responsibility for the fact that, first of all, your beliefs are stories, and secondly, that you can figure out where the stories don’t benefit you and how to come up with … you got it! … new stories!  Maybe you and your significant other need to have a monthly conversation about how you’re both spending the money.  Consider getting an easy computer program and begin recording where money goes. Reward yourselves when you have good meetings and even more importantly, when you have great results! 

Here's to telling yourself good stories:

I CAN lose a few pounds. Let me set up a physical.  I hear that when people suffer from a B-12 deficiency it causes fatigue.  Is that why I turn to sugar? For a boost of quick energy?  Hmmm...

I DO enjoy my job but I could improve my relationship with my team by listening at meetings instead of talking.  Maybe I could make our staff meetings more interactive and leave a suggestion box in the department kitchen!

My spouse is NOT at fault for our financial difficulties. We can solve this together. We used to be so good at brainstorming. Wouldn't it be nice to work together on something fun too?  We've been talking about joining the country club. I thought I read that they recently dropped their fees to get more members ... 

Do you like these tips?  Would you like more personalized assistance? Contact me for my life coaching sessions.  Check out my life coaching page for commonly asked questions on my services!


 
 
Welcome to my new friends
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I was looking for a photo that was inviting and I found this one. 

http://wrenguitars.com/blog/?p=255



This website is in its ninth month of existence.  Most of my activity during that time however, has been on Facebook. 

That's in the midst of changing. 

If this is your first time here, or you've never actually made it past either of my Facebook accounts, WELCOME!

I've got some ideas cooking in the oven so bear with me.  Or is that bare?  Bear looks right.  No it doesn't.  Which one is correct?  Anybody know?  :-)

My friend and fellow writer Jackie Lee invited me (and all of her other blogging/entrepreneurial friends) to write a "Top Five" blog.  It's a lovely idea. Great way for me to transition into using my site more often.  I want to make a "go" of setting myself apart from FACEBOOK by inviting people to THIS website, a place of good humor, inspiration and community, a site where perhaps you might happen upon a service or workshop that is worth your time and/or money.

So here is my contribution to Jackie's Top Five Blog Carnival.  She will be posting everyone's links soon so please check out her site:

http://jackiesrandomthoughts.com/

TOP FIVE WAYS TO BECOME A HAPPIER, MORE EFFECTIVE HUMAN BEING WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS

1. Immediately limit your exposure to people, events and information that go against your values.  Not because your values don't occasionally deserve to be challenged but because we are what we think/process.  In other words, "garbage in, garbage out."  As an example, I rarely watch television.   I also don't expose myself to media theories on which political/governmental figure(s) we should blame for our problems.  I don't watch reality tv where participants name-call, back-bite or brutalize one another.   And I don't pay much mind to commercials or ads which I know are designed not to inform me but to brainwash me.   I know what I need. I have the imagination to make those assessments. 

2. Begin a physical regimen that improves the performance of your machine (body).  This doesn't mean you have to start running.  I hate running. I find it boring and difficult. However, I *do* love dancing. And I can challenge my body (and my heart) by dancing hip-hop.  If I can't get to a club, I'll do it at home.  Pump up the volume and let those endorphins fly.  And yes, this also means have sex more often.  The human body was designed to enjoy orgasms as well as enjoy the spiritual benefits of physical and emotional intimacy!

3. Sleep enough.  Do you know how much sleep you need?  Test it out.  Go to bed with the intention of sleeping seven hours and then begin adjusting from there.  Start a sleep log.  Sleep is important for your well-being.  If you have insomnia make a doctor's appointment.  If you're online or watching TV until five minutes before bed, you are stimulating your brain.  Allow yourself an hour or more with a good book or a cup of herbal tea.  or consider spending quiet time with your children, family  or spouse.  If you have a lot on your mind, call a trusted friend and unload.  No, I mean *really* unload.  The longer you carry your burdens silently, the more unhappy and ill at ease you will become.

4. Earth, Wind, Fire and Water.  

Earth= Walk in the park with the dog.  Plant something in a garden.  Make mud pies with your three year old nephew. You will be shocked at how good it feels to make genuine contact with Mother Earth.

Wind= Being a part of this world means BEING in this world.  So take D3 if you must but if all you can do is spend 45 minutes outside at lunch three times a week, brown bag it and sit outside.  Smell the wind, glance into the sky, watch the leaves dance.  As my friend Shawn says, "Feed your animal."

Fire=  When was the last time you sat around a camp fire with friends and told ghost stories?  There is something very primal and comforting about the glow and warmth that can only be provided by a fire.  Sunshine counts as fire too.  Let the sunshine fill your eyes (but don't look right at it), let the warmth kiss your cheeks and bathe your limbs.  When you can't do those things, take a hot bath or shower or sit in a room with a fragrant candle burning and soft jazz or classical music playing in the background.  The dim lighting will magnify the flame and let you focus on your other senses.

Water= Drink more.  Every chance you get just take a sip of water.  Your body needs a lot more water than the average person drinks in a day.  Dehydration is the number two cause of headaches.  Number one?  Tension.  We hold unhealthy postures  when we are angry, bored or frustrated. 

5. Laugh more. Lighten the hell up, man!  *grin*  Most things are just not the big deal you or anyone else will have you believe.  That doesn't mean that you should become a clown 24/7. It just means that life is short.  If you can't think of ways to enjoy life more, consider hiring a professional.  Your worry, anger, frustration, and overall tedious demeanor are going to put you in the grave early and those same things aren't going to earn you any friends.  People are attracted to those who know how to enjoy life.

If you would like to learn more about my life coaching services, just ask.  My email address is Gizelle.Alexander@gmail.com or you can leave a comment.  I believe you have the option of providing your email address when you comment to my blog.  If you'd like to be notified by email when I post blogs, add your name and email address to my landing (main) page.  I don't sell or rent anybody's information.  I hate SPAM too.

Don't forget to check Jackie out. She is going to post a blog linking her friends' websites.  Jump around.  We all have these cool "Top five" lists. 

I invite you to write your own.  Please leave the link here for others to check out!  Don't have a website?  Then e-mail it to your friends or read it out loud at your next water cooler gathering.  Enjoy!

 
 
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Gizelle: Are you a writer by trade?

Sherry:  No, I’m definitely not.  I’m a librarian and archivist [for the University of Kansas and the people who’ve grown up in the region].   As an archivist I work with historical material. I work with records of the past. So for example, organizations, businesses, institutions, universities all generate records. And those that are deemed to be of enduring historical value are retained for the future to research and study and to document those actions and activities of those entities as well as individuals. We have personal papers, we have letters, we have scrapbooks, autobiographical pieces, short stories, or perhaps just a speech that we gave to the rotary club …  I’m helping people to document themselves and their lives ….  Anybody who’s in history or anthropology, African American Studies or Women’s Studies or Sociology or Political Science … Any of these primarily social science or humanity areas find this kind of information important to their research.

Gizelle:  It sounds like this opportunity to write your story was kind of serendipitous. 

Sherry: There’s also another element here that is kind of a part of the story.   I’ve kind of been on a path for the past three years. I was quite overweight. And I started three years ago going to the gym. And for the first time ever in my life I didn’t think I could ever do this and so …. I’ve lost eighty-seven pounds as a result of this [weight loss] it has really reshaped the way I look at myself. So here I am this person that kind of always defined myself as a person who wasn’t an athlete, couldn’t exercise, certainly would never run, never do anything athletic. I just always determined in my mind that that was not who I was and I’ve discovered that it’s quite the opposite actually. That I like going to the gym, I actually like being involved in these things, and that it’s a way of defining myself that I would have never done prior to three years ago. And I think being in that setting has opened myself to a kind of window where I now look at things a little differently … There are just many more possibilities ….     

Gizelle:  What was it like working on these stories in the group setting?  How much time did you spend doing it together and how much time did you spend writing alone?

Sherry:  When I first started taking the class … they’ve been at it for a little while ... they had all taken this class with the teacher before. They were already working on a book project.  I was one of two people who was brand new to the class.  It was just so exciting!  The person teaching the class is just very good about making you feel comfortable.  And then the emails were flying back and forth. I sent them an email: “I just want you to know that I’ve really enjoyed the class but I’m feeling a little like a deer in the headlights. “ 

To register for "Finding Your Power through Voices of the Past: Anais Nin with guest speaker Sherry Williams" click here.

 Several people in that class individually contacted me and said “Oh, Sherry, stay in the class … Don’t drop out.”  That weekend I decided … I don’t know …  I just woke up on a Sunday and I thought I knew what I wanted to write about.

 I had a traumatic experience of finding out that my grandmother had died when I was ten when I was babysitting on my own. Being told without my parents around me was rather startling … It was kind of a challenging situation and … I knew I wanted to write about that.  I’ve been carrying that with me for a long time.  So I woke up on a Sunday morning … I must have been percolating this and I knew the first sentence I wanted to do so I just came downstairs and I sat at the computer and I just kind of pounded something out which wasn’t very good but you know, I let it set for a while.  But I found that I just wanted to go back to that computer and keep working on it and keep working on it!  So I did that and by the next week when I went to class I had something that at least I was willing to read!  And I was a little nervous. I was a little nervous. I thought “Well I don’t know … But this group of people was so great.

To register for "Finding Your Power through Voices of the Past: Anais Nin with guest speaker Sherry Williams" click here.

We get so much energy from each other. We share ideas.  They do critique your writing but they do it in a very gentle way.  It’s not a competition.  It just snowballed from there.

After the class was finished, we kept on meeting and we kept on writing.  We’re now sharing our drafts in advance.  Some weeks I don’t get to spend much time but other weeks I just start writing in a notebook and then transfer it on the computer. I spend about 2-4 hours a week on writing …. 

Gizelle:  Wow!  It sounds like you’re a writer!

Sherry:  I started this class thinking ‘How will I ever get the time to do this?’ I almost didn’t take it telling myself  "Oh you’re so busy. Do you really have the time to devote to this?"  I am SO thankful that I didn’t listen to that little voice because what I found is that this is really important to me and I’m going to make the time!  I’m going to make the time …

And it’s not that it just flows out in perfect form. It doesn’t. At all. And it’s not that I’m a good writer. I don’t think I’m a good writer. I’m just finding my voice.  I’m finding a way of expressing myself and that’s very empowering. And I’m realizing that there’s a real opportunity for growth in moving through this process. I’m sure that over time I’ll learn to write differently but just the whole process as it unfolds is very energizing. It’s not something I have to do. It’s not like "Oh Goooood. Tomorrow’s the class and I haven’t written anything. What am I gonna do?"  It’s which one of the things that I’ve been working on do I want to have ready for the next class. I mean it’s that kind of drive that just seems to be there, that speaks to me right now anyway.

To register for "Finding Your Power through Voices of the Past: Anais Nin with guest speaker Sherry Williams" click here.

Gizelle:  What’s next? 

Sherry:  We’ve had two class meetings. There are more people.  Just different perspectives.  We’re talking about possibly wanting to put together another group of stories. 

It’s interesting, I imagined my memoir would be written very chronologically …  in a very linear fashion but that’s not what’s happening at all. Sometimes I am writing and I don’t even know why I’m writing about that … It just jumps all over the place. So there’s no cohesiveness to it but what I’m not getting to the point is realizing that I’ve written oh maybe 15 – 20 short pieces. And I’m just kind of starting to look at how they fit together … whether they do fit together … I kind of think of it in a more collective sense than here’s just a bunch of short little vignettes that I wrote about my life but is there something unifying or something that I want to put together like that …

I am very lucky to be working with the group of people I’m working with. I really started out thinking that I’m doing this for my children but I’m really doing it for me. It’s helping me shape and focus … giving myself some voice. I don’t know where it’s going to take me. 

To register for "Finding Your Power through Voices of the Past: Anais Nin with guest speaker Sherry Williams" click here.

 
 
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If, like me, you remember when "The Internet" didn't exist, you're probably surprised by what you can do, who you can reach and what is possible through social media, blogging and having a general online presence. 

Being a writing consultant and life coach holds a special thrill for me; I find helping people through my talents extremely gratifying.  And through the internet I get to reach people I wouldn't encounter in my day-to-day life.  

Being online is also helpful as I find that people can be really shy about turning to a stranger for help.  Plus I don't need to charge a ton of money due to high  overhead like rent, staff or expensive leather couches! 

One of the aspects of my business that I hope to build is webinar hosting.  Unlike one-on-one life coaching, webinars are a chance to put a number of people together in one "room" and facilitate growth through the "shared journey."  It allows me to get creative, use my skills as a thinker and an empath, and it allows me to use my skills as a facilitator.  

One of the things that I know about human beings is that when they struggle they often isolate themselves believing that no one could possibly understand.  A big part of my purpose on this earth is to help people see that they're more alike than different.  We all have fears, we all have concerns, we all erect most of our own barriers. 

Webinars are like a lens to help others see.  The lenses that I choose in time will vary.  This first webinar series entitled "Finding Your Power through Voices of the Past: Memoir Writing" will include looking at past and present memoir writers to improve our own abilities to journal, learning how sibling order affects how we see the world and examining how heritage or regional philosophies shape us (and our belief systems).

My hope is that if you follow my blog, my Facebook business page, my occasional Tweets, my newsletter, or in the context of tutor or book club facilitator, you'll be curious about how I use research and creativity to help people take a closer look at their lives. 

You are not alone in this world as a seeker, a healer or a person who just WANTS MORE out of life.   Come find others like you.  Come find yourself.   What better way to live in this world than to invest in yourself? 

For those who are clever, use the code below to get fifteen percent off this three part series where I'll teach you how to use memoir writing as a lens into yourself.  "Finding Your Power through Voices of the Past" will take you to a time when women were barely considered more than wives.  The three women I've chosen (and my guest speaker makes four) will ASTOUND you through their self-stories.  They are feisty, fascinating, and, oddly enough, ordinary women who simply needed to make a difference in their own lives. 

Code: #FYP110811

 
 
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There are many styles that people adopt when they write in a journal. So if you’ve never done this before, or, better yet, if you would like to play around with other ways to write in one, here are a few ideas. Pick a quiet spot and begin.




1. Pretend you are writing a letter to yourself.  This is the most common way to go about journaling.  It may feel silly at first but it is the easiest way to identify your thoughts.  Eventually you will completely forget how weird it feels when you begin writing things that have been buried for years.  Have fun with it. “Dear John, I feel goofy writing to you. I mean I should know what you’re thinking since I AM you … but I have the feeling that I keep a lot from you so here goes nothing … or ... hopefully something! Ha ha!”

 
2.  Do you like magazines? Need to get rid of a pile?  Cut out ads, words, sunsets, shells, lakes, moons.  Images inspire us and help us tap into an imagination most of us don’t use on a regular basis.  Spend twenty minutes just cutting things out that make you feel good. Then choose as many as you like to glue or tape to pages. Add words around the clippings.


3.  Get a joke book, a trivia book or a book of prayers and open it up to any page. Write it down in your journal and do some free-associating. Whatever comes to mind. The point is to JUST WRITE.  These exercises are about freedom of expression.   Maybe today you won’t know what to do but laugh at this suggestion but next week you’ll write a knock-knock joke in your journal and remember a conversation with a cousin about how much you want to swim with sharks.

4. Don’t let your boss catch you daydreaming.  Get it out of your head and onto a post it note, stuff it into your pocket or purse and write about it later.  When you whip out your journal, write down exactly what you wrote on the scrap of paper or glue it onto the page. Follow the thought. It popped into your noggin for a reason. Trust me on this one!

5. Play the “If I were a ____” game.   I have long ago stopped writing angst-filled prose in my journals.  I prefer play.  Check this out.  "If I were a color/car/animal/movie character today, what/which/who would it be and why?"  Neat huh? 

With practice, you will start coming up with your own prompts. Here’s to a better life through journaling!

 
 
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Have you ever found yourself feeling annoyed or angry about a situation at work or home?  Sure you have.  We've  all been there.

Say your son never takes the garbage out even though this chore has been assigned to him for over a year now.  Rather than fight with him, you’ve been taking it out instead.

Tonight you come home from work really late. You're exhausted, the garbage is piled high in the kitchen closet and your head is pounding.

You find your son in the backyard playing basketball and yell out:

“Would it KILL YOU just this once to THROW OUT THE DAMNED GARBAGE?!”

Not much fun right?

Here’s an exercise to help you cope with and prevent this kind of fall out. 

Watch a movie that is guaranteed to make you laugh, call a friend who you can cut up with or go out after work with your best friend and vow to revisit the crazy, goofy, funny things the two of you did in high school. Do NOT complain about the family that takes you and your hard work for granted.

That night when everybody is asleep, grab your journal.  Write out that scene in the backyard only THIS time, find a funny way to tackle it.  Go back in time and do it differently. 

Tap into your funny bone.  If you can’t think of anything right away doodle silly images on the page.  Keep it light. 

Maybe you could’ve slipped a treasure hunt map under your son’s dinner plate adding a garbage can image instead of the treasure chest. Maybe you could have put the garbage in front of his closed bedroom door with a silly pair of shades and a baseball cap on it, tap the door, run around the corner to see how he’ll react when he sees the goofy bag.   Maybe you could've left him a picture of the GEICO gecco on his bedroom door with a bubble over his head saying, “Do what I do!  Take out the garbage!  I love taking the garbage out! Don’t you? Sooooo satisfyin' mate!”

The point to this exercise is to be both resourceful and to keep your sense of humor.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll become known as the family prankster.   Remember when you and your best friend promised each other you’d never be like your parents by taking everything so seriously? 

Journal writing + creative problem solving + rubber chicken = great idea!


 
 
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Would you like to inspire the students in your life and improve your own levels of happiness at the same time?  Here's how you can do it.  Become an active learner.  I call this being a student-of-life.  Here are some ways to improve your memory, teach the students in your life that learning isn't just a school activity and it's a great way to provide a way to enjoy new ways of processing life.


1. Once every other month visit the library.  Try to choose the same day of the month so it becomes habit.  First, take inventory of where fiction, non-fiction, biography, urban studies, film studies, art, political science, etc is in the building.  Going with a student if helpful so you can both become acquainted with the layout.  When you go alone, have an objective.  To get started with what topic, do a journal entry on something you’ve always wanted to know.  Think back to what your interests were in school. Did you find biology fascinating? Medieval art? Autism?  Thumb through the area until a title really jumps at you.  Take it home.

2. Interact with the text. Put little sticky notes at the end of each chapter. Ask the chapter questions. Write down a point or item that really intrigued you.

3. Test your understanding of the chapters by applying concepts. Have a conversation with your son, cross-reference your knowledge by using keywords using a popular search engine online, rent a movie about the topic you're reading and invite the family to hang out with you while you all learn something new! 

4. Find the time.  You might think you are too busy for this but if you set aside a little time here and there you’ll be surprised how much time you’ll find if you cut out a few hours of TV or you assign a few household chores to the people who should be doing them anyway. 

5. Journal about what you are learning and about the process itself. Pretend you have to explain the material to someone else.  Crack jokes, talk to your student, take the stage and find ways to get people to not fall asleep as you articulate the material. Ask your audience questions in the text.  Write down your observations about whether family-time has changed. Write down how it feels to watch less TV. Before you know it, you'll also begin to take notice of other learning opportunities in your life. You’ll read more magazine articles and have conversations with friends and family.  Believe me, you’ll never miss the crime dramas, the local news and the fifth grade potty-humor of TV sitcoms.  You'll stop caring about who called with reality show contestant a #@$%!  Instead, you’ll feel more engaged with the world around you and you’ll feel more connected to the people in your life as well.

Cool!


 
 
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Imagine yourself when you were in middle school. What were you good at? Sports? The arts? Were you a math wiz? Did you like inventing things? Did you dream you would take apart your dad’s car and put it back together again? 

What were some of your favorite foods? What are some of the smells that take you back to this time of your life?  Was there something you did every weekend?  Like go visit your grandparents? Play in the garden?

Was there a room you spent the most time in?  When no one was looking, what kind of things did you do?  Did you pretend to be a disc jockey? Did you invent dance routines that you taught your girlfriends?

Whatever you did back then, take yourself there using as many senses as possible.

Get your journal or a notebook or go to your computer and write down/type three things that you swore to your friends and family you would do when you were grown up.  Just write these three wishes in their simplest form. 

Now look at your list. Really look at it. Forget about why you haven’t done these things. Regret is a poison. You did what you did back then. Those things were an important way to get you to where you are now.

But right now, can you take small steps to get there? Pick the dream that means the most to you.  Can you find someone who will work with you or support you?  Could you recruit your great aunt to babysit once a month? She keeps saying how much she's been dying to spend more time with them, they're growing up so fast!   

How amazing do you think it would feel to do something you’ve always wanted to do?
What could something like this do for your health and your overall life effectiveness? What kind of example might you be providing for your children, your family and the people in your life, by doing something that you’ve been putting off?  Hmmm?

Until next time!  Ciao!

 
 
This blog entry is a little more serious in tone than how I normally do things around here.  Not because I need to get more serious to get the word to you about how journaling can change your life, but because sometimes it's good to switch things up, maybe get a little heavy, and say, yeah, this is how I'd say it if I had to get serious. 

"Using Journaling to Engage in Positive Internal Dialogue" was expressly written for my friend, Maria Calo's website.  She asked me to write an article about what I'm doing that could featured on her site. We thought it might be a good place to put it since we have an overlapping market - that's a fancy way of saying that people who seek her services out as a hypnotherapist, reiki master and holistic health consultant might also be interested in attending my journaling workshops or webinars,  or who'd be seeking life coaching or empowerment-related writing consultation services. 

To check her out, please visit Sensingwellness.com 
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We are becoming a society forced to make use of every moment of every day.  At work, school, home and everywhere we go, we are insanely busy. And when we slow down, many of us grow bored if we don’t have several things vying for our attention.

People who live in this kind of environment don’t always know how to stop and experience life in its natural state: with enough time to acknowledge their own presence.  They’re not only unfocused, they rarely stop long enough to acknowledge or receive the true blessings of their rich lives.  The result of a life directed by frequent bursts of texts, emails and urgent interruptions, is a life of exhaustion, with ultimately no sense of purpose.      

This is where journaling comes in. We all struggle with everyday problems. You’re not alone in your relationship conflicts, your anxieties, your feelings of shame and guilt, your dependence on people, or your addictions. You are especially not alone in your loneliness. In truth, most of today’s problems stem from old thinking in a new age.  We don’t know how to develop new ways of thinking. In the meantime, the world around us and its needs are changing at lightning speed.

So what exactly is positive internal dialogue?  Positive internal dialogue is a way to make internal observations designed to produce a positive outcome. There are many ways you can create a practice for yourself but one of the most satisfying ways is to engage your mind in introspection through words, images and actions.

When we write words on paper or type words on a screen, we’re using the thinking process.Most non-professional writers become quite nervous when confronted by the “blank page.” The paper or screen asks you to start from nothing and create something. But if you’re writing for yourself, who do you have to please? Who will criticize you? Who will tell you that you can’t write? Think of writing when you’re alone as potentially as joyful as singing in the shower when you have the house to yourself!--

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help us “give birth” to ideas. Meditation is a great way to call forth images. When we let pictures tickle us and lead us into thinking and then writing, we free ourselves from the craziness of life.  We can think, feel, and enjoy experiences again, problem-solve, write silly poetry, write about someone or something that really ticked us off on a given day.  When we write, we discover that there’s more to life than mindlessly doing, doing, doing! 

Actions are often a result of the thinking process. If you journal out a problem or situation, you actually have before you the power to swing into action. You might be able to go back to that person who you had a terrible argument with at work with a clear head and new thinking. “Hey, I was thinking.  I didn’t mean to blame you for the deadline I missed yesterday. I should’ve realized your end of the project would take a few days given what you’re already working on. Sorry about that.”