My quest to become a good pack leader.

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All fear must be cast out; it should never exist in the human mind and is only possible when we lose sight of our Divinity. It is foreign to us because as Sons of the Creator, Sparks of Divine Live, we are invincible, indestructible and unconquerable. Dr. Bach

Dogs are good at picking up on our emotions. It’s one of the things we love about them. Can our emotions affect our dogs?

Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. It’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come.

My little dog makes a big fuss every time she hears the basement door open. She barks at the newest member of our family when she sees him. If someone is home whenever someone else comes in, she barks, and she doesn’t like to see people leave.

She starts waiting for my son and daughter to get home at about four o’clock. I’m sure we are part of the problem, are we the whole problem? Yesterday I bought Bach’s Flower Remedy for animals.

I do not consider myself an anxious person. Yet somehow I do believe my little dog is a mirror. I don’t sit on the step waiting in anticipation until my kids come home, yet I always feel a little easier when I know they made it home safe and sound. Is this being anxious?

I’m reading an anxious mind is a strong, powerful mind. An anxious mind can outrun, out power and outwit rationality and logic. Can we harness the strength and power of our fiercely protective mind to work for us instead of against us?

When the brain is oversensitive to a threat, it puts us on high alert even when there is no need to be. This is when anxiety becomes intrusive and hard to live with. It turns from the gentle security guard who shows up when needed, to the crasher who steals our joy and tells stories about nameless dangers.

Part of my dog’s problem is a habit. I wish I could just tell my dog, you are safe, you are secure. This behavior of hers is the excitement in her life. Why would she want to give it up?

Paradoxically it seems the more we try to change something the more energy we give it. It is very hard to ignore a barking dog. I believe she would protect us with her life. We don’t need the kind of protection she wants to give. She loves to have something to patrol. All twelve pounds of her protect us. She doesn’t know she’s a little dog. She is fiercely loyal, protective, gentle and loving. All she wants is a little love and attention, to be constantly at our side, a bit of cheese, and a potato chip now and then.

I’m looking up Cesar’s Way, Dealing with dog separation anxiety. He says there is real separation anxiety and simulated separation anxiety. I think we have a problem with simulated separation anxiety. If my husband and I go out and come back in together she doesn’t bark or act badly. If I come in alone and my husband comes in after I’ve shut the door. She barks and carries on.

Cesar says we need to let our dog know what is expected of them. Our dogs are not happy if they believe they are in control. This may be part of the problem we have. Perhaps we need to get in the habit of making her do something before she gets something? Maybe I need to get her crate out and put her in it when people are expected home? Maybe I haven’t been a good pack leader?

Dogs have given us their absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. Roger A. Caras

Cesar says the goal is to have our dog accept all the normal everyday movements, noises, and happenings within our home. It is not necessary for her to be involved in everything because we are the ones in charge.

Learned behavior is probably what we are dealing with. I have allowed her to develop bad habits. She gets attention and even bad attention is rewarding because she gets noticed.

I was talking with my brother who just acquired a new puppy. He said, “it’s bad when a dog is smarter than its owner.” This is my problem, I have to fix it. It is hard to believe we cause the problems in our life. When we accept the truth we can change them.

My dog is teaching me things I didn’t want to know. Many of the lessons we get in life are not welcome. Only after dealing with what we can no longer ignore do we understand the worth of the lesson.

Maybe next year or next month I will be looking at this opportunity and challenge with gratitude. Being a good pack leader is an ongoing challenge. I have to step up and be the pack leader my dog needs. I owe it to her, myself, and the rest of the family.

I’ve seen a look in dog’s eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically, dogs think humans are nuts. John Steinbeck

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Are we comfortable with compliments?

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Sincerity is the highest compliment you can pay. Emerson

Last night I was listening to the radio as I came home from the gym. The radio personality was talking about how we don’t seem to be very good at receiving compliments. He was talking about an interview with quarterback Tom Brady being called the Goat (greatest of all time). Tom Brady said, “It makes me cringe, I guess I take compliments worse than I take, ‘you’re too old, you’re too slow, you can’t get it done no more.’  And I would say, ‘Thank you very much, I’m gonna go prove you wrong.’”

There are four reasons given why we are uncomfortable with compliments:

We have low self-esteem. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology found people with low self-esteem have the most difficulty accepting compliments. According to the study, compliments aren’t likely to improve our self-image. Sometimes people feel they are being lied to, that the compliment is not genuine.

Our self-image doesn’t line up. The compliment doesn’t line up with the way we see our self.

We are uncomfortable with big expectations. Studies show people with self-worth issues prefer to set the bar low. If they meet the expectations they are pleasantly surprised. High expectations may make self-doubt creep in and cause anxiety. We may feel it is only a matter of time before we disappoint someone.

We want to be humble. It’s hard to know how to react when someone showers us with accolades. Saying “Yeah, I know,” puts you in jerk territory. Even a simple “Thank you” can feel awkward. Studies link humility to a variety of positive outcomes, increased self-control, and effective leadership.

We need to learn how to accept a compliment gracefully. The best response is a simple “Thank you”. We need to resist the urge to criticize our self, and if others have helped in our success we should be sure to spread the limelight.

Next, to a sincere compliment, I think I like a well-deserved and honest rebuke. Unknown

When we read self-help books we are often advised to look in the mirror and say good things about our self. If we get used to being able to say good things about our self, we may be more comfortable when someone says them to us.

Maya Angelou said, “Others will not remember what you did or said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.” When someone gives us a compliment it isn’t only about us, we need to be careful not to make them feel diminished for saying it. If we brush off their compliment we may make them feel stupid, awkward, or like they’ve done something wrong.

Learning to give and receive compliments is a skill worth developing. When we say “Thank you” to a compliment we are acknowledging what the other person sees in us.

It may be “Thank you” for recognizing our individuality.

It may be “Thank you” for acknowledging our contribution to something.

It may be “Thank you” for offering space for our purpose to serve the world.

It may be “Thank you” for allowing us a chance to shine our light in their life.

It may be “Thank you” for seeing something in us we are only starting to see in our self.

It may be “Thank you” that our vision is worth striving for.

It may be “Thank you” that they too see the world how we do.

It may be “Thank you” we’ve found a group, a friend, or space where we feel we belong.

Being fueled by wanting to prove things isn’t necessarily bad. Not wanting to rest on our accomplishments but wanting to continue to move forward is inspiring. Genuine humbleness is a great quality, so is being able to accept a genuine compliment.

Are we comfortable giving and receiving compliments? Not all compliments are sincere. How should we handle the insincere compliment?

Do not offer a compliment and ask a favor at the same time. A compliment that is charged for is not valuable. Mark Twain

Simply Charming: Compliments and Kindness for All Occasions by [Matheson, Christie]
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Moving forward, trying new things.

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We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. Walt Disney

Last night I went down to my art studio and looked at my bookshelf. There I saw a book I bought years ago. Take The Step The Bridge Will Be There by Grace Cirocco. I was listening to the radio in the office one day quite a few years ago, and I heard a voice I recognized. We’d met when our daughters were in ballet.

She was on the radio promoting her book. The book is inspirational. I picked it up last night and started reading it again. I didn’t pick up my paintbrush. Instead, I read and started doing some of the exercises, answering some of the questions.

This morning I looked her up on the internet and she has a YouTube video. It’s a compilation of interviews. She’s talking about believing in our self, taking the step and knowing we are enough. She offers couples retreats and the reviews look good. I’ve never been to a couples retreat. I just looked her up on facebook and she does a Goddess Club workshop near here. There is one on February 13th, I’m thinking of going.

This is our life, it might be hard to fit everything in we want to do. We can fit in a lot if we put our mind to it. Is it time to pick up that guitar again? Or did you never put it down? If it feeds our soul it is worth doing. Visit an art store, a music store, a book store. Maybe it’s time to join a pickup band, an art group, a group of like-minded people. Is it time to attend seminars, take a class, buy a book and learn something on our own?

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. Steve Jobs

What is something that would bring a new dimension into your life? Is there something old that if you picked it back up would feed your soul? What did you not have time for while the kids were being raised, or you focused on other important things?

We build our lives with moments; moments spent with people, pets, artistic pursuits, traveling, enjoying the outdoors, and reflecting on life. This is our life, is our life too exciting, we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, or not exciting enough? Is our circle enlarging, or shrinking? Are we looking forward to the next stage in life? Are we afraid the best is behind us?

We don’t know whose life we will touch, or who will touch ours? We need to be open to new experiences, widening our circle, learning new things, rekindling old interests. Are we worried we won’t look as cool with our guitar as we once did? Get over it. Enjoying life is cool, at any age.

I’m reminded of the advertisement of grandparents looking cool and enjoying life, but when the family is coming over they get into their grandpa and grandma clothes so they look like what their kids and grandkids expect of them.

What do we need to add to our lives to spice it up? Is there a dream we would go for if we knew we couldn’t fail? What chance would we take? Is there an adventure that never fit into our life, still calling to us?

We can take the step at any time, the bridge will be there. We can’t do everything, but we can do something. If something calls to us we can explore it in small or big ways? It may become a hobby, or play a larger role in our life, we won’t know if we don’t try.

Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. Louis E. Boone

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Considerate or manipulative? Straightforward or a jerk?

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Everybody has the ability to be manipulative, to be hateful and deceitful. Neil LaBute

Yesterday I came across an article on what a healthy person is:

Don’t we love to read these and see if we qualify as a healthy person?

Here’s the list:

Open to feelings (meaning we’re able to experience and express emotions).

Warm (meaning we’re friendly, affectionate, and able to form close relationships).

High in positive emotions (meaning we experience a lot of happiness, love, and other good feelings regularly).

Straight forward (meaning we’re genuine and not likely to manipulate others).

Confident in ourselves.

Emotionally stable (meaning we’re generally not too depressed or anxious and aren’t particularly predisposed to getting angry or responding negatively to situations).

Fairly resistant to stress.

The one I question is straightforwardness.

So today I looked up straightforward and it says “Straightforward means direct in your approach.”  Then I read; sometimes straightforward people are misjudged as impolite or impatient. There’s the rub.

When I am not being straightforward for instance, is if I am going to Toastmasters and I don’t know if my husband wants to go to the gym. I will ask him if he plans to go to the gym instead of asking directly to use the vehicle. My thinking is if I take the vehicle, he can’t go to the gym, but if he drops me off at Toastmasters, and I can get a ride home we both win. If I can’t get a ride then he can pick me up. If he isn’t planning to go to the gym, I won’t ask my friend for a ride.

Women are often accused of being manipulative, but if we want to know if someone has plans to use what we were planning to ask to use, then we won’t ask, is not being manipulative it is being considerate.

Manipulation, fueled with good intent, can be a blessing. But when used wickedly, it is the beginning of a magician’s karmic calamity. T.F. Hodge

When I want to use any of the three vehicles in our household I ask first if they plan to use the vehicle before I ask to use it. If they have plans to use it then I don’t ask. If it is going to be sitting in the driveway during the time I want to use it, then I ask. This is not being manipulative, it is being considerate.

Manipulation would be if I wanted them to not do what they were planning to do, so I could use the vehicle to do what I am planning to do. When I had my own vehicle I didn’t ask, I just got in my vehicle and away I went. Now, I have so little need for a vehicle it isn’t worth paying for a second vehicle to sit in the driveway most of the time just so I am not considered manipulative when I ask to use someone else’s.

There’s a fine line between straightforward and manipulation. We can be manipulative when we use telling it like it is as an excuse for being mean and putting others down, and call it being straightforward. We can also be manipulative when we dance around the issue waiting for someone to give us what we want.

How do we know when we are being manipulative? The answer lies in whose best interest is it in. If it is in our best interest then we may be manipulative. If it is in the other person’s best interest then we are not being manipulative.

Living in truth and honesty means looking at how we interact with people. Not just what is said, but what is behind what is said. If we understand t the only improvement we have a right to expect is our own. That living in denial is not a good way to live. Everyone will not see things how we do, and we can’t expect them to. Is our goal to live our life to the best of our ability? Do we understand we won’t be perfect, we will make mistakes? Are we willing to accept responsibility and own our mistakes and our successes?

If we deal with others truthfully and honestly to the best of our ability and keep in mind what is best for them as we build a life that is best for us. Isn’t that’s as good as it gets?

Do we get accused of being manipulative when we have someone else’s best interest at heart? Is being called manipulative, manipulative?

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. Philip K. Dick

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Arguing isn’t the problem. How we handle it is.

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Explain your anger, don’t express it, and you will immediately open the door to solutions instead of arguments. Unknown

Talking things out is a pathway to growth and problem-solving. It can also descend into arguments. It is not good to avoid conflict by withdrawal and stonewalling, it is not good if every discussion turns into an angry argument. We all argue, are there ways to do it more constructively?

The answer according to Barton Goldsmith is yes, and he gives his tips to argue correctly creating a pathway to growth and problem-solving.

  1. Understand that anger itself is not destructive. There is a vast difference between anger and rage. When someone is angry they need to state their feelings, they don’t break things or relationships – that is rageful behavior.
  2. Talk about your feelings before you get angry. When you or your partner can approach the situation as it happens and deal with it in a safe way, it may not get to the point of being an argument. Sometimes things just need to be verbalized and most arguments can be avoided if your partner understands how you feel.
  3. Don’t raise your voice. It’s amazing how issues of hurt feelings or differences can be resolved with a whisper. I counsel couples who are yellers to only communicate with a whisper and it greatly reduces the anger factor in their relationships.
  4. Don’t threaten your relationship. And don’t take every argument as a threat to your relationship. This type of emotional blackmail puts the other partner in a panic/flight or flight mode. While you’re telling them you want to leave, they may be making plans to find a roommate. In addition, they may be so devastated by the thought of losing their family they can go into a deep depression and be unable to give you what it is you need.
  5. Don’t stockpile. This is where you bring up issues from the past to use as a hammer against whatever problem your partner has asked for help with. Deal with their issue first and if you really have unresolved feelings from past problems talk about them at another time.
  6. Don’t avoid your anger. If you stuff your feelings long enough you will explode and say or do things that you will regret. Anger does not diminish love, you can be angry with those you love. In fact the ones we love hurt us the most because we love them the most.
  7. Create a process for resolving problems without anger. Start by each of you taking five minutes to state your feelings, then take a twenty-minute break to think about things and come back to the table for another ten minutes to discuss how you think you can best deal with the problem. Also, know that it’s okay if the problem doesn’t get solved right away.
  8. Abuse is NEVER allowed. This includes verbal abuse, any type of violence including slamming doors, breaking plates or hitting. If your arguments escalate to this level you need to leave the house. If one partner ever hits another a police report needs to be made and an appointment with a therapist is mandatory.
  9. Don’t engage. Remember that negative attention is still attention. If your partner tries to goad you into an argument, simply don’t go there. Some people actually like to argue because it gives them a temporary feeling of power and gratification. Avoid being sucked into their need for attention.
  10. Listen to your body. When you are angry your body releases chemicals that may cause you to react in ways that can be destructive to you, your partner and your relationship. Learn to understand your feelings and how the process of anger affects you physically and emotionally.

Research has shown that couples who argue more than twenty percent of the time are probably not going to survive.

Most couples don’t have hundreds of arguments; they have the same argument hundreds of times. It’s not always about trying to fix something that’s broken; maybe it’s about starting over and creating something better. You can’t have a relationship without any fights, but you can make your relationship worth the fight… Unknown

How an argument unfolds is important. We need enough balance in our relationship that both partners feel they can talk about anything and everything. It isn’t good when one partner rants and raves and bullies, and the other partner shuts down. It is even worse if both partners shut down and stop bringing up problems altogether. When this happens we walk on eggshells and stay distant to avoid conflict.

We need to contain our arguments where they don’t turn into open warfare, and where we don’t bring up the past to fan the flames of our emotional fire. When we do this, hurtful things get said, sometimes arguments even get physical, and emotional and physical scars can be created that don’t go away, they just create more fear, resentment, and fuel for future arguments.

When the argument is over we need to make up. We can make mistakes at this point too.

One mistake is to pretend the argument didn’t happen. We get up, pour our coffee, and sweep everything under our already full rug.

Another mistake is we continue to punish our partner. We give them the silent treatment. We use passive-aggressive behaviors to rub salt in our partners wound.

Even if it isn’t about punishment but anxiety and awkwardness we should avoid the deep-freeze treatment because it creates a negative climate in the relationship as we create a who will give in the first environment. It is even worse if children are forced to endure this untenable situation and negative environment. They sometimes believe they are the problem.

Another mistake we make is not apologizing. We often don’t apologize because we believe we are saying their ridiculous accusations are correct and we are wrong. An apology is simply acknowledging that we hurt our partner’s feelings. We are taking responsibility for our part in the argument and maybe even for our part in the situation that created it. We did play a part even if all we did is get defensive and escalate the argument

How can we make our relationship better after an argument?

First, we need to cool off and get our rational brain back in control. If we talk too soon we may trigger another argument. Men it seems often take longer to cool down. We can acknowledge the other person by simply saying, “I’m still upset; I’m not trying to ignore you, I just need more time to cool off.”

Apologize.

Solve the problem that started the argument if that is possible. Many of us fall down at this point. We don’t solve the problem because we are worried discussing it will turn into another argument. Our challenge is to talk about it and solve the problem. We need to stay sane, move forward, and figure out a way to deal with the problem. Do we need to go through this loop a few times because of the situation?

We need to figure out what is the moral of the story of our argument. We want to fix the problem but we also want to learn what the argument can teach us about communication, and what’s the underlying source of the problem. We may be fighting about dishes in the sink, kids bedtimes and other sundry items but the underlying problem may be something else entirely, money, not spending enough time and attention with each other, old hurts we haven’t let go of.

What is the deeper issue underlying the problem? The dishes are not about the dishes but about feeling criticized, feeling we are doing more than our share, and our requests for help are dismissed. We need to do real soul searching to figure out the larger pattern, why did this trigger that argument, and what needs does our partner have we are not meeting? How empty is their love tanks?

Were we holding things in and something finally burst the damn and we finally blew up? Were we feeling disconnected from each other and developed the habit of picking fights to feel connected and energized? Our challenge is having the courage to be honest with our self and each other about what is really going on. What aren’t we discussing? What aren’t we fixing? What are we regretting? What emptiness are we feeling? How have we let our self or our partner down? How have they let us down? We need to deal with our anxiety and the reality of the situation instead of avoiding it. When we deal with it, we can make it better. It might not be better in the short time, it may take a while, but if we are both committed to figuring out the problems, fixing the problems, and meeting each other needs we can build a better marriage and relationship.

Is an argument an opportunity to analyze a problem, fix it, strengthen our marriage, and be closer to our partner?

Relationships include fights, jealousy, arguments, faith, tears, disagreements, but a real relationship fights through all that with love. Unknown

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Ask more questions. Set more goals.

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Fear is a question. What are you afraid of and why? Our fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if we explore them. Marilyn French

This morning my daughter asked me if I made a New Year’s resolution. “To be happier,” I said.

“Does that mean you aren’t happy now?”

“No, it means I intend to do things that make me happy so the little things in life aren’t so irritating. The happy wife, happy life idea is… then her phone rang, she had to run, my motherly advice would have to wait

Last night my sister in law asked my son if he made resolutions. “Those are for people who want to virtue signal,” he said. “I’m going to lose ten pounds and give more to charity. Do you see what a good person I am?”

It may be virtue signaling, it may be coming up with something to impress someone. It could also be a chance to make the changes we want to make in our life to be the people we want to be.

Nothing changes until something changes. The New Year is a good time to decide to make changes. It is a time to think about our life, what we want, what we need, what we’ve done to get where we are, and how we can make it better. New Years as a catalyst is better than a diagnosis of cancer.

The unexamined life is not worth living is an ancient quote credited to Plato and quoted by Socrates at his trial. Socrates we are told believed that living a life where you live under the rules of others, in a continuous routine without examining what you actually want out of it, is not worth living.

When we examine our life we can see how one action leads to another.  We can see the ones that lead us to something we want and those that lead us to something we don’t want. We reap what we sow and once we know which actions make our life better and which actions make our life worse we can actively choose to do actions which better our life.

January resolutions can be part of an examined life, or they can be jumping on the bandwagon to fit in. It isn’t always what we do but the intention behind it that is important.

The marvelous thing about a good question is that it shapes our identity as much by asking as it does by the answering. David Whyte

What do we do with the knowledge that psychology suggests some of our better decisions are instinctive rather than reflective. Some of us reflect so much we are stuck, afraid to move forward, because what if that is the wrong decision. The nonreflective take action, jump in and sink or swim. Maybe we need both to form ourselves in virtue, honesty, and courage and believe in ourselves enough to make quick decisions and actions when they are warranted.

If all advice is valid, but much of it contradictory, we need discernment to know which advice to listen to at which time. If all we do is analyze our life we may feel paralyzed, but a continual exercise of this may also make us quick to figure things out.

Asking questions gives us answers. Asking the right questions is an art we can develop over time. Effective questions are powerful and thought provoking, they stimulate, inform, and inspire.

When we are asking questions of our self or others we can keep in mind, why, what is the issue, what do we not know, what is the outcome we want, what action can we take. By asking questions tremendous breakthroughs are made, conversations are started, better questions get asked, and better answers are found.

Resolutions are nothing more than goals. We all need goals; we need to replace old goals with new goals. If we ask our self where we want to go, can we put a plan in place to get there?

Are there questions we should be asking our self? Are we afraid of the answer? Can we ask more and better questions? Inventors, scientists, problem solvers of all types, fiction writers, and entrepreneurs ask questions.  What would our life be like if we asked more questions, and we set more goals?

We get wise by asking questions, and even if these are not answered, we get wise, for a well-packed question carries its answer on its back as a snail carries its shell. James Stephens

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Being enough. We are enough, we can make a difference.

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Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. William James

Why do we fear we are “not enough?” This is a fear that affects us all, but it shows up differently for each of us. Some people become overachievers, other people constantly compare themselves to others, for some, it is procrastination and avoidance and not finishing what we start.

How would we ever begin to define what is “good enough”? We often think we’ll be good enough when…

Yet there are people who make plenty of money in prestigious occupations, are the perfect weight and fitness level, perfectly coifed and manicured that still don’t feel they are enough.

We think if we could just figure out when we first began to feel we weren’t enough we could get to the heart of the problem and solve it. This will only help if instead of getting angry we forgive those who also didn’t feel like they were enough and passed it on to us.

We love affirmations but maybe they aren’t as helpful as we think. Saying “I am enough, I am enough,” may not be as helpful as asking “why am I enough?”

When we ask questions our subconscious will find answers. If we ask positive questions we will get positive answers.

We are enough because we were born. Being the chosen sperm and egg is already a huge accomplishment.

We are enough because we are to experience what we are to experience, not to experience what someone else is to experience.  In this life, we are to use our gifts, talents, and where we are to do our part to make this life as good as it can be.

We often compare the worst of ourselves to the best of someone else. We do not know their challenges. The prettiest girl in the room doesn’t always have the most self-esteem. Successful people, we all envy have demons of their own.

We all have doubts, weaknesses, things we don’t like about how we look, the circumstances we are in, the circumstances we were brought up in. Life is about going from here to there, wherever here is and wherever there is.

When we don’t have money we think, we’d be happy and be “enough” if we had money. This is why we pay the lottery tax. When we don’t have looks we think if we had looks we’d be enough. Being pretty or handsome doesn’t make you happy or feel like enough, sometimes the pretty feel the most used, they only want me for my looks, body, sex, etc.

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. Zig Ziglar

When we live our life, really live it, give everything we are to a greater cause, like motherhood, fatherhood, or a great cause we are enough. We are everything to someone.

When the “not enough” voice rears its head we need to think what is it this voice is making me not do, procrastinate, hold back, what do we fear, and why do we fear it. How can we flip it around so instead of saying we can’t do this because we are not enough, we can say, why can we do this?

When we face our fears we become more of who we are. When we forgive those who are mean, hurtful, and demeaning, we don’t have to carry that stuff with us anymore. Forgiving is for us, not for them. We too often think when we forgive someone it is for them, we are letting them off the hook. It is us we are letting off the hook; it is our burden we are lifting.

We can do little things in our life that are “the right thing.” Keeping our kitchen sink shiny can be like giving our self a hug in the morning. Making our bed and doing morning exercises can set the tone for the day. Making our lunch is frugal and healthy. Giving our spouse a hug and a kiss can help our marriage flourish. Small habits build our life. We can celebrate our wins.

We can let out our disappointments instead of keeping them bottled up inside by talking about them, or journaling.

We can quit beating ourselves up when we miss the mark. We will fail, we need to be willing to embrace failure and fail bigger, fail better. The more responsibility we take for our lives the more we can build the life we want. If we don’t take responsibility we feel like the victim. It is victim mentality that is part of not being “good enough.”

What can we do today to make our self feel good about our self? Where can we be generous, kind, considerate, inspiring, complimentary, encouraging, and forgiving? Who can we help?

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows. Ralph Marston

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You Are Enough Paperback – Dec 8 2016


Noble Questions. How can I make it better?

Photo of hibiscus flower by Belynda Wilson Thomas

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To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and fears, the clinging and disappointments of the past that bind our spirit. Jack Kornfield

Its day 14 of Soul Coaching and the last day of water week – releasing victim thinking/choosing our life.

Our affirmation for the day is: Who we are is enough, just the way we are.

We are to find another area of our house to clean. Denise Linn author of Soul Coaching gives an example if we clean the floor we should affirm, we are supported and our foundations are clear and strong. If we wash the windows we could affirm we see clearly.

In level 1 we are to ask our self “Noble Questions.” Denise Linn says we should watch the questions that pop into our mind throughout the day. Some of our questions are mundane. Today friends and I are going to the Christmas Market should we take the Go Bus or Uber? Will it rain?

Other questions are more disturbing, recurring questions. What is wrong with us? Why can’t we lose weight? Why do we have problems in our relationship? When we ask questions our subconscious mind searches and finds answers. It does not doubt the premise of our question; it finds an answer to the question. These are unworthy questions. To unworthy, negative questions we get unworthy and negative answers. Negative questions keep us in victim mode.

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energy moving forward together towards an answer. Denis Waitley

How can we replace our negative questions with “Noble questions”? A “Noble Question” would be how can we be more fit and healthy instead of why can’t we lose weight? Why can’t we find love could be replaced with how can we experience even more joy and love in our life? How can we be more prosperous replaces why are we always broke?

Today we are to find one negative question we constantly ask our self and replace it with a “Noble Question”? I think my Noble Question for today will be: How can I make a positive difference in the lives of those I love?

If we are going through a situation she suggests instead of asking why me? We could ask: If there is something to be gained from this situation, what would it be? Why are we allowing this person or situation to victimize us? How can we change our perception of this event so we don’t feel victimized? We have choices: Do we need to stand up to someone? Do we need to walk away? Do we need to change the context in which we view the situation?

Denise Linn tells us by accepting that we own all of our life, the good, the bad, the pretty, the sad, what we fear, what we love, and what we hate we take back our power. It is what it is, and it is ours. When we accept it, we can change it. We can’t do anything about the things that happen in all cases, the only thing we may be able to choose is our reaction. There is a lot of power in that choice. What situation in our life can we not change, but change our reaction to?

The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward. Steve Maraboli

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