This month, we’ve been celebrating independence with a series of posts aimed at helping you free yourself from limiting thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors so that you can move forward with clarity while inviting more love, joy, and fun into your life. I know this might sound counterintuitive, but one of the best ways you can create and nurture a sense of freedom for yourself, is by learning how to accept others exactly as they are.
Loosen Your Grip
It’s very common to want our loved ones, kids, friends, siblings even strangers to say things or behave in ways that we find acceptable and pleasing. However, having those expectations often sets us up for disappointment. If you think about it, what we are saying with this expectancy is, “you have to act this way in order for me to feel ok”. No wonder many of us are upset and frustrated much of the time – with this belief we give our power away, reliant on others to create our state of being. What an emotional roller coaster!
Growing up in a family where my brother was the golden child I got into this habit, very early on, in regards to my mother’s behavior towards me. If she said something sharp or gave me the silent treatment, my entire mood would change and I’d either become quiet and hurt or angry and explosive. I desperately wanted her to treat me with the love and kindness she showed my brother. This created years of conflict.
One day, my mom was upset about something that she refused to discuss. After several frustrating attempts to get her to share what was wrong, I went outside to get some fresh air and cool down. All of a sudden I was inspired to pray with a specific question that came into my mind: What would love do?
It was like I’d gotten this immediate download from God. At that moment, I was able to see and feel what was happening for my mother emotionally; her hurts and disappointments in life. That shift allowed me to stop making it about me and my pain and move into a deep compassion for my mom that filled my heart and soul. When I walked back into the house, not only had this experience shifted me,it had changed her too. She opened up and told me what had been bothering her, and we were finally able to connect. This was the first time EVER and it was the beginning of a beautiful new relationship with my mom.
Tips for Becoming More Accepting of Others
As soon as I started accepting my mom for who she is, no matter what her behavior towards me, our relationship began to evolve. So, the next time you find yourself in that rigid place, working to change or fix another person, I encourage you to use the following tips:
- Take three big breaths. If someone says something that upsets you, take three big breaths before you respond. Breathing interrupts your reactive patterning and calms your central nervous system allowing you to become more neutral and peaceful. This is always a better place to come from when responding 🙂
- Give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time, when we find ourselves getting angry, it’s because we think something is happening to us, but it’s far more likely that whatever is going on, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person. Try creating a scenario. Maybe that person just got fired, or they found out their child is sick. Imagine as many possible scenarios as you can that have nothing to do with you.
- Bless the other person silently. When you bless somebody, what you’re doing is sending them love, which has the power to dissipate anger energy and allow you to approach the other person with compassion. You don’t need to do this out loud, focus your mind on the blessing and send that loving energy in the other person’s direction.
Remember to ask yourself, “What would love do?” and know that by accepting your friends, partners, and family members exactly as they are, you’re not only freeing yourself from unnecessary stress, but you’re also offering them the opportunity to be authentic and vulnerable with you, which can only benefit your relationship over the long term.
Are you a master at taking care of the feelings and problems of everyone else?
Are you clear about the things that are your responsibility and the things that aren’t?
Do you struggle with saying no?
If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “yup that’s me!” you’ve probably got some challenges with setting boundaries beautiful. By the way – you are not alone! Many of the women I talk to and coach would rather twist themselves into a people pleasing pretzel than say “no” to a loved one, friend or boss.
People are so fearful of setting boundaries because they’re worried the other person involved won’t like it.
Can you relate to that?
In Dr. Henry Clouds book, When to Say Yes How to Say No, he says healthy boundaries will increase your love and save your life. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we must create mental, physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries for ourselves. Although physical boundaries are easier to see, the invisible property lines are just as real, and they define, protect and maintain your soul.
The truth is boundaries define everything! As scary as it seems, setting boundaries has the opposite effect of what we expect. Not only will you gain more respect from others, but you’ll start to respect yourself more as well!
Practice Setting Boundaries Everywhere
You can create a powerful invisible fence with your words baby. All you have to do is begin by saying “No!” Let it rip!! Feel the freedom as you honor your needs and feelings!
If you don’t like the way someone is treating you instead of taking it and becoming resentful, empower yourself by saying,
“I don’t like it when you yell at me!” or “No that behavior is not okay. I will not participate in that.” Your words let people know where you stand and gives them the “rules” of your yard.
One of my clients, Sasha, recently told me that she’d set a boundary with a parking attendant. He was speaking to her rudely and she quickly set him straight with a firm, “Don’t talk to me like that!” After that, he smiled at her and treated her totally differently.
Why? Because she’d instructed him as to how she wanted to be treated. She set a boundary and didn’t even think twice about it. Her words just naturally flowed out of her mouth and the guy responded very favorably.
Imagine what your life would be like if you set boundaries like that everywhere you went!
It’s OK if It’s Uncomfortable at First
Sasha happened to be a people pleaser. In the past, if she’d spoken up at all, she’d have felt guilty and very bad about herself. If you can relate, then setting boundaries might be uncomfortable at first. It might even continue to be uncomfortable after you’ve done it several times because building a new behavior takes time.
That was true for my client – after the incident she said, “See, I told you men love bitches.” But she wasn’t being a bitch. She was teaching him how to treat her.
Although Sasha had stepped beautifully into a new behavior (and continues to do so) the part of her that wasn’t yet fully comfortable in this new role of expression popped up to hijack her victory. We talked about it and she was able to quickly shift her perspective from feeling like what she said was bitchy to recognizing it was firmly anchored in self love and integrity.
I share this with you because the same thought might cross your mind as you begin to set appropriate boundaries at appropriate times with the appropriate people.
Don’t let the discomfort cause you to fall back into your old ways. As my fitness coach used to say, “get comfortable in the discomfort” because pushing the envelope will pay off big time.
Other people may not like it when we start to set boundaries but you know what? That’s OK. When you set boundaries, you’re honoring yourself and telling people that you value yourself. You’re telling them that you have integrity and self respect.
Setting boundaries is not about being a bitch. It’s about speaking from a place of truth and honoring as opposed to fear. Remember, you’re building a whole new persona. People will see you differently and that’s OK! You are stepping into your core diamond power bravely showing others another facet of your most magnificent Self.
Dear loveliness, when your relationship is on rocky ground it can bring about a boatload of anxiety, pain and panic. You may feel frozen or stuck, but believe it or not the upheaval is actually a wonderful invitation for growth – and when you journal, you can accelerate that growth.
If you are willing to see the situation as an opportunity to lean into your feelings and get curious instead of running from your emotions or denying they exist, you’ll gain a new perspective that will help you and your relationship shift.
Your feelings have something to say, so invite them in as though they are your best friends and have a tea party with them. Literally sit down with them, wrap them in love and listen – you will gain tremendous wisdom that will lead to your emotional freedom! And who doesn’t want that?!
I’ve experienced a lot of growth through journaling. I know it’s something that most people don’t do anymore, especially since we’re all so in love with our technology these days. But writing by hand causes different interactions in the brain.
Research highlights the hand’s unique relationship with the brain when it comes to composing thoughts and ideas. There’s also a greater sense of space when using a pen, allowing you to free flow and get it all out! Writing is, by nature, an opportunity for creativity and personal expression.
It’s the Best Therapy
Writing by hand is like free therapy – it brings emotional balance. All that it requires (other than a journal and something to write with) is that you create space and time for yourself.
Journaling can help you:
a. Define your emotions and what they mean for you
b. Release suppressed and conflicted feelings
c. Gain back clarity while being in the midst of overwhelming emotions.
Start by writing about something that’s really upsetting you. As you write about it, you’re able to openly explore and unravel the problem.
This helps you get to the heart of the matter. And it’s amazing how often the upset isn’t what you thought but instead a completely surprising “aha”! I can’t tell you how many times that happened for me – always eye-opening!
The process of journaling helps you manage your emotions and brings you into balance. How awesome is that, right? You receive new insights and perspectives as well as a lot of peace! Joyous Jingles!!
Buy a Journal That You’re Drawn To
Your journal is like your new best friend. Each page breathlessly awaits your every thought – loves, supports and adores you. No judgment. No criticism.
You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your lovely journal so you should like the way it looks. Choose something you love – that you’re drawn to; that feels good in your hands! Put it by the bedside and dedicate a certain time every day to sit down and write. Light a candle, put on music, make it like a ritual. After some time, it will become just like brushing your teeth!
The pain you feel now is temporary, dear heart, and I’d love to guide you through it. Click HERE to set up a time to chat.
Who do you want to become?
In the movie version of your life, are you the Leading Lady you always thought you would be? Are you living the life you want? Or are you stuck in the wings, afraid to step out and into the spotlight and own your divine power in this world?
God, the divine, a higher power…whatever you believe in, intended you to live an empowered existence, and to experience life in the highest and happiest way possible.
If you are sitting reading this thinking… YES! I am so NOT living my life to the fullest, or owning my Leading Lady life, then stay with me, because making the change from hiding in the wings to standing in your personal sparkling spotlight is easier than you think honeychild!
What does it take to be a Leading Lady?
Well look no further than Hollywood “A” list stars for examples. What do they have in common? They exude confidence and self-assurance, its clear that they love and respect themselves and those around them. There’s this magnetic energy that surrounds them and draws you in, that’s why their movies and red carpet events get so much attention!
Here’s how to start the journey to becoming your own sparkly Leading Lady.
First, write down the characteristics of your ultimate leading lady.
~ How does she think?
~ How does she dress?
~ How does she talk?
~ How does she react to situations
~ How does she show up in life?
Then Do This:
- Find a picture of a role model that represents your Leading Lady ideals (can be an actress, or politician, an activist , a friend or anyone that embodies your list of characteristics listed above) and post that in a very conspicuous place. Remember that you want to see this multiple times a day so don’t put it on the back of your closet door unless that’s somewhere you go often!
- Write the characteristics of your Leading Lady on paper and post it on your fridge or wall in your bedroom next to the pictures of you role model.
- Visit this Leading Lady vision board OFTEN, a minimum of twice a day and stick to it!
To become your Leading Lady you need to take her characteristics and create images with them. Our brain associates with pictures more readily than words, so here’s where you can be creative and build an image with yourself in it firmly anchored in those traits OR find photo’s that represent them.
You can create your own Leading Lady vision board if you want! Once you create the images connect with them, FEEL them, engage the senses. Do this consistently twice a day and watch your new sparkling self-image spring to life.
By holding the image and characteristics of the Leading Lady you want to be in your mind several times a day, you are introducing what I call ‘The Magic of a Good Attitude’ into your life. If your Leading Lady characteristics say that your role model has great posture and her house is tidy and she spends at least a few hours a week taking care of herself so she can take care of others, then you will feel compelled to sit up straighter, do those dishes and book that mani pedi next week!
Write down the characteristics of the woman you want to become, connect with it, own it and you will soon see your outer world changing in ways that confirm you have become her! It sounds simple but its really just about creating a different self-image and attitude.
I talk about being your Leading Lady in my book Sexy and Sparkling After 40, in a chapter I call ‘Adjust your Attitude’ that is super helpful for this. You can get your copy here
Do you wish your Valentine’s Day was a bit… more?
Are you craving more excitement, romance and passion in your relationship?
If you’re feeling underwhelmed by your romantic life (especially at this time of year) you aren’t alone.
Valentine’s Day is a holiday that puts a big spotlight on your love life. It can be daunting to realize that the once hot passion in your romance has cooled to a semi-happy ambivalence.
According to Pamela Haag, who has written a rather shocking book on modern marriage called Marriage Confidential, there is an uncertainty lurking just below the surface of many of today’s marriages. Haag’s research reveals that even though couples may rarely fight and may even maintain a sincere affection for each other, one or both may harbor a sobering sense that something important is missing.
If your partner feels more like a roommate than a lover, is it too late for you? Even if you are in what Haag calls a “Tom Sawyer” marriage where you are the career focused go-getter and your partner is retired, relaxed and disconnected from your efforts, I believe that you can recharge your relationship with the right tools. Click here to read the full blog and equip yourself with those tools!
Sometimes love gets lonely. Even in the best relationship, you can occasionally feel alone and isolated. That sense of separateness can feel like a canyon dividing you’re relationship.
Are you sitting home with your partner, night after night, feeling lonelier than if you actually lived on your own? Do you long for the past when you and your honey were so connected you couldn’t wait to be with each other and share every detail of your day? Are you puzzled trying to remember how and when the disconnection began?
Although we might believe marriage or partnership can insulate us from feelings of loneliness, this is not the case. Loneliness is determined by the quality of our relationships not by simply being in a relationship. Loneliness in relationships often happens slowly, as the disconnection we feel from our partner gradually increases over years.
At some point, discussions about mutual interests, goals and dreams, stop entirely and conversations become purely transactional (e.g., “We need milk,” or “Did you remember to pay the water bill?”), or focused exclusively on the children.
We can also fall into daily routines that create both physical and emotional distance. For example, one person watches television in the den while the other is in the office on the computer. In short, we lose the love and the affection but we stay in the relationship creating the feeling of being lonely in love.
So, what is the real reason we become disconnected and lonely?
Here’s a hint – disconnect happens when you start living from your head instead of your heart.
It’s easy to slip into this scenario – he says something that hurts your feelings and suddenly you don’t feel so free to share your inner thoughts. That is when the wall goes up that blocks out love and connection.
If you’ve been lonely in love, you don’t need to accept your isolated situation. There are steps you can take to remove the blocks to connection and regain intimacy you once had with your partner.
Here are 4 Steps to Rekindle Love:
1. Take the initiative. If you’re lonely, chances are your partner is lonely too. You may both feel trapped in an unhealthy cycle of emotional disconnect. Take the reins and initiate a conversation for connection. Ask them for their views about something they care about and make sure to demonstrate you’re listening. Validate their thoughts and emotions. Don’t expect them to reciprocate right away, as habits take time to change. With time, they’re likely to warm up to your new found interest in connecting and reciprocate the attention.
2. Create shared experiences. Think back to the type of activities you used to enjoy together and make a list of things you and your partner can do together. Having trouble? You can start by suggesting activities that require little effort (which will minimize objections) such as taking a walk around the block or in the park, cooking a meal together, or watching a movie together. Take time to reminisce by watching your wedding video together (reminding yourselves of more connected times). Sharing pleasant experiences together is a sure fire way to bring back connection!
3. Practice patience and forgiveness. Chances are your partner won’t always do or say exactly what you expect them to. Be patient, understanding and forgiving. Remember your goal is to rekindle the love and not to focus on every transgression! Expressing more sympathy and understanding toward them will deepen your mutual bond.
4. Focus on the positive. Your thoughts are creating an energy in your relationship that can be felt as your “vibe”. If you’ve been focusing on everything that’s wrong with your relationship, chances are you’ve had a bad vibe and have been unhappy. Make efforts to shift your focus to the positive. Think about the things you love about your partner and the aspects of your relationship that you appreciate. Try writing your partner a love letter or simply make a list of all the reasons you married your spouse. These simple affirmative acts, practiced often, will help your union thrive.
Practicing these 4 steps will move you to a more loving state and can pave the way to a happier more connected relationship.
Have you unknowingly closed off your heart creating a barricade against love?
We all want to experience true connected love. Being in a healthy, loving relationship is a rewarding and fulfilling life experience. But sometimes, without even realizing it, women can close off their heart and block out love.
How does this happen?
To find out how you may be unconsciously blocking love and to learn powerful secrets to remove your blocks and invite love in… read the full article here.
Here’s the science behind happiness & attraction plus 4 steps to increase your happiness.
It may come as a surprise to learn that the #1 thing that attracts quality men is a happy woman. Happiness is a characteristic that men say is alluring over any other physical trait.
When we feel happy and love ourselves, men and others love us. It’s a great equation where self love and happiness equal attraction and love from others.
Here’s how this equation looks:
Self love + happiness = alluring attraction and love from others
This healthy self-esteem and happiness becomes a magnet for positive life experiences and connected relationships. The embodiment of self-love and happiness creates the kind of fulfilling life that women want.
Great stuff, right!?
So, what’s the secret to happiness?
The secret to happiness was revealed to me in a presentation by Dr. Henry Cloud. In his talk, he shared an interesting and scientifically proven fact: we all have a happiness set point. It’s our default level of happiness.
According to Dr. Cloud only 10% of our happiness comes from anything circumstantial (job promotion, marriage, baby, winning the lottery, etc.). While you may get an initial surge of joy from an external circumstance, after time, it goes back down to your set point.
Aha!…That explains a lot!
Dr. Cloud went on to reveal that there are action steps that we can take to raise our happiness set point so that we can increase our joy and maintain a high caliber of happiness and fulfillment.
Here are 4 action steps you can take to increase your happiness set point:
1) Connect with others from your heart and soul.
2) Give without an agenda. Give with joy.
3) Set goals. Goals give us purpose and fulfillment.
4) Appreciation. Develop an attitude of gratitude.
Simple, yet powerful.
Start taking action! Choose one of the 4 items above that you can take action on today to raise your happiness set point and watch your day unfold in a more joyful way.
You are meant to shine with happiness and enjoy a fulfilling love-filled life.
Here’s to raising your happiness set point and increasing your attraction!
Lots of women have patterns when it comes to attracting a certain type of man.
Are you attracting high quality men who are simply amazing?
If you answered no, it may be that your picker is broken.
Click here to watch this video and learn more
Many women share that when they get in a relationship they lose themselves. Relationships are demanding and filling the role of wife and/or mother can be an all-consuming job. In satisfying the wants and needs of your loved ones, have you lost yourself?
Click here to watch this video and learn how to love without losing yourself.