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Friday, April 26, 2013

3 Ways to Feel Good When Things Seem Bad

This is such a helpful article when things seem to really get to you. We do have our downs and when we really hit rock bottom, thoughts below might be able to help.

Thanks Lisa! Thanks tinybuddha =D


“It isn’t what happens to us that causes us to suffer; it’s what we say to ourselves about what happens.” ~Pema Chodron
Have you ever had something happen in your life that completely changed everything?
Wham. Suddenly you haven’t left your bedroom in days, you can’t remember what it feels like to shower, and it’s clear the only friend you can really count on is your cat. 
And whether it’s a major life-suck event or a minor one, the question is: How can I feel contented and calm when things don’t go to plan?
Which is what this post is about. Because a while back I had a M. A. J. O. R. Major event. It went like this:
I’d just graduated from college. I had a Masters Degree. In science. Human nutrition science, in case you’re wondering. I was excited about life!
Sure, I had a ridiculous door-to-door research job and my roommate was annoying, but I had plans—I’ll move in with my boyfriend, get a better job, travel, start a family, hang out with all my amazing friends, and live an awesome life.
But then I got sick. The kind of sick where raising your arms above your head makes you want to take a nap. And instead of starting my amazing planned-out life, I moved home with my parents.
It was a shock. To say the least. For starters, I was tough. I hiked. My friends liked me. I stayed up late. I wasn’t a sick person.
And while my parents are sweet and kind, living in their basement in small town New Zealand, watching daytime re-runs of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman, and hanging out with a fluffy cat called Whisky was not the plan.
It wasn’t so bad at first. But months went by, then years, and it seemed no matter what I did, I was still sick.
I thought, why did this happen to me?
I cried. A lot. For seemingly no reason. And if someone asked why I was crying, I’d say, “I’m just so tired.” I cried so much some days that I’d go home and laugh with my sister on the phone over who I’d cried in front of that day. It was comical.
That was a few years ago now. And, of course, the whole experience turned out to be a huge gift. They often are, in my experience anyway, but that’s getting ahead of things.
Here are 3 insights that helped during those “you’ve got to be freaking kidding me” times:

1. There’s a healing side to pain.

When a challenging event happens—a break-up, a sickness, or having your leopard pink car seat covers stolen—the human mind, being what it is, thinks this is why you feel badly.
You hear it all the time: “Oh, you poor thing for losing your car seat covers.” Or, “She’s such a rat to do this to you.”
The truth is, it’s your perception of the situation that makes you feel bad. This means that no matter how crumpled-in and dysfunctional you feel, you’re not. It’s just your thoughts that are a bit wonky. And actually, your thoughts on this were always wonky; the situation just exposed them.
Take my situation. Everything I’d based my self-esteem on was gone: work, grades, friends, boyfriend, the ability to sit up straight for more than half an hour.   
I thought I was upset because I was sick, when the truth is, my situation had triggered every negative belief I had about myself. Things like:
“I’m only lovable if people like me.” “I’m only worthwhile if I’m busy doing things.”
I so strongly identified with all the things I did that when you took them away, I felt miserable. I’d been given the opportunity to see what I really thought about myself.
Someone could have told me “you’re worthy and lovable,” and I might have intellectually known this, but I didn’t feel it.
What I began to realize was that behind the pain, over time, my faulty beliefs were shifting. My sense of self-worthwas beginning to heal by itself.
The pain is the faulty belief system being ripped out by its roots. You feel like you’re losing something dear. The trick is to understand that it’s just a faulty belief going away. And beneath it lays a pocket of self-love that you haven’t previously been able to access.
As poet Kahlil Gibran says: “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.”

2. Pain fades when we let go of expectations. 

Most of us live in an intellectual way. We make plans for our life and then we try and follow them through. We think we know the best way for our life to proceed.
The truth is, a large part of our pain is caused by an attachment to our expectations.
For example, one of the reasons I felt so bone achingly sorry for myself was because I had a plan for how to have a good life—and it didn’t include Dr. Quinn.
I thought success came from going to college, getting a good job, and having a family. No one said anything about spending all this time in bed. But actually, it was the best thing for me.
To illustrate you how powerful your expectations are, try this exercise:
First, imagine you’re me.
Now, imagine you’d grown up thinking the best way to have an awesome life was to spend five years in bed cross-stitching cushions. That it was something everyone did.
“Oh yeah,” you’d say to your friend, “I’m just off to do my five-years-in-bed years.”
And they’d be like, “Oh cool. I hear you learn such amazing things, like how to feel self-assured, and you get clarity on your life direction, and you start to feel that inner calm we’re always reading about. “
Seriously.
Now think about your current situation and imagine that for your whole life, you believed that what is happening to you was going to happen. And not only that, but it’s the absolute best thing to happen.
So much of the pain we feel is because we can’t let go of how we think life should look. Your mind thinks it knows the best way for your life to work out—but simply put, it doesn’t; the plan it had was flawed in the first place.
Your mind can only see your life as it’s showing up right now. There is a bigger picture.

3. You’re doing fine.

Learning about personal awareness and healing can be such a helpful thing, but remember, there’s no right or wrong way to feel.
Feeling grateful and “being positive” and so on is perfectly fine, and sure, it can be helpful, but if you don’t feel like it all the time, don’t worry about it. 
Instead of attaching a judgment to how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking, try just noticing it.
I believe the act of simply noticing and accepting how things are, right now—no matter how messy and dysfunctional they seem—is the most powerful, healing thing you can do.

Positive Affirmations: 10 De-Stressing Phrases That Help Put Life Into Perspective

Yeah, work has really piled up and I'm slurring. But this little idea really does wonders =). So have you got a mantra? I think mine is 'it will always be okay'

Thanks huffington post!


One quick, free and practical way to de-stress? Recite an affirmation.
It sounds too good (and too simple) to be true, but saying a mantra could set a positive tone for your day and help you return to a sense of balance when things feel a little out of whack.
"Research tells us that every thought and emotion creates a chemcial reaction because it immediately changes our neurochemcicals that affect our mental, physical and spiritual health," Kathleen Hall, Ph.D., stress expert and CEO and founder of bothThe Stress Institute and the Mindful Living Network, told The Huffington Post in an interview. When a stressful thought fires up, you have the power to cancel it out with a positive one.
Saying a mantra or affirmation first thing in the morning is a good idea because it "affects your decision-making for the day and you'll also remember it," says Hall, who personally commits to reciting a mantra each morning. But don't stress if it doesn't come naturally the moment your alarm goes off: When you're in a strained situation, an affirmation could help prevent you from entering panic mode and bring you back to balance. "It brings you back home," she says.
Your mantra should be your own -- something that resonates with you and helps you recenter in the moment. Keep in mind that what de-stresses one person may not be calming for another. So stick with what works, even if it's something as silly as "Hakuna Matata." Check out 10 of our favorite de-stressing mantras below, then let us know what words help you chill out in the comments section.
"This Too Shall Pass."
this too shall pass
Photo Credit: PoisonedCandyFloss/Tumblr
While it's important to live in the present moment, it's also comforting to remind yourself the stress you're enduring now is temporary -- clear skies are on the horizon.
"Make It Work."

Tim Gunn's power phrase is poignant: Take a deep breath and remember that you're in control and there's always a solution (even if it doesn't jump out at you immediately).
"Keep Calm And Carry On."
keep calm
Photo Credit: KeepCalmAndCarryOn.com
This phrase has proven to be a timeless morale-booster: It was designed during World War II by the Ministry of Information as propaganda to keep British worries at bay. It has since resurfaced and can be found mounted on the walls of college dorm rooms nationwide.
"Don't Cry Because It's Over, Smile Because It Happened."
happy eggs
Dr. Seuss' softening words put a positive spin on the idea that "All good things must come to an end." We've got to remember how lucky we are for all for the experiences we've had, even when they're over.
"Tomorrow Is Another Day."

This is common knowledge, yes, but it's helpful to acknowledge there's always another day to get it right when today just isn't working out.
"Every Little Thing Gonna Be All Right"
ok
We're not sure if it's the actual words or the calming melody that make our worries disappear: Bob Marley's song is one that helps us see past frustrating little things.
"Don't Sweat The Small Stuff"
small stuff
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
These five words help us put life into perspective. Another good one? "You've got bigger fish to fry."
"Hakuna Matata."

How could this 90s mantra (and heartwarming photo) not make you smile? Plus -- it means no worries ... for the rest of your days.
"Don't Worry, Be Happy"
happiness
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Bobby McFerrin's boppy beat reminds us that worrying is only going to add to our stress. As he puts it, "In every life we have some trouble, when you worry you make it double."
"I Will Accept The Things I Cannot Change."
change
Giving yourself the permission to accept the inevitable -- and move on -- is a productive choice. Choose to let go

Monday, April 22, 2013

Nike: Voices

To all the beautiful women out there, listen to your voice =)


Sunday, April 21, 2013

30 Beautiful Things Happening Now

Yes, there are so many devastating news happening lately, so let's just draw ourselves away to these wonderful insights for a change :)




“Happiness, not in another place but this place…
not for another hour, but this hour.”
―Walt Whitman
All around the world, the present moment is filled with beauty.
If you are attentive, you will see it.  If you are willing, you will help create it.
Let’s take a moment to think about the beautiful things happening around us.
Right now, at this exact moment…
  1. A newborn infant just took her first breath.
  2. Two teenage romantics just received their very first kiss, from each other.
  3. Someone is driving their car with the windows down and singing to their favorite song at the top of their lungs.
  4. Volunteers in different cities are actively assisting and standing up for the powerless, the homeless, and the neglected who need someone to speak up for them.
  5. Someone is in the middle of complimenting a stranger who desperately needed a reason to smile.
  6. Two coworkers are cracking each other up and laughing so hard they aren’t even making any noise.
  7. A high school guidance counselor is contributing her time, encouragement, and a listening ear to help a student realize his passion and ability.
  8. People near and far are holding hands with the person they love.
  9. A husband and wife who were drowning in debt ten years ago proudly hold a balance of zero on all their lines of credit.
  10. Someone is going above and beyond and doing a little extra work to make someone else’s life a little easier.
  11. People from all over the world are online at crowdfunding sites likeGoFundMe pledging online donations to help strangers in need.
  12. Responsible designated drivers are getting their friends home safely.
  13. A student tutor is volunteering her time to help a fellow student learn.
  14. Someone who has struggled with their weight for years is looking down at the scale, smiling.
  15. A long-term alcoholic just celebrated exactly one full year of sobriety.
  16. Somewhere someone is admiring a breathtaking sunrise, and somewhere else a surreal sunset.
  17. A friend is helping a friend rise above feelings of depression and suicide.
  18. Someone is holding the door open for the person behind them.
  19. A Good Samaritan is pulled over on the side of the road assisting a stranger who’s having car trouble.
  20. Someone is celebrating the fact that they just broke their own personal best record.
  21. An active duty military member stationed overseas just received an email from a loved one.
  22. Hundreds of people are spending a few clicks of their time online at Free Rice.
  23. Someone just accidentally overheard someone else say something nice about them.
  24. An emergency room surgeon just saved her patient’s life.
  25. Two best friends are hugging each other after being apart for a while.
  26. Honest people are working tirelessly at various government agencies to help protect the basic human rights and civil liberties of their fellow citizens.
  27. Someone who suffered from a severe injury a while back is back on their feet.
  28. Several of the world’s next great inventors, artists and entrepreneurs areworking diligently on perfecting their breakthrough ideas and crafts.
  29. Someone is sitting quietly and smiling about the fact that there’s nowhere else in the world they would rather be right now.
  30. Somewhere on the Internet someone is writing an encouraging comment on a blog post that will make others smile.  :)
There truly is beauty to be seen in every imaginable direction if you are willing to see it and help create it.  (Read 1,000 Little Things.)

Your turn…

In your eyes, what makes this moment beautiful?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Are you "Normal" about Sex?

Something to challenge the conservatives :). If sex is part and parcel of life, why not talk about it? Why do we need to hide such pleasure yet the need for the continuation of humankind? Hmm...

Courtesy from Women Health's Mag


How often do you think or talk about sex? The best answer: as often as possible. That’s the message behind a new website called Make Sex Normal, created by Debby Herbenick, PhD, a sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute. And by “normal” she means totally devoid of taboo, because when you can talk comfortably about sex, you’ll see major benefits in your relationships, health, and of course, desire. The Make Sex Normal site launched this month, and it lets people submit photos and stories about how they’re making sex a part of their everyday lives—so you might see accounts of couples getting tested together or people wearing a “sex geek” shirt.

As a sex expert and author of books such as Sex Made Easy and Great In Bed, Herbenick is used to bringing up the bedroom on a daily basis. “My colleagues and I joke about how normal and mundane all of this stuff is in our lives,” says Herbenick. “What that does for all of us is we’ve become more comfortable over time and it impacts our personal lives. It’s easier for us to talk about sex with our partners and bring up sex issues that we might have with our doctors.”
Aside from having spicier brunch conversations, you could also reap major benefits in your relationships—like greater intimacy and better orgasms. Your health can also improve since many physical and psychological issues impact your sex life—so voicing bedroom problems to your doc can help you find a diagnosis and a solution, says Herbenick.
Here, Herbenick’s top tips for how you can make sex normal—starting now:
Take baby steps 
If you’re on the shy side, you probably shouldn’t start by hitting up a sex seminar. “Everyone has to figure out where their starting place is and push themselves just a little outside their comfort zone,” says Herbenick. For now, try this simple activity that you can do with or without your partner: Make a list of all the sexual things you’re curious about, interested in trying, or already know that you like. “There’s a whole menu out there when it comes to sex,” says Herbenick. And if you know what gets you off, it’ll be way easier to communicate that to your guy. Check out Women’s Health’s “Have You Ever” sex quiz.
Read all about it 
If the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon taught us anything, it’s that lit-erotica is a great way to get women thinking and talking about sex. So don’t let the trend end with Christian Grey—pick up a few sex books (whether they’re novels or non-fiction like Herbenick’s books) and read them on the train or in the coffee shop. “It may help you feel more comfortable and confident in your sexual skin, and it also sends a message to everyone around you that sex is a regular part of life,” says Herbenick. Plus, studies show that just reading about sex (or “bibliotherapy” in science speak) can help you deal with a host of issues—from arousal to satisfaction. Not that ballsy yet? Even reading a steamy book discreetly on your e-reader can help boost your libido—and it’s bound to make your morning commute more interesting.
Shop sexier 
Even though you can purchase sex toys and find porn from the privacy of your computer, there’s something to be said for visiting a sex shop. You can go solo, with girlfriends, or with your partner—whatever you’re most comfortable with. The important thing is just to set foot in the store. Not only will it put you in a sexual space that you might normally shy away from, but it also gives you the opportunity to explore new things and learn from sex educators who often work at the shops, says Herbenick. Plus, research on the effect of sex-toy parties, which put you in a similarly erotic environment, shows that experimenting this way is a great way to get informed and can even boost your sexual function.
Plan a sexier date
Being able to communicate with your guy about sex is clutch for good between-the-sheets chemistry, but it shouldn’t be limited to pillow talk. Find new ways to talk about and explore sex before you even get to the bedroom—like emailing him an article about a hot new position or visiting a sex museum together, says Herbenick. “It gives you a chance to talk about it so you’re not just whipping out a sex toy,” says Herbenick. Plus, adding some variety does wonders for your bond: A study in theJournal of Sex Research found that that experimenting sexually was associated with greater relationship satisfaction and intimacy.
Get the scoop on sexual health issues
If you’re a Women’s Health reader, you know it’s smart to stay up on the latest sexual health news. In fact, an article or website may clue you in to a symptom that you may not have realized you should ask your doctor about. “When you become more informed and more conscious about your own health, you’ll look out for yourself more,” says Herbenick. For the latest sexual health news, check out our Sex & Relationship Scoop blog.
Be social
While talking, reading, and thinking about sex are all important, it’s also key to surround yourself with other sex-positive people who will reinforce the idea that doing things focused around sexuality is the norm. A few easy ways to do that: You can visit an erotic art exhibit, take a pole dancing class, see a burlesque show, or attend a sex salon, suggests Herbenick. The best part about these events: Everyone is there for the same reason, so judgment and criticism are checked at the door.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Skinny People just don't Get it

And it gets frustrating!!! Well, there are their reasons but I don't find such reasons as going on a greek yoghurt diet.......................

Thanks Huffingtonpost!


America's appetite is out of control. Yes, we have an obesity epidemic. But far more disconcerting is the rampant lack of understanding and compassion for the daily, minute-to-minute struggle that the vast majority (two-thirds of American adults, to be exact) contend with being overweight or obese. To put it plainly, skinny people just don't get it.
Ron Rosenbaum's recent Wall Street Journal postpurporting the virtues of the more sophisticated fatty foods such as roast goose, split-shank beef, and clotted cream is a prime example of this ignorance. First, I'd like to remind Rosenbaum that the very few of us who have the luxury (or interest, for that matter) of dining on such foods unfortunately do not have the genetic disposition or capability to indulge and quietly stop at the satiety point. Most people don't hit the "bliss point," fold their napkin politely and asked to be excused. They keep eating, and they won't stop until they have far surpassed feeling full.
The exponential escalation of America's appetite over the past 30 years can attributed to the proliferation of sugar in nearly everything we consume. For example, the Greek yogurt fad, driven by this idea that it's "good for you" is in actuality driven by sugar. Chobani's six-ounce container of Black Cherry yogurt contains 21 grams of sugar. While there is no general recommended daily allowance for sugar -- ironically, this is because there is no known nutritional value to sugar -- most health professionals would advise people to limit their intake of simple sugar to 12 teaspoons or 40 grams per day (based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet).
With this in mind, that yogurt is quite an indulgent snack. It's no foie gras, but you get the point. Human beings are programmed to overeat, and exposure to this Western dietary pattern of sugar and fat merely exacerbates this inclination. The viscous cycle of overconsumption begins with fat, which triggers inflammation, which then causes cellular damage, epigenetic alteration, increased appetite, insulin and leptin resistance and weight gain. For most people, this means major weight gain. And, for an alarming few, it means eating to the "the point of no return" -- a point where surgery is their only option to lose weight.
In my practice, I've operated on more than 3,000 patients, many of whom would fall into the category of extremely obese (those with a BMI greater than 60), and I can tell you this: They don't wake up saying they want to be fat. And they don't dream of sampling delicacies with the 2 percent of us who can enjoy food and stay thin.
Is the answer to the problem banning super-sized foods or pushing food manufacturers to discontinue their optimization practices? I don't know. What I do know is that we need to stop applying the "Biggest Loser" mentality to weight loss, where berating someone into vomit-induced exercise wins the prize. People need compassion, education and encouragement to turn away from sugary, prepackaged foods in favor of lean proteins and complex carbohydrates instead.
Joseph J. Colella, M.D., F.A.C.S., is an internationally recognized robotic and bariatric surgeon, having performed more than 3,000 bariatric surgical procedures. He is currently the director of robotic surgery at St. Margaret Hospital at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and is an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. He is a founding member on the Board of the Clinical Robotic Surgery Association, an international association of the world's premier robotic surgeons. Dr. Colella has published numerous professional articles on topics including anorexia nervosa, traumatic vascular injuries, infertility, and bariatric surgery and nutrition.
For more on personal health, click here.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

How to Transform Your Body Into Your Biggest Asset


It's often how we always compare ourselves to magazines and others, and hence the insecure feeling starts to shadow and over power our thoughts....I must admit I do that too, there are definitely some things that I would like to have from others eventhough most would think I have it all

To err is always human :) so I dedicate this post to remind yourselves; 

that you all are beautiful 
that you are all unique
and that your body is your biggest asset of them all

And at least absorb item 5 below ;)




Unless you are a model, personal trainer or adult film star, it can feel awkward to consider your body your biggest asset. It feels shallow to praise our exterior rather than our interior, especially when mothers around the globe have promised, “It’s not the outside but what’s on the inside that counts." 

Your relationship with your body is tied to how you engage, experience and flourish in the world, yet fully connecting with that concept can be a major mind flip.

More often than not, you probably throw your body under the bus, believing it’s simply another hurdle, another thing you to take care of. Or maybe you are all about yoga and kale, yet still wonder how people really love their bodies unconditionally. How do you ever truly believe your stretch-marked hips are an asset?

Let me break it down for you: Your body is the physical medium taking you through this life. 

She is your vehicle, your cruise ship and if she isn’t being treated well, nothing works. Sure, you'll continue to “get things done,” running around with your hair on fire. However, living a full life without your body being ONBOARD is like strapping 50 pound weights to your legs and running a marathon. You could technically do it, but it’s going to be slow, seriously painful and absolutely unnecessary.

To turn your body into a brilliant asset you first have to be open to seeing things in the gray area. Truthbomb: Your body will never be perfect and the body bashing you do when looking in the mirrorimmediately turns your body from an asset into a liability. And the problem is that the longer you put off making your body a beloved partner, the longer it will take to hit your desired milestones.

Using your body as an asset that moves your life to unforeseen heights is about changing the way you feed and think about her.  It’s a lifestyle shift, a way of existing that will forever change how you experience your relationship to yourself, your community, your work and your life.

Here are my key steps to turning your body into your biggest asset: 

1. Check in. 

We often only check in with our brain, which tells us what to do and when, along with a heavy dose of judgement and criticism. Lovely. Yet when we check in with our bodies, we're able to access what we really crave without shoulds and have-tos. 

To check in, place one hand on your heart and one on your belly. Take 3 deep breaths and notice how your body feels. Are her shoulders tight or her stomach in a knot? What would feed her fully in this moment? Maybe it’s a creative project, 10 minutes of quiet space or dinner. Whatever it is, checking in with your body will always get you calm, clear and realigned, which is why she’s your biggest asset.

2. Eat clean. 

If you put dirty oil in your car it won’t run very smoothly. The same  principle applies to your body. Sugar,caffeine, low-quality animal products and processed foods all junk up your system, making it near impossible to focus. 

Think of junk food as a giant wall you’ve got to hurdle over in order to fully inhabit your body. By eating local fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, organic meat and a touch of dark chocolate, the wall will come crumbling down on its own, making your body an asset.  (Really want to figure your food out? Checkthis.)

3. Move your ass-et. 

Moving your body is essential to feeling light, sprite and connected to your life. The problem is that we think it has to be a head-throbbing, two-hour ordeal we hate. NOPE! 

Make a list of all the ways you find pleasure in moving your body. Dancing, kayaking, stretching and long walks all count as exercise and will do wonders in giving you the mental space to see your body as a brilliant benefit.

4. Get vitamins D and P. 

That is, vitamins Deserving and Permission. When you give yourself permission to put your body first, you're better able to serve those around you. Think of it like oxygen masks on planes. You must first put on yours to then assist those around you. However, permission only works when you believe you deserve it. All too often, people think they don’t deserve the kind of joy they dream of because they aren’t good enough. Someone is always better, right? Granted, someone may be better but that does not degrade your own contribution. 

Every time you put your body off or say something snarky to her, remember that you’ve given her permission to deserve being cared for. And when you give your body permission to deserve, your life automatically gets the same treatment. (Have a tough time your doses of vitamins D & P?  Click here.)

5. Quell the comparison commandos in your brain. 

Comparison sucks the life out of your body. When you get wound up about someone’s flat stomach or newest business success, you immediately spiral into self doubt and fear. This paralyzes your body, making it a major anti-asset that keeps you from what you want. 

Turn that comparison into collaboration and reach out to women you admire (and silently hate). You will be shocked by the lightness you feel and how their strength allows you to show up loud and proud in your own body.  

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

20 Things to do when you're feeling Angry with Someone

So a lovely friend introduced me to this website (TinyBuddha) and my oh my of the articles I stumble upon!!! Anyway, here is one that reflects to me most at this moment of time and thought I'd share it with all of you.

Thanks TinyBuddha for compiling such great posts!


by Lori Deschene
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” ~Chinese proverb
As Tiny Buddha grows larger, I find there are a lot more people emailing me with requests. The people pleaser in me wants to say yes to everyone, but the reality is that there is only so much time in the day—and we all have a right to allocate our time as best supports our intentions, needs, and goals.
Recently someone contacted me with a request that I was unable to honor. After I communicated that, he made a sweeping judgment about my intentions and character, ending his email with “Buddha would be appalled.”
As ironic as this may sound given the context of this site, I felt angry.
I felt angry because I have always struggled with saying no, and this was exactly the type of uncomfortable encounter I generally aim to avoid.
I felt angry because I felt misunderstood and judged, and I wanted him to realize that he was wrong about me.
I felt angry because I assumed he intended to be hurtful, and I didn’t feel like I deserved that.
I ended up responding to his email fairly quickly with a little bit of defensiveness, albeit with restraint. After I pressed send, I felt a little angry with myself for letting this bother me. Then I realized that this was a wonderful exercise in learning to deal with anger.
It’s inevitable that I’ll feel that way again—and many times, with people I know well and love. We all will. We’ll all have lots of misunderstandings and annoyances, and lots of opportunities to practice responding to anger calmly and productively.
If we’re mindful, we can use these situations to better ourselves and our relationships.
With this in mind, I put together this guide to dealing with anger:

SIT WITH YOUR ANGER

1. Allow yourself to feel angry. You may think you need to cover “negative feelings” with positive ones. You don’t. You’re entitled to feel whatever you need to feel. We all are.
2. Make a conscious choice to sit with the feeling. Oftentimes when I’m angry I feel the need to act on it, but later I generally wish I’d waited. Decide that you’re not going to do anything until the feeling has less of a grip on you.
3. Feel the anger in your body. Is your neck tense? Is your chest burning? Is your throat tightening? Are your legs twitching? Recognize the sensations in your body and breathe into those areas to clear the blockages that are keeping you feeling stuck.
4. See this as an exercise in self-soothing. You can get yourself all revved-up, stewing in righteousness and mentally rehashing all the ways you were wronged. Or you can talk yourself down from bitter rage into a place of inner calm. In the end, we’re the only ones responsible for our mental states, so this is a great opportunity to practice regulating yours.
5. Commit to acting without seeking retribution. Decide that you’re not looking to get even or regain a sense of power. You’re looking to address the situation and communicate your thoughts about it clearly.

EXPLORE YOUR ANGER

6. Check in with your mood before the incident. Were you having a bad day already? Were you already feeling annoyed or irritated? It could be that someone’s actions were the straw that broke the camel’s back, but not fully responsible for creating these feelings.
7. Ask yourself: Why is this bothering you so much? Is it really what someone else did, or are you feeling angry because of what you’re interpreting their actions to mean? (For example, you may think that your boyfriend not showing up means that he doesn’t respect you, when he may have a valid explanation).
8. Take a projection inventory. If you’re angry with someone for doing something that you’ve done many times before, your feelings may be magnified by seeing a behavior of your own that you’re not proud of. Look for all areas where you may be projecting your own traits onto someone else to get closer to root of your feelings.
9.  Journal about it. Grab your pen and walk yourself through it step by step. What did the other person do? Are you assuming negative intentions on their part? Have they done this before? How do you feel besides angry—do you feel insecure, frustrated, or confused? Get it all out.
10. Put it in a letter. Now that you know more clearly what part the other person played in your anger and which part is more about you, write a letter to him or her. You may send this letter, or you might end up just burning it. This is to help you clarify what exactly you’d like that person to know, understand, or change.

RESPOND WITHOUT ANGER

11. Now that you’re clear about the role you played in your anger, initiate a verbal conversation about what bothered you. You could also send the letter you wrote, but it will be easier to clarify parts the other person doesn’t understand if you’re having a direct back-and-forth exchange.
12. Use “I feel” language—so instead of saying, “You didn’t show up so you obviously don’t care about me,” say, “When you forget about the things that are important to me, I feel hurt.” In this way, you’re not assuming the other person meant to make you feel bad—you’re just explaining how it makes you feel so they can understand how their actions impact you.
13. Resist the urge to unload all your unspoken grievances. Sometimes one annoyance can open the floodgates to a laundry list of complaints—but no one responds well to a barrage of criticism. Stick to the issue at hand, and address the other things at some other time.
14. Stay open to the other person’s perspective. It’s possible that they feel angry, too, and think that you’re the one in the wrong. It’s also possible that there isn’t a right or wrong, but rather two people who see things differently and need to see each other’s point of view.
15. Focus on creating a solution. If your goal is to get the other person to admit that they’re wrong, you’ll probably end up in a power struggle. Focus instead on what you’d like to change in the future—for example, you’d appreciate it if she would come straight to you next time instead of complaining about you behind your back. You can help facilitate this by owning some responsibility—that you will listen if he comes to you instead of getting emotional.

LEARN FROM YOUR ANGER

16. Learn what you value. This situation taught you something useful about what you value in the people you choose to be friends with—maybe directness, humility, or loyalty. This will help you decide which people you might want to spend more or less time with going forward.
17. Learn what you need. It might be something you need to improve your relationship, or it might be that you need to end a relationship because you know it doesn’t serve you. Learn it, own it, act on it.
18. Learn how to communicate clearly. This experience was an exercise in expressing yourself in the best way to be heard and understood. There will definitely be more situations like this in the future, so this is good practice for misunderstandings and struggles to come.
19. Learn how you can improve your response to anger going forward. Maybe you reacted too quickly, so now you’ve learned to put more space between your feelings and your response. Maybe you got defensive, and the other person shut down, so you’ve learned to be less accusatory in the future.
20. Learn what you’ll do differently in the future. You probably realized somewhere along this journey that you played some role in the situation. Very rarely is it black and white. Once you own your part, now you can use that knowledge to create more peaceful relationshipsgoing forward.
And lastly, forgive. As I wrote in my post about forgiveness, very few of us get to the ends of our lives and say, “I wish I stayed angry longer.” We generally say one of the following:
I love you. I forgive you. I’m sorry.
If that’s likely what you’ll feel when you realize time is running out, why not express it now, while you can still enjoy the peace it will give you?
Photo by robertmichalove

How do you Love your Authentic Self

Go on....love yourself....encourage it all the time, if not now then when?

;)

Love it, Tiny Buddha


Lori Deschene
by Lori Deschene
“You, yourself, as much as anybody else in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” ~Buddha
In our personal development-focused, life-coach dependent world, it’s all too easy to think you need to change. Not just the things you do, but who you are.
It’s one thing to invite transformation for the sake of growth, improvement, and new possibilities. It’s another thing to feel so dissatisfied with yourself that no amount of change could possibly convince you that you’re worthy and lovable.
This type of intrinsic self loathing formed the basis of my adolescence and some of my 20s. It was like I was constantly trying to gut myself so I could replace myself with someone better.
Ironically, I won a karaoke contest in the early 90s for singing The Greatest Love of All—yet I hadn’t learned to love myself. I didn’t know the greatest love of all, or any love, really, being about as closed off as a scab.
On most days, I kept a running mental tally of all the ways I messed up—all the dumb things I said, the stupid ideas I suggested, and the inevitably unsuccessful attempts I made to make people like me. How could they when I wasn’t willing to lead the way?
I tell you this not as an after picture who can’t even remember that girl from before, but as someone who has lived this past decade taking two steps forward and one step back. For my willingness to give you this honesty, I am proud.
People are more apt to share their struggles once they feel like they’re on the other side. It’s a lot less scary so say “This is who I used to be” than “This is what I struggle with sometimes.”
But this is my truth, and I give it to you, wholeheartedly and uncensored. On a primal level, I really want to be loved and accepted, but I learn a little more every day that my own self respect is the foundation of lasting joy.
I know that I am not so different from most people. Who doesn’t want to feel that people understand them, get them, and at the end of it all love them anyway? I think we all want to believe it’s perfectly OK—and maybe even wonderful—to be exactly who we are.
Of course, that has to start with us. People can only love us if we believe we’re lovable. You may not fully believe it if you:
  • Constantly compensate for who you are with apologies, hedging words, or clarifications for your actions—like you always owe other people explanations.
  • Beat yourself up when you make even the slightest mistake.
  • Think about your flaws and feel overwhelming disgust or anger.
  • Cling to people who see the best in you and find it hard to maintain those positive feelings when they walk away.
  • Tell yourself that you’re being selfish whenever you consider meeting your own needs.
  • Repeatedly do self-destructive things, or make choices that show you don’t respect or value yourself.
  • Don’t consider your needs a priority.
  • Always find a reason to talk yourself out of your dreams as if perhaps you don’t deserve to have them.
I have done every last one of these things at some point. I suspect we all have. Sometimes it’s challenging to love ourselves—particularly in a world where change generates a substantial amount of revenue.
There are always going to be products and ideas for us to get better; and it’s a beautiful thing to embrace life-long growth. Life is transformation; staying static is a kind of death. But it’s important that we all realize we are beautiful and wonderful just as we are—light and dark, in our complete authentic selves.

1. Know That You Are Not Your Worst Mistakes

Our past actions shaped today. But we are not what we’ve been. We don’t need to carry around labels or mistakes from yesterday as if they define us. Whatever you’ve done, it’s over. It doesn’t have to brand you, particularly not if you’re making the conscious choice to do things differently now.
We can judge ourselves by the weakest moments or the strongest—that’s our choice. Choose to focus on the strongest, and then leverage that pride for more of those moments. Every time you feel good about what you do it’s one more reminder to love who you are.

2. Know You Have Nothing to Prove

I don’t care how esteemed or successful someone is. There are things they’re proud of and things they’re ashamed of; and inside they wish people would see more of the former and less of the latter.
We all want validation. It’s an intrinsic human need to feel connected to other people; and oftentimes when we feel alone, it’s because we believe we haven’t proven how good we are or can be.
You don’t have to show the world you’re good. You don’t have to try to hide the things you’ve done that might not seem flattering. You just need to forgive and accept yourself and trust that other people will, as well.
Being authentic means being vulnerable–letting people see all your different facets, trusting they won’t judge you, and knowing that if they do that’s completely on them.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be real with people and know the ones who accept me accept me fully, than pretend and then have to maintain the illusion that I am something I’m not.

3. Know the Dark is Valuable

So you’ve made mistakes—who hasn’t? The beauty of having faltered is that you can help the world with your experiences.
Because we err and hurt, we can empathize when other people are hurting. We can reach out of ourselves, forget our own pains, and hold other people up when they need it.
That we have strengths and weaknesses is intrinsically human. If I didn’t have less flattering traits and stories, this site would likely not exist.
When you realize your flaws can help the world and bring us closer together, suddenly they seem less like liabilities and more like assets.

4. Know That You Matter

When I was a child, an authority figure in my life told me, “If I was your age, I wouldn’t be your friend.”
I held onto this for years—that given the choice, most people wouldn’t like me. As I got older, a lot of people appeared to feel uncomfortable around me, and for good reason. I was like a leech on them, desperately hoping they’d un-say that one horribly undermining comment someone else spoke years ago.
I couldn’t believe I mattered until someone said it to me. Well now I know differently—I know I domatter, and that how my life matters is dependent on what I do from day to day.
Know that you touch countless people’s lives every day, even if someone isn’t blogging or tweeting about it. Just like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, you do kind things that have a ripple effect you can’t possibly measure.
Even if not everyone has recognized it, you make a positive difference in the world. Your positive self regard may feel stronger at some times than others, but even the smallest seed of love is valuable because it can grow.

5. Know That Positive Feelings and Actions Breed More

All these warm fuzzy feelings mean very little if you sit alone, wishing you could experience the world differently. Once we accept that we’re worthy of love and our dreams, the natural next step is to actually create those things–not what we think we should do; what we really want to do.
Get out into the world. Do that thing that scares and excites you. Recognize you’re awesome for doing it, even if in just one small step. Give yourself permission to not be perfect, and instead focus on progress.
Love in action every day. Do something kind for you. Do something kind for others. Do something kind for the world.
Acknowledge your weaknesses, work to improve them, but say loud and proud that they will not define you. If you start worrying about the future or dwelling on the past, remember you deserve to enjoy the present–but only you can make it happen.
I haven’t always done this. I’ve let a lot of moments slip away while I curled up in my head, wishing I was someone better. But those moments have passed, and in this moment, I am happy with me. I may not know you, but I know I want that love for you, too. I know you deserve it.
This has been a little uncomfortable for me, to be honest. I’ve yet again split myself open. But this time I’m not trying to change what’s inside. I’m just here telling you I am flawed, like we all are, and that’s not only OK but beautiful.
Much love and light to you from someone ever learning what love really means.