Your mind is a goal seeking device-

Most people at one time or another have felt deeply unsatisfied with their life aka unhappy. I know I have. When I have I wallow in self-pity. I think to myself that I do have or I can’t get what other people have. I blame certain personality characteristics. I am too introverted, I think too much (get in my own way), or I don’t think enough about what really matters. Sometimes I blame other factors. I don’t know the right people, I don’t have opportunities to mingle with the right crowd, I don’t have the right degree or the correct experience. Sometimes I even play the gender card or the mom card. Occasionally I can’t even figure out what the heck it is that I even want AND my mind just sucks right on to whatever it is that I focus on.

With the above negative stream of thoughts, I get further and further away from my full potential and even my truth (beliefs and desires). If like attracts like than focusing on what I do not have only attracts more of what I do not have. There’s that phrase: “everything you need is already within you”. That confuses me. Except when I am aligned with my potential and my truth. What I need is grace, forgiveness, guidance and faith. Grace allows me to believe in myself and in the truth that I was made for good- my abilities are within me if I have the courage to recognize them. Forgiveness allows me to try again and most importantly to acknowledge that I am human so I am flawed. Guidance allows me to spend time with myself sorting through my thoughts and prioritizing my emotions and choosing how I will structure my life. Even more importantly when I spend time with myself I am also able to consider those in my life who truly add value. Faith allows me to trust and believe that I am loved and cared for beyond measure and that because of this I am destined for goodness.

When I am centered I have the strength to be grateful and to spend time in gratitude. Spending time with yourself means getting rid of whatever it is that you are allowing to occupy your time so that you don’t have to face yourself. So that you don’t have to sort through your thoughts and acknowledge how you really feel. If you did that then you either wouldn’t know what to do next or you wouldn’t like what you’re guided to do. I believe that the more we spend time with ourselves the less we rely on others or things to fulfill our needs. So many people struggle to be deeply connected to others including their partner. Most of that is due to them not knowing their true needs and living in unfulfilled potential.

Confusion. Deception. Fear.

I encourage you to take some time for yourself with yourself. Just start by going to a quiet place with a notebook. Write down some of your thoughts. Recognize the category of these thoughts: stress, loss, fear, gratitude, ambition…. Then if you are in a place of lack identify what you would like to feel or think instead. Write that down. Generate a feeling. Here’s an example of how to do this: Close your eyes and bring to conscious thought the word pride. Conjure up the feeling in your body that is generated when you are proud of yourself. Take a deep breath and now recognize how your body feels. You should feel a little excited, maybe you’re smiling and maybe you even have an image of something you have done that you are proud of. Then focus on this emotion intently and make it as intense as you can. Stay here for a minute or so. Now with this feeling generated return to the written sentences that have to do with desired thoughts and feelings and attach the generated positive emotion to these sentences.

What this exercise is intended to do is to teach you that you have the power to generate a feeling in a moment and that you also have the ability to work out what you desire your mind to be attracted to. What you do next is up to you. You should feel led to take action and I believe that if you are focused you will know what is next. If you do not then reach our to a support or schedule to meet with a good therapist who can walk you further through this process.

You have a responsibility to take charge of your life and to lead a life that is satisfying. That is within your control if you chose to take control. Here’s another smaller example: rather than telling yourself that you don’t want to be stressed tell yourself that you want less stress. There is very little difference here other than that by telling yourself that you want less stress you are focusing on what you want rather than what you don’t want. Also remember that if you have not spent much time with yourself ie. if you don’t know yourself well, it may be tricky for you to acknowledge that you struggle taking responsibility for your life. You may still believe that you have little control over your thoughts, emotions and the outcomes in your life. That’s ok this will change, if you want it to. If you want to you will soon lead a life that is more fulfilling and of which you are focused on gratitude because that’s what you want for yourself.

MONDAY MANTRA: My mind is a goal seeking mechanism and I chose to be aligned with greatness.

COMMITMENT: I live a fulfilling life which I am grateful for.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

 

What does that even really look like?

Someone once told me that if I would just lower my expectations then I wouldn’t be so disappointed-so often. That’s a real struggle for me. Why is knowing what I want in relationships seen as needy? There was a time in my life when I applied that advise and man was it devastating.

I come off as complicated.

I don’t go with the flow.

I question people’s intention.

Is that a fault?

I think that I am introverted but I also wonder if its more that I just don’t care enough what people think to over exert myself. Introverted-extroverted…what does that even really look like?

What does confidence look like and does it only look like that? When I speak up I ask the sort of questions and make the sort of statements that can sometimes leave people confused. I don’t pretend to know it all. I suck at pretending and I’m so far from being competitive that I cannot even bother acting like I do. I used to speak up a lot, I mean a real lot but what I learned is that most people only want to hear you if they agree with you and if you don’t question them.

Why are we all so concerned with being seen as confident that we only recognize it when its something that we envy in someone else?

It feels like it has become impossible to be more than one thing or one type of person without coming off as insecure. Insecure, what does that look like and does it only look like that?

^^^see I ask questions that can be confusing but its got you thinking, doesn’t it?^^^^^

I do well in a small group, as in me and one other person. As a young adult I could step it up in any setting. I don’t do that anymore. I think that has something to do with not liking the person who I used to be and still struggling with knowing how to be the person who I want to be, consistently.

BUT that’s ok. Its ok to struggle and its ok to not have it all figured out. Its ok not know what to say or what to do. We are all flawed. What makes us good is the desire to be not just who we really are but who we truly want to be.

I heard a quote once that went something like this “people fear each other because they don’t understand each other and they don’t understand each other because they have not properly communicated”. I wish everyone the strength they need to communicate effectively without the desire to conform and with the confidence they need to be true to themselves. Oh and also with the kahunas to be genuine, to speak with a clear mind and to stay the course.

MONDAY MANTRA: I do a damn good job at anything I put my mind to.

COMMITMENT: I recognize my full potential and I strive to meet it.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

 

Receiving Love.

I spend a lot of time thinking about things- marriage, parenting, relationships, faith, my career, mankind…you know…pretty much anything- I think about it. I think that I think so much that my brain is just programed to generate ideas and thoughts and store them for future conversations. I know what I think and I think about what I know and want to know.

I’m repeating a lot here for affect. This morning something happened to me that caused me to feel infinitely loved and appreciated by my daughter. I was cleaning, as I always am- it makes for the best thinking- duh, and she asked to help. She does chores and cleans up after herself but this was different- she volunteered her time to me. On the surface, I thought basic thoughts- “she’s so nice”, “she will make such a great wife” – I mean adult 😊 and so on. Then I  processed this event  a little more. I realized that this was a true opportunity to teach my beautiful daughter about relationships. It is a learned skill after all.

So I took a few brief minutes, all that was needed, and told her how much I appreciated her helping me. I explained that when the people I love take time to help me and or do things for me that I actually feel loved. I had tears in my eyes and she focused on my words. She caressed my face and told me how much she loved me. She walked away into the living room. A few minutes later she said “mommy can you play with me- I love when you do that and I deserve that too”. So we played together and loved together. True story.

Relationships are about giving and receiving. We can teach others how to love through our kindness, through example but also with direction. This does not just apply to the parent-child relationship. Love is the highest frequency. Spend some time in recognition of those who love you, let them know that you feel love when they do certain things. Relish in the incredible feeling that is generated from gratitude.

MONDAY MANTRA: I seek opportunities to share my gratitude and love with others.

COMMITMENT: I live in the frequency of love and gratitude.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

 

“There is a special place in my heart for people who take responsibility for their actions”

There is also a special place in my mind for them. A place that allows a different type of connection- a connection that is only reserved for those who operate from a place of self-reflection and insight. People who take responsibility for their actions- like truly do- not in that “I wish I wouldn’t have gotten caught doing (or saying) that” or “I wish this wasn’t a big deal” way but in a way that indicates that they are aware. People who value connection operate from a place of choice- they recognize the choice they have in their thoughts, they know where they stand and they make decisions that indicate this.

I am one of those people who is hyper-relational. Not in the “I have so many friends” way or “I go to a lot of social events” way. In the “I cherish deep connection with people” way. I’m (mostly) introverted and I love to be at home with my husband and children. When I do have an opportunity to spend time with a friend I go back and forth between whether I’ll go or not right up until the minute I leave my house. When I do go and I am able to (mentally/emotionally) connect I feel satisfied. When I go and I do not connect I feel disappointed…that I left my house. It really is a struggle but deep meaningful connection is so incredible. It’s something that unfortunately most people have not been privileged enough to enjoy.

Why haven’t they been privileged? Why aren’t more people searching for deep, meaningful connection? Probably because they either don’t want it (weird) or don’t know that’s what they want OR they don’t know how to get/give it. Also, some of most of those people aren’t able to obtain a deep meaningful connection. They just do not operate from a place of emotional intelligence. Or as my therapist tells me “they aren’t on the same frequency as you are”.

So, how do you develop emotional intelligence and how do you obtain a meaningful connection with other people. First you have to decide if that is something you want. Are you hyper-relational or socially- relational? If that makes sense to you ask yourself- who are the people in my life that operate from a frequency that is different than my own- you know those people that you think just know stuff- not like fact stuff but people stuff? Think about people who make statements that are insightful, that recognize the value of individual thought over collective thought and that truly have something to offer you that if you accepted you could be a changed person. Those people are likely operating on a high frequency and are emotionally intelligent. Make time for those people and decide that you are willing to be vulnerable, to share your thoughts, ideas, questions, longings and so on.

Spend time with this person and choose to recognize the inner-growth that develops from this relationship. Choose to recognize your ability for growth and the need for you to value relationships as something that can truly be fulfilling. You are meant to make a difference in this world and in order to do that you have to be able to develop connections- deep and meaningful. And who knows what else will come from that, what opportunity will develop and what power will be released in your ability to be together with another person not just in being but in thought and emotion- in true connection.

MONDAY MANTRA: self-growth is desirable

COMMITMENT: I WILL SEEK OUT VALUABLE RELATIONSHIPS AND I WILL MAINTAIN THEM.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

“Before you can do, you have to learn.”

A few months ago, someone said this phrase to me and it stuck with me. I thought to myself- “that must be why so many people have difficulty managing stressors- because they haven’t learned how to”. I mean this wasn’t like an AHHHAH moment or anything. I knew this to be true already. But sometimes things are so simple that we forget them to be true.

So of course, I first related this to my clients or in general people who seek the help of a mental health professional. I thought about the amount of time that I spend with clients discussing strategies for relieving distress. Some of the strategies require quite a bit of brainstorming; developing plans that are unique to that person and especially taking in to account their past experiences. Do they have (significant) relationship distress, do they have a trauma history, do they have comprehension difficulties, do they have a lack of support- in what ways are they struggling. Some strategies are generic- they can be applied to anyone and if applied correctly the person will experience a decline in stress which interferes in their life. Ie taking a bath, working less hours, applying boundaries to a relationship, exercise, hobbies, more sleep and so on and so on…

We all experience stress. Stress maintained turns in to anxiety and so often when people feel a lack of control over their life they also experience depression. Why is it though that so many people have difficulty reducing stress at the onset? Remove factors such as relationship distress, a trauma history, comprehension difficulties or a lack of support. There’s still an individual. An individual with the responsibility to care for themselves.

As I continued to think about that phrase I began to think more that maybe people are not giving themselves enough credit, maybe they are not taking responsibility for their emotional and mental health. Maybe there are adults out there who could be further along than they are irregardless of their circumstances if they just started taking responsibility for themselves. If they stopped waiting for someone else or something else to change first and if they decided now that a lot of stress management is common sense- go ahead and teach yourself. (I really should take the “maybes” out of those sentences but I wanna be nice here.)

Some people work from an internal locus of control- meaning that they believe that they have influence over their life and that create their reality. Some people work from an external locus of control- meaning that life just sort-of happens to them. Random. What I mean by taking responsibility is not like a behavior control thing- “If you took responsibility for yourself you’d make better choices” While I agree with that, it’s not the point I’m trying to drive home here. I’m saying that this is an inside job. It’s a real mind-bender, it’s not easy but it can be done and with less energy than is required to remain in the stress.

So, take a minute, step back and ask yourself what am I waiting for someone else to do first that I could do right now? Am I taking responsibility for my emotional and mental health? If not what would it look like if I were to?- that last question will tell you what you need to do.

 

MONDAY MANTRA: Do well at all things.

COMMITMENT: I WILL NOT ACCOMIDATE STRESS

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

 

Are you saying yes or no subconsciously?

That is such a great question to ask yourself. If you’re honest and especially if you haven’t done a lot of mindset work than more often than not you are saying “no”. Mindset work is the efforts that some put in to their daily life to shift their perspective. Some people are aware of their thoughts. Some are so aware that at times they can not only vividly hear their conscious thoughts but they can also block the “no” thoughts. Mindset work also involves learning to understand yourself so well that you are in tuned with your subconscious mind.

Let’s first talk about the conscious mind- thoughts that come to us in real time. I want you to in this moment assume full and total responsibility for your conscious thoughts. Acknowledge to yourself “I am the master of my thoughts”. Now take a moment to let this sink in- breathe this in- close your eyes if you are able. Take a deep breath and repeat three times “I am the master of my thoughts”. Now with this new found responsibility or maybe you think you’ve always thought this but unfortunately you haven’t taken the time to acknowledge it, we can move on to discussing what you will do with your power.

Let’s focus on the thoughts of abundance (positive) -vs- lack (negative). When you assume responsibility of your thoughts you are better able to filter the thoughts. Thoughts of abundance are thoughts that you allow which acknowledge your right and ability to create a life that is fulfilling for you. If you’re thinking abundance is money, yes, yes it is but it is not just money.

Side note- if you are uncomfortable with money or believe that “money is the route of all evil” but also wonder why you don’t have more money or if you will ever have more money (more=enough to do what you would like to be able to do, whatever that may be) then wahlah my friend- refer to your thoughts for the answers.

Some examples of thoughts that you can start saying to yourself which focus on abundance are:

I am increasingly confident in my ability to create the life I desire.

I take chances to make changes.

I send out a positive signal of expectation.

When you have thoughts that are of lack, are negative and do not create feelings of gratitude, acknowledge the thought and consciously dismiss it. Sometimes it will be necessary to actually say (in your mind or out loud) STOP! Then remind yourself of the affirmation phrase “I am the master of my thoughts”. Then use a replacement phrase ie thought of abundance. Then move on- absolutely absolutely do not dwell on the fact that despite being the master of your thoughts, you had a thought of lack.

Your subconscious mind is where the magic happens. This is the place in us that maintains our self-esteem, our self-worth. Your conscious mind trains your subconscious mind. Or is it your subconscious mind trains your conscious mind? Does it really matter? Not really. Good, we’re on the same page. Stay with me here. All you need to remember is that there are thoughts that come to you in real time and then there are thoughts that your mind thinks behind the scenes. Train your mind to be so good, so on its game that you can trust the behind the scenes to have your back.

Some examples of thoughts that you can practice (daily) to train your subconscious mind are:

I am happy and grateful to be receiving.

I enjoy life.

Life is easy and good.

Thoughts of gratitude are gold! Gratitude is what so many people are missing. Practice gratitude daily. Acknowledge aspects of your life that you are truly grateful for and aspects that you know you should stop taking for granted. Make a list of everything that you are grateful for and commit to read the list as often as possible until it because natural for you to practice gratitude!

MONDAY MANTRA: I create a life that aligns with who I really am.

COMMITMENT: I RECOGNIZE MY THOUGHTS AND I ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

 

There’s more than enough success and happiness to go around.

 

Sometimes I find myself thinking that I can’t do something because there are already too many people doing it. Those people have been doing it for longer and they are good at it. I can’t compete with them. Self-doubt creeps in. Am I even good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I dedicated enough? Or sometimes I come up with even more specific reasons for why I can’t do it. I have a specialized degree, I need to focus on that field alone. I have small children, I need to make sure that I am reserving enough time for them. If I work too much/do this too will I be able to contribute to the household like I want to be able to?

These are all examples of toxic thoughts. They’re aren’t super crazy so my mind sometimes says “yeah, you’re probably right” or “that does make sense, good thing you thought of that”. Toxic thoughts aren’t always overtly negative sometimes they are rational in disguise. However, that thing that I want to pursue…it keeps creeping in and my optimism says to me “why do you talk to yourself like that?” or “those things are true but you can still do that”.

Real confidence is knowing that you believe in what you want and think regardless of what others want or think. It sounds something like “I’ll be fine if they don’t like me” -vs- “they will like me”. Both self-statements sound similar but the second one subconsciously relies on the validity of others. If we were truly honest with ourselves we would admit that a lot of what holds us back- why we think those toxic thoughts is because how dare we step out if line- how dare we do something other than what we are “supposed to be doing” and most of that judgment comes from others or judging ourselves based on the expectations of others. Its not their fault and its not our either. Blame is not required here. What is required is faith and the ability to recognize our thoughts and then to shift them to align with our true potential.

The question is- How do I become more confident?

  • Try something new.
    • If you don’t know how to do it teach yourself how to or have someone teach you. There is so much “free information” out that that no one really has any excuses for why they don’t know how to do something (aside from a learning or physical disability).
  • Practice positive affirmations daily-
    • I am learning and growing every day.
    • I recognize my true value.
    • I am grateful to be receiving.
    • I am valuable.
    • I am progressing.
    • I make wise choices.
    • I am forgiving of my faults.
  • Implement a schedule that allows you ample time to focus on your goal. Stop telling yourself that you are too busy- we make time for what we want.
  • Get a mentor, coach, therapist, person who inspires you.
    • GUESS WHAT?!? There are so many people on Facebook and Instagram who are doing what you want to do and who are willing and readily offer advise as to how you can do it to. Research these people and follow those who you feel drawn to.-Block out jealously and judgment and allow only the ability to be inspired and to appreciate what they are doing- this opens you to receive the information and to be able to recognize how you can apply it. COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY- IT’S A REAL HATER AND YOU DON’T NEED THAT JUNK IN YOUR LIFE!

MONDAY MANTRA: I have the ability to shift my thoughts. I am the master of my thoughts. I am receiving all that i desire.

COMMITMENT: I RECOGNIZE MY DESIRES AND MY BLOCKS. I WILL MAKE A PLAN TO ACHIEVE GOODNESS-

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

Sometimes a well planned for Monday becomes a Wednesday.

We set out with good intentions- wanting to develop patterns and habits sometimes for the purpose of shaping or maintaining dare I say “a life well lived”. Maybe these are beliefs that we hold true for ourselves- like if I am to be professional and create a business that is successful I will develop a schedule which includes meditation, reading, blogging, exercise (cause healthy body=healthy mind), networking, researching and so on and so on. We do this for our professional lives and our personal lives. We probably do it more often now-a-days with social media working ever so hard to convince or remind us of what our life should look like.

What should our lives look like? Well I do believe that they should be in order and include some schedule and routine BUT sometimes today really does become tomorrow and its well-intentioned and that is ok! Unlike the phrase “don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today”…… whoops. Well now that Im in tomorrow instead of today it has me thinking that its ok. Its ok that I didn’t write this blog post on Monday when I did in fact have the time- I mean who am I kidding? I have time, you have time, we all have time. We like to tell ourselves and most often other people- so they know how busy we are- that we just don’t have the time or that we are tired. But the truth is that our life is a collection of what we have created, what we feel and what we think. If we think we are busy and that life is just so hard! Then wahla!

It is time that we stop allowing ourselves to think that we are too busy to get things done or too busy to relax or too busy to meet up with a friend or to start a blog or invest in a business or go for a walk or volunteer or apply to a new job or go to college and the list goes on and on and on then….wahla! Sometimes if you want something- get it/do it applies and sometimes its ok to do it tomorrow but stop telling yourself (and others) that its because you didn’t have time. You chose!

MONDAY (yes its Wednesday) MANTRA: I have the ability to create my life and I take responsibility for my time and my choices.

COMMITMENT: I WILL STOP COMPLAINING AND STOP MAKING EXCUSES AND SOMETIMES ILL JUST CUT MYSELF A BREAK.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.

Not Your Average Monday

People are generally open to trying new things.

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Most people who I interact with have either been through substantial change or are going through substantial change. I was tempted to change that sentence to read “everyone” instead of “most” however, I don’t interact with everyone in a way that allows me to be sure of the validity of the first sentence. As a licensed counselor, I like to think of myself as a change-agent. I also pride myself on being receptive and welcoming to change. That’s one of the factors that helps me to be able to successfully assist others through their change.

Adaptation. This is what sets those who do handle change apart from those who do not. Are you able to adapt to the challenges that life presents? The reality is that there will most certainly be change in your life but can you or should I say will you adapt? You can adapt and you probably, if you think long and hard, have some pretty good ideas of what to do to help yourself. Some of those ideas might sound like “I should really take a vacation” or “I should get a massage” or “I should sort through my things and donate what is unneeded” (clutter adds stress, but that’s a whole ‘nother post on its own) or “I should really talk to her about boundaries” and the list goes on and on and on. The truth is that most people really do have a good idea about what they should be doing to care for themselves.

Application. The willingness to follow through on what you know you need to do to care for yourself is the next step. That thought that keeps playing in your mind of what you should do for self-care…yea…you know what it is. Do it. Decide now that you will give yourself three days to schedule that massage or set a date to talk to that someone about some good ole’ boundaries. But if you really aren’t sure what to do for self-care ask a trusted friend or loved one. Support is crucial. Learning to or letting people care for us is not always easy but it is a part of the master plan.

What’s this master plan I speak of? Well as humans we are relational beings. We sometimes, every once in a while, ok so more often than not…we kind of stink at it but we know we need one another and we thrive off of connection. If you don’t have a sturdy someone special in your life research a good therapist (wink, wink- that would be me) and schedule some time to connect with someone who can help you to create some space in your life where you are able to adjust to change and the challenges of life.

MONDAY MANTRA: I LOVE MYSELF AND I WILL ACTIVELY CARE FOR MYSELF.

COMMITMENT: BECAUSE I LOVE MYSELF I WILL SET TIME THIS WEEK TO CARE FOR MYSELF.

*close your eyes, breathe in your nose (to the count of four) and then out your mouth (to the count of four) and say to yourself: Even though I am struggling I completely and totally accept myself. Repeat this three times.