Viva La 7th, MindFULLY Of Course…

Living MindFULLY isn’t easy but, it is simple.  Since 7 is my favorite number and it is July 7th today, here are 7 simple not easy ways to live mindfully!

1. Eat Healthy – Food is all about instant gratification, think long term!

2. Get a healthy amount of sleep – you don’t let your car run for days at a time, nor do you let your car sit undriven for long periods of time either. Respect the Rest!

3. Practice Patience – I know we want it now, or even yesterday! But keep in mind that impatience breeds anxiety.

4. Make Slow, Lasting Changes – You may be able to quit everything for a few days but will it last? Make small changes first and work on maintaining.  Think a slow transformation over the shock and awe. This aint biggest loser.

5. Be Present – Get out of your head!  You are missing…everything!  The world happens around you not inside of your head or inside your phone screen!

6. Remember the road goes both ways – we can be quick to point the finger but remember everytime you point the finger you have 3 pointing back at you.

7. Learn to let go – holding on to people or things that don’t want to be held on to will only torment you.  If something is unhealthy in your life, more of that will not make it better.  If there was poison dripping into your arm that would kill you, and you had a choice to take it out or let it drop slowly all day err day, which would you choose? Now here’s the wrench, if you let that poison drip you get cotton candy once a day…SOLD! Not.  Ridiculous right? Yup, it sure is.

Dontcha Know That You’re Toxic…

Did that title sound familiar?

Here’s a little more..see if you guess it.

With a taste of your lips
I’m on a ride
You’re toxic I’m slipping under
With a taste of a poison paradise
I’m addicted to you
Don’t you know that you’re toxic
And I love what you do
Don’t you know that you’re toxic

If you’re now singing Toxic by Britney Spears, you nailed it!  If you are just confused then just continue reading. :)

Toxic can be defined as: unhealthy, dangerous, poisonous, or something that you want to stay away from. However, we are not talking about a chemical or a venomous animal, we are talking about people.  Toxic people can catch you off guard. One can be so invested that by the time they realize it, it’s almost too late.  The venom begins to paralyze.

Knowledge is power, and just like knowing the saying for snakes…

Red on black…friend of Jack…Red on yellow, kill a fellow.

Being well informed can save you a lot of pain and heartache.

1. The Manipulator – They are experts in manipulation.  Their talent is finding what your buttons are and then pushing them to get what they want.

They are toxic because they begin to eat away at your belief system and self-esteem.  Your values, morals, and boundaries can become compromised and you can begin to lose your sense of identity.

Manipulators tend to function out of a fear of being out of control. They will manipulate in order to avoid vulnerability and trusting others to take the reigns.

2. The Narcissist – The Narcissist believes that the world revolves around them. They can be blunt about getting their needs met and in the beginning their direct approach may seem refreshing. Your needs are unimportant to them, it is all about making sure they are taken care of. 

They are toxic because your energy levels become drained due to focusing on them, and you have no energy left for yourself.  Not only are you emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically dehydrated but you will also begin questioning your sanity. It will seem odd that they seem to be so happy within the confines of this one sided relationship and you are the unhappy one.

Narcissists tend to lead double lives, and have a persona that they show the world and have another one behind clothes doors that no one typically sees.

3. The Downers – Downers lean towards the negative. Their cup is always half empty.

They are toxic because they are bubble bursters, taking joy and excitement out of any situation.  If you are around downers for long periods of time you may even begin to become one.

Downers tend to be insecure about themselves.  They are not entirely happy about their lives and have negative thinking errors.  What we believe in our heart tends to come out of our mouth.

4. The Judgers – If something does not fit a judgers belief system they automatically assume it is wrong.  Judgers are typically black and white thinkers and find it difficult or refuse to see any grey area.

They are toxic because they are very critical and negative.  They, like downers, can also be a kill joy. Judging is something that can be learned, so be careful because it can rub off on you.

Judgers tend to be insecure of themselves and instead of confronting those issues they project those insecurities onto other people.  Judgers have high expectations and typically have a perfectionistic mindset.

5. The Dream Killer – Dream killers will tell you that you can’t or that it is impossible to do.

They are toxic because they are stuck in what is not what could be.  This can begin to eat away at your self-esteem and belief in yourself. If you are around dream killer for a long period of time you may become stagnant.

Dream killers have a fear of being left behind.  They do not want to see other’s succeed where they believe they cannot.

6. The Insincere – The insincere keep you at an arms length and keep things on the surface.

They are toxic because the relationship is built on a superficial foundation. You can continue to try and invest in them but you will meet a wall.  They are only willing to invest in you on a surface level.  If you really need an insincere they will not be there for you.

The insincere function out of a fear of getting hurt.  They do not let themselves close enough to get hurt.

7. The Disrespectful – The disrespectful are inappropriate, aggressive, and tend to be bullies.

They are toxic because they can be opportunists to use any information to their advantage. They have no sense of boundaries. They do not respect your feelings, thoughts, ideas, or values.

The disrespectful tend to have low self-esteem.  Instead of processing these emotions of low self-worth, they choose to act the polar opposite.  The disrespectful can also be taught, many children who bully others in schools are bullied at home by older siblings or parents.

8. The Impossibles – nothing will ever be good enough for the impossibles. They take you for granted and have unrealistic expectations. They will continually blame you and will not take personal responsibility for themselves.

They are toxic because you will drain yourself of energy to please them and you can end up losing yourself in the process. They can even make you feel bad about yourself which can eat away at your self-esteem and self-confidence.

The impossibles are looking to fill a void within themselves. They have not grasped the concept that they need to be able to fill the void themselves. They are constantly searching for new hobbies and new people to cover up the lack they feel inside. This appeases them for a short while until they realize that the void is still present.

No one is perfect. If any of these are you…there is hope. We can face our demons, we can confront those insecurities head on. Once we deal with the root issue, the unhealthy coping that we do to cover up the pain will begin to disappear.

There is freedom and power in our choices, use it!!

 

 

 

What Grey’s Anatomy Taught Me About How I Function Within A Relationship!

How greys anatomy taught me about how I function within relationships… I am loyal even when you’re boring, confusing or overly emotional I will still invest time into you… Even if I can’t listen at the moment I will always come back to listen (ie dvr) I am willing to invest, 10 years… 10 years of laughing, smiling, crying, death, weddings, separations and writers strikes.. I’m still here, I still care, I still care about big things, small things, trivial things I still care, and lastly, even when I’m mad at you, I still love you and will get over being mad and continue to invest, love, support and dedicate time to you.

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Why are boundaries so important?

Boundaries… Eek

When someone hears the word boundaries they have a few different reactions.

“What’s that?”

“I don’t want to live my life with limits!”

“I need to work on that…”

When I hear boundaries, I light up! My response is, “Let’s talk!”

I am by no means a master of boundaries, but I have been learning more each year while counseling.

Boundaries is one of those topics that makes people feel out of control or less than.

But, why?

When someone tells you that you need to improve an aspect of yourself what is your response?  “Oh wonderful!  I wanted to know how imperfect I was today!” Probably not.  We are all different.  Some people stray away from healthy criticism and others lean towards it.

The thing about boundaries is it takes someone who has boundaries to realize that you do not.  So with that said, there are many out there who will still believe that you are “perfect”.  But for the others who pursue personal growth you may have to work harder to convince them.  You may even have to create some boundaries to continue your illusion.

So back to our topic question, why are boundaries important?  Boundaries have two main functions.

First, they define who we are.  Boundaries show what we are and what we are not, what we agree on and what we do not agree on.  It also shows a clear example of what we love and what we hate.

Secondly, boundaries protect us.  We set boundaries so that we can keep good things in and bad things out.  When our limits are not clear and direct we expose ourselves to unhealthy, toxic experiences and people.

So…do you have bad boundaries?  Let’s take a quick quiz.

Question 1: Do you go against personal values or rights in order to please others?

Question 2: Do you let others define who you are?

Question 3: Do you expect others to fulfill your needs?

Question 4: Do you feel guilty when you say “NO”?

Question 5: Do you hesitate to speak up if you disagree with someone or something?

Question 6: Do you stand up for yourself if you are being treated poorly?

Question 7: Do you share too much too soon?

Question 8: Do you rush getting to know someone?

Question 9: Are you afraid of people leaving you?

Answer Key: Yes = Y No = N

Bad boundaries: 1. Y  2. Y  3. Y  4. Y  5. Y  6. N  7. Y  8. Y  9. Y

Good boundaries: 1. N  2. N  3. N  4. N  5. N  6. Y  7. N  8. N  9. N

How’d you do?  Despite whatever category you ended up in, we can all use some work.

Here are some helpful guidelines for setting boundaries.

1. Boundaries are for you and only you!  You can not impose your boundaries on others, or force others to set their own boundaries.

2. Boundaries are meant to be a positive addition not a negative one.

3. Boundaries should be clear and direct.

4. Boundaries should be flexible, and they can be different for each level of relationships. (stranger, acquaintance, friends, coworkers, family, best friends, and spouses)

5. Boundaries should be balanced and realistic, not extreme and unattainable.

6. You must stand up for your boundaries because no one else will!

Here’s to a wonderful 2014.

Be Blessed and Happy Boundary Setting!

Saying Thank You

Have you ever received a compliment, and thought; “Oh they are just being nice”? How do you respond when someone tells you that you look nice?  “What?  This is just something I threw together”. Why is it so hard to respond with, “Thank You”? This goes deeper than just a simple communication error. It is bigger than a missed opportunity.

We do not say, “Thank You” because we do not believe what the other person is saying. By saying “Thank You”, you accept the compliment, and agree to it.  But we don’t. We don’t accept it or agree. When we meet a compliment with misdirection, or a push off comment, we reduce the likelihood of a future compliment. Have you ever tried to compliment someone who will just not accept it? It can be very frustrating. We might even think; “Why can’t they just say thank you, and move on”. This is something that is very easily seen in others; but we tend to overlook this mentality towards ourselves. As humans we are naturally hypocrites, so this is no surprise.

So where is the root? Where does this begin, and how do we fix it? The refusal to accept compliments stems from low self-esteem. I know, this is a hot button to push, and we tend to avoid it. But, looking at ourselves through rose-colored glasses isn’t going to help us reach a deeper level of personal growth. We are flawed, blemished, and imperfect. But, we still attempt to view ourselves in the best possible light. Facing constructive criticism, or coming face-to-face with our weaknesses, is not our idea of a good time. But the truth of the matter pulses through every avoided compliment.

        If you don’t believe in yourself, you won’t believe it when someone else does. 

When we look for the escape route within a compliment we are not only telling the world that we do not affirm ourselves; but that if you do not agree with their opinion you will not hear them. You may listen but you will not truly hear the words that are being said.

The belief that we are good enough, or pretty enough, starts with us.  We have to put faith into ourselves, and enter into a realm of self-acceptance. This is not something that anyone can do for you. It is a choice.  It is a choice that each, and every one of us needs to make for ourselves. It starts with us, with our thoughts, beliefs, and actions towards our own reflection. We need to be our own best friend. We cannot radically change our thinking over night; it is a process. But if we don’t start today…when will we?

 

Trust is a Belief

If you live long enough you will find reasons to not trust.
People are people.
We are all imperfect and flawed.
People will always let you down and eventually we all have reasons to not trust.
 
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Trust is so important. 
 
“We can never obtain peace with the outer world until we make peace with ourselves” – Dalai Lama
 
The same is true for trust.  We will never be able to trust others if we can not trust ourselves.
 
We get hurt and we develop scars to cover up the wounds and we block it off and say “I’m never trusting again, I’m never doing this or that – this will never happen to me again”.
 
Which really just says that I am choosing protection over love, faith, hope and belief.
 
If you have to be 100% certain about who to trust then you will never find anyone to trust, not even yourself.
 
It’s not so much about trusting others.  The question we should be asking is, Can I trust myself to handle things no matter what happens?
 
We have strength coming from within all of us, we just have to use it.  No matter how great we are or someone else is, we are still only human.  We will always be let down or let someone down.  The difference is that we can choose to get back up again – if we believe that we can.
 
If you’re constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something to go wrong – then it will and it will drop louder because you were waiting for it.  And once it happens after you waited for it you will feel justified in containing those scars and saying, “see what happens when I trust people”?
 
Life is beautiful when lived with eyes of grace and love.  Open up again, the good most definitely out weighs the bad.
 
Trust Quotes

Baggage Fees

How long do the people in our life presently have to pay for the wounds of our past relationships?  It doesn’t have to be intimate relationships, but friendships as well.  How long will we hold people at arms length because someone from our past has hurt us deeply?

We all have to pay baggage fees even if it’s not our baggage.

Bags don’t fly free.

Southwest claims that bags fly free on their airline but they are not the cheapest airline anymore.  It seems like they have higher ticket prices and tell you that bags fly free.  Essentially it’s as if you are paying for a check bag even if you don’t have one.

Whether its our baggage or not in a relationship; friendship or intimate, both parties end up paying “baggage fee’s”.

Baggae

At what point do we let the people in our present off the hook?

Have you ever been disappointed?  Have you ever been betrayed?  What about lied to?  These are common transgressions that create trust issues.  I think that as human beings we all have trust issues.  We do however, have a choice.  We choose to keep our relationships at arms length or to open ourselves up again.  Granted, we could be opening up just to get hurt again but that is a risk that every one takes.

Life is about taking risks.  If we play it safe all of the time we will miss out on all the adventure!

As Jon Acuff says, “If someone hasn’t told you that your dream or big idea or risk in life is crazy, then it’s not big enough”.

Have you ever heard the saying to win big you have to risk big?

It’s TRUE!

Life is one big risk.

Jesus was a huge fan of taking risks.  In fact, He challenged people to risk everything to follow Him.

Could you do it?  Could you risk everything you have worked for?  All for a tremendous adventure?  And if you said no, would you be so jealous and wish you had once seeing Facebook pictures of said adventure?

Just imagine if Facebook had been around when Jesus was walking the earth.  The people who didn’t want to give up everything who said, I can’t.  Imagine what their feelings would be when they saw pictures of feeding the 5,000.  Or what if Jesus checked in on Facebook to Lazarus’ funeral and then it quickly changed to, just kidding it’s a birthday party he’s alive!!!

We are missing so much adventure.  We are saying that my baggage and my past wounds are more important than taking a risk on you.  Is that what we want to say to our friends or possible partners?

We all have baggage but we choose what to do with it.  We choose to use it for “good” or “evil”.

One of my favorite quotes ever is, “Experience is not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you”.

So what are you going to do with your baggage?

Me and my baggage, we are going on many adventures!

Got baggae

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