NO REGRETS: 10 WAYS TO START EACH DAY WITH A CLEAN SLATE

No Regrets: 10 Ways to Start Each Day with a Clean Slate 

By Tamara Lechner

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“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss”—Jonathan Larson

There’s a Buddhist parable called The Second Arrow. The story explains that in life, pain is inevitable. You will experience the pain of loss, betrayal, diagnosis, or grief. The pain is likened to being shot by an arrow and is outside of your personal control. However, when you get stuck pulling on the arrow and complaining about the arrow to show people that you have been shot, the subsequent pain, anger, and suffering is entirely your fault. This is the second arrow.

Living a fully present life keeps you from rehashing your mistakes, your breakups, and the job you should have taken. It allows peace of mind. You may know this already and yet pain from the past intrudes on your present- day happiness. Here are a few tips to help you avoid the second arrow.

1. Practice Gratitude

Being truly grateful keeps you in the moment. When you focus your attention on something or someone, your feelings of reverence will keep you in the moment. Gratitude (http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to- develop-a-gratitude-mindset) happens in the now, no matter when the experience that you are grateful for actually happened.

Dee:

That I “get to” wake up every morning, rather than “come to” after a night of substance abuse, and wake up excited to greet the day, is something for which I shall be eternally grateful.  Coming out of decades of an exhausting substance abuse nightmare has taught me how grateful I am to be right here, right now, in recovery.  Recovery is my priority as is turning my life and will over to a Power Greater Than Myself.  Life has got fuller, more meaningful, and easier.  I have a purpose today to share my experience, strength and hope with others who don’t have it yet.

2. Make a No “What Ifs” Rule

Spinning on what might have been keeps you from moving forward. Your thoughts may seem to circle back again and again to the things you think you could or should have done differently. When you catch yourself thinking a “what if,” just recognize that you didn’t and move forward.

(http://www.chopra.com/live-events/weekend-within)

Dee:

I really feel today that everything happens for a reason.  The good, the bad, the ugly have all brought me to where I am in the present moment.  I am always in transition; I shall be a different person 5 minutes from now.  And I continue to learn and grow from everything that occurs within and around me.  I shall live with the “glass half full” mentality and positively move forward to be the best I can be.

3. Reframe Your Past to Make You the Hero in Your Life Story

You may tell your story in a way that doesn’t paint a flattering picture. Try to rethink your scenario in a way that has you in a position of power. For example, if you regret not going to college, instead of continuing to tell a story of regret, decide to either make a plan to get to college or to tell a story that supports the path you chose instead.

Dee:

I no longer regret that I am an alcoholic.  I no longer live in shame.  Recovery from alcoholism has created a new me.  I’m a person comfortable in my own skin, who understands what makes me tick.  I no longer have to react.  I no longer have to understand everything.  I can let go and let God, live in the moment, be humble and grateful.  Again, I feel this life journey has happened just the way it was supposed to, to make me this content and light-hearted being that I am today.  I can simplify my life and prioritize the handful of people, places and things that are meaningful.

4. Get Physical

Take a dance class or a yoga class, or give surfing or rollerblading a go. When you choose an activity that requires your focus to balance or to learn a sequence of motions, your brain will be busy doing something other than ruminating on your past.

Dee:

I have recently joined a gym that offers yoga and a wealth of other classes.  The hour or so I spend there is just for me.  I leave my head and my thoughts at the door.  And I take the time to chisel the fascia off my bones from years of neglect.  The pile of life that was and will always be on my plate is still there but nibbling away at it, one morsel at a time, seems actually kind of fun with my new mindset after a good workout.

5. Make a to-Do List

Having a plan for today keeps you from feeling ungrounded. If you fill your day with meaningful tasks (http://www.chopra.com/articles/5-reasons-to-never-ditch-your-to-do-list), you will have something to keep you from falling back into the pattern of regret.

Dee:

I have good days and I have bad days.  So my goal is to just cross three things a day off my To-Do List that goes on into eternity.  It feels so good to cross off three accomplishments.  Then it feels great to cross off one or two more if that is where I’m being called by my heart to do.  Three things is easy; three-hundred is overwhelming.

6. Go Outside

Nature is like a natural reset button on your brain. The chemicals it releases when you get fresh air and sunshine help to overcome the ones released when you are sad, angry, or anxious. Use nature to sweep away the negative.

Dee:

I am so blessed to work in my back patio.  Feeling the breeze as if God were wrapping His arms around me gets me grounded.  Being in tune with the birds helps to quiet the din in my crazy mind.  Most of my day is spent out here and my creative juices get nourished.  But even when I’m away from home I get outside daily.  It’s like a meditation or new scenery or a new outlook on life.

7. Remember, Happiness is a Choice

In every moment, you have the choice to be happy. Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust and founded the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy,” is quoted as saying, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” If you are choosing regret as a pattern, consciously make the decision to replace regret with a different emotion. Happiness (http://www.chopra.com/articles/where-do-you-stack-up-on-the-happiness-scale), hope, excitement, or curiosity are a few good ones.

Dee:

Living with a positive mindset sure beats the other option.  It changes EVERYTHING!  Even when tragedy occurs keeping a positive outlook rather than sitting on that pity-pot allows forward movement.  And who wants to go back?  I wouldn’t go back one day!

8. Start with a Mantra or Affirmation

If your day begins with a thought like, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life” or “I’m excited for what today will bring,” it keeps your focus on the present and future. Choose a positive affirmation (http://www.chopra.com/articles/daily-affirmations-your-hour-by-hour-positivity-plan) to start each day.

Dee:

I still go back to 1998.  I was in a 21-day alcohol treatment program in Reno, Nevada.  Our days were rigorously scheduled from sunup to sundown and beyond.  In a group community session we started each day stating an affirmation.  I made up “I am a good person; I am a whole person.”  At that time after decades of an exhausting journey of substance abuse, I felt anything but good or whole.  I was a horrible mother, horrible wife, horrible person.  I was a waste of space on the planet.  I didn’t know why I was even here.  I hated myself and looked in the mirror with my hand shaped like an “L” on my forehead and called myself a loser.

Today “I am a good person; I am a whole person” is still my mantra, my affirmation.  And today I feel good in my skin; I love myself for who and what I am at this very moment.  I embrace my journey and my past and my future.  This didn’t come overnight.  One day at a time, just like in Alcoholics Anonymous.  Everything in baby steps.  Be kind to yourself.

9. End with a Highlight Reel

Getting to sleep can be difficult if your thoughts keep circling to what could have been. Try counting your blessings instead of counting sheep. It makes for a nice transition from waking to sleeping state and sets your mind up to begin positively the next morning.

Dee:

Again, baby steps.  It takes practice and patience to get to the place of living positively, gratefully, humbly.  But it’s sure worth the time and effort to get to the place where “there are no big deals”.  Everything is perfect at this moment.  Be joyful.

10. Avoid Comparing

Social media like Facebook or LinkedIn has a way of showing you the highlight reel of your friends’ lives. Make sure you don’t compare their highlights (http://www.chopra.com/articles/comparing-yourself-again-4-tips-to- survive-social-media-envy) to your unedited version.

Life isn’t a contest. Wherever you are at this time is exactly perfect for you; otherwise, you wouldn’t be there. Discover Deepak Chopra’s daily habits to find peace and happiness—no matter what is going on in your life—at our Weekend Within retreat. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/live-events/weekend-within/).

Dee:

Unlike the new focusing on the bad happening in the world, social media mainly focuses on the good.  We rarely see the good the mankind is accomplishing in the world.  It doesn’t sell news.  We rarely experience the tragedies, depression, heart-ache our friends are going through on social media.  There’s a time and place for sharing those feelings and social media is not the place.  That’s why in AA we have a fellowship and we have sponsors who know us, love us, understand us and don’t judge us.  So don’t compare yourself with those on social media.  You haven’t walked in their shoes now know the whole story…  Just love yourself for who you are today, share the gifts that God gave you with the world, and know that everything is perfect at this very moment…especially YOU!!!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in inspiring Art with a Message of Hope and Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a “be kind to yourself” day!

About the Author

Tamara Lechner (/bios/tamara-lechner) Certified Instructor: Meditation

Tamara Lechner is a happiness expert and Chopra-Certified Primordial Sound Meditation (/articles/what-is- primordial-sound-meditation) Instructor. Her mission is to be so happy that those around her cannot help but step into her light. She enjoys writing, speaking, and teaching about how a positive mindset affects business, relationships, health, and life satisfaction. Tamara is often found throwing epic parties or walking barefoot in the sand. Join her on The Happiness Trajectory (http://www.ahamoments4u.com/free-online–the-happiness- trajectory.html), a free online mindset reboot, or find out more about her at… Read more (/bios/tamara-lechner)

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LAUGHTER MEDITATION: 5 HEALING BENEFITS AND A 10-MINUTE PRACTICE

Laughter Meditation: 5 Healing Benefits and a 10-Minute Practice
By Melissa Eisler

In a world where there’s much to be taken seriously, it’s important to remember to laugh. Not to make light of the severity of war, discrimination, terror threats, or climate change, but to maintain a perspective that there is still much to be thankful for and to celebrate in your life.

Laughter meditation is an effective and easy way to create this balance. If you’ve done it, you likely understand its healing benefits (http://www.textbooks.com/Healing-Benefits-of- Acupressure/9780879835361/Fred-M-Houston.php). If you haven’t, you might be a little skeptical of its power to improve your mood and awaken your inner child. Before writing it off as an off-the-wall meditation practice, take a look at the benefits laughter meditation can bring to your life.

Whether you’re looking for an escape from the somber state of the world, or just wanting to reengage a part of you that’s been dormant—accessing joy, pleasure, and connection—practice laughter meditation and embrace all it has to offer your mind, body, and spirit.

Dee:

How do you see the glass?  Half full or half empty or even refillable?  Today I try to live my life looking at people, places and things in a positive way.  Even with the severities we have occurring all around us on a daily basis, we need to be mindful of the moment right in front of us.  We need to acknowledge our gifts and our journeys that have made us better human beings.  We need to be grateful for what we have and not focus on what we haven’t.  I oftentimes use laughter to change my mood and attitude to get back into that positive mindset.  I love being a kid, acting like a kid, laughing and playing like a kid!

Here are five healing benefits of laughter meditation.

Presence 

As with most meditation practices, laughter meditation provides an opportunity to slow down and be present in your life. With your smartphone usually within arm’s reach, it’s easy to be somewhere physically, but at the same time be somewhere else mentally. With human nature always planning for the future or analyzing the past, it’s hard to maintain a sense of awareness where you are right now. The truth is, your body can never be anywhere but present. Bring your mind and spirit into that same realm.

When you practice laughter meditation, the main focus of your meditation is to laugh. There are no objects to concentrate on or visualizations to take you elsewhere. You simply laugh. Once you become aware of your body while laughing—how your belly moves in and out, or your head moves side to side— you become aware of your surroundings and ground yourself in the present moment.

Dee:

When I meditate my thoughts usually interfere with my focus on breathing and mind-clarity.  The same happens when I practice laughter meditation.  I embrace those thoughts and thank my Higher Power for them and then ask that they be taken away, whisked away on a cloud.  Then I get back to meditation…until the next random thoughts.

Lightness 

The world can sometimes seem like a dark, cruel place. There is so much pain and hurt happening across continents that it can be easy to slip into the belief that you need to take life seriously. This can translate into taking yourself too seriously. After all, there is much to be done to create peace and balance in the world.

While there is nothing wrong with seeing problems and figuring out a way to fix them, making sure you’re doing a stand-up job at work, or taking care of your family, issues can arise when you do all these things with a heaviness of spirit. There is a cost when you don’t give yourself the opportunity to experience pleasure, fun, and frivolity, and laughter meditation can help. When you sit on the floor or stand in a room and simply start laughing, you can’t take yourself too seriously—it’s not possible. Laughter meditation invites you to set aside your serious “adult” ways and enjoy being funny, helping you to remember the important element of lightness.

Dee:

Again, focus on and live in the moment.  Even if briefly, do some laughter meditation.  No one cares.  No one is judging.  And if so, don’t give a shit.  Be you.  Love you.  Right now.  And remember all the negativity with which we are bombarded in the news is what sells news.  Only a small percentage is the feel-good stuff that we need to remember is happening everyday, everywhere.  And when we do witness the tragedies occurring on this planet, remember the comraderie, empathy, compassion and love that has come about from these incidents.

Connection 

It’s easy with technology to “connect” with others via social media, or perhaps you have a handful of acquaintances through work, but take a step back and assess how intentional you are with truly connecting with someone else.

Laughter meditation can provide an opportunity to connect with someone in a fun, meaningful way. While it can be practiced alone or with others, when others are involved, you forge a connection that truly celebrates the joy in life. It can be intimidating to practice laughter meditation with another person because you probably don’t want to look foolish. But once you enter into that space, you have an immediate support system because they too will probably feel the same way.

Dee:

Being an active member in Alcoholics Anonymous I get to laugh so much at hearing some of the most incomprehensible demoralizing things we’ve done.  Some are truly tragic but, together, we’ve come out of it and don’t dwell on it.  On the contrary we are so grateful to have made it to the other side and to experience and share the joys of recovery…together!

Stress Reduction 

When anxiety rears its ugly head, it steals the joy from your life. Anxiety can hijack your emotions and sabotage any effort you make to live a balanced, peaceful, and harmonious life. There are many ways you can combat anxiety, including medication, exercise, and mindfulness, but an easy and often overlooked method is laughing.

Laughter has been proven to help decrease anxiety, stress, and depression (https://www.omicsonline.org/open-access/effects-of-laughter-therapy-on-anxiety-stress-depression- and-quality-of-life-in-cancer-patients-1948-5956-1000362.php?aid=60533), while increasing quality of life. In fact, laughter can actually alter dopamine and serotonin activity (http://www.laughteronlineuniversity.com/laughter-scares-depression-anxiety-boosts-moodstates/) in your brain, offering a noninvasive and non-pharmacological option for dealing with stress and depression. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, make time to practice laughter meditation and harness the power of its healing benefits (http://www.textbooks.com/Healing-Benefits-of- Acupressure/9780879835361/Fred-M-Houston.php).

Dee:

Don’t you love a good comedy?  I remember watching Bad Dogs over and over and laughing so hard my face hurt.  Good tear-jerker laughter that you’re crying.  I feel so much lighter after a good laugh just like a good workout that alters my dopamine and serotonin, but way more fun!

Emotional Release

Emotions are not meant to stay bottled up. Quite the contrary, the release of emotions is critical to your overall well-being. In a world where you feel hurried and are rushing around from one commitment to the next, it can be hard to create the space to let your emotions bubble to the surface.

Laughter meditation provides an opportunity to access your emotions in a creative way. By just focusing on laughing, you’re concentrating on the release of a major emotion, which can open the door to other major emotions like sadness, anger, and fear. At the end of your laughter meditation practice, take some time for stillness and silence. Be open to what comes up, including other emotions. This can be a powerful way to deal with underlying thoughts and feelings that you may not realize you have or have gone unnoticed (either intentionally or unintentionally).

Dee:

I feel so blessed to be part of the AA Fellowship where I learned and have experienced that I am never alone.  I never have to let my emotions bottle up.  Sharing helps take the power about whatever my woes may be.  And I have an awesome husband who will listen to my issues and give me honest feedback.  Rigorous honesty and communication with no hesitation is icing on the cake of recovery!

10-Minute Laughter Meditation 

Laughter meditation is one of the easiest forms of meditation. You’ll start by stretching your body, then you’ll practice laughing and end with silence. Follow these simple steps and reap the benefits of this healing practice:

1.1-2 minutes: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and stretch your arms high above your head. Rock your body side-to-side from your torso, then bend over and touch your hands to your feet. Next, massage your jaw and yawn at least two times to loosen your mouth and relax the muscles in your jaw.

2.3-5 minutes: Find a comfortable position to sit or stand. Start by slightly smiling and then begin laughing without too much effort. Move to deep belly laughs. (Hint: try different types of laughs to encourage your true laugh to come through. Even if it begins as a forced feeling, most people find the forced laughter catalyzes authentic laughter in no time.)

3.3-5 minutes: Sit or lie on the floor in stillness and silence. Be mindful of what comes up for you—how your body feels, emotions that present themselves, and thoughts that arise. (Optional: share what comes up with a trusted friend or write it down in a journal.)

Dee:

Try doing your laughter in front of a mirror or with a friend.  Good fun!  And remember that all is perfect at this very moment…that you are perfect…that you are a gift!  And be grateful for what is in front of you…right here…right now!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational (and Funny) Gifts with a Message, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a fun day!

Slow down and tune into the joy that surrounds you with Deepak Chopra (https://www.amazon.com/Deepak-Chopra-Dream-Weaver-3-0/dp/B01CIEJ2AO) and Chopra Center master educators at our signature yoga and meditation retreat, Seduction of Spirit. Learn More.

From Laughter Meditation: 5 Healing Benefits and a 10-Minute Practice | The Chopra Center

Follow Your Passion in 4 Steps

Follow Your Passions in 4 Steps

By Nicolette Stinson

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Following your passions sounds incredibly exciting and enticing. “Leave behind this soul-sucking job? Yes, please!” Wouldn’t you want to spend your days and nights doing the things you are most passionate about?

As you prepare to make the leap, suddenly Steve Jobs quotes fill your social feed and Katy Perry’s song “Firework” is on your playlist 24/7; it’s great. Then you have to take that first uncomfortable step and you’re face to face with a major fear. Eventually things get uncomfortable on the passion path. You will inevitably rub up against limitations and things won’t always go exactly as expected. In these moments it is vital be able to access your confidence and be courageous.

Dee:  Four years ago I made that leap.  A lot was happening in my life at that time.  I had just got back into recovery again after being clean and sober for 13-1/2 years.  But when I made the move to Hawaii three years prior, I failed to get back into meetings and fellowship and sharing my Experience, Strength and Hope.  I failed to be around newcomers.  I failed to remember who and what I was and where I came from.  I failed…  

My husband had recently made the move from the Mainland to join me in Hawaii.  I was here over two years on my own.  It was the first time in our 30+ years of marriage that we were together as man and wife without children and without drugs and alcohol.  Did we even know each other?  Did we like each other?

The negativity in my head was becoming apparent.  It started to spew from my mouth to customers in Self-Check Out where I worked at a grocery store.  I failed to use the Serenity Prayer.  I failed to use my Higher Power.  I failed to use my toolbox for living.  I failed…

So rather than getting fired having spent the last 20 years with this company, I chose to make the leap into an early retirement to live my passion.  Of course, I was fearful.  My Higher Power was just being allowed back into my life.  I was told not to make any major changes during the first year of my sobriety.  It had been only six months.  But I made the leap and never looked back.  Steve Jobs’ quote is still on my vision board…”Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know what you find it”.

The word confidence comes from the Latin word confidere which means to have full trust. Psychologist Albert Bandura, who devoted his life to the science of confidence, created a term related to this confidence and trust called “self-efficacy.” Self-efficacy is your belief that you will succeed and create whatever you intend to in life. Your sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how you approach goals, tasks, and challenges. When you are confident you have a sense of self-efficacy and your actions align with that. So, then, how do you create self-efficacy?

Dee:  For me confidence and self-efficacy came from working Steps 4 and 5 in Alcoholics Anonymous.  It was by taking my own inventory and sharing it with a trusted person that I was able to be set free from my fear.  I found myself getting more comfortable in my own skin and to finally start loving myself for who and what I am.

Trust and hope and faith comes from reuniting with a Power Greater Than Myself and turning over everything!  That includes turning over my thinking and reactions, my business and my family life, my past and my future, my everything.  And each day I find more gifts being bestowed upon me without my pursuit.  Just by turning it over, having faith, sharing with others, I get to follow my passion.

Bandura found the following four strategies to be the building blocks of self-efficacy.

Mastery Experiences

When you don’t consistently live up to your highest standards or potential and continually shrink back into safety you begin to lose trust in yourself. Mastery experiences are simply past experiences of success and these past experiences give you a sense of confidence. You can begin to cultivate mastery experiences by setting up little wins for yourself and getting incrementally better at something.

Don’t try to take on too much at once or take giant leaps forward. Mastery experiences are all about getting slightly better day by day. If you get 1 percent better at something every day, in one year you will be 365 percent better—that is the essence of creating mastery experiences!

Dee:  Just like the AA slogans state, “One day at a time”, “Progress, not perfection”, “Let go, let God”, “No expectations, no disappointments”, I get to experience little wins for myself with my business and with my life.

ACTION STEP: Embrace Uncertainty and Lean into Fear (in Reasonable Doses) 

Write down a list of what you need to do in order to follow your passions, then break that list down into small actionable tasks you can complete each day. It’s important to recognize that by embracing a new level of uncertainty and leaning into a healthy level of fear, you are inviting in desired change. Doing small things that feel a little scary will help you on your path to creating mastery experiences and increased self-efficacy.

Dee:  Fear is where I spent most of my life before getting to AA and working the steps.  I didn’t believe in myself.  I did not have a Higher Power.  I did not have a toolbox for living.  I had no self-worth and definitely no self-love.  But slowly as I learned to shed my fear-based living did I find that delving into fear was for my highest good.  I could either win or lose, but I would always win for the fact that I tried helped me to grow and taught me life lessons.  “Better an oops than a ‘what if’”.

Vicarious Learning

This idea relies upon the fact that if someone else achieves what you want to achieve you can live through them, and you can learn by seeing what they do to achieve their goals. If someone else has done it, so can you! You have to be careful with this one because there is a tendency to compare yourself with these people as well and that will create the opposite effect of confidence—doubt. It is important that whenever you think about the person who is doing what you want to do that you celebrate their successes or find a way to serve their successes. Learning vicariously through someone you look up to is a great way to build confidence.

Dee:  So hard to not compare myself with others.  Again, I did this throughout most of my life, living in fear and worthlessness.  But being a work in progress as a result of AA’s 12 Step Program helps me to stop comparing and accept myself for who and what I am, right now at this very moment.  It also helps me to grow strong relationships with those around me, rather than compare.  To be of service.  Look for the similarities and not the differences.  So with that I move forward trudging the road to happy destiny.

ACTION STEP: Find a Mentor and Make a Plan

Find a mentor or teacher who can help you confidently make a plan to follow your passions.

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Social Persuasion

The concept of social persuasion takes vicarious learning one step further. This is getting verbal guidance or inspiration from someone you look up to. Hiring someone like a coach who is encouraging you to become better can be a form of social persuasion. But more than anything YOU are in your head all day long and it’s important to learn how to become your own best coach and learn to persuade yourself in positive ways. To be fully confident you must convince yourself that you have what it takes and also practice giving other people that persuasion.

Dee:  Since I started my business, Deesigns by Harris, four years ago, I have studied greatly how to make my business a success.  With the internet there is a wealth of coaching and valuable information at our fingertips.  “But I don’t want to do the business part, I just want to create”.  Well, it’s taken four long years to come to the acceptance that most of my business comes from the administrative part.  No admin…no creativity…no fun.  So when the student was ready, the master appeared.  What I’ve been learning for four years I was ready to apply.  It’s a long and slow process, but I feel the baby steps are moving me in the direction I want to be going.

ACTION STEP: Learn How to Flip Your Limiting Beliefs

Think about what you want to achieve, write down all the reasons you believe that you CAN’T achieve it, then write down the opposite of each of those beliefs to create affirmation statements—use these as fuel for your confidence! You are going to have to get very good at managing your own mindset. Life coach and entrepreneur Anthony Robbins is quoted as saying “80 percent of success is due to psychology—mindset, beliefs, and emotions—and only 20 percent is due to strategy—the specific steps needed to accomplish a result.” That is applicable here as well!

Dee:  This reminds me of Drop the Rock, a recovery/addiction book aimed at helping to remove character defects (Steps 6 and 7 in AA).  At the back of the book is a list of Character Defects/Shortcomings and another list of Program Principles.  The pluses and minuses.  The pros and cons.  How to turn those defects, fears I believe I cannot overcome, into positive beliefs.  This works with recovery; this works with business; this works with life!  Let’s change our mindsets.

Physiology

The last concept from Bandura is that your physiology plays a crucial role in your self-efficacy. In order to feel confident, it’s important that you feel good in your physical body. Generally, this comes back to the basics. Make sure each day you are eating well, getting enough sleep, and getting some form of movement. Do the things that feed a healthy body.

Dee:  This has been slow to come to me as well.  Being the obsessive-compulsive being that I am, I struggle to find moderation.  So when I get in the work mode I stay there until I crash.  Forget eating, resting or exercise.  When I think I am too busy to go to a meeting, I now get up and go.  When eating is the last thing I want to do, I do it.  The seed has been planted to get up and move for 10 minutes every hour or two (still a seed).  And I have joined a gym where I can work out and do Yoga a few times a week.  And I get even more and better work done in the end!

ACTION STEP: Practice Meditation and Yoga

Practice meditation to soothe any negativity or doubt, or take a yoga class to enliven your mind, body, and spirit. Both of these are powerful tools for a healthy physiology.

Use the strategies above that Bandura suggests to set up your own “confidence gym.” The action steps above will help you get started. Intentionally practice these four strategies day in and day out, just like you would go to the gym to get in physical shape; this is how you can get your confidence “in shape.” Start with the action steps here and then make your own unique list for each category. Today, what can you do to create your own mastery experiences, learn vicariously, be socially persuaded, or care for your physiology as you follow your unique passions?

By intentionally practicing these strategies and taking your own action steps, your challenges will begin to inspire you to grow instead of hold you back. The next time you come face to face with your fear it won’t seem so intimidating and it won’t stop you or detour you on your passion path. What will you do today to build your self-efficacy?

Dee:  Just do it!  If you’re not happy or don’t like it, then go back to your old ways knowing you tried!  What do you have to lose?

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts with a Message, please visit my shop at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

About the Author, Nicolette Stinson

Certified Coach, Yoga Instructor and Perfect Health Instructor

Nicolette is an online personal brand strategist for coaches and wellness professionals. She is also a Certified Coach, Chopra Center Perfect Health Instructor, and Yoga Teacher as well as an avid student of mindfulness, creativity, personal development, and spirituality. Visit www.nicolettestinson.com to learn more.

From the Chopra Center.

The World

I found this photo in my Photo Saves.  I don’t know where I got it, nor when, why or from whom, but it must have touched me that day I saw it, so I kept it.  Well, it’s really resonating with me again today, today, at this very perfect moment in front of my nose.

The world is increasingly designed to depress us?  Well, what really is the world?

world

noun

1 he traveled the world: earth, globe, planet, sphere.

2 life on other worlds: planet, moon, star, heavenly body, orb.

3 the academic world: sphere, society, circle, arena, milieu, province, domain, orbit, preserve, realm, field, discipline, area, sector.

4 she would show the world that she was strong: everyone, everybody, people, mankind, humankind, humanity, the (general) public, the population, the populace, all and sundry, ‘every Tom, Dick, and Harry’.

5 a world of difference: huge amount, good deal, great deal, abundance, wealth, profusion, mountain; informal heap, lot, load, ton.

6 she renounced the world : society, material things, secular interests, temporal concerns, earthly concerns.

Ok, yes, if using description 4, “every Tom, Dick, and Harry” is out to get us.  To make us feel less than.  Pieces of shit.  But wait!  They have solutions for us low-lifes out here.  Bandaids for problems we don’t even have.  Does it say “stupid” on my forehead?

Boy, did I fall into the “stupid” category for most of my life.  I wanted to be prettier, younger, richer, famous.  I cared more about what the world thought of me than what I thought of me.  Because I had no clue what I thought of myself.  I had no self-worth.  I took no time for self-love.  I was void of that capacity in those chapters of my life.

I only remember being influenced by “the world” during my formative years, so that is what I took with me to my adult years.  FEAR!!!  My M.O.  Fear that I wasn’t good enough.  That you wouldn’t like me.  Most of my life has been lived with this fear until…

In my forties my greatest fear wasn’t that I could not go a day without drinking, but the fear that I would be found out.  It seemed like I lived a lifetime of sneaking around, buying my liquor at different liquor stores because what if they thought I had a problem, or buying loads of liquor and saying that I was having a party.  Yeah, right.  Then I would take swigs of the liquor on my way home so when I arrived home, I could drink like a lady.  I would hide my liquor.  I would replace liquor in bottles with water so no one would no how much I drank.  Then I started buying wine in a box wondering if anyone would pick it up and feel how much weight was gone since I bought it yesterday.  What an exhausting and wasteful way to live.  Or was I even alive?

You know, it wasn’t wasteful.  It was my story, my journey bringing me to the appreciation of having a choice today on whether or not to drink.  Yep, I got found out.  I just wanted to go somewhere, like the hospital, where I couldn’t get alcohol so I could be “normal” for awhile.  Maybe get my act together.  I thought about being locked up in a jail cell, but, no.  Too expensive for bail.  Everyone would know I had a drinking problem.  Maybe I killed someone.  Yikes!

But I got found out by not “coming to” in time for work like I did forever and FINALLY coming clean to my boss who helped get me on the right track.  FINALLY.  My Higher Power said that Dee was ready for a new chapter for her book!  Thank you, God!  I spent 20-whatever days in a treatment center for alcoholics.  I learned and learned and sponged and absorbed so much during this time, I can’t tell you.  I felt such a weight lifted from me and hope and understanding of me and what made me tick.  It was a life changer and I finally started to feel that Dee was gonna be all right.

But it was scarier than hell being thrown back out to the wolves, which would be me, with my diseased brain, the Devil.  Those hiding places were still there.  Those chores were still there.  My family was still there.  And that job.  How could I do this without alcohol?  One day at a time.

One day at a time I did what was suggested.  Alcoholics Anonymous was suggested.  I did what the fellowship suggested as well.  I got to work the steps.  I got to figure out what to do with this fear-based Dee.  I got to do it with others who didn’t judge me.  One day at a time.

And one day at a time the new sober Dee got feeling better, got to ride the pink cloud, got a life, got to feel comfortable in her skin.  One day at a time Dee didn’t go to as many meetings and didn’t reach out to those in need.  One day at a time got Dee to pick up a drink again after 13-1/2 years of sobriety.  Dee even said, “No, thanks.  I don’t drink.”  But when that shot of tequila was left for her nevertheless, the Devil with his wicked smile yelled,  “Drink me!  Drink me!  No one will know.  You’ll be fine.  You don’t have a problem anymore.  Just one!”  Well, I was off and running again, just like I was taught in AA.  That first drink woke up that part of my brain that was resting for a decade, allowing my heart to be my guide.  It yelled, “MORE!”

It was no wonder I drank.  I no longer had an insurance policy against the disease.  I stopped paying my premium long ago when I removed myself from the fellowship and the newcomers who needed me and who I needed to remind myself of where I came from.  I was no longer in service.  One day at a time.  I rationalized so much shit in my head again.  My journey.  My lesson.  I can’t keep it unless I give it away.

So I’m back and even more grateful and humble and closer to my Higher Power than ever.  I’ve been chosen once again to be sober, to live with my toolbox of solutions for a better and meaningful life with a fellowship of genuinely caring, loving people.  They are “the world” with whom I choose to surround myself.  Not “Tom, Dick and Harry” who tell me I am less-than and not worthy.  Today my purpose of carrying the message of “Experience, Strength and Hope” to and with whoever enters my Dee Bubble is key.  It is a gift.  And I can be proud of who and what I am today because I’m not drinking or using.  I am keeping my insurance premiums paid.  I am giving what was so freely given to me when I needed it most.  Life is awesome!

Let’s share with our planet, our humanity, that we together can make a world of difference!  And with our ripple effects we shall get to experience the beauty that is right here, right now, at the tips of our noses.

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts with a Message of Hope, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Tips and Tools  

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others: Tips and Tools  

By EmilyHolland

The neighbor with the perfect lawn. The friend with a successful, high-paying career. The stranger on social media that you’ve never met but assume, given their seemingly perfect photos, that they lead the perfect life.

In today’s world, where it has become the norm to spend countless hours scrolling through photos of friends, family, celebrities, and complete strangers, the temptation to compare ourselves to others is at a cultural high.

While competition has long been a basic function of the human condition, it would seem that the rise of the digital age over the past several years has put an unnecessary, and even harmful, precedence on who’s in the lead. As if it were possible to measure all human successes on a single scale (or worse, by number of ‘likes’).

But even before social media’s take over, the groundwork for social comparisons was already in place. Social norms have long been established along with the relentless reminders that we’ve yet to live up to all of them. A 30-something woman sees her friends getting married and panics that she’s still single. A hard-working employee watches his co-worker move up in the company, prompting him to ask, “Why him and not me?” These comparisons can become so habitual that often you may not even realize you are doing it.

Reasons to quit may go beyond the fact that they’re simply unproductive and leave you feeling poorly about yourself. Making these social comparisons can be damaging to your health, both physically and psychologically. Being aware of how harmful comparisons are could serve as great motivation to give them up.

Dee:

When in school from elementary to high school I remember wishing my family had more money, that I could be more popular, even be famous.  I wished I was prettier, smarter, more self-confident, yet I had everything I could ever want and need.  Where did all this self-lack come from?  Why could I not just be comfortable in my own skin and love who I was?

It wasn’t until decades later when I found my wish list changing to “I wish I wouldn’t drink today” or “I wish I would stop at just three” that I found myself in a treatment center for alcoholism.  Yes, “found myself”!  It was then and there that my wish list dramatically changed as did my self-worth and opinion of myself.

But this did not happen overnight.  I needed to undo the decades of “my” thinking which is an ongoing process.  One day at a time, yeah? just like not taking a drink today, maybe tomorrow.

Sobriety, recovery and solutions has changed my life…given me a life…given me purpose.  First I “got to” learn and understand what alcoholism is, a disease, not a self-control problem.  From there I was introduced to Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps and the Big Book.  I “got to” make up a Higher Power of My Own Understanding to whom I could turn my will and my life over to.  I “got to” switch my life from a thinking human being to a feeling human being.  Slowly.  One day at a time.

And the miracles, evolution, journey continues.  I have turned that fear-based waste-of-space-on-the-planet to one who is finally comfortable in my own skin and loves me for who and what I am!

Harmful Effects 

In 1954, social psychologist, Leon Festinger proposed the theory of social comparison (https://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/social-comparison-theory), which argues that your own feelings of self-worth are dependent upon how you think you measure up to those around you. You may be constantly evaluating how you stack up to others, in turn creating our self-image. A self-image based on anything other than intrinsic factors is destined to have harmful effects.

For one, making social comparisons can have a devastating impact on your self-esteem, particularly when comparing something you are already insecure about or sensitive to. For example, if you suffer bodily insecurities and follow nothing but fitness accounts on social media, you are setting yourself up to make not only an unhealthy comparison but an unfair one at that.

The majority of social media users show only what they want the world to see. They are less likely to expose their own insecurities and overcompensate by pushing perfection instead. It essentially boils down to a comparison between one’s reality to another’s best attempt to portray perfection. Not only can this influence your self- esteem, but it also distorts your perception of reality.

The stress that results from constantly making social comparisons that deflate your self-esteem and hinder your self-image can harm your physical health as well. Chronic stress (http://www.chopra.com/articles/how-to- reverse-the-effects-of-chronic-stress) can lead to high-blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, and a weakened immune system. Moreover, when left unchecked, which can easily occur when you are unaware of its cause, chronic stress can lead to psychological problems such as depression and anxiety attacks.

In addition, social comparisons can hold you back from reaching goals and pursuing what matters most. Accomplishments stem from self-confidence, motivation, and clarity—all three of which can be hindered by images of others who you think are already a few steps ahead of you. In short, making social comparisons can be paralyzing and leave you wondering, Why bother? 

(http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/the-quest/on-demand

Dee:

Because of Alcoholics Anonymous, the Twelve Steps, and my toolbox for living, I discovered how fear-based I was living my life.  How important your opinion of me mattered.  That was because I did not feel worthy of your opinions nor expectations.  I felt “less than”.  Today I realize that I have God-given gifts and talents.  I was chosen to get sober and share my experience, strength and hope with those who enter my “bubble”.  And that is the purpose today.  It took me 48 years to realize this.

When I can be grateful for who and what I am today, for my journey and my story, I can share this and give hope to those who do not have “light at the end of the tunnel”.  When I can realize that if I do the best that I can at any given moment with any given talk, that I am progress not perfection, that everything is perfect at this moment in time, I can be okay with myself.  I can be light, grateful, humble and content.  

I know today that not everyone is going to like me.  And that’s okay.  There are those of you I would rather not be around.  But I don’t have to react nor prove myself nor take it personally.  You are who you are with your story, and I am who I am with mine.  Just perfect.  Right here.  Right now.  What a weight off my shoulders being able to live this way!

Tips to Stop Comparing 

It may sound simple to just suggest putting a stop to social comparisons—but the question is how do you actually stop? Here are some ways to help you stop making social comparisons.

1.Limit (or eliminate) time on social media. As mentioned, social media is often used as a place to share what you want people to see, not necessarily what’s closest to reality. Whether or not its content’s even accurate, at the very least it’s likely exaggerated. Cutting back on social media (http://www.chopra.com/articles/comparing-yourself-again-4-tips-to-survive-social-media-envy) or taking a break altogether can do wonders for your mental health. Spend the extra time understanding the triggers that lead you to making social comparisons so that when you log back into your accounts, you’re prepared to let those things go.

Dee:

What do we hear about on social media, the news and newspapers?  What sells the most, draws our attention and brings in the most money?  Negative news.  Tragic news.  Although most of life around us is good and positive, it does not sell news.  So one straw at a time we get weighted down with negativity.  If not careful, that negativity finally breaks our backs and we lower ourselves to that mentality.  Don’t do it!  Remember the 95% of the good things happening on our planet and with our humanity that does not sell news.  That’s our focus.

2.Make a list of accomplishments you’re proud of. The more confident you are in yourself, the less inclined you’ll be to evaluate how you stack up against others. Write a list of your proudest accomplishments, traits, strengths, and even things you’re grateful for. This will put you in a healthier mindset, making you less likely to engage in the comparison game.

Dee:

I am sober.  I have a Higher Power over to whom I can turn my will and my life.  I have a purpose.  I can be of service.

3. Become clear on what you want. When you’re unsure of what you want in life or how to go about achieving it, you can tend to feel unanchored. Become more grounded by gaining clarity as to the direction your life is going. Write out your short-term and long- term goals and steps necessary to accomplish them. Once you feel more secure in your own life, the temptation to over-invest in others will dissipate.

Dee: 

When things start to feel unclear, I HALT.  I check myself to see if I am Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.  If so, I treat those symptoms.  I go to an AA meeting.  I get back in the moment.  I appreciate the here and now right in front of my nose.  I quiet my mind and open my heart.  I re-center.

Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he stated, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” If you want to become your best self, making your mental and physical health top priority, you must choose joy and resist the urge to make unhealthy comparisons.

Become your best self with The Quest: Spiritual Solutions for Creating a Life You Love, our online course led by Deepak Chopra and Martha Beck. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/online-courses/the-quest/on- demand)

About the Author 

Emily Holland Certified Health Coach

Emily is a certified Health Coach and freelance writer with a focus on psychology, mental health, and optimal living. A combined interest in healthy living and human behavior led Emily to pursue a certification in health coaching at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well as a master’s degree in General Psychology. Her personal struggle with anxiety motivated her to research and implement a variety of holistic approaches into her lifestyle, such as changes in diet and the adoption of mindfulness meditation. She credits these lifestyle changes as well as many others with helping her better manage symptoms of anxiety and everyday stressors. She is most passionate about sharing what she has… Read more (/bios/emily-holland)

From The Chopra Center

Dee: 

I am not a representative of Alcoholics Anonymous.  I only know that when I could not stop drinking, the fellowship and the Big Book offered me solutions.  Today I am sober.  Today I am happy, joyous, and free!

Aloha, Dee

For those interested in Inspirational Gifts with a Message of Hope and Self, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!!!

10 Lessons to Learn from Your Kids

10 Lessons to Learn from Your Kids

written by Melissa Carver

Parenting is a non-stop job. Anyone who has children will tell you it is the most difficult, yet most rewarding aspect of their life. Even the most well-behaved children can drive you to your wit’s end.

Why do children who are thankful, respectful, and well-mannered still push you to your point of needing a break from them? In addition to having all family members who live together eventually needing moments of alone time, there are deeper aspects when it comes to your children. Heavy responsibility as an adult may dampen your sense of excitement and vitality for life that so often (and easily) shines through for children. Kids have it all figured out—you may on the other hand have programmed yourself into being a more responsible version of them.

While you do have responsibilities, are they as serious as you make them? Are there tricks you can learn from your children to enjoy life and the chores all at the same time?

The answer is yes, and here are some of the lessons you can learn from your children.

Dee:

A main focus of mine is to stay in the moment.  That way I don’t allow myself to beat myself up over yesterday nor dread tomorrow.  In other words, I don’t have to shit on today, on this very perfect moment in front of my nose.  Tomorrow is past.  Tomorrow may never come.  This moment is magical.

That does not mean I do not get my daily responsibilities done nor the big projects on my “to do” list.  But if I take some time during these tasks for me, for getting back in the moment, everything seems to flow more easily and successfully.

I have learned in Alcoholics Anonymous, a program and fellowship that has saved my life, given me a life and a purpose, many things.  One key thing I practice is to stay out of HALT (hungry, angry, lonely, tired).  When I find myself starting to react, and usually in a non-productive and negative manner, I address what part of HALT I am in and remedy that as soon as possible.  Again, getting back into the moment.

Get Excited

A child can get extremely excited over the smallest things. It may be playing with a dollar toy, having company come over, seeing the mail man pull up, or better yet, nothing at all. The thought of something exciting can send a child on a 10-minute, high-on-life excursion.

Often adults will tell them to calm down—that it’s not that big of a deal. In reality, you need to get that excited too! Everything can be a gift when you change your perspective and appreciate more. This level of energy not only has the potential to make you much happier, but also helps you to manifest more of what excites you. If the Universe speaks in frequency, nothing is more powerful than excitement!

Dee:

I remember walking in the neighborhood and noticing the hugest snail crawling on a rock wall.  I was mesmerized by this little thing with the hugest shell on its back sliming its way along the wall.  And then this lady stopped her car and asked where I lived and what I was doing.  I did not react and tell her to mind her own f*ckng business, but I told her I was checking out this snail.  She saw it.  Didn’t care.  Then told me there had been some recent burglaries.  I was even excited I didn’t react, but sad she didn’t enjoy the snail.

Use Your Imagination

What can you imagine? When a child tells you a story or a goal, can you see it? It may be the most outlandish explanation you have ever heard, but what is your first reaction? Do you dismiss it as “just a kid” talking, or do you engage and go on an adventure in your mind? Are you an adult that says, “Go for it!” or “That’s impossible”?

Whatever you can imagine, you can create. Play and downtime sparks the imagination. Do you take that time? If not, make a list of how the imagination could help with goals you have now, and begin a journey once a week to gain that childhood trait back into your life.

Dee:

As a kid, didn’t you ever lie on the cool grass gazing at the clouds and imagining what their shapes were?  No worries in the world!  I still try to do that.  Get unbusy.  Get back in the moment.  Notice what is around me, the sights, the sounds, the smells, right now, right here.  How many birds singing have I missed.  I many small wildflowers have I stepped on?  How much laughter from the children have I missed because my brain was full with busy-ness?

Express Unconditional Love

Your children are the humans on this planet who actually make you understand what this truly means. They get it!

Have you ever got upset with your child then later realize how much you blew the situation out of proportion? You feel horrible, prepare yourself to beg for their forgiveness, and by the time you get to them, they have already forgotten all about it? They love you—no, like really, soulfully love you—to your core. The good, bad, and ugly—they have seen it all, yet are more than happy to hug it out and spend the rest of the day with you.

This is not to say it’s impossible to push a child to the point of not wanting to speak to you or be around you, but even then, they will still have deep love for you. Loving someone doesn’t always mean you have to like them or their actions—that is unconditional love. In hopes of spreading this throughout your world, it starts at home.

Dee:

This one hits home with me.  As an alcoholic in recovery I spent most of my life fear-based, especially as a child.  I was a people-pleaser.  I wanted your approval.  I was not comfortable enough in my own skin to feel the self-love, self-esteem, and self-worth I deserved.

Alcoholics Anonymous has helped me to stop living in fear, to stop taking the weight of the world on my shoulders alone.  It is so freeing to finally love myself for who and what I am and not worrying about what you or anyone else thinks of me.  I am what I am.  And if one person gets a glimmer of hope from reading this, I have achieved my goal.  Icing on the cake if that person is a child!

Have Patience

Okay, so they may not be the most patient creatures on earth, but they sure will make you turn yours up a notch, or five. From the baby stages of waiting for them on the potty, to the countless check-ups, doctor appointments, activities, and the famous school car line—your patience is tested in every way possible.

Instead of complaining or thinking about what else needs to be done, think about what you would tell them when they are waiting on you. For example, every parent pulls their child to some event or long car trip that they don’t necessarily want to be at. I would guess you say the following line in these situations: “Take something to do/entertain yourself.”

Take your own advice: get out of the car and walk or soak up some sun instead of sitting in the car line, catch up on a good book or some articles, or play games on your phone (that’s what they would do). Did you know playing phone games can be a form of meditation?

Dee:

I LOVE phone games, but I always thought they were a waste of time.  Great to know they can be a form of meditation.  But more importantly, when I find myself waiting…in traffic, in line to check-out or for an appointment, wherever, I feel that God is asking me, “What’s the rush, Dee?  Just breathe.”

Cultivate Confidence

Kids show up with an “I can do anything” attitude. The dreams that children have are backed by a heap load of confidence. This only lessens in them when they hear, “You can’t do that” or “That’s impossible” multiple times by people they love or respect. Even then, many rebel toward such negative attitudes. They are intuitive enough to see that particular adult has been jaded and failed at their own desires.

Inspire them to keep the confidence, speaking on a failed attempt as an opportunity to improve. Allow their determination to spark your confidence as well.

Dee:

Such an important message.  We’ve got to let our kids know how awesome they are.  Everything about them is a gift.  We’ve got to help them love themselves for who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin.  And when approached by a bully, they can know that they don’t have to lower themselves to the bully’s level.  That the bully has unresolved issues and is lacking the love and self-worth that our kids have.  And when the world throws hardballs, let your child know he does not have to go it alone!

Play

No, not a night out on the town or an adult vacation. Play seems to mean a new categorical list from childhood to adult. Here I am speaking on good ole fashioned childlike play. Get outside, jump on the trampoline, hula hoop, swim, skate, climb up the monkey bars, and go down the slide. You’re not too old! What are you afraid of exactly? Will your clothes get dirty? Maybe, but the fun you will have by the end will take all cares of that stain away!

Dee:

“I don’t want to grow up.  I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid,” resonates in me when I allow myself to let go, have fun, be me, be free.  I instill that message into my kids, too.  Life is too short to be so “adult” all the time.  Have fun.  Be a kid.  That kid is and will always be in us!  And don’t worry who will see you.  No one cares.  Get over yourself!

Play increases your health (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4771152/) by raising your heart rate, decreasing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, and most importantly, boosting your happiness.

Relax

Adulting is time-consuming. It often takes more effort to relax than not because your brain is still focused on what you need to be doing.

Let’s change the perspective and programming on this a bit. Just for a week, give this a try. Instead of yelling at the kids to get off their butt and clean up their shoes, sit down with them. For 15 minutes just relax and breathe for a bit—can you hear your breath? It’s probably the first time you’ve heard it all day. After 15 minutes is up, go back to your chores. Now ask the kids to help you. Pay close attention to how differently you are asking now verses how you may have spoken to them 15 minutes ago. Kids work hard and play hard but they know the importance of some good chillax time.

Dee:

Again, getting back in the moment.  Closing off your brain and getting back into your heart.  I don’t want to react so I take time out to make sure I’m not getting into HALT, and give myself some “me” time.  Even 5 minutes works wonders!

Release Worry

Ever notice how much you get on your kids’ nerves when you explain what could, maybe, possibly, or might happen? You know the dangers of this world; it’s everywhere you turn when it comes to any social media or news, not to mention what you may have lived through or witnessed in person.

Here’s the trick though: Kids really do see, feel, and know the bad in life, but they live as though they are always safe. They trust their intuition to guide them away from harm should it come close to them. They have an understanding of it’s only a part of reality, not totality.

“Worry is like praying for something you don’t want.” – unknown

(http://www.chopra.com/online-courses/basics-of-meditation/on-demand)

Dee:

I don’t want to be stupid about my safety, but I don’t want to live in fear either.  Alcoholics Anonymous has allowed me a Higher Power of My Own Understanding that I entrust with my safety and protection.  I ask for guidance.  I turn it over.  I know that everything will be just fine.

Release Judgment

Children see people for their soul. They just want to be around loving, fun humans and critters. It doesn’t matter where you live, shade of skin, what hobbies you do or do not enjoy, sexual preference, or what you did “bad” in your past. They genuinely do not care! How are you treating them in the now? That is where their attention flows. If you hear a child being prejudice, racist, or judgmental in any fashion outside of the frequency they feel coming from someone, it has been programmed toward them to repeat it. We could all use a lesson from this category in some way or another.

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Dee:

Go with your gut feelings; it doesn’t lie.  Today I am able to live from my heart and get rid of all that rationalizing, destructive brain bullshit.  This certainly did not come easily nor quickly.  I had to unlearn decades of living intellectually and to delve deep into my heart and allow it to open up.  Only when I found positive results from this practice did I start to have faith that this really works.  My gut doesn’t lie.

Nurture All Aspects of Your Personality

You may see a child in a superhero costume and 15 minutes later they are playing with a doll. This same routine goes on all day long, skipping from one character to another. They love many aspects of life, including personalities and archetypes. Rarely do they tunnel vision in on one category. A kid wants to explore all the thoughts and interests that can pop into their mind at any given moment, as should you. Those thoughts spark imagination and lead to roads of deep passion and authenticity. While some are short-lived, a gift will always be a part of the journey. One new factoid or epiphany of self-knowledge is worth the effort.

Adults want to ask children what they want to be when they grow up. It is my personal opinion that you should dump this question. I mean do you even know what you want to be yet? You change every day; your ideas, perspectives, and passions change with each new experience. Your career may be long-term, or maybe just a stepping stone to the next adventure. What you do now for your bill money may be your dharma, but even in the midst of a dream job, the universe may have another surprise to keep you on your toes. Your life is not about working to collect money and spending it on responsibilities—it’s about engulfing in your happiness so much that you no longer see work as a restraint.

Learn a natural, effortless style of meditation that helps make every day fun and fulfilling with Basics of Meditation, a self-paced online course guided by Deepak Chopra. Learn More. (https://www.chopra.com/online-courses/basics-of-meditation/on-demand)

Dee:

Because today I am sober, I am in recovery, I have the fellowship, Steps, and toolbox that Alcoholics Anonymous has so freely given me, that I can now “go with the flow” and know that great things await me.  I am not in control.  I have a Higher Power that is in control, that guides me to be the best me I can be, that protects me, that teaches me.  Nope.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I’m 62 years old!  I just know that I wake up excited every morning to see what the day has in store for me.  Such an awesome and joyous way to live!

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Melissa Carver specializes in Metaphysics, guiding her clients through the art of manifestation with one-on-one webinars and in-person sessions. Melissa is also a graduate of the Chopra Center University, completing her certification in the Perfect Health: Ayurvedic Lifestyle (/teach/perfect-health-certification-program) program. She and her husband, Leo Carver (/bios/leo-carver), are the core of Holistic Life Sciences (http://www.choprateachers.com/HolisticLifeSciences), providing the Chopra Certified Ayurvedic Health Course throughout the state of Kentucky. Melissa also received her PH.D. in Philosophy… Read more (/bios/melissa-carver)

5 Things We Wish We Were Taught Growing Up

 

1. Independence:

This is one of the biggest issues that I’ve noticed as a college student among my peers. A lot of people become followers because they have no sense of direction. They’ve been sheltered and told what to do, their whole lives that they are more vulnerable to become followers. I had my first job at the age of 12 so I’ve always knew how to hold my own, but I realized that a lot of young adults struggle to stand alone. Teens must be taught how to own their individuality and have a strong sense of who they are. Nothing bothers me more to see a young adult with a high school mentality.

Dee:  

I found myself bouncing back and forth when young going from leader to follower to leader and so on.  I struggled with self-confidence.  Why was it so important that I gained your approval?  Why was it so important that I fit in?  Why when I was very young did I love ballet class and then one day I became so frightened and timid to that I threw a tantrum and clung to my mom until she took me home?  One day I’m the student body president and the next day the wall flower. 

Having found myself in a treatment program for alcoholism decades later I was fortunate enough to work through the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous where I found many of these questions arising in my head.  Thoroughly working Step Four I learned so much about myself.  Many of the questions I asked myself are still puzzling, but I realized that most of my life I lived in fear.  Fear of not fitting in.  Fear of making an ass out of myself.

All I know today is that we all need to know have unique gifts.  We ARE unique and have so much to give to the world!  If we stop focussing on what we aren’t and start to focus on what WE ARE, everything is seen in a different perspective.  I AM worthy.  I AM a good person.  I DO love myself for who I am.  Let’s share this with our children and our fellows so that perhaps one day they can cease comparing themselves with others and stop trying to fit in and gain the approval of others who don’t give a shit.

2. Financial Stability:

When I first went away to college, I struggled budgeting my money. I found myself spending my money on things that I did not need. When I got a job while I was in college the issue became worst. I thought that it would be easier to budget if I had more money, but I had less money because I convinced myself that I needed things that I didn’t. Then when it came time for me to file my taxes I was lost. I was use to my mother doing all my paperwork that I didn’t even know where to start.

Dee:

I’m still not good at the money thing.  It’s not my passion but I know I have to be responsible enough to pay my bills in order to live a fairly comfortable existence.  I have always been strapped for cash and lived pretty frugally.  But today, again from working the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, I have a Higher Power of My Own Understanding that helps guide me and teach me how to make right choices.  But the main lesson I’ve learned is to stop living in fear and to always stay in faith.  When the fear rears its ugly head my faith is shrinking.  When the faith is shrinking Dee is taking over and trying to control the show.  This doesn’t work for me; I’ve done it most of my life and I was exhausted and purposeless.  Weird how when I live more positively and hopefully, great things appear in my life.  We attract more of how we think and how we ARE!

And, by the way, it is important we teach our children how to budget, balance a check book, about credit card debt, etc.  And doing laundry, sewing on a button, and ironing a work shirt is pretty helpful, too.

3. Mental Awareness:

When I left for college I struggled with anxiety and stress because it was difficult for me to deal with the new environment. I was never homesick, but the stress of managing classes, fighting insecurities and dealing with friendships was enough for me to mentally shut down. Growing up we don’t realize how easy we have it until we leave the nest. Instead of trying to keep us in the nest I wish parents taught us how to survive outside of the nest mentally. I wish someone told me that every challenge is not the end of the world, but an obstacle that comes along to make you stronger.

Dee:

Today running my own business I excitedly realize that the more “no’s” I get, the closer I am to achieving that awesome “yes”.  Whether the “no” is a rejection of my product or service, I get to learn and be open to the why.  I grow.  I get better.  I don’t react nor take it personally.  I survive and move forward to bigger and better things.  And I know that this is how my Higher Power works for and through me.  That everything is perfect at this very moment and I’m right where I need to be.  With that outlook, everything is positive and hopeful.  Way better than the other option of wallowing on the pity pot.

Another great gift I have today because of Alcoholics Anonymous is that I no longer have to do or think things through on my own.  I’m finally comfortable enough in my own skin to ask for help.  And I’m finally selfless enough (most of the time) to urge those in need of my help to please not deprive me of the gift of giving and service.  It’s a win-win.  Really.

Yep, because my Higher Power is always with me and has my back, I never again have to feel I am on my own.  I just have to remember to stay in the moment, stay out of my head, and all is well.

4. Confidence:

Confidence is something I had to build along the years, but not enough parents teach their children to love themselves. Neglecting this issue is like throwing your child out to the wolves and leaving them to fend for themselves. With media being a major influence on the development of children we have to plant a seed in their minds to give them a sense of direction. The media tell children that they must be a size two or have curves to die for, but what are you telling your child? We should be taught who we are when we are young, so we don’t have to find ourselves when we get older. I love when I see viral videos of parents making their child stand in the mirror and telling themselves how beautiful and valuable they are. Self-love starts when we are young because kids are like sponges.

The sponge thing didn’t happen to me until I was in treatment for my alcoholism.  For those 21+ days I got to concentrate only on me.  I was definitely a sponge.  It was a very exciting time for me and it changed my life.

I got to learn about the disease of alcoholism.  I got to let go of all the negative thoughts about myself, “You’re a loser, Dee.  You have no self-control.  You’re a waste of space on this planet”.

I got to work the Twelve Steps and get rid of that fear-based mentality.  I got to ask for help and be rigorously honest.  I got a toolbox that helps me live a life in recovery.  And I got a Power Greater Than Myself that walks me through life, that shows me how to love myself and you, and how to give back.

Yes, I wish I would have got this when I was a child.  But that wasn’t my calling.  I’m grateful it happened when and the way it did.  That I did not have to die.  And with this gift and what I’ve learned along the way, I diligently try to plant the seed in each and every one who enters my Dee Bubble how special they are, what unique gifts they hold, what an asset they are to the world and to mankind.  And this is all extra special when I can share this with our keiki, our children, our future!

5. Be Original:

Growing up I wanted the latest brands and products to make myself feel important. We all begged our parents for the coolest trends just to go to school and look like everyone else. I wish I was taught that those things does not define me. I wish I would have focused more on building my character than I did focusing on getting things that I can’t afford to impress people who I may never even see again. I wish I was taught to love myself without those labels and stand firm and be confident in my own skin.

Dee:

If only I had felt comfortable in my own skin when I was young…  Again, not my journey, not my calling, not my purpose.  But today I will impress upon you to please love the person you are today, right now, right here.  You ARE awesome!  You have a gift!  Share that gift and inspire.

Build self-confidence in yourself and with those around you, especially the children.  And let them know that there will always be Big Bad Wolves out there that will try to make you feel less than.  That is THEIR problem and not yours.  We all have our sicknesses so let them keep theirs and love the person you are.  You ARE worthy!  BeYOUtiful!

For those interested in Art with a Message of Inspiration, please visit my website at www.DeesignsByHarris.com.  Mahalo and have a great day!

Aloha, Dee

From https://rayvensatterfield.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/5-things-we-wish-we-were-taught-growing-up/