Being you and loving it

How to Keep High-Vibe Around Negative People

You wake up in an awesome mood, get ready to take on the day with a song and smile, and leave your home with a spring in your step. Then, something happens. You can’t quite peg when it started, but your energy sags to the floor, your smile fades, and irritation has replaced joy. You morphed from a spirited soul into a prickly sourpuss. What happened?

People, usually. Everything is made up of energy–that includes us–and whether you realize it or not, you’re affected by the energy of those around you. Ever met someone and felt immediately at ease? Or stood next to a person and felt a kind of force field around them that made you want to run in the other direction? In both cases, you were responding to that individual’s energy.

smiling-french-bulldogIn order to do something about negative vibes, you have to be aware that your energy and well-being are being adversely affected. If you suddenly have this uncomfortable energy and you don’t know why, ask if it’s even yours. Who have you been spending time with? What was the positivity level of the topics and how did the conversation make you feel? Although it doesn’t matter as much to identify the source as it matters to notice the shift in energy, being aware of when and how you encounter negativity can help you avoid people who are repeatedly downers. On the flip side, it’s valuable to notice who makes you feel really great!

Let negative energy go. It sounds much simpler than it is in practice, but once you’re aware of your energetic downturn, stop it in its tracks. Sometimes slapping a smile on your face can jolt you out of your fledgling funk, but other times, more action is necessary. (See below.)

Employ negativity zapping tactics. When you sense negativity, or know you’ll be entering a potentially negative environment, you can use the techniques below.

  • Visualize a bubble of white light around you. See it as a protective shield that will block any negative energy. This imagery isn’t “magic” but what it’s doing is putting you in the frame of mind that you have control over how others affect you…or not.
  • Imagine your heart energy radiating around you 360 degrees. See its radius growing farther and farther, past the room you are in, the building, the city/town, the state, until it’s bigger than Earth. When your light energy is this expansive, any problems or negativity seem dwarfed and powerless in comparison.
  • Have one of these uplifting essential oils handy: Peppermint; lavender; lemon, orange, or grapefruit. Depending on the essential oil company’s guidelines, you can apply a drop to pulse points, warm a few drops between your hands and inhale the fragrance with deep breaths, or add a drop to a glass of drinking water. Note: Citrus oils make your skin sensitive to the sun, so exercise caution if ingesting or applying the oil to your skin. 
  • Speak up. If someone is dumping their bad day on you, you can let that person know in a kind way that you aren’t in a place where you can take on their issues. Or you can change the subject to something more uplifting. Or you can listen to their concerns without taking on their energy. If an energy transfer does happen, take some time to revive yourself. Blocking energy drains energy, so practice self-love.
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I just called to say I love you

In the summer of 2015, I lost both my grandfathers within a month. The hole in my heart mourned the absence of two dearly loved role models. However, I was grateful. Grateful that their deaths were not unexpected, and that I’d had the opportunity to say what I needed to before their souls left this earth. The lesson that stuck with me was the importance of having no regrets. To not leave any love, affection, admiration, gratitude, or compliments for another day. To say them NOW.

Sometimes it may seem strange or excessive to express warm and fuzzy feelings. We may worry the other person will be confused or weirded out, or that we’ll look too sensitive, emotion-full, or out of character. [Our egos are such divas and worry-warts, aren’t they?] Now, I’d rather let others know how talented, valued, and extraordinary they are. Leave no kind word unsaid. Because you never know. 

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That summer taught me to tell people how much they mean to me, as often as I can. I didn’t want it to take a health scare or death to prioritize what’s important in life and to me. Since then, I’ve made it a point to share gratitude and compliments–to start conversations of caring–which has strengthened my relationships with family and friends. Maybe it’s my perception, but when you decide to freely communicate from your heart, there can only be deeper connection and understanding as a result.

Some people don’t know (or forget) how you feel about them or the positive impact they’ve had on your life. Maybe your words are just what they need to hear. In any event, receiving love and care feels amazing! If they ask you for a reason, you can say, “Just because,” and leave it at that. Or tell them your philosophy if that’s comfortable. Maybe you’ll inspire them to spread the love.

There’s no time like the present, or rather, there’s no time other than the present.  The moment is really all we have. So I urge you to tell someone today how much he or she means to you–by phone, text, email, or (better yet) in person. Let’s have no regrets or wasted opportunities. Be the one who brightens someone’s day. In the process, you’ll end up enriching your own as well.

5 Steps To Turning Your New Year’s Resolutions Into Realities

Pen and PaperAccording to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology (December 13, 2012), 45% of Americans usually begin the year with New Year’s Resolutions, yet only 8% are successful with their goals.  That’s…depressing.

I don’t believe the problem lies with the people who make resolutions, nor in the resolutions themselves.  I think it’s in the planning and execution.  So let’s plan for success and take those goals from paper to reality!

How to Turn Your List of Resolutions into Realities

1.  Prioritize it.  This is not supposed to be a TO-DO (or NOT TO-DO) list, but rather a list of goals, which take effort, time, and determination to accomplish.  So don’t set yourself up for failure and discouragement by listing every single thing you want to do or stop doing.  Perhaps choose one goal for each major category of life: Health/Wellness, Family/Relationships, Work/Career, Spirituality/Growth, and Finances.  Or if one area needs a lot of work–or is most important to you–focus all your resolutions to fit that need. 

2.  Reword it.  Spend some time wording your goals so that they inspire you and put the focus on what matters.  I’ll use a few common resolutions as examples:

  • “Lose 10 pounds.”  First off, I don’t like this one because it puts the focus on weight and what you look like on the outside.  You could lose 10 pounds and be miserable because you starved or deprived yourself.  This is usually why the weight comes back because nothing really changed…the goal was merely to attain a specific loss of weight.  What if you reworded “Lose 10 pounds” to “Feel amazing in a bathing suit”?  See how the focus is now on self-esteem and inner results?  Interestingly, being happy and healthy on the inside will show up as the outer results of weight loss you wanted in the first place.  

Some other examples of rewording:

  • “Quit smoking.” vs. “Choose to put my health before my habit.”
  • “Get organized.” vs. “Organize my physical and mental space so I can be productive and balanced.”

3.  Plan it.  Now that you have a descriptive and inspiring list of goals, you need to plan for success!  Wearing a bathing suit with confidence is a great goal, but what does that look like?  Are you going to plan out healthy meals for the week so you don’t cave in for junk food when you’re tired and hungry?  Will you commit to yoga/spin/dance/boxing classes and lift weights to get the long, lean, sculpted physique you desire?  If you don’t brainstorm how you can accomplish your goals, you’re likely to abandon them.

  • Think outside the box.  So you want to “Be stress-free” (which you might have reworded to “Find my Zen every day” in Step 1!).   Taking yoga and getting massages are wonderful ideas.  But go further by getting creative.  Eating immune-boosting, nutrition-packed foods will keep you healthy and at your best.  As a result, you’ll reduce your stress levels as you’ll be more equipped to handle what life throws at you.  Also, what makes you happy, content, peaceful, calm?  Reading a great book?  Taking a stroll in the park?  A long bath?  If you figure out what those things are and add as many of those activities to your daily life as possible, you’ll experience more “happy” and less “crappy.”
  • But be realistic.  Can you realistically spend an hour communing with nature or reading a book each day?  Then don’t make that declaration.  Instead, keep your happy list in mind and sneak them in whenever the opportunity presents itself.  Take that best-selling book out when you’re faced with standing in a long line (that would normally stress you out!) or spend 5 minutes sitting outside in a sunny spot on your lunch break.  Even doing a little bit of what makes you happy is infinitely better than doing none at all.

4.  Theme it.  It’s likely that you can find a theme that embodies all your resolutions.  Unearthing a theme that connects with you and is rich in meaning is a powerful tool in living the life you imagine.  It should resonate with you, make you feel something, propel you forward, support you in your journey toward this year’s goals.  Here are some examples of themes and what they can represent:

  • The Year of Letting Go – Letting go of things that don’t serve you–insecurities, fear, bad habits, destructive relationships, negativity–so you have room to welcome in all the good things that are possible.
  • Just Do It – Saying yes to relationships, job opportunities, experiences, adventures.  Taking action, taking charge, taking control.  Doing instead of only thinking/hoping/planning.
  • Love and Light – Associating yourself with inspiring people, feeding yourself positive messages, looking for the joy in life and reflecting it, opening yourself up to love from yourself and others.

Hold your year’s theme in your mind as you go about your daily life.  You’ll find your actions will start to follow your theme, and therefore, contribute to achieving your resolutions.

5.  Memorize it.  Once your resolutions are focused, powerful, planned, and themed, it’s time to commit your goals to memory.  The more they are a part of you, the more likely you’ll see them to fruition.

You can do it!

More posts related to resolutions/goals

Photo by Sanja Gjenero

Little Words Can Have a Giant Impact

Photo by Sanja Gjenero

One weekend during my middle school years, I invited a few of my girlfriends over for a pool party.  During the festivities, my mother noticed one of my friends appeared to be upset.  When Mom asked her what was wrong, she said she hated her big nose.  My mother told her she had a beautiful Greek nose, and it was perfect.  From then on, my friend never worried about the size of her nose, and grew to love it.  The conversation had lasted only a few minutes, but the impact of my mother’s loving words to my friend have lasted over two decades.

My childhood friend told me this story a few weeks ago, when I announced on Facebook that I was looking forward to visiting my parents.  She wanted me to say hi to my mother, that she was always so sweet to her, and then shared her story.  Although I already knew my mother was a favorite of my adolescent friends, I was touched and proud.  When I relayed the story to Mom, she had no recollection of the exchange, but I could tell it made her feel good to know she had made such a positive impact.

We have countless conversations in our lifetimes with strangers, friends, co-workers, loved ones, people who look up to us…sometimes we never know the impact a few casual words can have on someone. There are comments I’ve received–especially when I was growing up–that have stuck with me, some playing a part in shaping my identity and how I thought of myself.  I’m sure the majority of those instances were of no consequence to the other person, and they would be shocked that I recall their words and the way I felt after I heard them.

The image-boosting conversation between my mom and friend made me think.  I want to be more aware of what I say to others.  Not to analyze everything I say it, but to remember that my words can have a long-lasting positive or negative effect.  Compliments and encouragement should only be sincere and heartfelt.  Criticism or advice should come from a place of friendship and love.  Although contrary to the nursery school rhyme about sticks and stones, I think our words do have power.  Power to heal or hurt, build up or tear down, inspire or discourage.  If I do make an impact, I want it to be a positive one.  How extraordinary it would be to hear I had a permanently positive effect on one’s self-esteem, like my mom had on my friend so many years ago.  Little words can have a giant impact.  So use your words well.

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Valentine’s Day Nourishment

My idea of a romantic meal is one in which we aren’t disturbed.  For Valentine’s Day last year, that meant a simple but tantalizing feast at home that wasn’t interrupted by trips to the kitchen.  With no baking or cooking to coordinate and no pots and pans to clean, I was able to focus all my attention on what really mattered, connecting with my husband!

I wanted to share these pictures with you to spark your creativity and imagination.  While this is not the only way to make Valentine’s Day special, it’s a great way to spend time with your significant other without subjecting yourselves to crowded restaurants and jacked-up prices.  Keep the following message in mind not only on V-Day, but every day: 

Food will nourish us for hours.  Love will nourish us forever.

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