“Trying to suppress a craving will ultimately strengthen it.”
#99 Why Diets Don’t Work – #1 of 7
Have you ever decreased the amount of food you ate and increased your workout in an effort to drop weight? And maybe you got some results, but you couldn’t reach your goal weight? Or if you did, did you gain it all back?
Well, that’s because there’s more to shedding those extra pounds than calories in and calories out. There are mental and emotional components that block you from ridding yourself of unwanted pounds.
This series covers some of the reasons we hold onto excess fat.
Reason #1: We overeat certain foods we crave because we associate good feelings with the food.
Perhaps grandma always made those awesome chocolate chip cookies for us. We could feel her love for us whenever we ate those cookies.
Now, we associate those good feelings with the food. And when we want to feel like that again, we turn to that food. We can’t resist. If we turn down an offering of cookies, we are turning away grandma’s love. And we just can’t make ourselves do that.
Maybe we aren’t even aware of an emotional connection we have made, but when we get a hankering for a certain food, we will move heaven and earth to get it, like, NOW!
Fortunately, rather than try to suppress a craving, there is a tried-and-true way to end those cravings once and for all, so you don’t need to eat food to feel good.
“Food is fuel, not therapy.”
#100 Why Diets Don’t Work – #2 of 7
Last week we talked about why we crave certain foods. This week is about the difference between cravings and emotional eating.
Reason #2: Maybe you are stressed out and just want to eat something. If sweets are in the house, or perhaps something salty or crunchy or creamy, you’ll go for that, but if not, you’ll eat a can of beans or a bag of carrots because that’s all there is.
This is called Emotional Eating. It’s when we hunger for food though we aren’t hungry, and any kind of food will do, whether it’s healthy for us or not. We overeat because we are bored, stressed, or avoiding feeling an unpleasant emotion.
While cravings are for a specific food related to trying to get back the good feelings and memories (seeking pleasure), emotional eating is not food-specific and is related to trying to not feel bad feelings (avoiding pain).
Fortunately, there is a tried-and-true way to end emotional eating for good. You can learn to push food away without feeling deprived.
“I really regret leaving that last bite on my plate…
…said nobody ever.”
#101 Why Diets Don’t Work – #3 of 7
Continuing this series, let’s talk about another reason why diets don’t work.
Reason #3: We overeat because as kids:
· We were told we have to finish everything on our plate before we can have dessert or leave the table.
· We were trained to eat all of the food in front of us because there were children starving in Africa or China.
· We were mentally programmed to eat all the food in front of us because we don’t know when or where the next meal is coming from.
I say “programmed” because we were taught how to think and behave by our caregivers. We trusted them to know what’s best for us because we had no choice – we were so young and just trying to figure things out for ourselves.
“Cleaning our plate” led us to no longer listen to our body’s cues as to when we had enough to eat. We learned not to “waste food”. We learned not to “waste good money” that was spent on food.
Well, I’ll tell you this: When you eat more than you need to be healthy, whether it goes “in the trash” or “on your a$$” (notice the rhyme there), it is still wasting food.
If it is difficult for you to save it for later or just throw it away, there is a tried-and-true way to end the need to eat everything on your plate.
“We hold onto weight to protect us from what happened to us when we were thin.”
#102 Why Diets Don’t Work – #4 of 7
In previous weeks, we talked about why we have food cravings, why we emotionally eat, and why we override our body’s cues.
Reason #4: Another reason, probably beneath our awareness as to why we hold onto excess weight, has to do with what happened before we gained weight.
Here’s an example. When we were thin, we were dumped by a lover. After that, we ate to fill that emptiness we felt, and we gained weight. Of course, we got fat because of emotional eating, but subconsciously, we have linked being thin to being dumped.
And it felt pretty crappy to have been broken up with, and we unknowingly fear that if we are thin again, we will experience that pain again. It’s true that it may reoccur, so we sabotage ourselves and don’t let ourselves get back to that ideal weight. It would just hurt too much to go through that again.
It didn’t have to be because we were dumped. It could be due to a myriad of things. Think back to what was going on in your life before you gained weight. What are you avoiding happening again? What trauma occurred before you put on extra pounds?
Thankfully, we can re-program this “defense mechanism” of your mind and allow your body to return to its natural weight.
“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something
and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.”
#103 Why Diets Don’t Work – #5 of 7
This week we talk about how our human nature can cause us to hold onto extra weight as a reaction toward our authority figures growing up.
Reason #5: Have you ever told yourself you will NOT eat the ice cream/chips/whatever. You do great for a couple days, or maybe only a couple hours…but then you give in. Why?
You are rebelling against an authority figure in your youth and their rules given to you. And this unknowingly carries over into rebelling against your own rules for yourself.
It is not a lack of will-power that causes you to break your good intentions, it is a conditioned response to rules. Yes, they were your rules, but they were still rules that you gave yourself. This leads to the all-too-familiar self-sabotage. We just can’t help ourselves!
Fortunately, this too can be dealt with.
If you suffer from this hidden block, it will be covered in my upcoming course.
“Hunger, love, pain, and fear are some of those inner forces which rule the individual’s instinct for self-preservation.”
#104 Why Diets Don’t Work – #6 of 7
Sometimes our weight issues go all the way back to before we can even talk.
Reason #6: When we were pre-verbal, usually before the age of two, we could not easily ask for what we needed. Our only means of telling those caring for us that we were hungry was to cry.
Maybe we were understood, maybe we weren’t, maybe our needs were ignored, or maybe there just wasn’t enough food in the house.
So, our subconscious mind, always striving to keep us alive, worries about when the next meal will come. It thinks:
· You better eat all you can now, because who knows when you will get another chance?
· You better hold onto fat (the body’s emergency energy source) because you may need it at any time.
Could this “safety feature” of your subconscious mind be affecting you? The good news is, there are ways to overcome this block to living at your ideal weight.
If this block applies to you, you may be interested in my next course where you will learn to 1) curb your cravings once and for all, 2) push that food away when you aren’t hungry, 3) end eating all the food in front of you that will just go to you’re a$$, 4) deal with the issue that preceded your weight gain, 5) stop self-sabotaging your weight reduction efforts, 6) overcome pre-verbal weight issues, and more!
If you think this course is for you, or you have any questions about it, just reply to this email and we’ll schedule a complimentary, no-obligation call.
“The body puts on layers of fat to protect itself.”
#105 Why Diets Don’t Work – #7 of 7
We have covered six reasons why diets don’t work, and now we come to one that affects almost all women.
I’m talking about traumas associated with body boundaries. These can be big Traumas with a capital “T”, or little traumas, with a little “t”; but nevertheless, these can affect our ability to maintain a healthy weight.
Reason #7: Big “T” Traumas, like being raped, can make us feel unsafe to be thin and attractive. If we are fat and not as attractive, we feel safer.
Little “t” traumas, like experiencing unwanted sexual attention, comments, or ogling, can be just as effectual in hindering our ability to be slim.
Little traumas can be Aunt Jane repetitively commenting on how cute and chubby you are, or simply a little boy on the playground telling you that his glasses have super powers and he can see through your dress.
When your brother always called you fat, whether you were or not, that kind of thing can stick with you and make you think of yourself that way. Repeatedly being told something negative about your body can program your body to appear the way it is currently presenting.
Anything that makes you uncomfortable about your body is violating your body boundary. No one should be touching you, looking at you, or commenting on your body in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable.
To keep you alive and well, our subconscious mind forms a literal layer of protection to “keep you safe” – safe according to its way of thinking.
The mind is so powerful, it will block us from getting rid of excess fat because it thinks it is doing you a favor.
We can heal that and feel safe being thin and sexy. There is hope!
If you are affected by this huge block to dropping weight, this is the time to join in my unique program in healing the hidden blocks to reaching your ideal weight.
“Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
#106 Forgiveness Series – #1 of 7
This series will delve into what forgiveness is, what it is not, why it benefits us, and how to achieve it. Let’s get started with part one…
What Is Forgiveness?
When we forgive someone, we choose to let go of our negative feelings – such as anger, betrayal, disappointment, hurt, and resentment – whether the person apologizes, is held responsible, or deserves forgiveness for their transgression. Then we can stop being triggered by memories of the offensive behavior and stop reliving the painful experience again and again.
True forgiveness is not just saying words, it requires us to change our perspective. This may not be easy, especially when the wrong done to us is egregious. It is always easy to play the victim. What is difficult is to take back our power and not let someone else keep controlling our emotions.
I am writing this series to help you find a way to forgive everyone who has ever wronged you. Next week I will cover what forgiveness is not.
“Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Lewis Boese
“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad.
Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too.”
Will Smith – Actor, Rapper
#107 Forgiveness Series – #2 of 7
Sometimes we don’t want to forgive because what happened is so horrible and we want to punish the other person. It’s important to remember what forgiveness is NOT so we can forgive and be at peace.
What Forgiveness Is NOT
Forgiveness is NOT saying it was okay to commit the offense against you. It means you will no longer let it define who you are. You will stop labelling yourself a victim because that does not serve you.
Forgiveness is NOT pretending the wrongdoing never happened. It means you dealt with your feelings and are moving on with your life.
Forgiveness is NOT letting others take advantage of you. It means you take back your power and decide to not let the same thing happen again.
Forgiveness is NOT letting the other person off the hook. It means you have chosen to release the negative feelings that will eat you up from the inside. It means letting what goes around, come around for that person.
Forgiveness is NOT absolving every little offense you perceive. It means realizing that sometimes we had no cause to be offended at all because we simply misinterpreted things. With this different perspective, we may see that there was no wrongdoing at all on the part of the other person. Thus we become more reasonable and accepting.
Forgiveness is NOT forgetting. It means we do not need to keep reminding ourselves about the past once we have processed what happened and made a change.
Understanding what forgiveness is – and is not – helps us choose to forgive. Next week we will explore why we want to forgive others.
“If one by one we counted people out
For the least sin, it wouldn’t take us long
To get so we had no one left to live with.
For to be social is to be forgiving.”
Robert Frost – American Poet
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom,
I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”
#108 Forgiveness Series – #3 of 7
Consider why we want to forgive others with this question:
For Whom Do We Forgive?
This is easy to answer: Forgiveness is for ourselves! It is giving us inner peace. And I’m all for that!
When we hold onto anger, disappointment, resentment, etc., we are the ones who hurt. Holding onto a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to suffer.
People talk about “Body, Mind, and Spirit”. I like to think of it as “Spirit, Mind, and Body” because what is in our heart (spirit) and our heads (mind) determines our physical (body) well-being. We must have the right outlook first, followed by the right thoughts, to keep our physiology in peak working order.
When we lack forgiveness, our body suffers. Harboring ill-will can cause anxiety, stress, depression, insomnia, high blood pressure, physical pain, and emotional misery.
Our health depends on forgiveness. We do it for ourselves, and no one else. The fact that the other person feels better when we grant forgiveness is just a bonus.
Besides health reasons, there are other benefits of forgiveness that I will cover next week.
“Forgiving isn’t something you do for someone else.
It’s something you do for yourself.
It’s saying, ‘You’re not important enough to have a stranglehold on me.’
It’s saying, ‘You don’t get to trap me in the past.
I am worthy of a future.’”
Jodi Picoult – Novelist
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.”
Alexander Pope – British Poet
#109 Forgiveness Series – #4 of 7
Last week we took note of the harmful effects of not forgiving. This week we look at why we want to forgive.
What Are the Benefits of Forgiveness?
Forgiveness reduces harmful emotions and their accompanying hormones that damage our bodies, our relationships, and our enjoyment in life. Releasing these lets you return to peace and tranquility.
Forgiveness heals emotional wounds and brings closure to an experience. When we put the past behind us, we have permission to move forward and focus on the present – the only time in which we actually live.
Forgiveness of others allows us to learn to forgive ourselves for not living up to our expectations or for the role we played in the situation. After all, we know we did the best we could with the knowledge we had at the time. We are able to accept that we are all human and no one is perfect, including ourselves.
Forgiveness allows us to choose how we respond, rather than resort to being a victim of our knee-jerk reactions caused by our hurt feelings.
Forgiveness brings us better understanding into why others do what they do.
Forgiveness keeps our minds clear. If we are stuck in the past, we remain in a stressful state that affects all we do negatively. Releasing grudges allows us to make good decisions from then on.
Forgiveness increases our empathy, compassion, happiness, and overall satisfaction with our lives.
Obviously we profit from acts of forgiveness in many ways. I haven’t found any good that comes from withholding our generous acceptance of what happened so we can enjoy the benefits of forgiveness.
“Forgiveness is the needle that knows how to mend.”
Jewel – Singer
“Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love.”
#110 Forgiveness Series – #5 of 7
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
How Do We Prevent the Need to Forgive in the First Place?
When I think of forgiveness, I think of the book by Don Miguel Ruiz entitled The Four Agreements.
The first agreement is to “be impeccable with your words”. This means you say what you mean and mean what you say, though tact is always appropriate, and sometimes you should keep your mouth shut. Obviously this can avert many misunderstandings which might cause hard feelings.
The second agreement is to “not take anything personally”. When you realize that the other person is always doing their best, they are coming from their unique past experiences, and their reactions to you are all about them, not you, you can stop yourself from taking blame for their anger and therefore respond in a calm, rational way that does not exacerbate the situation and that keeps you safe. Consider how this can head off any need to forgive.
The third agreement is to “not assume anything”. How many times have you misspoken by not fully understanding what is going on? How many times have you made a mistake because you assumed something that was not true? Awareness that we rarely know all the facts in a situation can help us avoid miscalculations and the need to forgive.
The fourth agreement is to “do your best”. If we do our best at all times, then we do not have to be hard on ourselves. We can forgive our blunders and move on. If we assume others are doing their best (see second agreement), we can more easily let go of their misdeeds.
Forgiveness comes with awareness and understanding. This book is an easy, short read, or you can find free audios about it on YouTube. Whether you pursue Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, I hope you keep these four agreements in mind for the rest of your life. It will save you a lot of heartache.
Next week we get into practical steps to aid you in forgiving others.
“Forgiveness is designed to set you free. When you say, ‘I forgive you,’ what you’re really saying is ‘I know what you did is not okay, but I recognize that you are more than that. I don’t want to hold us captive to this thing anymore. I can heal myself, and I don’t need anything from you.’”
Sarah Montana – Writer, Screenwriter, Speaker
“Forgiveness is not weak. It takes courage to face and overcome powerful emotions.
#111 Forgiveness Series – #6 of 7
It is my understanding that when The Bible was translated from Greek, it used the English word “forgiveness”, but literally the Greek word meant “to let go”. Forgiveness is a letting go of any claim to repayment, such as a debt. It means we release the right to be compensated for our hurt or loss. So…
How Can We Release Anger?
Before we forgive, we need to let go of our negative emotions; we must first feel them fully and express them. E-motions are biological/chemical “energy in motion” so if we do not process emotions when we feel them, they get stuck and cause ill effects in our bodies. We can move the emotions out by first thinking about a situation; this easily triggers our negative emotions so we can then process them. This may be uncomfortable, but it will be the last time we have to feel them ever again. We know we have emotions to release whenever we are triggered and overreact.
There are a few ways to let go of stuck emotions.
One is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as Tapping. If you don’t know about this, check out my explanation in my KimSIGHTS Archive 2021, #15-21 at www.KimMessersmith.com. Tap on the acupressure points while you rant about what’s on your mind. Let your emotions come up as you keep tapping through the points until you have gotten it all off your chest and you feel better. If you would like further guidance, let me know.
Secondly, a simple way to let out anger and hurt is to scream. Yes, scream at the top of your lungs when no one else is home. Or you may want to park your car somewhere safe with the windows rolled up to do this. Or scream into a pillow. Say what you want to say – what happened, how you felt, and how it affected your life – until you feel exhausted. If you feel energized, you have more work to do; keep going. If you like, you can punch a pillow or a mattress as you scream. Get it all out.
The last method I’ll share here is to shake your body to release pent up emotions. You may have seen a zebra or wildebeest escape from a lion. When the danger has passed, the animal will shudder, moving its whole body to shake off the fear. It knows that it needs to process that energy, and it does so promptly, then it goes back to grazing. We can do the same. Wave your arms around and shake your whole body. You can lie on the floor and have a temper tantrum. It’s something natural that kids do to release their pent up anger when they do not get their way. Feel free to add some screaming when no one will hear you.
Releasing the emotions is the first step to forgiveness. Next week we will go over the steps to forgiveness.
“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”John Green – Author
“True forgiveness is when you can say, ‘Thank you for that experience.’”
#112 Forgiveness Series – #7 of 7
After we release the negative emotions brought on by the wrongdoing we experienced, it’s time for the final step: Forgiveness.
How Can I Forgive?
First, ACT quickly.
Accept that it happened. Don’t harbor ill feelings because it only hurts you. Give yourself permission to release the anger and move forward. Remember that forgiveness is something that you do for yourself.
Second, RELEASE the negative emotions.
See #6 in this series. Tap, scream, or shake to release the pent-up emotions.
I have five suggestions. Pick the one that feels right for you in each situation.
1. Simply remember what you have learned in this series, then let go and move on. Like holding a pen in your hand: When you release your grip, the pen falls away. Simply release it.
2. Repeat the following Ho’oponopono Prayer, even when you are the one hurt. This prayer works because you do not see yourself as separate from anyone (we are all one). There’s a cool story behind this, so if you reply to this email, I’ll send it to you.
I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
3. Repeat the following Forgiveness Prayer every day until you feel a shift.
I forgive you. I release you. I let you go.
You forgive me. You release me. You let me go.
I forgive me. I release me. I let the old me go.
4. Write a letter to the offender (do NOT send it) outlining the facts, how it made you feel, and how you have grown from the experience. Then burn it and let the smoke carry away the ill feelings.
5. Take advantage of the free worksheets provided by Colin Tipping at www.RadicalForgiveness.org (under Courses then Free Tools). Use these to process what happened and take the charge out of your painful memories. He has written many books on the subject, all of which explain his process in finer detail. I have included his main worksheet below. Visit his website to get other worksheets.
What I want you to remember most about this series is that forgiveness is a gift for yourself. It allows you to free yourself from unpleasant to downright horrible experiences and live a happier, more peaceful life. Only you can give that gift to yourself.
“When someone wrongs you, you don’t forgive them for them,
you forgive them for you.”
Christine Lakin – Actress
“Life can be dangerous; just let it be! When we shake off what we perceive as boundaries, that is where the bliss really is.”
#113 Storytime Series – #1 of 7
Here is the first of seven little stories that I find meaningful. I hope you do too!
THE DONKEY IN THE WELL
One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do. Finally, he decided the donkey was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn’t worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to everyone’s amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He shook it off and took a step up.
As the farmer’s neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping and never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
“Shake it off and move on.”
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”
Vincent van Gogh
#114 Storytime Series – #2 of 7
You may recall the movie Dumbo.
Dumbo was a young circus elephant with unusually huge ears for which he was made fun of; thus he perceived them as his weakness.
One night, Dumbo and his mouse friend, Timothy, find themselves up in a tree. Timothy concludes that Dumbo must have flown up, but Dumbo can’t believe it. He doesn’t have confidence in himself because the other circus elephants had shunned him all his life due to his freakishly gigantic ears.
To give him confidence, Timothy creates the ‘magic feather’. Believing in the magic of the feather, Dumbo is able to fly.
Fast-forward to show night: Dumbo is supposed to dive from a massive height into a tiny pool of water. Dumbo, with Timothy perched in his cap and the magic feather held tight in the tip of his trunk, launches himself from his high platform.
But oh no! On the way down, he drops the feather! He lost his magic feather and thinks that without it, he can’t fly, and he continues to fall – heading quickly toward the ground!
Frantically Timothy tells him “It’s not the feather, it’s you! You can fly. Forget the feather. It’s time to fly!” Just before Dumbo is about to smash into the shallow water, Timothy’s words register: “It’s you, Dumbo, not the feather!” At last Dumbo stops falling, and begins to soar around
the circus tent.
Dumbo was humiliated by his oversized ears. He hated them at first. But eventually, he came to use them for good, to fulfil his destiny even. All by changing his belief in himself.
You don’t need a magic feather to do great things. It’s already within you.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.”
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.”
#115 Storytime Series – #3 of 7
This is also called The Parable of the Chinese Farmer.
MAYBE SO. MAYBE NOT. WE’LL SEE.
A farmer and his son had a beloved stallion who helped the family earn a living. One day, the horse ran away and their neighbors exclaimed, “Your horse ran away. What terrible luck!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe so. Maybe not. We’ll see.”
A few days later, the horse returned home, leading a few wild mares back to the farm as well. The neighbors shouted out, “Your horse has returned and brought several horses home with him. What great luck!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe so. Maybe not. We’ll see.”
Later that week, the farmer’s son was trying to train one of the mares and she threw him to the ground, breaking his leg. The villagers cried, “Your son broke his leg. What terrible luck!”
The farmer replied, “Maybe so. Maybe not. We’ll see.”
A few weeks later, soldiers from the national army marched through town, recruiting all the able-bodied boys for the army. They did not take the farmer’s son, who was still recovering from his injury. Friends shouted, “Your boy is spared. What tremendous luck!”
To which the farmer replied, “Maybe so. Maybe not. We’ll see.”
The moral of this story, is, of course, that no event, in and of itself can truly be judged as good or bad, lucky or unlucky, fortunate or unfortunate; Only time will tell the whole story.
It reminds people that it’s best not to get too upset — or attached — to what happens to us.
Even something that seems dark and confounding can turn out to be an opportunity when looked on in hindsight.
The wiser thing, then, is to live life in moderation, keeping as even a temperament as possible, taking all things in stride, whether they originally appear to be ‘good’ or ‘bad.’
“Don’t be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth.”
“Don’t waste your energy trying to change opinions. Do your thing and don’t care if they like it.”
#116 Storytime Series – #4 of 7
I hope you enjoy this tale from Aesop’s Fables.
THE MAN, THE BOY, and THE DONKEY
A Man and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said, “You fools. What is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”
So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way.
But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said, “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”
So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself.
But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other, “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”
Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey.
By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said, “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor donkey of yours?”
The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the donkey to their shoulders.
They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together, he was drowned.
“That will teach you,” said an old man who had followed them.
“Please all, and you will please none.”
“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
“Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
#117 Storytime Series – #5 of 7
This folk tale from India teaches how different perspectives lead to distinct points of view.
THE BLIND MEN and THE ELEPHANT
Long ago six old men lived in a village in India. Each was born blind. The other villagers loved the old men and kept them away from harm. Since the blind men could not see the world for themselves, they had to imagine many of its wonders. They listened carefully to the stories told by travelers to learn what they could about life outside the village.
The men were curious about many of the stories they heard, but they were most curious about elephants. They were told that elephants could trample forests, carry huge burdens, and frighten young and old with their loud trumpet calls. But they also knew that the Rajah’s daughter rode an elephant when she traveled in her father’s kingdom. Would the Rajah let his daughter get near such a dangerous creature?
The old men argued day and night about elephants. “An elephant must be a powerful giant,” claimed the first blind man. He had heard stories about elephants being used to clear forests and build roads.
“No, you must be wrong,” argued the second blind man. “An elephant must be graceful and gentle if a princess is to ride on its back.”
“You’re wrong! I have heard that an elephant can pierce a man’s heart with its terrible horn,” said the third blind man.
“Please,” said the fourth blind man. “You are all mistaken. An elephant is nothing more than a large sort of cow. You know how people exaggerate.”
“I am sure that an elephant is something magical,” said the fifth blind man. “That would explain why the Rajah’s daughter can travel safely throughout the kingdom.”
“I don’t believe elephants exist at all,” declared the sixth blind man. “I think we are the victims of a cruel joke.”
Finally, the villagers grew tired of all the arguments, and they arranged for the curious men to visit the palace of the Rajah to learn the truth about elephants. A young boy from their village was selected to guide the blind men on their journey. The smallest man put his hand on the boy’s shoulder. The second blind man put his hand on his friend’s shoulder, and so on until all six men were ready to walk safely behind the boy who would lead them to the Rajah’s magnificent palace.
When the blind men reached the palace, they were greeted by an old friend from their village who worked as a gardener on the palace grounds. Their friend led them to the courtyard. There stood an elephant. The blind men stepped forward to touch the creature that was the subject of so many arguments.
The first blind man reached out and touched the side of the huge animal. “An elephant is smooth and solid like a wall!” he declared. “It must be very powerful.”
The second blind man put his hand on the elephant’s limber trunk. “An elephant is like a giant snake,” he announced.
The third blind man felt the elephant’s pointed tusk. “I was right,” he decided. “This creature is as sharp and deadly as a spear.”
The fourth blind man touched one of the elephant’s four legs. “What we have here,” he said, “is an extremely large cow.”
The fifth blind man felt the elephant’s giant ear. “I believe an elephant is like a huge fan or maybe a magic carpet that can fly over mountains and treetops,” he said.
The sixth blind man gave a tug on the elephant’s coarse tail. “Why, this is nothing more than a piece of old rope. Dangerous, indeed,” he scoffed.
The gardener led his friends to the shade of a tree. “Sit here and rest for the long journey home,” he said. “I will bring you some water to drink.”
While they waited, the six blind men talked about the elephant.
“An elephant is like a wall,” said the first blind man. “Surely we can finally agree on that.”
“A wall? An elephant is a giant snake!” answered the second blind man.
“It’s a spear, I tell you,” insisted the third blind man.
“I’m certain it’s a giant cow,” said the fourth blind man.
“Magic carpet. There’s no doubt,” said the fifth blind man.
“Don’t you see?” pleaded the sixth blind man. “Someone used a rope to trick us.”
Their argument continued and their shouts grew louder and louder.
“Wall!” “Snake!” “Spear!” “Cow!” “Carpet!” “Rope!”
“Stop shouting!” called a very angry voice.
It was the Rajah, awakened from his nap by the noisy argument.
“How can each of you be so certain you are right?” asked the ruler.
The six blind men considered the question. And then, knowing the Rajah to be a very wise man, they decided to say nothing at all.
“The elephant is a very large animal,” said the Rajah kindly. “Each man touched only one part. Perhaps if you put the parts together, you will see the truth. Now, let me finish my nap in peace.”
When their friend returned to the garden with the cool water, the six men rested quietly in the shade, thinking about the Rajah’s advice.
“He is right,” said the first blind man. “To learn the truth, we must put all the parts together. Let’s discuss this on the journey home.”
The first blind man put his hand on the shoulder of the young boy who would guide them home. The second blind man put a hand on his friend’s shoulder, and so on until all six men were ready to travel together.
The moral of this story is: None were wrong. Each man was correct from his perspective.
“We admire elephants in part because they demonstrate what we consider the finest human traits: empathy, self-awareness, and social intelligence.”
“Some of us aren’t meant to belong. Some of us have to turn the world upside down and shake the hell out of it until we make our own place in it.”
#118 Storytime Series – #6 of 7
Let’s revisit this adaptation of the popular children’s story from Hans Christian Anderson.
THE UGLY DUCKLING
It was a warm summer day. A mother duck had her nest hidden in the long grass, safe from weasels and the fox. She sat on her eggs, waiting for the eggs to hatch. Finally, the eggs hatched, with a pop and a peep!peep! A bunch of golden ducklings appeared.
The mother duck was so happy to see her ducklings. But the largest egg in the nest was still there. The mother duck didn’t remember laying such a huge egg. Suddenly the large egg cracked open, the baby bird was big, grey and ugly. He had huge feet and a broad beak and didn’t look like a duckling.
The other ducklings didn’t like him as he was ugly. A few days later the mother duck took her ducklings for a swim. The big grey duckling also joined the other ducklings.
After a great swim, the duck family waddled on into the yard. As the grey duckling entered the yard, all the birds started talking about him.
Every day he was pecked and pushed by ducks and even by the chickens.
One day the poor ugly duckling couldn’t take it anymore, so he ran far away from his home. At last, he ended up in a swamp where only wild ducks lived. The wild ducks told him, “You’re an ugly fellow. You cannot stay here. Go away!”
The duckling moved away from those ducks. The poor duckling felt very lonely. The duckling spent a long and cold winter struggling to survive.
At last, the snow melted away. It was spring and the duckling was big and stronger than before. He flew high in the air, and he landed by a lovely lake surrounded by magnificent, white and graceful swans.
The ugly duckling thought that if the swans see him, they will also make fun of his appearance. He was ashamed of himself and bowed his head low. When he bent his head, he saw his reflection in the water and was astonished.
His ugly feathers were now snowy white. His neck was curved and slender. He had grown into a swan. The other swans came towards him and stroked him with their beaks.
Nearby children shouted with joy at the sight of him and threw him some bread crumbs. He felt very happy to be with his friends.
The traditional morals of this story are:
You cannot judge a person by their appearance.
Words can hurt people’s feelings.
My take on this story:
If you don’t fit in, find somewhere that you do.
“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
“Doubt can motivate you, so don’t be afraid of it. Confidence and doubt are at two ends of the scale, and you need both. They balance each other out.”
#119 Storytime Series – #7 of 7
You may remember hearing this story, but not the complete story. Make sure you read the ending!
TWO WOLVES WITHIN
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is black, representing “evil” – he is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, shame, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
He continued, “The other is white, representing what is “good” – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
The fight is eternal. Both wolves will always be there, as they continue to vie to control our thoughts, our beliefs, our emotions, our behaviors, our habits, and every other aspect of our life.
The black wolf is that part of us that has been loud, in the forefront, and in charge of our thinking for too long. It’s the part of us that doesn’t like what we see in the mirror and wants to get rid of certain parts of our bodies. It says harsh words to us, telling us we will always be ugly.
The white wolf has been in the background, staying quiet and forgotten. We ignore its whispers that we are worthy and wonderful because we look in the mirror and determine we lack value based on what we deem to be unwanted or even ugly.
Feeding the Black Wolf
I used to fall into the trap of feeding the black wolf by focusing on what I didn’t like about my body.
• I would feel bad if I did not eat healthily 100% of the time.
• I would beat myself up for not sticking to my exercise plans.
• I felt like a failure for not being perfect.
• And I would look at my body and think about how I wanted to get rid of this, or that. That’s how we feed the black wolf.
We feed the black wolf when…
• We are disappointed in how our bodies look.
• We hate what we see in the mirror.
• We want to get rid of part of our bodies.
• We give ourselves negative self-talk.
• We give up, do nothing, and never reach our goal.
When we keep telling ourselves what we don’t like about our bodies, we keep getting bodies we don’t like.
That’s the nature of feeding the black wolf. That means we let the black wolf win. And that “evil” wolf will get stronger day by day.
Start Feeding the Good Wolf
Instead, we can…
• Tell ourselves that we are worthy.
• Speak to ourselves like we would a cherished friend.
• Love our bodies just as they are NOW!
• Let go of fear that we will always be overweight.
• Look at those parts we rather not see in the mirror, smile at them, and tell them they are loved.
• Stare right into our eyes, and tell our reflections, “I am learning to love you.”
When we feed the white wolf…
• We accept and love our bodies “as is.”
• We understand that we are doing the best we can in each moment.
• We override negative thoughts, fears, and doubts, and say kind words to ourselves.
• We see ourselves as beautiful, and enjoy a body that is beautiful.
• We are happy now, not waiting until we drop the excess weight.
Which Wolf Do You Feed?
It is much easier to feed the black wolf. It’s easier to complain, procrastinate, dislike, ignore, and give up.
The white wolf is very different.
• It’s picky.
• It requires our energy and time out of our day.
• We may not see immediate results.
But we can make it a habit to treat it lovingly.
• It will love us back.
• It will teach us, inspire us, and help us stick to new behaviors.
• It will give us the look we desire.
We all know we should feed the white wolf more than we do. Why?
• Feeding the white wolf is how we end up feeling a sense of self-worth and self-love.
• Feeding the white wolf is how we ultimately drop the excess weight.
Feeding Both Wolves
In the Cherokee world, however, there’s more to the story.
The old Cherokee continued, “If you feed them right, they both win.”
“You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner, waiting for me to become distracted or weak, and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and will always fight the white wolf.”
“But if I acknowledge and love him, he is happy, and the white wolf is happy, and we all win.
For the black wolf has many qualities — tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-will, and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times. These are the very things the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength, and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all.”
“You see, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other, and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well, and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good.”
“Feed them both, and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voice of deeper knowledge that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance.”
“Peace, my child, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man or a woman who has peace inside, has everything. A man or a woman who is pulled apart by the war inside him or her, has nothing.”
“How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you, will determine your life. Starve one or the other, and have struggle. Or guide them both, and live in peace.”
As a reminder, I help people like you overcome the hidden issues that are keeping you from dropping the weight and looking great. Please go to my website KimCanHelpMe.com to find out more.
“Tension is who you think you should be, relaxation is who you are.”
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
Norman Vincent Peale
#120 Positivity Tools Series – #1 of 7
This series focuses on the most useful positive thinking techniques to help you stay upbeat and keep a positive attitude. Why do you want a positive attitude? Because when you feel good, you attract more good into your life.
Let’s start with three popular tools:
1. Reframing: This technique involves looking at a negative situation from a different perspective and exploring which story around what is going on makes you feel the best. Choose that one! For example, instead of thinking “I have to take the kids to school,” reframe it as “I get wonderful uninterrupted time with the kids while I take them to school. I’m so lucky!”
2. Hypnosis: Hypnosis is a tool that you can use to access the subconscious mind to promote a positive change in your state of mind and body. It helps you go from tense and tight, to calm and relaxed. Hypnosis can be used to instill positive perspectives and habits that push and pull you toward your goals.
3. Visualization: This version of self-hypnosis involves imagining yourself achieving your goals daily so you can get the feel for how it will be once you experience the positive outcomes you envision. For example, you might visualize yourself giving a successful presentation or reaching your desired weight. This magically puts your subconscious mind to work to match what you imagined with reality.
These three techniques get your subconscious mind on board with the changes you want to make. After that, your mind becomes your ally and you are unconsciously propelled to your goals.
“When you can pull yourself out of your own muck, by giving your same old stories happier endings, you’ll find that rage turns to peace, pain to power, fear to courage.”
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
#121 Positivity Tools Series – #2 of 7
We continue our look at popular techniques used to keep our spirits uplifted and in a positive mindset with the following three:
4. Affirmations: Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself to help you get into the feeling of being more confident and capable. For example, “I am strong and capable of achieving my goals.” When you feel that way, you will act that way. Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want. Not “I don’t want to be sick.” But rather, “I am healthy.” Beginning statements with “I am…” is very powerful.
5. Positive Self-Talk: Pay attention to the language you use when talking to yourself. Replace negative self-talk with positive statements. Instead of saying “I can’t do this,” say, “I’m learning how to do this.”
6. Act as if: Act as if – and talk as if – you already have the qualities you want to develop to help you embody them. Feel thankful as if you have them right now. Your aim is to feel how you WILL feel, except you feel that NOW. For example, if you want to be more respected, act as if you already are. Get in character. Stand tall and make eye contact. Be thankful that you have respect now. How does it feel? Amplify that feeling.
These are very powerful methods. Be aware of what you are telling yourself. Your subconscious mind is always listening to what you tell it, so tell it good things!
“When your dreams are bigger than the places you find yourself in, sometimes you need to seek out your own reminders that there is more. And there is always more waiting for you on the other side of fear.”
Elaine Welteroth, More Than Enough: Claiming Space for Who You Are
“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
#122 Positivity Tools Series – #3 of 7
Here are three more techniques that give you more energy so you can be in a better mood.
7. Exercise: Regular exercise boosts mood, increases energy, and reduces stress. Ten minutes daily to work up a sweat before breakfast will get your metabolism moving – plus it makes you able to claim you are “someone who exercises every day.” And that feels good. Exercising after work is great for recharging your battery and lifting your mood.
8. Self-Care: Engaging in activities that promote physical well-being, such as taking a bubble bath or getting a massage, can help reduce stress and boost mood. Make sure you keep a tab on your mental and emotional self-care as well. Your cup must be full in order to take care of others.
9. Creative Expression: Engaging in creative activities, such as painting or writing, can help reduce stress and promote self-expression. Creativity is a basic human need. We must meet this need on some level in one or more areas of our lives in order to feel fulfilled.
Who do you want to be? Do you want to be someone who is in shape, or who can barely get up from the couch?
Do you want to be someone who takes care of herself so she is ready to help when needed? Or someone who is so depleted that she is overwhelmed when someone asks for help?
Do you want to be just like everyone else? Or do you want to have some fun trying something new?
You get to decide because you are in control of your daily choices and how you choose to spend your time. Do you value yourself? If you don’t take care of your own needs, then you value something else more than yourself. And that’s a priority shift that needs your attention.
“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”
Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”
#123 Positivity Tools Series – #4 of 7
I present three more incredibly simple but powerful techniques today. They are guaranteed to shift your perspective from the negative to the positive.
10. Thankfulness: Focusing daily on what you’re thankful for can help shift your mindset from negativity to positivity. Even better: Write down three things you’re thankful for each day.
11. Forgiveness: Forgiving others and yourself can help release negative emotions and promote healing – your healing. More on forgiveness at www.KimMessersmith.com under the tab: KimSIGHTS Archive 2023, #106-112.
12. Find the Silver Lining: Even in difficult situations, there can be something positive to be found. Look for the silver lining and focus on the good. Remember: What you focus on, you get more of.
These are simple practices to make a mind shift. The only hard part is remembering to utilize them when needed.
“What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.”
J. Sidlow Baxter
“Every day brings new choices.”
#124 Positivity Tools Series – #5 of 7
This week: More choices to lift your mood make it more fun! You don’t have to stick to the same-old solutions. Try something new, or do something different.
13. Laughter: Laughing can have a powerful effect on your mood because it releases endorphins, which are natural mood-boosters. Watch a funny movie. Read some jokes. Call a friend. Have you heard of laughing yoga? Yes, it’s a real thing.
14. Positive Journaling: Writing down positive experiences and reflections can help you focus on the good in your life. Write down three positive things that happen to you each day. Remember: What you focus on, you get more of.
15. Listen to Uplifting Music: Listening to music with positive lyrics and a catchy beat can help boost mood and motivation. Get up and dance like no one is watching – because no one is!
Making this enjoyable is key. If it isn’t fun, why would you keep doing it? Relax and let go of rules and do it your way!
“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
“Look at people for an example, but then make sure to do things your way. Surround yourself with positive people.”
#125 Positivity Tools Series – #6 of 7
This week we focus on others. Let others help you. Let others know how much you care. Give your time and energy and money to those in need. You’ll feel a tremendous boost of energy and satisfaction.
16. Surround Yourself with Positivity: Surrounding yourself with positive people and things can help boost your mood and mindset. Seek out uplifting books, podcasts, and social media accounts.
17. Express Appreciation to Others: Thanking someone for their help can promote positive emotions and strengthen relationships. Remember: What you focus on, you get more of.
18. Give: Helping others promotes a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Volunteer or do something nice for someone else, such as a random act of kindness. Tithe or donate regularly to where you are fed spiritually.
Don’t just think about it. It’s time to take action. Do it now.
“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes. That means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact.”
“I’ve found that there is always some beauty left — in nature, sunshine, freedom, in yourself; these can all help you.”
#126 Positivity Tools Series – #7 of 7
When you are looking for answers, these three techniques can lift your mood and keep your head above water.
19.Focus on Solutions: Instead of dwelling on problems, i.e. “What else can go wrong?”, focus on asking questions that give rise to new solutions, such as “How can I…?” Your answers are only as good as your questions. Brainstorm answers to overcome obstacles and find ways to move forward.
20. Surround Yourself with Nature: Spending time in nature can have a calming and rejuvenating effect. Take a walk in the park or go for a hike. Garden. Take off your shoes and put your feet on the ground. Look around. Nature is giving you messages via metaphor that guide you in your current dilemmas. Notice the industrious ants, the resilient plants, or the patient spider.
21. Self-Compassion: Treat yourself with kindness and compassion, especially when you’re going through a difficult time. Imagine what you would say to a friend in a similar situation, and then take your own advice. Know that this phase will pass and something better will come along.
This concludes this series of twenty-one tools to use whenever you need an emotional pick-me-up.
· Reframing, Hypnosis, Visualization
· Affirmations, Positive Self-Talk, Act As If
· Exercise, Self-Care, Creative Expression
· Thankfulness, Forgiveness, Find the Silver Lining
· Laughter, Positive Journaling, Listen to Uplifting Music
· Surround Yourself with Positivity, Express Appreciation to Others, Give
· Focus on Solutions, Surround Yourself with Nature, Self-Compassion
Do you practice any of these techniques – or do you have a favorite technique I didn’t mention? If so, hit “reply” and let me know about it.
“If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.”
“A lack mindset focuses on what’s missing; an abundance mindset appreciates what’s present.”
#127 Let Go of Lack Series – #1 of 7
Today, let’s talk about a powerful shift that can lead you to profound personal growth and fulfillment – the transition from a lack mindset (a.k.a. scarcity mentality) to a mindset of abundance.
In this series, “lack” refers to a perceived state of insufficiency or absence, often associated with not having something desired or needed. “Abundance” is characterized by experiences of limitless blessings in various aspects of life. These two extremes are not confined to physical possessions or resources, but can also pertain to intangible elements such as love, joy, peace, purpose, and fulfillment.
Experiments have shown that our experiences are intricately connected to and therefore shaped by our thoughts and feelings. If we predominantly focus on what is lacking, we experience more lack in our lives. Spiritual teachings often emphasize the importance of aligning our thoughts and feelings with appreciation and prosperity.
For the next several weeks, let’s explore an example of a lack mentality, the problems it brings, and most importantly, how to combat this in order to cultivate a prosperity mindset and reap wonderful results.
We start with the most common issue.
A preoccupation with lack distracts individuals from appreciating the present moment and the abundance that surrounds them. By constantly focusing on what is missing, they miss out on the beauty, joy, and opportunities available in their immediate surroundings. This lack of presence can diminish overall life satisfaction.
Constantly Focusing on What’s Missing
PROBLEM: When we fixate on what we lack, we breed dissatisfaction and limit our perception of possibilities. We miss out on appreciating the present moment.
Shows Up As: Always yearning for the latest gadget. Feeling envious of others’ successes. Believing that achievements of others diminish your own.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Shift your focus to gratitude. Express appreciation for the small joys and experiences in your life. For example, maintain a journal in which you write down three things you are thankful for each day.
· Celebrate your accomplishments, big or small.
· Appreciate your strengths. Don’t know yours? Ask a friend or loved one. Ask yourself: What do I love to do? What do people ask me to do?
· Cultivate mindfulness. Take time to savor and appreciate the present moment. Engage in meditation or mindful breathing to anchor your attention in the here-and-now.
· Acknowledge the blessings and abundance already apparent in your life.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of feeling envious of your friend’s new car, you celebrate your own reliable vehicle and appreciate the freedom it provides. You feel happy for your friend, and you draw to you more things to be happy about.
By shifting our focus away from what we lack, we cultivate a sense of gratitude for what we already have. Gratitude promotes positive emotions, contentment, and satisfaction with life. It allows us to appreciate the present moment and the abundance that surrounds us.
“Lack is just a temporary experience that arises from a temporary state of mind. Shift your mindset to one of abundance, and watch as lack dissolves.”
“Abundance is a mindset that knows there is always enough to go around. It is a mindset of generosity and sharing.”
#128 Let Go of Lack Series – #2 of 7
A narrow focus on what we lack blinds us to the vast array of opportunities that surround us. We continue this series with another problem formed by a “lack mentality” along with suggestions to convert this negative mindset to a positive one.
Fear of Scarcity
PROBLEM: A lack mentality fosters fear and anxiety, making us believe that resources are scarce and limited and that there won’t be enough for everyone, including ourselves.
Shows Up As: Fearing to take risks or pursue opportunities. Believing there won’t be enough time, money, or opportunities available to succeed.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Embrace an abundance mindset by challenging scarcity beliefs. For example, if you think you can’t have something – is that really true? Could you get another job, borrow money, or save up and get it?
· Remind yourself that the universe is abundant and that resources are plentiful. If others have it, you can too.
· When lack appears in your thoughts, repeat positive affirmations to rewire your thinking, such as “I attract abundance in all areas of my life.”
· See and feel yourself surrounded by abundance and opportunity. Imagination and emotions are the fuel to manifesting. Pretend you already have it.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of fearing that there won’t be enough clients for your business, you affirm that there is an abundance of clients seeking your unique offerings. You visualize your schedule filling up with your perfect clients. You feel how thankful you are to serve others in the business you dreamed of.
Focusing on lack reinforces a scarcity mindset, where we constantly feel that there is never enough. On the other hand, directing our attention towards prosperity helps us recognize opportunities, possibilities, and the resources available to us. This mindset encourages optimism and fosters a sense of wealth in all aspects of life.
“Scarcity is a mindset that thrives on fear; abundance is a mindset that thrives on love and gratitude.”
“When you focus on lack, you create more lack. Choose to focus on abundance, and you will attract more of it into your life.”
#129 Let Go of Lack Series – #3 of 7
When we constantly dwell on what we lack, negativity takes hold of our thoughts, fueling self-criticism and a pessimistic outlook. Focusing on lack reinforces a mindset of scarcity, leading to feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness.
Let’s look at another result of a scarcity mindset – comparison and self-doubt – and how to replace this with a prosperity mindset.
Comparison and Self-Doubt
PROBLEM: When we compare ourselves to others and doubt our abilities, it undermines our self-esteem and hinders personal growth.
Shows Up As: Constantly measuring your progress against others’ achievements. Feeling inadequate or unworthy as a result of comparing.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Focus on your own journey and celebrate your unique strengths and accomplishments.
· Set realistic goals and break them down into actionable steps.
· Surround yourself with supportive individuals who uplift and inspire you.
· Practice self-awareness. Pay attention to your thoughts and notice when negativity arises.
· Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations or realistic perspectives.
· Reflect on things you are thankful for. This helps shift your focus towards prosperity and positivity.
· Understand that the universe is abundant. Imagine how many leaves there are on the trees, or grains of sand on just one beach. There is enough success and abundance to go around for everyone.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of comparing your artistic skills to a renowned painter, you celebrate your own artistic style and progress. You join a supportive art community that encourages growth and learning.
When we concentrate on what we lack, it can create a sense of helplessness or demotivation. However, by shifting our focus towards our strengths, achievements, and available resources, we tap into our inner motivation. Acknowledging our capabilities and past successes can boost our confidence, inspire us to feel confident, and naturally move us towards our goals.
“A lack mindset compares and competes; an abundance mindset celebrates and collaborates.”
“A lack mindset focuses on what others have; an abundance mindset celebrates their success.”
#130 Let Go of Lack Series – #4 of 7
When someone consistently focuses on what they lack, it can strain their relationships with others. Constantly seeking validation or comparing ourselves to others can lead to envy and resentment, and drive a wedge between us and others. It becomes challenging to celebrate the successes and joys of loved ones, hindering us from making genuine connections.
Let’s focus on some solutions that you may find helpful.
Scarcity in Relationships
PROBLEM: A lack mentality can create a sense of competition, envy, or a fear of scarcity in love and friendships.
Shows Up As: Feeling threatened or insecure when a friend achieves success. Believing that their accomplishments diminish your own worth.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Practice empathy by genuinely celebrating the successes and joys of others.
· Build a supportive and positive network of relationships.
· Nurture relationships based on trust, respect, and shared growth.
· Focus on collaboration and support, not comparison.
· Learn from each other’s strengths.
· Foster an environment of mutual growth and support.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of feeling threatened by a friend’s promotion, the two of you go out to celebrate. You offer your support. You trust that there are abundant opportunities for both of you to succeed.
Shifting our focus towards collaboration and support promotes well-being and happiness. Positive thinking has been linked to numerous benefits, including reduced stress levels, improved mental health, increased resilience, and better overall physical health.
“Scarcity is a temporary state that arises from a misalignment with your true desires. Realign with your desires and embrace the abundance that is available to you.”
“A lack mindset keeps you playing small; an abundance mindset expands your vision of what’s possible.”
#131 Let Go of Lack Series – #5 of 7
Focusing on lack often keeps us stuck in a loop of dwelling on the problem rather than seeking solutions. By redirecting our attention towards potential solutions, we engage our problem-solving skills. Let’s focus on shifting to a mindset that enables us to approach challenges with a proactive and solution-oriented mindset. We’ll foster personal growth and resilience by addressing the following symptom of someone who views the world through lack lenses:
Limited Vision and Scarce Opportunities
PROBLEM: A lack mindset narrows our vision, making it challenging to see the vast array of opportunities and solutions available.
Shows Up As: Believing that there are limited career options available. Settling for less than what truly fulfills and inspires you.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Expand your perspective by seeking new experiences.
· Explore different paths aligned with your passions and values.
· Seek and learn from diverse sources.
· Reach out for support and input. Collaborate with others to generate creative solutions to challenges.
· Embrace a growth mindset. Believe in your ability to learn and grow.
· Emphasize learning from failures and setbacks as opportunities for growth and improvement.
· Surround yourself with positive and supportive individuals. This broadens your perspective and helps you recognize opportunities. Network. Seek mentors.
· Develop a solution-oriented mindset. Instead of dwelling on problems, focus on finding solutions.
· Break problems down into smaller, manageable steps.
· Brainstorm potential solutions.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of believing that there are limited career options, you proactively attend industry events. You connect with professionals in your desired field. You explore new avenues that align with your passions and skills.
Focusing on lack tends to keep individuals stuck in a cycle of problem identification rather than actively seeking solutions. This limited perspective hampers problem-solving skills, as attention remains fixated on the problem itself rather than exploring potential ways to address it, therefore impeding our progress and growth.
“A lack mindset fears stepping out of the comfort zone; an abundance mindset thrives on growth and expansion.”
“Lack is a state of mind, and abundance is your birthright. Choose to shift your mindset from scarcity to prosperity, and watch your life transform.”
#132 Let Go of Lack Series – #6 of 7
Concentrating on what one lacks can generate stress and anxiety. The constant worry about not having enough or falling short can create a chronic state of tension. This ongoing stress can negatively affect mental and physical health, leading to increased anxiety levels and potential health issues. If this sounds like you, keep reading…
Stress and Anxiety
PROBLEM: A lack mindset perpetuates stress and anxiety as the fear of scarcity and constant striving create a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction and worry.
Shows Up As: Constantly worrying about finances, job security, or meeting expectations. Experiencing heightened stress levels and/or physical symptoms of stress.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Practice stress management. Incorporate techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, regular physical activity, and mindfulness practices into your routine.
· Practice time management. Actually incorporate what you have read about to help you stay organized and efficient.
· Challenge negative thoughts. Identify and challenge the underlying beliefs that contribute to your stress and anxiety.
· Replace negative beliefs with more empowering and positive beliefs. A belief is simply a thought you think is true.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of constantly worrying about financial stability, you engage in activities that promote relaxation and self-care, such as yoga, tai chi, or spending quality time with loved ones. You trust that your efforts and the abundance of the universe will support your financial well-being.
The constant worry about not having enough or falling short creates a breeding ground for stress and anxiety. Thankfully we have so many tools these days to release stress. One in particular – exercise – is a well-known stress reducer, pain reliever, weight reducer, body toner, and mood lifter. Find a way to get your body moving in a way that you enjoy and feels good to you, then do it! Abundance is not stagnant, and neither should you be!
“Lack is a product of focusing on what is not working. Shift your attention to what is working and watch as abundance unfolds before you.”
“You are worthy of abundance in all areas of your life. Embrace your worthiness and watch as the universe responds with an overflow of blessings.”
#133 Let Go of Lack Series – #7 of 7
Finally, we come to the last problem caused by lack that we cover in this series. A lack mindset chips away at our self-esteem and self-worth, leaving us feeling inadequate and doubting our abilities.
As usual, solutions are included so if this symptom of a lack mentality affects you, you know how to turn it around and attract more abundance to you.
Lack of Self-Worth
PROBLEM: A lack mindset erodes our self-worth and hinders personal growth by making us doubt our abilities.
Shows Up As: Undervaluing your skills. Settling for less in relationships, careers, or personal aspirations. Believing that you are unworthy of more.
STRATEGIES: (Choose what works for you.)
· Embrace self-compassion. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding.
· Practice self-care, self-acceptance, and self-love.
· Focus on your strengths. Still don’t know yours? Ask a friend.
· Celebrate your little accomplishments along the way to your big goal. Acknowledging a win with a happy dance or treating yourself to a movie is a great motivator to stay focused.
· List your past accomplishments. Sit down for 10 minutes and write down 50 accomplishments – big and small – to look at when you feel you’re not good enough in any way. Include your achievements in categories such as family and home life, career and education, time and money contributions, contest winnings and awards, character traits and habits, and anything else you want to include, all the way down to learning to tie your shoes. Write at least 50. If you have more than 50, keep writing. Add to the list as time goes on.
· Invest in personal development.
· Surround yourself with positive influences.
· Seek support when needed.
· Engage in activities that boost your self-confidence and self-esteem.
Examples of Implementation: Instead of settling for less than you deserve in relationships or careers, you remind yourself of your unique qualities and strengths. You seek opportunities for personal growth. You surround yourself with supportive individuals who recognize and celebrate your worth.
Constantly focusing on what we lack can erode our self-esteem and self-worth. Instead, by recognizing and appreciating our strengths, talents, and unique qualities, we cultivate a healthier self-perception. Acknowledging our inherent worthiness allows us to embrace self-compassion, build healthy relationships, and pursue personal fulfillment.
By shifting from a lack mindset to a prosperity mindset, you open the doors to a life filled with abundance, joy, and fulfillment. By practicing thankfulness, challenging scarcity beliefs, celebrating your journey, nurturing meaningful relationships, exploring new opportunities, managing stress, and cultivating self-worth, you can embrace the abundant possibilities that await you and unlock your full potential.
Remember, it is a journey, and with commitment and perseverance, you can manifest a life of abundance and prosperity. So, let go of scarcity now and step into the realm of endless possibilities!
“A lack mindset keeps you stuck in the past; an abundance mindset propels you forward into the future.”
“A beautiful smile is to the female countenance what the sunbeam is to the landscape; it embellishes an inferior face and redeems an ugly one.”
Johann Kaspar Lavater
#134 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #1 of 7
Welcome to this seven-part series discussing the true essence of beauty. In this journey, we will explore not only physical aspects, but also delve into the inner qualities that make a person truly captivating. As a life coach and hypnotherapist, I believe that beauty is more than just skin-deep; it emanates from within and shines through our actions and attitudes. So, let’s embark on this transformative quest to unlock the beauty that lies within each of us.
The Beauty of a Genuine Smile
Today, we will explore the power of a genuine smile.
A warm smile has the incredible ability to brighten up your face and radiate positive energy to those around you. Beyond a simple facial expression, a sincere smile reflects authentic happiness, making you more approachable and attractive. Not only does smiling benefit others, but it also has a profound impact on your own mood and overall well-being. So, let your smile be a reflection of your inner joy, and watch how it transforms your perception of yourself and the world.
Never forget the power of your natural smile – it speaks a universal language that bridges gaps and touches hearts, exuding warmth and positivity to everyone around you. Embrace this beautiful gift you possess, and let your smile shine freely, brightening even the darkest of days. Witness how it transforms your interactions with others and shapes your perceptions of them. This simple act costs nothing but yields immeasurable rewards. As you embark on this journey of discovering your inner radiance, keep smiling, keep shining, and observe how the world responds in kind.
Join us next week as we explore another aspect of true beauty that lies within you.
“Smiling is definitely one of the best beauty remedies. If you have a good sense of humor and a good approach to life, that’s beautiful.”
“By adopting a certain physical posture, a resonant chord is struck in spirit.”
#135 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #2 of 7
Stand Tall, Radiate Beauty
Just as a smile radiates positivity and approachability, our posture plays a crucial role in projecting beauty and grace.
Imagine yourself as a marionette, with strings pulling you up from the top of your head, aligning your body in a straight line and engaging your core muscles for better support. Embracing this power-posture not only enhances our appearance, making us appear taller and slimmer, but it also contributes to a youthful aura that complements the inner beauty we are uncovering.
Posture is a powerful determinant of both beauty and self-assurance. Just as a genuine smile brightens our countenance, standing tall elevates our presence in any room.
Walk tall and confidently, as it will cause your inner radiance to align with the radiance you project outward. By embracing your best posture, you’ll discover the true beauty that emanates from within and shines brightly for all to see.
As we progress on this journey of discovering how to increase our beauty, I invite you to tune in to Week 3, where we will explore the beauty of cultivating genuine connections.
“Everything you do right now ripples outward and affects everyone. Your posture can shine your heart or transmit anxiety. Your breath can radiate love or muddy the room in depression. Your glance can awaken joy. Your words can inspire freedom. Your every act can open hearts and minds.”
“You can’t fake listening. It shows.”
#136 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #3 of 7
The Beauty of Connection
We must recognize that true beauty lies not only in our smiles or how we carry ourselves, but also in our ability to forge authentic connections with others. Cultivating the art of active listening and empathy allows us to create meaningful bonds that transcend mere appearances. When we genuinely engage with people, showing sincere interest in their lives and asking thoughtful questions, we open the door to understanding and caring for others in a profound way.
By focusing on the person in front of us and genuinely investing in their experiences and emotions, we extend an invitation for others to reciprocate the same level of connectedness. In this beautiful exchange, we find a deeper sense of belonging and shared humanity.
Remember, true beauty emanates from within, touching the lives of those around us. Our interactions with others serve as a powerful testament to the beauty that resides in our hearts and the love we radiate into the world.
Join us next week as we explore how our words have the power to influence our beauty and the beauty of those we encounter.
“Learn to speak by listening.”
“Those who gossip with you will gossip about you.”
Edgar Allan Poe
#137 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #4 of 7
Create Ripples of Beauty
Last week, we delved into the significance of paying attention to other people’s words (a.k.a. listening). Now we turn our focus to an equally important topic: How the power of our words profoundly impacts our lives and the lives of others.
We can agree that gossip can tarnish our beauty, as it spreads negativity and erodes trust among those we interact with. We can also agree that we have the choice to rise above gossip and steer conversations towards more positive and uplifting topics. By replacing criticism with compliments, and choosing to remain silent when we can’t find anything nice to say, we can harness the transformative energy of positivity.
Never forget that the words we choose to utter wield the power to shape the beauty we project into the world. They can either foster distrust and anger, or cultivate kindness and encouragement in our interactions. We must be mindful of the profound impact our words can have on others – and ourselves – as we strive to spread joy and compassion in every conversation that we engage in.
Take a moment to reflect on the beauty that comes from embracing positivity and abandoning gossip in our lives. Time is too precious to waste on unproductive activities, and we are better served by choosing to engage in uplifting experiences. When we do so, we radiate a glow that inspires others to follow suit, creating a ripple effect of kindness and joy that brightens the world around us.
Let us make a conscious effort to be the catalysts for higher vibrations when possible, for in doing so, we not only make the world more beautiful and uplift those we encounter on our journey, but we elevate ourselves as well.
Remember that the beauty we cultivate within is mirrored in the energy we emit outwardly. By fostering kindness and encouragement through our words, we become beautiful beacons of light in a world that can often be shadowed by negativity.
Disclaimer: Of course, there are times when negative things must be discussed and addressed. Then we can shift our focus towards seeking solutions rather than dwelling solely on the problems. By adopting a proactive and solution-oriented mindset, we empower ourselves to tackle challenges with optimism and ingenuity, thereby fostering a pleasing and constructive atmosphere to provide the best results possible in our lives and interactions.
You’ll want to join in next week as we explore the beauty of adversity.
“Don’t underestimate the ripple effect of what you do. These kinds of actions have toppled empires.”
“Too many people miss the silver lining because they’re expecting gold.”
#138 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #5 of 7
Finding Beauty in Adversity
Life’s journey is indeed a tapestry of highs and lows, and amidst these fluctuations, it becomes challenging to always focus solely on the positive. However, it is precisely during these trials that we have the opportunity to discover profound beauty. Embracing the notion that our thoughts and feelings have an impact on our experiences, we learn to see beauty in the lessons learned, our part in creating the situations, our growth achieved, and the resilience gained from overcoming hardships.
Understanding that we have the ability to shape our perception of whether a situation is positive or negative, is a great power. While rain might disrupt a picnic, it also nurtures the flowers. Rain wields influence over your emotions only when you grant it permission. Losing your job can either render you vulnerable or propel you to climb higher on the career ladder. Whether it is a curse or a stroke of luck is up to you. The perspective you adopt determines your outlook on everything. Do you choose which thoughts and emotions that make you feel good? Or are you unknowingly choosing thoughts that create the feelings you aim to evade?
Through adversity, we find within ourselves the patience, persistence, strength, tenacity, and extreme grace and beauty that we may not have known was within us. And when we see the evidence of these traits in ourselves, our confidence skyrockets and we take on bigger things to make the world more beautiful.
By seeking the silver lining, learning from our misfortunes, and maintaining a positive outlook, we cultivate an inner radiance that permeates every aspect of our lives.
We continue next week with yet another way to enhance your beauty.
“I believe that there is a silver lining in everything, and once you begin to see it, you’ll need sunglasses to combat the glare.”
“You can light up the whole world by giving without any expectation back.”
#139 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #6 of 7
Last week, we talked about the art of finding beauty in adversity and embracing life’s trials with grace. To continue our journey towards true beauty, we must kindle the flames of our passions and engage in activities that ignite our spirits. By pursuing what light us up (a.k.a. doing what we love), we take on a radiant glow that shines from within.
Performing acts of kindness further enhances this inner beauty. When we spread joy and light to others, we not only brighten their lives, but also add a sparkle of beauty to our own. The beauty we share with others becomes a reflection of the beauty within our hearts.
Remember, beauty is not just about appearances, but also about the beauty that resides within us. As we continue through life, we can let the light within guide our steps, and let the kindness we spread be a testament to the beauty that shines within us.
What is your passion? I would love to hear from you—just reply to this email and share your heartfelt aspirations.
Join us next week as we explore the final aspect of beauty on this path to a more beautiful you.
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
“True beauty comes from the courage to embrace vulnerability and the resilience to rise above life’s hardships with grace.”
#140 Becoming More Beautiful Series – #7 of 7
Inner Resilience, Outer Beauty
Today we complete this series with a pivotal aspect of true beauty: mastering our emotional states. Emotional mastery empowers us to respond with wisdom and composure, becoming pillars of stability and strength for both ourselves and others. When we are calm and collected at all times, there is a peaceful beauty that others look up to.
To achieve mastery over our inner experiences, we must embody the role of an observer of our emotions, allowing ourselves to fully feel them without suppressing or overreacting. Observe objectively; don’t obsess. By acknowledging and processing our emotions, we nurture an inner harmony that communicates to our brain that we are okay no matter the circumstances. This inner serenity transcends mere physical appearance and radiates a beauty that emanates from within.
By diligently practicing the art of observing our emotions, without pushing them down or distracting ourselves from them, we cultivate a profound sense of self-awareness and inner resilience. No longer governed by circumstances that trigger emotional turbulence, we rise above life’s challenges with a healthy detachment, offering a calming presence to those around us.
Most people remain unaware that they might be engaging in activities to shift their focus away from experiencing emotions. There are a multitude of methods of avoiding dealing with our emotions. These activities can include eating, smoking, using drugs or alcohol, watching television, playing video games, engaging in social media, browsing the internet, participating in sports, exercising, sexual intimacy, gambling, shopping, housecleaning, causing drama, shoplifting, or any behavior taken to an extreme extent. Among these options, FOOD emerges as the simplest, most accessible, legal, and socially acceptable means of diverting our attention in our society. Moreover, eating can easily be combined with nearly any of the aforementioned behaviors. The outcome of excessive indulgences? Weight gain.
Your diet attempts were disappointing because merely monitoring “calories in and calories out” fails to address the underlying causes of overindulgence. My role as a coach and hypnotherapist revolves around aiding individuals in overcoming overeating and shedding the extra pounds. The fundamental triggers lie within accumulated emotions, stressors, and memories spanning decades, which are now manifesting as extra weight. The good news is that once we address the sources of our unhealthy food relationships, the need for diversions diminishes, causing unhelpful habits to naturally fade away and the pounds to melt off automatically.
Reach out to me now for a complimentary transformative session, during which you can break free from your most intense food craving. Yes, in a single session, you can sever your obsessive attachment to that irresistible item and cultivate a healthful association with it moving forward.
Now, as we conclude this series on how to embrace true beauty, let us remember that beauty is not about conforming to societal standards, but rather beauty is a reflection of the love, kindness, and optimism that reside within us. Throughout this journey of self-discovery, we have explored the beauty of our smiles, posture, active listening, positive focus, and emotional intelligence. Each step we take unlocks the dormant beauty within ourselves, revealing a radiance that shines brighter with each passing day.
Embrace this journey to beauty, for it leads you towards the realization that true beauty is an ever-evolving expression of your authentic self. By nurturing the beauty within, we become a beacon of light, inspiring others to do the same. Let your inner radiance shine forth, making the world a more beautiful place for everyone.
“The real beauty of your inner self only begins to show when you take control of your own life and make the best of it.”
“Stress should be a powerful driving force, not an obstacle.”
#141 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 1 of 7
Hello, lovely readers!
I’m thrilled to unveil a series that has been percolating in my mind for quite some time. Stress, that ever-present companion in our lives, is a shared experience for everyone, including those who have transitioned to non-smokers through my newly available Smoke No More Hypnosis sessions — a service that has yielded nothing but success.
This series goes beyond its roots in smoking cessation; it is designed for anyone navigating the whirlwind of life, in search of healthier ways to manage stress and striving for a more enriching lifestyle. Whether you currently smoke, have never smoked, or fall somewhere in between, there is a wealth of valuable insights here for you. The reason is simple: effective coping skills are universally applicable and can benefit individuals at any point on their journey.
Common Coping Pitfalls
First, let’s address some common strategies that function akin to a Band-Aid on a paper cut – they may temporarily cover the issue, but they don’t address the root problem. Consider the following examples:
· Postponing tasks may offer a temporary vacation from stress, but the stress returns, often with a vengeance.
· Pretending everything is fine when it’s not, is just playing hide and seek with stress. Spoiler alert: stress is an adept seeker.
· Avoiding problems in the hope they vanish might buy a little time, but stress tends to linger.
· Quick fixes like junk food, binge-watching, or retail therapy (a.k.a. shopping) offer momentary relief, but aren’t long-term stress solutions.
· Isolating ourselves creates a stress-proof fortress, but inside those walls, it gets lonely. Human connection is vital, and shutting ourselves off usually exacerbates stress rather than alleviating it.
Do you recognize any of these tendencies in yourself? Acknowledging these less-than-ideal strategies is the initial step toward positive change. Of course, when we think of stress we usually think of not-so-friendly stress, the relentless kind we wish to avoid that is so familiar in our daily lives.
Bad Stress vs Good Stress
Chronic stress, the infamous “distress,” is the uninvited guest that overstays its welcome. It’s the never-ending pressure, the constant feeling of being pursued by that proverbial tiger. This continuous state of high alert can wreak havoc on our physical and mental well-being.
On the flip side to its often-negative reputation, there is good stress: the kind that propels us forward, fuels excitement, and promotes growth. This beneficial stress, often referred to as “eustress,” is the energy that motivates us to achieve goals, push boundaries, and discover new facets of ourselves. It’s the flutter in your stomach before a thrilling presentation, or the excitement of embarking on a new adventure. This positive stress is an essential part of our human experience, propelling us to thrive.
Join me next week, where we’ll start to explore effective ways to deal with stress and embrace the vibrant, smoke-free life that awaits you.
Welcome to the series, friends!
And if you are wanting to quit smoking (or know someone), now is the best time to contact me.
“Stress is like spice – in the right proportion, It enhances the flavour of a dish.
Too little produces a bland, dull meal; Too much may choke you.”
“A good way to overcome stress is to help others out of theirs.”
Dada J. P. Vaswani
#142 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 2 of 7
Hey friend, back to the subject of stress…
We all have some of those common not-so-great ways of dealing with stress mentioned last week, but fear not! We can learn healthier strategies that can genuinely make a difference. Let’s explore stress-busting moves that act as a mental reset button, clearing the fog of worry and ushering in a renewed sense of calm and confidence, like a refreshing breeze sweeping away the clouds. This unveiling leaves us with a clear, bright sky – a blank canvas on which to paint our ideal vision.
Building a Resilient Mindset: What Does It Mean?
This week we cover many strategies to build a resilient mindset. What does that mean? Have you ever heard the phrase “bounce back”? That’s resilience. Resilience is not about avoiding stress or difficulties. It’s about keeping on track and bouncing back when life throws lemons our way. It’s adapting and being flexible enough to adjust and recover readily to change. Cultivating resilience involves developing a positive mindset and the ability to navigate challenges without being completely thrown off course when faced with adversity.
Navigating Life’s Lemon Showers
Resilience helps us not only weather the storm, but come out stronger on the other side. Think of it as the capacity to recover quickly from setbacks, learn from experiences, and emerge even more robust than before.
Let’s explore how to cultivate this valuable quality called resilience.
· Social Support Spotlight Don’t underestimate the power of your social circle! Friends, family, and even support groups – they are our stress allies to provide a listening ear, a shoulder to lean on, and often, a fresh perspective on our challenges. Finding spaces where individuals facing similar challenges come together, offers a sense of belonging and understanding.
Sharing our feelings and seeking support can lighten the load. We’re not designed to go through life solo. We are meant to build and nurture these connections, fostering a sense of belonging and security.
Remember that healthy relationships thrive on reciprocity – the give-and-take nature of social support. It’s important to be there for others as much as they are there for us. Mutual support creates a resilient web that benefits everyone involved.
· Healthy Habits High Five Regular exercise, a nourishing diet, and plenty of restful sleep – these are the unsung heroes of stress management. Physical activity releases feel-good chemicals that combat stress and elevate our mood. A well-balanced diet nourishes both body and mind. And quality sleep is like hitting the reset button for stress. These habits form the foundation of a resilient and vibrant life where stress is minimized.
· Setbacks into Stepping Stones Our thoughts have a big say in how we experience stress. Rather than resorting to patterns of thinking that might contribute to stress such as catastrophizing, overgeneralizing, or engaging in negative self-talk, shifting to a more positive perspective can be a game-changer. It’s about approaching challenges with a belief that we can overcome them. Resilient individuals view setbacks as opportunities for growth. Instead of seeing failures as the end of the road, they consider them as stepping stones to success, focusing on solutions rather than problems.
· Change in Approach Change is a constant in life, and resilient people are adept at adapting to new circumstances. They stay open-minded, develop problem-solving skills, and embrace change as a natural part of the journey.
· Gratitude Grows Gratitude is a powerful ally in fostering a positive perspective. Focusing on the positive aspects of our lives has the remarkable ability to shift our attention away from stressors and towards the abundance that surrounds us. Then we can watch our abundance and appreciation for it grow.
· Stress-Relief Toolbox Resilient individuals have a variety of stress-coping strategies in their back pocket, including seeking professional help when needed. In our conversation next week, we’ll dive into specific stress-relieving techniques that complement this shift in mindset that we can incorporate into our daily lives.
Building resilience is a journey, not a destination. It’s about developing the mindset and skills that empower you to navigate life’s ups and downs with grace and strength.
Are you ready to continue on this resilience-building adventure? See you next week!
“In times of life crisis, whether wildfires or smoldering stress, the first thing I do is go back to basics … am I eating right, am I getting enough sleep, am I getting some physical and mental exercise every day?”
“Stress is the trash of modern life – we all generate it, but if you don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life.”
#143 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 3 of 7
Hey there, friend!
We’ve acknowledged some mindset shifts that abate stress, explored healthier coping strategies, and now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of relaxation techniques – those magical practices that usher in tranquility and bid stress a temporary farewell. This week we cover my favorite stress-busting technique.
The Power of Tapping: An Introduction to EFT
Have you ever tried Tapping? I’m not talking about tap dancing, but rather a powerful technique formally known as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). By tapping your fingers on specific acupressure points on the face and body while focusing on stressors, you hit a reset button for your emotions, bringing down the intensity of the stress. It’s as if you’re clearing clutter from the mind, providing a pathway to relaxation for the mind and nervous system.
Whether you’re dealing with work-related stress, relationship challenges, or general life turbulence, Tapping can be a transformative tool in your stress-relief arsenal. To learn Tapping, please refer to KimMessersmith.com in KimSIGHTS #15-21 for an explanation of how to do Tapping, what it does, why it works, the acupressure points, some tips, and a brief history. As always, I’m here if you have questions.
Three Paths to Tranquility: Simple Tapping Techniques
Now that you are familiar with Tapping, I offer you three options for beginners:
1. General Tapping You can simply tap through all the points while focusing on the Reminder Phrase “this stress.”
2. Tap and Rant The unstructured approach of the “Tap and Rant” is quite effective in the heat of the moment. This technique involves simply talking, complaining, or venting your feelings as you tap through the points, until you have spent the built-up energy, have nothing more to say, and have returned to a calm state.
3. Structured Tapping Script For those who prefer a more structured approach, you can follow this basic Tapping script:
Tapping Script for Stress Relief
· Before you start, rate your stress level on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is no stress, and 10 is the highest level of stress. Write it down.
· Then read this script out loud while tapping on the designated acupressure points, adjusting the words to fit your specific circumstances and feelings.
1. Karate Chop: Even though I’m feeling stressed right now, I deeply and completely accept myself. (Repeat 2 more times)
2. Inner Eyebrow: This stress is overwhelming me, and I acknowledge these feelings.
3. Outside the Eye: The pressure of life is getting to me, and I honor these emotions by feeling them and letting them go.
4. Under the Eye: Despite all this stress, I choose to relax and find calm within.
5. Under the Nose: Life has its challenges, and I’m open to accepting them without letting stress control me.
6. Chin Crease: Even though I’m feeling stressed, I choose to take a step back and breathe.
7. Collarbone: This stress is a part of life, and I’m ready to release it now.
8. Under the Arm: I’m acknowledging my stress, and I’m choosing to let it go.
9. Top of the Head: I release the stress from my body, mind, and spirit. I choose peace.
After completing one round of tapping, take a deep breath and reassess your stress level. Compare your new number with the number you wrote down. If needed, repeat the script while tapping until you feel a sense of calm.
Remember, Tapping can be a helpful tool, but for persistent or severe stress, consider seeking support from a professional.
Tapping for Smoking Cessation
Tapping is the first tool I teach my Smoke No More clients because it is effective for all sorts of emotions, not just stress. Are you looking to quit smoking, but don’t know how you’ll handle the stress and other emotions? I’ve got you covered. Contact me and we can chat about it.
“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life.”
Jill Botte Taylor
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they’ve started.”
#144 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 4 of 7
Welcome back, friend! We’re moving on to another tool useful for eliminating stress.
Mind Escapes: The Art of Visualization for Stress Relief
Visualization is a powerful tool for stress reduction as it engages the mind in creating positive mental images and promotes relaxation and a sense of well-being. When we visualize calming scenes or successful outcomes, it signals the brain to release neurotransmitters associated with relaxation and positive emotions.
Simply close your eyes and imagine your happy place – a beach, a mountain, or perhaps a cozy spot in your home. Visualization is like taking a mental vacation, tailored to your preferences, providing a break from the demands of daily life. This helps you create a mental oasis of calmness amidst the storm of stress.
What do I visualize?
Here are some options for you to visualize for stress reduction:
1. Peaceful Scenes: Picture serene landscapes like a beach, a forest, or a meadow. Imagine the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations associated with these calming environments.
2. Success and Achievement: Visualize yourself accomplishing your goals and overcoming challenges. See the positive outcomes and the satisfaction that comes with success.
3. Happy Memories: Recall a cherished memory in detail. Visualize the people, places, and emotions associated with that moment to evoke positive feelings.
4. Future Self: Envision the person you want to become. See yourself already thriving, happy, and fulfilled. This can motivate and inspire you to work towards your goals.
5. Breathing and Relaxation: Picture your breath as a calming force. Visualize each inhale bringing in relaxation and each exhale releasing tension. Focus on the rhythmic flow of your breath.
6. Mindful Moments: Visualize yourself engaged in mindful activities, such as meditation or enjoying a quiet moment. See yourself fully present and at peace.
When incorporating visualization into stress reduction, it’s essential to engage all your senses, making the mental imagery as vivid as possible. Regular practice can enhance its effectiveness in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.
Empower Your Tomorrow: A Self-Visualization Exercise
Here’s a short self-visualization exercise for you to do on your own, focusing on the future self you want to become:
1. Find a Quiet Space: Choose a comfortable and quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. Sit or lie down in a relaxed position.
2. Close Your Eyes: Gently close your eyes to block out external distractions and turn your focus inward.
3. Take Deep Breaths: Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill with air, and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this a few times to center yourself.
4. Imagine a Bright Light: Picture a soft, warm light surrounding you. This light represents positivity, clarity, and transformation.
5. Envision Your Future Self: As the light intensifies, visualize your future self stepping into this illuminated space. See yourself exactly as you want to be – confident, healthy, smiling, and free from the stresses that once weighed you down.
6. Details Matter: Pay attention to the details. What are you wearing? How do you carry yourself? What emotions are present in your future self? Imagine the joy and fulfillment radiating from within.
7. Connect with Emotions: Feel the emotions associated with this transformed version of yourself. Feel the joy, satisfaction, and peace that come with achieving your goals.
8. Express Gratitude: Feel thankful for the journey you’ve undertaken to reach this point. Rather than stumbling blocks, see the challenges as stepping stones that have led you to your present state of well-being.
9. Affirm Your Transformation: Repeat positive affirmations related to your transformation. For example, “I am becoming confident and at peace” or “I am learning how I to reach my goal.”
10. Slowly Return: When you’re ready, gradually bring your awareness back to the present. Open your eyes, take a few more deep breaths, and carry the sense of empowerment from your future self with you into your day.
This visualization is a powerful tool to inspire and motivate positive change. Feel free to customize it to align with your specific goals and aspirations. Repeat daily for best results.
Visualization isn’t about escaping reality; it serves as a valuable tool for resetting your mindset and reducing the physiological effects of stress. Whether you’re dealing with deadlines, personal challenges, or the hectic pace of modern life, visualization can be your passport to relaxation.
Next week we build on these stress-reduction techniques by delving into the world of mindfulness and how cultivating a present, non-judgmental awareness can enhance your overall well-being and stress management.
Ready to explore the transformative power of the here and now?
Join me next week and let’s do it together!
“If you really want to escape the things that harass you, what you’re needing is not to be in a different place but to be a different person.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
“We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday’s burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it.”
#145 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 5 of 7
Hey friend, let’s enter the enchanting realm of mindfulness as a way to deal with stress.
For all of us seeking a bit more calmness in our lives, mindfulness is like a superpower against stress. It involves being present in the moment without judgment. It’s not about eliminating the causes of stress, but rather changing our relationship with it.
The beauty of mindfulness lies in its simplicity. It’s about being fully present in each moment, untethered from the past or future. Instead of meditating to shut off your mind, mindfulness involves cultivating a heightened awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings. By immersing yourself in the “here and now” and your current experience, you can break free from the chains of past regrets and future anxieties, creating a sense of calm.
Let’s explore simple mindfulness practices that anyone, smokers and non-smokers alike, can incorporate into their daily lives for lasting stress relief. These relaxation techniques aren’t one-size-fits-all. Tailor them to your preferences, creating a stress-relief toolkit that resonates with your unique needs.
· Mindful Breathing: One of the foundational aspects of mindfulness is conscious breathing. Next week we’ll explore simple yet profound breathing exercises that anchor you to the present moment.
· Mindful Meditation: A practice that allows you to observe your thoughts without becoming entangled in them.
· Mindful Eating: Mindfulness isn’t confined to formal sessions. By savoring each bite and being fully present during meals, you can develop a healthier relationship with food, be in tune with your hunger and satiation cues, and reduce stress related to eating habits.
· The Art of Non-Judgmental Awareness: A crucial aspect of mindfulness is adopting a non-judgmental attitude towards your thoughts and emotions. Letting go of self-criticism and accepting your thoughts without labeling them as “good” or “bad” can lead to a more peaceful and centered state of mind.
· Mindfulness in Stressful Situations: Stressful situations often trigger automatic reactions. Mindfulness offers a pause button, allowing you to become the observer, and respond to challenges with clarity rather than reacting impulsively, empowering you to navigate stress with grace.
· Mindfulness for Enhanced Focus and Productivity: Beyond stress relief, mindfulness has been shown to enhance focus and productivity. Sharpened attention and improved decision-making can foster a sense of flow in your daily tasks.
· Mindfulness in Relationships: Mindfulness extends to interpersonal conversations. Being fully present in your interactions can deepen connections, improve communication, and reduce conflicts. Mindful listening, empathy, and compassion are integral components of nurturing healthy relationships.
· Cultivating a Mindful Lifestyle: You can weave mindfulness into the fabric of your life. Whether through dedicated mindfulness practices, or through small, mindful moments scattered throughout your day, where you intentionally bring your attention to the present moment, without judgment. Cultivating this mindful lifestyle can be a transformative journey towards greater peace and resilience.
Here are some examples of mindful moments you can capture during the day:
o Morning Routine Mindfulness: Take a moment to be fully present while performing your morning routine. Feel the warmth of the water during your shower, savor the taste of your breakfast, and appreciate the sensation of brushing your teeth.
o Nature Appreciation: If you’re outside or near a window, take a moment to appreciate nature. Notice the colors, shapes, sounds, and movements around you. Whether it’s a tree, a flower, bees buzzing, or clouds drifting across the sky, connecting with nature can bring a sense of calm.
o Mindful Eating: During meals, practice mindful eating. Pay attention to the flavors, textures, and smells of your food. Chew slowly and savor each bite. This not only promotes a mindful approach to nourishing your body, but also enhances the dining experience.
o Breathing Breaks: Schedule short breathing breaks throughout the day. Set a timer for a few minutes, close your eyes, focus your attention on the sensation of each inhale and exhale, and allow yourself to reset. This helps center you as it reduces stress, which can be especially helpful during busy or stressful periods.
o Commute Mindfulness: Whether you’re driving, walking, or taking public transportation, use your commute as a mindful moment. Be aware of your surroundings, feel the movement of your body, and be present in the journey.
o Mindful Listening: During conversations, practice mindful listening. Fully engage with the person speaking without planning your response in advance. Notice the tone of their voice, their expressions, and the words they use.
o Mindful Stretching: Take a break to stretch your body. As you stretch, pay attention to the sensations in your muscles and the movement of your body. This releases physical tension and brings awareness to the present moment.
o Mindful Technology Use: Before checking your phone or computer, pause for a moment. Take a few mindful breaths to center yourself before engaging with technology. This can prevent mindless scrolling and enhance your digital well-being.
o Mindful Transitions: Use transitional moments between tasks or activities as opportunities for mindfulness. Take a moment to breathe and clear your mind before moving on to the next thing.
Remember, the key to mindfulness is awareness and non-judgment. These strategies aren’t just for non-smokers; they work for everyone looking to tackle stress head-on. These mindful moments can be adapted to fit your schedule and preferences, and over time, they can contribute to a greater sense of presence and well-being in your daily life.
Ready to deflate the pressure of stress?
Ready to leave smoking in the past?
Now is the best time. Let’s do it together!
“The next time you are tempted to get anxious or upset about something – especially something in the past or the future – think about what you are doing and turn your mind to what is going on today.”
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
#146 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 6 of 7
While personally, I may not always prioritize mindful breathing, I’ve observed its remarkable benefits for my Smoke No More Hypnosis clients. Deliberately slowing down the breath proves to be a valuable method for people to reduce brain activity and induce a hypnotic state.
In the realm of relaxation techniques, deep breathing serves as a reset button, proficiently lowering stress levels. What makes these techniques even more appealing is their accessibility – they’re free, can be practiced anytime, anywhere, and demand no additional equipment.
Explore Different Breathwork Techniques
Consider these breathing techniques, each offering unique benefits:
· Diaphragmatic Breathing (Deep Belly Breathing):
o Inhale deeply through your nose, allowing your diaphragm to expand.
o Exhale slowly through your mouth, ensuring your abdomen contracts.
o This technique promotes relaxation and helps reduce stress.
· Extended Exhalation Breathing:
o Inhale through the nose.
o Exhale slowly through the mouth for a longer duration than the inhale.
o So if you inhale for a count of 3, exhale for a count of 4 or 5.
o This pattern, akin to a sigh, is interpreted by the body as a signal that the job is done and it is time to relax, soothing your nervous system and fostering tranquility.
· 4-7-8 Breathing:
o Inhale quietly through your nose for a count of 4.
o Hold your breath for a count of 7.
o Exhale completely through your mouth for a count of 8.
o This technique can induce calmness and improve sleep.
· Box Breathing (Square Breathing):
o Inhale through your nose for a count of 4.
o Hold your breath for a count of 4.
o Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4.
o Pause for a count of 4.
o Repeat the process.
o Box breathing helps balance the nervous system.
· Resonant Breathing (Coherent Breathing):
o Inhale and exhale for an equal count, such as 4 seconds each.
o Maintain a steady, rhythmic pattern.
o This technique aligns the breath with the heart rate, promoting coherence and reducing stress.
Each of these processes reduces heart rate, lowers cortisol levels, releases muscle tension, and enhances mindfulness by focusing on the breath in the present moment.
Remember, the effectiveness of different breathwork methods varies among individuals, so feel free to explore and find the breathwork technique that aligns with your comfort and preferences.
In summary, focusing on your breathing is a simple yet effective technique to activate the body’s relaxation response. Whether you seek immediate stress relief or aim to establish a daily breathwork practice, you’ll discover the blissful benefits of intentional breathing.
Next week, we’ll conclude the series with a final exploration of how to incorporate these stress-reducing methods into your everyday life.
“Stress is largely self-inflicted, so the ability to manage stress more effectively comes from managing oneself.”
“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”
#147 Stress-Free Living Series – Part 7 of 7
Today we explore a day in the life of Emma, a 40-year-old professional balancing work, family, and the myriad challenges life throws her way. Discover how she skillfully utilizes stress-busting tools to not only manage stress but also savor the moments of her life.
THRIVING through STRESS:
A Day in the Life of Emma,
the Stress-Handling Superwoman
Morning Bliss: As the sun peeks through the curtains, Emma opens her eyes, feeling a sense of appreciation for a new day. The first breath she takes is intentional: a deep inhale, and a slow exhale – a ritual of thankfulness that sets the tone for the day.
Leaving her cozy haven, Emma heads to the kitchen. The aroma of brewing coffee signals not just the start of her morning, but also a cue for a quick tapping session. She gently taps on key pressure points, grounding herself in the moment, and inviting a calmness that lingers.
Shower Serenity: During her morning shower, Emma embarks on a visualization voyage. With the soothing cascade of water enveloping her, she closes her eyes and imagines herself navigating the day ahead. In her mind’s eye, every droplet becomes a symbol of a challenge transforming into an opportunity. Emma envisions herself effortlessly overcoming each obstacle, creating a mental canvas painted with strokes of positivity.
As the water continues to wash over her, she lets her mind wander. Bringing herself back to a moment of mindfulness, she focuses on her breath. In sync with the rhythmic sound of water droplets, Emma practices deep breathing, inhaling calmness and exhaling tension. As the water washes away the last traces of stress, she emerges from the shower not just physically refreshed, but mentally rejuvenated, ready to manifest the vibrant day she envisioned.
Commute Calm: During her commute, Emma immerses herself in a mindful drive. With hands on the steering wheel and eyes focused on the road, she switches her listening attention to a calming podcast. The soothing voices and insightful discussions guide her thoughts away from stressors, fostering a serene atmosphere within the confines of her car. As the miles pass, Emma lets the affirming words and gentle cadence of the podcast wash over her, creating a mental space of peace. This mindful drive allows her to arrive at her destination not only physically, but also mentally, prepared for the day ahead.
Office Oasis: Arriving at the office, Emma dives into her tasks, Tapping through challenges as they come. The rhythmic Tapping becomes a dance of efficiency, a stress-busting technique that she seamlessly incorporates into her workflow.
As lunchtime arrives, Emma doesn’t just refuel her body; she practices mindful eating, savoring each bite. The break isn’t just about nourishment; it’s an opportunity for social support. Laughter and camaraderie with colleagues become essential ingredients of her lunchtime routine.
Afternoon Recharge: Mid-afternoon, Emma retreats to a quiet space. Closing her eyes, she engages in breathwork bliss. Inhaling positivity and exhaling tension, each breath renews her energy. The brief pause becomes a source of strength, recharging her for the remainder of the day.
Family Harmony: As the workday concludes, Emma seamlessly transitions into family mode. Taking a moment to center herself before stepping out of the car, she practices “Tapping and Ranting.” Verbalizing her frustrations from the day, each gentle tap becomes a bridge, facilitating her shift from a workplace persona to being fully present with her loved ones. In this intentional moment, Emma leaves the demands of work behind, creating a harmonious space for connection and tranquility.
Evening Adventure: As the evening unfolds, Emma embraces the unpredictability of family life. Plans may shift, unexpected events may arise, but she reframes them as opportunities for adventure. Her adaptability shines through, turning potential stressors into memorable family moments of spontaneity and discovery.
Nightly Review: As Emma prepares for bedtime, she indulges in an evening reflection infused with gratitude. After acknowledging the positive moments, lessons learned, and the support received, she reviews any challenges, envisioning new solutions. Cultivating appreciation becomes a nightly ritual, gracefully concluding the day.
To further embrace the tranquility of the night, Emma engages in mindful breathing exercises. Each intentional breath guides her into a peaceful and restful sleep, setting the stage for another radiant day.
Conclusion of Emma’s Daily Masterpiece: Emma’s day evolves like an unfolding masterpiece, where stress transforms into opportunity and monumental challenges shrink into mere stepping stones. Through Tapping, visualization, breathwork, reframing, healthy habits, social support, resilience, adaptability, gratitude, mindfulness, and non-judgment, she navigates her way with grace and empowerment.
Of course, Emma is fictional and I hope no one needs this much stress relief throughout a single day. Feel free to only incorporate the techniques that resonate and work for you as needed.
Nevertheless, let’s celebrate the saga of a smoke-free, stress-handling superwoman — on her journey of transformation and inspiration.
Go, Emma, Go!
If you need help handling stress or help becoming a non-smoker, hit “REPLY” now!
“Stress can result in anxiety if handled poorly, or achievement if handled well. Instead of thinking about your worries as problems, think of them as challenges – and if possible, as opportunities.”