Have you ever been in a situation where you really wanted to create connection with someone and either couldn’t find any common ground or got anxious and clammed up?
It’s frustrating when you deeply desire a kindred spirit relationship and it just doesn’t seem possible, isn’t it? When that distance comes flooding in do you start to feel hollow and lonely, isolated, slamming yourself with, “what’s wrong with me, why can’t I open up and connect?”
It’s true, we just naturally hit it off with some people where we struggle with others (especially if we have a “past” with them and can’t let it go – we tend to over analyze what we think we should say and it comes out stiff or guarded – no connection going to happen that way:).
So how do you “create” connection?
It’s actually easier than you think. Here are 4 simple ways to engage with others – do any one of these and you will feel your hearts start to open and sync with each other.
#1 – Playfulness – playing leads to a more joyful state of being – the big benefits here are that it leads to more happiness and joy – and who doesn’t want to be around someone who is happy? It also keeps you present – most of us spend the majority of our time in the past or in the future which keeps us separate and isolated. In order to connect we have to be present. When you are light and playful your message is much more likely to be heard and taken in.
#2 Come from your heart and not your head – People connect when they feel you. Coming from your head creates separation and puts up an invisible wall – it can make a man feel like a servant. When you come from your heart you pull him in and he feels like they are part of the situation. Total win-win.
#3 – Eyes – when you look directly into someone’s eyes it creates an immediate connection. Think about it – when you talk to someone are you busy gathering up things or multi-tasking? This will make the other person feel unimportant, disconnected and they’ll soon tune out.
#4 – Relatedness – you may say you want to connect but how are you living your life? Are you waiting for men to approach you or are you reaching out? Do you avoid carpooling or interacting with others? Can’t wait to get home and watch a movie or read a book or get on the internet? We feel alone and lonely when we don’t connect – we are meant to be there for each other.
Voila! Now that you’ve got 4 great ways to connect go out there and make it happen!!
I was recently reading Dr. Henry Cloud’s book on Boundaries and there’s a part where he comments on a conversation he had with a client – it reminded me of many of the talks I’ve had with my clients and thought it might be helpful for you.
Dr. Cloud’s client was proud of the major progress she had made setting boundaries with her partner, kids and co-workers yet this particular day she said she had a new boundary issue.
Her conversation went something like this, “I haven’t told you about this relationship before, though I guess I should have. I have tremendous boundary problems with this woman. She eats too much and has an attacking tongue. She’s undependable and let’s me down all the time. And she’s spent money of mine and hasn’t paid me back in years.” Dr. Cloud asked her why she hadn’t mentioned her before and she answered, “ Because it’s me.”
Have you had a similar experience doll?
Pogo Possum, cartoonist Walt Kelly’s swamp character sums it up pretty well, “ We have met the enemy and he is us”.
Most of us suffer with this conflict – vowing to do something, breaking our commitment and then beating ourselves up – ay yi yi such a hellacious cycle! We need to break that no good sequence pronto!
Here’s how you do it.
It’s pretty simple and boils down to practicing self-love on a daily basis to honor all that you are. Are you including that in your daily routine love? If you are like most women the answer is no. You get busy, you get distracted, you minimize your accomplishments, you let your limiting patterns run your life and you forget to fawn over YOU! Because amnesia is so common reminders are essential!!
Are you a dreamer? Whether it’s about love, money, or health it’s very likely you have some vibrant visions of what you would like your life to be like. Maybe you want to learn how to make the perfect plum pudding, travel to Egypt and meditate inside the pyramids, hike the grand canyon rim to rim, meet your soul mate or reignite your stale relationship. The truth is whatever your mind conjures up can come true – yeah baby!!! But at the same time there are more things than ever competing for your attention and distracting you from your dreamscape.
In my coaching practice I’ve found that every woman encounters distractions on the way to realizing her dreams. What separates those clients who succeed from those who don’t is whether or not they are able to get back on track with their goal focus. Since it’s inevitable you’ll be thrown a few curveballs the most important factor is how you handle the setbacks. Do you let the distraction take you down the rabbit hole or do you regroup, refocus and re-embark on the road to success?
While many situations steal our attention, I’ve found a pattern with the 3 biggest dream destroyers. These main three MUST be overcome if you want to experience the fabulous life you crave.
Here are the 3 Biggest Dream Destroyers
Can I do this?
Self-doubt can be the culprit when your determination and motivation begin to wane. We all have negative thoughts that creep up at times – the question is do you believe those thoughts and do you allow them to limit your potential? Buying into the false beliefs that are kidnapping your mind can cause you to abandon your goals and feel like there is no point in trying. Yet the truth is we become successful by taking action, despite our fears. Confidence and motivation come from action – so get moving! Carpe Diem!
Am I good enough?
Do you compare yourself to other people you see as more successful?
We are all different yet we have a tendency to compare ourselves to others. It’s human nature, and while learning from others is an important part of our growth, if it is used to reinforce an unrealistic or negative self-image it can be an unhealthy habit to get into.
Mark Twain said that “comparison is the death of joy”. Science agrees with research showing that comparing breeds feelings of envy, low self-confidence, and depression.
If comparison is how you judge your worth you will always be losing. It’s impossible to reach a point where you are better than others in every way. Part of what makes life fabulous and interesting is enjoying and learning from the talents of others. Instead of trying to be as good as or better than others, focus your energy on being the very best version of yourself.
Next time you catch yourself using someone else as a benchmark for your own worth stop and remind yourself how this strategy is ineffective. Instead, compassionately redirect your energy and attention to the achievement of your own goals.
An uncomfortable truth…Most people’s problems are self-created and would simply dissolve if they came from a place of response rather than reaction.
Since TV and movies were introduced we began to think it was normal to have loads of drama in our lives. We’ve been lead to believe that’s normal, acceptable and just the natural way things tend to be. But you know what? It’s not.
Drama can be quite seductive but it’s a bottomless pit and the only way out is to turn the titanic around and head towards the good. Do something delightful for someone else, live to give, focus on what’s good rather than what’s constantly wrong, bad or stinks. It’ll change your life and lead you one step closer to your dreams
So there you have it, the 3 biggest dream destroyers and ways you can avoid these pitfalls to keep your focus where it belongs: on creating your most magnificent life.
Here’s to staying on track on the path to your dreams. You CAN do it!! I believe in you!
Let’s be honest.
We’ve all had experiences and situations in our lives that have in effect, forced us to build protective barriers to guard our hearts. When built, they may have served in protection, but the trick is to know when to allow your walls to collapse and let the old stories go. Once this happens, love pours in.
And the truth is everyone deserves to live a life filled with love and loving connections. So how can we intentionally create and experience more love?
Although many of us look for love on the outside, the path to love really begins inside. This Rumi quote describes it perfectly:
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ~ Rumi
Too often, the lack of deep love in our lives comes from a lack of self-love and self-compassion. Many of our love barriers were created to protect ourselves from our own inner critic. Most of us are incredibly hard on ourselves. When faced with our flaws the negative self chatter starts: “I’m not good enough. I’m worthless.” “I’m not interesting enough.” “I’m too old – who would want me?”
And of course, the goalposts for what counts as “good enough” seem always to remain out of reach. No matter how well we do, someone else always seems to be doing it better. The result of this line of thinking is sobering: Millions of people suffer from insecurity, anxiety, and depression, and much of this is due to self-judgment, to beating ourselves up when we feel we aren’t measuring up.
So what’s the answer?
To stop judging and evaluating ourselves altogether. To stop trying to label ourselves as “good” or “bad” and simply accept ourselves with an open heart. To treat ourselves with the same kindness, caring, love and compassion we would show to a good friend.
The secret to feeling more love is to practice staying open to love.
Develop a compassionate heart for yourself and others. Buddhists talk a lot about the importance of compassion and having compassion for yourself is just as important as having compassion for others. From the Buddhist point of view, you have to care about yourself before you can really care about other people.
When you feel safe with yourself – knowing you are your own best-friend; others will be drawn to you with an open heart. The opportunities to both give and receive love will be abundant.
Love is one of those things that it’s so expansive and infinite in nature; we will never have “too much” of it. We can only acquire more. Which is kind of the whole point isn’t it? When we heal ourselves more and more we can receive all of life’s blessings and love.
So get in there, work it out. Remove any and all things that may be getting in the way of you experiencing MORE LOVE in your everyday life. I hope and wish for you the healing and the experiences for your container to hold this magnificent gift to grow and grow, and grow with each new day.
Have you ever thought about what you are committed to? Take a minute and think about it, because everyone is committed to something. Get honest and ask yourself a hugely important question, “Am I committed to living a life of joy or a life of struggle?”
And hey, you may be thinking, you’re not committed to anything negative. I get it – I used to think the same way. Until I stopped and made an honest assessment of ALL the results I was experiencing. That was an eye opener LOL.
The thing is even if you think you are committed to living a big happy life – if your dreams and goals are not becoming realities there is something – a belief, an assumption, a way of thinking that you are unknowingly committed to that is blocking you from having what you say you desire. Literally taking you in the opposite direction of your dreams.
That’s important because you know how it is to be committed – you’re ALL in, right?
And that’s GREAT when it’s a belief that serves you but what about those beliefs that limit you? The truth is every belief, whether supportive or sabotaging wants to be right. As a matter of fact they inspire behaviors that create results to prove they are right. That could show up as stuckness, unfairness, being broke, things not going your way, men leaving you, cheating on you – you name it- it’s a programming that keeps you in a vicious frustrating cycle.
The key is to find out what the commitments are that are wreaking havoc on your life and reframe them – so that they can become healthy, nourishing, positive commitments that will feed your soul and produce peace and happiness.
Here’s how you break those vicious cycles:
#1 Commit to filling your mind with positive beliefs
#2 Pay attention to your thoughts -if you notice you always think life is hard, you are committed to things being difficult. If you routinely worry about your abilities or competency you are committed to not being enough. If you stay on the sidelines and under the radar you might be committed to being invisible.
#3 Reframe your limiting thoughts – think a new empowering thought like “life is easy,” or “I am more than capable, who I am and what I say matters,” or “it’s safe to be seen.”
#4 Take action – do the opposite of what you normally do. In meetings or group situations if you normally sit on the sidelines quietly be the first to voice your opinion. If you normally back away feeling resistant to committing to something that would help you reach your goal – commit!
#5 Make a declaration right here, right now to commit to behavior that serves your desire! If it’s scary you know you’ve hit gold – jump in!
This is so doable! All you have to do is make the decision to commit to beliefs that will help you create your big bold happy love-filled life.
And the good news in it’s easy! It’s just as easy to commit to a good thought as a bad thought.
What will you commit to now? The choice is yours!
Last weekend I went on a beach biking adventure with a couple of my favorite gal pals, Cherry and LeeAnn. Over the course of our 27 mile ride we swapped some good guy stories, shared dreams, laughed a lot and stopped for some yummy crab legs and beer (oh and can’t forget the insanely delicious hushpuppies – how have I never tasted those delectable little treats before? I’m in love!!!)
At the end of the day driving home I was smiling from ear to ear – a fun frolic, giggles and girlfriends made me feel like a teen again – alive and vibrant.
It was amazing – here I was feeling happy and zippy after a long day of exercising and yet the day before I hadn’t done as much as a down dog and I was as tired as a slug.
It got me thinking – who doesn’t want to turn back the clock to access the lively spirit of their youth?
I hear it all the time – women are always telling me how tired they are and how they wish they felt more sparkling and energetic.
What about you doll? Can you relate?
Well here it is – simple and sweet – the secret to youth is to….
Do you ever wonder why you keep attracting the same disappointing experiences? Whether it’s about love, health, wealth or having more fun in life, are you asking yourself, “Why is this so hard, why can’t I figure it out, what’s wrong with ME?” Sheeeeeesh!
Despite all the time you’ve spent reading self-help books, saying positive affirmations till you’re blue in the face, listening to podcasts and expert interviews, going to lectures and workshops, and maybe even investing in therapy, nothing changes!!! You can listen, read, recite, study and sit at the feet of the top guru’s all over the world and still…nothing changes. Ay yi yi pretty frustrating, right love?
You might be thinking you aren’t trying hard enough, or maybe you are feeling like you are fundamentally flawed. Maybe you think it’s your lot in life, or that you have bad luck or crappy karma.
I get it, I’ve been there – it’s discouraging and disheartening to say the least!
I remember trying to get back on track after my marriage unraveled and desperately wishing some magic wand would just tap me on the shoulder and make life groovy again – LOL!
Where I was and where I wanted to be seemed miles apart and no matter what I was doing that gap just wasn’t closing – ever feel that way?
Well I prayed and prayed for a solution – I knew I needed a bridge but didn’t know how to build it….(until I found the secret and life DID become groovy again!!!)
What I’m about to share isn’t just going to give you great aha’s it’s going to change your life!!
The powerful truth is that your experiences in life are based on your INNER self-image. In other words you first need a healthy connection to your beautiful diamond core essence before you will get the results you desire in life. Your action steps are actually influenced by this inner self-image.
In Maxwell Maltz book, The Magic Power of Self-Image Psychology, he says people’s problems have to do with their inner, hidden self-image. People are unhappy and unsuccessful because their hidden self-images compel them to make mistakes, and actually do the wrong thing.
He goes on to say our actions and emotions are consistent with our self-image. You act like the sort of person you think you are – even if you exercise all your will power. If you think you are a failure type person you will find a way to fail no matter how hard you try to succeed. We all carry a mental picture of ourselves – we may not be conscious of it but trust me darlin’ it exists!
So the fabulous news is the self-image can be changed – no matter how old you are or stuck you feel. Once you change your inner self-image from sabotaging to supportive you change your results.
This is the yellow brick road – this is the bridge!!! This is the secret to closing the gap between where you are currently at and where you want to be – hallelujahhhhhhhh!!!
Sparkle Sister it IS possible for you!
Here is a recent post from one of my SPARKLE program clients who is successfully closing her gap:
“TaDa! I achieved my first rank in the company 12 days ahead of schedule. I am so excited! I pushed my comfort zone boundaries by actively participating in meetings where I did not know anyone and by sharing my opportunities with people I did not know. …. I would not have been successful had it not been for the challenge and your support. Thank you so much!” ~S.G.
Right now you might be thinking, “sounds fantastic but how do I do that?”
Great question! Lots of women I talk with think all they have to do is think positively – but if you have a negative opinion of yourself it won’t be effective because there is a conflict in thought.
Like my client you must have the courage to see yourself in a new way and then commit to taking action steps, no matter how scary, that support your new image of Self.
Follow these 3 steps to build a new inner self-image:
1) Get honest with yourself – when you look at yourself in the mirror are you a friend to yourself or is that evil twin sister in charge – filling your head with lies? Get clear that you are a gorgeous child of God and focus on your unique goodness. Let go of past failures and focus on your successes.
2) Install new beliefs that support your new self image
3) Use your imagination to see yourself living the life you would love. See yourself in a loving relationship, at your optimum health and happy, in a successful career, financially free traveling the world, or whatever you desire. The mind thinks in pictures so create some scenarios in detail that your mind can latch onto and bring into existence for you.
Once you build a supportive inner self-image you will have the bridge you can easily cross to close the gaps in love, health, wealth and happiness. Yeehaaa!
Are you a master at taking care of the feelings and problems of everyone else?
Are you clear about the things that are your responsibility and the things that aren’t?
Do you struggle with saying no?
If you’re reading this and saying to yourself, “yup that’s me!” you’ve probably got some challenges with setting boundaries beautiful. By the way – you are not alone! Many of the women I talk to and coach would rather twist themselves into a people pleasing pretzel than say “no” to a loved one, friend or boss.
People are so fearful of setting boundaries because they’re worried the other person involved won’t like it.
Can you relate to that?
In Dr. Henry Clouds book, When to Say Yes How to Say No, he says healthy boundaries will increase your love and save your life. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we must create mental, physical, emotional and spiritual boundaries for ourselves. Although physical boundaries are easier to see, the invisible property lines are just as real, and they define, protect and maintain your soul.
The truth is boundaries define everything! As scary as it seems, setting boundaries has the opposite effect of what we expect. Not only will you gain more respect from others, but you’ll start to respect yourself more as well!
Practice Setting Boundaries Everywhere
You can create a powerful invisible fence with your words baby. All you have to do is begin by saying “No!” Let it rip!! Feel the freedom as you honor your needs and feelings!
If you don’t like the way someone is treating you instead of taking it and becoming resentful, empower yourself by saying,
“I don’t like it when you yell at me!” or “No that behavior is not okay. I will not participate in that.” Your words let people know where you stand and gives them the “rules” of your yard.
One of my clients, Sasha, recently told me that she’d set a boundary with a parking attendant. He was speaking to her rudely and she quickly set him straight with a firm, “Don’t talk to me like that!” After that, he smiled at her and treated her totally differently.
Why? Because she’d instructed him as to how she wanted to be treated. She set a boundary and didn’t even think twice about it. Her words just naturally flowed out of her mouth and the guy responded very favorably.
Imagine what your life would be like if you set boundaries like that everywhere you went!
It’s OK if It’s Uncomfortable at First
Sasha happened to be a people pleaser. In the past, if she’d spoken up at all, she’d have felt guilty and very bad about herself. If you can relate, then setting boundaries might be uncomfortable at first. It might even continue to be uncomfortable after you’ve done it several times because building a new behavior takes time.
That was true for my client – after the incident she said, “See, I told you men love bitches.” But she wasn’t being a bitch. She was teaching him how to treat her.
Although Sasha had stepped beautifully into a new behavior (and continues to do so) the part of her that wasn’t yet fully comfortable in this new role of expression popped up to hijack her victory. We talked about it and she was able to quickly shift her perspective from feeling like what she said was bitchy to recognizing it was firmly anchored in self love and integrity.
I share this with you because the same thought might cross your mind as you begin to set appropriate boundaries at appropriate times with the appropriate people.
Don’t let the discomfort cause you to fall back into your old ways. As my fitness coach used to say, “get comfortable in the discomfort” because pushing the envelope will pay off big time.
Other people may not like it when we start to set boundaries but you know what? That’s OK. When you set boundaries, you’re honoring yourself and telling people that you value yourself. You’re telling them that you have integrity and self respect.
Setting boundaries is not about being a bitch. It’s about speaking from a place of truth and honoring as opposed to fear. Remember, you’re building a whole new persona. People will see you differently and that’s OK! You are stepping into your core diamond power bravely showing others another facet of your most magnificent Self.