Monthly Archives: March 2017



By | Encouragement, positive thoughts | No Comments

One thing I often hear people say is that they just want to be appreciated. In most areas of our life, we desire to be appreciated. Anywhere we put our time, energy, and efforts. We want the efforts we make and the love we bring forward to be acknowledged by our loved ones and family. Our caring for each other comes from the heart, and we want others to notice. When working in healthcare, it was one of the biggest complaints I heard from coworkers. The most common phrase was “I don’t need a big promotion or raise, I just want to feel appreciated.”

It seems to be the ultimate reward for all the hard work and dedication that we do not only in our work, but within our families. I think we like to think we are humble enough that we don’t need the recognition, but I think it is just a natural part of us that would like the confirmation that our efforts don’t go unnoticed. When we feel underappreciated, it can easily lead to negative feelings and, at times, depression. When we feel like no one cares, we can question our existence and purpose to live. Sometimes these feelings lead to actions. Some of us may seek another job. Some of us may end up leaving our spouse or having an affair. Those that choose to bury it inside can also manifest in illness and disease. Bitterness is not a friendly emotion.

When we expect others to appreciate our work and efforts, we may not realize we are giving away our own power to our emotions. Being dependent on how others think about or appreciate you can easily leave you feeling helpless and out of control.

The good news is that no matter where you are on the spectrum, we all have some options in dealing with these feelings. One place to start is to pay attention to how much you are appreciating others. The more you can show some appreciation to others, the more likely you are to notice it coming back to you. When you express your appreciation for another, often they will return the sentiment. Often we do not open the door to receive until we first give. We also help show people how we can treat one another. We often lead by example.

Another really powerful way to open up more love is to appreciate yourself. We aren’t often taught how to notice all the things we do daily for our families and those around us. When we can express loving kindness through appreciation with ourselves we end up filling up our own cup (heart). When our cup is full, our appreciation tends to overflow towards others. It also keeps us from feeling like we are depending on other people to receive appreciation and giving up more of our own control. Sometimes the reason people can’t appreciate you is because they do not know how to appreciate themselves.

Many times we aren’t aware of how much appreciation we are showing to ourselves and others. Once we are more mindful of how much appreciation we are feeling, demonstrating, and showing, we can take the steps to do it more often. Here is a wonderful opportunity to show those that are in our life how much we appreciate who they are and what they do. Write a heartfelt letter or email. Send a card or phone call to simply express your gratitude. You could even step up a little further and send some flowers, a gift basket, or maybe a gift certificate for a bakery or dinner. We don’t have to wait for a holiday or birthday to express some form of appreciation. Be creative. Think about how good it feels to randomly get an unexpected surprise. Notice how it makes you feel and see what returns to you!

Open for change

Open For Change

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When you focus on wanting a situation to change, how often are you being open for the change? Many times we think we will feel better when certain circumstances change. We may not realize the magic of that power requires a different energy than we may be offering. When we encounter problems, we may focus on what we don’t want or infuse much worry into the process.

If we can step back and allow some openness to new ideas, we have the potential to receive more solutions, options, and possibilities. We have to be first willing to change. Being open and flexible allows you to see things from a different, maybe even renewed, perspective. When we concentrate on the problem for too long, we often close the door to the answers we are seeking.

Change isn’t easy for most of us. Our brains are hard-wired for habits. No matter how bad a situation may be, often we will continue thinking the same thoughts about it because we are comfortable and used to them. Some of our best ideas and most successful ventures are uncomfortable at first. They require us to move into a different space and find the energy to open to the unknown. They require us to be more conscious and aware of moving in a different direction.

Change doesn’t often come with a map. We are learning as we go. That can set our ego alarms off and we often hear “Negative Nancy” in there giving us all the reasons why change can go wrong. Next thing you know, you are arguing with yourself. It may seem much easier to agree with your doubts and worries than to be open to thinking differently about the situation. The harder step is to stand up to your doubts and push through them. When you find yourself up against fear and worry, this is a time to acknowledge the fear and be open to moving forward anyway.

Sometimes the avenue to your breakthrough is beyond the worry and fear. For things to get better or simply move in a new direction, we often have to be courageous enough to seek a change of direction first. Your happiness and goals can still be obtained, but it may not happen the way you want to force it to. There are many paths up a mountain, and being open to change allows more options and sometimes better routes.

Many times it may benefit us to adapt and go with the flow. When it doesn’t make sense and we can’t see the whole picture, we may struggle and resist the changes ready to make their way through. When we open ourselves and be more willing to change, we invite the energy into our lives that we are seeking. Similarly, when you focus on the things you don’t like or complain about, you find more thoughts like it. If you are more practiced at being grateful, you often find you have more to be thankful for. What you focus on expands. In order for unwanted things to change, you have to be open to the change of energy.

Though one of my favorite quotes from Ghandi was “To be the change you wish to see in the world,” it isn’t always as easy as the words flowing from our lips. The change takes being open. The change takes practice. The more you can be open to change you can open to the space for allowing it. You also better your leverage the energy, situation, or circumstance for the changes you wish to see.

When we are inflexible we aren’t going to be able to move in many directions. If you are open to more flow, you allow more options, miracles, possibilities, and potentials in your life. The next time you run upon doubts and resistance, remind yourself that you are willing to be open to change. Invite some ideas and inspiration to come your way by opening the door. You never know what good things may be knocking and trying to make their way to you.

Beating the winter blues

Beating The Winter Blues

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It’s the time of year that many people struggle with beating the winter blues. When we feel cooped up inside for long periods and don’t get to receive some sunlight for vitamin D, it can really impact our moods. I know I tend to struggle in the cold months and miss sitting outside in the warm air on my deck. Winter depression can further weaken our immune systems as well.

I’ve learned over the years to be more prepared as the season approaches. To help me enjoy it rather than loathe it, I have a list of ideas and hobbies to enjoy during the season. Around the holidays I try to stock up on some new books, art supplies and inspirational things to look forward to. The time also gives me a little excuse to be reclusive to work on my writing. Writing brings forth some contentment for me and often involves spending lots of time engaging in the art. When life is busy, I can really struggle with boundaries and finding the extra time I need to devote to my passion. So now I can appreciate the cold months providing some gifts for me.

The winter months allow me more time for creativity and exploration. I can now see it as an opportunity to play with my artistic side. I have a regular art class, but in bad weather I can’t make it to the location and end up stuck at home more often. I get to use the time to play with what I learn, and to spend more time practicing.. Now I can get enthusiastic about being inside more often and feel like a kid excited to be out of school for snow.

I hear some of my clients say that they don’t feel like they are creative and artistic. I used to think that way myself. Whatever you tell the mind is what it believes. I want to tell you after being in art class for some time, I am amazed at what I have learned to do thus far. I want to point out that just because you haven’t learned something doesn’t not mean you can not do it. You may be slow and it may seem unnatural at first, but you can learn and you can allow creativity in.

You don’t need talent to embark on a new venture. Just the inspiration or curiosity. No one picks up a paintbrush, an instrument, or craft and perform like a professional from the get go. Even the folks born with certain talents got to the levels they perform at with years of practice. It is never too late to learn something you have always been drawn to. During these dark winter months is a wonderful time to explore those interests. Rather than expecting to get depressed or dreading the time, you can set up some time for some exploration on things you have always wanted to try. Or you can simply use the time to do the things you don’t have much time for.

When you can see past the struggles, you can change the momentum of the energy and the experience. It can be a way to transcend or turn the struggling around. I can’t promise you that you won’t experience any of the winter blues, but if you can approach them differently you may deal with them more easily. It can be harder to turn around if you wait until you are in the midst of those feelings and blues before you take action. It’s like swimming against the current.

I encourage you to acknowledge your challenges and explore interests and hobbies further with the opportunity at hand. Perhaps have some classes, supplies, or ideas ready ahead of time. You may even move through the season without noticing your old habits when you are engaged in some things you truly enjoy. Have fun and enjoy yourself. Your body, mind, and spirit will all thank you for it!

Bridging the gaps

Bridging The Gaps

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As I take a step back from our recent headlines and debates, one big question I think many of our souls are searching for an answer to is “How can we start bridging the gaps in our humanity?” Between the eruptions through social media and our communicative technologies, we have noticeably become divided over many political, religious, and lawful views. These divisions exist among family, friends, nations, and world views.

We have advanced very far in our communications, reaching a variety of people, ages, demographics, and even places that have been more isolated from world events. With this increase of advancement with good intentions of connecting, we have also hit some barriers and problems to sort through and discern. We seem to be exposed to quick bits and pieces of information without the insight of the bigger picture. People who produce and send out pieces of information can easily portray it with agendas towards their opinions.

I’ve found often in just the past few years that I can find evidence to support either side of any topic I research. So no matter what side I may gravitate towards, there is much evidence to rebuke the thought. It really makes me question what we have referred to as facts over time. I read one definition that a fact is a piece of information used as evidence as part of a report or article. The more fascinating ponder is that there seems to be evidence not only on both sides of the arguments, but a variety of points all along the spectrum.

So as we continue to argue over the facts we may agree or disagree with, I think a big start for us all is to acknowledge that we all have different perspectives and life experiences. When we use our energy for arguing and debating, we slow down the progression we could be making towards solutions and possibilities. Step one may be identifying a problem or simply identifying where we need some balance. The issue I’m seeing more these days is not getting past step one.

To move forward in making our world a more peaceful, loving, and kinder place, we may need to find better paths to work in favor of these ideas. It starts with each one of us to work on our own fears, angers, and differences to bridge the gaps between each other. To question our judgements and stereotypes. Knowing where they come from and what we truly fear is a step along patching the divisions.

It’s natural to acknowledge we are all different. It’s questioning what we might fear about the differences of our opinions and beliefs that connect our humanity. We all have vulnerable feelings and we all struggle with things. I’ve not met another human that didn’t have that in common on some level. Regardless of our differences in sex, age, gender, culture, beliefs, and practices, we all have struggles and desires. And we can find common goals to work toward together .

For example, every client, friend, or stranger I’ve had the privilege of holding a conversation with wants happiness, security, freedom, and some purpose or fulfillment. I think we can too easily forget about how much common ground we have with one another and allow our differences to separate us. This separation is what causes our judgments, unkindnesses, misunderstandings, and wars with one another.

The beauty I see is that we can have a world full of differences. It seems pretty impossible to adopt any one opinion or lifestyle. Would you really want to live in a world where everyone ate the same food, wore the same clothes, drove the same car, and did the same thing for a living? I think most of us enjoy the variety. Not everyone desires to practice medicine, law, or work with their hands. Some people love technology, some love to work with people, some prefer to live a more quiet life and tend to nature and animals. We are all living with different visions and dreams.

I think it is good to remind ourselves of the similarities we share all together on this earth when we get heated, argumentative, and upset with one another. Bridging gaps with each other requires more connection and unity. We can do this with respect amongst our differences. The first step in change is believing we can. Then with those beliefs, we can move towards action.

I’m challenging you to a big idea. The idea is to be aware of your words, actions, and arguments. Whether it be face to face or perhaps on the Internet, be mindful and present in how you present your perspective and understanding. Help to bridge the gaps by being more open to hear opposing views by remembering our similarities as humans. Just because we have held a belief for a long time, doesn’t mean it stays true for us or serves humanity. I don’t expect to solve all the problems in one day, but I believe we can work on our presence and communication with each other. We can work towards bridging gaps instead of creating more rifts and disconnections.

Perhaps we are all the answer that our world needs.