Quit Loving Your Fears

Make a list of the fears that have followed you your whole life, that you have fed, justified, nurtured, even honored-all for the sake of staying safe, protecting yourself from hurt and loneliness. Now, challenge the reality of those fears every single day. Do it dispassionately as if you are doing it for a dear friend-not yourself. Do it until you kill those fears and leave them behind in the dust and you burst forth in a blaze of glory and light. J Thomas

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What are Your Core Values? Everyone should know what they are!

431932_10204819889327926_2113176835625440694_nCore Values are the infrastructure to who we are as humans—the brick and mortar of our characters and personality.  Think of your core values as the framing on a house, the framing holds the house up and keeps it solid and together.  We all have many values we hold highly but some are so important they guide and dictate the very steps we take every day. Core Values motivate our conscious and unconscious actions.  Identifying your core values can help clarify your dreams, fears, goals , and what you value most in life.  In order to strengthen resiliency in life one must know what his or her core values are.

Core values are not:

-Competencies

-Strategies

-Norms

-Operating Practices

Core values should be in practice every day.  Core values connect you with the outer-world; help you pick and choose relationships to invest your time and emotions in.  Core values help you manage your finances, relationships,  and daily life. Think of core values as the tracks on a railway that keep your life in line with your beliefs.  Core values require no justification, as they are ‘part of who you are’.

If you are curious as to what your core values are you can download the list of core values here.  After you have the list, circle 12 values you hold most dear.  Now cross out 3 of them, after you do that, cross out another 3.  Are you mad at me yet?  You need to cross out another 3.  The resulting 3 core values you have remaining are probably your core values you hold most dear.  Take a look closely at the remaining 3 values.  Do they align with your family life, your interpersonal life with a partner, your professional life and conduct?  Record your core values in your TN and write something about each one and how you have seen common threads in your life where your core values played out.  Be proud of the effort you have taken to identify them and know that they are your ‘silent partners’ in life, guiding you as you move through each moment of your day.

Are They going to add the Word Syndrome after Your Name?

Excess stress, burnout, overworking, suffering for others at work is NOT heroic, it is self-destructive.431932_10204819889327926_2113176835625440694_n

Martyring yourself can be tied in to that feeling that you never do enough, give enough, try enough or are enough so you must do more.

You may be trying to save your corner of the world, take responsibility for others failings, feel no one can do ‘it’ as well as you.  Your self-worth is tied to your accomplishments, few people know who you really are or what you really want.

Few, if any, ever know when you are truly hurt or profoundly upset.  Do not re-create your own personal tragedy every day.  Do not see this self-martyring as a badge of honor but as abusive and damaging.  You do not want a syndrome named after you.  Once you let go of this drive to over-do, you will accomplish much more meaningful things in your life.

Spend some time writing in your TN about whether you are wearing your stress, etc. as a badge of honor, or your self esteem is tied in to over-doing it to give meaning to your life.  Contemplate what the drive is behind over-doing it and if, everything that you are doing is truly feeding your heart and soul.  Start keeping things on your to-do list that are purpose, heart driven and give you soul satisfaction instead.

The Burden Basket

The metaphor of the burden basket is based on basket is based on actual baskets Native American women would sling across their shoulders, thus leaving their hands free to work as they collected food, wood and other things for their daily subsistence.  At the end of the chores the basket was left at the entry to the home.  Visitors, upon entry, were expected to basketleave their burdens and troubles in the basket so the visit was pleasant and happy.

Using a burden basket gives you a physical place to write your burdens, troubles and difficult thoughts down.  At the end of a designated period of time of your choice, you can burn the burdens or toss them out to sea to be carried away.

The original burden basket was made of Cedar bark, split and woven in shape of a vessel.  The Cedar tree, to some Native Americans, is the tree known to absorb tears, shouts of pain, anger and sorrows.  The Cedar tree is also symbolic in healing, cleansing and protection rituals.

What do You say to Yourself You would Never let Anyone else to Say to You? 

I often encounter people in the course of my work who tell me “I am my own worst enemy”. It is so easy for us to believe 431932_10204819889327926_2113176835625440694_nthe worst about ourselves, to put ourselves down, to litter our days’ thoughts with negative self talk.  Somewhere in our past we’ve been delivered the message that to say positive, uplifting things about ourselves is to be stuck up, arrogant, self involved, and egotistical.

Of course there is a balance when it comes to being self-centered.  I would like to take back that phrase and remove the negativity associated with it.  When we hear ‘self-centered’ we think of someone vain or arrogant, who thinks they are better than everyone else.  I would like to use the phrase to mean that someone is balanced in his or her life, knows their place in the world, what their passionate work should be and is able to stay in the here-and-now to live life to the fullest.

I think the actual dynamic that is taking place when we put ourselves down is threefold.  First, we can make a negative statement with the hope ‘it won’t get worse than this’, second, if we say it out loud, someone will disagree, say something positive about us to contradict the negative thing we said, and third, we can stay comfortable in self-doubt and keep ourselves from stepping out of our comfort zone.  What are some negative self-talk statements you make?  Take some time to write them in your TN and then contradict them with positive statements.  Work on switching the negatives to the positives!  It will take time and consistency for it to become a habit but it can.

Synergy, serendipity, kismet…..

I love examples of the universe conspiring to make things happen…I thought I would share with you a few that I use as examples in my class when I am talking about following your heart….gratitude-clipart-tree_of_love_with_heart_shaped_leaves_0071-0906-1321-2835_SMU

At age 35, Harrison Ford was fitting a door for Francis Ford Coppola when a studio executive asked him to take a break and read lines with actresses who were testing for a new film. The film was Star Wars.

Richard Sears was employed as a freight processor.  He bought a shipment of watches that were unclaimed and began selling them up and down the railroad line.  He then began collaborating with Alvah Roebuck, watch repairer…

Eleanor Wilder started writing in 1979 when she was housebound with her two sons as a result of a blizzard.  She never went to college. Her books sell at a rate of 12 an hour, 24/7.  You know her as Nora Roberts

Cyrus McCormick family invented a horse drawn reaper.  Spent 9 years trying to convince farmers to try it .  He went bankrupt in 1837. Sold 1 reaper 2 years later.  Sold 50 4 years later, then advertised it with guarantees and testimonials.  He sold 1000 6 years later. At a World Expo he demonstrated it and harvested 74 yards of wheat in 70 sec. 33 years after starting he made 10 million dollars and started International Harvester .

Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley grew up in Vermont. He was fascinated by snow and studied flakes on a black cloth, others thought he was very strange. His parents were poor farmers. Got his parents to get him a microscope and then a camera he could attach to it.  He invented photomicrography and came up with the theory that no two snowflakes are alike. In his life he documented over 5000 flakes – no two alike.

Brenda Dayne was a life long knitter.  She loved her hobby so much she started the podcast “Cast On”. The podcast was a hobby as well.  Her podcasts are now funded by the government of Great Britain!

What do You say to Yourself You would Never let Anyone else to Say to You?  (Negative Self Talk)

happy-smiling-sun-summer-background-happiness-pixmac-clipart-46615343I often encounter people in the course of my work who tell me “I am my own worst enemy” and I believe it. It is so easy for us to believe the worst about ourselves, to put ourselves down, to litter our days’ thoughts with negative self talk.  Somewhere in our past we’ve been delivered the message that to say positive, uplifting things about ourselves is to be stuck up, arrogant, self involved, and egotistical.

Of course there is a balance when it comes to being self-centered.  I would like to take back that phrase and remove the negativity associated with it.  When we hear ‘self-centered’ we think of someone vain or arrogant, who thinks they are better than everyone else.  I would like to use the phrase to mean that someone is balanced in his or her life, knows their place in the world, what their passionate work should be and is able to stay in the here-and-now to live life to the fullest.

I think the actual dynamic that is taking place when we put ourselves down is threefold.  First, we can make a negative statement with the hope ‘it won’t get worse than this’, second, if we say it out loud, someone will disagree, say something positive about us to contradict the negative thing we said, and third, we can stay comfortable in self-doubt and keep ourselves from stepping out of our comfort zone.

Take some quiet time and, in your notebook, list some negative things you say about yourself that would hurt you deeply if someone else you love said to you.  Now go back and think on these things, think on why it would hurt if someone who loves you said these things to you.  Now remember, your first duty in life is to love and cherish yourself as the sacred, miracle you are.  Why would you allow yourself to hurt your psyche by saying these things to yourself?  Go back to your notebook, re-write those negative statements in to positive ones and re-read them every day remembering you wouldn’t let anyone else say those things to you so you won’t anymore either.

Feelings, my friends, are not Facts…

When I first realized this many years ago, I was quite shocked by the truth of the statement.  As human beings, it is our job to assign emotion to everything and everyone in life.  The connection of emotion is what makes us human.  Our emotions filter our interpretation of truth and fact.  If I was to say:  the sun was a bright pinky-yellow this morning as it rose, many of you would conjure some type of emotion associated with a past sunrise that you encountered, thus your interpretation of past sunrises is painted with your version of the truth of those sunrises.

It’s pretty harmless to have your own filtered version of a sunrise, however, where we can get in to trouble is when we take life affecting moments, immersed in emotion, and consider our emotions around those moments’ facts.  It is easy to get in a goodhealthV2-paperrelicscycle of over-thinking about a person, event, or issue when there are a lot of conflicting or overpowering emotions involved.  We get sucked in to thinking our reality-filtered by our emotions-is fact.  Our reality is not necessarily the reality we should be taking in to account.  Our emotions tug us in the direction of a heart’s desire or a financial need or a family burden.  The need or want attached to those things give us a distorted version of what is.  Our minds trick us in to thinking the feeling-filtered perception is fact because that is easiest to believe.  Face it, as humans we are very attached to our feelings and we are all, to a degree, egocentric.  “My ideas, ways of doing things, beliefs are the best…”  If we didn’t buy in to our own beliefs and patterns we would be wrecks.

What do you do then, when you may be in a cycle of over-thinking or uncertainty over some emotionally charged issue?  You aren’t sure what is fact and what is your emotion-induced fiction, swaying you in the direction of your heart?  You journal.  Get out your Traveler Notebook and start writing down the emotions you are feeling, the raw facts you know for sure, your perceptions of the facts, and any feedback you might garner from close associates.  Add it all up, sum up the information, write from a third person perspective, dispassionately with  neutral observations, then take a step back.  Leave it, walk away, let the thoughts settle.  Ponder them on a long walk, over a hot cup of tea, remember to believe in your own best self and return to your written words.  You will, I promise, have gained a perspective.  Write it down, the unfiltered perceptions and why your emotions tugged at you so much.  Remember however, even though feelings are not facts, they are what make us gloriously human, so beautiful and fragile, and each emotion is worth feeling and savoring.

Achieving Your Dream…Oseola Style, Part 2

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If you are reading this, hopefully you have done the exercises in Part 1 of this series because we are going to use those steps now.  The very first thing I asked you to do was write your goal down or your dream…that thing you want to do, that your heart is aching for you to do, it’s that thing that if you get to do it, you will never feel like you have to work another day in your life because you love doing it so much.  If you aren’t sure what that is then here is a simple exercise you can do to figure it out.  Go back through your life and find the things you were most passionate about doing, those things that fed your soul, that made you lose track of time, that have been a consistent theme in your life.  List those things in your Goal section.

So once you have that goal or dream clearly identified go back through the steps to your goal I asked you to write down in no particular order, your brainstorming for your goal.  Now I want you to spend some time putting them in order.  After you put them in order, you need to fill in between those steps the steps you left out.  This needs to be very detailed, a blueprint or map if you will of your heart’s desire.  Every little step, the minutia of your dream, because each day from now on, you are going to spend a minimum of 15 minutes on your dream and these steps will guide you in doing that.

Now remember I also asked you to make a list of “Why I Shouldn’t”?  This list is VERY important so if you haven’t done it yet, stop reading this, sit down in a quiet place and make that list.  If you have done that list, let’s talk about it.  It is well known that as humans, it is much easier for us to believe the negative about ourselves than the positive.  It is also true that if we have people in our lives who don’t necessarily support our dream, they will give us negative messages to try and dissuade us from pursuing them.  That desire to dissuade us is usually from a place of “don’t leave me behind” or “don’t do better than me otherwise I’ll look bad or feel bad…”  I can tell you right now, right up front you are not going to change their feelings about your endeavor.  Only they can change their feelings.  We have no control over others feelings or thoughts.  All you can do is be true to yourself and stay positive and upbeat.

Regarding the list of ‘shouldn’ts’ I want you, over the next few days to take each one of them, and new ones as you remember or think of them, and respond positively to each one.  Write a positive counterpoint to the negative.  This might seem difficult, maybe impossible but it is vital to your success because those negatives will pop up over and over again and you want to be able to refer back to your excellent list and counter them. Please be very complete and when you draw a blank responding to the negative, just give it some time, don’t rush it.

I know all of this might seem very unnecessary to starting on your goal or dream but buildings are not built without a blueprint and nothing that stands the test of time is just thrown together.  You will be happy you did all this work.  Work on these tasks a little every single day.  Our next part to your dream building will be starting to put all the pieces together….Oseola style.

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