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The Art of Positive Self-Talk

Photo by Hannes Caspar
Stop yelling at the movie, you ain’t never gonna change it like that. Go change the movie in the projector. You are the projector. ~David Icke

As a transformation coach, the most important challenge I face is creating change for people that is sustainable.  This requires teaching them powerful but simple techniques that they can take into the real world and use to make significant progress towards living a happier life.

I like to aim for what I think of as full-contact living, which is consciously coming into direct contact with as much of life as we can. By increasing the surface area of our lives, we can fully experience the joy of it all.

How to Turn a Bad Day Around

Photo by Vanessa Paxton

I was on my way home after purchasing a lavender-scented candle to help kick start a relaxing atmosphere I desperately needed to wind down from a terrible and emotionally draining week at work. I was rummaging for my keys in my purse for what seemed like forever.

Oh no! Are you kidding me? I didn’t have my keys!

I could see my keys right now in my mind’s eye. There they were, resting on the table by the side of the door. That morning my boyfriend locked the door as we headed off to work, while I unknowingly left my keys at home.

The thing was that he just got on a bus to meet up with a friend on the other side of town.

I couldn’t help but laugh miserably at myself. What a fitting ending to a horrible week.

How to Embrace Loneliness

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with. ~Wayne Dyer

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been in search of a “group,” — friends that were interconnected by commonalities, a support system that I could rely on no matter the circumstances.

Everything seemed easier for those people who were a part of a whole, they could always count on having weekend plans and any party they threw had a pre-planned invite list. They belonged.

I, on the other hand, never had hobbies that revolved around a team; I switched schools more often than most of my peers; and I settled on a career that was driven primarily by individual effort.

How to End Your Dependence on Other People

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm. ~Swedish Proverb

A couple of months ago, I made the decision to end my financial dependence on my mother.

I had on eighty-four cents in my bank account, no place to live and the only income I had was from a part time job and a couple of freelance projects.

Though the timing may have been a bit dramatic, there was a sense of urgency in my decision. I was desperate to free myself from the cycle of repeatedly leaving home only to return with my tail between my legs and no money to speak of.

How to Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. ~Dr. Seuss

I’m outing myself.

For many years I chose to live seeing mostly the fear and scarcity that I believed was controlling me.

I couldn’t make enough money. I couldn’t sustain a loving, healthy relationship for any length of time.  And my business wasn’t successful, even though I was running myself ragged, working nights, struggling to get my business operational during the day, and taking care of my daughter 24/7.

7 Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Photo by Hannes Caspar
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. ~Jim Rohn

When I recently told an acquaintance I worked at home full-time, she commented how difficult that would be for her.

“I’d never have the kind of discipline to do that,” she said. “I’d get distracted and wouldn’t get a thing done.”

Over the past several years, many people have commented on how disciplined I am, from my workouts to my diet to my career. It’s not to say I haven’t had a few donuts or skipped the gym a number of times, but generally I can motivate myself to do something regardless of how I’m feeling.

Many people think of discipline as a tough-love thing. Conventional wisdom often says the harder you are on yourself, the better off you’ll be. I disagree. I think it’s important to approach this topic with care and compassion. Know your limits — it’s the easiest way to expand them.

How to Ask for What You Want

Photo by Winona Grey
Excellence can be obtained if you care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, expect more than others think is possible. ~Unknown

In my quest to actively create a personal and professional life that offers me all the things and experiences I desire, I’ve begun to notice the discrepancy between what I believe I deserve and what I actually ask for.

My conscious mind is in tune with my greatest attributes and I feel as if I’ve always had some degree of appreciation for what I am capable of contributing to a relationship or a job. I believe that I am monetarily worth a significant amount.

Yet, when it comes to asking for what I believe I deserve, I state my bare minimum and offer it up for negotiation. Then, I brood over being completely unappreciated.

How I Found the Courage to Quit My Job

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne

I took a bold step last year: I quit my dead-end job to follow my dreams. I’m not going to lie to you and say it was easy. It wasn’t. But over time, it became easier than living through the torture my day-to-day life had become.

Many people would happily follow their passion if they only knew what it was. Others recognize their passion and long to follow it, but don’t have the necessary courage to take that path.

That was me.

By the age of 22, I already knew that an independent freelance lifestyle would suit me best, and I envisioned a future working with animals, and writing. But life led me down a very different path – one that was admittedly easier, but left me feeling like a square peg in a round hole. I took the safe, traditional route and spent years in a series of office jobs that made me desperately unhappy.

The Matrix of Choice

Photo by Taylor Dawn Fortune

In 2012, for health reasons, I needed to eliminate gluten and dairy from my diet.

I needed to, so I chose to. It wasn’t a life or death in the strictest sense–my diagnosis with an auto-immune disease did not require me to make any dietary change–but after trying it out for a brief period, I realized that diet did have an effect on my condition.

But food is controversial. People who omit things from their diet are suspect. Some people point out some research factoid they’ve read that says that diet doesn’t make a difference. Others say, condescendingly, that gluten-free is “just a fad.”

The biggest rub? That giving up certain foods would drain the joy out of life. Since I could continue to eat gluten or dairy and still mostly, basically, pretty-much get through life, then: How could I give up bread? Cheese? Ice-cream?

Overcoming Obstacles

Photo by Hannes Caspar
A hard fall means a high bounce... if you're made of the right material. ~Unknown

I became freakishly peaceful the summer of 2000.

For a long time, I had been working towards self-acceptance and trying to become more Enlightened, but that summer after my first year of graduate school was entirely different.

  • I was meditating regularly—the silent, lotus-position, old-school way.
  • I took mindful showers and mindful walks, and I mindfully cleaned the toilet.
  • I moved from the more rational and smart “Social Sciences/Psychology” section of my local bookstore to the section they called “New Age”.
  • I was questioning my interpretation of everything and finding real freedom from my thoughts.
  • I was calm. I was happy. All was well in my world.

Then, out of nowhere, I started having severe panic attacks.

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