For some it was a stretch to accept the idea of the wholeness of the individual—that we work as a unit with body, mind, emotions, and spirit working together and what affected one part affected the whole. If my emotions, for example, are seething with anger something will probably erupt in my body, my spirit will be affected and my mind shut down or go into super-worry. But Cardillo takes it a step—or several steps—further and posits that we are one with nature and the closer we live to nature and flow with its cycles, the more “whole” we are.
If you are a proponent of quantum physics and accept the understanding that we are energy and that everything in the Universe is energy, then this is not a torturous stretch of the mind but an acceptance of an unfolding awareness of who we truly are. This book is about that energy and how it ebbs and flows in cycles. If you accept the Cartesian idea that man is a machine you will have trouble wrapping your mind around it.
To me, The Five Seasons is a remarkable manual for increasing self-awareness and coming into alignment with what is happening within us as season change around us. Each season has its own message and its own challenges that impact on us in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways. Spring, for example, is when energy rises, things bloom and we look forward to new things.
The book has wonderful exercises, thoughts to ponder in meditation and questions that require reflection. I personally love the “Playlists” that Cardillo helps us to create for each season. For example, for winter he says, “Make a playlist of various natural water sounds. Use these to soothe you whenever you find yourself anxious this season.”
Cardillo states: “Change the way you understand and use nature’s energy and you will change your life.” He gives you ideas on how to do that.
This is not a book to “just read.” It is a book to sit with, to savor, to experience and everyone can can benefit from reading this book. It leaves you with lovely thoughts like “Smile with your mind. Just being out of doors will begin to activate your body’s ability to draw energy from the environment into itself.”
Beginning today, filmmaker Norm Hacker is releasing a free online stream of his 2012 documentary “Heal Your Self,” about taking responsibility for your health. The full-length (65-minute) film addresses the major factors commonly impacting health today:
Food and Nutrition
Meditation and Visualization
The Placebo Effect
The film features the advice and expertise of 17 expert presenters, including:
If you have not yet seen the film, you are welcome to view it at the link below. In the past year since the film was released on DVD, Norm has seen firsthand how viewers have made changes in their own lives and turned their health around. Now, he hopes that offering a free stream will reach even more people. For more about the film, please see below and if you’d like to speak to Norm, let me know.
‘Heal Your Self’ takes a deep dive into the effects of food, stress, environmental toxicity and the power of the mind in protecting your health
With a focus on creating positive lifestyle changes, Heal Your Self examines topics like food, emotional stress, environmental toxicity, self-education and the power of the mind. In Heal Your Self, first-time filmmaker Norm Hacker speaks to a diverse mix of doctors, researchers and survivors of serious conditions and illnesses including cancer, obesity and Crohn’s disease. These survivors took their health into their own hands, took charge of their lives, and healed themselves.
Heal Your Self features experts like Bernie Siegel MD, Seventh Generation co-founder Jeffrey Hollender, bestselling author John Gray and cancer survivor Susan Ryan Jordan (mother of actress Meg Ryan), as well as the voices of integrative health advocates, health researchers and scholars. With sincerity and candor, tough love and compassion, Heal Your Self offers practical, realistic advice and actionable information.
“If there already was a cure for cancer, if obesity rates weren’t rising, if the rates of disease were in decline, if our population was enjoying greater health and wellness, this film wouldn’t be necessary – but that’s not the case,” said Hacker. “How many Americans are in poor health, and how many have little or no access to medical care or health insurance? This film is intended as a journey of empowerment, to help you take control of your own health.”
“Heal Your Self offers a timely message to viewers: It’s time to abandon your past, find inspiration, use the information and take responsibility for your health,” said Dr. Siegel.
“If people haven’t grown up enough to understand that their health is in their own hands, they’re doomed,” said trend researcher Gerald Celente, one of the experts in Heal Your Self. “This film will educate many people and awaken them to their own power.”
Heal Your Self (region-free, 65 minutes, 4:3 NTSC color) is available online at www.healyourself.tv as a free stream or DVD.
Before we are able to focus on becoming the best we might be, and reaching the maximum potential, we must first commit to being objectively introspective, and evaluating what our strengths and weaknesses are. The reality is that many people overestimate their strengths, while minimizing the degree and depth of their weaknesses, and thus end up treading water, rather than progressing forward in a relevant and sustainable manner. Can you see yourself as others do? Even more essential, since you are by definition closer to you than others will ever be, can you see the true you? Essentially, we should all not only identify these strengths and weaknesses, but we should thoroughly consider how to take best advantage and use of our real strengths (and advantages), while realistically addressing our personal weaknesses to minimize any potential negative impact.
1. While our goal should to utilize our strengths while addressing our weaknesses, our path must include realistically addressing these in detail, and personally accepting and seeing ourselves the way we truly are. This is rarely a one time or overnight activity, but rather a longer term and consistent commitment to an introspective behavior and mindset. Have you ever taken a piece of paper, placed a vertical line down the center of the page, and place your strengths on the left side, while putting your weaknesses on the right side of the page? Why do you consider these your strengths and weaknesses? Why do you like those strengths, and what concerns you about the weaknesses? How do you take advantage of the strengths that you possess, while improving in weaker areas or arenas?
2. How much time do you actually spend considering yourself in a realistic or introspective manner? How do you assure that you remain objective rather than resorting to preferential subjectivity? Unless one commits to identifying and understanding both personal strengths, as well as weaknesses, it is nearly impossible to maximize one’s potential. Strengths should be considered those aspects of one’s mindset, intellect, behavior and modus that enhances his value, while weaknesses are any area that needs addressing in order to become better and more valuable!
Do you desire to be all you can be? Do you want to best use your personal assets in the most meaningful and impactful manner? If so, it is nearly always a necessity to know and understand both your strengths and weaknesses, and use this information in a constructive manner to create a plan that best potentiates your life planning!
Richard has owned businesses, been a COO, CEO, and Director of Development, as well as a consultant. He has professionally run events, consulted to over a thousand leaders, and conducted personal development seminars, for over 30 years. Rich has written three books and well over a thousand articles. His company, PLAN2LEAD, LLC has an informative website http://plan2lead.net and Plan2lead can also be followed on Facebook http://facebook.com/Plan2lead
Whenever I speak at a Communication Seminar, my audience is full of people with different needs.
Some are there because they consider themselves to be assertive but their friends, co-workers and family would label them aggressive. A small group is there because they hate telling others what they want or think. They learn in class that no one owns a crystal ball and so they need to develop the skills to speak up assertively and state their needs. And then the majority is there because they just can’t say no to anyone. They get taken advantage of personally as well as professionally. They feel saying no means that they are rejecting someone and they hate rejection themselves. They believe in being a “good team member” and they mistakenly believe saying “yes” is required if they want to hold on to that label. Each person in this group needs help in saying no – assertively…not aggressively or passively. So using the word “no” can actually help in advancing your career and getting you noticed as someone who is decisive, and values their time.
This tool is also imperative for life balance. Is that a problem in the great U S of A? You betcha! Today’s American worker is working 30 days more a year than just three years ago. We are asked to do more and more with fewer resources. Many of us are using our vacations to get control of the work load at home – painting, repairs, remodeling. If you can learn to say “no” more assertively and make better choices with your time – you will actually have more time to get done what you want to get done.
One of the problems with getting our lives into balance is that we are doing for everyone else in our life that there is no time left over for ourselves. Exercise program? Out of the question if you’re that Little League parent that shows for every game and practice, and the Sunday School teacher that never misses a class, and that babysitter on weeknights for your friends or family. Somewhere a long life’s path you must learn to say “NO” to others so that you can say “YES” to yourself.
Some passive communicators use an old tool called “white lies”. As our parents taught us – one lie leads to another. And then it becomes even more work to remember which lie you have told to whom to be able to keep all those stories straight. As you will read in other chapters of this book, avoidance is a tool never used by an expert communicator. So forget your white lies. With confidence and an even tone of voice, you can assertively make yourself clear and be heard. In fact, some people have been pushing and pushing you over the years…just waiting for you to say that two letter word…NO. So let’s get you started.
The first issue…volunteerism. I believe we are not put on this earth to take, take, take. We need to give back. Volunteerism is great! And you can be a good citizen WITHOUT giving your time away.
Remember, that old saying…you either have all the money in the world and no time to do anything with it or all the time in the world and no money to do anything with it? That’s a very useful tool to use when you need to say “no”. If your life is out of balance that it’s the time that you desperately need to have added to your life. How do you do that? Here are some real life examples and responses or techniques that can be implemented into your life to allow you to be savvy and successful with the word “no”.
1. Weekend Event Participation. The next time you’re asked to volunteer your Saturday for a charity event, here’s your reply.
“Thank you for thinking of me. No, I can’t give you that time to sell hotdogs at the game. I DO however want to support the league so let me cut you a check for $ ____ and where would I need to send that?” or
“No I’m not available. What a great opportunity for my children to donate to the community. What time should I send Craig?” or
“No, and that sounds like a great way to raise funds. I was thinking about donating some of our old toys and clothes to the upcoming big garage sale. When and where should I deliver those?”
2. Solicitors. Even if you are on the “do not call” list, sometimes a solicitor can catch you on the phone at night, on weekends, and at dinner. We hear their scripted dialogue and we really don’t have the time to listen to it. I usually give them the courtesy and allow them to finish their script (afterall it is THEIR job and I don’t want to be rude…everybody has to make a living. So here are several responses that have worked for me.
“Thank you for calling. No, I’ve already given to my designated charity for this year” or
“NO. I know you must value your time as I do mine, so please take me off of your list so that
you won’t be wasting your time again in the future. Thank you”. Or
“No thank you and I hope you have good luck with your other calls tonite. Goodbye.”
“No thank you, NO THANK YOU, NO THANK YOU” (Pausing between the no’s, escalating your tone, and strengthening of your voice). Remember tone of voice is just as important as the words you will use.
3. Interruptors. Alternate offerings have been used in several of our examples so far. By giving an alternate choice, you are helping the other person feel in control by allowing them to choose Option A or Option B. When doing this make sure you are the one coming up with the options because after all, you too are accepting which choice they make. Alternative choice is a good tool to use with people who interrupt your work day. Time management experts will tell you that you actually control very little of your day because of these interruptions. You take pride in getting as much done on your task list as possible yet, someone, maybe even your boss, drops by and requests that you stop everything and put priority on their project.
First of all you need to know that when someone asks “gotta minute?” You can tell them …”no now I’ve got 22″. Not really – you don’t have to be a smart alec – and yet in reality, the research shows that if you were in concentrated thought and working on something, when you are interrupted it will take you 22 minutes to re-focus at the level you were at BEFORE the interruption. Wow – that’s allot of time wasted. So my suggestion is to answer “gotta minute” this way…
“No, I’m working on something right now. I can talk with you at lunch (Option A) instead or after work (Option B)” or
“No, I’ve got 6 minutes. Can you tell me what you need in that time or do we need to reschedule?” One thing I have noticed is when you are specific about what time you DO have…people take notice. When I say I’ve got 6 minutes…they are thinking…wow she’s serious with her time. If they know it can’t be handles in 6 minutes they will likely respond with “oh, no,. never mind, it was important. Sorry to disturb you.” or
“Oh, it will take more than 6 minutes so yes let’s meet for lunch instead.”
“No I can’t do that and get the other work you’ve delegated to me completed. So could you use Nancy in Bookkeeping or Joe in Customer Service to help you?” or
“Yes I can do that but this other work won’t get done, which project do you want completed today, this one or that one?”
The other types of interrupters is the ones that just show up…unannounced, without permission. As a bonus, here’s what you do with them.
First recognize the fact that they often walk into your room talking…even if you’re on the phone or doing something. They’re talking because they think you haven’t noticed them in the room. So notice them. As soon as they come into the room, give them a hand signal (a nice one) to let them know you know they have arrived. Then once off the phone, give them a minute and look at your watch. This is non-verbal communication that lets them know you are watching your time. If that doesn’t work, and they are still talking, after a minute stand up like you’re going somewhere. And the final step, go somewhere!
Someone in one of my classes told me that she actually has a team member who will follow her into the bathroom and keep talking. If that is the case, then exit the building. Grab your car keys like you’re going to the store. Walk around the office outside and then return.
Then assertively ask for a meeting and set some guidelines about how and when to interrupt.
One company that uses cubicles as work space, has a flag system. They have little flags that they keep on their desks. If the flag is as “half mask” that means “I’m busy, don’t interrupt. Another client company uses large felt dots on their cubicles. Red means “stop, I’m busy, do not disturb”. Yellow means “I’m busy, if it’s important you can interrupt for a minute”. Green means “I’m working but can be disturbed. See how important guidelines are in assertive communication with other team members? OK, let’s take on another example where you may need to say no.
4. Association Boards. You’ve been actively involved in 7 associations and now to get a life balanced, you’re decided that you are going to step down from some of those positions. Shocked, your comrades come to you and beg and plead for you to just hang on for one more year. Your possible responses:
“I appreciate your thoughts and no. In the best interest of our association, we need to build leaders from our new members. I’ve kept on eye on Stephen all year and I believe he would do well on our board. Thank you for supporting my decision.” Remember…no guilt in your voice! or
“No thank you. I’ve enjoyed serving our members, now it’s time to serve my family”. or
“No. I knew this would be difficult for all of us so I have asked Deborah if she would be open to taking my position and she has said yes”.
5. Holidays. You’re feeling stressed because someone has suggested that dinner be at YOUR place. This is something that you really don’t want. You don’t have the time to clean up, or feed everyone, play hotel, or for whatever reason, it isn’t a fit for you. How do you get out of this assertively without sounding selfish? Suggested responses:
“I appreciate you thinking of me but no that won’t work for me and my family. Let me think about some other creative ideas and get back with you within the week.” or
“No thank you, I’m not prepared to do that this year. Next year I will commit to that.” or
“No, but I WILL take the Easter Holiday. We can all meet at a restaurant for dinner and then go
to my house for the Easter Egg Hunt and dessert.”
6. Parents. I’m part of the sandwich generation. Whenever I say that, those who are NOT members think I’m talking about eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for dinner because I’m so busy. No, it means there are millions of us who take care of our small children but are also responsible either financially or physically for our older, sicker parents. So now our free time is divided into one more slice of life’s pie.
I know many of you are self-employed like myself, or you work out of your homes and there is a mentality by our friends that we “really” must not be working. So we get called in the middle of the day or the middle of the week to stop and do “favors” like grocery shop, drive to doctor appointments, or come to visit. And guilt has worked on us as children so it’s a natural place we go when we say “no.” But you have a right to have a life, a career, a family, so comfortably step up to say “no.” Possible responses:
“No, I can’t come today. But I can come Wednesday or Friday for 2 hours.” or
“No, I’m in the middle of a project. What I can do is help research what services are available to help us get this done.” or
Be proactive and determine what time you can give to your parents. Mine live an hour’s drive away so I plan to do other things in that same town when I go once a week to take care of my Mother. My week is better organized when I write in “family development day” and know each Tuesday I will be using my time effectively.
CSP Sheryl Nicholson http://www.sheryl.com
International Professional Speaker and Nationally Published Author
Presents training programs on People Skills. Topics include Leadership, Communication, Team Building, Sales and Customer Service
Is a Life Balance Keynote Speaker for National Conventions
Half the time, Rick would email me minutes before our scheduled time – or even the day after – to “inform” me that we needed to reschedule.
With “grrrr” running through my mind, I’d remind him of my cancellation policy, but I’d still offer another time.
Finally we (yes, both of us) escalated to the “are-you-out-of-your-freaking-mind?!” level.
I was in the middle of a conference exhibit hall in San Francisco when Rick called. He was in the midst of a huge work crisis, was so sorry to bother me, but pleaded, “This is crucially important and I really need your help to think it through.”
It makes me cringe to say this, but I agreed to walk fifteen minutes back to my hotel room and call him back. (Was I out of my freaking mind?!)
Sometimes the universe (in the form of a client, colleague, boss, friend, partner, or whomever) gives us a whack to help us learn a needed lesson.
When I called, exactly when promised, his wife answered and said, “Rick is reading to the girls and said he’d call you in the morning.”
Was he out of his freaking mind?
That’s not what came out of my mouth.
But I was furious. For five minutes I ranted and raved at the walls of my hotel room.
Then it dawned on me.
Rick hadn’t caused the problem. I had.
My powerful self hadn’t been seen in months. And I hadn’t noticed she was missing.
I’m not the first person who’s shown up powerless, and I won’t be the last. No one does it intentionally, yet it happens.
Here are five key reasons our powerful selves slip out the door. (I’d managed to hit two of the five.)
1. Listening to negative internal chatter.
The monkeys had taken up residence in my head, yammering on about what I should, shouldn’t, couldn’t, and needed to do.
And for a while I believed them.
I needed to prove I was a good coach. I shouldn’t rock the boat and risk losing my first coaching client. I had to create a good experience for him.
In my post-rant clarity, I stopped taking advice from the monkeys. What a relief!
When you act on your own negative thinking, you send a message to the universe, yourself, and everyone in your orbit that you don’t deserve better.
2. Being attached.
Attachment means hanging on to how-to, details, or specific outcomes with a death grip.
I was so attached to my first coaching client having a great experience that I passively tolerated behavior that wasn’t okay.
Attachment sets you up for frustration and misery. You’re not running the universe (darn!), and things don’t always go as you planned or hoped.
It’s human nature to care. And you can still be deeply committed to your goals and intentions. Just hold them lightly, with an open hand, and trust that you’ll be fine whatever happens.
3. Comparing yourself to others.
Well of course he/she can/doesn’t have to… is smarter… not as smart… has more money… has less to lose… has more experience… has less experience… is older… younger… has connections… [fill in your favorite comparison].
Comparisons are useless and keep you stuck. Whoever “they” are, they are not you, and you are not them.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus your energy on being your own most powerful self. You’ll get a better return on your energy investment than you’ll ever get from an inevitably-flawed analysis of how you’re stacking up against anyone else.
4. Asking what everyone else thinks.
It’s smart to consult with people you trust when you’re struggling with a major decision or a thorny challenge. But when seeking votes becomes a way of abdicating responsibility for your choices, you’ve relinquished your power.
Your life is not a democracy. Ultimately you know best what’s right for you. That information lives in your intellect and in your heart. Take a breath and listen.
5. Powerless language.
Banish can’t and have to from your vocabulary. 99% of the time you can and you don’t have to. You are, after all, a grown-up.
Replace can’t and have to with I choose. That’s the language of power.
Next time you’re feeling frustrated, disgruntled, or convinced you can’t create the life you want, it might just be that you’ve unintentionally given away your power.
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Lao-Tzu~
Sherry Essig specializes in helping professionals get unstuck so they can expand their capacity for more… more happiness, success, and peace of mind. Her work is built on an understanding that your professional career and your personal life are two aspects of the whole that is you. She blends over 25 years of business experience, applied metrics, and in-depth coach training with the principles of leadership of self, positive psychology, and yoga. For additional free resources to help you get unstuck visit: http://www.flow-dynamix.com.
Divorced parents face a multitude of drastic life changes when they become single again. In addition to suddenly bearing the responsibility of raising children by themselves, there is also the problem of often having to do so on one income instead of two. If the ex-spouse is failing to provide child support, it can make matters even more dire. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, one study found that the family income of children whose parents divorce and stay divorced for at least six years falls by 40 to 45 percent.
This sort of limited financial flexibility also impacts other aspects of the divorced parent’s life. However, single parents should not let limited incomes prevent them from seeking justice if they or their children sustain catastrophic injuries because of another party’s negligence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there are more than 1.5 million crashes nationwide resulting in injury and around 30,000 fatal crashes every year. An estimated 98,000 people die every year because of preventable medical errors, making it the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Association for Justice.
These numbers demonstrate why motor vehicle accidents and medical malpractice are common reasons people need legal representation. Whether you or your child was involved in a car accident or suffered injuries because of premises liability, it is important to understand that you likely have many options despite being strapped for cash.
First of all, many personal injury lawyers represent clients in car accident, medical malpractice and other injury cases on a contingency basis. This means that if such a lawyer agrees to take your case, he or she collect fees only if they win your case. Furthermore, many of these same attorneys offer free consultations, so you can speak to them about your case at no charge as well.
Unfortunately, while it is certainly beneficial not to have to pay any money up front for legal services, it could also be a considerable length of time before you collect a verdict or settlement. It generally takes a number of months, even years, for your lawyer to file the necessary paperwork and consult relevant experts before settlement mediation begins. If your attorney does not agree to settle, then a trial could drag out the proceedings even longer.
However, the good news is that if your injuries have affected your ability to return to work or you need money sooner for other expenses, you may be able to secure a settlement advance that is later deducted from your judgment. You can find such loan funding information at AnyLawsuits.com, and much like the contingency basis that many personal injury lawyers operate under, you would not be obligated to pay any of the advance back if your case is approved.
A frequent concern of divorced single parents when they are about to receive a verdict or settlement award is whether that it will have to be split with their former spouse. According to the online legal directory Avvo, the good news is that compensation relating to a personal injury is not marital income or a marital asset. Thus, you would not be legally obligated to share the recovery amount with him or her. Additionally, while a lawsuit is a matter of public record, settlements are frequently kept confidential. It would be quite expensive for your ex-spouse to pursue any collection efforts against you.
Melissa earned a master’s degree in counseling and works for a nonprofit that helps the mentally ill. She writes about relationships and family for a number of blogs.
You adored that 52 inch wide-screen LCD TV for six months now. However, you have put off the purchase up until November’s Black Friday Sale, a time when prices go rock bottom. So you held onto that piggy bank, saving every penny that you can spare, so that by the time that the clock strikes twelve, you can dash your way to the store shelves and finally acquire the gadget of your dreams.
Then came reality: you realized that five hundred other people want the same thing, and they came to the store right before you did. To make matters worse, the store only has a hundred units of it in stock. Darn!
Don’t fret. You are not alone. This is something that a lot of Black Friday shoppers have gone through at some point or another. Amidst the frustration, you might want to ask: “So what do I do?”
The answer is very simple: Don’t shop on Black Friday. Shop on Cyber Monday instead. But before you go bonkers over this, let’s first have an understanding of what these two days are.
Black Friday marks the start of the Christmas season, a time when retailers notice a massive rise in sales rates, thereby enabling them to sell their wares at a lower price without suffering financial loss. Slashing margins by giving discounts to customers may hurt the profitability of a particular product, but this loss is countered by the sheer number of units sold in such a short span of time; hence the never-ending sales promos.
Cyber Monday is the Monday immediately following Black Friday, where a similar Black Friday phenomenon happens online. Instead of regular walk-in street shops, internet merchants give out discounts in their online offers.
For a holiday shopper, Cyber Monday trumps Black Friday, and here five excellent reasons why:
1. Cyber Monday’s product offerings are wider in range than Black Friday’s.
When you shop online, you can even find prices that are much better than what the local store offers. Anything – even a manicurist’s service – can be bought in the internet today. Instead of having to choose between two or three brands in the local department store, wouldn’t it be awesome to choose among a longer list of products?
2. Cyber Monday’s product offerings are cheaper.
Since websites require dramatically lighter maintenance on the company’s end, the products are often cheaper than what you would end up with on a regular Black Friday sale. Most websites offer free shipping and handling (or at least, an enormously discounted S&H rate) so you can save more time and money, as you won’t have to pay for gas.
3. Cyber Monday promo items are less likely to run out.
Because you are buying from a central website, their storehouses and supply chains are more efficient than regular stores. This makes them less likely to run out of stuff to sell. Just imagine wasting your time on a beautiful Black Friday morning simply because that particular gem you’ve been lining up for has gotten sold out 2 minutes right after the store opened. These things do happen, just like that event in a New York Wal-Mart store a year ago.
4. Cyber shopping is generally safer than conventional shopping.
You won’t have to worry about potential hair-pulling incidents which happen a lot on Black Fridays. People tend to become grumpier than usual when they’re pressured for time and are tightly packed in a small space – just like what happens to department stores on a Black Friday. By purchasing what you want online, you will not have to worry about these things anymore. Oh! And you won’t have to worry about pickpockets either.
5. Cyber shopping gives you more time to think it over.
Everyone is on a rush on a Black Friday, and that includes the retail store clerks who have to attend to so many customers all at the same time. This makes it difficult for you to get questions sufficiently answered. If you shop online on Cyber Monday instead, you will a better opportunity to research whether the product that you want to buy is something that perfectly fits your needs.
These are just five of the many advantages of shopping on a Cyber Monday instead of a Black Friday.
Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. ~Oren Arnold
Have you noticed that the holidays seem to bring out the best… and worst… in people? It seems every friend, relative and client has a ‘Scrooge’ story to share.
Spouses who don’t want the house decorated or events planned.
Seniors who insist the family dinner has to be their way at their house on their schedule.
Kids who expect more than their parents can provide.
Grief, loneliness, depression and anger that seem to magnify during the holidays.
More social events than one person could ever attend… or reciprocate.
Financial pressures and excessive expectations that add more stress.
Unrealistic desires for the perfect gift (given or received), perfect party, perfect holiday.
Your mind and emotions tilt into overload and the best solution seems to be – hide till it’s over!
If you are one of us, it may seem like everyone wants more than you can possibly deliver, expects more than you can possibly do, and hopes you will be their source of peace, joy and fulfillment. It really is just too much…
So, how do you cope with other people’s tantrums, attitudes and expectations?
Don’t take it to heart. Your heart, your spirit, is the very center of your being. Protect it by giving people the benefit of mercy. There’s truth in the saying, ‘hurting people hurt people’. Don’t absorb their pain or internalize their expectations. Tell yourself, I will not allow another person to steal my peace.
Do stay in love. No matter what you’re dealing with, remember the Biblical promise, Love never fails (I Cor. 13:8). Responding with harsh words or reacting in anger will only escalate the situation. Use the God-kind of love -; always hopeful, not jealous, boastful, proud rude, or irritable (v.4-7) to keep yourself centered. Remind yourself, I am rooted and grounded in love.
Don’t try to fix it. You cannot change another person’s emotional turmoil no matter how much you might want to. But you can create some emotional distance for yourself. Walk away. Focus on a different activity. Adopt a ‘not my responsibility’ attitude.
Do remember to pray. Nothing is more powerful. Claim God’s promise of peace ‘My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you… Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed...]‘ (John 14:27) Pray for peace and harmony for those who irritate and disturb you the most.
Don’t retaliate. Acting out in your own hurt and anger will only make things worse. Practice forgiveness, patience and a great deal of self control. Let go of some of your own expectations where other people are concerned. Ask yourself, “Is being right, or being heard, more important than peace?”
Do be kind to yourself. Get enough sleep. Take breaks throughout the day. Listen to favorite music. Laugh out loud. Dance. Sing. Buy yourself a present! Proverbs 17 reminds us that ‘amerry heart is good medicine’ (v. 22). That’s true for spiritual and emotional health as well as physical well-being. A merry heart can also be contagious; so be a carrier of joy and good will.
No matter what pressures you face this season, remember the real reason we celebrate. Remind yourself that, like Abraham, you have more blessings than the lights on your tree (or the stars in the sky). Rejoice in and be grateful for the true Spirit of Christmas.
For more information on developing life skills, better relationships, and becoming the best YOU possible, visit http://www.seebecksolutions.com and sign up to receive your FREE subscription to “What Matters Most”, a weekly ezine of inspiration, motivation and humor from a Christian perspective.
Ruth Seebeck has built a reputation over the last three decades as a life-skills coach, mentor, Christian counselor and friend. She is a business owner, author, community volunteer and event coordinator whose passion is helping others overcome life’s challenges.
Melanie Brocklehurst, the guest on last week's Self Improvement Show, brought to our attention the plight of little girls in Nepal and Tibet. (If you didn't hear the show, it's worth listening to - click the video above and hear what Melanie has to say.)It is an opportunity for you to help someone … [Read More...]
Frontline Learning is making over 40 online learning courses available to 5000 unemployed individuals. Any currently unemployed person is eligible to receive these programs simply be registering online (see link below).
There is no hook or catch or "fine print" here - these are full featured … [Read More...]
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Thoroughly researched and carefully crafted this is a program that is designed for success in a field that sees far too much failure. How many people struggling with addiction to drugs and alcohol check themselves into rehab over and over and never seem to be free of the need to … [Read More...]
This morning when I started working on this blog, I opened the Dashboard, as usual, to deal with the comments. Often I get great comments about the articles I've posted. Occasionally, I get comments by someone who thought the article was wrong, needed changing, or just didn't measure up. I welcome … [Read More...]
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Have you seen the ads for electronic cigarettes? It's an interesting twist on the ordeal of quitting the smoking habit.
My son decided he wanted to quit and after researching a number of companies settled on a productg by LeCig.
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