Addicted to Our Thoughts…

It has been awhile since I blogged…. I didn’t know what to write.  I didn’t know if anyone actually cared. Believe it or not it was part of my addiction.  Obsessed with “my image” and what people would think.

See, addiction isn’t just about drugs or alcohol.  It is about anything which consumes us – food, people, shopping, sex, love, thoughts and so much more.  I needed to take a break.  I needed to STOP and think about what was important to me.  I needed to decide what I really wanted to do with my life on disability.  Tough decisions but things I had to think about.  Do I have all of the answers?  NOPE!

We are addicted to our thoughts.  We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking.

WOW!  I don’t know about you but this quote scares the hell out of me!  Changing my thinking has been the toughest thing at age 62 with 20 months in recovery.  It is a daily process which has affected all areas of my life.  My addition shows up in some of the strangest places….Here are just a few, any of these sound like you?

1.  Comparing ourselves to everyone else, and then competing with them.

It is this kind of thinking which  started my troubles during my relapse.  The grass was always greener on the other side.  I wanted to have what I thought others had.  It is a struggle for me to remember I  don’t have to always be and do what everyone else is being and doing.  I remember my mom saying “if they jumped off a bridge, would you?”  I know that is an extreme but it is the wanting to be liked and to be like everyone else which contributed to my crazy way of thinking.

Now, I try to not compete with others.  I try to compete to be a better version of me. For some, this sounds lame.  Through recovery I am learning to not compare my outside to their picture “perfect” life because you never know what they have been going through.  I mean who doesn’t want to look good on social media or when gathering with friends? I know I am not the only one who struggles with this, right?

2.  Secretly wishing for everyone’s stamp of approval.

This is one of the hardest things as a people pleaser I deal with.  The truth is “we don’t need anyone’s affection or approval in order to be good enough in your own eyes.”  I know, easier said than done sometimes, right?  When someone rejects or abandons or judges you, 99% of the time it isn’t actually about us  WHAT??? You mean I am not the root of all things?  Self-centeredness is for another day.  It’s about them and their own insecurities, limitations, and needs.  “Your worth isn’t contingent upon other people’s acceptance of you – it’s something inherent.   You’re allowed to think things and feel things.  You’re allowed to assert your needs and take up space.  You’re allowed to hold on to the truth who you are is worthy.  And you’re allowed to remove anyone from your life who insists on making you feel otherwise.”  These are the things I am working on every day.

3.  Being more loving to others than we are to ourselves.

Here comes the people pleaser in me.  I want everyone to be happy, so I will make myself miserable to see it happen.  I have been told I am self-centered because of my addiction.  Truth be told “I don’t always get it”.  The result of those words though has created the struggle of being able to love myself without thinking I am self-centered.  If this is you, you are not alone.  “There’s absolutely nothing selfish about self-care.  If you don’t take good care of yourself then you can’t take good care of anyone else.  Because we can’t give what we don’t have.  Treat yourself right and you’ll be life-giving to others.”  This is one of my BIGGEST struggles.

4.  Dreaming of what could have been, or should have been.

Letting go of the shoulda, coulda, woulda is tough for me.  The inner gremlins have a field day on bad days.  Letting go and turning things over is a daily (sometimes hourly process).  I have learned (most days) before you can truly LIVE today, a part of you has to die first.  I have to let go and bury the what could have been if I never relapsed.  I (neither can you) can’t change the past, or the outcomes from our choices.  The best thing we can go is: Let go.  Forgive.  Be present and free.  Just for Today.

Are you struggling with any of these things?   You are not alone!  Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, and leave a life free of addiction (all types).  The bottom line is it’s never too late to take a step in the right direction.  It’s never too late to break free and become the person you are capable of being.  Addictions of all kinds CAN be beaten!

I’m not sure if anyone needed this but it was on my heart this morning…

Have a blessed day!

Thankful Thursday: Expectations

Expectations is defined in the dictionary as “a belief someone will or should achieve something“.  I actually like the NA definition better “Expectations are premeditated resentments”.

Do you have expectations of yourself or others?  I will admit, I have lots of them.  I am working on getting rid of them because they really are the stepping stone for resentment and anger.  So, why then would I be grateful for expectations, right?  Because having them allows me to learn and grow…

imagesLet’s start with the expectations we have for ourselves.  If you are like me, they are pretty high and as a result, I seldom reach the level of perfection I expect of myself.  I know, no one is perfect BUT don’t we set those milestones for ourselves.  Thinking we can handle everything, juggling all the balls in the air – motherhood, work, life, and whatever else comes our way.  The word “NO” seldom escapes from our lips because we “expect” we will be able to everything.  Self expectations allow my inner gremlins to have a field day in my head. Expectations  of others  leaves  me  feeling  frustrated,  angry  and disappointed.  Whether it is business or in love, setting expectations whether they be realistic or not is a setup for disaster.  If  the  words  would  of,  could  of  or  should  of  are  part  of  sentence,  I know I am  in  trouble.

Whether you grew up in a house with demanding parents or would strive every day to meet someone else’s expectations,  somewhere along the way, you lost what it was like to be kind to yourself.  You became a slave to expectations and now it is time to change and be kind to YOU!

#1: Change How You Treat Yourself

I know it is easier said then done.  I’ve been there and on some days am still there.  Can’t imagine being nice to yourself – why not begin by expressing kindness to someone or something you love such as a pet (or a someone special).  Easy right?  Don’t you deserve the same treatment? Try this mantra:

May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be held in loving-kindness. May I realize loving-kindness as my essence.

OR write one of your own.  Then practice saying it.  Start by repeating it for thirty seconds. Embrace the feelings the words invoke.  The longer you can embrace these feelings, the quicker you’ll reap the benefits.  Start and end your day with these to see what a difference in makes in your life.

#2: What You Say Limits You

Maybe on the surface, you are being nicer to yourself, but deep down the inner gremlin is judging you.   It’s true – we judge, and we label, sometimes without even realizing it. What we do to other people is the same thing we do to ourselves.

So every time you have a negative label for someone, come up with at least six different reasons that would stop the label.  It isn’t easy.  The truth is if you can be less judgmental toward other people, you can do the same for yourself.

#3: What You Say Can Belittle You

When was the last time you said “How can I be so stupid? ” or, “OMG what a screw-up! Could I not make a bigger mess of things? ” or, “Why do I do this to myself? I’m such an idiot!”  This is all about not meeting your own personal expectations and how you react.

Despite my best efforts, my inner gremlins love beating me up for every mistake, failure, or setback, real or imagined. Then a little angel voice screams, “Not being very kind to yourself, are you?”

SMACK!  The reality hits nothing is a total failure. There is always something to be positive about.  Find it in whatever the situation is.  Replace those harsh words with positive thoughts.  By doing so,  you will change those demanding expectations.

These small changes are so powerful.  They help you stop being a victim of your own expectations and allow you to  treat yourself kinder.  You realize judging other people is so closely aligned with the labels and limitations we put on ourselves.  Seeing the positives in what may appear as a failure will allow you to cut yourself some slack.

Change is hard!  Changing behaviors are challenging.  The truth is,  if I can do this, you certainly can!

It all begins with a practice taking less than a minute, six times a day showering yourself with loving-kindness.

It’s easy to start. It’s easy to do. Just repeat after me:

“May I be filled with loving-kindness. May I be held in loving-kindness. May I realize loving-kindness as my essence.”

Have a blessed day!

Consistency is the Key to Success

The most often question I hear from members of my team revolves around maintaining and growing their business.  What do you do when you have exhausted your family and friends?  Where do you turn, how do keep your business?

Your business is fun and flexible but the work is NOT optional.  A reminder I keep on my wall from Carrie Wilkerson.  The key for me has been consistency.  Did it happen over night? NO!  But after consistently working my business intentionally a little bit every day, I see the results.  Let’s be honest, I wouldn’t still be doing direct sales for the last 7 years with the same company if I wasn’t making money, right?  Gotta pay the bills!

Here are 5 things you can do to be more consistent in your business and help you to  reach your goals.

1. Break your goals down into activities.

I can’t always see the BIG picture but I can focus on the baby steps.  I know, crazy, right?  Your daily activities are like gasoline for your car which gets you to your destination.  If you have a goal to reach $1000 in income every month, you need to figure out how many new contacts it will take each month, how many parties you need to hold, how many team members you need to recruit and what your team sales need to be. Then you can break it down to the activities you need to do on a regular basis to find those new customers, book those parties, recruit those team members and then help them build their business.  I know it sounds overwhelming BUT it is possible!  WRITE down your goal.  Now make a list of all of the things you could do (if FEAR was not a factor) to make it happen.  Those activities could include marketing, lead generation, events, follow ups, opportunity Facebook Live, or 1 on 1 team coaching.  You will be surprised what happens if you step out of your comfort zone just a little bit to complete some of these activities.

2. Focus on creating new habits.

I am all about lists.  I like to see things highlighted in my planner which means they are done or crossed off my list.  I even have a daily habits schedule because on those “rough days”, I could forget even the things I have done every day for months.  So let’s get busy.  It’s actually much easier to create new habits than to break old ones.  When we re-train our brain, it will become easier to complete the new tasks, routines and goals we have. What would an ideal day look like in your life and in your business?  What are you waiting for?   Begin working NOW to follow the new routine each day. Choose 1 area to focus on changing to allow your brain to adjust to the new way of thinking and being.  Remember the tortoise and the hare?  Slow and steady wins the race.

3. Evaluate your activities each day, week and month.

Do you review your activities?  Do you actually write down your successes, challenges and big ideas for the month?  The only real way to make sure you are making progress and staying on course is by evaluating what you do on a regular basis.  Create a daily or weekly task list.  Create theme days you use to keep yourself on track – Motivation Monday, Team Tuesday, etc. Then look at it at least once a week to see what is going well, what isn’t going so well and where you need to improve or adjust.  I review my week on either Saturday morning or Sunday evenings as I prep for the upcoming week.  A weekly check allows me to tweak my focus so I can reach my goals faster.

4. Seek Accountability.

I don’t know about you but I need to be accountable to someone.  Change can be tough but when I add in an accountability measure, it gives me an incentive, and encouragement to do the work.   Some share their goals with their family to get them on board. Some find a buddy in or out of their direct sales company to connect with on a regular basis. What works best for you?  Create a vision board to help you keep focused.  This can be done with magazine cut-outs or hand drawn.  I am part of an incredible Facebook Group called League of Audacious Women run by the AMAZING Desiree Wolfe which helps me stay accountable on a daily basis. Join a monthly group coaching or training program which provides support and accountability. Be willing to hold yourself responsible and learn from others who are further along the path than you are.

5. Celebrate your progress.

Do you wait to celebrate until you reach the final goal OR do you celebrate your accomplishments along the way?  The success is in the journey and not always the destination.  Your goal is a target for you to focus on to keep you moving forward BUT life happens. We get derailed or make mistakes.  Sometimes it takes us longer to reach our goal than we hoped for or maybe we never reach it BUT we need to continue to celebrate our progress.  Practice self-love and be our own biggest cheerleaders. Focus on progress not perfection.

Who is ready to get consistent?  What small step will you make to change the direction of your business and your life?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!

Share the Love

What does Valentine’s Day mean to you? Flowers? Chocolate? A special dinner out? OR are you one of thousands who are single, thinking this is just a stupid celebration?UR Loved card

Whether you are in a relationship or not, today is all about LOVE…. in a relationship – GREAT!  Not in one, how about loving on yourself today.  

I am happily married BUT for many years, this day invited Negative Nelly to visit and often camp out for days.  I didn’t love myself, in fact on most days I didn’t even like me.  Years have passed, and I have learned to accept me for me.  Sure, there are days when I beat myself up but then I bless and release.

I celebrate the gift of love in my life…

The people who are there for me when the going gets tough.  The people who help me celebrate the milestones in my life – large and small.  The people who accept me for me. The ones who inspire and encourage me.  Some I see or talk to every day while others are part of my journey this season.  And even some are now gone, their season has passed.  Through it all, they loved me and I loved them for who we are and the difference we made in each other’s lives.

To day is the day I honor LOVE. Remember LOVE is an intense feeling with deep affection and we are meant to share it with others – family, friends or just a random act of kindness to a stranger.  I challenge you to put a smile on someone’s face to day.

In a random act of kindness, I am looking to share the love with some children who have been the silent victims of domestic violence…

Will you be a sponsor and help us to make a difference in the lives of a few children?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Throwback: Loving Yourself When Your Too….

This post first appeared on June 30th, 2016…Woman-at-beach

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Last week, I had an AHA moment.  A moment when the brain fog lifted and I realized I had to stop making excuses for why a few (okay, 20) pounds were back.  Yes, I could blame health issues.  The truth was I was slowly slipping back into old habits I had BEFORE I lost 100 pounds.

B4 picture with Belinda

Yup, me and my cutie of a daughter (she hates this picture). It is REALLY old but the truth is there aren’t many pictures of me when I was heavy.

Back to the AHA moment….I needed to take control of what I could control – my eating. I was repeatedly complaining about “gaining” or not losing weight as hubby’s weight kept going down.  The truth was, he was eating healthier and I was secretly eating junk! Okay, so the truth is out, now I have to be accountable.

I wanted the capris which fit so good over the last 2 summers to again fit.  I wanted the jiggle in my thighs to be gone.  I wanted the puffiness in my face to be gone.  There was no magic wand but there was the proverbial SMACK on the head which made me realize what I needed to do.  It was at the moment I opened my email to find an online special from Weight Watchers.  I didn’t delete it, I just let it sit in my inbox.  After a lot of prayer and thought, I did it!  I signed up again.

It was time for me to stop beating myself up and take some of my own advice…

1. Stop comparing.

Hubby loves me not matter what – I mean when we got together, I was on the weightless journey.  Over the last two years as I struggled with health issues, I was constantly comparing myself to others. I felt inferior because I hadn’t stuck to the program.

Once you stop comparing, you realize you will always be too fat, too skinny, too tall, too this when you compare yourself to others.  The comparison game will kill your dreams before you even start. Know you are exactly what you’re supposed to be—one of a kind and beautiful.

2. Change the way you see.

Have you had experiences where people you told you how pretty (or nice you look) BUT you thought you were unattractive? I have.  Where you say “thank you” and add “but I have….” negating their compliment.

Dr. Wayne Dyer often said, “When you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” I know this is true because I often experience it in my life.

Focus on what is wonderful about you, whether it’s your kindness, generosity, or thoughtfulness.  When you focus on the internal features, the external features seem to start to sparkle with radiance.  It’s not that you changed—your perception did.

3. Change your thoughts.

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How many times have you looked at a picture or a video of yourself and a barrage of negative self-talk dominated your thoughts? Those inner gremlins start to take over and before long they are in control.

How sad it would be if we allowed those negative voices to stop us from offering what we have to give: our knowledge, ideas, voice, gifts, our love, and more? We would be withholding these things from people who might need and benefit from them.

My Fierce Cheerleader and Abundance Coach, Eryka Peskin, has taught me how to celebrate those negative things so they no longer have control over my life.  Try it.  Step back and reframe those negatives into a positive.

You have so much to give (even if you feel like you don’t): your unique gifts, your experience, courage, ingenuity, creativity, and so much more. Don’t let the negative voices stop you from sharing what you have. The world (your neighbors, your friends, your grandma, or whatever your world may be) needs it.

The truth is, there will always be someone or some people who will find you undesirable or unlovable, but the world is also full of people who will feel the opposite.

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Ultimately, the deeper truth you have to find within yourself is this: If no one loves me, will I love myself?  YES, I will love myself.

In the moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror, I make a choice. I make a choice to give myself total acceptance and love for all that I am: the good, the ugly, and the bad.

Will you make the choice to love yourself when you’re too short, too tall, too fat, and too skinny?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!