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Being OK with Being Alone

In this article we will focus on what we can do when ALONE, what good comes from being ALONE – how we think affects our life

We all will come to a point when we find ourselves ALONE. Some of us reading this have experienced life altering changes that end with us being ALONE.  Others of us have always been more ALONE than with others.  What can we do to understand how being ALONE is not only OK but it’s a good place as we learn about ourselves?

Have you experienced something that changed your life to being more ALONE?  There have been several times in my life that I found myself ALONE.  When my first marriage ended and I became a single mom, those shared custody weekends when my daughter was with her dad, I was ALONE for the first time.  Really ALONE!  With the advice of trusted friends and a mentor I took the time to evaluate my life, my motivations and beliefs.  This was one of the first times I thought about and learned about myself instead of just cruising on auto-pilot.

Are you able to see some benefits of being ALONE?  When I think back to that first time of being ALONE I remember thinking – yahoo, I can eat cereal for supper!  I have complete control of the remote, I can go to bed when I desire and I don’t have to change out of my pajamas today if I don’t want to.  Simple pleasures.  What are some of the benefits you are experiencing or have experienced from being ALONE?

How has being ALONE changed your life?  Are you more independent?  Do you find yourself being more introspective?  Do you have time to be reflective about your life?  If not, I highly recommend you find a mentor, counselor, friend or Life Coach to guide you in this introspection journey.  This is one of the things I love to do with folks as a Life Coach.  You can reach me by simply going to the Speak To Me page

When we find ourselves ALONE we can now – take time for introspection – what is that?  Taking time to reflect on our souls, our thoughts, what we value, our beliefs and our influences.

Our society does not put much stock in taking time to really look at ourselves, to reflect on what our beliefs are for ourselves….NOT just agreeing with others or joining “a group” mentality – but really taking ALONE time to search our heart, soul and mind.  For those who have a  belief in Jesus, we have an added bonus of having the written word of our faith to reflect on, to get to know, to memorize and put in our hearts.  This time of being ALONE lets us put things in perspective, aligning our priorities with our beliefs.

Corrie ten Boom, who lived through the atrocities of WW 11 writes, “I remember moments during WW 11 when suddenly there was an immediate threat to our lives during an air raid or in prison.  At that moment you saw everything from God’s point of view, and it gave you a totally different perspective, because you touched death and therefore eternity.  You saw that small things were small and big things were big.  You would see everything in the right proportions.”

How many of us take the time to look at things and put them in the right perspective or realign our priorities/values?  When we have ALONE time we are gifted with time to do this.

What are some questions you might ask yourself that would help you decide what your priorities, values, or beliefs are?   How about trying a couple of these questions:

What do I believe to be truth?

How does (any of my actions or thoughts) fit into that truth?

What do I feel important things/people/beliefs are?

What do I value?  Do I live what I value?

How much energy and focus do I give things that do NOT fit into my values?

How do I filter my thoughts when I am ALONE ?  Do I go through memories or events or relationships looking for the positive in those OR do I focus on the negative?

When we are ALONE we can take the proper time to reflect on these thoughts…..run them through the filter of our beliefs.  If we are linked in our thoughts to our belief system we have those filters written for us.

As a Christian I have Philippians 4:8 for a filter – Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

 What is your filter?  How do you let thoughts come into your head and make their way to your heart?  This is an important step as you evaluate, discover, realize, question, decide what you believe.  As a general rule – how we ACT comes directly from how we THINK.  When we have the ALONE time to think, question, reflect and prioritize we are able to ACT out of those beliefs.

One of the beautiful thoughts I believe for myself and others – “It’s NOT too late to change”.  If after reflecting a little, you don’t like what you are realizing about yourself, how you are living out or NOT living out your priorities, values and more ….maybe that is a reason you are ALONE – change it!!  How you might ask?  Again, with your mentor, counselor, friend or Life Coach you can see the possibilities and get started on a path of living a more positive, meaningful and productive life.  Feel free to reach out at the Speak To Me  page.

Research tells us that being a positive, optimistic person can influence areas of our life such as:

Overall health and well-being

Mortality and longevity

Infections

Greater achievement and performance

Greater ability to meet goals – and to set goals

Clinical issues like depression and anxiety

Relationship success and satisfaction

Stress and recovery from illness

After you have taken the time to reflect during your ALONE time, do you find yourself on the positive or negative side of things?  Do you have HOPE in the future or do you dread the future?  Are the people around you more positive or lean towards the negative?  How you see things and who you associate with, effects your positive or negative thoughts.  I’m not suggesting that positive thinking helps everything become awesome, however, we know again through research that, optimism and positive thinking can change your life.

If you have the choice – do you enjoy spending time with negative thoughts or positive thoughts?  Why?  Do you think OTHERS want to spend time with negative or positive people?

For a start, look at these tips to become more positive – even an optimist.

  1. Optimistic thinking is NOT the same as being in denial.  Denial says that everything is FINE.  We all know, that is far from the case sometimes.  Optimism embraces reality and says that although things might be really bad today, they will get better eventually and will work out.
  2. Optimism and faith are much related. Faith says that although I might not get, or did not get, the outcome that I desire, God is God, He still loves me and whatever He is doing will be for my good.
  3. When bad things happen check ourselves for our interpretation of the events. Optimists see a bad occurrence or event as not meaning something about THEM ,“I’m a loser.”  Instead positive thinkers see it as a bad outcome that is based on factors besides themselves, like timing, random circumstances….etc. – they do not see it as something to be generalized but something specific – “That meeting didn’t turn out” RATHER than – “ALL meetings I go to will never work out”.  AND they do not see bad outcomes as something that will be the outcome always.
  4. Optimism comes from taking little steps and achieving success in small increments….then you believe for the future. Do NOT say – “I’m going to have the biggest garden this summer.” But rather – “I’m going to enjoy the seeds I’m planting in this container this Summer.” When you set realistic goals, you are doing growth, one little step at a time.
  5. Do not let your past say discouraging things to you. What did you learn and change from that experience.  Many people who are very successful had a LOT of failure first.  Ask for forgiveness if necessary, change the behavior, learn from it and move on.
  6. Optimism or Positive thinking can be learned! To change and become positive surround yourself with positive things, books, your bible, people that believe in you.  You cannot learn positive thinking from pessimists….they only know negative thoughts.  Find people, resources – a place of worship that helps you in your quest to be more positive!  If you need help, please contact me by going to the Speak To Me  page.

Thanks to Women of Faith  for some of the Positive Tips.

Do you think changing is possible?  Have you been around people who are positive?  How did that make you feel?  Did their positivity rub off on you?  What did you think about those people when you left the situation?

Have you been around those who have a negative filter for life?  How did that make you feel?  Did their negativity rub off on your and how you were thinking/acting?  What did you think about that experience when you left those folks?

We/you have the opportunity to change from a negative thinking person – if that is how you look at the world, to a positive – more optimistic person.  The choice is yours.  If you desire a change, or want to discover your values, beliefs and purpose and want help, please contact me by completing the Speak To Me  page.  I would enjoy working with you.  Feel free to leave a comment or your thoughts on this article.  We do reserve the right to edit comments before publishing.

Our next article will be discussing ALONE vs LONELY.  Until then, have a blessed day and take some time to discover a bit about yourself!

 

 

 

 

What?  It’s a new year?  Let’s work together to do something different!

Have you noticed there have been a lot of lists for starting something in the new year?  Lists that tell you…..what to do, when to do it, why you do it……10  steps to a better _____, the first 3 things to do to have a better____, what your spouse needs from you, what you need from your job…..and many more.  Are your inboxes filled, newsfeeds rolling with ideas, tweets, retweets, posts, reposts and on and on.  Have you found yourself asking – But what to work on first?  What area to focus on?  What is going to be the best for you?  Who is going to do it with me?  Should I do it all alone? And then finding yourself yelling, “STOP, I can’t make up my mind, so I’m not going to do any of it!” You are not alone.

What I love about this time of year is the strong intention we all have to make an improvement.  Whether that improvement is in our physical, spiritual, mental, relationships or emotional areas of life, we want to have “it” be better or at least different than it is now.  I’ve heard from some that the options are too many, the work is too hard or the project is JUST TOO BIG.  So, they just won’t do any of it!  Why even try? They tell me, I will be doing the same thing over and over again without getting any different results.  Well, that may be true if we continue to start but not finish, if we don’t have anyone to help us along the way, or if we have started to work on something that really doesn’t fit with our values, life or situation.

If this sounds familiar maybe you need a little guidance.  I would welcome the chance to explore what you want to change, improve or stop doing.  Over this past year I have been privileged to coach people in many different areas of life.  We’ve worked through job changes, job loss and career changes.  I’ve been able to coach couples to learn new communication skills and practices to deepen their relationship.  Several are working through past belief’s that have held them hostage to ways of behavior that are not honoring who they are or who they desire to be.  Others have felt a nudge to do something in their life, but had difficulty clarifying that “something”, together we worked through finding their gifts, values and what they have been called to do.  It’s been an exciting year of growth, discovery, challenges and changes!  Are you ready?  I would be honored to coach you through changes, improvements, challenges and new discoveries, let’s do this together. Let’s make 2015 different!   Please go to the Speak To Me page and we’ll start together.  We can work together in person, by phone, through SKYPE, individually, as a couple or even as a group.  The first step is to reach out!

Blessings to you on this new year!

Enough, ENOUGH, ahhh, enough! Part 1 of 3

“Enough”, that is the word we are going to look at in this series.   This will be a 3 part series on “Enough”.

First, the past, what I did, what others did/didn’t do is “enough”.  We can’t change the past but we can learn from it, we can forgive others and ourselves and even be thankful for the past.

Second, “ENOUGH”, where are you desiring to take action to make a change, to set a boundary, to stop blaming and/or making excuses?

Third, “Enough” – we have enough, we are enough, looking forward to sharing out of my enough abundance.

Part 1 – “Enough” – The past.

Do you ever find yourself playing old tapes or movies over and over in your head?  Are they helping you become who you desire to be?  Are you holding on to things from your past that are tripping you up today?  Have you forgiven others and yourself for the past?  What can we learn from our past to help us in our present and future?  Have you acknowledged even said Thank You, to those in your past?

Most of us have tapes or movies from our past that play in our heads from time to time.  These tapes may be keeping us in a past where we feel guilt, hurt, anger, shame or fear.   How is that shaping our present?  Will we allow those movies to shape our future?  What would happen if we hit the pause button on the movie, re-examined our past and learned to look at our past in a way that says “enough”?

What we knew then and how we reacted to our situation at that time was “enough”.  We didn’t know then what we know now. The people in our lives that may have hurt us acted out of what they knew at the time. What we know to be true now can be used to look back, to help us put the tapes into a new perspective, to help us forgive ourselves and others.  Rewinding can help us learn from our experiences and to grow from those situations.   Will Rogers, actor, from the early 1930’s said, “The worst thing that happens to you may be the best thing for you if you don’t let it get the best of you.”  Here is another way to say it, It takes a lot of strength and courage to put the past behind you and stand up and say: ” I will not let it define me.” To push forward and create the life that you truly deserve and not focus on bad things that life handed you in the past. — Unknown- Positive Outlook Blog

Are you ready to rewind, and re-examine?  Do you desire to learn, forgive, release, and thank others and yourself? It has worked for me and for others I’ve had the privilege to coach.  If this is something you have felt drawn to change, let’s see what we can do together! Please go to the Speak To Me page and complete the simple form.

If it helps you, here is an example from my past.  One of the tapes I have rewound was from my Gramma.  I was able to spend a lot of time with my grandparents as I was growing up, a lot of the great things I know to be true came from conversations with my grandparents, but some of what I THOUGHT was true also came from my grandparents.  One of my Gramma’s gifts was hospitality.  She cooked, bake, decorated and welcomed guests and family into their home.  Gramma, however, had a strange custom to never sit with us at the meal, but would serve us.  She may have sat down for a minute or two but there was always a dish to fill or new item to bring to the table.  If we did not empty a dish, say the meatballs, she would say, ‘there are meatballs left, don’t you love me?’ which would then have me grab and eat the last of the meatballs or whatever item was left.  Not surprisingly, hearing these comments and others like it, I developed into a chubby obedient girl.  Several years into this routine, as I continued to grow chubbier, Gramma would say, “When you get down to a size __, then I’ll buy you some new clothes.”  Hmmm, how do you please, win, or really process those statements together?  Eat to show love, but when you are chubby, you are not worthy, I won’t buy you clothes until you are thinner…..Hmmmm.

We have different tapes or movies, but….what can we learn from them to move to “enough”?  I realized that Gramma wanted her love tank filled by people accepting and eating up her hospitality – it’s what she knew, her “enough”.  The sideways comments to get me to be healthy was not only confusing but set me up for some long years of image issues and weight problems!!   I acted out of what I desired at the time – wanted to feel love from Gramma and others, be accepted, and feel worthy.  I was able to rewind the tape, realize the shame I took on, and how that affected my behaviors through the years.  With processing, learning and some guidance from a counselor/coach, I was able to thank my Gramma for teaching me awesome hospitality gifts.  I learned that one of the ways I receive love is serving others.  I also learned to NOT be filled by what people DO with my gifts – just by the practice of DOING hospitality, serving others, making them feel welcome, fills my love tank!  That is “enough”! The biggest learning, however, I AM worthy, loveable and able to share out of my love.  I am “enough”.

What tapes or movies play for you and how can we turn those around to realizing what you did, what they did was what they knew, accept it for what it is…..thank them for what you learned and move on?!  If you need some guidance in this area, I would love the opportunity to work with you.  Face to face is preferred for coaching and that is possible in person and/or on SKYPE!  Please go to the Speak To Me page, compete the form and let’s chat about how we can work together!

I collected a few quotes that gave me a fresh perspective on “enough”, learning from the past, forgiving and moving forward to a full life of “enough”.  Collecting quotes is one of my hobbies!  Enjoy and be encouraged!

For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give. – Eleanor Roosevelt

When we do the best that we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. – Helen Keller

When you forgive, you in no way change the past – but you sure do change the future. – Bernard Meltzer

People can be more forgiving than you can imagine. But you have to forgive yourself. Let go of what’s bitter and move on. – Bill Cosby

You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.’ – Maya Angelou

When I am able to resist the temptation to judge others, I can see them as teachers of forgiveness in my life, reminding me that I can only have peace of mind when I forgive rather than judge. – Gerald Jampolsky

I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve made mistakes, but thanks to those mistakes, I’ve learned. – Enrique Iglesias

Thank you for reading, hope to hear from you either in comments or through the Speak To Me page!  Parts 2 & 3 are to come.

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