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Saturday, October 15, 2016


Sometimes I stumble across an article in which I find life-altering advice or direction and I just have to share it.  This article by Steve Pavlina is just that.  It has given me the courage I needed to change for the better, to actually live my life and to live it for me, and I hope it will be a stepping-off point for you as well.

The Courage to Live Consciously

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.

– Helen Keller
In our day-to-day lives, the virtue of courage doesn’t receive much attention. Courage is a quality reserved for soldiers, firefighters, and activists. Security is what matters most today. Perhaps you were taught to avoid being too bold or too brave. It’s too dangerous. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Don’t draw attention to yourself in public. Follow family traditions. Don’t talk to strangers. Keep an eye out for suspicious people. Stay safe.
But a side effect of overemphasizing the importance of personal security in your life is that it can cause you to live reactively. Instead of setting your own goals, making plans to achieve them, and going after them with gusto, you play it safe. Keep working at the stable job, even though it doesn’t fulfill you. Remain in the unsatisfying relationship, even though you feel dead inside compared to the passion you once had. Who are you to think that you can buck the system? Accept your lot in life, and make the best of it. Go with the flow, and don’t rock the boat. Your only hope is that the currents of life will pull you in a favorable direction.
No doubt there exist real dangers in life you must avoid. But there’s a huge gulf between recklessness and courage. I’m not referring to the heroic courage required to risk your life to save someone from a burning building. By courage I mean the ability to face down those imaginary fears and reclaim the far more powerful life that you’ve denied yourself. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of going broke. Fear of being alone. Fear of humiliation. Fear of public speaking. Fear of being ostracized by family and friends. Fear of physical discomfort. Fear of regret. Fear of success.
How many of these fears are holding you back? How would you live if you had no fear at all? You’d still have your intelligence and common sense to safely navigate around any real dangers, but without feeling the emotion of fear, would you be more willing to take risks, especially when the worst case wouldn’t actually hurt you at all? Would you speak up more often, talk to more strangers, ask for more sales, dive headlong into those ambitious projects you’ve been dreaming about? What if you even learned to enjoy the things you currently fear? What kind of difference would that make in your life?
Have you previously convinced yourself that you aren’t really afraid of anything… that there are always good and logical reasons why you don’t do certain things? It would be rude to introduce yourself to a stranger. You shouldn’t attempt public speaking because you don’t have anything to say. Asking for a raise would be improper because you’re supposed to wait until the next formal review. They’re just rationalizations though – think about how your life would change if you could confidently and courageously do these things with no fear at all.

What Is Courage?

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
– Ambrose Redmoon
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
– Mark Twain
Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.
– John Wayne
I like the definitions of courage above, which all suggest that courage is the ability to get yourself to take action in spite of fear. The word courage derives from the Latin cor, which means “heart.” But true courage is more a matter of intellect than of feeling. It requires using the uniquely human part of your brain (the neocortex) to wrest control away from the emotional limbic brain you share in common with other mammals. Your limbic brain signals danger, but your neocortex reasons that the danger isn’t real, so you simply feel the fear and take action anyway. The more you learn to act in spite of fear, the more human you become. The more you follow the fear, the more you live like a lower mammal. So the question, “Are you a man or a mouse?” is consistent with human neurology.
Courageous people are still afraid, but they don’t let the fear paralyze them. People who lack courage will give into fear more often than not, which actually has the long-term effect of strengthening the fear. When you avoid facing a fear and then feel relieved that you escaped it, this acts as a psychological reward that reinforces the mouse-like avoidance behavior, making you even more likely to avoid facing the fear in the future. So the more you avoid asking someone out on a date, the more paralyzed you’ll feel about taking such actions in the future. You are literally conditioning yourself to become more timid and mouse-like.
Such avoidance behavior causes stagnation in the long run. As you get older, you reinforce your fear reactions to the point where it’s hard to even imagine yourself standing up to your fears. You begin taking your fears for granted; they become real to you. You cocoon yourself into a life that insulates you from all these fears: a stable but unhappy marriage, a job that doesn’t require you to take risks, an income that keeps you comfortable. Then you rationalize your behavior: You have a family to support and can’t take risks, you’re too old to shift careers, you can’t lose weight because you have “fat” genes. Five years… ten years… twenty years pass, and you realize that your life hasn’t changed all that much. You’ve settled down. All that’s really left now is to live out the remainder of your years as contently as possible and then settle yourself into the ground, where you’ll finally achieve total safety and security.
But there’s something else going on behind the scenes, isn’t there? That tiny voice in the back of your mind recalls that this isn’t the kind of life you wanted to live. It wants more, much more. It wants you to become far wealthier, to have an outstanding relationship, to get your body in peak physical condition, to learn new skills, to travel the world, to have lots of wonderful friends, to help people in need, to make a meaningful difference. That voice tells you that settling into a job where you sell widgets the rest of your life just won’t cut it. That voice frowns at you when you catch a glance of your oversized belly in the mirror or get winded going up a flight of stairs. It beams disappointment when it sees what’s become of your family. It tells you that the reason you have trouble motivating yourself is that you aren’t doing what you really ought to be doing with your life… because you’re afraid. And if you refuse to listen, it will always be there, nagging you about your mediocre results until you die, full of regrets for what might have been.
So how do you respond to this ornery voice that won’t shut up? What do you do when confronted by that gut feeling that something just isn’t right in your life? What’s your favorite way to silence it? Maybe drown it out by watching TV, listening to the radio, working long hours at an unfulfilling job, or consuming alcohol and caffeine and sugar.
But whenever you do this, you lower your level of consciousness. You sink closer towards an instinctive animal and move away from becoming a fully conscious human being. You react to life instead of proactively going after your goals. You fall into a state of learned helplessness, where you begin to believe that your goals are no longer possible or practical for you. You become more and more like a mouse, even trying to convince yourself that life as a mouse might not be so bad after all, since everyone around you seems to be OK with it. You surround yourself with your fellow mice, and on the rare occasions that you encounter a fully conscious human being, it scares the hell out of you to remember how much of your own courage has been lost.

Raise Your Consciousness

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.
– Anais Nin
Courage is the price that Life exacts for granting peace.
– Amelia Earhart
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, “I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
The way out of this vicious cycle is to summon your courage and confront that inner voice. Find a place where you can be alone with pen and paper (or computer and keyboard). Listen to that voice, and face up to what it’s telling you, no matter how difficult it is to hear. (The voice is just an abstraction – you may not hear words at all; instead you may see what you should be doing or simply feel it emotionally. But I’ll continue to refer to thevoice for the sake of example.) This voice may tell you that your marriage has been dead for ten years, and you’re refusing to face it because you’re afraid of divorce. It may tell you that you’re afraid that if you start your own business, you’ll probably fail, and that’s why you’re staying at a job that doesn’t challenge you to grow. It may tell you that you’ve given up trying to lose weight because you’ve failed at it so many times, and you’re addicted to food. It may tell you that the friends you’re hanging out with now are incongruent with the person you want to be, and that you need to leave that reference group behind and build a new one. It may tell you that you always wanted to be an actor or writer, but you settled for a sales job because it seemed more safe and secure. It may tell you that you always wanted to help people in need, but you aren’t doing so in the way you should. It may tell you that you’re wasting your talents.
See if you can reduce that voice to just a single word or two. What is it telling you to do? Leave. Quit. Speak. Write. Dance. Act. Exercise. Sell. Switch. Move on. Let go. Ask. Learn. Forgive. Whatever you get from this, write it down. Perhaps you even have different words for each area of your life.
Now you have to take the difficult step of consciously acknowledging that this is what you really want. It’s OK if you don’t think it’s possible for you. It’s OK if you don’t see how you could ever have it. But don’t deny that you want it. You lower your consciousness when you do that. When you look at your overweight body, admit that you really want to be fit and healthy. When you light up that next cigarette, don’t deny that you want to be a nonsmoker. When you meet the potential mate of your dreams, don’t deny that you’d love to be in a relationship with that person. When you meet a person who seems to be at total peace with herself, don’t deny that you crave that level of inner peace too. Get yourself out of denial. Move instead to a place where you admit, “I really do want this, but I just don’t feel I currently have the ability to get it.” It’s perfectly OK to want something that you don’t think you can have. And you’re almost certainly wrong in concluding that you can’t have it. But first, stop lying to yourself and pretending you don’t really want it.

Move From Fear to Action, Even if You Expect to Fail

When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Most of our obstacles would melt away if, instead of cowering before them, we should make up our minds to walk boldly through them.
– Orison Swett Marden
Courage and perseverance have a magical talisman, before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish into air.
– John Quincy Adams
Now that you’ve acknowledged some things you’ve been afraid to face, how do you feel? You probably still feel paralyzed against taking action. That’s okay. While diving right in and confronting a fear head-on can be very effective, that may require more courage than you feel you can summon right now.
The most important point I want you to learn from this article is that real courage is a mental skill, not an emotional one. Neurologically it means using the thinking neocortex part of your brain to override the emotional limbic impulses. In other words, you use your human intelligence, logic, and independent will to overcome the limitations you’ve inherited as an emotional mammal.
Now this may make logical sense, but it’s far easier said than done. You may logically know you’re in no real danger if you get up on a stage and speak in front of 1000 people, but your fear kicks in anyway, and the imaginary threat prevents you from volunteering for anything like this. Or you may know you’re in a dead end job, but you can’t seem to bring yourself to say the words, “I quit.”
Courage, however, doesn’t require that you take drastic action in these situations. Courage is a learned mental skill that you must condition, just as weight training strengthens your muscles. You wouldn’t go into a gym for the first time and try to lift 300 pounds, so don’t think that to be courageous you must tackle your most paralyzing fear right away.
There are two methods I will suggest for building courage. The first approach is analogous to progressive weight training. Start with weights you can lift but which are challenging for you, and then progressively train up to heavier and heavier weights as you grow stronger. So tackle your smallest fears first, and progressively train up to bigger and bigger fears. Training yourself to lift 300 pounds isn’t so hard if you’ve already lifted 290. Similarly, speaking in front of an audience of 1000 people isn’t so tough once you’ve already spoken to 900.
So grab a piece of paper, and write down one of your fears that you’d like to overcome. Then number from one to ten, and write out ten variations of this fear, with number one being the least anxiety-producing and number ten being the most anxiety-producing. This is your fear hierarchy. For example, if you’re afraid of asking someone out on a date, then number one on your list might be going out to a public place and smiling at someone you find attractive (very mild fear). Number two might be smiling at ten attractive strangers in a single day. Number ten might be asking out your ideal date in front of all your mutual friends, when you’re almost certain you’ll be turned down flat and everyone in the room will laugh (extreme fear). Now start by setting a goal to complete number one on your list. Once you’ve had that success (and success in this case simply means taking action, regardless of the outcome), then move on to number two, and so on, until you’re ready to tackle number ten or you just don’t feel the fear is limiting you anymore. You may need to adjust the items on your list to make them practical for you to actually experience. And if you ever feel the next step is too big, then break it down into additional gradients. If you can lift 290 pounds but not 300, then try 295 or even 291. Take this process as gradually as you need to, such that the next step is a mild challenge for you but one you feel fairly confident you can complete. And feel free to repeat a past step multiple times if you find it helpful to prepare you for the next step. Pace yourself.
By following this progressive training process, you’ll accomplish two things. You’ll cease reinforcing the fear/avoidance response that you exhibited in the past. And you’ll condition yourself to act more courageously in future situations. So your feelings of fear will diminish at the same time that your expression of courage grows. Neurologically you’ll be weakening the limbic control over your actions while strengthening the neocortical control, gradually moving from unconscious mouse-like to conscious human-like behavior.
The second approach to building courage is to acquire additional knowledge and skill within the domain of your fear. Confronting fears head-on can be helpful, but if your fear is largely due to ignorance and lack of skill, then you can usually reduce or eliminate the fear with information and training. For example, if you’re afraid to quit your job and start your own business, even though you’d absolutely love to be in business for yourself, then start reading books and taking classes on how to start your own business. Spend an afternoon at your local library researching the subject, or do the research online. Join the local Chamber of Commerce and any relevant trade organizations in your field. Attend conferences. Build connections. Enlist the help of a mentor. Build your skill to the point where you start to feel confident that you could actually succeed, and this knowledge will help you act more boldly and courageously when you’re ready. This method is especially effective when a large part of your fear is due to the unknown. Often just reading a book or two on the subject will be enough to dispel the fear so that you’re able to take action.
These two methods are my personal favorites, but there are many additional ways to condition yourself to overcome fear, including neuro-linguistic programming, implosion therapy, systematic desensitization, and self-confrontation. You can research them via an online search engine if you wish to learn such methods and increase the number of fear-busting tools in your arsenal. Most of these can be easily self-administered (implosion therapy is the notable exception).
The exact process you use to build courage isn’t important. What’s important is that you consciously do it. Just as your muscles will atrophy if you don’t regularly stress them, your courage will atrophy if you don’t consistently challenge yourself to face down your fears. In the absence of this kind of conscious conditioning, you’ll automatically become weak in both body and mind. If you aren’t regularly exercising your courage, then you are strengthening your fear by default; there is no middle ground. Just as your muscles automatically atrophy from lack of use, so your courage will automatically decay in the absence of conscious conditioning.
Now this may sound overly gloomy, so here’s a positive way to look at it. Heavy weights can be a physical burden, but they are helpful tools to build strong muscles. You would not look at a 45-pound dumbbell and say, “Why must you be so heavy?” It is what it is. Heaviness is your thought, not an intrinsic property of the dumbbell itself. Similarly, do not look at the things you fear and say, “Why must you be so scary?” Fear is your reaction, not a property of the object of your anxiety.
Fear is not your enemy. It is a compass pointing you to the areas where you need to grow. So when you encounter a new fear within yourself, celebrate it as an opportunity for growth, just as you would celebrate reaching a new personal best with strength training.

Catch a Glimpse of Your Own Greatness

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow the talent to the dark place where it leads.
– Erica Jong
The highest courage is to dare to appear to be what one is.
– John Lancaster Spalding
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
So what do you do with your newly developed courage? Where will it lead you? The answer is that it will permit you to lead a far more fulfilling and meaningful life. You will truly begin living as a daring human being instead of a timid mouse. You will uncover and develop your greatest talents. You will begin living far more consciously and deliberately than you ever have before. Instead of reacting to events, you will proactively manufacture your own events.
Courage is something you can only truly experience alone. It is a private victory, not a public one. Summoning the courage to listen to your innermost desires is not a group activity and does not result from building a consensus with others. Kahlil Gibran writes in The Prophet, “The vision of one man lends not its wings to another man.” The purpose of your existence is yours alone to discover. No one on earth has lived through the exact same experiences you have, and no one thinks the exact same thoughts you do.
On the one hand, this is a lonely realization. Whether you live alone or enjoy the deepest intimacy with a loving partner, deep down you must still face the reality that your life is yours alone to live. You can choose to temporarily yield control of your life to others, whether it be to a company, a spouse, or simply to the pressures of daily living, but you can never give away your personal responsibility for the results. Whether you assume direct and conscious control over your life or merely react to events as they happen to you, you and you alone must bear the consequences.
If you commit to following the path of courage, you will ultimately be forced to confront what is perhaps the greatest fear of all – that you are far more powerful and capable than you initially realized, that your ultimate potential is far greater than anything you’ve experienced in your past, and that with this power comes tremendous responsibility. You may not be able to solve all the woes of this planet, but if you ever do commit yourself 100% to the fulfillment of your true potential, you can significantly impact the lives of many people, and that impact will ripple through the future for generations to come.
What is the difference between you and one of those legendary historical figures who did have such an impact? You both had many of the same fears. You both were born with talents in some areas and weaknesses in others. The only thing stopping you is fear, and the only thing that will get you past it is courage. What you do with your life isn’t up to your parents, your boss, or your spouse. It’s up to you and you alone.
Catching a glimpse of your own greatness can be one of the most unsettling experiences imaginable. And even more disturbing is the awareness of the tremendous challenges that await you if you accept it. Living consciously is not an easy path, but it is a uniquely human experience, and it requires making the committed decision to permanently let go of that mouse within you. Going after your greatest and most ambitious dreams and experiencing failure and disappointment, running butt up against your most humbling human limitations instead of living with a comfortable padding of potential – these fears are common to us all.
The first few times you encounter such fears, you may quickly retreat back to the illusory security of life as a mouse. But if you keep exercising your courage, you will eventually mature to the point where you can openly accept the challenges and responsibilities of life as a fully conscious human being. Continuing to live as a mouse will simply hold no more interest for you. You will acknowledge within the deepest recesses of your being, I have awakened to this incredible potential within me, and I accept what that will require of me. Whatever it costs me, whatever I must sacrifice to follow this path, bring it on. I’m ready. Even though you will still experience fear, you will recognize it for the illusion it is, and you will know how to use your human courage to face it down, such that fear will no longer have the power to stop you.

Embrace the Daring Adventure

Before you embark on any path ask the question, does this path have a heart? If the answer is no, you will know it and then you must choose another path. The trouble is that nobody asks the question. And when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart the path is ready to kill him.
– Carlos Castaneda
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
– Kahlil Gibran
Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.
– Dale Carnegie
As you develop a sense of your true purpose in life, you may begin to feel an uneasy disconnect between your current life situation and the one you envision moving towards. These two worlds may seem so different to you that you cannot mentally conceive of how to build a bridge between them. How can you balance the practical reality of taking care of your third-dimensional obligations like earning money to pay your bills and taxes, pleasing your boss, raising your family, and maintaining social relationships with people who can’t even relate to what you’re experiencing vs. the new vision of yourself you desperately want to move towards? A whole host of new fears may crop up related to this seemingly impossible shift. How will you support yourself? What will become of your relationships? Are you just deluding yourself?
The best advice I can give you here is to forget about trying to build a bridge. Focus instead on independently beginning the process of manifesting the new vision of yourself from scratch, as if it were a totally separate thread in your life. If this creates a temporary incongruence in your life, just do it anyway. For example, suppose you currently work as a divorce attorney, but your courage tells you that you must eventually abandon such adversarial work. You envision yourself passionately teaching couples how to heal their broken relationships. But you can’t even fathom yourself as a trial lawyer trying to speak about healthy relationships, and on top of that problem, you can’t see any way to make a decent living in this new career, at least not quickly. There’s just too big a disconnect between this new vision and practical reality. So instead of trying to bridge this gap, just begin building your new vision completely from scratch in whatever time you have, even if it’s only an hour or two each week. Keep doing your regular work as an attorney, but in your spare time, start posting anonymously on relationship message boards to give couples advice on how to heal their relationships. Use the oratory skills you developed as an attorney to begin speaking to small groups about healing relationships. Perhaps create a new web site, and start writing and posting articles about your new passion. You don’t have to hide the fact that you’re an attorney, but don’t worry about bridging these two worlds. Live in paradox. Just start developing the new you, and allow the old one to continue in parallel for a while.
What will happen is that you’ll develop skill in your new undertaking, and you’ll eventually be able to support yourself from it, even if you can’t see how to do so right away. You may not be able to see a way to support yourself in your new vision right now, and that’s fine. Just begin it anyway, doing it for free, without any concern of how to turn it into a new full-time career. Patiently wait for clarity; you will eventually find a way to make it work. Then when the time is right, you’ll be able to peacefully let go of the old career and focus all your energy on the new one. At some point you’ll be able to commit fully to your new self. Your passion for your new work will eventually overwhelm your fear of letting go of your old source of stability. So instead of trying to transform your old career into your new one, just start the process of building your new one, and let your old one gradually fade. Even if you can only invest an hour a week in your new undertaking, you will probably discover that this hour is more fulfilling to you than all the other hours put together, and that passion will drive you to find a way to gradually grow this presence until it fills up most of your days. The most important thing is to begin now by introducing your new vision of yourself to your daily life, even if you can only initially do so in a small way.
No matter how difficult it may seem, make the choice to live consciously. Do not succumb to that half-conscious realm of fear-based thinking, filling your life with distractions to avoid facing what you feel in those silent spaces between your thoughts. Either exercise your human endowment of courage and progressively build the strength to face your deepest, darkest fears to live as the powerful being you truly are, or admit that your fears are too much for you, and embrace life as a mouse. But make this choice consciously and with full awareness of its consequences. If you are going to allow fear to win the battle for your life, then proclaim it the victor and forfeit the match. If you simply avoid living consciously and courageously, then that is equivalent to giving up on life itself, where your continued existence becomes little more than a waiting period before physical death – the nothing as opposed to the daring adventure.
Don’t die without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be. You may go broke. You may experience failure and rejection repeatedly. You may endure multiple dysfunctional relationships. But these are all milestones along the path of a life lived courageously. They are your private victories, carving a deeper space within you to be filled with an abundance of joy, happiness, and fulfillment. So go ahead and feel the fear. Then summon the courage to follow your dreams anyway. That is strength undefeatable.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Sunday, October 2, 2016


Today, while having lunch with a very, very dear friend, and discussing the varietal aspects of life, we touched on the subjects of fairness and reality. We were in total agreement that there is no such thing as “fairness” in life...or the people in it treating you fairly...other than your own expectations. I could easily say that things in my own life aren't “fair” because I can't be with the woman I fell in love with and very much want to spend the rest of my life with. Do I wish that I could? Do I wish that things could be different? Do I wish that she would fight for us to be together and fall in love with me again? Absolutely because I have never been able to get her out of my heart and therefore my mind, but am I willing to stop living and give up on my dreams and my integrity because life isn't “fair?” Absolutely not. There are things you cannot change and there are things you can.

Your focus and your energy should be used wisely to change the things you can because we all have a limited amount of time in which to do so and wasted time, time spent negatively, is something you will never get back. I often hear people say, “That's not fair,” or “She/he isn't fair,” but your definition of “fair,” will not often...if ever, be the same as someone else's version of “fair.” Change is tough and when we enter new situations and encounter new people, we generally go into those situations with hope...hope that everything will work out positively and for the best and so we develop a set of expectations for the situation involving those particular people. When things don't go the way we want them to, we then feel that things or people aren't “fair.” I think this sense of fairness comes from insecurity...a sense of entitlement that we feel we deserve because life isn't working out the way we wanted/or planned. I think when you have profound integrity, a “fair” sense of self, people in and around you will know you well enough to know that because you treat yourself with respect and fairness, that they will too.

Ultimately everything we see in ourselves is what others see in us. Our souls are reflective and sometimes we don't like what we see in others' views of us because the truth can be tough to face, but when we do face it we can make the positive changes that need to be made and life will begin again.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


We often hear people say that you should honor your (thy) mother, honor your (thy) father, honor the people who serve our country, honor your elders, etc. One thing I seldom hear people say is that you should honor the most precious gift you have been given and ever will receive…your life.

Hmmm, how do I honor my life you might ask? Do I throw it a parade? Do I buy it a trophy or plaque? Do I throw it a party or make it a celebratory dinner? I would say that those would definitely be fun ideas, but not quite what I had in mind…lol. We honor our bodies by showing them respect…by eating the foods that make them healthy because when they are healthy they don’t have to work so hard. We honor them by making sure we are rooted in a spirituality that nurtures who we truly are. We honor them by taking time for ourselves so our minds are not full of stress which thereby takes a negative turn on our bodies. We honor them by loving ourselves and showing ourselves complete and utter respect.

Your life can and will be all you want it to be so make sure you approach it from love and positivity and above all...honor.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


A few months ago I had the amazing blessing of reconnecting with my best friend in California and we shared a room in a B and B where we laughed, ate, drank and caught up with lost years.  One night we got on this conversation about how, since we have hit our 50's, that we can always pee...almost at any given a dog does when he marks his territory.  We laughed so hard...and then she went and peed...lmao.  Of course all of that laughing made me pee a little in my pants...damn lack of bladder control.

When I got home I began to notice all of these "signs" of aging, most of them less than subtle.  Let's start with the top half...I mean of course you are going to expect some wrinkling around the mouth and eyes...but that thing with the turkey neck is truly unnerving.  I looked in the mirror one morning as I was about to get ready for work and I turned my head to the side while my peripheral vision still caught the mirror and lo and behold...there it was...loose, wrinkly skin...not a lot mind you, but enough to freak me out.  I thought about it all day...questions ran through my head like where did it come from...did my body get tired of storing fat in my stomach and start putting it in my neck?  It was odd.  I now find myself doing strange exercises that I looked up on the internet while I'm driving up and down the coast during work...I make the lizard face and look up and down while making a chewing motion.  I get the oddest looks from oncoming's really funny.   Also, suddenly, my cheeks are beginning to sag a little and I'm noticing jowls...really?...jowls?  I thought only animals had those...OMG I'm morphing into an animal...Jowl is a really weird word...say it a few times to sounds like a cut of meat at the butcher store...Um, yeah I'd like a pound of jowls to put in my stir fry please...what?!

I grew up hearing the phrase, "grow old gracefully," but no one tells you what is going to happen to your body while your'e trying to be so graceful about it...I mean, they don't tell you that your entire face is going to sink or that your breasts will end up hitting your knees when you walk.  Also, suddenly I have a queer fondness for fiber...I find myself craving regular bowel movements and adjusting my diet...not to lose weight, but to make sure I stay regular...incorporating things into my diet for just that purpose alone.  And what is with losing your short term memory...I ask you, what is with losing your short term memory?  Oh damn, see what I mean?  I feel like I have so much brain fog I should come with my own lighthouse.  

I write this post mainly as a joke and to point out that yes, life can hand you lemons, but make sure to squeeze them and make a nice dessert, if not the proverbial lemonade.  If you turn all of these things around to the "glass half empty" outlook,  you can always say that at least you now know how to keep yourself regular can always pee. 

Smile and enjoy every minute of every day. (at all ages).

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


You know the day that begins by getting toothpaste all over your shirt first thing in the morning before work, and then you go to cook breakfast and as you take the egg carton out of the refrigerator three eggs mysteriously jump up and out onto the floor?  The one where after you finally manage to cook breakfast, egg drops from your fork as you are feeding yourself and not only sticks to your shirt, thereby creating a new stain right next to the toothpaste stain, but sticks to your pants as well?  The one where you open a new container of raspberries and most of them fall out onto the floor?  :( Yes, that was actually the way my morning began this beautiful day, and it is only 11:00...oey. Once I rescued the last raspberry from the floor I started laughing...hysterically.  I realized just how funny it is when life hands you those "encore" moments and how it really is true that the way your morning begins actually does set the tone for the entire day. 

My initial reaction was anger and ultimately frustration, but then I realized how ridiculous that was and moved onto the laughter portion of the morning.  I said to myself, "Kimber (I call myself Kimber because my mother used to call me that), you have had worse days...this isn't even a bad day...just a clumsy one thus far...hahaha. My perspective changed quickly when I remembered that little things like that are nothing compared to the millions of horrible things people have to deal with every day.  We tend to let ourselves get so frustrated over silly, little, insignificant things like traffic, money, clothing, hair, makeup, cleaning, working, et. al...the daily "grind," if you will...those small moments that make up our entire day.  This is where that old saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff," comes in really handy.  

So the next time you find yourself getting angry or frustrated over a small, virtually insignificant incident, remember this...You've Had Worse Days...

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Wellness coaching encompasses all aspects of wellness and so, when I came across this article I really wanted to share it with you.  One of my biggest pet peeves about our country is how little they care about our health and how, even though they know which foods and chemicals we ingest cause cancer and other debilitating and deadly diseases, they have no problem putting them into our foods (I hope everyone at Monsanto eats what they create...but I bet they don't). There are so many GMO's (genetically modified organisms) in our food these days that it is no wonder our bodies are retaliating against us, trying to get us to listen before it is too late. The following article from the Health Coach Institute entitled, "This is why you have the right to know if it's GMO," does an excellent job at not only defining what GMO's are and where we find them, but also gives excellent tips.  I hope you will find it as interesting and helpful as I did:

The acronym “GMO” is seemingly so innocuous. It even rolls off the tongue with a beat. The reality however, is that GMO, which stands for Genetically Modified Organism is one of the most complicated, political, economic and controversial topics today and a potential cause for our national health epidemic.
GMO food means food that has been genetically engineered, which is just about as far as we humans can stray from eating food that has been naturally produced by Mother Nature. And because it’s engineered in state-of-the-art labs, it’s a highly complex scientific subject that is difficult for most people to comprehend. And if you take time to research what genetic modification actually involves, you’ll see why it’s akin to science fiction meets Monsanto.
For this reason we want to help clarify a few things for you around GMO’s because it is Health Coach Institute’s sole (and soul) mission to create a truly healthy society. The impetus behind today’s post is the fact that right now there is a GMO labeling legislation bill called S.764 waiting at The U.S. House Rules Committee to be voted on by the end of the week that, if passed, acts as a setback for consumers’ Right to Know—the legal principle that people have the right to know what chemicals they are exposed to daily.

Because there has up until now been almost no regulations on GMO food, this bill would be the first to put labeling on GMO foods nationwide. Sounds like a positive move however, it comes with a caveat because not only is the legislation’s language hazy but it is being called a sham and “a non-labeling bill under the guise of a mandatory labeling bill” by a coalition of consumer groups and organic farming organizations.

What this means is that the bill would finally get food producers to label GMO products but in a backhanded way by requiring them to put a digital QR code on the product, which is a barcode that can be scanned by a smart phone—an absurd thing to ask of consumers standing in a grocery store aisle. Plus this makes it easy for corporations to hide GMO’s in their products and somehow makes certain sectors of GMO food producers exempt from labeling their products. Those opposed to the bill argue that it’s deliberately crafted in vague language to stop people knowing what’s in their food and that it falls under the DARK (Denying Americans the Right to Know) Act. 

Let’s take a look at what this all means. But before we go there, remember that GMO’s—sometimes knows as “Frankenfoods”— also go by other names like GE (genetically engineered), genetically altered, GM (genetically modified) or genetically improved and have taken agribusiness by storm in the last two decades alone. Here goes…

What exactly is GMO food and how do you produce it?
GMO’s are organisms whose genetic makeup or DNA has been altered in such a way that doesn’t occur in nature. GMO’s are the result of lab engineers taking genes from one species and inserting the genes into another to produce transgenic organisms.
Living organisms have natural barriers that prevent other DNA from entering. But genetic engineers discovered ways to force DNA from one organism into another such as using viruses or bacteria to “infect” animal or plant cells with new DNA or electric shocks to create holes in the organism’s sperm to insert the DNA that way or by “shooting” the new DNA into the new cells with special “guns” amongst other methods.  

What’s the point of GMO’s?
Genetic engineers produce GMO’s in order to make crops survive the harsh treatment of herbicides, which means that farmers can spray weed killers onto their crops without killing their crops. GMO’s are also engineered to enable plants to produce their own pesticides, which means the farmer no longer has to spray pesticides because the plant itself is too toxic for insects to eat in the first place.

The only “point” of GMO’s is to produce more crops, more sales and more money for agribusiness. Although Monsanto, which claims to be an innovative agricultural company using breeding, crop protection, precision agriculture and biotechnology including GMO’s argues that they are “preserving our natural habitat” by using up less land for crop growing and helping consumers by keeping prices low. Monsanto’s claim to fame is using “plant breeding” and “biotechnology,” which sound progressive, harmless even, until you discover what they really entail.

What makes GMO food so bad for you anyway?
Genes are the blueprint for making proteins in organisms. Because GMO’s are engineered using foreign genes, the existing genes in the organism are altered, which creates new or unknown proteins, and more or less proteins in the organism. We simply don’t yet know how this entirely new combination of proteins will affect our health and DNA.

According to Jeffrey Smith, author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT) there are many potential dangers of GMO’s such as toxins, allergens, carcinogens, new diseases, antibiotic resistant diseases and nutritional problems.

IRT’s site lists endless, shocking case studies in which animals are fed GMO’s that result in pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, false pregnancies and increased death rates in these animals. Yet, to date, there are no known human studies involving GMO’s, which means we unfortunately cannot prove the damage they are causing our bodies on a physical, let alone cellular level.

Which foods are most likely to be GMO?
The top crops that are made from GMO seed are: field corn (92%), soybeans (94%), cotton (94%), canola (93%), soy protein, soy lecithin, sugar beets, cornstarch, corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup. Other food products to watch out for are any meat, eggs or dairy products made from animals (including farmed fish) that consume GM feed like corn and soy, as well as milk from cows injected with rbGH (a GM hormone), food additives, enzymes, flavorings, sweeteners like aspartame, rennet used to make hard cheese and honey from bees that produce honey from GM sources of pollen.

How can you avoid consuming GMO?
The best way to avoid consuming GMO’s is by eating organic because genetic engineering is prohibited in the production of certified organic foods and ingredients. Look for 100% Organic, Certified Organic or USDA Organic labels on food products.
The 100% Organic label means the entire product has GMO-free ingredients. Certified Organic and USDA Organic mean the product contains at least 95% organic ingredients. The remaining 5% is most likely GMO free.

But it’s important to note that even GMO-free is subject to risks of cross pollination between GMO and non-GMO crops and trace amounts of GMO in animal feed as well as GMO contamination from seeds carried in the wind or by birds that root in organic farm soil. So although contamination is accidental and rare, it’s not entirely ruled out due to the above factors.
Another way to avoid eating GMO’s is to look for the Non-GMO Project label, which is the image in this post. This label certifies that the food’s producer spent money and time obtaining the certification similar to the process required to get certified organic. It’s the most reliable label we have today.

The Non-GMO Project website lists hundreds of product brands with their logos to help consumers easily identify which food products are deemed Non-GMO. The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit dedicated to educating consumers and building awareness around Non-GMO choices. So bottom line is to do your homework and choose wisely. Going GMO-free is not purely a personal decision; it’s taking a political stand for our Right to Know what we eat.

For more in-depth information on the GMO bill read this Vox article: The controversial GMO labeling bill that just passed the Senate, explained.  
To read more about the science behind GMO, visit: Institute for Responsible Technology
To see hundreds of certified Non-GMO products listed, visit: The Non-GMO Project 

I know I'm looking at every label these days and eating as organic as is possible.  You pay top dollar for quality in every other aspect of your life, shouldn't the things you put in and on your body be given number one priority?

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


Today my best friend who lost her mother today, an amazing, caring, magnificent woman with an excellent sense of humor, who had been suffering for a long time with pain and debilitation due to her her I just want to say...a mother's love will transcend all realms to stay connected to her children.

Whenever we lose someone close to us, everyone around us will try to comfort us by saying that they are in a better place and no longer suffering (which is appreciated and so kind). This is certainly true in a physical sense, but a mother's love will transcend all in order to stay connected to her children. My mother has been gone for 6 years now and I still feel her to this day...every single day...hard times, good times and everything in between. It is as though she never really left...she only changed realms and we stay connected in a way that surpasses what we can understand in this physical realm that we know consciously. Our souls however, will always be connected and will always communicate in a way that only souls can do...on a deeper and more meaningful level.

While this can be a difficult concept to grasp, when you finally do grasp it, it opens up a whole other level of understanding. It allows us to change the way in which we perceive the journey...the journey that is life. Suddenly all things have no boundaries because we know they stretch far beyond the limited understanding of the physical realm.

I don't know how (and I no longer question it), but my friend's mother came to me shortly after she left this realm and asked me to look after her youngest daughter, the one with the kind heart who is most like her in every way and I assured her that I would, which gave her peace. She was a strong and magnificent woman and I am proud that I came to know her...especially through her daughter's eyes.

Whenever you lose someone close to you, remember that they will always be with you...communicating, loving and touching you, just in different way that you are used to in this our physical realm...and that your parent, the one with whom you were most connected, will transcend all in order to stay with you because souls travel in groups...they reincarnate with the same souls over and over in different roles, in different realms and in various capacities but with one common thread. What is that thread you may ask? Love...simply love.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Saturday, July 2, 2016


As I was taking one of my beloved road trips the other day, the singer on one of my playlists belts out, “I'm taking down from the shelf, all the parts of myself that are packed away,” and I thought...that's it...that's what I need to do...unpack myself!

Humans are many-faceted individuals and much of the time there are too many facets to use all at once, so we store away the ones we aren't currently using until we grow and change and are ready to unpack the ones we need. I have spent such a long time trying to find out who I am in recent months that I think I lost sight of who I want to be and that is the goal I am grabbing with both hands now, as I pull some of those facets out of storage and dust them off.

Empathy is an amazingly helpful facet. Not only can you use it to empathize with others about what they are experiencing and help them accordingly, you can also use it to help yourself and to show yourself empathy as well, which sounds like an oxymoron, but in reality is a way to turn it within.

Then there is humility...I recently discovered the adage, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, humility is thinking about yourself less.” I find that insight absolutely amazing. So many people confuse humility with a lack of self-confidence and they think that being humble means treating themselves badly and neglecting their needs but humility is really all about being confident and knowing and trusting yourself so well that you don't need to prove anything. You are secure in who you are and comfortable in your own skin. of the most difficult facets for some...including myself. I know all too well how difficult it is to trust people the older you get because by that time, you have been hurt over and over and tend to blame the people in the various situations and therefore have difficulty trusting those who enter your life in the present/future. This is one of the facets I want to unpack quickly and learn to use properly.

Those are just a few of the facets I am in the process of unpacking to change my life for the better. What facets will you unpack to improve you life? Remember...they are all within you to use.

P.S...I have just discovered this amazing musician who goes by FKJ...If you love smooth, contemporary jazz, you will fall head over heels in love with this artist...below is one of my favorites:

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Monday, June 27, 2016


There's a lyric in a song by BOY entitled, "This is the Beginning," that goes, "Your eyes are the camera, your heart is the frame." Every time I hear this lyric I think of all the people I've ever been extremely close to and lost...especially my mother.

Loss, while certain, may just be the toughest part of life because we spend years with someone, nurturing our relationship with them, the good times, the bad, the hard times, the laughter, the love, the connection, only to be left behind. What may be the point then, you might ask? The journey...making sure that your heart becomes a permanent frame to cherish all that that person has meant to you...the lessons you learned from them and them from you..,.the soul-bonding that will never be the same with one person as it is with another...the unique imprint that that individual has left upon who you are at its very core...that's what it's all other words, the love. 

Love enters our lives in so many ways and its meaning changes from person to person, relationship to relationship, heart to heart. The love of a parent with its child seems to me to be the greatest bond of all for when you lose that, you feel so alone in this there will never again be a person you can turn to like you could the parent or parent-figure in your life. The love of a partner or soulmate, when lost, can leave you devastatingly a part of you yourself has gone. This however, is the biggest part of the journey, nurturing these relationships and then, when they have ebbed from your life, keeping them embedded in your heart as there is nothing more sentimental than that.

Always remember to cherish those people in your life who mean the world to you, even if you don't always see eye to eye, because one day they will be gone and then it will be too late to let them know that you loved them so much you framed them (with your heart).

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


Years ago, during a time that I was fortunate enough to have made my home in San Francisco, one of my very favorite past times was hanging out in Golden Gate Park, watching and observing the myriad of people who happened by. There were people on roller skates, tricycles, bicycles and unicycles...some dressed in clown suits, some like mimes...some who were singing for their supper and some who just sang. Something I realized back then, and again recently while people-watching at the Marina in Brookings Harbor the other day, is that even if you don't know them, people will always tell you who they merely need to observe.

I remember a lady who ran around the park with a sign that read, "Free Hugs," draped around her neck, who everyone labelled as crazy, but what I realized about this woman as I watched her was that she most likely had no one at home to receive the vast amount of love she had to give and she really wanted to share this gift with humanity. She would just walk up and hug random people, whether they welcomed her or not. I found it so interesting as to the varied responses she would get...some people would hug her back, smile and say thank you (these were people who were open to change and pretty happy-go-lucky, positive people)...others would cuss at her and push her away (the introverted, easily annoyed, keep-to-themselves type of people who did not take kindly to change)...and still others would walk way around her in order to avoid her altogether (the people who usually sit back in life and weigh everything out before making a decision...they may let her hug them one day, after they pass by her many times and determine that she is "safe," but they may not). I could sit and watch her for hours (and often did). I wish I could have afforded a video camera back then.

I also loved to observe the mimes, although they could become annoying when they got right in your face, but those who would pretend they were mechanical people would amuse me. It was like they were saying, "Look what I can do...I hope it makes you happy." I felt like they were not only trying to convey their talent, but to also use it to get people to smile and/or react in a positive way.

There is an old saying that goes, "actions speak louder than words," and, although I love words, I find that to be such a true statement. If you can get past what people are saying to you and observe their behavior, you will discover who they are...and you may be one of the few who do. It is so difficult to figure out who we are...we all have some idea, but very few of us have a full understanding of the whole picture as it consists of so many layers.

One of the classes I took recently on wellness coaching talked about an exercise wherein you write down everything you eat throughout the day to find out, not only how it is affecting your physical body, but also as to why you might be craving those particular foods and then make adjustments accordingly. I went a step further and realized that you could do the same thing with your actions to gain a better understanding of some of your hidden layers. An example here might be carrying a journal throughout the day and writing things down as they happen, i.e. I was in the grocery store today and helped a lady get some items from a tall shelf or A man with a cane was standing next to me where I was sitting on the bus, but I didn't give him my seat. Whatever the action may be, write it down and be extremely honest with your observations...don't add excuses to it either (like I didn't give him my seat because my back was hurting) won't reveal those layers by lying to yourself or making excuses. 

It is quite an eye-opener to discover who you really are, but remember to love and respect yourself and be proud of who you are no matter what you discover. Make the changes you need to make to be the person you are proud of. You can get away from most people, but you have to live with yourself 100% of the time.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Marcel Proust, who penned so many insightful quotes, once wrote, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." What an amazing insight this was, especially during his time. In thinking this through it boils down to the fact that everything is as we make it...see it...think it. We manifest what we think, therefore, if you are tired of your current reality, you can change the way you view it, i.e. see it through new eyes, and your reality will therefore change.

I know for a fact that whenever I have made a conscious effort to see a situation in a positive light, it changes the intensity and meaning of that particular situation. 

They say that you can search and move and try to discover new lands and new lives, but once you realize home is where the heart is, you will always be home.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog and please, if you like what you've read, leave a comment by clicking on the word "comments" below. If you have a blog or website of your own I would love to visit it. After your comment, make sure to post your link and I will stop by and leave a comment as well. Please respect the copyright/trademark rights of the artist's work. Copying and using any work posted here is forbidden without express permission. Happy blogging.

Sunday, June 5, 2016




What is your honest opinion of yourself when you look in a mirror? Let's face it, most of us are so critical of our physical appearance because we base our opinion on society's version of the "perfect" and "acceptable" way that we should look. So, based on their criteria, when you look in a mirror and don't see a fine ass, great boobs, a slim waistline and flawless skin, do you get depressed and lose some of your all-too-important self-esteem? If you do, you are not alone. In fact, you are one of countless millions...and that is a sad commentary on our society. 

Why should our looks be so important? Why do we think that if we leave the house without our makeup or in our comfy street clothes or without doing our hair, that people are going to think we are not attractive. The truth is that the person you see in the mirror is the only person whose opinion should matter. You are what you think you are and if you think you are beautiful...then you are, it's that simple. Also, when you think you are beautiful, it naturally follows that others will as well.

I recently read the following article by Neel Burton on entitled, Building Confidence and Self-Esteem...I love the points he makes here and hopefully you will find something positive to take away from reading it that will change your life:

"Self-esteem is affected by physical ill-health, negative life events such as losing your job or getting divorced, deficient or frustrating relationships, and a general sense of lack of control. This sense of lack of control is often particularly marked in people who are the victims of emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, or of discrimination on the grounds of religion, culture, race, sex, or sexual orientation. 

Sometimes poor self-esteem can be deeply rooted and have its origins in traumatic childhood experiences such as prolonged separation from parent figures, neglect, or emotional, physical, or sexual abuse. If you think this is a particular problem for you, speak to a mental healthcare professional. Therapy or counselling may enable you to talk about such experiences and to try to come to terms with them. Unfortunately, therapy or counselling may be difficult to obtain, and may not be suitable for everyone.

Low self-esteem can predispose you to developing a mental disorder, and developing a mental disorder can in turn deliver a huge knock to your self-esteem. In some cases, low self-esteem is in itself a cardinal feature of mental disorder, for example, in depression or in borderline personality disorder. The relationship between low self-esteem and mental disorder is complex, and a person with a mental disorder is more likely than most to suffer from long-term low self-esteem.  
People with long-term low self-esteem generally see the world as a hostile place and themselves as its victim. As a result, they feel reluctant to express and assert themselves, miss out on experiences and opportunities, and feel helpless about changing things. All this merely lowers their self-esteem even further, and they end up getting caught in a downward spiral.
Thankfully, there are a number of simple things that anyone can do to boost his or her self-esteem and, hopefully, break out of this vicious circle. You may already be doing some of these things, and you certainly don't need to do them all. Just do those that you feel most comfortable with.
1. Make three lists: one of your strengths, one of your achievements, and one of the things that you admire about yourself. Try to get a friend or relative to help you with these lists. Keep the lists in a safe place and read through them regularly.
2. Think positively about yourself. Remind yourself that, despite your problems, you are a unique, special, and valuable person, and that you deserve to feel good about yourself. Identify and challenge any negative thoughts that you may have about yourself, such as ‘I am a loser’, ‘I never do anything right’, or ‘No one really likes me’.
3. Pay special attention to your personal hygiene: for example, style your hair, trim your nails, floss your teeth.
4. Dress in clothes that make you feel good about yourself.
5. Eat good food as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Make meal times a special time, even if you are eating alone. Turn off the TV or radio, set the table, and arrange your food so that it looks attractive on your plate.
6. Exercise regularly: go out for a brisk walk every day, and take more vigorous exercise (exercise that makes you break into a sweat) three times a week.
7. Ensure that you are getting enough sleep.
8. Manage your stress levels. If possible, agree with a close friend or relative that you will take turns to massage each other on a regular basis.
9. Make your living space clean, comfortable, and attractive. Display items that remind you of your achievements or of the special times and people in your life. 
10. Do more of the things that you enjoy doing. Do at least one thing that you enjoy every day, and remind yourself that you deserve it.
11. Get involved in activities such as painting, music, poetry, and dance. Such artistic activities enable you to express yourself, acquire a sense of mastery, and interact positively with others. Find a class through your local adult education service or community centre.
12. Set yourself a challenge that you can realistically achieve, and then go for it! For example, take up yoga, learn to sing, or cook for a small dinner party at your appartment or house.
13. Do some of the things that you have been putting off, such as clearing out the garden, washing the windows, or filing the paperwork.
14. Do something nice for others. For example, strike up a conversation with the person at the till, visit a friend who is sick, or get involved with a local charity.
15. Get others involved: tell your friends and relatives what you are going through and enlist their advice and support. Perhaps they have similar problems too, in which case you might be able to band up and form a support group.
16. Try to spend more time with those you hold near and dear. At the same time, try to enlarge your social circle by making an effort to meet people. 
17. On the other hand, avoid people, places, and institutions that treat you badly or that make you feel bad about yourself. This could mean being more assertive. If assertivenessis a problem for you, ask a healthcare professional about assertiveness training. 
5 quotations about self-esteem and self-confidence
Adversity and perseverance and all these things can shape you. They can give you a value and a self-esteem that is priceless. —Scott Hamilton
Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act. —Jack Welch
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. —Helen Keller
Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. —Lao Tzu
To wish you were someone else is to waste the person you are. —Anonymous

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