Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Regroup

I've been so busy marketing my book, among a bunch of other stuff bombarding me, that I've decided to start posting a blog once each week instead of twice. I feel like my mind is overloaded, and my emotions are on shaky ground. Ever feel like that? Something inside says stop, back up, too many bumps to handle all at one time. I need some room to breathe. Yeah, we've all been there. So what's the answer? I'm working on it.

Make a habit of self-awareness. Usually, when things come up, we can't just say go away. Most of it needs to be handled. But we're so busy focusing on the outside, we forget to look at what's going on inside. And if we're not aware of our feelings on an ongoing basis, we can become overwhelmed without realizing it until we're immobilized and unable to get anything done.

Stop and regroup. Take a few minutes several times each day to close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and monitor your feelings. Happy, sad, calm, anxious, stressed, pressured? If you're comfortable inside, express gratitude and move on. If not, identify the feeling and a possible stressor. Is too much going on at one time? Is there something you're dreading? Did you forget to do something you needed to do? Are you doubting yourself?

Use a mental cubbyhole to store what you can't get to now.
If the stressor is something you can't tend to at that time, then create a cubbyhole in your mind where you can store the issue until you can get to it. At least that gives you some sense of control until you can take it out and deal with it, rather than allowing it to stress you out. Later when you have some time, take the issue out of the cubbyhole and figure ways to deal with it. Remember you're in control. Now you can choose what to do.

Make a list and prioritize. You'll be surprised at how much can be postponed for a while. That gives you breathing time and lowers your stress level. Just don't let yourself get overwhelmed before you realize what's happening.

One step at a time. Let it be okay that you can't do everything at once.

Now comes the best part. Put on some soft music, take off your shoes and put your feet up, breathe deeply and thank God for creating the beautiful, capable person you are. And smile. It's good for you.

I wish you peace as you walk through each day.

Marilyn

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Save The Good Times

Sometimes we feel overburdened with all the problems that come into our life. Good things happen too, even small ones, but the bad stuff seems to push them aside, so we don't even notice. All we can see is a plate that's too full. It might help to have a way of refocusing our mind in a better place. How about creating a bag for the good stuff, so we can reach in each day and bring out a happy memory.

Recently, I gave a short presentation at church about my book that has been published. I thought I'd say a few words and that would be it. Well, my Minister had put a celebration of my book announcement in the church program, and someone had furnished a cake with the front cover of my book reproduced in icing on top of the cake. I was sooo amazed and pleased, not only for what they did, but because it came from love in their hearts. That's one memory I definitely will keep and bring up when I run into one of those bumps along my way. Just thinking about it changes my mood.

I've also been making an effort to find more beauty everyday in my surroundings. It's not always easy, but today I worked on it. I noticed the irises in bloom and a red cardinal in the yard. (Good visuals) And I got smiles everywhere I went. Do you think it might be because that's what I was looking for? Hmmm.

I know there are times when we're so frustrated, or even angry, that we don't want to see any beauty. I have a right to be in a funky mood. I'm justified to feel this way. It isn't fair. Well, all of that may be true, but I'll bet if you looked deep inside, you really do want to feel some peace and joy instead of the angst you're caught in now.

Savor and save those happy memories and pull one out of the bag when you need it--even if you don't feel like it. C'mon. Make yourself do it. You'll be glad you did, especially when it becomes a habit that will add some joy to each day and lessen your struggles.

I wish you happy memories relived.

Marilyn

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On The Spot

Some of us get the jitters when we're on the spot, and have to speak in front of other people. Whether we're giving a presentation, talking with the boss, applying for a job, in large or even small groups, or in any situation in which we're the focus of attention, our stress level rises. Not everyone goes through this ordeal, but for the ones who do, the experience can be dread--ful. It might help to learn some ways to calm our queasy stomach and promote a more pleasant outcome.

Tomorrow I'll be giving a short presentation about my book that was recently published. This is something I really want to do, but I'm already feeling those familiar symptoms that turn pleasure into dread. So I'm practicing what I know to replace the shakes with the calm and confidence I need and want.

1. Don't get caught up in what ifs. At a time like this, we can think up all kinds of catastrophes that might happen, but probably won't. What if I can't remember everything. What if I stumble. What if I'm boring. What if I look stupid. What if. What if. Say no to the what ifs.

2. Replace the what ifs with positive statements. I may not be perfect, but I'm good, and I can do this well. I may make a few mistakes--I may not--but it isn't the end of the world, and my best will be good enough.

3.
Prepare early. Don't wait to the last minute, and then have to rush. Plan what you want to say and how you're going to say it. Write things down, edit, condense, and time yourself. Then practice from your mind and heart.

4. Once you know your script, put it aside. Then eat well, sleep well and do something fun. You've done the work. Now relax and hang onto your positive statements if you need them. I have faith in a higher Power, so I also pray. But that's up to you.

These methods may not totally eliminate stress, but they could turn an ordeal into a pleasant experience and increase confidence in other areas of your life. It's a form of personal growth. You're beautiful. Let your light shine.

I wish your voice the freedom it deserves.

Marilyn

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Loosen Up

Sometimes we forget something we really need to remember, but then comes a reminder that brings us back to where we need to be to make our life work better--to make the bumps a little easier.

In my last blog, I referred to a comment written in Chinese that I had previously received and didn't appreciate. I felt I handled it in a kind way, but my meaning was clear. Well, guess what. I received a comment (in Chinese) in response to my last post that gave me some advice I already knew, but had forgotten when I entered the post. Sound confusing? Anyway, as clearly as I could translate, it said, "Do not life too seriously, since we will not be alive." I have to interpret this to mean, "Life is short. Don't take it too seriously." I hope my interpretation is correct.

I won't apologize for my last post, because I still believe what I wrote. But I do appreciate the reminder to loosen up. There are some situations that need to be remedied, but if something just bothers you, ignore it. If it doesn't go away, get away from it. But don't take it so seriously you get bent out of shape over it. Life really is too short to waste energy when it could be put to better use.

Thank you, Chinese writer--whoever you are.

By the way, I will apologize for not writing a post last Saturday as planned. I was totally wiped out after handling a plumbing problem, and I took a nap instead. I have forgiven myself, and I'm not taking it too seriously. See? I'm growing.

I wish all of you opportunities for growth and contentment.

Marilyn

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Circle of Energy

The whole universe is energy, and our thoughts, words and actions produce energy. Sometimes we wonder why things in our life are not working as we'd like. Well, maybe we need to take a look at the kind of energy we're producing, and what kind is coming into our life. We can't avoid the negative. It's part of being in the human condition. But we have the power to accept what we want, reject what we don't want, and create our own positive energy.

Recently, some negative energy came my way, and it immediately got my attention. Once in a while I get comments on my blog written in Chinese. Yeah. Usually, they're really nice, and I enjoy reading them--after translation, of course. But the last one was a real whopper. The name of the sender was listed as ElvisS_Scholten0188 (numbers?), and the message seems to be advertising a free adult erotic sex video. Wow. I'm stunned. It appears this person's soul never elevated above reprobate. Evidently he has chosen the space in which he wants to live, and is content wallowing in his dirt. It's kind of sad. What a way to live. Anyway, I reject his energy.

The ignorant don't know they're ignorant. Maybe that's why they're ignorant.

In spite of the negative energy in the world, there is a lot of beauty too. But we need to monitor our thoughts, words and actions to see it. Sure. No one is perfect. And we can't avoid seeing decay, sadness and suffering when it comes our way. But we can turn on some good energy and bring smiles, butterflies and sunshine. What we reject or accept is our choice, and our own thoughts, words and actions can have a powerful influence on the quality of our life and the lives of others. Say no to the negative stuff, embrace the positive, and produce lots of good energy in your own world. Besides, good energy makes you healthier and happier.

I wish you peace, joy and wisdom in your world.

Marilyn




Saturday, May 1, 2010

Changing Gears

Do you ever get frustrated when something doesn't work the way it used to? It worked before. Why not now? We want everything and everyone to stay the same. It's easier that way. But we live in a changing world, and while some of the old ways are worth hanging onto, if we cling to everything from yesterday, we leave ourselves open to disappointment today.

I remember when the world was quite different from the way it is now, and I choose to keep things like honesty, integrity, helping my neighbor and taking time for the people in my life. But the world has moved me into places I didn't want to go. We're now obsessed with new and better, but sometimes new doesn't mean better. I still have the iron that my mother used when I was a child, that I used when my children were growing up, and beyond. It finally died a few years ago, and I had to give in and buy a new one. How long does an iron last today?

For years I've gone to the same department store, because I could find what I wanted for a reasonable price. Well, today I couldn't find anything I wanted. They've changed their stock and prices have increased. I was sooo frustrated, and I finally realized it's been like that for the past year. Why have I kept going back there? Did I really think they'd go back to the old way? Dumb. So now I have to move along or set myself up for another unpleasant experience.

The same theory applies as people change. We get used to the way we relate to certain people, and if they act different, we feel confused and want them the way they used to be. But we have to adjust if we want to keep them in our life.

Life's too short to spend it longing for something we no longer have. There's much joy in the present, but we have to be willing to reach out and explore new ways to function. I intend to find a new department store, and I'll buy another iron when I need one. And when something or someone else changes, I'll learn from the experience. Life is about growth, and I can't grow with my feet in mud from the last rain. The new rain always has new puddles. Might be fun to explore them.

Happy hunting

Marilyn