Family Gatherings: Love Them or Leave Them?

Holidays are coming up and for many of us that means we’ll be attending some family gatherings. I’ve worked with enough clients over the years to know that although for some families it is tons of fun to be all together, for other families get-togethers can be a bit strained and awkward, and…well, even end up a little unpleasant.

To set an intention that your family interactions this season will be peaceful, pleasant, and even fun, I’ve written up this list of energetic AND practical tools I hope you find helpful.

Prepare ahead:

Visualize a bubble of light surrounding you. With intention fill it with love from your heart, and picture the bubble emanating the light outward.That way, anything you perceive as negative coming at you will contact your bubble and bounce back to where it came from 10-fold in light and love.

Try repeating these affirmations out loud by yourself, before you get there, and in your head if needed while there:

I own my own power ~ I let my light shine ~ I attend this gathering as my best self ~ Anything negative bounces off me and transmutes into light and love ~ I belong here ~ I see the good in others ~ I’m a beacon of love ~ I am secure in who I am ~ I am always good enough ~ I see evidence of how my family supports me ~ I am supportive of my family

If you have a family member(s) you have uncomfortable feelings toward, pray and meditate on how you can let go of those negative feelings. Ask for the ability to catch a glimpse of them as God sees them.

We all have a team of angels – I believe they are our ancestors who know us and love us, so of course they want us to have pleasant and successful family gatherings. In your mind, ask your angels to go ahead of you and clear up any negative energy in the location of the gathering, and to keep the space light and clean while you’re all together. (I know, this one sounds woo-woo, but it works!)

And also remember:

Elenore Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Only YOU are in charge of how you feel. No one can make you mad, or make you upset. The emotions you’re feeling are yours, and they get activated within you because of your perception of what the other person is saying.

If you get offended, ask yourself what is it that brings up those emotions in you? Generally, it’s somewhere within us that feels insecure in some way.Usually something from a past incident, that’s still holding on to some residual emotions. Give yourself permission to acknowledge that, and let those emotions go with a couple of deep cleansing breaths.

It’s also helpful to say to yourself, “Cousin Bob (or whomever) thinks totally differently from me and that’s ok”. It’s the “and that’s ok” part, that is most helpful when repeated in our mind. It doesn’t mean you need to shy away from a respectful or enlightening conversation, it just helps us to be more gracious and accepting of others.

Seek to understand. Get to the heart of things by asking questions in a relaxed, open, non-defensive way. To quote Stephen Covey: “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood.”

Try any or all of those at your next family gathering or business get-together – they can be adapted to any situation.

If you want more help on letting go of stubborn emotions, (just in time for Thanksgiving!), join me on my Group Call on Forgiveness you can learn more and sign up here.

Optimizing Your Life Energy

As the author of more than 30 books, including the bestselling series Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, Dr. Richard Carlson helped millions of people create lives of greater peace, connection and caring by focusing on the more important things in life. The last chapter of one of his books is titled “Live This Day As If It Might Be Your Last. It Might Be!” Ironically and sadly, Carlson died unexpectedly at age 45 on a plane flight to New York.

How better to drive home his point?

We really don’t know how long we have in this life. Yet, we spend so much of our life energy mulling over what’s in the past or worrying about what the future holds. We get caught up in the minutia of life, losing sight of the bigger picture of what’s actually important.

How much energy would we free up by living more in the now? How can we optimize the time we have?

Here are some ideas:

Clarify your values and create a personal mission statement.

The clearer you are about what’s deeply important to you (your values) and who you are at your core, the more likely you will succeed in living your life “on purpose.” Your mission statement is the guidepost for knowing if you’re going in the right direction and provides information to put you back on course if you’re not acting in alignment with your values and mission.

Let the past be in the past.

How often do you spend living in the past? Do you re-live old memories over and over, or think of clever things you should have said? Do you wish things were like they were in the “good ol’ days?” Whether it’s letting go of your anger at the driver who cut you off just this morning, or regretting the loss of your first love, living in the past keeps you from fully experiencing your life right here, right now.

Release worrying about the future.

Mark Twain said, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” So much of what we worry about never happens, yet we spend countless hours and huge amounts of energy battling future problems. Notice how much time you spend in the future and gently remind yourself to return to the present. What action can you take right now that will move you forward?

Keep things in perspective.

It’s usually our attachment to things being a certain way that leads to frustration. Practice accepting “what is” if you want to experience a greater sense of peace. Everything that happens is our teacher. We might not have chosen each of our lessons, and don’t necessarily have to enjoy them; however, if we choose the perspective that things happen “for us” and not “to us,” life will be a much more growth-filled, joyous ride!

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

How Well Do You Let Go and Move On?

This is part 2 of my “Letting Go” series. If you missed Part 1 “When your buttons get pushed how well you you manage?” you can find it here

Whether you’re letting go of a cherished idea or person or a vision of how life was supposed to be, it can feel excruciating to leave something or someone behind. It can feel as though you’re losing a part of yourself.

Sometimes you might even feel attached to your anger and resentment. But letting go can be an empowering act, because it pushes you to develop important resources like courage, compassion, forgiveness and love.

Answer the following true/false questions to discover how well you release what’s no longer viable:

Set 1

1. I have a hard time letting go of grudges. When someone does me wrong, they are permanently on my “bad” list.

2. I somehow feel it’s “noble” to never give up, and this has caused me to stay in unhealthy relationships or situations.

3. When an intimate relationship ends, it can take me years to get over it.

4. I spend a lot of time living in the past—sometimes reliving old glory days, sometimes replaying what I wish I’d done differently.

5. When I make a mistake, I can’t stop dwelling on it and kicking myself.

6. I feel paralyzed by my fear of the unknown. I can’t let go of what I have when I don’t know what will replace it.

Set 2

1. When negative emotions arise, I allow myself to fully experience all my feelings, and I quickly find myself in a better emotional state.

2. Leaving behind a situation that isn’t working for me is the most self-caring thing I can do.

3. Finding a way to forgive someone—and sometimes myself—allows me to release anger and blame.

4. When I’m in conflict with someone, sharing my feelings allows me to feel heard, release my negative feelings and return to a place of peace and connection.

5. Although keeping the status quo may feel safer, I am committed to making choices that help me get out of my comfort zone and grow.

6. When dealing with the grieving process around the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship, ultimately finding a way to accept what IS, even though still sad, brings me greater peace.

How did you do?  This isn’t to judge yourself, only to observe so you can put words to your feelings, validate those emotions and move on. If you answered true to any in Set 1 and could use some support I’d love to have you join my Group Call on the topic of Forgiveness on April 19th @ 1pm MT. Sometimes finding peace is simply a matter of be willing to forgive ourselves and others.

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

When Your Buttons Get Pushed, How Well Do You Manage?

QUIZ:
When Your Buttons Get Pushed, How Well Do You Manage?

When you have an automatic, negative response to something, this often indicates a hypersensitivity that’s referred to as “getting your buttons pushed.” Usually these sensitivities have developed due to hurtful childhood experiences, such as repeatedly being criticized, rejected or feeling controlled.
image

For example, if your parents were very controlling, when someone tells you to do something you may resist—often subconsciously. Sometimes these sensitivities stem from generational fears we’ve inherited.

Answer the following two sets of questions, true or false, to discover how well you manage when you feel like your buttons are being pushed.

Set 1

1. When my buttons get pushed, I tend to shut down and withdraw.

2. When someone hurts me—even when I know it was unintentional—I blame myself for the situation.

3. When I feel offended by something someone said or did I let them know, often by lashing out.

4. I hate it when someone tells me I’m “too sensitive.”

5. When someone says or does something that triggers the feelings connected to an old emotional pain, it takes me a long time to let go of it and feel centered again. I often carry a resentment.

6. Sometimes I have no idea why I do what I do—I just can’t control myself.

7. Once someone pushes my buttons, that’s it—my wall goes up and stays up. I feel like a powerless little kid.

Set 2

1. When old feelings are triggered by something in the present, I take a deep breath, acknowledge that old feelings have been activated, get myself to a safe and comfortable environment and seek the support I need.

2. Rather than feeling victimized and blaming someone for pushing my buttons, I, again, take a deep breath, and then take an honest look at myself to see what I can learn from the situation.

3. I’ve worked to uncover old, painful issues so that I can release what was triggered and not feel at the mercy of my emotional response.

4. When I feel triggered, I understand that it usually has nothing to do with the person who pushed my buttons.

5. I’m familiar with my most common “buttons”; I recognize them more quickly now and am less reactive.

6. When my buttons do get pushed now, I am able to see the unresolved issues needing my attention.

7. I feel like an empowered adult when I can courageously look at my emotional triggers and work through them.

If you answered TRUE to any in Set 1, you probably recognize there are some things you could let go of to help you be more congruent with your best self.

If you answered TRUE more often in Set 1 and FALSE more often in Set 2 I’d love to help you experience life without dragging those triggers around with you any longer.

If you answered FALSE more often in Set 1 and TRUE more often in Set 2, yay you! You’ve obviously done the work to recognize your unresolved issues and are working through them. SimplyHealed is truly the fastest, most thorough, and most graceful way I know to do that.

See, it’s not about who’s pushing your buttons and why.
The questions I look at are:

  • Where did those buttons come from?
  • Why are you carrying them?
  • And most importantly, are you now willing to let them go?

Yes, it is possible to be free of old, buried (and sometimes not-so-buried) negative emotions that cause you to “take” offense even when none is given.

I absolutely love what I do because every day I get the privilege of helping people release the heaviness that’s come from their life situations so they can live a life they are happy living!

If there are areas in your life where you wish you were stronger and more confident, or if you know you have triggers you’d like to release so you can live the life you were born to, here are some options of how I can help:

Stay tuned next month for Part Two of this Quiz and learn more about letting go and moving on to a more positive life that you love!

Author’s content used under license, © 2010 Claire Communications

Vibe Raising 101

Over the years in my work as a teacher of Energy Healing, one of the questions I get asked a lot is…”how can I keep my vibration high and maintain it even on tough days?”

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a magic formula to keep our personal vibration strong and positive at all times?

Well, it’s not about magic formulas, or an ancient secret or new age discovery that will teach us how to make that happen, but it is about remembering what you already intuitively know to do.

Truth is, anything that makes you feel joyful and alive is a vibe-raiser.

Here are 6 easy actions that you can put into action right now that will help raise and strengthen your vibration:

As I always say, our energy speaks louder than our words, and there are simple things that we can do to keep our energy vibrant.

1. Remember that energy follows thought. In any situation, you can use positive affirmations to boost your energy field.

2. Own your power! Reminding yourself that your personal energy field is vivid and powerful will naturally boost your vibration.

3. Picture yourself surrounded by a field of strong and vibrant light, and even better, see that light originating within you. This, by way, is my favorite way to ‘shield’ myself. Watch my short video about it here.

4. Look for the good in others. Don’t allow negative energy to overtake you through gossiping or complaining. By speaking only well of others, you stay connected to the “best version of you” which feels happy, increases self-confidence, and of course strengthens your vibration.

5. Acknowledge your own good qualities. Don’t dwell on what you believe are your negative attributes. When faced with a challenge, an unfamiliar situation or a stressful social occasion, don’t buy into the false beliefs that you are awkward, or that you have nothing to offer conversationally, or that you are in any way less than others. We all have light sides and shadow sides, it’s part of being human. Self-pity is heavy energy, so dismiss those negative thoughts by flipping them to something you like about yourself.

And number six, is my personal favorite. It is an age-old, tried and proven, definitely-works remedy for a waning personal vibration. Are you ready…. Drum roll please…

6. Be kinder than you need to be.

Yep, that’s it! Kindness through service to others literally raises your energetic vibration!

Of course, you know that, because you’ve experienced how warm and rewarding it feels to reach out with kind service to another. Since what you send out is what you get back, it makes sense that if you seek for happiness, helping someone else experience happiness will automatically bring it your way as well.

When we help our fellowmen, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. It’s a win-win situation!

My December List

There are so many extra “to dos” during December, and I realize sometimes a regular routine can get lost in the flurry, at least mine can!

So here’s my personal simple reminder list of eleven self-care BASICS to keep me balanced anytime I’m going through an extra busy time. Holiday time is a really good time to make sure none of these slip through the cracks!

I hope my list helps you too:

  • Eat a minimum of one raw fruit and one raw vegetable each day
  • Drink plenty of water (with extra treats you may need more than you think)
  • Get enough sleep -listen to your body when it needs rest
  • Stick to your exercise routine, even if time-wise you need to shorten it some days
  • Be still for at least 5 min each day -breathe deeply to connect your body, mind, and spirit
  • Don’t neglect writing daily in your gratitude journal, it only takes a minute and yields great rewards
  • Practice staying in the moment- wherever you are, tell yourself “Be here now” and whether you are in traffic, or standing in a long check out line, or anywhere else, find the beauty in it
  • See the humor in situations and share the laughter with others (this always lightens me up!)
  • Take time for TEA. I’m referring to MiracleTea® – for me it helps with brain fog, better sleep, cleans up toxins if I sneak in a soda pop!
  • Each day do at least one act of service for someone else (even small things count!)
  • Do Less Better – this has been my mantra for a few months and has helped me tremendously! I’ll write an article about how it’s helped me and can help you too, in an upcoming newsletter.

The Call to Create

creative

The sound may be faint as the stirring of a soft breeze through the trees or as loud as a brass band in a parade. Or you may not hear a sound at all, but feel an urging, an inner pull, a sense of excitement and longing that resonates from within. This is the call to create, and it is universal, bidding each of us to bring something new into being.

“Creativity is the Self searching for itself,” said George Gamez, Ph.D., author of How to Catch Lightning in a Bottle. We create in order to express our unique visions and perceptions. We create to communicate and to form a bond with our fellow human beings. Creative expression helps us feel connected to the world and builds bridges of understanding. It nourishes us and helps us grow, provides insights and deeper understandings. Creativity is fun, exciting and playful. It relieves stress and releases tension. It provides a way of communication when normal channels may be blocked or are insufficient—when we must speak in colors and textures and shimmering visions and music.

Creativity is love expressing itself; it heals and renews. Our creations are mirrors in which others may see themselves and the signature of our lives that says, “This is how I saw it.”

Everyone is Creative

No matter what you may have been told, every one of us is creative. It is as much a part of us as our voice and breath and fingerprints. Creativity isn’t just about making “art.” Cooking, gardening, handiwork and crafts, keeping a journal are all creative acts. Arranging flowers or rearranging furniture, painting a picture or painting a room, singing on stage or singing in the shower—these are responses to the call.

Creativity is a way of living. It is being spontaneous and playful, exercising the imagination, finding solutions, and embracing possibilities and doing it all with passion.

Yet for all the joy and fulfillment it brings, some resist the call to be creative. In our culture the ideas that “Time is money” and “Art is frivolous” are common, and old messages such as, “Stay inside the lines” or “You can do better than that” have remarkable staying power. It takes courage to look beneath the surface of what we’ve been told in order to find our heart’s desire.

Creativity requires risk-taking. It asks us to surrender, to let go and to trust. “Committing to our creativity is an act of faith,” wrote Jan Phillips, in Marry Your Muse. “A promise to believe in ourselves.”

Honoring the creative Self means finding time, making space, being patient and taking the chance of looking foolish. You cannot care too much what others think or say. You must be willing to start over and stay with it; creativity takes stamina. There are no magical secrets or absolute rules. Creativity can’t be taught. You just do it.

Like the body’s natural urge for motion and the human need for connection and community, the spirit longs to express itself. So when you hear the call to create, answer, “Yes.” It is your self searching for your Self, a movement toward being whole.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Play to Your Strengths

strengthHow often have you invested in a personal growth training to try to improve something you felt you were not good at? Perhaps it was writing, marketing, trusting your intuition or public speaking. For most of us, trying to improve our weak areas in operating a business or improving people skills comes with the territory. Whatever the area, we feel as if we are required to do battle with what we don’t do well.
As it turns out, the majority of people around the world feel this way. In their groundbreaking book Now, Discover Your Strengths, authors Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton say that across all ages and cultures, people are more concerned about their weaknesses than their strengths. We believe that our weaknesses matter more in holding us back than our strengths matter in advancing us.
That’s nonsense, say the authors—widely held nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless. In their provocative theory, they suggest that the better strategy is to play to your strengths, building upon your core talents, and work around your weaknesses. You can work to add skills and knowledge to increase your performance in any area, but unless you are building upon one of your innate talents, your efforts won’t produce exceptional results—some results, yes, but not dramatic improvement.
“Unless you have the necessary talent, your improvements will be modest,” write Buckingham and Clifton. “You will be diverting most of your energy toward damage control and very little toward real development.”

The expression “damage control” is their term for trying to minimize your weaknesses—the areas where your lack of talent actually get in the way of your performance.

“Managing Around” a Weakness

Instead of trying to overcome your weaknesses by brute force—and at the expense of putting the same energy into growing your strengths—they offer five strategies for what they call “managing around” a weakness: (Note: most of these strategies are written in business terms, but for those of you not in a business-setting, they are still great, as they can easily be applied to all areas of life)

Get a little better at it. In some cases, your weakness is only moderately impeding your peak performance in other areas. If so, then maybe damage control is the right solution.

Develop a support system. This is the proverbial string tied around the finger to remind you of something. Whether it is time management systems for those with a talent for adaptability but not discipline, or a scheduled walk in the park for disciplined folks who neglect self-care, you can often blunt the effects of your weaknesses through such structured inputs.

Study your prospects. In business, if your skills tend toward the analytical and away from such talents as wooing clients or dealing directly with confrontation, then you probably ought not be spending a lot of time in sales. But when you do have to sell something—such as one of your ideas—approach the problem analytically. Rather than agonize over your lack of salesmanship, study your prospects, dig into what makes them tick and what ideas they’ve accepted in the past, and let your enthusiasm for your ideas do the talking.

Find a partner. This may be the best approach for small business people and “solo” practitioners. Go into partnership discussions with a clear-eyed understanding of the strengths you bring, and the strengths you need from your partner. Don’t be shy about your strengths—the whole point of this is to create a world in which you get to do what you are really good at. And be open-minded about what a partnership looks like. For some solo practitioners, an administrative assistant or a marketing consultant could be all the partnering you need.

Just (Don’t) Do It. The last option, say Buckingham and Clifton, is just don’t do the things you are weak at. In a corporate setting you might get away with this, particularly if you are a high-performer in the areas of your strengths. If you’re a small business owner and your organizational chart tends to have “me” written in most every box, not doing something may not seem like much of a choice. But keep it as a goal and continue to work toward the day when you can contribute to your business exclusively from the place of your highest strengths.

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications