Now available on Amazon "Searching For Sunny Skies" by Mary M Beckman
As a human being you have value, you matter, and have meaning to someone.
What does it mean to matter to someone?
When connections are created, the people on each end of the connection receive a positive feeling. It matters to those people that a connection has been made. By providing a helping hand or a word of encouragement to a person who appreciates the gesture, a connection is created.
If you feel that there is 'no one' you know who you think you matter to, you might not be aware of how your actions - a smile, a hand wave, a funny text - mean to those who you have touched. Ask yourself the following questions:
How often have I had thoughts wondering if who I really matter to anyone?
How often have I questioned if what I do really matters?
The reality is that "You matter" and what you do matters to those around you even if you are not always aware of it.
Life is a journey. With life there is a beginning (being born), middle with lots of side trips (experiences), and finally the destination (dying). While you don’t have a choice with how or where you are born or when you die, you do have a choice with your decisions on which path to take at any time. Sometimes you may not feel as though you have a choice when situations are put upon you. The reality is that even though you are where you are based on the actions of someone else, you can reflect, regroup and decide on what you can do next. Sometimes the next action is to stay where you are for that day. Sometimes the next action is to accept what has happened. Sometimes the next action is to move forward. Interestingly, the ideas and strength on how to move forward can come from others who have had similar situations in their life. Ask yourself the following questions:
Where do I want to go?
What path am I on?
Are where I want to go and the path that I am taking in alignment?
You can ask for help and move forward, one step at a time.
As a human you need connection with other people. You have a need to belong and be seen. When you lose connection, you can feel lonely and sad. The remedy is to reach out to another and make a connection instead of waiting for someone to connect with you. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. It can be a simple “Hi, I’m thinking about you. How is your day going?” Ask yourself the following questions:
Who do I connect with?
How do I make time to connect with those I care about?
You bloom best when fed and watered with positive connection.
The definition of motivation is ‘the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way’. For example, the reason I want to eat healthy food is so that I can stay healthy. Staying healthy is the reason or motivation for wanting to eat healthy food. The reason I don’t want to smoke cigarettes is so that I can continue to breathe in a healthy way. Continuing to breathe in a healthy way is my motivation for not wanting to smoke cigarettes. Motivations can change over time depending on life situations. Sometimes motivation for behavior is basic survival. Other times motivation for change needs to be found in other ways. Maybe desiring to achieve a certain goal has motivation from hearing the story of another person who has achieved that goal. Ask yourself the following questions:
What do I think about wanting to do or not do a behavior?
How might I change a thought to change a behavior?
Choosing a positive reason to achieve a goal can help you continue to choose actions to achieve the goal. Putting up reminders on sticky notes where you can see them helps as well.
What is perseverance? According to one definition, perseverance is defined as “persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.” There are some things in life that require perseverance in order to achieve a goal. For instance, completing the coursework for a certificate or degree requires perseverance as there are many potential difficulties in that process. Sticking to a personal improvement goal also requires perseverance. Sometimes you can get off track from your goal because of situations beyond your control. Sometimes your attitude can take a path of procrastination. Sometimes you wonder if it is worth it to keep on doing the work to achieve the goal.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What do I do when I know I need to do something to achieve my goal and feel too tired to do it?
Do I make an excuse or do I say ‘gotta do it even though I’m tired’?
What keeps me moving forward in doing the work to achieve my goal?
Although perseverance may not be something you think about while you are in the midst of the work toward achieving your goal, you will be amazed to look back on what you have achieved because of your perseverance.
Recovering quickly after a difficult experience is a skill that can be learned. It has been really challenging for some to keep up with resilience during restrictions due to things beyond their control. Ask yourself the following questions:
How do I recover from difficult experiences now?
What do I wish I could do to recover from a difficult experience?
Do I reach out to others?
What steps could I take to learn how to recover sooner from a difficult experience?
There are many websites that offer strategies for resilience. Check out resiliencetrumpsaces.org.
‘Change’ is a word that some hate to hear. Human nature has the instinct to resist it. Yet change is inevitable. Without change humans, animals, and plants will not grow. Growth physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally as a human makes you unique in this world. For many, physical growth occurs naturally from babies on up through becoming a adult. In school you learn mentally the knowledge and skills to help you succeed in some way to get through life. At home you learn what emotions are and how to deal with them. With a spiritual community you learn what it means to be connected with something outside of yourself. Ask yourself the following questions:
What would I like to do that I haven’t done yet?
What would I need to change to do that thing?
Would I like to meditate more?
What do I need to start a meditation practice?
What career would I like to get into?
How can I explore more about it to make that change?
Knowing that possibilities for you to do something different exist is the first step in sparking the flame for change.
You did not get to where you are today in an instant. It took many experiences to create your thought, behavior, and belief patterns. In order to change a negative thought, behavior, or belief pattern, a small baby step needs to be taken. Even when you decide to make a change with a small step there will be times when falling back into the previous way of thinking, behaving, or believing will occur. It is important to remember that when setbacks happen you are still okay and that you can continue in taking more steps to change the one thought, behavior, or belief. Just like when a baby is learning to walk there are times when the baby loses balance and then falls down. The baby may cry or get frustrated for a bit. Sometimes a caregiver will provide encouragement and help the baby get up to try again. Over time the baby learns to get the right balance and walk forward with a big smile. Ask yourself the following questions:
What is a negative thought or belief I have about myself that I would like to change?
What baby step can I make to change the negative thought or belief into a positive statement about myself?
Knowledge is the first step. Taking action, no matter how small, is the next step.
Knowing that you have unlimited choices in our daily life enables you to have a brighter outlook for the day. When the unlimited choices become limited, your outlook for the day can tend to become less bright. Freedom is the ability to think the way you want to and act on the choices you make. Even when the choices seem to be limited, you have the ability to look outside yourself to see what other choices are available.
Ask yourself the following questions:
How do I take advantage of the freedom to think the way I want?
When do I feel limited in the choices I can make?
What causes those limitations?
Do I feel free and comfortable to make my own decisions?
Every day you choose to think and act based on what you know and your experiences. Exploring new ways of thinking and acting can put you on a different life path.
Not sure you know how to look outside of yourself to see what other choices are available? Check out https://www.harmonyspringslife.com to see how to get in touch to chat with me about that for free!
The ability to take action when you are afraid is an amazing feat. It is the ability to overcome fear that enables you to move forward. Fear can be described as ‘false evidence appearing real’. Fear can be a motivator or a heavy weight. It is up to you to address fear directly so that you can move forward in life. Ask yourself the following questions:
What is my reaction to fear?
Do I give in to the negative thinking? Do I take the fear apart logically?
Do I ask for help to move through the fear?
We can choose to be either frozen by fearful thoughts or to be courageous and move forward even when feeling afraid.
Emotions are intertwined into your being. As a human you feel emotions, whether you want to or not. Some emotions are pleasant and some you would rather not experience, yet they are all designed for your well-being. Emotions are also timeless. Experiencing an emotion today may send you back to a time you felt that emotion as a child and that child may decide to behave in a way that is not what you would want. It is good to have an emotional toolkit ready to move through any emotion that you might find to be uncomfortable. Recognition, Counting, and Grounding are three essential tools to help move through an uncomfortable emotion. Recognition of what feeling is being experienced may take some practice. Naming the emotion is the first step in understanding what you are experiencing. If the emotion is very intense and is sending you down a path you would rather not take, then Counting is a way to lessen the intensity. It doesn’t matter what you count, just think or say numbers like your phone number or count backwards from 100. This action puts our thinking into our logical side of the brain. Grounding is used when the emotion has sent you back to childhood and you seem to not be in the present. Stand with your feet firmly on the floor. Close your eyes and imagine yourself to be a tree. Imagine roots starting at your feet and moving into the ground. Reach your arms up and out as if branches. Breathe slowly while imagining the roots from your feet going into the ground. Ask yourself the following questions:
How do I know what I am feeling in the moment?
Do I embrace or hide from uncomfortable feelings?
Learning to recognizing and name emotional feelings will help you in knowing how to work through them when you need to.
Vision refers to that which can be seen with your eyes or a concept that can be imagined. Seeing with your eyes or mind provides a frame of reference in which to process and understand your situation. Our eyes tell you where you are in physical space, what objects are in your immediate area, and who is near to you. Your brain decides if action is needed based on what is perceived around you. Your imagination can be used to take you to a place or time where you wish to be. If your imagination takes you to a desired place, physical location or situation, that has not yet happened, you can decide if you want to take steps to make the imagined place a reality. Writing down the vision you have for your future is a first step. It may include travel, a new career, having a family of your own, giving to others, or even owning a home. The possibilities are endless. Some vision items are simple and take a little time to make it happen, while other items might seem more complex and will take more time to achieve. The amazing thing is that you have the ability to dream of what you want and can take steps to attain it.
Take some time to ask yourself the following questions.
What do I wish was different in my life?
Have I thought about how I might be able to make that wish happen?
What might be holding me back in taking steps to attain the difference?
Using courage to move forward and the support of others to achieve changes, your future visions can turn into reality.
Sometimes being afraid of something can consume your thoughts. Most of the time it is a result of the fear of what might happen. Sometimes a situation in life that could lead to an unpleasant or unwanted outcome can cause thoughts to run downward in a spiral. For instance, when there is a situation of possible layoffs at work, one possible thought might be “I could lose my job!” Some following fear thoughts could be “I won’t be able to pay my bills or buy food, and I could lose my home and have to live on the street in my car.” Another path is to look at the potentially unwanted outcome in a positive way. Instead of focusing on “I won’t be able to pay my bills or buy food, and I could lose my home and have to live on the street in my car,” a different positive way of thinking for that situation could be ‘I think I will update my resume. I have some money saved that will last me a while until I can get another position. If I have to stay with friends or family for a while until I get another position, I can handle that.”
Ask yourself the following questions:
What types of disaster thoughts do I keep in my mind when things appear that may change my life in an unwanted way?
How might I be able to change my disaster thoughts into moving forward thoughts that would move me forward should a life changing event occur?
Knowing how and what you think can give you insight into how you can change your thinking and help you to be able to take what life throws at you.
Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase “balancing act”. Notice that the word “act” follows the word “balancing”. It requires action to balance anything. When “balancing the scales” is being performed, one side of the scale has the object being weighed and the other side is for the individual weights to be placed. Equilibrium, or balance between the two sides, is achieved when both sides have the same weight. How can this be applied to work and personal life balance? It really comes down to personal priorities and life values. An exercise to determine the top two personal life values can greatly help in making decisions for work life balancing. When deciding whether or not to work overtime or attend a child’s soccer game, reviewing the top two personal life values can really help.
What are my top two personal life values?
How do I decide what is important in my life?
What is the return on investment for the decisions I make?
Knowing what is important in your life is a valuable tool when you need to make decisions that affect what happens to you and others at work and at home.