Appreciating Yourself

The more you appreciate yourself, the more others will appreciate you.

Feeling unappreciated is a very toxic emotional state.  It doesn’t make us bad or wrong – it’s actually quite human – but it does cause tremendous damage.  When we feel unappreciated, it quickly opens the door to: feeling misunderstood; overwhelmed with seemingly unsolvable problems; blamed for things we didn’t do; and burdened with responsibilities that aren’t ours.  All this because we don’t feel appreciated.

Again, this doesn’t make us bad or wrong (nothing does), but it does make us suffer. The ego part of self always wants us to feel unappreciated.  It whispers in our ear that other people don’t see how hard we’re working, that they don’t appreciate all the difficulties we’re dealing with, that they don’t consider everything we do to make things work around here – even things we weren’t asked to do. The ego also tells us that until other people appreciate this, we can’t be happy.

But the exact opposite is true.  As long we keep trying to get other people to appreciate us, we won’t be happy.  In truth, whenever we feel unappreciated it’s an invitation to look deeper by asking ourselves two questions:

  1. What am I not appreciating in myself right now?
  2. What am I not appreciating in others?

For example, let’s say I make a special dinner for my family, going to great lengths to prepare dishes that I know they all enjoy.  Everyone eats and then is off to whatever they do after dinner, while I’m left standing there waiting for some acknowledgment beyond a quick “Thanks.”  Maybe I don’t even get that.  My ego starts whispering about how much effort I put into this meal and yet no one noticed or cared.  In fact, they just expect it of me.  They don’t have any idea of what goes into creating a meal like this and I can’t tell them either because then they’ll just misunderstand and think I’m fishing for compliments.  No matter what I do to show my love, it’s never enough.

And then my ego piles it on by reminding me of all the other things I do for my family that they don’t appreciate.  Before I know it, this special meal that I put so much effort into has turned into a source of anger and resentment, where I feel increasingly unhappy.   And given the Law of Attraction that says like energy attracts like energy, when I go to work tomorrow – if I stay in this emotional state – I’ll just attract more experiences where my hard work and effort goes unappreciated.

But what would happen if instead I used my feeling of being unappreciated as guidance, as a sign that I need to look deeper to see what I’m not appreciating in myself?  Perhaps I’m not recognizing just how loving I am.  Or how generous I am with my giving.  Or the creative ways I express my caring.  I’m wanting others to appreciate this, but I’m not appreciating it myself.  If I can’t or won’t give it to myself, then how can I expect others to?  More importantly, the Law of Attraction won’t allow it.  I’m putting out a vibration of not appreciating myself and therefore am attracting experiences of not being appreciated.  But when I genuinely start appreciating myself, I’ll attract experiences of being appreciated by others, including my family.  The power is within me.

Then I can ask the second question: What am I not appreciating in them?  Perhaps my spouse is under a lot of pressure and isn’t paying attention to anything right now.  Maybe my kids are overwhelmed with homework or are totally caught up with trying to fit in with their friends.  Maybe everyone is running a 100 mph right now just to keep up.  When I can find what I’m not appreciating in them, and then take a moment to understand and feel my appreciation for what they’re experiencing, I strengthen the attraction for being appreciated.

Again, the power is within me.

–Holly

Your Subconscious Mind is Waiting To Help You

Your Subconscious Mind is eagerly waiting to help you change any habit or behavior that you’re willing to release.

Changing negative habits or behaviors doesn’t have to be gut wrenching, hard or even stressful when you access the power of your Subconscious Mind.  This part of you wants you to be happy, healthy and successful, but it doesn’t have the power of choice.  Only you, the Conscious Mind, have choice.  When you combine your power of choice with its ability to implement that choice, you can easily change any habit or behavior.

One effective way to do that is by reprogramming yourself using the following sentence: “I used to ___________________, but now I don’t anymore.”  This statement communicates your choice through affirming your new action – in this case, what you’re no longer doing.  For example:

  • I used to crave sweets, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to like smoking, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to put myself down, but now I don’t any more.

This technique works incredibly well even if you don’t believe your affirmation at first. In fact, many people have been delightfully surprised that after just two weeks of continually repeating their statement it was suddenly true for them – they didn’t crave sweets or like smoking or put themselves down anymore.  Their Subconscious Mind listened and implemented their choice.

Some more examples:

  • I used to procrastinate, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to stay in unhealthy relationships, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to hate exercising, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to smoke, but now I don’t anymore. (This is a great affirmation once you decide to quit – and starting with not liking it can be very helpful.)*
  • I used to worry about money, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to overeat, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to drink too much, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to let people walk all over me, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to exhaust myself, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to have a hard time saying no, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to deny the power of my love, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to get involved in other people’s business, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to stress about the future, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to try to be everything to everyone, but now I don’t any more.
  • I used to hide who I am, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to feel afraid all the time, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to stay silent when things bothered me, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to think I was powerless, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to continually tell myself I should be doing more, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to buy things I couldn’t afford, but now I don’t anymore.
  • I used to get angry all the time, but now I don’t anymore.

The only limit to this technique is your own imagination – again, there’s no habit or behavior you can’t change.  The key is continually repeating your statement throughout the day, whether you believe it yet or not.  Every time you affirm it, you’re communicating your choice to your Subconscious Mind and it will respond until one day you suddenly realize that it’s true – it’s no longer an affirmation, it’s your reality.

–Holly

* This two stage approach is very effective for habits and behaviors that have become addictions.  Start with not liking it and then move to quitting.  For example, if you have an addiction to junk food: “I used to like eating junk food, but now I don’t anymore.” Once that feels true: “I used to eat junk food, but now I don’t anymore.”  Or if you have an addiction to self-punishment: “I used to like punishing myself, but now I don’t anymore.”  Once that feels true: “I used to punish myself, but now I don’t anymore.”

There’s Someone Who Really Deserves Your Compassion

There’s someone in the world that really deserves your compassion – you.

For many of us, it’s easier to feel compassion for someone else rather than ourselves.  But we deserve our own compassion, and not only do we deserve it, we need it.  Sometimes life is hard and we have to deal with difficult things.  In those times it’s all too easy to judge ourselves, to think that we should be responding better and that somehow we’re not doing it right because if we were (the thinking goes), it wouldn’t hurt so bad or be so scary or cause so much suffering.

But sometimes in life we hurt, we’re scared, we suffer.  And it’s not because we did anything wrong.  These are the times when we need our own compassion the most.  It is this energy that can carry us through the difficult times, that can heal our hurt or dissipate the fear or end the suffering.  Compassion is an incredibly, incredibly powerful emotion, especially when we give it to ourselves.  When we can feel that depth of caring for whatever we’re going through, it generates a sense that we’re going to be okay because we experience someone having our back – us.  And when we can be there for ourselves, there’s nothing we can’t get through.

So how do you feel compassion for yourself?  One way is by focusing on someone you really care about and then imagining that they’re experiencing whatever difficulty you’re experiencing.  Really envision that they’re having all the same feelings and all the same thoughts – they’re experiencing the same stress, anxiety, despair or whatever impacts you’re living through because of this difficultly.  Perhaps they can’t sleep or are finding it hard to concentrate or have lost their sense of a hopeful future.  Maybe they feel depressed and alone or are angry and frustrated.  Just let yourself imagine that they’re experiencing everything you are, almost as if you’re writing a play and this person is playing you.  Now look at them.  Open your heart and look at them.  Let yourself feel compassion.  They don’t want this.  They didn’t ask for it.  They don’t deserve it.  Neither do you.  Neither do you.

In this space of compassion, make a commitment to yourself.  “Right now I’m a woman/man who is experiencing __________ (whatever the difficulty is).   But that’s not who I am.  That’s what I’m experiencing right now, but it’s not who I am.  I refuse to judge myself.  I refuse to tear myself down.  I refuse to abandon myself.  I stand for me.  I will not give my power away to this situation.  I don’t deserve that and I refuse to let that happen.  What I do deserve is compassion, understanding and the space to be messy and make mistakes.  I give myself that, I give that to me.  And no one and nothing can take that away.  I stand for me. I have my back.”

–Holly

With Love, Will And Determination There’s Nothing You Can’t Do

When you’re in touch with your love, will and determination, there’s nothing you can’t do – nothing.

In southern cooking the holy trinity is onions, bell peppers and celery.  These form the base for many Deep South dishes and are considered a kitchen staple.  When it comes to creating what you want in life, there’s another holy trinity: love, will and determination. When you allow these energies to be the base of what you do, there’s nothing you can’t create.

The recipe is simple:

  1. Think of something you want to create. I want a loving relationship. I want a more fulfilling or better paying job. I want to heal this health condition. I want a group of friends to do things with. I want to go on this vacation. Whatever you want – don’t limit yourself by what you think is possible. Let yourself have the courage to tell yourself what you really desire.
  2. Now feel as much love as you can. It doesn’t have to be related to what you want. In fact, sometimes it’s easier if it’s not. Think of someone you love or who loves you and really feel that emotion. Or remember an experience where you felt a tremendous amount of love. Or think about something that you just love to do. It doesn’t matter how you get there – the key is totally immersing yourself in feeling love.
  3. Now summon your will – singular will. Will is focused intent and when it’s singular, when you have one focus and one focus only, it can become an unstoppable force.  Developing singular will is a skill that requires practice and the more you do it, the easier it gets. Let’s say you want a loving relationship. To hold singular will is to imagine that it’s already done: you have that loving relationship, it’s yours, it’s manifested. But because you’re human, thoughts usually creep in: what if I can’t find someone? This splits your will in two – it’s already done and not finding someone – which makes it less powerful. Then another thought comes in: what if I get hurt? Now you’ve split your will into three and it’s even less powerful. And then another: what if I can’t handle it? Now your will is split into four and has even less power.

    This is why it’s important to practice. When you want something, thoughts of not having it will surface. That’s totally normal. The key is to drop those thoughts immediately and focus on your singular will. “I have this loving relationship. It’s already done. It will manifest.” Then imagine it. Day dream. Spend time in your mind being in this loving relationship, imagining all the things you’ll do together and how it will feel. Let it be as real as possible, again holding the singular will that it’s already done, it’s already happened and it’s coming to you in the right time.

  4. The fourth step in this recipe is to draw upon your determination. This is where a lot of people mess up. When what they want doesn’t show up right away or when it does, but it’s not what they wanted, they give up. They may tell themselves that it’s impossible or that they can’t really have it or that they’re unlucky, but the truth is that they quit. When you’re determined, you don’t quit. You learn whatever you need to learn and continue to go for it, no matter what – even though your ego wants you to fail and you may have other parts of yourself saying that you don’t deserve or have other objections. It doesn’t matter, not when you’re determined. If you want it, that’s good enough.

    Determination requires a lot of strength. But when you immerse yourself in love and have singular will, you’ll have all the strength you need.

Happy cooking!

–Holly

Where Do You Want To Be In Two Years?

The Universe is dreaming a future for you far more beautiful than anything you can dream for yourself.

To dream something is to bring together all the necessary resources to make it happen.  That’s what the Universe is doing for you right now, and it shows up as opportunity.  Continuous opportunity.  But we often miss these opportunities because we’ve set our sights too low.  We’re so busy dealing with day to day life that we haven’t sat down and thought about the future that we want to live.  So when a little opportunity presents itself, one that would take us down a slightly different path that could lead to a profoundly different future, we don’t see it.

This doesn’t deter the Universe.  It continues dreaming for us and sending opportunities, hoping that we’ll not only see them, but take them.  One way to answer this call to a more beautiful future is to ask ourselves, “What do I want my life to be like in two years?  What kind of work?  Who do I want to be spending my time with?  Where do I want to live? What desires do I have for my health, finances, relationships, recreation?”  The answers that come will bring us closer in alignment to what the Universe is dreaming for us, making it much easier to recognize opportunities when they present themselves.  In sense, it’s like we’re lifting our eyes to the horizon so that we can see all the possibilities, possibilities that the Universe so dearly wants to give us.

–Holly

Look For Joy!

We find what we consistently look for so look for joy!

Or love or beauty or compassion or whatever it is you want in your life.  But it’s needs to be a conscious effort because our brains are wired to look for threats – historically if we’d been walking around looking for joy we would have been eaten.

One great technique to refocus your brain is to ask yourself three questions every morning:

  1. How much fun can I have today?
  2. How care-free can I be?
  3. What joy can I experience?

Then as you go to bed that night, take a moment to review your day and ask yourself:

  1. What was fun today?
  2. What created a feeling of being care-free?
  3. What brought me joy?

In the beginning, your answers might be, “Nada. Nix.  Nothing.” But as you work with this technique, your brain will cooperate and you’ll not only find yourself attracted to situations, people and experiences that engender these, but you’ll also attract these to you.

Again, we find what we consistently look for so take conscious charge and look for what you really want.  Your brain will still alert you to threats as appropriate, but that won’t be its primary focus.  Instead, it will be your ally in living the life you want to live, not the one dictated by old wiring.

–Holly

Moving Beyond Struggle To Find A Better Way

If you find yourself struggling with something, take a deep breath and let yourself stop.

Most of us have been conditioned to push harder when something isn’t working, but that actually creates more stress.  Struggle is a message that there’s a better way – a way to achieve greater results for the same amount of energy, but sometimes that means reevaluating our approach. Maybe we’re trying to force a round peg into a square hole.  Or perhaps we keep repeating the same pattern hoping that this time will work. Or maybe we’re doing something that we think we should be doing, but our heart isn’t in it.

Rather than fighting and struggling and settling for difficulty, what if we had the courage to consider that we’re going about this the wrong way?  Even a few moments of entertaining doubt and uncertainty can have huge payoffs because it creates the space for new ideas to come in.  The classic question to facilitate this space: “If I were going to consider approaching this in a completely different way, what might that look like?”  Then hang out in this uncomfortable place for as long as possible.  The results can be amazing.

–Holly

Holding Onto Your Power

There will be times for the rest of your life when you’re not prepared and will blow it – and that’s okay.  Hold onto your power, don’t give it away to your mistake.

One of the most liberating statements on the planet is: “I blew it.”  No pity, no self-punishment, just the raw admission of what happened.  As human beings, we are wired to make mistakes.  It’s part of our evolutionary process.  But most of us have never learned how to become good at making mistakes.  Instead, we’re taught to deny, defend and cover up, all of which are incredibly imprisoning and result in giving our power away.

The invitation is to change that.  To let go of whatever we’ve learned and choose instead to embrace the idea that for the rest of our lives we’re going to be dealing with making mistakes.  Meaning, there will be times when we feel hurt and sometimes even pain, depending upon the magnitude of the mistake.  But rather than using our old approaches, we could actually take a moment to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I’m really hurting right now because I just blew it.  But I refuse to add to my pain by beating myself up or playing games.  I’m human and as much as I hate it, sometimes I blow it.  But I still accept myself, I’m still a good person even when I make mistakes.  And, I can clean this up – I don’t have to live with this.  And not only can I clean it up, I can use this mistake to learn and become more.  That’s my birthright as a human being.”

This is an incredibly effective way to hold onto our power when we make a mistake – power that we need in order to learn, grow and change so that this mistake isn’t wasted and instead actually adds to our evolution.

–Holly

Something Wonderful Is About To Happen

One of the secrets of success is continuously expecting something wonderful to happen.

You don’t have to have any idea what it might be, you just need to be willing to expect something wonderful.  Children have this quality naturally; it’s part of their innocence and wonder.  As adults, most of us have lost those qualities, but we can regain them any time by making a choice to expect wonderful things to happen – and then looking for them.

It may seem too simple, but test it out for three days.  When you wake up tomorrow proclaim to yourself, “Something really wonderful is going to happen today.”  As the day progresses, remind yourself – put it in your phone, your calendar, on a post it or whatever works for you.  Each time you see the reminder, pause for a moment and feel:  “Something really wonderful is going to happen today.”  Then be open to it.

If nothing wonderful happens, repeat the practice the next day.  And then the next.  You’ll know by then whether this is an effective tool for you.  And if it is, you’ll find that over time your sense of innocence and wonder returns far more powerfully than you ever experienced as a kid because an adult’s capacity to feel is far greater than a child’s.

–Holly

Central Question At The End Of Life

For most people, the central question at the end of their life won’t be “how much stuff did I create?”  It will be “how much did I love and allow myself to be loved?”

Everything in our life says something about our relationship with love.  In areas where we’re happy and things are going well it’s a message that we’re allowing love to flow.  In areas where we’re unhappy and are experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil it’s a message that we need to allow more love.  We’re not bad or wrong or anything, we just need to allow more love.

Maybe we’re punishing ourselves for not doing something as well as we think we should have. Perhaps we’re forgetting that we’re human and that sometimes in life we’re prepared and sometimes we’re not and that’s okay – we’re here to learn, not to be perfect.   Maybe we won’t let ourselves off the hook for something that we experienced a long time ago or even last week.  Perhaps we’re so filled with regret or anger or fear that we just don’t feel like we deserve to be loved.  Or maybe we don’t feel well and somehow think it’s our fault.  It’s not.  No matter what we’ve done or haven’t done around our health, no one wants to be sick.  It’s what the late poet Maya Angelou so compassionately said, “When we know better, we do better.”

And that includes allowing more love in our life – if we can realize that any area that isn’t going well in our life is a message that we need to allow more love there, then we can begin the process of changing.  Rather than punishing ourselves or demanding perfection or refusing to let ourselves off the hook or holding onto the thought that we don’t deserve – all actions that block love – we can take a deep breath and give ourselves permission to open.  Just open.  To let love into wherever we’re unhappy and are experiencing emotional turmoil.  “Love, I give this situation to you.  Work your magic.  Work your magic.  In my best interest, with harm to none.”

Then breathe, knowing that love will heal whatever needs to be healed.  Love will change whatever needs to be changed.  It may not happen in an instant, but it will happen because love is the most powerful energy of all.

–Holly