Thursday, 14 August 2014
Let’s be honest – we’ve all acted in toxic, damaging ways at one time or another. None of us are immune to occasional toxic mood swings, but many people are more evolved, balanced and aware, and such occurrences happen only rarely in their lives.
Whether your toxic behavior is a common occurrence, or just a once in a blue moon phenomena, it’s critical for your long-term happiness and success that you are able to recognize when you’re behaving negatively, and consciously shift your mindset when necessary.
The twelve most common toxic behaviors we see are:
Being envious of everyone else. – Don’t let envy (or jealously) get the best of you. Envy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. There is nothing attractive or admirable about this behavior. So stop comparing your journey with everyone else’s. Your journey is YOUR journey, NOT a competition. You are in competition with one person and one person only – yourself. You are competing to be the best you can be. If you want to measure your progress, compare yourself to who you were yesterday.
Taking everything too personally. – People are toxic to be around when they believe that everything happening around them is a direct assault on them or is in some way all about them. The truth is that what people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, is more about them. It's not that we should be narcissists and ignore all feedback. So much hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives comes from our taking things personally. In most cases it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of other people’s good or bad opinion of you, and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.
Acting like you’re always a victim. – Another toxic behavior is persistent complaining that fuels your sense of victimization. Believing you’re a victim, that you have no power to exert and no power over the direction of your life, is a toxic stance that keeps you stuck. When you stop complaining, and refuse to see yourself as a helpless victim, you’ll find that you are more powerful than you realized, but only if you choose to accept this reality.
Hoarding pain and loss. – One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go – whether it’s guilt, anger, love or loss. Change is never easy – you fight to hold on and you fight to let go. But oftentimes letting go is the healthiest path forward. It clears out toxic thoughts from the past. You’ve got to emotionally free yourself from the things that once meant a lot to you, so you can move beyond the past and the pain it brings you. Again, it takes hard work to let go and refocus your thoughts, but it’s worth every bit of effort you can muster.
Obsessive negative thinking. – It’s very hard to be around people who refuse to let go of negativity – when they ruminate and speak incessantly about the terrible things that could happen and have happened, the scorns they’ve suffered, and the unfairness of life. These people stubbornly refuse to see the positive side of life and the positive lessons from what’s happening. Pessimism is one thing – but remaining perpetually locked in a negative mindset is another. Only seeing the negative, and operating from a view that everything is negative and against you, is a twisted way of thinking and living, and you can change that.
Lack of emotional self-control. – An inability to manage your emotions is toxic to everyone around you. We all know these people – those who explode in anger and tears over the smallest hiccup or problem. Yelling at the grocery store clerk for the long line, screaming at an employee for a small error she made, or losing it with your daughter for spilling juice on the floor. If you find that you’re overly emotional, losing your cool at every turn, you may need some outside assistance to help you gain control over your emotions and understand what’s at the root of your inner angst. There’s more to it than what appears on the surface. An independent perspective – and a new kind of support – can work wonders.
Making superficial judgments about others. – Don’t always judge a person by what they show you. Remember, what you’ve seen is oftentimes only what that person has chosen to show you, or what they were driven to show based on their inner stress and pain. Alas, when another person tries to make you suffer in some small way, it is usually because they suffer deep within themselves. Their suffering is simply spilling over. They do not need punishment or ridicule, they need help. If you can’t help them, let them be.
Cruelty (or lacking empathy and compassion). – One of the most toxic behaviors – cruelty – stems from a total lack of empathy, concern or compassion for others. We see it every day online and in the media – people being devastatingly unkind and hurtful to others just because they can. They tear people down online in a cowardly way, using their anonymity as a shield. Cruelty, backstabbing, and hurting others for any reason is toxic, and it hurts you as well. If you find yourself backstabbing and tearing someone else down, stop in your tracks. Dig deep and find compassion in your heart, and realize that we’re all in this together.
Cheating and cutting moral corners simply because you can. – Cheating is a choice, not a mistake, and not an excuse! If you decide to cheat, and you succeed in cheating someone out of something, don’t think that this person is a fool. Realize that this person trusted you much more than you ever deserved. Be bigger than that. Don’t do immoral things simply because you can. Don’t cheat. Be honest with yourself and everyone else. Do the right thing. Integrity is the essence of everything successful.
Hiding your truth. – People cannot connect with you if you’re constantly trying to hide from yourself. And this becomes a truly toxic situation the minute they become attached to your false persona. So remember, no matter what age, race, sex, or sexuality you are, underneath all your external decorations you are a pure, beautiful being – each and every one of us are. We each have light to shine, and missions to accomplish. Celebrate being different, off the beaten path, a little on the weird side, your own special creation. If you find yourself feeling like a fish out of water, by all means find a new river to swim in. But DO NOT change who you are; BE who you are. Don’t deny yourself.
Needing constant validation. – People who constantly strive for validation by others are exhausting to be around. Those men and women who get caught up in the need to prove their worth over and over and over, and constantly want to win over everyone around them, are unintentionally toxic and draining. Know this. Over-attaching to how things have to look to others can wear you out and bring everyone else around you down. There is a bigger picture to your life, and it’s not about what you achieve in the eyes of the masses. It’s about the journey, the process, the path – what you’re learning, how you’re helping others learn too, and the growing process you allow yourself to participate in.
Being a stubborn perfectionist. – As human beings, we often chase hypothetical, static states of perfection. We do so when we are searching for the perfect house, job, friend or lover. The problem, of course, is that perfection doesn’t exist in a static state. Because life is a continual journey, constantly evolving and changing. What is here today is not exactly the same tomorrow – that perfect house, job, friend or lover will eventually fade to a state of imperfection. But with a little patience and an open mind, over time, that imperfect house evolves into a comfortable home. That imperfect job evolves into a rewarding career. That imperfect friend evolves into a steady shoulder to lean on. And that imperfect lover evolves into a reliable lifelong companion. It’s just a matter of letting perfectionism GO.
The floor is yours…
If you can relate to any of these toxic behaviors, remember, you are not alone. We all have unhealthy personalities buried deep within us that have the potential to sneak up on us sometimes. As stated above, the key is awareness – recognizing these behaviors and stopping them in their tracks.
Monday, 4 August 2014
Are you living each day with vitality and enthusiasm? Or are you just getting by, painfully stuck in the status quo? It’s normal to get bogged down with life’s details, but it’s also important to make happiness a priority.
Consider the following simple tips if you’re looking for an emotional tuneup:
1. Make friends with your past and find the lesson in the pain.
Offer love and forgiveness to yourself at every age, along with your family of origin, ex-friends, lovers and any other key players. Watch in awe as decades of emotional debris disappear and the real self begins to make itself known. Also, consider using the experience to help someone else that is going through a similar situation. No experience is wasted, particularly when it’s used to facilitate healing.
2. Don’t let your tongue get you into trouble.
Maybe you’re not dropping f-bombs or verbally assaulting others, but are your words as kind as they can be? How’s that internal dialogue? If you aren’t speaking to yourself as you would a dear friend, there’s a problem. Our words hold power, and it’s vital to eradicate hateful speech toward self and others if we want to know lasting peace.
3. Love your body.
You only got this one, so treat it right. Eat colorfully and organic when possible. Avoid chemicals and toxic, impossible-to-pronounce ingredients and preservatives. Your body needs whole foods to function at its prime. Stay on the perimeter of your grocery store, or better yet, visit the farmers market. Of course, too much rigidity isn’t helpful either. If you simply can’t resist that extra scoop of gelato, don’t condemn yourself. Just remain mindful of your body’s wants and needs, and it will naturally balance itself out.
4. Stay in your own hula hoop.
It's not just about mere gossiping, though removing hateful chatter is important. Keep the focus on your issues instead of delving into everyone else’s perceived problems. The truth is that it’s hard enough to dissect what’s going on in your own life, let alone that of a friend or family member. Why waste time making assumptions or judgments? Practice staying out of it and enjoy the freedom that comes with healthy boundaries.
5. Give it away — money, your time, your energy, your passion — whatever those things are that are your precious gift to humanity.
Whatever it is, give it generously and because you feel compelled to do so. Giving is receiving, so give with the knowledge that your sharing is an endlessly multiplying act. It’s also a surefire way to get out of your own ego-based mind for a minute.
6. Be kind.
In speech, as noted above, but also in expression, behavior, and attitude. This means speaking with truth and compassion, and understanding that our actions affect one another and the planet. We’re interwoven, and not in some indeterminate future. Here and now, every day and with every decision we make, we’re carving our shared destiny.
7. Implement a gratitude practice.
Supremely simple and yet so profound. Whether it’s a quick thank you as you’re fading into sleep or a disciplined habit of putting pen to paper, gratitude is a powerful act. It serves as a mental reset and automatic affirmation of the abundance in your life. The fastest way to usher in more of a good thing? Recognize the ways in which you’re already blessed.
8. Keep happy company.
The people you surround yourself with and the energy they carry matter — period. If you’re constantly around bitter, cold, or critical people, it will be harder to keep your loving center intact. More than that, you will not be elevated and allowed to shine in all your magnificence. Surround yourself with people who are turned on and appreciate your light. It’s only here where your brilliance can escape and make its way into the lives of everyone you meet.
Saturday, 2 August 2014
All your thoughts and feelings are energy, and energy is vibration. Learn to raise those vibrations and watch your life change dramatically.
1. Find something beautiful and appreciate it.
Beauty is all around us, from the morning dew to the evening stars and everything in between. Most go through life not noticing all the beautiful things that are around them, and yes it’s every where, so take the time to notice them, and appreciate them when you see it. Whether it’s the scent of a flower or the way rain ripples in puddles of water, appreciate the beauty life has to offer.
2. Make a list of all that you are grateful for.
Making a gratitude list shifts your vibrations from focusing on what you do not have to what is already abundant in your life. There is more to be grateful for than you could possibly imagine. You can start with “I’m Alive!” and expand from there. Gratitude is the Attitude.
Sit in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breath in and out. Too often we rush through our days with a scattered brain leaving us in a state of anxiety and stress, Meditation helps to calm your spirit down and put you in a peaceful state of mind. 10 Minuets of meditation a day can change your life forever.
4. Do something for someone else.
Giving to someone else shifts your thinking from “I don’t have enough, to I have more than enough to give to others.” Abundance is a high vibration.
5. Stop complaining and gossiping.
Complaining and gossip puts you in a very low vibration. Ask yourself “Are the things you are talking about bringing you more of what you want?” if not then, stop complaining, and start finding ways to rejoice.
6. Move. Exercise. Get active.
Vibration requires movement, the more you move the better your vibrations move. So Get Active! Dance! The happier you feel, the more you will draw happy experiences to yourself because you are operating at a different frequency.
7. Realize that you have more control over your life than you thought.
You are not a victim to circumstance, past, family upbringing, trauma, or anything else. You can change your life in an instant. Just realize this. In many wisdom traditions this is called “total responsibility.” No one is responsible for how you feel right now but you. It isn’t a curse. It’s a blessing because it gives you your power back.
Just sit and try to make your breath longer, fuller, and more relaxed. It has a direct affect on your nervous system and helps to calm you down. A calm vibration is a high vibration.
9. Do Something You’re Afraid Of.
Fear holds us back from being in a state of love and happiness, and facing those fears opens you up to a greater world of possibilities. Fear of Heights? Go skydiving. Scared of public speaking, say a poem at an open mic. You’ll begin to realize your fear was worse then the actual problem, and a sense of relief will wash over you.
10. Have a Meaningful Conversation with a Friend.
Rather than gossip or complaining, talk about you ideas. What do you have planned for yourself? What do you think is the nature of reality? Are we spiritual beings having a human experience? Talking about these things with someone helps to raise both your vibrations by thinking big. If you don’t have someone to talk to about these kinds of things with, there’s a community of higher minded individuals right here.
Saturday, 26 July 2014
Highly confident people believe in their ability to achieve. If you don’t believe in yourself, why should anyone else put their faith in you? To walk with swagger and improve your self-confidence, watch out for these fifteen things highly confident people don’t do.
1. They don’t make excuses.
Highly confident people take ownership of their thoughts and actions. They don’t blame the traffic for being tardy at work; they were late. They don’t excuse their short-comings with excuses like “I don’t have the time” or “I’m just not good enough”; they make the time and they keep on improving until they are good enough.
2. They don’t avoid doing the scary thing.
Highly confident people don’t let fear dominate their lives. They know that the things they are afraid of doing are often the very same things that they need to do in order to evolve into the person they are meant to be.
3. They don’t live in a bubble of comfort.
Highly confident people avoid the comfort zone, because they know this is a place where dreams die. They actively pursue a feeling of discomfort, because they know stretching themselves is mandatory for their success.
4. They don’t put things off until next week.
Highly confident people know that a good plan executed today is better than a great plan executed someday. They don’t wait for the “right time” or the “right circumstances”, because they know these reactions are based on a fear of change. They take action here, now, today – because that’s where progress happens.
5. They don’t obsess over the opinions of others.
Highly confident people don’t get caught up in negative feedback. While they do care about the well-being of others and aim to make a positive impact in the world, they don’t get caught up in negative opinions that they can’t do anything about. They know that their true friends will accept them as they are, and they don’t concern themselves with the rest.
6. They don’t judge people.
Highly confident people have no tolerance for unnecessary, self-inflicted drama. They don’t feel the need to insult friends behind their backs, participate in gossip about fellow co-workers or lash out at folks with different opinions. They are so comfortable in who they are that they feel no need to look down on other people.
7. They don’t let lack of resources stop them.
Highly confident people can make use of whatever resources they have, no matter how big or small. They know that all things are possible with creativity and a refusal to quit. They don’t agonize over setbacks, but rather focus on finding a solution.
8. They don’t make comparisons.
Highly confident people know that they are not competing with any other person. They compete with no other individual except the person they were yesterday. They know that every person is living a story so unique that drawing comparisons would be an absurd and simplistic exercise in futility.
9. They don’t find joy in people-pleasing.
Highly confident people have no interest in pleasing every person they meet. They are aware that not all people get along, and that’s just how life works. They focus on the quality of their relationships, instead of the quantity of them.
10. They don’t need constant reassurance.
Highly confident people aren’t in need of hand-holding. They know that life isn’t fair and things won’t always go their way. While they can’t control every event in their life, they focus on their power to react in a positive way that moves them forward.
11. They don’t avoid life’s inconvenient truths.
Highly confident people confront life’s issues at the root before the disease can spread any farther. They know that problems left unaddressed have a way of multiplying as the days, weeks and months go by. They would rather have an uncomfortable conversation with their partner today than sweep an inconvenient truth under the rug, putting trust at risk.
12. They don’t quit because of minor set-backs.
Highly confident people get back up every time they fall down. They know that failure is an unavoidable part of the growth process. They are like a detective, searching for clues that reveal why this approach didn’t work. After modifying their plan, they try again (but better this time).
13. They don’t require anyone’s permission to act.
Highly confident people take action without hesitation. Every day, they remind themselves, “If not me, who?”
14. They don’t limit themselves to a small toolbox.
Highly confident people don’t limit themselves to Plan A. They make use of any and all weapons that are at their disposal, relentlessly testing the effectiveness of every approach, until they identify the strategies that offer the most results for the least cost in time and effort.
15. They don’t blindly accept what they read on the Internet as “truth” without thinking about it.
Highly confident people don’t accept articles on the Internet as truth just because some author “said so”. They look at every how-to article from the lens of their unique perspective. They maintain a healthy skepticism, making use of any material that is relevant to their lives, and forgetting about the rest. While articles like this are a fun and interesting thought-exercise, highly confident people know that they are the only person with the power to decide what “confidence” means.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
That's pretty heavy, right? Procrastination is literally the murderer of your opportunities. Putting off until tomorrow what you could get done today has a bad rap, but it's not entirely deserved.
Forget what your grandmother and first-grade teacher and university professors told you--procrastination isn't all that terrible. In fact, your stall tactics and inability to function until right before the deadline just might have some surprising benefits.
1. Procrastination breeds efficiency.
Let's face it, if you have one week to complete a three-hour task, you're not going to do it within the first three hours of the week. You'll probably cut it pretty close to the last three hours of the week, in fact.
Stop beating yourself up over it. If you're the type of person who works more efficiently and can be more productive while under the pressure of the ticking clock, go with it. You'll still get your work in on time and will be happier than if you'd spent the week mulling over how weak you are.
2. Putting tasks off reduces unnecessary efforts.
Have you ever turned in a piece of work, only to be told it's no longer needed? If you're jumping on every task as soon as it's assigned, this is bound to happen. In every industry, in every type of job, things can change. Putting tasks off until closer to the deadline might just cut out some unnecessary efforts when these things change.
3. You can be open to more enjoyable things.
Procrastination allows you a greater degree of freedom of choice with your focus. Does it make you happy to miss out on things you really want to do? Of course not.
If procrastinating means you get to enjoy something today and can still complete whatever is required of you before it has to be done--even if it's just hours or minutes before--you've still accomplished what you set out to do. And you've had fun in the meantime.
4. Procrastination can reduce anxiety.
The degree to which putting something off can reduce anxiety is dependent on a) how anxious you are about the task itself, and b) how anxious you are about procrastination.
We often put off things we really, really don't want to do--things that make us uncomfortable or anxious or even afraid. If you can take the time to mentally prepare yourself and tackle it when you're ready, you can reduce your overall anxiety about the task.
5. Time can bring greater ideas or other improvements.
While you're procrastinating, your mind is still aware that the task does have to be done, eventually. You might find yourself thinking up ways to improve on whatever it is you have to do as you go about your daily life at home and at work.
Procrastinating gives your ideas time to percolate; it allows you to sit down and tackle the task after your subconscious has chewed it over. The result just might be a better outcome.
6. It makes you a rebel…sort of.
Only insomuch as you can rebel against modern day norms, though. In ancient Greece and Rome, procrastination was actually respected and highly regarded. It was a sign of affluence and leadership if you had time to sit around and think things over and basically do nothing until you had fully thought out a decision.
If you need that time to sit and stew and think and mull over, don't sweat it. Maybe you're just an old soul.
7. Finally accomplishing the task gives an adrenaline rush.
Whoo-wee! And now that you're done, doesn't that feel great? If you're hooked on the rush you feel when you've finally hammered something out at the very last minute, don't rob yourself of that pleasure.
If you're highly skilled in the art of procrastination, don't knock yourself. Stop listening to the people who will tell you how awful you are for putting things off--at least you're still getting them done! You might even end up turning out higher-quality, better-thought-out work as a result of your "bad" habit. That's pretty heavy, right? Procrastination is literally the murderer of your opportunities.