Find Power and Strength in Yourself

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

If you are looking for strength and power right now, something must be forcing you into a feeling of fear or hardship. Girl, you got this! We all have it within us, but many of us are unaware of how to tap into it. How do we reach this strength alone? What do you do when you can’t reach it? Use the power of intention.

Whatever you are faced with “in the now” moment, stay with it. Do not “run away” mentally or physically. Just look and observe whatever you are faced with. The first time you do this it will be difficult, then it will gradually get easier. Once you allow yourself to really feel the pain, face the struggle, or “walk through the fire”, you have nothing else to fear. You have nothing left to make you anxious. You just have “You”. Everything will be ok. It may seem overwhelming at first, to really face your fear, struggle or hardship, but after you’ve done so and learned the lessons, it is a beautiful thing.

You must find your own courage first, to the best of your ability, then you will feel empowered. Reach down, reach inward, that strength is still there as it always is. It is a river that never runs dry.  You just have to ‘know it’, to insist on it. Find yourself an empowering saying/mantra. Here are some examples of personal mantras:

“This day, this moment, I am Strong, Resilient and Knowing.”

“I am calm, confident and powerful”

“I am present now”

“I love myself”

“I am free from anger (sadness, fear, doubt, etc.)”

“Love is my experience”

Practice empowering yourself with something like this every day, as many times as you think of it. Especially when you feel doubtful or weak. Change any weak thoughts into strong ones instantly. You are your own enabler.

As you are probably both an empath and psychic sponge, keep your shields up. Surround yourself in a white light or whatever color you like! Also visualize rooting into the ground like a tree. Get your feet and hands in the soil, grass, and earth or grow some plants. Putting your hands in soil is great for grounding and feeling centered again.

Getting in-touch with that inner strength and power can be tricky if we’re not listening to our inner self as to what we need to be doing. Yes, listening is the key, and to listen you need to be able to quiet that storm of thought that is continually attempting to pull you under and drown you in worry, concern and what-if’s.

We are all healers, destroyers, educators, students, Devils….. Gods. Your actions will determine where you fit in at any giving moment. We are everything, and everything here we created. You just have to be who you are to truly understand/recognize this.

You already have the answers…but finding them may require some soul searching and re-empowerment. No one can solve your personal issues for you; they can only assist you in solving them.

“Problems cannot exist without the solutions.”

Problems are there to help you grow. You will not grow if you don’t face the problem. Remove the fear, fear is just a feeling to inform you of the unknown, to know… you have to interact.

Once you interact, you’ll be able to recognize what you knew all along and see for yourself that you just had a bit of amnesia.

Your thoughts will determine the outcome…so be optimistic when dwelling on the issues at hand. Negative outcomes come from negative thinking. Change your mind, change your world. Never let anyone place doubt on the ideas you feel will work. It might not work for others simply because they were not the thoughts of others. Their thoughts are suppose to co-exist with yours. So BE what you will and let the universe do it’s thing.

Get Your Body Ready for SPRING!

It’s finally here. The snow is gone, that little breeze feels good, and the birds are chirping; it must be spring. Your mind is ready, but is your body? Some of us may have spent the winter hibernating from fitness, but spring is a time of rebirth and a perfect point to revamp your exercise regimen. No need to worry. No drastic changes are needed. Small improvements will give your body a kick start out of winter. Here is the 4-step plan to give your body a spring tune-up and make these next few months pay off.

1. Turn on the ignition right away

Every morning for the past few months, the routine has been the same: You wake up to the sound of your alarm. It’s dark outside. All you want is 10 more minutes of sleep. So what do you do? Hitting the snooze button is so easy and seemingly harmless that it can become a part of your morning routine without a second thought. But those extra few minutes have negative side effects that can last throughout the day, right up until the trend continues the following morning.

By snoozing for 10, 20, 30 minutes, or more, your body starts the day off on a lethargic foot. It’s a feeling that can take the body hours to recover from. Plus, as the day ends, you will feel tired earlier than you would without snoozing. What are the benefits to waking up before that third beep on the alarm? For starters, it gives you an energy burst that will get you out the door.Without snoozing, you are getting better, more solid sleep that will keep you more energized throughout the day. The sooner your ignition is on, the better your body will operate.

2. Make small repairs

This is just a tune-up; we are not overhauling the entire engine! The key to making improvements is small changes. A simple and overlooked way to help your body is stretching. Many of us only view stretching as a quick warm-up before a vigorous workout, but 15 minutes are sometimes all that anyone needs. Stretched and relaxed muscles help all areas of the body: energy, circulation to joints and tissues, and strength and mobility.

Limiting yourself to 15 or even 10 minutes of physical activity will allow your body to ease back into working order. A 15-minute jog or a round of push-ups and sit-ups is easy to handle, and you earn huge rewards considering the time put in. Even tossing a ball with a co-worker, child or spouse will help implement those small changes.

3. Take care of the dirty work

Get excited about chores. Um, what? How could cutting the grass, trimming the bushes, cleaning the gutters and spreading mulch be activities to look forward to? Consider the following: if not for these chores, would you be outside and getting into shape, or lounging on the couch with the A/C on? Like them or not, chores are a great way to give your body a kick start on warmer days. Weeding, pushing a mower, and other activities are great exercises for your upper body, especially for building endurance. Plus, if it’s a sunny day, you can work on that tan for the summer at the same time! (Just make sure to wear the sunscreenwith a high SPF level).

4. Go for bursts of speed

Some call it cabin fever; others call it an energy jolt. It’s that random moment when you feel like running a four-minute mile, dunking a basketball, or bench pressing 300 pounds. So when this moment comes to you, take advantage. With the weather getting nicer and the days getting longer, the settings are just right.

The possibilities are endless. Jump on the bike. Throw on your running shoesand go. Pop in an exercise tape. Shoot some hoops with your buds. Even a game of pickle in the backyard! Don’t hold back. Go ahead and push yourself because that’s what your body wants. Of course, it’s important to warm up first and stretch, as well as to stop before the point of complete exhaustion. It may only take 15 minutes before you’re beat, but your body will be running on all cylinders and headed down the right track towards being healthy and happy.
Source: Joe Downie, Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Coach.

Are You in an Abusive Friendship?

Have you been friends with someone for awhile, but somehow feel off about your friendship? Maybe things don’t feel as fun as they used to and maybe you’re feeling more down than usual. Could you be in an abusive friendship? Here are some steps to find out.

Instructions:

  • Compare your friendship with other friendships. What is different? What compares? Make a list of pros and cons about your friendship.

 

  • Question if there is any physical abuse. Things like punching and kicking are obvious, but sometimes some may mistaken physical abuse to teasing. Things like flicking, pinching, and grabbing are physical abuse and do count.

 

  • Question the mental abuse. Does your friend constantly put you down? Are you ridiculed? Think about your conversations with said friend. If you speak of things important to you, how do they view them? If anything you are passionate about seems insignificant to them, this is also a form of mental abuse. Friends should be supportive.

 

  • Do they go out of their way to hurt you/make fun of you? How often do they do it, if they do? In abusive relationships, this tends to be an everyday sort of thing.

 

  • Are they obsessed with you? Think about whether or not they stick around you constantly and if they become jealous of you being with other friends. Often times the other party can become severely jealous of “outsiders” and may try to wreck your friendship. This is not cool.

 

  • Do they communicate with you? Does this friend openly communicate yours and their feelings with you? Try to communicate problems with them and take notice with what happens. Most of the times an abusive friend will shut you out entirely.

 

  • Examine your relationship with this person on the outside. Think about it as a stranger would. Does the friendship seem normal to you or does it seem to be a destructive one? You decide and always trust your instincts.

 

Take necessary action to fix the relationship or walk away for good. Though they say most people never change their ways, one should always have a bit of faith in a friend. Try to make them open up and understand where you are coming from. It may take time or may not work, but know that it is always up to you to make things right in your own life.

Expecting Too Much From Your Guy?

Do you feel like your man isn’t meeting your expectations or giving you what you need? I know we’ve all been there, but have you taken a step back and asked yourself what you are really looking for?

If only he were more romantic, told you he loved you more, took you out more often, made you feel special, stopped leaving the toilet seat up….if only he ______, he’d be perfect!

Is there a difference between having high but acceptable standards and asking too much?  And if so, where do you draw the line?

YES, there is a difference.  Having high standards is perfectly acceptable when you are willing to give as much if not more than you expect from him.  Where I draw the line is when you ask him for the world, making him prove that he’s worth it before you show him the best of who you are.

Now, let’s dig in and get to the real issue.

Let’s start with the idea that having unreasonably high standards may be asking for too much.  I mean, if there were amazing men lining up at your doorstep, it would be a lot easier to decide if a few minor flaws were worth dealing with…but finding a good man can feel like a hunting expedition, and letting one man go doesn’t guarantee that you’ll find someone better.  It’s a little bit of a risk.

This subject isn’t as cut and dry as we’d like it to be, but by answering these two very important questions, you may have a better idea if you’re asking too much from your man….

1.  Are you making excuses to stay in a bad relationship by saying that your needs are not reasonable? 

Are you in a relationship that has long outdone its welcome?  Your man has checked out emotionally and it feels like you are the only one who cares?  If this situation hits close to home, there might be a communication barrier.  You may feel like you’re asking too much because he’s not responding when you try to talk, and it’s easier to stay silent than to sound like a nag. It doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed, but things definitely need to change.

2.  Are you making excuses to get out of a relationship that has great potential because of your own fears?

One of the biggest relationship fears I hear about is being left after pouring their heart into a man.  Often, women would sabotage a relationship by finding something wrong and continually focusing on it until it drove them to a break up.  They don’t realize why they do this (or even that they are doing it) until they started to take an honest look at themselves and their dating history.  Once they see this pattern, they are able to notice when they fall back into the behavior and catch themselves looking for things that are missing instead of focusing on the good things that these men possessed.

If you were able to honestly answer “no” to both of these questions, it probably means that you are in a healthy relationship with a decent guy who may have a few rough edges.  Communicate your needs in a non-confronting, loving way, and see if he’s receptive.  He may really want to work on it with you, and in the long run it could bring you closer together.

If he’s not willing to give you something you absolutely must have, be strong enough to let him go.

Coping With Stress at Work

I felt inspired to write about workplace stress today. That is all I will say for now. 🙂

Some stress is a normal part of the workplace, excessive stress can interfere with your productivity and reduce your physical and emotional health. Finding ways to manage workplace stress is not about making huge changes to every aspect of your work life or rethinking career ambitions. Rather, stress management requires focus on the one thing that’s always within your control: YOU.

The ability to manage stress in the workplace can not only improve your physical and emotional health, it can also make the difference between success or failure on the job. Your emotions are contagious, and stress has an impact on the quality of your interactions with others. The better you are at managing your own stress, the more you’ll positively affect those around you, and the less other people’s stress will negatively affect you.

You can learn how to manage job stress

There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find in the workplace. Check these out:

  • Taking responsibility for improving your physical and emotional well-being.
  • Avoiding pitfalls by identifying knee jerk habits and negative attitudes that add to the stress you experience at work.
  • Learning better communication skills to ease and improve your relationships with management and coworkers.

Here are some tips on getting stress-free:

Recognize warning signs of excessive stress at work

When you feel overwhelmed at work, you lose confidence and may become irritable or withdrawn. This can make you less productive and less effective in your job, and make the work seem less rewarding. If you ignore the warning signs of work stress, they can lead to bigger problems. Beyond interfering with job performance and satisfaction, chronic or intense stress can also lead to physical and emotional health problems.

Signs and symptoms of excessive job and workplace stress

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work
  • Problems sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Muscle tension or headaches
  • Stomach problems
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope

Take Care of Yourself

When stress at work interferes with your ability to perform in your job, manage your personal life, or adversely impacts your health, it’s time to take action. Start by paying attention to your physical and emotional health. When your own needs are taken care of, you’re stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you’ll be to manage work stress without becoming overwhelmed.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t require a total lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. Take things one step at a time, and as you make more positive lifestyle choices, you’ll soon notice a reduction in your stress levels, both at home and at work.

Get moving

Aerobic exercise—activity that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat—is a hugely effective way to lift your mood, increase energy, sharpen focus, and relax both the mind and body. For maximum stress relief, try to get at least 30 minutes of heart-pounding activity on most days. If it’s easier to fit into your schedule, break up the activity into two or three shorter segments.

Make food choices that keep you going

Low blood sugar can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic. By eating small but frequent meals throughout the day, you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar and avoid these swings in mood.

Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid nicotine

I hate this one, but it is so true. Alcohol temporarily reduces anxiety and worry, but too much can cause anxiety as it wears off. Drinking to relieve job stress may also eventually lead to alcohol abuse and dependence. Similarly, smoking when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed may seem calming, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant – leading to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.

Get enough sleep

Not only can stress and worry can cause insomnia, but a lack of sleep can leave you vulnerable to even more stress. When you’re well-rested, it’s much easier to keep your emotional balance, a key factor in coping with job and workplace stress.

Prioritize and Organize

When job and workplace stress threatens to overwhelm you, there are simple steps you can take to regain control over yourself and the situation. Your new-found ability to maintain a sense of self-control in stressful situations will often be well-received by coworkers, managers, and subordinates alike, which can lead to better relationships at work. Here are some suggestions for reducing job stress by prioritizing and organizing your responsibilities.

Time management tips for reducing job stress

  • Create a balanced schedule. Analyze your schedule, responsibilities, and daily tasks. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family life, social activities and solitary pursuits, daily responsibilities and downtime.
  • Don’t over-commit yourself. Avoid scheduling things back-to-back or trying to fit too much into one day. All too often, we underestimate how long things will take. If you’ve got too much on your plate, distinguish between the “shoulds” and the “musts.” Drop tasks that aren’t truly necessary to the bottom of the list or eliminate them entirely.
  • Try to leave earlier in the morning. Even 10-15 minutes can make the difference between frantically rushing to your desk and having time to ease into your day. Don’t add to your stress levels by running late.
  • Plan regular breaks. Make sure to take short breaks throughout the day to take a walk or sit back and clear your mind. Also try to get away from your desk or work station for lunch. Stepping away from work to briefly relax and recharge will help you be more, not less, productive.

Task management tips for reducing job stress

  • Prioritize tasks. Make a list of tasks you have to do, and tackle them in order of importance. Do the high-priority items first. If you have something particularly unpleasant to do, get it over with early. The rest of your day will be more pleasant as a result.
  • Break projects into small steps. If a large project seems overwhelming, make a step-by-step plan. Focus on one manageable step at a time, rather than taking on everything at once.
  • Delegate responsibility. You don’t have to do it all yourself. If other people can take care of the task, why not let them? Let go of the desire to control or oversee every little step. You’ll be letting go of unnecessary stress in the process.
  • Be willing to compromise. When you ask someone to contribute differently to a task, revise a deadline, or change their behavior at work, be willing to do the same. Sometimes, if you can both bend a little, you’ll be able to find a happy middle ground that reduces the stress levels for everyone concerned.

Improve Emotional Intelligence

Learn to Recognize Hidden Stress

Even if you’re in a job where the environment has grown increasingly stressful, you can retain a large measure of self-control and self-confidence by understanding and practicing emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to manage and use your emotions in positive and constructive ways. When it comes to satisfaction and success at work, emotional intelligence matters just as much as intellectual ability. Emotional intelligence is about communicating with others in ways that draw people to you, overcome differences, repair wounded feelings, and defuse tension and stress.

Emotional intelligence in the workplace:

Emotional intelligence in the workplace has four major components:

  • Self-awareness – The ability to recognize your emotions and their impact while using gut feelings to guide your decisions.
  • Self-management – The ability to control your emotions and behavior and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Social awareness – The ability to sense, understand, and react to other’s emotions and feel comfortable socially.
  • Relationship management – The ability to inspire, influence, and connect to others and manage conflict.

The five key skills of emotional intelligence

There are five key skills that you need to master in order to raise your emotional intelligence and manage stress at work.

  • Realize when you’re stressed, recognize your particular stress response, and become familiar with sensual cues that can rapidly calm and energize you. The best way to reduce stress quickly is through the senses: through sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. But each person responds differently to sensory input, so you need to find things that are soothing to you.
  • Stay connected to your internal emotional experience so you can appropriately manage your own emotions. Your moment-to-moment emotions influence your thoughts and actions, so pay attention to your feelings and factor them into your decision making at work. If you ignore your emotions you won’t be able to fully understand your own motivations and needs, or to communicate effectively with others.
  • Recognize and effectively use the nonverbal cues that make up 95-98% of our communication process. In many cases, what we say is less important than how we say it or the other nonverbal signals we send out, such as eye contact, facial expression, tone of voice, posture, gesture and touch. Your nonverbal messages can either produce a sense of interest, trust, and desire for connection–or they can generate confusion, distrust, and stress. You also need to be able to accurately read and respond to the nonverbal cues that other people send you at work.
  • Develop the capacity to meet challenges with humor. There is no better stress buster than a hearty laugh and nothing reduces stress quicker in the workplace than mutually shared humor. But, if the laugh is at someone else’s expense, you may end up with more rather than less stress.
  • Resolve conflict positively. Resolving conflict in healthy, constructive ways can strengthen trust between people and diffuse workplace stress and tension. When handling emotionally-charged situations, stay focused in the present by disregarding old hurts and resentments, connect with your emotions, and hear both the words and the nonverbal cues being used. If a conflict can’t be resolved, choose to end the argument, even if you still disagree.

Break Bad Habits

As you learn to manage your job stress and improve your work relationships, you’ll have more control over your ability to think clearly and act appropriately. You will be able to break habits that add to your stress at work – and you’ll even be able to change negative ways of thinking about things that only add to your stress.

Eliminate self-defeating behaviors

Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. If you can turn around these self-defeating habits, you’ll find employer-imposed stress easier to handle.

  • Resist perfectionism. No project, situation, or decision is ever perfect, so trying to attain perfection on everything will simply add unnecessary stress to your day. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself or try to do too much, you’re setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best, no one can ask for more than that.
  • Clean up your act. If you’re always running late, set your clocks and watches fast and give yourself extra time. If your desk is a mess, file and throw away the clutter; just knowing where everything is saves time and cuts stress. Make to-do lists and cross off items as you accomplish them. Plan your day and stick to the schedule — you’ll feel less overwhelmed.
  • Flip your negative thinking. If you see the downside of every situation and interaction, you’ll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative-thinking co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.
  • Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control— particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Five Ways to Dispel Stress

  • Take time away. When stress is mounting at work, try to take a quick break and move away from the stressful situation. Take a stroll outside the workplace if possible, or spend a few minutes meditating in the break room. Physical movement or finding a quiet place to regain your balance can quickly reduce stress.
  • Talk it over with someone. In some situations, simply sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone you trust can help reduce stress. Talking over a problem with someone who is both supportive and empathetic can be a great way to let off steam and relieve stress.
  • Connect with others at work. Developing friendships with some of your co-workers can help buffer you from the negative effects of stress. Remember to listen to them and offer support when they are in need as well.
  • Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to diffuse stress in the workplace. When you or those around you start taking things too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story.

Source: HelpGuide.org

Sexy and Successful Women

You see them all around you; women succeeding in all or many areas of live.  They seem to have direction and know what they’re doing.  They seem busy, satisfied, “together” and more attractive. You wonder how they manage to look so calm and collected, beautiful, and charming; when you know they work full-time, yet somehow still enjoy a full and happy home life.

How do these women do it?  While there is no magical secret to success, there are a few characteristics that most sexy and successful women share. If you can adopt them in your own life, there’s no reason you can’t attain the same level of success.

Here are the top characteristics to being sexy and successful:

Determination

Women who succeed are willing to try, fail, and try again.  You’ve heard the saying “no risk, no reward” and truly successful women embrace this idea whole-heartedly.  In order to advance in any area of your life, you have to be willing to go out on a limb and take risks.  But more than that, you must have the willpower to pick yourself up when you fall flat on your face, and continue on.

Resourcefulness

We are light years ahead of where females sat just a few generations ago (presumably in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant… you know the stories… instead of the boardroom), but we still face a lot of hurdles when it comes to professional inclusion and progression.  For that reason, women must use every tool in their arsenal in order to reach the same heights.  They must garner a strong base of education and experience, and blend them with interpersonal skills to get ahead.

Engagement

Many women in office settings suffer from the same disorder; an inability to speak up.  Women are much more likely to downplay their own role and attribute successes to a team, instead of taking credit for their achievements.  You must not only do well in your position in order to get promoted, you must be willing to market yourself as an asset and convince others of your value.

Ambition

Women without ambition rarely achieve greatness.  Queen Elizabeth I gave up the chance at a family (and had her own sister imprisoned) in order to rule England.  Susan B. Anthony and many other suffragettes risked being ostracized and thrown in jail in order to spread the message of women’s equality.  Throughout history, the most successful women have been willing to take control of their own lives and do whatever was necessary to reach their goals.

Confidence

Without a firm belief in yourself, you cannot hope to achieve true success.  Nobody wants to back someone who is uncertain about their own ability to follow through. Women who are self-assured inspire confidence in others. Believing in yourself and knowing that you are capable and self-sufficient will create so much success in your life, it will be amazing!

Self-Awareness

Being aware of your physical appearance is one thing, but being aware of your actions, behaviors, and attitude around others is quite another. While all these are important, being aware of your behavior and attitude, allows you to be more connected with those around you. If you’re abrasive or caddy, people will not want to be around you. If you are charming, funny, and AWESOME, you will be the life of the party.

How to Accessorize!

You need to know the basics, and there are a few items every girl should have in her wardrobe. The great thing about accessories is, they always fit! No matter what your size, shape or budget, here are a few “must have” items:

Large Black Belt a big black belt worn over a cute white-collared top with some great jewelry is super cute. Simple, Classy, and slimming– it accentuates the waist and makes you feel sexy and professional.

Fun colored flats– Comfortable, yet fun! Colored flats will help you add some pizazz to a boring uniform or a black suit you’re forced to wear at your job. If you’re limited to only black and white, try looking for some cute patterns like zebra print or polka-dot.

Diamond stud earrings (real or fake)– Earrings are way to balance your face and draw attention to your facial features. Diamond earrings help add a little sparkle to your already gorgeous visage. There is something fantastic about the glimmer diamond studs bring to your eyes.

A plethora of scarves– Scarves are great as they can be tied in multiple ways and can quickly add color to a boring outfit. Thicker scarves are great for winter, and thinner, lighter scarves are great just to add some punch to a look. You can even wear a scarf in the summer over a cute tank.

Fun jewelry– If you see a great big ring, get it! Did you fall in love with a necklace for $10 at that cute little shop by your house? Buy it! Wear what is inspiring to you. If you see a piece you love, but are unsure what you would wear it with, work backwards and plan an outfit around that piece. You’ll be surprised at how amazing you will feel and how much of a trend-setter you may become.

A great hair cut, color, and style– Hair is super important, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on cuts and colors to make an impact. Make sure your hair cut works with your face shape and your color works well with your skin tone. Bangs are great because most salons and barbers will give you free bang trims between cuts.

An arsenal of nail colors– Your nails don’t need to be professionally done every couple weeks, but if you can afford it, great. Otherwise, getting some professional nail colors like OPI with a base and top coat will make your nails look professionally done at a fraction of the price. Try to coordinate your nail polish colors with your outfits for additional accessorizing power.

Purses and Bags As the most common accessory sought after, purses and bags are fun to buy and carry around. Every girl should have a classic every day purse of quality and then a million and two fun purses (high or low quality). Have fun with these and use them to add that finishing touch to your best outfit. Keep your purses in good condition by switching them out often.

Confidence– The most important accessory is confidence! Take risks and be proud of all the work and creativity you’ve put into your accessorizing! Work it, girl! Confidence will take your outfit from glam to BAM!

Think of accessories as an investment. Since they always fit, you can wear them for a long time and look great doing it! You can get some great pieces at Target, Kohl’s or other department stores that won’t cost you too much.

Quick Tip:

Don’t overdo it. Pick one accessory or feature you’d like to draw attention to and go with it. Don’t go all crazy with scarves, belts, big earrings and crazy shoes with the same outfit. An easy way to do this is to look for balance from head to toe. If you have too much going on near your face, like a bright scarf, crazy big earrings, and a bold lip color, you may want to tone it down to just the one of those.

Your accessories should show who you really are. If your favorite color is pink, accessorize with it! If you love the geek chic look, sport your best horn rimmed glasses and “nerd out”, girl! You will look so great!

Find the “You” Buried Under Your Responsibilities

Are you defined by your tasks and environment rather than who you really are?

Have you ever thought about who you are and what you stand for?

I’m not talking about your roles or social identities. You can be a friend, sister, employee, girlfriend, wife, partner, mother, daughter, all at the same time, but these are just an aspect of you. They don’t represent who you fundamentally are inside. Your inner self is who you really are on the inside.

To know your inner self is to know your purpose, your values, your visions, your motivations, your goals and your beliefs. Not as what you have been told by others, but what you have discovered for yourself. Knowing your inner self requires a high level of introspection and self-awareness. If you have clarity to at least half of what is listed above, you probably hold quite a high level of self-awareness. At the same time, the process of discovery never ends – it’s a life-long journey.

You Are More Than Your Identities

Trying to uncover your inner self can be a tricky process. For one, you hold multiple identities in your life, each with their own sets of socially defined values, visions, expectations, etc. These may not directly conform with what you represent.

For example, let’s say you are an employee of an automobile company. As an employee, your mission should be congruent with whatever your company’s mission is, “to improve quality of people’s lives through automobile manufacturing”. Your goals should also be in line with the company’s, “to increase company’s sales by 20% in 1 year and expand its regional presence”.

However, you as a person have other dreams and goals outside which differ from your company’s. Perhaps you really love volleyball with a passion. Your ideal vision is to be an internationally accomplished volleyball player and become a highly sought-after volleyball coach, training national-level teams. That’s definitely different from the visions you are expected to have as an employee. Likewise, this applies to all your other identities too. For every identity, you have a set of purpose, values, visions, motivations, goals, beliefs which are not entirely the same as your inner self’s.

Because everyone is unique, your real self can’t be boxed in by any single identity or label. I’m a personal coach to my clients, a daughter to my parents, a sister to my sibling, a friend to my friends, a blogger to my readers, but I’m more than just that. These are just roles and titles. None of the roles by themselves accurately surmise who I am. The inner me is someone who cannot simply be defined by any one label.

A good analogy to use would be the sunflower. Your inner self is like the bulb (center) of the sunflower. Your identities are like the petals around your inner self. While the petals are extensions of the head, they are not the head. Similarly, your identities are extensions of yourself, but they do not represent who you are wholly.

Importance of Finding Your Inner Self

If you have never given much thought about your inner self, it is likely you have become defined a lot by your identities. It is common for people to see themselves as a certain role, such as a friend, partner, employee, daughter, and so on. Some spend their whole lives building themselves around such identities. Take those identities away, and they get totally lost, because they have a low awareness of who they are on the inside. These people are not be able to articulate their own visions, goals and dreams beyond what have been imposed by her identities.

For example, someone who is entrenched in his identity as a son will see his entire existence as a son. He will act in accordance with what’s best for his parents. He will spend a lot of time with his parents, do things for his parents, forsake other things in his life if it’s needed to make them happy. When it comes to making important decisions, such as career or life partner, he makes sure his parents are in approval before he takes any action. His parents are the central focus of his life.

However, his real self is more than just being a son to his parents. If his parents are to ever exit from his life, he will be in a state of total loss. His life will start spiraling out of control since the anchor he has been building his life on so far is gone. It’s like when the bulb of the sunflower disappears, all the petals will scatter away randomly since there is nothing to hold them together. When you become overly attached to any one of your identities, you run into the risk of an identity crisis when that particular identity is removed.

That’s why it’s important to find your inner self. You are the owner of your own life and you live your life for yourself. This life is one that’s defined by you, not what is defined by your roles or identities. If you are not connected with who you really are, you are probably just living your life for others. Pursuing others’ goals, living up to others’ expectations and projections of you, rather than what you really want. To know your inner self is the first step of living a conscious life of your making.

Knowing Your Inner Self Comes From Self-Awareness

Knowing your inner self comes from being self-awareness. Even if you do not have full clarity on who your inner self is, it is likely that certain aspects of inner self are already exhibited on a day-to-day basis through how you assume your identities. For example, if you find yourself often extolling on being responsible to your parents, responsibility is likely one of your inner values. If you feel a compelling need to always be there for your friends, reliability is probability an important value to you.

It is perfectly okay if you don’t know your inner self. Start stripping, girl! Peel away your roles and get to the real you. Discovering and unraveling it is a life long process. You will grow to learn about yourself if you allow it. Every day is a learning journey in discovering who who you are and what you stand for. The more you uncover about yourself, the more you will be able to live in a conscious manner and BE.

What’s Beneath Your Identities?

Let’s try an exercise to discover your inner self. Start off by mentally removing all those different identities that you have been layered with for a moment. This means stop thinking yourself as a mother, a colleague, a friend, or whatever identity you commonly associate yourself with. Think as just yourself.

With a pen and paper, start writing whatever comes to mind as you read the questions below.

  • What is your life purpose? What is the purpose you see your life to have?
  • What are your visions for yourself, independent of anyone else? What goals and dreams do you have for yourself in 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or even 10 years?
  • What are YOUR motivations in life? What gets you going, day after day? What will you fight for? What do you feel passionately about?
  • What are your values? What are the qualities important to you?
  • What are your beliefs of the world? What are your world views?

If this is the first time you are ever doing such an exercise, you will probably fall into a bit of a jam. Some of the answers you write out be from one of your social identities. If you are very family-centric, you might find your answers wholly centered on taking care of your family. It’s totally fine to have such an answer but that should not be the only answer you are conjuring up. Start thinking beyond your family. What are your visions for yourself, outside of family? What are your personal motivations in life?

Don’t worry if you have difficulty getting things down. Even if it may seem that you are drawing up a blank, there is a real you that lies beneath all those social identities, waiting to be uncovered.

Here are some steps which I found to be useful in uncovering my inner self:

  • Continuously learning and growing
  • Putting myself in unknown contexts to spike my learning curve
  • Constant introspection
  • Looking beyond what I’m told to discover what I want for myself
  • Listening to my gut feeling when it arises

By doing this exercise, you have already triggered the search process. No matter how deeply embedded your inner self is at the moment, this request will ripple out, slowly but surely, and stir the depth of your soul. You will start becoming more aware of your thoughts and actions. Soon, you will be to carve out an impression of who you really are on the inside. Eventually, you will reach a stage where you have strong clarity of who you are as a person.

Aligning with Your Inner Self

As you uncover more of your inner self, you will probably find your identities do not match to your inner self. There’s a conflict between who you really are and who you are expected to be. If that’s the case, it’s fine. It’s a first step to have already discovered who you are. The next step is to live in alignment with your inner self, as best as you can, within the situation. At the same time, start making long term plans towards ultimately living in full alignment with your inner self.

Every action you take should move you towards your inner self. If there are identities which do not fit who your inner self represents, there will be two possible options you can take. First, try to find the common ground between those identities and your inner self. This may involve shaping the identities to fit who you are. If that doesn’t work at all, the other (more drastic) option will be to remove or change the identity altogether.

Strive to become a more and more congruent person. You should come to a place where your identities are well matched with who you are on the inside. While there’s definitely still room for further alignment, they are quite congruent with one another. This won’t happen by chance,  it will come about as a result of conscious effort.

Focus on finding your inner self, then start living in alignment with it. That’s when you start to live a conscious life.

5 Things You Really Need to Know About Yourself

If you’re reading this, I am assuming you are human, at least on most days. Being human is mixed bag of experiences. Sometimes it’s FANTASTIC! Sometimes it’s a hassle. Sometimes it’s smooth & enjoyable. Other times it’s just downright harsh & painful. So, I’ve made a list of things that I think every human needs to know to help get through the day. Unless you are living in a cave somewhere… actually EVEN if you are living in a cave somewhere…. no matter who you are or where you are…. here are some pretty important things you need to know about yourself.

1. you’re beautiful. just so beautiful.
Everything about you is beautiful, just exactly as you are right now. Yes, just exactly as you are. Throw away all judgements & measuring sticks, yours or anyone else’s. Take a moment right now to just rest in the awareness that you are an incredibly beautiful being. Every line on your body marks a lesson. Every curve tells a story. Why would you ever want to hide your stories? Why would you want to change them? Your beauty shines THROUGH them. Let it keep shining! Cuz, you ARE amazing, just the way you are.

2. you can do anything. ANYTHING!
That’s right! The only thing that holds you back is the belief that you can’t. Just let that idea go. You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for. Remember that you are an infinite being, born to manifest the dreams in your heart. You are so smart! You can find a way to do whatever it is that you want to do. Nothing can stop you. Not even yourself.

3. you have nothing to be ashamed of. nothing.
No matter what has been done to you, no matter what you have done, you have nothing to be ashamed of. You were learning things about life, sometimes those lessons were painful for you and/or for others. Forgive yourself. Forgive them. You were learning valuable stuff together that helped you both to grow in ways that were so important. You simply could not have become who you are today without the experiences of yesterday. Carry no shame over that.

4. you are perfect. Absolutely perfect.
There is NOTHING wrong with you, except whatever silliness you are holding in your mind that makes you think you are anything other than perfect. When it’s come to all of your life lessons, you have done the best you could with the tools you’ve had and everything is exactly as it should be. Your imperfections are what make you human, which is so divinely perfect! You are so perfectly imperfect & so imperfectly perfect! The world needs you exactly as you are and tomorrow, we will need exactly who you are becoming. Every day you become a better version of yourself, which just continues to improve on your current perfection. We love it!

5. you are SO lovable!
Yes, every single aspect of you is lovable, so AMAZINGLY lovable. The way your eyes sparkle when you smile. LOVABLE! The way you walk. LOVABLE! The way you look when you think no one is looking. SO LOVABLE! To anyone willing to really see you, you are incredibly lovable. Even the parts you want to hide from the world because you think they are grotesque & unsightly, YES even those parts are ULTRA LOVABLE! Stop being so hard on yourself. Stop expecting to look like a magazine, or live like a movie. Magazines & movies are copying life, they are copying YOU! And that is because there is nothing more lovable, beautiful & amazing than REAL people. Real people like YOU. You came from Love & will return to Love. You ARE love, therefore you cannot be anything other than completely lovable. Love yourself. Love others. Let them love you. We are all One Love, so let’s dance in it!

This post was brought to you from the blog column: “AngelSpeaK.deborah lighthart.” Deborah is an Intuitive, Energy Healer & Visionary Artist. Her column is a space for her to share information that comes through her from her own Angels & Spirit Guides, as well as answer questions from the public. If you have a question that you’d like answered by the Angels, please forward it to deborah@deborahlighthart.com.

About Deborah
The name “Deborah” means “Bee seeking the honey of life.” Deborah’s life mission is to help you find a sweet, satisfying & soulful existence. Her private practice is located at Feronia Wellness Center in Germantown WI, but she also works by phone & online. Her intuitive consultations are uplifting, accurate & insightful. Her healing work is soothing, spiritual & transformational. Her artwork is modern, abstract & spirited. She is also the President & Founder of Feronia Wellness Organization, a non-profit group promoting holistic health & wellness. Deborah believes that health & happiness are your birthright and she works in every way possible to help you claim it. You can find more information about Deborah at www.deborahlighthart.com

What are your Values?

What is a Value?

“A value system is a set of consistent ethic values (more specifically the personal and cultural values) and measures used for the purpose of ethical or ideological integrity.”

“Core values are the things that people will and sometimes do, die for.” 

Your values are determined by outside forces over many years whether you like it or not. In fact it’s not unreasonable to say they’re not even really your values, you’ve simply acquired them through exposure.

Value sets are influenced by countless things including your family (or even lack of family), your friends, television, politicians, Church leaders, cultural influences, books you have read, incidents (both positive and negative) you’ve seen or been involved in, the country you were born in, conversations you’ve had and much more.

Your values tend not to shift too much when you get past your early twenties. We all have a tendency, as with beliefs, to look for information to cement the values we already posses and filter out information to the contrary.

When Values Collide

Have you ever argued with friends or family members about politics, religion, or money? Most people say those subjects are “taboo” to bring up with someone you’ve just met, due to the variance in what that person believes in comparison to you. It could create quite a heated discussion because you have conflicting values on those subjects.

That’s the reason you simply cannot ever agree on certain topics no matter how much somebody tries to persuade you. Of course many of us still carry on banging our head against the wall, trying to convince people of our view.

That doesn’t in any way mean you can’t be in a really strong and stable relationship and/or friendship with somebody that has conflicting values. In fact, it can often be just the opposite because different values encourage compromise and deeper understanding if you’re prepared to listen with an open-mind. And yes, open-mindedness is indeed a value.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s wise to know when agreement will never happen.

It’s completely arrogant to believe we have a handle on what values are right and wrong and others expect others to only see it your way. Yet that is how every argument, fight, and war starts.

What are your values, and why is it important to know them?

It may be a simple question, or it may not be. What are your values? What values guide your choices in life?

Why is it important to be able to articulate your three primary values? Let’s start with your discovering them. Look over the list and identify what you value most—what you use to make decisions in life. If you see a word that almost resonates, but not quite, that may because there’s a better description for you.

I want you to come up with 8 “core values” and 8 “anti-values” that feel right for you.