What did I do wrong?
Why didn’t it work out?
Why does this keep happening to me!?
Nothing goes the way I want it.
I am a failure.
I guess I should just give up and not try.
I am not good enough.
Words like these play in your head, over and over again...in the event that something goes awry, you are having relationship conflict, job loss, fear of change, you find that you are burdened with negative self-talk. Perhaps you even get caught up in feeling hopeless or abandoned, and the only constant is yourself, therefore, leaving only you to blame for the circumstance. Or so you believe.
These types of thoughts are automatic. They seem to appear faster than you can deflect them and they have become a reflex response to situations that bring on stress, anxiety, overworry, and depression. The only problem...they are NEGATIVE, critical, limiting, or even a crutch; an excuse for why you cannot try skateboarding, why you did not complete a task, or why a relationship failed.
Identifying it is one thing, and changing it? Another. Whether you are working on releasing this type of thinking or you are beginning to recognize the poison it is bringing to your perspective, it is time to challenge yourself to face..., well..., yourself. Let’s look at some tried and true strategies that may help you break away from the negative self-talk and may even help you relieve stress.
Pause and recenter. When you find yourself caught up in a negative thought, reframe it as if you are offering support to a friend. Talk kindly to yourself. Practice positive self-talk.
Give this downer a do-over. By associating this type of thinking with a character or a name, it takes away some of its authority in your life and you are more likely to recognize it when it tries to creep back in.
STOP it! Give yourself a signal to notify you when those negative thoughts come sliding in. Try to catch them in action.
Set a goal to pay attention to your thinking patterns. Chances are, if you are finding yourself in a place where you are using negative self-talk, this has become a habit. Challenge yourself by challenging the habit. Use positive affirmations and set a goal to refocus your attention.
Give yourself grace. Remember, you are human. You do not expect your friends to be perfect, they do not expect you to be perfect. Do not expect yourself to be perfect. Again. Talk kindly to yourself.
Change your perspective by showing gratitude. Sometimes looking at your situation from a different angle offers an opportunity to reset and rewind. When bad things happen, change your thought process. Find positive approaches to the situation and say them out loud. Express gratitude for one thing learned, one thing released, one thing changed. And move past it.
As you work through this, you may not see a difference overnight. Sometimes just writing things down, including your thoughts as they come, is helpful. This practice also allows you to take a deeper look at your own thinking behaviors. You may find patterns as you write and reread.
If you are looking for a little more support in this area, we have created a pdf that you can use to guide you. Print it out, change it, use it to suit your needs...
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I don’t know why I always concerned myself with the opinions, approval, or objectivity of others...or why it mattered so much. I mean, I knew they were not going to be the ones to live my life and experience the consequences of the choices that I made...but I always felt so...unsure, incapable, indecisive. What should I wear to the party? I want to buy this for the house, what do you think? I am thinking about taking a break, should I? Do you think…?
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
These were all questions that came to my mind whenever I needed to make a decision. Then, after making the decision, I would find myself faltering...maybe I should have tried…; what if I…; I wish…; If only I…
This feeling was so frustrating. My anxiety wasn't enough. I had to overthink EVERYTHING. As if the weight of the world depended on my one decision. Should I accept the job or should I stay put? BAM! Wrong decision, total catastrophe! RIGHT!?
It wasn’t until recently when I came face to face with this alter-ego demon of mine. I was doing some work around NLP-Neuro-linguistic programming. This is an approach we use when working with others and ourselves to challenge negative patterns, behaviors, or thoughts. Super powerful; like...um, where were you all of my LIFE?!
Back to the topic. Indecisiveness stems from our inner conflict and internal bidding that we tell ourselves, whatever that may be. These back-and-forth conversations we have with ourselves become a burden and we find ourselves spending time pondering on it, weighing the pros and cons, and playing the outcomes out in our heads over and over.
If that is annoying enough, we also know what needs to be done and how to do it, but we also fear the consequences of such decisions. Perhaps we fear that we have to be the ones to PAY the PIPER. But isn’t that what happens regardless of how it plays out, since, again, it is OUR life.
So, it brings me here...what do we do about it? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not here to give you advice to change your outcome or to contribute to your decision making fears. I want to offer help, the same help that I myself have put into play in my own life.
First is first, challenge yourself to make the decision FOR YOURSELF. You are the only one that will have to follow through to the end. As I mentioned before, this is YOUR life. You know yourself, your needs, your wishes, emotions, thoughts, hopes and dreams...yadda yadda...better than anyone else does. Take action for you, and be in the peace that you made that choice for yourself. It is okay.
If that isn’t sufficient, create a decision matrix (check out ours here), or write it out. This is something I do when I need to make large decisions for my life; buying a new home, moving to a new job or career, leaving an old relationship, or starting a new investment. Write it out. Use this as a way to think through the scenario, and once you have made the decision...STICK TO IT! No matter the results, you are probably going to make the choice that is best for you so challenge yourself not to doubt your commitment. Again, my friend, it is okay.
The last thing I have to offer you is relative to your emotions. Challenge yourself not to be so deeply involved with the situation that you are letting it stay in your head all day. Take the action you feel is best, and DON’T CARRY REGRET. If the circumstances don’t result in the way that you expect, invite the opportunity to learn from the experience and to move forward.
We make multiple decisions everyday; from what to wear, what to do, who to interact with, or how to engage. It is usually the more drastic, life changing decisions that get us caught up in the web of doubt, worry, anxiety, or over-thinking behaviors. Although these seem daunting in the moment, in the span of life, they are based on our current state of being. They are temporary to the time. If we embrace decision making as an opportunity to just experience life and what is brought to us, practice connecting with ourselves and focusing on what it is WE want-not others, and allowing ourselves to make mistakes, we may discover a different way of thinking about decisions and even life itself.
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A couple weeks ago I was feeling overwhelmed and I felt the challenges of everyday life bearing down on me. My shoulders were heavy, my back was achy, my head was constantly pounding, and stress consumed my thoughts. Looking in the mirror, I could feel the wear and tear of this weight creeping under my eyelids and seeping out the sides of my eyes-some may say wrinkles show wisdom, I say they show fatigue.
There was a need for me to make a change. What could I do to change the way I was feeling about life at the moment? I thought about cutting my hair, but decided against this drastic decision (thank goodness I didn’t!). I reflected on my routine. It could use some uplifting, but everyday pretty much bleeds into the next. I paid more careful attention to my eating habits. Not much change there either; unless you count the twinkie I ate 2 days ago-food for thought.
Doesn’t it look SO good?! .
Back to point, so one day, could have been the next day actually, while sitting at my computer, I took a glance at my environment. I noticed a blanket hanging over the couch-that rarely gets used, maybe I should give it away. Behind me I saw some old junk mail sitting on the counter-why is that still there? My plant sitting on the table next to me, bless its spirit, was withering- I bet if I move this to a better position where it can reach more sun, it will grow better. I found that I was noticing other smaller things around me that just didn’t seem right-the pictures needed dusting, the fridge was packed without organization, I had found canned goods that expired in 2019 (no judgement please), and though my house is always kept well, the kids had collected a bag of candy wrappers that were hiding in their rooms.
Okay. Enough of this!
I put my momma gloves on. Went from room to room, searching for things that could be donated, thrown out, cleaned. I cleared my desk space. Threw out old shoes. Donated clothes that didn’t fit the kids anymore.
I made the decision to declutter my house. In the end, I decluttered my life. With every room I cleaned I felt more empowered. With every wall I wiped down, I was establishing a better sense of control. With every shoe, toy, or clothing I donated I was becoming more and more focused with a clear mind and a less heavy heart. Damn, I thought, I feel good!!
It wasn’t until yesterday when I sat down to reflect on my emotions and thoughts, when I realized how different I felt a day before the decluttering and a day after. My mind more clear, my workspace more available to me, I knew that there must have been real power in the action that I took in my life to let some things go. I found that I was releasing things that didn’t serve me any longer-including the obvious expired green beans-and in the same gesture, I was opening up for new things to come. I was replacing the toxic feelings of no control, stress, heaviness, anxiety, and negative thoughts with an overwhelming sense of closure, positive energy, completion, growth, and movement.
I had to share this with others.
So, if you are feeling like I was a few weeks back-down, depressed, unfocused, challenged by life’s burdens, overwhelmed, or stuck-I wonder what a little bit of decluttering could do for you? Even spending 15 minutes a day to get started might help. Clean out closets, go through old magazines (or just recycle them), organize your pantry and fridge, put things where they belong, donate, cut your hair-I mean, if you want!
We want to hear from you! What are some other ways you have decluttered? How did you feel after?
Click here for our Declutter the Clutter Checklist!
or Check out our video on Decluttering
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I wake up, rush to get ready, get the kids going, finish my coffee, then out the door I go. Some days, I would sleep in, wake up slowly, make breakfast, get ready, get kids ready...this is my daily routine. At least, it was, for a VERY long time. The only challenge I was facing? I didn’t feel like I had any time for myself. I mean, sure, I took deep breaths here and there. However, those breaths were more response to interaction than they were for mindful practices.
My desire to connect to myself changed.
I wanted to become more reflective. I wanted to have time to meditate. I wanted to practice self-compassion and spiritual connection. I wanted to push in some yoga routines, journaling, daily tarot, and, of course, healthy eating. All of which could not have been done with my previous schedule. So make changes, I did.
The first, and probably the most difficult, thing to change was my wake up time. I like to sleep in. To that last minute...you know, after the alarm has gone off 3 or 4 times, and the only thing that gets you out of bed is the rush of having to be in a rush!? Initially, I made the decision to allow myself to sleep past the alarm MOST days but I set a goal to rise earlier 2 of the 7 (too bad there are not 8 days!). For those 2 days, I still slept past my alarm but my alarm went off 2 hours earlier than I would wake up. Therefore, I was usually awake at least an hour earlier than usual.
Hard part done.
The second part of my ‘spiritual self connection morning routine’ is mindful self compassion. After I finally wake up, I find myself in a comfortable position and I set my timer for at least 2 minutes. Using a self soothing gesture, like my hands over my heart, I check in with myself. How am I feeling today? Are there unresolved emotions from yesterday that need to be checked? I allow myself to be in this moment longer if I need to. I have found that journaling is a good way to self soothe as well-it also allows us to check in with ourselves. Other times, I rock myself, stretch, practice yoga, or just breathe and be in the moment.
After I feel connected with me, I push in meditation. Sometimes I follow guided meditations, other times I play music and allow myself to drift off. When I find myself focusing on what needs to be done for the day, negative self talk, or otherwise distracting thoughts, I gently bring myself back to the moment. Though this can be connected with mindful self compassion, some days my meditation is centered around spirituality and energy.
The fourth to last part of my daily spiritual routine (work in progress) is daily tarot or spirit connection. During this time, I begin by maybe lighting a candle, playing meditative music, calling on spirit guides, using clearing techniques with essence or crystals, pulling an affirmation card, or connecting to the akashic. Then, I offer myself the gift of insight into my day. What challenges will I face that I may need to be aware of? What do I need to know to guide my day? How can I live today to be the best version of myself? How can I connect to myself today?...I mean, you can ask any question that is driving you. I write my message down. What good is a message if we cannot look back on it to reflect and grow? Then, I close the ritual. Expressing gratitude and love for the guidance, support, and encouragement that I receive from divine authority is a crucial step. I have also used a bell or singing bowl to close as well.
Finally, I find time to make myself coffee and eat a healthy breakfast. I thank the nourishment and embrace the moment before I wake the kids, take a shower, and begin the hustle and bustle of the day.
Most days are good days, but even on days that the alarm can’t even get me out of bed, I make an effort to push in this routine in another way. At least twice a week at first. Now, I can say with success, that it has become almost a daily routine, if not a daily morning routine.
Aside from those listed here, other spiritual morning routines that I have tried include spiritual art or drawing, self reflective workbooks, writing blog posts, energy clearing practices, Tai Chi, creating manifestations, dream journaling, visualization, and setting intentions for the day.
We would love to hear from you! What strategies have you used for spiritual practice?
Thank you for reading!
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I am going to challenge you to pause and do an activity with me. It will only take a moment.
Begin by relaxing. Take in the scene around you. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, release any thoughts, emotions, or worries. Acknowledge that they are there, they are important, but blow them away for now. Breathe in again, this time, counting to 6 as you inhale. Hold for 6. Breathe out for 6. Just feel the breath as it enters your system, oxygenates, and releases. “Damn, this feels good.” Notice your surroundings. Remember to acknowledge and let go of those thoughts that try to come in. We are not paying attention to them right now; only the moment. Practice this breathing 3 more times.
How do you feel?
You may notice that you are more aware now. It is like you have been transported from your head to your feet. You are present in your body. Express gratitude for this; for seldomly do we experience this level of consciousness.
This, my friends, is what the practice of mindfulness is all about.
Sometimes, in our rush to complete our tasks, we get caught up in our head spaces and are less aware of our foot spaces. Being mindful is being present in the current moment by recognizing your surroundings, your emotions, and the people around you. It carries this notion that nothing is truly solid or stuck in time and everything that we experience is fluid. It is forever changing and evolving. Time is quick, and what is left are memories.
When I began my venture into the realm of mindful practices and seeking ways to attune myself to the present, one of the most impactful realizations I made was that I had to make a SUPER concerted effort to be more mindful. I had to identify and write down daily goals to help me guide my habit. There are days, even now, that can fly by, and without a gentle reminder, the day is spent more in my head.
If this is a new practice for you and you are looking for a place to begin, a wonderful resource created by Zen Master, Thich Nhat Hanh, that I recently came across, was Everyday Peace Cards: 108 Mindfulness Meditations. I choose a card from the deck randomly as part of my morning routine (see more about morning routines in this post), carefully read it and find its purpose for me in my day, and take a picture of it. To help me remain accountable, I set a mindfulness timer to go off midway through the day.
By practicing mindfulness, I have become a more mindful parent, teacher, coach, and friend. I am a better listener, I have a better reaction when it comes to interacting with my environment and with others, and I am kinder to myself. My thoughts, worries, and stresses are a part of life and they need to be managed or cared for, but they do not need to control my daily grasp on the here and now.
We want to hear from you! Do you have a favorite mindfulness routine? Or a resource or book you recommend? Share in the comments!
If you want a relaxing meditation before bed, enjoy this guided sleep meditation.
When I inquire about forgiveness I have heard many different definitions. Some say that forgiveness is letting go of something and accepting it. I have also heard that forgiveness is an emotion that feels like understanding a tragic or unforgettable moment in such a way that the moment transforms into a lighter space. There is one definition, or reference, of forgiveness, however, that I tend to refer to most often when it comes up in coaching sessions or conversations with loved ones:
“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison” -Nelson Mandela said these words after being wrongfully imprisoned for 27 years. Despite the reasons for him to be angry, he made the decision to release those feelings of anger, pain, injustice, hate, and bitterness. Instead, he reminded us that “forgiveness liberates the soul.”
When you hear those words, what do they speak to you? What do they mean? What does he mean when he suggests that forgiveness is a key to freeing ourselves from prison?
Imagine this. Imagine you are angry. You have been wronged. Someone in your life took something from you and it wasn’t there’s to take in the first place. Maybe they took your love for granted; they broke your trust. You carry this anger everyday; everywhere you go in fact. When you talk to others, express yourself, handle your emotions, you keep this anger at the forefront of your mind.
You will not be taken advantage of again.
New relationships take a turn for the worse, old ones fall apart. That bitterness that you have held onto is now released through your words and actions. It was never your intention to push people away. In fact, you really felt that you needed them. You still need them. They were important to you.
Now, you feel so alone. You feel so hurt. You feel...broken.
If this is you, if this was you, that is okay. I was there too, once or thrice before. I have been wronged.
The difference between you then and you now, is that you are becoming aware that your ‘victim’ attitude is wearing off. It is getting in the way of your opportunities to establish relationships that are built on foundations of trust, love, and genuine reciprocity. You are becoming aware that you have created a brick wall between yourself and the world unintentionally, and now it is time to tear it down.
Forgiveness is not an easy process. It is not something that you wake up and say, “today I forgive all that have hurt me, taken from me, and injured me.” But it is something that you can work towards.
Below I have offered some of the tried, true, and tested practices that you can start today to begin to lead your life in a more positive direction, so that when you do launch into new relationships or are ready to reconcile old ones, you step into them aware of those patterns. It is not everyone’s fault you were wronged, and it is not yours either. It is what you DO with that experience that makes a difference.
Before you go today, let’s affirm together that by forgiving those who have wronged you, you are choosing to live a life of joy, peace, and freedom.
-I choose to release any resentment.
-I choose to leave my pain behind, at that moment, because I am not living it anymore.
-I choose forgiveness.
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Wellness is the overall state of “well-being.” But it is more than just feeling healthy, actually, it implies several factors. According to Peggy Swarbrick and Jay Yudof, both international wellness doctors that emphasize peer and group programs that help and support lifelong health and happiness, there are
8 dimensions of wellness:
emotional, financial, spiritual, social, intellectual, occupational, physical, and environmental
(I might even add a 9th dimension-nutritional)
Each one connects and contributes to another, and when one of the dimensions is overstressed, or pushed too hard, the others can become strained. For example, when you are concerned about a late financial transaction, your emotions get involved causing anxiety, anxiety can cause friction in relationships and can also lead to physical illness. This in turn can negatively impact how you feel about yourself, your lifepath, your purpose. It can be a domino effect that all started because a payment was late. So, that being said, wellness is important.
When a person has a generally positive state of wellness, they may notice that their values and beliefs are aligned and they have an overall positive approach to how challenges are met. They also may find that they live more in the present moment and there is balance in most areas. However, it is not always easy to maintain that sense of well-being. There are many factors that can have a negative impact on our wellness: stress, health concerns, financial troubles, addiction, and anxiety to name a few.
That being said, the best way to challenge our own wellness, develop attitudes that lead to the ‘whole person’ well-being, is by developing better habits. Habits are our general day to day activities that are more routine than anything else. Brushing my teeth, making my bed, picking out clothes the night before, are all habits I partake in daily. Some other habits that I have had, some not so good, is smoking a cigarette with my morning coffee, going for an afternoon walk after lunch, participating in weekly game night, or going out with friends on my monthly self-splurge day. Habits are the foundation of any behavior, thought process, or actionable steps that we hope to change. The better our habits are, the more wholesome we become. Essentially, habits are the bricks and mortar that make up the house. That being said, the more practice we have, the better we become.
Because they are so essential to our own wellness, we are going to spend the next 33 days practicing habits that better align with our core. We are going to take a closer look at each of our own habits, empower each other or ourselves, and build in better behaviors that suit each of the (now) 9 dimensions.
*How to use this guide-I have identified 3 habits that can be layered in each day on a calendar template. You can choose one, choose all, or choose one from another day, just note that the challenges are layered and they are cyclical (they come back around) within the 9 dimensions. Also, every third day the dimensions revolve. For instance, day 1 is focused on emotional, financial, and spiritual dimensions. These are the same dimensions that roll around on day 4 of the challenge. Day 2 focuses on social, intellectual, and occupational. Day 3 focuses on physical, environmental, and nutritional.
* Challenge yourself!! 2018 8 Dimension wellness assessment (take before and after-compare your results!)
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My throat grew tight. I felt like I couldn’t swallow. Everything seemed to be going black around me. Why can’t I see? What is happening? I could feel my heart begin to race, running faster than my legs were moving. But I was not moving. In fact, I found myself stuck. Frozen. In one place. There is no way I could keep going. How am I going to make it? What if...what if I can’t? Or, what if...what if I FAIL!? It just seems easier to stay where I am at. I fear failure. But wait, what about that girl? How did she get to where she is? She must have been so great she didn’t fail. There is no way she failed. Nah, I will stay here and wait. Sure, I am not moving, but…
Does this sound familiar? Have you been in this position before or are you in it currently? This was me, is me, in almost every endeavor I think about attempting. Before going to college for my teaching degree, receiving my masters degree, having children, getting married, writing a blog, giving Tarot readings, opening up to others about my gift...In each of these moments, I felt that same fear. Fear of failure. Nobody would know it because I seem so ‘with-it.’ Lucky for me, my thoughts are internal, and lucky for you, you don’t realize how hard I am trying. Nonetheless, I do have fear, failure is depressing. A low feeling. Overcoming it makes it that much harder. And you CAN overcome it.
Imagine yourself past the fear
Where are you if you don’t fail? Envision your goal and imagine you are holding the trophy at the end of the finish line. The process is important, but in order to get started you need to know how you want it to end.
Identify your possible roadblocks
Not every endeavor is the same, nor the person completing it. That being said, there will be stops on the way-each one unique to your situation. Recognize where those stops may be and come up with a plan on how you are going to overcome them. When we plan for possible challenges, they seem to be less surprising when they occur and we feel more prepared.
Keep your expectations high, but your pace slow.
This is sooooo important here guys. A big reason I have seen people fail and give up is because they hit the ground running so hard that they don’t keep pace with the track. Everything takes time. I challenge you to expect and allow that time to help your goal cultivate. It is okay.
Use that growth mindset
The glass is half full here peeps. Every day brings challenges, it also brings successes. Don’t get caught up in the successes, and learn from the challenges. You will trip, you may fall, heck, you may bump your head pretty badly. Duly noted, thank you, and get back up again. I know it seems simple, and it doesn’t feel that way, but it could be. You got this.
Believe in yourself
When I ask you what it feels like to believe in something, what would you say? Perhaps you trust that you are protected? Safe? Guided? Now, apply that thinking when I challenge you to believe in yourself. Trust yourself that you can do it. Guide yourself in such a way that you can achieve your goal. Protect yourself from feeling fear of failure. You need yourself first in order to move forward out of that spot.
Failure is real. It holds us back. It keeps us from moving forward. It seems to just get in the way. Failure, itself, is worse than falling, because it brings us to recognize our own efforts as meaningless. Who wants to see that? While this is true, yes I have experienced it myself, I also must realize that failure is an action but the action is nothing unless it is tied to an emotion. That emotion is fear. Overcome your fear, overcome your worries of failure. Then, failure becomes part of the process but not the end-game.
What are some things you have done to overcome your fears? Share your kernels with us. Thank you
I have been in such a funk lately. I have not felt like doing much of anything. Honestly, it has taken a lot for me to make the decision to write this post. But write it I should! Have you ever felt this way? Just apathetic about everything. Gotta get lesson plans done. Yep. Not yet. Gotta make dinner plans. Hmmm...delivery? Gotta clean out my car. Nope. Gotta do the mommy thing...sluggishly, I guess there isn’t a way out of that. This is me. Right now. What to do, what to do?
Even as I sit here thinking about all of those things that I could be doing, some that I really SHOULD be doing...right? I still decide to sit here, blanket wrapped around my shoulders, feeling helpless, waiting for November 3, 2020 to just fade away (if you are in America at this moment your anxiety is hardly held captive). If this were to happen to me everyday, everything would pile up. Some may say I am having a bout of depression. “She just needs time for herself...some serotonin or dopamine may do the trick…” but what if this is not every day, not my normal, not me?
I can already say that the first part of my problem is that I am TOO comfortable. I mean, if you were wrapped in a cozy blanket would you want to get up and move around? Bahahaha!!
As I write this, I shake my shoulders. Release the blanket. Now I have some momentum. Gotta move when you are feeling chilled!
What else? What else? Let’s see if I can motivate you by motivating myself here.
Hmmm...I can get my shoes on and take my kids for a walk. That may be the trick!
Here are some other ways that I can help myself with this funk, and hopefully provide some assistance to you!!
Have you been in a funk lately? What were some things you did to deflate it? How did you find that motivation?
Control. This is a hot and very sensitive subject for many people, especially if you have been told once or twice that you are ‘controlling’ or you need to ‘stop trying to control’ the situation. In fact, the topic alone can cause many people to get so upset, enraged really, that they lose control of themselves; ironic right?
But, hey, I am not coming from a place of judgement. Really, this is something that I have had to work on at a spiritual, emotional, relational, and even physical level. This is something I have had to dig deep inside myself to first find the why behind my behaviors and then the how to let go of this need. I have spent a lot of time in reflection and self awareness around how to release and not feel this need to micromanage others lives, choices, words, and emotions. I can say I was definitely a manipulative mess! SO...how did I know I was truly ‘controlling’ in the first place? What was it that led me to decide to work on changing myself?
Let me begin by telling you a bit about my background. I (We) grew up in a dysfunctional family where our mom worked most of the time, we didn’t have a full time father figure present, and there were 6 of us left to fend for ourselves at least 12 hours everyday. Being the oldest, I did what I could to step up, and I probably had the most control in the household, except when mom was home, things were different. Needless to say, she was overworked, stressed, tired, and had little time or patience for us. At a very young age I learned that control was necessary to manage my siblings but, in reality, I had little control, which culminated in me needing to feel like I had to have more control as I got older. This became increasingly apparent in my relationships to the point where people were reminding me that I don’t get to always be right, I don’t get to tell them what to say or what to do, nor do I have the right to hold things over their head if they didn’t do as I asked them to. Despite all of the comments from those I love and have loved about my own controlling behaviors, it was not until college and psychology 101 where I took a dive into my truth. Now, you are not here to hear my whole story, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into my shadow work with control. Essentially, you are not alone if you have heard similar things from people in your life.
Controlling behaviors, or trying to control others, can be negative and is definitely not a good trait to run home and tell your parents about, but if you are here, you have begun the process of reflection, self awareness, and the desire for transformation. You are here to learn more about yourself, recognize your own controlling behaviors, or perhaps seek information about a person that may be taking control of you to a certain extent.
Control works in many ways. It is not always obvious, especially to the person that is being controlled. It is also not always used with negative or malintent. In fact, a controlling behavior is usually manifested from a place of trying to help...at least that is what we might say.
There are varying degrees of control just like anything else. However, they all carry the same characteristic-driven by the desire to convince, argue, or portray that one perspective is better than any other. The perspective is of the controller.
Here are some other examples of characteristics that you may exhibit or are exhibited upon you. It is not a one size fits all guys, but many of these I have used as manipulators in my own past.
Whew! If you are anything like I WAS, you probably read this and felt defeated, and perhaps struggled with being honest to yourself-per the last question. But, consider this. You are here right now. You are seeking personal growth for a reason. Life is all about learning, and let’s be straight, NO ONE IS PERFECT. Therefore, no one is judging (at least on my end).
Release. Recognize. Reflect. Resolve.
You have control of you. Embrace that and know it. When you feel like you are in the place where you need to control, judge, or manipulate the situation with others, speak to your spirit. Speaking to your heart allows you to recenter and remind yourself of the why you wanted to seek this change in the first place and why you decided to understand your own story. We want to be the light in other people’s lives, we don’t want to contribute to the darkness; darkness within ourselves, darkness within our past, or darkness among others.
I am grateful that you are here and I look forward to hearing from you. When you are ready. Share your story. Blessings my fellow kernels. Love and light to you.
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