POEM: The Power of ME

In many of my posts, I talk about discovering your innate talents, turning them into strengths, and discovering your purpose in life. I have walked you through my own journey of discovering who I am, what I do, and why I do what I do.  I have done this by walking you through my own life story and writing about scenes of my life where internal and external struggles have taken me into a dark pit. I make connections to memories of past successes and how the power of persistence helped me crawl out of the pit on a search for solutions. And, most importantly, I teach you how my search led to discovering my own strengths which pathed the way to my breakthrough moment in life. But, today, I want to pause for a moment to address a fundamental part of this journey, self-acceptance. The path of learning, inner-growth, and discovering your life purpose is a long winding road. One that never really ends as every new day brings with it different experiences, challenges, bumps in the road, and transitions. It can take years of self-observation, investing in coaching, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and inner awareness to truly acknowledge your innate gifts and accept who you really are. The truth of the matter, my friends, is that not everyone achieves this state of clarity ever in their lifetime. “Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are.” – Robert Holden When I speak about self-acceptance, I don’t mean liking some things...

Are You Tuned In?

Have you heard the buzz recently about mindfulness?  According to the experts, becoming more mindful can impact many areas of your life including your mood, habits, peace of mind, how you interact with others, and so much more. To be more mindful means to be more aware – more tuned into – and accepting of your thoughts, feelings and actions in the present moment. But too often, mostly out of habit, we simply go through life doing things mechanically, or mindlessly. Have you ever driven by your exit on the freeway, or eaten something and couldn’t remember if you did, or gone into a room to get something and left without it?  These are all acts of mindlessness.  No, we’re not losing our minds, or getting old.  It’s just that our minds are so filled with ‘noises’ of the day that doing things without thinking about them seems to save energy for the things that require extra thought and effort. However, studies have shown that by clearing your mind, focusing on one thing at a time, and creating a habit of being in the present moment at all times will dramatically increase your energy, health, mood, well-being, and overall enjoyment of life. Aside from those powerful benefits, being mindful or ‘in the present moment’ awakens you to many things you otherwise would miss as you go throughout your busy day. “Learning to live in the present has taught me that there is no such thing as problems unless I choose to create and view opportunities as problems. By being open to and welcoming opportunities, and removing negative self-talk/perceptions, I open my...

Is There A Monkey Chattering In Your Head?

We all have negative voices in our head.  For some they are subtle, passive, and even deceive us into thinking they are there to protect us and keep us safe.  For others, they are much more aggressive, and downright mean.  Sometimes we are aware of their words and influence.  Most other times we are oblivious to their destructive messages, and they impact our beliefs, sense of self, motivation, and happiness. One of the best ways to become savvy to the negative inner voices in your head is to practice mindfulness.  To be more mindful means to be more aware of your thoughts, feelings and actions in the present moment. The problem with not being mindful of our thoughts is that we treat our thoughts as if they are facts. We just simply accept whatever comes into our mind as truth without giving it a second thought. And we have these thoughts so often that we believe them as fact. But really a thought is not a fact.  A thought is just a thought. And when they are destructive (which they mostly are), they have very negative ramifications. You may have the thought “I am no good at this,” or “I’m fat,” or “I’m not smart enough,” or “Nobody understands me,” or even “I am brilliant!” Does thinking it make it so?  Once or twice, probably not. But if we think it enough, our mind will accept it as truth, regardless of whether it is good or bad. When you start to pay attention to your thoughts through mindfulness with gentle curiosity and no judgment, you can observe your thinking...