Posts tagged: self talk

Clear Out Your Priorities



I finally cleared my garden this weekend. It feels like yesterday when I carefully put in the baby tomato plants that now I pull out with vigor ready for Fall’s squash and apples.

As we grow older, our lives seem to move faster.  What I realized today, is the pace doesn’t change, our attention changes.  With age we become distracted.  Whether it is with the daily to do list, or the worries about family, friends and business, we seem to fritter away our precious minutes, thus time appears to move faster.

My tomato plants don’t mourn that it is fall.  They don’t bemoan the upcoming winter season.  Instead they continue to cherish each ray of sunlight and rain drop until it is time to sleep.

We give so much of our time…ourselves away every day.  We over commit.  We push through.  We forget to cherish the sunlight, golden trees and even the rain.

After a day in the garden my priorities seem sorted once again.  Although I’m sure tomorrow I will feel sore, my garden brought me back to the present.  It felt more like two or three days instead of one.

This week notice what brings you into the present.  Is it spending time with your kids?  Is it cooking a fabulous meal in the middle of the week?  Is it walking through the woods?  Whatever it is, note it and remind yourself to go back there often.  You can recapture and slow time once you move into the present.

I’m off to make tomato jam (one of my newest discoveries this summer).  Enjoy your week!

Choosing A Giving Nature

Jen Vondenbrink Quotes - Giving Nature

Possibilities – Letting Life Unfold



 Possibilities in the New Year

Here we are on the brink of another year.  I love to take this week and not just reflect on the previous year, but also explore the possibilities of the next.

Notice I didn’t say set resolutions.  I said “explore the possibilities.”  What happens next year has much more to do with what you think than what you resolve.  Your thinking will always over ride your resolutions if they are not aligned. Why not create new thoughts about the possibilities to come.

One thing I’ve learned is that when I hold too tightly to goals, not only do I have a hard time achieving them, but honestly, it’s no fun.

When I set my goals on possibilities, as Benjamin Zander says, “set the context and let life unfold” I receive much more than I originally planned.

As we wrap up 2014, spend some time this week thinking about the possibilities of 2015.  What possibilities do you see for yourself, your family, your career, your business?  Did that exercise make you smile or what?

Happy New Year, my friend!


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Do You Sabotage Your Success?

Do You Sabotage Your Success

photo credit: neilconway via flickr

No Plans To Sabotage

You set your goals for the year.  They felt doable and just right in January.

Now you’re starting to see the results.  You have new clients, you’ve lost 5 pounds, you’ve been accepted into the certification program.

Check-in.  How do you feel?

Success is a crazy thing.  At the beginning it’s nothing but an idea.  You’re happy when you think about it. When it starts to manifest, it can freak you out.

Whether you call it a fear of success, fear of change, or fear of failure, there’s one common thread, you’re afraid of what’s happening because it feels strange.

Self Sabotage – Repelling Success

Worse of all, you start to repel this success.  Unconsciously you self sabotage your success.  If you’re trying to lose 10 lbs, when you’ve lost 5 you “reward” yourself with ice cream.  Then it spirals out of control.

In your business, you want to increase sales.  You set your goals for the year then get to work.  You contact new prospects, have meetings, do more presentations.  Your calendar, once under control, now has very little white space.  When you look at the week ahead you moan and groan about being so busy.

Not only that, you start to complain when you’re with others.


Complaining is a form of self sabotage.   Just like the bowl of ice cream, it will set you back from achieving your goal.

Why Do You Self Sabotage?

Everyone has comfort zones.  It feels right to to stay within its boundaries.  When you start to stretch outside the zone, you create an internal feeling of anxiety that, if not recognized, manifests as sabotage.

You aren’t doing it to be mean to yourself.  Your brain is trying to get you “back to where you belong.”  Your new state might be better for you physically or financially, but your brain doesn’t know that yet.

What’s A Person To Do?

The best thing to do is when you open up the freezer or hear yourself complain, stop.  Recognize this is anxiety.  Replace the need for ice cream or complaining with the vision of you 10 pounds lighter or with your bonus check.

By refocusing on your goal, you implant pictures of the future into your brain.  In essence, you’re telling your brain what the future looks like.  Once it accepts this as your new reality, the stress and anxiety go away.

Don’t Give Up

Review your goals every day.  Keep them in front of you.  Know why you want to achieve them.  Then take small steps in that direction.  Soon you’ll be setting new goals and achieving them faster.

Authentic Reflection

authentic reflection - Life Simplified

Authentic Reflection

I may not be as thin as a model,

As smart as a scientist,

As business savvy as an analyst.


I am the best me there is.

What others see as flaws,

I see as beauty.

What others doubt,

I dream.

I may not meet your expectations.

That’s okay.

Your expectations are your thoughts not mine.

I’m the best me there will ever be, every day.

trust your brilliance


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I Love And Approve of Myself

Life Simplified garden 2012

Part of the Life Simplified Garden

Love who you are, what you are and what you do.  Laugh at yourself and at life.  Louise Hay


My Garden

Last weekend I planted my annual herb garden.  This year I’m also trying my hand at tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, spinach, salad greens and summer squash.

Planting each seed and seedling, reminded me of how I’d once again stopped doing my inner work.

The meditative work of planting my garden, reminded me of life’s simple law.  Plant seeds.  Care for them.  Tend to the weeds.  In the end you’ll be rewarded with the seed’s unique gift.

The same is true for our personal and professional inner work.

What Mental Seeds Are You Planting?

If you plant a tomato seed, you don’t expect a zucchini.  Yet every day you the mental seed of I’m not worthy and expect love.  Spend 24 hours monitoring your thoughts.  They are subtle, so listen carefully.

What do you say to yourself if you are running late?  What do you say to yourself if a bill comes and there is no money in the bank?  What do you say to yourself when those summer clothes are tighter than last year or you have to put on your bathing suit for the first time?

Are those seeds you want to grow in your inner garden? I thought so.

I Love And Approve Of Myself

One of the most powerful, yet simple affirmations I use I learned from Louise Hay, “I love and approve of myself.”  When I decide to plant this seed rather than other negative seeds, I find life, personally and professionally, takes on a whole different hue.

Imagine walking into a situation saying, “I’m fat.  No one wants to talk to me because I’m so boring.”  Got it.  Now imagine the same situation and instead you’re saying, “I love and approve of myself.”  Can you feel the difference?When I do this work with clients, I see them sit up straighter, smile and relax.

Tend To Your Garden Daily

If you’re a gardener or just have a few herbs from the grocery store on the windowsill, try planting this mental seed while you’re tending your garden.

As you water your garden, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”  As you weed your garden, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”   As you smile with pride over your first tomato, repeat, “I love and approve of myself.”  

You can certainly repeat the affirmation other times as well.  The garden just gives you some time to meditate the feeling of the affirmation.

By connecting this practice with your garden, you’ll find you’re not just reaping tomatoes this summer.

You will see the little miracles occur in your life.  The things you are ready to eliminate will go of their own accord.  The things and events you want will pop up in your life seemingly out of the blue.  you will get bonuses you never imagined! ~ Louise Hay

The Gift of Helping Without Expectations

The Gift of Helping Without Expectation

photo credit: thinkingisstillfree via Tumblr


Every day we have at least one opportunity to help a friend, a loved one or even a stranger. It is our responsibility to do what we can, when we can, to assure that someone else does better.  Iyanla Vanzant, from Facebook

Young Samaritans

My nephew and his friend are working with me for the summer.  On Wednesday they came to work all excited.  “We were Good Samaritans today!” they shouted as they came in the door grinning ear to ear.   This coming from a couple of 14 year old boys peaked my curiosity.  You never know what that might mean.

Luckily enough, they actually did help someone.  On their way to work they passed an older man who’s car was stuck.  Without prompting, the two asked him if he needed help.  When he said yes, they jumped in with gusto.

Helping Without Expectation

Helping without expectation means you don’t expect anything from the interaction.  All you do is help. It’s when you start keeping score to yourself that the problems begin.

Helping and Expectations Don’t Mix

Have you ever helped someone and felt wiped out?

That’s because you probably expected something to happen during the experience that didn’t.  Maybe you thought they would be more grateful.  Maybe you thought they would participate in the help.  Maybe you thought they would repay you.

It’s these thoughts that deplete your energy, not the helping.

What’s interesting is when you do help without expectation, like the boys, you get an energy boost rather than drain.  Think about a time when you helped someone without expectation.  How did you feel?  See.

Who Can You Help Today?

Over this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to help someone without expectation.  I’d love to hear your stories and we promise to share our own.

Oh the boys…yes, they were able to help the guy get his car unstuck.  They talked about it all night too!


Be Joyful In What You Ask For

Be Joyful In What You Ask For

photo credit: kazzpoint0 via flickr

Often – even when you believe you are thinking about something that you desire – you are actually things about the exact opposite of what you desire.  In other words, “I want to be well; I don’t want to be sick.”  “I want to have financial security; I don’t want to experience a shortage of money.”  “I want the perfect relationship to come to me; I don’t want to be alone.”  ~ Abraham via Esther Hicks, Ask And It Is Given

What You Think About Comes About

You’ve heard that before.   You’ve tried to focus on what you want in your life; a new car, a soul mate, a thriving business, but things aren’t working out like you planned.

Could you be thinking about what you don’t want rather than what you do want?

Ask And It Is Given

You know what you want, but you are feeling the lack of it.  This feeling of lack focuses you on the opposite of what you desire.  For example, positive thought: “I want a new computer.”  Feeling of lack: “I can’t afford a new computer.”  Without knowing it every time you say, “I want a new computer” you are actually saying, “I don’t want one because they are too expensive.”

A New Lesson

I’ve read Ask And It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks a hundred times.  Never before did I pull out this lesson until just recently.

After my initial ah-ha moment,  I looked back on my life.  When I set goals and was positive about an outcome, I got exactly what I desired, and pretty quickly I might add.  More often than not, however, when I asked for something I unconsciously focused on the lack behind it.  In those situations I was given exactly what I asked for…more lack.

Discovering the Lack

Through this activity, I realized I’d built a habit of focusing on lack.  The key to breaking a lack focused habit is to check in with your emotions.

Here’s an example.  I’ve wanted an iPhone forever.  However, when I thought about having an iPhone, my focus was on not having one.  Even when my phone was due for an upgrade and an iPhone was an option, I didn’t get one because I came up with a dozen excuses.  I now see those excuses were coming from my thoughts of not having an iPhone rather than having one.

I felt horrible during this process.  This was my first clue I was focusing on lack.

Let Your Emotions Be Your Guide

I’m still learning to tap into my emotions as I set new goals, create new visions, and develop new plans.  When I don’t feel good, I check in to see how I’m feeling. These feelings always point to my thoughts of lack.

Listen to your emotions.  If you don’t feel good, do a check in, like I’m learning to do.  When you think about your goal, vision or plan you should feel excited and passionate…like you are standing on the brink of something very exciting.

That’s when you know you’re on the right path.

Increase Your Self Esteem…without the lard!


Am I Good Enough? - Life Simplified





That was my first thought when I say this.  An actual ad getting people to eat lard.  Sounds incredible to us today, but back then, this was “good advice.”

Let’s say you have a great Aunt Millie who was alive during that time. Do you think she still thinks eating lard will make you happy?  Maybe she does.  Yikes, that’s scary.

Our Critical Mind

When we listen to our critical mind, it’s like listening to great Aunt Millie.  Your critical thoughts have been formed not just over your life time, but over generations.  Some information is valuable (don’t touch hot stove). Other information (eat lard to be happy) doesn’t make sense any more.

What would happen if you were sad and great Aunt Millie suggested you eat lard.  You’d probably roll your eyes and say, “Okay Aunt Millie.  I’ll have to try that,” never intending to eat one ounce of lard.

Unfortunately we don’t apply the same rules to our critical mind.  When it says something crazy like “Are You Good Enough?” we pay attention.  We even take action on that thought.


What If Aunt Millie Ran Your Family or Business?

Think of the consequences if you put great Aunt Millie in charge of your family, your business, or if she lived with you and you had to do everything she said.  You could be eating lard every day.  I know that doesn’t sound logical, but when you listen and take action on your critical thought without examining them, that’s exactly what you’re doing.

Welcome it

I’m going to suggest you welcome those critical thoughts.  Accept they’re part of you.  Don’t let it run crazy in the background dictating your actions.  Once you accept them (which doesn’t mean act on them, it just means listen), your critical voice looses effect.  You begin to see some of it’s warnings are false.  They served you and your family well in the past, but they don’t apply any more.

Walk Away

Let’s say great Aunt Millie did come to live with you.  You accept her.  You welcome her.  When she starts talking about lard, however, what do you do.  Smile, nod and walk away.  You chalk her suggestions up to her past experience.  You realize they aren’t relevant to your life today.  You don’t buy lard and you’re okay with that.

How To Live With Your Critical Mind

The same can happen with the critical voice.

  • Listen to what it says.
  • Ask, is this true?
  • If the advice is inaccurate, continue on your path. The conflict is gone.

Next Time

When your critical voice says, “Are You Good Enough?’  Answer, “I am thank you.”  Then confidently excuse yourself, grab a glass of lemonade and throw the lard in the trash.


Photo credit: Ravinsmagiclantern via Flickr under creative commons license



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