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    The Power of 8

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  • Shift Your Focus with Positive Affirmations

    There is power in words. What you say is what you get – Zig Ziglar.

    Without a doubt what we say out loud, what we write or the words we speak in our minds can be powerful in a positive or negative way. For a long time now we have seen our social media showered with daily positive quotes. Perhaps because the days only get busier and the calendar days seem to come and go quicker than we can keep up. I mean it’s June folks! How are we half way into 2019? It’s hard not to notice that the focus on mindfulness, health, and wellness continue to grow and become very popular.

    And understandably so especially with so much intensity going on around the world and most notably in our country with our youth. It’s no wonder that there’s been a surge and a need for positive quotes and affirmations. It seems we are all craving for some kind of inspiration and a sense of motivation to get us through our daily routines and even challenges. And so we turn to affirmations and quotes. Is it effective? It certainly can be but it also depends on the person and how receptive they might be to incorporating these techniques. Everyone is at a different point in their lives and trying to achieve different goals. In some cases, perhaps a simple post-it note on a computer monitor could work some magic. For others, perhaps it could be a daily mantra with a few minutes of meditation once a day. I’m a firm believer of affirmations which are actually which just another word for a phrase or mantra. Words and thoughts carry more energy that some like to admit or believe. Let us not forget that we are beings that vibrate with energy. Some are higher frequencies and some are not so much. We all have had days whereupon awaking in the morning we feel in pretty good. Well, in that case, you are vibrating on a higher energy level and yet there are moments of the days when worry, stress, illness or sadness may take over and that’s right you guessed it, you’re on a lower energy vibration. And let me be clear everyone and I mean everyone has those highs and lows. That is part of this human experience we are living in. But of course, feeling happy and at ease is what we hope for. So to try to achieve picking UP the low vibes, it’s important to have healthy self-talk. What and who we surround ourselves with is important but what about the person you’re around 100% of the day? Yes, YOURSELF! Becoming your best friend in your head is so important. It’s surely not something that happens overnight. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen but I would expect a more gradual sense of change to occur. Just keep in mind that although a visual reminder is a great tool, this work is more internal. It’s all about the shift in your mind and the awareness of the conversations you’re holding with yourself. It takes time, patience, intention, and practice. Here are some of my tips with using affirmations. Write three or five or more down on a piece of paper. Read them to yourself slowly and when you’re done take a moment to breathe in between each one. Also, saying them out loud to yourself is even better. Say each affirmation with assertiveness and with a sense of confidence and belief. Finally, read them out loud and record yourself on a voice recorder application on your smartphone. Play it back to yourself from time to time as a reminder that this is the happy and friendly voice your mind and spirit needs to hear more often.

    A few years ago I was introduced to the work of Louise Hay. Louise was an iconic motivational speaker and author who was also the founder of the Hay House Publishing company with a huge following even today. She is considered to be the mother of positive affirmations. She wrote many books that taught the world about how to manifest your best life based on these affirmations. She believed that affirmations were a way of opening a door for positive change and healed not only the mind but the body and spirit. She taught the world to be mindful of what words followed the words “I Am”.  Some of her most well-known affirmations are below (but there are countless others).

    • “All is Well”
    •  “I Am Good Enough”
    •  “I Love and Appreciate Myself”
    •  “I am in the process of positive change”
    •  “I am willing to let go”
    •  “I Love and Accept Myself”
    •  “I now live in limitless love, light, and joy”
    •  “Life is Good, and so it is”

    Even some of the most famous and wealthy celebrities like Denzel Washington, Jim Carrey, Jennifer Lopez, and Oprah Winfrey have publicly disclosed using affirmations as a way to transform their lives for the better. We are habitual creatures so just like a new diet plan or fitness regimen, trying to change how we think or how to shift our focus can take a bit of time. Just remember that you are your biggest investment. Finding ways to manage the contrast of our daily lives is our right and responsibility. It’s time that you take your power back and change the station playing in your head. So, readers, I would like to hear from you. Do you practice using positive affirmations or use positive motivational quotes at home or work and if so what results have you noticed?

     

    A Free Pat On Your Back

    Recently someone said to me, “Stop being so hard on yourself, you just don’t give yourself enough credit”. That made me stop in my tracks and really think about those words. We have so many conversations online and in-person but when you hear those words come from anyone, your best bet is to take that in and listen. I really had to take some inventory of how true those statements were for me. Why was I being so hard on myself? Well, the honest truth is that we are our worst and toughest critic.

    How often do we go through so many events in our lives that really push our limits to be stronger? How many times do we overcome losses, disappointments, rejection and still we dust ourselves off and move forward? Sometimes we don’t even realize that as time goes by, we have grown and learned so many lessons thanks to our strong spirit. We may have had failures but we also have made the conscious effort to keep pushing ahead for a better tomorrow. And even if tomorrow came and we stumbled again, we should just try again and just think, “Ok, this didn’t quite go the way I thought but what was my lesson here?” Your perseverance no matter how big or small should be acknowledged and celebrated. Now, sure you’re not going to throw yourself a party every time you overcome a problem (or would you? invites being accepted), but taking notice that you are trying is a HUGE step. Let’s agree to not be so hard on ourselves because if we were to look back, I’m sure we could find we have made bigger strides than we give ourselves credit for. Of course, it’s always nice to hear “great job” from your bosses, peers, friends but just remember not to let that command your thoughts or let that be your drive. An idea is to perhaps begin making a list of difficult circumstances you have experienced and how you saw yourself through it. Write down your strengths or actions that you may have taken to turn your situation around. Thinking about it just fine but there is something special about putting it on paper and seeing it in front of you. You don’t have to show this list to anyone. This is for yourself and a moment of face to face transparency and sincerity for you.  Just like any muscle that needs exercise, so is the act of validating your successes and your inner strength. Once you put some thought behind this you are off to empowering yourself to another level. Today, I am here to remind you that you should pat yourself on your back. Why? Because you deserve to give yourself much credit for working hard, being a great parent, sibling, friend, colleague and heck just for making it from one day to the next with all the obstacles out in the world.

    “Always concentrate on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.” ~Unknown

    Photo by: Nghia Le

    The Magic of Solitude

    We live in such a noisy, busy and chaotic world these days. We also live in a world where being connected online is a daily marathon. Everyone is mindful of likes, sharing photos, personal status updates and hunting for followers. Sure, it’s important to keep up with your circle of friends and family in some way. But the question today is do you ever find alone time? It seems too often people will go out of their way to ensure that they are never alone. More often than not those who do enjoy time on their own are criticized for being anti-social, loners, shy, boring or labeled wallflowers. The fact of the matter is that enjoying time by yourself is actually healthy and valuable to your mental and emotional space. It’s so important to be comfortable enough to do things alone and appreciate your own company. Going for a walk, treating yourself to a movie (yes alone), going for a drive, taking a short or long trip on your own. These are just some ways that you can reconnect with yourself. How often do you get lost throughout the day by going to work, then you go home and it’s time to be a parent, a spouse, sibling, roommate, etc? Being of service and available to those you care about is kind and commendable, but when do you make time to be your own best friend. How about finding a quiet space and just listening to your thoughts and connecting with your inner self? Yes – it’s true that depending on what you have going on in your life you may not want to be in your head too much. Yet, connecting with yourself on a deeper level can be quite transformative and can even be a form of healing. It’s in this moment of solitude where you may likely find answers. It’s when the magic is awakened. The magic is that moment when you can just be free to be your unique self. It’s the moment when you don’t have to be anything you are not, just your authentic YOU and that is pure freedom. Silence is not something you should take for granted. Try it some time. You can start with just a few minutes during the day by taking a few deep breaths. If you feel you have to schedule the time to do so, that’s okay too.  The point is to seek this time and treat it as a gift to yourself and to your soul. The more you do find these small moments to nurture your spirit, the more you will grow and the more peace you will find and within that, there is unlimited power.

    So dear readers, do you enjoy alone time or is this something you find challenging? Have you tried taking up the practice of meditation?

     

    Photo by Josh Adamski

     

    When Change Knocks At Your Door

    It’s hard to believe we only have a few months left of the year 2017. This year, it seems so many people are experiencing changes and shifts in some area of their lives that is quite significant. When change knocks at your door, how do you answer? Do you open the door without hesitation or are you extra cautious? It’s safe to say many of us can experience doubt and fear when uncertainty enters our lives. They say progress is impossible without change and no matter how uncomfortable it might be, it could be the gateway to something really incredible. It could be the universe’s way of shaking things up and taking you out of the old comfort zone which is where stagnant energy lives. We are here to grow, evolve and learn and sometimes a major change is necessary. Are you in a soul-sucking job? Are you in an unhappy and unfulfilling relationship? Are your relationships unbalanced? Have you outgrown the home where you live or the area where you live? Are you feeling unhealthy and have been considering a lifestyle change? The safe zone is where many of us stay but there does come a time when our inner voice tries so hard to tell us to move on! Do we listen and act, or do we listen and suppress those thoughts? If you have been contemplating a change in your life and you’re reading this now, consider this as your SIGN. The time is now. So what’s the worst that can happen if you leave the old behind? Maybe it’s time to explore that new career, invest in yourself and remove those people or things that no longer resonate with you or bring positivity to your life.

    Change may not come easy and yes there may be a bit of struggle but that is where you develop your strength. Think back on a time in your life when you actually made the conscious decision to go in a different direction from where you were. Maybe that decision brought you new relationships or new opportunities. As you can see, the calendar days wait for no one and times moves quickly. We are only here for a limited time so why not take action and do those things that you enjoy. Why not surround yourself with kind and supportive people. The battle of fear of the uncertainty and acceptance can be challenging but very much attainable. The question is how badly do you want to move forward. If you think you’re not ready that means you are! Wait, what? Yes, waiting for the right time or circumstance is just another form of procrastination and comes from a place of fear. Taking that leap of faith is not about timing, it’s about that deep desire to want to be happy. Always trust your inner voice and take that chance. So, now I ask you again –  when change comes knocking at your door, how will you answer? Will you open the door gracefully allowing the ebb and flow of growth to enter or will you push back and struggle through the process? The choice is yours but remember great things comes outside of your comfort zone. So One Style at Time readers, have you experienced any changes in your life? How did you handle these events no matter how big or small?

     

    Express Your Soul’s Creativity

    Have you ever felt like courage likes to play hide and seek with you sometimes? We all remember the character of the Lion in the classic film, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and how cowardly he seemed for the most part of the movie? His wish all along the way to Emerald City was to gain some much-needed courage. Believe it or not, sometimes it really does take a great amount of courage to allow yourself to just follow your dreams especially if your dreams entail creativity. It takes courage to let your guard down and listen to what your soul really desires. Ever notice how children at a young age can get lost playing with their toys, drawing, coloring or playing an instrument? Those are the initial imaginative inclinations we are all born with but as we become adults, they get lost in this big busy world of logical thinking. The fact of the matter is that those creative passions never die and are deep-rooted within us and are a part of who we are as individuals. Many times you may crave to express those passions but because of fear, we tend to just give up and walk away. Sometimes the best thing you can do is invite fear in and have a long, needed facetime with it and just hash it out. Talk to it, write it a letter, make a date with it or have a cup of coffee with this big ugly monster. Facing it is the only way to get to the next steps.

    Throughout my years as a fashion blogger, I have interacted with so many men and women utterly afraid to engage in their passions. They have asked what made me start a blog and how did I get here. My honest answer is because my soul needed to express myself in some way. After so many years of strictly working in the corporate world without any artistic outlet, the truth of the matter was that ‘restless feeling’ just got louder as time went by. It became so loud that with zero knowledge of what blogging was I made the decision one day to just take a chance. Getting there wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination. How long did it take me? A long time, but the important thing is to start somewhere, anywhere and avoid suppressing those gut feelings or nudges in your heart and mind. Never ignore a creative calling because you never know where this can lead. Yes, you will encounter the fear of feeling too old or that you’re not good enough. The fear of what will family and friends think, being judged and ridiculed or not accepted. The list goes on and frankly, it’s completely normal to doubt yourself at some point. Let your soul’s passion be greater than your doubt. One of my favorite quotes by the late and amazing Dr. Wayne Dyer is so poignant, “Don’t die with your music still inside you”. So whatever it is that moves your spirit, just do it. This is part of your calling, authentic self and purpose. You never know along this journey – you just may end up inspiring someone else to do the same.

    So readers, have you ever found yourself at this crossroads? Have you taken the plunge on a creative endeavor? How did you face that fear before diving in and taking action? Leave your comments below.

    Photo: Pinterest