When it hurts so good: a healthy dose of self-denial

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Habits: These good, bad and ugly boys wrestle with my will on the daily. Some studies say it takes three weeks to enforce a habit. For me, it can also take less than 30 seconds to unravel the best of intentions. Real talk: I have a few bad habits I can no longer ignore, deny or continue to associate with. Not too long ago, I believed it simply required a matter of mindful choices. However, I’ve noticed, of late, that once I engage in an undesirable habit (or three), I’ve set myself up for failure. In other words, the snowball effect takes over of its own accord. The same can be true at the opposite end of the spectrum: If I employ a habit that benefits mind, body and/or spirit, I’ve prepped for success and smooth(er) sailing ensues. It’s more than a decision to act a certain way. It’s a commitment to replace self-defeat with self-love—and a healthy dose of self-denial.

What habit(s) do you wrestle with?

Mojo with a twist: positive affirmations

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The last day of my 30-Day Reboot Challenge came and went with very little fanfare. Maybe because I got off track at times. Regardless, one of the biggest revelations to me was that the words we speak about ourselves—whether in our own minds or while talking with others—affect not only our psyches (mental and emotional), but also our physicality. I tested the theory of positive affirmations in the hot room one afternoon during yoga: I wore a top that reads “Strong is the new skinny” and I stared at that shirt for the next 90 minutes. This affirmation of strength resonated throughout the following 90 minutes and my body responded with a strong, grounded practice. But it doesn’t end with positivity. We also limit our success with the words (and thoughts) we entertain that devalue or restrict our capabilities (see The Language of Limitation and Hate-Speak). Let’s make a pact today: to speak self-love. And then witness a powerful transformation.

What does your self-speak sound like?

Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Rediscovering our personal truths

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personal truths

This week while I wrapped up a work project, I rediscovered six personal truths that make me tick: 1) I do what I love. If I ever again must be reminded of the answer to the question, ‘Am I in the right field, career-wise?’ I need only recall the Adrenalin rush I experience each time I write. Now I want more. 2) I practice self-love. Self-love and cutting ourselves slack don’t necessarily mean the same thing. A glass of wine to relax, yes; chased by frosted Saltine crackers to de-stress, no. 3) The perfect time to start something never arrives. I am ready to take the next step toward living Today. 4) No (wo)man is an island. I desire to fellowship with others, to encourage and share accountability. And my editor usually knows best. 5) Better late than never. All good things take time. But deadlines are still important. 6) I am good enough. Yet there will always be room for improvement.

What personal truths have you rediscovered?

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Self-love your way to happiness

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In honor of the LOVE month, ask yourself when the last time you practiced self-love was. Can you recall when you most recently did something to make yourself happy—to illustrate your love for self? This will, no doubt, look unique for each one of us. A weekly afternoon cat nap might be your go-to happy place, while mine, on most days, is found in the yoga hot room, or sprawled on the sofa lost in a fantasy world of fiction. I used to think self-love was a selfish endeavor—that my own happiness was secondary. Self-love even begins with the prefix of the word selfish. My own Christian beliefs advise against doing anything out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but to humbly consider others better than ourselves. However, I think if we fail to practice self-love, we have little love to share with others. But, when we are happy and feel loved, it is so much easier to sparkle brightly.

How will you practice self-love today?

[Image courtesy of TeddyBear[Picnic] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.]

I’m over it

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I'm over it

We’re almost one month into the new year already and it’s been a big fat bust so far. First, in my quest for balance, I jumped in feet first and overextended and overcommitted myself (see #12 in Confessions of a fraud), and second, my immune system suffered because of it. Not only did I miss several days, I flaked out on multiple commitments. It seems that with everything I want to do and yes, even need to do, it’s easy for me to become overwhelmed and deplete my reserves. Yet, when this happens, I am crabby and zero good to others. I cannot expect to run on autopilot with no respect for my energy levels. So how do I find balance? I need to ask myself: What drains me and what feeds me?—then eliminate the one and do more of the other—because if I don’t start practicing self-love on a consistent basis, my sparkle might begin to dull with time.

When is enough, enough for you?

[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net]