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inspiration

Step Into Your Power, Create Your Dreams + 5 Simple Steps to Begin

Step Into Your Power, Create Your Dreams + 5 Simple Steps to Begin

Every day you have a choice.

 

A choice to either :

Honor your potential and strive toward your dreams, or

Desperately hold on to your current situation - even if your life is not as great as you wish it was.

 

In other words - you can be satisfied or not, joyful or not, fulfilled or not.

 

But do you even know what you truly want out of life? If you do, have you made a plan that will allow you to get it?

 

Some days the vision we have is crystal clear - and our belief that we can ATTAIN that beautiful dream is unshakable.

 

But many days - like when the kids are sick, and the washing machine breaks, and we trip and drop the groceries when we come in the front door - our vision is cloudy, and our self-confidence is less than zero.

 

We know how you feel.

 

For many years we allowed our lives to be limited by fear.

 

We let ourselves be ruled by other people’s opinions and values.

 

We focused on things we didn’t want to have, people we didn’t want to know, and goals we didn’t want to reach.

 

Why?

 

In julie’s case, she thought that if she focused on all the things she was “supposed” to focus on (all the “right” things) she could control them. And then she could control her life, and her life’s journey. But this only left her powerless to control even herself.

 

For Andy, there was a need to find something to “hold onto” - an idea or belief that would always stay the same and could be used as a source of self-identity. This fear of change and of the future led him down a road of depression and anxiety.

 

Eventually we realized that our power comes from WITHIN OURSELVES.

 

The illusion of control over outside forces - or the need for these forces to define us - only serves to disempower us. The power within us can move mountains...or, as in our case, it can be harnessed to move us and our family over mountains and across the country from Pennsylvania to Oregon.

 

We moved so we could transform an “OK” existence into an extraordinary life - a life that we built around our goals and desires (not somebody else’s) - a life that was exciting, fulfilling, and joyful.

 

We did this despite being scared out of our wits!

 

Every day we strive to find that inner power that allows us to stay present in the “here and now”

It helps us appreciate how far we have already come and inspires optimism about the future.

 

This is what works for us.

 

We could sit here and tell you that you will get through any difficulty with time.

 

We could tell you to find the power that you contain within yourself.

 

But we know what it’s like to be in a place of overwhelming struggle and uncertainty.

 

We know how hard it can be to run a business, raise a family, stay attentive to your romantic partner, AND maintain a healthy practice of self-care.

 

We know how difficult it can be to even get started.

 

But we can help.

 

Do you want to create a life that is emotionally, spiritually, and financially stable AND fulfilling?

 

A life that has everything you want - freedom, peace, happiness.

 

We can help guide you.

(Read the 5 Steps below then click here to go even further!) 

We can help YOU guide YOURSELF, because only you know exactly what your desired life looks like.

 

We can help you get past all the doubt that has been instilled in you throughout your life - doubt that says other people know best how to live your life.

 

We can share with you the tools and strategies that will move you forward into a life you truly desire.

 

The key is - You!

 

Are you ready to step into your power by releasing beliefs that are holding you back?

 

Are you ready to step up and reach for the life of your dreams?

 

Here are five actionable steps that serve us on our journey - steps that we want to share with you.

 

1.) Be your truth. Develop a system for recognizing when a thought is not serving you. You have undoubtedly heard that “attitude is everything.” This is absolutely true. A positive outlook is far more conducive to finding solutions to problems. Keep your mind clear of negativity in relation to your goals for the future. A physical reference - a colorful wristband or a crystal or pretty stone in your pocket - can be used as an ever-present reminder to make choices that are in line with what YOU want and what YOU need to create your best day, your best week, and your best life. Pause to touch or look at this item when you are confronted with doubt or fears or uncertainty in a situation. This allows you to step back and honestly assess the circumstances. Then you will be more clear-headed in determining the best action(s) to take - the one(s) that will lead you in the direction YOU want to go. DO THIS ASAP: Grab that reminder put it on you or in your pocket in the next week and connect it to a mantra that empowers you.
 

2.) Be action-oriented. Every action brings about a reaction. What action can you take today - right now - to bring about the results you want to create? It can be small and subtle or large and obvious. Remember that a series of small steps will bring about big changes. Thirty minutes of self-care, or reaching out to a close friend, or confiding your dilemma to your partner, or making that first post on Facebook Live are all ways to steer your life in the direction that you want to go. The key is to keep moving. Don’t let life go on around you without putting your own personal mark on it. Be your life’s most positive and active influence. DO THIS ASAP: Pick something that freaks you out a little (or a lot!) and put it on your calendar to do in the next week.
 

3.) Visualize. Wake up and - before you get out of bed - focus on what your dream life looks like. Be as specific as possible. Do you want to live somewhere else? Imagine how it feels to be there. Do you want more financial freedom? Feel that sense of security and joy. Do you want more time for just you and your partner - time without the kids or other family? Let yourself believe it exists already. Visualizing what you want will not bring it into reality without work on your part. But we want you to search your mind and heart for what exactly it is that you want and to concentrate on how it will feel to achieve it. This will motivate you into action, and it will help you discover what you need to do in order to bring about the desired results. DO THIS ASAP: Practice visualizing for 5 minutes as soon as you wake up. Do it for a minimum of three days. Then try for five. Eventually you can make this a habit that you do every morning. 
 

4.) Recognize the proof. Take the time to appreciate how often you have gotten through difficult times and situations. You have gotten yourself through 100% of the problems you have been confronted with - you know that, because you’re still here! Make a list of challenges you have met, and refer to it often - especially when you are struggling. Remember that transformations are spurred on by these difficult times, and they played a big part in shaping you into the person you are now. Times of growth and change are rarely pretty, but they are vital. You can get through any rough patch you are experiencing now - or in the future. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for. DO THIS ASAP: Write down your proof and post it on your wall somewhere that you will see it everyday!
 

5.) Find Your Resolve...and Reassert it. If you want to change your life, you need to confirm your commitment to do so today. And you need to reconfirm it tomorrow. And again the day after that. It is the daily reassertion that you have made the resolution to change that will allow you to do so. Believing in yourself today is just the start. Finding that belief - and recognizing it and FOCUSING on it - every day is the base on which you begin to build the new life you’re searching for. DO THIS ASAP: Make yourself a recommitment mantra that is short and sweet but reminds you to focus on today so you can step into your POWER!
 

(Want more? Join us for the FREE training here)

Apply these strategies to your life, and notice how they strengthen your spirit.

 

By changing your perspective on your life, they allow you to begin to step into your power and own those dreams that set your heart and soul on fire.

 

While honoring the past, you are ready to step forward into your future.

 

Julie asks you to read the following inspirational words from her dearly departed brother - words he wrote to a friend just prior to embarking on a journey to India for a year.

 

She hopes you will let them empower you through your journey to the beautiful life you wish to create :

 

“We all do not like sudden changes, but we have to conquer our fears, for they are nothing but our mental interior walls that need to be knocked down - not built up. Do not build up your wall, but leave behind the comforts and safety of your confines. I know it is a big step - and a sudden one - but trust your instincts.

You learn so much about yourself and the world. Reflection, observation, and a simpler, slower lifestyle…

Embark on your journey, and only look forward. Not too fast, but not too slow. It is the ones who remain idle that get lost in the memories of the past and not the dreams of the future. We, as human beings, need to dream again once more…” ~ Christopher Belfoure

 

Forget the 50/50 Right Now...

Forget the 50/50 Right Now...

     Relationships are rarely a fifty-fifty exchange of give and take. The reward of a solid relationship is the understanding that at any given time, one of the partners may be carrying most of the load. But giving of yourself in excess abundance, does not mean your partner “owes” you. It is not a transaction that will eventually require payback.

     Julie and I have been through countless variations of this scenario, where one person is down and the other is keeping the ship on course, making sure the day-to-day obligations are met, the kids are fed, etc. Sometimes these situations can stretch out for days or even weeks, as it has lately with all of the moving preparations necessary to get our family from Pennsylvania to Oregon. It's been particularly difficult for me, having lived in the same area for the last 52 years.

So we both have been employing self-care techniques to keep ourselves sane and keep our relationship as healthy as possible.

  1. For myself, I've been lacking the spiritual energy and support that I usually rely on to get through both the good days and the bad, I realize faith and gratitude are actions that I sometimes neglect and that this is a large reason for the funk that I've been mired in. Therefore, I start every day with a new attitude and I make a fresh attempt to find my way back to the positive outlook and joyous embrace of every day.

  2. For Julie, she has been doing everything in her power to lend me the support that she knows I crave, on a daily basis. But at the same time, she has been guarding her own spiritual energy, protecting her sense of serenity and calm from the negative vibes that I have been emitting in copious amounts and with few breaks. She walks a fine line between reaching out a helping hand to her partner and letting herself get sucked down into the negative spiral.

  3. As a couple, we respect each others’ spaces in our lives. We each accept that there is a lot of negative energy being felt and experienced. Neither judges the other as to how he or she is experiencing this difficult time. We merely try to honor the challenges that come from a life experience for which we both were unprepared. We realize that, although one person’s experience may be less painful than the other’s, there is a lesson to be learned for both of us.  

We welcome you to be aware in times of transition or just a hard day that you can honor yourself while lending support. There is a balance but it is not always 50/50 and recognizing that is an invaluable tool in having loving exchanges with your partner even during tumultuous times.


If you are seeking support, check us out on Facebook for our daily live stream with advice and tips for balancing relationships, family and business.

Codependency Recovery: 3 Steps Toward a Healthy Relationship

Codependency Recovery: 3 Steps Toward a Healthy Relationship

 

    In 12-step recovery, we address the issues surrounding addictive behaviors and the person who participates in these behaviors - the addict. While the addict must focus on him/herself in order to recover, there is an innate need in life that distracts from that focus, and that is the love for another person. Any behavior that pulls the addict outside of himself, thereby offering a temporary escape, poses a threat to sobriety. But feelings of love for another person is something that most of us strive to experience; life is not complete without it. An honest program of recovery must acknowledge and allow for this need, whether the addict is 24 hours clean or 24 years.

 

    When someone loves an addict, that person comes into close proximity of a world of addictive behaviors. Sometimes that person becomes completely immersed in that world, ultimately acting out in ways that are as sick as the addict’s. His/her behaviors largely center around and are driven by reactions and responses to the life that the addict lives - whether the addict is sober or using. Here at L&A we call this person the re-addict. If the addict escapes himself in addictive behaviors, the readdict escapes himself in the addict. Essentially, both use behaviors in an attempt to avoid their own lives and themselves.
 

    After my wife and I met, she became obsessed with my recovery, and the majority of her actions were centered around maintaining my sobriety for me. In response, I tried to maintain my sobriety for her, sometimes lying and hiding “bad” behaviors, other times overtly displaying “good” behaviors in an effort to reassure her that I was sober and would never relapse again. Each of us was trying to manipulate the other, and no one was happy. Something drastic had to change, or our marriage wasn’t going to last.

 

    So we established a program that supports a conscious awareness of three elements that are crucial to any healthy relationship, whether it is with a romantic partner or otherwise. We strive to develop and nurture each of these on a daily basis :

 

  1. Focus on the self

The only person who can truly decide to follow a particular line of thinking or course of action, especially when either of these is in contrast to the typical thoughts or actions of the past, is the individual who is going to have the thoughts or perform the actions. Change is difficult. The only way to have any success at creating change in your life is to commit to doing the work that you need to do, to tackle the challenges that you face, to face the tasks that lay in front of you. In other words, mind your own business.

 

  1. Focus on the partner

This doesn’t mean you don’t care about the other person, however. While it is true that you can’t do the work for him/her, there are ways you can offer support without being nosy, pushy, or obtrusive. Listen when the other person is having a particularly difficult time, without giving unsolicited advice. When it’s appropriate, lend a hand without hidden agenda or expectation of payback. Tell the person you care and that you believe in them. Do something simply because it will make the other person smile, without working the angle that benefits you. In other words, be nice.

 

  1. Focus on the couple

One of the best things you can do to keep a relationship of any kind alive and healthy is to participate in activities that emphasize the joy you both receive from it. Don’t have unrealistic expectations of bliss or of carefree interactions. Difficulties exist in every relationship ; deemphasize these as much as you can and accentuate the good parts. Don’t regret the past or agonize over future uncertainty. Stay present and relish the presence of the other person in your life. There are many lonely people in the world, but neither of you are one of them. In other words, count your blessings.  

 

    These elements are products of the work we do at Love and Addicts. Our goal is to help couples in relationships as well as other people who are involved in some way with an addict who is in recovery. We strive to help people form and maintain healthy and fulfilling relationships that previously suffered from issues surrounding codependency. We offer individual and couples coaching. If you like what you read here, go to LoveandAddicts.com and sign up and look out for our free ecourse to get started repairing and strengthening the connection you have with an important person in your life. Relationships take work, and most can benefit from some outside help. I hope you reach out to us so we can work together.

 

Messy Inspiration

Life is….messy. You have hundreds of things to do, people to see, places to go, and never enough time to finish half the things you start. Partially completed projects gather dust as the days go by, and the list of things that you haven’t even begun grows longer. As you lie in bed, exhausted at the end of another marathon that starts when you crawl out of bed and ends when you finally collapse back into it, you may think to yourself, “I gotta get organized.”

    I’m a big fan of organization, in all areas of my life, and I make lists for everything. I have so many lists that I have to organize them. They are all stored in one place and can be accessed from my laptop or smartphone. Essentially, it’s a list of all my lists. All the people, places, and things that need my attention (according to me, at least) are here. My life, in electronic print, is here. 

    And yet, my life is still a clutter of evolving ideas, unanticipated obligations, and agendas that crash into and contradict one another. The organizational systems I’ve established for existing data don’t apply, so I need to come up with a new way to organize life as it unfolds today. I need to re-distribute, re-collate, re-order, and re-sort everything so all the old stuff meshes with all the new stuff. I need to reorganize the old organization so I can think about what’s happening now, how it applies to the stuff that already happened, and how it will play out with the stuff that’s going to happen. 

    I gotta get organized. Or do I?      

    There is an inherent problem with trying to keep every idea and plan in neat little compartments. They lose some of their tendency to step in each other’s way. It is the natural inability of the mind to store all your thoughts apart from each other that enables them to intertwine in unintended ways and produce great ideas. The most fascinating and inspirational visions are borne from a lot of effort and a little something else. You might refer to this “something else” as luck or coincidence. I call it divine inspiration. 

    When I’m contemplating life, when I’m writing, or when I’m just planning my day, I often try to let a little silence into the spaces between the thoughts. I find that it’s the best way for God to get in and nudge things together or apart until, all of a sudden, I say “Eureka!”  or  “Holy shit!”  (depending on the circumstance in which I find myself.) And I try to let the thoughts flow naturally, following a train of thought while it meanders among the synapses and nodes of my mind, until it becomes something really interesting or I lose interest, at which point I latch onto something else. 

    The idea is to follow an idea and listen for inspiration at the same time I’m making an effort to create something, whether it be an interesting blog, a shopping list, or a decision that will move me either towards, or away from, a bad idea or behavior. Despite my desire to compartmentalize my life and control the ebb and flow of ideas and events, the most favorable results are largely influenced by divine inspiration. I am led by God’s communication that comes to me directly and constantly. All I have to do is maintain an awareness of the messages. These occur naturally, without manipulation or organization. 

    A cluttered mind can lead to frustration. Letting the imagination and/or intellect roam free inevitably leads to contradictions and repetitiveness, but the mess from all that thinking shows effort, rather than complacency. Effort and intention leave little room for the contemplation of negative self-image or resentments, which can lead to the formation of bad ideas, and eventually the actions of old, unhealthy behaviors. 

    Inside my head, there is a great disarray of many rambling, wonderfully ambitious ideas, some of which will come to fruition when their time is due. My active participation in the processes of life, creation, and growth is what reassures me that the mess will occasionally produce results. I show up for life now, as opposed to letting it roll right by me in the past. I create disorder in thoughts and ideas, rather than in my life. I actively seek divine inspiration while I create, instead of praying for God to get me out of another jam. 

    Don't just sit still so the past can catch up and drown you, and don’t let the fear of the future threaten to crash over you like a wave. Be active in the now. Be immersed in the activity of creation. If all you can see today is the mess you’ve created, at least you are trying! And that is all anyone can ask. God will fill in the gaps, and tomorrow or next week, the beautiful, divine creation that is of yourself will be revealed to you. And the Universe will applaud.