Posts tagged Personal Growth
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This is Terri.

She used to be a control freak. She thought if she planned out her life, it would keep her safe.

Safe from embarrassment, failure, reprimand.

She spent lots of energy and time making sure she knew what came next and how she would deal with what came next.

She forgot how to live in the present.

She lost the joy that comes in the freedom of being.

The beauty of nature.

Taking a walk with no idea where you are going.

She lost touch with fun.

She forgot how to play.

She grew more and more desperate to be accepted.

She tried making everyone happy.

But then she only felt lonelier and lonelier inside.

She became an island.

Being an island was awful.

She reached out but no one would help her. Or so it seemed.

Everything new she tried just left her frustrated and to her horror she became a negative nelly.

She was everything she hoped she never was.

She grew darker. She hung on tighter to things she should have simply let go.

She tried harder. It only drove people further from her.

She swore she would do better, be better, and she set goals, to-do lists, and set out to make them happen.

When she realized that nothing was working. She gave up. She let herself fall apart.

Hit rock bottom.

And it was there in the dark she realized it was all up to her.

If she could remember who she was before the world told her she wasn’t enough, or wasn’t good enough, or needed to do it better, she might be able to turn herself around.

So she set out to find herself. Indeed, she gave herself permission to move way out of her comfort zone, to change her mind, to fail at things, until she was able to remember what made her happy.

What made her laugh. What made her cry tears of joy. What inspired her. What made her lose track of time. What calmed her when she was feeling overwhelmed.

In time, she began to remember trees held a magic power for her.

Freedom from a strict schedule allowed her the spontaneity to ignite her creativity.

Laughing at herself was so helpful to quieting her mean voice.

No one was perfect.

No one expected her to be perfect.

Everyone who truly mattered would accept her transformation from who she had become into who she was always intended to be.

She suddenly began to accept she was loved beyond measure.

She was worthy of all that she wished for.

She was intimately connected to the world.

She was supported by the universe and those she loved.

She mattered.

And she embraced herself.

Wrapping her arms around herself she began to believe in her own power again.

And she felt free to be herself for the first time since she could remember.

She had forgotten how good it felt to be fully in her own footprint.

When Is the Last Time You Put Yourself First?

Make "me" time a priority.


Giving myself permission to stop the madness and step off the fast moving train of life was probably the smartest thing I have done in a long time. At first it seemed selfish, but I’ve come to learn it wasn’t at all, it was necessary. I had dabbled in attempting to figure out specific areas of my life for a few years and I wasn’t making much progress. I realize now that I hadn't really tuned in. I had been looking outward for solutions when what I really needed was some quality "me" time to focus inward.

Oh and I hadn't been ready

I credit yoga with opening my heart enough to help me begin to see the light. Yoga “forced” me to make some quiet time and focus inward. Somewhere after I stopped using that quiet time at the beginning of class to create more to do lists in my head, I began to hear my heart. And clearly there were life lessons I needed to grasp before I could really begin  to make progress in my transformation process. Eventually I realized how much of my day was spent focusing outward trying to control things I had no business controlling. It helped me see that what I needed most was to tune into the quiet inside me, and to stop doubting what I heard. I really only needed to control one thing : me.

Maybe it is true that you cannot fully learn your missing life lessons until you are ready to understand them.

Question of the Week #42/ Are You Ready to Put Yourself First on the List?

If time after time the same things keep happening in your life, yet you hope for change, maybe you need to shift your focus.

Do you run from the quiet of your own mind? Or often wonder why certain areas of your life are stuck in a kind of groundhog's day? Is someone you live with,  love or work with entrenched in a rut and keeping you there with them?

Maybe you are missing some important signs because you aren’t giving yourself enough time to check in. What is really bothering you? Can you identify the root of the problem? Try to get whatever is bothering you clear in your mind’s eye ---then reflect, observe (from all angles), tune in to your inner voice and emotions and start figuring what you can change to attempt to fix things. Is your stress coming from something you need to let go of? What first steps can you take to be happier, more alive,  healthier or whatever you are feeling is missing from your life?

As a firm believer in asking myself the deep questions or in finding someone else to challenge me by asking them, I think the ONLY way to get to the best version of me is to be aware that I am stuck in an old pattern. Every week I run into someone who tells me they are “not the yoga type” –they say they like to move, or they can’t sit still, or they like to sweat or they are just too busy for yoga.

I nod because I get it. They aren’t ready. That was once me, and just like me, they will get it someday. From experience I know those people who say they aren’t the yoga type are exactly the people who need it most. But their time will come, and the good news is it is never too late to begin tuning in.

Please stop putting your name last on the list. Move “me” time to the top of that To Do list. Try some yoga or another mindful practice like Tai Chi or guided meditation and be ready to hear what comes to you in the quiet moments. Who knows maybe this will be your gateway to happiness, too.

Put yourself first, begin today.

Moving From Good to Great


Question of the Week #41/ Are You Attempting to Be the Best Possible Version of You?

I am currently leading a courageous and inspiring group of women through some personal growth classes. At our first class one of the younger members of the group gave me the best answer to this question: "Why are you here tonite?"

“I’m here because I want to be the best version of me that I can be.”

I paused for a moment to appreciate the chills I got after she answered, then thought: That is so cool. She’s got it. That expresses perfectly how I feel and what I now try to do everyday.

Don’t we all really want to be the best version of ourselves that we can be?

Well maybe not. I can say that five years ago I hadn’t even thought about it at all. I considered myself too busy and I was too focused on accomplishing everything on my To Do list to take the time to sit still and think about me. It felt selfish, like a luxury I couldn't afford the time to indulge in, so I failed to take time to work on me.

Maybe a bigger mistake is that I really thought I didn’t need to work on personal growth. I was in what I considered a content place-- happily married, working, and doing my best to raise successful kids. I thought self help books and personal growth classes were for those people who had been through difficult times – and I hadn’t. I had experienced no childhood trauma, had never been without a job for more than a couple weeks, was healthy and had never endured a great loss or hardship. I was happy, responsible, and safe. Life was good.

What I see and know now is that it should have been, great. Focusing inward needs to be a continual practice and I had put myself on the back burner. No one was getting the best version of me, and wouldn't, not until I worked on myself to make sure I was firing on all cylinders.

I see now that if I am healthy and whole my loved ones get the best parts of me, not the worst. Don't make the same mistake that I did, take time to work on you and be all you can be. I’ve learned that just going through life safely and responsibly only allows a person a tiny slice of what real joy and real happiness can be.

Take time to cultivate you and the world becomes a brighter, lighter place for everyone.

To Each Her Own


"What does your mom do all day?"

That is what my son's friend asked as they drove up north to our cottage yesterday. Through the eyes of a typical 18-year-old semi-addicted to her cell phone, a day of sitting alone on a dock by the water in the sun, with a book and a notepad sounded like drudgery. Boredom. Geekness, I think she even said.

To me, it is heaven. Add a little wine and a deep conversation and you have a perfect day.

I had to smile at her response.  How would she know that someday she will want this time. It might be years from now, but she will someday want -- no need-- this time for herself to be still. It will be necessary. Vital. Especially if she is a wife, mom and working girl and heading towards her mid-forties or later.

I realize that I never taught my kids to pay attention to their minds much. At least not the quieting of them. I was more about the doing, unfortunately. Because now I see that understanding mindfulness, and personal time and being able to listen to your inner voice, is KEY to happiness.

Without this understanding, how would she know that someday she is going to want the quiet, the stillness, the alone time to just be, to reconnect with herself?

This summer I have taken advantage of any day like that I can. I know they won't last, I won't be granted this little slice of heaven for long. So I am being selfish.

And I am so grateful for this time doing "nothing"..

What is Your Biggest Fear?/ Question of the Week #14

fearWhat are you scared of? What terrifies you the most? What holds you back from being the best you?

While these kinds of questions don't always bring out the positive in us, they do make us face up to what lies beneath. I have read that the biggest lens of all is our own denial. So, how would your life improve if you faced your biggest fears head-on? Would it take away the worry that gives you  insomnia? Would it help you be able to make a decision and move forward on something that you have been stalled on? Would you take a risk instead of playing it safe? Change your job? Get out of an unhealthy relationship?

Facing our biggest fears is sometimes exactly what we need to do to get the courage to move forward.

What is Your Biggest Fear? / Question #14

My biggest fears would be: not moving forward, being helpless, or I suppose being insignificant. (not mattering).

Yes, I have irrational fears like roller coasters, snakes, mice, cockroaches, lice etc. but those aren't the kinds of fears I'm asking about. I am talking about the deep kind of fears, the ones that paralyze you from living the life you really want.

A lot of people will put fear of  failure on their list. I don't. That doesn't mean I am a risk taker (far from it) but once I set a path, I really don't worry about failing. I believe that giving your all, doing your best (which I always strive to do) means you won't  really "fail" even if things don't work out the way you once thought. The knowledge gained along that journey, to me, is forward progress. It is the being stuck and not moving forward, or not learning from my mistakes that scares me most.

I'm in a sense facing one of my biggest fears in life right now. I'm feeling stuck. What should I do next? What one of my many ideas/dreams/passions should I put my forward motion and energy behind? In having too many options, I am finding myself slightly paralyzed. And that scares me most of all.

I have faith that I will figure it out, it will all make sense-- soon. But this waiting is totally nerve wracking for a doer like me.

I wish you the courage to answer this thoughtfully. To really think it through and identify your fears. The ones that lie deep within. In acknowledging them, I have no fear you will grow stronger. Braver. Better.

Where is Your Creative Space?/ The Question of the Week #5

cultivate-quiet-personalgrowthdevelopmentI'm a big believer in the need for everyone to have enough quiet time to think, dream, and create. I've learned it's crucial for my personal sanity. There are so many distractions in our daily lives it is hard to find the time to slow it down, to shut out those distractions, and to just "be". Because of that,  our minds rarely get the chance to wander freely.

As life got crazy busy for me this past year, I've had to "sneak" in moments for my creative thoughts to break through the clutter. That means I have become very deliberate in cultivating my quiet. Interestingly I noticed a pattern that developed around the places and spaces where I do my best thinking. Armed with this knowledge, I'm very consciously patterning my new direction in life to allow myself these opportunities.

This week's Question of the Week /Question #5 is :

Where are you when you have your best thoughts?

Close your eyes and think back to your last really great idea. Where were you? What were you doing? Is there a special place that you go to when you need to think things out? Or do thoughts and "aha" moments just randomly hit you? Make sure you explore that randomness to make sure you didn't miss a pattern where the creative thoughts and ideas come to you most often.

Consciously making time for our creative space, and giving ourselves the opportunity to be in the places where we have our best thoughts is like giving a gift to ourselves. I hope you will pay attention to those spaces and places in your life where your creativity shines.  Make space for them in your life and part of your plan to become A Better You.

My Answers:

I've realized my best thoughts come from 5 main places.

1. When I'm driving. (I don't text and drive;  I write and drive).

2. When I'm cleaning (I'm especially inspired while vacuuming).

3. When I'm sleeping. (Too bad I cannot write and sleep at the same time).

4. When I'm laying in the sun....(I fill notebooks with my words).

5. When I walk. (I use my phone's recorder to collect my thoughts).

Have a great weekend filled with quiet time for YOU.

P.S. Next week we will be reviewing answers to our first five questions and searching for common themes. I hope you are keeping all your answers in a journal so you can refer to them for reference.