I Love My LIfe

Mind Over Matter When It Matters

Posted on October 30th, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

In this blog post, I will be taking a look at mindfulness. In particular, how having a life coach, practicing self-care, and choosing to have a positive outlook impacts our well-being.  I believe having a positive attitude and choosing happiness has made a difference in my life.  Let’s talk about how we can face challenges and overcome fears using the mindful approach.

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“In the end, just three things matter:

How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go.”
― Jack Kornfield

According to Psych Central, “Mindfulness is the practice of bringing our awareness to what we are experiencing in the present, both internally and externally, without judgment. It is a wake-up call to become conscious of the ways we perceive and respond to life’s situations.”

How do I respond to life’s situations?

For the most part, honestly, I get stressed out and worried.  I don’t have all the answers.  I am not always in control.  I am afraid that I won’t be able to handle the situation.  I try to listen to my inner-sweetheart, but I shake my head in disbelief.  How will I ever handle all of this?

“The hardest battle you are ever going to fight is the battle to just be you.” ~Leo Buscaglia

Here are some healthy things that you can do next time you are facing challenges:

  • You can change your thinking style to manage stress and improve your attitude.
  • Use mindfulness to combat limiting beliefs.
  • Choose where to put your attention.
  • Replace worrisome thoughts with positive thoughts.
  • Choose to listen to the calming voice of reason.

My inner sweetheart is getting better at reminding me to calm down. She says, “Just breathe.  You can handle this. Take on one thing at a time.” I know when I listen to my inner “Bride of Frankenstein,” I will not get anywhere.  She is just too scatterbrained and easily agitated.  I know that I need to focus.

Be the master of change.

Now that I realize that I am creating the stress by how I filter and process what is happening around me, I can change my ways.  I can decide how I will accept what is happening and how I will respond.

I tell myself, “Just be you. Because you are great!” I am confident in my ways and know that this works for me.  In every situation, I always fare better when I choose positivity.

What is the worst thing that can happen?  Paige Burkes of Simple Mindfulness asks this question as she discusses ways to overcome fears using the mindful approach.

I made a list of all the things that concerned me, all of my challenges in no particular order. It helped to see everything listed in this way.  If I see these things as signals or signposts as they come my way, I can pause for a moment and choose how I will respond.  Now that I have identified them, I will recognize them easily and I will yield to my inner voice telling me to slow down, use caution, and choose the right path. Afrterall, what is the worst thing that will happen? It may be that I just need to try harder, get more information, practice, think twice before reacting, or simply be patient.

  1. Dealing with difficult people
  2. Being assertive without being labeled a “bitch”
  3. Managing stressful situations
  4. Keeping up a positive image, managing perceptions
  5. Staying Organized
  6. Communication (communicating clearly with others)
  7. Multi-tasking and completing projects
  8. Self-sabotage, facing fears and following through
  9. Continued personal growth
  10. Letting go (of things that no longer matter)
  11. Saying “No” – prioritizing
  12. Continued professional development
  13. Reaching Goals, facing my fear of success
  14. Increasing efficiency
  15. Managing finances

Martina McGowan of Musings and Affirmations proposes that we can learn and grow from challenging circumstances.  She says that we can resolve to use resources that reminds us of our own strengths.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

According to Sue MacGillivray of Life Coaching Solutions, “CBT looks at how to manage problems by changing our thought processes and thereby our behavior. In coaching, this too becomes relevant. Coaches need to understand how their clients encounter and view the world around them.

As we know, we all react differently to situations. How we act often depends on our ingrained belief system and how we view ourselves and our surroundings. If our interpretations are misjudged, unhelpful to us or illogical, our personal well-being will suffer.

It is so important to remember that our beliefs are thoughts and ideas that are no longer questioned. They have the power to create or destroy. Every thought, action or expectation is a direct result of our beliefs. So, if our beliefs (and thereby our thoughts) are limiting and negative, particularly about ourselves, we need to be able to challenge these. As difficult as it may seem, we absolutely have control over what we believe and therefore what we think and how we behave or react.”

Here are some types of CBT that you can do to manage your stress:

  • Meditation
  • Breathing
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Coaching

Talking to someone really helps!  Dr. Evans says that there is a 28% lower risk of death for people who received health care plus some type of therapy, and the more sessions they had, the better they did.

Please take the time to watch this video when you can.  It explains in a FUN way how you can manage your stress and how it can SAVE YOUR LIFE!

The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress by Dr. Mike Evans

If you do not see a video above – try re-loading.

What other things can I do to reduce stress?

  • Write
  • Exercise
  • Rest
  • Eat healthy and stay on a regular schedule
  • Spend time with friends
  • Have fun
  • Go for a walk

Your thoughts and attitudes can help you navigate through the daily challenges in life.

Read more about practicing mindfulness techniques to reduce stress at Harvard Health and check out the resources in this post from  Psych CentralSimple MindfulnessMusings and Affirmations , and Dr. Evans.
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Questions You Ask Yourself

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

I keep thinking in lyrics.  Eighties lyrics.  True, I did listen to Missing Persons with my hubby recently on the way to Lobsterfest, so it is no surprise that this one lingered on my mind.  I hesitate to post anything right now.  This will be more for me than for anyone else.

I hesitate to discuss death, dying, and grieving here – – again.  Death is a part of life.  It seems that I am quite familiar with the grieving process.  It is still difficult for me, as it should be.  I don’t want this to be easy.  I do not take life for granted.  Life is precious.  Living here, now, I ask myself lots of questions.  Sometimes the answers are quite simple.

The answer to my question today is. . .

Life is strange.

The question. . .  Why?

Why did one of my best friends die? Why him? Why now? Why couldn’t I do anything to stop this from happening? Why did he leave, breaking the heart of his loved ones, like this?

Well, here I go again. . .

Life is so strange when you don’t know
How can you tell where you’re going to
You can’t be sure of any situation
Something could change and then you won’t know

You ask yourself
Where do we go from here?
It seems so – all too near
Just as far beyond as I can see
I still don’t know what this all means to me

So you tell yourself
I have nowhere to go
I don’t know what to do
And I don’t even know the time of day
I guess, it doesn’t matter any way

Life is so strange
Destination unknown
When you don’t know
Your destination

Something could change
It’s unknown
And then you won’t know
Destination unknown

Life is so strange
Destination unknown
When you don’t know
Your destination

Something could change
It’s unknown
And then you won’t know
Destination unknown

You ask yourself
When will my time come
Has it all been said and done?
I know, I’ll leave when it’s my time to go
‘Til then I’ll carry on with what I know

Life is so strange
Destination unknown
When you don’t know
Your destination

Something could change
It’s unknown
And then you won’t know
Destination unknown

Life is so strange
Destination unknown
When you don’t know
Your destination

Something could change
It’s unknown
And then you won’t know
Destination unknown

Life is so strange

Read more: Missing Persons – Destination Unknown Lyrics | MetroLyrics

 

I live my life for now, making the best of the moment, and moving forward gracefully and hoping for the best for my future.  No regrets.  I am trying to make the most of all of my experiences.  Good or bad.  Happy or sad.  It is all part of life.

Turning a Page and Facing Some Changes

Posted on September 14th, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

It’s time for me to make a change on Miz Meliz – the blog and in my life.  It’s something I have been planning for a while and I am quite excited about it.  I woke up from a nice deep sleep thinking about one of my all time favorite songs from David Bowie and I knew that today is the day to share what is going on.

Changes

Oh, yeah
Mmm

Still don’t know what I was waitin’ for
And my time was runnin’ wild
A million dead end streets and
Every time I thought I’d got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But I’ve never caught a glimpse of
How the others must see the faker
I’m much too fast to take that test

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t want to be a richer man
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
Mmm, yeah

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream
Of warm impermanence
So the days float through my eyes
But still the days seem the same
And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re goin’ through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Where’s your shame?
You’ve left us up to our necks in it
Time may change me
But you can’t trace time

Strange fascination, fascinatin’ me
Ah, changes are takin’
The pace I’m goin’ through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Oh, look out you rock ‘n’ rollers
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
Turn and face the strange
Ch-ch-changes
Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
I said that time may change me
But I can’t trace time
Read more: David Bowie – Changes Lyrics | MetroLyrics

It may just seem like a new background and color scheme to you when you see the new website.  Other than that not much will look different at first when you see it.  And that’s good.  But there are some major changes.  The new site is going to be everything Miz Meliz iz (sorry couldn’t resist!) and more.

One exciting feature that is in the works is a new page where you will be able to schedule an appointment or book sessions with me for coaching.  Soon, there will also be a place to sign up for workshops that I am offering. Of course there will be a page where you can learn more about my book that is due to be released in October.  And that is the BIG news!  The book.  My first book to be published is almost ready.  Correction, I am almost ready to publish it!  The words have been written and ready to go for awhile.  I will release it to you in a few weeks.  I hope you like it!

Please let me know in the comments if you will be willing to buy my book, “This is the Sound of My Soul.”  I would like to start a list to get an idea of what to expect.  I’ve been wanting to put this “out there” for a while.  There are so many options and price points and decisions I need to make.  Here is what I am thinking . . . if you like entertainment you might pay $12 to see a movie.  If you like to drink reasonably good coffee, you might pay $4.50 for a latte.  Could we split the difference and price the book (approximately 135 pages of reasonably good entertaining prose of my perspective on life, roughly four and a half hours of reading) at $8.99?

Let me know. I greatly appreciate your input!

As the sun sets on this chapter of my life, I look to the horizon for a glimpse of inspiration.

As the sun sets on this chapter of my life, I look to the horizon for a glimpse of inspiration.

Moving on. Changes are happening!  Not just the new website (same url by the way, but new host so it will be my own real estate on the internet.)  Not just the book release.  Not just the coaching and workshops.  My life is changing in a big way.  My son, is moving in a few days.  He is going away to college.  This marks a big milestone in the life of my family.  It is monumental.  It is exciting.  I am proud beyond words.  My heart is singing with joy!  It does not feel like the emptiness I thought it would be. (Wow, I just realized how I timed all these new things to start in my life with this big change, positive changes and moving forward, me thinks.) It feels like my heart is expanding.

Our family is growing, learning, moving forward.  These are good changes.  I am fully prepared and ready to embrace these changes.  I believe my son is more than ready and capable.  This makes me oh so happy!

So I will turn and face the strange changes.

Time may change me.

But I can’t trace time.

Don’t forget.  Please tell me in the comments:

Would you buy my book online for $8.99 (paperback) or $3.99 (download) and would you like to be on a mailing list for further notices about the book and future publications by Melissa Reyes? (That’s me of course!) Yours truly, Miz Meliz

It’s a Nice Day to Start Again

Posted on September 11th, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

Hey little sister, what have you done?
Hey little sister, who’s the only one?
Hey little sister, who’s your superman?
Hey little sister, who’s the one you want?
Hey little sister, shotgun

It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again

Hey little sister, who is it you’re with?
Hey little sister, what’s your vice or wish?
Hey little sister, shotgun, oh yeah
Hey little sister, who’s your superman?
Hey little sister, shotgun

It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again

“Pick it up!”
Take me back home, yeah

Hey little sister, what have you done?
Hey little sister, who’s the only one?
I’ve been away for so long
I’ve been away for so long
I let you go for so long

It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again

There is nothing fair in this world
There is nothing safe in this world
And there’s nothing sure in this world
And there’s nothing pure in this world
Look for something left in this world

Start again
It’s a nice day for a white wedding
It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day to start again
It’s a nice day to start again

Songwriter
BILLY IDOL

Read more: Billy Idol – White Wedding Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Going over the edge?

Going over the edge?

That part about nothing being fair, safe, sure, or pure in this world really gets me.  It leaves me feeling empty.  Then he says, look for something that is left in this world.  As the song goes, when I feel completely depleted and defeated like there is nothing worth fighting for, I find something that I love,  a new day begins and I can start again.

It’s a nice day to start again!

Lately I have been getting ahead of myself in a lot of ways.  I have been wanting to have now what is just beyond my reach. I have been wishing I can get there without doing all the work.  I realized something.  I am not in a hurry.  I have the ability to slow myself down, do things right and make the future better.  I have a lot of ground work to lay.  The projects I have in the works are big.  Yes, I want to jump ahead and get the party started!  But I need to chill and get the work done in the right time first.  It’s going to be the best party ever!

Living in the moment means loving the moment, cherishing it, embracing it, feeling it.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have to plan for the future or that I don’t have to learn from the past. It’s the moment when I ask myself, what is my vice or wish?  I need to make a choice here.  Will it be happiness, joy, bliss? Will it be good, clean, honest? Will it be about me or someone else or someone I used to be or someone I want to be? Decisions, decisions.

Pick something and try it.  That’s the best we can do.  Success is in the trying.  We can always try again. And it is a nice day to start again!

Freedom: Be Glad for What You’ve Got

Posted on August 31st, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

These are the lyrics to the song, “Free” by Prince from the album “1999” which I discovered and loved sometime in the mid 1980’s:

Don’t sleep, ’til sunrise, listen to the falling rain
Don’t worry, ’bout tomorrow, don’t worry ’bout your pain
Don’t cry, unless you’re happy, don’t smile unless you’re blue
Never let that lonely monster take control of you

Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind
Free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime
Glad that you are free, there’s many a man who’s not
Be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got
Be glad for what you’ve got

I know my heart is beating, my drummer tells me so
If you take your life for granted, your beating heart will go
So don’t sleep until you’re guilty, ’cause sinners all are we
There’s others doing far worse than us, so be glad that you are free

Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind
Free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime
Be glad that you are free there’s many a man who’s not
Be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got
Be glad for what you’ve got

Soldiers are a marching, writing brand new laws
Will we all fight together, for the most important cause
Will we all fight, for the right to be free

Be glad that you are free, free to change your mind
Free to go ‘most anywhere, anytime
Be glad that you are free there’s many a man who’s not
Be glad for what you had baby, what you’ve got
Be glad for what you’ve got

~Prince Rogers Nelson

I have been thinking about what it feels like to be free lately.

This is about that feeling of freedom.

My Jeep has been acting up and it has been pretty much out of commission since the beginning of August.  It chugs and lurches and doesn’t drive well in second gear.  My hubby has been working on it and has fixed the problem a few times.  But it seemed to be getting worse and worse.  One day the problem was so bad I barely made it home from work which is just a few miles away. I was fed up.  I said, “That’s it! I am not driving it anymore.”

So, there  It sat – in the drive way –  for a few weeks until we took it to the shop.  Then it was at the shop for a few weeks.  All the while, I got rides from my husband and sons and friends to and from work and anywhere else I wanted to go.  I “borrowed” my son’s car if I needed to drive somewhere.  I liked getting driven places.  In fact, I said that, “My chariot awaits” on a few occasions.  I liked being taken care of.  That is, until I lost my sense of freedom.

I started to feel dependent on my husband and sons and friends.  That was a little bothersome.  I knew it was temporary and it would be resolved so I didn’t pay too much attention to those feelings.  I began asking my husband if he knew when the Jeep would be fixed and when I could get it back.  I really didn’t need it since I had so many other transportation options and I couldn’t really afford to have a lot of work done on it.  It’s old and requires a lot of maintenance, but I love it.  I love having a Jeep for so many reasons.  After cursing it for weeks because of it not running well, I forgot how much I loved it. Until Wednesday,

On Wednesday (three days ago) my husband picked up the Jeep from the shop.  I did not know this until he pulled up in front of my office to pick me up.  There it was!  Oh my gosh!  I was so excited.  Seeing it through the window at work, I jumped up and said, “Hey, that’s my Jeep!”

The next morning I drove to the office myself.  I couldn’t believe how good it felt to be behind the wheel of my own car again!  My Jeep felt great and I wished, for a moment, I had a longer commute so I had more time to enjoy it.  It is still running rough and needs more tuning, but I was back in my ride!  (After a month!) I felt free again.  I forgot how good that felt.  I remembered what it was like to have that freedom for the first time as a teenager.  I could identify with my sons and their feeling of freedom having their own rides.  I felt a little guilty for infringing on that recently.  But then again, they depended on me for a long time to provide transportation to all of their activities, and this was just a month. That is how I got to thinking about how much we take freedom for granted.

There certainly are many types of freedom.

My friend and client, Ana Lydia had a freeing realization about constraint and risking her own personal values in her business this week.  She said, “I pressed my colleagues to “be brave” and value their skills, while I have been scared to call on late payments or call-out injustices. . . coming to terms with that realization felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.”

A friend of mine posted this statement on her Facebook page yesterday and shared it with me:

“There is nothing you have thought…have done…that needs to be kept a secret. You were born to be free and we are not free when we carry the burden of secrets.”  ~Ali Kossack

In an effort to protect freedom in our country, this morning President Obama said “We cannot raise our children in a world where we will not follow through on the things we say, the accords we sign, the values that define us.”

I spent some time this afternoon visiting a very close friend of mine. She is laid up in bed, immobile for at least three weeks under doctor’s orders. She broke her leg recently and because she is paralyzed she didn’t know it was broken at first.  She is unable to sit in her chair, or drive her car until the broken bone heals.  She is one of the most independent women I know.  She has never let her situation stop her from doing all the things she wants to do.  Now she has temporarily lost the freedom that she enjoys.  I sat in her bed with her and I cried.

My tears are not for sadness, although I am often saddened.  My tears are not for grief, although I am often stricken with grief.  My tears are not for fear, although I am often hopelessly fearful.  These were not tears of joy, although I often cry tears of joy.  I believe these were the waterworks of tears of those who cannot or will not cry for injustice.  I cried the tears of pain for those who cannot feel pain.  I cried for the many wrongs that I carry deep in my heart.  I cried for the hope of freedom for those who have died for it unknowingly, unwillingly.  I cried for the simple feelings of freedom that I take for granted.

I am done crying for today.

My tears cleansed me.  Now I am free to carry on.

In most cases, the feeling of freedom comes from knowing you are doing the right things.  Freedom comes when we exercise our core values.

Freedom comes when we are glad for what we’ve got.

2013-04-05 07.41.12

The Practice of Being Kindhearted

Posted on July 12th, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

I have been thinking about kindness and compassion lately.  I can remember some very specific examples of times in my life where someone was kind to me when I really needed it and how it made an impact on my life.

Accepting the Kindness of Others

I can’t remember now who said it, or even the circumstances, but I was in a heated discussion once and someone told me, “Perhaps the reason you are so upset is because you aren’t used to people being nice to you.”  I was appalled at the thought.  Of course people are nice to me.  My family and friends, everyone I knew at the time was nice.  I was accustomed to nice. But looking back I now realize that what he meant was – – I wasn’t used to accepting the kindness of another person. I didn’t understand that someone would be kind to me for the mere act of being kind. I wasn’t expecting that someone could do something in kind, with no ulterior motives, from the heart, just because they cared. I wasn’t ready to accept that for some reason at that point in my life.

No, I was into proving myself capable and worthy of respect.  I was building myself up and trying to be responsible and trustworthy.  I wanted others to accept me for me, with all of my faults and idiosyncrasies, and I wanted others to see me as capable. I thought to myself, “Why would someone do something nice for me, just because?  They must want something in return.  They must think I need their assistance.”  I did not need their help.  I knew I could do things on my own.  I rejected their help. I even thought, “They must think I am weak and incapable. They are sure I will fail without their help.”

My friend was right. I wasn’t open to accept the kindness of others.  I was so self-centered and so sure that I did not need anyone’s help that I couldn’t see why anyone would do something nice for me.  Why would anyone offer to help me?   I often mistook the kindness of others as an attack on me personally, as if they were pointing out my faults or that I was somehow needy.  I did not want to depend on another person to show me my downfalls and mistakes.  I wanted to be respected.  I wanted others to trust my judgment.  If I wanted help, I would ask for it.  I was in control.  I now see that I was trying to control everything.  Not just my own actions, but also the actions of others.

Needing Help

There came a time when I did need help and help was there. It was a humbling and life changing experience.  With time and experience comes wisdom and understanding.  There is significance in everything. I learned that there are times when help arrives however unknowingly, unrequested and sometimes in remarkable, unbelievable ways.  Sometimes help comes as an answer to my prayers, even when I am not sure what exactly it is that I need.

You might have heard of the “Northridge Earthquake.”  On January 17, 1994 at 4:19 a.m. I was awakened by a strange rumbling feeling as if the floor was about to give way and the walls were about to fall down and the sound of extremely loud screaming.  My husband was screaming in my ear holding on to me for dear life, “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s an EARTHQUAKE!”  Writing this now, after all these years sends chills down the center of my being, through my bones and I can feel the fear rising up in me.  It was by far the scariest most traumatic moment in my life.  I wrote about it once in a handwritten journal.  I poured out every detail onto the pages and I wrote it all down without stopping so that I would never have to recount it again. I suffered severe post traumatic syndrome disorder from the experience and I have moved past it and recovered, but since I couldn’t find the journal today, knowing I wanted to share a bit about it I needed to write it out again.  It still haunts me.  It is the fear of not knowing if you will survive that is chilling.

Obviously, I did survive.  In fact, my husband, the screamer, and I were able to get dressed in the dark, get out of the apartment, and go over to my aunt’s place nearby.  My husband was a hero to her as he went into a burning building to retrieve her hearing aid, glasses and medications.  We came back to our apartment and by the light of day started to pick up all the broken pieces and survey the extensive damage.  We had no idea what to do, where to go, or what would happen next.  Freaked out and shattered by each big aftershock and not being able to call my family (no cell phones back then and phone lines were down, power was out, my apartment was in ruins. . . )

I was sitting on my sofa literally racking my brain on what the heck we were going to do and there was a knock at the door. On the door frame actually, because someone had to break our door down to rescue us from our apartment when it was evacuated and the lock broke and we were trapped inside. The door had to be removed completely.  I looked up and it was my brother and sister-in-law.  I thought I had died because there was no way they could be there at that moment.  It was unfathomable.  They lived over an hour’s drive away and I knew the roads have been closed, the freeways were broken between his house and mine and it was just impossible that he could be standing there saying something silly.  I think he said, “Is this where the party is?” or something like that.  They came to help.  They came to save me. It’s been almost twenty years since this happened, and I still sob when I think about how I felt at that moment and how it changed me forever.  What my brother did was completely selfless, compassionate and beyond measure.  He and his wife left their small children at home in the care of their neighbors so they could come and make sure that my husband and I were okay.  They helped us pack up some things and we took our aunt and our cats to his house, where it was safe, calm and unbroken.  He sheltered and cared for us when we had nowhere else to turn.

A few years later, my husband and I experienced that kind of selfless giving again when my mother-in-law helped us with living arrangements and basic needs when I was pregnant and we couldn’t make ends meet.  When I realized how much of a sacrifice that was for her at the time, I am blown away by the thought of it. Her generosity and love is unconditional.  She is the most kind and thoughtful person I know.

Another example of thoughtfulness came in the form of a big basket of food from my friends in my Ladies Bunko Group after my mom died.  It was a gesture that went beyond the usual condolences. It was heartfelt and unlike anything I had ever experienced.  I wasn’t used to being the recipient of a food basket.  It wasn’t because I didn’t have the resources to buy food or even make it.  But at that time in my life, my world was shattered.  I once again found myself in a state very much like after the earthquake when I was not sure what to do next.  And there was a knock at the door.  My friends had heard what happened.  They had prepared this meal for my family.  I did not have to worry about cooking.  I wouldn’t have been able to ever repay them for their kindness.

Paying it Forward

There are too many times to recount when I have asked for help and help was there. I have been the recipient of help in so many situations, I vowed that I would pay it forward as much as possible and in every way I can. I am honored when I am asked to help out for this reason.  It gives me a chance to do something nice for someone in the way others have done nice things for me. I have become one of those people who like to help others, even when they may not be accepting of help or feel they need it.  I am honestly just being nice. There is no ulterior motive.

Being willing to help others is just as important as being open to accepting help. Give others the chance to be nice to you, out of the goodness of their heart.  You never know when they are paying it forward themselves.  Always accept the kindness of others.  There does not need to be a reason.

“Beauty is a word, kindness is an act that makes you beautiful” ~Melissa Foster

Treat Everyone with Kindness

I feel it is important to treat others kindly, even if the person isn’t a very nice person.  I never know when someone might be suffering inside and their demeanor is unfavorable as a result.  Maybe they are in pain.  Maybe they are in a state of worry.  Maybe they have been hurt. Perhaps they are having a hard day or are in a bad mood. So, I err on the positive and treat them with the same dignity and care that I would give to  the outwardly nice people.  I try to be nice to everyone all the time. It always warms my heart when I get a smile in return from anyone when I am nice to them, most especially when it is a grumpy person!

Practicing Kindness

When you are trying to explain something, teach a new concept, or share information with others and they challenge you, take it as an opportunity to practice kindness.  Be considerate in your beliefs.  This means accepting that others may not always agree with you.  They might not be ready to understand.  They might not be open to your way of thinking.  They may simply disagree.  You don’t have to be right.  If you can’t get everyone to see things your way, it’s not a loss.  If you rise up and meet them half way, be open to their point of view, explain yourself from a different perspective, take the time, the extra energy, the care to let things happen in a natural progression and not force an issue, that is the kind approach.  Softening your heart and allowing things to unfold is not giving in.  It is not a sign of weakness.  In fact, it is a sign of strength because it shows that you are willing to wait and that you stand by your way.  Others will honor and respect you for your convictions.  You will own it.  It is always a win when you practice being kind.

“You can either practice being right, or practice being kind.” – Anne Lamott

Be Kind to Yourself

When you begin to practice being kind, don’t forget to be kind to yourself.  Give yourself a break! Don’t be so hard on yourself.  It is okay to make mistakes and lose control.  It is okay to have an off day.  You do not always have to be on. If you feel like no one is being nice to you or everyone is being hard on you and you wish that someone would come along and cheer you up – cheer yourself up!  Access your inner sweetheart and listen to her tell you it’s going to be okay.  Listen when she says you are beautiful, smart and loving.

Random Acts of Kindness

Some people believe the best way to get started in the practice of being kind is to participate in random acts of kindness.  You can start by making a list of nice things you can do – just because.  This is really fun to do with kids (of any age) as a project.

It might help to think about your day.  Start with your routine, getting up in the morning, having breakfast, getting to work.  Is there anyone that you see in the morning that would benefit from an act of kindness?  You can get ideas here: Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

What Does it Take to be Kindhearted?

Just think of other people with kindness.  Put yourself in their place.  How would it feel to be them?  Is there anything you can do or say to make them happy?  How about just telling them that you are thinking of them?  How about smiling and saying, “Hello.”?

It is more than being nice and thinking kind thoughts, kindness takes action. Being kind all the time to all people requires practice.  Developing this as a way of life becomes a practice.  Kindness is a philosophy.  Kindness is a way of being that requires feeling for and caring about other people and thinking outside of my own needs. Caring for the needs of others is an act of compassion.

When I practice kindness I am connecting with the world around me.  It helps me to realize that most people are just like me.  We all have moments when we are suffering inside.  We never know what problems exist for the person beside us.  What daemons are they fighting?  What ails them?  Do they let it show all the time?  No.  They put on a happy face.  They keep it in their head.  They hold their suffering in their heart. Being kind because you can, not for any other reason, becomes caring, compassionate and worthwhile. We depend on other people to make us whole.  If I am kind to you, it makes us both feel better.

Making Mistakes in Kindness

Our society sends us mixed signals about being kind and helping others.  In fact, I was told by a friend and colleague that some people look on being kind as a sign of weakness.  When I asked why, she said it was because they know they wouldn’t do the same. So, if my friends aren’t into being kind to others, by this theory, they think I am weak or less of a person because I would be kind? That makes me sick to my stomach. I am not a doormat because I am willing to go out of my way to be nice. Luckily, I am kind to myself and I will recover from the nausea. Knowing that some people feel this way won’t stop me from being kind and I know in my kindness I don’t have to try to sway their thought process or win their approval.

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.” ~ Mother Teresa

Many of my friends and fellow businesswomen who are actively gaining power, influence, confidence, and strength in their business and in their life are starting to take on the attitude that caring about others is not important and are even shunning others who are being nice to them.  They don’t want to be bothered.  Do you hear that?  How cold.  How harsh.  You won’t get far, trust me.  It might feel good to be empowered and feel in control for a while.  But you will harden your heart in the process and it will cost you.  It will hurt when you see it in the actions of your kids.  It will hurt when you are alone and need help and you reject it.  You are not proving anything to anyone if you are trying to emulate this philosophy.  Don’t build up walls around you.  Who will be there for you when your world is shattered? Who will knock on your door and ask “Is this where the party is?” If you kick every good doer who is in your way to the curb, it won’t be long before you find yourself there.  I’ll tell you what.  If that happens, you can count on me.  I will be the one knocking.  I will be there to lift you up.

Check out this “Pinable” photo and quote from MizMeliz about kindness:  Your Kindness Colors My World.

To learn more about Melissa Reyes and Life Coaching, see http://MizBizEvents.com

 

 

The Magic of Self Confidence

Posted on July 2nd, 2013 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, I Love My LIfe

“We do not need magic to transform our world.  We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already.” – J.K. Rowling

I believe that when considering my authenticity, acceptance is key.  In order to honestly accept myself as I am, I feel the need to cultivate my connection with my inner self.  Cultivate means working on it.  Yes, this may take a little work.  This means digging deeper, looking at myself and asking the difficult questions.  And then, looking at the answers.  This is more than self-discovery.  This is self-care.

I might start with a simple question. . .

Who am I?

Who am I, really?  This is a pretty deep question.  I am in touch with who I really am.  It actually took  a lot of work to “find myself.”  I had to separate from that shell of a person that I had been trying so hard to become.  I was trying for so long to fit in that mold.  To live up to the expectations that I (and others who influenced me) set.  I had to decide and accept that I am not just okay with who I have become, but I am happy with who I am.

I finally accepted that the people I care about love me just the way I am.  My husband, who is a pretty good judge of character, fell in love with and married me.  Me.  Just the way I was when I was a teenager.  He loved me and was attracted to me when we got engaged, got married, had children, and through everything that has happened since.  If he likes me, I must not be that bad the way I am.

“I aim to meet myself with loving acceptance.  I aim to strengthen the voice of my inner sweetheart.” – Marianne Elliott

I realized that I was worth loving.  I liked myself just fine.  If I project who I am on the inside to everyone I know and show them the real me, the actual me, not who I wish to be, then I will be my authentic self.  I didn’t give up on striving to be a better person.  Don’t get me wrong.  But I did stop trying so hard to “measure up” and be something that I wasn’t already naturally.

It was easy to accept that my kids love me unconditionally and they have no pre-conceived notions of what I wanted to be or who I set out to be.  My children are unaware of my failed attempts at a career, my lofty goals, and everything I hoped I would be by the time they grew up. They love me, truly love me, because I am their mom.  Just because.  Even when I want to change something like my hair style or lose weight, they hem and haw – they want me to stay the same – always. I can relate to that.  I had the same feelings for my mom.  Change is hard to accept.  My point is, that I realized that I was good enough for these amazing people.  I realized that God made me perfectly fine.  I realized that I was born this way.  I was born completely me. However you would like to put it – I am who I am.  And it’s not bad. In fact I think I’m pretty good.

“What I am is good enough, even for me.” From Out of the Dust, By Karen Hesse

Strengthening the voice of my inner sweetheart means to stop listening to my inner critic and actually listen to the inner sweetheart.  I need to give her more credit.  After all, she knows what she is talking about, too!  She is positive and helpful and most of all , loving.  What a sweetie!  She is soft and good-natured and means well.  She is getting stronger every day.  My inner sweetheart is a winner!

As Marianne Elliott says: “Ultimately we want to be able to call up our inner sweetheart anytime we do anything that requires vulnerability and courage, you can call upon your inner sweetheart when you need a kind word, and the encouragement to carry on.  Because, remember, being kind to yourself is at the heart of finding your own place of peace in the midst of chaos, conflict and even war.”

What does this have to do with self-confidence?  What does it have to do with magic?

Everything!

The key to having confidence in yourself is, in fact, loving yourself!  Listen to your inner sweetheart.  Believe in yourself and your capabilities. Love who you are right now. Go out there and shine brightly!

Look in the mirror and say, “Hey, I’m lookin’ good today! I am great!”

And here is the magical part. . .

Everyone else will agree with you.  You are great!

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