Positive Changes 4 Women, Inc

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Thank you…To my younger self for being a Survivor!! August 26, 2014

Filed under: change,inspiration,trauma,Uncategorized — Positive Changes 4 Women, Inc @ 12:20 am
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I wish to share a poem from an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse.  This poem is about  thanking her younger self  for surviving and also learning to thrive.

Dear Belle

To be the little girl I once was..

How proud I am of you,

for seeking the worth in life

when times were so blue.

You walked through the fire with grace.

All those years of silence,

holding back tears of malice.

The writing helped save face.

So brave you were, protecting one and all.

The secret, your shelter.

The loneliness, your solace.

Yet Belle you did not fall.

Despite lacking normalcy,

you cherished your mom and family.

Animals became forever friends

and relied on them as their love never ends.

Although you never gave into the pity of others,

the shame imprisoned your heart.

Now it’s time, take a chance and open up your heart.

Little Belle, hear your voice loud and clear.

Loudly shout and without fear

“NO!” “STOP.”

And you are free to love, and feel love.

Dear Belle I’m so proud of you brave little girl.

And know that I love you with all of my entire heart.

You are loved and cherished and never ever alone.

Love always and forever

Belle

 

Do you control your feelings, or do they control you? February 24, 2014

 

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Everything can be taken away from a man but the last of human freedoms-the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances, to choose one way…viktor Frankl.”

We all have had one of those days, where things don’t go right, the car broke down on the way to work, your boss gives you more assignments on an already busy schedule, or when your best friend stops talking to you. Then you start to feel stressed.

Feelings are neither right or wrong. They do not come out of nowhere as they are influenced by our own thoughts and perceptions of a situation. Holocaust Survivor Viktor Frankl said it best when he stated “in between stimulus and response there is a space, in that space lies our power to choose our response, in our response lies our growth and freedom.” When you are connected to your body, you are able to notice when you are breathong shallow or tensing your shoulders. When you notice these reactions, you have the power to decide how you will respond. However, most people run on autopiolt and allow their feelings to be in control.

All to often feelings go unchecked because we allow our thoughts to trap us into strong negative feelings. So for example, if we “feel angry,” therefore we must be angry. If we “feel” sad then we must be sad. But upon closer inspection, we realize that these feelings get their power and energy from what we are thinking. In the world of psychology we call these thoughts “Cognivite Distortions .”

Here are just a few of common cognitive distortions:

labeling : Labels can limit our options and may make us feel helpless, victimized and anxious. Some examples of labels are, “his a jerk,” “I’m stupid,” “i’m not good enough,” etc

Mind reading: This is especially common amongst teenage girls and women. Often times, girls and women will try to read the mind of others based on a simple look, action or lack of action. For example, a friend did not like a picture on Face Book, that must mean she hates me, or doesn’t like me.

All or nothing: This way of thinking is in “absolute,” terms and using words such as every, or never. Thus we often convince ourselves that if we can’t have it all, we can’t have anything. For example, if I can’t be first in my class, why bother studying at all, or if you don’t score perfectly in a competition, you see your-self as a failure. This type of thinking creates expectations neither we nor others can ever meet, and so we are inevitably and frequently disappointed.

Mental Filter: Only hearing what you want to hear which is usually based on our belief system. So if you believe that you are “stupid,” you will ignore all the positive stuff that a teacher is telling you and focus on what is wrong.

Here are some tipson when you feel like your feelings are taking control over your mind and body?

Breathe:  Not only has deep breathing proven to be relaxing, it has also been scientifically proven to the brain, heart, digestive and immune system.  So when you start to feel the heart beat fast, your shoulders tensing and butteflies in your stomach, just take ac ouple of deep breathes.

Learn to become aware of your feelings:  Notice when you are breathing fast, or clenching your jaw, or just wanting to throw up or break down and cry.

Become an investigator:  Ask your-self if these feelings are fact or fiction.  What cognitive distortions are using to validate these feelings? If something bad happens, what does that mean about me?

Move: The energy needs to go somewhere, so get up and move.  If you can remove your-self from the stressful situation.  If your sitting down, stand up and stretch. Go for a walk.

Focus on right now: When people are caught up on their feelings, they are usually focused on past or future events.  So take a deep breath, and take a look around you and name the things that you see in front of you.  This helps your brain to calm dwon and focus on the here and now.

 

Focus on what you want!! November 14, 2013

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“Temperamentally anxious people can have a hard time staying motivated, period, because their intense focus on their worries distracts them from their goals.” ..Winifred Gallagher

Winifed Gallagher, author of  the book “Rapt: Attention and the focused life;” elegantly summed up the theory of life in the following quote “who you are, what you think, feel and do, what you love is the sum of what you focus on.”  In other words, whatever you pay attention to, will determine your actions thoughts and feelings.

In my experience, most people focus on”what they don’t want.” for eg; ” I don’t want to be fat,” “I’m not going to be like my mother,” or ” I don’t want to be in a bad relationship.” So when people are focused on what they don’t want, they start looking in all the wrong places and shut down to all possible solutions to getting the life that they want. For example, there were two friends who I will call ; Poppy and Olivia.  Poppy and Olivia wanted to travel the world and would spend many evenings talking about the places they wanted to visit. However, only one of them would make her dreams come true because of where she chose to place her focus.

Poppy not only wanted to travel the world, she also wanted to get paid to travel the world. As they began to do their research, Olivia became disheartened. She began to focus on the cost of traveling, and how she was going to pay to get to those destinations. Then her fears would slowly start to take over.  “This is never going to happen,” ‘This is Impossible,” “What will happen if we run out of money, etc?” “No one is going to pay us to travel.” Thus, she started looking in all the wrong places and fulfilling her belief/focus.

However, Poppy’s focus was different. She acknowledged that at times it may be difficult but she kept her focus on how she could get paid to travel. This focus opened doors for her, took her in directions she never anticipate.  With this focus she started to research the people before her who got paid to travel. She learned that she could become a nanny or work on a cruise ship or become a camp counselor in another country. With this information, her thoughts changed, her feelings changed as did her actions. Poppy was able to travel the world and get paid because of where she placed her focus. While her friend Olivia created her worst fears because of where her attention and focus was placed.

All to often people just wonder on the treadmill of life and have no idea where they are going or how they got to where they are. You need to get clear about what you want.  Poppy knew she wanted to travel, but she also wanted to get paid.  She didn’t stay in the most luxurious of places and she had to compromise.  In order to get paid to travel, she had to work.

So here are some tips to focus on the life that you want?

1: Ask your-self where you are currently putting your focus?

It’s really that simple and is that focus getting you where you need to be?  You will probably find that your focus has been on surviving, what not to do wrong etc.  How is this focus helping you achieve your dreams.  So y

2: Make a list of all of the things that make you happy.

All to often people focus on what doesn’t make them happy and spend a lot of time trying to avoid these things/feelings. In order to create the life you want, you have to know what makes you smile, gives you energy, motivates you etc..Do rainbows make you smile? Do you like to snuggle up in bed on a cold dreary day, does talking to a friend energize you?  how about when you put on make up?  Get to know your-self.  You are going to be surprised at how long that list is.
3: WRITE:

Ahh the power of writing is amazing.  Keep writing about you want.  It make take a couple of times to get clear about you want.  The writing will help you with this process.  Get very detailed about that would be like.  How will you feel?  How will you know that you are living that life? Who is in your life. What can you smell, feel and touch. Keep writing and readjusting until it feels right.

4:  Dedicate about 10-30 minutes a day to focusing on what you want?

So turn of your phones, email and any other distractions and dedicate 10-30 minutes of focusing on what you want.  When you learn to do this on a daily basis, your are strengthening the neural pathway in your brain to look for solutions to help you create your dream.

 

But most importantly “be kind to your-self during this process.”  You are learning something new, and this is probably the first time that you are learning to discover what makes you happy:-)

 

 

 

Beautiful Enemy June 17, 2013

Filed under: inspiration — Positive Changes 4 Women, Inc @ 7:50 pm
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I want to share some insight when it comes to dealing with your feelings and fears.

 

What I have had to learn and what I want you to know and understand is that deep within your own soul, that place that so many girls are afraid to trust, is the truth of who you really are. You have to know that you are a person of worth who is valuable and was put on this earth for a reason. When you listen to that truth you will begin to see that the negative words that have made you cry or made you feel bad about yourself will no longer have that power over you.

Most people are coming from a place of fear. Most people are attached to the outcome then it ends up paralyzing them.  You must learn to accept that failure is a part of success.  Theodore Roosevelt said it best when he said “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly.” So get out there and dare greatly.

I know there may be times that you have been excluded, some mean things have been said about or to you and so you have every right to be upset and angry. The truth is, life can be painful, difficult, and confusing. But life can also be beautiful, fun, and amazing. So go out there and find your place in the world, because being a woman has so many advantages.

I want you to know that you need to love yourself. Follow your vision and not the crowd. Through this, you will find your passion. My passion is writing. It helps me reflect, process, and express. So if dancing, playing soccer, rollerblading, reading or writing  is your passion, then do it with an abundance of fun and love.

Learn to choose your friends wisely. Try not to befriend someone that might be considered ‘toxic’. They are the so-called friends who constantly bring you down with their own negativity, self-hate, and basic bullshit. You have to seek friends that challenge you, encourage you, make you happy and are genuinely happy for your success. But you must also check to see if you do the same for them.

So you must learn to become a ‘beautiful enemy’ and teach others to do the same for you. Tal Ben Shahar described a ‘beautiful enemy’ as someone who challenges you as a person and has the courage to be honest and forthright while also being emphatic and sensitive to your needs. It is about cultivating a true friendship by pushing each other to greater heights. It will also help you eliminate all the crazies and toxic friends. But you must learn to embrace that beautiful enemy for your-self or else you will drown in the sea of negativity.

NEVER EVER stop learning. Knowledge is power. If you stop learning, you will also stop growing as a person.