Unleash yourself from your personal whipping post

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In her Thanksgiving Facebook post author Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love and others), wrote that she had “. . . lost the stamina for self-hatred. Dear Ones, my heart just isn’t in it any more. I just can’t commit to those deep, long, self-destructive shame spirals anymore — not like I used to. Even when I fail, and even when it’s all so painful, and even when I don’t rise to my best, I just can’t seem to tie myself to the whipping post anymore . . . “
I liked her message and these comments that followed:
Reader Question:
 “What and how did you get to the point of not whipping yourself? I am going through the worst whipping year of my life and I don’t want to do it anymore. I have tried serving others, breathing techniques, positive self talk and it isn’t working and is actually getting worse.
Gilbert’s Response:
Elizabeth Gilbert Pro tip: Pretend you are a lost dog that you adopted from a kill shelter. Treat yourself accordingly. And then treat everybody else the same way. :)
Another reader’s response:
Amateur tip: I have a small picture of myself when I was 4 on my kitchen table to remind me to be as nice to myself as I would be to her. She’s still in there and deserves to be loved. I still forget at times, but to try is enough right?
Give it a try this holiday season, let it be a gift you give yourself. Unleash yourself from your personal whipping post, and learn to treat yourself and others much more kindly and gently this holiday season and in the new year ahead. Experiment and find the method that works for you, and then work at it everyday, because you my darling are absolutely worth it!

Opportunity

When bad things have happened

If you have had a traumatic experience, or have avoided dealing with an upsetting topic or situation that has plagued or worried you for years, there is an effective fix that can get you on the road to recovery. It is called expressive writing and works like this:

  1. Commit 20 minutes a day – for 4 consecutive days
  2. Then in a quiet, private place, and write for 20 minutes a day for 4 consecutive days
    • Make it personal and private
    • Ignore grammar and misspellings
    • Be honest – are you happy ,sad, glad, mad or all of the above?
    • Be reflective not corrective (Don’t try to fix what is bothering you but rather write about what is bothering you.)
    • Only write about what you can handle thinking about – sometimes dealing with a fresh hurt or pain is too intense.
  3. Optional step: Write about same topic from the perspective of others involved . . . tricky but helpful, if you choose to do so.

notebook-731212__180Expressive writing is a concrete action, which is a much better way to deal with problems and challenges than ignoring them and ruminating about the dark situations and sides of our lives. For a video about emotional writing, and additional instructions and insights on how to do it, click here.

Research shows that emotional writing may leave you feeling sad immediately after you write (This is similar to how a sad movie might make you feel.), or you may cry while writing; both are normal and okay.  But, if writing  causes you major distress, simply stop and try again at another time when you feel more ready to explore your feelings.

Expressive writing will leave you feeling happier and healthier. Studies show the positive effects can impact immune functions and last for months and maybe even a lifetime, if you continue the writing as needed.

Pick up a pen and paper, find a cozy spot and write to change your life. It’s free, takes very little time, and may reward you with peace of mind and a much more positive perspective on life.

James W Pennebaker, Ph.D., and Professor at University of Texas at Austin is a leader in the research on this topic. Click here to visit his web page and learn more on the topic.

Be the reason

Your journey

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“Humble and Kind”

I am not a big country music fan, but I am a fan of major celebrations and since this year was the 50th anniversary of the Country Music Awards, I decided to tape it and began watching it this am. I am loving it and have been singing along with the older country songs and making-up words to the new!

My pearl of wisdom – as my friend and Wishful Thinking Woman Debbie calls the bright moments of knowledge that come her way – were the lyrics to the CMA Song of the Year Award, “Humble and Kind.” The songwriter,

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Rolling Stone, Becky Fluke

Lori McKenna, noted that she penned it as a prayer for her five kids. How sweet is that?

Here are her lyrics, which I thought were, well,  humble and kind . . .

“Humble and Kind” Lyrics

You know there’s a light that glows by the front door
Don’t forget the key’s under the mat
When childhood stars shine,
Always stay humble and kind

Go to church ’cause your mamma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won’t be wasted time
Always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

Don’t expect a free ride from no one
Don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why:
Bitterness keeps you from flyin’
Always stay humble and kind

Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
“I love you” ain’t no pick-up line
So always stay humble and kind

Hold the door, say “please”, say “thank you”
Don’t steal, don’t cheat, and don’t lie
I know you got mountains to climb
But always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you’re dreamin’ come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride
But always stay humble and kind

When it’s hot, eat a root beer popsicle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind

Don’t take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you’re going don’t forget turn back around
And help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind

Written by Lori Mckenna • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
Step out of your comfort zone, you never know what pearls of wisdom may be waiting for you.

Who are you feeding these days?

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An elder Cherokee Native American is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.  “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”

 

He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

 

wolf-1336213_960_720The young boy thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

 

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

 




Make sure you “feed” what you truly want in your life, because that is what will grow. 

 

Think about what emotions and future you are feeding. And then you can, stop, drop and roll your way into a happier life.

 

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