14 Things to Start Doing for Yourself

I love a list and this list on Whatcherlsaid’s blog has wonderful reminders and new information on how we can live our best, most fulfilling lives right now. Enjoy!

whatcherylsaid...

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Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways. They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.

Start making your own happiness a priority. – Your needs matter. If you don’t value yourself, look out for yourself, and stick up for yourself, you’re sabotaging yourself. Remember, it IS possible to take care of your own needs while simultaneously caring for those around you. And once your needs are met, you will likely be far more capable of helping those who need you most.

Start being yourself, genuinely and proudly. – Trying to be anyone else is a waste of the person you are. Be yourself. Embrace that individual…

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A New Way to Be In a New Day: Depression and Manifestation

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev, published on 08 December 2010, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev, published on 08 December 2010, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them – Albert Einstein
Podcast Recommendation to listen to in conjunction with this blog post: Think, Believe and Manifest Show with Constance Arnold, Sunday, August 31, 2014, titled “Depression and The Law of Attraction.” Constance gives tips for people experiencing depression, how depression impacts manifestation, and how to move from depression to a place of wholeness and happiness – a must listen-to Podcast, even for those who are not depressed.
Albert Einstein’s quote is a poignant reminder when we dwell in our problems, we stay in our problems. We have to shift our attention to what feels good, which is where the solutions lie.
There is nothing in this world so grave and depraved that requires us to live in darkness, despair and suicide contemplation.
A few weeks ago, my mother declared she was in a good mood and it was because she chose to be. When she woke up that morning, she was in a bad mood, but she told herself she was going to decide to be in a good mood instead. When I called her the next day, she reported she was still in a good mood. I expressed to her how good it was to hear her say she decided to be in a good mood. She shifted her focus from her sour feelings to feelings of joy and gratitude. The key words are choice and shifting focus.
We, as humans have the ability to choose and the most powerful choice we have is to choose how we feel in any given moment or situation and not to be a victim shrouded in negative emotions. I know some will argue depressed people do not choose to be depressed – but I beg to differ. Please understand to know a depressed person is to have been one. I can say with certainty that depressed, downtrodden people have the ability to choose.
We have to move from victimhood to victory. We do that by reclaiming our power of choice.
In my early teen years, twice I tried to kill myself. I didn’t feel worthy of love. Through counseling and deep soul searching, I was able to reclaim my self-worth. I was blessed with teachers, counselors, family and friends who reminded me what a wonderful person I was – even when I chose not to feel so wonderful. In time, I  found the inner strength to validate my self-worth from the inside out, instead of the outside in.
Before it was too late, I came to know God’s love. He had plans for me and I had plans to co-create with God. I began to lean on God’s love during the darkest of times. He revealed I was in a season of darkness, and it was time to move towards the light.
I shifted my focus from what made me sad, to what gave me glimmers of hope and happiness. I made a choice to reach out for help. I chose to feel a little better each day, even though most days were bleak and physically painful to endure. Through the tears, I found a few tucked away smiles. Laughter was like gold – the more I could laugh, the better I’d feel.
I was diagnosed with all sorts of issues – clinical depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD. The doctors prescribed medications that numbed me to any feelings. I suppose numbness was better than deep and chronic sadness, but I wanted to feel again!
By age seventeen, I was no longer going to allow the depression to be my future story. Against doctor’s wishes, but with their close supervision, I weaned myself off antidepressants and I continued to see a counselor who taught meditation techniques.  My life has never been the same since I made the choice to live.
I am not minimizing depression, but I do have to remind people to we all have a choice. Life can sometimes be dark and lonely, but that is still a choice to feel that way. Instead of seeing light, you’ve chosen to see darkness. Instead of feeling just a bit of gratitude and peace, you chose to feel anxiety and pain. You can choose differently in any given moment to feel a little bit better and if you can’t, then by all means, choose to reach out to someone to help throw you a lifeline. I knew I needed to choose a new way of coping, because I wanted to be able to feel ALL of my emotions, ALL of the time.
I know people who benefit greatly from antidepressants – and I am not saying to wean yourself off like I did or to feel shame for taking them. Medications are a blessing for those who need them. Over time, I grew to a point where I knew I did not need them anymore. I could trust my feelings again to guide me.
I decided to reclaim my power over my body, mind and spirit, instead of relying on doctors to tell me how I feel and drugs to numb the very gift that makes me beautifully human. That choice I made still resonates with me. I marvel at my seventeen year old self’s courage to tell the doctors no more pills. I was taking control of my life ship, no matter how stormy the waters got.
Today, I love myself, no matter what people or circumstances have to say about me. There are times when I’m stressed or down, but my happiness base line never dips to a point of self-loathing and self-harm.
My peaceful resolve and abundant happiness stemmed from great pain, so, I know of what I speak. Some people assume I’ve had it easy because of my sunny disposition I hold today. What they don’t know is a series of choices got me to where I am – not easy-living.
When you or a loved one are having a rough time, remember your/their freedom to choose how to feel in the next moment, which will lay down the foundation for how one will feel in the next moment, and the next. No matter how bleak a life situation may seem, remember your power to choose – moment to moment. Remember God is love and you remain eternally worthy of It.
*Not every depressed person is suicidal, but it can be a slippery slope. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, please reach out for help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK. Suicide attempts are a cry for help  – listen and take swift action.

With Love,

~Your Curator of All Things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley

Applied Happiness 101

Image courtesy of gubgib, published on 29 December 2012 Stock Photo - image ID: 100129566, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of gubgib, published on 29 December 2012 Stock Photo – image ID: 100129566, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, published on 17 August 2012 Stock Photo - image ID: 10097414, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles, published on 17 August 2012 Stock Photo – image ID: 10097414, from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net.

I recently applied some techniques on how to be and stay happy, even through stressful times. I overheard my boss having a lengthy argument with an auditor on one of my arbitration files. After she got off the line, she came to my cubicle to tell me a newly hired auditor didn’t understand my arbitration arguments and gave me a poor audit.

In the past, this is something that would have instantly sent me into a tailspin. I’d have to first complain to coworkers over how wrong and unfair it was. I would then internalize it and question all my decisions after hearing that kind of news. Then, I’d slip into a funk for a few days. Meanwhile, the negative funk I’d find myself in would color my present and future experiences with negativity and doubt.

Yesterday, I chose not to go down the path of negativity and refrained from telling a woeful story to friends and co-workers. I remembered that one audit doesn’t define me as a person or an employee. I found solace in how my manager really went to bat for me, and I realized she knew the truth of who I am, so of course I needed to remember the truth of who I am. I prayed for God to reveal to me the jewels in the rough of this experience. I began to say affirmations, affirming the truth of who I am and why I’m here. I did allow myself a few moments to feel upset at the news. But, here’s where it got magical – I began to envision me being on the other side of the situation, smiling and at peace. I went home for the day and focused on other things.

Today, I went to my manager’s desk to thank her again for her support. She told me she met up with management and the head of auditing department yesterday. The head of the auditing department reviewed my manager’s concerns and they all agreed that my handling in the case was solid, but there were issues with the overall handling of the claim that didn’t involve me that had to be noted in the audit. As it turns out, it was a holistic review and not specific to just my handling. My manager said she knows how I take pride in my work product and that she had to fight for what’s right. She was able to get the auditors to see I creatively argued the case, considering what little evidence I had to work with. The auditors eventually raised the scoring up on the review. The auditors and management even have a bet on the outcome of the arbitration – loser buys the other lunch!

In those moments, I could instantly see the jewels.

Here are the jewels:

  • I learned my manager thought highly of me and my work and was ready to defend me – other managers may not do the same.
  • I learned I could choose how to feel in moments of disappointment. I prevented a tailspin that would take me days to recover from.
  • I didn’t overreact, which was critical, because in the past, I would blow up over audit results and it felt wonderful to keep my cool.
  • Had I overreacted, I may not have been in a place to appreciate what unfolded after yesterday’s news.
  • I could have started down the tract of my company doesn’t appreciate me, or that new auditor is a real pill, but today, it feels better to stay in the positive.
  • I remembered I AM a divine creature, and my peace is something to protect.
  • I deliberately created my future by envisioning how I wanted to feel the next day. The Universe obliged.
  • I remembered the truth. I remembered that audits are to show how we’re doing as a company and this reminded me to not take it personal and it really is for the good of our company.
  • Gratitude and appreciation goes a long way. I found what I could be grateful for in the moments following the news, and that helped me to remain in a place of allowing, instead of going into a place of resistance.

We have the power to always reclaim our happiness and peace. I have grown. Yesterday showed me that through prayer, affirmations and shaking the lies and negativity out of the situation, I was able to ride this wave, with ease and grace. I look forward to practicing more of the spiritual principles, because they really work!

~Your Curator of all things Inspirational, Kimberly Jo Cooley