To thine own self be true

Over the years I have taken quite a few personality tests and find them very fun. My cute sister sent me one to take & so I enlisted my family to all take it. So fun!!

It is interesting to me that a test that asks various questions can give such accurate output. I announced to my daughter that my personality only makes up 1% of the population. She beamed and instantly piped up, “You are very unique then!” I smiled. Then I was actually shocked that when my daughter took it (she is 13) she had the exact same personality as me! She then felt very special too.

I think anything that makes you look at yourself and helps you to find your strengths, your weaknesses, your characteristics and personality, is a tool that will help you to better yourself overall.  So, I thought this post would be fun to find some tools that would help you to become true to thine own self. Because when you get to a higher personal level, then you will lift others up to theirs.

620-360-smiling-shy-womanPERSONALITY TEST(S): So, go to 16personalities.com and take the personality test. Over 52 million people already have, so there must be something productive. I thought it was great fun!! Enjoy. Make sure you take the test and then look at the detailed personality type (once you know yours). Have fun!

Strengths Finder is another test that I have taken. http://strengths.gallup.com/110440/About-StrengthsFinder-20.aspx

635957612716911605893600755_ponderingSELF CHECK: Give yourself a ‘self check’ Maybe every once in awhile you need to sit down & ask yourself where you have had success and failure on a personal level. Maybe you have shelved some personal goals that you need to pull out of the closet and work on. Maybe you have been hiding out from your deeper self and avoiding a more purposeful path. Maybe you are not taking care of yourself physically. Here are a few questions in various areas of your life to check in on–Maybe stick with the basics–how are you taking care of yourself (physically)?  [Are you getting enough sleep? Are you exercising, taking vitamins, eating well, drinking enough water, getting outside, etc]   how are you taking care of yourself emotionally? [Are you putting up personal boundaries? Are you sharing feelings? Do you feel heard? How is your self-talk, etc]     how are you doing on a spiritual level? [Are you doing something to feel connected to something greater than yourself?  Have you found a ritual like meditation or yoga to calm your mind? Are you taking time to restore yourself? Are you taking time in nature? Do you have a religious or spiritual practice?]  how are you doing with close relationships? [Are you communicating?  Do you feel any resentments or harsh feelings? Can you share your feelings whether they are good or bad? Do you feel lifted and built up by the relationships you have or do they drain you?  Do you feel connected?]   how are you doing with family? [Are you taking time with your kids? Do you feel like you “know” them to some degree? Do you feel present when you are with them or are you busy on your phone? Do you invest by asking questions, taking time & having special activities you do together? Have you asked them what they need from you? and then truly listen].

learnsomethingneweverydayLEARN SOMETHING NEW: There is no greater way to get to know yourself even better than trying new things and seeing what lights you up!! Even if you just learned something new each day (a few tiny, fun facts) you will feel like you are growing to some degree. Trust me, I have done this. OR you can give yourself a bigger goal of climbing the tallest mountain in your state or maybe you just want to begin with the indoor rock climbing facility down the street. I think when you open yourself up to trying new, different, challenging, out of your comfort zone type of things, there is only one thing you will feel—growth & challenge. You will be able to look at various things and say, “I love that!” or  “I don’t really care for that & I don’t need to try it again.”

636048450500681240-1046652568_yourself-loving-yourself-first-quotes-loving-yourself-first-quotes-03verw-quoteLEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF: This is often a hard one for all of us, but if you don’t take the time to truly try to go within and find the self love you need, you will always be missing something. Can you look in your bathroom mirror and tell yourself, “I love you.”  I did a womens retreat & had small groups of women pass around a mirror and try to say that to themselves. It was overwhelming to see how many women broke down in tears ashamed they could not look in the mirror and say that to themselves. It broke my heart. I think we all have varying levels of self love and sometimes we just need to take baby steps to a higher awareness of the love we have and need within. Begin by finding something you DO love about yourself. Focus on that. Maybe begin to take a fun picture of the style you are wearing or your amazing pedicure. Maybe you love your smile or the way you make others feel. Little steps will help you focus on the little things you like & that will lead to the bigger things that will fill you up with more self love.

e08121407a7375a791e3da09e7170598ENJOY THE JOURNEY: Here is a great article I came across that has some good personal questions and fun analogies about finding purpose. http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/how-find-your-lifes-purpose-and-make-yourself-better-person.html

Best wishes in your quest to be true to thine own self. Have a beautiful day. -H

 

 

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I Love You

stock-footage-pretty-girl-erases-lipstick-on-mirror-i-love-you-a-beautiful-woman-wipes-off-the-words-i-love-youI was just watching a video clip of Christiane Northrup talk about a personal morning ritual that she does. She mentioned it is Louise Hay’s work. She said she stands in front of a mirror and looks deeply into her eyes and says, “I Love you.”

This took me back to a women’s retreat I did years ago where I had groups of women sit down together and do this same activity. It was remarkable to see a group of strangers instantly have a connection through the emotions of such a task. Women were balling as they looked at themselves in the mirror and then there were questions, stories, people who related to others feelings. The circle connected and lifted and loved one another.

I think this is a great thing to begin to do. If you have never looked at yourself in the mirror. smile. smile. Of course you have, but have you ever really looked? Have you looked deeply into your own eyes and reached a deeper point in to your soul and told yourself, “I Love you.”  If the mind monkeys creep in and begin to see your flaws, your lines, your gray hair, your age…push them aside and tell yourself again, “I Love you.”

Christiane said to try it for at least 30 days and see what happens. I know I am going to. It was a good reminder.

I LOVE YOU. Three little words with a big impact on your heart and soul. Spread the LOVE. Begin with YOU.

Being Kind to YOU

I think every now and then we all need a little kindness for ourselves. Who are we usually the hardest on? Who do we usually talk the harshest to? Who do we belittle about our body shape? Who do we starve, pick apart & find flaws with? Who do we say things about that we would never say to someone else…that’s right, ourselves.

So, today I am going to find some great tools that I have come across and share them here with you. I hope you will try them and see how you feel. Do you feel a little calmer? Are you ready to take on work without a great big Ahhh! Do you feel a little more grateful? Do you feel a little kinder to yourself? Hopefully these ideas will awaken something very needed on a personal level. Because when you take better care of you, when you are kinder to yourself—then you are kinder to everyone around you & are able to take better care of those who need you.

I LOVE this…LOVE Letters are always a good thing. I think this is an easy one that every single one of us can try—thanks Soulpancake

Tapping technique with Gabrielle Bernstein—helps to achieve emotional freedomhttp://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=54067

3 Minute Guided Breathing Meditation that will calm your body and mind. 

Just-Breathe-imageBetter breathing=Better You. Talking about Breathing–check out these tips by Pam Grout about Taking more deep breaths & how it enhances your metabolism. According to Pam Grout, breathing coach and author of “Jumpstart Your Metabolism,” breathing is the key to sustainable and long-lasting weight loss. Grout, who teaches people how to change their breathing patterns to lose weight, says clients report losing a pound a day. 

And yet nine out of 10 of us aren’t breathing properly, she says. “Put one hand on your chest, the other on your abdomen. Take a normal breath. If the chest hand goes up rather than out, you’re breathing wrong.”

If you don’t breathe properly, you’ll take in a third of the oxygen your body needs. “And when the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can’t burn through fat,” says Grout. 

What’s more, proper breathing can rev your metabolism, lower stress chemicals which cause your body to retain fat, and keep you centered so you’re less likely to binge or stress eat. The goal is to take long, deep breaths into your abdomen. To practice this, lay on the floor with a book on your belly. On your inhale, make sure the book rises. On the exhale, the book should come down. “Slow, deep inhales and exhales are best,” says Grout. 

Once you get the hang of belly breaths, she recommends trying the 1-4-2 breath, which is specifically designed for weight loss. Here, breathe through your nose to whatever count is comfortable. Hold the breath inside your body for four times as long, and then exhale through your mouth for twice as long. So if you breathe in to the count of 4, lock it into your body for 16 (4×4) and exhale for 8 (4×12). “It will get deeper and longer as you can get better at it,” she says. “Do 10 of these, twice a day.” [taken from Totalbeauty.com]

Negative-self-talkTalk to yourself in a loving way. Don’t belittle, judge, criticize. Begin to focus on the little things you like about you. I laugh at myself when I look through pics I have taken & most of them are of my manicured feet. I don’t enjoy taking pics of myself & that is something I am working on. We all have things we may not love, but we can begin small & work on the bigger picture.

PowerofSmallSliderFill your day with FEEL GOOD energy activities. Don’t surround yourself with people who drain you. Do things that make you feel good, whether its 15 minutes of painting, going on a walk with your dogs, listening to good music, gardening, making healthy meals…do things that make you feel good. You will feel the difference in the energy.

timthumb.phpJust ASK. We are such a small part of this universe, so we would be foolish to not just ask for things we need. Whether we need direction, patience, guidance, help, a warm feeling, intuition, an answer…we just need to believe that we are capable and worthy to just ask. Ask and it is given. Have faith and find the kindness for yourself in that. You are so loved.

compass-or-gps-3Love this—Say YES to yourself. Say YES to Yourself. “I love that the word ‘compass’ is nestled in that word compassion. So is the word ‘passion.’ In self-compassion, the compass points to yourself; the passion for self-understanding is part of our mission. Self-compassion is self-love, self-empathy, self-mercy. Self-compassion is the act of saying YES to yourself, of sending the message, ‘I matter,’ and of experiencing self-love even when self-loathing has the louder voice.” – Courtney Putnam [taken from psychology today]

Well, I just wanted to put a few ideas together for you–for all of us. Please be gentle with yourself and create a little more kindness within all you do.   Peace to you.  -H

Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE?

3044850-inline-i-1-dove-is-really-reaching-with-this-new-stunt-that-forces-women-to-walk-through-doors-marked-aThe following Dove ad was sent to me by my sister and it holds a great question—Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE? I put myself in this situation and asked myself which door I would choose.

We all have different insecurities, we may have things we feel are inadequate or even undesirable, but I believe in the end we all have things we also find beautiful. I think the world puts too much emphasis on the outer, the shell, the cosmetic…but I took this beautiful vs average question & focused on the things that are beautiful about me, within me, the lessons learned, the growth, the talents, the whole. How can you ever make such harsh, cruel judgements about yourself when you only look at a small piece?? It would be like looking at a painting and making a statement about it, but only being able to see one corner of its beauty, its possibility, its brilliance.

So, with that, I ask you to watch the following ad & put yourself there. Ask yourself what you feel is beautiful about you and then walk through the door. Do you still feel average OR beautiful??

quotes-body-04-chodron-600x4110c72aff0f4f918525ed55855020d3a0423465-theres-nothing-wrong-with-loving-who-you-are-she-said-causefda6c313d2c3c237015969bfad5dbffe991261e19852e6a59a75c5d5ac3581b2

I LOVE these quotes, but this last quote—what a great exercise for all of us. If you could truly take in and believe YOU ARE EVERY LOVELY WORD—what would the world be like? What would that look like? Here are some lovely words to put into practice and exercise them on yourself. Try it…I AM…Beautiful, Unique, Loved, Special, Cared for, Lovely, Precious, Strong, Empowered, Secure, Thankful, Gracious, Stunning, Present, Gifted, Awesome, Charming, Delightful, Extraordinary, Fabulous, Glorious, Heavenly, Incredible, Joyous, Kind, Magnificent, Outstanding, Remarkable, Superb, Fantastic, Terrific, Valued, Wonderful, Caring, Fun, Amazing.    Feel free to add to this list and make it your own.

Now, ask yourself, Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE?    Have a beautiful day -H

You & Your Body Image

ImageI know most people do not like their body. According to an article by glamour magazine that surveyed 300 women of all sizes found…Our research found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

Psychology Today said, currently, 80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance. And more than 10 million are suffering from eating disorders. 

WOW!! that is some serious stuff. Not too surprising, but I still don’t think that most women understand that the majority feel the same way—there is always something we don’t like in the mirror.

MY BODY IMAGE. When I was in High School I was this little thing (under 100 lbs) and even on my wedding day everyone raved about how tiny my waist was. I grew up with people wondering if I had an eating disorder (which I didn’t) but it definitely didn’t help my self-esteem having people accuse me. I had one of my boyfriends mother’s flat out ask me if I had been throwing up in the bathroom after a meal we had just all enjoyed at a restaurant. Talk about embarrassing. No, just a small bladder. I had camp leaders tell me I exercised too much when I went on a hike with a couple girlfriends. Sure, I was small, but I honestly didn’t have an eating disorder.

I truly didn’t even understand eating disorders until I was in college and it seemed all the boxes of cereal we were buying were gone–quick. One of my room mates would binge and purge and she would spend an hour in the shower, my heart sank for her. Then I began to understand a couple of my younger sisters had the same problem. I ached for their emotional emptiness, but I truly did not understand.

My body issues have evolved over having a daughter and gaining 60 lbs, my husband’s porn problem (that mentally & emotionally messes with you), having people say, “Didn’t you use to be a hottie” , a brother telling me that I “use to be skinny like his wife”, my Mom talking about how skinny she was & then telling me “you’ve gained weight”, never feeling comfortable in a swim suit, not liking pictures of myself and no one taking pictures of me….It can mentally mess with you. But, I also haven’t liked having my picture taken. Who does?

 

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BEGIN TO SEE SOMETHING YOU LOVE. Well, I just recently came across some good info. to share with you about body image, taking a good look at yourself in the mirror and finding the little things you do like and allowing those to shine.  I just listened to a podcast with Vivienne McMaster, she has a blog called “Be Your Own Beloved.” Don’t you just love that name. It just sings to the soul and you want to know more. She has an amazing story of self-loathing, depression and beginning again each day to try and find something beautiful in nature, your surroundings, yourself. Here is her site http://www.viviennemcmasterphotography.com

BEGIN AGAIN. The funny thing is, I just began to take a couple pictures of myself last week. I always frowned at “selfies” as vain, too me.me. but I am slowly beginning to see that just a little picture of your feet, your hands touching a flower, your face at an angle you like—can lead to little bits of self-love. You can find something you like about yourself, so if you have a hard time looking at yourself in the mirror, begin again. Take a little step, a little snap of your camera phone and find a little piece of yourself that you lost. Hopefully, little by little we will all begin to focus on the truly beautiful things we see—in ourselves.

 

BEST BEFORE AND AFTER I recently had this video sent to me from my sister–it is great–check it out.

http://www.upworthy.com/the-story-behind-one-of-the-best-before-and-after-photos-ive-ever-seen?g=2&c=ufb1

 

DOVE BEAUTY PATCH If you haven’t seen this video by Dove–Dove Beauty Patch–check it out. So good!!

 

Here are some final thoughts from celebrities..

.ImageImageImageImageWell, I hope all of this info. will make you take a step in a better direction for yourself. That you may find some little something about you that you can love. When we begin to truly see things we can love—that will spread and that will be a Bea-YOU-tiful thing.

Peace and lots of LOVE to you.  -Heather

 

A few Horses, A lot of Life Lessons

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I had an amazing experience last Friday, I got to spend a day with beautiful horses learning about myself, energy, leadership and finding a deeper part of myself.

I am definitely a follower of my own intuition. I have tried to listen to any prompting, inspiration to try something, a book that seems to keep jumping out at me…there are always gifts and signs that can guide us to situations that will help us grow beyond our current state. I was listening to a podcast of Koren Motekaitis (she has a great podcast show) and she was interviewing someone named Renee Sievert who was a Equus Coach. I had no idea what that was, but I was drawn to her passion and excitement and then she mentioned working with horses. Deal breaker!! my interest was even more heightened, because I have always had a thing with horses, their wild essence, their spirit, watching them run…whenever I have had bad dreams throughout my life, I envision wild horses running and it seems to calm my soul. Not sure why, so a coach who worked with horses was very interesting to me. I listened to the podcast, immediately after I began to scroll my phone for anyone in my local area who did this type of coaching. I was hooked!! I instantly signed up for a class & was scheduled for a week later. Here we go!!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my experience, but I went with an open mind and heart, ready for anything. I met up with a great coach, Erin Cutshall who was within about 15 minutes from my home & we began our day with hugs & a walk through the ranch to grab our first horse, Ginger. She was a spirited, cinnamon colored horse that I openly admit was a little intimidating. She entered the round pen and began to kick and neigh, running in circles and bucking with spirit. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with her. Erin began to explain how horses have a “Leader Mare” they follow in a herd. She has to earn the respect and leadership with every horse that is present. Erin ran through some of the steps horses go through when testing one another for leadership and then the signs when they begin to give in and follow the leader—to be friends, to want to have a meal together.

Now, this whole experience was primarily for me to understand myself and seek answers to why I have felt so disconnected to people. I have struggled gaining trust in friendships and have not had the energy to engage with enthusiasm, so I have no friends. I explained how I didn’t like feeling like I was trying to learn and grow spiritually, but everything I read or watched emphasis the need to have close social ties or connections. It was so frustrating to feel so disconnected and not feel a need for others in my life. I did not understand.

She began training me in how horses are able to “mirror” people & will let off the energy they are feeling within the round pen. She explained how if you don’t hold a high energy or an “inviting” energy, the horse will not follow your lead. She talked about how intuitive horses read the energy we carry & if it is not a leadership, or your best self that is being shown—they will not be interested in you. Erin began asking me questions about me, my needs, my disconnection issue, my alone time, if I enjoyed being around people or if it felt like a drain…She helped me to understand that I have a very ‘Introvert’ personality and being alone is very vital to my personal needs. She helped me see that it was okay to not enjoy being around lots of people and that conversations can be very draining. She expressed how I was energized by being alone and social situations were draining to my soul. I cannot tell you what a weight was lifted in truly understanding my feelings. I had felt all those things, but having someone see it outside of me, hearing my needs and allowing me to be—was freeing. Erin helped me see that when you understand yourself, what your needs are and being able to take care of those needs, then you will be your best self—the leader that lies within.

She then invited me into the round pen & began giving me cues of where to stand to make the horse do what I wanted (to move, to run…) it was harder than I thought. I LOVE seeing horses run, so of course I wanted to see the horse run, but when I tried to get her to move, she didn’t listen. My energy wasn’t strong enough for her to listen. It took some practice & finding my playful energy to send her into motion. It was amazing. She ran and ran & then when my energy began to drop she would slow (like me). I stopped & wanted the horse to follow me. Erin walked me through the final steps to win the horse over & she followed me step by step around the round pen.

We worked with three different horses, all with different personalities & it was exhilarating. It was a craft that took time, learning to angle my body, getting over wanting to lead like I would with a dog. That was another aha moment for me. Erin explained how most people are use to leading like they would a dog, but Erin quickly got out in front of the horse and began to say things like, “please come over and love me, follow me, be with me, listen to me.” the visual was so pathetic and disempowering that I instantly imagined how in our own relationships we could be like that with people. BUT, if we learn to be our best self, take care of our needs, then people (horses) will be drawn to us. The energy we carry will free us from the bondages of being small, acting small & will allow us to be who we are meant to be–to shine, to radiate, to be strong, to lead and guide. It was even relevant to parenting. THink of almost begging your children to spend time with you, to listen, to respect you with a tone and action of leadership and love vs begging. You want those around you to admire and love you, to want to be around you because of the good energy you send out.

Watching Erin was even more amazing because she has been able to master the art. She put me in a large arena with one horse & had me try to get it to go through different sets of cones, but the one caveat, I could not get it to follow–I had to lead it. It was harder than I thought. A couple rows near the fence–easy, but when I was determined to get the horse out into the middle and have it go through a isle of cones–no can do!! I tried a couple different tactics, but my reasonable brain couldn’t problem solve because I figured I would have to go one one side of the horse and then run over to guide it the opposite direction. I finally gave in & just walked through the cones and had the horse follow. Erin smiled & was happy that I had at least finished getting the horse to go where I desired. I explained my only reasonable thought of how to get it through the cones & threw her a challenge to see if she could do it. She smiled and agreed to the challenge. She right away led the horse through the cones—I couldn’t believe it. She explained and showed me how when she began to give the horse space, it would then come in closer to her & that ended up putting the horse right where she wanted. It was an art. I couldn’t believe it.

I enjoyed learning the parallels of life and the energy we carry. Horses are definitely a mirror, when I got calm, they got calm, when I got excited they would run, when they were confused by my needs and wants they did not follow, one actually began leading me by sticking her head out in front of me, so I was behind. When you give them space, they want to follow. It’s a balance, a dance, a harmony between two spirits. It was a beautiful experience that I will always cherish.

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You are the greatest Miracle

Last week I got to get away with my husband and just relax and play, just the two of us, it was wonderful!! It is always a good thing to take a break from the normal every day and feed your soul in different ways. We went on long walks in the desert and had a greater appreciation for the beauty that the desert holds. We ate yummy food, relaxed and just talked. We took a morning and did an exercise I would highly recommend to anyone in a relationship—we wrote a eulogy for one another. We called it a ‘Life Eulogy.’ We imagined if something tragic had happened and our life was changed forever what we would say to the other person, about the other person, what we would want others to know, but especially every little detail of what we loved about our life together. This was a great exercise in getting grateful for one another on an even deeper level. It truly made us evaluate what we would miss in one another, what we valued about our relationship and the deep feelings of friendship and love we share. TAKE THE TIME—it is worth it!!

We also spent the trip reading Og Mandino’s, The Greatest Miracle in the World. For some reason this book made me cry deeply with emotion and I knew I needed to make a movie that held some of the beauty this book holds. Here is the movie. Please take the time to watch, read and take in the meaning that is YOU…the greatest miracle in the world. It has beautiful sentiments and thought provoking meaning to who you truly are. I hope you enjoy it and it touches you in some way.

Peace to you.  -Heather