Feel Your Best Tip: How To Be More Assertive
4/25/17 — Do you have trouble standing up for yourself? Or maybe on the other hand, do you tend to get hostile and confrontational?
If either is true, here are three tips for cultivating a healthy level of assertiveness.
1 – Accept your feelings.
I often write off how I feel because I feel bad for feeling the way I do. I’m annoyed by something, but I feel bad about that. Like I shouldn’t feel annoyed. This is a work in progress for me…
The truth is, how you feel isn’t good or bad, it just is. So instead of denying or discounting our feelings, the work is to acknowledge them. Allow them. No judging.
2 – Communicate effectively.
Say how you feel by making “I” statements. Instead of “you make me feel…,” (which hands over your power and can make the other person feel blamed), say “I feel angry when….”
This increases the chances the other person will actually be able to hear you.
3 – Remember there’s always a bigger picture.
If we could zoom out and take a bird’s-eye view, we’d be able to see the other person has a lifetime of experiences that shape their behaviors and points of view. This isn’t to make excuses, but perspective can help us understand and respond with compassion. That tends to lead to better outcomes, for everyone.
Feel Your Best Tip: Raise Your Sense of Self-Worth
4/12/17 — Do you have many self-destructive thoughts? “I can’t do this.” “I’m such an idiot.” “I look disgusting.”
If any of that’s familiar, it’s safe to say you’re blocking ability to really enjoy your life and live out your fullest potential.
Years ago, Sonia told me that she tries to be mindful of her own negative self-talk. When the voice in her head starts to get going and says something destructive, she notices that, mentally says “delete,” and lets that thought go.
I actually don’t know if Sonia still does this, but she’s been really successful–it’s worked.
I think things like this are what help certain people to get ahead. No one is immune to negative thinking. We just need to learn how to manage it. I still use this trick all the time.
I believe we get what we think we’re worthy of; anything that helps us to remove some of the junk that makes us feel unworthy can be a pathway to a richer and more abundant life. Try it out!
Feel Your Best Tip: How to Handle Your Politically Divided Family
3/20/17 — My family is politically divided, and that causes some problems.
I know I’m not alone. So here’s what I’m trying to do: chill out on being sure I’m right.
It is good to be committed to ideals (peace, justice, freedom, etc.), but I’ve been sabotaging those causes by clinging to my perspectives. That’s blinding me, and enticing my loved one to cling to the other side.
So I’d like to try the opposite. This takes letting go of closely-held beliefs and listening, without criticizing or needing to convince. I have to remind myself this, but it doesn’t actually matter if we agree. What matters is how we treat each other.
This intention to be open-minded can be painful, but it inspires self-respect and it can change the tone in our homes, maybe beyond.
I think what we see in politics (anger, fear, disagreeableness…) is a macrocosm of what happens within ourselves and our smaller, interpersonal relationships.
If we can start to heal in this context, our own situations will improve and maybe we contribute to the greater solution too. It’s the old “be the change you want to see in the world” idea. Definitely worth a try.
Feel Your Best Tip: Your Body Knows Best
3/2/17 — Our bodies give us information. One of my good friends throws up whenever she really needs to break up with someone.
Physical cues aren’t always quite that pronounced, but they’re always there.
Our bodies reflect something deeper. They don’t lie. They tell us if something’s good/bad…whether we should proceed or stop, and so much more.
But life is crazy, and in all of our running around, we often miss the insight that’s available under our own skin.
So here’s a simple technique that can help us reconnect.
Slow down your breath. On a deep inhale, feel your chest expand in every direction. Pause and be with whatever sensation, or even lack thereof, you might observe. Slowly exhale. Feel all around that area for settling and letting go. Again pause and be with whatever sensation you notice.
When you can, do two more rounds. Next focus on your belly, then your whole body.
This brand of feeling is a way of taking a step back from whatever it is we’re caught up in mentally. It anchors us to the moment, and strengthens our connection to that authentic information inside.
This is subtle, but huge. Regularly checking in is a pathway to a more conscious way of living. And everything becomes possible with that.
Feel Your Best Tip: Change Your Focus, Change Your Life
2/14/17 — Here’s a challenge I’m working on myself. I’d love for you to join in. For at least the next week, whenever you complain, say something you’re grateful for too. Feel for relaxing in your body as you do that.
It’s human nature to focus on our problems, but for every one thing that’s wrong, millions of things are right.
I’m not saying we should deny legitimate issues or sweep things under the rug. This is about being mindful of our thoughts and accountable for our own happiness.
What we focus on expands. The more we pay attention to what’s good, the more good we see and experience.
This isn’t easy. It takes a serious commitment! But it is an active way of releasing negativity and reorienting our focus so that the things we’re grateful for are what expand.
Let’s give it a whirl.
Feel Your Best Tip: How to Feel Empowered and Initiate Change
1/31/17 — A few years ago, I was in a rough place. My ten-year relationship was ending for reasons that I couldn’t really understand, and I was heartbroken. I couldn’t see a clear path forward and I didn’t know what to do.
So I prayed for help and started taking one step at a time.
That turned into taking on anything I could think of that might possibly help me feel better— not alcohol and anti-depressants, but things like yoga classes and therapy and insisting that conversations about my situation were positive and productive.
I often didn’t feel like doing any of this stuff in the moment, but I knew that ultimately, it could only help. And it did.
Over time, I started to heal and grow stronger than I knew I could be. It made me feel empowered to affect my own life. The change that’s happened since then has been extraordinary.
I bring this up now because many people are hurting and it can be hard to know what to do.
My thought—just like I did during that painful time personally—do anything you can. You don’t need to see a crisp path forward or know how to fix everything at once. Just take one step at a time. Do every seemingly small thing you can think to do.
Maybe it’s posting an inspirational blog. Maybe it’s speaking out. Maybe it’s going out of your way to show goodness to someone different from you.
It might not be obvious how a bunch of small, scattered action steps make a big difference. But they do. In my experience, this is a pathway toward healing, and so much more.