When Life is Out of Control! Believe in Something Greater Than Yourself

Listen to Episode 55 of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast: When Life is Out Of Control-Believe in Something Greater Than Yourself

As human women, our first inclination when trouble strikes is to find a solution.  We continue this journey trying many different tactics hoping that something will work.  I should know, I tried so many different things to fix my relationships, lose weight, find peace doing a job I disliked, and just getting through what I perceived to be my daily grind.  It is tough to gain control of your health if your life is in a continual state of chaos.

Belief in something greater can provide you with the foundation you need to heal and create the life you want and deserve. Spirituality is not just about going to church, temple, or synagogue. While standard religious practices may be a conduit for many to exercise their faith, it is  not necessary to belong to a religious group to be spiritually healthy.

According to a study conducted by the University of New Hampshire, the benefits of spiritual wellness include:

·         Developing a purpose in life.

  • Having the ability to spend reflective time alone.
  • Taking time to reflect on the meaning of events in life.

·         Having   a   clear   sense   of   right  and   wrong. 

  • Having the ability to explain why you believe what you believe.
  • Caring and working for the welfare of others and the environment.
  • Being able to practice forgiveness and compassion in life.

Maintaining your spiritual wellness will help you deal with conflict in your life by keeping you focused and balanced. There are several ways to boost your spiritual connection, including yoga, meditation, prayer, and journaling.

These contemplative practices will allow you to quiet your mind and show yourself some much needed compassion. Try to add one of these tools to your daily routine; choose one and make it your mission to complete it each day for as little as ten minutes will help you feel more connected to your purpose, find meaning in life, and create lasting relationships.

Which spiritual tool will you incorporate into your daily routine?

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Hi guys, my name is Renee.  I am a Certified Coach and Yoga teacher host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life Podcast and the Courageous Woman’s Book Club founder.      Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

This month our goal is to raise $700 for the Atlanta Mission to help support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Bible Discovery Journal. It’s only $3.58. Connect or reconnect with God in 15 minutes a day. -We donate $1 from every purchase.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast. Don’t forget to follow.

When All You Want To Do Is Catch Your Breath

You have just gotten through one disaster when here comes another one, the attacks are unrelenting, and you might be thinking of giving up, but what you really need is to take a breath. Yes, it would be nice to heal and reset before the next disaster, but life does not work like that; when it rains, it pours, or so the saying goes.   Jesus said the Enemy has one job to kill, steal, and destroy, and he is relentless, especially when we decide to step into our God-ordained purpose. 

     So, before you give up, take a breath.  Find a quiet corner, get comfortable and breathe.  Focus on the calming sensation of your breath as you inhale and exhale.  Allow the quiet to wash over you as you give thanks to the Lord.  Do this regularly, and I promise you will feel better.  You will have the energy you need to conquer your day.

 Remember, you are stronger than you give yourself credit and more blessed than you know.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Hi guys, my name is Renee.  I am a Certified Coach and Yoga teacher host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life Podcast and the Courageous Woman’s Book Club founder.      Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

This month our goal is to raise $700 for the Atlanta Mission to help support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Bible Discovery Journal. It’s only $3.58. Connect or reconnect with God in 15 minutes a day. -We donate $1 from every purchase.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast. Don’t forget to follow.

Four Things to Do to Help Your Adult Children Process Your Parenting Style

Click here to listen to Episode 54 of The Welcome To Your Life Podcast: Four Ways to Help Your Adult Children Process Your Parenting Style

     Let me begin by saying this is not an indictment of anyone’s parenting history or parenting style.  Whether you decided to become a full-time, part-time, or no time parent is not the issue.  This post is only meant to help you to prepare for the when your adult child comes to you and ask you why?  Why were you so strict?  Why didn’t you come to more of my games?  Why didn’t you protect me? Why didn’t you raise me?  Why did you have me so late in life? Why did you give me up?   These are just some of the questions, I have helped my clients process over the years as they make peace with the mistakes they made as parents.

   To be clear, regardless of all the parenting books, magazines, and programs you might have listened to while you were in the parenting trenches, you probably made some mistakes.  We all do, no matter how hard we try to change, many of us fall back on the parenting style of our moms.  This topic came to me as I processed my own parents parenting style and how it did not prepare me for life.  My parents have passed away so I cannot ask them any of the “why” questions.  But I was also not prepared to answer my children when they asked me why I parented the way I did. 

    I must admit at first I was angry and hurt at the thought or suggestion that I was anything but a model parent.  I volunteered at their school, carpooled to all the after-school activities, introduced them to Jesus-that alone should have earned me a gold star. 😊 I cooked dinner and made sure they had desert each night.  And I worked two jobs after their dad, and I divorced to take care of them.

     I debated the merits of my parenting voraciously.  Then I realized that my trying to argue and defend myself was futile.  Children as you know grow into adults with thoughts and opinions of their own.  The last thing I wanted to do was to create an irrevocable rift between us and I am guessing you probably feel the same way.  So instead of angrily defending your parenting record try these tips instead.

  1. Listen Actively:  Give them your full attention, get rid of distractions, and focus on what they are saying. Do not try to over talk them or defend yourself to the point that you miss exactly what they are asking or saying.
  2. Correct inaccuracies with love- please do not tell your child that they are lying, perhaps the way they remember an event is not entirely accurate.  Just correct them gently with just the facts and refer them to someone who can collaborate your version of events if possible. 
  3. Show yourself some compassion:  as mom’s we do not need anyone telling us we made mistakes or missed the mark; we do that quite well on our own.  But this is not the time to beat yourself up for all the things you did not do, this is the time to acknowledge that you loved your children, and you did the best you could with the tools you had. 
  4. Beware of guilt:  your child may try their best to make you feel guilty about missing their little league game or sleeping through their eight-grade graduation (that was me, sorry John). Feeling guilty serves no one and could hinder your ability to mend fences and create a better relationship with your child.  You cannot go back and fix your parenting mistakes, but you can be the best parent to them now as adults.

     Adult children are trying to figure out who they are, and why they are the way they are, this is the work all humans must do if they want to take their life to the next level.  So even if you were the best mom in the world. They will need to take this journey of self-discovery.  Their questions are probably not meant to hurt you but help them to process some angst they may be experiencing in their own lives.  This is your time to help them navigate this part life’s journey and help them to prepare to become better people and better parents.  Parenting never ends, no matter how old your children are, create a relationship with them as adults where you are not only their mom but their friend.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Hi guys, my name is Renee.  I am a Certified Coach and Yoga teacher host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life Podcast, and the founder of the Courageous Woman’s Book Club.    Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

This month our goal is to raise $700 for the Atlanta Mission to help support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Bible Discovery Journal  it’s only $3.58 Connect or reconnect with God in 15 minutes a day.-We donate $1 from every purchase.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast.   Don’t forget to follow.

Praying But Not Preparing

I always wanted to be the type of Christian woman that prayed to God earnestly, not begging, with teeth and fists clenched so tightly the blood drained out of my face and hands.  I wanted to send up my prayers and then just walk in the blessed assurance that comes from knowing that God is in control. But until recently, that was not my testimony. Instead, I prayed and worried, and begged, and negotiated with God daily.  It was exhausting.  Then, one day, while I was praying earnestly.  I heard the Holy Spirit say, praying but not preparing.  Wow, that hit me like a ton of bricks.

     Yep, that was me.  Always praying but never preparing to receive the Thing I was praying for, as we wait for the Lord to answer our prayers, we must prepare the ground so that the blessing will have a place to take root.  I prayed that the Lord would bless my ministry, but I was too afraid to step out and begin sharing my work.  So, in essence, there was nothing for the Lord to bless.  You might be praying for a new job, but you have not updated your resume and applied anywhere.  You may be praying for peace in your household. But you continue to walk around with a massive chip on your shoulder, too angry to speak to anyone.  You might be praying for a husband.  But, you have yet to clean your spiritual and natural home to welcome your new mate.  

     Whatever you are praying for, make sure that as you pray, you also begin the process of preparing to receive, do not delay your blessing, miss it when it comes, or lose it because you were not ready.  Your preparation is an act of faith.  So, actively wait for the Lord to do what he promised!

Look at one of your prayers.  How can you begin to prepare to receive the blessing? 

Remember, you are stronger than you give yourself credit and more blessed than you know. I love you guys!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Hi guys, my name is Renee.  I am a Certified Coach and Yoga teacher host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life! Podcast,  and the founder of the Courageous Woman’s Book Club.      Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

Help us raise $700 for the Atlanta Mission and support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Bible Discovery Journal  -We donate $1 from every purchase.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast.   Don’t forget to subscribe.

The Hardest Thing You Will Ever Have To Do

The hardest thing you will ever have to do during the healing process is to let go and rely on God.  Trust me, it is easier said than done; our first inclination as human women is to fix things.  To find a solution to our problem that will make everything right again.  It does not matter how hard or how long it takes us; we will continue searching for an answer even when it slows or nullifies our ability to heal.  When we try to save ourselves, we neutralize God’s ability to work on our behalf.   My grandmother Leona always told me that I will not win for real until I learn to let go and let God.  There will come a time in your life when you must believe God because trying to take matters into your own hands is only making your problems worse.  Your prayer today is to ask God to give you the strength to leave your problems with him once and for all so that you can turn your focus to the task that He has assigned to you; focusing on that task will help you to heal and bring peace to someone who is waiting for you.

Remember, you are stronger than you give yourself credit and more blessed than you know.  I love you guys and I think you are awesome!

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Hi guys, my name is Renee.  I am a Certified Coach and Yoga teacher host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life! Podcast,  and the founder of the Courageous Woman’s Book Club.      Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

Support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Bible Discovery Journal  -We donate $1 from every purchase.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast.   Don’t forget to subscribe.

Feeling Safe in An Unsafe World: Three Ways to Create Your Own Safety Bubble

Episode 53 Welcome To Your Life Podcast! Feeling Safe in An Unsafe World: Three Ways to Create Your Own Safety Bubble

     For the longest time, I abdicated my safety to others, my parents, employers, husbands, family members, and even in a way, to my children.  Being their mom gave me purpose and anchored me to the world.  I needed this because my own childhood had given me a rocky start in life.  My favorite memory of my father was the day he picked me up from school to walk me home.  I was eight.  I still remember how happy and safe I felt holding his hand walking down the Cleveland streets on that bright sunny day. Unfortunately, he left us shortly after that, and I only saw him sporadically until I was 24 years old. 

     His departure left me feeling abandoned, and I buried those feelings and how they made me feel for an awfully long time.   If you carry any unhealed feelings due to trauma, abandonment, heartbreak, grief, or disappointment.  It can be challenging to feel safe in the world.  The incident or incidents you suffered might have cracked or completely crumbled your foundation.  And left you feeling untethered and alone.  Sometimes, you might get the feeling that you are just going to float away.

     You might feel like I did for many years, that you have no real control over your life.  If you think like this, victim thinking can creep into your mind and set up shop and become the lens by which you see the world.  You may find comfort in living like a victim in the world. I know from personal experience that this is an unhealthy way to think and live.  This type of thinking is not meant to empower you but to keep you stuck.   It dramatically diminishes your ability to heal and make real changes in your life. 

If you are tired of depending on the kindness of others if you want to feel safe in a world that is anything but safe most of the time, especially for women and people of color.  You must put your healing first and begin the healing process. I want to share with you three ways to start and create your own safety bubble.

Three Ways to Create Safety

Heal

     Ultimately our safety comes from within; regardless of what happened to us, we cannot look to others to make us feel whole and safe.  It is not fair to them, and no matter how hard they try as a human they will fail us.  Creating your own safety net requires that you deal once and for all with what ails you.  Being open, honest, and compassionate with yourself and realizing that healing is an ongoing process that will probably take longer than you imagine, so be patient.  Get some help, do not try to do this alone.  A coach, a therapist, or a support group will be loving company on your healing journey.

Belief in Something Greater:

When my son wanted to make peace with his anger, he turned to Buddhism.  As a Christian, when I feel so out of sorts and need a steady hand, I hold on to Jesus.  Whoever your higher power is, take this time to study and become intimate partners during your healing process. “The mind is an incredibly powerful tool. It can be used for good but also go to waste when neglected or abused. In times of trouble, we tend to move away from positivity. We go from a state of abundance to a state of lack. But faith is the tool that helps replenish abundance in the heart and the spirit, not just in the mind.”   There will be a time when your human strength and determination are not enough to keep you going, and this is where your higher power steps in and take up the slack. 

Create Your Village

     You will find that in most of my writings, I harp on this powerful yet underestimated tool.  We are so hellbent on doing things on our own that we forget the power of being part of a tribe of like-minded individuals.  “Our priorities become distorted and unclear as we attempt to meet so many conflicting needs at once.” Your tribe will help you to stay balanced and focused, so that you can reach your goals that much faster. So, if you cannot find a village, create one; if you need help, reach out to me, I am just an email away. 

    Your healing journey will be whatever you make it, it is not for the faint of heart, and there will be times when quitting seems like the best and easiest option.  But, if you want to create a safe, beautiful, mindful life that you live with purpose, intention, and joy, it is worth every struggle you will encounter, and remember, you are not alone.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

So nice to meet you, I am a Certified Coach and yoga teacher, host of the award-winning Welcome to Your Life Podcast,  and the founder of the Courageous Woman’s Book Club. Thank you so much for checking out today’s post.

Support homeless moms and their children-download The Courageous Woman’s Bible Discovery Journal-we donate $1 of every purchase to the Atlanta Mission.

Join the Group: Ready to heal, connect, and grow? Join the free Welcome to Your Life! Facebook Group for training, support, and love.

Check out past episodes of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe

When The People You Love Don’t Support You

Listen to Episode 52 of the Welcome to Your Life Podcast: When the People You Love Don’t Support You

     When four of my children decided that they wanted to move from our home in Ohio to Texas, the momma in me wanted to try to stop them from going. I worried about their safety and wondered when I was going to see my grandsons. I thought to myself, why in the world would you move in the middle of a pandemic. I had a whole host of reasons why they should not move, but I did not share one of them. Not, because I was selfless but because I know how it feels when the people who love you do not support your dreams.

    Growing up I dreamt of becoming a dancer and a model. I studied ballet and modern dance. I couldn’t always afford dance classes, so a lot of what I learned was self-taught. I got modeling gigs in local department stores and had convinced myself that after high school, I was going to move to New York and try my luck. My mother and grandmother hit the roof. My mother said I was too short to model. At 5’6″, I thought she may be right. It was the same reaction I got when I won a summer scholarship to M.I.T.   My grandmother told my mother she should not let me go, and my mom worried about my safety and not wanting to be separated from her only daughter would not sign the parental consent forms for me to go. I let my dreams go way too quickly. I did not trust that I would make the right decision, and I didn’t have anyone in my corner to push me out of my comfort zone.

     Consider this your kick to move out of your comfort zone.  You have decided to finally create a plan to reach that goal that has been nudging at your heart.  You have packed up your kids and your belongings and decided to end a relationship that is long past its due date.  Your doctor has just diagnosed you with a chronic illness, curable, but it will require that you make some drastic lifestyle changes.  Would you agree with me that these are all positive endeavors?  Yes! They are, you have decided to become proactive and take control of your life.

     With all this positive action, you would think that the people you love would jump on the bandwagon and become your biggest cheerleaders.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  So, what do you do when the people who love you do not support you? If you find that finding support for your dream is few and far between.  It may be time to eliminate the dead weight in your life and start fresh, filling your circle with folks who love and support you.

     When I start to work with a new client, one of the first things I like for them to identify is their support system. When you try to do something that you have never done before, you do not need to be pulled away from your focus by family and friends who do not support your vision for your life.

That is not to say that they must agree with you completely, but they should refrain from throwing water on your dreams by reminding you of all the times you did not quite hit the mark in the past. Sometimes, they might think they are helpful with comments like:

 “You can lose the weight on your own.”

 “You left him before, remember.”

 “Are you even trying? Try harder.”

 “He is a good provider. Are you sure you cannot work it out?  No one will blame you if you stay.”

 “Just eat less and work out more.”

 “Shouldn’t you be thinking of retiring instead of starting a new career?”.

 “People your age don’t run marathons.”

 “Is the pain that bad or is it in your head.”

 “Your time has passed; it’s time to let the younger folks have a turn.

 These are just a few of the comments my clients and I have heard when we confided to our closest confidants about our plans to make changes in our lives. Unfortunately, when they recall these conversations, many clients break down in tears. Because the truth is it can be heartbreaking to find that the foundation you have built your life on will not support the new you.

Whether it is losing weight, ending a relationship, starting a new career path, or pursuing your purpose, and maybe like me, your new career path is your purpose. You must create a support system that supports you unconditionally, holds you accountable when you do not believe you can do it and loves you no matter how many times you must start over.

If you have found yourself facing this type of resistance, you have probably asked why?  Why wouldn’t the people who claimed to love me not want me to do better, be better, live better?  The answer is fear.  They could be afraid that you will reach a goal and realize that you have outgrown them, or they might be worried that they will lose you to a new group of friends.  It could be that they are afraid that you might fail, and they want to spare you the pain of failing.  But failure is a lesson in itself.  That is a lesson for another day.

Whatever their fear, you cannot let it stop you from moving forward.  It is time to create a new inner circle.  Anyone who does not fall in step with your plans is dead weight, and you should eliminate them immediately.  I know that deadweight is a harsh term.  I am using it on purpose to trigger just how dire this situation is for your success.  This will probably be one of the most challenging tasks you will ever have to do, but ask yourself how you will feel next week, next month, or next year if you are in the same spot you are in now. 

If it makes you feel better, you do not have to cut them out of your life entirely; just keep them out of your inner circle. I love this quote by fellow blogger Jeri Clay, host of the “Shine your Life-Make your Life Shine Blog. “With like-minded people, you feel comfortable in sharing your dreams without judgment. You can express ideas freely with others who understand the hustle. Everyone will have different dreams and goals but will have the same drive towards the achievement.” 

Ready to get started:  Make a list of three people you can count on to support your journey towards a new you.  It is time to create your village. These folks can be professional supports such as a pastor, coach or therapist, or natural supports, including your mom, sister, cousin, best friend, or favorite church member.

If you want real success in your life, you must surround yourself with like-minded people who will help you empower your mindset and lend you the emotional fuel you need to keep going when you feel like you are running on empty.  You can do this; I believe in you.

With Peace and Love,

Renee

Download this month’s book selection, the Courageous Woman’s Bible Discover Journal; if you are looking to connect or reconnect with God in a powerful way, this journal is for you.  Plus, I show you how to incorporate your daily time with God in as little as 15 minutes a day.  Start or end your day with the word of God,  and empower yourself to move through any obstacle life throws your way.  $1 of your purchase will go to help the Atlanta Mission continue its mission of supporting, clothing, and feeding homeless mothers and their children.  Click here to download your copy today!

I Will Show Myself Compassion and Open Myself Up to Growth

Introduction:

     We are often quick to show compassion to others, we give them grace when they make mistakes or hurt us, but we do not allow ourselves this same compassion.  True growth has a learning curve, and as we learn, we will make mistakes; it is okay to make mistakes; instead of running away from them, we need to acknowledge these mistakes to give ourselves room to grow. 

     This week show yourself some compassion as you pursue your dreams, as you face challenges head-on when you fall-lift yourself back up and ask yourself, what did I learn?   Will you give yourself room to grow?

The Affirmation

I am a work in progress. I give myself room to learn and grow.

I will try new things.   I will keep an open mind and move beyond my comfort zone. My new adventures might include skydiving or writing poetry.

Whatever I choose, I will allow myself the grace to enjoy it.

I will try new things like listening to country music, rap, and jazz. I will replace my usual morning run with a yoga class.

I will seek out challenges. I will volunteer for challenging assignments at work. I will talk about sensitive subjects with my family and friends.

I will not be afraid to ask questions. I will gratify my curiosity.

I will welcome feedback. I invite colleagues and clients to let me know what they think about my performance. I thank my loved ones for helpful reminders. I will use their input to make positive changes.

I will let my light shine as I teach others. I can use my knowledge to teach students and mentor newcomers in my field.

I will expand my mind by reading books I love and new works of fiction and nonfiction.

I will take classes. I will push past fear, sign up for courses at my local university, and subscribe to e-learning platforms.

I will make learning fun. I will visit my local library to browse for free audiobooks, movies, and events.

I will travel to other countries or explore new places in my neighborhood or town.

 I will practice speaking foreign languages at ethnic restaurants and grocery stores.

Today, I train my mind to think. I add to my knowledge and skills. I pursue my passion for learning.  I will remind myself that my mind is powerful and capable of accomplishing the goals and dreams I have for my life.

Self-Reflection Questions:

  1. What is one new skill that would help me to advance my career?
  2. What is the difference between working hard and working smart?
  3. Why is it important to adopt a growth mindset?
  4. What is one way I can show myself compassion this week?
  5. What feelings arise in me as I answer these questions?

With Peace and Love,

Renee

PS

Whenever you are ready, I can help you create the future you’ve always wanted:

Join the private Welcome To Your Life Midlife Made Easier Facebook group, a curated community exclusively for fun-loving midlife. Learn from and connect with other midlife women this is your village a safe place to vent your concerns and celebrate your wins.  Click here to join (note: you must answer the questions to be considered).

How to Use Prayer And/or Meditation to Manage Anxiety

 Let me be clear, if you are someone who has been diagnosed with anxiety, I am not suggesting that you give up your medication and therapy in favor of prayer and meditation.  As a social service worker and Certified Life Coach, I have seen the wonderous benefits my clients experience when adding prayer and meditation to their traditional treatment plans.  So, I am asking you to be open as you read today’s post because maybe adding prayer and meditation could be an extra dose of protection to successfully manage your anxiety.

     Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United States?  About 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with anxiety. The U.S. spends as much as $42 billion on the American government to diagnose and treat anxiety disorders.    It is expected, especially in today’s world of political and social unrest, to feel anxious from time to time.  But if your anxiety becomes overwhelming, and you want to add some realistic strategies to your prescription medication and therapy regime, one technique you may wish to try is prayer and meditation.

     From personal experience, I can tell you that adding both to my daily self-care routine has helped me get a handle on my anxiety and panic attacks in a way that I never thought possible.  But you might be asking which one should you try or should you use both.

Which is Better: Prayer or Meditation?

     The answer very is simple: Use whichever you prefer. Some people have a close relationship with a higher power, while others do not. No matter what your religious belief, you can manage your anxiety through your thoughts and affirmations.

     If you like to pray, that is great. If you want to meditate instead, then do it!  I like to pray and then meditate on the scripture that is included in my morning devotional.  But you can choose Whichever technique makes you feel the most comfortable.  Taking your mental health seriously is the first step to healing and finding the right combination of therapeutic treatments.  Remember, this is about you getting better, and you know best what will make you feel at ease.

Getting Started

You do not need any fancy equipment to get started.  As a matter of fact, you can start right now with a deep breath. Pull the air deep down into your diaphragm and let it out slowly. Do this deep breathing technique several times, and you will begin to feel calmer.

My students look strange when I ask them if they are breathing effectively? Because if not, then you are only taking in enough air to expand the top part of your lungs expands; you may think this is okay because your chest rises and falls.  However, when you use the breath as a calming tool- your whole belly rises and falls, not just your upper chest because your entire lungs are being filled with fresh air.

     Before your anxiety begins to overwhelm, all your senses try practicing deep breathing as part of your own self-care routine.  The more you do it, the more it will become an automatic coping strategy that helps you manage anxiety and any other part of your life that needs an adjustment.

Here are some other tips to help you feel calm while praying or meditating:

Use a mantra. Inhale while you give yourself positive thoughts and feelings. Exhale anything negatives you are thinking or feeling. Breathing is the rhythm of life. Use it to your advantage.  My favorite mantra is I am Strong!  I say this because I felt like life was happening to me for so many years, and I had no control.  Now I know that is not true.

String together three scriptures:  I call this a string prayer.  I string together three of my favorite scriptures, and I pray them each morning.  I also use these scriptures as part of my mantra when I meditate.

Make it part of your self-care routine:  To really reap the benefits to pray or meditate at the same time each day.  Try practice when you are not in crisis. Here is a challenge for you, decide when you will do and write it on the calendar at the same time for the next 30 days.  It does not have to take a long time; try two minutes each day to start and add more time when you feel comfortable.

Laugh More. This was a hard one for me; I used my smile to hide what I was really thinking and feeling for years.  But now I use it to make myself feel better after a long hard day.  Try saying “ho, ho, ho, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha” and other silly phrases out loud. When you do, you will start to smile, then grin, and then laugh for real! And when you are laughing, it hard to frown or feel anxious!
 

Get an accountability buddy:  I think this is the best way to ensure success.   Your accountability buddy will help you to keep going when you want to quit.  You can join a church, take up yoga, or find a support group for anxiety. You are not alone; other people share your struggle; besides helping yourself, you could help someone else struggling with anxiety; think of it this way, someone needs a friend, and they are waiting for you.

Now It is Your Turn!

     As with any step towards personal peace, the first thing you must do is just start.  Do not wait for perfect conditions because they will never come.  Something or someone will always pop up in your life to steal your joy.  One thing to avoid when you start your prayer and/or meditation practice is the notion that you will be able to conquer it in a week.  Be patient with yourself and show yourself some compassion.   It took time to get where you are, and it will take time to get back to where you want to be.

Do not forget to speak with your therapist or coach and let them know that you have started this journey; they will be more than happy to support you and provide you with helpful feedback as you work to strengthen your breathing. Laugh. Meditate or pray routine.   The greatest gift you can give yourself is joy, which is a gift worth waiting for.

With Peace and Love,

Renee.

Download this Month’s WTYL book club selection and help me raise $700 to help the Atlanta Mission continue their work providing food, shelter, and clothing for homeless mothers and their children . $1 of every sale will go towards this worthy cause: The Courageous Woman’s Discovery Bible Journal Link:  Check out their good work here: Homeless Shelter in Atlanta – Atlanta Mission | Hope Lives Here

Are You in a Toxic Relationship? It is Time to Get Out

Listen to Episode 50 of the Welcome to Your Life! Midlife Made Easier Podcast: Are you in a toxic relationship? It is time to get out

Toxic relationships are not found only in personal relationships.  Toxic relationships can plague your personal life, friendships, and work.  A toxic relationship is defined as “ a toxic relationship is a relationship characterized by behaviors on the part of the toxic partner that are emotionally and,  not infrequently, physically damaging to their partner.” 

Personally, you may long to be in a relationship, but not all relationships are created equal. Some relationships cause more grief than they are worth. While being alone can be disappointing, it can be preferable to being in a toxic relationship.

Whether you are examining your professional or private life, ask yourself if the relationship enhances your life or makes it more challenging. Why?  Because you deserve the absolute best!

Toxic relationships can be challenging and hard to leave, especially in midlife.  You might be hoping that something will change, and you will not have to give up your paycheck or the person you love.  Regardless of how much pain this toxic relationship is causing you, losing your source of income or facing the world alone, even temporarily, can be frightening.

Today we will talk primarily about the signs of toxicity in your personal life, but I want to touch on how working in a toxic climate will affect you and give you steps to help you navigate a positive outcome for you.  We spend so much of our waking time working, and toxic relationships will destroy our productivity and our ability to collaborate with others.

 Signs that your workplace may be toxic:

“The Workplace Bullying Institute indicates that 19 percent of workers report they have been bullied at work. And 72 percent of the workforce are aware of it happening.”

Your workplace may be toxic if you dread going into work and you feel emotionally and physically drained by the end of the day.

Your productivity is suffering, and you are running out of sick and vacation days. 

There is a constant level of disrespect and lack of communication.

 You feel like there is a lack of support, and you are unsure if you can trust anyone, so you keep how you think to yourself.

Physical symptoms have emerged, such as sleepiness, anxiety, or stress-eating.

The atmosphere is so hostile that you feel unsafe.

Signs that you may be in a toxic personal relationship:

A consistent lack of trust. It does not matter whether you do not trust the other person, or they do not charge you. Relationships are incredibly draining when there is a pervasive lack of trust. There is never any peace.

You are forced to compromise your values regularly. When you are put in the position to live outside of the tenets you consider to be most important, your self-respect suffers.

Your partner is not supportive of your success. They say you find out who your real friends are during times of distress, but the same can be said of periods of success. It is not uncommon for friends and family to be unsupportive when you are doing well. The last thing you want is a partner that displays this type of behavior.

Dismissiveness. Is either of you dismissive toward the other? Your interests and projects should be respected. This works both ways. If you are dismissive of your partner, your relationship could be better.

Your partner is unreliable. If you cannot count on your partner, your life is more stressful than it needs to be, and your relationship is harming you.

Going somewhere else after work is more relaxing than going home. What is worse than spending a stressful day at work and deciding instead to go sit in a coffee shop alone than go home to your partner? It is nice to have a home that is an oasis from your everyday stressors.

A lack of affection. There is a lack of closeness when love wanes. Ask yourself why you no longer want to touch each other.

You resist confiding in your partner. When you have something sensitive to discuss, it would be nice to rely on your partner. If you find yourself hesitant to share, it could be a sign that your relationship is not healthy. Ideally, your partner is also your best friend.

The relationship is harmful to any children involved. Relationships should enhance the lives of the children. If your children are frightened or discouraged, these are warning signs.

You feel unsafe with your partner. No relationship is worth risking your safety. Make your health and well-being a priority in your life.

You can think of other people with whom you would rather be in a relationship. Do you find yourself wishing you could be in a relationship with a friend or coworker instead of with your current partner? Something is wrong if you imagine yourself with someone else.

I hope that you are not experiencing any of these symptoms and that your relationships are healthy, supportive, and a source of inspiration to you.

If you believe your relationships are toxic, do not be afraid to take the time to investigate further.  For both unhealthy personal and professional relationships

  • Be willing to seek professional help.
  • Start keeping a log of events, document emails, voicemails, and interactions with individuals.  This is especially important at work if you need to file a claim with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).
  • Work on building or rebuilding your self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Start activity to help you relieve the stress
  • You do not have to stay plan your exit strategy
  • Create your village, find supportive friends or coworkers who will be there to comfort and support you.

I hope that you are not experiencing any of these symptoms and that your relationships are healthy, supportive, and a source of inspiration to you. But, if they are not, it is time to step out of denial and save yourself.  A healthy relationship makes it easier to be at your best and pursue the dreams and goals that make you happy.

With Peace and Love,

Renee