Taming Your Inner Brat

Let me share something about my buying habits— I’m pretty selective about my purchases.  I won’t buy the first thing I see and I never make impulse decisions. I’m the type of buyer that mulls things over and over before I get out my credit card. Well, usually.

 

I recently attended a fashion show fundraiser.  During the show, I made a mental note of a dress that I liked, but assumed it would be out of my budget range.  At the completion of the show, I strolled around the vendor tables to see if I could spy the runway dress. As I turned the corner and looked up, I saw a young woman holding THE dress up and talking to her friends excitedly.  When I approached her, she shared with me how much she loved the dress and just had to have it. The boutique owner chimed in and stated that there were only two pieces left of that particular style and absolutely no inventory left at her store.

 

Immediately, I decided that I had to have this dress! I tried to control my excitement while the girl went off to try it on.  I hovered around the table anxiously waiting for her to return, secretly hoping that she only fit into the bigger size. She came back and decided to buy the smaller size. Disappointed, I searched for alternate solutions to my dilemma. I ran to the lounge to try on the bigger size— I rationalized that it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I bought the dress a little too big.

 

As I put the dress over my head and looked in the mirror, I felt a huge rush of adrenaline shoot through my body. The dress fit perfect! I ran back out and couldn’t give the owner my credit card quick enough.  Boy, was I excited about making my purchase!

 

Dr. Pauline Willan, a Psychologist and author of ”Taming your Inner Brat” cites three specific reasons why you can get hung up on wanting what you can’t have.

 

1. You pay more attention to and can become fixated upon what you CAN’T have in life.  This “thing” might begin to feel much more important than it actually is.

 

2. When something is scarce or in short supply its perceived value increases. You may begin to believe that if other people want this item so badly, then you should want it also. Think about some of our past Christmas seasons and the toy of the year.

 

3. You often want what you can’t have due to “Psychological Resistance”. This refers to your desire to not be controlled by others.  A good example of this is when you’re on a diet and your husband reminds you 7 times a day that you shouldn’t eat the cake in the kitchen because it’s not on your diet.  These comments from your husband might lead you directly back to the piece of cake.  No one likes to be told what they can and can’t do.

 

Give some thought to your own life. Have you ever obsessed over something or someone that you just had to have? Next time you’re chasing that thing or person, do a reality check.

Learning (and Unlearning) Experiences

My pug Miles and I were thoroughly enjoying our walk when we ran into a neighbor and her puppy.  The puppy was twice the size of Miles, but that never bothered Miles before. In his head, Miles thinks he’s the size of a Great Dane.  The two dogs had never met before, so we let them sniff each other and become acquainted.

 

It wasn’t long before the two of them started playing and running circles around each other.  It also wasn’t long before our two leashes were wrapped around the dogs and us.  As they became out of control and totally tied up, the other playful dog had Miles in a position where he couldn’t move. There was no slack on the leash and the puppy, totally in control, had him down on the ground. That’s when Miles, the always even-tempered, happy-go-lucky Pug became the devil dog.

 

Miles definitely made the first move and attacked. While he had been playing a minute ago, now he was growling and ferociously trying to bite.  The puppy reciprocated with the same behavior as we tried to control the situation.  I apologized profusely as I pulled my growling pug off the dog.  At that moment I felt like a mom that was apologizing for my son’s bad behavior.

 

As I left the scene of the crime and continued walking, I thought about the incident. I hadn’t ever witnessed that behavior before and I was perplexed. Miles was the most unaggressive animal on the planet. Everyone knows that Pugs, by nature, are not aggressive dogs.  And then it occurred to me.  Less than a year ago, we were taking a walk when a dog sitting in his own yard suddenly lunged at Miles.  He hardly saw it coming, and neither did I. It was terrifying to both of us. A couple hours later, I realized that he had a rather large wound and he ended up in surgery.

 

Even though Pugs have absolutely wonderful temperaments, Miles had learned a valuable lesson from the incident.  He now knew that he needed to be on his guard with every dog because they couldn’t be trusted.  His brain was now imprinted to approach each dog interaction with wariness and high alert; chances are, they will attack. Therefore, he now knew that at the first inclination of aggressiveness, he needed to attack to survive.  Biology ruled this interaction.

 

Why am I sharing this with you?  Human brains process fearful situations in a similar way.  If you have experienced a situation from the past where you felt seriously threatened, that information has been stored away for future use. Your brain has imprinted this experience so you can protect yourself in the future.

 

So now I want you to think about your own life.  Have you ever been in a bad relationship that ended in a hurtful manner?  If you have, you probably had difficulty trusting and believing in a new relationship because of those old feelings popping up. Maybe it was the pain and trauma of being fired from a job that left your emotions raw. Because of it, you no longer can view your new employer in the same trusting manner. The truth is that you will never go back to that original person that you trusted so blindly.  You’ve had an experience that has changed you forever.  Instinctively, you now scan for clues to make sure that your situation is safe.

 

But here’s the good news.  Unlike Miles, you are not tied to your instinctual behavior.  You can recognize your behavior and learn to question your actions.  You can make sense of your reactions and remind yourself that you don’t have to respond in such an intense, aggressive manner.

 

The bottom line is that you’re lucky. Unlike Miles, you can choose how you want to view the world and react to your surroundings. You can move forward in life and change the way you think. Do it!

The Gift of Kindness

Every single time I do my grocery shopping, I seem to end up in the same checkout lane.  The first time I went through, I noticed that the young man ringing me up didn’t acknowledge me— he just focused on the groceries and did his job.  I have to admit; I felt irritated with his lack of acknowledgement since I’m a big believer in customer service. When it came time to pay, he looked up at me and read the total purchase amount.  That’s when I made the realization that he was hearing impaired. I immediately felt remorse for my hasty judgments.

 

As weeks went by, I became used to seeing this young man during my shopping trip. The experience was always the same; he was a man of few words but did a very thorough and quick job.

 

A few days ago, I went to the same store to do my shopping and proceeded to the checkout lane.  However, this time I noticed a woman working my lane.  When I edged closer to the front, I noticed that the young man was now bagging the groceries. Why wasn’t he working the register anymore?  I immediately searched for reasons why they would have moved him from checking out to bagging.  Did people complain about the experience?  The woman had to help a clerk two lanes down, so the young man jumped in to take over her responsibilities. When she came back, he quietly moved back to bagging.

 

The woman thanked him for taking over and he nodded. I felt compelled to say something.  As he looked up for a minute, I told him how thorough and unbelievably quick he was at his job. He looked me directly in my eyes and then smiled from ear to ear.  He didn’t lose his smile while he focused on bagging my groceries with renewed passion and energy.  It was not lost on me that he was working even harder to please me. When he finished bagging, he looked directly at me, waiting, hoping for another compliment.  Of course, I gave him one.

 

You see, usually I focus on watching my groceries being rung up. It’s Sunday, I’m tired, and I truly don’t want to think or say much. I’m thinking about other things and frankly, I’m off the clock.  I’m sure many of you can relate to this.  However, on this particular day, I looked into the eyes of someone that desperately needed some validation.  Today, I scanned the face of someone that just needed the affirmation that, in the whole scheme of things, the work they do truly does matter.  Their work has value.

 

We often underestimate our own power to make a change in the world around us.  Can we really make an impression in someone’s life with just a comment or a look? Can we really make a difference in someone’s universe in a couple minutes of time? The answer is yes.

 

This holiday season, don’t get so bogged down by shopping, entertaining, and gift-wrapping that you miss the true point. Make someone’s day with the best gift you can give— your kindness.

Happiness Thermostat

My husband insists on putting the thermostat down as low as possible in the summer AND the winter.  In the summer, he wants the rooms as chilly as possible and in the winter, he’s comfortable in a cool room. I’m the polar opposite of him.  In the winter, I’m constantly freezing and want the heat up as high as possible.  In the summer, I’m constantly freezing in air conditioning and don’t want cold air blowing on me. Apparently, my internal thermostat is quite different than his.

 

Our “happiness thermostat” also couldn’t be more opposite. My happiness thermostat is set on “happy” 97% of all the days of the year.  When I dip from that set point, I bounce back fairly quick.  I’m sorry to say that the same can’t be said about him.  There are dramatic ups and downs from day to day and I don’t see anything close to my degree of happiness.  He has a more subdued feeling that probably translates to “life is pretty good but I don’t want to say it’s great because something could happen to change that and then I would be VERY unhappy”.

 

According to a happiness theory, each one of you has a distinct set point of happiness.  You hover back and forth around that set point but you basically stay in that specific range your whole life.  In a society that is obsessed with finding happiness, it’s important to think about this bit of information I just shared.  Looking back on your life, do you see the pattern of your happiness?  Of course there’s ups and downs when you hit some trying times in your life, but basically, day to day, what is your happiness thermostat set on?

 

Why are there people that have very few material possessions, yet are able to find a way to be happy? How do they find happiness when the odds are stacked against them? Don’t they know how miserable they should be? On the other hand, I’ve seen women that look like they possess everything that they would ever desire in life and yet they’re still miserable. They’re terribly unhappy and they search for the “thing” that will bring them happiness.

 

Maybe part of the problem is how we view happiness.  If you view happiness in life as a constant state of bliss, you may be getting closer to why you’re not “finding it”.  Life isn’t all about one perfect, fabulous day after another. There are days that are trying, stressful and hard work but you can still be happy. Not that “crazy with excitement” happy, but an “I am satisfied and appreciate life and everyone in it” happy.

 

There is a need for us to permanently change our way of thinking about that five-letter word. Accept that there are going to be down times in your life when you’re sad. Sad doesn’t mean depressed.  There’s a big difference between sad and depressed and our society often forgets that. Depressed is a serious condition while sad is an important universal feeling that all of us come to know now and then. Between you and me, I think we live in a society that’s terrified of being sad.  We’ll do anything to feel “happy” again.  Readjust your thinking on this and get comfortable with knowing you can feel sad in a situation and it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a part of life.

 

I hope you’re thinking about your own thermostat and how you can make some positive changes that will help you find a place of happiness. That ecstatic blissed out feeling happens now and then in your life, but that feeling of appreciation for being alive, that satisfaction with your family and friends— that’s the “happy” you need to come to expect in your life.

A Lasting Impression

Have you ever given thought to the feeling you leave behind, after you’ve spent time with someone?

 

Think about what Maya Angelou said so eloquently, “ I learned that people will forget what you said, will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

 

Last year, I was having lunch at a small deli with my husband.  I was enjoying my time when I noticed two women that were being seated near us.  I looked directly at one woman and immediately, a horrible feeling came over me.  I knew this woman looked familiar to me but couldn’t place her in my life.  What I knew was this— the moment she walked in, her presence made me very uncomfortable.

 

In my head, I searched for meaning. Who was this woman that elicited such strong, negative feelings from me? How strange it was that I would feel so much but remember so little!  I sifted through my brain to make sense of my strong reaction to her presence.  She smiled at me with some recognition but I still could not place the memory.  I actually felt guilt for feeling such strong negative feelings about someone that smiled at me!  Her presence interrupted my lunch and I had difficulty eating the rest of my meal. My husband could sense the change in my mood.

 

It took me two arduous hours of racking my brain to make the connection before I finally got it. Eventually, I had a memory flash of being in school, working on my Masters.  I saw this woman standing in the front of the class and explaining the very difficult project for the quarter.  I saw everyone squirming in their seats when she made it so clear how this one project would predict our whole grade for the class. The problem was that she made it so very difficult to ask her any questions as to what she truly wanted.

 

I also remember waiting for her to come into the classroom (apparently she was running late) and feeling uncomfortable that I needed to ask her if I could get into one of her other classes.  As she came in, I wanted to grab her attention before she started class. I walked up to her and began to ask my question.  She didn’t let me finish my sentence but barked for all to hear, “the least you can do is let a person get to their desk before you start attacking them”.  I was embarrassed and felt like a 6-year-old child.  I ended up not asking her whether I could get into her class.

 

With expectations always high for this professor, I was terrified to turn in the huge end-of-quarter project.  I was shocked to get my paper back— she had given me an almost perfect score (unheard of) and had added a paragraph as to how she was so impressed. The funny thing is, you’d think the results of my project would negate all those bad feelings. Not even a little bit!

 

Yes, I was left with the feeling that the woman enjoyed making me and others feel uncomfortable.  I was left with the feeling that she needed to control and intimidate everyone that she came across in her life.  The feeling that I just didn’t want to be around her— then and now.  Honestly, I don’t remember all the words she used but I remember how she made me and others feel inside.  Apparently, enough that I didn’t remember her— all I remembered was the feeling.

 

So I ask you to think about this— what feeling do you leave in the air after you spend time with someone?  Is it a feeling of hope, kindness, and authenticity?  Is it a feeling of trust, sincerity, and integrity?  Because the truth is that even when others might not remember the words you used, the emotion you made them feel will be etched in their memory forever.

 

 

Making Time

I was talking with someone in a bookstore a couple weeks ago and the topic turned to losing weight.  She was sharing how she knew that she needed to eat right and workout, but she just didn’t have the time.  She had two kids, a part-time job and a husband— this kept her very busy. She even went as far as to share her daily schedule with me to prove her point.  Yes, she was very busy, but that really isn’t the point. You know why? Because the truth is that we make time for things in life that are a priority to us.

 

I’ll bet that there’s part of her that really doesn’t want to exercise.  Maybe she’s stuck in a rut or maybe she enjoys sleeping in late in the morning.  It could be that it just doesn’t bother her enough to take action. On an intellectual level, she knows that it would be healthy for her to start an exercise regime.  However, on an emotional level, she just isn’t ready to take action.  Regardless of why, the fact that she’s busy is nothing more than an excuse.  Making the change is just not that high on her priority list.

 

When I walked in my backyard 30 minutes ago, I was shocked to see my tomato plant wilting. The leaves on the bottom half of the plant were turning brown and it was slightly tilting to the right.  My hydrangea was wilted and the flowers were curling up.  The petunias that always thrive in their beds didn’t look so hot. When I walked around front, I noticed that my two pots with planted begonias by the front door were beyond hope.  I was stunned.

 

I immediately looked for reasons this could have occurred.  Is it possible that there’s something wrong with the soil?  Could it be that I bought “bad plants” this year?  It must be the extreme heat that’s affecting my plants. Yes, that’s it. I decided that it must be the heat.  I’m sure that the plants are just getting way too much sun.

 

I went back to my desk to work and then it occurred to me.  Maybe I was just like my new friend in the bookstore. I’m unhappy with my circumstances in life, so I’m searching for something that takes the heat off of me. If I blame it on the plants, then I don’t need to take responsibility for the consequence.  The bottom line is this, the plants were dying because I wasn’t giving them the care and time that they needed.  I wasn’t making my plants a priority.

 

I guess it always goes back to the same point— the way to move ahead in life is by being honest with YOU.  By being truthful about the issues with my horticulture, I’m able to face the fact that I need to reassess what I want to make important in my life.  So what about you? Have you been guilty of that overused excuse that you don’t have time?  Is it honestly a priority for you?  Give it some though

A Girl Scout (Cookie) Lesson

I was chatting with some neighbors in my cul-de-sac the other night. The discussion began, of course, with a diatribe about the hot weather we were experiencing and quickly moved to other subjects. Somehow, the topic then turned to Girl Scouts when one of the mothers’ mentioned that her daughter would not be selling cookies next year.

 

I asked the young girl how many boxes of cookies she had sold the previous year and she replied that she had sold 150 boxes. The mom immediately shared that her daughter hadn’t sold most of them. She then went into an explanation about how she and her husband had worked hard to sell the majority of the cookies at their jobs. With the young girl present, she stated that she and her husband had done most of the work. Laughing, I reminded mom that she and dad had chosen to do most of the work.

 

After the conversation, I started thinking about my own Girl Scout experience. I remember receiving my cookie form and being determined to sell the most cookies in the troop. I went from door to door all through the neighborhood until I had exhausted the area. Once I saw the number of cookies adding up, I felt energized to sell more. I asked my mom for a copy of the Sunday School Directory and I spent hours poring over the list, and painstakingly calling each family on the list. I couldn’t leave voicemail messages, so I would keep track of who wasn’t answering and call back later or the next day. The point is this: I pretty much hounded the families until I got them on the phone and they said yes.

 

My mother and father were both employed, but I don’t recall either one taking my Girl Scout cookie list to work with them. They had enough on their plate — they didn’t need my responsibilities in addition to their own. It wouldn’t have occurred to them to even try to assist me in this endeavor since it was my responsibility. They bought quite a few boxes and that’s where their job ended. Frankly, I don’t remember them telling me how to sell, what to say or even monitoring where I was selling. I had to make my own decisions, figure out what worked and finesse my own sales approach.

 

That year was a life-changing year for me. It was the first time it had occurred to me that I had selling skills. Not only that, but I also learned that I was quite creative in my approaches to selling more cookies. It helped me get over the fear of talking to people I didn’t know and engaging them in conversation. I refined my communication skills and learned how to listen to people. It gave me the experience of working toward and achieving my goal. On top of all that, I gained problem-solving skills, making it a huge boost to my self-esteem and sense of independence.

 

Looking back, I am thankful that my parents allowed me to OWN this experience. I am disappointed that this young girl didn’t have the same opportunity. So, this is what I want you to think about: the next time you jump to help your daughter, son, husband, sister, or friend— give it some thought. Will assisting them move them closer toward their own goals or YOUR goals? Do they have more to gain in the long term if you stand back and let them navigate on their own? The bottom line is this: women learn and grow from their own experiences, regardless of whether they succeed or fail in the experience. Allow them to do it on their own and GROW

Four Friendship Feeding Habits

 

We were out to dinner with good friends last week, enjoying happy hour with sake and sushi. My friend relayed to the waitress what she wanted for dinner, and ended her order with, “I would like extra ginger please.” I looked up at her and smiled. You know why? Because my good friend ordered that for me — she knows that I always enjoy extra ginger with my sushi. I happen to think that makes her an awesome friend and definitely a keeper. That small action inspired this week’s blog; I realized that there are certain habits that feed your friendships.

 

Go out of your way to make your friends feel special. I know this is difficult when you’re juggling so many responsibilities in your life. You probably often feel like you can’t fit any more on your plate, emotionally or logistically! However, as crazy as it seems, that one moment when she ordered the ginger for me made me feel special. It meant that she pays attention to what makes me happy and she was thinking of me. Trust me, she has plenty to keep her busy right now in her own life. But somehow, in that moment, she was able to completely focus on our friendship.

 

Mean it when you say that you forgive and forget. There are women that verbalize that they forgive but don’t let truly go in their heart. They hold on to things in their close relationships and it eventually negatively impacts the relationship. It simmers beneath the surface and when the friendship hits rocky waters, the incident from many years ago comes spewing out of their mouth. Are you guilty of this? Please try to remember that forgiving someone truly means forgiving and moving on. Acknowledge your hurt or anger, work through the emotions and move on.

 

Listen to your friend and validate their feelings. When your friend is sharing a problem with you, you most likely want them to feel better. This could lead to you trying to “fix” the problem for them. However, usually what they want and need is for you to listen and validate that you understand what they are going through. With our busy lives, it’s sometimes hard to truly listen to someone. To be an active listener requires you to focus all of your attention and energy on that one task; however, it is well worth it. A point to remember during this process is to leave judgment out of the equation. True friends don’t judge; they let their friends know that they support them. Your friend might just need to share the problem in order to come to her own conclusions.

 

Be there for your friend in the good times and the bad. Let’s be honest here. Sometimes, it’s easier for us to be there for our friends when they’re down than it is when everything is going stellar for them. You know why? It’s a little thing called jealousy. It grabs a hold of you and it’s hard to shake. At times it’s downright embarrassing to us but at some point, it happens to everyone. Here’s a tip: acknowledge your feelings and work through them. It is normal to feel envy when your life is having a downturn and your friend’s life is soaring. Accept your feelings and move on. Eventually, the tables will be turned and you will appreciate the support.

 

I believe we all can agree that our friendships are very, very important to us. I encourage you to take an honest look at YOU and your friendships and make the changes needed to be an exceptional friend.

Living in the NOW!

This week, I had the exact same conversation with two different women who both had just returned from their summer vacations. I asked each one if they were rested and ready to get back to work and they gave me the very same answer, “I wish I had enjoyed my vacation more without feeling stressed and thinking too much about things.” I don’t know about your motive to go on vacation but mine is to enjoy myself and have fun. I want to be fully present in the moment of NOW!

 

Have you ever watched a group of children playing outside? They totally get the whole living in the moment concept! When I went for a walk last night, I became entranced watching these two little girls playing in the front of their house.  The one girl was wearing her pink shirt with matching flowered shorts and hot pink cowboy boots.  The other one had a head full of curls and a brightly colored dress on with neon Converse athletic shoes.  They ran and climbed with abandon, laughing and giggling as they played. Each was fully present, never planning what came next in their adventure together.

 

If only we could channel some of their mindfulness— their ability to be fully present and live each moment as it unfolds.  Their innate skill to enjoy so completely without giving thought to time or commitments. I believe each one of us can retrain our brains to live fully present in today.  Here are a few tips to help you live life in the moment.

 

Take part in an activity that reminds you of your childhood. You know, the activity that you feel is not appropriate for mature, responsible adults! A couple of years ago, I went on a trip to Florida to visit my sister.  The two of us spent the days lying out by the pool reading our books. Built into the middle of the pool was an extensive slide system that twisted and turned and ended up on a completely different side. I watched as all the kids took turns enjoying the ride, screaming the whole way.  There was no one over the age of 12 that attempted the slide.  Finally, I insisted to my sister that she go with me.  “I just washed my hair— you go if you want to go”.  After much pleading and begging, I pulled her from the chair and pushed her into the water.  To say she was irritated with me is an understatement.  Angry, she went down the slide with me, screaming the whole way.  She splashed in the water and said, “let’s go again”.  The whole time, she acted like she was doing me a favor but I knew better. She was having a blast and completely in the moment.

 

Make an effort to not be regretting the past, or worrying about the future-just live NOW. So many of us waste time ruminating about what has already transpired in life.  What a waste of time! You can’t change the past. Learn from it and move on. On the other hand, worrying about what could happen is a complete waste of your energy.  The most important piece to remember is this; while you’re worrying, regretting and fretting, you’re missing the opportunity to live completely now.  You’re missing out on what’s happening around you in the present and losing an opportunity to thoroughly enjoy your time today. The key to controlling this bad habit is to catch you while it is happening.  Call yourself out on this behavior and say out loud, “I choose to live my life NOW”.  It might not work the first or second time you try it, but slowly you will see a shift.  You will take notice of how much time you devote to this destructive behavior.

 

I don’t know about you, but I want to be the little girl with the flowered shorts and the hot pink cowboy boots. I want to enjoy life and find joy in every moment.  So if you see me wasting precious time worrying or fretting, please call me out on this. Let’s all live in the NOW.

 

 

Addressing Doubts

It happened last night. I had that dream again. You know, the one that signals that there’s something going on in my life I need to address. It’s the dream that keeps reoccurring again and again. Maybe the characters and settings are different from the last time, but the basic premise is the same.

 

I’m unsure of my age, but I’m definitely back in high school. I sense the familiar smell of thousands of adolescents crammed into a building. I visually see the same old hallways and the stairs that take me down to the first floor. Even my best high school friend, Sally, is there with me. We’re standing at her locker and chatting with a group of girls. Sally offers to put my books in her locker so we can leave for a class program in the auditorium.

 

Somehow, I become separated from Sally and I have no idea how to get to the program in the auditorium. I walk quickly through the halls, frantically searching for the room. I run up and down the stairs looking for my friends and for the place I am supposed to be. I’m required to attend the program and I certainly don’t want to be separated from everyone else! Ready to give up, I decide I should just retrieve my books and go home. However, I can’t get my books because they are locked in Sally’s locker. I stare at her locker feeling stressed and out of control. What I need is right before my eyes, but I just can’t get to it.

 

Even when you don’t think things are on your mind, your brain is always busy. At night while you sleep, your subconscious is attempting to work out all the issues and minutiae from the day’s activities. It’s trying to make sense of the emotional stress and unresolved feelings. Don’t underestimate what you can learn from your dreams. Take them at face value and look for themes and patterns.

 

No, it doesn’t mean I want to be in high school. What it does mean is that high school was a stressful time for me. I still remember those feelings I had during those years. The reoccurring theme in the dream is not being able to find the room on time. I’ve lived this dream many times over with only the setting changing: occasionally high school, sometimes college, and often an early job. As for the piece of the story where I’m so close to my books but can’t retrieve them? That’s where I see my present hopes and dreams becoming clearer, but I still can’t touch them.

 

You know the part of your life journey where you finally make the decision to move on a new change, job, or project? The beginning is so exciting and inspirational because you have finally decided to move forward. You no longer have inertia and you are energized to be moving toward a goal. The middle of your journey is a different story. That’s the time where you feel the anxiety and stress. That is when those thoughts start to creep into your consciousness and you begin to doubt yourself. Just maybe you are not capable of everything you THINK you are capable of in life. One bad thing happens and you wonder if you should take it as evidence that the whole thing is just not going to work. You were wrong and maybe a little crazy too.

 

My dream is a reflection of all the negative thoughts that I try to keep at bay during this journey. It’s all the things I try to stuff down, yet they’re simmering right beneath the surface. That dream is my vulnerability showing.

 

We all have our doubts and our questions as to whether we can accomplish what we have set out to accomplish. That middle part of the journey is definitely the hardest part. It’s OK to acknowledge your doubts during this time, but keep moving forward. Just put one foot in front of each other and keep focusing on the goal.