Feb 042021
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

I have always loved the 1927 poem by Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, and have done my best to live by its wisdom. I especially love the paragraph, “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” To me, this means treating myself kindly, loving myself and taking care of my needs, because I have worth by just being here.

Whenever I am tempted into some decision or behavior that isn’t for my well being, I pause. I ask myself questions like the following:

  • Is it going to contribute to my self-respect or erode it?
  • Do I need it or want it?
  • Does the behavior or decision support my goals?
  • Will the temptation be worth it, or will I regret it later on?

It’s not easy, but most of the time, I choose to avoid the lure of temptation and support my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs. (Full disclosure: I sometimes stay up too late at night watching a television program and regret it in the morning.)

Needs vs. Wants

Are you treating yourself well and addressing what you need for health and well being? Many people confuse taking care of their needs with indulging in what they want. Your wants may be old habits or ways of reacting. For instance, there’s a part of you that wants to eat that entire bag of chocolate candy, even though it’s bad for your health. The chocolate isn’t something you  need, it’s something you want. Giving into a chocolate binge is a short term tactic to satisfy a craving. The gratification lasts for only for a few minutes, and isn’t worth the risk of weight gain, cavities or self-reproach afterwards.

Instead, healthy eating habits are long term strategies to treat yourself kindly. You show yourself love by eating fruits, vegetables, protein and getting enough exercise. These are behaviors that are necessary for a healthy and happy life. They build self-respect and self-esteem. With self-love, you take actions that may make you uncomfortable, but you know will eventually bring you what you ultimately need and desire.

Your Relationships Improve

When you show up for your well being, you demonstrate that you value yourself. Your relationship with yourself improves because you think better of who you are. This attitude translates to your relationships with other people. Because you have self-love, you love others more deeply and have more to give to them.

As you treat yourself with care, you attract others who also treat you that way. If they don’t respect you, your sense of self-worth causes you to recognize they don’t belong in your orbit. This realization includes friends, clients and customers. Set boundaries and take actions to appropriately protect yourself against those who can’t appreciate you the way you deserve.

Forgiving Yourself

Treating yourself kindly also means to forgive yourself for any mistakes you might have made. They were simply learning exercises. Mistakes are how we learn and grow. But all too often, we chastise ourselves for infractions for far longer than we should. This can create a cycle of self-abuse that drags you down and keeps you stuck in the past. Systemic self-criticism also leads to other negative decisions that shred your love of yourself.  

Instead, once you learn the message a mistake has for you, any guilt from it has no further purpose. You don’t have to castigate yourself after you’ve made amends and set an intention not to repeat the error. Be gentle with yourself. Accept that you’re human and grow from the experience.

Demonstrate Your Love of Yourself

Self-love isn’t just a warm feeling about yourself. It also includes “a wholesome discipline,” as the poem says. When you demonstrate caring for yourself with actions, you prove how much you appreciate yourself. Treating yourself in a kind, gentle and loving way, and one that supports your worth, allows you to thrive and to fulfill your potential.

Affirmation:

The Universe recognizes my worth, because It put me here. I now accept my value and treat myself with respect. If I’ve made a mistake, I learn from it, forgive myself and move on. I attend to my needs, and support my health and well being. When I love myself, it translates into better decisions and actions.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation to Encourage Positive Actions.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.
Feb 032021
 

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Copyright © 1927 Max Ehrmann

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

The Kindness Paradox: Give Kindness and Receive Joy

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Dec 032020
 

by Linda-Ann Stewart

How do you feel when someone is kind to you? For instance, when a friend sends you a card, gives you a compliment or your spouse does the dishes for you. Don’t you feel uplifted? And how do you feel when you do something nice for someone else? Maybe you do an errand for a friend, call to see how they’re doing, or help a neighbor carry in her groceries. Don’t you feel a sense of satisfaction? And what if you see someone be generous to a stranger? Doesn’t that give you a warm glow and motivate you to do something considerate, too?

When you see, do, or are the recipient of kindness, it releases hormones that cause you to feel good, inspired and happy. It stimulates the reward centers of the brain. Within a few minutes the hormones have stopped flowing, but by remembering the action, you can recreate the joy. Kindness is like a pebble thrown into a pond, with the ripples extending outward and touching places unseen.

The Benefits of Kindness

The paradox of kindness and compassion is the benefits it brings to the one who acts, as well as the recipient. Not only do you impact the person you’re giving to, you’re receiving good feelings in return. Remember what your mother used to say, “It’s better to give than receive”? In this case, you receive far more than you give.

Showing kindness and compassion to others bestows the following on you:

  • You’re more attractive to others, personally and professionally.
  • People like and trust you more.
  • You’re more creative.
  • Your self-esteem and self-worth increases.
  • Your optimism and positive thinking grows.
  • You feel calmer and happier.
  • Your stress, pain, anxiety, depression and blood pressure reduces.

Kindness Can Be Challenging

Sometimes being kind can be challenging. There are people who irritate you and you may want to lash out at them. But you don’t know what has happened in their life that has caused them to be annoying. These are times when being altruistic and compassionate can have the best results. You may just change someone’s life, in addition to your own.  

For instance, consider being kind in the following conditions:

  • Smile and compliment the grouchy clerk. They might have had a bad day full of grumpy customers and it’s rubbed off on them.
  • Let the aggressive driver into the lane in front of you. They may be running late to an important appointment that could be vital to their well being.
  • Don’t complain when the elderly gentleman cuts ahead of you in line at the grocery store.  He may have mild dementia and not have even noticed you were there.

In difficult situations, consider what the other person might be dealing with that’s caused them to be rude. You’re not kind just for them. You do it for you, because it’s better for your health, mentally, physically and emotionally.

Focus on Kindness

The more you focus on being kind, the more you want to be kind. And the kinder you are, the more you’ll grow that area of your brain. Pure altruism brings you all the rewards mentioned and more. As you’re being kind to others, don’t forget to be kind and compassionate towards yourself. You deserve to be treated well, too, by yourself and others.

In the Christmas season, we focus on peace and goodwill towards others. Why can’t we have this spirit all year long? Think of the life we’d all have. It begins with each one of us being kind, on a daily basis. It’s a very simple mindset that takes on a joyful life of its own.

AFFIRMATION:

Whenever I have a choice of how to respond to a situation, I choose kindness. Kindness allows the spirit of the Universe to flow through me, blessing my life and the life I impact. I cultivate a generous spirit and compassionate attitude towards myself and others. I generate peace and goodwill towards all people, every day of the year.

Watch the accompanying video, Guided Meditation for Kindness.

As a vision strategist, hypnotherapist, and speaker, Linda-Ann Stewart helps women entrepreneurs and small business owners who feel stuck, immobilized and overwhelmed to to get clear, focused and on the fast track to the next level of their business. To achieve a 90-day goal more easily, sign up for her FREE comprehensive Strategic Vision blueprint at www.Linda-AnnStewart.com/setyourcourse.html. You can contact her at LAS@Linda-AnnStewart.com or 928-600-0452.

Sparks of Insight

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Sep 142020
 
Sparks of Insight

Some people object to boundaries, believing that they should accept the way other people treat them, no matter what. They have a mistaken belief that boundaries keep other people out. Boundaries actually give people a sense of security, knowing what is acceptable and what is not. Remember that the Universe has set boundaries for you. It’s called the Law of Cause and Effect. When you transgress, and do something less than enlightened, then you reap the consequences. It’s the same with the boundaries you have for other people. If they step over the line, then they get to experience the consequences. Boundaries don’t change other people, they just give them the opportunity to change the way they treat you.   

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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Sep 112020
 

9 Mindset Shifts That Will Help You Live Your Dream Life

Mindset is at the core of every success and blocks that you might have. It affects how you perceive the world and whether you feel capable of overcoming obstacles. You believe what you tell yourself and then act on those beliefs. To align your beliefs with your desired outcomes, use these strategies to shift your attitudes.

8 Strategies to Manage Overwhelming Feelings

When you feel overwhelmed, your mind shuts down and you can feel paralyzed. So you deal with what’s immediate, or escape to watch cat videos. Instead, use tactics such as taking a walk, breathing or gratitude. If those don’t work, try these tips to keep calm and carry on.

9 Signs You’re Dealing With an Emotional Manipulator

Emotional manipulators defy logic. They derive satisfaction from controlling you and creating chaos. They can cause you to doubt yourself and destroy your self-esteem. But you can learn how to spot them. When you do, trust yourself and stay away from them. They don’t want to be a positive force in your life.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Sparks of Insight

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Aug 172020
 
Sparks of Insight

Not everyone is going to approve of you, your opinions or your decisions. And that’s okay. There’s no way anyone can give you unconditional approval, no matter how much they love you. Remember the old saying, “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” (Abraham Lincoln) The same is true of approval. The best thing you can do for yourself and everyone else is to live up to your own values and please yourself.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Podcast Interview-Breakthrough & Thrive Summit

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Jun 162020
 

Last month, I was interviewed for Jamie Lynn Warber’s  Breakthrough & Thrive – Awaken Your Voice Summit. The summit empowered sexual abuse and trauma survivors to take charge of their power, healing and happiness. Jamie and I were connected through another podcast host and I jumped at the chance to reach these women with my message.

As a hypnotherapist and coach for 30 years, I’ve helped many sexual abuse survivors achieve their goals. Whether to heal from the trauma, break habits or improve their life, I discovered that they needed to improve their self-esteem to be successful. They had to come to realize that they deserved success before they could achieve it.

These women and this subject are very dear to my heart, as it is to Jamie Lynn’s, who is a sexual abuse survivor. She shared some of her story, which was touching and brave of her.  She’s incredibly heart-centered. In our discussion, we explored why self-esteem is necessary to be successful.  I also gave several strategies and exercises that listeners can use to raise their self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

It was a delightful discussion. I enjoyed talking with her so much. Even after the interview, we continued chatting for almost an hour, sharing our philosophies, perspectives and experiences. I remain in touch with her, and hope to be on future summits of hers. For now, I keep in touch with her Facebook page, Arise Empowered, LLC. If you’re a sexual abuse and/or trauma survivor, I recommend you check it out.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Podcast Interview by Beverly Zeimet

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May 192020
 

Recently, I was honored to be interviewed on a podcast by Beverly Zeimet. She’s the owner of the Identity Revelation Network, helping you to find the real you, your true purpose in life and build your self-esteem, self-worth and all parts of the self. Her podcast, Being the Best You … You Can BE with Beverly Zeimet, has been interviewing people to help viewers get past their limitations and fulfill their potential.

Beverly and I have known each other for some time. Our interview covered my coaching system which helps people develop an empowered mindset and a consistent focus to achieve their vision of success. She had some great points to make, such as discipline isn’t a bad word. Discipline has to do with respect, both self-respect and respect for others. We had a wonderful conversation, and I had a great time with her.

At one point, my internet froze. That’s one of the challenges of living in Northern Arizona. But we just waited a few seconds until it unfroze, and took up the conversation again. I hope you enjoy this interview, and come away with some tips that can help you in your success.

If you’d like to watch more of Beverly’s podcasts, like her on Facebook or her YouTube channel.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

Trending Articles of the Week

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May 012020
 
Stressed businessman

Being busy is killing our ability to think creatively

As a society, we’re addicted to our phones, which constantly keeps our attention engaged. This is antithetical to creativity and innovation, which needs space to breathe. Instead of wiring your brain for distraction, experiment with the four strategies this article suggests to unplug so you can be open to new ideas.   

Psychology and Neuroscience Blow-Up the Myth of Effective Multitasking

People fool themselves into thinking they’re more productive when they multitask because it’s so satisfying. Instead, you’re wasting precious focus and energy. This article highlights specifically how multitasking impairs efficiency and productivity.  

Self-Talk and Self-Compassion

The more we remain openhearted to ourselves the more available we are to others. We must first become our own best friend so that we are better poised to make a difference in our lives and the lives of others and ultimately impact the greater good for all. Use the strategies in this article to improve your relationship with yourself.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Apr 182020
 

5 Powerful Mindset Shifts to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

When you care about what other people think, they will always have power over you. Other people’s opinions have nothing to do with you and you’ll never be able to please everyone. Using the mindset shifts in this article will allow you to live more authentically and reclaim your power.

Feeling Insecure? 6 Tips To Quiet Your Inner Critic

The voice in your head constantly comments on what and how you’re doing. But instead of being objective, most of the time it’s negative and holds you back. You don’t have to give it so much power over you. You can tame it with these tactics.

13 Simple Habits to Cultivate Self-Compassion

Many times we’re more compassionate towards others than we are to ourselves. It’s time to show the same kindness you have for others and show it to yourself. When you exhibit self-compassion towards yourself, your perception of yourself and your life will change. Practice just a few of these tips and notice how your life improves.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart