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

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Dec 042020
 

How to Cultivate More Self-Compassion

Self-compassion has to do with being kind to yourself, rather than being critical and judgmental. There’s a difference between making a mistake and being a bad person. Research is showing that showing yourself compassion leads to less anxiety and depression, and more self-worth and happiness. Try these 5 ways to practice self-compassion and discover how much better your life can be.

10 Unmistakable Habits of Utterly Authentic People

To live authentically, you must own your actions and ensure that they align with your beliefs and needs. People who don’t feel uncomfortable and besmirched. Learn to become authentic through these specific habits you can develop.

You Need to Practice Being Your Future Self

Being busy is not the same as being productive. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running to a destination. They’re both running, but being busy is running in place. To be productive and move forward, ask, and answer, some of the simple questions in this article.

~ 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.

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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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Jul 132020
 
Sparks of Insight

“The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget.” –  Thomas S. Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry

Forgiving and then forgetting means that you don’t learn from the situation. You have no memory to warn you if the same situation is happening again. To best honor yourself, you can forgive the person, but remember their offense. This way, if you begin to notice a pattern, you can then decide what you need to do from a stronger position.

~ 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

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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

Sparks of Insight

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Feb 102020
 
Sparks of Insight

Remember the movie, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” with James Stewart and Donna Reed? He’s a man who believed that he lived an insignificant life. Until, that is, he had a vision of what the life of his small town would have been without him. And he discovered that he was important to the well-being and abundance of his environment. Everyone had been impacted by his existence. The same is true of you. You are necessary to the Universe to be right where you are. You perform valuable services for the Universe just by being you. Everything you do creates ripples in the pond of space and time and affects others, people you’ll probably never know, that might even last for generations. So believe in your own importance and significance.    

~ Linda-Ann Stewart

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Nov 252019
 

Woman with outstretched arms
7 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Gratitude That Will Motivate You To Give Thanks Year-Round
It’s that time of year where many people begin thinking about everything they have to be thankful for. Although it’s nice to count your blessings on Thanksgiving, being thankful throughout the year could have tremendous benefits on your quality of life. Developing an “attitude of gratitude” is one of the simplest ways to improve your satisfaction with life.

Five Myths about Gratitude
Does gratitude make us lazy? A naïve form of positive thinking? Robert Emmons, the world’s leading scientific expert on gratitude, debunks some common myths and misconceptions. Many of these misconceptions deter people from practicing gratitude—and reaping its many rewards.

14 Health Benefits of Practicing Gratitude According to Science
Through the work of leading researchers like Robert Emmons and Martin Seligman, we know that the virtue of gratitude is more than just saying, “thank you.” Studies offer insights into how a person can improve their overall happiness, health and well-being. In this article, you will discover that expressing gratitude reduces stress, increases optimism, and changes your brain and ways you can do it.

~ Linda-Ann Stewart