t.g.i.Friday – Can You Hear Me Now?

Can you hear me now?

I have to confess that I have never actually read Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love Languages, but I have seen him in interviews and done the online test, and have found it extremely helpful. For those not familiar with it, he says that people "speak love" in different languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. You can check out the webpage for more detail.  

The thing about these languages is the same as if one partner is speaking English and the other is speaking Greek.

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tgiF – I Can See Clearly Now

I Can See Clearly Now

I got new glasses this week. They are “progressives”, so that means I can see near and far without having to lift my glasses to peer down at the fine print. Now with a tilt of my head, I look out through the bottom half of the lens and things come into focus. Ummm, sounds like a column to me.

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t.g.i.F – ​A Word to the “Whys” and story telling

A Word to the “Whys” and story telling

Anyone who has spent time with children knows that they are very “whys” creatures. They hit a certain age and they want to know the why of everything. We start off patiently replying to their questions, but after a while, we often shut them out with the standard “just because!” I remember when my oldest son was about 4 years old, and he keep asking my husband the why of something, and Ray, finally exasperated, picked up my mother’s colourful address book and said “because it’s in the book, that’s why”. Apparently, this satisfied Sean’s curiosity, at least for a little while.

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t.g.i.Friday – Let It Be

LET IT BE

Not gonna lie, this has been a helluva week. I kept putting off writing this column because I just didn’t know where to start, especially after the whole “change your thoughts” column last week. But then I figured the reason I’m doing this in the first place is to help people to think, grow and inspire, so I just sat down and let the words come.

You see, I am a sponge. I soak up people’s energy, good or bad. I try to be a waterfall, and just let emotions run over me, but I’m not. I am a sponge, and this week I have reached maximum absorption. There’s not one more drop that I could take in, so much so that if you looked at me, you could see the puddle of emotional waters dripping off around me. This is not new for me. I started getting migraine headaches at 7 years old, soaking up the stress that was all around me, that no one would talk about. 

Everyone pretending things were fine. These headaches continued through most of my life when stress would overwhelm me, and I would be flat out in bed, sleeping it away. Nowadays I often carry the pain in my stomach, having “gut feelings” about situations that are not going so well.

On my way to the gym yesterday “Let it Be” came on the radio and I cried. Then last night I was a business dinner and the speaker referenced the song. So last night, after another day of stomach pain and emotional pain and just being overwhelmed and feeling guilty about feeling this way, I broke down in tears, and sobs, and I wrung out that sponge. My husband held me in his arms as I let go of the pain. I didn’t wake up this morning all better and ready to move on. I had to remind myself to not take the pain back again, and to do that many times throughout the day. Things are getting better, and I am feeling the shift in my emotional state. 

I don’t tell you this to get your sympathy. I’m just saying that we have all been there, and we will be there again. I’m just saying that even though I have read the books, done the work and advise others all the time, sometimes things happen that bring you to your knees. Not every day is going to be roses and sunshine, and the most important lessons are often learned the hard way. What I have learned over this last week is to take responsibility for my actions and thoughts and feelings and to lean on the people who are in my life. Most important is that caring about people does not mean that you have to hold their pain. 

My wish for us all this week is that we move forward with love for ourselves, and that we learn and grow and just Let It Be. 

~ Michelle 

Find more of Michelle's columns HERE

tgiF – Think About It

Think About It

“There is nothing good nor bad, but thinking makes it so”—William Shakespeare

“Change your thoughts, Change your life”—Wayne Dyer

“thoughts become things” –Kai Greene

Sounds like the start of a joke, “A playwright, a self help guru and a bodybuilder walk into a bar…” Three men who on the surface would have nothing in common. However, as these quotes show, they all believe(d) in the power of our thoughts to create our reality.

I admit, that I do not always choose the thoughts that move me forward into a more enlightened state. As with many things, when situations and life experiences are going well, I am a fountain of encouragement and positivity, but when I get overwhelmed or take on other people’s pain and hold it as my own, well, not so much with the happy me. The funny (as in ironic, not haha) thing is that those are the times when I need to remember these quotes and apply them.

Here’s an example. You wake up in the morning and it’s raining. Is that good or bad? Well if it’s the first day of your vacation and you had planned a day at the beach, then it could be bad. If you are a gardener who has been waiting for rain to help water your plants, then it could be good. In reality, it is neither. It’s just rain. You could be upset that you “can’t go to the beach”, but that’s not true. You can still go. The experience might be different than you had planned, but that doesn’t mean it would be bad. You could be glad that your plants are getting water, or it could turn out that there was so much rain that it washed away the seeds you had planted.

The point is, that choosing the thoughts we have about things over which we have no control, takes a conscious effort, and lots of practice, and lots of forgiveness for ourselves and others when we slip. By reframing our perspective on situations that occur and just accepting it as it is, we actually create a situation in which we do have control. The control over our own thoughts and reality.

So how do we do that? One thing we can do when faced with “bad news” is to just say, “it’s okay.” Not, sometime in the future it will be okay, but present tense, right now, it’s okay. This helps to shift the thought process from a negative position and helps move the body from fight or flight response, to relaxation. No matter what happened, if you are breathing and have a pulse, it’s okay. Be grateful for that, and take a deep breath and then look at what steps you will take to move forward.

Something else that may help, is to acknowledge your feelings about the situation. So often we mask our feelings by saying “I’m fine”, when it really isn’t. You can feel mad, sad, angry, happy or excited and you should. If it rained on beach day, you should acknowledge that you are sad about it, but then say, it’s okay, and start to look at other options. You can go another day, you can go anyway, and experience swimming in the ocean while it’s raining. J No sunburns that day! No crowds to fight through! Just don’t let the situation dictate how you react, choose your thoughts.

So this week, think good thoughts, and if you’d like, please share your experience with us. Until next week, tgiF!

~Michelle