Each morning, I wake up and do my morning ritual.  I stretch my body and connect to God.  I read the scriptures and I feed myself positive energy.  And then I step into the bathroom and see the scale in the corner.  I have stepped on that scale thousands of times.   You know how it goes, you have been there too.  I step on the scale, willing it to be nice. “Be nice! Please just be a number I can deal with.”  “Go down!” I plead, especially if I ate the “right ways” the day before.  “What?!!!  I only had green smoothies, a bit of grilled chicken, salad, and healthy stuff all day long!  I didn’t eat too much or not enough.  I was nearly perfect! I used my Slim and Sassy!  What is wrong with me? I hate the scale!”  And then sometimes I would step right back on the scale to see if it would now respond the way I expected and wanted it to.  But that darn scale has a mind of its own.  It doesn’t hear my pleadings and it certainly doesn’t obey my commands to please be nice! Do you realize that I have probably given myself negative chatter over the scale thousands of times? Thousands!

And the negative chatter doesn’t just stop in my morning meeting with the scale.  It can show up anywhere.  Negative chatter can show up when I tell my children they can make their own yogurt parfaits or other food.  It shows up when I am working and things don’t go as I want them to go.  It can show up when I am serving others and thinking of other things.  Negative chatter is sneaky!  It shows up without warning in everything we do.

By nature, I am an optimistic positive person, yet I have negative chatter that shows up here and there and everywhere! Affirmations and positive energy have shifted my thoughts and created new brain pathways, but I have discovered that asking myself simple questions can instantly feed my soul.  Before I step on the scale,  I am asking myself, “Can I be nice to myself about this?”  If I can’t truthfully say yes, I have no business stepping on the scale.  You see, it wasn’t the scale that needed to be nice to me. It is my responsibility to be nice, kind and gentle to myself!

I get to choose in every moment how I will react. I am finding this tool works everywhere!  If I ask different questions, I get different answers.  I am shifting questions that cause me to feel bad to questions that empower me.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • How can I offer myself grace in this moment?  (I am doing quite well, given the circumstances. I am doing a beautiful job!)
  • What can I celebrate right now? (My children have the opportunity to be able to take care of themselves!  I am allowing my children to be empowered to take care of their own needs.  I am making progress!)
  • What is the most gentle thing I can tell myself right now? (I am enough.  This will all work out.  I am loved.)
  • What would I tell my sister if she were in these exact same circumstances? (You do not give yourself enough credit.  Don’t listen to the gremlins and negative chatter!  It is there to bring you down, but is not true!)
  • What would the Savior have me know about myself right now? (You are precious.  You are loved and cherished.  You are powerful beyond measure and I will see you through.  You can do more than you think you can.)

The truth is that we do want the scale and everything else in our world to be nice to us.  We like the feeling that comes when the scale reflects back our positive efforts are paying off.  But the feeling that comes from learning how to truly love ourselves through everything we experience, through all of our shortcomings, and through every challenge is even more powerful!  We are infinite creators and we do have the power to change what we are experiencing. You deserve to experience more positive energy.   I challenge you to try using these questions and see if it changes your life too!

“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2) Sometimes there are seasons of planting, weeding and harvesting. I love those seasons! I have learned how God works in each of those situations and they are comfortable to me. I have recently figured out that I am in a season of pruning. Pruning is not comfortable. Pruning leaves you feeling raw and naked.

I remember as a little girl watching my dad prune a fruit tree in our backyard. It was so odd to me to think that he was cutting a tree that seemed to have it all together. A strong trunk, solid branches, green leaves and fruit scattered throughout the tree. The tree even had fruit hanging from it as he was pruning it. He seemed to know what he was doing but it seemed crazy to me. His cuts seemed to be causing more damage than good, but what did I know about trees and such?

The last 16 months have been filled with growth. Some days I have felt like I hardly know myself. I have wanted God closer, even though He is right there. I have wanted to feel normal, yet somehow even with a great life, I didn’t feel normal. At times, I have felt like a house undergoing an endless remodel, with no end in sight. And it is one of those remodels where you can’t just change your mind and turn back – I am far enough into the process that we must just keep moving forward, no matter how long it takes!

Little burst of encouragement come from the Spirit, but the challenging thoughts have seemed so much louder. The little bursts keep me focused and moving forward, but I have missed the clarity and peace of other more peaceful seasons. My thoughts have been in conflict, my heart and mind confused, and my actions have not been in harmony. And even though I have turned to the scriptures, prayer, meditation and all the other things that I rely on, the peace has not lasted like I want it to. Questions come, and even though I teach others how to receive revelation, I have wished that Heavenly Father would answer my queries with sky writing. I know that is not how it works, but wouldn’t it be nice to have sky writing now and then?

I have wondered what I am doing wrong. I have wondered how to make it right. And yet, it would be hard to describe to anyone what needs to be different. I just know I have not felt 100% like myself and I haven’t known what to change or how to bring the balance back. Normally I would engage in deeper relationships, or serve more, or write or blog, or just live a little more, and I just have not felt like it.

As I read the scriptures this week, I just prayed that there would be something just for me, for this weird season I had found myself in. This season was lasting far longer than I wanted. I opened my scriptures and started reading about pruning and that is when I knew that Heavenly Father knows exactly where I am at. He knows He is pruning me and He even knows why He is doing it. Even though I felt so comfortable before, this pruning will make me even better. As I read the scriptures I realized that sometimes even trees that are bearing great fruit need to be pruned in order for them to bring out even better fruits.

I realized that the pruning, while uncomfortable, is the best thing for the tree. The tree will be limited without the pruning. The pruning is critical in order to produce the very best fruit possible. The pruning doesn’t happen because the tree is broken. The pruning happens so that the tree has the very best shot at making a difference to the world. It isn’t that something was wrong with me, rather it was time to do some necessary pruning.

When a tree is being pruned, it doesn’t stand in self judgement and think, “Why am I not producing the fruit like that tree over there? Why am I not producing even the small fruits I know I am capable of?” The tree goes into a resting phase and prepares for the next season of blooming. The tree trusts that the fruits will come again. The tree trusts that the branches and leaves will fill back in. I for one, can’t wait for that day. Yesterday as I read the scriptures, that quiet voice said, “This is the pruning. I know it doesn’t feel natural, and I know you don’t like it and you want it to go away, but it is critical. For you to do what you are here to do, there has to be a pruning. Trust the process, let me in.” So right now, this is me being naked, while the Lord sets about pruning this branch and that one. And rather than resisting the process, I am breathing it in and seeing that this is just a season. So for now, I am practicing self compassion, I am being still, I am listening, I am taking care of myself, I am slowing down. It won’t last forever and it is okay to be vulnerable in the process. The day will come where I feel like myself (or rather a better version of myself) and know that the season of pruning was all worth it. If you find yourself in the pruning process, know this: A gardner would never take the time to prune a tree unless he had total hope in what the tree could become. God is there. He knows us. He sees more than we see in ourselves. He is helping us learn to love ourselves so we can love others more and ultimately help bring others back to Him.

Birth.  Five little letters, yet, in an instant, so many different emotions, experiences, and thoughts are brought to the surface. For me, I can’t help but think about my own experiences.  My experiences, like yours, are completely unique to me.  I don’t propose that there is one right way to experience pregnancy or birth.  I can tell you that as I became more and more intentional in my role as a mother, birth became a more Holy experience.

The thing about birth stories is that rarely do they just involve those last few hours of pregnancy and then the delivery of a brand new baby.  For most of us, our stories begin long before that as we overcome our excuses, our fears, our false beliefs about birth and ourselves.  We each are set on a path with different experiences and no story can be the same. Every story has triumph and conflict and there are both sad and happy endings.

My story includes more miscarriages than I can remember and three beautiful births.   I remember my first miscarriage.  It felt like a dark cloud had come to sit over my house and wherever I would go, that little cloud just came right with me.  I could not escape that darkness even though I lived in sunny California.  I would go through the motions of living, through church and the grocery store and all the other mundane things, and just could not shake that darn cloud.  I had so many questions and no answers and found it to be a lonely time.  I was fighting to find the sun again, and eventually, the sun started peeking through.  It didn’t come back instantly but finally one day, I could breathe again.  I could see the sun and the flowers and although I still did not have answers, I didn’t need them anymore.  I hated that first miscarriage at the time – I hated not being able to just pop up and feel happy.  I hated noticing what was in the other shopping carts, minivans, and both cooing and crying babies everywhere I went.  It seemed so heavy and such a raw deal but now I find myself grateful for those days.  My miscarriages gave me the understanding I would need to work with my clients and to help friends and family.  A loss is loss no matter how it is experienced.  Whether it is a loss of a relationship or a baby or security in a job, or whatever else, there is a little piece inside me that knows what it is like to have those dark days.  I feel like God has always taught me the lessons I need to learn in the most gentle ways possible.   I never knew that I would be able to say this, but I am grateful for what I learned from having miscarriages.

My three babies came into the world with great purpose.  Each birth experience shaped me and helped me learn about heaven and God and my body and myself.  I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences as each became a core piece of my understanding of God and how he works.  The most powerful lessons happened with my third baby.  From my journal:

It is Sunday evening once again and I can’t help but think what we were doing exactly one week ago. Justin and I had walked up and down the hills by our house. I think we both felt a bit of disappointment and surprise that I was still pregnant as real contractions had been present so many different times. As we walked, sometimes I had to pause to let a contraction pass but things just did not escalate to the point of no return.
We went to bed and knew that Sunday was not our day. I don’t remember anything significant about the night, but I woke up at 6 am to go to the bathroom and was having regular contractions every 3 minutes. I started timing them on my iPod ap so I could see the patterns and duration. I was not concerned by the length or frequency of the contractions as they were so similar to what I had been experiencing the last few weeks. I decided to stay in bed for the next hour and see where things went. I knew rest was good for me and the longer I stay in bed, the longer the boys stay asleep! I listened to my birthing tracks on the iPod and just stayed relaxed for the next hour.
My son came in at 7 and wanted help with his blog.  I had to sit up in bed to help him type and we worked on a couple different posts. Fifteen minutes passed and during that time I decided the contractions were really consistent and stronger since I had sat up. I woke Justin up and told him to help our son. while I showered and that I thought we were finally headed into the hospital. 
I looked in the mirror at the condition of my hair and debated taking the shower. Was it in me to blow dry my hair? Could I get another day out of it? I carefully considered my options and decided that while I could get another day out of my hair, I would feel better if it was washed and I thought I had plenty of time. Showering at home was a good way to kill some time and I preferred laboring as much outside the hospital as possible. Plus, I had used some essential oils the night before and the smell was disgusting. I committed to the shower and started the process. I shaved in between contractions. As each one hit, I would simply lean against the wall of the shower and breathe through it, thinking various affirmations. “Strong and long bring my baby closer to me. My body was made to do this. I am strong. I am relaxed. I am filled with energy. These are simply waves passing through my body.”
I got out of the shower and really struggled to know what to wear. I knew I needed to get clothes on but I just could not decide. We had planned to have a photographer document the birth. If I I was going to be photographed walking the hospital halls, what would be most appropriate and comfortable? What to wear? I just could not figure it out…I told Justin to call the midwives and also Brit, the photographer. I told him to shower but be fast. At this point it was around 7:35 in the morning. I was blow drying my hair and still was not sure what to wear – if the baby was coming fast, it did not matter…blow dry, blow dry, blow dry….breathe, breathe, breathe.
I got on the floor on my knees and started leaning over the stool in my bathroom as I worked through each wave. I tried to remember how this compared to the boys’ birth days…I can’t remember. I asked Justin for a quick blessing. Okay, I’m okay. I just need to keep moving. I have no idea where I am at or how dilated I am. I can’t focus on the iPod to track the timing. I just keep doing my hair, breathing through stronger contractions, giving Justin orders in between each one. I could not help but moan through some of the pressure. Oh wow…things are really moving fast. “Justin, rub my back and push down on my hips..that’s good..okay, keep moving, let’s keep getting ready.”  We need to go to the hospital. Justin starts loading the car and telling me to be working my way to the car. I am. I am. Just let me finish straightening my hair. I’m almost done.
Oh wow…I can’t get in the car until I go to the bathroom. I have to go so bad. This is not good.
Needing to use the bathroom always proceeds delivery. Oh wow….I don’t know that we can make it to the hospital. I start telling Justin this baby is coming, we are not going to make it. “You don’t want to have a baby at home. Get in the car. I know we can make it. Just get in the car.”  “I don’t know, babes…I can’t go until I finish being on the toilet….aaaaahh…..oh wow, I don’t know.” I remember trying to call down revelation from heaven. “Do we have 15 minutes to make it to the hospital? Can I do this in the car?” I reach up to see if there is a head or what is going on. No head, I can’t tell anything else…for all I know I am only dilated to a 4 or 5! I tell Justin to send the boys on a walk with my mom. I am going to walk to the garage and don’t want them to see a contraction or hear my battle cries.
It is now about 7:55. I finish in the bathroom. I walk the 6 feet to our bed. I pause for a big contraction. This is crazy. I can’t imagine sitting in the car to do this. Justin tells me he put a towel down on the seat, just keep moving. Get in the car. Get in the car. I walk down our hall and pause in the family room for a big contraction. I tell Justin that we are not going to make it. There is no way. He tells me we will. He will drive fast. We can make it we just need to get going. I cry out sounding like some sort of tribal woman….oh I don’t care about making it to the hospital. There is not time. I get down on my knees. Justin tells me to repeat after him. “We can make it. I am relaxed. I am calm. We make it to the hospital.” His coaching helps. I am calm and I am relaxed. We are not going to make it. Yes we are he tells me. No, we are not. “Ashlee, get in the car or I am calling the paramedics. We do not want to do this right here.”
Over the next five minutes, I am on my knees, I am having a baby. I have surrendered to having a home birth. There is just no other way. I am down on my hands and knees. I tell Justin the floor is just so hard. He tells me it is wood. I know it is wood. I see the pillows on the couch out of the corner of my eye..no, I don’t want to ruin those. I could really use one of those knee gardening pads. We don’t have one. Oh well, the floor is hard, okay concentrate. This is crazy. I see Justin calling the paramedics. “My wife is going to have a baby and we are not going to make it to the hospital.” I hear the operator ask for our address.
“Justin, the head is right there.” I am looking face to face at a baby coming out of my body while I am kneeling on hardwood floors in our family room. That’s interesting. Her face is covered in a sack of membranes or something. Oh yeah, my water never broke. I see Justin between my legs, one hand is holding the phone to his ear. The other hand catches the baby’s head and in perfect synchronocity, the baby falls across his forearm. I feel a gush of water and feel the wetness between my legs. I am glad there is a red hand towel there. I don’t know when Justin got it but it catches the fluids..that’s good. I ask if it is really a girl. It is. Is she breathing? I ask. She is. She lets out a little cry. I ask what time it is. 8:06 am. Okay. Breathe Ashlee. Oh wow. We just delivered a baby.

I had prayed for months that I would experience birth however God had intended.  And His answer came in an accidental home birth.  I learned so much from that sacred day.  God answers my prayers.  I am loved.  I am stronger than I thought.  My body is amazing.  And so much more.

Right now, I am in the process of another birth.  It is a rebirth of myself and I can feel it happening underneath the surface. Some of it is beautiful and oh so ready to come out into the light of the world.  I like those parts of my current life experiences because they make me feel alive!  Some of what I am experiencing is ugly and makes me feel vulnerable. Just like a regular pregnancy, once the process starts, it cannot be stopped.  And so I am facing things that I haven’t dared look at before.  Every little breakthrough is like a contraction.  This time I won’t be delivering a baby, but I do feel like a better me will be on the other side of this birth.

As I think about the Gift of Giving Life book, I think what I love most is that it is a collection of stories from strong faithful women.  They share little glimpses of their journeys that make me feel more comfortable with my own.  Their stories give power to every other human being.  Each and every one of us is connected to life and to birth, whether we are moms or not.   You can google and learn all about this great book.  You don’t need me to share quotes from the book because you will read it yourself and see that it is your story too.  Although the book focuses on giving aspects of giving life from miscarriages to birth, it is really about each one of us. Every single one of us experiences the lessons the authors and contributors share in the Gift of Giving Life.  Read the book and start telling your stories.

Visit the Gift of Giving Life Virtual Book Tour  for a chance to win some great pregnancy/birth/baby-related prizes!

I read a recent article about how scientists are studying how phobias can be memories from our ancestors passed down through DNA.

“Memories can be passed down to later generations through genetic switches that allow offspring to inherit the experience of their ancestors, according to new research that may explain how phobias can develop.

Scientists have long assumed that memories and learned experiences built up during a lifetime must be passed on by teaching later generations or through personal experience.

However, new research has shown that it is possible for some information to be inherited biologically through chemical changes that occur in DNA.”

Often clients can not explain why they have a phobia or why they think a certain way although it could be explained by generational transfer.  While human research has yet to be done, I think it is exciting that scientists are considering the huge influence our ancestors can have on the way we experience the world.

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Every few days I do affirmations with my children.  I give them positive statements and they willingly repeat each phrase.  Even my 2 year old can do it.  As soon as I tell her to repeat “I am smart” she obeys and then if I pause just a moment longer, she will say “I am sweet.”  I love that she knows what affirmations are coming  – I hope that I am creating little pathways in her brain of positive thinking! I love this poster of affirmations for kids.  You could use them as secret notes stashed on a pillow, in a drawer or even in a lunchbox.  You could also print out the poster and display it so your children can remember they are awesome!

Vision Board

A vision board is a visual reminder of what you want out of life.  It can include images or words that trigger excitement and passion in you.   It can be useful to create a vision board and place it in a space where you will frequently be reminded to go for your dreams.  The vision board is a powerful tool when you are trying to manifest changes, opportunities or experiences into your life.  Many people collect motivating images from magazines and make a collage but I like to create a digital vision board.  You can use Pinterest or a software program like Photoshop to create your own digital vision board.

Below you will find some ideas of what to include on your vision board as well as a couple examples from my board:

  • goals associated with your business or work (advancements, recognition, degrees, training, etc.)
  • health goals (food, exercise – I am learning how to eat even healthier and just took a great grains cooking class to move this goal forward)
  • financial goals (dollars in the bank, debts paid by a certain date, etc.  I have a picture of money growing on a tree that represents my residual income.)
  • social needs and relationships (I am attracting friends who get me and a personal assistant!)
  • hobbies or vacations you want to experience (I am sitting in Aruba as I write this post – every vision board I create has a picture of a tropical destination on it!)
  • quotes you love (Pinterest has hundreds of these!)
  • pictures of clothes, toys, or other fun things you want some day (I got my jogging stroller I wanted!  I found it used and an excellent shape at a garage sale!)

If you have ever thought, “I wish I could….”  put it on your board!

Pinterest is one of the easiest ways to create a digital vision board.  You can create boards for each aspect of your life.  For example, if you hope to travel or go on a vacation, you can pin your dream vacation photos onto that board.  You could also create one giant board that contained images representing your entire vision board.  I used Pinterest for a long time but found it did not meet my needs for two reasons.  One, it was too easy to “pin” any old image that half-way excited me.  I had dozens of pins that I liked but I was not truly focused on manifesting many of them into my own life.  My second challenge with my Pinterest Vision Board is that I did not go and review my vision daily – while it was conveniently online and very organized, there is something powerful to actually seeing your board and being forced to think about it throughout the day.

I now create my vision board using Photoshop but you could do a similar thing in PowerPoint, PicMonkey, or any software that allows you to place images in the file.

If you wish to create a vision board using Photoshop, I recommend beginning with a file that is 16 x 20 so you can create a poster of your vision board. If you are using PowerPoint, a letter size file will work just fine.

I use Google searches to find images that represent what I want in my life.  I put a variety of images on my board – some are easy like the fact that I want new kitchen towels.  Other images represent long term business or family goals.  I look for images that create a positive emotion inside me – they need to excite me from the get-go or they won’t be enough to motivate me when I see them later on.  As I find images, I use my mouse to right click and copy each image.  I then go into my software (Photoshop or PowerPoint) and paste the image or graphic on a single page document.  If you want to include several images, place the images nice and tight so there is room for your complete vision.  Be sure to save as you go so that you won’t lose your work.

Once you have created your vision board, you can print it out at home or use a photo service.

I send my 16×20 image to Costco and have a poster printed.  You will want to watch the cropping on Costco’s site when you do this to be sure you don’t lose the edges of your file when the poster is made.  (You could also leave a nice white border around the edges when you create your vision board.)  A large poster like this only costs a couple dollars to print.  I have mine posted in my bedroom on a magnet board.  I can easily add new images around my main vision board if I see something that excites me.  I also order a 4 x 6 print so that I can keep my vision board with me as I travel.

If you are using PowerPoint, you can create your file and then save it as a .jpeg if you want to be able to use a photo service to print it.

Creating a digital vision board and printing it is the easiest way to stay connected to your dreams.  Whether you choose to use old magazines or digital images, a Vision Board is a fun way to motivate yourself into action.

The following books have helped me learn about energy.  They are in no particular order but each has contributed to my education in some way.  The list is not comprehensive and I will add more titles in due time.

 

The Energy Bus – Jon Gordon

Light in the Wilderness – Catherine M. Thomas

Mutant Message Down Under – Marlo Morgan

Energy Medicine for Women: Aligning Your Body’s Energies to Boost Your Health and Vitality – Donna Eden

Drawing on the Powers of Heaven – Grant Von Harrison

The Message – Lance Richardson

Love, Medicine, & Miracles – Bernie S. Siegel

Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust – Immaculee Illibagiza

Secret of Instantaneous Healing – Harry D. Smith

A Scriptural Discussion of Light – Allen J. Fletcher

Energy Medicine – Donna Eden

The Amazing Laws of Cosmic Mind Power – Joseph Murphy

Your Body Doesn’t Lie – John Diamond

Do I Have to Give Up Me to be Loved by God – Paul Margaret

The Hidden Messages in Water – Masaru Emoto

The LDS Gospel of Light – B. Grant Bishop

Feelings Buried Alive Never Die – Karol K. Truman

Your Right to Fly – James E. Melton

Emotional Energy Factor – Mira Kirshenbaum

Change Your Questions, Change Your Life – Wendy Watson Nelson

Inner Bonding – Margaret Paul, PhD

Through His Eyes – Virginia H. Pearce

Energy Medicine – Donna Eden

Remembering Wholeness – Carol Tuttle

Power vs. Force – David Hawkins

Anatomy of the Spirit – Caroline Myss

You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay

Heal Your Body – Louise Hay

Jackrabbit Factor – Leslie Householder

Hidden Treasures – Leslie Householder

Last week I found myself on planes from San Diego to Boston to Atlanta and Houston.  I drove throughout Texas and took the circuitous route to San Antonio.  By the end of the week, my jeans were feeling tight and, while my trip had been successful, I felt discouraged.  I just KNEW I had gained weight.  I could not gauge how much and so I decided it was probably 5 – 8 pounds.  I started thinking through how long it would take to come off and I thought of what I may have done different.  Sure I had found a drive thru or two, I may have ate pizza at a little hole in the wall near Harvard, and I am pretty sure I don’t regret that milkshake!  Ugh.

The funny thing is that I wasted so much time telling myself things that may or may not be true!  My thoughts became a run away train and I found myself entertaining thoughts like, “Next week I am eating only vegetables!”  (While a good idea, I know I am not going to do that which means the statement really just takes power away from me.)

When I finally decided to get on the scale, I discovered I only had gained 3 pounds. Three pounds.  Man, the mind is a tricky thing! I had myself convinced I would need larger jeans and that I would not be able to tackle this problem until my travels end later this summer.  I pictured myself throughout the summer feeling like a bloated beached whale! What a trip!  Pure guilt set in, self depreciating thoughts were making a mark, and I definitely was not owning my own power!

We MUST take control of our lives by taking control of our minds.  We must tell our minds the TRUTH!  It is time to stop letting the lies in your head determine your life experiences.  YOU were born for this time.  There are things that only YOU can do.  There are choice experiences all around us, but there is a distracting force that wants you to forget that you were indeed created for something more.  The opposition wants you to believe you are worthless, that your situation can not be salvaged, and that you are destined for a pitiful life.  This is simply not true!

Be bigger than me and do not let the fear of not being enough or gaining weight stop you in your tracks.  BE YOU!  Stand up, enjoy your personal progress, celebrate your commitment to yourself to live your best life!

I choose to let go of pain.   I choose to let go of punishing myself.   I let go of self doubt.   I let go of fear.

I let go of control.  I let go of judgements.  I let go of old view that limit me.  I let go of assuming what others think.  I let go of comparisons.  I let go of holding back who I am.  I let go of pleasing others at a cost of me.  I choose to see the love in every situation.  I choose to replace the fear with confidence.  I choose to remember the good.  I choose hope.  I choose faith.  I choose what I experience.

Aaak!!!  The pressure is mounting for the upcoming week and month.  My calendar is full, just like yours.  I have a plethora of new ideas to implement and I am ready to do it all.  I am creating great things and I am excited but I admit that I could stress out if I give in to the nagging feeling underneath all my big dreams.  So what will I choose?  Do I choose to be stressed out or do I choose to just accept what I am able to do as my personal best at this time?  Do I allow the stress to win out and stay in bed?  Or do I get up and play the game and see how it goes?  Each day, I get to choose what voice I feed.

The important thing to remember is that very few things that stress us out truly matter.  Most of what we worry about will pass by and won’t be remembered next month or next year.  We will forget that we spent one particular day fearing and procrastinating.   Very few things in life actually end up being detrimental unless we choose to let it have that effect.

You might thing this is easier said than done or that I am taking a Pollyanna view of life.  Maybe I am and maybe it is a bit hard, but I will tell you from personal experience that it is ultimately easier to choose  peace and happiness than any other alternative.  And so what if it is hard?  That which we consistently do becomes easier, so make the right choice and choose happiness.  Choose how you feel about the stress in your life.  It is not stress unless you call it that, so do not give your power away.  Take control and choose what you experience and watch your world change.  Let me know how it goes!

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