Tag Archives: Behavior Change

Holiday Hopes

Dear Friends,

My wish for you this holiday season is the gift of hope: that no matter what has happened in this last year for you, that the coming year will surpass your expectations for happiness, supply, abundance, joy and peace.

2011 has been a challenging year for so many. Yet many of us are witnessing and experiencing a new movement of consciousness in which more and more people are waking up to the fact that the old ways of greed, avarice, materialism at all costs, disrespect and violence are not working. For this I am deeply grateful and hopeful.

I hope this year has brought you many gifts , both internal and external. I hope you found the joy in the simple moments, relished the quiet or the noise, saw the beauty in the sun or the rain, felt the presence of hope and possibility.

Each year brings with it new and different challenges, we all know that. I’m just like you, some challenges feel like obstacles I don’t see a solution for. Yet now near the end of another year, I have to say that each seeming obstacle has been an opportunity for me to learn something new about myself, or see something again that I am still learning.

People talk with me all the time about their “mistakes.” Like a person who stayed in a relationship in which they didn’t feel respected or appreciated, long after their instinct told them to go; or another, facing large financial hurdles and feeling so very alone in it all.  I certainly have had my share of them, too, the “mistakes” I have made. Like the choice to leave the rented home I cherished several years ago because I was in the throws of an emotional storm with the owner ( a parent, no less.) Or investing in some business or personal venture that didn’t bring forth the outcome intended. Or choices I made in relationships and parenting, before I learned all that I have come to learn.

But I have to tell you, and maybe it will resonate with you, even just a little bit: as much as choices led me to really different chapters in life than I had ever anticipated, I have grown so incredibly much through each and every experience.

It is easy to look back at a choice and say, “ I wish I had done that differently.” (That’s why we all understand the saying, “ hind sight is 20/20.” )After the fact, when you see all the consequences and ramifications of what happened, it is easy to play armchair strategist and consider what you could have done differently.

But the truth is, you have absolutely no idea what would have happened if you had done anything differently. And, if you had known to do it differently at the time, you would have. You couldn’t do what you didn’t know to do.  I know I couldn’t.

Any thought I have about  “ what it would be like now” is nothing more than a fantasy I am making up about it. Because at the end of the day, I am here now, this is the way it is now, I am better, stronger, wiser, more informed, much smarter, and much more confident.

Certainly I am less innocent. Certainly I assess things differently now. That is a very positive outcome of learning , and of learning the hard way. I don’t know too many people who learn really big life lessons the easy way. Do you? And there is no question in my mind that I am better, stronger, wiser, more informed, smarter, and much more confident as a result of having not just survived but internally thrived in spite of  it all.

This is the greatest gift we can give ourselves this holiday: the gift of believing that no matter how hard it was, how much we have cried, how much things changed and that was uncomfortable, we have not just survived, we have internally thrived. Things may not look in the outside quite like we ultimately want them to yet, but we are on my way. And that is a good place to be.

Two of my favorite inspirational sources, Neale Donald Walsh and Esther & Jerry Hicks and Abraham, sent these to their folks this week.  ( By the way, Jerry Hicks made his transition to the other side of the Veil recently. Esther is handling this with exquisite grace. I know millions of us hold both of them in our hearts and prayers.)  These messages resonated so much with me that I wanted to share them with you.

..that all change is change for the better.

There is no such thing as “change for the worse.”Change is the process of Life Itself, and that process could be called by the name “evolution.” And evolution moves in only one direction: forward, and toward improvement. Therefore, when change visits your life, you can be sure things are turning for the better. It may not look that way in the very moment change arrives, but if you will wait a while and have faith in the process, you will see that this is true.

                                                                                                                Neale Donald Walsh

We are really advocates of just getting as happy as you can be—which takes care of everything. Even if you don’t have reason to be happy—make it up. Fantasize it. Make a decision that you’re going to be happy one way or another—no matter what. “No matter what, I’m going to be happy! If I have to ignore everybody; if I have to never watch television again; if I have to never pick up a newspaper again, I’m going to be happy. If I never have to see that person’s face again, I’m going to be happy. If I have to see that person’s face, I’m going to find something to see in that person’s face that makes me happy. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be happy.”

— Abraham  (Excerpted from the workshop of Esther and Jerry Hicks, in Sacramento, CA on Saturday, March 15th, 2003 # 292)

I want to offer you a gift from my heart to yours this holiday season: If you have not taken up my previous limited offer for the free download of   I Will Do What It Takes, my e- mini book,  please write to me within the next week at kathryn@nextboldstep.com and I will joyfully send you your free download.

I also  thought you might like to listen in to an interesting interview  I had last week with Richard Spaskoff, world known psychic medium.  https://rcpt.yousendit.com/1320204626/762bcf52c0c30b68bdaba07bf92af5cb

Or a very special conversation on CBS Radio “ The Business of Wisdom” with Dr. Alvin Jones

www.dralvinjones.com/content/01 Kathryn Tull.wma

May your days be merry and bright, even if shadows pull at your heart strings. Choose to find a ray of sunshine or something that brings you warmth and happiness to see, to focus on, to think about. Although it seems simplistic, it works. What you choose to think about will affect the direction of your emotions profoundly. I know that pain and the memories created by pain can overshadow or distort any potentially happy or positive situation. I have been there so many times myself. I tell myself whenever that tries to happen – which is still can – “ Just breathe this moment. I can choose for just this moment to think about something else, something better.” I purposely redirect my thoughts, and keep doing it, over and over again.

It works. The more you do it, the better you will get at doing it. Over time, the effect  will last a little longer, then a little longer.

Give yourself the gift of self-love this year. Let yourself see the growth you have experienced, do something good for yourself, no matter how seemingly small. A piece of chocolate, a hot bath, a walk in the brisk air, a nap. Or something bigger if you can: a whole day off, a weekend away, a vacation. Something to tangibly say to yourself, “ I love you. You matter. No matter what any one else says or thinks, you matter to me!”

And you matter to me. May your holidays be blessed and peaceful. Ring in the new year with hope and expectation for a bright tomorrow. You deserve it!

To your Next Bold Step with my love and Holiday Hopes,

Kathryn

Author, Speaker, Psychotherapist, Communications Coach

Real solutions for your relationships and families

http://www.nextboldstep.com

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Daily Acceptance

Have you ever found yourself lost in thought about what’s not working in your life? About what you wish you did have, instead of what you do have?  I think most people do have this experience, although many won’t admit it.  To be perfectly honest, I’ll even let you know that, in spite of the fact that I teach proven, successful, transformational skills to people every day, there are times when my old habits creep up to grab me when I am not paying attention. ( I find it happens particularly when I am tired, just like a little child gets easily overwhelmed when they are tired, or hungry.)

The antidote to self-defeating behavior like that begins with something very simple, and free : daily self-acceptance.

This is a crucial practice. I know it can be hard to do.

When you catch yourself engaging in some self- defeating behavior that sneaks in almost unnoticed, like procrastinating ( which is an avoidance behavior), or finding one more thing you ” have to do” that makes you late for something else ( which is also covering up a deeper message to both yourself and the other party), the most common response to yourself is to shame and blame yourself. ” Oh, no! There I go again! I did it again! I’ll never get it right. What’s the use in trying, anyway?”

Resolve gives way to self-defeat, even disgust. Before you even realize it, you are slipping into more self-sabotaging thinking and behavior.

The truth is that every living human being has some habits that are not the best. Everyone  can slip into  aself-defeating thinking or behavior, if even for a moment. Most of us hate to admit it. Many people do a really good job of hiding it from their awareness. ( By the way, that doesn’t make it go away. I Can guarantee you of that. Denial is only denial, not healing.)

So you need to start with daily self-acceptance. Accepting yourself daily does not mean being complacent about how you are being in life, or how your life looks, if there are things that you want to change. Daily self-acceptance means acknowledging yourself for where you are – not reprimanding yourself for where you are not.  Then, stretch just a little bit more and add daily gratitude. You are the only you on the planet – and no one can take your place. Your place is very important to all the pieces of life fitting together, whether you can see it or not. There are people who need you, and want you, and count on you – whether you are aware of it or not. Like your boss, or your neighbor, or the handyman you smile at on your way to work, or your partner, or your child. You matter – and no one can take your place. And you have a special purpose here on planet Earth that no one else can fulfill.

No matter where you are on your path of personal growth and evolution, take a moment each day to breathe and consciously accept yourself exactly as you are today. Stretch that even a little bit more, and be grateful for being you today. You are exactly where you need to be, for reasons larger than you can see. You are farther along than you were yesterday, even if you can’t tell. It is the law of growth.

A lovely author by the name of Judith R. Smith wrote, “My life might not be perfect, and I might not have achieved the goals I thought I would have by now — I might not be living the kind of life I thought I would be or want to be, but I’m grateful for this day, right now, and the fact that I’ve made a commitment to myself to live a life in which I’m treated with respect and dignity.”

I love that thought, and I hold it dear. No matter what, I have committed to myself to live a life in which I am treated with respect and dignity. I have rebuilt and reshaped my whole life so that it is so. I have learned how to transform relationships, and release those that are not supportive and may be toxic to me. I would love to help you learn to do this, too.

Every day, accept yourself for where and who you are. Commit to yourself to keep growing, even when you can’t tell you are. The universe will move in unforeseen ways to make it so.

Until next time, give yourself the gift of remembering that you are  unique, one of a kind. No one can take your place. Have a lovely moment with you. You deserve it.

With my very best,

Kathryn