Tag Archives: Motivation

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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What is Independence?

It is good to be back in touch. It has been a very busy time, working diligently to get The Next Bold Step through the last of the publishing process. Hip Hip Hooray, it is complete! I am so excited to share that with you! And now it is Independence Day already, how appropriate.

Independence means different things to different people. This holiday means different things for different people. It has meant so many different things to me over the course of my life that now I have a memory bank just entitled  4th of July I think. So many memories. Many sweet stories. Now Independence looks so different – and I have to consciously choose not to get lost in the “what was” instead of the What Is.  Have you ever felt like that?
Independence has taken on a whole new meaning for me now, living alone for the first period of time in my life. Now independence means getting to do things for myself, sleeping in when I create the time and the context, following my own schedule instead of other people’s, even choosing to spend a day alone. Until pretty recently, these kinds of choices were not even in my thoughts.
When I first awoke at 6:30 this morning I was flooded with memories of holidays from the 1990’s when my children were young and I was married. We would have big parties – 20,30,50 people. Preparing for days, up at the crack of dawn to decorate my kids’ wagon or bikes or outfits to be in the parade. Decorate the house and yard, and get tickets for the local Fireworks show. The Fair in the Park first, hot dogs for lunch. They were sweet days. I love those memories. I loved rollerblading in the parade, keeping up with my kids. One in the Marching Band, one on a Float for the Ballet Company, one on his decorated bike. God, it was sweet.
The memories are sweet, as long as I don’t throw the shadow of the unspoken reality over them: no one saw the personal price that was paid by me and the kids for the gorgeous entertaining we did, the price of their father’s moods, and living up to his expectations. There was nothing sweet about that. That tarnished everything in its path.
Or the years after, when Independence came to mean that we were out on our own, I had finally had enough, I fought our way out, we were safe, we were free. Hometown Parade, red, white and blue clothes, fireworks at the High School where all but one of us graduated.Then unforeseen family friction, no peace to be had in our sweet life, more choices to make, more upheaval, more ripping apart, more pain, more growth.  More change…
Even now, so many years later, I have to work with myself to not let the shadows get me down. So many memories, so many holidays and special days and ordinary days tarnished to remember…I have to choose not to let that destroy all that was wonderful.  As I said earlier, so many memories. Many sweet stories. Now Independence looks so different – and I  consciously choose not to get lost in the “what was” instead of the What Is.
What does Independence mean to you?
And very importantly: What would you like it to mean?
Give yourself a gift today of contemplating that question: What would you like it to mean?
No matter what circumstances and conditions look like on the outside of you, go within. Turn to your own heart. Ask yourself: What would I like Independence to mean?
What would I like Freedom to mean?
What would I like it to feel like?
Then pick one thing, one desire, one vision, one idea, or one goal, large or small to go for. No matter what your vision is, pick one idea to go for. This is Your time. In the smallest way and in the largest way, this is your time. Make it your own. Allow a vision to birth itself to your awareness today, Independence Day. Give it life. Give it attention. Give it care. Give it love. Let it flourish and bloom. That is Freedom. And that is a Bold Step.
I send strength, hope and belief in your Bold Step today.
Mine is now ready for you to share.
With my love,
Kathryn
The Next Bold Step is now ready for order! Get your personally signed copy today at http://www.nextboldstep.com and fine online retailers.

How is the new year so far?

It is the end of the first month of the new decade. I am astonished, to be truthful, at where the time has gone. The holidays were happy and bittersweet. I’ll tell you more about that later. I hope yours were safe, and you had happiness. Even within imperfect circumstances, it is still very possible to find happiness and blessings. That is more important than all the money in the world.
I say my holidays were happy and bittersweet, and they have been every year since my family life blew up. Have you had that kind of feeling?  You may have already heard my history, but if not, I will explain a little:  in 1999 I finally took my children and left my married life to an abusive husband ; later that same year, my mother, who was my greatest fan, role model, and best friend, passed away after a slow decline that had lasted many years. A couple of years later, my father found a new love for his life, and decided I was not to be a part of his life any more. That loss has been very difficult to adapt to, but I am doing it, one day at a time. In the process, I have discovered and gotten to truly know and appreciate me!
That is why I understand how you may feel with the challenges you face. In addition to being a professionally trained clinical psychotherapist, with specific expertise in working with survivors of trauma, I have lived a life rich in experience, happy and sad. Eleven years out from a long-term abusive marriage, I still experience post traumatic stress disorder -PTSD – around loud, sudden noises, people crying or yelling, violence on TV or in movies, keeping a watchful eye in case harm is around the corner. Several years out from a non-understandable rejection by my remaining parent, I understand what it feels like to wake up sometimes with depressed thoughts of complete aloneness, or lack of desire to get on with the day.
One day at a time I have fought back against the efforts of depressive thoughts that tried to run my life and keep me from fulfilling my potential.  Did you know that is what happens?  The thought patterns become embedded and work very hard to keep functioning as they are accustomed to, keeping you depressed, sad, scared, alone, unfulfilled.
I have had it with those thought patterns. I am not willing to live my life afraid any more. I am not willing to cooperate with the bitterness, resentment, and the other angry  emotions I had felt so vividly for a long time. They held me back, and I’m done with tolerating that. We all deserve to live a rich, full life – especially you! I have been working for the past several years to develop and refine techniques that work . You can get your thoughts and feelings to work for you, not against you.
Join me this year to break these old habits and shed the thoughts and feelings that keep depression anchored in your heart and mind. I am forming a bi-coastal group of women that will meet every other week to share their stories and hearts, support each other, learn new strategies and techniques for leaving the sadness behind, and create the brighter life that you deserve!
Space will be limited, so you need to let me know within two weeks if you are interested, to reserve a spot. It will be affordable, important, inspiring, healing and uplifting. All you will need is long-distance service and an open heart. Come heal, grow, expand and create the life you deserve and desire. Get ready to receive !!
With love and blessings,
Kathryn

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