12 Tips for Recovering from Emotional Pain by Jim Villamor 

Have you noticed how afraid we all are of feeling any emotional pain? And how we would do anything in our power to avoid it? Nobody wants it. We all try to get rid of it. We all try to hide and run away from it, and the irony is that the more we try to reject and resist it, the more intense it gets and the longer it stays with us.

We all have our ups and downs. We all experience emotional pain from time to time. But that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with us. It doesn’t mean we’re ‘broken’ or ‘defective’. On the contrary. It only shows that we are human. That we have feelings and emotions.

Today I would like to share with you 12 tips for recovering from emotional pain. So that you can continue living your life in peace and harmony and do the things you so much enjoy doing.
1. Embrace with grace all that you face.
“Everything you are against weakens you. Everything you are for empowers you.” ~ Wayne Dyer
Let go of any feelings of anger, disgust or frustration you might have towards yourself, your emotional pain and your current reality. Resist nothing. Embrace with grace all that you face. Surrender to what is. Accept what you’re going through. All your thoughts, feelings and frustrations. Accept your emotional pain as if you have chosen it.
2. Give yourself time.
It takes time to drive out the darkness from our minds and our hearts. It takes time to accept the presence of emotional pain into our lives. So give yourself time. Time to rest, time to heal and time to fully recover. Be gentle with yourself and trust that everything happens exactly as it’s supposed to happen.
3. Let go of control.
“There is a time for being ahead, a time for being behind; a time for being in motion, a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous, a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe, a time for being in danger. The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the center of the circle.” ~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
Please refrain yourself from making comments like: “I have been feeling like this for far too long. I should be fine by now. Why does it take so long for this pain to be gone?” and so on. Allow things to follow their natural course. Allow yourself to heal at your own pace. Let go of the need to control the healing process. Let go of the need to speed up your recovery.
4. Suffer consciously.
Observe your emotional pain, your anguish and frustrations. Observe the constant stream of negative thoughts that run through your mind. The dreadful stories that keep feeding your pain, but choose not to identify yourself with them. See yourself as the one who’s observing all that emotional pain and all that discomfort. But don’t make the pain part of who you are. Don’t make it your person life story. Don’t claim it as your own.
“Suffering consciously is when you feel, sense and accept the suffering. It is not suffering anymore it is just pain. To be suffering you must have an unhappy me with a story and the world that is doing it to me.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
5. Love your pain away.
Nobody likes to be in the presence of pain. We all want to get rid of it. To run as far away from it as we possibly can. But there are times when pain demands our presence, our focus and attention. There are times when pain demands to be felt. So take the time to know your emotional pain. To nourish it, to understand it. Don’t curs your pain. Love your pain and it will go away.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King,
6. Give time, time.
“Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.” ~ Regina Brett
It takes time to drive out the darkness from our minds and from our hearts. It takes time to heal our wounds and accept the presence of emotional pain into our lives. So give time, time.
7. Spend time alone with yourself.
When you love someone, you spend private time with that person, quality time. And in the dark moments of our lives, when pain is present in our hearts and in our minds, spending time alone with ourselves is one of the best gift we can give to ourselves.
Take the time to be alone with yourself. To acknowledge, love and appreciate the parts of you that are beautiful. To love yourself and to know yourself. To rest, time to heal and to fully recover from all that you are feeling.
“Your light is seen, your heart is known, your soul is cherished by more people than you might imagine. If you knew how many others have been touched in wonderful ways by you, you would be astonished. If you knew how many people feel so much for you, you would be shocked. You are far more wonderful than you think you are. Rest with that. Rest easy with that. Breathe again. You are doing fine. More than fine. Better than fine. You’re doin’ great. So relax. And love yourself today.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
8. Reach out for help and support.
“Surround yourself with people who make you happy. People who make you laugh, who help you when you’re in need. People who genuinely care. They are the ones worth keeping in your life. Everyone else is just passing through.” ~ Karl Marx (composer)
Reach out for emotional help and support from those you love and trust. Surround yourself with cheerful and happy people. People who can make you laugh, who can make you see how beautiful life is and who can show you that there’s always something to look forward to.
9. Let nature heal and comfort you.
“One has to be alone, under the sky, Before everything falls into place and one finds his or her own place in the midst of it all. We have to have the humility to realize ourselves as part of nature.” Thomas Merton
Spend more time outdoors and Look outside in nature for evidence of decay, destruction and death. Of rebirth, rejuvenation, and renewal. And remind yourself that you too are part of nature. Allow nature to be your wise friend, teacher and companion. Allow nature to heal and comfort you. To teach you more about the infinite circle of life. About birth, life, death, rebirth and about yourself.
10. Claim nothing as your own.
Love everything but cling on to nothing. Make peace with this idea that nothing in this life lasts forever, that nothing is yours to keep. Live each day as if it were your last. Each moment as if it were your only moment. Make the best of everything life sends your way and waste no time on arguing against what is.
“Most of our troubles are due to our passionate desire for and attachment to things that we misapprehend as enduring entities.” ~Dalai Lama
“A person who lives moment to moment, who goes on dying to the past, is never attached to anything. Attachment comes from the accumulated past. If you can be unattached to the past every moment, then you are always fresh, young, just born. You pulsate with life and that pulsation gives you immortality. You are immortal, only unaware of the fact.” ~ Osho
11. Turn your wounds into wisdom. 
Every experience that comes your way, comes your way for a reason. Seek to know what that reason is. Seek to learn from every painful experience and every painful interaction life sends your way. Be an alchemist. Turn your wounds into wisdom and your difficulties into opportunities. Let your pain make you better, not bitter.
“Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” ~ Albert Einstein
12. No pain is forever.
If you’re still alive, if you’re still breathing, it only means that there’s still a lot of life for you out there. A lot of places for you to go to, many new and exciting things to do, to learn and to love. So pick yourself up. Dust yourself off, and start all over again. Start rebuilding your life and make it ridiculously amazing. Don’t let a bad and painful experience make you feel like you have a bad and painful life. Don’t let a rainy day dampen your fun. Never forget that the Sun always shines above the clouds. It’s always up there 🙂

Life Lessons On Helping Others

  

In April 2010 I was in a taxi where the driver accidentally hit & took the life of a 43 year old man with a wife & 2 daughters who was enjoying himself on Oxford Street. I was able to hold this man as his soul passed on which I now see as a blessing yet at the time I still had many life lessons to learn so this event took its time & toll on me. 
Yesterday I found a well dressed man passed out lying flat on his face at 8:30am on a sidewalk in Double Bay. What I first noticed was people crossing the street to avoid this man instead of checking to see if he was ok. I called 000 & found out this man had a seizure on his way to church and needed immediate medical attention.  
I’m sharing this because I truly believe we are here to help people not to avoid them. Sometimes we need to step out of ourselves first instead of stepping over others. 
This is said with love – when in doubt, simply call 000 or 911 – that’s their job & they value people taking the time to care for others.  
With Love Jim 

Theft, Gambling, My Arrest, The Big Talk by guest blogger Karen K. 

“It will kill him”, I said as the realisation came that I had to finally sit my parents down and tell them what was going on. 
Almost two years had passed since I had lost my job due to stealing a significant amount of jewellery to support a gambling problem. 

Almost two years had passed and I still had not told my family. 

My mother was a hard worker. Worked in the early hours of the morning as a cleaner and stayed at home the rest of the time to raise my older brother and me. My mother was great with money; always kept to a budget and would not spend her money on new clothes or trinkets. I always felt that she deserved to treat herself every now and then but she always put us first. My father was the same. Worked 7 days a week to support his family and give his family the best he could as well as putting away money in his super so he could retire comfortably. Being responsible with your money…it is a lost art. 

My parents had always been proud of me and the positions I had earned over my years of employment. I had never lost a job. Let alone being terminated and cautioned by the police. When I was admitted to the psychiatric unit a few days after I was terminated from work, my husband had spoken to my parents because he needed someone to talk to. He had only told them about my severe antenatal depression and a gambling problem that he assured he was taking care of. My husband felt that was all they needed to know at that point. Everything was still so raw, we were still coming to terms with what was happening ourselves. Our daughter was due and that is what we wanted to focus on. Being their first grandchild, we didn’t want to ruin this moment for them. I hadn’t been officially charged for the offence, so we decided not to say anything.

And for the next year we still didn’t say anything. We knew that we couldn’t keep this from them forever. But would it be fair to drag them through all of the heartache and tears we went through? their constant worry and feeling they needed to help in some way when in actual fact there was nothing they could do at that point?

We would know when the time was right. 

I was then officially charged with the crime. 

We had to move back home. 

We moved back home just before Christmas of 2014. Selling our home of 9 years to pay for legal fees and other debts of which there were many. The thought of having my parents so close at hand and so close to their only granddaughter should be welcomed with open arms….

You can’t welcome anything or anyone into your life if you can’t look them In the eye. 

So I isolated myself and my daughter in our separate living space for the first 5 months. We have adequate space so it didn’t feel cramped. I Only really spoke to my parents when I was in the kitchen and they never really saw their granddaughter unless I had to bring her to the front of the house so I could cook and do laundry. My parents never really questioned it. It didn’t mean they didn’t want to see their granddaughter. They wanted to give me space and time to adjust and settle in. 
Before any of this has happened, we enjoyed each others company. We used to have long, vivid conversations about various topics and matters of the world for hours on end. Now with just a quick and mumbled “hello”, these vivid conversations were a long thing of the past. 

My lawyer had made an application to the magistrate stating that there were circumstances during my pregnancy, mainly my antenatal depression that had triggered my gambling addiction. This would mean asking the magistrate to sentence me under the mental health act and release me into the care of my doctors and not the state corrections department. After rigorous and confronting assessments with both a forensic psychologist and criminal psychiatrist and all medical records submitted, we waited for the decision. 
The application was refused. 
Whilst there was significant and consistent evidence supporting my mental health at the time, both doctors stating my eligibility for the application, the court could not ignore the factor of gambling as the reason for the theft and the amount that was taken. Even though my depression had impacted the decisions I made, it could not be the sole excuse of my actions. 
What did this mean for me now? It now meant that I was going to be sentenced under the criminal act. There are many options of punishment. The highest of all…prison. A prison sentence could now be a reality. I would be sentenced in a month and during that time I would be assessed for an “Intensive Corrections Order” or ICO. An ICO is where you are sentenced, what ever the duration may be and you are monitored by state corrections outside of prison. You also have to partake in community service for the duration of your sentence. You don’t get to choose where you go or what you do.

” You will have to report to a parole officer regularly” my assessor stated as I sat in his office. I understood and was fine with that and everything else he had said so far. ” you will also have home visits so I would like to come and see where you live and have the permission of all who live there before I can state you as eligible for an ICO”. 

My heart stopped. I still hadn’t told my parents. In the few months of us living at home I began to see just how fragile my parents had become both physically and mentally. My mum was still tough mentally but not as fit as she used to be, and my dad was getting slower in his old age. Overweight, he could hardly take care of himself let alone anyone else, he was a highly emotional man and his mental coping skills were not their strongest. I had convinced myself I wouldn’t tell them.
“It will kill him” I explained to the assessor. ” he won’t be able to take this. He will surely have a heart attack and that will be the end of him”. The assessor whilst understanding, explained to me that without permission of everyone in the house he could not approve me for an ICO. Without the ICO as an option, it would limit my options for punishment. This would ultimately reduce the chance of me serving my sentence on the outside with my daughter and family. He gave me a week to think it over with my husband. 

I was so convinced that if I told my dad it would literally be the end of him, that I was willing to throw the ICO away, hope for a suspended sentence. If that failed and I was sentenced to jail we could apply for bail and appeal right? That way we don’t have to tell them. It all sounded so simple, that was what I was going to do….surely they can’t send me to jail? I was letting fear and shame make my decision….similar emotions that drove me to make the decisions that got me into trouble in the first place. That fear was influencing me to throw away an option that would let me serve my time at home and continue raising my daughter and begin to mend our life. Also not thinking how my parents would feel If the way they found out was because I was put in prison. My husband convinced me that if I agreed to the ICO that he would tell my parents. I would be there but he would do most of the talking. I finally agreed. I know it seems like a cowards way out but it was the only way I could do it. 

We had just less than a week to tell my parents before the assessor came to our home, and we decided we would tell them a couple of days before. Needless to say it was a tense week. 

I don’t know what triggered it, but something clicked inside me. Earlier than planned, I asked my husband if he was ready to tell them. He was surprised and asked if I was sure. And I was. I was tired of letting this burden control our life and how we lived it and I needed to deal with it head on. 
So we sat my parents down.
I didn’t let my husband say a word. 

I needed to do the talking. This was my problem, and I needed to speak up and admit the responsibility and apologise to my parents. 

Ultimately, waiting to tell them was the best decision we made. We had been through all of the emotion and the tears and we were now coming to the end of the journey, so to speak. There was no need to drag them through the mess that we had been through over the past year. My father is still alive and kicking and very supportive. Surprisingly, it has given him the kick he needs to get himself into shape again. My door is open all hours and they can see their granddaughter anytime they want. We are also starting to have those long, vivid conversations we used to many moons ago. 

I still had one more wall to face and that was my sentencing. But to me, I had just faced and broke down the toughest one of all.
I was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment by way of and Intensive Corrections Order (ICO) with 32 hours a month of community service. I am still to continue my treatment and it will be monitored.  
I now have a criminal record. 
But, I still get to live my life, raise my family and plan for a better future; one that my family truly deserves. 
Had I not finally faced all of my demons, who knows how much worse it could have been.
I’m glad I will never know. 

Frequent Liars/Secret Lives

  

Most of us bend the truth – or omit it – on occasion for different reasons. And all of us have either lived with a secret – or been told to keep one. Secrets and lies affect not only our personal lives, but saturate our society as a whole. Each day we are bombarded by media hell bent on sensationalism and exposés. The news, magazines and journals, the internet and commercial television thrive on our voyeuristic interest to peek into the of celebrities, the unveiling of our politicians’ faux pas – or outright lies to protect their positions, corporations and national cover-ups. (CNN’s ratings received a huge boost since tracking the vanishing act of Malaysian Airlines Flt 370). Of course, they make the big money mostly from saturating us with a plethora of advertisements from companies that claim their products are the answer to all of our ills – when some of them instead contribute to them.
Given the above, its small wonder we might tend to fudge on our true income to IRS, or keep secret that we are gay or have been sexually abused. But why are some of us more prone than others to sharing or telling secrets and lies? One answer is we feel something or someone needs protecting, be it ourselves, our loved ones, our jobs or our relationships.

An interesting fact is that those who live secret lives develop expert lying skills. How else can one work for top secret organizations or have two or more families at once or have affairs without the other(s) finding out? In the case of the former, society – and media – glorifies people like James Bond, but we know little about the secret lives of adulterers and bigamists. They do their secret lives on the sly, until slipped up by being caught in the lie by their mate.

The genesis of secrets and lying in our lives

At a young age we are exposed to our first secrets and lies. We learn in the playground “secret stuff” and the art of lying: “Don’t tell anybody, but Sally was adopted”, “Don’t tell the teacher that I stole these crayons from school.” Unfortunately, a secret may be a mistruth that we unwittingly pass on and in the case of the latter, if we don’t lie for our buddy, they won’t be our friend anymore. Consider also the double-aged sword of swearing a friend to a juicy secret. First, it typically is made clear that the recipient is given a special status of being the only one in the world with this gift of privileged knowledge. But then, it becomes a social burden of keeping it hidden when telling it to another friend will gain both status and enhance that second .

We also learn about secrets and lies in the home through the observation of “white lies” and being told not to tell anyone about something or an experience, be it positive – Mom’s Christmas present – or negative – physical or sexual abuse in the family. To be clear, white lies are those told so as not to hurt someone else’s feelings. For instance, your friend’s new hair cut/outfit/you-name-it looks terrible but when they ask if it looks good or if you like it, you automatically say “Yes.” Any other type of lie is generally self-serving – and sporadic. They are likely told out of – fear of being found out. In time perspective terms, many self-serving lies fall under the category of future fatalism; “If I don’t, a) cover this up, I will be in big trouble in tonight, tomorrow or down the road”; or b) “If I don’t pretend to be much more than what I know I am on this site, no one will want me.” 

Another type of lying – pathological – is addressed later in this column.

Getting back to children – they can be brutally honest in their truth telling and often correct their honesty by making them apologize or insisting they tell a white lie. This happened recently when a client introduced me to his 5-year old son, who took one look at me and said, “You are old!” His embarrassed father sternly told his son not to say such things, and he should apologize. The situation was diffused – and my client relieved – when I laughed, agreed with his son, and told him I am old enough to be his grandmother. In the mind of the little boy, my looks and age were then placed in a perspective he could understand.

White lies can morph into self-serving lies

As time goes by, our parents might inadvertently include us in their . We try it out and soon, white lies escalate into full blown lying.

Here are some examples of how children learn to lie by overhearing their parent tell a lie:

– calls in sick to work because they have to gather info for complicated taxes.

– learns to fake illness.

– tells a friend that they can’t hang out because they have to attend their child’s performance when the child doesn’t have one.

– learns it is okay to say anything to get the result they want.

child finds out that parent is having an affair; parent tells child not to say anything to other parent so as not to hurt their feelings.

learns unfaithfulness is okay as long as the other person doesn’t find out.

But what about secret agents and those dudes with secret multiple families?

In , an article by Psychology Today’s editor-in-chief, Kaja Perina (http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201012/secrets-special-agents), she reports, “…children raised in adverse circumstances are better at detecting deception than are those in stable environments…” The article goes on to detail the challenging childhoods of three real-life special agents. Although less dramatic, their lives are reminiscent of the 2006 remake of “Casino Royale” in which it is revealed that James Bond was an orphan and had a rough time growing up. We gather that those with exceptional “deception detecting” abilities (they can sniff out a lie and also tell one) may therefore seek out organizations to work in that require these skills.

As for people with secret multiple families, these folks are pathological liars and likely suffer from a personality disorder. Like self-serving liars on steroids, pathological liars consistently lie to get whatever it is they want or feel they need. In the case of secret multiple families, it may be more , greater fulfillment, or if they feel their first family was deficient in some way but they don’t want to separate or , their second (or third) family is a do-over. They may also be and incapable of realizing how their actions (days, weeks or months away, less financial stability) affect their families. Some are also Machiavellian in enjoying their power of deceiving everyone.

It takes the of a genius to live a secret life or frequent liar. Once a lie has been told, one has to remember all the details as well as the lie’s domino effect. The price paid is extreme which affects physical, emotional and mental , not to mention the health of relationship(s). Elevated blood pressure, cardiac problems, , anxiety, emotional upheaval, mood swings and drug and alcohol are just a few of the tokens paid for living a secret life. Of course, we must also consider the self-lies we live that we are not aware of because they are buried in our minds. But as observed, they may burst out in many disguised ways, as slips of the tongue, memory lapses or symptoms. It is the task of a psychoanalyst to uncover their sources and enable the client to come to grips with that past negative reality in their present lives.

If you are carrying the burden of a secret too heavy to bear any longer, living a secret life and want out, or find you lie more than you’d like to, start by being honest with yourself. Think about the root cause of your actions – or inactions. Very likely you’ll find that somewhere in the past, a negative experience is the cause for your present situation. Check out the resources below and consider the possibility of speaking with a mental health professional. 

Resources : 

Visit the website, “http://www.timecure.com/ (link is external)” \t “_blank” , to view a free 20 minute video – The River of Time. You’ll learn self-soothing techniques as well as how to let go of past negatives, work towards a brighter future, and live in a more compassionate present.

– Information and support for those with a family member or a loved one who suffers from a personalitydisorder; http://outofthefog.net/CommonBehaviors/LiesLiarsAndLying.html; http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/index.shtml

How To Become a More Loving, Positive Person

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We live in denial of our inherent negativity for the most part, and often wonder why the world around is so mean and reckless. Unlike dogs we may not be born eternal optimists, but positivity is something that can be imbibed even if a tad forcibly; such as by trying to tweak our sense of humour, the way we react to a given situation, by being more pleasant and believing others too have a mind, and by smiling each time somebody says ‘thank you’. While positivity is a state of mind, the answer lies in our perspective.

Here are 18 things you can do right now to becoming a more loving and positive person.

It’s one thing to wax eloquent on positivity, but quite another to be a positive person at heart. Despite believing to have a positive outlook, we invariably weigh the cons first. What’s more, we prefer needless sarcasm for humour, manage a wry smile when something is genuinely funny, and believe deep down that the glass is actually half empty.

18 Things To You Can Do To Change Your Outlook:

  1. Have the desire: To become a positive person one must have a strong desire to be positive. And the desire will come only if you are convinced that becoming a positive person will enhance the quality of life. Positivity is like an aura, and you know you are a positive person when people start trusting you, random people become polite with you, colleagues at work respect your positive outlook and you start building rapport easily.
  2. Believe in all possibilities: About what you can or cannot do. About what is possible or impossible. Don’t allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly! Once you realize all is possible, the doors of limitation that were closed in your mind will open be connected to all those aspects of consciousness.

  3. Be realistic: Do not try to become a saint. Becoming a positive person does not mean you can never have any negative emotion or encounter any negative situation. It is the overall attitude that matters and your reaction to every experience. Don’t get bogged down by failure, and disappointed when your expectations are not met. Understand that everything is of service to you. All experiences are neutral and our perception is what creates our positive or negative outlook.

  4. Experience empowerment rather than criticism: Give up your constant need to complain and criticize about those things — people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. When you criticize, you are passing self-judgement for something lacking in your life that you refuse to let go of. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. For every opportunity you feel the inclination to criticize, try to think about how that specific situation is serving or benefiting others.

  5. Experiment: Be a keen observer. Use everyday life incidents to see how you can manage them in a more positive manner. These will serve as perfect instances to turn your outlook more positive. For starters, contemplate how you could have better handled a situation by being less hostile and more indulgent. Come up with five ways that could have saved the day, and learn to take things at face value sometimes. Remember, your ability to trust the other person also reflects your genuineness.

  6. Accept responsibility: Guilt is a trick of the mind. Accept responsibility for yourself, your life and your actions. You are response-able. You are an adult. You are account-able, meaning, with every action you take, you account for it. You chose to do it; you must accept the consequences of it and you did it all for a reason…to learn. If you continue to feel guilty, you stop learning.

  7. Speech and body language: Try and make positive words a part of your daily lingo, and work on your body language in way that you come across as friendly and approachable. Look amused when something is amusing, laugh when something is funny, congratulate when credit is due, and give others a chance to narrate their side of the story. Never think you are the only interesting, knowing one around.

  8. Be yourself: You are unique. Enjoy your uniqueness. Nobody in the world is just like you. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. The moment you take off all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

  9. Company: One way to becoming positive is to seek positive company as both positivity and negativity are infectious. If the people you spend most of your time with are grumpy or have a pessimistic standpoint, you’ll find yourself inadvertently mirroring the same emotions with others. In order to inculcate positivity it is imperative that your friend circle is a positive, energetic, and a happy bunch. You’ll find yourself carrying the same positivity everywhere you go.

  10. Think here and now: The past and future often set us on a path of emotional turmoil. We often assume the past looked so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for — the past that you are now dreaming about — was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

  11. Activities: Do not remain idle and brood. Take up positive activities with others or in isolation. Share a joke, narrate a pleasant incident, take part in sporting activities, go for a run in the evening after work, have healthy sex, and you’ll find yourself bubbling with positive energy.

  12. Take it easy: Everyday life is bound to give you shocks. Be prepared to minimise impact and shrug it off. For instance, you may get too hassled everyday while driving to work or trying to park your car. When you accept the fact that certain things cannot be changed, you’ll be more at ease with yourself and those around too.

  13. Drop your expectations: Let go of any expectations of yourself that will limit your growth. If you hold high expectations for how others should behave, you will often be disappointed if they do not represent themselves in the manner you expected. It is only your expectations of people that cause you to judge them which ultimately is a judgement of yourself. Far too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They often forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need. You have one life — this one right now — you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

  14. Maintain a diary: Instead of recounting all events of the day, filter out only the positive ones and make a note of them. It could be anything trivial from your bus arriving on time, your mom cooking a delicious breakfast, to remembering to pay the bills on time. When we look for positivity in the little things that make our lives worthwhile, we leave no room for negativity. Try consciously practising this for 10 days, and at the end of day ten when you read your diary back you’ll only have memories of all the good things that happened to you.

  15. Meditate: Not only does it secrete happy hormones but also creates a sense of awareness within you. You will learn to control your breathing, and by way of it, control your mind from wandering. Every time you meditate, you feel a surge of positive energy through your body that calms your nerves, soothes your mind, elevates your mood, and not to mention enhances your level of tolerance.

  16. Embrace change: Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change — don’t resist it.

  17. Re-invent your need to be right: There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong — wanting to always be right — even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. We love to right-fight. It’s just not worth it because the state of being right is all subjective with so many layers and perspectives of truth. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question:“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” ~ Wayne Dyer.

  18. Say ‘thank you’: Thank god, thank your parents, friends, and thank yourself for all the hard work you did, for everything you achieved. Saying thank you frequently makes you humble, and a humble person is seldom cynical.

In Love Jim Villamor