Are you in persuit of happYness?

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Dr Jill Webber, clinical psychologist believes that the endless pursuit of the perfect match may reveal a misguided quest for self-love.

If a woman has a negative self-image and generally feels poorly about herself, she may work tirelessly to find a cure by securing a perfect match. As a result, she may find herself perpetually caught in a cycle of working to attain male desire and feeling high once it is temporarily achieved. But of course, when the match turns out not to be a good one, the high is often followed by a crushing low. All of which can play out over a few hours or a much longer period of time. When self-esteem is lacking, it is tempting to outsource a sense of self through associating with an idealized match. Unfortunately, until self-love is present within, true love and care from outside evade.

If self-esteem lags, it is easier to focus attention on finding the perfect mate than it is to develop and achieve broader goals for the self. Attaching self-esteem to a romanticized other becomes a way to feel a sense of love that perhaps a woman cannot feel for herself, in her own head. Placing romantic partners on a pedestal is a way to make up for the self-worth deficit. If the man seems confident, sexy, high achieving, then suddenly the woman feels better about herself, almost as if she is him. Failing to harness her own self-esteem, she leans heavily on his.
As a general rule of thumb, the more obsessed and ruminative a person may be about obtaining a partner or finding new romantic attention, the more depleted and inadequate they may feel about themself.

When self-love is lacking judgment becomes impaired; a woman is more desperate to couple up and is so lost in this pursuit that she has difficulty making an accurate assessment of who the person really is and if he can truly meet her needs. When partners are idealized, the illusion is destined to dissolve, leaving the woman depleted and with a greater sense of inadequacy.

Building self-love is a process. A helpful first step is to notice if you are putting all of your energy into making a relationship work or to finding the perfect match. Take a step back and consider if you are hoping someone else will provide you with something only you can develop. Ask yourself if you have a tendency to idealize your romantic partners and then are left deflated when you discover who they actually are. If you tend to camouflage what you consider unlovable about yourself through attaching to highly desirable, oh so important men, refocus, not on another potential mate, but on yourself.

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Becoming More Authentic: Accept Yourself and Stop Seeking Approval

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For most of my life, I was a chameleon, hoping I’d blend in and was full of self-doubt, so I molded my personality and beliefs based on my company. I traded my authentic self for the security of being liked by my family and friends because of my fear of being judged.

I withheld what I needed from others and was unable to communicate my emotions. My frustration of not being heard turned into anger whenever I did share my feelings. In return I experienced anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, and self-loathing. That was a huge price to pay so others would accept and like me.

*I become addicted to my story of the “broken girl” who  compromised her integrity because her voice and emotions were neglected by her parents. I used my victim story to serve as an excuse for my bad behavior.

If I was “perceived” as a victim, I didn’t have to be held accountable for my bad choices.

I learned how to use others to get the love and attention I didn’t give myself. I defined my self-worth by comparing myself to others. I tried to be perceived as “perfect,” so I created unattainable standards that left me disconnected.

During my mid twenties I became exhausted of worrying about being inconsistent and acting differently around different people. I became disconnected to others and wasn’t able to cultivate meaningful relationships.

It requires real vulnerability to be authentic. What if I show my true colors and people don’t like the real me? Honestly, even when I decided to be a writer I thought  about people reading about my flaws it scared the bejesus out of me.

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From the outside my life looked great, but on the inside I was on the verge of a breakdown. I was ready to create a more meaningful and fulfilling life.

I realized the world needs us to show up and share our gifts.

There is more risk hiding our gifts from the world than expressing them. Our unexpressed ideas, dreams and gifts don’t go away. They destroy our worthiness and confidence.

There is no shortcut to authenticity. It requires commitment and real inner work. I dove deeply into my emotional mess and started feeling the pain I had repressed. I made the daily commitment to take the following steps to be more authentic:

Step 1: Forgive and love yourself.

I had to forgive myself for my past mistakes. My ego enjoyed replaying my bad choices and punishing me by making me feel unworthy of love. By cultivating kindness towards myself, I honored and accepted the past, learned my lessons, and started loving myself.

What Can You Do: Consider how you can learn from your past so you can do better going forward. Always be kind to yourself because you can only ever do your best. Be content with that.

Step 2: Be willing to make a change and own your mistakes.

I found the willingness to embrace my imperfections and shared them with others. I started speaking and writing about my challenges. I had to acknowledge some unpleasant truths about myself. The biggest one was admitting I enjoyed my “victim” story. I felt it served me by getting me sympathy and attention from others. By humbly owning my mistakes, I repaired my self-worth and confidence.

What You can Do: Commit to making a change. Get clear and admit why you hold on to your pain. Why do you think it serves you?

Step 3: Create a daily practice.

I created a daily practice of living authentically. I took care of my mind, body, and spirit and nurtured a loving relationship with myself. I looked to those who already lived authentically and noticed a pattern of traits they master. Below, I’ve listed the most common attributes all authentic people share.

What You Can Do: If you feel disconnected or unable to speak your truth, identify which traits you need to cultivate in your life and create an intention to become authentic. Do the necessary inner work to reconnect to your truth and your authenticity will radiate through you.

The traits I’ve identified as common to authentic people:

Mindfulness.

Authentic people accept their life experiences and feel the emotions that arise. They don’t repress their feelings and let them fester up. Anxiety and guilt arise from not being present. If we doubt our ability to handle challenges in the future, we create anxiety. Guilt results from feeling bad about past mistakes or people we have hurt. Authentic people experience life challenges from a place of love, forgiveness, and gratitude.

Self-respect.

Authentic people are impeccable when they speak to themselves, about themselves and others. They are mindful of the energy behind words and believe they are worthy of love and peace of mind. They have a healthy approach to life by knowing there will always be naysayers, and their opinions don’t matter.

Courage.

Authentic people create their own rules based on the standards that resonate with them. They have the courage to live their lives based on what they believe is right. This type of empowerment gives them the inner strength to withstand temptation and build self-confidence. When you have the courage to share your shame and guilt, they no longer have power over you.

Boldness.

Authentic people don’t allow their fears to prevent them being themselves. If you are focused on being true to yourself in every moment, you are less concerned about the potential for rejection from others. Nothing is more liberating than being yourself as fully as you know how.

Being authentic is a daily practice. It is a moment-by-moment choice of embracing your truth and being fearless enough to share it with the world. When you have nothing to hide and you can freely be yourself with everyone, there is a profound peace and confidence you will exude to the world.

Will you join me on the path to authenticity?

Please comment and share.

Love Ali 💛

 

I Have A Shocking Confession

Prison Break Coach

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I have a confession that may shock you!

I love the little mermaid and even more the song Part Of Your World- (Mainly because my daughter Jayda played the VHS over and over and over and sang this song 10 times a day😘)

….When’s it my turn?
Wouldn’t I love?
Love to explore that shore up above
Out of the sea, wish I could be
Part of that world….

Ok. Not so shocking. That’s not the confession though. I confess that there have been times in my life when I can admit to being totally jealous of pretty much everything and everyone who was happy…..because I wasn’t. I often asked “when’s it my turn?”. I longed to be a part of “that” world.

Overcoming jealousy is like changing any emotional reaction or behavior. It begins with awareness. Awareness allows you to see that the projected stories in your mind are…

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Stop Blaming The Devil

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I’ve always known this but have been reminded in a few lessons in these past couple of weeks. It’s not always the devil that causes life to go awry. We have a part to play in choosing the path.

Heres 5 Things we can stop blaming the devil for:

1. Stop Blaming The Devil  For Everything That Goes Wrong In Our Lives.
Not everything bad that happens in your life is The devil’s fault. There are so many decisions that people make that lead to consequences that effect many people. That is not to say that evil doesn’t exist – it does. But blaming the devil for everything is a bad practice. Let’s not focus on what has already been defeated.

2. Stop Blaming The Devil For Unwise Decisions.
I hear people blame the devil because they have made a bad decision. For example,  Your car running out of gas is ‘nothin but the devil’  Really? Really? You ran out of gas because you didn’t put gas in your car. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 NLT

3. Stop Blaming The Devil For Giving Into Temptation.
We all are tempted, but The devil never forces us to give into that temptation. Because of Jesus’ victory over Satan on the Cross, we don’t have to give into the temptation. I hear people blaming Satan all the time for their giving into temptation, blaming him for their moral failures instead of taking responsiblity for their decision.

4. Stop Blaming The Devil For Our Lack of Leadership.
Programs and events succeed and sometimes they fail. But don’t blame the devil for your failed event or program. Often times it is a lack of leadership that is the problem. When we blame the devil for things that were our responsibility, we miss out on the leadership lesson that needs to be learned.

5. Allowing Unforgiveness In Your Heart. Forgiveness is the best weapon against the enemy’s attacks on our relationships. As long as we allow unforgiveness to permanently reside in the heart, it gives him a permanent foothold to torment the soul. While God can encourage us to do this for our own benefit, He can’t force us. On the other hand, the devil can’t force you to hold on to unforgiveness. It is an act of the will and has to be given freely in order to heal and release life.

What do you need to stop blaming the devil for?

 

 

Are You Secretly Judging Others?

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Do you notice that you often secretly judge others?

-You can’t see me but I’m raising my hand. 👋🏽

For example, your partner leaves his dirty dishes in the sink before heading out to meet his friends and you think, He’s so lazy and sloppy. It drives me bananas.

Throughout the day, every day, you find yourself silently criticizing others.

My co-worker at work has gotten scatter-brained… my neighbor is too nosy… my friend is too self-absorbed with posting selfies on social media…

What does this all mean?

Are you surrounded by people who don’t have their act together?

Is society just falling apart?

Or is this a clue about something way deeper and way more fundamental about YOU?

-How Your Relationship With Others Brings Up The Next Biggest Thing You Need To Learn About Yourself

When we judge others or feel our “buttons being pushed” by the things they say and do, we may actually be projecting our feelings onto others.

We are accusing others of the very things we disown or reject about ourselves.

Here’s how it works…

Let’s say you have a fear of rejection that stems from something far back in childhood.

More than likely, you’re unaware of this fear. You haven’t yet acknowledged it. Or you know about it, but reject that it’s an issue.

Your subconscious mind is aware of it, though. And that part of your mind will always seek opportunities to work out this old issue. It will lead you into situations where you can bring that fear into your awareness.

In other words, you will enter into relationships with people who will “trigger” that fear or unacknowledged emotion inside you.

You will attract a relationship where your partner will withdraw, act cold, make plans with his or her friends instead of with you, have a hobby they love that doesn’t (or can’t) involve you, etc.

Instead of causing you to face and accept your fear, their behavior will cause you to be secretly judgmental or critical.

You don’t think, Hmm, I’m feeling afraid that he’s going to abandon me and I’ll be alone again.

Instead you think, He never spends time with me, he’s off having fun instead of fixing these things around the house, he’s wasting money playing golf all day when he should be saving money and spending the day with me.

Another example – let’s say that you consider yourself a neat, tidy and financially conservative person. You keep your home and car clean and you never spend more than you make.

But deep down, you’re really someone who wishes they could forgo responsibility for a while, kick up their feet and be self-indulgent for a change.

However, you don’t want to admit that to yourself. It’s just not something you accept about yourself, for whatever reason. Maybe in childhood you were rejected for being that way.

Your creative mind will actually draw you into situations where you are around people who seem sloppy, irresponsible and flaky.

And instead of admitting that you’re a little bit like them, you will find yourself secretly complaining about them.

-What Do You Need To Accept About Yourself In Order To Love Yourself?
When you don’t, or can’t, acknowledge your feelings or accept something about yourself, it’s a sign that deep down, you don’t love yourself.

And if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never feel completely at peace with yourself and the world around you.

You’ll always find something to complain about, and the people in your life will always seem to be less than perfect, because YOU think you’re less than perfect.

Unless you can learn to love yourself, and accept yourself and your feelings, you’ll never be able to be fully loved by anyone else, either.

-How This One Breakthrough Can Change Your Whole Life

There was a time in my life when I so badly wanted love and acceptance, but all I did was criticize people who were expressing love.

I had several unhappy relationships in my 20s and 30s before I met Garrett at 45. I thought men were too critical and too obsessed with talking about feelings. I didn’t fully believe them when they said they loved me or wanted me to be happy.

The truth was, I was out of touch with my own feelings. I wasn’t “sensitive” enough to what my mind and heart wanted and needed. Therefore, I projected those unacknowledged aspects of myself onto others.

I was secretly judgmental.

It wasn’t until I had a major breakthrough in my life where I finally learned how to love myself that all that changed.

I met and fell in love with Garrett, and my life changed.

I had discovered something transformational.

That’s why everything that I teach is the fundamental concept of loving yourself first.

So many relationship problems – even stubborn, long-standing ones – can finally be resolved when you learn to identify the underlying issues within yourself.
Learning to love yourself in a relationship is seeing that you will create the very situations you need that allow you to experience the parts of yourself you cannot love.

When you do that, you stop seeing the “wrong” in others. You stop being triggered all the time and you become a less judgmental person.

When you love all of yourself, as if by magic, you will find yourself being completely loved by others.

I am committed in 2017 to be less judgemental of others and be more loving.  When I feel my “buttons” being pushed, I will explore the deeper source of my discomfort. While I have come a long way,  I’m still learning to love EVERY part of myself. Will you join me?  We ARE love.

💛Allie

 

7 Things I’m Leaving Behind In 2017

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The new year is just around the corner, and joy is in the air. December is the month people buy their planners, get new calendars, set goals, and make a list of all their resolutions. The intention behind these actions is clear: “New year, new me.” We somehow feel that these practices tell 2017, “We are ready for you!” But, are we?

Every year, I make a list of the things I purposely don’t want to see in my new year. From time to time I review my “naughty” list to make sure I haven’t fallen back to old habits. We have all heard the saying “out with the old, in with the new.” Truthfully, we can’t enjoy the new if we don’t make a conscious effort to get rid of the old. What things pushed you further away from yourself and your goals?

If you want to experience a better new year, here are nine things you must leave behind in 2016.

1. Diets and easy fixes

Leave the “I’m on a diet” life. Focus on having a healthy mind and perspective. Nurture your health from the inside out. Once you have a healthy “inside” it’s easier to condition your body. A diet will keep you stuck on an endless cycle. Create a lifestyle that supports the belief you have cultivated about yourself and healthy living.

2. Destructive relationships

Leave behind relationships that subtract from you. If a romantic, collegiate, family, business relationship or friendship is taking away from you, abandon ship. Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Evaluate your circle.

3. Fear of trying

Leave behind the fear of giving it a try. I get it. Some things can be scary. But fear is healthy to a degree. It keeps us safe from obvious dangers like running into other cars or jumping off a cliff. Taking a risk? Trying something new? No. Tell fear, “Thanks for wanting to keep me safe, but you are not making this decision for me, so bye bye.” Feel the fear and then give it a shot.

4. Saying “I don’t know”

You are smarter than you think. Your words give your mind directions on what to do. Repeating the phrase “I don’t know” keeps your mind in a state of confusion and procrastination. If you are unsure of an answer, Google it or ask someone. If you are in the middle of a life decision and have no idea what you’re going to decide, say, “I’m in the middle of getting clarity.” Words are powerful.

5. Self-limiting beliefs

Leave behind the lies you keep telling yourself. “I will never figure this out. Things will always be this way. This always happens to me. I can’t do that. I always have bad luck. I will always be poor. I will never make it.” Really? Just stop. There are too many resources available today for you to not get what you want.

6. Your ex-anything

Leave the past in the past. This could be an ex-boyfriend, ex-girlfriend, ex-hookup, ex-booty call, ex-side chick/dude, or ex-friend. Just leave them behind. They are an ex for a reason. Stop running towards the comfort of knowing them and move your life forward. There is more to life than the world you once lived via your ex.

7. Regrets

You are human and will make mistakes. You feel regret after eating that cookie. Really? Enjoy it. You feel regret after having fun all night and waking up tired? Please. Enjoy life. One day you won’t have the energy to stay up all night. Be thankful for the mistakes you have made and what they taught you, but don’t feel regret for being human. Ever.

We anticipate starting life from a clean slate. For some that can be on a birthday and for the rest of us it can be during a new year. Before focusing too much on what you want from 2017, consider the things you must abandon. The idea of a new year and a clean slate is possible if you choose to clean the slate yourself.

What can you add to this list? What other things should be left behind in 2016?

Love Allison 💛

Fighting The Holiday Blues? Eat Seaweed and Volunteer

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‘Tis the season to be jolly? Not necessarily. For many people the holiday season, which kicks off with Thanksgiving and spans through New Year’s Day, is anything but blissful. In fact, this time of year may trigger a bout of the blues or perhaps ignite a depression that has been smoldering under the surface for months.

Lonely people – without family or friends – and those who grew up in dysfunctional families and have unpleasant memories of the holidays, simply can’t achieve the ideal that many commercial images of the holidays portray.  That was me.  I grew up in a very dysfunctional family and lost both my parents between Thanksgiving and Christmas as a teen. My association with holidays was always depressing. Then I learned that there were some things I could do to help boost my mood.

What we eat and drink directly affects the structure of the brain that, in turn, influences the brain’s function. This includes both the synthesis and function of neurotransmitters as well as the presence or absence of inflammation. Most psychiatrists fail to appreciate the role of nutrition in mental health. Medication alone cannot help you make up for a crappy diet.

9 Nutrients Important For Mental Health

1. Omega-3 Fats-Food sources of omega-3 fats are fatty fish, omega-3 fortified eggs, and supplements.

2. Iodine-Good food sources include seaweed, cod, and iodized salt.
Moderate food sources include milk, yogurt, and eggs.

3. Zinc-Good food sources include oysters, crab, beef, lamb, pork, dark meat, chicken, legumes, cashews, and a good-quality multivitamin with minerals.

4. Magnesium -Good food sources include nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, bran, and dark chocolate.

5. Vitamin D-The few natural food sources available include oil/fatty fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, and trout and eggs to a lesser extent.  Vitamin D deficiency has not only been linked to depression but anxiety, SAD, and dementia as well. Supplementation is the only viable option to raise vitamin D levels enough to lower the risk of depression.

6. Selenium -Good food sources include Brazil nuts, fish, ham, shrimp, liver, and chicken.

7. Iron -Good food sources are beef, pork, lamb, dark meat chicken, eggs, liver, oysters, and white beans.

8. B Complex -B vitamins are found in whole grains, nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, and meat.

9. Vitamin C -Good food sources include citrus, kiwi, bell peppers, and strawberries.

Now that you’re feeding your brain let’s try some action steps.
1. Redefine the holidays as a joyful time for you, and pursue what is involves in making them so. Specifically, don’t feel obligated to pursue holiday activities that are unpleasant or overwhelming simply because they have always been the thing to do. For example, if cooking for the whole family feels like too much, consider a pot luck dinner or eating out.
2. If Christmas shopping and writing cards are more than you can handle, use the wonders of the Internet to help out. Shop and send greetings online and save time and effort and perhaps even a tree or two.
3. Don’t bother fighting the crowds between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Evidence suggests that you may find better bargains later in the season.
4. If you are feeling lonely or disadvantaged, volunteering can be a good way to restore a sense of proportion to your situation – and help others at the same time. Counting one’s blessings and helping those who are less fortunate are two time-honored ways of bringing happiness.
5. Finally, enjoy those aspects of the season and your own mind and body that cost absolutely nothing – walk outside on a bright winter day and enjoy the special beauty of nature in the winter; exercise and meditate. How wonderful to think that our own bodies and minds can provide us with remedies for the holiday blues – and so many other afflictions of the spirit.

Stay connected with friends and family.  Be careful not to isolate yourself. Despite how you may associate with the holidays, there are many blessings around you. Just open your eyes and be present to them.

Love, Allison 💛