JUNE CLASS: SELF LOVE, SELF ESTEEM AND CONFIDENCE (and re-discovering your uniqueness, greatness and worth!)
with MaryJane Walsh, Life Coach
- WHO: Girls, ages 11 – 16
- DATES: Tues. June 24, Thurs. June 26, and Tues. July 1, Thurs. July 3
- WHERE: CC’s Coffee House – 2800 Esplanade Ave. (conference room)
- TIME: 9:00 am – 11:00 am
- FEE: $120
**Our goal at Empowerment For Girls is to create an environment that nurtures confidence and healthy self esteem in girls and to create peer groups for girls that support and nurture each other’s growth and confidence.
Contact MaryJane Walsh at Empowerment For Girls: (504) 252-5849 to sign up and go to www.EmpowermentForGirls.com for more information.
Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise. Copyright © 1978 by Maya Angelou. Used by permission of Random House, Inc.
THAT’S RIGHT ! LIVE BIG! LOVE YOURSELF ! AND LIVE YOUR TRUTH !!!
ONE OF THE THINGS I HAVE FOUND TO BE ABSOLUTELY PARAMOUNT TO CREATING POSITIVE CHANGE AND LIVING YOUR LIFE ON PURPOSE IS …..
It is very important to celebrate yourself. It can be easy to play the comparison game between yourself and someone else, but REALLY — comparing yourself to anyone else (friend, peer, parent, celebrity or some cultural standard) can be a true WASTE OF TIME and create anxiety, negativity, poor self-esteem and self worth issues.
SO, remember to CELEBRATE YOU !!!! When you get into thoughts of comparing yourself to others, take a step back and think: Does this thought make me feel good? Is this the TRUTH ??
—–Instead, practice the art of CELEBRATING YOURSELF !!! As you celebrate you, others will too!!! Others will enjoy being around you, and you will be able to see others’ strengths and celebrate them as well. But, it is always good to do the work on yourself first!
Here are some ways to CELEBRATE YOU :
1) THE ART OF “GRATTITUDE”: I spell gratitude with 2 t’s because it reminds me that practicing gratitude is a way to have a GREAT ATTITUDE about your life and who you are!! (You may find gratitude a bunch in the Empowerment For Girls blog, because I truly believe in the POWER of gratitude.) Recognizing what you have to be grateful for everyday is a GREAT GREAT habit. Through practicing looking at the positives, you will train your mind to look for your great qualities and all of the gifts in your life rather than focusing on ways in which you or your life don’t match up to what you would like.
2) KNOW YOU! Knowing who you are is so important to celebrating yourself!!! How can you celebrate yourself if you don’t know what you like or what interests you???? AND ……. Figuring out YOU can actually be FUN !!! Don’t worry about feeling self-centered, because it is NOT self-centered to focus on yourself so that you know you better. Here are some questions: Do you know your likes or your favorites ??? (Do you know your favorite food, restaurant, ice cream flavor, book, subject, hobby, etc. etc. etc. If not, this is a GREAT idea for a journal entry !!)
3) TAKE TIME OUT FOR YOU!!! It’s so easy to get caught up in routines and finishing assignments and hanging out with your friends. Remember, it is VERY important to cultivate a very strong and loving relationship toward yourself, and this may take time alone with you. Planning for this time might look like a walk around the park near your house, or going to a nearby coffee shop and writing, beginning a creative project like a vision board, making a goal map for yourself, and of course there are several other ideas of ways to spend special time with yourself. The most important thing is that you practice this on a regular basis. Over time, taking time out for yourself will become second nature!
4) PRACTICE POSITIVE SELF-TALK!! Okay, so this requires getting very honest with yourself… How do you talk to yourself on the inside? I mean… Really how do you talk to yourself? Do you say nice things? Are you constantly finding ways you fall short? Do you compliment yourself and praise yourself for the good things that you do? Negative self-talk can be VERY destructive. One step in the direction of celebrating yourself is actually saying kind things to yourself and acknowledging your strengths and your growth. With practice, it will become easy to notice the positive things. Plus, you might even see that you feel better and accomplish more when your inner talk is looking at your positives rather than finding ways you might fall short.
All righty… so, I totally get it!… We ALL need a little motivation / boost at times… especially in the morning I might add, or even around 4 pm. Yep, 4 pm is the time of day when I usually need a little pick me up ! Here’s the deal: Music can be a HUGE state changer! And by that I mean: Music can change your emotional state in a matter of seconds ! It can take you right from boredom to buzzing … OR … stressed to excited! Music can get you UP in no time at all !!
Beats and rhythms can be a game changer when it comes to endurance levels too. Music breaks during long study hours or a room cleaning/re-decorating overhaul can be exactly what is needed to pull you through.
Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist at Brunel University in Britain, has been studying the link between music and movement for the past 20 years. His studies show that picking the “right” music can yield some great benefits….. By right music, Karageorghis is referring to a music tempo that is synchronized with the beats per minute of the heart rate you’d like to have during your workout /creative burst /study session fora major test / cleaning marathon, etc etc… !
To break it down: music with a tempo that is faster will motivate you, because your heartbeat will synch up with the beat of the music …. Using music to sync yourself up can also decrease your oxygen output, decrease your level of “perceived effort” AND increase your endurance levels, according to Karageorghis. Ah-Ha!!! That would DEFINITELY make a difference !!!
Add an inspiring message to boot, and you are unstoppable! If you’ve checked out my blog , you’ve probably noticed another awesome post about music. (I LOVE MUSIC!! ;) ….If you haven’t , check it out HERE -> Empower Yourself With My Favorite Top 10 Self Empowerment Songs… Get Inspired! I’m sure there will be many more posts with empowering, confidence-inspiring, get-your-butt-moving music !!!, because I’m constantly finding new picks for my own personal playlist! …. Like I said in my previous music post, if you were a spy… You might find me dancing around my room to beats in the morning! …. My day always gets started with some good jams! And having the Empowerment For Girls website just a click away allows me to scroll down the list and play one empowering song after another ;) !!!
Here is a new fabulous FUN empowering confidence-inspiring playlist !!! I’m a huge music lover (I’m from New Orleans… it’s in my genes)! So, join me in getting in the empowerment groove! Put on a song when you need to get movin’ or “Up” your confidence levels, improve your endurance levels (Run longer with less effort!) or bring some jazz to an otherwise boring chore like doing the dishes or cleaning your room! I’ll probably be dancing and listening along with you !!!
All right Gals! … Here are my TOP 10 CONFIDENCE BOOSTING SONGS FOR EMPOWERMENT :
Gotta love PINK !…. She always brings it, and her songs are edgy, inspiring and definitely empowering! I LOVE her new song “Try.”
…“Where there is desire /There is gonna be a flame /Where there is a flame / Someone’s bound to get burned / But just because it burns / Doesn’t mean you’re gonna die / You’ve gotta get up and try try try …..” !!!
I completely LOVE the message in Katy Perry’s newest song “Roar”…. Yes, it’s all over the radio, but the message is soooo empowering and inspiring.
This is the anthem for a lot of girls (it sure was for me…. FOR A LONG TIME ) !!
“I guess that I forgot I had a choice / I let you push me past the breaking point /I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything ….. You held me down, but I got up /Already brushing off the dust / You hear my voice, your hear that sound” ….. ” I see it all, I see it now!!!”
These lines make me think: I WISH I could tell my younger self this same message! I used to feel SO HELD DOWN by the world, by the people around me- always afraid of what others would think of me and afraid of rocking the boat… in my family, at school and in relationships. I hit my breaking point too, and that’s part of what I do what I do !!
“I Got eye of the tiger , a fighter, / dancing through the fire / Cause I am a champion and / You’re gonna hear me ROAR! /Louder, louder than a lion / Cause I am a champion and /You’re gonna hear me ROAR ! ”
This is BY FAR one of my FAVORITE empowerment songs on the radio right now !!!
… I HAD to do it! …. Katy inspired me to include the first eye of the tiger song! If you don’t know Sylvester Stallone’s story behind writing his own screen play, starring in the film and his own personal life struggle filled with tons and tons of rejection before finally reaching success, then read up on it… He is inspiring and the song is well, (you know it ! ) AWESOME !!!
I’m so in love with empowerment songs. I used to listen to music all the time in the car without even thinking about what the lyrics were saying… until I learned about the power of words. Before understanding the power of words (our words actually affect our subconscious minds and our beliefs about ourselves), I was saying these lyrics that weren’t empowering at all. Alas, now I’m much more aware about the messages in songs. When I come across a song like the next one, it makes me so happy that gals are listening to the radio and hearing such great empowering words! Love this next song!!!
Ahhhh, Inspiration to keep going when there are nay-sayers!!! To live from purpose and live your BEST life, you have to strengthen yourself from within and learn to block out the nay-sayers (whether those are people or your own internal thoughts)! Listening to your inner light / flame takes COURAGE, but the pay off is oh so sweet!!! When needing a boost of courage, a little Destiny’s Child “Survivor” does the trick!
Ah-Ha!!! My favorite favorite! This girl’s got it ! I always love Sarah Bareilles ! She’s my empowerment crush! She has a great message in this song too and a good beat to boot! Love it, love her !!
“Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down by the enemy /Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing / Bow down to the mighty / Don’t run, stop holding your tongue / Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live / Maybe one of these days you can let the light in / Show me how big your brave is / Say what you wanna say / And let the words fall out / Honestly I wanna see you be brave”
Girls are doing all kinds of awesome things! I’m so inspired… and sometimes totally disgusted when I see movies or videos that objectify women… ACK!!! I can’t complain for too long, because there are so many darn awesome gals out there making a difference… AND I like to focus on the positive anyway! ;) I love the message in the Eurythmics song “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves“…. Definitely one of my faves !!
Everyone’s gotta love the women who paved the way for we superstar ladies today !! :) I LOVE LOVE LOVE Aretha Franklin and her song “Respect.” It’s the BEST song to blast when you need a little empowerment boost. It will remind you of all the important aspects of your duty to maintain your belief in your awesomeness and your worth. If you treat yourself like a queen, others will too !!! (And that goes for dating too… but more of that later !
Oh my gosh, I LOVE Willow Smith and this song. It’s the anthem for accepting who you are and letting yourself just be YOU ! My favorite lines are:
“I’M ME / And That’s All I Can Be” …. I’M ME / Here’s my VULNERABILITY ….. “I’ve Been Looking /
EXPRESS Myself / Cause Its My LIBERTY /I’ve Been Looking for Your VALIDATION , Is not Just That IMPORTANT To ME /I’M ME / I’M ME /And That’s ALL I Can Be.”
That’s all you ever can be… YOU! ……. YOU ARE AWESOME !!!
What happens when you have a dream that no one else sees or believes in but you? And maybe it’s because you have a VISION that is BIG and could really rock things in your world! It can be hard to follow that dream and keep your vision strong, especially when you feel discouraged or rejected. Music can be so powerful and so inspiring. Sometimes, it’s not just the lyrics either, but good beats that lift and inspire you. That can be the true amazing power of music! Of course, I’m a sucker for great, inspiring lyrics too… especially these… and Oh, they’re so powerful and good that I’ve included the whole song ;) It’s like an awesome empowerment poem ! YES YES !!
First, when there’s nothing but a slow glowing dream
That your fear seems to hide deep inside your mind
All alone I have cried, silent tears full of pride
In a world made of steel, made of stone
Well, I hear the music close my eyes, feel the rhythm
Wrap around, take a hold of my heart
What a feeling, being’s believin’
I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life
Take your passion and make it happen
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life
Great Great SONG !!! Love Gloria Gaynor! If you need a self esteem boost and need to get back to the attitude of “I GOT THIS” no matter what, this song can be a game changer! So put it on, BLAST it, sing it by yourself, sing it with your gals! You Will Survive !!!!
YOU ARE A DANCING QUEEN !!!! EMBRACE IT, SISTA!!! Dancing to songs with good beats and empowering lyrics can be the best boost of all !!!! So get into the dancing groove …… everyday !!!
Of course, I had to include a Madonna song in the list! Madonna definitely has paved some roads both in the world of music and in women’s empowerment through her vision and her commitment to expressing herself! I LOVE this song, and it’s all about self expression. YES !!!
Rock On, Gals!!!!
A GREAT way to start your morning is with some Excellent Fun and Inspiring songs!!! I love songs with positive, empowering messages. I LOVE MUSIC! I love to sing and dance. I am one of those people who can hear a song one time and get hooked and then listen to it a million times over and over. Do you remember what affirmations / incantations are??? I talked about them in the last post “Raise Your Self Esteem With These 10 Empowering Activites.” If you haven’t read it, it’s no big deal… I will explain a little now…
Affirmations are phrases that we say over and over that express positive, affirming beliefs about ourselves. An example is “I completely ROCK!” and “I am so smart! I am going to kick butt on that test!” An incantation is when we put some Oomph! into those phrases… I accomplish lots of Oomph! by putting on music, dancing and saying the affirmations with LOTS of emotion! (If you’ve taken one of my workshops, you definitely know what I’m talking about!) The point is MUSIC IS SUCH A GREAT TOOL TO USE to change your state- your body, feelings, thoughts and way of moving!
NOT ALL MUSIC IS CREATED EQUAL! Think about a few songs that you LOVE right now… Pay attention to the words. Maybe you’ve noticed that some of the songs are about break-ups or heart break and may contain messages in the lyrics that aren’t exactly empowering. I know for me a lot of the music I liked contained words that were sad or depressing and not exactly uplifting.… So, I now like to be very careful about which songs I blast in the morning to ensure my day is started in a positive way. I have compiled some of my current favorite songs to accomplish just that – to get your day started in a SUPER POSITIVE WAY !!!.… ROCK ON, EMPOWERED GIRL !!!
All right, I’m starting with my favorite…. And this one is a favorite from when I was girl. There have been TONS of covers, but nothing beats the original! It is a classic ! I LOVE THE MOVIE TOO … If you haven’t seen it, plan a girl party and watch it! You will LOVE it !!!!
This is a super popular song right now… I was introduced to this song by the girls in my workshop who said, “This is a Mary Jane song,” so I listened and fell in love with the message. I’m sure you’ve heard it a ton, but I have to say I love the lines “Who says… who says you’re not PERFECT! Who says you’re not worth it?… Who says you’re not Beautiful? Who says?” It is, of course, “Who Says” by Selena Gomez:
When I want to let go of some stress and dance around my room or have some fun background music while I do some chores, I love to play this song! The message is simply “You’re gonna find your place someday somehow!” It’s a good reminder to REMEMBER TO BE YOURSELF and RELAX, DON’T BE AFRAID, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE OKAY!” I love it !!!!
Mariah Carey has a soft spot in my heart… Yes, I will admit… she was one of my heroes when I was a girl! Music Box, her Christmas Album and Daydream were my favorite of her albums. When I heard her new song at the gym, I literally stopped in my tracks and stared at the screen for the full three minutes! I was so happy to see her shining her light again! She has inspired so many girls to go after their dreams. This song in particular reminds me to keep going and keep trying, because we’re almost there!”
I just realized that many of the artists I am including here in this list have had pretty remarkable lives. They have struggled a lot but kept their dreams in mind and eventually succeeded. That’s the truth! If I can instill one idea in you it is that you can be and achieve anything you want! Just believe in yourself! And if you don’t right now, that’s okay but find someone who believes in you and let them help you to see it in yourself! Maybe some of you girls haven’t heard this song, but play it, blast it, learn it, sing it! You will love and you will love her!
This year the girls in my workshop and I got together to see the Katy Perry movie. It was a blast! I have to say I didn’t follow Katy Perry’s music until I saw her movie, but now I love her. She believed in her “weirdness,“ and she wasn’t afraid to follow her dreams even after receiving lots of rejection from people who didn’t understand her vision. I absolutely love this song! Be a FIREWORK, Empowered Girls!!
Sometimes I get inspired from “going inside” and by that I mean getting quiet, thinking of all the things I am grateful for and getting in touch with the spiritual side of life. This song has such a beautiful message. I’m sure we all have someone in our lives who has been like an angel and lifted us up when we were feeling down or closed off from the world. We all have potential to be that for others. Love is so powerful. I’m sure you already love this song…
This is one of my all time faves! It reminds me that I am the writer of my life. There is never a time when I can’t change my mind and go in a different direction. Like one of my mentors- Tony Robbins, says, “The past does not equal the future, unless you live there.” You can always change. You can always create another direction for yourself…. The rest is still unwritten!!!.…
When I first heard this next song, I was a teenager heading to a gymnastics competition with my team. I was stunned at how much wisdom there was in this song. The singer has a beautiful voice, and the words are very meaningful.
Empowerment is about freedom. It is about having the courage and determination to reach your goals and live your life in the most free way. This song expresses that the BEST !!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this next song!! I love the message, the video and the beat! It is a GREAT one to belt out, because it is a great affirmation too! This song reminds me that WE ROCK !!!!
And the next is one of my all time faves !!!! I listen to it on road trips, while I cook in the kitchen, and when I want to put a smile on my face…. Here are some of my favorite lyrics , “She’s a miss beautiful supreme / A girl that others wish that they could be / If there’s seven wonders of the world / Then I know she’s got to be number one”…. and… “She’s the sunflower of nature’s seeds / A girl that some men only find in their dreams / When she smiles it seems the stars all know / ‘Cause one by one they start to light up the sky “ …. My favorite, Stevie Wonder ….
I WAS HACKED !! But…. Not sweating it !!! EMPOWERMENT FOR GIRLS is SOOOOO BACK !!!!!
SOOOOO happy to be BACK !!!!!!!
~Mary Jane :) !!!
When things get tough in life and yes they do… LIFE HAPPENS!, here are some tips on how to deal when things get really bad and life as you know it starts to fall apart….
Most of the posts on this blog have been about keeping yourself focused on success and living your BEST LIFE, but living your best life also includes allowing yourself to be ALL THAT YOU ARE. Part of life is definitely about feeling ALL of your feelings and dealing with life on life’s terms.
In some families and peer groups it may not feel safe to “be yourself” and feel all your feelings. You might feel like you’re only accepted as a positive person who doesn’t rock the boat. LISTEN, that is ridiculous! YOU GET TO HAVE AND EXPRESS ALL OF YOUR FEELINGS!!! (Maybe you can’t / don’t feel safe to express your TRUE SELF and your real feelings around certain people, maybe even including your family members. But, here’s the deal: You deserve to! AND You need to! Keep reading to learn WHY and learn strategies about where to go when you need a safe outlet for your real feelings….
FIRST: Let me add that there may be messages in your life that you 1. Always have to be HAPPY or 2. You have to keep it together….. But, here’s the deal sistas: Being empowered is about BEING YOU, and that means being ALL OF YOU !
Did you know that there are some MAJOR BENEFITS to experiencing anger, pain, sadness, grief, depression, fear??? These emotional states may feel bad / terrible / uncomfortable etc etc etc ….. BUT - These emotional states can be our GREATEST TEACHERS.
They give us opportunities to learn and grow… You can refer to these emotional states as “Hallway” emotions… they may not feel great, but they will GET YOU SOME WHERE, and you can learn great things from them.
There is real DANGER IN DENIAL and NOT allowing yourself to feel what you’re feeling and express it! ***Here’s the deal: If you’ve been hurt, GIRL, YOU GOT TO FEEL IT AND LET IT OUT !
There are safe ways and places to let out this anger, but if you don’t, you could end up really hurting yourself. LISTEN UP: If you can express it and start to heal, you can become someone who HELPS SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE FEEL THEIR FEELINGS AND MOVE BEYOND THEIR PAIN ! You could even help save lives… seriously !!!
What happens to you if you ride the denial train ??? , meaning you “stuff” the pain inside of you, instead of FEELING IT and GETTING IT OUT ! If you’ve been abused, hurt, neglected, rejected, made fun of, and you internalize it: what you actually do is push that feeling deep within (which means you “internalize it”) which results in that feeling that you stuffed- HARMING YOU over and over on autopilot… And it won’t stop UNTIL YOU DEAL WITH IT!
Some people “stuff” abuse / pain / neglect for years and don’t deal with it until much later in life. During that whole time the pain was continuing to harm them over and over …..
Well, it seems easy to just say EXPRESS IT … GET IT OUT then, right ??!! Well, sometimes it’s not always easy! It can be extremely hard to allow ourselves to feel pain and then allow that pain to be expressed. Holding that pain in (or “stuffing” it) may even give you a feeling of control, like you got everything under wraps and in control. BUT, the pain will have to find a way of coming to the surface some way! Pain is a message that is TRYING TO TEACH YOU SOMETHING !!!
In the Blooming Lotus article, “How To Feel Your Anger Toward Your Abusers” by faithallen, she quotes the book The Courage to Heal which calls anger “the backbone to healing.” She goes on to write, “The first step to tapping into your anger is believing your memories. Even though they might not feel like “your” memories, they are.”
It is very common to question whether your memories are real so that you don’t have to feel your feelings. This is especially true if you are invested in trying to protect the person who harmed you. But here’s the real deal: The anger you’re not allowing yourself to feel will end up hurting you on the inside if you don’t let yourself feel it and express it!
Have you ever heard this definition of depression… Depression is anger turned inward. When you don’t feel the anger and express it and stuff it, it will turn into depression and HURT you !!!
I love the song “Demons” by Imagine Dragons, because the message is: You’re not alone in whatever you’re feeling or going through. Whatever you’re going through, there IS help out there. There are people who will understand and can help you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
…”I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide“
…”When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”
…”Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide“…
…”When the curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl
So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made”
…”Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth“…
…”When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”…..
….”They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go
Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save their light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how”….
10 WAYS TO FEEL AND EXPRESS THE ANGER YOU’RE HOLING ONTO INSIDE !!!
- Beat a pillow. It might sound silly and unhelpful, but actually beating a pillow can be very healing. Any way that you can externalize your anger will be helpful to you.
- EXPRESS EXPRESS EXPRESS: Whatever is going on, EXPRESS YOURSELF. Get a journal, and write about what you are feeling on the inside. Let yourself say anything that you need to say.
- SAY IT LOUD !!! Get out in an empty field, or in an empty car, or when you’re alone in your house and SCREAM. Express your anger! LET IT OUT !!!! (You can also accomplish this by SINGING REALLY LOUDLY!)
- Check Your Friends! Okay, this is important…. When you are struggling with deep, painful feelings, it is very important to tell SAFE people. You will want to make sure that you will RECEIVE SUPPORT from the people you reach out to. If you don’t have friends you can trust with certain issues, FIND A SUPPORT GROUP. There are probably some in your community. Speak to the school counselor, a coach, therapist or parent or mentor you can trust.
- HIT SOMETHING ! (kinda like beating a pillow ! ) Sometimes, breaking something , beating something with a bat, punching a punching bag means EVERYTHING when you NEED to get anger out ! Some people are afraid of getting “that” angry. BUT, I promise- it’s okay and can be very healthy. If you’re worried about what stuff to break, go to Goodwill and ask if they have any broken electronics that they can’t sell. Then, go to an empty field, blast “Demons” by Imagine Dragons and LET YOURSELF GO !!! Once the anger is released, you will have so much room for creative energy!!!
- GET PHYSICAL ! Just moving your body will help get out some of the aggression and anger that could be poisoning you. Get on your bike, listen to tunes like “Demons” by Imagine Dragons or any other music that makes you feel EMPOWERED (check out my list of empowerment songs: Empower Yourself With My Favorite TOP 10 Self Empowerment Songs …. Get Inspired !) Other AWESOME activities to get you moving when you need a state change: Jogging, Running, WALKING (fast-paced), yoga, HOT YOGA / BIKRAM, Biking, DANCING !!!, Spinning, Walking a Fast-Paced DOG , Swimming, JUMPING, Boxing!, Soccer, Basketball, Tennis …. ANYTHING THAT GETS YOU MOVING !
- Work Your Spiritual Muscles! Okay, I’m not talking about religion here, but FIND PEACE by tapping into your spiritual side. Meditation, RELAXATION MUSIC, a meditative walk, reading an inspiration book, such as a book of daily meditations can REALLY HELP YOU GET CENTERED!
- RELAX! Sleep can be incredibly restorative if you’re really struggling on the inside. If you can’t get extra hours in at night, find time to take a nap!
- ART ART ART – if you can’t express yourself in words (and you may not be able to), find an outlet- find a form of expression…. you don’t have to be amazing! All you have to do is express yourself and tell your truth !
- Join a SUPPORT GROUP or start a support group. Talk to your school counselor for ideas.
- List your strengths! Know that you ARE doing very well in some areas of your life and you have a lot going for you! our Dealing with ANGER can sometimes be SO POWERFUL and overwhelming. Stay grounded by listing all of your strengths and talents, so that you REMEMBER all of your great qualities and all that you have going on in your life that’s positive! This will help you keep a balanced perspective.
- LET YOUR SELF FEEL ! Let yourself CRY! Crying can be incredibly healing. And it can help release the pain that is within you.
I BELIEVE IN YOU !
Often, in life it can be really easy to look at someone else’s life and compare ! Ohhh, a sticky word! Comparisons aren’t fair, and they don’t do anyone justice! Plus, YOU ARE AWESOME ??? … okay, if you’re still questioning this fact, check out my earlier post …Raise Your Self Esteem With These 10 Empowering Activities… And, READ ON !!! (HINT: Everyone struggles with self esteem at some point, so the trick is to get conscious and learn some good tools… Et voilà, there you have it: one healthy self esteem coming right up!!!)
I used to get stuck on that comparison train too, and boy is it a CRAZY-MAKER! The BIG problem: Sometimes we can get so caught up in comparing our insides to someone else’s outsides when really we have NO IDEA what is actually going on, even if that person looks super happy and together on the outside! To live your OWN BEST LIFE means focusing on your self, which means NO COMPARISONS !!! The only comparison that is permitted (and I say this with sweet LOVE) is the comparison between who you were yesterday and who you are today!
***EVERYDAY we get to work on becoming and growing into our best selves. If we’re stuck COMPARING and FOCUSING ON SOMEONE ELSE, we lose sight of all the fabulous great and wonderful progress we make in our own lives. So gals, BE YOUR OWN CHEERLEADER and stay focused on your own life. You can have, be or do anything in life AS LONG as you ride your own train… in other words- as long as you LEAD YOUR LIFE and get out of the comparison game.
1. KNOW WHAT YOU LOVE !
Make a list of your TOP 10 LOVES. WHY ??? Knowing what you like and what you don’t is a GREAT start to focusing on yourself (in a fun-no-pressure-kinda-way). This may sound super simple, but many gals forget to think about what they actually like and end up getting pulled in different directions by the media or other people’s opinions. Making this list is going to strengthen your self awareness muscles. Shakespeare penned one of the most famous lines in all of literature in his play Hamlet, “This above all to thine own self be true.” To be true to yourself, you have to know who you are and what you like….
SO, get out your pen and journal (Yes, you better have a journal/notebook, sista!… If you don’t, get one !!!), and start writing your TOP 10! As you probably already know, I’m a HUGE fan of the TOP 10 lists, because they are ohhh so FUN and ohhh so helpful !! So, make your list… Just remember to be specific about YOU !!! (NOTE: Your TOP 10 might change everyday, and THAT’S OK !!!)
MJ’s TOP 10 FAVES :
- Dark chocolate with candied Ginger inside
- Garden grown New Orleans fresh bananas & Almond butter
- Yoga + strength training + walking
- Grilled veggies – brussel sprouts and cauliflower and okra
- LAUGHTER !!!
- Supportive friends!
- Sweet potatoes
- My mentors, teachers and coaches !
- My meditation practice and morning ritual
- BLOGGING about EMPOWERMENT & Feelin’ Empowered !
Allrighty, there you go! True, these TOP 10 FAVES may change everyday, because we change everyday. It’s important to keep up to speed with who you are and what you like, because it’s all part of knowing yourself and LIVING YOUR OWN BEST LIFE !
Super important! When life gets tough and you start to feel down and depressed, a little support and love from people in your corner can make all the difference in the world! The BIG bonus about these people is they know the unique awesome one-of-a-kind qualities about you, and they will be there to support you when times get rough or if you start to doubt yourself!
Friends listen understand and offer us support. No one can do it alone! Human beings are social creatures and rely on others for comfort, support, love and also survival. Being alone for too long (by this I mean isolating) can actually be very harmful. People need people. Remember: when you get down, REACH OUT FOR HELP! If you don’t have supportive people in your corner, you can FIND them! Join a team at school, volunteer with other empowered girls, ask your school counselor for suggestions, or get a coach to help with this. WE ALL NEED SUPPORT and SOMETIMES A LOT OF SUPPORT !!! It’s a mistake to think you have to do it alone!
Another great PERK of having good people in your corner is they LOVE YOU FOR WHO YOU ARE, not who they want you to be. Having this kind of support will give you COURAGE TO BE WHO YOU ARE even if someone else doesn’t like it!
3. PLAY UP YOUR QUIRKS!
Nourish those fun quirky characteristics that make you YOU! Remember: Your quirks make you interesting and FUN ! So, play up the qualities that make you a little different. Bonus: Your quirks emphasize your individuality (your You-ness) to the world. So go ahead, examine yourself and do an archaeological dig for your 5 BEST QUIRKS.
JOURNAL TIME: Get your journal and pen again (I LIKE BRIGHT COLORED FUN PENS ~just a quirk of mine and write down 5 quirky qualities/characteristics/skills/talents you possess:
- Guacamole Maker Extraordinaire- your flair with avocados is exceptional!
- Unique-themed AWESOME Planner- such as a Harry Potter party/ movie fest equipped with all necessities (i.e. costumes and butter beer~ vanilla cream soda, whipped cream and butterscotch)
- Nail-Painting Artist… (I know a gal with this talent!… Her skills are nothing short of Glitterrific Artistry!)
- GYMNAST / ACROBAT / CONORTIONIST
- Animal rights campaigner (You share your enthusiasm and people on board to SAVE THE WHALES!)
- Sticker collector
- Room decorator (Give you two hours, and you can seriously re-vamp a room with feng shui + girl power touches)
- Aspiring world traveler- you collect National Geographics and post pics of all the cool places you HAVE to visit!
- Linguist- languages and accents make you HAPPY!
- Cards…. you’re a pro at Gin Rummy
- Mustache Mania- You have everything mustache! Including pens to draw on your friends faces. It’s your quirk and it makes people SMILE !!! (= Awesome !)
Yes, everyone has to take Algebra and Chemistry and Spanish, but what about your love of MAGIC and that childhood desire of being the greatest magician… or writing a novel. Keep those dreams alive and NOURISH them in your spare time. Your adult self will THANK YOU big time! So, if you LOVE jazz piano playing or basketball, GO FOR IT !!! Your DREAMS ignite your passion for living, and living your BEST LIFE means LIVING WITH PASSION!
Don’t LET OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINIONS affect whether or not you continue following your dreams. When I was in college, a writing teacher called me out in class and said, “Mary Jane, you cannot write. I teach Olympic swimmers how to swim better, not beginners how to do the doggie-paddle.” I was discouraged from writing for a long time… but I’m so glad I didn’t let his WRONG opinion squash my love of writing! Today, writing is how I spend most of my days. I LOVE WRITING and connecting with people through writing. It’s one of my gifts! REMEMBER: Don’t let other people’s opinions tell you who you are or what you should be doing or not doing. They may not get the whole picture, and you may just be having an off day. So, go to your people in your corner for encouragement and REMEMBER TO KEEP YOUR DREAMS ALIVE!!!
Fun / Celebration is muy importante!!! (I can’t stress this enough!) If you’re not feeling the FUN, get around FUN people. Join a FUN group- a team at school … or come to an Empowerment For Girls workshop!! (We have LOTS of FUN !), and the people around you will get you in the FUN groove of life! If you’re around negative people, Ack! you might be feeling their vibe…. (I’m not saying to ditch anyone!) Just put yourself around fun loving, happy, positive people, and the joy you feel will bring out all YOUR BEST LIFE QUALITIES !!!
Please excuse the off-time!!! The website has been under construction for two weeks! ACK !!! I missed everyone !! Alas, all is well and we’re back in biz and stronger than ever! … Remember to keep a look out for new posts and new updates on workshops and events!
Today’s topic is getting in touch with your own inner GURU to find answers to the BIG questions in life …. What do YOU do when you have a serious choice to make about a situation with a friend or a questions about your future or a question about your INNER PURPOSE … Who do you turn to for your answers ???
Well, that’s a tricky question, because of course, we all look to our mentors, parents, friends for suggestions and advice, but there are some questions that are more difficult to answer… and the truth is there might NOT BE a person out there with an answer for you….
This is because there are some questions in life that only you have the answer to, and the answer lies within you. This is because you are a unique, exceptional, one-of-a-kind gal, and there’s no one else exactly like you!
And WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH SELF ESTEEM, ANYWAY ? Well, gals being able to LOOK WITHIN and FIND ANSWERS will give you a feeling of calm inner confidence, which is really what having a healthy self esteem is all about! So, there you go. Strengthening your spiritual muscle will definitely raise your self esteem !!! Plus, you will be looking within for your answers rather than outside of you...
I spent sooo many years looking to other people for answers to these deep inner questions, and I had no idea how to go about finding answers for myself. What a learned is sometimes you can’t find these answers, even within your self, BUT you can use certain tools to open yourself up to RECEIVING THE ANSWER and eventually, the answers you need come to you!
The map I needed to find answers to these questions was actually some SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT. I was IN THE DARK for so long about the importance of feeding my spiritual side. I was completely convinced that spirituality was like religion and doing something once a week or on a holiday with my family in honor of a religious tradition was just good enough… BUT WHOA WAS I MISSING THE BOAT !
SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT is needed everyday to maintain a healthy body and a calm mind. For a long time, my SPIRITUAL side was STARVING, and there was no amount of medicine, shopping, chocolate or boys that could fill what my spiritual side was DESPERATELY SEEKING !!!… But what I learned about nourishing my spiritual side not only made me a calmer more serene gal, but it also helped me nourish all of the wonderful unique gifts that make me who I am! And today I have a rockin’ spiritual practice / ritual that I do everyday to make sure I get all my spiritual nutrition!
But… what blocks people from nourishing their spiritual side??? “SPIRITUALITY” can be a BUZZ word, and it has been known to ruffle some feathers…. Some people automatically connect spirituality with religion, and we all know that religious differences have caused some serious rifts between people throughout history.
But think about this…. Religion is defined as an organized collection of beliefs…. Religion may feed your spiritual side, but this kind of spirituality doesn’t require you to have any beliefs… I like to refer to this as EMPOWERED SPIRITUALITY, and it’s about getting IN TOUCH with your INNER ESSENCE and TRUTH- that SPARK WHICH MAKES YOU YOU !
There’s not just ONE WAY in my book. There are several, and it’s important that you choose one or a few or lots and start to FEED YOUR SWEET AND AWESOME SPIRIT !!!
I’m going to show you how to get in touch with your inner guru? But, WAIT ! What’s a guru??? A guru is a defined as a “master” or “teacher” or “imparter of knowledge.” There are all kinds of modern day guru. I’m going to show you how to be your OWN guru with my simple metaphor.
Let’s let GURU stand for “GIRL, YOU ARE YOU,” as in Girl, yoU aRe yoU !!!
… Your GURU is your own inner knowing, the spark that is uniquely you !
Here are 10 WAYS TO GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR INNER GURU
- Slow Your Roll !! …Yep! A BIG ONE: Slow down! Take a breather and let yourself RELAX. When you’re searching for an answer to a question, take a break from your busy schedule and plan a little break for yourself. SLOW DOWN FOR A SEC, or a MINUTE or an HOUR ! You won’t be able to hear the answer if your mind is busy busy busy…. You have to slow down enough to be able to hear the answer…
- ASK ! I believe that when we ask for answer, we will receive it. My favorite time to ask is just before I go to sleep. I close my eyes and ask my spiritual side to give me the answer I need so I can make the best decision. Often times, I wake up the next morning AND KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO!!!
- LISTEN !!! When I receive answers or insights to questions that I have, it’s often because I am listening for the answer. Listening just means I get quiet and listen in the stillness of my mind for the answer. Sometimes, the answer just pops into my mind…. And if was busy talking or thinking about a billion things, I would probably miss it.
- Meditate. Yep! Take a break and do a little meditation. Sit or lie down and just let your mind relax as much as possible. Focus on your breath! Okay, to be perfectly honest, this method was super hard for me at first. But, then I found a tool, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE MEDITATION now!!! I looked on YouTube and found some great breathing meditations. 15 minutes does the trick… or even 5 minutes. Afterwards, I feel totally refreshed. The stress around the issue has magically disappeared. And eventually the answer that I needs pops up. It’s the best !!! If you need a little help with meditating, search for a guided meditation and you’ll find tons !!!
- GO FOR A WALK! …. or run, or bike ride or swim… just MOVE !!! Moving your body can help release that extra energy that’s messing up your internal balance. Plus, you will be forced to breathe more, and more oxygen to the body is always good when it comes to restoring balance. Often when we exercise, our minds turn away from all the busy thoughts in our minds, which is an added bonus.
- GET IN NATURE ! Nature has an incredibly grounding effect. Stop and smell the roses. Hug a tree. Watch a sunset. Walking in nature will remind you of the beauty in the world around you. Notice the little creatures crawling about. Observe the beautiful flowers around you. Smell the clean fresh air. Observing the perfection of nature is a great way to feed your spirit. When life gets chaotic, take a nature walk.
- GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR OWN SPIRITUAL TEMPLE, YOUR BODY ! Take some “ME” time for self care. Relax. Spend a weekend night devoted to wonderful self care. Don’t worry, you have another night to hang with friends! You deserve YOU time! Watch your favorite movie, eat your favorite healthy treat, spend time doing your favorite hobby (scrap booking, writing poetry, cooking…), paint your nails, light a candle… Whatever time with yourself and giving yourself the attention you need is a GREAT investment of your time. Spend a few moments in quiet reflection. Writing in your journal is such a GREAT way to do this!
- SEND A LITTLE LOVE …. I just started doing this, and I super love this tool. I always feel so lit up after sending a little love. I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine my heart is beaming love to someone or something (oh, and distance is no barrier… My love can travel across oceans!) Think of someone and start beaming a little love their way. I believe LOVE IS THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE in the whole world, and so sending some love will connect you to others and bring more joy and harmony into your mind and body… TRY IT !!
- LET GO ! Sometimes, all ya gotta do is let go! When a problem or issue is getting you out of whack, you can practice letting it go. I sometimes light a candle, take some deep breaths and just let go… If I can’t let go of the problem, I try to just relax my mind a bit and get my thoughts going in a new direction…
- GET A RITUAL! Nourishing your spiritual side is a daily ritual. It’s not just a once a week thing, or a few times a year when holidays come around thing… You’re worth more than that. Nourish your spiritual side and nourish your essence. Try doing some activity to look within every day. Find one you love that feels good for you, and decide to practice it every day.
Think of this like working out and building muscle. The more you practice these tools, the stronger you will get. And girl, feeding your spirit a little bit every day will make you feel wonderful, fantastic, glorious, AWESOME !!
All right, Gals! You all ROCK !!!