The Voice of Self-Love


If we spoke to our friends the way we thought-speak to ourselves, we would have very few friends. The things that we say to ourselves in our minds are often the harshest words. There is criticism, judgement, frustration, taunts, shame and more. And these thoughts NEVER make us feel better or improve the situation that we are in. Yet, we find it so challenging to shut down these thoughts. We find we expect them. We find we even agree with them. And for some of us, we are so bold, that we even say them out loud about ourselves, seeking affirmation from the world around us!

Many of us have very vocal inner critics. They comment and critique all our efforts. They keep us small. They keep us surrounded by our mediocrity. They prevent us from living the amazing life that calls to us, keeping us in longing, doubt, fear and insecurity.

Unfortunately, self-love is challenging for many. Old wounds, old stories, old labels seem to cling to them. To shake off these negative energies takes a good amount of conscious thinking and commitment to stop the negative thinking. For some, they are not sure how, or they try and find it difficult and then give in to the old patterns and behaviors.

Over time I have discovered one way to help support this change in negative self-talk. It rarely fails. It requires some effort, but it is a feel good effort. It requires some commitment, but those who try it find that the commitment comes naturally. This one change can be the catalyst to transformation in your life. It can be the first step in lowering the volume on the inner critic and eventually shutting it out all together.

What is the secret? Most of us enjoy doing or giving to others. We find great pleasure in helping someone in need, sharing with someone, supporting those who need some assistance and giving of our heart. When we are doing this, our positive energies flow. We feel better about ourselves and the world around us. We are engaged with the essence of love and beauty of the world.

Giving of ourselves keeps us in the moment. It reminds us of all that we have to be grateful for. It opens our heart to the care and needs of others. To do this we naturally open the door that allows love to flow. Love does not discriminate. It is more than willing to flow through and surround us and anyone else we share it with. With time we begin to view life differently. With time our perspective begins to shift. Love has a way of doing this. We begin to see our faults and shortcomings through a lens of compassion and understanding. The same compassion and understanding that we are sharing with others.

Step one of shutting down the inner critic is to share acts of love and care with others. Follow your passion. Stay connected with the world and people around you. Share your gifts, your understanding and heart. Find ways to give. Choose a cause to support. As you open the door to love wider and wider you will find that there is also love flowing to you. Embrace it. Be with it and be aware that there is more than enough love to go around. Without much more effort than this, you will find that those nagging negative thoughts of shame and blame will become less and less. You will begin to hear a gentler and kinder voice calling to you, cheering you on and celebrating you. The voice of self-love.

Blessings, Lisa

The Art of Communication


Yes, there is an art to communication. Knowing how you communicate will have a huge impact on your relationships with others. Are you a listener, a talker, a critic or a supporter? Do you rely on body language and gestures? Is your focus on tone? Maybe you love words.

From the moment we are born we begin communicating. Parents in a very short amount of time learn to "read" their baby's messages without that child speaking. Body language, cries and other sounds indicate to the parent what that child needs. They tune in.

What if we took that skill and applied it to other relationships in our lives? Often we react to the words someone is speaking without noticing the expression on their face or the tone in their voice. There are so many layers to communicating. This is why, sometimes, the written word can fail us, especially in today's quick delivery of texting and instant messaging. Intent and emotion do not always come through, even when we use those silly smiley faces to soften our words. We all have had times when our message was misinterpreted or had it land harshly which was not our intent.

Knowing how we usually communicate with others and what our style is allows us the opportunity to hone our skills, to explore ways to broaden our communicating abilities and to seek what may not be working for us. Feeling misunderstood by someone in your life? Maybe you need to try a different approach to your communication skills with them.

Do you often hear from others that they feel unheard by you? Maybe it is time to practice new listening skills. Do you say something to someone and are often surprised by the way they react? Perhaps your delivery is off, maybe your body language or tone do not match your words? All opportunities to become better at the art of communication.

For the next few days, pay attention to the feedback you get from various conversations and relationships. Notice if there is a pattern or if there is one particular person that you seem to be misunderstood by. This is a great place to explore new ways of listening or speaking. Perhaps a different form of communication is needed.

Often when my children were in there teens we used notes to share our thoughts with each other. It kept the spoken drama and high emotions out of the equation, for the most part, so that we felt heard and could make our point. It was very empowering for my children and less stress provoking for us parents. Both sides felt heard.

When my children were much younger and their vocabulary was limited I would sometimes have them act out the way the were feeling when they were distressed. They were able to, in a very creative way, share with me their fears or their worries in a much deeper way through body language and facial expression.

When I was tending to my ailing parents and my father lost his ability to speak I would have him squeeze my hand to show me how bad his pain was. A soft squeeze meant not too bad a firmer grip indicated more.

These are all powerful ways of communicating and are very effective. Being willing to explore the art of communication will only benefit you and your relationships. It broadens and deepens the connection. We need to be invested in our communication with others, to be willing to be fully present, attentive to the message, willing to deepen the conversation and flexible in our delivery. Become a master at the art of communication.

Blessings, Lisa