The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

Ask Yourself: What’s the Worst that Could Happen? Now Ask it Again!

pondering

First ask yourself: What is the worst that can happen? Then prepare to accept it. Then proceed to improve on the worst. – Dale Carnegie

So often in life I think we get stuck because we’re afraid of the unknown. In fact, we’re specifically afraid of not just the unknown, we’re afraid of the worst unknown we can imagine.

How often have you not taken a chance or done something outside of your comfort zone because that little voice in your head immediately warns, “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down! Have you thought about what could happen if you do that? Horrible thing X could happen and then you’d be totally screwed!”

But what if horrible thing X didn’t happen? What if the chance you took actually resulted in something really positive? And while we’re talking about this, why isn’t our first instinct to focus on all the good that could result? Why do we immediately jump to considering the worst outcome? We humans area sort of silly at times aren’t we?

The next time you find yourself not taking a chance do me a favor and ask yourself – what’s the worst that can happen?

Once you’ve figured out that worst thing (which often isn’t actually that horrible in reality), ask yourself again – what’s the worst that can happen?

In fact, go ahead and keep asking yourself this question. You may identify some actual show stoppers, and that’s good, but you may realize that the worst thing often has solutions that you could act on thus making it worth the risk and not that bad after all.

Try it today. I mean really, what’s the worst that could happen? ūüėČ

 

 

Trying 2 Practice What I Preach (The Good, Bad & Ugly)

crying eye

Hi guys!

Sorry I’ve been absent from the blogging world for awhile but my parents are 82 and 88 years old and last week they were BOTH admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. I don’t live in the same state as them so I quickly packed up my bags and headed home where I immediately entered a very stressful, emotional and exhausting situation. I’m happy to report that they are both now home and slowly recovering but what I really wanted to share was my real world examples how hard it can be to put all these secrets and tools into action when you really need them.

To deal with an¬†emotional crisis, where a crisis really can be anything that’s getting you very upset, my advice has been to sit with the emotions, to feel the emotions, to meditate¬†and to try to stay in the present moment or the Now. In particular, staying in the present moment or the “Now” has always stood out to me as one of the most important tools. Basically it’s not worrying about the past or the future and not letting yourself imagine some worst-case scenarios that your mind starts to believe. It’s just staying where you are and dealing with what you know.

I’m here to tell you that it was really really really¬†hard to practice what I preach but I’m also here to tell you why that’s ok.

Staying in the Now when your parents are both sick is really tough. Your mind starts to imagine the worst. You worry about what tomorrow will bring. You worry about what you will do if one of them should die. You wonder if they will get sicker. You even start planning funerals in your head. I know you don’t need more examples of the¬†crazy and upsetting stuff I was thinking¬†(and I know you have your own upsetting stuff to deal with) but suffice it to say, my mind was a whirling mess of worst-case painful scenarios. Even while I was doing this though, deep down I knew I had the tools I needed and I knew what I needed to do to stop.¬†That’s where the work comes in and where the rubber meets the road as they say.

Let’s face it. It’s easy to say “Stay in the Now!” when nothing is wrong. It’s easy to say “You need to meditate.” when you can’t even take a deep breath. It’s easy to say “Don’t listen to your little voice.” when your little voice is screaming, crying and taking up all the space in your head. The good thing is that just¬†trying to remember and use these tools and secrets immediately helps you feel just a little better. Trying to use them also makes them easier to find and use the next time.

Knowing that I needed to stop and breathe forced me to do it. Knowing that I needed to stop imagining the worst made me slow down and at least try to stay in the present moment. Knowing that I needed to meditate made me at least close my eyes for a moment to try to take a short mental break.

Was I successful at this all the time? Ha!¬†That’s funny!¬†Absolutely not. But, it helped a little bit and I know next time it will help a little more.¬† The same goes for you. These tools can start to¬†help you even if you just know that they’re out there and¬†you remind yourself to at least try to use them.

So breathe, meditate, silence your little voice and try stay in the present moment.

It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

 

 

 

5 Everyday Moments 2 Practice Awareness

brush your teeth

Practice Present Moment Awareness.

Be in the Now.

Practice Mindfulness.

I don’t know about you, but when I hear most of these phrases I picture a monk sitting in nature with no distractions entering a state of perfect bliss. Um, yeah, right.

That sounds lovely but it’s certainly not possible for most of us. In fact, most of us are barely just getting through¬†the day nevermind finding time to sit in silence.

All is not lost though. Escaping into just a minute or two of awareness is still a good thing and easier to do than you might think.

Here are five everyday moments where you can practice awareness. You can certainly choose your own five but sometimes it helps to have someone point out the obvious and I am the master of pointing out the obvious.

Read more…

Awareness/Mindfulness/The Now…Call It What You Will, Just Do It.

meditate

So far I’ve talked about becoming aware of your little voice and practicing awareness and the importance of practicing present moment awareness or staying in the Now. Because I want you to have ¬†and know how to use all the tools in your toolbox, I should also talk about mindfulness. Honestly, I don’t really care what you call it nor should you. If you’re getting hung up on terminology you need to let go a little.

Mindfulness is just another term you can use to think about being in the moment or present or aware or being in the Now.

One definition of mindfulness is:

A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

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Advice Before a Test: I Know This, I Got This, I’m Ready

stress free zone

When I asked my 13 year-old step-daughter when she heard her inner voice the most she immediately replied:

Before a test.

That really resonated with me because I always felt stressed out before tests and my endless mind chatter probably didn’t do too much to help me. In fact, it probably hurt me just like it’s hurting you.

You’re going to hear me say this a lot on this blog and hopefully it will start to sink in the more I say it:

Your Mind Believes What You Tell It

So, if you let your little voice/ego be in charge of the conversation then your mind is going to believe you’re not prepared, you didn’t study enough, you’re not smart enough, the teacher doesn’t like you, blah blah blah.

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When You’re Really Mad or Sad, Practice Awareness

angry toddler

It’s easy to say “Practice Awareness” but it’s actually not that easy to do. Our minds our usually whirring along as fast a hummingbird’s heartbeat (which, if you didn’t know, is really really fast) so it’s pretty easy to ignore all the random thoughts and usually useless information going by.

One way to learn to practice awareness is when you’re really emotional about something. If you’re really angry or really sad take a moment to listen to what your little voice is saying. Chances are once you start to focus on it, it’s going to quiet down a little bit. It’s almost like it gets embarrassed that it’s been caught talking in class or something.

Only you will know what it’s saying in this moment of high emotion but I can almost guarantee that it’s only adding to the drama.

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Your First Peek Into the Secret Handbook

old book pages turning

So, are you ready for your first secret? I know I’m certainly ready to share it but before I do, I’d like to share a little bit about my strategy in presenting these secrets. There is actually a method to my madness (which, in and of itself, is rather frightening).

What I want you to understand is that there are lots of important things for you to know¬†now but you can’t just dive right in. That would be like only reading the middle of a book (and hey, if that’s your thing that’s cool but you’re going to miss out on a lot.)¬† So, ¬†I could just dive in a share a lot of inspirational quotes (to make you feel all warm and fuzzy) and¬† jump all over the place but honestly, that wouldn’t be fair to you.

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