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Blooming Blog

New Year's Resolutions?

New year, new you? Many people make New Year’s resolutions; however end up feeling disappointed soon after New Year’s Day. The key to lasting change is to make small goals that will build over time that help you maintain the change. For most people, maintaining the new behavior long enough to make it a habit is the hard part. In order to be successful, you have to be aware of your behavior by making conscious choices instead of returning to automatic responses.

Awareness gives you a choice point and puts you back in control. As you’re making these changes, remember to be kind to yourself. Making change is hard work. If you engage in the new behavior one out of seven times, that is progress! Read More 
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How is that done, you may ask? How do you keep going when you feel uncertain or tired?

Keeping up one’s energy is truly a matter of staying connected to your own creative direction. Granted, it doesn’t have to be what most people traditionally identify as creative. That connection can take the form of daily problem-solving or daydreaming.

Daydreaming and daily problem-solving both share the quality of distracting you from obligations and usual responsibilities. Having a bit of space throughout your day offers a moment to breathe. Stopping for a few minutes can revitalize your energy. Exercise, meditation, or sitting down with a cup of tea offer a break from typical daily responsibilities, and can help you to re-center yourself on what’s important to you, as well as those around you.

By honoring your own needs, you are engaging in self-care, which can be a challenge for many women who traditionally display a tendency to put others first. Put yourself first by treating yourself as you would a friend and you have taken the first step toward energizing yourself. Giving yourself permission to daydream - not to have every moment of every day scheduled - opens the door to increased energy and creativity.

Creativity thrives in the absence of over-scheduled days. This is part of the reason that free time and play are so important for children. The experience of feeling bored often occurs just prior to a creative breakthrough which energizes you! However if over-scheduled, you never have the “space” in which to feel bored. Those who have never learned how to manage the frustration of feeling bored have not had the chance to direct that stored energy toward a satisfying or creative activity.

One basic strategy to keep moving forward when you feel drained is to break your activities into smaller tasks. Accomplishing these small successes energizes you and helps you redefine yourself as capable and confident which always contributes to positive outcomes, creating a cycle of success instead of stagnation. Bloom where you’re planted and energize yourself!
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Layer Your Transformation

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together. ~Vincent van Gogh

As we begin the New Year, many people may have already dropped their “resolutions” by the wayside however Van Gogh captures the essence of change in this revealing quote. It is not the rapid change that creates lasting results, but rather the adding of one small change on top of the next. By changing a number of small things over time, you are more likely to maintain the changes.

Lasting change is created by layering behavioral, intellectual, and emotional changes. This triad strengthens the change and helps you incorporate it across many areas of your daily life. The phrase “intellectualization” or “rationalization” as one of his defense mechanisms. Although much of Freud’s theory may be out of vogue today, his descriptions of defense mechanisms still ring true.

So if you have “rung in the New Year” with the intent of change by only using your intellect, you are more likely to fail than to succeed – and that may have already happened in these first few weeks of the New Year. If we were able to make lasting changes by only thinking about them or developing insight (understanding) into the “why” of our behaviors, everyone would be able to make lasting changes quite easily. But that is not the case.

To be successful, we also need to address feelings, beliefs, and behavior. Logging is an example of a tool that can be used to facilitate change. It is a simple mechanism of writing down observations about the behavior you want to change. Many studies show the positive impact of change that come from simply writing things down. The mechanism of that change is in its ability to foster transformation across all three areas.

Build up change by addressing small changes and redefining your view of success. Success is built on the foundation of layers and layers of small changes.
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Epiphany probably has a million definitions. It’s the occurrence when the mind, the body, the heart, and the soul focus together and see an old thing in a new way.
~ Maya Angelou

The holidays often seem to precipitate the revelation of epiphanies - changes that allow us to see ourselves and others in a different light. Perhaps it is because many people seem to be more “open” around the holidays.

Feeling a greater connection to others often results in being more understanding, more empathic, and more generous. Try being generous with yourself this holiday season and see what differences you may notice. Not more generous in terms of material gifts, although that is often tempting when shopping for others, but in terms of a generous spirit toward yourself.

Allow a sense of wonder at this special time of year in yourself, your potential, and your future. An optimistic outlook and a sense of freedom can ensue from a change in perspective. Enjoy the magic of the season with the fresh wonder of a child and an epiphany may change your life.
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Daydreams to Reality

Nothing is impossible - the word itself says 'I'm possible'! ~Audrey Hepburn

Can you feel the joy from this quote? It exudes energy and uplifts the reader by thinking about the possibilities in life.

Looking at the possibilities in your life has been the focus in our last few blogs and I want to continue that trend today. Allowing yourself to think about the possibilities is akin to the daydreams of a child.

As we have discussed the last few weeks, imagination helps bring our dreams to the light of day. Imagination precedes reality, but of course, we have to believe first.

Explore the obstacles to your own beliefs in the possibilities for yourself. Typical roadblocks include not having enough time, not having a clear direction, or other obligations to your job, friends, or family.

Let yourself believe in the possibilities and you can realize your dreams. Write down what you what for yourself. This small task can help manifest dreams and change behavior.

You may remember the example of “logging” to facilitate behavioral change we talked about a few weeks ago. Most people’s behavior begins to change as soon as they write down observations about that very behavior.

Writing things down helps to focus your attention on what you want to achieve, which is an important key in beginning to make changes. Increase your awareness and give yourself permission to make the impossible possible by writing down your dreams!

As we begin the holiday season, I love thinking about the possibilities in life. The energy and openness to the needs of others and the possibilities in life become more real at this time of year because people become more open to hope than at other times of the year. Get involved in making dreams come true – whether yours or others.

Make possibilities come alive within yourself and feel the joy in connecting with your creative spirit and making your dreams a reality!
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Transcending Place

When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves. ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Although the power of place and the situations in which we find ourselves are important factors in our mood, our creativity, and even our lives, none of these has to be the over-arching influence on how our lives are lived. As Frankl notes, sometimes we are challenged to make changes in ourselves.  Read More 
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