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Ja Rule Net Worth

posted from https://wealthygorilla.com/ja-rule-net-worth/

Introduction Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Edward Atkins, is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, record executive, and actor from Queens, New York. He’s been in the news recently for re-igniting his beef with 50 Cent. In January 2018, Ja Rule’s net worth is estimated to be $8 million.   Early Life Ja Rule was born […] More


By |January 22nd, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

How to Let Go When You’re Dwelling on Negative Thoughts

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“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing that you are not the voice of the mind—you are the one who hears it.” ~Michael Singer

My husband and I recently moved into a new home. Shortly after we moved in, I left a wooden cutting board in the sink, where it was submerged in water.

My husband told me, in a tentative voice, that he didn’t want to upset me, but I really shouldn’t leave the cutting board in the water like that, because it would get warped and destroyed.

In case you couldn’t tell, my husband was actually nervous to tell me he wanted me to do something differently.

Sure, in this case I didn’t take any offense to his comment—why should I, really? But the disappointing truth is that I often react by becoming sullen and moody and sometimes even defensive and argumentative.

Luckily, shortly before this conversation I’d been listening to a podcast the subject of letting go, about how our minds are not our souls; they’re our psyches.

In other words, I was in a pretty peaceful place, easily able to see how any thoughts about how he was wrong or he shouldn’t have said that to me or that I was a horrible person for leaving a cutting board in the sink were very, very easy to let go of.

It felt great. I didn’t get upset, I didn’t say anything mean; I just said no problem and moved on. Not just on the outside, but on the inside, too.

It’s still not always that way for me, though.

In fact, a very recent interaction with my husband was a different story entirely. I’d gone to the store for a few last minute things before Thanksgiving, and when I came home my husband could see that I had purchased a tube of toothpaste—the wrong kind.

As soon as I walked through the door he said, “Crest? Why did you get Crest? We always get Colgate!” And, at least from my perspective, he didn’t say it in all that friendly of a tone.

I immediately got defensive and took on his tone and told him he didn’t have to use it if he didn’t want to, then I went into the kitchen and went back and forth between seething and hating myself.

Luckily, somewhere in that process, I was able to, just for a moment, name what was going on inside my body and mind instead of being completely sucked into it.

I said to myself, as though I was describing symptoms to a doctor, what was going on. “I feel all jumbled up in my chest, and my stomach feels nervous. I notice that I am feeling really bad about something small, and I’m really, really blowing it out of proportion.”

To be upset about something so insignificant is probably indicative of a larger problem, of course; in this case, the fact that I was stressed about holiday prep and my upcoming birthday and, well the list could have gone on, I’m sure.

Still, this is an absolutely perfect example of how the smallest things can unhinge us, even when we’re walking a spiritual path or doing our best to improve ourselves and our lives.

I know I’m not alone. I see it in my husband, I see it in co-workers and friends.

We’re so busy trying to be right, trying to keep our egos and sense of self safe, that we don’t let things go. We let thoughts take over our hearts and minds, and often ruin relationships in the process.

I feel so frustrated at myself when I look back at all the times I’ve not been able to let things go and have reacted negatively, but that doesn’t help me move forward, either.

How can I consistently be calm? How can I consistently let go of the things, both big and small, that cause so much internal turmoil?

Always, always return to the stillness inside me, for one. I know it’s there, I’ve felt it. I’m just better at accessing it sometimes more than others.

That stillness is the place from which I believe our true selves speak, and that true self is not concerned with small things, or worried about keeping our egos afloat.

I know taking three deep breaths helps me do it. I know simply telling myself that “these thoughts are not me” helps me do it.

Besides accessing the stillness, naming what I’m feeling, as I mentioned earlier, really helps. It puts a distance between me and the thoughts pulsing through my head, again helping me to remember that I am not my thoughts.

Acknowledging that I’m spiraling or feeling sorry for myself helps, too. I think it’s something about knocking back that part of me that always has to be right and telling it I see it and I want it to go away.

Another way to let go is to ask myself if this will matter in an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year. Usually it won’t matter, and that, too, allows me to give myself some space to move on.

I know there are certain things in life that do need to be dealt with, that are bigger than a tussle over toothpaste. I still think those are best dealt with by first letting go of that negative, insistent voice, though.

I think back to when I was in my early twenties and a job I was supposed to have was given to a guy who’d recently returned to the inn where I worked, even though he’d abruptly disappeared for another job and left the inn owner in a bind.

I was so mad, so angry, that I stormed out, packed all of my stuff (I lived on premises), went back to the office, quit, and then drove away.

I’m not saying quitting wasn’t the right option for me, because it probably was. The owner of the inn was new to the game and extraordinarily disorganized, and I probably would have been miserable for the whole winter.

Still, there was a better, calmer way to handle things that would have left me feeling more balanced and sure about myself and my decisions.

If I could go back fifteen years, I think I’d tell myself to take a few deep breaths. To be still. I wasn’t meditating yet, or even aware that I was in charge of my thoughts, but I would tell that younger woman to find her center and go from there.

I’m genuinely tired of letting my mind run my life. I want to let go, to let decisions come from the deepest part of myself. I think by remembering to find the stillness and let the negative thoughts pass by, and to find any way possible to separate myself from them whenever possible, my life will be much closer to peaceful.

About Jen Picicci

Jen Picicci is an artist who believes in better living through pretty colors and kind words. She creates uplifting tree and word art, and when she doesn’t have a paintbrush in her hand, she can be found wrangling a preschooler, petting a cat, or hugging a tree. To learn more about her and get a 20% off coupon, visit www.jenpicicci.com.

Get in the conversation! Click here to leave a comment on the site.

The post How to Let Go When You’re Dwelling on Negative Thoughts appeared first on Tiny Buddha.


By |January 21st, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

(7) Tips to Be More Effective in 2018 | Brian Tracy

posted from http://youtu.be/9IySygElaIQ


By |January 21st, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Avoid These 10 Mistakes as an Expert Author – Part 2

posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/JohnChowDotCom/~3/dmxVZMisPXs/

Welcome to Part 2 of my awesome series and we’ll be discussing some more common mistakes made by Expert Authors when trying to build their brand and credibility. I see many authors making these mistakes, which costs them enormously going forward. You have to remember, as a bloggers, it’s very important to build your reputation and if you fail to do so, you’ll lose loyalty quickly. The Internet is a huge resource of information and visitors have other options if you fail to do things right the first time. I’m actually being unfair by stating you can’t make mistakes, however, it’s true that there is very little room for error.

In Part 1 of the series, we looked at things like irrelevant content, self-doubt, and NOT tracking results. Now let’s look at “3” more common errors made by “expert authors”. Let’s jump right in…

Low Engagement

When writing content, it’s important you keep your audience engaged by providing them the information they’re looking for. I can’t count the number of times I’ve left a blog because I didn’t find the content and/or presentation engaging enough so it’s important you pay close attention to both. Here’s the problem,

You have to make sure your writing for every type of audience or you’ll have 50% engaging and the other NOT fully able to comprehend your content. Your audience might be from places where English is NOT their first language so take advantage of the tools available. For example, adding videos, infographics, and images is a great way to keep all your audience engaged. However, stick to your main topic idea and don’t go off track unless it’s necessary, which you’ll learn later on. Here are some tips…

  • Use images
  • Use Videos
  • Create infographics
  • Focus on structure
  • Ask them questions for feedback
  • Reply to feedback

Quick to Publish

Another common mistake made by expert authors is they are in a rush to publish. After the Google freshness update was introduced, many bloggers are under the impression more content means faster indexing and higher traffic. However, there is NO substitute for quality because in the end, that’s the bottom line for searchers. Google knows how important it is for quality content to be published so will always give preference to quality over quantity.

Expert Authors know when to publish content and know when it’s ready for viewing. They know the consequences of publishing content too quickly and it’s an easy way to lose readership, credibility, etc. Whenever you’re writing content, you want to ensure it’s completed before publishing and it doesn’t matter if it takes you a full month. I created an ultimate guide focusing on guest blogging. The guide is a combined 10,000+ words and required 2 months to complete. However, what’s awesome is the response afterwards. For example, it ranked on the 1st page for “3” main keywords within a month and continues to be the best guide online. How do I know?

Major players in my blogging niche continue to share and reference my guide with their audience.

Not Going Broader

Some niches are very tricky and over time, they start to broaden their reach online. For example, with link building and SEO, you always have new methods popping up everywhere, which is why it’s important to stay ahead of the trends. If you’re an expert blogger in SEO, then it’s important to keep researching and expanding your range so you can provide your readers the latest information. People are already in the notion that experts know the industry well so automatically expect to receive the latest news when available. However, if you fail to provide it to them, your audience will be very quick to jump over to another blog. Here are some things to keep in mind…

Always research your niche, especially when you know it’s rapidly changing, so you can provide your readers the latest information. If you’re NOT the one to provide the trends first, then it’s very easy for someone to leave and start following another blog. Ask yourself this question: Would you rather read a blog providing old methods or newer methods? This answer alone tells you the importance of broadening your reach. Always make sure when you broaden your reach, you stick within your niche. Sometimes, it’s very easy to fall off track, especially when many niches interconnect with each other. If you’re blogging about organic SEO, then stick to methods relevant to organic link building and don’t jump into paid, etc.

Click Here To Download John Chow’s New eBook, The Ultimate Online Profit Model!


By |January 21st, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Why Enabling Someone Is Never A Loving Act

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You're reading Why Enabling Someone Is Never A Loving Act, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

When You Only Want To Help

Addiction is hard on everyone. If you watch your loved one continually abuse their body, you fear what they’re doing to their health. Abusing drugs and alcohol creates a potential for legal consequences and may interfere with your loved one’s ability to make a living. They make choices that cause unhealthy relationships and drain your bank account. When you see them make mistakes, your instinct is to protect your family from embarrassment and your loved one from pain. You want to help, but you end up making it comfortable for them to continue abusing their substance of choice.

Blurred Lines

Enabling often starts with the best intentions. As habits and behavior patterns become ingrained, it can be hard to separate what actions are helping from the ones that shield loved ones from the consequences of their mistakes. Enabling means doing something for another that they should do for themselves or stepping in to handle penalties meant for them. For a parent, if their child is arrested for drugs or alcohol, they feel a protective desire to safeguard their future. For a spouse, when their loved one causes arguments or makes a mess, it feels compassionate to protect relationships by covering up what happened. Examples of enabling behavior include keeping secrets to protect reputations, paying money for overdue rent or bail, or blaming circumstances when the individual gets drunk or high. Loved ones also enable when they threaten to enforce negative consequences for the bad behavior, but don’t follow through. Enablers don’t start out trying to make it easy on their loved one. Oftentimes, in the beginning, they don’t realize the depth of the problem, and they only intend to offer temporary help. It comes from a place of good intentions, but spirals out of control. Over time, they become the person who the individual relies on to function in spite of their addiction. It actually will encourage and reinforce bad behavior, allowing it to thrive.

Enabling Isn’t Loving

Enabling is the opposite of loving, because it provides what’s comfortable, not what’s needed. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that in North America there are 23.5 million people ages 12 and older who need treatment for alcohol or drugs. At the time of the survey, only 11 percent (~2.6 million people) were receiving treatment at a specialized facility. As individuals destroy their lives because of their addiction, their loved ones wonder why they don’t seek help. When they ruin so many family gatherings that they’re no longer invited, when they lose that job that was the opportunity of a lifetime, when they create one legal and financial disaster after another, it’s hard to understand why they don’t come to hate the substance that causes it. Often, it’s because enabling encourages toxic behavior. Enabling keeps individuals from facing the pain they cause so they can continue to delay treatment. It doesn’t just encourage more substance abuse for the individual, but it also hurts everyone in a relationship with them. Siblings feel neglected when parents spend their time enabling a brother or sister. Children receive less nurturing from their parents and keeping secrets chokes outside relationships.

Understanding Codependency

Codependent relationships develop when one person has an unhealthy reliance on another to fulfill their needs. It can be especially complex in the parent-child relationship. Codependency usually involves avoidance, enabling, enmeshment or controlling behaviors. Avoidance occurs when family members don’t want to face the problem. They tell themselves their child is just going through a phase or that dropping academic achievement will get better soon. Enabling behaviors happen when parents realize their child has a problem, but they worry how it will affect their future, so they try to protect their child from consequences. They hide bad behavior and offer any necessary legal representation. When parents draw their own self-worth or identity from their children, they often exhibit enmeshment codependency. They hide their own disappointment and sadness to keep their child from feeling pain. Other parents respond by being controlling. They seek to regulate all their child’s activities to keep them from obtaining drugs or alcohol. The child never becomes responsible for their own self-control and often does not receive treatment.

How To Tell The Difference

Most people are raised to help those in need. It helps to find the line between helping and enabling by looking for telltale behaviors. If you regularly make excuses for bad behavior, you protect your loved one from conflict. It’s better to allow them to communicate on their own. You may notice you often step in to do things they are responsible for, like picking up kids or gathering materials for school assignments. If you tell lies to your child’s teachers about why they didn’t complete their project or show up for rehearsal, you cover up their behavior and help them continue to make bad decisions. Enabling can look different depending on your relationship and family dynamics. Try checking your behaviors against a codependency checklist for an objective evaluation. Family First Intervention understands how difficult it is to wait for loved ones to seek help. We have accredited interventionists who help individuals seek treatment and find hope. We support family members throughout the process, with experts in every state.

You've read Why Enabling Someone Is Never A Loving Act, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


By |January 19th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

11 Tips Presentation Anxiety Doesn’t Stand A Chance Against

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You're reading 11 Tips Presentation Anxiety Doesn’t Stand A Chance Against, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

It’s not just you. Presentation anxiety is a common feeling that comes from fear of public speaking, one of Americans' most common fears. It’s important to understand how to reduce and control these feelings before a presentation so your hard work doesn’t fall flat. Whether for work or school, you want to deliver a great presentation. The eleven effective tips below are designed to put you in control and help you deliver with confidence before your next presentation.

Map It Out In Advance

Mapping out each step of your presentation is a great way to kill uncertainty. Breaking down big jobs into small tasks is so helpful that Penn State crafted an online tutorial to walk you through the planning process from start to finish. The tutorial recommends focusing on your body content before crafting your introduction and closing statements.

Nail Your Introduction

After you know what you are going to talk about, public speaking coach Ellen Finkelstein recommends hitting three main points in your introduction to grab your audience's attention:
  • Who are you?
  • What are you talking about?
  • Why is the topic important?
Finkelstein suggests writing out each answer, then editing them and, finally, practicing delivering them. Doing so gives you the confidence to start your presentation because no decisions are left to the moment of delivery.

Practice Your Delivery

Bill Rosenthal, chief executive of communication training provider Communispond, says locking down your presentation will make you a more confident presenter than an inauthentic one. Ever heard of a dancer looking robotic because they practiced their steps too much? A sure fire way to crush some fear is to show yourself how capable you are by practicing your presentation a handful of times before the day comes. If you can, get in front of some friends you trust to get their feedback or record yourself on your phone to look for things to improve.

Establish Your Mindset

Understand that it's a lot easier to focus on negative things and overlook positive ones. For example, it’s easier to think you will give a bad presentation and not about the value the audience is will get only causes further anxiety. Communication coach Cher Gunderson explains that supporting yourself with positive reinforcement is one of the best mindset shifts you can take on. She writes, “shift hyper-critical, non-supportive, judgmental thoughts to supportive, balanced thoughts.”

Review The Situation

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had your own personal therapist during moments of distress? Well, now you do. Youper is an anxiety assistant you can use to analyze your thoughts to anchor them in reality and facts, not false expectations. In just a few minutes, you complete a mini therapy session and gain a healthy perspective on your trigger situation. Users report that the tool is just like interacting with a therapist.

Show Up A Little Early

It’s important to get comfortable with the location and the audience where you’ll present. Walk around, pay attention to the layout of the room, and look for things that could potentially distract you. This will help you feel more comfortable because you’ll snuff out the initial tension of being in a new place. Meeting a few people in the room establishes allies in the audience for you so you don’t feel like you are presenting to strangers.

Keep Water On Hand

Ever notice that presenters usually have a cup or bottle of water on hand when giving a presentation? Keeping yourself hydrated during a presentation is important because dehydration can trigger anxiety symptoms. That’s the last thing you want before you deliver a presentation.

Breathing Exercises

When you get anxious your breathing gets faster. Breathing calms anxiety by guiding you back to a slower rhythm, calming you down in the process. Research indicates that breathing exercises are an effective way to lower anxiety levels. For those that find it difficult to focus on their breathing, a guided exercise with audio or a visual to follow will help you focus on your breath through an entire cycle.

Visualize A Successful Presentation

Imagine yourself finishing the presentation and hearing the sound of applause. Visualize members of the audience thanking you, or colleagues congratulating you. These positive images help manifest a positive attitude, which will come out during your presentation. Visualization isn’t just for improving your attitude. Studies have shown that visualizing an activity can have the same effect as real-life practice. Moreover, if you visualize and practice in real life, you are even more likely to do well.

Remind Yourself Fear Is Normal

Fear is normal and helps us avoid danger. That’s great! However, is it dangerous to give a speech? As mentioned above, fear of public speaking is high on the list of most common fears. Being judged is not something humans are comfortable with, and giving a presentation puts you in a position where you can be judged. Remember that everyone feels anxious before they present, and you feel this way because the presentation is important to you.

How To Calm Down Before A Presentation

Use as many or as few of these tips as you’d like, but I don’t suggest trying to do all of them. That might be harder than giving the presentation! The important thing is to do what you feel you can without adding to the pressure of the presentation. If you have questions about what you feel before a presentation or other social situation, learn more about social anxiety symptoms.

You've read 11 Tips Presentation Anxiety Doesn’t Stand A Chance Against, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


By |January 19th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

6 Stepping Stones to Become Your Best Self in 2018

posted from https://addicted2success.com/life/6-stepping-stones-to-become-your-best-self-in-2018/

New Year resolutions are often wishful thinking. Being your best self is not something to be ticked off a checklist,  it is part of a never-ending continuum of learning and self-discovery.

What we think of as “self” is really a story we have strung together over time. What makes this an incredible masterpiece, is that given you created the story of who you are, you have the power to change it.

Being precisely who you are at your highest level is your greatest gift to the people around you, to magnetizing the things you want most in your life and a powerful contributor to this world.

Here are the 6 stepping stones towards your greatest self:

1. Letting go of negativity

Negativity can hold us back from many things in life. An attitude of ‘I have the worst luck’ or “nothing ever goes my way” infects the mind. Your perception creates your reality. When you invest all your energy in to what you don’t want, your brain conducts a transderivational search and conspires to provide the very thing you don’t want.

A few tips to let go of negativity:

  • Give yourself a window to complain for five minutes, once a day and then bolt that window shut. Time yourself or partner with a close friend to allow the complaining, moaning and whining to occur for 6 minutes only. Then stop it.
  • When you practice gratitude, nothing else exists in that moment. Your brain cannot immerse itself in fear and be grateful at the same time. Try it on. Invest in a journal and start with writing one thing down in the morning and before you go to bed, identifying what you are grateful for. What you focus on, is what you get.
  • Self-reflection. Negativity stems from a place of unhappiness. Adopt curious questioning to unveil what is triggering your responses, what you would like to change. Edit the story to how you can improve to live a happier existence.

“All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.” – Michael John Bobak

2. Kindness costs nothing

Kindness is the easiest thing you can do to become a better person. Every person has their challenges in life and it can take a random act of kindness to impact another human being in a single moment. The simplest of things, holding the door open, smiling at a person walking down the street or asking someone at work if you could make them a coffee. Priceless.

3. What do you stand for?

Unveiling who you are and the values that underpin how you want to live, illuminate the pathway to becoming the best you. Values are the emotional states that you wish to experience every day. When you get clear on your code, decision making become effortless. Living your code, creates the person you are becoming.

4. Kicking self-doubt in the balls

Doubts, fears and accusations echo through. When your inner critic is amplified, it’s time to kick self-doubt in the balls, really hard. Remind yourself of all the things that you have achieved, the incredible people around you, the times that made you smile and the moments you felt alive. As long as you exist, there is potential within you to exceed every expectation, to upgrade your standards and step into your best self.

5. Investing in You

Whether you spend time reading, pursuing a workshop or walking along the beach, investing in you is the greatest gift. Detaching from the outcome and enjoying the moment can be unfamiliar however the more time you invest in discovering who you are, the masks you need to remove, and learn to dance with your fears, the more confidence you gain in becoming the best version of you.

“Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning.” – Robert Kiyosaki

6. Ikigai – your reason for being

According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai, although not everyone has yet understood, discovered or developed it.  To find it, it often requires deep enquiry of self. Ikigai literally translates “the reason for being”. It is often used to describe a healthy passion for something that makes you feel as though life is worth living to the fullest.

An intense internal desire to carry out a personal mission that you have a magnetic connection to. When we manifest whatever is pulling at you, you experience an intense internal satisfaction. You create a feeling of being fulfilled and adding new layers of meaning to your life.

Some questions to ignite your ikigai.

  • What are you passionate about? What makes you come alive?
  • Identify what you are great at? What unique skills do you have that come most naturally to you? What do you excel at even when you aren’t trying? What does the world need and how you can deliver?
  • What cause do you believe in? What change would you love most to create in the world? What would you give your life for?
  • What service, value or offering do you bring that adds value to others and people would pay for?

Reflect on how these elements relate to each other and ask yourself, what is one thing you could do today that would be an expression of your ikigai? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com


By |January 19th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

Why I Now Appreciate Years of Pain and How Gratitude Healed My Life

posted from http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/tinybuddha/~3/mPtCja215hc/

TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with an account of abuse and may be triggering to some people.

“Hope is faith’s impoverished sister, but it’s a start.” ~Maureen Barberio, Gettin’ Out of Bullytown

My life wasn’t always easy. It’s not always easy now, as a matter of fact. But there was a very long period where it was quite difficult and painful. It is sad how many of us can say that, isn’t it?

I grew up in a dysfunctional home with two sisters. My father was an alcoholic and was physically and verbally abusive. My mother, herself a victim of my father’s verbal abuse, was very loving and complimentary but could do little about my father’s behavior. My mother, sisters, and I have always been very close.

Each time I was yelled at, and with each blow I received, a little bit of my spirit was broken.

Instead of gaining confidence during my grade school years, so I could enter the teen years ready to face the hormonal changes and roller coaster of emotions that go along with them, I went into the teen years feeling unworthy of anything good. I looked at my sisters and saw such beauty in them. I looked in the mirror and saw nothing but flaws.

In addition, I had done what so many children do: I assumed all blame for the abuse my father was heaping on me. I continued to look up to both my parents, as impossible as that may sound, and I took to heart every word spoken about me.

The fact that my father found me so imperfect and flawed meant it must be so. And being imperfect and flawed meant I was unlovable. The guilt and shame I felt about this was devastating, although at the time I had no idea that guilt and shame was what I was feeling.

While other girls in high school got prettier and prettier, while my sisters became prettier in my eyes, I viewed myself as less and less attractive. I watched the excitement others had about boys and dating, and I knew in my heart I would never have those things. I’d never fit in. I was different. I was unworthy.

There’s nothing like leaving a house of sadness on a sunny day, unable to enjoy the beauty of nature because your heart is so heavy that you want to die. There’s nothing like going to school and seeing how carefree your friends are, all laughing and having a great time, and joining in with them even though inside you feel like a piece of garbage who shouldn’t even have friends.

I felt phony because I had so many secrets, not the least of which was my unworthiness, which they either didn’t see or they recognized but never mentioned out of pity for me.

Even the most confident girls struggle in high school with all the changes they’re faced with. Imagine going into it convinced you’re nothing but a hideous thorn in everyone’s side. Those high school years magnify the negatives, but with the help of a loving, supportive family, young women come out of them feeling good about themselves and their future. I came out of those years just feeling worse about myself.

By the time I hit my late teens I was convinced I would never have what ‘normal’ people have in the way of a life where there’s a man who cares about you and you plan for the future and build a life together.

I was living in emotional pain, and to lessen that pain, I began drinking and using drugs. I wasn’t resorting to these things all the time, but I was using them as tools to help me instead of seeing the root of my problems and pain.

In my early twenties, I met a man I thought was simply wonderful. The attention felt incredible. I started feeling better about myself. He loved me! This was as close to feeling loved and carefree as I had ever felt before, and it was so different that I embraced it.

Six months after meeting, we began living together and then married when I was twenty-six, despite the fact that by that point he was drinking heavily and doing a lot of drugs. I guess it didn’t matter to me, because I was doing the same.

Somewhere along the way, he began being very critical of me, so I found myself on the receiving end of verbal abuse once again. I tried harder to please him, as I had spent my childhood and teen years trying to please my father while always missing the mark. The little bit of my spirit that remained was constantly chipped away.

To cope with the reality of increased disappointment and anger on the part of my husband, I went through periods of abusing drugs. During other points in our marriage I decided to live without taking substances, but my husband would push me to join him, and to keep the peace, I did.

Even though I was a fully functioning adult, had jobs and attended college, I spent more than twenty years in a verbally abusive, alcohol and drug-fueled marriage.

Each morning I’d wake up and tell myself I wasn’t going to drink or do any drugs, and each day that I failed I grew more and more disappointed in myself. I felt such intense shame about who I was and how I was living that it was difficult to even think about. I spent much time feeling depressed in a place of darkness.

Growing tired of our lifestyle, we eventually stopped drinking and taking drugs and discovered we had nothing in common. The verbal and emotional abuse continued. So at the age of forty-five, I moved out of our home into another property we owned. I had no faith that my life would ever be better, but I hoped it would, and as the quote above states, that’s a start.

There is something that is so satisfying about seeing a neglected garden of weeds and taking steps to clear them out to see what you can grow. Or watching a caterpillar move through various stages until a beautiful butterfly emerges.

There were many uncertainties I was facing, but I decided that the Universe gives us each a garden—our lives—and it’s up to us to tend to that garden to see what beautiful things we can grow. Each of us is a beautiful butterfly, and sometimes we must let ourselves go through the process of getting rid of a hard shell in order to emerge as our true, beautiful selves.

I was uncertain about who I was, what I wanted to do next, and had a million questions that couldn’t be answered. At the urging of a friend who had mentioned it numerous times, I finally gave in when she once again said, “Why don’t you try Centers for Spiritual Living? I think if you go it will help you.”

And so I went. As soon as I walked in the door I felt like I was home. I actually felt something within me that was so moved on an emotional level that I cried.

A wonderful speaker talked about gratitude and challenged us to spend forty days writing down everything we were grateful for, an exercise meant to shift our focus and put it on the good instead of what we felt was lacking in our lives. The Minister handed out a journal to each of us, and the person who walked out of the church that day wasn’t quite the same as the one who had walked in.

Over the next forty days I diligently did my homework by trying to find something I was grateful for. At first it was hard. I’d sit for five minutes, ten minutes, fifteen minutes, and wonder what it was that I was grateful for.

Oh wait, I’m grateful I don’t drink and take drugs anymore. I wrote that down. I’m grateful to be out of an abusive marriage. I wrote that down. Those seemed a little bit like I was still putting my focus on negative things, however, and I had to ask myself whether or not I was grateful about anything positive.

Well, yes, I was grateful I finally took my friends advice and went to the Center for Spiritual Living. I was grateful my friend told me about it. Oh, and I was grateful for my friend! In fact, I was grateful for all the new friends I’d made. I was grateful to be living in a place where there was a Center for Spiritual Living to even go to. I was grateful to be living in a place that is surrounded by beautiful nature. I was grateful for nature!

This is how it went every day. I would struggle to write something I was grateful for, but once I wrote down one thing, it would lead me to another and another and another.

Sometimes I would close my journal and notice I’d spent thirty minutes writing and it felt like it was only five minutes. The floodgates would just open and I’d get lost in thinking about how wonderful my life had become. One more thing for which to be grateful!

I so loved this exercise that I did it for a second time once the forty-day challenge was up. What happened after that was nothing short of astounding. I became more interested in the spiritual aspect of life, and filled with a bit more confidence, signed up for A Course in Miracles. I was starving for this kind of information, which seemed to fill me up!

I began getting out more. I signed up for a couple of classes at the local university, in order to complete my studies and get a degree. I continued the practice of writing down the things for which I was grateful, only now it didn’t take five, ten, or fifteen minutes before I could think of something, I was already coming up with things while I was still reaching for my notepad and pen. I still found the flow to be the same though. I’d write down one thing, which would lead to another and another.

I continued spending time at the Center, signing up for classes, and reading books to be discussed. It was a whole new world I was being exposed to.

In the years that followed the dissolution of my marriage I achieved my goal and actually earned two degrees, graduating Cum Laude. Somewhere along the way, I began looking at my image in the mirror differently. I thought: Deborah, you’re not half bad! In fact, you’re pretty! You’re kind. You have a good heart. You’re lovable!!!!

I met a wonderful man and got married. I started my own business, and I love the work I do.

As I continued my spiritual studies and practice of gratitude, I came to be blessed more and more. I became a licensed Practitioner at our local Center for Spiritual Living, started a second business, and have become even closer to my two wonderful sisters, enjoying my time with them laughing and joking as though we’re three little girls.

My life looks nothing like the life I lived until I was in my late forties, and yet, I’m grateful for that earlier life because the pain of it has led me to so many wonderful places. My heart and spirit have healed, and I am committed to spreading the word about the blessings you will receive through the daily practice of gratitude.

This doesn’t mean my life is perfect, or without worry, or even absent from the occasional feelings of guilt or shame about something, but I am able to quickly deal with those feelings and put my focus back on the things for which I am grateful. And that has made all the difference in the world.

Can you relate? Just for today, write down some things you feel grateful for. There are plenty of things. Just look out the window, go for a walk, and you’ll find them. Keep doing that each day and make it a habit.

Think of some things you’ve always wanted to do but didn’t pursue because of fear, shame, lack of confidence, etc., and commit to doing just one of those things. Baby steps. That’s all it takes.

And when you start feeling down or worried, open up your journal and read through your lists. It will move the focus from the negatives to the positives. You’ll find that writing about gratitude will lead to feeling more positive about your life, prompting you to take action that brings positive results—and even more blessings and opportunities. I’ve noticed this snowball effect in many lives, starting with my own.

As I live a life that consists of gratitude, I see where every negative experience has molded me, taught me, made me compassionate, and led me to be the wonderful and best version of me that I can be today.

Isn’t that a blessing?

About Deborah Perdue

Deborah Perdue is the author of several books on Gratitude and a practitioner at her local Center for Spiritual Living. She owns a graphic design company and creates book covers, logos, business cards, etc. for wonderful people nationwide. Deborah lives in Grants Pass, OR with her husband and menagerie of animals. You can find her at illuminationgraphics.com and graceofgratitude.com.

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By |January 18th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

How I Went From Insomniac to the Best Sleep of My Life

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You're reading How I Went From Insomniac to the Best Sleep of My Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

Sleep. Some of us can’t get enough of it, while others are in a love-hate relationship. For many years after becoming an entrepreneur, I was the latter. Like every human, my mind and body needed sleep to function. The problem was, I had trouble actually falling asleep in the first place. Now, I will say that there are variances of how one would define an insomniac. I wasn’t suffering from chronic insomnia that could do serious damage to my well-being. However, there were many periods when I would only get two to three hours of sleep during the week. If mild and periodic insomnia is something you face, or even chronic insomnia, read on. As my work, relationships, and overall energy began to decline further, I took serious action to research and ‘self-experiment’ on fixing my insomnia for good. I won’t bore you with the full journey, but rather give you the top 5 actionable tips that had the most impact in my sleep quality. Hope it brings you value.

1. Choose your ideal sleep cycle

I had no idea that there were different sleep cycles you could experiment with. My entire life, I just assumed that people sleep 7-8 hours then remained awake for the rest of the day. I found that there are four main sleep cycles that are well-known:
  • Monophasic Cycle
    • Amount of sleep: 7-9 hours (one sleep cycle)
    • Best suited for: 9-to-5 workers
  • Biphasic Cycle
    • Amount of sleep: 5-6 hours within the day
    • Best suited for: Workers that can leave work early or work at home
  • Everyman Cycle
    • Amount of sleep: One 3.5 hours of deep sleepwithin the day; Three 20 minute naps during the day
    • Best suited for: Those who want to explore polyphasic without going extreme
  • Uberman Cycle
    • Amount of sleep: six to eight naps (20 minute each)
    • Best suited for: Those who want the most out of their day without being tired
In the end, I decided to remain in the monophasic sleep cycle, but I often experiment with biphasic cycle to see how I feel. You should see for yourself what’s right for you.

2. Invest in the right tools

Just like finding the right tools in your work can make you significantly effective, finding the right sleep tools help you sleep better, faster. a. Bluelight blocking glasses Usage: During the day
Research show that we spend over 10 hours per day staring into our screens. Likely more if you’re in tech. Studies state that blue light exposure can negatively impact different parts of our brain and body. They include digital eye strain, headaches, and of course disruption of our sleep cycle. As an entrepreneur I spend late nights staring at my lap top screen. When I tried to sleep, my mind was still stimulated overflowing with thoughts and energy that made it impossible for me to sleep. I started wearing iGOTHAM's blue light blocking glasses and have noticed reduction in my eye strain. I normally wear these when I’m working, and make sure to put them on at night before I sleep (since I can’t stay away from my laptop at night!). Some harmful effects of bluelight can be found here.   b. Blackout curtains Usage: For the bedroom
Even a sliver of light that enters into our bedroom can impact one’s sleep. While I can sleep through some light coming into my room, there are other nights where I absolutely need total darkness. Using blackout curtains is the simplest solution, and installing it is pretty simple. c. Bonus: Hot shower Need I say more? All in all, taking a hot shower helps me relax when I’m stressed or stimulated before sleeping.

3. Leave any electronics out of the bedroom

A tip that has surprisingly been effective for me is: keeping all personal electronics outside of the bedroom. I know… it’s devastating. But I encourage you to try it for just one day.  Here’s what you do:
  • Just before you go to bed: Take your phone, computer, smart watches (and chargers) outside your room *If you don’t have any other space, then place it on the opposite end of where you sleep
  • Put all of your devices on silent mode (or turn if off completely)
  • Don’t check it until the next morning
Let me know how this goes!

4. The 90 minute rule

“You need 8 hours of sleep per day.” It’s one of the most common (and generalized) advice you get about sleep. Speak to professional sleep researchers and most of them will tell you that is baloney. Instead, the use the ’90 minute rule.’ This is based on the knowledge that our sleep cycle contains five distinct phases, divided into four stages of non-REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, followed by a stage of REM sleep (in which we dream). Each of these cycles takes roughly 90 minutes, followed by a brief interlude when we are relatively wakeful, before a new cycle starts again. This means that you will feel most refreshed when you awake at the end of a 90-minute sleep cycle because you will be closest to your normal waking state.  To maximize the chances of this happening, work out when you want to wake up, then count back in  90-minute blocks to find a time near to when you want to go to sleep. You can also use this sleep cycle calculator to make it easy for yourself. Let’s imagine that you want to wake at 8am and wish to go to sleep around midnight. Counting back in 90-minute segments from 8am would look like this: 8am > 6:30am > 5am > 3:30am > 2am > 12:30am > 11pm In this example, you should aim to fall asleep around either 11pm or 12.30am in order to feel especially refreshed in the morning. So next time someone tells you that you must get 8 hours of sleep, tell them about the 90 minute rule!

5. Change how you think about the bedroom

I used to work from my bedroom, and looking back. It was a mistake. Now, I only do two things in the bedroom: sleep and sex. That’s it. More importantly, there’s a few actionable things you can do today to transform your bedroom into the ultimate sleep cave. a. Go DARK And I mean DARK. Any sort of light that is seeping through can potentially disrupt our sleep cycles. That could mean
  • Shutting your curtains completely (or buying a better one that completely fills up your windows)
  • Pointing any electronics or alarm clock away from you
  • Turning off all warm lights
Then, when it’s morning time, you can start the day with bright lights and your body will be able to know that it’s morning time. b. Replace white light with warm light before bed  This option is great for preparing your body to calm down before bed time. Most of the bright LED lights trigger alertness when it’s turned on, and that’s the opposite effect we want before bed. You can find warm, orange light in just about any pharmacy store in your local neighbourhood. c. Light up a candle Similar to option 2, but the candle combines the warm lighting with a soothing scent. I recommend checking out the following aromas:
  • Lavender
  • Chamomille
  • Vanilla
d. Adjust your room temperature Sleep experts have shown that room temperature between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal for the best sleep. A room with extreme temperatures leads to more frequent awakenings and lighter sleep. I hope this was useful for those of you that struggle with getting quality sleep in your life. As a fellow entrepreneur burning the midnight oil, sleeping better has been a game changer in my personal life and business. If these tips overwhelmed you in anyway, I recommend just starting with one of them. Once you notice the positive effects in your sleep, you can try another, and so forth. Best of luck and leave a comment below to share how it went!

You've read How I Went From Insomniac to the Best Sleep of My Life, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


By |January 18th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments

5 Effective Tips to Get the Job You Want Without Experience

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You're reading 5 Effective Tips to Get the Job You Want Without Experience, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you're enjoying this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.

You might think that because you don’t have any experience in a field, the jobs there are out of reach. You’ll be glad to hear that’s not necessarily the case. As plenty of fresh graduates discover every year, there are ways around the no experience barrier. You just have to learn how to play your cards right (and learn what cards to play, of course). Here we’re going to cover some of the best ways you can still get that job you really want despite your lack of experience. Taken together they will make all the difference.

Get an endorsement

Experience is a way that companies know that you actually know what you’re doing. But that’s not the only thing that matters. As the saying go, ‘hire attitude and train skill’ and that’s a rule that many companies follow. But how can they see you have the right attitude? Well, one great way to do exactly that is for you to get an endorsement from somebody that’s well respected. Now, there are a lot of ways you can go with this. If you know somebody that’s well respected in the industry then obviously they would make a great choice. Ask them to write you a letter to open up the door. If that’s not possible then look for somebody further afield. You can get somebody like a professor to help you. Otherwise, get somebody famous to do so. Just getting a recommendation from somebody that everybody knows might well be enough for a company to give you an interview – even if it’s just to meet you. From there, your personality can do the rest.

Use your network

You may think that the way people get jobs is by sending out resumes and applying through official channels. And some people do get jobs that way. But it isn’t many. According to one survey, only 15% of people get their job through these channels. The rest? It’s all down to your network. So use it! Make people aware you’re looking for a job. And when I say ‘make them aware’ I don’t mean ‘put it on Facebook’. I mean, reach out to people on an individual basis and ask them if they might know any leads or anybody. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. What’s the worst they can do? Say ‘no’?

Apply up and down the ladder

If you want to be a manager at a IT company, say, but you don’t have any experience, then why not start out a little lower down? Perhaps that manager needs an assistant? Or perhaps there are some internships that you can start at. Yes, those positions are much lower down, but once you’ve got your foot in the door of the company and of the industry it suddenly becomes a lot easier to apply somewhere else. After all, now you do have experience. It doesn’t matter if your manager yelled at you to ‘write my essay for me please’ or if you had to do the photocopying. The next place you’ll apply at won’t know that. All they’ll see is your experience. And that will get you an interview – which is where you really make your personality shine.

Your resume and your cover letter

Even though a lot of jobs are landed through your network, people will still ask to see your resume. So you have to make sure yours is ready. A well-written resume might not get you the job, but a poorly written one will make sure you don’t get it. What do I mean with a poorly written resume? I mean one where the spelling and grammar aren’t perfect. I mean one where things aren’t aligned properly. I mean one where you use commas in one place and then periods in another. Do these sound like nitpicky things? Well they are. There can be no doubt about it. The problem is, when people have a job they often get dozens (if not hundreds) of applications for that job. And as they need to narrow down the field, they’ll use whatever criteria they can. A poorly written resume is such a criteria. After all, their reasoning will go, if you aren’t careful enough to write an error free resume, then how can you ever be careful enough to not make mistake while you work for us?

Connect

You should always be looking to make new connections. You never know what they’re good for. A big part of being lucky is the people you know. So make sure you know a lot of people. Also, be aware of how you network. People can see straight through a phony. So don’t just network with people because you want to climb up the ranks over their backs. Also connect with people to see if you can help them. People remember who helped them. And down the line that can pay serious dividends. Because the truth is, when you’ve got this great job, then you’ll find that it’s something else you’ll want next. And that will require more connections and people.

Last words

Experience will come with time. So don’t despair. Just start trying. And don’t be afraid of people that say ‘no’. A lot of people will do that in your life. But they don’t really matter. The only people that will ultimately matter when you’re hunting for a job is those who say ‘yes’. So focus on them. A good strategy to use if you’re afraid of failure is set out a goal to get this many rejections in the next six months. If that’s your goal, if you set out to get this many rejections every week, then you know you have to push hard to send enough applications out there. And when you’re sending out that many applications, it’s almost inevitable that some of them will come back positively. That’s a good strategy for getting the job you want. That’s a good strategy to get anything you want.5

You've read 5 Effective Tips to Get the Job You Want Without Experience, originally posted on Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement. If you've enjoyed this, please visit our site for more inspirational articles.


By |January 18th, 2018|Blog|0 Comments