I have spent the past three years diving into personal development and can honestly say I have found emotional and spiritual freedom! My passion is helping others to also find this freedom – it has helped me to be successful in my business, my marriage, my children, and even my friends.
#1 – Release Bitterness and Forgive
I truly believe that bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness are one of the number one causes of unhappiness, depression, autoimmune diseases, and pain that we have. It is like a nasty tumor that grows and grows until it is removed.
I had become extremely bitter towards someone in my family and couldn’t even stand the thought of being around this person. It was eating me alive and really stealing my joy!
I think many of us want to forgive, but truly aren’t sure how to do it! I was able to walk through a forgiveness method at a Dani Johnson seminar, First Steps to Success. The eczema I had for 16 years literally disappeared after I released this bitterness. It was truly amazing!
Everyone is truly doing the best that they can
First, you must realize that everyone, yes everyone, is doing the very best that they can. And we have to choose to see them the way that God sees them – see their potential and focus on the good attributes they do have. But it’s hard to do that if we aren’t doing it for ourselves first.
Often, we are so hard on ourselves and really beat ourselves up, so we end up doing it to others, too. So the key is to first, extend that love and grace to yourself. Once you realize that YOU have been doing the best you can, even on the days when you’re tired, discouraged, sad, and lonely – even then you were doing the best that you could with the energy, self-esteem, and love, knowledge, and understanding you had at that time.
I was able to forgive, ironically, once I understood my own personality and the way I operate and was able to fully accept and love who God had created me to be. I felt free to be me, and that freed me to love and accept others right where they’re at because I felt whole and loved.
#2 – Self Talk & Affirmations
Most of us scold ourselves, put ourselves down, and hardly ever speak well of ourselves to others. We think this is humility. It’s actually the opposite and is a form of pride! It’s insecurity, which is pride.
See yourself as God sees you – pure, positive energy that is loved unconditionally. You are whole, you are healed, and you are beautiful and intelligent. Be careful to not call yourself names, or criticize yourself or put yourself down. Be careful about judging yourself for past decisions or the way you use to do things – you did the best you could at the time and so is everyone else.
I recommend Louise Hay’s, Power Affirmations book to get you started.
#3 – Celebrate Yourself!
Lisa Nichols, one of my absolute favorite motivational speakers, says that we expect other people to celebrate us more than we are celebrating ourselves. So, to help with that, every morning she looks at herself in the mirror and says 7 things she’s proud of herself for, 7 things she forgives herself for, and 7 things that she commits to herself for that day. How powerful! Lisa has really rocked my world and I highly recommend her book, “Abundance Now!“
#4 – Learn to Love Yourself
Another one of my favorite teachers, Louise Hay, has many books and videos about doing mirror work and teaches you how to learn to love yourself. My favorite two books are Mirror Work and the Love Yourself, Heal Your Life Workbook.
She trains you to speak kindly to yourself in the mirror, by first starting out by saying “I love you, I really, really love you.” Believe it or not, it’s very difficult for most people to do that as we are so used to not loving ourselves. It can even be painful at first, especially if you weren’t used to hearing that you’re loved as a child. The amazing thing is, God can use this method to restore what you never had, and you have it now! Restoration is a beautiful thing.
The Bible verse, “Love your neighbor as yourself” is very well-known, but the part that I think is left out is that everyone IS loving our neighbors as ourselves! How’s that? Since most of us have a rough relationship with ourselves, we are treating others how we treat ourselves. So the problem is solved when we change the relationship we have with ourselves. I’ve seen it over and over again in my own life. Powerful, isn’t it?
#4 – Use Essential Oils
The aroma of essential oils actually affects the limbic system of the brain, which controls emotions and memory. Did you know you can actually change the neuropathways in your brain using affirmations and essential oils? You can even change the painfulness of memories, or erase them altogether with the power of essential oils. I use only oils from Young Living, as there’s are so pure and many on the market are not (an oil only has to have 5% pure essential oil in it to be called Pure, Therapeutic Grade!). So I can’t recommend using oils that might contain toxins or fillers that could actually hinder this process.
So, the oils I use for emotional health include:
- The Feelings Kit (Inner Child, Harmony, Present Time, Forgiveness, Release, Valor II)
- Stress Away
- The Memory Release Blend (Frankincense, Lavender, and Stress Away combined)
- Northern Lights Black Spruce
- Highest Potential
- Magnify Your Purpose
Also, check out the Aroma Freedom Technique. It’s an amazing protocol that only takes 20-30 minutes and uses essential oils to help you release painful memories that created beliefs (which aren’t true) and are holding you back. I have done it multiple times and it helps so much!
#5 – Speak Life!
We can actually harm ourselves, even more, when we speak words of death over ourselves and our loved ones. Have you ever said, “Gah! You’re killing me!” “You’re making me crazy!” Or go and complain to your friends about how awful your kids are, how much housework you have to do, how annoying you think your husband is being, how your bank account is drained…it goes on and on! It makes us feel worse and worse, and that solves nothing.
We get what we focus on, so let’s focus on what we love and the things we’d like to bring into our lives, not what we can’t stand. Start looking up the law of attraction online – I highly recommend the movie, The Secret, which is free on Netflix right now!
Here’s a video that really spoke to me about speaking life and conscious language:
#6 – Practice Gratitude
I have an entire post about how I was able to ditch my nasty habit of complaining and turn it around to gratitude. I still have my complaining moments and days (just part of life!), but overall, I have an attitude of gratitude and it has lowered my stress like you wouldn’t believe! I am so much happier.
A super easy way to get you into this mindset is to keep a gratitude journal. Every day, write down at least three things you are grateful for. The more you do it, the more pages you’ll need. Eventually, it will become an overall outlook and not just a thing you do at the end of the day.
#7 – Self Care
Exercise, eat well, enjoy yourself, and be kind to yourself. As a mama, I have really realized the need for putting on my oxygen mask first. I cannot pour from an empty cup. I take time nearly every single night to pour into MY cup, and then I’m much happier and can freely give to my kids! It helps me to be more patient, loving, and see the best in them and myself.
Some ways to give to yourself are: massages, facials, going to the nail salon, getting your hair done, taking a bath with Epsom salts and essential oils (my fav!), reading a favorite or uplifting book, meditating, pray, journal, get more sleep, go for a walk, make exercise and eating well a priority, take up a hobby, etc.
I am protective of my “me” time now and will delay work, house cleaning, and laundry to take care of myself. It helps me to be much more productive and happy!
#8 – Laugh and Play More!
This is coming from a driven woman who loves to work! So much so that I’ve gotten really burnt out several times. Laughter really is great medicine – if you’re down in the dumps, watch a silly movie, or read some jokes online. Play with your kids or grandkids and really liven the moment with them – kids are masters of living fully in the moment and playing!
I’ve also learned not to take myself too seriously. To laugh off mistakes, let the small things stay small things, realized that this is a journey, and if all I do is enjoy the destinations, I will only enjoy like 4 days out of my whole life! Seriously! Pretty much our entire lives are a journey of expansion, of growing so let’s choose to enjoy it!
#9 – Kick Fear to the Curb
Realized that God has GOT this – practice faith and trust. If he can take care of the birds of the air and the trees of the field, does he not also take care of you?
Have you seen the universe lately? We are but a microscopic speck in the scheme of all that is. We live in a magnificent universe! Yet we worry about things.
Every time a thought of worry or anxiety creeps in, I recommend saying, “Things are always working out for me.” Or repeat a Bible verse or another quote that resonates with you. Whatever you need to do to rewire those pathways in the brain.
#10 – Cut out negative media
I have completely stopped watching the news. Yup, completely! I believe we have a false belief that we NEED to know what’s going on all of the time in order to be functioning citizens. I don’t agree because the thing is, the news doesn’t share ALL of the news. They share what sells, and unfortunately, we are telling them we want more negative news than anything else. So that’s what they give us!
The stories of all of the good that’s going on in our communities aren’t the focus, so I say that the news that’s being shared isn’t even reality. It becomes your reality if you start to believe that there is violence everywhere, that people are worse and worse, and there is not much good left. We literally create our own reality with our thoughts.
But start to change what you focus on, and watch your reality change. I did, and I started to see good EVERYWHERE. Like my 5-6 friends just in my local area who are foster parents and are literally changing entire generations of families for the better. Now that’s newsworthy! Or my church that regularly goes into the streets of Atlanta and loves on the homeless, and the countless other organizations and churches who also do this. The teachers and coaches who inspire their students and help them to see their worthiness and potential. This is my news. It’s a choice to focus on the good or the bad – which one will you choose?
I also unfollowed the “Negative Nancys” on Facebook so my Facebook feed isn’t cluttered with political arguments and complaints! I’m very careful what I allow into my heart and mind.