#232 Say No

When we put others needs before ours consistently, we rob ourselves of the ability to stay ‘charged’.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#232

Say No

Are you a people pleaser? Are you challenged to say “no” when people ask you to do something? Are you afraid to let people down or disappointment them?

Full Plates

For those of us that are people pleasers, it is particularly challenging to experience the effect of disappointing people. We tend to over commit ourselves in an effort to meet the things we believe are expectations from others. We crowd our calendars, we stretch our limits, and we spend too much time frazzled as we strive to complete our over extended agendas.

Use Your Voice

Often, we know we are pushing too far… moving past comfortable as our mind screams “NO!” to our unhearing vocal cords that are deaf to our hearts whispers. Before we know it, the word “ok” escapes even though our internal warning systems are vibrating through our physical system. It’s vital that we learn to let our internal voice make become audible and speak the words that our brain is trying to vocalize.

Self Care

Honoring our own time limits and personal space is one of the most elementary components of self care. Before we can take care of others and meet all of their needs, we must make sure to charge our own batteries; stay mentally and physically strong enough to meet the demands of our own life. When we put others needs before ours consistently, we rob ourselves of the ability to stay ‘charged’.

Let ‘Em Down Easy

There isn’t any reason to be brash or offensive as we reject the desires or expectation of others. Most people will understand if we’ve maxed out the hours in our days. Learn to say “I’d love to but I can’t right now” or “I need to finish a few things before I can take on something else.” or … you could just…

Say “no”.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

#234 Wear a Bold Color

I’m not suggesting that you don a St. Patrick’s day green suit so that you are bold from head to toe but a deep green blouse or tie may make a great statement to your business ensemble.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#234

Wear a bold color

Take a good hard look in your closet. What colors do you see? Is the majority of your closet black, navy, grey, and white? Do you have a little pastel mixed in? Out of all the items, how many pieces are Bold?

I’m talking about your day to day wardrobe? How much color is really there?

Psychological hiding

Many of us don’t wear bold on purpose as it may highlight features we prefer to downplay. Others may simply not want to draw attention to themselves, although I rarely find this is a conscious decision.  Others still, may believe that a more modest, sterile combination is preferred in a business environment. Truth is, when we make these choices, we could be seeking to be background players, unseen by the masses, and blending into the crowd more often than not. We unconsciously choose clothing that will not draw attention to us.

Stand Out

Ironically however, it’s those times that we stand out appropriately that we tend to get the most compliments, the most accolades, and the most romantic interest. One of the ways that we can stand out without speaking, moving, or over performing, is to wear a color that is complementary to our skin tone but bold in contrast.

Choosing colors

First, you must know if you have warm or cool skin tones… look at the veins in your hands. What color are they? If they are blue or purple, you have a COOL tone. If they appear greenish, you have a WARM tone. Cool tones run in the turquoise, purple, and pink pallets while warm tones are reds, oranges, greens, and yellows.

Accessorize

I’m not suggesting that you don a St. Patrick’s day green suit so that you are bold from head to toe but a deep green blouse or tie may make a great statement to your business ensemble. Carrying a bright red bag and wearing matching shoes creates a dynamic look with an otherwise boring grey suit. A casual jeans and sweater evening can be taken to another level with a deep turquoise cardigan. Pick a few colors from your tone range and seek to add those colors in the add-on part of your wardrobe. Perhaps including a bold dress or polo shirt for those times when it’s important to be remembered.

The next time you want to quietly stand out or be noticed, do it with your clothing and …

Wear a bold color.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

 

#235 Strive for Authenticity

On major topics many of us do a fair job of staying true to ourselves and yet there are little things that are sometimes disguised as keeping peace …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#235
Strive for Authenticity

No Compromise

One of the most elementary components of those living in a state of peace, contentment, and happiness is their ability to sustain authenticity in their day to day lives. These people know ‘who’ they are and they don’t compromise their values or beliefs to keep the peace or avoid confrontation. Wait, what? Am I suggesting that you refuse to compromise? Isn’t that the cornerstone of relationship success? The answer is “yes” if the compromise is about likes and dislikes; we’ll eat Mexican today and Chinese next week or we’ll watch Golf today and HGTV tomorrow. It’s a big fat “NO” however, if we are faced with compromising our values and core beliefs.

Conviction

In order to get good at this, we need to have clear focus about what we believe and/or what feels ‘right’ for us as an individual. If you don’t want to take the risk of driving with someone who refuses to wear a seat belt – don’t. If you feel strongly about drugs, alcohol, or sex… own your stance and stand your ground. Work to disregard any judgment that seeks to undermine your position with negativity or ridicule. Most often, those convictions are ignited from the core of ‘who we are’ and when we honor them, we are our most authentic selves.

Physiological clues

Our bodies are amazing barometers of our state of authenticity and its helpful to learn how to read the measurements they provide. When a friend is being racist and that behavior is in deep contrast to your value system, how do you feel? Where do you feel it? Are you nauseous? Is your heart racing? Do you get headaches? Step away from the friend and notice if the symptoms dissipate? If so – your body is blatantly telling you your friends behavior is contradictory to your core either you remove yourself from the condition or you equalize it by sharing your perspective. To stay and do nothing would be disingenuous to you.

True to you

On major topics many of us do a fair job of staying true to ourselves and yet there are little things that are sometimes disguised as keeping peace or just making things easier that corrode our sense of authenticity over time. ‘Going along with the crowd’, ‘not speaking up’, and ‘giving up’ are some of the reasons we fail to honor our core selves. Once or twice may not make a big impact on our system but I find that when it is consistent, our sense of ‘self’ is greatly diminished.

“Why didn’t you go back to school?”
“Because my husband wouldn’t have liked me taking so much time from our family.”
“Why don’t you golf anymore?”
“Because my wife wants me to sleep in with her on weekends.”

Pay attention

When you are present in your life and checking in with yourself on a regular basis, noticing these moments of in-authenticity are easier. Learning to communicate about them so that you are consistent with meeting the needs of your core is helpful as well. Being in tune with your body, honoring your heart, and using your voice are critical skills as you …
Strive for Authenticity

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#236 Mindful Kissing

Be patient while you explore and navigate your partner’s kiss. Be sure to keep your focus there without the distraction of other sensations.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#236

Mindful kissing

If you have a significant other or even a special friend, this suggestion can ignite a spark so, reader beware. Mindful kissing is a special kind of kissing… it’s kissing on purpose, with intention, for no other reason than to experience – truly experience – the kiss.

This type of kissing begins with intention. It is a desire to fully engage and participate in the experience of a kiss with particular notice to each and every sensation;

  • Notice the closeness of your partner.
  • Notice the smell of your partner, their skin, their breath, their body perfume.
  • Notice the texture of the lips you are kissing; their temperature.

Slowly inhale and exhale with the focus on the sensations you are experiencing in the kiss itself.

When your focus moves to another part of your body, or somewhere in your mind – bring it back to the kiss.

  • Notice your saliva production and it’s exchange.
  • Notice the desire of your tongue and its movement.
  • Notice the taste that is exchanged in your kiss.
  • Notice the interaction between lips, tongues, and mouths.
  • Notice the as your breath changes; notice your partner’s breath.

Allow the kiss to take time. Be patient while you explore and navigate your partner’s kiss. Be sure to keep your focus there without the distraction of other sensations. Try spending 5 minutes mindfully kissing – only kissing – and if you enjoy the interactions, increase the time with each engagement.

If you want to jump start a little energy in your relationship, this is a great way to get the engines rolling again. One of the key’s is free, easy, and innate for us all…

Mindful kissing.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#237 Clean out the Linen Closet

If I look closely, I believe there is still a SpongeBob pillowcase deep in the bowels of my upstairs linen closet leftover from my son’s bedding ensemble more than 20 years ago.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#237

Clean out the linen closet

Why is it that the linen closet is likely at the bottom of our priority list? Maybe because it rarely gets seen by guests and it often collects those items that don’t tend to make sense anywhere else. Mine stores much more than just linens and the only truly organized ones that I’ve seen are those from emptynesters. Does that mean that having kids in the house prevents an organized linen closet that isn’t a junk magnet? Or perhaps it means that kids universally can’t seem to stack towels and sheets in a straightforward manner. In either case, there’s a chance that yours needs a little attention.

Stored Junk

If I look closely, I believe there is still a SpongeBob pillowcase deep in the bowels of my upstairs linen closet leftover from my son’s bedding ensemble more than 20 years ago. I believe there are water bottles that haven’t been used in ten but made sense to have at one point. These are typical items hiding in the crevices of sheet stacks that are better delegated as drop cloths these days. Some of those I kept only because they made for good Halloween costumes.

Let It Go

Check the top shelves too… that’s where the peach shower curtain from 2003 I thought I’d keep as a backup is hiding along with the bath mats that got replaced a few years later. I’m pretty sure the backing on that mat is now fully dry rotted and will disintegrate as soon as I take it off the shelf. They both have to go. As a rule of thumb – if you haven’t used it in three years – get rid of it. If it’s torn, tattered, or torn, get rid of it. If it’s stained or dingy – get rid of it.

As a side note… most animal shelters will take your tattered towels, sheets, and blankets. Please consider donating them when you…

Clean out the linen closet.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#238 Say “I’m Sorry”

An apology that includes the word “but” is null and void before it really ever gets started. “I’m sorry but…” becomes meaningless …

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#238

Say “I’m sorry”

This is a suggestion that, for many of us, is a no-brainer. Some of us know when we have committed an infraction in word or deed and we readily and easily apologize. Others, perhaps not so much. Why is it important to say “I’m sorry”?

Respect

An apology demonstrates respect and empathy for the person who was ‘wronged’. If we’ve hurt someone – unintentionally or otherwise – it’s important to acknowledge that our actions may have generated unwanted or unpleasant feelings in the person who felt injured. It indicates that we have an awareness of how our behavior impacted another and that we are willing to take responsibility for our behavior.

Accept Responsibility

Perhaps the most important element is that of taking responsibility; of owning the impact our actions have had. An apology only has an impact when the offensive behavior isn’t repeated. As the famous saying goes… “the first time is a mistake, the second is a choice.” When we own our part in an infraction, pay attention to how it came about, and repent – making a promise not to repeat the offense – it becomes forgivable.

Mean it.

Being sincere is the second most important element in an apology; expressed without anger or blame. When we accompany it with a desire to repair the damage, with humility, and compassion for the feelings of all involved, the regret is more easily accepted.

Watch your Language

An apology that includes the word “but” is null and void before it really ever gets started. “I’m sorry but…” becomes meaningless because most of us will only remember the words that came after. If we use any language that implies blame, defense will rise in the receiver and they’ll be unable to register the apology. If there is a problem to resolve, work on it after responsibility for hurt has been demonstrated and amends have begun.

Think carefully about someone in your life that may still be hurting from your action or lack thereof… consider taking a few minutes to construct an apology and then…

Say “I’m sorry”.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#239 Clean Out Your Files

We no longer need cases of statements or four drawers of filing cabinet space to keep track of our lives. A well organized filing system needs only to contain…

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#239

Clean out your filing system

Be Proactive

We’re half way through the year at this point and it’s a great time to be proactive about the important papers that you’ve either filed away or piled up. If you’re internet savvy, there’s really no reason to keep statements these days. Just about any financial statement you may need is available online at any given point – at least for the last three years or so. If you are still receiving paper statements, check them for accuracy and promptly file them or shred it.

Why Shred?

Shredding any statement, piece of paper, or bill that has your financial information on it is paramount in our culture today if you aren’t burning it. We all know destroying these sensitive pieces of paper is a key consideration to protect our identity and shredding is the most proficient way of accomplishing this task. It destroys the paper more efficiently than any other disposal method other than burning.

What to Keep

In general, the rule of thumb is to think of how difficult the document would be to replace. If it’s not readily available online or if it can’t be sent via email after a brief phone conversation than a filed copy may be in order. Most other things can be discarded, at least after your accountant has taken a look at it.

A good list of important documents to file versus what to throw away is by the Colorado State University Extension office – HERE (easy to print .pdf format).

We no longer need cases of statements or four drawers of filing cabinet space to keep track of our lives. A well organized filing system needs only to contain hard to duplicate documents, policies, and certificates – in alphabetical order, of course. It’s just a little thing that makes your life overall… easier and more orderly so wait for a rainy day and then get to work…

Cleaning out your filing system.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.