Tag Archives: self help

3 Steps for a Breathing Meditation

By: Gloria Marie

divorce the divorce, meditation, help for divorced women

The Single Happy and Strong Blog will be exploring different types of meditation. Meditation is simply put, controlling your thoughts and mind. It is not making your mind and thoughts blank. If that happens-great! When you meditate, you should have not any expectations of the results. Try these 3 steps for a breathing mediation.

In the February, 2014 issue of Psychological Science they reported a study on meditation that was conducted by INSEAD and The Wharton School. They found that a 15 minute meditation practice of focused breathing helped the participants make smarter choices.

Zoe Kinias stated in the article:
We found that a brief period of mindfulness meditation can encourage people to make more rational decisions by considering the information available in the present moment. Mediation reduced how much people focused on the past and future, and this psychological shift led to less negative emotions. The reduced negative emotion then facilitated their ability to let go of “sunk costs”.

Here are the steps to try a Breathing Meditation:

1. Find a place to site where you will not be disturbed. You may sit in a chair or on the floor, whichever is most comfortable for you. Turn off the television, mute your phone, and turn off your computer.
2. Set a timer for 15 minutes.
3. Take a few deep breaths. Close your eyes and begin to concentrate on your breath going in and out of your nostrils. Have your body settle in to a natural state of respiration.
4. With each inhalation concentrate on the physical sensations in your body. With each exhalation release any thoughts or mental images.
5. When thoughts appear, just let them go.
6. If it helps, you may count your breaths. There is no right or wrong.
7. Periodically confirm that your body is relaxed.
8. Continue breathing until the timer goes off.
9. When the timer goes off, slowly open your eyes and spend a minute quietly sitting.

How did you feel after the 15 minutes of breathing?

Build an Ideal Life

By: Gloria Marie

divorce the divorce, divorced women advice for divorce women

We all want to have happy, successful lives. But, what does your happy, successful life look like? A large step to create the life you want is to clearly identify what that looks like. We need to create a vision and a strong personal foundation in order to move toward our ideal life. While defining the vision, it is essential to eliminate thoughts of insecurity and inadequacy. Strong faith in ourselves goes a long way to help build an ideal life.

Whenever I would change careers, which over the course of my life happened many times, I would sit down and clearly identify the steps necessary for a change. Sometimes, it was rather daunting and almost overwhelming. That is when feelings of fear instead of faith would enter my mind. But, I found with clearly a defined vision and concrete steps to accomplish the career change, faith in myself would eliminate the fear. I would read over my vison and this would help prevent obstacles from forming in my mind. My focus would be on moving forward with confidence.

4 Steps to Create your Strong Personal Foundation
1. Ask yourself the following questions:
a. What does your ideal day consist of?
b. What does you ideal income provide you with?
c. In 5 years, what will you have accomplished?
2. Write a clear and concise paragraph of your ideal life based on the answers to the above questions. Every sentence should be phrased in the present tense and contain only positive words.
3. Review it and read it out loud 3 times a day for the next 30 days.
4. Have a mental picture of yourself in your happy, successful life. Whenever fear sets in, create this picture in your mind and do not let it fade!

What does your happy, successful life look like?

A Must Read

By: Gloria Marie

june a novel, miranda beverly whittemore

A must read! This beautifully written novel was a joy to read and I was sorry when it ended. The story weaves past and present; from small town Ohio to the glamour of Hollywood. “June” by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is a page turning novel filled with intrigue, betrayal, romance and disappointments. This is a perfect summer read.

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers moved to rural St. Jude, Ohio after her grandmother’s death. She moved into the decaying family estate, Twin Oaks. Cassie’s grandmother, June, raised her after Cassie’s parents were killed in a car accident. Cassie was in a depression and spent most of her days sleeping.

A knock at the door one day changed her life forever. Cassie inherited the entire $37 million fortune of a movie star named Jack Montgomery. The only ties that Jack had to St. Jude was a movie he stared in that was filmed there in the 1955. Cassie did not even know how Jack Montgomery knew her name.

Soon, Jack’s famous daughters arrive to Twin Oaks determined to stop Cassie from getting the inheritance that they feel is rightfully theirs. Together they discover the reason behind June’s silence about that summer in 1955 and how June and Jack’s lives were forever changed by blackmail, betrayal and murder.

While there is a lot of intrigue, “June” is a love story and a tale of hearts broken and mended.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in order to write this review.

My Morning Ritual

By: Gloria Marie

morning ritual, single happy strong, divorced. divorce

I have my morning ritual, it is a time that I cherish. I believe this time helps me stay centered and calm throughout the day. Most mornings, I get up early, while it is still dark and the world is quiet. I make myself a cup of coffee and retreat to my “meditation chair”. It is an oversized, comfortable chair with a large basket of inspirational books next to it. This hour that I spend every morning, is a gift to myself. Most days there are no startling insights: just time to pray, go deep into my soul, and be in God’s presence. This week try to give yourself a gift of silence each morning.
My morning ritual consists of meditation, journaling, inspirational reading and sitting in silence. I begin reading while enjoying my coffee. By my chair, I have several books to choose from. Next I meditate for about 20 minutes. This is followed by journaling and praying. Some days, I do not have the luxury of an hour and that is alright. This morning ritual has helped me transform my life from fear to peace and love.
Create Your Own Morning Ritual
1. Pick out a spot in your home that you can remain undisturbed. It is preferable to have a chair to sit on. If you do not have an hour to spend, try half an hour.
2. Inspirational Reading – Pick out several books to keep by your side. I like to have a variety depending on what my mood is. Currently I am reading, “New Seeds of Contemplation” by Thomas Merton. I also have a book of daily inspirational messages that I read right before my meditation. My old standby is “Around the Year with Emmet Fox”. I also enjoy, “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo. I usually read for about 20 minutes while sipping my coffee.
3. Meditation – If you do not have a meditation practice, a breathing meditation may be the way to start. Sit silently and concentrate on your breath going in and out of your body. When thoughts come, just let them go. Do not engage the thoughts. Just breathe. I set a timer for 20 minutes.
4. Journaling – Buy a special journal that you will use just for this purpose. After meditation, I open my journal and begin to write. I let the pen just flow. Some mornings, I may write a letter to God.
5. Silence and Reflection – Before leave my chair, I spend a few minutes in quiet reflection and praying.
These are just my suggestions, be flexible and create your own morning ritual.
What are your favorite books for inspiration?

The Law of Cause and Effect or The Boomerang Effect

By: Gloria Marie

the law of cause and effect, divorce advice, divorced, divorce

We all know the expression, “You reap what you sow.” Probably most of the time we feel that we follow this. But, if we analyze our thoughts and actions, we may find that we do this when it is easy. It is the tough times: a horrible divorce, a friend that betrayed you or being fired. These are the times when it is harder to control our thoughts, but, the law of cause and effect or the boomerang effect is still in place.

In every reaction and with every thought, we have a choice. You may have been very hurt by a former husband or former wife and that hurt is real, but, wishing them ill will or saying horrible things about them will only hurt you more. Your thoughts come back to you like a boomerang. Bam!!!

With practice and control, you can send loving, peaceful thoughts. This does not mean you have to like or that you want to be around the person that offended you. It just means you wish them well. Sending loving, peaceful thoughts and wishing them well will come back to you in the same loving way.

Before you react, pause, take a few seconds to think about what you are going to say. Is it aligned with God’s plan for love and peace for all? Or is it hurtful and hateful? If you are not sure, listen to your body. Normally we can feel what is right. One area could be in your solar plexus, two inches above your navel. This area is connected to our subconscious mind. And our subconscious mind is most aligned with God. Or you can listen to your heart. This sounds like a trite saying, but, it works and will serve you well. If your choice feels uncomfortable, change it!

If you are struggling to do this when you are hurting and going through a really tough time, ask yourself, “What is the blessing in this situation?” The answer may not come right away, but, keep listening to your heart.

With a conscious choice to follow the law of cause and effect, success and happiness will be in your life.

Are You on a Threshold to a New Beginning?

By: Gloria Marie

divorce the divorce, divorced woman, divorce advice, divorced

Are you feeling a little discontent with some part of your life? Our lives are static. They are constantly changing and evolving. What might have worked for you last year is no longer working. You maybe longing for more. Are you on a threshold to a new beginning?

We can break down our lives into four basic areas: love, health, perfect self-expression/career and prosperity.

Love – family, friends, relationship. This also includes self-love.
Health – better health, better eating habits, diet, exercise.
Prosperity – abundance, material wealth.
Perfect self-expression/career – find your calling, not just a job.

Activity to help define where you would like change.

1. If you look at this list above, think or write one descriptive word or emotion that describes how you feel about that area.
2. Next, write a sentence about what you feel.
3. Now, rank your satisfaction in each of the areas. On a scale of 1 – 10. 10 being very satisfied and content.

Does anything stand out to you? Did this exercise help clarify what are of your life you would like to change?

Start today to take action steps to change the area that was revealed by the above exercise. You can start with small steps. When I have done changes in my own life, I feel I wanted to go to New York, but, went through Dallas and Chicago to get there from Florida.

Take your time, but, BEGIN!

Excerpt from “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George

“Do you know that there’s a halfway world between each ending and each new beginning? It’s called the hurting time. It’s a bog: it’s where your dreams and worries and forgotten plans gather. Your steps are heavier during that time. Don’t underestimate the transition between farewell and new departure. Give yourself the time you need. Some thresholds are too wide to be taken in one stride.”

Affirmations Work!

By: Gloria Marie

single happy and strong, gloria pierson, gloria marie pierson, surrender to the present moment

The Dhammapada is an ancient collection of the Buddha’s teachings. In Twin Verses, the first chapter of the Dhammapada it is written, “All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts”. Affirmations are positive statements that can be repeated on a regular basis. They can be written, repeated orally or both. Affirmations help us control our thoughts. Try is this week: Affirmations Work!
James Allen in his book, “As You Thinketh”, written in 1904, states, “All that you achieve and all that you fail to achieve is the direct result of your own thoughts”.
Positive affirmations work! They can transform your life. They are simple to incorporate into your daily activities. I write down my affirmations on index cards and keep them with me all day. Or I will put them on post it notes on my mirror in the bathroom and on my desk. Put them wherever you spend time. They are constant reminders to keep thoughts positive and transforming.
Some days I may work with 10 affirmations. Other days or weeks, I may only work with one. I will write them down and read them out loud. The more you say them, the better. Try to repeat them morning and night.
3 Steps to Begin Using Affirmations
Affirmations should be written in the present tense.
Think about what you would like to change or improve in your life.
Write them on index cards or post it notes and read aloud daily.
Some examples of affirmations:
I am healthy.
I am creating my happiness
I am power and love.
I believe in myself.
I am lovable.
I am grateful for all the gifts this day will bring.
I am creative and the Universe supports me.

Change your thoughts, change your life.

What affirmations did you create?

5 Steps to Release 2015 and Manifest in 2016

By: Gloria Marie

divorce the divorce, divorce, divorced, divorced women, release 2105 and manifest in 2016

This week, we ring in 2016. Do you feel like the past year went quickly? What I love about a new year is that it is almost like a blank canvas. I have this great exercise to help you do that. You can make it the best ever! Follow your dreams in 2016, do not give up. Start the year with clear intentions. Spend a few minutes on the 5 steps to release 2015 and manifest in 2016.

Make 2016 your best year yet. You can do it! Begin today to plan, keep your thoughts positive, and believe in yourself. This past year brought many changes into my life, some were planned and some were not. One of the difficult changes was my position with a non-profit organization ended with no warning. I was told that my position was no longer funded. I was not sure that was true, but, it was time for me to move on and I did!

Try these 5 steps to ring in the New Year!

1. On New Year’s Eve, get out your journal and spend some time reviewing your life in 2015. Sit in a quiet spot and reflect on the past year without judgment. Try answering some of these questions;
a. What was the most significant thing that happened in your life in 2015?
b. List one joy and one sorrow that you experienced this year.
c. What is the greatest thing you learned this year?
d. What are you thankful for this year?
2. Next, list what you want to leave behind in 2015. What is getting in the way of living the life you want? If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
3. For one of the sorrows or difficult situations you faced, find the blessing in that situation. It is there, dig deep and find it.
4. Light a candle and say a prayer of gratitude for 2015. Have the feeling of gratitude permeate your whole being. Now, leave 2015 behind, especially leave behind any anger or resentment.
4. On New Year’s Day make a list of what you would like to manifest in 2016. Be very clear with your intentions. Write them in a positive form and believe the Universe will help you.
At the top of your list write, “This or something better will manifest in 2016!” Say that out loud and believe it in your soul.

Happy New Year! What would you like to manifest in 2016?

Create a Morning Ritual

By: Gloria Marie

divorce the divorce, divorce advice, divorced women, single women, single happy strong

This is a chapter from my book, “Divorce the Divorce: A 52 Step Journey to Unlimted Happiness.”   It is available on Amazon.  This chapter describes my morning ritual. Maybe this is the week to create a morning ritual.  With the holidays around the corner, it is a great way to relieve stress and ground yourself before you start the day.

divorce the divorce

Chapter 19
Morning Rituals

“In the silence of the heart God speaks. If you face God in prayer and silence, God will speak to you. Then you will know that you are nothing. It is only when you realize your nothingness, your emptiness, that God can fill you with Himself. Souls of prayer are souls of great silence.”
-Mother Teresa

I have my morning ritual; it is a time that I cherish. I believe this time helps me stay centered and calm throughout the day. Most mornings, I get up early, while it is still dark and the world is quiet. I make myself a cup of coffee and retreat to my “meditation chair.” It is an oversized, comfortable chair with a large basket of inspirational books next to it. This hour that I spend every morning is a gift to myself. Most days there are no startling insights: just time to pray, go deep into my soul, and be in God’s presence. This week, try to give yourself a gift of silence each morning.
My morning ritual consists of meditation, journaling, inspirational reading, and sitting in silence. I begin reading while enjoying my coffee. By my chair, I have several books to choose from. Next I meditate for about 20 minutes. This is followed by journaling and praying. Some days, I do not have the luxury of an hour and that is alright. This morning ritual has helped me transform my life from fear to peace and love. Some mornings I wake up feeling ho-hum, but after my quiet time, I feel ready and excited to begin another day. Besides some books, I have some crystals on the small table next to my chair. It is my sacred space. There are many ideas and activities in this book that can be suggestions to help you transform your life. I consider my Morning Ritual as the cornerstone to my spiritual practice.
As women, we are accustomed to nurturing others, and it can be difficult to carve out the time to nurture ourselves. But through changes, it is even more important that we find this time to connect with our inner beauty, our inner peace, and our soul. This is where we will find the courage and the answers to move forward with our lives. Sitting in silence can be uneasy at first and maybe a little frightening. The hurts, the betrayals, and the fears will probably all surface. In this silence, you will begin little, by little to heal and begin, little by little to create a beautiful new life. You will gradually replace fear with love.
Try doing this for the next 21 days as an experiment, and see how you feel at the end of the 21 days.

Activity
Create Your Own Morning Ritual
1. Pick out a spot in your home that you can remain undisturbed. It is preferable to have a chair to sit on. If you do not have an hour to spend, try half an hour.
2. Inspirational Reading – Pick out several books to keep by your side. I like to have a variety depending on what my mood is. Currently, I am reading, “Thoughts in Solitude” by Thomas Merton. I also have a book of daily inspirational messages that I read right before my meditation. My old standby is “Around the Year with Emmet Fox.” I also enjoy, “The Book of Awakening” by Mark Nepo. I usually read for about 20 minutes while sipping my coffee.
3. Meditation – If you do not have a meditation practice, a breathing meditation may be the way to start. Sit silently and concentrate on your breath going in and out of your body. When thoughts come, just let them go. Do not engage the thoughts. Just breathe. I set a timer for 20 minutes.
4. Journaling – After meditation, open your journal and begin to write. Let the pen just flow. Some mornings, I may write a letter to God.
5. Silence and Reflection – Before you leave the chair, spend a few minutes in quiet reflection and prayer.
These are just my suggestions. Be flexible and create your own morning ritual. It is a beautiful way to begin a day and in time you will see a change in your life. It could be less anxiety, less stress, more love, or more peace.

Mid-Week Delight
Watch a sunrise and a sunset in silence.

3 Steps to Help You Set Personal Boundaries

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, single happy strong

This may sound silly, but, have you ever felt overwhelmed? At the end of the day, do you ever think, where has this day gone? You may not be setting some boundaries and you may be letting whatever comes you way take your attention. Try these 3 steps to help you set personal boundaries and make the most of your day.

If you do not have boundaries, you can be like a sponge and take on other people’s feelings, tasks and problems. I am all for helping others compassionately, but, not if it means I take on everyone’s feelings and problems. With defined space, you will know who or what you allow in to your inner circle and life.

1. Take a large sheet of paper and draw a circle in the middle of it. In the circle, write or draw all you desire to have, do, and/or manifest into your life. Include what brings you happiness. What friends or family members are in your inner circle?

2. Now on the outside of the circle, write or draw what might prevent you from achieving what you want in your inner circle. What are the people, distractions, or events that can sideline you or rob you of your time? The outside of the circle are people or things that you are only willing to experience by “invitation” only.

3. If you have trouble defining your boundaries, ask yourself the following questions:
a. Am I taking a stand for what I believe?
b. Am I defining who I am rather than being defined by others?
c. Am I honoring my time?
d. Do I always say “yes?”
e. Do I put my work and interests always last?

This exercise will help you define what you are willing to do and what you won’t do. It will help you get a sense of your SELF!