Tag Archives: stress

3 Easy Ways to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

By: Gloria Marie

new's years resolutions, divorce, divorce advice, divorced women

In my blog last week, I wrote about reflecting on the past year and thinking about the New Year ahead. Even if you did not make any resolutions, there might be parts of your life that you would like to change or improve in 2016. Try these 3 easy ways to keep New Year’s resolutions.

Usually, there are four areas for us to initiate change: finances, work, relationships, and health. If we can think of these four areas like spokes on a wheel, the center to all of them is spirituality. It is what ties all the areas together and spirituality is what helps us change and survive any difficult times. Do your New Year’s Resolutions include one of these areas?

3 Easy Ways to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

1. Take small steps. – If you start with small steps, you are more likely to stick with it. For example, maybe your resolution is to join a gym and workout. If you have ever been to a gym in January, you know this is a popular resolution. The gym is very crowded for about a month and then in February, it goes back to the usual members. So, a small step might be to commit to one class and one other workout each week. Or if getting to the gym is proving to be hard, go to the gym once a week and take a walk once a week.
2. Pick only two or three changes or resolutions to start. – Last month I wrote a review on a new book by Deepak Chopra called “Super Genes.” He listed six areas for change and gave checklists with many choices to pick from. Deepak stressed to pick only one or two items to change. He felt that would be a great start and realistic. When you see the difference a few changes can make, you will add other ones. For example, if you want to eat healthier in 2016 make one or two changes to start. You might go meatless one day a week and commit to eating a salad every day.
3. Commit to a spiritual practice every day. – A consistent spiritual practice will help you keep those changes and also help you deal with whatever 2016 has in store for you. It could be prayer, meditation, inspirational reading, spending time in nature or spending time in silence. There are a myriad of ways and this just might be the most important commitment you make this year.

“Super Genes” is a Must Read

By: Gloria Marie

super genes, deepak chopra, divorce, divorced women

“Super Genes” by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. is a must read for anyone that is interested in a healthier lifestyle and longer life. It describes ground breaking and historical research that proves we can alter our genome on a daily basis. With evidence-based medicine, they describe ways that we can impact our genes to prevent disease and improve immunity.

There are six categories of change that have a meaningful effect on our genes: diet, stress, exercise, meditation, sleep, and emotions. A chapter is devoted to each of these areas and gives dozens of choices to incorporate the changes into your life. The choices for each are divided into three parts: easy choices, harder choices, and experimental choices. Deepak suggests just picking two or three changes for each of the six categories and you will begin to see results.

Deepak writes that the biggest enemy in people’s diet is inflammation. With some suggested diet changes and incorporating foods that fight inflammation you will improve your immune system and notice benefits right away.

“Super Genes” gives basic steps for weight loss. They do not recommend a calorie-restricted diet. Instead, they believe on focusing on the easy steps to reduce inflammation first, exercise, and getting a good night’s sleep. Some foods that fight inflammation include fatty fish, berries, tree nuts, dark leafy greens, tomatoes and olive oil.

The book is easy to understand even you do not have a degree in science. This book will serve as a reference book to me. I intend to adopt the principles in the six categories immediately.

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

3 Steps to Deal with the Stressful Holiday Season

By: Gloria Marie

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

We are in the wonderful holiday season. But, this wonderful season can get very hectic. Besides work and keeping our daily schedule, there are parties, events and possibly visiting relatives. With a little preparation and awareness, you can remain calm and enjoy every minute. Try these 3 steps to deal with the stressful holiday season.

The key is remembering that you are the captain of the ship. How you choose to react to any situation is up to you. This season, try not to be reactive to people or situations. Stay in control.

1. Go to the silent core of your being. By going in silence, you stay in touch with your inner being and by being in touch with it you will find strength. This strength can sustain you throughout this season. There are many ways to go into silence. You can meditate. Meditating for just 5 minutes in the morning will produce great results. You can do deep breathing exercises, listen to soothing music, or walk in nature. It does not matter what method you use, the important point is to get in touch on a daily basis with your inner core
2. Stay away from the drama of others. With holiday parties and getting together with friends, it may be easy to get pulled in other people’s drama. Unless you are invited to become a part of the drama and you choose to get involved- stay away. Let others live their lives and you live yours. Remember that whatever you say about others will come back to you like a boomerang.
3. Learn to say no. You do not need to go to every event or party you are invited to. This is definitely the season not to burn the candle at both ends. That way, you will be present and rested for the events that matter most to you.

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!

5 Ways to Manage Anxiety

By: Gloria Marie

divorced women. divorce, anxiety

When we feel anxious, it is usually because we are not living in the present moment. Stress or anxiety is fear based. We worry about what “may” happen in the future or we have regrets about the past. We cannot change the past, learn from it and move on. We can prepare for future, but, we cannot control everything that will happen in our future. There is no power in worry. Try these 5 ways to manage anxiety and see if you feel better.

1. Worry Exercise. Get a sheet of paper and draw three columns on it. Mark these three heading at the top of the columns: What caused the worry? Did worry change the situation? Did it enhance the situation by worrying? This next week, fill this out when you worrying. See if you find any patterns in your behavior. Can you release some of your worries?
2. Gratitude is the best attitude. Next time you are feeling anxious, write down ten things that you are grateful for.
3. Breathe. Stop what you are doing and take 5 deep breaths. Concentrate on your breath going in and out of your nostrils.
4. Affirmations. Words are powerful. A favorite quote of mine from James Allen, “all that we achieve and all that we fail to achieve is the direct result of our own thoughts.” Write out some positive affirmations and say them out loud. Remember they are always written in the present tense. Some examples are: I love and approve of myself. The past is over. It is only a thought and thoughts can be changed. I trust the process of life.
5. Exercise. Head out to the gym, go for a walk, or put on a You Tube exercise video. Get that body moving on a daily basis.

Try to find one or two of these that work for you. Begin using them, so, they become habits.

How do you handle anxiety?

20 Inspirational Quotes

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, divorced, inspirational quotes

We can learn from the wisdom of others. I love quotes from all sorts of people: mystics, celebrities, a wise children. Sometimes a quote is just the pick me up or encouragement we need at a given moment. This list below contains some of my favorites. You might consider printing it for the days when you need a lift.

1. If you dream it, you can do it. –Walt Disney
2. We become what we think about. – Earl Nightingale
3. Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. – Robert Frost
4. The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson
5. Certain things catch you eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. – Ancient Indian Proverb
6. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu
7. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. – Dalai Lama
8. Remember no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. – Eleanor Roosevelt
9. Change your thoughts and you change your world. – Norman Vincent Peale
10. A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. – Albert Einstein
11. All that you achieve an all that you fail to achieve is the direct result of your own thoughts. – James Allen
12. The soul cannot smile if the eyes did not cry. – Native American
13. There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. – Napoleon Hill
14. Whoever is happy will make others happy too. He who has courage and faith will never perish in misery. – Anne Frank
15. Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. – Dalai Lama
16. The perfect love is the love within you. – Marianne Williamson
17. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. – Henry David Thoreau
18. Follow not others in your life. Follow your heart and each day will be yours, not somebody else’s. – Ron Rathbun
19. Fall seven times and stand up eight. – Japanese Proverb
20. You can’t us up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. – Maya Angelou

Survive the Tough Times

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorced women, divorce the divorce, divorced

It seems lately that so many people I have come into contact with are going through tough transitions. It seems like we are in a movement of change.  There are ways to survive the tough times and actually grow and thrive through them.  Try to put the four steps below into practice as you transition.

In order to survive you must be diligent about following these steps.  Think of it like taking your vitamins.  You do not take them for one day and expect them to have an effect on your body.  You probably take them every day.  The same thing applies to surviving tuff times, you must continue your practice every day, not just when it is convenient or when you happen to remember.

If you put your time and dedication in, you will survive.  When I am going through a particularly stressful time, I “STEP IT UP.”   I may do inspirational reading three times per day and meditate two times per day.    Have faith and trust that you will get through this and when you do, you may have a wonderful demonstration.

  1. Find an inspirational book and read least a few pages every day. After you read, write your thoughts in a journal.  Put what you read in your own words.  How can what you read effect your life in a positive way? What changes can you put into your life?
  2. Meditate – Start the day with five minutes of sitting quietly and concentrating on your breath. Or five minutes silently repeating a prayer.
  3. Pray to God. Ask his help. Surrender any problems to him. There are no problems too big for God.
  4. Affirmations – Write out several affirmations on index cards or post it notes. Keep them with you all day long. Read them frequently throughout the day.
  5. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. You are doing all you can to stay positive, you do not need to be with people that get you down.

What do you do to get through tough times?

Finding Your Calling

By: Gloria Marie

divorce, divorce advice, divorced women, divorce the divorce

Passion is defined as a very strong feeling about a person or thing. Passion is an intense emotion compelling, enthusiasm, or desire for anything. Finding your passion can help you in finding your calling. This may occur at any time in your life. Some people find their passion at an early age. Others may not find their passion until much later in life. For me, one passion of mine is writing. I never look at the clock and hours could go by because I am lost and in love with what I am doing.

First, find your passion and that may help lead you to finding your calling in life. A hobby may turn into a career.

Reflect on these questions, take your time. It may take a few weeks before you can answer them. Perhaps write your answers in your journal.

1. What activity would you engage in even if you never made money doing it?
2. When you dream, what do you dream about?
3. What do you like to read about?
4. What do you do for fun?
5. What sparks your creativity?
6. What are 3 past life experiences that left you with a sense of fulfillment?
7. What was the best time you ever had?
8. What is your favorite part about life?
9. What activities make you feel like your heart is about to burst?
10. If you could do anything today, what would it be?

Now what? While reflecting on these answers, write down 3 things that bring you passion. They may be small things: watching a good movie, preparing and sharing a meal with friends, time in silence in nature, or dancing. This week, try to incorporate one of your passions into your life.
1. Start with a small thing this week.
2. Make a commitment to yourself to make the time.
3. Journal about how you felt after the experience.

What was your passion?

How to Create Affirmations

By: Gloria Marie

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

The following is an excerpt from my book. Learn how to create affirmations.

Divorce the Divorce: a 52 Step Journey to Create Unlimited Happiness

Purchase on Amazon

Chapter 6

Affirmations

“All that you achieve and all that you fail to achieve is the direct result of your own thoughts.”
-James Allen

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.
Stop right now and become aware of your thoughts. Are they nurturing and positive or negative and critical? Our thoughts tend to be negative.
“I cannot do this.”
“My hair looks terrible today.”
“I cannot afford that.”
“It is hard to get a good job.”
“I can never meet anyone decent.”

Does any of these sound familiar? First, you need to become aware of your thoughts, and then you can begin to replace them with positive affirmations.

James Allen in his classic, As a Man Thinketh, written in 1904, writes:
“Just as gardeners cultivate their plots, keeping them free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits they desire, so may you tend the garden of your mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.”

One of my clients wanted to improve his self-esteem. We worked together to write three affirmations. He followed my instructions and wrote them down, said them out loud and looked in the mirror repeating them. With these and some other goal-oriented objectives, he was able to quit smoking, start exercising, start dating, and he found a job. This was not overnight, but he stayed persistent and consistent.

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 your thoughts positive and transforming.
Some days, I may work with ten 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 at the very least. Gradually, over time, your thoughts will be more positive than negative. You can become the gardener of your mind.
I find with my clients that when they forget or stop using their affirmations, it is because they are no longer relevant. You may “outgrow” them. When that happens, compose new ones.

Activity
Begin Using Affirmations
1. Affirmations should be written in the present tense.
2. Think about what you would like to change or improve in your life.
3. Create several affirmations. Begin with, “I am________________.
4. Write them on index cards or post it notes. Put them where you will see them throughout the day.
5. Say them out loud at least once in the morning and once in the evening.
6. Look in the mirror and say them.
7. Using a small purse size notebook; begin a mini journal of your affirmations that you can carry with you.

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.

Midweek Delight
Go somewhere all by yourself. Somewhere you ordinarily would not go alone.