The Message in a Perfect Pair of Jeans

Clothes shopping used to be a nightmare. And nothing was worse than shopping for a pair of jeans. I might literally try on 50 pairs of jeans trying to find the one that didn’t emphasize all the wrong places. There were many shopping trips that I ended up in tears.

I can pinpoint when this started to change. This time last year, after losing about 30 pounds, it was clearly time to invest in some smaller clothes. I could wear my size 6 jeans from 20-odd years ago, but even though they hadn’t been worn much—I never stayed at a size 6 for very long—I thought this time I deserved a new pair.

While I was excited, those old negative thoughts about shopping started to bubble up. By the time the weekend shopping trip came around, I was in a full-blown panic. Sure enough, the first store I went to didn’t have anything that I thought looked good—even though I was fitting into size 4 and 6 pants. That alone should have sent me over the moon!

That old sense of dread returned as my husband drove me to a department store, and I was tempted just to go home and order some pants online—my old standby. Why put myself through this torture?

As we walked up to the front doors, I realized what I was doing. I was just creating the same old reality with all this old negative thinking. I was in such a state that even if I tried on the perfect pair of jeans, I probably would have thought they looked terrible. I couldn’t see anything other than what I was expecting.

So I took a deep breath and reached for a better feeling thought. “They have lots of clothes here. There’s bound to be something that makes me look and feel good. I am wearing smaller sizes than ever before and my body shape has changed. Maybe I just need to try a different style than I normally wear.”

It wasn’t a huge mental shift. But it didn’t have to be. It was enough of a change in my thought process that I felt a sense of relief. That was all that was necessary.

My husband, David, went with me to look through the pile of jeans. They were having a sale, which is always a bonus! I was selecting a few pairs of jeans to try on when David handed me a pair of Levi’s. They were a style that had never looked good on me, so I was skeptical, but I told myself to remain open to possibilities, and took them to the dressing room .

Surprisingly, all the jeans I tried on looked pretty good. But as I slipped on the Levi’s, they fit perfectly! I turned and looked in the mirror and for the first time maybe ever I loved what I saw! Woo hoo! I had finally found the perfect pair of jeans!

I learned right there that just because I’ve had a bad experiences in the past doesn’t mean that I am destined to repeat that same scenario for eternity. But it took me shifting my thoughts, beliefs, and expectations even just a little so that I could see the experience as new.

Now, I actually enjoy shopping and it doesn’t take me long to find many things that look good. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be a shopaholic, but it’s definitely fun!

A few weeks ago, I pulled on those jeans after of summer of wearing shorts. It felt awesome to have them still fit perfectly.

Together we can do it!

Happy, Happy, Happy!

I’m happy it’s Friday! I bet most people are, too.

It feels so good that it’s Friday that I want to swell my heart with that emotion and keep that feeling going. The wonderful thing is that the more I look for reasons to be happy, the more reasons begin to appear.

Focusing on how happy I am that it’s Friday has led to these thoughts of appreciation:

  • I love and appreciate my wonderful husband who is incredibly supportive in every way you can think of.
  • I love and appreciate our two dogs and two cats, who are not only stunningly beautiful, but who are the best company during my long days in front of a computer. They can always make me smile.
  • I love and appreciate my family, who I am fortunate enough to really like and enjoy being around. While there is much distance between us, the time we are together is fun and enriching.
  • I love and appreciate my friends, who are funny, smart, caring, and incredibly attractive! You know who you are!
  • I love and appreciate our home. Not only am I happy to have a roof over my head, but I love that it’s a place I want to be. Aesthetics are important to me and I love that it’s an attractive space.
  • I love and appreciate my job. Not only do I appreciate the income, but I am grateful that I love what I do and the people I work with.
  • I love that I get to work from home. For an introvert like me, working from home removes a layer of stress and makes me happier and more productive.
  • I love and appreciate the beauty of the mountains that I can see from my office window. The view is ever-changing and is so beautiful that it often takes my breath away.
  • I appreciate the rain that is falling this morning. It’s keeping our garden beautiful and will allow the tomatoes that are still on the vine to ripen and become delicious.
  • I appreciate my body, which is knocking itself out on my behalf to be healthy and vibrant.
  • I appreciate my life and the bounty and beauty that I see when I take the time to look for it.

When you notice that you’re happy or feeling good, that’s a great time to harness the principle that Energy Attracts like Energy—also known as the Law of Attraction—and use it to create even more happiness, joy, and good feeling emotions. The good-feeling momentum you create can not only carry you over the weekend, but can help make Monday a happy day, too!

Together we can do it!

Serious Fun!

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Author

 

As I sat down to write this blog on the importance of having fun, my first thoughts were that I should focus on the health benefits of laughter, such as how it can lower stress hormones, boost the immune system, and can even reverse disease.

And then I realized that I was being serious about having fun. Doh!

I, like so many people, decided pretty early that life is serious. People seemed to take me seriously when I was serious, and as a result I became very intensely serious.

Whew. Just thinking about my seriousness makes my energy drop. Being overly serious is seriously no fun!

And just like relaxing, laughing, and having fun is really good for your body, mind, and spirit (I could quote some science, but how fun is that?), taking life too seriously has some serious impacts on the body.

So lighten up! Don’t just wait until the weekend to laugh and have fun. Play with your pets or kids. Spontaneously dance around the kitchen when you’re making dinner, or catch a funny movie with your favorite person. And most importantly, laugh at yourself when you’re taking life too seriously.

Beyond all the reasons it’s good for you, it just feels good.

Together we can do it!

Let Go of the Struggle

I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter. There is a scene in the climax of the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, where the three heroes climb through a trap door and land on a plant called Devil’s Snare.

The moment they land, the plant begins to twist around them without their noticing. As soon as she realizes what it is, Hermione admonishes Harry and Ron to, “stop moving.”

“The two boys fought to pull the plant off them, but the more they strained against it, the tighter and faster the plant wound around them.”

Much like Devil’s Snare, our thoughts can hold us fast in the very place we don’t want to be as we struggle and complain, try to control life, and push against what we don’t want.

It seems counter intuitive, but the way forward is to relax and let go of the struggle. To accept where we are and to appreciate what we do have. The more we relax and appreciate, the more we allow Universal energy to bring us all the things we want and have asked for.

Letting go of the struggle, even for a few moments a day, can make a huge difference in our lives. Some ways to practice this is through meditation, prayer, and exercise that allows you to quiet your mind, such as yoga or even running.

The more you practice letting go of the struggle, not only do you feel better right now, but you truly begin creating the life of your dreams.

Together we can do it!

Would You Say That to a Friend?

An old boss of mine had a sign on his door that read, “The floggings will continue until morale improves.”

It was a joke, of course. But how often do we try to motivate ourselves with the whip of internal insults, slurs, and condemnations?

Does telling yourself that you’re “ugly, fat, stupid and lazy,” really make you want to get up and do your workout, or forgo the potato chips?

If spoken aloud, many people’s internal dialogues might be deemed verbal abuse. Sometimes this abuse can go on practically nonstop, every day. What do you think this does to someone’s self-esteem and belief that they can achieve their goals?

Pushing through this line of thinking to create action takes incredible energy and strength, much like rolling a boulder up a hill. And while progress can be made, without changing our underlying thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, one moment of mental fatigue or flagging  self-discipline may result in our watching that boulder roll back down the hill, and our not only regaining all the weight we lost, but then some.

Changing our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about ourselves, what we want, and our ability to achieve it helps break us out of this cycle of self-punishment. It creates a boost of momentum that makes our push towards wellness a lot more fun and sustainable.

A general rule of thumb is, “If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, it’s not appropriate to say to yourself.”

Begin treating yourself with the respect you deserve. Focus on all the reasons you do want to move your body and eat healthy foods. Focus on all the things you are doing to move yourself forward, and celebrate each small sign of progress.

By doing the internal work along with the external work, you can achieve the life of your dreams.

Together we can do it!