Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sweet Remembrance

Sweet Remembrance

Becky Stuto

January 30, 2013

I have a friend who is one of the strongest women I know. Like many of us she is a mother, a daughter a wife and a very loyal and loving friend. And she is one of the loudest and most hilarious Portuguese women I have ever met. In fact, when I first met her, I thought for sure she didn’t like me and I was convinced she was just angry all the time. Then I realized that she was just Portuguese. However, as time went on I continued remain open and, in doing so, was able to see just how beautiful of a spirit she was. This woman is funny. She is straightforward, which I appreciate. I always know where I stand with her. She wears her heart on her sleeve, even when she thinks she doesn’t. She doesn’t take crap from anyone. And she lives life to the fullest. But most beautifully, is the fact that no matter how hard her life is at times, she absolutely loves her life.

This week my friend’s mother passed away. This was not something that my friend felt ready to handle but she is doing the best she can step by step. So this week I just wanted to dedicate this to her in her time of need and perhaps ask for you all to send her a thought of love or healing light even if just for a brief second. Love is an amazing and powerful tool. As our thoughts become our words and our words become our deeds, then we can see how easily our thoughts have a physical effect on this world. Love is the highest vibration of all and from that vibration amazing results occur.

It is my belief that when a loved one dies, instead of grieving, realize that she has gone on to a higher plane at the will of the Divine. Rejoice that she is free. Pray that your love and goodwill be messengers of encouragement to her on her forward path. We would not be human if we did not miss our loved ones. But know, that in setting them free, you are also setting your own self free.

Love in Action

To send your thoughts to loved ones who have passed on, sit quietly in your room and meditate upon them. When you feel peace within your, concentrate deeply at the heart center and broadcast your love to those dear ones who are gone.

Visualize the person you wish to contact and send that soul your vibration of love and strength and courage. Such thoughts give you and your loved one a sense of well-being and a sense of being loved.

Then affirm:
The Ocean of Spirit has become the little bubble of my soul. Whether floating in birth, or disappearing in death, in the ocean of cosmic awareness the bubble of my life cannot die. We are indestructible consciousness, protected in the bosom of Spirit’s immortality.

My most heartfelt and healing vibrations of love go out to all of you this week and always. Blessed Be. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Becoming Your Own Best Friend

Becoming You Own Best Friend

Becky Stuto
January 23, 2013

Lately my schedule has been kind of crazy. Crazy schedules make me really tired. When I’m tired I have a tendency to get down on myself and the self-talk tends to lean toward the negative. I’m sure you can relate. In fact, we all have thousands of thoughts running through our minds. I’m sure you are not surprised to realize that most of these thoughts are most often directed to the one person who deserves it least – YOU! It’s okay to admit that you are harder on yourself than anyone else could be. We beat ourselves up for all the things we think we should be doing better, should be able to figure out. We blame ourselves and judge ourselves way more than we acknowledge and appreciate ourselves. I know this because I am a woman who holds myself up to very high expectations. I am a high achiever who believes she should climb mountains and career ladders in a single bound forgetting that self-compassion is as valuable as self-esteem and that the cost of forgetting that is my own happiness.

We are in the midst of a self-criticism epidemic and a self-compassion drought. Be nice to others. This is something we have all learned since kindergarten. Of course we know to be compassionate to those less fortunate or those going through tough times, that’s easy. But direct the loving energy of compassion and forgiveness toward ourselves everyday – forget about it!

The Happy Truth:

Our happiness is directly related to our level of self-compassion. Simply put high self-compassion equals more happiness. Lack of self-compassion, happiness levels drop. Believe it or not you, more than anyone, is counting on you to be there with open arms, offering unconditional compassion and forgiveness.

So how do you do that? All the years of academic study will not teach you that. Rather, it can most easily be learned through three simple, yet daring acts of love. Much like going to the gym these acts strengthen your relationship with yourself on a regular basis. Are you ready to start your loving workout?
The Happy Challenge

 Transform Comparison into Inspiration:  

When the mean girl/guy voice starts comparing yourself to another person – either by making you better or deficient – stop and ask yourself, “what is inspiring to me about this person? What are they doing/being/having that I would like to have in my life too? 

Dare: Reach out to that person right there or email and tell them what you appreciate about them! There is only one you and the world is counting on your unique expression.

Give Yourself a Hand:  

A true friend would never kick you when your down, call you a loser, or point out all the ways in which you are falling short. However, they do: appreciate and acknowledge you for being fantastic and they give you a break. As your own best friend, your job next time you’re being mean to yourself, is to transform the harsh words. 

Dare: close your eyes, put you hand on your heart, and say following Love Mantra “You are doing the best that you can, and it is enough” over and over again until you feel a shift inside – that will be your compassion turning on. And then ask yourself, “What do I need to love myself well right now?” And then you must do that thing for yourself – just like a best friend would. 

Dial a Love Life Line: 

Sometimes when you’re really feeling like crap about yourself, and you just can’t find the compassion no matter how hard you try, you have to call in special outside forces. This is the time for “dialing into love” and getting some large quantities of it flowing to you pronto. 

Dare: Call up a person who you trust and who is good at giving love and follow these three steps: 1. Out yourself and your inner critic. Say: “My Inner Mean Girl/Dude is going crazy and telling me XXX.” Just let it rant. 2. Ask them to tell you three great things about me. 3. Listen and receive those great things from them, say thank you, write these love lines down on a piece of paper and carry the love around with you for the rest of the day. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Flowing with Intuition

Flowing with Your Intuition
January 15, 2013

This week I really had no direction on what I was going to write about. Life has been busy and I have been a bit under the weather. Work schedules have changed, as my school schedule is now dictating life for a bit. I started writing about following your intuition. Then I started writing about balance. Then I was thinking about writing about journaling and reflecting on what we already know. Then I went back to balancing acts. You get it right? I’ve been all over the board with this week. So, as I’ve been going through the week I just kept putting it off, listening to that little voice inside my head that kept telling me not to decide on a topic just yet. Meanwhile, my internal stress level kept rising as I came closer to my self-imposed deadline.

Earlier this week I began my CPR and First aid training for my internship. USC placed me with a foster agency. For a student it really wasn’t the most ideal situation. I would be working out of the house, doing some case management and community work, but it was not clear as to how I would be meeting the learning objectives. I had some serious internal red flags and doubts. Of course I would rise to the challenge and make the most of it, but would it really be the best situation? I was given a ton of paper work to fill out. Training to do, a health exam, live scan fingerprints etc. Originally, I had planned to complete it all as soon as possible and fax it back immediately. But as time went on, I started to feel uneasy about the whole thing. Not just nervous, butterflies in the stomach uneasy but, this really doesn’t set well, something’s fishy uneasy. Yesterday I realized that I was actually putting off faxing the papers over. 

However, today I was given the news that I will not be placed with the agency at all. Apparently, in the past couple weeks USC faculty have been looking over my file and the actual agency and decided that the agency was not a good fit for me. I am so relieved and just amazed at how the universe operates. I am also more amazed at how listening to my intuition just syncs up with the universe.

It’s not like this is a new lesson for me, but more like a reminder. When you trust your instincts life just seems to flow. Trusting your gut is really about following your subconscious thoughts, which in many times, are often right. However, if you tend to over think thing too much, you stray from those initial inner thoughts.
You can begin to follow your mind by keeping these tips in mind:

Trust your subconscious thoughts: They make up your initial instincts and they’re close to your heart. You know that the truth will be revealed to you if you give yourself enough time. Learn to trust yourself. 

Go with what feels right: don’t be afraid to take action towards the things that feel right. If something feels off to you, you can stop and explore the reasons why. It always starts with a feeling. Go in the direction of your positive feelings.

Avoid over thinking: Sometimes your mind can get away from you and start cycling through negative thoughts. Take deep breaths and get back into a positive mindset so that you can see your true path more clearly.

Intuition Flow Challenge

For the next week, or longer if you like, keep a journal with you. Write down any thoughts that seem to keep surfacing around an issue that you are concerned about. This is not about writing down your worries this is more like noticing that one or two particular thoughts keep popping up. For example as I made mental notes to fax those papers a voice/thought would pop up and say “just hold off on that a bit”, “don’t do that quite yet”. Then write down any following events that seem to play out. In my case I would write down that my placement changed, and then my new placement and my feelings around that. You might just find out that everything happens for a reason. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Be Your Own CEO

Your Personal Plan for Starting Off 2013 in Balance

Be Your Own CEO

Becky Stuto
January 7, 2013

Everyday from the moment we open our eyes we are faced with two glorious decisions. We can either take control of our lives or life can control us. Now, admittedly, there are things that happen that are out of our control such as, natural disasters and the like that we would never choose to have happen. However, you can still choose what action you will take, passive or active.

To take control of your life or exercise personal leadership is to take responsibility for our actions and decisions in all areas of our lives. It requires being connected with your values, your vision and to set meaningful goals for yourself. As a result of doing so, you will more productive days, a more optimistic attitude, your stress level will decrease as your free time increases.

A great way to get started is to envision yourself as the CEO of your own life. By applying this concept to your own life you are asking yourself “how would I run my life”? My guess is that you would be inspired to think, plan and act in a more efficient, creative and result oriented manner. As your own CEO, here are some ways in which you can take control of your life and exercise personal leadership:

Determine Your Values: Your values give you structure and purpose. They help you to determine how your time and effort is best spent. In fact, it is very much like a mission statement that companies use to spell out their goals and direction of their business. Your values will also provide you with an internal roadmap for decision-making.

Plan, Be Organized and Set Goals:  Think of the big picture of what you want in your life and then break it down into manageable parts. For everything that you want to accomplish, you need a strategy or action plan. Set goals in line with your mission statement and then devise a plan on how to achieve them. Nothing happens by itself or simply by thinking about it or dreaming. The level of your success will be determined by how much action and energy you put towards those goals. This approach will also sharpen your critical thinking and problem solving skills. Remember, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

Maintains a Positive Attitude: It can be one of the most difficult things to do if your best efforts to take control of your life do not go exactly as planned. You have to be prepared for roadblocks and obstacles. However, a positive attitude and an unshakable belief in your abilities make it more likely that you will succeed. Usually, those who cannot gain control of their lives give up at the first sign of difficulty or trouble.

Have Fun:  This is your life and your adventure. Taking control involves a lot of planning, strategy and executing. It can be weigh you down if you forget to make time for some fun. Living a productive life means making time for work, recreation and relaxation. Your plan and mission statement allows you to live a unique life that fits your perfectly so have fun and live bold!

Your Take Control Challenge

Try an experiment where you envision yourself as the CEO of your own company called It’s My Life. Then make the plans, decisions and choices that you think a successful happy CEO should make. Next right down how that makes you feel and any changes that occur as a result.