When you ask someone the question “How are you?,” the person you are talking to will choose something in the line of “I am fine”, “All good”, “I am doing well”, but they won’t tell you what they really feel or how they are really doing at the moment, they will give you an answer that is not real.
Some people think that nobody is interested in their problems, challenges or their emotional or physical health. They don’t want to bother others with their burdens, or maybe they feel that nobody will really listen with interest.
Others want to keep what is not working in their lives private, and they always show a happy face to the world, even when they don’t feel happy. In this new era we post all good news in Social Media, but who do we tell the not so good news?
We feel that we have to be ok all the time, that we cannot be down, that we need to be resilient no matter what we are going through, a divorce, a transition, an illness, legal problems, financial stress, the loss of someone we love... and we don’t.
The fastest way, and the one that will allow you to go through life with less suffering in whatever circumstances you are going through, is not to hide what is happening, not to put it aside, not to deny it. It is to face it.
When you do, be kind and compassionate with yourself and accept the situation, whatever it is. Give yourself the necessary time to process what is going on, don’t jump to the end of the process that you will need to do in order to overcome the difficulty and bounce back.
Be authentically you, no matter what is going on, be honest with yourself. Analyze yourself and your feelings, try to understand where your thoughts come from and revise old belief systems to see if they are still serving you, see your patterns of behavior as allies to point you in the right direction to change.
Yes, change. Here we are again, this magic word that nobody wants to hear. Life is change. Today you are not the same person you were yesterday… even if you want to keep yourself stuck, it won’t be possible, life will kick your behind and make a move for you if you don’t. Your body changes, your cells renew, and you experience new situations, different life circumstances, interact with others, travel, read, learn, and expand your horizons.
You are here to evolve and grow. You can do it smartly, easily, with Love for yourself and your life, being grateful for the opportunity to be alive. Or you can continue hiding your problems, being unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and going around with a mask and telling yourself “I am fine”.
What are you going to answer the next time someone asks you how you are doing? I have a suggestion: why don’t you take a minute of your time to figure out how you really are. This time, answer yourself honestly, accept what is, without judgment.
Later on, you may want to spend some time brainstorming about what you can do to improve your life and circumstances. Or you can have a pity party before you decide to let go of what is not allowing you to move forward, to release it, to move on. You always have a choice. Today, choose to make yourself happy. Do one thing for you, small or big, take action and see the change.
"Your preparation for the real world is not in the answers you have learned,
but in the questions you have learned how to ask yourself"
All of us have experienced moments when we felt overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted, or out of energy and enthusiasm for life. Life’s circumstances will put you in a spot where you don’t have any other option but to accept the challenge and do what needs to be done.
The reason why you feel so tired can be an excess of work, the deadline of a project, or just not enough personnel in your company. You may be experiencing stress from your relationships, maybe your marriage is not working, or you have lost a loved one and are grieving. Maybe you can’t sleep at night because you are taking care of a sick family member or your child, or just thinking about how to pay the bills at the end of the month.
The worry will eat away at you. You won’t be able to find a solution by worrying. Instead, you will add more energy to the problem. You will drain yourself and run out of energy. This is the energy that you will need to be able to focus on what you can do differently, and on how you can receive help. Yes, you can receive help, if you allow it to happen. You are never alone, and you don’t need to know how to resolve every situation you are faced with.
Take a deep breath… yes, now. Do it now. What are you going to lose? Just let me guide you. Take another breath, and now a deeper one. When you exhale, let go of all that is worrying you. You haven’t had enough with one breath to release everything? Then take another one, and one more, until you visualize all the worry, stress, anxiety, and dark clouds on your mind going away. Great! Thank you for trying.
Now, focus on inhaling the most wonderful and powerful energy that you can imagine. Every breath you take is a new beginning, and when you inhale, you take in all the new you want in your life, and when you exhale, you let go of all the old that you don’t want in your life anymore.
Why have I asked you to do this breathing exercise? Because I know that it works. Because I also needed to read it. I have the temptation to put more things on my calendar than I can accomplish. I start big projects, and travel around the world, and I serve my clients, but I need to remember that I cannot lose myself in the process, that my well-being and health are my first priority, and that nothing will make sense if I lose them.
When you feel so tired that you cannot think clearly, when you need a crane to get up from bed, when you cannot relate with others without getting triggered and angry and the smallest things bother you, stop and breathe. Just that. Reconnect with yourself, reassess your priorities, and ask for help if necessary. To whom? To whoever will come to help you.
The help you need can come from an unknown person, a colleague, a friend, a sibling, or a being sent by the Universe (there are a lot of them ready to help you if you allow it to happen), or even a book or a message. Be smart enough to not sacrifice yourself for any cause, person or reason. If you Love yourself enough you will understand why you cannot do it. You are the most valuable thing you have, and unless you are ok, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
"I’ve decided to be happy because it is good for my health" - Voltaire
When you feel confused, uncertain, or stuck, don’t try to fix the external circumstances of your life, just look inside. The solution to everything you experience is within you. A change or perspective, a different approach to life, another attitude towards the same events, may be necessary to create a shift.
A change of consciousness is what the crisis you are experiencing is asking of you. It does not matter if your life is falling apart because of financial stress, health issues, a divorce, problems in your job, or something else. A change is required, and only you can do it. The clue to overcoming the challenge is hiding inside of you.
We tend to think that when we solve the issue, whatever is it, all will be well. If I get the job or the promotion I will be happy, if I receive the money I will be financially stable and be able to pay my debt, if I lose some weight I will find the partner I deserve... That’s not true. You will be in a better situation if you work towards your goals, but the reason why you don’t have the partner, the money, or the job, is because you don’t think that you can have it.
And let me tell you a little, but important secret, on how the Universe works: you cannot receive what you don’t have. All of us struggle in a certain area of our lives, or maybe in more than one. We can be successful professionals but our Love life is a disaster, or we might be so healthy but feel that we lack energy, passion, and purpose in our lives. We try harder to overcome whatever block might be stopping us from getting what we want, when the way to get what you really desire is to believe that you deserve it.
I will give you an example. You have to cultivate the qualities that you want to have in your life. If you want more peace, be more peaceful. If you want more Love, be more loving, if you want more abundance, feel abundant and grateful. We don’t realize that we close the doors to receiving, that we ask and we cancel the order right after we place it. We sabotage our own efforts to improve our lives and we do it so automatically, as a habit.
Lots of people procrastinate their happiness until a time when the world around them will match their expectations. Know that the easy way to create a life of fulfillment and purpose, a life that makes you jump out of bed every day, it to start being happy right here and right now.
If you accept your life situation, and see the blessings you have, you will create a platform from where you can build a foundation for the life you dream of and deserve. Look inside and see who you are in essence, a beautiful being, full of Love and joy and willing to share it.
"There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self"
Love is the force that connects all of us, it is the energy that transforms, heals and moves you. Only because of Love your existence makes sense, because you were born to learn how to Love unconditionally and how to receive this kind of Love.
True Love never disappears, it cannot be killed, or extinguished. Unconditional Love never does. The real Love that I aspire to bring to the world is such a powerful energy that it can never be destroyed. It is the kind of Love a baby or a pet awakes within you. It is more than a feeling, it lasts more than a relationship or a friendship because it is always there. It is big Love, Love with a capital "L".
What we learn since childhood is usually conditional Love, the one that only exchanges affection for affection, and always wants something in return, the one that tries to control or possess you, the one that you may lose at any moment if you don't behave in a certain way. But that is not Love.
If someone tells you "I Love you", don't listen to the words, see what their acts say. Love has to be demonstrated to be real Love; it cannot be just a word. When you Love someone truly, unconditionally, for no specific reasons, you experience divine Love. You can Love someone in spite of themselves. Not because they are doing something for you, not even because they are in a relationship with you. You can Love others and yourself because you choose to.
When your Love comes from you and it is based on your decision to Love everything and everyone no matter what, it is real Love. Then you don't have to wait for others to Love you, because you recognize and connect with the Love within yourself and, being filled with it, you can share it with others and multiply it. It comes back into your life from everywhere, as a result of you sharing your Love constantly and unconditionally.
Love is energy and can be felt by others. There is no need to tell everyone I Love you. You can do it with your intention. Your energy will tell the rest of the world how loving you are, and your actions will demonstrate it. If you want to make the world a better place, the only thing that you need to do is to be more loving. This will not only transform your life, it will transform the life of those you touch, and the world as a result. Just Love!
"True love begins when nothing is looked for in return"
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
You are the only one that can live your life, the one that can take responsibility for what is going on, and the one that has the power to transform yourself and your life. You are more powerful than you think you are.
We tend to go through life looking at how the world affects us and putting limits on ourselves. We analyze how others behave towards us, thinking that they have the power to hurt us. We complain about our family, spouse, friends, colleagues, or boss. Everyone seems to be the cause of our pain and dissatisfaction when we think about it, or we complain to others about what we are experiencing.
You are the only one that can change these circumstances. You can change any circumstance with the power of your own Love, Self-Love. For example, when in a relationship someone disrespects and mistreats you, they are not the only ones that should change their behavior. You need to change too. Maybe you need to learn to say no to certain things, to respect yourself, or to set boundaries.
Don't wait until others change, do it yourself. Once you do it, this person that you think that is causing your pain won't be in your life anymore. Things will change unexpectedly, or you will abandon this kind of relationship knowing that you deserve a loving partnership, and that by staying in this relationship, you are hurting yourself. If you change the way you treat yourself and how you allow others to treat you, as a consequence, those around you will change too.
When you self-sacrifice in order to take care of your family or children, for example, and you don't feel well because you are exhausted and totally depleted, and you feel that you don't have a life anymore, you are hurting yourself. There is a way to change your life circumstances, but maybe not the way you have thought about. There is a way to ask for help, real help, from those who Love you, and also help from the Universe.
Think about a typical situation where you have too much to do at home. You can ask your partner to be more involved and help you, or you can ask the Universe to bring you the money you need to be able to pay for a cleaning lady, or for a nanny. That will allow you to rethink your schedule, or work from home, or part-time, to be able to take care of yourself and your family with energy, passion, and also feel well in the bargain. Only you can create these possibilities.
When the abundance is not there, and you feel that you are limited because without it, you cannot do what you want, only you can solve it. By loving yourself more, your energy will be better, your vibration higher, your creativity and inspiration larger, and you will feel more connected with yourself, others and the Universe, seeing more solutions and opportunities.
This shift will allow you to receive what you feel you deserve, to open the doors of your heart, and to share all the Love you have, and this will bring more Love into your life. This will improve not only your relationships, but every area of your life, and you will see abundance enter your life, that people around you are happier, that life becomes less a struggle and more a dance with the Universe, and then you will understand the magic of life. You can shift now, do it!
"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the season, or the wind,
but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of"
Let it go, stop carrying it inside you. You travel through life with so much stuff within yourself, lots of unprocessed emotions such as sadness, grief, shame, anger, frustration... the list can be so long. Each of us has our own combination of events and experiences that affected us and still live inside us. A lot of what happened to you has been forgotten, or it is even unconscious (you are unaware of it), but it does not matter, it runs you and affects your life with a strong power. It is important for you to let go of what is not serving you anymore.
The same way you take a shower to clean your body, you should find a way to clean your emotional body, to quiet your mind, and to give peace to your heart. These unresolved, unprocessed, and even the not expressed emotions and thoughts, affect your life. Maybe you believe that you have overcome all of it, or that it was not as important, or that time will help you to cope with it. It may seem like this, but it is not true.
Some of the things you did not say because you did not want to argue or upset another person, or the occasions when you could not say what you thought or felt because the other person was more powerful than you, like a boss, a parent, or any other authority figure, remain in your system. If you accumulate so much and never free yourself of it, your physical body gets affected, stressed, and you can become sick.
We tend to please others, especially because we want their Love and acceptance. Sometimes you may be afraid of the consequences of saying what you really believe, and decide not to do it and keep it to yourself. Exactly at this moment you stop being your authentic self. There are moments when you may be afraid of losing the Love of someone, or being abandoned, and you conform yourself to a situation and become small. In some cases, you may not know how to set up boundaries, and others pass your limits and abuse you. How many times have you experienced any of these scenarios?
Don't be afraid of looking inside yourself. I invite you to do some inner work. You may think that you don't need to, but all that is happening in your inner world is affecting your reality. It will be very difficult to change your circumstances, not to say impossible, if you don't change what is happening within you. Inside yourself, you will find all the pain stuffed, but also all your potential and creativity; you will be able to know the real you, and to connect with your intuition. You will discover yourself and reconnect with your source of Love, Self-Love, and find the joy and happiness that you seek and deserve.
"Sometimes you just have to let go of the old and trust that something better is going to take its place,
even if it's scary to face change and the unknown"
All of us want to feel loved. We want to receive proof that we are loved. We want dedication and attention. We can even withdraw our Love when we are not sure if another person loves us, or when we feel insecure in a relationship. But Love is never conditional. Real Love does not expect retribution, a guarantee, and has no obligation. Love just gives without expecting anything in return. Love just wants to be expressed.
The world of Love seems to be complicated. Some cannot find it, others had it and lost it, there are people that have never experienced it, others are afraid of it, or cannot express the Love they have inside themselves. We aim to poses something that we don't even know how to describe, to find, or to keep. Love can take you to the moon, make you feel special, bring out the best in you, and allow you to become a better person. But Love can make you feel miserable and vulnerable, and break your heart, and so many people have built tall walls to protect themselves from it because they believe that Love hurts.
How it possible that Love can be so desired, and we all want to experience it and, at the same time, loving seems so scary and it creates so much suffering? Every relationship that we establish is an opportunity to learn how to Love and to be loved. Love is a choice. It is a state of being. It is a decision we can make, even in spite of the other person. We Love because we decide to. When we Love no matter what, for no specific reason, or without expecting anything in return, we are loving unconditionally.
To be able to Love others you have to Love yourself first. By doing that, you will be able to share your Love without asking anything in return, without trying to control or possess the other person in order to assure your dose of Love. Your own Love will support you, and will allow you to be more compassionate, understanding, and less judgmental with others. Love is free like the wind, or it is not Love. You cannot demand to be loved; it has to be given to you freely. Love is a flow, we offer our Love and we receive Love.
When you invest all your energy in loving yourself, you create a full battery of Love that is ready to be shared with others. You will be able to give Love without the need to receive it. Love will arrive to you anyway, your essence of Love will attract more Love into your life. The Love that you express, the Love of who you are, will make you so attractive and irresistible. Love is not an exchange. Love is what you already have within you, and you share. It is the energy that drives you. It is the solution to any problem you may have. It is the key that unlocks all hearts. Be Love.
"It is all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you,
rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit"
A way to Love yourself more is to have self-awareness, to understand who you are. It is difficult to Love someone that you don't know. What do you really know about yourself? Maybe not so much. You have an image about yourself that you present to the world, you have certain beliefs about who you are, and you know facts of your life, your story and memories but, who you are really?
You can know more about yourself in so many different ways. You can ask your loved ones what your best qualities are, do an assessment, ask an astrologer to do the interpretation of your birth chart, you can learn to interpret your dreams (which contain important information for you), you can register in a class of self-development, meditate, journal, do inner work of any kind... there are so many different ways to gain self-awareness, and all of them require that you become interested in knowing who is behind your body and mind.
Invest time in yourself to discovering more about you. Look at yourself with new eyes. Find out and appreciate all the good attributes you have. Find out what your gifts are. See what you like about yourself. Reconnect with what makes you feel passionate. You are not defined by your achievements, your success, or the roles that you play in life. You are much more than you think you are. There is so much to discover about yourself. To get to know you, you will have to spend time with yourself.
Do you need more ideas to discover yourself? Try new things and see what your reactions are. Test yourself. Do something you are afraid of. Try something you believe you cannot do. Experiment. Do things in a different way. Try new kinds of foods. Practice a sport that you have never practiced before. Do an activity you have never tried. Register in a class to learn something. Push your boundaries. Explore new avenues. Go to different places. Expand your horizons. Talk with someone you don't know. It does not matter what you do, what is important is that you do something different, new, or unknown, and you will see a new you emerging.
Everything you try will provide you with new information about yourself. You will enrich yourself with different experiences. Maybe you will change the limiting beliefs that you have about what you can or cannot do. You will go out of your comfort zone. You will meet new people and with them, new ways of being. Your life and surroundings will change, and you will change too. You will gain confidence and be more open minded, or maybe less judgmental with yourself. You will have fun and enjoy life. You will spend 24 hours a day with yourself for the rest of your life, so it would be a good idea to know yourself better and to have a wonderful relationship with yourself, don't you think?
"There is more to all of us than we realize. Life is so much bigger, grander, higher, and wider than we allow ourselves to think. We are capable of so much more than we allow ourselves to believe"
You can change yourself and your life at any moment. Every breath you take is an opportunity to do it. Don’t wait until next year, next month, or Monday… do it now! You don’t need to make big changes. Just try something new. If you just take a baby step in the right direction, it will help you start. When the New Year approaches, we tend to set up important goals to accomplish in the upcoming 12 months. We plan our future and postpone our decisions waiting for the right moment to arrive. But your life is happening now, in this exact moment. Stop waiting, and start reinventing yourself and your life today.
It is important that you become aware of what is missing in your life. Ask yourself questions such as: Am I happy? In what areas do I feel stuck? What is creating sadness or unease? What is holding me back from living the life I want? What do I really desire? What don’t I feel I deserve? When you get your answers, don’t try to solve it all at once. Set up priorities. Close your eyes and imagine that one of the things in your list has been miraculously solved and that you feel great and you are enjoying life. What is this single thing? What comes to your mind as an answer is what you should start with. Put all your energy and intention into that.
Life becomes exciting when we are looking forward to what is coming. I’ve seen a lot of clients that felt stuck in the same circumstances or vicious cycles. I know how easy it is to act out of habit or to make the same choices over and over again. Become aware of the way you automatically react in life, observe yourself and your way of living and feeling. You will be able to break your patterns of thought or behavior when you become conscious of what they are. You may not be able to change what is happening in your life, but you can change yourself and, as a result, your external world and circumstances will change.
Love yourself enough to believe in yourself and in your power to thrive in life. Choose happiness, do it even when it seems that it is the last thing you can experience. You can make the changes that will allow you to experience a life full of joy. You can do it. Let go of past experiences, they are just part of your story. Imagine a brilliant future, one full of opportunities and possibilities. Visualize yourself in it. This is your life. It is your creation. Become an active participant, and don’t be a victim of your circumstances. You are not left alone to solve everything; you will find the guidance you need. Always remember, you have greatness within you.
"Your power to choose the direction of your life allows you to reinvent yourself, to change your future,
and to powerfully influence the rest of creation"
It is important to be loving with oneself. During a period of my life I was so hard on myself; I judged myself and my life constantly. The result of it wasn't good. Maybe you also do it in a certain way, and you tell yourself that you point out these things in order to improve your life and yourself. But what you really do is to torture yourself. We do it because we don't know how to Love and accept who we are. You can only change yourself doing it in a loving way, accepting who you are now, and planting new seeds to become who you want to be.
I would like to invite you to reflect on all the good things that you have done in your life and all the good moments you experienced. Picture yourself in these situations. Feel the joy and the satisfaction of being you in those moments. Live in a state of appreciation for what you have, for who you are. Don't complain, don't try to change yourself and your reality, just accept it. Stop fighting against yourself!
Being you could be difficult at certain moments. I am not going to deny that life can be hard and bring you undesired situations and life changes. Living your life can mean to be stuck or confused, not knowing what your next step should be and, it is especially in those moments, when you really need yourself at your side. Nobody can Love and understand yourself the way you can.
Being you is an art that only you can master. Celebrate your uniqueness instead of criticizing yourself for what you are not, or have not accomplished. To be you, you need to accept yourself the way you are, with an open heart and lots of compassion and understanding. Maybe you have to rediscover yourself after recognizing that instead of being authentically yourself, you have become someone else.
Don't go back into the past to look for all the mistakes and flaws you believe you made. What if in the big scheme of things everything that had happened to you makes sense, and the only reason you had all the experiences was for learning how to Love yourself unconditionally in every occasion and under any circumstance.
Don't worry about what the future will bring to you, and don't play small to protect yourself. Live your life as it comes, and trust that you will have what is needed at every moment. The power is within you. You are here on a special mission that only you can accomplish: to be authentically yourself.
"If you are happy, you can give happiness. If you don't love
yourself and if you are unhappy with yourself, you can't give
anything else but that"
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.