Foolproof Tactics For Negative Nancies In Your Life


Photo Credit: Mark Adrianne

Recently, a sweet, dear friend reached out to me for advice; how to deal with negative people. I thought about my experiences. Humbled by the trust placed in me, I asked for a little time, to formulate my response. For years, she had dealt with negative nannies, another day or two, won’t make much difference. In my line of work and personal experiences over the years, I had my fair share of dealing with negative energy.

I am sure, you know someone like this.  Since they’re everywhere, it’s important to know how to coexist with them. Negative people can have an impact on your attitude and your day. But that doesn’t have to be the case.  There are ways to mitigate the effect negative people have on you.

Practice these strategies to avoid allowing negative people to negatively impact your life:

  • Understand that you can only control yourself, but you can influence others. You can’t snap your fingers and make the people around you take a more positive view of the world. But you can control yourself and how you choose to react to their negativity.  You might even be able to sway people over to your way of thinking a little bit. Set a good example and be a positive influence on those around you. Accept people for who they are. It’s just easier that way.

  • Be grateful. One way to maintain a positive attitude is to remind yourself of the positive. When you’re feeling run down by the negativity around you, make a quick mental list of the things in your life that you’re thankful for. It will give your mood a quick boost.

  • Remember it’s not about you. Everyone has their challenges and issues. There’s no reason to be upset that someone has a negative attitude. It likely doesn’t have anything to do with you at all. It could be circumstances in their life or their basic nature. Just keep on doing what you’re doing.

  • You have the choice to be positive or negative. You can choose to be affected or not, by the people around you. Focus on yourself and keep your chin up. Take care of your business and let others view the world however they choose.

  • Speak up. Sometimes it can be helpful to tell people to just cut it out. Many people will push until someone calls them on their behavior. Have a frank talk with someone that’s perpetually negative. Maybe they’re not aware of the impact they’re having on others.

  • Spend time with positive people. Recharge your batteries with the positive energy of other positive people. Get away from those negative people and spend time with people full of a positive attitude. It doesn’t take long to recenter yourself when you surround yourself with the right people.

  • Make the most of your time alone. Make the most of the time you have to yourself. Do things you really enjoy doing. Read positive affirmations. Watch feel-good movies. Put your attention on positivity. It can be like armor against negative people.

  • A headphone can be your friend. If the situation permits, put on some headphones or earbuds. What you can’t hear can’t bother you. Consider listening to a positive podcast or music that makes you feel good. If your work situation allows this, it would be silly not to take advantage of it.

  • Stay away. There are plenty of people in your life that are optional. Stay away from negative people that you don’t have to associate with. You have some control over who is part of your life and who is not.

Negative people will drag you down if you let them. Take steps to minimize the impact they have on your life. Practice gratitude each day, and you can maintain a positive perspective. Block negative people out with headphones and stay away from as many negative people as possible.

Negative people are not going anywhere, but you can learn how to deal with them, and still be a positive person. I hope you found these suggestions and tips helpful. Though not a one size fits all approach, like everything else in life, take what you need and leave the rest.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

Obstacles Equals Opportunities


I’ve been working on several projects for the past few months; one of which is eBooks and Course creation. Occasionally, I will offer excerpts from my courses and books here, as well as free resources and handouts, leading up to the launch dates. I am passionate about empowering others to see beyond their sometimes limited tunnel vision. As a Social Worker and Life Coach, guiding clients to overcome tough times is a daily occurrence.

I have worked hard not to let fear paralyze me! Every time I step outside of my comfort zone, I am always amazed by just how I accomplish. You can too. Your experiences are shaped by your thinking. Even obstacles have a value when you can see it. You can develop convictions that will help you to feel happier and achieve more, regardless of the situation. Consider these empowering beliefs that you can start using today, to transform your life through the power of positive thinking. The suggestions are taken directly from the current Ebook I am currently editing.

Game-Changing Empowering Beliefs

    1. I understand my potential. You can achieve amazing results when you put your mind to it. Feel excited about reaching your true potential.
    2. I count my blessings. List each thing that you have to be grateful for. Remember to include the smaller items, like warm socks or tart cranberries. Expressing your appreciation reminds you of how rich you are.
    3. I learn from mistakes. You can make setbacks work for you by focusing on the lessons that they contain. Flubbing one job interview can teach you how to ace the next one.
    4. I find meaning in adversity. Tough times can be the most rewarding phase of your life. Know that you can emerge from any challenge with greater wisdom and courage. Look back at the obstacles you’ve already overcome, and reassure yourself that you can handle what’s ahead.
    5. I embrace change. Accept that life is a series of changes. Focus on the present moment, and prepare yourself to adapt to whatever circumstances come your way.
    6. I dream big. Expand your wish list. Setting demanding but attainable goals give you adventures to look forward to each day.
    7. I practice forgiveness. Lighten your load by clearing away any resentment you’re holding onto from the past. Set reasonable boundaries while you respond with compassion when others disappoint you. Pardon yourself too.
    8. I give generously. Sharing your blessings makes you more powerful and joyful. Volunteer in your community and speak kindly to each person you meet today. Buy a coffee for your co-workers or give your receptionist a flower.

    Empowering Beliefs to Help You Strive

    1. I take responsibility. You are in charge of your life. Hold yourself accountable for the outcomes you create. Celebrate the fact that you have the power to determine your own future.
    2. I apply effort. Figure out your definition of success so you know what is worth working for. Give yourself credit when you’re making progress rather than comparing yourself to others.
    3. I leverage my strengths. You have your own individual strengths that you can draw on. Figure out what you’re good at and what you want to do. Let that knowledge guide your choices.
    4. I listen to feedback. Ask for feedback so you can enhance your performance and show others that you respect their point of view. You grow faster when you gather solid input that you can translate into action.
    5. I ask for help. Expand your capabilities by building a sturdy support network. Carpool with other parents. Divide up household chores with your spouse and children.
    6. I connect with others. Moral support counts too. Surround yourself with loving and encouraging family and friends. Participate actively in your faith community. Join a club with members who share your interest in solar power or badminton.
    7. I recognize opportunities. Stay alert for promising openings. You may meet a new friend while you’re standing in line to buy your morning coffee.
    8. I try new things. Be open to experimentation. Go kayaking one weekend instead of playing tennis. Bake your own bread or knit a scarf. You may discover hidden talents.

    An upbeat attitude increases your happiness and productivity. Question your old assumptions, so you can replace them with a new sense of certainty about yourself and your future. Adopt empowering beliefs that build up your confidence, and prepare you for greater success. Start today. 

    You’ll be glad you did!

    Need a free copy of this worksheet? Email Me!

    Kindly use this form to contact me. I will get it right over to you! I hate spam, and will not share your email address with anyone. If you are my friend on Facebook, you can direct message me.

    Until the next post,

    Best,

    Juan

    Game Changer


     

    Image: Pexels

    First, to my faithful followers, sincere apologies for not posting in a few months. I’ve been focused on a few projects; compiling my next book, and completing required certifications to transition into a new career. The next several months will be equally busy, but at least the bigger commitments, have been sorted. I am now working setting up my business, as well as editing the final manuscript. The book will be on shelves by September. Good times ahead!

    A few short days ago, America celebrated 243 years of Independence. It’s a national holiday. I spent the time with my sister. A first. Usually I don’t find myself in deep thoughts on this day, but this year was different. I reminisced on how much the past three years in NYC, has shaped and molded me. There is one important area of my life, I’m now in control of. I gained a new level of personal independence. Not in the terms you might immediately think of. I have been on my own for more than two decades. I am quite capable of taking care of myself. However, this particular area of my life kept me back from fully progressing.

    Let me explain. A few short years ago, five to be exact, I felt I couldn’t live without a significant other. You see, as I have hinted to in other posts, I needed to be a part of a two-some to feel complete. I loved someone, who was no good for me, in any way. Circumstances brought me back to the USA, where the change, growth, and healing I desperately needed would start to take shape, both emotionally and physically.

    Moving to another country and state, as big, energetic, and electric as NYC requires grit and determination. I knew I had it in me. I just didn’t know how hard it would be to fine-tune it. I had to gain a new level of individuality, which would take me to a place, I’ve never been, but urgently needed. I learned to do things on my own. I learned to love, not like, my own company.

    So how did I gain this type of freedom? I went to places, and did things on my own. Coffee shops, concerts, movies, restaurants, museums. You name it, I did it. Alone. There are some who would say doing things alone is sad. Does it have to be? What is wrong with enjoying your own company? While I do relish time with friends and family, I also equally love time alone.

    Once I changed my mentality, and in a way being forced to adapt, to the culture shock of moving from England to NYC, I became acutely aware of an astounding new level of freedom. A real game-changer! I became my own best friend. Truth is, not everyone will want to do some of the things I want to do, or be ready to step out of their own comfort zones. Am I willing to let these people hold me back, from doing the things I want to do? No.

    One particular memorable example, was my trip to Thailand in November 2017. It was my first solo adventure. I traveled for more than 30 hours, to the mountains of northern Chiang Mai, volunteered for a week working with elephants, made new friends, and had a magical time. Once that was over, I would spend another few days, experiencing the sites and sounds of several cities, relying on my own instincts and decision making. I knew the person who left NYC for Thailand, was very different from the person who returned.  I had traveled alone before, but not for an extended period of time, mainly taking a flight from one continent to another.

    I do not make light of how I arrived here. For so many, the idea of venturing out alone, travelling solo, or doing anything by yourself, is daunting, sometimes embarrassing. It’s easy to get caught up in what others might think if you are in a restaurant, movie etc. by yourself. And so, we deny ourselves wonderful experiences, waiting until a friend, family, or colleague is ready to do something with them. I don’t make many promises, but I can do this; should you chose to take one small step, outside of the place where you feel most comfortable, and risk doing something solo, it will invigorate, liberate, and free your soul!

    In my case, I had to stop depending on being part of a couple to feel complete. “I had to do something I never did, to get what I never gotten” Tony Robbins. My question to you today is; what are some of the things preventing you from being independent in certain areas of your life? A small step in one direction will be the catalyst for change your soul craves. Start doing things you have been missing out on for years, because you are afraid.

    Life is too short. I stopped waiting around for someone, to show up and change the trajectory of my own life, and circumstances. You and I, owe it to ourselves to live the greatest life we are capable to living. There are no do-overs

    Until the next post. Take care of yourselves and your families.

    Best,

    Juan

     

     

     

     

     

    “We’re Gonna Have To Reheat The Soup”!


    A week and a half ago, as I boarded the last leg of my flight home from Peru, I felt there was something different about me. You see, I had just successfully completed the four-day Inca Trail Trek, which culminates at Machu Picchu. I had experienced a shift. A transformation. There is no other way to describe it. Are you reasonably fit? Do you love the outdoors, can get lost in nature, and all things history related? Add the Inca Trail to your travel bucket list!

    To prepare, I joined a new gym in late December. The old one wasn’t doing it for me anymore. However, it wasn’t until January, that I got serious. I worked out 2-3 days per week. Day two of the trek is the most difficult. You NEED to be fit. I researched and watched videos. There wasn’t much I could do about altitude sickness. As it turned out, I am allergic to Sulpha, an ingredient in the only prescription available. I had to go the natural route. I arrived in Cusco a few days before I joined the group, and start of the trek. Travelers don’t know how, and if, the altitude will affect them, until you arrive. Cusco is 11 k+ feet above sea level, time to acclimatize is essential.

    No Inca Trail Trek, considered one of the top ten treks in the world, would be possible without the tremendous effort of our Porters. I heard so many stories of how hard they work to make sure hikers have an amazing experience. I was not disappointed! One of the girls in my group, said she was expecting sandwiches. Nah! Initially, there was seven people in the group; four took on the Quarry Trail, and the rest of us, the Inca Trail. A team of twelve porters, who prefers to speak Quechua, the language of their ancestors, ranged from 18 years to 50+, an incredible chef, and a guide, were assigned to take care of our group of three. We felt particularly blessed.

    Each morning, we were greeted with our choice of hot drinks at the door of our tent. As there were no shower facilities for three days, a bowl of hot water was also waiting for us. We had very early risings, but, the porters were already up at least an hour before, working to get breakfast ready. Following a filling meal, and once we were on our way, porters would dismantle the camp, and set out, always passing hikers along the way. Hours later, upon arrival to camp for lunch, we would be greeted with cheers and applause, for a job well done.  Once lunch was over, porters would wash, rinse, and repeat.

    Llactapata Inca Ruins

    Day one is often called “Training Day/Inca Flats”. The guide jokingly told us, once we got completed this day, we would most certainly make it through the others. Starting at km 82, the trail of 7.5 miles adventure, took us 8,629 ft above sea level, through some of the most magnificent views on the planet. Passing through quaint small, rural villages, admiring Inca ruins, and ending the day at Wayllabamba. I found out, if you see hikers heading back on donkeys, it’s most likely because they’ve been overcome by heat, exhaustion, or the altitude

    Stunning views from Dead Woman’s Pass

    Day two tests your mettle, perseverance, and commitment to the trek. We hiked uphill for more than four hours, to the formidable Dead Woman’s Pass, the highest point on the trail at 13,829 ft. The air is even thinner at this level, oxygen is in short supply. I lost count of the number of times I stopped to catch my breath. The break at Dead Woman’s Pass was relatively short, temps were cold, so we had to keep moving. Next up, another three hours of downhill trekking over sharp, uneven, large rocks. After lunch, hours of uphill hiking took us to another pass; Abra de Runkuracay. The final hours of the day, would have us taking on savagely steep, sometimes dangerous, arduous downhill hiking. There is nothing, no safety barriers, nada, between you and a sheer drop to death (which has, unfortunately, happened to some). On this incredibly difficult day, you go from burning calves and hamstrings, to burning quads! By the time we arrived at camp around 6:30 pm, we were done for. Having been up since 5 am, hiking for more 10-12 hours. Sleep never really came that night. We camped at 12,829 ft, in frigid temperatures. I wore my extreme weather long johns, fleece pajamas, a puffy coat, hat, used a sleeping bag liner. ..all which did very little to starve off the temps! When I awoke the next day, it had rained the night before, I touched my hat, to find it mildly damp from condensation. Twice on this night, I woke up, struggling to catch my breath.

    Example of the beautiful trails and Phuyupatamarka Ruins

    Day three was more manageable. After the day before, we felt confident and empowered. As it turned out, we had to hike straight through after breakfast. The highest point for the day was almost 12k feet. We were so grateful to end the day at 2 pm at a ranger’s station. By this time, we had not showered for three days. I took the plunge with a cold shower in 50-degree weather. My team thought I was brave. No, just sticky! I was encouraged to see a few others doing it too. The last night meant a small ceremony, thank you’s, goodbyes, tips hand off, photo ops, and even a bit of dancing. I will never forget the porters. Ever.

    We Made It

    On Day four, we were awakened at 3:30 am, given sack breakfast, while the porters dismantled camp, and got ready to catch the 5am train back to Cusco. Once the Rangers checked documents, we were on our way, in the dark, using headlamps. About one hour into the trek, the large group of hikers ahead of us came to a stop. It had rained the night before, causing a large boulder  became loose, blocking the path. We sat around trading stories, listening to songs, as men worked for about an hour, to break it apart, and clear the way. Right before we got to the Sun Gate, our walking poles served no purpose. Everyone had to crawl on hands and knees up a steep hill (known as the Gringko Killer). Upon arrival at the famed Sun Gate, we let out a massive hoot and holler!

    Machu Picchu; we had enjoyed gorgeous weather the previous three days, except for today. About twenty minutes after arrival at the Sun Gate, the heavens opened. Fog and mist abounded, making it hard to get decent shots. We certainly tried! We would walk another mile or two before arriving to the impressive Inca ruin. Everyone was in agreement; while the site was breathtakingly beautiful, the four-day journey there, is what we would remember forever. On our way down, we passed many tourists, who took the train and bus, huffing and puffing their way up to the Sun Gate. Some asked “How much further to the top?” I managed their expectations. Later, we laughed together at the questions; they really didn’t know what weariness felt like!

    Many people attempt to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. Some don’t finish. During my time there, one chap, who obviously underestimated how tough the trail would be, turned back on the first day. According to our guide; hikers suffer heart attacks, on several occasions, porters had to evacuate people in the middle of the night off the mountains, due to medical emergencies. The trail is often steep and dangerous, some have fallen to their deaths, which is harrowing! Several tourists, through total stupidity, ignore the safety strings at the Sun Gate; in efforts to take ultimate selfie, also fell to their deaths. The day I left, I asked family and friends to send me travel mercies, and the universe was listening.

    There are other several traditional ways to get to Machu Picchu; the less difficult and shorter Quarry Trail (which also doesn’t have the views and as many ruins), and the combination of train and bus. Question is, where is the fun in that? You will miss the breathtaking views, amazing history, striking natural beauty, stunning scenery, which sets the Inca Trail apart! En route, we passed by so many Inca Ruins, which served as resting shelters for weary Inca travelers, look out points, ceremonial religious sites, and farms on the way to Machu Picchu, which was discovered in 1911, and subsequently restored.

    The story is, the Incas built treacherous Inca Trail, not because it was the easiest way to get there (no, there are quicker, shorter routes), but because they believed one must work hard, and suffer before entering the most sacred city. Word is the Inca Trail was reserved for VIP’s of the times.

    On the Inca Trail, you will most certainly go through several stages; the acclimatization and shock of “why did I sign up for this?” Just go with it, and live in the moment! Pain; your legs will hurt; you will suddenly be acutely aware of extra nerve endings. You might not be able to move after most long days of hiking, but it starts all over again the next day. There is also a small bit of guilt: “Why do normal people put themselves through this?”. Bargaining and acceptance; you’ve made it to Dead Woman’s Pass? Anything else is possible. Acceptance, and Triumph; you’ve come this far, Machu Picchu is the prize. You got this.

    We would spend another full day in Cusco, seeing the sites, before parting company. Peru has a rather homey feeling about the place. I got to practice my limited Spanish, on some very accommodating locals. Now, how did I chose the title of this blog piece? We were late getting to camp a few times, which meant the porters would get behind schedule, by an hour at the most. So many photos to take of our surroundings. In other instances, going downhill was painful for a member of the group, so we went at a slower pace. The cooks and servers didn’t know what to do with us. On day two, we were later than usual. The server, Antonio, whose nickname is Antonio Banderas, took sight of us arriving at camp, and exclaimed “We are gonna have to reheat the soup!” We spent our Happy Hour that night, reliving the look on his face.

    More than a week after I returned home, my knees were still aching. I didn’t care too much! I take the NYC subway stairs better now. I remain very grateful for all the moving parts, especially the hardworking people who gave so much, so I could have this once in a life time experience. I will never forget Peru. I wanted to end the hike on my birthday, it didn’t work out this way. Circumstances meant, I had to change my dates. I now know, the people and experience, made the trip exactly what it should be.

    Many of my work colleagues, upon my return asked: “Why do you want to go hiking on a vacation?” Of course, admittedly, they enjoy all-inclusives when travelling. I didn’t give much of an explanation, because we are obviously very different people! I’ve got Mount Kilimanjaro in my cross hairs now, with more time to prepare of course! We will see.

    Until the next post,

    Best,

    Juan

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    #nofear


    Photo: Google Images

    I kid you not, I blinked, and 2018 is now a distant memory! Where does time disappear to? Yea, I know, rhetorical question, but really? It seems as if all we do, is work, eat, and sleep, with some measure of fun, thrown in between here and there. The fact is, you and I will never see today again. Humbling.

    Is this what life is all about? What are we supposed to do, with our allotted time? Work for decades, and spend the rest of it “enjoying retirement?” I personally don’t think so. Disclaimer : it’s absolutely fine, if my views are not shared by the majority. There is nothing wrong with working for decades, getting married, having children, setting them free, retire, and then live…if that is what you want. I just know, there was a time, I would do and give anything to have this type of existence. Until life handed me a new set of dreams.

    Over the past few years, I’ve been striving to live a life of no fear. While I’m not totally fearless, I’m closer than I’ve ever been. I have taken risks and done some remarkable things. No, I am not gloating, nor am I patting myself on the back. Every time I write a post of this nature, I’m reminded just how far I have traveled, and what it took, to get me here.

    A lot can happen in a year! For me, 2018 has been a year of experiences, I soon won’t forget

    Let’s get back to the business at hand. You see, our brains are like a filing cabinet; always shuffling old experiences to make sense, of the constant barrage of incoming ones. When we encounter an unknown, fear often prevails, because we simply don’t have any experience to either reconcile or associate it with. Often, we have two choices; we can run away, as the outcome is not known, or the braver warriors stand up, venture into uncharted territories, and often win!

    So, my question is, as somehow you happened upon this post, what are you afraid of? What would you be able to achieve, if your life was filled with less fear? Which mountains would you climb? Would your dreams be turned into reality? Goals, once barely within reach, now fully realized, if you stood your ground, when challenged?

    How do we get closer to living the life we want, do things we only dream of, and become more fulfilled? Unless your goal is to be in the same place next year, as you are now, then consider these suggestions: laugh, embrace, and challenge the unknown.

    Laughter has been shown to banish anxiety and stress and replace fear. It is a testament of our courage, which is stronger than fear. The phrase “laughter is the best medicine” have never been more applicable. True, it’s foolhardy to think laughter will erase the issue or fear permanently. However, we all need a strong helping of humor in our lives every day, and at least for a moment, it changes the makeup of our brains, which tells us to run in the opposite direction, when we are faced with the unknown. Humor strengthens our ability to confront our fears.

    Embrace the Unknowns: usually, going off the beaten path, and embracing things we are not comfortable with, often leads to some of the most life affirming experiences we can ever! May I be so bold as to suggest that sticking to the same routines, day after day, because we are afraid to venture out of our comfort zones, is very stifling. Quite a few of us are in the same place, as this time last year. Not me. I’m more scared of not growing, learning, and purely existing.

    Face the challenge; I love this quote “If you ever find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to question how you got there!” Makes sense? If you are not progressing, you are not being challenged. I’ll never tell anyone to carelessly throw caution to wind. No! Know your limits. If you find it comfortable watching life go by from the shadows, this post isn’t for you. But if it struck a chord within your thirsty soul, what will it take to quench the thirst, and set it on fire?

    I’ve been blessed with some rather amazing and incredible highs in 2018. Of course, there have been lows. As I’ve told my friends and those I work with; do not waste another moment mourning the failures of this past year. Nothing can change it now. If you want a different existence in 2019 and beyond, but find yourself afraid to go after it, take this with you into the new year: ”Everything we want, is on the other side of fear

    Step out in faith. You got this. The universe wants to give you your heart’s desires!

    Wishing you and yours, every happiness and blessing you desire, and deserve in the year ahead.

    Until the next post,

    Best,

    Juan

     

    Work, Work,Work, Work, Work


    Photo: Google Images

    Working in Social Services with the homeless and formerly homeless population, is very taxing. In all actuality, no one really wants to live on the streets. A very small percentage do, and most of these individuals battle serious mental health disorders. Would you be surprised, if I told you, most of us are only two paychecks away from homelessness? You shouldn’t be! Do you have an emergency fund saved up? If you lost your job now, or became ill that you couldn’t work for a while, how would you survive? Would unemployment be enough to sustain you and your family until you can work again? Typically, wherever feasible, each one of us should have at least three months of expenses put away in the event of an emergency

    Social Services and Mental Health often go hand in hand. The five most common mental health disorders relate to mood, eating, personality, substance abuse, and ADHD. Most of my clients have dual/co morbid disorders, and at any time, at least one is active. The facts are at least one in every three people suffer from a mental health disorder of some sort. If you are lucky enough, there is a good chance the only thing you have to worry about, is stress and anxiety.

    With many people dealing with so much at any given time, I wanted to give some basic tried and true suggestions that can be used every day to help anyone struggling with interpersonal conflict and other issues at work. For decades I worked in offices, doing the 9 to 5. No workplace is without its drawbacks. Coping strategies are a must. Today, and for the past several months, I’m lucky enough that I don’t have an office! I love that I make my schedule, start and finish when I want to. Once per week, for two or three hours I go to the office and see my other colleagues. I consider myself a free spirit and this matches my personality quite nicely!

    I warmly welcome your opinion and comments below, if you found them helpful!

    First and foremost, we cannot function at optimal levels if we are not mentally and physically ready for eventuality. Sure, you will do just fine for a while, even years, but sooner or later, it will catch up with you. No trial or difficulty ever happens at a convenient time. No one needs a reminder that diet and exercise is an integral part of everything we do, and how we show up for it. Pick up any self-help book, magazine, article etc. and they will preach the same things, and this strategy is mentioned every single time

    Second, try as often as you can to start the day off right. Do you find yourself frazzled and already stressed out before your day has even begun? Is there something you could do differently the night before to help ease your nerves? Make lunch, put things in the right places, etc. Proper planning, will help considerably. Consider at least five or ten minute of meditation before the day even gets going. You WILL notice a difference. A positive attitude will not get easily derailed if your bus is late, there is traffic ahead etc

    Third, a lot of stress in the workplace is caused by poor communication; which in turn affects how you understand your work duties, causes miscommunications, lead to hurt feelings, errors of judgement etc. So, what can you do to improve the way you communicate with others? Ask yourself, are you and your coworkers on the same page? When they step out of line, how do you handle this? Sitting and stewing helps no one.  Speak up in meetings, do not think because you perceived a situation to be obvious that everyone else does too.  More than half of what we say and don’t say is communicated via body language. What is yours saying to the rest of the staff? Are you open and friendly, or isolated from everyone else, whether it’s intentional? Of course, be sure to put and keep boundaries in place

    Finally, stay away from interpersonal conflict (if you can). Let’s face it, conflict at work is inescapable. Avoiding gossip, over sharing personal information, arguments about politics and religion, and off-color jokes. If you must work with someone who is often involved in these behaviors, try to limit your interaction with them. If conflict does find its way to your desk, and believe me it will, consider the following strategies; practice good listening skills, be assertive, not overbearing in your communication, do your best to seek a solution, and work hard to seek a solution. These strategies are not exhaustive.

    Until the next post,

    Best,

    Juan

     

    The Greatest Romance Of All Time


    Photo Credit: Rasjacobson

    Dear Readers,

    I hope this blog post finds you and your family well. As I was planning my work schedule for the upcoming week, I was reminded that in a few short weeks, half of the year would have flown by! What goals did you set for 2018? How are they coming along? Wherever you are in the process, keep pushing, always being mindful, that not everyone will understand your journey. There is nothing wrong with this, it’s not for them to figure out.

    I’m still on an unbelievable high from my recent trip to Africa. I think about the kids daily. I will keep my followers updated of my plans to help them, as it materializes later this year. The entire experience taught me more about myself than I thought possible. As I look back on the life path that took me to the Motherland, and inevitably where I now find myself, I cannot help but think of the road I’ve traveled thus far. I reminisced how, a few short years ago, I rallied publicly, and raged silently, as I was forced to accept circumstances that were not my own doing. Never underestimate the significance of blooming where you are planted!

    Today, I am shell of that once vulnerable, naïve girl, who knew the treatment she willingly accepted, wasn’t copacetic , but lacked the strength and fortitude to stand up for herself, and say no more. I often cringe and recoil inside, when I remember the depth and breadth, of the suffering I went through. I didn’t love myself. How could I? I had to go through a process, an awakening, a cleansing of some sort, to come out on the other side.

    How did I go from one extreme to another? I remembered who  I was, and the game changed. I learned to love me. I came to realize that a relationship, job, or circumstance, would not create the inner peace, and contentment I craved. I discovered this game-changing morsel of truth:  the only person, who is unequivocally responsible for my happiness, was me. I relied heavily on the fact, that I am enough, and always will be. I now know that a loving, respectful, kind, and compassionate relationship with myself, was the beginning of the greatest romance, I will ever have; the one I had with myself.

    Last year, I blogged here about my collaboration with multiple authors. Well, that was released a few months ago, and it hit bestseller in multiple categories!! One of the goals I set for myself in 2018, was to write at least three books.  Currently, an EBook, is in the pipeline; it summarizes the steps I took to bring about the change I desperately sought from within. Today, I will share with you, a few of the practices that worked for me.

    First, one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years, was to become intimately familiar with my inner voice. The one that provides a running commentary and affects more than we will ever know. The way we talk to ourselves, can either be positive and supportive, or harmful and defeating.  I cannot stress enough, how important it is, that you and I are mindful of the ways in which we talk to ourselves. We all engage in self talk, this is normal; it helps us to figure out the world around us. My point is, have you stopped to consider how you do it? What are some of the things you tell yourself every day? Do you understand the relationship between this type of self talk, how it reflects on your daily actions, and your interactions with everyone around you? Everything starts here!

    I also started introducing daily affirmations. I found it best to do this in the morning, right out of bed, or at least before the day gets started. I challenge you to look in the mirror and use phrases such as “I love you”. “I wholeheartedly accept myself the way I am” “I believe in, have trust, and confidence in myself” “I’m talented, and can use these talents for the good of those around me” “I commit to learning new things” etc. Whatever applies to your unique situation. Try to make this a daily habit. Soon, you will start to notice that not only do you believe these things, but you also get rid of negative, self-defeating thoughts, that you’ve been carrying around, and focus more on your goals.

    Next, create habits of self-love and care; take yourself on a weekly date, get a massage, acupuncture, tune into how you feel on a daily basis, eat well, dress in ways that make you feel good, exercise, keep a journal, take up a hobby or revisit past passions, perform random acts of kindness, take photos of things you love, take a break from social media.  Taking time for yourself without feeling guilt, or having to explain, why you are not available. Self care is not an indulgence, it’s a necessity.

    Confucius said “The more you know yourself, the more you forgive yourself” My dear readers, followers, and visitors, only you and I are intimately familiar with our unique challenges.  Are you holding onto burdens you should have left behind a long time ago? Well, when you don’t forgive yourself, you are doing just that. Being kind and forgiving to yourself simply means releasing anything, including energy that no longer serves any purpose in your life. Make peace with which you are, and the challenges you face daily.

    Finally, begin each day with an attitude of gratitude. A few years ago, I decided to carry out a small experiment. I got an empty jar, each day for an entire year; I would find something to be grateful for, and write it down on a piece of colored paper. Often it was the smallest of incidences (the door being opened for me, a smile from a stranger etc). There is something to be said for waking up on New Year’s Day, emptying the jar and being reminded of just how wonderful the year had been to me! Maybe, for you, everyday is a bit too much to start with, or you don’t need/want to make a list. The idea is to get in the habit of expressing gratitude for the good things in your life.

    Friends, it’s imperative for you to know, that the most important relationship you and I will ever have, is the one we have with ourselves. The success of any other relationship, is heavily predicated on this. No one will ever love you more than you love yourself. Consider this game changer; when we don’t love and accept ourselves fully, we create more work for our partners, families and friends, accept poor treatment from others, compare and compete, and cannot get through a day without needing validation.

    Isn’t it time you begin to develop and nourish your greatest romance of all time? Infuse your life with action, passion, your own love. If you do not love yourself,  you will have a hard time loving others. Embrace your flaws. Don’t just be content with accepting yourself, but be absolutely crazy about it!

    Make today, the day you begin your own unique journey of self exploration, acceptance, kindness and compassion, with you! “We all deserve the same type of love, we keep giving everyone else”

    Until the next post, take care of yourselves, and your families.

    Best,

    Juan