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10 Things Your Mother Didn't Tell You
By Kathy Gates

1. You can be nice and still say no. Nobody wants to be around a crabby Yes-sayer, anyway. If you say Yes when you want to say No, you will find yourself unhappily going through the motions of life, giving control of your time, energy and spirit to anyone who asks for it. Free yourself by learning to quietly assert your boundaries.

2. Don't surrender your OK-ness to other people's opinions. While what your parents think of you, or what your kids think of you, or even what your friends think of you is important, what you think of yourself and your choices and actions is just as important, if not more so. You can't control what other people think, only what you are.

3. It's OK to ask for what you want and need. Think about how frustrating it is when someone wants you to be a mind-reader. Extend the same courtesy to them, and ask concisely, ask clearly, ask kindly, but ask.

4. It's OK to be different. Everybody doesn't like chocolate (unbelievable!), and everybody won't like you. That's ok. You don't like everybody, do you? Be yourself. If you don't enjoy the person you are, find out why and start working on becoming a person you do enjoy. Then others will enjoy you too - including your difference.

5. It's Ok to change your mind. It's true, some of life's choices have consequences that can't be taken back. But it's never a good idea to continue a mistake. Just because you committed to something - like a degree in a field that no longer interests you, or a car note that's out of your reach -- be willing to say you messed up.

6. "Shoulds" are not always good. The "shoulds" in our lives sometimes masquerade as true responsibilities, which they may not actually be. Take a good long look at the "shoulds" in your life. Try replacing them with "I want..". "I want to visit my Dad each weekend, but sometimes I need to spend that extra time with my children." "I want to cook a healthy home-made meal for my family each night, but sometimes it's just not practical." By taking the "should" out of the sentence, you are now able to see that you're not a bad person and aren't shirking responsibility. You are simply making another choice on occasion.

7. You don't have to get married to live happily ever after. Yes, a partner in life is a wonderful thing to have, but if you're still looking for happiness in another person, you'll be sorely disappointed.

8. Just because it's the "right way", doesn't mean it works. Does harping on your hubby to load the dishwasher a certain way because it's the "right way" help your quest to have a better relationship? Not likely. If it's causing problems, no matter how "right" you think you are, you won't get what you want out of the relationship until it works for everyone.

9. It's easy to demand things from others. Not so easy to demand things from yourself. If you're looking for something better, the first thing to do is raise your standards - change what you demand of yourself.

10 Success isn't about money. Success in life is living it on your own terms - whatever you define that to be - and being perfectly happy with that. Being successful is an individual definition --not media hype --and it's easier than you think. Focus on what's important to you, and on the people that are important to you, and you will naturally, automatically, create a life that you love to live. And that's the best definition of success that there is.

Professional Life Coach Kathy helps people who are burned out, stressed out, and fed up to get back in touch with the foundations of their life. www.reallifecoach.com

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