Amazon’s Top 20 Hot New Releases

Dear Friends,

I’m pleased to announce that my latest book, “Miracles, Momentum and Manifestation: Breakdown to Breakthrough” successfully launched on October 29th and has reached the Top 20 (#12) among Amazon’s Hot New Releases in the Self-Help Self-Esteem Category! In this powerful Anthology, eight women courageously share our stories of triumph over some of life’s most debilitating circumstances. Yes, miracles still happen for those who believe!

‪#‎MiraclesBook‬

M3 Cover

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Why the Butt-Naked Truth Pisses Us Off

Dear Friends,

According to a famous Buddhist quote, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”  Yet, at some point in our lives we’ve all been in possession of some morsel of truth that we’ve chosen not to divulge because we were uncertain how it would be received, interpreted or used against us by others.

History has produced abundant maxims regarding truth.  For example, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Polonius’ advice to his son Laertes is, “This above all: to thine own self be true… thou canst not then be false to any man.”  Former English Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill remarked, Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.” Celebrated author Maxim Gorky argued, To speak the truth is the most difficult of all arts, for in its ‘pure’ form, not connected with the interests of individuals, groups, classes, or nations….”  English writer and poet Walter Savage Landor mused, “Truth, like the juice of the poppy, in small quantities, calms men; in larger, heats and irritates them, and is attended by fatal consequences in its excess.” And feminist Gloria Steinem is well-known for her pithy quip, “The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off” (which just so happens to be the inspiration for this article).  

What is Truth?

Scientifically, truth is based on evidence or reason. Nonetheless, one can argue that truth is a subjective term that is based on individual feelings, opinions and experiences.  Whether you view it from a scientific or subjective position, there is a fundamental truth that lies at the core of each human being that cannot be escaped or ignored in our attempt to reach higher ground.

While truth is considered by some a path to freedom, it is by no means a linear path. There are many confusing and conflicting hairpin turns along the way.  Because it can threaten our very sense of reality, it’s not surprising that many people would rather evade truth and cling to self-constructed illusions. 

Reasons We Bury the Truth

Telling the truth can produce tremendous discomfort, not to mention its inherent – real or perceived – consequences.  Here are three reasons why we prefer to bury the truth: 

1.  Inner Conflict.  Inner conflict is a psychological struggle.  When truth invites us to examine aspects of ourselves and challenge our beliefs, assumptions and ideologies, it creates an internal war that leaves us with difficult choices, wondering which path to take.  Oftentimes, we choose the path of least resistance.

2.  Escape.  Not having to face the truth means we can ignore – at least temporarily – our problems.  We can continue to operate within a false realm of reality to avoid dealing with unpleasant people, events and situations.

3.  Fear.  Facing the truth is a scary thing that has the potential of taking us places we’d rather not go.  Fundamentally, we all have insecurities about who we are, how we present to others, and what we are capable of achieving.  Yet, we have an idealized self and live our lives based on that idealization.  The revelations of truth can quickly deconstruct any false notions or appearances that we are trying to uphold.  To uncover the truth of our core being would unravel the defenses we have stitched together to protect our vulnerabilities.

Using Anger as a Mask

We have elaborate ways of hiding the truth.  Our reasons are varied and not always understood.  Yet, regardless of our chosen defenses, the emotion that we most openly and frequently express when confronted with truth is: anger.   This is because anger is considered a normal, human emotion that is easy to identify with.  It’s also a powerful emotion, ranging in intensity that keeps others at a distance when we’re feeling most vulnerable.

Evading the truth is emotionally, psychologically, and physically damaging.  While introspection can be a painful and uncomfortable process, there is no long-term escape from internal truth.  Facing your truth is the first step in self-accountability and self-improvement.  Whatever that truth is and once you own it, you will feel better about yourself, enjoy a more meaningful existence, and walk more confidently in your life’s purpose.

Until Next Time,

Mary

Bouncing Back from Brokenness

Dear Friends,

In my profession as an Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, people generally don’t call on me unless they’re either headed for — or in — a full-blown crisis.  After receiving such a call from a potential client this week, it got me thinking about the deeper meaning of life’s challenges and how we can navigate them.

Are you experiencing a state of brokenness that has sent you into a downward spiral?

  • Being fired from a job
  • Long-term unemployment
  • A severed relationship
  • A debilitating illness
  • A life-changing accident
  • The death of a loved one
  • A business start-up that never took off
  • An opportunity that fell flat
  • A broken promise
  • Incarceration
  • A failing grade
  • Fill in the _______

Sometimes, we may feel that life has thrown us into the deepest end of the ocean, expecting us to swim back to the shores of safety without a life preserver.  This may result in feelings of bitterness, resentment, anxiety, frustration, depression, and/or isolation.  However, life’s challenges are inevitable and create opportunities for learning and growth… if we are willing to focus on the value, rather than the venom.

If you are in need of a little (or a lot of) inspiration, here are some ways to help shake off despair and climb out of your well-worn rut.

Break the cycle of negativity. Reacting to adversity in a dysfunctional manner such as denial, addiction, distortion, repression, or other numbing behavior only magnifies the situation, which can make matters worse. Negativity feeds a continuous cycle of destruction that keeps you stuck, so find ways to enhance your quality of life. Whether it’s meditating, changing your daily routine, learning something new, spending time with family or friends, or getting outside to enjoy nature, do something that will create a shift in your thoughts and actions.

Find the lesson. With every challenge comes a lesson to be learned.  The sooner you accept the lesson and learn from it, the sooner you can graduate to the next phase of your life.  To find the lesson, ask yourself “What is this situation here to teach me? Then listen for the answer.

Surround yourself with support.  During challenging times, we all need the comfort and wisdom of a strong social support system. This is anyone that you can trust for sound advice, counsel and emotional support.  Having a confidant who understands what you’re going through without sitting in judgment can help alleviate raw emotion, so that you’re better able to deal with the situation.

Give thanks. While life may not be the way you want it at this moment, you are still here. Know that the Universe has a larger plan for you, and what you’re going through is a part of that plan to help you reach higher ground.

Be realistic. There’s an old song entitled, Trouble Don’t Last Always. Just as the seasons change, so do the cycles of life.  Use the wisdom of nature to persevere and grow through life’s inevitable highs and lows.

Brokenness is the starting point for rebuilding. For many, it’s the only way to experience healing, restoration and the deeper meaning of life.  Without brokenness, we’re likely to remain in a state of self-sufficiency, living on the periphery of life never acknowledging a power greater than ourselves.

In closing, I echo the words of M. Scott Peck, M.D., author of the timeless classic The Road Less Traveled: “The truth is that our finest moments are likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”

Until Next Time,

Mary

5 Aspects of Self-Discovery

Dear Friends,

Who are you?  What are you most passionate about?  What are your unique characteristics?  What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?  What do you most want to be remembered for?  In what ways are you sometimes misunderstood? What childhood beliefs still impact you today? What is unfinished in your life?  Answering these and other thought-provoking questions require you to engage in a process called self-discovery.

The Journey of Self-Discovery

Self-discovery is a journey or pilgrimage in which we seek to heighten our awareness of self.  It takes courage to examine the innermost parts of our being; but we must be willing to work through any pain and discomfort to create change and experience life more fully.

If you want to manifest the best of who you are destined to be, self-discovery is key.  The following aspects of self-discovery can help you to explore, understand and navigate your values, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, assumptions and overall worldview.

Aspects of Self-Discovery

1. Self-reflection.  This involves our capacity to engage in introspection to learn more about our fundamental nature and purpose. Use the following questions to promote self-reflection:

  • Who am I?
  • Who am I listening to and why?
  • What am I tolerating?
  • How and where am I committing my time and energy?
  • If I could change one thing about myself, what would it be?
  • What am I doing today to help improve my life tomorrow?

2.  Self-trust.  This refers to the confidence we have in ourselves.  Our personal integrity depends upon our ability to trust ourselves.  To develop self-trust, stay connected and maintain a good relationship with yourself by:  (1) clarifying your values; (2) identifying and embracing your unique qualities; (3) listening with your heart; (4) seeing yourself from others’ point of view; (5) setting realistic goals and achieving them; (6) learning from your mistakes; and (7) making time for regular self-renewal.

3.  Self-sacrifice.  This is the ability to forego personal interests for the greater good and is one of the most important traits of influential leadership.  Excessive giving can create internal resentment, so self-sacrifice does not mean scrapping all of your interests.  It means balancing your interests in ways that will positively impact humankind (e.g., volunteerism, charitable giving, random acts of kindness or any other altruistic behaviors).

4.  Self-fulfillment.  Becoming self-actualized can be a lengthy process in terms of unlocking your greatest potential.  If you feel stagnant, overworked and under-appreciated, you can employ techniques to overcome challenges and put yourself on the path to self-fulfillment by:  (1) becoming more self-aware; (2) creating a mantra to foster inner motivation; (3) identifying an aspect of yourself that you would like to enhance; (4) visualizing yourself reaching your fullest potential; and (5) building a strong community of support.

5.  Self-transformation.  This evolution of consciousness is achieved when we question our very existence and quality of life.  It involves getting clear about and setting intentions around how we choose to think, feel and behave.  In doing so, we create change by manifesting our lives according to what feels most authentic to ourselves.

The process of self-discovery is a powerful continuous improvement exercise.  Use it as an opportunity to understand your past, appreciate your present, and create your future.

Until Next Time,

Mary