Archive for December, 2010


A new New Year’s Resolution

Time for the yearly transition. One year comes to a close as we anticipate with hope the beginning of a new year. Many of us envision this new year as full of promise and good things. Others of us approach the new year with caution, concerned about the unknowns that are ahead of us. We begin to form our new year’s resolutions, which is of course, part of the bargain. If we promise to make a change, then we will be rewarded with something positive in the new year. So many things to choose from. Exercise more regularly, get more sleep, eat healthier, spend more time with family, get organized, be more efficient in our work, take better care of ourselves, etc. So many of our resolutions recycled year after year, because we haven’t yet been able to fully commit to them. But why? So many of us focused on what’s left to accomplish, rather than on what we have achieved. What happens if we resolve this year to maintain a balance; focus on and give thanks for what we have in our lives as well as focus on what we would like to still achieve. Not letting one overshadow the other. What happens if we set goals that we believe we can truly accomplish rather than goals we think we should accomplish because it will be “good for us”.

Perhaps we start by reflecting on our accomplishments and achievements – the things we are happy about and thankful for that have occurred during this past year. Being careful not to tarnish these accomplishments with associated, but distinct disappointments. When recalling positive events of the last year, allowing the accomplishments to stand alone and giving them their due. It is important to remind ourselves of our capabilities. It is important to give ourselves the gift of self-gratitude and kindness. It will form the foundation for the year to come.

Next, create a vision of yourself in the coming year. Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and then close your eyes for a moment and allow yourself to envision the direction you would like to go in this year and the things that will happen if you make the changes and choices you would like to make. Allow yourself to experience this vision with your full awareness. Notice any emotion that comes up, or any thoughts or judgements. Make a note of them. Now take a moment to envision the direction and the things that will happen if you don’t make the changes and choices that you hope to make, if you continue to make the same or similar choices you are making now. Same as before, allow yourself to fully experience this vision with the accompanying thoughts and emotions. And next, with both of these visions still in mind, ask yourself which direction you would truly like to go in. Listen closely for the answer from inside you. You may be surprised at what you hear. Ask for guidance from something beyond you, a higher power. Know that this is what will support you as you move towards your goal. Decide what realistic baby steps you will take to get to where you have decided to go and allow for the fact that when you get there, to your desired goal, it may not look exactly the way you thought it might look. You may have to adjust or change course along the way. Just recognize that the forward movement is part of the whole goal. If you feel like it, jot dot a few of your thoughts from this exercise so you can reground yourself in it from time to time throughout the year, and re-evaluate it as needed.

Recognize that you have a choice. It can be a passive choice or an active choice, but either way the choice is yours. How empowering. You can choose your direction for the new year, without the blocks of judgment or self-doubt, but instead with faith in yourself and self-appreciation for your past accomplishments. You can move forward into the new year full of promise, because you have consciously made a choice to pick what you truly want and believe you can realistically achieve in the next year, and because you know you have support from something greater than you. You can create balance for yourself by remembering to look at the accomplishments, and not just the mistakes, the disappointments, and what remains to be done. Because, don’t forget my friends, the “mistakes” we make along the way to our goals (because we all make missteps) are where the lessons we need to learn will come from…we can’t get there without them. They will shape the path we travel along, just as our hope and vision will.

So, what do you think? Will you give it a try?

Be happy and well in the new year to come,
Sari Roth-Roemer

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Merry Christmas

Watching the light of the holiday in my friends smiling faces and hearts really made my spirits soar this weekend. Hoping all of you were enveloped in the Christmas spirit, as well. Maybe take some time to reflect on the beauty of the season as we all move forward together into the coming year? It’s the perfect time to listen closely to that inner voice of yours and decide what choices you’d like to make next. Happiest of Holidays to you!

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

The black fog descends. It can be pretty overwhelming when it happens. So much so that it is easy to go into autopilot and be lured into simply laying back into the darkness, letting it take over almost completely. Easy to shut out family and friends and all those who care about us. Listening instead only to the stereophonic sadness that surrounds us. Eyes glazed over by the darkness, coloring our perspective in grey hues. Obscuring everything we see and mutating it into just another reason to be sad. Stopping our forward movement and miring us in a quicksand of despair. OK, seriously, how yucky is that? Be honest though. Suffer a loss or two and it’s all too easy to find yourself in this place. Looking only through the glasses of loss and sorrow. Questioning yourself and your worth. Interesting how the darkness can be so alluring yet so devastating…

…but then there was light. It’s there you know. If you dare to peek over the top the dark glasses of gloom and sadness, you can see it up ahead. A radiant glow that reminds you there is still light and goodness out there, even when you feel the most surrounded. And if you really pay close attention, you can notice that the light emanates from within you. It’s that inner light that connects you to the light in the world around you; reminding you that you are never really alone. But you have to be aware of it to recognize what it is; you have to rely on the memory of having felt it before. And when you’re really, really sad it’s hard to be aware of much. But, I promise, it’s there if only you will look for it and remember that you have felt it before (which means you’re capable of feeling it again). And when you open up to the light that is inside you, even if it’s just a tiny speck to begin with, it will overwhelm the darkness. Think about it. Bring a box of darkness into a light room and open it up. What happens? The light consumes the darkness. It has no effect. But bring a small light into a dark room and what happens? The room lightens up. The light is a reminder that you are capable, you are gifted, and you are loved. It is the response to the darkness that we all have inside us. It is the trump card to sadness. Yes, of course, light and dark live within us simultaneously. We humans are designed that way. But even though our initial reactions may be involuntary, ultimately we have a choice about where we spend our time. So which will you choose, the powerful gift of the light or the devastating allure of the dark? Either way, the choice is always yours…

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

Is stress really stress?

Think about it. What stresses you out the most? Family? Finances? Health? Traffic? Work? Getting your holiday shopping done? But are these things really stressing you out? Most of us would think “yes, of course, these things are stressing me out.” In a way you’re right, but in another way, you could be missing the boat. While these situations and circumstances may be a catalyst for a stress response, these things are probably not in and of themselves the cause of your stress. Rather, it is typically our perception and response to these stressors that cause us to experience stress. Yes. I’m saying that we stress ourselves out! Here’s the good news. If we can stress ourselves out, then we can certainly have some control over managing our stress. Which means, my friends, we can have more control over our stress than we realize.

Of course, as for most things, it all begins with awareness. When we are aware of what is pushing our buttons, we’re better able to maintain control over our buttons. So maybe you want to ask yourself, “What is stressing me out the most right now?” Then perhaps ask yourself “why?” Why is your family member, friend, finances, health, traffic, work, etc. causing you to feel stressed? Most likely these circumstances are causing you to talk to yourself in a stress promoting way. “I’m scared something really bad is happening or will happen if things continue in this way and I feel out of control to do anything about it” is often at the crux of most of our stress responses. What happens if you closely examine what you’re saying to yourself and then decide to say something different, something more helpful? Perhaps what you could say to yourself now could be, “Is this something that is really worth getting upset about?” If the answer is “no” you can smile, breathe, decide to let go of your upset and focus on something else. But if the answer is “yes” then perhaps you could again smile, breathe, and add “this is really upsetting me, but I know with time I can figure out what do about it.” Our human stress response harkens back to our stone age days when it was there to help us fight or flee from the tiger. Now it brings us anxiety, fear and feeling out of control, which ultimately, and over an extended period of time, can have negative effects on our health and well-being. Here’s the secret. . .if we tell ourselves we can handle the stressful circumstance than we increase the likihood that we can. Perhaps even more importantly, if we tell ourselves we can handle the circumstances, our stress reduces significantly. So remember, how you look at things makes a difference. Us humans will always respond to an upsetting circumstance with a stress response. Your boss yells at you, your partner says something mean to you, your bank account is overdrawn. These aren’t things that are going to make you happy. However, awareness of your perspective on something that is stressing you out, gives you control over whether or not you stay stressed out. ‘Tis the season to be stressed out . . . but hopefully you can keep hold of the jolly instead. . .

So maybe smile, take a breath and think about it?

Be happy and well,
Sari Roth-Roemer

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