extra pieces
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The Extra Pieces

I did a lot of scary things last week.

Put my website back up, submitted a poem to an online journal, did my first speech.

Made it public on YouTube (see it here).

All scary because they all involve confronting one of my biggest fears and something I usually avoid at all costs: rejection.

It has taken me down so many times, but it’s also stopped me from doing anything at all.

Because even if it hasn’t happened yet, I’m afraid it will.

My mind likes to take it a step further by convincing me I will be forever rejected and hated.

I would like to be okay with that.

Not believe it’s true, but welcome rejection, tell it to fucking bring it and turn it into motivation.

Or at least not be so afraid of it.

No one really wants to be hated.

I’m no exception.

But truth is, I don’t feel likeable.

I know I’m loved by my family, but I don’t feel like an integral part of the world.

I feel like an extra piece that doesn’t fit.

Is the mistake believing I should fit? Am I trying too hard to shove myself into a space I wasn’t made for?

Maybe I need to think outside the box, or in this case, outside of the puzzle.

Maybe I have to find a way to live outside of it.

Maybe if I search for all the other extra pieces we can make our own picture.

 

Introvert paradise
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5 tips to start a conversation when you don’t know what to say

I’m an introvert.

And despite years of practice and working on my skills, I’m still completely awkward in social situations.

I’ve always been this way.

May always be.

I can only handle being around around people in small bursts. Not because I’m a jerk. I just get overwhelmed easily.

That said, there are a few tricks that work for me when I do want to talk to people.

Keep in mind, for the most part, other people want someone to come talk to them. You can tell when a person sincerely doesn’t want to have a conversation with you. You know, headphones on, face buried in a book or notebook, etc.

Remember, you don’t have to have the perfect sentence formulated to talk to someone or a group of people.

Here are 5 other things to keep in mind when you’re ready, willing and able to start a conversation.

#1 Start with an observation.

This one is geared towards talking to an individual more so than a group. If and when you notice something you like about a person, make a comment about it. Only do this if it’s sincere.

Don’t do this:

Do give genuine compliments. Most people love receiving them! This opens up the conversation and often leads to learning more about what the other person is interested in.

#2 If you notice an open group you’d like to join, wait for a break in the conversation and ask, “Mind if I join you?”

Make sure the group is open first. You can tell a group is open when the people are standing somewhat apart, members occasionally glance around the room, there are gaps in the conversation and members are talking about a general topic.

Once you’ve determined the group is open, wait for the break and ask the friendliest-looking member if you can join in. This will ensure your intentions are clear and you won’t have to interrupt and risk seeming rude.

#3 Know what’s most important to you before you decide to start or join a conversation with an individual or group.

What is your goal or objective in this situation? Do you want to just connect without any result in mind? Do you want to make a new friend?

When you become clear on your intention, you may find knowing what to say comes a lot easier and more naturally.

#4 Make peace with the worst that could happen.

Cope ahead by reminding yourself that even if this person or group of people flat out rejects you, you will remain in tact. It does not define you or your worth.

Decide ahead of time you won’t go into a story about how “no one likes you.” Remember not to mind read either. You have no idea why someone would reject you. It might have nothing to do with you. So, keep your head up. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future.

#5 Expect the best or something even better.

You won’t know how the conversation (or anything) will go until you try.

If this is brand new to you, yes, it’s going to be scary. Acknowledge your fear and remind yourself why you’re doing this. Maybe you’ve been wanting new friends or maybe you just want to feel more like you’re part of the world. Whatever your reason, this is a a skill and it takes practice and patience.

Let me know how it goes.

You’ve got this!

brave body love michelle hess
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Brave Body Love – You’re invited!

It’s normal to be in and out of love with your body, considering the world that we live in. It makes sense to feel discomfort living in this culture that thrives on feeding your body dissatisfaction–otherwise how could the diet industry be a multi-BILLION dollar one?

Of course, it is easier to thrive in this society when you fit the stereotypical beauty standards of the day.  Instead, most of us are challenged to acknowledge and accept our bodies for the miracles that they are, knowing that “your body is a wonderland” in the truest sense.

Once that can happen…Love Follows.

Easier said than done, you say? True.

Body Image is a factor within your whole self-esteem, how you view yourself. This is about who you are BEING. It’s not really about the size or lumpiness quotient of your thighs! If you are struggling in your career and making money easily, this could very well be tied to how you see yourself; what it feels like for you to be you. Who you are being impacts EVERY area of your life.

Your self-image impacts how much you put yourself out there, how confident you are in your profession, the types of opportunities and challenges you say, “Yes” too; how much money you make, how much support you allow in your life–basically how you let yourself RECEIVE.

Your body image is part of your overall self-esteem. One is not without the other. Your body is the vehicle that projects your image of yourself out into the world.

Changing your body acceptance is about transforming consciousness in a radical way. It’s about discovering your sabotaging beliefs and aligning yourself with your deepest desires.

Here’s the secret:

Psst…It isn’t really about your body (even though it is all about your body!)

At the core of all that is your desire to be loved.

The power of love is the only thing that can truly pull you out of that pit of self-loathing that conveniently shows up every time you wish it wouldn’t. (Kinda like that ex that pulls you down by showing up when you are vulnerable and lonely…)

Brave Body Love is a chance for you to discover new ways to be. Our team of experts and teachers are here to expand your mind, shift your perspective, offer different possibilities and even some facts you might not have know about body acceptance, nutrition or fitness. But mainly it is about you finding you again. Finding the freedom you’ve been missing in your life due to preoccupation with your perceived faults.

Take some time to re-discover your awesomeness and dream again.

For more info go to BraveBodyLove.com

P.S.  This is a FREE online conference with 32 amazing speakers. All we are missing is you!

 

 

self-acceptance art
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Self-Acceptance Art

A visual.
A reminder.
Perhaps exactly what you needed to see at this very moment.

self-acceptance art

Know yourself.
Love yourself.
BE yourself.

Everything else will fall into place.

mindfulness poster
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great mindfulness article with cool art

mindfulness poster

I just read this article on Huffington post and had to share it because it’s awesome.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

Mindfulness for teenagers
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Be mindful

Mindfulness for teenagers

Ive been practicing more mindfulness lately. To me its a necessity.

Its easy to get overtaken by thoughts and emotions, but with practice it can be just as easy and automatic to be present with each task.

Just for today, notice your thoughts and how they make you feel. Thoughts can just be thoughts if we allow them to be. It’s when emotions kick in and we start telling ourselves the old familiar story that things start to get tricky.

If and when you find yourself in a panicked state, ask yourself, what am I believing about myself or this situation? Is it really true? Even if it is, will focusing on it resolve the problem?

Write down your findings or share them below. 🙂

Worry tree
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[printable worksheet] the worry tree

My therapist gave me a worksheet I’ve found helpful. It was quite plain so I jazzed it up to make it more fun (and festive).

Click to print and enjoy!

Worry tree

change of plans
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Truth #1 – Changing Plans

change of plans

As a perfectionist with OCD and a myriad of other diagnoses, I have trouble adjusting to change. I often feel that if I have to change the plan, I’ve failed. This thinking leaves no room for understanding and is the exact type of black and white thinking characteristic of borderline personality disorder.

As with all unhealthy thinking styles, it is a trap. But, there’s hope (always). With practice, you can begin to re-pattern your thoughts to benefit you rather than destroy you.

Here is a full list of unhealthy thinking types that screw with us.

Please note: I do not own the rights to this worksheet. I simply took a photograph of it to share with you. There is no author on the copy that was provided to me.

As I said above, the first step to changing anything is awareness. You have to be able to recognize what’s happening and be willing to question the validity of your thoughts. Because they will lie to you. They will blow things out of proportion. It’s going to happen. Make peace with that.

Step two is to accept the thought – not as the truth, but that it is present. It’s there. And it’s not going anywhere until you acknowledge it. So the inner dialogue might be something like: “Wow I’m feeling really bad I wonder what I’m thinking (feelings will always let you know you’re thinking a thought that argues with reality).” Instead of blaming yourself or someone else, just notice the thought, see it for what it is. And then…

Investigate. Is it true? For example, if you realize you’re thinking “everyone hates me.” Is it really true? Can you absolutely know that it’s true? Probably not. Remind yourself that even if it were true, you can choose to love and accept yourself anyway. Besides, what other people think of you is none of your business (I think Wayne Dyer said that).

Final step: forgive yourself. It happens. And you’re going to get better at recognizing and redirecting your thoughts as you practice doing so.

It takes courage, it takes love and a great deal of faith. But you can do it.

I believe in you. 🙂

Aside: I find it ironic that this post was going to be about change and completely changed into something else. Here’s to being flexible! I’d love to hear how this post impacted you. Please do leave me your comments below. Thanks!

I’ll leave you with a video I made the other day that fits nicely with this post. Be sure to watch it all the way to the end to see my son make his cameo.

I also just found a more thorough list of negative thinking habits and possible solutions here.

world suicide prevention day
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Today is World Suicide Prevention Day

world suicide prevention day

Created by Clark County Student for the Signs of Suicide Poster Contest

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

First, I’d like to share a new procedure with you. It’s from Matthew Dovel, president of International Suicide Prevention. He has recently released this procedure called (4 Phase) which can be self-administered in as little as 5 minutes.

It was designed to bypass stigma and allow those that are suffering from depression, anxiety, and/or suicidal thoughts.

LEARN ABOUT THE PROCEDURE HERE

Second, I wanted to let you know about the 8th Annual “Walk in Memory Walk for Hope” which is put on by the Nevada Coalition for Suicide Prevention (of which I am proud to be a member of).

“This community suicide prevention awareness walk will be taking place on Saturday, September 13, 2014, in eleven different communities across the State of Nevada. Walk participants are asked to donate $20 per individual. All donations will be used to help fund various NCSP programs in communities throughout the state.”

Las Vegas/Henderson Location = Bob Miller Middle School, 2400 Cozy Circle, Henderson, NV 89052. Registration begins at 8:00 am

I’ll be volunteering at the registration table and hope to see you there.

It takes all of us working together to make changes. Your presence DOES MATTER.