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“No” Is The New “Please”

Do you remember that magic word–the one which, if uttered at the correct moment would turn an empty hand into a delighted you?  The one required at times to turn an empty stomach into a contented belly, a stern look into a pleased smile?

Behold the power of the “magic word.”

When I was growing up, the magic word was “please.”  But today, as adult responsibilities, moral responsibilities, ethical realities, human commitments, earthly desires, and input opportunities [think phone, TV, etc.] flood our lives, I’m thinking the new magic word is “no.”

Not that “No, thank you” wasn’t part of the etiquette teachings of my day.  It’s just that “Yes please” was more magical, more rewarding.

Now, I’m thinking that knowing our limits, grasping our discernible boundaries, happily stating a claim to our territory … I’m thinking these are ultimately equally rewarding.  It’s another way of saying, “Yes, please” to you.

And not only in adults.

What if our children intuitively knew how to enforce their boundaries?

What would all of our lives be like, what would our world be, if we valued the no as much as the yes?

Start with yourself, knowing who you are and what helps you thrive.  Then expand, expand, expand your circles.  Send out ripples of knowing, appreciating, respecting.

It’s what the world wants, it’s what the world needs … and it all starts right now within you.

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Diagnosis or Label: Must it be a choice?

You may know that I have selected, with my husband, to eschew diagnoses and labels–for the most part.

Sometimes, labels are helpful because they are succinct means of conveying a lot of information.  Sometimes that is exactly what we are trying to avoid when we don’t use them–a sense of individuality, of possibility.

On the other hand, a diagnosis is a tool.  It is a means of getting a picture of what you’re up against, what can be done about it, who might be in the same boat as you, how to find the best doctors and treatments to help you, how it might affect your family …

But you can see how that can be for the better or for the worse:  If the information feels limiting, it is.  You will need to reframe how you receive information and what you do with it once you have it.

So, for instance, you can ground and shield before you engage in information-gathering.  Ask that only helpful information reaches your heart and all else is discarded without effect.  If detrimental information reaches you unawares, ask that only that which serves your highest needs remains and all else is removed swiftly and completely.

Additionally, it can be helpful to remind oneself most assuredly that a diagnosis is a framework for understanding and optimizing your life in and through this situation.

It is an opportunity to discover relevant coping techniques, perhaps, while pursuing any healing that helps you reach your highest potential in life.

Moreover, a diagnosis is between you, God, and your doctors–your healers.  Make a conscious choice about how you present your afflictions so that you proclaim only what you know is true for you.

I find it handy to come up with an answer for questions, and for that I tend to stick with biological information:  “Her brain has trouble telling her arms and legs what she wants them to do,” is one example.

Most important is how you speak to yourself about it.  Chin-up, forward-moving self-talk will help you more than the contrary.

If, for instance, you were diagnosed with arthritis, you could write and speak and think and even feel about it in a variety of ways:

I have arthritis.
I am arthritic.
I am struggling with arthritis.
I suffer from arthritis.  [Oh, please don’t!]
I am afflicted with arthritis.

So how might you reframe this to honor your experience but also leave open the opportunity to heal?

Try this on for size:

Arthritis is a temporary part of my life which has given me the opportunity to learn, seek, and heal the deepest parts of myself and my heritage that has always been crying out for help.  I am listening now, and I am actively resolving anything and everything I am guided to heal.

Love heals anything and everything, so bring love to your language for everything, including all your pains and even your yearnings.

Thank you for showing me.

Another opportunity has arrived–pursue it wisely!

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Flip Your Day, Find Your Way

I love teaching this stuff to my kids.  Then my kids turn around and teach it to me. 

I had just taught my eldest son about how to turn-around a day that isn’t going well by saying something believable*.  I told him that instead of declaring what a rotten day it was, he should say something like, “I am so glad this day turned out to be so incredible.”  He agreed to give it a go, and it turned his day around quickly.  He still uses it regularly and with good results.

A couple of weeks later, after a whole bunch of messes in a row, I went downstairs to get something to deal with yet another mess, and my eldest son was in the kitchen.  Both of us were having a time of it that day, but while I was wallowing in it, my son was saying, “I’m so glad …”  So I joined in with him, and that was all it took.  Turned my day around!  [Which reminds me, say thank you for every difficulty too, and we will be well on our way to making the most of our days and our lives.]

When The Going Is Tough:  When you are using an I Am statement to turn something around, make it a statement that you find believable.  That is why I suggested a statement that he could imagine himself saying at the end of the day–it is easier to imagine the day working out alright in the end when you’re in the midst of feeling rotten.

When You Want to Live With Purpose:  That’s also why I like an affirmation that doesn’t detail all of the little things but focuses on the big picture, like thinking/feeling/visualizing all day that at the end of the day you could proclaim, “I really lived this day to its fullest!”  At the very least, it is a reminder of what your highest priority is–to live the day to its fullest.

Maybe your priority is to maintain your calm, find your center, maintain inner peace.  Or maybe it is to feel that you lived in the moment, lived with purpose, or found your way.  Or to serve God in all you do and say.

You can turn your life around with it, too!

*This is a combo of Law of Attraction, The Magic  by Rhonda Byrnes, and what I learned in a Lifeclass with Oprah and Joe Osteen.

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When the Going Gets Tough, Say “Thank You!”

It was hard to wrap my mind around this nugget of wisdom when I first came across it.  Even though Maya Angelou said it to Oprah, more or less.

Here’s how it came to make sense to me:

We often look back at a difficult experience and are capable of seeing the good that might have come from the experience.  The lemonade part, right?

From a logical standpoint, the sooner we welcome an experience as a gift, we start feeling like this is all part of a plan and therefore under control–the mindset that everything is going to work out alright in the end.  This calms us down.   This opens us up to clarity.  We can think more clearly, feel more clearly.  It’s like the situation already has been resolved.*

From a spiritual standpoint, gratitude puts us very deeply into the space that you already have what you so badly want.  It’s a key aspect to attracting what you want to manifest in your life.

It is easier to employ this technique for the more typical trials and tribulations — like when someone has just shouted something rude out their car window in the parking lot.  Or even for the difficulties more typical of the human experience — like the angst of trying to figure out your calling in life.  I admit that I even went a bit in this direction when my daughter was born without the gift of breath, trusting that it was all part of The Plan.

But if you can even use it in just the smallest ways–when you have a spat, when your wifi doesn’t connect, when you get stuck in traffic–your life will feel better and lighter.

*Speaking of which, when my youngest was young, I often would pray for an immediate smooth and easy resolution to the situation at hand.  Just such a resolution quickly would reveal itself.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!