Self Esteem

Growing Group: What does Personal Growth mean to you?

Why is Personal Growth vital for your Well-Being? Some words become so over-used that they sort of lose their meaning…Things like awesome and amazing can become almost meaningless with overuse. But the term “Personal Growth’ is one that has become a ‘buzz-word’ of late.   It should not be overlooked simply because it’s become a popular term. Personal Growth is a concept, but it’s also a goal for life that we can use to highlight a variety of events and situations within our own personal storyline. And when we do achieve a measure of meaningful growth, it’s something that goes beyond simply amazing and awesome. It’s a point of personal pride that helps us from deep within our lives and it reflects in our spirit and in our attitude about life and personal fulfillment.   For an example of how to achieve Personal Growth, there’s the story of someone who began their life as a carpenter (Not Jesus-in this instance!), and ended up becoming one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Or the woman who began life as a simple dressmaker, and became an icon and symbol for the Civil Rights Movement! Those famous examples are Harrison Ford, the actor, and Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights legend.   Both of them started out in life with humble beginnings, and achieved great things. And of course, we cannot all become famous celebrities when we achieve Personal Growth! However, the idea is that when we work hard and believe in ourselves, we can make our dreams become reality.   Why should you be concerned with Personal Growth? In life, there are times when we look back and we may have regrets about the way we could have handled a given situation. “Why didn’t I say THIS to that person?!” , is something we might think. Or we may find that we need to stand up for ourselves, or some project or another person, and we cannot find the right words or lack the right energy to carry it out. And we often feel like we have failed when this happens. That is why it’s important to do a “Gut Check’ at times and find out what we need to do to gain the confidence and the motivation to grow in our own lives. Ways to learn and grow as a Person   There are so many ways that we might find to help give us that attitude of courage and confidence to achieve our goals. Here are a few tried and true methods:   Take courses and study to learn more about what we love Find a Mentor-at work or in your community-to help you grow Read up on a subject -or travel to find out more about what you love   All of these are things that you can do to start to achieve some of the personal goals that you may set for yourself for the future. And these are all things that may take time. Or you might have to save your money in order to fund a long-term education goal or a travel destination. Begin Today!   For some proven methods that will help you focus your time and your energy on achieving your goals and attaining Personal Growth, there are several easy ways to help you kick-start your plans and motivate you as you begin your journey. Find out much more when you download the Growing Group Power Point to help you organize and begin to plan your next steps. And visit our Growing Group magazine and website to begin your journey today!  

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The Growing Group: Know Thyself

  For The Growing Group, this month we are looking deeper at our own inner wants and needs to find out what it means to grow in strength and wisdom and character. From some of our past experts and research, we have gathered a list of ten things to help us as we continue our journey of growth and self-exploration. Here is a short list of topics that will help us to better know ourselves! Number One: Self Realization Being self-aware concerning who we are is vitally important in our everyday lives and interactions with others. For example, if you know you are not good at public speaking, you shouldn’t be the person representing the group when you prepare a major presentation! If you are better at research, or even excel in smaller group settings, you should work on acknowledging who you are. Number Two: The Hierarchy of Needs This is a way psychologists assess our individual wants and needs. In Psychology, some of their jargon can be confusing and isn’t designed to be simple enough for the average person to understand and comprehend….which really defeats the purpose! But, the Hierarchy contains 4 things:  *Self-Actualization (Who you are!) *Self-Esteem (How you feel about yourself) *Love & Belonging (Your place in society) *Safety & Security (How comfortable are you in your daily life?) Number Three: List of “My Favorite Things”   This is a personal list to keep on hand and journal your favorite things. You can add to the list periodically. We all remember the Sound of Music where Maria signs about “A few of My Favorite Things!” We can all have a list that gives us a ‘pep in our step’ of favorite things…to go to and to rely on and to help us; like comfort foods-to give us balance; help us heal and be emotionally fresh and rested Number Four: Keeping a Journal of your “Greatest Hits!” We have seen “Brag Books’ from Moms & Grandma’s. But if you have a journal, keep a page to list your major accomplishments, You can keep this privately, but still, you need to acknowledge and add to your own list. Most of us don’t like to talk about ourselves and do essentially a “Brag Book’ which is the type of thing Grandma will carry around with pictures of the grandkids she proudly displays. We need to have to tear down the mental block that prevents us from creating a visual “Brag Book’ for ourselves of our own accomplishments. We know what we are proud of, the things we have done-if they are jobs we had-our children-trips we took-goals we achieved-even things we were proud we could walk away from and realize they were not good ‘fits’ for us! All of these things are part o your own “Brag Book’ of achievements to use as you visualize your own list of accomplishments in life   Number Five: The Rules to use for Personal Growth…. The Rules we have used in past Growing Group exercises include the “Blue Dolphin” rule, the “Milk Carton’ rule and the “Big Bird’ rule! For your own personal list of rules to set up in your journal, here are our suggestions: *The Blue Dolphin Rule: This is a rule to use when there is an unpleasant situation or experience you are dealing with. Imagining a beautiful picture of something that you love-a Blue Dolphin-or a favorite photo or image-can help you to visualize and to actually work to help you meditate and gravitate out of the hostile atmosphere and back into a pleasant state of mind. *The Milk Carton Rule: A Rule for living with someone who has difficulty in respecting boundaries or suggestions. If someone has been told to please put the milk back in the fridge as it spoils if left out, and they repeatedly leave it out, then you can find yourself in a full-blown war if the tension builds up! However, solving the problem by buying your own carton, marking it and putting it in your own space will help to reduce the resentment. It’s a way to go around the difficult atmosphere for a short-term solution! The Big Bird Rule: For those who may look at problems and not find a solution. The actor who played Big Bird would see his character at times from a different perspective with a camera that was facing inward to allow him to see how he performed in costume. So if you can focus the lens to see how you are performing, at work or in relationships, then it can help you to figure out how to move forward and allow a different perspective on your own thoughts and interactions! Number Six: Know Your Passions What makes you ‘You!” We have often said the goal of The Growing Group, of doing exercises and examining your life, is to create the “best of all possible You’s!’ That includes knowing what you love, what your passions are in life….all these things that make you special and unique and set you apart. It’s a notion that is from “The Unexamined Life” quote attributed to Socrates: “The Unexamined Life is not worth living.’ Number Seven: Embrace Your Strengths We mentioned earlier that some people may not be good fits for public speaking and extroverted activities. Some are good at research. Others love to crunch numbers, some love to cook and decorate. Others like to travel and exercise and go to concerts! Embrace your strengths and your own unique qualities! Number Eight: Know Your Capacity for Learning… This is something that we have seen over and over listed as a vital element in healthy aging, in balanced living and keeping yourself engaged! One of the themes from The Growing Group that we frequently return to is the one that urges everyone to embrace a lifetime of Lifelong Learning! Number Nine: Know Your Capacity for Love Strong relationships make us human and interesting and better at communicating effectively. When we have close

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The Growing Group: Have you ever done a Life Audit?

  Have you ever done a Life Audit? Your reasons for doing a life audit may vary. If you’ve never done one, then it can be a good time for self-reflecition in more than one area of your life. You may look at jobs and career growth, at your relationships, at your dreams and goals that you’ve had in the past. And from there, you can begin to organize and plan and create new goals in your life! If you are planning a career change, or perhaps are thinking of retirement or ‘Act II” in your life, then a Life Audit will benefit you immensely!    Getting Beyond the Typical Life Audit Questions One suggestion is this: Go beyond the typical life audit questions. For example, simply looking back and analyzing your strenghts and weaknesses or focusing on one or two episodes in your life. They may not reflect the whole picture of what you intend.  And the audit should be a basis for analysis that moves you forward! It’s not something to tuck away in the drawer simply to be forgotten! Think of the Reason for doing the Audit!   The REASON for the Audit should be about finding helpful ways to move forward.  All of life should be about moving forward. This is a good way to apply your findings to what you are doing in the here and now! It’s a way of looking at the past and then gleaning ways to work in the present to make it better!     Looking back on past moments- reframing the ‘failures’ phase…   A good idea when beginning to go through and reflect on your past in different areas is to work to reframe your own ideas of what has been deemed as success in your life.But also, examine closely what you have looked at as failures in your life. One of the best things about doing a Life Audit is to be able to sit down and use the past to reframe some of your actions and career goals and finding out that instead of failure, you needed those moments that didn’t work out in one instance in order to find the success you later had in an entirely different field or project! In other words, look for the teachable moments…    Looking at teachable moments   What you may have seen as failures were perhaps those moments when you learned a valuable lesson the hard way! And when things don’t turn out as planned, we can ofen use those mistakes that are part of life to continue and to persevere and then to succeed in another time and place. You do not want to clutter up your ideas and goals with pages of wish lists you’ve used in the past. The best way is to sit and to select carefully those things that you have wanted in the past-and the things that you did want and no longer seem to need or have a yearning to own or to do! That will eliminate Find the best ways to set up your own life audit categories   We recommend keeping it as simple as possible. Personal Growth/ Relationships/ Family/ Travel Goals/ Learning Goals/ are all good basic categories to start. You may then want to reduce it to five areas in your life that you want to reflect on and to grow with in the future  Looking ahead: Using past events to build Future Success! Ask yourself this:  What is the purpose when you do write your goals? And after you have been through the past and have had time to reflect on what worked –  what were the most successful outcomes you had? Or could imagine still! The next thing is to connect the two. Look at your past and  see how you achieved success. Or if you have seen others succeed using a plan of action, take a good look at what worked for others. Are there people that may help you that you may reconnect with? Or is there a successful project that you can rehash or adapt to use as a model for a future goal? Don’t get hung-up on the “Debbie Downers’of Life!   Look at the things that held you back or may have been obstacles to achieving your goals in the past. And find the connections that will help you to overcome these obstacles in the future. With planning and foresight, when you foresee the hurdles and drawbacks ahead of time, it will help you in achieving success in the future At the Growing Group, we recommend doing a life audit at least once every year. It doesn’t have to be at the start of the year, but may be when you have time in the summer months. And when you can relax and reflect on what has occurred and the things you would most like to repeat in terms of past success, then you can begin to plan for the successful outcomes that a Life Audit may bring to you!  

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Spiritual Guideposts for Lent

For Palm Sunday…Here’s the Spiritual Guideposts for March Bible Passage You will have Success…Be Strong & Courageous 1 Chronicles 22:13 The Christian Life is open to new challenges.. We have to be ready to say –Yes! To the life we were meant to live-with Courage! From the Book: Life Coach/Christ Coach   “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it.” And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes. Scripture: Matthew 7:21-29 From Life Coach:  The point is so simple: Do you or don’t you? Will you or won’t you? Your life should be built on  a strong foundation. Beginning this month, work on making your word your bond. Make sure that you have a reputation for truth and honesty. And when you say you’re going to help someone, just do it. It’s that simple. If you cannot do something, don’t promise that you will. Not because Jesus says you should or shouldn’t. Jesus is teaching you, of course, to grow in the spirit.  Therefore, you will learn to make your word your bond because you want to build a reputation in your life for being the type of person that is depended upon when things go wrong. You can become a leader & a mentor for others.  But you must start by building your life on a strong foundation of truth and honesty. You can start today & go one step at a time. This month, commit to doing something for others. Your Motivational Passage   Everything that is done in this world is done by hope.” – Martin Luther At first, I thought this was from Martin Luther KING but the original Martin Luther was also a pretty good thinker!….Hope is the thing that set him off and made him want to begin to embark on something new.  He found the courage to challenge the world as his namesake so many years later challenged a new generation.  In both instances, they saw a place where people were tunnel-visioned and filled with dark despair and guilt and pain and hate. If your message is carried with hope, the world can become a changed place… (By the Way- Barack Obama’s message, too, was one of “Hope & Change’….It’s a message that still resonates today!) From Zen Koans   One of the Zen Masters was approached by a student who told him he had a problem.  Will you solve it for me, he asked? The Master agreed, but told him to wait till the evening lecture. That evening, he called the young man up front and then told the assembled group , “Look! This fellow has a problem!” He then shoved the man aside and quickly left to go to his room. The lesson? That if you have a problem, know that it is something immediate. It cannot wait till the evening to find a solution. And perhaps if you are asking for help, you need to be aware that the Zen Masters will not work to make your problem-solving EASY for you! You are there, after all, to work to unravel the questions put to you by these Masters of Zen. They will not be fooled!    

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Five Favorites for January from 6 Degrees!

Happy New Year to all! This year is one where there is so much happening (Everything…everywhere…all at once!), & it seems we are starting with a bang right out of the gate! This first week is about the resolutions that are always sort of a ritual we all know. We start off with the best of intentions but…life catches up with us and well…it kind of falls flat by that second month! We have been working on that in “The Growing Group’ by just ‘reframing’ the notion of starting off big and ending with a whimper. Just to begin this month, we are all taking a step back and looking at our “Life Audit’ notes and the journaling notes from last year. It can help us decide where to begin and when is the best time to start making those plans for all of the things we envision in our future life! Number One Favorite! New Resolutions for a New Year! A good idea:  Make a list of the most Realistic Resolutions and your Goals to work on…The key word here is “ Baby Steps.”  Just keep adding the small steps each month to take to make your long-term goals, your dreams & visions come true!   Number Two: Celebrating the Mind/Body Wellness Connection! The second favorite is focusing on the Mind/ Body Wellness Connection…which is officially on January 3rd.  (But we have extended our resolution for this to every day of the year!!!) Our Growing Group has focused a great deal on the links between taking care of your physical health and your own mental health in concert with the other things you do to stay healthy. Eating right and staying fit are important elements for a sound body. But making sure you have mental health breaks, a plan in place for times when you are under stress and need to talk and ‘vent’ with someone are all just as vital for your long-term health plans! Number Three: Gluten-Free Day! The Third Favorite is on January 15th– Gluten Free Day. I have a lot of recipes in the PC Cooks cookbook that just happen to be Gluten-Free. But the best place to pick up new ideas is online at our Strictly Gluten Free Magazine on Flipboard! Personally, I’ve eaten Gluten Free for almost 30 years (Long before it was a ‘thing!) So it’s nice to see so many different ideas and recipes on how to cook and live gluten-free-both online and in current cookbooks. Number Four: The Hunt For Happiness Week! Number Four is about Happiness…The Hunt for Happiness Week is a good time to begin your own journey to ‘up the game’ in your quest for greater happiness. Gretchen Rubin has a best-selling book, The Happiness Project’ and Oprah has a book out too: “Build the Life You Want”. Our own “Growing Group’ is the best place to start your journey for happiness. You will find weekly self-guided exercises and motivation each Monday to strt yor week off on the right note. And from there, you are not required to journal, but it’s suggested you begtin to keep a personal file or notebook for your own individual markers and challenges to keep you on track. More energy and motivation, inspiring stories and verse, new ideas and tips to help you raise you” “EQ” (Your Emotional Intelligence), are just part of the tools you will find when you join us at The Growing Group each week! Number Five: Celebrating Life! Finally, the Fifth Favorite thing is the Celebration of Life Day on Monday the 22nds of January. It coincides with Roe v Wade Day, and to me, there really isn’t a controversy to see here. We celebrate life, diversity, different opinions and viewpoints, but above all, we celebrate life.  And that includes the rights and freedoms that we all share and probably take for granted at times! So that is why it’s not a shocking thing to celebrate our goals, our plans for freedom and happiness, our resolutions to make in the New Year, and our own unique lifestyles that make us unique and defines who we are as individuals!

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The Growing Group Round-up: Finding Fulfillment in your Life

This month in the Growing Group Round-up, we look at the different ways that the experts and specialists are helping us in our Growing Group journey. And the articles and different suggestions and inspiring quotes are all stepping stones to help us each month. In recent weeks, we have concentrated on the many different ways to look for happiness. The ways you can define what happiness means to you are important. And that also encompasses fulfillment. The “Bucket list” ideas are just another way of looking at goals you set and dreams you may have in your life. Fulfillment as part of the Plan Fulfillment is part of planning and actively looking for your happiness. Being a movie buff, one of the scenes that was most moving for me, in the classic film, “The Sound of Music’ was when the Reverend Mother told Maria that she would have to seek her own happiness and look for her life. She couldn’t hide from it. That is why the movie has been so inspiring! Fulfillment of your dreams can come in so many forms. Some of the experts have written that fulfillment consists of autonomy, mastery and purpose. For so many that can mean quite different things. The freedom to do what you would like can be a life-changing experience for those who have left their jobs and retired. Mastery of something you have loved to do, or would like to accomplish, can open up a whole new world for some that may have just begun to master a new hobby, The Growth Mindset for The Growing Group! And purpose is the mindset we can embrace in the Growing Group. Because they are speaking of the “Growth Mindset!” It is the fulfillment of dreams, and can also lead to so many bigger things. For example, it could open the door for you as a way to help charities.  Or you may find a cause that will lead you to meet new people who believe passionately in the same things that you do! These are all part of having a Growth Mindset. And finally finding ways to stop comparing yourself with others and coping with things you cannot control are all part of your quest for fulfillment and having a growth mindset to adhere to in your life. Moving Forward in your life Here is a modified list of some of the suggestions that can be building blocks for you in your Growth Mindset. They are all ways to move forward in your life. Think better of yourself-Practice Practice Practice! Embrace the concept of starting over and not Failure! Let go of those thoughts and people who radiate Negative Energy Be mindful of doing your best; Embrace your friend Good Job! Opposite of Perfection Pest!!! Mindfulness and living in the moment are your allies The Little Things mean a lot to someone you can help on a small scale today  

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Growing Group Round-Up

The Round up for this month in Growing Group includes several different articles that offer suggestions and tips on how to find happiness in life. They range from lists to improve your Everyday habits to simple suggestions such as listening to upbeat music and singing! There are even scientific studies now that work on ideas of finding ways to advance your ‘authentic self.” Harness the Power of Positive Thinking! The science has advanced a long way since we were introduced over a half a century ago to the “Power of Positive Thinking” from Norman Vincent Peale. But still, Dr. Peale’s remedies are part of the equation. Because once you have begun to adopt a positive attitude, the battle is halfway won! There are steps to organize your life, which should help all of us in a search for a better life, regardless of our quest for happiness! And finding ways to inspire us, to motivate us, and to uplift us is what “The Growing Group’ is all about. For those of us who see that we are on a journey, it brings us to one of the quotes we used last week. David Bowie reminds us that on the journey of life, there are many different waves of emotion and levels of being we experience, and it is all happening at the same time. And like the adventures from Alice in Wonderland, we have to make sense of things when we are coming and going all at the same time! Growing Group Article Round-Up Here is the Round up for the month to help us keep our feet on the ground and our hearts and minds lifted and open to new experiences each week: 10 Practical ways to improve your Happiness Things we need to say to ourselves more often Ways to organize and create new habits for a happier life 10 Simple ways to find Positive Energy and Optimism starting Now Uplifting Notes to ourselves to empower us each day All this along with more inspirational quotes and ideas will help guide you into the month of May as we think about all that we need to do before the summer begins!

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Monday Muse: Your Growing Group Round-Up

March has been a challenging month. This month, we’ve talked about how to meet those challenges in the face of ongoing adversity. And in the past weeks, there has been much that has been identified that would cause great strife and sorrow. Not simply the ongoing war that we hear of daily from a faraway place, but the struggles that we face here and in our personal lives as we wrestle with decisions that can affect our lives or our loved ones down the road. Some people have health challenges, others may have pressing family problems caused from other people or from those who are close to us. Financial struggles, and worry about what might have been or what could be are all a part of our list of things to worry about each day! The Growing Group cannot help us to relieve those worries by creating instant solutions to end all of our problems. However, those of us who are in the group can relate and feel empathy and even suggest solutions that may help alleviate some of the worry and fear that is generated and may be unwarranted in many cases. Here are some of the nuggets that have been pulled for you from the list of suggested articles by experts this month. They have already served to help me in my own quest to find closure and solace as part of an extended family that is grieving the loss of someone we loved dearly and has recently died. “You Got This” Quotes   To use when you need a boost and motivational encouragement for those hard tasks that all of us sometimes face! Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, Not ABSENCE of Fear– Mark Twain Do one thing every day that scares you–Eleanor Roosevelt I think a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles– Christopher Reeve You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you are going to go to bed with Satisfaction– George Horace Lorimer If you are not willing to risk the usual, you will have to settle for the Ordinary- Jim Rohn The first step in getting what you want is to have the courage to get ride of what you don’t–Zig Ziglar Life Goes on Quotes   Some quotes to use when we have discouragements, setbacks, and sorrows, and need to encourage ourselves to move on! Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go-Hermann Hesse Your Past does not equal your future-Tony Robbins I’ve had a lot of success; I’ve had failures, so I LEARN from the failure– Gordon Ramsey We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them- William Arthur Ward Virtual Mentoring: Upgrade your Life   Mentors- Do you have them? I have always been able to embrace the good advice and words of wisdom that my real-life mentors have given to me. But at times, we find ourselves in need of critical advice and may not have the practical and caring encouragement that we need from our friends and family. One of the newest guidelines that has intrigued me, as someone who has known the value of books all my life, is that we may adopt ‘virtual’ mentors. One way to do this is to simply research a subject that we need well-meaning and focused advice about, and then use the expert you need as a kind of virtual mentor. Doing this expands your horizons to those who are experts, who have lived and have experienced hardships or succeeded in difficult circumstances, and they are brilliant and wise mentors who can help you in a focused way. One piece of advice: Read a book carefully. Take your time and focus on the guided categories that will pertain to your specific needs. Find the time to take notes and take it all in. And if you are careful and can use the information to your advantage, who knows? You may be the expert writing advice on this subject someday! Mentally Strong People do this…   Don’t be afraid/ Have Faith/ Trust the Journey The advice you receive in this article is about ways to manage your expectations in life. And realize that sometimes, we build things up in our minds and have ideas of what our own success and failures can bring and that may cause more real emotional damage than simply allowing things to unfold. Letting go of expectations of what things are ‘supposed to be’ and living in the here and now is some of the best advice that anyone can give you.  And coping with life as it is-challenges and all/ warts and all- is the only way we can allow ourselves to grow. What to say to ourselves more often   Here is a list of some things that we need to say to ourselves more often. I have a journal, (and I advise all of my friends and Growing Group members to keep one too!), that is full of the types of self-encouragement that we need to expand on and use in our lives daily. There is a phrase called “self-love” that I am not as comfortable with. It is meant to convey the type of motivation and encouragement we all need to use for ourselves. But rather, I like to talk about our inner strengths, our own voice and spiritual guidance that is part of the whole that makes up your faith and your inner core of values and wisdom. Love is key to all we do and of course, we can never be truly happy and free without love for ourselves as well as others. Here are some key phrases to use and to keep in your personal journal: *I can’t control everything that happens I can control the way I RESPOND to what happens *I will not get caught up in what

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Monday Muse: A Valentine’s Day Lesson in Love & Healing

  Learning to love yourself-This is a prerequisite for all things when talking about love. It is when you can truly love others and help others that you can learn to help and to heal others. In The Growing Group, there are several unexpected Valentine’s to give to yourself this February on Valentine’s Day. And these are ideas and quotes and motivations that will stay with you through the year!   Find Your Virtual Mentor The first is to find your mentors as you read your favorite books. Today is International Book-Giving Day, and a wonderful place to begin is to remember and revisit all of the newly-acquired mentors that you will find when you read the quotes and passages from your favorite authors. The notion of finding a ‘virtual mentor’ is one that can be familiar to all as we have revised our thinking during the pandemic years. So let’s take a moment to find some favorite passages and quotations that were part of the books you’ve read and loved through the years. For my part, Atticus Finch would be one of my virtual mentors for sure! (See the end of this to look for more suggestions of books to help guide you…)   The Metaphors of Love in your life… Looking at some of the metaphors found in The Growing Group magazine, we see they are used to illustrate how to think of your burdens and to bring about a positive mindset. The positive perspective is one of the best Valentine’s presents to receive! Look at “The Weight of Water’ in the metaphor for a glass that is half empty/half full and see how to look at the glass you are holding in a different light.  Looking at the cracks in the bucket in a different light is a helpful metaphor for the realization of how the cracks and leaks can also be of use to all of usl! And seeking the realization of the delights of eating a tangerine, or the benefits of floating in water…all of these are ways to look at ourselves and our lives in a different light! Another way to seek positive affirmation is by learning to handle criticism well.   Author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin advises us  to listen carefully and to learn to ‘enjoy the fun of failure,’ as she describes it! Valentine’s Day Quotes on Love & Motivation… Another way to learn how to see love in a different light is to seek affirmations and to seek love through the ideas that others use to inspire and motivate us. Here are some quotes from our Growing Group magazine that deal with the notion of love in all its different forms. How you learn to love yourself can affect the relationships and the amount and quality of love you ‘bring to the table’ to give to your family and spouse. And it may also be a reflection of the love you can generate and convey to others in your life. In other words, Love is the driving force behind all you do or all you should be doing! And that is the other important message from Valentine’s Day…. Walt Disney’s Inspirational Quotes From Walt Disney, here are some unique quotes to further advance the notion that we need to start within and move outward as we grow and expand our capacity to love… Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Jones’ do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life was brought — sometimes it isn’t much, either.” “The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.”   Black History Month reveals inspiring quotes on Love & ‘Making the Impossible-Possible!”   In honor of Black History Month, here are some of the most prominent African-American authors and influencers who have helped shape our culture, talking about love and loving yourself and doing the impossible! It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.” Eartha Kitt  “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”– Oprah Winfrey Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”– Muhammad Ali “You are your best thing.”-Toni Morrison “It always seems impossible until its done.”-Nelson Mandela  “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it-“Maya Angelou Recommended Reading to help you on your journey! Books to find your “Virtual Mentor” and to help guide you in your Growing Group journey! THE POWER OF FUN: HOW TO FEEL ALIVE AGAIN-By Catherine Price If you’re not having fun, you’re not fully living… A WORLD WITHOUT EMAIL: REIMAGINING WORK IN AN AGE OF COMMUNICATION OVERLOAD By Cal Newport LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST-By Devon Price For too many of us, our self-worth has become a function of our productivity. In other words, we only feel good about ourselves by working hard… TRACKING WONDER: RECLAIMING A LIFE OF MEANING AND POSSIBILITY IN A WORLD OBSESSED WITH PRODUCTIVITY-By Jeffrey Davis A refreshing counter-voice to the exhausting narrative hyper-productivity… Mantra: This week I begin with the thoughts of healing and of the power of love in healing. I will look at things I have taken for granted and now see and appreciate more.

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Visioning

The Growing Group: Realizing your Vision

In realizing your vision, you should first establish what your vision is and what it is not. It is not a dream or simply a goal, but a concept in which you imagine and then form a vision of your goals. Once you have a clear and defined vision, you can then set your goals and create a concrete example of that image to help you realize just exactly what you are striving for.   Your Vision Explored … Your next step is to sit down and to work out on paper, or by using a journal or sketch pad, just exactly what your vision entails. As it unfolds, this is one purpose for the Vision Board or Vision Book that many people utilize in order to begin to map out just what their vision is and what the future may look like as your dreams are realized.   Visioning Steps It may be helpful at this stage to include a list of things you do not want to become a part of your final vision. In your planning stages and in your ideal scenario, it will be helpful to have this list and to focus on those things which will help you to create a targeted plan, and those things which are not going to further your goals.   It is vital to be completely honest with yourself as you are working to realize your vision and map out your goals. You should determine your strengths and use them to present yourself in the best possible light. If you are interviewing for a job, or are simply meeting someone new, you will always want to be honest, but also to emphasize those things that are positive strengths that you possess.   Some tools that are most helpful in this planning phase will be   Vision Book: A Book and/or Vision Board are important to begin Journal/ Self Esteem Journal: This will prove to be an invaluable tool Planner: It is vital to stay organized and focused with a planner…   Realizing your vision When you have created a specific plan and mapped out targeted goals, it is time to work on the next phase.  That will involve creating a series of action steps that can help you to make your vision become a reality. Here are the tools you will need to begin:   The Vision Book: Download the book to use as your starting point… Our Journal: Keeping a journal; online or on paper, will prove to be necessary steps in your journey A Mini Planner: Download the planner to begin keeping track…

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