New Beginnings? Yup, Happy New Year!

We are a week into the New Year. 2017 is going to be a “Barn Burner” of a year. It is a start to a new 9 year cycle. The arbitrary date on the calendar says a new cycle – a new year – begins. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere we have made it through the shortest day of the yearly cycle and are now, slowly, heading back into the “light.” The ritual of the New Year can be a time of reflection, to take stock of our lives and of our lessons to determine how far along we are. How far have we come and how far we must still travel in this pilgrimage through this life?

Some of us make “New Years Resolutions” which, by their nature, are designed to be disregarded almost as quickly as they are declared. However, the awareness of your progress and the affirmation of what still needs to be done (or experienced) has great relevance! What still needs to be done can become the “focus” and the direction which points the way to your travels through this life. Running in Circles does not serve us, in the long run. Steering out into the current, to move us down stream through the rapids and experiencing the eddies we must encounter, and transcend, is our life’s path. (In case you are unclear, we are all souls traveling in the “River of Life” and we are all “One” with our fellow souls….)

It is worth remembering… You are NOT alone! You have support. You are a blessing! You are an important part of the whole of divinity!

Your purpose is to Grow in Wisdom & Joy! As a Master, your purpose includes sharing and connecting with other pilgrims because we must all work to get THERE (higher consciousness, Heaven, Grace, the Divine) Together! (We are in Human Form to “Communicate” our lessons and to Serve!)

Blessings to You on the journey… Take one step at a time and focus upward on the path before you.

Namaste… (The Perfect Divine Spirit in me Sees, Knows, and Loves the Perfect Divine Spirit in YOU!)
(And, this is MY lesson in this life… Not an uncommon one, we share.)

Consider sharing your Mastery and wisdom with the community: Masters of the Journey!

Happy New Year: 2017

Happy New Year: 2017 OR Any New Year

I am preparing for the start of the New Year. There have been massive shifts and changes in this past year and the dawn of this new year will bring an increased need for vigilance, acceptance, and action in form of sharing LOVE to confront the “Dark Forces.”

First let me say: You Are a Blessing! Yes, you are an important part of a much greater Universe and YOUR Divine Spirit plays a pivotal role. You may not believe this because your ego and mind have created limits in your thinking but your soul/spirit are a cornerstone to all divinity!

Second: YOU are a Master! You live with the challenges of survival in your current “Meat-suit” (life) and YOU have wisdom (from life experience) to share. You can serve all consciousness by telling your story! Your struggles are lessons for all of us! Your challenges are part of OUR pilgrimage to higher consciousness! Even your pain is important as a tool for all of us to learn from in this “Human experience.”

Now with that said, what are you going do in this New Year? How are you going to share your story for the benefit of all? We are all in this together. We are all “One” in the Divine Universe. No one crosses the “Finish line” alone. We must all do this together.

Our Earth is at a cross-roads. Life, as we know it, may not survive much longer on this planet because humans have NOT learned from our own violent history as “Takers” and we have “soiled the nest” in ways that may be irreparable. Mankind may have to stop being, so our world can regenerate itself… This is the nature of life. This is neither “right” or “wrong,” it just is… Humans have not evolved fast enough to keep up with our new technologies. Just look back since the late 1970’s and early 1980’s to realize that we do not know how to live with an overpopulated world, with limited resources, and an internet communication that is so easily manipulated by small minded angry, immature people. Is this a “Judgement” or just a fact…??? (I am serious in asking this question!)

So, how can you make the very best out of the limited time we have on this Earth (World)? Suggestion: Look into the eyes of everyone you encounter and know that they are there for a reason. They are part of YOUR lesson. If you “like” them or if you are challenged to understand their perspective, then they are very important to your learning. Look into their eyes and find the “Divinity” and their perfection. Know that they are fellow seekers AND Masters! In your way, reach out and take their hands. Share unconditional love, no matter what your judgmental mind thinks! Perhaps you will remember that THEY are YOU! (They are struggling with their lessons just as you are with yours.)

This New Year offers you a new chance to begin a time of remembering your important role in ALL consciousness. I challenge you to move toward the “Light” and share your wisdom, more by example than in words, of the evolving spiritually awakened soul that you are, have been, and will continue to be.
Namaste and Blessings!

Masters of the Journey is a forum to connect with other seekers and to share your story. You can also discover resources which may enhance your search for remembering the Divinity within you. Or, you connect with other events and resources through our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney

Sharing Wisdom and an Act of Service

In our spiritual community, Masters of the Journey, we practice a “Triad” process. This is a small group sharing of experience and the wisdom gleaned from living through the challenges of life. The purpose of the Triad is to gather three people into a conversation based around the “story” of one participant known as the “storyteller.” We are all “Masters” and have wisdom to share. If you have lived your life and survived to this age, you have learned from experiences and are moving along your “path” on your pilgrimage through this life.

As an example, the “storyteller” may share a story regarding a treasured experience with a personal mentor. It may have been a special college professor or a wise uncle/aunt or supportive coach who offered you some life changing information that set you on an important direction at one of the cross roads of your life. The lesson was a personal one yet it holds wisdom that can be used by other fellow travelers. The willingness of the “storyteller” to share and the active listening by the two other members of the Triad can make this a moment of “service” for all involved.

In the Triad process, the “storyteller” offers an experience which is heard by a focused “witness.” The second member of the Triad quietly and with focused intent, listens to the story. Using strong listening skills including good eye contact and “open” body language seeks to fully experience the story. Little or no verbal feedback is offered unless a clarifying question is required. The “witness” offers appreciation at the end of the 3-5 minute story. It may be appropriate to communicate what the value of this story has been for the witness. (A key is for the “Witness” to not interrupt or offer their own story but to allow the speaker to share their perspective until offered feedback at he completion of their story.)

The third member of the Triad is the “Observer” who focuses on watching both the “Storyteller” and the “Witness.” The “Observer” feels for the connection and rapport between the “Storyteller” and the “Witness.” When the “Observer” offers feedback, she/he may share information regarding the skills of the “Storyteller” to communicate their story and also may give feedback regarding the skills of the “Witness” to fully serve by observing the story. These are skills that carry over into relationships in life beyond the “Triad” process.

The act of witnessing is a powerful act of service. Focused listening and demonstrated “caring” can be therapeutic for the storyteller. In my training as a counselor for children, the theory of psychotherapeutic counseling was often less important that the act of “connecting” with the child. When these children were fully heard, respected, and Loved (Cared about) by the counselor the positive bond was created and the therapy could be effective. Outside of counseling, each of us can be of service by developing our skills to listen more fully, connect with the speaker, and then to share the wisdom of the experience of this sharing. The simple but powerful act of sharing a story and having it fully appreciated by the witness creates moments of learning for both sides of this experience. If you believe that we are actually “one” with all other living beings, then the respect and appreciation for another person’s story is a deep respect for yourself and the Divine Spirit within you (and every other soul.)

Do not take it lightly. Your witnessing of the lesson learned raises the consciousness of all the souls which are participating. Raising consciousness in all is the purpose which we all share. This common bond brings us closer and we can find the connections which offer positive learnings. Treat others with the respect of knowing that they are part of a much larger consciousness and though it may be difficult to see, every person has God within them. We may benefit from the raising of consciousness so we may better “remember” that we are all one and that each one of us is a Master with the wisdom of the Divine Spirit within our souls.

Blessings to you and all the fellow pilgrims you, and serve, along your path.

Namaste.

Masters of the Journey’s website and connections are found at: www.mastersofthejourney.com

Work: Being True to Spirit at Work

Much of our time is spent working. We spend more of our time with our fellow employees, employers, and clients than we do with our family, children and friends unless we work at home. As we focus on our work we often lose track of what we are here to learn. We can get caught up in the superficial thoughts and requirements of commerce rather than basking in the divine spirit. The egos which surround the work environment can draw us away from the consideration of the perfection we can find within the heart and soul of those we interact with while at work.

Are money and other forms of financial success at the core of why we came into this life? Is the separation from other people due to business competitiveness the satisfying answer to our spiritual needs? Can we bring to the workplace the love, gratitude, acceptance, and deeper feelings of “oneness” which we strive to learn in the lessons of this lifetime? These are difficult questions to answer when we may have two differing tracks in our lives, work life versus spiritual practices. But, can we find a balance?

Work requires our time and attention for long periods during many of our days. But setting the tone as we begin the day may be a big part of the solution. A day begun with quiet reflection and meditation which includes a review of activities of the coming day seen in the most peaceful and mutually successful way can set the the best spiritual environment to find success. It sets a positive loving tone for the day and can benefit the energy that vibrates out in all directions. The opposite of holding on to anger, fear, anxiety, and frustration sets the vibration of your energy off in the another direction, which may not prove beneficial to positive outcomes.

Sharing your most positive feelings can help to reduce the negativity that pervades the business climate in most work places. Caring about fellow workers and clients demonstrates the most basic, positive spiritual practice because this demonstrates that we are all in this together and even the act of work does not have to create separation. Connection, acceptance, and gratitude for others in the work place is the blessing that provides for higher consciousness. Even the difference of opinions or beliefs can become an opportunity for learning and provide movement along your spiritual path.

Ask yourself if acquiring possessions and creating a large bank account will really be satisfying and fulfilling. In many wealthy communities, the residents are torn emotionally by their “need” for more and the “need” to protect their property. This often gets in the way of relationships, life satisfaction, spiritual growth, and good health (mental and physical.) Your heart will tell you, if you listen, what makes you happiest and healthiest.

Blessings as you follow your path and use work to connect rather than to separate yourself. Find the ways to serve and assist all of the fellow travelers that you meet along the way.

Consider our supportive non-religious spiritual community, Masters of the Journey or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney.

The Art of Being Present

What is the advantage in being Present? How do you achieve the state of Presence? In moving along your path in life, when should you strive for “being fully in the Moment?”

Have you ever had the telephone conversation or the face to face meeting with another person who was clearly “somewhere else” and not tracking your communication? In our busy world, this happens all the time. You have to repeat yourself or you feel insecure that you were not fully heard or understood. You have to question your communication partner to “check in” and to know that they were not so distracted that they did not receive your important communication. People clearly have a great deal on their mind and they are being torn away by the invasion of of text messages or other manifestations of interrupting technology. We are so “plugged in” that it is difficult to invest fully in the conversation with the person in front of you or on the other end of the telephone. A client may not feel fully connected with you if you are lost in another thought and this may cause a transaction to go poorly. Your friend or family member may get frustrated with your lack of focus and may lash out at you in frustration. These situations happen all to frequently. Many people do not have the awareness, and then the control, to be able to quiet the distractions and really focus on the present moment and this is sad.

Missing the moment that will never come again is a loss that you can not ever recover!  There are times when you can multi-task but human interaction is very important and should not be short changed by your distracted and disrespectful pursuit of multiple thoughts or activities. Remember when this happened to you and how you felt this lack of respect and consideration! If for no other reason, you will miss out on the most joyful and satisfying moments in life if you are not present!

Achieving the state of “Presence” requires that you reduce internal and, if possible, external distractions. Begin by NOT thinking of your answer or response before your communication partner finishes their statement. Listen! Listen with ALL of your senses. If you require clarification, ask supportive “open ended questions.” Make eye contact. It is rude to not focus your vision upon the person who is speaking. If possible, feel the emotion of what is being said. Use your intuition to read “between the lines.” There are many times when you may need to clear your mind and relax your body to reduce internal distractions and this may benefit from learning how to meditate and to find yourself in the present moment. If you can be present, you will be happier and healthier. Your relationships can improve. You can find interpersonal success more easily.

Being fully present can become more a positive habit if you practice and learn more about what is distracting to you, AND, learn to let this go. Remember, that the respect you show in listening and interacting can be beneficial for personal learning and will improve your relationships. It will even SAVE YOU TIME in the long run. Try it and see for yourself.

If you manage other people or want positive outcomes with your family, learning to be fully present is a mandatory skill and life enhancing experience.

Blessings to you on your path and watch most carefully each foot step on your journey toward consciousness.

More information and support can be found at: www.mastersofthejourney.com and our Facebook page www.facebook.com/mastersofthejourney

Art of Listening

Is Communication Important?
Is Connection important?
Is Listening important to relationships?

Is there an art to effective communication?

At the core of good communication are two essential skills:
The art of offering a clear communication
The art of Receiving a communication

In this Blog, we focus of the Art of Listening:

Good Listening can involve:
Hearing what is being communicated but also of importance to receiving an interpersonal communication is the use of other primary senses. I will explain why, seeing helps hearing. Also why, feeling helps hearing. Even smelling and tasting can play a role in experiencing a communication.

There is a philosophy which believes that we have two ears and one mouth because we are supposed to listen twice as much.

Hearing is much more than just registering the speaker’s words. It can also include: tone of voice, volume, choice of wording, pace of speaking, pauses and silences, and the unspoken content or what is left out of the communication.

Seeing: Non-verbal cues: gestures, body language, facial expressions, breathing patterns, the speakers presentation are things which we “see” consciously or unconsciously. Very essential to good communication is encouraging eye contact and attention. Being focused and “present” without distracting thoughts in the witness/listner will allow for better connection and comprehension of the communication.

Feeling: Will include listening between the words and feeling the impact of the words which are used. Interpreting the hearing and the visuals that are presented. If physical contact is a part of the communication, feeling your partner’s intent through pressure or movement can be a feeling which communicates volumes.

Humans use less of the sensations of smell and taste in communication but these subtle cues can also add to the experience of the communication. Consider how perfume or body oder add to the experience. Or, how the smells of the environment can enhance or detract from communication like baking bread or the pungent smell of antiseptic in a hospital room. And, what does the taste of a shared meal do to add to a communication.

Perhaps the most important skill in the Art of Listening is to be “Present.” This is easier said than done. Being “Present” involves using your focus to minimize your internal distractions. Avoid extraneous thoughts or the habit of finding an answer to what you hear until it is your turn to add to the conversation. Even if you get defensive, it is better to hear the speaker out and ask clarifying question to make sure you fully understand what is being said so you can answer most effectively. Emotions can cause “knee-jerk” reactions which often cause more harm than good in a possibly tense conversation. It would be better, in most situations, if you treat your communication partners as if they were a very important figure like: the Pope, or the President, or even God. With this intended reverence in listening to your speaker, you have the best chance of “Hearing” at all levels to get the very most from the communication. In other words, listen to your communication partner as well or better than you would want to be heard.

To sum up, the Art of Listening is more than registering the words you may hear. Read between the lines and feel what is really being communicated. Use every one of your 5 physical senses and your intuition (or gut feelings) to take in the full communication. And finally, in the Art of Listening give the greatest gift of respect which one person can offer another by being fully focused and present with the love and appreciation that comes from the deepest honor the “Sharing” that you are being gifted to receive.

Coaching and training are available at the Stress Education Center, www.dstress.com.

Key to Communication: Really Listening!

Successful communication in interpersonal relationships can be very important in business and in one’s personal life. This is not difficult to realize as a concept but it can be difficult to achieve. There are many variables that help a communication or make communication go terribly wrong. Some of these variables you can control and some you can not. An example, you may be very focus and clear regarding an important topic of conversation you may have with a client but you can not control the client’s focus or state of mind. They may be busy on “other” things and can not “engage” or focus on what you are saying.

So let’s discuss some of the variables that you can understand and control. Two of the most important ones in interpersonal communication are Timing and Listening. There are many other variables which we will discuss in other articles but let’s start with these two variables.

Timing is key in every aspect of relationships. If one side is distracted or unavailable, it is not fortuitous for the success of a communication. Scheduling the time and getting an agreement regarding this appointment are essential when your communication is critical. If you can not create an environment that is relatively undistracted and conducive to an appropriate exchange then your important message may be missed. Find the best time and space for you to communicate. At the beginning of the conversation, it may be best to ask again if this is a “good time” to talk, knowing that just because your partner has shown up at the appointment it does not mean that they are ready and undistracted. So, checkin. Make sure the table is clear and they are ready to participate. If not, and your communication is of critical value, you may have to reschedule or risk the failure of the process.

Perhaps even more importantly, is the skill to listen! It is easier said than done, but an essential key to great communication is not speaking but listening to your partner. If you interrupt, or think ahead, or find an emotional tangent to distract you, or simply lose your focus, your partner will sense your lack of “presence” and be distracted in a way which may make the meeting destined to failure. Use all of your senses to focus and to listen to what your communication partner is saying. Make eye contact. Relax your breathing to encourage your partner to relax. Respect your partners words and their opinion even if you may disagree. Do not interrupt! Keep your mouth closed until you can assist your partner by asking and “open ended question” to help clarify what they are communicating. Restate what you have heard to make sure you are very clear about what they are attempting to convey to you. Only after restatement and permission to response, is it a good time to find your appropriate answer. Show some gratitude to your partner. As a reminder, shouting someone else down does show intelligence, maturity or respect for a positive outcome.

Hint, for the best possible communication: Listen to your communication partner as if you respected this relationship so much it would be as if you were listening to the most honored elder or even, as if you were sitting in the presence of God. (Some people believe that you can find the perfect spirit of the divine in everyone, if you look for it.)

It has been said that we were given two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much. This is critical in personal relationships, friendships, family, and in business. Timing and listening. You are going to be more successful if you remember these keys to better communication.

We will have more to share regarding communication. This is a start. Please respond and try these two concepts in your next “important” communication.

Coaching and training are available at the Stress Education Center, www.dstress.com.

Can a Retreat Program Change Your Life?

Have you ever participated in a retreat? Was it for spiritual growth or as an education experience? Perhaps it was a healing retreat to help find relief for a physical or emotional challenge. Was the retreat a weekend or week long experience? Did you spend the money to travel to this retreat and find that your life was changed making the value was very high for you? Or did you have a negative attitude about time and money spent on a retreat-like experience?

Many people have paid lots of money to go on vacation. Some vacations are “retreats” in practice, if not in name. Weeks on a cruise ship or a golf vacation are actually retreat-like but perhaps without the focus upon a specific outcome. Most people hold vacations in their memory for their entire lives. These were rewarding experiences that, in subtle ways, may have changed your life.

There are retreat centers that have recognizable names such as Esalen on the Big Sur coast in Northern California. Since 1962, Esalen Institute has offered healing and “growth” retreats for professional development and for the general public. This is a model that has been duplicated, in principle, by many other organizations. Often a retreat is “lead” by a therapist, author, philosopher, artist, poet, healer or expert in some emotional or physical process. There are many styles and formulas that can be used to impart the necessary information. Often people who attend these retreats learn that the information they receive is secondary to the experience of the “process” that brings individuals and the group to their highest levels of insight. The “process” is what the retreats are really all about and this cannot be gleaned from books, audios, videos, or conference calls. This process can include the physical and emotional experience of connection to the information and also the connections made with others attending the retreat. The connections are important and possibly even therapeutic, making the experience a life changing event. By making these meaningful connections with others you can change your self-awareness and in doing so change your life.

Not all retreats benefit every participant deeply. Every participant brings to the retreat their own energy, history, and past experience. Not everyone who leads a retreat is skillful at reaching out to every participant. In some cases, the connections are not made and so the retreat experience may have less value. Some participants go with the belief and intention that it will change their lives for the better. They are ready to transform and do not resist the new insights or deny the insights they experience. Often people fear change and resist the process.
Insights gained from retreats can have long-lasting effects. These changes may happen rapidly and be integrated into the participant’s life in dramatic ways or they may manifest more slowly over time and have a seemingly subtle effect. Rapid, sudden change is not always good or even long lasting.

If you are reading this blog and have made it this far, I would appreciate you contributing the past experiences you have had on personal growth retreats. Why did you go? What did you expect? What knowledge, information, or benefits did you receive from the process? How did the experience change your life? Did the connections you made with other people or with the process continue in your life? Would you recommend a specific retreat process and why was this retreat so life-changing for you? Thanks in advance for your input. (Send your thoughts to wellness@dstress.com)

I have lead retreats for many years and I am building new retreat processes for the future. My dream has been to build a retreat process that helps to pair people with specific health or emotional challenges, like PTSD, anxiety, chronic pain, etc, with professional therapists and coaches who wish to be trained in assisting individuals or groups of people in the processes that can relieve these challenges. I have floated around the country offering programs in various venues but I would love to see a retreat facility that has been created to certain specific criteria so the very best retreat work can be accomplished. Any thoughts on this are also welcome.

I appreciate your time and attention. I hope to meet with you in a rewarding and productive retreat process in the future. Until then, please take good care of yourself. AND, keep open and growing along your way.

If you would like to explore the Retreat Process for yourself or for your organization contact the Stress Education Center through www.dstress.com.

Getting Out Your Own Way: Find Success

World class athletes are using sports psychology to improve their performance. The stress of high level competitions can create situations where an equally matched opponent may win an event because the stress may block the best performance by his closest competition. A small amount of muscle tension may reduce the speed of a track sprinter by 1 hundredth of a second and make this person come in second. 70% of the training time of these high level athletes is spent in the mental preparation of preparing for the stress of competition. The combination of controlling the impact of stress and practicing positive mental visualization has been proven to enhance performance for athletes, musicians, and people in business.

In my Executive Coaching practice, I am often asked to use tools from sports psychology to help develop the skills that lead to success. For example, I was working with an Executive Vice President of a large financial organization and he found that the tools help him to relax and focus better so he could could get his 8 hours of work done in 6.5 hours so he could accomplish more in less time. He found his productivity went way up. Then he found that his ability to communicate, and to delegate, was enhanced. This lead him to be acknowledged as a better leader for his division. Profits were up. Mistakes/accidents were down. His people’s morale was elevated. All of these good results and success were attributed, in his view, by the coaching and use of sports psychology. It required about 20 minutes a day of his time and it saved him time, energy, and increased profits.

This is not a secret but it does require motivation. It is not difficult, but it does require a new way of thinking and behaving. Business leaders are using these techniques more now than ever before and showing the cost benefits, not only for themselves, but for their organizations.

The secret is learning how to “Get Out of Your Own Way.” There are articles related to this at the Stress Education Center’s website at www.dstress.com (on the “articles” page and within earlier postings of this blog.) You can also go to the website for more information on Executive Coaching and Organization Development.

Keys to Developing Self-confidence

Self-confidence is related to feelings of self-worth and self-regard. It suggests that a person has confidence in their abilities and how they present themselves to the world and that these abilities are born out of oneself. People who project self-confidence often find it easier to attract success and to gain support for their endeavors. If you have it, you use it. If you do not have “it,” you may desire it.

The keys to developing self-confidence can come from the inside through self-awareness and self-acceptance or you can learn to project it outwardly and do so until it soaks in to your emotional fiber.

One of the accepted self-confidence practices is the “fake it until you make it” behavior. This behavioral technique asks that you project yourself as a self-confident person would and as your external self demonstrates this attitude, your internal self will begin to adopt this external portrayal. To do this, consider dressing well and enhance your appearance as best you can. Many people require coaching advice on how to do this because it does not always come naturally, and can be done incorrectly. This does not have to be financially expensive but does require some coordinated efforts. Project yourself as confident by having good posture, standing up as straight and as tall as you can. Smile warmly and easily. Give sincere compliments and look for the “GOOD” in other people to build them up and do not dwell in the negative. Avoid gossip and negativity. Walk faster and with intention. Make eye contact. Speak up, do not mumble. You do not have to speak fast or talk just for the sake of talking. (Unnecessary talking can sound desperate.) Learn to really listen and respectfully reflect back the understanding, or lack of understanding, that you may have of your communication partner. (Let them finish. Be patient.) Use a firm handshake when you greet people. Demonstrate your positive excitement about learning new things and about life in general. Look for what is good and do not dwell, too much, on what is missing.

Internal self-confidence takes more effort and time. Your motivation to be self-confident will be tested. But a deep core of self-confidence can last a lifetime. To accomplish the ability to dwell in internal self-confidence begins with a demonstration of self-love and self-care. To do this you must put time and effort into taking good care of yourself. You will benefit from regular exercise and stress management. In fact, it is difficult to hold on to your self-confidence without regular demonstrations of self-care. Deep relaxation can also lead to a type of self-control that allows you to control your fears, anxiety, anger, and sadness. You can minimize the fears and maximize your solid emotional foundation through regular stress management practices. Even when you become self-aware of a possible weakness or flaw in yourself, you will better able accept these as lessons rather than be a victim to any of your imperfections. We ALL HAVE IMPERFECTIONS and we must learn and adapt new ways of “being” to help us move past any of these discovered flaws. This is sometimes easier said than done and counseling or coaching may help expedite your process of moving through the insight of any imperfections. “We are perfect because of our imperfections.”

Focus on your strengths, your gifts, your creativity, and your positive contributions. By dwelling on these, you allow the positive light of self-confidence to begin to burn more brightly from your inside, out. And, though difficult, learn to accept and appreciate any sincere compliments that come your way. Build, brick by brick, the feelings of self-worth and self-regard that come from demonstrations of your positive contributions to your family, friends, work, and to the world. Give gifts of yourself freely and without expectations but maintain healthy boundaries (do not emotionally bankrupt yourself.) Find “positive” people to support you. Negative or desperately needy people will drain you if you do set limits, and honor these limits.

Finally, demonstrate gratitude. Self-confident who are healthy will understand that this is a blessing and will find ways to show how grateful they are for feeling their self-confidence.

For coaching support, consider the Stress Education Center at www.dstress.com and please take GOOD care of yourself.