Living an Amazing Life.

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Beautiful Young Woman Outdoors. Enjoy Nature. MeadowUntil  I had the courage to dream of a better life, I wasn’t able to have one. Dreams are what life is made of. They give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning and a reason to go to bed early at night, so you can wake up and start all over again.  But like anything worth having, dreaming takes work, which often requires that you walk through something that you’re afraid of.

You’ll encounter many obstacles along the road to living your dreams.  Some obstacles may be real, while others may be imagined. One of the real obstacles that can definitely stand in the way of living your dreams is negative core beliefs!

We are what we believe. And we create our reality based on what we think. Like it or not, your beliefs influence your attitude and your behavior – and how you behave is what defines you.

When I believed I wasn’t smart enough to go back to school, my actions supported my beliefs. So I didn’t even try. But once I realized that to live the life I wanted I had to honestly confront the things that were holding me back. I knew that I would have to face my fears head on and just walk right through them! And when I started believing I could really do something to change the course of my life, I took actions that supported those beliefs. That’s when I finally enrolled in school.

Despite the negative feelings I often had about myself, I became willing to behave contrary to those feelings. Every time I accomplished something that I didn’t think I could, and got to the other side, I felt great!  Each small step brought me closer to living the life I always dreamed of living.

So ask yourself what your core beliefs are. But you may find that seemingly simple question tougher to answer than you think.

One thing you can immediately do to better understand your beliefs is to listen intently to what you say. The words that come out of your mouth can often reflect what you really believe, as do the thoughts you keep in your mind.

So what do you dream of?

Are the words you are using and things you are saying compatible with your dreams, or do they conflict with them?

What beliefs are you holding that are restricting you from taking positive actions towards living your dreams?

Remember, the more you resonate with your dreams, the more likely you will start to live them.

Feel free to join my conversation on FacebookFacebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts pageTwitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.n.

 

 

Show Love Through Action

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Self-Love.

Illustration depicting a green chalkboard with a self worth concept written on it.

Self-love. Learn to love yourself.

Love is an action word. It goes beyond the words to the doing. It’s the behavior behind the words that make the concept of loving come alive. Think about it. How often have you said something with your words, but your attitude, facial expression, and behavior said something different?

How often has someone said “I love you” to you, but his or her behavior spoke of something really different? When you love people, you treat them in a way that shows you care about, cherish, treasure, respect, and honor them. And charity begins at home.

How easy is it to say you love yourself, you treat your mind, body, and spirit with disrespect, or allow others to do the same. If love is really an action word, how do you express self-love?  Some people believe standing in front of the mirror repeating “I love me” is an expression of self-love. Others believe if you we are beautiful, stylish, and wear expensive clothes, you love yourself. Still others buy into the notion that if you live in the right neighborhood, are attached to the right person, send your kids to right school, have the right credentials behind your name, or drive the right car, you show the world how much you love yourself. If that were the case, every rich person would feel good about who he or she is.

I am a firm believer that self-love starts with having the courage to be ourselves, under all conditions – to not compromise who we are in order to be liked by others. How easy it is to live a lie, live as others would have you live, at whatever cost. One of my uncles died young. He was only 43. While he knew he was gay for many years, he never quite came to terms with who he was.  He allowed other people to define him. It didn’t work. Now he is dead.

Self-love is having the courage to live our dreams and do what makes us happy in life, so that we don’t wake up one day and say, “I wish I would have…” Self-love is about practicing self-care and making our health a priority. It’s hard to say we love ourselves when we don’t take care of our health, which includes eating properly, exercising, and maintaining emotional balance. When we love ourselves, we are willing to set boundaries and protect them, knowing that “no” is a complete sentence all by itself. When we love ourselves, we are willing to make amends with ourselves and keep them. Self-love is demonstrated in the choices we make in relationships, money management, and careers. Indeed, self-love is very much about the things we do, more than about the things we say.

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on FacebookTwitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.

 

Loving Others Starts with Self-Love

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Self-Love. Self-Care.

Illustration depicting a green chalkboard with a self worth concept written on it.

Self-Love.

For many people the idea of self-love generates negative thoughts and feelings about narcissistic, ego-driven people. We think of those who care little about others unless they can further their personal or professional goals. But if you genuinely love yourself, you engage in behavior that includes both honest and continual self-care, and kind and generous treatment of others.

There’s an age-old theory that you can’t love someone else until you truly love yourself. This point has been debated by countless experts and the popular answer is, indeed, you cannot love someone else until you truly love yourself. And I agree. How can you care for, honor, or cherish another person if you don’t honor or cherish yourself? How can you give away something you don’t have? How do you even know what it looks like or feels like if you’ve never really experienced it?

There’s a wonderful old saying that is applicable here: Charity begins at home. First love yourself, and then you can love someone else, without judgment and attachment.

For so many of us, men and women alike, our self-esteem is dependent on something outside ourselves, such as our spouse or the man or woman we are dating, the neighborhood or house we live in, the job or career we’ve chosen or the amount of money in our bank account or stock portfolio. Without those things, we perceive ourselves as nothing, unless we’re taught otherwise or have role models who show a different example of how to see ourselves.

Our Choice.

Make no mistake about it, we are taught how to view ourselves. We learn to value or devalue ourselves as men and women by the examples we see in the movies, on television, in magazines, and at home. And the music we readily listen to reinforces the message of self-care or self-loathing. Sometimes the message is subtle and sometimes it’s flagrant. It’s always our choice what we do with it.

Learning how to love oneself is a lifetime process. Self-esteem is contingent on what you are willing to do to nurture it. How are you demonstrating self-love in your life? What are you doing differently today?

Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on FacebookTwitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.

From Dreaming to Manifesting

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Dream. Reality.
It’s one thing to dream, and it’s quite another thing to turn dreams into reality.

So how do you get from dreaming to manifesting?

Simply put, the more you focus on your dreams and goals, the more likely you will realize them.

Take a moment to remember successes you’ve had in the past. There is a saying, “Success leaves clues.”  It is a simple way of saying, when in doubt, as to your ability to succeed at something you want to accomplish, just think back on something you’ve already succeeded at doing. Thus, success leaves clues. It’s like leaving success tracks. Think about how you accomplished the first goal. What steps did you take. I bet if you recounted your steps, you could use that same (or a similar) strategy for succeeding at a goal you have on your mind today.

Next Steps.

The next step in going from dreaming to manifesting is to begin setting goals. A goal is a specific plan, a blueprint, for making your dream come true. Having specific goals gives you a sense of direction by letting you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there. This is how the seemingly unattainable becomes attainable.

When I decided to become a lawyer, I first created a plan, then I divided the big plan into small manageable pieces.  Then, I broke those tiny pieces into even smaller pieces. Each piece became a doable part of the whole. Had I focused on tackling the big plan all at once, it’s unlikely I would have succeeded, because the task would have been too big, too overwhelming, and seemingly unreachable. BIG would have given me an excuse to AVOID. So I created small, reasonable goals  – mini goals – within my big goal. It worked! Taking small steps was the answer. I baby stepped my way to success, and continue to do so.

So the next time you think your dream is too big and can’t be accomplished, break your goals it into small, manageable pieces that enable you to see and celebrate your progress – one step at a time!

Feel free to join my conversation on Facebook, Facebook Esteemableacts Fan Page, or my Facebook Law Page, you can also interact with me on my Twitter Esteemable Acts page, Twitter Law Page, or on LinkedIn.

 

Love Life. Live life quotes.

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I Ain’t Dead yet!

Live life.

Live life.

One of the good things about my life is that I have all kinds of friends and acquaintances. Some are moms.  Some are dads. Some are childfree. Some are retired. Some work. Some are gay. Some are straight. Some aren’t sure.  Some are dreamers. Some are not. Some like their life just like it is. Some do not. Some are willing to take risks and try new things. Some live in a self-created prison and allow their fear to stop them (even though they are afraid to admit that).

The friends I am most grateful for are those who believe that their life is continually evolving and are willing to stay in the game and discover the next chapter.  I especially love my girlfriends who are in their 60s, 70s, and even 80s who look amazing and who are active participants in their own lives.  If they are retired, they are still DOING things instead of waiting around to die. To them, retirement does not mean the end of life. In fact, for me at 63, I believe I have a lot of good, productive living left to do.  Why would I retire and drop out of life when there are so many more great places to visit, wonderful new people to meet, and fabulous new adventures to experience.

High heels, facials, and pedicures.

On top of it all, I’m still getting pedicures & facials, and wearing heels!

It’s kind of funny about the heels.  I still wear high heels and often women will ask me with great interest, “how can you wear those heels?” Then they proceed to tell me, “well you’re still young, so you can walk in them.”  I laugh, first because they think I am younger than I am, and often, they even think I am younger than they are.  I just take it in and laugh because my attitude is that I will continue to wear high heels until the moment I can’t.  I don’t wear mini-skirts, hot pants or dresses cut to my navel anymore, but I do love me some high heels!

So are you letting other people define you simply based on your age? If you are, you are doing yourself a great disservice and missing out on what can be a fun, productive, and yes, even an exciting life. Time doesn’t discriminate. Those who are 21 today will one day be 71 and 81, if they are lucky. Yes, our culture has become more biased in favor youth, but you don’t have to live in the box society places you in. You can live your life on your own terms.

As for myself, I ain’t dead yet, and I’ll live my life on my terms for as long as I can. Won’t you join me?  I’m Francine Ward living my life every second of the day. Facebook. Twitter. Google+. LinkedIn.