Posts Tagged ‘self-love’

AHAs!

Friday, May 9th, 2008

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I love those rare and often serendipitous moments when I see something in a new way for the first time. I wish that I could plan them but I guess, by definition, an AHA! has to come to us. Perhaps the most we can do to facilitate them is to remain open and not ignore them when they are jumping up and down waving their arms in front of us to pay attention.

One of my most memorable AHAs! came during my first personal growth seminar. The program had started on a Friday night and by late Saturday afternoon, I was tired, antsy, and cynical, muttering complaints under my breath about everything from the temperature of the room to the workshop leaders’ over inflated sense of purpose and drama. I judged the seminar to be a cheap imitation of EST, precursor to Landmark’s Forum and the seminar that anyone who was “in the scene” in the San Francisco Bay Area was taking back in 1982. Why hadn’t I signed up for the “real thing”? I had two reasons (excuses): First, I had heard that you weren’t free to go to the bathroom at EST seminars. If you had to go, it meant that you were trying to distract yourself from “getting it.” Having had numerous infections that had scarred my bladder, I wasn’t willing to prove anything to anyone about my lofty intentions if the pressure was on, so to speak. Secondly, my close friend was doing this seminar because her boyfriend had just done it and raved about it. I was willing to be dragged along to just about anything that mixed psychology and spirituality as long as I could go to the bathroom (or leave). Her boyfriend assured us that the doors to the seminar room would not be locked or guarded.

Saturday afternoon was now becoming Saturday evening and, while I had enjoyed the experience so far, I hadn’t felt that engaged. As I squirmed in my metal chair and offered a dramatic yawn (hint, hint), I heard one of the seminar assistants announce the next process. “For the next hour, one by one you will get up and walk to the middle of the stage. Everyone in the audience will shout out their judgments of you. You will not answer or speak. Just stand there until the room gets quiet again. Then sit down.”

What the @#&%*!? Who gives anyone the right to judge me? I can’t yell mine out at anyone else. They’ll hate me and say worse things back to me. I didn’t sign up for this. What good could possibly come from this ridiculous exercise? These people are full of @%#@&*!

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t really very open to an AHA! in that moment. Sometimes they arrive via two by fours, not magic wands, I guess. I sat frozen in panic, the sweat trickling down my armpits. I thought about getting up and walking out, reminding myself that since I had paid for this seminar, I had the freedom to leave it at any time. Remembering that I had a choice calmed me ever so slightly as the first brave soul walked up onto the stage for his haranguing. At first, no one said anything to him. In fact, you could have heard the proverbial pin drop in the room. The silence was broken by one of the assistants, who shouted some insult that made me wince. I couldn’t look at my fellow participant’s face, imagining the humiliation this barb had caused. Another assistant barked something. Then a participant chimed in. Traitor, I thought. If you hadn’t played into their hands, this would be over sooner rather than later. Suddenly, to my horror, shouts pierced the air from all directions. I kept my eyes on the floor for as long as I could stand it. When I did look up at the participant who was being forced to endure this agony, I was shocked to see him smiling. What is he, a masochist? A minute later the shouts subsided. As he walked off the stage, he said, “That was unbelievably liberating. Thank you.”

This didn’t compute. He had just been verbally abused by people who, minutes earlier, had pretended to be comrades. Why didn’t he feel betrayed? I knew I would if/when it got to be my turn. Which it eventually did…

I tried to hide my shaking knees as I took a deep breath, readying myself for the onslaught of insults. I didn’t want to look anyone in the eye just in case I started crying or my cheeks flushed. So I stared at the red light on the big coffeepot in the back of the room. By now, having warmed up to whatever this exercise was supposed to teach us, everyone began giving me their best shots fast and furiously. I noticed that when people talked over each other, I was annoyed. In spite of myself, I wanted to hear their thoughts and opinions about me. Some of them were pretty far out there. Others were downright funny to me. Others were inspired or witty, even if they didn’t feel particularly “true.” I realized that some people were attacking me with judgments I might have yelled at them if I’d been participating (which I hadn’t).

After a couple of minutes, I thought, I can handle this. It’s not so bad.Then the room quieted down. Each time that had happened before my turn, the seminar leader would say his one and only judgment. I was actually looking forward to whatever insight he thought he might have. I looked at him. He smiled slowly, meeting my gaze, and said gently, “One too many chocolates, Jane?”

Before I had a chance to think, I burst into tears. No, you don’t need to reread what he said. And it wasn’t the way he said it either. It hit me below the belt because it mirrored the biggest judgment I had on myself: I hated my body and shamed myself constantly for it. Yet I wasn’t fat. I wasn’t even really overweight. In fact, I was in pretty good shape. How did he know how I felt about my body? I had spent so much energy staying fit and trying to come across confidently. If a stranger could see through me so easily, what was the use?

AHA! I couldn’t put that moment of enlightened understanding into words right away. I just knew it was profound and that something in me had changed forever. In fact, I’ve spent the last twenty-six years teaching, coaching, giving speeches, and writing about it. If I distill it into one cogent thought, it is what the Buddhists said so wisely centuries ago: No enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts.

There are implications of this realization that are still being revealed to me today. Some of them include:
1. If someone’s judgment hurts or offends me, it is ONLY because it is mirroring a judgment I already have about myself.
2. Whatever I judge myself for, others will pick up on it, whether I try to hide it or not. So I may as well stop wasting my energy pretending anything.
3. Changing the outer me is fine but healing the inner me is necessary for true transformation.
4. Judging myself hurts my Self. The Self is too precious to abuse.
5. I have the power and obligation to choose what I think about myself. No one else’s rejection of me could possibly impact me as much as my own rejection.
6. If I want others to love me, my end of the bargain is to both think and behave in self-loving ways.
7. I am free to take risks as well as make mistakes when I no longer depend on others’ perceptions or approval.

I wrote in Enough Is Enough! that all our judgments are real yet none of them are true. I hope that this has even deeper meaning than ever for you.
Namaste.

Announcements

Create Your Abundant Life With Jane
at Club Med in Cancun!
June 21-28, 2008
Enjoy the luxury of a hassle-free, all-inclusive stay (food, drinks, lodging, and transportation from Cancun airport) at this newly renovated Club Med. PLUS experience transformational seminars and one-on-one coaching sessions with famous, top-notch personal-growth speakers and bestselling authors—at no extra charge!
I am offering a NEW program specially designed to enhance your experience at Club Med:
Create Your Abundant Life NOW!
What if you discovered, while on vacation, that your limiting beliefs were not true?
How do you know if you have limiting beliefs around abundance?
Do you feel that you don’t have enough:
• Time
• Money
• Energy
• Love
• Intimacy
• Fun
• Self-esteem
• Inspiration, or
• Direction
Don’t waste any more of your life suffering in lack. There is a Buddhist saying that no enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts. Three kinds of negative thoughts stop us from manifesting abundance:
• Fear
• Self-judgments
• Limiting beliefs
Any one of them can sabotage us, keep us stuck in a rut, stress us out, cause us confusion, or make us want to give up.
I will give you cutting-edge strategies and intriguing processes so that you will begin immediately to experience the abundance that already exists in your life and manifest your spirit’s deepest desires.
All-Inclusive Price (except airfare): Get your Friend of Jane discount $1999 (regular price $2600) / $1000 for children under 18. Your Club Med Vacation includes: 1. world-class accommodations featuring CD players, mini fridges, televisions and much more 2. full open bar 3. endless gourmet buffets and a variety of all-day dining options 4. transportation to and from Cancun airport 5. all programs 6. one-on-one consultations with the presenters. You may also sign up directly with Club Med for exciting excursions. You must book before April 23 to secure this reduced rate. Contact Teresa Williamson @ 650-759-1005, media@podium-pr.com or Raha @ 925-915-1515 soon as there are a limited number of reservations available.
Additional seminars from other transformational speakers and best-selling authors:

Cameron Johnson: You Call the Shots

Maybe you’ve watched Cameron on the Big Give with Oprah – now meet him in person. Cameron is recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. Over the last eight years, Cameron has given hundreds of speeches worldwide. Cameron is also the author of the international bestselling book, “You Call the Shots.” Cameron will inspire you with his story and motivate you to the next level of success.

Teresa Rodriguez Williamson: Build Your Personal Mission Statement

Teresa is the creator and founder of TangoDiva.com—a worldwide online social network and travel magazine for women. She is also the author of “FLY SOLO: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone.” She has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspaper articles around the world. Teresa will teach you how to create and build a mission statement that can guide you to success.

Chet Holmes: How to Double Your Sales

Super Strategist of the Fortune 500, Chet Holmes had more than 60 of the Fortune 500 as clients, taking his place as America’s top marketing executive, trainer, strategic consultant, and motivation expert. He is the author of the NO.1 bestselling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Chet will teach you how to double your sales – no matter what your business is.

Stephen Pierce: The Art of More

For many, Stephen Pierce’s name is synonymous with success. Recognized as one of the world’s leading Internet marketers and Business Optimization Strategists, Pierce wears several hats when it comes to his businesses. He will teach you how to expand your business in a competitive world.

Spike Humer: Consciously Creating Your Future

Dedicated to the passionate pursuit of creating joy, excellence, and positive abundance in life, health, relationships, and business throughout the world. He will help you create a clear and compelling vision for your life.
Contact Teresa Williamson at media@podium-pr.com for more information and to register. Put in your Subject Line: Club Med w/Jane Or call Teresa @ 650-759-1005 or Raha @ 925-915-1515
________________________________________
Dear Jane Podcasts
NEW! Listen to and Download Dear Jane Podcasts
I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!
________________________________________
Jane’s Coaching and Training
For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.
To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.
Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit JaneStraus.com for more information and testimonials.
________________________________________
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition
Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. Click here to see the contents of the book online.

What’s New:
• 60 additional pages at the same low price
• More quizzes
• Spelling / Vocabulary / Confusing Words
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• More than Two Dozen FREE Quizzes in interactive format with answers
Discounts available for schools, bookstores, and multiple copies. Click to order

Making Your “Habitat” Humane

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

As you read this, I am probably ensconced in a chair at my neighborhood café listening to strangers tell me about their concerns. (See my Coffee Talk announcement in last week’s blog.) In some fashion, I am likely to be asking them, “What risks are you avoiding taking that might very well make you happier?” Together, we will examine whatever fears, self-judgments, or limiting beliefs are holding them back, keeping them in Courtroom Earth instead of letting them enjoy hanging out in Classroom Earth.

Courtroom Earth is where we tell ourselves I can’t; I shouldn’t; I’ll fail; I’ll get rejected; No one will love me if…; I’m too…; I’m not enough. In Courtroom Earth, we are always on trial, just waiting for a “guilty” verdict. It is a place where we redouble our efforts to avoid humiliation or failure. It is a place of suspicion, doubt, second guessing, watchfulness, and hesitation. The feelings we experience in Courtroom Earth are boredom, cynicism, helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, or depression—the symptoms of Endurance that I write about in Enough Is Enough. It is in Courtroom Earth that we procrastinate, blame, and ridicule (mostly ourselves). How can we exit the Courtroom and start hanging out in the Classroom?

First, we have to know that Classroom Earth is worth risking changing our thoughts for. I’d like to entice you to the Classroom, where you don’t have to pretend to be perfect or to know all the answers. You are expected to learn by trial and error. You are encouraged to ask questions. You may re-do projects to get more practice. You are not threatened with repercussions or governed by fear but are motivated by curiosity, hope, and challenge. You are supported in contemplating questions that you may never be able to answer. With an open mind and an open heart, you get to discover who you are today, and nobody expects you to be exactly the same person you were yesterday.

So who creates this wonderful environment? You guessed it: We do! We create it by moving through our fears of rejection and doing “it” anyway, whatever “it” is. We create it by letting go of our self-judgments and replacing them with affirmations. We create it by questioning our own authority when it comes to beliefs that keep us isolated, lonely, or tight. Choosing to hang out in Classroom Earth is worth taking these risks, don’t you think?

Announcements:

Update on Raising Funds for the School in New Orleans

Your outpouring of generosity continues to be phenomenal. So that we can tally up the total and get the supplies shipped to J. W. Johnson Elementary School, please call in your donation by the end of the day, Friday, April 18. (See last week’s blog for list of items.) To help Robin of SchoolOutfitters.com process your order efficiently, please provide your credit card #, expiration date, 3-digit code on the back, PLUS your billing name, address, and phone number. Or you may mail a check to SchoolOutfitters. Here’s all the information you need:
School Outfitters
P.O. Box 141231
Cincinnati, OH 45250
1-866-619-5320
1-866-619-4320 (fax)
robin.fox@schooloutfitters.com
http://www.schooloutfitters.com

In next week’s newsletter, I will let you know the list of supplies that, together, we purchased for the school.

Kim Nance, the assistant principal, wrote this to us this week: After experiencing a hardship, we need reminders that there are kind people like your readers in our country. It’s been so important for our students to feel that people do have compassionate hearts.

Create Your Abundant Life NOW!
at Club Med in Cancun!
June 21-28, 2008

Enjoy the beautiful beach, delicious food, and luxurious setting while experiencing enriching programs by renowned self-help leaders, including a NEW program that I am offering:

Create Your Abundant Life NOW!

What if you discovered, while on vacation, that your limiting beliefs were not true?

How do you know if you have limiting beliefs around abundance?
Just ask yourself:
Do I believe that abundance is that which already exists?

If you can’t answer that question with a resounding YES!, then don’t waste any more of your life suffering in lack.

Here’s another test of your abundance quotient:

Do you feel that you don’t have enough:

* Time
* Money
* Energy
* Love
* Intimacy
* Fun
* Self-esteem
* Inspiration, or
* Direction

There is a Buddhist saying that no enemy can harm us as much as our own worst thoughts. Three kinds of negative thoughts stop us from manifesting abundance:

* Fear
* Self-judgments
* Limiting beliefs

Any one of them can sabotage us, keep us stuck in a rut, stress us out, cause us confusion, or make us want to give up.

You will experience cutting-edge strategies and intriguing processes so that you will begin immediately to manifest your spirit’s deepest desires.

Price: Get your Friend of Jane discount $1999 (regular price $2600)/$1000 for children under 18, which includes lodging, meals, airport transportation, and all programs. Check out this beautiful, newly renovated Club Med for yourself.
Luminaries Joining Jane as Presenters:

Cameron Johnson: You Call the Shots

Maybe you’ve watched Cameron on the Big Give with Oprah – now meet him in person. Cameron is recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. Over the last eight years, Cameron has given hundreds of speeches worldwide. Cameron is also the author of the international bestselling book, “You Call the Shots.” Cameron will inspire you with his story and motivate you to the next level of success.

Teresa Rodriguez Williamson: Build Your Personal Mission Statement

Teresa is the creator and founder of TangoDiva.com—a worldwide online social network and travel magazine for women. She is also the author of “FLY SOLO: The 50 Best Places on Earth for a Girl to Travel Alone.” She has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspaper articles around the world. Teresa will teach you how to create and build a mission statement that can guide you to success.

Chet Holmes: How to Double Your Sales

Super Strategist of the Fortune 500, Chet Holmes had more than 60 of the Fortune 500 as clients, taking his place as America’s top marketing executive, trainer, strategic consultant, and motivation expert. He is the author of the NO.1 bestselling book, “The Ultimate Sales Machine.” Chet will teach you how to double your sales – no matter what your business is.

Stephen Pierce: The Art of More

For many, Stephen Pierce’s name is synonymous with success. Recognized as one of the world’s leading Internet marketers and Business Optimization Strategists, Pierce wears several hats when it comes to his businesses. He will teach you how to expand your business in a competitive world.

Spike Humer: Consciously Creating Your Future

Dedicated to the passionate pursuit of creating joy, excellence, and positive abundance in life, health, relationships, and business throughout the world. He will help you create a clear and compelling vision for your life.

Joe Polish: From “Real World” to “Real Money”

Joe Polish is the founder and President of Piranha Marketing, Inc. Considered to be one of the most effective direct-response marketing experts in the world, Joe made his name teaching other entrepreneurs the marketing techniques and business strategies that came directly from his own “real world” work experiences. Joe Polish is a business strategy consultant and marketing expert who has helped thousands of entrepreneurs become successful. And during your week at Club Med, he will teach you his secrets to success.

Greta Remington: Innovative Thinking for Growth

What is the next “big idea” for your company? How do you know which ideas to pursue? Based on the greatest creative minds in history and the most innovative companies of today, Greta’s proven methodology for identifying market opportunities has generated millions in incremental revenue for her clients from the Fortune 500 to start-ups. Greta will teach you her step by step methodology for improving your innovative thinking and creating actionable ideas to grow your business.

Contact Teresa Williamson at media@podium-pr.com for more information and to register. Put in your Subject Line: Club Med w/Jane Or call Teresa @ 650-759-1005 or Raha @ 925-915-1515

Dear Jane Podcasts

I’ve got 32 podcasts available for listening so enjoy!

Jane’s Coaching and Training

For over 20 years, Jane Straus has coached individuals and groups, facilitated organizational retreats, conducted training programs, and presented keynotes for corporations and nonprofits nationwide.

To get exceptional results from coaching and training, you need someone who knows how to assess blind spots as well as enhance strengths. Jane’s coaching helps individuals and groups maximize their potential and improve their productivity and work relationships. Jane works to ensure that each client receives the wisdom, skills, and support he/she needs to succeed and often co-facilitates with industry-specific leaders who have chosen to mentor the next generation.

Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss your coaching or training needs or visit StopEnduring.com for more information and testimonials.

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation 10th Edition Now Available

Amazon’s #1 Bestseller in Four Categories!
#1 in Reading
#1 in Lesson Planning
#1 in Vocabulary
#1 in Grammar

An indispensable tool for busy professionals, teachers, students, home-school families, editors, writers, & proofreaders. If you buy the book through Amazon, please write a customer review. Reviews are immensely helpful at letting other consumers know that The Blue Book is a valuable resource.

5 Ways to Kick Start Your Life After a Breakup

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
 
icon for podpress  .: Play Now | Play in Popup | Downloads 871

Dear Jane,
I just broke up with my long-time boyfriend and can’t seem to find any energy for life. How long will it take before I can look forward to enjoying life again?

No matter what the reason for a breakup—the relationship was stale; you outgrew it; it was abusive in some way; you were left—you have to grieve fully, pick up the pieces, discover who you are NOW without that other person, and learn how to look forward to life again. So here are 5 keys to kick start your life and begin to thrive.

1. Have a pity party.

When you lose a relationship, you have a right to grieve. Unpopular as grieving is, it is necessary to experience. The more you beat yourself up about grieving, the slower the healing process. Practice compassion for yourself. You have lost something. You may feel like there’s a gigantic hole where your heart used to be. These feelings are hard enough without shaming yourself for them. So have a party—a pity party. Invite your closest, most trusted friends.
Give them these ground rules:

a. They are to allow you one hour to whine, cry, complain, berate your ex, make fun of him, call him names, talk about why it would never have worked anyway, why it was the best/most perfect relationship you’ll ever have. Your friends are there to support you getting it all off your chest.

b. They listen only; they do not participate in the berating, namecalling, etc. Why? Because you may end up feeling embarrassed or angry with them for having never said the truth to you before. And what happens if you get back with the guy? You’ll have to exclude your closest friends, knowing what they really think.

c. After the hour is up, your friends tell you one by one all the great things about you that they love, admire, and even envy. One person acts as scribe, writing it all down for you. Keep this list close by!

d. After you have been replenished with reminders that who you are has nothing to do with who you just broke up with, you ceremoniously burn a picture (or all pictures if you’re ready) of your ex while all your friends watch.

e. As the photo’s edges singe and it curls up into eventual nothingness, say the affirmation, “I release that relationship for my own good. Someone better awaits me when I’m ready.” Your friends say “Amen,” or “Right on,” or “So be it,” depending on your style.

2.Recognize that rejection is a myth.

Most of us have experienced feeling rejected. If we haven’t, we’ve been way too protective of our hearts. But really, can anyone reject you without your permission? Think about this: If you believe you’re smart and someone calls you “stupid,” what happens to you? Not much, right? You probably wonder what’s wrong with that person and might even assume that it’s their own self-judgment misplaced onto you. If you’re not judging yourself, someone else’s judgment won’t stick to you.

So if you feel rejected, you must be rejecting yourself in some way. If a guy breaks up with you, then maybe you weren’t right for each other. But if you pile on self-criticism such as telling yourself you’re ugly, unlovable, too fat, not smart enough, or too old, you are not only inflicting cruelty on yourself, you are lying to yourself about why the relationship ended. Relationships don’t end over any of our self-judgments in particular. They may end because we are self-judgmental, making it hard for someone to love us when we aren’t loving ourselves.

Whether you’re in a relationship or single, stop rejecting yourself, stop coming up with reasons why someone shouldn’t love you. It’s a waste of time and saps the love out of relationships with even the most potential.

3.Give yourself the love you want to get.

Once you stop rejecting yourself with self-judgments, start loving yourself actively. Do more of what you enjoy. Challenge yourself intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually. Take risks that will build your self-esteem. Notice whom you admire and realize that “if you spot it, you got it.” You couldn’t see this in someone else if it weren’t already within you. Nurture that part of yourself. Become your most extraordinary self and it is guaranteed that others will want to bask in your radiant glow.

4.Release your Resentments

Underlying every resentment you hold towards an ex is a regret you are holding against yourself. The wife who resented her husband for buying a new car without asking her was actually regretful that she didn’t have enough self-worth to let him know that she deserved to be a part of such decisions. The woman who resented her ex for cheating on her really regretted not confronting him sooner when her intuition told her something was amiss.

So uncover your regret because you can do something about it: You can give yourself compassion for having been too afraid to stand up for yourself. Then make a commitment to being more authentic and more courageous now and in the next relationship. The icing on this cake is that, by being more authentic yourself, you will invite more authentic people into your life.

5. (Re)Inspire Yourself

A lot of us wait for “that special someone” to make us happy. When we’re fortunate enough to meet someone who opens our heart, we may inadvertently give our power away by confusing the feeling of happiness with the object of our happiness. The longer we’re in a partnership, the more we may rely on our partner for our happiness and wind up losing our skills at creating our own joy.

Forgetting how to make ourselves happy not only will dull even a once-vibrant relationship; it also makes a breakup harder because we mistakenly believe that our source of happiness is gone. It’s not! Inspiration cannot be bestowed upon us by others, not even by Mr. Right, which means that no one can take away our inspiration either. Ultimately, it is our responsibility (responsibility = ability to respond) to listen to our spirit, the source of our inspiration and happiness.

Even if you aren’t happy about a breakup, you can re-inspire yourself. What did you like doing before you met your last partner? What interests did you develop during the relationship? What environments—physical, intellectual, emotional—buoy your spirits generally? If you like island breezes, then maybe it’s time to plan that trip to the Bahamas. If you like the challenge of climbing snow-covered peaks, find ecstasy in riding your bike through tulip fields, or feel most alive strapping on a snowboard, don’t deprive yourself. If sharing your time or resources as a volunteer does your heart a world of good, don’t just do it; do it now!

Remember that every day, single or partnered, grieving or celebrating, alone or not, we have the right to choose an extraordinary life for ourselves. All that is required is our willingness.

Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, www.stopenduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.

She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, www.grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes. Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

Your Highest Good

Monday, August 6th, 2007

Dear Jane,
I had a contract with someone for my services. Now this person has broken the terms of the contract and decided not to pursue the project. The decision has nothing to do with the quality of my work but is due to her personal circumstances. My preliminary work has taken countless hours and cost me money out of pocket. The contract is clear about what she owes me for the work done so far; however, she doesn’t want to pay because of “financial hardship.” I know I could take her to court. But what is your spiritual slant on this?

In my book, Enough Is Enough!, I talk about The Highest Good. The Highest Good means that you behave in self-loving ways and then trust that this is also best for others. No one can know what anyone else’s Highest Good is. But here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Will you feel victimized by this person if you don’t pursue financial compensation?
2. Are you harboring resentment that is likely to fester?
3. Do you feel ashamed or embarrassed to ask for what you deserve?
4. Do you have a difficult time advocating for yourself generally?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then your fear of confrontation and/or rejection is getting in the way of going for the Highest Good. You may talk yourself out of pursuing compensation, but it will probably cause you to suffer spiritually. Our spirits don’t thrive on fear; they thrive on challenging ourselves to move through our fears and on behaving in ways that support our worthiness.

Letting people off the hook tends to reinforce a belief that they can abuse others at will. It foments distrust and betrayal in other relationships. Therefore, asking someone to be accountable may be the Highest Good for all. In addition, it can remind us of the value of keeping our word with others and with ourselves. So the question to ask in finding the Highest Good is, “What does it mean to keep my word to myself and to act in self-respectful ways in this situation?”

Jane Straus is an executive coach, keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. To learn more about Jane’s executive coaching, to sign up for her free weekly e-newsletter, to see her TV interviews and videos, and to read excerpts from Enough Is Enough!, visit StopEnduring.com. Contact Jane at Jane@janestraus.com.

Executive Coaching with Jane

To get great results from coaching, you need a great coach who knows how to assess your blind spots as well as help you maximize your potential through revealing your greatest strengths. Jane offers one-on-one executive coaching that will help you and your company thrive. With great coaching, you will enjoy every aspect of your work more—guaranteed! Contact Jane directly at Jane@janestraus.com to discuss you or your organization’s coaching needs or visit StopEnduring.com. for more information and testimonials.

How to Commit to Yourself

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Dear Jane,
How do you commit to yourself as steadfastly as you commit to others?

When we are more committed to others’ well-being or happiness than to our own, we are suffering from low self-worth. Often, people who overcommit to others feel ashamed to even have needs or wants, accusing themselves of selfishness at every turn.

However, the flip side of this self-scorn is a buildup of resentment towards others. This resentment often overflows and spills out at the oddest moments, surprising not just the receiver but the giver.

The first thing you can do is recognize that this does not have to be an either/or world. Giving openheartedly to yourself does not have to exclude being generous with others. In fact, the more kindness and compassion we offer ourselves, the more kindness and compassion we have available for others.

So begin by questioning the authority of this either/or belief system. Be open to experiencing a life of both/and. “I can be both committed to myself and committed to others.” You will find lots of tips and some amazing stories in Enough Is Enough! to help you make this transition. And I promise that your life will begin to feel more extraordinary.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

Being Yourself

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Dear Jane,
Why can’t I be myself? I’m always afraid that I’m not good enough, that I have to cater to others first, that nothing I feel, do, or believe measures up. I don’t think it comes from how others see me; it comes from inside me, and I can’t figure out why.

Even if it comes from others, you’re right that these thoughts originate within you. Who is this self that you are so afraid doesn’t measure up to your standards? Do you look at a baby and even think to say, “You don’t measure up”? How are you any different from that little, perfect being? When could your perfection have diminished?

You are in an illusion that you are telling yourself for some reason—probably a reason so old you can’t even remember when you began to tell yourself that you are unworthy. Perhaps you inherited this belief from your parents.

What you must do now, for your precious spirit’s sake, is question authority—especially yours! Ask yourself, “How does it serve me to hold onto this self-judgment and limiting belief?” Every harsh judgment we place on ourselves is an attempt to keep us safe somehow—safe from further rejection or abandonment usually. This is how people pleasing becomes such a habit-forming behavior.

I encourage you to read Chapter 4 of Enough Is Enough! “Drop Your Acts: Become Who You Already Are.” Until we are authentic, we cannot feel loved because if others don’t know us, how can they love us? There’s no “us” there to love. You can change your life in an instant by changing just one thought or one behavior today. This is vital work for your spirit.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.

Ten Ways to Enjoy Your Holiday Season More

Monday, November 20th, 2006
 
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The holidays can be a mix of renewing connections and being reminded of old wounds. If you are approaching the season with both excitement and dread, keep these pointers in mind. They will help ensure that you leave family gatherings with the kind of memories you want to recall.

*Talk to yourself before a family gathering

Remind yourself that you are inherently worthy of respect and kindness and that you don’t need to prove yourself at this time of year. Promise yourself that if you slip into defending yourself, your mate, your children, your job, or your appearance with those you have a history of trying to prove yourself to, you will stop as soon as you notice you are being goaded. You can even say out loud, “I don’t want to spend my time or energy defending myself or others. Let’s find a way to talk more productively (or kindly).”

*Keep reminders close at hand of how you are valued
During the other 50 weeks a year, you are often appreciated by those in your daily life. If you are celebrating away from home, bring emails, notes, or letters that contain compliments or loving sentiments, pictures of those who are your support system, and a book that lifts you spiritually and helps you stay above the fray.

*Write a new affirmation every day and repeat it constantly
An affirmation is a positive thought you choose to immerse into your consciousness for a desired result. An example might be, “I appreciate and acknowledge my own strengths.” Or a good one might be, “I now give to myself what I think I need from others.” This could include understanding, compassion, respect, or joy.

*Don’t talk behind others’ backs
Gossip feeds upon itself. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t participate in it. This commitment will help you feel self-respect when you look in the mirror.

*Don’t use the holidays as a time to try to heal past hurts

Being around family can trigger old wounds. But too many people, too little time, too much alcohol, and too much pressure are ingredients for disaster, not mending relationships. If you are harboring resentments, talk about them ahead of time or after the holidays are over. Don’t get caught up in the moment and let loose. It will just make next year’s holiday time that much harder.

*Use win/win communications
You don’t have to stoop to anyone else’s level. If someone in your family behaves badly, try not to name call but promise yourself you will stand up for yourself and tell them how you feel about their behavior.

*Set limits about what’s acceptable for yourself in advance
What are some likely uncomfortable or painful scenarios you will be facing? You don’t have to cross your fingers that nothing will happen, especially if fighting or belittling has been one of your family’s holiday traditions. Decide in advance how you will handle these situations and at what point you will respond rather than ignore, take a break rather than endure, or even walk away.

*Take some time for yourself
We all need to regroup and get centered again. Most of us aren’t accustomed to being surrounded by company 24/7 and our spirits need a break. Go for a walk or drive, read a book, take a nap, or do an errand BY YOURSELF. Take in your surroundings in more detail. While you are alone, don’t rehash past conversations. Do an affirmation instead.

*Shop from your heart
Let go of trying to “balance the books,” figuring out what to get others according to criteria such as what they got you last year or how much they spent. Let your heart find the perfect gift that reflects their specialness without putting you into the endurance of deepening debt.

*Be generous with what matters
Offering compliments, listening well, giving of your time, helping with chores—all of your efforts will make you not only a welcome member of your group but will help you to keep your heart open.

No one can guarantee that this holiday will be the best one ever. But you can decide to stop enduring and make this season your lead-in to a new, extraordinary year.

About Jane
Jane Straus is a trusted life coach, dynamic keynote speaker, and the author of Enough Is Enough! Stop Enduring and Start Living Your Extraordinary Life. With humor and grace, Jane offers her clients and seminar participants insights and exercises to ensure that the next chapter of their lives is about thriving as the unique individuals they have always been and the extraordinary ones they are still becoming. She serves clients worldwide and invites you to visit her site, StopEnduring.com. Here you will find excerpts from her book, more articles, TV and radio interviews, and clips from her presentations.
She is also the author of The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Grammarbook.com, an award-winning online resource and workbook with easy-to-understand rules, real-world examples, and fun quizzes.
Contact Jane at Jane@JaneStraus.com.