Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gifts from the Heart that Don’t Cost a Penny – Your Mindset for Giving

By Julie Rahm

This year so many people do not have the money that they have previously enjoyed. The thought of buying holiday gifts brings the dread of sliding further into debt. If that sounds familiar, it is time to tune up your mindset for giving! Why? Because your thoughts affect the way you feel. The way you feel affects the way you act. And the way you act affects the results you get in your life. Tune up your mindset to create the holidays you want.

The first tool you need is your metaphorical level. Is your level tilting off balance with thoughts of buying gifts, wondering what your loved ones would like, and how you are going to pay for all of it? If so, take out your next tool, your metaphorical flashlight, and shine light into the dark recesses of your mind. Let your flashlight reveal the thoughts, fears, and emotions that are causing your level to tilt. Do you feel a sense of obligation or responsibility? Do you give gifts because you think you should? Are you afraid your loved ones will be disappointed and reject you if you do not give them expensive gifts? Are you afraid people will judge your level of success by the gifts you give? Everyone will have different reasons for their level tilting off balance.

Once your flashlight reveals the reason your level is tilting, take out your metaphorical pliers and pluck those thoughts, emotions, or fears out of your mind. Simply recognizing them releases their hold on you. Are you remembering past experiences or memories around gift-giving that feel badly? If so, take out your metaphorical utility knife and cut the cord to the past. Freeing yourself from the clutches of your memories enables you to deal with only what is happening now, which is a much easier task.

Now you are ready to use your metaphorical screwdriver to connect your intentions for prosperous holidays with your actions and results. Use your metaphorical hammer to hammer in your new mindset for giving. Giving comes from the heart. Giving has no strings attached. Give because you want to give, not because you are expecting a particular response in return. Once you give a gift, what happens to it is none of your business. The gift belongs to its recipient. People who understand giving receive gifts with gratitude. To those people, the gift itself is unimportant. What matters is you thought enough of them to give to them. The cost of the gift is of no consequence.

So what can you give that is meaningful and that does not cost a penny? Prosperity coach Teri Hawkins would suggest a note on a beautiful card. In the note, speak from the heart about how much that person means to you and why. Or, give the gift of a hug, a real hug that lasts beyond the normal “back patting and release”. Or, create a coupon book. What have your children or your spouse asked you to do that you have said no to over the past year? Make coupons to do those things in the coming year. And make the coupons redeemable any time. Coupons have the side benefit of making you a better parent or partner, because coupons make you keep your word.

Tune up your mindset for true giving and the pressure of gift giving is relieved. You are free to feel the joy of the reason for the season. May your holidays be filled with love and blessings.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Check Out My Newest (3rd!) Blog

I haven't forgotten this blog, nor will I. It is still my goal to post entries at least weekly.

However, I love to write for moms. And I decided to create a blog just for those posts. Here's what it's about and where to find it:
Intuitive parenting 101 - How to know reliably, 100% of the time if you are just worrying or if it's your intuition talking. Any mom can develop her intuition. It is a mental skill. Read this blog and learn why you know more about your child than your doctor. http://intuitivemoms.wordpress.com/

If you haven't seen my blog at http://www.militarykidsspeak.com/, I encourage you to check it out!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Gift of Neighbors

By Julie Rahm

Do you ever wish you did not have neighbors, or that the neighbors you have would move? Sometimes I look out into our backyard at the breathtaking view and think about how thankful I am for our home. Other times I look out to our side yard and see into the homes next door and think that I would like a home in the middle of 10 acres with plenty of privacy. The side-yard-view thought does not feel nearly as good as the backyard-view thought. The key to happiness is disciplining our thoughts so they bring good feelings. Metaphorical tool kit in hand, I began tuning up the side-yard-view thought.

First, my metaphorical level indicated that my mood was out of balance when I thought about our lack of privacy. I shined my metaphorical flashlight into the darkest corners of my mind to reveal what bothered me so much about privacy. Fear was the culprit. Fear of gossip, specifically. I plucked that fear out of my mind with my metaphorical pliers. Then, I hammered in better feeling thoughts by stacking the evidence of what is good about having neighbors.

The first thought I hammered in was how much I enjoy being outside with our dog, Tank, and watching him play with Eddy, the dog next door. Having a nice playmate for Tank so close by is a gift. And, I enjoy talking with our neighbors while the dogs play. They are lovely people. Before we both had dogs, our demanding schedules precluded us from getting together very often. Now we get fresh air and social time together, and Tank and Eddy get the dog time and exercise they need.

The next thought I hammered in was how nice it is to have nearby neighbors to call when I need help. Today, for instance, we had a chicken snake in our kitchen. John was out and I was home with Tank and Elvis Ann, our parrot. I knew the snake would not hurt me. And yet, I “chickened out” of trying to catch it. Our next door neighbors on both sides were away. So, I called Stan who lives three doors down. He came over right away, caught the snake in about 10 seconds, and was gone. If we had a home in the middle of 10 acres there is a good chance I would not even know our nearest neighbors. And, I would be left to my own devices when critters got in the house.

As I stacked the evidence of nearby neighbors being a gift, my desire for privacy diminished. Now I look at our side-yard-view as a blessing. Nearby homes mean we have nearby neighbors. And, we have the good fortune of having neighbors we like.

If neighbors are a negative in your life, get out your metaphorical tool kit and get to the source of why they trouble you. Hammer in better feeling thoughts about your neighbors by looking for evidence of what is good about them. Do they keep their yard tidy? Are they quiet? Talk to other people about their neighbors. Just like your problems, when you hear about other people’s neighbors you might be grateful for yours.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bullying and Beliefs

By Julie Rahm

If you have read my work at all, you know my mantra: When you get to the source of what is really troubling you, you feel relief. If you do not feel relief, you have not found the source. And, if you insist you have found the source when you really have not, you create a problem for yourself where you previously did not have one.


Sometimes you find the source of what is troubling you when you least expect it, and it happens in the blink of an eye. Sometimes it happens while you are helping someone else with their problem. Sometimes you even forget that something is troubling you. That is what happened to me last week.

I was co-coaching a session of Girls on the Run and talking with one of the third grade girls as we ran laps. Suddenly the conversation turned to her revealing two instances when she had been bullied that week – one on the bus, one in the classroom. My metaphorical level tipped dramatically as my heart broke for that precious girl. I took out my metaphorical tool kit and began giving myself a mindset tune-up. My feeling badly was of no use to her. Just as I began to shine my metaphorical flashlight into my mind to reveal the source thoughts and emotions that were making my heart break, I asked her a question.

“Were any of your friends there while this fifth grader was threatening you?” I asked.

“Yes, but they were too scared to help me,” she replied.

Suddenly I was a school girl back on the bus. In that moment I knew to my core why I found it nearly impossible to ask people for help – even with small things. It was not because I lacked humility, or thought I could do a better job, or any of the other reasons I had considered throughout my life. I had an identical experience to this nine-year-old girl’s. My friend was right beside me on the bus and she just laughed while a scary, drugged out older girl threatened me. Of course, now I know my friend was nervous and scared. But, the childhood belief that stuck with me was that no one, not even my friends would help me when I really needed it so why even ask. That belief was the source of my trouble with asking people for help. Relief and joy instantly filled my whole body. I felt like someone lifted a pack off of my back. That was it. All of that happened in about ten seconds as I continued to listen to my third grade friend.

That day I asked the other girls to help me clean up at the end of our session. They were delighted to help. Imagine that. And I have been asking for and receiving help around the house all weekend.
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