by Shayla Morag | Mar 15, 2018 | Caregiving, Grief, Mindfulness, Self Care, Stress Management, The Red Bike Way
As a caregiver, you can find yourself in situations where you feel judged, belittled, left out, or not appreciated. If someone hasn’t walked in your shoes, words can be said that can be hurtful and misunderstood. You can forgive others in these tough and uncomfortable situations without feeling like a doormat. If you stop waiting for an apology, it is easier to move forward. The advantages of forgiveness are the same whether the other person apologizes or not. Think of pardoning others as something you do for yourself rather than for them. Below are some suggestions:
1.Lighten up. Grudges are a heavy burden. When you release your anger and disappointment, you’ll free up energy you can devote to the things you love.
2. Show compassion. Each of us makes mistakes. When you give someone a second chance, remember that you’ll probably need one yourself someday.
3. Strengthen your relationships. Family and friends are precious. Develop connections that can withstand conflicts. Resolving your disagreements can even draw you closer together when you cooperate on finding solutions.
4. Take control. You’re in charge of your own happiness. Start feeling content right now instead of checking your phone to see if your boyfriend apologized yet.
5. Promote healing. Most of all, a loving and forgiving heart is good for your mental and physical health. You might even live longer.
Sometimes you want to forgive, but resentments still linger. These steps will help you overcome the barriers to reconciliation.
1. Wish others well. Imagine yourself celebrating the good fortune of someone who offended you. Force yourself to speak kindly to them, and you’ll eventually start to cherish them for real.
2. Hold yourself accountable. In most cases, you probably played some part in the conflict. Acknowledge your actions and figure out how to make positive changes.
3. Put yourself in their shoes. When someone fails to apologize, it usually has more to do with them than with you. They may feel ashamed or vulnerable. When you think about their pain, you may feel like you have more in common.
4. Resist all-or-nothing thinking. Distinguish between the human being and their actions. If your boss criticizes you unfairly, list the things you still like about her.
5. Write it down. Venting your feelings in a diary or an imaginary letter helps to sort things out. You can express yourself freely without worrying about widening the divide.
6. Reach out. If someone close to you has trouble apologizing, you may need to make an extra effort. Let them see how you apologize and take responsibility for your actions so they can discover more options
7. Set boundaries. On the other hand, you may decide to limit contact if the relationship is dragging you down. You can still have affection and respect for someone you may need to keep at a distance at least temporarily
8. Cultivate your peace of mind. The more secure you feel, the easier it is to focus on helping others rather than judging them. You’ll understand that your future depends on your choices rather than real or imagined insults.
Forgiveness allows you to let go of the past and free yourself from anger and resentment. It’s a decision you can make on your own regardless of whether others apologize or show little remorse. You have nothing to be sorry about when you give yourself the happiness you deserve.
by Shayla Morag | Mar 12, 2018 | Comfort, Grief, Poem, The Red Bike Way, Wise Words
I found a dime today, just laying on the ground.
But it’s not just a dime, this little coin I’ve found.
Found dimes come from heaven. That’s what my Grandpa told me.
He said Angels toss them down. Oh, how I loved that story.
He said when an Angel misses you, they toss a dime down.
Sometimes just to cheer you up, to make a smile out of your frown.
So, don’t pass by that dime, when you’re feeling blue.
It may be a dime from heaven, that an Angel tossed to you.
– Anon (Adapted from The Penny)
by Shayla Morag | Mar 05, 2018 | Courage, Emotional Intelligence, Grief, Self Care, The Red Bike Way
When it comes to loss and grief, your parents may have told you something they believed to be true, but wasn’t. You may have had a single experience that led you to draw a false conclusion. Contemplate what you believe about life and yourself that might not be true. False beliefs can greatly limit your options. It could change everything if you actually knew the truth! You might think that you’re not good at sports or public speaking. You might believe that you’re not talented or that nothing you do is good enough. It’s time to show yourself that many of your beliefs are inaccurate. One of the best ways to find and eliminate false beliefs is through experimentation.
Follow this process:
1. Make a list of your limiting beliefs for which you don’t have significant proof. Significant proof is repeated personal experience. One experience doesn’t prove a thing. Even two experiences can just be a coincidence. Get some real proof.
2. Start with a limiting belief that you can test easily. Maybe you believe that you can’t make friends. This might be based on the experience of not having friends in your younger days.
3. Learn what you need to know. Do you know how to make friends? It wasn’t covered in school. You might need to purchase a book and educate yourself. Maybe your social skills are a little rusty. Perhaps you need to work on minimizing your social anxiety.
What do you need to learn or do to put yourself in the position to test your false belief fairly?
4. Practice. If you believed that you couldn’t learn to play the violin, you wouldn’t prove it to yourself by picking up a violin for the first time and giving it a whirl. It takes practice to test your belief.
Likewise, you can’t prove to yourself that you can’t make friends by just walking up to a single person and saying, “Do you want to be my friend?”
5. Practice your social skills. Get out of the house and practice interacting with others. Learn how to maintain a conversation. Learn how to be more charismatic. Learn and then practice. Then practice some more.
Engage in your interests with others. Join a yoga class or a weekly poker game.
6. Test yourself. Make the test fair.
Give yourself 30 days to make at least one friend. You don’t have to make 20 friends. The whole premise was that you can’t make any friends. One friend would prove that belief to be false. If you can make one friend, you can make two. If you can make two, you can eventually make 50.
7. Keep your expectations realistic. You’re probably not trying to prove to yourself that you’re the best in the world at something, merely that you’re competent.
For example, most people only have a few close friends. It’s not reasonable to expect that you’re going to find 10 in the next 30 days.
8. Adjust your beliefs. With the proper preparation, you’ll find that 99% of your limiting beliefs are false. Once you’ve proved yourself wrong, be willing to adjust your beliefs accordingly.
Now go tackle another one. Challenge your limiting beliefs one by one and decide whether or not they’re true. Use your own personal experience. Test your assumptions whenever you have the chance. You’re likely to discover a whole new world of skills and experiences that you enjoy.
by Shayla Morag | Mar 02, 2018 | Emotional Intelligence, Grief, Self Care, The Red Bike Way
Going through the emotions of loss and grief can lead to beating yourself up over your shortcomings and failures. Your inner critic is attempting to protect you, but like an overprotective parent, it’s causing more harm than good. Criticizing yourself only serves to make life more challenging. It also robs you of options and puts limits on your life. Your inner critic provides information, but that doesn’t mean you have to listen. Your inner critic is relentless. It’s active from the moment you wake up until you fall asleep. It’s even active in your dreams! Your inner critic won’t be contained easily. Change what your inner critic says to you and reach your full potential with these 7 ways:
1. Drown it out. Fill you mind with positive talk and imagery. Avoid giving your inner critic any room to make its opinions known to you. Keep your self-talk positive and expect the best to happen.
2. Recognize the truth. Your inner critic is just a manifestation of your fear. Its sole purpose is to stop you from harming yourself. However, it’s like a scared child. You tell yourself that you’re an idiot or that you can’t do something in order to have an excuse not to expose yourself to failure. Your inner critic is a lunatic. Consider treating it as such.
3. Empty your mind. If you need to make a phone call or finish your taxes, keep your mind empty and get started. It’s your thoughts that stop you from getting things done. Keep your mind clear and get busy. Action is the best way to keep your critic at bay.
4. It’s all a matter of moving your hands or moving your mouth. Consider every action at your disposal. They’re all a matter of either doing something or saying something. That’s all there is to life. You’re either physically doing something or talking. There’s no practical difference between calling your best friend and making a cold call. You’re dialing the phone with your hands and speaking with your mouth. How can an inner critic exist when every action you take is either moving your hands or your mouth? It’s all the same.
5. What would you tell a friend? Would you judge a friend as harshly as you judge yourself? What would you say to them in a similar situation? What would you say to your child? There’s no reason not to treat yourself just as kindly. Be a friend to yourself.
6. Say something encouraging to yourself every 10 minutes. Set a timer on your phone or computer. Get in the habit of encouraging yourself each day. After 18 hours, you will have said 108 positive things to yourself. It won’t take long to create a new habit at that pace. Criticizing yourself is a habit. Encouraging yourself is also a habit.
7. Make a list of your high points. Think about your greatest successes. It’s easy to fixate on a few bad choices, but choose to focus on your highest achievements. Make a long list and review it regularly. You’ll enhance your mood and put your critic to bed.
The inner critic in your head limits your life and your opportunities. Remember that your inner critic is no different from a child afraid of the dark. It isn’t rational. You don’t have to listen. Take control of your inner talk and lift yourself up. Speak to yourself the way you would a good friend or loved one. Turn your inner critic into your most positive supporter and you’ll live a life you enjoy.
by Shayla Morag | Feb 27, 2018 | Grief, Self Care, Stress Management, The Red Bike Way
Going through loss and grief can make us feel numb at times. Sometimes our memory can become foggy and confused. There are many components of a good memory. The health of your brain is among the most important. It’s natural for memory to decline with age, but there are many ways to slow that decline. A poor memory can be frustrating for everyone involved. Below are 10 simple steps you can take to enhance your memory at any age. Boost your memory with these simple steps:
1. Change your diet. Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids and an anti-inflammatory diet can enhance memory. Your diet affects all aspects of your body. Alter your diet and you alter your ability to store and retrieve memories. There are several versions of anti-inflammatory diets. Experiment and see which works best for you.
2. Manage stress. Stress is hard on your body, brain, and memory. Stress has been linked to decreases in memory. Set reasonable expectations for your life. Learn how to relax and avoid stress. Ensure that you’re getting enough leisure time
3. Get enough sleep. Scientists are still confused about what happens while we sleep, but it has been established that our brains don’t work as well when we’ve been deprived of sleep. One late night on the town will prove this fact to anyone. Get enough sleep and your memory will be enhanced.
- Stick to a regular sleep schedule.
- Avoid caffeine.
- Try taking a nap for a middle of the day pick-me-up.
4. Use repetition. It’s much more effective to expose yourself to something repeatedly than to attempt to learn it in one sitting. If you’re trying to learn French vocabulary words, six 5-minute sessions will be more beneficial than one 30-minute session. The popular flash card program, Anki, uses spaced repetition to aid memory.
5. Keep your mind active. Do something each day that requires a lot of brain activity. Reading, crossword puzzles, chess, and various brain teasers are effective at keeping your mind active and sharp. Avoid relying on just a single activity. Mix it up and hit your brain from every angle.
6. Be creative. Creativity uses different parts of the brain than the more analytical functions we typically perform. Paint, draw, learn an instrument, or write. Anything requiring creativity can be useful.
7. Exercise. Moving blood through your body and brain can boost memory. Obesity can lead to blood sugar and circulatory issues. Both can impair memory. You don’t have to pretend you’re training for the Olympics, but get your heart pumping for a few minutes each day.
8. Write it down. It’s easier to remember something if you write it down, instead of just hearing or reading it.
9. Say it aloud. Use all of your senses. Say it so that you can hear it. If you write it, read it aloud, and imagine it, it will be much easier to remember. Expose yourself to the information you wish to remember in a variety of ways.
10. Maintain healthy relationships. Some memory experts believe that relationships are the key to keeping your brain healthy and active. It has been discovered that those with the busiest social lives have the slowest declines in memory.
- Spend more time with family and friends.
- Make some new friends or join a club.
Even if you believe you’ve been plagued with a poor memory, it can be enhanced. Minimizing stress, challenging your brain on a regular basis, and getting sufficient sleep are a few of the steps that can be taken to improve memory function. It’s never too late to pay attention to your memory.
by Shayla Morag | Feb 12, 2018 | Caregiving, Grief, Poem
Once green, the tarnished carcass rests upon the fertile soil… withered veins wrinkle this aging but glorious image… graceful with flight.
It is an image of life, which has reached the final stage… the fading stage… like a ritard at the end of a lullaby. It sleeps with the harmony of nature serving as its burial ground.
It lies crumpled… with its transformation from birth a mere memory.
The gentle breeze now lifts the leaf, its fragmented body, as a spirit floating in the air… it lingers in life, the dynamics of life with vigor… a moment of glory… freedom… then it falls back to its roots… it falls in the Fall… and lies in await for another moment of glory in the breath of the breeze.
(I wrote this poem in 1990 regarding the cycle of life.)