Not to sound dramatic or anything, but this is how I have always felt. Truly. Ever since I was a little girl, I have had big dreams. Dreams of living in a mansion, dreams of owning my own island, dreams of making a positive impact on the world. Dreams, dreams, dreams… They are constantly floating in my head. My family never understood how I could dream so big. I never understood how they could not dream so big.
The bigger the dream the better. It gives me something to strive for. It motivates me to push harder. For me, my dreams are like my oxygen. To stop dreaming would be the death of me. What reason would there be to get out of bed in the morning? I never could make sense of people that tried to squash my dreams.
I know I might not be able to reach some of my dreams, but just the journey trying is enough to keep me going. I love the learning curves on the way towards my dreams. I love how sometimes I wake up and recognize that I got what I asked, but somehow it looks different than I expected. Oops! Guess I should have been clearer on that one. Hence the importance of being very specific about the outcome we are seeking.
Sometimes it takes longer and sometimes it happens more quickly than expected. But there is always something happening. There is always progress of some sort.
Sometimes, the dreams change. And that’s okay too. As we grow our needs and our perceptions change, therefore it is only natural that the dreams will change too. Other times, we lose a dream for a while and all of sudden it resurfaces and reminds us that we kind of lost ourselves for a while, but we can still pursue this dream if that is what we want.
Dreams have no rules. No one is allowed to judge us on our dreams, and we have no obligation to share our dreams with the people that do not support them. Dreams are like a treasure we hold deep inside us and that give the energy and the courage to push harder and move further.
Our dreams are OUR dreams and no one else’s. On that same note, we should never impose our dreams upon others. If they want to join, that’s great! If not, that is fine too. Don’t push your dreams on others, but don’t let others take those dreams away from you either.
Keep the flame blazing and it will light the path for you.
On tips about keeping your dreams alive and active, I highly recommend reading Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. This book addresses the real issues that prevent many of us from pursuing our dreams. Her voice is honest and funny, while shedding light on how we get in our own way of our success.
Simply click the image below to buy this book.
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We want our children to have every opportunity and every chance of success possible. We have become so overprotective and giving that, without realizing it, we have taken away our kids’ power. Did you know that the increase in depression and suicide is caused by this trend of giving our kids too much? The articles and studies are shocking!
I discovered it by accident because of an issue I am going through with my 10 year old. During a discussion I had with another adult about this issue, the following question surfaced; “Is it possible to give a child too much attention?”
I was honestly shocked by the amount of articles that came up in my search. This is a common problem. Most startling is the fact that it creates attention-addiction, which then turns into behavior that resembles that of a child that does NOT get enough attention. What?!
I absolutely needed to share this with you because I know I am not alone in this experience. We drive ourselves crazy trying to make them happy, but it is actually backfiring because we are giving too much.
How can that be?
To put it simply, children need boundaries and structure. When parents cater to a child’s every demand, the child will only want more and never learn to respect the needs of others around them. This then turns into social dysfunction. Bullying has become such a big problem in schools, buses, day camps, summer camps, and every where we find groups of kids. For a long time, I wondered why bullying kept increasing.
After reading the articles and studies, it is clear that all these children are craving attention. Most of them are used to being the center of attention. When these kids find themselves in a large group where no one can give them the individual attention, they do whatever they can to get attention. Kids don’t care whether it is positive or negative attention. They only care that it is attention. Attention-addicts feel unloved and not cared for the moment no one is paying attention to them.
Finding the right balance.
We all want our kids to be happy. The key to this happiness is finding the right balance. There is no magical formula. Everyone’s needs are different. Every family is different. But I believe that remembering that, we as parents are individuals with needs as well and that taking care of our own needs is important in order to be a good parent. We achieve balance by taking care of ourselves first and foremost. There is nothing selfish about doing so. It is what I like to call “The Lifeguard Rule.” Lifeguards are taught to ensure their own safety before jumping into the water to save someone in distress.
Children need to learn to respect their parents needs and they also need to learn to play on their own, resolve their own issues. Hardships are a necessary part of life and our growth. By sheltering our children from the hardships while they are young. They do not learn the skills necessary to navigate through the hardships they will face once they become adults.
Every parent wants to give their child everything they never had and more. We want our children to be happy. We want to give them the world. The best way to do so is by giving them their power back. How? Well, it begins with teaching them boundaries, respect, and responsibility for their own actions.
After reading many articles on this subject, I sent my son’s teachers an email explaining my new strategy. I am very fortunate his teachers are wonderfully dedicated professionals. They both thanked me for sharing my findings and assured they would support the new strategy. I was pleasantly surprised to see positive results within a few days. My new strategy has already improved my relationship with my son and I hope it will help him with his relationships with his peers as well.
Please, feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to hear about your experiences. Questions or other subjects you would like me to cover in this blog are also welcome.
Love and Happiness are contagious… let them spread around the globe.
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Other Articles on this Subject:
Living with Children: Too much attention is a bad thing, John Rosemond, Published 1:57 p.m. PT Dec. 15, 2015
Parents Who Love Too Much, Discover why catering to your child's every whim may teach all the wrong lessons., by Nancy Wartik
My Child Demands Too Much Attention!, Educational Pathways - Issue #8, by Nochum Kaplan
Study Finds How Students With Helicopter Parents Perform In College, Results Are Impressive, by Chris Sutton
Hello everyone, I know I skipped a week... I promise it has nothing to do with writer's block. Quite the opposite. I have so many ideas and I sometimes do not know where to start or where to stop. The post I started writing for you last week has turned into a series. This change in direction has created a little bit of a delay as I organize my ideas.
I am also working on my upcoming Your Invincible Power Workshop coming July 6, 2019. It is a day long interactive workshop that will provide you with knowledge and tools to help you unleash the power within you. I must warn you, there are only a total 20 spaces available. Hurry! Don't wait to register.
Pamela Hamilton, W.T. Hamilton (authors of Your Invincible Power books) and I look forward to sharing the secrets we have discovered regarding the Law of Attraction and how to make it work in your favor. We do recommend you read the book before attending the workshop. We have so much to teach you and we want you to get the most out of this amazing workshop we have prepared for you. So, don't wait another minute and register now!
When we think of love, we usually think about romantic love. Romantic love is great, but there is a love even greater than that. A love that will allow you to grow more, be more, and love more. Whitney Houston sang about it and when you listen to the words of her song, The Greatest Love, it makes so much sense. Sadly, few people realize that all the happiness they search for they can find within and this love of self will open you up to even greater experiences with others.
Most of us search for a happiness provided by external circumstances, but nothing - absolutely nothing - can ever make us happy unless we have the greatest love of all, the love of self.
Why does loving yourself seem so difficult?
First, we try to live up to other people’s standards. Society and Media are the two biggest culprits to our illusions of how we should act and look, of what we should acquire or possess. We get pulled in every direction as these standards change with the seasons and the trends. It is a vicious circle that can never be fulfilled as the standards are ever changing. Worst, these goals are completely superficial and can never fill the void inside.
STOP!!! Take a minute and shut all that noise out. Take a blank page and write down the things that actually make YOU happy. Leave the outside world out of this reflection. Pay no attention to what others may think.
1- What are the things that make you feel good? Remember there are no right or wrong answers. Be true and honest with yourself.
2- How can you include more of these things in your life?
Once you have answered those two questions, make a plan to start including more of the things that make you happy. If there are obstacles in the way such, as time or money - the most common ones, take a look at everything that is currently in your life and eliminate the things that do not bring you value. Some examples could be reducing the amount of time spent watching television or getting up earlier to give yourself more time. If your obstacle is money, look at all your expenses and find an area you can cut or reduce. There are many blogs and programs that can help you figure out the budget and time management aspects. One particular book I recommend to gain control over your finances is Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins.
Why do we look to the outside world to make us happy?
We are constantly bombarded with ads trying to sell us something new. The marketing is done in such a way as to make you feel like you NEED whatever they are selling. Marketers are playing with your feelings and your self-esteem in order to get your money. It’s all part of the rat-race that companies and money hungry people are putting ahead of everything else. But the truth is that there is no amount of money or material goods that can atone you.
Living the traditional model
Then we have the pressures from society to follow a certain model. Too often we are made to feel bad if we are not following the traditional model of the “happy couple” or “happy family”. So much pressure is put upon all of us to be in a relationship or to be the “perfect” parent. Who decided what the norms are? And why would we want everyone to follow the same path? If you take a moment to think about it, it makes absolutely no sense.
Our world is so much richer from the diversity of the people that occupy this amazing planet. If we were all the same our planet would look something like Mars Needs Moms or WALL-E. I certainly would not want to live like either of those groups. In the first movie, the whole planet is run military style and all the males are rejected and in the second movie, they are living an eternal life of leisure - all-inclusive vacation style. Either may seem interesting for a short period of time, but neither is sustainable.
Is being single really that bad?
Then we have the people that are not in a relationship feeling the pressure from society. To all the single people out there, you have the greatest love. Whitney Houston said it best; “Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all…” If you are single it is because you love yourself enough not to settle. You are still hopeful and looking for a great love. Respect for self is great love for self.
Let’s learn to be lovers again. Lovers of self and lovers of our partner, if we are lucky enough to have found someone with whom to share our greatest Love. Love is something we must nurture every single day.
Dream - Believe - Plan - Execute - Become - Share
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Everyone sees us differently. Their image of you will depend on many factors. When we take a moment to think about it it almost sounds silly because it is so obvious. We all wear the filters of our experiences, our beliefs, our values, our dreams, our desires, etc… kind of like a camera filter.
Let’s go back to our mirrors and think about the mirrors in a funhouse. How are all of these reflections so distorted? Although there is a scientific explanation to the phenomenon of the mirrors, I want to focus on the analogy of people’s perceptions. So, let’s take a moment to think about our perception of others.
How long does it take you to decide whether you like someone or not?
On what is that decision based?
We often make up our mind about a new acquaintance within seconds. Why is that? How can we do this so quickly?
Which of you should I believe? Which reflection is my true reflection?
Ever notice how our reflection looks different in every mirror? Some mirrors send back an image we like, some make us feel bad about ourselves. I have often wondered why that was and which mirror was accurate. I even wondered if there was a specific mirror that was sending back the image of how other people saw me.
I thought about it for a long time before I realized that people’s view of me was exactly like ALL of those mirrors. Not one was the same. In fact, everyone I know sees me in a different light. It all depends on how much they know me, on which parts of our lives we share, and on their own personal experiences as well.
That’s right, we make assumptions according to past experiences with people we do know or have known. Are we always right? Of course not! But it does not stop us from making quick assumptions about people.
Now, turn the tables around. How do others see you? Where does that perception of you come from?
If a person is shorter than you, they will see you as tall. If they are thinner than you, they may see you a chubby. If they are shy and you are confident, they may see you as assertive or arrogant depending on past experiences and their current frame of mind.
Everyone sees everyone through the filters of their past experiences. So, who sees the REAL you? Can anyone outside yourself see you in the same light as you see yourself? Even WE see ourselves according to our environment and the people in our lives. So, what is the true image of ourselves? Which is the true reflection? It is what you decide it to be. You are free to create the reflection you wish. It may require some work, but life is a journey in which we are meant to grow and continuously evolve. You are free to transform yourself and your life into anything you allow yourself to believe.
Believe - Plan - Execute - Become - Share
If you would like to read more about this subject, you might like the following articles;
I will not apologize and I will not make excuses. I am guilty of getting distracted and sidetracked by life. The more projects I work on the more vulnerable I am to being distracted or pulled in different directions. This is true for all of us. Our level of distractibility may vary, but this is an area on which I must work extra hard to avoid missing my deadlines.
It is easy to get distracted when we work from home. It requires strong discipline to maintain a regular schedule. One of my practices is to get up extra early in order to get some work done before the kids get up. But even that can be challenging when you have kids that like to be up early with you. I had to put down a rule so that my little early bird stayed in his bed until 6 a.m. Yeah! That’s right. I have to get up at 5 a.m. in order to get some alone time to work on my writing projects.
But there are many other distractions throughout the day and week that will steer me off course if I am not careful. Friends wanting to get together for coffee, running errands during the day when stores are less busy, housework, various appointments, … and the list can go on and on.
How can we avoid falling in the trap of distractions?
First, create a schedule. Yes, I know it sounds quite obvious and it is, but the hard part is sticking to your schedule. When a friend asks you out for coffee, or the school requests a meeting, or emails keep popping up, or notifications about educational videos (which I save for my workout on the treadmill), etc. The list is endless. So, how can we avoid falling in the trap of distractions?
There are many articles and videos suggesting different strategies. Here are some of my favorite strategies;
I love working from home. There are many perks to having this flexibility, but it does require great discipline. In order for our environment to respect our time, we must do so ourselves and it starts with self-discipline, routines, deadlines, and a clear schedule.
Believe - Plan - Execute - Become - Share
For more ideas, you might like the following articles;
I just finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck!. My version would probably called "The Subtle Art of Not Fitting In." They may sound different but they aren’t. I often did not fit in because I did not buy into all those ridiculous unwritten rules about “how one should wear this, not that”, “think this, not that”... you get the picture.
I grew up during the era of “Girls can’t do that!” or “You can’t do that, you’re a girl!” and “Well, it’s different for girls” Believe you me, I did not take this lying down (I know this is not correct grammar - don’t worry I followed the rules that DID matter while growing up and I still stick to that practice in my adult life). I HATE double standards and I HATE being told what I can and cannot do. I also HATE that so many women are taught to tone down their brilliance. The world is a better place when everyone can contribute at their full capacity and can express themselves at their full ambition level. Thank you, Mark Manson. He explains so brilliantly how we tend to follow societal rules without even thinking about it.
My friend, Lisabel, recommended I read this book because we are working on a project together. She is a very successful artist in Montreal and we are collaborating to write her story. During a recent conversation Lisabel tells me “Celine, you have to read this book. It basically describes my philosophy on life.” Being a writer, I do my research. I had come across the book before but my pile of books to read is high and I am trying to be selective about what I add to it. I must admit that I am very happy that Lisabel asked me to read this one.
Turns out, I have also had this philosophy most of my life. Unfortunately, sometimes our resistance to social influence takes a backseat as we get exhausted by the constant fighting. And, when you spend a lifetime being told you are wrong - you start questioning yourself, and even when you still believe you are right - you just start following the crowd because it just is easier. Easier until one day you wake up and realize “This is not me! I am not happy following the masses." I feel like a fraud when I simply follow the sometimes ridiculous, unwritten rules around anything and everything. Not to mention that they seem to multiply like baby bunnies. Let's make it STOP!!!
I spent the majority of my life as an outcast and to be honest, that is where I am most comfortable. That is the honest me. I am not a rebel and I am not trying to hurt anyone, I am not protesting against any particular entity. I am an outcast simply because I choose to live the life that feels right for me. My views are rarely the popular view. I don’t buy into all the media and crazy stories about this one and that one. I try to focus on the things that are important to and for me and my family.
I leave the rat race to those who enjoy it… or feel like that is what they must do. I do not believe in competing against one another. I think we could benefit more from working together. The biggest empires have proven this fact. Large companies only exist when people collaborate together. Ray Dalio talks about this in his book, Principals. We might elaborate on this subject some other time.
In the end, reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck! has driven home the importance of being one’s self. We often lose ourselves in trying to fit in. In doing so, we sometimes forget what is important in the end. The core message in this book is that we should always remember the important things in our lives, not worry about the things that do not truly affect us as a person, and just be the best that we can be while being honest with ourselves and everyone around us.
I would love to read your comments, so please share your thoughts below.
I recently started volunteering with an amazing theater program for kids. The work I do with them allows me to let my creativity flow, but the side effect of this is that my mind wanders around like a gypsy. I am new at this theater stuff. I volunteer here because I love what this program (K2K) is about and I enjoy working with the people that are running this program (love you Jenn and Brian).
So, while I was working on set painting the following words came into my mind “it doesn’t have to be perfect, it only needs to look perfect.” I realized at that moment that being and looking perfect were very different. Being perfect meant that you could look at it from any angle, any perspective and it would remain flawless BUT simply looking perfect meant that it only had to seem perfect from a certain angle.
Funny how an epiphany can it you when you least expect it, anyway - as I was painting I was reminding myself that it did not have to be perfect, it only needed to look perfect from the audience’s perspective. This thought sent my mind wandering to a past relationship where my partner was obsessed with appearances. He always wanted to give a certain impression despite the fact that it was totally false. And boom! I realized many people live this way.
This was an “OMG!” moment for me because I could never understand this. With me, what you see is what you get. Sometimes people make up stories about what they think they see, but I am quite transparent (have always been). Most people are not used to this, so they assume there is more to it - there’s another story behind it. They have a hard time believing that I have built my life myself. Many believe that some man had to have been responsible for the material goods I own such as my house and my car. NO! I did this myself despite the parasitic relationships, despite the blood suckers… anyway. That is a story for another day. Had I been less trusting I would be further ahead on that aspect but live and learn, as they say.
This realization saddened me because I can only imagine the emptiness one must feel living an illusion all the time. It would be like biting into an apple that looks crispy and fresh on the outside but that is completely rotten on the inside. The first reaction is spitting out your bite (rejection), the second reaction is disappointment because you were so looking forward to this juicy, crunchy apple. But worst, after such an experience you will have trouble trusting the apples again. You might even get completely turned off by apples. And then you miss out on all the good, healthy, juicy, crunchy apples. You miss out on the pleasure of biting into the apple and enjoying the flavours, the health benefits, and so much more. All because of ONE bad apple. Wow! Not sure where this came from… but I hope you get the point.
I have seen too many people mistrust good honest people, miss out on relationships that could have been life changing (in a good way) for them. I have seen honest people not get certain jobs because of the people hiring assumed that the resumé was falsified.
When we live with the mentality that “it just has to look perfect”, we create a world full of deceit and disappointment not only for ourselves but for everyone around. Sometimes that reach expands beyond your own circle and affects people that really deserve to be trusted. But worse, you will never fill the void with illusions. To fill the void, you must have a healthy core - it has to be more than just an appearance.
Showing our true colors is scary, but nothing feels better than being our true self. I have never been able to live any other way and, yes, I have felt rejection, disappointment, and many other unpleasant things but then I always knew where I stood with the people around me. This also allowed me to choose my friends more wisely and surround myself with people that accepted me for me and NOT for someone they THOUGHT I was.
Pain is temporary. The benefits of being our true self are permanent. The well-being that accompany being authentic open up a world of possibilities because when people trust you, they also open up to you.
If you build a house of cards, no matter how much you try to disguise it, it will remain a house of cards. If you want a house that will stand the test of time, you have to build a solid foundation.
Life is not a theater, illusions can only work for so long. The actors get tired and stumble and then the gig is up. To live a truly fulfilling life, it does not have to be perfect nor does it have to look perfect. Sometimes our flaws are also our greatest assets. Be true to yourself and others will love you even more for it.
Believe in yourself and others will follow.
Too many subjects are sugar-coated and censored in order to avoid offending others, but I believe that we sometimes need to hear it straight up in order to have an educated view.
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