All ‘First30Days Book’ Posts

13 oct

Parenting Kids Through Times of Change

happier_confidenceWe live in transitional times. Each of us is affected by change, whether it be a job change, a relationship change, a financial change or even a health-related change.

Kids feel these changes, too. They witness them closely. For example, often they are involved in the case of a divorce, a death or a move.

I’ve found a few insights that can really make a difference when parenting children during these types of life events. Plus, my personal belief is that teaching them about change is one of the most fundamental life skills to impart to them to be prepared for the years when they’re growing up.

Parents need to get comfortable with change, then your children will be comfortable, too. Kids are a lot less fragile through change than their parents are. Kids often simply reflect how you are feeling, so if they are acting out, it’s because you may have some emotions that aren’t being expressed. If they are anxious, it’s because you are, too, at some level. Think about it, at any moment, you are either being a warning or an example for your kids, how you eat, how you communicate, how you behave, everything you do. They see and feel everything. So regarding the change you’re going through, are you coming from a place of trust and faith or one of fear? Are you coming from your heart and a loving space or from your head and responsibilities? Be an example for how to navigate change. Be positive, accept the change once it’s happened and stop comparing things to what was. Believe in something greater going on, ask for help so your kids see that there are always people ready to help and they/you are never alone. Take some action. Take care of yourself during times of change so your kids see that just because something has changed doesn’t mean your whole life and especially your health will be affected.

The most important thing your kids want is for you to be happy! This is what your kids are yearning for. They aren’t yearning for their old school after a while, or how things were. They want to be in a home that is filled with laughter and love. Get out of the serious box. Yes, a change may be serious, but it’s not so serious that you want to teach your kids that all change is hard, tough, and worth getting concerned about. So yes, if getting happy and doing what you want involves going away for the weekend, going to the gym, taking a new class, going back to work, do it. Your kids will unconsciously and consciously relax when they know you are OK and doing things you love and enjoy. They’d rather you were happy than at home all the time. They’d rather you be happy alone than unhappily married.

Parents need to wake up and place their trust in their children’s inner-guidance system. So many parents tend to over-parent their kids, do everything for them, show them, help them. This is underestimating their innate ability that the same life force that is flowing through you is flowing through them. Wake up their intuition, their instincts. Believe they can figure things out. Ask them how something feels. It’s easier for you as parents to worry about your kids, when the truth is that you yourself are the one that’s worried. Kids aren’t that worried at their core since they are in the present moment, while we adults feel fear and nervousness when thinking about the past and future effect of a change. Teach your kids that they have access to answers on the inside of them at all times–even more answers than Mom or Dad can provide. Their bodies are always sending them signals about what’s the right thing to do.

Teach them that they have a “change muscle.” Kids love knowing this. That there is a specific muscle to be able to handle changes, that they can flex it, use it and it gets stronger with every change they experience–that the body is made for change and that the best of who they are is going to come out during times of change, that life is always giving them an opportunity to grow, to learn something, to acquire a new set of emotions, such as courage, faith or patience when change comes their way.
Teach them “The Change Guarantee.” Write down the following phrase for them, somewhere visible. “From this situation, something good will come.” Start showing them that good things come from change. Go through previous changes that have happened and the good that eventually came. Teach them that life is on their side, that it’s always coming up with new ways to bring something into their lives.

Allow kids to be human and express their emotions. Teach them that its perfectly OK to be sad, to cry, to be angry, to be anything they are feeling. Make their feelings seem right, not wrong. Don’t impose any deadlines on when they should stop feeling something. The same goes for you. It’s good for your kids to see you have feelings. Do not only be in supermom or superdad mode. When they see you are human, sad, scared for a little while, then they feel much safer being the same. Do not try to change what they are feeling. If they are feeling something, reward it.

For more information on the 9 Principles of Change, be sure to pick up a copy of my book, The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier. The change principles equally apply for children of any age.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on October 13th, 2012 in Ariane, First30Days Book, General, New Directions, Spirituality, Things We Love | No comments

18 feb

The Message We’re Not Hearing from Our Politicians: Tolerance, Acceptance, Compassion and Unity

WEJMDUnity is a very important theme. It is critical to the resolution of the many problems facing our nation and our world today because without it we will never be able to engage the necessary solutions.

In this election year it’s painfully clear that there are many people with many differences. Many needs. Many perspectives. Many polarities. Many grievances. Many resentments. Many biases. Many prejudices. A great deal of intolerance. A great deal of hostility. A great deal of rage and aggression.

We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten that we originally all came from one Source. We all came from a place of Unity, a place of Universal Acceptance and Love. And then we fell into a dream of separation, a dream of selfish egos competing with each other rather than cooperating, attacking each other rather than living in harmony.

We have lost our way. We have lost our universal identity as a brotherhood of people. So caught up in the distinction of skin color, races and nations, we have lost our true connection with God. And now, amidst all the chaos, the confusion, the rage and the hate, we must find our way Home. We must find a way to re-unite with God and each other before we destroy ourselves. How do we do this?

How do we unify amidst so much divisiveness and venom?

It surely would be a whole lot easier and happen a whole lot faster if we had leaders who made acceptance, forgiveness and love the platform of their party, the priority above all other priorities, the glue holding together their political agenda.

Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening. When I listen to the various presidential candidates all I hear is what they’re going to do for us. Right now it’s the Republicans, but later it will be the Democrats doing the very same thing, everybody telling us what they’re going to do for us.

No one telling us what WE need to do for us, what you and I, what we the people need to do for ourselves if we want to truly solve our problems. If we want a world where people cooperate and co-exist in harmony, peace and prosperity, we must appreciate that it won’t happen at the level of nations and leaders.

It will happen from the ground up. It will happen first with the choices that WE make, you and I, each and every one of us. The choices we make to be more tolerant, more accepting, more loving, more forgiving, and more generous.

Easier said than done amidst so much anger, grievance, resentment and judgment swirling all around us, so many of us seeing the differences in people rather than the similarities, seeing others as the enemy if they don’t think the same way we do. If they have a different god or a different religion or a different political persuasion, if they’re too far to the left or too far to the right, we don’t just disagree, we demonize them, we label them evil and dangerous, they’re going to destroy America.

All this fear mongering, all this demonizing has got to stop. It solves nothing. It further polarizes people. It makes things worse.

Bottom line: There are too many people with divergent views and needs. For any of us to take extreme intransigent positions and expect the rest of the nation to get on board is unrealistic and counterproductive. We will never have a nation where everyone thinks the same way. We must find common ground amidst the differences. We must find ways to cooperate, compromise and negotiate for the greatest good of all concerned.

How do we do this? One person at a time. One mind at a time. One heart at a time. We do it by example. By role modeling right action. Albert Schweitzer had it right when he said, “Example is leadership.”

Example is leadership.

We cannot rely on our leaders to be the examples of right action. We must be the example. We must be the role models. We must each of us make the personal commitment to discourage the fear-mongering, the demonizing, the rageful, hate speech about those who don’t share our beliefs.

If we don’t do it, it’s not going to happen. All the divisiveness will defeat us in the long run. Not global warming. Not earthquakes and tsunamis. Not nuclear weapons. Not terrorists. Our divisiveness will defeat us.

We are the enemy of ourselves when we lack tolerance and compassion, and lash out at those we disagree with. True patriotism means respecting our fellow citizens regardless of their political viewpoints or religious beliefs.

We have been trained to believe in concepts like “every man for himself,” and “kill or be killed” which suggest that we must compete and battle others if we are to succeed and prevail. We have been trained to believe that aggression is necessary in order to survive.

The truth is that we do not need aggression in order to survive. The truth is that we will not prevail, in the long run, as long as we believe we must attack and subjugate others in order to win.

Most people think that “survival of the fittest” means survival of the strongest, the most aggressive, the most violent and predatory. They are wrong. Survival of the fittest in the final analysis will be survival of the spiritually fittest, survival of those who strive to unite rather than divide, survival of those who strive to let go of judgments and prejudices, survival of those who strive to embrace acceptance and tolerance, survival of those who are dedicated to the application of compassion, generosity and forgiveness.

The meek shall inherit the earth.

“The meek shall inherit the earth” doesn’t mean the weak shall inherit the earth. It means those who are humble, accepting and forgiving shall inherit the earth, those who embrace peaceful methods to solve problems, to bridge divergent ideologies, and to find the common ground shall inherit the earth.

We will not survive as a nation, as a people, as a planet unless we recognize that the solution to all of our problems requires a unified approach that embraces trust, compassion and cooperation rather than further entrenchment in the ideology of war and destruction of others as a means to our peace and prosperity.

There is great beauty in the diversity of nature. There is great beauty in the diversity of human beings. But instead of appreciating that diversity and glorifying it, we fear it, we blame it, we scapegoat it, we destroy it… and in the process we destroy ourselves. Sooner or later we destroy ourselves with our fear and our divisiveness. Therefore, it behooves us to find a way to rise above the battlefield, to perceive the world in a different light, so that we can appreciate the foolishness of attacking others.

One way to do this is to consider the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle. Each jigsaw puzzle piece looks different in some way from other pieces, but each piece is inherently the same, in the sense that each piece is an integral part of the puzzle that contributes to the puzzle’s wholeness. Without every single piece, the puzzle is not complete.

It would be irrational and self-destructive for one puzzle piece to hurt or destroy another puzzle piece because the integrity of the whole puzzle, which each piece is ultimately dependent upon, would be damaged in the process.

We are all puzzle pieces. Each of us looks different but we’re all the same. Each of us a piece of the puzzle, a piece of the total picture, a piece of God. When we attack one another, we are being irrational and self-destructive because we are attacking the integrity of the whole organism, we are attacking the Oneness which each of us is a part of. We are essentially attacking God when we attack any of his children.

And so it behooves us to appreciate the Oneness of Life, that despite differences and diversity, we are all the same, that we were all cut from the same cloth, that we are all part of the whole, that we are all interconnected, that we were all created by God and deserve equally all the blessings of life that God offers, that we need to share our blessings with others, that we need to care about those less fortunate than ourselves, that there is one thing we need to do above all else and that is to treat others as we wish to be treated.

Love ye one another.

This is how we will unify our nation and our world. With love. With acceptance. With tolerance and with forgiveness. This is what we must practice and preach. Love. Acceptance. Tolerance and Forgiveness. This is how we must behave towards each other. This is the behavior we need to role model for our children. Unconditional love, acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness.

We must teach our children well. We must teach our children to recognize their spiritual brothers and sisters in everyone they see, regardless of what they look like, what clothes they are wearing, what country they came from, the color of their skin, the language they speak, or the God they believe in.

We must teach our children and everyone we meet the virtues of generosity, courtesy, consideration, humility and grace. We must teach our children and everyone we meet to be of service to others, to aid others as best we can, to ask the question, “How can I help you?” rather than “What’s in it for me?”

We must teach our children and everyone we meet to find ways to let go of anger and hurt, to see the God in people, the good in people, despite how they’re behaving, to find ways to hate the sin but love the sinner.

We must teach our children and everyone we meet that there is a oneness, there is a wholeness of which we are all a part, that we are all inextricably bound together, that we each have a responsibility to each other, that we ARE our brother’s keeper, that we must exclude no one from our love, that we’re all in this together, that nobody wins if anybody loses.

In this election year and the years to come, try to remember that it is our job not to elect leaders but to BE leaders, to be the role models that our world needs to survive and to thrive. It is our job to find the similarities, the commonalities rather than the differences. It is our job to find ways to unify rather than divide. It is our job to remember that either we all hang together or we will surely hang separately.

Forgive To Win!

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on February 18th, 2012 in First30Days Book, General, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , , ,

04 jan

Purpose. Passion. Practice. Persistence. Step Up to the Plate & Take Your Best Shot

WEJMDMany people are afraid to go after their dreams, to take action, to implement…. out of fear that they will fail, look stupid, feel shamed, and have to acknowledge that they weren’t good enough… Bottom line: You won’t know if you don’t go. Yes you may strike out and that would be painful, but you’ve got no chance of hitting a home run unless you step up to the plate. The other consideration: It is the doing, the process, that makes one a success and that opens the doors to all sorts of possibilities we never could have imagined. Seek not to deprive yourself of personal fulfillment by letting fear, insecurity and self-doubt get in the way of your self-expression. Go forth with joy and gratitude, and take your best shot.

On an entirely different note: I am on Day 4 of the ACIM Workbook For Students: “These thoughts do not mean anything. They are like the things I see in this room.” … The point being: The thoughts we think, perceived as either “good” or “bad”, are actually masking or blocking our True Thoughts. They are a meaningless smokescreen designed by our ego, born of fear, to maintain the belief in separation. Insofar as the things we see are a projection of our thoughts, since we’re not really thinking, we’re not really seeing. Only when our Mind is grounded in Unity, Oneness, and Unconditional Love, Forgiveness, and Acceptance will we actually see the Real World with all of its miraculous beauty and eternal peacefulness.

For those of you who view the above paragraph as too far out there… understood. A Course In Miracles is not for everyone. It’s not an easy read. It’s not an easy program to master, which is why I wrote my book, Forgive To Win!, which shares the core concepts of the Course but explains them in ways that are easier for most people to understand and apply. I encourage you to take a look at the book on Amazon where you can peek inside. Additionally, if you subscribe to my free newsletter you can download a free chapter from the book on Self-Loathing & Self-Sabotage.

Which brings me back to the initial paragraph I wrote about going after your dreams and taking action: When we learn how to love ourselves and forgive ourselves – the crux of A Course In Miracles and Forgive To Win!, we eliminate the unconscious self-sabotaging programming getting in the way of our happiness, our relationships, our physical well-being, our success, our prosperity and our inner peace.

When we meld tools of self-mastery with humanistic choices as to how we perceive and treat others, there are no limits, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. It is not simply faith that moves mountains. It is forgiveness, acceptance and love. Hold these thoughts in your mind as much as you can, as best you can, wherever you are and under all circumstances, regardless of how others are behaving, without conditions or exceptions — and watch your world get better.

No joke. No lie. It works if you work it: Change your Mind. Change your Life. Change your World.

Peace, joy and blessings to you all!

Forgive To Win!

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on January 4th, 2012 in Career, First30Days Book, General, New Directions, Relationships, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , ,

29 dec

Why Should I Forgive? The Origin of a New Year’s Resolution

WEJMDI’ve been asked why I’m passionate about teaching forgiveness. It’s because all religious, spiritual and metaphysical roads I’ve traveled have led me here, to this one Truth borrowed from A Course In Miracles: I forgive others for my own peace of mind.

In my late twenties I read the Bible, the Old and New Testament, for the first time. Although I was impressed with the transformation of God’s consciousness from the Old Testament God of anger, judgment, vengeance and war to the New Testament God of peace, love, acceptance, charity and forgiveness, I was more impressed with the implications of several thought-provoking Biblical comments:

(1) From the Book of Matthew: He replied, “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

If the above-passage is an accurate quote from Jesus of the Christ, that’s pretty awesome and powerful. “Nothing will be impossible for you.” That’s not a vague and ambiguous assertion. That’s a description of how Reality Manifestation works. That’s the Secret right there. That’s the Law of Attraction, the Law of Abundance. The power of the Mind to transcend time and transform space, and thereby create the reality of one’s choosing! “Nothing will be impossible for you.” Wow. I like the sound of that. And I find it hard to believe that Jesus of the Christ was exaggerating. His word was his bond.

(2) From the Book of Mark: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” I don’t take the word “rich” literally here. I believe what was meant instead of rich is the word greedy. “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a greedy man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Greed is of the ego. Greed is about competition and separation rather than cooperation and unity. Greed is about judgment, aggression and unforgiveness, not acceptance, tolerance and harmony. Greed is not of God and if you really want to get to God and Heaven and the Garden of Eden, or whatever else you understand to be a place of eternal, unconditional peace, compassion and joy, then be of Service to Others. Help others. If you’ve got two coats, give one away to a needy brother.

3) From the Book of Matthew: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”

Meek doesn’t mean weak. Meek doesn’t mean wimpy. Meek doesn’t mean sucker or chump. Meek means those who are gentle, those who are non-violent, those who are compassionate, those who are accepting of others, those who are unconditionally forgiving. “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.” The implication of this being that those who seek peace through violence and murder are not blessed and will inherit the wind.

4) From the book of Matthew: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” This is very clear. The message is basically that if you walk a righteous, honest and forgiving path, you will get the life that you want. You’ll get the goodies. First be a person of integrity. First be of service to others. First let go of anger, fear, judgment and attack. First forgive. And then “all these things will be added to you.” In other words: You win. You Forgive To Win!

5) From the Book of John: “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” In other words, All these things that I have done, you can do and more if you have faith in me, if you follow my principles of forgiveness, acceptance, and love. That’s the ticket. There’s the message again: Want to do 22 impossible things before breakfast? First seek the kingdom of heaven. First be a person of honor. And then with your faith you’ll move mountains, and all things will come to you.

Why? Because when we get our mind focused on Forgiveness, Acceptance and Love, this removes the obstacles to the natural flow of abundance and prosperity which is available in infinite amounts to everyone.

So that’s my New Year’s resolution: To first seek the kingdom of heaven. To first be a person of honor. To forgive. To accept. To love. As best I can. As unconditionally as I can. Wherever I am. Without exceptions. Without expectations. Without the need for appreciation or acknowledgment.

To have forgiveness, teach forgiveness to learn it.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Forgive To Win!

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on December 29th, 2011 in First30Days Book, Global/Social Change, Spirituality | No comments Read related posts in , , , , , ,

14 dec

How to Beat the Holiday Blues

WEJMDIt is terribly ironic that the holidays, which is meant to be a time for celebration, joy, family, loved ones, connection, harmony and contentment, brings sadness and depression to so many people. Why is this the case? Perhaps because those who suffer from the holiday blues are seeing their world through the eyes of the past, focusing on the disappointments, the losses, the rejections, the abandonments of the past and bringing them into the present, and feeling their devastating emotional impact as if they happened yesterday.

Perhaps because those who suffer from the holiday blues look at their current life situation and perceive it as empty and lonely, lacking in loving, nurturing relationships, lacking in meaningful, supportive family bonds, lacking in personal fulfillment, lacking in health and happiness. Perhaps because those who suffer from the holiday blues fear the future will deliver them more of the same. More loneliness. More alienation. More frustration. More regret. More pain and suffering. So what do we do about it?

REFUSE THE BLUES

Best we not focus on the disappointments of the past. When thoughts of the past pop into our mind, we give them no power to terrorize us. We gently tell them to go away and haunt someone else. We don’t want those thoughts anymore. We don’t need them for our safety or protection. We don’t wish to victimize ourselves anymore with painful memories.

Best we not focus on the potential disappointments of the future. When anxious, fearful thoughts about the future pop into our mind, we give them no power to terrorize us. We gently tell them to go away and haunt someone else. We don’t want those thoughts anymore. We don’t need to dwell on all the horrible “what ifs” that might someday happen. We don’t need to fill our mind with anticipatory thoughts of failure, loneliness, pain and suffering possibly yet to come. We don’t wish to victimize ourselves anymore with the belief that we will not be able to handle what our life’s future has to offer.

BE HERE NOW. BE LOVE NOW.

The above subhead are two titles from books by Ram Dass, whose spiritual journeys he has distilled into these two phrases of powerful wisdom. The best way to overcome the holiday blues or any blues for that matter is to BE HERE NOW: Be in the present. Appreciate that in this present moment is massive potential for happiness and contentment. In this present moment we can look at the beauty of nature all around us. In this present moment we can marvel at the miracle of life in all its myriad forms, animal, vegetable and mineral. In this present moment we can BE LOVE NOW: We can help a stranger, hug a friend, ease someone else’s pain, share a laugh or a smile, see the love in everyone despite how they’re behaving, forgive others for they know not what they do, accept the Oneness of life despite the differences and diversity that sometimes can seem quite disorienting or frightening, appreciate the connection we have to the earth, to the wind and water, to all creatures big and small, and above all else, to each other.

ABOVE ALL ELSE: LOVE YE ONE ANOTHER

There is great joy to be had in this world, in our present moments despite not having the relationships, position and possessions we desire, by simply connecting with others. Making eye contact with others. Extending acceptance, tolerance, love and forgiveness to others. Do these things on a daily basis. What you give to others you can’t keep from yourself. What you give to others will come back to you.

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Walter E Jacobson, MD on December 14th, 2011 in First30Days Book | No comments Read related posts in , , , ,

02 mar

Are You Operating at Your Maximum or Your Optimum?

RenitaKalhornNido Qubein, president of High Point University, asked this question and it highlighted one of the behavioral mysteries I’ve long observed in the business world: So many people operate in maximum mode, running as fast as they can, barely keeping their head above water.

They rush around in reactive mode, relying on external pressures and sheer willpower to create adrenaline-driven motivation. Pushing as hard as they can for as long as they can – and sacrificing their health and wellbeing in the meantime – inevitably, they crash and burn.

On the other side of the fence are those who are operating at their optimum, setting a pace that’s sustainable for the long term and most favorable to achieving the results they want. Yes, they sprint full out when necessary but they do it on a full tank of gas and then take the time to rest and recover.

Which way sounds better to you? If you’re interested in a saner, healthier way to thrive and succeed, here are three ways to move toward optimum performance:

1. Know your why. Let’s start with a little brain science. In his book, Start With Why, Simon Sinek points out that the oldest part of our brain, the limbic system, is where our emotions and behavior originate.

The best way to access our emotions – which are what drive our actions — is by understanding our fundamental “why.” Is it to grow, to inspire, to teach? Rather than focusing solely on the “what” — the different career path or major promotion, say — digging deep to excavate a true sense of purpose is what will ignite your motivation and give you clarity.

2. Fortify your mindset. The more information we have access to – on TV, in the newspapers and in conversations overheard — the more negativity we’re likely to encounter. Unless, that is, we proactively create a shield against it.

Before you dive into your day, take 15 minutes to feed your mind inspiring content that shifts your default setting toward the positive and expands your idea of what’s possible –biographies of people you admire, personal development books, inspiring quotes — clear your mind with meditation or journaling, and mentally rehearse how you want the key events of the day to go. Your day will start off smoother and, when you do encounter a setback, you’ll handle it with greater ease and aplomb.

3. Create positive rituals for energy recovery. Sports psychologist Jim Loehr says: “Time, by itself, is fundamentally valueless unless it intersects with our best energy. That’s because it’s our best energy that enables us to be extraordinary.”

People in maximum mode burn through their energy sources until there’s nothing left. Energy, however, is a renewable resource, if we take measures to recover. One way to replenish our mental, emotional and spiritual energy is to create positive rituals. More than a routine, these are precise, consciously acquired behaviors that become automatic, fueled by a deep sense of meaning and purpose: date night on Fridays with your significant other, reading a chapter of a novel at lunchtime, or going to yoga class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

No question, with the hyped-up expectations of the modern world breathing down your neck, choosing a sustainable pace requires discipline and conviction. But which would you rather be: ahead at the 25th mile of the marathon, or the first to run across the finish line?

If you felt moved, inspired, touched, helped, annoyed, or anything after reading this, please let us know. Our wonderful bloggers really do appreciate your comments and feedback. It’s super easy and takes a minute. Click on comments below.

Posted by Renita Kalhorn on March 2nd, 2011 in Career, First30Days Book | No comments

01 may

Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier: An Interview with Ariane de Bonvoisin

By Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

We’ve all heard it takes 30 days to create a habit. How we relate to those first 30 days may make all the difference. Today I have the privilege of bringing you Ariane de Bonvoisin, author of The First 30 Days: Your Guide to Making Any Change Easier.

Ariane is also CEO and founder of first30days.com, an organization developed to help people transition through any change, whether it’s career, health, lifestyle, relocation, or personal relationship changes. She has been named MSN’s Life Change Expert and her advice is sought by thousands around the country.

Today Ariane is going to talk to us about why it’s so hard for people to make sustained changes in life, and what we can do about it.

Elisha: Your book seems to have references to mindfulness in it, the act of being present to our everyday lives while putting aside our lenses of judgment; getting in touch with the direct experience of the present moment. How do you see the first 30 days from a mindful perspective?

Ariane: Change is always an opportunity to pause, go inside, listen to our “inner microphone” and be in the present. Our lives get so busy, we live based on routines, we never really “think” we don’t want to change. So when change does happen, either by courageous choice or from life circumstances, it is asking us to be honest with what is, and also what is not working for us and our lives.

Mindfulness is about being totally aware of what our mind is feeding us during change. Usually its one of a few dominant disempowering programs: Disapproval, comparison, and perfection are the main ones. The mind is going to feed us the usual “change demons,” classic emotions that show up as well to the “change party”– fear, doubt, blame, shame, guilt and impatience. Being mindful during change is started by being aware. Aware of what emotion is getting your attention, welcoming it up, asking for its message and letting it be rather than resisting or escaping it.

Moments of change also happen to help us let go of the need for control. Control of knowing an outcome, of how we can speed things up, get out of the void, or this period of uncertainty, the unknown. Being mindful during change is simply about staying with the shakiness. From all change, something good happens. Life is on our side if we just let it be and surrender to it. It knows the way.

Elisha: In your book you mention an important practice of creating a change resume. Can you sum up for us what this is and why it’s important in helping us making real change?

Ariane: One of the 9 principles of change that I discuss in the book, is what I call “The Change Muscle.” People who are good at change know they are resilient, strong and can get through anything. Many of us will say things like, “I am bad at change, I hate change, I resist change,” when the truth is very different.

We have all gone through dozens of changes we have never acknowledged ourselves for — divorce, loss of a loved one, graduation, starting a job, losing weight, handling a health diagnosis, buying a home, moving, having a baby, forgiving someone and so on. We are focused on our professional resume when really who you are is a combination of all the changes you’ve ever made, faced and witnessed.

So I ask people to take a blank piece of paper and start writing these down….soon enough, your page will be filled with changes. Next I ask that you write down the good thing that came from each of these changes so you bring back into your conscious mind the connection between life changes and good things emerging, despite the difficulty at the time. Finally, I have people make a list of what the main thing was that helped them through — was it a person, a belief, their faith, getting healthy, time, doing things for others?

This exercise helps people get their power back. You’re the person that got through all this, so today, even though the change you’re going through now may be new, something you’ve never faced, you are not showing up without any “tools,” experiences, beliefs, ways that you have handled change in the past. You know what helped you.

Elisha: On Mondays I cite a quote or poem and explore its relevance to our everyday life. One post called 5 Quotes that Can Change Your Life listed five quotes from your book that I found particularly interesting. What are five of your favorite quotes from your book?

Ariane:

“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.” ~ Gloria Steinem

“The single most important decision any of us ever have to make is whether to believe we live in a friendly universe,” ~Albert Einstein

“Hidden in any misfortune is good fortune.” ~Tao Te Ching

“When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time,” ~Byron Katie

“Be patient towards all that is unsolved within your heart, and try to love the questions themselves…” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Sometimes I just think of a question, or challenge and just open the book and read the quote that’s on the page. It’s a great way to use the book once you’ve read it.

Elisha: If you were sitting across the table from someone who was having real difficulty with making change, what advice would you give him or her to help make sustained change?

Ariane: I’d identify what the belief, excuse, story or emotion that is in the way and really shine a light on that, get it out of the shadows — what’s being resisted — and get to the root of that. The time before a change/decision is always much harder than the actual decision itself.

People aren’t changed or helped by information, but by inspiration, so I get them in touch with WHY they want to make this change. The why is the fuel, not the “how” or “by when.” Why do you want to leave a job, why do you want to pursue this dream, why do you want to loose the weight, etc.

I’d want to know who was on their “change support team.” We somehow always feel alone when we are going through change and the truth is we all get through a change because of other people being there, and believing we can make that change. And it’s often not your closest friends or family by the way. If they don’t have someone, I’d get them on our site where we have thousands going through the same change.

Finally, I’d get them to take the first step towards any positive sustained change, which is to take care of themselves, their health. It’s the SEED of all change (Sleep, Eating well, Exercising and Drinking water). When you feel healthy, in your body, you get out of your head, your self esteem rises, your power returns, you are moving these emotions through your body, you feel strong. Change happens through the body, the heart, not in the head.

Wow, thank you so much for your wisdom Ariane.

To the readers: As always please share your thoughts, stories and questions below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Posted by First 30 Days on May 1st, 2010 in Ariane, First30Days Book, Global/Social Change, New Directions | No comments

18 may

What a Week!

Well, thanks to all of you, my book is a bestseller both on Amazon (#87) and Barnes and Noble (#27). It’s still #1 in personality–yeah that made me smile too–and #42 in hot new releases for the week.

I did over a dozen radio shows and a TV appearance on Inside Edition for graduates on how to find a job in a no-job environment. It airs this week. They haven’t told me what day yet. Check back in for that or follow me on Twitter–@clickariane is my name over there. (My next blog post will be all the tips for graduates by the way. I will post it mid week.)

Read more »

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on May 18th, 2009 in First30Days Book | 1 comment Read related posts in ,

12 may

Limited Time! Free Gifts, Free Coaching When You Get a Copy of My Book!

My paperback is finally out and in celebration I asked my favorite change agents — folks like Wayne Dyer, Marci Shimoff, Arielle Ford, Jack Canfield, Gary King, Arjuna Ardagh — to create something exclusive for anyone who purchased a copy. So, today you get 12 FREE gifts in addition to a book that will help you make or face any change you are dealing with. And if you think that’s already fabulous, for the first time ever, I am going to pick one person to do 30 days of free coaching with me. This offer won’t last long, so pick up a copy now.

Read more »

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on May 12th, 2009 in First30Days Book | No comments Read related posts in

26 mar

The First 30 Days Book Update

For those who haven’t read my book yet, here are two easy options for you! It’s just out in a new Kindle edition at Amazon. And, the paperback version will be out in about six weeks. So, take your pick.

Let me know how it helps you. We’ve received thousands of testimonials. It’s also a wonderful gift for friends and family who may be facing some tough changes or perhaps wanting some help to make a change in their lives.

Posted by Ariane de Bonvoisin on March 26th, 2009 in First30Days Book | No comments Read related posts in