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a month of celebrating self-love!



Tomorrow I'm launching a month-long celebration of self-love here on Positively Present, which means every post in the month of February will be geared toward revving up your love of yourself. The month of February is usually focused on loving others. That's an awesome thing to do and it's very important when it comes to living a positive life -- but so is loving yourself. So, this year, I've decided that the month of February should also the time of year when we pause and remember to love ourselves as well those around us.

Honestly, there are too many people in the world who treat others better than they treat themselves. They would never say a harsh would about someone they love, but they're quick to judge themselves and put themselves down. That, to me, is not okay. It's not okay to judge yourself and criticize yourself and, in some cases, even hate yourself. If you want to live the most positive,  present life that you can, you absolutely must love yourself. And you must do it now.

As urgent as this self-love call to action is, it's certainly not an easy task to tackle -- especially if it's something you've struggled with for some time -- which is why I'm dedicating not a post to it, but an entire month of posts. If there's one thing I truly believe in it's self-love, and it's my goal to share all I know about the topic with you this month in hope that someone -- even just one person -- will begin to see how much s/he is worth and how important it is to love him/herself. 

Though it's still January, I want to kick off this month of self-love a day early with a few inspiring quotes about loving yourself. Though I have a lot to say on the subject, I'm no self-love expert and so I've gathered quotes on the subject that have inspired me to believe in the value of self-love. I hope you'll take these words of wisdom to heart and use them as reminders to love yourself -- no matter what.

Self-Love Inspiration

"The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely."
Carl Jung


"Self-love is not so vile a sin as self-neglecting."
William Shakespeare


"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance."
Oscar Wilde


"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."
Kurt Cobain


"A person's worth in this world is estimated according to the value they put on themselves."
Jean De La Bruyere


"We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies."
Roderick Thorp


"Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror."
Byron Katie


"Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Just as much as we see in others we have in ourselves."
William Hazlitt


"You, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."


"Do not wish to be anything other than what you are."
St. Francis De Sales


"Self-love is the source of all our other loves."
Pierre Corneille


"Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine"
Ralph Waldo Emerson


"Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is more important than the judgment we pass on ourselves."
Nathaniel Branden


“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become."
Carl Jung


"Whatever you are doing, love yourself for doing it. Whatever you are feeling, love yourself for feeling it."
Thaddeus Golas


"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."
Lao Tzu


"We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
Dalai Lama


"Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.”

Though I value self-love immensely, I'm no expert on the subject. I know what I believe, what I feel, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't love to learn more -- and that's where I need your help. If you come across any articles, blog posts, videos, films, songs, or personal experiences that relate to the topic of self-love, I'd love to hear about them. Send links/info to me at positivepresent [at] gmail [dot] com, or leave any found tidbits in the comments section. Together we can spread the word about self-love and make a difference in how we (and others!) see the world around us.


words to live by: move with a little trust

move with trust

You speak out all you feel is defiance
All you need is some self-reliance
Cause this world is gonna always try us
And all you wanted was to run for cover
Well here's looking to yourself and no other
We're all searching for that special something
And we keep on running

We all have the choice to take the lead or follow
I want to feel the light shine on me

You're so afraid of what people might say
But that's okay cause you're only human
You're so afraid of what people might say
But that's okay you'll soon get strong enough
You're so afraid of what people might say
But that's okay cause you're only human
You're so afraid of what people might say
You're going to break
So please don't do it

You wanna spread your wings but you're not sure
Don't wanna leave your comforts
Wanna find a cure
We're afraid of who we see in the mirror
We wanna let go but it feels too pure
Who wants to be alone in this world
You look around and all you see is hurt
But the light it always finds us
If we move with a little trust

A diamond don't define what shine is
I don't need a Rolex to know what the time is
You got your let me find what mine is
I'm a survivor look how strong my mind is
I stand on my own it's all me
Regardless of whatever they call me

Nelly Furtado 


Check out the video here on YouTube. "Words To Live By" is a segment on Positively Present that features my favorite quote or lyrics from the week. Every Sunday I post a quote or lyrics that have inspired me with the hope that they'll inspire you too.Comments will be closed on these posts, but feel free to tweet the post if you enjoy it or contact me via Twitter

5 tips for trumping tragedy with positivity


When you're going through a true tragedy, the kind of life-altering heartache that can take a lifetime to recover from, one of the last things you want to be thinking about is staying positive. In times of tragedy, the word positivity can sound like a foreign concept, the kind of fantastical notion that only naive children believe in. It may be unbearable to consider being positive when tragedy strikes, but it is one of the best ways to rise above whatever pain and hurt you are facing and move forward with your life. Being positive in general can be a challenge and it's even more difficult when you find yourself in a terrible situation. For this reason, it's important to deal with using positivity in times of tragedy from a unique perspective. It's not enough to say "look for the good in everything" or "spend time laughing." Regular positivity tips and tricks won't always work when dealing with a particularly heartbreaking or disturbing scenario. For times of tragedy, things are a bit different and this is why I've put together a list of the top five ways to use positive thinking to improve your outlook if you're facing a tragic situation.
5 Tips for Using Positivity to Trump Tragedy
1. Be open to gratitude. One of the very first things you can do when faced with tragedy is open your mind to grateful thinking. It might seem like one of the last things you want to do when you're going through a particularly hard time, but it's one of the first things you should turn to when you're struggling. While an "attitude of gratitude" might sound terrifically cliche, focusing on the elements you're grateful for when things aren't going well is one of the quickest ways to bring your mind back to a positively present state. If you can focus on what you have to be grateful for in your life right now, you can steer your mind in a positive direction. Even the most basic things -- like being alive -- are worth considering. Even during the absolute worst of times, there is something to be thankful for.
2. Keep yourself busy. When tragedy strikes, the last place you want to find yourself is sitting alone with nothing to do but dwell on your own thoughts. If you don't keep busy, you'll find yourself hopelessly replaying the moments and emotions in your mind, plunging yourself further and further into the black hole of negativity. You don't want to do that now, do you? No. You want to be strong, be positive, and recover from whatever tragedy you're facing. And, if that's what you're aiming for, you need to get up off your bum and get moving. Recruit friends and family and get moving. Take up a hobby, join a group, host an event. Even if it's the last thing you feel like doing, get moving. The busier you are, the less time you'll have to dwell on the negative thoughts you may be experiencing.
3. Seek professional help. One of the most important things to consider when a tragedy strikes is whether or not you need to seek professional help. Seeking positivity is all well and good, but some situations require some serious professional attention. If you're struggling with what you think might be depression or you're battling addiction issues related to the tragedy you've experienced, it's essential that you seek professional help. It might seem expensive or time-consuming, but the investments you make in your personal well-being are always worth it. You deserve to rise above whatever tragedy has happened to you, and one of the only ways to do that may be to seek outside guidance from a true professional. Make sure to do your homework when seeking someone to help you and, if the relationship doesn't feel right, know that it's okay to move on to another professional if necessary.
4. Surround yourself with love. Loving yourself and surround yourself with people that love you is great advice for anyone, but it's especially important if you're facing a tragic situation. Love is one of the greatest solutions to almost any problem. If you find yourself in a tough spot and need help, turn to love. First and foremost, be kind and loving to yourself. Give yourself a break when things are really hard and refrain from judging yourself. Loving yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, but it's also one of the hardest. While you're working on that, be sure to surround yourself with people who love you, care about you, and support you. Remember: almost nothing is more important than being around those who love you during a tragedy.
5. Stay in the present. Though it might seem like the present is where you're suffering and you might wonder, "Why would I want to stay here?", the present is actually the best place to direct your thoughts when you are faced with a deeply tragic circumstance. Most likely, you are struggling in the present because you are thinking on what has happened to you or your imagining what will happen based on the tragedy you've experienced. Stop. Instead, focus on what's happening in this very moment. Use your five senses to really pay attention to the world around you in this moment. Don't waste time looking back or making predictions about what's next. Stay in the moment, stay present, and slowly but surely you'll be able to make progress in a positive direction.

Being positive in the face of tragedy is tough. It's one of the hardest things you'll probably face in your life. It can be all too tempting to give into negativity when you're in a difficult situation -- but don't! Life is way too short to be miserable and, by letting negativity take hold of you, you're setting yourself up for an unhappy existence. When tragedy strikes, remember the five tips I've listed above and know that you, like so many who have faced tragedy and grown stronger from it, can overcome whatever heartache you're facing.

the find-your-voice process

find your voice

Today's post was written by Dr. Brian Alman and Stephen Montgomery, authors of The VoiceOvercome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom. The post focuses the Find Your Voice process and comes to you as an excerpt from their book. If you're anything like me, you know how important it is to overcome negative self-talk and I hope this post helps you to focus on the positive!

The Find Your Voice process is based on the knowledge I've gathered about personal transformation in my thirty-year counseling career. This knowledge was gathered not only  from Dr. Erickson, but also from many other gifted teachers around the world; gathered not only from my own experience as a patient and therapist, but also from my studies of meditation, self-hypnosis, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), The Secret, and many other methods of self-help and mind-body healing. It has taken me years to make this process simple, quick, and effective. Here's how to deal successfully with any physical or emotional challenge. Spend just a few minutes a day, and as often as needed, taking yourself through the following three steps:

Step 1: Experience Your Challenge
First, stop trying to get rid of your challenge; that never works and is even counter-productive -- the harder you try to fix yourself, the stronger your challenge becomes. Instead, begin to focus deliberately on the experience of your pain, craving, fear, sadness, and so forth. Let yourself become fully aware of all your difficult thoughts, feelings, and sensations -- everything that's part of your challenge. Then flow right into accepting your experience just as it is. And last, find some private way to expresseverything you're thinking and feeling -- go ahead and say it all to yourself, write it down, act it out in your imagination. When you go deep inside and experience your challenge thoroughly and wholeheartedly, you learn what it feels like to be in touch with your true, authentic self, and this begins to empower the voice of your inner wisdom.

Step 2: Judge Your Challenge
Next, you need to deal constructively with your Inner Judge, that self-critical voice in your head that's quick to blame you and punish you for your mistakes and imperfections -- even for being challenged at all. Poised in opposition to your true healing voice, your Inner Judge is the tireless voice of your social/family programming, and it's been drilled into you for so long that there's no getting rid of it. In fact, if you try to fight your Inner Judge, you only end up being more judgmental -- you are, in effect, judging  your Judge -- and this only gives it energy.  As in Step 1, the better way is to become aware of, to accept  and to express your Inner Judge. Only by embracing your Inner Judge and working with it can you relax this controlling, overanalyzing, never-satisfied, endlessly adversarial part of your mind.

Step 3: Resolve Your Challenge
Finally, as you experience and engage positively with all your pain and negativity -- as you embrace all the thoughts, feelings, and self-criticisms that are driving your challenge -- you find yourself spontaneously developing a new and more loving relationship with yourself. This new perspective on yourself naturally quiets the many strident voices of your challenge clashing in your mind, and almost immediately you begin to hear your true, authentic voice, your deep intuition, your TruSage. This voice is the real source of your healing power -- it's where all your own best answers come from. And once you're able to listen to your voice, you quickly and effortlessly imagine creative ways to resolving your challenge. It's as if new ideas for health and happiness simply bubble up from your unconscious. And the more you listen, the more the craving, the pain, the fear -- whatever your challenge -- just dissolves away. It's really quite a miracle. And I don't use the world "miracle" very often.

That's all there is to it: 1-2-3. Each of the next three chapters will explain in detail how to accomplish these steps, offering a great many ideas, exercises, and techniques for getting in touch with your healing inner voice. In no time at all, you'll be moving quickly through the process, feeling confident that you can manage your challenge, instead of having it manage you.   

Dr. Brian Alman, author of The Voice: Overcome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom, is on of the world's leading authorities on mental fitness and mind/body wellness. During his thirty years of private practice, he has coached and trained more than ten thousand people on quality-of-life issues such as weight loss, stress reduction, pain control, problem-solving, relief from addictions, and disease management. Through his company, TruSage International, Dr. Alman reaches many hundred thousand more. TruSage International i mind-body wellness company that helps clinics, hospitals, and specialists deliver high-quality, personalized follow-up through wireless technology.

Stephen Montgomery, co-author of The Voice: Overcome Negative Self-Talk and Discover Your Inner Wisdom,is the editor-in-chief of Prometheus Nemesis Book Company, the publishers of Dr. David Keirsey's works on personality types and temperament styles. Montgomery has worked with Alman for twenty years and is the co-author of his most recent book, Keep It Off. For more information please visit TruSage International or follow the author on Facebook and Twitter


words to live by: all i want

All i want ()

I'd like to tell you what I saw,
the sleeping dreams of four-years-old:
I stood upon the stage so tall,
sea of people floating down below
And farther than my eyes could see,
disastrous hearts were turned toward me
well from the center of my beam,
the purest love was flowing freely

If I could touch one lonely soul,
If I could heal and be so bold
To be a star, to be a light,
set one heart on fire;
that's all I ever wanted
That's all I want,
that's all I ever really wanted...
That's all I ever wanted

If it's wrong for me to want to change the world with what I got
let me make my own mistakes,
that's a chance I'm gonna take
If I'm right, I saw you all,
in my dreams so long ago
And if you're broken, you should know,
I'm here, you're not alone

If I could touch one lonely soul,
If I could heal and be so bold
To be a star, to be a light,
set one heart on fire;
that's all I ever wanted
That's all I want,
that's all I ever really wanted...
That's all I ever wanted

star light, star bright, I'm gonna make it right
star light, star bright, I'll be their star tonight
star light, star bright, yes I may, yes I might
alright, alright, I'm gonna make it right

If I could touch one lonely soul,
If I could heal and be so bold
To be a spot, to be a light,
set one heart on fire;
that's all I ever wanted
That's all I want,
that's all I ever really wanted...
that's all I ever wanted 


"All I Want"
Kate Earl


I came across this song when visiting Jenny Blake's Life After College site, and I instantly fell in love with it. Since I heard it, I've been listening to it on repeat. To listen to this song on YouTube, click here. "Words To Live By" is a segment on Positively Present that features my favorite quote or lyrics from the week. Every Sunday I post a quote or lyrics that have inspired me with the hope that they'll inspire you too. Comments will be closed on these posts, but feel free to tweet the post if you enjoy it or contact me via Twitter