Teens Self Help

Website connected to TeensSelfHelp.com. For me is a medium to express myself and talk about my feelings. "Believe in yourself, in the power you have to control your own life day by day. Believe in the strength that you have deep inside and your faith will help show you the way. Believe in tomorrow and what it will bring. For things will work out if you trust and believe there is no limit to what you can do!" (Larry S. Chengges)

Friday, January 26, 2007

"Mindfulness"

"Mindfulness is the practice whereby a person is intentionally aware of his or her thoughts and actions in the present moment, non-judgmentally. The practice of bringing your attention and focus back to the present moment, primarily through breathing and awareness."

In "The Miracle of Mindfulness," Thich Nhat Hahn - a well-known Buddhist monk and poet - teaches us about the importance of being mindful in our lives. In this day and age, with our busy-ness and our constant multitasking, we are truly not aware of our surroundings most of the time. We are "in another world," but not in the present one. We have too many things in our minds and too many things to do; so we don't even pay attention to what we are doing in our lives, at times; and to what is really important. We learn to "tune out" our parents, our friends, our teachers, our children (if we are parents), our co-workers, our classmates, and whatever is going on around us. It's kind of scary, isn't it? We are disconnected with OUR world... (our spiritual and our physical world).

I see this practice of "disconnection" all around me, where I work, at home, and wherever I go. It's like we have to make a great effort to try to "connect" with others, to attract attention; because they are in that hectic and constant world of rushing - of doing and thinking too many things at once. I'm guilty of this sometimes too - I admit it! It's hard to find the time to SLOW DOWN and truly pay attention to what's going on at the present moment.

Sometimes the world is very loud too: the noise of cars, TV, cell phones, people talking very loudly, all kinds of modern gadgets, etc. They intrude in our world and it's even hard to pay attention to our own thoughts and ideas - to get inspired.

We all have a lot to learn; but my advice today is: let's try to take the time, at least several times a day, to be mindful of our moments; of what we are doing; of the people around us; of a beautiful day; of our feelings; of our breath. We are alive, and yet, we live like zombies at times. Let's practice "connection" instead of "disconnection."

Let's learn to focus and take some deep breaths once in a while; let's "take the time to smell the roses," like they say. Time to appreciate our friends, our family, our pets, nature, music and most importantly... God, our source. Life shouldn't be a RACE - the race to get somewhere (we don't even know where) first! We can take our time - it's O.K. to take our time...

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

"The Art of Communication"

"Communication, the art of talking with each other, saying WHAT WE FEEL AND MEAN, saying it CLEARLY, LISTENING to what the other says and making sure we're HEARING accurately, is by all indication the skill most essential for creating and maintaining loving relationships."
Leo Buscaglia

I love Leo Buscaglia! He wrote some beautiful and powerful books that have definitely taught me some very good lessons to live a more rewarding and happy life. I love to read a lot, and through the years I have read some wonderful books that have definitely made a difference in my life and have inspired me to become a better person (wife, mother, teacher, friend...) We're all in a constant process of growing and learning - no one is perfect, of course; but it's truly a good thing to try our best to improve ourselves and to learn important lessons that will help us lead happy and productive lives and to be able to accomplish our most cherished dreams and goals. Yesterday, I was watching the Oprah Show and Gary Sukav (the author of "The Seat of the Soul") was the invited guest. He said something very interesting: we have to pay attention to our "intentions." We create our world with our intentions - when our intentions are good, the outcome is good; when the intentions are bad, the outcome is bad. That pretty much sums it all up. When we're trying to communicate with others, let's pay attention to our intentions too.

Is it easy to have good intentions all the time? No! But we have to try our best; especially when we want to be happy, successful and accomplished individuals.

And what about "communication"? How many times do we talk and talk and talk and don't really listen to the other person, or don't really communicate our feelings, desires and hopes; or don't express our honest opinions? Or are afraid to feel vulnerable. Granted, there are times when we don't want to hurt someone's feelings and it's best to keep some of our feelings inside (when the other person is very sensitive and will take things too personally, or we know they are not ready to hear the truth...) But, in general, we should try to learn to communicate properly. That includes "meaning" what we say and very importantly "listening" and "hearing. " That also means "being considerate" and not purposely hurting someone with nasty words or actions, with criticisms and judgements - we have to take in consideration other people's feelings and weaknesses. So, let's intend to communicate "clearly", with heartfelt "honesty", with "respect" and above all, with "LOVE." When others know that we mean well, they'll trust us better - our intentions do count!

As a teacher, I do get frustrated when my students don't pay attention or listen to me. When I try to communicate something and they are "in another world" doing something else and they completely ignore me. That to me is lack of consideration, disrespectful and selfish - and no matter how strong I am, want or try to be, it does hurt my feelings. We all like to be heard. So, let's make an effort to try to listen to others, to truly pay attention to what they're saying and what they're trying to communicate to us. Also, let's try to have good intentions in our lives, in our dealings and communications with others. When we become more aware of what we do, of how we feel, and of how others feel - we in turn will feel a lot better about ourselves and attract good friends and good things in our lives. Trust me!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Remember Who You Are...

I haven't written in a while. It's amazing how fast time flies when you're busy! It's hard to believe we're in 2007 already. So let's think about some New Year's Resolutions.

While trying to find some of the interesting and inspirational articles and poems I have saved through the years (some found and some written by me), I couldn't help but notice the following titles: Be creative. Be a Dreamer. Be Gentle with Yourself. Be Happy with Who You Are. Be Optimistic. Be Thankful. Believe in Yourself. Dare to Believe. Follow Your Dreams. It's All Up To You. Life Goes On. Life is a Gift. Life is a Journey. Life is but a Dream. Life is filled with Possibilities. Listen to your Heart. Listen to your Inner Voice. Love is the Answer. Love is the Way. And last but not least... Remember Who You Are, amongst many others.

Let's read these titles carefully and reflect on them, and above all let's Remember Who We Are. When others put pressure on us or make us feel bad, let's Remember Who We Are. When life seems complicated and we get frustrated with everyday stresses, let's Remember Who We Are. When others drive us crazy, when we feel overwhelmed, when we don't know which way to turn, let's Remember Who We Are. Let's continue being strong, happy, optimistic, enthusiastic. Let's continue being ourselves...