Trail to My True Self…Published!

I did it! Trail to My True Self: My Journey to Self-Love and Happiness is now available on Amazon.

WordPress has a neat feature that allows blog creators to see what countries have viewed their posts. In doing research for my book, I saw that about 87 countries have viewed my blog. Wow! Obviously, I was glad and amazed. But it also showed me that I was connecting to people. And that people all over the world are interested in finding ways to be more joyful.

So, if you feel so inclined, I invite you to take a look at my book, Trail to My True Self. My hope is that it inspires you to bring more joy into your life.

Click here to get the book on Amazon. Thanks. Happy reading!

 

 

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Joy in Serving Others

Not only is having a connection to people a key to joy but helping others is another key.  Whether it is formal volunteering or simply doing something for those in your regular, daily life – strangers, acquaintances, friends or family – does not matter.  Even merely thinking kind, loving thoughts towards others counts.

Research shows that those who volunteer or simply help others report higher levels of happiness, better physical health and more self-confidence.  Neuroscientists, James Rilling and Gregory Berns of Emory University found that the part of the brain that activates in response to rewards and pleasure also lit up when participants helped others.  Research has also found that oxytocin, dopamine, and endorphin – which are brain chemicals responsible for a lot of good stuff – levels rise when people help others.  Many more studies are showing the benefits – mental, emotional and physical – of helping others.

Deepak Chopra says, “Helping other people is an expression of the fullness we feel inside.” “Giving is really just a flow of your loving self to others.”  So, after we have a foundation of self-worth and love for ourselves, serving or helping others just naturally flows.

What I discovered about serving others was that it took my focus off of my problems.  In serving others, it turns our focus off our ego worries and fears.  When we help or think of others, ego is instantly turned off.  And we know what happens when our egos are not in charge…relief, joy, all good things!  Then, our true selves can effortlessly shine through.

In an indirect way, working on our own growth is another way of serving others.  When we don’t give up when challenges arise or we find the good in a bad situation.  This provides an example which may inspire others when they feel down or like giving up.  When we live our truth and not hide it, it is a way to teach and serve others. I know I have had countless examples of being inspired by others’ personal work which helped me, beyond measure, to keep going forward.

I also experienced that what you sow you reap.  In making others happy, I became happy.  I like how Dr. Wayne Dyer expressed this concept: “When you serve others, the Universe says, How can I serve you?”

Just as I made a Joy To-Do list, I made a Serve Others list.  This is a deliberate way to remind ourselves to do this.  It’s a good reminder to quit thinking so much of ourselves and our problems.  Who is on your Serve Others list today?

What Lack of Self-Worth Looks Like

When we have low self-worth, we need external validation.  In other words, we need people’s approval, praise and admiration.  The ego will go to all lengths to get this; making us sick, tired, angry and stressed to get it.  Low self-worth is a sign that the ego is in charge.

You may be thinking, ‘I don’t have an issue with self-worth.  I feel pretty good about myself.’  That’s great and I hope you do have self-worth.  But, low self-worth can be cleverly disguised.  Afterall, the ego is involved and when the ego is involved things aren’t as clear as they may seem.  The ego wants to deceive us to prevent our change and personal growth.  Sometimes we directly seek people’s good opinion.  This is pretty straight forward.  But other times, we go about it indirectly and unconsciously. This is where it would be helpful to become more aware.  Perhaps we judge someone or put them down – this is so we can feel better about ourselves; or we need to show (to others or just ourselves) how someone is wrong or point out a mistake – this is so we can feel right and therefore better; or we choose to not forgive someone – this is so we can feel superior (ego thinks: ‘As long as I remember and not forgive that wrong thing you did, I can feel good that I didn’t do that.’)

If we are ever feeling any of the following things, that is an indicator of lack of self-worth:

  •    Needing to feel important
  •    Needing to feel we are better than him or her
  •    Comparing ourselves to others
  •    Making others wrong and ourselves right (or vice versa)
  •    Pointing out others’ faults or shortcomings
  •    Judging others
  •    Gossiping
  •    Not forgiving
  •    Needing to be center of attention/popular
  •    Feeling like what we say or do doesn’t matter or won’t make a difference
  •    Feeling not heard
  •    Feeling not respected
  •    Concern about making people mad
  •    Feeling like we don’t deserve something
  •    Thinking we are not capable
  •    Thinking our work is not good enough
  •    Feeling inferior to another person (not as pretty, smart, ambitious…)
  •    Need for perfection
  •    Wanting to fit in
  •    Considering what people might think about your looks, actions, ideas, etc.
  •    Changing your behavior because of what people may say or think
  •    Needing people to approve of you or your decisions

This is not a complete list and, of course, we may feel worthy in some areas and times and not others.  But who feels worthy 100% of the time about 100% of things?  This list isn’t to make us feel bad about ourselves.  This is to wake us up to see the ego’s disguised ways so that we can transcend the ego and get to true joy.

So we can get clear about when and how the ego is controlling our lives, let’s ask ourselves, How have I felt unworthy?  In what situations or with which people do I feel unimportant, unheard or that I don’t matter?  What do I think I don’t deserve and why not?  When have I changed my behavior based on what people might think of me?  When do I need to be right? When do I need people to praise me or my clothes, appearance, car, house, work, performance, etc?  Who can I not forgive? When or about whom do I judge or gossip?

A recent personal example- I hesitated telling my family and friends about this blog for fear of their bad opinions.  Actually, I didn’t fear their bad opinions.  More like a lack of enthusiasm, which my ego would cunningly twist into meaning a bad opinion.

Another recent example- I was so aggravated with and judged a coworker’s mistakes.  While I was muttering under my breath about her incompetence, I found a mistake of my own!  That’s when I realized my ego was putting her down in order to try to validate my self-worth.

But, what if we actually are right and another person wrong?  Or prettier, stronger, smarter, better at certain activities than others?  Let’s get into ranking and comparing next time.