You did not try hard enough…

Ever failed at something and find it hard to shake it off?

Maybe you enrolled in a program and gave up midway because things were overwhelming…

Or committed to trying a new diet and gave up midway because you are not seeing results…

Now, ever shared your feelings with someone and in their attempts to encourage you or make you feel better, they tell you that “you should try harder” or  ” you did not want it bad enough?”

Don’t be that person!

“We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.” –Diogenes

Let’s talk about how it feels, shall we?

In many cases where I shared with someone something that is haunting me, I have done the self-critic and self-reproach part already and I am not looking to feel worse than I was already feeling.  Granted, excuses abound and I can probably find infinite reasons why I cannot reach my goals.

When someone shares a burden, a failure, a shortcoming with you, how about you take a few steps back and find out what the person needs from you?

You could ask, why they shared with you and what they are hoping that you can help them with.

For example, I often share how I am trying really hard to lose weight but the scale won’t budge. I might share with you because I noticed you shared some pounds or you are confident and comfortable in your skin. I might share my thoughts so you can give me tips.  When you start off by telling me that I did not want it bad enough, it is hard for me to hear past that. I am also wary of people who are quick to give compliments, it makes me question the authenticity of what is being said.

Here are my suggestions:

Get comfortable with silence

take time to process what is being shared and to check yourself. You might get upset that the person shared things with you especially if it is heavy and you have your own “mess” to deal with. It’s ok to take a few deep breaths and if you need to, let the person know that you heard them and you just need a moment.

Thank the person for being vulnerable:

it is never easy to admit shortcomings, failures or challenges, especially not in this world where everyone is showing their best lives on Social Media. Feel honored that someone shared with you what many try so hard to keep secret. 

Be honest

Sometimes, being honest is saying that you really don’t have a response to what was just shared or that you have a lot going on and you can’t help them. This could also be a great opportunity to redirect them or assist them in seeking the right resource.

Ask questions

Many of us tend to just spill our mess when the opportunity comes it is not until we are done sharing that we realize what we needed. Sometimes we just had to vent and feel heard. Sometimes we need someone to say “I see you, I hear you but get it together.” or sometimes we need someone to say ” I am sorry because what you are dealing with really sucks.”

Not everyone masters their own “how to” guides and in this day of age where we stare at screens more than we look at each other, acts such as giving that person a genuine moment can be priceless… And in cases where you don’t have someone to do listen, you can extend the same kindness to yourself...

Food for thoughts…

I found that when you start achieving things and making differences, you hear different types of “wow!”

There are those who are genuinely in awe of you, there are those who just can’t believe it and there are those who never saw you coming. Regardless of what the “wow” means, you had to believe in your dream.

I think we can all agree that What truly matters is what you say to your self. I hope that this week you say to yourself that:

  • You can and you will
  • You matter
  • You are worthy of love, kindness, and respect
  • You can do all things
  • You are kind
  • You are smart
  • You are a beautiful human being
  • You can achieve your goals

Share what you would add to these affirmations below… And have an amazing week.

Running on empty…

I had to be quiet for a while because I was losing sight of what really matters. So for a while, I did what was inevitable so that I can recharge.  I did a lot of journaling, a lot of crying, a lot of reading and now I am here. I am clear about what drives me, where I am going and where I draw the line.

So let’s reflect a little bit…What drives you?

Is it the anger and the resentment of past experiences? Is it the need to prove them wrong? Is it that you are trapped?

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Or is it because you have life in you? is it your Dreams that must become reality?

I found that when I am stressed, angry and I feel like I am not heading anywhere, it is because I am holding onto things that I have no business carrying.

The tricky part is that some of the things that we need to let go are invisible. As uncomfortable as it can be, I learned to be quiet with myself for a few minutes a day. I have come to cherish those moments.

Journal prompt: How will you free yourself this week?

Let it go…

Have you done an inventory lately? What are you holding on to?

As for me, I’ve been reorganizing things and it is amazing the things that we hold onto just to feel secure. I learned that I’ve got to let go of some things in order to make room for greater, better things.

What would you let go off despite the hurt, to make room for better things?

cheers to an amazing and freeing week.

Choosing kindness

What do you do when you are struggling, nothing seems to go the right way and things just suck? What do you do when you feel like you just can’t go on anymore? What if your problem is just too big and you don’t know how to tackle it?

I found that it is true that the best thing we can do is serve someone else.

You lost your job and you have nowhere to go? find a place to volunteer

You see that single mother struggling to make ends meet? how about you bring her a bag of groceries?

That person you saw getting picked on because they are different, how about you learn their name?

As we move around and face these week’s bliss & hurdles, let’s see if we can be a rainbow in somebody’s cloud…

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”- Maya Angelou

It can be so tempting to want to be in your bubble and to say ” I got my own problems”  but there is something about the putting a smile on someone else’s face or speaking life into something or someone… It is a gift that keeps on giving.

Here are 5 things that you could experience if you choose kindness:

  • Free and natural anti-depressant (serotonin): when you are kind, you produce serotonin which is known to help you feel good.
  • Ever helped a person and you instantly feel like superman or superwoman? Along with improving your mood, acts of kindness give you boosts of energy
  • As a big fan of Grey’s Anatomy, I am often amazed at how doctors can still treat people when they are hurt. Well! guess what? Acts of kindness reduce pain.
  • People who are kind live longer
  • We can all use more love in our lives: when we are kind, we release Oxytocin and apparently, cupid’s arrows are dipped into this.

I don’t know about you all but I want to choose kindness all day, every day…

PS: Find out more about kindness here 

When it feels like you are not enough…

Happy New week!

I hope your week is off to a great start and you find many reasons to smile throughout your week.

Just a quick reminder that You are enough and your very best is good enough…

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.
– Edward Everett Hale

As we extend kindness to people around us, I hope we also extend kindness to ourselves.

Exercising my joy muscle

I am challenging myself to read more this year. For February I picked up The Book of Joy and it brought me as much laughter and as much joy the title promised. Not only was this a conversation between his Holiness Dalai Lama (Buddhist), Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Christian) and Douglas Abrams (Jewish) but also, the author successfully relayed the camaraderie between the spiritual leaders interviewed in the book. 2018-02-13 07.36.29

I have many highlights in the book but in this month of love where we are prone to beat ourselves up for falling short on our goals or resolutions, I appreciated the reminder that Joy is a choice.

I was reminded that like any choice that I make, it is possible that I am constantly challenged to change my mind and choose something else. However, this is where I should be OK with being selfish.

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So here we go…

I, Raya Bayor promise to #SHARETHEJOY, see the world through joyful eyes to find the beauty in everything, appreciate everyone and let HAPPINESS be my guide to hug strangers along the way, hold dearly onto their stories and have the courage to let go of my own. To find one another, to feel and to let joy surround me. This is my pledge.