Shed the Old to Make Room for the New… #LifeAdvice

Have you ever heard the saying that we change every 7 years? Well, it turns out that this “old wives tale” may actually based in a scientific fact. Experts say that parts of the body (namely the skeleton/bones) completely renew every 7 years. So in a way, you’re a different or new person every 7 years. Some cells renew as often as every 7 days.

But in order to allow any of those new cells ROOM to grow, old cells must perish and leave our system. It’s impossible for the “old” to stay and occupy the same space.

Knowing this to be true, it begs this question: is it possible that many of us are crowding our lives with old stuff instead of making room for new things to come in?

Let me give you an example. My house was full of old items and furniture that I barely used for many years. I wasn’t happy with it. With the assistance of some loved ones, I cleaned it up and removed most of the “stuff” that was crowding up the living space. It is like it is a whole new place and I regularly get new ideas for how to make it even more comfortable.

Another example. Do you have friends in your life who may be holding you back from making progress? Maybe they put you down, talk behind your back, discourage you or stand you up when you’re supposed to go out together. You might have to “shed” those “friends” from your life first in order to make room for some better ones who will support and encourage you.

Why Does It Take So Long for Good Things to Happen?

One of the questions that I address in my book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is “Why does it seem like it takes so long for good things to happen in my life?” Maybe one answer to that question is that you must first first sweep away the old, not so good stuff that’t there before the good things can make their way into your life.

Are you holding onto some old stuff from your past that needs to be shed? Maybe that’s part of what’s holding you back from taking a positive step in the right direction. Think about it and then take the necessary action.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Is It Really a Good Idea to Have a Plan A B and C?

Throughout much of my adult life I lived by the belief that it’s always good to have a plan A B or C in case your initial idea doesn’t pan out. In my mind, the plans after “A” would have been settling into a permanent job; plan B is a good job I like, “C” is not as good of a job and so forth down the alphabet.

But that conflicts with the teachings of my mentors who say that if you have a major goal, nothing should distract you from it. Many say that having a “backup plan” is a bit like predicting the failure of your first goal.

Now I feel the need to adjust the line of thinking that I’ve always clung to about having a backup plan. Now I think that it’s important to have a plan A B C D through Z that specifically moves you toward your ultimate goal or dream of choice.

I agree with my mentors, like Les Brown, who say that if you have a dream you want to achieve you hang onto it like a mad dog with a bone. At the same time it’s still a good idea to have a plan A B and C for pursuing that dream. That’s the key.

There could be many roads that lead you to your ultimate goal — some are smooth, “safe” and curved while others are more “tricky” or risky but they might get you there faster. Each of those roads to your goal are labeled plans ABC. The more backup plans you have the better in this case — if you believe in your dream, you will do what is necessary to achieve it.

Even if you do decide to put your plans on pause for a moment, that doesn’t mean that your “trip” is over. For instance, if you decide to pause a business venture and get a job, let that be a time to regroup, save some money and get refocused on your business plan. In this case, getting a job isn’t plan B for your LIFE… it’s just PART of plan B for achieving your ultimate goal.

Avoid negative people who try to discourage you. Keep learning and growing. And stay focused on your dreams and goals — they help give your life meaning and purpose.

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”
– Les Brown

Watch this motivational video by Les Brown: http://youtu.be/KlUMrzwmbyo

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Success Rarely Happens Overnight (Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts)

Say one day you decide to plant a sunflower. After 2 weeks, there’s a tiny sprout. After 3 weeks there’s even more of a sprout but not quite a sunflower yet.

Do you give up on your sunflower, yell at the sun, stomp on the dirt and pour antifreeze over the sprout because it hasn’t become a full grown flower yet?

Or are you encouraged by the small bit of progress, and continue to water and feed your soon-to-be flower?

Choosing the first option sounds RIDICULOUS doesn’t it? Yet people do that all the time to their goals, dreams and pursuits of success. You make a bit of progress, but it’s not enough, so you abandon the whole thing after a short while. You don’t see the “fruit” from your efforts quickly enough, so you pour antifreeze all over your plans and scream at the sky.

One of the questions in my book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is “Why do good things take so long to happen for me?”

We tend to be very impatient about progress. We want results now, or even better YESTERDAY.

Well a fact of life is that success takes time — it rarely happens overnight!

Pursuing a goal is like planting a seed in the ground. You water it, feed it and let the sun bless it. It grows slowly and perfectly until one day there’s a beautiful flower in the dirt.

And each seed has its own timeline. Some will be ready for harvest in just a few weeks, while others (like bushes and trees) take years to fully mature.

How many times have you given up on a new workout or nutrition plan, just because you didn’t see flatter abs and less pounds on the scale in 2 or 3 weeks? (Sometimes days!) It takes months and years for a shift in your diet and exercise plan to show significant results, and consistency is key.

Have you ever tried to learn a new skill, like dancing, playing an instrument, or painting and after a short time gave up because you didn’t think you were good enough?

Do me a favor right now and look up the early/first paintings of iconic artists like Salvadore Dali, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. Many famous artists didn’t start off painting “perfect” masterpieces. There was a progression in their art that came with time, practice and inspiration. The same is true for many of your favorite musicians and entertainers.

Then there are the trials of starting your own business. You opened the business and no one flooded through your doors the first week. That doesn’t mean you and your business idea is a failure! It means that more time is needed, more new ideas or maybe even a slight shift in your business plan. Steve Jobs didn’t turn Apple into a multibillion dollar corporation overnight — it took many years for him to finally get his footing.

And sometimes, some seeds just don’t ever turn into flowers for any number of reasons. Maybe the seed didn’t get enough water or the weather wasn’t warm enough. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or that you’re a failure — it simply means that you have to plant more seeds until you start to see some sprouts coming in. The soil’s still good! So keep planting.

“If you really believe in what you’re doing, work hard, take nothing personally and if something blocks one route, find another. Never give up.”
– Laurie Notaro

Don’t Stomp on Your Sprouts
If you are the type of person who gives up on your goals and dreams quickly, keep these words in mind:

Don’t stomp on your sprouts. Keep watering, watching over them and loving them instead — they need time and plenty of love to flourish.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Guidance vs Pushing Opinions on Others

I recently watched the Lifetime biopic Whitney, about the life of one of my favorite entertainers of all time — Whitney Houston. It centered around the romantic relationship she had with her ex-husband Bobby Brown.

In one scene, Whitney announces to her family that she is getting married to Bobby and her family flips their collective lids! In the movie, her mother warns her that he will bring her down, but she defiantly stayed by his side. In the end, her mother was right and they eventually divorced. He seemed to love her, but the energy that he shared with Whitney did ultimately contribute to her fall from "grace" in the public eye, as her mother advised.

What is the difference between giving someone guidance and forcing your will on them? I think there can be a fine line.

On one hand, you can’t tell someone how to live her life. She is ultimately the person who will decide the direction it will take.

On the other hand, if you know something that another person doesn’t know, isn’t it irresponsible not to try to warn them?

Sometimes I feel that some segments of our culture have been on the decline because so many people are insistent on living a totally "free" life where they just go where the wind blows. They don’t want to hear the opinions of others because they find it too "oppressive." But how can you learn and grow in a productive way if you refuse to accept well-intentioned guidance from others? Values, mores and standards help keep us all level-headed.

I think that the difference between guidance and forcing your will on others is the source. If people trust you and value your opinion, your advice is more likely to be considered valuable guidance. If you are considered a "messy" and judgmental person who doesn’t practice what you preach, your opinion is more likely to be considered an oppression or intrusion — even if it does hold some value.

A Little Guidance on Accepting Guidance 🙂
Live your life the way that you want to live it AND also be open to positive guidance from others from time to time. An opinion from another person is not always meant to be judgment or oppression — sometimes it is a blessing. You never know if one small piece of advice from someone can save you from unnecessary, long-term stress and strife.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOUand an upcoming book of life advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me?

Poem: Invictus

I have probably read hundreds of poems in English classes throughout my young life, but I never thought that much of them. Nowadays they mean so much more to me. This poem is by William Ernest Henley. He was inspired to write this poem after going through a number of hardships in his life. What I get from it is “never ever ever give up; keep moving forward.”

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

– written by William Ernest Henley

 

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and an upcoming book full of life advice entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me?

How Can I Be a Mentor if I Don’t Even Have My OWN Life Together Yet?

In my early twenties I signed up for Big Brothers Big Sisters and quickly became a mentor of a young shy 11 year old girl.

As time went on in the mentoring process, I started to second guess myself.

What could I possibly teach this girl? What do I have to offer her?

At the time I was starting off in my career as a freelance writer and designer so money came here and there. It was a struggle to pay my bills. I was still driving the same car that I bought in college–it shook and quivered with age and I felt embarrassed picking her up in it. I could barely afford to buy my young mentee a slice of pizza when we hung out together. I was struggling. I felt like such a failure.

Every time I thought to call my mentee for a visit this question nagged at me: why would she want to grow up and be anything like me?

So eventually my visits with my mentee lessened. When she reached the age of 14 her family decided to move away, so the BBBS relationship expired. I have to admit that while I was sad that I’d probably never see her again I was a little relieved that I no longer had to fight with myself over my significance and impact on her young life.

Years later, I look back and feel a little foolish for allowing those self-defeating thoughts to affect my mentoring relationship. I did have a chance to see her again recently and found that she turned out to be a beautiful, confident and ambitious teenager. She is on her way to great things, and I like to think I played a small role in that.

I am speaking to anyone who is thinking about becoming a mentor or is currently a mentor who doubts your ability to positively influence your mentee. It’s not so much about getting her to admire you or to be just like you. It’s about the attention and love you’re giving the child which she may not be getting enough of at home.

Much like adults, kids just want to feel special, listened to, attended to and understood. If you can give them that, you have done your job as a mentor.

So just because you don’t quite have life figured out yet doesn’t mean that you arent a good candidate for mentorship. Some young person out there needs exactly what you have to offer. Just give her the attention, love and positive guidance that YOU wish you had received more of as a child.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive?and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

How Do I Deal with Being Alone During the Holidays? (Question from “Why Doesn’t He Love Me?”)

Here is a snippet of a question answered from my forthcoming book “Why Doesn’t He Love Me? (And More Questions We Women Torture Ourselves Over).” Hopefully the answer gives you some peace this holiday season.

Love Lynn

Question: How Do I Deal with Being Alone During the Holidays?

The major holidays (Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s) can be the most depressing times of the year when you’re single. It seems as if everyone you know is with their significant others or enjoying fun times with their families.

So how do you deal with being alone and lonely during the holidays?

Surround yourself with the things that you love!

They say that light is the only cure for darkness, so if you’re preparing for a holiday alone, fill your life and space with things that you absolutely love. Not just like…LOVE.

For example, I LOVE to have what I call a “seafood fest” from time to time. I buy crab legs, jumbo shrimp, flounder, potatoes and all of the extras. I am so involved in the process of buying and cooking my seafood that I completely forget anything else going on in my life at the moment.

I also LOVE to watch French movies with subtitles. They completely hold my attention (no distractions from social media) and I’m almost always inspired in some way. So I might find several French movies on Netflix and line them up for watching during the holidays.

I also LOVE a good massage, so I might schedule some time to go to the mall or a spa to have a 10 or 20 minutes massage by a professional early in the day. Then I’ll have my nails done. This gives me a good feeling that lasts all day long.

List a minimum of three things that you absolutely LOVE to do, and treat yourself to those things during the holidays. If money is an issue, explore the free things about life that can bring a smile to your face, like playing in the snow outside—who said you have to be a kid to make a snow angel? Maybe you’ll decide to volunteer to help someone else in need because you know that will give you a good feeling.

There’s one last thing to remember—avoid all negative media during the holidays that might make you feel insufficient at this time of year. Turn off the TV and spend some time with yourself.

When you approach the holiday season with a positive outlook, you may even be inspired to reach out to someone you care about and spend some time with them—even if it’s someone you’ve had a disagreement with in the past. Open your heart and open your mind…

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU. Her new book Why Doesn’t He Love Me? is due for release in early 2015.

Women, If You Could Have 2 Questions Answered About Life…

I am in the process of writing a new book on the questions that we women torture ourselves with throughout our lives.

My question to you: if you could have 2 questions answered about your life (as a woman) what would those 2 questions be?

Submit your response below — your question may be featured in the book!

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful response.
Love Lynn

The Power of Touch

I watched a few episodes of the show My Cat From Hell a couple of weeks ago. I was amazed (and a bit amused) by the behavior of the cats on the show. They hissed and scratched at every human that dared come near them. I couldn’t believe that the owners managed to coexist in the same household with these angry and aggressive cats for so long!

But while the knee jerk reaction was to blame the cat for being “evil” the real problem was the owners. They were cold and lacked understanding of what the cats needed. The suggested solution in many of these cases was to simply touch the cat and show him love. It worked 100% of the time. My own cats are very mild-mannered and loving toward me and guests because I pay them a lot of attention with touch and affirmation.

Love Energy
A simple touch from someone can be so powerful. It can be even more powerful than words, which sometimes don’t come out quite right at crucial moments.

When a person is grieving, a mere grip of the shoulder can mean so much. It gives them the release they need.

If someone you love is going through a trial or difficult situation, sometimes simply touching or holding his or her hand is the perfect reaction. It’s soothing and meaningful.

When a child is frustrated or confused, a hug can make all of her cares go away, if only for the moment. It’s a bonding moment. It’s like an exchange of love energy.

Sometimes all you need is to be present and near another person to be effective. For instance, if someone you love is laying in their bed depressed, just sit near them or with them for a while. No need to tell them anything, no need to judge them for how they feel or advise them on what they should do.

So if you’re having a strained relationship with someone or you don’t know how to help someone you know who is in need, try a loving touch instead of words from time to time. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.