When Others Lay a Guilt Trip

by Gwen Randall-Young –

Do you have people in your life who make you feel guilty when you do not do what they want you to do? Do you feel like you are walking on eggshells because you do not know how they will respond?
I am not talking about times when you forgot to do what you said you would do or otherwise dropped the ball. Rather, I am thinking of times when others are trying to manipulate you into doing what they want.
This seems to happen a lot when someone is trying to set clear boundaries or is trying to learn to say “no.” When one who has been a pleaser tries to bring some balance back into their dealings with others, they may run into resistance. Sadly, this is often enough to get them scurrying back to their pleasing way.

“He who does not have the courage to speak up for his rights cannot earn the respect of others.”  –Rene G. Torres

If you are going to be your own person and truly take care of yourself, you must learn to be comfortable with the unhappiness or disappointment of others. You even have to accept that some will not like you. 
Think about it: 

If someone only likes us when we take care of them and dislikes us if we take care of ourselves, what kind of relationship is that?
Part of growing up and becoming an independent adult is having the ability to know what works for or is comfortable for us and to be able to express that. 
It is being able to do so without second guessing ourselves because of the reaction of others and finally, it is recognizing that we are not responsible for the way others choose to respond to our speaking our truth nor do we have to fix it.

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What Kind of Energy Are You Putting Out There?

by Gwen Randall-Young –

Each of us emits “energy” into our surroundings. 

Think how easy it is to detect a change in the atmosphere when someone is angry with us or how positive the mood is when we are having fun, joking around with a loved one.

This energy is palpable and we have all experienced the energy of other people. If the energy is positive, it feels good to be around that person. If it is negative, we want to pull away because that energy affects us: we feel tense, irritated, it brings us down or we feel like we are walking on eggshells.

Just as we are affected by the energy of others, they are affected by ours. Therefore, we need to be aware of just what we are putting out there into the environment shared by others. Just as we take care of our personal hygiene so we do not offend others, we should practice good “psychological hygiene.”

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” 
–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Negative energy can be toxic to others. 

It originates in thought and can affect others whether we voice it, show it in our behavior or simply keep it to ourselves. Negative energy is generated by thoughts that are critical, judgmental, belittling, rejecting, angry or polarizing.

One negative person can affect an entire office or unsettle an entire household. Being in a “bad mood” does not justify making life miserable for everyone around us. While you are shaking the dirt off your shoes before entering your home or place of work, also make a point of “shaking off” any negative energy you might be carrying. Others will appreciate it and you will feel better.
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The Secret to Finding Your True Path

by Gwen Randall-Young –

I have worked with many clients who experience frustration and even resentment upon realizing they have been pleasers all their lives. It may have begun when, as children they realized that life was more pleasant when you did what others wanted you to do.
This pattern can persist into adulthood, particularly for those who are very sensitive or have low self-esteem. The sensitive one cannot tolerate the thought of an angry or hurt reaction coming their way. They will go to great lengths to avoid conflict or even disagreement.
For one with low self-esteem, it has to do with approval. They do not want others to disapprove of them (they do that well enough to themselves). To avoid risking the disapproval of another, they will go out of their way to anticipate the needs or wishes of others, and will act upon those without even being asked.
Over time, the pleaser gets out of touch with what he or she really needs for the self. The approval or good opinion of others has superceded fulfilling one’s own wants and needs. The pleaser will often express the view that it is “selfish” to put one’s own needs ahead of those of others.
The truth is that there must be a healthy balance. 

If we are not in tune with ourselves and do not honor what we know we need, health and wellbeing will ultimately be affected. Depression or anxiety may result, as well as physical ailments.

If you notice there is a discrepancy between what you think and feel inside and what you say and do on the outside, it is time to take stock and correct the imbalance. Harmony comes when there is alignment between our inner and outer worlds .
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Letting Go of Pain and Moving On


by Gwen Randall-Young –

Sometimes, there are people in our lives with whom we have painful connections. It might be a parent, whom we hold responsible for a difficult childhood, a friend who has betrayed us, an ex-partner or a supervisor or colleague in the workplace.

These relationships may remain unresolved either because raising the issues may create more difficulty or because we simply do not want the relationship anymore. Either way, as we try to move on, we may find we take the pain with us.

Is it that the person hurt us so deeply that our wounds simply will not heal? Is it our karma to suffer some punishment for harm we have done to others in this or a past life? Or is the pain, in part, our own creation? Any or all of these reasons may be true, but the third option is the only one that allows us to create a different future for ourselves.

When we talk about creating our own pain, this does not mean that we have somehow ‘attracted’ painful situations to facilitate our learning. It means the situation, in itself, is not the problem, but rather it is our response to the situation that creates the pain. It is our holding on and continuing to put our energy into the memory of the problems that keeps the pain alive and thriving within our consciousness.

Our learning is not so much to ensure that we avoid painful situations and relationships; that would mean avoiding love and life. It is about learning to let go of the pain. If we keep thinking and talking about the painful past and begin to define ourselves in terms of what happened to us, we bind that pain to ourselves. This does not mean we should suppress pain, however.

It is important to talk about what has happened to us, but the goal is to heal it and move on, rather than continuing to etch it deeper and deeper into our psyches. Speaking badly of the ones who hurt us or fuelling vindictive feelings only creates more toxic energy. This is harmful to the physical body and, like an inversion layer, blocks the rays of the light of wisdom to which we all have access. This kind of toxic energy hardens our hearts.

The tendency to hold on to pain, almost like an emotional constipation, may, in part, be genetic. I know of one family in which for at least three and perhaps even four consecutive generations, there was one sibling who stopped speaking to one or more of the other siblings and the silence lasted for decades, even until death. The individual held on to perceived slights, ruminated and obsessed about them and never let go.

Genetics create predispositions, not destinies. A family history of pain and suffering is all the more reason to work to change the pattern, rather than unconsciously passing it on.

Letting go of pain does not mean that whatever someone has done to us is OK. It only means that we do not choose to spend the rest of our lives suffering from it.

Others can inflict pain upon us, but only we can release ourselves from emotional pain. It takes a lot of energy to maintain the pain, thus releasing it frees up large stores of energy for creativity, loving and moving forward in our lives.

Think of every resentment, pain and grudge you carry as a heavy piece of baggage. Picture yourself dragging this baggage everywhere you go. Then, imagine setting the bags down and walking into your future without them. All that is left now is to choose what you will do with your baggage. It’s your future and it will be what you make it. Choose consciously.


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Emotional Peace

peace.jpg Peace image by whispersofspirit

by Gwen Randall-Young –

The most valuable commodity in the world is inner peace. Health, wealth, fame or fortune cannot be enjoyed or appreciated when life is filled with emotional turbulence. Yet, we are human, and things happen in life.

Sometimes, despite our best intentions, determination, and affirmations, we find ourselves caught up in an emotional reaction to a person or situation. If only things would just turn out right, and people would behave as expected, then we could be at peace, or so we think. The problem with this thinking is that we are waiting for things to be peaceful on the outside before we can be peaceful on the inside. Actually, it works the other way around. When we create stillness and calm within, then our lives become more peaceful. Emotional upset occurs when things do not go the way we want them to. Struggle is created when we try to make things go the way we want them to.

Emotional peace, on the other hand, comes when we learn to accept things as they are, and let go of our need to control them. Of course this does not mean that we put up with abuse or inappropriate behavior. It does mean that we are more accepting of things we cannot change, more respectful of boundaries (ours and others), and more realistic.

Sometimes we just have to accept people and situations as they are, and sometimes we have to bless them and move on. If we know a situation or relationship is not good for us, we cannot hope to find peace until we do something about it. In the meantime, we can still cultivate emotional peace. Imagine a, peaceful sanctuary. Think of it as a safe, healing place. Hold it in your consciousness, perhaps in your heart, and, quieting the mind, go there regularly. When you practice this often, you come to know that peace is always a choice.

You can always tell yourself, a well of peace exists within me, and I can choose to be there any time. Emotional turbulence is generally fuelled by thoughts, so if we just stop the thoughts for a time and drop into this peaceful space, we see that it is the ego-mind that is having the problem. Without the thoughts, peace returns. Achieving emotional peace does not mean that everything in life has finally settled into a state of perfection. Nothing does. It means that we have freed ourselves from the entrapment of the mind, we are no longer held hostage by our thoughts. We can observe them, see them for what they are, and then let them go.

We will still have to deal with the stuff of life, but then we can step back into our place of peace. Practice this, and notice how much more peaceful your life becomes, both inside and out.

Go slowly, breathe, and smile.
–Thich Nhat Hanh