Learn How to Tame Your Gremlin

If you had a person in your life treating you the way you treat yourself, you would have gotten rid of them a long time ago. Cheri Huber, author of There Is Nothing Wrong with You: Going Beyond Self-Hate

As I edit/rewrite my first book, Ribbons of Love – Affirmations for abundant living, I’m reminded of the power of self-talk. Do you speak to yourself the way you’d speak to your beloved child or grandchild? If the negative voice in your mind is loud and keeping you from being the person you want to be, it’s time to take action. Here are three steps to help you begin:

1. Name the negative voice in your head. I call mine the Gremlin. Talk back to your negative voice, argue with him/her, challenge your Gremlin with the truth. 

2. Track when your Gremlin is speaking to you. One of the first steps to changing a habit is recognizing when it occurs. Journaling is a helpful way to do this or simply stop and make a mental note of unwarranted negativity.

3. Affirm yourself. If your Gremlin is invading your space, repeat an affirmation. Gremlins hate affirmations because they take away their power. It’s unlikely that you’ll completely rid yourself of your Gremlin but you can tame him.

4. Talk to yourself like a trusted friend and refuse to believe your unrealistic, negative inner voice.

Affirmation: I am worthy of positive self talk.

Coaching questions: What is your Gremlin saying to you? Is it true? What steps will you take to tame your Gremlin? What difference will it make? 


Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

A Dragonfly’s Magic

Dragonflies are reminders that we are light and we can reflect light in powerful ways if we choose to do so. Robyn Nola, Artist and believer in the power of affirmation

In almost every part of the world, the Dragonfly symbolizes change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization. The Dragonfly is iridescent both on its wings and body. The magical property of iridescence is associated with the discovery of one’s ability by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts cast on his/her sense of identity. 

Discovering and embracing who we truly are is an integral part of our maturity. A friend of mine who faces the challenge of addiction recovery has a Dragonfly tattoo on her arm as a symbol of her transformation. To her the Dragonfly stands for hope, change, and love. A powerful daily reminder that she has embraced change and remains true to herself.

Affirmation: I am true to myself. 

Coaching questions: In what ways have you changed and become more of your true self? What symbol would you use to prompt you to reflect light and embrace self-realization? 

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Just Say No

When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself. Paulo Coelho, Brazilian lyricist and novelist. 

One of the important lessons I taught my clients when I was their Life Coach was how to say, “no.” So much of the stress, anger, and anguish of our lives comes from our inability, particularly as women, to say no to the requests made of us that we know will put us over the top or are requests to do something we don’t want to do. Having a list of no-phrases can be helpful. Here you go:

I’d love to but I’m just not able to right now—Thanks, but my schedule is full— I know you need help with that project but I just can’t fit it in right now—Maybe another time—Thanks for thinking of me.

If these lovely responses fail, and the assailant won’t give up, sometimes you just have to say, “Is there something you don’t understand about my answer?” Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that but hold your ground. Your sanity and the possibility of living a tranquil, or at least not insane, life depends on it. You’re worth it. 

Affirmation: I can say no.

Coaching questions: What is your response to a request to which you don’t want to comply? Is it working? If not, practice saying no then the next time you need to be strong you’ll be prepared. 



At a Snail’s Pace

Snails do not despair for having short legs, but rejoice for being able to travel long distances in spite of them. Matshona Dhliwayo, Canadian philosopher, entrepreneur, author

Do you despair having short legs like the snail or extra pounds or thick ankles? Women in particular seem to see what needs to be “fixed” rather than what is terrific. Although I still lament those extra pounds that have plagued me most of my adult life, as I’ve aged I’ve become more and more thankful for a healthy body, no matter the flaws.

Frequently we can become so identified with the losses, heartaches and all that we despair, we lose sight of the those things for which we can rejoice. It might take the snail a week of non-stop travel to move a half mile down the road but he’s still moving forward. Be like the snail.

Affirmation: I rejoice in my healthy body and the ability to move forward.

Coaching question/request: What snail-like step can you take today to move away from despair? Think about the one thing you like the least about your body and affirm it anyway.


When Nothing Can Be Done About It

The Japanese phrase, Shikata ga nai, means “it cannot be helped”  or “nothing can be done about it,” a strategy for accepting an undesirable situation and the antidote to worry. It’s a reminder that when the something is beyond your control, you need to mentally move on.

Scientific studies agree that dwelling on negative events may cause depression and other physical symptoms. I know….it’s easier said than done but still an excellent lesson for living a healthier, happier life. 

Affirmation: I move on when a situation is beyond my control.

Coaching questions: What situations/relationships beyond your control are causing you to obsess, worry, or lose sleep? What’s one step you can take to move towards adopting Shikata ga nai?

Pen To Paper

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters (cards). You can’t reread a phone call (email/text). Liz Carpenter, writer, reporter, feminist

I’m one of those old fashioned people who still sends cards that require stamps. Judy, my creative friend, makes and sells custom-made cards. I send her a list of names each quarter and she mails me the beautiful, cards like those in the photo below.

Like Ms. Carpenter, I do like to reread, and occasionally save, special cards. I appreciate the time it takes to buy, address, stamp, and mail a card. The gift is in the effort every bit as much as it is in the message. Sympathy cards seem most important. In the midst of grief, calls are often forgotten (although they are important too), but cards can be treasured months later when the fog has lifted.

Affirmation: I have time to lick (or peel) a stamp.

Coaching questions: Have you ever received a card that you’ve saved or remembered? What was significant about it? Is there someone you’d like to honor with a card or letter today? Do it!