Author name: Lotus Contributor

Man standing by a water fall. How to live fearlessly

How to live fearlessly

Man standing by a water fall. How to live fearlessly

How to Live Fearlessly

Living fearlessly is something that frees you to grow into exactly who you were meant to be. That type of life is one in which you have a vision for your life and a plan on how to get there. 

Fearless living involves a lot of healing, forgiveness, acceptance and love, which is not what people usually imagine. It is not a wild and uncontrollable step towards risk-taking, it is actually a calm understanding of self.

If you want to live fearlessly, here are a few ways to do just that.

Healing is Where to Start

To be fearless you have to start healing. Healing is not an easy path and it will test all of your fears and anxieties. You will have to go through these things instead of avoiding them. 

The fearful people stay in it and never work through it. They allow these things to control all of their behaviors and choices, while denying that the fear, anger, and anxiety exists. 

Beginning to be fearless means facing things you have suppressed and seeing how they are coming out in your daily behaviors. Finding the right therapist, coach, and self love resources is a first step. Take it slow because it will be a test in your strength, but a GOOD test.

Forgiveness of Self

Forgiveness helps you release stones that weigh your heart down. You can work on forgiving others in various ways in order to release these burdens you carry.

But my suggestion is that you start to forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for being hard on yourself. Forgive yourself for not showing up in the way you dream you show up. Keep forgiving everything that brings you any type of shame and humiliation. 

Inner child or inner layer healing can help with this because it focuses you on healing parts of you that are begging to be loved and recognized. 

Radical Acceptance of Two Things

You can apply radical acceptance to all areas of your life so that you can be present and aware. Yet, in this moment I want you to:

1: Start with radically getting to know an accept yourself. Work on understanding that you are truly unique. You have specific values and goals, which are your special experience on this planet.

2: Accept that there are people out there who will not love you for who you are. Fully understand that some people will not change no matter what you do (including parents and loved ones). This can free you to heal without the permission of anyone else.

Love Will Make You Fearless

Cultivate love on a regular basis. This means that you need to imagine people or things that bring up that feeling of total love in your body. Then, while you are feeling that love, quickly switch your mind over to sending that love to yourself and all situations you are in. 

Love life and and its craziness so you can learn anything you can to heal and keep on your self love path. On days when you cannot feel this, just be and try to do no harm, but keep thinking of all the gratitudes and things you love that you can. 

When you know you are doing things with love as your focus, then you know that you are making moves with no intent to harm. Each time you move in this way you can celebrate.

This is Just the Beginning

Fear is natural. We use other emotions to cover our fear like anger, righteous indignation, judgement, etc. As we start to become fearless, it is just the beginning of building a solid and loving relationship with our fear. 

The suggestions above are just examples of a healthy start, but this journey is yours so start where you feel called to, just don’t stop doing the work.

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Don't set specific goals

Don’t Set a Specific Goal

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Don't set specific goals

Don't set a Specific Goal - Here's What to Do Instead

Setting a specific goal for yourself will only disappoint you. Our expectations of how something will go can become so ingrained in our goals that we begin to see only that version of the future as a measure of success.

What that does is take us away from noticing all of the small successes along the way. In addition, you have a hard time adjusting to new things that happen that you were not anticipating. 

Here’s what you should do instead.

Get to Know Yourself

Before setting any type of goal, you should have a basic to solid understanding of yourself. You do this by exploring your core values, how you would like to show up, have a vision of the highest version of yourself, and know how to trust yourself.

The reason you should do this is to help you stay on a path toward a future that you would like to happen. Knowing yourself will help you to understand WHY you want to get to a particular goal. As you dig in, you will really know if this goal is for you.

Set the Goal and Let Go of Attachment

Instead of a specific goal (I know this goes against what our capitalistic society pushes) set a vision for a potential future. 

Consider what you would LIKE to pass, but know that this is just one potential of many. In fact, there are an infinite number of ways this vision could turn out. After laying out the specifics, see it, but be ready for even better results.

In Buddhist tradition, the concept of non-attachment explains that it is our attachment to people, things, outcomes, and all manner of things that causes us pain and suffering. When it comes to goals, we get so attached to the outcome that if it goes any differently than we imagine, we will be disappointed and miss the journey along the way.

Simply put: just set the goal and allow the journey and surprises along the way bring you joy.

Learn Lessons and Course Correct

As you progress towards a goal, life will throw a lot of different situations at you. These situations will test your true desire to reach this goal and will help you see what new struggles you might have if you attain this goal.

Let’s use the example of fame: you set a goal to become a famous rockstar. You create the vision and start to head on that path. 

While working on this goal you get a little taste of fame and you find yourself surrounded by new friends. It feels great! But then, your life takes a dip and you suddenly have a failure. Your new friends abandon you, but some of your true friends stick by and keep encouraging you.

In this (very simple) scenario, you are learning that fame might come with some fake friends. At this point you have to learn a new lesson about who you will allow into your circle if you stay on this path. If this causes you stress, you might want to change your path. 

THERE IS NO SHAME IN CHANGING YOUR PATH. Instead, LEARN. Learn about yourself, learn about others, learn the lessons life wants to teach you and reorient.

Goals are Dreams

Overall, remember that your goal is a dream. You are a human who can only imagine this dream so far. If you are a person of faith (any faith), trust that your higher power knows WAY MORE than you and can come up with something aligned with your dream, but better. If you are too focused on a specific outcome, you might not see all the things that are better than that outcome around you waiting to be experienced and noticed.

Dr. Autumn Thomas

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

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Healing slump

3 Things That Helped Me Get Out of My Recent Healing Slump​

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Healing slump

3 Things That Helped Me Get Out of My Recent Healing Slump

You’re healing. You’re feeling like you are doing great! This feeling is wonderful and your self love game is ON POINT.

Then…Something completely derails you.

I’m the self love educator, for crying out loud. I have spent my career working with students and adults to help them make sense of this world and fall in love with themselves, and I still feel this.

There are just weeks where I just have a VERY hard time remembering my own teachings. Here’s how I got back on track with my healing during a recent slump.

Remembered That Old Habits Take Time to Go Away

First, I remembered that I am healing, or maybe even healed, from those things that pull me under or take me away from being my highest self. Yet, I still have old habits in my brain that were in their meant to keep me safe.

Anger, defensiveness, lashing out, hiding, freezing, etc. These are all things that are physically wired into my brain that I must work with. When my own, old toxic behaviors come back, I noticed it accepted it.

The noticing was the hardest part because I have a tendency to blame others for my behaviors. I saw my old toxic pattern as a problem caused by the behavior of others.

Recognized That My Fearlessness is not a License to Harm

Secondly, I recognized that my healing was making me fearless. I love this fearless feeling, but it caused me some problems.

Suddenly, I was in a state of, “I’m going to just do me and I don’t care what others think.” This is all well and good, until I hurt a few people in ways I did not want to and was not being the person I expect myself to be.

In this case, I can be fearless, but I have to also remember my core values and who I want to show up as. I may not care what others think about me, but if my actions are not in line with my highest self, then I need to try to be conscious of any harm I cause.

Emotions Come and Go

Finally, all my frustrations were REAL for me. But, I also realized that they were MY frustrations. That person that I thought was being passive aggressive probably was, but how does my reaction impact our ability to problem-solve.

Remembering that emotions come and go was a serious moment for me, especially when my frustrations started to fade. They faded very quickly after I talked with a few trusted friends who helped me to see a different perspective. 

Emotions come and go, but the actions we take while caught up in them can have lasting consequences. Even though I felt like I had a RIGHT to be upset and frustrated, I knew it would fade and then what? Would my righteous indignation help anyone?

I labeled my emotions, meditated more, and noticed myself coming back into a calm state.

Overall, you have to decide how to get back on your healing journey even when you get derailed. But I wanted to share with you that you are not alone. And even the people who are teaching this stuff forget the tools and have to pick themselves up.

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

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Building the Energy for Self Love​

Building the Energy for Self Love

You were given this precious body to experience life with and what better way to fill your cup than to give it some energy.

Deepak Chopra states, “Every day, your body consciously tends to you, never losing focus or attention. You can acknowledge this faithful service by consciously relating to your body in turn.”

When you feel emotions in your body you should label them, connect with them, and release them. There is a more detailed way to do this in our program called “Techniques for Self Love and Acceptance.”

We tend to ignore emotional signals because we are taught that our body is just doing what it needs to do while our minds, hearts, and souls, are doing the real work.

Just like the work you are doing to have loving boundaries and build up your energy with our other activities, your body is in need of your loving care as well.

camera sitting on a Photo album

Why does energy help?

On the quantum level, your body is made up entirely of energy 

With this list: Joyful Distractions, there are a lot of physical movements suggests to keep take your mind off of stress. These include going for a jog, lifting weights, stretching your muscles, or doing yoga. All of these can increase the energy in your body through creating fun moments with movement.

Movement clears out your brain with the the growth factor called BDNF, which was mentioned in the Neuroscience of loving yourself. This chemical helps you to fill your cup and help you think more clearly.

Regular exercise of just 30 minutes a day can boost your energy through increase nutrient absorption and oxygen. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s by 60% (John Medina, Brain Rules, 2014)

Next steps

It’s all about finding the exercise that you actually enjoy doing. If you like to walk, do that, if you want to have stronger muscles, start a weight training regime.

The biggest goal of exercise and loving yourself, is to listen to your body and do something that makes you happy. Follow joy to your workout routine, but definitely get going because it helps your body communicate with you, increases your energy, and helps you live longer in this life you are loving.

Take time to make a list of activities that you like doing and make a plan to do this. 

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

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Self Love – Making a Powerful Moment

Self Love - Making a Powerful Moment

We remember our most profound moments. One way to express self love is to make a powerful moment for yourself.

Life unfolds as a series of peaks and valleys, each punctuated by our ordinary, everyday moments. Within this rhythm lies the opportunity to cultivate profound connections and transformative experiences. It’s in these calm spaces, between the highs and lows, that we have the power to shape our narratives and define our journey.

This realization struck me profoundly while revisiting “The Power of Moments” by Dan and Chip Heath (affiliate link), a book that explains the significance of creating memorable moments in our lives.

So how do you build powerful moments into your ordinary life? Here are 6 ways:

1. Break the routine

When you get into a hypnotic rhythm, one way to make a powerful moment is to break the routine. If you come home each day, make a meal, and then watch tv, then suggest to someone that you go for a walk. Then take advantage of that walk to connect with your loved one. Or pick a day of the week to go have an adventure after dinner.

2. Soak in a moment

Find the beauty in the ordinary with the ROSE activity (attached). This means, recognize the moment, observe everything around you, soak it in, and engrave it into your brain. I did this activity on a sunny day when I was teaching fifth grade and I can still remember one of my students’ faces, the big tree that was by us, the sun on my face, and a slight breeze. The regular moment is now a powerful memory for me.

3. Level up

If there is something that you are focused on or doing everyday, consider leveling it up. For example, I started paddle boarding out on a calm lake near my house. I would not stand up because I didn’t trust my balance or my ability to get back on the board if I fell. Even with this, I decided to challenge myself and level up. I had a friend come with me to help if I fell, and I stood up. I did this over and over again until it became routine. Now it is time for me to consider my next level.

4. Reflect

At the end of the day, consider moments that you had, which could be seen as ordinary, but might have been extraordinary. Think of a moment when someone was kind to you or went out of their way. You can find small moments of love and connection throughout your day, if you really look back. Daily journaling is a great way to notice the power of each day.

5. Celebrate growth

After working with a client for a few months, we noticed that they were able to reframe a thought they usually had. When they noticed that someone was giving them attitude, they were able to think, “well, that attitude is their problem, not mine.” Normally they would think something like, “I wonder what I did wrong?” and would spin-out with their thinking by trying to mind read, fawn, and people please. 

When we recognized this we did a little celebration and journaling. This is an example of looking back, noticing growth, and celebrating it.

6. Elevate an experience

If you know you are about to do something mundane and boring, but want it to be a better moment, elevate it. Here are some examples:
     -Spruce up a boring meeting by bringing some interesting food.
     -Play fun music while organizing your garage.
     -Make a special snack before watching a movie with a loved one.
     -Design a little scavenger hunt for pieces of a small love note.
You get the idea.

Conclusion

Not every moment is going to be powerful, but you CAN work on making your life as memorable as possible by making an effort when life gets a little boring. 

This practice is a great way to retrain your brain to focus on uplifting moments and change your mood. 

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Applying Mindfulness to Your Day

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Applying Mindfulness to Your Day

As you venture onto your self love journey, it is important to consider that your mind will always be filling you up with thoughts because that is its job. These thoughts can sometimes sabotage your efforts so mindfulness is a good way to sort through that.

Applying mindfulness to your daily life can bring you a different kind of energy, because you are aware of your thoughts, but you are then bringing your focus back into the moment that you are in. Also, you can direct your mind to refocus on your own goals.

During Happy Times

During happy times, you can bring in mindfulness by noticing the moment and celebrating it in your mind.

Try to be fully in all the happiest times that you are available for. This is the art of being present.

When you notice that your mind is drifting off to what you “should” be doing, bring your mind gently back to the moment and soak it in.

Try out this ROSE activity that I use with all my students and in many of the Shared Lotus Programs Take a look and apply it to all your happy moments.

During Harder Times

When moments are harder and more stressful, slow down and notice your thoughts.

Are your thoughts trying to protect you or rationalize so you can cope with a situation.

Can you be present in this moment and start to consider it from a different angle? Do you need to take space and re-center yourself before moving on with this situation?

Could you be falling into a thinking trap?

Your Mind is a Garden

You mind is a garden so you want to notice your thoughts when they come up. This is not easy because we tend to work on automatic pilot a lot.

But if you are making this a regular practice, you will start to understand you mind a little better and see what thoughts you are feeding your garden.

This activity is a part of our “Filling Your Cup” online program, which offers many ways to help you center on your self-love journey.

Other ways to be mindful are to reflect in a journal each day, learn mindfulness meditation, or practice breathing and visualization.

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

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Healing slump

5 things other people can handle – Boundaries

Healing slump

5 things other people can handle - Boundaries

We live in a unique time when people are really digging into healing and learning to handle their own emotional well-being.

Yet, there are times when you might feel like you are responsible for the emotions of someone else. It is healthy to consider how your behaviors can impact others. It is also good to work through any misunderstandings in order to keep healthy relationships. BUT, you are not the one responsible for other people’s emotions.

You are allowed to have boundaries and allow other people to work through times when you say “no”. 

Below is a list of 5 things other people can handle, especially when you need your boundaries to be respected.

1. If you change your mind

We usually feel obligated to commit to something right after we say “yes.” But maybe you got more information or you just do not feel the same when the moment comes. It is okay to change your mind and other people need to handle their own reactions to that.

2. When you are done with being treated poorly

Not everyone is going to treat you well all the time, but it is okay to expect basic kindness and respect. People can handle when you walk away from poor treatment. You can walk away, even when emotions are high (especially so) and allow the other person to go soothe themselves while you take care of you.

3. In the case that you do not want to share something

If you do not want to share your fries, or the latest gossip about someone, you have every right to say “no”. People tend to cross this boundary, but they can take care of themselves after you decide you are not in the mood to share. Is generosity of things and information a kind thing, sometimes. But other times, you want to keep something for yourself and that is okay. When it comes to information, you might need time to process before you are ready to share.

4. At a time when you need space

Some people are not used to giving others space because they feel they never need it. But you just might need it to process and make a decision that is best for you. If someone is not giving you space when you ask for it, let them know that they will be okay. The silent treatment can be somewhat abusive, so tell the other person you will let them know when you are ready to talk and work through a problem, but they need to respect your boundary and give you space.

5. Those moments you do not want to be around a particular person.

Maybe there is a person that has no bad intentions or is perfectly harmless. Unless you have no other choice (your career or maybe even a student), you do not need to spend time with someone you do not like. Especially alone. They can handle that. Just like you are taking responsibility for your own emotional health, they can work on their own feelings of rejection.

Conclusion

It is normal to not want to be rude and to worry about other people’s feelings. But if you have to get “rude” to keep boundaries, well, you might have to, especially in the case of being alone with someone you do not trust.

On the other hand, a simple way to communicate to someone is to simply say, “I trust you can handle me saying “no” to your request. I respect you, so please do the same for me.”

If you struggle with setting boundaries, consider our program called “Loving Boundaries” as a way to practice and communicate your boundaries I a way that shows your love for others and your love for yourself.

Dr. Autumn Thomas

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

This blog may contain affiliate links.

Sign up for our free Gratitude Program 

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Explore our Programs Page and find one to further your self love journey.

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Why Changing Your Mindset Works

Why Changing Your Mindset Works

Interactive Program

Use the interactive video below to learn why changing your mindset works.

By the end, you will understand what is physically happening in your brain when you change your mindset.

Here is the link to video “How Your Brain Looks When You Think New Thoughts” referred to in the video above. 

The file below contains the questions that are asked in the interactive video above. 

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Healing Your Inner Wounds

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Healing Your Inner Wounds

Imagine a photo album filled with snapshots of your past. As you flip through its pages, memories come rushing back, capturing pivotal moments that shaped who you are today. Some of these memories may bring warmth and joy, while others may stir up pain and sorrow. But what if I told you that within these snapshots lies one way to help heal your inner wounds and fostering personal growth? 

Welcome to the power of self-love and inner healing. 

In this post, we will explore how embracing healing your inner wounds can be a transformative tool in your journey towards healing. We will delve into using past pictures of yourself as a process of becoming your own nurturer and re-parenting your inner child. 

camera sitting on a Photo album

Exploring Pivotal Moments Through Old Photos

Exploring pivotal moments through old photos can be a powerful exercise in self-reflection and healing, allowing us to revisit the past and gain new insights into our own journey.

One particular aspect of this exploration is the process of becoming our own parent and nurturing ourselves with self-love. Just as we would comfort and nurture a child in need, we can extend the same compassion towards ourselves when faced with our inner wounds. By embracing self-love and treating our inner-selves with kindness, we can create a safe and nurturing environment for healing and personal growth. 

Becoming Your Own Parent: Nurturing Self-Love

One particular aspect of exploring pivotal moments through old photos is the opportunity to become our own parent, nurturing ourselves with self-love. Just as we would comfort and nurture a child in need, extending the same compassion towards ourselves when faced with our inner wounds can be a transformative experience.

The activity below is designed to encourage treating ourselves with kindness and allowing us to create a safe environment for healing. By becoming our own source of love and support, we can release blame and embrace self-forgiveness, opening the door to profound healing and inner peace.

An Activity to Connect with Your Inner Child

This activity (from the book Recovery of Your Inner Child) is an activity that brings you face-to-face with your inner layers.

First, find some pictures of your younger self. Look for pictures that represent pivotal times in your life.

While doing this exercise I found a picture of myself when I was around 7 or 8. I then found a picture of myself in high school, a time when I was very insecure.

Find your pictures and sit with those versions of you. Imagine that you are your own parent. You are YOU, though, not your actual parent.

Talk with those versions of you and let them know that you see that they were doing their best. Let them know that nothing that happened to them was their fault.

Tell them all the things you wish the adults around you would have told you. BE your own cheerleader and show those pictures of yourself some love.

While doing this, also release any guilt that might come up. One thing you must understand is that healing your inner child is not an insult to your parents or past care-takers. This is a personal journey.

Remember, too, that if hard memories come up for you, do not hesitate to get some outside mental health support. Find whatever resources available to you. Pay what you can afford or find free resources in your local area, investing time and money in your mental health now will save you so much pain and struggle down the road.

Heal Yourself and Heal the World

In a world that often prioritizes external validation and self-criticism, there is immense strength in treating ourselves with kindness and understanding.

By extending the same compassion we offer to others to our own selves, we create a nurturing environment for our inner wounds to heal. It is through self-compassion that we learn to be our own greatest ally, finding solace and support within ourselves – a wellspring of love and acceptance that is always available.

When we do this, we model it for others, as well. This type of energy has the potential to fully heal all of us.

Dr. Autumn Thomas

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

This blog may contain affiliate links.

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Loving Boundaries

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Loving Boundaries

On your self love journey, you might have heard of boundaries. It’s a work that comes up in many conversations, but can be hard to really understand. So what are loving boundaries?

Many of us our trained to ignore our boundaries (or personal limits) for the sake of others, which can drain our energy and cause us to feel a lot of negative emotions.

Loving boundaries are not only how we communicate to others what we can tolerate, they also communicate a trust for another person.

You are setting a limit with someone and having faith that they can respect and handle that limit. It is not divisive, instead it is a way to connect through mutual respect.

Start by Knowing Your Rights

Our confusion about boundaries can happen because we might not really know what we should be able to say no to.

When we were younger, our lines overlapped with those of our care-takers. Some of the things they did were to protect us, and we did not always have space and privacy that we now have as adults. There were acceptable levels of overlap so that we could be safe. 

Now, though, we might need to visit our personal rights to understand what limits we might need to be setting with others.

Boundaries are Not Controlling Others

As you see that you have rights, you also know that you can only control yourself. You cannot control others and make them be a certain way or get them to do things how you want. When you begin to communicate your boundaries, you are simply letting those around you understand what YOU will put up with.

If this leads to a conversation where someone decides that they would like to change their behaviors around you, that’s great! But that is not the purpose of boundaries. 

For you to understand this it is important for you to understand the stages of boundary development and where you fall in that. This is self awareness and must be in place for you to grow. 

Boundaries are About Trust

Loving boundaries are special because they communicate trust to someone. You are trusting them to run their own lives, so you are watching yourself to see if you might be crossing someone else’s lines. You are doing a self-check to ensure that you are allowing others to live their best lives without your total interference.

On the other hand, when you communicate your loving boundaries, you are letting someone know that you trust in their ability to hear you and love you. If they are struggling with your boundary, you are giving them time to adjust and talk with you about what you need. You are trusting them to love you in a way that you are worthy.

Love and Boundaries

Overall, your boundaries communicate so much love, that they are flexible but full of high expectations that anyone can live up to. If you are not sure where to start, we offer a program called Loving Boundaries.

There are also a ton of resources out there to get your boundary exploration started. You can also sign up for a series of free boundary exploration emails to start you on your path here

Dr. Autumn Thomas

Does an anger management program sound like the next step for you? Purchase our program here.

This blog may contain affiliate links, any affiliate links are resources I actually use in my programs.

Sign up for a Loving Boundary Program 

Get 30 Days of Gratitude sent to your inbox

Get a Free Boundary Workbook to Download

Explore our Programs Page and find one to further your self love journey.

Loving Boundaries Read More »

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