A Warning to Self Help Junkies As I went about dusting and organizing my bookshelf, I noticed something that I've never paid much attention to before. I realized just how many self help books I had, with rows and rows of books offering promises of better days, better body, better memory, greater spiritual fulfillment, etc.. As I ran my finger across the spine of each book standing at attention, I could recall the messages inside each one. I dared not lift one from the line, I already knew what was awaiting inside- notes and brightly colored underlined paragraphs. Each book reminded me of my “fresh start” and my “renewed commitment” to one idea or the next. But by the time I reached the very last chapter, I was so overwhelmed by the concepts and strategies, that I would surrender yet another book to my Wall of Self Help Fame and carry on my merry defeated way! Although I tease myself at times about the amount of books I have bought and shelved over the course of my adulthood, there does stand one positive outcome- my willingness and eagerness to step into greater growth and fulfillment. There is this little pesky bug that lives inside of me that eggs me on, to reach higher and love deeper. And so goes the story of evolution, every man's struggle to evolve past the here and now. I don't believe there is any harm done in reading the hottest and latest self help or spiritual book. In fact, it's a testament to your willingness to take up personal responsibility and create a life to your liking, but I do add caution to the Self Help Junkies. All books should serve as a guide, and not hard and fast rules on how to think and act. It has been my experience in coaching women who are looking to make changes in their lives, that the ultimate answer and inspiration to make great changes comes from within. The instructions and inklings of just how to make the changes, which are perfect for you, always comes from inside. Books, tapes, and seminars are tools to opening the portals for your journey to within, not the magic that I suspect we secretly wish for. Stepping into that portal of self-discovery and deep listening is a practice in and of itself, and is very much worth the effort. It requires that we slow down, take time to listen and give ourselves permission to take action. Here are a few tips that can set you off into your portal within. · Create a sacred space and time- Make an effort to find a time and a place where you will be undisturbed for a set amount of time daily. · Identifying your self help tools- What tools work for you? During my sacred time, I use various methods depending on the day and my mood. Sometimes I listen to uplifting music, some days I read poetry or other inspirational writings, and other times I journal. Choose a few that feel right for you. · Set an intention- I set my intention by using what I term, a Power Word. An affirmation or word that I use to help remind me of the goal I am looking to achieve. For example, if I strive to feel abundant and prosperous, I will think of the word abundance or prosperity throughout my day. This word brings me back to my purpose. · Measure Your Results- The only way you will know how far you've come is to look back from time to time. At the close of each day, make it a habit to reflect on the successes and struggles you've experienced. Look, don't stare! When you find yourself staring back, meaning, you are feeling very negative about the struggles and not feeling a sense of satisfaction on your successes, gently remind yourself that it's progress, not perfection you are seeking! From one junkie to the next, keep growing and learning, but most importantly trust and listen to yourself, inside of each of us is the most masterful work of art ever written, designed especially for us! _______________________ Article submitted by Keesha Mayes to butyoudontlooksick.com _______________________ Keesha Mayes is a Professional Personal Coach for CSOLUTIONS Coaching Services, and Internet Talk Radio Show Host for Coach K! Radio for Women.