A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep

Are you tired of making New Year’s Resolutions you can’t keep?

This year, instead of focusing on all the things you want to change about yourself, what if you made a different kind of resolution? What if the only resolution you made was to love yourself more, exactly as you are?

You are a perfect creation just as you are!  You were born with so many natural gifts to share with the world, but when you focus on all the things you think are “wrong” with you or that society tells you are “wrong” with you, your precious time and energy will be spent on the wrong areas and everyone will be missing out on the real gifts you have to bring to the world. Instead, why not focus on being yourself, discovering those gifts, and sharing them with those around you?

When you learn to love yourself unconditionally and live a more authentic life, all of the things you think are “wrong” with you will naturally take care of themselves. For example, if losing weight was going to be your resolution, that will naturally happen when you take the time to love yourself as you are and commit to discovering the emotional cause of your eating habits. Once you are able to deal with and overcome those emotional issues, you will naturally want to care for your body and fuel it with real foods that nature intended us to eat. Then, the weight will fall off naturally. The same goes for any other area of your life that you think might need improvement.  When you begin to live authentically, everything begins to fall into place and your dreams will begin to come true!

If you do want to live a more authentic life and get to know and love yourself more but you don’t exactly know how to do that, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge was written to help you do just that.  It requires just 15 minutes of your undivided attention each day for 31-Days. You will learn to embrace your uniqueness, discover your priorities so you can spend your time and energy on those things that really matter in life, and recognize your gifts and talents so you can share them with the world and fulfill the purpose that you were sent here to make.

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So, whatever challenge or resolution you decide to make for this New Year, I wish you much success!

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The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge is Now Available!!

Do you want to live a more authentic, peaceful, and purposeful life? Do you want to live your life to the fullest and use your natural gifts and talents to make the world a better place?  If so, I am SO excited to introduce you to my very first book, The 31-Day Self-Love Challenge!

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This 31-day guided journal will help you learn to recognize your worth, identify your purposes in life, and develop the habits necessary to become healthy in body, mind, and spirit.  It is intended for anyone who is starving for a little bit of alone time, or anyone who is willing to dedicate a little more time to get to know and love yourself more. If you know anyone who could benefit from this book, I would be grateful for your recommendation. It is currently available through Amazon here.

Also, if you enjoy inspiring quotes or would like to follow my journey as an author, please “Like” my FB Author page Stacy Rancourt.

Book Review: The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

The Artist’s Way:  A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron

The Artists Way Cover

My Rating:  ***** 5 out of 5 Stars

Why Did I Read?

The book that has had the biggest impact on my life so far has been Life Makeovers by Cheryl Richardson.  Through that book, I discovered myself.  I have been through the 52 weekly challenges in that book for over 8 years now, and I am grateful to author Cheryl Richardson and the book for helping me on my journey of personal growth.  At the end of each weekly challenge, there are a list of resources if the reader wants to go further in depth with the topic of the week.  The Artists Way is listed as one of the resources.  If The Artists Way helped shape Cheryl Richardson into the person she is today, I decided it was worth checking out.  So, I borrowed it from my library, began my journey on the twelve-week challenge, and just I finished it (although I completed it in about 6 weeks instead of 12 so I could get it back to the library before the due date.)  I am planning to take the challenge again.  There are very few books that I actually buy since I can get them at the library, but The Artists Way is one that I feel would be worth buying.

Summary

From the back of the book:  The Artists Way is an empowering book for aspiring and working artists.  With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity.

The Artists Way links creativity to spirituality by showing in nondenominational terms how to tap into the higher power that connects human creativity with the creative energies of the universe, and guides you through a variety of highly effective exercises and activities that spur imagination and capture new ideas.

What Did I Think/ My Recommendation

I love this book, and I see why it was recommended by Cheryl Richardson in the book Life Makeovers!  There are a lot of great tips in this book that could help anyone looking to unleash their creativity and rediscover the artist within.  I took away some great ideas from this book, and when I applied them to my life, I noticed a huge improvement.  Writing morning pages have helped me to focus on gratitude and prioritize my days.  When I don’t do them, I feel lost and unproductive.  The artist date has been something I have come to look forward to each week.  As time goes on, I hope to schedule more time for artist dates.  There are many other suggestions in the book that would greatly improve one’s life.  Completing the tasks have helped me identify some of my fears and limiting beliefs so I can work past them.  This is not a book that you just sit back and read.  You must do the tasks provided to get the most out of it.  The more time you put into it, the more you will get out of this book.  I plan to go through the twelve-week program again in an even more thorough fashion.

I also loved that the margins of the book are loaded with inspiring quotes, many of which resonated with me.  My favorite quote of all from the book is one from Julia Cameron herself:

“Creativity is God’s gift to us.  Using our creativity is our gift back to God.” ~Julia Cameron

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For more information or reviews on The Artists Way, or for more about the author Julia Cameron, check out The Artists Way on Goodreads.

A New Year’s Resolution You Can Keep: Do You Want to Love Yourself More?

Do you want to make a New Year’s resolution you can actually keep this year?

What if the only resolution you made this year was to spend some time getting to know and love yourself so you could live a truly authentic life, using your natural gifts and talents to make the difference you were sent to make in this world?

On a scale of 1-10, how much do you love yourself?  How well do you know yourself?

If your answer to either of those questions is not as high as you would like it to be, I invite you to download my FREE e-book/journal to participate in my 31-day challenge beginning on January 1, 2015.

You will need 15 minutes of uninterrupted time each day to focus on yourself.  Turn off the phone, television, and get away from any distractions.  Each day, you will be asked one question that will help you get to know and love yourself more.

At the end of the month, the desired result will be a deeper connection to yourself, more inner peace, love, and acceptance of yourself, and hopefully a clearer vision of your priorities and where you are going in life.  You will not need to reveal your answers to anyone.

If that sounds like just what you need right now, you can download my e-book/journal The January 2015 Love Yourself More Challenge  for FREE.  The e-book will only be available for free for a limited time, so click on the book cover below to download it, and join me in working toward becoming healthy in mind, body, and spirit!

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Book Review: Dying to Be Me

This is an inspiring book with a powerful message. I highly recommend it!

Journey to Complete Wellness

Dying to Be Me:  My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing by Anita Moorjani

This is one of the best books I have ever read!  I have enjoyed reading about Anita’s life and learning all the life lessons her near-death experience taught her.

Summary

Anita battled cancer for almost 4 years.  When her body began shutting down, she entered a near death experience (NDE) where she discovered the cause of her disease.  She realized she was dying because of all of her fears.  She was afraid to express her true self, which caused her own energy to manifest as cancer.  When she chose to return to her body, she realized she had the power to heal herself.  She knew she would be healed quickly because the root cause of her disease was taken care of.

The book is divided into 3 parts.  Part 1 talks about Anita’s…

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The Book That Changed My Life…

If you had to choose the ONE book that has changed your life the most, which one would it be? 

For me, without a doubt I would choose the book Life Makeovers by Cheryl Richardson.

 

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It’s February 2007.  I am in Maine for the weekend visiting my mother, and I come across this book on her bookshelf.  The cover claims 52 Practical and Inspiring ways to improve my life.  Looks interesting to me.  Leafing through, I see the chapters are really short.  Perfect, because I don’t have time to devote to reading a long book right now.  I’m lucky if I can focus my attention on anything other than my kids for even a few minutes.  My 4-year old is constantly attached to my hip, and I can’t take my eyes off my curious 2-year-old for even a second.  I am utterly exhausted, and being 4-months pregnant doesn’t make things any easier.  My kids ARE my life, but I’m longing for just a few minutes to myself once in a while.  I desperately need to recharge.

My mom gladly lets me borrow the book.  What have I got to lose? 

I get the book home and open it up to the Introduction.  This book is going to help me reconnect with myself and discover who I am (I can’t wait to find out!).  Each week I will be challenged to make a small change that will improve my life.  I can handle that.  I can’t wait to start!  

I move on to Week 1.  The first challenge suggests I keep a journal.  I dig out the journal my husband gave me 5 years ago when I was pregnant for the first time.  It is at the bottom of my nightstand.  I take it out and open it up.  The last entry reads April 9, 2003, almost 4 years ago!  It seems I’ve had more important things to do?

While I desperately want more time for myself, it just doesn’t seem to be an option at this point in my life.  My kids NEED me.  EVERY second.  Nobody else can take care of them the way I do.  It’s selfish to spend time doing something I enjoy when I should be spending time with them.  I feel guilty when I am anywhere but with them.  With all these things running through my head, it feels like any title other than “mommy” is out of the question for at least another 18 years.  Regardless, I know I found this book for a reason and I’m feeling very excited about it.  I’m willing to give this a try…

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Boy, am I glad I did!

7 years after initially opening the book, I still continue to take the time each week to do the weekly challenges.  I find it fun to go through journals of previous years and see how I have grown.

This book has helped me in all areas of my life.   I learned that we have to MAKE the time for ourselves.  It is worth it.  Make yourself a priority.  Schedule time for yourself (in ink), and treat it just as you would a doctor’s appointment.  Yes, you still need to take care of those who are dependent on you.  But set a good example and show them that it’s important to take care of yourself, too!  At first, this was really hard for me to do.  I felt guilty when I wasn’t with my kids.  But over time, it got so much easier and I realized that I was not the only person in the world who could care for my kids – my husband was perfectly capable as well.  And it was good for all of us to have a little time apart from each other.  Just a little time to recharge each week, and the benefits were immense.  I was happier, less stressed, not as burned out, and I was starting to really get to know and love myself.  In finding myself, I also found God.  Deep within each of us lies wisdom, love, peace, and EVERYTHING we will ever need.  And there is NOTHING better than finding that place.  Trust me.  This book has taught me that self care is NOT selfish, and it is important for your overall health and in the best interest of everyone around you.

I have found the experience to be even better when done with a friend.  A few years ago, I invited a few friends to take this journey with me.  We meet occasionally to discuss the changes we are making to improve our lives.  We have found that small changes make big differences.  Doing this Life Makeovers challenge with a friend also provides accountability.  We are more likely to make the time for it and put our self care first if we are doing it together and need to report our progress to each other.

I invite you to check out this book and make the time for yourself that you deserve.  You can read the introduction to the book here.

Which book has had the greatest impact on YOUR life?  Please leave a comment below.