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Purrfectly Speaking
Taking a stand outside the comfort zone
by Anita Charlot

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Springtime is approaching. The time of year when the trees begin to bud, flowers begin to bloom, and the birds begin singing on our windowsills. This is the time we normally shed the weight of the winter, open the windows, clean the house from top to bottom and change the décor from dark to light and pastel colors.

What time is it for you? Is it time for you to clean house? Would that be your physical house/apartment, or would that be your mental/spiritual house? Can you identify any areas of your life where you could use a new outlook? How are you feeling physically? Could you benefit from switching to a healthier lifestyle? Would exercise allow you to have more energy? Be more productive at work? Increase your overall stamina?

Are there old feelings of unworthiness, un-lovability, shame, guilt, remorse, fear, pain, etc. that you have been holding onto for years that you could work on letting go of? Could it be that you have been putting all of your faith, your needs, wants and expectations in your relationships/friendships only to be disappointed time and time again? How do you think your life would change if you turned those things over to a higher power? Can you actually imagine, you and your higher power working together to bring you the quality of life that you desire? If not, why?

I know that I ask you a lot of questions. I do this to make you think. To inspire some of you to step outside of your 'comfort zone' of 'that's just how I am … or that's just how it always plays out for me' and challenge you to take an active stand in your OWN life. Trust me when I tell you that asking these questions, gently nudging others to look outside of their own 'Hell' that they continue to wallow in, doesn't make for the best feelings between me and that individual, but after the anger subsides and they see the value and experience the personal growth … it is appreciated.

I am the type of person that would risk losing your friendship—rather than tell you what you want to hear, I would tell you the truth. My friends know if you don't want to know the TRUTH, then don't ask ME. I do my best to be as sensitive as possible to the feelings of the person asking the question, however, there are times when hand holding is not going to be sufficient and will not get through. Those times are when I practice 'tough love.'.

Anyone that knows me knows that this is my personal motto … SAY WHAT YOU MEAN … AND MEAN WHAT YOU SAY! In order to pull this off, you have to be a person of great integrity. Knowing who you are and what your limitations are as well as having a mutual respect for people in general. It is easier said than done, as it is common for us to relate to people with respect to how it will benefit us.

Sometimes, being truly honest about what we are feeling and what we are thinking may not get us the result that we want … but it is necessary to be true to our own spirits.

Have you ever noticed how you feel inside after having said something that you know isn't what you really feel? Isn't it hard to continue to put up a front? Don't you get tired of playing the game? In doing this … you set yourself up as well. If you are not honoring yourself with others, how do you expect your spirit to feel honored? Are you not going against your spirit when you tell a tale for convenience?

Maybe it's that you do not even realize until later that you are doing this. What would it take for you to see this?

It would take you really getting to know yourself; the good and the bad by doing mental, spiritual and emotional house cleaning. A good reference tool or beginner's guide would be Iyanla Vanzant's One Day My Soul Just Opened Up. If you could love yourself long enough to complete this book, I guarantee that you will have touched areas that you thought you never had.

I welcome any feedback either during or after your completion. I would like to start a 'Personal Growth' book club to discuss the challenges you faced while reading and completing the book. But then again, I am a bookworm.

Email me if you are interested and I will let you know if there was enough response to start a club.

Until then … pick up the cleaning supplies and GET BUSY!

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