Mahalo spectacular people,

I was reading on Twitter there is an increase in people going to plastic surgeons because they want to change their features to look like their Snapchat filters. That feels sad, wrong and missing the point of what is going on. If core values of feeling confident, valued, essential are not residing in your spirit and soul this will be a momentary fix. Changing your features will not put to peace how to feel about yourself. The real issue will linger, lurk, and haunt you. Taking positive action to improve your sense of self is a wonderful thing if a solid sense of self exists. If not these actions are often in vain.

It’s time to get our matter on. Time to consistently be something of importance and significance. Time to realize how much value and importance we have.

“Cool Runnings” is a 1993 movie about the Jamaican bobsled team. This movie is based on the authentic story about the team going to their first Olympics. The bobsled team was in their third run (up until this point they had little support), yet everyone was coming around. So much excitement and cheering for the Jamaican’s. They got in their sled and were speeding along with an incredibly fast time.  All of a sudden you see a small bolt on the bobsled wriggling loose. This tiny bolt was holding together all the essential parts needed to steer the sled. The bolt came apart and the sled crashed. Not because of the runners or the steering mechanism. It crashed because of the bolt.

Take a moment to think about what makes you matter, how you make a difference. Make a list of ten things. In my experience as a therapist the hardest question for anyone to answer is when I ask them to tell me positive, wonderful qualities about themselves.  When I ask them to tell me how they make a difference in our world.

A few years ago I struggled with how I mattered, how I had a meaningful voice in this world.  It sucked! This challenging experience also became a gift and freed me. When I turned off and shut down the critical voices in my head and listened to my intuition, gut, spirit, soul a whole new world opened up for me. Changing my thinking changed my feelings. Listening to the inner voices of good, strength, and love gave me this inner sense of peace and calm. Every day I am grateful for the gifts this experience taught me.

Perhaps you are struggling with if or how you make a difference. I say this from personal experience. You can figure it out. You can change how you feel about who you are. Even when there are stressful, challenging things going on with you or your life you can take action. This is a power we all possess. It will require work and effort. Yet, like anything in life, the more you do the work the easier it gets.

Think about the valued relationships in your life. Your parents, siblings, friends, children, coworkers, students, clients. How you nurture and support them when they are sad, unsure, lacking confidence. Do you empower and encourage? Tell them how incredible and amazing they are? That everything will be ok? That you have their back and support them while they work things out?

I call this the best friend talk. This best friend talk you give to others is the same talk you need to be giving yourself. When you are criticizing yourself for your choices, appearance, or anything under the sun you need to be your very own remarkable best friend. The same guidance, positive, and strong affirmation you need to be telling yourself. Words we say to and about others are reflections of who we are or want to be.

The other day I was meeting with a young woman in her twenties. We have worked together for years and she shared with me an “aha” moment. In addition to our other counseling work, I had been telling her to immerse herself in repetitive, consistent, positive, strength based, best friend, be kind to yourself thinking. I would explain how changing your thinking changes your feelings. She would roll her eyes (which always made us laugh), do something here and there, then tell me it didn’t work.  Her “aha” moment was she got it. She understood what I was saying and the importance of doing the work. She recognized her personal power and value by becoming her own best friend. Focusing on changing her thinking thoughts about herself to positive and strong empowered her feelings to follow along.  She understood why she mattered.

You make a difference. Everything you do in life has a a ripple effect. You have a spirit, soul, personality and brain that only you can have. Your smarts, savvy, strength and passion are unique to you.  If you are struggling with how you matter work on it. Ask for help, do the work, fire the critic in your head, and get some peace. When you follow your heart life becomes easier. Your voice and presence is needed.  Sometimes it’s not clear what part we have in our bobsled called life. What is crystal clear, is that every single, solitary part has a place and holds everything together.

In the summer I received a beautiful, amazing letter from a student I counseled for four years in a high school I work at. The reality of all of our interactions and relationships is that there are many, many times we do not know what happens after the relationship ends. This young man graduated from high school and his letter was completely unexpected. His mother did not even know about it.

I share this with all of you to remind every single, individual, valued person reading this is that you make a difference. It could be with a smile, an hello, holding the door for someone, or a longer term relationship in your life. Part of the magic of life is that we don’t get to know how everything evolves, continues, or ends. Our reality is that we only know what happens in the moments we experience.

Thank you so very much for making a remarkable, incredible difference in this world❤️ Thank you for bringing your you😊