I read a lot of inspiring books with stories of people who have had hard times and survived. Other people inspire me, I just have to want to be inspired.

I have come to understand that every day is an opportunity for me to live more of the life I want. I change negative self-talk by reframing whatever it is I am thinking about from a different perspective. There is never just one way to look at things. My negative thoughts are like programming that has to be reset. Thoughts are not reality. I remind myself of this again and again, whenever I get stuck.

Meditation brings me awareness that thoughts are not necessarily true and allows me to work with them. Self-reflection can help me change what I don’t like about myself – I just have to be honest and open to change. One reframe I use a lot is when I am blaming someone for how I feel. Blame is a way of avoiding an exploration of what things mean to me and what is important.

I have learned to acknowledge the negative self-talk and then challenge it. Being part of a group and saying it out loud makes it easier to challenge – hearing it is a way for me to know if it’s true. Sometimes it is true; sometimes I do and say shitty things. If I can realize this and take responsibility for myself, then my self-hater loosens up and I can appreciate that we all make mistakes. For me, it’s part of joining the human race.

I reframe by forcing myself to identify positive affirmations relating the negative issue. This eventually leads me into a state of gratitude for what I once viewed as only negative.

In summer, I lie on the grass and look at the stars, connected to and important part of the universe – this simple act puts things into perspective!

I look at myself in the mirror – look in my own eyes and see my kindness and good intentions – remind myself that they are there!