Think Positive 30 Rotating Header Image

guest post

Fun Ways to ROCK Your Sober Halloween Party

Hey everyone – we have another awesome guest post from Constance at Recoverywell.org

Fun Ways to Rock Your Sober Halloween Party

 

Photo via Pixabay

 

Halloween is right around the corner, marking the first end-of-the-year holiday that millions of people across the country celebrate, with jack-o-lanterns, loads of candy, and an astonishing variety of spooky events to host and attend. However, for people in addiction recovery, particularly those who are freshly sober, it can be hard to figure out how to spend the holiday without succumbing to temptation.

 

The truth is, as many long-time sober addicts who still love to throw a festive party will tell you, celebrating without alcohol or drugs can significantly enhance your experience of Halloween, rather than make you feel like you don’t fit into the costumed holiday scene. Yes, alcohol doesn’t have to be part of the picture. And you really can throw a sober and fun Halloween bash of your own.

 

Here are five games to consider when hosting a sober Halloween party, for a howlingly good time:

 

  1. Pumpkin Carving Contest

 

Pumpkin-carving is one of the ultimate Halloween traditions. For your alcohol-free party, buy a load of small-sized pumpkins that guests can comfortably take home with them, and set out carving knives and small festive candles on a large table ready with bowls at the ready for pumpkin guts. Have your guests carve their own Halloween-themed designs, and at the end of the evening, give out prizes for the most impressive creation. Like decorating the Christmas tree or dyeing Easter eggs, no Halloween party is complete without a nod to traditional pumpkin carving.

 

  1. Costume Contest

 

It’s the time of year when you can dress up as anyone or anything you want, and some people take the task seriously. Why not invite your friends who are dedicated costume dressers and everyone else who “dabbles” in the art to come all dressed up to the party? Sponsor a costume contest to motivate the shy and bashful to go for the ultimate prize. You can have guests nominate the best costume, collect the votes, and give out prizes to the winners. To vary up the awarding segment of your party, give out prizes for most creative costume, scariest costume, best couples costume, and so on.

 

  1. Host A Murder Mystery Dinner

 

This one is for those who want a small, more intimate kind of party. The idea here, which will require a lot of planning – be forewarned – is to conduct a murder mystery dinner. Basically, each new guest that arrives is assigned a role, and throughout the dinner, players must guess who is the killer and who is secretly the victim. Variations include a Clue kind of theme to a Pretty Little Liars set up.

 

  1. Have Everyone Tell Scary Stories

 

A familiar pastime during Halloween of years past when you were a kid, was to swap scary stories while passing around the flashlight in your friend’s basement. Such stories probably scared the daylights out of you then, which can be fun to do to others. A tradition that spans centuries, swapping ghost stories is a terrific way to generate laughs and spine-tingling reactions, while entertaining guests all around.

 

The Takeaway

 

Putting yourself out there to throw an alcohol-free Halloween bash at your home takes a bit of courage when recovery leaves you feeling sensitive to the connection in your mind between partying and consuming alcohol. However, by inviting supportive friends and people who live a 100% healthy lifestyle and don’t imbibe at all, you’re giving yourself permission to try out a new kind of festive form of celebrating without dangerous substances present.

Though different, and only if the party is organized right, you should find it comparatively fun to the alcohol-laden parties of your past. If anything, congratulate yourself on trying something new and exercising that festive side of yourself.

 

The Power of Positivity: Amy’s Story

Today’s guest post is by Constance Ray of RecoveryWell.org

“I’m so grateful to be set free from living a fear-driven life and carrying the burdens of that fear and worry. I am so thankful that I am happy the majority of the time today.” – Annette, Sobriety Advocate

Depression and addiction are serious illnesses that affect millions of people — and sometimes, they work together to make someone’s life completely

Photo credit: Pixabay

unbearable. And while it’s important to receive treatment for these conditions, whether on their own or as co-occurring disorders, the power of positive thinking can go a long way in helping people find their way back from despair. Amy, a brave addiction warrior, is proof that dancing in the rain is an effective first step in making a positive and permanent life change.

 

***

 

Amy started struggling with mental health issues when she was just a little girl.

 

“From a young age, I started having panic attacks,” she said. “I was in and out of the doctors’ offices, and eventually diagnosed with depression and panic disorder.”

 

Though her parents worked hard to get her the help she needed, she still suffered some dark times during her adolescence.

 

“I experienced quite a bit of childhood trauma growing up. My parents divorced when I was about 12 or 13 years old, and that’s around the time I started drinking. It was also around that time I started having suicidal thoughts.”

 

She continued, “By the time I was 16, I was experiencing constant panic attacks and was unable to breathe and unable to cope. I was drinking, but hadn’t started using drugs yet. I was kicked out of my mom’s house, and instead of going to live with my dad, I moved in with drug dealers.”

 

When she was 18, she underwent open-heart surgery to treat a life-threatening medical condition.

 

“I was so excited to have the surgery because I thought it was really going to help me — so I could breathe normally, be better at sports, and have less anxiety,” she remembered.

 

Sadly, things didn’t turn out the way she hoped.

 

“What no one had told me was that surgery can significantly worsen depression,” she explained. “I couldn’t do the things I normally did to cope with it, like sports or driving. By the time I left the hospital, I was severely addicted to morphine. Everything went quickly downhill after my open-heart surgery, and I turned to pain medication.”

 

Amy continued to try to live a normal life — at that point, she didn’t yet realize that she was addicted. She moved from Chicago to New Orleans for college and completed her freshman year. Unfortunately, she couldn’t keep the momentum going, and soon found herself homeless on the streets of New Orleans.

 

“During that time, I experienced more trauma. I was diagnosed with PTSD. Things got really bad. I was down to about 80 pounds, and I crossed just about every line I had ever established in my life,” she said.

 

She was in and out of counseling, but it wasn’t until a friend connected her with a man who worked in an outpatient treatment program that she got the help she really needed — including the power of positive thinking.

 

She said, “That man, his wife and his family came to meet me on a 12-step call, and I went to a meeting with them. Immediately afterwards, I went out drinking; but the next day, [which was] Mardi Gras when I was 21 years old, I got a sponsor.

 

“Before I went to to that meeting, for the first time in my life, I actually wanted to live,” she continued. “While I was there, I saw people who were truly happy. The family that took me to that meeting — they saved my life. I felt a sense of community I had never experienced.”

 

Now, with over three and a half years of sobriety under her belt, Amy works tirelessly to ensure that others who are struggling the way she once did practice positivity and other body- and mind-healthy habits in their everyday lives.

 

“I am now the regional coordinator for the Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network … I bring public education to topics like suicide, substance abuse and mental illness,” she beamed.

 

She shares her story whenever she can in order to help others.

 

She noted, “I realized I couldn’t do what I was doing for a living without expressing myself and my story. Part of my self-care today involves having people around me who are aware of my past and what I’m doing. When I speak with groups, I start up conversations about mental illness, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts.”

 

Although Amy worked for years to achieve everything she has accomplished today, she couldn’t truly battle her demons until she committed to having a changed perspective — one that allowed her to view things in a positive way.

 

“The first step is to want it — to really want it. I wish that wasn’t always the case, but it is.”

 

If you are struggling with a mental health condition like addiction, depression or anxiety, know that there is always help available for you. You can overcome any obstacle life throws at you — but as Amy proves, you have to want it, and embrace your strength with hope and positivity.

 

As she said, “It’s so important to have … a willingness to keep walking. No matter how small the step, keep moving forward. It’s all about daily action.”

Save

Gratitude

Today’s guest post is by Luke Goodwin

 

GRATITUDE

 

For me, this is one of the most powerful things that can influence every single area of your life and something that has completely transformed my way of thinking and also the way I conduct myself.

 

Each day, I utilise something called ‘The Miracle Morning’ and within this I have added in an exercise called ‘priming’ by the one and only Tony Robbins. Priming is something that has completely opened my mind, allows me to channel my thoughts, create energy and positivity. While I am doing this priming exercise, which lasts for 14 minutes, there is a part of it that focuses on gratitude, and I cannot put a measurement on how much this has affected me. I didn’t drastically notice immediate changes, but they were happening daily, just really small minor changes in my thinking, but over time, when I look back at my journal entries and how I used to conduct myself, I have realised how much, just spending a small amount of time being grateful, has impacted my life. It allows you to see yourself, other people and the world in a completely different light. It allows you to see solutions and not problems, it allows you to see obstacles as a way of improving not failing and it allows you to enjoy life, complain less, and be positive.

 

I used to be one of those people that would moan about 5 minutes of traffic, moan that someone didn’t arrive on time, moan about a lot of things, and I wondered why my life wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to go in, and that was due to my thought process and way of thinking. I was very negative, thought I was unlucky, and made bad decisions. Now all of those have completely flipped. I now think positively, generate amazing results, think clearly, work efficiently and have so much more energy.

 

I urge everyone, to practice being grateful, because then it will become an automatic process in your mind. Imagine this, if you are genuinely grateful to have a family, kids, partner, job, LIFE, do you think you would complain about half of the things you currently complain about? Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect, I still huff and puff now and again, but this has dramatically reduced since taking the time out to be grateful. I used to allow myself to get wound up when my kids misbehaved, which occasionally I still do, after all, we are human. But when I spent every single day being grateful that I am able to be a father, getting wound up over silly things reduced. I used to allow myself to let setbacks and obstacles completely swallow and drown me, and change my thinking into negativity, but when I spent every day being grateful that I have a life, and being grateful that I can even experience these challenges because they are developing my attributes and personality, I now see setbacks and obstacles as strengthening by character and giving me room for improvement. I used to moan that I had a bad day in business, and that I didn’t earn enough money, but when I spent each day feeling grateful for the fact that I am self employed and don’t have to commute, answer to a boss or line someone else’s pockets, it made me see those bad days as development. I am not criticising anyone that is employed here, I am merely stating the fact that for me, those were fundamental reasons why I made the decision to be an entrepreneur.

 

Each day, I would recommend taking time out to practice being grateful, it WILL transform your life. You could try the Tony Robbins priming exercise like I do, if not, simply take 5 minutes out of your day, go somewhere quiet with no distractions and completely zone in on what you are grateful for. This does take practice, and it takes commitment and consistency, it doesn’t happen overnight. For me, at first, I allowed other thoughts to enter my head whilst I was thinking about what I am grateful for, and my mind wondered, but over time, I became better and better and now I can completely zone in and be focus 100% on being grateful. When you do spend time being grateful, don’t worry about what you are thinking about, it could be something huge or it could be something really small, what matters is, how does it make you feel? Sometimes, I think about holding my little boy’s hand when I drop him off at nursery, or cuddling my daughter when I get back from the gym, but for me, it makes me smile when I think about these things. Now, I have spent so much time being grateful for things, I can think about broader things such as being grateful for having a life, and that the possibility for me even existing is so small, I am very very fortunate to even be here, living on this earth today. I sometimes imagine myself hovering above the earth, looking down on it and being blown away at how stunning it looks, and that underneath the atmosphere, are so many amazing miracles to be cherished. That somewhere on that earth is me, living an life. I am extremely grateful for that.

 

I wanted to keep this fairly short, because I think sometimes, things can be over complicated when it doesn’t need to be, and ultimately being grateful is a very simple thing in essence, but it does need to be done consistently in order for it to influence your life. I would love for people to read this, take my advice and get in touch with me and let me know how it has influenced you, no matter how big or small. I take great joy in providing content and value to people, and if it only affects one person, it genuinely makes me happy.

 

Feel free to link up with me on Facebook, I would love to hear your feedback.

 

https://www.facebook.com/luke.goodwin.142

7 Steps to INCREASE Your Money Flow

Today we have another awesome guest post from Erin Dickson of Gravity Life Coaching

 

 

Do you feel frustrated with your current financial situation and are looking to change it, but just don’t know how? 

 

When you grow up with certain ideas about money, you tend to internalize them and this actually blocks your flow of money, without even realizing it.  These ideas could be that there is a ceiling on how much money you can make, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, you have to work very hard just to get by or that money makes you happy or sad. 

 

When you hold onto that mindset about money, you are blocking the flow of the money coming to you.  So how do you change it?

 

1.  Identify what your beliefs about money are. What ideas did you inherit about money from your parents?  Are you still holding onto these ideas?  How are they stopping you from meeting your full potential?

 

Listen to your own inner statements about money.  Give yourself 2 days to really listen to how you think about and talk about money.  What things do you find yourself saying?

 

Action Step:  Determine what you currently believe about money.

 

2.  Change your negative money thoughts.  Now that you’ve identified those thoughts – you get to change them!  Next time you hear yourself say “we can’t afford that” replace it with “we could have that if we wanted to, but lets invest our money in something else for now” – now that “something else” might be bills, but let’s change bills to investments – because truthfully that’s what they are and that’s what you’ve done to acquire those “bills”.  Either you’ve invested in things with your credit cards or you’ve invested in a vehicle, a home, a monthly cable service, etc.  If you focus on debt, debt will be received – if you focus on wealth and investments, wealth and investments will be received.

 

Creating affirmations sounds cliche – but do it anyways – what do you have to lose?  You don’t have to do the traditional lipstick on the mirror thing if it’s too much for you (or the people you live with). I actually put reminders in my phone that say things like:  “Money is ABUNDANT and on it’s way to me!”  I set the reminder to occur weekly and I create a different one for each day of the week.  There are days when I’m down or feel like I might not make it financially and then that damn affirmation pops up on my phone and I’m like “okay, I got this”.  

 

CHANGE YOUR THINKING, EVIDENCE APPEARS.

 

Action Step: Replace your negative money thoughts with positive ones.

 

3.  Set your intentions. How much money do you need or want and how much time can you give yourself to receive it?  

 

The first time that I tried this activity, I wasn’t sure of it.  I needed $800 to get my brakes fixed.  I only had a month to do it, before my car needed to be inspected.  I had just learned this strategy and decided I had nothing to lose by trying it.  So I repeated affirmations (quietly) like “checks are in the mail” “the money will come if I allow it” “I have nothing to worry about it”.  There was one day left and I decided that even if the money didn’t come, it was okay, I would just put it on my credit card – ugghhhh.  I scheduled my appointment with the garage and went to the post office – not truly expecting anything, but just because I had to get my mail. That very day there was a check in my mailbox for $2000.  The check was actually the retainer from my divorce lawyer – BUT I did not expect the check until my divorce was final and it wasn’t final until about 6 months from the day I received it.  Coincidence?  Who the hell cares.

 

Action Step:  Decide how much you want and when you want it by.

 

4.  Create a partner or partners in believing.  You do need to believe, at least a little bit for now, that this is possible – but if you can’t, find someone who can believe for you – and eventually with you.  

 

When I decided to become a life coach, I had signed up for a weekend long life coach institute.  This training was offered all over the country and I chose to sign up for the closest one to me, in Boston.  The cost of this…coincidentally again, was $800.  I signed up for it in the winter and used my credit card, knowing it wouldn’t be charged until the spring (the time of the training).  I decided that would give me enough time to budget and save for it, before my credit card was actually charged.

 

Well, Spring came and surprise, surprise, I “forgot” to budget for it. I was sitting at the table, paying bills with Jeff and said “hmmm, not sure how I’m gonna pay for this”.  He says “I can help you with it” and I said “Nope, I’m gonna attract the money from outside the household.”  He says, “OKKKKAAAAYYY, Erin”, a bit sarcastically, I might add.  

 

That week, I told my Life Coach friend, “I’m expecting a check for $800, but I’m not quite sure where it will come from”.  She says “of course it will come” – with no sarcasm – and I think she believed that it would.   That very night, I received a phone call from the life coach institute and the woman on the phone says “I”m very sorry – but we have to cancel the workshop you signed up for in Boston, because not enough people signed up for it…” my heart sunk because although I wanted to save the $800, I really wanted to attend the workshop.  In the next instant she said “but we’re willing to refund your credit card and offer you attend in any other city for free”. 

 

Tell me it doesn’t work…I have evidence that it does.  You will too. But don’t share your intentions with non-believers.  Share your intentions with believers.  More positive thoughts lead to an increase in positive energy.  

 

Just a few weeks ago, I began talking about these stories with a teacher I work with.  She had never heard of the law of attraction and she was intrigued with my stories.  The next week she sees me and says “Erin!  You are a miracle worker!”, I was like “Sweet, I didn’t even do anything…do tell!”.  She explains to me that she was talking with her husband about perhaps picking up a dreaded second job because they needed $10,000 to keep their house.  The next week, her husband received an increase in his salary of – guess how much – EXACTLY $10,000.

 

Action Step:  Seek out someone else who believes and tell them your intentions.

 Join my Empowering Women through Change Facebook group here – for a bit of inspiration and encouragement!

 

5.  Write yourself a check.  Choose an amount that you’d like to have and write yourself a check for that amount.  Jim Carrey did this when he and his family were broke and living in a van.  He wrote himself a check for $10,000,000 and set a date for 5 years ahead.  In the memo he wrote “for acting services rendored”.  Five years later in the month he had indicated, he was offered a $10,000,000 contract for “Dumb and Dumber”.  Check out his story https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPU5bjzLZX0.

 

I shared this story with a co-worker last year, who was not sold on the idea, but certainly open to it.  We decided we would write each other checks for $100,000.  I followed through…he did not.  I went online and actually created a realistic looking check for $100,000 and got it framed for him.  He had accepted a new job a few months later and told me that with his salary and insurance, the total equaled $100,000.  

 

This is also the plan that Jack Canfield used to attract $100,000 and then later $1,000,000 with his Chicken Soup for the Soul books.  

 

Write yourself a check, put it in your wallet or purse, and carry it around with you.  Start small and work your way up.  You don’t have to start small, but to increase your sense of believing, you might need to.  Once you grow a bigger believing you can dream bigger.  It’s sometimes hard to break our long-standing patterns of belief.

 

Action Step:  Write yourself a check.

 

6.  Visualize.  Imagine what would be different in your life if you had the money you wanted.  How would you feel different?  What would you be doing differently?

 

Visualizing and feeling are important parts of the process.  Create a vision board – put it in writing and pictures.  If you can see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand.  Remember – everything has to be a thought before it can be a thing.  Put the thought out there and see it daily.  Experience the feelings as if it’s already yours.  If the money would bring you a vacation to Bora Bora, then get pictures of Bora Bora and put them on your vision board.  Then imagine yourself in that picture.  What does the sun feel like?  The sand?  The water?  What do you see, how are you experiencing it?

 

Action Step:  Create a Vision Board.

 

7.  Give to Others.  It’s easy to be stingy when you feel like you don’t have enough for yourself.  BUT you cannot receive if you do not give.  Giving balances the flow of money.  

 

When I first learned about this I wasn’t sure who to give to or how much.  Then the first opportunity presented itself to me.  I had scheduled a night out with a couple of friends – one that I hadn’t seen in a while.  That day, she called me to tell me that her cat had an emergency vet appointment and she couldn’t afford to go out to dinner – seriously, can’t make this shit up.  I decided that would be my first conscious gift and that I would pay for her dinner.  The bill came and my other friend also decided to chip in – not only that, but she had a gift card.  The bill for all three of us ended up being only $10.  That was quick evidence that when you choose to give, the money comes back.

 

Now I engage in random acts like this more frequently and have scheduled donations come out of my account monthly.  If you budget for it and schedule it, you don’t miss it.

 

Action Step:  Determine who you will give to consistently and how much you will spend.

 

Begin with these 7 steps and you will see evidence of an increase of money flow within the next couple of months.

 

Live “As If” – Try this FREE workbook to Live Your Life FEARLESS now!

2 Questions that will Change Your Life

Today’s guest post was written by Erin Dickson an amazing life coach.

2 Questions That Will Change Your Life…

Erin Dickson

Gravity Life Coaching

 

 

 

When I was a few years out of college and stuck in a dead-end job – I was contemplating going back to graduate school to be a Guidance Counselor.  I knew I wanted to be a Guidance Counselor, but the process of getting there was a bit overwhelming. 

 

I was living in an apartment by myself, working 2 jobs and discovered that I would need to do a 600-hour unpaid internship.  It was so overwhelming to look at the big picture –  because all I could think about was what could go wrong.  How could I possibly take a 6 month long unpaid full-time internship while paying rent? 

 

That’s the question I was living in and that’s the question that stopped me from moving forward for so long.

 

When I was finally able to start living in a different question, I discovered how to move forward.  I wanted it to be a possibility, I wanted to make it happen and I knew that others made it happen.  If others made it happen, why couldn’t I?  

 

So, I started asking different questions.  Rather than focusing on how it couldn’t work, I started working with a solution focused approach –

 

“If I believed it were possible, and if I believed I couldn’t fail, what would I do next?” 

 

That question opened up a whole new world of possibilities.   I stopped focusing on how I would fail and started focusing on what it might look like if I succeeded.  That was such a cooler place to be…

 

What I would do next, was easy.  I started the application process and took my first class.  Easy.  Then my second class, then my third class.  As I began to get further into the program, I decided that I loved my classes, I couldn’t wait to be a Guidance Counselor!  Nothing was going to stop me at that point. 

 

I moved from “what if I can’t?” to “what if I can?” Two questions – two completely different results.

 

As the internship grew closer I dropped my full-time job – I found an apartment for $350/month and my waitressing job seriously saved my ass!  I got through my internship and got a job as soon as I finished. 

 

I focused on the possible success, not the possible failure. 

 

If I had started with “I could never do that” then I never would have.  I would be stuck in my routine world of comfort – but not awesomeness.  We need to remember to live in awesomeness – this life is too short for routine and mundane.

 

Change your language and your mind will follow.  Ask yourself different questions, live in a world of “what if I succeed – what would that look like?”, not “what if I fail”…because if you live the question “what if I fail”, you’ll never move from where you are today.  If where you are today is awesome, then cool – hang out there.  For too many people…it’s not awesome YET.

 

Discover your awesome self.  Click below to decide what you’re capable of!

 

https://gravitylifecoaching.lpages.co/live-your-life-fearless/

The Importance of Self Belief – Ian Lock

Please enjoy this guest post from author Ian Lock

IAN LOCK on the importance of Self Belief…

 

How can self belief help you to be Extraordinary?

 

As we move into 2013, I find myself thinking a lot about the power of self belief. Our self belief impacts upon everything that we are and everything that we do. People with true self belief can go anywhere and do anything. People with false self belief, or bravado, often just pretend they can.

 

Can you remember a time when you truly believed in yourself, felt good about who you were and what you could do? A time when you felt really positive? Even if it was only for a brief moment, can you remember how you felt and what you believed?

 

For me one of those times was when my daughter, Imogen, was born. I remember standing in the hospital room at around 2.30 am holding this precious little bundle in my arms and looking out across the skyline. I had an enormous sense of well being and purpose. I felt ready to face into the rest of my life and create possibilities for me and my family. I believed that I had reached a point where I was ready to be me and that I could truly change the world. At that very moment nothing was impossible. That memory still fills me with the same positivity 12 years on and at some of my most difficult times since, I have used it to sustain me. I often ask myself what that version of me, at that time in my life, with positivity and self belief, would do today.

 

Positivity and Self Belief says: This is the life I’m living. This is the life I want to be living. Here are some obstacles that are getting in the way. Let’s figure out how I’m going to get around them!

 

Negativity and Lack of Self Belief says: This is me. I am stuck. Here are all the reasons why I can’t change…

 

The difference between us feeling powerful and powerless is all about our self belief. Believing in yourself doesn’t guarantee that you will always succeed – but your energy will be different, how you feel will be different, your ability to handle everything that happens in your life will be different.

 

Think back to a day or a time when you felt great and had real self belief.

 

What did it feel like and how did you behave?

 

What was possible?

 

What could you do today with that feeling to make your life Extraordinary?

 

 

Ian Lock is a leadership development consultant and author of Being Extraordinary: How to Live Life on Purpose (Live It; 3 Jan). For a free download, join the Being Extraordinary community here.

Web Counters Free Hit Counters
eXTReMe Tracker