How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Are you staying on track or have you forgotten your big plans for the year? Either way, I’ve got some revitalizing information for you. I recently read a book called Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons from the Therapist’s Couch, by Lisa Ferentz, and it is filled with excellent bits of wisdom. No matter what your goals for the year are/were, this book will get you started (again).
Like I said, this book is filled with excellent bits of wisdom, so, without further ado…
Top 5 Bits of Wisdom from Finding Your Ruby Slippers
5. Celebrate success. “Being able to celebrate small and large success without minimizing them is the best form of motivation and the key to achieving additional growth and success,” Ferentz writes. We all know there are times when we downplay our successes because of how they may compare to other people’s successes. But it doesn’t matter what other people are doing. Success is success, and if you just did something cool for the first time, that’s no less awesome because someone else has already done it. Celebrate.
4. Only you can decide your feelings. “When someone is being antagonistic, remind yourself that even though you can’t control his or her behavior you can control the impact it has on you,” the book says. This is so important and relevant to everyday life. It’s likely that several times per day, someone does something to “make” you feel a certain way, but that’s not true. Only you get to decide how you feel, which is challenging at first, but as you consistently remind yourself of that, you’ll see a change in yourself.
3. If it’s not working, there’s a reason. This lesson has been repeated from generation to generation in various forms, but it is still as true as it has ever been: You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole. Doing something more or harder isn’t going to make it work. When you come across these situations, Ferentz suggests asking yourself, “Are you putting the right effort and energy into the right task?”
2. Live in the present. This sounds relatively simple but can be quite challenging. Many people suffer from depression, which tends to focus on the past, or anxiety, which tends to focus on the future, the book says. “The irony about living this way is that the past can never be undone or changed — no matter how much you think about it — and the future can never really be predicted — no matter how hard you try,” Ferentz writes. I have struggled with anxiety myself, and during those times, I always remember what my therapist told me: Focus on something in the present. It doesn’t matter what it is, but focusing on something physically present, as mundane as the way it feels to sit in this chair, forces a pause in a panic. It takes your mind off whatever it was on and brings you to the present. Practice living in the present.
1. Stop worrying about what others think of you — they’re too busy worrying about what you think of them. This is such good advice. It reminds me of the times when I’ve left the house with a big zit on my face (or some other completely negligible issue) and spent all day making an issue of it. “I wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t said anything,” people usually respond. Maybe they really were just being nice, but it’s not like my zit was bothering them. They may have had a stain on their shirt they were worried about or something else totally insignificant. None of it matters to anyone but you. Everyone is too preoccupied with their own concerns to spend any time thinking about your stuff. That sounds harsh, but isn’t it kind of nice to hear? No one cares about you! Hooray! Well, okay, you know what I mean. No one cares about your figurative zit!
For many more bits of wisdom, check out Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons from the Therapist’s Couch, complete with Questions for Continued Growth at the end of each chapter.
What do you think of these tips? Will you check out the book? —Megan