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Why Journaling Works & How to Do It Better

Do you Journal?  If not, what’s holding you back and if you do, what keeps you going?

A lot of people journal to release emotion and organize their feelings. To be honest, we’re all out here experiencing about 27 emotions daily. That is quite a ride and it’s tough to manage it all. So, what we’re doing is taking the emotion adding to it our daily responsibilities plus the needs and expectations from others and then attempting to get through the day without a method to release. This is the perfect formula for a mental breakdown.

I get it, we want to appear like we have our stuff together with little resistance, add to that this whole self-care trend of “don’t kill my vibe, “don’t interrupt my peace” and “don’t bother me with that”, this leaves us feeling obligated to hold in our emotions.

I’ve found journaling to be a helpful outlet. During those times when I am overflowing with emotions, both positive and negative, journaling helps me to reflect on events, organize my thoughts, release some pinned up energy and even generate solutions. It’s one of the many tools that can be used to re-direct your energy.

There’s another benefit of journaling that very few people notice. Journaling helps you to identify trends. If you journal often and notice a trend of negative or low-energy words and phrases, it’s safe to say you are probably suffering with Imposter Syndrome, self-sabotage and maybe even low self-esteem. If this is you, it’s time for a change in perspective.

I deal with those feelings too. I doubt my abilities, second guess my capabilities and I will overthink a scenario to the very extreme. It’s quite exhausting but I’ve figured out how to manage those feelings.

If you’ve been a member of the Origins of Peace community for any amount of time, you know that our #1 goal is to empower you to get out here and Impress Yourself. There are two reasons why this is important:cropped-origins-of-peace-1-1.png

  1. If you don’t impress yourself, no one else will ever stand a chance of impressing you. This is important for business deals, relationships, money goals, all of that. You must set a standard and stick to it. Example, if you want to be in a loving relationship, you must first love yourself. Impress yourself by doing things you enjoy and going to places that make you happy. This produces impression and excitement. It’s mentally stimulating, and it gets you into the habit of Impressing Yourself so that you will know when others are meeting and exceeding your expectations!
  2. A whole lot of time is spent impressing other folks. You impress your boss when you show up for work and do an exceptional job, you impress your kids by showing up for them daily. It’s time to Impress Yourself!

For the month of November, I am challenging you to use journaling as a tool to change your communication message to yourself! There are 30 days in November. I am giving you 1 word each day to use as a prompt. You will reflect on how the word shows up in your life on that day and compose a journal entry. Your entry can be written or a short video that you keep on your phone. The words that I provide to you should evoke feelings of happiness, bravery, calmness, rejuvenation and friendliness.create-her-stock-office-beauty4

I would love to know how this challenge goes for you. You can find me on both IG and Facebook at Origins of Peace to get the word for the day.

You can leave a comment one either platform to get the dialogue started.

Oh yea, if you’re not on my email list, you should be. Our next gratitude offering winner will be announced on Monday, November 4th. You must be on the list to get included in the drawing! Visit www.melissaarivers.com to sign up. You can see the prize for Monday’s drawing on my IG page.

Let’s connect!

Melissa

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Remember When

Can you remember the last time that you were excited by the ordinary? I’m talking about those simple pleasures that we often taken for granted like nature, peace, love and even silence. Oftentimes we find ourselves caught up in acquiring more, achieving more and constantly looking for the next promotion, elevation or fancy purchase that we believe will help us to find happiness.

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of watching my grandbaby experience excitement from being able to play with a lid. As I watched her face glow with amusement, I could only think about how easy it is to forget about the simple things that once provided us with joy.

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“I have three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” `Lao Tzu

Today I am sharing 3 tips about simplicity, patience and compassion that may help you live a happier life.

  1. Living a life of simplicity will help you focus on what is important. Let me first start by saying that simplicity looks different for everyone and only you can decide what simplicity looks like for you. Personally I enjoy things with low or no maintenance, little fuss and very little worry. I normally spend more time, money and energy researching a product or service before making a purchase to alleviate or reduce the amount of stress that comes with a lot of wear and tear. Because I am a person who experiences anxiety when things are out of order, I attempt to maintain as much order as possible by keeping it simple.
  2. Be patient with yourself and others. Patience is important because it helps you build empathy for others and accept people for who they are. That last statement is so true but please understand that having patience with yourself is priority number one because it helps you become more tolerant of the different stages of life that you will experience. There will come a time when you feel inadequate. Instead of getting discouraged and beating yourself up remember to exercise patience!
  3. Extend compassion as often as possible. Have you ever found yourself saying, “it’s always something,” or “why can’t I ever catch a break?” The people around you are saying the same statements to themselves. Be kind and extend compassion to the next person because everyone is experiencing life and sometimes life can be tough.

Fill your life with simplicity, patience and compassion to not only live happier but also to live healthier. Incorporating these tips can reduce your stress level and boost your immune system.

In my last post I challenged you to make a list of the people, places, things and experiences that add peace to your life. If you’re not familiar, catch up by reading

Grace & Mercy Have My Back

Now that you have your list, use the following scale to rank the level of peace each item adds:

  • 1-not much peace
  • 2- moderate amount of peace
  • 3-extreme peace

To elevate your Peace Factor spend more time focusing on the items ranked with a 3, determine if items ranked with a 2 can be elevated to a three and consider what changes should be made to remove or redefine items ranked with a 1.

This exercise can be challenging. If at anytime you feel yourself needing support simply email me at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

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Grace & Mercy Have My Back!

If you are new to my page, my name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Creative Peace Coach! In everyday terms this means I am a Conflict Resolution Strategist. I use my gifts of creativity and communication to teach strategies that provide guidance to achieving mental clarity, embracing self-preservation and prioritizing service to others.

Today we are discussing Affirmation #3 from my Instagram 5 Day Affirmation Challenge –  “I am professing my boldness by trusting grace and mercy to follow me, believing that greater days are in front of me and knowing that God is for me.”

I am on a mission of intention to impress myself in all areas of my life every single day.

Screenshot_20190918-161237The inspiration behind the third affirmation is sheer determination. I am creating a new blueprint for how I manage my wellness dimensions, and trusting that things will be better than they’ve ever been.

If you are not familiar with the Dimensions of Wellness, they are: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual, Social, Occupational and Financial.

I am deconstructing each area and authentically rebuilding. I am shaking things up, moving things around, possibly leaving things behind and definitely welcoming new experiences. My faith walk and “works” are in full affect.

I am trusting God to create new opportunities and new spaces for me, but I also understand that my reasonable service is to put in the work to acquire the newness.

I am definitely ready.

Just the other day, I signed up for a personal development class and mistakenly showed up to the venue on the wrong day. I walked into a room filled with women discussing wealth and investments, professing their love of God and sharing personal success stories about their finances. These were definitely my people.

This diverse group of women welcomed me in to their sacred space and made room for me at their table. Grace & Mercy had my back!

Not too long ago, circumstances made it necessary for me to cash in my retirement savings to pay for routine expenses; mortgage, healthcare, groceries, and all those other things you need to survive. This was an extremely uncomfortable time for me because I held the belief that retirement funds should only be used for living expenses during retirement. I quickly learned that “change is the only thing that is constant,” and I now appreciate doing the work to have the funds available when I needed them most.

When the time was right, I began rebuilding my retirement fund. I prayed for guidance and instruction on how to strategically rebuild my account.

In return, God sent me to this group of women who will educate, encourage and support me along the way.

This was a gentle reminder that miracles happen when awe & expectancy intersect. As the affirmation declares, I am boldly trusting grace & mercy to follow me while believing God that my greater days are in front of me!

So here’s what’s important. Everyone experiences times in life when a shift is necessary. If you’ve noticed yourself feeling stuck, stagnant, unmotivated, unimpressed, disgruntled, conflicted or simply not in the mood for alot of *______* (you fill in the blank) it’s time to shake things up.

It’s time to get your energy up, increase your creativity and start doing and enjoying things that add Peace to your life!

So here’s your chance to get involved and start the process of intentionally impressing yourself every single day! I challenge you to take out a piece of paper and make a list of all the people, places, things and experiences that add peace to your life. Be intentional and truthful about what you add to it. Exam your list and take notice of the types of items that are on your list.

Which categories show up the most and which categories are lacking?

For now, just do the work to develop your list and I promise to discuss this process in more detail at a later time. If you have question feel free to shoot me an email at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

If you haven’t already subscribed to my blog and signed up for my newsletter. I would love to have you join my Peace Community!

  • Simply head over to www.melissaarivers.com
  • When the pop-up form appears, enter your name and email address to subscribe to my newsletter
  • You can subscribe to my blog from the About Me page in the bottom right corner
  • You can also follow me on Instagram at: @originsofpeace and Facebook at: Origins of Peace

My 2020 Vision Board and Goal Setting Circles will start next month. Details coming soon!

Until next time,

Peace, Love & More Peace!

Melissa

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Affirm To Nurture Your Relationships

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Affirmation #2I am creating true relationships and lasting connections by being grateful for each encounter, providing support without compromising my boundaries and holding space for us to evolve.”

I wrote this affirmation while thinking about the complexities of relationships and how self-love is a direct reflection of how we love others.

I am a firm believer in self-preservation and protecting my peace by properly managing my circle of influence but I understand fully that my relationships and how I show up in them are a direct reflection of how I show love to myself.

If I’m constantly telling myself that I am inadequate or lacking in certain areas, I will feel that I have the authorization to speak those same inequities into the lives of others.

This is completely false.

No one has the right to infuse their personal self-doubt on anyone else.

Affirm to Nurture Your Relationships.

  1. Decide today that you will speak better to yourself, think more highly about who you are and begin to value your own opinion.  By doing so, you create a nurturing foundation that will be the basis for all of your relationships
  2. Set boundaries that create positive encounters. Make a decision to stop interjection your unsolicited opinions in other people’s lives. Nine times out of ten, nobody asked you…so stop. Leave something to the imagination.
  3. Express gratitude when someone shares their time, energy, knowledge and love with you

Remember: Your thoughts, words and actions should be for your greatest good and to be of service to others. Hold thoughts and actions toward others in the same regard.

Create your peace,

~Melissa

 

 

 

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When Good is No Longer Good Enough

Peace Up! It’s been a while since my last post. In my absence I hope that life has been good to you and I hope that you’ve been good to yourself. I pray that you’ve taken time to indulge in things that you love and that you’ve experienced happiness and joy. As the saying goes, “life is not a dress rehearsal,” so get out there and live it!

Since my last post, I’ve turned the big 44. This is a huge deal for me because my birthday signifies another year of surviving and overcoming. Along with my 44th birthday, I celebrate being 4 years cancer free and 4 years free from a troubled marriage.

Life is good.

Life is really good but in this next year, good is no longer good enough. I’m ready for the exciting, adventurous and spontaneous.

I’m ready to start living again and experiencing new things. I’ve been in maintenance mode for far too long. Protecting my peace and preserving my happiness has been defined as making sure problems get solved, ends meet and opportunities are realized. I need a new definition. I need to incorporate things that I love such as: relaxing by the lake, driving to the mountains, hanging with friends and making time for self-care.

This one life that I’ve been blessed with, deserves an overhaul.

I’m sure that I’m not alone. Have you reached a placed in your life that no longer represents who you are or what you stand for? Are you ready to create new memories? Is good no longer good enough?

Now’s the time.

It’s time to choose different and to choose better. Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, but also the inclusion of all the things that celebrate who you are!

Challenge:

  • Make a list of the things that make you happy but you seldom experience. As a child I loved gymnastics and ballet. I haven’t participated in those activities in years but the memories always make me smile.
  • Once you’ve compiled your list, be the first person to send me your list in an email and you could win a free sample of my Peaceful Herbal Tea. Send your email to:info@designedbymelissarivers.com.
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Burnout AF

In a time where chasing the next greatest trend, fad, influencer or improve thyself technique is the thing to do, people are fiercely striving for perfection in their professional and personal lives. This non-stop sprint for greatness has left a majority of folks stressed out, tired and overwhelmed. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared “Burnout” as a diagnosable condition. Their definition of burnout focuses solely on the professional perspective but I believe if we fail to equally consider personal burnout in the definition, we are only examining half of the issue.

 

My personal definition of burnout is: having feelings of exhaustion and extreme tiredness with increased mental isolation from one’s personal and professional  responsibilities which result in reduced productivity.

Many people experience burnout in their personal and professional lives without realizing it. There’s the pressure to attain a certain lifestyle or to achieve a certain social status, but there’s also the pressure to be the one who people can depend on and the one who has it all together.

In the workplace, employees are working longer hours, performing jobs they despise and working through their lunch break to chase the so-called American Dream. Those actions contribute to exhaustion and regret.

Do what you love

If you think you may be suffering from Professional burnout, try incorporating the following actions and seek professional help if necessary.

  1. Establish healthy connections/relationships at work
  2. Unplug during your lunch break; no phone, no meetings, just eat
  3. Schedule quarterly vacation days throughout the year to do something meaningless and fun. Don’t wait until Summer or Christmas break to take time off

Love you

Personal burnout can be a little more difficult to recognize, mainly because no one wants to freely admit when your own life becomes too much to handle. To give you a better understanding of personal burnout, I’m going to extend to you a looking glass into my life.

In 2015, I went through divorce, cancer and job loss all within a 6 month period. I was exhausted, my self-esteem was low, my concentration was non-existent and I was persistently overwhelmed. I did not have a steady income again until November 2016. I was on the verge of losing my home and my sanity. While dealing with all these things, I was raising a teenager, being a supportive daughter, sister, auntie and friend while being completely depleted inside. Personal burnout.

Personal burnout comes from continuously mismanaging your life by neglecting your personal needs and putting the needs of others before your own, neglecting opportunities for self-care and personal well-being and failing to see the beauty in the present moment.

The greatest gift that I’ve learned on my road to self restoration is:

I AM MY PRIORITY.

I’m giving you a few of my top reminders to help you focus on self-care, self-restoration and self-preservation.

  1. Schedule self-care appointments frequently
  2. Unplug from social media often
  3. Use the letters N.O. freely
  4. Don’t lose yourself, trying to save someone else
  5. Live and let live
  6. Always remember: “We each have a life to live and personal burdens to bear. You are here as a support, not a savior.”

For more tips on managing burnout and protecting your peace, subscribe to my blog and newsletter by visiting http://www.designedbymelissarivers.com.

Peace.

 

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Your Heart Is Bigger Than You Think

I used to think that I only had a limited amount of space in my heart to love and appreciate certain situations, including people. I was convinced that my capacity meter for “stuff” was on the fairly low side. Over the years I’ve been met with unexpected events that challenged my perceived personal truths but also ignited my will to overcome and win. I’ve learned that people are designed to be durable and flexible if we choose to operate at full capacity. Today, I am sharing 3 points of action with you, that will help you create more space in your heart to accept, embrace and handle whatever you find yourself dealing with.

  1. Understand why life has presented you with this opportunity

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is; Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  From this scripture, I am reassured that unexpected events can actually be a blessing in disguise. When the event is truly embraced, our thoughts aren’t directly centered on our personal needs alone and we are challenged to think higher and to make peace with the situation

2.  Focus only on what you have control over

Focus and take action on what you can control and have faith that the things you can’t control will also get taken care of. I’ve learned that good things are often orchestrated on my behalf simply because I did my part and showed up when it was my time to perform. You can find opportunities to be a blessing to others when they least expect it. Believe that the people you are connected to can’t fully do their work/assignment until you complete yours, and you can’t complete your work until others complete theirs. Things that we don’t have control over aren’t ours to control, they are simply an associated assignment. It’s not yours to handle but it is connected to you

3. Remain present and at peace

Do what you can today in order to accept what you’re facing. Taking small, daily steps toward acceptance will open your heart to new capacities of love and will help you navigate through unexpected change.

Challenge: Think about the most intensive challenge that you are currently facing and decide that you are going to rise to the occasion. What can you do today to embrace the change and release negative thoughts surrounding it. How will you show up? Who will you become after it’s over?

Note: To the Origins of Peace community, “thank you all so much for following the blog and for connecting with me in so many different ways. Effective immediately, blog posts will release once a month on or around the 10th of each month, and the Heal, Recover, Grow Newsletter will release quarterly. The next issue is scheduled to release on July 1st.”

You can always connect with me on all social media as Origins of Peace or by emailing me at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

Peace In Action,

Melissa

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A Place To Breathe

Good Morning PeaceMakers. I pray that today holds all the peace, love and acceptance that your heart can hold.

If this is your first time on my site, My name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Creative Peace Designer. That means I use my gifts of creative writing & teaching to help others manage conflict and create mental space for more peaceful opportunities in their lives. My motto for today is: “peace starts with a made up mind.”

So let’s get to it:

My intent for this post – I’m writing this morning at 4:30 am because writing/ journaling settles my mind and helps me to organize my thoughts. I guess you could say that I am at peace when I create a short narrative, or inspirational message. Writing is one of my Origins of Peace and my place to breathe. It’s important for each of us to find what helps us breathe deeper and a little easier. The sweet aroma of creativity helps us not to take ourselves so seriously and as adults that can be hard to do.

What’s important for you to know: You gotta breathe. Close your eyes and visualize those activities that you participated in as a kid. Did you dance, sing or take piano lessons. Maybe it was art class or violin practice. Whatever it was, did it provide a few minutes of relief and escape for you? Along with writing, I absolutely loved ballet & gymnastics class. I can remember practicing my back-flip and no-hand cartwheels for hours on end. I’ve never really been great at ballet, but I can remember putting on my pink ballet slippers for the first time along with my white tights and black leotard. I was free to be me.

What matters: You were created to be serious and carefree at the same time. Life will impose it constraints and restrictions upon you but you cannot let that stop your creativity. Your foundational purpose is found in the weeds of your place to breathe and your responsibilities. Intentionally show up for yourself each day in a creative way. If not, you’ll get lost and be afraid of who you truly are. You have too much goodness, purity and creativity to be anyone other than yourself.  Show up for you & breathe.

I offer a session called Peace Mapping where I help you identify areas of conflict in your life and design a strategy that helps you to make different choices and create mental space for a more peaceful lifestyle. I would love to help you find your place to breathe.

To book a session, simply click here to get started.

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Do You!

Hi PeaceMakers! I am so excited to have you on my site today! Thanks for your continued support and encouragement.

What’s My Intent for this post: My intention is to give you a quick word of encouragement. With that said, if this is your first time checking me out, My name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Peace Coach. Most of the time, I coach entrepreneurs in their quest to plan, build and manage a business that is authentic to their unique gifts and talents. In addition to that I coach women in designing self-care routines that promote mental clarity, self-preservation and service to self.

What’s Important for you to know: Both my Leadership Academy & Personal Coaching programs are heart centered.  Together, you & I sit down and create a Peace Map that will help you peacefully move through your leadership development program or your current crisis situation. I’ve assisted clients during career, finance, relationship and health transitions. What are my qualifications? I have a full-fledged Master’s degree in Peace & Conflict Studies, I am a  Certified Change Manager and a Certified Lean Six Sigma Professional. That means, I have the necessary skill-set to help you identify the underlying issues, create a plan of change and give you the steps to make that change  part of your normal routine.

What Matters: I stopped by today with a word of encouragement. “Don’t be afraid to build your business your way”. If you don’t hear anything else that I say to you, hear this. It is perfectly okay to do you and to pursue a business that makes you feel good, provides a useful service to others and that caters to your unique gifts & talents. I was recently told that you can’t create a profitable business from doing the things that you like to do and if it makes you feel good, it’s a hobby.

A hobby?    Wrong, wrong & wrong! With the right mentor and tools, you can turn your passion into a successful business that feeds your spirit and your pockets.

I invite you to sign up for my N.I.C.E Mentoring program today. Click here to get started!

Don’t give others the power to deter you from following your heart and pursuing a cause that you truly believe in. Peace is my cause and I am all in. Too many women in our community deal with setbacks from infidelity issues, unexpected health diagnosis and sudden job loss, just to name a few.

There is a map to peace during the crisis. Let me help you figure it out.Screenshot_20190128-190406

If you’re local to the Charlotte, NC Metro area. Join me on March 2nd for “No More Struggle Prayers.” This is an interactive creative writing course where I teach you how to compose prayers that are filled with language to inspire, uplift and encourage! Click here to register.

 

 

 

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Could We Agree To Meet at Maybe?

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Welcome February…the month of love! This month we will shift our focus from spiritual wellness to emotional wellness. We will dive into our thoughts about love and acceptance of self. We will explore the possibilities within self-forgiveness while creating a stronger mental image of who we are and what we are capable of.

I brainstormed the following points during a creative writing session at the Pink House in Charlotte NC.

I pray your heart will open to the possibility of maybe

My thoughts are inspired from a verse within the poem Wild Geese by Mary Oliver.

“Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine….”

Most often pain is the point that brings people together.

Maybe we can share our story and get inspiration from each other.

Maybe I will tell you of my deepest fears and hope that you will still love me.

Is it okay that I confide in you and express what is truly on my mind or I could just sit in silence while you share your story.

If we lean on one another maybe we both can be healed, or maybe we should release all expectation and appreciate the things that we do not know…..

Could we agree to meet at maybe?