Archive for the ‘self-talk’ Tag

Sowing Seeds of Happiness   Leave a comment


I wrote the original version of this post back in August 2013. Amazing how time flies! Since then I’ve learned a lot more about the power of the brain and how it’s conditioned to tilt toward the negative based on our ancestors’ needs for survival; something that kept them on constant alert for oncoming threats and danger. Their need for protection was prominent, and therefore the reaction to potential danger to fight or flee was hardwired into the brain for the purpose of keeping them safe; something the brain continues to do today even when theres’s no real threat of danger. It’s no wonder that many of us struggle in pursuit of our dreams and goals, or are afraid to make changes because we’re conditioned to think the worst. This is known as the brain’s “negativity bias.”

I am so grateful for the HEAL process, developed by Dr. Rick Hansen, and the growth I’m seeing in myself, and others, based on the principles of experience dependent neuroplasticity (also known as Positive Neuroplasticity); a simple, yet powerful process that helps us grow inner resources for safety, satisfaction and connection so we can better meet life’s challenges and enjoy greater health, happiness and fulfillment.


“All that I am is the result of all that I have thought.” – Buddha

It’s amazing how fast time flies, and how our dreams and goals, and the changes we wish to make often get sidetracked by the thoughts we think, the beliefs we hold, and the rationale that we’ll get to them someday. If this sounds familiar to you, don’t let your thoughts and beliefs hijack you!

Every word we speak, and every thought we think, has a powerful and corresponding effect. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly creating our own reality through our thoughts, beliefs and perceptions. Moreover, when we react to conditions and situations in our lives, the brain behaves as though we are in danger and strives to keep us safe.

For instance, let’s say you want to learn how to dance, but your mind tells you all the reasons you shouldn’t do it: “You won’t know anyone in the class, ” “you’ll  make a fool of yourself,” “you’ve got nothing to wear,” and “it’s too expensive,” etc. In this way, the amygdala, the part of the brain whose job it is to keep us safe, reacts and prompts us to flee, by staying at home and watching a movie by ourselves instead. And so rather than risk trying something new, we may feel lonely and unsatisfied as our dreams and goals are thwarted.

Alternatively, we can respond to life’s challenges by learning how to calm the nervous system and help the brain learn from positive facts and experiences. As we do, we create new neural pathways within the circuitry of the brain, which lead to a greater sense of well-being, joy and contentment.

Let’s redo our dance scenario. Let’s say, once again, you want to learn to dance. You still feel anxious and nervous about talking the class, but this time you recognize the brain’s bias toward negativity and its function to protect and  keep you from what it perceives as danger. Instead of reacting to the situation and staying at home to watch a movie, you respond by drawing on the inner resources you’ve developed for safety, satisfaction and connection. In this case, growing resources of calmness, confidence and feelings of belonging may have helped you feel more relaxed and comfortable about about taking the dance class. As neurons that fire together wire together, over time, you would be helping the brain learn from the new experience.

A final note: Please note that the practice isn’t about denying what’s happening within or around us. It’s about becoming mindful of our needs and growing inner resources that help us better meet life’s challenges. In doing so we create greater happiness for ourselves, for others, and for the world.



Change starts with mindfulness…

This week, without judging your thoughts, or yourself, simply notice the thoughts you’re thinking and the feelings they elicit. Be mindful of what they’re telling you. Ask yourself if they’re really true.


Try calming your nervous system by putting your right hand on your heart and taking several deep breaths. Let your exhale be longer than your inhale. Repeat this exercise until you feel a little calmer.

Choose a Resource…

Ask yourself what resource would be helpful to meet the challenge you’re experiencing.

Try this…

For example, let’s say you’ve been feeling insecure, afraid and timid. To match the resource to the situation, you might choose to grow confidence.

Begin by taking a few breaths, and relax as you let go and feel supported by the chair beneath you. As you breathe, and feel yourself relax, let go of any remaining tension. Then, as you’re ready, visualize or think of a time, or times, you felt confident.

Notice the sensations in your body, and any thoughts you may have in support of your feeling confident as you watch the experience play out in your minds eye. If opposite emotions or thoughts come up, know that’s natural and bring your attention back to the experience of feeling confident.

If you’re not visual, or have trouble visualizing, think of a time you felt confident and what that feels like in your body.

Enrich the experience by making it bigger. For instance, notice the details – where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re with, how the air feels on your skin, etc.

Then, let the sensations you’re experiencing as you visualize or think about the situation flow down into your body, like a sponge soaking in water. Stay with the sensations for 5 to 20 seconds or longer. Let yourself absorb and enjoy the experience.

When you’re ready, open your eyes.

Then, as you go through the course of your day, be aware times you feel encouraged, hopeful and assured, and once again, let the good feelings of the positive experience flow down into your body.

 When done consistently, you will help the brain to learn from the new experience, and over time, the tendency to tilt to the positive will become more natural.

Good Facts…

Look for good facts that support your feeling confident. For instance,, notice the things you do well, or the things you accomplish as you go about your day.  Then soak in the good feelings.

***Note that absorbing the good feelings into your body for as little as five to 10 seconds is what will help your brain to learn and grow for the better, and is an essential part of the practice.***

For more resources, please check out my books on Amazon.

As always, I’d love to hear about your experience, should you decide to try the process.

With love, Theresa

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Focus on the Positive   Leave a comment

We all experience discouragement from time to time. The key, when in the midst of challenge, is learning to focus on the positive.

“If you keep saying things are going to be bad, you have a good chance of being a prophet.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

It’s easy to feel frustrated when things don’t go our way, or take longer than we wish. We may become discouraged, and think that what we long for will never come to pass. Over time, if we don’t change the course of our thinking, the things we tell ourselves will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

If you would like a different outcome, and one that leads to your success, tell a different story, and shift your focus to your wins.


Keep a journal of all that’s going well.

At the end of every day, add a daily entry.

It will help to change your focus and increase your happiness and energy.

Need some ideas? Here are a few to get you started:


Caught an early bus, and made it to work on time!

Saw a friend you hadn’t seen in a while and enjoyed a lovely visit.

You saw a job posting in your field of interest, and filled out an application.

The sun was shining!

You took loving care of your body, and ate a nourishing meal.

You spoke up for yourself at a meeting.

Your car started!

Get the idea?


Try it for a month. Then, notice any changes in your outlook and your life.

It doesn’t matter how large or small the good things you notice are.

The benefits are yours to enjoy, and will come with daily practice.

With love, Theresa

Need help changing your thoughts and words?

“Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself” is an empowering process that can help you change your thoughts and create greater health, happiness, and fulfillment.


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Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner, Author, and Workshop Leader with more than 25 years’ experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create greater health, happiness and fulfillment. She is trained in positive psychology, neuroscience, practical spirituality, among other modalities.

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) Trust Your Gut   Leave a comment

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you’re heading.” – Lao Tzu

Change can be both exhilarating and scary. Whether we wish to change careers, sell or purchase a home, move to a new city or country, begin or end a relationship, or do anything that’s new, the future is unknown and can prompt feelings of fear and insecurity.

A few months ago, I had a chat with an American woman who has been living in Trieste for 15 years or so. She works for an American support organization, and has watched people who have relocated from abroad come and go. I had been feeling a bit lonely the day I saw her, and was longing for connections on a deeper, more personal level. She said I was at a crisis point, wondering if I would ever learn the language, make closer friends, establish a clientele, learn the subtleties between cultures, etc. I felt like she was a mindreader and was inside of my head! The thing that helped me most was when she said that what I was feeling was common and the point at which most people left and returned home. Wow. Although I had no intention of moving,  it made perfect sense and gave me a new perspective.

The challenges that come with change are true with any endeavor. The reptilian part of our brains are hard-wired to keep us safe, so we’re bound to question our decisions, and wonder if we’re on the right path when feelings of doubt and insecurity rear their frightening heads. Our ancestors were on alert for their physical safety, and had to fight or flee when their environment was threatened.  In modern times, the “old” brain kicks in when it perceives an emotional threat, and can stop us in our tracks.

I still feel lonely and insecure from time to time, however, I remind myself that what I’m feeling is natural; take a breath; reach out for support, when needed; and move on.

Fear is a common occurrence and something we are bound to experience when we stretch our comfort zones and embark on something new. The key is recognizing where the fear is stemming from, and tapping in to our Inner Strength and the wisdom of our guts.


What change have you been wanting to make, but have been afraid of doing so?

On a scale of “1” to “10,” with “1” Not At All Important and “10” Extremely Important, how important is the change you wish to make?

What’s holding you back?

Notice the feelings that emerge. Are you scared, excited, happy, terrified?

Are the thoughts that you’re thinking true and serving you? Or are they assumptions based on beliefs that are trying to keep you safe?

Take a breath and call on your Inner Wisdom.

What feels right for you to do?

Ask your gut, not your head!

What brings a feeling of deep peace and inner contentment?

Your gut will serve to guide you.

With love, Theresa

Need help changing your thoughts and perceptions? 

“Alphabet Affirmations: Transform Your Life and Love Yourself” is an empowering  tool that may help you make the changes you desire, and create a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life.

Available on Amazon. 

If would you found this week’s TNT helpful, and would like to support my ongoing work, please visit my Virtual Tip Jar at PayPal.  It’s here:
Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, Author, and Workshop Facilitator with more 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams and create happier, healthier, and more fulfilling lives.

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Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) How To Calm The Mind and Relieve Overthinking   2 comments


Does overthinking complicate your life or lead you astray? This week’s TNT will help get you on track!

Theresa’s TNT (Tip ‘N Tool) How To Calm The  Mind and Relieve Overthinking

“Before enlightenment chop wood, carry water.

After enlightenment chop wood, carry water.” – Zen Proverb

I was talking with a friend today – we were obsessing about our fears (yes, I have them, too!), phobias and how much there is to do. Then, it dawned on me: When life seems complicated, and feels unmanageable, it may stem from overthinking!

It’s essential to have visions and goals and timelines in which to achieve them. They give our lives a sense of meaning and purpose and are important to our health and well-being. However, no matter how far we’ve come, fear and doubt can get in the way and lead to overthinking. (Can you relate?)

When your head is spinning, and you’re trying to figure things out, it’s time to stop and slow down the momentum. Go for a walk. Have a cup of tea. Detach and let the feelings settle. It will help you calm your mind, redirect your thoughts, and relieve your overthinking. You will regain your composure, feel refreshed and in the long run, be more efficient.

If you know someone who would find this post helpful, please share.

Do you want to manage your stress? Regain your balance? Fulfill a dream or accomplish a goal?

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Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience. Theresa specializes in helping her clients manage their stress, realize their dreams, and create healthier, happier, more fulfilling lives.  To learn more, visit Theresa’s website or email her at


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Are “What If’s” Stopping You?   Leave a comment


On a scale of 1-10, with one having the least influence on how successful we our in accomplishing our dreams and goals and 10 the most influence on how successful we are, “What Iffing” ourselves is off the charts. This week, I’ll teach you a simple technique that will turn your “what if’s” into positive statements that will lift you to new levels of joy and fulfillment.

Faith is saying “yes” instead of no.” – Rev. Loretta Brooks

Are What If’s” holding you back? If so, I’ve got a remedy! But first, let’s have some fun and look at a few common scenarios:

Scenario Uno: You want a new job, having been unhappy for quite some time, but think you’re current job provides a safety net and gives you a sense of security. In a fret, your mind starts working overtime and puts the breaks on telling you “What if I get a new job and don’t like it.?” Or worse yet, “What if I get a new job and the company downsizes and lays me off or fires me?  While guarantees are never provided, you’ve just “what iffed” yourself out of a potential opportunity!

Scenario Due: You’re tired of sitting home alone on Saturday (or any!) night and have been thinking about trying an online dating site, but have heard they’re full of losers. You sign up anyway, despite your reservations (after all, it’s a free site!) and get a few responses. You’re hopes are up, you get excited, go on the date, and find it disappointing. Bummer. Feeling discouraged, you go home and cancel your subscription because “What if they’re all like that, I waste my time and get my hopes up for nothing?”

Scenario Tre: You would like to take a trip to someplace new and beautiful, but your friends can’t go and traveling solo is out of your comfort zone. You want to go, but your thoughts are off and running, scaring you! You listen as they tell you:  “What if I feel lonely or something terrible happens and I have no one there to help me?” Next thing you know, you’re back on the couch cuddled up with a movie and a bowl of popcorn.

Do you resonate? You’ve got to admit there’s a ring of truth in them (I know, because I’ve used a few!).  We all have our personal versions.

But what if your “what if’s” supported instead of deterred you? Let’s turn them on their heads and try a few!

“What if I get a new job and love it?”

“What if I meet some wonderful men (women) and wind up in an amazing relationship?

“What if I make some new friends and have fun traveling solo?”

What if you tried it?

Need help stretching your comfort zone? Email and learn about my Special Introductory Offer.

With love,


 If you know someone you may find this post helpful, please forward.   

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience in the healing field. She is the author of “I Am the Treasure,” a book of inspirational poetry, and creator of “Harvest Your Light,” a guided meditation program. Theresa has created and facilitated workshops on stress management, work/life balance, and other topics for law firms, hospitals, higher education and other organizations. Theresa specializes in helping her clients gain clarity and direction about their life paths and guides them in identifying and achieving their dreams. For more information, please visit Theresa’s website or contact her at

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Shifting from Lack to Abundance   2 comments


Everything begins in consciousness. What we think determines what we do, how we feel, what we say, and how much love and abundance we allow ourselves to receive.

“Other people don’t have to believe in [your] dream in order for it to come to pass.” – Joel Osteen

While other people don’t need to believe in our dreams, we do. We often deny our heart’s desires, and talk ourselves out of what we want because we think we’re not worthy or good enough to have what we desire or think that what we want is impossible to attain.

But everything begins in consciousness. As Goethe said,

“Whatever you can or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genus, power and magic in it.”

When we act upon our inspiration (known as the still small voice, our inner guidance and intuition, among other names), new opportunities avail themselves to us and increase our levels of joy, love, abundance and success. But we must be willing to say “yes” and take the actions required in order for our lives to blossom and prosper.

As I wrote in my little book of inspirational poetry, “I Am the Treasure,” the key is to

“Be mindful of the words you speak.
Being good friends, they do as you ask.”

In order to experience greater abundance in our lives, we must develop a consciousness equivalent to that which we desire. How?  By shifting the way we think of ourselves, our lives and our ability to manifest our dreams. In other words, the way we think is merely a habit that we can change.

The following 5-Steps will provide you the tools to elicit the change:

  1. Take time every day to look for the positive, in yourself, and others.
  2.  Focus on what you want rather than what you lack.
  3. Develop an attitude of gratitude. For an added bonus, keep a gratitude journal and list five things you are grateful for at the end of every day. You will sleep better, too!
  4. When you find yourself thinking negatively, or feeling out of sorts, shift your thinking to a better feeling thought by asking yourself “how would I like to feel?” The change may be subtle, but with practice, you will notice the difference.
  5. Give what you would like to receive. For instance,
    • If you want someone to be more patient with you, be patient with others.
    • If you want more love, find ways to share your love.
    • If you want more joy, make a list of the things you enjoy and do them.
    • If you want others to be kinder or more generous, be kind and generous to others.

By shifting your perspective from lack to one of abundance, you will see your efforts bear fruit as they transform and bless your life.

As always, I would love to hear your comments.

With love,


If you know someone you may find this post helpful, please forward.   

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing Practitioner and Workshop Facilitator with more than 25 years experience in the healing field. She is the author of “I Am the Treasure,” a book of inspirational poetry, and creator of “Harvest Your Light,” a guided meditation program. Theresa has created and facilitated workshops on stress management, work/life balance and other topics for private, corporate, non-profit and government organizations. Theresa specializes in helping her clients gain clarity and direction about their life paths, identify their dreams and make them come true. For more information, please visit Theresa’s website.

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Right Speech: Treating Ourselves with Lovingkindness   1 comment

“All that I am is the result of all that I have thought.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about communication lately and how what we say and what we do has an impact on ourselves, our relationships, and the world around us.

Every word we speak and every thought we think has an energetic vibration, and with it, a corresponding effect. Whether we know it or not, we are constantly creating our own reality, and as a collective consciousness, the reality of the world we live in. Mystics and metaphysical teachers have taught this throughout the ages, and thanks to modern methods, science is now able to prove it.

Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., an internationally recognized authority in bridging science and spirit, in his book Spontaneous Evolution, talks about the phenomenon of a patient declared terminal who suddenly experiences a spontaneous remission, even though everyone has “counted her out.”  From the outside, it seems a miraculous healing. Yet Lipton, whose research documents the effect of our beliefs upon our biology, posits that the healing is really an inside job and stems from a fundamental change in the patient’s belief system.

According to Lipton, and other cutting-edge researchers, we have the ability to shift our experience and create a life we love. In his groundbreaking work, Hal Stone, Ph.D., creator of The Voice Dialogue process, (a powerful process I use with coaching clients), tells us that our “inner critic whispers, whines, and needles us into place. It checks our thoughts, controls our behavior, and inhibits action,” all stemming from misperceptions and beliefs we have harbored since childhood.  Told we are wrong, will never be successful, we’re not good enough (you know the drill!), we get mired in shame, toe the line, and act as if these beliefs are true. Even the best of us can get triggered when feeling stressed or vulnerable. The good news is the more awareness we have, the faster we can shift from a place of pain to power.

Buddhist teachings encompass what’s known as the Eight Fold Path, and includes Right View, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, and Right Concentration. Although not a Buddhist scholar, it seems improbable to practice one aspect of the Eight Fold Path without affecting the others.

As we shift our reality from what we don’t want to what we do want, I suggest we start with changing the way we view, think, and talk to ourselves. To get you started, here is a simple and effective technique that you can easily put to use. It starts with an affirmation.

What is an Affirmation?

An affirmation is a short, powerful statement, made in the present tense, using positive language. In addition to training the mind, research has shown that affirmations have a direct impact on our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health, due to chemical reactions that occur in the brain.

Affirmations with a Twist:

I find that saying affirmations in the second and/or third person can yield even better results than stating them in first person, as is normally done. I speculate that one reason for this is because our old beliefs are so deeply rooted, we may need a gentler approach.

For instance, instead of saying:

“ I_______(your name) am a kind, loving, and powerful person,”  try

“You _____(your name) are a kind, loving and powerful person,” and/or

“_________(your name) is a kind, loving and powerful person.”

If you are sensitive to energy, I guarantee you will feel an energetic shift when using this approach.  Experiment and see which works best for you. Try creating a few affirmations of your own.  The key to success is saying them consistently. I recommend saying them out loud, while looking in the mirror, at least 10 minutes a day.

If you would like some feedback on the affirmations you create, feel free to email me at

Treating ourselves with love and kindness is the first step in shifting our reality.

Theresa Conti is a Certified Life Coach, Reconnective Healing® Practitioner, Workshop Presenter and author with more than 25 years experience in the healing field. She specializes in helping her clients regain their energy, boost their confidence and create a life they love. She maintains an international healing practice and works both in person and remotely, via telephone and Skype.

For more information, please visit Theresa’s website at and “Like” her Facebook page at To sign up for Theresa’s weekly newsletter and receive notification of special offers, please email her at, and asked to be added to her mailing list

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