Tag Archive | Self-Help

If You Don’t Know Where Your Place Is ~ by Chloe Bell

Guest Author: Chloe Bell

Rarely do I have a guest author on Barefoot Baroness mainly because this blog does bear my name. However this is an exception to my rule, this piece by Chloe Bell strikes such a chord inside me I think it’s share worthy. The serendipity factor of finding this while I have been trying to rediscover my place in the blog world caused me to freeze my thoughts when I happened onto this piece of brilliance by Ms Bell.  (yes, FYI, her words have been like a reset button for myself) ~ BB


Image result for loss of direction

*Put this next to your bed, where your eyes reach first in the morning light.

Your bed, not anyone else’s. If you do not have your own bed, put it in your place—where you read, where you write, where you know it’s safe to hide.

If you don’t know where your place is, find it.

Written by Chloe Bell

* Cry. In the morning, in the afternoon, on Saturday nights when it will ruin your makeup.
Tears are for washing, for protecting;
stuffed tears turn to poison, to hate, pulsing through the sea of you.
Cry when you are happy, cry when you are broken, cry when you need to
and because someone weak once told you it made you weak.

Begin to belong to you, and only you.
Did you ever belong to just yourself?
Be the person you can count on, to laugh with,
to endure with, to wipe the eyeliner from beneath your eyes.
Be the person to hug your hips, to read books to, to lay in the grass with.
You do not have to fill your spaces with someone else.
If you expect someone else to fill you, there will never be enough love.
Let light flood the empty parts of you and heal with sunshine, not fingerprints.

Exist, and let your existence speak for itself.
Do not make yourself a smoker or a prude or a body cavity to fill.
Do not make yourself into anything other than the person you are.
There is an identity, there always was an identity, you have never ceased to exist.
You have never disappeared, despite your many attempts.
Eat. As much or as little as you want. Do not vanish.
Breathe, deep, shaky, powerful gulps of air. Do not suffocate.

Wander into the places of yourself you’ve been too afraid to touch,
You may find bruises, you may find scars,
Know yourself, map yourself.
One day, someone will want to understand your geography.
Know how to teach them.
Wander too far away from home, leave home, build new homes.
When one burns down, you will always have another one to learn
to trust warmth inside of.

Set down your burdens.
You carried their emotions inside your heart for far too long.
You are not a backpack, or a hamper, or a trunk for all of
their old demons to sit and rot inside of.
You are not luggage, you are a person.

Love will come to you in forms that you don’t recognize.
People will love you who don’t need to be saved.
People will love you for your face in the morning,
and not when they tear down your strength.
People will love you for the way your voice sounds when reading,
and not when telling them what they want to hear.
People will love you because of the creation you are,
and not a wax figurine they tried to turn you into.

Learn to be fresh. To begin each day without yesterday’s mistakes.
Learn to sit in the rocking chair
and hold their flaws gently, cradling them,
as they learn to trust your balance-beam heart.
Learn to smile when plans fall through, when the food gets cold,
when the rain drenches us on our walk home.

Say, “I love you,” only when you want to say it.
Say no, maybe and yes. But not just Yes.
And not just No.
Carry inside of you the story of a person who is a tapestry.
A person made to help flowers grow,
A person made to give the world something no one else could.
A person made in divine light.

Let the hate steep with the tea.
Let your fear of remembering be forgotten.
Let your toes curl up in delight.
Let happiness sit upon your windowsill like a sleeping cat
so that everyone who passes will smile knowing:

You are whole.
You have always been whole.
You will always be whole.


Author: Chloe Bell

*I do not own the rights to this intellectual property and share here for only the purpose of sharing because it’s caring.





The Bavardage of My Mind

” bavardage” IE; chat, talking, gossiping, chitchat, dialog, prattle
I have had an occasion of late to have a lot of down-time. A LOT of down equated for me to be almost zero writing.
Consequently because I didn’t have the outlet and release that I typically find in writing I found instead that I was filled with self-chatter. Thoughts not shared out loud soon became a bounty of negatives and defeating self-talk. To get out of my head, away from my thoughts I started reading about the dynamics of inner dialogue.

That self chatter, self-talk, inner chatter, on-going self dialog, the inner voice,  that which echoes in our heads.

I think everyone does it. 

 From the very second of our birth we begin having interactions with our surrounding environments. and absorbing information. We learn and grow by connecting to and relating to the encounters with others and events that happen around us. In short order we become creatures of habit and we develop into the unique personalities that make us who we are.
Science has demonstrated that our brains retain every single thing we ever are exposed to. Everything we saw, heard, talked over, read, touched, tasted and smelled. Our brain like a huge data base retains it all. True that we might not always be aware or even have access to all the archived details, but this is really protective, it would be mind-blowing if not.
No matter the experience, good or bad, its recorded in our brains. These are the details that lend to our individualism and have a direct impact on our thinking, and in the ways we interact with our environment.
Learning and adapting includes developing the self talk we come to rely on. We learn early on to have theses chats with ourselves.
Eventually we learn our self-chatting becomes our normal way of processing life.
Acknowledging that we create patterns of self-chatter is realizing that literally we learn to hold conversations with ourselves and that becomes habitual. If we recognize that anything we practice on a routine basis becomes an aspect of our behaviors we can see our self-chatter is no different.
Without suggesting that all negative self-talk is toxic our internal dialog however can create irrational expectations, burdens, and stress. If we are not mindful of this dialog taking a negative spin through our mind it can have negative consequences impacting our lives.
Internally reminding ourselves of an appointment is how we stay at task., but when the self-chatter becomes judgmental and negative, it can be self-destructive.
With frequent negative chatter it begins reinforcing and feeding our self-limiting beliefs, creating deeper problems when the sub-conscious mind wants to please and protect. Our subconscious takes everything we say as truth, it cannot differentiate between facts & falsehoods. So to not create conflict within we tend to affirm all the self-chatter whether it is negative or positive.
We create a vicious cycle which I love to refer to as my squirrel cage effect. 

My Squirrel Cage equation looks like this: Negative self-talk + persistence habits = limiting self-beliefs.

We create such behaviors and the sad news is this can be self-defeating, which can result in reinforcing the very behavior which leads to more negative thoughts, and as a result creates yet more negative self-chatter. That’s the Squirrel Cage cage effect

Round and round…here we go.

Our self-talk has a rebound effect on our moods, thoughts, emotions, behaviors & actions. So… the great news is with the realization that we humans are all intelligent beings and with great reflections and brutal honesty with ourselves we all have the ability to ‘reprogram’ our thoughts for better results. We have free will and we are continually evolving as the world keeps on turning.

Our brains are intelligent and like people friendly computers, operating systems with powerful interfaces that can help us navigate and liberate our internal world.  Since our brains function 24/7 there is a constant live stream of subtle chatter feeding our emotions. 

Stop and listen purposely to that inner dialogue.

What is it telling you?

With awareness beginning to identify the inner dialogue and the self-limiting chatter we might see that the negative self-chatting can actually harm emotionally. By changing instead to that which is self-affirming and positive reinforcements we can reprogram our internal dialogue.

Learning the art to separate yourself from self-defeating thoughts is life affirming. I have been practicing yoga & meditation for more years than I will ever admit to and I know the power our minds if we become mindful of where we let our thoughts take us. So with that in mind I created a list of purposeful driven actions that with practice can get me out of that negative head space of self chatter.

Out of the Bavardage of my mind.

I share my suggested thoughts as examples of what I find works for me, this does not mean it will work for everyone, but maybe it will start some thoughts on the subject.

  • Awareness
Going to a place where I won’t be interrupted, and I can relax . Only observing what goes on within my mind without trying to rid, alter, or direct my thoughts in any way. Becoming just an observer while I allow the dialogue to run wild
  • Analyze
Taking time to analyze if there is any truth to my inner negative chatting can allow myself to become more aware.  Questioning if I actually believe what ”self” is telling me.

I am finding as I practice this that while I dissect my negative self-chat I am able to re-examine my reality, and I can see the opportunities for improving and changing my beliefs when appropriate.
  • Determination
  • Now that I have become more mindful and aware of this internal dialogue on a regular basis the next purposeful goal is to become determined to find a way to distract and stop the “tapes” from running through my thoughts. Creating a buzz word for myself has helped. I use the term “Whoa it up” but basically it is being determined to tell myself  to stop  the chatter, to say “NO” each time I catch myself.  A more dramatic and therapeutic measure I have heard others use is to wear a rubber band on the wrist which can be snapped on the skin each time there is a discovery of negative chatter. I’ve heard the term “Stinking Thinking” The point is to find what works for you.
  • Self-Affirmations

    Realize that just simply trying to turn the negative inner dialogue off as it floods our thoughts is the first step to changing the negative to positive. But by just substituting the negative self-talk with something else is only a short-term fix. Our minds tend to revert right back to the original offending thought once we let go of the attempted distraction. Instead I now let the negative chatter pass through my mind without giving it any weight of importance.

    Practice being at ready to affirm yourselves with positive statements of self-affirming internal dialogue.

{ Positive Self-Affirmation Examples )

And finally; to aid in bolstering these self-affirming thought

  • Visualization and Focus

While stating our chosen affirmation visualize being in the exact situation or circumstances in the mind’s eye. Visualize living with integrity, see the beauty in that the you are good enough just as you are. Experience the feeling of peacefulness by imagining where that is for you. Focus on that image for a few minutes. be mindful and enjoy the feelings it causes, breathe in deeply… and exhale slowly.

Our automatic nature or our auto-pilot if you will, can make it challenging to change our negative self-chatter;  but the good news is that false beliefs and cognitive distortions of our truths are learned behaviors and that very fact means we CAN learn to change our negative defeating talk. That realization for me has helped return the power of my thinking to being mindful with the results being far less of that self-defeating chatter is being discussed with my ‘Self’ 

To Jump start the process of positive self-affirmations included below is a borrowed list of affirmations. My hope is that one or more might resonate with you and give you a head start to developing your own personal list. Write them down and place them where you will see them often for reinforcement.

  • I am Successful,  Healthy and Happy.
  • I am grateful to life for all that I have received till now and for all that I will be receiving in the future.
  • I can do it.
  • I feel good about myself and about everybody around me.
  • All is well. Everything that is happening is as it is meant to be.
  • The past is gone. I live only in the present.
  • I love myself unconditionally and accept myself as I am.

I’ve been actively practicing “my process” long enough now to understand the power of words we say to ourselves.  Be kind to your Self, understand that what you tell yourself impacts your Self.


Intentional Fundamentals

Recently I have been writing a lot about being mindful of gratitude. I write, document, and archive what my self-reflections have blessed me with. I record these thoughts so when I am in doubt that this pat is my direct course to peace, balance and feeling grounded. Living with intentional fundamentals is a choice I am making. One that I can lives with.

It has been a fabulously interesting lesson of life, with my results feeling like I am a child quieting and calming myself after a tantrum, I blink back the tears of gratitude, and I began seeing the world through new eyes.

This was an awakening for me. It has caused me to be quite engulfed with emotions. Learning to risk again, and trusting to know that what I am feeling is relevant and is credible..

Things I second guessed about in life became quite clear. In the clarity of these reflections came about my life lessons, when I adhere to this manifesto to living my life with intentional fundamentals the things I found to be true are awakened in my soul, and my heart is set free to love, to live, to feel Peace in all that I do, And all that I am.

This is what I now know:

Intentional fundamentals. I do not own these fundamentals, I did not create them. But I do believe once my eyes were open wide that it became as important to share what I have discovered for myself as it is to live these with great intentions.

• Be present in the moment. I Have touched on this, but let say that I believe this is our responsibility, to decide to be so. Be intentional. Savor positive outcomes AND if the outcomes is not what you are looking for make appropriate changes. Make a different choice if the out come is negative. Learn from what you have just experienced. Also I recalled something my mother use to tell me If in doubt just react, make some decision, doing nothing is indeed even a decision we make. I shall no longer be a victim to the negatives in life.

Happiness never last forever. And the sooner this is realized the better for all involved. Not one thing in life can maintain intensity forever. Life is good, life is bad. Ying Yang for living. We would do well to remember it is NOT the outcome, but the process that matters

• Evaluate what your morals, values and scruples are. Good or Bad we choose them. What are your life’s most prized possession’s? Success? Wealth? Tangibles? Intangibles? Things or people?

• Feelings about life are not who we are. (unless we choose to let them rule our lives ) They should not have to make us who we are.(of course unless we make the choice to be) We can intentionally choose to “let go” of negative feelings. (anger, hurt, sadness, etc….) a traumatic life history, a frustrating present predicament…..are examples. Failing in the past to react accordingly and appropriate should not influence any current or future decisions you make. Opportunities missed are choices made.

• Habits help us create our character and the way we view each other and the world. Behaviors from childhood that were taught to us by our parents , siblings, and acquaintances are what we base our formed habits from. We began deciding early on whether we would continue the learned behavior, or make the changes that best suit our personal wants and needs. This forms who we are; our personalities if you will. Habits help the way we are identified  (by others) and by who we choose to keep company with. We choose to rise above, to shine things on, follow the crowd, or wallow in our despair. Positivity and positive habits enable us to find the positive life experiences in our journeys

• Delivered to Self-Acceptance. A gift you give o yourself. Measure who you are by your willingness to learn from being challenged, by your ability to make changes, and the strength in your character (your spirit) to never give up.

Be happy in your own skin, and accept the differences in others.

 Signature 2013