Full Life Reflections

Striving for happiness, peace, and fulfillment in a chaotic world

When we want to make changes in an area of our lives, we often think we need to take big, significant steps. At the beginning of every year, it’s common for people to make New Year’s resolutions. In fact, as many as 45% of Americans resolve to make at least one major change each year, …

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NOTE: This article was originally posted to my previous blog, “The Healing Project,” in August 2010. This coming Sunday, August 8th, is my birthday.  I will turn 44, which officially places me in my mid-forties.   There’s no denying it at this point; I’m now “middle-aged.”  I don’t like the imagery evoked by that term, but …

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NOTE: This article was originally posted to my previous blog, “The Healing Project,” in October 2010. Last Friday, my husband and I went to see a taping of “The Tonight Show.”  This was something we’d wanted to do for a long time but kept putting off.  We are so glad we finally made it happen, …

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For the past two years, this site was the home page for my wardrobe styling business.  If you visited debbieroes.com up until recently, you could find information about how I worked with clients to help them clean out their closets, discover what looks best on them, and hone their personal and professional style.  While aspects …

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Last week, I wrote the post “Overspending,” about a recent shopping trip that resulted in my spending too much money and feeling that I had acted in a compulsive manner. Although there were important lessons inherent in that individual experience, it also raised the issue of compulsive behavior in general. This post is geared toward examining compulsive behavior, getting to the root of why we engage in such destructive actions, and looking at what we can do to begin to turn it around.
Compulsiveness Takes Many Forms…

I shared about my shopping and spending issues, but these are far from the only forms of compulsive behaviors with which I’ve struggled. I’ve also engaged in compulsive overeating, dieting, and exercising, and spending too much time working or surfing the internet, among other things. You may have grappled with similar issues, or you may have had problems with drinking, drugs, gambling, sex, or any number of other maladaptive behaviors. It doesn’t matter which of these behaviors has plagued you, the problem is usually rooted in the same causes.

I want to briefly interrupt my discussion of Louise Hay’s Key Principles in order to share a personal practice that has made a big difference in my life. I will return to the Key Principles in my next post…

I’ve often heard that the biggest key to happiness is gratitude, and I don’t doubt that. When we are present to all that is wonderful in our lives, it’s difficult to feel depressed and despondent. As I look back on my life, I can see that even in my most difficult times, I still had a lot to be grateful for in my life. I just had to look in the right place! It’s all about focus and attitude, I’ve learned.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

To help me to stay aware of the many blessings in my life, I started to keep a Gratitude Journal a few years ago. I confess that I haven’t always been consistent with this practice, but when I’ve maintained my Gratitude Journal, it’s helped me to be more positive and upbeat. Here’s how it works…