Don’t tell me….show me how

Is there anyone out there who can help me interpret words of wisdom and put them into practice?

Like thousands of others I am committed to a journey of self-discovery striving for utopia in my life.

There are literally millions of inspirational sayings and quotes created by people who share their wisdom about living a harmonious life.

Most of these words are imaginative and thoughtful and although I enjoy reading them I don’t think they help people make personal changes.

I’ve always wanted to be a creative person but the reality is that I am a practical person. It is innate for me to use a recipe or follow a plan to achieve a goal. I think a lot more than I dream and maybe that is my underlying problem.

For example I relate to the message of the following statements but I bet I am not the only person who is unsure how to act on the words to instigate different attitudes and behaviours.

 If your world is full of black and white I think it is time for a new box of crayons.

Let today be the day you stop harming yourself with thoughts of your past.

The treasure chest you are seeking is within you. It is shining brightly just waiting to be opened and appreciated.

If you want to fly then never be afraid of heights. And if you want to shine like the sun, then never be afraid of shadows.

I saw a video clip of a motivational speaker telling an audience how most people carry around their problems like a sack of potatoes slung on their back. She said every time we encounter a problem we throw another potato in the sack and eventually they weigh us down until we cease to function. She shouted to the audience “Do you want to drop your potatoes?” and then asked them to chant “Today I will drop my potatoes.” They cheered and clapped as though it was a defining moment in their life.

But I want to know HOW DO I DROP MY POTATOES? What do I actually have to do?
How do I  colour my world? How can I push negative thoughts and past regrets out of my mind?
How do I find the hidden gems in my treasure chest? How do I rid myself of fears?

Is it possible for me to learn how to dream more and think less?

Any practical advice will be most welcome.


23 thoughts on “Don’t tell me….show me how

  1. Very nice post. Unfortunately I cannot help you because I struggle with the same thing. I can completely identify with all your words. I read the motivational quotes and listen to the speakers, yet something is missing. One damn step is missing. I feel like these are told by pepole who either innately know what to do or have figured it out so long ago that they forget to share the process in baby-steps. It is like, I am a runner and have been for 11 years…but if I tell a non-runner “Just go run, now!” it may be easy and a good advice in my mind, but it is certainly missing steps for the person: where to run, how much, mix it with walking, what form, how fast, what kind of shoes, what kind of clothes, what time, how often, how to even put one foot after another… I read a million blogs, websites, listened to speeches, read books… I try my journaling, I do my affirmations, I try my best meditating using different kind of mp3s and techniques, so I have SOME steps, yet I feel like some steps are missing or at least some very ESSENTIAL STEP is not being shared. And I want to know that step… Share it if you discover it. And thanks for visiting my blog!


  2. Jenna, it’s a pleasure to discover your blog. I like what I see. You are definitely on your way. Thanks for following my blog. I, too, had a hard time figuring out how to actually DO the things that these inspirational sayings tell us to do. I worked on it for years. Finally, I figured out some very simple steps to take and they worked! I was so excited. I shared them with friends and they worked for them too. 🙂 My friends suggested that I write them into a book so that others who were looking for help could do these steps too. Anyway, my book is on my site if you want to check it out and you can read some excerpts (including the step on Fear) and see if it works for you. I hope it helps you like it helped me. I still do these steps several times a week and it helps me grow. 🙂 Here’s the link:


    1. Thanks Sandy, I truly value your wise comments and will definitely take a look at the steps to follow.
      I am so appreciative of comments such as yours that bloggers leave on my posts. I used to feel I was alone and that no-one else could understand how I was feeling. Thanks to the kindness of people who leave me comments I now feel so much better about myself and have a new enthusiasm for life. Love Jenna 🙂


      1. I can relate – it’s funny how we think we are all alone in the bad feelings we have. So we cover them up. Shame and embarrassment keep us from being authentic. But as soon as we take the risk to show our perceived weaknesses, we find out that we are NOT alone. That many people share our weakness and have compassion and acceptance for us. It’s so counter-intuitive, isn’t it? We fear being rejected, but in reality, when we share our weakness, it opens people’s hearts to us with compassion. I think Fear of Rejection is one of the biggest Lies that keeps us from enjoying life and being ourselves. Sure, there will be people who reject you, but that is a reflection on THEM, not on you. 🙂

        I am now at the place where I’m not so afraid to say, “Hey, this is who I am. I’m weak. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just another pilgrim on this journey. And that’s OKAY. I don’t have to have it all together. It’s okay to be ME as I am right now.” 🙂

        May you find many, many fellow pilgrims on your journey, Jenna! You rock! ♥


  3. Hi Jenna, first of all, thank you so much for stopping by my little blog and for following! I’ve been spending some time reading your posts – very beautiful – I look forward to coming back and reading more…
    There is so much good advice here in answer to your plea….all I can add is be gentle on yourself. Life changes take time, and I have learned that baby steps are best! I hope we can be friends! 🙂


  4. I can only speak for myself, and I have approached this in a way that is most practical for me.

    First of all, I started meditating. Not being very good at self discipline, I followed a course in meditation held by a local Buddhist nun. The first course was Releasing Stress, the second was Finding Concentration. Next course is Releasing Your Potential.
    Going to these courses with others, following instructions and sharing experiences, has meant a great deal. I find it easier to meditate and enter a meditative state when at work, at home, or in other situations that can benefit from it.

    Secondly, I started exercising. Since my willpower isn’t very strong, I’ve found it easier to get up half an hour earlier in the morning and work out then. I’m just too plain tired to resist or make excuses, and it wakes me up. I found a regime that is demanding, but not painful. Exercise should challenge you, not break you.

    Last, but not least, I started blogging about what I do. My project is to find myself; to find what in me is worthy of love. To go through each day deliberately and consciously finding reasons to love myself.
    After more than sixty days, I must say it’s worked really well. I know I have bad days as well as good ones, and I am as patient and tolerant with myself now, as I am with others.

    Writing every day makes me much more aware of what happens each day, within me as well as around me.

    I hope these words will be helpful for you. I found the practical approach in these steps both comprehensible and easy to follow.


  5. nice post…I really liked reading it dear..I do agree with Patrick but still some thought process helps at times and learning from examples from nature also is great. Thats why I observe nature at times as it gives me great motivation.


  6. One morning I heard God tell me He wanted me to write this poem on to some people who were tired and wanted some answers. I agree with you: I love inspiring quotes but I need some more showing too 🙂
    Thought you might appreciate this.

    The Great Exchange

    Weary and oppressed with worry and doubt.
    I see your mind like a hornets nest with vexations buzzing around without an answer to rest on.
    I am the lifter of your soul.
    Come away with me,
    drowned your inhibitions in my sea of peace and tranquility.
    Find me in the depths of eternity,
    My outstretched arms are continuously reaching for your touch.
    See my Majesty reigning upon the mountainous throne
    in your dwelling places.
    Experience the thrill of weightlessness
    as we soar high above the laws of gravity.

    You are my beloved one.
    If only you would believe in me as much as I believe in you.
    Simply take my hand and see me for who I really am:
    Your Over-comer
    your Healer
    your Comforter
    your Lover,
    and your Friend.

    Run away with me for a spell,
    experience the wonder of life though my eyes,
    and I promise when you arrive back in your daily routine
    you will find I have exchanged your unsolved problems
    With unending answers.
    Rewritten from our Creator,
    -Pamela J. Peterson


  7. I find it helpful to use symbols, images and metaphors to get ideas to “go in”… I then create materials, using those images, to help myself learn…. then I print them out and put them up around our home…and slowly, slowly, the ideas seem to “go in.” I tend to be very practical and to use creativity for a purpose…things I can “use.” I put much of what I create on my blog Pocket Perspectives, often adding explanations and strategies for how I use them…in case they might be helpful to others. I wish you well.


  8. When I read about “dropping your potatoes”, the main thing that comes to my mind is to forgive those who have hurt us. So often, we hold on to hurts of the past along with the resentment and bitterness towards the person in our hearts. We think we are holding on because we never want to forget what has been done to us and we are looking for “payment” or “payback” for what we had to go through. The unfortunate thing is the person lives his/her life normally, without knowing how we feel about them. They honestly couldn’t care less, unless they have truly repented. So, the only ones who are being affected by holding on to all these hurts, anger and pain are ourselves. Us. We chain ourselves to the past. And we can’t break free to go forward unless we forgive. I learned that to forgive doesn’t mean saying that what the other people did to hurt us is ok. It just means that we will stop looking for payment for what was done. I am a follower of Jesus, a Christian, so the way I release myself from being chained to them by unforgiveness is to take it to the cross and tell Jesus that I choose to forgive them and ask Him to heal me so that I can move on. I then choose to bless them, however hard that is. For me, it is a process and I find myself having to keep choosing to release the person or the hurts to the cross every time I find it surfacing. But it really is a choice, a decision we choose to make daily. The reality is that it frees us, not the other person. As well, if we have hurt someone, we need to ask them for forgiveness too. I hope this helps you. 🙂


  9. Hi Jenna 🙂 Some good advice already here. I have another blog heartandsoulmatter.wordpress which talks about my recovery from severe mental illness over a period of 17 years (a lifetime of becoming unwell). And yep, I guess there are quite a few quotes and sayings 🙂 I recognise this is not you (as bad) but it may help. I now support people with mental illness in the community and the one major theme through all of their talk is the past, trauma from the past, regret, emotions, baggage. I once had a dream, that I was standing on a conveyer belt going somewhere and I was loaded up with suitcases and rubbish bags full of junk – they were all around me. I realised I had to let stuff go. What matters is the here and now, not a single thing can change the past except maybe resolution with others concerned and that is not easy. We do this slowly, it doesn’t happen overnight…but every step is a step in the right direction. Just as Noordinaryjoy says we change one thought at a time, counter the lies we have been telling ourselves, reframe things into proper perspective. We relearn other ways of thinking, what really matter now, and what doesn’t. Wishing you well Jenna x


  10. I have struggled with this as well, more so about living in my past. It is easy to get caught up in nostalgia, wanting to reach out to old acquaintances, etc. but I have recognized that it is important to move on, make new memories, take it one day at a time. Some days I would relapse and shoot someone a text, or a photo of something that made me think about them, but I haven’t done that in a long long while because I know all it does is create a space that isn’t healthy. So the motivational advice and quotes and nuggets of wisdom are all fine and dandy, but you must do what it takes to keep you sane and, as someone above mentioned, “walk your path” – if you are looking for change, find ways to make it work for you. It is hard, a practice that takes routine. Consistency is ideal, we aren’t perfect but every step you take is a blessing. Thank you for sharing!


  11. As a Christian, I believe that focusing on faith and repentance and serving others helps. Helping others makes me feel happier and appreciate my own life. As a practical person and someone who has a bachelors in psychology, I like David Burn’s books on cognitive behavior therapy — finding faulty thinking patterns and working your way out of them. His book Feeling Good, the New Mood Therapy can be a little thick, so I prefer Feeling Good Together which helps people analyze recent conversations/interactions that they’ve had and realize how they could be more rational and happy in the future. Exercise also creates endorphins that can make life better. Best wishes for a happier future.


  12. Sayings are a capsule of experience, and they can’t just be swallowed like a magic pill, but you are on a glorious path just by reaching for more. The wisdom in the words is known through experience. Black & White becomes grey as you mix with those around you and find the beauty in someone you once labeled as ugly or bad, for instance. I studied a lot of philosophy and religion, but was never happy until I learned to just be. Each day I try to choose the most positive choice presented, one moment at a time. Regret falls away, since I’m not looking back. Wisdom comes as life unfolds around me. It’s much easier to be kind or compassionate or mature just once, right now, than trying to plan out a whole course of good deeds before you even know which way the road will turn. But bottom line, I agree with the first post. Each person’s journey is their own…Take your time. It will become clear as you continue seeking and living.


    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for sharing your wisdom and encouragement with me. I will definietely take your advice and try to “just be” rather than trying to reinvent myself according to what I think I should be. Thank you


  13. no one can tell you how to walk your own path, no one knows what it looks likes but you. it does sound like you are stalled on your journey though, and it is always tough to get going again. my advice is just patience. when what you are looking for is ready to present itself to you it will do just that.
    try researching ayahuasca. it reaffirmed my journey for me.
    safe travels.


  14. It’s far easier to come up with an inspirational saying than practical advice about lasting change so that’s why there is far more of the former than the latter. My first thought after reading your post was that you maybe should tackle things in small steps, and not so many things at once. That can be anxiety inducing and self-defeating (trust me, I know!). So, just thinking about negative thoughts and past regrets, I would say that what’s helped me has been to consciously counter every negative thought with a positive one. Sounds trite but it works a lot more than you might think. It’s like countering lies with truth… one lie at a time. Past regrets… I have a ton of them. But, I made the decision one day that I wasn’t going to live in the past because I’m not headed that way. We also can’t change the past… only today and the future. So I really considered what had led to those regrets and what I wish I’d done differently, allowed myself to feel the real emotion attached to each regret, and then let them go. Sometimes I’ve had to do that more than once for the same regret. But, it makes me feel much better knowing that I can be intentional about avoiding the same regrets now and in future, having once experienced the flip side of the coin. It’s kind of empowering. Turning a negative into a positive again. Sorry for such a long post. I hope some of this will be helpful in some small way. If I could dramatically change for the better, anyone can :).


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