All posts by Laure

Self Improvement Starts with Self Empowerment

Self improvement starts with self empowerment and leads you to a new, more fulfilling life. There has to be that one moment where you stop and go, “Oh wow! I can do this!” or “I am worth it!”

Self Empowerment

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Give yourself permission to be awesome, then just do it! Your power is already inside of you, waiting as potential, like stored energy, so go ahead and use it.

Consider the tidbits of information below and then tell me what you’re doing to empower yourself to rewrite your life story – or don’t tell me – and just go live your best life because you deserve it!


Visualization is a powerful tool that you can use when you’re ready to take control of your life.

I remember hearing and reading statements like that in the past, and until I reached the point where I was ready, deep down, to move on to something better, happier, it sounded like – well – bunk – to me.

Then one day, I was reading a book, and while it wasn’t a book about visualization, it discussed how to effectively visualize, and explained the steps, and I gave it a try – just like that, visualization made sense to me.

Healthy Relationships

Whether you are thinking about love relationships, relationships with your friends, or familial relationships, you can’t have truly healthy relationships without learning to love yourself first.

That, in turn, means self empowerment is the first step, and the key, to learning how to develop healthy relationships.

Self Respect

Self respect comes to visit you when you begin to let your inner strength grow and you take control of your life.

Building a better life – building the life you want to live – is all about action – and if you don’t take it, chances are you’re going to stay stuck right where you are.

Self Confidence

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Self confidence is like the cherry on top of the dessert. It’s your prize for your hard word.

It’s your reward for taking action and choosing self empowerment and for rewriting your life story so it turns out the way you want it.

Financial Planning Now to Avoid the Risk of Being Broke Later

It’s scary to think of not having enough money at any age, but even scarier to think of being broke after you’ve retired and can’t work anymore – but some planning now can give you a brighter future. (Sorry for stating the obvious.)

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You have choices here – you can hire a financial advisor, you can do research and apply your best common sense, you can flip a coin to choose your retirement savings strategy (but you shouldn’t actually do that) – you can leave it in God’s hands and see how it works out – or you can make a plan.

Financial Planning for Your Future

According to NAPFA, the National Association for Personal Financial Advisors (which can help you find a CFP, or Certified Financial Planner), two out of five people surveyed rated themselves poorly in regards to understanding personal finance.

This lack of financial understanding leads people to retire later, to be underwater with mortgages, to have ZERO DOLLARS saved for retirement, and to have no kind of budget whatsoever.

Ignoring the need for financial planning does not make the problem go away, however. It only serves for stress and depression to build up in the individuals who have foregone this type of monetary exploration.

Financial Management

Whether you have a lot of money or you are struggling to get by, financial management is going to play a big role in your future. If you take control now, your future will be better.

(I know I kind of said that already, in different words, but really, it is so vital it cannot be over-stressed.)

How to Save Money for Long Term Investment

If you feel like you don’t have enough money to get by, saving money is, of course, the farthest thing from your mind.

The thing is, things like saving and contributing to causes, instills in your subconscious mind that there will always be more, and then, you start to find more and more that you can save, and you start to feel better about yourself.

And, as Anthony Robbins said, “If you won’t save a dime out of a dollar, you won’t save a million dollars when you have ten million.”

Personal Finance

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If you don’t know where to start on this life changing part of rewriting your life story, pick up a book on personal budgeting, or look for money management games you can play to explore the process of taking control of your financial destiny.

What Is the Real Risk of Tolerating Emotional Manipulation?

Being the victim of emotional manipulation makes you doubt yourself, it makes you lower your expectations, it makes you do and say things you never thought you would do or say while letting someone hurt mentally and spiritually – you in deeper ways than you ever imagined you might tolerate.

This last one, however, is the big one – tolerating this kind of emotional bullying can also make you sick.

Emotional Manipulation

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Emotional manipulation is a form of intimate partner abuse and psychological manipulation, where a dominant partner changes the weaker partner’s behavior by attacking them on a personal, mental level in order to control that weaker partner.


If you find yourself not doing the things you care about in order to keep the peace at home, you may be a victim of this type of manipulation – you might not even be aware of the  changes in yourself until they become severe.

Forms of Intimate Domestic Abuse

Intimate domestic abuse can be mental or physical in nature. Emotional abuse in relationships can feel like the worst type of abuse when you’re getting the brunt of it.

While obviously no one would want to be physically abused, victims of this type on mental abuse often say things like, “I would rather be punched than feel this kind of pain.”

That type of statement is more of an effort to get the bully, or anyone, to listen and to understand just how deeply the pain goes from the emotional abuse and manipulation.

Types of Bullying in a Relationship

As mentioned above, there are two main types of bullying in a domestic relationship – emotional manipulation and physical violence. Tolerating either type of abuse puts you in danger, and should be taken seriously.

If interested, you can read Are You Being Emotionally Manipulated in Your Relationships? to learn more about emotional manipulators.

Attract Good Things with Mind Self-Control

I just finished reading a book by author Maulin Hendriks, How to Control Your Thoughts: Mind Control Techniques to Change the Way You Think and Attract Success and Happiness, and I wanted to share a little bit about it here because its theme fits so perfectly with my goal of sharing positive things here.

Mind Self-Control

This book is not super long – a quick to read piece of mind-candy – to boost your spirits and brighten your mood. How to Control Your Mind is a reminder to recognize negativity and it offers a handful of effective tips for breaking the pattern of negativity in your life.

“Find the opportunity in every difficulty.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book, because it fits so cleanly with my personal philosophy in life. I used to get stuck in self-pity, and sometimes it still catches up with me, but not as much, because now whenever I start to feel overwhelmed – or maybe underwhelmed is a more accurate word – I stop and force myself to create something positive.

“Don’t let the negative forces of this world slow you down or leak into your thoughts. -Accept, push through, and rebound.”

I also loved this about the book, How to Control Your Thoughts: Mind Control Techniques to Change the Way You Think and Attract Success and Happiness, because it recognizes that negative things outside of yourself are going to be affecting you, but you can choose how to respond, how to react, and you can move forward by making a conscious choice to focus on the positive.

Easy Ways to Get Out of Debt

I hesitated to add a financial section to this website, because the site’s theme leans toward the transcendental, but then, how metaphysical and inspired can you be if fears over money problems are eating away at you?

Easy Ways to Get Out of Debt

Image courtesy of MorgueFile.

Exactly how hard or easy these debt escaping methods are is in the eye of the beholder – so – in my opinion – easy is the wrong word.

Effective – actionable – those are better fits – because some of these might feel pretty hard, but keep an open mind because they do work.

How Do We Get Out of Debt?

If you haven’t already done it, put together a budget that shows your income and living expenses.

  • If the troubling part of the debt is separate from your living expenses, like old medical bills or student loans, list it at the end, or on a separate page.
  • Compare your income to just the part of your expenses that you need to live – your mortgage, your car and insurance, utilities, food, that kind of thing.
  • Hopefully, there is something left of your income after you pay the basics.
  • If not, you are going to have to look for ways to either increase your income or cut expenses, until there is a surplus, if you want to get out of debt.

Consolidate Bills

One way to cut monthly payments is to take advantage of bill consolidation opportunities with your lenders. This is an especially common practice with student loans.

Money Problems

  • Hire a bankruptcy lawyer: If money problems are too severe and overwhelming, bankruptcy is an alternative for some people.
  • Ask creditors for a reduced settlement offer: A reduced payoff, or debt settlement, is offered in some cases of long-term unpaid debt.
  • Contact a credit counseling service to help you work out a budget you can live with and to arrange reduced payments.

Credit Building or Rebuilding

In my case, a lot of bad decisions had left me with damaged credit, so I had to make some lifestyle changes. I had to take on extra work, and I had to swallow my pride and get a cosigner to get a car loan.

It took me a little over two years, but I have paid off everything I had in collections and have never had a single late payment on my car payment.

  • I watched anxiously as my credit score slowly – and I do mean slowly – increased – over 140 points. (Yeah – it was pretty bad.)
  • I actually had a $20 claim against me, pulling my credit score down, and it was a bill I had paid but the creditor “forgot” to report it as paid. I thought I was going to have to give in and pay it a second time, but I filed a complaint, and the credit bureau checked it out, found in my favor, and removed it from my credit report – so – check your report first – for errors – because they do sometimes fix  them!
  • The advantage of taking care of credit reporting errors and paying the smallest bills first is it lets you see improvement quickly. It’s motivating and makes you feel positive about the task of escaping a mountain of debt.
  • So, my advice for  credit rebuilding is, get your credit report, and pick the smallest debt on it – and pay that first.
  • Then, make payments, and don’t miss any on your current loans and debts, and also stay focused on making payments on large past due debts, too.

What Is Total Fitness?

When we think of fitness, we often only think of physical fitness, however, to be really fit for life we need to be fit in mind, body, and spirit. Life presents us with many challenges and to meet these challenges well we need to be in tip top condition, be able to cope with stress, in control of our minds and have a connection to our inner wisdom.

What Is Total Fitness?

By Ali Wylie

How can we explain total fitness? Well to summarise it is a combination of being fit and well in mind, body and spirit. All three areas are of importance and interconnected.

When we think of exercise we often only think of physical exercise but what good is it if you are physically fit but you don’t use your brain. Use it or lose it so the expression goes. The diseases on the increase in our society are dementia related illnesses. Why is that? Do we stop using our brain as we get older? It would seem so. We have to look at the brain like a muscle, if we don’t use a muscle it shrinks and gets weaker, and so does the brain.

At the same time what is the point in having a fit mind if our physical body is too weak to do what we enjoy doing. As we get older we need to keep exercising as there are so many benefits. More energy, more oxygen circulating in the body, better immune system, our health is generally better.

We don’t have to be fitness freaks but we do need to exercise at least 3 times a week, and exercise well. It’s no good going to the swimming pool and spending most of the time hanging on the side chatting, the talking can happen after over a coffee but when you’re exercising stay focused on the job in hand.

The benefits of a regular exercise routine will soon start to show, firmer muscles, more energy, walking faster up those hills plus a general sense of well-being. Consistency is the key as with anything we want to achieve in life.

What about the spiritual side? A strong connection to the inner you gives you a lot more confidence in life as well as the ability to cope with stress and most of us have a lot of that in our lives. As we get older so do our family members and sooner or later we all have to deal with losing a loved one, a strong spiritual connection will help you deal with loss. Life after all goes on and we must learn how to adapt and remain strong and productive.

We should still be able to enjoy our own lives and a connection to the inner you will make this more possible. The inner you is wise and knows the next step you should be taking in life, often the signs we get from this font of wisdom are missed due to the busy nature of our lives. We must learn to listen to the whispers from our soul.

Life will always present us with problems the important thing is how we deal with them, being totally fit will give you all the tools you need to meet and overcome whatever challenges come your way.

Total fitness is a lifestyle, it is about taking control of your life and living it to the full. We are not just a body but a mind too and of course we have spiritual connections. We need to get all of who we are in order. Pop over and visit us at and let us help you get fit for life.

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How to Be Positive

It is so easy to get stuck in the negative, and then nothing seems to go right. The way our minds work, we get a little boost of joy when something good happens, but then we go right back to normal. Then, when something bad happens, we get bummed and stay bummed. We get a new “normal” and it’s a less positive new normal.

How to Be Positive

Being positive, being happy: those things take work sometimes because of the human tendency to get mired down in negativity. The simplest exercise to pull yourself out of a negative spot is to simply shift your focus to something good that happened.

I’m not suggesting you paste on a smile if something truly awful has happened, but don’t let things suck you into a pit of negativity and keep you there.

Maybe you feel like your whole day has been bad, but if you mentally go back through the day, you’ll find there was something good – even if it’s small, like someone holding the door for you and wishing you a good day at the gas station when you went in to pay.

How to Get Success in Life

Only you can define what success means to you, for some people it’s having a life filled with loved ones and warm place to sleep at night. For others, it’s having a fancy car or McMansion to impress others.

However you define success, you can have it if you choose it. I’m not saying if you just go, “Hey, I’m gonna be rich,” you’ll get rich, I’m saying if you set a goal, and are willing to do what it takes, you can succeed.

The problem tends to be, people set goals, but when it comes right down to it, they aren’t willing to do what it takes to turn the goal into reality.

What Is Peace of Mind?

Peace of mind is defined as the absence of mental stress or anxiety, and there’s a reason people chase after it – it feels pretty darn good. The problem is, no one can give it to you, and you can’t buy it – for any price.

You have to claim it, and be willing to focus on the positive in order to get peace of mind – and it’s not always easy. If it were easy, everyone would be  chilled and happy – but back to human nature again…

It takes work to break out of negativity – and just like with achieving goals – many people are just not willing to do what it takes to earn and have peace of mind – no matter how much they want it.

Happiness Quotes

One of my favorite ways to focus on the positive is writing positive things – which is part of why I chose the awesome video I shared above – the speaker suggested doing something I do and, frankly, it always works for me, and I hope it will for you, too, if you try it.

Pick up a pen and write positive things – happiness quotes are great, because a simple Internet search gives you tons to choose from, you don’t have to think them up yourself, and the experience of writing positive words turns the thought into a physical action on your part.

My personal approach to this is, I have a composition notebook that is just for my positive quotes. I start a lot of my posts here on Intrinsic Vicissitude with positive quotes I have saved over the years.

I look for quotes by both people I admire and people I have never heard of before, and I get quotes from books I read, that inspire me, too.

I have a thing about pens, and I incorporate that into my composition book of quotes. I have a hard time finding pens that feel right in my hand, so I buy a lot of pens, then, if I find a kind I like, I buy a few of them… I’m not telling you this to talk about myself, I’m just using this as my example to complete this thought.

I don’t like a pen that drags on the paper, a dragging pen feels negative to me, as unusual as that may sound, so I look for pens that feel smooth and silky as they glide across the paper.

If you have a thing like that, that may seem quirky or different, don’t let it bog you down, you have every right to find your right pen, or whatever it is that removes negativity from your life. After all, it’s our quirks that make us who we are, and we might as well embrace them, because they aren’t going away.

Build a Strong Foundation to Support Your Future Success

This is a review of the book 10 Stacks to Success by Jerome, “Jay” Isip.

Success: One Goal at a Time

Isip is a professional mixed-martial arts fighter and entrepreneur, and the book shares his philosophy on achieving success by setting and achieving one goal at a time.

The book combines transcendentalism and positivity with a realistic kick in the butt approach to get your attention.

My favorite thing, in addition to the message, was the worksheet-style format where lines were provided for taking notes after self-reflection activities.

This is the perfect book for someone who is ready to rewrite their life story – because it has such a positive message and it is written in everyday language to guide you from where you are, through the process of goal-setting, to changing your attitude, and experiencing gratitude.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for  review on Amazon, but I knew right off it was a perfect fit for a review here on Intrinsic Vicissitude. If you check it out, be sure to stop back and let me know what you think.

Accepting Emotional Abuse Blocks Your Ability to Build a Happy Life

If you’re here on Intrinsic Vicissitude to learn about building a better, happier life, but you are also in an emotionally abusive relationship, you already know first-hand that the title of this post is true – but did you also know you have choices and do not have to remain a victim of this type of emotional manipulation?

Accepting emotional abuse takes away your joy and stops you from growing as a person. It gives the person bullying you all the power and wraps the victim in a shroud of stress and fear.

What is Emotional Abuse?

Emotional abuse is a type of relationship bullying that typically uses verbal abuse and manipulative, spirit-crushing tactics to control the victim. It does not leave the same physical signs as domestic violence, but it is a serious form of domestic abuse.

Living with emotional bullying leaves the victim angry, and afraid. Happiness cannot exist, much less grow in a soil made up of anger and fear.

How to Stop Being Bullied by a Loved One

First of all, if someone is bullying you – that is not a person who loves you. It is a person who wants to control you, and that has nothing to do with love or affection.

  • If you or a loved one are dealing with this type of victimization, recognize your own role in it – in that by accepting it you allow it to continue.
  • Educate yourself on codependent relationships.
  • Seek counseling.
  • Keep a journal if you can keep your bully from reading it and using it as a tool to bully you more.
  • Do whatever you have to do to get stronger so you can have the life you want and deserve.

You can learn more about identifying emotional abuse on the Dr. Phil website, or reading a book on codependency, such as Why Women Pick Losers and Jerks or Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself.

Why Women Pick Losers and Jerks

This is a review of a book that was personally helpful to me. It’s called, Why Women Pick Losers and Jerks by Jim Hedges.

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I’m sharing it here because understanding your pain can be the key to building a better life.

I got this book when I was looking for answers – after spending over 20 years stuck with a guy I had nothing in common with, who enjoyed lying and taking things, and who, seriously, I couldn’t stand.

At the same time, I felt stuck – trapped – like there was no hope whether I was with him or not – and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t break away.

I would ask myself every day – usually several times a day, why I stayed with the jerk – sometimes I used words a lot nastier than jerk.

I had truly loved the man at first – but just like a weed – love can be killed if you stomp on it enough times.

Reading this book gave a name to my pain, it let me see that I was codependent – how I got that way – and even gave me a direction to turn for the next phase of my life.

My life didn’t change overnight – took me a lifetime to get so broken – will take some time to fix – but it helped me start healing.

It showed me that I wasn’t powerless and I could choose to have the life I want. It let me see that a troubled childhood had left my self-esteem damaged, but that it didn’t have to define my life story.

I liked the tone that was used to write the book – like a chat with a good friend, and the real life examples of women who, like me, had picked losers and jerks – for the same reasons.

I wasn’t alone! My reactions, clinging to a doomed relationship- normal!

This book is perfect for identifying what happened and what you need to do to get your life back on track after a relationship with a loser or a jerk.