Posts by Cylon George

Cylon is a spiritual chaplain, musician, devoted husband, busy dad of seven, and author of Self-Love: How to Love Yourself Unconditionally. He blogs about practical spiritual tips for living well at Spiritual Living For Busy People. Sign up and get his free guided meditation on contemplating death to release your fears and live more fully.

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3 Things the Dying Taught Me About Living Well

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

I am a hospice chaplain.

I provide spiritual care to the dying and their families.

I do this by being present with them. I listen to their fears, worries, joys, concerns, and regrets. I listen carefully to what is said, and attend thoughtfully to what is not said.

When people find out what I do for a living, the reaction is almost universal: “Wow, that must be hard. I could never do it.”

I totally get it. In fact, years before doing …

When Negative Thoughts Keep You Down: How to Break the Addiction

We think we are our thinking, and we even take that thinking as utterly ‘true,’ which removes us at least two steps from reality itself.” ~Richard Rohr

Do you frequently obsess over worst-case scenarios? Do you struggle to think well of yourself or others? Are you frequently stressed, anxious, or depressed? You may be suffering from an addiction to your negative thoughts.

We all fall into patterns of negative thinking from time to time, often triggered by difficult circumstances or everyday stress. But when that pattern occurs over a long period of time, it can degrade our health …

5 Myths About Setting Boundaries That Steal Your Joy and Lead to Resentment

Compassionate people ask for what they need. They say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. They’re compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment.” ~Brené Brown

Do you find yourself saying yes when you’d rather say no? Are you inexplicably exhausted all the time? Do you often experience anger, bitterness, or resentment toward yourself or others?

I did too for a long time.

I’m a recovering people pleaser. For as long as I can remember, I desired to keep everyone around me happy. I was also very fearful of …

4 Things You Need to Hear When You’re Emotionally Exhausted

Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.” ~John De Paola

You’re on the verge of burnout.

You’re unmotivated to perform even the simplest of tasks. You’re physically and emotionally isolated. Slight annoyances cause you to snap.

You may be blaming your work, other people, or circumstances. But if you dig a little deeper, you may be surprised to learn that your own choices have led to emotional exhaustion. This is good news because it means that you can alleviate your own pain without the permission or blessing of another person.

In my junior …

4 Ways to Deal With Criticism So It Doesn’t Get You Down

“The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism without resentment.” ~Elbert Hubbard

Are you afraid of receiving criticism?

Even if it’s minor or well-meaning, criticism can feel like a punch in the gut.

And if you let it, criticism can leave you feeling down and resentful for days or weeks after.

As the music director at my church, I occasionally receive negative feedback from members of the community.

After services one Sunday, a congregant came up to offer some critique of my music selections. At first it felt like a full-on attack. I didn’t even have …

How to Regain Confidence After Someone Puts You Down

“You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anyone.” ~Maya Angelou 

Have you ever been the recipient of put-downs, snide remarks, or hostile language?

If you have, your confidence may have suffered a significant nosedive.

I once attended a summer music camp for young musicians. I was studying the piano and enjoyed playing classical music, but I always had a deep fear of performing in front of others, especially other highly skilled musicians.

Desiring to overcome this crippling fear, I decided to audition for an upcoming recital. To my surprise, the audition went smoothly, and I qualified to …

6 Ways to Free Yourself from Social Anxiety and Shyness

“Dont hide yourself. Stand up, keep your head high, and show them what you got!” ~ Joe Mari Fadrigalan

Do you struggle with social anxiety or shyness?

Is this anxiety affecting multiple areas of your life?

Are you yearning to break free from feeling isolated?

Like many people, I was shy as a kid. But I wasn’t just shy—I was painfully shy. I would avoid social situations like the plague. And I barely spoke because I stuttered.

My shyness followed me well into adulthood. I stayed away from social situations, fearing the embarrassment of stumbling in my speech. …

6 Fears That Keep You Busy and How to Enjoy More of Your Life

“All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I wanted to say no, and said yes.” ~Moss Hart

Do you ever feel like you’re always too busy to truly enjoy life?

I know the feeling.

I work multiple jobs to care for my family and have many responsibilities at work and at home. My to-do list never seems to end, leaving precious little time for leisure and rest.

But here’s the funny thing: whenever I do have some downtime, my anxiety kicks in because I’m thinking about all the things I “should” do to help move my …

Don’t Wait Until the End to Wake Up to Your Life

“Dont be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You dont have to live forever; you just have to live.” ~Natalie Babbitt

My friend died recently.

I saw him just a few hours before he died too. He stopped by my office as he had done numerous times before to say hello. I’d seen him go through various challenges and come out better. His life was great, and the future looked bright. And I was happy for him because he had worked so hard to get to this place.

My friend died that night …

Let Go of Past Mistakes: 6 Steps To Forgiving Yourself

“At any given moment, you have the power to say: This is not how the story is going to end.” ~ Christine Mason Miller 

Sometimes you do or say things you regret. If you’ve experienced this recently, you might be struggling to forgive yourself, especially if your actions hurt someone you love.

A few months ago, I had a falling out with a friend. It happened like most misunderstandings do: swiftly and unexpectedly. I barely had time to comprehend what was happening.

My friend was trying to convince me to join him in a business venture, which I politely tried …

5 Things to Remember When You Start Worrying

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Have you every worried yourself to the point of emotional, even physical exhaustion?

Do you often feel stuck, anxious, or mistrustful of the world around you?

I know what it’s like to feel trapped by worry—in fact, I have always been a chronic worrier.

I worried and obsessed mostly about the hypothetical, the imaginary, the infinite variety of “what-if” scenarios. Eventually, I convinced myself that if I worried about every conceivable thing that could go wrong in my life, I would either …