Posts Tagged “inspiration”

6 Ways to Live from Your Core

6 Ways to Live from Your Core

Connecting with your core is the key to your empowerment through choice. “Make a decision,” is a crippling command for many. When your mind is presenting dozens of different scenarios, how can you know which is the right way to move forward? Learning to connect with your core allows you to tune out the white noise of ego, doubt, and distraction, freeing you to clearly assess your options and make an empowered, conscious choice in any scenario.

When you are more connected to your core, your path forward seems clearer, you feel happier and more at peace, and you are able to have a more positive impact. Think about it this way; would you rather make your decision from a place where you are doing what you think you should do, where you are angry or fearful, or where you are in contact with the highest truest part of yourself? Yep, me too. Below, I have outlined 6 ways to connect with your core.

1. Challenge your Mask

Most of the time we walk around in the superficial part of our selves – the mask. In fact, many people don’t even know that is where they are living from. You can challenge you mask by asking if what you are thinking or feeling is actually true or if it might be able to be viewed from a different perspective. The work of Byron Katie does a wonderful job of challenging the mask and reconnecting people with a deeper part of themselves.

2. Express your Lower Self

We might want to pretend that this part of us is not even there at times. The whole reason it is the lower self is that it was shunned and shut down—deemed socially unacceptable—but it needs to have its time as well. When we learn to connect with and safely express our lower self, we gain a ton of energy and are much less likely to leak out our negativity in unconscious ways.

3. Do things you love

It is a very simple fact that if you do more things you love you feel happier, more fulfilled, and more at peace. The trick is to know if you REALLY love what you are doing or if you have just adopted it because it is socially acceptable. So, pay attention. Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi talks about this in his book Flow. This book states that when we are doing things we truly love we experience things like time “flying” because we are so engrossed in what we are doing.

4. Get inspired

From a beautiful painting to a sublime piece of music, we connect with our core when we are inspired. This effortless way of returning to our core can be used frequently through our days and weeks to nurture this connection.

5. Know your values

When we are in integrity with ourselves, we are more connected to the core of who we are. One of the things that I teach in my programs is that there are no methods or rules that guarantee a person fulfillment and success because each one of us needs to create a life and or business that is in alignment with who we are at a deep level and our values help us do this.

6. Return to love

The most challenging and most profoundly life-changing strategy for connecting with your core is simply returning to love when you have left it behind. This requires that you are experienced enough with feeling deep love and that you are aware enough to switch gears at will. This is also a central teaching in my work. I believe that as people learn to do this their lives becomes infinitely better.

The most important part of this is remembering to pay attention to where you are coming from so that you can apply these tools and reconnect with your core self. You can also download this pretty infographic and place it somewhere you will see it everyday, to help remind you of your focus.

The Muses in Your Life

The Muses in Your Life

In Greek Mythology, the nine muses are goddesses that rule over the arts and sciences, and are said to bestow inspiration on the subject of their domain. They were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, song-lyrics, and myths that were related orally for centuries in ancient cultures.

I think that the muses still have much to teach us about finding meaning and inspiration in our day-to-day lives.

So, for today’s newsletter, I’m going to introduce you to each of the nine muses and point out the place in your life they can offer their inspiration!

Calliope the Muse of Epic Poetry

    Calliope can help us find inspiration to create the stories we live by. Calliope is the chief of all muses and this makes sense. How we engage with our world is determined by the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. Calliope can help you write your story, and she’ll help you find meaning in it, too.
    Question to ask yourself: If I could create the story that I want to live by, what would it be?

Clio the Muse of History

    Clio’s name is derived from the Greek root κλέω – meaning “to recount,” “to make famous,” or “to celebrate.” She is known as the “proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments.” Clio can remind us to learn from the past. Yet, she can also remind us to write the past in a way that serves our present.
    Question to ask yourself: How can I remember the past in a way that reveals the fullness of my present potential?

Euterpe the Muse of Music

    Euterpe is also known as “the Giver of Delight.” She reminds us to recognize the music and melody of our everyday life. Through Euterpe we see that the commonplace has a beauty and an inspiration to it.
    Question to ask yourself: Are your daily rhythms inspiring or are you allowing yourself to be inspired by your daily rhythms?

Erato the Muse of Lyric Poetry

    In a famous Greek hymn to the muses, it is Erato that charms the sight. Erato reminds us of how important passion and love are to an inspired and meaningful life. Many of us yearn for passion, but are reticent to weave passion and love into our lives.
    Question to ask yourself: Are you letting yourself fall in love each and every day? Are you nurturing your passions?

Melpomene the Muse of Tragedy

    Melpomene’s name was derived from the Greek verb melpô meaning “to celebrate with dance and song.” Melpomene helps us see that our pain in life opens us to our true potential and a sense of life’s deeper significance. It’s not just the happy moments that create a sense of meaning and fulfillment. Our struggles and tragedies profoundly shape how we know ourselves and what we come to value in our lives.
    Question to ask yourself: Have you embraced tragedy as a necessary part of life? Are you expanding or contracting as a result of the pains you experience?

Polyhymnia the Muse of Sacred Hymns and Agriculture

    Polyhymnia helps us see the deeper meaning in nature and the natural world. The truth is that the world around you is constantly communicating with you, so it might be time to open your ears and listen.
    Question to ask yourself: Have I stopped to listen to what my environment is telling me?

Terpsichore the Muse of Dance

    Terpsichore reminds us to dance with life – to bring flow and grace to our life experiences so that we can enjoy more of what life has to offer.
    Question to ask yourself: Are you flexible in your approach to life?

Thalia the Muse of Comedy

    Thalia teaches us the humor in “it all.” All wisdom contains some humor. And, for our lives to have meaning, we benefit from seeing the humor in our experience.
    Question to ask yourself: Do you remember to laugh every day at the wonder and weirdness of life?

Urania the Muse of Astronomy

    Urania is often associated with Universal Love and the Holy Spirit. She imparts the insight that life is bigger than we can ever understand. Yet the quest for understanding can bring us great meaning.
    Question to ask yourself: What is the spiritual foundation of my life?

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Transforming Failure into Inspiration

Transforming Failure into Inspiration

One thing I hear over-and-over again from people is that they’re afraid to fail.

They’re afraid of what others will think about them if they fumble towards their goals. They’re afraid to endure the pain of falling short or failing. And so, they make their fears their reality. They stop short on realizing their goals or don’t take action in the first place.

I certainly have feared failure. And my fear has, at times, paralyzed me.

If you’ve experience this, then you know how much it sucks.

Sometimes fear of failure is rooted in perfectionist tendencies. Perfectionists never feel good enough. When they realize they’ve made a mistake, it’s enough to take them down into a place of self-criticism and self-shame. Often times, this stops perfectionists from doing anything at all.

A perfectionist streak can hurt your health, career and relationships. This is because it exacerbates fears of failure so much so that you don’t reach for your goals at all. Compounding this is the internal judgment and negative dialog that’s part of the perfectionist’s tool box and are used as weapons against themselves for not achieving what they deeply want to achieve.

If you relate to this, there’s hope! You can change your perfectionist tendencies by embracing your limitations and failures. This isn’t an easy thing to do. It takes ongoing patience, but it can be learned.

Here are five things that you can do to become less of a perfectionist.

    1. Stop performing: Do you find yourself making everything polished and perfect? Does everyone think you’re amazing – all the time? It can be great to be amazing. But know what’s even better? Being liked for who you really are! Instead of perfection, aim for genuine.
    2. Lean into your mistakes: If you’re screwing up, let yourself screw up. It can even be fun. Take it from me – a self-professed serious person. Make a point of not taking YOURSELF to seriously.
    3. See your mistakes as opportunities: There is something to be gained from every time we fail. How can you turn the coal of your moment into a diamond?
    4. Give credit to and enjoy your strengths and limitations: A funny thing happens when you embrace either your strengths or limitations – you become better able to embrace its opposite. This means you increasingly step into your full self.
    5. See it as a gift: When you’re willing to accept your limitations, everyone around you breathes a bit easier. This is because when you accept your shortcomings, you create an environment of love and acceptance that helps helps everyone around you heal themselves.

Want a step-by-step guide to find and live your life purpose? My Morning Mindset Life Purpose is an inspirational daily video series that delivers tips, insights and exercises straight to your inbox for three weeks. Morning Mindset will help you step-in your purpose and live your life to its fullest. Learn more here!

4 Creative + Inspiring Things You Can Do to Care for Those You Love (Including YOURSELF!)

4 Creative + Inspiring Things You Can Do to Care for Those You Love (Including YOURSELF!)

A few years ago, I watched as many of my friends who owned their own businesses ran themselves ragged. I watched as they over-worked themselves and moved further away from the benefits of being an entrepreneur.  I thought to myself, “this is not right. Why be in business for yourself if you’re going to sacrifice your quality of life?”


I decided then and there to better understand why many of my fellow entrepreneurs make this sacrifice.

I’ve come to see this issue as bigger than an out-of-whack life-work balance. I see it as a happiness crisis.

We tend to look for happiness in all the wrong places. We leave dysfunctional jobs or relationships only to recreate the same dysfunction all over again. We give our all to something that we think will bring us joy, and in the end we just tire ourselves out. 

The want for happiness is a great engine for change. Yet, when we know we’re unhappy and don’t know how to create the happiness we seek, that engine can stall out. 


Everyday I see how our ideas about success hoodwink us. Because as much as we think that reaching a certain level of success is going to bring us the happiness we seek –it’s just not. 


I’m on a mission to support people in growing their whole lives in ways that bring them TRUE happiness.


And TRUE happiness comes when we learn to care for ourselves, each other and the world. This is the next major social revolution  – and it’s going to happen at both an individual and collective level.

4 Creative + Inspiring Things You Can do to Care for Those You Love (Including YOURSELF!)


According to Caroline Myss, “the self” that we now talk about is an idea that emerged in the nuclear age. By the 1950’s, psychology and psychoanalysis had become accepted as a way of thinking about people and their behavior.  In turn, the rich inner life that we all experience became just as real as the outer life we live.

This new way of thinking about “the self” ushered in the birth of self-care! Up to the 1950’s people didn’t talk about self-care. They didn’t think about balancing their everyday life demands with things that foster their well-being. Fast forward to today, and self-care is a multi-billion dollar industry and an everyday conversation.


I think that the conversation about self-care leaves out one major thing: and that’s inspiration. Inspiration is more than just happening upon a cleaver idea. It expresses our creativity and forges a path to real change in ourselves in our world. When you’re inspired, you feel alive!


Ideas about self-care are mostly directed at how to eat, exercise, or think positively and less toward how to get inspired. Yet, how can we feed our spirit and nurture our soul without inspiration?


Feeding your soul is self-care. Self-care is all about honoring and caring for yourself in ways that matter most. When you’re able to practice self-care your life becomes less of one huge to-do list and more of a field of abundant meaning and joy.

So to kick off the self-care revolution, here are 4 easy, rich, and deep ways YOU can bring more inspiration into your life.

Write a poem about someone you care for. 

    
Inspiration is within reach most of the time. So, cozy up to your inner-bard and write a poem about your partner, your child or a good friend. See if you can capture what you love about them in this expressive form.  If you brainstorm adjectives, qualities or feelings you associate with this person, you’ll quickly create phrases that inspire you.

 

Notice the tiny, beautiful details and riff on them.

    
Say you’re sitting at home or taking a walk through your neighborhood.  Look around you, and free associate with what you see. For example, if you see thin blades of long grass growing by a wall, maybe they remind you of a time when you saw a piece of beautiful graffiti on a wall with grass just like that. Perhaps the grass near the wall reminds you of the eerie beauty and loneliness of neglected things.  Let yourself wander into your thoughts. You’ll be amazed where you wind up!

 
Create the most luxurious and perfect experience, FOR YOU. 

    
If your version of self-care is to take a bath, a walk in the woods or get a massage, then it’s time to take it up a notch. Make a decadent, fantastic, and yes inspired experience for YOURSELF.  Try new things. Mix and match your experience. Take a bubble bath with candlelight, wine, chocolate, the smell of jasmine and opera music. Or, walk in the woods bundled in soft fabrics singing a song to yourself and noticing how the light hits things.

 
Give an impromptu gift that will make someone’s day.

    Tap into your inspiration and find something – or make something – that will let another person know how special they are to you. When you think about bringing pleasure to someone else’s life, you naturally think creatively and playfully about what’s in the world and how to use it. And even better, when you give a gift your heart opens up and you feel satisfied on a deeper level.


It’s too easy to let days slip by where we’re distracted from what matters most. So challenge yourself to spend an hour each week doing one of these activities. It won’t take long before you’ll feel more inspired and your spirit will feel more nourished.

Tips For Being Your Personal Best

Tips For Being Your Personal Best

I learned after years of working my tail off that if I did not take care of myself one of two things was going to happen. Either I was going to lose my health or I was going to lose in terms of my results. Self-care became my battle cry where as before I would sneer a little bit at people that talked about self-care thinking “How bourgeois!” Little did I know that I would be biting my tongue!

Not only did I learn the merits of self-care but I also learned that it was not as easy to get and keep on track with as I thought. In other words, the biggest tip for being your personal best is: Self Care, Self Care, Self Care!

Self Care is an investment in our personal resources. Whether what you demand of yourself is large or small you need to take care of your most important tool – you. Here are a list of 10 self care tools that you can use to be your personal best:

  1. Move your body/ Feed your body. Both movement and nutrition in balance create optimal self care. Learn to lovingly and joyfully move your body. Dance, do yoga, stretch, walk or even exercise. Feed yourself everything that your body needs to be healthy. If you are not sure what this is start by drinking more water and eating more greens.
  2. Take time in nature and with animals. Both of these experiences have a wonderful effect on us. It helps us destress and relax. If you can’t get out in nature, go to a local park, or get a plant (or two or three!). As far as spending time with animals, their playful and loving ways are a particularly healing form of self care. While there is little substitute for the real thing, you can always supplement with some photos or videos.
  3. Unplug and watch less TV. We are wired 24/7 these days. We go to sleep and wake up with our first things being smartphones and TV’s. If you have not already adopted a technology diet, putting one in place can have a fabulous effect on you.
  4. Be less negative and be around negative people less. It takes two to tango and if you are negative then chances are the people you are around are too and vice versa. Take some time to work on yourself first. Change the way you think and speak and then start making choices to be around people who reflect that.
  5. Let go of grudges. Nothing pulls you down more than uncleared anger and resentment towards others. The only person you are hurting with your negative thinking is you. People can be short-sighted and make mistakes but holding on to the mistakes is the biggest one of all.
  6. Spend time with awesome friends. Spending time with people you love and especially doing fun activities and laughing is a wonderful way to relax and connect – two important elements of self care.
  7. Mental Hygiene. Obsessive thinking and worry are so commonplace that people think they are normal. While common for sure, these are not healthy patterns. Learn to stop yourself when you are on a tear. Simply say “Stop” and focus your mind on something more pleasant or productive.
  8. Make A Difference. Being of Service in the world is a powerful way to feel better. It gives us a sense of meaning and we get the benefit of making other people happy. Take a weekend to volunteer at a food bank, Habitat for Humanity or any other cause that calls to you.  Put some good energy in the world.
  9. Emotional Hygiene Sometimes you just need to clean the pipes. If you have a lot of built up emotion or if you have been dealing with a lot of stress, the best self care might be throwing a fit. Lie down on your bed and kick and hit with your arms and legs. Scream if it feels right. It may sound silly but after you will feel like a million bucks.
  10. Gratitude Nothing changes your attitude like gratitude. Take a moment every day to write or state at least three things that you are grateful for. So many of us have so much to be thankful for. Remember this is a form of self care.

What are some ways that you care for yourself? Please share below!

Work-life balance: Tips to reclaim control

There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task. This might be especially true if you’re concerned about losing your job due to restructuring, layoffs or other factors. Still, work-life balance isn’t out of reach.

Start by evaluating your relationship to work. Then apply specific strategies to help you strike a healthier balance.

Married to your work? Consider the cost

It can be tempting to rack up hours at work, especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or manage an ever-increasing workload — or simply keep your head above water. Sometimes overtime might even be required. If you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will take a hit.

Consider the consequences of poor work-life balance:

Fatigue. When you’re tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer — which could take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to dangerous or costly mistakes.

Lost time with friends and loved ones. If you’re working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm relationships with your loved ones. It’s also difficult to nurture friendships if you’re always working.

Increased expectations. If you regularly work extra hours, you might be given more responsibility — which could lead to additional concerns and challenges.

How to strike a better work-life balance
As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of career and personal life will probably be an ongoing challenge. Consider these ideas to find the work-life balance that’s best for you:

Track your time. Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others.

Take advantage of your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be.

Learn to say no. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child’s teacher asking you to organize a class party, remember that it’s OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for the activities that are meaningful to you.

Leave work at work. With the technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there might be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time. When you’re with your family, for instance, keep your laptop in your briefcase.

Manage your time. Organize household tasks efficiently, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for your day off. Put family events on a weekly family calendar and keep a daily to-do list. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.

Bolster your support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work overtime or travel.

Nurture yourself. Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends — such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.

reposted from the Mayo Clinic Online.

5 Quick Tips to Reduce Stress and Stop Anxiety

Like a monster from under the bed, stress and/or anxiety is stealing the peaceful nighttime Zzzzzs of nearly 70 million Americans. Anxiety may also be sabotaging your confidence, turning your stomach into knots, and impacting your general wellbeing. Learn how to squash the uncomfortable consequences of stress and anxiety with these 5 tips.

1. Remember: This Too Shall Pass

Laundry is piling up, the baby has a fever, and your boss wanted that report yesterday. Sound familiar? No one managing his or her own life is devoid of stress and too much of it can lead to excessive worry, nervousness, dread, upset stomach, or difficulty breathing. The first step to overcoming such negative feelings is to recognize that you are experiencing a very common emotional state most commonly identified as anxiety (learn more signs of anxiety). Although it’s uncomfortable, the negative feelings WILL PASS. Fighting the anxiety can make it stronger. Paradoxically, accepting that you are feeling anxious helps activate the body’s natural relaxation response.

2. Learn How to Self-Soothe

Imagine walking down a nature path only to be greeted by a snarling grizzly bear — or worse, your boss demanding that report. When we are faced with an anxiety-inducing situation, our body’s sympathetic nervous system automatically triggers physiological changes. Our breathing quickens, adrenaline is secreted, and our heart begins to race. This natural survival mechanism — called the fight or flight response — is intended to help us to escape a true, life threatening emergency. However, when the threat is imagined (e.g., I’m going to bomb this presentation and everyone will know I’m a fraud), the fight/flight response is unnecessary and very uncomfortable.

Self soothing techniques that reduce the stress response:

Diaphragmatic Breathing
One of the most effective ways to activate the relaxation response is by decreasing the heart rate. Since we can’t voluntarily alter our pulse, more tangible measures are needed. Luckily, a rapid heart rate can be lowered with deep breathing techniques. The most commonly utilized strategy is breathing by contracting the diaphragm, a horizontal muscle in the chest located just above the stomach cavity.

Positive Self-talk
If a small child told you he was nervous about going to school the next day, what would you say? Unless you’re an abusive lunatic, phrases like “you’re such a dumb little kid” or “you should be nervous because no one will like you” would never leave your mouth. This is because we intuitively know how to help others combat stress sometimes better than ourselves. To increase emotional comfort, it’s imperative to practice reassuring and realistic self-talk. When anxious, practice self-talk phrases such as:
“This feeling will pass.”
“I will get through this.”
“I am safe right now.”
“I am feeling anxious now, but I have the power make myself calm.”
“I can feel my heart rate slowing down.”

Muscle Relaxation
Stress causes our muscles to tighten and become tense. To increase a relaxed state and physical comfort, tighten and release muscles beginning with the largest muscle group. Watch this video to learn progressive muscle relaxation exercises.

3. Check Your Diet
What we eat and drink largely impacts our emotional state. Foods most associated with exacerbating anxiety are ones containing caffeine and alcohol. Even consumed in small amounts, studies have found that the stimulating effects of caffeine can cause anxiety, trigger panic attacks, and increase feelings of nervousness and irritability. Caffeine — commonly found in coffee, colas, tea, and chocolate — also causes physical symptoms such as trembling and shaking. Abruptly eliminating caffeine from the diet can lead to withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, restlessness, and irritability so it’s important to decrease caffeine consumption gradually. Similarly, although alcohol is often consumed to “take the edge off” it dehydrates the body and ultimately increases anxiety.

An imbalance of bacteria in the gut can also cause many symptoms associated with anxiety and other mood disorders. Researchers at McMaster University found evidence that the balance of bacteria in your gut may have more to do with your mood than any other contributing factor.

4. Get Moving

Most of us know that exercise is good for our physical health. For the past few decades, research has suggested that exercise is even more effective than medication (learn more from this helpful article from Huffington Post (link is external)). Maintaining a regular (healthy, non-obsessive) exercise routine has been proven to reduce stress, improve mood, enhance self-esteem, and increase energy levels. During exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins which interact with receptors in the brain to causing euphoric feelings and reduction in physical pain.

5. Get More Sleep

Nearly everyone feels a little crabby after a rough night’s sleep. Disrupted sleep is common in many emotional disorders and it’s difficult to know which started first — stress or poor sleep. A study from the University of Pennsylvania (link is external) showed that losing just a few hours of sleep increases feelings of stress, anger, sadness, and exhaustion.

“People tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, something that will descend like fine weather if you are fortunate. But happiness is the result of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

reposed from Psychology Today

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Your Body Knows

The saying, “listen to your gut”, really makes sense. Your gut is basically your digestive system. You know when you feel hungry. Some physical signs can include stomach pains, growling, or even headaches. If you feel tired, your body is usually dragging. It’s incredible but true, your body just knows!

Our body always talks to us but we’ve taken it for granted. In fact, when a psychotherapist wants a client to connect to his/her feelings, she will ask, “Where in your body do you feel_______”.

It is essential to to make the feeling-body connection. Otherwise, one externalizes feelings and situations instead of understanding that it comes from within. The answer is always within. 

Do you recall a time when you knew how you felt in your body  about something but you didn’t listen? How about when you did listen? Did you listen right away or did it take time? Think about the consequences of listening vs not listening. I am certain that when you listened the outcome was more favorable.

 

I believe we humans are not as conditioned as we’d like to listen to our bodies. I do believe we have certain feelings, like fear or nervousness, that can be very strong. The fight or flight response comes to mind. But there are the more subtle signs that come from our bodies that we have not yet tuned into. 

I know I had a hard time tuning in to my intuition. It definitely took me some time to learn to listen to it, at least in terms of making important life decisions. But why? What got in the way? Why couldn’t I tune in? Well, of course! The dreaded mind! Our mind is often very busy undermining us. It is very good at distracting us from what we already know in our heart, in our soul. 

As a business owner there are so many things to think about. But there are as many to feel about!  According to Human Design, a subject I learned about at my retreat, our mind (head) is in charge of reason, logic, and execution. But it is not the Authority. Our mind wants to be the authority and make the decisions for us but our Authority lies below the throat center, within. This is a fascinating subject to learn more about and can help you understand more about how you, the unique you, functions. 

As children, we are definitely more attuned to our bodies but contamination happens and our bodies get silenced as we get older. Or at least it seems a little harder to hear when we get older, literally for some of us, right?

Where does this contamination come from? Usually from things we are taught as children or grow up believing about ourselves. It could be we learn that we shouldn’t make noise or speak up. It could be that we learn that what we feel is not important. Both of those beliefs can silence us and our bodies. 

Trauma is another example of something that silences our bodies. Especially physical or sexual. This subject area is more delicate and needs special intervention but your can begin to understand how different situations in our childhood or throughout our life affect our ability to pay attention and listen to our voice, our truth, our intuition, our bodies.

 

As adults, how can we decontaminate and practice listening and paying attention to our bodies?  By being more aware of our bodies.  By knowing that we can trust our voice, our intuition. By realizing we can and should feel connected to our bodies, our hearts, our souls. And by doing physical activity to help us do just that.

   

The practice of yoga, quieting the mind and connecting to the source, is a good way to help us listen more to our bodies, our soul, our hearts. Dancing is another activity that helps you focus on your body, as long as you can stop thinking about your next step. Letting go of our thoughts can be so very complicated and yet so necessary.

Everyday we have an opportunity to FEEL MORE and THINK LESS. When you woke up this morning, how did you feel? Sleepy? Where in you body did you feel sleepy?  Or maybe you felt tired? Where in your body did you feel tired? Did you feel energized or excited? Where in your body did you feel this? When you arrived at work, how did you feel? Where did you feel it?  

The above is a good example of how we can practice getting used to making the feeling-body connection. Try it! Maybe it could be a nice practice to help you listen and pay more attention to what your body is telling you. Just remember, think less, feel more!

Contact Guisela at gpintocaballero@gmail.com

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How To Overcome Stress

The story goes like this, eighteen hours before my plane is going to leave for vacation, I discover that I cannot find my passport anywhere. I spend the next 10 hours turning my house upside down –still no passport. I was calm at the beginning. Of course it will show up I thought. It really can’t be that far but by the time I was convinced it was in fact lost and began looking for solutions to replace it, there were very few solutions and all of them were expensive and time consuming.

Still not fully convinced that I was not leaving in the morning, I went to sleep. When I woke up I gave one last search and surrendered to the fact that I would not be getting on the plane in a couple hours. This is what my day looked like. I showered, drank some coffee, jumped in the car and picked up new passport photos. I started the trek to Boston in rush hour traffic. While in the car I was talking to the airline, the passport agency, a friend at the airlines, and finding a place to print my itinerary. It seemed everything could get done but not in the order it needed to get done so I kept wiggling the pieces to try and get them to fit to get on the plane the next day while driving down the highway in stop and go traffic.

Um, yeah, stressful…

There were some things that helped me navigate this situation and remain relatively unstressed but more than anything what this situation reminded me of what how important it is to remember that stress is not an essential part of the equation and to use the tools that I know work!

Remember that stress is optional: Somehow we collectively came to the decision that if things are not going the way we want them to, stressing out about it is the right thing to do. While a small amount of stress can increase our focus and performance a large amount of stress has a very clear detrimental effect. When things are spinning out of control the only thing that is in our control is how we feel as we go through it.  If you find yourself getting stressed, you can ask yourself if that is how you want to feel. Believe it or not sometimes we are hooked on our negative states and we are reluctant to let them go. It can be helpful to accept the desire to be negative and find out why it seems so important to hang onto. Maybe it is a form of self-punishment or maybe it is a desire to get support or attention. If it feels too important to let it go then awareness is all you need to do. When you are ready, you will be able to choose to put down your unnecessary stress regardless of the situation.

Ask yourself if it can be easier:
One thing that can slip our minds when we are stressed out –as I said being stressed out is not good for our decision making- is to remember to make things as easy as possible. So, stop, take a breath, or maybe even three. Look at the situation. Aside from your mood, what can be done to streamline or simplify things? Do you ever find yourself getting ready to go on a trip or prepare for some event and all of a sudden you add in a bunch of other things to get done? For example, it is your kids birthday party in a few hours and you decided to clean out the laundry room all of a sudden? May sound crazy to some but I know plenty of people who have done it. Finding a smoother and easier way to do things is usually possible. Like I said, stop and take a breath and then ask yourself “What can I do to make this easier?”

Focus on what you want:
When things start to go wrong it is so easy to start to focus on everything that goes wrong. Every little bump becomes another stress and every potential bump is seen and fixated on well before it has even arrived. The purpose of stress is to make us hyper aware so that we can solve the problem at hand. However, while that makes sense evolutionarily, it only gets us to baseline –we can only prevent bad things from happening we don’t have much of an ability to make good things happen. By switching our focus to the outcome we desire in the big picture and in each moment the potential that we can create is much, much, greater.

Be nice, use your people skills, and ask for help:
When we get stressed it is really easy to share our stress with others via being curt or even aggressive. If we can take a moment and recognize that the other person has no way to understand why we are acting the way that we are and stressing them out only makes for two stressed out people, then we might be able to adjust our behavior to get more of what we want.  So, remember to smile (which coincidentally will help your mood!) and use please and thank you! In addition, it is easy for some of us to go it alone. Remember that people are out there and can help you through this challenging stretch so if you know someone who might be able to help, ask and make your life a little easier.

Is stress an issue in your life? Tune in this week to Real Answers Radio. I will be hosting Grace Dulude, integrative therapist and yoga instructor. Grace and I will be sharing special insights on how to make each moment of your life more stress-free.

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Find What You Love – And Have More Of It!

Living our purpose is the key to our fulfillment. Creating both an inner and outer positive impact through living our life purpose will take us beyond what we might have seen as possible. When stepping into our purpose this way, we will experience a depth of meaning and harmony. We become less afraid of outcome and more able to face difficult truths. We become this way because we are doing exactly what we are best able to do.

Each and every one of us will not feel satisfied or fulfilled in our lives until we understand the power we hold. For example, if I go to work and believe my actions and interactions are meaningless regardless of what my job is, this will have a negative effect on how I perceive my life and how much meaning it has. Or, if I perceive myself as a victim in all circumstances ― feeling as though the world sets me up to knock me down ― I will shy away from actions that might prove otherwise. As a result, I am likely to create situations that prove I am at the mercy of the world. This perspective will leave me blaming others, feeling resentful, and feeling stuck.

On the other hand, if I see my actions ― regardless of my situation ― as having the potential to have a positive impact and to be within my control, I will feel more positive about my life, more excited by my choices, and, ultimately, more deeply fulfilled and satisfied. More than that, if I see a situation that is dangerous, negative, or hurtful, I will feel it is possible for me to take action in a positive way. As a result, I will see even more positive effects and will likely find it easier to face even more challenging circumstances in a more positive way. This makes a profound difference in my life and the lives of others.

Think of this in terms of your life’s purpose. In order to move toward your life purpose you will need to feel as though what you are doing makes a difference ― that you are capable of making a difference at least in your own life. Otherwise, there is no reason to bother.

Whatever it is that you feel passionately about, you can do it! You were meant to do that thing more than anything else. Think about yourself in the terms that Alan Watts used: “You are the perfect expression of the universe exactly where you are in this moment.” Or, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote: “The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.”

When you begin to see yourself as a being who is connected organically to the rest of the world ― whose personal wants are whispers of the universe ― then you can begin to see your work as imperative, but less personally driven. Of course, because you are doing exactly what you want to do, you benefit as well. Following what you love and exploring the ideas and options that emerge is a great way to hone your ability to envision a different future for yourself and others. 
The thing is, people often think that there is some secret to finding out what you really love. However, this is not the case. The biggest thing that you need to do is pay attention to when you are feeling good. If you have not felt good in a while, then think about a time when you were happy –even if it means thinking back to when you were a kid. Want to build on this? Think of a time that you lost track of time because you were so engrossed in an activity. These are the cues that show you your purpose.

The following questions that get you to think outside of the limitations you have placed on yourself are also helpful in getting clear on your purpose. If money were no issue, how would you spend your time? Or, if you could do anything, what would your ideal day look like? One of my favorites, is list people you are jealous of and why. (The why is something you want more of in your life.)

The fact of the matter is that once you know what you love, the key is doing as much of it as possible. It is when we do more of what we love that we uncover and clarify our purpose as well as make our lives much more fulfilled. Sometimes, it can feel a bit overwhelming or out of reach to bring what we love into our life. So, start small. Small, consistent changes make a huge difference over time. Set goals for yourself. So, you can be clear about and proud of your progress as you bring in more and more of what you want.

Tune into this hour of Real Answers Radio as Dr. Kate discusses how to tap into your passion and purpose and most importantly, how to take that passion and use it to craft more and more pleasure, happiness and deep satisfaction in all that you do.

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