Thanksgiving Promise

I speak about gratitude often, and with this weekend being Canadian Thanksgiving I am reminded of how important it is to have an attitude of gratitude all year round.

Thanksgiving Promise
I have found in my practice, both my own and with my clients, that practicing gratitude is life changing! Here are a few ways how gratitude helps you:

 

1) Switch your thinking from a negative space to something lighter.

We are naturally hardwired to focus on the negative, that means that we spend a lot of our time in negative space. We look for the bad, we look for all the things that can harm us, but the fact is we are not at risk all the time, we don’t NEED to be constantly on guard. Therefore, when you notice that your mind is in a negative place you can retrain it by shifting it towards gratitude. Instead of being focused on the negative, be thankful for the fact that you are safe. Be thankful for Mother Earth, be thankful for your families and loved ones who support and help you; really anything that you can think of. Turn your negative thoughts into thoughts of gratitude and rewire your negative brain!

2) Move through fear.

I am sure I am not the only one who has been in an overwhelmingly joyful situation and suddenly a wave of fear rushes over and ruins the moment. We feel this joy, like when we are having a romantic evening with our spouse or a play date with our kids and all of a sudden, this wave of fear comes over us. We fear that our child could get sick that our spouse could leave us … that something horrible could happen to take away our happiness. When this happens, you can turn your mind towards gratitude. Instead of letting fear rob you of the joyful moment you can be thankful and joyful!

 

3) Recognize the good.

Just like training any muscle in our body the more we can turn our thoughts towards the good the stronger that muscle gets. By focusing on what you can be grateful for rather than what is going wrong we train ourselves to see the good. We build that muscle and after a while (when that muscle develops) we will automatically see the good in all situations. This even applies to life’s hard lessons when we are suffering. Because you have trained your brain to be grateful, you will be able to see beyond the suffering and recognize (no matter how small) the good in the situation. There is always something good in any situation, train yourself to see it. With every storm comes the rain that nurtures the Earth.

Thanksgiving Promise

 

4) Grounds in the present moment.

When we are practicing gratitude, we are grounded in the present moment. Living in the past or forecasting the future causes us grief. When we are ruminating on the past, thinking and rethinking about what went wrong, what we could have/should have done; or, we are forecasting the future, let’s face it, it’s usually forecasting doom and gloom; we are not in the present, we are not living mindfully. When you practice gratitude, you are firmly grounding yourself in the present, you are using your powerful mind to focus on what is good, in the present moment, and that is exactly where we find peace.
I can’t speak enough about the power of gratitude, but I also know this can be a struggle when we are in the middle of a stormy time, but that is precisely when we need it most! All I can say is you won’t understand how powerful this practice can be unless you try!

Thanksgiving Promise

 

 

 

This Thanksgiving make a promise to yourself that you will practice gratitude daily; take that Thanksgiving feeling with you into the future and see how life changing it can be! And remember there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!

With much gratitude for your following, Happy Thanksgiving!

 

A New Reflection – Transformation Mind, Body & Soul

I had an interesting experience in my yoga class the other week. I noticed my shadow when I was doing a pose and at first glance I didn’t even recognize it! I found this interesting, as over the past three years I have been doing a lot of work in the area of personal growth and spiritual awareness. It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t recognize my reflection because it was new, I was new!

 

A New Reflection

 

Looking back over the past three years I am proud of the steps I have taken to move my life in a new direction, a direction towards creating a life that I love. It has been a lot of work and at times it has been difficult but it has been all worth it…I have a new reflection!

Seeing this new reflection has reminded on a literal level how our bodies carry our experiences. What I have found is once I started to sort through all my old patterns and beliefs, my body physically started to change.

I see it clearly now that as I was physically, emotionally and psychologically letting things go, that no longer served me, I was changing., my reflection had changed!

On an emotional level, I used to get quite teary at times, it was like my emotions were pouring out of me. I understand now that as I was at maximum capacity for stuffed emotions and, when something happened slightly emotional (that really wasn’t that significant), my emotions would run over. I no longer do this! Instead, I have learned to feel through my emotions, I used to stuff them down, so as not to appear weak and emotional, I can see now how unhealthy for me that was. This is something I think a lot of us do. When we stuff our emotions, they don’t just go away. They build up in our bodies and, at some point, we just explode. Perhaps that looks like anger, maybe it’s self- abuse, a “nervous breakdown”, or maybe it is acts of numbing; which I think is most common. On the surface, we may look like we are coping, but really, deep down, we are suffering! Now, that I allow my emotions rather than stuff them, my reflection now shows a less stressed more flexible, happier person. And that is pretty cool!

 

A New Reflection

 

Perhaps the biggest way my reflection has changed is psychologically. I have learned to love and accept myself; this has probably been the hardest. I have learned that the thoughts running through my mind are not an absolute … I have a choice! I have learned that “I am who I am”. What I mean by this is I have learned to embrace the shadow aspect parts of me. The ones that I was previously, desperately tried to hide. I did this because I worried I would be judged and I was scared to show them. Now, I have learned to be compassionate with myself, to tame my perfectionist, befriend my inner critic and challenge myself. This awareness has been the most profound in my life. If you would have asked me three years ago if I even thought this level of self-awareness and happiness was possible, I would have doubted you! I believed this is just how life is but I realize now that this is just another story our minds tell us! It is not an absolute truth. I think a lot of us play the tape that there is something fundamentally wrong with us, and therefore we hide parts of ourselves and wear masks to try to prove to others we are OK. Without a doubt, this is what I was doing in the past, and it led to a very stressful, unhappy life. The thing is I didn’t even realize how unhappy until I started doing this work. When I stopped playing the tape that something is wrong with me, and I really started to see things clearly then I understood what real happiness was.

A New Reflection

So, going back to my new reflection I am proud of the work I have done, I am happier because of the work that I have done and I embrace this new reflection! I am now in a much better place in my life. I know that I will continue to grow and learn, but now I am doing it from a place of curiosity and strength rather than a place of thinking there is something wrong with me and “I need to be fixed”.

This voyage is something anyone can do! I am no different than any of you. If you are willing to put in the work, willing to dive deep into yourself and willing to question your perceived reality, then you too can have a new reflection! Trust me, it’s so worth it!

If you are ready to get a new reflection, join me for a supportive body transformation class. Over the 7 weeks, you will be to given the tools you need to build confidence, love yourself for who you are, and get a new reflection! Ready for your new reflection, just click here. 

When ‘Thank You’ Just Isn’t Enough!

I had heard the word Namaste and used it at the end of my yoga classes and just took for granted that it meant “thanks”. It does in a way mean that, but it means so much more. What it actually means is really quite beautiful, so I have decided to use it outside of yoga class. It is such a great way to honour others.

So what does it mean?

Namaste means “I bow to the spirit in you”, I found one explanation that really spoke to me which was ‘the light (beauty, soul) in me recognizes and honours the light (beauty, soul) in you’. Beautiful, right? That is why I have chosen to use it more often!

When 'Thank You' Just Isn't Enough!

 

What I decided

This whole realization came from a conversation with a coaching friend of mine, whose relationship has supported me in so many ways. We were having one of our in-depth conversations which was helping me see a new perspective and “thank you” just didn’t seem to be enough. I so value her awareness and wisdom that it felt like “thank you” just didn’t even come close to reflect the gratitude and respect that I was feeling. It was at this point that I bowed and said “Namaste”. This lead to further discussion on how I wanted to start using that blessing in my everyday interactions more. And then I decided I would! At first it felt like I was being a bit of an imposter because, although I practice yoga, I am not a yogi, but the message “Namaste” speaks is so genuine and universal, I don’t think you even have to practice yoga to use it!

I am fortunate, (as I am sure you are) to meet and work with so many amazing people and this is the perfect way for me to show my gratitude and respect to them. Whether it be through a casual conversation, an in-depth client interaction or a good chat with friends or family –  whatever the situation – I find that when I want to honour someone for showing up and being authentic, thanks just doesn’t cut it!

When 'Thank You' Just Isn't Enough!

Now, I have even found myself wanting to use it with people with whom I have less than desirable interactions with (maybe not all the time) but when I come across someone who is in a negative space and is taking that out on me, I still want to honour where they are at in their journey. So, I silently bow and send them the blessing.

What I have noticed is …

that when I do bow and say “Namaste” the energy that accompanies it is warm and wonderful for both me and them. Maybe it’s because I have this understanding of what it means, but I truly feel like in that moment I am honestly speaking to that person’s soul. Who they are, beyond their stories, challenges and present situations. The message goes so much deeper than all that mind chatter. For me, it is the perfect way to recognize and respect them for their authenticity, for who they truly are at their core.  And really who doesn’t want to be recognized and honoured for their inner beauty and light?!

When 'Thank You' Just Isn't Enough!

Why am I writing about this?

Because I am encouraging you to give this a try. See the reaction you get! It may be a curious look or maybe even a negative response, but the thing is, I am sure you will personally feel the positivity and connection that this simple, yet powerful message and gesture carry with it. The next time you feel you really want to show someone your gratitude, respect and honour them, simply put the palms of your hands together bow your head and say ‘Namaste’. I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised at how it makes you feel.

In closing, Namaste!

Is Your Workplace Toxic?

We spend the majority of our time and energy at our careers. Therefore, a really important question you need to ask yourself is, “is my workplace healthy for me?” Here are some ways to help you answer this question:

Fear

Is your workplace characterized by fear? Do you and your co-workers live in fear of making a mistake? or Does your work place see mistakes as an opportunity to grow and learn? Does it foster a sense of security? Where you can challenge yourself to grow and take risks? or Is it marked by anxiety; where you live in a state of fear that you will be reprimanded, ridiculed or fired for any misstep.

Workplaces that are covered with fear are missing the opportunity for growth, improvement and harmony. People need to feel safe, to be willing to take risks and think outside of the box. When we are in a state of fear then we are not willing to take risks; it’s unsafe.

Another consequence of a workplace cloaked in fear is that people are unwilling (because they are scared) to take responsibility. Employees feel unsafe to admit when they have made a mistake or things didn’t go as planned; no one wants to be accountable. To save themselves people blame others and “throwing others under the bus”. This is not a supportive environment instead it pits everyone against each other, as everyone is in fear/survival mode.

Is Your Workplace Toxic?

Let You Shine

Does your place of employment recognize your strengths, and let you shine those strengths! Are you empowered to be creative, to use your strengths, to try something new because you know you are good at it? When we are allowed to shine it benefits everyone. For example, if you are really good at writing reports are you given the opportunity to demonstrate a new format for yearly reports or is that “not part of your job description”. Do your co-workers and superiors recognize your strengths and foster your growth?

 

When we are allowed to shine we thrive. When we feel that we are respected, and our talents are being utilized we are more committed; we feel like we have purpose.

 

Focus on the Positive

Does your workplace focus on the negative or the positive? Yes, I understand things go badly, but do they focus on moving forward, or do they focus on the negative and keep you there. For example, when something goes wrong do they take a holistic view, or do they continue to focus on what went wrong rather than what needs to happen to improve? Is it more about reprimanding people and keeping them in line or is it about moving forward?

 

Even the overall feel of the place, are people more likely to speak negatively about the organization and coworkers or are they more likely to have positive things to say. Does the energy of the place feel heavy and dark or is it generally light and enjoyable?

Is Your Workplace Toxic?

Valued

Do you feel valued? Do others on your team make you feel valued no matter what your role is, from Executive Director/CEO, to the mai room or admin staff. All people on the team have value, and the whole organization would not work if everyone wasn’t doing their tasks. If people on the bottom of the totem pole are treated poorly because they are considered replaceable this helps to create the fear I already talked about. It also causes issues at the foundation of the organization. A strong foundation is the building block and if that is shaky because employees are not valued at this level then it will crumble.

Can you Communicate Honestly

Are you able to communicate honestly with others on your team? There is nothing worse than having to censor yourself because your honest communication is not welcome. Of course, we need to choose our words, and be professional, but if we are not able to be honest, this weighs on us. Lying takes a lot of energy and requires us to constantly be on guard. If we are not able to have honest communication in our workplaces it adds a lot of stress to us and the overall feeling of the organization.

There are always things that can improve, and if you feel that you can be honest and open about it then you are more invested and feel valued by the organization. Even tough conversations are easier when we can be honest!

Is Your Workplace Toxic?

We spend most of our time at work. Shouldn’t our workplaces be overall a positive experience for us? If you find when you are reading this that your workplace might be toxic for you, then you need to ask yourself ‘is this job more important than my well-being?’ You can imagine if you are feeling it is toxic then others are too, and you have the power to change that, even if that means you just change your own perceptions, perspectives and attitude!

3 Ways to Bring Back Balance!

Last week I talked about the issues with work~life balance and how that imbalance is unhealthy for us. This week I am going to give you some tips on how to create that balance for yourself.

Prioritize.

Make creating balance a priority. If you do not set balance as a priority you will easily fall back into familiar patterns and let your work take over your life. There are a few ways you can do this:

 

Set a schedule to help yourself build a new habit. Make a weekly schedule every Sunday for the upcoming week. Schedule in your work time and then schedule in the rest of life. Put in hobbies, family time, you time and anything else that you want to include outside of work. By scheduling it, you are committing to doing it, and showing how important it is to you.

3 ways to bring back balance

Make a priority list. Write a list of all the things that you want to do, all the things that you have put off because there are “not enough hours in the day”, and start working on the list. Commit to yourself to do at least 5 things on the list a week. Make sure your list is not just a list of chores but fun things too!

 

Clock Out.

When you leave work, clock your mind out too! Practice mindfulness and be aware when you are thinking about work out of work time, and gently bring your mind back to the activity at hand. Whatever you are doing stay in the present with your attention focused on the activity. Even if that is just watching TV, do it wholeheartedly! This will also be a good time to notice how often your thoughts are straying to work. If you find you are starting to think about work, remind yourself that you want balance; bring your thoughts back to the present activity. If something really important comes to mind and you are unable to refocus yourself, then write yourself a note to look at tomorrow on work time, then go back to the present activity.

Start Re-Defining Yourself Outside of your Career.

Do some soul searching and look at all the things you are outside of your career. What other parts of you are there in the shadows that are not part of “work” you. This is a great time to look at hobbies that interest you, social groups, or classes that spark your curiosity. Do things that have nothing to do with “work” you. For example in my ‘spare’ time I used to read books on psychology, or social programs that had to do with “work” me. Now my hobby is my photography which has nothing to do with coaching, but lights my soul up.

Also, try playing with your communication, when people ask you what you do? Try answering with something other than work or at the very least put work last. Instead of I am a social worker, nurse, accountant, executive, lawyer etc,  try answering with “I am a mother, daughter, wife, photographer, artist, musician (or other hobby), then end the sentence with “and a social worker, nurse, accountant, executive, lawyer etc. This may feel really hard and you may get some looks. By changing our language, we change the message we send to ourselves, this simple step helps you realize you are more than your career. You have many roles start highlighting some of those!

 

3 ways to bring back balance

This can be challenging, a lot of us love our jobs, but the thing is we are more than that one role. We need to start defining ourselves as all of who we are, not just our careers. I know since I have found balance and made these changes I feel more complete. I no longer define myself by my career and that feels amazing!

I completely understand that many of you have important jobs and when you are reading this you might be skeptical, you might be saying “my career is important”, “I need my job to live” and those are probably true, but YOU are also important. Your job may come and go, if you restrict the definition of who you are to your career, then you are missing out on all the other wonderful aspects that are a part of you, too! Not to mention if there comes a time when you want to make changes, if you have completely defined yourself by your career then you won’t be able to see beyond that; to other possibilities and opportunities. We are all constantly growing, and life is ever changing we need to be able to be all of who we are not just a single aspect!

 

Work~Life Balance-What’s That?

This is something that I hear a lot about. Many organizations, in the human services world especially, promote a healthy work-life balance, but what exactly is it? And do you have it?

Most people I come across do not have good work-life balance. Instead, they have a work-life and an exhausted-just-surviving-life balance. So many of us over identify with our careers and we feel that this is the way to a happy life. Now is the time to get the promotion, get the raise, get the accolades, then later when you retire or take a holiday, you can have the life balance. The thing is, this is not healthy. We cannot put our lives on hold or just survive in our lives for the sake of our careers.

Our lives are lopsided with a ton of our energy going to our jobs and that means there is little energy left for all the other areas of life. As a result, relationships, family, ourselves, all suffer for the sake of our careers.

When we put our lives on the back burner we tend to cause ourselves a lot of grief.

Work~Life Balance-What's That?

 

TOP 3 WAYS WE CAUSE OURSELVES GRIEF

Guilt

We feel guilty because we are not totally there for our family, friends or ourselves.  We feel guilty and we shame ourselves about not being a good mom, not having a clean house, being a sucky friend, being a distant wife, being a busy Aunt. We feel guilty and we say things like “there is not enough time in the day”. We try to placate ourselves stating “Things will get better, I just need to do (this) to get ahead, to get the promotion, or get the raise, then I will have time.” This doesn’t usually do too much to quiet the voice in our heads that is telling us we are sucking at life outside of work, that we should be more social, should be a better mother, daughter, wife, should be a better friend!

It’s a vicious cycle really. The more guilty we feel, the more we turn to our careers because at least there you don’t feel so inadequate. At least there you are not feeling so guilty and shameful!

Work~Life Balance-What's That?

Over Identify with our Career

It is no longer a career, it becomes who you are. I know, I am guilty of that! In the past, I was Tara who was a human services worker not Tara who worked in the human services. Can you relate?

We are not our jobs! Yet so many of us feel we are. I think we get this way because we pour so much of our energy into our jobs that we feel it is who we are. Now I am not saying that it is bad if you love your job but when you are your job then that is unhealthy. If you sit and ask yourself ‘Who am I?’ and all you can come up with is your career, then that is unhealthy. You are so much more than that! The more we over identify with our career the more we feel we need to push ourselves to do better. Because now it defines us, so we better do a good job. This is when we work longer hours, we take our work home with us (maybe not literally but mentally), we focus all of our energy on work. This puts us in a very risky place. If, for some reason, we lose our job, or can no longer do it, we are faced with an identity crisis! Who am I if I am not a nurse, accountant, social worker, therapist, etc. The thing is, you are more than that, but you have created this imbalance and your life is work!

Work~Life Balance-What's That?

Stress

When we do not create a balance between life and work we do not give ourselves time to decompress. We are stressed all the time. We feel overwhelmed and exhausted because we are not giving ourselves the time we need to relax and enjoy life. Instead we work 8 hours or more, then come home and our mind is still working – not to mention the guilt that I already spoke about is causing even more stress. When we do take time for self-care (if we do) it is half-hearted and there is guilt that we should be doing something else. This is incredibly stressful and takes a toll on our health both physically and psychologically. We need balance to be healthy, we need balance to thrive in life!

 

Are you recognizing yourself in some of these? If so, you are not alone. Our culture focuses on our careers. What is one of the first questions you are asked when you meet someone? Usually it’s “What do you do?” We are taught that there is value in certain careers and that our careers are important. The thing is, that is only a part of who we are. I challenge you this week to honestly look at your life and ask yourself “Do I have a work-life balance?” Or is my life lopsided?

Tune in next week for some healthy ways to bring balance to your life.
Flower Power

Flower Power

I have had a lot of enquiries about the flower essence readings lately, so I thought I would write about my experiences with them.

I got started doing flower essences with a couple of spiritual advisors that I was working with for my personal growth and holistic well-being. When I first started doing them, I just trusted in the process and didn’t really care about what that process was! I just knew I felt better, so I felt I didn’t even really need to understand why they worked, I just knew that they did.

 

Flower Power

 

When Woody (my husband) got sick, we worked with these spiritual advisors to help with Woody’s healing and, although it did not heal him physically (sometimes things are just written), it did help with his overall well-being! I learned from this experience that healing the body is one thing, but there are so many levels of healing: spiritual, emotional and psychological. These levels of healing are just as important as the physical healing. I have always believed that we cannot just look at the physical when we have issues we need to look beyond. I believe our physical health is a manifestation of what is going with us internally, and working with the flower essences has confirmed this for me. To heal then, we need to heal the internal aspects and that is what the flower essences do. They are a subtle yet powerful way to move energy and receive support from the Universe. This is what I witnessed with Woody, he may not have healed physically but he did emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. I witnessed him moving from a very narrow view of health and well-being to one that was holistic, and in the end, he experienced a sense of peace and calm that he had never felt before. I feel that was in a large part to the work he did with the flower essences. This is also true from my personal experience with the essences, this is exactly what they have done for me – provided me with clarity and an overall sense of well-being.

When to Use Them

I turn to flower essences when I feel “off”. What does that mean? Well, it is very personal. For me, I feel like my thinking is chaotic, or I am fixated on something or keep ruminating on an issue. The more in tune I get with myself and my body, the more I realize when I am “off”. Also, I use them when I am working through something on my journey to wholeness, whether that is a belief, a pattern of behavior or an old story (that I tell myself), and I want the added support or clarification with the issue I am facing. Generally, I just don’t feel like things are right, and that is showing up in my thinking and in my body!

My clients have come to me mainly out of curiosity (which I believe is the Universe providing the clues), or they feel stuck, or feel like they have moved through something in their personal growth and this is the finale of that issue.

Flower Power

 

Really there is no bad time to use the flower essences for support, and what I have noticed is that if you are feeling a strong curiosity or keep thinking about it, then it is probably something you could use.

What Happens

When I do a reading for myself or others, I ask if there are flower essences that will assist. Sometimes, if there is something specific going on then I will specify, like are there flower essences that will assist me with my career, my health, my relationship…etc. Whatever it is, I ask. If there are flower essences (which in most cases, there are) I ask how many and then go to work figuring out which ones will be beneficial. I go through the “areas of interest” in the Bach Flower Essence Reference book to figure out which flower essences are relevant. The areas of interest are vast. There are approximately 100 of them and each area of interest has different flower essences that will help. It never ceases to amaze me, the flower essences that come up are exactly what I need! There are literally hundreds of options but the ones that come up for myself and my clients are perfect at that time!

 

Flower Power

 

For example, one reading I did for myself, what came up was under the area of interest of abandonment. This was incredibly helpful for me because I knew something was going on, but I couldn’t figure it out. When I read abandonment It just clicked, “YES, that is exactly what was going on!” in this case I was feeling abandoned and fearing that and that is why I was “off”. Before doing the reading, I couldn’t understand why my thoughts were fixating and why I was ruminating.

 

This feeling of being understood has happened for my clients also, I have had the pleasure of witnessing clients weeping at the relief of being understood and knowing that what was going on for them was not just a creation of their mind. I have heard more than once (and experienced it myself) the relief that finally now there was a word that summed up how they were feeling. There really is something comforting about being understood.

What Happens Next

The next step is asking the flower essence to assist you, and energetically feel it come into your body. The feeling is different for everyone but most report a tingling in their body or a wave, whatever the feeling, they all feel the energy, even the skeptics. It really is quite an amazing experience to feel the energy either leave or enter your body depending on what you are asking for. For me, I usually feel a wave moving either up or down my shoulders, it is warm and comforting.

Flower Power

After the session, I usually notice a difference within a couple days. I will notice my thoughts changing or my overall well-being improving. I would explain it as feeling grounded and centered. For my clients they too notice changes in their behaviors, thoughts and feelings. There are no hard, fast rules and usually the effects depend on what they are working on. After my reading when I was able to pinpoint the feeling of abandonment, I felt a sense of calm and my thoughts were not fueled by fear. From this space I was better able to move through the issue and resolve it.

Intrigued?

I realize it is something that seems a little different to a lot of you who may be just starting out on your spiritual journey, that was how it was for my husband, who at first was skeptical. But even he could not dismiss the accuracy of the flower essences that came up. He used to say, “there is no way you could just pick one that was that perfect”.

All I can say if there is curiosity and you are intrigued then listen to your intuition. It really is an amazing experience! I absolutely believe that if it is right for you, you will know!

Ready? … Book your reading here.

 

SHHH! It’s Quiet Time!

I have been wracking my brain for the last couple of weeks trying to come up with a blog to write, but when it finally hit me, it was clear that this is the blog I needed to write.

When I write my blogs, they are very much about what is going on in the present moment. It is much like coaching when I ask my clients what is most alive for them right now. For me, I struggle to write when I make a logical decision. I can only write when things are in flow and that means I need to be inspired. Lately I have not been feeling any inspiration on a topic. Don’t get me wrong, things have been good, but I am just not feeling inspired to write. If I had to explain it, I would say I am in a calm place not feeling bothered or inspired by much. I have been in a place of feeling uninspired before, but in those times, I was in some deep processing about my life and was working through a life lesson. This time it is different I feel stable where I am, like I have hit a resting spot on the journey. Like I am in a place to start relaxing rather than pushing to learn and grow (not that that means I will stop, I believe you never stop), but rather I am taking a break and enjoying the scenery of life.

 

SHHH! It's Quiet Time!

This realization came to me after trying to push an inspiration and write something. That is when it hit me that where I am is exactly where I need to be, and that is perfectly OK!

I think a lot of us get to this point. It is like after things have been really crazy busy in your life and you finally have a minute to breathe. You collapse on your couch and then you feel kind of anxious that you are not stressed and busy. I decided I was not going to do that this time. I decided I was going to find the joy in the present, quiet moment and enjoy the peace. That is when this blog came to me.

I think too often in life we don’t know what to do in the calm because we are used to a level of stress and busyness, so then we fear the quiet and the boredom. The thing that I found is that if you embrace this, rather than spending the time judging it, you may find that it is enjoyable. For me, in this space I found I was really drawn to work on my photography (a hobby business I have). I have spent the past couple of days going through pictures that I have wanted to edit for a while. Taking this time, I was able to complete editing over 50 pictures, which is a lot, and I completely enjoyed the hours it took me to do this. I was not in a rush, did not feel any pressure, I really just embraced the creative process. Enjoying the moment really allowed me to reconnect with the pictures I was working on, spending the time with each one remembering the experience of actually being there when I took the picture. What a blessing this was. Instead of just focusing on getting the picture completed so I could upload it I embraced every memory and story behind the photo and thoroughly enjoyed them all! So much so that I found it hard to go to bed.

 

SHHH! It's Quiet Time!

 

While I am writing this, I am reminded of the quote “Life is lived in the pauses not the events”, and I feel like I completely embraced that and understand it at a deeper level now. I think that too many times in my life (and I’m sure many others) when we have reached a resting spot in our journey, our minds are too busy with should haves, need tos and judgments that prevent us from taking the time to breathe and take it in. Life really is lived in the pauses and those pauses are meant to be enjoyed and savored rather than just viewed as a quick pit stop or a necessary, inconvenient break.

 

SHHH! It's Quiet Time!

 

So, with a shorter than normal blog, I leave you with this:

Enjoy the quiet calm times, really embrace them as they are just as much a part of life as the busy productive ones…maybe even more!

 

SHHH! It's Quiet Time!

Life Lessons from a Wasp?

I witnessed an interesting thing in my car today that got me thinking about life.

There was a wasp in my car and it looked like it was desperately trying to get out of the hot car. It continually kept flying against the closed window hitting the glass. I opened the car door to let the wasp out. To my surprise he did not fly away he just kept flying against the closed window. This continued for a couple minutes. Feeling sad for the wasp, I tried using my car key to get him to fly away I continued to try to move him towards the open door and away from the glass but the more I tried to help him the more he desperately kept fling himself at the window; desperate to escape. I tried for a couple minutes to shoo him to freedom, no matter how hard I tried to get him to turn away from the window towards freedom he would try harder to push against the window convinced that was his only way out. After several minutes, he finally realized that freedom lay just beside his narrow view.  As I watched him fly away I realized that we too are like this wasp. We too often believe with all our hearts that we are doing what we need to do to have a happy life, but it turns out that if we stopped took a minute to look around, we would realize that everything we want is right there! My lesson from the wasp, instead of banging our heads against the glass we just need to choose a new path and we can have all that we want.

Life Lessons from a Wasp?

I know in my own life I have done this. I was in a career that, don’t get me wrong, I loved…well I thought I did. I had convinced myself that it was perfect, and I definitely did like it but there was always this voice inside that I eventually learned to ignore, that was saying there is more. For me, this was a career that suited all of who I am, not just a part of me. Despite the voice (and looking back all the signs that were there) I put on my blinders convinced that my career choice was the only way I could help people. I, like the wasp kept banging my head against the glass, trying to make this path work, I would come up against roadblocks (especially when dealing with bureaucracies and office politics) and frustrations that would set me back but instead of looking at it, I put my head down and continued flinging myself against the glass hoping that I would find my happy life but making little headway. Honestly, I am not saying I regret any of my time working in the human services, the skills I gained and the people I worked with were a great foundation for the path I am on now, but the thing is it took the complete upheaval of my life to get me to listen my intuition. The one that had always been trying to tell me there was something more for me. There was freedom and the happy life that I had been working for, if only I had the foresight to turn around! I was like the wasp pushing against the glass desperately trying for my happy life but all I was really doing was banging my head against the glass. I was blind to all the other possibilities around me that would (eventually) lead to that happy life I had been striving for.

I see the same thing in many of my clients. They are in a relationship, or a job, or a life that they are not completely happy with but despite their intuition telling them that there is more out there for them, they continue to fling themselves desperately at the glass, trying to get to that happy life. They put the blinders on and keep pushing forward. It is through our time together that they start to tune into their wisdom that eventually shows them the open door that has been beside them the whole time!

Life Lessons from a Wasp?

It is more common than I think a lot of us want to admit.

We get into this situation because we believe the messages from society. We buy into the myths that there is “no happily ever after”, that “relationships are meant to be hard work” and that “work is work, and no one really loves their jobs anyway”. We believe we should work our butts off to get to retirement so finally we can enjoy life. This is not true!

We absolutely can have an amazing relationship, we can have a job that we love, we don’t have to wait for our retirement to really enjoy life. We can have it all, and more over we deserve it… all of us do! These messages of sucking it up and pushing through are common place in the media which just serve to reinforce the above myths. We believe that the only path to happiness is through the closed window.  Why when there are so many paths to happiness?

Why wait for a happy life? Why not live a happy life now and later? Doesn’t that sound better?

I think that for a lot of us we have chosen a career path because we are interested in it or a part of us love it or we believe it is the “smart” choice, the same goes for relationships we think we need to have a partner, need to get married, need to have the white picket fence with 2.5 children. But the longer we do it the more we realize it is not all it is cracked up to be! We suppress that voice inside because we feel we need to stay where we are, that it is our only chance for happiness. So, we stay, getting a little more miserable every day and feeling more and more defeated. We dread Monday mornings and live for the weekend, we countdown to holidays or to time away from our partners. Like the wasp we keep flinging ourselves at the closed window, hoping it will lead us to the happy life we crave. Losing energy and motivation every time we desperately throw ourselves at the glass. The result, there are a whole lot of us who are absolutely exhausted and truly unhappy at our core.

Life Lessons from a Wasp?

Sound familiar?

Then I guess you have some questions to answer: Am I on the right path? Am I able to see beyond my blinders? Do I want to be like the wasp, and keep flinging myself against the glass?

If the answers are no… it’s time to make some changes!

Life Lessons from a Wasp?

 

 

Is your Reality Really Real?

The more I learn about our minds, the more I understand the statement “We create our reality”. This may make you scratch your head, but really, everything we see and do in this life is filtered through our minds and, our minds although built the same, are our own unique filters to the world.

Think about this…

Have you ever had a disagreement with a friend or spouse because there was a “miscommunication”? They say something, and you hear or interpret something else? This is exactly what I am talking about. All of the information that is taken into our minds, like in the example what our friend said, is filtered through our incredible, individual minds. So we interpret the message, including the words, we hear the tone of voice, the hidden meaning, the connotation and the overall interpretation in our minds. Which means what they really said and what we actually understand can be two separate things.

Is your Reality Really Real?

 

Another example, say you are out in public and someone looks at you. Many of us start conjuring up a story in our heads that they are staring at us because there is something wrong with us. We start checking our teeth with our tongue, we maybe rub our face to make sure there is nothing on it, we adjust our clothes to make sure they are straight. All the while, there is a monologue running through our head. Your monologue could be any version of these (or maybe something a little different) “they are staring at me because I am dressed like a slob today”, “I look fat”, “they think I am loser”, “they are wondering why I am all alone”, “they think I am an idiot looking at the menu so long”, “they think I am ugly”, “they think why is she not working now”. On and on our story goes in our minds, our particular version of the story depends on our individual filters but what is common is that we all are making up a story. What really happened… this person looked in your direction, that’s it! Everything else you filled in with your mind, you created a whole story around one simple action. The thing is, we know nothing other than they looked in our direction. But because we have created this story, we operate in our world as our story is the truth. It may be true, but it just as likely not! We convince ourselves our story is reality. We say to our friends “There was this person at the coffee shop and they stared at me and gave me a look like….” We continue with our perception saying, “they are a jerk” and “how can they judge me”. WOW! We have now created a whole lot of anxiety and really all we know for sure is that this person looked in your direction, we are not even sure they were looking at us!

Does this sound familiar? This is how our mind works! It takes the information we receive and filters it, fills in the blanks and creates stories from what it perceives, all of which may or may not be true.

Is your Reality Really Real?

 

Is this a bad thing?

Not necessarily, but when we are not aware that we are on autopilot and that we are in a story, we are convinced that our version is truth and we operate as if it was true. We judge ourselves, close ourselves off to opportunities and cause ourselves a lot of unneeded stress, all for nothing! We are letting our minds run the show and we are just accepting that what it observed and created is actual fact. When we are on autopilot we miss all the other possibilities and because we are in our own heads we can completely misunderstand a situation. This is how our thoughts create our reality, we really do create our own reality based on the filters in our mind.

When we learn to come off of autopilot and we understand how our mind filters information. We have true power to either accept the stories it is feeding us or question them and get a different perspective. Ultimately, we have a choice! When we stop living on autopilot we are more aware and, therefore, empowered to choose our behaviors and actions out of awareness rather than living in the shadows of our mind.
This may sound a little foreign to you and maybe a little unbelievable but take a minute to really think about it. Have you ever watched a movie or show or read a book and then when you talked about it with someone else and they had a different understanding or remembered parts that you can’t recall or had a completely different take on it? That’s because your filters are unique to you and theirs are unique to them and what REALLY happened in the movie, show or book was filtered through two different minds.

 

 

Why is this important to understand?

 

Is your Reality Really Real?

The thing is, these filters can cause us a lot of anxiety, confusion, and frustration. When we believe our version of reality is the true version, anyone who does not see it the same is either arguing with us or not understanding. Not to mention the fact that like in the above scenario, we cause ourselves a lot of stress … for no reason at all.

I have personally been on this journey of coming off autopilot and it has been an eye-opening one. There are so many things that I just accepted as fact about myself and my world, I never questioned the validity of these stories. Having the tools I have now, I am defining who I am on my own terms, it is no longer my mind that dictates who I “need to”, “have to” or “should be” or the stories that I listen to. It is me who makes the choice and I make the choice based on what is best for me, authentically, not what my mind is telling me, and that is empowering! Don’t get me wrong, I still have the filters. The difference now is they are not running in the shadows controlling how I show up in my life, rather, I make conscious choices on how I want to view and operate in my world. That to me is true power and the start of living an authentic life!

 

 

 

Interested in coming off autopilot? Or just want more information, check out the ReDefine You! On Your Terms! self-guided program.

And remember….

Is your Reality Really Real?