I have a few new habits that are making me feel pretty good. To combat my exercise deficit, I have started taking the stairs in the morning at work. I climb up to the top of the building, six floors, and then back down to my office on the fourth. While it is not enough exercise for optimum health, it is certainly better than nothing and is something I am doing consistently and I feel pretty good about it.
As I started my ascent to the sixth floor a few weeks ago I actually began to listen to the inner dialogue running through my brain. It was the usual hits: too lazy, too fat, too grumpy, in other words not enough of this and too much of that. Throw in some “as usual-s” to round it all out. It dawned on me that I had been berating myself since I had gotten out of bed that morning. I decided to drown out the outrageous negativity with relentless positivity. Fight fire with fire, right?
I started marching up the stairs to a little ditty that goes a little something like this:
“I am healthy, wealthy and wise,
I am healthy, wealthy and wise,
I am pretty,
I am worthy,
I am funny,
and I smell good,
I am healthy, wealthy and wise.
Besides ridiculous, I started to feel so much better almost immediately. This is my go to now when my brain starts it slow descent into self-flagellation and misery. Okay, I feel a bit like Stuart Smalley, but it shuts down my inner mean girl!
Next time your inner critic gets out of control, try this exercise.
Take out a piece of paper and label one side Likes and the other side Dislikes. Leave the Dislikes side for later (or never), it’s always an option. Then start filling out the Likes. Don’t worry if they are not real things or not valuable to anyone or marketable. Just start listing things you like about yourself.
Why not spend more time finding things to like about yourself? After all, “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person that you are.” ~Marilyn Munroe
In our recent class, “Harnessing The Power of Energy Healing”, we talked a bit about Dr. Emoto and his water experiments. Many of you are probably familiar with his work. He has studied the effects of words, music and prayer on the formation of crystals in water. His work is truly fascinating and you can’t help but pause and think that if just taping the word “Hate” to a glass of water can cause all kinds of weird, irregular and ugly changes to its molecular structure what will thinking hateful and bitter thoughts do to my own body which is somewhere around 80% water. Conversely, water with words such as “Love” and “Joy” support the formation of beautiful and symmetrical crystals. How must those types of thoughts and actions affect our health?
After the class I was speaking with a woman who was working to find a way to synthesize all of the information we had presented. How could she apply this to her daily life? I suggested that she take a page out of Dr. Emoto’s book and begin with a word. I have done this myself and found it to be an effortless way to create change in a stuck situation. What you do is when you find yourself in a seemingly intractable situation and you cannot think of a way to get through it, just pick a word that matches what you would rather be feeling. For example, you are arguing with your kids again and feeling like they will never listen and respect your rules. Why not choose “Respect” or “Peace”. Maybe you are one of the millions, maybe even billions, of people who spend a lot of time feeling like there is not enough time and money for you to do or have what you want. Next time you catch yourself in that space, try repeating “Abundance” or “Plenty”. You don’t have to do anything more than that to begin to shift how you are feeling about the situation.
I am not sure how or why this works. I just know that it does. I have used it in my own life on countless occasions and it can change my mood almost instantly. Over time I often find that I have begun repeating the thoughts that drop me back to the original level of frustration, fear or sadness and that is okay. I just start repeating my word again until I feel the shift. I saw a cute quote recently that puts a fun spin on this idea,
Words Have Power.
That Is Why It Is Called
I invite you to try this next time you are feeling stuck in the quagmire of life. Then shoot me a comment and let me know how it went.
I am in the process of creating and defining a career for myself that feels like the perfect fit for who I am. “Sounds great, how do you do that exactly?” You might be wondering.
I wish I knew! This is me, out here winging it!
Let me start with what I know I want:
What I know I don’t want:
Following my plan of an alphabetical inspiration based on the months of the year, this month’s theme is synthesis. According to freedictionary.com the word synthesis means, “To combine so as to form a new and complex product.” This seems to me what we all do on a smaller or larger scale throughout our lives. Synthesize our new experiences into our being to enjoy more complex and fuller lives. What about our rough spots, thorny patches, places we dare not tread, or the places we cannot stop returning to? The memories and beliefs which cannot seem to synthesize but rather continue to define for better or worse some aspect of who we are.
Those are the places where the flow stops and the energy sticks. What I believe is that you need to give yourself permission to release and move on. Even though you don’t know what moving on will look like. We all become habituated to being a certain way. Thinking of releasing the intense pain you feel when you remember a really ugly break up, for example, seems like a no brainer. “Of course I want to let go of that so I can move on to a new fresh relationship”, right? Well, maybe hanging onto that pain has become my security blanket. It is always there for me. It protects me from the mistake of making myself vulnerable to the same pain in the future. I can pull this memory out any time and even feel special and unique in the quality and flavor of my sadness.
We don’t do this because we are stupid, bad, lazy, or weak. We do this because we are human. Permission to let these painful parts synthesize and become a part of our tapestry is what open us up to the fullness we are meant to experience. By letting go of our identity as the one who was cheated on, the one who cheated, the one who never gets what they want, the one who nobody listens to, the most beautiful, the least beautiful, the favorite child… we open to all the other possible us-es we could be.
Who would you be if you told a different story?
Wow! Got right to it after my summer break with a heavy one right out of the gate. Check out my upcoming event page to see what’s cooking for the Fall.
Are we this far into May and I haven’t posted my alphabetical inspiration yet? Yup, that’s right. Forgot all about it.
I am gonna fly by the seat of my pants here and go with Mantra. I am not going to attempt to educate you on the use of Mantra in meditation, prayer, healing, etc. Many of you probably know much more than me. I will tell you I have devised a few of my own that help move me out of yucky emotional spaces or when I find myself stuck in repetitive negative thoughts. My most recent is super embarrassing but really hit the spot when I realized that I had been pretty mean to myself all morning with the same worrisome messages over and over. Imagine this sung to the tune of Frere Jacque,
I am awesome, I am awesome
Yes indeed, Yes indeed
I really really love me, I really really love me
Yes indeed, Yes indeed
Did I feel like a complete wackado in my kitchen humming to myself? You betcha. But after a few minutes that little tune started to drown out the other stuff and I could happily get on with my day. Zero calories, free, and it makes you feel good. What’s not to love?
Click here for Deva Premal and enjoy Mantra in a much more melodious form.
Acknowledge Awesomeness, that is my alphabetical inspiration for the month of April. Acknowledge Awesomeness is about recognizing the times big and small when you get a wink from the Universe.
For example, this morning I took my daughter to the pediatrician and was noticing the drawings and family photos hanging in the reception area. In one of the pictures two young boys were sitting with their new baby brother laying across their laps. It was a beautiful shot, but what really caught my eye was the way the middle child was holding his arm out to his side with his elbow bent and his hand palm up on top of his head. If I didn’t know better I would have just assumed the picture was just snapped at the wrong moment. That maybe the kids were fidgeting and it wasn’t possible to get one “perfect” shot. But I do know better. You see it just so happens that for about two years when my son was small the only way he would have his picture taken was with his hand upside down on top of his head. For a few months it had to be both hands. We called that The Double!
You might be wondering what is so awesome in this story. For me, this was a reminder that there is nothing about any of us that is so unusual, different, or strange that sets us apart. We are not ever alone, even in our quirkiest and strangest places there are others who can join us there. What a comforting reminder of the common thread that runs through all of us.
This month I will strive to Acknowledge Awesomeness in all the strange and wonderful places I find it.
I couldn’t find a digital photo of my son from this stage. Just imagine this guy pre- tattoo, eyeliner, and beard with his right hand more opened. My son was two and a half when he started, so a little smaller too.
It came to me recently what it is I have been creating with my group of women as we meet in our seminars. As I have been twisting and turning my brain trying to define and focus and perfect my “elevator pitch” to explain exactly what it is we are doing- we have actually been doing IT.
We are holding a space of unlimited possibilities for each other. I recently watched the movie Hungry For Change and a quote from Frank Ferrante stood out for me. He said he joined a support group and they welcomed him into the group with the line, “We will love you until you learn to love yourself.” He was deeply impacted by this. That people he did not know would hold a space of love for him regardless of how he felt about himself, and trusted that he would grow to see himself as they did. Powerful!!!
It popped into my head that our group of women is doing the same. As we are individually asking the questions of what do I want, what makes me happy, do I have the courage to change, do I have the courage not to? We are collectively holding a space of trust that whatever we can dream we can create. That we are each sparks of Divine energy that is powerful enough to birth babies, soothe hurt feelings, protect dreams, carry through hard times, celebrate good times, and to dare to trust that we are without limit in potential.
Please trust and know that this space is here for you too. On this blog, in my classes and connecting in whatever way is meaningful for you. There is a space for you to come and hang out. Soak in whatever you need to begin the process of trusting in yourself.
I had a Martha Beck inspiration about a year ago to start paying attention to what makes me happy. At first, it was honestly kind of struggle to come up with anything. All the ideas I came up with had a but attached that went something like this, “I would love to ___________, but…” It was beginning to sound as if I was talking myself out enjoying my life by throwing up all of these rules, regulations, and expectations of perfection. Hmmmmm.
Over time I managed to amass a small but growing list. Eventually I even got to the place where I could recognize and appreciate fun moments in the midst of not so fun activities. That was a big development! I gave up the relentless push to find my “Life’s Purpose”, at least as that applied to career. I made figuring out how to find Joy my life’s purpose. I admit a lot of days I still lose sight of my path, but I am so much more in tune with how I am feeling moment to moment. Being in touch with how I am feeling is like having my hands on the steering wheel of my emotions. By steering towards the happy thoughts and away from the angry, restless, bored, yucky ones I really am a happier person. Who knew!
I think the biggest tool for me to keep my hands on the steering wheel is meditation. It doesn’t matter how I meditate, just that I do. It slows down my brain enough that I can actually hear the individual thoughts as they come flowing by instead of in the overwhelming torrent they can become without meditation. This is helpful in so many ways but mostly it gives me the opportunity to weed the garden, so to speak. I can ask myself, “Do I really believe that?” or “Is that what I want to tell myself about this?” What a relief.
Ideas or inspiration often comes through meditation and recently I got a zinger. I suddenly had the idea for a big project that combines so many of the things I love to do, home renovation, home decoration, landscaping, painting, community building, and many more. Plus this idea would be a great challenge for me to learn new skills and organize a large group of people. The idea is to organize/create an all volunteer Home Makeover for a family in our town. We will find a family who is in need of home repairs and renovations but has been unable to afford them. We will garner donations from local businesses and individuals and we will get volunteers to donate the labor to fix up their home. I know super crazy, right? But super cool too. I just stopped by the Mayor’s office to see if I could make an appointment with him to speak about it and he ushered me right in. He thinks it’s a great idea and would love to see it happen. He made recommendations to maybe set up a non-profit, find an accountant, insurance, etc. I guess this means the ball is officially rolling.
I gotta go pinch myself!
If you have ever heard of this being done or just have suggestions PLEASE send them along. I am open to all ideas. Just please, if you have a word of caution for me, also offer a solution. Now is not a good time for nay Sayers, (is there ever a good time?). Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
One of my favorite things about my daughter is how much she loves to have fun. She is a fun seeking missile. A blood hound hot on the trail! She reminds me always that life is more fun if you join in and go with the flow rather than cautiously open the door and throw in your list of demands.
Over the last few weeks of family visits and Holiday bustle, I saw her as a kind of fun collecting butterfly. She floats around and gathers up the fun in all the flowers she finds. She watches X Factor and American Idol videos with my Mom, helps me out in the kitchen, plays football with her cousins, and relaxes on the couch with my husband watching sports. She is so adaptable to what makes others happy and finds enjoyment in just sharing in that activity, whatever it may be.
She has a very Zen, go with the flow methodology. I almost never hear her say things like, “Okay, I’ll play but only if I get to be the car” or “I really don’t like this game, but I’ll try it.” She just doesn’t put those kind of restrictions on things. No, that girls hears laughter and she is off like a shot to get in the middle of the action.
Watching her has shown me that joining in the happiness is an activity in and of itself. Whatever happens while you are doing that is just the backdrop. Enter into your life with an open heart and fully expect to have a great time. It sure beats cautiously observing and expecting disappointment!