How to Make Changes That Really Last

In the last newsletter, I shared my yearly practice of choosing a word for the year. I hadn’t quite landed on my word but promised to share when I did. 2016 was spent clarifying what I really wanted(some legacy work going on there) and healing the things that were holding me back. This year I’m ready to move forward again. So here it is my word for 2017 is Action. Webster defines it as “the process or state of being active” and “an exertion of power or force.” As I wrote the word on my whiteboard and in my planner I created a 6 part list:

 

A – Allowing – to take action, I must first allow.
C – Courage – action can be scary remember to use my courage muscle.
T – Trust – always trust my gut.
I – Imperfection- imperfect action is better than stagnation
O – Open – open to possibility, collaboration, new ideas, new formats, new structure.
N – Never let go of my Why.(more on that next time)

This little list embodies what my word symbolizes for me and helps to anchor it in place. There are many reasons that anchoring it is important, but the most important one is invisible. It shifts your energy. The thoughts you think affect your behaviors, that is pretty obvious for most people. If you’re thinking the guy across the room is creepy your behavior toward him will be very different than if you thought he was a well-respected talk show host.

Thoughts also affect cellular function too. Stress-related illness and the placebo effect are good examples. By anchoring in a word every time it is seen, thought about, or heard it registers in your body and brain. The repetition makes your cells and brain react differently, new neuropathways form, and you behave differently. The word begins to resonate in your energy field, brain and your body as movement toward your desired goal. This supports you in subtle but powerful ways. It’s the secret sauce so to speak that helps you move past the old patterns and into a new way of being.

If you haven’t tried the word activity I highly recommend you do, you can find it here.
Questions are always welcome just enter them in the comment section below and be sure to leave your word in the comments as well.

New Year – New Start Your First 3 Steps

As a new year is birthed thoughts of what to do with it, how I want to show up and what I want to create roll around my brain. Each year I choose a word to help me stay connected to my vision and move me forward. Last Year’s word was E3-Envision-Engage-Express. I used it to help me dig deeper to connect with meaning and passion in a bigger way….last year was full of healing, claiming and shifting. It also helped me choose to go back to school for my Master’s degree with an eye toward some cutting edge research in Energy Medicine.

This year’s word isn’t quite ready to come forward but there is a sense of expansion and transformation…..in pretty much all areas of my life. This process I one I do every year because it works. It focuses me on what I want to create rather than what isn’t working or what I do not like and most importantly it keeps me from becoming complacent. You know the state where it’s just too much effort to actively try and change something.

How can we maximize the energy of possibility, positive change, and dreams to reality that the New Year ushers in?

The dreams we dream, the things we want, and the goals we set all have a common thread. We believe that, in the achieving/having of them, we will feel better. Our natural state of being is happiness(yes it really is!), and we are continually seeking to reclaim more of that in our lives.

Studies show that about 80% of people don’t even think about goals, 16% think about them but don’t write them down, 3% write them down but don’t review them, and 1% write them down and revisit/revise them one guess which group regularly achieves their goals. The revisiting piece is important it allows for adjusting and increases the likelihood of actually creating a schedule not just an end date for the goal.

I’m not much into formalities, no big spreadsheet, no formal computer program, no stuffy ‘should’s’ for me the word of the year is a symbol of those goals (that I have jotted down in the back of my planner and penciled in on my schedule). It’s written in my planner and hangs on the wall in my office a reminder that I am choosing to create the best version of myself, and that takes effort, conscious thought, and action.

So why do we so often sidestep our own happiness? We set huge goals without intermediate steps or don’t set goals at all, and then we take any perceived mistake and use it to beat ourselves up creating a 1 step forward and 2 steps back sort of momentum.

What if instead, you were to have a benchmark, a guiding light to help you move forward and celebrate your progress rather than magnifying your bumps?

Try this: Light a candle, grab your favorite beverage, a pen, and paper, and gift yourself an hour (alright 30 minutes if you must). Make 3 columns on your paper and label them as follows:

  1. Things I love and want more of
  2. Things I don’t like and want less of
  3. How do I want to feel
  • Now list as much as you can think of under each heading.
  • Look at your lists and jot down words that embody what you want to feel and have.
  • Which word feels best to you, test them out, notice how your body reacts, your mind, your emotions.
  • Write down the word that feels the best.
  • Put the pen down and close your eyes, imagine how you want to embody these things in your work, your relationships, your health, your environment.
  • What do you want to create that will allow for more of what you are seeking?
  • These are your goals.

Here is part of mine that will help shape my word this year.

Things I love and want more of

  • Walks on the beach
  • Curiosity/Discovery
  • Connecting with family and friends
  • Great conversations
  • Coaching/teaching
  • Writing
  • Learning new things

Things I don’t like and want less of

  • Emotional drama
  • Overgiving
  • People pleasing
  • Swollen feet
  • Sitting for long periods of time

How do I want to feel

  • Open
  • Connected
  • Inspired
  • Expansive
  • Useful
  • Passionate

I would love to hear what comes up for you. What is your word? Share in the comments below(, and I’ll share mine when I land on it)

3 Things You Can Do in Midlife to Avoid Dementia

head-826319 One of the things we worry about with aging is our mental acuity. Most of the women I speak with can accept the physical decline but the mental one is a source of concern. It impacts our ability to remain independent and function in a way that is satisfying to us. Research has some very encouraging news. The brain grows new brain cells right to the end of life, in part it’s our actions that determine what becomes of them.

While those with a college education are half as likely to develop symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and the same is true for those with complex jobs there are things that can be done at whatever age you are to increase your cognitive reserve and reduce your risk of dementia by more than a third. The two most important components are engagement and challenging.

artist-870105_1920Engagement well engages your brain in many ways requiring connections and associations to fire up. A challenge creates new neuropathways and puts those new brain cells into active use. If something is a challenge say learning something new it is likely also engaging as you need to devote your attention to learning it. This is why you hear of brain games and the importance of trying new things. So what exactly can you do to boost your brain power and stave off dementia??

Here are the top three things:

Learn Something New – something that challenges you, it can be a new hobby, a class, a different spin on an old pastime, the key is that it is hard meaning you need to engage and actively participate in it.

Engage – read, meet friends for dinner, see a movie, listen to live music, basically interact, connect and participate.

Move – we all know exercise is good for us but for the brain specifically it increases blood flow, helps those new brain cells survive, and boosts the area of the brain responsible for memory and learning, a simple 20-minute brisk walk daily helps brain function more than either of the two things above.

How to Find Meaning in the Midlife Unraveling

9577548 - beach and sun

Happy Labor Day, I hope your summer has been fun and rejuvenating. I’ve had so much going on I have not even had time to write! As many of you know in May, I started back to school for my Master’s degree. This was spurred by my desire to research the connection between thoughts and wellness. I want to know what goes on down to the cellular level and how that affects us in real time (and visa verse), curious minds want to know.

To say it’s been a busy summer is an understatement. I’ve been learning to recalibrate my life, balancing school, business, work, and downtime has been a challenge at times. I have a tendency to severely underestimate how much time it takes me to do things (Am I alone in this???)

Sometimes it went well and other times not so much…. What I know is true is that no matter what changes you undertake or how much you prepare there are often hiccups but that’s all part of the experience. I love learning, and my classes are sparking new ideas for teaching and how to integrates changes. I will also be bringing the ‘shadow’ side of my business more into focus, so you’ll be hearing more about the energy work and healing practices that are the underpinnings of all that I do.

The focus is still midlife unraveling, the sweet spot where we get to take a look at where we’ve been and look forward to seeing what we want to create – and do it in a conscious, meaningful way that fills us up. Yeah, that sweet spot, filled with uncertainty, exhilaration, fear, joy, regret, satisfaction and a myriad of other emotions that help guide us on the journey. It’s a new take on an old paradigm, so let’s jump in and create it together.

I’ll leave you with a question to ponder: What is meaningful in your life? Try beginning each day focusing on this and see what shifts.

How to Release the Grip of Scarcity

The opposite of scarcity is not abundance it’s sufficiencyThe opposite of scarcity is not abundance it’s sufficiency. We live in a culture of scarcity, where we feel compelled to strive for more because there is the illusion of not enough.

 

The pursuit of abundance itself is a scarcity tactic, creating a low level(sometimes high level) of anxiety that makes it hard for us to relax and appreciate what is. The marketing world plays on this using advertising that hijacks your amygdala and has you looking for ‘enough’ outside of yourself. Using your resources, time, money and energy, in ways that aren’t in alignment with who you are and what you are a stand for.

 

Sufficiency is enough, not just getting by, not less than, but simply enough. Sufficiency does not preclude fiscal responsibility or wealth building, or vacations, or nice things.

It’s about being enough,

The state of mind,

The state of being,

The state of engaging ….. as enough.

 

It’s not a number or a goal. It’s about appreciating what is. It’s about aligning with your unique set of values and commitments. It’s using your resources, time, money, and energy, on the things that are meaningful to you, that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment. Sufficiency lets the excess fall away and frees you up to focus on what is really important to you.

 

Ironically this is also what opens the way for abundance, because abundance is all about flow. There needs to be movement, a freedom that can organically go where it needs to. Scarcity has us holding on too tightly. Sufficiency loosens the grip and lets us see more clearly what’s really important. When we lose touch with our inner compass it’s easy to get side tracked thinking that the next thing is the answer.

Take a few minutes and look at where you’re plugged into the ‘not enough’ scarcity mentality. Is it money? Is it time? Is it resources?

For tips to rewrite your relationship with scarcity click here

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Transformation in in Midlife Body Mind and Soul