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)

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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.

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What’s Love Got to Do With It?

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

LOve

What If – We let more love into our lives? First by loving ourselves and then by letting others love flow in. Our capacity for love is so much greater when we start from within. (more on that next week)

 

Research shows  – People who have love in their lives are not only happier but healthier too. Human beings are inherently tribe or community based. We all long for a sense of belonging and connection.

 

On Valentines Day we tend to look toward expressions of romantic love. Love has so many facets, with romantic love being just part of the spectrum. Don’t get me wrong I’m all for a long slow kiss, some red roses, and a glass of champagne (and all that follows) but moving past the blush of romance to love in all it’s forms is where I want to venture today.

Life is infinitely richer when love is woven into the fabric of it. Open hearted, soul nourishing, expansive, affirming – in its full spectrum love can show up in numerous ways.

 

Here’s a list to get you started:

Love for: rp_heart-trees-300x297.jpg

yourself

a connection to a higher power

a child

a sibling

a friend

a parent

a pet

nature

an experience

 

Instead of plucking the daisy petals with ‘he loves me, he loves me not‘ how about I experience love by……..How much love do you let into your life?

 

Integration – Today stop and pause for a moment to honor and acknowledge the full spectrum of love in your life. Play the daisy game above real or imagined to help bring it all into focus

 

If you want to open to more love here is a meditation to open the heart chakra

http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WJVc58H4

 

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How to Regain Your Calm When Your Buttons Get Pushed

Copy of a convergence of wisdom, experience, and desire     Eyes closed, adjusting my butt so I was comfortable on the floor cushion and resting my head back against the edge of the windowsill I listened to the instructor.  “Recall the details of the room.” Laura said.  We went around the room each participant telling one thing they remembered about the room.
     My mind went blank. My throat tightened.
     The things that I remembered; the palpable feel of anticipation in the air, the sensation of belonging – of tribe, the sudden crackle of energy when we all closed our eyes as Laura prepared to scribe our thoughts, the jumbled chaos of scrambling thoughts bumping into each other even while our bodies were still, the soothing comfort of honor and acceptance from the mini alters on each windowsill; I pushed these thoughts out of my mind discarding them as not ‘right’.
     They didn’t fit into my perception of the ‘rules’ of the exercise. I named physical characteristics instead, the few I could remember, and when my turn came I passed on the last several rounds.  After opening our eyes and discussing the exercise, an excursion in excavating the salient details of the room, we embarked on writing prompt.
     During the preparatory meditation words swirled eloquently in my mind yet as I put pen to paper they eluded me like ghosts slipping into nothingness. What showed up were scribbles, nonsensical half sentences, and that familiar tension in my left jaw as I clenched my teeth and tried to muscle through.  When it came time to read my writing I declined eyes cast down fidgeting like a small child.
    As I drove home dissecting my ‘failure’ (yes, by dissect I do mean obsess over).  I realized that I was so concerned with getting it right and following the rules that I shifted into performance anxiety. When I do that I shut down. Trying to please others at the expense of my own true voice is what I know, my default pattern, one that I am overcoming step by step.
      The truth is there were no ‘rules’ to the exercise.  Laura emphasized that whatever came up was exactly right; the prompt is only a starting point. My perception was that I needed to describe the physical details of the room. My mind went blank with an inner shout of “Oh shit I don’t do details” and it went south from there.rp_843D85B223-300x225.jpg
      Rather than embrace my strengths of seeing the big picture and sensing the energetic climate I tried to force myself to remember what color the carpet was (I still couldn’t tell you).  I chose to struggle. I chose the hard path. I let my default pattern guide the way.  It took me out of flow. The fear of doing it wrong shut down my sacral chakra and there was no creative flow without it.
     The good news is that I recognized it quickly and had some techniques to help me shift out of it. It amazes me how integrated the body, mind, and spirit are. I had triggers in all three areas. If I didn’t catch one another came along. One of the simple things I did to shift was ask the question “Is that true?” I quickly realized that I had filled in some ‘rules’ that weren’t really there.
     Did you notice the triggers as you read? (Tight jaw/throat, blank mind/negative self talk, slow/stopped energy flow)
     Do you have triggers that you can easily identify? I would love to hear how you deal with triggers when they pop up, please share in the comments below.

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When Are You too Old?

The average life expectancy for women here in the US is 86 years. Yet one of the most frequent things I hear when talking with clients about dreams and goals is I’m forty or fifty something I cant’ really do that.

 

Why not? Is my typical response. Again I get some form of the age response – too old, that’s for young people, my habits are too established, my hair is gray (yes someone actually said that).

 

Now if your wanting to dye your hair pink, wear a micro mini, and do back flips…. well perhaps that ship has sailed.

a convergence of wisdom, experience, and desire

But reaching for a dream, you’re never too old for that. It’s all in the art of remembering who you are. For so many of us we’ve forgotten. The many roles and expectations we experience erode our sense of self and we get lost along the way.

 

What I know to be true is at midlife there is a convergence of wisdom, experience, and desire that has the potential for greatness like no other time in your life.

 

The ability to utilize the entirety of who you are to make a difference, your unique difference is knocking at your door. Answering the door and replying ‘Sorry I’m too old’ is an excuse. Don’t want to, got better things to do, choosing a different path are all viable choices. But too old…it’s a cop out.

 

It’s true aging does have its physiological changes. Hair greys, muscles have less mass, and skin is less elastic. But we have far more control than previously believed. Both lifestyle and mindset have a direct impact on our lives and we do have a good deal of control over them. New breakthroughs in brain science are shifting what we thought we knew about aging.

 

The age bias impacts us in so many ways. One of the most dramatic are your thoughts on aging. How you perceive aging has a dramatic impact on your experience. Our brains are wired to perceive patterns. If you believe that another year on the calendar means less function mentally, physically, or socially your brain will actively seek out matches to that thought pattern thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

 

artist-870105_1920I had a delightful conversation a couple of weeks ago with an 80 year old gentleman who had just returned from a trip to Africa, it was a birthday trip with his 79 year old wife. He gave me insight and tips for the trip I’m planning for 2017 and told me he would likely be returning then as well. This was about as far from the traditional image of an elderly man sitting in a rocking chair as you could get, I liked it – a lot and it inspired me.

 

Each of us is born to create.

What we create is up to us.

What are you choosing to create?

 

 

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Avoid These 2 Things That Drain Your Happiness

teacupfrillyWhen is the last time your really dug deep and examined yourself from the inside out? What makes you light up and come alive?

How much of that is present in your everyday life? What do you want- not surface that would be nice want- but deeply crave?

Is that what the business, stuff, and distractions are hiding?

Do you think you can have more of that thing you so deeply crave/ Or does it feel crazy, out of reach and impossible, well at least for you.

Whats the truth underneath it all?

In this world full of chaos, turmoil, and unrest all of us are acutely aware that we have big problems that need to be addressed. Ones that are not easily solved.

I believe at the core of these problems is a deep sense of unhappiness and unworthiness. Each of us wants to belong, to love, and be loved. When you look at others and perceive them to be different there is a sense of separation and that can be scary. To close the gap or ease this fear the two things that are most often done:

  1. Change something in yourself to mirror the other person in an effort to close the gap.
  2. Diminish or make wrong the thing you perceive as different as a way of pushing away and creating distance.

Either way resistance is created. In the first example there is a disconnect with your authentic self as you try to mold to someone elses values. The second example there is friction is in the form pushing away. A widening of the gap causing a bigger disconnect that fuels fear.

You only have the ability to change yourself. Being secure in who you are, what you want, and what your values are helps open the door to connection. Each one of us has both positive and negative elements in our personality.

In any given moment you are doing your best, even if from the outside it doesn’t look that way. When you’re truly comfortable in who you are there is far less attachment to what others do and what others think. It certainly has less of an impact on you.

In order to be of service in a healthy way you must be secure in who you are as an individual. If you aren’t firmly grounded in who you are you look to get your needs met in ways that do not serve you or the other person.

35243719_sThe Solar Plexus Chakra can be helpful in giving you a foundation to lean into. The third chakra is steeped in personal power and confidence. Tapping into this can help you stay true to who you are with out feeling the need to push away or embrace what is not aligned with you.

This why self care is so important. It’s how you fill your cup.When your cup is full it’s far easier to look for common ground, ways that you are like the other person. This bridges the gap and creates connection, something we all crave.

Think of it this way – if  your neighbor comes over to borrow a cup of sugar and you don’t have any you don’t give any. The same is true of your time and energy. If your cup is empty there is nothing to give.

How do you fill your cup?

 

 

 

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