1
February

Powerful Reflections for a New Year

When the new year approaches I find myself having all kinds of feelings. There is nostalgia for the holiday time, heart-opening for the spirit of Christmas and the warmth of the season, excitement for gatherings of friends and loved ones and even some pondering and pause for what the next year will bring. Its inspiring and sometimes daunting. So many of us are thinking about what new commitments or resolutions we will make, we wonder if we will actually see them through this year or perhaps we don’t even partake in that dialogue because we’ve given up on the idea years ago.

Choosing a mindset of optimism I tend to lean into all energy that can move me up and out of my comfort zone. However, I too like to reinvent things and apply a new approach if it seems fitting. I have recently become more aware of energy and how we have a choice to step into that or duck it, both of which may be a good idea depending upon what is going on in our lives at the time.

That being said, I’ve been mindful of the amount of energy that is swirling around this time of year. We may be in different time zones and we may even celebrate different holidays all over the globe but it is the end of one calendar year and the beginning of a new, everywhere. This creates a lot of energy on the planet.  In an effort not to get caught up in the frenzy, overwhelm or even disappointment, I put my new years thoughts on a pause.  Instead I chose to just be in the day.  I wanted to give myself some time to reflect on what I learned last year so as to ground the learnings and perhaps avoid creating new situations to learn them again.

It’s not an accident I waited until the end of the first month to write and share this. :-)

So here are some learnings from 2013 for 2014 and beyond:

My learnings are my blessings. This is a bit of what I mentioned above and I got more clear this year that I have an opportunity as I close out each year to spend time being in gratitude for the gift of my life.  As I become more aware of what I discover and learn each year, I am able to anchor those experiences.  It is often what we choose to be conscious of that soothes us, enlivens us, and propels us.

Family first. It’s taken me awhile to get here and I almost cannot contain how much loving I have in my heart for my family.  It is so easy to judge our families because they are such an awesome and consistent mirror to our own stuff.  All I can really say here is, it’s imperative to do the necessary inner work to remove any blocks from enjoying our families.  If not, we often are working through regrets later when the option is no longer available.

Fear is a compass telling me where to go…if I let it.  This was a new paradigm for me this past year.  As I stepped into creating a business, I began facing some challenges and obstacles.  In that endeavor, fear became a real factor and an indicator of things I needed to look at and walk towards.  Of course if we are in imminent danger, fear is a compass telling us to run in the opposite direction.  However, in this case, fear was really reflecting to me the opportunity I had to walk towards that which I wanted to avoid.  The challenge or thing I felt fearful of was exactly the thing I needed to face, to engage with, and to move through.  By doing so, I would release the fear because the mere act of experiencing it would remove the charge.  Fear is usually a feeling that comes with something unfamiliar or where there is risk involved.  Once we step into and go through it, it’s no longer unfamiliar and the risk is replaced with truth.  We now know by first hand experience what it was we were fearing and the fear diminishes.

The journey can feel as good as the destination.  Who knew we didn’t have to delay a life of joy and peace while we were trying to get there?  This powerful statement was offered to me by Ms Danielle LaPorte as she re-launched her website and The Desire Map.  When I heard her say this and I think she even said it “should” feel as good as the destination.  I thought to myself, “Of, Course!!”  Why wouldn’t we be intending for the journey, meaning today and each present moment to be feeling as good as some forecasted state of being or dream to be realized or goal to be achieved.  I vote for happiness NOW.  I choose Loving today.  It’s not just my future desired state.  It’s my daily intention.  So, if the journey feels like shit, don’t kid yourself that your going to arrive at some point in the future with happiness.  Find your joy in your NOW.

Rebirth each day.  Begin anew.  Why not? This was such a revelation for me this past year.  As I have let go of old beliefs or limiting patterns, I became more experientially aware of what is available to me.  Choice.  This simple word is so powerful.  I realized through some awesome mentoring and coaching that I could start fresh every day.  I could take each day as a brand new gift.  I could lay down whatever got in my way yesterday and choose a clean slate.  No one was really holding my past misses or grievances over my head – just me.  How refreshing?  If you need permission to do the same, Here it is!!

Expectation and worry will zap freedom, creativity, and joy every time.  This was another gem that was reflected to me in various ways from my coach.  As I got into my head about what was next or how to figure out the latest and greatest challenge, that inevitably landed me with anxiety, restless sleeping, or anger and frustration.  To alleviate that I began practicing being more aware of my breath, spending a minimum of 5 minutes a day meditating and envisioning myself being more in my heart instead of my head.  That looked like placing my hand on my heart and taking a few breaths or thinking about things that fill up my heart – my love for my family, my neighbor’s dog, or my best friend’s kids.  There are so many ways to get out of our heads and into our hearts AND it does require choice and action.  My coach taught me the simple and powerful acronym, LSD.  When in doubt try LSD.  Laughing. Singing. Dancing.  Do any one of these and then go create your life.  Pandora serves me in this pursuit daily!

And expectation.  Ugh!  The land of expectation is the surest way to be in disappointment – which stems from judgment of self and others.  It’s really a lose-lose proposition.  If you catch yourself feeling disappointed and you trace that feeling back inside it almost always leads to an expectation that you have placed and if you are like me, it’s often placed unconsciously.  Again, making what was unconscious conscious can be liberating.  Let go of the expectations and BE in the moment.

Healing is the application of loving.  I learned this beautiful principle for the first time in 1998 at the University of Santa Monica and I am really living into it these days.  I think most of us, when we see someone hurting or upset we feel something inside of us, often sympathy or empathy, depending upon where we are at.  And I even believe most of us feel a sense of compassion and yet, most of us do something that is the opposite of loving when we get hurt.  It might be that we judge the way we are feeling – which is the predominant human plague or we stuff it down with some excess, food, drink, exercise, etc.  We don’t want to appear weak or whiny or helpless so we don’t feel it at all or we hide it or hide from it.  Imagine the alternative.  If when we felt bad, we just gave that part of ourselves a little love, a little care, a little breath, a little space to BE.  If we learned that this was okay when we were little ones, I have a feeling there would be a lot less victimhood and self-abuse going on.  Here is a brilliant passage from Geneen Roth’s book, Women, Food, and God.  I read this just this week and thought how freakin’ revolutionary.

“Can you imagine how your life would have been different if each time you were feeling said or angry as a kid an adult said to you, “Come here, sweetheart, tell me all about it.”  If when you were overcome with grief at your best friend’s rejection, someone said to you, “Oh darling, tell me more.  Tell me where you feel those feelings.  Tell me how your belly feels, your chest.  I want to know every thing.  I’m here to listen to you, hold you, be with you.”

“All any feeling wants is to be welcomed with tenderness.  It wants room to unfold.  It wants to relax and tell its story.  It wants to dissolve like a thousand writhing snakes that with a flick of kindness become harmless strands of rope.”

BRILLIANT!

That which you seek is seeking you.  Thank you, Carrie Doubts!  Carrie has reflected this wisdom to me on various occasions and it was also reflected to me from the awesome Rich Litvin when I attended his Prosperous Coach weekends.  Rich shared with us, “you are so much closer to what you want, (what you seek) than you realize.”  That can sound like a cool proverb or positive statement, but I have experienced example after example for myself and others where this is true.  What I really take from it is a sense of calm and excitement at the same time.  The calm that I don’t need to try so hard.  Where I place my intention and energy is also moving towards me or I probably wouldn’t be seeking it. And the excitement for the same reasons – that I am closer, that I can relax into it.

An open heart creates an abundant life.  I sense this doesn’t need much explaining and I also recognize the power of stating the obvious.  This came to me when I recently heard Steve Pavlina speak and share his story of challenge, growth, and now pretty awesome success.  Steve shared many pearls of wisdom and the one that was the most profound for me (probably because it was one I was ready to really get) was the power of an open heart.  He shared that he began to recognize where he wasn’t open and/or was closing himself off to certain individuals.  In his reflection of the notion, when we close ourselves off to one person, we close ourselves off to all, something inside me clicked.  I was immediately called forward to how I embrace certain parts of myself and other parts I diminish and judge.  What I got was the revelation that I was essentially canceling out my loving by withholding my loving in other ways.  And that when I chose to close off to anything, I was closing my heart to myself.  When acceptance is present, I can be free to create, to play, and to move forward.  For me, this is where abundance lies.

What were some meaningful learnings for you in 2013?

Now is a GREAT time to call them out and leverage their energy! :-)

 

2 comments

12
October

Mary J + Cardio = Magic!

What is your MAGIC?

My powerful coach, Steve Chandler speaks about his coach, Steve Hardison as being a Magical Motivator for him.  I love this!  We all have motivators in our lives – some that come in the form of our coach, some are experiences we had that push us to want change in our lives, some of us are easily motivated with goals we set for ourselves.  If we are smart, we have stacked our lives with our magical motivators.

My coach, the first Steve, is definitely a motivator in my life and he shares his magic with me in our coaching sessions and also in the numerous books he has written.

I have been internally motivated to achieve certain successes based on how I decided as a little girl I wanted my life to go.  It’s amazing the contracts we make with ourselves when we are growing up that push our lives in certain directions.

I also feel called to share that one of my most amazing motivators is cardio exercise and Mary J Blige!  Maybe that sounds too simple.  But I have to tell you, it is powerful what happens for me when my heart rate is up and she is singing one of her brilliant lyrics in my ears.

What got me excited this morning to write this post was the richness of my experience while running the strand on Santa Monica beach.  I do this run about once a week and each time I struggle a bit to get going.  I see the beauty of the water which motivates me some and then within a few minutes the challenge of the cardio – my heart rate being pushed, I get fatigued and want to stop.

I have learned to listen to my body.  I know when there is an opportunity to push myself to a new level.   Although the physical pain makes me want to forget, I can remember the glory I feel when I get to the other side.  This may be, by the way, a matter of 8-12 minutes.  And I share all that because usually after those few minutes, I am now on the other side and what opens up inside me is profound.

My mind gets clear.

My creativity flows free.

I see nothing but possibility and it feels really good.

It’s from this place, I can formulate my day in way that lifts me up.  I receive downloads of ideas that excite me to action.  Or I acutely connect to the beauty of a fellow runners smile.  All of this fills up my personal gas tank to serve my self so I can serve in the world.

So, I ask you, what is your MAGIC?  Are you your biggest advocate placing motivators all around your life?  If not, why the heck not?

For your consideration…

 

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19
August

Can you help someone be even more awesome?

We all have the ability to help others be even more awesome than they already are!

I received an email from this designer/blogger I recently discovered, sharing an inspiring and refreshing video featuring inventor and co-founder of the company SugruJane ni Dhulchaointigh.  I have no idea what is the deal with her last name and yet I sense it is very fitting.  Although she is super honest and displays her humanness so beautifully, you learn from her story that she is anything but simple.  What stood out the most in her sharing was how she continuously listened to and was open to feedback when she was feeling stuck.  Her dedication to her passion to make something that was useful and to follow the flow of this thing that was to be one of her life contributions was fantastic to witness.

I especially felt inspired by the numerous examples she shared that demonstrated the beauty of the human spirit.  As she shared each one, I enjoyed seeing it reflected through her – how her commitment to trust and be who she is, fostered a space for others to come forward to assist her and her company, and also to benefit from her invention.  Pure goodness!

Key takeaways that could be applied to any part of our lives:

  • Believe in what you are doing – if not, what is the point?
  • Treat your customers as royalty – they are the key to our enduring success
  • Can you help people be even more awesome? – why wouldn’t we want to do this?

Enjoy!

1 comment

17
July

for you, for me

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I’m still learning how to do this. It sounds so nice and lovely and yet there are often many distractions between our heart and our Selves.

Our ego which serves us in many ways (living in these human bodies), can also be the louder voice. It can show up as fear, doubt, resistance, reasoning, protection, and many other forms. Some of my favorite thought leaders speak about this so clearly and succinctly, here and here.

Steven Pressfield writes, “A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. It’s only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”

For your consideration…

PS: Feel free to save the image above if you feel called. I made it with the pic lab app! So much fun!!

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16
July

Are you playful?

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I recently spent some time at an amusement park with family and it reminded me of the opportunity to be playful, to let my hair down, and to participate in the fun.

Are there rides you don’t think you are ready to get on? Maybe you think you aren’t ready? Or maybe you feel you are “too” old? It’s all just a story.

We decide what is true.

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14
July

Just cuz

Who knew broccoli could elicit such fun?!?

I remember seeing this skit for the first time in college and laughing my arse off! Dana Carvey is a master.

And just in case you fell out of love with broccoli lately, here is a delicious recipe I came across from the beautiful Daphne Oz.

Enjoy!

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12
July

Trust vs. Fear

My sweet friend reflected to me today that I am doing a trust walk in my life right now. I thought to myself, “yeah, feels more like a trust run!” I am wanting to run to the finish line to keep from feeling the discomfort of the fear and unknown. I bounce between trust and fear it seems, by the hour. I experience total acceptance and confidence in myself and in what lies ahead and then fear sets in and I have these mini panic attacks..where trust, faith, and belief allude me. Of course, I could also bucket it within my mind and say “reason sets in.” And maybe that is partially true but I’ve never gone about things the way most do. I take risks. Sometimes big ones and they don’t always pan out. But I learn and I have no regrets. (Ok, there is one and I will write about that soon.)

Anyways, the motivation for this post is just to call it out for what it is: trust, fear, reason, risk, success, failure or all of the above. My intention is to remember to be in it. To respect the process and to stay awake to the beauty of it all. I’m alive. I’m blessed. I’m in choice and I’m aware of all of that. When I sink back into the fear, my intention is to feel that too. There is no need to reject it. It only holds me more deeply when I do.

Do you know what I mean?

Are you letting fear hold you back in someway because when it’s present you reject it, ignore it or better yet distract yourself from feeling it by engaging in some other behavior that isn’t necessarily serving you? (Unconscious eating, internet mind numbing or TV engrossment?)

I get it. Doing it or done, all the above.

And I’m just putting it out there.

For your consideration…

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11
July

Pushing Your Limits

What’s the most unusual, some what “out of character” thing you’ve done?

Lately?

Are you willing to reach outside your comfort zone? To step into a reality or way of being that isn’t necessarily comfortable for you?

Why?

Why not?

When we allow ourselves the space to reach, to stretch, and to move towards unfamiliarity we are growing ourselves. When we grow, we expand, when we expand we open up more fully to what is possible in our lives. There is so much fruit there.

To have an experience of observing your own expansion is like watching a time lapse video of a beautiful flower blooming. I’m not speaking about patting yourself on the back, like a job well done. (Although there is nothing wrong with that in my book.) I’m bringing forward more, the idea that there is something extraordinary to experience when you step out and up and you consciously recognize that you’ve done so.

It’s the best kind of esteem builder you will ever have and it requires only you.

So take the challenge. Write down 1-3 things that you’ve considered or thought about doing that perhaps fear or discomfort have kept you from. By the way, procrastination is often fear in a bunny suit – it might be cozy and safe and it’s just a resting spot. Create a space to move towards one of the three that you captured. Perhaps tell a trusted friend what you plan to do so you have some internal accountability. See what happens.

For your consideration…

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10
July

Early Morning Moments

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I’ve been aware for a long time that mornings (and the earlier the better) can be exquisite. There is such opportunity to be had in the morning. Sometimes that might mean super early depending upon what goes on in your life. My intention is to create the space where my life fits in more early morning moments…like these. Grateful.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes about the beauty of her mornings here. Inspired.

For your consideration…

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8
July

Silence

I’ve become more and more aware of the beauty and joy of silence. It is in the pure silence that I have experienced such utter peace or what I sense peace feels like. The silence of no negative self talk or the pesky gremlin questioning my choices or the old, old, old voice almost feels like from another life (call me woo woo if you like) that likes to make me wrong about a lot of things. I don’t think I am alone in this way or somehow especially special. I do know that for as long as I can remember, I’ve been on an introspective discovery of living. When my friends were reading or rather not reading in high school, I was reading M. Scott Peck’s, The Road Less Traveled. I got heckled about my “self-help” interests but I was seeking understanding. Whatever that looks like at 16 years of age. Now I am beginning to understand that my mind will never stop desiring to understand. What I was seeking (and often still do) through the understanding, is peace. And I’m learning more and more each day that peace is in my heart and the way to my heart often is silence. When there’s no words needed to fill a moment just the experience. When the voices I mentioned above are on hiatus. When I’m observing myself in neutrality (yes, that is possible). That silence is perfection and it provides a direct access to my heart in the purest state.

For your consideration…

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