“For peace of mind, we need to resign as general manager of the universe.” ~ Larry Eisenberg
As each New Year begins, people want to accomplish more with their lives. Perhaps you do too. Have you noticed how you tend to get off to a good start, but then the stresses of life quickly sidetrack you? Are you tired of getting pulled down by stress so you never get real traction on what’s most important to you?
Before real change can be accomplished, it’s important to do foundational prep work that will support you in your new life. And one system that will really support you is having a stress management plan that helps you to find and retain peace of mind despite what occurs in life.
Stress is a huge factor in our lives. You may not be able to avoid stressful circumstances or situations, however you can control your reactions and responses to them. Stress management is a skill you can learn, but it does take daily practice.
When you feel yourself spiraling into the “stress abyss”, what can you do that will consistently lift your spirits and help you find peace of mind once again? Here are a few suggestions that I’ve found very helpful:
Set intentions, not goals. When you’re setting powerful intentions, you’re creating within yourself a new and specific state or frame of mind that fosters peace and serves your purpose in life. Each time you reinforce who you want to be, what you wish to contribute, and how you choose to touch the lives of others.
Honor your emotions. Every thought or belief is connected with an emotion, which has a physiological response in your body. Tune into your emotions and identify each sensation as you experience it. Honor the messages that your body is sending you about your feelings. Don’t try to override them. Suspend any judgment of them. Simply observe them for what they are.
Be mindful and in the moment. What you’re experiencing today isn’t permanent. Tell yourself, “this too will pass.” Just acknowledge that moments of stress will pass, emotions will fade, and circumstances change and this will take the pressure off and give you a sense of relief.
Transform your body, transform your life. Building awareness for how you use (or abuse) your body at any given moment is the key to transforming your body and your life. By being mindful of your physical experience, you’ll create a vessel that can experience greater strength, balance, serenity, wellness and happiness.
Recognize negative thinking and change it. Sometimes we add stress to situations by letting our thoughts get away from us. Do you notice a tendency to default to negative outcomes and think the worst? Our minds are powerful and they influence our daily experience. Take control of your life by controlling your mind. Meditate daily. Choose positive affirmations. Take time to journal. Write yourself loving reminders. Do whatever you need to keep your thoughts in check.
Stop and start again. Sometimes when you’re stressed it’s because you’ve taken on too much. Give yourself permission to stop. There’s power and healing in the pause. Situations and circumstances will wait for you, even if your pause is just to a count of 10. And you’ll be able to approach them with greater patience, confidence, and ease when you take time to center yourself before proceeding.
If you’re committed to finding peace of mind and living a life of purpose, but roadblocks keep arising, perhaps it’s time to reach out. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to partner with you.
Review some of my previous stress management articles:
How to Soften the Body to Withstand Stress and Roll with the Punches
Feeling Overwhelmed All the Time? 8 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety and Stress
Time Management Tips that Reduce your Stress and Increase Productivity
How to Stay Calm under Pressure
Self Sabotaging Behavior – 5 Traps Women Need to Avoid to be Truly Happy
Feeling Trapped in Life? Master Your Inner Game to Free Yourself
Achieve Deep Relaxation through Progressive Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Five Breathing Exercises for Balancing Your Life, Your Mood and Your Relationships
How to Deal with Fear – Ten Ways to Cultivate a Fearless Mindset
Regain Control as You Discover How Food Affects Your Mood
Seven Ways to Break Free from Being Too Busy
The 90-Second Secret to Mastering Your Emotions
“In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” ~ Mark Zuckerberg
Are you excited about all the possibilities the New Year has to offer you? Or does the idea of new opportunities intimidate you a little bit? Maybe you’re worried that you may not be ready to open the door when opportunity knocks?
How can you prepare now so you’re ready to act when a big break comes your way? I’ve been thinking about this a lot because of what happened to my client, Sandy (her name has been changed to protect her privacy). Perhaps you can relate to her story….
When I met Sandy, she was a 25-year-old writer, with dreams of being a speechwriter for a big company. She’d been writing since she learned how and loved the idea of creating content to support inspirational people.
Yet in her personal life, Sandy was struggling. She had difficulties making friends and this was a source of deep grief and desolation. She wasn’t taking care of herself the way she should and this left her tired, rundown, and depressed. Her eating habits and exercise routines were less than desirable. She often felt overwhelmed and in constant catch-up-mode.
When her best friend was hired by a well-known company as a junior executive assistant, she immediately put in a good word for Sandy to work in the Creatives & Communication department. Sandy’s big break was at her doorstep. Opportunity was knocking on her door! But she wasn’t ready to say yes. That once in a lifetime opportunity sailed right past her because she wasn’t ready. Can you imagine the regret and disappointment she felt?
This was a wake-up call for Sandy to regroup and together we worked to set in place different daily practices. Have you experienced something similar? Have you lost golden opportunities because you weren’t ready for them?
Too often I see really talented, brilliant people overly consumed with developing their skills, or getting bogged down emotionally with issues of anxiety, lack of confidence, and feeling “less than” about themselves. Unfortunately, these distractions can make you miss important opportunities to try something new, get your foot in the door, and say yes to something that might turn out to be your “Big Break” or “the way to success”.
Do you find yourself holding back from taking opportunities because of one of the following “reasons”?
- You’re afraid of change or doubt your abilities. It can be scary to take action when you don’t feel ready. Maybe you tell yourself that you’re not good enough or you don’t have enough experience. I love this quote by Theodore Roosevelt, “When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ’em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”
- You’re not in a position to take action. Maybe your life is too full of drama or clutter (physical, emotional and social). Or maybe you’re caught up in dealing with other people’s drama. All this will leave you tired, tapped out or exhausted, rather than excited to try something new. Make self-care a priority, so you have the routines needed to support your health and wellbeing.
- You don’t recognize the opportunity. When you’re too busy and have blind spots, you lack focus and attunement. Your head is in the sand or you’re looking in the wrong direction, when opportunity knocks. Practicing mindfulness will help you stay in the present, not lingering in the past or daydreaming about a future that will never come.
- You have negative self-talk. Don’t listen when you tell yourself, “I’m not up to the challenge.” “Other people could do that but not me.” “I don’t want to embarrass myself.” “I don’t want to let people down.” “I’ll fail.” If you hear these words floating in your subconscious, it’s time to challenge their validity.
If some of the reasons sound familiar, the good news is that they don’t have to keep holding you back. You can do something about it! And getting ready is more important than feeling ready!
Yet here’s an important caveat, being open to opportunities doesn’t mean you should necessarily act on every one of them. If deep down you know the opportunity isn’t a good fit for you, acknowledge that you’ve made a good choice and let it go. If however, there isn’t a good reason, don’t let fear get in your way.
Are you ready to get 2018 off to a good start so you can step through the next door of opportunity? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to partner with you and help you say “YES!” with confidence when opportunity knocks at your door.
“Intention is one of the most powerful forces there is. What you mean when you do a thing will always determine the outcome.” ~ Brenna Yovanoff
Every New Year people make resolutions they don’t keep. Why is that? Often it’s not the resolution that’s the problem. It’s that the intention behind the resolution wasn’t powerful enough.
What does it mean to set intentions? Setting intentions is a powerful tool used in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). When you’re setting powerful intentions you’re creating within yourself a new and specific state or frame of mind that serves your purpose in life. You’re sending a message to the Universe, to the world and to yourself about…
- Who you want to be.
- What you wish to contribute.
- How you choose to touch the lives of others.
Powerful intentions are as expansive as you want to make them. You have the freedom and the power to become whoever you want to be. You’ll be amazed at how many resolutions or goals you’ll successfully meet when you consciously base them on your intentions.
To get you started, here are some examples of clear intentions you can set:
- I intend to lead by example.
- I intend to love unconditionally.
- I intend to stop taking things personally.
- I intend to manifest happiness naturally.
- I intend to see the goodness around me.
- I intend to be kind even when under pressure.
- I intend to make someone smile every day.
- I intend to freely forgive others and myself.
- I intend to make mindfulness an important part of each day.
- I intend to suspend judgment and accept life as it is in the moment.
Instead, of some distant, seemingly unachievable destination, make your powerful intention your new reality. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose 15 pounds,” say, “I’m going to treat myself to a nutritious lunch because I’m a healthy person and I deserve to feel energetic today.”
As you form your intentions, remember these important points:
Frame your intention in a present tense and positive tone.
If your intention is to reduce stress, say something like, “My intention is to invite peace and calm within myself today.” Try to avoid saying something like, “I will stop stressing.”
Make your intention adjustable and attainable.
If you stick with the same intention week after week, your mind stops responding to it. Therefore, stick with the same intention for a few days then rephrase it slightly. (Never drastically alter it.) You can change up your previous intention by saying, “My intention is to enjoy the peace I create in myself.” The goal is to polish and enhance changes by making doable baby steps rather than giant leaps.
So many people try to “fix” what they don’t like about their lives. That’s a really negative approach. They also focus on some future time that takes them out of the moment. As a result, they’re not living their authentic life and they’re not enjoying each moment that they live.
If you’re ready to create the life you’ve always wanted, please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). You don’t have to wait for a new year to start making lasting changes that bring your more happiness and satisfaction.
(I’ve been using NLP for years to help my clients excel. Now I’m thinking about developing a NLP training online. Are you interested? Send me an email and I’ll keep you posted on my progress toward completing the course. I’d love to hear from you.)
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? This is an age-old riddle that seems to be without solution because it’s circular in nature. You can’t have one without the other. Similarly we often ponder: which comes first, a body you’re happy with or a life you’re happy with? What do you think?
Do you tell yourself, “I’ll be happy and more outgoing when I lose 15 pounds.” Or do you think, “I can’t even think about starting a wellness program, because I’m fighting with my ex and I just can’t face one more thing.” The trouble with this thinking is that you’re compartmentalizing yourself. One part of you is at odds with another part of you.
You can’t achieve lasting transformation unless you’re considering yourself as a whole, connected being. So what must really come first is keen self-awareness.
Building awareness for how you use (or abuse) your body at any given moment is the key to transforming your body and your life. By being mindful of your physical experience, you’ll create a vessel that can experience greater strength, balance, serenity, wellness and happiness.
How to build self-awareness that helps you to transform your body transform your life…
1. Strengthen Your Core
If your core muscles, including your abdominal muscles, back muscles and the muscles around the pelvis are weak, nothing else can be strong. Core exercises encourage the elongation and alignment of the central body. This allows proper energy flow as your body works as a connected and centered unit.
2. Practice Positive Posture
Proper body alignment helps relieve muscle tension, increase circulation, and boost self-confidence. Work to keep your ears, shoulders and hips aligned as you tighten your lower belly muscles. Be gentle and patient as you retrain your body.
3. Lengthen and Strengthen
When you start to slump or feel beaten down during the day, take a few moments to extend upward and center yourself. Try to make strengthening and lengthening a daily habit.
4. Tune in and Listen. One of the single most important habits you can implement is simply listening to your body. Pay attention to how things make you feel and where you feel them. When you’re stressed, do you feel it in your neck and shoulders? Your stomach? Your throat?
Direct your deliberate focus to these areas and connect with the physical sensations different parts are offering you. Recognize that they’re signals that unlock greater self-awareness. Begin strengthening and healing, as you discover healthy ways to process your emotions and relieve your stress.
5. Breathe Mindfully
I cannot overemphasize the importance of a regular practice of mindfully breathing deeply. It’s the one action that causes all others to fall into place. It automatically aligns and centers your body. Diaphragmatic breathing (filling your lungs so deeply you feel it extending into your belly) also cleanses the blood, massages internal organs, and gives your mood a fast pick-me-up.
Breathe in until you can’t hold any more. Exhale to a count of five. Relax and soften your body. Make your breathing as fluid as possible. Practice for 5 minutes and notice the improvements.
If you’re serious about creating a lasting transformation, please download my free 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment. It will help you identify the areas that most need your attention right now and what you can do to transform your body – transform your life.
“Once you forgive yourself, the self-rejection in your mind is over. Self-acceptance begins, and the self-love will grow so strong that you will finally accept yourself just the way you are. That’s the beginning of the free human. Self forgiveness is the key.” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Does it feel like your happiness depends on the whim of every circumstance that comes your way? You lose your job, a relationship falls apart, you have a health crisis and it feels like your whole world crashes down around you. This emotional rollercoaster can make you feel so powerless.
It can’t be helped. External factors will affect you. Yet you can regain strength and get right with yourself again by practicing an ancient Hawaiian discipline called Ho’oponopono.
You haven’t heard of Ho’oponopono? Well, let me introduce you to a marvelous, almost hypnotic practice that helps you center and harmonize yourself.
The Hawaiian word comes from ho‘o (“to make”) and pono (“right”). The repetition of the word pono means “doubly right” or being right with both yourself and others. Lasting happiness springs from this deep sense of congruency.
This process begins with finding your reason for being here on Earth. What is your big purpose – your why? This has to be something that comes from deep inside you, not based on pleasing someone else. When your reason for being resonates with your heart, mind and spirit, it becomes your path. That’s what it means to be Pono.
Then when you know your purpose, what you’re meant to do and what you’re meant to have flows from that. The things you then have and the things you do will bring you happiness because they’re in harmony with your reason for being.
How is this tied to self forgiveness? As human beings, we all make bad choices, we make mistakes. If we don’t have self forgiveness, we won’t feel comfortable in our own skins and we won’t be able to forgive others.
If you haven’t forgiven yourself, you can’t be Pono. Something will always be off, out of kilter. Everything you do, everything you see in yourself and others will be colored from this skewed point of view.
For example, if you’re hard on yourself and judgmental this is how you’ll look at others too. The thing that you can’t stand most in others is often a trait you hold deep within yourself. When you can forgive yourself of that trait, it will no longer be a sore spot in your view of others.
Learn to accept yourself, love yourself, and let the negativity go. After all, how can you feel good about yourself and your own life if you’re constantly remembering, reliving and keeping score of wrongs done to you or that you’ve done?
“Although you should not erase your responsibility for the past, when you make the past your jailer, you destroy your future. It is such a great moment of liberation when you learn to forgive yourself, let the burden go, and walk out into a new path of promise and possibility.” ~ John O’Donohue
How do you practice self forgiveness? Tell yourself the following phrases until you believe them…“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” When you feel anger, disappointment or other hurt feelings welling up, turn inward, connect with yourself and lovingly forgive yourself of the things that trigger these responses.
Does this work? Definitely. Watch this video to see how Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len effectively practices Ho’oponopono within the prison system. If it can work there, it will work for you.
When you discover the inner peace that comes with being Pono, it helps you let go of negative feelings towards others. The very essence of ho‘oponopono is that you can forgive others because you see your connection with them.
When you become right with yourself, you become right with others. This is key to creating lasting life changes. Every day, we’re given a positive seed to plant with the responsibility to help it grow and flourish. Certainly we wouldn’t want to poison and kill it with negativity.
If you’re ready to break the negativity cycle and would like someone to support and provide accountability for you, please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s get started!