“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”– Arnold Schwarzenegger
Are you one of the mentally strong people? I think you are, because you’re interested in improving your life. That’s a sure sign of mental strength. Most people want to keep the status quo. Change takes too much effort. It’s too scary.
That doesn’t mean mentally strong people are superhuman. Mental strength isn’t about false bravado, acting tough, hiding feelings, or being inflexible. Mentally strong people aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. They know they’re strong enough to handle it, if people reject them or try to exploit them. Because what other people do is their responsibility. Your responsibility is how you choose to relate to events and people.
No matter how strong you are today, if you don’t use your mental strengths you will lose them. This applies to muscle as well as character. As you read the following list, why not take note of what strengths you’d like to work on next…
- Mentally strong people are comfortable in their own skin. While you want your loved ones to be happy, you won’t sacrifice your truth and lose your identity. Other people’s opinions will not keep you from what’s important for you.
- Mentally strong people give generously. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you give, the more you get. But getting back is not your motivation for giving. Instead, you’re creating the world you want to live in. The more you give the better your world becomes.
- Mentally strong people say ‘no’ easily. We live in a world that preys on our fear of scarcity. Yet you’ve reasoned out what will serve you now and what will clutter up your life with unwanted commitments, unpaid credit debt, unused products, or dust-collecting items in your house.
- Mentally strong people are kind. Reciprocity is behind many acts of “kindness” – she invited me to dinner, so now I have to invite her to dinner. It takes strength to break out of that mold and become the one who goes beyond what’s expected and initiates kind acts, without expecting a certain outcome. It takes courage and self-confidence to put yourself out there and risk being rebuffed or unappreciated. But you do it anyway because that’s the kind of person you want to be.
- Mentally strong people think for themselves. As you gather more information, you may even change your mind dramatically. That doesn’t mean you’re wishy washy or easily influenced. Instead, it indicates you’re open to growth.
- Mentally strong people use weakness as opportunity. Weaknesses aren’t excuses for inactivity or for putting yourself down. They are springboards for taking positive action that corrects a situation, either through learning a new skill or delegating it to another, so you stay within your zone of genius.
- Mentally strong people are patient with themselves and others. Instead of demanding instant results or gratification, you know it takes time to create something you can be proud of, like reaching optimal wellness. Each new day is your friend. You hold onto your vision and keep working toward it, little by little.
- Mentally strong people don’t go it alone. Surround yourself with a community of people who support you all the way.
- Mentally strong people challenge themselves. Welcome it when something doesn’t work the first time. It’s an opportunity to grow outside your comfort zone.
- Mentally strong people regulate their emotions. Mindfully peel back the layers to identify your emotions and what causes them. If a situation makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t judge yourself – invite that emotion to a Tea Time Exercise. If an emotional response no longer serves you, do the internal work to let it go. You’ll be able to behave in a productive manner, even when you’re upset.
- Mentally strong people keep their cool. Even under provocation, hold your tongue. Retaliation may be your first impulse, but it can create irreparable damage to your relationship, so you choose to forgive, let it go or wait for things to calm down before discussing it.
- Mentally strong people know when to stay or walk away. The key is not trying to win, but making it work. You have to be strong to work through the discomfort. Yet, when the other person refuses to work with you, act in harmony with your truth and be strong enough to leave, whether it’s an argument with a coworker or a toxic relationship.
There were probably some strengths that you feel you’ve mastered and others that could use some work. That’s okay because there’s always room for improvement. I’d love to partner with you in your quest for excellence. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).
“Successful people pursue hard things. Unsuccessful people avoid them.” ~ Coach Greg Glassman
I know you highly value health and wellness. That’s why you’re here – because it’s my mission to help you achieve your optimal health through mindfully making good choices. To be totally honest and open, even though I’ve practiced a healthful routine for years, sometimes I lacked motivation. Something was missing. I like how Brian Carter put it, “Even people who aren’t sick may not have optimal wellness.” Is that how you feel? My breakthrough to my optimal wellness happened when I discovered CrossFit training for women like me. It might be exactly what you’re looking for too!
I am so proud to be part of Crossfit Inconceivable community in Ashland Oregon. Over the last almost 3½ years, I have literally changed who I am. I have become the person who:
- works out regularly (Who knew that was possible!?!)
- looks at sweating and challenging myself physically as self-care,
- is more mindful about body fitness and wellness, and
- has found a community of like-minded people that inspire me, challenge me and keep me sane. I love seeing those beautiful faces first thing in the morning. I look forward to feeling inspired everyday.
So I challenge you…if you don’t already have a supportive community that inspires you to makes your workout routine a sustainable habit…what are you waiting for? Go find them! Your wellness program doesn’t have to include CrossFit, because it’s always important to listen to your own body and its limits, but here’s why I love it so much…
Nine benefits from the special way CrossFit training is designed.
1. Somatic approach. As a Somatic Coach, I am all about caring for the whole mind/body/spirit connection. CrossFit training ticks all of those boxes. It’s an intense, full-body workout that prepares you for the unexpected, which has far reaching benefits for your mind and spirit, too.
2. Time-saving. Most CrossFit “Workouts of the Day” can be completed in 15-20 minutes.
3. Dynamic workout. CrossFit combines strength training, explosive plyometrics, speed training, weight lifting, kettle bells, body weight exercises, gymnastics, and endurance exercise. It mixes and matches different exercises to push all parts of your body to their limits. (That’s a good thing!)
4. Variety holds off boredom. Each “Workouts of the Day” is new and exciting. You’re not likely to do the same workout within a 6-month period.
5. Learn what you’re really capable of doing. Each exercise builds on the previous one, so you achieve more than you thought possible.
6. Community. The camaraderie in CrossFit makes this exercise experience so unique. You will be applauded for doing your best, no matter what your best is. No comparisons made!
7. Personal coaching. All CrossFit classes are led by an experienced coach who ensures proper form and standards. Yes, occasionally you’ll get a “no rep” when you’re not doing something properly or not giving it your all. Your coach is your inspiration, counselor, buddy, nutrition advisor and biggest cheerleader.
What actual health benefits can you expect from CrossFit training? For women like me, there has to be tangible results to make it worth investing the time. Wouldn’t you say these benefits are well worth your time?
- heart health
- joint mobility
- immune system
As John F. Kennedy said: “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”
And that leads me to the two most important benefits from CrossFit training for women like me…
8. New lifestyle.You’re surrounded by people invested in fitness and health, which reinforces your resolve to achieve and maintain total wellness.
9. Mental toughness. You leave behind the practice of taking the path of least resistance or cutting corners. “Taking the easy way out” is no longer in your vocabulary. You discover the difference between discomfort and pain, and you aren’t a quitter.
These benefits literally transformed my life! They make my health and wellness routine sustainable. I look forward to the daily encouragement and inspiration, because it keeps me going. It’s never a burden. And I’m not even tempted to cheat.
Do you want to feel that way about your health routine? I’d love to be part of your supportive community. Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Let’s work through the rough patches, so you can find your way to YOUR routine for total health and wellness.
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.” ~ Bethenny Frankel
When I had my 49th birthday, I decided to try the Whole30® plan. I’d heard friends talking about it for years. So, when a friend announced that she was going to do it (Thank you, Tia!) and asked for people to join her, I thought to myself, “I’ll give a try!” I was curious and I really thought that it was going to be good for me. I’d lose a few pounds and feel better. Well, I am happy to say that it changed my life, by putting me on the path to discovering my highest level of optimal health. I truly feel like nothing can stop me from becoming the best version of myself now.
I began reading one of the books that goes with Whole30® program, “It Starts with Food.” I didn’t know their information would blow my mind! It showed how the food industry has been playing into our weaknesses by massively producing our craving for sweet, salty, and fatty foods. I’m not going to let them do that to me any more! I want to be in the driver seat as I make mindful decisions about what I put in my mouth and how it affects my body. Isn’t that how you feel too?
How does the Whole30® program promote optimal wellness?
First, I highly recommend reading or listening to an audio version of the book “It Starts with Food,” written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, founders of the Whole 30® Challenge. It explains the science behind healthy eating and healthy living, in an easy-to-understand way that has kept me motivated ever since reading it.
For 30 days, you remove all potentially inflammatory foods and beverages from your diet (sugar, sweeteners, alcohol, grains, legumes, dairy, processed foods, and junk foods) and eat three “clean” meals a day, made with ingredients like lean meats, seafood, veggies, fruit, good fats, and eggs. When you eliminate inflammatory foods in a mindful way, you see how food is affecting your body on all levels.
Yes, it is challenging. But it’s also empowering! One of my favorite lines in the book was: “It is NOT hard. Please don’t tell us this program is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”
I feel and look healthier than I have in years. I sleep better, I have tons of energy ALL. DAY. LONG…and drum roll…. For the first time in my life, I feel in control of what I eat. During the 30-day program I went to potlucks, birthday parties and even Christmas celebrations, without wishing I could eat sugar, carbs or drink alcohol. I am so excited to make Whole30 my lifestyle, a way to feed myself to promote optimal health and wellness, both physically and mentally!
Do you want to incorporate this program into your new way of thinking about 2019? To begin with, I suggest you become very clear about your intentions for the program. Do you want to heal a health problem? Perhaps reduce the inflammation in your system so you don’t have to deal with chronic pain? Do you want to become more mindful about your choices, so you can love yourself again? Do you need to find motivation that keeps you going through the ups and downs of weight loss? Identify why you want to do this program, and it will help you stay committed. It’s only 30 days of your life. Within that small span of time, you will discover what foods make YOU feel good!
If you want a whole new understanding and respect for your body, give this 30 day challenge a try. It helps to do it with an accountability buddy and guide. I’d be honored if you’d contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype), so we can work on this together.
“You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.” – Marianne Williamson
Years ago, when I was brainstorming the name of my business, Neways Center, I wanted it to reflect how we master a new way of thinking before we can create real change in our lives. After all, if the old way of thinking was working, you wouldn’t be looking for a change, would you?
I’ve noticed that people often use the New Year as a “when” moment…“When the calendar starts over, I can start over” type of thinking. It’s not a bad thing to use the calendar to renew your sense of purpose, determination and hope. However, keep in mind that dates come and go; real hallmarks in our lives occur as events. And events are the culmination of a series of baby steps that get you to a certain place, when you’re ready for it.
That the key to this new way of thinking: change doesn’t happen until you are prepared and ready for it!
How do you create a new way of thinking that results in real change? Here are three ways you can cultivate this new way of thinking in terms of hallmark events in your life that create sustainable shifts.
1. Schedule retreats not vacations. When you spend time and money booking a hotel room and traveling to a new location, you open up your mind to creatively think in a new way. It breaks you out of your routine, so you can try out being a new way, to see if it’s the right fit for you.
Rather than spending that time overeating, overdrinking and mindlessly “vegging out”, make them into self-renewal retreats. Go somewhere with minimal distractions, so your mind clears and you have time to reconnect with your mind, body and spirit. (You can read about our 2018 “Women, Wisdom & Presence” retreat to see if the 2019 retreat in the Grand Canary Island is a good fit for you. Contact me for details if you’re interested.)
Wherever you choose to go, take a journal and write down all the things you love about yourself and your life. Then reflect on what you can do to bring yourself more in harmony with your mission or purpose in life.
2. Build a supportive community. In life, we often get thrown together with people we wouldn’t choose as close companions. Adopt a new way of thinking about those you associate with…in person, online, or even through the entertainment you choose. Commit to seeking out and spending more time with only those that lift you up, challenge you, and support you in becoming your best you.
Plan a monthly event with a friend that supports your new way of thinking, one that prepares you to be in the right emotional, mental and spiritual space for enhancing your potential.
- Schedule a set day and time for weekly phone calls to celebrate your wins.
- Go all out and dress up for a self-renewal dinner, only ordering items that make you feel good.
- Attend a live event together.
- Exercise together.
- Regularly share themed photos on Instagram that keep you inspired.
- Explore new locations, new skills, or new experiences together.
3. Mindfully learn instead of judging. Resist turning situations into a way of labeling yourself as right or wrong, good or bad, smart or stupid. Start a new way of thinking: attract more positivity into your life by mindfully processing situations as learning experiences, without passing judgment.
You are the sum of years of experiences. Respect them as a part of your journey and use them as stepping stones to the future you want. Change your way of thinking so they don’t hang as weights around your neck. Be grateful for the person you are today. You are strong! You are enough! You don’t have to be like anyone else. You don’t need to “change” who you are.
Like a diamond, we are all simply in the process of smoothing out the rough spots so we can let our unique brilliance shine through. For diamonds to sparkle, they need light. You can shine light on yourself by creating a sacred space for reflection. Here are seven suggestions to get you started:
- Make a daily practice of walking in nature.
- Incorporate breathing breaks throughout the day.
- Light a candle, sit in a comfy position, and set one intention you want to model right now in your life. Examine that intention from all angles (how you see yourself, how others will see you, how it affects your business presence, etc) and fully visualize how it empowers you.
- Invite a trusted friend on one of your retreats, so you can process out loud.
- Specifically ask that friend what they admire about you.
- Think back over the past year. Visualize where you started and how far you’ve come.
- Keep a running list of all of the things you’re proud of – compliments you receive, accomplishments you have, connections you make, etc.
Lasting change starts from a place of peaceful acceptance. It’s a natural, not forced, progression. Do you want to get the New Year off to a great start? Please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Together we can create a plan that fully opens up this new way of thinking for you.
“Excellence is the result of caring more than others think wise, risking more than other’s think safe, dreaming more than others think practical, and expecting more than others think possible.” ~ Ronnie Oldham
We are at the dawn of a new year, so it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the highlights of this past year and reassess life to make sure we’re living life fully. I love that every new day gives us opportunity to grow and change and enjoy a life of our own making.
As I have always encouraged my clients to do, I’ve also been making baby steps toward a rich, full life that keeps evolving and expanding before my eyes. I know this is happening because I’ve opened myself up to taking risks and seeing opportunities where once I would have dismissed them as impossible. For example, I’m co-hosting our second annual “Women, Wisdom & Presence” retreat in the Grand Canary Island. I am so excited!
During my year-end reflection, I’ve discovered that there are specific transformational thoughts and actions that have helped me, and my clients, firmly grasp the concept of living life fully. I’ve shared many of those with you over the last year, on my blog. To help you review these, I’ve created a roundup of them here, so you can use them as a roadmap to make sure you are living life fully in 2019. (You can use the links to read older blog posts – their information is timeless.)
- Improve the quality of your life by heightening your mindful awareness of actions, thoughts, speech and emotions and how they are, or are not, serving you.
- When you make daily choices, you’re just “adjusting your dials”; each dial represents family life, career, physical well-being, spirituality, recreation, etc.
- Somatically connect with yourself and others to become more joyful.
- Develop mental, emotional, spiritual and physical strength for you are the sum of all of your parts.
- Care about what other people think, but don’t worry about it to the point you doubt yourself.
- Not everyone is going to like you. Accept it!
- Get out of bed a little earlier and do something truly meaningful for you.
- Prepare yourself each morning to make each day special.
- Take time each weekend to create a roadmap for the coming week.
- Think in terms of creating life-transforming microhabits instead of “going on a diet” “getting fit” or “becoming a more effective leader.”
- Organize your home and life so you’re ready to grasp a great opportunity when it comes.
- Day-to-day baby steps produce huge results in time, so be patient with yourself. (If you set three daily goals every morning and achieve them, you’ll have 1,095 wins by this time next year!)
- Hold on to optimism, hope and resiliency to see you though seemingly impossible situations.
- Relationships are more important than expediency. Take the time to listen and express kindness, politeness and thoughtfulness.
- Identify your zone of genius – the thing that you do especially well – and totally own it!
- Kick fear to the curb. After all, fear is an emotional reaction that signals a new growth opportunity.
- Strive for excellence, not perfection, in everything you do.
- Spend time improving all aspects of your life. Health is wealth.
- Love yourself, but make sure ego doesn’t take over.
- Be mindfully grateful. Every night ask yourself: “What ten good things happened to me today?”
- Keep a journal. Your life is worth recording.
- Become skillful and make every project, every interaction, and every situation better than you found it.
- Despite what you may hear from others, it’s okay to be ambitious.
- Everyone can use leadership skills.
- It’s a privilege to model excellence and to help others become leaders.
- Leave others breathless because you pay attention to details.
- Push yourself and keep the promises you make to yourself and others.
- Regularly turn off your electronic devices, go outside and participate in life.
- Reach out to someone who models the excellence you wish to attain.
- If you aren’t doing what you love, change it so that you are.
The key to using this information to live life fully is to put it to work in your own life. I know my community is made up of courageous individuals who are up for the challenge. I’ve seen the changes you’ve made already, and I am celebrating them with you, as we close out one year and welcome in another. Join me on Facebook and share your triumphs in 2018 and your concerns for 2019. Let’s speak up and empower each other to reach greater heights together.