“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.
“You draw to you the people and events which resonate with the energy that you are radiating. You attract what you are, so be your best.” ~ Lynda Field
Are there days where you feel like a dark cloud is following you all day long? Like you never should have gotten out of bed? First one thing goes wrong, then another…until all you see is disaster, problems, frustrations and failure. We’ve all felt that way at one time or another. However, did you notice I said, “…all you see…” The truth is you’re seeing the bad, so you’re attracting bad; if you can see the good, you’ll attract positive energy instead.
Just as a magnifying glass intensifies the sun’s energy as it passes through it, to the point of catching paper of fire, your focus intensifies the energy you project – positive or negative. You can choose to focus on the bad and make your day worse, or you can focus on the positive.
You absolutely have the power to turn a bad day around by mindfully practicing these 10 ways to attract positive energy:
- Walk to attract positive energy. Physically remove yourself from an environment that is bringing you down and go for a walk outside. Tune in to, and feel, the positive energy in your new surroundings.
- Practice positive meditation. Once you arrive at a place private, be still for a few minutes, and imagine the most beautiful and serene place possible. Stay with this image, as you feel your body relaxing.
- Do something you enjoy. If you can’t leave the building, play some music and dance. Do anything that is proactive and gives you a sense of accomplishment, no matter how small the task is. This allows you to mindfully engage your senses so you feel powerful and more productive. As Joe Rogan says,
“There’s a direct correlation between positive energy and positive results.”
- Notice your thoughts and feelings. Pay attention to your inner self-talk. Oftentimes, a disruption occurs when you feel conflicted because one of your Parts is not fully integrated. If that’s the case, use my NLP Tea Time Exercise to become centered, congruent and empowered.
- Reestablish control. Worry and stress lowers your energy and damages your health. No matter what you fear might happen, know that you will get through it. Work on mastering your emotions and controlling you thoughts, so you can show those fears who’s boss.
- Let go. If you’re holding resentment, stress or anger in your body, do mindful breathing exercises to release that negativity, so you make room for positive energy to flow back in. One of the most empowering ways to attract positive energy is to forgive and quit blaming either yourself or someone else. Release the negative energy or power that your past has over you.
- Reaffirm your power. Believe that you can influence your life for the better. You show strength when you don’t retaliate, and are able to turn in a new, positive direction. Concentrate on doing your best at work and taking care of yourself and others, without comparing yourself to anyone else. You attract positive energy when you pick yourself back up and keep going.
- Re-set your intentions. How do you want to change your energy for the better? When you set powerful intentions, you create within yourself a new and specific state that serves your purpose in life.
- Eliminate negative energy sources. This could be a draining relationship, unproductive activities, unwholesome food, or inadequate sleep. Draw healthy boundaries that empower you.
- Be determined to begin tomorrow with positive energy.What you might need most is a good night’s sleep. But before you doze off, affirm to yourself, “I am in control. When I wake up, good things will come my way.” New beginnings attract positive energy.
I realize this is an abbreviated list of some not-so-simple ways to attract positive energy. I’d love to share more details with you. Why not pick 1 of these 10 tips that you’d like to work on, and then contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). Remember: huge changes begin with the first step.
“Never pull away suddenly from a negative thought or experience. Stay with it until you are indifferent to it or until it turns beautiful. Look at it, love it, then let it go.” ~ Thaddeus Golas, Author
Have you noticed that you intensely remember a bad experience from years ago, but the pleasure you experienced last week is easily forgotten? This isn’t just a matter of long-term or short-term memory. Instead of taking in the good, our brains are hardwired to remember painful or bad experiences, as a way of protecting us from possible harm in the future. If we get anywhere close to repeating something disturbing, our brain sends us down the rabbit hole of negativity, to keep us safe.
The brain learns from our experiences and how we process or “file” them. Think about how you’ve been “filing” every experience in your life. If you’re like most people, you tend to see the bad in them, so your brain files them into one of your over-stuffed negative files, like your “Resentment File”, “Grudge File”, or “Self-Doubt File”. Some examples:
- A confrontation with your spouse made you feel bad, so anytime disagreements arise, you get angry and defensive, because you don’t want to feel powerless again.
- A snake scared you, so every time you see a snake your skin crawls.
- Your neighbor, Stephanie, hurt your feelings, so every time her name is mentioned your brain retrieves resentful feelings.
Was there any good in these experiences? Probably. However, you didn’t see it or you resisted taking in the good. In all of these cases, your brain only retained a snapshot of negativity and erased the rest of the whole picture, which included a lot of good that could have brought you happiness.
Whereas, if you change the way you process your experiences and lean toward mindfully savoring the moment and taking in the good, you’re telling your brain to file them in your “Happiness File”, or “Gratitude File”, or “Love File”. Instead of automatically dumping each experience in one of your negative files, you’re teaching your brain to see, enjoy, and use the good.
“Everything that is created begins in the mind.” ~ Ruth Fishel, Author
An effective way to rewire your brain is to use the H.E.A.L practice coined by Rick Hanson, Ph.D. In his book, “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,” he explains a process for deliberately and mindfully taking in the good. Here’s how this acronym works:
Have a positive experience in real time or as a recent memory, like when Stephanie took care of your dog while you were away on vacation. Feel the good emotions that go with it – pleasure, contentment, joy, etc.
Enrich it. Stay 15 to 20 seconds with your positive thought with a broad, open body, mind and spirit. Enhance and expand that good feeling by experiencing what it feels like in your body. Do you feel light? Warm? Safe? Loved? What other pleasant sensation do you notice about the experience?
Absorb it. Mindfully let it sink into your body, mind and spirit. Breathe with it and stay soft and open.
Link positive and negative material. Briefly recall a negative experience that you want to rewire, like when Stephanie hurt your feelings. Bring forward the positive, enhanced, absorbed memory, while keeping the challenging moment in the back of your mind. Let the two mingle together, until the positive takes on more importance and then anchor this new resourceful state. The next time you talk with Stephanie, you’ll feel a profound shift within yourself, because you’ve made this transitional link.
As you practice savoring the moment and taking in the good every day, you can turn your experiences, into lasting inner strengths, such as resilience, balance, and self-compassion. Remember that practice involves using your new skill repeatedly. If you’d like guidance and accountability on your journey toward a more positive outlook, please contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’d love to meet you!
“To be tested is good. The challenged life may be the best therapist.”—Gail Sheehy
“If just one more thing goes wrong, it’s going to send me over the edge! I’m at my breaking point! I can’t take anymore! I’m too discouraged and overwhelmed as it is.” Have you ever felt like that? If you struggle with maintaining an optimistic attitude, your coping mechanism may be to shut down. You’re not alone. Yet, you are lacking the one key ingredient that will make getting through hard times more rewarding.
How can getting through hard times be rewarding?
Even though our lives are packed full of demands, we can face all of these, plus the uncertainties that loom on the horizon with optimism and courage, IF we tap into the inextinguishable power of hope.
Yes, there will be pain. However, optimism fuels hope, and hope fuels resiliency, which can see you through seemingly impossible situations. Looking past the challenge and shifting your focus to better times ahead, can change everything. As William J. Brennan, Jr., Former Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, said:
“We must meet the challenge rather than wish it were not before us.”
When we accept the struggles and challenges of life as part of our education, then we’ll be able to get through the tough times more gracefully. Here are five ways you can mindfully practice hope during hard times…
1. Take care of your health. Our bodies and spirit run on the fuel we give it. Eating healthfully and getting a good night’s sleep can often restore your balance and give you a new and hopeful perspective. Also, be careful about what you’re feeding your mind and spirit. Reject negative talk, whether it’s coming from yourself or others. You deserve better than that!
2. Share your feelings. Recognize the emotional states that are keeping you trapped in despair; they might be pride, fear, or shame. These are common emotional triggers. Hope reassures you that your trusted loved ones will not reject you for being human.
3. Express gratitude. This goes beyond the mental exercise of keeping a gratitude journal to get your mind focused on what you do have. It’s an activity – out of your gratitude list, look for ways to build others up with “thank yous” and compliments. The more positive messages you send out, the more positivity comes back to you.
4. Give meaningfully to others. This can be as simple as taking your dog for a long walk every day in the park, so you can smile at everyone you encounter. The size of your goal doesn’t matter, as long as it feeds your sense of purpose and hope for a brighter tomorrow.
4. Take one step at a time. Hope, like an actual building, is built one brick at a time. Seeing the big picture can often overwhelm, so focus on the one thing you can do right now…and do it!
You’re tougher than you think. People have always survived; and some have even thrived, while getting through hard times. Why not ask those around you what inspires them to keep going? Also read or watch true life stories of courage that inspire you. I’d love to hear about the people who inspire you – please come over to my Facebook page and share what you’ve learned from their stories.
Remember that baby steps lead to transformation. If you’d like guidance and accountability in your quest for a more hopeful state, please contact me for an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). It’s easier when you have help.
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Where are you headed in life? Are you on the right path? Are you feeling lost? Is it time for a course correction? Every so often it’s beneficial to ask questions like these so you can assess your wellbeing, dreams and desires…and then change what isn’t working for you any longer.
Take a moment to experience how your body reacts to the following seventeen areas of life. Does each one make feel free and joyful, or do some of them make you experience pain, loss or other negative effects?
- Growth & learning
- Daily relaxation
This exploratory exercise helps you identify the areas of life that are making you feel lost. It takes courage to give attention to these feelings, but it’s the first step to feeling whole again. Over the last few years, I’ve been coaching people to extraordinary personal success. Along the way, I’ve gleaned some life lessons that you can use to create more joy in these lost areas of your life. Here are three of them that make the biggest impact:
1. Be the boss…take responsibility…make the hard choices. I’ve found that so many people struggle with taking ownership of their own lives. Somewhere along the way, they’ve given away their power to things that don’t serve them anymore. They don’t feel like they control their own lives.
But at some point, you have to realize you chose those things…the job, the family, the life. You may not be able to change your past, but if you want your future to reflect your desires, start managing your life.
I don’t mean quitting your job, divorcing your spouse and abandoning your children. Instead of following the whims of your past, mindfully shift your thoughts and experiences to ones that bring you joy. No matter what the circumstance is, you can change your focus. Rather than fixating on an annoyance, look for the positive in each experience. As you make this your new way of being, you’ll find that the former irritations and annoyances bother you little, if at all.
2. Distinguish healthy habits from mindless routines. Pay attention to how your daily habits may be shutting you off from new experiences. For example, when you work for yourself, you sit at home in front of a computer a lot. This creates tunnel vision. If you don’t go out to lunch with friends; if you don’t leave the house; if you don’t get outside stimuli…life begins to stagnate. Your daily routine imprisons you, without you even realizing it.
Look for ways to shake things up…eat a different breakfast, try a different exercise routine, accept more invitations to get out. Become more mindful and self-aware of what you say “yes” or “no” to. In that way, you make each decision a choice, not just a reflexive habit that may not be serving you any more.
3. Ask for and accept help…often. Independence is especially prized in Western culture. But think about this: what dreams could you pursue, if you relied more on others who want to help? Let go of that voice that says you have to do it by yourself. (If you’re curious about exploring a coaching partnership, but you still have reservations, please reach out to me with any questions.)
When you’re feeling lost, it’s important to actively choose systems for living that help you become the person you want to be. If you’d like to dig more deeply into assessing your state of wellness, I invite you to download my free 7-Point Wellness Assessment. It’s one of the tools I use in my coaching practice to start clients on the journey to finding their personal truth.