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Tag: Personal Growth – Professional Growth

How to Increase Self-Understanding? Use This Powerful Mindfulness Exercise

The beginning of self-understanding starts with mindful awareness of your world and how you respond to it, only then you can make responsible choices.“Why did I do that? Sometimes I don’t understand myself.” During a coaching session, has your client ever said that to you? Or perhaps you’ve felt that way yourself. If so, you’re not alone. Even though we live with ourselves 24/7, we don’t automatically possess total self-understanding. Just as it takes work to understand someone else, it takes time and effort to understand ourselves.

Oftentimes, we’re so busy and our lives and thoughts become so cluttered we get into a reactive mode rather than staying in a calm place of choice. This mindlessness makes us forgetful and causes us to feel separation from self, which creates a sense of merely existing rather than living a full and purposeful life. So how can harmony be restored? The answer lies in developing the skill of mindfulness. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. explains that 

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What’s the Best Way to Achieve Your Goals? Take Baby Steps!

 If you want to achieve your goals yet you keep getting stuck, try this easy, proven process of breaking the big goal down into the smallest baby steps.Are you feeling stuck? Perhaps you have big dreams, but  you’re like many of my clients who say, “Maria, I don’t know how to do it!” “I just can’t make myself get started.” “I want to, but I keep getting in my own way.”  What’s the thing that keeps you stuck so that you can’t achieve your goals? Procrastination? Perfectionism? Lack of confidence? Whatever the cause, the one thing that reliably works EVERY SINGLE TIME, for EVERYONE is taking baby steps. When you break anything you want to achieve into the smallest steps possible, you can do it! 

Even when we’re not talking about closed-end goals, like losing 10 pounds or giving a public talk, baby steps work. (A closed-end goal has a final destination, i.e., lose 10 pounds and the goal ends. An open-ended goal is open to change and may apply to multiple areas of life, i.e., becoming more secure. It’s not a destination. It’s a direction.)  Yes! Baby steps can even help you change your inner person.

So if you’ve ever asked, “How do I become more secure?” “How do I become more productive?” “How do I become less anxious?” This article will show you how to break these big concepts into smaller, actionable tasks.

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Become The Observer of Your Life, Then Lasting Change Will Follow

Like an artist, you can become The Observer in your life, to mindfully acknowledge each “brush stroke” as it transforms your “canvas”, your life.

A practice of mindfulness is priceless. Without it, we can go through life only experiencing things superficially, missing the things that bring lasting enrichment. However, when you become The Observer, taking in information without judgment, you’ll see what you want more of or less of, in your life. 

For example… how observant are you? If I asked you to identify the colors in a picture of a forest, no doubt you would say green, brown, and maybe some yellow. But an artist closely inspects each area for color or hue; she also sees the variances of shade (black added to the hue), tone (gray added to the hue), and tint (white added to the hue). Not only that, she detects the differences in intensity and value. Before the painting is done, the artist will have mixed hundreds of different combinations of paint, each one intentionally performing a specific function on the canvas. Why is this so important? Jon Kabat-Zinn explains “The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness.”

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Have An Embodiment Practice? Tap Into Its Power to Heal & Empower!

An embodiment practice, being fully present with your body/mind/spirit connection, is key to living a joyful life and achieving your full potential.

Are you wiser than a robot? Of course, you are! But did you know that scientists are trying to teach Embodied Intelligence to robots? One project aims to build them to “adjust their neural networks (brains) to feedback from their bodies and surroundings. “ Hmmm….To adjust your brain to feedback from your body and surroundings… that’s a great definition for an embodiment practice, which truly makes us wise!

Isn’t it ironic? Scientists are giving robots embodied intelligence; yet today’s educators are neglecting to train HUMANS in these very important life skills! But an embodiment practice — being fully aware of and understanding your body/mind/spirit connection —  is key to living a fulfilling life and rising to your full potential.

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Why is Change So Hard? Be Patient & Trust the Process

 Instead of asking, Why is change so hard or why it takes so long, focus on enjoying the transformation process – if you enjoy it, you’ll stick with it.

“Change takes time, and when it happens… it feels like magic!” ~ Maria Connolly 

Sometimes, when I’m coaching a client, it seems like nothing changes. Or if some change happens it doesn’t seem lasting. Why is change so hard and takes so long? Often this is because there are individual patterns that are in the way of lasting change. They are deeply ingrained and insidious.

There’s a war going on inside…the client’s good faith and best intentions are competing with long-held, adaptive and limiting beliefs and behaviors. This war can be won by systematically developing practices that change who you are at your core. These strong core values provide the support and structure for real change. But this does take time. If someone is promising overnight success, they’re not talking about real change.

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