Newsletter

The Gift of Support

GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF SUPPORT  

No addict ever got sober alone.  No book was ever published without being edited by at least one other person.  No house was built single handedly.  No community was created in a bubble.

We ALL need support.

So, as the year comes to an end… look at your life, your goals, etc.  Where are you struggling?  Where could you use some extra help?

Go get it.  Now.  Be generous with yourself and get the support you need.

Book the therapy appointment.  Buy a series of workouts with a trainer.  Book your session with your health coach, writing coach, life coach, spiritual coach.  Sign up now for that meditation class or painting class or college class.  

Not having the money is no excuse.  You can always pack a lunch instead of eating out, sell some of your crap on ebay, or skip out on a few happy hours.  And, the minute you step up by signing up, the funds show up.  I’m not kidding…I’ve seen this more times than I can tell you.  When you take a stand for yourself, the universe supports you…always.

And, by committing right away, (like, right now!), you will feel both relieved and excited about your future. 

Give this gift of support to yourself…Now.

You deserve it!

And, that includes reserving time with me!  If that feels right to you, then get in touch and let’s get a date on the books. …and I’d love to hear from you.

Live with passion and joy.  The world needs that special something that you were born to share.  Please, don’t wait.  Start sharing your talents today.  And if that requires some support…go get it!

And as always, retweet, repost, and forward to friends

Gratitude

BEING Grateful vs just thinking about it   

By now you know the importance of gratitude.  It not only helps improve your disposition, it also lowers blood pressure and helps you manage stress more effectively.  And it seems like these times are more stressful than ever so why not alleviate some of that stress…for free?!?

But here’s the mistakes most people make with practicing gratitude.  Most people give lip service to their gratitude list and never actually tune in to and feel what they’re grateful for.  And, they list the same 5 or 10 things every day creating a memorized list rather then a fresh, cultivated, and deeply personal daily list.

Many of us have kept gratitude journals, or lists of things to be grateful for, etc.  But simply rattling off what your grateful for doesn’t actually help very much.  You have to really tune into what you’re grateful for.  In other words, being grateful for the sun but not stopping to see how feels on your skin is ineffective.  For gratitude to start to work in your life, you need to stop and TAKE IT IN.  You have to BE/FEEL grateful…not just record it.

And, choosing to be grateful for new things everyday is the way to really utilize gratitude to improve your moods.  If you simply repeat the same few things every day, your brain just gets into a rut and you fail to see other things you could be grateful for.  If however, you force yourself to come up with new things everyday, your brain will naturally look for other ways to feel grateful.  Your focus will change to see the positive more often than the negative.  And, when dealing with stressful situations, you’ll be able to de-stress more quickly. 

And you can be grateful for little things.  Being grateful for seeing beautiful flowers, or feeling grateful that your car got you from point A to B can as helpful as anything else.  The important thing is to really feel into it.

So, yes, keep a gratitude journal or write your lists out daily.  But, find NEW things to be grateful for and really tune into how it feels to have that deep level of gratitude.  

 

Mindful Holidays

Here we are…knee deep into the holidays.  How are you doing?  Raise your hand if you’ve already eaten what feels like your entire body weight in holiday treats.  Raise your hand if you’ve already lost your shit with your relatives.

’Tis the season!

Okay, first of all, join the club.  In my opinion, there is WAY too much emphasis on this time of year, and WAY too much pressure for all of us to do things perfectly.

The truth is, it’s NEVER GOING TO BE PERFECT.  So let’s accept that.  And instead of killing ourselves to get it right, let’s find a way to actually enjoy the end of the year without shame, anger, exhaustion, and an extra 5 pounds to lose.

If you’re in the self help world (and if you’re reading this, you are) likely, when the word ‘mindfulness’ is muttered, you glaze over as if you were reading a computer manual.  It’s a phrase that has been overused and under-explained and truthfully underutilized.

Because of this, I created a few new names for this practice… ‘mind awareness’ and ‘presence practice’.  Both of those labels, in my opinion, more accurately describe the practice.  And also, I’m not using the word ‘practice’ by accident…we ‘practice’ this every day.

Let’s not waste time, let’s get right to practicing immediately!

Feel your feet.  How do they feel?  Are you in shoes? Socks? Barefoot? Are they cold?  Hot?  If you had to describe how they felt what would you say…in detail…?

Okay, you just got present.  You practiced ‘mindfulness’.  Well done.

But what’s the point?  Why do this?  How can this possibly help me when my holiday to-do list is longer than my arm and all I want to do is eat holiday cookies?

Here is the thing about our bodies and the presence practice.  Our bodies are living in the here and now.  Second by second, breath by breath.  Our bodies couldn’t care less about what you did yesterday or, what you have to get done by the end of the week.  Our bodies know nothing about shame, regret, or worry.  They are simply here, right now.  

So, when you are panicked about what to wear to the holiday party or worried about getting the table set in time for the guests, zone in on a part of your body and feel it fully.  (And, FYI, this takes about 30 seconds so ‘I don’t have time’ is not an excuse.)

“But I thought you had to sit and meditate” is likely what your voice of resistance is saying in your head.

Wrong.  Well, not entirely.  I mean, yes, it’s lovely to sit and notice your thoughts and breath in and out in stillness.  I highly recommend doing that as many days as possible.  But meditation without action is only getting 1/2 the benefit of meditating.  Think about it.  How many times have you finished your meditation practice, got on with your day, and were in a fight with your co-worker by noon?  (Confession…I have left yoga classes feeling amazing and within minutes caught myself flipping someone off on the drive home.)

‘Mind awareness/Presence practice’ is your meditation in action.  Stopping for 30 seconds to FEEL something in your BODY brings you to the present moment.  It interrupts your knee jerk reactions and negative assumptions.  It brings you back to the present moment thus releasing you from future worry and past guilt.  

And in terms of eating, if you find you are eating unconsciously, this practice helps you catch yourself before you overeat.  And if you do overeat, this practice helps you let go of the guilt or anger you may be directing towards yourself or others.

Once you get into the habit of doing this throughout the day (I recommend putting reminders on your phone to chime every hour), see if you can do it while you are busy at work, etc.  You CAN keep a part of your mind on how your feet are feeling while talking to your mother.  (Yes, it even works with mothers!)  You can notice how your breath feels as you inhale and exhale while shopping at Trader Joe’s.  You can notice how the sun feels on your skin, while sitting in traffic.

By just staying present with your body, your stress level is instantly reduced.  And less stress means better thoughts.  And most likely, more control over your reactions to other people. 

So, while you read the last bit of this newsletter, notice your feet, or some part of your body.  Just keep part of your mind tuned into that physical sensation while you read on.

Notice you’re not making your shopping list in your head.  You are present and able to absorb what you are reading.  And, you are more likely to remember everything you need to buy when you go shopping later.

Practice this incessantly over the holidays!  In fact, if you do NOTHING else, do the ‘presence practice’ all day long.

And if you want to bliss out to my FAVE tracks…

HAVE AN AMAZING HOLIDAY SEASON!  

 

Clearing the Slate for 2019

A Clean Slate

This is a follow up to my previous newsletter… ‘Creating Space’. 

This idea of cleaning our slate is one that I usually suggest doing later in the year.  But I have found that starting this process in October is more effective for both myself and my clients.  

The idea is to go into the New Year owning everything on your to-do list.  As well as owning your bigger goals that you may or may not include for the new year.

When I say “owning” your to-do lists and goals, I mean…taking full responsibility for what you are putting your energy behind.

If you thought of energy as currency…hard earned cash…what would you invest it in?  Because you get to decide how, where, and what you will invest your energy in.

So this process begins with writing down (not in your head) everything you have to do.  Your ‘ultimate to-do list’, so to speak.  This includes bills, work assignments, agreements with others, your personal goals, appointments, holiday gifts…everything.  I like to give myself at least 3 days to make up this list.  Little things pop into my head when I’m driving or in the shower so I keep adding to my list as these things come up.  So, for the next few days, jot things down as they come to you and do not discriminate.  Big or small, put them all on paper.

When you think your list is finally complete, set aside a few uninterrupted hours to actually study at your list.

Circle the doable items that will give you a great sense of relief knowing that they are finally DONE.  In other words, by actually completing these things, you will be entering the New Year “mentally” clutter free as well as opening up the time to start new things.  

Then, cross off or politely bow out of the things you agreed to do for other people that no longer serve you..  These are things that simply won’t get done or will hold you back from the more important tasks on your list.  Again, politely bow out of what you had initially agreed to doing ideally in the next 24 hours.

Then, look at the “big goals” that you did not accomplish.  

Because, to truly clear the slate, you may choose to eliminate some goals all together.

So look at the goals that are currently not happening.

Why didn’t you accomplish them?  Is it possible that they no longer serve you?  Sometimes letting something go is more empowering than hanging onto it for dear life.  Goals and dreams actually do have expiration dates.  Put on your truth lenses and ask yourself if this is still worthy of your time and effort.  Ask yourself why you set this goal in the first place and more importantly, do you still feel the same way about it now?  This step of letting go may feel painful or sad, but there is great power in being honest with yourself.  Honoring where you are NOW will ultimately help you to make better decisions as to where you want to go in the future.               

How do you know if it’s time to let it go?  

Is it taking too long?  Is the pain outweighing the joy?  Are you getting nowhere?   Are you hanging onto it because you are afraid of what other people will say if you decide to “give up” on it?  Is there something else nagging away at you?  Could you actually try something different or new and still fulfill the desire that the original goal was meant to achieve?

Sit with this awhile.  These are not easy questions to ask…even harder to answer with honesty and self compassion.  But they are worth asking and answering.  

You may decide to let it go.  You may shed a tear or two. But then, you can allow yourself to open up to other possibilities you were too preoccupied to see.

Or, you may decide, “Absolutely NO!  I’m not letting it go.”  And in that realization you will discover more clarity as to WHY you must keep this on your list of goals and desires.

The point is to be honest with yourself.  And compassionate.

Now…what can you do before the end of this year to both clear your to-do list and move your goals forward?

Write out a new list of what will be done THIS year.  Schedule when and where in your calendar and start taking action today.  I suggest setting an aggressive course of action now which will allow you to have more time to enjoy the holidays when they arrive.

The idea is to start 2019 with a CLEAN SLATE.  Not a slate with stale leftovers from last year.  Ideally the only goals being invited into the New Year are your passion projects that you have revisited and have even more clarity on.  All the other stuff should be completed or at the very least, completed as much a possible before the New Year begins.

So…write it ALL out.  Decide what shall be done, what shall be let go of for good, and what shall be reinforced and invited into the New Year.

And, stay tuned.  I have a “Getting Our Shit Done” challenge coming up in the next few weeks.  I suggest you get a jump on it and start clearing your slate now!

Go getter’ done!

And if you want some extra “kick butt mojo”, get in touch and we’ll tackle it together.

 

Creating More Space

 

Most of us can pretty quickly point to the areas in our lives that we’re not happy with.  The answer to asking ourselves the question, “what’s not working?” is rarely a surprise.  But the problem that most of us have when reflecting on our sticky spots is that we simply slap a label on it and then shut down or become self critical.

The truth is: 

Self criticism offers no clarity.

Think back to a time when you were getting overly critical with yourself.  Did you come up with any solutions for the issue you were dealing with?  Not likely.  Your mind just kept going around in circles about how you should have done this or that…not helpful or resourceful in any way.

If letting go of what’s not working, or finding actionable solutions is the goal, then we have to try a new approach.

Pull out a pen and a piece of paper (I HIGHLY suggest writing this out) and answer these questions:

What is weighing you down?  (Heavy?  Burdensome?)

What do you fantasize about changing or getting rid of?

What have you bitched about on more than 3 occasions?

What would you love to never do again?

And then ask yourself this question, which you might want to spend some extra time on…

Why?  Why haven’t you let this go…yet?  What expectations do you have of yourself and others that keeps you stuck in this situation?  

And then…take a deep breath.  Reread what you wrote and allow this to sink in.  

Then, off the top of your head:

‘What ACTIONABLE steps can you take to change this situation?’

Write them down.  

Maybe you don’t know the answers yet.  That’s okay.  Because taking the time to get clear about why it isn’t working, and why you are still dealing with it, will eventually lead to ideas.

You can also do this for the less intense things in your life too.  Maybe the clutter in your drawers is weighing you down.  (That’s true for me!)

Why is this an issue for you?  What are your expectations about yourself?  Did someone expect you to keep everything neat and tidy when you were a kid?  Do you still feel that way now?  If so, schedule times to get rid of that crap.  Or maybe now you realize that, despite your upbringing, you don’t really care about clutter.  Great!  Drop the expectation about being a neat and tidy person!

Getting clear about our bigger issues can be tough or easy depending on your level of clarity.  You start with asking, why it’s still a problem and what your expectations are around it.  Your answers will give you the clarity you need to handle the situation.  And that makes it easier to take the necessary actions to create the change you want.  And, getting rid of the little issues can open up way more space (and time!) to handle the big stuff.

So, write out your answers to the above questions and see if you can actually DO something to change those situations.  Both the big stuff and the little stuff.

And if you want support with this, get in touch and we’ll tackle it together.  

And as always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.

The Games we Play

Today’s newsletter is not about the big goals, the big decisions, the big changes we create in our lives.  No, today I’m talking about the stupid shit that we waste our energy on…on a daily basis.

One could argue that our little pet peeves and minor irritations are not a big deal.

But, science is proving that stress, ANY stress, is a major cause of disease.  And the little stresses that we put up with every day, add up.  

A helpful way to examine what you are wasting energy on is to ask the question:

“What game am I playing that I am no longer willing to play?”

For example, feeling irked when: 

The dish is in the sink instead of in the dishwasher.

The laundry is yet to be removed from the dryer.

The neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.

You get the point.  These are small irritations that can cause stress despite not being a very big deal.  Consciously choosing to no longer put your energy behind these types of things frees up your energy and lowers your stress level immediately.

You can ask this same question for the bigger ‘games’ you are playing as well.

The game of being envious of your friend’s success.

The game of playing victim to your mother’s criticism.

The game of staying quiet when someone is saying something offensive.

Framing it as a ‘game’ rather than a big issue can sometimes make it easier to adjust your behavior.  It also opens you up to seeing the issue from a more objective point of view rather than a personal one.  

Seeing your envy as a ‘game’ allows to to decide if you want to opt out of the game entirely.  Is the game of taking criticism personally worth your energy?  And if you refuse to play the game of staying silent, what new actions can you take that weren’t available to you before?

Whether it’s the little pet peeves or the bigger issues, lightening up your attitude will undoubtedly allow you to have a more honest look at where you are adding unnecessary stress to your days.

I’d love to hear from you on this!  What games are you opting out of?  (Me?  I’m quitting the game of shaming people for not stopping at stop signs!  Wish me luck with that!)

As always, retweet, repost and share with your friends.  

Learning to be Comfortable with feeling Uncomfortable

“Never Underestimate the Inclination to Bolt” – Geneen Roth  

To create any lasting change, you must be willing to push beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone.  If you remain in your comfort zone, nothing changes.  Its the edge of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.

But, that is also where you will have to tolerate a good amount of discomfort.

Let’s say you are trying to end your addiction to sugar.  Aside from the physical addiction (and, I think sugar is our biggest addiction in this country) there is an emotional reason you are turning to sugar.  The first step is to notice what’s going on…notice your feelings you when you are fixated on eating something sweet.  What thoughts are running through your head.  What does your body feel like when you want to inhale the cookie jar?  Can you name what you’re feeling?

And here’s the truth about feeling your way towards what’s really going on…you don’t actually have to name it!

A lot of people get tripped up with that.  We’ve been told to name the sensations that we are feeling in our bodies.  But, from my experience, you really don’t need to name it.  Now, if you know for certain that you are feeling shame, or loneliness, or boredom, great…name it.

But if you’re like me (and many of the people I’ve worked with) you can’t quite put a name to it.  So, rather than getting stuck trying to figure it out, forget about that and just feel whatever your body is feeling.  Lean into it.

Now remember, when you are feeling uncomfortable your instincts are to run away…to bolt, as Geneen says.  

But, the opposite is where the change begins…you must turn towards that part of you that is uncomfortable and open yourself up to experience those feelings…feel what’s going on, fully.  

And then, move your body to express what you’re feeling.  Literally get up and move and physicalize what you’re feeling.

After you have felt and expressed what’s really going on, choose a different action.

Insight without action is useless.  

Let’s go back to the sugar example. 

You’re faced with a craving and rather than scarfing down a chocolate bar, you stop and feel what’s going on.  You move through it, lean into it, and allow for yourself to feel what’s really going on.  

Then?  What is a different action you could take?  How about throwing that chocolate bar away?  Maybe go for a walk or put on your favorite music and dance for a while.  You could call a supportive friend or journal for a few minutes about what’s going on.  

Another great way to interrupt cravings is, once you’ve leaned in, yell out loud “Stop!  That is not loving to me!”  Shouting, in and of itself, will change your state.  And hearing your own voice shouting those words is a powerful tool to changing your behavior.  

Whatever you do, take a different action.  And, there is no ‘one way’ for everybody so you’ll have to experiment to see what helps you the most.

So again, when the desire to ‘bolt’ kicks in, stop what you are doing, and lean in.  What’s going on?  Where do you feel it in your body?  Can you move your body in a way to express those feelings?  And then, what different behavior can you try?

This can be really tough for a lot of us.  If this is something you need support with, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.  We can figure it out together.

And as always, repost, retweet, and send to a friend.

Setting Healthy Boundaries…Another Aspect of Sovereignty

This has been a life long lesson for me.  Having grown up in a house with zero boundaries, I was never taught their importance.  Or, for that matter, how to effectively set healthy boundaries and then how to enforce them.  

If this resonates for you, don’t worry.  You CAN learn to set healthy boundaries.  You CAN learn to enforce them.  Although it might be uncomfortable in the beginning, setting boundaries is crucial to supporting your personal power.  

There is a misleading perception these days… “be open, be inclusive, don’t judge”, etc…no matter what.  Sure, we all agree that being nonjudgemental is a good thing.  But not if someone is taking advantage of you or walking all over you.  There is nothing spiritual or enlightened about being a doormat.

Another way of looking at boundaries, is seeing them as tools to ensure your standards are being respected.  In other words, you haven’t lowered the bar for other people.  You instead, can hold them to the standards you expect, or move on.  They know where you stand and can decide for themselves if the relationship works for them…and visa versa.   Your job is to be clear and consistent.  

The best way I have found to learn this skill is by modeling someone who is good at it.  Studying someone who has mastered a skill you desire is a great way to learn.  So, if you want to learn how to be more comfortable with networking…you could find someone who’s already comfortable with it and join them for some networking events.  Then, watch their behavior and start behaving that way yourself.  It may feel awkward at first, but it works.  (Just like as children, we modeled our parents…there is a reason we sound just like our mother sometimes!)

This works for any behavior you want to learn.  

I didn’t get really comfortable and capable with boundaries until I started working in a doctor’s office as a rehabilitative Pilates Instructor. 

Dealing with people in pain is challenging.  Being in chronic pain is exhausting.  And, some patients have more difficult personalities than others.  So, setting boundaries became crucial for me if I wanted to maintain my own personal sanity.  And let me add, many of these people tried to test my boundaries or ignore them altogether.  But I stayed firm…once I got comfortable enforcing them.

Fortunately, the office manager, was outstanding at setting boundaries.  He too had to learn this skill years ago, but he was clearly confident and capable now!  I remember gawking at him several times in absolute amazement… “You can do that?”  I remember thinking… “You can just say ‘no’???  Without a bunch of excuses and apologies????”   He was amazing.

I studied him like a hawk.  And eventually, I became very clear about my boundaries, despite how uncomfortable it was at first.  

Some personal examples:

Session times.  Some people are chronically late or just don’t respect your time.  I got really good at ending exactly on time.  I didn’t care if they were late…we ended on time.  I had one patient show up still eating her breakfast which wasted 20 minutes of our session.  I watched her eat…I still ended on time.  And when she complained, I reminded her what time our session started, and that it was her choice to eat for the first 20 minutes.  Our session was scheduled for one hour…not an hour and 20 minutes.

Cancelation policy.  Sometimes people think they are exempt from this policy which I clearly state, and put in writing.  So, I ensure I get paid in advance so if they cancel last minute, I’m still getting paid.  My policy is my policy and if they don’t like it, they can work with someone else.  (I do make exceptions for people with chronic, painful health issues…but that’s rare.)

Another boundary I learned to set was how to ‘hold space’ for people.  By that I mean, someone could be struggling physically or emotionally, and rather than hooking into their emotions, I quietly, compassionately, observed them.  I witnessed their pain…without getting personally involved with it.  (And I wouldn’t do any good as a life coach if every time a client got upset, I took on their pain…)

I think this boundary, ‘holding space’, is an important one for everyone to learn.  Because, yes, people want to be seen, heard, and understood.  But we can offer people that compassion and simultaneously keep our own sovereignty by staying in our own emotions and not hooking into theirs.

I repeat…We can be unrelenting in minding our own energy and emotions, and still compassionately observe the pain of others. 

This is especially important now due to our current events.  We are bombarded daily with all the terrible things happening in our world.  If we allow ourselves to get sucked up into it, we’ll burn out, break down, or self destruct.

Now more than ever we must set healthy boundaries and enforce them vigilantly.  Especially when it comes to holding space and witnessing others.

This is one of the most common issues I work with people on.  It is challenging for many of us.  Please, get in touch if this is an issue for you.  We can work on this together.

 

Overcoming Fear of Failure and Uncertainty – knowing your Fundamentals

“If the path before us is clear, we’re probably on someone else’s” – Joseph Campell

Your life did not come with an instructional manual. Which is great because you get to decide how you want to live your life and what you want to accomplish. But, that also means that the minute you decide to take action towards any of your goals, you have to get jump into the world of uncertainty.

Not knowing the outcome of our actions can bring up a good amount of anxiety. But in order to create anything meaningful, you HAVE to be willing to take risks.

Successful people are not immune to being afraid. Fear of failure is a normal fear that everyone feels. But successful people don’t allow their fear to be an excuse for not doing their work. They feel the resistance, and keeping going anyway.

So how do we learn to manage our fear of uncertainty and failure?

…By sticking to our fundamentals.

“The minute you walk away from fundamentals – whether it’s proper technique, work ethic, or mental preparation, – the bottom can fall out of your game, your schoolwork, your job, whatever you’re doing” – Michael Jordon

Your fundamentals, be it your morning workout, meditation practices, list making, getting to bed at a certain time…whatever constants you have in your life will help you feel the confidence and willingness to charter unknown territory.

The problem is, most of us take those behaviors for granted because now they’ve become consistent. What we have to do is notice and name what those consistent behaviors are, and then change our approach to them when in the midst of fear and uncertainty.

For example. When my father got sick a few years ago, I had just started teaching Pilates at a Physical Therapist’s office. But I wanted to be there for my dad (who lived in Vancouver). That required me to work as much as I could at the office for 3 days, fly to Vancouver midweek, return on Sunday and start the whole thing again the following week.

How could I maintain my sanity with this ridiculous schedule and incredible pressure? By sticking to my fundamentals. For me? That meant a cardio workout every morning (even if just for 15 minutes). And, I ended every day adding a few more stitches to my knitting project. And my knitting was the first thing I packed! For me, it was a crucial stress reducer. The rest of my life could be in total chaos provided I did those two things every day.

What are your fundamentals? What do you do that brings you a sense of stability? Morning workouts? Journaling? Meditating? Working in your garden? Green drinks? To-do lists? Specific classes? Hobbies? Podcasts?

Write them out.

Now decide which actions are the most important for you to take on a daily basis when your fear is up and running. Then, when you actually do these things, be present for your experience of them. Don’t just put on your running shoes and go for a run. Remind yourself that you are in fact practicing something that will help you stomach the uncertainty of your day. You’re daily run is not just for your heart…it’s for your spirit too. By being consistent with your fundamentals, you are creating a safe place to land in the midst of chaos.

Remember, living with passion means taking risks. And taking risks requires us to live with fear of uncertainty and failure. The fear my never completely go away. But with your fundamentals in place, you can look it in the eye and move forward anyway. Because although our paths are not always clear to us, they are still ours to experience.

You were meant to do something special in this world that only YOU can do. Discovering it and sharing it is your path.

If you need help with this, get in touch. We can figure this out together.

And as always, retweet, repost, and forward this to your friends.

 

 

 

 

Who’s REALLY in Charge?

…Your “Master” emotions.

Master emotions: knowing how you want to feel can literally change your life

 

We all have vast emotional lives with desires for specific experiences. Some of us value freedom and adventure whereas some of us prefer to feel content and safe. Which means the more we hone in on what makes us tick, the more likely we are to succeed regardless of the goals we set.

I wrote about this process before in terms of figuring out your soul’s desires. Today, let’s use the same exercise but this time, lets dig below those desires to see what’s really driving us. Because when we are at our happiest, it’s because we are feeling something specific…something that personally turns us on. And those specific feelings, are running the show.

Let’s get right to it!

Take out a piece of paper or open a fresh page in your journal.

Step one.

Don’t think…just write: your favorite memories from the last year or so. This can include trips, jobs, relationships, tv shows, parties, classes, etc. All the highlights. Without overthinking it, just write down the times you were full of life and happiness.

Step two.

How did those memories FEEL? Did you feel a sense of belonging, or excitement or adventure or love? Don’t over think it. Just write out all the feelings that come up when you remember those highlights from the past.

You will likely see a few feelings repeated over and over again. That’s fine…just write it all down.

Step 3.

List the top 5 or 6 feelings without worrying about being exact. One of my master feelings is ‘creative expression’ which isn’t really a feeling. But, when I’m engaged in a creative task, I’m feeling most like “myself”. It’s definitely a master emotion for me so I’ll stick with the phrase “creative expression”. I’m not getting hung up on the words because again…its about FEELING a certain way. So, list your top fave feelings.

Now let’s do a little comparison.

For example, maybe your list of favorite emotions is:
connection
exhilaration
supported
grounded
fluid/flow

Start with the first emotion and compare it to the next one.

What would you rather feel? Connection or exhilaration? Let’s say you answer ‘Connection’.

Move onto the next feeling for comparison.

What would you rather feel? Connection or supported? (These may seem similar but there IS a difference…you can feel supported without feeling connection and visa versa). Maybe you answer ‘supported’. That means you favor feeling supported over connection. So now you compare the next feeling to your desire to feel supported.

Again, what would you rather feel? Supported or free?

Keep comparing until you can easily see that you have 2 top emotions that outrank them all…these are your ‘master emotions’.

How does this help with goal setting? By creating opportunities to feel these master emotions while going for your goals. (And this may also shine a light on some goals that you’ve set that don’t actually serve you after all.)

Using my master emotions as an example: connection to spirit and creative expression…let’s see how I can incorporate these emotions into any goals.

Let’s say my goal is to lose weight. How can I feel my master emotions while I approach this goal? Maybe that means taking a ‘mindful eating class’ or exercising outside in nature. Can I be ‘creative’ in the kitchen and learn how to cook healthy foods that taste good? (And changing how we eat is by far one of the toughest things to do…having our master emotions front and center gives us the edge to overcome our resistance.)

If my goal is to shoot a short film, how can I incorporate my master emotions into the actions that I will have to take? For many of us, sitting down to write something like a short film (or a newsletter!) can be the toughest thing to do. But, if we can actually incorporate our master emotions into sitting down to write, we are more likely to actually follow through. For me? I’m definitely feeling creative when I write. But also, I try to write from the heart so I can still feel connected to my truth (connection to spirit) while talking about something heady like goal setting.

What if your goal is to go to Australia? Well…you will likely have to make some money! Brainstorm all the ways you can you bring your master emotions to your day job.

Use this tool for all of the goals on your list. If you can figure out how to utilize your master emotions, you will not only be more likely to succeed…but you will enjoy the process as well.

If this feels overwhelming, get in touch and we’ll go through this process together and get your year off to a powerful start.

And, remember to repost, retweet, and forward this to your friends.