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Harnessing Your Subconscious

Harnessing the Power of our Subconscious Minds

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates

This is where many of us trip up when trying to change our behaviors. We focus on the problem rather than the solution. And even if we create a clear vision of what we want to achieve, often we still find ourselves back to our old patterns that no longer serve us. It feels like no matter what we do, we sabotage our best efforts to succeed.

Here’s the thing about self sabotage…it’s always about fear. Fear of change, fear of failure, fear of losing the ones we love…

And that throws us right in the middle of a catch 22 because we both want and fear change. To succeed at something, we have to risk failure. And sometimes success does require us to let go of certain relationships.

So, how do we bypass this natural desire to stay safe?

By utilizing our subconscious minds.

And here’s the truth: “If you are struggling to achieve something, it is because your subconscious beliefs don’t match your conscious desires.” – Bruce Lipton

And those beliefs were mostly formed in our childhood. Which means, those beliefs are likely to be outdated and inaccurate.

The subconscious mind has no emotions, no fears, no judgments. The subconscious mind simply looks to replicate that which it has been programmed to experience. So if your childhood taught you that it was best to stay quiet rather than rock the boat, then you are probably still silencing your voice and your power without being aware of it.

That old saying “My buttons just got pushed…” is true. When you are reacting to something without thinking about it, your subconscious is in control and yes, your buttons are indeed being pushed.

So, how can we reprogram our subconscious to work with us rather than against us?

With a little prep, some repetition, and utilizing the moments we are drifting off to sleep.

Pull out a piece of paper. You are going to write your year in retrospect. In other words, you’re going to write out your year like it already happened and you achieved everything you wanted to achieve.

I like to start with “2018 was the year I ____________”. Include deadlines, like, “May 15th I hosted a table read and got my rewrites done by June 15th”.

The clearer and more specific you are, the better.

Then, pull out your smart phone and put on the voice recorder. Record your year in retrospect…with your own voice.

Then, listen to your recording every day. And especially, right before falling asleep.

(And yes, getting used to our own voice can be barfy at first but believe me you’ll get over that pretty fast.)

As we’re falling asleep, our brain waves shift their pace and we are in a state similar to hypnosis. So by hearing your own voice celebrating your year of success, you are programing your subconscious to make those images become your reality. Your subconscious will literally look for opportunities to make those new behaviors possible. Because again, that’s all it’s doing. Its replicating what it’s been programmed to experience.

You can also harness this force for short terms goals as well. Let’s say you have a big meeting tomorrow, you can do a quick voice recording, celebrating the fact that your meeting went great. Then, listen to it not only throughout the day but also before you fall asleep.

And, if you’ve tried but really can’t get past listening to your voice, I recommend writing out that which you wish to manifest, in great detail, and then visualizing it fully before falling asleep.

Also…if you are one of those people who wakes up in the middle of the night, you can use that time to visualize the changes you want to see in your life. Again, you’ll be reprograming your mind as you drift in and out of consciousness. (I did that after my dental surgery earlier this year. I spent my restless nights of interrupted sleep consciously visualizing the Doctor telling me that I had healed faster than normal. Which is exactly what happened. I was back to normal in one week. He said, it’s at least 2-3 weeks for the average person to heal to the point I had. Yay…no more trips to the dental surgeon!)

So write out what you want to accomplish this year. Big goals, little goals…set the dates as to when you accomplished all of them. Record it on your smart phone and then simply listen throughout the day and especially before you fall asleep.

We all have the capacity to manifest joy and happiness in our lives. Use your subconscious mind to create all that you desire in your life.

One thing I offer people is putting their voice recording to music so they have their own unique meditation track. (I can also record using my voice if that’s preferable.) We work together to write exactly what you want to hear, professionally record it, and choose music that helps you relax and go into a meditative state. If that is something that interests you, get in touch and we’ll record something special for you.

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

Unplugging for the Day

How much time do you waste every day on social media? According to Google, most people spend a minimum of 1 hour and 40 minutes scrolling through their social media accounts.

Yes, you read that right…1 hour and 40 minutes…EVERY DAY.

And how often have I heard the excuse “I don’t have enough time.” I hear it with almost everyone I work with and, I’m guilty of saying that too!

But, for now, forget about the time you are wasting while scrolling through Facebook…how much ENERGY are you wasting as well. What are you actually contributing to and as a result, how much creativity are you letting slip by?

What would happen if you unplugged for an entire 24 hours? What might come up?

When I first did this, I realized very quickly how addicted I was to checking my email. I probably checked it 20 times a day. By unplugging, I saw how many times I mindlessly check in and delete the junk mail. I also felt a little anxious. There was an underlying “fomo”…fear of missing out. Once that subsided I noticed I actually felt LESS anxious than normal and was able to think more intuitively and allow for some creative ideas to surface that hadn’t occurred to me before.

Here is a truth about addictive behavior: It gobbles up time you could be spending doing something else.

Another truth: It squashes creative ideas. You’re simply too busy to notice them.

Years ago I coached the employees of a company through a weight loss challenge. They were divided into teams and each got a private phone session with me to help them strategize, etc. They all sent me emails telling me about themselves, their eating patterns, etc.

One man was morbidly obese and diabetic. When we spoke over the phone the first thing I suggested he do is pick up a hobby, preferably something where he used his hands. “When you give up your addiction to food, you will have so much free time on your hands….you’ll need something to do.” He started to laugh. Then told me he remembered being amazed at how much time he had after he’d given up drinking. He’d asked me if I’d ever been to AA and I said, “no, but I was a 2 pack a day smoker years ago…I had no idea how much time I was wasting taking ‘smoke breaks’.”

Same thing with technology addiction. Science has proven that we get a little ‘hit’ every time we post online or get a ‘like’. But that comes at a cost. It not only costs us our time, but our intuition and creative ideas as well.

In order for us to use our intuition and develop our creativity, we need to slow down and open ourselves up to our natural rhythms of thoughts and emotions.

This is true for our physical health as well. Practices like Yoga and Pilates are great for becoming present in our bodies. But not if your phone is on and you’re checking texts between poses. No. You have to turn your phone OFF for that time period to experience the power of the present moment.

So here’s my challenge to you. Schedule a day where you can go completely off line. If you are a parent, you’ll still need to have your phone handy in case of an emergency. BUT, you do not have to check Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, etc. You don’t need to check your emails either.

Do this for one day this week. Don’t just think about how it might feel…actually UNPLUG for 24 hours. Notice what that brings up for you? Notice if feelings of panic or loneliness or come up. Maybe you feel depressed or bored. Or maybe you feel elated and free. Notice any creative or intuitive ideas that may pop up and how much time you have to actually act on them.

Personally, I’ve made this a weekly habit that I now look forward to. It’s a gift of freedom and creative expansion I give myself every week.

Let me know how this goes for you! And as always, retweet, repost, and forward this to a friend. And then? Sign off for 24 hours.

Are you Waiting for Permission? From Who?!?

Remember when you were a kid? You had to have your parent’s permission to take field trips, miss school, etc. You had to ask permission to speak, go to the bathroom…you even needed permission slips to walk down the halls when classes were in session.

(I actually got busted for writing fake permission slips in junior high! Well, the teachers never figured out it was me, but one of my friends did get in trouble for the fake slip. I spelled Tuesday wrong…I never was very good at spelling…)

Our childhoods were a time when we really didn’t have control over very much of our lives, certainly not in school. And unless we were allowed to make some decisions for ourselves at home, we were never given the tools to have agency over our lives.

And now as adults, we are still waiting for permission to express our power, our creativity, and our voices. Look at how many women stayed quiet for so long before the women’s movement began? It took many brave women to come forward and share their experiences regardless of whether they were “permitted” to do so. And their bravery started a movement that has only just begun.

So, what are you afraid will happen if you speak up and claim your power? For me, the answer has always been, “I don’t want to offend anyone.” That has kept me quiet and safe time after time.

What about you? Are you afraid of losing love? Feeling embarrassed? Triggering anger in others? These are all valid fears and very common.

No one is suggesting we lie to ourselves and say we’re not afraid. Because, we are. And sometimes with very good reason.

So instead, let’s try having a different perspective on those fears. Add a few words…

For example, “I don’t want to offend anyone” becomes, “I’m willing to stifle my power so I don’t offend anyone.”

Fear of embarrassment? I’m willing to squander my talents so I don’t feel embarrassed or embarrass anyone else.”

Fear of losing love? “I’m willing to play it safe and dim my inner light so I don’t lose the ones I love.”

How does that feel? If you’re like me, that feels icky and makes me a little angry. My response is, “Screw that! I’m not keeping my mouth shut just so others aren’t offended!”

Where else do you need permission? Are you avoiding exploring your abilities to paint, or sing, or dance? Are you waiting for permission to take a day off for self care? Are you waiting for permission to love and appreciate yourself right now as you are?

I’ll ask you again…What are you afraid of? What do you think will happen if you own that you are lovable just as you are? Are you afraid people will laugh at you or make fun of you? Are you afraid you’ll go to the other extreme and become conceited with an inflated ego?

Rephrase your fears. “I am willing to deny my lovability so that people don’t think I’m conceited”. Ouch.

And, riddle me this, Batman…Who do you think is going to give you this permission in the first place?

You know the answer to that…YOU. No one else is sitting around waiting to give you permission to shine. It’s up to YOU.

So here it is, your own permission slip to be exactly who you want to be and do exactly what you want to do. You have full permission to be your most powerful, creative, lovable self.

Today’s Date:

I, _____________________________, am giving permission to

_________________________ and ____________________.

___________________________
signature

I suggest you make copies, fill one out every day, and post it where you will see it often. Permission slips are a powerful symbol from our childhood. Taking this action every day will have a profound effect on your life and give you the courage to take action despite your fears.

No more waiting for permission. It’s time to start claiming your power. Now.

Breaking beliefs from our past can be challenging for many of us. If this feels triggering for you and you want some support with it, get in touch and we’ll work on this together.

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

DOING the work…not just Reading about it

Here we are! It’s the new year and most of us have set a goal or two that we are excited about tackling.

And, I’ve already had the pleasure of working with many people as a part of their support team.

But there is one common theme that I’m hearing and I want to squash this form of self sabotage right now… The phrase I’ve heard over and over again? “Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to do that…”

Any exercises, suggestions, advice, including my own, is completely useless unless you actual DO it. You must DO THE WORK to see the results.

Think about it like this…let’s say you want to take up hiking. You buy the gear, research hikes in your area, get directions on how to get there…but don’t go. Well, you’re not a hiker then, are you?

If you want to be an actor, you have to act. If you want to be a painter, you have to paint. If you want to run a marathon, you have to run. Just reading about it, ain’t gonna get you nowhere.

And if you want to break free from limiting patterns and break bad habits, you have to actually DO THE EXERCISES you learn about rather than just read them and say you’ll get to it later. Putting them in your ‘flagged’ email folder doesn’t help either. Most of us are guilty of doing this. We make a note of doing something we read and then say “I’ll do this later.”

Nope. You won’t. None of us will. Unless you do it NOW or SCHEDULE when you will do it.

And, for the record, if I say an exercise is quick and easy, it really is! I’m not lying to you. Stop what you’re doing and do the exercise right now, instead of not doing it at all. And, if I say you need to take some time to sit and write about something, that’s true too. Sometimes it is best to wait and find the time you need to really go deep. But if that’s the case, you have to SCHEDULE that time. Because be it a big assignment or a little one, both are useless unless you actually do them.

So, how about we change that limiting behavior right now? What is one assignment you can do right now? (all of my newsletters are available at brigittadau.com) What step can you take right now that will bring you closer to achieving your goals? What task can you complete so you can mark it off the to-do list, right now?

Start doing this every day. Pick ONE thing that you can DO to further you along your path.

The good news is, when you practice following through on a daily basis, it becomes a habit and your resistance and excuses are replaced with action and achievements.

So… pick one thing and go DO it now.

And, if you don’t know what steps to take to achieve your goals, get in touch and together we’ll put together a concise plan of action so you can get started today. Maybe getting in touch with me is the step you’ve been ‘thinking’ about instead of actually ‘doing’?

Now is the perfect time to start.

As always, retweet, repost, and forward to your friends.

And Happy New Year to all of you!!!

 

Give yourself the Gift of Support in 2018

Okay, the New Year is almost here.

This is the perfect time to have a little face to face reality check with yourself, and…set up next year to be the best one yet.

What worked for you this year? When were you awesome? What did you manage to pull off despite the odds? Kudos to you…you rock!

And now, look back and ask yourself, what didn’t happen this year? Where did I stumble and fail to get back up?

Most likely, none of us accomplished all we had hoped to achieve. We all fell short of something this past year. I’m yet to meet a perfect person. (except for my cat)

But the fact is, you are more likely to overcome those set backs by asking for help from the right people.

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 looking back at this past year, where could you have asked for help but didn’t? We’re all guilty of this! Don’t beat yourself up about it…just be honest.

Where could you have used some extra support?

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 first session of the year 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. Sign yourself up NOW. The minute you step up by signing up, the funds show up. 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, you will feel both relaxed and excited about next year. Why? Because you will hit the ground running with your support system already in place. Any resistance you have to getting help will already be muted. And, the likelihood of next year being the year you kick ass is far more likely now that you already have the support of others.

Give this gift of support to yourself…Now.

You deserve it!

And, that includes reserving time with me! Get in touch and let’s get a date on the books for 2018…let’s make 2018 the year we make it happen!

Here’s to a wonderful New Year.

As always, retweet, repost and share with everyone

Mindfull Help for the 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.

Oh, the joy of 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 HAPPEN. 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.

In a previous newsletter, 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 (and you can check out my fave tracks from my home page on my website). 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, if find you are eating unconsciously, this practice helps you catch yourself before you overeat.

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 Ralph’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.

 

HAVE AN AMAZING HOLIDAY SEASON!

And repost, retweet and forward to your friends.

 

 

 

 

Clearing the slate for 2018

Clearing the Slate for 2018

We are almost at the end of another year. This can actually be a stressful and confronting time for many of us. Around this time of year is when we realize we did not accomplish all the things we had hoped to. This realization causes many of us to throw in the towel and just coast until New Year’s resolution time.

But, there can be great power in clearing the slate before the New Year.

I’m not saying to go crazy attempting to turn around all of this year’s let downs. Let’s be realistic…you likely won’t be able to achieve everything if you’re only starting now.

And, to truly clear the slate…you will probably have to let some things go…possibly eliminating some goals completely.

This is the time to write up your ultimate “to-do” list…write out your goals, your desires, your responsibilities…put it all on one long page. (Include the mundane things you would like to have behind you such as donating old clothes, updating your calendar, getting the oil changed for your car.)

Write everything down. This could take some time. I recommend taking this list with you everywhere for a few days. Often things pop into our heads when we are in the car or in the bathroom…jot things down as they come to you and do not discriminate. Big or small, put them all on paper. (or create a list on your iphone and tell Siri to add things as they pop into your head)

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

Circle the doable items that will give you a great sense of relief knowing they are finally DONE. 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 that simply won’t get done or will hold you back from the more important tasks on your list.

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

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 a little 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.

After you’ve decided what you will finish this year and what’s worthy of being brought into the New Year, set an aggressive massive action plan to get all that you can…DONE. Open up your day planner or calendar and schedule every task on that list.

The idea is to start 2018 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.

Take agressive action NOW. Not only will you feel a ton of relief to have these things done, but you will also set up your momentum for the New Year when you set you goals for 2018. If you kick it into full throttle and get things done (even if some days it’s simply dropping off donations and gathering earthquake supplies), you will begin creating the habit of GETTING THINGS DONE. Then, when you get clear about your desires and set your goals for 2018, you will be more specific and make clearer distinctions as to what you REALLY want to see happen next year.

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.

Then, go getter’ done!

I’d love to see your lists! Send them my way and keep me posted on how you’re doing. And if you want some extra “kick butt mojo”, get in touch and we’ll tackle it together.

 

 

 

Are you truly ready for your dreams to come true?

‘If there is something you really want, you are going to have to work really hard, take advantage of opportunity, make some mistakes, be patient, and above all never give up.’ – Jane Goodall

And I would add to that, are you prepared for the life you say you want?

If your dreams actually came true…would you be ready for what your life would look like?

Who doesn’t want to win power ball? Think of what those millions could get you. But, what do you know about managing millions of dollars?

A lot of people wish they were famous. But, I suspect when the reality of fame came along, they wouldn’t be prepared for the life fame brings.

Success comes to those who are prepared. Which often means a lot of hard work with little pay off…for quite some time.

I’m not talking about the “struggle” mentality meaning, where ‘everything is a struggle’. No, nobody wants that!

But ask any successful entrepreneur or artist if was easy getting to where they are today? I guarantee they will tell you it took a LOT of work. I mean a LOT of work. But they will also say it was worth it, now that they are living their dream.

Let me share a personal story about working hard and succeeding in the end.

I’m originally from Canada and when I was in my 20’s I wanted further my acting career by moving to the US. But I had no working papers so even if I booked a job, I couldn’t do it.

So, on one of my trips to LA I met with an attorney who told me exactly what I would need to do to get a green card. I did what she told me and eventually, yes, I got my green card! Unbeknownst to me though, I was actually following Jane Goodall’s advice from the above quote.

Hard work? I asked every PR person from every show I’d done, for a copy of all the press they had on their shows. That included international press from Europe, etc. (this was before the internet so that meant snail mail) It took about six months of constant work to collect all the press I needed.

Whenever my friend (the Producer from a show I was on at the time in Canada) met with anyone in LA, I asked him if I could also meet with them and convince them I was worthy of a letter of recommendation. I almost always walked away with a “yes”. So, I was looking for opportunities to beef up my case for my attorney.

Mistakes? Sure, I made mistakes. I ran out of money for a while (had to work as a janitor in a children’s acting school) because I didn’t calculate the exchange rate from Canadian to American money. I also didn’t ask about other fees I would need to pay for down the road as the approval precess began. But, this mistake helped too because then when I DID move to LA, I could more easily calculate my real costs of living in the states. I was preparing for the life I was intending to live.

Patience? Well, I was dealing with the government…which moves at the pace of molasses so yes, I had to wait a long time for my hearing.

And…I didn’t give up.

In hindsight I’m amazed at how determined and absolutely ballsy I was! And I can cite many more times I’ve approached my goals with this same mindset…starting my own business, co-producing a movie, getting my Pilates certification, setting up my own etsy shop…etc, etc.

Anything worthwhile that I have accomplished has been through this same formula.

So in terms of achieving our desires, we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to put in the work it will require? Are we willing to risk making mistakes while creating opportunities? Are we in it for the long haul?

If you need help refining your plans, get in touch and together we’ll figure it out. And remember to share, retweet, repost…and don’t give up!

 

 

Reflecting to help find Clarity: a different way to define what makes us truly happy.

This is a quick and fun way to see if your life is actually in alignment with your true passions and desires. Don’t be surprised by it’s simplicity. It’s a powerful spotlight into your soul’s desires.

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.

Pattern recognition. Do you see a theme or two running through your list? Usually there is a lot of repeated experiences on your fave list. Can you clump them into a group with a heading or title? For example, when I did this exercise, I had 3 distinct patterns which I titled: crafting, meaningful travel, and spiritual practice. So these 3 areas are most important to me to feel truly happy and fulfilled.

Now go back to what you wrote and see what patterns have emerged. Then give each pattern it’s own title.

Step three.

Notice what you did not mention on your list. Noticing what’s missing can also shed light on what we ‘think’ we want rather than what truly brings us joy. For me, as much as I love my clients and my work…it didn’t really come up for me. Now, that doesn’t mean I’m going to quit my job and water color all day long! It just shows me that although work is great, it’s important to create time to cultivate those other aspects that make my soul sing.

So think for a moment and notice what you thought would be highlights but actually didn’t make the cut? And again, this is so you can view your life in a more accurate way. There are things you enjoy doing, and then there are things that you LOVE to do.

Now reflect on your life…is it a nice balance between the two? Or is your life kind of lopsided and too focussed on what you ‘think’ you love? Can you include more of the activities from your “true joy” list? For example, meaningful travel won’t be something I can do every month. But, it will help me decide where to go and who I’ll travel with. Therefore, my travel will have more of an impact on me if I remember to make it meaningful rather than allowing it to just be a getaway.

I’d love to hear your discoveries with this exercise! The key is to not overthink step one, take the time to reflect on step two, and plan a way to do more of what you love in step three.

And, if you need help figuring out how to incorporate more joy into your life, get in touch and we’ll work on a plan together.

 

 

 

What the world needs is people who have come alive!

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive…and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” – Howard Thurman

This is a common problem for many people…”what am I going to do with my life?”. That’s a big question! Holy big responsibilities, Bat Man!

Many of us are pressured by our parents to go to school and study (fill in the blank) so we can have a career. Artists and entrepreneurs are almost always encouraged to get a ‘back up’ career…just in case their dreams don’t come true. And some of us look at our friends who seem to be moving along easily in their work life, and we feel like we’ve somehow missed the boat.

Here’s the thing, our world is not the same world as it was for our parents. There are very few ‘back up careers’ left anymore. And most of us won’t stick with the same career for our entire lifetime anyway. Most of us will have several careers over the span of our lives.

So let’s drop the notion of figuring out ‘what to do with our lives’.

Instead, ask yourself what lights you up? When do you feel like you are in the zone? What are you doing when you feel like you are running on all cylinders? What are your favorite things to do?

From there you can start to investigate what work might interest you.

For example, let’s say you love horses. Well, you could teach riding lessons, invest in a barn and lease space to horse owners, work at the racetrack. You could sculpt horses or draw paintings of horses and sell your work in a gallery or on etsy…

I, and many of the people I work with, don’t have just one job. Yes, I teach Pilates and Life Coach but I also teach crafting workshops and have a store on etsy. I’m utilizing as many of my passions as I can to make money and feel fulfilled. So even when I was offered a job to manage a Pilates studio at a gym (a ‘real’, full time job) I turned it down. Managing people sounds like a big drag to me (…even though I’d probably be good at it.) But I know I need to be independent and work for myself. That means risking that I might have less work from time to time. But, it’s worth it…to me.

There are plenty of opportunities to work at doing what we love but we first have to know what that is!

So, pay attention to when you are most alive, most enthusiastic, most passionate. What truly turns you on?

Hint: when you are in the ‘zone’ and time flies by without you noticing, that’s usually a signal that you are doing something you love.

There are no guarantees in life so don’t ‘settle’ for a career because you think you are supposed to have a 9 to 5 job. Pursue your passions instead. The world needs that special aliveness that is unique to you!

I work with many people dealing with this issue. If you are having trouble with this, get in touch and together we’ll figure it out.

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