peace

Why our Goals Suck

Why our goal setting sucks, and why we will never achieve our sucky goals.

The most common times for goal setting is New Year’s and Birthdays.  Then, a few weeks go by and we notice we are not only off track, but we have already forgotten the goals we set.  

That’s because most of us set our goals ass backwards.  We think of our goals as accomplishments rather than journeys.  And because we don’t ask ourselves why we want what we want, we easily give up at the first sign of challenge.

There is a golden rule of the universe, in my opinion…

That which you desire has been deliberately put out of your reach so you can become the person who is worthy of receiving it.

That requires a whole different outlook and entirely a new approach to goal setting.  So let’s begin.  Ask yourself:

How do I want to feel every day?

Why is that important?  Because everything you do, every goal you set, is to help you feel a certain way.  Obviously, we all want to feel good.  But my way of feeling good is different than yours.  For me, feeling good might mean connecting to nature and my spiritual practices.  For you, feeling good might mean the thrill of adventure.  Or maybe, feeling good for you is all about family and intimacy.

The clearer you are about how you want to feel, the clearer your goals will be. AND, you’ll have a clearer pathway to achieving them.

So, let’s not wait.  Pull out a piece of paper or your journal and ask yourself some questions:

How do I want to feel every day?  

(Energetic?  Generous?  Grateful?   Sensual?  Passionate?  Creative?  Joyful?  Empowered?  Sophisticated?  Inspired? etc)  Ask yourself this question at least 10 times and rattle off whatever comes up.

And don’t worry if you can only come up with a few feelings. Write out what pops into your head even if you keep repeating the same feelings.  And don’t get hung up on the words…I have ‘creative expression’ as my top emotion and although that encompasses many feelings, that phrase vibes for me so that’s what I’m going with.

After all is said and done, how do you REALLY want to feel every day?

Now, on a different piece of paper jot down all your favorite memories from the last few years.  Feel free to include amazing memories that go further back in time, maybe even your childhood.

Now look at all those times and ask yourself, how did those experiences 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.  

Then, circle the ones you repeated the most…those top three to five feelings are why you do what you do.  By getting this specific,  you have just gained the clarity you need to set goals that you’ll actually want to accomplish.

Now is a perfect time to take a few deep breaths before asking yourself:

What would I like to accomplish so that I can feel the way I want to feel?  What goals, if I really went for it, would help me generate these feelings on a daily basis?  

Is this the year you write the screenplay, start a family, take your dream vacation?  What, if you really set your mind to it, would help you feel the way you want to feel not only at the end of the journey…but throughout?

Those are your new goals.

And one last thing…only set 2 goals maximum.  Because if this is the year you write the screenplay, you won’t have time for much else.  Setting one or two juicy life affirming goals is plenty.

And if you want help with this, get in touch and we’ll figure it out together.

And as always, retweet, repost, and forward to your 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!  

 

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.  

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.

 

 

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.