spiritual coach

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!

 

 

What is your social media feed saying about you?

What are you putting out in the world?

I’ve said previously that although you may have no control over a situation, you do have 100% control over your response. How you react to whatever is happening is totally in your control.

And, is your responsibility.

Everything we do is either contributing to joy or adding to suffering. Everything. And how you show up to your work, your relationships, your art, and even your yoga classes, has an effect on the energy of others. You always have the option to add to the joy in this world…it’s a choice.

And never has that been more important than now.

Social media can be absolutely inspiring and thought provoking. I’ve read posts that were so heartfelt I’ve cried real tears for a person I didn’t even know.

And some of the most hideous and hateful things I’ve ever read have been on social media too.

Remember, social media never goes away. So my suggestion is to not just manage what you post…curate it as if it was a display of who you are. Because in many ways, what your Facebook page says about you, matters. Your Instagram feed is constantly putting out energy from the pictures you post. And others can see what you pin on Pintrest so even if you think you’re just screwing around on the internet, people are watching you. Remember, employers actually look at the Facebook pages of potential employees before hiring them. (thank God there was no internet when I was a kid!!!)

I’m not for a second suggesting that everything be cherry blossoms and fairy dust. But sincere comments add more depth to communications than attack tweets. We can be disturbed by the injustices of the world without shutting down the other side with a shaming post. Social media has the power to create positive change if we bring our humanity to it rather then our knee jerk reactions. And although bringing our truth to the world might be scary, our bravery and honesty will have a greater impact on more people.

So how can you avoid lashing out when you see something disturbing and unacceptable? Stop. Take a few deep breaths. Ask yourself if you can at all relate or at least be compassionate about what this person has said or done. Then choose your language wisely. Avoid adding more fuel to the fire…and that might very well mean saying nothing at this time. If you’re really fired up, sleep on it. We always see things more clearly once we put a little space between us and the problem.

This is what taking responsibility for ourselves really means: Choosing the energy we are putting out into the world. You have the capacity to add to the sum total of joy in every moment of the day. You also have the power to increase the level of anger and hate in the world. How you REACT is YOUR responsibility. So, think before you tweet. Take a deep breath and reread what you are about to post. Are you being true to who you are or shaming someone for their opinion? What exactly are you contributing if you press “post”?

You always have a choice…especially on social media.

 

 

Enjoying the Struggle…Loving the lifestyle

We’ve all been told that “life is about the journey more than the actual end result”. But the reason I think many of us fail to find joy along that journey is because we don’t actually sit down and decide if that journey is right for us. We get excited about achieving the goal without questioning what it will take to achieve it…and if we enjoy that kind of hard work.

The people who rise to the top of the corporate ladder, love the long hours and the pressure it takes to get there. The people who have a loving relationship with their spouse and children are people who value spending time with family over making extra money. The people who write novel after novel are people who love spending hours alone in front of the computer.

So, if we find ourself hating the circumstances of our lives, the question we need to ask ourselves is, “are we up for the struggle?” Or, I prefer to ask, will I enjoy the lifestyle?

Back when I was getting certified for Pilates, my teacher asked all of us a very important question: “Do you want to be a Pilates instructor or a Pilates enthusiast?”. Well, we were there to get certified so obviously we all wanted to be Pilates Instructors! He questioned us further…”what will your life look like? How often do you think you’ll actually get to do Pilates?”

I can tell you the answer to that. For the past 15 years I have probably spent as much time in the car driving to studios, gyms, people’s homes, etc as I have spent actually teaching. AND…aside from the classes I teach at the gym, I only manage to fit in a few Pilates exercises a day. In fact, there are plenty of videos on-line that are designed specifically for instructors because they only have 15 minutes to work out between clients! (whereas the enthusiasts, come take class with me at least 3 times a week!) And, I’ve also had to work with people in acute pain, debilitating injuries… and many with challenging personalities.

So, if I didn’t like driving, I’d be miserable and probably fairly angry. If I wanted every day to be 9 – 5, structured, and secure, I’d be a nervous wreck. If I only wanted to work with super fit and easy going people, I couldn’t make ends meet without another job.

The question then has to be, am I up for the challenges this lifestyle will give me?

If you want to be an actor, you will likely have to work as a waiter or caterer in order to keep your days free for auditions. You will also have to make enough money to be in class, hire a coach when needed, and do a lot of acting for free. (auditions) And then when you do book a job, you will then have to memorize lines, wake up for early call times, and deal with a multitude of inflated egos. If you become famous then you will be stared at in public, be photographed without your knowing, and answer the same questions over and over at all the press junkets to promote your current project.

That will be your lifestyle.

If you want to run a nightclub, you will have to like late nights, drunk people, loud music and flaky employees.

If you want to be in a band, you will have to practice for hours on your own, practice even more hours with the band, work nights and weekends, and lug your gear from gig to gig.

If you want to lose 100 pounds, you will have to change your lifestyle entirely starting with the food you eat. (And changing our diets is by far the most challenging part of losing weight.)

The fact is, you WILL face challenges. Obstacles WILL arise. So don’t turn yourself into yet another obstacle by complaining about the path along the way. If you can’t embrace the lifestyle (i.e. the challenges you will face) take a good look at that goal. Because yes, achieving it will likely feel awesome. BUT, with that achievement comes the work to get there. And if you can’t enjoy the work, you won’t put in the energy needed to actually succeed.

But, if you choose wisely, the obstacles, the struggles, the ‘work’…won’t feel like work at all. It will be just part of the journey.

If you want help with this, get in touch and we’ll go to work!

And if you liked this, repost, retweet, and forward it to friends.

“We are the Choices we Make”

“We are the choices we make”…Meryl Streep

News flash…you will never “find” yourself. The truth is, we “create” ourselves…every moment of every day.

That means our thoughts, our language, what we choose to act on, and what we choose to skip, all will have an effect on our lives. And not just our lives, but the lives of others as well.

We all know that saying “one person can change the world”…well, the reason it sounds cheesy is because there is truth to it. The ripple effect is real. There was a study done on this very topic. (“Implications of Vascular Theory of Emotions”…very dry read!) It’s summary states that 1,000 people are within 3 degrees of each other. That was not a typo…you are 3 degrees away from effecting the lives of 1,000 people. So how you show up in your life really matters. There is no better time then right now, to own our lives and the actions we take. And not just the big juicy actions…the little decisions matter too. And how you talk to yourself is crucial to your success and self worth. Despite how small this distinction is, it’s effects on your life are huge.

Do you ever listen to what you say to yourself? We all do it…we all have that running commentary going on in the backs of our minds. Who does your voice sound like? A cheerleaders or jailer? A loving supporter or destructive tyrant? A compassionate parent or an abusive one?

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never harm me” is total Bullshit.

Words mixed together into sentences are bundles of emotions. They can move you to tears of joy, or tears of pain.

Words matter.

Most of us have some fairly vile self talk that we fall victim to sometimes. And we all know that we would never say those things to another living being. For some of us, our self-talk is so violent it’s not fit for anyone to hear. Yet we listen anyway.

Why is it important to change our inner dialogue? Well, let’s apply some common sense. Let’s say the only water you drank was polluted and toxic? What would eventually happen? You would BECOME polluted and toxic.

It’s the same with thoughts! If all you feed yourself is harsh criticism and shame, you will BECOME fearful of everyone and most likely paralyzed by your shame.

So how can you expect to go out and take risks, and make the world a better place, if you think you are something to be ashamed of?

It’s time we changed our relationships with ourselves. And it starts by tuning in to what we tell ourselves on a daily basis.

I call the negative talk in my head “YSR radio…You Suck Radio”. And when it’s on in the background, I don’t just turn down the volume, I change the damn station!

I’m over simplifying, I know. But this self monitoring doesn’t’ have to be a total drag either.

Pull out your journal and write out your own “You Suck Radio” program. This won’t take long because you know it by heart by now. But taking the time to put it on the page is useful because then you can use your own words to shift your perspective.

For example, maybe you are unhappy with your weight. Write out all of your self talk around how much you weigh, why you’ll never improve, why you are destined to be as fat as a house for the rest of your life…(that was my self talk by the way), etc. Go for it. Let that vicious voice in your head have it’s say…and write it all down.

Now reread what you wrote. Is any of that true or helpful in any way? Does thinking you’re destined to fail motivate you to take positive actions in your life? And can the opposite be true as well…like the times you actually DID succeed at something?

What are you focussing on? Your successes or your failures? Is “You Suck Radio” blaring in your head? And if so, how do you think that will affect your day? How will it affect all the people you interact with today? Remember…we are all just 3 degrees away from affecting 1,000 people.

Start to listen to your thoughts about yourself. Your words matter whether they are directed at you or other people. Write them down and question their validity. Tune in to what station is playing in your head. And if it sucks, change the station.

Don’t forget to forward this to your friends, repost, and retweet!

Feeding the Wolves

In Wayne Dyer’s book, “the Power of Intention,” he shares a conversation he overheard soon after 9/11.

A grandfather and his grandson were talking. The grandfather said, “I have 2 wolves fighting inside of me. One is filled with anger, hate, violence and revenge. The other is filled with love, kindness, compassion, and forgiveness.”

“Which one do you think will win?” asked the grandson.

“The one that I feed”, replied the grandfather.

Stop and think about that for a second. Which wolf are you feeding these days?

Your self-talk, your values, and your beliefs effect how you react to your world. And your beliefs are created by thinking the same thoughts over and over again until you ‘believe’ they are true. Which means it’s important to know what you’re thinking!

When you are thinking attack thoughts, you are feeding the wolf of hate and negativity. Just like, when you are thinking loving thoughts you are feeding the wolf of compassion and kindness. I’m going to make the assumption that most of us would prefer to feed the wolf of kindness.

So, how do we manage our thoughts?

By paying attention. Here again, is yet another great reason to meditate and practice being mindful. And, I’m actually going to rename the practice of mindfulness to “mind awareness”, because that more truthfully describes the practice.

“Mind awareness” is exactly what it claims to be: becoming aware of what your mind is thinking. This requires you to disconnect from your thoughts and observe them, rather than associating and hooking into them. By that I mean, you don’t take your thoughts as “truths” and act upon them. Instead you notice them and allow them to show up. But, you take no action based on those thoughts because you are now simply observing them. Thus, you are disengaging from the power they have over you. They are just thoughts. You decide whether to act on them or not.

Not to get all “Matrixy” on you, but the truth is, you are not your thoughts…you are the one thinking your thoughts. Your true self is the” observing self” as some call it.

This is where meditation comes in. There are many forms of meditation. And there is a specific way to meditate for mind awareness.

Before I go any further, I want to clear up some confusion about this form of meditation. The goal is NOT to have no thoughts while meditating. The goal is to allow TONS OF THOUGHTS while meditating, and instead, notice the thoughts and then let them go.

So how do we do this? For some of us, we follow our breath in and out. Some of us use a mantra that we silently repeat in our head. Some of us listen to pretty music. (My faves are at the bottom of this newsletter) What’s most important is that you sit down and do it, not whether you’re saying the right mantra.

You sit, for a chosen amount of time, and notice when your thoughts distract you from your focus. Then, when you notice your mind has strayed, you simply return to your breath or mantra. That’s it. Easy peazy.

I can already feel your resistance…”I don’t have enough time”. First of all, you do…(my last newsletter was about that very thing and if you missed it let me know and I’ll send it to you). You likely have that resistance because someone said ’20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening were best’. Well, really? I started with 3 minutes a day! I’m not kidding, that is how I started my practice. Now, I meditate almost every day and for however long I can. Some days it’s still 3 minutes, some days 10, sometimes several times a day…As long as I’m doing it, it’s helping.

Let’s get back to how that translates into real life. When you practice noticing your thoughts when you are still and quiet, you will find it easier to notice your thoughts when you are busy living your life. And by noticing your thoughts, you can start to clear out some of the negative ones and replace them with something more positive. You will more quickly notice when you are being judgmental, impatient, and self critical. And because you are conscious of those thoughts, you can then actively begin to cultivate more compassion instead.

And, the more you practice, the easier it gets.

Set your time to meditate. Remember, just 3 minutes most days is a great place to start. I don’t care how busy you are, you can carve out 3 minutes to sit and notice your thoughts. Then start to be more mind aware throughout your day.

Some people have a reminder on their phone that goes off several times a day to remind them to observe their thoughts. Some people post it in various places reminding them to be mind aware.

After a while, you won’t need the reminders. But when first practicing this, I recommend doing something to help you remember throughout the day. After all, most of us are on auto pilot for a good amount of the time so remembering to shift into awareness can be challenging. So, set up some reminders to make your life easier.

Try this for a week and see how much easier it is to notice which wolf you are feeding…and let me know how it goes!

And, if you want to go deeper with meditation and mind awareness, get in touch. This is one of my favorite practices to work on with people.

And if you liked this, remember: retweet, repost, forward to a friend!

And lastly…if you want to meditate to my fave music…check it out here
(link)

How AWESOME are you?

How AWESOME are you?…how flooding good feelings helps build momentum with your actions
We are almost to the end of the year. That means celebrations, catching up with friends and family, and for some of us, it’s a time to reflect on the past year as well.

If you are looking back at the year, notice where you are placing your attention? Many of us zero in on where we fell short. Maybe you didn’t lose the weight, book the gig, find a partner, etc. Maybe some of your dreams didn’t become a reality this year…

First of all, I’m yet to meet anyone who ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISHED EVERYTHING they wanted to do! So, we’re all in the human race and we all get side tracked sometimes. Cut yourself some slack.

But more importantly, in reflecting on the year…where were you AWESOME? When and where did you kick ass? When were you hilarious, grateful, supportive, intuitive? When were you freaked out but courageous anyway?

Make this list of awesomeness LONG. Riff on all the great things you did, experienced, and created. Include the times you laughed so hard you almost peed your pants. All the goodies…reflect on them all.

Now, flood yourself with these great feelings. In other words, jump from great memory to great memory like the waves of the ocean. Remember one time, then another time, then another, then another…Let the good feelings literally flood over you and take you over completely. For the next week, do this for at least 3 minutes every day.

Aside from giving yourself a serious boost of self esteem and kick ass mojo (which should be reason enough!), this practice creates more neuro-pathways based on positive results and responses. In other words, you are not only training your brain to look for more ways to feel good, you’re programming it to take more actions to feel good. Practicing this daily, is a quick and easy way to add momentum to your goals. (and the more you practice this, the more great memories will pop up!)

So…How friggin’ great are you???

Write it out. Post it where you can see it. Keep adding to it as more great things show up.

Own Your Awesomeness.

procrastination…what are you really committed to???

We all procrastinate sometimes. After all, work is called “work”, not “play”.

Sometimes our procrastination is a signal to shift gears and reevaluate our goals. And if that’s the case, we usually feel it in our gut. Maybe it’s telling us to rethink a goal we may have set, or a job we’ve signed up to do. This is a healthy form of procrastinating and it’s a signal to stop and rethink.

But, some of us are sabotaging our dreams by letting procrastination run amuck. If you are procrastinating on something you are passionate about… writing a script, getting an agent, building a website… then you are sabotaging yourself.

Oddly enough, you likely have very good reasons to avoid taking action. The problem is, you don’t know what those reasons are. Your subconscious fears are running the show. Getting to know your personal sabotage “signature” is your biggest weapon to self defeating urges.

So, how do you figure out what beliefs you are being ruled by?

Ask. Ask a lot. Ask, ask, ask.

I had a client who was concerned about starting a new business. From personal experience, I will tell you that starting any new venture is time consuming and offers no guarantees. This is why many people are happy managing say a Peet’s vs opening their own coffee shop. Going your own way takes money, courage, and a shit-load of energy.

So, he had reasons to be nervous. But he’d done the research, had a good financial plan, and for all intents and purposes, it looked like a risk that would be worth taking.

Yet he stalled. And avoided. And got distracted…

So I asked:

“If the worst case scenario were to happen, what would that mean to you?”

He said he’d lose a substantial amount of money.

“And then what would happen?” I asked

“I might have to move, I might have to get another job, I’d be pretty broke”

“And then what would happen?”

“Take out a loan…if I could…”

“And if you couldn’t take out a loan, then what?”

“I guess I’d have to ask my father to help me out”

“And then what?

“He’d see that he was right. I’m terrible at business and should have just followed in his footsteps instead.”

“And then?”

“He’d think I’m an embarrassment to the family.”

BINGO!!!!

He was procrastinating because he believed that if he failed, his father would be ashamed of him. Now THAT is a very scary thought for most of us. As “grown up” as we all are, most of us still don’t want to let our parents down. And nobody wants to feel like a cause for family shame.

No wonder he was avoiding going for it fully. His identity and self esteem were at stake. He was MORE COMMITTED to keeping his self esteem intact and not upsetting his father. After realizing that, he could then acknowledge to himself that win or lose, he wasn’t going to incur the shame of his Dad. Taking action became easier and easier until his business was up and running. When he caught himself backsliding, he asked himself the same questions I did…and asked and asked until he got to the real reason for his self sabotage. Which then he could then conquer fairly easily.

So why are you stalling on your dreams? What would happen if you failed? And then what? And then? And after that, what would happen?…

Dive into the rabbit hole head first and figure out what you are really committed to. If you are procrastinating, you are afraid of something. And, you are more committed to avoiding that pain than achieving your goal.

Once you figure that out, you can choose to override it and take the necessary actions to achieve your success. And when you slack off or stumble, get curious. Ask and ask until the truth comes out. If you want to defeat the dragon, you have to look it in the eye first. And your dreams are worth fighting for.

(If you need more help with this issue, please, get in touch and we’ll get to work.)