spiritual life coach

My favorite daily habit to improve our dispositions

We are all born with different personalities, preferences, inclinations and dispositions. There was a vast study done in the 1950’s called the ‘New York Longitudinal Study’ where they studied infants to predict the various temperaments each child would likely exhibit as a toddler and further on in life.

And ask any parent with more than one child, they will tell you that they are all different…same parents, same DNA, different sensibilities.

So what about those of us drawn to the “broodier” side of life? Some people seem to be “hard wired” to see the negative, the mistakes, the worst case scenario. Is that you?

Or maybe you used to be pretty happy in general but life has just served you up platter of poopy life circumstances and you feel bummed out more days than not?

(Let me be clear, I’m talking about general malaise. NOT clinical depression. If you feel clinically depressed or suicidal, seek medical help immediately.)

Well, there is good news for those of you who tend to feel down. You can ‘rewire’ your brain to actively look for things that bring a smile to your face. It just takes daily practice.

– Random Acts of Kindness have been proven to, over time, help elevate people’s moods. That means, just doing something nice for someone else for no good reason, can nudge you out of a slump.

– Physically moving your body in positive ways (dancing, singing, looking up at the sky, etc) has a psychological effect on your moods. So if you are staring at your feet feeling sad, look up! That sends a neuromuscular message to your nervous system to change its focus thus changing your state from bummed, to uplifted.

But, my favorite way to rewire our brains to see the good, is:

– Journaling…in a very specific way

Everyday for the next 2 weeks, sit down and write about something good that happened to you that day. It can’t be the same thing as yesterday! You have to come up with and write extensively about something new that happened to you…every day for at least 2 weeks.

Our brains love repetition. Don’t take my word for it. Notice, do you brush your teeth with the same hand every day? Do you tie your shoelaces the same way every day? Do you drive to work the exact same way every day? Of course you do. Our brains are wired to create energy saving habits (more on that in upcoming newsletters). So, by repeating this action of positive journaling every day, your brain will start to look for more experiences for things to write about. Your brain can’t help it! It’s driven to create habits! And, this habit happens to feel good…so your mind will have no choice but to reinforce this habit daily.

This may sound overly simplistic, until you give it a try. For some of us, at first, finding a good thing to write about might be a challenge. So, start small and easy. Did someone smile at you today? Did your car get you from point A to B without incident? Did you see a funny video on YouTube? You don’t have to come up with monumental things that happened to you. Just write about something that made you smile, or laugh, or feel at peace. Stick with it for at least 2 weeks and then start to notice how much easier it gets to remember the great things that happened every day.

And no need to wait until you’re depressed to start this habit…I think we could ALL benefit from practicing journaling our good experiences every day.

FACT: We all have the capacity to increase the sum joy in the world every minute of every day.

Despite our dispositions, we do have a choice.

If this is something you have struggled with, get in touch. I’ve helped a lot of people break out of negative thought patterns and I am available to work with you if you want help with this.

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.

Attack thoughts…turning anger into peace

We’ve all been there…wagging our finger at someone who we feel need’s shaming. But, as Marianne Williamson says, “It’s not our job to police the universe”.

But sometimes it feels like it IS our job!

Sometimes, someone does something that hits all our angry buttons at once and we not only fly off the handle, we hold onto that anger and stoke it like a fire. Anything can set us off if we’re triggered the right way…unconscious drivers, obnoxious coworkers, demanding family members…personal or not, there are times when we get overly upset and feel the need to rant and rave.

Whether it’s your boss, spouse, parent, child…we all have had the experience of been so angered that we start an entire make belief fight with them in our mind. Usually this involves you being vindicated in some way and almost always leaves them feeling ashamed and feeling horribly remorseful.

If this sounds familiar, it’s important to take a “time out” for yourself and notice the endless loop you are in. Whether it’s in your head, or on the computer as you rewrite an angry email over and over…however it’s transpiring, notice that you are stuck in an anger rut. (And don’t sent the email!)

Then, ask yourself how YOU are feeling. If you want to prove them wrong, that’s an indication that you feel you were let down and wronged in some way. It’s a signal that somehow, your expectations were not met. If you want to make them feel ashamed, take a look inward…are you ashamed of something yourself? Did they hurt you in some way? The desire to hurt someone else almost always comes out of our own feelings of being hurt.

First question to ask yourself: will confronting this person help me in any way? Will it open up the channels for communication, or will it lead to more negativity and failed communications?

If there is something you can do about the problem, I recommend taking at least 3 deep breaths. Then, respond respectfully and proactively rather than knee jerking a negative reactionary thought. And, if you feel like you will likely still overreact, go home and address it tomorrow after you’ve had a good night’s sleep.

If however, you know you are being irrational and want to let this go, there are a few things you can do to transform your feelings of upset into a more peaceful mindset.

#1. Ask yourself: Do I want to keep these attack thoughts? Can I find the place inside of me where I can genuinely say “I don’t want to feel this way towards them.”?

Then ask:

#2. Am I WILLING? Am I honestly willing to give up making them wrong over and over again in my head? Another way to ask that question is…what do I have to give up in order to let those thoughts go? What am I hanging onto?

Chances are, you will have to spend a good amount of time answering these questions. This is where journalling can be a huge help. It keeps your mind focussed in the present rather than drifting back into your anger again. You can clearly see your assumptions and your thoughts and then more easily find the place in you that’s ready and willing to drop this negative thinking.

Then what? Let it go. Some people visualize their thoughts in a balloon floating away. Or drifting down a stream or getting swept up in a breeze. For some people, just stating out loud “I am willing to let this go. I am now, letting this go.” is enough to feel peace.

However you do it, just do it. And then, when those feelings crop up again, (because they usually pop up again a few more times), you can kindly remind yourself that it’s actually in your best interest not to dwell on those thoughts anymore. You’ve examined your feelings on the matter and would rather feel peace, than anger.

As you know, I always like to start small. Start with the person that was so engrossed in their smartphone that they failed to look before they stepped in front of your car. Yeah, that unconscious idiot…start with your attack thoughts about them. Go through the process of asking if keeping these attack thoughts are helping you feel good. Find out where within you, you could be willing to let those thoughts go. And then, let them go…
I would love to hear your stories about this!

Why Gratitude is Always an Ingredient of Success

Being grateful and knowing why you are grateful is more than just a fluffy self help practice. Conscious gratitude has a direct influence on your life as a whole.

Unfortunately, when things aren’t going so great, we tend to focus on what’s “wrong”. The problem with that is, you attract more of what you “don’t want”. Your subconscious works with images, not words. So thinking and obsessing over what’s depressing you will only bring more of it into your days. However, when you focus on what your are grateful for, you are sending an energetic signal to your subconscious and the world that you want more of those joyous things to be in your life.

What’s on your gratitude list and why?

A client of mine was struggling with work and the money was running out. I had her make a list of what she DID have and why she was grateful for it. What she had that she was most grateful for, was time. She had an abundance of time, so to speak. So instead of dwelling on her lack, she focussed on her abundance. And, without compromising her job search, she utilized her free time to volunteer. She worked with her church to provide food and support for the homeless in her area. She loved it. She had in essence found “work” that she enjoyed. She also continued to acknowledge how grateful she was for it. And soon enough, her job search turned into an actual job. And a great one. She still volunteers and is grateful for her meaningful work…both volunteered and paid.

You’ll notice, I’m not saying to pretend everything is okay and to lie to yourself. You know if you’re unhappy. But to change your situation you must first change what you focus on. Focussing on the pain brings more pain into your life. Acknowledging the good things in your life breaks that pattern and helps your mind focus on what you want vs what you don’t want.

Doing this same practice when things are going great is also helpful.

I can say I am grateful to have worked with some incredibly talented teachers in many areas of learning. Everything from piano to Pilates to knitting. I’m grateful for the amazing coaches and books that assist me as well. Why? Because if I want to change or set a new goal, I have all the tools at my disposal. And these tools help me be a better teacher and coach.

And then? My inbox gets filled with more good news from happy clients than junk mail. I sent out the message and the universe responded.

What’s already working in your life that you can be more consciously grateful for? Is there something you want more of? Why? By actively focussing on and being grateful for what you already have, you will bring more of it into your life.

One last thing, write it down. When you take the time to sit and write about something, it becomes more real to you and you will harness more energy to attract that which you want.

Do this everyday…and see how blessed you truly are.

Beating back the hold your EGO has over you

 

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time”- Andre Gide

Your faith must be greater than your fear if you have big plans for your future. And your fear is manifested through your ego.

Your ego HATES new plans…particularly big juicy ones. Your ego’s primary interest is to keep you safe. That means no risks, no rocking the boat, no new paths and absolutely no expansion whatsoever. It wants you stuck to the trunk of the tree while your big plans require you to step onto the skinny branches further up and out. Your ego will do everything in its power to stop you from taking that risk.

Think of it as an overprotective parent. Their intentions are good: they love you and want you to be safe. But the minute there is a suggestion of anything new and unknown, they go into full panic mode and start locking all the doors and grounding you for life.

So, here’s how positive change goes for a lot of people. They take the first few steps and are rockin’ it! Synchronicity is pulling in a bunch of opportunities…and then, bam! They get laryngitis. Or crash their car. Or their smart phone dies. Deadlines encroach on their time and their money gets tight and suddenly, all that excitement and enthusiasm is gone. They get sucked back into their mundane lives.

This is classic ego at work. Your ego is setting you up to fail by using all your forms of self sabotage. It wants you to screw up…horribly. Why? So you won’t attempt to do something new and risky again. It wants you safe and stable and has no interest in anything new. To the ego, new = danger.

By knowing this, you can override your ego’s tantrums. You can become aware of the challenges cropping up. Yes, someone may have slammed into your car. But that doesn’t have to stop you from going for your goals. Get the car fixed and move on. Your day job may be interfering with your free time but you can focus on the time you DO have and capitalize on THAT. Instead of crawling in the fetal position when your iPhone dies, take a deep breath and make an appointment at Apple’s genius bar.

By seeing the issues and moving forward anyway, you can beat back the ego’s power. Also, the more often you “feel the fear and go for it anyway”, the more comfortable you will feel taking risks. The most successful people in the world, also took the biggest risks. When they failed, they failed big. But then, they dusted themselves off, learned what they could from the experience, and went back to the work of going for it.

So, yes…it feels like the universe is conspiring against you. But it isn’t. Your ego is. Your ego is moving heaven and earth to keep you stuck and safe…and bored.

Turn your focus to moving forward anyway. Get comfortable being out on the “skinny branches”, and start leaping for your dreams.

The Truth about Synchronicity

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” – Albert Einstein

Synchronicity happens when you take a bold step towards following your passion. What you think is a coincidence is actually the universe’s helpful response to the actions you take to live your life’s purpose.

It doesn’t happen while you’re dreaming about your goals, it happens when you take deliberate, focussed actions towards achieving them. To finally say “I’m going for it!” requires high energy. Think back to a time in your past when you set a big goal and then took those first few steps. You weren’t sleepy or grumpy…you were excited and enthusiastic.

Energy attracts ‘like’ energy. Have you ever noticed when you are having a “bad” day, it feels like the world is plotting against you? Usually your energy is in the toilet and you are dealt problem after problem throughout the day. I’m not saying that sometimes crappy things don’t just happen. But ultimately, we create our experiences whether we’re conscious of it or not. So just notice that when you are cranky or run down, simple issues become major challenges. You are literally pulling that low draining energy into your experience.

The same is true for high energy choices. Resolving to lose the weight will likely have you notice your local gym is running a sale for personal training. Deciding to finish the script by December 31st could attract an unexpected meeting with an agent interested in finding more clients. Committing to meditating every day for 30 days could cause your schedule to change in a way that makes it easier for you to sit and practice. (I literally had that happen with yoga. I decided it was time to switch classes and boom! My schedule changed to make room for the new class and fill the previous time with a new client!) This is synchronicity at work.

But,again, this kind of “luck” doesn’t come from sitting at home doing nothing. It happens with action. You must move in the direction of your passion in order to receive the goodies of synchronicity.

To quote Oprah, “Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” The world is energy…the more charged with excitement you are, the more of that same energy will be drawn to you.

Start taking big actions today towards your goals. Enlist all of your passion and determination. And watch the world step up to support you in ways you never even thought of.