spriritual life coach

It’s Rebellion Time

Rebellion…another approach to goal setting

“When we harness our rebellious energy, we reject what most may accept, and focus on creating what we believe to be possible…we do not dwell on what has already been proven.  Instead we create the future we already know is possible.”  

  • Tara Bliss

There has been a recurring theme going on these days with not only my clients, but my friends as well:

We’re tired, burnt out, and want to go hide in a cave.  The last thing on our mind is goal setting for our future.

Personally, this year has been one of the most emotionally challenging years in a long, long time.  We’ve seen people’s personal lives politicized to the point of causing families to be ripped apart.  Death threats, hateful tweets, and offensive behaviors have become what feels like the norm for many of us.  And most of us are still mired in cultural expectations that we’re not only blind to, but don’t even agree with in the first place.

But hiding in a cave isn’t the answer.

We do have a say in how we create our lives and the world around us.  

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” – Gandhi

Yeah, yeah, yeah… but are we actually doing what he’s suggesting?  Are you BEING what you want to see?  Are you acting on the belief that you can co-create your future?  Or, are you hanging onto the belief that it’s too late or you’re just not up for the challenge?

No, it’s not too late and yes, you can handle the challenge.  I think where we get stuck when confronting change, is when we assume the future will unfold the same way the past did.  But if you bring a more rebellious energy to your goals, you can reshape the trajectory of your life and the world around you.  Rebellion has both destructive and creative energy behind it.  That is the road to change.  And a way more fun way to approach our goals.

If you’ve already set some goals for the new year, revisit them now.  And if you haven’t set any goals yet, think about something that you would like to see change.  This could be personal or cultural…just pick something for the sake of this exercise.  

Ask yourself:

What are my friend’s, family’s, and/or cultural expectations around this?

Do I agree with these expectations?

Which expectations can I get behind?

How would I behave?  What would I say?  Who would I spend time with and who wouldn’t I spend time with?

What would I watch or listen to in terms of the news, Netflix, Facebook, etc?

What would I say “no” to and what could I say “yes” to instead?

Asking these questions stokes our inner dormant fire.  If you were genuinely honest in your answers to the above questions, you will likely feel your energy perk up.   This is where rebellion starts.  And, good news… you have just gained more clarity about why you want this change/goal to happen in your future.

And I guarantee you will be more successful if you include collaboration.  Collaborate leadership is about dropping the pecking order and refusing to blindly follow orders.  It’s all about expressing and empowering not only your talents but also the talents of others.  It is inclusive, decisive, and powerful.  It is the opposite of oppressive power (which is divisive, destructive, and erratic).   And, no, it’s not about dropping our boundaries to be ‘nice’ either.  Collaborative leadership is every bit as much about owning our sovereignty.  In fact, it is when we have clear boundaries, we can freely share, grow, and co-create our lives.  

I believe it is time to pivot away from the single handed, oppressive hierarchy.  Instead, it is time to birth a new approach that holds collaboration and belief in our future as its’ new expectations. 

Are you with me?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this.  And share your rebellion with me if you feel moved to do so.

And if you want to dig deeper into your own rebellion/goal setting, get in touch and we’ll strategize together.

And as always, retweet, repost, and share with friends.

  

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.  

 

The Games we Play

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

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

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

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

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

For example, feeling irked when: 

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

The laundry is yet to be removed from the dryer.

The neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learning to be Comfortable with feeling Uncomfortable

“Never Underestimate the Inclination to Bolt” – Geneen Roth  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Insight without action is useless.  

Let’s go back to the sugar example. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Setting Healthy Boundaries…Another Aspect of Sovereignty

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

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

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

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

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

This works for any behavior you want to learn.  

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

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

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

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

Some personal examples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Overcoming Fear of Failure and Uncertainty – knowing your Fundamentals

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

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

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

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

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

…By sticking to our fundamentals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Write them out.

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

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.