supportive

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.

The Gift of Support

GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF SUPPORT  

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, as the year comes to an end… look at your life, your goals, etc.  Where are you struggling?  Where could you use some extra help?

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 session 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.  You can always pack a lunch instead of eating out, sell some of your crap on ebay, or skip out on a few happy hours.  And, the minute you step up by signing up, the funds show up.  I’m not kidding…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, (like, right now!), you will feel both relieved and excited about your future. 

Give this gift of support to yourself…Now.

You deserve it!

And, that includes reserving time with me!  If that feels right to you, then get in touch and let’s get a date on the books. …and I’d love to hear from you.

Live with passion and joy.  The world needs that special something that you were born to share.  Please, don’t wait.  Start sharing your talents today.  And if that requires some support…go get it!

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

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!  

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Clearing the slate for 2018

Clearing the Slate for 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Circle the doable items that will give you a great sense of relief knowing they are finally DONE. By actually completing these things, you will be entering the New Year “mentally” clutter free as well as opening up the time to start new things.

Then, cross off or politely bow out of the things you agreed to do that simply won’t get done or will hold you back from the more important tasks on your list.

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

Why didn’t you accomplish them? Is it possible that they no longer serve you? Sometimes letting something go is more empowering than hanging onto it for dear life. Goals and dreams actually do have expiration dates. Put on your truth lenses and ask yourself if this is still worthy of your time and effort. Ask yourself why you set this goal in the first place and more importantly, do you still feel the same way about it now? This step of letting go may feel a little painful or sad, but there is great power in being honest with yourself. Honoring where you are NOW will ultimately help you to make better decisions as to where you want to go in the future.

How do you know if it’s time to let it go?

Is it taking too long? Is the pain outweighing the joy? Are you getting nowhere? Are you hanging onto it because you are afraid of what other people will say if you decide to “give up” on it? Is there something else nagging away at you? Could you actually try something different or new and still fulfill the desire that the original goal was meant to achieve?

Sit with this awhile. These are not easy questions to ask…even harder to answer with honesty and self compassion. But they are worth asking and answering.

You may decide to let it go. You may shed a tear or two. But then, you can allow yourself to open up to other possibilities you were too preoccupied to see.

Or, you may decide absolutely, NO! I’m not letting it go. And in that realization you will discover more clarity as to WHY you must keep this on your list of goals and desires.

The point is to be honest with yourself. And compassionate.

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

The idea is to start 2018 with a CLEAN SLATE. Not a slate with stale leftovers from last year. Ideally the only goals being invited into the New Year are your passion projects that you have revisited and have even more clarity on. All the other stuff should be completed or at the very least, completed as much a possible before the New Year begins.

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

So…write it ALL out. Decide what shall be done, what shall be let go of for good, and what shall be reinforced and invited into the New Year.

Then, go getter’ done!

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