Where is the Mid-Life Crisis Guidebook?

Where is the Mid-Life Crisis Guidebook?The other night I was staring at the clock.  11p.m. (that is an early bedtime to be honest).  Midnight (the cool ideas start coming in and I have to either write them, or sleep).  Then the minutes slowly clicked by for what seemed like an eternity.  I started saying things to myself like, “If I fall asleep now, I can get like 4 hours of sleep”, and later I thought about giving up and going to write.

Can you take a guess as to what was keeping me up?  I bet you can.  The old “What the hell am I doing with my life”? Thought came up out of nowhere.  Well, seemingly nowhere.  You see, I turned another year older and I bet I am not the only one who occasionally has these thoughts.

I started to make a mental list…a sort of mid-life crisis checklist if you will.  Here is what went on it.

  1. What do I love, like absolutely love, about where I am now?  I want you to list in your journal or on your planner, somewhere by hand, what it is you love about your life and/or job right this moment.  If nothing changed, what is the best thing about your life, job and where you are?
  2. What would I change about where I am right now?  Usually this one is a whole lot easier, right?  We have lists that have lists and sections, and letters and points from A to Z on this.  But narrow it down to your top 3 things if you can here.
  3. Where would I go if I had the means, the freedom, and no one to judge me?  This is kind of like your bucket list perhaps.  I started thinking about travel here, and retreats that I would like to go on.  You can list anything you want here.  Including new jobs or new places to live.
  4. If someone had to say what I am passionate about, could they?  This one is huge.  If something happened to you, or if someone had to narrow down what you would fight for or what really makes you alive, could someone say that about you because it is so evident?  Here is where I said yes.  Yes.  I am doing the things I am passionate about and people could say what they are.
  5. Where does the doubt come from and what triggers it?  I already knew the answer to this one for myself, but do you?  I encourage you to think about your triggers, what stays in your mind all night and what you think about.  If you have a hard time with this, try my S.O.S. video tips << from the other day.  <<  Ignore the beginning where I talk about the internet to myself.  haha.

In the end, this checklist answered my own doubts and I knew what was the next step for me after thinking about this half the night.  I know that I love, more than anything, my readers.  I don’t get to connect to as many on some platforms, but I do get to connect to my Head|Heart|Health Club << and that is where I am making the biggest difference.  I am seeing the changes in the energy of the Club members, seeing how different they react to what is going on in their lives, and how connecting with their inner most thoughts through a combination of journal therapy, mindfulness and centering through basic yoga poses is working for them.  This is what I am most passionate about...  Helping others recover from poor lifestyle choices and learning that there is a new treatment plan that doesn’t merely ignore your emotional body, but really addresses those needs as well.

Finding the Light in Dark Times.

Find the lightI feel your need this week my friends and I am going to bring you as much light as I can right now.  Over the years, I have faced illness, betrayal by a friend, difficult work environments (to say the least), having literally $5 left in my account, car break downs and various other “disasters” that cost me literally thousands of dollars when I didn’t have it to my name, and that time I couldn’t move at all and considered what the point of life was if you were going to be in pain 24/7 and living as if you were dead.  << Yes.  That was me.

What is the one thing that I held on to during those times?   The thought that life had a purpose for me….that I was being tested and measured…and that I really was going to come out on the other side of this stronger than before.

I had faith that there was a plan.  Did I know the plan?  Hell no.  I was apparently going to be the last to know.  But I sensed there was something greater than me at work and through me, things were going to change.

How I found the Light:

  1. I began my new morning ritual with gratitude.  I can not even began to describe the pain level to you at this moment.  It was beyond my skin feeling like it was on fire (it prickled and burned even when no one was touching me), my bones ached to the very core, and I couldn’t sleep at all.  There was no position to sleep in that didn’t bring me more pain.  My gut was distended from autoimmune, and my brain never stopped registering a pain response.  What did I have to be thankful for?  Lots.  LOTS.  So I started there.   Thank you for this new day.  Then I would put one foot over the bed and as the pain flared through my hip, I would step down and utter thanks to the heavens.  I continued this daily…no matter what.
  2. I began to focus on what I had….not what was missing.  <<< This was huge.  I worked my mind to abundance thinking, which was new to me.  I will never forget the day someone used that word.  As in my cup runneth over.  I am full of bountiful blessings.  You see this person who said that to me, made incredible amounts of money.  I literally had like $5 because I had to leave my job, teaching, due to my pain level and autoimmune responses being off the chart.  So I began to think about what I had.  I would list it in my head.  Then I would think about what I could do with the “gifts” I had.  And I gave as much as I could to others.
  3. I stayed as present as possible.  This was the opposite of what me, fantasy world living girl, wanted to do.  I wanted to escape in my head or in my books, where things were easy.   I started paying attention to little things.  Leaves.  Sunlight filtering in.  Tucking my kids in.  My husband’s strong hug when he was just as scared as I was.  Coffee.  The warmth of the cup.  My parents.  Knowing that I could call them, but trying not to cry if things were bad.  Just simply putting one foot in front of the other until that was all I could do.  And lastly, the day that I found the breath.  Through yoga.  I learned how to stay present through the haze of pain in yoga.
  4. I learned how to fall apart…better.  There are tantrums.  There are crying spells.  And then there are “why me” moments.  The silent, soul racking sobs that make you think your entire world is ending and you can’t control what is happening.  The truth is, you can’t control what is happening and you never could.  Not even when things were great.  So this is no different.  I learned to get through those moments and then say to myself “snap out of it” <<< Yes.  I imagined Cher slapping me.  Then I would say what tiny thing CAN I control right now?  usually it was getting out of my damn pajamas and struggling to take a shower.  When that was over, I would feel better and I would see what reserve energy I had left to go to the store.  If I manged those two small things, I felt better.  I could have tea and then write.  This is all in the early days of this blog, but the moments were there when I learned how to “life” better.  I learned to lean into it.
  5. I could control who I was around.  If I had to look at pitying eyes one more time I was going to slap someone.  And if anyone said that it happened for a reason I wanted to stab them.  << Note, no one was actually harmed.  I did however, cut some people off instead.  Anger was a huge part of who I was.  At that time.  And yoga helped me learn to control that to the best of my ability.  I started being around people who could lift me up and meet me where I was that day.  If I didn’t have those people, I searched for them.  I made my own world.  And I didn’t regret the choices I had to make when people were not able to support me.  When people were too busy condemning or judging how I got through this, they went into the boundary holding area Most of them never came back from that area.  The ones who did admitted they were sorry…and a few more later went through difficult experiences and admitted they had no idea until they too were tested.
  6. I created my own feelings of happiness and peace.  I prayed, I read, I meditated, I did the yoga, but it was entirely up to me to be the one to move forward.  No one could do that for me.  I was given the ability to be stronger than my problems, and no one else could turn that key.  No one except for me.  I didn’t wait for a doctor to magically cure me as there was no cure for my incurable diseases…but I also didn’t settle for that answer.  I made my own way.
  7. I used my lessons to teach others.   You can ask my yoga brothers and sisters.  I couldn’t hold myself up in downdog for more than a few seconds when I first started Yoga Teacher Training.  How was I going to get through 200 hours?  Scorpio hard-headed power activate.  I learn to use the word “modify” in a sentence.  It meant for me to do what I could with the pose and use props, blankets, blocks and take a child’s pose as needed.  I finished my 200 hours and went on to take yoga for arthritis and pain.  I then combined every single lesson I had ever learned last year, at this very time, and take some money I had saved and invest in my business to help others.  I launched the 30 Days of Gratitude Group, which then became the foundation for my Head|Heart|Health Club.  I learned how to help others through their own “pain”, whether it was mental or physical, and take one day at a time. 

Need more help?  Use the search bar on the right and type in the word you are looking for.  Want to watch my videos?  << Go there.

5 Ways to Find Your Calm in a Sea of Stress

5 Ways to Find Your Calm in a Sea of StressLife in unpredictable.  As surely as you are singing along with Frank Sinatra, about “That’s Life”, you will find that you are either riding high or feel shot down just like in his lyrics.

That’s life (that’s life) that’s what people say
You’re riding high in April
Shot down in May
But I know I’m gonna change that tune
When I’m back on top, back on top in June

I said, that’s life (that’s life) and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks
Stompin’ on a dream
But I don’t let it, let it get me down
‘Cause this fine old world it keeps spinnin’ around

This fine old world keeps going though, doesn’t it?  I have been noticing more people reaching out to me during my live talks on my page, so I know that you need to hear this right now.

I am going to cut right to the heart of it for you.  I understand living stressed, pay check to pay check, with illness, wondering how in the hell you are going to get through the latest thing that life threw at you.  That moment where you look up and you say “Really?”  That moment where you ask why me, why now?  I have been there when the despair threaten to pull me under, but on that last gulp of air, as I came up from the bottom, I said not this girl.  Not now, not ever.

And that’s where the magic happens.  On that gulp as you decide this isn’t how it’s going to play out.  I am offering you a few extra gulps of air here so you can make it to the raft.  You can do this.

5 Ways to Find Your Calm in a Sea of Stress:

  1. Find your center.  In yoga, there is a point in the class when the teacher directs your attention inward.  I want you to do that in times of great stress.  It does take awareness to detect when you are not yourself and therefore need to re-center.  I like to connect to the emotional center and calm myself by placing my hand over my heart.  If I am barefoot, I stretch my toes and spread through all four corners of my feet.  I imagine my heart radiating the pink light of love and then washing over me to calm my soul.  There are many ways to find your center, but just visualize you are calm and take three deep breaths.
  2. Stay present with the breath.  This is one of the best tools in your almost empty tool-box.  I talked about your tool-box in length last week, and I want to give you something else to put in there.  Observe the breath.  Is it shallow?  Then start to slow it down and breathe deeply for a full round of three.  Say to yourself “I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.”  If you want to breathe deep into your belly, put your hand over your navel area and breathe into your hand.  Feel it rise and fall.  Just be present in this moment.
  3. Call in the mantra or affirmation.  In my Club, we have a focus for each month.  This month is positivity, gratitude and raising the vibration of energy that we can tap into when it is needed.  Our goal is to maintain our own energy source without being depleted by outside sources.  The best mantra when you are having a rough time is “This thought is a choice.”  You then direct your thought to a positive choice if you were going down a path that made you think negative thoughts.  Another great one is “It all works out and it will get done.” That is for those days you have taken on too much.  To make your own mantra right now, tap into what is causing you stress, then think about the exact opposite feeling you wish to create and call that in with a mantra.  “I am healing.” is the one I used for over a year when I was in pain 24/7.  One day, I woke up after doing yoga the night before and I began to realize that there was little to no pain left in my body.  Mantras can be a powerful force to direct your thoughts.
  4. Journal your way into gratitude.  When I was at my lowest point, and the pain was greater almost than my will, notice I said almost as that was when I resurfaced and took a large gulp to get to the life raft, anyway, that was when I started my mental butt-kicking with journaling.  Many of you know that I turned that into my program to teach others how to do the same thing called the Head|Heart|Health Club.  I was going to save as many people as I could who needed that extra gulp.  I began to notice all of the good in my life at one of the most excruciating times ever that I had personally faced.  It was literally a life changing process. Gratitude is one of the most medicinal emotions we can feel. It elevates our moods and fills us with joy. ~Sara Avant Stover
  5. I did the yoga.  On days I wanted to sit in my pajamas and never come out…on days I wanted to curl up in the fetal position, I switched to child’s pose instead.  The benefits of yoga truly changed my level of appreciation for my body and all that it was capable of doing even in the darkest moments of pain.  And so I gifted myself with continued studies and learned yoga for arthritis and pain.  I began to teach others who were in pain and by sharing my gifts, I lightened my darkest hours.  I also did the hard stuff and recorded myself teaching 8 beginning yoga poses as well as chair modifications for my Club and the benefits of doing these poses daily.

Articles that you might like to go with this:

5 Ways to Find Your Calm in a Sea of Stress

Which Rare And Beautiful Stone Matches Your Spirit?

Pick a stone!Hey there friend!  Do you like gemstones and crystals?  So as a child, I collected “rocks”.  It started at a very young age and as most children toddle around and see sparkly bits in the ground, they are curious and pick them up.

I started getting even more curious and my dad would take me on walks when we went on trips and we would look at the rocks and classify them.  I always was fascinated, I mean absolutely floored and how many different one I could find.  I started labeling them, and had a collector’s box.  I got a tumbler one year for Christmas and began that process…but ever the impatient child, it took forever to make the rocks shiny and smooth.  I still remember my first necklace that I ever made.

Anyway, I also remember one thing I was drawn too was quartz crystals.  I loved them and when I would find rose quartz, I was always over the moon.  The other “rock” that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it was called mica.  I was fascinated by the layers and layers of sheets that appeared to form.  I linked that to a kid friendly site if you want to check it out.  I picked up the sheets and would pretend that was how they made sunglasses as a young kid.  I was always asking why, what can I use this for, and what can I pretend happened here or what imaginary story goes with this.

I never really thought about how much I enjoyed the process of finding them until my youngest started looking at them just like me.  On a trip to the mountains, we found the biggest piece of rose quartz I had ever seen…naturally I had to dig it out and bring it home.  It sits in my garden in front of my house.

So just for fun, I took this quiz and I really liked it so I decided to share it with you too.  I really enjoyed the questions on these and a few of them I was drawn to more than one answer, but I went with my first response.  Enjoy and let me know if you liked your answer.

The Art of Doing Nothing

The Art of Doing Nothing

The Art of Doing Nothing

Guest post by: Leo Babauta

Sure, we all know how to do nothing. We all know how to lay around and waste time. But many of us are too busy to do it much, and when we do it, our minds are often on other things. We cannot relax and enjoy the nothingness.

Doing nothing can be a waste of time, or it can be an art form. Here’s how to become a master, and in the process, improve your life, melt away the stress and make yourself more productive when you actually do work.

Start small
Doing nothing, in the true sense of the word, can be overwhelming if you attempt to do too much nothing at once. Do small nothings at first. Focus on 5-10 minutes at a time, and start your practice sessions in a safe place — at home, not at work or in a busy public place. You may also not be ready to do nothing in the middle of nature, so do it in your bedroom or living room. Find a time and place where there are not many distractions, not much noise, not a lot of people to bother you.

Shut off all distractions — TV, computer, cell phones, regular phones, Blackberries, and the like. Doing nothing is hard when our communications gadgets are calling at us to do something.

Now, close your eyes, and do nothing. Yes, the smart-asses out there will say you’re doing something — you’re sitting there or laying there, closing your eyes. But we mean doing nothing in the sense that if someone were to call us up and ask what we’re doing, we say “Oh, nothing.” Don’t let them call you up, though. They are trying to distract you.

After 5-10 minutes of doing, nothing, you can quit, and go do something. But try to do this every day, or as much as possible, because it is not possible to become a master without practice.

Breathing
The first place to start in the quest for mastery over this art is in your breathing. If this sounds suspiciously like meditation, well, cast those suspicions out of your mind. We are not here to do suspicion — we are doing nothing.

Start first by breathing slowly in, and then slowly out. Now closely monitor your breath as it enters your body, through your nose, and goes down into your lungs, and fills your lungs. Now feel it as it goes out of your body, through your mouth, and feel the satisfying emptying of your lungs.

Do this for 5-10 minutes, if you can. Practice this as you can. When you start thinking about other things, such as how great that darn Zen Habits blog is, well, stop that! Don’t beat yourself up about it, but bring your thoughts back to your breathing every time.

Relaxing
An important part of doing nothing is being able to completely relax. If we are tense, then the doing of the nothing is really for naught. Relaxing starts by finding a comfortable place to do your nothing — a soft chair, a plush couch, a well-made, clean bed. Once you’ve found this spot, lie in it, and wiggle around to make it fit your body better. Think of how a cat lies down, and makes itself comfortable. Cats are very, very good at doing nothing. You may never approach their level of mastery, but they make for great inspiration.

Next, try the breathing technique. If you are not completely relaxed by now (and a short nap would be a great indication of relaxation), then try self massage. Yes, massage is much better when administered by other hands, but self massage is great too. Start with your shoulders and neck. Work your way up to your head and even your face. Also do your back, and legs and arms. Avoid any areas that might lead to doing something (although that can be relaxing too).

Yet another great way of relaxing is an exercise where you tense each muscle in your body, one body part at a time, and then let the tensed muscle relax. Start with your feet, then your legs, and work your way up to your eyebrows. If you can do the top of your head, you may be too advanced for this article.

Once you are relaxed, see if you can relax even more. Try not to relax so much that you lose control of your bodily fluids.

Bathing – an advanced stage
Those who are in the beginning stages of the Art of Doing Nothing should not attempt this stage. But once you’ve become proficient at the above steps, the stage of the Bath can be pretty great.

The bath must be nice and hot. Not lukewarm, but hot. Bubbles are also required, even if you are a man who is too manly for this. Just don’t tell any of your guy friends. Other bath accessories, such as a loofah sponge, or bath gels, or potpourri, are very optional (editor’s note: think hilarious Friends episode).

Again, you must have all distractions shut off. Bathing is also best done if you are alone in the house, but if not, everyone else in the house must know that you CANNOT be disturbed, even if the house is burning down. If they break this sacred rule, you must turn upon them with the Wrath of Hell(tm).

Step into your bath, one foot at a time, very slowly. If your bath is properly hot, it is best if you get into it an inch at a time. For more sensitive body parts, such as the crotchal area, it is best to squeeze your eyes shut tight and slowly lower yourself into the steaming water despite all instincts to flee. Once you are fully immersed (and you should go completely under, head included, at first), close your eyes, and feel the heat penetrating your body.

You may begin to sweat. This is a good thing. Allow the sweat to flow. You may need a glass of water as the sweat could dehydrate you. A good book is another great way to enjoy your bath. Allow your muscles to be penetrated by the heat, to be relaxed completely, and feel all your worries and stresses and aches and inner turmoil flow out of your body into the water.

A hot bath is even more awesome if followed by a bracing cold shower. Either way, get out of the bath once the water is no longer warm and your skin is very raisin-like.

Tasting and feeling
Doing nothing is also great when accompanied by very good beverages or food. Good tea or coffee, wine, hot cocoa, and other sensual beverages go very well with the Art. It’s best to take these beverages by themselves, with no food, and without a book or other distractions. Focus on the liquid as you sip it slowly, savoring every bit of the flavor and texture and temperature in your mouth before swallowing, and feeling the swallow completely. Close your eyes as you do this. Truly enjoy this drink.

Foods are also great: berries, rich desserts, freshly made bread, the best … soup … ever, or whatever it is that you love. Be sure you eat it slowly, savoring every bite. Chew slowly, and close your eyes as you enjoy the food. Feel the texture in your mouth. It is bliss!

Doing nothing in nature

Once you’ve passed the above stages, it is time to practice this gentle art out in nature. Find a peaceful place — in your front yard if that’s peaceful, a park, the woods, at the beach, a river, a lake — places with water are excellent. Places out of reach of the sounds of traffic and city life are best.

Out here in nature, you can practice the art for 20 minutes, an hour, or even longer. There are fewer distractions, and you can really shut yourself off from the stresses of life. Don’t just let your mind wander everywhere — focus on the natural surroundings around you. Look closely at the plants, at the water, at the wildlife. Truly appreciate the majesty of nature, the miracle of life.

Incorporating the Art in daily life
This is the final stage of mastering this Art. Don’t attempt it until you’ve practiced and become competent at the above stages.

Start by doing nothing while you are waiting in line, at the doctor’s office, on a bus, or for a plane. Wait, without reading a newspaper or magazine, without talking on the phone, without checking your email, without writing out your to-do list, without doing any work, without worrying about what you need to do later. Wait, and do nothing. Concentrate on your breathing, or try one of the relaxation techniques above. Concentrate on those around you — watch them, try to understand them, listen to their conversations.

Next, try doing nothing when you drive. Yes, you must drive, but try to do nothing else. Don’t listen to music or news or an audiotape. Don’t multi-task. Don’t talk on your cell phone, don’t eat, and don’t do your makeup. Just drive. Concentrate on your driving, look at the things you are passing, and feel your breathing. Relax yourself, and don’t worry about the other drivers (but don’t crash into them!). Drive slowly, going easy on the gas and brake pedals. This technique has a great side-effect: better gas mileage.

Last, try doing nothing in the middle of chaos, in your workplace or other stressful environment. Just shut everything out, close your eyes, and think about your breathing. Try a relaxation technique. Do this for 5-10 minutes at a time, building up to 20-30 minutes. If you can do this, in the middle of a stressful day at work or with the kids, you will allow yourself to focus more fully on the task at hand. You will be relaxed and ready to concentrate, to bring yourself into a state of flow. (Warning: Doing nothing could get you in trouble with your boss, so be careful! But if it makes you more productive, you boss might not mind.)

Finally, the Art of Doing Nothing cannot be mastered overnight. It will take hours and hours of practice, of hard work (doing nothing isn’t easy!). But you will enjoy every minute of it! Try it today.

Want more tips on staying focused in your life?  See “Minutes of Mindfulness” every Monday.

Claircognizance or Intuition. You decide.

Do you just know things?
Claircognizance or Intuition. You decide.

Hope College social psychologist David Myers, PhD, wrote the intuitive right brain is almost always “reading” your surroundings, even when your conscious left brain is otherwise engaged. The body can register this information while the conscious mind remains blissfully unaware of what’s going on.

What’s claircognizance then?

Well, the exact meaning is clear knowing.  The thing that struck me as I started my research down this rabbit hole was the wording “Information received claircognizant is most often mentally, accompanied with the strong knowing sense that it is true…Despite the lack of any logical or physical evidence to point to.”  Do you ever get the feeling that you just know something and you can’t really explain where it comes from?  Like a feeling in your gut, soul or even mind that something is definitely true without any evidence at all as to explain why you know this?  To be honest, it happens to me all the time.

This almost always happens when I am really trying to move forward and not address a certain thought or idea.  The thought will come into my head and I have to write it down.  Something says “try this out” and then I do.  It works wonderfully.  That is one example of what happens to me, but here are a few more that you might recognize.

You might be using claircognizance if:

  1. You feel strongly lead to reach out and communicate with someone, check on them or comfort them and you can’t stop thinking about them until you do it.  << You often want to apologize for intruding, but they end up really needing to let you know something.
  2. Almost before someone betrays you…or even a close friend, you sense it.  Often with no explanation at all or reason, you just know when someone needs to “watch their back“.  It is always, always spot-on.
  3. You are the go-to person for answers when people need an objective opinion on something they just can’t quite seem to get to the bottom of.  You already were there…at the bottom…waiting to help.
  4. You interrupt because you kind of already know what they are getting to so you just feel like saying it so they don’t have to feel bad if it’s something heavy and deep.  It is just who you are.  You want to take the weight off them.
  5. Your knowledge is specific.  It isn’t vague even if you act that way.  You don’t like to let people know how much you really see because you don’t quite understand it all yourself.

So when we take a look at what we say intuition is, it’s really quite different.  It’s that gut feeling that something isn’t right.  It’s that split second of the body registering without you really being aware.

Want to read more?

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope)

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their FeelingsWhen people who are unhappy, have low self-esteem, and generally feel “damaged” inside hurt you, your first response is probably to hurt them right back.  I know that is my initial reaction as someone uses ugly, demeaning words against me in a pattern that is meant to make me feel bad.  The words they use over and over again, throughout the years of my life are meant to belittle me and make me feel guilt or shame.  They are in no way, shape, or form meant to uplift me, make me feel good about myself or build up my confidence.  They are said for one reason and one reason only.  To hurt me.

Once you recognize the pattern, it is time to find the trigger.  When does this happen to you?  Are you doing something particularly awful and foul or are you just trying to have a good time?  Chances are, you are enjoying yourself and having a good time.  That’s usually the trigger my friends.  The thing is, you have probably tried to speak to them about this type of thing before, and how you are just doing your best to be happy in your own skin, live your life, and teach others how to do the same, but they actually don’t care about your feelings.  It is quite evident in the repeated behavior pattern.

Hurt people hurt people. We are not being judgmental by separating ourselves from such people. But we should do so with compassion. Compassion is defined as a “keen awareness of the suffering of another coupled with a desire to see it relieved.” People hurt others as a result of their own inner strife and pain. Avoid the reactive response of believing they are bad; they already think so and are acting that way. They aren’t bad; they are damaged and they deserve compassion. Note that compassion is an internal process, an understanding of the painful and troubled road trod by another. It is not trying to change or fix that person.  ~Will Bowen

How in the hell do you separate yourself, with compassion mind you, from someone trying to hurt you?  That’s a tall order right there.  I have decided to narrow it down to 5 ways these people are projecting their feelings and give you a bit of advice around that behavior.

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope):

  1. Hurt people take it out on those who are often closest to them.  Why?  There are lots of reasons, but the easiest answer here is because they think you will either let it slide (multiple times, even if you have asked them to stop) or because they think you will forgive them over and over again.  How do you cope?  Quite honestly, it’s easier to put space between you and build up stronger boundaries than to get them to ever admit when they are wrong.  Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.  They are transferring either some rage they have onto you or feel jealous about something you have.  See it for what it is.  Take the pause here if you can.
  2. Hurt people see every word, or action, as something that was done TO them.  Not for them, not to help, but done to lash out through their narrow vision of pain haze.  Why?  They are not rational and think that everyone is “out to get them”.  Everything is a trap and meant to set them up in some way.  If you don’t answer the door fast enough, you might be avoiding them.  If you suggest they eat healthier, you might have just implied they are Jabba the Hutt.  If you say you like something they are wearing, that might have meant you don’t like how they look normally.  I can go on and on around this, but you are already nodding your head.  How do you cope?  You become a Mime.  Just kidding.  You’d probably mime the middle finger accidentally of course.  Resist the urge though.  Try very hard to put yourself in their shoes.  What do you know about their life right now?  What do you know about how they were raised?  Is there a reason for this type of distrust?  If we act as they do, it will only cause more pain in the end.  It takes massive strength to step back and remind yourself their actions and reactions are all about them.  Not about you at all.
  3. Hurt people often have no real life beyond the hurt.  Why?  They have alienated the people who once tried to help them.  They carry grudges so deep and so wide, that the Grand Canyon is jealous of them.  Remember Ebenezer Scrooge?  When his nephew tries to invite him over and then later he is peeking through with the Ghost of Christmas Present, but they are saying how they feel sorry for him.  It’s just like that.  Only this person presumably doesn’t have the ghosts to show them what the future will look like if they don’t stop pushing people away.  How do you cope?  Recognize that their reaction to pushing people away stems from preconceived notions they firmly believe as truth.  The mind has a funny way of remembering things.  You might extend the olive branch if they are dear to you and know that they will not change.  It is up to you to be the peace maker.
  4. Hurt people are always the ones who are the victim.  Why?  You have seen them never take responsibility for anything in their own lives over the many years of being around them.  They want short cuts, easy ways out, and no responsibility.  They know what they need to do, but they don’t really feel like it.  They are almost certain it is the responsibility of someone else to come save them from their mistakes.  How do you cope?  Don’t enable if you can.  To enable means that you give their thoughts power or you help them self-sabotage.  Simply say nothing if they say they “can’t” do something.  It’s better than agreeing with it.  I mean, to point out that Helen Keller earned a college degree, Stephen Hawking beat his life expectancy against ALS,  is still alive, and one of the world’s leading physicists, and my personal hero, Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms or legs, but later taught himself how to skateboard and surf, to point these things out would fall on deaf ears.  They rationalize their actions and their victim mentality until they decide, not us, that they are ready to change it.
  5. Hurt people don’t recognize your pain.  To say these people lack empathy is an understatement.  They simply fail to see that they are hurting you.  Why?   Any number of reasons, but they like to medicate themselves, drink excessively, or become addicted to false lives.  They don’t seem to be fully present as they continually hurt you.  How do you cope?  If you have read all this and you think it’s time to try to have the courageous conversation with them, you can.  If you have already had that conversation and the behavior is still going on, then you might want to meditate, do yoga, and surround yourself with others who lift you up after being in contact with these people.  When all else fails and you have tried your best, perhaps even going to therapy for you, not them, you get to decide if the contact is worth the pain it is causing you.  Their own self-loathing behavior is constantly being projected at you and your loved ones and it’s time for you to either make peace with the idea that you can’t change them…so give yourself lots of space.

The bottom line is that this is someone who is not at peace with themselves or their relationships.  They cause suffering because they aren’t able to cope with their own emotions.  Do they need therapy?  Yes.  But chances are, they are not going to do the work on themselves.  When we do the work on ourselves, our own inner work, we start to heal these deep wounds.  I know how hard this is my friends, and if you need support and want to work on your own “stuff”, come see me.  >> Learn more here <<

5 Ways Hurt People Project Their Feelings (and how you can cope)

 

The Red Flags of Passive-Aggressive Behavior and How to Deal.

Dealing with passive-aggressive folksIt’s lunch time and you try to avoid seeing anyone in the break room as you know what’s going on in there.  The sharks are circling and trying to get any bit of juicy gossip they can feast on…in order to draw more sharks in.

It’s possible you might not even be aware of what is happening as snide comments are masked, and you are left feeling like you were just complimented and insulted at the same time.  Maybe they even said “Relax.  I’m just kidding.” Like that takes away the sting of their hostility.  The truth is, it doesn’t.  They know that what they said was carefully crafted to hurt.  These people have spent years acting this way and to be honest, might have been raised in a home that used tactics in passive-aggressive warfare. 

Passive-aggressive behavior is actually masked in sarcasm, silent treatment, withholding praise, being critical yet complimentary at the same time, arriving late, procrastinating or avoiding responsibility altogether, and basically sugar-coating mean remarks and hostility.

You can be sure of one thing.  This is open hostility towards you. 

If you noticed any of the above red flags of passive-aggressive co-workers, friends, or even family, it might be hard to deal with.  As a matter of fact, you might just want to shut down, but that’s exactly what they are after so I am going to give you a few tips on how to handle this.

5 Ways to Deal with Passive-aggressive Folks:

  1. Name it for exactly what it is.  Do NOT let them make excuses for why they treat you this way.  “Oh you can’t take a joke.  I was only playing.”  In order to make you think it’s your fault.  The truth is, they can feel when their behavior is wrong.  If someone is using shaming tactics, being unreasonable, making you feel uncomfortable deliberately, trust me, they know.  This is a repeated pattern.
  2. Shore your boundaries.  You can’t change them; however, you can change how you interact with them and how much.  Notice where they hang out and who they hang with.  That says loads about them.  Look them in the eye if they are speaking down to you, and stand up straighter.  Give visual and body language clues by making sure your shoulders are back and your head is held high that you are having none of their crap today.  Or any other day.  You don’t want or need that “energetic pooh” in your life.  << That links to my clean energy tips and what “energy pooh” really is.
  3. Notice how you are being and what triggers them.  If you are having a great day, got a great review, the boss patted you on the back or you got special notice, chances are, they’re probably jealous.  Yup.  Triggers their insecurities and bitterness.  I jokingly said today on my FB Live chat “Mama always liked you best” from the Smother’s Brothers, but it is a true trigger for some people.  Whether or not it happens to be true, the person who uses hostile words masked as “fun” is feeling left out or unloved.
  4. Maintain your composure during the “dig”.  Now is the time to practice RBF…resting bitch face.  Only the eyebrows move up a notch, but you just look at them and say nothing.  You aren’t going to change them, but staring at them for a minute usually makes them say more.  If all else fails, you can use humor, or simply walk away.  Want a bit more on what they are trying to do here?  You can read 5 Ways to Spot an Emotional Manipulator.  Or if guilt seems to be used try reading When Guilt is a Weapon<< opens in new tab.
  5. Be mindful of yourself.  It’s easy to fall into the trap of silly little games, but your weapon can be mindfulness.  How is arguing with them going to help?  What are they trying to gain from this?  Making you look bad.  If you engage, they are trying to poke the bear so to speak.  Oh look at what so and so said to me…can you believe it?  They will conveniently leave out all indication they said anything at all.  Just remember that words can be twisted but if you simply look at them and walk away, they have nothing to use against you.

Looking for a supportive group to build yourself up?  Find out more here.  << Click on I need support.

Spiritual Dark Side…3 Signs You Might Notice.

I will never forget the first time I told someone that I felt more spiritual than religious.  They looked at me like I had just taken the path straight to hell.  In fact, I think that was a time in my life that became a true test to what I believed.

Let me break this down though.  I didn’t wake up thinking I was better than anyone else in this world, no.  I actually felt more connected to others.  I mean spirit is your essence, right?  I felt connected to the true self of others and just realized that I didn’t have to react to everything that was being said around me.  I could take a pause and look to the inside of a person and realize that what they pointed out in others was often what they were afraid of in themselves.  Aha.  I was waking up.

As I started “waking up” I noticed that others were, to use a Star Wars reference (which technically was also Jungian), going to the dark side after proclaiming being “spiritual”.  So what did that mean exactly?

I started noticing yoga teachers who were stuck in ego, people who claimed to be “heart centered” proclaiming how bad others in their field were and to come to them, as well as many other noticeable signs that these people were in fact full of crap.  Like counting followers.  Here are a few ways to notice on your own.

Spiritual Dark Side Flags:

  1. Acting superior to other people…as if it is their job.  Let me break this down for you.  No one, and I do mean no one on this earth, has the job title “supreme spiritual guru”.  Why would someone else pick on you or call you out to others if their job is to be a guide here for growth?  I can think of only one reason and that’s to make themselves feel better.  This type of thinking is from the ego kids (exaggerated sense of self-importance).  A true guide speaks from the heart and does it in a way that is a win-win for all, not a win-humiliate.  What is the point of that?  Truly.  Speaking from ego doesn’t result in growth.  Period.  If you feel this way, try to enforce your boundaries.
  2. They are working through their own stuff, but instead, prefer to constantly help others instead of doing their own work.  This one screams help to me.  They are always giving advice on every feed, platform, and portal around.  It screams “see me”.  Look at me.  I have my shit together, and I can advise you.  They seem to be looking for a crowd to advise because they just “know” how it is, but they are starting “new” spiritual practices all the time and jumping from thing to thing.  When do they have time to do the “work”?  Like really?  I prefer the teacher, guide, mentor or what have you who says they need some time off.  It’s very important to notice those people.  They are putting in the time to do the work.
  3. They have graduated from doing the spiritual work.  This one also screams no.  If someone tells you that they have reached the final enlightenment stage, run (because they must be a ghost).  You don’t stop learning and growing until you die.  I really believe that.  This is a great adventure.  “You can only come to the morning through the shadows.” ~J.R.R. Tolkien  The shadow parts teach us how to walk in the light, and yes, they will be there until the end.  It is part of life and we must embrace all that life teaches us.  Some days are going to be hard and we’re not going to feel like doing the work, and you know what, it’s okay.  There are good days and bad days and we all have them my friends.

I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay, small acts of kindness and love. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

To live is the greatest adventure of all, and to live wholeheartedly takes courage.  Admitting that you make mistakes is okay.  Being a leader who makes mistakes is human.  Don’t forget to find those people.  Those are your kind of people.

Want help in an authentic way?  Feel free to find people just like you here.  Head|Heart|Health Club

5 Tips For Picking Yourself Back Up Again.

5 tips for picking yourself back up againI sat with my head in my hands and I thought “I don’t know how to write anything today, but people need me.”  I said that yesterday too as I did the brief healing Live chat.  And I thought it the day before right as I went on to be interviewed live from my business mentor in England.

Last week my feed was up and down on social media (when is it not, really?), and I said to myself “Aimee, don’t get involved with this stupidity.  Move on.”  I don’t listen to myself because I have this inner sense of if I can help, I am going to say something.  So I just told two people to knock off the arguing on public forums, go have a coffee and a hug.  They were better than that.

So do you feel close to an emotional melt-down this week?  Have you already had one?  As we fluctuate between feeling good and then feeling low, depending on the stimulus of our environment, I want you to really step back and become an observer as best you can.  Picking yourself up again over and over can be a process that wears you out.  So how can we do it and maintain that level of balance of balance in life?

5 Tips For Picking Yourself Back Up Again (and staying there):

  1. Do the impossible.  Pause.  I know that we all wish we had a pause button, but I want you to operate as if you had a remote with you at all times.  I did this yesterday and it was right before I made the decision to go ahead and read something that would upset me, but it was time to get it over with and then feel it.  I paused knowing that I needed to just get it over with, read it, process it as best I could, and move on.
  2. Allow yourself to let it out.  So there I was, in my sweaty yoga clothes, knowing that it was time to feel sadness, but that after I got it all out, I was going to go get cleaned up and move on.  I couldn’t allow myself to stay there, make a blanket fort, and hide out with a bar of chocolate and reruns of the Gilmore Girls.  Hoping that this time, Rory says yes to Logan.  Whatever your go-to thing is, running, yoga, journaling, do whatever it is you need to do to let it all out at that time.  Then step back, take a look at your emotions all out there and think “There.  That wasn’t that bad.”  And move on.  << tips for later on moving forward
  3. Mini-goals are key.  I teach the methods of mindfulness, pausing, and setting yourself up for success by choosing small, achievable goals.  Think baby steps.  Each new month, my Club starts off with what we want to achieve this month.  So say you had a set-back that was at work.  The boss gave you a task and you just dropped the ball.  Think about what happened in terms of small goals.  Did you put dates on the calendar for when things should be done?  Did you write yourself sticky notes that you could crumble up satisfyingly (I like to do that)?  Or make a list that you could strike things off when completed?  I secretly do this as well.  How are you organizing your planner for success?  I also teach this in my wellness course as it’s important for exercise, weight loss and so much more.
  4. Give thanks.  This is probably harder than any of the other tasks because you are down there in the depths of despair and you are feeling alone, isolated perhaps, and maybe even misunderstood.  I want you to take 3 deep breaths and place your hand on your heart with each breath.  Do you feel that?  That’s connection.  You are connected to a greater purpose and you have a new chance to get back up again.  Gratitude can actually interrupt patterns of anxiety.  If you don’t know how to begin a gratitude practice, I invite you to start a journal. << tips for later on how to start
  5. Rest.  Unplug.  I know that feel like we have to stay connected to the world, but sometimes, unplugging and going to bed early is the best thing for our bodies.  Take a bath, read a book, journal, but make it a point to do something good for you.  Getting a good night’s sleep can help you see things in a better light.

In a world that is constantly sending us too many signals, some of us more than ever need to create that safe space to relax and unwind.  If you are highly sensitive, make sure you are surrounding yourself with the types of energies you want to attract in your life that will help you fill up your cup.  If you are looking for a place that supports you, helps you with daily prompts, a closed group, and 24/7 access to journaling, mindful tips, meditation and bonus yoga poses (that are chair friendly), check out the Head|Heart|Health Club << We’d love to have you.