How to Step into Courage

Look.  I get it.  It takes lots of vulnerability to be courageous sometimes.  Trust me, after writing my previous post here, I almost erased it.  So how does one step into courage?  First, let’s take a look at the word itself.  What is courage?

  1. :  mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty

That was how Merriam-Webster defined it.  But to be honest, I define it in thousand little ways and I am willing to bet that you have done any number of things that could be considered courageous.

I want to show you an exercise that I might do with my Club, so bear with me a moment.  Take a good look at this quote:  It takes a lot of courage to show your dreams to someone else.  ~Erma Bombeck

Have you ever shown your dreams to other people?  That moment when you are on the brink of telling them the greatest joy you ever had and the plans you want to make and you rush forward and.  Stop.  <<< well that’s fear and we’re actually going to talk about that a little later in my Club and on my FB Page, but courage is when you take that deep breath after the panic and you go ahead.  So if you’d like, take a moment to journal around this thought.  You can pin this to come back to this if you want, but I really want you to think about this quote.

Our culture is ripe with tales of courage.  Do you remember being a kid and watching Indiana Jones?  Oh how I loved that movie.  Especially this part, and I didn’t make it so ignore the spelling:

Well, it just so happens that I couldn’t stand snakes after I accidentally stepped on one in an outdoor hotel lobby.  And it wrapped around my ankle and bit me and I had to go to the hospital for hours with no food in my stomach in case it was venomous.  Anyway, so later in life I volunteered at the Virginia Living Museum and I learned how to reach my hand into a pillow case, no lie, and grab a snake that was not venomous.  I also learned that their scales are like the same thing as finger nails…it still doesn’t mean I like them, but I tried.

Anyway, I bet you have done something in your life that took great courage.  I felt fear yet I was choosing to try to get over that fear as best I could.  That is a sign of stepping into courage.  I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  ~Nelson Mandela

Then there was this time that a lady was bullying my friend and everyone at work was so afraid of this lady.  She would scream we were racists if we stood up to her, so she would hide, go on longer lunch breaks, not come back to the classroom for hours, seriously, and then when she did show up, she wouldn’t help my friend (yes, later she was put on probation).  Anyway, she stood in the hall screaming at my friend in front of kids and other teachers one day so I stood up to her and said whatever it was I said to get her to calm down, and then later I reported the incident when no one else would.  They didn’t want to be the ones to report this lady, no lie, because they knew she’d come after them.  A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)

After that incident, I was shaking, but I got it done.  Have you ever stood up to a bully before?   It’s not easy, but it must be done.  I will always practice what I would preach to my children.  How could I not?

At some point in your life, there are any number of actions that have taken courage my friends.  I just know it.  You have probably felt afraid, but done something anyway like riding a roller coaster.  You have listened to your heart or even your gut and stepped out on that stage to speak.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”~ Steve Jobs

I said yes to jumping on an airplane to England last year, and going by myself to speak at a conference and I am so glad I did.  I hadn’t actually met anyone in person and my parents thought any number of things could have gone wrong…it was a list daily.  But without the courage to travel alone, walk around London alone, and go see Stonehenge alone, I would have always regretted it.  What if…what ifs are the things we don’t want to be thinking about.

Want to learn more?  30 days of journal prompts around courage in the month of August plus tutorials, master classes online, meditations, bonus yoga poses and more.  >>>  Head|Heart|Health Club <<<

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5 Ways to Protect and Heal Your Inner Child

Inner ChildWhat in the world is your inner child and why should you protect, heal and nurture it anyway?

Your inner child is exactly that…a part of your personality that still reacts and feels like a child.  That urge to stick your tongue out at people.  The fact that after a fight with a friend, your inner child is really sad and wants to say “Let’s forget it and be friends again!”  The part of you who wants your parents to say that everything is going to be okay.  And the truth is, it will be.  So let’s dive in to the work shall we?

At times, we don’t treat ourselves with the love and respect we would even show our own animals, and that includes that inner voice.  I will not forget the time someone made me face my inner child.  I thought I was going to break down and not be able to get back up again.  The truth is, I had pushed everything so far down that voice hurt.  That voice had not felt very child-like as it unfortunately saw too much, understood too much and tried to be an adult early on to heal people around it.  And the realization that I continued that and never really allowed myself to heal was interesting.

I am not going to force you to take a look at your inner child back then as nothing can change in the past.  Nope.  Not a thing.  So I am going to help you as I learned to help myself.  In the present moment only.

5 Ways to Protect and heal Your Inner Child:

  1. Tell yourself that it is okay to express your feelings and that it is perfectly normal to have a bad day.  Even as an adult.  You don’t have to be strong all the time.  In fact, take a few days as needed and journal around a way to describe your feelings.  You can bring in as many words as needed and even draw a picture that describes how you are currently feeling.  Taking good care of yourself is important in this phase.
  2. Decide who you want to “play with” and if they make you feel “icky” acknowledge that.  As a teacher to many hundreds of children over the years, I know that children are especially receptive to raw energy.  They don’t know analyze why they don’t like someone.  They just seem to know.  Do you over-analyze what will happen if you draw away from someone’s bad energy?  What if you just acknowledged it and sat with it for a bit and then sad, okay then.  Less time with so-and-so because I feel ____.  Drained.  Spent.  Shattered.  Depleted.  Used.  Awful.  Dirty.  <<< not nice feelings.  Your inner child is very aware of what is toxic to you, the adult.  Listen to that.
  3. ________ (your name here) I love you, I value you, and I accept you as you are. Give yourself that love and validation your inner child might not hear as often as it needs.  Why are we so afraid to say, you know what, I did a great job!!  Being vulnerable is totally okay and you need to know that you are not only worthy of love, but deserving of it as well.  Write down “I am worthy of love and respect.”  If you feel your voice isn’t heard often, write down “I hear you.  You have valuable things to say.”  Listen to what that inner child needs and recognize it.
  4. Forgive yourself and others as needed.  The other day I worked on forgiving people…including myself, for what I say and do in anger.  I am trying to really get to a certain point where I might even be able to say it to someone in person one day, but I am not quite there yet.  The wound is deep and old, and I know it needs to be healed, but the adult is getting in the way.  However, remember when you were forced to say sorry to someone and you didn’t mean it??  Well, I am trying to slowly get to the point where I really mean it and not force myself.  So step one is knowing that.  My inner child was forced to be shamed for being different and the adult didn’t appreciate it.  It’s like changing your skin color or your DNA.  So I am getting there by realizing that not everyone was raised the same way and some reactions are not entirely their own, but were programmed in for years.  So that is what I hope to mend.  Forgiveness of things we carry that are not always ours. 
  5. Feeling supported and uplifted.  My inner-child finds great support with my online community.  I am not going to lie, I feel very refreshed helping others in my group and likewise, I really value their support.  There are days when I don’t feel like I could comment publicly on my own feed, but in my closed group, I can tell them what is going on.  Your inner child needs to find their own “fort” or safe place as well.  Somewhere where you feel safe from judgement and are free to express your fears, desires, hopes and dreams.  Just like my fort.  <<< If you want to check out my fort, you can.  I don’t mind sharing. 

5 Ways to Protect and Heal Your Inner Child

How Creating Self-Compassion Opens the Door to Healing

Self-compassion

Whew.  Some weeks are harder than others.  After coming off of my recent MCL knee injury, I was made to rest for approximately 6 weeks.  I had to learn things all over again that I worked really hard to teach myself when my body was so wracked with pain I could barely move.

How did I create self-compassion for myself and how did it allow me to actually heal in a more complete way?

I was working not to trigger those thoughts of pain, and in those first days, it was a struggle to practice everything I teach my group to do…which ended up being a blessing in disguise.  I learned now that I have those skills in mindfulness, which I previously did NOT have in my tool box, that I can get through the pain much easier. 

In our society, we are taught that bashing ourselves is not only okay, but it gets people’s attention.  Unfortunately, research has proven that this leads to consequences in the thought processes that actually perpetuate anxiety, depression, and of course lowered self-esteem.

Wait.  Where’s the good news?   Psychologist and author Kristin Neff, has said that cultivating self-compassion really centers around three things: self-kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.  I had actually been practicing all three in my journal therapy and wasn’t even aware that it had been “studied” and researched.  I just knew intuitively that I had a knack for getting to the root of the problem thus helping others to heal as well.

Strategies for Creating More Self-Compassion

If you are working through emotional triggers and trauma, this part is a must do in your self-care routine.  I will kick your butt if you try that lame excuse of not having enough time.  Wake up at least 5 minutes earlier, put your sticky note on the calendar to journal and/or try one new thing a day for 30 days, etc.  Most people who tell others that they don’t have enough time are really saying Hey, I hear ya.  Taking care of myself right now isn’t a priority. 

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ~H. Jackson Brown

Just saying.  ^^^

Now that some of you are pissed at me for telling the truth, let’s move on to the strategies.  By the way, if you don’t know who is writing this, read this link later. <<< You might be less inclined to be mad at me.  I have been there.

  1. Acceptance is key.  Thus the truth-telling.  I used every excuse in the book, blamed whatever I could, but the truth was, I needed to learn to love myself pain and all.  I needed to accept that I might not ever be well, and that my friends, was a bitch.   That was the other part of me that I denied.
  2. Dig deep.  Somewhere, deep inside of me, was the part that was hardest to make peace with.  It was the me before all this happened.  You know what, she didn’t ask for this.  Okay.  Got that.  But how would she feel knowing that I was staying stuck in my pain?  She’d be pretty pissed at me.  It is time to make peace with the old me, and become who I was supposed to be.
  3. Watch how the language changes.  I remember my dad.  Sigh.  He is still alive, don’t worry, but it was the way he dealt with this situation (bless his heart).  As someone who is highly sensitive to others emotions, I could feel his sadness.  He felt so sorry for me.  NOT helpful.  It was not his fault you see, but still not helpful.  As part of the parents who both gave me the hereditary condition, they both, in some small way, felt responsible.  Okay, so it is important to recognize who is around you when you speak to yourself as well.  You might be so programmed by your parents or others that you continue this woe is me…I am not worthy…I am so __________.  Insert your negative perception of yourself.
  4. Get out of your head!!  I am now great at this, but I was NOT for many years.  As a matter of fact, I have been practicing this now for 3 years and it has really changed my world.  In yoga, I mention this frequently as I teach my class this one thing.  Drop back into your body.  That sounds easy to do, but let’s try it right now.  Touch your scalp.  Feel your hair follicles come alive as you give yourself a scalp massage.  Touch the top of your ears, all the way down to your ear lobes.  Close your eyes.  Breathe deeply for a full round of three.  Say “I am worthy.” With each breath feel the worthiness come into your being.  Now open your eyes.  You have just soothed your parasympathetic nervous system.  Ta-dahhhh (you basically help the fight or flight response calm down).

Whew.  I don’t know about you, but I feel better just exploring how these tips really helped me change my life.  In creating my journal therapy content each month, there is so much more that goes into it.  I created a group where people like me could heal in a supportive environment and work through this “stuff” that truly gets in the way of our healing.  Never before had I ever, in 18 years, found a group that was working on healing the Head|Heart|Health of the matter.  Quite simply, I created what brought me back to life.

I hope this has helped you today and if you want to be included on my newsletter, the sign up is on the side of the blog.  Feel free to use the social sharing buttons if this article resonated with you!

She believed

 

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What’s the Connection Between your Head and your Heart?

At some point in your life, your head and your heart simply do not agree.  Your head is over here being all practical…and your heart, well, it wants to quit work, become an entrepreneur, and live a glorious life.  Wait, I did that actually.

So the process was scary as hell, and if you are new to my blog, you know that I did it to save my life.  << Read later if you are new.  The hours spent in agony at making a decision all boiled down to one thing…money actually.

What would be the best for me physically at the time was not going to pay the bills; however, after a particularly bad spell which lasted 3 weeks, my husband said the words that finally broke through to my head as well.  The job was not worth sacrificing my health. 

Alrighty then.  A weight had been lifted.  The fear was gone and a plan was made.  The connection between my heart and my head was now on the same path, and I had one goal that lined up to who and what I was supposed to be.

The paralyzing indecision was gone.  We would make this work.  I sure wish I hadn’t wasted lots of energy when my decision was split, but I truly wasn’t listening to my heart.  My head kept getting in the way.  Luckily for me, I learned a great deal about myself during the process of leaving work, going on a sabbatical to heal, and then building my business around my dreams of helping others.

What about you?  How balanced do you feel lately?

In my Head|Heart|Health Club, I teach journal therapy, ways to connect to your inner most desires, and how to enjoy a complete lifestyle change.  Indecision leaves you feeling powerless.  It truly drains you of energy.  Feel free to connect with me through my online portal as I would love to have more like-minded people working towards the same goal.

Put Down Your Phone…and Other Tips for a Relationship.

Put down your phoneListen, I am not trying to get everyone mad at me right now, but I remember when texting first came out.  I thought to myself “This is so dumb.  I can just call you and scrolling through every letter takes forever.”  Seriously, it did.  Or I could page someone.  I am totally laughing at that because we used to think only doctors or drug dealers ran out of the room after getting a page.

If I have already lost you, perhaps you are a wee bit younger than I am.  For those willing to listen to my advice, I want to describe a whole new world.

In college, we met our friends at a lunch area that had an open table area.  We would sit on tables, chairs, the wall whatever to get closer to people and chat.  We would laugh so loud and so long about inside jokes that we dreaded getting up from the tables and drifting off to class.  We would meet later, the brothers, and the sisters, at one of the grills on the campus and cook up some food.  I can see, hear and smell it right now.  It was called engagement with your fellow people and it was life. 

Whether one fraternity was putting on a show on the great lawn for the girls or whether the soccer dudes were out there, it didn’t matter.  We walked around with our heads held high…making eye contact.  Laughing with the friend next to us.  I don’t think we knew how good we had it.

When I met my husband, he was not in a fraternity.  He had been staring at me when I went to the computer center.  That’s right, we had a place to use computers since we didn’t really have laptops back then.  Anyway, I went to print out my paper for English, one of a bazillion on Tolkien, Grendel, Vonnegut, Shakespeare or possibly Don Quixote, who knows, and the printer didn’t work.  He yelled over his shoulder it wouldn’t work and kept walking.  The rudeness.  Little did I know that we would start dating.

When we ended up across from each other in class that fall, I almost went through the floor.  It was that dude who I thought liked me, yet didn’t really know how to speak to me.  Luckily, his wing-man did.  He helped him chat with me as he ran cable in the English tutoring center I worked in.  We met face to face and chatted for hours after the initial shy period was over.  Then we would chat on the phone for hours.  Then we would go out and chat.  But the entire time, if I hadn’t been able to read his eyes or if he had been looking down or away from me during this time, I would have thought he didn’t like me, and that would have been wrong.  

The culture has changed so much now that I feel like people need to remember what it used to be like just 20 years ago…which really wasn’t that long in the past.

Put down your phone so you can…

  • Make eye contact.
  • Read the person’s body language.
  • Be fully present with the experience.
  • Know that they are interested by HOW they are being.
  • Not texting other people to already meet up while you are on a date.
  • Not using the phone as an escape.
  • Ask each other important questions.
  • Pay attention to little cues on how they treat others…like the waiter or waitress.
  • Allowing things to just be.  Can you be okay in stillness?
  • Be genuine with each other and not have a mask in place.
  • Ask about their day…and listen.
  • Go on a walk…and put phones in glove box.
  • Plan small outings to learn more about the other person.  The real person.
  • The highlights are on the phone…but what happens during bad times?  Are they there for you?
  • Can you cook together?
  • Think about the pet peeves together and plan ways to overcome the conflicts.
  • Don’t forget to say out loud, I like you.  Just liking the photos isn’t enough or proclaiming your undying love on the social feeds.
  • Meet the family…and really pay attention to what the dynamic is like.
  • Do you eat at the table or in front of the T.V.?  Where are the phones?
  • Laugh with each other.  Long and loud and free.
  • Be silly.  It’s okay.
  • Date like you just met…even if it’s been 20 years.
  • Let anything go from the past, and start today, to live in the present.

The truth is, these tips can be for friends, partners, or spouses, it doesn’t matter.  I love that my husband’s friend jokingly named everything “horrible” about our relationship the other night.  It was that we aren’t like other married people, and that we are both secure in our relationship of almost 21 years…enough so that when my brothers call me, and they still do, I can go out and hang with them and chat about the old times.

I enjoy the face-to-face time and the just being.  The bonds of friendship can be a beautiful thing when they are built on trust and love, just like the beginning of a relationship.  But one thing is for sure, you have to cultivate it, care for it, and nurture it too.  You also have to admit when you are just going through the motions.  So, I hope this inspired you to have a tech free date night…or a tech free family night.  Live like it’s the 90’s…or earlier.

 

7 Signs that Your Relationship is the Right One

I remember the feeling of relationships just not quite clicking.  I would possibly ignore the signs that they were not going to work out, and I can look back now and think, why did I ignore that??

I should have been looking for signs that the relationship was actually the right one, and not ignoring the signs that it was, in fact, the wrong one for me.

Years have passed since then, and I have seen my girlfriends struggle through people using them, hurting them, and talking to them like they are not worthy.  The last one is what always pisses me off.  The first thing I am here to tell you is that you, whoever you are reading this right now, are worthy of Love. 

Here are 7 Signs that your Relationship is the Right One:

  1. Your partner is your best friend.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t have your best friend from high school still.  No, but what it does mean, is that if you needed someone to be there for you, he/she would drop everything and be there.  THIS is a true sign.  I remember being in a relationship with a narcissist, and realizing that I needed to get the hell out of there, and fast.  He had the most excuses in the universe for never being there when I needed him…and if he could fit me in, I had to drive to him.
  2. You only have eyes for this person, and they only have eyes for you.  To this day, my husband and I can joke around about people we think are attractive in movies, but in real life, my mom said that was how she knew it was not just some passing romance.  And, to be honest, I wasn’t sure at first as both of us had ended long relationships right before we met.  However, after 2 months, I no longer thought it was a rebound relationship.  I no longer thought about anyone else at all.  It was quite scary at first because I had spent years with someone else and so had he.  I also never, seriously, ever, believed in the “You’ll just know” saying until this point.
  3. You can be you.  With the ermmmm more narcissistic folks I had previously attracted, I felt like I had to make an effort to look good, and that included when I didn’t feel like it.  Some people enjoy putting on make-up, doing their hair daily, and dressing up.  And that is fine, as long as it is what you like to do.  The first time my husband, then college boyfriend, and I traveled to a hiking spot and campground with some friends, I didn’t feel like packing a hair dryer or anything.  It was camping.  I needed my hiking shoes, and warm stuff.  It was much colder than expected at that time of year.  I didn’t care about the hair, but after using the camp showers, I was freezing.  We dried my hair using his heat vents in his beat up car.  Boom.  He kept staring at me.  No effort needed.
  4. You can be weird together.  So.  Fancy a game of Dungeon and Dragons?  Well, my husband did.  Again, think college, but it was quite an honor to be taught D & D as the only girl in a secret-ish society of geek boys.  I know you are thinking of Big Bang Theory right now…and it’s true.  The difference is, I had previously kept my love of fantasy things somewhat close to the vest.  Not anymore.  Wooo-hoooo.  Dice.  All the dice.  I can be an elf?  Sweet.  I can have a bow?  Why not.  Accepting all the parts of who they are includes a little bit of weirdness at times…but it might not be weird to them.  If you have something you are afraid to share about you, see what happens.  You might end up with a new D & D partner.
  5. When you think about them, you get a little rush.  Maybe it feels like butterflies in your stomach, or maybe it’s just that anticipation of them holding you, but whatever it is, you still feel it.  After 2 months, 2 years, or 21.  Yup…21 years of a rush.  Woosh. They don’t spend time thinking about what’s wrong with you…like perhaps others did.  Or if you would only lose a few more pounds, drop that person by the way, they love you for who you are.  Right now.  Now future you.  Past you.  Present day, in all your glorious mess, you.
  6. You can work through your problems.  So you had a fight.  It is okay.  It is not all your fault.  If someone makes you think it is entirely your fault…well, arguments are part of life.  You both have to own up to whatever it is without throwing in the kitchen sink as well.  Or that other person you dated gets thrown in your face, or whatever it was that is past.  You don’t resort to low blows if possible because guess what?  They aren’t needed.  You learn to work on your open communication and that really does mean facing problems together.  Not secretly.  Not avoiding.  Not hiding.
  7. You can’t imagine your life without them.  I do still need my alone time, don’t get me wrong, but this is different.  I don’t want to do too much without him because I actually miss him.  I can’t sleep right, think fully, or operate well when we are apart.  I know that it is the same way with him.  The difference is, if you would rather be with friends or another interesting possible new flame, then it’s definitely time to think about what you are looking for in a partner.  Luckily, my soul knew long before my head caught up.  Things felt like they were missing with other people, but I thought it was me.  It was actually just my soul trying to guide me out of those relationships, and into the “One” that was meant for me.

Nothing is perfect my friends.  Love is messy, complicated, and it makes you want to scream at times; however, nothing is worse than staying in the wrong relationship thinking it is you.  You are worthy of true love and stepping out of that narcissistic or failing relationship, will really give you the space you need to be true to you.  This month, I invite you to do the work within.  Come join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club.

Can you be alone without being lonely?

I am always fascinated by research…particularly genetic research after discovering all the things I inherited that I choose to overcome.  One of the things that I read while researching the feeling of being alone was this.

A 2007 study published in the journal Genome Biology found loneliness could be in our genes. The team of researchers discovered a distinct pattern of gene expression in immune cells in participants who suffered from chronic loneliness. These feelings of solitude were associated with changes in gene expression that drive inflammation — known as one of the first responses of the immune system.

Hold up.  This can drive inflammation?  Well what if you prefer solitude and don’t necessarily feel lonely?  What then?  Because I do have autoimmune and inflammation is the last thing I need.  So let me ponder this out with you guys.

I have long thought that social media today makes some young people feel alone and like an outcast.  Why?  Because I have seen it happen in my own household.  My youngest daughter was not invited to an outing where every single person she knew appeared to be there.  All the photos.  Inside I was livid.  All the people she sat with were there…what game were these girls playing because believe me, I didn’t raise anyone to play these games.  So how do I go about teaching the difference between being alone and being lonely?  Enjoying solitude, yet feeling at peace and not excluded?

Now let’s look at the elderly.  They don’t have social media and can feel alone as well; however, they pick up the phone and call people.  They have found strong mental habits like thinking of their loved ones who might have passed on with fond memories knowing they lived a great life together.  They make church dates, and meetings, and try to get out and keep up their old habits.

Between the generations it is sad to say that we are losing some of the things that make us mentally strong and foster these slight difference in being alone and being okay with it, and feeling isolated and cut off, which is not the same.

So how can we go about creating new patterns that make us feel less alone?

  1. List the top 3 people who you have not talked to in a while, but would like to.  Do you have their actual phone number OR could you Skype with them?  No texting.  Make it a face-to-face meeting or a phone call.
  2. List 3 hobbies you could do OUTSIDE of your house where you might meet people of like minds.  No computer stuff unless you are going to look for a Meet Up near you.  In this day and age it is important to get out.
  3. Write a letter to a pen pal.  Yup.  I am way old school, but this was fun back in the day.  You never knew when you might get a letter.  I remember giving my friend in Australia my address and getting a card.  I later sent her a package of some sort.  It was pretty cool to me.  Now, I don’t know much about this site, but here you go.  And no this is not a hook-up as far as I can tell…but always be careful.

What would you do if you were lonely?

  1. You might decide it’s too much trouble talking to anyone in the “real world” and play video games or watch T.V. without actually making new real life friends.  <<< Instead, grab your journal and write about the qualities a supportive friend might have.
  2. You might decide to drink alcohol…alone.  <<< Instead make a green smoothie, a cup of tea, or a fruit water and look online at your local gym memberships.  You can always just walk the treadmill, but you are getting out.
  3. Get invited to things, but never actually leave the house.  <<< Be careful here.  There is a difference in resting and deciding that you are always too tired to go out.  I have been there so I feel like I can say that to you.  I make it a point to tell my group of friends that I want to get together monthly.

In the end, what I have found while working with my group coaching members is that action actually makes us feel better!  Write this down.  If you would like to meet some new friends online in a safe environment, I invite you to join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club.  We work our way through our thoughts and how to control them, through our hearts and how to foster worthiness and love, and through our overall health and wellness thus creating a more meaningful and fulfilling life no matter where we are in the world.  This is right for you if you are ready to move forward from stuck to unstuck and from indecision to clarity.  Speak to you soon!  ~Aimee

 

5 Signs You’re Living Authentically

Why is it so difficult now to spot the real deal?  In a world full of people who are not genuine, how can you channel your inner light?  We all know what kinds of friends we have at a glance, but what about the people who we do business with, or are “friends” with only over the internet, but yet you don’t really know in real life?  The kinds of people who bail on something if it doesn’t serve them, take credit for work they didn’t create or downplay the good points of someone because they want to somehow seem “more than”.

The truth is, there have always been these kinds of people.  However, with the rise of the internet and the social media spotlight, these kinds of people are coming out of the woodwork to build a platform for themselves.  As a friend of mine said recently, it’s kind of like the Wild West.  They are out there selling their snake oil and buyers are lining up.  Instead of worrying about what they are doing, take a closer look at what living authentically really means.

5 Signs You’re Living an Authentic Life:

  1. Upon meeting someone new for the very first time, you try hard to focus on the meaning behind their words.  You want to get to the heart and soul of the matter.  Riches, job titles, clothes and the like are of little interest in who they really are, and you can see past the image they are trying to project.
  2. Your purpose is pure.  Okay, we all have sinned.  Not one of us is perfect, but you know your purpose and it’s coming from a good place.  You work hard to be true around other people, and you honestly expect others to do the same.  You expect a genuine dialog with your friends and even if it’s not always what you want to hear, you are glad you surround yourself with honest people.
  3. As with being true to your word, you expect more than surface level conversations.  If the topics get really into the heart of the matter, you shine best there.  Even if it’s something you would prefer not to discuss, as long as everyone is okay with having a different view on it, you really try to listen.  If you have a strong sense of self-worth as well, then these conversations can be illuminating.  You don’t doubt yourself or your thoughts, you just listen to the other side with interest.  It doesn’t mean it’s going to sway your opinion of the subject matter, but you can still listen without negativity.
  4. You check to make sure you are staying in alignment with your mission.  I was recently asked to do a side job for a pretty decent sum.  It is actually the second time this has happened to me, and I again said no.  Not because I like saying no to money…but because I say no to anything that isn’t going to propel me in the direction of my dreams.  Having more money doing something that is not in alignment with who I am actually just doesn’t feel right for me.  I know what I am meant to do and I choose only to work on projects that align with that.
  5. You aren’t out to please everyone.  Again, this goes with the above reference.  You can say no to something that doesn’t work for you, and realize that it’s okay.  I said no in the nicest possible way even though the person was using his connections as a carrot dangling over me.  At the end of the day, you have be okay with your decisions.  Not the other person.  You can take responsibility for your life.

As you think about the contacts in your life, I hope this helps you to continue to stay true to your mission and live as authentically as you can.  Feel free to share with a friend or comment on other ways you live an authentic life!

Integrity

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5 Ways to Work Through Grief

As I prepare to write this post, I want to say that grief can come over you at anytime.  Whether it is the loss of a loved one, a dear pet, or grief for something you can’t name.  It feels heavy on your chest like you can’t breathe and it stays there for a while.

The suffocating feeling lasts for a while, but after a time you notice you can take a little bit more air in and the knot in your chest starts to loosen.  Maybe you start to feel guilty about that, so you try to hold on tighter and love more, but just let it ease gradually.

Some people I know throw themselves into a million projects, classes, trips, and have literally zero down time.  They are not ready for the grief to process yet.  From what I have observed, this is somewhat like ripping the band-aid off and they are waiting as long as they can.  If that is their process, so be it.  Each person is different; however, if you are reading this, I will try to help as gently as I can.

I am on day one of a new round of grief.  Each time I feel loss it is different, yet the same.  Here are a few things that I have learned.

5 Ways to Work Through Grief:

  1. Sit with it for a while.  The first day, it is very fresh and raw.  You might want the ache to go away immediately.  Acceptance is very difficult.  In fact, we want to do the opposite.  We want to come up with a million reasons why we shouldn’t accept it.  A million “what ifs” or “maybes”.  All the while there it still is.  It has already happened.  So slow down your breathing.  If you pray, speak out your needs, thoughts and silent prayer to help you get through this first day.
  2. Support will come through…and many times it is people who have experienced a grief similar to yours.  As people begin to reach out to you, and they ask you the same thing, “Is there anything I can do?”, take them up on it if you want to just talk.  I reach out to people who I know have experienced a similar loss as mine.  For them, the loss that I have experienced has already brought up those thoughts, especially if they are reaching out.  There is something in that comfort that envelops you and hugs you close and says “I know.  I have been there before and here I am.”  It is comforting and warm.
  3. Work through it on your own time.  It is important to know that it truly is a process, but it is not the same length for everyone.  You can’t just wish it would go away…but you can write it away.  Little by little.  If writing isn’t your thing, you can join a group or speak to a counselor.  There are many online groups as well.  But make sure it is similar to your loss.  There is strength in numbers.  A quiet strength.
  4. Self-care need to be practiced.  When I say this, I mean it.  Eat food.  Make yourself take a small snack even if you are not hungry.  Hot tea.  Crackers.  Soup.  Comfort food.  Take a bath.  Get yourself cleaned up and read a book.  Watch a show that gets your mind somewhere else for a bit.  Make sure you are practicing self-care.
  5. I don’t even want to type this…because it still is raw, but it will eventually feel lighter.  Again, there is no normal here, okay?  Don’t compare your process to others.  It is said we go through denial, numbness and shock at first.  Then bargaining, depression, anger, and finally acceptance.  It is possible your process won’t even look like that, or you might skip parts.  So instead of my saying we go through 5 stages, which might not be true for you, I will say what I know to be true.  Eventually, you will feel lighter.

After some time has passed, the name of a loved one will pass through your lips and you will feel a connection as you say it, and love.  Not grief so much.  I know this is true because it took me many years before I could really talk about my grandmother with laughter again.  It didn’t matter that I knew she wouldn’t want me to be sad or any of those things that I would want for my own family…I selfishly held on to the sadness, and anger, for far too long.

So if you can start up your yoga, meditation, prayer, writing or anything you love to do on a regular basis, do it.  Feel the present moment around you and allow gratitude to come into your heart that you loved so deeply.

Sacredness

How to Detach from Someone With Love

Love.  It can be a great and powerful thing, but when you get your heart broken, it can seem as if you don’t recognize yourself anymore.  Sometimes, we lose ourselves in a relationship and that my friends, is not a good thing.

However, sometimes we can also detach and realize we don’t need to be with that person 24/7 and declare our undying love and faith to this person every single day on social media.  Moreover, we can actually do things that are different and freely be able to let go with love and trust in your heart…and know that they are going to come back.  Both of these situations are different, yet they require the same kind of actions.

This line has always spoken to me:  “Let there be spaces in your togetherness,” said Khalil Gibran. “And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.”

How to detach emotionally from someone:

  1. Do a serious mental check and see if you have your own source of happiness.  << link to the formula  I love the meme of the little guy carrying the jar of happiness.  When his friend asks him where he got that with wide eyes, he says “I made it myself.”  BOOM!  This is such truth in this tiny cartoon.  jar of happinessNote:  I do not know who drew this and have looked everywhere or it would be a link to you.  Mystery artist.
  2. Take a huge breath!  Yes, just breathe.  <<< link to creating that space you need.  Listen to your inner guide.  How long have you been thinking that you are clingy, losing yourself, or jealous?  Have you thought those things?  Do you instinctively know that you need a “break” from someone, but are afraid of the alternative.  Really start to trust your inner guide in this situation.  You can press the pause button and still be okay.  It happens in relationships.  It helps you get through the rough times when you see that there are mistakes being made, and you can actually own those mistakes.  It shows that you can admit when you are wrong.
  3. You have absolutely zero, that’s right, zero control over someone else.  No matter what you would like to believe, you are not the man behind the curtain.  In fact, you are more likely to be the Wicked Witch if you think you can control a relationship.  Free your mind…and the rest will follow.  Wait, that’s a song.  I want you to listen to that.  Seriously.  Listen to En Vogue a minute.  Now back to this.  Sometimes people wear clothes that you might not approve of, speak their mind, or do other things that make YOU think a certain way.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that was their intention.  Ask them.
  4. Pain is temporary, but being in a relationship that isn’t working can last a long time and really cause more harm than good.  You are not defined by their actions and it can be really hard to understand that you didn’t do anything wrong.  Focus on loving them enough to let them go if it’s not working and work on healing for you and you alone.  Start creating that jar of happiness and keep on adding to it.  Surround yourself with supportive people as you make this move to detach.

Detachment with love, instead of pain, regret, hate and malice is so much better for our higher good and spiritual healing.  Raising your vibration to love helps you heal faster and shows you the way to go for yourself.  You are not doing this for anyone else, remember that.  YOU control your happiness.  You.

Strength

 

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