The Power of Acceptance…What Letting Go Teaches.

I could start this post off with any of the thousands quotes about letting go.  But I am not.  Instead I am going to ask that you center yourself for just a minute.  Sit and breathe deeply.  Unclench your jaw.  And just be.  As the thoughts of what went wrong comes to you, let it pass by.  As you drift into thinking about a past situation or grudge, notice where your attention is going and then come back to the breath of this present moment.  Breathe deeply for a full round of 3.  You just did it.  You let go for those breaths.  Now think about this for just a minute.  What if nothing is wrong?  What if you are exactly where you are meant to be?

We are now going to explore the word acceptance for a moment.  Acceptance is the mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true.  Do you believe the following statement:  The past is over?  It has a question mark because I asked you if you believe it, but if you are not sure, write it out in your journal like this:  The Past IS Over.

I think it is safe to say that at some point in life, everyone has been hurt, everyone has made some mistakes, and everyone carries around thoughts of “if only I had…”.  Those thoughts do not change the past, so what we are going to do right now, is start with where we are.  This is the same concept I teach in the Head|Heart|Health Club and I am very grateful for the opportunity to help so many people start where they are.

What letting go can teach us:

  1. When we hold on to things, we do not feel any better.  In fact, we feel worse and start pointing fingers.  Letting go of the need to place blame and assuming the responsibility for your own actions teaches us that we do have control over how we react…not what another person says or does, but how we react.  Let go of the need to hold on.
  2. You are not the victim any longer.  As we begin to let go of past resentments, grudges, and lingering issues, we realize that acceptance of the situation makes us feel lighter.  Okay, this is how it is.  It is currently this way right now, but guess what?  It doesn’t have to stay that way.  You are in control of your options and what you decide to do next so that moves you out of victim mentality, which does not ever help you.  Be honest here with yourself.  No amount of thinking about it over and over again or lamenting has ever helped fix a past situation.
  3. Forgiveness is for you.  Sometimes, we stay stuck in pain because we feel like we deserve it.  We wallow in it.  We lay around in it and then we think we are about over it and sometimes makes it fresh again.  Forgiveness can help you wipe the emotional slate clean.  It doesn’t mean you ever are excusing a person’s actions, but the truth is, we all make mistakes.  Are some worse than others?  Hell yes, but replaying it in your mind causes more pain, stress and occasionally, it warps the details of what really happened to include feelings that were not there.  Stop replaying and move on.
  4. Focus only on what you can do at this moment to start living and moving forward.  In the Club, we work on baby steps.  Why do I teach that way?  When you were born, did you know how to do everything at once?  No.  When you look at a mountain, can you blink and be up to the top?  No…not unless you are on a Science Fiction show.  If you want to correct say a mistake that was years in the making, can change happen overnight?  Not usually.  Focus on what you can overcome and change right now in this moment.  Set yourself up for winning, not failing.  Do not say I want to lose 50 pounds.  Instead rephrase with I want to start eating healthier.  Then I want to get to the gym at least 2 days a week, then move it to 3.  Then say I want to lose 5 pounds this month.  Apply this to whatever it is you are working on.
  5. Enlist in some support.  I do not know why certain things happen to certain people, but I try very hard not to think about the “luck” other people have.  It is very important that I focus on my own life, but when I need a helping hand, I have certain friends and trusted advisors that have no judgement and can be objective as they listen.  Even though I am hard-headed, and don’t like to be , I do reach out when things get “sticky” and I need to move on as well.  Yoga, journaling, meditation, and more are my tools.  I teach people letting go is a form of strength as well as asking for help in doing the work.

For more help on this subject see the following posts:

5 Ways to Protect and Heal Your Inner Child

6 Things No One Else Controls Except You!

Suffering is Optional

Get What You Want in Life with These 5 Steps

Did you know that our thoughts really and truly shape our destiny?  I am sure by now you know that you have more power over your future than you give yourself credit in having.  Many people think that what happens next is out of their control.  I know that I was once one of those people when I was very ill.

I made it a habit to change my thoughts daily and it helped improve my life tremendously in many ways.  I still have to remind myself to keep focused on the positive and to constantly re-direct myself to the best possible things that could happen and not think of the worst.  It really is a work in progress daily, which is why I am inviting you to the One Minute a day challenge right now!

Each day I want you to think of one thing you want out of life.  Maybe it’s the same thing each day, but truly envision it, see it, smell it, and imagine what living like this would be like.  Next, I have these 5 tips for you to get what you want out of life.

5 Steps to Get What You Want Out of Life:

  1. Accept that you are in control of your life.  Your life equals your mistakes.  I know that you want to be able to blame your boss, your co-worker, maybe even someone else, but don’t.  Start living with the thought that you are in control and only what is good is coming your way.  This does not mean I am saying think your prayers aren’t heard if you pray…just don’t blame anyone else.  Know that what goes on in your head can be changed by you and you alone.
  2. Get clear on what you want.  Do you know what type of life you want?  Where you want to be in 3 years?  What you want your day to look like?  Get clear on everything you want to come into your life.  The good stuff only.  See the big picture!  If this is difficult for you, see the Head|Heart|Health tab on group coaching.
  3. Live your truth.  I am not saying quit your job today; however, if it is not something that really ever made you happy, admit it.  What would it look like if you worked somewhere with people who made you happy?  What would your ideal job/boss/office type situation be like and what can you do to work towards it?  Be aware of your truths as you work and do what keeps you on your path right now so that you might have a chance to go down another path in the near future.
  4. Believe that it is possible.  This part is really key!  What does your belief system in yourself look like today?  Is it not very good?  Do you lack self-esteem?  Do you accept challenges or tend to shrink from them?  If going through a tough spot meant you could change your life, how would you react?  Just believe that you have the abilities to accomplish your dreams and keep on saying it.
  5. Act on your dreamsWhen it comes time to do it, whatever it is, don’t back away from it because you are afraid it might not work.  We all have failures sometimes, but the leap of faith that we take to try to do the impossible encourages us and boosts our confidence for the next time something great comes along.  We can’t be afraid to say yes once again!

Ultimately, if you expect different outcomes for your future, you have to start thinking like it, acting like it, and changing your path.  Journaling is a powerful tool I use in my 4 Weeks to Wellness program and each day we work on one goal to get closer to what we want.  You really can get what you want out of life!

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5 Tips on How to Find Yourself

Throughout the last 5 years, I have read lots of book trying to point me in the right direction of some “head clarity”.  I have shared what I learned with friends hoping to help them too.  But in the end, I realized, it doesn’t matter what I share with them because the quest to “find yourself” is a deeply spiritual trip that only you can make.

Maybe you have lost your job, or illness got in the way somehow and changed your entire future…but think about it as the BIG picture, it never really changed your future.  This IS your future.  What you are living right now.  So how do we come to terms with that and find a way to move forward?

5 Tips on How to Find Yourself

  1. Who were you before this perfect version of what your life was supposed to be entered your head?  Is it possible that this person is still under there and if so, how do we let her free?  Take out your journal…because by now you know I am going to say that with some of my exercises.  Write your name in a circle in the center of your journal page.  Write all the words you would use to describe yourself…before you think you got lost.  Everything you write must be something you like.  I know, shocking, but you can do this.  I believe in you.  Take a few seconds to ground yourself by breathing in and out and really concentrating on your name.  Bring up that vision of you.  What is the first word that comes to mind?  Write it and go from there.
  2. Did you remember your dreams?  On the next page, think about what you wanted to do before you felt lost.  Are you doing it?  Again, if this is hard, close your eyes.  Breathe.  Center. Now write what comes to you as you think about what your soul desires.  What steps are you making to get there?  What small steps could you make to start going that way?
  3. Are you accepting what comes to you?  If we drop everyone’s expectation for a minute…have you turned down something that came to you because of what others might think?  There might be a lesson that you missed because of what others would think or an opportunity you walked away from that you wished you hadn’t.  Don’t look back.  Open new doors. Continue on.  Write one thing that if it came to you, you would be open to accepting it right now!  Breathe.  Center.  Write.
  4. How often do you practice stillness?  Go back to your list of words that you wrote to describe yourself.  Pick a word that you really, really like.  I’ll start.  “I am _____.”  I am going to insert the word strong.  So in my moments of stillness, I am going to think and affirm to myself that I am strong.  No other thoughts are going to come into my head as I think about this.  Similarly, you can use “I am healthy.” This puts you in control of your thoughts, not the other way around.  They are thoughts.  YOUR thoughts.  Control them with this practice and remember who you are.  Practice these Gratitude Mantras if you are stuck.
  5. Have you gotten out of your comfort zone, or are you digging in and making it a permanent residence?  Interesting and fabulous things can happen when you get out of the comfort zone.  This crazy yoga pose I had convinced myself I was not strong enough to do, well I got mad, hahaha, anyway, and then I tried it.  I laugh because use your emotions for a higher purpose.  Don’t let them take you down a level.  So, use your fear of being uncomfortable just for a minute.  Think about worst case scenario.  For me, it was falling over and getting hurt.  But I was safe because hubby, who might have made me mad, I don’t know, was my spotter.  So he wasn’t going to let me fall..and when I realized that I could do it, well I said a cuss word really loud because I do that in my head, and sometimes they just come out of my mouth too.  But I did the pose.  How long could I have been practicing that if I hadn’t been afraid of failure because I was once not strong enough?  I was my own worst enemy.  So are you…but chances are, you know that.

Need more help?  Check this out.

Find YourselfLike this post?  There is more of this kind of thing in my new program 4 Weeks to Wellness. Or Head|Heart|Health tab at the top of the blog.

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Motivational Monday…

This is my 400th post, and as this year comes to a close, I have to decide if I will keep Motivational Monday or move on to a new thing like I did last year:)  I might, just might, do something like Fiction Friday as I do write short stories, erm that I never show anyone.  You are free to respond in the comments with any ideas.

I have been thinking about this post most of the day and wrote it in my head a few times, but what I want to talk about is who you are.  I believe people should accept you the way you are.  If you are head strong, and you have ALWAYS been that way, why should it come as a surprise if you don’t give in to whatever others want you to believe.  If they are your friends or loved ones, they should value that trait as they always have, and not try to change you.  When someone tries to break down the core of who you are, it comes across as them saying you are not good enough.  I don’t care who they are.  This is unacceptable to me and hurtful.

If you know what is in a person’s heart and you know how that person has lived their whole life, but suddenly you dislike them for one comment they make that goes against your personal beliefs, and you no longer like them, then that is on you.  I’m going to use a somewhat real situation that many people are faced with.  Honesty.  If you have a friend who has always been honest with you and you ask them a question, do you blame them for their answer?  I read something yesterday that made me think of this.  Sometimes, the truth hurts.  There are many people who wrap their false beliefs around them and hide under whatever pretense they feel like using for the day.  Saying they have “Always” done this or that, but you know the truth.  Chances are, so do they.

So I end this year with the motivation to keep on being real.  Being honest.  Living life as best I can and navigating through uncharted waters at times.  You aren’t always going to agree with me, but that’s okay as long as you don’t try to change me.  My experiences have shaped me and only I know how that feels…so as much as we say we don’t what it’s like to walk in another man’s shoes, remember, we don’t.  2014.  The year to be you.

Ebb and Flow

 

No peace. Know peace…

Ohmmmm.

Directing attention to my third eye, I could feel the tension build.  Wait, I am supposed to be looking beyond ordinary sight.  Let me clear my mind.  I can hear my instructor telling me to focus.  I breathe in and out and feel the warmth of the hot yoga studio envelop me.  The steam embraces me and I relax.  But I still can’t believe what my friend told me right before class.  No, push those thoughts away.  Focus on your breathing.  If I was her, I would…wait.  You are not her, and you need to focus.  Those thoughts can wait.  We both enjoyed our class and pushed everything away.  Drenched in sweat, the peace descended on me.  The tension released and somehow I felt a sense of clarity.

When my friends ask me for advice, I put myself in their position and answer as honestly as I can.  No matter what, my friends know that when they ask me something, they need to be ready to hear what I have to say.  I have learned over the years to hold back until I think they are ready to hear what I have to say.  Sometimes that does not always work, but if I answered in any way other than the truth, I would have no peace.  You see, I believe that in order to know peace, you must have that moment of no peace.  Get it?

When a deep question is asked, you must dig deep for the answer.  I believe that most of the time, you already know the answer, but it is uncomfortable to face.  As humans, we go through all the emotions that make us who we are.  Shock, denial, anger, bargaining with yourself (which often leads to guilt), depression, and my favorite acceptance and hope.  During this time, you have no peace.  Sleepless nights, anxiety, headaches, and tension occur until you finally come to your decision and know peace.  At that time, you will begin to feel a sense of relief and purpose knowing what you have to do.  When you begin to move forward, you will emerge a better person.  Your time is coming.  Trust me.

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”  ~Ralph Marston

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Don’t be like Eeyore…

Some 100 posts ago, I wrote about a book I read that slowly helped me to change the way I thought about things.  It was just a tiny book, but it had lots of positive sayings inside.  I called the post Acceptance, and spoke of ways to improve your life immediately.  So, back to today’s post.  I haven’t been out of the house in a few days, and I’m actually fine with that, but we go to the grocery store and I see a magazine that looks promising.  I never buy magazines and wait until I go to the salon (which is not often) and finally get my hair done before I read anything like a “beauty” magazine.  However, today I saw the cover of Women’s Health, and I thought, why not?  I need some “Sexy Abs & Butt!” and apparently I need to “Sizzle” in my skinny jeans.

Sooo, I start reading the letter from the editor right at the very front.  I absolutely love it when I find even more research that tells me what I have known all along.  Apparently, there is a book out called Six Weeks to Skinny Jeans and in it the author, Amy Cotta, tells us that the average person has about 60,000 thoughts a day (double that for people who can’t sleep without going over everything that happened that day…erm, not me of course), 80 percent which are negative.  Does this surprise me?  No, not really.  So three years ago, I took it upon myself to spread positivity to my friends and co-workers each day. I started a lunch bunch where we did not talk about work, but tried to talk about other things, and I miss all the folks who stopped by.  I still have a regular friend who attends, but my lunch is not at the same time anymore, and it is hard after two years to get used to that.

Anyway, I devised another plan, and started posting these quotes as my status on the book of face.  Many friends told me how wonderful they felt and that it was just what they needed.  They didn’t know that their words were just what I needed as well.  However, just like anything, you are always going to have one person be just awful.  This “friend” of mine posted something terrible after one of my particularly nice quotes and told me how horrible her life was at the moment.  Do you want to know what was horrible?  She lost her air conditioning and had to buy a new one.  Seriously.  Thanks for telling me to “shut up, I don’t want to hear this right now” and wallowing in your own ridiculous thoughts.  I cut that Eeyore loose.  Whew.

My advice to you, is that if you want to change what’s going on in your life, take a good hard look at the company you keep.  If you are surrounded by “Eeyores”, they are just going to bring you down.  So, thanks Women’s Health magazine for telling me to build spiritual muscle, be actively grateful, and pass the positivity along.  I am trying to do just that.

How funny is it that the perfect clip was out there?

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Acceptance…

Ever have one of those days?  Weeks, months, or perhaps even years?  Do you accept what is happening to you and just go through the motions day-to-day thinking you can’t change things?  Well, you’re right.  You can’t.  But you can change yourself.  Let me explain.  There are some people in this world that no matter what you say, it won’t matter.  It could be your boss, your co-worker, or your friend.  I bought a book a few years ago that had quotes about life.  I have always loved quotes and feel that they help direct my thoughts in a more positive way.  Once I started devoting myself to changing the way I felt each day, I started handling the stress of life better.  It did not happen overnight, and I still have bad days.  But I recognize the signs of stress in others and do what I can for them.  It might not seem like a big deal, but it has made a world of difference in my work relationships.  If you knew you had the power to change yourself, would you try?

Update to this post.  Over the weekend of June 2015, I completed 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher training.  You can move from thinking into feeling when you put your mind to it.  I offer wellness coaching on my FB page Vitalize You.  If you just need a little push to help you reach your health and wellness goals…including weight loss, feel free to find me over there.

Changing your life

“To change one’s life: Start immediately.  Do it flamboyantly.”  ~William James

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