The Steps I took to Change my Life

 

Sometimes, my mind starts to wander and I think back to the year that my skin was on fire night and day.  I have tried very hard to block those memories out, so maybe you have no idea why this blog is called “The Burned Hand”.  I remember getting the incurable disease and thinking that my life was completely over at just 23 years old.  I feel like Ygritte whispering that I know nothing at that age.  And I didn’t.

I think back to the years that I had my children, and knew that I was so extremely fatigued it wasn’t normal and that I was not “bouncing back” from childbirth.  Then the second blood test and the news I had one more incurable disease, okay.  Not shocking, I already knew.  And more phlebotomies yearly would be needed.

I think back to the year my career as a teacher really started taking off and I was known as Mrs. Happy.  I had finally done it!  I changed my outlook on life and working with invisible diseases wasn’t going to stop me.  And then I started getting violently ill after eating.  I couldn’t look at food.  I looked pregnant all the time and my stomach was distended.  I started having severe allergy attacks, and I had vertigo for 3 weeks.  I spiraled down into a place of pain.  No one could touch my skin again, only this time was worse.  The base of my neck to the sitting bone was on fire.  I felt every single vertebrae as if it was on fire and begging to be put out like a living, breathing thing.

My shoulder went out.  My hip went out.  I couldn’t walk and I took a leave of absence from teaching, for presumably, a year.  I told everyone that, but I knew I was never going back.  I knew.  I actually thought that I was going to stay in that place of pain for a very long time, if not forever. 

I was diagnosed then with an autoimmune disease (just barely they said) and “fibromyalgia” due to the 18 points of pain that were in my body.  Didn’t I want to take pain meds for the rest of my life?  No.  No, I didn’t because I already had one disease that could mess with my liver and I wasn’t going to chance this.  It was at this point, that I realized I was screwed.  I had two options.  Get better or become something I didn’t recognize anymore…wait!  I already was.

The post will continue, but you can open these in new tabs if you are interested for later:

So life beats you down folks.  It does.  And it will over and over again if you let it.  What you do after this is up to you.  So here’s the point in my story that I don’t share much, but I was sitting on the couch in those early years, which yes, I wrote through the pain in 2013, but it barely scratched the surface, anyway, and I knew that I had a choice to make.  Get up and live.  Other people surely had as many diseases as I did, okay, I didn’t know anyone at the time, but surely they existed.  So I would live and change my life for them and show them that it could really be done.  I could do it.

One more test would come back in this puzzle that explained that on a purely cellular level I was not processing things correctly, but at that point, I didn’t care anymore.  I already knew I was different, and I was going to move forward.  So here comes the point where I tell you the steps I took.

The Steps I took To Change My Life:

  1. I decided I was going to change.  <<< This is the biggest one that you have to learn.  No one, and I do mean no one, can force you to change.  Period.  If you are waiting for your sign and this post is speaking to you, please write down on your calendar “Day I decided to change and live my life.”  <<<  Seriously.  You’ve got this.
  2. Stop making excuses and lying to yourself.  I will get out of the house tomorrow.  I will join the gym in a few months.  I will try yoga next month.  I will eat better after the “holidays”.  I will…yup.  Said them all.  Been there done that.  I made a plan, and then I stuck to it.  I called it 4 Weeks to Wellness and when each week was over, I would start back again.  Slowly and surely repeating the things I needed to change.  Fitness, I had to move.  Nutrition, I learned what was causing all that pain, balance, what was that anyway? and finally, self-care which was really lacking.
  3. I learned to be thankful for what I already had.  This one was hard.  Not that I wasn’t thankful, but I was so angry.  I was mad at the universe for giving me this life…never really thinking I had that much control over it all, but I was so very wrong.  I was wrong.  I woke up and started a gratitude practice even in my darkest hours.  I couldn’t sleep, but I would roll over and pull myself off.  I would not think of the pain, if it came in I shut it down with these words “Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.”  I almost crawled to the bathroom with my eyes shut tight and said I will not insert the F word, think about this F word pain.  When i opened them on my bathroom mirror was the mantra “I am healing”.  Then I would say that to myself every single day.  Also, side note, my girls started to use dry-erase marker like I taught them and left mama messages to read on the mirror.  I was living for them and my husband and I was going to succeed.
  4. I started back to yoga.  I am thankful that someone took the lead in this and initiated my Yoga Teacher Training.  Can you imagine hardly being to move and going to yoga?  I almost said no a thousand times.  I almost quit a thousand times.  I would soak in the tub and almost cry out from pain at doing it, but I would not give up.  I would walk slowly and I would do the best I could, but I would finish that damn training.  I would and I did in June of 2015.  I went on to become certified as well in yoga for arthritis and pain.
  5. I started helping others.  I already had my FB page, but it just wasn’t enough.  How could I connect with others who could change their lives just by thinking about it, writing about it through my new journal therapy, starting a gratitude practice, and with sheer grit, take control of their heads, hearts and health?  I took some money and invested in a platform to build an online community.  I called it the Head|Heart|Health Club and I was going to make it work.  In January of 2017, I opened my doors to everyone who might want help, and I haven’t really looked back.

So if you are new here to the blog, welcome.  I really wanted you to know who I was before, who I am now, and what I am hoping to accomplish for the future of healing yourself.  I know you can do it.  Please stay in touch with me here <<< and get my monthly updates by newsletter if you’d like.  ~Aimee

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3 Ways to Harness Inner Change

Inner Change

Life is always changing…yet inwardly, we resist.  Do you find change to be a scary process?  Especially if you are trying to harness inner change?  I know that at times, I do.  I am facing something right now that could be a very simple change, yet I am finding it hard to consider.

Moving.  Changing addresses.  I feel like that is a really hard thing for many people.  It’s just a house, right?  No.  Not to many people.  It’s memories, feelings, neighbors and more.  So why the resistance to change?

Resistance can show itself in many ways.

The “what ifs” start to surface.  It is this area of uncertainty that drives us mad.  We know the reality we are living in, correct.  We don’t know this scary possibility over here.  So let’s just stay in the reality we know.

We have no control over the change.  It’s like this, does the caterpillar start to freak out as soon as it goes in the cocoon?  Everything happens as it should once it gets in there…and then the butterfly emerges and flies merrily away.  None the wiser I suspect about all the little close calls it might have faced while in that cocoon.  But we start to question what will happen as we set this in motion..never stopping to think that it could just take its natural course and everything will turn out the way it should…or maybe always was going to anyway no matter what we did.

Nothing looks familiar over here!  I went to sleep thinking about the possibility of a new house.  Insert whatever you are thinking of here.  I have a little routine down right now and it works wonderfully.  What if my routine is interrupted?  What if moving messes up my business for a bit as I get settled (I work from home).  I need to remember the important things, and the things that are going to take some time getting used to.  Not focus so much on all the differences.

3 Ways to Harness Inner Change

  1. Get very clear on why you are even considering this change in the first place.  What are the benefits of doing something new, taking a new job, moving, making new friends or doing something that you might consider equally scary right now?  Do you have support should you wish to make a change?  A sounding board that really has no vested interest in your decision other than for you to be happy?  If not, consider joining us in my closed group, <<< but you really do need supportive people around you.
  2. Uncover the block to this change.  This one is really a big step.  If you haven’t journaled around this idea, might I suggest drawing a giant boulder in the center of a page, and then putting all the reasons around this “block” until you have exhausted this, and honing in on the one reason you really think might be the biggest block of all.  It will probably stem from fear, but you do the work and see if that is where it leads you.
  3. Don’t give up.  If the change is scary, worth it, and you know you can do it, make it your mission to succeed.  Put reminders everywhere (fridge if it’s food related, mirror for self-esteem, on the scale if you are wanting to lose weight, etc.), and affirm to yourself that this inner change is worth a few months of discomfort if it is what you truly want.  New thought patterns can be created, and soon those new patterns will become your fall back.  The old paths will become overgrown, and you will feel much better for making that commitment to yourself as you learn to harness inner change.

Here comes the part where you really get real with yourself.  Is this inner change worth the discomfort?  Yes as long as it is within your alignment of what you want for path.  Breathe in and take 3 deep breaths.  Imagine this change has already happened and everything went well.  How do you feel now?  You have your answer.

For more monthly guidance on getting out of your head, aligning with your heart and helping your overall health, join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club.

Harness Inner Change

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From Panic to Peace…Your Guide to Meditation.

As the yoga class begins, I hit play on the Native American flute music and it wraps around my soul like a healing balm.  I literally shiver and feel myself becoming more still.  More “clicked” in to this present moment.  I breathe deeply and scan the energies.  What do we need today?

There are so many threads to smooth down at the beginning of a yoga class.  So we always begin with a centering exercise that calms the panic and soothes the soul.  But what if you have never meditated a day in your life?  What if the thought of being still, quiet and centered just seems out of reach?

The truth is, misconceptions to meditation lead to you not wanting to try it.  Most people envision a monk in robes at the top of a mountain sitting in stillness for days.  In reality, we can calm ourselves and really click in to our bodies in as little as 5 minutes.

How can we add this practice to our day?

  1. Clear a space on your calendar for “you” time.  Literally write it in if you have to.  I suggest the first thing in the morning, but if you feel stressed at any point in the day, you repeat your morning practice.
  2. You do not have to sit on the floor, but you do need to straighten your spine, relax your shoulders.  Put your feet flat on the floor if you are in a chair and sit up nice and tall.  The eyes drift closed and focus on the point between your eyebrows.
  3. Start by taking 3 deep cleansing breaths.  You can even repeat this mantra:  I am breathing in (inhale).  I am breathing out (exhale).
  4. As you breathe, focus on how your body feels.  Lift your toes and place them flat on the floor.  Put your hand on your belly and feel it expand like a balloon.  Just breathe.  If thoughts come into your mind, use my leaf imagery.  Place these unwanted thoughts on the leaf and watch it float away from you.  Peacefully down the stream.
  5. Allow your body to sit like this until you feel the tension release and a natural rhythm starts to take over.
  6. If thoughts have come in that you feel are really disturbing your peace, jot them down on a piece of paper after, and if you would like, you can use toilet paper to literally “flush” them away from you.  Ahh.  Release the you-know-what.

This practice can be done at any time, any place.  If you are having a particularly stressful time right now, use the shower meditation as well.  Each time you get in the shower, imagine the water washing off all thoughts of pain, anger, anxiety and only positive thoughts filling you up.  Continue to filter any and all thoughts that do serve you including panic, worry, thoughts of the past or thoughts of the future.  Keep focusing on the word contentment as you wash away worries.

Affirmations to use:

  1. All I need to do right now is breathe.
  2. I am safe and protected.
  3. A warm peaceful energy surrounds me and those I love.
  4. All is well.
  5. With every breath, I become more peaceful.

Interested in a meditative type of journaling practice to increase abundance and gratitude?  Feel free to check out my e-book here. <<< There are over 30 focused prompts to lead your mind to a better focus as well as exercises for the mind, and additional affirmations to use daily.

5 Signs You are Shifting Unsettled Thoughts.

The waves of energy from you guys, my readers on the fan page for the blog, have been almost knocking me over.  This leaves me feeling some energy that I would like to calm right now.  It is a feeling of general “unsettledness”…which might not really be a word, but basically it is a feeling of unease.

What the heck is going on??

I can tell you.  It is a new year and with that comes the desire that is so strong to change ourselves and leave this old nonsense behind.  We are done.  DONE with blocks to our future.  We are DONE with this past nonsense that tries to come back to haunt us like Jacob Marley.  Not Bob, that would be okay.  We are DONE trying to make sense of what is happening in the future. And the truth is, all of this is okay.  We need to learn to be content with where we are.

Old wounds do, from time to time, split open.  THAT my friends, is the place where growth happens.  It’s messy and sticky and uncomfortable.  We want to put the band-aid back on our souls, my God we do.  But what if it is bleeding so much we can’t use a band-aid right now?  What if we need to clean it up a little, find the source of the pain, and then start to heal?  <<< that is where we are right now.  And I feel it so close to the surface for so many people right now I am about to burst wide open myself.  But guess what?  It’s exciting!

We are shifting into our purpose, so get ready.

AS we shift, that energy is messy.  It makes us feel unsettled and we might bounce from idea to idea or topic to topic until the right one clicks into place.  It’s like we are breaking into our soul vault and we don’t know the combination.  That is why we are feeling this way.  We are getting closer to the correct combination.  Heck, maybe we only are one number away.  But we have to be willing to stick this out my friends.

5 signs you are making the shift:

  1. Your past is trying to haunt you.  Jacob and his chains are all over.  I know that they make a lot of noise, but in reality, they can’t hurt you.  They are merely trying to get your attention that it is time to move on from that.
  2. Signs keep coming up that show help is near.  The perfect article on what you are feeling is right there.  The friend you have been thinking about calls.  The feather in your path might signify heavenly help is near.  Rainbows appear.  The numbers change to 11:11 or 3:33.  11 is a powerful number of dreams, intuitive illumination, and connection with Spirit.
  3. You are a bit moody.  Look out!  You might feel weepy, angry, unworthy and just plain over it right now.  It is normal, but let’s help this part pass.  In my Head|Heart|Health Club, we are working on really shifting into the feeling we want, and getting clear on what makes us happy.  I want you to practice that too.  So when you are in a mood, get clear on the exact emotional trigger that caused it.  Use a thesaurus if you need to and write down the opposite of that word and then write out what makes you feel supported and ________.  <<< the opposite of how you feel now.
  4. You are ready to pick a fight with anyone who will listen…including yourself.  This is the build up of energy and it needs a place to go.  Have you gone on a walk, gotten out of the house, taken a nice epsom salt bath or re-charged with your favorite things lately?  What are you doing for you??  Seriously.  Use the search button on side here and read more about self-care or explore my online catalog if you’d like to try your hand at my Gratitude E-book Self-guided Journal.  Find ways to shift this energy into thankfulness for the good in your life.
  5. Your about to make a big break-through and then your heater goes out and money is due here, here and here.  We have to let go of this feeling of lack.  This happened because we needed to shift into the thinking that everything is going to truly be okay and everything we need will be provided for us.  Sure, not everyone feels this way.  This leads to scarcity feelings and it leads us to panic.  It is normal.  Totally normal to have a flip out just as you thought your life was coming together and something bizarre happens.  <<< I have had so many of these things happen it is not funny.  I should make you a list to make you feel better…you probably wouldn’t believe the amount of stuff that happens to me like this.  BUT, I am not going to dwell on it right now.  I had to write out a big check the other day, and I just said with gratitude that I was happy to be giving this man my money to fix my heat.

Trust me on this, you are not alone.  If you have been reading my blog for a while you know there are years that take from me, and years that give.  We have to accept a few truths.  We can’t go back.  We are not always going to feel the same way and there are times none of this makes a bit of sense to us.  Trust me on this, but in the end, the pieces are really going to fit together and you will be surprised at the whole picture.  The dust will settle and the outlook will really be much better.  Let’s work on shifting into a comfortable flow this year.  The work on the inside will lead you to greater results on the outside.

Speak to you soon.  ~Aimee

How I used My Empath Abilities to Heal

The articles I write on my Empath abilities are extremely personal to me.  If you find the linked article taken from my blog, please let me know.

Healing is one of the most difficult paths we might ever walk.  Cancer patients would agree with me I know.  Whatever it is you are struggling with, pain, disease, depression, anxiety, all leads us to a type of physical and mental anguish that sometimes we hide from the world.  I should know.  I was once known as Mrs. Happy.

I began to notice at a young age that I knew when people were just saying things to say them.  I knew when people were not honest.  When people said they were happy and weren’t really.  When people were suffering from an “affliction” of some sort.  Honestly, I wish I could tell you exactly what this sort of things feels like.  But I can’t.  It’s just this vibration of “not truth” that waves out around them.  That doesn’t even explain it well.  But imagine the thought bubbles popping up over someone’s head telling you exactly what they are really thinking.  Would you really want to know?  I didn’t.

As you can imagine, this type of thing leads to people not liking you.  They think you are a know it all, braggart or whatever when you are simply more aware of the truth than sometimes even they are.  But how does this bring me to my healing path?

The “knowing” led me to go to the doctor when I was only 22 years old and get tests run.  This “knowing” or intuition, was so deep that when doctors said something that wasn’t true or couldn’t possibly be it, I would either lead them to what was true, or seek out another doctor who would run the test I wanted.

It can be very frustrating when doctors don’t listen to you.  They thought I had just become certified in “Google” and was thinking I was a doctor myself.  But here’s the interesting thing.  I didn’t even know where to look for what was going on in my body, I just KNEW something wasn’t right.  I would close my eyes before I researched, take deep breaths, and start digging.

As soon as the right information became available, I immediately knew.  Extremely strong feelings washed over me and I felt like I had uncovered another puzzle piece.  Each and every time, I trusted myself, I became more whole again.  I started healing.  The path around me lit up more brightly.  And whispered to my soul “keep going”.

When I was not on the right path, or started second guessing myself due to doctors, I felt like I had a machete in my hand whacking away at weeds and briars, pulling some sort of Romancing the Stone Michael Douglas move in the rain forest of my life.  I would look back at how far I had come and know that I couldn’t go back.  I had to keep moving forward. 

So here I was on this path and no one understood it but me.  It was my path, and mine alone to make.  I learned to rely only on my own abilities, intuition and grit to move forward.  And I sure as hell was not going to give up no matter how hard it was, or how many mudslides I encountered that seemingly led me nowhere, but in fact, were part of the process that led me to new discoveries along the way.

How Can You Do the Same?

  1. Listen to that small inner guide, your inner wild woman, and don’t ever shush her.  She has some important things to tell you, and if you listen, you will know that she is guiding you on the right path.
  2. Just BE still.  I never discount that I am being guided by something higher.  In the Bible there is a passage that says “Be still, and know that I am God.”  For many years, I was made to feel that using my empath guide was wrong.  I was not worthy.  But wait.  What if I am worthy?  What if I was called to do this work and all these years I was squashing it because of some religious beliefs?  You can call your inner guide whatever you want.  Just listen to it without guilt.
  3. Learn to be open to possibilities.  I now take my stillness as time to connect and see things in the way I am being led.  I do a combination of prayer, meditation, and affirmations.  More often I am seeing this creep into my everyday life as something that I know I must do to get clear on my path.
  4. Reflect daily.  You MUST use a journal of some sort even if you say to yourself that you don’t like to write.  It is pen to paper.  You still your mind and breathe.  Then go with the flow of the pen.  This is very important as you move from thinking actively to feeling.  The thoughts just flow into your journal and before you know it, you might find what is blocking you written there on the vanilla paper.
  5. Let goThis one is the hardest one, I know.  Once you have done all that you can to work towards releasing your pain, to healing whatever it is that’s either physically or mentally causing you anguish, you have to release it.  No guilt.  No remorse. You have done the work.

I truly hope this helps you get clarity on something you are working towards.  If you are interested in doing more work, as a type of self-guided course, please feel free to visit my 4 Weeks to Wellness course.  You have to be willing to do the work for yourself in order for something to change in your life.  If you listen closely to your intuition as you work towards healing, you will find you already know what to do.  My course is merely a guide to help you uncover what you already know.  Hugsxx ~Aimee

Life choices

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3 Steps to Boost Your Heart Connection…

heart_tape

Did you know that we experience more inner confidence when we are aligned with our life’s purpose?  Individuals who feed their soul exude a kind of self-confidence that is not seen in other people.  These individuals know who they are (Finally!) and aren’t afraid to speak their truth…even if it means others won’t necessarily agree with them. 

Connecting to what your heart wants is very important in growing as a person.  Have you ever heard someone advise you to “Just follow your heart”?  Well that’s because doing what you love means listing to that inner guide.  That still voice inside you that some refer to as intuition.  When you take action driven by what you love, you learn to follow your passion without fear.  We learn to shift from the ego to the heart and it’s a beautiful thing.

3 Steps to Boost Your Heart

  1. Identify your passion.  What is it that lights you up from the inside out?  What topic is it that if someone were to ask you to speak about it in front of a whole room, you know without a doubt you would feel confident because of how passionate you are about the subject?  I already know the answer to this.  I am passionate about helping other people.  I know that without a doubt, and therefore, it is what appealed to me about my all-natural approach to healing and what continued to move me forward into my yoga practice.
  2. Love yourself.  This one is harder.  So in order to do this one justice, we do a little exercise in my Boost Your Heart program called leaving love notes to yourself.  It’s a journaling exercise and it really is important.  Notice qualities within yourself that help you to find meaning, pleasure and satisfaction.  Allow yourself permission to write down what is your true heart’s desire.  Sometimes, following your heart often requires you to  take a detour from the path others thought you should take.  It can be a long and lonely road initially…but not when you have someone to talk to about your feelings.  It’s important to know that you have worth and are important even if you aren’t doing what others expected you to do.  Trust the journey.
  3. Be authentic.  Have you ever done something that just doesn’t feel like you?  Maybe you weren’t available emotionally or mentally because you were trying to fit into a certain crowd.  You might have left a situation feeling drained actually because you were trying to keep up this appearance.  If you are tuned into how you feel now, and what you really and truly want, it changes the way you interact with people.  We must be willing to look at our lives with honesty and true reflection.  We must be willing to truly evaluate the parts of it that no longer serve our needs.

Are you truly following your heart?

I have worked with people who have these amazing dreams and desires, but for whatever reason, they ignore them because they think that they are unreachable.  Some women would prefer to pretend to be happy and sacrifice their true happiness but justifying that their inner dreams are not really that important anyway.  They have to be a mom, a wife, a teacher, a whatever and can’t be themselves.  They have fit their life into the role that they feel they must fulfill even if they have outgrown that role or it has them suppressing their inner most desires.  I am actually thinking of the woman in The Shift, Wayne Dyer’s movie.

When she woke up and told her husband she was going to stay at the beach for a few more days to paint, it was like an awakening was taking place in her.  She realized that her children didn’t even know she had a love of painting.  It was quite moving.  If you are ready to reconnect to what you love in life, and go fearlessly forward, I invite you to connect with me in my work with me tab.  It takes courage to follow your heart.

Boost_heart

How to Build Self-esteem…

You recall a time you had self-esteem…but it seems to be so long ago that your beliefs in yourself and your abilities have slipped away.  You let a mirror, comments, or other things make you feel less than your actual worth, but self-esteem is actually how much WE like ourselves.  Not the scale.  The mirror.  That person over there on Twitter.  <<< they have no bearing on your life, yet they do have one thing.  A chisel.  They chip away at you daily until you forget that you actually like you.

An example for me would be when I started going to yoga years ago.  I was excited about it…I bought new yoga pants and signed up for hot yoga.  I remember the mirrored walls.  MIRRORS were everywhere.  Sweaty people, tiny clothes, and mirrors.  I ermmm am not exactly smallish up top, so I find I have to basically bundle those bad boys down to try and even do yoga.  But the mirror.  I swear it was a fun house mirror and my boobs looked grossly out of proportion with everyone else in their awesome yoga tops…sigh.  Not a soul stopped me from doing yoga in that class.  They didn’t point or scream Dolly Parton is up in here.  But in my head they did.  I lost my train of thought every time I went to yoga there.  I am totally against mirrors in yoga class now.  Ha…but I am not the only woman who feels this way.

What changed?

I have been through so much, that I was not going to let all that stuff get in my way ever again.  In order to start building your self-esteem, you have to decide that it is your life, and each moment you delay doing what you want because of someone else, is a moment you lose to them.

Tips to build you up:

  1. Just like in yoga, set an intention.  Before you go to bed, write a love note for yourself and put it on your bathroom mirror.  YES, this is a trick that works.  You get to decide how you want to start your day.  When you wake up, focus on that intention.  Today I will feel beautiful.  Today I will get things done.  Whatever it is, it’s for you.  No one else.
  2. Ask yourself, are you being true to you?  If you are living according to what others want you to do, be, wear, act, etc.  how are you being true to you?  Act in harmony with your inner self.  If you don’t know what that looks like, start thinking about things you like that make you happy.  Just for you.
  3. Change who you are around.  <<< this one is necessary  I know how hard this one is.  Trust me, I do.  But if you have friends who constantly let you down, leave you hanging, and make you feel like less of a person for any reason what so ever, it is really time for a change…especially if they won’t change or can’t see what they are doing to you.  Negative attracts more negative…and the energy they put out there is actually harmful to you.  Avoid people who complain constantly, but don’t do anything to change their life.  Be with those who lift you up.
  4. Change your eating habits.  Don’t eat because you are mad, sad or depressed.  Eat because you are hungry.  Yes, this one is hard.  I know it is.  But drink plenty of water, get fresh fruits and veggies, hot tea that makes you feel good, and stay away from processed foods or binge eating.  It only makes you feel worse afterwards.
  5. Create your space with no comparisons allowed.  Back to the yoga metaphor, but seriously.  You can be doing “an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!… but you keep it all inside.”  Over there on your mat.  Who said yoga has to be boring, stereotypical and the same?  No one said me.  Do not compare yourself to whatever is going on over there >>> on her mat.  Unless she is actually doing the above.
  6. Help others feel good about themselves.  Give someone a genuine compliment…and I bet there will be a ripple effect.  Building someone up feels better than tearing them down…even if they have done that to you.  This part might be hard…baby steps.  But you can start with your friends, and then if you do encounter Negative Nancy, sorry Nancy you are actually quite sweet and never negative at all, ha, but anyway, if you do encounter someone like that, be prepared with…a compliment!  Ha take that.
Self-esteem
***Check back on October 3rd for new TABS at the top.*** Big surprise! 

 

5 ways to find your zen.

Zen habits

There are times in your life when you need to just breathe…or scream.  Screaming is not appropriate at work though, so we need to find other ways to manage our stress.  This is always easier said than done.  We worry, fret, and work ourselves into a tizzy over something that might happen.  We ponder, speculate, and look for hidden meanings in the words of everyone around us.  Life would be much easier if people just said what they meant…well, maybe.  I know I work better that way, but perhaps not everyone does.  In the meantime, we need to work with what we are given.  This applies to all aspects of life, not just work.

5 ways to find your zen:

  1. Focus on the task at hand.  I realize this is easier said than done, but if you really work to train your mind on the task at hand, we can get into our flow.  We actually can shift the way we think and remove the obstacles we place in our minds.  We are moving away from distractions and really focusing on what’s in front of us.
  2. All in.  Are you all in or only sort of here?  Be present.  In order to be in the present moment, you have to really pull your thoughts back.  Think of your thoughts moving continuously like a river.  That is the basis of flow.  The ego falls away and you are in the moment.  It is almost like timelessness.  The end of the day comes and you got so much done that you didn’t even realize you were in flow.  That’s how I feel in yoga.  I am in my flow.  Flow experiences can occur in different way for different people, but we have strong concentration during the task.
  3.   Rest.  Sometimes, you need a break after a long stretch of working on things.  This is something I have a problem with and I am learning to let go.  After being in my flow, I know that if I stop, it takes me longer to recover than most people.  I learned I need to set a timer since I work from home.  In an office setting, you can get up and stretch your legs.  Get a coffee.  At home, I tend to just get back to work.  It’s very important to remember everyone needs a break too…even if you are the boss.
  4. Simplify your workspace.  Do you every find yourself looking for things and they were under piles of paper?  Do you not know important dates because you have a calendar system that’s messy and difficult?  Work to simplify things.  Don’t over book yourself.  Keep meetings to the point.  Keep your desk neat and tidy.  Work on diving up your task into smaller, easier to handle chunks.  If you work from home, do the same thing.  Keep an orderly space.  It helps clear the mind.
  5. Let go of that which does not serve you.  This is my favorite one.  Gossip?  Does not serve you in any way shape or form.  Let it go.  Truthfulness?  Yes.  It serves to make your life easier.  Weigh your responses before answering.  Jealousy over what others have?  Does not serve you again.  Gratitude for what you have serves you much better and brings about more happiness.  Too many possessions?  Clutter?  Thank the items and give them to someone who needs them.  This is way we create space for things we need to come into our lives.  Remember, if it doesn’t do you any good, you don’t need to focus on it in your life.  Period.

My good friend said to me “What other people think of me is none of my business.”  I loved that line and made her repeat it.  I instantly thought of ways to apply that to my life.  The next time someone says something snippy to me, I will breathe in and out and maybe even make the “ohmmm” sound in my mind as they are speaking.  Knowing me, I might even say it out loud until it annoys them.  Zen is the practice of “not doing”.  You are not reacting to things around you when the world might be in chaos.  You need to still the thoughts that are going on in your head and think about the bigger picture.

 “Life is short.  Time is fleeting.  Realize the self.  Purity of heart is the gateway to God.  Aspire.  Renounce.  Meditate.  Be good; do good.  Be kind; be compassionate.  Inquire, know Thyself.”

~Swami Sivananda

Motivational Monday…own your own story

SO last week, someone tried to steal my joy.  I like that saying only because my old Principal would look at me and say “No one is going to steal the “J” from my JOY.”  She said no matter what was going on, when I passed her in the hall, I would make eye contact and say hello.  If I passed her 5 times, I’d say hello 5 times.  Or how you doing?  She would always be walking with intent to get somewhere, but I knew she had lots going on, so I would make sure I said hello.

Life is like that.  Sometimes, we forget that other people have lots going on too.  We want to think we are the only ones mired down in this life.  We lose sight of the bigger picture.  We lose sight of humanity.  Our focus goes from global to microscopic.  We start to doubt that there is a place for us in this world at times.  The demons of negativity come out.  She hates me.  She isn’t here for me because she didn’t say hello this week.  Well, I’ll show her.  I’ll delete her.  Chances are, she has no idea why you are doing that, but go ahead.  If it makes you feel better about yourself, go ahead.

Then there are the huge declarations on your social sites…in one week, I am deleting my account!!!  Waits for people to beg them to stay to see if anyone cares.  Or my favorite, no, not at ALL.  The FML status.  They wait for people to say “Ohhhh girl, what’s wrong?”, but sometimes, sometimes, people forget that others are doing the best they can at that moment too, so your grand display on social media might not be noticed.  However, I bet if you called someone or even private messaged someone and said, hey, I really need someone to talk to.  I am not feeling the love over here.  Then, just maybe then, you would get the response you wanted.

The problem is, no one wants to OWN their story.  That’s right.  If this were fixed, my life would be so much better.  If I didn’t have blah, blah-blah, I’d be great.  If such and such liked me, I would be fine.  But the real deal is, once it’s fixed, something else is going to break.  If you didn’t have one thing, you’d have another.  And if that person did like you, you might still have problems.  So start with yourself.  Focus on loving yourself.  Believing in yourself.  Trusting yourself. And saying HELL YES, I can do this.  This might be a hard thing, but I can do this.  Smile at people.  Say hi 5 times.  Even if they ignore you or look away.  Don’t let anyone steal your joy.  Not even you.  NOT EVEN YOU. 

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Finding the calm…

I almost lost it during yoga.  How can that be…you might be curious.  First of all, if you have not been to yoga, do not be intimidated by what I am about to say.  To understand, I have to paint a picture I wasn’t going to share.  It sunk its claws in me, so let me pry them off.  Around 3 years ago, my body started another war.  I wrote about it in previous posts way back, but the gist was that every joint was on fire.  Every. Single. Joint.  My left shoulder started to freeze up and caused me tremendous pain.  I wasn’t sure I could finish out the school year as it locked up and was causing pain beyond words.  I could no longer do “Brain Gym” moves for my class.  Those moves not only centered my students, they helped me as well.  I would play classical music, the kind most of my students had not heard, and we would breathe deeply to get centered.  We would do cross body exercises to warm up our minds as well as get the “wiggles” out.  I loved every moment of it.

It has been a difficult transition coming back from that point.  So today, as the yoga instructor led us through hot yoga, I felt the steam seep into my joints to hopefully aid in my practice.  I listened to her as she said to find our focal point.  I was flustered at first when I saw a man come in and almost take the exact spot behind me as I knew I would not focus.  I had, unfortunately, worn a shirt I never wear to yoga and it was loose…thus riding up if you know what I mean.  At the last moment, he moved his mat.  Saved from embarrassment I thought.  We began the series and since I am somewhat of a regular, I knew this girl might remember me telling her I couldn’t move deeper into some poses.  If you are brand-new, she sometimes walks by and assists you in the correct posture.

Since I had missed two weeks, I listened as she started this practice differently.  I tried not to look at anyone else in the room except for me.  Later, she began one of the poses that has caused me some pain, so I broke the silence by asking if there was an alternative (I just stood in mountain pose).  The problem started then I think.  The doubts began to creep in about why am I there if I can’t do all the poses.  Then I squashed it by saying this is for me.  I like doing this.  Some things are easier than others.  Stop pestering me, self-doubt.  I tried hard to focus again on the poses and what I am capable of doing…not what others are doing.  Unfortunately, I caught a glimpse of “underwear man” again.  He looks kind of like this Bikram man.  Except for the fact that he is much older than I am.

I will not lie…I have speculated that it might be humorous during toe stand if he errrm, fell over.  What?  I’m just being honest.  So I fought hard with my inner demons, and thought I had them all tied up in a nice little bow, until the end of class.  She turned the lights down low, and was speaking about your inner thoughts.  About what brings you to the mat.  About letting go of the worries and the chaos of the world.  I felt myself tear up a little.  But, I forced it back.  Stop.  You are doing okay.  Find the calm in the storm and stay there as long as you need.  I know where my calm is.

Weather the storm