Facing Our Demons…and Kicking Ass.

Super cool photo of your demons.

This was not going to be the original title, but it needed to be said.  How often have you actually named your demon?  I am not talking about a freaky version of Rumpelstiltskin where a tiny man dances around the fire saying his name loudly in a song that your hand-maiden can hear in order to destroy him…way to go Rumple, nope.  Not that kind of naming.  No.  This kind is actually way worse.

The scariest quest I ever completed was the journey into my deepest darkest fears.  The time that I sat on the couch and knew that without hope, of which I had very little, and faith, of which I still had a small amount left, that if I lost those two things, I would not be able to come out on the other side of this…maybe ever.  Let me be real about it.  It was not suicide, it was immense and total desperation.  It was depression that at such a young age, disease starting trying to destroy my body.

Now with disease comes an entire army of demons.  The likes of which normal people might face one at a time.  However, with me, it was the Battle of the 5 Armies and I wasn’t sure if the Elves were going to fight for me…or not.  << see that scary part in the beginning if you love Tolkien like I do, but stay for the battle.  It’s only a minute but it illustrates my point perfectly.

So the orcs, my demons, I had to name.  I was afraid of living a life of pain, and I knew it.  All of a sudden the Elves catapulted over the humans to fight the impending doom.  In reality, that didn’t happen.  I had to rise up and make a plan.  A plan that I knew would not bring me instant gratification, and a plan that I knew was going to be hard.  Like throwing the ring into Mount Doom hard.  So what did I do?

I got still.  And I said a prayer.

You can meditate, talk to your higher power, write about it, but speak it into existence.  Ask for it.  Seriously.  Men fighting battles always say a battle cry to rally the troops.  We’ve seen that time and time again.  RALLY your TROOPS. 

I made a plan.

Let’s say that you are dealing with anxiety.  When does it happen?  What are your triggers?  Do you know what causes you to spiral into that head space where all the voices are going off at once?  Write it down.  Use a focus word or mantra like this “I am breathing in.  I am breathing out.  I am safe.  I am whole.  I am not afraid. I am in control of my thoughts.”

I realized that I could control my thoughts.

This was a huge part of healing.  As I started to take back control of my Head, everything else started falling into place.  Did this process happen overnight?  No.  But I had a great and powerful plan of journaling my way back to what I truly wanted to feel like, and it was working.

I got really clear on my inner most desires, feelings, and what I did NOT want in my life.

It’s amazing how boundaries work.  One day, after a particularly amazing Yoga session, a “friend” called me to vent yet again.  Only this time, everything that was wrong in her life somehow became my fault because I suggested that I could help her no more and that perhaps therapy was needed.  Never heard from her again.  I was not important enough when I wanted to do fun things like go to yoga, or go out and enjoy dinner without hearing the same exact story.  Every. Single.  Time.  I was ready to grow and change and move forward.  She, and a few others like her, were not.

I made self-care first, not second, to ANY excuses.

This one is also powerful because if you make a commitment to your health and well-being, honor it or one day, quite frankly, you might not be here.  Too many people were flipping out, stressed out, and over the profession I was in.  They always stayed late, and got there early.  They said they couldn’t make yoga because of a “work” thing.  Or it was raining.  Or they were tired.  <<< pick your poison.  Excuses are a type of demon that want you to fail, so my friends, put up the good fight.  Send in Legolas and do the work here. 

I hope this helps you see that growth, in any form, is not an overnight process.  I recently pissed off a person as I mentioned that it was up to them, and no one else, to make their own happiness.  That is where the light comes in my friends.  You can fight these demons and win.  I believe in you.

Dedicated to my warriors in the Head|Heart|Health Club.  There is always room for you!

Save

3 Tips for Turning Pity into Self-care!

I was drawn to this post my friend shared today by a famous yoga teacher who I really admire.  She seemed to have a really cool life.  She is young, admired, in shape and really self-confident.  Or so I thought.  She gets to go on exciting trips and travel all over the world…little did I know she was homesick and going through a divorce.  She posted a photo of herself on her social media today and the first person to comment said some ugly things about her being “vulnerable” as an excuse for pity.  Wow.  Harsh.

Interestingly enough, I bet we have all been there though.  Seeing someone’s posts and wondering if they just needed a pick-me-up or were they seeking attendees for their pity party?  The truth is, we all have felt this way at some point in our lives.  We are on the brink of being really vulnerable and wondering if others care.  The flip side to this is we might stay closed off from the world because we are busy thinking we will be judged for how we feel.  The fact is, emotions are like waves.  We can no more control them than we can control the turbulent sea.  We just have to ride it out.

I say this as I am still in the clutches of my own grief on losing a beloved pet.  So I can’t control my waves of grief right now, but there are things I can do to make this time more bearable.  I can turn my pity, of which I honestly feel like I am the only one at this party, into self-care.

3 Ways to Turn Pity into Self-care:

  1. Observe your thoughts as they turn to “why me”?  I recognize that I will have moments of thinking I am the only one who has ever experienced x,y, z.  Since I know this is definitely not true, I use this as an excuse to journal my feelings and explore what is really going on here.  Did someone post a photo of the exact opposite feeling?  Quite possibly.  And what is the exact opposite feeling I want to explore right now?  Happiness.  Love.  Support.  Okay, so now let me list the ways that I feel these emotions I am trying to get to.  Who makes me feel this way or what?  It doesn’t have to be a who…as I can definitely create my own happiness with things that make me feel successful.  So then I go down that path instead.
  2. Don’t open the invitations you get…to go to the other pity parties.  This one might be hard.  So do this one as tactfully as you can, but if you are struggling, the emotions you want to surround yourself with are not going to be more struggle and pity.  Get my drift?  You really want to think about the things that are going well in your life and get back to that higher vibration that allows you to feel good about yourself.  If you can turn it into something productive, like a friend journaling session, or a walk of pity, then go for it, but set a timer.  After 3 minutes, switch and listen to the other person.  Then you must have 3 minutes of praise and success.  Because ultimately, you know that this stage will not last forever.
  3. Make a practice of talking about your joys.  Again, this one is hard.  We always want to talk about what is bothering us…or what we want to change, but feel like we can’t.  What if we talked about all the things that made use feel joy, happiness, and fulfillment in life?  Ask a trusted friend to tell you 3 good qualities about yourself if you are feeling down.  Even better, text them and tell them 3 things you love about them out of the blue.

Opportunities for growth exist as we see our pity for what it really is.  A moment of self-doubt where we don’t feel good enough.  A moment of judgement where we think we should be doing more.  A moment of envy perhaps, where we see the outside of someone’s life and look at the highlight reel.  Go deeper into what is really bothering you and what the opposite of that feeling is.  It is there that you will find your gold.

Like this?  Read more on self-confidence. <<< 

judge

How to Release Old Patterns of Thought

Time to changeIt is the first day of autumn officially where I live.  For me, this time always reflects change.  Letting go of things.  Making room for growth.  All before the end of the year.  I know that I have lofty goals, but there’s something about watching the trees shed their leaves that really reminds me of the work I have to do on the inside to stay healthy on the outside as well.

In order to find balance, we have to be ready to do the work.  We have been holding onto fears, worries and troubles from our past for far too long.

You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life’. ~Wayne Dyer

I have done quiet a bit of research on pain…both physical and mental pain.  I know that we carry quite a bit of pain around with us from past experiences if we have not yet released it and let it go.  This is evidenced by the fact that when preparing to speak on something once, I could not get through a certain part.  Everything else I could practice just fine, but this one part always got stuck in my throat and my eyes welled up with tears.  It was time for me to be okay with that part of my story.

How did I start releasing what was not serving me?

The first step was to continue speaking it out loud.  You don’t have to tell a room full of people; however, a trusted friend, therapist or counselor will work.  I had to put a name to the emotion I was feeling and that feeling was still grief.  After all these years.  It was time to let go just a little, and step into healing.  So as you begin to let go of this feeling, remember that whatever it was meant to teach you at the time, is long gone by now and we don’t have to stay in that place forever.

The second step for me is to write it down.  It can be in your journal, or as a letter to the universe.  It can be a prayer, or it can be on slips of paper you burn.  Whatever you feel called to do, but write the truth.  I know someone who once said to me that this was the hardest part of her healing journey.  So close your eyes and think of the people, events, setting, or whatever it is that you are trying to release.  Write down the feelings that are caught up in this thing.  Then let it go.  Don’t think on it any longer after you have gotten it out.  If you are afraid you will dwell on it, burn it!  You know, in a safe way that doesn’t catch anything on fire.

The last step is wiping the slate clean.  A nice clean chalkboard.  As a teacher, I would make sure there was not a hint of old chalk from yesterday as I wrote the next day’s lesson on the board.  I loved a clean board.  Visualize that whatever pain you had is truly released and washed away.  Here is where I want to point out that if you are blaming others for something, let it go.

My lesson is on releasing the people who I have clearly seen lying.  Apparently, I am really supposed to let this one go.  I learned people are definitely covering up for something when they lie, but it has nothing to do with me.  I decided to shift my perspective to one of gratitude.  I am thankful I don’t have to lie about who I am to feel satisfied in my life.  I am thankful I don’t have to lie to my husband, or my friends to feel liked.  I see no purpose in it, but clearly it is a defense mechanism for others.

By transforming old patterns of my mind, and bringing my attention to the present moment, I am letting go of things I don’t want to carry forward with me into the next season.

End Your Day With Mindfulness

This one is actually quite difficult for most people to do, but put the phones away.  Turn them off.  Hide them if you must.  Sit at the table and practice eating mindfully.  As we connect to slowing down from our day, take a moment to notice the food.  The taste.  The color.  The time it took to prepare.  Be present as you sit and eat; furthermore, see if you can engage the senses as you bite, smell, and savor the taste.  Be present in your thoughts as you end the day.  Let go of anything you don’t want to take with you for the next day.  Continue this practice daily and you will see an improvement in your mood as well.

release_leavesWant more ideas right where you can reach them?  See the Work With Me tab.

Save

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

Save

Life After a Narcissistic Relationship Ends (How to Move Forward)

What is a narcissist exactly?  By definition it is someone who is overly self-involved, vain or selfish.  I happen to know quite a few of these people, and yes, was in a relationship with one once long ago.  Quite thankfully, I recognized what he was doing even back then as it could have been quite scary.  What exactly were the signs I recognized?

  • everything was on his time
  • wanted to party all the time
  • had to be in the center of attention by drawing people to him
  • put on an “act” like it was a circus show
  • lied to me…constantly
  • would do one good thing, to replace the 50 bad things he did

These are just some of the signs that I recognized and knew it was a ridiculous arrangement.  Read this article for more on When an Empath Loves a Narcissist.  So how does one move on after this?

How to Move Forward:

  1. Stop feeling guilty, judging yourself, or feeling used.  It is quite possible that this is what he or she wants.  It creates that isolating feeling that they love.  Now you have no one to call, and feel sorry for yourself.  It is normal.  You will be able to build up relationships once again that help you with your self-esteem, not drain it.
  2. Start your self-care routines again…which means focusing on you!  Consider this experience a lesson in how to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority once again.  Honestly, you can be stronger than the you that just came out of this relationship.  I know it sounds crazy, but it is true.  Start your wellness routine which includes fitness, nutrition, balance and self-care.  I talk about this in 4 Weeks to Wellness, but it is absolutely the best way to heal yourself completely.
  3. Journal the things you want to remove from your life and the things you want to attract.  Write down the qualities you would like to have in your next relationship, and compare your list to what just happened.  Chances are, the qualities were never there to begin with.  It was all smoke and mirrors.  Get in the habit of putting yourself first and thinking about your goals and dreams.
  4. Take stock of your feelings.  Sit with them a minute.  Write them down.  How are you feeling?  Now imagine the best version of you.  The you that is there, but is just hidden way below the surface right now.  What if you journaled each and every night on the best parts of your day, you, your family, your friends, and everything about your life that is great?  There is so much left to be thankful for and after all this, the relationship has shown you what you don’t want to be like.  That was not a relationship for your highest good and somewhere deep inside you knew it all along.  You are able to see much more clearly now that the fog has lifted.

You will be able to move forward.  Use yoga, journaling, meditation, walks in nature, alone time, massage and more as a way to get back to the you that you want to be.   We all have bad days, make bad decisions and date the wrong people.  But that doesn’t mean we have to stay in that place forever.  This has prepared us for what we no longer want in our lives.

move forwardNew!  See the tab Head|Heart|Health for more support on getting back to the real you.

Save

Save

Save

5 Signs Your Soul is Trying to Guide You (But you aren’t listening)

Each night, I go through my rituals of thinking about the life I want.  It didn’t used to be that way though.  Before my epiphany, I went to bed thinking about what I didn’t want in my life.  The funny thing is, that never got me anywhere.  I was miserable in my job, my health was failing as you know, and I couldn’t see through the red haze of pain.  I started clearing away everything, and I do mean everything, that was making me miserable. 

My soul couldn’t speak in words, but it sure was telling me that I was living my life wrong.  It was showing me through my pain that there was more out there, as well as my intuition that kept saying I could improve my entire well-being using my head-heart-health plan that I had started developing for myself.  I was on the right path and each time I would veer away, something would catch my eye and I would continue my research into holistic health and wellness.  When I was finally ready, I launched the 4 Weeks to Wellness plan in a small group for my friends and ultimately decided to open it to the public.

5 Signs Your Soul is Trying to Guide You:

  1. My intuition was going crazy and my empath skills were working overtime.  I was getting real-life friends messaging me all the time asking me to help them with something new that the doctor told them they had, and after talking to me they felt better.  I couldn’t sleep without answering their messages and once I did, I knew instinctively that I had put them on the right path.
  2. I spent lots of time thinking I was almost onto something big…I could just feel it.  But I had to make space for the messages to appear.  I had spent a lifetime of over-thinking and needed to re-wire my entire brain.  I started slowly and methodically re-centering my thoughts when they went away from my purpose.  I did this by eating right, moving, balancing my schedule, and creating self-care routines that were so necessary I started telling others about what I was doing.
  3. I noticed I was unhappy when I did things that did not feel authentic.  Let me un-jargon this for you.  There were people in a group who wanted me to sell, sell, sell.  Get customers of my all-natural products a certain way; however, it felt “icky” for lack of a better word.  I really like using kid terms as I was a teacher and they feel really pure to me.  Kids create and do what makes them happy.  They make their drawings never looking over to the other kid beside them going wow, his is better than mine.  I should have added more blue here or more this or more that.  No, they are like wow!!!  That is really pretty.  I like that.  They feel happy with what they create.  It is only later when start to compare ourselves to others.  <<<< I dislike this to the highest degree.  So I didn’t want to be like everyone else.  I wanted to do what felt right to me.  Basic-level happiness goals.
  4. Answer this question with the first thing that pops into your head:  What do you want?  If I was doing things that I didn’t want, I started to feel off course again.  Anxious, and not all present.  It was a clue that I needed to realign myself with all the methods I taught myself worked for me.  Am I just going through the motions on this?  Is this a path I want to go down or did I say yes because I was afraid to say no or afraid to miss out on something?  I had to stop and listen to my gut feeling about the situation.  Was this a hell yes feeling or a meh okay?  If it was not what I wanted, why did I put it on my plate to begin with???  I needed to cut that out.
  5. How do you feel when you get out of bed in the morning?  What is the first thing that pops into your mind when you think about work, or doing whatever you have planned for the day?  <<< note, HUGE flashing sign there.  I knew that I only had a short time here on this earth and I was wasting away because I thought I HAD to finish the job I went to college for.  I had to do what my parents thought, or my friends thought, or my colleagues thought was best for my future.  I had been programmed to think that way.  I had been programmed to think it was selfish to want to leave a perfectly good job when other people were looking for jobs.  How many times have I heard that one?

My soul was telling me each and every day that I was meant to help larger groups of people.  I lost all sense of time writing and teaching yoga.  I lost all sense of time helping other people on the path to wellness.  I felt such great joy at seeing my friend do a certain yoga pose for the first time or create her journal based off our talks.  When she showed me a particularly private page in her journal, it was an extremely vulnerable talk that we had, but I felt so proud of the things she had written.  She was not in the same place a year prior to that.  When my newly divorced girlfriend said she turned a corner and started feeling better after her journaling, I knew that my questions were leading these women to really cool places.  They were digging deep into what their souls wanted as well and we were uncovering layer after layer of programming.  Getting back to the core of who they were.

The last thing that really made me feel great about this path was when a friend said they wanted to cart me around with them to help deal with the anxiety and lead the journal questions in their mind on why they were reacting certain ways.  So I say again to you my friends, you really know what you have to do if you have read this article and thought of many answers to the questions your soul might be asking.  It’s time to start listening.

What does your soul want?New!  See the Head|Heart|Health tab for even more support!

Save

Save

Manifesting Journal Tips

Once upon a time, I started a journal and acted AS IF what I wrote in the journal had already come true.  I started adding in monthly goals, and then just writing throughout the month AS IF those goals came true.  If I showed you my journal now, you would be amazed at the number of check marks beside each statement I wrote.  Yes, they came true.

So before you guys think I am making this up, I kid you not, I started telling my girlfriends about it.  We have a night we call “Sister circle” and it is a night we can bring crafts, stories, wine, or whatever, ha, to the table.  I started telling them a while back about my journal.  Then I started helping my friends journal…and even art journal, bullet journal or whatever, but they had to lay it all out there.  Bare.  No lies in the journal.

Since I started my journal therapy sessions, one girlfriend came back to yoga, started losing weight and unblocking her weight-loss well, block, another started healing internally from divorce, and countless other things have happened.  I think the BEST thing that has happened, is that I thought they would be afraid to show me their journals, but they aren’t.  That is huge.  It means they are stepping into this truth that they write and owning it, which is part of the shift in thinking.  We live from a place of now instead of fear.  I was so proud of my girlfriend who wrote on weight loss that the first time she showed me her wall, I got teary.  It was a huge shift.  Oh, the wall she drew in her journal with all her blocks on losing weight.

5 Tips to Manifest Change in Your Life:

  1. Practice gratitude each morning.  I recently gave my talk in London about how at my darkest pain level, I started getting out of the bed and saying “thank you”.  I talk to God, Jesus, Angels and the Universe, but you do whatever floats your boat.  I don’t believe I have to make a choice in believing that God supports my decisions to get well only if I do x,y,z and therefore Law of Attraction type thoughts are wrong.  Nope.  He supports me.
  2. I constantly realign my thoughts every single minute.  I am no different from you.  Each of us has the potential to think good or bad thoughts and dwell on them.  Notice the thoughts and every time you think a negative thought, put a positive spin on it and float it down the river.
  3. TAKE ownership of what is happening in your life.  People most often blame others, their parents, God, the Universe, the Devil, your 5th grade teacher…or someone else.  Umm.  It’s you.  Yup.  It’s you.  I know what you are thinking…I didn’t ask for this.  Neither did I, read my about me to see what I didn’t ask for.  Nevertheless, it was there.  I couldn’t change my genes.  I accepted the diseases and then finally, finally, began to move on.  Yes, I spent countless hours researching and developing a plan to move forward and release myself, but still, I did something about it!
  4. Write down a clear intention of how you want to feel.  I started writing how I wanted to feel, and reading it nightly.  I wrote what great things were coming to me.  And I sat and felt those emotions.  How I would feel in my new SUV and what it would be like to really have a new car.  We desperately needed one, but here is a tip.  You can’t manifest from desperation.  I had to let all that go.  Scarcity thinking.  Nope.  Abundant thinking.  Yes.  I have enough.  I am enough.  I wrote about the vehicle in December.  In April, we bought a new SUV.  My mini-van was literally falling to pieces by that time, but I let go of the thoughts of not making it down the road.  I opened myself up to thoughts of a reliable vehicle and how that would feel.
  5. Really and truly feel the gratitude AS IF it has already happened.  Seriously, this one is so important that it started and ended my days.  I said thank you every night.  I blessed the goodness in my life nightly.  I still do.  I push allllll the other thoughts away and if for some reason I can’t, I go to yoga then I can think on what great things have happened.  So have your routine.  Go for a walk, pray, mediate, run, go to yoga, but think on the goodness of the universe because it is there.  It is.  Do good deeds and random acts of kindness as you go along, and you will really feel the boomerang effect of what you think you attract.

Lastly, because I believe in journal therapy so much, I added another bonus to my Head|Heart|Health Club, which really and truly gets you out of your head and into action!!  The whole reason I designed it was for people who are stuck in their heads, hearts, and not able to move forward for their health.  Much like I was in the beginning of this life-long journey to create the path I was meant to be on.  I am there now and would love to have you join me!

Gift of thanksEditor’s Note…I like this journal:

Still want more incentives to journal?  Try this E-book.

Save

Save

Save

Save

3 Tips for Heart-centered Living

What does it mean to be heart-centered anyway?  Well, you have heard that your heart wants one thing, but your brain wants another before.  So let’s take a moment to examine that.  The ego, or psyche sometimes thinks first and understands later.  I know that I have been guilty of that.  However, let’s suppose for a moment that you start to really focus within and you see past the surface.  It takes a while to get used to pausing without reacting or speaking first, and learning to express from your heart, but it really can be done.

As we start to move from fear-based thinking to love-based living, the world expands.  Fear tends to shrink our environment and make us less likely to step out of that comfort zone, and love, well, love helps us do amazing things.  I am not just talking about love for others though…this part is important.  You definitely need to practice self-love and forgiveness of your own faults.  It is not selfish to put self-care into place.  So many times my clients have to step into their own beauty and realize that their oxygen mask has to be put on first.  But no one can make another person do that…it is within them to see that they need to give themselves permission to be human and practice compassion for themselves.  We don’t have to be last.  It it is crucial to realize this.  As you learn this truth, everything else falls into place.

3 tips for heart-centered living:

  1. Stop and breathe.  Are you having a heart-centered reaction or are you so busy in your head that things have quickly gone from A to Z?  Take three deep breaths, and if you are at a desk, sit up straight and tall elongating your spine and square your shoulders up and then gently bring the shoulder blades down your back.  Place the hands in your lap palms facing upwards.  Practice: Apana Vayu Mudra-The Mudra of the Heart by folding your middle and ring fingers towards the palm in such a way that they touch the tip of the thumb.  Fold the index finger inward allowing it to touch the base of the thumb.  The small finger should be stretched outward.  Keep your eyes closed and hold the mudra as long as you want to.  This mudra actually improves blood circulation to your heart.
  2. Practice compassion.  As we start to focus inwards, we realize that we have to live with compassion for ourselves and others.  We are all human going about our day in similar ways all around the world.  While we live in different places, have different lifestyles, ultimately, we want the best human experience we can have on this planet and hopefully leave it a better place.  So the struggles that involve the people we interact with on a daily basis do have some effect on us.  Practice: How are you being with people?  Look to the 4 A’s.  Attention, appreciation, admiration, and affection.  Are you open to whatever it is they have to say?  Reflect on your body language as well.  Tight jaw, tense shoulders.  Relax and open up your heart. 
  3. Live with passion.  Picture what you love doing, who you love being with, what stirs up your passion and fulfills you.  Practice: Get out your journal.  Write about what you would do if you didn’t have to worry about money?   If doubt creeps in write this instead: “I am enough, worthy, and deserving of following my passion.  I am strengthened by doing the things I love to do.  I am now living my heart-centered calling.”

Remind yourself throughout the day by touching your heart, practicing the mudra or even saying “Am I living through my heart right now or my head?”  These pauses in what we act on truly do make a difference when we don’t react right away.  Continue journaling about your passion and living through the heart.  I actually use this one every night:

Plain Blue Journal

To learn more about my new journal guide as part of my 4 Weeks to Wellness program, click here.follow heart

Save

5 Ways to Increase Gratitude

Increasing gratitude doesn’t seem like such a hard task, does it?  Well for many people who live in pain daily, it is.  But what if, just for the next 4 weeks, you focused on other tasks instead of your pain.  Maybe you thought about ways to increase your fitness for a week, or to eat beautiful and nutritious food the next week, or ways to help create balance in your life and help deal with your stress, and lastly you increased your self-care.  These are actually the steps I started taking when I took back my life from pain.

I began looking deeply inside my soul for true and honest answers to questions that needed to be asked.  I developed a series of workbooks on these tasks and questions to help others, but you can read more about that under my Head|Heart|Health tab.  I am here to offer you some free resources on ways you can increase gratitude in your life right now, no matter what is going on.  Remember who you are talking to here??  trust me when I say I really and truly understand that the first step is often the hardest one to take.

Let’s deconstruct this for a moment.  Gratitude is feeling thankful and appreciative for people, things, and sometimes everything in between.  That warm feeling you get when you drive up to the coffee window and someone has just paid for yours, or the random man in the grocery store, for whatever reason, hands your family a $50 bill, and says it’s on him.  <<< this happened.  So if other people are creating experiences for other people like this, no matter what is going on in the NEWS my friends, let’s not promote what we hate.  Let’s work to increase feelings of gratitude in ourselves and therefore in others we encounter through our positive actions.

5 Ways to Increase Gratitude:

  1. Say thank you as your feet hit the floor.  Are you in pain?  No offense, I totally feel you, but for just a second, shift your thoughts right now as you get out of bed.  Whatever your dominant foot is, as you swing it over the bed, the second it touches the floor, say thank you.  Say thank you all the way to the bathroom, because that’s where you probably go first.  Focus inward as you really let the words thank you settle into your entire being.  This gets you ready for the next tip.
  2. Using a dry-erase marker, write your positive affirmations on the mirra, that’s southern for mirror, and immediately look at them as you are waking up.  I don’t know what others need to hear, but coming from 3 years of re-setting my mind to focus on others things instead of pain, I can tell you what I used.  I am healthy (I wasn’t), I am whole, (I didn’t think so), and I am healing (I was, but couldn’t see it yet).  So I would think to myself I am healthy and envision a healthy me for just a moment and be grateful for that health.  I would picture myself whole, which to me at the time was without pain, anger, and depression.  Lastly, I would see myself as healed.  Someone my girls could look up to again.  Not the pajama-clad fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, well you get the picture, mom I had become.  Again, it was all about changing my perspective.
  3. Journal it down.  My writings at first were not really full of gratitude.  They actually seemed full of other feelings that I was trying to get away from.  So instead of that, I cut myself loose from anyone and anything that created the opposite of what I was really and truly trying to create for myself in my life.  I started un-becoming everything I was not.  I created a pattern of healing for myself by first going to the worst parts.  I deconstructed my fear.  Then I didn’t look back.  I wrote what I was happy about each day until gradually, I didn’t think about what went wrong as much.
  4. Yoga or meditation.  Yes, eventually, after all the pain, I became a yoga teacher.  But I started out slowly.  We all have to start somewhere, remember?  Here is a post about what I did to start my journey, so you can read a bit more on restorative yoga.  This allowed me to still the patterns of my mind and practice an age-old flowing meditation.  Please don’t mistake yoga for something it is not.  It is not a religion.  It is quite simply a method for dealing with the suffering of life.  As I started meditation, one yogi told me it can be your time to get closer to God or whatever you believe by listening to your inner wisdom that actually can be God trying to talk to you.  It is simply a way to practice mindfulness and inner stillness in this very face paced world.
  5. Practice pausing in your day.  This one is very important because so often, we react first.  What if what the other person said to you actually wasn’t about you at all?  Yes, it feels that way all the time.  I am a Scorpio who is quick to anger…need I say more?  What if, for just a moment, the hurtful feelings we got from the e-mail, message or phone call, was paused.  Like on TV.  Okay, now we have a moment to look at it.  You know what, Bob looked stressed out today didn’t he?  I wonder if he has too much on his plate and someone already chewed him out, so when he sent this, he in turn, did the same to me because that was the energy he was feeling?  I don’t have to continue the pattern.  This isn’t even about me at all.  Maybe I will go around the corner and say hey, Bob, what can I do to help you?  Bob will certainly be surprised.  He may even start to feel grateful, as well as sorry, but that’s his stuff, so I am going to promote what I love instead of bashing him right back.

Research has shown through decades of studies, that practicing gratitude can, in fact, have powerful and lasting effects on physical well-being, social relationships, and most importantly self-worth.  So often we get caught in a cycle that needs to be broken, and guess what happens when we take back control?  Research again reports that we develop stronger immune systems, better sleep, and less pain and aches.  Well I’ll be…an example of this.  From not moving to yoga teacher…I hope you start some of these practices today!   Need even more help?  Try this E-book here.

good place

Now open: The Head|Heart|Health Club!  See top tab.

Save

Save

Save

Save

5 Tips on How to Face Your Fears

Without breaking the confidence and trust of my very close friends, I want to tell you about something I coach women how to handle.  The word is fear.  Most often, when I do a client intake, fear of failure at trying something new is there in the beginning.  One of the most important things for me is not to push people, but to get them moving in the right direction.  Once I see that, I can step back and let them go.

This fear of failure needs to be explored.  De-cluttered.  Looked at under a microscope.  And then released.  Once we have done everything we needed to do with it, we let it go…kind of like catch and release.  How do you propose I teach you to do that in one short blog post?  Well, honestly, that’s where my 4 Weeks to Wellness program comes in and you take the bonus option, but I want you to start today so that you have these tools under your belt for later.

5 Tips on How to Face Your Fears:

  1. Name it.  Yes, I know.  This seems too simple.  But what exactly are you afraid of and why?  For some of my clients, it’s getting better and I know this fear only too well.  What if…it starts off like that.  Write out all of your “what ifs” and “but this could happen” until you narrow it down to the one that clicks.  The final reason.  The real McCoy.  The one you look at on your list and you say “Well, shit.  I didn’t know I was still dragging this around with me.” 
  2. Examine the feelings.  Journal it.  You knew I was going to say that.  How has this held you back?  What would it be like if you could get over it?  What changes can you see coming into your life for the better once this fear has been released?  Now that it is named and out there, it’s kind of like Rumpelstiltskin…the one from the fairy tales.  It has no power.  You know its name.
  3. Ask yourself why now.  Maybe it came up because it was related to something else someone else is going through and you are afraid that will happen to you.  Stop those kinds of stories right now.  Is it something from the past?  Is it something you are afraid of in the future?  What are you missing out on right now by not fully living?
  4. Come up with the absolute WORST thing that could happen.  Will you look stupid?  Will you die?  <<< that scenario might be the worst thing that really could happen, and if that is a thought, then go to your next question.  Can you stop it by worrying about it?  Could you join a support group and help others on the same path as you and thus by helping them face this fear, help you realize you are not alone?  Could you turn this fear into a leadership role?  Could you learn something new from it?  Could you, in fact, live in the present and celebrate the abundance you already have?  Could you meditate or do yoga to continue to help release this fear?
  5. Make a plan to move forward.  What would the opposite of this fear feel like?  What are your dreams that it has blocked up until now?  Step into your light, no really visualize the white light of protection from this fear and step into it.  Your dreams are possible.  Repeat that mantra.  Life is an adventure and it’s your to take.  See the sights you want to see, take from it what you need, but learn to release what no longer serves you. 

fear_kid

Save