5 Fun Things to do on Summer Solstice

Summer solsticeHere it is, the summer solstice.  Or as the bard would have it, a fabulous tribute to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  One of my favorite quotes from that describes me perfectly.

“Though she be but little, she is fierce!”
William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

On June 21st or 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere, people everywhere have celebrated renewal, life, fertility, and hopefully a good harvest.

To be honest, I would like to be here today:

Aimee at Stonehenge
The Burned Hand visits  Stonehenge

But if that is not an option for you, as it is not currently an option for me either, then I have a few ideas for you to celebrate today and tomorrow should you desire.

5 Fun Things to do on Summer Solstice:

  1. Do some gardening with herbs if you can.  I recently went to my favorite local garden center (it is owned by a local family), and I purchased lemon verbena, honey lavender, and rosemary, which is a favorite of mine.  I already have my chives, thyme, mint, and some catnip actually (mosquitoes don’t like it).  I have been infusing my tea with fresh herbs, cooking with it and just smelling it.  My family has been gardening for years and my dad is considered a master gardener, so identifying plants runs deep, but herbs have been a favorite since my first taste of basil.  Yummy.  An old favorite is a tomato/basil sandwich with nothing else.  Just a bit of Himalayan Salt and pepper.
  2. Make a fairy garden.  I have been a bit obsessed with fairies for as long as I can remember.  I started collecting pewter fairies, castles, gnomes and anything I could as a pre-teen, and have passed on my things to my youngest teen.  But this new craze of fairy gardens can be expensive.  So just get an empty pot, some dirt, grab some sticks on a walk, bark, moss (that’s what grows in my yard), and make a tiny display inviting the wee folk into your display. You can make tiny mushrooms, houses, and put a few of the plants that stay small like succulents and walkables (they will spread, but can be walked on should you want to do this in your garden).  Now I have to put another favorite quote in here from my college days.  “Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Practice yoga or meditate!  HEY.  I am doing that tonight!! Yes, I make up a special class for my friends and then we sip wine after, but you don’t have to do anything fancy.  In my Club, I break down a few yoga moves that can be done anywhere, including a chair, but you can just do a few Sun Sals.  I linked that for you to watch as she has a sweet energy.
  4. Set intentions of what you want to come into your life!  My club members have really gotten into the habit of this as it is so good to focus on what we want in our lives.  I do this monthly with them as we really clear out the old and then shift our thinking into how we want the next few weeks to look.  Focus on the feeling at the end, and then yoke that feeling towards you with all your might as you write out the intention.  I know you might be reading this thinking I am cray, and I won’t disagree with you, but I have changed my life and continue to do so each and every month.  Need proof of what I speak?  You can read my about me here. 
  5. Create a new self-care ritual.  My something new this month seems to be bringing me pain, but I am starting to feel alive again after a knee injury.  I admit I am somewhat hermit-y << that’s a real word.  I keep a tight circle, and I force myself to expand it when I feel it shrinking…as it periodically does because of my nature to keep to myself.  However, I joined a new ermmm torture chamber, others call it a gym/personal training type place.  Anyway, I think it is good for me and I have been setting my alarm earlier.  That is itself is a miracle I tell you as I can sleep like the dead, but usually only those two hours right before I wake up, so I sleep late.  Anyway, I have all the excuses you can think of down, but not this time.  In order to exact change, I myself and no one else can make me get out of bed.  If there is something you have been wanting to try that’s new, I say go for it!

I hope this helped you think about the things you want to invite in your life, and not just on the summer solstice.  Summer always brings that child-like wonder and energy that might be dormant, so if you want a helping hand or two, come find me.  I have some amazing content geared just for your soul.  I use my empath abilities to check into the collective of the group and see what we really need from a Head|Heart|Health perspective.  Get out and enjoy the day my friends!

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Top 20 Motivation Tips

top 20 motivation tipsGuest Post By Leo Babauta

This article is a list of tips and tricks that, if used in combination, are a nearly sure way to achieve your goals.

Achieving goals is not a matter of having “discipline”. It’s a matter of motivating yourself, and keeping your focus on your goal. Follow these tips, or any combination of them that works for you, and you should have the motivation and focus you need.

Here are the top 20 Motivation Tips:

1. Chart Your Progress. Recently I posted about how I created a chart to track my progress with each of my goals. This chart is not just for information purposes, for me to look back and see how I’m doing. It’s to motivate me to keep up with my goals. If I’m diligent about checking my chart every day, and marking dots or “x”s, then I will want to make sure I fill it with dots. I will think to myself, “I better do this today if I want to mark a dot.” Well, that’s a small motivation, but it helps, trust me. Some people prefer to use gold stars. Others have a training log, which works just as well. Or try Joe’s Goals. However you do it, track your progress, and allow yourself a bit of pride each time you give yourself a good mark.

Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time.

2. Hold Yourself Back. When I start with a new exercise program, or any new goal really, I am rarin’ to go. I am full of excitement, and my enthusiasm knows no boundaries. Nor does my sense of self-limitation. I think I can do anything. It’s not long before I learn that I do have limitations, and my enthusiasm begins to wane.

Well, a great motivator that I’ve learned is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program, and want to go all out — HOLD BACK. Don’t let yourself do everything you want to do. Only let yourself do 50-75 percent of what you want to do. And plan out a course of action where you slowly increase over time. For example, if I want to go running, I might think I can run 3 miles at first. But instead of letting myself do that, I start by only running a mile. When I’m doing that mile, I’ll be telling myself that I can do more! But I don’t let myself. After that workout, I’ll be looking forward to the next workout, when I’ll let myself do 1.5 miles. I keep that energy reined in, harness it, so that I can ride it even further.

3. Join an online (or off-line) group to help keep you focused and motivated.  Editor’s note, join an online community by searching for what you love near you.  If it is daily motivation you are searching for with an online community and a closed group, check this link here and click on “I Need Support”.

Each time I joined a forum, it helped keep me on track. Not only did I meet a bunch of other people who were either going through what I was going through or who had already been through it, I would report my progress (and failures) as I went along. They were there for great advice, for moral support, to help keep me going when I wanted to stop.

4. Post a picture of your goal someplace visible — near your desk or on your refrigerator, for example. Visualizing your goal, exactly how you think it will be when you’ve achieved it, whether it’s financial goals like traveling to Rome or building a dream house, or physical goals like finishing a marathon or getting a flat stomach, is a great motivator and one of the best ways of actualizing your goals.

Find a magazine photo or a picture online and post it somewhere where you can see it not only daily, but hourly if possible. Put it as your desktop photo, or your home page. Use the power of your visual sense to keep you focused on your goal. Because that focus is what will keep you motivated over the long-term — once you lose focus, you lose motivation, so having something to keep bringing your focus back to your goal will help keep that motivation.

5. Get a workout partner or goal buddy. Staying motivated on your own is tough. But if you find someone with similar goals (running, dieting, finances, etc.), see if they’d like to partner with you. Or partner with your spouse, sibling or best friend on whatever goals they’re trying to achieve. You don’t have to be going after the same goals — as long as you are both pushing and encouraging each other to succeed.

6. Just get started. There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run, or figuring out your budget, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do that day for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start.

I have a rule (not an original one) that I just have to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be. This tip works for me every time.

7. Make it a pleasure. One reason we might put off something that will help us achieve our goal, such as exercise for example, is because it seems like hard work. Well, this might be true, but the key is to find a way to make it fun or pleasurable. If your goal activity becomes a treat, you actually look forward to it. And that’s a good thing.

8. Give it time, be patient. I know, this is easier said than done. But the problem with many of us is that we expect quick results. When you think about your goals, think long term. If you want to lose weight, you may see some quick initial losses, but it will take a long time to lose the rest. If you want to run a marathon, you won’t be able to do it overnight. If you don’t see the results you want soon, don’t give up … give it time. In the meantime, be happy with your progress so far, and with your ability to stick with your goals. The results will come if you give it time.

9. Break it into smaller, mini goals. Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple of weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way.

10. Reward yourself. Often. And not just for longer-term goals, either. Above, I talked about breaking larger goals into smaller, mini goals. Well, each of those mini goals should have a reward attached to it. Make a list of your goals, with mini goals, and next to each, write down an appropriate reward. By appropriate, I mean 1) it’s proportionate to the size of the goal (don’t reward going on a 1-mile run with a luxury cruise in the Bahamas); and 2) it doesn’t ruin your goal — if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward a day of healthy eating with a dessert binge. It’s self-defeating.

11. Find inspiration, on a daily basis. Inspiration is one of the best motivators, and it can be found everywhere. Every day, seek inspiration, and it will help sustain motivation over the long-term. Sources of inspiration can include: blogs, online success stories, forums, friends and family, magazines, books, quotes, music, photos, people you meet.

12. Get a coach or take a class. These will motivate you to at least show up, and to take action. It can be applied to any goal. This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but it works. And if you do some research, you might find some cheap classes in your area, or you might know a friend who will provide coaching or counseling for free.

13. Have powerful reasons. Write them down. Know your reasons. Give them some thought … and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.

14. Become aware of your urges to quit, and be prepared for them. We all have urges to stop, but they are mostly unconscious. One of the most powerful things you can do is to start being more conscious of those urges. A good exercise is to go through the day with a little piece of paper and put a tally mark for each time you get an urge. It simply makes you aware of the urges. Then have a plan for when those urges hit, and plan for it beforehand, and write down your plan, because once those urges hit, you will not feel like coming up with a plan.

15. Make it a rule never to skip two days in a row. This rule takes into account our natural tendency to miss days now and then. We are not perfect. So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You will not miss two days in a row! Zen Habits says so! And just get started. You’ll thank yourself later.

16. Visualize your goal clearly, on a daily basis, for at least 5-10 minutes. Visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes, and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, will feel, will smell and taste and sound like. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible. Now here’s the next key: do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day. This is the only way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.

17. Keep a daily journal of your goal. If you are consistent about keeping a journal, it can be a great motivator. A journal should have not only what you did for the day, but your thoughts about how it went, how you felt, what mistakes you made, what you could do to improve. To be consistent about keeping a journal, do it right after you do your goal task each day. Make keeping a journal a sensory pleasure.

18. Create a friendly, mutually-supportive competition. We are all competitive in nature, at least a little. Some more than others. Take advantage of this part of our human nature by using it to fuel your goals. If you have a workout partner or goal buddy, you’ve got all you need for a friendly competition. See who can log more miles, or save more dollars, each week or month. See who can do more pushups or pullups. See who can lose the most weight or have the best abs or lose the most inches on their waist. Make sure the goals are weighted so that the competition is fairly equal. And mutually support each other in your goals.

19. Make a big public commitment. Be fully committed. This will do the trick every time. Create a blog and announce to the world that you are going to achieve a certain goal by a certain date. Commit yourself to the hilt.

20. Always think positive. Monitor your thoughts. Be aware of your self-talk. We all talk to ourselves, a lot, but we are not always aware of these thoughts. Start listening. If you hear negative thoughts, stop them, push them out, and replace them with positive thoughts. Positive thinking can be amazingly powerful.

Motivation Tips

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life!

Well, we did it.  We made it to the first day of spring, but for many of us, it doesn’t quite feel like that outside yet.  In fact, there might have been sightings of snow yesterday or it might still be on the ground.  Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the weather has been a bit interesting.

For many of us though, no matter where you live or what the weather is, we can all use a little light cleaning, or perhaps some deep cleaning, of our lives.  It’s time to re-evaluate who and what you want to keep in your life so let’s get started.

5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life:

  1. I have no closet space!  Okay, so guess what this means?  It’s time to take out as much as possible, try it on, and part with it if it doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to wear it again, or you haven’t worn it in 3 years.  Yup.  Now make those piles, and include your shoes.  If you don’t love it, and it doesn’t work for you, it goes.
  2. Check the expiration dates…in your fridge.  It’s time to get some fresh food in there, you know?  Start with some nice leafy greens, more fruits and veggies and less processed stuff.  You will start to feel better.  More smoothies, and more prepping the snacks ahead of time.  Go ahead and add some fruit water while you are at it.  You will feel much better.
  3. And cue the Rocky music in your head.  It’s time to add a bit more exercise to your day.  I know, I know.  You have been avoiding it.  Well, guess what?  93 days until summer starts.  Let’s make the best of it right now!  Try some exercises at home if you don’t want to get out or even jump-start the next 4 Weeks of your Life with my baby-step plan.
  4. Clean the friend lists and streamline social media.  If you don’t really speak to acquaintances who send you requests because you might know each other from something long ago…or even better, have never met and they don’t speak to you, start thinking about clearing some space.  Especially if they are politically charged and you don’t have the energy for that in your face all the time.  Your energy is important…and keeping it clean is valuable.
  5. Mirror, mirror on the wall…I need sleep before I fall.  How’s your sleep schedule?  Try knocking off from technology an hour earlier.  No matter what.  Tell people as well.  Look friends, I really like you, but at 9p.m., I shut my phone off  There.  It’s done.  Now relax with a new routine.  Read a book, soak in the tub, and get some sleep.  Start a gratitude journal practice.  But try something new that helps get you into better sleep habits.

Start being more mindful today of what you allow into your home, your car, your work area, and of course, your life.  As you work to spring clean your life,  things will start to fall into place.

 

 

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What You Allow Will Continue

I do not know who first said this quote.

“What you allow is what will continue.” ~Unknown

Sometimes, by stating the truth, you make people mad.  This is one of those quotes.  Yesterday I did a FB Live talk about our emotional triggers and so this quote really describes the essence of being triggered.

I think it’s past time we took back control of our lives, and I don’t need to allow certain behaviors in my life anymore.  It is that simple.  Why do we complicate things?

Keep this in mind as you are reading this:  I am independent of the good or bad opinions of others.

You see, I want to expand the minds of others so that we can see that emotional triggers happen when we react.  <<< this happens lots and lots on Fakebook.  Someone posts a photo of the glorious vacation, their new car, their raise, their deal, their business thing, the friend they like better than you, the night they all went out without you, or the hashtag they created and use as a team, but you weren’t included.  Whew.  The feelings around all this suck.

The bad feelings suck a big ass.  Can I say that to you?  Well I did.  No one wants to feel like this.  But here it is.  The feelings we want to create instead are more likely to be accepted, respected, to be treated fair, included, to be understood and of course, to be right.  Unfortunately, everyone else wants to feel this way too.

What can you do to create more of what you want?

  1. Instead of reacting when certain needs aren’t met, become an observer of your thoughts.
  2. As we observe for a minute, what is it really telling us??  What is the feeling that is triggering this emotional response?  Is it lack?  Jealousy?  Just wanting something different today?  Think about it for a while.
  3. As we shift, we become more present in our “stuff”, not theirs.  Who knows what they have going on, but you can be sure they have bad days too.
  4. Center yourself.  Get really still and begin to focus on your breathing.  Sit up straight and put your feet flat on the floor.  Shift into feeling.  Put your hand on your stomach below your navel and just inhale and exhale as you feel your belly expand and then contract as you breathe.
  5. Find the opposite feeling of your emotional trigger and connect with that thought.  Here is an example.  Anxiety might be a trigger so the response you might actually want to create for yourself is calmness.  Connect to the energy of calm by playing relaxing music, coloring or journaling.

My wish for you this year is that you create more of what you want and that your self-respect continues to grow in this manner.  If we continue to allow the wrong things to bother us without putting up clear and healthy boundaries, I think we will find that more of what we don’t want will follow.

Our content in the Head|Heart|Health Club allows you to explore your inner most thoughts a bit deeper.  Check us out!

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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!

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What New Thing Should You Try This Year?

I know that many people like quizzes, so I took this one and liked the questions…and my answer a lot!  Ignore the date it was created as the questions are really cute and we all know that as we soul search, it really doesn’t matter what year we decide to try new things as long as we try them.  Right?  Feel free to share with others.

 

 As you are answering, go with your gut and then take it one more time if you weren’t sure.  But definitely don’t be afraid to try something new this year!  Happy New Year and thank you for being here.

 

Procrastination and the dreaded “resolutions”…3 tips to overcome it!

I know that at the end of each year, millions of people resolve to do better next year.   The problem is, resolve means steadfastness, and we let many things get in the way of that resolve.  Procrastination has become our safety net, trust me I know.

But what if we traded in that safety net, for true results?  What would happen?

We’d actually get things done.  We’d stop listening to fear and self-doubt.  We’d have to be accountable.  Ack.  Those things by themselves are scary.  Scary feet. Scary feet. Scary feet.  <<< Sully would approve of you being scared.

Unfortunately, if you are reading this, we have hit the grown up stage and the responsibilities that come with that are often too much for us in our heads, so we fall back on fear.  I understand.  I have been there many times.  So what changed for me?

3 tips to overcome procrastination:

  1. Create clearly defined goals…and then look to see if you can break them down even further.  In my new online community, I was talking about how to really get clear on what you want and then step back and see if it can be even more clear.  After we have created these crystal clear steps to your end result, make sure you know how realistic they are.  For example, one goal might be making more money.  Okay, so how much?  If you are on the path to millions, is that realistic right this very minute?  Maybe you can have a goal to make $100 more this pay period.  At the end of the year, you can have your big goal of making x amount of dollars.  Try not to write out that your goal is to get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
  2. Minimize the path to distractions…engage in community support.  As I was on the path to wellness, the community around me was not very supportive.  I had to change my focus as many of you have heard me say time and time again.  It actually became my most popular quote and my tag line, but I truly believe “Surround yourself with what you want to become.” << Okay, my original quote was a bit longer, but of course, I will put it at the end for you.  But let’s think about your distractions.  Write them out if you have to.  Map out your pitfalls like you are Indiana Freaking Jones and this is the Temple of Doom.  Write out snakes, those might be the people trying to bring you down.  “Why’d it have to be snakes?”  And then the booby traps, that might be the triple chocolate cake your friend ordered right in front of you.  The nerve.  Then what is going to save you from the pit?  Who or what is your rope vine that comes right as you need it?  Support.  Find that group of people who will be there for you.
  3. Get to a safe environment…whew.  After you have made it out of distraction zone, what are you going to do next?  Sticky notes.  I didn’t invent them though, but I use them.  So here are a few ways to help yourself with notes.  Get your planner ready and write in what you need to do.  Clean your desk area into one that is organized and less “Pig Pen” like.  Physically remove old to-do lists.  Streamline your tasks into today and by the end of today.  Don’t look at the overall month right now…that can be your future log.  Make certain you are holding yourself accountable or use the S.O.S. option if you are in my closed group. <<< that’s where you get to ask me for help on 1 specific thing before Thursday of each week.  It might show up as a blog post.  You never know:)

I really believe in you!  If I can do this, I know you can.  See the previous article called You Can Get Through This, because life is not a race. It’s a journey, and we are all trying to get through it the best we know how.

Here is your reminder, from me.  With much love:

5 Signs You’re Living Authentically

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

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

5 Signs You’re Living an Authentic Life:

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

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

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5 Tips to Start Doing Things and Stop Procrastinating!

If you are anything like me, there is more to do on your “to-do” list than you could possibly get done.  That’s okay.  I will move things to the next day and then it’s fine.  Because surely by tomorrow I can get all this done, right?  Wrong.  Because tomorrow, I won’t get it done, so I will move it to the next day’s list:)  That’s the art of procrastinating.  I give myself a big window of time to get things done.

To be honest, the delay does not actually make me happy.  In fact, when I can check things off my list, I feel pretty good!  Putting things off can threaten my dreams and goals and actually make me feel pretty bad about my time-management skills.  Some of the things I might do in order to avoid doing something on my list is look at social media, check my e-mail, or decide to start doing something that pops into my head right this moment instead of writing (I did not just finish researching something I might want to write about in the future…when I could have been writing this article).

Do you avoid doing things, make excuses, or are you truly not able to fit it all in?  The reasons we might create sound really, really good!  Even in business.  I don’t feel like keeping this scheduled appointment because of x,y,z.  I need the perfect time to do this.  I am not sure this is the right time.  Many many people do this even in their wellness goals!  I can’t possibly start a new way of eating right now because I have a vacation, birthday, grandma’s visit, etc.  Fill it in with your reason you are putting off eating right:)  Yes, I have done all this too.

5 Tips to Start Doing Things (and stop avoiding things):

  1. Make a list of all the things that were on your to-do list from yesterday…or perhaps this week.  Maybe even this month.  Now, after that is finished number them in importance.  Take the top three, and see if you can enlist in help to accomplish them.  Could your kids, spouse, friend help or are these things you have to do alone?  Decide if you can delegate, but don’t delegate if it’s not going to get done.  Ask for help with a chunk of the item.  For example, say it’s too much laundry.  Could your children just fold theirs?  Yes.  Then get started!
  2. Visualize the task actually getting done and how you will feel.  I do lots of this, I know.  I do this because the brain undergoes a type of change called neuroplasticity, and while I am not a doctor or scientist, I find brain research really amazing.  In the field of wellness, it has changed my life and the lives of many others who use this technique.  I use this in the yoga classes I teach, my journal therapy, and my online course 4 Weeks to Wellness.  Belief changes brain chemistry and brings about immune, hormonal, and physiological changes throughout the body, so believe you can accomplish your task.
  3. Give yourself a time-out or consequence if you don’t finish your task by the date you picked.  If you prefer positive reinforcement, you can do that instead.  If I clean the whole house before the kids come home, I can take a long bath in peace and quiet.  If I don’t clean the house before the kids come home, I am going to be stressed out, and that doesn’t help the situation.  It could be something like, I am going to remove the social media app X because I know it distracts me.  I know lots of people who do this one.  One girl who runs a business removed her entire personal account off social media…and only gets on through her husbands.  I am not suggesting that, but some people know where the distractions are.  You probably know too:)
  4. Declare your goals in a small group!  You have to find the right group though…not a competitive one, or one where everybody says oh it’s okay.  Just put it off until you feel ready.  We are all looking for that assurance that we can put everything off until tomorrow Scarlett.  Accountability partners are great to help you with not wasting time.
  5. WRITE it out on sticky notes, on a list, on the fridge, in your phone, etc.  Have it visible and fresh in your mind what you need to get done each day.  If it helps you, make monthly goals at the start of each month, then weekly.  Then daily.  I know this is crazy, but I actually do this.  For the month of July, my goals are ____.  I write them in my journal.  On my planner I have weekly goals.  On the day I have daily goals.  I love to check things off!

Remember, this ties in with my Manifesting Journal Tips

Do it nowDo you need even more support in a group?  Read Head|Heart|Health tab on the top of the blog.

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3 Simple Exercises to Keep You Fit

I know that everyone is always excited in January and ready to change themselves.  By February, you are slightly less excited.  And usually, by March, most people have fizzled out.  What about if you could just improve on 3 exercises?  That’s it.  Just 3 things to do to keep you going.

3 Simple Exercises to Keep You Fit:

  1. Plank pose, which is called kumbhakasana in Sanskrit, can help you to engage your core.  When I first started yoga, mind you, I could not hold much weight on my wrists, so I assumed it was my wrists, typing, etc.  Just all around bad posture that made it difficult.  I will not forget how difficult the variation of side plank was for me.  I could not do it.  So in order to get better with a plank, here is what you need to do.  Begin on all fours, and make sure your hands are under your shoulders.  The key is the breath as this is the start of a push-up.  So in order to show you what I mean, here is a photo.  The best thing about learning to plank is that you WILL get better the more you practice it.
  2. Using a Kettlebell.  I read this article about 4 years ago in a magazine on the benefits of a kettlebell and I just had to try it.  I did the kettle bell swings, and I combined it with squats.  It was better for my back, but the kettlebell did take some getting used to.  All in all it was easy to do at home whenever I needed to just get a few sets in.  But make sure to link breathing with it.  Always, always link your breath to your routine.
  3. Boat pose.  In my yoga classes, my students always groan during my core section.  But they have groaned less and less and been more focused as I told them I had a C-SECTION and ALL my stomach muscles were cut and I couldn’t even do one boat to yacht…as a friend called it, at first.  I am not kidding.  When I started my journey over 2 years ago, everything was just out of whack.  I can now start in boat pose, and use a block between my ankles and hike up to touch it.  That is my boat to yacht variation.  If you want to start out slow, use your sitz bones and lean back, but keep your hands under your knees on the back of your thighs and lean back.  Keep your hands there until you can extend your legs.  It’s okay to stay at the beginning of the pose.  I did for a long time.

Side-plank variation as mentioned above:

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If you want to know more about my 4 Weeks to Wellness, check out this link.  Or if you are interested in my other coaching offerings, you can read more under “Work with Me”.

 

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