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.

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3 Steps to Boost Your Heart Connection…

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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.

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How to handle hard times…

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At some point in your life, you started to take things to heart.  You might not remember the exact moment, but you did not bounce back as quickly from things.  It could have been something that happened with your health (I understand), or perhaps just life’s stressful moments.  You no longer are able to maintain the buoyancy you once had in life.  In fact, there are times you feel yourself needing a life jacket and the water is only up to your knees. Continue reading

Motivational Monday…The Love Mindset

“The greatest potential we have for opening our hearts lies in the opening of our minds.  The heart is simply a bank of emotional potential.  It’s a vastness of possible experience.  We all hold within us the capacity for joy, love, and laughter, but not everyone uses that capacity.  In order to use it, we need to reach a unity between heart and mind.”  So begins a paragraph I highlighted in The Love Mindset, by Vironika Tugaleva.  I found this statement to be moving.  Let’s think of every wrong, or every prejudice we feel we have stored inside of us, and imagine it melting away with the opening of your heart.  To do that we often hear, you have to be more “open-minded”.  We, as a collective, could benefit from that statement.

“Each commonality that we acknowledge between ourselves and another person acts as a sedative for the mind.  You find sameness and your mind loosens slightly, opening ever so gently to allow the breeze of love to enter into your core.”  In my experience of teaching little children, I have found that they most often think we are alike until we teach them otherwise.  That’s right.  I had to teach a whole unit on similarities and differences.  I always did it differently than most because I wanted my class to remember that what’s inside us is all the same.  So for me, this book was more about getting back to basics.  Re-setting yourself, if you will, and allowing your heart to be open as it once was.  Before the layers of hate, self-loathing, guilt and anger piled on to cloud your vision.

There were many moments when I reflected on healing my heart in this book, but none so clearly as when I read this passage “That which is good for us requires less upkeep than that which is not.”  For me, I have to crawl deep out of the pits of despair I feel when diagnosed with yet another “disease”.  She goes on to write “Living in a mind polluted with isolating, self-defeating thoughts is very, very difficult.  It is like drowning.  Once in a while, you surface up and take a gulp of air.  You remember that, maybe, you don’t have to suffer anymore.”  If at some point in your life, you have felt that way, you need to hold onto that lifeline being thrown your way and remember that there are countless others who love you and are there for you.  There really are.  So come back up, reach out, and learn what the love mindset is all about.

Vironika Tugaleva is an author, speaker, people lover, reformed cynic, and a different kind of spiritual teacher. She helps people heal their minds and discover their inner strength. *You’re invited to read more about Vironika and her inspiring book The Love Mindset.

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*Don’t forget to comment if you would like a copy.  I will enter your name in a raffle and pick two!

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

I am still learning…

I am spiritual.  I have many books beside my bed on God, Jesus, and the teachings of the Bible.  I also have books to help me understand Buddhism.  Furthermore, I just researched the fear of witchcraft for an article I wrote…I am a curious soul.  Why am I writing about this tonight?  Why did it get me out of bed to come type these words?  Because I believe in messages.  Last year, I saw the same message everywhere.  It started to umm, well, get scary, but in a cool way.  Everywhere I looked, the message would pop up.  Okay, as I mentioned, I do have tons of books beside my bed, but I also started seeing the message elsewhere.  I downloaded some apps for my new tablet last year and the first message that popped up was “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13, nkjv).

So, apparently, that was a message I needed to learn.  Lately, in all my books, in all my quotes, everywhere, I have seen a message like this: “No, dear friends, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…” (Philippians 3:13 nlt).  Whatever your religion, this message is a good one to hear.  I am hearing it now until it sinks in.  It’s like this…I am minding my own business when someone runs up to me.  They grab me, tie me up and throw me in the trunk.  It’s dark in there.  I don’t know where I’m going, and I don’t think I’m going in the direction that will take me home.  That’s what it’s like to go against your true potential.  You will not find your way home.  You were meant to be somewhere else.

I think the reason this message is popping up for me at this time is because it is one I need to hear.  I have taken a step out onto a branch that could possibly break.  I am trying to reach the one above it just to see if it can be done.  I want to see how far I can go.  Of course it’s safe on the ground.  I could stay there if I wanted, but I would see the same thing.  Once I climb to the top, the view will be amazing.  Yes, there are people yelling “Come back down here where it’s safe!”, but there are also cheers of “You are almost there!  One more branch.”  So I am going to keep looking up.  Moving forward.

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Openness…

Something about this word almost makes me think someone made it up.  However, I am reading this book called Aha! 10 ways to free your creative spirit and find your great ideas.  The author is Jordan Ayan, and as I was reading it, several thoughts stuck me as powerful quotes that needed to be written down.  The first one was this: New ideas are like bad dreams: They can be difficult to understand and they may go against the grain of our belief systems and thus frighten us.  Wow.  It occurred to me that I knew some truly frightened people out there.  Don’t read into it.  If this fits you, you know who you are.

The next thought I wanted to explore was this: Openness also pertains to being aware of and “tuned in” to the coincidences of life.  A closed mind shuts out the chance meetings and events that often become opportunities for discovery and invention.  How open am I to new experiences?  Food?  People?  Most of my friends would rate me pretty high on this scale I think.  Want to go to a new restaurant?  Of course!  So and so wants to come along.  Sure, why not?  I have an idea.  Want to try this?  Count me in.  I have two tickets to a band you don’t listen to on a regular basis, but they sound cool.  Who wants to go?  Me, me!  Yup.  It was bluegrass.  Don’t laugh.  You know who you are.  I wanted to play the banjo for a while after that.  Anyway, in researching the word “openness”, I came across this personality test based on the Big Five.  It really was free, and did not require any personal information before showing me my results.  I wanted to take it before I told you about it.

Lastly, I wanted to share this thought: Risk taking is tied to your comfort zone.  If you are tolerant of risks, you give yourself permission to leave your comfort zone to encounter new ideas, people, and information that can enhance your creativity.  Paraphrasing here, but likewise if you are risk averse you will stay within your comfort zone, forsaking the potential challenges that might inspire you to new ideas and new experiences.  I loved the use of the word forsaking here.  Abandoning or to turn one’s back on new ideas for fear of the “potential challenges”.  If this is you, please get out a notebook right now, journal every idea you have ever wanted to try, and write down why you didn’t do it.  What is your fear?  Then cross off that fear and look at it in a whole new way.  What if that obstacle was removed?  Would you be able to do it then?  Okay, for me, that obstacle is money.  My number one dream is travel.  I am working on it.  I really am, but I also know I am procrastinating, and perhaps even “forsaking” my dream if I wait much longer.  So, I am working on a plan.  That’s where I will you today.  Make your plan.  Change your life.  Take control of your fears.

“By all means let’s be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out.” 

~Richard Dawkins

Be excellent to yourself…

I have talked about this before, but why must we beat ourselves up over and over again about the same thing?  So we made a mistake.  Move on.  So we said something dumb.  Show me someone who hasn’t.  We made a mistake at work.  No one else ever has, right?  We said something in front of our kids and they were not meant to hear it.  What has been said cannot be unsaid.  It can be explained.  It can be forgiven.  So forgive yourself.

I am constantly reminding myself of these very things.  I feel guilty as a working mom and wish I could do many things that I just can’t do.  When I get off of work, I feel guilty if I want to swing by the gym, grab a drink with a friend, or just go shopping by myself.  I have put off going to my yoga class because my girls are not asleep yet and I haven’t tucked them in.  My husband reminded me tonight that when I have a mental breakdown because I haven’t made time for myself, well, then I’ll really feel guilty.  Ha.

In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, stress can cause us to feel overwhelmed, overworked and overdone!  That’s why I want you to focus on being excellent.  So you didn’t finish that thing at work.  Meh.  It will be there tomorrow.  I need more people to realize that life isn’t just about getting the job done.  I am wrestling with my own dilemmas just like everybody else.  I appreciate the people in my life who tell me to slow down and relax.  I realize I am wired to go full speed ahead, and try to get everything done at once.  I need to book the family another get away to the cabin in the woods with no cell reception.  I like that place.  Let’s all slow down and take a deep breath.  Read this if you need some help.  Look at the section on mindfulness, which means to focus on the here and now.

Lastly, consider what you are eating at this time of year.  Here is an article to help.  I actually have pinned several recipes to my boards about clean eating.  Whatever method you chose, just remember, tomorrow is another day.

“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Mood Quote

Difficult times…

I have posted about this before, and some of you are well aware of the battles I face because you face them too.  There are many, many, many things that drive me crazy in this world, but above all is when I read that a doctor has told a patient with my disease that they don’t need a phlebotomy yet.  They can wait.  When researchers say that women are fine as long as they are not over 50.  Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.  It would almost be funny if I didn’t know people who have died from this disease.  I am talking about Hemochromatosis and the link that is here.  While the link is very informative and has compiled some great facts, I want to show you where it is wrong.  Take a look at this child:

scan0071That child is me in fourth grade.  I look perfectly healthy.  All the while I was eating my Flintstone vitamins, drinking well water, and going out in the sun without sunscreen all the time.  Yes, it was okay back then.  If my mother had known I had a life-threatening disease we would have done things differently.  We never once thought my deeply tan skin could mean anything other than I love the sun.

 

 

scan0079Here I am again (ignore the college room and mint outfit).  I sure appear to be getting more bronze, wouldn’t you say?  About this time is when everything started going all crazy in my life.  I was trying to finish up classes and sleeping.  Almost all day.  Everyday.  I would wake up only to want to go back to bed again.  My skin was getting thin, and then the blisters started to appear.  My urine was the color of port wine.  That was the Porphyria saving my life.  I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be a few more years before the doctors would realize that the underlying cause was the my C282Y gene (HH).  I was showing symptoms long before this.

The bottom line tonight folks is that if something doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.  Please be your own advocate.  I read the most heart wrenching story about a mother who lost her son to this disease and he was only 35.  I always feel like that could have been me.  I have been blessed in ways that seem random, but looking back, I know divine intervention has helped.  I still have problems dealing with my “curse” and probably always will, but my focus became educating others into awareness.  So tonight, if you have lost someone to this disease, I hope you continue to promote the awareness of early detection and screening.  Thank you for supporting others in this fight.

Keep on charging the enemy so long as there is life.  ~Chinese fortune cookie, opened tonight

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”  ~Margaret Thatcher

Know your strengths…

Sometimes, you doubt yourself when you are doing what is right.  It can be instinct, gut feeling or a tingling.  I have many strengths and yet time and time again I fall back on my weaknesses.  I have to work very hard at positive thinking.  There have been many times in my life where if I placed one foot differently I would have slipped.  I didn’t realize that as a senior in high school, I was heading towards a decline in health.  I mean, who really thinks about that at 17 years old?  When my grandmother passed away that year, I started going into what I now recognize as depression.  I just thought I was angry, pissed off at the world, and sad all at the same time.  When I entered college, who knew that 4 years later, I would be under the care of many specialists for the rest of my life.  I didn’t.  And when I became a mom, who knew that I would fight so hard to stay healthy for them.

As “No”vember is coming to a close this week, we have looked at worry, peace, rest, guilt, courage, weakness, nonsense and saying no.  These all give you strength as well.  Without the things that tire us out in life, we would not have the strength to persevere.  I do not know one person who has ever said to me “My life is too full of happiness, money, and ease.  I love everything about my life and I have never faced any difficulties.”  Psst.  If this is you, just keep quiet.  You didn’t tell me.  Anyway, you are much stronger than you imagine.  You do not have to keep going down that dark path.  Do you see the fork in the road?  The one up ahead?  Take that.  It leads to positive thinking and moving forward.  I bet you don’t even realize what your strengths are.  Your friends do.  You know how you have the ability to whip up a recipe with ease or put colors together that just work.  Maybe you have a way with children.  There are some things you do and you do them so well you don’t even realize it.  That is something to focus on.  Please don’t put one foot in the dying hole already.

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”  ~Lao Tzu