How often do we hear that "winners never quit"...? While this sentiment certainly has its time and place, it's not a hard rule that should ALWAYS be followed. If we have set an important goal that is aligned to our values, mission/purpose and vision, then YES - we need to keep moving forward even when things get hard.
But - if we find ourselves in a situation that is more draining than fulfilling over time, then we need to question if the situation is still the right fit. This extends to our work, our relationships, and other ways we spend our time. We need to pay attention to the time wasters and energy drains, and how we feel about the situations we find ourselves in. If we discover that we are in a situation that's no longer aligned to how we want to be living our life, or how we want to feel, then it may be time to exit and make a new choice.
Endings are hard. As we bring old habits, ways of being, or relationships to a close, we may feel resistance and we may experience a sense of loss as we let go. It's important to honor our discomfort, but choose to keep moving forward.
If you need help sorting out the endings that need to occur in your life, and/or navigating the actual process of letting go, please reach out and schedule a call with me to see how I can help.
I had a whole list of things I was intending to do yesterday, but I checked very few of those tasks off my list. My body was begging for a day of release, rest, and replenishment. I used to believe these kinds of days were wasted days... but now I view it as a different kind of productivity.
If I don't allow myself the time I need to process and release my lower frequency emotions such as sadness, frustration, or anger, then I carry them longer than necessary... and that impacts my productivity for a longer period of time. Letting my emotions surface, experiencing them fully, inquiring into what needs my attention, and then allowing the release to occur naturally is so much more productive than trying to repress them or soothe them with unhealthy habits.
I've come to view rest as productive time, too... it's giving time and space for a physical, mental, and emotional reset so I can begin the next day feeling refreshed and ready to focus on my intentions and goals.
When was the last time you allowed yourself a day of rest...? What are your favorite ways to rest and reset?
We make a variety of choices every day - what to do, where to go, what to eat, who to talk to, and what to say. Many of these little daily decisions seem small and insignificant in the moment, but if we make them without awareness - on autopilot - we may unintentionally be impacting our long-term health and wellbeing.
The quality of presence is important for us to be able to fully engage with our life and to make conscious, heart-centered decisions. When it comes to major life decisions, if we are not checking in with our heart first, we may make decisions that are not in alignment with our life values or our deepest needs and desires. These decisions may send us on a path away from the life we want to create. To make conscious choices, we need to be clear about our values, needs, priorities, and desires so we can align our choices to what is most important to us.
Becoming more present supports you in:
•Finding peace, groundedness and harmony within yourself
•Getting in touch with your heart and clarifying what you most want from life
•Shifting your mindset toward abundance, blessings and gratitude, which also increases other positive emotions
•Expressing your spirit in creative ways that nourish your heart and soul
•Exploring the full range of your emotions and learning to express them in healthy and productive ways
•Extending yourself kindness, compassion, forgiveness and love
•Exploring the deepest essence of who you are for increased self-awareness and understanding
•Exploring and discovering which practices resonate with you and support your spiritual growth and wellbeing
How present are you in YOUR life?
If you're like me, you have probably spent much of your life focused on your work/professional goals. Perhaps you've been pushing forward, trying to make things happen. Maybe you're even seeing those external signs of success and feel like you've gotten most of what you've wanted - a decent job, a great house, a fantastic car... But perhaps now you're feeling weighed down. You're juggling many responsibilities and competing priorities, you're feeling the pressure of other people's expectations, and/or are driving yourself to the point of exhaustion.
Maybe you feel like even though you have the tangible things you've wanted, your life is still missing something, or you're still longing for connection, fun, joy, or fulfillment. Or maybe you find yourself still chasing some elusive idea of "happiness."
Sometimes we need to take a step back, re-evaluate where we are in our life, and ask ourselves different questions:
• Are the choices I'm making truly heart-centered, aligned to my values, and supporting my long-term wellbeing?
• How can I find my center and reconnect with the essence of who I am and what I want?
This exploration ignites our curiosity and helps us create a strong foundation that supports us in making choices that will move us toward the way we want to be living.
I am here to support you in this work, supporting you in:
• Exploring where your heart is calling you to go next
• Clarifying your core values and the vision you are creating for your life
• Making aligned choices that move you forward
• Releasing fears, perfectionism, workaholism, need for control, and other patterns that are impacting your wellbeing and limiting you from reaching your full potential
• Learning how to extend yourself kindness, compassion, and forgiveness
• Cultivating positive emotions and expanding your emotional fulfillment
Want to learn more about how I could help? DM me to schedule a get acquainted call.
It's easy to fall into the groove of life and keep doing the things we've always done - even when those things no longer make sense, don't fulfill our needs, or don't create joy. If you have been:
-feeling stretched thin and pulled in multiple directions
-feeling like you have little control over your time/schedule
-spending too much time/energy on things that really don't matter all that much
-feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, or easily stressed
-feeling agitated by things that normally wouldn't bother you
-believe you don't have time for self-care or feel guilty if you do take it ...
Ask yourself if you have been focusing on the right things. Get honest with yourself about what needs your time and attention. What changes do you need to make to move you in the direction you want to be headed?
'The cost of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it' - Henry David Thoreau
In order to fully experience a spiritually abundant life, we need to quit focusing on what is wrong and redirect our attention to what is good - right now. Seeing life as a series of problems to be solved, or believing life is hard keeps us focused on the negative and stuck in the past.
I have grappled with a lack mindset and negativity throughout my life - these deeply engrained ways of thinking have held me back in all areas of my life - in personal relationships and in my work - and have even had a negative impact on my health and wellbeing habits.
Recently it came to my awareness that - even though I have already done a lot of work to identify and release limited thinking and beliefs - I was still being weighed down by some very unhelpful and pervasive ways of thinking. I spent some time exploring questions like:
-What limiting beliefs still need my attention?
-What other blocks are still keeping me stuck?
-What realignments do I need to make so I can move forward?
Through this reflective process, I saw how fear, self-doubt, and the 'imposter syndrome' were keeping me playing small and stuck in inaction. Then I identified new choices I could start making immediately to get me unstuck and moving forward. I opened to the process of healing and releasing these harmful ways of thinking and patterns of behaviors, which created space for new ways of being to emerge.
When we choose to carry the burdens of our past, it limits our ability to fully experience freedom, joy and abundance. Choosing to ground ourselves in love supports us in shifting our mindset and our energy toward grace, gratitude, forgiveness so we can open fully to abundance in all areas of life. Our choices have a huge impact on how we experience life. What will you choose today?
Do you ever feel emotionally exhausted after spending time with someone? That's where I find myself today. I've had a few draining encounters with another human over the last week and I am WIPED OUT! My gut had been warning me that something was off even before I witnessed his erratic behavior. His words and behavior bounced back and forth... telling me how sweet I was one moment and how mean I was the next. His behavior was just as erratic. I couldn't keep up with the changes and often found myself saying "wtf just happened...?"
Being around this person and his inconsistent behavior made me feel frustrated, confused, and emotionally unsafe. I did my best to set boundaries, stand up for myself and call out behavior as it occurred, until the night it escalated way beyond my comfort level and I ended it. Thankfully this wasn't a long term or important relationship, so in this case, ending it was easy.
Caring for our wellbeing involves paying attention to how we feel when we're with people. Do we feel invigorated and fulfilled? Or drained and exhausted? Is it safe to be our authentic self and can we openly speak our truth? Or do we have to hide who we are and our truth?
This isn't the first time I've had to end a toxic relationship/friendship and I'm sure it won't be the last. Taking stock of our relationships is a critical component of self-love. Loving our self means choosing to spend time with people who fulfill us and releasing the relationships that drain us.
I chose to love myself when:
-I listened to my gut
-I called out his behavior and hurtful comments
-I noticed how I felt when with him
-I put boundaries in place
-I chose myself and my wellbeing and ended the relationship.
As we are doing the work of loving others, we must not neglect the work of loving ourselves. Self-love isn't selfish.
What is self-love? For me, learning what this means and how to *really* do it has been my biggest personal life challenge. In my past, loving my work was always a higher priority than loving myself. It's easy to list things like getting a manicure or going shopping or treating ourselves to our favorite treat. But are these things *really* self-love?
I used to indulge in my favorite ice cream - often. Indulging every once in awhile as a treat is much different than what I was doing - mindlessly eating a whole container in one sitting multiple times a month. THAT is not self-love, my friends. Any behavior done consciously, occasionally, and with awareness can be a nice indulgence or a way to pamper ourselves. But any behavior that becomes a habitual pattern or becomes a way to escape, avoid, or soothe our emotions - can quickly become unhealthy.
So what does it mean to really love and care for our self? Can we look deeper? True self-love and self-care practices support our LONG-TERM wellbeing - mental, physical, emotional and spiritual. My job isn't to tell people what to do to love themselves better, it's to point them in the right direction. I guide people through the aspects of wellbeing so they can discover for themselves how to better love and care for themselves. We are all unique beings with unique needs, interests, and preferences, so the specific self-love practices will look different for everyone.
Let's consider the aspect of physical wellbeing and how to integrate self-love into our physical health practices. The most obvious components of physical wellbeing include physical activity/exercise, diet/nutrition and rest/leisure. I'll touch on two of these today and revisit the third in a future post.
When choosing a physical activity or starting a new exercise program, I encourage women to find something that takes care of their physical body that they also enjoy doing. When we do this, we are connecting the concepts of physical wellbeing and self-love. Because then you move your body in a way that you enjoy and that feels good rather than one that feels like torture. And every time you show up for your workout, you are choosing to love your body. And you have fun while you're getting fit. Win-win.
What kind of physical activities do you enjoy? Walking or hiking? Running? Aerobics? Kick-boxing? Dancing? Strength training? Something else entirely? Or a combination of these? The ideal workout is different for everyone based on your personal goals, interests and needs.
And speaking of goals... when it comes to physical wellbeing, I encourage women to look beyond the scale. Losing weight is consistently among the most common new year's resolutions. But what happens if you start working out consistently and the scale doesn't budge? We feel discouraged, disappointed, bad about ourselves and we give up.
What if instead we go deeper with our goals? What if our goal wasn't to lose weight, but to improve our health? Or to feel better or have more energy? With these kinds of goals, we are more motivated to make choices that support our health and energy instead of worrying about our weight and depriving our body of nutrients.
I worked out *daily* for 2 months straight during COVID and didn't see the scale budge - not one pound. However, I could SEE other changes. I could tell that my physical strength was increasing and my cardiovascular endurance was improving. And I could SEE the changes in my body - my arms and legs were leaner and more toned and there was visibly less belly fat. Even though I didn't lose weight, I didn't give up on my workouts because I was *seeing* visible proof of change, and I was *feeling* different.
Also important to our physical (as well as our mental, emotional and spiritual) wellbeing is making time for rest, relaxation and leisure. The nourishing rest and leisure activities we choose must also be enjoyable so we make time for it. Do you enjoy lounging in a hammock? Sitting outside? Reading? Journal writing? Making art? Doing yoga or Pilates? Meditating? When we do something we enjoy while also giving our bodies time to replenish, we are practicing self-love.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to physical health or self-love. What nourishes your body? What fuels you? What makes you feel better - energetically and emotionally? What honors your unique needs and preferences? Find your unique path to self-love and really embody it through your physical health practices and daily choices and actions.
Making positive personal changes can be HARD!! But by doing a little groundwork, creating a strong foundation, and putting support mechanisms in place, we can make it easier. Here's an example of a personal challenge I was struggling with and how I approached it. Part of loving and caring for myself means paying attention to how I am nourishing my body and energy level. I found myself in a place where I was neglecting these aspects. I wasn't exercising or eating well and as a result, I often felt "icky" and sluggish. I knew better than to try to integrate two new habits at once, so I chose one to focus on first.
I decided to address the exercise habits first, because 1) I knew that would be easier than addressing my eating habits, 2) I had identified a coach and an accountability group to help me get going and build consistency, and 3) in general, when I'm consistently working out, I tend to eat better overall. So establishing a workout habit first would actually help and support the eating habits later.
For the first 5 weeks of staying #safeathome I focused on getting a daily workout regimen in place. Five weeks later I am still doing it and am seeing changes in my body. Success!! Now that that habit has been established, I'm ready to start focusing on my eating habits too. I have been wanting to eat healthier for quite some time, but am an emotional/stress eater, so this is often a challenge for me. I know from my past struggles with this, that I will need extra support to accomplish this goal.
First, I got clear on WHY I want to eat better. Yeah, I'd love to lose a few pounds and feel better about the way my body LOOKS. But that's not the deepest, most motivating factor for me. If it was, I'd already be doing it. As part of my overall intentions to love and nourish myself, I want to make better choices that support this intention in all areas of my life. So my deepest WHY in relation to my eating habits is to better love and nourish my body through food choices that give me positive energy and contribute to my long-term health and wellbeing.
I chose the nutritional lifestyle (not diet) I want to follow: mostly whole vegan foods, organic when possible. For me, this means fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds and vegan protein shakes. No processed soy/meat or cheese replacements and no processed sugar. I chose this lifestyle because I've eaten this way in the past and I know that it makes me and my body feel good.
Then I set my specific goal: To choose whole, healthy vegan foods for at least 31 days in a row.
To help me establish this habit and achieve my goal, I created a daily tracking chart. It's nothing fancy, just hand drawn. I included my why and my goal at the top and a summary of the food choices I want to make along the side. I hung it on my fridge and at the end of each day, I will put an X to mark the days I stuck to my plan. I hope to fill this chart with Xs!
What personal intentions or goals have you been struggling to achieve? Consider why this goal matters to you, the specifics of what you're wanting to implement, and then choose a specific goal to focus on. What foundation, support, or tools can you put in place to help you achieve your goal?
Almost four weeks into social distancing and self-isolation and I need a haircut. Badly. But, I did something a little different today. I shaved, got dressed, AND applied makeup! That's the first time those three things have all happened on the same day in over 3 weeks! Most days I work in sweats because they are comfortable. And let's be real, I've not had a need for shaving or makeup. We're in unprecedented times here and there's no ONE right way to do this whole stay-at-home thing. We're each experiencing different emotions, focusing on different things, and spending our time in different ways. What's right for one may not be right for another.
We all handle stress differently, too. Some of us appreciate humor to help get us through, some of us need to lean on our friends, some just want to be left alone to process in whatever way works for us. And some of us may need all three of those at different times or in different quantities, or need something completely different.
I'll repeat... there is no right or wrong way to experience this situation.
For me and where I am, at this point in my journey, my mission is to do my best to stay focused on my personal wellbeing and spiritual growth path, to cultivate positive emotions such as gratitude and joy for myself and others, and to stay healthy and be fully present for my daughter. In order to do those things, I can't get sucked up into the fear or worry or anxiousness. YES, I do feel it. I'm not avoiding the reality of the situation. I certainly have moments when I experience fear or sadness or loneliness. Last week when I had to make a DIY mask for my daughter, just so we could go outside for 30 minutes, I felt it. Every time I go to the grocery store, I feel it. When I hear stories from people living in the hardest hit areas, I feel it.
I feel the feels when they arise.... I allow myself time and space to be sad or scared or angry, or whatever other emotion is coming to my awareness. But, I choose not to camp out there. Staying there too long, for me, isn't productive. I bring my attention back to the present... to what is in front of me right now. I focus on what I CAN take action on, and I move forward.
What has helped me stay grounded the last few weeks has been bringing more attention to my wellbeing and self-care. I have been exercising at home, getting out for walks when I can, and trying to eat (mostly) healthy foods. Sometimes I crank music all day and have solo dance parties. Other times I enjoy total silence. I spend a little time staying connected with friends via text and Zoom, and spend a LOT of time alone in my sacred space, journaling and meditating. I do what I feel I most need in that moment.
I've been reevaluating my priorities and the true essentials in my life. I've taken this opportunity to let go of some unhealthy habits, unproductive patterns, and even a relationship that no longer fit. I've continued learning more about myself and exploring what kind of life I want to create for myself and my daughter.
These are the things that work for me. But what matters is that YOU do what works for YOU. If you could use a little help focusing on any of this for yourself, reach out. I'm here and able to offer support. I can help you find YOUR path forward.