As I go through a major transition in my life..letting go of what was, to stepping into what is ahead, I find my emotions swinging, sometimes violently, back and forth, from absolute certainly and excitement about what lies ahead, to absolute uncertainty and terror at the thought of letting go of what was..
Today I find myself swinging in the middle-space.. and I am afraid to let go.
So I laid my body down to rest and read in order to nurture myself through the fear and sadness and hopefully alleviate the anxiety of it all.
Then I opened my book "The Yamas & Niyamas - Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice".
I opened to this tenant:
Ishvara Pranidhana, a sanskrit word for surrender.
It's one of the 10 Ethical practices of the yogi..or anyone who is connected to their spiritual self.
This is the message that was given to me.
How comforting to know that when we honor ourselves, and listen to our needs of self-care, the Universe always speaks.
Do I feel nurtured? You bet. Did my sadness and anxiety go away? Yes, for the moment. And I remember that I am not my emotions or thoughts, and I choose which thoughts and emotions to dwell in.
I choose to surrender, to trust, and to above all else, love. This brings me peace and balance. Any other choose is a disservice to my soul.
During my 18 years as a wellness coach and trainer I noticed that if clients' lives were out of balance, chances were slim that their fitness goals would be reached. Life is less segmented than we think. Everything is connected and has influence over all the other areas. In order to move forward towards any goal we set for ourselves we should take a look to see if there are "undone" things in our life, or places we feel out of balance.
Here are a list of some of the things that may be holding you back:
I use the "The Wheel of Life" worksheet with my clients to find where there may be lack or want. It is a simple exercise to see the areas of your life that are out of balance. The goal is not to get all 10's on the wheel, the goal is to have a round wheel. If you find your wheel is not even close to round, this may be why you can not get to where you want to be. It's hard to travel with square wheels! Fill out the Wheel of Life and start to fine tune your ride.
If you're on a bumpy road and would like some help creating a smoother ride to your goals, sign up for a 30-min consultation with me.
Today I embarked on a journey..a journey into the unknown. I was on a quest for self-enlightenment, peace of mind, and ease of pain.
This was my first time venturing into the state of near zero gravity and complete darkness. For a whole hour I felt like an astronaut cut loose from the space station, floating into the cosmos.
As I stepped into the floating pod, it was like entering an alien capsule. Naked and stripped of my senses, no light, no sound, I had a liberating feeling of leaving the earth and all the noise behind...even though I was still on ground zero and never really blasted off.
Time in the floating pod seemed to stand still or not even exist as I had no reference to tell how much had passed. And it didn't matter.
Nothing to see or do. I was left with just myself and my thoughts.
And one thought that definitely crossed my mind was "I wonder what this would be like stoned?".. I will leave that for another trip.
I soon focused in on my breath and how breathing in made me rise just ever so slightly up, and breathing out, sink ever so slightly down. The feel of the waterline along my body provided yet another focal point in a world where there were few.
It was meditation in its purest form, at least for me. There are many ways to go into yourself and quiet the mind. I have a daily practice of breath work, yoga, and meditating, but the sensory depravation float tank took it to a whole new level.
I left feeling rejuvenated, calm, and yes, my aches from yesterdays workout where non-existent. Did I experience self-enlightenment? No, not quite. But it definitely did help quiet my monkey mind of unproductive thoughts bouncing around my head.
Will I do it again? That's a definite yes. The experience was so new, that it took me awhile to settle into it. I imagine the second and third time will start to feel like second nature to enter into this weird and wonderful world of weightlessness and darkness.
***If you are in the Seattle area check out : Float Seattle
Menopause isn't something that is talked about a whole lot. Our moms probably didn't teach us and we didn't learn it in school. Maybe we as woman don't want to admit we are growing older. There are face creams, surgeries, pills, et. to help us deny the inevitable..heck, we even have yoga for the face to combat those signs of aging!
The acknowledgment of being middle-aged and going through the change just doesn't match up to what we, and society, put on ourselves and our fellow sisters. The pressure to look young forever is always on us. Well, I myself, I am ready to relieve that pressure, pass the baton on to the younger generation, and embrace all the wisdom, wrinkles, and yes, all the symptoms I am experiencing during middle age.
Perimenopause is the stage leading up to menopause. It can last a few months or a few years. No rhyme or reason really. And along with this "special" time of change, we experience a whole melody of symptoms..hot flashes, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog, and queasiness to name a few. We all experience these symptoms on some level. Knowing this helps eliminates the worry and anxiety that can come when one starts to experience these strange things happening. And, fortunately, we don't need to look outside ourselves for relief.
We can look to nature. I realize at times is necessary to turn to meds and hormones, but it shouldn't be the automatic go-to. I know from being a personal trainer, yoga instructor, and life coach for 20 years now, that we have amazing bodies that can naturally regulate and heal themselves. The fake food, chemicals, and stressors that we expose ourselves to are not natural and they make it hard for our bodies to respond properly to the natural process of menopause.
With proper nutrition (real, living food), movement of the body (yes, exercise), and the managing of our thoughts through mindfulness and meditation, our symptoms become much lighter and way more manageable. We do not have to be at the mercy of doctors, hormones, and pharmaceuticals to pass through this time of change, and we have everything we need inside us to not only survive but to thrive!
My life long career and life long passion is helping women through the difficulties in life through mind, movement and nutrition. When I help you, I help myself. That's why I picked this career. I need reminding of what needs to be done, just as much as you may also. I would love to teach you what I know on how to stay sane and keep the body and mind in tack during these times of change.
Don't just survive, THRIVE!
This last weekend I had the honor to be a guest speaker at the School Nurses of Washington State yearly convention. It was a privilege to be given the platform to share on a subject that is so important to me. So important, that I was willing to face the #1 fear people have, and that is public speaking. Because the practice of mindfulness has made such a huge difference in my life I am willing to face those fears. In fact, the fears seam to diminish when I remember the gravity of the subject. The world is at stake. When the majority of the world gets this, we will than have peace. Mindfulness..staying present.. aware of our thoughts, feelings, experiences and emotions in a non-judgmental way is what the world needs. We are so distracted by thoughts buzzing around our heads, information bombarding towards us, pulling us in all directions we have a hard time even seeing straight, seeing what is right in front of us. This can cause stress, anxiety, confusion in our lives. It can distract us from the important things, like love, peace, harmony, gratitude. Practicing slowing our thoughts down to a pace where we can begin to realize what's going on in our heads and bodies we can choose which thoughts and emotions we want to foster and which ones don't serve us. Practice mindfulness..meditate, journal, become aware. It will your life and change the world. I will make a positive impact on this world...won't you join me? if you don't know where to start, try my online course "the 7-Day Mind and Body Reboot". Change your habits, change your life, and in turn, change the world.
So, do you have places you would like to travel to that you have never been before? How will you get there? If you're like me, you just tell Google to map it for you. The GPS is set to give us the quickest route possible. There are even settings that you can change, like taking only the main roads, or avoiding the tolls. You can even set it to take the scenic, back roads. And if you veer off path, Google Maps is flexible enough to change the route as you go, insuring you will get there eventually.
Well, our goals act the same way. Our subconscious is our "global positioning satellite". What we tell ourselves, the subconscious will take in, and then work hard to make it happen, whether we are aware of it or not. It's truly amazing how much of our choices are actually on auto drive, preprogrammed by past experiences, society, marketing and ourselves. Scientist say that over 90% of our brain activity comes from the subconscious! And unfortunately, a lot of those messages are negative, telling us we don't deserve to succeed, that we are not good enough, and that we shouldn't set our bar high. In order to re-program our subconscious to help us reach our goals, we must consciously be proactive. If we expect to reach our goals, we can't just think it and forget it, we have to "plug it in" to our internal GPS, and program the goals into our minds. One highly effective way of doing this is to spend some time writing down your goals. Write them down and then re-read them daily to re-enforce your brain to lead you in the path you want to head. Place sticky notes in your daily sight, create a mantra to say over and over to yourself about the goal. Anything and everything to bring it not only to the forefront of your mind, but plant the seeds deep into your subconscious, into the very fiber of your being. Your subconscious will find a way to make happen whatever your brain hears over and over. Below is just one of many practices you might do to help retrain the brain for success!
Make your goals SMART goals, meaning Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time Based. Here is an example:
Goal: Lose 10 lbs- not specific enough.
Goal: Lose 10 lbs for a weight of 130 lbs in 3 months by Januarary 20th.
Now this goal is:
Specific - 130lbs
Measurable - anyone could see the result by seeing the scale.
Attainable - 3.3 lbs a month is totally doable
Relevant - lines up with desire to lose weight
Time based - January 20th is the day the scale will show 130 lbs.
After you make your SMART goal, be sure to revisit it often to reinforce the new connections your brain is making!
I cannot emphasis enough the power of suggestion on our minds. Let's be "smart" about what we program into our GPS so we can navigate towards success!
And as always, if you would like some help staying accountable to your goals, drop me a message! I would be happy to help with my online coaching service! Thanks for reading!
The word mindfulness has been buzzing around the wellness industry quite a bit lately. And with good reason. Studies after studies are showing the amazing benefits the practice.
But what does mindfulness mean? It has just recently become more defined to a even more curious world as we as a society are reaching out to find better ways to deal with the ever increasing stresses in our lives.
Mindfulness in simple terms is the moment-by-moment process of actively and openly observing one’s physical, mental and emotional experiences. It is observation without criticism or judgement while being compassionate with yourself.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. It is an "insight" meditation. Instead of quieting the mind and focusing on a singular item, such as the breath, a mantra such as "I love myself", or a visualization such as success, which are all "concentration" meditations, mindfulness allows us to experience all that is happening in the present moment. The thoughts, the feelings, the emotions, the sounds and smells that surface in our quiet moments. As we notice these thoughts and feelings, we become the observer of what's happening in our brains. This simple process of becoming aware takes us a step back from the emotions of the experience. We enable ourselves to not get caught up in the feelings and emotions, but simply just notice that we are having that feeling. We learn that we are not the sum of our emotions or experiences, We are beyond that. We are the same being as the day we were born, fresh and new, without the "lessons" of the world teaching us how to feel and react. As the observer, we are set above all the noise. We are able to look down upon and choose which thoughts and emotions serve us and which ones don't. Mindfulness teaches us to not judge ourselves because of a thought or emotion...the thought just is...a thought, manufactured by past experiences...we can choose what to do with it, we can act on it, we can change it, we can let it float on by.
The mind is a powerful force, and left to itself can run our lives in directions we may not like. Let us be "mindful" of what is going on in that organ between our ears, and let us, the observers choose what we listen to. Let us become proactive instead of reactive to all that goes on in our heads.
The trick is...to sit down and take the time to listen...this is the essence of mindfulness.
So yes, as my title indicates, mindfulness can make your world and the world a better place. Just think of the possibilities of a society that practices mindful meditation!
Are you trying to implement some new, healthy habit into your life? If you are like most of us, the new desired activity may last a day or two or even a week or two only to fall to the wayside and we are back into our old behavior. It is a universal, human problem! Our brains naturally want to keep doing the same thing. We have created ruts in our neural pathways, much like a dog creates a worn path around his perimeter. In order to overcome and get out of our ruts we have to be proactive. Creating small habits to reach the bigger goal, one step at a time is very effective. When we break down the "big picture" into smaller frames, we create a road to success.
Try this simple method to get you out of your rut and on to new things!
Goal Example: Healthy Lifestyle (big and undefined goal) Break it down one small habit at a time.
A new small habit to help get me to the bigger goal:
Drink more water
So now that we have a smaller more manageable goal (tiny habit) we need to tie it to a trigger, something that you do everyday. And then after you accomplish the new habit, celebrate with saying out loud "Great Job!" or "I'm Awesome" (I know it's corny but it works!)
Use this simple format: You can fill in the blanks with whatever habit you want to create (as long it is small)! Remember we are breaking down big goals into small, doable steps!
After I : walk downstairs in the morning
I will: fill my water bottle
Then I celebrate with: I am awesome!
You will find that because of the very fact that you tied the desired action to something you do everyday, it becomes easy to stay with it. Celebrating afterwards reinforces our brains to continue the activity! Super simple!
If you try this method, I would love to hear how it went. Just comment in the space below!