Finding balance between your past and future

unknown-3Past. Present. Future.

The best place to live is in the present: the here and now, the all and only, the moment that matters.

It’s normal and healthy to reflect upon your past, as well as contemplate your future but it’s not constructive to obsess and get stuck on either end of life.

When your mind is consumed by the past with guilt, regret or sadness, you live in the past, which puts your future at risk.

When your mind is consumed by the future with fear, anxiety or apprehension, you’re contributing to a past in which you played a passive role.

The draw to the past is control and certainty of what was. There is no draw to the future except that it causes you to be absent for today.

As always, balance is the key to life. If you can align yourself somewhere between your past and future, you’ll actually find yourself living for today.

 

Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.Sonia Ricotti

 

Take a moment and let it all in

unknown-2Have you ever taken a moment at the end of a week to appreciate all that your body, mind and spirit have done for you? Or, do you end with a sigh of exhaustion, glad to have squeaked by, hoping somehow that next week will be better? The lens you wear is a decision you make but one lens adds to you and the other takes from you.

Consider your body. It was functional and vital, it offered transport and opportunity, it digested food and created energy, it displayed mobility and stability, it demonstrated strength and stamina, it told you when it was time to eat and time to sleep, it provided balance and coordination, it walked and squatted and lunged and reached and stepped and best of all, it did it all for free.

Consider your mind. It allowed creativity and curiosity, it provoked wonder and awe, it developed strategies and implemented techniques, it was supple and resilient, it created emotions and fueled behaviors, it told you what was right and what was wrong, it solved problem and caused you to stumble, it reminded you the skies the limit and best of all, it did it all for free.

Consider your spirit. It allowed you to feel loved and supported, it prompted you to smile and care, it received encouragement and offered it to others, it rejected criticism and welcomed compassion, it challenged you to look inward and love outward, it nudged you to lend a helping hand to the least-last-lost, it tugged on your heartstrings when you life was out of balance and best of all, it did it for free.

When you let yourself soak it all in, it’s an incredible moment. You’ll fill up with such gratitude, amazement and emotion. The human body, mind and spirit are an incredible grace gift. The cool part is, you don’t even have to acknowledge or appreciate them and they’ll show up for you nonetheless. But when you pay them some homage, they’ll give back tenfold.

 

Life is a gift and I try to respond with grace and courtesy.” Maya Angelou

How to journal through the pain of life

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How to journal through the pain of life

In an effort to help my clients develop the courage needed to live the life they desire, I equip them with constructive alternatives to their most protective behaviors, such as emotional eating, drinking, blaming, obsessing, aggressiveness, etc.

Awareness that protective behaviors are not the answer to our situation creates the space necessary to explore other avenues. One key activity I use to navigate the painful thoughts and feelings I encounter daily is journaling.

One of the biggest benefits to journaling is that it creates some distance between our thoughts and behaviors so we can explore our emotions in between. In turn, we’re able to better interpret their meaning and manage them more effectively.

One of my client’s biggest questions is…how do I journal? In short, there is no wrong way. You simply want to commit your thoughts to paper in a way that feels good for you. If you’re always on the go, composing an email you can send to yourself and file away may be the way to go. If you’ve got time and enjoy writing, pen and paper will do the trick.

To one up you, I’m going to share one of my recent journal entries to show you how I do it. Am I concerned to open up my journal to complete strangers? No, because through journaling and vulnerable conversations, I’ve learned my fears are powerless once exposed to the light…they no longer have dominion over me.

To create a little context, I was in the midst of a busy week with a large project due in just a few days. I was filled with anxiety, unable to focus or get any quality work done. I wanted to eat something (my vice) but I decided to journal instead. By the way, you should know I never rely on my own strength, will power or resources to get through life’s challenges, so I choose to plug into a Source larger than myself…

“I’m totally stressed. I’m short on time and long on demands. Is this what it means to be successful? If so, I don’t think I’m that interested in success. If stress and anxiety are going to make me unavailable to those I love most, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Holy Spirit, fill me with your love. Flow through me like a river that knows no bounds. Infiltrate every cell within my body, causing fear to exit every pore. Allow every breath I take to remind me of your love for and within me. I’m ashamed to admit at times I completely forget you exist. And when you are absent from my consciousness, I become stricken by fear, paralyzed by doubt and trampled on by anxiety. When my mind is clear, it’s clear you live inside me and have empowered me to live out your will for my life. “KEY POINT” I thank you for abundance, generosity, compassion, kindness, gratitude, fulfillment, contentment, joy, wholeheartedness and all the gifts you shower me with daily. I thank you for my health, purpose, passion, vitality, heart, comfort, function and all the resources you afford me. May I be a beacon of your light and live with conviction and certainty of your love for me? May I bless others through your powers? Spirit, I thank you for this special encounter of divine love. It causes me to feel worthy of belonging. Please continue to heal my woundedness and I will continue to learn how to surrender my life so you can do your work through me.”

I referenced a “KEY POINT” in my entry above…what I’ve been taught to call the transformational zone. I transitioned from fear to love, I replaced doubt with faith and guilt with grace, and I went from feeling like a wave in the ocean to a wave within the ocean. Your ability to move from a spirit of criticism to one of compassion will be key to healing the pain of life.

 

Life is a journey and love is a power we can use to make it worthwhile.Michael Rizk

If you don’t own it you can’t heal from it

unknownWhen life gets stressful and we’re in the midst of painful thoughts and feelings, it’s common to numb our pain with food, alcohol, cigarettes, TV, smart phone, excessive cleaning or exercise, etc. What you do to deaden the pain is not as important as what’s causing you to do it.

Rejection, doubt, loneliness, perfectionism, shame, insignificance, betrayal, abandonment, you name it, if you can’t name it and own it, you can’t heal yourself from it.

For instance, lets say you were betrayed during your formative years, it might have created a wound that causes you to feel unworthy of any commitments. Now, lets say you heard a “friend” from work was gossiping about you, you will interpret betrayal and it will validate you are in fact not worthy of commitments. This thought, will cause painful feelings and depending on your resources, you may run to food, alcohol, etc.

The question is, do you realize “your wound” is driving this protective behavior? Oftentimes, we are unaware of why we’re doing what we’re doing and tend to blame this sort of behavior on a lack of will power, discipline or focus, self-sabotage, laziness, etc. It’s easy getting caught up on the superficial layers of life where our symptoms exist but we’ve got to dig beneath the surface if we desire long-term satisfaction.

My word of wisdom is don’t minimize your wounds. Once discovered, you may chalk it up to not being so bad but if you don’t own it, you can’t heal from it. Follow these 4 simple steps to playing an active role in experiencing joy, contentment and fulfillment:

  1. Awareness (call it out)
  2. Accountability (own it)
  3. Action (be about the solution)
  4. Management (keep it up)

Dr. Mario Martinez has identified shame, abandonment and betrayal as the three archetypal wounds that affect us most. You can heal them through acts of honor, commitment and loyalty. May you dig deep and find what limits joy in your life.

 

“Life itself is your teacher and you are in a state of constant learning.Bruce Lee

Putting diet and exercise into its rightful place

unknownAs a professional serving the movement industry for 15+ years, I’ve discovered that people come to me to enhance their Body but it’s their Mind holding them back and their Spirit that suffers. I realize we condition the Body because it’s familiar, not effective. More importantly, all change happens in the Mind-First®, so if I can get someone’s mind on their side, the realization of their goals are only a matter of time.

This approach is more mental and strategic than physical and tactical…

Think about where you are today…what are some words that describe your Current Status®?

  • Stressed
  • Demotivated
  • Unfulfilled
  • Exhausted
  • Busy

—–

GAP

—–

Think about where you want to be tomorrow…what are some words that describe your Preferred Status®?

  • Under control
  • Motivated
  • Fulfilled
  • Energized
  • Productive

Notice there’s a GAP that exists between where you are and want to be. What’s in your GAP that’s keeping you from getting there? Next, ask yourself: Even if I had a perfect diet and exercise plan, would it resolve this issue in my GAP? Most likely, the answer is no. Therefore, we must appreciate that diet and exercise is not the end-all-be-all and we must put it into its rightful place. Yes, it’s part of a balanced lifestyle but no; it’s typically not the solution to our situation. Address your GAP and your goals will follow.

 

Stay committed to your decisions but stay flexible in your approach.Tony Robbins

Being fixed vs. fixing yourself

images-2Some people want to be fixed. They want their debt to disappear, they want muffin top to melt away, they want their stress to vanish, they want their back to stop hurting and they want their faith to bear fruit. Problem is, they want someone to do it for them. Even bigger problem is they are looking for a solution outside of themselves. The biggest problem is they often aren’t remotely aware of it.

However, rather than being critical of someone who appears wanting only to be fixed, lets insert a little compassion and consider why that may be….

  1. Culture – we live in a culture that thrives on instantly gratifying itself, so why would they be any different?
  2. Environment – they may not have been raised or live in a supportive and loving environment, which makes it difficult to show up for themselves.
  3. Overwhelmed – is a byproduct of our times, they may not know where to start or how to proceed, trapped by fear and doubt.
  4. Belief – their past experiences may have communicated they are unworthy of their own efforts and their behaviors validate that belief.
  5. Self-Reliance – they may be trying to do it all on their own, unaware there is a Source larger than themselves taht they can plug into for unending encouragement and empowerment.

Before judging this type of behavior, always seek to understand the motivation behind it. What they are doing or not doing is far less important than why. This only requires compassion, empathy, kindness, concern and a non-judgmental spirit, which are skill sets that can be developed if you care to.

 

I don’t need you to fix me, I need you to love me while I fix myself.” Anonymous a.k.a. someone smart who didn’t give themselves enough credit…

Directly proportionate to love

unknown-1Your ability to lose weight, set a budget, get to work on time, be prepared for the day, keep things in order, etc. is directly proportionate to your ability to love yourself.

Engaging your physicality, eating quality foods and prioritizing sleep are acts of love that lead to weight loss.

Investing time to calculate your income, track expenses and deny yourself are acts of love that lead to a balanced budget.

Avoiding the snooze, having an intention for you day and forecasting traffic delays are acts of love that lead to getting to work on time.

Thinking ahead, blocking out time for yourself and honoring your commitments are acts of love that lead to being prepared for your day.

Making the bed, washing the dishes and taking out the trash are acts of love that lead to keeping things in order.

Whatever it is, love is the answer. The question you may want to ask is: Why am I having such a hard time loving myself and if I do love myself, why am I having difficulty finding evidence.

 

“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.Marianne Williamson

Forget the WHAT…address the WHY

imagesWhether you’re in debt, overweight, stressed out, etc., rather than addressing WHAT’S happened or is happening to you, it’s a better investment of your time to address WHY it happened. Though, “better” doesn’t mean easier, faster or more enjoyable.

STORY: You’re in debt…

WHAT: You chop up your credit cards and consolidate debt

WHY: You’re trying to buy a sense of love and belonging

 

STORY: You’re overweight…

WHAT: You go on a diet and exercise plan

WHY: You’re using food to numb painful feelings

 

STORY: You’re stressed out…

WHAT: You start taking yoga and drinking tea

WHY: You’re putting everyone else ahead of yourself

It’s much easier to address WHAT’s happening rather than WHY it’s happening. Getting at your WHY requires a much fuller commitment than you may be used to or are comfortable with. It takes courage to dig beneath symptomatic layers of life but only there, will you find the solution to your situation.

 

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.Andre Gide

I have it all except what I really want

201605-orig-what-we-really-want-949x534Cars, job titles, houses, jewelry, physique, education, wardrobe, social circles, exclusive memberships, front row tickets, you name it, it all adds to your extrinsic worth and not a lick of it uplifts your intrinsic sense of self.

Self-compassion, kindness, appreciation, humility, worthiness, gratitude, patience, encouragement, contentment, fulfillment, you name it, it doesn’t cost a dime and will cause your love bucket to overflow.

It’s OK to have all those things but not if you need all of them to feel valuable. All we really want is to feel loved and like we belong; some think it has a price tag and others just learn to let themselves feel it.

I believe that owning our worthiness is the act of acknowledging that we are sacred. Perhaps embracing vulnerability and overcoming numbing is ultimately about the care and feeding of our spirits.Brene Brown

Change me, I’ll pay you

unknownJust as money can’t buy you love, money can’t buy you change either.

The thought is…If I pay you, you tell me what to do and how to think, you hold me accountable, I’ll starting taking myself seriously and eventually I’ll just do it on my own.

This archaic model is flawed on so many levels:

  1. You’re wanting to address what happened to you instead of why it happened
  2. You’re unsure of exactly where you are, where you want to be and what’s holding you back
  3. Your efforts are tied to a financial commitment instead of your values
  4. Being told what to do and how to think deconditions you to do that for yourself
  5. You believe accountability is what you need and what you really need is love
  6. You’re being driven by pain, fear and guilt—the least effective motivators
  7. Your thinking tactically long before a strategy has even been developed
  8. You’re only willing to take yourself seriously in the presence of another
  9. You’re conditioning yourself to be codependent instead of searching for independence
  10. You’re positioning the professional instead of yourself as your solution

When someone comes to me and says “change me, I’ll pay you,” I say “your commitment is more important than paying me.” Commit and I’ll show you how to change yourself.

 

Show me all the parts of you that you don’t love so I know where to begin.” Ava