Putting diet and exercise in it’s rightful place

In just a few weeks, you’ll have millions of people abusing diet and exercise programs to prove their worth.

They’ll never say that, they’ll use the code word: “Improving my health.”

There are several problems with this…

  • You may end up looking good but you won’t feel any better because your outer world cannot heal your inner world
  • The most common struggles of perfectionism, people-pleasing and self-doubt cannot by healed in the physical realm because they’re spiritual issues
  • This strategy will further increase demands (exercise) and reduce resources (diet), drawing you ever deeper into survival mode
  • You’re still fundamentally subscribed to the all-or-none, more-is-better, no-pain-no-gain mentality that will forever make self-care feel like something you have to do and you’ll never enjoy or feel rewarded by it

At best, diet and exercise is a small part of a balanced lifestyle and even movement and meal plan perfection can’t balance your lifestyle.

As an alternative, treat yourself as a Whole Person: MindBodySpirit by slowing down and breathing and if you’re paying attention, you’ll finally notice you’re not in an emotional state conducive to transformation.

Don’t change your diet or exercise routine, change your state…and your healthy habits will naturally follow your happy state.

“Good order is the foundation of all things.” Edmund Burke

Provoking transformation in small pockets of time…

I fundamentally take a “pocket-change” approach towards transforming my life.

I realize an extra 30m of sleep each night is one week of sleep over the course of a year–like pocket change, it all adds up!

One of my key strategies has been to leverage small pockets of time where I had previously engaged in repetitive, useless behaviors (stinkin thinkin, checking emails, rehearsing my past, etc.) and now, intentionally invest my time in chipping away at important projects (writing blogs, relationship building, learning new things, etc.).

Previously, I’d look for large amounts of time to get important work done, which first of all was challenging to find and secondly, by the time I got there, I felt so much pressure to perform, I’d often succumb to the tension and do nothing.

The Pomodoro technique is fantastic for cultivating this mentality, as are the concepts shared in Deep Work by Cal Newport and Seth Godin’s relentless encouragement to do your best work in the form of “sprinting”

I see my evolution and relationship with time changing as a matter of adapting to the current climate of our culture and all strategies have emanated from my desire to access the present moment and play an active role in improving the quality of my life and those around me.

Premature action is just that…

Our instant-gratification culture has little capacity to delay tactics for the creation of a strategy that actually achieves results.

We’d rather exert effort for effort’s sake so we can claim the busy badge to justify our urgent nature.

Any action taken prior to the formation of a sound plan is always premature action…a shot in the dark at best.

This may be where the phrase “going nowhere fast” originated.

This is a reflection of the unsettled nature of our nation and our struggle to find joy outside of ourselves.

Once you’re aware of this behavioral tendency, you’re fully empowered to improve it.

In the fullness of the present moment, you can generously inquire and observe your patterns.

Once you get it, you’ve got it and you’ll know it when haste no longer makes sense and you find yourself surrendering endless tactics for purposeful, mature action.

Addition by subtraction…

I couldn’t say it strongly or often enough, my deepest transformation has come by way of thinking less, doing less and acquiring less…which is contrary to the more is better mentality of our scarce culture.

Truth is, we’re already whole, complete and worthy.

Buying into the lie that you are “not enough” until you have more money, free time, status, influence and health is a reflection of the false self, who’s deemed happiness as an extrinsic quality long ago.

Change is not a matter of doing more, it’s a matter of waking up and it gradually happens all-at-once for the seeking mind.

Less is more. Less is enough. You’ll discover your wholeness inside of emptiness–go figure!

The soul grows by subtraction, not addition.” Henry David Thoreau

The holiday Spirit is “missing”…

I love how people claim the Spirit of the holidays are gone.

I wonder if they realize they are the Spirit.

Be merry, be joyous and be thankful.

Let’s appreciate the difference between facts and stories.

Fact: The Spirit has never left; it is YOU!

Story: What you tell yourself to justify how you’re feeling.

Let’s stop looking for our external environments to fulfill us and choose to bring forth our Spirit’s, because we can.

Where my blogs “come from”…

People often ask where I get my inspiration for my daily blog.

It’s no secret really; I’m simply paying attention to my life and interactions with others and documenting my experiences.

I’m sorry if this lessens your admiration or demystifies the source of my daily revelations.

I think the real challenge is this means you can write a daily blog too…if you want to.

How to stay in a Flow state…

If you’ve ever been in the “Flow,” words like fluid, dynamic, adaptable, patient, spacious, peaceful, loving, joyous, content, fulfilled, willing, optimistic, resourceful, courageous, generous, effective, efficient, and productive, experientially make lots of sense.
 
The feeling of this state is second to none and you’ll never settle for anything less.
 
Though, once you start idolizing a Flow state and it becomes a means to an end, you begin entering a state of friction.
 
Part of the joy of being in the Flow is it’s organic nature; it’s innocence, curiosity and simplicity of being.
 
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wonder how it happened and thoughtfully inquire.
 
In short, the “secret” is whatever it took to get there is what it takes to stay there.
 
This is where a journaling practice can be helpful because you’ll have documentation of the chain of events that led you there, as well as, caused you to stray.
 
Also, don’t forget the sweetness of Flow comes from the fact that we lose it and we have to lose it so we can find a fuller version of it, again and again.
 
Here are the strategies I frequent:
1. Mindfully be aware of how I unconsciously get in my own way (creating friction)
2. Identify the emotions I associate with a Flow state and intentionally bring that emotional energy into my day
3. Surrender the need to be in the Flow in order to have a good day
 
Flow is our most natural state, if you’re not flowing, zoom out and observe reality to see why.

You don’t need to solve the problem…

Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung said: “Our greatest problems cannot be solved, only outgrown.”

The ego loves the role of “problem-solver” as it draws attention to itself for being smart, being creative or being right and falsely claims it’s worth from such events.

I have a coaching practice and it would seem I’m hired to solve problems and in a sense I am and in another sense, I’m not a solver at all…only a pointer to the truth: love, suffering, reality, humility, grace, surrender, etc.

One of the biggest problems my clients face (as do I) is setting high expectations and chronically existing inside of states of disappointment when they’re not met.

There really is no rational solution to this problem.

It’s only through the necessary humiliations of repeated let downs that we start to learn to surrender our need for anything outside of us to fulfill us.

Ironically, it’s when we move into the stillness of silence that we begin to sense the source of our pain and choose to stop feeding it and in that moment, we don’t solve it as much as we outgrow it.

Evidence of mismanaged expectations…

Next time you find yourself feeling frustrated, disappointed or feeling resentful, it’s likely someone or something fell short of your expectations.

You have a few options…

  1. Try shaming, guilting or threatening them into conforming
  2. Judge them, blame them and exclude them from your life
  3. Surrender your need for control, detach from the pain and let reality be

There of course are all sorts of options in between and if your equation lacks love, it’s not serving either of you.

Approaching this week from the heart…

Oftentimes, we head into Monday wondering how we can do this week “better.”

We consider what we want to do more and less of.

Let’s be honest, by noon time Monday, most of us are exactly where we were last Monday…feeling stuck, unable to change and uninspired.

Life feels dull, repetitive and difficult.

We intellectually know if we want a new result we have to take a new approach but feel confused as to where we should start.

Our minds naturally wander to new tactics but our problems cannot be solved from the same consciousness that created them.

In other words, our current level of mind cannot solve our current problems–we need a new mind!

We develop a new mind by dropping 12 inches from head to heart.

In our heart, we settle, we remain still, we become open, we expand our horizons and we invariably approach our lives differently; with more curiosity and creativity, with more passion and less angst.

Our hearts see through a different lens, they interpret reality in a far more spacious way and they notice the significant subtleties of life that are unknowable through the mind.

This isn’t about being disciplined and doing the right things, it’s about radically changing your approach and living from the center of your being.