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What Are You Waiting For?

Sharon was stuck, and she had been for a while.

She enjoyed time with her friends, and her job was good enough, but something was missing. Her life was r2g-p9-horses-webcomfortable and pleasant, but it had lost its sparkly shine, and now felt dull and predictable.

She remembered the feeling of warmth and effervescence in her heart, but those days were gone. Now she felt somewhat numb, more like a quiet, black hole rather than a shining star…and she hated it.

One morning, Sharon woke up with the realisation that she’d never made it to Japan. As a child, she was fascinated by Japanese culture. In college, she considered a semester abroad, but let it go in order to finish school faster. Now she was almost 10 years into her “grown-up” life and she’d still never seen Japan.

That day, on her lunch break, she began her research. She found a program that would allow her to teach English in Kyoto for 6 months. She found temples to visit, cooking classes, and a local Japanese language tutor who could work with her on her conversational phrasing in the evenings.

Suddenly Sharon was bright and full of life again. She was the Sharon she remembered. She rekindled her dream and created a plan to fulfill it.  She was still single, and was not held down with responsibilities that kept her from going. “Why not?” she asked herself.  And so she did.

You are allotted a very limited time in this life. You can spend it seeking security, trying to get one more deposit in your savings account, or you can seek out the adventures that you crave.

Happiness is often found in the pursuit of meaningful goals. What makes a goal meaningful is your desire to achieve it. If there’s something you’ve always wanted, NOW is the time to go get it.

If you’ve been feeling duller than you’d like, and you’re thirsty for something more fulfilling in life, take on a project or goal that gives you something you really want. Whether it’s travel, charity, or the launch of a new business, the pursuit will bring you happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

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Blow Off Some Steam

Blow off steamStress is a huge part of our modern life. As such, there is a lot of information out in the world about how to manage your stress levels using tried and true methods such as meditation, massage, exercise, deep breathing and calming vacations.

All of these methods are powerful and extremely effective. That said, there are a few other amazingly potent stress busters that often get overlooked. Sometimes, when you are really stressed, the thought of exercising, meditating, or taking a vacation can actually become MORE stressful. In those moments, I like to turn to some of my less-common tricks.

Here are 3 quick fixes to help you manage your stress and blow off some steam, day after day.

  1. Laugh!

Laughter is one of the best stress-reducers out there. Watch a few funny videos, take yourself to the movies, or go to a comedy club. Even better, see if you can find an Improv Comedy group in your town, and go check out a class. There’s nothing like making up a ridiculous scenario with a bunch of strangers (or your friends) to get you laughing like a kid again.

  1. Speak Your Mind…Politely

Often the source of our stress is undelivered communication. Stand up for yourself, share your opinions and ideas, or have that conversation that’s been weighing on you. Remember to be polite, though. You don’t want to create more stress in the form of conflict because you were insensitive with your words. But by all means, use your words.

  1. Go A Little Crazy

Shut your door and shake it off.  Let your body move wildly and unpredictably. It can be a dance party, screaming at the sky, beating on a couch cushion, or rambling for a solid minute in gibberish. Going a little crazy on purpose will help keep you from going REALLY crazy on accident.

Once you’ve released a bit of pressure, you will notice your blood pressure decrease, and you will feel a little lighter.  Your head will clear and you can resume your day with new energy and excitement.

How will you blow off some steam today?

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Pause, Then Press On

It’s inevitable…at some point in the pursuit of your passions, goals and dreams, you’re going to get tired, frustrated and completely overwhelmed. And in some cases, you will want to give up.

This is your moment of truth. Will you do as so many others do, and quit before you reach the finish line? Or…will you see it through to the end and bring your dreams to life?

The desire to quit is perfectly natural. History is filled with tales of people in exactly this predicament. After all, humans have only so much energy available at any given moment. However, history also shows that pushing past our perceived limitations is the only way to discover how powerful we truly are.

If you are near your breaking point and ready to walk away, here are 3 time-tested tips to help you regain some personal energy and see clearly once again.Pause

Resting is a lost art in our current culture of go-go-go. The constant demands we place on ourselves can fry our internal operating systems. Naps, baths, massages, meditation, or mini-vacations are all easy ways to gain new strength and fresh ideas.

  1. Zoom Out…

When you are focused intently on achieving a specific goal, it is easy to forget why you’re doing so. Zoom out to remember your values, mission, and how your current actions connect to the bigger picture. What is your end game? Quit looking at the bark, and behold the beauty of the forest.

  1. Then Zoom Back In.

Looking at the big picture too long can also have its downside.  It can feel too big, and create confusion around where to start and what to do, and this can lead to overwhelm.  So once you are clear on your “why,” zoom back in to focus on ONE simple thing you can do to move in the direction of your dreams. Dive in, get it done, then rest for a moment before doing it again.

Everyone faces frustration, overwhelm and exhaustion. How you handle yours determines the accomplishments you will make in life, and the tales you get to tell tomorrow.

How Will You Press On Today?

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Grateful, Not Grumpy

To hear him tell it, Robert had a rough life.

People were always picking fights with him. He was always getting cut off in traffic, or being targeted for parking tickets. Authority figures had it out for him, and that made it hard for him to keep a job. Every day, he had something to complain about, and he never missed an opportunity to do so.

Grateful, not grumpyRobert’s brother, Richard, on the other hand, lived a wonderful life. Sure, his ex-wife took his house in the divorce, but he was so grateful for the kids that she gave him and the lessons he’d learned during their separation. And yeah, chemo had taken all of his hair, but he often smiled as he told his friends how grateful he was that the chemo took his cancer too. To hear him tell it, Richard was the luckiest man alive.

It’s probably not surprising that Robert had a unique knack for clearing a room by simply walking into it, while Richard frequently found himself surrounded by friends and family who loved him.

Let’s be straight…complaining may feel good in the moment, but the fact of the matter is that nobody wants to hear your complaints. Complaining for complaint sake is unproductive and off-putting. You may blow off some steam and validate your frustrations, but complaints don’t solve problems; in fact, they often create more.

Gratitude, on the other hand, does solve problems. It gives you the mindset you need to find opportunity everywhere, even in the negative and challenging circumstances of life. Choosing gratitude does not mean that you have to be the “Master of OK”  and deny the uncomfortable, negative emotions. It is rather a sign of emotional agility that acknowledges that life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.  Gratitude is also the gift and the power of emotional courage that comes from correspondence with your own heart. Grateful people are fascinating, attractive, and immensely magnetic.

Plus, gratitude has the magic ability to turn a would-be complaint into a productive analysis of challenges and the lessons they hold.

Look around. There’s always something to be grateful for.

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Brilliant Persistance

Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Einstein, considered by many to be the greatest mind of the 20th century, was known for mulling over his questions until falling into a semi-trance. In these states of deep contemplation, he made fascinating discoveries, then spent countless hours working back out of the maze to make his discoveries translatable to others.

The trick to sustainable success in any arena is not, as many believe, to be the smartest or most educated guy in the room, or to be born into wealth and opportunity. Rather, the trick is to become so focused on the goal and so determined not to give up that all distractions fade into the background, and the answers rise to the top. Persistence

If you would like to see more success in your endeavors, here are 3 simple tips to help you get and stay focused so you can achieve your goals:

  1. Think “Micro”

Studies have shown that humans get overwhelmed and become less productive when focusing on too many things at once.  The concept of multitasking is a misnomer as we can only effectively focus on one thing at a time.  Therefore, pick one small aspect of whatever you’re doing and give it your full attention.

  1. Give Yourself Permission to “Go There”

Oftentimes, we don’t give something the necessary attention because we feel we cannot disengage from all the other demands in our life. Give yourself permission to let everything else go for a while. De-prioritize to re-prioritize, and be okay with the fact that in order to say ‘Yes’ to what you want, you must say ‘No’ to something else.

  1. Give Yourself More Time

With deadlines looming, it’s easy to shortchange yourself on the amount of time actually needed for excellence. Ask for more time if you need. OR, refer to tip number 2 to create more space in your life. Progress takes persistence and persistence takes time.

You don’t have to be an Einstein to let your genius shine through. Brilliance belongs to everyone…you just have to drill deep to get to the gold.

How will you persist to unlock your brilliance today?

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Your Life, Your Design

Your life, your designHave you ever read a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book?

If you have, then you will remember that at various points in the story, you are presented with two or three options. “To follow the man into the cave, turn to page 43. To return to the village, turn to page 57.”

It’s a really cool concept that turns a story into a game. You passively enjoy the plot for a while, then you get to dive in and make your move.

These books are like training wheels for your life. The only difference is, in your “Choose Your Own Adventure” story, you are the audience and the author.

Every day in your real life you are presented with choices. If you don’t like them, you can create a new one. Sure, it may seem that your options are limited by finances, family, employment or education, but remember this…

YOU are a powerful, intelligent, creative human being with ample, unseen resources.

Your life is your choice, your design.

And the really fun part is this…you aren’t doing it alone. You are writing your story with the help of everyone around you. Your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers give you fresh choices and story prompts every day.

When you activate your inner author, other people’s choices become inspirations for your own. Obstacles become hurdles to leap over and bounce points to send your adventure in exciting new directions. Opportunities create new paths to explore.  Every moment is a chance to make your next move and design your story and craft the adventures you want to live.

Ask yourself, who are the characters in your story, and what role or influence do they play in your life? Who do you spend your time with? How do you spend your time?  Where do live?  What is your lifestyle?  What do you do that brings you ultimate fulfillment in your life?

It’s your story, you get to design it.  And the sky is the limit.

Still not convinced that you have choices? To help you gain a different perspective download my complimentary Self-Study Coaching Program : Kaleidoscope of Choice

 

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Give Yourself a Mental Makeover

r2g-p9-candleThe idea of self-care may sound indulgent to you, but nothing is farther from the truth. Self-care builds confidence to take action and by paying attention to your personal energy, you ensure that you stay energetic under pressure. It is important to develop habits that nurture you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Although you might take great care of your body, you may not give much thought to your mental self. It’s time to ask yourself, “What do I do to take care of my mind and keep it in excellent shape?” For some excellent mental makeover techniques, read on.

  • Know what makes you happy and do it every day. Take time each day to immerse yourself in something that brings joy to your life. Watch a movie, take a walk, do some crafting, build a shelf, or paint a picture. Make it a point to derive some pleasure from every single day.
  • Laugh a lot. Read jokes online. Make up funny stories. View your favourite sitcom  on TV, old and new. Call a friend that always makes you laugh. Spend time with children and babies. Experience humour as often as you can.
  • Cultivate new interests. To keep your mind working on several different levels, try new things often. Learn a new language. Visit museums. Study a topic of interest on the internet. Make it a personal goal to learn something new each day.
  • Play some healthy mind games. Encourage your mind to get exercise by trying out different kinds of interesting, challenging mind games from time to time. Find some new apps for your smartphone that will challenge you and make you think. We’re talking about the ones that put your brain through some mental calisthenics. Do word searches. Work some Sudoku puzzles. Get into crosswords.
  • Recognize your own stress responses, inside and out. Knowing yourself will help you identify how you behave when exposed to stressors. Maybe you get a fever blister on your lip, eat too much, or become grouchy. If you can train yourself to recognize when you’re stressed (early in the process), you can then proactively take steps to abolish the source of the stress or to beef up your coping strategies.
  • Express yourself. Although it might be difficult for you, do what you have to do to express your feelings to others. Whether they’re happy and fun feelings, or sad and scary feelings, develop ways to share your emotions. Holding in how you feel is rarely the path to a calm and secure mental state.Stay on top of your feelings. In the event you’re in a situation where you can’t express your feelings to someone else for a good reason, employ your writing skills to write down on paper or in your computer how you’re feeling. a journal and write regularly in it. Some tips on using a journal or if you want to use it as a focus tool, I have this free gift for you. Expressing your feelings through the written word can be both freeing and effective.

Take part in activities that bring joy and laugh frequently. Constantly find new interests and play games that give your mind a work-out. Know your own reactions to stress and do whatever’s necessary to express yourself. When you concentrate on following through with these suggestions, you’ll give your mind a fantastic work-out. And when your mind is in peak condition, so are you!

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From Frazzled To Flexible

Add suFrobheadingFromIt’s difficult for most people to think about strategies to calm themselves down when they are in the midst of a stressful situation. Instead, it’s more common to allow negative thoughts to take over. We tend to express these negative thoughts in unhealthy ways by complaining, venting, yelling, worrying, or feeling intense anger and frustration.

 We all experience increased stress this time of the year, but the stress that we experience are magnified or minimized based on how we react to it. Hans Selye so aptly put it when he said, “It’s not stress that kills us; it is our reaction to it.”So, how do we remain accommodating and adaptable when we are stressed out? How do we spark hope, faith and energy when we are feeling weary, exhausted and drained, as is often the case this time of the year?

The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another. I’ve got some creative thought-based  ways to help you unwind, decompress and stay centered a whole lot more.

1. Imagine you are a gemstone with many facets. What will the light be illuminating today?

The way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day. How often have you rushed out the door and into your day without even thinking about the day and how you would like it to go? Start the day more mindfully by setting  an intention for the day. Ask yourself:  How do I want to show up today to have the greatest impact? How can I feel more connected? How can I show more compassion to myself and others during difficult moments? What do I need? For example: “ Today I will be patient and kind to myself, persevere, have fun, show gratitude, communicate calmly” or anything else that is important to you.

2. Create mindful moments of calm throughout the dayAdd suFrobheadingFrom (1)

Through-out the day, regularly check in with yourself.This can be done by taking a moment to connect with your breath. Breathing is a proven method for calming down your body’s reactions stress.By calming your physical reactions, you can pay more attention to your thoughts and you have the opportunity to turn away from negative thoughts and move toward productive thoughts about how to manage situations. You can also  use calming guided meditations. It can take as little as one minute– so time is not an excuse!

Download your 1 minute mindful meditation here

3. Pen it!

Yes, leave the digital for the moment and push your brain by writing down your achievements for the day. Remember that 5 wins per day, makes 30 a week and 120 per month. By choosing where you put your focus, you can reduce the sense overwhelm of having too much on your plate and not doing enough.  Another way to use the pen, is to bite a pen between your teeth on your way to or from work. This “fake smile” will go a long way is changing your mood.

Control your stress instead of it controlling you.  While you can’t completely eliminate all stress from your life, you can significantly minimise the impact and move from frazzled to flexible!

Stress management download

FREE DOWNLOAD: STRESS MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

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Who am I?

What are some of the biggest fears you have about what will happen if you fully be yourself, speak your truth, and go for what you truly want in life? We all want to live happy, authentic lives, rich & full of purpose, we yearn to express ourselves more fully and be unconditionally accepted by others.  But the reality is that it’s often easier to remain and behave in less authentic ways rather than risk letting others see and experience who we really are.

It often feels like we can’t truly be authentic because it means we risk having others judge us, or worse, reject us. In the end, it seems easier to just be quiet, fit in, and hide who we really are rather than attempt to live more authentically around others. Still, we want to be more authentic, but at the same time, being more authentic seems very scary!  We are apprehensive to take an honest look at our hidden selves. However, if we want to live more authentically, we must move pass this fear.butterfly in hand on grass

A great metaphor for authenticity is an iceberg where the iceberg’s tip can be seen above the water’s surface, but the majority of it lies hidden beneath the water’s surface. We often go about life in a similar fashion, showing only a small part of our true identity and hiding everything else. We don’t want others to see and experience who we really are. To become more authentic may require us to lower our waterline and share more of who we really are.

We don’t want to share things that we feel people would look down on us for, such as:

  • Failures and disappointments
  • Guilt and shame
  • Fears and insecurities
  • Weaknesses and embarrassments
  • Resentments and jealousies

We also hesitate to share their positive traits such as:

  • Our hopes and dreams
  • Our vision of what makes us truly happy
  • Our accomplishments and future goals
  • What we love and appreciate
  • What excites us and give us childlike curiosity

The reason we can be equally hesitant to our positive qualities is because revealing our most hidden strengths, desires, and aspirations still makes us vulnerable. These positive qualities can still be judged critically by others, so there is risk associated with opening up to others, even in positive ways.

Being authentic means being willing to openly and honestly share all of yourself with others – both good and bad.  If you look up the definition of ‘authenticity’ in the dictionary, you would see the concept described as ‘the quality of being genuine.’ Being more authentic is more fully expressing all of who you really are, and this includes both the light and the dark.

When you are more authentic, you are also more vulnerable; there’s no denying this fact.  Still, isn’t risking a little vulnerability worth the potential gain of becoming:

    • More confident in yourself?
    • More willing to pursue your passions?
    • More free of other people’s opinions?
    • More connected with yourself and others?
    • More in a state of peace of mind?
    • More accepting and appreciative of your true self?

Keep asking: Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?

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How To Turn Your Longing Into Reality – 6 Success Habits

 My mission is to shape the way we see the world and our place in it. My vision is to empower women to confidently step into their power and to live their best lives. Sometimes I question the sanity of this, because I experience so much superficiality in life today– Who has the right clothes? Am I prettier/slimmer than her/him? What did Brad say to Angelina? I found that we long for success, but few are willing to take a deep, hard look at their inner world, change their  beliefs and install the habits. 

My previous blog encouraged you to start creating a vision for your life  and not to allow longing and discontent to follow you from one year to the next.  If you have done that, you are setting the stage for a brilliant new you!  Now that you have ignited the fire, I want to share six routines or habits that you can install, to ensure that you keep up the momentum.

    1. Make a dream collage – When it comes achieving our goals, many of us lose the motivation we had when we first started. Our best intentions are put aside as life takes over, and we struggle to stay motivated. In neuroscience goal representation is an essential part of goal pursuit. We create a clear How to turn your dream into reality- 6 Success habits (1)picture of the future in our memory. Creating and using a dream collage is an inspiring way to stay focused on your goals. The purpose is to turn something abstract into something conceivable and it’s a chance to unleash your creative side. Cut and paste and have some fun!
    2. Focus on your wins – Our brains are wired to focus on what we haven’t achieved and that often demotivates us. If you retrain your brain to focus on what you have achieved, dopamine (the feel- good hormone) is released and it is easier to stay motivated.
    3. Love yourself more – It is easy to be critical and hard on yourself. Learn to love yourself more and start focusing on what you do right and what you like about yourself. Focus on the gifts YOU bring to the world.
    4. Start the day with gratitudeHedonic adaptation is the term that positive psychologists use to describe the brain’s tendency  to start taking things for granted, making us less happy.    There is so much beauty in the world and you have so much good in your life.  Don’t take anything for granted. Start noticing,  retrain your brain and give thanks– it is not JUST another day. 
    5. Set an intention for the day and declare it at the beginning of the day. This simple, but powerful habit helps the brain to focus and tune-in from all the chaos, the demands and the distractions.
    6. Be seven again – Let go of the worry and the strive even for just a short while and do something that is fun and enjoyable. What you may ask? Learn to listen to the still inner voice, she/he knows the answer.

                                            Claim your tool here:Heart Language Tool


Sounds like too much work?  I have created an online journal template that will allow you to retrain your brain in just 10 minutes a day.

                                           Claim it here: Into The Heart Journal

 

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