Waves of Emotion

I recently took a day trip to Bimini, Bahamas. (Well worth it to spend a day on island time.)

I found when you’re on the edge of the water, the waves will toss you about like a rag doll. Even if the waves are small. When you go into somewhat deeper water and explore further from the shore, the waves are easier to manage. You can see them coming and ride them with greater ease. (You can also avoid that mass of sand in places to discover later!)

Got me thinking. How often do we sit at the edge of our emotions getting tossed about and rolled around in the next wave of emotion? Simply because we’re afraid to go deeper into the waters of our feelings and explore what’s there. Once we get past the rocky shores, we can walk in calmer water. Even though there are still emotional waves – we can better see them coming and bob with them. Let them flow by. Feel them. Experience them. And move on. 

Staying in the shallows and surface emotions prevents us from finding out what deeper feelings are there and why we are experiencing the emotional tides. Exploring the deeper waters ,while still touching the sand, allows us to understand the triggers, see those emotions building and decide how to handle them instead of them handling us. 

So go deeper and find the calmer waters. Learn to see the waves coming and flow with them. Feel them and let them roll on by. The shore is always there if you need it. 

I’d love to hear how exploring the deeper feelings has helped you better deal with the emotional waves in your life. Comment below and join the conversation.

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Examine what you tolerate

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LISTEN HERE: Examine What Your Tolerate

DISCLAIMER: I may have gone off the rails somewhere in this post – please forgive me if it gets a little sideways. (< 5 minute read or listen)

Have you ever taken a look at the things your tolerate? Those things that you just accept as normal, things you put up with; or say “oh that’s just the way it is”? Have you gone deeper to think about why your putting up with those things in your life? In the past few months, I’ve started taking a look at the stuff I tolerate and ultimately why. I was amazed at the behaviors and attitudes I tolerated both from myself and others. Something as simple as choosing to stay on the couch instead of getting some exercise or not speaking my truth. The bigger ones were apologizing for speaking my truth or accepting that we’re teaching our children to struggle, be less than, and accept their “situation”. Other things folks tend to tolerate might be accepting the negative stories you keep telling yourself, misogynistic comments, closed minds, apathy, or other more divisive attitudes like racism, sexism, or homophobia.

The reasons why we tolerate certain things are just as important as what we are tolerating. The deeper digging often reveals a story of fear we’ve told ourselves or a story we adopted for ourselves based on our growth through the years. I want to explore what we’re tolerating these days and mostly, why.

We rationalize (a lot) things we tolerate by saying we’re choosing our battles or we’d rather avoid stirring the pot and pissing someone off whether they’re a stranger or a sibling. I believe we give people too little credit. I often rationalize by thinking I’m avoiding upsetting someone for no good reason – they don’t need this right now or they won’t be able to see what I’m talking about.

I believe if we approach the situation with love and compassion and speak our truth the same way, most people will understand and whether they say it or not, be grateful to know how we feel and that we pointed out something they couldn’t see themselves. I know, I know – there’ll be those hard headed, stubborn or downright mad folks who’ll pitch a hissy fit* because they weren’t ready to see what we had to tell them. Some people are so blinded and closed minded by their fears nothing you say will seem to reach them.

*NOTE: For those who may not be familiar with that Southern term: a hissy fit can be like a temper tantrum, a tirade, or for some, violent reactions.

Most people, if approached with love, may even be taken aback at the attention called to that bit about them (because they already know about it and may even be addressing it – they just thought it wasn’t so noticeable and may be embarrassed someone noticed before they could fix it).  I’m guilty of this reaction – I just need a little time to process the embarrassment.

SPOILER ALERT: I’m going into perhaps some sticky areas next – you know the world view of things – how we tolerate them.

With the turmoil and uncertainty in the world right now, tolerating even the small things can create conflict within ourselves and may eventually extend to others. Living your truth (IMHO) means examining those things and speaking your truth about them – keeping your side of the street clean. If you’re tolerating what is going on in the world, in your country, in your state, in your city, in your house, in your mind – examine why. Examine the reasons you’re tolerating. Is it worth it to have the turmoil? You may be saying “what about the whole politics and religion argument? We shouldn’t bring that up.” Yes, those topics are divisive these days. Sometimes it’s simply about seeing things through the light of love instead of fear.  (Yes – this is HARD. I will avoid the insane amount of topics I could talk about here.)

It’s our fear of the unknown, of others, of being less than, of war, of dying, of others decisions, of disagreement, of overwhelm, of not knowing what to do that keeps the cycle of toleration going. All I’m saying is take a peek at what you tolerate in your life. Figure out why and then decide if you’d like to continue to put up with the thing or if you want to speak your truth about it. And always – keep coming back to love. (Even if you react poorly – come back to love.)

I’d love to hear what you tolerate and if you want to share why. Acknowledging the fear takes away it’s power.

 

 

cluttered-mindHave you ever cleaned out a closet or a junk drawer and just purged all the stuff you had shoved in there to get it out of sight thinking you’ll go through it later? How did that feel once you threw out all the old junk? It’s oddly satisfying and freeing when you let it go. You feel space physically and mentally. Your soul feels lighter. Imagine that junk drawer is your mind filled with old feelings, situations, ideas, and thought patterns.

Have you ever sat down and examined all the stuff you shoved in your head along the way? Figured out whether you really need to keep that idea about yourself from 5th grade? (You know there’s an old one lurking in there.) Have you delved into why you’re holding onto old situations or memories that still bring up pain? Maybe it’s time to clear out your mental junk drawer or closet.

We tend to push things into a lockbox in the dark shadowy recesses of our mind when we don’t want to or feel we can’t look at those things too deeply. We might say “I’ll come back and check on that later”. Later never really comes even though the stuff we try to hide oozes out of the cracks in the box on occasion reminding us of its presence. Sometimes even dragging us through the mud as a reminder.

Imagine if you just took one piece of junk out of the box and figured out why it’s still there. And determined whether is should be chucked or kept – how freeing would that feel? How much lighter would you feel letting it go…

Letting go of what no longer serves you is a muscle – the more it’s used the stronger it becomes making it easier to let go of all that junk. One way to figure it out is to simply ask why. Why do I still feel this way? Why does this still make me feel this way? And keep asking why until you find the bottom. Then decide – is it worth hanging on to this thought/feeling? Is it serving me in any positive way?

I’d love to hear whether you’ve practiced letting go in the comments below. Tell me how it’s freed up space in your head and lightened your soul.

Letting Go

The Truth About Our “Problems”

images.duckduckgo.comLISTEN HERE: The Truth About Our “Problems”

*Warning – this post is full of much needed TRUTH and loads of LOVE*

So I’ve had several conversations recently with people about their issues or problems they’re having or experiencing. And I found that most of the issues or problems that people spoke about – we could easily correct because we have the means, the freedom, and the access to do so. And quite honestly, the most frustrating thing about some of these “problems” is that they’re all in our heads!

We look at the most negative aspects of life and then we put all our energy into that instead of being grateful and thankful for the freedoms, access, and “things” we do have. Then we somehow choose to focus on those petty little issues and blow them up into huge mountains of problems. We take for granted the fact that we have the freedom, the access, and “stuff”. Yet we find the energy and the gall to complain that we lack access, we lack this, and we lack that. So here are some questions to level set your current perspective on your “problems”:

  • Are you able to walk down the street or around town without fear of being attacked because you’re a woman? Be grateful that you can walk freely and without fear as a woman.
  • Do you go to bed hungry at night because you didn’t have food or you gave all of the food you did have to your children so that they wouldn’t go to bed hungry?Be grateful you can buy groceries or go to the store when and if you want and find the things to satisfy your hunger or even you’re most random cravings.
  • Can you afford to put gas in your car to get to work every day or can you afford the bus pass to get to work every day?Be thankful you can afford to get to work each day even if the job is one you dislike or is entry level or just a stop along the way to whatever that next thing is.
  • Do you live in a home or in an apartment and not in your car or on the street?Be grateful for the home you have however large or small and the bed you sleep in each night that you call your own.
  • Can you pay your bills every month? If so, be thankful for the job you have that provides the money to pay your bills and buy your food.
  • Are there bombs dropping in your neighborhood or mortar shells flying through the building?Be grateful you live in a war free zone without bullets whizzing by your head and it’s safe to walk about outside.
  • Do you have people in your life that care about you and want to see you happy and healthy and safe? If so, be grateful for those people who are supporting you, loving you, and helping you.
  • Are you able to get up and walk and exercise?Do you have an ailment or dis-ease that is causing you to not be able to exercise and maybe put on extra weight?  If not, be grateful you’re healthy and able to walk, run or jump. If you have the ability to walk, you have the ability to move.
  • Are you losing your hair because of chemotherapy or other drugs for your treatment? If not, be thankful for the hair on your head regardless of the shade, the style, or the texture.
  • Are you safe from the elements each day? Be grateful for the clothes you have to keep you warm and adorn your body and the shoes on your feet even if they are last year’s style or some other no name brand.

How do we turn our negative machinations into a positive outcome? How do we refocus on the positive and let go of the negativity that we’ve been conditioned to hang onto? I’ve prepared 4 tips to refocus your attention and energy to positive outcomes. Try one or all of these over the next week and see what changes happen:

  1. Spend 5 minutes a day stating (out load, in your mind, on paper, any medium you choose) what you’re grateful for and thankful for in your life. Set a timer – what are you grateful for? Your home, your car, your shoes, your hair, your job, your town/city, the food in your kitchen, the coffee shop down the street, the weather, the fact you woke up this morning, your friends, your health, your family, your pet, your favorite pen, the person at the store who always asks about your day, your favorite blanket, your shower, your cup of coffee/tea, your yoga instructor, the color of the sky. You get the picture.
  2. When you encounter a “problem” ask the following question: What is one thing I can do differently to make this better? (By the way – if there’s something you can do – do it – especially if it’s super easy – which most responses to most problems are.)
  3. Stop complaining! This is a huge challenge because we’ve become very, very conditioned to complain first and then look at the situation later. Even if you just simply notice the complaints, that’s a tiny, one inch step in the very right direction.
  4. This is a BIG one: Look internally instead of externally for someone to blame. Wow – yes I did! We look outside for reasons why things are the way they are instead of internally for answers. (It’s my parent’s fault that I’m so stressed out. It’s my ex’s fault I’m so messed up and can’t find another partner. That driver is an a$$h*le and made me angry so I get to be sh*TT* to everyone else. I would’ve gotten that promotion if it hadn’t been for so and so. My job is thankless and no one can do it but me because everyone else is stupid. I gained weight because of my job, my ex, my ___.)

Hey folks – the common denominator in all the issues you’re having is YOU. If you sort yourself out, things start happening. We have to take responsibility for our lives and absolutely EVERYTHING in it. Our choices got us here. Figure out why you make the choices you do – I mean go deep – keep asking why until there are no other why’s left. This is a tough thing to do because we are VERY fearful of what we might find if we keep digging: pain, ugliness, shame. I’ve done this process myself. I didn’t like some of the things I found: selfishness, immaturity, and lots of pain. It’s worth all the digging – trust that.

When you combine even just the gratitude and looking internally, things start shifting and positivity starts sprouting. I challenge you to go a week where you think of and ponder on, at least for five minutes a day, the things that you’re grateful for in your life. What you focus on and spend your energy on will be magnified and multiplied in your life. So choose to focus on gratitude, thankfulness, and abundance and see how much more you bring into your life. I double dog dare ya!!

Are you a Dream Killer?

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Are you a dream killer? Do you know a dream killer? A dream killer is someone who instead of listening to someone else’s dreams (or your own dreams), they crush the life out of them before they even start.

When you have an idea or a dream, it’s just a tiny little thing – an embryo of an idea – full of potential. When you tell a dream killer  – they see fear and failure. Or maybe even competition (ladies). They may not understand the idea. And they crush it before it begins. Often telling you it’ll never be anything – get a real job – why would you think you could do that? Who’s going to take you seriously? Crush. The. Life. Right. Out. In an instant – the idea that brought you joy is now lying there lifeless and disappearing into the ether. And you let it go. Walking away because someone took a hatchet to a fledgling before it even began to roll over let alone crawl and perhaps fly.

Why do we listen to those ignorant and uninformed and likely fearful people (or voices)? And hear this – this could be that voice in you OWN head. The dream killer could be you. Or someone in your life. Or you could be someone else’s dream killer.

Because most of the time we share our dreams with those we love and trust – we accept their fear as our own, their ignorance as truth, and their damage as the only answer.

Whether you’re killing your own dreams, someone else’s or having your idea’s life snuffed out – there is another way. Believe in your dreams. Understand that what someone says is their fear talking and not their compassion if they’re swinging the fear machete. Protect you tiny idea and find the support with someone else who will just listen. Listen without judgement or comment. Even if they disagree and even if you disagree. Let them explore the possibilities on their own. Sometimes the tiny dream grows wings and sometimes it falters and other times it will morph into a completely different idea.

If it’s killed before it even breathes – we will never know what might become of that dream. Be a dream listener and look for others who will listen. Every dream deserves to have its own life however long that is. When it’s birthed into the world, it should be allowed to grow without fear of being killed as soon as it began – by you or anyone else.

So are you a dream killer? Know someone who is? How do you deal with them or yourself? Will you start listening and looking for others who will listen? Tell us more in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

2016

When the new year arrives we begin thinking about resolutions, goals, new year, new me. In recent years, I’ve started by reviewing the prior year to get a perspective on all the things I’ve accomplished – big & small. Especially the small. Those tiny steps toward a goal are the most important. Yes it’s great to have accomplished some bigger things, however, it’s all the small, one inch steps, we’ve made along the way that lead to the big breakthrough’s.

So I challenge you to start the year with a review of all your tiny steps forward in 2015. Tiny or tinier – they are steps forward. Whether you simply put those workout clothes on every day, held your tongue to keep the peace during the holidays, or spoke up, however quietly when that person took a dig at you, it counts. Here are some of mine just to get us started: find a few seconds to do 10 squats every day (in my PJs in the kitchen, bath or hallway), using an app to remind me to take a deep breath once a day, drink more water than coffee (most days), send a follow up email to new clients just to check in, and work hard to always accept people where they are.

There are others that I have for 2015 – the purpose is to see all the good that has happened and the progress made. 2015 was a tough, trying and utterly transformative year. We were forced to look internally and closely; now we can enjoy the hard work we had to put in. 2016 is the year of action – so spend a few minutes thinking and writing down your many inches. Be proud of the work and progress and get ready for things to start moving. I look forward to a fantastic and fulfilling 2016!

 

We’ve Been Ducks

little-yellow-duck-swimming-hd-duck-wallpaper-animalFor so much of 2015, a lot of people, including me, have felt like they were stuck in the mud not going anywhere no matter what we did or what we changed. Everything and everyone seemed to be standing still. There was a lot of introspection and little external action. Or so it seemed. Did you feel this way?  Examining what you’ve done, what you have, and what you’ve kept in your life. Deciding what to keep and what to let go and laying the foundation for what’s to come. A lot of stillness on the outside and loads of work on the inside.

Then something shifted last month and forward momentum happened all of a sudden. We’ve been ducks – calm, cool, still on the surface and working like crazy underneath. This recent shift was exactly that – a lot of work was being done behind the scenes – processing and processing – and suddenly the duck is flying! We broke out.

Use the energy of this time to bring action to your journey, your passion, your projects. You’ll see so much of the work you’ve been doing show incredible results. Keep moving, keep working, and keep blooming.

Tell us in the comments below if you had this experience and how it feels to break out and fly for a while.

5 Easy Holiday Survival Tips

With the holidays around the corner, this time of year often mean extra stress for many people as the holidays tend to amplify the drama by 100 times. That could be family gatherings, travel, hosting friends and family, eating well and not overindulging, and little time to ourselves with all the commitments. So how do we ensure we are able to simply enjoy the time and just be?

Remaining present, or mindful, is a crucial skill to have when we’re confronted with the drama and the crazy making of the holiday season. These are skills that can be learned and support your stress relief.

Here are a few tips to help you approach this season with presence and more calm:

  1. Just Breathe! Yes, it’s almost cliche at this point yet so important. It really works! When we get stressed we really do hold our breath like a 2 year old. When you find yourself in the frantic place – simply taking a big, belly expanding deep breath can bring calm back to your life. Taking a breath in for four counts, holding, then releasing for four counts is also a quick easy way to become more present. Another tip is to just notice your breath: how is sounds, how it feels moving in and out of your body.
  2. Feel It! We tend to suppress our emotions so we don’t feel those sensations in our bodies; which only makes it worse. Feel the sensations – all of them. Then let them go – like you dumped a bucket of water over your head. Yeah – it’s startling and may be cold – but it’s over quickly. And so are the emotions, physiologically Continue reading

Is It Really, Simply, A Matter of Motivation?

motivationI’ve been thinking a lot about motivation. What motivates us to take the next step or anything at all? I believe we all know what to do on some level and we choose not to do the thing that will propel us down the path. Yes we choose not to – we’re too busy, too tired, too fat, too old, too young. Our job is too demanding, we have a bad relationship, we aren’t smart enough, pretty enough, athletic enough. The question is really what is keeping us from doing what we know to do – not why aren’t we motivated enough to do the thing. Let’s face it – we’ve found the strength the motivation, we’ve dug deep before so we know how to do something to push forward. So what’s keeping us on the couch, our mouthes shut, our minds numbed with too much to do?

The answer could simply be the thing you know you should do shows results much more gradually and we get discouraged and frustrated and want a quit hit like an addict. We do the thing for quick, although often counterproductive, results – staying put on our path forward. Working out and eating right show results over time whereas that cupcake or yummy dish makes you feel really good right this minute and then over time worse and worse as those jeans stop fitting just right or your suit gets a little tight around the shoulders and middle. Doing other things that help us move forward, lose weight, learn a new skill, or nip an addiction – takes time – results are so gradual you never really see them. So to get the faster results, the seemingly more satisfying results, we do the easy, though not always better, thing. Continue reading

One Inch Every Day

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When we’re working on a change in our lives – a goal (large or small), our dreams – fitting those uber important things into our lives can seem daunting. We’re already working full time and trying to have a social life, family life, and healthy life.

How do we work those things into our lives so we bring more joy and fulfillment in? One inch every day. One inch towards that dream every day. One inch towards losing those extra pounds every day. One inch towards learning a new habit every day.

How do you move one inch closer every day? Here are some ideas: Continue reading