Summer 2018: Play, Create & Dream for the Body, Mind & Soul

June 22, 2018

SFBeachSunset

“Dreamers are Great Visionaries who Create the World they want to live and play in.” ~ Nancy

Summer is here! Are you ready for some Summertime fun, creating and dreaming? The days are longer and how we choose to spend our free time and care for our health can have positive benefits for the Body, Mind & Soul.

Physical: The Body Needs Relaxation Balanced with Time for Play. A Summer transformation can help you become healthier and whole. You can feel good inside and out!

Consider how much energy you might have if you were to eat lighter. Go for the cooler foods like fresh organic seasonal fruits, vegetables, lean organic protein such as turkey, chicken and fish. Protect your body, inside and out from Summer health challenges/hazards and stressful situations. Drink a lot of Spring water. Sometimes, natural, unsweetened mineral water can be a refreshing beverage on a hot Summer afternoon. Tip: Try to always have healthy snacks with you through out your day, such as walnuts (they provide both protein and omega-3) or create your own healthy trail mix. This way you are not left with out options and can keep going with your day to day schedule – with lots of energy! 

Exercises such as toning workouts, walks on the beach, in parks and on the trails will allow you to be outdoors and in nature. I like to combine cardio exercise with strength training to improve and maintain endurance, strength, flexibility and muscle tone. Mixing various movements and routines can help provide your body with total overall results. Include exercises for core/back strength, toning arms and legs and protecting bones. Exercise also helps manage stress! Tip: Try Intervals. Go at a slightly slower pace with your favorite form of cardio (running, walking, biking, swimming, stair climbing) and then include some short 30 second speed bursts, every three minutes (or five, if that is more comfortable for you. Three is more challenging!). You will likely notice that you can maintain your conditioning and end up burning way more calories with out having to go high impact or all out your entire workout session. 

Remember to treat and indulge yourself with Wellness such as Massages, Spa treatments, Vacations and trips! Make time for play. Tip: Here are some ideas for Self-Nurturing and Showering Yourself With Healthy Habits for a healthier and happier YOU!

Mental: The Mind Needs Creativity. Creative reading – such as fun reading, easy reading, travel through time. Too hot outside? Visit a coffee cafe, near by or a bit out of your usual local neighborhood –  a new scenery or environment can do wonders for creativity and the mind. Sip an iced coffee or tea while enjoying a good fiction novel or a suspenseful mystery novel. Travel through time and explore a different culture, climate or venture. Perhaps this will lead you to plan your next vacation! Tip: Try reading a new author or a different topic than you normally would; explore and discover.

Start some creative projects, such as with art, painting or home improvement plans. Did you know that often when our hands are busy with a project that holds our interest, our minds can come up with brilliant solutions, new ideas or simply gain a fresh perspective on a puzzling issue. Tip: Try a new interest or activity that allows your mind to “rest” while focusing on the project at hand. 

Depending on your work, studies or summer school, why not take your work outside for part of the day?  Considering completing any reading material or studying in nature such as the beach or a park. Maybe you find that the pool side, your balcony or patio offers a nature environment. This can help mentally as well as possibly sparking some creativity. Tip: Here are a few tips on tapping into your creativity. 

Spirit: The Soul needs time to dream. Summertime can be a wonderful time for creating and manifesting. With longer days, there can be more time for work, activities, errands/responsibilities and …. Dreaming! Perhaps you’ve read my blog about the benefits of Daydreaming. Summer days provide time for relaxation. Relaxation allows us to enjoy the process of what we are focusing on manifesting and creating. The more we can enjoy the process, the quicker the result our desire will happen. Our Will (feelings) help provide the discipline, focus and strength to reach our goals and manifest our dreams. The soul needs Summer dreaming. Tip: I mentioned this in my Spring Blog; if you haven’t yet, try spending less time on Social Media or taking a complete break. Notice how much more time you have for those interests, activities and hobbies that help nourish your Soul. 

Do you ever find you crave some quite moments – All to yourself? Maybe it is some time in nature or simply quiet time you seek once a day, once a week or once a month. These moments can be when we experience the stillness in life. Many of us have so much going on in our day to day life, that we are having conversations in our head long after we’ve left the actual situation. It just doesn’t seem to ever stop. It is in the silence, the stillness, when we can feel our soul. Your soul is your inner wisdom. Spending time with your soul is necessary and how you can connect with who you truly are. Tip: Learn more about the wonderful benefits of connecting (or re-connecting) with your Soul.

Summertime can offer the perfect opportunity for unwinding and appreciating all that you’ve accomplished so far this year. Soaking up a natural mood booster can be a simple soul abundance of pleasure! I often find complete contentment sitting in the sun for just 10 minutes. Tip: There are so many fun and relaxing ways how a ray of sunshine can offer contentment.

I hope you enjoy your Summer and fill it with plenty of play, fun and dreaming. Visits with family, friends and creating new summertime fun, memories and reflecting on past summer’s. Read more here for additional Summertime simple pleasures.

Happy Summer Dreaming!

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Spring 2018: Awakening the Body, Mind & Soul

March 25, 2018

GoalSettingThe beautiful Spring came; and when nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. ~ Harriet Ann Jacobs

Springtime is here. There is a saying: “as outside, so inside”. Spring season offers a reason to clean out and create space for fresh possibilities and new commitments. It is a time to revive our senses and expand our horizons and begin again. Spring is a powerful period of renewal and rebirth. Many people embrace Springtime and will do some deep cleaning around the home. What if you were to consider a full Spring makeover on not only with your home but your body, mind and soul? Reflect on where you can clear out negative energy to inspire renewal in your daily life. Below are some tips to ponder and consider if there may be areas in your life that could use some Spring cleaning to sweep away any clutter or obstacles that are standing between you and your most vibrant self.

Physical: The Body Needs Spring Cleaning. How you feel can have a direct correlation to what you put into your body. Practice mindfulness and be aware of what you eat. Eating with mindfulness has many benefits such as more awareness of portion sizes. You start to notice and fully appreciate the flavor of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables, which may help in realizing when you are full and feel satisfied, so you naturally avoid overeating. Some of us find Springtime is a great time to cleanse or detox, especially for the liver. A detoxification helps cleanse your body providing a boost in your physical and mental well being by physically, ridden your body from the chemically manufactured sugars and any other unhealthy foods that you may eat on a daily basis. You don’t have to commit to a strict diet but you should allow the detox to provide you with a new start. Eating healthy foods, on a regular basis, that are not processed will give you a newfound energy. Tip: If you are not currently eating organic produce and grass-fed meat, commit just 1 week of eating only organic produce. Become more aware of the taste, freshness and how your body feels after consuming and digesting clean, organic foods. You may want to continue this healthy choice long-term.

Exercise! Yes, get moving. Sometimes people get overwhelmed when they hear the word exercise – so just call it moving or creative movement. Strive to take a walk, yoga class or a bike ride on a regular basis. You’ll find that your willingness to be active will serve as motivation within every area of your life. Tip: Notice how you feel in various activities and stick with those that help you feel your best physically and mentally.

Springtime can be a renewal through emotional detoxing. This can involve releasing toxic relationships. Those people who drain you. Release them. This helps create more space to allow more supportive, loving people into your life. The relationships that nurture you tend to be more positive and supporting for your wellbeing. Embrace the relationships with people who uplift and inspire you. It is important to have  a circle of people who encourage you to follow your heart, believe in you and see your worth. Tip: Start to become aware of how you feel when you are with others. You will know when you are in the presence people who support you because you will feel energized instead of drained or depleted.

Mental: The Mind Needs Fresh Perspectives. Spring season beckons our minds to start fresh and embrace new perspectives, plant new seeds and try new methods. What’s calling you? What new idea or new approach sounds like it would be fun? What’s a new twist you could put on a situation that sounds inspiring or uplifting? Tip: Self-discovery questions often re-inspire your intentions or may reveal some new options.                          The mind loves to be inspired. Whether it be a devotional, inspirational quotes or a compelling novel – read! Incorporating inspirational content into your life will help reinforce the inner you and will provide you with confidence to face difficult times in life.  Browse through your social media apps, consider a Spring Clean and delete the negative news postings and those contacts you really don’t interact with. If deleting some of the contacts is not an option, even though most of their postings are negative news, you can select to “unfollow” or “hide” their posts/tweets and visit their page whenever you choose to. This will create more space for uplifting and inspiring content that can help create a feeling of motivation and fresh perspective in your day. Tip: Try to weave in moments of contentment or reflection through out your day. Even just 3-5 minutes of reading something inspirational, such as inspirational quotes or browsing your Twitter or Facebook feed for motivational postings.

Manage any stress that comes up by learning to take deep breaths. Deep breathing helps to clear out stagnant energy while oxygenating every single cell within you. The most effective way to do deep breathing, I’ve discovered, is to use a count of 5 seconds. So, take a deep breath while counting to 5. Then, hold your breath for a total of 5 seconds. Slowly let out your breath, counting to 5. How do you feel? Tip: Practice this deep breathing exercise and start to integrate it into your day.

Spirit: The Soul Needs Cleansing & A Meaningful Purpose.  Our Soul needs cleansing and no better time than Springtime! Most likely, many of us will find ourselves cleaning the windows of our homes. As you wash the windows of your home, spend some time in meditation clearing away the dirt that clouds your vision. Let go of any hurts, grudges, and resentments you may be holding. If there is anyone you need to forgive, including yourself, do so. This helps to create a ritual to signify that you are cleaning and polishing the windows of your heart. Tip: What areas in your life can you think of that need to be released of negative energy or “clutter”? Inner reflection allows love and peace.

Many people love the change of the seasons from Winter to Springtime. There is a distinct change in the air. Everything seems fresh, new and inspiring.  Winter hibernation allowed time for some of the deeper questions and insight to be revealed for what is really important, what changes need to happen to live life more fully. Spring has sprung! Now it is time to take that wisdom that will create and manifest those dreams and wishes of your soul. Tip: Consider cutting out things that steal your time and allow more of your time for things that feed your soul.  This can be a positive step forward this Spring, so that when Summer arrives, you have carved out plenty of time for your favorite soulful moments.

~Wishing you a Refreshing & Uplifting Spring!

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Winter 2018: Self Love & Care for the Body Mind Soul

January 9, 2018

 

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Depending on where you live, Winter conjures up many different images, including blizzards, snowmen, and holidays. During the Winter months, nature is resting and replenishing itself for the upcoming Spring. We should also be focusing on reflection in order to recharge. Post holidays, there is no need to be so hard on ourselves by setting really tight restrictions. Instead, what if we were a little more forgiving with ourselves as we head into the Winter months.

Consider looking at January as a time to nurture your body, mind and soul. Choose to be proactive and decide to slow down in January and even into February. We can view the Winter months as a time to shut off from some of the distractions that drain our energy levels.  We can use this natural Winter cycle to reset, recharge and get re-inspired. This is a time to perceive “taking care of ourselves” as a well-planned self-love/self-care intention, rather than a chore.

Did you know that in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it is taught that we should live in harmony with the seasons.  When we don’t, that’s when disease and illness occur. Living in harmony with the season of Winter means we should avoid eating excessively cold or raw foods, we should focus our attention inward and we should make time to relax and rejuvenate our bodies. Below are some tips to help integrate Winter self-care intentions physically, mentally and spiritually for your Body, Mind and Soul.

Physical: The Body needs Nourishment, Sleep & Movement

Winter is a good time of year to consider which foods or nutrition plan will help you feel most vital physically and provide mental clarity. There are a lot of “diets” out there. It can be very individual when creating the right nutrition plan that allows us to integrate into a realistic lifestyle. Take some time this Winter to do a little research either on the internet or read books on the nutrition plan that seem to resonate with your unique needs. Sometimes a visit with a holistic healthcare practitioner can be helpful with discovering which foods and nutritional plan is best for you. 

Maintaining quality sleeping habits during Winter helps ward of cold/flu by keeping your immune system strong. Be sure your bedroom is quite, at a comfortable temperature and as dark as possible. It can be helpful to avoid blue light from computer, iPad, t.v. etc at least one hour before bedtime. Instead, read a book or magazine, something that will relax your mind if you’ve had a stressful day. Or enjoy a great fiction novel that allows you to escape.

Keeping physically fit in the winter is an important part of keeping your mood stable and staying connected to the outdoors. If you live where there is snow, take pleasure in bundling up in layers that will  keep you cozy, then head outside, either alone or with a friend or your family. Look around, and notice how different your neighborhood looks in wintertime, and embrace the cool quiet of the season. And if you live where there is never snow in Winter, like I do, but temperatures have dropped, check out a local park or beach for some truly refreshing communion with nature. Find an exercise you enjoy, even if it is just walking. Exercise should not hurt. I do not believe in the saying: “no pain no gain”. Exercise should feel good and be enjoyable. Our bodies are always trying to talk to us. We strengthen the body to still the mind.

Mental:  Pure, Uplifted Thoughts & Feelings

Make it one of your intentions this Winter, to always come from a place of love. Practice becoming aware of creating pure and uplifted thoughts and feelings so that everything you do is aligned with love. We can treat others most kindly when we take the best care of ourselves because when we feel our best we can be aligned with love and trust; versus anger or fear. 

Do you find yourself feeling blue more often in the winter? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression related to changes in light. This usually makes people feel more depressed in cold months, when it gets dark earlier. One solution is doing a search on the internet and you will find a whole range of indoor lights that help alleviate SAD. Try the “dawn simulator,” which imitates the sunrise in order to help you wake up naturally. You will definitely start the day in a better mood. Some people swear by creating ambiance with Himalayan salt lamps, candles, etc. I personally, have a Himalayan Salt Lamp and absolutely love candles. Many people find that cuddle time with pets is what helps to uplift their mood, since nothing gives you the warm and fuzzies better than something warm and fuzzy, so make time when it’s cold outside to snuggle up with your dog or cat. Let your pet remind you of the simple pleasures in life, the joys of making another living thing happy and comfortable.

Don’t let the winter blues sneak up on you! Do something interesting and creative, even if you think it’s outside of your character. Keep yourself busy with activities and adventures. Sign up for that cooking or art class that you’ve been wanting to take. Find a book that challenges your way of thinking. Take on a new challenge at work. Make it something that helps your mind focus on learning something new and interesting. Find the personal value in stepping out of your comfort zone and challenging yourself. When your mind is consumed with something new and exciting, you have less time to be preoccupied with sadness and doubt.

Manage stress as best you can. Maintain balance with work/play/life. As long as I can remember, the restorative power of a hot bath helps bring me calmness and peace. Adding essential oils to your warm water escape can lift your spirits even more than a simple soak. Maybe you are familiar with using essential oils as natural cures for various ailments. Use peppermint to soothe headaches, citrus for rejuvenation, and lemongrass for inner purification. Smelling the oils sends the fragrances to your brain, where they affect your mood.

If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, strike a match and settle in for a pleasant, cozy time. Let yourself relax as you enjoy the sight of the leaping flames and the scent of the burning wood. The mere sight of a crackling fire can get your body feeling warmer. 

Sometimes the simple things bring us warmth. What are some of the ways you find joy and warmth in Winter? My favorite is curling up with a really good book under a cozy throw with a cup of herbal tea or hot cocoa and some candles. We still the mind so as to free the Soul.

Soul: The Soul needs Self-Love, Reflective Moments & Deeper Insight

Winter allows us the down time to receive even deeper messages from our Soul. You know, that little whisper nudging us when something good or bad is about to happen. All of us have a inner life – our Soul. The Soul is a living thing that needs nurturing, some TLC and attention. It is easy to take care of all of our “stuff” in Winter – organizing closets, painting rooms and cleaning out garages. While I am all for keeping my life in order and maintaining a clean home, I believe it is crucial to care for our Soul. If you experience feeling overwhelmed at times, this is actually your Soul trying to chat with you. It is telling you to take a time out. This isn’t being lazy, this is a nourishing time for the Soul and in your best interest for overall wellness. It can be easy to brush this off and keep going, doing and completing errands – “stuff”. Allow Winter time to go deep within to reflect, restore and nourish from the inside out. The beauty of Winter is its ability to shift one’s focus from the externals of life to the inner place of introspection and self-reflection. Notice Winter’s stillness, quiet, and reprieve. Take time to “be” and know it is okay to merge with the theme of Winter, a time to slow down and take an internal observation of areas in your life that you would like to release rather than replant into the growing season of Spring.

There are many ways to nourish the Soul during the Winter months. One of my favorites include a long walk on the beach. I am fortunate to live near the beach and can enjoy walks year around. Other Soul nourishment might include writing/journaling. Reading something inspirational or simply loosing myself by reading a really good fiction book. Breathing in the salty air of the ocean or clean mountain air. Visiting a new area (even a new local area can help) and scoping out the beauty, the scene. Indulge or immersing myself in music I love -especially on a walk or during a workout at the gym. Getting pampered – manicure/pedicure, a facial, a massage.

Winter time is a great time to go within and ask yourself some of the deeper questions that help reveal more of your authentic self. When is the last time you took some time to reflect and ask yourself questions such as: “What are the kinds of things I like to do for myself when I need some voluntary solitude, some alone time?” Or “What skill, strength or gift do you wish you could use more fully?” Sometimes it is helpful to review your current situation, habits or routines and asking the question “When you visualize your ideal life, how do you see yourself starting your day?” There are many questions to be asked for the various areas in your life. If you would like to receive my Discovery Questions, simply send me an email and I would be happy to share these with you. And if you decide you would like some coaching and support, just let me know. My contact info can be found on my blog.

~ Wishing you a Wonderful Winter!

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December 2017 Give & Receive

December 1, 2017

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Giving and receiving are best experienced when both are in a state of balance. Some of us find it much easier to give than to receive. We might be a natural helper who automatically lends a hand, no questions asked. Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return. But when it comes to receiving, well, that’s a whole other thing. Perfect example, when we need help with something (but won’t admit it for various reasons) and hesitate to ask. Many of use do not feel comfortable asking for help from others. Help to have something repaired or fixed. Help to have the right resource or referral for the right person who can do the job. Why is it that we don’t request assistance or ask for help? For some of us, we have ego, our pride, and we are not comfortable feeling vulnerable to ask for help.  It can be very uncomfortable to ask for help because we don’t want to get rejected if we were to make a request. And for many of us, we simply do not want to burden anyone.

I’ve seemed to notice, it seems to come more natural for givers to ask for help. I know for myself, whenever I needed something or someone’s assistance, help was always there. I like to think this is because when someone asks for my help with something, such as for a resource, referral, my knowledge or insight, I generally assist in whatever way I can. It seems to come full circle – you give something, you need something and ask and receive; someone asks you for something, you give and so it flows and repeats.

Here are some tips learning to feel comfortable with both giving and receiving:

  • Ask can you help me? It is ok to ask for help. It isn’t easy, but stepping out of your comfort zone and asking for help from friends, family, co-workers can be an uplifting experience. You might just realize they are thrilled you asked for help and that they find it rewarding because they feel so good inside. Tip: Try to recall a time when a friend or family member asked you for help. It may have been to just listen or it could have been to lend a hand or take care of an errand they needed assistance with. Your brief time/help in the matter might have meant a great deal to them and really made a difference in their day. How did you feel, knowing that your help meant so much to them? It can be a rewarding feeling when we give. So, next time you need help, step out of your comfort zone and make a request and just know that the giver will feel happy to help.
  • When giving and receiving are in equal balance this creates more meaningful relationships with those we love and care about. When requesting assistance or asking for help, think about how you might want to phrase your request; consider suggesting a time that is convenient for the other person who will be helping you. Tip: It might help you feel more comfortable to suggest (or ask) when you can return the favor and assist them with something or ask if there is anything you can help them with.
  • As the saying goes, be a reflection of what you’d like to receive. Tip: Want to feel appreciated? Want more love? If you feel you need to feel appreciated, show or tell someone that you appreciate them. If you want love, give love. If you want respect, give respect. What you share and give out, will be retuned for you to receive.

This holiday season, make a positive intention to Give Love, Be Love and Receive Love. Give generously and receive generously.

Wishing You Warmest Holiday Blessings!

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November 2017 Compassion

November 1, 2017

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“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”~Dalai Lama

I don’t know about you, but I feel that in the last several months I’ve seen too many traumatic events. We’ve seen several unforgettable tragic events in the last few months. Some of the worst hurricanes (Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida), fires (Northern California) and mass deadly shootings (Vegas) in history. Please note that, a hurricane, fire or shooting of any capacity is always a tragedy, no matter the intensity of the event. During extreme situations we naturally extend compassion to those in great need. However, compassion is always appreciated and needed, not just for national or international tragic situations but even for those unexpected daily situations that pop up.  This planet we live on is currently in crises mode. Many people are hurting, grieving or angry. All of us can become compassionate. It is something we can learn how to nurture within ourselves first, in order to become more compassionate towards others. Having self-compassion helps us have compassion for others.

Self-Compassion requires us to consistently replenishing our soul. Psychologist Kristin Neff was the first person to measure and operationally define the term “self-compassion.” She describes self-compassion as kindness toward the self, which entails being gentle, supportive, and understanding: “Rather than harshly judging oneself for personal shortcomings, the self is offered warmth and unconditional acceptance.” In other words, being kind to ourselves in good times and bad, in sickness and in health — and even when we make mistakes.

Compassion has many different dictionary descriptions. My favorite is from Wikipedia: Compassion motivates people to go out of their way to help the physical, spiritual, or emotional pains of another and themselves. I find this description of compassion positive and empowering.

The meaning of compassion and how you share it with others can go beyond the general meaning. I know for me, compassion can include offering a tip such as in the form of knowledge or a resource/referral to someone in great need of information. It can also include extending a hand to someone I see struggling with something or having great difficulty (holding the door open for them). I have offered compassion to a friend or co-worker by providing insight for a creative solution to a problem or concern they’ve shared. There are many ways to show compassion.

With patience and practice we can learn how to become more compassionate. Remember, it first starts within and giving compassion to yourself during good times and especially during challenging times. Below are some examples of times when I have had compassionate experiences.

It can help when we mentally put ourself in that person’s situation. One of the classic examples is, when another driver cuts you off. Of course, our first reaction is to take this very personally and think: “what a rude person this driver must be”. We want to blare our horn and toss a few not-so-nice words in their direction. This has happened to me more times than I can remember! But when we take a moment to pause and consider those times in the past when we’ve unintentionally cut another driver off and why.  We may have done this for various reasons. Perhaps our mind was elsewhere such as, if we just received an emergency call that our child was injured on the playground and has been taken to the ER. We were frantically trying to get there as soon as possible to comfort our child. We are often unaware of a persons pain, suffering or anxiety they are carrying inside. Next time someone sends out a strange vibe or rubs you the wrong way, pause and remind yourself that you do not know how their day started or what kind of circumstances are currently happening in their life.

Perhaps you’ve encountered a time at the coffee shop when the person inline next to you either forgot to bring their wallet or they didn’t have enough money with them so you responded spontaneously by insisting this one is on you. And when they thanked you and asked how can they ever return the offer, you simply told them to not worry about it, to enjoy their coffee and have a fantastic day. I’ve seen this type of compassionate exchange happen very recently between two strangers and this act of kindness was felt by a few of us in line. My thoughts? This not only sets a good example of compassion but can also set the tone for the remainder of the day for yourself and others. A positive ripple effect!

Each day begin to practice self-compassion. Accept your short comings/weaknesses and imperfections. Do not be harsh and critical to yourself. Instead, tune into your needs first thing in the morning and through out the day. Be kind to yourself. Allow this kindness to expand outward to others. Kindness is felt in the heart. When our intention for compassion is given from the heart, this connects us to others and we can feel oneness. We can all use more warmth, understanding, kindness and compassion. Starting today, and each morning, ask yourself: “what is it I can give today?” It can be simple, small acts. A smile, a compliment, words of wisdom or letting the other driver go in front of you.

Embrace November & Share Compassion ~ Nancy

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October 2017 Success & Fulfillment

October 1, 2017

SFBeachSunset

Everyone has their own definition of success. For some, success is seeing a certain dollar amount in their checking account. For others, success is climbing the corporate ladder or receiving a specific title for their role such as a lawyer, banker or doctor.

Unfortunately, too many people feel they are successful but lack fulfillment. Even top achievers can have a sense of accomplishment and may be very successful in their career, extremely skilled and have the desired traits for their career role,  yet, some will admit they do not feel fulfilled and that something is “missing”.

Here are some things to ask yourself as you are busy achieving that can help shed some light on being successful AND fulfilled.

Do you find you feel energized, excited and inspired while you are busy doing what you are doing, achieving your goals, even when obstacles appear? Or do you find you are constantly feeling burnt out, overwhelmed and drained?

Are you thriving? Or are you barely surviving?

Would you like to do things differently in your career or your life that would bring more meaning or purpose to you?

If you’ve answered yes to any of these, realize you are not alone. There is a solution and you really can have both success and fulfillment.

Being aware of why you are feeling like something is “missing” or lacking in your life is key. Once you are aware, then move on to creating some new and more intentional choices. Reflect on your true core values. It is important to realize if you really know yourself, your true identity, your authentic self. It is common to blur our identity with other “roles” we have in life. Most of us have roles such as our role at work, role as a parent, role as a sibling, role in our community, role as a friend. And these roles often have obligations or so called rules enforced or created by others and can often feel as if we’ve been assigned a label. It is easy to begin to define ourself to others (especially when meeting someone new) as the identity we’ve assigned to the role(s) in our life. “I’m an Advertising Executive and father of 3 grown children.”

Bring more meaning into your career. Consider bringing more of your authentic self to work. Take some time to identify your strengths, traits and interests and consider different ways to use these or express them into your work. Reflecting on your values and interests can help you in understanding what makes work meaningful to you? Consider how you can integrate your strengths and talents into your work. A friend of mine, whom I really admire, Pat Dodge does this so remarkably. She is a department clothing stylist and her compassionate personality goes way beyond the sales counter as she truly cares and helps empower her customers to ensure they have a personable and unforgettable experience. You can read more about her unique, authentic approach in her book “Retail Reality”. 

Have you ever asked yourself what success feels like? So often, we can get caught up in a cycle of achievement, the rat race and feel we get to a certain mile stone and then quickly start to go after the next, the next thinking we will finally feel that joy, happiness, etc when we “get there”. It can help to clarify why you want to get there? Why is this mile stone important to you? How do you think you will feel when you’ve reached your goal? In what ways can you begin to feel these emotions now? Waiting to experience emotions that are important to you could take a very long time. If success means feeling peaceful, joyful and secure, consider what other areas in your life can help you feel this way now? Or what smaller ways in your career can you feel these emotions now?

Lastly, try practicing gratitude. Each day, reflect on at least 3 things you are deeply grateful for. And write these down. But don’t just jot them down in your journal, truly feel the emotion of gratitude for these 3 things. I find when I consistently practice gratitude, I receive more of what I am grateful for. And this is truly a feeling of success and fulfillment.

In a previous post from last year, I wrote about feeling fulfilled in life. It is important to have both success and fulfillment. Knowing what your personal definition is of each, is key to having happiness in life, especially if there is a feeling of fulfillment and not just the obvious success symbols.

Wishing you a successful and fulfilling October!

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September 2017 On Track

September 2, 2017

Fall-OnTrack

Fall is my favorite season. I find it is the perfect time of year to review where I am and how far I’ve come. A time to acknowledge positive progress and the desired results I have strived for. Additionally, I like to reflect on how/why I may have gotten off track. Perhaps you can relate?  Maybe this is the year you finally let go of an unhealthy habit or a limited way of thinking but find that you have slipped back into old patterns. Maybe you have been diligent with your diet all week, then break all the rules with a long weekend binge and have not been able to get back on track. Perhaps it is that book you’ve been wanting to write and have even completed the first chapter but then life’s responsibilities start dragging you down and you find your inspiration is no longer there. A friend of mine will commit to consistent morning workouts and make it to the gym for 2 consecutive days and then on day 3, is already finding excuses not to get to the gym.

Sometimes pausing and reflecting is just the prescription we need. Taking time to review and recognize what changes or tweaks are needed can help us get back on track. I’ve learned to accept that it happens. It can be easy to get off track. Instead of being self critical, I’ve learned to accept that this happens to many of us. Release self-judgements and embrace this as an opportunity for improvement and another shot at reinventing what you’d like to see in your life. The key is, awareness and finding a creative solution to get back on track.

Once you are aware that you’ve gotten off track, consider what the reason might be? Do you really care about the goals you’ve created? Are these your goals? Are they truly meaningful to you? Sometimes, it can help to reconsider your goals and make some tweaks where necessary so they are goals you feel good about, inspired by and they have deep meaning for you. When your goals are self-driven you will feel excited and inspired! You might sense you have a new energy by setting a few new intentions.

 It might surprise you to realize how quickly you can get back on track and what is needed to get you there. Here are some tips to consider:

Obstacles Accept that you are human and that minor hiccups along the way are part of life. This isn’t the time to call yourself a failure. Everyone will find that their regular routine can sometimes fall apart. Developing some strategies will help you bounce back on track. Taking even the smallest steps within these strategies can help redirect your focus, time and start building momentum again.

Consistent Schedule It can help to stick to your schedule as much as possible. Sometimes, this might be in just the smallest way. For example, if you don’t have enough time to get to the gym for the usual one hour workout, how about considering a 20 minute session of squats or lunges, push-ups, jumping jacks and some planks? There are many inspiring High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) examples that can be found on the internet to provide some ideas for a quick, effective (and fun!) workout session.

Everyday Responsibilities Have life’s responsibilities dragged you in another direction and you find that you are not able to write another chapter anytime soon? Consider writing one page per day. Can’t even commit to one page per day? How about one paragraph? The key is, to continue. Be consistent. Work with the flow and keep going. 

Positive Environment It is crucial to take a look at who you allow yourself to be surrounded with. Negative people (or a negative environment) can drag you down and take you in a different direction. However, surrounding yourself with positive people can help to create a more inspiring environment that makes reaching your goals feel less like a struggle and more fun and empowering.

Making Up Excuses Are excuses your reason for getting off track? I hear these often:

  • “I don’t have enough time.” For something that is really meaningful to you, you have to make the time. Carve out some time. Prioritize for what is deeply important to you. 
  • “I don’t have enough knowledge or experience.” “I don’t feel that I am ready; I’m uncomfortable.” My suggestion is to get started anyway. Just begin. Read more on procrastinating.
  • “I want to eat a healthy diet but I really enjoy wine with dinner.” This is okay. You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule. Most of the time, maybe it’s M-F that works best for you (80% of the time) stick to a clean, healthy eating plan and on weekends enjoy wine or a drink with friends. Just get back to your healthy eating plan again on Monday. 

Motivation, inspiration and encouragement will be plentiful on some days and zero the next. This is life. This is normal. Creating strategies you can rely on will get you back on track quickly. Acknowledge your progress, be grateful for the desired results you’ve seen, as this is a more positive attitude and the right mindset that will keep you on track. Make tweaks where needed. Keep going!

Wishing you a Sweet September filled with Positive Progress & Desired Results!

Create your Uber Empowerment Plan. Read more inspirational quotes Uber Empowerment Quotes: 500 Inspirational Quotes for Knowledge, Insight & Wisdom.

August 2017 Choosing Perspectives

August 2, 2017

Change-the-way-you-thinkDo you ever feel stuck with a certain way of thinking during unexpected or undesirable situations? Feeling down about things we really don’t have much control over is disempowering and is certainly not going to help us become a more optimistic person. The good news is, once we learn to recognize when we are in this pattern of automatic thinking, we can take a moment to pause, reflect and recalibrate. We can seek our empowerment within and choose to change our perspective and look at our circumstances and situations from a new angle. I know for myself this is not something that comes natural. But we can learn to change the way we think about something and gain a refreshed attitude and feel re-inspired about our life.

Here are some tips to gain a fresh perspective the next time you are feeling overwhelmed or disappointed:

  • Learn the lessons in failure. Often, there can be hidden benefits from an undesirable or unexpected situation. Sometimes we feel we’ve failed because we have not seen the results we wanted. Often we view results we don’t want as failure and view the results we like as success. All results can be viewed as lessons as long as we’ve learned something and have become a better person  from the experience. Failures can offer more knowledge, wisdom and insight for the next time. Read more on learned lessons in failure.
  • Ask yourself if you are feeling overly anxious about something? You may realize you are making a bigger deal of the situation than necessary. I know this can be a tough one, especially when in the moment of a deadline, for example. But taking some deep breaths and a moment to pause and consider what all the options are; this can greatly help to decrease anxiety and shed some light on the best way to move forward. Read more tips on decreasing anxiety.
  • Lastly, try to look at something from various angles. It doesn’t have to be a better perspective or THE perspective of a situation, but this will help to get in the practice so it becomes easier to be flexible with your thinking when something unexpected or “bad” happens to you. It can be real easy to just automatically assume or hold onto judgements about a situation or person, especially when we feel we are repeating something we’ve experienced before. However, when we are aware of our assumptions, we can choose to let them go. Assumptions can cause unnecessary frustration. Being open to looking at the situation from different views can provide a new way of thinking and feel much more optimistic and empowering. Learn how to stop making assumptions.

Here’s to Healthy Perspectives! ~ Nancy

Create your Uber Empowerment Plan and enjoy reading inspirational quotes Uber Empowerment Quotes: 500 Inspirational Quotes for Knowledge, Insight & Wisdom.

July 2017 Connect With Others

July 3, 2017

FlowersHolland

Building relationships and creating deep connections is important in business and with friends and loved ones. If you really want to connect with people, then you have to be ready and willing to open up to them and let them see a part of who you really are. Authenticity helps connect on a deeper level and when we let go of all superficial identities. We can be authentic with others and this can encourage them to do the same.

We can learn to listen to people on an emotional level, to really connect with someone. It is when we go beyond the concepts and reach into the feelings behind those concepts and ideas. For example, if a client or friend is sharing with you a stressful situation but you yourself have not personally experienced, you can still share a time when you felt similar emotions. We’ve all gone through different things but chances are, we’ve all felt the same emotions. In order to build deeper connections, we can share moments in our life where we’ve felt the same emotions.

When we listen to someone emotionally, we are showing empathy. When we emphasize, we recognize that someone else is just as real as us. Empathy is one of the most genuine, true and resonating emotional connections we can have with someone else.

A true gift to another is when we can empathize. The following tips below can help provide empathy and create deeper, more meaningful connections with others.

  • Give your full presence. When we specifically create the time to connect with someone we can offer our full presence. When we give our full presence to others this shows respect and that what they have to share with us is important. It is in our full presence we can listen from the heart and hear what is not being said as much as the words being spoken. Failing to read and respond accordingly to other peoples emotional cues can derail a relationship.
  • Allow the other to speak and be heard. Every one of us needs to be heard. Everyone’s ideas, needs, desires, and opinions, deserves to be heard. Really let a person express themselves, without interruption and without judgement. Become deeply interested and curious about their perspective – why do they see things in a certain way? Why is their perspective so different than yours? Their response could be enlightening or very fascinating.
  • Acknowledge their personal experience/perspective of life and show you are curious about them and that you would like to learn more about their life, goals, interests, thoughts and views and perspectives. What are their fears, concerns, challenges and joys? How do they really feel about things? How might you be able to help guide them or provide a resource or just be a good listener? A person who builds great relationships puts focus on what they can give. Giving is the best way to establish a real relationship and a lasting connection.

Focus on listening, observing, learning and asking questions. I hope these tips can help you to develop empathy and that you will experience deeper, more meaningful relationships!

Create your Uber Empowerment Plan. Read inspirational quotes Uber Empowerment Quotes: 500 Inspirational Quotes for Knowledge, Insight & Wisdom.

 

June 2017 Stay Calm, Focused & Empowered

June 2, 2017

CentralParkSpring

Creating boundaries is crucial for our emotional and physical wellbeing. We often know what our boundaries are, but find that it isn’t always easy to communicate and honor them when the situation arrises. It takes awareness to recognize when we are hesitant or even holding back from communicating our needs and boundaries. There are generally a few reasons why we do not express our boundaries:

  • Guilt. We can’t say “no” without sensing it would disappoint someone else or feeling responsible for other’s happiness.
  • Fear. Fear of rejections, abandonment or confrontation.
  • Unawareness. Many of us were never taught what healthy boundaries are.

Knowing our values and communicating our boundaries keeps us in alignment with who we are. Boundaries are the limitations we set for ourselves and others. They can be both physical and emotional. When we do not honor our boundaries, this can lead to anxiety, depression and in some cases, lead to stress-related physical illness. You will recognize when the need is there to create a boundary because you may be feeling a sense of resentment, anger or you find you are complaining. A physical boundary can be when you feel your personal space is being invaded (the rule: “knock before entering” vs.  just barging right in) or someone reading through your personal emails. An emotional boundary can be something like sacrificing your plans, an activity/hobby you really enjoy or even a long-term goal in order to please others. When we make self-care a priority, we are ensuring our wellbeing (physically, emotionally and mentally) is being taken care of and boundaries will need to be created per situation, as it arises.

Here are some tips when you need to communicate your boundaries so you can stay Calm, Focused & Empowered:

  • Calm Be calm, but firm. Setting boundaries takes some time. Boundaries will continue to arise with new challenges and different situations. Calmly recognize when the need arises. And next …
  • Focus Keep focus on your “why”  the reason you need this boundary. Be direct. Communicate boundaries clearly, but keep it short. You do not owe an apology or need to justify yourself. You are only really responsible for holding respect to your boundaries, communicating your needs. You are not responsible for how the other party reacts to the boundaries you have. Most likely, you will be tested. The other person will most likely make another attempt (especially those who like to be in control or manipulate). Keep focus on why this boundary is necessary for you. It is important to remain firm. Your actions/behavior should match your boundary; otherwise, this can send confusion and mix messages and the boundary you are striving for becomes unclear to the other person and can cause added anxiety/stress to you. And finally, focus on how you want to feel …
  • Empowered Setting boundaries takes practice. At first, you might feel embarrassed, guilty or even selfish. Your boundaries and needs are different than others, so be strong and determined. It is empowering to create, set and keep boundaries.

So, the next time you find yourself in a situation that requires you to set a boundary, remember to stay calm, focused and empowered.

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