Where Are You Headed?

 

One of the challenges with creating the body that you want is that you are always carrying the body that you have around with you. It’s a constant reminder that you are where you don’t want to be.

When you think about the Foundation Principle that “Energy Attracts Like Energy,” also known as the Law of Attraction, it makes sense.

Our thoughts are energy. If you are focused on the fat you don’t want, or your lack of fitness or beauty, you will not only attract more thoughts like that, but more circumstances that support those beliefs.

Getting the body you want requires continually tearing your attention away from where you are and focusing more on where you want to be.

Only, this backfires if you don’t believe you can get where you want to be.

So how do you mentally walk this fine line of being in the body you don’t want—and having to look at and experience it all day every day—but not quite believing you can achieve the body you really want? Particularly when you are so used to thinking negative thoughts about your body, you don’t even know you’re doing it?

This is why a coach is so helpful. But ultimately, whether you have a coach or not, you are the one who has to navigate this mental path forward.

So here are some tips:

Pay attention to your emotions. How many thoughts do you think a day? A lot! It will just make you crazy trying to monitor what you’re thinking. Instead, pay attention to how you are feeling. If you’re having negative, catabolic emotions, such as frustration, overwhelment, hopelessness, blame, etc., these should be like signal flares letting you know you are headed where you don’t want to go.

Then you can determine what you were thinking, or better yet, just begin to shift your thoughts in the direction you do want to go. Such as:

“Clearly I’m not where I want to be. But that’s OK. I am where I am. And the good news is I caught myself. That right there is progress. And I am doing a lot right. I’m paying more attention to the food that I’m eating and I’m moving my body more. And I’m noticing that my stamina and energy levels are improving. I feel really good after my workouts, and every day I’m seeing a little bit of progress. I didn’t get where I am overnight and I it will take a little time to get where I want to be, but really, I’ve come a long way. I’ve already lost a few pounds, my clothes are looser, and I’m feeling more confident. With just a little consistency and persistence on my part, I am going to see significant changes. It doesn’t have to happen all at once. I know I can get there.”

Now you should be feeling a sense of relief, which is all you need to feel to let you know you have shifted your energy.

Change the mental subject. When you catch yourself looking in the mirror and being self-critical, find something else to think about that you do feel good about. Maybe it’s another body part that you can praise. Or maybe it’s how much your dog or child makes you laugh. You can even make a list of things that you enjoy, and then read it when you catch yourself heading down the road towards body shame.

Go take a nap. Or meditate. Or even just take three deep breaths. If you catch your catabolic thoughts picking up speed, do what you can in the moment to just to ease your foot off the gas pedal. Slowing the negative momentum will make changing thoughts smoother and easier.

Your thoughts lead your life. Shift your thoughts consistently in the direction you want to go and your body—and life—will follow.

Together we can do it!

 

 

 

Guaranteed to Change Your Life

What if you knew your success was guaranteed?

What if the entire Universe was on your side?

What if your value to the world was assured?

What if all that entailed was spending more time focused on what you want, who you want to be, what you want to do, and how you want to feel?

That when you looked at a problem, you quickly shifted your thoughts to what you would like the outcome to be? That when you saw someone behaving badly, you focused on how you wanted people to behave? That you appreciated more things than you complained about?

It seems like such a simple shift to make. Love more. Appreciate more. Laugh more. Relax more.

But simple—and even preferable—doesn’t necessarily mean easy.

People often fear that if they take their eyes off the problem for a moment, it will grow and get worse. So they stay ever vigilant and keep their attention fixed on the worst-case scenario.

Or they may be weak in guiding their attention, and therefore believe they have no option but to look directly at what is right in front of them.

Or they may be so bought into reacting to “reality” that they don’t even know there is anything else to look at.

What if it was your attention and focus that was actually making the problem worse? What if by not choosing what you want to think about you are guaranteed to see more of all the things you don’t want? That all “reality” means is that you are seeing a reflection of what you are focused on?

We are each responsible for the “reality” of our lives. If you expect—and choose—to see good things, you will see good things. And if you don’t like what you see, it is an opportunity to choose what you do want. To find the solution to every problem, you must spend more time focused on the solution.

As soon as you focus on what you want, you are allowing All-That-Is (God, The Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) to support you, answer your prayers, give you what you want, bring forth the life of your dreams.

Even if you are unwilling to make the effort to spend more time loving, appreciating, relaxing, and laughing, your value to the Universe is guaranteed. You are important in the grand scheme of things. You are loved and adored just as you are.

Whether you feel that—and how much fun life is along the way—is up to you.

All it takes to begin making that change is to find one thing to appreciate today. Do that again tomorrow. And then slowly begin to look for more things to appreciate.

That’s it. That’s all you have to do. That one tiny change done consistently is guaranteed to change you life.

It truly is that simple.

It’s only hard if you think it has to be.

Together we can do it!

 

 

Do You Believe That? The Missing Link to Losing Weight

Do you spend more time focused on all the reasons you don’t want to eat healthy foods and move your body, or all the reasons you do?

How do you think that impacts your actions?

Your thoughts predict the success of your actions. Meaning that if you think about how much you hate working out, getting the motivation to move will be pretty darn hard. If you spend more time thinking about all the reasons you do want to work out, then getting up and doing your workout will be easier.

Action alone is not enough. Not changing your thoughts and beliefs along with taking the action is the reason the majority of diet and exercise programs fail.

Focusing your thoughts on what you do want is a simple but profound change that will significantly alter your weight-loss results—or the results of any goal you want to achieve.

Simple, however, does not necessarily mean easy.

Most people have never contemplated the idea that they have control over their thoughts. In fact, they may believe they are victim to their thoughts.

Back to your thoughts predict the success of your actions. If you think you have no control over your thoughts, how likely are you to be able to take control? (Hint: not very!)

You may also have practiced some thoughts for a very long time about eating healthy and exercise. These thoughts may have some momentum going. Momentum means they now include your belief that you are someone who doesn’t like eating healthy foods and moving your body.

As Abraham-Hicks says, “A belief is just a thought you keep thinking.”

To change a belief you have to use another belief. For instance, you probably can’t counter the belief that you hate to exercise with the belief that you love to exercise because you don’t really believe that you love to exercise. Make sense?

Shifting a belief is best done in baby steps. In other words, you can shift your belief about hating to exercise by altering your thoughts just slightly towards what you do want. But you have to believe these new thoughts.

For example, whenever you catch yourself thinking about exercise, instead of hating it, you choose to think about how much you want to feel better. How much you like it when you can easily button your pants. How much you enjoy being strong enough to pick up your child.

You just gently and easily change your thoughts. This slows the momentum and eventually shifts your thoughts towards the direction you want to go.

Rather quickly, you begin to look forward to your workouts and how awesome you will feel afterwards. When buttoning your pants gets easy, you begin thinking about how great it will feel to wear a smaller size. When lifting your child is easy, you think about how awesome running and playing with them will feel.

And then you are more eager to work out and see improvements. Moving your body becomes your priority because it improves every aspect of your life. It gives you more energy so you do more with the time you have. You look better, feel better, and you inspire those around you.

One day your realize that you love working out. And you believe it.

Consistently thinking about all the reasons you do want to work out and eat healthy foods makes exercising and eating right easier.

What new thought can you practice today that will help move you in the direction you want to go?

Together we can do it!

That Wasn’t Necessary

I love discovering situations around which I have some practiced thoughts and beliefs that are not helping me be the person I want to be, or create the life I want to create. Because if you don’t know the negative catabolic thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are there, you can’t change them.

Saturday morning provided me the opportunity to come face-to-face with negative expectations, fear, and prescribed beliefs—and to make different choices.

Buffy (left) and Willow

For those of you who know me or read this blog regularly, you know that my husband and I have two dogs and two cats who truly are our children. Buffy, the oldest of our two Keeshonden, will be turning 10 on July 13.

Buffy is a bit of a trash mouth, meaning if something hits the floor, she eats it. As we stroll through the park, she’s trying to grab bites of weeds along the path. She’s a dirt connoisseur.

So it was a bit surprising, but not terribly unusual, to wake up Saturday morning and find some evidence that she had expelled something nasty in the night. We cleaned it up and didn’t think more of it.

While I was writing my blog, she threw up breakfast. While I was upstairs working out, she threw up again. When my husband found that she had thrown up yet again, I discovered her having dry heaves and shivering. We knew something was seriously wrong and called the emergency vet who said to bring her right in.

What’s the best mindset for heading to the emergency vet—or dealing with any difficult situation? While it’s probably the most common reaction, I would suggest that it’s not fear and jumping to the worst case scenario.

You might be thinking, “Come on. You were at the emergency vet. Of course that’s scary.”

As Bruce Schneider says, “Normal does not mean necessary.”

That was my opportunity. To shift how I responded to the situation from fear to being more focused on my compassion for Buffy, my confidence in the care she was getting, my allowing the situation to unfold, and my responding to what was rather than what might be.

I’ll admit that it was a bit of an internal Ping-Pong match all afternoon. Fear and worry was shifted to consciously choosing to be present and compassionate in order to give the best possible support to Buffy. Anger that it was taking so long was shifted to compassion for the more serious injuries that were being seen ahead of us, and gratitude to the caring and professional staff.

How we show up in every situation is a choice. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, particularly if we have some long-standing beliefs about “bad” situations. But thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are made of energy, not marble. If they are not moving you where you want to go, you do have the power to change them.

I know that it was better for Buffy, David, and me when I was being present, confident in her well-being and in the veterinarians, and appreciative of the care and service we were receiving compared to the moments when I was fearful, doubting, and worried.

We don’t know for sure what Buffy got in to. All the tests they ran turned out to be negative. After a massive shot of antibiotics and ant-nausea medicine, we were able to bring her home, where she’s been enjoying some TLC and a special diet that she seems to think is a treat. In this instance, all that stress and worry truly was unnecessary.

If this happens again, my goal is to stay present and optimistic, and to choose my responses based on what is happening, rather than what I fear might happen. Each time I show up in a challenging situation a little more like who I want to be, the more I will be that person.

What can you do to let go of fear, doubt, and worry in a situation where you might automatically have those responses? How does your making a different choice impact those around you? What’s the benefit of your showing up more consistently as the person you want to be?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by Hansje Gold-Kreuck

The Options are Overwhelming!

The feeling of being overwhelmed is negative, catabolic energy. For me, it’s victim energy.

It’s the feeling that things are spinning out of control and I can’t do enough fast enough to meet all my goals or other people’s expectations. It is being at the effect of things instead of recognizing that I have complete control of my life and how I respond to each situation, and that I have the support of All-That-Is (God, the Universe, Source Energy, Higher Coach—whatever works for you) in everything I do.

There can be a lot of self-judgment in it, and may include looking at myself through other people’s eyes and seeing all the things I “should” be doing from anyone’s perspective but my own.

Feeling overwhelmed may be different for you—how we interpret emotions is as unique as we are—but my guess is that no matter how it feels to you, it’s not very pleasant.

We can feel overwhelmed when we’re trying to process new information, make a decision, meet a deadline, etc., etc. Trying to force action while we’re feeling this catabolic emotion often doesn’t result in a satisfactory conclusion or outcome because you just can’t see where you’re going very clearly.

One of the best things to do when you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed is often the last thing you feel like you can do—STOP what you are doing.

Taking 15 minutes to breathe deeply, meditate, pray, go for a walk, think about the beach—whatever it is that brings you a sense of relief and helps you calm your mind—will more than pay for itself in productivity later.

Another way to step off that crazy train is to let go of judging your feeling as either good or bad. It is just where you are on your journey, and every experience along the way gives us valuable information about Who we are and Who we want to become.

Once you have regained some mental and emotional clarity, you can then more confidently choose the direction you want to go.

What can you do differently the next time you feel overwhelmed that will help you gain some clarity on where you want to go? What difference does that make to your overall productivity, and to the results you’re achieving?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

 

How Was Your Mental Workout?

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Albert Einstein

Often my clients are surprised that creating optimal wellness requires working their mental muscles in the same way they exercise their bodies. It takes discipline, practice, and consistency.

Just as you might plan to get up and do your physical workout, you also need to plan to work your mental muscles if you want to shift your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs to help support and change your actions to get different—and more desirable—results.

How long do you think you will maintain a workout program if you force yourself to exercise through sheer willpower but spend the whole time thinking about how much you hate it? Let’s just say your chances of long-term success will be pretty slim.

But how likely it is that you are going to go from hating to exercise to loving it in an instant? You wouldn’t expect to get off the sofa and be able to go run 3 miles the first time out, so why would you expect to create new mental patterns that quickly?

The truth is that mentally, most people are the equivalent of coach potatoes. They just react unconsciously to the physical stimulus around them in the exact same way they’ve always reacted, or people around them react. They have no idea that they have just as much potential to control their thoughts and reactions as a body builder has to curl a 50-pound dumbbell.

Just because you have hated exercise in the past—or have always hated it—doesn’t mean that you have to hate it forever. That is a practiced reaction that you actually do have the power to change—if you want to.

I know because I was one of those people. As a kid, I was not physically gifted. My lack of grace was a running joke in my family. Reading was my pleasure and the idea of working physically hard and, heaven forbid, actually sweating were abhorrent to me.

In other words, I hated exercise. Oh, my parents poked, goaded, and prodded me to get off the sofa and move, but I resented the heck out of it.

As a teenager and young adult, I only worked out long enough to meet my weight-loss goal. As soon as the scale hit my target weight, I went right back to my more slothful habits—only to regain the weight I had just lost—and usually then some.

It wasn’t until I started shifting my thoughts that I began to be able to exercise more consistently. First, I made peace with the need to exercise to maintain my health and feel physically well. Slowly and surely—with mental practice—I began to look forward to it, and eventually to actually enjoy it.

Now, my day is off big time if I don’t get my workout in. All truly is not right with the world! I enjoy moving my body and working out—and I love how good it makes me feel. And I love to sweat!

Building your mental muscles is a process, just as building your physical muscles is a process.

You first figure out your goal and create a plan to get there. There are lots of mental exercises to choose from, such as centering exercises, meditations, making lists of things you appreciate, visualizing, affirmations, journaling, and consciously shifting your thoughts on specific topics.

Just as you decide if you want to run, life weights, or do yoga, you pick what feels right to you—and what you will actually do consistently. And then decide how often and for how long. Just as with physical exercise, start off easy and build up.

With practice, you’ll begin to notice that you don’t instantly get angry when someone cuts you off in traffic, and even better, you’ll find yourself pushing yourself in your workout because it feels good and you want to.

What can you do today to exercise your mental muscles? How can you make that a consistent practice that you are just as committed to as your physical workout? What difference does that make to achieving your wellness goals?

Together we can do it!

Photo from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Do You Need That to Be Healthful?

nour•ish \ˈnər-ish, ˈnə-rish\ verb

nour•ish•es; nour•ished; nour•ish•ing

[+ obj] 1 : to provide (someone or something) with food and other things that are needed to live, be healthy, etc.

▪ Plants are nourished [=fed] by rain and soil. ▪ Vitamins are added to the shampoo to nourish the hair. ▪ a well-nourished baby

2 : to cause (something) to develop or grow stronger

▪ a friendship nourished by trust ▪ Her parents nourished [=supported] her musical talent.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary

How well-nourished are you? I’m not just asking about your diet, but am including your mind, emotions, and soul.

For many, nourishment may not be something they think about at all. For some, nutrition is what comes to mind. There are few of us who can claim to be well-nourished in all areas of our lives.

But if you think about the difference nourishing food can make to your body, just imagine what would happen if you also consciously nourished your mind with information, ideas, and even entertainment that enhanced your knowledge, awareness, and clarity?

Imagine nourishing relationships that are easy, loving, satisfying, and fun? Imagine nourishing spiritual practices that lead to richer, fuller, and more fulfilling life experiences? Imagine nourishing activities (such as work!) that are fun, interesting, and exciting?

What did you do yesterday? How much of that nourished you—body, mind, and spirit? How much of it drained or depleted you?

What are you doing today? How much of what you have on your to-do list is nourishing? What do your choices mean for the overall quality of your life? What choices would you need to make to be truly well-nourished?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net