Every situation is an opportunity to learn, grow, and live life to the fullest. How good you feel is a choice—and is impacting your body.
Wellness Tip of the Day: Is the emotion behind your actions closer to love or fear? Is that the foundation you want for your body—and life? It’s your choice.
While I’m in Sedona, Arizona, attending a business mastermind retreat, I’m sharing one of my favorite past blogs.
Last night I took a look at all the things that are pretty commonly thought of as requirements for being healthy.
Things like eating healthy foods, exercise, drinking water, getting enough sleep, etc.
What was different was that instead of evaluating how well I am doing in each category–which leaves plenty of room for self-judgment—I looked at how I am approaching each thing.
- Is it something I “won’t” or “can’t” do?
- Is it something I “have to” do?
- Is it a “need to” do?
- Or is it something I “choose to ” or “choose not to” do?
This may sound like semantics, but in truth, the positive anabolic energy generated in approaching everything as a choice is like putting a rocket launcher on your ability to achieve your goals.
When you make working-out something you “choose-to” do, you are empowered. Even when you choose not to exercise today, you cut out all the guilt and self-punishment, and are still empowered.
Telling yourself you “can’t or “won’t” exercise removes all choice and generates negative catabolic energy that bogs down your momentum like wheels getting stuck in mud.
Feeling like you “have to” workout is only a little better because your ability to choose is still limited.
Telling yourself you “need to” work out gives you more of a choice and starts to shift your momentum.
Choosing your actions gives you total control.
It was empowering just looking down this list with my fabulous mentor coach Jennifer Barley and seeing that in eight out of 12 categories, I am functioning at not only a “choose to” level, but a strong “want to!”
Taking out judgment left me feeling confident about my ability to achieve my wellness-goals.
For instance, it doesn’t matter that I am choosing to decrease the intensity of my workouts for the time being because of tweaking the muscles in my back (something I have been judging myself for).
What is important is that I am still choosing to work out five to six times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes doing what I can do. I’m still empowered and moving towards my goal; more slowly perhaps, but still forward.
That left only four categories that I feel I “need to” be doing to be healthy.
Instead of judging my overall wellness based on some room for improvement, I can separate out those few categories and work on shifting my thoughts around them from “Need to” to “Choose to.” That feels much more doable and like something, well, I “want to” do!
Here’s how to do this exercise for yourself.
- What is your wellness goal?
- Make a list of all the things that you believe you “have to” do to achieve it.
- Then rank how you are approaching those things.
Are you closer to the disempowered “have to” or the empowered “choose to?” What can you do to move any low-energy areas to things that you “want to” do? How different does that feel?
Together we can do it!
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- You create the holidays you really want and never feel deprived.
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Don’t wait till Jan 2 to take inspired action. Start creating the body—and life—you want today.
Wellness Tip of the Weekend: Make everything you do today a choice. Empower yourself by choosing each action, and let go of can’t, won’t, have to, and need to.
One of the things I love about stepping outside my comfort zone is that my shadow side may show up. That’s the part of me that is insecure, defensive, judgmental—you get the idea. It’s an amazing opportunity to practice showing up as authentically me—regardless of the people or situation.
The authentic me is loving and accepting. The authentic me sees my value—and the value in each person and situation. The authentic me knows that there are no mistakes and that the diversity of people and opinions is what makes the world go round. The authentic me knows that speaking my truth with ease and grace will be a gift to others, even if it doesn’t seem like it in the moment.
If I am acting out of anger, frustration, defensiveness, fear, judgment, or condemnation, I’m not being authentically me—and I have the opportunity to make a difference choice.
The onus is on me to stay connected to my Higher Self (God, All-That-Is, Universe, Source—whatever works for you) and to pay attention if I am coming from a place of love or a place of anger, a place of appreciation or a place of fear.
One way for you to stay authentic and maintain your connection to your Higher Self in relationships—particularly if you have a history of pushing each other’s buttons—is to actively focus on all the good qualities of the other person. To literally practice seeing them in the best light.
There are a couple of ways to do this.
Create a list of all the things about the other person that you appreciate, and read and add to it every day.
Practice a visualization. See yourself bathed in a golden light that feels like joy and love, and then expand that light to include other people. First extend the light to the people you love and get along with easily. As the light grows brighter and more powerful, expand it to include more challenging people.
You may think that it’s the other person who needs to change so that you all can get along, but you are contributing just as much to the difficult dynamics. It’s up to you to show up differently.
The only person you can control is you. Choose now how you want to show up. Practice showing up authentically.
And if you do react in a less than ideal way—as I guarantee that you sometimes will—the primary thing to do is forgive yourself. You don’t have to be perfect. Just pick yourself up and keep practicing being the best possible version of you so you show up more authentically the next time.
Together we can do it!
Wellness Tip of the Day: Freedom is found in wellness. Take charge of your independence of thought, response and choice. Claim dominion over your body and mind.
What if every moment of every day you have the choice to focus on what you don’t want or what you do want? That creating the life of your dreams is just a matter of deciding what you want, knowing that it is absolutely and completely yours, and staying in that confident place regardless of what other people say, or the circumstances that are unfolding?
The process is simple but far from easy, particularly since it seems like outside people, places, situations, and things are definitely impacting you. And everyone around you thinks they are at the mercy of these outside influences, and often remind you that you are, too.
It can be challenging to go against the typical mental-flow. As you read these words, it may feel right that you are more in control of your life than you can possibly imagine, but as soon as you are in your car and hit traffic, or someone complains to you, or you feel overwhelmed, you’re right back in that mode of life having control over you.
When people begin working to shift their focus to what they do want, they often think the shift should happen effortlessly. They are surprised that it feels like work.
But think about it. If you spend the majority of your time sitting passively in front of a computer or TV and are not doing any exercise, how likely is it that you will just be able to get up one day and go out and run 10 miles? In that case, you would expect that you need to train.
First, you would decide that you want to run 10 miles. Then you might plan how you are going to do it by setting up a running and workout schedule. Then you would commit to following the schedule and doing the workout every day. If you missed a workout, you wouldn’t beat yourself up. You would just get up the next day and do the planned workout. As you practice running you would start to see changes—you can run further, your lung capacity expands, and muscles develop in your legs. Do that consistently over a period of time, and you will master running 10 miles.
Why should it be any different to build your mental muscles?
You have to decide that you are willing to do the work to gain the mental strength to focus on what you want—no matter what—because you want to love your life. You want to plan how you are going to achieve that goal. Are you going to meditate every day? Keep an appreciation journal? Work with a coach? Then you will want to commit to following your plan. Slowly but surely, you practice shifting your thoughts and feelings. You gain new insights into how the world works, and let go of limiting beliefs and patterns that have been holding you back. Over time, you notice that you can make the mental shifts faster, your consciousness expands, and you are mentally stronger. Do that consistently and you will master your focus and thoughts, and will fall in love with life.
To get to the place where joy is totally within your control, all you have to do is decide, plan, commit, and practice consistently. If you do that, it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
What can you do today to strengthen your mental muscles to create the life of your dreams?
Together we can do it!
Photo by http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/
Wellness Tip of the Day: You are not meant to play small. You make yourself small by thinking you are less than you truly are. How you play in life is a choice.
I am in the first week of an 18-week challenge for Transformation Mastery. While I have set specific, inspiring goals to work towards, my focus and excitement is on right now.
We do not change our lives by jumping from where we are to where we want to be. We change it moment-by-moment and decision-by-decision.
Right now is when I need to be motivated. Right now is when I need to be engaged and making good decisions. Right now is when I need to be having fun!
Because while it will feel good to meet my goals, that feeling will be fleeting, and it will be so much more satisfying if I have enjoyed the process all along the way.
Just think of it as return on investment. I can put all this time and energy into this process and get a nice but short-term return on the feeling of joy I get from meeting my goals, or I can get a huge return on that investment by feeling joy as much as possible all along the way.
An added bonus is that the accumulated joy will actually help me meet my goals.
Enjoying the process includes making a conscious choice to look for and celebrate what I am doing well, learn from and let go of what I can do better, and celebrate where I am right now and the opportunities I have for growth.
This means I have a choice about how I look at my first week of a high-intensity and extremely demanding exercise program. I can struggle through the workouts the first time and get discouraged, and maybe even give up, or I can struggle through the workouts and celebrate the opportunities I have to grow and excel.
What I am laying down this week is a baseline from which I will get to measure my future success. I can use it to inspire me to keep going and try harder, and to enjoy everything from the muscle soreness I’m feeling because it’s an indicator I’m making muscles, to the challenge of learning a new workout routine.
How can you begin to measure your success by how much you are enjoying the process of life leading to your goals? What difference does that make to the process, and to your ability to meet the challenges along the way?
Together we can do it!\
Photo by sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Someone asked me recently, “What’s the point of pursuing happiness?”
The answer seemed so obvious to me that in the moment I had no response. My thought was something along the lines of, “Why would anyone not want to feel good as much as possible and be happier?”
Our two perspectives really gets to the key point. Being happy is a choice. Each person has the freedom to decide where they are going to fall along the wide spectrum of emotions and reactions to every single situation and subject. That’s our free will.
But it took me a long time to realize that I had a choice about being happy or not; that I had the ability—and responsibility—to direct the quality of my life. For too long I felt I was at the whim of an unfeeling and uncaring Universe that liked to batter me against the rocks. The world was against me and I couldn’t get a break.
That perspective was so painful that I suffered from chronic depression for many, many years. As a result, I’ve had enough pain and suffering, thank you. I no longer find it romantic, or a sign that I’m a caring or good person. If I am at the helm of my life—and I fully believe that I am—than I’m going to do everything I can to redirect this vessel towards freedom, love, joy, clarity, contentment, and fun.
To paraphrase Bruce Schneider, pain may be inevitable, but suffering is optional.
I can let go of feeling like I need to “fix” others or even see them as broken because if we are all the masters of our lives, then each person gets to decide which reaction and experience they will have. If they chose to be miserable, who am I to tell them they shouldn’t be? After all, my years of suffering were absolutely necessary for me to truly want to change, to be so focused and determined to find a different way that the path began to open up before me. Every one of my experiences was perfect for me on the road to where I am now, and will continue to unfold perfectly—for me.
The message that I want to shout to the world is, “It’s a choice! You get to choose! You have the power! And making a different choice feels so much better!” For those that it might help, I want to share how I did it and tools that I’ve learned so if they want to feel better, they have support guiding them towards their path. Their way will look different than mine, and isn’t that diversity what makes life grand?
For many, many reasons people will resonate with my message, experience, and process—or not. If being happy isn’t important to you or something you want, how beautiful is it that you get to make a different choice? And if it is, there are lots of ways to get there. Find the way that works best for you.
If we were all having the exact same experience and there was only one “right” way, the Universe would be pretty limited and from my perspective, the whole point of life is to expand and grow. Even scientists tell us the Universe is expanding. To me that is the very point of every experience that each of us is having—both that which we judge good and bad. Evolution is not one species making a quick jump to become another. It’s the moment-to-moment creation of our unique perspectives and responses to the ever-changing swirl of life.
So what’s the point of pursuing happiness? What’s the point—to you? Why is it important—or not—to you? That’s where the true answer lies.
For me, it’s waking up this morning literally laughing at a joke I created in my dreams. It’s feeling light-hearted and so filled with love in this moment that I want to share it with any person who wants to receive it. It’s appreciating my husband who I can hear right now in the kitchen washing the dishes.
It’s wanting to laugh instead of weep, being engaged and excited in my work, instead of dreading it so much I can hardly get out of bed. It’s knowing that today, I feel better than I did yesterday, and in tomorrow there is the opportunity to feel even better than today. It’s learning to go with the flow of life and seeing it as an adventure instead of purgatory. It’s because life for me finally feels good, and I want more of that, please!
There is no right or wrong answer. This is just where you are in your journey. Come along with mine—or not. And as you share your journey, it will either resonate with me—or not.
What is truly sublime is finding the people you do click with and who you not only get value from, but who you give value back to by sharing your journey, responses, and insights. We are creating an ever-expanding circle of growth, clarity, connection, and inspiration.
And that makes me happy!
Together we can do it!