Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Creating new mental habits makes creating healthy physical habits easier and more fun. Practice appreciating, reinterpreting, and easing up.

It’s All Fun

I have a lot on my to-do list today as we are hosting dinner for friends this evening.

In the past, my default setting has been to get stressed. To get so focused on all that I had to do that not only did I become harsh with myself, but I was sharp and unpleasant to the very people who were helping with the preparations. (Sorry about that honey!)

I’m getting much better at steadily moving ahead to achieve realistic goals with ease and grace. I’m seeing the power of focusing on being gentle and kind in my thoughts and words–to myself and others–and eeking out every ounce of pleasure that can be found in each moment, from the preparations to the time with friends (and dogs as this will be a gathering of all of our Keeshond companions, as well.)

Buffy (left) and Willow are relaxed and eager to spend tonight with three other Keeshonden and a Pomeranian–as well as their respective humans.

People often feel like they don’t have time to be mindful and relaxed when faced with a deadline.

But why does feeling horrible automatically equate with being more productive?

What I’m finding is that moving forward deliberately instead of rushing, and focusing on how I want to feel in the moment—rather than just defaulting to how I have just always reacted—certainly does not take away from my productivity. It actually seems to help me accomplish more than I planned.

Even if how much I get done is the same, it sure feels a heck of a lot better!

So tell your inner task master to ease up. Put the incredible power of your attention on what you are doing in the moment—and enjoy the heck out of that. Find and feel the confidence that everything that needs to get done, will.

And then see how much fun you can have throughout the process of getting all the preparatory work done. The fun doesn’t have to begin the moment your friend’s push the doorbell. The fun you have getting ready also makes the time you have with friends that much richer.

What can you do to practice being gentle with yourself, moving with ease and grace, and softening your thoughts and words? How does that help you achieve your goals? How much better does that feel?

Together we can do it!

Photo by Hansje Gold-Krueck

Wellness Tip of the Weekend

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Weekend: Even if busy, be gentle with yourself. Move with ease and grace. Soften thoughts and words. Same goals achieved, way better feeling.

 

 

Ease Up for Ultimate Control

I woke up this morning to a gentle rain falling. My husband is out of town, and the animals are extra-loving and the house is quiet. So I took time to sleep-in, meditate, and relax.

The past couple of weeks have been powerful and full of opportunities, and I’ve experienced a lot of change and growth. I also have a lot on my to-do list—much of it things I really want to do and all of it I want done right now.

One of my biggest opportunities has been to practice what I preach about self-care. And a big part of self-care is listening to your body.

It’s easy for me to get caught around the axil of being goal-driven, eating prescribed meals at certain times, and doing my planned intense exercise—no matter what.

While that serves me most of the time, and I think is generally good practice, there are times when what my body (and mind!) really needs is a little kindness, to be treated gently, to be allowed to rest.

After all, if you are driving your car under wet or difficult conditions, the solution for more control is to ease up on the gas pedal, not slam your foot down.

When I don’t listen and ease up, my body will usually alert me to the need with increasing pain, which I’ve been experiencing in my knees and shoulder. If I continue to not listen, I’ll very likely wind up with an injury that will force me to rest.

Having experienced this in the past, I’m working on being more mindful and listening to my body before it gets to that breaking point.

This week, that’s looked like more sleep, easy and gentle movement, and still healthy but less rigid eating.

While my body is experiencing some relief that is letting me know this week of rest was needed, there is a part of me that is afraid if I let up on the intensity at all I will slide back into old patterns, lose the progress that I have made, and once again struggle with my weight.

It is the fear that by easing up at all, I will lose all control and before I know it, I’ll be back at square one.

Just articulating that fear feels like relief.

So I’ll ask myself what I might ask a client.

How reasonable is that fear?

I am a different person now than I even was yesterday, much less two to three years ago. I’ve come a long way, baby! Over the past three years, I’ve not only released the weight, I’ve maintained my new svelte figure. That is evidence of a new and different me.

While there is always the chance that I could fall back into old patterns, it’s not very likely. I know more. I am more. If my weight started creeping up, I would know exactly what to do about it and have lots more emotional and spiritual tools in my toolbox that would help. Plus, I’m learning more every day.

And let’s say the worst did happen, and I didn’t get back on track and I refound the weight. Looking back, I now see that my struggles with my weight were perfect for me and were important to helping me get where I am now. It has been key to my ability to relate to so many other women, to find the missing link that causes 90 percent of diets to fail, and to fully see the beauty and magnificence inside every woman.

If I were to go through the up and down again, wouldn’t there be an amazing opportunity for me to grow and become even more, and to be of even greater service to others?

Absolutely.

So today, I’m going to continue my self-care. I will do gentle and easy movement. I will reach for foods that feel like my body is asking for. I will do work if that feels fun, or I will rest or read if that feels more needed. I will meet up with friends at a book signing and for dinner tonight, and I will be present and loving, and allow us all to be exactly where we are.

And tomorrow, I will evaluate where I am and what my body feels like it needs. And I’ll look forward to continuing to feel strong, fit, and lean.

What do you need to do for your own self-care today? How can you balance your goals with the messages you are getting from your body? What are your indications that it’s time to push and move forward, or that it’s time to ease up and rest? What difference does that make to living the life of your dreams?

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net

Woo Hoo! You Aren’t Perfect!

Many women I work with are squeezed between feeling the need to be perfect and judging themselves harshly for not being perfect.

Wow it’s a painful place to be.

And so not necessary.

I love the Dan Millman quote:

“You began life with a natural, complete sense of worth. (Have you ever met an infant with self-worth issues?) But as you grow, you serve as your own judge, deducting points when you misunderstand the nature of living, and learning—when you forget you are a human-in-training and that making mistakes and having slips of integrity and mediocre moments are a part of life, not unforgivable sins.”

I would go further. Not only is being imperfect not an unforgivable sin, it’s vital to living a full, happy, and authentic life.

Often when I ask clients to list their gifts or positive attributes, they struggle or can’t do it. But ask them for self-criticism or the perceived judgments of others and they can give you a page.

From the time you were born, you begin trying to please many masters—parents, teachers, friends, society, God, etc., etc. This would be OK if they were asking the same thing from you, but the message is inconsistent. To please your parents you have to say and be one way. To please your teachers, you have to say and be another. Your friends yet another.

And people still don’t like you and criticize you. You begin to think, “Maybe if I contort myself this way or that way they will love me.” You begin striving to meet this ever-changing target of perfection that will make everyone else happy.

Is it any wonder that you can’t be perfect?

In the process of contorting yourself, you lose Who you are—what you actually enjoy, what you’re good at, what you love.

By trying to be perfect, you may stop at the first hint of criticism. If you do push forward, your self-imposed rigidity my suck all the fun out. Life becomes hard. More often then not, you give up on achieving your goals and do what’s easier–what you know you can do perfectly.

I’m pulling your mask away. I see you and you aren’t perfect. You aren’t hiding the fact that you aren’t perfect from anyone. And you are so loved and worthy just as you are. You don’t need to please anyone else. You don’t need to be anyone else. In fact, the world is hungry for the true you.

I see you for Who you truly are—absolutely and totally perfect in your imperfection.

How do you expect to expand, change, and evolve if you are already perfect? And you can’t help but expand, change, and evolve. It is boxing yourself in and trying to limit yourself to playing in the narrow lines of perfection that is at the heart of your pain and unhappiness.

Growth comes from playing, learning, trying, and being. So relax. Ease up on yourself—and others. Play more. Be willing to learn more. Be willing to try and have the results be less than perfect. Let go of doing more and focus on being more.

Can you feel the relief in that? Can you feel the path to joy in that? Can you see the way to being Who you truly are?

Together we can do it!

Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: It’s not only OK not to be perfect, it’s important! Growth comes from playing, learning, trying, being. Relax. Ease up on yourself—and others.

Take a Restraining Order Out On Yourself

How long would you want to hang around someone who was constantly critical of how you looked, what you did, what you said, or how you acted?

Would they be the friend you went to for support when you were down, or to celebrate your success? Let’s hope not!

Loving support is about building you up, cheering you on, and having someone who believes in their heart that you can do anything that you set your mind on achieving.

Now look at how you treat yourself. Are you critical and demanding or loving and supportive?

If you are like most women, you say things to yourself that you would never say to a friend or loved one.

I’ve watched women give themselves a little slap along with a bit of self-criticism. “I should have thought of that.” Slap. “I’m so sassy.” Slap. “I can’t believe I did that.” Slap.

Many verbally abuse themselves for things like not being able to maintain a positive attitude in the face of real challenges, being less than perfect, and not looking the way fashion magazines say they should look.

In relationships where someone is verbally or physically abusing another, a court will step in and issue a restraining order to the keep the other person from inflicting any more harm.

It’s time to take a restraining order out on yourself.

Begin to ease up on the demands and criticisms you direct towards yourself. Look for and celebrate the signs of the progress you are making rather than the distance you haven’t yet traveled. Catalog and have confidence in the things you do well.

Treat yourself as you would treat another.

What can you do to draft yourself as an ally to support you in achieving your goals? How does changing how you treat yourself alter how others treat you? How much better does loving and supporting yourself feel?

Together we can do it!

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net