Friday Inspiration

June 20, 2014

friday inspiration

 

Martha Beck dishes on finding your superpowers and how they’re often not what you expect.

Amy Butler’s Blossom Magazine…gorgeous and soulful.

Wayne Dyer discovers that intention is not something to be done, but rather to connect to.

Tiny Buddha…when less is more.

Sticking with it when you want to give up from Chris Guillebeau

Happy weekend!

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We’re Never Finished

March 31, 2014

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We are never finished.

There is always more to learn.

A new mountain to climb.  New things to discover.

Perfect, done, and arriving do not exist.

We’re never finished.

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Compfight cc

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There’s a lot of talk today about single people feeling bad because its Valentine’s Day and they’re without a significant person in their lives. Sure it can be hard to see your co-worker getting a huge delivery of beautiful flowers while your desk goes empty. Hearing all about your friend’s plans for a romantic dinner when you have none, can also be tough.

But when you take a further look, is this really the truth that we need someone else to make us feel good today?  That we have to feel bad that we don’t have that significant person present in our lives right now?

I think if we look closer, we just see conditioned thinking.  The underlying thought is: I need someone else to complete me.

Eeek, really?

There’s a lot of social conditioning perpetuating this thought too.

I’m not saying it isn’t great to find and connect with that special person.  I think most of us want someone wonderful to share life with.  I know I do, when the time is right.

But in the mean time, why not show up for yourself?  Why not give yourself what you’re longing to get from someone else?

The truth is that if you’re single on Valentine’s Day, it’s an opportunity.  It’s a chance to change your thinking and be your own Valentine.

Think about how you would want your Prince (or Princess) Charming – if he or she were in your life – to treat you today…

Would you go on a special date?

Would they write you a poem?

Would you cook a great meal together and set the table with pretty linens and flowers?

Would they give you a special gift?

Then get busy creating that experience for yourself.

Buy yourself a gorgeous bouquet.

Splurge on a special piece of jewelry.

Bake the most decadent chocolate cake – just for you.

Write yourself a sweet Valentine celebrating all that’s awesome about you.

Draw yourself a luxurious bath with candles, lavender salts, and some Billy Holiday playing the background.

Its time…be the one to really show up for you today.

Photo credit: Naguo Lisin

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Self Coaching 101

Its an understatement to say that learning about my thoughts changed my life.

Self Coaching 101 helped me to uncover what’s really going on in my own head.  This book illustrates the path of thinking and how thought shapes your life.

Why does all of this thought stuff matter?  Because its the super highway to feeling better.

Brooke, the author provides a really practical tool for looking at thought that looks like this:

thought modelWhen you work the model, you see how your thoughts create your feelings. You also see how a circumstance is just a neutral occurrence, shaped by the meaning we give it and the thoughts we have about it. Finally, we see how our actions are based off of these three, and how we ultimately create what we’re experiencing today.

Thinking is automatic for most of us.  And then worse, the trouble brews when we actually believe those thoughts.  But things start to change when we wake up and begin questioning this chatter.

This is a book that I go back to again and again. And I’ll warn you and say this work isn’t easy. Its lifetime pursuit: when you dive in you realize just how much there is to discover about your thoughts. Unearthing what was previously buried in your subconscious is not for the faint of heart, but it is life altering.

The bottom line: the model I learned from Self Coaching 101 and the awareness the model has brought about, have both helped me to feel better on a daily basis.

Check it out: Self Coaching 101 by Brooke Castillo.  You can also download a class she gave on the thought model here for free!

Photo Credit: Thought Model

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Here’s the scenario:

Your mechanic calls and despite his initial estimate, your car’s going to need $3,000 worth of work to pass inspection.

You just opened to your mailbox to find out your condo board is assessing each unit owner an additional $1,000 this year.

Or maybe you just lost your job.

“OH CRAP!”  @#*&%*!

This is my knee-jerk reaction to these kinds of things, and I’m guessing not far off from yours. And rightfully so. Its scary to come up against an unforeseen financial situation where you feel like you just flushed money down the toilet or you have no idea how you’re going to pay the bills.

The urge is to panic and to worry. To get tense.

Enter the four letter word:F E A R.

Why me? 

How am I going to pay for this? 

Who’s going to pay the bills?! 

Once you’ve had ample time to freak out, its time to do something to counter-act your conditioned reaction.

You can shift yourself out of fear mode to a better place with one of these methods:

1. Treat yourself.

Take a nice long, luxurious hot bath. Or, go get a manicure or better yet, do your own nails.

Go for a hike.

Make yourself a delicious dinner.

The point is to do something nice for yourself. Because treating yourself with care is a reminder of the ultimate truth: this is only a circumstance and what matters most is that you feel better. I’m not saying you’ll magically forget your money woes, but taking care of yourself is a step in the right direction.

2. Give something away.

Remember the 6 winter coats hanging in your closet? Pick the one you wear or like the least to give away. While you’re at it, scour your closet for other things you no longer need. Pack them up and bring it all over to your local good will.

Or, give a couple of bucks to the homeless guy you pass every day. It may feel weird to part with cold hard cash at a time like this. I know when I find myself in a financial jam, my initial instinct is to hold on to every dollar and every thing I own for dear life. But when I can focus on giving instead of loss and lack, I notice myself feeling a whole better, feeling really lucky for how much I actually have.

3. Move towards gratitude.

Think about it: what can you appreciate right now?

Go out and clean out your care that’s in need of costly repairs. Show it some love and clear out all the junk. Wipe down the dust. Wash it and make the windows sparkle. Think about how much you appreciate the fact that you have four wheels to get you around.

Sit down with some pen and paper and brainstorm all of the good things about the job you just lost. Maybe the friends you made. Skills that you can add to your resume. Or write about what’s good about being let go from it. No more 90 minute commute. Maybe the opportunity to move your career in a whole new direction. I guarantee that if you ponder it a bit, there’s always something good available to focus on.

Feeling through your conditioned fearful reaction and getting through to the other side has power. The truth us that how we feel and how we think creates our reality. Lack just breeds more lack. You’re not likely to create what you actually need if you wallow in fear and stay in a place of scarcity.

So fly in the face of fear and find a way to feel better. Put yourself in a better frame of mind, on the road to creating positive new things.

Photo credit

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Gratitude

November 29, 2013

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I’m grateful in a different way this year.

Grateful for my challenges.

I see, I know that they are helping me to grow.

The difficult things have brought be back to myself, again and again.

My challenges are illuminating what matters to me in a whole new way.  What I really value.

Shining the light on my strengths and what’s awesome about me.

I can be with uncertainty and discomfort.  I can deal with change and not topple over.

I can accept.

And I can create again.

My hurdles remind me of the truth that when you shake it all out, I am fundamentally ok.

A truth that can be covered up, but always remains just under the surface for re-discovery.

This year, what was looking like my misfortune is what I’m most thankful for.

Photo credit: Rustiqueart

 

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Debt, My Teacher

November 21, 2013

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When you’ve accumulated a whole bunch of debt, it can take a long time until you’re out from under it.  Depending on how much debt you have, it may be months or even years.

It can be really hard to separate yourself from something that you have a constant reminder of every day.  One of the hard things is that your behavior, your life, your mindset may be totally different today than it was when you created the debt.

Although I changed my lifestyle of spending and not paying attention several years ago, I’m still paying off the money that I owe as a result of that today.

For a long time it served as a constant reminder of past mistakes.  And it was difficult to move beyond the self loathing.  The anxiety of what I created was always weighing on my shoulders.

With the evidence in my face on a daily basis, I could hear the saboteur voice, “how could you be so irresponsible?”…”how could you be so stupid?”…”you’re so not good with money”…and on and on…

But, one of the keys has been in my noticing my thinking and my feelings.  As Geneen Roth says, until you notice and understand yourself, true change is not possible.  You can get everything you want and wish for and still not feel good, because feeling bad has been your default.  You don’t know any other way.

So I find I have to meet myself with kindness.  And at the same time, not ignore the shameful, fearful, anxious feelings that rise up.  I can’t pretend that they don’t exist.  Instead I must acknowledge them and let them run their course.  And then when it feels right, move on to a more loving and compassionate place.

If I close my eyes and picture myself years ago when I created the debt – confused, lost, uncertain, sad, disconnected from myself – I can’t help but feel compassion for that girl.  What I know now is that she was just looking for a way to feel worthy.  I know that she was really just trying to take care of herself.  I also know that she was only doing the best she could at that moment in time, and I feel nothing but love for her.

And, I know that this debt is here to teach me.  I can see it in a whole new way.

Its teaching me to be gentle and kind to myself.

Its teaching me to be peaceful.

Its teaching me love.

Photo credit:  Amy Lloyd

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Now is the Time

November 11, 2013

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As of right now, there are 7.5 weeks left in 2013.

Truthfully, when I realized this my first thought was, good riddance.  Let’s hit the fast forward to 2014!

I’m ready for a new year.

I am always excited about a new and fresh year, but this year was not the easiest for me (read: the ending of a relationship, moving for the 2nd time in 6 months in a city new to me, and major job challenges).

While all of these challenges have had their own silver linings, I’m looking forward to having some distance from them.

But, something kind of cool occurred to me:

And that is that I don’t need a new year to do something great.  I still have time – 7.5 weeks! – to create a shift in an otherwise not-so-hot 12 months.

Feels like freedom to me.

The question is – what would make 2013 finish off beautifully?

If its been a rough year for you, its totally ok.  Accept it for what it is and know that you have time to do something great, fun, inspiring NOW.

And if you’ve had an awesome year, what would make it even better…the icing on the cake?

What would need to happen?  What would need to be present?  How do you want to feel?

Is there an experience you could have?

Is there a habit you could add to each day?

Is there an exciting creative project you’ve put on the list for 2014 that you can start now?

Or maybe its the opposite and there’s something you need to stop doing?

Now is the time.  There are 7.5 weeks left in the year…and counting.

So, take a moment, close your eyes…take a deep breath…put your hand on your heart…and ask yourself the question:

What one thing could I accomplish in this last stretch of 2013 that I’d be really proud of?

 

Photo Credit: Nina Matthews

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Its the Little Things

November 8, 2013

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One of the things that I’ve noticed about living into abundance is that the little daily things really matter.

Little things speak to us…even the teeny tiny things send us silent, unconscious messages.

After several days in a row of walking – crunch, crunch – through my leaf filled patio, it occurred to me: Why don’t I just sweep up these damn leaves?  This REALLY bugs me to walk through these each day.

Every time I would walk through the pile of crunchy leaves I felt irritated.  It felt messy and dirty and not in alignment with how I like to keep my house.

But, what it made me realize was how the things we do and decisions we make that may seems small at the time, really do make a difference.  In our mood, in our quality of life.  How we feel each day.

Our daily habits and choices can make us feel loved or make us feel like we’re not quite worth it.

If we value an orderly house, do we work to keep it that way?

I’m a bed maker.  For some reason having a nice neat bed to get into each night feels good to me.

I love FlyLady’s take on this.  She suggests that each night before you go to bed, you shine your kitchen sink.  FlyLady thinks that a shiny sink stands as a reflection of your love for yourself. I’ve tried it and I agree.  Its awesome to get up and got to make coffee with a clean sink staring back at you.  (Check out Shiny Sink 101.)

Small money decisions have the same kind of impact.  Big ones too of course, but the small ones are usually the ones that slip by us unnoticed.

Little purchasing choices have the power to make us feel poor or make us feel abundant.

If we value healthy foods, do we spend the extra dollar for the organic milk?

If we care about our own safety, do we spend $20 on a cab to save ourselves from walking through a bad neighborhood?

These seemingly little decisions speak to our values and standards and are a reflection of self appreciation.  And, let’s face it, we know in our heart when we’ve compromised.

When we’re out of alignment and we’re paying attention, we feel it in our gut.  Or maybe we hear the whisper in our ear.  The signs are there if we are conscious of them.

What matters most to you?

So, what little things in your life can have you been compromising on?

What are the little things that matter to you?

What are your standards, the basic things you like to have in your day?

Photo credit: 55Laney69

 

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So many people, myself included, go through life accepting feeling crappy.  Anxiety, fear, unhappiness, malaise all become the norm.  We accept these feelings in our lives and think its normal.  We become used to feeling less than good each day, and in some cases MUCH less than good.

We overwhelm ourselves in the hustle for worthiness.  Trying desperately to do, do, do in hopes that all the doing will some day make us feel better.  That it will lead to some place down the road that feels good.

In my experience, this never happens.  The hustle just goes on and getting to the happy place never happens.

The reality is that happiness exists now.  There is no place to get to.  We’re already here.

All of the hustling and doing and striving in the world will never add up to what we can experience in the present moment when we make the choice to feel good.  And when we choose honor ourselves on a daily basis.

When I came to the realization that my life is actually supposed to feel good, everything changed for me.

Up until then, I didn’t know that it was possible to live without anxiety.  That I didn’t have to live in fear of what might happen next.  In fact I was afraid to feel good, almost like I would jinx myself if I allowed myself to feel too good.

But I learned instead that life is supposed to feel good.  And that the universe is actually on my side, rooting for me, lining up just the right circumstances for me.

I learned that being happy is my birthright and its as simple as my choosing it.

We can’t feel one way and think that some later date in the future our lives will show up magically different.

The truth is that how we treat ourselves now, in this moment, is exactly how our future will be.

Photo credit:  55Laney69

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