Last week invited you to play with another concept: do what makes you feel good!
How is it going? Do you know what makes you feel good?
This week I encourage exploration into YOU, also known as self-discovery with the question: do you know who you are?
In my coaching practice, this question is one of the first things I ask clients. Do you know what I usually hear as the reply? Prolonged silence. Then, " I don't know" which leads to, "I am a parent, spouse, worker", etc.
These replies lead to my next series of questions that do not include our roles and responsibilities. Those questions lead to replies such as, "I am a lover, peace maker..." See where I am going? It's beyond what we do in the world.
So, why do I ask you this question? In my experience, knowing who we are beyond what we do gives us peace when our roles change and shift. Who are we when our children grow up and no longer "need" us the way they use to? Are we able to let them go or do we hold them too tight because of our neediness? This can also happen in intimate relationships when one person is growing and healing and the other is seemingly "not". What then? Do we stay? Or go? Or learn new ways of being? Hmmm....
And, who are we when we retire, change jobs, move, get divorced, experience loss of any kind?
These are deeply powerful life transitions that naturally shape the foundation of who we "think" we are. It's not a bad thing. It's simply something to be aware of so when we find ourselves lost in the fog of doing life, we are able to return being life.
How do we return to being life? By asking "Who Am I" without all the labels.
And by taking the class, reading the book, getting the support we need to navigate the new territory.
In exploring who we are, and perhaps more importantly, who we are becoming, we must allow our defenses to ease a bit. We must stop fighting with our self!!!
Fighting our way back to who we have been is depressing, dis-empowering and won't work. Instead, the empowering path forward is the one where we accept who we are.
The past several months have been a time of major transition for me on all levels so I am having lots of practice at this!! When I accept who I am, and who I am becoming: a change maker, instigator, provoker of truth, passionate lover, peace maker, risk taker, intellect, inspired action oriented person, then peace prevails. And yes, I also accept the challenging/shadow parts of my personality which also make me who I am: impatient, controlling, complicated, judging, highly sensitive. These shadow parts create the polarity that makes me be me. I can't "delete" them. I can only be aware of them and balance them out. Many of you are nodding :)
When I resist who I am because I am afraid to be myself or I am afraid of making someone else uncomfortable, I feel depressed and dis-empowered. Trying to fit into someone else's idea of me, quite frankly, has not ever worked. Yet at times I have lapsed and fallen into that dance since I am human too. Sometimes reality bites and yes, loss hurts. Bad. And yet...
In the dizziness that comes with big change, having the courage to be who we are ultimately puts us exactly where we need to "be" in order to "do" that which we were born for. It's freeing my friends!!
We step into the fog and eventually move through it...until the next phase of self-discovery returns and the fog rolls in yet again. It's a cycle we experience often when we accept.
A final note in case my writing isn't (yet) clear enough. A movie, "The Last Word" with Shirley MacLaine speaks so beautifully to this idea of how much of our life we spend fighting who we are to realize at the end, it is exactly who we are that was the most blessed gift to those around us and to our selves.
Perhaps the key is to realize this before "the end", you know? Or perhaps not? Some of us, perhaps myself at times, thrive on the polarity and the dance of dark and light. Meaning, my challenging traits of wanting to be in control enable me create massive movement in the direction I desire. Not good or bad. Simply is...and I am aware of it.
Know thyself. Be true to you.
Upcoming Events to Explore YOU!
Em-Path Workshop, Bronxville, NY on THIS Saturday, Sept 16th 2017
Sweet Retreat: Tulum, Mexico, October 31st-November 5th, 2017
Last week I shared a simple and practical paradigm for understanding what it takes to move from thinking about something to taking inspired action toward that something: Rest Root Rise
This week I invite you to play with another concept: do what makes you feel good!
What do I mean?
Many of us force ourselves to "do" things that don't make us feel good. Something or someone else is the CEO of our life. You know what I mean?
We engage in behaviors that either don't give us energy or even worse, dis-tress and drain us. These "behaviors start with our thoughts and end with our actions (or non-action). It happens in all areas of our life from relationships and personal health to hobbies and career.
Why/How does it happen?
Many reasons. Often it's because we have seen others "suffer" and perhaps we feel it's how life ought to be. Maybe we don't know what makes us feel good!! And sometimes it's simply that we don't value our self enough to find out and promote our self to CEO of our life!! In short, we are afraid to fully be our self.
Doing what makes us feel good is actually so simple most of us miss it.
I am a prime example of missing it at times
How? My tendency to over do: over think, over analyze, over complicate; and sometimes the over doing is me putting someone or something else in front of what makes me feel good.
Are you relating?
While this way of being has certainly reaped its rewards for me, it doesn't last and it really does not make me feel good!
A good example of this happened over the summer. Some background-- I love teaching group yoga. Since splitting my time between NY and IL earlier this year, the logistics have been a bit challenging and I haven't been teaching as much. I miss it! It makes me feel good. So, after exhausting myself trying to figure out how to teach in one place every week, I came up with a short term solution. Teach yoga every Sunday on the beach in NY. I knew I would be at the beach July and August and I was able to commit. I decided to make it free, and spread it by word of mouth. All that was needed: beach towel, water bottle, good vibes...simple. Well, it was an amazing experience (see picture above). Teaching yoga on the beach combines everything I love!!! Hence the upcoming Tulum Retreat with me :)
What to do?
Reflect on an area of your life that doesn't feel good. Perhaps you are working really hard or feel dis-engaged from your work and you want/need to take time off yet feel unworthy/afraid to ask, etc.
Perhaps the time off will reap big rewards like re-connecting you to your life purpose. Or maybe you simply need rest and relaxation to feel renewed. Whatever it is, go for it.
Commit to doing what makes you feel good in one area of your life. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Start small if that is your comfort zone. And like me, maybe it's a short term solution that will lead to a longer term one. The key is to choose something, one thing, and do it. Remember, the universe rewards action.
Watch, "Hello My Name is Doris". This movie made me feel so good!! It was a reminder that whenever we say, "Impossible", what we really mean is "I'm possible". Believe in you, I do!!
Last week I shared a poem, It Stops Today, to encourage you to harness the powerful energy of the universe we are experiencing in order to manifest your life.
Today I want to share a simple and practical paradigm for understanding what it takes to move from thinking about something to taking inspired action toward that something.
The paradigm: Rest Root Rise
Rest = Most of us are plain exhausted, on all levels. Even the idea of going on retreat or planning a vacation breeds feelings of anxiety...it's another thing "to do" or spend money on. This is not how we are meant to live. If this is you, time to revisit where you are directing your energy.
In Chapter One of my book, Reclaiming Joy I speak of Rest as Vitamin R. We need it, like we need food, water, and air. Often when we are in need of deep rest, like a retreat or even a sabbatical, it's because we are at a major transitional point in our life. In the rest, we gather our energy to let go old ways of being and create new paths for our life. In effect, the rest supports our ability to root, or become grounded.
As such, unless we make rest a priority, we will simply be too tired to co-create and live the life we deserve. I won't go into the many reasons we exhaust ourselves. You know them. What to do? Focus on taking time off to rest, if that's what you need. At the same time work toward getting 8 hours of sleep each night.
Seem impossible? Great. Learning opportunity! Reflect on how you are currently spending your time and redirect to invest it wisely on getting rest and enough sleep. When you are rested... you will become rooted.
Root = By rooted I mean grounded, calm, present, connected, aware, awake...nourished. All of us have been at points in our life when we feel anything but the above. Living life from a place of feeling like we are "floating/reacting" whether its because we are anxious, unclear or simply don't feel grounded will not serve us in the long run. Meaning, we will not be able to rise above the drama of life in order to manifest (aka co-create) the life we want.
Rise = The place of growth, evolution, wisdom that supports living our authentic self. We arrive here only by being rested and rooted. We cannot rise when we are exhausted and unclear. It simply doesn't work that way.
When we are rested and rooted we experience the positive energies of life: love, laughter, joy, compassion. In a specific sense, we: enjoy positive and loving relationships, work in a field or vocation that inspires us to be our best, have abundant health and vitality, and our bank account $upport$ the vi$ion we have for our life.
All cups overflow. We attract partners in prosperity on all levels. We are at home in our self. We are peace. We are fully alive. We do not fear death because we know we are truly living. #Noregrets
And yes, this cycle of rest, root, rise comes along many times in our life until we arrive back home to our self and look upon all areas of our life with gratitude, grace...peace...joy. It's the feeling that all is well and we want for nothing.
Breathe that in. And believe it is possible for yourself, cause it is.
Rested, Rooted, Risen...Yet Again :)
Last week I invited you to revisit the garden of your life and prune it. By pruning your inner garden, you begin to simplify your life and amplify your energy so you are able to focus on that which brings you JOY.
Are you pruning? What are you noticing? Tell me here.
This week I invite you to think about a practice I have found essential over the years to help keep me on the positive, prosperous path.
What's the practice?
I call it create your council...otherwise known as the practice of putting together your network of support.
These are people who help you be and become your best self--they amplify your energy by being who they are and allowing you to be who you are. They hold up the loving and truthful mirror for you without judgment.
Why is it important to have a council?
Three main reasons.
1. We are not meant to go it alone.
2. It is in relationship with others where we grow the most.
3. We all have blind spots we aren't aware of that keep us...stuck.
What kind of support does a council give?
All kinds- physical, mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual.
How do we choose these people?
Great question. I will outline criteria next week.
In the meantime, start considering who may already be this for you and what kind of support you receive / want more of.
If this is new to you, begin to think about the type of support you desire.
Last week I invited you to consider how living life is an endless opportunity to practice peace. I also shared that peace isn't an absence of conflict. Rather, peace is being calm amidst all of it and choosing to respond with love.
How is it going? Tell me here.
This week I encourage you to take the next step: Revisit the garden of your life and prune it.
Life is too short to live otherwise...and as I mentioned last week, in addition to the challenges you may be facing in your own life, you are perhaps also feeling the collective depression/anxiety that is occurring on the planet (em-path?). Absorbing all this intense energy creates distraction, complexity, and ultimately depletes your precious energy. By pruning your inner garden, you will begin to simplify your life and amplify your energy so you are able to focus on that which brings you JOY.
By the way, if you know you are an em-path, I suggest you attend my workshop this Saturday.
How do you prune your garden?
It's 2 parts.
You must first weed the dead. After that, you seed that which brings you joy.
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Close your eyes.
Ask yourself the questions:
What makes me come alive/energizes me?
Upon opening your eyes, jot down what came to mind.
As you do jot down what came to mind, also think about:
1. What needs to be weeded from the garden of my life so I have more energy to seed?
Example: Weed negative behaviors such as gossip, negative thinking, people...
2. What do I wish to seed instead?
Example: Positive thoughts, nourishing, positive friendships...
Make sure you list at least 2-3 things for each question.
Say thank you to yourself and commit to taking small steps over the next 7 days to weed and seed.
What kind of small steps?
Weeding- When you notice yourself in the gossip or negative thought, stop it. Distance yourself energetically and physically from negative people.
Seeding- Commit to getting support (a mentor, class, book, etc) around weeding these behaviors and people. Attend a social activity with the intention of meeting a new friend.
As in nature, when we nourish our garden - by the consistent activity of weeding and seeding, we bloom.
Remember to be courageous and compassionate as you face the facts.
I will check back with you next week.
Questions/Support? Connect with Me.
Last week I invited you to carve out one hour to connect, reflect and redirect.
What did you come up with?
This week the process continues. Perhaps you have gained clarity about what areas you want to focus on. Perhaps not, and you need more time. Awesome!!
In addition to giving you the next steps, I want to share with you that committing to clarity requires courage. Often when we start to "see" what needs to change, it's scary. Let's face it, staying with the familiar is easy. Yet for many of us, not sustainable. There comes a time when we need to face the music and make change.
So, here are the next steps.
1. Review your notes from the reflection exercise.
2. Decide on which area you want to focus on...health, relationship, career/life purpose, money...
3. Commit to taking action to create what you desire. For example, let's say you want to improve your health and well-being by managing your stress. Begin exploring ways you want to do this - yoga class, meditation, exercise, more fun! Whatever you choose, commit to taking one of these actions consistently over the next 30 days. Feel free to be flexible. Maybe you try yoga and it's not for you. Stay open, explore and have fun!!
If you want to share or need support, please email me.
Share the love-- forward this blog to a friend, thank you!
Last week I invited you to continue the practice of letting go of toxic, negative beliefs about that which you profess to "know" and instead-- to live, love and play in the mystery of life...How did it go?
Now it's time for you to begin creating...manifesting 2017.
Focus on what you wish to create with my Connect, Reflect & Redirect Practice!
Carve out one hour over the next 7 days to Connect, Reflect and Redirect:
First, find a place that nurtures you. It could be sitting up in your bed or at a local coffee shop. Put your phones on "DND" = do not disturb. Take 10-20 breaths and center yourself.
Next, sit quietly and reflect on the past year in the key areas of your life such as: health, relationship, career, life purpose, overall well-being.
As it relates to these areas, ask yourself questions such as:
What am I proud of?
What have I learned?
What am I grateful for?
What was challenging for me?
Where are my growth opportunities?
Write down anything and everything that comes to mind, as it comes. No judgment.
Based on your replies above, consider what you desire in 2017 in each of these areas.
Ask yourself questions such as:
What do I want more of?
What do I want to let go of?
What support will I need?
Write down your replies and choose one area you would like to focus on starting in January.
After you complete above, continue with the next set of steps here.
Many of you have been kindly sharing with us your learning from Steph's book, Reclaiming JOY: Your 4 Step Guide to Happy, Healthy & Free:. We thank you!! Please keep it coming -- and if you have something to share, please write a review on Amazon.
Here's what one reader had to say-- thank you Dana...pictured left ENJOYING life!!
"The foundations of joy really resonated with me. In a time of personal change and growth it's interesting how these foundations evolve. Being aware of the change around you and always resorting back to my definition of joy, helps me ease into the change and not be scared of it. As I looked at each foundation intensely, my health, my relationships, my career and my life purpose it made me realize how much I've changed over the years in a good way, which then led me to be open to who I may become." -Dana M.