Posted on June 13, 2014
This week, I was inspired by a conversation with a client to write about our thoughts and beliefs, how they impact us, and how we can work with them to create change in our lives.
How do our beliefs affect our lives? Our beliefs form our thoughts and our thoughts impact our feelings and actions. So, if we desire to change our actions and the way we feel, we can start by looking at where they stem from.
I’m sure you agree our beliefs are ingrained in us from many things in our lives. I see them largely impacted by what we are taught from society around us, but also, that they are formed from our personal experiences. What we experience through sight, feeling, taste, touch, and hearing leaves an imprint in our being. These imprints form memories in our mind, but also in our body.
If this experience is triggered down the road by new experiences, our old beliefs can take over. Sometimes, we begin to think a certain way and end up acting in habitual patterns, often because of what we believe to be our truth.
So how can we change these automatic responses? From my experience we can dive into the thought patterns that lay between the belief and the action or feeling.
When we hold a belief that causes a certain undesired action or feeling, we can become aware of that thought pattern that is taking us into this place that does not serve us. From here, we can learn and understand the thought pattern that is occurring and the underlying belief. It can be beneficial at this point to notice sensations in our body about this thought pattern and old belief. Pay close attention, there is a lot of wisdom that resides here.
Once we have identified the thoughts and any body sensations, ask, “What do I really need here, to serve me today, knowing what my intention is for this issue?” As you receive that new understanding, create a statement, or affirmation, that you can use, over and over, to begin to create a new thought pattern and more importantly, a new belief.
Verbal affirmations can change the thoughts in your mind and vibrate new memories in your body to change old beliefs. Tweet This!
I used to say I was a terrible runner. However, looking back, I recall myself watching people as they ran for years. Curious how they ran so far and how they felt after. When I was in elementary, I recall not doing well with long distances, so I stuck to the short sprints as much as I could. That fear and belief about my running stuck with me until this past year when I decided to get out there and try some short runs. My body ached, but it felt good, each little bit. During a run, I began to notice my thoughts would often try to take over and I would go back into old beliefs that I needed to stop and walk. This was not want I truly wanted, I wanted to go further. So, as I ran, slowly and steadily, I decided to start saying out loud to my self, “good job Brenda… you can do it… you’re doing great!”. I began to use these affirmations when my mind started to play games with me. With these powerful words, I pushed myself farther and farther until I surpassed what I ever thought I would ever run. And now with my affirmation in my pocket, I continue to push my limits.
Using affirmations to create what you want to believe, think, do and feel in your life is powerful work. Play with them, release expectations, and branch out with the vibrations that open you to all that is possible.
Did you once believe something that you no longer do today? When that belief changed, how did it impact your life?
Please share your experiences or comments.
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Posted on June 5, 2014
What is acceptance and how does it impact our lives?
As I look around at social media, pop culture and even in our communities, I see people seeking a sense of connection from the world around them. What I really notice, at the core of it all, is a need to be accepted.
But what is being accepted? Being accepted is being able to express yourself, dress the way you feel the best, hold your head up high, speak your truth from the heart, and pour your energy into work that truly sparks life into you.
What is holding us back from living our lives fully accepted? From my experience judgement is playing a big part.
I look back on my life and see many times I was afraid to do something in the fear that someone may judge me. I can’t even count how many times I felt sad and depleted when I didn’t follow my heart. Over time, I got into the habit of not listening to what lit me up, and more and more, I began losing touch with those parts of me that had more to offer. I followed various paths that didn’t light me up and took me into places I never thought I would be.
I realized in my early 30’s that if I continued to suffocate those truly deeper parts of me, that were slowly dwindling into the nether, that I would never truly love my self, embrace my life, or trust my decisions. As I started to make changes in my self, I found a new awareness, that it wasn’t simply the judgements of others that was holding me back, it was the judgements of my self that were holding me back.
“When we judge others we are actually bearing judgement upon our self.” Tweet this!
So, how can you let go of the judgements and feel accepted?
First, there is the self-awareness that we are all in the same boat. To keep it simple, let’s start by taking notice of this acceptance from outside of your self. How do you treat others? If and when you judge others, how does that judgement feel to you? Ask yourself, what in me is causing this judgement? Then start to take notice of when acceptance or judgements are falling on you, from your own thoughts.
Second, take some time for yourself. By this I mean, take some time, without distractions of anything that you would use to take yourself away from what you truly want and feel. Take a long walk outside or try an activity that you used to love that you haven’t tried in years. What do you notice? How do you feel about yourself? Are there any judgments that come up or can you find self-acceptance in your thoughts and actions.
Often when we start to bring awareness to these judgements, these thoughts about ourselves or others, we begin to notice areas of our lives that we want to change. New or old desires start to show up. There is fresh air and new life in being aware of our self-acceptance and acceptance of others.
There is a place for judgement to live in our lives, but from a place of acceptance and love. Judgement, if used positively can provide discernment in choice and awareness of the world around us.
How does acceptance impact you in your life? Do your own judgements hold you back? Do you get depleted in seeking acceptance from others?
Please share your comments and stories. (Remember, we are all in this together. If we can voice our stories and show our similar struggles, together we can become more accepting.)
Posted on May 30, 2014
What does it mean to walk the path less traveled? It means that you have to take some risks. It’s not simply following in someone else’s foot steps to get where you want to go. So, what is the benefit? Why take risks? In walking the path less traveled there is potential for growth through new ideas, adventure, and personal intentions.
If we take a path that has been carved out before us, we are not required to think and process how we will get to our destination. We may see a goal off in the distance. When we know that others have followed a path to get there, there is some certainty implied that we will get to the specific result.
When we allow ourselves to follow our instincts and carve a new path, there is some potential of not realizing, or even knowing, the result. What does this offer us? First, we get to listen to our own intuition about where to go next. Second, we can be agile and adjust the path as needed. Third, we get to be in the adventure of uncovering what is at the end of the path.
For instance, the other day my partner and I were out working on our land, starting our clean up of the great amounts of dead wood that has fallen. As we recently moved into our new home, I have not had the opportunity to explore it much. I ended up over by the north property line. Randomly, I decided to follow the property line and see what the land looked like way in the dead wood. As I climbed up over the dead trees, under branches, along a deer path here and there, I thought about this human-untouched land. There was so much beauty in the natural-scape. I was creating my path on our land to see it from a different view. When I got to the edge point of the land, the gift was revealed, a new view of our land. When I had set out on this mini adventure, I did not know why I was exploring, other than my intuitive curiosity lead me. However, when I got to that point I knew, I needed to get right in the dead wood and be with the land. It became even more home to me in that moment.
There are times when there is a specific path we must take to get to a certain goal or destination. Maybe there is only one road that will lead us there. When you find your self on this road, I suggest a couple of things; slow down, take it all in, stay present to the journey, and don’t be afraid to suggest other possibilities to get to the goal.
The next time you see an opportunity to take the road less traveled, I suggest you explore it! You never know what you will receive from it!
What are your experiences with taking the road less traveled? Have you purposely chosen to or somehow ended up there?
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Posted on May 23, 2014
Do you ever notice sensations in your body like tingling, pain, or tightness? These sensations are the wisdom of your body trying to send signals to your brain. Somehow the body signals can be missed by the confusion, distraction or avoidance our mind creates over our body.
Just as our mind is full of wisdom, so is our body. There are subtle reactions our body will give us in many situations. Here are a few simple ones that you may have noticed before:
* heavy eyes – maybe you’re tired or your eyes need a break from the computer screen
* deep sigh – maybe your relieved or becoming full from eating
* tight shoulders – maybe you need to relax or let go of something you are holding emotionally
* butterflies in the stomach – you may be excited or fearful about something
* light or heavy breathing – there are so many possibilities to this signal!
Our body is offering us its wisdom all the time. But are we paying attention? Are we giving it an opportunity to share and offer a path or solution to what we need? When the body offers it’s wisdom, there needs to be a conscious reflection in the mind to actually transport it into movement. If we allow the mind to simply ignore the body’s wisdom, we only stay connected to what the mind needs or wants. How often does that work out 100% in our the favour of our wholeness?
Does your mind ever lead you down a path where afterward your body is saying, why did you do that to me? Yes, me to. So, when that deep sigh comes during a meal, do you notice it? Or do you eat until your mind is satisfied? How about those butterflies, what do they really want for you? Is it that you are scared? Or maybe they are offering you belly full of courage. Maybe you are working diligently at your desk and your shoulders are becoming more and more tight. Your mind needs to finish the task, but your body needs you to get up and walk around for a few minutes to release some tension.
So how do we connect our mind and body so that they can move forward with our true intentions? We first need to become aware of our body’s sensations and signals. Then we also need to consciously pay attention to our thoughts. When our body sends us signals, we need to bring our thoughts and attention into that place. Notice what’s happening, notice our breath, and ask, “What does my body need now?”. Then allow the mind and body together to determine what is needed next.
In everything we do, our body is involved, through benefit or resistance. All it takes is some awareness of its signals and connection to the mind to create movement into what our whole self needs.
Today, take notice of what your body is saying to you. Allow your mind to become present to those sensations. Notice what is possible from here.
Please share your experiences with body-mind awareness!
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Posted on May 15, 2014
Change and growth have an intertwined relationship. With one, the other becomes possible. What is the impact of change and growth in our lives?
Change requires something to pass in order for something else to be gained. When change shows up in our lives, it may come from an internal choice or an external circumstance. In either situation, there is a shift; a shift in action and thinking. Often a new awareness and mindset is required to fully allow the change to take its natural place. This new awareness and mindset is the foundation of growth. From this place possibility begins to form within the change process.
When we make a choice to bring change into our lives, we have an intention to see something through. We set goals. We prepare ourselves with new thinking or envisioning about what we want to create. Then we get busy with the action required to create the change. This is where we grow the most, the journey of change. It is through the process of change that we learn new knowledge and skills, and ultimately, more about ourselves.
There are however those times when change will show up in our lives without our asking or intention. Things that are far beyond our own control. Our world is full of this type of change, such as natural disasters, illness, or the loss of a loved one. When this type of change shows up in our lives, it often brings with it a need for acceptance and new thinking. This is not always easy. Often the change is difficult and may take some time to deal with on emotional and mental levels. During this time, from the outset of the change to the acceptance and next steps, life is offering us the opportunity to grow. This is when it is most important to check in with and adjust our thinking to create new pathways in our lives, to help us through the challenge of the change so we may flourish on the other side. When we embrace changes in external circumstances around us, we have the opportunity to grow and learn more about ourselves and the world around us.
As you can see, change brings with it growth, and as well, it is through growth that real change is possible. Personal growth and societal growth have a great impact to make or break change. If we try to stop the change from happening in our lives, we stop growing, we become stuck. Every day we are faced with choices and circumstances, easy and difficult. If we back away from them, we will stay in the same place and see limited possibilities in our lives. If we step toward them with courage, letting go of the fears, we will continue to grow immensely, starting with our own miraculous being and then ultimately spread to all of those around us. Isn’t that the best kind of growth? Shared growth.
We live in a vibrant and alive world that revolves through days, seasons, and years. Nothing is ever meant to stay the exactly the same. Embrace your own change, your own growth, and celebrate the change and growth you see around you.
This week I am embracing my personal growth by celebrating the completion of my Life Coach Certification. I’m ready for the wonderful possibilities this growth will provide and the all of the exciting changes that will come with it.
Please share your thoughts and comments.
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