Posted on July 25, 2014
I’ve been in their lives for just over a year now. Oh, how my partner’s children have grown and changed over that time is incredible. Time with children, whether your own or others children, is so very precious. Each day, each moment they are learning something new or gaining skills with things they continue to work on, all while we get to witness the magic of their life.
Consciously choosing to be a person in their lives that is present, cheering, hugging, encouraging, teaching, and so on is extremely meaningful for both of us. Of all of these aspects, I see one piece that is integral to the rest. Being present. When we are present we are truly witnessing, being our self, and then the rest we have to offer them can easily fall into place.
So how do we ensure we are being present? I have been working with living mindfully for a few years and while I continue to grow into this new part-time parenting role over the last year, I have been consciously paying attention to what keeps me present, what causes my attention stray and how to practice present awareness.
Here are three ways that I find are helping me be present.
1- To start with there is this balance triangle we like to use in our house; we work towards balance between personal time, family time, and work/friends time. When there is a good balance between all sides, we find we are better able to be present with each other, everyone is happier and emotionally healthier. Personally, when I find a healthy balance in my triangle I feel my best and I am able to offer my best, presently.
2 - Then there is the importance of conscious activities. When we try to do too many things at once, something always comes up with the short end of the stick. Just like cooking something on the stove and texting at the same time are a bad mix (believe me, something usually gets burned). Teaching the younger generation this is extremely important. There are so many facets of distraction today. Can you imagine growing up in this world with no understanding of what it was like before we were bombarded with information and electronics? Slowing things down and doing things being present will not only allow us to get back to some of our root life experiences, but also teach our children to do the same.
3 - Finally, simply choosing to stop and soak up the precious time together. This past week, I put my book down when I was requested by one child to play cards, my partner has got up extra early to work so he could spend more time with the children during the day, or choosing to get out of the house and heading to the beach for an afternoon together for some quality time. When we stop, take notice of what we can do for the highest good of everyone, we offer a more complete experience to ourselves and to our precious families.
When we bring our attention to what keeps us present and take action in our lives to ensure we work towards presence, we more easily teach and earn the presence of our children.
Staying present to our self, earns the presence of others. Tweet this!
How do you offer your most present self to those around you? Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments box.
If you want to start living presently, send me an email and we can explore the benefits you can gain in your life.
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May you feel more presence in your day.
Posted on July 12, 2014
When I hear people talk about passions, often they are not sure what they are passionate about or really unsure of what that word means to them.
I recall a few years ago, noticing that I really wasn’t sure what I was passionate about. I felt like I was putting a lot energy into my life, but that I really wasn’t getting the feelings I was seeking. Sound familiar?
So what is a passion? (Besides the kinky kind…wink, wink)
Wikipedia defines passion as an intense emotion, compelling enthusiasm or desire for anything.
How is it that we have fallen away from knowing what gives us that intense emotion, enthusiasm and desire in a way that leads us into great happiness?
I know for myself, I get distracted. I will do anything and everything that keeps me hiding from my true self.
We live in a distracted society these days. Life has become so busy with social media, social activities, family life, and we barely have time to pay attention to what is bringing us happiness. When we have a moment, rarely do we just sit and reflect, we end up checking Facebook, our emails, creating a list for the grocery store, etc, etc. Remember when we use to get lost in a day-dream about what made us super happy!?
If you are curious about what you are passionate about, pay attention to the things that really get your attention or that you find yourself thinking about when you don’t have something to distract you. Put your smart phone down and see what shows up, your passions are waiting to light you up!
Our passions are a means to daily happiness, it’s time to listen, and live them! Tweet this!
What are you doing today that lights you up with passion? Is there more that you could be doing to bring yourself happiness today?
Please share your comments and experiences about your passion quest.
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Posted on July 4, 2014
Playful running, skipping, hopping, jumping, cartwheels, hand stands, and all those good feelings that came with them. How can we bring those joyful feelings back into our lives today?
You may not feel like you can do a cart-wheel anymore, but those passions for joy that we felt early in our lives are still possible and ready to play with you today!
Please take a moment to daydream a little with me.
Go back in your memory to when you were younger, maybe under 10. What were some of your favourite things to do? Take your time and really enjoy the experience of one or two in your mind.
How do you feel when you are there dreaming about this? Which of your senses come alive for you?
Personally, I reflect back and remember dancing. I felt so much joy and a feeling of being free when I danced as a child. Whirling and twirling, in the flow of my spirit. I can feel my heart expand with happiness when I think about it and my body feels like it wants to move.
When we can feel those sensations today from a simple memory of something in our youthful past, we now have an anchor into feelings and sensations that we truly appreciate.
We have a few choices of how to take this forward into our lives:
We can actual get out there and do what brought us that joy many years ago.
We can pay attention to the things we do today that bring us that kind of joy and do them more!
We can set an intention to find the activities that bring us those feelings and then use our intuition to guide us there.
We deserve to feel joy everyday and it is up to us to find the ways to bring ourself joy. Tweet This!
Let’s remind ourselves and encourage our friends and family to do the things that bring us the most joy. Because really, isn’t that joyful feeling the whole point!
What will you do today to bring more joy into your life?
Please share your comments and experiences so we can grow together!
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Posted on June 27, 2014
Carrying past hurt, anger, or frustration around with you can be toxic. These negative emotions can cause dis-ease on so many levels in our being. However, it is possible to release these negative feelings with the gentle use of forgiveness.
When situations cause us to feel hurt, angry, or frustrated there is a piece of us that tends to hide. We feel vulnerable and our instinct is to protect ourself. These feelings will often be that protector.
So, how can we still be protected, yet release the harmful emotions that can cause this toxic dis-ease?
Here are some steps to help you work through a situation to forgive, not to forget, but to release.
1. Acknowledge the feelings that are showing up – is it hurt, anger, frustration, or something else?
2. Clarify what situation is causing these feelings
3. Become aware of your perception of the situation
4. For a moment, try looking at the situation from perception of anyone else who is involved
5. Now, check in with your feelings again, and notice their impact on you physically, emotionally, and mentally
6. Ask yourself, how will these feelings impact me in the long-term if I hold on to them?
7. Then, notice how you feel now.
8. Now ask, what do I need to release these feelings? And honour that, with truth, self-love, and kindness towards others.
To help gain clarity at any time during this process, here are a few ideas:
– journal to get out all of your thoughts and emotions
– take a walk outdoors to find emotional and mental clarity
– sit in silence and ground yourself with meditation
If you choose to speak to anyone involved, please ensure you are not laying blame, but first ask them to hear you and once you have been heard completely, then ask if they have anything to offer or say.
Forgiveness does not only occur by speaking to someone about the situation. By simply, releasing the negative emotions that were held, we can release our ties to the situation and be free from it. Forgiveness is not about forgetting, because there are lessons in everything we do, it is about releasing and moving forward with the lesson.
Forgiveness offers lessons, so forgive, not to forget, but remember and move forward. Tweet This!
Is there a situation you could forgive and release? What lessons have you learned from forgiving?
May you always find the path to forgiveness.
Please comment and share your experiences.
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Posted on June 21, 2014
When our heart feels heavy about a choice we have made or our head is beating us up with over thinking our decision, it can throw us into a flurry of confusion and frustration. Wishing we had the opportunity to go back and do it again. Unfortunately, we often can not. We can try to make it right by other means or let it go and resolve to do it differently next time. If the undesired outcome gets caught in emotions and memories and becomes difficult to move forward from, this healing can take time, patience, self-awareness and love.
Would you like to be more at ease with your self and the outcome when you have a choice to make? Today I would like to take you on a journey to help you become more aware and connected to your self when making decisions.
Let’s start by reflecting on some past experiences to get a better understanding of their impact you. I invite you to try this with me and please take your time with it.
Think of a time when you made a decision that you thought was best, but immediately after you got a sick feeling in your heart or gut. What did you notice in this experience? How did it turn out?
Now, think of a time when you made a decision that you felt was best, but shortly after you had thoughts of rejection show up in your mind. What did you notice in this experience? How did it turn out?
Did the sick feeling or thoughts of rejection hold any sense of regret? Are you more drawn to one type of decision more than the other?
Although we can not go back and change these past events, these two reflections help us to understand what often influences our decision-making; our head or our heart. So let’s explore how we can work on becoming more connected to our true self for future decisions.
If we live only from our mind and thoughts our heart can feel left out or maybe not feel at all. Our emotions may become repressed or we avoid our feelings. If we live only from our heart, our mind’s logic and discerning abilities are not harnessed. We may become overly emotional and have a hard time trusting our feelings.
A good place to start with this is to notice what happens in your mind and your heart when you make decisions. You can use the examples you uncovered from our experiment above or any other situations. Do your head and heart feel balanced and connected? If you feel some disconnect between them, pay attention to what is not being heard or felt. Give it a voice or feel what it is longing for.
Conflict between your mind and your heart can lead to decisions of regret. Tweet this!
To help with decision-making, I would like to share with you a tool I learned from my Shamanic coach, Leia Gamache, I worked with a couple of years ago. She started me on my path of listening to body wisdom.
First, acknowledge all of the choices that are present. Take a deep breath in, let it out, and allow your energy to settle. Then, one at a time, say out a choice out loud as if you are going to do it. For example, “I will….”. Notice how you feel, any sensations in your body and any thoughts that may show up right after. Then do the same process for any other choice. For me, I usually notice one that feels more comfortable and my thoughts do not attack it. I know then that it is the better choice for me and I have a better sense of how it will affect me after the decision is made. If you have a choices you are weighing on now, try it out!
There is no fool-proof way to always make good decisions, as there are possible external circumstances that you can not control. However, learning to connect both your mind and your heart to your decisions can help you feel at ease with your decisions and live your life with truth and confidence in your self.
How would your life change if you were more connected to your self wisdom? What tools are you using to help you make decisions?
Please comment and share your experiences with decision-making! We an all learn from one another.
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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.)