How to Rise Higher Than The Fire

You are courage.

You are courage.

 

Some days it’s good to keep your TV off. Some days it’s good not to entertain yourself with the Internet. Some days it’s good not to go outside. Some days it’s good not to answer your phone. Some days it’s good not to get out of bed.

 

Each day we are introduced to world tragedies and local crime, and then we mindlessly shuffle to our daily grind. We may smell the smoke and sense the fire of the world’s pain when we hear about atrocities that are outside our neighborhoods or national borders. But it’s easier to distance ourselves and see things as simply “the news over there” that’s happening to “them”. We may comment on social media to pay tribute then we go pour another coffee before going to work.

 

But when tragedy strikes in our own personal universe such as the failing health of loved ones, or loss of jobs, wealth, health or relationships during the same time of the rest of the world’s events, it is very possible to feel as if we are caught up in the wild spreading fire of despair.

 

We become shocked, depressed, numb and helpless as we gaze into the fire of our lives.

 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose to do something different. We can choose to rise higher that the fire.

 

Here are three ways to help us move on up during difficult and devastating times.

 

  1. Embrace the Slow

Many times when tragedies strike in our lives, we want to move quickly to instantaneously fix the problem and move out of this painful space. This is natural but many times, by moving faster we actually compound our stress. For example, when dealing with the loved one in the hospital and we get a call from the doctor and panic sets in, it’s easy to lose purses, wallets, keys and you our own health. By creating awareness to slow yourself down and ask, “What do I need in this moment to feel grounded or safe?,” not only do you physically slow down but you also give yourself the space to carry on with a sense of peace in that moment.

 

Move like this throughout your day. Everyday. It’s important to give your brain an opportunity to physically rest whether it’s with sleep, time away from the Internet or news. It’s important to also not fight the process of moving through the fire of discomfort. If you do, you are simply fanning the flames of pain. Praying, mindfulness, meditation are also ways to rise above the fire. If you can’t do any of these, then go on a walk outside. The movement and oxygen will help in various degrees.

 

 

  1. Find Purpose or Find Good Moments

When dealing with the fire of the unthinkable, it’s hard to be grateful. Sometimes people will say, “this will make you stronger” and if your are not in that head or heart space, you will simply want to be strong enough to punch them in the nose. But with a little space and the intention to try something different, you can look at the moment that you are in and recognize that you have come this far. And how the other past moments of your life have prepped you for this moment. You may find your purpose or clarity in this hot moment of how you want to live your life or how you want to love or contribute. This helps you rise higher than the pain you are experiencing.

 

Now if you can’t find any meaning or purpose because you are still in a state of shock, anger, or despair, then consider this option.

 

Find the good in each moment, no matter how small.

 

When my mom was dying in the hospital and we knew the end was coming, it was like I brought a chair and a ball and chain and sat in the middle of the roaring fire. Tragedies were still happening in the world and everything felt hopeless. The flames were rising and smoke was building and I was profoundly hopeless.

 

Then in an instant, a nurse came with a comb and put out the fire.

 

She came in quietly to my mother’s room and didn’t say anything. She checked the monitors and my mom’s vitals. And with gentleness, she combed my mother’s hair and wiped her face and arms. Then she made sure my mom was tucked in her blankets and smiled to me as she disappeared to the other halls of hospice. Her gentleness, slowness and purpose of compassion dowsed the fire. She helped me rise higher than fire. I could breathe again in that moment. I felt safe in that moment. My gratitude was immense and I could keep going to the next moment.

 

  1. Keep Going in the Direction of Hope

The last step is to keep moving in the direction that you know your gut or intuition is guiding you. It may feel messy or uncertain at first, but with each step you will gain knowledge and clarity. In any big life event, especially one that is tragic, it can be shocking and life altering and we lose our footing through the haze and smoke of fear. By moving in a direction to help our situation or our loved ones, we start to create a peace and footing even with the crumbling foundation beneath us. Sometimes we don’t realize it, but it’s at those very scary life-altering moments that we are building and creating a stronger version of ourselves that didn’t exist before.

 

And it’s this stronger version of ourselves that helps us find grace, peace, and hope as we lift ourselves higher than the fire. In this moment wherever you are, know that you have within you the strength you need to help you breathe beyond the smoke of life’s uncertainties, rise higher than the fire and keep going towards peace. Namaste.

The Art of Being Rich

You are already abundance.

You are already abundance.

 

I like being poor.

I like having no friends.

I look forward to having and experiencing lack in all areas of my life.

I love being not loved.

I will eat cat food and die lonely and poor. Super poor. Mega Poor.

 

Okay, I don’t know about you, but just typing these words makes me feel uneasy and slightly crazy. Okay Super Crazy. MEGA CRAZY.

 

It is our animal nature to stay alive. To have more than enough. It’s our survival mechanism. It’s part of our reptilian brain. This is a good thing. It’s Mother Nature’s way of letting us flip our switch on so that we can stay safe and alive and away from cat food.

 

But sometimes we forget to turn the switch off or it stays on after years of conditioning or believing our story of our lack mentality.

 

I was born poor.

My family was poor.

Things always come up.

That’s just the way things are.

Bad things always seem to happen to me.

I could learn to like the flavor of tuna.

 

But what if there was another way? Would you try it? If you don’t think you have anything then you should REALLY try this because right now, you don’t have anything. So let’s play.

 

If you want to feel crazy rich….then practice being a Simplistic Altruistic human.

 

Being altruistic is about being good or doing good for the sake of doing it without getting caught up in the mindfreak cycle of “What’s in it for me?”

 

The irony is that by doing things for others there is a lot it does for you when it comes to lowering your stress levels. Altruism can actually activate the neurotransmitters in the brain to make you feel more calm, in control, and energetic.

 

By focusing on others that are less fortunate than you (there is always someone who would trade you places with you in a Facebook second), you have the great opportunity to experience more gratitude for all that you have. Right now. The contrast can be humbling. Altruistic action can be your new luxurious superpower.

 

People that practice altruism see and experience life with more meaning. They are also able to maintain relationships, and navigate through depression and the unexpected more skillfully. This contributes help their physical health because by giving to others, they neutralize the negative effects of negative emotions that create cortisol. And while all this sound fabulous, the big question is “How do I do this now, with the life I’m living?”

 

Keep it simple. Real simple.

 

Practice being a Simplistic Altruistic

 

This means anywhere in your life, practice radical kindness. Make a sport of it. Open the door for someone. Be the first to say, “Good Morning”. Smile more to others. Make eye contact. Speak with the intention of being kind and of service. By doing these seemly nothing kind of things that truly cost nothing, you will experience a personal richness. You will want to do more. Not because people will think you’re awesome (don’t worry, they will), but you will feel connected to the world and your purpose.

 

So start small. Lend a hand. Lend a pen. Lend five bucks. Lend toilet paper. Lend whatever your intuition is whispering to you. After you do this for a while, you may want to tackle bigger things and help in a bigger way. This is a great thing. You are feeling your wealth and abundance. Go get it.

 

Here is a small disclaimer you should be mindful of when you are experiencing this bliss of riches. Do only what you can handle from an energy, spirit or financial perspective. For example, if you want to help stray animals at the shelter do it. If you start to feel stressed with the commitment or the fact that you have 30 cats in your house, then pause. Pause on Paws.

 

By taking a daily simplistic approach to helping wherever you are guided to help, you bring a value to your life that is simply priceless and the cat’s meow. Namaste.

How to Cope with Hope

You got this.

You got this.

 They’re heeeeeeeere.

 

The holidays. The holidaze. Freakin’ Turkeys. The Black Fridays. The White Christmases. Seeing red. Feeling blue. Seeing green fly. Feeling bloated. Feeling overloaded. Feeling nothing.

 

The holidays beckon us to feel joy. That’s their job. They entice us to feel the aliveness of food, family, friends, fellowship, traditions, and fun. But sometimes the holidays feel like they mock us. Or even taunt us.

 

And sometimes we feel like crap.

 

Sometimes we don’t have the energy of even one “Ho” much less Ho Ho Ho.

Sometimes we can’t find the matches to light the menorah.

Sometimes we wish for our Silent Night, where we can turn off the phones, computer, voices, demands, and expectations long enough to pull the covers over our head.

Sometimes we don’t want to “do” the holidays when family or friends are sick, or have died. It’s. Simply.Too. Much.

 

Sometimes we don’t have hope.

 

When you walk around not having hope, sometimes it’s not as dramatic as bad tv.

Not having hope can simply be that uneasy feeling in your stomach that you carry around all day. It is sadness. An emptiness. It’s where you keep going through the physical motions, but the essence of you isn’t there. You’re phoning or cloning it in. And you are just buying time and hope that the next moment or hour or day will not be like the one you are experiencing. This is discomfort. This is dis-ease. Not having the ease of life.

 

So what to do?

 

When it comes to hope, whatever miniscule amount you have, hold it.

 

And then, grow it.

 

There is research about hope. Ph.D Anthony Scioli has lead a team of researchers at Keene State College in New Hampshire. Their new research that “hope is a skill you can acquire”.

 

Why is this important to you? Hope can heal. Hope can help you experience all the things you desire in this life. As far as aging and faith, hope plays a big role.

 

So doesn’t it make sense to hold what you have and nurture its growth?

 

That would be yes.

 

When it comes to hope even during grief, here are some things you can do.

 

First, be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel any emotion that comes up whether it is sadness, loneliness or even anger. With that said, the key idea is to “feel” them. But don’t live perpetually in them.

 

Hold the idea that something of worth can come from your pain. You may not see it in this moment. But perhaps your pain can help you become more compassionate for others. Maybe in your pain, you can help others find their way and this is your purpose.

 

Second, surround yourself with people who can bring you comfort, and who you trust and can count on. You know who these people are and more rightly so you probably know why. Choose wisely.

 

Lastly, when things get tough, focus on the present moment. Be mindful of what you are experiencing right now and what’s good about it. If you can’t think of anything always go back to your breathing and be conscious of it. Go back to your basic senses of sight, hearing, tasting, and feeling. If you need a contrast, imagine if just one of these things wasn’t working for you in this moment. Yikes.

 

Now, feel the gratitude.

 

Hold the hope. Grow the hope. And keep going. We need you. Namaste.

Want it all? Make Peace with the Small.

Small is the new big.

Small is the new big.

                                    

Small. Tiny. Miniscule. Wee.

 

What images or feelings come up when you see these words?

 

Jellybean? Ant? Weak? Insignificant? Loser?

 

What about when it comes to your life and your desires?

 

Every had a “tiny life goal”?

 

A “miniscule” thing to do on your bucket list?

 

Enjoyed a nice ‘”small” raise or promotion at work?

 

A “wee” love of your life?

 

Your “littlest” heart’s desire?

 

Let’s face it. Small doesn’t sound fun, sexy, exciting, intriguing, or meaningful. In a world of big events, big news, big ideas, big loves, giant goals, huge dreams, small is just that… small.

 

Want a ginormous, gigantic, Titantic mind-blowing, soul shaking thought to ponder throughout your day? Okay, get ready….

 

Small is the new big.

 

Small is the big secret.

 

Small is everything you have ever wanted.

 

Crazy, right?

 

Here is the big little secret of small.

 

In life, if you can’t make time to do the small things of your life, you will never-ever, ever-never do the big things right. And even if you do big things, it will never feel congruent or aligned with who you are or your soul’s path. You will be chasing a giant imaginary unicorn of bigness. This is not big fun. In a small word, it sucks.

 

So here’s how to have it all:

 

Making Peace with Small

 

Be Small with Yourself

The great thing about making peace with small is that you can start wherever you are.

Want to feel accomplished today? Make your bed. It’s a small thing of course.

Now, do it everyday. By doing it everyday, you are creating the inner and outer sensations that you can accomplish the thing you imagine and desire.

Want to lose weight? Again, start small. Take more steps. Even if it is100 more a day. And keep doing it. Repetition is the mother of skill. You will feel proud of honoring your commitment.

Want to find the love of your life? Start small. Make more eye contact with others throughout the day. Talk to 3 people you don’t know during the week. If that’s too much, then try 3 people during the month and keep going daily.

 

Be Small with Your Dreams

Want to write a book? Start small and write a sentence a day. And don’t stop. DON’T STOP.

Want to learn how to dance? Start small by practicing daily in your house for one song. And don’t stop.

Want to save money, but hate saving? Start small. Try a dollar a day. Don’t spend it on day three. Save it and keep going.

 

Be Small with Your Present Moment

 In life, when we peek back through our lifetime, some of our greatest moments were not the big loud ones. Many of them are the ones where we shared a laugh with family or friends. It’s the times where someone stopped wherever they were and held your hand in your darkest moment. It’s saying good-bye to those we love. It’s the small moment of looking in the eyes of someone you love and who loves you back completely. Cats, dogs, and babies included.

 

Becoming aware of this sensation is critical to your well-being and happiness because knowing this, you can be present in more small moments throughout your day.

 

Really see the people at work or out and about that say, “have a good day”. See the person who holds the door open for you. See your kids and not your phone when they ask you to find “golden treasure”. See and be present for your animals when you come home and their only desire other than eating and pooping is to be near you.

With the holidays approaching, making peace with the small moments will help you stay out of big overwhelm, big anxiety, and big debt.

Given a the enormous challenges that the world faces, we can make a difference and create change by making peace with things that seem small like forgiveness, kindness and gratitude to ourselves first so that we can collectively give enormously back to the world. This is big. This is big small love.

 

So give it your all. Try it in this moment. And go small. Namaste.

How to Face it To Replace It

Face it. To Replace It.

Face it. To Replace It.

Lying.

Fibbing.

Stretching the truth.

White lying

Pinocchioing….

 

We do it all the time. Most of the time we do it out of politeness.

 

No, those jeans don’t make your butt look big.

I love the fruitcake you sent me.

Yes, I want to have a garage sale.

Sure, we can do lunch.

It’s not you, it’s me…

 

And when the intention is politeness then we make our lying okay. But what about when we lie to ourselves and start to believe that this IS our truth? This is not polite. This is not okay. It’s straight up crappy.

 

How do we face our lies so we can see and be our truth?

 

It takes courage. And we have it.

 

So, let’s be brave, shall we?

 

Here are some of the top whoppers we tell ourselves, and how we can face and replace them.

 

WHOPPER #1

I’m not good enough.

This is a tricky lie because we don’t verbalize this out loud to ourselves. Many times it is just an understood lie. When it comes to asking for what we want or trying something new, we not only hear, but feel the essence of this lie. We sometimes try to support this lie by remembering and recalling everything we have ever done in this lifetime to make this lie true.

 

But it’s not. And that’s what makes us feel bad.

 

Here’s how to face it.

When recognizing the feelings of “I’m not good enough,” remember self-worth is your birthright as a human being on this planet. You are enough. If you don’t think so, take a second to look at how far you have come. You didn’t know how to walk, talk, read, speak when you came into the world. All these things took time and were made possible by you own engagement with the world. So, anything you want to experience is possible. So is love for oneself. Begin small and appreciate the things that make you unique. Be grateful for your health and abilities in this moment. Start treating yourself as you would those you love. Remember that you are “good” now because you are love now.

 

 

WHOPPER #2

I can’t do this. I don’t have the time.

These lies are paired together because they seem to travel together in our lives. Anytime we want to do something and we encounter resistance or challenges, we are quick to give up and slather up the moment with these whoppers.

 

Here’s how to face it. It’s two-fold.

 

If you make this proclamation of “I can’t do this” the brain will do everything in its power to make sure you are right. It will locate every reason and example to support your lie of why you can’t do this. This is where your “but” and not your “butt” in your tight jeans can help you face it to replace it.

 

When you make the statement, “I can’t do this,” and add in the word “but,” magic happens. So if you say, I can’t workout but…then you have the ability to change your course.

 

I can’t workout, but I can park farther away and get some steps in.

I can’t workout, but I can pick a better choice at lunch.

 

This same concept works when we don’t believe we have the time. We all have the same amount of time. It’s a perception game. So, get your “but” in it.

 

I don’t have time to clean my house, but I can at least pick up my living room.

I don’t have time to call my loved ones, but I can text them to see if they have time next weekend.

I don’t have time to spend with my friends, but I can look at my calendar and see when I can carve out time.

I don’t have time to look for a new job, but I can look for five minutes at lunch on the internet.

I don’t have time for dating, but I can practice making more eye contact with others as a start.

 

WHOPPER #3

I’ll be happy when….

We use this whopper from time to time. When the past is painful and the present moment is challenging, we start living in the future. The future is always a safe place because it hasn’t happened so we lie and think we can project all our desires in that space. But the real truth is when you can live and be grateful for the moment you are in, then that’s when life becomes juicier than a fruit cake.

 

To face it to replace it, just add one word…. now.

 

Instead of I’ll be happy when, just rephrase it to, “I’ll be happy now.

Instead of saying, “I’ll be happy when I lose 25 pounds”, try “I’ll be happy now that I have the ability to make good choices in this moment to help me become even healthier”.

Instead of “I’ll be happy when I leave my job”, try “I’ll be happy and grateful for the job I have and am doing now. By doing my best here, I can use what I learn here in my next adventure.”

Or when you say, “I’ll be happy when I have someone in my life”. Try, “I’ll be happy right now with myself. I’ll treat and myself exactly as I desire others to treat me”.

 

In the end, it is vital that we tell ourselves the truth not only to be kind to ourselves but so that we can live our truth to our fullest potential. This is self worth. This is kindness. This is essential to our happiness. We all look fine in our jeans. As far as the fruitcake, let’s stay away from it. Namaste.

How to Roll When We Lose Control

Your fears... drop them like they're hot.

Your fears… drop them like they’re hot.

Today… anything can happen.

Fires.

People could cut you off in traffic.

It could rain on your vacation.

Your bank account could plummet.

You could be let down by… your family, your co-worker, your friends, your lover.

You dog could get sick.

The workload could get heavier.

You could get sick.

People you love could get sick.

 

Want to go back to bed now? Yes, me too, sometimes.

 

The fascinating thing about life is that any of the above could happen, or not. Many times we worry and obsess in great detail of what could happen to us or others we care about. We feel that if we worry about it then we will be prepared. If we worry about it, we are ready for the ugly, and feel and believe the illusion that we are in control.

 

But we are not. Not at all. We could combust into flames. Okay, maybe just sizzle a little from stress and anger.

 

And so when we encounter friction in our lives or feel its us against the world, it is quite an unsettling sensation and it only fuels more futile attempts to take control future events. It’s maddening. It’s obsessing. It’s like a wildfire. It is the opposite of living.

 

So what to do?

 

Do you remember when you were little and the public service announcements would tell you to “STOP, DROP and ROLL”. If you can do this, then you are on your way to peace. The first step is to …

 

STOP

When you realize you have encountered resistance, something unpleasant or something that plain sucks the life out of you, the first thing is to stop fighting the moment. Fighting the moment means anything from cursing to the sky that this is happening to you to screaming at an innocent bystander to wanting to go back to bed.

 

Is this easy? Heck, no.

Do you want peace in your life? Yes!

 

Then keep going….The quicker you can let go of the resistance, the obsessing over something that you feel you didn’t choose, then you can move on to the next step.

 

DROP

The next step is to find a place to drop in to your awareness. This means taking a few minutes if not longer to check in with yourself without any distraction, electronic or otherwise. Check in to how you are feeling. Ask yourself what you can do in this moment to either bring you peace or at least catch your breath.

 

If it doesn’t work at first, then keep sitting. The mere fact of you taking time to rest by yourself and not ranting to anyone else will allow your peace to unfold. Ask again. Keep asking and the answer will come even if it feels like a hint of hope. Go with it.

 

ROLL

The last part is to roll. That means that whatever comes to you in your life, however you label it, you roll with it. Even good events in our life cause stress, like a new job, new house, new baby, new boss, new puppy. You can simply to choose to squeal or deal. If you roll with it, you are letting your self-conscious mind know you can deal with whatever comes your way. This will provide a sense of peace of dealing with uncertainty, dealing with change, dealing with the unknown.

 

When it comes to obsessing and trying to control what we dread or fear, by stopping, dropping and rolling, we can extinguish our flames of fear, and breathe again into living, loving, and trusting in the Universe. And that can happen in any moment. Like right now. Namaste.

Ditch the Glitch about Being Rich

Make friends with abundance.

Make friends with abundance.

 

I am rich…

 

How would you finish this sentence?

 

I am rich…

 

In the amount of calories I eat.

 

In the amount of black stretch pants I own.

 

In the amount of mistakes I have made in my relationships.

 

If I win the Lotto.

 

In my amounts of sarcasm.

 

In my amounts of skepticism.

 

In my hours of watching The Walking Dead

 

In giving more than my share.

 

In having trouble accepting a compliment.

 

In fears of not having enough money or abundance in general.

 

Many people feel they do not have enough to cover their needs and are stressed daily about it. Do you?

 

If so, then there are two things you can do to help with this sensation.

 

SHOW ME THE MONEY-BELIEFS

First, you have to understand where your beliefs about money come from, and which ones serve you and which ones don’t.

 

For example, if you grew up poor or with little means, you may have trouble identifying yourself as ever being wealthy. “We’ve always been poor” may be a constant undercurrent in your thoughts.

 

If you still hold the idea that rich people aren’t generous or aren’t spiritual, reflect on that. On an intellectual level, you may know this isn’t true but emotionally you are still connected to this idea.

 

Many times we connect money to our own sense of value. We may feel that we don’t deserve it or if we make more that we’ll be taking money from poor people everywhere.

We may know this is a ridiculous thought, but our brain perceives this as real and wants us to be right because this gives us a (false) sense of security.

 

After you identify some of the negative thoughts or ideas that you associate with money, the next step is more pleasurable.

 

YOU’RE SO MONEY

Take some time for yourself in this moment and reflect create awareness about why you would like more money or a certain amount of money. Or what you would do with a certain amount of money. As you do this process, it’s important to notice what emotions arise. Do you feel shy, strange or even guilty for visualizing what you want? If you do, this is important to notice. If you can write this down, it is even more powerful.

 

Most people want more money, but we have a set point of comfort. If we operate outside that comfort level it causes us stress. For example, many people want money but are also afraid of losing friends or that they will be judged if they have more. They fear they will lose love. This fear, unrealized or not, will always win over the desire to create more. So it’s important to know your set point and why it’s important and okay to desire and create more beyond that set point.

 

Abundance or feeling wealthy is simply a sensation. Money is the end product of that sensation. And money will only magnify what you are in this current state. If you are greedy, money will magnify that sensation. If you are generous, money will magnify that as well. Make sure the “why” you want more money in life is aligned with who you truly are.

 

If you want to make peace with having more in life, then cultivate more gratitude. Being thankful for all you have in all areas of life will open you up for more opportunities of sharing abundance and receiving it. But you must know what your limiting beliefs are and why it’s important to believe and do something different to create the life of wealth-health you desire. And deserve.

 

I am rich in spending time with you and my stretch pants today. Thank you and Namaste.

5 Ways to Add Gratitude to Your Attitude.

Got Gratitude?

Got Gratitude?

I have a secret.

 

No, it’s not my Spanx. People know I love them as much as my children.

 

My deep dark secret is…

 

Sometimes, I wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

 

And sometimes for that day, I. LIVE. THERE.

 

 

I loathe there. I complain there. I see all the negativity there. I eat bad salty food there. I judge there. I attract negativity there. I re-enact all the things I have done wrong in my life in alphabetical order there. And I leave my dirty laundry there because I also bathe there.

 

Once I have endured all my anger, despair, and anything else I can conjure up like self-pity, I’m completely exhausted. When I come up for air, I can still smell the stench of ungratefulness. 

 

Sometimes my visit to the wrong side of the bed lasts a few minutes, maybe a hour, or so. When I was younger, it could last for days or even weeks or worse.

 

So, what about you? Have you ever had a negative event that landed you on the other side of the bed? And instead of doing something different, you just had a tall glass of Haterade on the other side of the bed?

 

Throw in an unexpected, unfortunate event that happens in work, health, with family, cars, homes, pets or lovers, and life gets really negative on the other side of the bed. It’s easy to slip in to the pattern. The pattern of  Reacting. Negating. Reacting.

 

And if your attitude and state are in anger or “fight or flight” mode, the mere idea of “having more gratitude” makes want to punch someone’s lights out while shouting at them, “Thanks, I really needed that!”

 

Breathe.

 

And breathe again.

 

When you are ready to do something different and add some gratitude to your attitude, try these things recommended by Robert Emmons of Thanks-How the New Science of Gratitude can Make you Happier, who is the leading scientific expert on gratitude.

 

Remember the Ugly and Awful.

Sometimes in life it is important to remember how far you have come. It’s important to remember the pain, the disappointments, and the heartbreak to be truly thankful where you are in this moment. By feeling the contrast, as Emmons suggests, you can start to create the foundation of gratitude.

 

Sense Your Senses

When you see, feel, hear, touch, taste, you get to experience life as really being alive. Wherever you are in your day, take a moment to be fully present and use all your emotions. If you can’t, then imagine what it would be like to not be able to hear, see, touch or taste or feel the things that bring you joy or are near to your heart. That’ll bring you gratitude in a heartbeat.

 

Keep Visual Reminders

Sometimes life gets complicated and messy. It’s hard to see anything with so much outside and inside stimulus. Keep it simple. Emmons says that you should have visual reminders to remind us to be thankful.

 

Have a picture, or a token of something that reminds you to be grateful. It may be a single penny to remind you when you didn’t have two to rub together when times were tough. For me, in my wallet I have a picture of my family and my parents. They are my most valuable possessions. What’s yours?

 

 

Watch Your Mouth

Emmons suggests that all the words you use should be in line with the concepts of gratitude. Words like abundance, fortunate, thankfulness, and thank you should be a part of your daily vocabulary, not “holy crap”.

 

 

Keep a Journal of Gratitude

You may have heard this before and it bears repeating. In his studies and in less than 3 weeks, by keeping a journal of all the things such as moments of grace, gifts, the things you get to do, or the people you love, your life begins to help create the story of gratitude. This process of journaling has big benefits such as resulting in more sleep and more energy.

 

 

By putting all these 5 actions into place, you now have the tools to replace your attitude with ridiculous amounts of gratitude no matter what side of the bed you wake up on. In this moment, you will be grateful that you have a bed as I am grateful for mine, and my Spanx. Namaste.

How to Ride the Tide When Sailing the Sea of Life

You decide. Walk the plank or ride the tide.

You decide. Walk the plank or ride the tide.

 

Life.

 

When it comes to sailing the sea of life, we can encounter many waves.

 

The first wave is the bad days. These are the days that irritate and annoy us. Rude coworkers, family that takes us for granted, flat tires, toilet seats up, pets who pee in the house, delayed payments, phone calls or emails that are not returned forever. We tread over these with the best of our abilities.

 

Second waves are higher and a bit more choppy. We have bad weeks where things don’t go our way. Friends come down with illnesses. We get sick. Home or car repairs take longer than expected. Financial snafus and people who take more than their share. These waves require more agility. More patience. More paddling.

 

And then there are bad months, third waves. These months wash over us with more family members with illnesses. Fruitless job searches. Looking for companionship. Looking for something more to create joy in life.

 

Then we can have the fourth wave. It’s the tidal wave with years of sadness, where it seems like you just can’t catch a break. You don’t even try for happiness because you are so conditioned with the expectation that something else will crash over you like a tidal wave as you fight to keep from drowning. These are things like caring for elderly parents, dealing with dementia, divorce, bankruptcy, dealing with unjust crimes, dealing with death from others or even dealing with our own mortality.

 

After a while, fatigue sets in and there comes a point where you simply can’t deal with … one more thing. One more wave. Nothing.

 

How do you keep going?

 

You just keep sailing.

 

When the currents get to strong, the initial reaction is to fight them. Solve the problems, cure the illness, stop the pain. But when you experience big time waves, patience, intuition, and finding meaning are three important life vests.

 

When you have any big life event happen, it takes time for the mind and heart to align. Patience is required. The mind wants to fix the problem. The heart can’t believe this is happening and the pain is unbearable. Each big event or wave is going to require a different processing time and different degree of patience. The pain of losing your job will have a different processing time than going through a divorce. The pain of losing someone through death will have a different processing time than you facing your own illness. This is why it’s important to be mindful and acknowledge the pain but also know that it may take time to process what you are experiencing.

 

The next life vest is trusting your gut, your intuition. You are the captain of your ship, your canoe, your dingy, your inner tube. You know what you have and how to use it. Sometimes your intuition can get interference from being emotionally drained and mentally taxed. If you can find a quiet space and place, you can sit with yourself and ask, “What is the next right step in this moment?”

 

The question is important because if you are asking yourself “How could this happen to me?” or “Why does this happen to me”, then your mind will give you all sorts of reasons without providing any guidance and relief in this moment. Always ask wisely and then listen to your gut. Then, do it. And do it again.

 

Finally, when you are encountering a big life challenge, you can’t always change the event or the outcome. However, you can always determine what it means to you. We can’t stop our parents from dying. And when they do, we have a choice. We can let the ocean of life pull us under, give up and drown. Or we can allow the process of death to remind us to live bigger, with more purpose, to love deeper, to be kinder, to show more gratitude, and to be open.

 

But remember, even this is a process. You don’t just bury your loved one and the next day say, “I’m going to live a better life.” It doesn’t work that way. The process and the patience are mandatory. But simply knowing that whatever is happening to you is either good or bad can help you grow into a more compassionate human being and help others on your path find their moment of peace.

 

It is in these moments of peace, where you can catch your breath and rest your racing mind. Your heart can be vulnerable. And when the roar of the waves dies down and you’re ready, just keep sailing. Never stop sailing. We need you. Namaste.

How to Turn the Table and Stop Enabling

Time to turn tables.

Time to turn tables.

 

Are you “too muching”?

 

In life we know that too much of something is never a good thing.

Too much sugar? Cavitites and diabetes.

Too much electronics? No attention span and insomnia.

Too much fast food? Stretch pants and heart attacks.

Too much shopping at Target? No savings and a guest appearance on Hoarders.

 

But what about when we are helping others? Can there be too much? When your original intention is coming from a place of love, this is where things can get messy and confusing. Enabling can emerge and create a strong emotional pattern. And over time, it can leave a bad taste in your mouth, not to mention your physical, mental, spiritual and financial bank accounts.

 

Notice…

Have you ever loaned someone money repeatedly and never been repaid?

Have you finished a job for a family member or co-worker because it was easier to do than to request (or nag) them to do it?

Have you ever paid more than your share of anything?

Have you given someone “one more chance” and then another and another and can’t remember how many chances you gave them?

Have you let someone continually treat you poorly or let them disrespect you and not do anything about it because you “didn’t want to get into it”?

Have you taken off work to help someone else with their issues?

Have you stayed with your partner even though they have stepped out of the relationship, don’t pay their half of the bills, or haven’t fully committed to the relationship?

Do you do your kid’s homework, so they don’t get in trouble?

 

If any of these situations feel familiar in your gut, chances are you have been serving up enabling.

 

In the beginning stages of enabling, the intention comes in a form of love and to help. But when you consistently help people and they do not work their way out of their situation, and you keep helping them – this is different. The intention comes from a place of fear. Fear that if we don’t help them, something bad will happen. Fear that if we don’t help them, we will experience pain from conflict or loss of love.

 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can simply turn the table on enabling.

 

The first step is to identify the difference between helping and enabling. Helping is doing something for a person who, at that moment, can’t help themselves.

Enabling is doing something for a person that they COULD and SHOULD be doing for themselves.

 

Think of it as this –

 

When a baby learns to walk, there is much struggle and falling down and even tears. If we don’t let the baby try to walk by themselves and carry them all over the place, then they are delayed in walking. This doesn’t serve them. It makes their live more challenging down the road.

 

Same thing with adults. You may think you are helping, but if you take away their struggle, they will never get to the growth they need to figure it out. Over time, you feel resentful of always having to help them, but you never allowed them to grow with the struggle of life’s challenges.

 

And in life, you are either growing or dying. What are you?

 

If you have the awarness that you are enabling this is your chance to grow yourself as well as the other people in your life. How do you do it? Instead of serving someone else, turn the tables and serve yourself.

 

Ask yourself these questions?

  1. Have I helped someone?
  2. Are they capable of doing what I helped them with?
  3. Can I release them so that they can evolve and grow in their own way?
  4. By letting them go and take care of themselves, where do I need to take care of my needs?

 

If you have helped someone in the past, you can let them know that you will no longer be helping them or you can cut off the process cold turkey. Only you know the dynamic of the relationship. But by turning the tables and stopping the process of enabling and serving someone else, you serve yourself something far greater – self love and self respect. So, go throughout your day and serve yourself some greatness. Namaste.