How to Step Up and Step Out to a Better Life

Stuck? Step Up and Out!

Stuck? Step Up and Out!

Every day when we wake up, there are many things we need to face. Some good some, not so good, and some things neutral.

 

And then there are those things.

You know those things that really gnaw on us. Chew on us throughout the day. Things like: I need to change my job, I need to get a better education, I need to change my relationship status, I need to lose weight, I need to move, I need to go to the doctor. I need to go to see my family. I need to save money so I don’t eat cat food when I’m older. I need to find “me”. I need more fun in my life. I need more peace. I need more happiness. I need more love.

 

We feel stuck in our little hopscotch of life. And we just continue to go through our day with the job we have and the people we are with and the situations we are in because we simply don’t have the time to do anything different. We don’t have time in our hectic, crazy lives to make a change. So we just stay in our box and let life gnaw on us, right?

 

“No thank you”, I say. As fantastic human beings we were designed for awesomeness.

 

We just need to get to step up and step out!

 

Step 1: STEP UP

The first step is literally to step UP.

This means to step back and look where you are in your life. This is meant to be simply reflective, not judgmental. If you were looking at your life from another’s point of view (someone who cared about you), you may come across some very important insights that you didn’t have time to notice. For example, you may notice there are some problems you have been avoiding, putting off or even putting up with that no longer serve you or the path you’d like to be on. As you are going through this process, it may feel a little uncomfortable at first. No one wants to face that they may need to find a new job, leave a relationship, try tolose weight when it hasn’t worked in the past, go to the doctor because it might be something scary, or saving money when there isn’t any left to save. Let this uncomfortable feeling serve you because it’s your intuition asking you to address your concerns. Listen to it. And keep stepping

 

Step 2: STEP WITH YOUR GUT.

The second step is to step intuitively.

In other words, listen to your gut. You have now indicated some big things in your life that you need to change. Great. Now, what? Because you still have to get gas, get coffee and go to work. This is the great part about your brain and intuition. By taking a moment to clarify what you DO want from what you DON’t want, you can let your subconscious mind work on it while you are doing something else. If you tell your brain, “I need a new job,” or “I need to move to Austin”, or “I need to be healthy and make better food and exercise choices,” your brain will search for the means throughout your day. But the real secret is that you need to be able to slow down and see these ideas and allow your intuition to help guide you with the choices that make the most sense and are aligned to you. Listen to your intuition when it comes to what you can control in this moment to help you. Or what can you change in this moment that would mean the most to you and your life.

 

Step 3: PICK YOUR FIRST STEP

Sometimes when you start thinking about making changes, you have the dilemma of having too many steps and then you get all freaky and freeze and do nothing. It’s often called the paralysis of analysis. So here’s what you can do when you feel that coming on. Pick one step. It can be a big one or a small one. Doesn’t matter. This first step will help lead you to the next. You will have created an understating with yourself that change is necessary and you are the catalyst. Just do it. In creating the first step, there aren’t mistakes to be made, only experience to be gained. So step out on your first step.

 

Step 4: START TWO-STEPPING

Change is hard. It was designed that way to make you who you are. To find life that is amazing and has meaning, it doesn’t mean you have to go solo. When you need to make a change of any kind in your job, lover, car, home, or health, find a friend to help you start “two stepping”. By having someone else physically hear what you desire, you are now proclaiming to the world that you’re ready to step out and want change. By having a friend who is emotionally invested in you, you have someone to make you accountable or listen to you when things get tough. Or tell you, “I knew you could do it.”

 

In the end, this is your life. This is your hopscotch. You can stand on one leg and stay on your square until you are ready to get out of it. And by stepping back and discovering what you really want, listening to your intuition, taking a first step and enlisting a friend, you will already be steps ahead in the game of Life. Enjoy the win. Namaste.

How to Get More Juice Out of Life

Life is tasty. S.U.C.K. it up.

Life is tasty. S.U.C.K. it up.

                                   

Who wants a better job, to be fit, to be financially stable, successful, attractive, to own a beautiful home, car, have amazing friends, to contribute to your favorite causes, and experience adventures? Who wants to feel contentment, abundance, health, peace, happiness and love?

 

Who wants constant irritation, anger, despair, crippling depression, hate, boredom, apathy, fear, more fear, uncertainty, self-doubt, restlessness, illness, a constant feeling of poverty and loneliness?

 

If you’re like me, it’s a no brainer. Please let me have a full glass of the juicier life.

 

Every morning, the second we wake up, we are given a full glass of life. A full glass of opportunities. A full glass of choices. A full glass of potential.

 

But sometimes, we get confused and think that we are the juice. We’re not. Sometimes we get in the habit of feeling that we are sour, spoiled, or almost empty because life is “sucking us dry”. We walk through the day experiencing lack and expecting the worse. There is always worse, isn’t there?

 

So how do we get more juice out of life? How do we have “the best day ever” –everyday? Is it possible or do you have to be eight to experience this?

 

To get more juice out of life, you must first know how to master your straw.

 

Then learn how to S.U.C.K.

 

Get out your straws please. Curly straws are optional.

 

S stands for Seeking Your Purpose.

Why are you here? What are your talents? If you say, “I don’t have any”, keep searching. We were all born with them. All of us. Are you a good listener? Are you good with children, animals, gardens? Do you like to teach? Do you like to write, sing, help others? Even if you don’t know exactly how good your talent is, just lean into it. Trust your gut and start using your talent to help you unfold your purpose.

 

U stands for Understand.

Understand we are all connected and we are put in each other’s path to help each other. Yes, will people get on your damn nerves? Yes. But they are put in your path to help you evolve and work though the small stuff so that you can handle and experience the bigger things in life. The juicer things. When you can play with the idea that we are all connected, then each encounter you have with someone today will have a lightness to it. You will be more curious about why they are in your path and be less judgmental. And that’s pretty tasty.

 

C stands for Constantly Connect.

As you walk through your day, make sure you are taking a moment to slow down and really see the people, animals and things around you. Did you say, “I love you” to the people you loved or did you rush out the door and blurt it as you were fumbling for your keys. (I’m guilty of this myself at times.) Did you hug your stinky dogs and let them know you are thankful for their unconditional love? Did you smile at your co-worker or did you just say, “I’ll text you later, I’m in a hurry?” When you go outside, do you notice the sky? The weather? Or do you just check the pollen count on your mobile app? If you want to taste the flavor and get more juice, then create awareness by just being present to what is happening in your life as it happening. See everything as it is right now because even though your juice is ordered for tomorrow, it doesn’t mean it will be delivered.

 

K stands for the Knowing.

Know that you are enough. Know that you are loved. Know that you have everything right now to get you through this moment. You might not have the things you think you want, but you can still experience gratitude for the things right in front of you – your health, your faith, your humor, your potential, your friends, family, and pets, your ability to speak, to create, to serve, to love. These all add flavor to you life. You just need to stir it up.

 

By knowing how to S.U.C.K. you can taste every drop of each day. You take nothing for granted. So when you feel like life is starting to suck, then S.U.C.K. harder with two straws. It will be super tasty and worth it. Now, order up. Namaste.

How to Increase the Peace with Sensory Overload

Stop spinning and increase the peace.

Stop spinning and increase the peace.

 

I was an ugly baby.

 

Have you ever been an ugly baby?

 

You’ve seen it a million times, you know that ginormous birthday party or holiday or event at the State Fair, Six Flags, Disneyworld or even the mall and there is that kid? That kid who has totally been jacked on rides, sugar, sun, loud sounds and prizes. Or it was the cotton candy they didn’t get and still want. They start screaming bloody murder because he or she can’t take any more. And then they wet their pants. They become the ugly baby.

 

Yesterday, that was me. Except for the wetting the pants thing. Almost.

 

From about 4am to at least 11PM, I engage with at least a hundred folks a day. Not only is it the auditory engagement, but I also sense and feel their energy. I experience things like their sadness, their anxiety, their shame, overwhelm and the like. I can also feel their excitement, joy, and nervousness.

 

For the most part, I work on handling this stimulation on a moment to moment basis. But throw in ragweed season, too much or too little caffeine, no space of silence between all the interaction or emails, or calls, and I do want to wet my pants or worse.

 

Sensory overload is when the body is taking more information than the body can process. It can happen all at once or it can happen gradually. Sensory overload can come in forms such as a noisy environment or environments with lots of movement and action, clutter, strong smells, bright lights, or being overactive, or having little or no sleep.

 

It can also come from too many quick images on screens such as tv, computer monitors or video games.

 

So what do you do when you have a stressful job situation, health situation, family situation, financial situation or any situation and you start to get bombarded with sensory overload from within yourself and within your environment?

 

Go wet your pants.

 

No, not really, but take a break. Even a bathroom break.

 

Here are some steps to Increase the Peace When in Sensory Overload

 

  1. Create Awareness

The first step is to stop and check in with yourself. What’s the temperature of your emotional state of that moment? Are you angry? Are you tired? Are you disappointed? Are you hungry? Are you overwhelmed? It’s easy to say, I’m overloaded with it all, but if you can really pinpoint the sensation your body is feeling, then you can address the sensation with more precession and success. You can get to happy from crappy faster.

 

For example, you may be experiencing anger and hunger at work. If you acknowledge that it’s been a long time since you have eaten, your blood sugar levels are probably quite low. Once you stabilize them with food (and not cotton candy), you can check in and see if experiencing anger is still on your list. It may be that the anger came from being hungry and not the situation you were in work. Your true sensation might have been being overwhelmed by your workload AND not eating and it manifested itself by “appearing” as anger. Make sense?

 

  1. Try Something Different

Like most mortals, when I’m experiencing sensory overload and I come home, it’s really easy to react to more overload. I have 3 dogs and two rowdy boys. When I come home it’s a riot of loud sounds. Sometimes I join in and make happy loud sounds with them. Sometimes, I make loud ugly baby sounds. I’m not proud of those moments, but I know that I can try something different. For example, my oldest son Magnus kept getting louder and louder so I yelled and sent him to his room. I know he was upset about it and after I had a few moments of glorious silence, I could talk with him. He was cocooned in his bed and I laid next to him and explained that “Mama has really sensitive ears right now and that all noises hurt my ears. Even farts.” He laughed and so did I.

 

So, if you normally take a break after work to decompress and it’s not working, try something different. Drink hot tea. Take a hot or cold shower. Workout. Take a nap. Sit in your car. The environments with the least stimulation are going to benefit you the most to recalibrate yourself.

 

  1. Keep Going and Breathing

When it comes to mindfulness or meditation, the breath is used as something to focus on for concentration or to experience calmness. The irony is that we typically flat out ignore our breath, the thing that keeps us going. Why do we ignore one thing that keeps us alive? So let’s use it. Let’s be BFF with it. When you become aware of the state of your breath, you also become aware of what is happening to you internally. If you are in a state of sensory overload and freaked out, your breath is too. If you are in a state of peace, notice your breath it will reflect that sensation.

 

You don’t need to sit like a statue and force yourself to think calm thoughts. You can simply sit or stand where you are and breathe. Notice if it’s a deep breath or shallow one. Notice where your breath is coming from. Is it coming from your chest or your belly? Is it fast or slow? Is it coming from your mouth or nose? Be mindful of your breathing in this moment and it will help to reduce the sensory overload around you.

 

So as you go throughout your day today, and you are noticing that you are processing more than you can handle internally or externally, that’s awesome. That’s awareness.

So no ugly baby tears needed. Just step into awareness and identify your main sensation. Address it by trying something new. If that doesn’t work, keep trying. And tune in to your breathing. Focus on it. Appreciate it. Experience the lightness of your senses without overload and enjoy a moment of peace. Now, pass me the cotton candy. Namaste.

Do these 4 Things to Increase Your Brilliance and Build Resilience

Build it Brilliantly.

Build it Brilliantly.

I have a confession. I have an obsession.

 

No, not just to rhyming words but to LIFE HACKS.

 

Life hacks are all those cool little things that make life so much better like:

 

-You can open up a jar with duct tape

 

-By putting a paperclip on the end of the tape, you don’t have to fight to peel it off.

 

-If you want to fit two bowls in the microwave, put one in and then put a mug in the microwave and place the 2nd bowl on top of the mug so you can have two levels of bowls cooking.

 

-Don’t want your fly to fly open? Put a keychain ring on your zipper and when you zip up, loop the hook around your top button.

 

-Tear off the top of a cupcake and turn it upside down and squish it down and make a sandwich so the frosting is in the middle and your kid doesn’t bite into pure frosting only.

 

Crazy brilliance right? I could go on forever because it’s fun. And I love learning and helping.

 

 

But when it comes to the bigger things in life like the loss of job, the loss of love, the loss of health, confidence, money, spirit, or a love one, where do we go? Why do some people have the knack to be a Life Hack and figure out how to climb quickly and brilliantly out of the dark places that life drops them into. Let’s try to shine some light on this.

 

Here are 4 Steps to Increase your Brilliance and Build Resilience.

 

In the best-selling book, The Resiliency Advantage the late Al Siebert Phd. wrotethat highly resilient people are “flexible, adapt to new circumstances quickly and thrive on constant change. Most important they expect to bounce back and feel confident they will. They have a knack for creating good luck out of circumstances that many others would see as bad luck.”

 

How would this look in our own lives? Let’s put our brilliant life hack spin on these ideas.

 

STEP ONE

Find Flexibility.

When difficult or challenging things happen, the first thing we want to do is react. It’s like a knee jerk. But by acknowledging that something is happening in your mind in the present moment, you also have a window of opportunity to create flexibility. For example, a day before I ran my first (and only) marathon, my doctor found lumps in my breast tissue. And since it was not symmetrical on both breasts, it was suggested I get tested to see if I had breast cancer. I ran the entire race in 6 hours and 45 minutes contemplating every single option. I started with the question of how could I use this experience to help others? Would I get a 2nd opinion? Who would I tell if I had it? When would I tell them? What treatments could I endure? How would I like my life to end? And ultimately how did I want to live my life now.

 

When I ran or actually shuffled across the finish line, I was exhausted and happy. Was I still concerned about what the future held for me? Heck yes. I’d be lying if I said otherwise but at least at that moment, I had flexibility in my thinking to provide me with more options than doomsday. In the end I found that I didn’t have any cancer, I just had fibrous tissue. I had a case of lumpy bumps.

 

STEP TWO

Adaptation Celebration.

How well do you adapt? When you get a new boss, how do you respond? When they take your favorite dish off the menu of your favorite restaurant, how do you react? How do you feel when a friend flakes out on you? If you don’t like to respond to change, it’s time to change your approach to adaptation. The next time you have an unpleasant surprise either little or big, ask yourself, “How could this benefit me in this moment?”. If you don’t believe it will right now, that’s fair. Next ask, how it could benefit you down the road. Your computer will want to provide you an answer to support your questions. This will also help you lower your stress or anxiety about it because your brain has already made up it’s mind that it’s a possibility and your body will respond in kind. The secret is the quicker you can adapt to what is happening to you, the quicker you can thrive in it.

STEP 3

The Thrive Jive

When you are in the thick of it, it can be challenge to hang on. I know. I’ve had my share of having many, many big and little life events that could have shoved me down a tunnel of despair. In February 2013, I went to Target to return some frames. I had taken 26 photos to raise money in an auction for our local school and for Sandy Hook Elementary that had just suffered a tragic shooting less than two months before. I had bought too many frames and I decided to return the ones I didn’t need. As I pulled the frames from the trunk of the car, I didn’t realize I dropped my keys. Someone was kind enough to find them. And was also kind enough to drive away with my car. Forever.

 

As I checked out, I started to look for my keys and I heard my mother’s voice (she passed in 2004). Ironically, the massacre at Sandy Hook took place on my mother’s birthday, December 14th. I heard her say, “You don’t have your keys. Your car is gone.” I was in disbelief. And I walked closer to the door to leave and I heard her again. I had to walk to my car and notice the empty space and have my mom tell me again before I realized that “duh,” my car is gone. My mom’s energy encouraged me to take care of business. I calmly walked back into Target, called the cops, and called my best friend to pick me up because my husband had to pick up our kids at daycare. By taking immediate action, I felt a surge of energy to go with the flow of events.

 

STEP FOUR

Go with the Flow or Just Say Yes to the Mess.

Siebert says that the most important thing to build resilience is to expect that you will get better and have the confidence that if it can, it will happen. When my car was stolen, and it was verified by the security camera, and I reported it to the police, people couldn’t understand why I was so flipping calm about it. Conversations would go like this:

 

“Your car. It’s stolen.”

“Yes, I know.”

“No, I mean it’s gone, like’s IT’S STOLEN.”

“I know.”

“What’s wrong with you? Are you on meds?”

“No, not today.”

“Why aren’t you freaking out?”

 

I told about hundred people that I was lucky that my children weren’t in the car. I was raising money for Sandy Hook and that incident alone gave a lifetime of contrast. I had a 13 year-old Altima, it wasn’t a brand new car. We still had my husband’s car. I also know how to ride the bus. Plus, I didn’t get car jacked. And perhaps, I would get a different car that would be safer for my children, and I did. By saying yes to the mess, I could move through it quicker with grace. I’m not saying I loved having property taken from me but in that moment, I was reminded about what was important to me. I was lucky. Really lucky.

 

Let’s recap. So be flexible, adapt, thrive, and flow with whatever life presents to you. By building these muscles daily you will be able to endure whatever lumps or bumps life has in store for you. And by creating meaning about whatever you endure, you can help others on their path. This creates empathy and happiness. This should leave you with not only resilience, but brilliance as well that you can build upon and use for a lifetime, and that’s amazing. Now, get to building. Namaste.

Want Happiness? Blow It Like You Mean It

Toot loud and proud

Toot loud and proud

How are you doing?

 

How’s your day? 

 

How’s your life? 

 

Having a good one?

How many times do you hear this in a day? For me at least ten to fifteen. I hear it from my friends and family. I even hear it from people that I meet on the street. How many times to you hear these types of questions?

More importantly, how do you answer? Here are a few samplings of what I have heard in the last week,

 

I’m making it.

 I’m just glad to make it out of here alive. 

 Am I alive?

 Eh.

 Meh.

 Nobody’s dead or in jail. 

 Crappy. 

 I’m ready to kill someone.

 I’m dead.

I’m the walking dead.

 Another buck.

 Working for the man. 

Sheeeeet. (They weren’t talking about linens.)

 It sucks. I suck.

Well, I’ve had better days. 

 I don’t even know.

 I’m done.

I just want it to be over.

How many feel familiar? How many feel familiar coming from your mouth? If it’s more than one, let’s look at possibilities.

When speaking about mindfulness, Mindful Schools.Org teacher Vinny Ferraro cites studies that show we have about “50-60 thousand thoughts a day.” And the real eye opener or mind splitter is that “90% are repetitive thoughts.” And 80% of those thoughts have a tendency to be negative. 

I know, it’s crazy. But hold on. Take a breath. And another. Do it again.

In the space there is some grace.

While research supports that our brain goes into negative mode for survival, we do have some wiggle room about the thoughts in our brain.
When you are thinking things or looking at things or making judgments about things,

recognize that these are thoughts. This isn’t reality. This is your story about what you believe is going on or not.

When you recognize your story or your thinking is going in a negative direction, don’t beat yourself up; just recognize that this is simply a pattern of being a human being. Alive on the planet. Right here. Right now.

Now, here’s the great thing about the mind, it’s not fixed. It’s flexible, like Silly Putty. So the next time someone asks, “How are you doing?” and something sarcastic or sassy is about to depart from your lips… CHOOSE. TO. DO. SOMETHING. DIFFERENT.

Blow your horn. Loudly. Kindly. With Humor. Or Fun. Brag. Tell people…

You’re awesome.

You’re living large.

 You’re too sexy for your office.

 That you’re good enough, smart enough, and gosh, darn it, people really do like you.

 You’re loving it.

 You’re too blessed to be stressed. 

 You’re happy to see their face.

 You’re wearing clean underwear. 

(Okay, maybe not the last one. Law enforcement may be called. But you get the gist.)

Tell people why you are happy. Tell people why you are thankful. Why you are excited Tell people why you are grateful to be alive in this very moment. Tell them that you love them.

Here’s the awesome thing about your brain. It can’t tell if you are lying or not. Thoughts are real to the brain. If you say you’re awesome, your brain is going to refer to it’s computer data base and support your thinking.

By learning to toot your own horn about how good things are you receive big helping of benefits right now. You give your brain a quest to support you in your happiness story. It will show off in your physiology. Your body will “do” happy or “do” excited. You boost the happy chemicals in your body and strengthen your immune system.

When you are tooting your horn, you are in a state of wellbeing and you emit that frequency. It’s exactly like the love or happiness frequency. It’s a sexy frequency. People want to be around you. You want to be around you. You become a whole lot kinder to yourself and more self supportive and in doing so, you are presented with more opportunities, more courage, more abundance, more happiness, more fun and more peace.

Throughout the day, be mindful of your self-talk throughout the day and how you broadcast or sound to others. Blow that horn and let the world know how fabulous it is to be you. And then let them know how fabulous it is to be them. Toot on and Toot strong. And by shifting our 50-60 thousand thoughts one at a time with mindfulness we can make beautiful music together. Namaste.

How to Turn Frustration to Fascination

Frustated, much? Kim Flores (c) 2015

Frustated, much? Kim Flores (c) 2015

I have experienced at least a thousand insanely horrible things in the last week.

 

And none of them have come true.

 

I owe all this pleasure to frustration.

 

When we want to do something, or create something, or have something happen right now, our brain supplies us with unending information to guide our perception. Sometimes this perception is correct. Sometimes it’s wrong. Dead wrong and ugly. This is where life can get messy.

 

For example, frustration may provide the following perceptions such as:

why we can’t have something or do something.

…we are facing the impossible.

…what we desire will take more time to complete than imaginable.

…it’s out of our control.

 

Which one of those perceptions is your favorite? Which one looks good on you?

None?

My answer too.

Frustration happens with we when don’t get our way. It’s real simple. When we get what we want right away we are pleased as punch. When we don’t, we want to sucker punch somebody. It’s not a great feeling internally.

 

This itchy, oozy, hot, ugly feeling of frustration can bring on the uglier emotions of irritability and anger. And it only gets worse when the desire or the goal gets bigger or is becomes more important to us.

 

On an positive note, frustration can be an agent for change because it can show us areas that we either need to work on or let go. It’s important to see what kind of frustration you are dealing with. Is it an inside job? In other words, is the frustration coming from unrealistic expectations you are placing on yourself? Or an unrealistic timeline?

 

Or is your frustration an outside job. This means a force or situation outside of yourself is causing you stress.

 

For example, you don’t want to be late for an important meeting. You know you always run late so you want to leave on time. And you do but you notice that you are running on empty and have to get more gas. You go to a gas station and it’s backed up due to the morning rush. Who do you get frustrated with? Yourself, or the crowd at the gas station?

 

If you said, “yourself” … you are closer to dissolving the frustration. Now, what can you do next time so that you don’t experience this? Just by taking the moment to see what you could do differently can change how you respond to the next moment. This can bring the heat down and shave off some of the ugly.

 

Next, you hang out with someone who isn’t a great supporter of you. (Why you are hanging with someone that doesn’t support you is another blog!) But this could be a friend or family member. You have an exciting new opportunity and share this news with them. Your unsupportive sidekick tells you that you can’t do it.

 

Do you get frustrated with them or with you? This is a tricky one because you know they don’t support you. You feel frustrated with their response and you could also let their stinking thinking interfere with your own judgment. Who do you get frustrated with? You, or them?

 

Don’t worry, this isn’t a pop quiz. This is merely for your own reflection of how you view situations, and if you see a pattern in your thinking. This is a great tool because if you don’t manage your frustration it will bring more negativity to your life.

 

So what to do?

 

When you notice yourself becoming frustrated… this is the perfect time to become fascinated with yourself. Load up yourself with yourself.

 

Take a moment and consider… what exactly is happening to you in this moment.

 

For example, if you are waiting on an important call, and it’s not happening, you notice yourself fuming. Become fascinated by what is actually happening to you. Are you frustrated that you are impatient? Or are you disappointed that whoever you wanted to call is not calling? Are you worried that they will never call because you were forgotten? By identifying what you are feeling, you can unravel exactly what you are experiencing. This will reduce your feeling of helplessness.

 

As an added bonus, this pause will give you the place and space to respond instead of reacting.

 

The next step is to get fascinated with what could be the next step that will support your well being and give you a sense of peace. What is a better way to respond to this moment? If it’s to sucker punch a pillow go for it. If it’s something else like:

 

I can respond with more patience.

I can respond by knowing that this will not make or break me.

I can respond that these imaginary fears aren’t getting me anywhere.

I can respond by not hanging out with those people

I can respond by saying no

I can respond by not letting my gas tank go below ½ a tank.

I can respond by wearing two watches.

 

Whatever it is, when you get into that angry or fearful feeling of frustration, get fascinated about exactly why you are flipping and tripping out. The identification of it alone will help you become mindful of your emotional state, buying you time to do something different instead of becoming reactive. Why is this important? It helps you breath easier, reduces your levels of nasty stress hormones, and brings on a sense of calm and control. In other words, peace.

 

If you haven’t experienced much of this peaceful sensation lately, let me tell you the feeling is fascinating. So get curious, not furious. I promise it will look good on you. Namaste.

How to Be Successful When Feeling Stressful

Stress Driving You Crazy? kim flores (c) 2015

Stress Driving You Crazy? kim flores (c) 2015

Stress.

 

STRESS.

 

Hardly a day goes by when we don’t feel the pang, the tightening, the beating of the chest, the adrenaline, and the gut wrenching awful movies that we create in our brain on how terrible things are going to turn out if

 

They say, “No.”

They say, “Yes.”

You take the leap.

You don’t do anything exciting for the rest of your life.

They don’t like you.

You don’t get the raise, the praise, and the money.

They keep piling the work out on you.

You’re late.

You don’t fit into your pants.

You can’t find your keys.

They don’t do what they said they would do.

You don’t do what you said you would do.

You run out of friends.

You run out of gas.

You have gas.

You don’t wear deodorant.

You don’t clean your house.

You don’t meet the deadline.

They really find out what you been hiding.

The tests are positive.

The tests are negative.

You have to take a test.

You fail.

You are successful.

But you can’t dance.

You’re not a good kisser.

You have to speak in front of a group of people who are also stressed.

And you run out of toilet paper…

 

How many times have you been stressed about a potential situation and then when the situation actually happened, it wasn’t half as bad as you thought it was going to be. And you were relieved but thought at the same time that if you didn’t worry then something really bad could have happened? I know I’ve bought that one-way slow bus ticket to Crazytown before.

 

It’s easy to have a staycation in Crazytown when we BRAG about how stressed we are and say things like, “I’m going to kill myself with all this stress.”

“I’m as stressed as a heart attack”. “If I have any more stress, my head will explode.”

 

Your mind is a powerful thing. A very powerful thing. Your mind is a computer that wants to please its boss. You say, this “stress is killing me.” Your brain computes that and says, “Okay, let’s kill them, LIKE A BOSS.”

 

Your brain doesn’t know the difference between what you think is real and what IS really transpiring. For years, we have heard about the studies that stress can kill you. And it can. But TED speaker and psychologist Kelly McGonigal also points out some surprising and fascinating research that the people that thought that the stress could kill them were more likely to die than the ones who knew they were stressed but didn’t think it would kill them, and just worked with it. And the ones that thought that stress actually worked to serve them not only survived but also thrived.

 

So let’s play.

Think about the moment you get stressed. Do you notice your breathing starts to speed up to a more rapid pace? Instead of thinking, “I’m going to pass out…” try something different. Take note that breathing is good thing, when you are getting more oxygen to your brain, you are able to make more definitive decisions. This is the Success of Stress.

 

Think about when you feel your heart beating like a base drum in double-time. Instead of “wanting this moment to be over because you’re about to die,” make a slight shift and remember that your heart beating fully because you are awake and alive in this moment. This is the Success of Stress.

 

When you feel stressed out and want to talk with people, DO IT. By connecting with friends, family, or loved ones, you produce oxytocin. Oxytocin helps you connect with others. This natural “Cuddle Drug” comes from The Success of Stress. It creates connection and compassion. Not too shabby for a natural stress drug that your own system creates.

 

Are you ready for your Success Test?

 

The next time you are stressed (for some, it may be in the next moment), try something different. When you notice yourself go from blessed to stressed, take a breath. Take more if it helps you see what is going on in your body. Then name the stress in your head or say it out loud. For example, you may tell yourself, in this moment I can feel my heart beating quicker.

 

The next step sounds easy but can take a little bit of time to adjust to. We you become aware of what is happening to you, respond accordingly and positively to these sensations. This is a big shift in your thinking and in your body.

 

Connect with understanding that your body is trying to help you in the most positive way it can. This in itself is a good thing. And by doing this you also mitigate any possible negative effects of stress on your system in that moment. This is huge.

 

Thirdly, connect with people in your time of stress. By talking about what is happening to you, you lower your stress. And by talking with someone about your experiences, you may find out that they need help and you can get out of your own movie to help them with theirs. This creates an oxytocin win-win sensation for all.

 

Now, hear me, if you have a heart condition or think you might, please go get medical assistance. Now. But for the rest of us that are stressed out because of the horror movies in our mind, we can find a happy ending. If we create the shift to what is happening to us not as distress but our body trying to help us, we will respond to it with awareness and compassion.

 

Go in peace and be successful. I must shop for toilet paper. Namaste.

Need to Stop Fighting with Time?

Fighting with time? Kim Flores (c) 2015

Fighting with time? Kim Flores (c) 2015

Are you having The Time of Your Life?

 

We are such curious things. We think we have a lot of time when we do things that don’t really matter and waste it. Surfing cable, the internet, or shopping for things we don’t really need but scream, “Dang, that’s cheap and I’ll buy ten of them!” We don’t even angst about time when it comes to talking and hanging with folks we really don’t care about but we hang anyway because they are there and SO. ARE. WE.

 

Then sometimes (like everyday), we feel the ugly crunch of time. It’s crushing us. It’s mocking us. It doesn’t want us to get everything on our list done. Maybe it enjoys watching us squirm and worry about how are we going to get it done all in one day much less in one lifetime.

 

And when people have the audacity to say things like, “Live each day like it’s your last… because one day it will be your last,” it’s enough to want to sucker punch them in the stomach. Repeatedly. And then, “Bless their hearts.”

 

It’s a tough choice. Right? WHICH day are we supposed to live? The one where we were doing all the things that didn’t matter? Or stressing about the things that didn’t matter because we didn’t have the time?

 

And if I truly lived everyday like it is my last, I might offend people. I might not bathe. I might not wear my good bra. I might not comb my hair. Why comb your hair, if it’s your last day? Won’t the mortician take care of that?

 

So how do we live EACH DAY and feel fulfilled? And feel excited? And feel grateful? And feel loved?

 

For starters, we can throw our personal time-sucking machine view of things away. We can stop worrying and predicting how horrible it’s going to be in the future. And we can even discard the notion that maybe if we are just a teeny bit lucky, it will be slightly better in the future.

 

We can also stop rewinding the past – things that were crappy a minute ago, 5 years ago, a boyfriend ago, a job ago, a bad hair cut or heartbreak ago, or one more of many disappointments ago. We let the “ago” go.

 

You may be wondering, “What’s left of our lives?”

 

Glad you’re curious. If we can release the sad past, AKA sad sipping, or fearful future AKA future flipping, then here’s what’s left…

 

THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE.

 

Here’s how to you get it N.O.W.

 

Now Observe Willingly. This means to simply hang, chill, or make peace with the moment. Don’t fight the feeling even if it’s not a great moment. When you do experience unease, it’s time to stop and check in with how you are responding or reacting to this moment.

 

For example, I’m putting my son in a new, larger school. No biggie. He’s four. He’s got a killer smile and some mad social skills. But he has a tree nut allergy in a life threatening kind of way. No fun.

 

So I thought I was cool with my decision and I kept going about my business. But something kept making me feel uneasy. I kept ignoring it because I have a lot going on with my business and life and school is about to gear up again for the kids and I thought well, my mind is just going in overdrive.

 

Fast forward to me awake in bed. Can’t sleep. My mind is racing in the “sad sipping” mode of “Remember the time you accidentally gave him a Brazil nut and you coulda killed him?” And then my brain started future flipping and staging horrible cafeteria scenes (I’ve spend too many time years on film sets), with HUNDREDS OF well-meaning, booger-filled classmates offering my boy tree nut laced snacks by the handful. Hitting the pause button on these coming attractions, I jumped out of bed at 4:44 and went to the couch, and in the dark, quiet night of my living room I could ask what was causing my uneasiness. It was simple.

 

The school I was looking into for my son was too big for my comfort zone. I needed a smaller school so that I felt he was getting the attention he needed when I couldn’t be around or control the situation. It took me a moment to get back in the present moment. When I did, I could hear my intuition guide me as to what I was really concerned about and even provide a potential solution. In that moment, I was having The Time of My Life of … peace.

 

Now Observe Willingly your moment. How are you feeling? Are you worried? Tired? Numb? If you are feeling uncomfortable, don’t beat yourself up, just get curious. Are you reliving the past? Or dreading the future? Either one means you that you aren’t in the present moment.

 

Take a quick mental break and close your eyes. You don’t have to get crazy, just close your eyes and breathe slowly at least 3 times. While your eyes are closed, imagine and feel the sensation of at least one thing that will go right today. Sit with that. Next, think about only one person and feel how good it feels that they are still alive today. Sit with that. Finally, take one more breath. Think and feel how good it feels that today you are still alive. Feel that expansiveness in your chest. This is gratitude. Carry this moment with you all day long. Because this is the Time of Your Life. And you don’t have to even comb your hair. Namaste.

Want To Be A Winner? Be A Weenie.

Be Juicy. Be you.

Be Juicy. Be you.

                                 

What do you want in this lifetime?

 

To be successful in your job?

 

To start your own business?

 

To be in an intimate relationship?

 

To have a baby?

 

To lose weight?

 

To be a famous __________(fill in the blank)?

 

To have more friends?

 

To be healthy?

 

To be madly deeply in love?

 

To be crazy rich?

 

To be crazy attractive?

 

To be spiritually connected with the universe?

 

To create world peace?

 

To be happy?

 

To be enough?

 

 

If you asked anyone, they would probably want at least one thing on this list. For me, if I can have it all, then why the heck not, right?

 

So why do we desire all these things, and sometimes come really close to having one, and still not get it. Or if we get it, why doesn’t the feeling match the accomplishment or desire?

 

It boils down to this one piece of vital information.

 

We have trouble being a weenie.

 

What is your definition of being a weenie?

 

Sme people think you are weenie if you…

 

… are the first one to say, “I love you”

… are the first one to say, “I’m sorry.”

… find joy in the world, when things are bleak.

… are grateful.

… trust without guarantees.

… believe without guarantees.

… give without expectations.

… believe in the unseen.

 

I am a weenie, and I’m good with that. I walked a long road to get there.

 

And by weenie, I mean being vulnerable. Really vulnerable.

 

Here’s a few moments of my vulnerabilities as a weenie.

 

-I was late in the game when it came to having children. I thought I had all the time in the world and I didn’t. I became pregnant five times and had three miscarriages. The grief was so profound that I felt I had done something terribly wrong, and maybe I wasn’t worthy of having kids.

 

-I still have clothes that I’m waiting to fit in because of my baby weight. And now my baby is a giant four year old.

 

-Sometimes my bathroom smells like pee because I have two boys and a grown husband who have bad aim (ok, the husband wipes up)

 

-Even though there is a family history of those with psychic sensibilities, such as clairvoyance, clairsentience, clairaudience, and connection with spirit, when it started to happen to me I thought I was mentally losing it. It was one of the most terrifying times in my life.

 

-My abilities started to really manifest six months before I knew my mother was going to pass. It was excruciating to know I was about to lose one of my most important people in my life. At the same time, I didn’t know what to do with all this “outside information” I was getting. How could I let people know what I was feeling and experiencing? Just the word psychic can make you sound psycho.

 

-I was afraid I’d lose those closest to me. I’d lose love. That for me – connection – is what drives me. It’s what fuels me. I love people. I love helping. In order to move forward during this time, I needed to be a weenie. And a big fat VULNERABLE one.

 

According to Brene Brown, a respected researcher on the power of vulnerability, we are wired for connection. It’s part of our neurobiology. When we fear we can’t connect, it becomes shame and “excruciating vulnerability”.

 

Because we want to do anything to avoid this vulnerability we do everything in our power to numb this sensation. It comes in the form or addiction – overeating, overspending, and the like. Trust me, I have the ability to numb with Fritos, Bean Dip, a margarita and an Amazon gift order big enough to last me a few decades of holidaze … all in a hour. I get it.

 

But here’s crappy part about this. When we numb our bad feelings, we also numb the good feelings like happiness, joy, creativity, and love. These are all the characteristics we need to attain our goals and desires. It’s can be a never-ending cycle.

 

So this weenie girl did what she needed to… I went and searched for counsel.

This wasn’t easy for me because for my ENTIRE LIFE I was used to being the one that everyone came to. And now, I needed to be one of “them”.

 

I went to everybody that I was put in my path. I went to ministers. I went to healers who help other psychics, and to good old fashion psychologists. I let my guard down with my closest friends and explained what I was experiencing and they didn’t shun me. And they still loved me. No matter what. I was a loved weenie.

 

In the end, all of their counsel provided me with the aha moment of peace. I call it my Oprah/Chopra moment. My first AHA was that we all have abilities that are not seen or manifested like intuition.

 

My second AHA was that in order to beef your abilities up, you need to become vulnerable (weenie) and allow your authentic self to be present in this moment. By doing this, you are actually grounding yourself, providing yourself with peace, and projecting this out in the world. You are the real deal-no artificial fillers. People can’t help but to mirror your energy.

 

Brene Brown counsels us to:

“Let ourselves be seen, to love with our whole heart, even if there is no guarantee.

To feel vulnerable is to be alive.

To feel vulnerable is to know we are enough and worthy.”

 

When we embrace ourselves in this moment, then all our desires are possible because there is a direct line without all the interference of shame, lack, and unworthiness. This is how we win in life. This is how we win all that we want to experience in this lifetime.

 

So today, as you go about your day, and you notice yourself tensing up, getting stressed, becoming “concerned,” aka scared, let yourself be seen.

 

Want to tell someone you love them, let yourself be seen.

 

Want to take a risk to make your life more amazing, let yourself be seen.

 

Want to be worthy enough? Put your hand on your heart, look in the mirror and into your eyes and let yourself be seen.

 

You are one winner of a weenie. You will win the ability to be kinder to those around you and most importantly to yourself. This weenie loves you. Really. Now, go do good things. Namaste.

Powering Up: From Contagious to Courageous

Take your shot. Be Courageous. Kim Flores (c) 2015

Take your shot. Be Courageous. Kim Flores (c) 2015

Cooties. 

 Have you ever had them? You know you did. Remember when someone would touch you and the simple act of touching you would guarantee an instant contamination of Cooties?

 

Then you’d run screaming bloody murder, “EWWWW, YOU gave ME COOOOOTIES!!!!!”

 

Guess what?

 

We still have cooties. It just looks a little different.

 

 

I want him to love me.

 

I want my boss to give me the money I deserve.

 

I want people to recognize my talent.

 

I want my kids to respect me.

 

I want my partner to be more intimate with me.

 

I want the universe to show me my path.

 

I want Publisher’s Clearing House to show up at my front door.

 

When I work with people, the first thing I ask is what is their outcome. This gives me a picture of where they want to be in their life in this moment. If they talk about not having what they want because someone else hasn’t given it to them, I diagnosis the situation as a possible case of Cooties.

 

Now, don’t we all want love, respect, intimacy, for the universe to show us we are on the right track, and a truckload of millions of dollars for life?

 

Trust me, I’m raising my Cootie infested hand right now.

 

But when we believe that our deepest desires can only come from someone else giving it to us, we lose our power. We begin to believe that we can’t create it, earn it, or manifest it. We become contaminated with Cooties. We wait for permission to get what we want. We wait for people to give us what we think we want. We mistakenly trust the fearful thoughts that someone beside ourselves controls what happens in our lives because of something they did or can do for us.

 

These Cooties suck.

 

In fact, they suck time. They make us feel totally weak and fearful that we have no say so in our lives or in our dreams. And they drain every bit of power we have in our minds, bodies, and souls.

 

So, what’s the remedy?

 

“Circle. Circle. Dot. Dot. Now, I have my cootie shot.”

 

How do we rid ourselves of the contamination of these less than stellar patterns in our lives? It’s easy. We give ourselves a shot. A Cootie shot.

 

We give ourselves a shot of awareness by putting the power back in our own hands. We must first believe that we can have what we desire in this moment and that we deserve it.

 

Next, we notice how we are communicating with ourselves. Do we flood ourselves with negativity, doubt, and fear? If you are, then start with one kind thought in this moment to yourself. Then keep doing it. And again. And again, and don’t stop.

 

Are we holding ourselves accountable to our dreams and desires? If not, start taking immediate action toward the things that you want to create. Every step in the direction of your desires is GIANORMOUSLY important. And the successes you create, no matter how small, should be celebrated to keep you on track. Inoculate and celebrate!

 

By becoming aware that the source of power is you, and not somebody else giving or doing something to you, you begin to live a life that you choose and create.

 

It boils down to you taking back your own power by your communication with yourself and the small consistent actions you take in this moment. Now, go on and git back to that amazing life that you are responsible for and work it. The world needs you and your mighty, mighty self and talents. RIGHT NOW in this moment.

 

You got your cootie shot for the day, don’t make me get my Cootie spray. Namaste.