The past several months have been ripe with personal and professional growth. There have been lots of ups and lots of downs, but mainly it has been incredible. I recently realized that when I connect with friends that I haven’t talked to in a bit, I have a tendency to underplay how I am doing.
There are many potential reasons: not wanting to sound like I am bragging; fear of how our dynamic may change if I am in a different place than them or a different place than usual; not wanting to jinx my current state of happiness; fear of being seen; fear of being judged…and the list goes on.
Do you see a theme? FEAR stands out to me; fear of disconnection.
So, how do you claim your awesomeness while maintaining your connection with loved ones?
It’s delicate, but doable. In my mind, it comes down to ego vs. the authentic self. When we communicate or function in the world from our ego, this is pretty much always disconnecting. When we engage authentically from our Higher Self (the unchanging self), this always leads to connection. This blog post from ‘Kundalini Spirit’ does a great job describing how to differentiate between the two.
I want to encourage you to know your Higher Self and to tell your friends, loved ones, the world, how AWESOME you are from that place. Your light may inspire another to share their awesomeness, and on-and-on…
September carries such a particular feel. I literally salivate at the thought of new school supplies. There is a bubbling, anxious anticipation for things yet learned. While I am not in any formal schooling at the moment, my whole being responds; to the change in the air, the earlier setting sun and the crisp breeze; with excitement and bursts of creative energy.
My quandary: How do I harvest this energy and put it toward forward movement, growth and manifestation, and not let it turn into guilt or feelings of lost opportunity?
So often, we start a school year, or a new cycle of any sort with the best of intentions. Many times our plans don’t pan out…we lose steam, get side tracked, self-sabotage, procrastinate. These little “failures” are often fueled by fear and negative self talk and stop us in our tracks.
Here are a few tools I have found helpful and try to call upon to keep myself on track:
1) Journaling- There are many different ways to use journaling. Whether you do“Morning Pages”, use specific prompts, or simply use it as a tool to help organize your thoughts when your mind is particularly full, journaling can be a reliable and helpful tool to get things off of your already full mind.
2) Set Goals- Various studies have shown that “intention” alone does not lead to the desired outcome. Intention setting is certainly very important and the first step in achieving a goal, however, without clearly defined goals, intentions don’t necessarily go anywhere. Another way of looking at goal setting is…making a commitment. When we truly commit to something…truly, truly, truly…there is no stopping us! Remember to be specific in your goal setting. Give yourself deadlines. A big end goal, can be made up of small, more manageable goals. Have fun with it and be creative!
3) Accountability Partner- Just like any behavioral change endeavor, whether it be eating better, exercising, avoiding unhealthy relationships, or bringing a creative process to fruition, having a buddy to hold you accountable helps a lot! Meet regularly and share your goals. Check in with each other and ask for help and support when you need it.
4) Don’t Trust your Inner Critic- We all have one! And she/he can often be loud, especially when we are on the brink of a creative leap. Recognize your inner critic for what it is: FEAR. This is normal! Being creative and bringing a new project or idea to fruition takes a lot of guts. We don’t want to fail or be judged. When you hear that inner critic trying to derail you, thank it for trying to protect you from failing or looking silly, and then kindly ask it to quiet down. It is often helpful to counter-balance that critical voice with an affirmation. One of my favorites, that I learned from Julie Cameron’s Artist’s Way, “Creativity always leads me to truth and love.”
Harness the creative energy that is abound and create something beautiful! I would love to hear what you have in store…
If only I could unitask better, I would likely have written this post several days ago. It was actually sitting down to write a new post that I was hit with this idea about “unitasking”. It was actually painful to watch myself. It went something like this:
I am not totally sure what the true root is, but I do know that multitasking, for me, is a by product of not being mindful, and that it causes me more stress than anything.
So, I challenge myself, and you, dear readers, to attempt, if even in small doses, to unitask. Imagine doing only one thing at a time. Imagine it!!! Investigate and see what happens. I would love to hear what you learn!
If you need more encouragement, this is a great article:
Do you spend time in the sun?
Do you use sunscreen?
Could your sunscreen pose more of a threat to your health than full sun exposure?
These are important questions and it is worth investigating your choices about sun exposure. It may save your life and keep your family safe and healthy.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) Skin Deep Project provides consumers with ratings on many many cosmetics and household products. They have a system of rating products based on how healthy or harmful the ingredients are. It is really fun and eye opening to go through all of the products in your house to see how you are doing and where there may be room for improvement. EWG has a great guide to choosing sunscreen as well as articles with surprising facts about sunscreen. For instance, did you know that Vitamin A, (which may be labeled in a number of different ways, including: retinol, vitamin-A , or retinyl palmitate), is known to increase a persons risk of cancer when exposed to the sun, yet many sunscreens and other cosmetics still contain these ingredients? Check out EWG’s 2013 sunscreen guide at the link below.
I feel fortunate that when I was in massage school, one of my teachers and mentors, Scott Raymond taught me about the World Skin Project. In fact, Scott was instrumental in it’s inception. The World Skin Project is a non-profit devoted to the education of massage therapists and body workers on skin cancer awareness. Body workers see areas of a clients body that the client may never see. It was the detection of a malignant melanoma on Annie Powells back, by Scott, that very likely saved her life and lead to her devoting her life to this amazing project. Please take some time to look at their website and consider donating to the cause.
Cheers to a fun and safe summer!
I had the great pleasure of attending a Feng Shui class on Tuesday evening at the Rainbow’s Ark in Livingston https://www.facebook.com/RainbowArk
So much of the work that I do is addressing the flow of Qi in the body, this class was a great reminder that Qi is flowing (or not flowing) EVERYWHERE. It makes sense that if the Qi of our living and work environments does not flow optimally, it will effect the Qi in our bodies and therefore our health and well being. Feng Shui is the art and science of working with the Qi of space. Historically, Feng Shui came about in response to humans building structures in which to live and moving out of nature.
The above diagram is called a Bagua (meaning: 8 sides) and it is like a map to working with your space. North (at the bottom of the Bagua) does not necessarily correspond to directional North, it is always oriented to the entrance of the room or structure.
Is there a particular corner of a room or your house where clutter piles up or it just doesn’t feel right? Take a look at the Bagua and see if you can find any correlations to things you may be dealing with in your life at the moment. Then add some color, a plant, a mirror…
Feng Shui is a very old, deep and complex study but there is an intuition in all of us. You can feel where Qi flows well and where it may be stuck. Follow that intuition and grab a book, or take a class about Feng Shui to further learn how to make your living and work spaces work for you!
I don’t know about you, but the energy of transformation is alive and well in my life. We are all hopefully changing, growing, transforming all the time. This, however, is a particularly wild time. I have experienced the transformative nature of fire, the strange and lovely pull of the most recent full moon, and the urge to gather energy and resources for the Winter, while letting go of outmoded ways of being.
The destruction and rebirth associated with this time of year is Ancient Wisdom and can been seen in so many cultures. From Dia De Los Muertos, to Somhain, to the time of Metal/Water (Lung/Large Intestine and Bladder/Kidney) in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The over arching message: letting go.
I encourage you to connect with that Ancient Wisdom in whatever way makes sense to you. Whether it is letting go of material items you no longer need, beliefs and perspectives that have been long unexamined, or relationship patterns that are keeping you stuck. The Universal Energy at this time supports letting go. Connect with that energy and see what transformation can come from letting go of that which no longer serves you!