7 Tips for Managing the Holidays
It's here, the holiday season! The following tips are for those of you who want to enjoy the holidays and get into the spirit, free of stress.
1. Keep your regular schedule as much as possible. In other words, don't let extra errands and tasks push away your meditation practice or yoga class.
2. Increase self-care. That's right: slip in extra acts of kindness for yourself here and there; whether it's a few minutes or more, they add up and help us breathe through the emotional triggers. Self-care = patience, compassion, presence.
3. Center. Hand over heart. Breathe. Yes, this practice of tuning into ourselves helps us to manage stress. Keeping that connection going helps us to remember we are not alone and that we can handle anything.
4. Gratitude. Don't forget how this powerful energy of feeling grateful and appreciative helps transform any depressive thoughts. Appreciate the darkness (light up your house with candles or Christmas lights), appreciate the scents (hang up a wreath inside your house), feel and appreciate the songs you hear (Silent Night is one of my favorites). You get the idea . . .
5. Give. Take pleasure in your ability to give to others. This time of year offers all different types of ways to give, whether it be a food drive, toy drive, volunteering your time, sending a check to a charity of your choice, donating to the shelter... Giving comes in all shapes and forms as you know, but it also takes us out of our own head/negativity if there is any. Focusing on giving increases happiness.
6. Discern. Keep your Queenly self present. Don't fall victim to all of the messages to "buy buy buy" spending money you don't have or truly want to spend. Choose your activities wisely to conserve your energy rather than scatter it in places that don't serve your or your family.
7. Love. Truly the message of the season is to love. Take time to feel into your heart and send it some love. My book offers plenty of meditations for that. Whether it be self-love, demonstrating love to your family and friends, or a complete stranger; love is the answer to any hardship you may have.
I am always here if you need some individual support/attention. To make an appointment for life coaching, call me here: (805) 748-9822. email@example.com
Lots of love! Injoy!
If emotions are energy (which they are), then will you take the reins and direct them?
What does that mean?
Let's say you wake up in the morning and discover that you don't feel refreshed from last night's sleep. You decide to make the best of it and go forward with your day, making coffee/tea and your typical morning routines. But then you pay your bills and your mood immediately shifts. You feel resentful, like you don't have enough money and worry about some debt you recently put on your credit card.
If emotions are energy, then this mood previously described can either direct your ability to feel good, bad or something in between, Yes?
What if you could step outside of the emotion and decide in that moment what you wanted to do with it?
Using the emotion that occurred from paying your bills; there are several options or choices after you become conscious of this feeling.
"Damn, I feel so broke! (anger) . . . " or "I'm depressed now (sadness) . . . " or "How am I going to pay off my credit card? (anxiety). . . " or "This really stinks, having to pay such a high utility bill (resentment) . . ."
Well, any one of these emotions can be used for your next step.
Getting conscious means realizing you have the ability to choose what you'd like to do.
Anger could get you to the point of sitting down to write out a plan to pay things off. (Feeling motivated)
Sadness could get you to the point of making a new budget. (Feeling empowered)
Anxiety could get you to deal with the present moment. (Feeling capable.)
Resentment can flip into gratitude - "I'm glad I have the money to pay this bill!"
Is there anything greater than that? Being able to use our emotion so that it serves us?
Yes, actually there is.
Our emotions can also give us information about ourselves.
But that's a different topic for next time.
Until, then happy days to you, being the director of your emotions!
It's a New Year with a chance for a new beginning. Not only for ourselves but for our nation (USA). While I see our new leader for who he is I also CHOOSE to see it as a time to start over again. Whether that means REVOLUTION (notice the core of this word is LOVE?) outside of ourselves or within!
So how do you pump yourself up to create positive change?
I find and help my clients to first feel empowered. Most of us (especially if you are a woman) have been in the habit of giving our power away.
Consider work, family, relationships . . . How much of your energy are you feeding these things?
What is left for yourself?
It's challenging to feel empowered if we give our power away to people and things that don't feed us.
Realizing this is huge!
Consider a plant. When the leaves get old they dry out but they stay on the plant most times unless they are leaves on a tree and they simply fall off.
Meanwhile the plant continues to send nourishment even to the dead leaves, if they are still connected to the plant.
However, if the dead part of the plant/tree is cut away or broken off, it is no longer connected and allows the plant/tree to use its energy more efficiently. Suddenly, the plant begins to thrive because there is more energy to feed itself without the dry/dead parts there.
So what parts of your life are old/dead and yet you still send your energy to?
When we give our energy to something, it's nice to get a beneficial response. Yes? Give and take. However, some friends/people are simply "takers." When we do all the giving we are left feeling a bit drained/tired, maybe resentful, yes?
Maybe it's a "thing" such as an old car we've told ourselves that we will fix some day, but we don't and in the meantime we see it every day we drive past its large presence on our driveway. Ugh!
I challenge you to watch what happens if/when you decide to break off relationships or get rid of "things" that drain your energy.
For starters, in your next meditation, see if you can imagine what it would be like without that person/thing in your life.
Wouldn't it feel good to have more energy this year? More energy to give to your own dreams, your own goals, your own space . . .
To set up a FREE consultation with me. (We might be a good team!) Click here to contact me.
When I look at this picture of me and my boys, two years post my divorce, I can see the effort I was putting forth. It felt like a huge deal to get everyone to the pumpkin patch. I was so tired, kids were apprehensive, and it was the first re-established family ritual after their Dad was gone. Yet, I was determined to make it fun. We needed to do this to show ourselves that we could carry on and have a good time.
By searching for the gifts in your past experience you are declaring yourself a victor; someone who has overcome adversity.
Why is this important?
It’s the victor stance that will make you feel strong and capable.
It is this perspective that empowers you to move forward in starting over with clarity.
I invite you to expand your awareness beyond feeling like a victim to the bigger picture of how it all relates to who you are and where you are going in life.
When my divorce began to unfold, I was overwhelmed with hurt and betrayal.
It was so tempting to wallow there, and I did—but not for long. I had a very strong desire not to be a victim of it all.
I wanted this experience to fit into my life so that I could come out a stronger person for it.
I wanted to come out of it bigger and better than I was before—like a victor!
I wasn’t sure how or what that was going to look like.
All I had was my desire and my perspective.
I wanted to be the new single mom in town who would show everyone how good life can be after a divorce.
I wanted to show other mothers, in particular those who were in unhappy marriages, that it’s definitely do-able—and you can be happy doing it.
I wanted my kids to be happy.
I didn’t want them to feel sorry for me or see me crying all the time.
To be fair, it’s healthy to acknowledge and recognize “the victim” in us all.
It’s a natural response at times to feel cheated, betrayed or that life isn’t fair.
However, what you will learn is that it doesn’t serve you to feel like a victim.
Furthermore, it doesn’t benefit you to act like one.
Do you see yourself as a victim? Let’s be clear about what that looks like.
Caroline Myss explains in her book, Sacred Contracts (2003), that the “victim archetype tells you that you are always taken advantage of and it's never your fault.”
In your effort to recognize this self-defeating attitude, ask yourself the following set of questions:
There is a method to this madness.
In finding the gifts of your past experience, you become empowered, the bruises begin to heal and you end up feeling like a winner—a victor, who is victorious.
Your past is full of gifts waiting for you to open.
Find the Gifts Exercise:
First describe your experience and feelings; the part of you that feels like a victim.
Then flip it over, turn over a new leaf to uncover the gift;
the lesson learned,
the part of you that strengthened as a result.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi
I am here if you would like help with this. You will feel so much stronger, capable and hopeful after completing this exercise!
Myss, C. (2003). Sacred Contracts, Harmony.
Croley, K. (2014). A New Leaf; 12 Spiritual Truths for Starting Over, New Leaf.
One morning while outside in my yard, I was reminded that we can learn from Mother Nature.
I was looking at one of my plants, a banana tree (the non-flowering kind), and talking with a friend about the parts of the plant that were dead.
We reflected on how the energy of the tree was diffused, because the dead parts had not been cut off yet.
It wasn't able to grow and strengthen its core as well as it could have because of this.
The tree was still sending energy to the parts that were dead.
How applicable is that to humans? Completely!
What have you been sending your energy out to?
Are you sending energy to places, people, or things that are dead?
What a waste of time and energy! You will know you are doing this if you feel drained, stuck or tired a lot.
It’s amazing how once we decide to stop giving our energy to these places, people, or things that don’t reciprocate, just how much greater our energy levels can be.
Those “dead parts” that don’t benefit us don’t need to consume our energy anymore.
Your ability to create will benefit from increasing your awareness of the ninth spiritual truth: everything is energy.
Sometimes even after we make the transition, we continue to feed those “old parts” of our past or previous self.
It could be an old story you re-tell to the new people you meet in your life about how you were fired from your favorite job.
We might use self-talk (“I loved that man.”).
With each of these actions, we send our energy in that direction.
(This chapter) will help you to realize how your thoughts and emotions create energy and thus your reality.
You will see that you have the potential to use this energy to create wonderful interactions with yourself and others.
With this new awareness, you increase your ability to build a bright future.
It was one of the first things I noticed after my divorce.
I had more energy because I wasn’t sending it out to the dead parts in our marriage anymore.
I had spent lots of time wondering where my sons’ father was or what he was doing.
It was a waste of my time and energy.
Instead of focusing my energy on him and his whereabouts, I could now focus my energy on a new life, comprised of myself and my kids, pure and simple.
With a new abundance of energy, I could begin to make our new tree (family) take root and establish a strong solid core.
Managing our energy will help us to have even more energy during our transition and assist us in creating our future.
But first I invite you to consider the fact that there are different kinds of energy that influence us.
They are: revitalizing energy, other people’s energy and emotional energy.
To learn more, purchase my book to read the remainder of this chapter. “A New Leaf; 12 Spiritual Truths for Starting Over”
Or book a session with me. Use the "Message Me" tab on the page to begin planning date and time to skype.
First off, let go of asking why this experience happened, and instead, view this moment as an opportunity to find acceptance. Believe me when I say that I have been “a victim of why” for many years. I used to believe that once I figured out why, I would feel better. Oh, so many restless nights and bouts of insomnia! Oh, the trick our minds can play on us in thinking we can find the answer if we just figure out why, or find a reason . . . Truthfully, letting go of why was the single hardest thing to do in my life. I was such a firm believer in “the quest for why” until I realized that seeking why didn’t make me feel any better.
Asking why keeps us trapped in our head and leads us to believe that we can find an answer. We have a false belief that we will feel better after we figure out why; that figuring out why will make us understand. We are fooled into believing that we can find comfort by having the answer.
Not so! Because answers are infinite—there is no right or wrong. There isn’t one answer that will suffice—that’s an illusion.
Our thoughts change all the time, and our new thoughts impact the answer we think we’ve found. Each successive thought could easily produce a whole different answer the next day—and then what? You are back on the treadmill once again trying to figure out why!
If you’re a big thinker like I am, you believe it’s getting you somewhere, and you won’t want to let go of thinking so much. It’s stimulating! It feels intellectually good to ponder, to analyze . . . It takes care of that need we have to figure things out.
Are you programmed that way? Did you enter the world this way?
Just know that if it’s a need you have, and the good news is that you can fulfill this need in other more fruitful ways. You can read an intellectual book, do research online, take a class, learn something new like how to play an instrument, or engage in debate or other thoughtful conversation.
It’s okay to let go of why.
Learn how to entertain your mind in other ways—and practice.
Instead, use your power of different perspective (see previous chapter on Perspective is Powerful) to help you let go of figuring out why.
A new perspective will help you find a positive outlook and will provide clarity. For example, “I don’t need to figure out why (something happened), because it doesn’t matter in the long run.
The event is over, and I am learning from this experience. I know what my mistakes are, and I will not repeat them.”
There are a billion reasons why, so it’s actually beyond your control of realization.
You may be wondering: But how do you know your mistakes if you don’t review the experience by asking why it happened?
You may want to beat yourself up asking rather critically, “Why did I do that?”
Recall if you will, Chapter Five’s set of questions around finding new perspective.
They didn’t involve why; they focused on your experience and what you gained from it.
In other words, you can learn from your mistakes using this type of focus. You do the inner work rather than placing your attention outside of yourself on the other person to figure out why.
The answers are found within by feeling into your experience: You are the answer!
Excerpt from "A New Leaf; 12 Spiritual Truths for Starting Over"
Book an appointment to get help from me with this process: Click Here.
“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky.
Starting over again, whether it be with a new job, a new city, or being with or without someone we love, can make us feel overwhelmed with emotion. Hopefully when you combine what you have learned so far—living from your heart space, living in the present moment, and having a loving relationship with yourself—there is good news: your ability to stay on top of your emotions has increased! Managing your emotions is the gateway to personal freedom and empowerment. Therefore you will also have clarity of thought, mind and heart.
Frequently, transitions can leave us feeling disconnected from our hearts or bodies so we don’t feel such sensations as hunger or discomfort. We’ve conditioned ourselves away from being self-aware. We use work as an excuse to keep going and ignore the emotions rising from our transition. It’s easier to take care of others and their problems so we focus on them and what they are feeling. The moods of our friends and family are prioritized over our own. Soon we have completely lost ourselves because all we are aware of is how the person we live with, for example, is feeling. So it’s simply a matter of turning on the light switch again and becoming conscious of your feelings. You’ve already begun this process by taking action—practicing hand over your heart and tuning into your breath. Now, you can maintain self-awareness of your emotions.
However, you won’t be able to realize your opportunities to manage your emotions if you aren’t aware of your feelings first.Maybe it's difficult to bring all of your attention to the present because you are overcome with emotion and doesn’t feel like you have the ability to deal with them?
“My own approach has always been to push intense emotions down and attempt to
Increase Your Emotional Awareness
Once you have conscious awareness of your thoughts and feelings, you can begin to manage your emotions. Having this awareness prepares you to check in with how you are feeling. Be aware when you have your conversations with others. Listen to your body and how it responds to people or situations. These are opportunities to be self-aware, inviting you to practice self-care during this time of transition. Simply observe and take note of where you stand with this.
Begin to consider to what degree your feeling awareness ranges:
Are you aware of your feelings on a daily basis?
How about on an hourly basis?
Do you know when you are hungry or do you not realize it until your stomach growls?
Can you tell when you feel tired while talking to a friend?
Are you aware of your choice to change your plans if you’re not feeling up to it?
When you make decisions, do you “feel it out?”
I attended a great workshop yesterday and I feel motivated to share some of its main concepts about finding balance in relationships. It makes sense to me – see if does for you too. These concepts are the building blocks for everything in our lives relationships, work, family . . .
The idea is built around basic biological differences between man and woman or male and female energy. Yin and Yang. First know that women have an innate pattern of behavior: first they receive, then transform, and then contribute. I.e. Women receive the sperm, transform the sperm and egg inside their bodies, then contribute the creation to the world. Women’s power originates in RECEPTIVITY. This is the single most primary concept.
To achieve clarity about how receptive we are, we women can ask ourselves this question: Which way is my energy going? Am I spending more time giving (outward toward the world) or receiving (inward toward self)?
Suggestion: Pick a typical day to consider yourself. Then write a list of what you did for others. Then write a list of what you did for self. Typically, women end up having a bigger list of things they do for others than they do for themselves. However, our most compelling trait - the trait that helps balance our lives both within and with male energy, is receptivity.
~ Am I allowing myself to receive in my life?
Surrender to the opportunity to be truly RECEPTIVE.
Why? Because in relationships, it will create the balance needed to make them work. You see men, on the other hand, NEED to give. That is their single most primary concept: CONTRIBUTING. Basically, you are castrating who they are when you don't receive them - their contribution.
When you do all the giving . . . When you refuse to let them help you . . . When you tell them, No, it's okay I got it. or You don't have to do that, I can do it myself. You probably didn't know this but you are triggering a universal wound for men: rejection. They need to contribute, it's that giving energy that makes them a man. If you are wondering why your man doesn't help around the house anymore or doesn't show up the way you want them to . . . you might even think they are lazy. Gasp! Take a good look at yourself and consider the fact that you may be doing too much contributing/giving. The balance is off. You have taken over and without knowing it, allowed him to be that way. So stop it and see what happens. Redirect your energy and focus on yourself and receiving. Most likely, he will seize the opportunity to come back around and contribute again. Balance is restored. If he doesn't, then I recommend coming to see me for some connection building. Set up a time for a couples coaching session.
Women, our universal wound is abandonment. This is a crazy cycle we put ourselves in, of putting all our energy into giving - making the efforts to get our man to do something. Trying to get our man to change. Yes, that too is in our DNA - after all, we changed the sperm (via our egg) into a baby - It's what we do! Of course we want our man to change! (Haha!) And with our primary unconscious motive: fear of abandonment, we pursue! We pursue our man to avoid being abandoned. But wait a minute - that is his job! It's in his DNA to pursue, to contribute.
So . . . what is the solution? To stay in our power and focus on receiving. Realigning with our innate wisdom. We can let go of all the effort (masculine energy) and surrender. This allows the door to open and for him to feel his personal power again: to contribute.
Women, we feel most loved and inspired to have sex when we think highly of our man. When we feel an emotional connection through our intellect, through our conversation. Our hearts open up when we are listened to. For men, it's actually a lot simpler. (In a committed relationship), men use sex to open up their hearts. For men, this is the starting point. It's how he feels his personal power. Sex is the number one need for a man in marriage. In fact, also according to Dr. Felice Dunas, when erectile dysfunction is an issue, they are experiencing an aspect of female energy (the worry and anxiety).
But just because our power as a woman lies in RECEPTIVITY, that doesn't mean we don't do anything!
Knowing this helps us to know how to direct our energy inside the relationship, in the most beneficial way. So, when our partner or our boss is relating to us in a way that makes us feel uncomfortable: practice DISCERNMENT. Ask yourself: Is this good for me? If and when you receive information that doesn't feel good: SET BOUNDARIES. Practice using your innate bodily wisdom - your inherent behavior pattern: 1.) RECEIVE 2.) TRANSFORM and 3.) CONTRIBUTE.
Once you receive that person and it doesn't feel good to you, give them feedback: "You are giving me so much information at such a rapid pace that I cannot digest it all. (RECEIVING) I'd like to suggest that I sit with what you have given me thus far and set up another time to receive the rest. By setting time limits, we can be more productive." (TRANSFORMING). Your outcome is your CONTRIBUTION that works for everyone.
Sometimes you will need to instruct others on how to behave so you can receive them. Tell your partner, "Please just hold the space for me to share my feelings right now."Men have the need to transform also. They will transform their behavior when they get our feedback. (We women must be nice vs. rejecting) They have a process of receiving too - only it comes after contributing. Their process of receiving directly correlates with their ability to contribute what you want.
If you feel like this information is striking a chord with you, let me know. If you feel angry or mystified after reading this piece, I suggest setting up a time to talk with me. Let's see if I can help you get clarity. Let's see how your needs can get met.
All information taken from workshop dated 3-12-16, Women's Symposium, San Luis Obispo with Dr. Felice Dunas.
At first this coming year felt shameful, daunting . . . I didn't want to acknowledge it had been ten years. How far have I come? Have I even arrived yet? My thoughts were achievement oriented, centered around what I have accomplished. (Yeah, I can say I'm a college instructor now, wrote and published a book, raised three amazing boys, helping people, yada yada yada). But later I realized that who I am today is much more important than my achievements. It truly has been the journey that matters most.
These next two months mark a powerful transition for me, ten years ago.The beginning of healing from a broken marriage/family and the birth of my third amazing son.
. . And the re-birth of me!
Talk about crisis and opportunity rolled into one! The crisis obviously being my divorce and my opportunity coming from my bright and shiny star-of-a-son, Trevor. He gave me the ability to feel joy again, even whilst in the midst of crisis.
Two months after he was born, I was faced with the fact that my husband was a stranger living a private life. After the shock, I began my grieving process. My will to succeed in this situation is what propelled me forward. I was determined to come out a Victor of this crisis.
Somehow I knew I would be teaching others how to do the same one day. Those gut wrenching emotions; that dreadful lonely feeling of separation, and the memory replay of what used to be; all needed to be managed, processed and resolved. Those were huge tasks to do as I did my best playing my first role as “single mom” of a newborn, and two others little boys . . . !
And I have no regrets as I look back at that time in my life, because I have transformed into the person I am now: Super strong on the inside, totally connected to my heart and soul, and completely reverent in living my truth.
These are things I was not ten years ago, and prior to (during my marriage).
So what I would like to pass on to you today, is that your crisis is your best teacher. The person behind the crisis – the one whom you feel victimized by - is your best teacher. Yes, that’s right: we are the students. Learning great lessons from these people. Lessons we could not have learned otherwise. That is the absolute truth.
I know this is a really difficult one to get. If you are like me, you have based years of your life on the belief that that person has caused you great harm. That is why I wanted to let you know that I am here for you. I’m here to help you make this gigantic shift. I’m here to guide your desire to flip it upside down and turn over a new leaf about it all. If I can do it, you can do it.
I can honestly say that I can "see" my Ex for who he is TODAY because he no longer carries the heavy burden I placed on him (perpetrator of hurt). I can "see" him without the grips of our past. I can smile at him and initiate meaningful conversation. And he can return my smile and engage with me.
But only because I thanked him. I feel grateful for all those lessons he taught me about myself. Not in person: In spirit. Inside my heart. And because of that, he can feel it. And so it is.
When you are ready to make this powerful shift that leaves you feeling totally free of the baggage (hurt). Ready to make a gigantic step that returns your amazing beautiful power back to you.
Please let me know! I am so excited to help you! Click Here to inquiry.
There's good news: We CAN have control over our emotions! The grief over the loss of a loved one or a broken heart can be felt and then released. It's simply up to you to take charge of feeling better again. Are you up for it?
Just after my divorce, I had a huge amount of grief to release around the belief that I can’t protect my kids 100 percent of the time anymore. There were many aspects of that thought that made me feel scared. Worries ran through my mind: What is he (their father) teaching them - what if they are learning bad habits from him? Can I have any influence at all? Then of course there were irrational fears such as: What if he shuts me out completely and talks trash about me to our sons? What if he moves out-of-state or stops contacting me when it’s his turn to have our sons? What if he neglects them to the point they get hurt? These excruciating thoughts kept me up at night. Then I began using these 5 Methods for taking charge of feeling good again.
1.) Suffering can be alleviated by letting go of fear and having compassion for ourselves. When we feel ourselves having a really tough time . . . let it happen. Suffering is okay. It will pass. Remember, emotions are energy, so don’t attach yourself to them. Emotions are meant to come and go. The only reason we are sad/angry/stressed out is because we keep telling ourselves that we are sad/angry/stressed out. We run this loop in our heads over and over. Instead, let yourself cry; it’s another form of releasing and letting go. This is what we do have control over.
“Tears are a river that takes you somewhere … Tears lift your boat off the rocks, off dry ground, carrying it downriver to someplace better.” Clarissa Pinkola Estes
2.) You can also gain a sense of control with perspective. It can change your attitude and lift you up in the morning! Each and every day is a new day to let go of the past and begin with a clean slate. If you choose to. It’s for you to decide what you would like to focus on.
Where will you place your attention? Will it be ~
3.) Redirect thoughts to those things you do have control over. Then let everything else (that you don't have control over) go! Steer away from negative thinking and past memories that make you feel badly. Learn to delete or cancel these thoughts. Our thoughts need to serve us, not bring us down.
4.) Use the present moment to be mindful of your thoughts and choose wisely. (Choose, yay - it's sunny and warm outside right now! As opposed to lamenting over something you said yesterday.) It’s comforting to know that we have this kind of freedom available to us at all times.
5.) Finally, a simple twist of a negative thought can transform into a positive helpful thought. A new encouraging thought helps us to let go of wanting control. To be more accepting of what IS. The example I used earlier with the thought/belief of losing my ability to protect my children at all times, can be seen in a new light with this positive thought: They are learning how to become independent, self-reliant human beings.
That feels much better, now it's your turn!