WHY would I do such a thing and go off Facebook, you might wonder? The Social Dilemma! This is a documentary that absolutely convinced me that this is what I want to do. Not that I was a big "user" and I wouldn't even call myself addicted (at least, not entirely!) . . . I felt compelled to try it for at least a week. Here is how it went!
I spent a good ten minutes turning off all of the notifications. This is one of the documentary's key main points: We are addicted to receiving notifications! I was definitely surprised by how extensive and detailed this process was - - to simply turn them OFF. So many details/styles of notifications! After that was done, I remembered Instagram . . . and while my account isn't a big one, it still should be considered a part of the detox, so I turned that social media app off as well. The documentary tells us to turn them ALL off! (And for good reason - - I highly recommend watching!)
My initial reaction for this morning was, "Wow, it's so quiet!" and the reality of not checking and answering my notifications as a part of my daily morning routine began to set in. The thought crossed my mind: What else would I do in the beginning of each day that could give me that same kind of reassurance: I matter! My meditation practice feels like a separate category. I guess I will have to learn how to give that to myself on a regular basis!
My workout on the eliptical was difficult! Usually I would pass the time by scrolling through my newsfeed, reading friend's updates, checking in on groups and the latest happenings, or getting caught up on news bites. No more. Instead, I had to find my mental "zone." The minutes ticked by slowly.
I begin my plan with substitution: I receive the two new books I ordered and begin reading them. And I continue with the plan to work out every day.
Today, I am noticing my feelings more than usual. In fact, I had a pretty good wave of grief pass through and found myself weeping. It felt good to release that.
Lunch time meals that included scrolling now happen without that, and so I focus more on the process of eating the food. Enjoying the way it tastes. Feeling the spaciousness of the moments.
I begin to worry, whether my friends know or not - Do they know about my declaration? Will they miss me? (haha) So I send out personal texts to let them know. Then I worry about what I might be missing from their posts. Only those thoughts didn't last that long, haha. I know I can count on our friendship. And the ones that don't, are simply not meant to be. I recall how certain friends have gone through several struggles around friendship on facebook vs friendship outside of facebook. The whole concept of friendships is reviewed in my mind and felt in my heart.
More reading. And another work out.
Today I am really missing the morning notification routine. I feel like I NEED that scrolling sensation . . . and that answering notifications sensation. In the documentary, The Social Dilemma, we are informed how these simple acts of behavior were designed to give us doses of Seratonin. Specifically called, "Intermittent Positive Reinforcement." It's a foggy morning and I realize I need to do something to clear my brain fog. I decide to work out and the routine goes much easier than before. Instead, I get a more natural boost from Endorphins.
More reading. It feels satisfying.
Today I begin reading the news. Whaaaat? Usually, I try to avoid the news and would receive what I need to know on Facebook - it would inevitably find me. I subscribe to the local paper and read some of the articles online. One article in particular is fascinating and gives me a boost of something that makes me feel good.
I notice that my emails seem more important now. And I find myself reading them more thoroughly. Instead of a quick scan, I actually open up the city council reports and read them. Interesting things my city is going through!
I also feel the desire to begin some creative and home projects. I even feel the desire to organize my garage!
My workout flies by.
Overall I get a sense that I can get used to this.
I miss my morning notifications routine. I begin to think about Friday - the day I have told myself I can get back on Facebook. I look forward to it. I go for a long walk.
My Sufi mentor/guide talks about the documentary too! He shares the importance for us all to pay attention to the message it provides.
I'm looking forward to posting tomorrow. I go for a long kayak/paddle and feel it's rewards immensely, and I'm excited to share my video/photos of it on facebook. I feel excited to catch up with people. And I contemplate how much time I want to spend on facebook.
I get my teenagers to watch the documentary. One is complaining (the one who is addicted the most) and the other is taking it in like a good meal. After the movie is over, one goes right back on his phone. The other does not. Later, he tells me with a smile, he feels inspired! And he goes to bed with a good book instead of his phone. I feel somewhat gratified. And wonder what it will take to get the other one to decrease his screen time . . . willingly - without my rules and regulations. Personality differences seems in great stark contrast to one another tonight.
Hooray, it's facebook day! I get to go on, but I don't . . . Instead, I choose to write up this blog and, it's past my morning routine craving time! I find more pleasure in the sunshine and my cup of tea. And although my head feels heavy from not a good night's rest, I manage to delay the gratification. Now as I near the end of this article, how do I feel?
I feel hesitant to go on facebook. Almost like it's a daunting task ahead of me. Something that could trap me and hold me hostage. I do my self-check: Do I NEED to go on facebook? The answer is no, but after all this anticipation of going back on, my mind wants to follow up. Ridiculous. I don't even miss what is on there. I DO however, miss my groups and wonder what gems are inside . . . My body relaxes. I got this. I remember I am in charge - not the facebook robots. At least for now!
Will I go another week off facebook? I am feeling it. Yes! So while I was not a "heavy user" of facebook (and Instagram even less), I DO feel like I could use more time off. And I suspect others that spend more time on them than I do will have greater detoxing effects. So, just be aware. Being aware and more present is the overall feeling I have now in my life. And it's the key to knowing what we need!
Finding a Turkey feather bouquet = feeling lucky 🥳
Earlier I was feeling the grief of what’s happening in Brazil with the rainforests on fire. And I thought it’d be a good guidance for us to go within, give ourselves permission to grieve ... there is so much out there to grieve over . . . Do we allow ourselves to cry or release our sadness and anger? Or do we keep going, pushing it down ... I would say most of us to the later. Who wants to make time to grieve? I mean, it’s not an appealing thing to do, ya? But just like we have to wash the dirty dishes - otherwise they will pile up in the sink and make the job of daily living even greater. Let’s consider that. Grieving as a part of our self-care. Which definitely needs to be a priority these days ya?
A couple years ago I was guiding people to triple size our self-care, and now I’d increase that even greater. To include grieving. What would that look like for us? How would we do that? And are there any fears around that (like oh geez, what if I let myself cry and couldn’t stop... like I’d get SO low that I could never come out of it- kind of fears).
Recently I attended a workshop where all we focused on was grief. It felt awkward at first . . . I mean, I hadn’t had anyone close to me pass, I hadn’t lost a job or a relationship. . . And yet, as our teacher spoke in poetry about grief and how the indigenous people made grief a part of their regular community, my heart opened up to all the possibilities; there were many national and worldly events that impacted me emotionally, and there were things in my past that actually had more layers to them . . . Who knew? Until I provided a space for them to be revealed ( like during this workshop). I made a vow to myself to continue what I started and incorporate grief into my self-care.
Why? So I could be freer. So my heart could continue to open in new and bigger ways. To experience even greater joy. To have a greater capacity to love. To shed away layers of darkness or release shadows I had unknowingly suppressed.
And so, here we are. In times when grief is present for everyone.
We can choose to feel it or not.
Solo practices like journaling, meditation or releasing rituals. Therapy.
Wouldn’t it be wild if we actually acknowledged it consciously and it came up in conversations with our friends?
Like, how are you doing today . . . Not well, I’m grieving the rainforests today. Wow, me too ... we could say. Let’s meet up later, I could use some company. Great, and maybe we turn it into ceremony and light a candle or do a bonfire or a song or prayer. Ohhhh that would feel so good to me, yes let’s do it! Hey and I know others that might want to join us . . . And so it could begin; our acceptance of grief.
What do you think?
Soulful Sunday: How to Grow New Roots
I love how this tree found a way to grow here! After my own recent uprooting of a plan I had thought was solid, I thought I'd take you through the process of letting go of that loss of those roots. Teach you how to transmute it into something different. Wouldn't it feel so much better?
1. First step is always to feel the feelings.When we try and skip this step it only comes back later only stronger and in ways that interfere in our relationships. It's also the place where grudges are born. Grudges are simply stuck emotions. And stuck emotions will take hold of our body somewhere. That sudden back ache isn't a fluke.
2. After we let ourselves feel the disappointment, anger, resentment, jealousy ... whatever it may be, Begin - just begin (because it might take a while), to imagine a different outcome. Start directing your energy toward how we would like to feel. Try the flip it method - choose the opposite of what we feel now. Choose a word to help us get there. Consider that maybe there's something to learn here to help us grow.
3. Set our intention to shift our energy to that new emotional space. (Generous of heart, happy, content, satisfied, hopeful, curious, wonder, excited, flexible, open, caring...and so on) This is where we commit and declare it to be so.
4. Let it go. Take action to help our energy get to that new emotional place. Maybe it's coming up with a new plan. Or calling up a friend for support. Maybe it's actively spending time doing something to take our mind off it like going for a hike or to the gym to work out.
5. If and when those painful emotions creep back in (painful because now that we have felt some space from them we can feel just how painful those feelings are!), decide they are "old feelings" and now in this present moment we are feeling .... x,y,z ..." Sink into our new roots, breathe, allow space for them, meditate with them. Realizing we are the captain of our ship to the degree that we can re-direct in order to feel better.
6. After time has passed, check in with ourselves to see how we are. If there is any remaining sting or loss, go back to step one and repeat the process until at this point most of what felt terrible has been neutralized and we can feel good again.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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?”