How to Integrate Gratitude More Deeply Into Your Life

gratitude

Gratitude. It feels warm and fuzzy, but is powerful enough to rewire your brain. It is my go to strategy when feeling a lack of abundance and can literally change how you feel about life.

The trick is to stay tapped into it and let it integrate through your body, mind, and soul.

I used to have my clients write 5 things they are grateful for every day in order to connect with this thankful energy, but over time the practice began to feel stale.  It became just another thing to do and the feeling connection to gratitude was lost.

Mixing things up helps.

  • Looking for hearts, signs, or synchronicities
  • Taking pictures of things we find beautiful
  • Spending time in nature
  • Fostering awareness of magical moments in daily life

All of these are great tools to spark a practice of thankfulness, but they only work when you take the time to really feel and fully integrate them.

In order to ground yourself in the warm, fuzzy, life is amazing, miracles happen, anything is possible energy of gratitude you must sit with it, give it your full attention, and let it fill your heart.

A gratitude practice is not something you do, it is something you feel.

When you let the awareness of blessings touch every moment of your life, you open the door to a life full of miracles.

My personal gratitude practice may look different from day to day. Yesterday, I was mesmerized by clouds and took a lot of pictures. The day before it was a meditation on all the special people in my life. And, as I write these words today, my heart is full of love and gratitude for all of you.

The one thing I do consistently as I lay my head on the pillow each night is to review my day with an open heart.  I savor the day’s blessings, let go of what does not serve me, and thank God for all I have received.

No matter what is happening in your life, you have much to be grateful for, too. I invite you to focus on the gifts in your days and let them lift you up and fill your heart. It can be life changing.

What Do Life Coaches Really Do?

 

life coach life coaching holding a flower

There is still a lot of confusion about what life coaches do.  Even coaches have trouble explaining it.  And, everyone seems to be a coach these days.  How confusing is that?

In general, a professionally qualified life coach will listen carefully and provide support, perspective, guidance, new skills and tools, motivation, accountability, and champion you along the way to your best life.

Who doesn’t want that?

Most clients work with a life coach because they: Continue reading

How to Tell the Difference Between Fear and Intuition

intuition

In those crazy moments when we don’t know what to do or even how to begin to make a decision, intuition is the answer.

Fear doesn’t understand positive risk and thinks we are still two years old.  It wants to keep us safe but is deeply misguided.  We can’t trust our minds because they spin between different answers, telling us yes in one moment and no in the next.

Learning to discern which voice is your intuitive inner knowing is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and you can start right here: Continue reading

How Wayne Dyer Saved My Life

Wayne Dyer

Yesterday, I watched Wayne Dyer with Oprah on Super Soul Sunday and as usual felt inspired by what he had to say. Later in the day I learned he had passed on, or as he would say – left his human body behind.

Since then memories have been coming forward of how his words have touched my life over the years. He is the one I credit with starting my journey toward healing and becoming who I am today.  Continue reading

Choosing What Not To Do

not to do list don't do list

Most everyone is familiar with the value of having a To Do list where you keep track of the projects and actions you intend to take.  But, have you ever considered creating a Don’t Do list?  Continue reading

Need Clarity Quick? Try These Magic Questions

clarity for possibilities and options

My client was in a dilemma. She had been invited to join friends on a weekend getaway that sounded exciting, but there was one person going that always seemed to cause some kind of drama.

She kept saying she would like to go, but…  Continue reading

Inspire Your Way to Spending Less

spending less save more money

Budgets and spending plans may work, but often feel uninspiring. Real success happens when you stay connected emotionally to the outcome of what you want to create. It just makes it easier.

The following steps are designed to help you do just that:  Continue reading

Slow Down to Get More Done

sign that says Go Slow

My weekly schedule has it’s own little routine.  I generally have the same clients, meetings, and things to accomplish along with some time allotted for projects.  And yet, sometimes I struggle to get it all done, while other weeks flow with ease.  Why is that?  Continue reading

Try These Bedtime Practices for a Peaceful Night’s Sleep

bedtime sleeping woman

 

Over the years, I have learned the value of having a bedtime ritual.  There is something very comforting and calming about doing similar things every night to close out the day.

Bedtime practices also support being able to fall asleep and have a peaceful night’s rest.  When I release the stress of the day my subconscious is free to work on my challenges and questions for me while I sleep, often bringing new answers with the morning.

Here are some bedtime ritual ideas you may want to try:  Continue reading

Where to Begin When You Feel Challenged in Multiple Areas of Your Life

woman feeling challenged stressed and overwhelmed

 

When my latest new client first called she was overwhelmed and feeling challenged throughout her life and felt paralyzed.  She had no idea where to begin.  Her marriage was troubled, her job was stressful, she was very busy taking care of other people, and her physical health was declining.

When I asked her how this made her feel, she described feeling exhausted, ashamed, and depressed.  Can you relate?

I think she was surprised when I suggested she start by pulling in and taking care of herself. (She was hoping the first step would be making her husband change.)

I shared with her that when we face multiple challenges, it is important to start at the core.  This is where we have the greatest influence and can start a pattern of success.  For most of us, this core is about self-care and self-nurturing.

When your life feels like a mess, practice the art of pulling in.  Start with yourself.  You are the center of your life and all that happens in it.

Your body is one of your most precious assets and an excellent place to begin your journey. Nurturing your body into health will help you feel stronger, more confident, and energized.

It is from this place that you will be able to connect with the empowered wisdom that will support you in the rest of your life.

This is the path that my client is taking.  Her commitment to making her health a priority is already supporting her both physically and mentally.  She has more energy and feels more positive.  I am supporting her as she works through her life challenges and love witnessing her new confidence in being able to create the life she wants.

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember that it all begins with you.  Pull in and take care of yourself.  When you create a foundation of health and well-being, the rest will start to fall into place.

If you would like support in moving through challenges, navigating transitions, or creating a more fulfilling life, I would love to help.

Simply go to the “contact me” page and request a free consultation.

OOPS! Being Not So Impeccable with My Word

little girl with hand over mouth

One of my intentions for this year is to be impeccable with my word.  I borrowed the phrase from Don Miguel Ruiz because he uses it in a comprehensive way.  To me, it means:

  • Telling the truth to myself and others
  • Avoiding negative thought patterns
  • Keeping my word to others
  • Keeping my word to myself (even harder)
  • Using my words honorably, which means avoiding gossip, complaining, etc.

Well, I kind of slipped.  There was a situation in my life that was upsetting me.  When I spoke with the person I chose to confide in, even though I was only sharing the truth, it felt like complaining.  Maybe, even whining.

The tone of my voice grated on my nerves, and probably on the nerves of my friend, too.  The real problem is that the story kept running circles in my head creating an endless loop of negativity.  My mood and attitude spiraled downward.

Fortunately, I was able to catch myself and shift my thinking.  And now, I have renewed my commitment to this intention of impeccability with the words I think and speak.

It feels so good.

For those of you who are curious, this intention was inspired by the book, “The Four Agreements”, by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Coupons, Discounts, and Shopping Zombie Syndrome

tired woman surrounded by shopping bags

I admit it. Last Sunday I found myself spending 3 hours of my life at Kohls, all because of a 30% off coupon burning a hole in my pocket.  It wasn’t that I needed anything.  I was just looking for something to buy so I could feel good about getting a discount.  And, I wasn’t alone.  I ran into friends there doing the same thing.

These stores have it down to a science.  They do research and stuff to figure out how to pull us in.  And, it works. 

When I checked out, tired and frustrated from trying on lots of clothes that made me look fat, the sweet young man pointed out that I spent about $20, and saved $75.  He looked at me like I was the smartest person in the world.  And then, for some unknown reason, he gave me a $10 off coupon that can only be used next week.  I just wanted to kick him.

It’s not only advertising and stores we need to look out for.  There are endless ways we can become shopping zombies.

I have a client who came to me because she felt stressed and dissatisfied with her life.  She had set goals to make friends in her new community and felt more people were falling away than sticking around.  In our first conversation, I noticed the word Groupon came up a lot.

She thought she could use Groupon opportunities to meet new people and make friends.  What really happened was that she became so busy with her special offers she didn’t have time for the new people in her life.  When deadlines approached her stress levels would rise and she would find herself canceling time with new friends to use her expiring discounts.   Eventually, they gave up on her as she fell deeper and deeper into Groupon addiction without even realizing what was happening.

How are we to live within our means and in alignment with our values when we are being constantly programmed to become shopping zombies? 

Staying tuned in to your highest self, what you value most, and your financial goals will serve you well.  Chances are, it’s not shiny new objects you really want, but something deeper and more meaningful.  This focus on values will support you in making conscious choices and putting shopping strategies in place, like the following ones that have worked for my clients:

  • Read your intentions and goals before going to the store.
  • Create a list and stick to it.
  • Rate what you want on a scale of 1 to 10.  If it is not an 8 or above, don’t get it.
  • Walk away and sleep on it.  Chances are you won’t want it as much the next day.
  • Avoid malls and online shopping sites.
  • Ask yourself if what you want will bring meaning to your life or fulfill a current need?
  • Set a time limit for being in the store.
  • Give yourself a set amount of cash each month and don’t use your credit cards.
  • Put a note on your credit card reminding you of your goals.
  • Learn to say “no” to your children.  Spending money does not equal love.
  • Don’t live in scarcity.  Plan for small treats.
  • Freeze your credit card
  • Create a 30 day wait list for things you think you want to buy
  • Know what you have.  You may already own something that is similar or will work.

Shopping is not a bad thing unless you are spending more than you earn or stepping out of alignment with your goals and values.

We all deserve something new once in a while.  But, when you get that guilty feeling in the pit of your stomach or like me, find yourself wasting entire afternoons looking for something to buy, chances are you are experiencing Shopping Zombie Syndrome and it’s time to come alive again.

I would love to hear what shopping strategies you use.  Please feel free to share by commenting below.

Activate Your Goals with Accountability

women_at_coffee_shop

Over the years, I have participated in many success oriented programs.  One of my favorite things about these adventures was being assigned an accountability buddy.  I found myself more engaged and committed to the process because of these partnerships and many of the people I was paired with are still my friends today.

Studies have repeatedly shown that you are more likely to achieve your goals when accountable to others.  Knowing you are going to report your progress to someone else will motivate you to get things done.  Another key benefit  is that your wins will be recognized and acknowledged by the other person.  This reinforces how good it feels to take positive action and keeps you moving forward.

Some people choose to create accountability by making an announcement of their goals or intentions.  Posting your weight loss goals on Facebook or making a commitment before a group like AA are great examples of how this works.

Last week, I posted my intentions for how I want to be and what I am going to focus on this year.  When the emails started pouring in, I became nervous.  Did I really say that out loud?  To the whole world through my blog?  And then, the feeling shifted to a sense of peace.  I now have all of you watching me and providing support and accountability for my heartfelt dream.  How cool is that?

Whether your goals are large or small, having someone hold you to your commitments and dreams will increase the possibility of your success.   I encourage you to find a friend, group, or coach you can trust to support you with accountability.  When you make that commitment, the magic can begin.

You will not only create forward momentum and success, but you will also be increasing your levels of self-trust, self-confidence, and self-esteem.

What could be better than that?

Intentions for Being – Declarations for Life

best intentions heart

There are a lot of goals and resolutions set at this time of year about what we want to do or accomplish.  While I am playing with some of the doing stuff, I felt more called to look at how I want to be and show up in this world.

At first I called my ideas declarations and I liked the power of the word, but as I worked with them I started preferring to think of them as intentions.  I have included some wording from Don Miguel Ruiz and Brendan Burchard that spoke to me, but the essence of these come from my heart.  I believe that by focusing on these intentions  I will be living more as my higher self.

My Intention is to:

  • Be impeccable with my word
  • Engage life with full presence and power
  • Bring light to all I do
  • Always do my best
  • Listen to my body, inner wisdom, and make conscious choices
  • Embrace spiritual practice and deepening connections
  • Explore fun, adventure, and creativity
  • Create daily forward momentum aligned with my dreams, values, and goals.

What declarations or intentions would you like to make for your life? You can share them in the comment section.  I would love to hear what they are.

Celebrating 2014 – A Year End Process

woman writing

The end of the year is a perfect time to honor the blessings that came our way and acknowledge ourselves for all we have achieved.   Because human nature is to focus on what is not working, we often minimize what went well or special moments along the way.  I encourage you to review your year with open eyes and an open heart.  You might be surprised what you see…

Year End Process

  • Create quiet time and space so that you can focus without interruption
  • Set a clear and positive intention for your process

Write your answers for the following:

  • List your wins and accomplishments for the year (at least 50)
  • Write about what you learned from the challenges you faced
  • What are you proud of yourself for?
  • What are you grateful for?
  • What do you want to take away from this year and integrate in the future?
  • What issues, mistakes, habits, or beliefs are you willing to let go of at year’s end?
  • Anything else that feels meaningful to include

Take time to celebrate all the year has brought and all you have learned.  Acknowledge yourself for your wonderful moments and your days of being fully human.  Bringing a sense of completion to this year will open the door to even more amazing possibilities in the year ahead.

Giving Gifts from the Heart

hand holding out a gift

It’s easy to go a little crazy this time of year looking for the “perfect” gifts for your family and friends, many of which will go unused or be forgotten within a month or two.

Gift giving is not about:

  • Proving your love for someone
  • Maintaining your image
  • Pleasing people to feel accepted
  • The expectations of others

 Gift giving is about:

  • Looking into your heart for what feels right
  • Choosing gifts that have meaning or bring more comfort to someone’s life
  • Matching the gift to the needs of the receiver.  Fancy gifts don’t make sense when someone needs groceries.
  • Value, not money.  A gift certificate for a couple hours babysitting to a harried mom is likely to be appreciated more than the latest thingamajig.
  • Having a plan and working within a budget.  People who truly care about you will not want you to go into debt.
  • The personal touch.  Little extras like words of appreciation or personal references that make it clear your gift was specially chosen for that person.
  • Holding your gift to your heart and infusing it with love before passing it on

Lessons I’ve Learned from My Friend in Hospice

Sybil's Valentine Tree 2013

My friend, Sybil, has a disease called CBGD and has been living in a guest home for a few years.  Her disease has frozen her body and taken away her ability to communicate and care for herself.  And yet, she is still my friend.

Witnessing this part of her life has been an interesting experience for me.  For the most part, I have been surprised how much I enjoy visiting her and there have also been times when I feel like my heart is breaking.  She has modeled pure grace and I love that the last word she can speak clearly and often is the word, “yes”.  It speaks to who she really is and how she has lived her life.

Sybil’s journey is also a learning experience for me and I would like to share some of the lessons and reminders that have come my way because of it.

Live each day fully – we never know how much time we have or when things might suddenly change. This may be the best year of your life or the last time you get to do something you really enjoy.  Approach your days with awareness and appreciation because each one is truly a gift.

 Trying to understand “why” is a waste of time – sometimes things just don’t make sense.  Why is my friend who loved to travel and have compelling conversations sitting in a wheelchair unable to move or speak day after day after day?  What could God possibly have in mind?  I have learned to accept that it is not for me to know the answer to this question.

My life is truly blessed – it is so easy to get upset about little things like bad hair days, computers that don’t work, and other challenges that come along, but visiting Sybil puts my life in perspective very quickly and reminds me just how blessed I am.  I can move, take care of myself, talk, drive, read, and even swallow easily.  She reminds me to be grateful for all of these, and more.

Sometimes being loving is all you can do – most of the time, now that we can’t have conversations, I read to my friend.  But, it’s really about just showing up and being there.  I believe in the power of love and when that is all I can offer, I know that it will be enough.

(Thank you Sybil for saying yes to my sharing this story.)

Tokens and T-Shirts – How to Stay Grounded, Inspired, and Focused

word rocks (320x241)

Remember those old Nike t-shirts that said, “Just Do It!”  I used to have one and I am pretty sure it had magical powers that helped me run up hills.  Just knowing I had it on boosted my focus and motivation.  I was inspired!

When we assign meaning to the things around us, we can use them to help us feel more grounded, motivated, or connected to our intentions. 

I have clients and friends who carry pocket tokens with words on them, heart shaped stones, or prayer beads.  I once carried an acorn from my friend’s farm in Tennessee so I could stay connected to the peaceful feeling I felt there.   Other ways to tap into the power of symbols include wearing t-shirts with sayings, heart shaped jewelry, or anything that triggers the feeling you want.

This morning I talked to a young client facing her first college midterms.  When she takes her test tomorrow she will be wearing a favorite necklace to serve as a reminder of how calm, focused, and confident she can be.  She is going to do great.

What would you like to stay connected to?  What can you carry with you as its symbol?  Go ahead.  Try it.  You might be surprised at how well it works.

Today, my reminder is to wear a t-shirt that says, “Life is Good!”  And, so it is!

How to Rehearse for the Future of Your Dreams

daydreamin 400 - Alice Yoo  mymodernmet

An early mentor of mine, Kendrick Mercer, used to say that fantasizing was a good thing.  His perspective was that it was rehearsing for reality.

I used to love to hear him tell the story of how he created fantasies of being a brave knight and a Native American warrior in order to survive a childhood with no love and little care.  He lived these stories fully and began to take on the qualities of each persona.  Years later, it was clear that the knight and warrior spirits still lived within him.  Continue reading

Are Your Life Strategies Working for You – 6 Easy Questions to Find Out

hand and smile

There are times in our lives when we all have continued doing things that no longer served us. Sometimes we just wonder about it.  Is what I am doing working for me?  Should I make a change?  Sometimes we feel stuck. Why does nothing happen when I try so hard?

The following  process is a quick and easy way to evaluate how effective your strategies are and decide how you want to move forward.  Simply ask yourself these 6 questions: Continue reading