Are You Bored?

Boredom Can you allow yourself to just be bored?   When you do find yourself facing boredom, do you run to distraction?   Do you find yourself agitated or antsy when boredom sets in?   Answering these questions honestly can help you to find that creative spark or insight that our boredom so often leads to. There are so many ways that we distract ourselves from boredom: -MusicBoredom 1 -Smart Phones -Television -Seeking company …and myriad other ways of busy making   The real question is why do we distract ourselves and from what?   We distract ourselves because we have forgotten how to just BE with ourselves. When we can be present with our own boredom that is when we begin to hear all of the mental noise and internal dialogues that we run from. If we can hold out through the discomfort while those things run their course, what begins to open up is space. That space allows us to tune in to those repetitive thought patterns that keep us feeling stuck in our lives and relationships. Within that space we can see ourselves from a greater vantage point, discovering what we can change and how we can begin to create the life we want.   The next time you find yourself feeling bored, just be with it. Allow it to show you what really needs attention when the internal chatter and noise begins to subside. Allow yourself space to receive creative insight and inspiring ideas or to just see more clearly what your next step is going to be. One of the keys to success is to just do the next thing. When we continue to succumb to distraction, it can become difficult to know what that next step is. Just for today, allow yourself to be bored, at least once.]]>

Is Commitment A KIller?

Couples Tension The answer to this question can be found in our changing values within relationship. For women, once they achieve ownership and security (Read: commitment and the sense that your partner is now yours and committed) their values tend to change and sex is no longer as high of a priority as it was before. Now, for women, other stressors and values become first on the priority list and can often impede and affect the desire for sexual intimacy. Some of these stressors or values may be as simple as getting enough sleep, having a clean and organized house to larger ones like paying the bills on time, or questions of career, direction and purpose. So where does that leave the man in all of this? Shame For men, they are often left wondering why they and their partner are no longer having sex as much as they used to. Their values have not really changed, because for most men, sex and performance in the bedroom is one of their primary means to achieving acceptance and feeling wanted by their partner, whether this is conscious or unconscious. There are also other cultural reasons that men exhibit these tendencies that I will not go into here. What usually manifests as a result of these disparate value systems is a dynamic of tension that can set up the beginning to the end of many relationships because it becomes such a sensitive “hot button” issue that many couples would rather just not talk about it or push it under the rug. This can be just as dangerous. Many men have not learned to develop these qualities from with and consistently seek fulfillment of these desires outside of themselves, in the form of sex, sports cars, acceptance of peers through sports, career, or other endeavors. Even when men do cultivate this from within, it odes not necessarily dispel their desire for sexual intimacy, but it can help to alleviate its ability to become an emotionally charged issue. When this issue is not addressed there is a tendency for men to be afraid to even initiate sex or ask for it in fear that it may upset their partners even further, and for women, they feel the stress of the situation many times in the form of a sexual deficit that needs to “be made up for”, setting her up for feeling guilt and resentment towards her partner. It often becomes an unspoken push and pull scenario with each person trying to get needs met and not really communicating in terms of those needs. Many are unaware of what some of those needs truly are underneath all of the push and pull. So how can this dynamic be reconciled? How can each party get their needs met? How can each partner learn to speak into each other’s values to move out of being stuck in the tension and move forward in growth instead of entropy? First and foremost, I recommend looking at what emotions it is bringing up for each of you and what unconscious conditioning/stories the situation is revealing. It is about learning to be vulnerable, manage emotions and shift perceptions around some of the challenges we encounter in our interactions in our relationships. There are many self-help books out there to help you learn the skills and tools necessary to do this work. They can help get you started and the work that I do with people with the Law of Reflections can help you get to the core causes of this internal struggle that manifests outwardly in your relationships. If you aren’t quite ready to do this type of work yet, what are some practical everyday things that you can do to begin to alleviate the tension and symptoms of these deeper issues? If you would like some pragmatic tools that you can begin to apply right now, then read below. If you would like to go deeper and neutralize the emotional triggers at their cause, you can always contact me for a consult or a session. Here are some simple things that you can apply to your relationship right away, while you are looking for the suitable tools and people to help you and your partner. 1) Master the Art of Communication Communicate clearly and openly about what you would both love. Cherish and appreciate each other rather than trying to change each other. Also, use dialogues with one another, not alternating monologues. Another helpful tip is to not compare your relationship to unrealistic fantasies. When you communicate openly and authentically, it is easier to dispel fantasy and reveal your truth together with an open heart. Vulnerability is another key to clear communication. When we are ready and on the defensive, it shuts down communication and closes our hearts. There is great strength in being vulnerable, because it lets the other person in and fosters deeper, more intimate connection. 2) Speak Into Each Other’s Values Every human being wants to be loved and appreciated for who they are and who they are is highest on their values. Anytime you expect the person to live in your values or vice/versa, you shut down the relationship. A great question to ask is: How is what they are dedicated to helping to fulfill what you are dedicated to? And, how is what you are dedicated to helping to fulfill what they are dedicated to? In other words, how are each of you serving each other’s highest values? A relationship lasts as long as both people communicate in each other’s highest values or priorities. When they don’t do this, there develops an imbalance of power in the relationship. 3) Values Activity A constructive activity you can do for your relationship is to list your top 5 values on one side of a piece of paper and write your partner’s top 5 on the other side. Now think of at least 5 ways the other person’s top 5 values helps you to fulfill your first priority. Next, list at least 5 ways in which your top value helps the other person fulfill theirs. This helps to balance your perceptions of each other and it opens a new door for communication and intimacy. 4) Recommended Reading A great book that I read several years back is “Non-Violent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg. It outlines how to communicate our needs constructively while being vulnerable and open to the other party’s needs as well. Another great starter book is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz.]]>

Are You "Out of Control"?

Control Control is so pervasive in the human condition and experience, we even try to control how, and in what forms we receive attention and love. We do this by exhibiting certain behaviors or actions in front of certain people and not in front of others. How we get attention is how we receive love. How is it that you try to control the attention you receive? How do you posture yourself in front of others to be perceived in a certain light? These are the psychological masks that we wear when we are not comfortable being ourselves. Many of our control issues are our way of managing how we perceive ourselves in front of others or how others perceive us. We often mistakenly think we can get more of what we want if we control, but it often creates problems when we can’t separate what is trivial from what is truly important. Why does it matter and what can we do to relinquish a bit of our control and release the tension it creates? When control issues and structure become problems, is when they begin to take precedence over relationships. Expecting others to like what you like and do things the same way you do is controlling. Not allowing someone else to make decisions they’re perfectly capable of making is controlling. Criticizing with the intent of provoking shame in others in order to get what you want is controlling. Let Go If you are ready to relinquish some control and allow a little more spontaneity into your life, here are some suggestions: • Practice good self-care. Getting plenty of rest, scheduling play time and pursuing your own interests will help you feel more satisfied with your life overall and less dissatisfied with those around you. Beginning a meditation practice could also be helpful in creating some inner space for yourself, so there is not so much of a need to control the outer space. • Be honest and direct when you present a request or offer an opinion to someone else. Be aware that you might try to control surface issues when there is something deeper that should be dealt with. • Encourage and praise your husband/wife, children, friends and employees. Encouragement will draw them toward you, whereas criticism will push them away. • Trust others with the successful outcome of the tasks for which they are responsible. Hovering over them and checking their work is demotivating. Discern between what is important and what is trivial before deciding whether or not to get involved. Trust others to make good decisions, even when you aren’t sure they’re on the right track. • Share your frustrations and concerns with a trusted friend or professional. If your painful feelings persist, talk to a professional counselor, therapist or life coach. • Trust Yourself and Trust the Universe. Practice or participate in activities that build your self-confidence and begin to trust in your decisions. Trust that what you are receiving/creating in each moment is what is best for you, delivered right at your feet by the universe, God, Creator, whatever name you want to give that awe-inspiring force that brings things about in your life. When you begin to trust that it is all there for you and from you, then it becomes easier to let go, and receive the messages and information that is in each moment. • Choose to Let Go. When you realize something is trivial, like which way your partner wants to drive to the store, make the choice to let go. You are not driving, they are. When you let go for the little things, you might just be surprised at what you can learn about others and yourself.]]>

Shame Shame!

Shame While I was driving the other day, I went to pass someone and right at the point when I was side by side with their car, my muffler went. All of a sudden it was really loud and sounded like I really laid on the gas. At that moment I also felt a pang of embarrassment. Embarrassment is one of those emotions that are fueled by guilt and shame. As I continued down the road and became OK with how loud my car was, I began to think, “Wow, my car sounds really bad-ass!” Then I thought, “I wish my car looked and felt as bad-ass as it sounded!” As the beginning of a new Weight Liberation Tele-Class was on the horizon for me, my thoughts naturally wandered to how people often feel the same way. People often wish they could look as good as they feel, or feel as good as they look, or just look and feel better altogether. This is often where the subject of shame enters our experience. Shame is one of the most pervasive and prevalent emotions in our society today. Shame is often what stops people from being the full expression of who they are and it has a very potent ability to stop us in our lives and from living our lives fully. Shame-1 One of the great underlying contributors to shame is a distinct fear of connection and a fear of vulnerability. It is one of the main reasons people put on that plastic smile or avoid social interaction altogether. We tend to hid the parts of ourselves that we are ashamed of, often feeling like no one else feels the same way about themselves, or that we are the only one that people are thinking negative things about. When we make it wrong to be who we are, shame takes over and we find ourselves in isolation, often afraid to make the next step in our lives, or ask for what we need or want from others, and even our ability to “put ourselves out in the world” gets diminished. This may appear to be a general statement at first, but take it in and digest it: We are ashamed of what we are and what we are not. For example, maybe you come from a family that is not wealthy, or your dad drives an old beat up car, or your mom is not as pretty or as “cool” as your friend’s mom. Also, if we identify with the things we like, do and have, then we can be ashamed of who we are altogether. When we are ashamed, we diminish ourselves, our lives and our potential. What is it that we can do about shame when it appears in our lives? When shame appears in your life there are 5 simple things you can do to manage it: 1) Delete The Need To Compare One of the ways that is easy for shame to show up is when we start comparing ourselves to others. Comparison can be healthy and show us what we do and don’t want in our lives, but when we start using comparison to judge ourselves, that is when it is of a great detriment to us. If you are aware that your comparisons are starting to bring you down, you are probably inducing shame upon yourself. Take a moment and be grateful for what you have and understand that someone else’s life is really no better than yours. They just live in another set of circumstances. For example, they may have more money, but they may have a horrible family life, or no family at all. It is all about how you are looking at it. 2) Focus On Who You Are, Not What You Do One of the ways shame is expressed in our lives is in how we judge what we do. Remember, it is not what you do, but how you do it. How you do something comes from who you are. What you do is often based on choices you make, and those choices either come from love or fear. The more you make choices from fear, the more opportunity there is for shame to creep in. For example, you may be doing something with mindfulness and care, but if the goal of that action is directed or driven by fear you may be leading yourself down the path to feeling shame, especially if it does not work out the way you want it to. Who you are is bigger than what you do. Take a moment to go inside and connect with your whole Being to remind yourself that you are bigger than your fears and bigger than your situation. 3) Awareness While considering our choices, it is beneficial to engage the observer, that part of yourself that is aware of what you are thinking and feeling from moment to moment. If you don’t regularly observe your thoughts, now is a good time to start. Observe the choices you make and take a moment to really engage what that choice feels like in your body. If there is contraction and constriction when you think about making that choice as if it is from fear or love? Also, ask yourself which place you want to make your choice from and then make it. Awareness can give you the needed space to respond instead of react, to choose consciously rather than by default. 4) Support and Vulnerability Another way to overcome shame is to create a support structure for yourself. Have a friend, or friends, that you can turn to when the going gets rough. Sometimes just talking about and processing the feelings we are experiencing can lead us to the next, better feeling place. All of our feelings want to be acknowledged and having some support from a friend, partner or relative can be quite helpful in keeping us moving in our process instead of getting stuck in shame. Other support structures could be a therapist, psychotherapist, a life coach, or a transformational teacher such as myself. Being able to be vulnerable with someone you trust can help do dissolve shame. Because shame is often attributed to a fear of connection, allowing yourself to be vulnerable and really connect with someone to process those feelings, can help you to know and feel that you are not alone. Vulnerability also allows you to make deep and authentic connections with others who may also be part of your support network. 5) Ask Questions Questioning your feelings of shame can also be a great way to begin to take charge of shame and steer clear of getting stuck. Here are some to get you started: 1) Is this thought really true? 2) How do I know it’s true? 3) What is the evidence for this thought? 4) What is the evidence against this thought? 5) Can I think of any times when this thought has not been true? 6) Is this thought helping me or hurting me? 7) Who would I be if I let go of this thought? 8) What could I do if I let go of this thought? 9) Am I willing to release this thought? 10) What’s the worst that could happen if I let go of this thought? Can I live with that? 11) How realistic are my expectations? 12) Can I be all of these things all of the time? It is beneficial to strike a good balance of idealism and realism in your thinking and expectations. Are your expectations real and achievable or are you missing a step somewhere along the way to your expected goal that would help bring that closer to fruition? These are some points and questions to consider when shame presents itself in your life. Begin to take charge of your shame today and use what it is showing you to keep moving forward in your life instead of getting stuck in the muck and mire of your fears and habitual thoughts.]]>

Spring Cleaning…Good Grief!

Spring CleaningSpring cleaning doesn’t just apply to our dwelling, it also applies to the body/mind organism in which we dwell.  Spring is a great time to clear out some of your old mental, emotional and physical clutter.  After a long, dark winter, it can be greatly beneficial to clear out some of that stagnant energy from the winter, change old habits and begin to cleanse the temples that are our bodies.  The thing that we don’t often consider in this mix is the inevitable feeling of GRIEF. When we clear out the old and make way for the new, there is can also be a sense of loss, which can be a loss of a sense of self from digging deep and clearing out old conditioning, or changing our diets or literally clearing out the clutter from our homes.  How do we find peace and balance with this sense of loss?  What can we do to come to terms with the space we have made within ourselves or our environment?  And, most importantly, how do we intend to fill that new space and what do we fill it with? Grief If you want to really clear out the clutter this Spring, grief, no matter how large or small, must be dealt with. Here are some sure fire and simple ways to deal with grief. 1) The only way out of it is through it. Get intimate with your grief. Feel as deeply as you can into it. There are gifts there. It is a feeling that wants acknowledgment and the more that you can just BE with it, the more you will be able to access the wisdom it has to offer. So just exactly how do we access this wisdom? 2) Abide by the Law of Balances We experience life in pairs of opposites. Grief stems from a greater perceived loss than gain. We cannot lose something without an equal gain. A simple exercise that you can do to balance your perception and the subsequent grief you are feeling, is to make a T-chart. Above the T-chart, write what it is you are grieving. On one half of the chart write “loss” and on the other side write, “gain”. Make a list of 10-20 on each side. At some point you will be able to feel a sense of gratitude and peace around what it is you are grieving. The Law of Balances shows us that birth and death are a cycle. With the death of one thing arises the birth of another. With the literal or figurative death you are experiencing, what has that given birth to in your life? Has it given you a renewed sense of life, deeper gratitude for what you have, a new sense of purpose, etc.? 3) See the other side In the Mayan culture, Grief and Praise are considered one and the same. We grieve something because we loved it. We loved it with attachments however. Those attachments could be a sense of self or identity, advantages we perceived that we derived from it, and values that it fulfilled. Grief gives us the opportunity to love whatever it was without condition or attachment. Another aspect of the Mayan’s understanding of grief was that they considered weeping and singing as one and the same as well. Our weeping is our heart’s song to that which we loved. If we feel it or perceive it, there is always another side to it. Take it upon yourself today to ask, “What is the other side to this?” “What else is this showing me?” 4) The Law of Reflections is also the Law of the One and the Many How does this work? For example, if we have “lost” some one in relationship or through death, the traits that we most loved about that one person can now be found in our many other relationships. Matter is neither created nor destroyed it just reveals itself in another form. Our relationships abide in this same way. A simple exercise that you can do is to make a list of all of the traits you loved about that one person and then match those up to the other people/relationships that are present in your life. For example, you may have loved your father’s sense of humor, wit, compassion, patience, etc. What people can you find those traits in that are currently in your life experience now? If it was a thing that you “lost” make a list of values that that thing fulfilled for you and then look for what things, activities and people are currently helping to fulfill those values. Grief is a gift if we know how to unwrap it. The universe is in perfect divine order, perfect equilibrium. It is our responsibility to discover this order in our lives if we want to experience more balance and peace mentally, emotionally and experientially. When we do this, we are able to live with an open heart and hear it song more clearly.]]>