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Eviscerate Your Fear

Thursday, 11. November 2010 15:47

Fear can be an incredibly helpful response when your life is in danger.  On the other hand, the fear that we create in our minds is usually not so helpful. Often it’s about something we think might hurt us:   “I’m afraid of getting fired, I’m afraid my boyfriend will cheat, I’m afraid of getting old”…on and on and on.  This brand of fear can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from enjoying your life.  Fear

I’m not saying it’s easy, but it is possible to handle fear – and handle it we must, or we risk getting stuck in our own mind-trap.  For me, getting more information and then taking positive action based on that information, is a great tool for eviscerating fear.

I start by getting really honest, curious, and specific about what it is that scares me.  That way, once I get a handle on what I truly fear, I can take action to increase my ability to manage the outcome. I find that positive action takes the fangs out of my fear and can actually make my life more fun! Informed, inspired action makes me feel that I’m taking charge of my destiny.  It makes me feel empowered.

For example, let’s say it’s the fear of getting old…

I ask myself (usually I write all this down) Why?  What is it that I am so afraid of? Answer:

As I age, I will become useless, less attractive, overlooked, and find it more difficult to do things I enjoy. 

Okay, what does useless mean?  That no one will hire me?  That no one will want to date me?  Then, what steps can I take to lessen the possibility of those outcomes?   I can’t control everything, but I can take positive action on things that are within my control. So instead of worrying and feeling anxious, I ask myself, what can I do to make a difference – and what sounds do-able, even fun?  Here are a few possibilities that came to mind:

  • Take a class and learn a new skill that will keep my job skills fresh.
  • Volunteer to help those less fortunate than myself to keep me feeling useful.
  • Employ a weekly exercise program (stretching and weightlifting) that will help me stay limber and strong.
  • Take a ballroom dance class (I like this one the best!) to meet  fun people and stay in shape.

 I believe that pursuing any one of these tactics would help me feel better and more in control of my fear of aging.   In fact, doing any of these things would leave me less time to worry, and could even bring new, positive people and experiences into my life!

Unfortunately, there are times that fear and anxiety are so overwhelming, you can’t even allow yourself to think about the thing you fear.  In those instances, you can call your therapist, your best friend or your life coach.  If that’s not an option, then you may want to give “EFT”, the Emotional Freedom Technique, a try. It’s a simple tapping technique you can do yourself – for free.

Even if it seems silly, you may want to try it.  According to Dr. Mercola’s EFT site, (an excellent resource)  it‘s a form of acupressure, based on using some of the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture. By tapping specific meridians on your head and chest with your fingertips while you voice a positive affirmation, you help clear the emotional block from your bio-energy system. This restores your mind and body’s balance, and gets you calmer.  The Mercola EFT site  offers  a pictorial  step-by-step approach through the process if you want to learn more.

There are also a variety of  YouTube videos that leads you through the process.  Here’s one that I found simple and straightforward to use.      However, there are a variety of  options and  applications, so if this one is not to your liking, you may want to view some others.    I also noticed that there is variation in the tapping points and the affirmations used, but the basics of the technique are fairly consistent.  

However you do it, I wish you the best in coping with your fear and anxiety. Seek help from a physician or therapist if  you can’t manage on your own.  It’s natural to feel fear, but please don’t let it stop you from living a joyful life.

Category:Spirituality, Wellness | Comment (0) | Autor:

Five Tips for a Great Relationship

Monday, 11. October 2010 14:16

Okay, whom do you spend the most time with? You might guess it’s your boss or your kids, but ultimately, it’s yourself. So how is your relationship with you? Do you enjoy your time together with yourself, or are you often unkind, inconsiderate and unforgiving? Why do you expect anyone else to treat you better than you are willing to treat yourself? Here are some thoughts and suggestions about how to nourish and nurture your most important friend: you. 

1. Appreciate and acknowledge. Find ways to acknowledge yourself for all the good things you do. If you only acknowledge the things you don’t do, then you are only feeding half of the equation – the negative half. A daily practice of expressing gratitude to yourself (just one to three items!) can go a long way in putting things in perspective and making for a happier, more relaxed you. Once you take stock, you may be amazed by all of what you do accomplish!

2. Rest and enjoy some quiet, quality time. Take a few minutes to stop and breathe. Look around you. What do you see? Close your eyes, feel what is going on, and listen. Check in. What message lies within the silence? Even a few minutes of rest can make a big difference in your attitude and your connection to yourself. Don’t ignore quality time with your best friend: you.

 3. Schedule time for fun, pleasure and connection. Want to keep your life feeling joyful? Well, you deserve a break – even if it’s fifteen minutes a day of listening to music, walking, calling friends, doing Suduko – whatever it is, make a little time to feed your soul with something you love and make it smile.

4. Give your body a hug. Your soul lives in a body. Just notice it and thank it for all it does. Thank it for protecting you, for moving you and for allowing you to feel the world. Even though it may have some issues, remember all that it can do. Can you feel the wind? Enjoy a hot shower? Eat and drink tasty tidbits? What would life be like without your body? Pretty tough to enjoy the simple things. So, be nice to it. Feed it, give it rest, consideration, and maybe even a hug once in awhile.

5. Clarify your values, visions and goals. Keep your dreams alive. Where do you want to go? What do you strive for? How might you get there? What’s important to you? Can you take one small baby-step each day toward that goal? If you know what gives you meaning and purpose and what you stand for, making daily life choices become easier and often less stressful.

Would you deny your best friend any of these kindnesses and support? Enjoy and nurture your relationship with yourself. You will always be there, why not treat yourself like a best friend?

Category:Relationships, Self Actualization | Comment (0) | Autor:

Eat, Pray, Love? Enough Already!

Monday, 6. September 2010 13:40

While I admire Elizabeth Gilbert’s courage and success, I am not a fan of her bestseller, “Eat, Pray, Love”.  I enjoyed the movie (lots of eye candy for everyone), but I’m not a fan of Gilbert’s writing.  Sorry, that’s how I really feel.  Anyway, the motivation for this post is to suggest that   “Be Mindful, Be Loving and Drink Enough Water” is a more helpful slogan for self-care than EAT, PRAY, LOVE.  After all, EAT is generic and easy enough to do.  PRAY has good intentions, but may be too limiting, and LOVE, well, no problem there, but to my thinking, it should get a higher billing.  I know my saying is not as catchy, but that’s not the point. The point is that “Be Mindful, Be Loving and Drink Enough Water” has been very helpful to me in creating a more joyful life, and in case it’s of assistance to you, I’d like to share why:

Be Mindful:  If you are searching for your best life, start here. The first step to feeling well is awareness, or mindfulness.  If you can answer, “What is going in this moment for me?” you are much closer to also knowing, “What do I need in this moment?” Do I need to establish a boundary with someone?  Do I need a nap?  Do I need a hug?  Awareness of your present state is fundamental to taking good and joyful care of you.  Meditation is one terrific way to mindfulness, and there are other practices that can lead you there as well, including silence, going slowly, breathing deeply, and praying, to name a few.  The joy of being and feeling stillness was for me, the first critical step to finding my most joyful life. As Ram Dass  put it, “Be here now.” 

Be Loving – Fear (not hate) is the opposite of love.  If you can be loving toward yourself, truly kind and nurturing, (no negative self talk please) chances are you are managing your fears and worries which will allow you to create more joy in your life.  Guess what? When I’m not stressed out and afraid, life is more fun, and it is easier to take good care of myself and eat well and get what I need.  Being loving to oneself enables you to truly love others.  Therefore, in my book, “Be Loving” needs higher billing than third place in a saying worth remembering!

Drink Lots of Water – I am constantly surprised by how many people do not drink enough water (the recommendation is typically eight eight ounce glasses a day; or half your body weight in ounces) to maintain good health.  I find water extremely important for better digestion and for feeling more energetic.

But don’t take my word for it. According to the Mayo Clinic Website, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.  Lack of water can lead to dehydration, that’s when you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.

Furthermore, an eHow.com article  says,

  • Water is critical to digestion. Dehydration slows digestion and can make bowel movements difficult and painful.
  • Water aids weight loss. Without enough water, the body cannot flush out broken-down fats.
  • Water boosts the body’s metabolism, a necessary component to feeling energetic and active, which in turn will help to burn more fat.
  • Drinking more water can help manage appetite.  You may confuse being thirsty with being hungry.
  • Drinking sufficient water can help increase the elasticity of your skin.

So there it is, from a self-care coach: Be mindful, love yourself, and drink enough water for good health.  If you want to relax, read a terrific book or catch a fun movie once in awhile, even if it’s EAT, PRAY, LOVE.

Category:Self Actualization, Wellness | Comment (0) | Autor:

What Was I Thinking?

Friday, 25. June 2010 13:24

Do you ever wake up and say to yourself, “What the hell am I doing?”  You feel the anxiety wrap its gnarly fingers around your gut and squeeze.  And then it reaches up through your chest making it  difficult to breathe.  Some nasty little demon is pushing down on your diaphragm with one hand and choking you with the other.  That demon is you.  

My Inner Demon

Today I woke up and thought,   “Yes, I quit my six figure corporate job with a cushy title and left all my work friends so I could  sit alone for hours and coach and write about living a  healthier, more joyful life.”

What was I thinking?  I thought that this would be the best thing I could ever do.

So what changed?  What is causing the fear and doubt today?  To find out, I begin to coach myself.  I start to breathe more deeply and I open the corners of my mind to allow the random, negative self-talk to surface. I journal the thoughts:

This isn’t going fast enough. I should be a conglomerate by now.   I suck at Face Book and Linked In and I wish I could reach my virtual assistant who is MIA and that I have to finish my bookkeeping and the dog just puked and the basement needs to be finished and on and on and on and on…..the voices scream inside my head and my stomach churns.  I focus again on breathing deeply ….because if I let these thoughts control me, I won’t get anything finished today. My creativity and my joy will be consumed by the nasty little meat grinder in my belly.  And I can’t let that happen. My life depends on it.

So next step.  I question each negative thought….is it true?  How fast is fast enough?  Do I really need to be a conglomerate?  Do I really suck at Face Book, or am I just in learning mode?  Of course the basement will get finished! One by one, I tear the nagging thoughts apart until I can see them for what they are: lies I tell myself when I feel overwhelmed.  I re-frame each thought, because when I look more closely, I see that all is well; there is progress.  I have much to be grateful for.   I have wonderful clients, I love to write, I’m making money doing what I love.  What more could I need? 

As the saying goes, life is a journey, not a destination. My breathing relaxes.  I make plans.  I prioritize.  I get perspective. I feel gratitude.  All is well.   I just need to do the next thing, whatever it is in this moment. I let go of the outcome.

So I ask again, what the hell am I doing?  Turns out, I’m doing exactly what I want to do, and I hope you are too.  Just remember to keep an eye on that little inner demon – he’ll sneak up on you when you least expect it!

Category:Career & Finance, Self Actualization | Comments (7) | Autor: