Measuring your Goals

When working with my coaching clients one of the first things we do is to look at yardsticktheir values. When we’re finished with the process they’re often surprised by what their list ends up being.

I work with people who are pretty self-aware. It’s not like they haven’t thought about what’s important to them. They have. But few of them have peered so closely at their values. Those top values end up being the yardstick they use to make decisions as they move closer to their goals.

Values in Action: 59 Shades of Gray

I recently received a friend request from someone on Facebook who then proceeded to try and sell me cosmetics for reversing aging. At 59 I probably looked like a good candidate.

But I wasn’t a good match. I may have gray hair, but my values weren’t aligned with the company she represented. I do want to look healthy and vital. But I’m not willing to use a bunch of potentially harmful chemicals on my skin or hair in order to try and appear younger.

For me optimal health has a high value. I’m willing to sacrifice other things to live that value. I’m willing to not dye my hair and am willing to potentially look older than my peers who do dye theirs. I’m willing to forgo the latest skin care regime because the products contain mineral oil (or PEG 4 Laurate, Propylparaben, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate…) I’m not perfect in my quest for a high level of wellness, but it is a daily part of my life.

Are We Having Fun Yet?

One of my client’s “yardsticks” has fun at the top of her list. Any time she starts to resist something she asks herself if that something is fun. If it doesn’t sound fun to her we look at how she can shift it.

For example, going to the gym didn’t sound like fun to her. In fact it sounded like torture. But dancing on the deck gives her a thrill. Now her exercise includes deck dancing, something that she’s willing to do on a regular basis.

Another client values learning. Her job, a “good job” with benefits and stability feels like torture to her. A truly “good job” for her is one where learning is integrated, even rewarded.

What Do You Value?

How would your choices (and therefore your life) be different if you used a values “yardstick?” Your first step is to know what your values are. You can make a list on your own, but having a guide or coach enhances the process. That’s because we swim in our own sea. Having someone swim alongside you pointing out that you are, after all, swimming in water gives you a different (and more complete) perspective.

I’d love to know your top value or values. Would you be willing to post them here?

And if you’d like a “values guide” maybe it’s time for coaching. You can schedule a free consultation here.

Multidimensional Mindfulness

labyrinthI had finished a swim and was standing in the locker room when I felt a familiar twinge in my back. “Oh no. The pain is coming back.” It was the early 90’s and I had injured my back while finishing up massage school. My back would feel better after treatments like chiropractic care and massage. But a year after the injury the pain would still return. I felt like I would never be back to normal.

While that familiar twinge had returned many times, this time was different. I realized that what I was feeling was the tightening of a muscle, not pain. I breathed and focused on relaxing. The twinge left and the pain did not reappear! I realized my fear about the pain had been causing my muscles to tighten hence restricting the blood flow and ultimately causing more pain. You mean I could control this? Wow.

I wasn’t new to yoga, but this was awareness was new.

I’d dabbled in yoga since the 70’s. Regular yoga became a part of my routine after other treatments weren’t healing my injury. I’d started a consistent practice to help my body. I hadn’t counted on the“side effects” of yoga including increased awareness.

Your Go-to System

Awareness is a powerful tool. What do you notice right now? Your achy neck? Your breathing? A distracting thought? A feeling of happiness?

Most of us have a go-to system that we check in with WHEN we’re being mindful. We are not mindful all of the time, nor do we want to try for that state. Our habits and patterns serve us well by freeing up focus and energy. For example, I don’t have to think about how to type. I’ve done it enough that the neural pathways take over and I can focus on what I’m writing instead.

As you develop your mindfulness skills through meditation, yoga, chi kung, art, hiking, gardening, knitting, etc. you usually have a system you go to first. You notice your body. You pay attention to your breath. It’s gives you a starting point. Noticing everything at once would be too hard.

As you build your mindfulness muscles you can start to access more information. If you’re new to the gym a trainer will introduce you to a few pieces of equipment. You don’t need to lift every weight, try every machine. Over time you build your repertoire. It’s the same with mindfulness.

You are Connected.

Your body, mind, spirit, energy, and emotions are connected. Think a happy thought and you will feel differently. Your body will shift to meet your emotion. But sometimes the message from the different levels of your wholeness will conflict.

Your body aches from too many hours of sitting in front of the computer. So you commit to prying your butt from your chair on a daily basis and hitting the gym. Great plan, right?

While your body might be screaming for movement your emotional body might be singing a different song. Maybe you’ve recently had a loss and your emotional body wants nothing more than to sit in that chair and eat a daily pint of Hagen-Dazs.™

If you listen to your physical body and ignore the call of your emotions you will end up sabotaging your efforts at the gym. And the bummer is that you’ll probablyfeel even worse because you didn’t succeed.

What’s a Whole Person to Do?

  1. Acknowledge and celebrate whatever awareness/mindfulness practice you do have. When I say “practice” I’m not referring to a formal practice. Every time you pay attention to some part of you you’re practicing mindfulness. To be mindful you don’t need to travel to India and sit at the feet of a guru.
  1. Add another layer. You notice your body is tense. Check in with your breathing. What do you find? When you get comfortable with that layer, add another. What is your mind focusing on?Eventually you’ll be able to check-in with a wide range of awareness. It’s like being a painter and starting with only red, yellow, and blue in your paint set. Over time you add burnt sienna, orchid, sea foam green… And you get different results with a bigger tool kit.
  1. Honor the discrepancies. Find creative ways to honor the different messages you get. How can you nurture your grieving heart while getting your butt out of that chair?
  1. Look for themes. When I coach clients we sometimes do an exercise where they listen to a number of different levels. The cool thing is that there are always themes. Those themes help direct the course of your life. Those themes can lead you to a path that will be supported by yourwhole team.

So what’s your go-to mindfulness system? Are you noticing any themes? Would love to hear your wisdom.

Embracing Overwhelm: Finding the Blessing in the Stress

Overwhelmed womanOverwhelm. It’s a word I hear a lot from clients and potential clients. Maybe you’ve experienced overwhelm at some point. That sense of having what feels like an impossible number of tasks on your to-do list. Or feeling like something too big to handle, too painful to live with entered your life.

When you experience overwhelm your nervous system gets triggered. Your muscles tighten. Your blood pressure amps up. You start to feel unsafe, perhaps a little irritable. You might even shut down.And with all of that you become less productive and more inefficient.

Before Strategy and Ohming

I’ve been in overwhelm and I know the last thing you want to do is take a break to hash over the situation. After all, you have a pile of stuff with your name on it and, tick tock, time keeps moving. In fact your adrenal glands, detecting danger, have shot out a nice dose of chemicals to help keep you moving.

Before you start to solve the problem of overwhelm, before you decide that yes, meditation is your ticket to calm or that you really should stop procrastinating, you have to decide IF your overwhelm is a problem. 

What if the sensations you’re feeling are actually a blessing? What if overwhelm is really your inner wisdom come calling?

What Would the Dalai Lama Do?

I remember having a quick conversation back in the mid-90’s with one of the counselors at the wellness center at which I worked. The conversation was quick because that’s all I had time for. I was busy, yes, overwhelmed with all that was on my plate.

I was a massage therapist with a full time busy practice, teaching yoga plus an occasional non-yoga class. And I was living life, taking care of a home, navigating a new relationship, etc. This counselor told me a story about the Dalai Lama. I don’t know if it’s true, but it was exactly what I needed to hear.

The story went like this. The Dali Lama was being advised of his schedule for the day, which was especially full. The advisor suggested maybe His Holiness should shorten his meditation time. The Dali Lama, being extra wise and lama like, said he would instead increase his mediation time.

I heard the message and started to look at my reasons for cutting back self-care to finish the “really important and necessary” stuff on my to-do list.

That story stuck with me. Now when I get tempted to do more or to shorten my workout or meditation time I do my best to listen to the message of my overwhelm rather than pushing through it to more action.

Signposts

I don’t think overwhelm is a bad thing. Nor do I think it is always about procrastination or being disorganized or inefficient. In fact, I think it is a blessing (even though it can raise your blood pressure and keep you awake at night.)

Being in overwhelm tells you that something is off. It’s worth pausing and making space to discover what underlies your particular brand of overwhelm.

Here are a few possible nuggets I find lurking in my own and my clients’ overwhelm.

  • Self-esteem issues
  • People pleasing
  • Lack of boundaries
  • Perfectionism
  • Control issues
  • Fear
  • Money issues
  • Distraction from what’s really important
  • Not enough information

Of course coaching is one option to getting your arms around overwhelm. So is a retreat. But there are lots of ways to handle overwhelm. I’d love to know your go-to solutions.

Down with Self-loathing!

Woman & mannequinI grew up chubby and have often seen “fat” when I looked in the mirror, even when the scales said differently. Only in recent years have I begun to accept, even like my body.

No wonder I love the trend toward accepting one’s body— curvy hips, belly rolls, the slope of one’s nose, cellulite, freckles… I applaud the women who say,“I’m not covering up these jiggly thighs for your pleasure. I will wear skintight yoga pants if I choose. I will shake these hips and let my flesh spill out in celebration.”

Self love=Self care

Self-love is healthier than the self-loathing that has been the norm. For years I’ve listened to females from pre-pubescent to elderly “dis” their bodies. Too short, too skinny, ugly knees, and the most prevalent, “too fat.” Along with scores of “sisters” I’ve looked in the mirror and asked the proverbial question, “Does this make me look fat?”

All that self-loathing takes a toll. It takes time and energy, which could be spent doing something you love—painting, hiking, snuggling, reading, growing a business… But instead that time is spent putting yourself down or worrying about how your butt looks.

Plus there’s the emotional and energetic toll. Your body, mind, and spirit register that mean spirited talk. And that registering, even for a comment that might seem small and insignificant, takes a toll. It’s a punch in the gut. A kick to the heart.

It’s self-abuse. So you can see why I’m heartened to hear and see the trend in the opposite direction.

I believe in self-love.

For years we’ve been “fed” images by the media of thin, too thin, and photoshopped lovelies. Many of us received the message loud and clear that we too should look just like the women in the ads. And we don’t.

As the pendulum swings to the other side we’re getting messages that it’s acceptable, maybe even preferable to be as Meghan Trainor says in her popular song, “all about that bass.” If you’ve worked long and hard to get your body to look like Kate Moss, only to feel like a failure, you’re probably ready to embrace the current trend to love every bit of you. Love away.

BUT…

Here’s my concern.

I think for some self-acceptance has come to mean “I can eat a bag of Doritos because I love myself and I’m not punishing myself any longer. Rather than watching what I eat I’m learning to love all of me.”

True that punishing yourself is not self-love. Lose the punishment. Yes to loving all of you. But feeding your body foods that cause you to be obese, to be unwell, to not feel good, or have energy is NOT self-love. No matter what you look like.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the well-documented risks of making poor diet choices and being overweight. Stroke, heart attack, cancer, osteoarthritis, mobility issues, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, reproductive concerns, gallbladder problems, back pain… Self-love does not include behaviors that put you at risk for these kinds of issues.

Pendulum dilemma

In my perfect world:

  • We all learn to accept, even cherish our precious bodies. They are a miracle. (Isn’t it amazing that your body can take a peach or a Big Mac and turn them into energy?)
  • We all make choices that support, honor, and grow the miracles that we walk around in. I’m talking about that body of yours. You know, the one that feels love, can drive a stick shift, and fills out government forms. Okay, so maybe you never learned to drive a stick shift. Still you’re amazing and deserve to be treated that way.

So maybe you’ve ridden the pendulum to one side: “I need to wear a size 2 or my life is over” or the other “My curves are beautiful so I don’t need to worry about what I eat ever again.” Seek your perfect balance point. That point will let you, on most days, love the body you have. And because you love that body you treat it accordingly, discovering what it loves, what nurtures it, what heals it.

I hear some of you saying, “But my body loves sour cream and onion potato chips.” You might love the taste of those chips. (I do too.) But I’m asking you to go deeper. How do you feel when you eat them? How do you sleep? How easy is it to move? How much energy do you have for the things that you really want to do?

I find that I don’t feel or look as amazing if I eat lots of chips and sugar. I think more clearly without them in my world. I sleep better. I stay healthier. And all of those things help me live the life of my dreams.

My goal is to make a self-loving choice with food more often than not. (If you see me in line at my favorite health food store with a pint of Luna & Larry’s Mint Galactica Coconut Bliss and a spoon you might not want to take that moment to suggest that I make a more loving choice.) But stalk me at my favorite health food store and you’ll find my cart is usually filled with healthy, non-sugar, non-chip foods.

But not always. I’m not saying be perfect. I’m saying be loving. To your cells. To your heart. To your head.

The pendulum swings. Riding it to the middle can be challenging. Having the support of a coach can make a world of difference. Coaching can help you find a place where you feel like you’re making choices rather than being driven by your cravings, your habits, or your emotions. You can find a place where you accept yourself AND learn to make healthy choices your way.

What do you think? Are you on one side of the pendulum? What are your ideas about finding and managing your balance point? I’d love it if you’d share them here. Might help me or someone else on one of those less than balanced days.

 

Why setting a weight loss goal is probably NOT in your best interest

It’s that time of year. Out with the sugar coma, let the New Year’s resolution’s ring.scales

Maybe you’re feeling a bit under the weather. Your new pants are too tight. You’re energy’s been compromised and you’re yawning yet again.

A better, smarter part of you (than the part that ate your way through the holiday) “knows” you can turn over a new leaf. Maybe this is the year to get into a size 6. Time to start the diet.

Or maybe not.

I don’t doubt you can stay away from the treat that is your Achilles heel, be it a brownie or the extra helping of chips. The question is do you want to?

 Wait, weight…

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t loose weight. There’s plenty of evidence to show that overweight is not in the best interest of your heart or your immune system. Your joints are not big fans of extra weight. Your skin, with too much weight, will stretch beyond a point of return. Your digestion can’t work at peak performance. Your liver and gall bladder will start to give you negative reports (read pain.) Your pancreas will offer wacky read-outs of blood sugar.

What I’m questioning is the life of deprivation that is part of the package we call “dieting.” We, (I mean you and me,) don’t do well with deprivation. A part of us can “woman up,” but is that the part you want to encourage? Is that the part you want to grow?

And if you’ve tried the deprivation thing before you know how it goes. Deprive, deprive, deprive, binge, guilt….

I’m fond of talking about wholeness. When you approach a decision from a part, say you’re butt that’s showing evidence of hours of sitting and too much holiday cheer, you leave out the majority of your wisdom.

Smart Ass?

I’m not saying that your butt’s not smart. It’s just you’re so much more. You’re not your belly. You’re not your thighs.

You’re a soul, a light.

A bright, bright star.

A beautiful body, a bag of emotions, and a brilliant mind.

A huge heart.

While your belly might respond to a deprivation diet by becoming a little flatter, your soul’s probably craving something more along the lines of connection, nature, enough, abundance, kindness… While your flat belly and skinny thighs rejoice from the diet du jour, your soul weeps. Your big heart’s not too thrilled either.

 The Austere Lifestyle

It’s true that some spiritual traditions will tell you that deprivation is good for you. Yes, we live in a world of excess. Less can be more. But simple is different that deprivation. Abundance is not the same as excess.

I’m not saying that deprivation is always bad. But stay the course too long and the pendulum will swing. It’s why many a dieter ends up with an unexplained empty bag of Cheetos at their feet feeling like a failure.

 The Tricky Part

We hear a call and we answer it. It’s in the hearing that we misinterpret. We think we hear a call for an abundance of jelly filled doughnuts. When we refine our ability to listen, when we learn to hear from the sum of the parts, rather than the loudest part we hear a different need.

Despite what sounds a lot like sweet potato fries what you’re craving may actually be something entirely different.

  • A creative outlet
  • Blissful moments of quiet
  • A conversation with a friend
  • Making a courageous move toward the life of your dreams.
  • A nurturing touch…

What you crave will be different than what I crave. What you crave in this moment will likely be different that what you crave tomorrow at 3 p.m.

Listening is step one. Acting on your cravings, your real cravings, is step two. Most of what passes for cravings is a way to distract or numb. If you can intercept the deeper message, now you have magic. And it’s that magic that saves people’s lives.

 Here’s the part no ones talking about.

If you’re using food to distract and/or numb your knees will start complaining from too much weight. The truth is that your mind, your emotions, and your spirit aren’t exactly having a picnic. They’re suffering too. If you try to live a life of deprivation your will power will only last so long. Your body might rejoice in a few less pounds of pressure. But the whole of you won’t be any happier.

When you listen carefully you will understand what you’re actually craving. Then you can feed appropriately. Don’t feel bad if this doesn’t come naturally. I help many of my clients with learning how to listen. When they get it they understand and start to nurture the part that is malnourished.  You might need to feed your creative muse, your inner child, your tender warrior. It may be your inner entrepreneur is suffering from major burn out. And no quantity of peanut butter will fill that well. I’ve tried.

Nurture the part that’s hungry. Even if it feels over the top scary.

Even if you’re not sure.

And then watch what happens to the whole of your life, not just your waistline. It can be pretty incredible. And you might just find your pants fitting a bit looser too.

Would love to hear your thoughts.

The Problem with Retreats

transitionI love retreats of all shapes and sizes. But I noticed for both others and myself a common problem that takes away some of the impact of a retreat.

See if this sounds familiar.

You work hard to be ready to leave. You spend the first part of your time off recovering, resetting your pace.

By the time the retreat is over you do feel better—more relaxed, more rested… You’ve practiced some new habits—regular exercise, healthier eating, not checking your phone every 10 minutes… You feel the benefits from just a few changes and you vow to continue these changes, this slower rhythm.

You return home. Now you have to work hard to catch up from being gone. A couple of weeks pass and someone asks you about your vacation. You have to pause and think about it to remember that you’ve even had time away.

Dang. You’ve lost that retreat/vacation vibe again.

The makings of a great retreat

The word retreat is defined this way: “move back or withdraw to a quiet secluded place.” When you do that you get a chance to slow down, to view your life and how you’re living it with fresh eyes.  You feel renewed, rested, maybe even invigorated.

Before and after

The problem with most retreats is that they occur in a vacuum. You go, you enjoy, and then you return to the same environment from whence you came.

I’ve found that people often have issues with transition. They return to their loved ones, their co-workers, the “regular world.” While the retreat participant may have shifted their ideas and habits the rest of the world is the same. While you were off relaxing by the pool, taking naps, or reading a good book someone was still at home scooping the cat boxes. Yeah, all that cat shit did not mysteriously disappear by itself.

Addressing the fact that you have a life pre- and post retreat can make a world of difference in how that transition goes. (We’ll be doing that as part of the  Purposeful Yoga Retreat.) It can help you reap the benefits of your time off at a deeper fuller level.

A couple of pointers:

  1. Have a plan. Think about how you will transition both before and after your retreat.
  2. Talk with those around you about this transition time. Listen to how it affects them when you’re gone (or how they think it might affect them.) What are their fears? How can you support each other?

Has the transition back to work and life ever been challenging for you? Share your challenges and solutions here.

See Your Beauty

During my final semester of my senior year in college I took a group psychology class. The first night of class we had to introduce ourselves to the person sitting next to us. We were supposed to describe ourselves.

I really didn’t know who I was. How was I supposed to describe myself? So I used the words I’d heard from my recent ex-boyfriend. “My eyes are cat shit gray. My teeth look like horses teeth.”

The man across from me looked surprised and informed me that my eyes were actually a beautiful blue. Hmmm… Really?

Over the years I’ve learned two things: My eyes are blue and I’m not the only woman who doesn’t always see her beauty. I once had a call from a potential massage client. Her main concern was that “she was fat and therefore embarrassed to have someone touch her.” I was shocked when she arrived, as she was a very normal weight.

How Do You See Yourself?

Dove, as part of their “real beauty campaign,” recently hired a criminal sketch artist. He drew woman based on their self-description and then a second time based on a description from a stranger.

The results were stunning. Women definitely see themselves differently than strangers do. If you haven’t watched the video I highly recommend it. Kudos to Dove and the brilliance of the Ogilvy ad agency for graphically showing how distorted our view of ourselves is.

 

The Cost of Self-loathing

All this self-loathing (or even mild self dislike) comes with a price. I think it’s one of the main reasons women don’t always honor their need for self-care. Seeing your own beauty IS self-love. And self-love = self-care. When you love yourself you’re more likely to nurture yourself regularly.

The “I’m flawed” thing also effects women’s willingness to live their purpose. After all if you’re “butt ugly” shouldn’t you just stay inside and not afflict the world. Maybe you’re pretty sure that if you were to show up in a big way people would spend more time talking about your saggy breasts or too big tummy or slightly crooked nose than listening to your message.

If you’re not that beautiful (read valuable) then doesn’t it make sense that you’re less likely to believe in your purpose, your ability, and worthiness? That’s how it worked for me anyway.

I’ve done a lot of self-healing since that college class. While I’d still probably end up with a less attractive self-portrait than one by a stranger I see my beauty and that allows me to show up in the world to do my work.

How about you? Have you struggled with the same issues?

And now for a laugh… watch this parody. Funny stuff.

Pebbles on the Path

Years ago I had a massage client named “Linda.” Nice lady. Good sense of humor. Not a lot of joy in her life.  

She’d worked at the same job for about 20 years I’m sure she was competent with her job duties, but it pebbles on pathwas clearly “just a 9-5 job” to her. Pushing buttons to total numbers was not bringing her joy. Her job helped pay the bills for she & her husband. It offered little in the way of stimulation, accomplishment, or enjoyment.

I could feel her boredom with life, not just the job. Weekends were spent with family activities, mostly centered on her husband’s hobby of collecting sports memorabilia. Her bi-monthly massage was the sum total of her self-care.

Driving Towards Purpose

One day she mentioned wanting to drive a race car. She’d heard about a place that offered lessons. I inquired if she was going to sign up. She gave me a list of excuses, none of which rang true.

I offered to make a contribution to her race car driving fund should she choose to pursue it. Although the topic came up numerous times, she never took me up on the offer.

I’m not implying that driving fast would have given her life more meaning. But it appeared that she wasn’t living a life of joy, a life where she listened to her soul, a life where she tended to her most precious needs.

Pebbles on the Path

I call the “race cars” in your life the “pebbles on the path.” These pebbles may not be the path. But paying attention to things that feel compelling, interesting, even joyful can help lead you to or help keep on path.

This kind of paying attention and action taking is BIG self-care. Not the usual bubble bath or eating healthy you might think of when you consider self-care. This is the kind of care that’s required if you’re going to live a life of purpose that’s fulfilling, fun, and sustainable.

My suggestion to you is to 1) set an intention and then 2) watch for your first pebble.

An idea, an action, something to research, a class that compels you, a dinner you “must” schedule with a friend… I can’t tell you what your pebble will look like, but I can tell you it will come. And when you follow it you’ll move down your path.

Share your pebbles here.

Meditation: Cool Tool #52

I can’t believe I left mediation to last in the 52 Cool Tools series.

woman meditating

 

It’s one of my most treasured daily tools. That’s part of what makes it so hard to write a

bout.

That and the thousands of ways you can practice meditation.

 Is Your Meditating Device Broken?

I hear people say they’re not good at meditating. They’re either not sure how to go about it. Or they’re tried and they just can’t get their mind to focus.

I also struggled with meditation. It didn’t come easily. My mind moved. And moved. And moved.

One weekend back in the late 80’s I went to a weekend retreat somewhere in Ohio.. The meditation teacher devoted a lot of time to questions. Here’s some of what I learned from her. (Unfortunately I don’t know her name. Heck, I can’t even remember what city it was near.) 

  1. Set aside a regular time for meditation. With a regular time it becomes a habit. With repetition your body and mind start to understand what you expect. Giving meditation a dedicated times says it’s important.
  2.  Set aside a regular place. I claimed a space in my home. Then I added a few items that felt sacred to me, as well as a blanket and eye bag. Now I don’t have to think about where to be. I just head to my spot. Plus the energy of meditating in a space shifts the vibration of that space making it easier to meditate there.

 Achieving a Quiet Mind, Not!

One of my former yoga students used to attend silent retreats. The other students were curious and a little in awe. They belonged to the “I tried to meditate and it didn’t work for me” school.

One day someone asked him, “How do you get your mind to stop?”

The silent retreat dude laughed. “I don’t. I just aim for more and longer periods of silence.”

When I finally learned to be present with whatever happened during my meditation time I relaxed. Some days I go quickly into a deeply altered state. Some days I replay the conversation I just had. I think about an idea for an article I want to write, a class I want to teach. I make a mental to-do list.

 And still I sit.

Different strokes

I found trying various styles of meditation helpful. So many choices ranging from ancient spiritual traditions to cutting edge technology. Your best choice will depend on your goals and your personality. You can:

  • Focus on your breath.
  • Use a meditation cd like holosync or a guided visualization.
  • Chant a mantra. (A mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that you repeat.)
  • Try a moving meditation such as walking or yoga.

If you’ve tried meditation and given up I encourage you to explore other styles. I encourage you to make it part of your self care routine. 

 Why it’s now a daily part of my life

So what do I get from meditation? I feel soothed. My usually very active mind slows down. It even goes blank sometimes. I come back to my center. I connect to the divine. My problems and concerns melt away. I access the better, calmer, happier parts of me. I feel bliss and joy.

Yeah, it’s good stuff!

What’s your favorite style of meditation? Any pointers or tips to share from your experience?

 

 

Ommwriter: Cool Tool #51

Cool Tool # 51: Omm writer

When I get ready to write I feel stressed. Maybe it’s feeling like I won’t know what to say. Or that I’ll be vulnerable if I reveal that, say I feel stressed when I set down to write.

In talking to other writers I know I’m not alone. I’ve used coping mechanisms like my trusty jar of nut butter or multiple games of solitaire.  But honestly they only delay my writing and sometimes increase my anxiety.

Enter Ommwriter

My friend Ommwriter, from the moment I open it, says “relax girl. You know what to say. Take a deep breath. We’re in this together.”

I take its advice because Ommwriter is always right. I do know what to say.

And I say, “Check out Ommwriter.”

It’s free. ( and the paid version is a sliding scale that starts at $4.11.)

It’s fun. 

When I finished using the program you can save your file. I copy and paste to a word doc so I can use spell check. But I have to say I miss the pretty background and music. Well, I can always turn on Pandora

How do you make your work environment more relaxing?