Friday, August 29, 2014

Do You Distance Yourself From Others?

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use it change the world.”
                                                                                            -Nelson Mandela

It is September and the older I get, the more I appreciate this month. As I am an empty nester, I find that September is a good time to go on vacation. I don’t have to be concerned about anyone’s school schedule, temperatures are still moderate, and I don’t have to brave the crowds. This is a prelude to say that I don’t like crowds. The more I learn, the more I know that there are certain things in all of us that are difficult to change. The more we work on ourselves, the more there is to work on. Isn’t that the way it is? Much of what gets in our way is not really who we are, but how we have defended ourselves to survive when we were younger. 

One of these things that I constantly work on is my tendency to distance myself from others. On the surface it doesn’t look like I do. I have friends, I work on my relationships with friends and family, and I do like going out. Yet underneath this strong veneer is a tendency to not feel certain feelings too deeply and a need to have time alone as I am also an introvert. I have a sensitivity to others’ energy, and find it difficult to separate my thoughts and feelings from others when I am with them. This last difficulty can manifest as my wanting to please others and so temporarily misplacing my own sense of knowing and self. So I distance myself to supposedly help me to retain my sense of self. I share these aspects of myself to also show that these little things in us can disguise themselves so that we can easily miss them. And it is these very little things that require constant work. 

As I talk about being in the present and living fully, I have come to understand that no matter who we are and how far we have come, living in the present is not without the absence of work, feeling, and difficulty. It is living and knowing what we need to work on and actively doing so. I am presently actively working on being with others while being myself, and engaging with them and feeling my feelings. Whew, that is work. What are you presently actively working on? Do you also distance yourself from others, and what can you do about it?

Work is not a bad thing; it is a good thing. Work is part of living in the present and being present. It takes work to move from feeling alone, depressed, lost, angry, etc., to creating healthy distance, perspective, boundaries, and so on. Sometimes we think that if we are on a good track or path, we should feel good most of the time, and the work is over. The work is ongoing. I think the main difference is that as we actively are in touch with our essence, and not our egos that limit us, our work becomes part of our daily lives. By looking to connect to our souls we feel better, vital, and healthy. 

Having distance from others in order to become stronger and fuller in us is a helpful thing. Having distance from others as a way of not feeling is a different dynamic altogether. How do you distance from others, and is it helpful?

Shift Your Story, Shift Your Life

So here is a simple exercise to do which can help to shift your life.

Have a piece of paper and pen with you. Write down a story you find you tell yourself a lot; about you or your family or about an event.

Ask yourself if this story is really true, and if so, how is it true, and how is it not true, if it is not.

Ask yourself if there is something you would like to change that in some way relates to the story you tell yourself and that is getting in your way. Write down what that is. It could be that you keep telling yourself things that aren’t really true, or that you do connect, when you really don’t in some ways,…..etc.

Lastly, write down steps you can think of that someone would actively take, daily, to change distancing, or anger, or whatever is getting in their way or keeping them disconnected or keeping them lost or angry. This could be anything from digging up roots in their garden and thinking about what this represents, to catching their selves actively distancing or not feeling, and so on., and instead, doing something different. This could be stopping feeling sorry for yourself and instead embracing yourself or someone you wish you could. This could be noticing that you are actively taking on other’s feeling as your own, and restricting that action even though it feels weird.

Take this paper and read it and actively work on what you have written down daily, even if it feels weird or wrong. See how you feel after doing this for 2 weeks, and again, feel free to contact me with any questions or stumbling blocks along the way. I would also love to hear how this works for you and what you have noticed!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Does Distance Make The Heart Grow Fonder? Part II

“If you want to conquer the anxieties of life, live in the moment; live in the breath.”
-Amit Ray

There are many phases in life. There are phases to the seasons and in nature. And, in every aspect of our lives there are phases. Right now we are in the middle to late phase of summer. The Crepe Myrtle are blooming, and if you haven’t seen crepe myrtle, you are missing something. Take a look at them at your local nursery or look them up on the internet. They are absolutely gorgeous. If we saw them bloom every day, we might begin to take them for granted. Having them take full bloom once a year makes them nearer and dearer to our hearts.

Writing about this even reminds me of a friend, who uses words differently than I. In missing her, I am bringing her closer to me by using the word “gorgeous” instead of beautiful; a word I would have used to describe the crepe myrtle. She loves to use the word gorgeous, and I am feeling good using it also. This is one way which helps us to bring closer those that we are missing. 

Have you noticed that by creating distance from others not only helps us to appreciate them more, but also gives us a good space for us to develop ourselves? I was talking about this in last week’s blog, and so am returning to the idea this week as there is so much to say on this subject. The young man I am writing about is trying to find himself and wanting to learn to appreciate himself instead of worrying whether he is a bad person or is becoming a bad person. His mother loved her husband, his father, and yet felt hurt by him. In being loyal to his mother he too feels the hurt. He sometimes sees his recently deceased father as a bad person in the way he hurt his mother and also wasn’t available much to him personally. Yet he loves his father. How do we reconcile such opposite feelings? One way is by holding both feelings close to us, as both are true. In addition, gaining some space from those we have contradictory feelings for and for those we feel mixed up with also helps. Then we can see them and us more clearly. In his case, he is too close to and with his mother. He needs some distance from her to see him as separate from her and her feelings. As he does so, he has an opportunity to see his father more clearly from his own eyes, and not so influenced by his mother’s eyes. He had been distant from his father literally and figuratively before his father died. He moved away from the family to find himself. This gave some personal growth, but he still was limited by his mother’s vision. As he can have the inner distance from her he can more clearly see his father in him; in the good ways as well as the bad ways. This distance can make his heart grow fonder for his father. 

He had lost himself a little to his mother, and as he can regain his own self, he can then see how much he does appreciate his father as a man, and for what he gave him personally. How he can keep his father closer to his heart is by remembering something he likes a lot about him and being or acting like him in that way. Distance does and can make our heart grow finder and also allows us to really and fully inhabit the present.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:

All of us have something or someone we would like to have close to us and to remember in a good way. It is too easy to forget who and what is important to us, or to feel like we miss someone so much it is hard for us to carry on.

A simple exercise we can do is to think of something we like about that person; something they said or did or acted like, and we then can hold them close by acting like them, or speaking some words that they might say, or by doing something like them.
This could by using a word they use and thanking them for the use of the word or phrase. It could be liking how they gardened or how they taught or how they treated others, and doing it like them, etc.

Take a moment each day and remember them in one of these ways. Then find a way to remember them each day in by saying, doing, or acting like them……just a little, and thank them!  

Monday, August 18, 2014

Does Distance Make The Heart Grow Fonder: Part I

 “I don’t know who my grandfather was, I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”
                                                                     -Abraham Lincoln

Have you ever noticed that we can see things more clearly when we look into the distance than we can when we are right in front of something? It is like, when we are looking right at something up close and personal, the larger details get lost and we can only see very small details. As we look too closely at the blooms of our summer flowers we miss the bee buzzing right next to it, or we miss seeing the cute caterpillar walking beside us. 

This is true throughout every aspect of our lives. It is summer and we have already forgotten how we couldn’t wait until the warmer weather came as we had a very cold and long winter. From this distance, we can see more clearly our winter in context of the whole year. And, as we are right in the middle of the heat of summer, we can only see and feel the shimmering heat around us. Nature is such a great teacher because it is all around us and we can be very visual creatures. So we see in nature and in the seasons how the world works. 

In life, we often stay stuck in the past when we are mired within our defenses. When we can allow distance between us and what is giving us difficulty, causing us to defend ourselves, we then have space to see things more clearly. We gain greater perspective to allow new ideas and inspirations to come to us.

As I was working with a young man the other day, he and I found how true this is for him in his life. He is a man in his mid twenties who has had an unconventional life. His family is very active in a type of community living, and their life has taken him and them from Chicago, to Mississippi, to New Orleans, to West Africa, back to New Orleans where and when hurricane Katrina hit, and then back to Mississippi.
Presently he is a lead singer in a band and is a vibrant man. However, for most of his life, he and his large band of siblings defended and protected and supported his mother. When she had joined this community, her parents had disowned her. In addition to joining a community, she also joined in marital union with a man of a different racial culture. This was too much for her parents; especially her father. The man she married became very involved in the community and world issues as well as involved with other women throughout their lives together. In fact, he had other children in addition to the eight with her. This young man I am working with thinks it might be as many as four. His mother engaged her children in helping her by letting them know things, which really and ideally belong only between a man and wife. This young man is a good son and became too close to his mother. He is now afraid that he is too tempted by many women and becoming like his father in ways that he doesn’t like. He already has one child with a mother he is not married to. Not only does he avidly defend and protect his mother, he equally defends his position with his mother. He loves being close to his mother and idealizes her. 

As we worked together and I showed him through image and words the cost of his being too close to his mother as well as the cost of keeping a distance to his father. He started to see a different picture or perspective. He views his father as loud, unavailable to him and the family but available to the greater community. I reminded him that he too through his loud music and being a public figure entertains a greater community and now through his compulsion with other women is much like his father in ways that he most dislikes. His defenses started too loosen allowing him to take all this information in, integrate it and move forward. With this new perspective he can begin to allow inspiration for a life that he wants to live take hold. This life is his, and instead of being afraid of not being a good person as he viewed his father, and his grandparents viewed their daughter (his mother) he can then have the space to gain inspiration for his life.

We have just begun to work together, there is still much to do and learn, yet already he is beginning to recognize that through new perspectives he can find a way to move out of his past fears and start to carve out a new sense of himself. This is what we want for ourselves also; to peel off our defenses that no longer serve us, to live in the present, and to have space and distance to see and live our own truths.

Shift Your Story: Guided Visualization/Meditation

We all have some way in our lives where we realize that we are defended or we defend someone important to us. A have found that defending someone is really the other person’s job, and that defending us shows us where we might need to shore ourselves up and where we might need some nurturing at a deep level.

So let’s do a small meditation/visualization together. Sit comfortably with both feel easy on the floor in front of you. Take a few deep breaths, slow and deep. Take a moment and think about a place in your life and in yourself where you feel defensive. See it clearly as you also are aware of your deep breathing. Say out loud to yourself exactly what you feel defensive about and where you noticed in your life that you were acting defensive. This could be with a person, with something someone said, etc. Now, ask yourself what would happen if you didn’t defend yourself or the other person and let their words or actions sink in to you where you can hear them at a deeper level. This doesn’t mean taking them in as yours. It means listening to them instead of deflecting them. As you do this, what happens inside of you in reaction to really hearing the words and the actions? How do you respond inside of you? What thoughts or feelings come up for you? This is all we are doing with this right now. As you have noticed, then begin to notice your breathing again. Become aware of your breath, breathe two deep breaths, and slowly open your eyes. 

This is all. Notice how you feel and if you feel connected to you or not. This exercise is about paying attention to something inside of you; that is all. There are no proclamations or judgments; just learning. 

As we can begin to become less defensive, we can learn so much more about ourselves. Again, if you wish to share your responses to this meditation, feel free to share.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Summer's Walk In The Park

Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.
                                                                          -Jim Rohn

I was taking a walk today, on this beautiful, sunny morning, and I noticed something that I know I am guilty of doing also. Everyone I saw was so into their heads or their music or walking their dog, that I dont think I saw one person looking around and aware of their environment.

Has this ever happened with you? Have you been preoccupied with your fitness routine, or your music, or your ipod, or your phone, and so on, that you havent been aware of what is going on around you?

This month, as with the summer months, my blog is dedicated to being aware and living in the present. So far, I have talked about someone that I am working with, and so this week, as I was walking I realized how persistent and present this is for us to be not in the present. Being aware and being in our bodies instead of in our minds or wherever we go, is a full time job. So many things keep us from being present to ourselves, to others, and to life itself.

I will describe to you what todays walk was like for me. It was a beautiful morning. The trees are in full bloom, guiding and shading me as I walked. The trees were almost speaking to me, telling me to walk this way, to stop and smell this flower, and to sit for a minute and appreciate this view. Along the path I saw dogs and dog walkers of all shapes, sizes and ages pushing and pulling on their dogs, whining, calling out and talking on their phones. There was a beautiful, winding path over a footbridge giving us a way to meander around the creek. There were a couple of beautiful weeping willow trees gracefully bobbing in the wind and beckoning me with their beauty. I heard some deep caws and calls that caused me to look overhead and see blackbirds perched on branches, and two beautiful, majestic hawks circling overhead. I stopped for a minute to watch the hawks and wonder who they might be…… In my life at times, hawks have come to me after someone I love has passed. So I wondered for a moment as to who they are and what messages they might bring.

I caught a whiff of a flower and stopped to appreciate it. I noticed there is a group of people already gathering to practice field hockey or some such sport. I continued walking and noticed a perfect tree trunk for me to use as a temporary support while I stretched a bit, and did some lunges and squats. I caught myself wanting to call out or talk with a person here and there, but they were in their own worlds. So I caught myself going into my mind and figuring out what I will buy at the grocery store, and how I will organize my day. As I did so, I smiled at myself and continued on walking and admiring the day before it got too hot to be out in enjoyment.

I was speaking with a friend the other day, and we were talking about how important it is to be in our bodies. And yet, our bodies are only an extension of us. Our bodies let us know what we are thinking and feeling and experiencing; if we can be in our bodies. And, our bodies are not our souls. They are not who we are. So, our bodies and being in our bodies and healthy are very important. What is also true is that on another level, they need to be connected to our full selves and to our souls. Can we take a walk in the park and be connected to us, our bodies, and our souls? That is an assignment; and one I will take. How about you?

The four stages; write about them next month or next week.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:

How is it for us to be in our bodies, and present to our full selves and to life?

Take a walk and notice how it is for you. How do you feel and how does your body feel walking? Is there a body part that is speaking to you; pulling or stretching or hurting, or feeling good? Take some deep breaths and notice how that is as you walk. Find or notice a tree that speaks to you or a bird that calls to you in some way. Take a moment and talk with the tree or the birdif you dont feel too silly. You can always do it silently. Pay attention to yourself and your mind and if it strays or if it is with your body on the walk; or not. As you pass others, are they aware and do they see you? 

This walk can be as little as 5 minutes or as long as 20 minutes. This is called conscious walking. Notice as much as you can, and still enjoy yourself.  Be as present to yourself as possible. 

Then, take a moment or two and let your experience register. Again, we are not judging, we are only noticing!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

To Move Or Not To Move

Your present circumstances dont determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.
-Nido Qubein

We are in the heat of the summer in August. For many of us, our children or grandchildren are getting ready to go back to school, and the days are still hot and long. We can feel the warmth in the wind and air around our skin. There is a summer haziness to the horizon, making our visual perception not so clear. Does that not happen to us in life also? Sometimes we just dont see things so clearly.

As we are moving together on a journey from the past to the present and into the future, all interwoven, we have taken a look at what holds us back and also what helps us move into the present. I also find that certain emotions hold us back, protect us and keep us from feeling more primal feelings. Guilt is one of those emotions, and anger is another. Without realizing it, we sometimes hide behind anger and/or guilt so we dont have to feel things like sadness, loss and disappointment. Yet, as we can recognize what we are doing we can move into feeling the primal feelings presently in front of us. Another way of saying this, for example, when we gain the ability to see a greater truth hiding underneath the anger, we can then have a new clarity. What keeps us from moving, literally and figuratively, is the lack of being able to see a greater truth, which allows us then to gain enough clarity to move forward.

I was working with a client recently who had a difficult winter. She was in a state of indecision about literally moving to a new home; does she move with her husband or alone? So we took a look together to see what is underneath her indecision. We used a set of footprints to see an image which has been unconscious for her. We are looking at what keeps holding her back. I asked her to place footsteps for herself, her children, and her husband. She had shared with me that she and her husband had decided to abort a child a few years ago so I asked her to include that child also. She placed herself in the same line, right in the middle of her two live children, with her little aborted child right in front of her. Then she placed her husband behind them all and to the side. What became very clear to both of us was that there was no room for her husband as she was surrounded by all her children. There are many dynamics at play here, and we looked at them, but for this blog I am going to focus on one major one. I asked her about this child and if she felt complete with her decision. She said yes, she had worked a lot with it and she is ok. I told her that her placement of the footsteps tells me there is probably another piece to look at. We talked about this for awhile, and she realized that she had a little guilt, which she hadnt owned. This kept her angry with her husband. Her husband had been the primary advocate for the abortion. She had laid the anger on him, and hadnt truly owned that there was a part of her who also thought it might be a good idea for them at this point in her life. I then had her speak to the little child she aborted and name her and tell her this bit of truth that she too in some ways felt it was the wrong time for her to have her. And she had felt guilty. Then, she spoke words to her husbands footsteps telling him how she hadnt owned her full feelings and had placed her anger with herself on him. I then asked her if she would change the placement of any of the footsteps, and she put the little girl to the side of the family, and she stepped back to be behind her other children; still slightly in front of her husband, but close. And she turned her husband so he was now partially facing her. The two of them now have access to each other. She is no longer hiding behind anger and guilt and shielding herself with her children.

As she faced a truth in herself, she could see how things between her and her husband became clearer. What direction she now moves in is in the future. Now, she is able to be in the present with her truths. The question still remains about her moveand time will tell. The same is true for all of us. As we face a truth, we become free to move forward.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:

As you might be able to tell if you have been reading my blogs, I love using paper and pen as a tool to help us see things more clearly.

So, take out a piece of paper and pen. Ask yourself is there any place inside where you dont have clarity or where you might not be facing a truth in you. On the paper write out 4 categories: home, relationships, work, and lifestyle. Lifestyle includes exercise, and food and nutrition and eating habits. Relationships includes your friends, children, family and colleagues and peers.

Next, under each category ask yourself is there any place in your home where you might not be seeing things clearly and not looking at a truth of your own? Do so with each of the four categories. When you think of something write it down. If nothing comes to you in a category, leave it blank.

Come back to this sheet of paper once a week and look at it and see if anything has changed. Have you addressed a place where before you hadnt? Has something popped up in a category where before it hadnt? 

This is an ongoing exercise. You keep adding to it and changing it as you have changed. I love how things just begin to show up, and how other things resolve. I look at mine about weeklyyes, I am human too, and dont always go back to it on a weekly basis. By using it as a working tool, it helps keep me honest.

If you feel like it, I would love to hear how this works for you!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Perspective; What Do You Want To See?

“The finest steel has to go through the hottest fire.”
-Richard Nixon

July is the month of my birth; just barely. Summer has also always been my favorite time of the year. I love the long days, the warmth of the sun, the lazy times, and the night time bike rides. 

I can see the crazy hot days and the endless heat and sweat, or should I say glow? In my perspective, July is a great time of the year. I know people who love the winter and the snow and skiing. I know folks who swear by the beauty in the spring and some who love the coolness and colors of fall. It is all perspective. This perspective also is with absolutely everything. In the heat of the moment with a confrontation we often lose our perspective. We get lost in the moment. That moment we get lost in is not as we say, “in the moment”. When we get lost it is really in the trigger of a “past moment”. We temporarily lose ourselves in an old feeling or desire and in doing so, we get too close. We only see the root of our old pain.

I received an email asking for help with understanding a letter that one of my clients received from his father. That letter was an interesting one from the view point of seeing his father’s perspective. His father was reacting to something within himself and not seeing his son separate from his own nose, so to speak. His father was lost in feeling unseen, so he accused his son of acting in a way, which he (father) felt inside himself. He feels damaged and projects that feeling onto his son.

His son, my client, felt the abuse in the letter, knew it wasn’t about him, but….this is his father. The question became how to not react and not respond and also to have a relationship with his father. In addition, how can he deal with similar things he finds within himself? This happens with all of us; finding aspects or dynamics inside of us, which are very much like a parent or influential person in our lives. Sometimes those aspects or dynamics are ones we like, and sometimes they are ones we don’t like. In addition, often the ones we don’t like we are blind to in us. We call that our blind spots. 

We talked about how he was afraid of those traits he sees in himself that are like his father’s. I think we all are to a degree. Yet, it is by making those aspects conscious that we then begin to have a choice as to what we respond to and how we respond. So, as he becomes aware of those traits in himself as they are happening, he then develops some control over them. I also asked him what he likes about his father. He named a few things. That is what we do to help us with those things in us we don’t like. We look at what we do like in our parents and in us. Then, we can feel close to our parents in those aspects we like, and we can let go of those things we don’t like. It is a way of having some distance from our parents as we need it, and having closeness also. This way he can have a type of relationship with his father, but at a safe distance, and also have relationships with others. 

Again, so much is about perspective; how he sees his father or what lens he uses to see his father and to respond to him. Our early years are important in determining how we see the world, and, with awareness, we are able to let go of what is not really us, and keep what is. 

A Guided Visualization/Meditation:

One of the tools I use in my work with clients is visualizations and meditations. If any of you are having a challenging time or having trouble gaining perspective on someone or some thing, here is a meditation that may help you.

Close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Which each breath go deeper inside yourself. Ask for guidance along the way. Begin to see the person or situation you need clarity with in front of you. As this person takes shape in front of you, let the image go. Then let another image come before you, and let it go. Try not to hold onto these images. Do this at least two more times; each time after their image comes, let it go; don’t hold onto it. Then let their image emerge one more time, and as they are in front of you in your mind’s eye, move back or have them move back until they are at a distance from you which feels good. Really look at them or the situation and begin to realize that with this distance, you can see also all that is around them; take in the space around them. Just looking, see if anything emerges from around them… another person, an object, a feeling, and let your gaze soften. Allow that image to be with you for awhile, and then let it go. Breathe deeply two to three times, and slowly open your eyes. Just be with you for a few moments without trying to figure it all out.  If you have an “aha”, or something or a feeling comes up for you, write it down. 

Then, just breathe. Again, if something comes up for you that you would like to share, I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Do You Have Healthy Boundaries?

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or to the future are certainly to miss the present.”
                  -John F. Kennedy

I have a vision of being out at a pool, keeping cool, letting the sun slightly bake my skin and bathe my body in good old vitamin D; sounds good to me. How much skin do I expose? Do I need to let it all hang out? Do I have some protection? And, if I am a bit shy, maybe I don’t want to wear a small two piece or bikini. What are my boundaries here? 

This is such a small thing to be concerned about, but it is something we do concern ourselves with; especially in July. If we think about it, in various ways, we concern ourselves with our boundaries much of the time. How much time should I spend in the sun, how much time should I spend with my children, how much space do I need, how much time alone do I need without getting grouchy, and so on. These are daily questions we concern ourselves with. Other questions we ask are, how do I think about this idea when my friend and colleague thinks differently, or my family thinks differently? Who am I, and what are my boundaries are issues that we confront in us daily. 

One of the things I do with me and with  my patients, is to ask, does this make me feel fuller and better, or does this hurt me or diminish me or keep me the same? In fact, with every question that comes up in my life, I frequently ask myself those questions. Another thing I do is to step back, give myself some personal space, and take in all my senses, and then feel the answer in my gut.

Do you know that we make more neuro transmitters in our gut than we do in our brain? As we are developing in the womb, the same cells and tissue that compose our brain tissue separate and many of those cells move to the area that is soon to be our stomach, digestive organs and intestines. We actually make more neuro transmitters in that area than we do in our brain. So, yes, we feel in our stomach and around our umbilical cord. This is why when we are frightened we get a feeling of butterflies in our stomach. This is why when we hear bad news or when we know we need to do something that we are frightened to do, we feel it in the pit of our stomachs. 

Sometimes I know that something is the right thing for me to do or say at the time because of the uncomfortable feeling I get in my gut. And, just the opposite also occurs. When someone is in my personal space, or when I feel invaded or pushed by someone, I also get an uncomfortable feeling in my gut. In this latter case, the feeling is slightly different than the uncomfortable feeling I get when I know I need to do or say something. That feeling is uncomfortable, but with a knowing that it is right; it makes me feel fuller and better to do or say this thing.  When I am invaded, the feeling is more to push away from it and that it feels wrong. Then I ask myself the key question; does this make me better or keep me the same?

I have a friend, who when she isn’t sure what to do, she asks herself a different question. She asks the question, “If I don’t do this, would I later regret not doing it? “

I am speaking of outer boundaries and internal boundaries, from the mundane, to the greater questions. Each mundane action builds on itself and makes us stronger. As we contemplate our boundaries, we are working and dealing in the present time. We are not mired in the past; we are moving and building towards our future. If we were to make decisions which make us feel smaller or the same, then we can know this is something that we have yet to resolve inside of us and we are still feeling compelled by something in the past in making those decisions. The devil is in the details. As we continue our work to know us and our boundaries, we build lives full of health, vitality and wholeness.

Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:

The exercise I am about to suggest here is one I find fun, but not necessarily easy. I am sure by now you can guess where this exercise is going.

At the end of the day, take out a pen and paper and write down questions you have had throughout the day. What would have happened if I said that, should I have done that instead, is this right job offer, and is this right thing for me to do, and so on. 

Beside each question that came up in the day, ask yourself; as I said that does that make me or the other person better, worse, or the same?

In other words, ask yourself if this makes you better, fuller, more, or if you don’t say it or don’t do it would you regret it after each question you had from the day.

After you have written these questions and answers down, read through your day with this new lens. Do this every day for a week, and see what happens inside of you and what kind of feeling you have in your gut.

I find this very helpful, and hope you do too to live a life of love, connection, wholeness and vitality!