How do you stay true to yourself? Right now, with the political and social climate that we live in, it's tough to dissect feelings and emotions to know what is true and what is a reflection of others. If you spend any time on social media these days, no doubt the amount of one-sided posts you read make your brain go crazy. Our world is full of unrest and uncertainty, but it is also full of love. The thing that we are missing the most is balance. You have to approach social and political issues knowing where you stand on them and what your gut is telling you. Be informed, do your research, but don't follow one particular person or voice just because they are the loudest or most well-known for their opinions. Also, don't pick someone just because they are completely in alignment with your thoughts and opinions. Wait...what? You might be questioning that last statement. Think about it. If you only listen to people who have the exact same opinions that you do, how do you expand or open your mind to other perspectives? That old saying that there are certain things to avoid in conversations with friends-politics, religion and finances...wrong. If you have friends that are truly good friends you should be able to talk about these things to help expand your mind. If we only surround ourselves with 'like-minded' people we really limit our sphere of thought expansion and acceptance.
It's so easy to be persuaded to take one side in a situation when that's all that is in front of you. If you don't ever consider the other side, or perspective, you can't make an informed decision or opinion for yourself. This takes us back to 'staying true to you.' How do you know when you are being true to you? What does it feel like? Can your opinion change? The answers to those questions are pretty simple. You will know that you are being true to your own beliefs and feelings when it feels good deep in your gut, in your heart and in your mind. You will feel settled. Yes, your opinion can change-it should. The more that you know, the more you investigate, the more research you do, the more you learn-the more often you will find that your opinion changes. A belief and an opinion are really not that different. Some say that a belief is based on personal faith and an opinion is based on feelings and assumptions. When you add in knowledge and understanding to feelings and assumptions, that seems a better definition of 'opinion.'
It is a good practice to try to not be defensive over your opinions and feelings. When we become defensive over something we think we completely understand, we lose the possibility of learning more and having a more comprehensive understanding. Simply put, keep an open mind, don't become defensive over your own opinions and be respectful and open to others opinions. Yes, these things may seem like simple human behaviors, but when we're faced with difficult conversations or experiences-we tend to forget them all together.
If I were to think of all of the things I wanted to write about this month, this wasn't actually at the top of my list. However, we are already embroiled in the Holiday season and this is often when difficult conversations can arise with family, friends or acquaintances. From my own experiences this year, there have been plenty of conversations I have had myself that I find these reminders to be helpful. This year, I started back at work full-time, sent one kid off to college, had the other kid enter high school and I myself have started back to college to finish my degree. There has been so much change this year and many experiences that have forced me to reconsider my opinions in many different areas. Like I mentioned earlier, we often base our opinions off of what is right in front of us-with a bit of tunnel vision. As we have new experiences and shift our worldview, we can open our mind and understanding exponentially.
The full-time work that I do brings out the 'type-A' in my personality, and not always the beneficial parts of that. It has been a great experience for me to re-examine some aspects of my own short-sightedness. I'll write more on my experiences this year in another post. When I am able to focus on my part-time work (reiki, life-guidance, yoga, etc.) I am able to soften and round out the corners of the type-A. Under the layers of it all, I hope that the work(s) I do help spread love and understanding.
If there's one thing I can leave you with tonight-it's to remember to keep love at the forefront, all of the time. Lead with love. Lead with understanding, empathy and openness. Remember these things as we head out to Holiday parties and gatherings. Help spread love, not opinions and judgement.
Happy Holidays to you all!
With love and light~
What is your imagination creating in 2017?
There's always a push at the beginning of a new year to do something drastic, to make a BIG change for the coming year. How often do you see people posting about a new fitness routine or making a resolution to go to the gym? Or change their eating habits? Or that they are going to lose "X" amount of pounds? There's nothing fundamentally wrong with these resolutions or 'goals.' The problem is that these great ideas and good intentions usually don't stick! There's a very good and very obvious reason for this. They are all focused on the outside, without addressing what is going on internally.
It's great to want to eat healthier, to exercise more, to lose a little weight-if it's for the right reasons. If the focus is only on the outcome to be a superficial goal, most likely that goal won't be met. If you shift your focus to becoming healthier (whole body) in the process, to building a stronger body to support your energy levels or to feel better in your current clothes-that's going to take you much further to reach that 'goal.' Only focusing on what you are looking at in the mirror everyday, or deciding each day is 'good' or 'bad' dependent on whether or not you think you look good, isn't going to be a good basis for putting that resolution into creation.
What is your imagination creating for this year?? What does this year look like for you? THIS is what I want you to focus on. Paint a picture of what this year is going to look like-your intentions for your career, family, self, household, etc. Write it down in a journal, cut out photos of how you want your house to look, pick up books that encourage you to deepen your relationship with your loved ones, sign-up for a course that helps you to better your skills at your current job. Notice I didn't just say, "write it down and put your attention on those things." You have to put action behind your dreams & imagination to actually see it created!
Imagine it, describe it, write it, and then create it! Whatever action you take is what will lead to whether or not you manifest your dream. Get our of your own way! Often times, we are our own worst roadblock. What we tell ourselves on a daily basis can either be very inspiring for creating our dreams, or responsible for bringing them crashing down around us. This is not about having a Pollyanna attitude, it's about believing in yourself to make sure that you stay on the path of action to achieve your dream that you have imagined. Creation comes from action. Action takes dedication. Dedication to spending the time on you. Get rid of the junk so that nothing will keep you from believing in yourself and your dream.
If you want to learn how to visualize what your ideal 2017 looks like, and learn how to start to take the action steps to get there, sign-up HERE for our free 5-day Learn to FLY online workshop. It's chock-full of tips & tricks to get you focused on imagining, creating and working towards your best year yet! You'll receive an e-mail in your inbox each of the 5 days with a new practice to do each day and tips to help you visualize your ideal year. All you need is to have an open mind and a willingness to spend some time on you each of those 5 days! You'll be doing a little writing, so having a journal on hand is good, or if you like to keep things electronic an app like Evernote (which is free) or Day One ($4.99) is recommended. I've just been introduced to Day One and it looks really intriguing! You can find either app in the App Store.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me before signing up! This is going to be an exciting journey and I will be there with you every step of the way.
Love and Light~
Looking for the sign-up form for the 5-day online workshop? Just click HERE. Watch your inbox after you sign-up through the form, you will have to confirm your subscription as well.
The breath, the breath, the breath. We hear it so often when we are needing something to 'calm' us down or to unwind-"Just breathe!" It can get a little frustrating, and annoying-to be honest. "You expect me to focus on my breath when I'm ready to explode on _________ because they(he/she) _________ to me?!" Fill in the blanks.
One, we always take it personally. Everything is personal. Even that person driving in front of you on the highway who is going too slow or not letting you pass-surely they are purposefully keeping you from getting ahead?! They absolutely are not in their own little world focusing on where they need to be and not paying a lick of attention to you. Now, imagine if you did take a minute to breathe through those thoughts and emotions instead of just acting out? Maybe, just maybe you would realize in that minute that it really is not something to take personally. That those people are not out to get you. This is where taking the time to breathe through it can really, really help you out.
Once you understand the energy flow of the breath and why it is so important to utilize the right type of breathing, it is a game changer. Our survival is dependent on breath. We can survive (possibly) for weeks without food, days without water, but really only seconds without air. Breath is vital to our existence. It also cleanses our cells, calms our nerves and helps circulate our energy properly.
So, what do I mean by the 'right type of breathing?" I am going to keep this as simple as possible. From a Yogic perspective, practicing Pranayama (breath control) is crucial to any Yoga practice. When we start out in life, we breath deep in our bellies. Just watch an infant sleep and you will see what I mean. You can see the rise and fall of their abdomen as they breathe. As we get older we shift to more rapid and shallow chest breathing. Think about your day-to-day activities; how often do you feel your abdomen move when you breathe? Try this:
Just sit for a minute. Breathe how you normally breathe, don't change anything at this point. Now, put a hand on your abdomen and a hand on your chest. Take a big, deep breath in. Which hand moved more? Really, both hands should move, but the hand on your abdomen should move more than the one on your chest. Your breath should fill out your abdomen first and then gently rise up to your chest. It should feel like a small balloon inflating. When you release your breath, it should be slow and gentle, not fast. Try it a few times. Breath in, filling up your abdomen with the breath and feeling a gentle rise on your chest as the breath expands upward. Slowly release your breath. You can release it through your nose or your mouth, whichever way feels better to you right now. Does that make sense? The more you pay attention to how you are breathing, the more you actually begin to utilize breathing for it's therapeutic benefits.
Here's an exercise to try:
It doesn't matter where you are, just take a moment to stop and breathe. Begin by breathing deep into your belly and exhaling slowly. Just focus on that for a couple of breaths. Think about what emotions you are experiencing at the moment. Are you anxious? Frustrated? Tired? Breathe in for a count of 3, hold your breath for a 2 count, and release your breath for a count of 5. Now, imagine breathing in the opposite emotion of what you are feeling. If you are anxious, imagine calm coming in on your in-breath. Let it circulate when you hold your breath. Then, imagine anxiety leaving with the out-breath. You can actually do visualizations by imagining the actual words of the emotions moving in and out of you while you breathe. Try taking 3 breaths like this and then just sit and see how you feel afterward. Take stock of your entire body. Are you more relaxed? Do you feel lighter?
How does this help you in the real world and in the midst of a frustrating moment? Try it sometime. Just stop and breathe. It doesn't have to be the exact exercise from above. Just stop and take a deep belly breath in and blow out whatever frustrations you are experiencing in that moment. Is it magic? No. Does it help? Yes. I encourage you to try to incorporate this type of breathing into your everyday. I think you will find that it does really make a difference! If you are already mindful of your breathing practices, I would love to hear from you about how it has made a difference for you!
If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments below.
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I am a wife, mom, photographer, avid reader, Yoga enthusiast, nature lover, traveler, adventurer, and child of God, who loves to learn about anything and everything and is just trying to help others see the beautiful beings that they are! Welcome to the blog for my website. Here you will find articles about many, various items of interest. I am a Reiki Practitioner, Life Coach, Yoga Instructor, Energy Healer, Astrologer, custom Mala Creator and your go-to for the support that you have been looking for. Thank you for stopping in!
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