This meditation that will help you to get connected to your body and your breath, shift your focus, and practice a new way of being. As you practice a new way of being, this feeling will settle into your nervous system, and begin to create new neuropathways so that you can feel this on a more regular basis. The more that you practice and over time, the more easily your body will be able to ground back into this feeling on a regular basis. Enjoy!
The topic of values is one of my favorite topic. This is because, as a life coach, across the board I see that to the degree that our values are present in our lives, we feel more fulfilled, at peace, energized, able to manage life’s challenges and willing to take risks. When our values are present in our lives we experience greater health, feel most like ourselves, in the flow and heading towards our full potential. We feel that life is full.
The opposite is true as well; to the degree that our values are not present in our lives, we can feel discontentment, higher levels of stress, like something is missing, and higher levels of anxiety, and reactivity. In other words, this is when our survival kicks in.
Our personal values system is unique to each one of us. It is intrinsic, meaning that it comes from within. We know that something is a value to us because we have a reaction when it is present, and when it is absent. When present, our values have the capacity to light us up from the inside out, give us energy, make us feel alive, and make us feel like ourselves.
Some values include connection, adventure, accomplishment, being in nature, physical activity, community, novel experiences, service, creativity, independence, or personal growth. It is not that we can suddenly snap our fingers and completely align our lives to our values. However, getting clear on our values and what makes us feel most alive will help us to make decisions with more clarity and move our lives in the direction of feeling fulfilled.
If you want to learn more about your values, contact me for a session where we will dive in deep and get clear on your values!
If you would like to go further on your own, consider this activity:
Take a moment to get comfortable, and take a few deep breaths. Feel free to light a candle or turn on some ambient background music. Think back to a moment or time in your life when things felt right, when all felt aligned. This could be a moment or a period of time in the present or past. Allow yourself to steep in the experience. Notice your posture,
As you think back, notice what values are present in this experience: connection, adventure, accomplishment, being in nature, physical activity, community, novel experiences, service, creativity, independence or freedom, and personal growth, or any others. Then answer the following questions:
- What are must have’s? (Things that you absolutely want or need in your life to feel fulfilled)
- What values are already present in your life?
- What values are not being honored?
- What is one thing you can do today to begin to honor this value more?
Thanks for reading,
Have you ever had the experience of feeling that you were moving forward in life, only to fall back into an old pattern, or have an external event pull you backwards? My uncle recently lost his entire neighborhood in the Northern California fires. He told me, “There have been times in my life when I thought my life was in a bad place and not going to get better, only to come to a better place than I had ever been before.”
I call this the boomerang effect: the concept of pulling back, only to catapult forward to an even better place than before. We humans have a tendency to believe that our lives should move in one direction: forward. However, our growth is not linear. When we allow ourselves to dream and envision what we want for ourselves, we see a big picture, a metaview. As we climb the mountain of life, we take unexpected turns, explore new and interesting terrain, and come across challenges that we could not possibly have seen from afar. From a distance, we may not be able to see the cracks and crevices, the wild animals, the rivers to be crossed, and the rocks, boulders and valleys that we must traverse as we make our way to the next peak, and the next. As we stand at the top of a peak, we may not see that there is another peak in the distance, even higher up and more beautiful than where we currently are. When we are in a valley, we may not be able to see that there are any peaks left for us to climb. Sometimes what is required for us to move forward is to move sideways across the mountain, to move straight up, to stop and rest for a while, to enjoy the scenery, to tend to an injury, or to learn something new.
We may spend 2 years taking giant leaps forward, and then traverse back some of those same steps, only to move forward again. The truth is that when we are living the full and rich lives that we all desire, we cannot possibly account for the surprises, opportunities and challenges that cross our paths along the way. Furthermore, when we are living conscious lives, we cannot ignore the parts of ourselves that arise at different times, which desire to be seen, heard and healed in order for us to move forward as even more whole, and brighter versions of ourselves.
Sometimes our challenges are a conscious choice. You may decide to restart on a more fulfilling career path, move to a different city or heal old relationship patterns with other or with yourself. At other times, it is not a choice at all, in the case of natural disaster, the loss of a loved one, or health issues for example. In any event, being in agreement with our present circumstances allows for flow and ease, and the resistance to them hinders are ability to move forward. The boomerang effect is the concept that when we are consciously committed to our own personal development, and intentionally choosing the direction of our lives, we are actually always moving forward. As humans we seek to grow and to become the biggest, fullest and most creative expression of ourselves and of our souls.
No matter where you are on your climb, bring to mind the image of a boomerang: that you do not know what is just around the bend; sometimes we pull back, only to go to places of unimaginable joy, prosperity, success, or to experience ourselves in a different light.
I am reminded of this quote, “Try to fix firmly in your mind what you would like to do; and then, without veering off direction, you will move straight to the goal. Keep your mind on the great and splendid things you would like to do, and then, as the days go gliding by, you will find yourself unconsciously seizing upon the opportunities that are required for the fulfillment of your desire, just as the coral insect takes from the running tide the element it needs. Picture in your mind the able, earnest, useful person you desire to be, and the thought you hold is hourly transforming you into that particular individual… …To think rightly is to create. All things come through desire and every sincere prayer is answered. We become like that on which our hearts are fixed...” Elbert Hubbard
I love this article on the importance of mindfulness in the workplace. More and more we experience the negative effects of stress on our body, minds, relationships and pocket-books to name a few! We are also seeing the benefits of what mindfulness practices can do to help lower stress levels, increase focus and well-being, create more awareness, and help people to slow down enough to choose more wisely how they spend their time and energy. This article focuses on mindfulness in the workplace, but of course the benefits of mindfulness and slowing down can benefit anyone at anytime or place.
Have you ever heard of the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree? It is one that speaks of persistence and quiet patience, of faith, and of never giving up on our dreams.
I heard this story when I was just finishing a 10 day silent meditation retreat. I was frustrated because all of the things that I had been working towards for what felt like an eternity, were not coming to fruition. I met a wise woman about 10 years my elder, and we talked for hours. We had so much in common; she was me and I was her, except in different times of our lives. She left me with this story that I will never forget:
‘A man and woman planted the seed of a Chinese Bamboo tree, and for the first year they watered it, cared for it, gave it sunlight, and fertile soil. After the first year the tree did not show signs of growth. The man and woman were slightly discouraged, but continued to nurture the plant in the second year like they did in the first. After the end of the second year, the tree had only grown one inch. This continued into the third and fourth year and the man and woman grew quiet discouraged. After year four the tree had only sprouted 2 inches. They wondered why, with all of their consistent efforts, the tree was not growing much if at all? They weighed their options and decided to give it one more year. At the end of the fourth year, the tree sprouted 80 feet in six weeks. The man and woman were shocked and delighted. All of their hard work had paid off! What they did not know was that in these first four years, the tree was planting a strong root system deep within the earth, without which the 80 foot growth would not have been able to withstand.
As you read this story, I invite you to reflect on one or more life situations in which, even though you worked consistently towards something, you had to wait longer than you wanted for something to happen. What were you learning that supported your growth? What area of your life now can you benefit from that same patience, nurturing and persistence?
I will leave you with this infamous quote that seems appropriate:
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.” – Rainer Marie Rilke
Thank you for reading!
My step-dad is in his final stages of life. We will soon be calling in hospice, a service which helps people to be comfortable before they transition. It makes me realize that at some point, it all ends. As contradictory as it is, I believe these two things to be simultaneously true: we have little control, and life is what we make of it.
Many of the big things in life, we have no control over: which family we are born into, our genetic constitution, the belief systems that are put in place from the time we are young, when we or our loved ones pass. At the same time that this is true, life is what we make of it. We cannot control the cards we are dealt, but we can learn how to play our hand. With mindful practices of awareness, acceptance, compassion, intention, we have the power to influence our reactions, our relationships, our purpose, how we show up, and how our souls express themselves in this life. It is hard work, but it is worth it. There is no magic pill, and at the same time in that moment when we have uncovered one more layer, when we have reached for a dream we did not know we could achieve, it can seem so magical.
Ask yourself these questions: Where have you been blessed in life? What are you waiting to do? Who are you wanting to be? Fill in the blank. Before I die, I want to_________________________________.
My challenge to you: think of one thing you can do today to take a risk towards what you want. The scarier, the better. (Ex: telling someone you love them, giving a workshop you have been dreaming about).
To close, I will leave you with this quote, “Destiny is a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over, half of it is absolutely in your hands and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the Gods nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny. He is a little of both. We gallop through our lives like circus performers balancing on two speeding side-by-side horses. One foot is on the horse called “Faith,” and the other on a horse called “Free will” and the question you have to ask every day is which horse is which, which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it’s not under my control and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort.” - Eat Pray Love
Thank you for reading!