Tag Archives: journaling

So you didn’t win the lottery…Here’s the good news

This time last week lottery pandemonium was taking hold of us. As the pot was now estimated to be at it’s largest ever, most people jumped at the chance to play their luck. It was on the news, radio and on the tip of everyone’s tongue. We all knew the odds but somebody had to win.

The excited energy was in the air and we all were breathing it in. The best part for me wasn’t the chance at an extremely large amount of money or the fact that somebody (or several somebodies) life would change. The best part was the dreaming.

The hope of millions of dollars gave everyone the ability to dream without restrictions. As my husband said “You are just limited to anything you’ve ever wanted.” Peop
le all around took this opportunity to dream, and dream big.Conversations about quitting jobs, giving money to family, buying a dream home and helping the community was everywhere you looked.   Faces light up at the glimmer of hope when they opened their mind to this opportunity.

It was beautiful to share in this mass dreaming. The there was a light, hopeful energy and it was intoxicating. Then Thursday morning the majority went back to their daily lives with a sting of disappointment.

dream big

While most of us (myself included) didn’t get any money, we did gain something even more valuable. We gained a clear understanding of what we truly want. Without any restrictions, we explored how our lives would be different. We know where we truly want to spend our time, our energy and our attention.

Just because this didn’t happen overnight, it doesn’t mean it can never happen. We can choose to look at the world with an unrestricted, hopeful perspective; keeping each and every lottery dream alive. It may start smaller but you can still work towards these dreams and feel the same satisfaction.

For example, if you wanted to help your family you can start with giving your sister gas money instead of the car you dreamt of. If you wanted to quit your job so you have more time with your family, make a point to be completely present when you are with them or give them just 5 more minutes a day. It may sound silly to start so small, but momentum will build.

So I challenge you to not let this opportunity pass. Write them down, keep them in your thoughts and let your dreams come to you however they can.

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Who Are You?

I want to know who you are.  I don’t want your name or any particular labels that have been given to you (unless they resonate), but what your soul would say if it were asked.

Why?  I want to know simply because I want you to know those things about yourself. 546699_488339164510904_704481975_n If you don’t take time to think about it and if no one ever asks, you may never truly find those answers.

We often hide parts of who we are.  We grow up putting on label after label so we can describe ourselves in a way others understand.  As we go through this process, we often start eliminating those that don’t seem appealing or acceptable to others.  For example, we may hear a child say “I am beautiful” but it is far less common to hear an adult say it.  This is something many take out as they begin to judge themselves or are judged by others.  It all starts when we are really young and before we know it, we forget what some of these things are.

We begin to define ourselves by what we do or who we are in relation to others.  Very few people start a conversation with a complete stranger with anything other than what we have chosen as circumstances in our lives such as a job, our marital status and if we have kids.  A few other “likes” or “dislikes” may come up but that is as deep as it often gets.  Sometimes we make lifelong friends with people who know everything about what has happened to us or things we have done, but we never disclose who we are.  It just never comes up.

The reason this is a challenge is it is impossible to honor, respect and love yourself if you have no idea who that is.  How can you pursue things that serve you, serve your soul and your ultimate happiness if you don’t know what they are?  One reason that people sometimes struggle to find happiness is they are living a life that doesn’t serve their happiness.  Getting perspective is sometimes all we need to know what changes to make and get closer to happiness, even if it as simple as starting a new hobby.  Going through the motions of life you may never take the time to ask yourself so I am doing it for you.

Sit alone, with no one providing their input and opinion and write on the top of the paper Who am I?  Start the next line with I am… and list out everything that comes to mind.  Don’t judge what you write or feel guilty about those that you leave off that “should” be on it.  You may find things start to list out that are things you always wanted to do but hid from out of fear or judgment.  You are already all those things; you just haven’t lived the experience yet, accept them as truth.

If you find harmful or hurtful words come up then you can uncover areas that need your compassion and love.  These are beliefs you have that can be holding you back from your dreams.  Working through them so they are no longer on this list is critical in moving forward and uncovering self-love.

Allow the words to just come to you and don’t force them, you may be amazed at what you learn about yourself.  Below are pieces of my list, my husbands and other people I know who have done this exercise.

I am a writer.  I am a healer.  I am divine light.  I am a friend.  I am a musician.  I am full of energy.  I am peaceful.  I am joy.  I am a spiritual guide.  I am awesome.  I am a mother.  I am a husband.  I am an animal lover.  I am a student of life.  I am a teacher.  I am an artist.  I am crafty.  I am love.  I am a leader.  I am a speaker.  I am blessed.  I am living gratitude.  I am a dancer.  I am a dreamer.  I am a gypsy.  I am beautiful.  

Who are you? I would love if anyone wants to share some of theirs here; I promise you will be met with only unconditional love and support.  If not here, than share with someone you are close to.  The more you vocalize these, the more they become part of your daily life and you will be astonished on how amazing that can be.

Be Independent.

Judgment is detrimental in progressing towards our goals.  Whether it is our own self-judgment or judgment from others, we can get stuck in our lives if we let it control us.  It keeps us from having the courage to create the life we want in many ways.  When considering how many people are looking to live a fulfilling and happy life, finding a way to release ourselves from judgment seems to be more critical than ever.  Understanding it is necessary is one thing, finding a way to do it is another.  To take that first step, consider this quote:

“What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.”

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

This concept is incredibly empowering.  Most of us, at some point in our lives, have either heard or said, “Who cares what other people think?”  Generally, this applies to us going forward and doing something that we are fearful others will judge or condemn.  Taking on this perspective gives us courage to be ourselves and take some risks.  It is one small step in releasing the fear our ego sometimes uses to hold us back from doing things that will bring us great joy and happiness.

This quote, however, brings a new light to this concept.  Takes it one step further and challenges us to think about how good opinions from others is just as necessary to disregard as the bad ones.  It is also quite a bit harder.  When people recognize you and appreciate what you are doing, it feels great.  It also feeds our ego.  This can lead to a more dangerous cycle than not doing things because others will disapprove.  We may start doing things simply to get others approval.

In this situation, we waste valuable time and energy doing things that don’t feed our soul.  This is a cycle of never being able to say no and feeling disappointed when others don’t like what you do as much as you wanted them to.  We tend to start searching for others approval and it can stretch so far as to what careers we choose, who we marry, how we live every day of our lives.  It is a painful way to live.  Becoming independent of the good opinions of others frees you from an addictive cycle of searching for approval and allows you to honor who you really are.

To start doing this, think about everything you put your time and energy into.

  • Are there things you are doing simply because others will approve of you?
  • Are there things you aren’t doing because you are afraid of what others will think?
  • When was the last time you wanted to say “no” to someone but didn’t because they would judge you or think you weren’t a caring person?
  • Are you free to make choices without fear of what others may think of you?

Once you identify where you have been caught in the approval trap, use the phrase “What other people think of me is none of my business” as your motto to work through these situations.  It may take some time as well as having very honest conversations with those in your life about what changes you need to make but it will be worth it.  Being independent of what others think and honoring your true self will give you a significantly happier life.

Creating Peace

Every year on September 21st the world takes a moment to celebrate International Day of Peace.  In honor of this great day, it is the perfect time to evaluate how to bring more peace into your personal life.

There is a common misconception that living a peaceful life means creating a life completely absent of anger, drama or fear.  An image of a calm, uneventful and slow-paced life comes to mind.  Some people may crave this sort of life, while others want to avoid it because they love the energy that comes from a more fast-paced life.  This image, however, is somewhat impossible unless you live a life in complete seclusion with zero human interaction.  Human relationships are messy and human beings are full of messy emotions.  Living a peaceful life is about how you manage interactions with others and how you balance your life.  Being a calm and content person regardless of the situations you are in is what creates lasting peace in your personal life.  In order to do this, we need to find ways to balance our lives and our emotions so we are able to enjoy and learn from everything life brings, not just the good stuff.

As with all things, finding your way to a peaceful life is also a very personal journey.  Some of us need to work more internally and some need to work on how we interact with others.  If you are looking for ways to bring more peace into your life, here are a few suggestions on areas that may help you.

  • Relax – I am often astonished at the number of people that don’t know how to relax.  It isn’t a personal flaw, but more a symptom of society that labels any moment of “unproductive” time as a waste or being lazy.  We go, go, go until we are exhausted and then we search for an effortless activity, such as watching TV, for relief.  For some this is genuine relaxation, but for others it is the only thing they have energy left to do.  To feel more peace in every area of your life, your body and mind need downtime that works for you.  It may be playing music, reading, taking a bath, socializing or taking a walk.  Whatever may speak to you, integrating a routine of relaxation into your life is key to balancing your energy and emotions.
  • Process your emotions – We tend to numb our emotions.  Some of them are bitter, painful and unpleasant.  Some, on the other hand, are beautiful and wonderful.  All of them are necessary.  Numbing one means numbing them all.  Trying to cut out anger, frustration and fear to simply glide through life would also mean cutting out all the wonderful emotions of love, joy and excitement.  All emotions need to be embraced and explored in order to experience the type of inner peace that brings a blissful life.  Holding emotions back or avoiding situations that may bring these emotions causes inner chaos that blocks inner peace from entering your life.  When you are in a situation that causes some of the “negative” emotions, take a moment to acknowledge them instead of avoiding them.  Then take steps to work through them in a constructive manner.  This may mean journaling, addressing another person in the situation or taking some minutes in silence to understand what is triggering the feeling.  Every person will handle this differently but a key to peace is facing the emotions directly.
  • Be yourself – One of the most stressful things we can do to ourselves is trying to live up to who we are supposed to be instead of being who we truly are.  If you are not living your truth, you will never feel completely at peace.  Accepting who you are, loving who you are, and living who you are is critical in feeling constant peace.  It is not always easy to be true to who you are, but the work is worth it.  Spend time alone, learning who you are, what you want and what you like.  Make a commitment every day to honor that and remove the things that do not.  You are beautiful and perfect the way you are.  The more you live that way, the more peace you will feel.
  • Practice forgiveness – We all know that conflict is the opposite to peace, but many do not understand how holding grudges or anger towards others can be a key blocker in feeling inner peace.  Forgiving others and yourself is the single most empowering act you can take.  This is appropriate in all situations, even if it is not someone who has harmed you personally.  This can be someone who you disagree with, such as a politician or a manager in the company you work.  This may be someone who has harmed a friend.  It may also be someone from many years ago that you have almost forgotten about.  Holding anger towards any of these people, regardless of how small or how distant they are is going to keep that conflict in your life.  Make a list of anyone who you haven’t forgiven yet.  You may be surprised of the names that come up once you get started.  Work through the list, one by one, and forgive them so you can be at peace.

Creating peace in your own life is the first step in creating a peaceful and loving world.  I wish everyone a wonderful International Peace Day and hope you can create permanent peace in your own lives.

Peace Bell at UN Headquarters in NYC

Being Content

We all know that feeling.  It is the feeling of creeping frustration.  Slowly over time our dreams become so strong it is almost unbearable to live another day without reaching them.  We are taken over by the empty dissatisfaction that emerges when we think about everything we want to change.  We feel suffocated by the circumstance that are keeping us from doing what we truly desire.  We then ponder about how others peoples lives seem so much better than our own.  We convince ourselves we will be happy once we get “there”.  Before we know it, we wake up angry and not looking forward to the day.  Our energy, focus and smile begin to dwindle away.

This is a painful cycle that many live in for weeks, months and even years.  Sometimes it takes a big event or someone being so fed up that they can’t take it any more to really change it.  The solution to this is very simple- be content.  Now, this may sound contrary to other posts about not settling, taking risks, and being uncomfortable; but it is not.  Those things are all so important.  Having dreams and goals to work towards is a large piece of living fulfillment.  The idea of being content isn’t about not wanting to work towards things.  Being content is about taking the perspective that until you get there, everything now is just as it should be.  Things are perfect in this moment and you can be happy, right now, while working towards those things.  Finding a way to focus on your dreams while loving your current life is a fine balance, but one that brings great rewards.

When we get a good vision of our dreams, it comes with a sense of urgency to get there immediately.  The reason is your perception of your current life.  Your tomorrows will always look better than your today if you are focused on what you want to “fix”.  Envisioning a life that you want to create is incredibly important, but can be detrimental if it takes away from your happiness today.  Why can’t you have both?  Dream of a tomorrow that will be all you want while enjoying a today that brings real happiness.  You will never get to your tomorrow if you don’t live the present moment, so you might as well enjoy it.

Here are some tips to start living contentment:

  • Take your time, slow down, and enjoy all the beauty in your life.  Picture yourself 10 years from now looking back.  What will you miss about your current life?  Are you enjoying those things now?
  • Integrate a gratitude practice and don’t focus on the things you don’t like.  Eventually, the journey to achieve your dreams will be significantly more enjoyable.
  • Don’t view your life once you achieve your dreams as “better” than your current life.  Remind yourself that they are both wonderful, just different.

You are Beautiful

Generally I stay away from the word beautiful.  When I do use it generally it is about the beauty around us or inside of us.  Utilizing it in terms of physical appearance is something I avoid partially because of my own insecurities that get shaken awake and partly because of the emotional tornado that comes with the word.  People instantly cringe inside and their inner critic takes over.  But, it is incredibly valuable to understand why that is and what we can do to undo any of the damage the word may bring.  As with most things in life, facing it is the key to changing it.

The word beautiful is one of those words that every person customizes.  When I say beautiful, what comes to mind?  I bet you it is a different image for every person reading this, even if slightly.  It varies even more when you are talking about beauty with people.  We all vary in what we find attractive in a mate and what we envy in those of the same sex.  It is a word that creates more pain and pleasure than most words in the dictionary.   It is a word that consumes our minds whenever we look in the mirror or are looking at someone else.  It is a word that creates an instant stream of judgment that is heart wrenching to many.

The key here is to remember it is just a word, and a word for a perception at that.  There is no clear definition of beauty, however convinced you are that you won’t fit into that category.   As a society, there are general themes for what we believe is beautiful which is clear and evident in our celebrities.  We even create whole magazines around the topic.  But this society varies from that of other countries and every society varies in what they perceive is beautiful.  Despite the amount of weight someone loses, how much plastic surgery they get, how much muscle they build or how much make-up they wear; it is impossible to fit everyone’s view of beauty.   It will never be done.

With that being said, you should know that you are beautiful.  We are all.  Maybe not in a typical way, maybe not in the way that will make us movie stars and maybe not even in the way we would prefer.  But you are beautiful.  It is a matter of perception, just like any experience in our life.  The way we view beauty in ourselves completely depends on how we look at it.  If we shift our focus from the things we see in ourselves that we think are not beautiful and begin to celebrate the things that we think are beautiful, the level of happiness and acceptance of ourselves will flourish.

How are you beautiful?  If your mind instantly went to “I’m not” then you have some work to do.  Sit down and write out everything that is beautiful about you, inside and out.  Look at your body in a different way then you have.  Don’t focus on what you don’t like, look at what you do.

Here is a list of things that I have found beautiful in every person I have ever met to get you started:

Your eyes – Eyes give away secrets of the soul.  It doesn’t matter what color they are, how long your eyelashes are or if you have wrinkles.  Your eyes are incredibly beautiful and tell a story of your individuality.

Your smile – This is best gift you can give to the world.  Your smile brings an instant moment of peace and joy to every person you show it to.  It doesn’t matter how big your lips are or if your teeth are perfect; your smile conveys the most beautiful part of life – joy.

Your hands – I know many people don’t look at their hands and think about beauty but let me tell you, they are amazingly beautiful.  They allow you to take care of others, create beautiful things in this world, embrace others and demonstrate love.  If you take a moment to look at anyone’s hands and think about what they bring to the world you will see the beauty instantly.

There is your list to start…what else is beautiful about you?  Write it out, tell it to the world and believe it with all your heart.  If you feel extra daring look at yourself in the mirror and say “You are so beautiful” over and over again until you feel the peace and acceptance warm your heart.  If you do nothing else, simply remember that I believe, and will always believe, that you are beautiful.

Be You.

In today’s world it is often difficult to know who we really are.  Every day we are being told what we should like, what we should want and who we should be.  We are pulled in many different directions and try to live up to many different expectations, whether we put them on ourselves or are from those around us.  Society as a whole has created molds of what a successful life should look like and many of us struggle to fit into this mold.  Even when we do, often times we are not content with it.  Because of these various influences, we can lose ourselves and have a hard time understanding who we actually are.

Many of us do not take the time to question if the life we are living is true to who we are rather than a manifestation of expectations and fears.  When we do take a moment to reflect on this, often it is after many years of unhappiness and frustration.  The reasons for this vary but ultimately fear surrounds most of them.  It takes a large amount of courage and confidence to decide that you are not what others would like you to be and to live your truth.  However, the risk is worth it.  The only way to true purpose and happiness is to be who you truly are, not what you believe you should be.

If you feel that this applies to your life, that maybe you are not living your whole truth, than there are steps you can take to move in that direction.

1-   Stop Judging.  This applies to judging yourself as well as those around you.  When we judge others it is generally because there is insecurity within us.  Also, the simple act of judging others causes us to fear being judged.  It is extremely difficult to stand up for who you are if you are afraid of others judgments and if you are not accepting of who you are.  Next time you catch your thoughts drifting to judgments quickly assess the root cause and replace the judgment with acceptance and love.

2-   Listen to yourself.  If you don’t ask yourself who you really are, what you really want and who you would like to become than you will never know.  The key here is to be completely honest with yourself and listen to your gut.  If you head says “I want to be a doctor” but your gut cringes, it is most likely someone else’s dream for you that you are repeating.  Remove everyone’s expectations and just listen.

3-   Meditate or Journal regularly.  Getting in touch with who you are requires you to spend time alone getting to know yourself.  When you meet a new friend you have to spend time with them to know what they like, what they don’t like, what their values are, etc.  If you are disconnected to who you are then you have to reintroduce yourself.  Meditation or journaling is the best way to be completely honest with yourself without fear and judgment.

These are three steps to start with.  Although they may sound simple, they are not easy and take time and dedication. You will never find true peace or happiness if you are not living your truth.   So go ahead, take some time to get to know yourself and start being the beautiful person you truly are.

My Travel ABC’s

This won’t be a typical posting for me.  The below survey was passed on to me from another blogger.  I decided to do it because when we take the time to retrieve memories like this it is a form of journaling in a very fun way.  I couldn’t go through this without smiling and getting an incredible feeling of happiness with recalling some great experiences I am grateful to have had.  I went through with answering the first thing that comes to my mind.  Because of that, you will see some of the same places pop up because the places held incredible moments for me.   You will also see more photo’s than I typically post- I am not a photographer but love taking pictures so figured this is the perfect time to share.

I encourage all of you to take this whether you are an avid traveler or not.  It is a great way to smile and remember all the great things you have seen in your life.

A: Age you went on your first international trip: It was Canada and age is hard to say.  If I had to guess I would say 7 or 8, but I thought it was beautiful…even if some of it looked similar to my home in NY.

B: Best (foreign) beer you’ve had and where: Mountain Goat and I was around Melbourne Australia.  It is this great brewery that only locals really know about since it doesn’t even have a sign.

C: Cuisine (favorite): Without question I will say Pizza.  Majority of my diet is very healthy and light but I find it very important to balance so every now and then I allow myself an amazing piece of good NY style pizza.

D: Destinations, favorite, least favorite and why: Not incredibly exotic but one of my favorite places to go is Sedona, AZ.  There is such an incredible peacefulness in the landscape that I haven’t been able to find anywhere else.  I can immediately feed on the energy and life seems simple and serene.  Least favorite is L.A. (Sorry CA folks!).  I don’t really love cities in general; I am much more of a nature girl.  I also believe very much in keeping my life simple without too many things.  L.A. seems to be the very opposite of those two things, more so than anywhere else I have ever been.

A Taste of Sedona

E: Event you experienced abroad that made you say “wow”: In a rainforest in southern Australia.  Walking through it was so green, beautiful and untouched.  The age of the plants really put life in perspective.

F: Favorite mode of transportation: I don’t get to do it often enough but I love trains/lightrails/trams.  Watching the landscape and being able just enjoy is peaceful to me.

G: Greatest feeling while traveling: The excitement taking it all in.  Just standing around looking at things you have never seen before in awe is something I will never get tired of.

H: Hottest place you’ve traveled to: More like living in but the hottest is my current home- Phoenix, AZ.  A couple summers ago reaching that 117+ was hottest I have had.

I: Incredible service you’ve experienced and where: Nothing in particular stands out.  I will keep thinking on this one but as a general theme sometimes the smallest towns have the little hidden places that are so grateful to have you.  I always love that.

J: Journey that took the longest: Flying back to NY from Australia.  Going from Melbourne to LA is a long leg, then cross the country to NY felt like it would never end.  I did get to read a ton though which I always appreciate.

K: Keepsake from your travels: I usually buy a journal if I can find one when I go somewhere.  Keeps the memory and is something I can use.  I have some stunning ones; the best are handmade 🙂

L: Let-down sight, why and where:  Sorry if this is lame but I got nothing for this one.  I try really hard to look at everything with no expectations and finding beauty in everything, so there is never a let-down.

M: Moment where you fell in love with travel:  I can’t pinpoint the exact time but growing up we were always on a car ride somewhere.  My father was a dog handler so we were always in the car on the weekends going to some city for a dog show.  May be unusual travel to most kids but I got to see a lot.  I still love road trips the best.

N: Nicest hotel you’ve stayed in: Honestly I haven’t stayed in any really nice hotels.  I generally end up crashing wherever I can find within budget.  I do love staying in anything with a mountain view.

O: Obsession—what are you obsessed with taking pictures of while traveling? Sunrises and sunsets.  I don’t even have to be traveling.  I have my phone and camera filled with beautiful ones I have seen on my way to work or walking the dog.  I could stand for hours looking at the colors- it is even better if I can get a mountain or tree in it.

Here is a photo from my phone at an airport. Amazing Sunrise!

P: Passport stamps, how many and from where? Just got a new passport so starting at none…I will work on that though.

Q: Quirkiest attraction you’ve visited and where:  I don’t search for these things so it was on accident, but in a small town in Northern AZ on my way north there is a plaza with what claims to be the World’s Largest Kokopelli statue…It is a Native American deity that is very common here in the southwest.

R: Recommended sight, event or experience: Scuba diving…. anywhere really but if you can get on a shark feeding it is amazing!

S: Splurge; something you have no problem forking over money for while traveling: This would be really situational for me but if I think it is an experience I will never get a chance to do again I will happily pay for it.  Hot air balloon ride, skydiving, scuba diving, a show, etc.  If I think I will never get a chance to do that again in that location I will justify it.

T: Touristy thing you’ve done: Probably the typical Grand Canyon ride around to all the view spots.  I usually try to not just experience things as a typical tourist but I was limited on time.  I did go back and hike down it a couple times so I would get more out of the location.

A friend we ran into hiking down the Grand Canyon

U: Unforgettable travel memory: I was able to go to a Picasso exhibit while in Melbourne.  He has always been my favorite artist and I was lucky they were having his work displayed at the same time I was there.

V: Visas, how many and for where? I have only traveled to Australia long enough to need a visa, and I got two.  I really try to avoid them if I can.

W: Wine, best glass of wine while traveling and where? I don’t know enough about wine to really do this question justice.  I can say I never liked Red wine until I had an amazing glass of Merlot in Canada.

X: eXcellent view and from where? From a hot air balloon in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.  The sunrise was amazing and it looked like endless mountains with a touch of snow.  I have never seen anything so serene.

A View From A Balloon! 🙂

Y: Years spent traveling? This is really hard to answer.  It would be impossible to add up completely and I haven’t been able to spend a substantial amount of time traveling at once…yet. 🙂

Z: Zealous sports fans and where I was very fortunate to be in Melbourne downtown while they were playing in the World Cup.  It was an incredibly fun experience with the game playing through gigantic projectors on screens.  The amount of pride was amazing.

I’m supposed to pass this on to five other travel bloggers.  Since I am newer to this world, I don’t know five travel bloggers, or really know five total bloggers (especially if I take out the one that sent to me).  With that said I would like to pass on to any of the bloggers that follow me- but also to everyone that reads it.  As I said, it is a great exercise in recalling happy memories and that is critical in holistic wellness.

Trusting Yourself

We spend a good portion of our lives making decisions.  We make small ones constantly regarding what we eat and how to dress.  We make several huge ones throughout our life including what we do with our lives, whether we will get married or have children.  In all of this deciding, there is a tendency look externally for answers.  We research and read articles.  We ask friend and family their thoughts.  We find experts and hang on their every word hoping there will be a magic answer.  As we slowly unravel life’s moments we tend to reach out for any guidance we can find.

Although researching and getting others thoughts and opinions isn’t by any means a bad thing, the risk of losing our inner voice should be acknowledged.  The more we allow outside influences to take part in our decision-making processes, the less we listen to our instincts.  Why do we do this?  When it comes to decisions in our lives we don’t always trust ourselves.  We don’t listen to the nagging feeling or little voice in our head.  We ignore the feeling of anxiety or panic that is beginning to creep up.  We ask others often- “What do you think I should do?”  We ignore everything screaming inside of us and default to the “I can’t make a decision” or “I don’t know what to do”.

The simple fact is, we already know everything we need to know.  The answer is right inside of us.  When we allow ourselves to be consumed by others opinions we disconnect from what our bodies and feelings tell us.  We rationalize until we no longer feel.  We allow out intellect to block those precious moments when the answer just comes to us.  Having confidence in our decisions, true confidence, can only come if it is something that internally resonates with us.  It is critical we reconnect with ourselves to find the answers instead of searching for it anywhere else.

The next time you have to make a decision or a change in your life, try some of these techniques BEFORE you go asking around for everyone’s opinions:

Meditate on it.  I know there are still many people that cringe at the thought, but lets face it, sitting by yourself in silence is the best way to hear what is going on inside.  Sit with your eyes closed and take a few deep breaths.   Ask the question and wait.  Notice any feeling, thought or movement you might experience.  They are all pieces to the puzzle and should be listened to.

Journal.  Often one of the simplest things is to write the question down and then write everything that comes to mind after that.  Don’t judge it or think it over.  Just write.  No one ever has to see this paper but you and if you let it all come out you may be surprised at how freeing and calming the process can be.   You may find yourself working through many different possibilities and it is important to get it all out; no matter how impossible or foolish your inner critic may say it is.  Then you can read through it all to find that right answer for you.

Look for Support.  For some people, talking it through is the best way to have that moment of- “Wow, did I just say that?”  The key here is to do this with someone that won’t give you the answer or their opinion, but help you talk through the problem and dig into your feelings on it.  A close friend, a spouse, a professional coach or counselors are all great options.

See what comes up for you.  Then take that information and well thought out plans to make things happen.  You have the answers inside of you; the key is finding a way to let them out.  Once you give yourself time to process and hear the inner voice, it may be easier to trust and have confidence in what comes out.  Believe in the simple fact that you know what is the right thing for you.

Allowing Creativity

This is the perfect time of year to stretch your creativity and fulfill a long dormant part of yourself.  Whether it is decorating for the holidays or making a personal gift for someone special now is the time to find your inner artist.

Why is this important?  Creating things is a great way to express our spirit and get back in touch with ourselves.  In today’s world we tend to get disconnected so easily with technology, the business of day to day life and the demands being put on us to be everywhere at once.  Giving yourself some time to reconnect is so important; and what better way the a little bit of decoration or crafts.  The more cynical side of you is saying that you aren’t an artist.  That you maybe don’t have a creative bone in your body.  Well, I don’t agree.  Every child loves to color, paint, glue and mold.  This is instinctual and something that brings great joy.  Think back to those days before you felt judged or criticized…you were creative and that talent is still inside you.  Acknowledge that child inside that wants to come out and be expressive.  Let go of the fears and allow the creative energy flow!

What now?  Well- here are some ideas to get you moving…

Decorate- If it isn’t for the holidays; you can still leverage the inspiration of the season and pick a part of your home you have been meaning to rearrange or paint.  Take advantage of the sales out there and get something that you see as pure beauty and make room in your home for it.

Write- You can send someone a letter; write your child a silly poem; leave notes in hidden places expressing your love to your spouse; journal about your favorite art project when you were a child

Crafts- There are many great holiday decorations you can make and to get inspired all you need is to type into your browser.  On many sites online you can find easy directions for home made masterpieces you can do solo, with friends or with your kids.

Make a gift- In a time when we are standing in line for days to get Black Friday deals it would be great nourishment to your spirit to give a gift with love.  You can make a photo collage; decorate a frame with a heartfelt quote in it; decorate a beautiful box you can fill with pieces of papers titled “100 reasons why I love you”; etc.!  The possibilities are endless!

Feeling inspired yet? Start jotting down ideas and let it the brainstorming take over.  If you still aren’t sure solicit help from close friends, go walk around a craft store or poke around online.  Something brilliant will come and your spirit will do the rest! 🙂