Only through our connectedness to others can we really connect, know, and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance connectedness to others.
In yoga, we ask people to connect to their bodies. Press down through the four corners of your feet, spread your fingers out wide, pull your belly in and up, etc… These cues seem so simple, yes, they are, but they are so powerful. They teach us to connect with our bodies. To feel our skin, our muscles, and our bones. How often do you take the time to truly feel your body? I find so many people are so unaware of what it truly means to connect to their own physical body.
For years I was completely disconnected from my body. I didn’t like my body, I believed it was “not good enough” and that it was “broken”. This leads me to have no connection with it until I came to yoga. I remember one of my first teachers saying feel your body over and over, feel your fingers, your toes, your belly. This experience began to bring my body alive to me. It was the start of a whole new feeling. After months of practice, I began to become more aware of the body, also off my mat. I began to understand that my body did so many wonderful things for me. Around this time I also started to believe that my body was not all bad. That there were also good parts, and that it served me well.
This connection to my body was a beautiful awakening. The more I became connected to my body the more connected I started to feel my emotions, and then to my thoughts. I was able to understand the idea that your emotions live in your body. I could identify where they were living, and this alone I came to learn is extremely powerful.
Identifying where our feelings live in the body is the first step to understanding that they are a part of us, and they don’t live outside of us. I was able to understand that only I could feel my feelings, that only I could create them. This is extremely powerful. It means I have complete control over how I feel. This started my journey into understanding how our emotions are created
This journey began with books, and then I dove into coaching. As I hired my own coach, I have learned that feelings are not created by an outside circumstance, but by our n thoughts. Our own thoughts decide what we feel. Thoughts are the most powerful thing we have as humans. We have 60-90K a day. Many of them being recycled over and over again. It is, for this reason, we choose our thoughts wisely. That we take time each day to connect to our bodies, so we can connect to our minds, so we do not just live from default. We live intentionally.
My experience with the mind-body connection has led me down a path towards living a more peaceful joyful life. The peace comes from the awareness that I can decide what to think on purpose, and joyful as I have such deep connections with others. I truly believe this connection comes from the ability to first fully connect with the self.
Take time each day to connect to your body. To clear the clutter in your mind, so you can hear your own thoughts, so you can connect to your soul and the soul of others. We have one life, why not live it in full expression!
How do we live a life that is from a place of bravery, not fear?
A question so many people come to me with!
I think it is important to first define the word Bravery. According to Webster dictionary;
The quality or state of having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.
From this definition Bravery comes from our brains, so we must be in a mindset to embrace a challenge, fear, or difficulty to accomplish it.
To live a life of bravery starts with our thinking. To decide on purpose that we are willing to face a fear, challenge, or difficult situation. I can think of so many times in my life where I have been brave, and many times where I have not. If I apply the model that I teach in coaching to any of these situations, I can easily see, that in any of the circumstances, it all started with a thought in my head.
I believe being brave is an important part of our evolution as human beings. Being brave is not just jumping out of airplanes, or doing handstands in yoga, being brave is also speaking up for yourself, allowing yourself to be seen for who you are, being vulnerable.
Vulnerability can be our power, if we allow it. We must invite it into our lives, and show up from it! I choose to do this daily. I do it because I want to evolve as a human, I want to show up and be of service every single day for me and for others, and I do it because it has given me such strength and freedom. Vulnerability has given me self-confidence. Self-confidence provides me with the luxury of peace and happiness.
Today choose bravery over fear! Choose bravery because your life depends on it!
Put yourself out there, be vulnerable, and then just observe!
Pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity, this is what webster say’s is the definition of self-respect.
I think it goes way deeper than just pride and confidence. Self-respect is also talking to ourselves in kind compassionate ways, setting boundaries for ourselves with others, and honoring our own word with ourselves.
How do we do all of this, and live our busy lives?
It’s simple. We manage our mind each and every day. This is the magic pill!
I have learned for me it is important I start each day with a morning ritual. Yes, I have to wake up a little earlier to get it all done. Am I a morning person? NO. Is it worth it? YES! It is how I show myself I respect myself. That I am worthy. My morning routine sets me up for an amazing day.
So what is it?
RPM. Rise. Pee. Mediate. Followed by thought work. A list of what I am choosing to believe for the day, and list of everything I am appreciative to have. Of course then I follow it up with a cup of Joe.
Managing my own mind enables me to make sure I am thinking kind thoughts about myself, and if not explore why. I am able to put all my thoughts down on paper in front of me, and determine what I need to address, and if I need to address any boundary issues with others. By committing to this everyday, I am honoring my own word. I know when I do this routine, I am more balanced, more grounded, and definitely calmer. So I know it is important for my own well being, and for me to be able to hold space for others, day in and day out.
Do your respect yourself? If not ask yourself why.
Start with one simple habit each day. Create a ritual for yourself where you honor your own word. Start to observe your own negative thinking. When you catch yourself speaking unkind words to yourself, take a deep breath, and replace them with kind words.
Self-respect is important! When we respect ourselves we have the ability to respect others. Everything starts with the self!
This seems like such an easy task. For me not so much. This week my intention was to practice doing nothing. I would say I have failed in a lot of ways. But what I realized is that I enjoy creating and learning. So yes, I didn’t do anything. But I did take a break from a lot of the everyday mundane things that I don’t love. Like laundry and cleaning. I also didn’t teach any public yoga classes which was a nice break. What I did do, read, write a lot, practice yoga, meditate, lesson to my coach and her modules on how to grow my business organically, and I created a worksheet to give out for free to anyone who wants to learn a few easy steps to manage their anxiety before a difficult conversation. I spent time with my kids and parents. Playing miniature golf, playing in the sand, eating good, and just hanging out.
I did enjoy creating all these things outside. Some days were sunny and others were cloudy, but just being in the outdoors I realized for me is important to my vitality. I feel so much more alive when I am breathing in fresh air. At home, I am usually in the kitchen working and maybe I break to take the dog out or I get a little fresh air when I walk to and from the car. So lesson to me, get outside more. Work outside on the deck, because for me I am so much happier when doing so, it makes the experience feel less like work, and I feel more creative and passionate about what I am creating.
Doing nothing is different I have decided for each of us. For some people it may mean sitting on the couch all day watching TV, or hanging out at reading a book, or playing around with your kids. But what I know is that doing nothing comes from what you think doing nothing means. Who is to decide what is right or wrong for you? Only you. It is our choice to decide our own life, and how it shapes up to be. So if you want to think doing nothing means giving up the chores and getting creative, than that is correct, or it could mean just a day sitting around watching tv. But I do think we should all take the time to discover what we need to revitalize our soul, so we feel refreshed and restored. Every once in awhile we all need to do our version of doing nothing!
This week has been all about being authentic. It is definitely one of my favorite intentions, I practice it daily! Authenticity did not always come easy to me. It has only been over the last several years that I feel I have been able to embrace my own authenticity. I can tell you it has been hard work, but like I always say the hardest things in life always provide such a large reward.
For years I would hide behind many masks. I would mold myself into being whomever, I thought others wanted me to be in that moment. I got so good at this I began to lose touch of myself. I remember a time when I felt anxious all the time, always worried that someone would figure me out, that I was a fraud. My teacher Baron Baptiste asked at my level one teacher training, who are you? I thought to myself, I have no f’ing clue. This thought left me feeling depressed and anxious. But it also inspired me to want to figure out why. Why was I so lost? Why didn’t I have a clue who I was? So I started to dig. Why was I so concerned with wanting to fit in? To blend in, to be just like everyone else. Why was I so afraid of being myself or possibly different then others.
How do we discover the answers to these questions? It’s actually quite simple. We ask ourselves over and over again. My minds first response was I don’t know. But I knew not take that as an answer. That “I don’t know” is just the mind wanting an easy way out, to stay in the comfort zone. So what to do? Ask again and again and again until the mind comes up with a different answer. Why do I feel like I need to fit in? If I don’t fit in what does this mean?
I discovered it dates back to my childhood of feeling different not fitting in. Most of the kids in my school weren’t jewish, and I was often teased because of it. As a child all I wanted was to be “just like everyone else”. I created a belief system that I was different and being different made me “bad”. Throughout high school, college, and into my 20’s I continued to prove this belief system to myself. I made it real, by finding proof from the outside world over and over. I now realize this is what the mind does, we have a thought and it is from this thought we create a looking lens, and from this lens is what we see. My thought was “I don’t fit in”, so I was looking from this perspective. In looking from this perspective I saw over and over how I did not fit in, how I was different, and in my mind how this was bad. If my lens was looking from feeling accepted I would have found proof from this lens. I find it so fascinating how powerful the mind is. If I had had a different experience as a youngster and interpreted the situation differently my entire childhood and young adulthood would have been different. I am so grateful I now have this knowledge. That I get to choose what I want to think and believe. I chose not to believe this belief system any longer. Once I gave up this belief my life began to change instantly. I began to find proof of the opposite. That being different is what makes the world so beautiful, and that we are all different. Once I was able to accept and integrate this belief system I was able to start dropping the masks one at a time. They need to fit in no longer felt so important, having everyone like me was not my concern, instead I began to attract the right people into my life, people that are aligned with me, that have integrity and who are also beautifully authentic. I was able to reclaim who I am in this world, and no longer feel lost or overwhelmed with anxiety.
If you hide behind masks, I encourage you to do the work. Ask Why? And when your mind doesn’t come up with an answer ask again and again. The answers are there. Many people are just so used to looking outside of themselves for the answers instead of from inside.. All the answers we need to live a happy life live with in us. The answers will provide us with the insight we need to become our best selves, and to live the most joyful life possible.
Remove the rocks is the eighth law in the 12 laws of transformation. Here are some of my thoughts on this law.
What rocks am I holding onto? Can I let those go? If I do, what's now possible?
How are you blocking your own inner light? This is a question that I have been pondering. Here is what I do to unravel them. I call this exercise a thought purge!
Start by noticing your thoughts.
Take out a piece of paper and a pen. Set your timer for 5 minutes. Write. Write about anything that comes to your mind. Don’t worry about getting it right, grammar, or spelling. If nothing comes to mind at first just write about what you see, hear, or notice around you. This exercise will reveal your own inner thinking. I promise! This exercise, I believe should be done daily. For me this exercise has given me great insight into my own thinking. The limitations, the rocks I have created in my own mind.
One recent rock I have been working on is self-doubt. I noticed in a recent thought purge that I have a underlying belief of being not capable. So I decided to do some digging. Where did this belief come from? I know that every belief comes from a past experience in our lives, usually from childhood. For me I believe this belief started when I was in grade school. I was your average student, but always friends with the smarter crowd. In my mind I never felt like I could keep up. In first grade I remember my closest friend being pulled out of class every afternoon for the “gifted and talented class”. Yes, many years ago where I grew up that is what they called the advanced class. I was so jealous of her, it seemed like to me she got special attention, that this special attention made her better than me. As I look back now, I know that her being in the “gifted” class did not make her a better person than me, but I also know a child’s mind is unable to process this, so I have compassion and empathy for the young me, as she did not understand this. For many years even into my adulthood I did not have awareness around my thoughts. I did not understand that I had any power of my beliefs, I thought they were out of my control. I had no understanding that beliefs are created by us and reaffirmed through the lens we are looking through. Over years of constant repetition of looking from a lens of self-doubt, I created a belief that I am “not as capable as others.” I proved this belief to myself time after time again. In high school I would study hours on end, always feeling like I could not keep up, putting unrealistic expectations on myself to be as smart as the “gifted” kids. Taking advanced classes to prove to myself that I was as smart as other kids, adding unnecessary stress to my life and pressure. The pressure took a toll on me. I was anxious and frustrated all the time. What I did not understand was that it was my own thinking that was leaving me feeling less than. It was not the actions of others, I put all the stress onto myself, because of my underlying belief of feeling “not capable”. No one can make us feel a certain way, only we can make ourselves anxious and stressed out or stress free and happy. As an adult I now know I have the choice to keep believing this belief or I can choose to change my belief to one of self-confidence.
It seems so easy, so I will now just magically believe I am confident. No longer doubt my capabilities. But the mind is so powerful, and wants to protect us and do what is easy. So in order to protect me, it wants me to keep believing this, because this is what it knows. So how do we change these inner beliefs. Just as we created the old beliefs, we create new ones. We practice the new beliefs. Day after day! Wake up repeat I am capable! I am capable! I am capable! Look from being capable. Find proof. Prove it to yourself over and over every single day. Choose to intentionally look for proof, It is out there. I know it. I have done this work on myself time and time again. Each time it works. Each time I find proof and reassurance. So why don’t we all do this? I think because it is not easy, it can be scary, and too often as adults it is easier to just stay status quo. Even if status quo is not leaving us feeling joyful and happy. I challenge you to look at your thoughts, be curious to what you could learn about you, face yourself, and do the hard work. I promise it is worth it!
Remove the rocks. Allow your inner light to shine to the world!
Stay still, don’t move, just observe! Do you ever hear your yoga teacher say this. Wonder is this possible? For years I did. Then one day I noticed, it was happening. I was still and just observing, I had no desire to move. It was such an amazing feeling. I have struggled with this concept for the majority of my life. I seem to always be on the move, what’s next, now what? Meditation and yoga continue to teach me to just relax with what is, to enjoy the moment.
So how do we do this? It takes a lot of hard work. Practice. Practice. Practice. I believe it starts by just doing it. Get still even if it is only for 5 minutes. Everyone has to start somewhere. So often students/clients have told me they can’t meditate. I ask them why not. Usually there answer is filled with excuses. I’ll go crazy, I don’t have time, I have to much to do, and they go on and on. But what if I told you if you meditate every day for 30 days you will get a million dollars, would you be able to do it. My guess for most people the answer would be yes! So the key is to understand why meditation is so powerful, and so important. If there's a compelling enough reason to do it, your feelings about it will shift. You will no longer see it as a chore, but a necessity to living. So many people tell me they just want to be calmer, more easy going, more patient. The answer is simple. Meditate. Meditation will over time, if you practice daily leave your more calm, easy going, and most definitely help with patience.
Meditation teaches us to be still, and observe. To watch yourself breathe and think. SO many people think that when you meditate you should be able to turn off your brain. I say good luck! The mind is always working, always thinking. Meditation should provide a space for you to get still and watch your thoughts. Start to understand your own thinking. As we become aware of our own thoughts, we begin to develop the muscle of awareness. Awareness is a magical thing. We can begin to notice our thinking, and understand ourselves on a deeper more powerful level. Once we understand our own thinking, we can begin to identify the thoughts that are serving us, and those that are not. The ones that are not serving us we can begin to understand where do they originate from. As we understand where they began we can develop a sense of compassion and understanding for ourselves. From this understanding we can decide if we want to keep thinking these thoughts or do I want to drop them and create a new thought that serves me. Meditation sometimes makes me feel like you are going insane, with so many thoughts swirling around, but once we get over the discomfort, meditation can provide us with an outlet into our own inner being. As we unravel the layers we can take back our power. We can relax with what is. We can observe without reaction. From this space we can respond from our own truth. Not from impulsivity.
For me meditation has created a space for me to listen. To listen without judgement, from a place of understanding and compassion. I have learned to pause, take a deep breath, wait, wait, and wait before i respond. Am I perfect at this hell NO! But I am better than I once was. I find myself able to let more things just be, I am able to identify which thoughts are serving me, and which are not, and I am able to sometimes respond from calm place instead of from a reactionary state.
So start now. Meditate. Identify your compelling reason, and make it strong, so when the urge to skip comes up, you chose to take the time get still over whatever else is pulling you away from it. Practice daily, because it is only with practice that we get stronger, it is only with practice do we create the life that we chose. Otherwise we are living in default, without intention, without purpose.
Do you think you know everything there's to know about yourself?
I think until we get still, we don’t truly know ourselves at all. At least for me this is true.
It is though stillness that I have come to learn about many of my belief systems. Many of these belief systems haven’t served me in my life. For example, for many years I believed I was “not good enough”. Nothing I ever did lived up to the unrealistic standards I put onto myself. Sound familiar?
From a very young age I created this belief system, and reinforced throughout my childhood into my adulthood. Research shows that are belief systems have a very large impact our lives and the actions we take. Living from not good enough, made everything in my life a struggle. I can remember as a child I would rewrite papers over and over until my handwriting was what I thought was perfect. This would cause so much stress on me, and many tears. In some ways this belief system has served me. It has always pushed me to do better, to work hard, to not give up. These are I believe good qualities to have. However, it has also stole from me happiness, contentment, and peace. As I now continually dive into the process of self-inquiry I have learned to unravel this belief system. I can identify it when it comes up, which is still often, I can understand that it is not true, and I can chose to direct my thoughts to “I am good enough”. When I am living from, I am good enough my life is joyful, more peaceful, and I have come to learn I am still motivated to work hard and pursue my dreams. If anything, my dreams seem even more plausible, I have more confidence in my abilities to accomplish them.
How do we drop what we know? We get still. Meditate for at least 10 minutes. Witness what comes up for you. Don’t judge it, just observe. This may take several times before you start to notice a pattern. Journal about your meditation. Then after a period of time you will start to observe a pattern. Pay attention to that pattern, there's a lot to learn from it. Identify your patterns, and then identify which are serving you, which are not. The ones that are not, redirect your thinking to a new belief system one that will serve you. One that excites you, motivates you, brings joy to you! Practice, Practic. Practice. Look for ways in your life to prove to yourself that this is true. When we look from this new belief we will find it! This is the Law of Attraction. It works in both directions. So be careful what you are thinking and looking for. What you put your attention towards will find you. As your direct your attention towards positive vibes, you will reaffirm your new belief system. This will make it easier for your mind to believe this new thought. It doesn’t stop here. You have to continuously be looking, thinking, and acting from this new way of being!
I have practiced this for many years now. I have to tell you it is not easy work, but I have found the hardest things in my life have also lead to many of the most rewarding. Is it worth it? 100% I can’t even understand once someone has this information, how anyone could chose anything but to do the work. If I can dream up my perfect life from powerful thought and vibration and then create it, why wouldn’t I, and what could possibly stop you? Drop what you know! Be willing to learn something new about you! Change your thoughts, and you can change your life!
What is self love?
According to google the all knowing, Self Love is regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic). This week is Valentines and growing up I was never a huge fan of the holiday especially during high school. I wasn’t the popular kid, I wasn’t a nerd either, I was just kind of there. I had a few boyfriends but never on Valentines Day. So when Valentine's Day came around I always I remember feeling sad because I didn’t have someone. I remember in school other girls would get valentines and I felt like I was missing out. So I started to ponder, what if instead of Valentines Day being a day to focus on love from others, which don’t get me wrong feels great and is important, that we take this day, week, or month to focus on self-love. Then everyone would feel included, and no one would feel left out. In the end this seems like it could be wonderful for all humans.
So this week I have decided to do that. Focus all week on self-love. Both on my yoga mat, in my teaching, and in my personal life. One of the best ways I have learned to practice self-love is to observe my thoughts. Taking a minimum of five minutes to just get quiet. This centers me for the rest of the day. Just 5 minutes gets my mind in a space to be more mindful for the rest of my day. From this practice, I have become more aware of the negative thoughts as they appear throughout my day. When they pop up, I feel them, label them, acknowledge them, and then turn them around and create a powerful affirmation. The key is to then, repeat. repeat. repeat. Throughout the day I repeat the new affirmation. The affirmation of self-love. It is through the repetition that I get stronger. On the yoga mat I will always repeat a sequence, often adding on to it each round. It has been shown through repetition that we gain physical strength, but we also gain mental strength. I have noticed this both in my body and in my mind.
If we are constantly telling the self we are not “good enough, smart enough, successful enough, or strong enough the mind will create and seek circumstances to reinforce it. However, the same is true if we tell ourselves that we are “good enough, smart enough, successful enough, strong enough” the mind will seek opportunities to prove this. It is called the law of attraction. Direct your thinking towards what you want in your life, and your thinking will materialize whatever you want in your life. So simple, but so many of us fall into default thinking, not even aware of our thoughts and how powerful they are. So this week or this Thursday why not set your thoughts on self-love.
Another way to manifest more self-love in our lives is to take a minimum of 5 minutes a day to do something that you enjoy. Not something that you are required to do, but to embrace your inner child, grab a cup of tea, a good book, dance around your house, go for a walk, or just sit quietly. When we give ourselves permission to take time for the self we are practicing self-love. In my opinion this is not selfish. This is necessary in order to be a more loving, patient, kind individual for others.
Have you ever noticed that once you want something you see it everywhere you go?
For example, when I wanted to get pregnant, all of sudden everywhere I looked all I saw was pregnant women. It’s not that they weren’t there before, I just didn’t notice them because it’s not where my thoughts were being directed. In mindset coaching, this is a lot of the work we do. We look at our thoughts, and how they are impacting our life, how they are directing all of our actions, we use powerful tools like self-inquiry and mindfulness to take back the power we so desperately crave and desire.
Here is wonderful example. For as longs as I can remember I have had this feeling of not feeling that I am as important. I have had this belief that I am low on everyone’s mind. I’m not sure where this belief originated from or when I started to feel this way, but it has always loomed in the background of my life. I am the middle child, so maybe it has something to do with birth order, it seems to make sense to me. The reality is it doesn’t matter where it originated from, it is there, and is super strong. Recently doing mindset coaching on myself I’ve come to understand that this belief is not serving me nor is it even true. Now, I understand this on a conscious level, however, my default way of being is to rely on this belief. So I’m constantly working on it. Like I said before, once you are aware of something, it will begin to show up all over your life and want to challenge you. Super Bowl sunday night I made a big deal out of nothing because of this unserving belief. My thoughts created a relatively innocent situation into a confrontation with my husband, because this underlying belief poked its way back into my mind. The thoughts of not feeling important led me to feeling angry, and lashing out at him. If I had not had this belief nothing would have happened, because I wouldn't have gotten angry. He is a truly wonderful man that is always thinking about me, and I know I am important to him. Feeling less then, created a reaction that I am not proud of. Which yes I later came back and apologized for. My new belief is that I am important. In order to believe this I have repeatedly remind myself of it. This is one way to strengthen the new belief. The new belief I know will continue to be challenged, but with practice and time it will get stronger, and the old belief will weaken and fade away.
My hope is that you can see from this story, that we all create underlying beliefs that are not serving us in our lives right now. When we get quiet, and are willing to look at our own thoughts we can begin to build awareness around them. Dive into self-inquiry and with continuous effort we can change those limiting beliefs, and create new ones that empower us. Once the new belief has been established we start to look from the new perspective, and from that we will be able to reinforce the new belief, so it will stick. Shifting our vision for me is not just looking at things from a new light, but it goes way deeper, it is looking at our thinking, changing our thinking so we can have a new lens to be looking through. A lens that empowers us, challenges us, creates a life full of possibility.