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shining soul fitness

shine from the inside out

Month

February 2016

Seek and ye shall find

If you know me, you have most likely heard me say that we are all going to die.  So, why not live the life you want to live while you are here?  There are several steps involved in creating the life you want.  These steps are not necessarily linear, they can be circular and zig-zaggy and back and forth and piled on top of each other, but you have to at least start by asking.

1. Ask the universe for what you want.  This may be through prayer, journaling, affirmations, speaking your request, free writing, chanting, meditation, or any number or ways, but you must put the intention out there to be energized.

Before my current position, I used to say out loud, “Some day, I will have a job where I can do yoga and counseling together.”  And then by what seemed like chance, I found a ‘private’ job listing for an LPC, looked up the company by the email address and found that it was exactly what I had been speaking about.  I never really questioned that it would happen, I spoke about it like I already knew it would happen, I just didn’t know how.

Asking can also come in the form of practicing gratitude for what you have and for what you want as if you already have it.  This is a powerful way to focus energy and intention toward your desire.

2.  Listen to what the universe tells you and look for signs, opportunities, and messages everywhere.   I have heard it said that praying is our time of talking to God and meditation is our time of listening.  We all know that I recommend meditation, of any sort, for everyone.  Taking time to tune in to the universe will connect you with the energy to bring about your request.  It is also very important to live with our eyes, minds, and hearts open to what “answers” present themselves to us in every day life.

Sometimes people come into our lives for only a brief time with the karmic intention of connecting us with other people or shifting us in a different direction.  We may not understand why at the time, but being able to look back and realize that the purpose for that person was to lead you to something else is pretty spectacular.  When you have that gut feeling of needing to explore an opportunity, just do it.  Your gut is smarter than your brain, so don’t let thinking get in the way of feeling what is right.

3. Open yourself to be redirected, to change, to give up the things that are keeping you where you are.  Sometimes we have to be willing to give up the things that are keeping us stuck and that isn’t always comfortable.  While asking and working toward change, take a look at what you may need to let go of to free yourself up for what is to come.

We-must-be-willing-to-let-go-of-the-life

4Take action toward what you are asking for.  After all of the other steps, you have to do your part.  Frequently, I have heard people say that they have set their intention and put it out into the universe, but then they are just sitting and waiting for it to drop into their laps.  You have to start living “as if“…start behaving like you know for sure that it is coming and prepare the way so that when it shows up, you can step right into it and keep on going with a smile on your face.

You have probably heard the parable of the guy in a flood praying for God to save him.  A truck comes by, boat comes by, a helicopter comes by, and the guy turns them all down saying that God will save him.  When he dies, he asks God why he didn’t save him and God replied that he sent a truck, a boat, and a helicopter to save him and asked what else he could have done for him.  Don’t be the flood guy!  Ask, Listen and Look, and then Act!

Here’s the good news:  You don’t have to know the HOW of it.  That’s the universe’s job.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the “how” that we paralyze ourselves and stay stuck because we think we must know every detail of how we will get there before we make a single move.

5.  Repeat these steps and say thank you to the universe!

*WARNING: You have heard this before, but be careful about what you ask for because you just may get it!  The universe is listening and when you ask for change, you have to ready yourself for it to come.

I believe in the good things that are coming.  Ask for what you want; I am asking right along with you.  And when things shake up and come to you, I will be there for that too.

Talk again soon,

k

Man in the Mirror

Change is hard.  Even when we plan for the change, it can be very stressful.  And change is scary.  Maybe this is how you have always done it or maybe this is what you identify with.  If you let this go, who will you be?! How will you cope?  But, change is inevitable.  Whether we choose it or not, change will happen.

What if the very thing that you are so afraid and resistant to let go of is the one thing that is standing between you and peace?

Resisting change is a way of resisting happiness and peace.  Resisting change is resisting growth.  

We often resist change and letting go of things purely out of fear.  We don’t know what it will be like on the other side.  And we think that we are in control by choosing not to let go.  But, really, we are being controlled by whatever it is that is keeping us stuck.

Our thoughts revolve around protecting what we are afraid to let go of because we don’t know what it would be like without it.  Our unhelpful behaviors support the patterns to “protect” us from what we fear.  We experience emotions like guilt, sadness, and disappointment for continuing to hold on to the same cycle of madness that is taking us nowhere.  And many times, deep down, we know that we need to take that step; to make that change.

stuck

This applies to a myriad of situations.  Perhaps we are stuck in an unhelpful thinking pattern of being the victim and never taking responsibility for our own personal power.  Perhaps we are using alcohol or drugs to numb ourselves and to ‘cope’ with stress.  Perhaps we are making ourselves crazy with perfectionistic expectations.  Whatever it is that we are doing because it is comfortable or easy or what we have always done, it is doing nothing to help us move forward and experience the full expression of our life.

Even when we are aware of the need to change, it can feel almost impossible to take that first step.  And once we get several steps in and realize how difficult change can be, we may want to run right back to where we were.  But, this place of mindful challenge is where our character is refined.

In yoga, one of the teachings on how to live a good and ethical life is called Tapas.  (Not the Spanish appetizer…) It literally translates as “heat”.  The Niyama Tapas is all about sticking in there when things get tough; pushing through; walking through the transformative fire.  The teaching of Tapas also tells us that the hardest times in our lives can lead to our biggest leaps forward.  That we should, in fact, be grateful for the hardest times.

“So often, we don’t even know what it is that has us in it’s grip; it seems dark and overpowering.  In those times when we don’t know how to get through the next minute of what seems unknown and overwhelming to us, can we hold on? Can we hold on to what has us in its grip, gripping it back and not letting go until we are somehow blessed by it?” – Deborah Adele

What if on the other side of that fear of letting go is a huge blessing? What if things are better than ever after we let go?  I often remind myself that nothing good ever comes easily.  Growth begins where our comfort zone ends.

But, only you can make the choice to row out into the middle of the storm of change and come out transformed.

Maybe it is time to take inventory.  Take a look at your habits and thinking patterns.  Notice if there is anything that is controlling you and consider taking a break from it.  If it seems very scary to be without it, that is a sure sign that you should try letting it go and see what happens.  You can start small- go a week without it- or 40 days or forever.  That part is up to you, but I promise the growth will be worth it.

Seed Cynthia Occelli

I am jumping into the fire with you and I am excited to see the good things that come from our refinement.

Talk again soon.

k

p.s. you are welcome for the Man in the Mirror earwig…

 

Without a doubt

This past week was a “Staycation” week for me and although we did not go to our usual jobs, my husband and I did a great deal of work.  We tore the carpet out of two rooms in our house and replaced it with with laminate flooring.

We have two fur babies and I have a long list of allergies, and so had decided that the carpet must go.  We went through the process of picking out what we liked, we placed the order, and a pallet full of flooring was delivered the week prior to install.  We watched a few YouTube videos to get an idea of how it should go and had the support of a friend who is a professional for feedback and emergency backup.  This was our first endeavor into the world of flooring and I learned a great deal in 7 days.

First, I learned that manual labor is no joke and my knees felt like I was in non-stop, week-long training camp to be a major league catcher.  Also, padding is important and after the first day of no knee padding on the concrete under the removed carpet, I learned my lesson.

Next, I learned that home improvement projects are a form of Marriage Counseling.  I am happy to say that I am still married to my husband and we did not attempt to harm each other with any of the tools even once in the last week.  (Although my husband’s theme song for the week was The Beatles’ song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”…)  I felt like we reconnected over this project and did well in the teamwork division.

I also learned that I am smarter than the floor.  Some of the doorways and a closet posed a challenge, but picturing the space, figuring, measuring, cutting, and (sometimes) trying again, all work into the equation of outsmarting laminate and the layout of a room.

I learned that doing something completely different than what I usually do on a daily basis is a healthy change for my brain.  I think that last week may have been one of the most mindful weeks I have ever experienced.  When installing the flooring, being fully present is a must for accuracy, safety, and timeliness.  When getting into the flow of the activity, time slips away and the placement of each board becomes like an art form.  (The careful and artful task of board picking and placement may have been a point of contention between my husband and I, but alas, we made it through.)

But, I have to say that the most important lesson I learned was that when I go into something without doubting my ability to complete the task, I am successful.  There may be a learning curve and a few do-overs along the way, but in the end, I can do anything that I put my mind to.  Thus, I have realized that the only things holding me back from accomplishing all that I want to accomplish in my life are my own self-imposed limits and doubts.  There is truly nothing telling me that I cannot succeed at those things I “wish” I could do other than my brain.  When I put forth effort and exert will, ask for help when needed, and take the time to be open to learning, I do succeed.  I NEVER ONCE considered that we would not be able to install the flooring ourselves and I believe this was key in our success.  When we hit a roadblock, we asked the expert for advice or help and figured out how to move forward.  Each time we had difficulty or had to try again in a different way, I did not think of it as a failure in the project, but more of a detour or learning curve.

So, perhaps if I view all of the goals I have like I viewed the flooring project, I will be unstoppable.  We have all heard the question, “What would you do if you knew that you could not fail?”  If I believe and I try and I willingly learn and go with life’s redirection rather than fighting it or labeling it as a failure, I really can’t fail at anything.  My perspective has shifted.  Curves in the road, changes in direction, and the need to try doing things differently are not failures.  These are simply lessons on the journey.  What an awesome and helpful epiphany!

Four months ago, when I launched my blog, I wrote about sending in an application to be a presenter at a conference on yoga and psychology.  (See post “Ready or Not”)  This past week, I was notified that I was selected as a presenter and in April, I will speak at the conference about how I am bringing the worlds of yoga and psychology together.  I was overwhelmed when I was first notified (and a little shocked), but then if I view this opportunity the same way that I approached the flooring installation, I can’t fail.  I will present my experience, teach how I meld the two together in my work with patients, and I will have new doors open to me because there is no consideration that I can’t do it.  The only thing that could get in my way is my own fear, doubt, and ego.

doubt

So, what would you do if you knew that you could not fail?  Because if you are open to learning and trying and re-calibrating when needed, you simply can’t fail.  Marathon swimmer Diana Nyad states that her success, at age 64 after several failed attempts, in swimming 110 miles from Cuba to Florida, was more about her spirit than her mental and physical ability.  In talking about her decision to try again, she said, “It wasn’t so much ‘what did I want to do’.  It was ‘who I want to be’.”

Who do you want to be?  Trust your spirit.  Get out there.  Believe that you can do it.  When you are detoured or redirected, keep going and learning.  You can do anything you want. Really.

I will be reminding myself of this right along with you.

k

 

 

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