"Humankind has woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together". Chief Seattle
"Elegance is a glowing inner peace. Grace is an ability to give as well as receive and be thankful. Mystery is a hidden laugh, always ready to surface. Glamour only radiates if there is courage and bravery within. Glamour is like the moon; it only shines because the sun is there." C. Joyful C.
Is it time to check in with your body? Are there messages for you to pay attention to? Are you fueling yourself wisely, adjusting your fitness goals to work with changing family dynamics and work projects? Are you acknowledging signals that you just might be over using particular muscles or joints? Take a moment to take inventory of your physical body. Without your body, you aren't going anywhere.
Without the strength to endure a broken heart, I would not have been able to move on and work through one of lifes' greatest losses. The gift of finding this strength allowed me to have hope. It is this strength and hope that enables me to reach out to another and share their loss. Together, without needing to know each other, we find ways to move forward - Imua (Hawaiian for "move forward").
"If we don't listen to the voice of the soul, it sings a stronger tune. If we don't go looking for what lies beneath the surface of our lives, the soul comes looking for us." Elizabeth Lessor, "Broken Open"
The word, "Nalukai" is a Hawaiian word meaning " a wise soul who has weathered life's storms". Each one of us has story, a journey that has taken us to the discovery of our inner strengths - like it or not. You do not need a horrific event to break you open - it can be a change of plans. My friend, Tricia McCarthy has taken the sacredness of life's journey and given it meaning in the form of a beautiful jewelry line - one's story in a single word. Influenced by her love of Hawaii and the time she spends there, Tricia blends the beauty of the islands and its language to create jewelry for each person’s story. I wear the pendant, "Inspire" (Ho'oulu) but I also identify with Maluhia (Peace), Ponopono (Balance), Aloha (Love), I Mua (Move Forward) and Ikaika (Strength). Go to www.Nalukaicollection.com - tell me what speaks to you. What is your story in one word?
The Warrior Within is the Nalukai: Nourish your mind, spirit and your soul with at least as much attention as you give your body. What you take in - what you pay attention to - will closely reflect the quality of what you can give out.http://www.nalukaicollection.com
After launching the fitness class, "The Warrior Within (BOSU)" nine months ago, my take-away from the experience is a source of inspiration. Those that sign up for this class are usually stunned in how grounded they feel during and afterwards. It no longer surprises me that tears well up or that one will nod to another in agreement on what is being shared. We spend time standing on the floor, on the BOSU, shifting weight, experiencing new balance points, feeling off center and deepening the awareness of working with instability, unexpected situations and deepening the connection of the mind and body. Then there is kneeling, sidelying and turning the BOSU over for the ritual of closing the eyes and exploring senses with the minds eye. Throughout the class, I use metaphors to connect the body, mind and spirit, inviting a personal soul journey as they physically work on different planes. This class is limited to eight participants and is done barefoot with a resistance band, a soft weight ball and a quote that I read aloud. This quote is one that is meaningful to me and it is something that sets the intention of the class.
The inspiration for this class came from an instructor who made a lasting impression on me at the 2011 Inner IDEA Conference. Lawrence Biscontini has a presence that connects directly into your soul with his words and the manner in which he takes you on his journey into being.
One of the most inspiring quotes I am sharing for February, is one from Sandra Kring:
"As you count your blessings for all that surrounds you, don't forget to count your blessings for all that you have within you: A mind that reasons, remembers, and imagines; A body that moves, mends, and creates; A heart that emphathizes, fills, loves, breaks, and loves again; A spirit that is wise and strong and emits the best of what you brought to this good earth."
February is a special time of year for me; one of celebration and reflection. It's not only my birth month, but that of my mother, Donna, my mother-in-law, Ingrid and several very special friends. It's also the Angel month of my son, Sean, Mom and her mother, my Grandma Lea. I am reminded often as I work with the energy in Circle of Life, that blessings do flow from each of us; from within. So as you count all your blessings that surrounds you, don't forget to count those that flow from you. I am a recipient of those blessings. For that, I am grateful.
"The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself." - C. JoyBell C.
Life has a continutity that is ever-changing and we are no different. Our bodies are constantly repairing, rebuilding and discarding; our minds are listening, observing, exploring and implementing, whether we are aware or not. We make decisions and judgments, some that support us on our journey and some that have the power to derail us. As we begin a new year, I want to ask you to practice a deeper sense of self-compassion, connecting with those who have the capacity to lift you up, not bring you down, to look at the choices that raises your self confidence in living your life with courage, compassion and connection.
Brene Brown, PhD. states, "Our culture teaches us about shame - it dictates what is acceptable and what is not. We weren't born craving perfect bodies. We weren't born afraid to tell our stories. We weren't born with a fear of getting too old to feel valuable. We weren't born with a Pottery barn catalog in one hand and a heartbreaking debt in the other. Shame comes from outside of us - from the messages and expectations of our culture."
Much of my life work has been dedicated to recognize "triggers" that keep us stuck and explore the possibilities of rising above the "crazies". It doesn't have to be a "go-it-alone proposition; rather the research by Brene Brown shows that talking about vulnerability, shame and connection, shining light and exposing our triggers does create a less rattled way of living.
Those of you who have worked with me as your Wellness Coach have had the experience of discovering motivating goals by integrating a Wellness Vision into the change process. A vision is a compelling statement of who you want to grow into and what life sustaining behaviors you will be consistently doing when you get there. It's different than a 3-month goals or weekly goals, rather "the big picture". What is your big picture? Write down 3-4 sentences describingh your 2013 Wellness Vision? If I can assist in your process, I am here.
Here are some examples of visions:
- A year from now, I will be more fit and more well-rounded in my exercise program.
- A year from now, I will have spent quality time being active with my family.
- A year from now, I will be a professional who has a variety of revenue streams.
- A year from now, I will feel less fear and more adaptable to life's experiences.
- A year from now, I will be a guest speaker for various organizations.
- A year from now, I will mentor someone who has been struggling with similar past struggles I have experienced.
- A year from now, I will have several social outlets to involves myself in.
I met Mr. Wetter at the resort I work at a number of years ago. He hired me to train him on the Pilates Reformer and we hit it off immediately. I never thought about calling him by his first name, nor his wife; it was always, "Mr. Wetter". He introduced me to his wife as "Mrs. Wetter" and it just was that way.
I heard that he died earlier this year. At the knowledge of his passing, I felt his presence - he was a compassionate man and I still hold him in high regards. He was a business man with a huge heart; spoke directly and straight forward and had a gentleness about him that touched me deeply. This is a quote that he had in his office and I believed he lived by. I have adopted the same philosophy:
"Let me die working still tackling problems, unfinished tasks undone, clean to its end, swift may my race be run. No laggard steps. No faltering. No shirking. Let me die working. Let me die thinking. Let me fare forth still with an open mind. Fresh secrets to unfold, new truths to find; my soul undimmed, alert. No question blinking. Let me die thinking. Let me die laughing. No sighing over past sins; they are forgiven. Spilled on the earth are all the joys of heaven, the wine of life, the cup of mirth quaffing. Let me die laughing".
I wonder if he knows the heart print he left with me? If he didn't, he does now. Thank you, my friend.
As we close out 2012, I hope you join me in taking time to reflect and acknowledge all that you DID accomplish and what went WELL over the past eleven months. We are our strongest critic and the mind can take on a harsh tone and hold our intentions to the standard of perfection instead of growth and flow. I wanted to leave you with questions and statements that I am working within my own practice. I love this time of year - although December is filled with dates, events, gatherings and rituals of all kinds, it's also an ideal time to reflect on what's working, what's not, where is there wiggle room for changes and what needs to be sidelined. Most businesses undergo frequent inventories of what they have in stock, what they need to continue carrying and what is just out dated and taking up space. Think of your whole self as such a business. People who invest time in their own inventory tend to feel less stress, more emotional balance, increased calm in their minds, a stronger connection to their physical bodies and with their soul Self. Whatever you are going through, reflecting and acknowleging your behaviors and patterns can have a positive effect on expancing your physical and emotional vibrancy and well being. I am working right along side of each of you - the new year is coming ready or not - I say, "Bring It On".
1. If I could get better at one thing...that would bring me an important change I want in my life, it would be______________.
2. What is keeping me from accomplishing this (what is keeping me stuck)?
3. If I want to create a new story from this day forward, what is my vision for myself?
4. What parts of my story are holding me back? Can I learn to retell my story so I can move forward? Who can help me in identifying the steps of forward movement?
5. When you practice the art of slowing down your reaction time in any given situation, your fuse gets longer, you slow down the response to life's stressors.
6. You will actually find that you accomplish more when you practice the art of slowing down your reaction time because one of the benefits is the attention to what's going on.
7. I believe a large part of the future will rely on self care.
8. If we don't deal with the cause, you may get a set of problems that keeps you from whole-hearted solutions.
If you are interested in working with me as your Wellness Coach, let's design a plan of action that honors where you are now and where you'd like to be in 90 days. With your vision and commitment and our plan of action, all things are possible - enjoy the last month of this year!
The word, "change" is both a verb and a noun:
1. To become different or undergo alteration
2. To undergo transformation or transition
1. A transformation or transition from one state, condition or phase to another
development, difference, distortion, diversity, innovation, metamorphosis, modification, mutation, reconstruction, revision, shift, switch, variation
Change is the only condition the universe truly supports.
It goes without saying, that change happens all the time. We know that. We are introduced to new coworkers, we learn another way of doing a task, have an "Ah-ha moment" and see a different view point on creativity - and there are those moments when we say goodbye to a cherished relationship, neighborhood, job position and the list goes on.
One of my more impactful changes was the unexpected loss of my second son. As you can imagine this event caused devastating impact on all those who knew him. Many of us were forced to embrace a significant emotional change and it was forced without consent. This set me on a path for a number of transformations, all of which changed my stand on stability, confidence, faith and my personal value system.
I am a different person than I was eight years ago. Much of what I have gained through this process of change has been, what I have come to understand as, unexpected gifts. It doesn't have to be a tragedy that forces us to the table. I have had a lifetime of upbeat "signs" that a change was in the making, many wrapped in serendipities, those unexpected "happies" that land in your path. Whatever the mechanism, whatever the catalyst that causes a pause, a reflection, a change of course, you have the choice in how you will use this situation to take you to a higher level.
I am not sure who said this but it has meaning for me: "Learn how to retell your story so it moves you forward in a positive way". Each one of us has a story and each story is sacred. Practice changing the way you look at the specifics in order that your experience will help someone else. Some questions to ask yourself:
What is working well in your life today?
What do you want to do differently?
What are your resources to address these changes?
Who has earned the right to hold your heart?
Do you have a story you want to retell?
When do you want to start retelling your story?
Be brave enough to want to change your circumstance. Your attitude. Your outlook. Your internal castle. Be brave enough to risk losing what is no longer serving you. Focus on what would better serve you from where you are standing now, not then. And reach for it. Gather the resources that will support this reach, not hold you back. Now go on, be brave.
If you want to see real progress in your life, turn your wishes to goals. Envision. Plan. Then take the steps. One at a time. Because life is not lived all at once. It's lived one step at a time.
If you're wanting to change your life, don't look to others to change first. It's not your right. It's not your power. Start with YOU. Live by example. That is your only responsibility.
This was written by one of my wellness coach instructors. He is fighting for his life as I write. Bob Tschannen-Moran is a wonderful, insightful mentor to many of us. I share his words so his inspiration continues.
Still waters run deep, or so they say
But how would I know?
Constantly in motion
Distracted by annoyances
Too busy and tired
To notice, let alone to appreciate
The alleged mysteries
Of the deep.
Oh, to go where the bottom-feeders go
Down where the light is low
And sound moves so slow
As if to disappear
Into the safety of
Where nothing can touch us
And nothing can go wrong
In the deep
Truly, our hearts are restless
Until they rest
In the womb of life
That artesian source
From which springs hope eternal
Not to mention faith and love
That wellspring of untold possibilities
And passion known only
To the deep
So, it's time to get connected
Not to the virtual world of
Not to the busy world of
But to the real world of
With its potent connections to
And the deep
From there the energy flows
In the stillness of just one breath
In the rhythm of just one beat
In the burn of just one stretch
In the cadence of just one stride
And the coupling of just one love
There is enough energy
To pull all of life out
From the deep
Question: What life can you pull out from the deep today?
Life recently gave me the opportunity to dance with some uncomfortable dance partners. When I say opportunity, what I really mean is I just got untangled from some unexpected emotions with names such as, “false perception” and “confusion”.
The word “perception” simply means “a way of conceiving something; knowledge gained by perceiving; becoming aware of something via the senses”. However, just because you have a perception that things are the way they are, doesn’t mean the facts back up that knowledge. One’s perception is similar to a personal view point. You can have the perception that someone doesn’t like you but that doesn’t necessarily mean that this perception has truth. False perception has a hidden agenda that protects a person from facing their own insecurities, projecting what they perceive is going on onto another rather than using self reflection and asking for clarity.
I have used the terms, “fixed mindset and growth mindset” in earlier writings. Fixed mindset keeps eyes, ears and intuition stuck in rigid thinking. There is very little wiggle room for any other possibility or very little space to correct misdirected thoughts. A growth mindset is open. It keeps possibilities of false perception at a minimum, choosing to investigate what is happening, asking for resolve and having the courage to build bridges rather than take them apart. Confusion can be intentional – sort of like a smoke screen for what is truly taking place or it can be accidental. Whether it’s intentional or accidental, we choose how we want to wear it. I have found tremendous answers when asking the following question: “Do I have enough information to make a decision on this”? For me, I was swept into a pace that was orchestrated by another. What I instinctively knew was to ask for clarification and understanding – this time I had to hang on to the rhythm of the dance until I found the exit sign. As I was sharing what I was experiencing with a friend, she reminded me that life has a way of introducing us to those vunerable places that we have yet to dig deep with. Well, I had to go deep on this one but this time I didn't need to dig in or have to dig out of anything. I had to go deep into sitting with a dance that had very little to do with me. But then, that's my perception.
It is common for our immediate reaction to pain is to take short term measure in an effort to make it go away. Medication can be useful in taking the symptoms down a few notches but doesn’t always address the underlying cause of the pain. Low back pain can be linked to a physical reaction from sitting too long or working the muscles in a different way. Or it can be from internal organs going through their monthly cycle or the organs are hinting something is not balanced. Or it could be an emotional condition, one of resurfacing resentment, loss, anger, fear or unsatisfying area in your life. The same can be true of neck pain; something structurally needs attention or it can be insecurity, too much to cope with or life overload. What is your body telling you? Can you sit still with yourself and ask where is the pain coming from? What might be causing this pain? Is there anger or fear or an insecurity that has blossomed unexpectedly?
I experienced what I call "phantom pains" after the unexpected loss of one of my sons. Losing a child is one of life's tramatic events that you do not get over. You learn to live through it. While my heart was shattered, my physical body was taking on physical hits for my heart. One week I broke into hives at random times, the next my low back seized up. One of my knees went out and I had crazy headaches. The right side of my neck and shoulder was so painful that I had a difficult time teaching my fitness classes. I was in and out of my doctor office with "real" physical issues until I got sick of driving to his office. I was treated with over the counter meds, suggestions of doing this, doing that until it hit me that my heartache might behind the physical aches I was experiencing.
It was about a year into the dark days that I realized that my body was taking on physical pain because my heart could not take on anymore emotional burden. At my last trip to see my doctor, I announced that I was going to break the cycle of these symptoms. I would simply not pay any attention to them, experimenting "thinking them away". I also got into a beavement support group. I learned first hand how connected our body, mind and spirit is and how they cover for each other when need be. Although I believe in the value of medicine, I have learned to go inside ask if there might be an emotional connection to my physical situation and work on all levels, not exclusive to one or the other. Those of you who know me, have seen the integration of my body, mind and spirit as I have learned to weave a new way of living my life. And it's all good.
My mother always had this hanging up on our wall in our family home. It still holds meaning:
"God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can and
The wisdom to know the difference.