To create something new, something beautiful, know that something else must be destroyed first. The inextricable connection between creation and destruction is part of many cultural traditions. In Hindu, the god Shiva is responsible for destruction, but is always followed by Brahma, the creator, as well as Vishnu, the preserver. In Buddhist traditions, the Buddha who brings enlightenment had a great friendship with Maya, who represents illusion. In Christianity, God and the Devil play similar roles.
How do these dualities play out for you? Where in your life must something be destroyed in order for something else, something more important to be created? It can be as simple as limiting your internet surfing in order to take a walk at lunch time. Perhaps less barbecue time on the weekends in order to create an amazing vegetable garden. What important values are being destroyed in order to create distraction? Wouldn’t you rather be creating things that feed your soul than ones that suck it dry?Read more
It is moving you backwards. Old habits can be hard to break, but what do you lose by not breaking them? Perhaps it is your health if you are a smoker, or your relationships if you are a workaholic. Every time you fall into that old habit, you are choosing to step away from the things that are important to you. How do you create change,then? First, you must decide on what is most important to you so that you are committed to see that outcome become your reality. Second, set yourself up for success by finding support from friends, family or even strangers in the online community (there is a forum for everything). Next, every day when you find yourself slipping into that old habit, remind yourself of what you really want in life, and consciously choose to move towards it. Also, remember to take on only one or two major changes at once. It takes between 21 and 90 days for a new habit to be fully integrated, so give yourself time and patience…and love. You are taking steps towards a happier future you!Read more
Why is it that you deny something you are deeply feeling? Do you believe that ignoring the way you feel will just make the emotion go away? Or, are you afraid that if you admit your emotions, that they will take over your entire life? Just because you are sad right now, it does not mean you are a sad person…or jealous, or afraid, or lonely, for that matter. I know plenty of super positive people who have their moments of pure sadness, just like everyone else. The reason they can succeed in moving forward is that they allow themselves to fully experience their emotion in the present, right now. Do you consider feeling your emotions weak….why? How in the world is facing your worst, dark feelings a sign of weakness? Without acknowledging your emotions, they will hang around your neck, fog your vision, stunt your growth. Stop carrying around the weight! Look at your emotions, acknowledge them for what they are, fully experience them, and then….move forward.Read more
No, that is not a typo. Nervited is the combination of nervousness and excitement….that feeling that accompanies situations where you feel absolute fear and about ready to explode with excitement. And yes, they can exist in the same moment. In fact, how many times can you think of in your life when you felt both…before getting on a roller coaster? Before walking down the aisle? Before a job interview? Sometimes we choose to define that feeling as only fear, which doesn’t get us too far in life. But what would happen if we could take some of the fear away and make it into an inherently positive thing? Why not associate that feeling with the knowledge that you are about to take a big risk, but that you really know it could be worth it. I have felt great fear in many different times in my life: getting on a plane at the age of 18, alone to go travel through Europe for 5 months; leaving my job as an architectural designer to become a massage therapist; writing a blog! Every time I felt fear, I decided that the outcome was more important to me than the emotion. I now define fear as excitement. I now call it being nervited. It makes anything possible. You can choose to interpret the emotion you are feeling and therefore your path in life. What could you accomplish if you decided fear was really excitement? What will you choose?Read more
Does anyone else have this dilemma?! Honestly, it seems as if I am fire and brimstone excited to change the world for the better some days, but absolutely blissfully happy to sit on the porch swing with a good book others. I have slowly learned to recognize it as just a natural ebb and flow of energy. I have also learned that to attend to my fire and brimstone tasks on a day I would prefer to be sitting on a swing is just asking for an unproductive and frustrating day. And vice versa. The fear that my fire-y excitement might not return and that I will never finish all of my tasks is unnecessary….with every up, there is a down. And that the down is just as necessary as the up. Pay attention to your natural swings, and honor them. Trust in the fact that you will be ready to tackle your big projects when the next mood strikes…and in the mean time, sit on the porch swing.Read more
In order to live a balanced and fulfilled life, there are many times when we actually have to make a choice. Often we have to choose between two things that we feel compete: our obligations to others and our obligations to ourselves. How then to choose? As an example, I have to choose today between playing on my beach volleyball team or attending a networking event to learn more about implementing environmentally sustainable measures in my every day business. On the one hand, I have a commitment to my teammates. On the other, I have a commitment to my business, to the environment, and to ongoing learning. If I choose volleyball, it means sacrificing things that are fundamentally important to me and my personal values. If I choose the meeting, I sacrifice my value of honoring my commitments. Which is more important to my long term well being? This is where the idea of action vs. reason come into play. To play volleyball would be the wrong choice for honoring myself and my long term goals, even if it is made for the right reasons. In an ideal world we get to choose the right action for the right reasons, but in a world where conflicting obligations vie for our attention, we need to choose what best supports ourselves. The next time you are confronted with a choice, sit down and think about what the real right action is for your long term well being, and be sure it is based on the right reasons.Read more
One of the best ways to gain clarity is being more present and aware….Aware of your thoughts, your emotions, your body as you move through the world. Each little piece of information you gather helps you understand what is truly important to you, as well as what you want to leave behind. Gaining this awareness can come from many different places: a yoga practice, long walks in nature, playing an instrument, writing, or a meditation practice. However you can gain more insight into yourself, that is what you need to be doing.
Also, pay attention to any resistance you have to this. Are you resistant to the words “meditation” or “yoga” and passing them off as cliche? If yes, then get over it! You do not have to do either of those particular practices to practice mindfulness. If you are resistant to doing any of this, also, think why. Is it because you do not want to have to face what is going on inside? That is actually a common response, so be patient with yourself and ask yourself which is more important : living your life consciously and feeling alive or allowing fear to keep you where you are?
If you are interested in hearing about meditation, the different types, what it really entails, then listen to this episode of the Diane Rehm Show. It is a great introduction if you are unfamiliar with meditation, but also an interesting discussion on why and how it is useful. It is 51 minutes, so be sure to give yourself some time!!!Read more