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Play for Health & Happiness

Wolf Picture as reminder

There are many lessons we can learn from nature. One in particular is the art of play. All creatures play, and not just the young ones. I’ve seen adult squirrels engaged in a game of chase along tree branches, porpoises frolic in boat wakes, and coyotes abscond with a neighbor dog’s stuffed animal to play tug of war with.

One animal that relies on play for survival is the wolf. Wolves are naturally social canids, and yet natural occurrences like extended periods of hunger or crossing paths with a cougar can immensely stress a pack out. A stressed out pack will not hunt well and is prone to illness and disease.

The omega, even as the lowest ranking member, has a critically important role to play in the pack. (S)he is charged with sensing when tensions are high, and when (s)he does, she play bows to initiate a game of chase. (S)he will continue to romp and wrestle with all the members of the pack until they’re all engaged and eventually tuckered out. Then they rest deeply and recharge their energy.

Humans also need play to diffuse tension and stress. It’s a natural counterbalance. A stressed body is highly acidic, and a highly acidic body is prone to illness and disease. Play is not only fun, it also improves your health.

When you feel stressed or anxious, I invite you to play a game, paint, sing, dance, climb a tree, whip up a fantastic story that you act out for others, or whatever feels like a playful romp. Play feels like freedom met with creative expression. Put your heart and imagination into it and my hunch is you’ll quickly find laughter and joy follows.

Play, my friends, is the fountain of youth.

For more lessons from nature, check out my book: Nature Guides

 

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4 Tips for a Successful Tech Cleanse

Shattered cell phone screen

Fall is a fabulous time to detox and cleanse, and in more ways than dietary. For many of us, myself included, it is easy to have our time and energy consumed by our phones, computers and TV. While I appreciate the conveniences and entertainment value these technologies provide, I don’t believe they necessarily improve our interpersonal connections or level of joy.

Last week, my Safari browser went on the fritz. (Still doesn’t work, actually.) I never noticed how frequently I use it for basic work tasks like email, calendar scheduling, blogging, research, and social media engagement. I must have clicked it at least a hundred times without remembering it was broken and to use Firefox. This awareness of frequency met with annoyance clued me in to my heavy reliance on it.

Then a few days later, I dropped my phone and shattered its screen. My first response was, “Crap! I use this for everything!” I panicked.

My next thought was, “How quickly can I get this fixed?!”

That was my hint to be curious about this painfully uncomfortable reaction. When I moved into a watcher role, I realized how deep my addiction went. How I mindlessly and instinctually grab my phone and check it when I have a moment between activities. More of my day is consumed with it than I would like.

Given both of these instances happened quickly together, I knew it was a sign to take inventory of my technology addictions and go on my annual cleanse. It’s time for me to disengage with tech and re-engage with myself, stillness and personal face-to-face connections.

My hunch is that I am not alone in this. If you feel that your phone or internet connection going down would be tragic, I invite you to try a tech cleanse, too. Here are a few tips for success with it:

  1. Have a plan.
    Identify what behavior you want to change and how long you’re willing to commit to creating new habits. Make rules and set goals for yourself. If you’re clear about this before starting, you will set yourself up for success.
    Be as specific as you can be because ambiguity is a slippery slope for regression.
  2. Identify your replacements first.
    It’s easier to cut things out if you know what you’re going to replace them with. So, for example, if you’re accustomed to playing Words with Friends while on the can, maybe bring a book or a magazine with you. If your evenings are consumed with watching TV, maybe schedule some board game nights in or dinners out with friends. If you text-chat with friends while waiting in line for lunch, try observing your surroundings with all your senses and being present.
    Note the behavior you want to change and then give yourself its replacement in advance. This way it’s easier to insert the new behavior rather than trying to think of something on the spot, which may make reverting back to old behavior too easy.
  3. Ease into it.
    I wouldn’t advise stopping all usage cold turkey. Behavior changes are most effective when initiated gradually and extended over time so that you can modify your longer-term behavior. Similar to any habit you’d like to kick, weaning yourself off technology will be your best route to success.
    Maybe ease out an aspect of your phone-use starting with the activities that are most mindless and suck up the most time. Then peel back additional uses one layer at a time.
    It doesn’t have to last forever; just long enough to remember what pleasure you once gained from having mental space and tuned-in connections so that you choose this new mindful state.
  4. Set expectations with others.
    If you’ve conditioned your coworkers and family members to expect a response within seconds, you probably want to give them a heads up. Otherwise, you may run the risk of their assuming you died or sending you an angry response for changed behavior. (People don’t like surprises. Best to over-communicate here.)
    Be clear with these expectations and your boundaries. Plus, this also allows others to support you, and hold you accountable, in this effort.
    Example: “I am taking a (time frame) tech cleanse. As such, I will only be responding to texts and emails between the hours of (time frame). I appreciate your support of this endeavor. If the sky is falling and you absolutely need to reach me, please stop by my desk for a face-to-face conversation.”

May we all reconnect with ourselves and those relationships we hold dear as we practice disconnecting from technology!

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How to Best Support your Health Holistically this Fall

Fall Trees

Our lives follow the cyclical nature of the seasons. The Autumn equinox arrived on Saturday and we can already feel the change. This is a time to take stock of our resources and harvest them. To appreciate the bounty that we’ve worked so hard to cultivate in the Spring and Summer, and to share it with those we hold most dear.

As the leaves change to reds, oranges and yellows, we’re invited to notice the similar changes in our mental and emotional states. Our corresponding chakras vibrate in tune as we feel into our grounded-ness, bright creativity and renewed sense of purpose. All the seeds we sowed earlier in the year are finally coming to fruition.

With this rich harvest, we feel stable enough to shed the blocks we’ve been gripping for too long. We recognize the weight of this burden and are more willing to let go. As these leaves fall to the ground they become nutrient-rich fuel for our spiritual growth.

What stories about your life have you carried that you’re ready to release? What limitations have you put on yourself that no longer serve you? What old self-harmful habits, energy-draining relationships or constricting roles do you yearn to break free from?

Coaching can help you identify and shed all of these. Between thought-work, mind-body connection and metaphor work (just to name a few), there are many ways we can break through the barriers that keep you from living your most joyful and fulfilled life.

In addition to mental and emotional cleansing, Fall is a perfect time of year for a physical cleanse. With 70-80% of our immune system in our digestive tract, and considering our colon is the major eliminator of toxins in the body, cleansing our colon is a great way to support our body’s health. In doing so, we not only rid ourselves of any stored toxins, we also improve our ability to properly absorb nutrition.

Our body, mind and spirit are all interconnected. When looking at our health, it’s important to understand it holistically as well as contextually. Each season supports a particular aspect of healing, health and growth.

We’re consistently evolving and everything happens in its own perfect timing. And you are your best compass for navigating that. Feel into what is right for you and trust that you know best.

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If you’re curious about how coaching can support your emotional, mental and physical health, let’s talk. I can answer your questions and help you identify areas where coaching can be most effective.

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How Much Dirty Pain do you Hold? Take This Quiz!

Clean vs Dirty Pain

Pain is an inherent experience in life. Most of us have been injured or heartbroken at least once. So it’s safe to assume you are familiar with both physical and emotional pain. A concept I find that many aren’t as aware of is clean pain versus dirty pain.

Clean pain is physical pain (such as a broken leg) or loss (such as a job or best friend moving to another country). Dirty pain is the story we tell ourselves about that clean pain. It causes deeper and unnecessary suffering. Clean pain is inevitable; dirty pain is optional.

For example, my mother’s suicide is clean pain. Loss of a loved one, and the emotional grief as a result, is clean pain.

Believing her death was my fault, or regretting actions taken (or not taken) prior to it, would be dirty pain. Any “should have, could have, would have” hindsight guilt is dirty pain. Dirty pain prolongs, drags out and muddies our ability to grieve cleanly and clearly.

As a master coach, I help you differentiate between the two. Each requires its own special focus, and different tools, for healing and moving past the pain.

Healing clean pain, such as grief, is mostly giving the time and space to feel it. Often we distract ourselves and bury it in busy-ness because we have a natural aversion to pain. When we give ourselves permission to feel into it, look at it, be with it, and accept it, that emotion will flow and go through it’s natural course…ultimately dissolving and integrating into a new, wiser version of ourselves.

Dirty pain is trickier. It’s like a tangled ball of string. Between society’s conditioning, the belief structure we grew up with and accepted without question, and our own personal journey of collecting stories about the way our life should be, it can be challenging to untie and untangle the knots.

Like a tangled ball of string, we approach it one knot at a time. Sometimes the knots are interconnected and we have to find the source of one other knot to untie before we can untie the one at the forefront. This is pretty much the process of coaching.

I hold safe, sacred space for us to untangle and dissolve the dirty pain as well as process the clean pain.

Are you curious about how much dirty pain you’re holding? Take this quiz to find out!

When answering the questions below, choose one area of loss to focus on. (Repeat the quiz for each loss to understand which one(s) may be holding the most dirty pain.)

Answer “True” or “False” to the following:

  1. If I’d made different choices, I wouldn’t have lost (person/place/thing).
  2. I should have been a better (role in that relationship).
  3. If others had taken different actions, I wouldn’t have lost (person/place/thing).
  4. I can’t survive without (lost person/place/thing).
  5. I can’t be happy without (lost person/place/thing).
  6. I shouldn’t be happy without (lost person/place/thing).
  7. I’m a terrible person because I…(insert action or inaction).
  8. If only (different circumstances), I wouldn’t have lost (person/place/thing).
  9. (Person, place, thing) should be here right now and for future milestones.
  10. The more I suffer, the more I prove my love, value, and/or dedication.

RESULTS:

For every question you answered “True” give yourself 8%. Add up your percentages, and the total is the percentage of dirty pain that you carry regarding this particular loss.

***

If you’re looking for a safe, sacred space to untangle your mental knots and dissolve dirty pain, I’d be honored to work with you. Schedule a session!

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Leaning Into Trust & Presence

Chasing Hurricane Dorian

Trusting in a higher power and master plan can be challenging. It’s easy to get caught up in our fears of the future and believe we’re in danger, especially with all the fear-based messages that surround us on social, in the media and in conversations.

The antidote to fear is presence and faith. I recently had an opportunity to test them both.

When news broke about Hurricane Dorian tracking toward southern Florida, my husband and I had a decision to make. Keep our vacation plans to visit Florida and N. Carolina or find another destination. The night before our flight to Miami, we watched the news reporting that Dorian’s estimated path would head straight for us. Dorian was increasing in destructive power and slowing down speed for maximum damage.

Yet, we each had a knowing calmness about us. In my body, I felt continuing as we’d planned was the right decision. In my mind, I second-guessed myself, “Am I naïve or just plain crazy?”

We made a deal, we would go and stay present and mindful. We would adjust as circumstances unfolded because the reality was that it was too soon to know anything for certain. Hurricanes are unpredictable.

We hatched a couple backup plans. We could head west to Naples, where his aunt has a vacation condo. We could take our rental car up to N. Carolina, where we had already intended to spend the second half of our trip. Or we could find another hotel further into Miami and wait it out. That’s it, we didn’t need more scenarios than that otherwise our minds would control all our time.

During our layover in Houston, we listened to the conversations of passengers on our flight. We seemed to be the only non-residents. Folks were heading home to board up and then evacuate their families.

“The hotel would tell us if they were closed, right?” I half joked with my husband.

Once we arrived in South Beach, the streets were eerily empty for a Labor Day weekend. We still had three days before Dorian was projected to arrive. There was no sense in ruining the short time we had by worrying about something that wasn’t present, out of our control and still so unpredictable.

Therefore, we made the most out of it by visiting all the spots we had picked out such as Wynwood’s street art, the Bayside Marketplace, and Little Havana. When NOAA gave its updates every three hours, we tuned in. Otherwise, we simply enjoyed the activities without the crowds.

On our last full day, Dorian was tracking farther north and Miami looked to be out of the cone. We headed to the Everglades for an airboat ride to see alligators. The state mandated closure at 1 p.m. and we arrived just in time to board the last boat out.

The farther north Dorian moved, the more comfortable we felt about continuing on to Key West, where we originally intended to spend another three days. However, now the concern became that Dorian’s eye would hit landfall in the U.S. in Wilmington, N. Carolina. We had a flight there on Wednesday evening and Dorian was estimated to arrive late Thursday through Friday.

Again, it was too soon to call anything for sure. So we drove to Key West and enjoyed a wonderful time exploring the beaches, shops and sites. We appreciated a few days of rain and few tourists. The result was gorgeous sunsets and the ability to visit the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. without any competition for parking or photo opportunities. (I’m told this is extremely rare.)

Leaving the Keys, my husband’s friend, Chris, called us from Wilmington.

“Are you sure you still want to visit?” Chris asked. “Dorian will be a category 3 and we may be without power and water for days. Plus with flooding, you may not be able to get out of town to fly home.”

My husband and I considered his concerns. I tested my body compass and it told me we should go.

Chris met us at baggage claim with a sign that read “Storm Chasers.” The airport closed two hours later. We were one of the last flights in. Still, I felt calm about it.

Over the next two days, we had a glorious time playing board games, eating “hurricane food” (ie: chips, dips, and other junk food), and listening to the howl of the wind and pounding of rain and thunder. As Dorian neared, it dropped to a category 2 and by the time it arrived in Wilmington, it was a category 1.

The morning after the storm, the weather was spectacular. We went to the beach, where I learned a locals’ contact sport called Sea-Shelling. I joke, but it is some serious business out there vying for the best shells that wash up after a storm. The beach was bustling with folks collecting giant whelk and conch shells, of which we gathered a few to bring home.

It was a beautiful trip that could have gone quite differently if we’d let fear rule our minds. If we lived in fear the full twelve days, we wouldn’t have enjoyed ourselves the way we did. Instead, we chose to lean into the present moment and trust that everything is as it’s intended. The result was having an absolute blast. And we were always perfectly safe.

We do ourselves more harm in fearing the worst than the worst could ever actually do to us. If you find yourself fearing something, I invite you to get still and ask yourself: “Right now, in this exact moment, am I safe?”

If the answer is yes, breathe into that.

Right now is the only time that exists. Everything else is manufactured in our minds.

In the words of Yogi Amrit Desai, “Exist in perpetual creative response to whatever is present.”

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Breaking Down People-Pleasing Tendencies

Elephant ripping down tree

We all have a desire to be liked and approved of by others. It’s built into our psyche. We’re social creatures by nature. We all want to belong to a community. Psychologists refer to this as our Social Self, the part of us that learns how to behave a certain way for acceptance and love.  It’s our tendency to conform and please rather than stand out or disagree.

This belonging is wonderful if the community and its values align with our essential nature. However, if we pretend our way in, it creates dissonance and internal strife.

Martha Beck says, “We go blind to our deepest selves to fit in with other people.”

On the enneagram test, I’m an Achiever. That means, on the positive end of the scale, I get shit done before deadlines and exceed expectations. On the negative end of the scale, I have a tendency to lose myself, and my own inner guidance, in the desire to please others, especially authority figures.

There’s even a mantra for Achievers to help them maintain balance: “I am loved for myself.”

As an Achiever, I excelled in my corporate career. My urge to people-please often overwrote my inner guidance system. As such, I was a good worker bee that always received high marks and consistent raises. Physically, though, I suffered from frequent migraines, colds and lower back issues. I later learned through Mind-Body Connection that these were psychosomatic symptoms resulting from not having my own back, not being my own person, not speaking my mind, and avoiding standing out from the crowd.

As a coach, I’ve found so much freedom in embracing my authentic self. I’ve enjoyed the process of reintroducing myself to my Self. Part of me had to relearn what was genuinely me versus the “programmed” me.

Recently I’ve had some corporate speakership opportunities arise. Excited to blend both of my roles together, my business-side and my coaching-side, I dove in with exuberance. One company in particular was interested in an inspiring speech to motivate their team to operate at their fullest. Right up my alley with how I coach my executive clients.

My first attempt was in my wheelhouse of pushing your edges, testing your limits and getting comfortable with uncomfortable in order to achieve amazing.

And it went over like a ton of bricks. They said it was off the mark, condescending, pedantic and cliché. A week or so later, they informed me that they wanted to shop other candidates.

This immediately sent me squarely back into my old people-pleasing role. I panicked. I lost faith in myself. I reverted to my old habit of looking for them to tell me what they wanted me to be so that I could be that.

I requested a second chance, and they suggested I focus on sports analogies. So I chose some that spoke to people’s inner fire and passion for their sport and how that fueled their mastery. To be clear, sports aren’t my forte. Frankly, I’m bored watching sports. But I can resonate with people who love what they do because I also have an insatiable appetite for learning about healing and spiritual growth.

Within five minutes of presenting this alternate angle, I was told it was still off the mark. They reiterated what they saw as my failings from the first pitch and expressed they had hoped that I’d have something more inspirational. They wanted real sports…team sports…and proceeded to outline my speech for me, including audience engagement.

This completely deflated my balloon. I spent the rest of the meeting nodding and pretending I was on-board with their suggestions. I didn’t push back; I didn’t speak my mind — out of fear of rejection. Afterward, I was told that my reaction only confirmed they didn’t think I had the chops for public speaking or writing inspirational speeches.

This irony is best summed up by another Martha Beck quote: “We lie our way through our lives to get people to like us, and then we find out they didn’t like us because we were lying.”

Over the next few days, I self-coached and received coaching to dissolve many limiting beliefs. And despite my instinct to fall back into my role of people-pleasing puppet, I reconnected with my integrity and original medicine to create the presentation I would have pitched the first time if I’d had more solid faith in me, my worth and my coaching niche.

And I fell in love with it. This new speech features lessons animals teach us about working together, trusting each other, everyone playing an integral role, knocking down whatever obstacle stands in your way, resilience, and strength in numbers. It completely aligns with my purpose and my own special sauce.

At this point, I have no idea if they’ll like it. And it’s completely ok if they don’t because this whole process taught me a valuable lesson about owning my gifts and my personal brand. I know I’m not for everyone. That’s a beautiful, wonderful thing.

In the words of the highly successful and inspirational Susan Hyatt, “Boldly be not for everyone.”

My people already get me and love me for the real me. My personal stories, journey and metaphors will resonate with folks because I’m in my integrity and not trying to copy others. If some people aren’t ready for that yet and find it too “fluffy, soft, tree-hugging, etc.” then I can accept that they are on their own path and it doesn’t have to be mine.

If you’re struggling with your own people-pleasing tendencies and want to break free of those puppet strings to reconnect with your authentic self, I can help!

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Reflecting on my 20 Year Grief Journey

Steps Forward in Sand

There’s something about turning forty that causes reflection. Not only is it a significant life milestone, it also marks a new threshold of spiritual maturity. In December, I will have lived as many years without my mom as I had with her alive. There’s a balance in that, and a peaceful strength.

I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my grief journey. The first ten years after her death, I spent in a victim-state of self-loathing, shame and guilt. The most recent ten years have been spent finding my way back to myself. I have healed in layers and compassionately addressed the pockets of pain as they bubbled up.

Healing grief doesn’t happen all at once. It’s complicated, messy, and tangled with a whole bunch of other facets of your own history mixed with others. And it’s absolutely beautiful when the light enters and dissolves the pain.

If it weren’t for my grief journey, I wouldn’t have had a need or desire to pursue the various healing modalities that have led to my spiritual insights and growth. I’m completely fascinated with learning about our mental, physical and spiritual interconnections. Each time I’m exposed to a new piece of information or tool, I’m enthralled.

I love sharing them with others, too. Coaching my clients brings me so much joy. Witnessing their breakthroughs and dissolving of long-held pain fills me with immense gratitude and purpose. Plus, I’m elated when I get an opportunity to discuss other people’s journeys and what helped them overcome their challenges because it adds to my knowledge and pursuit of new skills.

I still have so much to learn and knowing that more delicious experiences are coming excites me, as well.

In this way, I’m grateful for those ten years of excruciating pain. Maybe I would have found my way here anyway, and maybe I wouldn’t have. I do know that without the experience of the low, I couldn’t have a benchmark to experience the height of the highs. Nor would I be able to help others through their grief journeys.

This is the impetus for the Bali Healing Retreat I’m cohosting in November. It’s an anniversary to honor my grief journey by shepherding others through theirs. I’m so grateful that my coaching colleagues want to support me, and others on this path, in this way. They’re willingness to bring their special gifts to compliment mine and create a well rounded and wholly healing experience is so beautiful. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better combination to do the deep and beautiful work necessary.

If you are ready to turn your grief into spiritual fuel and unite pieces of your soul, consider joining us. I would be honored to hold that safe and sacred space for you. Find out more info here!

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5 Tactics to Fall (Back) Asleep

Lion Resting

Most of my adult life I had trouble sleeping as the result of an inability to turn my analytical, stressed-out mind off. As a planner by nature, my brain was consumed by “remember to do this” and “I still need to figure this part out.” If personal or professional relationships were rough, it would spin on what went wrong and envision various future scenarios where “I’d show them.” All of it added up to frequent staring at the ceiling or lucid dreaming about what I’d be doing the following day or week. Any of this sound familiar?

Unless you have a physical condition that inhibits breathing, most insomniacs suffer from high levels of stress and anxiety. So simply finding tools to relieve that in your waking day will improve your sleep. It wasn’t until I learned coaching tools to alleviate my stress that I naturally slept better. Before then, I used the following five tactics.

5 On-the-Spot Tips for 3 a.m. Tossing:

  • Keep a notepad and pen by your bed. If you’re awake anyway, might as well get what is in your head out on paper. There are a few ways to do this. The first is to divide the paper in half and make a list on the left of the things in your control, and a list on the right of things outside of your control. Dump everything you’re thinking about into these two categories. For those on the left, star anything that you can fix right in that very moment at 3 a.m. (My hunch is, each one can wait until the morning…and it’s just giving your mind space to critically consider and recognize this.) For those on the right, write somewhere near them: “I accept the reality that I have no control over these no matter how much I want to.” No amount of thinking and over-analyzing is going to change that.
    The second option is to journal it. The act of pulling the jumbled yarn of story out of your head onto a piece of paper gives it somewhere else to live. Once it’s out, you can always come back to it in the morning and address it. If, and only if, you still want to by then.
  • Redirect your brain to what is going right. Forget counting sheep, start counting on your fingers everything that is working in your favor. Make this list exhaustive. Put everything on this list from you brushed your teeth to managed to find your way back home from work and kept your kids or pets alive. No matter how trivial it may seem, count it. You’re shifting from a lack to a sufficiency mindset, which calms your system down and grounds you. If you’re like me, you’ll fall asleep mid-count. I’ll often wake up in the morning still holding a finger.
  • Use essential oils. I personally recommend Young Living products Tranquility, Stress Away and Dream Catcher. (I’m also a YL distributor, so I’m biased in their favor…and recommend that you find a brand you like with blends that include Lavender, Vetiver, Clary Sage, and Roman Chamomile.)
  • Put in some ear buds and listen to calming sounds like rain, crickets or ocean waves. There are plenty of audio recordings available online and through audio apps, including on Insight Timer. I set it for 30 minutes on ocean waves and am usually back asleep before it ends.
  • Cool down your bedroom. Keeping your bedroom cool naturally reinforces your body’s instinct to sleep and mimics what our bodies do to prepare for sleep. Room temperatures ranging from 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit stimulate the production of melatonin, known to encourage sleep. Studies have also shown that people who have insomnia also tend to have a warmer core body temperature, so they need a colder room to counter-act this enough to signal the body it’s time for bed.

Combining all five of these tactics can help you not only get more sleep, but also a higher quality of rest and rejuvenation. This helps alleviate stress, which then helps you sleep better, and thereby self-perpetuates. Test these out and see what works best for you.

Sweet dreams!

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5 Simple Steps to Stay in Your own Business

Bird Sticking his Nose in the Earth

I don’t know what it is about the human condition that makes us love to be in everyone else’s business. It’s a tempting and addictive pastime. Walk into any family dinner or social gathering and I guarantee at least one conversation involving the words “should” or “shouldn’t” as it pertains to someone else.

Whether it’s judging relationship dynamics, parenting styles, outfits/hair, careers, activities of choice, or social media updates, it’s so much easier to be up in others’ business than to fix what is buggin’ in our own.

I am not immune to mentally running other people’s lives on their behalf, either. I catch myself all the time in my personal life. (So as to not confuse personal with my professional, life coaching is not about giving other people advice; it’s about helping them find their own answers and remaining completely neutral and unattached to the outcome. It’s a judgment free zone.)

When my judgy-meter is dinging, it’s always my signal to pull out a Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet and do The Work. Why? Because my judgment and “should”-ing means I’m avoiding dealing with my own junk.

So if you find yourself telling other people (either in your head or out loud) how they should be handling or doing anything, I invite you to follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Ask yourself: Whose business am I in? My business, their business, or God’s business. (Hint: If you want someone else to be doing something different than they are, that’s their business — even if it affects you, it’s still their business. If you want circumstances out of anyone’s control to be different than they are, that’s God’s business.)
  2. Pull out a Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet. I’ve provided a link so you can download one directly from Byron Katie’s website.
  3. Find the statement on that sheet that gets you the most riled up.
  4. Simplify it to the best of your ability. Think concise. (Example: John should be more responsible.)
  5. Self-facilitate or find an objective third party to walk you through The Work. I’ve provided a link so you can download this One Belief worksheet directly as well.

You know what? Inevitably by the end of this process, I couldn’t care less about the other person’s business I was in. Phew! What a relief! I have my hands full with running my own life, why would I want to be responsible for everyone else’s too? That’s just exhausting.

Let me know what you think of this process in the comments below! Or, if you have questions about it, feel free to ask and I’ll get back to you.

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Top 10 Limiting Beliefs About a Loved One’s Death

Bali Healing Retreat

I was reading an article about Bronnie Ware, a former caregiver for those who were dying, and a blog she wrote entitled “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.” It caused me to think about the regrets of the bereaved as well. As someone who had caused my own suffering for many years after my mom’s suicide, I reflected on the stories I told myself. (My hunch is that these may resonate with you, too.)

Before we dive into the stories, though, I want to talk to you about clean pain and dirty pain. Clean pain is just that. Pure, flowing energy. Loss of a loved one is clean pain. Clean pain is part of life and part of our human experience. Clean pain needs to be felt and processed in the waves that ebb and flow.

Dirty pain are the stories we tell ourselves about that clean pain. Dirty pain can keep us stuck in a cycle of suffering. Limiting Beliefs are dirty pain.

Top 10 Limiting Beliefs About a Loved One’s Death:

  1. The more I suffer, the more I prove my love.
  2. I should have (actions not taken before their death).
  3. I’m a bad person if I don’t think about (loved one) all the time.
  4. I’m a bad person if I move on.
  5. I should have been a better (role in that relationship).
  6. I shouldn’t dishonor the memory of (loved one) by talking or thinking about their shortcomings.
  7. (Loved one) should be here right now.
  8. If only (different circumstance), they’d still be alive.
  9. I can’t live without (loved one).
  10. I shouldn’t be happy without (loved one).

Any of these sound familiar?

When I believed the above, I suffered deeply. Slowly over time, with grace and professional help, I released these painful thoughts and replaced them with truths.

I realized that everything always happens exactly as it should because that’s reality. There is a greater plan at work and I can’t possibly know the reasons why in my limited capacity as a human. I am not God, and to think I know best is all ego (and a lie).

My mother shouldn’t be here now because she isn’t. I can live (and have lived, obviously) without her.

My mother would never have wanted me to suffer as I did. She loved me and always wanted me to live a happy, loving and fulfilled life. The more I live my best life, the more I honor her. The more I let go and move on, the more I am able to achieve what she tried and failed to do.

If you’re ready to release any and all of the above limiting beliefs, consider joining me and four other master coaches at our Bali Healing Retreat. We’ll dedicate a good portion of our four days together on addressing these beliefs and others. You’ll open up some space in your heart and mind again for forgiveness and self-love.

There’s peace and joy on the other side; I’ve felt it. We all deserve to be happy and live a fulfilled life. It’s time to allow yourself that.

If you’re ready to drop your baggage around loss and grief, join us November 26 to December 1, 2019. Our early bird special pricing ends soon, and we only have limited spaces available, so act quickly! (Plus flights right now are at some of their lowest pricing.)