Dive into this exercise and find out!
I'm curious, are your expectations setting you up for success?
Sure! You think. I'm all for success!
Of course I know what I want.
But how many of us have taken the time to intentionally define what that looks like?
How do you know when you reach your goal?
When those expectations are met?
When we feel scattered and messy, it is often because we aren't clear on where to put our energy.
Different areas of our life compete for different resources.
Internal focus and energy that keep us moving towards our ultimate goals.
Last week, we looked at tasks in life we didn't want to do.
We gave ourselves permission to shut down the potential energy going towards those possibilities to reclaim focus on those that do matter.
But how do we start in identifying what does matter?
Our brains are marvelous organs.
They allow us to process the information we receive from the world around us.
But the rest of our body can inform us too.
Intuition and "go with your gut" are common themes when we are faced with danger, but how many of us tune into them when we are safe? Or simply curious?
It can feel a little tricky when you start, because we are mainly used to signaling danger, but then, as we get used to the quiet voice,it doesn't have to yell as loud.
To begin, I want you to grab some paper and your favourite pen (or is that just me?)
Begin on the bottom of the page and start writing right to left.
Write down all the projects, or items, or tasks that are important to you, or present for you.
No editing or worrying about spelling or script here. This is a judgement free zone.
Now, take a look at this list.
How does it make you feel?
Where in your body do you feel that reaction?
A punch in the gut failure?
A fluttery heart appreciation of pride?
A headache of overwhelm?
Many of us here are fun type-A personalities, so grab your favourite highlighters, and colour code each item as the different feelings.
Now that we have a record of the swirling brain items, we often feel a sense of calm and validation at why we were kinda cranky in the first place.
Take a look at the items that are coded for pride.
Look back at those when you are feeling stressed and know that the awesome is possible.
And now let's tackle the failure and overwhelm. The ones you coded as gut punches and headaches.
Our goal isn't to dive into the "why" of the stress, it is to dive into the "what now".
Take a look at the top three stressors.
Do you notice anything similar about them?
If they trigger a sense of failure, an important question to ask is how do we know we are achieving that?
What does failure look like?
I want you to shift into your heart for a minute. Let's move away from our brain and thinking.
I want you to imagine that I am the one having trouble with these tasks.
That I set out to do them with the chosen expectations.
How would you react to me if I told you that I was struggling a wee bit?
Would you yell at me for being a failure?
Would you tell me to quit, or why bother even trying?
Or would you help me break the task down into smaller chunks and celebrate the process.
To reevaluate the expectations given the current reality.
To allow for me to learn and grow through this process.
It's okay if you chose the yelling. I'm good with confrontation.
Now that you've yelled at me, let's go on to breaking those tasks down into 3 smaller pieces and assign a start date.
When we take a moment to reengage with our tasks from a heart-centered lens, we can embrace the permission to learn and grow as we navigate this life.
Wishing you a heart-felt connected week.
Celebrate Summer with me!
Happy Solstice Lovelies!
Welcome to Summer!
Here, for us folks that live in the Northern hemisphere, we arrive at that beautiful point in the year where we get to celebrate the light and prepare to welcome the coming darkness as days get shorter.
Gosh, I love celebrating.
It is a reminder to enter into the present and to connect again with reality as we move through life.
A process that I love to do at this time of year involves gratitude and appreciation for the things in life that we don't do. To free myself of the extraneous expectations that gather and collect at times.
I use the summer solstice to remind myself of the coming darkness and its place in the seasons of life.
I like to spend some time reflecting on an important topic: freedom of choice.
To take a quick intentional look at the "shoulds" in life that I choose NOT to do.
This exercise that can free up our summer and get clarity on what we want to do by highlighting the paths in life that we are closed to.
We can put down the weight of those expectations and move some potential to the back burner of our subconscious.
This frees us to celebrate to awesomeness of now!
Grab a pen and some recycled paper - using discarded paper is a nice symbol here.
Don't think. Just start writing.
Any topic that comes to mind that no longer interests you. That no longer serves you.
I give you permission to write it down.
You aren't committing to throwing it out of your life forever, or never picking it up again, you are just listing possibilities and potentials that no longer serve you.
I challenge you to see if you can write 20 items.
If 20 is easy, try 50! I dare you to get to 100.
There is no right or wrong number here. Just permission to write.
There is no way to fail at this exercise - 2 items? awesome! One item - let it go!
Put the pen down, close your eyes and take a breath in - bask in the glow and warmth of the longest day of the year in gratitude for not having to carry these items forward into the coming darkness.
We can use this time to find joy in what we do choose to do.
Doesn't that brain dump feel nice?
Now, take that piece of paper and return it to the recycling.
You don't need to keep it.
You've let the expectations go and freed up your energy for choice and service.
The point is not to "dive into the why" or look at a how. It is to list and thank and breathe.
What are your favourite ways to celebrate the seasons?
Keep the conversation going and leave a comment below!
Go and enjoy this beautiful summer -- May it be filled with light and laughter!
P.S. My favourite season is Autumn. I am so excited to move through Summer with you and into the hygge deliciousness of fall 💖
The Sad Truth About Autopilot.
Within the life coaching sphere, a word you hear thrown around a lot is "fulfillment".
It sounds a bit more relatable than "abundance" or "mindset" or "flow".
But what does it really mean?
And more importantly, why does it matter?
Fulfillment is defined as:
1. the achievement of something desired, promised, or predicted.
2. the meeting of a requirement or condition.
Most people, when they think of fulfillment tend to understand it as the first part of the first definition: getting something they desire.
But it is more than that.
While it is nice to have what we desire in life, it is also important to note that the second part of the definition also applies.
Requirement or conditions met.
It is one thing to say that I desire a retreat spa-style life, but what steps am I taking to achieve that?
What are the requirements to having that life and that calm that are necessary for fulfillment of that reality?
Many of us operate from an auto-pilot space.
That's okay, if we have designed our autopilot to navigate the mountainous terrain that is our life.
But how often do we ask ourselves, is our autopilot creating fulfillment or sabotaging our success?
What does it feel like when we step out of our comfort zone and seek out the requirements and conditions?
How do we harness that energy and celebrate the present moment rather than worrying about how the future pieces come into play.
Take a moment to check in with yourself.
Set a timer for 5 minutes.
Listening to how your gut feels. Try not to decipher what it means, just notice.
Give yourself permission to adjust autopilot if necessary - you'll know how!
Trust your gut!
Onward to a fulfilled week!
Be kind to your being and own your energy.
How is everyone feeling today?
I'm crawling back out of my cave after a beautiful weekend filled with song. I sing in a lovely women's choir and we had two performances this weekend.
I love performing. When I was a child, I wanted to be an actress.
I adore being on stage and giving it my all.
Today, I am crawling back out of my cave because although I adore being present and creative - I am an introvert. I require space and time to process through the people and regain my energy.
Maybe you can relate?
Every person has their own energy to them, and requires different amounts of energy to be around. When that energy is expected, we're great!
When there are personality differences, or unexpected occurrences, or simply a large amount of bodies, it can be overwhelming and deplete my energy tank.
Do you ever come home from spending time with many people and feel unsure of how to enter back into the energy of the quiet being?
Jumbled thoughts of "Why am I feeling this way? I had a fun time? Why am I unsettled? Did I misrepresent myself?". Expending energy can leave us all feeling that way - introvert or extrovert!
I have a process that I go through to unpack that unsettled feeling.
When I get home, I run a mental scan of my checks and balances to make sure my needs, and the needs of those around me are being met.
Imagine a bar of light travelling down from the top of your head down through to the soles of your feet. As the bar travels, take note of any unsettled pieces and bring them light and space.
Imagine them being filled with calm intention and acceptance and love.
Take your time. With practice, this get smoother and faster.
Sometimes this can take a little while to complete to find the "threats" - the bumps and bruises we acquire in interacting with different personalities.
Writing down the "threats" as they arise helps identify their real purpose (because it isn't just to make you feel uppity). Usually, it isn't a specific detail that is causing the discomfort.
Often, it is simply signalling a need for space and regeneration.
Scan and identify.
And then let go.
Letting go is key. It brings space for the energy to return.
I do this by bringing gratitude for the learning that can take place.
And for the process of becoming.
My introverted being isn't trying to keep me away from people, or from having fun.
Quite the opposite.
Acknowledging my energy tank needs allows me to enter into activities with an awareness of boundaries that can increase my enjoyment.
For my extroverted readers, the same technique can be used to scan and see where you need to bring awareness to in the search for people to meet your energy needs.
How do you care for your energetic being?
Please leave a comment to help the other extroverted readers! Sharing is caring!
So this week, instead of apologizing for your energy needs, try to bring mindfulness and do a few scans to see if being unsettled stems from a need for energy balance. Bring attention to the energy demand and let the strain of being different go! 💕
May your week be filled with kindness.
Here's to becoming!
Experiments in challenging perspective!
I'm curious, do you identify as a creature of habit?
Or do you tend to switch things up and go with the flow?
Often, we high achievers find a way that works for us and tend to stick to it, no?
Human beings are comfortable with routine and expected behaviour.
This helps systems move smoothly and efficiently.
Socially, when someone acts as expected, we feel kindly towards that person.
When they behave unexpectedly, we feel at odds.
Practically, we come up with routines that become second nature and we continue with them because they work - how you brush your teeth, how you shower, make your coffee, get dressed.
We don't give it much thought now do we?
To say I am a huge fan of routine is a massive understatement.
I THRIVE on routine. It makes me feel at ease.
But the flip side, is that when the unexpected does occur, I struggle to integrate quickly.
Maybe you can relate.
Last week, I wrote about trying a different viewpoint at work or home and it got me thinking, "What am I doing that has outgrown its purpose?"
So this past week, I have been experimenting with switching things up.
I don't know about you, but I like sleep.
I love that cozy snuggled in feeling that happens on those occasions when you wake up without obligations (remember those teenage years?).
Normally, I wake up when my alarm goes off and press snooze for a glorious amount of time.
I find I can come up with some pretty crazy dreams in that almost asleep state.
I choose to set my alarm 15 minutes early and enjoy stress-free snooze.
But in reality, it is not very productive, because if (when) I get lulled into an extra snooze (which is often), I end up rushing around stressed to make it out the door on time.
Being rushed and that anxiety undoes the deliciousness of the extra lie-in.
I was processing this stress the other day and asked myself, "Is this really working for me?"
I knew the answer. But I really didn't want to give up my snooze. But I needed to test it out.
If I got up an hour earlier, I could accomplish the extra snooze, and even throw in some improvements to my self-care routine.
So I did.
I switched up my normal routine and set my alarm for an hour earlier.
I also gave myself permission to go back to sleep if I discovered it was too painful.
A few neat observations happened.
Remember, I am a creature of habit. The first challenge was to listen to my body.
The second was to purposely keep this time as routine-free as possible.
Each day has elements to choose from, but they are all optional, and all are choice.
I get to show up and ask, "What do I feel like?".
Yoga, morning pages, extra cup of tea, reading. Anything that catches my fancy is fair game.
And it is by choice. Operating solely from a free and allowed space.
Guys. It has been fabulous and challenging. And empowering.
My body isn't sure what to make of it, but I have discovered I am a nicer human if I have some more time to wake up slowly, and if I do some morning stretches.
I am determined to take this as a by-choice only and not to turn it into a must-do routine.
That's the challenge for me. Learning balance.
Do you have time in your day that isn't rule bound? That is free from "shoulds"?
I am not suggesting you wake up earlier, that's just what I tried.
How would you use that carved out time?
At Life Coach Online, part of the process we look at is creating micro-habits that help us shift into our desired life. Small steps that work for you and with your strengths.
In the 8 week program, we move from current assessment to strength clarity and then to creating a way forward that works with those strengths.
Here is a quick exercise to try.
Over the next two days, pay attention to how you function.
Not for judgment, or to change anything, just for observation purposes only.
Notice how much of it is on autopilot?
Is there room to change up the unimportant?
It's amazing how tricky it is to brush your teeth with the opposite hand or to dry off from the shower in a different pattern.
I'm not suggesting you change it up forever. Just to see for a bit. Play with it.
This exercise to show how we have mastered possibly difficult tasks and turned them into automatic tasks over time.
It was difficult for you to learn them in the first place too!
What habits would you like to start creating?
Is there something that you have always wanted to achieve but were too stuck to try?
When we question how we do something, and look at it from another point of view, we can choose our actions (current or new) with greater awareness and really own our lives!
Remember to sign up for the mailing list for more tips and tricks for motivation and inspiration!
Our emails are sent out every Tuesday!
And thank you for those who sign up and have responded - I love our conversations!
Wishing you a marvelous week,