A window into happiness
Let's talk about happiness!
At Life Coach Online, we are a big fan of strength.
There are many different profiling surveys around for personality and character: Myers-Briggs, CliftonStrengths, Enneagram, Hogwarts Sorting Hat, for example.
Important note, I am totally a Hufflepuff.
Whenever I come across a new-to-me survey, I like to see if it fits with how I experience my life. How I can use that potential information to better advocate for myself and my purpose.
This week, I came upon the VIA Institute on Character.
Their research suggests that there are 24 unique characteristics that impact happiness, including our development of resilience and positive relationships!
The extended definitions are available on their site, but here is a list of the basic 6 categories:
• Wisdom and Knowledge: Creativity, Curiosity, Judgment, Love of Learning, Perspective
• Courage: Bravery, Honesty, Perseverance, Zest
• Humanity: Kindness, Love, Social Intelligence
• Justice: Fairness, Leadership, Teamwork,
• Temperance: Forgiveness, Humility, Prudence, Self-Regulation
• Transcendence: Appreciation of Beauty, Gratitude, Hope, Humour, Spirituality
The test takes about 15 minutes and ranks the strengths from 1 to 24.
I found the test a bit vague in points and it was easy to read the questions in a number of ways, but it was fun to see how they ranked my strengths.
My number 1 trait: appreciation of beauty and excellence.
My number 24 trait: humility.
Pretty accurate on the end points I think.
The thing is, everyone has all 24 traits.
Just because a character trait receives a lower ranking, doesn't mean it isn't accessible. Or that it is a weakness. It just means it isn't as easily brought to the fore-front. You can still access it.
Someone who ranks a 1 on humility and a 24 on beauty might view me as a pompous flake.
Does that mean it is true?
It means that we can all be mindful of our character differences and allow for space in the interactions.
When we meet others with similar characteristics, we feel more at ease and relaxed.
When we interact with opposite rankings, it is trickier.
Why I like learning about these traits, is that it removes the "failure" aspect from the interactions. It isn't that I chose to be a pompous flake, it's a feature!
If I just worked harder, or was less of X, then they would like me... or it is my fault that blah blah blah...
Nope. Not your fault. Just a different and still-equally-valid feature.
It is when we learn to balance our strengths and how we use them in our lives that we create effective and efficient space for everyone.
When we learn to use our strengths in the right way and amount, we can create happier and more balanced lives.
Let me know how you did!
Or more importantly, which Hogwarts House are you?
Have a fun week!
Survey the garden of your life.
Wishing you a glorious May!
Isn't there is something so deliciously wonderful about Spring. The newness, the hope, the earth bringing forth potential abundance!
The season reminds us to plant the seeds that will lead to the desired harvest.
A gentle reminder that action is called for to bring forth fruit.
If you want to harvest a particular crop, you need to identify the seeds and plant them in the conditions conducive to their growth.
Survey the garden of your life.
When we look at our lives as a gardening metaphor, it becomes less personal to do the work. Here are a few questions to get you started!
1. Is there a crop that you no longer enjoy?
Dig that up, look to the roots, and pull that sucker out.
If that is too painful, modify the conditions that it grows in that will support a different plant to thrive in its place.
Or plant a helper weed nearby.
You were done with kale anyways.
2. Are some areas affected by a fungus?
This might not be a result of choice. Or a plant you transplanted in was infected.
Again, it's okay to root this out. Careful not to spread the spores!
Gentleness. You might have to let this area lie dormant for a bit until the soil recovers.
Remember to check on the soil occasionally to see how it is doing!
3. Is there a desired harvest you have in mind?
Plant those seeds!
Tend to the conditions to bring forth abundance!
Wait and be patient. (super easy, right?!)
Trust the growing process and season. It will come!
You've got this!
Your garden is glorious and the conditions this year will bring will bear fruit.
Plant those seeds and thrive!
Glorious softness. Choosing the right armor.
There is something so lovely about forgiveness.
Living in this world, it is a given that we will be injured in some way.
We come with soft bodies and a need for vulnerability when we are born.
This continues and we harden.
We consciously or unconsciously react to our environments by developing armor and scales and protection against the harsh realities of this life.
Too cold, put on a sweater. Too hot, cool water.
Too loud, muffle the sound. Too quiet, is there such a thing?
Our nervous system does a great job of telling us when the world is too much physically.
It also does a great job of telling us when it is too much emotionally or energetically.
But are we listening?
The ache in our chest, the weariness in our bones, the urge to crawl into bed and hide.
When we practice tuning into our emotional intelligence and attend to our energy, we learn to feel the signs of overwhelm sooner and pro-actively and protectively.
One of the fastest, most effective ways, to give our emotional softness a gentle hug is through forgiveness.
Forgiveness to ourselves for being soft.
Forgiveness for others for their sharpness in hurting us.
Forgiveness for not having all the answers all the time.
Forgiveness for trying something new and discovering it isn't a fit - yet, or ever - and that's okay!
Forgiveness for trying to love in the best way we know how and it not being understood.
Forgiveness doesn't mean stop trying to protect your soft.
It might mean using different armor with better functionality.
Forgiveness for choosing the armor that was close at hand rather than the armor that fits beautifully and works best.
Forgiveness isn't enabling harm. It is a boundary against harm.
Forgiveness is a grace that we give ourselves, not the other person.
We free ourselves from their sharp. We hug our soft.
Forgiveness of others allows us room to tend to our soft and frees them to focus on them.
It removes our focus on them and returns it to tending our hearts and bodies.
I wish everyone could have a space where their soft is nurtured.
I wish the world would be a safe space for all our soft to co-exist in proper fierceness and to thrive!
I picture forgiveness as a cutting the chain that binds us to someone or something. I get my mental bolt-cutters and snip the links.
I am free from that weight.
May your soft be nourished.
Is it time for Self-care?
Let's get down to work.
Part of showing up regularly to our goals is muddling through the noise and bother.
Of finding a way through the "I can't" and the "It will never happen".
Making excuses is not an action step.
Pushing forward towards our goal by taking steps, even teeny tiny ones (especially teeny tiny ones), is what we celebrate.
Showing up to tend to pull weeds daily results in a beautiful garden.
At Life Coach Online, when we talk about showing up, we mean being present.
Are you an active participant in your life, or are you letting life happen to you.
Pause for a minute and read that sentence again, can you spot the inaccuracy? Hello black-and-white thinking!
It isn't an all-or-nothing approach.
It isn't a pass or fail situation.
It is your life, and it will have moments of aware and moments of present and moments of autopilot and moments of distracted.
You can carve your way through the jungle of unknown through as many paths as it takes to get to your destination.
You can try one way today and another tomorrow if it feels more successful.
The point is to keep intentionally showing up to cultivate your goal.
The practice of showing up is really the practice of being a mindful presence. And of owning your actions.
Do you avoid working because it is too uncomfortable - that's okay! IF you are choosing that.
There will be days that feel impossible, that's okay!
Make a plan in advance with micro-steps that you can take when you are stuck.
Eventually, the micro-steps will add up to giant leaps! (Trust me!)
When you find yourself being distracted and avoiding work (actively or inactively), it DOES mean something.
You don't have to be in active growth mode all the time (how exhausting!).
We want sustainable habits. And balance.
Both of those require self-care.
Next time you catch yourself struggling with a task or growth opportunity, ask:
Am I choosing to distract in this moment, or is my body signalling a need for self-care.
We are trained to ignore or body's needs in society (especially as women!).
Work longer! Push through the pain! Sacrifice yourself for your family, your career, your school, your literally-any-obligation.
Here, you get to choose.
How are you going to handle those moments?
Is that societal script serving you in some way (it can and does occasionally!).
Keep what works for you and WITH you and reframe the rest.
You are awesome and are worthy of care.
So, make your excuses, but do it with ownership!
Take time to honour your need for care and attention.
Build micro-habits into your daily rhythm and trust that, in time, you will get to your goal! And with self-care, you are more likely to get there in one piece.
Very much love,
A chat about Accountability
A few weeks ago, I wrote about giving ourselves permission.
About the need to be flexible in challenging life circumstances.
That occasionally it is necessary to change what our path to success looks like in the short term.
It was one of my first posts, it's neat to look back at the developing voice.
When we develop a plan, it can feel like we are declaring to the universe, "Here I am and here is what I am going to do!".
In making that statement, we can feel powerful and purposeful.
And that feels great! Who doesn't love knowing how and why they are striving towards what they want?
We start out all full of intentions with a shiny way forward!
Yes! We've got this!
But then life.
Cold and flu season, allergy season, raising-children season, bought a new puppy season, co-worker broke their arm and you have to pull more weight season, and the hits just keep on coming.
Sometimes it is as simple as you are out of milk and can't make a good cup of tea that can feel like nuclear holocaust!!!.
This is where we move beyond intentions.
When we accept that flexibility keeps us moving towards our desired outcome, we allow room for greater growth.
Permission allows us to create a gentler way forward.
It allows us to use our strengths as they are meant to be used in coordination with reality.
Since our gifts and talents are unique, our path needs to also be unique to bring our special offering to the world.
Along with permission for flexibility, there is another important factor that leads to productivity: Accountability.
Accountability is a way through the feeling that life is pulling you off track.
When the world seems overwhelming (you really wanted that cup of tea), accountability keeps you in motion.
Without accountability, the way forward is just a way static.
Our unique path can be sustainable and lovely, but it won't grow by itself.
There needs to be action steps.
They can be teeny tiny steps (which, in times of stress, often feel like mountains), but they are steps.
Accountability holds us to motion.
How do you build accountability into your plan?
At Life Coach Online, when we work together, we individualize accountability in our sessions. But I will give you a peek at what I do.
What does a coach do to stay accountable?
Personally, I also have a coach who challenges me to keep producing.
I also have accountability people in my life (thanks!) to whom I report my awesomeness and struggles. This check in keeps my way forward active.
They hold me to my intentions. They celebrate the motion.
I also love making lists (type-A deliciousness).
Who doesn't love pretty stationary?
There is something so satisfying in crossing off a to-do item.
I have a special list compiled for compromised days, when flexibility is necessary and even getting out of bed is celebrated (huzzah!).
As a product of my generation, I work well with external praise so I reward myself for steps taken (like a gold star for adults. A+ Andrea).
Those are my first-line accountability steps.
What does accountability look like for you?
How do you best keep moving forward when life gets tough?
Leave a comment below! I'd love to hear from you.
Wishing you a beautiful week forward,
Making friends with a cowboy.
A dear reader asked if I would write about today's topic. Today's topic is dear to my heart.
Why is it that so many strong, fierce, accomplished women (and men) struggle with really owning their awesomeness? (my words, not hers)
Why do these amazing conquerors of adversity still have to work to stay positive?
Well folks, it's partly due to our dear friend, Negativity Bias. (I always picture a cowboy sauntering in saying, "Howdy!".)
Our brains are magnificent, but come with a nifty feature that evolved out of the need for survival, but often gets in the way of enjoyment.
Our ancestors may have needed at some point to be hyper-aware of threats in order to survive. Noticing the threats allowed for survival.
But now they mostly just bring a wee bit of heartache and stress.
Thanks Great-great-great-great-great-great-great-(insert more great here)-grand-Mom! I appreciate living!
As survival-promoting the reminders of threat are, I would like to get back to drinking tea and knowing I'm awesome instead of focusing on the not-yet-there aspects of my life.
So today, we are going to cover some tips on how to move Negativity Bias along on his not-so-merry way. Yee-haw!
I find that personifying negative traits is a handy way to remember that it isn't all by choice and that sometimes biology isn't self-serving.
The handsome cowboy in the picture above is a nice visitor sometimes, but only on my terms and boundaries. We're big on consent at Life Coach Online.
So, here we go!
Top tips for taming Negativity Bias!
1. Notice and acknowledge.
"Howdy NB, I see you would like to visit."
Assess if it is a good time to be visiting with potential threats.
If convenient, then set a timer, he sometimes likes to overstay his welcome.
If inconvenient, then extend a thank you for calling, and send him on his merry way.
2. Shift focus intentionally.
If we notice that NB has arrived and is starting to take his boots off to come in, we can remind him it isn't a good time, and chat with the door closing as he puts his boots back on.
As with setting any boundary in our lives, this takes practice.
We can shut the door kindly, turn the lock and go about making our own solo cup of tea of empowerment (actual tea making highly recommended).
Shift the focus to what is serving you.
Grab a pen and write a quick list of grateful moments.
Or groceries. Or anything.
Do 10 burpees (HAHAHAHAHAHA, or think of doing 10 burpees and laugh).
The point here is to thank NB for coming to visit, but that entertaining is not in the cards today.
3. Practice positivity!
I want you to train your brain sponge to soak up the positive moments.
Bathe in the kindness of an experience.
Not only do negative moments get more attention, they also form long term memories faster.* This is why we remember the negative events of our lives with more power than the positive ones.
So, this is where the fun training part comes in! (and no burpees!).
When you notice NB coming to town, and shift your attention intentionally, find a positive moment - past, present, pleasant anything.
I want you to soak up that moment.
Picture it fully - what did it look like, smell like, (taste like?).
How proud you were. How empowered you felt. How awesome you are.
How that even teeny-tiny moment was beautiful.
I want you to train your brain sponge to soak up the positive moments.
Bathe in the kindness of an experience.
As we practice this, our brain forms the connections that serve us in the now in our present awesomeness.
So lovelies, let's thank our brains for being kind enough to strive for safety and survival. And intentionally choose to use that feature as a tool to learn and grow and build resilience.
Thank you for being a warrior of growth.
*Please note, I haven't done extensive research into this area.
I don't have a psychology degree. BUT if anyone would like to pay my tuition, I would most happily LOVE to get one! I'd be AMAZING at that!
Even when you "Can't Even".
Well lovelies, it's the start of a new week.
That positive huzzah was a big step for me.
Still in full Dragon Protocol here and feel fragile.
Still showing up though! So there is cause for celebration!
This blog isn't going to write itself. And I love being here with you!
As life coaching is a beautiful way to support growth through every aspect of life, I strive to be real with you. Unforeseen challenges in life are not an excuse to stop working. It is a chance to create a new way of functioning as we navigate through the present realities.
If I were pretending everything is easy and sunshine, I would be doing you a disservice. But we can weather the stormy changes together!
Even a seasoned pro at using the tools has to continue to use them in times of hardship. Some weeks, life reminds you that it is a struggle. And that's okay.
Usually, we already know what to do, or we can grab new resources.
We put in work, and gain new tools, and find a way forward.
Then we can bask in the glorious gentleness and ease of that work coming to fruition. (If it only worked that smoothly all the time!)
Occasionally, the difficult weeks line up one after the other because of life events that are beyond your control (such as grief and wretchedness).
Aside from using different tools, it is important to not stress about the down episodes because they pass just like the positive moments.
Using the tools we discuss in this blog, and implement in the sessions, is not a guarantee that positivity will reign. Just like the hard times, positivity is transitory too. We can use the low moments to create space for a greater appreciation of the positive times. And build resilience and empathy.
Resilience is a badass feature of every strong person that I know.
We all have experiences that we have risen from the ashes and been reborn a fiercer version. So let's move through these challenges, knowing that this rebirth is going to be well earned and full of awesomeness!
You, my friend, are magnificent and are doing the best you can with the tools you have. And it is glorious.
You wouldn't be reading a life coach's blog unless you had the awareness that life is something to grow through.
I am proud of your growth. And grateful that you are here.
Let's look for ways this week that we can be a little more gentle with ourselves in regards to the time needed to move through the low moments.
Inspiration and motivation will return when we give them space to enter.
And part of that space, is kindness to self.
So you are having a hard week, big deal. Let's work it!
What IS a big deal is how you treat yourself through it.
Your thoughts matter.
If I could, I would give you a little glittery blue dragon figure to live in your mind's eye. This dragon (named Awesome) reminds you that you are worthy and that you are doing your best.
Actually, it would reward your "best". Doing your "best" isn't important. Sometimes a sleepy half-assed attempt is good enough. Heck, sometimes even standing is super-hard. This dragon celebrates it all! Party times!
Sometimes you might not want to do much of anything, or feel overwhelmed by the hard work, and there is NO SHAME in that.
This is a shame free space.
We are all learning how to be our fiercest selves. And shame is not invited.
Your efforts, at whatever level you can bring them, are enough.
You are working this hard road towards self love in a society that actively promotes otherwise.
Here, we have a community of accepting your awesomeness and rooting out what doesn't serve you. Slay queen!
So, here's to a new week of beautiful possibilities. Let's give ourselves permission to show up as is, and give permission to our minds to stop fighting for perfect. Remember, simply starting is enough. Bring it back to basics.
Let's do this!
Very much love,
Sitting with discomfort.
I am back.
Thank you for being patient with me!
I was practicing my dragon protocol to gather internal resources.
Today, I want to add balance to my last post.
In Coping with Grief, I recommended entertaining appropriately as a point of self care. In talking about using distraction as a tool, I forgot to include its necessary counterpart: sitting with discomfort.
As we practice mindful distraction for our painful realities, we also need to bring balance back in with mindful attention to our present reality.
If we self-soothe too often and without balance, we do ourselves a disservice.
We need to sit with discomfort and bring our attention back to our body and our present.
This can sound daunting, but it is meant as a kindness to your self.
It is necessary to move through hard times.
An important point about sitting with discomfort is that when you do, you are only mindful and not engaging. The purpose is to identify where the body is, and not to dive into why the body is.
The reason you are grieving is irrelevant. This is just about noticing.
It doesn't involve thinking. It involves being.
The process looks something like this:
1. Find a comfortable place to exist.
Sit, lie down, stand, just be safe and cozy.
You can change position if you need to.
This isn't a limiting space. There is no wrong way to do it.
2. Become aware of your breathing.
The goal is not to change anything.
Just bring your awareness to however you are breathing.
As you attune to your breath, expand your awareness in any way you feel called in your body. Use any adjectives you feel called to mind.
Temperature, mood, colour, weather, feelings, light, smells, etc.
Think of this yourself as a scientist gathering data.
There isn't any wrong data, it just is.
4. Gratitude and go.
When you have gathered the data you feel like gathering, thank your body for working with you through this time.
There is no wrong way to do this.
There isn't a higher level to attain here.
It is simple data collection.
We check social media 80 million times a day (made up statistic).
This is the physical equivalent of checking into our body.
As we repeat this exercise, we begin to notice trends (where we store our stress, for example).
The trends are either serving us, or counter to what we want in our lives.
We have the power to change how we move through life, but can actually do something about it if we have the appropriate data.
It is important to note that if we discover an non-serving trend, that there isn't anything bad or shameful or wrong with us.
Our body did the best it could with the tools it was given.
We can re-program our system, but it works best if we have the appropriate data. Let's all be honest. It is much easier to self-soothe than sit.
So I have a challenge!
Every time you go on social media, set a timer and record the time spent.
Then spend an equal amount of time just checking in with yourself.
You are awesome and worth spending time with.
Thank you for spending time with me.
Walking the dragon.
In our house, I'm affectionately known as a dragon.
This very fitting description started when my kids were really small and needed imagery to help them listen when Mommy was compromised and about to breathe fire over all the things!
It helped them connect to the intensity levels that we all feel at times.
I am an awesome tea dragon!
When you follow the guidelines and listen to the boundaries, I am a magnificent creature capable of all manners of awesomeness.
When you disrespect the boundaries and ignore the warnings that intensity is building, you will then get to choose if you wish to have your face ripped off, or have fire breathed, or acid spewed, or whatever level of communicative humour that will defuse the situation and remind us all that we all have limits and need space sometimes.
Please note that I do not endorse actual face-ripping or fire or acid.
They have their uses, but not for children please.
We promote warning systems and boundaries, and talk about how everyone gets compromised sometimes and needs compassion in those moments.
There is a script to follow with each person, so our needs can be met and the days can proceed as smoothly as possible.
Boundaries are important, and communication is important.
But what do you do when life walks over and hits you with a ton of pain?
Death of a loved one, unexpected trauma, expected trauma, the past reminding you it is still there?
How do you navigate through these times, these episodes of grieving, with the most grace?
How do you still function when all you want to do is curl up and self-medicate and feel incapable of anything except pain?
My lovelies, this is grief.
It comes in waves and may show up at random times and anniversaries and reminders for the rest of our lives.
These waves will be tsunami-esk at first and gradually, over time, will ebb into a series of smaller waves that don't hurt as much, but still exist.
So what do we do?
We have to create a way forward that allows healthy room for these episodes. Episodes of grieving that can range from mildly annoying to extraordinarily overwhelming.
We call this way the Full Dragon Protocol.
Useful in those moments when everything seems too hard or sharp or painful or sad or dumb or unfair (or all of those together).
The point of this protocol is to allow for enough space and gentleness through the grieving process to maintain the most function. Because we can't just skip out on life and ignore our responsibilities.
Each persons' protocol will be different as each person has a special set of gifts and talents.
To develop your own Dragon Protocol, strip each aspect of your life to its very basics. Pretend you were actually taking care of a simple pet.
A baby dragon if you will.
This serves to remove the personal thought process.
When we are compromised, it is easy for us to blame ourselves or others and over-think everything. Stop thinking for a moment.
Put the brain on pause and follow these steps:
Nourish. Hydrate. Walk. Sleep. Entertain appropriately.
That's really all a baby dragon needs.
It's important to plan out what foods will properly nourish you and have those on hand. Make a list and tell your support friends to help by bringing those items.
Remembering to nourish your physical self is important to make it through this episode with minimal damage.
It will be tempting to eat all the junk food and grab whatever is on hand, but try to include equal amounts of healthy.
Yogurt and frozen berries is easy and snack-like. Snap peas, cheese and crackers, cucumber slices, carrot sticks can all be consumed in front of the tv while you numb and distract (for a time).
If you are one of those lovelies who prefer not to eat when stressed, please have some bone broth simmering and sip at it when you can.
It will give your body the nutrients it needs to make it through this time.
If you are going to be compromised for a while, at least you don't need a dehydration headache to compound the pain.
Fill water bottles and keep one on your desk and by your bed. If you wake up in the night, have some water to ward off the grossness in the morning.
You've got this! This also has the added benefit of being a really simple action item that you can tell your brain you are accomplishing something! YAY!
The change in perspective and the fresh air is vital.
It doesn't have to be for long. But again, it is an action item that we can wade through.
If you had a pet dragon, you would have to walk it too.
Now you are the dragon - get on out there lovely!
Have you tried turning it off and on again. Remember even Jesus took naps!
This is a beautiful gift to help your subconscious process the new normal. Humans (and dragons) are amazingly resilient. Your body knows what to do and will move through this if we let it.
Sleep should be used with care though and not entered into as an escape for too long. On the days where grief is a tsunami, yes.
But not as a long term solution. It will rob you of joy otherwise.
Any healing tool used inappropriately will cause more pain in the long run. Tsunami days get a pass.
I say appropriately because there are many ways to entertain unhealthily.
I am not talking about self-medication. I am talking about a healthy balanced amount of distraction to move you through the dark times.
Light humour. Cheesy vampire flicks. Whatever you are drawn to, just be mindful that it isn't being used to pull you from your ultimate goal of health and wellness and capable.
As you practice the protocol it gets easier and more fluid.
It doesn't make the grieving process suck any less, but it does help remind us that it is temporary. It gives space to move through the motions with health.
That even though it feels gut-rippingly hard and heart-wrenchingly awful, that there are still beautiful moments. And that we are still worthy of love and belonging. Even if we don't feel awesome, it doesn't change the fact that we still ARE awesome.
So, here's to awesomeness - even when it feels dark and pointless.
Allowing the proper space and putting the serious thinking of hold for an allotted time will make the process easier.
Often, when we are overwhelmed with grief, it doesn't feel like we will pass through this time, but I promise you, it will shift.
It will clear and joy will creep back in.
What do you do to wade through the grieving process?
I would love to hear any tips of nourishment or entertainment to add to my collection. May this season of grieving be kind and courageous.
Holding you in my heart and wishing us all gentleness,
Andrea, the awesome tea dragon.
Welcome to a new you.
Welcome to Spring lovelies!
This wonderful season that calls creatures out of hibernation and into the wild.
Let's all listen to our inner sleeping bear and wake up to the fresh season of wonder.
Let's look for our new way forward this season and enjoy the process of becoming who we are meant to become!
May this beautiful season bring growth and nourishment.
May you flourish and thrive!
May the work you do on your path be rewarded in due season.
Here's to a marvelous and bright Spring!
Thoughts on delicious pi
Happy Pi day!
Thank you to that wonderful mathematical constant for all its continued awesomeness.
And YAY mathematics!
Honest confession time:
I don't really like pie (except pumpkin pie - I love me some pumpkin pie).
I especially dislike apple pie. I try every apple pie that I can to determine why, but nope. Still don't. Shudder.
Whether pie is or is not your thing, and whether you appreciate that marvelous constant pi or not, we can all learn to work with a little more comfort and constancy. Because let's face it, humans are creatures of habit.
We like predictable and familiar and expected (or at least I certainly do!).
This can be frustrating when we live in an ever-changing, evolving and chaotic society (or if you are a parent of small children).
That's because each of us goes through life with a comfort zone. We are each born with a temperament that is best suited to certain conditions.
Think of your best self.
Imagine you are feeling lovely - what are you doing, what is the temperature, sounds, smells, experiences like in this state?
That's your ideal comfort zone - like your favourite pie.
If we could make that a constant state, wouldn't life be so much more wonderful?
If we strive to re-create those boundaries, we will likely end up shutting out new opportunities and stay stagnant. This drive for comfort and constant can be used to our advantage if we re-frame it a little.
If we redefine our comfort zone as an ever-expanding area rather than a fixed state, we can make room to include the growth process in the edges of the area.
When we go to the edges of our comfort zone, we find a vague uneasiness - a resistance to change. If we go farther out, it can feel like a threat.
Our goal is to increase our tolerance at the edges in the uneasy parts and push the boundaries of our comfort zone to minimize the threats.
In our sessions, when we get to the path development stage, we work to create a series of micro-habits that work with your comfort levels to increase the tolerance for growth.
We work with tiny changes to our daily lives that allow us to safely experience growth with minimal discomfort.
These habits are so small, that you don't need a heap of motivation to complete them.
The act of completing them gives you a gold star and you feel rewarded.
This increases the likelihood of continuing and soon, like brushing your teeth, it becomes second nature.
Over time, these small changes can show us that we are capable of bigger changes and that growth isn't all that scary.
When we allow ourselves to explore our comfort zone and expand our constant zone, we grow powerfully.
How are you going to celebrate your powerful self today?
I looked in my cupboard to find that we are out of pumpkin, but we could always do some math!
Wishing you a beautiful Pi day,
Keeping it real.
Resistance is strong today.
I am sick. But not as sick as yesterday, so that's cool.
I am sad about unexpected life events, but know it will work out in the end.
I am annoyed, but have time to sit through this emotional weather.
I am running the laundry, so at least I am doing something right?! Huzzah for robots.
I know the steps I need to take, but I don't want to take them at.this.moment.
I am choosing to whine instead of actually working.
Now that I have acknowledged that, I am going to set a stupid timer and work.
And take my own advice and use it. FINE.
I am not going to look at a Facebook group in hopes that I will magically be inspired to take action when it is really a form of procrastination and resistance feeding.
I am not going to go through my notes and summarize in the name of working.
I will make myself another cup of tea and take action.
I will sit with discomfort and start.
Future Andrea will thank current Andrea.
How is resistance treating you today?
Set that timer and focus on starting - this resistance will still be there next time, but at least you will be moving towards your desired outcome!
Remember that resistance isn't something that will go away, it is something that needs to be acknowledged, put in its place, and made a cup of tea.
Spring forward! Finding motivation to move through the season.
This week is rough for a lot of us.
We stumble about with that vague jet-lag feeling of where are we and what time is it really?
Until this shift becomes normal, it is easy to feel unsettled.
This is a great time to do some spring cleaning in our lives!
What, seriously? I'm tired and grumpy, I'm not moving from this couch!
No worries! This isn't physical work I am promoting.
I want you to ask yourself a few questions. The answers to which will give you some clarity on where to focus your energy this season.
Take a few minutes to answer the questions below and re-energize your week!
3 cobweb-clearing questions to start your season right!:
1. What areas of your life need a breath of fresh air?
Write down the areas of your life that you think need a bit of tending.
Acknowledging these areas is a good way to blow the dust off and set aside some subconscious brainspace to move it along. Just having a list breakdown can bring on clarity.
2. What is cluttering your mind?
Just like we have areas in our homes that attract clutter (like that clothes rack/exercise bike or the computer desk/paid bill holder), our minds can hold on to clutter too. Imagine a beautiful wall of storage bins with pretty labels. There - set your mental clutter in these bins and enjoy your mindspace again! (at least until the next bill is due, or laundry needs to dry).
3. Is there something that you are holding onto that is preventing you from fully enjoying life?
I know this is an intense question, but give it a chance, it is a powerful way to cut through the societal conditioning that can paralyze us!
Now, I know I said no physical work, but is there ONE action that you could take this week to remove that energy zapper from your life?
Doesn't that feel nice?
If you have a fun way to zap the zapper, leave a comment below!
May your week be restful and kind,
Showing up and signing off.
Happy new week lovelies!
I am down with a wretched cold today.
I thought I was getting the better of it, and I was wrong. Today, the cold is winning. Ugh.
Last week, I wrote about 5 ways to step out of failure.
Those ways are also excellent for bringing on health. I am going to focus my energies on healing and returning to the powerhouse I am!
Last week, I wanted to add a bonus tip that helps with perceived failure and promotes health. You are all familiar with it and, if you are anything like me, could do with a little more.
Bonus step #6: Sleep.
Rest is a vital part of being alive.
Sometimes turning it off and on again IS the best solution.
Many problems seem easier to cope with after a nap.
I set my timer for 28 minutes - I read somewhere that the average person takes 7 minutes to fall asleep and then 20 minutes to cycle before they run into groggy gross nap hangover times.
I wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the problem.
Giving my brain some space to process without my compromised thoughts getting in the way.
I intend to spend the rest of today listening to my body and trying to provide all the tools for health.
May this viral season pass you by without an attack!
Forgive me for the short post today. I'm healing.
Yay for moving forward!
Bringing wisdom to mind.
Happy International Women's Day!
For today's post, I would like all of us to take a minute to bring to mind all the strong women in our lives, past and present.
Let's bring our focus to creating balance in our lives. It starts with us.
We can be the change and continue to strive for equality.
There is still much work to be done.
Visit www.internationalwomensday.com for inspiration and action.
May strength and love and resilience fill the world.
Wishing you peace and goodness,