We are happiest when our lives are in alignment with our core values. Living in a way that reflects what is most meaningful to us, allows us to feel more peaceful, grounded, and fulfilled. Anything that conflicts with our values will create more stress and dissonance in our lives.
It is very easy to get sidetracked by what seems easy or what other people are doing. And now, our technology is starting to pull us away from our lives and our best selves. We have become a society that spends more time looking at our electronic devices than the people we love.
Your life might be off track if:
- You go on shopping sprees when you want to be debt free.
- Your calendar is full of things that keep you busy, but are not meaningful.
- You work very long hours when you most value spending time with your family.
- You feel resentful and say hurtful things when you aspire to be a loving person.
- You eat unhealthy foods or don’t exercise when you want to improve your health.
- You do things that you are ashamed of or wouldn’t want people to know about.
- Your checking account register and credit card statements do not reflect your long term goals.
You get the idea. If you are feeling out of sync with what you value most, it’s time to make some changes. Reconnect with your core values and start shaping your life around them. You will be glad you did….
(Sample Core Values: Success – Family – Love – Joy – Health – Integrity)
Contact me if you would like to recieve a free exercise for identifying your own core values so that you can start living from your heart. Email: email@example.com
Simple living gets a bad rap. It can bring up images of living in a cabin in the woods with one plate, one fork, and having to raise your own food. Or, a house that is cold, colorless, empty, and devoid of personality. And, what about those old, worn, and frumpy thrift store clothes you will have to wear?
The truth is living a simple life does not have to be like that at all.
It is more about choosing to surround yourself with people and things that are meaningful and let go of what no longer works for you. There is no need for scarcity or denial. Simplicity allows you to create time and space for what you love.
You get to keep what you cherish and release what drains you. Surround yourself with people who uplift you and activities that bring meaning and joy into your life. Spend your time on what inspires you and let go of what pulls you down.
When you clear space in your life and live simply, there is an energy that comes forward. It feels like a deep breath of relaxation. Living in that energy opens you to connecting deeply with yourself, God, and people you care about. It also allows your purpose and passion to come forward and guides you toward your highest self.
Our world is very busy and complex these days and we are losing our connection with the gifts that simplicity brings. I invite you to look at your daily life and simplify at least one thing this week. Who knows, you might like how it feels and want to do more.
Recently, I presented a program about strategies for dealing with stress to employees at a local insurance office. One of the things that became clear is that most people think of stress as something big, powerful, and overwhelming, that controls them.
Stress does not come from the things that challenge us. It comes from our perceptions and thoughts about what is happening. We are the ones in control. We get to choose our response to each and every situation. You can see this in action when two people face the same situation and one is stressed to the max and the other confident and calm.
Don’t give your power away. All of the resources and wisdom you need are inside of you. Yes, there may be some practical changes you can make in your life that limit stress, but the most powerful thing you can do is change how you look at it.
Real Life Strategy: When you feel yourself reacting in a stressful way to something in your life, imagine floating up into a corner of the room and watching what is happening. This will help you tap into the neutral “observer state” from which you will have a more clear perspective and be able to respond more effectively.
Every day is a gift. A blank slate to write on. The choices you make in the first moments after awakening can impact your energy, effectiveness, and mood for the entire day. I am a big fan of morning practices and encourage you to create one of your own. Here are some fun ideas:
- Wiggle your toes and smile
- Snuggle with your pets or people
- Stretch or do yoga
- Express gratitude for the gift of another day
- Enjoy spiritual time (journal, meditate, pray)
- Set an intention for the day
- Visualize your day evolving with ease and grace
- Say an affirmation, your core values, or a mantra that inspires you
- Send loving energy out to the world and then direct it toward yourself
- Listen to music and/or dance
The concept of forgiveness is very noble and we are told it is the right thing to do, but sometimes it is not so easy.
Even when we know that forgivness is not saying the other person was right we may still crave completion, an apology, a way to prevent it from happening to someone else, retribution, or even just understanding what happened.
Forgiveness is a complex subject and we each have our own way of being with it. But, many people get stuck on the word and the idea of what they feel they should do when all they feel is beaten up. And then, they judge themselves for not being able to forgive and long for the relief it would bring. Sound familiar?
When my clients find it hard to forgive and move forward, I suggest they forget about forgiveness. Yep, you read that right. No more trying to forgive. When you try to forgive your focus is on the other person, but true healing is all about you.
Instead of forgiveness, look at the ways the person or situation is still controlling you. How often are thoughts about it playing in your mind? How much is it influencing how you feel? What percentage of your day is impacted by it? Get really clear about the burden it has become.
Make a decision to reclaim your life. To not let what happened continue to hurt you again and again. To truly heal and re-engage with the world in a healthy way. To feel good again.
Let it go! This may be as simple as letting it flow out with your breath, journaling, or creating a ceremony of closure. One of the visualizations that works well for my clients is:
- Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and settle into a relaxed state
- Imagine that the other person has put suction cups on your body and heart that are controlling you and draining your energy
- Sit with the feeling of being drained by the suction cups
- Make a decision to let them go
- Take a deep, deep breath
- When you exhale, let the suction cups fall away (repeat this step if you feel any remaining)
- Breathe in love
If you are finding it difficult to move forward after a challenging experience I encourage you to ask for help. Talk to a trusted friend, counselor, or contact me to schedule an appointment. Healing is a process that can take time, but you are not meant to be stuck in the pain forever.
I may be a love and peace kind of girl, but I do believe in consequences for actions that are harmful to others. It used to bother me that I put a lot of energy into judging the people who hurt me or committed crimes against others, and then, I had a thought ……
If it were true, as some believe, that we get to choose the life we come to live here on earth, who would choose to take on the roles of hurting others? It would be very hard to agree to a life that included doing terrible things, even if it supported a fellow soul in evolving spiritually or was for the highest good.
Is it possible that only the most loving and courageous souls are willing to take on these responsibilities? And, if so, what does that say about the ones that hurt you?
I am not saying it’s true, but what if it is? Would you be able to finally forgive and let it go?
Whatever happened to love, honor and respect as ways of being in our world? Have you noticed that most of our entertainment is based on murder and violence? Books, movies, TV shows, and even the video games our children grow up with. And then, we act surprised when something bad happens.
It’s time to shift the tide.
You can make a difference. Start by replacing random acts of violence with random acts of kindness. Treat people with respect. Bring integrity and honor into your day to day life. Focus on the love in your heart and share it with the world. Be of service. Live your values. Be an example for those around you. Who knows, it just may catch on.