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Tuesday, 13 February 2018 04:44

Mindfully Nourishing Your Physical Body

One aspect of feeling amazing is taking good care of your physical body. This sounds self-explanatory enough, but it can be a challenge for many people, especially if you are sensitive or empathic to the energies around you. Sometimes this sensitivity can create a barrier in the form of all sorts of things: weight gain, self-sabotage, procrastination, avoidance, overworking, a lack of balance, addiction, and so on. This is essentially our physical body’s response to us needing protection from something or another in our reality, but it typically doesn’t help. Rather than allowing your body’s long-term responses and coping mechanisms to run on autopilot, keeping yourself nourished and healthy is an excellent way of maintaining balance and control over your energy levels, your focus, and your level of clarity. The way you care for yourself will vary for everyone, but there are some basic ideas that may serve you well across the board, so please join me as we further explore this topic of nourishing your physical body.

 

Your physical health has a direct effect on your emotional, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, whether you believe it does or not. However, it becomes easier and easier to notice that this is the case the healthier you get, so eating healthy, fresh, whole foods and getting at least 20-30 minutes of exercise a day can have an incredible impact on your ability to focus, not to mention on your body’s ability to function properly. When I talk about your body functioning properly, this includes the emotional aspects of your being. Your emotions are your body’s way of pointing you in the right direction, an indication system, and they tie directly into your intuition. Of course these systems are developed over time through subconscious conditioning, whether that be you conditioning yourself or other people around you conditioning you without even realizing it. This is why it seems so elusive—these are intangible ideas that not everyone is or becomes familiar with until young adulthood or later, and the revelations themselves can be life-altering. I personally have likened it to stepping into another dimension; these so-called dimensions are not physical experiences, although there can be physical symptoms. More often, they are strictly internal, emotional experiences and a breakthrough happens that rattles your perception of reality. The physical manifestation shows up later, as an echo of your inner work.

The more healthy and nurtured you are on all levels, the less likely life changes and circumstantial challenges are to throw you into a downward spiral, and once that kind of thinking takes hold and gathers momentum, it becomes more and more difficult to break free from. This is why mindfulness is so important for your health; being self-aware in the moment, being able to catch yourself when you’re in the midst of it and acknowledge how you feel, offers you the unique opportunity for growth and releasing things that no longer serve you. To be perfectly honest, physical exercise is a great starting point because it provides a number of benefits without you necessarily having to think too much about it, especially if inner work still feels daunting to you, which can happen if you’ve never gone within before.

 

So, what are some ways in which you can make sure that your physical body is nurtured and valued the way your divine vessel deserves to be? Here are a few things to try as well as to keep in mind as you work toward the best version of yourself that you can be.

 

  1. Try different types of foods and pay attention to how they make your body feel. Does the meal make you feel sluggish? Tired? Like you want to go into a food coma? Or does it make you feel energized? Alive? Happy? The types of food don’t really matter much, although the majority of people will do much better without fast food and TV dinners. Because all bodies are a little different, you can customize what you eat to fit exactly what you need for your best overall health.

 

  1. Make small, daily changes. Any time you’re changing your diet or daily routine, it can be extremely overwhelming to change a bunch of things at once, so try one thing at a time, and if you enjoy it and it works, then you can choose to incorporate that into your daily routine. If you don’t enjoy it, you can explore other options. While some people might enjoy walking or yoga, others may enjoy swimming or lifting weights better. This has to be at your discretion because you’re the only person who can determine which activity you enjoy most and are most likely to continue in whatever circumstances you may find yourself.

 

  1. Don’t use your circumstances as an excuse. No matter what type of situation you find yourself in, self-care must take priority, and sometimes this may require you to get a little creative. If there’s only one option for exercise, for example, it is still your decision whether to do it or not. If you don’t, that isn’t life’s decision… that choice belongs to you, and only you. If there are limited options as far as healthy food is concerned, then you can choose to work with it or not. Either way, your physical body will be a direct manifestation and reflection of your choices, and this is true whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not.

 

  1.  Add a little variety! If you find yourself getting bored or frustrated with your current daily routine, replace one thing you don’t enjoy with something that you do. This could be related to exercise, meditation, food, the way you prepare food, where you work out, or just doing something once a week to add variety such as going on a hike. No matter the case, making one small change is always doable and much less daunting than trying to rearrange your entire lifestyle all at once. There is a process to it, and how else can you know exactly what’s working for your benefit and what isn’t? Variety is also good for some people but not structured enough for others; it’s important to stay aware of what your body is communicating with you.

 

  1. Maintain your mindfulness practice and your ability to be aware in the moment. This can be done fairly easily by meditating, and meditation can be the gateway to becoming aware in each moment and being present in the now. Of course you can always choose not to meditate but rather to simply be more aware, but meditation makes this practice much easier and more natural to fall into, not to mention that it strengthens your ability to be mindful and present no matter what. For many people, meditating for 10-20 minutes a day can mean the difference between wellbeing and misery, so I highly recommend that you try it for a week and see how you like it. The beauty of it is that it isn’t difficult and there is no right or wrong way to meditate; you can do this in whatever way suits you and your lifestyle best, and make changes as needed depending on what works specifically and uniquely for you.

 

  1. Get plenty of rest when you need it. If you find yourself feeling sluggish, drained, stressed, tired, or unable to focus, forcing or struggling your way through things isn’t going to do much good. You may be able to finish whatever it is you’re obligated to finish, but your level of clarity will be significantly lower and you are likely to find that your work suffers for it. Your sleep patterns and sleep schedules are important, and your body and mind absolutely need to be able to recharge on a regular basis. If you find yourself feeling burnt out on your task, you can choose to either change pace for a little while and do something different (if you were doing something that requires a lot of mental focus and clarity, then it might be time to switch to something physical for an hour or so before getting back to your previous task), or you can choose to take a short nap. Naps are not just for babies and toddlers; as a matter of fact, naps and shorter sleep cycles are actually more beneficial for some people than a solid eight hours of sleep, so pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and discern whether a nap might be the right course of action. Set an alarm, and get back to work after you’ve gotten a little much-needed rest.

 

You can probably tell that this is all based on paying attention and doing the inner work you need to do in order to thrive and be healthy on all levels. The most important thing to remember is that there are no right or wrong answers… only the solutions that best fit you and your unique body, personality, lifestyle, and emotional state. It is true that if you’ve never attempted anything like this—changing your life—that you may get a little bit of a rocky start, and this becomes especially true if you’re battling any kind of addiction or subconsciously conditioned emotional ailment such as CPTSD from narcissistic abuse, depression, anxiety, and so on. If this sounds like you, then you may feel like you’re forcing yourself at first, but remember that it will be worth it in the long run, and all that protesting is coming from your ego or false self. If you make the choice to ignore that part, you may find yourself becoming more and more of who you truly are, and you may even find that it begins to feel effortless after a very short while.

 

Lastly, if you’re making changes such as these and slip from time to time, don’t get stuck or trapped in a state of beating yourself up or talking down to yourself. This only increases the ego’s, “Haha, I told you so!” attitude and discourages you from continuing to move forward. However, if you don’t make it as big a deal as the ego thinks and you don’t allow self-deprecating thoughts to seep into your mind and emotional system, then you will be much more likely to try again and keep going. You may feel like you’re taking one step forward and two steps back at times, but what about those other times when you take a leap forward and only stumble back a step or two as you land? You should give yourself much more credit for those times and pay less attention to the overall crookedness or indirectness of your life’s journey.

 

I hope that this article has helped to shed some light on just how important it is to take care of your physical vessel, and that you’ll join us again next week for more on nurturing yourself on all levels for optimal health.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 04:59

Mindfully Making Self-Care a Priority

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the day to day, but when you lead a busy life, it becomes that much more important to set boundaries and take good care of yourself on all levels. Doing this mindfully can involve some finagling, especially if this a new concept for you or you have a lot of obligations that have already piled up. Excellent self-care includes but is not limited to reprioritizing, setting boundaries, creating time for yourself to recharge, and not giving away your energy if it isn’t a win-win-win situation or it makes you feel dread or resentment. Although this sounds easy enough, you may find yourself giving in to obligations or requests without truly thinking about them first, which can create more chaos within your life. This can result in a vicious cycle that could very well end in exhaustion or burnout, so please allow me the honor of sharing some thoughts and ideas with you about mindful self-care so that a truly detrimental situation can be avoided.

Nourishing yourself happens on many different levels, but the first step is for you to make the conscious decision and commitment to do exactly that: nourish yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to wake up with a perfect routine tomorrow, but rather, incorporating small daily habits one at a time can greatly increase your wellbeing overall and provide you with more energy, a perception that you have more time, and an increased ability to get everything done that you set out to during any given day. The last thing any of us want is the feeling of burnout, which can also lead to depression or other health problems related to stress. This is the part we want to avoid, so here are a few realizations that have helped me along my own journey, and I certainly hope that they help you on yours.

  1. Remember that no one will take care of you as well as you will, no matter how valiant and admirable their efforts. Caring for yourself keeps you emotionally and psychologically healthy, and this includes finding ways to meet any needs you may have, including needs to “talk shop” or socialize. Typically speaking, if a human being becomes too dependent on someone else for their basic care, it creates codependent relationships through long-term conditioning and can result in resentment and—you guessed it—burnout, stress, and depression. To help prevent this for yourself, it’s important to know how to identify what your needs are and how to meet them in the most effective and healthy ways that you can on your own.
  2. You are your own best friend! If you treat yourself well, you will attract the circumstances and people into your life that will also treat you well. This is what it really means when they say, “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.” It’s much deeper than being superficially confident and calling that self-love. Rather, this unconditional love for yourself can be achieved by going within and uncovering various different layers of your personality and why you may choose to keep these aspects of yourself buried or hidden from others. That’s not to say that you have to go shouting all of your deepest, darkest secrets from the rooftops; rather, it simply means that you, within yourself, recognize and become aware of your quirks and idiosyncrasies and uncover what may have caused them and what causes you to hide them. For example, what impression did you get of a certain habit or behavior when you were a child, and how did that perspective affect your subconscious beliefs about that habit or behavior as an adult? Introspecting about this can greatly increase your inner peace as you work through ideas or beliefs that you can now recognize as being false or conditioned. Once you recognize this, it becomes easier to change those beliefs to serve you within this life rather than working against you.
  3. Every single human being has been conditioned in some way. All this means, essentially, is that we spend our entire childhoods allowing other people to dictate our lives to us—parents, teachers, older siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents—essentially everyone. When you begin to become aware of the beliefs that were drilled into your head as “truth” by generations before you, you can also begin to analyze them and understand which ones you agree with now, utilizing discernment and your own logic, life experiences, and knowledge from continuous learning. You can then also identify those beliefs that you don’t or have never agreed with and begin to un-condition yourself or replace those belief systems with your own intentionally. And yes, you are the only person who should be telling you what you think! Anytime someone else tells you what to think as a child and it goes directly against your own ideas, it creates cognitive dissonance and conflict within you, which in turn also creates a dependence on those people telling you what to think because you probably get into trouble for disagreeing. This can result in all manner of personality disorders and false programming that will need to be undone as you grow into adulthood, especially if you intend to be a functioning member of society and be fully able to care for yourself. Understanding this conditioning is what many people now refer to as “waking up” or having a spiritual awakening, which makes it way less woo-woo and esoteric than it may sound, especially as science continues uncovering and providing evidence of these ideas.
  4. To truly be yourself, you must know who you are. So… who are you? If you’ve ever watched the movie Anger Management, you might remember Adam Sandler’s character losing it a little bit when he was asked this because he was answering with what he does for a living, his hobbies, etc. So, I challenge you today to begin digging deeper to truly uncover the core aspects of yourself. This can be accomplished through inner work and working through what you don’t like or want, in order to determine what you do like or want. Not only does this allow you to be more of who you are, but it will also increase your clarity about your true self and your life as a whole. This will also diminish the power of your ego, organically switching your perspective from one of pride to one of humility. Take that, ego!
  5. Not only do you need to know who you are… in order to truly show yourself unconditional love and nurturing, it’s important to accept yourself as a complete being, not just for the positive aspects of your personality or life experience. Of course, those positive aspects are what you will want to cultivate more of, but any shame, guilt, or negativity you feel about yourself will need to be healed and shown love to before you will get to that point. If you think of your emotions as energy, the positive ones being bright and the “negative” or undesired ones being dark, it becomes much easier to imagine how tainted and corrupted our energy and emotional state might be if we allow these feelings of shame and guilt and fear to permeate and fester within us. Having a creative outlet for these types of emotions is incredibly beneficial, and you could say that creatively expressing these negative emotions will get them out of you and allow you to transmute them into something more positive, namely your creative expression. Whether this is painting, writing, woodworking, making ice sculptures, or customizing your yoga routine doesn’t matter; this creative expression will be unique to you and only you can determine what works best for you, your needs, and your lifestyle.

Above all else, making the conscious decision to nurture yourself and committing to it is the main hurdle. Once you’ve done this, even if you don’t get everything “right” immediately, you will still have made that decision and be committed despite setbacks no matter what those might look like, and this will allow you to be compassionate for yourself and for your progress… even if you fail at first. Once you’ve established this decision and commitment within your conscious mind, you can take steps to help yourself through meditation, self-hypnosis, and healing music, among other practices. Once you set your intentions, everything else has a tendency to begin falling into place organically.

Thank you so much for joining us this month here on the Mindful Leader Blog! This month’s topic is nourishing your body, mind, and spirit, so I hope you come back to join us each week for more in-depth mindfulness techniques and ideas.

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

No matter what walk of life you hail from or who you are, chances are that the way you have grown up into adulthood has involved subconscious conditioning that may not be good for you in the long run. You’ve probably heard of things like abundance blocks, faulty programming, limiting beliefs, etc. These are all labels for subtle nuances of the same thing: the conditioning that happens within the human mind when something is said or done repeatedly. These patterns then become so ingrained that they turn into beliefs, which is how your belief systems are created. And yes, you can change them if they don’t serve you… for example, the belief that divorce is wrong no matter what creates a conflict for anyone who is married to an abusive spouse. Are you supposed to stay and suffer or even be murdered because your beliefs (that you were conditioned to accept as truth over time) state that divorce is wrong? Or are you supposed to adjust your beliefs according to your new knowledge (in this case, realizing that you are being abused, which is sometimes not obvious if the abuse is emotional, manipulative, and subtle) and grow from there? No matter your circumstance, it is your perception, your conditioning, and your subconscious mind that hold all of the power you need to make positive changes. In this article, you will learn how to uncover your subconsciously conditioned programming and beliefs, begin un-conditioning yourself, and re-write the story that you tell yourself very deliberately and on purpose so that you can thrive in life rather than constantly being stuck on survive.

 

This subconscious conditioning that we all experience is one of the most fascinating but troublesome aspects of the human vessel’s operating system: the mind. While repetition and conditioning can be extremely beneficial to us as we learn new things, it can be absolutely detrimental to your progress as a human being if you are continuously conditioned to believe that you’re a failure, for example. This is typically done without the person doing it even fully realizing it, telling you things throughout childhood such as, “Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?” or, “Make sure you have a backup plan.” The first statement sends us the message subconsciously that we will never be able to live up to our sibling’s accomplishments or be loved as much as our siblings, while the second statement sends us the message that our dreams can’t possibly come true and we have to have a whole separate plan in place to make money, because you can’t be worth anything without money.

 

Couple this with societal, media, and religious conditioning, and you’ve got today’s western society, broken down and quantified into countless different personality disorders and psychological illnesses that all stem from the same thing: subconscious conditioning. Yes, I realize that this is a bold statement, but it is truer than we have been able to prove scientifically so far because scientific advances are still being discovered and understood when it comes to the way the brain and body systems work in tandem with our emotions and spiritual wellbeing. No matter what the disease or illness or disorder, chances are that it is caused by a lifetime of subconscious conditioning, piled on top of generations of conditioning before that. We all mean well as human beings, but unfortunately we are all running on brainwashed autopilot and operating from the false assumption that physical reality, as we perceive it with our very, very limited sensory systems, is the only reality in existence. It isn’t. This physical world is a co-creation of everything we have going on behind the scenes from an energetic or vibrational standpoint. The physical world is an echo of everything that has been thought and felt already, so in order to change this physical manifestation in what we perceive as the future, we have to make changes within ourselves now.

 

So, how do you begin going about uncovering your subconscious programming and changing how you perceive yourself and your place in the world as a whole? Here are a few ideas to think about and consider as you learn more about your unique perspective of reality and how it relates and is connected to everything else in existence. This will allow you to begin seeing how your conditioning happened, and from there you can visualize a different story to replace the old one. Of course there are other techniques you can also research, but I will focus on what I have learned from personal inner experience in conjunction with my studies.

 

1. What many of us don’t consciously realize is that our perception is literally our reality. Whatever we think is real, is real. We think repetitive thoughts and may have things told to us repeatedly, then maybe we have those things backed up by experiences so we consider this evidence (even though it is merely the law of attraction at work), and then, once we have evidence, it becomes a belief system or very close to “fact” as we continue on our journey. What we must remember is that, just because we have had this one particular type of experience, it isn’t fact or truth, period. It is a version or angle or perspective of truth and a version of what we perceive as real, but it isn’t the experience of everyone across the board, and being able to redirect your focus to attract more positive experiences despite what your past tells you can only help you on your journey.

 

2. Remember that your experiences, while unique to you and your journey, are not apart from anyone else’s experiences. Rather, they are part of the same collective whole, so each soul (evolving and molded based on experience and life journey) is like a piece to the puzzle of true reality, and only when all of the pieces come together can we truly know and understand all that is from all perspectives throughout all eternity and existence. Breaking that down into a more manageable chunk of information, think of it as though each of us can only see from one specific perspective and the perspectives are infinite in number, beginning with tiny organisms and ending with interdimensional and interstellar beings we have no proof don’t exist (including planets, stars, black holes, and galaxies – how do we know these aren’t sentient and/or conscious beings?). There is so much that we don’t know, so many different points of view, each with its very own purpose, direction, and lifetime. None of these are good or bad in and of themselves; they are just different, but all lifetimes are created to serve the greatest good of all. This can be difficult to accept when we think of people in history who did terrible and cruel things, but when it comes to the infinite expanse of eternity (one dimension, time) and the universe (another dimension, space as we perceive it from our physical perspective), is it really worth getting stuck and dwelling on the horrible things one person did? Or is it better to learn from it and move on toward joy, that way we can utilize the law of attraction properly and manifest better things that come from love rather than beginning a self-fulfilling prophecy of negative thought loops?

 

3. By comparing our lives with the lives of others but not judging ourselves or them for the lives we have lived, we can examine how they grew up very differently than we did, or what kinds of things were experienced that may have caused similar or even completely different conditioning. If you can find someone spiritual to discuss this with on a semi-regular basis so that you can share your breakthroughs and understand when they share theirs with you, then you can thoroughly take advantage of this process and truly dig deep. If you don’t have a friend available to help you do this, preferably someone who practices mindfulness as well, then you may want to consider hiring a mindfulness or inner work coach to help you pick up and maintain momentum toward more and more breakthroughs. Spiritual awakening de-mystified: it is a series of epiphanies and revelations being peeled back and old emotional energy being brought to surface so that you can be who you truly are, not who others or the world tells you to be. Of course this comes with its own challenges, but essentially, that is what a spiritual awakening is, and embracing it means you are accepting of your path and willing to work with the energies and surrender to life and the amazing journey it has laid out for you.

 

4. Practice visualization as much as you can so that you can heal your pain and release it, then replace your old memories that may have created conditioning with new stories of those memories that you can then program into your subconscious mind by using meditation, self-hypnosis, and alpha wave binaural tones. Once you get to the point of being able to clear your thoughts, it is time to learn to direct them deliberately by placing new ideas that serve you well into your subconscious belief system repeatedly, that way you re-condition yourself to be much more of who you truly are and less of who you were conditioned to be.

 

5. Take on an attitude of curiosity and constant learning. Let life be your teacher, because experience is a better teacher than anything else could possibly be. The only exception being maybe if we were able to transfer knowledge of everything via telepathy or touch (remember the movie Paul?), but we have not evolved to that point yet. Because we have imagined it, it is on its way, though. Just like Star Trek and cell phones, not to mention touch screen technology. It is now only a matter of time, isn’t it? Whether you agree or not, this is one of those “wait and see” situations where time will tell what does develop, and evolution will help it happen over time.

 

6. Allow others to be themselves 100%, and you will find that you are able to be yourself 100% more often, too, because your judgment isn’t being reflected back to you in your physical experience. In doing this, you also practice focusing on not being bitter over circumstances and experiences from your past that were painful. Your outer world will reflect your inner world, and everything is energy first, so it makes sense for us to focus on feeling our best and taking care of ourselves to that end while also treating other people the way we would want to be treated. It all comes back to us, and all of those platitudes and sayings we dismiss as cheesy are really true but on a much deeper level than we may initially understand.

 

7. Enjoy the fact that every human has layers and is a dynamic, multifaceted being, even if you don’t necessarily “get along” or like each other. Each and every one of us has many aspects to ourselves, our lives, our opinions, our personalities, our experiences, and so on. People also typically have a lot of different talents to tap into, whether we know what those talents are right away or not. We are all different but all pieces of the same whole, intertwined and interconnected, crossing paths with those whom we are meant to cross paths with, learning what we need to learn (and repeating patterns if we don’t learn fast or have trouble recognizing our patterns), and being in exactly the right place at the right time at all times even if we don’t feel like we are. It’s all part of the process, the journey, so we might as well let go and enjoy the ride, roll with the punches, and recover quickly.

 

I hope that some of these ideas and revelations resonate with you and allow you to step fully into your power, and into who you truly are as a soul. This is the first step toward manifesting the life of your dreams in every way, so congratulations for stepping up and taking responsibility for yourself through mindfulness practice!

 

It feels scary sometimes, doesn’t it? However, the better you get at being yourself and learning from life quickly, the more you will enjoy the journey and be able to glean insights and wisdom from it. This is not to say that you have to have happy, positive, spiritual days 100% of the time. What it does mean is that you don’t beat up on yourself when you get depressed or discouraged, release those feelings or refocus, and move on.

 

Go for a walk, meditate, or do something different for a little while. This will help you to lift your mood if you’re down and remember that one aspect of your life is only one aspect of your life, and while it may affect your life as a whole, it isn’t the only thing you could focus on. Sometimes our energies and emotions go to frustration for a reason, like maybe we need a break from that task so we can come back to it later to get it done in a faster, more inspired, and more effective way. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially if you come back and end up being way more productive and get things done much faster, right?

 

I hope that you’re having a beautiful week so far and join us next month for more inner work insights on the Mindful Leader Blog.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 03:39

Mindfully Letting Go of Addictive Behaviors

Although the types of addiction vary from sugar and shopping to alcohol and heroin, it is important to understand that the addictive behaviors themselves often have a root in the psyche or subconscious mind that is similar but unique for numerous people. Many times, people with addictions are filling some kind of emotional void or numbing unresolved or unhealed emotional traumas. Mindfulness and inner work can help you to understand where the addictive behaviors come from, whether they are an issue (for example, having a glass or two of wine on a Saturday night versus drinking two or more bottles a day all week long), and how to overcome them without as much risk of relapse and faster resilience if there is a stumble. The root cause of the behavior is what must be addressed, not the addiction itself, which is why many traditional treatments used to end up failing and people would relapse. Learning how to work on yourself from within is one of the most powerful ways to help yourself overcome many kinds of addiction. Read on to learn more about the inner work that will help you to let go of your addictions and embrace your true self.

 

Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. The reader should regularly consult a physician in matters relating to his/her health and particularly with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.

 

Many people believe that addiction is something that you cannot possibly beat alone, but there is a different perspective to consider before setting such a hard limit upon the individuals who do suffer from addiction and don’t necessarily have a reliable support system to turn to. Or who have watched all of their old relationships fall apart due to codependency issues and now have to choose between well-earned personal freedom and codependency that nurtures an environment for relapse. Or maybe there are some toxic behaviors displayed by dysfunctional individuals and they actually purposely sabotage your progress in some way. No matter the situation, sometimes battling it out alone is the best thing you can do for yourself. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t ask for help if you need it or accept it if it’s offered, but the most important thing to remember is that you are the beginning and the end of your addiction.

 

You are the only person who is with you throughout your entire journey, from birth to death. No one else. So doesn’t it make sense that the root cause of your addictive behavior lies within you, a buried aspect of yourself that you are afraid of looking at directly because of the guilt and shame surrounding it? This is where inner work comes in, and you have to be determined and willing to feel all of your emotions, including fear and hatred and self-loathing. You must also be willing to love yourself completely, including those parts of yourself that you feel shame or guilt about and cover up with addictive behaviors.

 

Here are a few ways in which you may be able to help yourself overcome your addictions, mindfully and successfully.

 

1. Think of negative aspects of how your addictive behavior makes you feel, and positive aspects of how you feel when you are not tangled up in that addictive behavior. An example of this is when I quit smoking cigarettes. Rather than thinking about how much I missed it and how I missed the sensation, I would focus instead on how disgusting it was to have to hack up a bunch of nasty stuff all the time, constant stuffy noses, and my voice being too damaged to sing. Sure, the raspy voice is sorta sexy, but when I can’t even sing songs I wrote for my own voice, that’s pretty sad.

 

2. Listen to your body. When your pain levels increase (or your perception of the pain changes), it might be time to consider stopping the numbing. You may begin to notice that your pain actually increases after using any kind of substance to numb yourself, including alcohol and marijuana. While marijuana is much healthier for you overall and can be used for medicinal purposes, anything you use to numb your senses actually only numbs your perception of those senses, and when that perception becomes clear again, your pain seems worse than it was before. I think this is because your perception is remembering how bad the pain was before and at the same time longing for the numbness to come back, making it depressing as well as painful. Because we wear negative lenses while depressed and everything seems worse than it is, I think this has a lot to do with our perception of the pain and getting back to a “normal” sense of the pain we’re feeling rather than an over-inflated sense of it due to coming down from a substance.

 

3. Get to the root cause of your addictive behavior. Not all addictions involve outside substances, so the way your brain chemistry is altered during use of the substances creates the addiction, not the substance itself. Think about that for a minute. The substance itself doesn’t cause addiction; the way it alters your brain is what causes the addiction. That’s because addiction has to do with your prefrontal cortex and how your mind deals with cravings, rewards, and pleasure. If you were raised in an environment where you had to chase down attention or affection and love was very conditional, for example, you may fall prey to addictive behaviors because you’re tired of having to earn something you deserve no matter what (unconditional love from your parents in this example), and all that chasing is exhausting. Using a substance to keep yourself from caring enough to chase after that affection or simply feel good for no reason is the resulting solution. I think this is because we subconsciously know that we’re supposed to be joyful and happy, and when we can’t pinpoint what’s wrong in an easy way or a way in which we can avoid responsibility (or negative emotions toward people we care about), we turn to addictive substances or behaviors that make us feel good and give us that high, when really we should be connected to our souls and inspired from within most of the time, and that’s what we miss because on some level we remember that feeling. That example goes more into the spiritual realm, but both of these examples illustrate digging deep to figure out what the root cause of your addiction is, and knowing this allows you to be more understanding and compassionate toward yourself as you work through the self-healing process.

 

4. We’ve talked about substances, but not all addictions involve substances. There was a fantastic article in National Geographic magazine in October of 2017 about the brain science behind addiction, and many of the breakthroughs and cutting-edge ideas are due to incorporating mindfulness and neuroscience into their research. The human brain can re-wire itself through repetitive action, meaning you can overwrite any existing programming in your subconscious simply by replacing the habit and doing something else instead. This article featured a cure for addictions that involved sending electrical pulses to a certain part of the brain to suppress the craving center and disrupt that electrical energy flow within the brain, disrupting the addiction at the same time. Knowing this, it begins to become clear that you have all the power to change your behavior if you choose to accept it. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility… this rings true on many levels, and this level is one of them. The more you choose to take responsibility for your own behavior and try to change it, the more your ego will fight you, and the more challenging your battle might become, at least temporarily. Or you can wait a couple of years for this electrical pulse treatment to come into the mainstream, but realize that you already have the power within your own mind to reprogram your behavior manually. It just takes more time and effort than some shocks to the brain.

 

5. Realize that your addiction is not you. You can also help keep yourself from perpetuating your addictive behavior patterns by referring to yourself differently. For example, rather than calling yourself a smoker in thought or conversation, begin calling yourself a non-smoker and keep referring to yourself in this way to re-condition your thoughts. Self-hypnosis and meditation are two ways in which you can also help yourself stay away from addictive behaviors, and you can create a custom positive mantra for yourself to affirm whatever it is you want to affirm based on your unique circumstances. You may also be able to find existing guided meditations or hypnosis recordings on YouTube, so it’s easy to begin to reprogram your own thinking in order to move forward and away from your addiction.

 

The goal isn’t to force yourself to abstain or feel like you’re fighting a constant uphill battle against an unseen enemy. This is the difficult method of doing things, and it leaves people rife for relapse, which is not a good thing no matter what type of addiction you’re dealing with. The real goal is to re-program your mind not to crave the thing you’re addicted to, to change the way it makes you feel entirely so that you can limit your indulgence to less desperate and more balanced levels. This is the way to get to the root of the problem and stop simply treating symptoms on the surface level. The best and most reliable way to lasting change is through the way you think and your perception of things. You don’t have to be what you’ve always been, and you don’t have to let an out of control habit define you as a person. You also don’t have to live in fear of being triggered all the time, as long as you go within and do the inner work necessary for true and lasting healing.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

As we go through life, we typically have a series of experiences that are meant to teach us important lessons. Some of these experiences are wonderful and exciting, while other experiences are challenging or even traumatic. Why is it that most of us are more likely to remember the traumatic events and cling to those rather than focusing on the positive events and realizing that a balance of both is needed for a life to be fully experienced and fully lived? In this article, I’d like to discuss some ways to let go of the pain of the past and focus on remembering the happier times so that your perception of your own life, your story that you tell yourself, can be upgraded to be more beneficial to you and help you attract and manifest a more positive life experience overall.

 

No matter how hard you hang on to that grudge, it will never hurt the other person as much as it will hurt you and your wellbeing. Rather than getting revenge on that person (or hurting them somehow), you end up destroying yourself in the process and sabotaging your own growth and evolution as a human being.

 

So, what’s the solution? It’s easy to tell someone, “Let go, man. Just let go.” But what does that actually mean in practical terms, and how might this letting go process manifest itself? When we’re dealing with inner work, mindfulness, and intangible processes, it’s important to remember that what’s going on within you might look completely benign or unexpected to someone outside of yourself as they cannot feel your progress the way you can. All they see from their vantage point outside of you is that your “normal” behaviors have changed in some way.

 

Normally, this letting go process happens over time and somewhat organically (“Time heals all wounds.”); however, with each generation learning less and less about emotional expression and more and more about emotional suppression, it’s no wonder that mental health issues and stress problems have skyrocketed. Fortunately, it is becoming more and more obvious to more and more people that we are each responsible for our own lives and we create our experiences based on how we feel on a regular basis. People are realizing all over the world that we must change ourselves from within on an individual basis in order to see a positive impact in the world, and this is inspiring many people just like you to practice mindfulness, meditation, and personal accountability for all aspects of their lives.

 

Here are five ways to help you know that you’re in the process of letting go, and how you can encourage and speed up that process for yourself.

 

1. Recognize that the only person who you are really responsible for is you. If someone has done something hurtful to you in the past, letting go does not absolve them of their wrongdoing. Rather, it absolves you of carrying the burden of pain around with you for months, years, or even the rest of your life, lightening your load and allowing you to rise higher. If they can effortlessly go on with their lives despite something they have done that they “should” be feeling guilty about in your perception, then why should it be your responsibility to carry around any negative emotion or remnants of pain throughout your daily life?

 

2. Rather than turning your love and caring only outward toward other people, turn it inward to yourself first. Yes, this may feel like being selfish when you first start doing it, but I am here to let you know that everybody else is not your responsibility. I can’t even tell you how important that is, especially for those of us who are highly sensitive, empaths, or recovering people pleasers. It’s okay to focus on yourself and care for yourself first! It will actually help you to better care for those around you if you take care of yourself first. The common example of this is when you’re on an airplane and they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first.

 

“You cannot get sick enough to help sick people get better. You cannot get poor enough to help poor people thrive. It is only in your thriving that you have anything to offer anyone.”

– Abraham Hicks

 

3. Realize and remember that the past and future only exist in your mind. Past regrets and projections of worry into the future are your ego’s way of distracting you from the present moment, which is all there is. Think about it. The future exists only within the projections you give it, and the past exists only when you’re thinking about it or talking about it with someone else. It’s completely intangible, just as the future is. The only reality is in the here and now, so focusing and centering yourself in the present may give you a new perspective on life.

 

4. Blame is toxic to the blamer, so don’t project it onto anyone, no matter how much you feel something is their fault, and even if it is their fault. Forgive them for whatever it is they did, not for their sake (because they probably don’t feel bad about it anyway), but for your own sake and the sake of your sanity. Remembering that nobody’s perfect, everyone messes up from time to time, and it could happen to anyone may help you to get to a place of forgiveness and letting go of blame.

 

5. Finally, utilize the tools that are available to you to help yourself, whether that’s using tarot cards, EFT (tapping), somatic experiencing, hypnosis, chakra cleansing, or any other method you are drawn to. One of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself is to learn how to quiet your thoughts. Racing thoughts can be difficult to reel back in (they pick up momentum, just like anything else), which is why this is best achieved through a daily practice. Meditation can be a great start to doing this, training yourself to stop listening to every little thought that flies through your head and allowing those untamed thoughts to affect your emotions. When you meditate, it trains your mind to calm down and not be so frantic all the time. However, meditation is not the be all end all of this process, as the real habit is formed in your everyday activities, actions, and responses to situations that come up. Being mindful is a moment-to-moment habit, and once you’re able to practice this without necessarily meditating all the time (20-30 minutes a day is highly recommended for upkeep), you’ll be able to keep your thoughts turned down, so to speak, enough to where they don’t control your emotional state anymore and you can direct your focus on purpose.

 

Your emotional state is your responsibility, and this is the truth for everyone. This doesn’t mean that you don’t care or shut yourself off from others. Rather, it just means that you don’t make someone else’s problems into your problems. If you feel energetically capable of helping, then by all means, go for it… but it is always better to teach someone a skill so that they can help themselves. This is as true for emotions as it is for other areas of life, so understanding how your emotional system works and interacts with the rest of your body systems (your mind, ego, wellbeing, health, etc.) can ultimately mean the difference between thriving or merely surviving. With that said, I encourage you to keep learning about and practicing mindfulness! You have access to your inner power any time you choose to tap into it, so why not tap into it more often than not? Your soul is infinite and eternal, pure love and light. Only you can allow it to shine through in your everyday activities.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

Let’s face it… sometimes we have to let go of certain relationships in our lives to make room for other relationships to blossom. This could happen for any number of reasons, and we each respond differently to relationships ending depending on the situation, the other person or people involved, and our general attitude or outlook about the situation and how we feel. Sometimes our reactions or emotional responses to the situation stem from clinging to the relationship even though we have outgrown it or it has become unhealthy or even toxic. This is where letting go comes in. Read on to learn more about mindfully letting go of relationships that no longer serve you.

 

By allowing for the separation despite it being potentially painful, sad, or full of escalating tempers, you take the momentum away from the negative emotions—if there are any—surrounding the situation and the person. If there aren’t any negative emotions surrounding the situation, for example if your relationship naturally grows apart, then there will be very little resistance to the end of what little remains. However, when you find yourself responding with resistance to the situation, it can often inadvertently make things worse.

 

Let me elaborate a little bit on this. Carl Jung said, “What you resist persists,” because of emotional resistance to a situation. This resistance can sometimes manifest as sadness and depression, but other times it can look like tempers flaring and an escalating situation where each side feels like it needs to fight for what’s right or get revenge rather than letting it be and moving on peacefully. This can cause a great deal of drama and additional pain, and sometimes make things worse between the people involved due to words and actions borne out of anger and pain.

 

To avoid this excessive amount of negative emotional energy and allow yourself to become peaceful about the situation, it helps to have a few different realizations along the way. These realizations are sometimes shocking when they really hit you, but they are also comforting in the face of dissolving closeness in a relationship.

 

Five Revelations to Help You Let Go

 

It is only after coming to understand certain things about ourselves versus other people that we can truly see that our purpose lies well beyond just staying in one place with one set of people our whole lives. Sometimes this means that we have to go through the discomfort of ending relationships for one reason or another, be it amicable or messy. Of course, amicable is always the goal, but it is nearly impossible to get to a place of amicable separation with toxic individuals, so you may need to settle for not having a resolution and allowing these individuals to keep their delusions and just care for them from afar, keeping yourself emotionally at a distance.

 

That being said, as mindful leaders, it is our job to rise above the chaos and respond in a way that is both loving and firm. If you are cutting ties with individuals who do not practice mindfulness, deep personal accountability, or setting healthy boundaries, then they will simply not understand what they are doing. As painful as this is to realize – and as much as it makes you almost want to look down on them for their ignorance – it simply is what it is, and the only one who can change how you feel about it is you. This ego flare up will pass as your journey continues, so don’t be alarmed if you experience a period of overt confidence and slight judgment. You’ll adjust as you settle into your higher level of consciousness and understanding.

 

Here are five revelations to help you get there.

 

1. Think of it this way… while you have been working on yourself, honing your skills, and practicing mindfulness and meditation to better yourself as a human being, they have remained stuck, running around a hamster wheel without a destination or a purpose, just running for seemingly no reason. Your perspective is much different from theirs, so don’t assume that they are even capable of seeing things the way that you see them, especially without conscious effort in their daily habits.

 

2. People will come and go throughout your entire life. Whether you remember these relationships fondly or with some discomfort depends a great deal on how the relationship ends or gets reprioritized. Understand that, in order to be true to yourself, you may need to offend a few people whom you have gotten close to after learning what you’ve needed to learn from your journey with them… and vice versa. Sometimes it’s a clean break, and other times it isn’t. However, it’s up to you not to exacerbate the emotions of the situation so that all parties can get out somewhat unscathed. If they choose to say or do things that do exacerbate the situation, don’t allow yourself to get sucked into the drama and revenge trap. It isn’t worth it.

 

3. Setting your priorities to best serve you and your needs is a good thing, even if it temporarily hurts others or makes them angry. If they can’t understand where you’re coming from, then why would you want them in your life in the first place? Their initial reaction may not be how they truly feel in the long run, but it may hurt, so be prepared for that when you tell them what your needs are and that those needs don’t include them.

 

4. If you have to draw a line, draw a line. Sometimes relationships end because someone does something that crosses a line with the other person morally or ethically. If someone has crossed a boundary that they can’t come back from, you may need to firmly stand your ground and make sure that the other party knows that they cannot do this to or around you, ever, and that it won’t fly. If it’s something relatively minor, a second chance may be given, but if it’s something life-altering or that completely changes the way you see them, it might be time to say goodbye, at least for a while.

 

5. You are the only person who will be with you for your entire life. Why is it that we neglect ourselves and our own needs so much? Many of us have been conditioned into catering to the needs of others before our own, as in the case of parents, siblings, bosses, or other authority figures. Our own needs come second which minimizes our self-worth in a very subconscious and insidious way. If you don’t advocate for yourself, no one will.

 

I realize that some of these truths are harsh to face, especially if you have experiences to reference back to that these words may have reminded you of. However, when you are able to develop your sense of inner peace and calm, being mindful during challenging situations will become easier and easier, making it effortless to go with the flow of people and circumstances your life presents you with. Remember that it’s all about the journey, so all you have to do is remain mindful within each moment as much as possible and be true to yourself. Don’t worry about anybody else (unless you have kids, of course, but you know what I mean). All the strength and power and love you could ever imagine lies within you, and you are appreciated.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

Let’s talk for a moment about the concept of letting go. When most of us consider letting go, we look at the thing we want to let go of without looking at the underlying reasons why that thing is so difficult to let go of. It becomes an impossible task to break a habit, simply because we are comforted and soothed by that habit and haven’t addressed the emotional issue causing this dependency on things that aren’t necessarily good for us. These habits can run the gamut from nail biting to drug addiction, but many of them are caused by hidden emotional trauma or subconscious conditioning or programming. Those internal things are what cause the dependency on whatever habits we have a hard time giving up, so it stands to reason that those are the things we should address in our mindfulness efforts, not merely the surface habits. Knowing this, we can finally begin to move forward with letting go of habits that don’t serve us.

 

This sounds like a lot of work, getting to what’s underneath it all, and make no mistake: the more unresolved issues you have, the more work you will need to do within yourself to address, release, and replace the habits that don’t serve you with habits that do. You can begin to determine which habits don’t serve you well based on the way they make you feel overall. Let’s take a shopping addiction as an example. Society likes to joke around about “retail therapy,” which makes this a habit that is not taken as seriously as it probably should be because we live in a society that promotes consumerism. However, that doesn’t mean that a shopping addiction is healthy or that you can’t choose to be a different way. And this goes for anyone who feels trapped by one or more bad habits; your definition of a bad habit will be different from others’ definitions of it, and as the above quote states, everyone is different and this is a complex topic.

 

To help you determine whether you want to phase out a particular habit or not, we have to first consider where the habit comes from, and where your belief about the habit comes from. For example, if you grew up with a parent who smoked but whom you also admired, you might subconsciously believe that smoking is admirable or makes you look a certain way. Realizing that this is only your conditioned belief about the habit can help you work through the layers of subconscious beliefs and begin letting them go. You might ask yourself, “Is smoking really an admirable trait? Does it really make me look cool, or do I just look gross?” You may also begin to condition yourself out of it by looking at graphic smoker lung photos, hearing people hacking up their lungs constantly, or otherwise making it seem disgusting to yourself so you become discouraged on a conscious level.

 

Maybe smoking isn’t your habit, so let’s go over a few basic questions you can take some time to reflect on when you’re looking at your habits and determining which ones to change. Any time we discuss inner work, being completely honest with yourself is paramount. You don’t have to tell anyone anything, but be honest with yourself.

 

1. When do you tend to participate in this particular habit? Is it when you’re stressed, sad, depressed, lonely, ambivalent, confused, stuck, etc.? Be very specific about how you feel and where that feeling might originate from. If you have flashes of memories or feel on the verge of a breakthrough, write it down.

 

2. How do you feel while you indulge in this habit versus shortly afterwards? Do you feel guilt or shame after partaking in this habit?

 

3. Why do you think that this habit is bad? Is it because you really think so, someone else convinced you (for example, a religious parent telling their child something is bad or a sin even when it isn’t; think Stephen King’s story, Carrie), or because you actually know, within yourself, based on educated research, that this habit is hurting you in the long run?

 

4. What experiences have you had around other people with the same habit? Have those experiences been mostly positive, and maybe you feel like you’ll miss out if you don’t continue the habit? Or have they been mostly negative and you use this habit to punish yourself subconsciously, for example any time you think you fail?

 

5. How do you feel about simply replacing your negative or bad habits with positive or good habits? Going back to the smoking example, maybe instead of smoking, you choose to go for a walk or do ten minutes of yoga when you have that urge. This is one way to less painfully phase out bad habits and develop good ones: replace the existing bad habit with a new good habit.

 

With these questions, you can determine where your habit comes from, why you do it, and whether you’re being true to yourself and your potential or not. You can also begin to understand the emotional aspects of why these habits get stuck, part of which is subconscious conditioning. Figuring out how you’ve been conditioned by your surroundings, experiences, and the people in your life can help you to create any changes you want to.

 

Be aware that beginning this journey into changing your habits can be challenging and may bring out some interesting responses among the people you surround yourself with. Self-improvement is a lifelong process, so don’t let anyone discourage you no matter who they are or how much you think they mean the best for you. It is extremely common for people to develop codependent relationships that have to be broken and rebuilt when those habits change, which can and most likely will make some waves and create some drama. Depending on how enmeshed everyone involved is, this could last for a while and cause all manner of problems.

 

Remaining strong throughout this process is difficult, so you may or may not relapse and slip backwards a couple of times. However, this is the part where you have to forgive yourself and remember you did it before, so you can do it again, and it will be fine. Loving the part of yourself that is attracted to this habit is important as well, so don’t judge yourself too harshly or beat up on yourself for anything. That will only prolong the process of getting back on the horse, so to speak. Forgiving yourself and understanding that your bad habit or addiction isn’t you will help a great deal.

 

Habits are the foundation of major life changes. A little effort every day can make a massive amount of difference in the big picture, so creating your life around habits you want to be sure to have each and every day is the best way that you can change anything you want to. After a week or two, the habits begin to become effortless, as long as they are maintained every day. If you skip out on them for too long, they will become more challenging to pick back up, so do what you need to do to take good care of yourself and manifest the life of your dreams, one habit at a time.

 

 

For more information about the Mindfulness Movement or the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

If you’re like so many of us are and weren’t necessarily taught how to set boundaries or why they’re important as a child growing up, then you may find that starting this journey of setting boundaries can be a bit rocky at first. This can happen for countless reasons, but often times a big part of it is the breaking down and dissolution of codependent and unhealthy relationships, which must be deconstructed before being rebuilt with healthy conscious behaviors. This breakdown can be painful and often stressful, which is where ongoing self-care and mindfulness practices can be extremely helpful. Keep in mind that none of this is as scary as it sounds in the long run, and your unique journey is just that: a journey. It is in learning to be at peace throughout our travels that we can maintain our sense of purpose and direction even if our outside circumstances tempt us to react with fear and overwhelm. Let’s explore how compassion can help us to be more assertive, even if that seems counterintuitive at first.

 

Sometimes when we first realize just how much we have allowed others to cross our boundaries, the initial reaction might be anger, outrage, or even shock, especially if people you’re trying to set boundaries with react with their own anger, revenge, and other fear-based behaviors. As painful as it is to say it, this is somewhat normal for people to encounter. Unfortunately, even the best of us falter under pressure, so if we are prone to allowing ourselves to react or our filter breaks down due to lack of habitual training, we might just lash out right back at them. This can lead to an escalating situation, and someone has to back down or stop giving energy and attention to it before its momentum slows down and the situation can be resolved more calmly and effectively.

 

It’s never too late... the caveat to that being the longer you wait, the more challenging it can be to resolve underlying issues. But it’s never too late. If not now, then when? And if not you, then who? Remember, the only person you have any control over is yourself.

 

When the time comes to talk things through and try to get to a common understanding, you will most definitely need to practice setting boundaries in conversation, with compassion but also with assertiveness. To prepare yourself and go forward with confidence and resolve, I’d like to suggest that you practice saying statements to tell people no and stand up for your rights and freedoms as a human being.

 

Prepare Yourself with Assertive Statements

 

Preparation and practice are important no matter what it is you’re doing. It’s no different with inner work and mindfulness, and getting accustomed to using words and phrases like this will help you to rewire your thought patterns and ease the anxiety that saying these things might cause for you if you’ve never practiced real assertiveness before. Relax... you’ve got this. You can do this, and getting a little practice can’t hurt.

 

1.      “Thank you so much for asking me; unfortunately, I simply can’t right now.”

2.      “I wish I could, but I can’t.”

3.      “Can you please get back to me on that later?”

4.      “I’m unable to make that kind of commitment right now.”

5.      “Well, I can’t do that, but I might be able to help you with....”

6.      “I’m going to say no for now, but I’ll let you know if anything changes.”

7.      “I wish I could help you, but I just don’t have that to give right now.”

8.      “No.”

 

Remember that you don’t have to agree to anything that makes you feel bad or that you simply can’t agree to for whatever reasons. This is well within your rights as a human being, and it’s up to you to put that right into practice and step into your power. Using words and phrases like these will allow you to say no when you need to with compassion and grace. Or you can simply say, “No,” and that’s it.

 

Was that so bad? How do you feel after asserting yourself? Can you recall a time in your life when you did assert yourself and things turned out well? It may help to remember such an experience and replay it in your mind when you find yourself needing to do it again. This will help you remember how strong you are... and that you have the ability to pleasantly surprise yourself any time you want to.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

One important aspect of setting personal boundaries is knowing what you don’t want, but also knowing what you DO want. It isn’t enough to only know what you don’t want... that’s the easy part. The challenge is to see the other side of that coin and determine what it is that you DO want, with enough specifics to provide guidance but not so many as to be rigid and inflexible about the ways in which your life plays out. Being too rigid in your expectations opens the door to obsessive perfectionism, which can then keep you stuck within the confines of those limitations and leave you wondering why things aren’t working out the way you imagined they would. In this article, I’d like to talk a little bit about how to determine what you stand for and set your boundaries with others while being mindful of yourself.

 

If you find yourself putting in effort to nurture a relationship with someone who does not return the same nurturing to you, what do you do? Would you talk to them about it and try to resolve the issue? Would you keep your pain hidden to protect the other person from getting hurt? Or would you skip the formalities and simply detach and walk away? The same solutions don’t always apply and it depends a lot on your situation, but the key is to know intuitively and through discernment what’s going to be the best solution for your particular situation. And because we find ourselves in a wide variety of situations and have to learn to say no more often than not, it helps to have trust in ourselves and our ability to figure things out while also knowing what to do in which situation to best protect ourselves and maintain personal boundaries, which coincide with self-respect on a very deep level.

 

No matter what situation you find yourself in, setting and maintaining personal boundaries usually comes down to one decision:

 

1.      Accept the behavior and make peace with it (pick your battles).

2.      Detach emotionally and see what happens before making a final decision.

3.      End the relationship and walk away.

(From Sharon Martin, LCSW)

 

In order to get to a point where you know what to do in most – if not all – situations you find yourself in, you have to determine which behaviors are acceptable to you and which ones are not. You don’t have to imagine every possible scenario and write a prediction list... this will only serve to confuse you further and utilizes too much of the logical mind and ego as opposed to your heart and soul, your true self.

 

The best way to go about this is by getting to a point where you trust yourself to make those decisions in the moment rather than trying to plan for unforeseen circumstances with your mind, which is nearly impossible. Aside from that, everyone’s boundaries are different, so running scenarios may not be helpful for everyone. Instead, here are a few questions and points you may want to consider as you determine how to set your boundaries and what they are.

 

3 Ways to Begin Standing for Yourself

 

1.      Think back and introspect about certain times or events within your life where you felt like your boundaries were violated by someone but you didn’t speak up for yourself. The further back you can go with this introspection, the more likely you are to find the root cause of it and be able to release that pain by making the decision to love yourself anyway. Forgive yourself and anyone else involved, and let go of any guilt, shame, or regret you may be holding about the situation. Don’t beat up on yourself for not speaking up; it won’t serve any purpose. Just feel the way you feel about it, then make the conscious decision to stop carrying all that emotional weight around with you.

 

2.      Practice saying no and letting people down tactfully. If there’s a line that you don’t want other people to cross, you must speak up and make sure that you aren’t allowing others to violate your boundaries by default. This is all too common a problem, especially for those of us who have experienced emotional abuse or manipulation in the past, which often causes us to have poor boundaries ourselves and go to one extreme or another, either becoming over-sharers because that allows us to shift the blame to others when we feel our boundaries have been violated, or completely cut off from others because not dealing with people is much easier than having to develop boundaries. Setting boundaries can be especially difficult if you’ve been a people pleaser at any point in your life, so practicing what you will say is a great way to take the edge off of having to say it in a real interaction with someone.

3.      Take some time to define what is absolutely unacceptable to you, then flip it around and use those ideas to determine what you actually want. While knowing what we don’t want is a good start, it isn’t enough if you want to attract people into your life who do respect your boundaries and treat you with respect. These are all things that you must decide and determine for yourself, as each of us is different. Only you can decide how you want to be treated and how you don’t want to be treated, so this is worth taking some time to write about and really do some soul searching over.

 

These decisions are not easy. As a matter of fact, they are typically more difficult than you might think. Being aware and mindful of yourself and those around you will allow you to make clearer and clearer decisions about what you will put up with and what you won’t. Don’t be afraid of a rocky start when you begin drawing lines; codependent and toxic relationships will reveal themselves, and that’s where you will need to be able to make the decision to walk away and live in peace or stay and live with constant button-pushing and boundary violations. No matter what your situation or circumstance might be, know that you are worthy of so much more, and that you are deserving of unconditional love, joy, and abundance in this life and throughout eternity. You are loved. You are worthy. And yes... you can do this.

 

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 16:12

Know Thyself to Set Healthy Boundaries

As many of us have likely experienced, especially if we were raised in any kind of dysfunctional family system (which manyif not allof us were), our boundaries can be violated by another person and leave us confused and reeling without necessarily understanding why. Oftentimes this leads to blaming other people for our emotions, which are not their responsibility, just like their emotions are not our responsibility. This is actually detrimental to our growth and evolution as a human being because it stunts individuation and reinforces the victim mentality and blame shifting game that makes so many of us feel like we’re running our legs off without actually getting anywhere. So, how can you begin setting healthier boundaries for yourself? The first step is getting to know your true self.

 

What do I mean when I say your true self as opposed to your false self? What is the false self? Well, the false self is a crudely constructed version of us that is based on the ego, cultural, societal, and family conditioning, life experiences, and the brain’s uncanny ability to predict which reaction might be appropriate for whatever circumstance you find yourself in, typically triggering an over-reactive fight or flight response that can wreak havoc on our lives if left unchecked. The true self is you, at your core level, your soul, which is suppressed or hidden by the ego and all of its false constructs. The inner workings of the human body, mind, and spirit are incredibly fascinating to learn about, and one of the most incredible aspects of being human is the fact that no one else except for you can experience the journey, pain, and illumination of the inner work you do.

 

So, what does this mean in practical terms? How can you learn who you truly are at your core versus the skewed, flat character everyone around you told you that you were for your entire life? If you base your opinions of yourself on what people around you tell you is “true,” then you have a ways to go (but don’t feel bad... the vast majority of us have a ways to go!). Let’s take a look at some practical habits you can begin implementing to truly get to know who you are at the soul level.

 

5 Ways to Get to Know Your Soul Self

 

1.      Do not allow others’ opinions to dictate your life.
Make your own decisions based on your inner knowing or intuition as well as utilizing your mind for logical evaluation without judging any of the emotions that may come up. Some of this work can be challenging or painful, so be prepared to have layers of understanding begin to peel back and sometimes shock you with new knowledge of yourself and the ways in which various types of subconscious conditioning and programming have altered your perception of reality. It is fine to seek out an expert if you need specific guidance or help, but it helps to be on the same or a similar wavelength with this expert so that the advice or input you need will resonate with you rather than throw you off track.

2.      Stop allowing other people to tell you how you feel (or don’t).
People are not mind readers and do not know how you feel from their perspective outside of you, and it’s illogical to believe that they do. Be wary of unconscious statements such as, “You’re too sensitive.” “You’re overreacting.” “You’re too emotional.” “Stop letting your emotions control you.” These types of statements are often used by people who are as of yet unaware of the rich inner landscape that you are working on (typically because they have not begun developing their own yet). The fact of the matter is that they have no clue and the only reason they think they do is because you allow them to tell you how you feel rather than acknowledging your own emotions as they are, not as they are perceived by others outside of yourself.

3.      Don’t project or dictate to someone else how they feel.
It is definitely possible to understand how someone else may feel within a certain circumstance and to put yourself in this person’s shoes. However, try not to make any assumptions about their words or actions and opt to fully listen rather than talk. If you find yourself feeling a certain way about something, bring up how you feel without blaming it on another person. You may choose to say something like, “Sometimes I feel like...” This leaves the other person feeling more at ease because you’re not blaming them for your own emotional state, but it also alerts them to things that they might be saying or doing to cross one of your boundaries. This is a subtle but excellent method for people who are self-aware and have a deeper understanding of the inner landscape.

4.      Stop giving your energy and attention to people whose approval you are chasing.
If you have people in your life who keep you constantly chasing after their affection, approval, or love, you might be dealing with someone who doesn’t experience emotions the same way you do and may not have the self-awareness or capacity for doing the inner work you’re doing. There are many different types of unconscious people who are playing specific roles that their lives have conditioned them into, and if they haven’t begun doing any inner work for themselves, you cannot change them or force them to begin, nor can you expect a conscious, self-aware interaction with someone who does not possess those qualities or do the work to develop them. That’s okay; there’s nothing inherently “wrong” or “bad” about this, but if you fall into the trap of chasing the approval of an unconscious being, you are giving your power and energy away without any hope for future return on that investment. Just remember, you cannot control how someone outside of yourself chooses to respond to you. So why would you expend all that energy trying to make someone else see what you see when you could be utilizing your energy for your own growth or to nurture relationships that aren’t as unbalanced?

5.      Begin to peel back the layers of epiphany about how you were programmed by society, culture, life, and experiences.
If you’re brave enough to take this step, you will probably already guess that this is a marathon, a journey, a process. Realizing your own subconscious conditioning (and that yes, YOU can actually change it) is something that is often painful and very revealing about yourself, your tendencies, and the traps you fall into throughout life. This often presents itself as behavioral patterns and circumstances that repeat themselves again and again until you’ve learned the deeper lesson you were supposed to learn. If you don’t learn the lesson, the circumstances will come back around again and often become more and more extreme until either you learn what you need to learn or you bury yourself further... or sometimes worse. Making a conscious effort to uncover these uncomfortable and sometimes painful truths about yourself and your life is the only way to completely rewrite your own programming and fully step into your power and be your true soul self.

 

I hope that this article helps you to begin to get to know your inner self, your soul, so that you may begin your own healing journey from within. It’s not enough to see the effects of your conditioning within the life around you; most people don’t make the connection between the inner and outer worlds unless they are at least a little self-aware. The more awareness and mindfulness we cultivate, the more inner work we can do, and the closer we get to becoming the greatest version of ourselves.

 

To learn more about the Mindfulness Movement and the International Mindfulness Federation, please visit:

 

http://executivecoachinguniversity.com/mindfulness-movement

 

 

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