Take Time To Live In The NOW!

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What makes being present in the NOW so difficult for many of us? Being still; being quiet; being reflective, are often hard for people to incorporate into their daily lives. The demands of family, work, etc. seem to require so much of our energy and time. And yet, there is evidence that being still, slowing down, breathing, perhaps meditating can be helpful to one’s mental, physical and spiritual health.

This being true, why is it that so many are not taking action to live more in the NOW? It seems it is all too easy to get caught up in the doings, worries and pressures that are so familiar in most of our lives that it is easy to forget what is going on in the NOW; in this moment. What is the good that is occurring in your life in the NOW? In fact, what is actually happening NOW for you? How often are you even aware of the NOW?

If slowing down and being aware of the NOW; the present moment, is difficult for you I invite you to try to become more conscious of making the effort to spend time focusing on the NOW in your life. You could start with taking two-minutes in the morning, two-minutes in the afternoon and two-minutes in the evening when you take time to just stand or sit and do nothing but focus on your breathing, possible slowing your breathing down and become more aware of your body and your surroundings. No judgment of the circumstances, just being still and aware for a couple minutes. After doing this for a week, take notice of what it feels like to stop six-minutes out of your day to just be in the NOW.

It is always a good reminder that none of us can change the past; we can’t control the future; the only moment we have is in the NOW! How curious it is that so many of us have more practice at focusing on the past and the future and often little practice at purposefully being in the NOW.

Who Is The Hero In Your Life?

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Last night I watched a very powerful and moving movie called “The Butler”. Along with many feelings and thoughts this movie conjured within me it brought to mind how many courageous people it has taken to create change in our world. It is a wonder what makes these individuals so willing to sacrifice everything for what they believe is fair and just. Whether it is innate personality characteristics or environmental factors or both that motivates these amazing people, I don’t know. I do know that these individuals will be remembered forever.

While certainly the thought of great people that have changed the world may bring you to think about Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart and the many others. However, I am thinking about different individuals who may have been that powerful to each of us in our lives. Who has it been for you that you believe has made a significant impact in your life. Who has been there for you; sacrificed for you; took a stand for you? Who are your heroes’ in your life? Great people of the world are not only the ones known at a global level. There are many, many individuals who have effected change in each of our lives. They may not be nationally recognized, yet there impact is unforgettable.

And what about you? How are you having positive impact in someone’s life or in this world? We each have many opportunities to do this throughout our lifetime. Whether you are an activist for a cause that is close to your heart, or a grandmother that is raising your grandchild; both are noble endeavors. Being a hero in someone’s life or in the world can be done on small or grand levels. How are you being a hero in your world? Sometimes you may not even realize the impact you are having in someone’s life. As I conclude, I hope you will claim the truth that you have a hero within you!

What Are The Voices Inside Your Head Telling You?

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I encourage you to take a moment each morning and check in with your mind. Being aware of your thoughts is essential for feeling better in your life. Check in with the thoughts that are traveling around inside your head. Take notice. Each of us have chattering going on inside our heads and if you don’t pay attention to this chatter you may not be aware how much it may be hurting you. I encourage you to find a system of paying attention to your thoughts instead of letting them be on automatic pilot.
One of my favorite ways of helping people do this is to have them set the timer on their watch or cell phone to go off every one-half hour or one time per hour. The alarm will interrupt your routine. When the alarm goes off I want you to take a brief moment and listen to your thoughts. Notice if your thoughts or more critical or more nurturing. Even if all you do is notice, it will have impact. The second part of this is to replace the critical with something more positive. I don’t care if you believe the statement just try it out. Don’t over analyze this, just do it. Then move on with your day. If when you check in and your thoughts seems neutral or positive then affirm that thought, “It is nice to be patient with myself.” Then repeat the same when the alarm goes off again. This whole exercise takes around 10-15 seconds.
The goal is to adjust your thought so they project you in a positive direction? However, being aware of your thoughts so you can correct them is imperative to achieving this goal. Your thoughts have great power and provide energy to your day, your week, your life. Take a moment and be aware of whether these thoughts are in alignment with how you want your day to go. I encourage you to alter any thoughts that do not serve your highest good. If you do not take time to pay attention and change these thoughts, they will have the potential to unknowingly drag you down.
It is important not to minimize the power of your thoughts. I invite you to remember this truth. The truth being that you are good. That at heart you are good and have good intentions. Allow yourself to think thoughts that honor this truth about you. Allow yourself to have confidence in your ability. Give yourself the encouragement and motivation you need. Even one kind word to yourself can shift the energy within you and the energy that you send forth. Be on your own side.

Are You Satisfied With Life?

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There seem to be many people these days that express a general dissatisfaction with their lives. Often they seem unclear about how to change or even wonder if change is possible. We all get into “ruts”; however, I am speaking more of a perpetual feeling of discontent If you are struggling with this feeling you may be living in a reactive versus proactive manner.

What do I mean by the above statement? You are being reactive when life happens and you ebb and flow wherever and whichever way it takes you. Life and all of its circumstances control you. When you approach life more proactively you are alert and consciously aware of your needs. When you are proactive you take the initiative and responsibility for directing your life. Of course there are many aspects of life one can not control (natural disasters, deaths, etc.), but I am talking about being proactive in attitude; a general stance towards life. A proactive person will not let life and its happenings win.

In what areas of your life do you need to take more responsibility and ownership? I have developed what is called “The Circle of Life” which describes various components of your life. These areas are: emotional, social, physical, spiritual, occupational and intellectual. Emotional entails your emotional and mental health. Social includes all aspects of your social lives, such as, close friends, acquaintances, lovers and family. Physical includes your physical health and also your need for physical touch and also your sexual self. Spiritual is about seeking your highest level of spiritual truth and growth. Occupational involves all aspects of occupational well-being and balance including one’s financial security. Intellectual has to do with your minds need to be stimulated and enhanced.

The “Circle of Life” is best when seen as a whole. If you are lacking in any area and especially if you have a deficit in several areas, then you probably feel unsettled or discontent. I find it useful to review this “Circle of Life” at a minimum every six-months as a kind of ‘self-check” on how you are doing. It is meant to help you take responsibility for the areas that are out-of-balance so you can feel more fulfilled. This is a constant challenge to balance your life so you can be as content as possible.

If you allow yourself to stay stagnant and do not take responsibility for the areas in which you are most lacking then you will usually feel like a victim. Victims generally feel powerless and believe bad things are being done to them. It’s unlikely that anyone would feel fulfilled with this kind of outlook or approach to life.