So my theme for the past few weeks has been simplicity - what can I do in my life to simplify. The definition of simplicity for my personal practice is as follows: "Simplicity is assessing what is necessary in life and what is excessive. By slimming down our appetites, possessions, and our desires, we can begin to experience the riches of a simple life." What this practice has afforded me is to assess my life from a far more pragmatic perspective. I had a great realization the other night that when I can truthfully say that "I have everything I need and nothing that I don't" then I have achieved the level of simplicity I seek in my life.
I have looked at this in all areas of my life: possessions, food, clothing, self care - and have tried to scale everything back to exactly what I need. Tremendous peace and satisfaction comes from saying "I have everything I need and nothing that I don't". Give it a try and let me know how it feels.
Ahhh...procrastination! We all do it right? This morning I asked my 9 year old to start on his homework. Now, he's a really good kid and a really good student and his homework is not really a big deal for him. However, this morning, I watched a really interesting process transpire. I asked him to do his homework. He got all worked up about it and got super stressed and started to argue with me. Don't we all do that in some degree?? So I asked him to stop. To breathe. To pay attention to whatever story he was telling himself about the homework - "it's too hard"; " I can't do it", "I don't want to", "you can't make me"....whatever the story is (what is your story???)..and then release it. The "what is" is that he had about 15 minutes of homework that he got done without any real effort. The story about it was much worse!
I am working with a number of my clients on this issue right now - we all have those things we need to do that when we look at them, we get stressed and avoid them. In that moment look at what comes up for you - what story are you telling yourself about that task...let the story go and then just do it. There is tremendous serenity that comes from doing that annoying task that you have been avoiding. So just do it! And have a fantastic weekend!
Want to have these musings sent to your email? Please leave me your address below.
Birthdays give us a unique opportunity to reflect on the past year or years and set intentions for the year coming up. Hopefully they are also an opportunity to celebrate with those we love! This year I had the enviable situation of being able to do both and I am sitting here in profound gratitude on the love that is in my life and for the wisdom and grace I have accumulated over the past decade.
I decided to celebrate, today, my birthday, by myself at my favorite location - The Kripalu Center in Lenox, MA. I have a very intimate relationship with Kripalu as it was the place I used to go right after my divorce as a place to breakdown, cry and a place where I started my journey of healing and discovery. In the years since, it's been a place where I go to reflect, a place I have gone for self discovery and learning, a place where I have gone to reinvent, a place where I have gone to transform. Today, it was a place that I went to celebrate - Celebrate me, celebrate the people in my life, celebrate my journey, and most importantly to celebrate who I have become as a result of all of these experiences and all of this reflection, self discovery, learning, reinvention and transformation. Happy birthday to me - I am incredibly grateful <3
It's finally feeling like Spring here in the Northeast. I marvel at this change every year. The trees and flowers appear almost every night, people are outside and really become friendlier! It's a magical, yet fleeting time. Season changes provide a great opportunity to try something new. Maybe you have always wanted to garden. Or you wanted to start bike riding. What is your soul itching to try? I have a client who always wanted to play the ukulele. She got deliberate about it, bought an instrument and now is enjoying playing on a regular basis. It has become part of her daily routine and a part that adds joy to her life. I have started doing Zumba (see picture above. That's me in the front (not)). Not only am I having a blast, but I have a whole new community that I get to see at class. I have rekindled old friendships and made some new ones. We have even made some good business connections. (We call it the new golf course!). We all know that growth cannot be obtained without change. Adding new hobbies can create new passions which will help to move you forward and enrich the fabric of your life. Let me know what you are going to try and have an amazing, magical weekend!
I was with a friend last night and he told me an interesting story. He used to experience severe back pain. While on vacation for one week, he decided to put his cell phone in the hotel safe. He didn't look at it once while on vacation. Magically, his back pain disappeared.
This story really caused me to pause. Do we ever stop and think about the toll this overly connected society has on our mind, body and spirit? What is the cost of being perpetually connected to a device and being constantly reactive? Are any of us really that important that we can't put our phones away for even one hour a day?
Try it. Turn your phone off when you are eating dinner or in a meeting. Make specific hours where cell phones are allowed in the home. Or set hours when they are not - whatever you and your family can live with! Try it for one week and let me know how it went! xo
We make decisions multiple times every day, right? So why do some of them seem so difficult and rip us apart?
I pride myself on my ability to make quick decisions fairly easily. I have a lot of clarity on who I am and my priorities so decisions usually come to me quite simply. This week, however, I had to make a decision that was causing me stress, anxiety and a loss of sleep. I'm sure everyone can relate to those moments! So what do we do when we have a decision to make and have to choose between what we "want" to do and what we know deep in our hearts and guts we really should do. And by "should" I mean make the decision that is more deeply aligned with who we are. For me, these decisions are usually the "instant gratification" kind - like buying something, going on a trip, eating something fattening.....I know that to do so would be misaligned with my savings goals, my dietary goals, etc. but boy, in the moment, it sure would be fun to do! Those are easier...if we get clear I on our goals, we can typically resist the temptation. But what about those decisions that we need to make that if we make them, we probably will feel better in our gut, but we will probably be letting someone we care about down as a result? For me, these have always been the hardest kind of decisions to make.
This was my experience this week. I was invited to go on a very big trip by one of the closest people in the world to me. I was seduced by the adventure, excitement and warmth of the trip as today was 33 degrees in my hometown. As the trip got closer, however, I failed to get excited about it. The initial anxiety I felt just kept getting larger and larger. I tried to get clarity around what was causing the anxiety. I got super clear on my goals and looked at both going and not going against these goals. I turned to my tribe and got counsel from each one of them as to whether I should go or not (which just helped to clarify my truth ultimately...they don't have the answer - only you do...). I tried to get out of my head and into my heart about the decision - How did I feel if I decided to go? How did I feel if I decided not to go? Removing the intellectual for me is really important as I can debate both sides of anything!
After 3 solid days, I reached my truth and my decision. I am not going. I can't even tell you that I am certain as to why I am not going. I can tell you, however, that what I feel in my heart and my body is that it serves me better at this moment to not go. So I am listening to that despite how much that also saddens me. Sometimes there is not a good or bad decision/a right or wrong answer. Sometimes it's just being super clear about your truth and aligning with that to get to the best answer in this moment. Good luck as you face these battles of your own.
Happy friday! I woke up this morning at 5:00 to make a 7:00 train to NYC for a meeting. Now I don't know about you guys but this required a lot of planning for me: cleared my schedule here which involved cancelling some things, had to ask my kids' dad to take the kids, packed my briefcase making sure I had all the right material, planned the perfect outfit, went to bed early and of course, built up all kinds of expectations about the day. Woke up to my alarm at 5:00am, checked my phone and learned that my meeting had been canceled.
This made me realize that we always have these opportunities in life. In between action and reaction we have a choice. Do we get angry or frustrated or do we accept and choose the circumstances as they are? This morning I opted for the latter. I thanked the universe for allowing me to go back to sleep and hope to reschedule that meeting. What would you do?
Ever have one of those weeks where no matter what you do, everything goes wrong? You feel overwhelmed? Technology is messing you up? You yell at the dog? Let's face it. We all experience days or periods of time like this. When I find myself in this state, the first thing I ask myslef is what can I do to take care of myself in this moment? Can II somehow shift my energy (go for a walk, workout, play some loud music?) Do I need something (food, water?) or am I simply exhausted? If I can find an answer then I will give myself what I need. If I can't find one then I will find some other way to nurish my soul: get a manicure or a massage, call a friend, get out in nature. Whatever it is you do, give yourself permission to put your needs first and take care of yourself. What do you need today?
When people hear the word detox they think immediately about green juice and drinking cayenne, lemon water for 3 days. There are actually several ways in which a person can remove toxic elements from their lives. I would classify these areas as: nutritional, environmental and energetic. Today I want to talk about energetic detoxification.
Our energy is impacted almost continuously by what we see and hear. So doesn't it make sense that we should look at and listen to thinks that are positive if we want to make our evergy more positive?
So for example, our news is designed to create fear in our society. When I watch it, it really dulls down my vibration. I am not uninformed, I just consume my news from less toxic places than tv at night. The music we listen to and the books we read matter. I try to keep music on the positive side (although there is a certain amount of metal that I like) and I tend to read books that have good messages; usually a spiritual vein. Books on teenage angst tend to give me angst.
The most important contributor to our energy is the people with whom we spend time. Does your crowd tend to complain a lot or are they generally optimistic, cheerful people? Really negative people will start to dull down your vibration. I don't advocate espunging them all from your life, but you might want to balance your time better and spread the negative people out and intersperse the positive ones.
This process like all others takes time and won't happen all at once. The first step really is to observe. Notice how the things you see and hear in your life impact the way you feel. Then do more of the things that feel good and less of the things that feel bad.
More on other detoxes later.
The one constant in life is change. How we navigate that change is who we are. Creating sustainable change is a more deliberate action and gives us the life we want. This is what my practice and my life mission is all about. All of my life experiences, work history and spiritual journey have lead me to this path - to help others create transformation in their lives and live lives that they love.