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Archive for the ‘practical exercises’ Category

Happy New Year! Today’s typically the day for discussing resolutions. We all know there’s a trap in saying we want something… and yet it not happening. So let’s discuss another term that often traps us: potential.

Right now, “potential” is one of my least favorite words. I have so many big dreams for what I want to do with my life’s purpose and work in the world… that it can start to feel like a burden after a while. Feel familiar? I’ve also experienced this with dating. We can feel a lot of love, connection, commonalities, and potential for a life together… and yet find ourselves struggling due to whatever dynamics are present. The potential is real, but is not what’s at hand.

Focusing on potential keeps us stuck in possibility – and can even prolong suffering. While it’s good to dream, it’s very different than actually choosing to take action and bring something into reality.

Similarly, we may judge ourselves as not having potential, talent, or the ability to do something… even though we actually can! It’s often our beliefs about ourselves that get in our way. In this case, our perception of potential is a negative and limiting trap.

Whether it’s in reference to yourself, a relationship, a job, or anything in your life, here’s my suggestion: forget about its potential. Instead, decide what you actually want to happen. To create.

Here are a series of steps that I’ve found to be helpful:

1)   Examine your current circumstances. What do you want to change, or bring into being?

2)   With that in mind, look at what you’re willing to take action on in the immediate future. Don’t think too far off. And your goal can be a stretch, but make sure it feels exciting, and not too big that it weighs you down. (You can always do this exercise again in the future with bigger goals – so just what truly feels like the next steps right now.) You may want to go into meditation, and ask Source to provide you with insight – but also really listen inwardly as well. What choices make your body and energy feel lighter and freer?

3)   Acknowledge outside circumstances that are beyond your control. Know what you absolutely can’t change. Often, this is another person, unless they want to and are ready. Note areas that feel intractable… and look at steps 4 and 6 to make sure that’s true.

4)   Figure out where you need help – and then research and utilize outside resources. Find out where you need assistance. There may be more possibility for bringing things to fruition than you currently realize, and we need help with areas where we’re not experts (unless we want to take a really, really long time). This could mean reading a book, looking into a loan or grant for personal or professional uses, or getting support from a coach or professional, among other things.

5)   Make an action plan – and do it! Get as specific as possible, with small steps that are doable – not big goals that are intangible. There’s a difference between “get a job” or “get a client” and “go to 2 networking events this week, and follow up with new connections.” And if that’s too hard, simply researching networking events is a good step – or even turning on the computer. Break it down into whatever feels doable.

6)   Get help with your blocks. Nothing to be ashamed about here – we all have them. Whether with a therapist, healer, coach, or perhaps a skilled friend who knows you well, let go of the illusion that you can do it alone. We all need support.

7)   Celebrate! Even taking little steps is a big thing if you haven’t been doing them. Give yourself little rewards, and be kind to yourself.

You may think of other steps you need as well; this just a template that I hope you find useful.

Now, the truth is that I’m really writing this for myself. And hopefully it’ll help you too. I’m committing to doing this with my life. Want to join me? (I’m pretty busy with other projects, but if there were sufficient interest, I’d consider starting up what I call an Inspiration Team – so that we can do it together. This isn’t a pitch; I just like to be of service.)

What would you like to create in 2014? I’d love to hear about it, and to hear your thoughts on my pretty unconventional take on potential.

Please leave your thoughts below in a comment. Blessings for a joyous, prosperous and wholly fulfilling 2014!!!

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Recently my focus has simply been on self-love. Loving myself during my mistakes. Loving myself while I continue on this interesting human journey, with all its aspects. Loving myself, with compassion and care, as much as I do my clients, friends and colleagues.

Why is it so much easier to love others than ourselves? Although, anger and other negative emotions toward others are often a reflection of how we feel toward our own person. Interestingly, we often have the hardest time with those we know the best – spouses, coworkers, great friends… often can be the ones we’re also frustrated with. And, the one we know best of all (and, sometimes, understand the least) is ourselves. We judge ourselves, punish ourselves, and worse, for actions that we might have much more easily forgiven in others. Or, at least, in a small child who obviously would have known no better.

The step toward self-love can begin with witnessing and curiosity. Rather than just judging something you did, view it as if an aspect, or part, of you, was responsible for that. Imagine if the part who did an action you judge, or had a feeling with which you struggle, was a child. Would the most loving treatment be to yell at her or him? Would that help your inner sweet, innocent one feel safe?

Action: Write down a list of how you’d like others to treat you. Then, take an inventory of how you’re actually treating yourself. Begin to notice any gaps. And when you have a strong feeling, notice where you feel it in your body… and imagine as if that is part of you that needs to be heard and wants honoring and expression. Send a message to yourself, like…

“I hear you.”

“I care about you… and about what you’re experiencing.”

“I love you.”

After trying this, please note any experiences below.

If you are making a difference in the world, it can be hard to be humble, and live with humility. Keep in mind that this does not mean being “humiliated,” but to live graciously and without trying to prove yourself with a big ego. Here are three easy ways:

  1. Put things in perspective. No matter what, there is always someone doing things much bigger than you are doing. And, there are many people suffering, who would consider you their idol. Sound like a good middle ground?
  2. Turn it over to Divine Source. You are here to serve and help others. It is your privilege to do so in your own unique way. Know that you have been given gifts, and exercise them with heartfelt love.
  3. Do menial labor. What? Am I serious? You bet. If you think you’re so great, try out a task that pays minimum wage. Chances are, you’ll find out that someone earning very little is very likely working very hard. For all that you do, remember that others are in need. Help them – when you’re in their debt, pay more than necessary and overtip waiters.
How’s that sound?
Remember – if you want to be humble and also empowered, just remember – it’s not all about you.
3 ways to be humble

If you feel inspired to experience love more fully, here is an exercise. It’s inspired by numerous sources, including Buddhist and Sufi methods.

  1. Close your eyes. Take deep, belly breaths. Relax your body from head to toe.
  2. Visualize your heart as putty. As you breathe deeply into it, see it softening, and becoming more pliable, and even porous.
  3. Picture the part of you that is most vulnerable and tender. This may be your inner child, or even the part that gets angry and tries to protect you. Give it love. See an energy cloud around it – perhaps pink, or, another color that feels loving and supportive.
  4. Have compassion for this struggling part of you. Tell it that it doesn’t have to work so hard, and you’ll be there for it.
  5. While still breathing deeply and keeping an awareness of the above, open your eyes with a soft gaze. Notice an object near you. Be aware of the crafting of it that took place for it to exist, that someone spent such time creating. Or, notice a person near you – who has these similar raw places inside, perhaps like your own. Notice their tender beauty.
  6. Become aware of imperfect perfection all around you – and in you. Nothing needs changing.
This is one technique. If you like, use

Air is the realm of Mind. Let’s discuss a powerful visualization to clean out your energy.

Visualize a bright point of light. See it in the middle of the room, or perhaps a foot in front of your forehead.

Imagine that everything that doesn’t serve you – in your body, in your energy field, or even in the room – goes into the white ball of light. It could be a physical sensation, a memory, or an emotion. See it go inside the white light, until it’s completely dissolved.

Next, with your intention, send the ball of light out a window far away. Yawn, and explode the ball of energy.

Action: If you’re feeling out of it, try one of these. You may find a preference based upon what time you have, your mood, and the situation. Please leave a comment, and let me know how they go!

When I don’t have as much time as I’d like to to take an Epsom salt bath or get out in nature, using one of two variations of fire is a quick way to purify my energy.

I enjoy burning sage – either as a smudge or loose, in a metal or clay bowl – and also utilize others, which resonate differently. Cedar has a gentler feel; sage can feel like an energetic scrub brush at times. Sweetgrass has its own energy, and juniper is excellent for cleansing on the physical plane. There’s a type of sacred wood I got in Peru – not sure of the proper name – which is also lovely.

I recommend trying a few and experimenting. These are nice to smudge around the house (make sure to get the corners of each room) as well as around yourself; I also make a point to hang out in a room with a lot of smoke for some time, to let it “soak in.”

One other fire exercise: light a candle, and visualize anything you’d like to release moving through the flame.

Next: Air

I yearn to live in the woods, but my coaching practice and my theater company dictate that I be easily accessible to those who desire to work with me. While a house in the woods or by the sea isn’t too far in the future, I live in an urban area – and even though I’m a block from a beautiful lake, there’s definitely more “people energy” here than nature energy.

How about you? Are you surrounded by trees, water and earth, or do you need to make time to get into nature? Yes, simply being in nature is quite cleansing. It’s essential that it’s a location that resonates with you, and what you need. Sometimes a walk on the beach may do it, and at other times a 4-day camping trip may be in order. Regardless, try this exercise. I love doing it with a California Redwood, but any can do.

Action: Sit with your back to a large tree. Imagine your energy flowing down its roots into the earth, and also up the trunk into the sky. Ask that all that no longer serves you be released. Breathe into yourself the grounding energy of the tree, and the earth coming up into you.


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