Saturday, April 2, 2016
Autopilot....friend or foe.....hmmm..? Well at times our autopilot has served us. For example once we have learned to ride a bike, tie a shoe, or drive, our auto pilot or subconscious mind is like our little helper that wires our brain so that we don't have to consciously think everytime we do these day to day tasks.
So we owe a lot of thanks for that ...but what about when it comes to habits we picked up along the way that are no longer serving us? I'm sure we can all admit there are things we do or have done and later thought...."why did I do that?"...."or "that's not who I want to be." I know I have, especially when it comes to replacing an old unhealthy habit or way of thinking and being with a new one that serves my body, mind and spirit. Well that's because our Autopilot was steering....just like it has all our life!
When we live on autopilot too long, our life can become grey, dull, and uninspired. We may wake up one day and say "wow...where did the time go?" or feel like life is passing us by. What if you could change it around? What if you could take hold of the wheel and steer your life in the direction of your hopes and dreams, and have a life that reflects your intentions?
Well you can:)
Here are 4 ways to kick autopilot old patterns to the curb and replace them with an Inspired approach...kind of like an Inspired Pilot.
1) STOP ...Colaborate and listen
Yes...I stole this line from Vanilla Ice, but it totally applies. Stop for a moment when you are wanting to experience something different. Being aware of the habits and old patterns you want to break or replace is key. When you are aware , then progress is possible. Openness and awareness are qualities you will want to embrace. It will always bring about progress which equals fulfillment.
Colaborate with your own thoughts about how you want to feel, live and be instead. Write them down...brainstorm. look up others that are living the kind of lifestyle you want or the kind of skills you want to develop. I know when I was going through this phase of my life , where I wanted to change, but wasn't sure where to start, I looked up others that had mastered the art of life. Of course Tony Robbins is a good start. If your reading this then you're all ready ahead of the game.
Listen by quieting your mind. Meditation is a great way to clear your head of all the noise. Most of us without realizing it are living someone else's dream. We are bombarded everyday with to do lists, messages from every direction, so many things to distract us. It can be easy to lose ourselves and our sense of peace and well being in the process. When I started the practice of mediation, I found a sense a peace I had never experienced before. I could go on and on about the positive effects of mediation, but one of the main effects I enjoyed was this feeling of being Inspired towards developing my passions that came from connecting to myself. As I followed these inspired ideas, it was as if by magic the right people, circumstances and synchronicity fell into my lap.
2)Make time for the things you love to do
When was the last time you did something, just for the fun of it? What do you like to do? Have you created anything lately that brings you joy? Is there anything that just comes naturally to you? Have you ever done something where you lose track or time...or time seems to fly by, because you get lost in what you are doing? We all have things that we say "if only I had more time to do that...or I would do that if I could make money at it...It's just a hobby." Please don't let these words utter out of your mouth again. Making time to do the things you enjoy is what life is about. We are here to create, explore. have fun, , have new experiences, and so much more. Please don't put your interests on hold. The more you do things that fuel your soul, the happier you can become, which will lead to inspired choices in your life that are more aligned with what is right for you.
3) Unplug and get outside
How much time do we waste on social media and the internet.... scrolling...and the next thing you know it's time for bed or way past your bedtime. I have been guilty of this more then I'd like to admit.Anytime I feel the blaws coming on I know it's either from skipping meditation practice that day, not getting enough sleep, not fueling my body, spending too much time on social media, or not getting outside in Nature. There is just something that is invigorating and inspiring about going out in Nature. Well I guess there is just so much beauty to be found around every corner, from the sounds of birds to the scent of flowers or just fresh air. It can offer us a new perspective and help us clear our head of all the clutter.
4) Spend time with others who are Uplifting and loving
Think about who you spend most of your time with...the conversations you have...the things you do together. If 90% feels toxic, then you may want to look for ways to meet new people. When we are autopilot, we tend to not consciously think about the company we keep. Jim Rohn said it best " You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” You may need to rethink the company you keep. Are they uplifters? Do they talk about things that inspire you? Do you feel connected, loved and supported? This change alone makes a huge difference. Maybe join a group, or class, or club where people have the same interests as you. Find your TRIBE. A group of people who understand you as you truly are.
So I don't want to be too hard on our autopilot responses and functions, after all it got us here and it has it's place.
Just be aware when it's steering you away from what you truly want.If you catch it playing old tricks that seem to sabotage your progress, then that's when you can switch to an Inspired Pilot way of life!
Sunday, November 9, 2014
Have you ever thought about your thoughts? Did you know that you have up to 50 000 thoughts a day, that’s a thought about every 17 seconds. So by the time you are half way through this article you are due for another one.
If you were to broadcast the thoughts you say to yourself would the theme be positive of negative? In the past I was guilty of leaning towards the negative, and in fact on average it is said that for most of us 70% -80% of what we think throughout our day is negative. So don’t feel bad if this is the case for you. After all you have been conditioned to think this way.
Society likes to make us feel that we are not enough or that we don’t have enough. They teach us that we should fear others. Watch just one hour of the news to see this in action. Most of what we see on a daily basis is negative, so no wonder we are thinking negative about ourselves and the world.
To add to that sadly most of us give ourselves a hard time about past mistakes or regrets, hold onto grudges, judge others, and in general are our own worst critic. I have been guilty of this too. For example before writing this blog post I was thinking “I should have wrote this sooner…why did I wait so long?” But because I am aware that this thought does not serve me I also said to myself “well better late then never, and you have been very busy and are trying your best.”
So why does it matter what we think? Why does it matter what words we choose when speaking to ourselves and others?
What if I told you that these negative thoughts and words have a direct impact on a physical level. Science has proven that thoughts are things and are very powerful. Dr. Emoto, is a scientist in particular who studied the effects of words, thoughts and intentions on water. He took pictures of frozen water crystals under a microscope after he had put different words thoughts and intentions towards the water. The ones that were labelled and sent kind words such as "LOVE" and "PEACE" were beautiful and symmetrical, while the ones that were labelled with negative words such as "HATE" were very dis-organised and ugly. Since we are 60% water you can see how this must effect us on the same level in some way.
I realize it’s not realistic to say “just don’t think negative thoughts"….it’s human nature and it’s a habit. Because it’s a habit it takes conscious effort and practice to cultivate a more positive thought
If you feel that you would like to start this process for yourself I have good news for you. You can start right now and it’s simple. It’s simple, but it’s not easy.
Here are 5 ways to get started on the path of cultivating positive thought patterns.
- The 3 R’s Realize..Replace..Repeat-Again and again…until it becomes your new habit. After you are aware of the thoughts, the next step is to realize that you feel better when you have more positive thoughts, which will reinforce your practice of repeatedly replacing negative thoughts with more loving ones.
- Meditate- I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Meditation helps to quiet the mind and centers you so that you become more aware of your inner self. When you become connected to your true self you begin to see the power of a quiet mind instead of a busy toxic mind. Not only will you think more kind thoughts, but it will help you appreciate the power of the moment and help you relax. It’s all goodJ If you want to learn more about how I began the process of meditation the link is below. http://inspiremelifecoach.blogspot.ca/2014/02/i-did-it-21-days-and-counting-i-am.html
- Surround yourself with positive people and a inspired environment- Start to notice what people and things depleat your energy and send you in a negative spiral compared to the ones that leave you feeling at ease and in flow. It's much easier to cultivate a kinder healthier thought pattern when you are surrounded by energies that are supportive and uplifting. This includes as I said your environment. I know we can't always control our environment but there are a few ways we can enhance a positive environment. Music is a good way to develop a feel good spirit, as well as inspiring quotes on your wall as a reminder, or getting outdoors in the fresh air usually puts things in perspective.
At the end of the day our thoughts are a conversation with ourselves.
The longest conversation you are ever going to have is the one you have with yourself, so make sure it is a good one.
As a last note I will leave you with words of wisdom from amazing souls who practice what they preach and are living proof that are thoughts have power.
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Today I would like to talk to you about fear. We all have fears at different points in our life. Sometimes we find the courage to move through it, while other times it becomes the monkey on our back that we just can't seem to let go of. By avoiding our fears we may stay in our comfort zone, and life will still go on but imagine the possibilities on the other side of that fear.
I personally know all too well about staying in my comfort zone and avoiding my fears. For example, like many people growing up, I developed a fear of public speaking. Like a typical teenager, I was self conscious, plus to add to that I was very shy. So public speaking with all eyes on me was a double wammy to my nervous system. The first time I had to do it I felt out of breath, with a lump in my throat the size of a baseball and my hands were so shaky that I could barely read the words on the page. All I could think after was "well I hope a NEVER have to do that again!"
From this moment I labelled myself as being a horrible public speaker and I avoided it at all costs. I even dropped out of classes in University that involved presentations...Yup my fear had taken control and I was happy to keep avoiding that area of my life. That is until a few years later when I went back to school and realized that I was in the same scenario and I had presentations to do in order to succeed.
This time instead of running the opposite way I realized that the only way to grow and become who I truly wanted to be was to move through it. I still had the nerves, but I didn't let it stop me from trying.... and I got through it by realizing everyone else was just as nervous and I that I would just do my best. Instead of being traumatized about how I must have looked and sounded, I laughed it off afterwards and would say..."oh boy that was pretty bad."
The truth is that I actually didn't do too bad, because people in the class would tell me after that I didn't look nervous,and that my presentation was good. Whether they were lying or not I will never know, but the truth is that many times the worst case scenario in our head about our fears will never actually materialize.
Fear as Zig Ziglar said is;
I interpret this to mean that when we have a fear...whatever it is... we associate all the things that could go wrong with that fear, and dismiss anything that validates the contrary. When we only focus on the worst case scenario, we become frozen and don't give ourselves a chance to grow or to try to move past it ...our fear takes over and paralyzes our growth.
Zig Ziglar also said with fear we can make us;
F-orget E-verything A-nd R-un
F-ace E-verything A-nd R-ise.
The choice is yours!
I like to think that I am on my way of living the second option. Recently while doing my life coaching training, I decided to further move through my fear of public speaking. I just completed my Speech Mastery Course with the Certified Coaches Federation, which helped me to turn my fear into fuel for my passion for helping others. One thing I learnt that helped me the most was realizing that I just had to be myself and that it is really just a conversation...plus don't forget to breath, and most importantly to try to have fun with it.
Since as you know by now that I am into meditating and visualization,I was happy to hear that this helps as well. I visualized the night before my speech that I did it confidently as a conversation with the audience. I did this over and over while memorizing my speech at the same time. It totally worked:)...I still can't believe it! I mean I was still a little nervous, but I was actually enjoying it, and I truly feel now that I can do this. I am going to add to this by signing up for toastmasters as well because I know I still need a lot of work. Like I said I still have a long way to go, but like anything the first step to change is the hardest. I challenge you to take a step to move past your fears!
What kind of life do you want to live? One where you are frozen with the what if's of what could go wrong or the freedom of the possibilities of what could go right. I can tell you from experience that the freedom of climbing past the wall of fear into the place of possibly is worth the initial uncomfortable feeling that it brings, because the comfortableness eventually fades and then you are left with your personal growth and satisfaction. It's so worth it...I promise you:)
5 steps to go from fear to freedom!
- Recognize the unhealthy fears you have that are holding you back from important goals in your life.
- List of positive changes that could possibly happen if you addressed each fear.
- Decide which one if addressed would result in the most freedom for yourself and the possibilities for your life...start with that one:).
- Visualization goes a long way because your subconscious mind doesn't know the difference between real or imagined and you will actually be making new neural connections based on the idea around your fear and your bodies response to the stimuli. The mind is a powerful thing..so start using it as your as your friend instead of your enemy. FYI- use positive outcomes:)
- Baby step your way to move through it...breath... and know that it will feel uncomfortable, and that this is normal, but it will be worth it.
I would love to hear your stories of overcoming your fears. Please feel free to share:)
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
So a couple of days ago I am happy to say that I reached my goal of practicing meditation for 21 days, and I am not looking back . I plan on keeping this new found habit and only wish I had started sooner. This is how I stayed on track...even with certain distractions like a cat named Tipsy, who wanted to interrupt.
1) I started off small ...It's about practice not perfection
When trying to start anything new that you want to stick with, try not to put too much pressure on yourself. I started with doing 5-10 minutes, anything extra was bonus...even a few minutes could be enough for you. Be kind to yourself and do what you can at the time. See what's realistic for you and start there.
For me it helped to have accountability, that's why I declared my goal on here. If you tell people what you are doing, they will periodically ask you how it 's going, and you are less likely to give up. Even better is to have someone else, like a friend make the same commitment, so you can help keep each other accountable.
3) Make yourself a priority
Many times what sticking to a new habit comes down to is making time to make yourself a priority...guess what? the dishes can wait and the world won't fall apart if your to do list gets done a little later.
4) Know there will be off days
So the reality in life is that we don't always feel 100% and that's okay. Some days you might just want to relax, watch movies or read a book, or go out with the girls....or maybe you are not feeling so good the day after of hanging out with the girls...:). It happens...life happens, as long as the next day you refocus and get back on track.
5) Have fun
For me I made it fun by trying out many various you tube videos on meditation....and trust me some of them are quite amusing. There are good ones and bad ones in my opinion. Take the time to figure out what your mediation style is. I am still learning, but there were a few that I really liked , so I thought I would share them with you:)
The first video I recommend is by a girl named Bex, she is not intimidating, and posts once a week on You Tube for four minutes. She is real and makes it simple, easy, and fun:). http://bit.ly/1dP1HIN
The Second video I recommend for when you are ready to challenge yourself. It is 57 minutes long and it is also for beginners. I found it to be the best meditation experience I have had yet. Somewhere in the middle of it I actually felt like I was floating...it was so relaxing and energizing at the same time.http://bit.ly/1bNjUHZ
The third video was more of a personal one...I liked the message in it and I felt spoke to me in some way. I recommend subscribing to Lilian Eden's You Tube page because she has many good ones.http://bit.ly/MdAKD9
Just in case you are not yet convinced here is a link to an article from the national post taking about how Mediation is just as good for relief from anxiety and depression symptoms as antidepressants.
On Jan. 6, the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) published the results of a ground-breaking study that found that meditation appears to provide as much relief from some anxiety and depression symptoms as antidepressants. Dr. Madhav Goyal of the John Hopkins School of Medicine, who led the research, singled out mindfulness meditation as the most effective form.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Since last week I have continued to practice meditation on a daily basis, that is until a couple of days ago when I was caught up with my to do list, and before I knew it I had only 30 mins to get ready for work. So, a little part of me felt like I failed, because I was determined to not to miss a day, but then I realized that I need to cut myself some slack, and to learn from how I let myself slip, so that it would not happen in the future. Sometimes if life when we have a goal...whatever it may be...it's easy to slip into old habits...and that's okay. It's okay that is if we recognize why it happened, so that we can prevent ourselves from slipping the next time.
For example when I got up the next morning I was back on track and made a point to balance my day with my to do list and my personal goals. I actually did meditation twice that day, once before work to get me in a positive frame of mind and then at night to help me relax and sleep. Since then I have stayed on track and I am loving it!
Here are some of the benefits I have personally noticed after just over a week ;
1) I generally feel more relaxed and focused...especially right after the meditation.
2) I feel more mindful during my daily tasks, and in my conversations with people.
3) I have become more aware of my thoughts and how to dilute and block the ones that don't serve me.
4) There are an endless supply of meditations on you tube....which I recommend listening to with headphones for maximum benefit. The nightly meditation for relaxing sleep for example has helped me fall asleep faster, and to stay asleep longer.I noticed that there are also ones specific to other areas such as meditation to reduce anxiety, to help with relationships, to strengthen self awareness, and the list goes on and on. I plan on trying them all out, and I will share with you the ones I found effective.
I look forward to the next couple of weeks and I don't plan on stopping after that...I am hooked on this and I only wish that I had tried it sooner.
If this sounds like something you are curious about, I recommend having an open mind and giving it a try. I promise you won't regret it, if anything it will help you relax and learn to slow down a little. For those of you who used to meditate and stopped...maybe because you felt like you were too busy...I hope this helps you remember how much you loved it and to find the time for yourself to practice it again.
Friday, January 31, 2014
On my first day meditating I decided to keep it simple and quick....you know ease into it. I figured five minutes would be good. I looked up a short five minute meditation video on you tube and got started. It was nice soothing music and I tried to begin by being aware of my breathing and tried not to think about anything. It was harder then I thought it would be. It was difficult not to think about little things like..."what should I make for supper"....or..." do I have clean clothes for work." It really is hard to keep the mind still, when you are used to thinking what you need to do next during your day. I didn't even last the whole five minutes to be honest. I peeked at the time at the four minute mark, because I felt like a lot of time had gone by. So yes day one was not so amazing.
For day two I chose to look up meditation for beginners on you tube and to try to stretch it to ten minutes. I found one that looked good because it said guided meditation for beginners. I found it much easier to relax and to get in a state of just being aware of my breath. I actually really enjoyed it and was able to do it for the ten minutes without thinking about when it was going to end. In fact I would have done it for longer except my husband yelled from the other room about a tv show that we usually watch together was coming on...well that's reality for you. Afterwards I felt very relaxed and mellow and was happy that I did it.
Today I again decided to look up another guided meditation for beginners on you tube. I found one that was fifty five minutes long and thought to myself that this could be something I could work up to as my goal. It started off with some breathing exercises to relax, then it went into guided meditation with beautiful calming music in the background. It was very effective and it's hard to explain how I felt. I can just say that I felt weightless, calm, centered and very relaxed. I knew I had gone longer then the ten minutes, but I was finally feeling like I was in what I had imagined a meditative state would feel like, so I decided to keep doing it. Eventually all was quiet and I thought to myself...that's strange. I honestly thought I accidentally hit the mouse on the computer or something. When I opened my eyes to see I couldn't believe the time. I had actually meditated for an HOUR!!!! the whole HOUR!!! I still can't believe it..what a time warp!! It felt like maybe twenty minutes. It was awesome, and I totally believe it when they say that it reduces stress because I don't remember the last time I felt so relaxed...without wine or a hot bath:) My body felt like a bowl of jello...no joke.I think I am hooked on meditation now:) I don't know if I will be able to do an hour everyday, but I do feel that a half hour is realistic.
For those of you who may not yet tried it I have to say you are missing out! Just give it a try..well more then a few tries. After all it's free, it's healthy, and easy.Believe me if I can do it and feel results within three days then you can too!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Over the last few years I have put a lot of time and effort into my personal development goals, so that I can continue to grow, and learn, and in turn help others do the same for themselves. I have done this in many ways. One main way has been by developing the habit of listening to Inspirational leaders and speakers, such as Anthony Robbins, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, and Louise Hay on a daily basis. I feel that each of them offer a certain wisdom and insight into the puzzle of how our mind and spirit work together and that once we know how it works, we have the power to change it for the better.
It's a very empowering thought to know that we actually have the power to change the way our brain processes information! We don't have to be the victim of what has happened to us in the past. We can decide instead to take control of our lives starting now and a big part of that is by choosing to be mindful of the thoughts we allow to enter into our awareness. The first step is just that simple...to be aware of our self talk. What kind of self talk do you have with yourself on a daily basis?....is it good or is it bad? If the way you talk to yourself is not aligned with your intentions of where you want to go in life and how you want to feel, then I encourage you to put a stop to these self defeating thoughts that are holding you back.
Most of us are going about our lives unconsciously conscious...by that I mean that we are kind of on autopilot, going from task to task without really slowing down to be aware of our thoughts. One way to develop mindfulness is to meditate, because it forces you to slow down and have one pointed focus.
If you had asked me five years ago what I thought about meditation, I probably would have said something like..."Isn't that what they do in yoga class to relax"...."or isn't that what monks do," I didn't realize all the benefits it can have. One main benefit is that it helps to develop the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that helps with reasoning, planning, and the ability to have control over your emotions, which ultimately effects how you feel and what you do, because as Dr. Wayne Dyer said "as you think, so shall you be." As if that were not reason enough, regular meditation leads to better focus, less anxiety, more creativity, more compassion, less stress, and shown to diminish the decline of cognitive functioning in old age. I don't know about you but that sounds pretty good to me:)
So with all that said...I am happy to say that today is a good day to start my 21 day mediation challenge. I decided on 21 days because that seems to be the amount of time it takes to develop new habits that stick to the point where it becomes part of who we are...isn't the mind amazing!!
I would love if you could join me on this meditation mission:) We can support and motivate each other on the way...please feel free to share your stories with me. I'm sure the first few days will feel strange or funny....but that's good because I enjoy a good laugh...especially at myself:)
Here is one of the good websites I found explaining the benefits in more detail...just in case you need more motivation. http://lifehacker.com/what-happens-to-the-brain-when-you-meditate-and-how-it-1202533314