Secrets to Being a Vibrant Woman

Today I want to talk about some secrets to being a vibrant woman.

Before I dive into this topic I want you to know that on my website at EmpoweringNRG.com you will find a complimentary report called the 5 Secrets to Being a Vibrant Woman… which you can pick-up if you want to have this information to keep, read over, share with others, etc. It’s not exactly what I’m going to cover today, but it’s close.

Being a vibrant woman is not always easy. It requires you to be proactive, to take the lead in your life and to live mindfully. Vibrancy is more than a healthy body (although the two are closely connected). It also requires you to be self-aware, to be willing to listen to what your body is telling you and to tune-in to the many messages coming your way from a higher power.

This might sound overwhelming and even a little bit scary, but in truth it is simply about living your life in the driver’s seat and ensuring that you are controlling what you can, accepting what you can’t and using your wisdom to know the difference – perhaps you’ve heard this before (it is the Serenity Prayer after all)?

Secret #1: Take full advantage of the moment

This is not a new idea at least not for several years now, yet it is still something most of us struggle with.

When you’re using a moment to recharge yourself, you want to awaken all of your senses…go off auto-pilot…quiet your mind…and be firmly grounded in your body.

This, is not always easy to do.

So let me share an example of how I might do this.  I love green tea so when I sit down with a freshly brewed cup of tea I will often take a moment and empty my mind of all else. I’ll breathe in the smell of the tea, feel the warmth of the mug in my hand, gaze at the colour, taste the full flavour (run it over my whole tongue), even tap my ring against the side of the mug (for some reason I really like that sound). I’ll visualize a chord going from my tailbone down deep into the earth and anchoring me there.

If possible I’ll even take this a step further. Because I love the sun and the feel of grass beneath my feet, I might take my cup of tea outside, stand on the grass, close my eyes and soak in the sun’s rays. While I’m doing this, I hear the birds, the breeze in the trees, feel the grass under my feet, smell the earth, tea and grass…

I call this: In the Moment…for a Moment…and the more moments like this I create in a day the more vibrant I feel.

Now, in my opinion it would be impossible to always tune in to everything. In fact, while recording this podcast, to take full advantage of the moment, I purposely tune out other things in my environment. My eyes flit from my notes, to the time, to a window which I stare out without seeing because I’m deep into what I want to share with you.

Unless my dogs bark or a phone rings, I’m pretty much oblivious to the sounds in my room, except for anything I hear through my headset.

My point is, sometimes to really be in the moment, you need to focus in fully on what you are doing, without distracting yourself unnecessarily.

So the key pieces to taking full advantage of the moment:

Know what you need to be successful and focus in on that, remove distractions and quiet your mind of any extraneous life draining things – like worry, angst about an upcoming event, your to-do list/overwhelm… these things you can do nothing about in the moment – so use your power to help you make things happen in the here and now.

When it comes to living a vibrant life, tune in to your senses as often as you can, consciously shift off autopilot several times a day (especially when those little pleasurable moments arise), quiet your mind of all the chatter and do what you need to do to get fully grounded in your body.

When you put your total focus on the moment itself, you will get more done, do better work, feel more connected to the person you are spending time with and let your radiant self shine through.

Secret #2: Learn how to release stress and rejuvenate yourself on the go

Stress has become a big deal for most of us. So many people are experiencing major health issues, burnout and break-downs from stress. It affects how we parent, how well we communicate and our ability to perform.

However, stress also motivates you to get things done. It lets you know when you are taking on too much and it can help you out when extra stamina is required.

Stress arises every time you try something new, including a new job, moving, holidays, trips, pregnancy, trying a sport or learning a new computer game.

Stress is so closely connected with every aspect of your life it makes sense that you learn how to live with it rather than eliminate it altogether.

The problem is, you may not know how to tune-in to your stress level and listen to what it has to say.

For example, you might be stressed because of a deadline at work. You know this is stressful for you, but you also enjoy your job and recognize this as part and parcel of what you signed up for.

Now let’s say you get a call from the school that your child’s eye is looking pink and you must come and take him to the doctor to make sure it is not the dreaded and very contagious pink-eye.

Suddenly you are far more stressed. You are not really concerned about the pink-eye, because he seemed healthy enough this morning, but you are very concerned about your deadline and the fact that you now have to create a plan to deal with this situation. Maybe you’ll even have to leave work and find a walk-in that will see your child…which means you might spend half the afternoon in a waiting room!

Not to mention, the school has somehow made you feel dirty – by suggesting your child is contagious. You suddenly realize your child is probably super anxious, because he hates being singled out in any situation… and what if you’re wrong and he really is sick…what kind of parent, ignores their child’s puffy red eye just because they are busy at work?

Can you see how stress, when you are already stressed, tends to create excess worry? How the mind takes over and starts you second guessing yourself?

The call from the school on its own might not have been a big deal, but when added in with the rest of your circumstance and a run-away brain…trouble arises.

In the handout above, I tell you how to use an elastic to help you understand your stress level, find your sweet spot and how to keep the two in check.

The simple answer to dealing with stress is to become aware of how much stress you are dealing with, learn where your sweet spot is (the amount of stress that motivates you without hurting your health), and then learn a variety of great tools to help decrease the negative effects when your numbers starts to rise.

Here’s some tool examples: Deep breathing; a daily ounce of dark chocolate (it burns off cortisol – really!); vitamin C also burns off cortisol; mindfulness; meditation; yoga; walking barefoot on the grass; petting your dog, cat, ferret…; time with friends; quality hugs; laughter.

Become aware of how stress feels in your body – where you feel tension; how far your patience level drops – so you can take action and spend more time in the sweet spot.

Secret #3: Become aware of foods that strengthen you as well as those which steal your glow

You truly are an individual especially when it comes to what fuels you the best. I don’t do well with dairy, gluten or beef, but that won’t necessarily be true for you. Learning your needs is an important part of self-awareness.

There is so much information out there today on what is good, bad, dangerous or life enhancing when it comes to food. The problem is many of these sources contradict each other making it hard for the average consumer to know who to believe. My answer is to take charge and figure it out for yourself.

There are some simple tests that can be done (using hair, blood or your muscles) which can give you a good idea of what weakens or strengthens you. Or you can put on your detective’s hat and try an elimination diet to determine some of the bigger culprits.

If this sounds like too much work, start by noticing what you are eating and how much of it is processed versus whole foods. Rather than buy a can of peaches off the shelf – get the real deal (fresh) in the produce section or farmer’s market. Stay away from foods with names on their ingredient list you can’t pronounce or wouldn’t normally be considered edible.

At the very least, avoid the main dangers that even the contradicting ‘gurus’ seem to agree on, such as: trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, MSG and fake sweetners. A quick search on the internet will give you lots of information on these topics if you want to know more before diving in.

This is not about being super stringent concerning what you eat and drink. It’s about becoming aware so you can make decisions that will help you feel vibrant and healthy most days. Overtime, awareness itself will start to guide your decisions allowing you to put your energy into enjoying your health.

I share a trick for testing for food sensitivity as well as one for reducing the processed food in your life in the handout.

Secret #4: Keep Oxytocin flowing

In the handout, I mention that Secret#4 might make you blush…and in the report it might. On this show, I’ve kept the conversation PG so I don’t get in trouble with any of the hosts, but if you wonder if certain intimate acts fall into this category, they definitely do.

Oxytocin is a hormone that makes you feel connected to others. It feels good when it flows through the body and your body is meant to have a lot of it. Women have far more receptors for this delicious little hormone to adhere to which means it sticks with us for a longer amount of time and helps us be vibrant.

So how do you get oxytocin flowing? There are a lot of ways, but I narrow it down by suggesting people think pleasure and everything they associate with that word. Pleasure and oxytocin often arrive at the party together.

Ways to get the oxytocin flowing:

Heart to heart hugs; shared laughter; meaningful conversation and connection to others; gazing at your baby, quality time with your kids or pets – even being really authentic with someone – tapping into your passions can also get this hormone flowing.

A tool I love to teach –is the Oxytocin breath – listen to the podcast or pick up the handout to learn how to do it.

Secret #5:  Ask for what you need

Being assertive or being able to stand up for yourself without attacking others or putting them down is often involved in asking for what you need. So many people take an aggressive or passive-aggressive stance when things aren’t going their way (or they fall back on manipulation tactics like ‘guilt’ to get what they want) rather than use their assertiveness skills.

This is not what I mean by asking for what you want.

Boundaries also come into this conversation.

Knowing what’s important to you – your values and expectations, and knowing how to express your needs to others are both part of asking for what you need.

So many people struggle with boundaries and wind up in a co-dependent relationship where you no longer remember where you end and the other person begins. Saying Yes when you really want to say No; which results in over commitment, or getting locked into doing something you really don’t want to do…all because you didn’t want to upset the apple cart by saying no to someone.

You NEED help!

Many females struggle with the idea of asking for help in fear it makes them look weak or sound needy. We’ve been taught to think we should be able to do it all – work, raise kids, volunteer, be a great daughter, help out our neighbour in distress…

You can do it all – but that doesn’t mean you should! Asking for help can strengthen your relationships; it models great skills; and it can make your ‘to do’ list much more doable.

Ask for the help you need.

The more self-aware you are and the clearer you are with all the people in your life, the easier it will be for you to tap into your own vibrancy and shine your light for all the world to see.

So that’s it. 5 secrets you can use to increase how vibrant, loving, connected, open and wonderful you feel. These aren’t the only secrets – there are plenty of other things you can do, but these are key areas that will give you the greatest return for your efforts.

So, if you are ready to step into the driver’s seat of your own health and vibrancy (a wonderful thing to role model, by-the-way) give at least one of these a try, then head on over to Empowering NRG on facebook or use the contact page on my site and let me know how you did!

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!

Putting Things in Perspective

Originally posted as: Putting it in Perspective [November 2016]

40722765 - model isolated showing her backToday, we’re going to talk about shifting your perspective as a way to deal with those heavy days.

These tips work beautifully with the Emotion Movers or you can try them on their
own. On days when your brain seems to be running the show making it hard to target the feelings, this can be a great way to find calm, open yourself up to new possibilities and lighten the mood.

Shifting your perspective

One of the greatest challenges to your Ego self is the fact that it really can only see things easily from one perspective – yours! This means in any given situation you only have ½ the story and that’s on a good day. Training yourself to look at things from other angles opens up something referred to as your operating reality and teaches you to see so much more.

Here are 3 of my favorite tools for shifting perspectives:

1) Ask ‘what if’ questions – this is a simple game that can move you out of victim mentality, awaken empathy and put things in perspective.

As I already mentioned in most situation we have only ½ the story (often less) and that’s what we base our reality on. How we feel, how we respond, what our attitude is, are all based on what we believe about a situation which is limited to what we’ve seen, heard or experienced.

This game, asks you to suspend judgment, ignore limiting beliefs and instead open your mind to the infinite possibilities about any given situation. It’s best to practice this in times of calm because once a red alert is sounded, it’s very difficult to get any new information in or out of the locked down area.

In my book, Standing in Your Power, this game is one of my Oh My Goddess moments, called, What if I were queen? The idea behind it is quite simple…rather than just accept what you already know as evidence, use your imagination to come up with some creative ‘what if’ questions to expand your mind. I always encourage people to get silly with it and to stay away from any guilt producing or hurtful ‘what ifs’.

To practice this, start with some made questions that get you thinking and looking beyond what you’d normally see. For example:

  • What if the guy who just cut you off is on his way home from the hospital after getting bad news?
  • What if your son got in that fight at school because someone was making fun of his sister?
  • What if every time you smiled it decreased your chances of ever getting sick?
  • What if you found out tomorrow you only had one week to live?
  • What if your child’s messy room ended up getting her on the Ellen Degeneres show?
  • What if no matter what you did you knew you’d always be looked after?
  • What if that irritating colleague at work has been asked to push you to see if you’re management material?
  • What if I don’t have the whole story?

Those of examples of how these questions might look. Now it’s your turn. To practice you might think about situations you’ve experienced in the last few days that were mildly emotional. Let’s say you had seen a shirt on a mannequin last week, fell in love and had finally made it in to buy it. The shirt is sold out.

Using the ‘what if’ game you might think:

  • What if the shirt was cheaply made/itchy material/way over priced?
  • What if my nemesis bought the same shirt and we wore it on the same day?
  • What if I bought it and never wore it because it gaped/sleeves were too tight?
  • What if the shirt was doomed and the first time I wore it something bad was going to happen to it (stain/ colours ran in the wash/ shrunk)?
  • What if next week I see an even nicer shirt on sale?

After practicing it with less emotional situation (if it works for you) you can move on to those with a higher charge. For example; having your child throw a temper tantrum when you drop him off at daycare. See if you can come up with some ‘what ifs’ for that. Hint…try to use these ‘what ifs’ to see the other person’s behaviour in a more understanding light. What if my son’s behaviour is training me for a reality show I’m going to be chosen for? What if these tantrums are meant to help me have thicker skin for my new job?

Remember – this is about using your imagination, lightening the situation by having some fun and recognizing that there is always more going on than meets the eye.

2) Channel Your Alien – This tool can be a bit difficult to apply for a first time when you’re really in the dark, so it’s a good idea to practice it on good days as well. It is a way to tune back into your life and see it with fresh eyes. In this case you want to see it through the eyes of an alien because we all get how foreign everything would seem if you suddenly found yourself in a whole new world. Also, the alien is telepathic so you don’t have to have any of these conversations aloud.

Scan your environment as if you’ve never seen it before. Look around the room and see the beauty – if you can’t find it perhaps it’s time to redecorate or at least clean (I was saying that as a joke, but in truth energy does get trapped in messes so cleaning up a space and releasing that trapped energy can also help lighten your mood).

Point out the beautiful things just like you might if you were visiting a friend’s place for the first time.  I remember having a friend come to my office once and as she walked in she stopped, looked all around and then said, “It’s so Zen-like in here.” Now, when I’m sitting in my office noticing only the dust bunnies or dog hair on the floor, I take a moment to see it through her eyes and am reminded to see the peaceful serenity of the room.

Back to the alien…

Notice the innocence of your child. Explain misbehaviours to the alien (he really just wants my attention right now so my job as a mom is to teach him better ways to get it). Talk about what your child has been learning and explain how kids can sometimes seem like they totally understand our words when in fact their vocabulary is way bigger than their comprehension.
You can do the same ‘deep dive’ into the behaviour and words of your partner, boss, colleague…as you objectively explain things to an alien you can often see things from a new light and realize that a huge part of our regular communication are based on assumptions, bias and how we are feeling at the moment. It can also point out where you are creating a mountain out of a mole hill (i.e. are getting upset about something that doesn’t actually warrant it).

You might also start to point out the things you are grateful for to the alien – with or without further explanation. Gratitude is a great way to lift your vibrational energy and can remind you of how blessed you really are.

When you are really feeling the weight of the cloud you might feel a strong desire to complain, blame or whine about your life…this will not help you lighten your mood and could make the alien angry ensuring your name gets put on the list for future alien abductions.

3) Shift into the moment

Busy, busy, busy seems to be the reality for so many people. To do this you have to always be at the top of your game even when you’re feeling down. Remember how I mentioned that one of the reasons a down day may appear is to let you know you need to slow down and take stock.

Always being at your best often means, planning ahead, multi-tasking, prioritizing…not to mention crisis management and self sacrifice. This is not okay – it’s not healthy and it does not make you super mom.

So, this is another tool I’d love to have you implement now and not just save for those days when it takes effort just to lift your head off the pillow. The trick is to recognize that even in a very full day, there are still opportunities to really be in the moment and soak up the beauty. Anytime you tune into your senses and really notice what’s around you – the sights, sounds, smells, etc – you put yourself into that moment and raise your vibrational energy.

An easier way to start doing this is to allow those powerful moments that naturally grab your attention to guide you.

 

For example, the other morning when I got up the sun was rising and the eastern sky was a beautiful kaleidoscope of red, orange and yellow. In a normal day a person might notice, think ‘nice’ and move on with their list of things to do.

 

Instead, I slipped on my shoes, moved out on my deck and tuned into the moment. I breathed in the cool autumn air tasting it and smelling the damp trees and grass. I felt the breeze touch my skin and a small shiver shoot down my spine. As I continued to gaze at the breathtaking colours I tuned into the stark contrast of the trees in front of it. I heard the crackle of leaves as they fell to the ground and a dog barking off in the distance. My neighbour’s rooster crowed – and the golden sun became sharper. I felt the joy expand in my belly and basked in the comfort of that feeling. I gave a silent message of gratitude to the universe for sharing this moment with me and went back in the house.

 

This whole process took me all of all of a minute – but it made a difference in the rest of my day.

So watch for these kinds of moments… It could be the sunshine hitting your face while you’re eating your lunch; laughing a deep belly laugh with a friend – you know the kind that flows naturally; sitting down with a fresh hot cup of your favorite beverage; the smell of a meal cooking… even hitting a string of green lights in a row while driving somewhere.

The point is that life is filled with these little miraculous moments we just have to tune in and notice that they are happening. When you use them to remind you to awaken all your senses you raise your vibrational energy and may even anchor in the memory.

For those of you who are thinking, “I barely have time to go to the bathroom in any given day!” here are some ideas of where you can shift into the moment without stealing any of your precious time:

When you’re in the shower – rather than thinking about the 5 million things you need to do when you get out, shift your focus to the feel of the water on your skin, smell the soaps, tune in to your body and immerse yourself in that space only.

When you’re walking down the hallway at work headed to an important meeting, let your brain go quiet for a moment and just feel yourself walking. Hear the happy click of your shoes, notice the sway of your hips, breathe deeply and ground yourself into the moment. Wearing a beautiful essential oil (I like to have one on a tissue in my pocket) can add to this experience.  This brings your personal power back into you and sets you up for a better
meeting than you would have had if you just barreled on in.

While making supper – as simple or as complex as it might be – forget all about the discussion you had earlier with your hubby (or a colleague at work) and tune into what you are doing right there. Hear the sound of cutting vegetables; smell the aroma of the different foods; enjoy the colours; infuse the food with love.

Finally – remember to make pleasurable moments fun – for example, while playing with your kids – let go of your lists (the laundry, house cleaning, grocery shopping) and just fully immerse yourself in the joy of the moment. Really hear your child’s laughter, see the joy in their eyes, feel the playfulness or creativity seeping into your body.

If your child is older (like mine) and don’t really play anymore, you can still become really present in the conversation. Notice their voice, the passion behind their words, the love you feel for them…

Shifting into the moment sounds like such a simple thing and it is, but it’s also hugely challenging for most of us to do. So take baby steps and pat yourself on the back for even the tiniest of successes. Even though one minute might not seem like much, when you add 60 of them together you get a whole hour and that can really make a difference.

You can never have too many tools to help you raise your vibration, shift your perspective or lighten your mood. Even if you only choose one and try it for the next couple of days, you’ll be making a difference in your life. The more aware you are, the easier it will be to create the vibrant and powerful life you’re here to enjoy.

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!

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Recovering Your Sense of Self in Motherhood and Beyond with Franziska Stahmann

Meet today’s guest:

 Franziska Stahmann

 

has dedicated the last 20 years of her life to travel, natural living and self development. On her path to self-discovery she spent many days at silence retreats in Europe, Asia and Australia, learned Reiki, developed a strong meditation practice and even created her own brand of flower essences! Now she’s ready to share what she has learned with others – moms especially – and help them remember how to put themselves first so that they can live a fulfilling and inspired life whatever their situation. www.franziskastahmann.com

“When my daughter was born it was a really busy time for me and adjusting to being a mother was difficult. I thought I needed to be the best mom possible so I gave and gave and gave…until eventually I started to burn out and become depressed.”

Talking with Franziska was like conversing with a good friend over a nice cup of tea.  Franziska shared how she nearly lost herself when she became a parent and what she did to get herself back on solid ground.

On the topic of self-care…

For me, it is important that I continuously take time to myself to do things that I enjoy. We give so much of our time to our partners, our children and to the constant activities that come with that. So when my energy feels like it is getting low I need to step out of that mama zone and find something that inspires me and gives me peace of mind. Some of my favorites are dancing and going for walks out in nature, because that recharges me instantly.

When a mom is feeling disconnected from her sense of happiness, experiencing frustration or other emotional upheavals, Franziska helps them to take stock of what’s going on and figure out what they can do to get back on track.

I might ask, “Mom, what’s happening in your life right now…what is the continuous thing that shows up in your thoughts or your physical life that you are feeling unhappy or frustrated about?”  Generally that is where the answer lies…and once you have identified that then you can start to figure out what changes or adjustments need to take place to rebalance things.

“Listen to your intuition and ask what it is saying to you. Deeply trust… we are all deeply connected to our intuition yet we often choose to ignore it.”

She also pointed out that it’s so much more work to fix things when you go all the way to burnout before tuning in that something is wrong.  She reminded us that the Universe gives you nudges as you are heading into this place of exhaustion and if you can tune into those messages and start making changes earlier you will have a much easier time.

We talked about the power of nature as well as natural living and Franziska shared tips on how we can easily bring these super powers into our lives.

Natural living, for me, means having a healthy diet that includes a lot of fresh food rather than processed things.  It involves regular exercise – something that keeps your body healthy and strong. It’s also about bringing practices into your life like meditation, yoga or dance – anything you deeply connect with and that inspires you as well as gives you a charge of energy.

This is also where flower essences come in as well as using nature to help you recharge and heal.

We really need to contemplate on nature and look at what it provides for us. It gives us the air to breath, to grow our food and even a place to live. Everything we need we can find in nature whether it be relaxation, an herb or a flower that might help us.

As we moved on into relationships, Franziska shared how giving your power away to others can rob you of ever finding true happiness for yourself.

I didn’t learn from an early age what a healthy relationship looked like… so I found myself looking to the person I was in relationship with to fulfill me.  I often found myself in a situation where I wanted to change the other person to fit my needs.

The biggest realization for me was figuring out that I must take responsibility for my own happiness and make the changes that I feel are needed, to myself first.

Franziska shared many more tips on being assertive, setting boundaries, quieting anxiety, making room for new relationships and so much more. So go, get yourself a cup of tea (or your beverage of choice) and give it a listen.

Check out Franziska’s website at www.franziskastahmann.com and pick up your complimentary copy of 5 Steps to support yourself in making inspired change

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

Interested in the names & products we talk about on the show? Check out our Vibrant Mentions Pinterest Board!

Making Emotions Move

Originally posted as: Making Emotions Move [November 2016]

Today I want to share a few ideas that you can use to make your day a little brighter. We all have those days where we wake up feeling lower than usual as if our smile has moved out and a scowl has settled in its place. Or days when you wake up fine but storm clouds quickly move in.

Sometimes it happens for a reason; like your dog ran away, it’s pouring rain and your supposed to be going to an outdoor BBQ or you’re crampy and realize your period is about to start. Other times it just happens…like a dark cloud was passing on by, saw your shoulders and decided to stop for a visit.

When this happens once in a while, it’s often a part of the cyclical nature of our lives and while it’s nothing to worry about, it is a good idea to collect some tools to deal with it. If this is something you’re experiencing on a regular basis then you really want to take note and become aware of what you can do to move out of it.

The other day I was reading a newsletter from one of my guru’s Stacey Martino and she shared a Tony Robbins quote that I like and is fitting here, “When times are bad, it feels like they will be bad forever. When times are good, it feels like it will be good forever. Neither one is true.  Life comes in seasons.”

Nothing makes a season slow down and take forever to leave then when you’re consciously hating on it…so perhaps taking steps to enjoy it as best you can is in your best interest.

Both a low season and regular setbacks such as the Monday blues can be your body’s way of telling you something is off. It could be suggesting you slow down and take some time to ‘be’ or it could be telling you your work situation is draining your tank and you are not making the time to re-fill it. It could even be pointing out that although everything looks like it’s fine, it’s time to move closer to actual purpose for being here.

 

Whatever the message, it’s important you tune in, because if you don’t – even though you might work your way out of the cloud – over time your system will start to shut down and it can result in a serious health or relationship crisis.

There are as many ways to do this as there are people in the world – so as you hear my ideas, feel free to pick and choose the ones that resonate with you…or use them as a launching pad to create your own.

Feel it, guide it, get rid of it

I’ve mentioned this before – as a general rule we have been taught to ignore, stuff, overreact to or discount our feelings. We all need to feel our emotions and keep them moving – especially women because we are emotional beings first.

So what does this mean? Let me share some of my favorite ways to move energy…

#1) Call it out! Sometimes you just need to name it, locate it and give it the language to express itself in order to get it flowing. I refer to this as calling it out because you are refusing to let it hide or pretend it’s not important.

When you wake up and feel low, try to tune in to where this heavy feeling is coming from. The challenge with this tool is we tend to want to go into our heads and think about it. Although thinking can be a good thing sometimes when it comes to feelings there are lots of limitations to doing it this way because we tend to get hung up in logic, our sense of right and wrong, and even our limiting beliefs can get in the way.

If possible, don’t turn on your brain, but instead just let your brain be quiet and see what comes up. Trust whatever comes up (even if you think you might have thought it or be making it up!) and see if you can notice where in your body you are feeling this sensation. Put your hand on that part of your body (typically it will be in the lower trunk – solar plexus, belly or pelvic area) and see if you can get your attention to drop to that area of your body (close your eyes; breathe and just imagine you’re investigator is down there with your hand).

Ask the question: What’s causing this heavy feeling? What am I __afraid__ of? Why am I ­­__angry__?

Allow the responses to arise and give these realizations a voice. When something surfaces don’t judge it, censor it or correct it…just allow it by saying them aloud, then respond with a simple ‘what else’ question. Allow the next idea to come and say it aloud. Continue like this until you feel the weight lift or you feel like you’re finished the process. You might find the feeling changes as you go as well – just go with it and allow things to flow.

For example I did this a few weeks ago and found fear in my solar plexus [with my hand on my solar plexus I emptied my mind and asked, what am a afraid of?]

“I’m afraid my life is not what it’s supposed to be.” What else? “I’m afraid I’m wasting my time.” What else? “I’m afraid I’m fooling myself into thinking I’m doing something important when in fact I’m not doing much at all.” What else? “I’m afraid I’m lying to myself.” What else?

 

At this point the feeling shifted (sadness) and I realized. “I’m worried that I’m not enough.” What else? “What if my ideas aren’t different enough – or helpful enough?” What else? Suddenly I felt lighter as I recognized a pattern of mine, “I’m looking for excuses to not move out of my comfort zone.” What else? “Nothing – I know I’m enough and will always be enough for the people I’m meant to serve.”

Call it out – be honest and be sure to do it without any judgment. Your job is not to argue, contradict, explain or anything but feel and process the emotions. Doing this exercise is kind of like poking a small hole in a balloon. You’re not popping the balloon with a loud bang, but you do let the air out just the same.

A variation on this that can be very effective as long as you can find the privacy to totally let go is to #2) Sound it out. This is where you tap in to what you are feeling and just let whatever sound feels right come out of there. You might hiss, wail, tone, chant, puff…allow whatever sound wants to arise to get things moving.

#3) Move it out! Use motion to get the feelings flowing. My favorite way to do this is with dance.  Notice the feeling, put on some appropriate music – a tempo that matches what you are feeling – and let it flow. Move around the room, sway, stomp, use your hands to get things moving and to pull out energy – this is not about looking beautiful or elegant, this is about letting things go.

If dancing doesn’t cut it you can get movement happening with walking, yoga, qi gong, stretching, breathing, and so on, but you have to be willing to allow the feeling to guide you rather than your thoughts.
For example, if you’re angry because the plumber didn’t show for the third time in a row and you are fed up with not having a bathroom – not to mention having to cancel appointments or miss work – if you decide to move it out with walking, you have be willing to just allow the feeling to flow while you walk. If you start walking and thinking, “What a jerk! I should report him to the better business bureau…he shouldn’t be able to treat people this way and get away with it!” then you will be adding to your anger (feeding it) not letting it flow through you.

If this happens (the person is just really in your head), I suggest you might try to, #4)Write it out instead. Write a letter to his boss, to the BBB, to him…you don’t ever send this letter, but sometimes expressing your exact thoughts and feelings can help you move the emotion through. Plus, because you are writing it, you’re not going to keep repeating over and over what you might if you were just ranting. It can also be cathartic to burn or shred the message after. Just a note: writing is better for this than typing. (journaling)

#5) Talk it out! Put another way, confess what is going on for you. Tell the people around you that you feel really heavy, that you aren’t sure why, but you suspect it will make you ‘grumpier’ than usual. You’ll do the best you can to control your actions and would appreciate if they could give you a bit of space as well.

I used this tool with my family when I was going through a really challenging PMS phase several years ago and since then have used it with colleagues, on phone calls and even if my walking buddy Crystal is listening to this she might recognize I’ve done this with her once or twice at the start of our walks.

Your mission… rather than pretend all is fine when in actuality you have this dark angry cloud weighing on you, let others know so they at least have a chance of respecting your space. You might think it’s obvious, but most people will not pick up on it right away and then will think they have done something to deserve your anger.

Phone example: Just a heads up – I woke up feeling really grouchy today…not sure yet what it’s about, but I just wanted to let you know in case it impacts our conversation. I’ll do my best not to let the B out, but in case she escapes without me noticing I apologize in advance.

Family example: Wow, mommy feels really heavy today – like a dark, angry cloud has settled on my shoulders. I’ll do my best not to take that out on you guys okay if you’ll do your best not to push my buttons on purpose. Deal?”

Depending on their age I might have needed to explain a little more, but for the most part they understood. Interestingly, in both cases, just saying it aloud, lifted some of the weight off and made it easier for me to be aware of my actions.

The greatest challenge with this process is when the person you are sharing with wants to delve into what’s going on for you and fix it. This is rarely what you need at that moment and it’s okay to tell them that with a simple add-on such as: “You know what, I didn’t tell you so we’d go there in our discussion, but more as a warning so you’d know what’s going on. Can we move on to making our plans for tomorrow please?”

The second problem is when they try to lighten the mood with humour. This might be a tool that you normally respond well to if you are a rather optimistic person. Unfortunately, when you’re truly in this place you feel fragile and are being super vulnerable by admitting it.

So when someone tries to make light of what you just shared, you’ll want to correct them on it. If you don’t, you are at risk of letting it fester in your already low state and causing an explosion later. As well, if your kids are watching it happen you are teaching them this is an okay way to respond to this vulnerable confession – and it’s not.

I recall my husband modeling this exact error once or twice…where he thought a joke (which would normally be well received) was an appropriate response. “Uh-oh, we better all look out or Monster Mommy will get us.”

Since I didn’t feel the smile, I didn’t pretend what he said was funny, but instead gave him the look of death and told the kids, “That kind of makes it sound like what I’m telling you is a joke – it’s not, please do your best to work with me today.”

Later, when I was myself again I brought up what had happened. I explained that I was not sharing so anyone could try to fix me with humour or anything else. “I feel very vulnerable when I open up like that, so I would appreciate everyone’s understanding and support.”

This would not work if I did it all the time or if I thought that by telling them this they became responsible for how I was feeling. In my case, I did this so I would avoid taking my heaviness out on my kids and I’m pretty sure it saved us all a few times.

I remember my son having a teacher in one of the younger years who did something like this. At the start of the year he came home with a fair amount of homework given his age and grade, so we had to start on it early. At one point I didn’t understand the task and since he didn’t either I suggested he ask the teacher the next day. His little eyes went so round and he said, “Oh no mommy. My teacher is stressed because of interviews so we need to be on our best behaviour.”

I could understand that it would be stressful having to meet with all the parents a week or two into the school year, but, when it came up again a month or so later because of a field trip, then report cards, then concert. I realized what had started out as a great tool for the teacher had turned into a manipulation strategy because it had worked so well. Kids need to be able to ask their teachers questions and they shouldn’t be afraid to do so because she is stressed.

If you use this tool and find yourself repeating it often, you’re probably in need of some other ideas to try. It actually took me a few repeats to recognize the PMS pattern and to realize that this could become a regular thing if I didn’t do something about it.

Just a side note…I’ve now learned that PMS is a sign your progesterone is low and one of the best ways to increase it is to spend some quality time with a girlfriend or two (even a phone call can do it).

So those are 5 ways you can feel, guide and process your emotions:  Call it out; Sound it out; Move it out; Write it out; Talk it out. Adopting and practicing tools like this, increases your self-awareness, helps with self-control and provides definite benefits for both your health and your relationships.

I have more tips I want to share with you on this topic, but I feel like this podcast is already long enough. So for this week, I hope you’ll try playing around with different ways to get your emotions moving and, if you’re actively parenting, start thinking about how you might teach this to your kids. Next week I’ll share some other tips including things like channeling your alien… so be sure to tune in!

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

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Parenting Beliefs that Increase Stress & Decrease Performance.

Today I want to tackle a few parenting beliefs that increase stress and decrease performance.If you’re a parent and especially if you’re raising young kids right now, you’ll likely find this very applicable too

your life. If, on the other hand, you are not actively raising a child at the moment, this can still be helpful because with just a little mental gymnastics, all of these beliefs like to surface in other areas of your life as well.

So I encourage you to notice the obvious way that it applies to you and also to go a bit deeper with it and think about how it might apply to you in something new you are learning – maybe it’s a job or university or even in a significant relationship you are in.  Anything that you are relatively new at; really care about; and tends to change or grow can be affected by what I am sharing.

Back to parenting…

Becoming a parent is one of the most life-altering experiences a person can make.  One day you’re responsible for only yourself and the next you’re in charge of the very survival of another. The overwhelming emotions, the fear of making a mistake, and the incredible uncertainty can leave new parents quite breathless. With each successful moment you gain more confidence, only to take two giant steps back any time something goes wrong.

I believe all things considered, people are doing the best they can with what they know in any moment in time. You likely entered into the role of parenting wanting to be good at it and raise a well balanced child.  It’s just once you are in it that things often go in a different direction. Maybe your child doesn’t behave the way you expected them to; or maybe they hit a tough spot in life; or maybe your partner isn’t as supportive as you original thought he or she would be…

I’m not suggesting you are raising unbalanced children, or that you’re not good at the task. I am suggesting this job could be a lot easier with more support, less judgment and increased understanding for yourself and from others. When you feel supported by the people around you, your confidence improves which allows you to access your creativity more easily, helps you to problem solve and keeps you more connected to your own resiliency – which is that sense that you can handle whatever life throws your way.

When you don’t pay attention to the things in your life that are guiding a lot of your behaviours, reactions and judgments, it makes life so much harder than it needs to be and by extension, decreases your personal vibrancy.

Let me illustrate with a story of my own… It’s 24 years ago so I’m 27 years old…

I’m a brand new mom. My son, who was born 2 weeks early at 6 pounds, 6 ounces, is a week old. I’m sleep deprived and, although breast feeding is going okay, I’m so sore I’m not sure I’m doing it right and I’m a little anxious about my baby being jaundiced even though I’ve been assured this is totally normal.

The phone rings and it’s the public health nurse wanting to come visit us at home just to make sure everything is going okay, to weigh my baby and answer any questions I might have.

Yay! I would love the support!

She arrives that afternoon. She’s kind, patient, knowledgeable and – most importantly supportive…just what I need. As our time together comes to an end she says, “You need to start giving him vitamin D. It’s a liquid and most babies love it, so have your husband pick some up and just squirt about ½ a dose into his cheek. It’s sweet, so he won’t mind and once he’s used to it he’ll probably see it as a treat.”

That sounds simple and healthy, I think, making a note so I don’t forget to do it.

We’re up early the next day – as we are every day – so I take out the vitamin bottle, read the package information and get the required dosage into the little plastic syringe.

“Here you go honey…a little treat for you that will help you grow big and strong.”

I squirt a little bit into his cheek and he jerks his head away from the syringe as if I just assaulted him with a real needle, then spits the sticky orange liquid out on his chin.

Using my finger, I scoop up what he just pushed out and push it back in…”Don’t be silly, the nurse says you’ll love it once you get used to it.”

Except…he doesn’t. He spits again and opens his mouth to complain. I squirt a little bit more in his cheek. Now he’s mad – he sucks in a deep breath to tell me how mad he is…only he doesn’t get oxygen. Instead his lungs fill with sticky, orange liquid. His eyes bug out and his little body stiffens. He’s making a coughing wheezing noise telling me he can’t get air or even get a deep enough breath to cough it out.

I’m fighting a strong urge to panic and all I can think is…the nearest hospital is 15 minutes away, I can’t drive and give CPR at the same time. OMG – I’ve killed my baby! Less than 10 seconds have passed since I injected the liquid but it feels like an hour.

“Get a grip Debbie! You’re the mother – do something.”

I flip my baby head down on my arm like they taught me in infant CPR and try to do something resembling a baby Heimlich. He’s kicking and struggling…I’m wondering if you can pummel out syrup. He looks a little blue and tears are streaming out of his eyes and mine.

In desperation, I lift my shirt and put him on the breast. He latches on and I’m not even sure why it works, but it calms him and helps him cough. I’m shaking and my nose is running all over.  I sit down in my chair and cry.

Can you see how in that short time span I went from being a fairly confident mother of a newborn to a quivering, emotional wreck? I felt like such a failure, what kind of mom can’t even give their baby some vitamin properly?

But here’s where the story gets even more interesting.

It’s a week later and the nurse is back at my house. I try to tell her my story, but I can feel the terror of that day welling up inside of me. My eyes are tearing up as I glance at her. But she has a big smile on her face. She shakes her head and laughs.

“I’m sorry for laughing,” she says, “I’m sure it didn’t feel at all funny to you. If it helps this is definitely not the first time I’m hearing a story like this, but Vitamin D is very important – especially for breast fed babies. So, try again…he’ll stop fighting you once he realizes you mean business.”

I want to argue with her. Something inside is telling me that my situation is different from others. Also…my baby wasn’t fighting me – he was choking to death! I also want to tell her I did try it one more time and while it wasn’t as dramatic, it still did not go well. There has to be a different way…I’ve been reading, can’t he get Vit D from the sun?

But I don’t say any of this, because my chin is quivering and the tears are starting to flow and if I open my mouth to tell her any of this, I can tell it won’t be pretty.

So, I nod my head, wipe my face with my sleeve, take a shaky breath and watch the nurse measure and weigh my baby.

Now, of course, back then I didn’t know about personal power, intuition or the incredibly important need for every one of us to reclaim our voice. Reflecting on it now…I had two deep seated beliefs guiding my actions – #1 The doctors (and by extension the public health nurse) know best and if you love your baby you should listen to them. Just because I read What to Expect When You’re Expecting cover to cover doesn’t mean I’m an expert. And #2 If you don’t listen to the authorities they can see you unfit as a mother and maybe even take your baby away!

Isn’t that amazing? Here I am a social worker by profession, a woman who has declared to anyone who will listen that I truly want to be the best mom I can possibly be and yet rather than feel supported and encouraged by this critical support system, I feel scared and unwilling to stand up for what I feel needs to be said.

The nurse leaves and I pick up the phone to call my friend and cry on her shoulder, before remembering that her son, who’s 6 months older than mine, loves his Vitamin D and takes it easily (she told me that last week when I called!). My mom has already told me she agrees with the nurse and that I should just listen and hubby, well he says I am a bit more emotional than usual and it’s possible hormones are clouding my judgment.

In that moment I feel alone, embarrassed, scared and unsupported.

Now, I’m not sharing this with you to say, vitamins are bad or that you shouldn’t listen to your medical team… not at all!  I’m hoping you’ll see from it that parents – moms especially – are often told to ignore their inner wisdom; ignore their child’s protests; and just do as they have been told.  Afraid of making a critical mistake many of us will obey even when it feels totally wrong.

Parenting, especially for mothers, is already so stressful…remove your connection to your intuition or inner wisdom and you become untethered… like a helium balloon floating through the sky guided by the wind.

Just so you know my son is now almost 24 and it turns out he didn’t like taking any of those liquids as a babe (to settle his tummy, painkillers…) and if I got him to take them would typically throw them up. So I stopped giving him the Vitamin he hated (felt guilty and a little worried that I might be damaging him) – took him out in the sun a lot and am happy to report he still grew up big and strong.

Obviously, I can’t eliminate all the situations you might experience that will make you feel shaky as a mom, but I can help you take back your power by pointing out some of the beliefs you might be buying into that are making your parenting experience harder than it needs to be.

Belief #1 – I am the only person who struggles with parenting

This is kind of a strange belief because if you watch any Reality TV or sitcoms like Modern Family, Fullhouse, etc or even listen to the media… you know plenty of others out there struggle as well. So, in theory you should be able to say – Nope, I’m not worried…lots of other parents struggle even worse than I do.

Yet, as is true with many really deep seated beliefs, this is rarely the case when you take a closer look. Notice your thoughts when you watch another parent skillfully divert a melt down by their child. Notice how you feel when you listen to a mom share a story about something her child does easily, when yours fights it all the way.

The point is… any task looks easier from the outside where you can’t hear the other person’s inner dialogue, feel their uncertainty or witness their mistakes. A lot of parenting struggles happen behind closed doors which means you don’t know about them unless you are in that room too.

The result is parenting struggles aren’t always obvious and because so many people believe they are a sign of weakness…they are not something they will easily share.

Remember in my story when I mentioned that my friend’s son took his vitamin easily…that knowledge actually physically hurt when I heard it and made me feel flawed. This is not my friend’s fault – but stems from my own faulty belief.

When another friend asked if she could bathe her son at my house because it was a part of their bed time ritual her son loved and he’d be asleep by the time they got home…I felt a similar reaction. My son hated baths…in fact both of my kids did! What was I doing wrong?

The truth is everyone who cares about being a parent will struggle with some aspect of this task. This job is all about growth and growth always requires adjustment and learning.  The majority of parents, in a safe environment, will admit that there are some pieces of parenting they just don’t know how to handle.

Not only that, but every one of us will make mistakes
 This is the norm…not the exception!

Being a parent means learning on the job. No matter how put together we might look on the outside, we all struggle at times and that’s a fact. Which is why part of the focus in my Sisterhood of Vibrant, Powerful Moms, is on what we learn from our struggles, what we’d like to be more creative about and what we’re doing well. We don’t ignore the struggles, we just define them in a way that allows us to truly stand in our power.

So, if you believe you are the only one that struggles, I’m here to tell you it’s not true!

Belief #2 – Parenting is natural 

Sounds simple enough – doesn’t it? I mean people have been doing it for eons!

Although the act of making a baby is often – not always, but most often – nature at her finest… parenting is not. It is a skill that must be learned and adapted to fit you, your circumstances, your significant other and your child. The areas you need to grow in; the mirroring that will occur; the financial stressors that you face; the supports you have or don’t have in your life… will be unique to you resulting in everyone’s experience being a little different from everyone else.

So – why is it a problem to believe parenting is natural?

When you believe something is natural, deep down inside you think it should be easy, obvious and that you should automatically know how to do it.

To take this a step further, when you think something is natural you don’t give a lot of thought to how it might be done differently. In other words, you don’t believe there are a lot of choices, which means you don’t access your inner wisdom and use your creativity to develop new ways of being.

When something is natural we feel like there is no other choice but to do things the way we have seen them done in our own lives

For example, if you were raised in a home where you were spanked (or threatened to spank) when you misbehaved, this form of punishment can feel natural to you. This is true even though spanking or threatening might not fit at all with the kind of person you are, never mind your conscious beliefs and perhaps even training around gaining compliance from others.

When we believe something is natural and it’s not, we feel extremely limited in our choices and will rarely look beyond what we believe to be true. This limits us to the tools we have in our toolbox from our upbringing – they are not natural, but they are familiar.

When something is natural you will do it in a predictable way even if you are not encouraged or shown how to do it. For example, think about a baby learning to walk. Unless something is getting in the way of him physically being able to walk – he will quite naturally start pulling himself up on things, cruising around furniture and walking on his own. The amount of time he spends in each stage will be unique to him and the age he becomes mobile will vary, but the process itself will happen even if he is being raised in a family that does nothing to encourage him to try.

Can you see how different this natural process is from the learned role of being a parent?

Parenting is not natural – it is a unique process that can be done so many different ways it’s quite mind-boggling.  When you embrace this you free yourself up to ask questions, get creative, seek out support and perhaps most importantly… move beyond the idea that there is only one right way to do things.

Belief #3 – I should be able to do this without any help

Even though, consciously at this time in history, people are starting to recognize that asking for help is not, in fact, a sign of weakness, many people still struggle with the idea that they might need help with something that feels like such a natural part of life. Of course, now that you understand, parenting is not natural, this idea should be a lot easier to overcome.

Beliefs are like a tree – they are supported by roots – some of which stretch out really far and grow really thick, but in your subconscious mind – not your conscious one. This means simply becoming aware of a belief is not enough to take away its power over you.  You’ll have to do a bit of work to really chop it out at the roots.

For example, remember in my story about the public health nurse and my son… I mentioned there were two beliefs stopping me from really standing up for myself. The second belief was: If you don’t listen to the authorities they can see you unfit as a mother and maybe even take your baby away. This belief runs very deep for many of us and can definitely interfere with any desire to ask for help. Our current system definitely does not bring out the best in parents…but that’s a conversation for another time.

My first belief was also part of this root system. I can’t ask for help because the doctor knows best and what I’m feeling at the moment is going against what the doctor (or in this case the nurse) is telling me. And here’s the kicker…at the time I wasn’t even conscious of these beliefs.

These are just two of the big roots you might have as well…yet there are probably plenty more holding up that tree. So I challenge you to start noticing how easy it is for you ask for help and what get’s in the way or stops you from doing it more often.

Just a quick note… it’s usually easier for us to ask for help with things we feel we are not expected to know. So sometimes it’s helpful to look at your expectations for yourself and use those to guide you to help you uncover the underlying beliefs.

That’s all I have time to share right now on this topic even though there is lots more I could say.

This is definitely a topic we’ll dive into deeply in our Sisterhood of Vibrant, Powerful Moms, so if you feel this is something you’d like to explore further, please join us!

.           .           .           .           .

In closing…Parenting is not about being perfect—it is about learning, growing and unconditionally loving, yourself and your child! When you are living with awareness you regain an important piece of your power – one that allows you to feel like you have a bit more control in your life (even though control is actually an illusion!). This makes it easier for you to stay tuned in to your intuition, access your inner wisdom and perhaps even speak up when someone tells you there’s only one way to raise a healthy child.

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

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Helping Moms Thrive in the Workforce With Nicola Grace

Meet today’s guest:

Nicola Grace

From cancer to making history saving a billion dollar industry from ruin, award winning strategist and best selling author Nicola Grace The Mission Mentor, helps Entrepreneurs & Visionaries clarify and monetize their life’s big mission so they can make a bigger impact, transform the world and build their legacy.

Nicola’s Intuitive Visionary strategy skills have made her the secret weapon of politicians, business owners, social entrepreneurs, social innovators, thought leaders and an entire industry body.

 

Do you know what you’ve come here to do?

Is your ‘soul’ purpose to have and raise your child(ren)?  If so does this mean when they leave the nest you will be purposeless?

My guest this week on Vibrant, Powerful Moms, is Nicola Grace, also known as the Mission Mentor, and she helps people figure out their  mission and higher purpose so they can live a life that is both aligned and fulfilling.

“Searching out your purpose, soul expression and mission can actually help you be a better mom because it allows you to bring pieces of it into your interactions with your child. That will make you happier, help you have more fun and build stronger relationships.”

Nicola’s own story is one of trials and tribulations as she tried to uncover her own purpose in life. She started out as a history teacher, moved into dance and choreography, shifted into television, corporate and then spiritual training. On and on it went, with each move making Nicola think she’d found her passion only to have the rug pulled out from under her again and again.

Nicola also dealt with cancer – twice. The first time it was leukemia and the second time, final stage melanoma. This was what lead her to work with the Natural Health Industry in New Zealand when, out of nowhere, she developed a strategy that saved this billion dollar industry from ruin.

People told her this was obviously her gift and that she should take what she did there and boil it down to determine her ‘secret sauce’ so she could go out and share that with the world. She did…and it was here that she found her soul purpose and with it her life force.

“The full vibrancy of your life force is accessed by connecting to your soul purpose!”

Nicola shared lots of great tips and ideas during our interview for creating a life that truly fills you up and keeps you vibrant.  Here’s a few of the highlights, but be sure to check out the audio for all of the goods.

3 Tips for moms who have put their career on hold…

The world is changing and with it the workforce. There is a pathway forwards that can use all your skills – you have not wasted your time or your education.

The world is your oyster. Be prepared to take the journey because it will give you all of the answers that you are looking for and everything will fall into place and come together in a way that makes sense to you.

When you know what you are building and are passionate about it you have a natural fire driving you to do it.

3 Reasons why you want to uncover your purpose…

Your job will suck the life out of you if you are not enjoying it!

You’ll always be viable in the market when you’re looking at building a career or a business based on your purpose.

When you know your purpose and when you know your mission… that becomes part of the greater good. When people are working with you they are helping to build that mission and are therefore contributing to the world in a positive way.

3 Ways the market is changing…

You can’t just be exchanging money for goods and services anymore. You have to also exchange a feeling of greater purpose.

Donating 1% of your profits to charity is no longer enough!

I’m not a fan of ‘giving it a try’ especially in this market where the job pool and what everybody is trained for is dwindling. Just about everybody needs to go out and get re-educated or learn something new to prepare for the new world that we’re moving into.

The ideal way to re-enter the workforce…

“If I was starting all over again I would do the self-discovery work and search out your soul expression first. That’s where your mojo is! So if you build your future on anything other than what brings out your highest potential it’s not going to have the same outcome.”

Living a life that fills you with passion, purpose and prosperity is part of being a vibrant, powerful mom. Nicola’s interview along with her generous gift can help you figure out what this means to you.

Gift: Check out Nicola’s 5 Day Purpose Aligned Business Challenge – and learn about your soul expression; your higher purpose; how to monetize your mission to make a difference; and so much more!  (I loved this so much I became an affiliate!)

Nicola’s website: www.nicolagrace.com

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

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What You Need to Know About Feelings

Originally posted as: Feelings; they’re in you to guide [October 2016]

Today we are going to talk about the “F” word… Feelings. It’s interesting that feelings are the brunt of so many jokes – like only some of us have them or that they are optional in life. Feelings are a very important part of being human and processing them is a huge part of living a healthy and happy life.

This is an important topic to be aware of because if you’ve been taught to bury, ignore, negatively feed or reject your feelings – you have a very good chance of becoming ill, sabotaging your relationships, losing your self-control and draining your power.

Think about what you have been taught about feelings. For example, when you were young (and maybe even now) if you were sad you might have been told to: chin up; toughen up; focus on the positives; or distract yourself with happier thoughts. When you were mad you might have been told: smarten up/you’re bad; don’t be mad; focus on your breath; calm down; let it go.

We are told some of these things for good reason. Dwelling on our sadness and adding to it by coming up with all the things we feel entitled to be sad about, can make us miserable and no fun to be around. As well, allowing our anger to grow to a point of rage and letting it control our behaviour can definitely result in problems for us and for others.

The missing piece though, is that it is really our thoughts and not our feelings that are the problem in this situation, and in the end it is only our behaviour that gets us into trouble. Our feelings are signals, meant to suggest we check things out further before moving on. Ignoring or stuffing the signal is much like taking the battery out of the smoke alarm without checking why it’s going off in the first place. If you deal with the cause, the detector will stop on its own.

It is our negative thoughts that take these signals and turn them into a full scale alarm.

This is unhealthy as it creates many over-reactions, hurt feelings and problems in a person’s life. The feeling of anger is seen as the problem culprit which is like blaming the burned building on the smoke detector.

Taking the battery out of the alarm defeats the whole purpose of having one. Letting it wail all the time doesn’t work well either. Learning how to recognize your feelings and process them in a healthy effective way is beneficial to all of us.

Where do you start?

Here’s one fun way to try. Begin by noticing your feelings and searching for different words to describe them. For example – when someone asks you how you are feeling, you likely have a standard response such as; fine, great, good, tired, alright…  Take a moment and think about your most common answers.

To play the game, you want to start digging deeper than that. If you really are fine/good or alright then you might respond with – content, relaxed, grounded, satisfied, balanced or mediocre. If you are great you could use; fabulous, empowered, strong, enlightened, eager, excited…feelings-list-pdf

I’ll post a list you can get off my site of different feeling words so if you don’t have many in your vocabulary you can start finding new ones that suit you. My only rule is that you don’t feel limited to the list.

The point is to start taking stock of your feelings so that you’re really noticing them – rather than just going on autopilot and giving an answer that people expect.

If you choose to take on this challenge (let’s say for the next week or two), try to use a different feeling word every time you respond to this question and you will be amazed at how people tune into you.  “Did you say you are satisfied? Why – what were you up to last night?” to which you can have some fun and respond with more banter, “Wouldn’t you like to know?” give real details, “Actually, I’m satisfied because I finished my paper last night for my course and today is the deadline,” ….or give a brush off – “I appreciate you’re asking how I am, but right now I don’t think I want to share more than that about it.”

You can also use this tool with your kids as a way to expand their feelings vocabulary, help them tune in to their feelings and get real conversation going around the dinner table. One way is to come up with a common lead in…”So…where are you at today?”

Be very careful to respect when a person doesn’t want to elaborate on their feelings, even if your son just told you he’s depressed. Responding with shock and interrogating him, “Depressed, why what happened…I can’t believe this is the first I’m hearing about this!” can shut him down completely and tell him you are not a safe person to share feelings with.

Instead you can take it in stride and maybe clarify a little, “Ooh, that doesn’t feel nice. Are you saying you’re sad, like your spark has gone out or something else?”

It’s possible your son has heard that word and now is trying it out…he could also be getting it confused with another word, like disappointed or he could be checking to see if you respond the same way the teacher did at school when Brittany said it.

By clarifying like this you help him understand it better, you make it easier for him to explore and you open the door for future feeling discussions. Refrain from any kind of ‘closed door’ reaction including challenges like, “Do you even know what that means?”

Finally, you can also use this as a way to explore and connect with other people. “You say you’re fine, but you look a little…I don’t know – disappointed maybe…did something happen?” Obviously if they say no, you let it drop, although you can do that while leaving the door open, “Fair enough, I apologize if it sounds like I was snooping – just concerned…let me know if you want to talk more.”

You’ll find that just by noticing your own feelings (digging deeper for meaning) that many of them will release on their own. When you say you are fine, when in reality you feel disappointed, you are stuffing the feeling. But when you say, “I’m kind of disappointed, but give me time and I’ll get over it.” You honor the feeling and allow it to flow. A little note about that one…it’s perfectly fair to say something like, “I’m kind of disappointed, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet. I’ll let you know when I am.”

When we bury our feelings or pretend they don’t exist, we do not process them. This can result in problems later when the “burial site” gets too full and these past feeling begin to resurface.

I teach this to kids using a cup with water and reading a story of an average emotional day. As a group we identify anytime the hero of the story stuffs a feeling and add water to the cup. I don’t stop adding when the cup is full, so the water begins spilling onto the floor. The kids are quick to catch on that the cup can only hold so much water and if you try to over-fill it a mess will result. When we carry around old, unprocessed emotions, we greatly increase the odds of overflowing.

Did you know the most commonly stuffed feelings are: nervousness, fear, embarrassment, hurt, surprise, humiliation, disappointment, frustration? How do we do this…by shifting immediately to anger rather than allow the real feeling to be expressed. Think about a time when you were embarrassed… how did you respond?

Feelings signal to us that something might be wrong so that we can investigate and deal with it accordingly. Unfortunately, many of us react to the discomfort of the feeling, and add some negative thoughts increasing their intensity and ensuring they stick to that memory forever.

So what can we do instead?

Here’s one way to process your feelings…

Step #1: When a feeling arises, notice it without trying to stop it – your goal is to become the interested observer. Since the brain is on whether we want it to be or not, take control of your thoughts and direct them; I feel sad – where is that coming from? Or Uh-oh, I’m embarrassed because I didn’t know the answer and now I’m covering it up by getting angry.

When a thought arises in response to this question search for inaccuracies.  For example: I’m sad because I’m always left out of things or He asked me that question on purpose because he knew I wouldn’t know the answer – he’s trying to embarrass me.

If it’s faulty make an immediate correction. For example: okay, I’m not always left out, but I sure feel left out this time. Or Ego – sit! It’s okay to make a mistake, isn’t that what I’m always telling the kids?

Watch out for the temptation to feed the feeling instead: I always get left out of things… people don’t like me, it’s not fair, why am I always excluded? or He’s such a jerk!

Step #2: When you say the thoughts aloud and they hurt, but are no longer faulty or never were faulty, like: I’m sad because my dog died or Okay, so he was trying to set me up – that hurts… let your thoughts subside and focus your attention on the feeling.

Notice where you feel the emotion in your body and put your hand on it (if you can). Relax by taking a few deep breaths to quiet your mind. If a thought surfaces anyway, move aside and let it sail on by.

Often, just doing this, will allow the feeling to release.

Other times you might need to deal with it with that person. “Todd, I feel like you knew I didn’t know that answer and purposely asked it to make me look bad…was that your intention?” In this case, you can now have a real conversation with this person about what’s going on.

Still other situations will have linked up to form a block or pattern. I’ll share a pattern example in a moment, but for now let’s just say, these take a bit more work to release, but removing them can truly change your life!

In some instances a feeling may keep reappearing. When grieving, for example, this is part of the healing process and if you release the feelings each time (rather than judge them or bemoan the fact you seem to be right back where you started) you’ll find the grieving journey flows more easily.

Alternatively, when you’ve been blocking your feelings and now allow them to flow, as soon as you deal with one feeling another old blocked one may arise. When this happens it’s not failure, but a cleaning that is long overdue.

My story…

One of the patterns I uncovered in my life involved my husband and housework. Throughout our marriage we shared a lot of the cleaning responsibilities (which I am truly grateful for), but there was no doubt that the way he looked at cleaning and the way I viewed it were very different things.

Somewhere along the line I started to feel resentful that he would go in and clean a room in 10 minutes and label it done. I would spend at least 45 minutes in the same room – not because I’m super slow, but because I’d put things away that shouldn’t be in there, clean into every corner and leave the room spotless. In both situations the room looked and smelled great.

The other thing that started to bother me was that I often had to ask him to do any extra cleaning, or work around him while he sat relaxing on the couch. Now, please remember, this is how I was viewing things…not necessarily what you might see if our home was reality TV.

The pattern…

Over time, it became automatic and when I would start to clean, the second I noticed my husband sitting down, going outside to do something else, or simply not participating in the cleaning I would get a small surge of anger. With that, my inner critic would pipe up and start a conversation that went something like, “Great, guess I’m on my own, while he just relaxes. I’m not the only one who made this mess – I’m always cleaning up the messes. I could ask him to help, but he won’t do a good enough job anyway.”

As you can guess, this kind of thinking only intensified my anger, making my actions harsher – more clipped…sometimes resulting in me breaking things accidentally – which only made me angrier. And on it went.

When I became aware of my inner critic, I started consciously choosing to stop this conversation, but I found that much harder to do than expected. Now my inner dialogue sounded something like – “Great, guess I’m on my own.” Stop it, you know he does a lot around here. “True, but look at the mirror – he just finished cleaning the bathroom and there’s a big smear down it. Guess I have to everything myself.” Quiet, I’m grateful he helped out, plus sometimes I miss things too.

Suddenly I’d realize that instead of stopping the dialogue, now I was just arguing with myself! I needed to change my tactics and thankfully I have tools to do that.

Several years ago I took one of Tony Robbins programs and in it he talked about ‘scratching the record’ when you feel yourself slipping into a pattern. In his example he threw a glass of water in a woman’s face at an event to stop the pattern, but thankfully he says you can do it with anything that snaps you out of where you are headed and allows you to ‘reset’.

So, in my case, I started scratching the record with singing, dancing, turning up the music, asking for help, laughing, creating a gratitude list in my mind while I work…believe it or not the pattern is still there (I have not yet damaged it enough to make it skip in a reliable way), but now, I’m fully aware of it and the moment I start down that path, I notice and correct.

One of the things that helped me identify this as a pattern rather than a relationship issue was when I tried to think about what I would ask my husband to do rather than sitting there. In most cases, he had already done what needed to be done (by him) and there was nothing more for him to do. If I needed his help still I knew I could ask for it – but in this case, the things that were left were things that only mattered to me (i.e. digging the dirt out of the corners).

If you think this is happening to you – i.e. you seem to be bothered by the same thing over and over again – you have created a pattern and the fact that you are becoming aware of it means it’s time to let it go. I can help you with that if you like or you can try it on your own. Whatever you decide remember your goal is to release the emotion…not feed it, stuff it, ignore it, or talk yourself out of it.

Feelings are signals. They make us human and help us create an incredible life experience.  So become aware of your emotions and enjoy the contentment that comes with letting feelings flow rather than grow.

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How to Keep Going When Life Knocks You Down With Deri Latimer

Meet today’s guest:

Deri Latimer

is an expert in positive possibilities for people! She is one of fewer than 12% of speakers globally who hold the designation of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), the international measure of excellence for professional competence, proven experience, and optimal client satisfaction. Deri combines a business degree in human resources management with 20 years of experience engaging audiences across every business sector.

 

A TEDx Speaker, Author and Organizational Consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy, healthy, humane workplaces for increased positivity, productivity, and prosperity! She is mostly proud of the two beautiful human beings who call her ‘Mom’…and everything she creates is with the hope that it will create a better world for them.

“Shortly after University I met a beautiful man, we got married and 8 months into our marriage he died by suicide. It was a complete shock to me – I had no idea that my husband at the time was struggling and for the first time in my life I felt shame.”

Although this was a very ‘foggy’ time, I remember really questioning myself – my worth, wondering what I may have contributed to this horrible situation. There were very few resources available on this topic at the time and I would wander into bookstores searching for any information that could help me to understand.

When I did the TEDx talk many years later… that was me coming out of closet, because it was the first time I was really sharing the story of my husband in a big way. I was already speaking a lot, helping people with resiliency and such, but I still felt shame about what had happened.”

Three things that helped Deri continue on after this tragedy:

  1. I spent a lot of time looking for information – to try and figure things out.
  2. I continued to move forwards… Every day I got up, got dressed and went out with purpose.
  3. I sought support and guidance from the people who I knew loved me and had my best interest at heart.

When Deri was given the opportunity to speak at TEDx, she really wanted to honour TED by providing an idea worth sharing and not just dumping a tragic story on the listeners. She decided to position her story around sharing this difficult secret with her 8 and 11 year old.

As a Certified Speaking Professional, Deri has given a lot of presentations, yet sharing this story with her kids, she maintains, was the biggest and scariest talk she has ever done.

Listen to our conversation to hear more of Deri’s story… how her kid’s reacted; the strategy she used to find the good in her mom’s decline into Alzheimer’s; what she does to stay vibrant and healthy; and more.

Deri’s gift is a PDF of her own gripping narrative entitled What’s Your Story? You Decide… which comes complete with guidelines to help the reader tap into her own resiliency. Subscribe to Deri’s blog and she’ll send you a copy.

Resources mentioned:

TEDx talk Choose Life: Deri Latimer at TEDxManitoba 2013 

Alzheimer’s Blog: The unexpected gift of a slow death

Subscribe to Deri’s blog and receive What’s Your Story? You Decide

If you enjoyed this podcast/article please like/rate/review and subscribe… that’s what keeps us going! Click here now to enjoy our other podcasts.

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My Big 5-0

Originally posted as: My Big 5-0 [November 2016]

Today I’m doing something a little goofy. Recently I turned the big 5 0 – and very soon after this happened I had 3 things come up in my life that started with the letter O. Because I tend to have a rather interesting thought process – I had this sudden inspiration that I should do a podcast and share 5 important things everyone would benefit by knowing that start with the letter O.

 

I know it sounds crazy, but it fits for me and in honour of my Big 5-0 I just couldn’t let it go without doing something about it. So…here they are:

  1. Oxytocin – The first of my ‘O’s’ goes to Oxytocin which I’ve mentioned to you before a few time, and had to be on this list. Oxytocin is a hormone that many people refer to as the bonding hormone, the love hormone and certainly a feel good hormone. It’s important to the body in a lot ways, including being very instrumental in childbirth and breastfeeding, but it goes far beyond that as well.

Apparently, women’s bodies have far more oxytocin receptors than men which suggests it is even more important for us to have this hormone flooding through our bodies. How do you do that…well there are many ways – orgasm (another wonderful O word) is one way to get large amounts of Oxytocin flooding the body, so do your best to be releasing it that way on a regular basis – however it can also be released through all things pleasure –  by breathing a certain way and making a pleasure noise on the exhale (Hahhhhhhhhh). You can also get it flowing via loving caress (running fingers through your hair, rubbing a person’s back) and even by thinking loving and compassionate thoughts.

If you aren’t getting this hormone flowing every day you are missing out, especially when it feels so good, has such huge health benefits and is easy to do.

Don’t know how? Pick up one of my freebies off my site – 5 Secrets to being a Vibrant Mom or the Stress-less, Live More E-booklet where I describe the process.

  1. Oil of Oregano – The second ‘O’ gem I want to share is using essential oils – especially oil of oregano. I love having essential oils around me all the time, diffusing in a room to make it more relaxing, invigorating, healing or even just to freshen the air. Make sure you find a really good (preferably therapeutic grade) oil – DoTerra is my favorite and provides awesome guidance on how to use it and when.

I also like to carry a tissue in my pocket when I’m about to do something that requires a sharp, confident brain (like an interview or presentation).  I sprinkle a couple dabs of my favorite ‘brain power’ oil (typically those from the peppermint family) and sniff it before, during…whenever it’s needed.

The reason I zeroed in on oil of oregano – which can be purchased in forms other than essential oils – is for a couple of reasons. Number one it is an awesome oil to have around you at this time of year when flu viruses and other annoying germs like to surface. Once again just breathing it in off a tissue can work – although you might find people start talking about Ceasar Salads every time you come around if you carry it with you. This can also be a problem with diffusing it into the air, so instead you can put it in a carrier oil (any light oil – my favorite is fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil) and massage it on your feet in the morning or before bed.

Oil of oregano can also be taken internally, but I reserve that for when I have a sore throat starting up or am feeling out of sorts.

What made this oil come sharply into focus in the last few weeks for me, was when the bottom of my foot started to get sensitive and a planters wart revealed itself. At first I just ignored it, but it was obvious it was going to get worse and needed to be dealt with. Although I really like my doctor, he is never my first line of defense when it comes to healing something like this, because traditional medicine has been taught to fix the symptom as if it’s the problem and in this case would blast the wart without any thought for what is causing it to surface.

So, I pulled out my oregano essential oil and put a few drops into my coconut oil (oregano put directly on the skin
can be a bit too harsh). I place it beside my work area with a few cotton swabs (q-tips) and a lid (because I don’t like to smell Ceasar Salad all day) and then once or twice a day, took off my sock, swabbed with oregano oil, put back on my sock and continued on with my day.

The very next morning I could already feel improvement and two days later it was completely gone. The best part, my immune system has been strengthened by the oregano oil, rather than weakened by the over-the-counter med or nitrogen the doctor may have blasted me with.

  1. Osteopathy – The 3rd ‘O’ I want to talk about is Osteopathy. This is not very well known where I live, although I understand it is much more common in more populated areas. I kind of lucked in to seeing an Osteopath when my youngest’s Naturopath referred us to one of the top Osteopaths in Winnipeg. She’s so busy she doesn’t take any new clients until a spot opens up on her list.

After hearing about what was going on for my son, they suggested I bring him in to have the Osteopath do an assessment and see if anything could be done to help him regain some quality of life. As a result this osteopath ended up fitting him to her already overloaded schedule and working on him at least once a month.

I asked the fellow I was talking to if there was any way I could have treatments done with a different osteopath since I too have lots of health issues and would be waiting in their office anyway. As luck would have it I was talking to the Osteopath’s husband and he was actually a student of Osteopathy. He had room in his practice for a new patient so I signed up on the spot.

So what is Osteopathy… it’s actually really hard for me to describe. If you’ve ever had cranial sacral work done, then you will have a better understanding of how it works, but if not, I’m not sure I can explain it in a way that makes sense. What I can say, is they release energy blocks, they realign body parts, they awaken sluggish organs and then get everything in the body working together.

It’s non-invasive, it feels heavenly, it’s covered by many insurance plans and it’s well worth looking into.

I’m a huge fan of Osteopaths and cranial sacral work. I believe it would be beneficial for every baby to be checked and treated after their journey down the birth canal as a way to prevent unnecessary issues further down the road.

In line with that, my son’s Osteopath figures his brain and body have barely been talking most of his life. It took 16 years for it to surface as a ‘real problem’ and when it did traditional medicine didn’t have a clue what to do with it.

  1. Oolong – the fourth ‘O’ I want to share is Oolong tea…which is relatively new to me even though I’ve been a green tea enthusiast for many years. You’ve likely heard that there are many health benefits to drinking green tea – and there are, however it is also a little harsh on some people’s stomachs.

A couple months ago I was reading a newly released book called, The DNA Restart; Unlock your personal genetic code to eat for your genes, lose weight and reverse aging…by Dr. Sharon Moalem and one of his chapters was on the many health benefits of oolong tea.

What is oolong? It’s a lightly roasted and partially fermented tea, so it sits in the middle of the scale between green
and black tea. It has all the health benefits of green, but because of the roasting and fermenting part, also has the ability to latch onto extra fat in your food – that wouldn’t be used because your body doesn’t need it at the moment and would instead be stored as fat. He also says that drinking oolong between meals can help your body pull off and eliminate unnecessary fat.

This sounded good to me, because I love tea and I don’t love fat around my middle or on the back of my thighs so I dug some out from the back of my cupboard and started drinking it instead of the green. I like variety so I ordered a few different kinds of loose oolong from Amazon to drink with my meals (after really so as not to dilute the enzymes and acid in my stomach).

As with any tea, they are not all created equal so if you want to try this aim for high quality, loose if possible (David’s Tea has a few to experiment with).

Unfortunately I have to add a caveat to this one. Just yesterday (which means about a month ago now in the world of podcasting), I listened to a very intelligent and well known scientist, Mike Adams, who was a guest on the Thyroid Summit that Dr. Amy Myers was hosting. He does a lot of studies on the things that seep into our food unbeknownst to us.

He mentioned, that all tea – green, oolong, black – has a propensity for leaching flouride out of soil and therefore should not be ingested more than once a day and not even that much if you are suffering with any symptoms of thyroid imbalance. I’m not sure I know anybody who wouldn’t at least wonder about their thyroid after reading the list of imbalance symptoms and listening to Dr. Amy for even a few minutes…so before you go and order a whole bunch of oolong, maybe read Dr. Amy Myer’s The Thyroid Connection…ask your guides or use some other way to determine if it’s a good idea for you.

  1. Orexin – The final O of my 5-O’s is another hormone – one that I just learned about. It’s called Orexin and it is the hormone that makes you feel energized. Yup…you read that right. Orexin is the hormone that makes you feel like jumping off the coach and going outside to play…or to run the laundry upstairs….or even to get up and start making supper.

I can’t tell you too much about Orexin as I’m just learning myself, but I can say that this is a hormone worth knowing about and enhancing when possible. So here’s a few tips I’ve learned so far in my course with Ari Whitten called The Energy Blueprint:

  • Orexin is the hormone that makes you feel awake, energenic and speeds up your metabolism.
  • It is what makes you want to get off the couch and do something (NEAT)
  • Good quality protein is critical to keep orexin levels up
  • Fructose in actual, complete fruit – increases Orexin; coupled with a walk after eating keeps your glucose levels down and energy levels up
  • Fun exercise – i.e. playing with your kids (or puppy in my case); doing things you love like hiking for me and rock climbing for others – increases your Orexin levels…whereas just exercising (and not really having fun) does not!

I suspect there is a lot more to learn about Orexin and in fact I know I’m forgetting to share some of the tidbits I’ve already learned in this course, but I think it’s a good start. If this is something that interests you, I suggest you put it out to the universe that you would like to learn more. In the meantime, pay attention to how much of your movement involves fun and see if you can adjust things to make them bring you the pleasure you need to have great energy.

So that’s it…my 5-O’s. There are plenty of other great ‘O’ words out there, but these are 5 that presented themselves for me to share at this significant point in my life journey. I hope you found at least one or two of them are also of interest to you.

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