The Game of Life

Originally posted as: Awakening [September 2016]

I’m thrilled that you have tuned in to today’s podcast because last week I was guided to launch a pretty big topic and my ego was a bit concerned it might scare some people off.

If you missed last week’s podcast and just happened to start listening in now, you might want to go back one week and give the previous one a listen first.

Assuming you feel you are in the right place, let’s continue our discussion. What we started last week was really a paradigm shift – a different way of looking at the world as we know it. Opening your mind and seeing beyond the fear-based, limited version of life that has been widely spread and accepted, is not an easy thing to do, so congratulations for sticking with it.

In case you think I’m just placating you, let me speak a bit more on this topic – there are many, many people so afraid to question the status quo, rock the boat or even stand up for their own opinion…this is why it’s so important we all reconnect with our power and remember how to stand in it confidently and proudly.

Their fear is not unfounded – in the past we know people were punished, killed and silenced in many terrible ways…and it’s actually quite likely you experienced that in a past life (perhaps more than once), which means the memory of it is still there in your subconscious mind – it’s part of your programming. I’m not telling you this to scare you, but so that you understand why you might feel fear, panic or anxiety as you continue on this journey AND there are ways to release those memories.

Thankfully, things have changed a great deal – at least in the Western World and it is time for us to take back what is rightfully ours and right the wrongs that have been happening. You might have heard that the Dali Lama said, “Western women will save the world.” This sounds like such a big project, but really it’s just about awakening, sharing what we learn so we help others awaken, and taking back our power – in loving and appropriate ways.

So today, let me start by sharing some of my path towards enlightenment.

My Story

My journey of awareness began when I was quite young with a really strong sense that there was more to life than was meeting the eye. My mom was a bit of a radical in her day because although she didn’t act out publicly (at least I don’t think she burnt her bra!), she did openly question things and still does. She read a lot of ‘edgy’ works at the time like Jane Roberts channeling “Seth” and all of Shirley MacLain’s books.

Although she was a fully trained RN, she quickly figured out hospitals were too restrictive for her and started her own journey outside of the medical system. It was my mom who solved my migraines that the doctors said I’d just have to live with (even though I was only in elementary school), and it was also her that started me down the path towards fixing my irritable bowel syndrome rather than just settling and taking the daily sedative my doctor thought was the answer.

She practiced Reflexology and Myotherapy – which back then (around 30 years ago) was barely talked about in Western culture. My point is, I chose my mother well as she taught me to question, wonder and seek answers. She also challenged me to not just blindly follow something because it made sense, but to look at it from many different perspectives and even then to keep my mind open to new possibilities.

My dad taught me a lot of things, but two pieces really stand out as relevant now. First, he taught me that I could do anything I really wanted to do and secondly, he showed me what it felt like to be loved unconditionally.

Another aspect of my life that spurred me to look for big answers was my confusion around religion. My parents took us to church when we were young and taught us to say grace (actually we usually sang it) and gave us each a bible. I was baptized in a United Church, but beyond that was encouraged to develop my own understanding of God.

As a teenager I often slept over at a friend’s house whose father was a born-again Christian and as a result an avid church goer. Often we were required to rise early (at least it felt early) on Sunday morning and attend their Baptist church with them. The conversations here seemed a little more punitive than I remembered from my younger years in Sunday School classes, but I wasn’t sure if it was me, the kind of church or something else that had changed.

When I met my Roman Catholic boyfriend at 16 and started attending church with his family I found myself surprised yet again. Now before I offend anyone listening, let me quickly say, it wasn’t the content of the service (this was all in French and I barely understood a word of it). What shocked me was the hypocrisy I was witnessing…like it was okay to be a mean, angry or selfish person all week and then to go church on Sunday and think all was forgiven.

Attending University further opened my eyes as I explored God and religion in a Philosophy course and then learned all about things done in name of the church throughout my degree in social work. In the second instance I was learning about a very punitive and small minded God and that did not work for me at all.

One final chunk of this puzzle fell into place when my husband and I bought a house in a small town with a very strong Mennonite community. If you’ve ever read the book, “A Complicated Kindness,” by Miriam Toews, let’s just say, I could understand it a lot better after living there and seeing some of it firsthand. Don’t get me wrong – they treated us with nothing but kindness, acceptance and appreciation – it was just some of the stories of what was happening within their ranks that I found shocking.

All of this encouraged me to do a lot of soul searching – quite literally. To create my own understanding of what God, Creator, Source, Universe means to me and how I can use that information to help me be the best possible version of myself while still being accepting and understanding of the beliefs of others. It was an interesting journey of acceptance, rejection, understanding, reconnection (with a paradigm shift), intense spiritual development and so on.

When you really acknowledge that our journeys are unique you suddenly realize that labels like right and wrong, good and bad (or better yet good and evil), Christian or nonbeliever… are not really relevant, much less guidelines for life.

The more I searched, the more I came across people like Sonia Choquette, Ellie Drake, Wayne Dyer, Louise Hay, Neale Donald Walsh, Lisa Garr, Greg Brayden and so many others…I would be remiss not to mention Jennifer McLean and her internet show called Healing with the Masters which introduced me to so many of these people.

As I connected with my higher self and intuition, I could sense myself remembering. More and more amazing people arrived in my circles (mostly my inbox) and as I started listening to psychics and channelers like Bernadette Koroscil (I did a weekend workshop with her where we cleaned up energy from several past lives), Eva Gregory (Theos), Esther Hicks (Abraham); Kari Samuels (who has a direct line to our spirit guides and the Arch Angels) and the like. The more I opened my heart and mind the more I remembered…the more awake I felt…the more I tuned in and eventually found I could do some channeling myself.

I also left a really great job that I loved, but that was totally draining me. I think this was because I never would have delved so deeply into my topic if I had stayed working there. The job was in the school system which is limited by government, community, health authority and so much more. By now I was tuned in enough to know it was time to move on.

I recognize that what I am sharing could have a very eccentric ring to it that could almost make one think of cult-like behaviours…so let me just say, that none of this is about brainwashing, limiting free will, controlling or creating ‘sameness’. Awakening happens in your own life, on your own terms, at your own speed with you firmly in charge of every aspect of your journey.

Throughout all of this I was still living my life, dealing with challenging people and situations, worrying about money, wondering if I was making everything up and trying to figure out how to live my passion and get paid for it. In full transparency…I’m not there yet. Yes I’m living a life I love, I’m filled with gratitude, compassion and (most days) am pretty understanding. But my journey, like your journey continues to push me to grow.

The Game

Regrettably, in order to properly play this game called life we have to start by forgetting everything we know about why we are here, what life is really about and how connected we really are. Apparently we’ve tried to do this other ways (while staying connected), but this did not provide a quality human experience so we started again with these new rules in place. Bernadette Koroscil talks about this in her book, The Learning Curve, in case you are intrigued and want to find out more.

As a result, a big part of being here on earth is affected by the fact we have to deal with all the confines of being human without the knowledge that we can be anything more. We feel pain, we fear the unknown, we are limited to linear time and, unless we make a point of doing things differently, we are governed by our ego’s.

I tell you this so that you can come at your life from a place of compassion and desire to awaken. I guarantee you are already started on this journey or you would not still be listening. You are not late or bad for not tuning in sooner…you’re timing and the place you are at in your journey is absolutely perfect.

If you are in the middle of a difficult part of your journey, that too is divinely inspired and your awakening is meant to help you make your adventure more fun.

Exercise:

Let me share a little exercise you can do if you are chomping at the bit, ready to awaken and getting tired of just listening to me talk. Once again you might want to pause the podcast once you understand what you are supposed to do and return when you are finished. You are also welcome to just listen and save it as a task to do later.

You might have noticed I talk a lot about self-awareness in my podcasts and that is because this is where awakening begins. You must tune in if you don’t want to be tuned-out. Over the next week (or perhaps from your recent past), start noticing the sign-posts. Anything that comes up more than once is worth noting, three times is definitely a pebble – so if you want to avoid getting a rock chucked in your direction you should start to investigate.

The investigation…

There is no right or wrong way to do this, simply recognize the sign and figure out a way to look into it some more. Here are some ideas for how:

  • Tell the Universe you’ve seen the signs but are unclear what they mean. Ask for the next signal to be super clear and include guidance for how to proceed. Then – pay attention! If a neighbour comes over and starts talking about something that seems totally disconnected from your previous conversations, rather than write him off as rambling, start looking for possible connections. If a certain ad keeps popping up on TV, in your magazine, in the margin of FaceBook, explore if there could be any connection there and look into it. Remember you are still in charge so you do not have to follow the path the Universe is offering, but you do need to go off autopilot and recognize that some kind of action will likely be required.
  • Access information through meditation. Get in a comfortable spot where you will (hopefully) not be disturbed for a few minutes. Sit comfortably – preferably with a straight spine, close your eyes and breathe deeply into your belly. Quiet your mind as best you can by focusing on your breath. Ask your spirit guides of only 100% pure light to join you and share some more information about the signs you’ve been noticing. Relax and breath and see if you see anything, hear anything, sense information…ask questions as needed and enjoy the experience. If you don’t feel anything coming ask your spirit guides to help you translate the information they are sending and breathe some more. Whether you receive anything right now or not, when you feel like you are done, breathe deeply, thank your guides, wiggle your fingers and toes to come back into your body and open your eyes. If you received info, make a note of that, if you didn’t carry on with life and see what comes up in the next day or so.
  • Take the sign you’ve been seeing and write it, draw a picture about it, created a story about it or say it aloud. If writing, take a clean sheet of paper, write the word (or description), empty your mind and just write anything that comes. Don’t worry about it making sense, just write and see what comes. The task is basically the same for drawing, painting or creating story – just let things flow. The word breakdown involves saying the word aloud and allowing it to morph as you speak it; the word might alter, turn into a different saying, become a chant, turn into a jingle – before finally revealing itself to you…see what comes up.

Awakening does not mean everything will suddenly be easy and there won’t be any more bumps in the road. Even trying these simple tasks in the exercise might seem like a heck of a lot of work. Do not force the issue – when you are going with the flow, things move along easily – so if you feel like you’re paddling upstream, you are quite unlikely to find what you are looking for. The hardest part will be going off autopilot and being aware. Most of us do not have access to ‘magic’ in this lifetime – because it would rob us of the human experience that we came here to live.

I also don’t want you to think everything is destiny and we have no control over the route we take – this is totally untrue. Free will allows us to choose our path…if it somehow connects with the one we have come here to fulfill things seem to just fall into place. This doesn’t mean everything is rosy…it just means you don’t have to search for where to go next.

It’s also important to note that there is more than one way to reach a destination. We have come here to explore, to create, to clear things, to inspire each other and to find answers. You could be way past the simple exercise provided above, but my guides are suggesting this is a good place for many to start.

It is a great idea to search for guidance – those who can help you remember, realign, release and reconnect. Not because these people have all the answers, while you don’t, but because that is how the game is meant to be played. It is a team effort – where we share our wisdom and tools; help others who are ready to hear what we have to say; use our relationships with others to evolve and do what we have come here to do for the good of the whole.

Something to keep in mind…even those who have come here as guides with gifts to help others (psychics, channels, energy healers, light workers…) are still here for a human experience and while they might seem more connected to the bigger picture they are still evolving (ouch) and limited by human restrictions.

Kari Samuels talked about this in her Soul Salon in a way that made such sense I just have to share it here – I touched on it last week, but it’s worth repeating. She said, we are all at different places in our soul journey – which doesn’t make things right or wrong, good or bad – it’s more like how a child in kindergarten is not expected to have the same knowledge and understanding as a student in grade 12. We don’t think less of the Kindergarten student because of where they are, we simply recognize that is where they are at and support them in moving to the next level.

AND while we are on this topic, we all are here to guide and help in some way. It’s not just a chosen few who have come to save the day – this is a group effort of very evolved and savvy souls. You are part of this group – simply because you are here.

If you’re wondering about your own gift – I guarantee you have at least one (maybe more). Seek out your passion and your gift will find you.

Since you are listening to my podcast I believe I have something to share with you that will help you move to the next level in your game. What that is, I don’t know, but I’m ready and willing to explore the path with you.

I’m surprised to find that I still have more to share on this topic. So next week I will share why the time is right to take action and talk about some simply things you can do to start taking back your power – at least I think that’s what I’m being guided to share.

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast please like it, share it or write a review. Your words help guide us too!
With much respect for you and the journey you are on… This is Debbie Pokornik, wishing you a vibrant and powerful day.

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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It’s Time to Awaken

Originally posted as: It’s Time to Awaken [September 2016]

Today I’d like to share some of my deeper thoughts about being a Vibrant, Powerful Mom. This is about looking both inwards and outwards with a discerning and questioning eye.

One of my books is called, Standing in Your Power; A Guide for Living Your Life Fully Awake…and that is my real reason for being – to help as many people (women especially) to embrace all of the wonderful pieces that make them – them…and to let go of any of the things they might be doing that stops them from being who they have come here to be.

For some of you – you are basically happy and content and other than this little nagging idea that there might be more to life than you have been led to believe – overall things are good. This can result in a thirst to try new things and explore new ideas which is an okay place to be…unless you decide to ignore that nagging idea and just accept your life for what it is.

When that happens it’s like you are ignoring the sign-posts, refusing to acknowledge the guidance you are being given which means the messages are going to have to increase in intensity and severity. It’s kind of like a person throwing little pebbles at you to get your attention and when you ignore them using a rock or boulder to get you to tune in.

So if this is you – happy, yet pulled to learn more – I encourage you to not just note those things that come right to you, but to start noticing all the signs (if you aren’t already) and rather than just observe and delight in them – actually use them to steer your course and push you out of your comfort zone.

For others, you might find yourself reacting to the idea of standing in your power and living your life fully awake as if this information does not apply to you because there is simply too much wrong in your life to ever fix it. This can surface as overwhelm, apathy, exhaustion, a belief you’re cursed, victim mentality, etc, which often comes out in statements like… Forget it I’m too messed up, broken, confused, unlucky or I don’t have the energy, I’m too tired too weak.

If this is you (and even if it’s not), here’s what I want you to know before anything else – you are already a vibrant and powerful being. You might not think so because your brain is so bogged down with information that has been programmed into you…things that were said to you often by well meaning adults in your life; instilled in you in church, taught to you in school or even internalized through advertising. Similar to the software running a computer, as long as you allow that program to run things, you will find it hard to see or do anything else.

The problem is all of this programming is running in the background (your subconscious mind) in the form of limiting beliefs, internal blocks or other hang-ups and you don’t even realize they are running. These programs are typically created in the first 7 years of your life when your brain is busy creating millions of pathways from your experiences, your relationships and your environment.

Now before you go blaming your upbringing or thinking that nothing can fix the damage that was done in those first 7 years (or major traumas that have happened since)… here’s the 2nd thing I want you to really grab a hold of… these things weren’t done to you… they were done for you.

Think about that for a moment. If all the ‘bad’ things in your life were not meant to hurt you, but to help you grow in very specific ways, then it’s impossible for you or anyone to truly be a victim! It means that all that time one puts into dreaming about the “if onlys”, regretting a missed opportunity or lamenting a bad situation is not just a waste of time and energy, but misleading as well. The idea that these things were done for you – changes everything.

Now, I know some of you might not feel ready to hear this. I totally get how challenging it can be to accept that something you’ve always thought of as bad, unnecessary or a mistake (like a fork in the road that you missed) is really hard to see as a valuable and important part of your personal development…but it is! The fact that you are listening to this podcast further confirms that you are ready to move beyond that outdated belief.

Here’s a little exercise you can do either now or later when it’s safe to do so. Feel free to pause the podcast when you understand the task and are ready to begin…

Think about one thing in your life that you’ve always thought of as a bad thing – it could anything, an opportunity you missed, a way you were treated by another, a loss that you still feel the impact of. ..anything you wish hadn’t happened.

 

After you’ve pulled it out of your memory banks I want you to shift into an objective stance – like you are an inspector (not the person it happened to) who has been tasked with the job of deciphering the advantages of this situation.

 

If you’re struggling to get into this role, take a deep breath, tell your ego to sit and ask your higher self to be in charge. When you feel the emotions release you know you are ready to start the exercise.

 

Take a moment and reflect on any benefits that arose from this experience… any way that it changed your life – including people you met as a result, places you went, opportunities that arose, any skills you developed, life lessons it helped you with (i.e. used to be afraid of confrontation, but because of this situation you aren’t any more), character development (I’m smarter, more business savvy…). Be thorough, stay open to any ideas that come to you and take creative license to get things flowing.

If you’re still not clear let me share an example from my life.

I had a boyfriend in my teen years who was emotionally unstable. I know you can say that about most teenagers, but this was different, this guy had a very bitter mother and was super insecure as a result. This insecurity caused a lot of fights and misunderstandings between us. Despite this he was my first real boyfriend and we stayed together for over 3 years – in fact we even moved out together.

When I think back to that time with him, I learned so much about myself. As an inspector I would write down, confidence, relationship awareness (what my boundaries were), how difficult addiction could be to deal with, it helped me understand how women could get in an abusive relationship and stay, it helped me become a better communicator.

Now, I could end there, or I could take it even deeper – I could pretend to interview people around me and ask them what they thought I gained from this experience; my dad would say an ability to handle herself in difficult situations; my mom would say clarity on what she was willing to accept in life; my friend would say, a deep interest in what makes people tick along with an understanding of how people strike out when they are hurting…in fact, it’s probably that relationship that helped her develop her skills as a social worker. It also taught her that sometimes love isn’t enough – you can’t change someone who doesn’t want to be changed – and it gave her empathy for people who are in that situation now (back to the social work thing!).

As I sit with this further I realize that I would not have moved out if my boyfriend hadn’t insisted – which helped me to become independent. It also taught me how to financial responsible – especially when I found out my employer wasn’t taking income tax and I would have to pay a large sum at the end of year plus my weekly pay was now going to drop. These felt like bad things at the time, but it made me much more aware and gave me confidence that I could handle difficult situations.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture, so if you haven’t already this is a good place to stop the podcast and do the exercise yourself.

When you are finished and if you gave it a really fair try, you’ll likely notice that there were actually a lot of benefits to what felt like a bad thing at the time. So take a moment now and send a message of gratitude and appreciation to that situation/person – because even though it didn’t feel good at the time, you now recognize how it helped you to become the person you are today. It made you stronger, smarter, more capable…it forced you to dig deep, to learn coping skills you might not have had otherwise, to be creative. This process alone can help you do some very deep healing and lead you on another journey of discovery.

Before you came here…

Your life was specially designed – by you and your soul group – to help you and all of humanity evolve in a certain way. To do this, life can’t just be all joyful and easy – it is the really big challenges in your life that force you to grow the most.
But, when your soul group (which included you) set up your contract in this lifetime, it took into account what you already knew as a soul, what kinds of supports you would have to deal with your challenges, how evolved humanity itself was…and so on. What it couldn’t account for was how complete your disconnection from your SELF might be (i.e. how strongly you would stay connected to your ego versus your higher self); how humanity’s current energy would affect you (negative energy of others can pull your energy down too) and what you might do with your free will (whether you might embrace the journey towards living your purpose fully or fight it at every turn).

And this brings us to our next big idea: your soul group does not see your experience here as success or failure whether you complete your contract or not, there is much to be learned and every single mission is considered a success.

So, if you feel like you’ve been dealt a tough hand in life, it has happened for a reason. Everything that happens to you is within the realm of what you can handle. It may not seem like it at the time, but it is absolutely true. In fact, one of the people I follow and absolutely love – Kari Samuels, is a psychic who can communicate with the angels, amoung others, and she says that if you have a really tough life then you are a very evolved soul already…because you don’t give a Kindergartener Algebra and expect them to figure it out.

Incidentally, anyone who is alive right now has been specially chosen to be here – which means you are not broken, weak or unfixable – but the soul who was thought to have the most promise by your soul group to achieve the goals sought after in this lifetime. This is thought to be a very important time in our history and WE are here…doesn’t that make you feel special?

I’m going to stop here for today as I feel like this is enough information for those of you who are hearing some of this for the first time. I hope what I’ve shared today has ignited a spark for you a sense of connection, maybe even a sense of remembering. If it hasn’t, do not be alarmed, how easily you reconnect depends on a lot of things – but ultimately, the fact that you have found my podcast in the sea of other podcasts is confirmation that you are ready.

Over the next week you might want to play with this information a bit. Feel free to share what you’ve heard with
others (this is a great way to break down what you have heard into understanding chunks), journal about it, do an internet search, do the exercise shared a few times on different experiences you’ve had…

All I ask is that you open your mind to the tiniest possibility that life as you know it may not even be close to what it is truly meant to be. There is plenty of evidence out there to, at the very least create reasonable doubt – and hopefully enough to help you turn on your curiosity and find the evidence to prove or disprove this idea.
Just a reminder of the really important points I shared:

  • you are already a vibrant and powerful being
  • ‘bad’ or challenging things weren’t done to you…they were done for you
  • it is the really big challenges in your life that force you to grow the most
  • your soul group does not see your experience here as success or failure
  • it was the soul who was thought to have the most promise by your soul group to that was allowed to come here at this time

Next week I’ll share more of my story with you, flesh out some more of my thoughts on this very deep topic and, if we have time share some things you can do to start realigning with your power
With much respect for you and the journey you are on…this is Debbie Pokornik wishing you a vibrant and powerful day!

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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Discover the Secret to Deep Inner Presence with Laura Baxter

Meet today’s guest: 

Laura Baxter

the American opera singer and performance coach has studied the effects of the voice and body on non-verbal communication and leadership for over 25 years, and she brings this experience together to help her clients perform and communicate better.

In addition to her many stage performances, Laura was the singing voice of Faye Dunaway in the feature film “A Handmade’s Tale.” A recipient of the prestigious Louis Sudler Award for the Arts at Emory University, Laura is coauthor of several German books, and her new book

Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities: A Mindful Approach to Improving Relationships in Your Business or Organization 

is releasing May 15th  2017!

Laura lives and works in Germany with her husband and two children.

Have you ever found yourself having to deal with Divas and other difficult personalities?

Although Laura Baxter wrote her book, Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities, to help people in the business world, she is first to admit that moms are the ultimate leaders in our society and the family environment is often the most difficult organization we’ll ever encounter.

There is no more important leadership role than that of a parent and there is no role that demands better leadership skills than parenting.

As a tribute to Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday and all our wonderful mom readers and listeners, Laura and I decided to take this wonderful information she has developed and talk about it as it relates to life on the home front.

Laura’s most prominent role model for both work and home was her mother. Although her mom has now passed, Laura shared that she taught her a lot about who she is as a woman.

The message from mom that stands out the most …You can have it all if you want it – career and a happy home life!

Having said that, Laura totally appreciates how challenging the life of a parent can be and shared a story about performing on the road in TelAviv. She was pregnant with her second child and her husband was at home in Germany looking after their (toddler) daughter. The other performers were complaining about how grueling their schedule was, but Laura couldn’t agree. She found herself smiling and thinking her colleagues had no idea how challenging life as a mom could be. To her, this experience felt like a vacation because she didn’t have all the parenting stress to deal with.

There is so much overlap between your career experience and life at home. A lot of the skills you use at work can be extremely helpful at home and what’s going on at home can help you in the world of paid employment.

One of the tips Laura shared that she originally learned for the stage, but has found super useful for keeping herself centered at home, is to slow down, deep breathe and connect with your inner resources. Repeating a simple mantra such as, “I Choose Love” can help you clear your mind, calm your nerves and focus on what’s at hand.

I Choose Love

Moms are often made to feel like they are doing things wrong, which means self-doubt, worry and uncertainty are never far away. This tool can help you push those feelings aside and focus on what really needs to get done.  When you repeat this mantra without over thinking or reading too deeply into it, you are left feeling like you can take on the world.

Laura went on to share that there are 4 Powerful States and Love is one of them. She shared the other three and explained how we can use these states to shift out of fear and into a more inspired state.

Mom the Leader

The moment your child is born you are taking on the role of educating the child, teaching values, being a mentor and guide so that your child can be a successful person.

Leaders who are parents tend to have better leadership skills quite naturally.

The most challenging situation in being a leader and a mom is that your child may not always listen to what you are trying to get them to do. You are trying to guide them to follow your lead even when they don’t want to.

Some executives struggle with this as well and try to just order employees instead of trying to figure out how to motivate them. Our goal is the same …

In both cases you want people to grow into responsible and self-motivated individuals so the answer is to look for ways to communicate this and motivate them towards appropriate action.

Often this requires creative thinking and is well worth the effort.

Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities; a Mindful Approach to Improving Relationships in Your Business or Organization

The goal of Laura’s book is to provide the reader with the tools that she needs to stay centered, calm and focused while she’s working with her Diva and at the same time still reaching her goals. Organizational structure (think family!), personalities and self-awareness all come into play in being able to do this.

Laura shared what the DIVA acronym stands for and how we can use our own awareness to work effectively with other people – even when they are being difficult.

It really comes down to great relationship building techniques – asking the right questions, being curious, coming from a centered place and not taking things personally. It’s not about being friends with everyone but about understanding yourself, the other person and your goals better, so that you can accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

The most important part of building that bridge with the other person is first finding your own center (calmness) so that you can ask questions without escalating the situation.

Listen to the podcast for all the secrets…

 

Resources mentioned by Laura:

Book: Love is letting go of fear

Dealing with Divas and other Difficult Personalities; a Mindful Approach to Improving Relationships in Your Business or Organization – by Laura Baxter

Kindle version releases May 15th, 2017 and you can get it for FR*EE on Amazon for a limited time! Sign up for Laura’s gift below and have the link for the book sent right to you.

Special Gift for Vibrant Powerful Mom Community

Tips & Tricks from the Stage to Your Home; How to Stay Cool as a Mom

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Ideas for Decreasing Stress and Increasing Calm

Originally posted as: Getting Stress Out VS Stressed-out! [August 2017]

Today we are going to talk about stress and changes you can make that will start decreasing how stress affects you.

This is an important topic for you to be aware of because not only can stress have a negative impact on your health making you susceptible to everything from the common cold to life threatening illness, but it can also be damaging to your relationships – which translates into your over all happiness. It tends to eat up your patience and make it much harder to recharge your batteries. All told, stress can definitely get in the way of you being a vibrant and powerful being.

Why stress is important…

I love to use the analogy of an elastic to illustrate why stress is important, because if you take a plain old elastic and set it on the palm of your hand, what do you have? A piece of rubber sitting on your hand. It does not serve a purpose. It has a lot of potential, but at that moment it is not purposeful.

The only way to give that elastic meaning – or purpose – is to add some stress to it. You have to force the elastic to grow or stretch for it t give it meaning. We all know that when eased gently an elastic can often deal with more stress than we would have originally thought, but if you pull it too far too fast and when it reaches its limit – SNAP…it is done!

When you take this elastic example and apply it to human life, you can see that some stress helps you grow. It gives you purpose and pushes you to expand beyond your current circumstances (or comfort zone). But too much stress, or totally uncontrolled stress, can result in irreparable damage.

Where does stress come from…

There are several different categories of stress which are good to be aware of because they can help you monitor and understand how they sneak up in your life.

The first are those things you do on purpose that add stress into your life – such as; anything new that you do whether it be starting a new relationship, getting a job, having a baby, moving, travelling, taking a course, learning to play tennis or to cook…

The first category of stressors is anything new that you do, that takes you out of your comfort zone. These give your life meaning and are required to live a fulfilling life.

Let’s think about that for a moment. All the things in life that make it worthwhile; relationships, children, travel, 
adventure, learning, careers, add stress into our lives. This also includes other acts of vulnerability that might not be new to you, but put you in the spotlight, such as: performing in front of others (speaking, acting…); putting on a big event; writing a book, etc.

These are the things that make life worth living so we do not want to stop doing them. Sometimes we recognize we need to sever a relationship because it’s no longer healthy for us or end a career that is no longer inspiring us, but beyond that, these are not things we want to give up.

The second category includes the unexpected and less welcome elements that force you to make changes: major health concerns, accidents, taking on too many tasks (causing overwhelm or burnout), losing something or someone very precious to you, major money problems (bankruptcy, eviction, foreclosure), and of course, those relationships that aren’t so easy to sever (like the one with an imposing and disapproving mother-in-law).

The 2nd category are big things that are unexpected or typically unwelcome in your life. They are often a more long-term part of your life whether you like it or not.

A third category of stressors are things that tend to be momentary, but still wear you out: being late for a meeting, traffic jams, flat tire, missed bus, short term sleep deprivation, a momentary unexpected expense (ticket, car repair, school trip), photocopier getting jammed, spilling coffee or lunch on your blouse, reacting to food you’ve eaten that didn’t agree with you, listening to horrors in the news…

Category 3 are not a big deal on their own, but if not recognized for the stress that they bring, they can often be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

A final category of stressors are those things you don’t even know are stressing you out, such as; food intolerances, the disruption of electro-magnetic fields on your body, dealing with a virus (without feeling sick), breathing in toxins or molds, negative thoughts (inner critic; paranoia; self-loathing) or being surrounded by negative people.

Category 4 are things that stress your body making it harder for you to deal with difficult situations and stay healthy, however until you are aware of them, there is little you can do.

Back to the elastic…

It’s when our stress builds to the point of overwhelm that life stops being fun and negative symptoms such as, relationship break-up; job loss or major health concerns can occur.

So, if the elastic sitting in the palm of your hand has 0 stress (on a scale of 0 – 10) and the elastic snaps at a 10, it makes sense that you would want to be aware of your current stress levels. Even more importantly, you’ll want to become aware of what your sweet spot is for stress.

In other words, what’s the amount of stress that gives you purpose, keeps you growing, helps you move forwards…without hurting you and those around you?

My sweet spot is around a 3-4 which means that when I feel myself starting to go above that I need to take action and bring it down.

Just to be clear I’m not saying my stress level is always around 3 or a 4. I am saying that this is where I want to be most of the time and with awareness I have a better chance of making that happen. Otherwise I could be sitting around an 8 (like I was during exam time at University, which meant tears and anger were never far away, my health issues flared up and my relationships felt strained) and then if something else happened that brought me any higher I would have been in danger of not being able to cope at all.

You need to have a lot of tools that you can use in a lot of different situations so that as soon as you feel things building you can start releasing some of the pressure.

How does stress feel in your body?

Most of us recognize stress as tension. Maybe your shoulders are up around your ears; or you experience headaches from clenching your jaw so much. Something worth noting about this is that tension is kind of a catch 22 – stress causes tension and tension increases our stress.

Some people don’t even notice their tension until their back goes out or there digestive tract goes wonky and they start getting diagnosed with irritable bowel, ulcers, or other problems. Our goal with self-awareness is to avoid these kinds of issues by noticing things like tension as soon as they arise.

My story…

I’ve been learning and teaching about stress for quite a while now.

I get it. I pay attention, I have lots of tools for dealing with stress and I take action. This is the formula I teach and totally believe in.

When my husband and I were first married (about 24 years ago), we moved to a country lot 45 minutes out of the city. I was going to University in Winnipeg and he worked twelve hour shifts from 6 – 6 either over night or all day. This meant we could go days without really seeing one another.

As I was driving home one wintery evening on the dark, icy highway, feeling really vulnerable and alone,  I realized that I was holding a lot of tension in my body. In fact, it felt like my legs were made of granite and my shoulders were growing out of my ears.

Suddenly I had this little epiphany; the tension in my body was not helping me be a better driver. It would not make a positive difference should my car start spinning off the road…in fact, all it was doing, was making it hard for me to enjoy the drive. It could even be argued that if I relaxed my muscles I would be better able to deal with any difficult situation should it arise.

Now, I know this sounds obvious. But for me (at 25), this was a real moment of enlightenment. I realized right then and there that I was making my life way more stressful than it needed to be.

So, it was it was that many years ago that I tuned in to the tension in my body and started making conscious efforts to release it. I learned all kinds of breathing techniques, stretches, progressive relaxation tools, yoga, meditation…all of which I use to keep tension out.

But the story doesn’t end there…

About ½ a year ago my osteopath suggested I go to a physiotherapist to see if she could help me fix my posture. My health team includes a chiropractor (who I love, but don’t see often right now); a massage therapist (who is fantastic); an osteopath (who I see at least monthly)… plus I’d just finished going for 20 rounds of acupuncture. The idea that I needed to add someone else to my team seemed a little over the top, but I trust my osteopath implicitly so I made an appointment and went.

And guess what?

My physiotherapist told me I’m carrying far too much tension in my back, neck, shoulders…my muscles are set to perma-fire (my term for never relax) and need to be retrained in order to learn what should come naturally to them! She even started by telling me how to breathe properly!

At first I was a little angry. What the heck, I know this stuff, I teach this stuff and I practice it…I have tools! Yet here I am, with enough tension to make my physiotherapist raise her eyebrows at me.

Why am I sharing this? Because I want you to understand that life is an ongoing journey. Knowing, being, doing…doesn’t necessarily make problems all go away.

I would imagine that without my knowledge and awareness I might be in really bad straights right now as I’ve had a lifetime of anxiousness, experienced accidents that have caused my body to tighten up and not want to let go again and so on. Despite this I’ve managed to cure my irritable bowel syndrome/leaky gut, almost completely eliminate the headaches, have built strong relationships and overall really love my life.

Of course I also have periods of time when I get lazy and don’t want to put so much effort into what seems like it should be automatic (like breathing!); or when I enjoy the wine a bit too much, I call these my rebellion moments and they can be refreshing too.

So hopefully, you can forgive me for my imperfections; recognize I too am living much of what I teach; and most importantly, give yourself lots of leeway to learn, be, do, ignore, adapt, forget and make mistakes.

In summary…

  • Start to notice how stress presents in your body
  • Notice what patterns you fall into as a result of stress. For example I had a pattern that every time my husband was leaving on a trip I would become cold and distant the day before he left. This was confusing to me because I really didn’t mind him being away (at least not always). Once I recognized it was a stress pattern I could be more compassionate with myself and take steps to stop it from happening.
  • Beware of health cues (eating/digesting, sleeping, patience level) that arise
  • Tune in to your elastic. Give your elastic a number (from 0 – 10); identify your sweet spot (where you want to be most days); and learn tools, strategies and practices – for all kinds of environments (work, home, elevators…) so that you can decrease it as soon as it starts to rise.

Listen to the show (last 5 minutes) to find out how you can dump your stress into a worry container and stop it from draining you unnecessarily.

With much respect for you and the journey you are on… I wish you a vibrant and powerful day.

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Going Off of Auto-pilot and Taking Control of Your Life


Originally posted as: 3 Tips to Soothe Your Soul [November 2016] – Revised

Today I want to share some ideas for going off of autopilot and instead living your life on purpose.

There are definitely times when doing things automatically is beneficial – you’ve probably experienced days when you are learning something new and had to think all the time…it’s absolutely exhausting and most of us need about a week to recover when that time is finally over. Unfortunately though, if you live in this ‘auto-space’ all the time, especially in areas of your life where it doesn’t serve you (like relationships), you allow life to happen to you rather than living your life the way you want.

So today, I want to give you three ideas that you can use to live your life on purpose and by doing so, raise your vibrational energy, attract more positive things to you, get more done and feel much more vibrant, powerful and fulfilled.

Let me zero in for just a moment on vibrational energy. Everything in life is made up of energy including us.  What you think and how you feel influences the level you vibrate at which in turn affects what you are attracting into your life. This is what the law of attraction is based on, which many people learned about from The Secret and now roll their eyes when they even hear mention of it because it didn’t work for them. The law of attraction is not wrong, it will produce results 100% of the time, when used properly…it’s just understanding how to do it properly and then living in that space or flow most of the time, that is challenging.

To stay at a high vibrational level you pretty much have to live in a place of compassion, love, faith and gratitude. Think about that…do you spend most of your time feeling grateful and loving, accepting of everything and everyone around you… absolutely convinced you will be looked after no matter what happens in life?

Probably not. Most of us have not figured out how to do that yet.

So you go about living your life…often on autopilot – responding based on how you feel, which is tied in with what you think, skewed by what you believe and influenced by your social environment.

Living life – especially on autopilot – has a way of bringing us down on a regular basis. The density around us provides a constant pull – like gravity multiplied by 100 – meaning we have to stay tuned in and aware if we don’t want to allow our energy to drop and attract back low level things.

If you really want to attract beautiful and positive things you have to practice living in that space of gratitude, faith, compassion and love.

Today I want to share 3 tips that will help get you started…or, if you’re already consciously striving to keep your vibes up, then will help you continue on that path.

3 Tips for Going Off Auto-pilot & Raising your Vibrational Energy

Tip #1: Move out of the shadow and into the light.  Tune in to who you really are and let her shine!

What makes you tick, what are you passionate about, where are you holding back? Tuning into who you really are is a huge undertaking. Your personality, astrological signs, communication modes, learning style, love languages – even your eyes and the pattern in them (iridology) are just a few of the things that can help you understand yourself a little better.

You truly are unique and that is a wonderful thing.

So let’s just focus on one little aspect of this… holding back.

Most of us have been trained to hide a little bit (or a lot) of who we are. Maybe you’ve been told you laugh too loud or you’re too quick to trust other people. Maybe it’s been suggested you daydream too much and need to spend more time focusing on getting things done. Labels like; you’re lazy, scattered, impulsive, lack self-control… all influence who you are and what you believe about yourself. Even positive labels such as; she’s the friendly one can affect how free you feel to be you.

You also could be in a job you don’t really like, but are there because someone else felt that’s where you should be. It’s possible you feel afraid to course correct at this point in your life because you took schooling to get where you are or you’ve worked so hard to climb the ladder at work and to change now would seem like such a waste. Or maybe you’re afraid if you stop you’ll be seen as a quitter – a failure or people will think you’re not smart enough, strong enough or committed enough to see things through.

Becoming aware of the areas of your life that are within your control and then using this awareness to help you make positive changes in your life is conscious living. Noticing where you feel stagnant, uninspired or held back and then thinking about what you might do to make things just a little better can be a really great starting place.

Living your life to please other people, pushing aside your real dreams and desires because you think (or have been told) they are too fanciful is stopping you from reaching your full potential.

When you consciously detect something is amiss, don’t disregard it or push it aside because it’s inconvenient. Instead, notice it, journal about it, explore it fully and see what comes to light.

We are at time in our evolution where we are all meant to awaken and start making things happen if we aren’t already.

Sometimes the challenge is that we aren’t consciously aware of the pattern or programming that is holding us back because it is only running in our subconscious mind (SCM).

I like to think of this part of the brain as the attic or storage room. There are all kinds of things you’ve put in there and forgotten about or maybe you’ve stored it without realizing because most of your programming was done in the first 7 years of life. It’s even possible some of your storage isn’t from this lifetime, but is leftover challenges from past lives.

The problem is the SCM computer runs in the background – all the time. Similar to a lot of software nowadays, your SCM pulls out your favorite programs and runs them for you. You don’t even know they are playing, yet they influence somewhere around 95% of your daily existence.

The good news…

In the same way that making a trip to the attic and looking through that old album reminds you of that day you spent baking cookies with Grandma back when you were 4 years old…by shining a light into your SCM you can bring a program from the attic into your living room or conscious mind and, once you are aware, start making changes.

Some tools that can help pull memories out of your SCM; meditation, hypnotherapy,  past life regression, dream analysis…

Sometimes, it’s like the attic door gets left open and something falls out… in reality the trigger might be a smell, sound, song, taste or emotional charge that shakes loose a memory and just like the meatball on top of spaghetti it rolls on out the door.

I recovered a repressed memory this way when I was in high school spying on a boy I liked. I was in the library pretending to be engrossed in a book on the shelf, my heart was pounding out of fear the boy might figure out I was watching him, when I suddenly realized the book I had picked up was on sexual abuse. At first I was super embarrassed and wanted to put it down, but I was also curious and something made me start flipping through the pages.

Within seconds I forgot all about the boy and suddenly found myself remembering situations with an adult in my life when I was young that were inappropriate and would qualify as abuse. Later I realized that these memories were shrouded in that same heightened emotion of ‘getting caught’ which is likely what triggered this repressed memory to surface. The abuse had stopped several years before, but that moment in the library suddenly brought it out of hiding.

Now that I had pulled up the memory I could delve into it which I did many times over the next several years.

Obviously these kinds of retrievals are hard to create – unless you’ve already noticed a pattern or problem that keeps coming up and decide you are ready to get help to deal with it. Otherwise it would be like trying to find ‘something’ in a haystack – because you wouldn’t even know it was a needle you were look for.  I’ll come back to my retrieval story later, but for now let me share a much simpler tool just to show you how you can start cleaning the attic on your own.

  • Choose a feeling that arises for you fairly often and seems to hold you back in life. It could anything – a desire to run from commitment; fear of abandonment; difficulty allowing yourself to love; fear of being tested, etc.
  • If you want to (and it’s safe to do so) close your eyes, empty your mind and breathe deeply to set the stage for this. For some you might do better with a piece of paper and writing utensil and others might prefer to walk while working through this process.
  • Now think back to the first time in your life you can remember feeling this way.

For example, the feeling I decided to work on (many years ago now), was a sense that I wasn’t as quick or as smart as others and that this is okay. I was happy to be mediocre.

When I started exploring this feeling I was taken back to my kindergarten days…

My kindergarten teacher created a train and when a student learned to tie their shoes their name was written on a train car and put up on the wall. A big deal was made when this happened and we checked in regularly to see who was on the train and who was not.

I can remember squirming about this because I wasn’t able to consistently tie my shoes yet, but I also didn’t want to be put in the spotlight by achieving this goal. We were supposed to show the teacher we could do it and being tested like that (especially if it was in front of the other kids) felt very scary to me.

What I realized when I discovered this memory was that I had internalized the idea that:

  • The smart kids are at the front of the train
  • Being smart meant being put on display and tested
  • Being slower meant not being singled out
  • I’m content to be slower than the other kids

Pulling this out of my attic as an adult allowed me to correct my faulty thinking.  As an adult I know that the ability to tie shoes has to do with fine motor skills – not how smart you are. Being 4 years old when I started school was the likely cause of struggling with some fine motor skills…this did not make me slow or stupid. I could be in whatever section of the train I wanted to be in.

Exploring this further I also learned I’m an introvert so I don’t crave the spotlight, although I’ve realized that when I feel ready and go of my own accord I don’t mind it as much. Going even further I recognized my intense fear at raising my hand in a class like setting was also connected to this…

The point that I’m making here, is that just a little exercise like this, can help you understand yourself better and change some of the patterns, beliefs or programming that are holding you back.

So commit to finding and revealing the real you – I guarantee you she is wonderful and worth exploring.

Tip #2: Open yourself up to receive – gifts, compliments, love, healing, a helping hand…

This sounds like such a simple thing to do, yet it is not. Most of us have been taught that to need something from someone else makes you weak, immodest or sets you up to owe them (principle of obligation) and we do not like to be indebted to others. This stops us from being a true team member and collaborating effectively, plus it robs us of the pleasure receiving can bring.

It’s also common to struggle with guilt – which is often tied to vows of poverty you’ve taken in past lives! Many people feel unworthy of what they are receiving or feel concerned that their good fortune might make someone else feel bad because they aren’t in the receiving lane with them.

The ability to receive is actually tied to the divine feminine. We will talk about this more on future shows, but for now, let me just say that if you struggle with receiving you can end up blocking everything you’ve ever desired from coming your way. Receiving and the pleasure it brings are two key pieces to filling up your tank so it’s very important you learn how open up to it.

Here’s a really simple task to increase your awareness in the area of receiving:

Tune in to what you do or say when someone tries to give you something. Let’s start with a simple compliment or praise. Really notice your response (even if it’s just in your head!).

For example, let’s say you just ran a meeting at work and I came up to you after to say, “I just want to say you did a really awesome job chairing that meeting.:

How might you respond? Many people will do one of the following without even realizing it:

deflecting  – It was okay… so about the new system…
correcting – It was the team, not just me
denying  – Actually I had little to do with it, Bridgette looked after the food- and we all know good food makes for a good meeting.
reciprocating  – Well thank you for coming – it’s people like you who participate fully that make meetings work
minimizing  – It was nothing, it’s amazing how much software can help with something like this
rejecting  – Well thanks, but I actually really messed up when I forgot to introduce Tom
questioning – Really? Did you think it was okay? I thought it might have been moving to slowly, but we did end on time…

If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll likely find receiving a compliment can be quite a challenge. If so, that’s where you’ll start… see if instead of falling into any of these (or your own special) pattern, you can consciously absorb the moment and fully receive what has been given.

Feel the compliment, take it in, smile and respond with something like, “Thank you, it feels great to hear you say that.”

Now, don’t stop there. Just because you open up to receiving compliments doesn’t mean you’re ready to accept gifts, a helping hand, a loving gesture…etc. Keep at it and for bonus vibrational energy, don’t forget to express gratitude for all you receive.

Tip #3: Practice forgiving – every situation you encounter in life is meant to help you evolve as a soul.

This can be a hard pill to swallow if you’ve been abused, abandoned, traumatized, tortured or experienced other things in life that feel very personal and hurtful. So I say this with much compassion and love…forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.

Forgiveness allows you to take back the energy you are investing in being mad, hurt, ashamed, disgusted or revengeful and to instead surround yourself with the positive energy of compassion and understanding. You see, as long as you refuse to forgive someone – even yourself, you make it impossible for that relationship to evolve.

When it’s someone else you refuse to forgive, you are giving them space, rent free, in your head. When it’s yourself that you refuse to forgive, you stop yourself from healing and ever truly loving yourself.

When I first recovered the memory that I had been sexually abused by an adult I loved dearly I blamed myself. Why didn’t I know it was wrong, why didn’t I tell him to stop and what had I done that had led him to believe I was interested? This made me feel bad, wrong, faulty, dirty, broken, unlovable. For many years this feeling stuck with me. The few people I told about it reacted strongly typically with disgusts towards the man which only made me feel worse because deep down I believed I had caused it (although I never told them that).

It wasn’t until I figured out it was me I had to forgive before I could move on in life that I was able to release this. This was more than just saying I forgive you – you can’t fool yourself in that department. This involved finding little Debbie, taking her on my knee, hugging her and letting her know it was okay that she had manifested that experience. I told her we were stronger, smarter and better able to live our life fully because of it and thanked her.  We cried together as she expressed her fear and then we danced through a whole array of emotions as they surfaced and released.

Once that was done, we shifted our focus to seeing all the benefits that had come from this experience and sent love, forgiveness and gratitude to the perpetrator and all the adults who, had they known, would have wanted to protect me. This released the emotional hold of the memory so completely that I often forget it ever happened.

When you feel like you’ve been wronged or done something wrong …you carry that energy with you in your heart. As a result, you push yourself harder, are less trustful of your own guidance, you create impossible and inflexible standards for yourself AND you lower your vibrational energy.

Your mission, should you chose to accept it is to think about one thing you might be refusing to forgive yourself or someone else for. It doesn’t really matter what it is… all that matters is that you bring it out of the attic and into your awareness so you can recognize how it is stealing power from you.

When you are able to forgive and learn to appreciate how that situation helped you become who you are today, everything changes.

The ability to forgive will help you plug a drain that is stealing your vibrancy and stopping you from fully owning your power. I know it feels like you are flexing your power muscles by refusing to forgive, but – as counterintuitive as it seems – the exact opposite is actually true.

By tuning into where you are disconnected from yourself and becoming aware of programs that are holding you back by running in your SCM, you open the door to all kinds of good things to come your way. By opening yourself up to receive those good things, you increase your vibrancy and refill your pleasure tank. By remembering to forgive both yourself and others when things don’t go as you might have liked, you are benefitting from the lessons and plugging a drain that would otherwise put you back in your shadow. You’re also reminding your ego that winning doesn’t always look the way you had imagined.

These 3 practices will help you go off autopilot and raise your vibrational energy which means you will be there when your vibes attract great things back to you…and because you are open to receiving it they’ll raise you even higher.

With much respect for you and the journey you are on…I wish you a vibrant and powerful day.

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Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Genius with Norma Hollis

Meet today’s guest: 

Norma Hollis
is an advocate for children’s spirituality. A former director of early childhood programs, Norma is now an Authenticity Expert. In this role she uses her knowledge  and experiences to help parents live an authentic life and raise authentic children. The secret lies in recognizing, developing and using natural gifts and talents which Norma refers to as wisdom gifts. 

 

“Are you happy with the way the world is today?”

This is the provocative question Norma started our conversation off with before pointing out that if we want to make significant changes to the way our society is right now, we need to focus our energy on our future – specifically our children.

“How do we help our children live an authentic life so that they can be empowered, connected and strive to make positive change without apology?”

When you really think about this question and the thought preceding it, you can’t help but notice that parents hold a lot more power than they might have originally recognized.

Norma went on to share how children are changing. She introduced the idea of the homo-luminous child instead of the homosapien that we are currently familiar with. She talked about structural changes to some children’s faces that you can actually notice once you are aware. These changes indicate a heightened intuitive ability along with a deeper connection to the spiritual plane.

It is not uncommon for us to talk about being born with a purpose, but according to Norma, what seems to be changing now,  is our awareness that young children can often remember the contract they have come here to fulfill!  It’s not unusual for kids under 5 to talk about, ‘when they were here before,’ or to say things about what they are going to do that seem quite out in left field, when in actuality they are sharing an insight about their purpose.

Norma suggested a wonderful exercise for parents of young children to do so that when your kids reach that tween or teen stage and are wondering ‘what they should be when they grow up’ you can use what you have learned to help them stay aligned with their purpose.

Once our kids enter the school system their connection with their authentic self is often obscured beyond recognition – meaning it could take years for them to reconnect and start living the life they have come here to live.

There is so much we don’t know, like for example the real influence a past life can have on our current one, and unfortunately our institutions of higher learning only serve to limit our thinking, rather than encourage us to open our minds and investigate further.

This episode of Vibrant, Powerful Moms encourages you to expand your thinking and open your mind to what’s truly authentic living.

Norma shared the 9 Wisdom Gifts (based on original work from Dr. Howard Gardner), and explained how a parent could use this information to help their child really connect with their authentic self and nurture that very important connection. Even parents will benefit from identifying their top 3 gifts and ensuring they are using these qualities on a regular basis – if not at work then at least in their leisure time. This will result in increased happiness and abundance for both parent and child.

Unfortunately we have been taught to chase the money tree and to choose our work based on the income it might provide, rather than focus on what truly brings us pleasure. Even worse, we have internalized this message so deeply we are willing to thwart our own children’s natural leanings and instead steer them towards what we think would qualify as success. This can result in your child rejecting who they really are and living an unhappy or dissatisfying life.

“Embracing your true wisdom gifts and allowing them to flourish and fill you up, will help you live authentically and therefore happily.”

Notice which three of these 9 wisdom gifts your child (and you) gravitate towards the most and do your best to allow full expression of these gifts at some point every day. You will still need to set structure and boundaries for your child – i.e. just because he loves to sing doesn’t mean he should belt out his favorite tune in the middle of the library – but when you can organize regular opportunities for him to let loose…everyone will benefit.

“When you know who you are you can be truly prepared for whatever it is you came here to do”

Tune into our show to hear the words of wisdom that Norma shared; learn the 9 wisdom gifts; why our current schools can’t prepare your child for their future job; and enjoy a few inspiring stories (Olympics…really?).

You’ll be glad you did …I’m certain of it!

Resources Norma mentioned:

Book: Children’s Past Lives Carol Bowman

Dr. Howard Gardner: Multiple Gifts of Intelligence

Check out www.NormaThollis.com (coaching) and

www.Normaspeaks.com for more information on raising authentic children

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How to Increase Resiliency in You & Your Child


Originally posted as: How to Increase Resiliency in You & Your Child [July 2016]

Today we are going to talk about being resilient; what that means, why it’s important and simple tips for how you can bring more of it into your life.

Resiliency is the ability to bounce back when it seems like life strikes out at you – to take whatever comes your way, handle it, learn from it and continue on. Resiliency comes into play when really difficult situations arise, such as, relationship break up, death of a loved one, loss of career, any big financial challenge, helping someone you love (including yourself) with addiction and so on.

But resiliency goes far beyond that, it also factors into your daily existence…whether it be continuing to go to a job you dislike day after day; forcing yourself to go for treatments at the doctor that you would rather not; or even bringing up a difficult conversation that could result in confrontation with somebody that you’re not ready for.

It is resiliency that stops a person from giving up on life completely and it is resiliency that you use to pick yourself up and start piecing your life back together when you hit rock bottom.

So, as you can see resiliency is a very important part of our human experience. It helps us shine our light brightly for all the world to see – which is a big part of our personal vibrancy. It factors into our self-worth and it is the fountain from which our courage and willingness to ‘step up’ comes from. This is a critical thing for us to model to our kids if we want to help them discover the easiest path through their journey in life. Remember – that doesn’t mean problem free – it just means dealing with any obstacles as effortlessly as possible.

An absolutely essential life message for our kids to internalize (and you too if you haven’t already) is that there is no problem so great it cannot be solved. Barabara Coloroso talks about this in her book Kids are Worth It  (which was one of the first parenting books I read over 20 years ago) and this idea has become a foundation piece of everything I teach.

When you truly believe that you can handle whatever life throws your way you will feel more capable, you will look more capable, in fact, you will be more capable. This doesn’t mean you will like what’s going on in your life, or that you will only have good days, but it does mean that no matter what surfaces for you, you’ll be confident that you can make it through.

An interesting little (overlooked) fact about resiliency – humans are born resilient. You do not need to learn how to become resilient, you just need to become aware of it and fully embrace the fact that this is true.

A clarification…

In this case I’m really referring to strength of spirit and not the physical ability of your body to heal. Although the two are very closely tied to each other and shifting your mindset will positively (or negatively) affect your health, there are times when your physical body simply cannot bounce back from the damage it has suffered.

This is tied to resiliency, but is too deep a conversation for us to get into in this podcast.

Being resilient doesn’t mean you will not die. Death is an inevitable part of living. Being and embracing your resiliency really means that you will live your life to its fullest potential and get the most out of every experience while you are alive.

We’ve all heard stories of people that have dealt with incredibly horrific situations yet managed to overcome them. In every situation nothing really changed to get them out of that situation, except for their own beliefs or willingness to do what needed to be done. They experienced a change of heart…a paradigm shift really…which allowed them to dig deep and find the strength they needed to start making changes.

A story…

Josh was in Grade 4 when I met him, he had brilliant red hair, freckles and smiled a lot. He was the kind of kid that asked the ‘left field’ questions in our full class program that caused the other kids to giggle and make fun. He sometimes came across as a ‘know-it-all’ when in fact he was just a very deep processor who was trying to understand how to fully integrate what he was learning. Truth be told, he was actually light years ahead of the kids who were making fun of him and suggesting he was ‘slow’.

One day, as I was leaving the school, Josh’s mom stopped me and started to cry. Apparently Josh was being bullied on the bus – this had been an on-going problem since he had started school and it just wasn’t going away. The other kids teased him and called him names and she was very concerned that this was going to negatively affect him in life. I could see her heart was breaking at the thought of her sweet Josh being mistreated.

Although I didn’t work one-to-one with students or deal in intervention situations, I offered to give her some information to read that might help her deal with this situation more effectively.

To me Josh appeared strong, capable, resilient and a little oblivious to his ‘differentness’. In other words, he seemed to have pretty thick skin and wasn’t believing the teasing – which means he didn’t think what the others were saying was true, so it didn’t hurt.

Kind of like making fun of a person’s glasses when they don’t wear glasses – teasing or insulting – has to hit a nerve for it to hurt.

Mom on the other hand was very sensitive to her son’s unique qualities and wanted to protect him from the brutality of what the world might throw his way.

My primary goal was to help mom recognize her son’s incredible resiliency and help him build skills that he’d be able to use throughout life no matter what the world tossed his way.

To me, this is the key to dealing with most challenging situations – including bullying.  Josh was likely going to stand out in any group he became part of for much of his life, so there was no way we could protect him from the many difficult situations he might face.

The best we could do was give him the skills he would need to stand up for himself; help him recognize that his ‘different-ness’ was part of what made him special and strengthen his already strong connection to his overall resiliency.

Mom struggled with this idea. She wanted to put on a gladiator suit and walk around with Josh protecting him from anyone who might try to hurt his sensitive soul. This caused some concern because mom was inadvertently sending a message to Josh that he could not handle this, he was not strong enough to rise above it and he needed protection if he was going to survive. This does not polish a child’s resiliency but does quite the opposite – it tells them what the other kids are saying is true…that they are a victim and should be very afraid.

A few years passed and while I didn’t hear much about Josh I did hear a lot about his mom. She was fighting the school board, accusing them of not adequately protecting her son; she was tapping into the safe schools movement that was gaining momentum here in our province and trying to change policies nationwide; and she was even involving the police in what was going on.

When our paths crossed again mom was crying – out and out sobbing – about what a rotten and mean world her son needed to endure and she would not stand for it. Her son, who was sitting beside her, actually winced as she went on about all the unfairness that he was experiencing. She accused me and everyone in the room of not doing enough to protect her boy and stated several times how much she knew this was hurting him. She was sticking Josh firmly into a victim role and thought she was doing it in the name of good parenting.

Rather than judge this mom, what I hope I’m making clear here is that she was doing what so many parents are doing right now. With all the publicity on bullying, with all the messages out there about the evils of our world, the dangers – viruses, illnesses, toxins, weather anomalies, the sun, drugs, – it’s no wonder any of us ever leave our homes.

This is called fear mongering and it is making many people believe in the victim story and believe that the only way to protect their loved ones is to put them in a bubble…or put on their gladiator suit and become a hyper vigilant protector.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The key to helping people thrive in life is to believe in their resiliency and to help them embrace the strength that comes with it. You can only be a victim if you choose to believe that you are – nothing changes when you adopt this belief except how vibrant and capable you feel; which in turn influences how capable you are in that moment.

So what can you do? 3 tips to help you get started…

1. Understand resiliency. Resiliency is a natural part of who you are. You do not need to teach your child how to be resilient…you just need to help him understand that it is there and learn how to keep it polished and working for him.

In the give & take relationship podcast I talked about how one way to strengthen your relationship is to give a firm and consistent message of, “I know you can handle this.” This doesn’t mean leaving your loved ones to their own devices and walking away…but it does mean allowing them to take ownership of the problem they are facing and letting them know you have their back.

Words you might use…

Questions: “So what do you think you can do to deal with this situation?” “How can I help you with this?” “I wonder what resources you have access to that might help?”

Comments: “I wish I had a magic wand that I could wave so I could fix this for you,” “I guess this isn’t really my problem to fix…I’m here for you though if you want to brainstorm ideas you can try.” “This sounds like a difficult problem to solve, but I know you’ll figure out something. Let me know if you want my help coming up with a plan.”

Whatever you decide to say you want two messages to come through loud and clear –
I know you can handle this and I’ve got your back.

Finally, if you are the one facing the difficult situation, remind yourself you have everything you need to deal with whatever comes up in your life – if you don’t know how to proceed, seek out supports, but know that you are the only one who can ‘fix’ it.

Believe in your ability to do that and find other people to support you in that belief. Beware of those who want to do it for you – they often mean well, but they are not helping. One final note; remember that sometimes fixing a problem is as simple as accepting it and allowing it to unfold.

2. Refuse the role of victim… you cannot access your resiliency when you are playing the role of victim. As long as you are feeling sorry for yourself, dwelling on how unfair life is or blaming other’s for everything that is going wrong for you, you will not be able to climb out of the hole you are digging. I think of these things like self-pity, revenge planning, blaming others or victim mentality as shovels and often tell people, “You can’t dig your way out of hole… so if you’re in one, put down the shovel.”

No matter how difficult life is, it will never serve you to believe you are a victim. Our society right now is encouraging this kind of thinking and too many people have bought into it.

Your ego latches on to this fear and pulls it into your core, then uses it to stop you from taking calculated risks, from moving out of your comfort zone and even from trying to change a difficult situation. Many people stay in a bad relationship, continue to feed their own addiction, or move from one illness to another rather than putting their foot down and refusing to settle. They do this because their ego is running the show and the ego on its own, is fueled by fear.

Your life experiences are simply that – pieces of your journey meant to help you grow and evolve beyond your current level of understanding. When you choose to be afraid of them, you make the experience of going through them far more difficult and set yourself up for needing to repeat the process many times in life.

Notice your fear, acknowledge it and figure out what you need to do to rise above it. The moment you shift out of the victim role, will be the moment your resiliency starts to shine lighting a path for how to move through your current situation.

3. Focus on resourcefulness and creativity…Human beings are different from other animals because we have imagination and an ability to think beyond what we already know. In fact, creativity feeds us – not just personally but as a society. Think about all the inventions that have occurred over time to allow us to not just survive, but to thrive. Things we take for granted, such as heat sources, fridges, motorized transportation, air travel, vitamin pills…..really the list is endless.

It is this resourcefulness – that ability to find solutions to problems or to create things that allow us to function even better – that helps us evolve. Now some of you might want to argue that not all inventions have taken us in a positive direction – I would agree with that – however, for our purposes here, let’s focus on the ones that have.

Just to clarify…

When I’m speaking of resourcefulness I’m talking about the ability to seek out whatever is available to you and to use that item or resource to help you deal with the situation at hand (sometimes it’s people, but it can also be the internet, a certain skill set, membership in a group, and even material items). Creativity, on the other hand, is the ability to create something new or use something in a new way…like using a pencil or paper clip to pin back your hair when you haven’t tried that before.

When I was in my late teens I used to love watching a show called MacGyver…which today’s equivalent would be one of the reality shows like Survivorman. What I loved about MacGyver was that he could get out of any situation by using his resourcefulness (typically whatever he found lying around) and creativity. This polishes your resiliency beautifully because nothing will help you know that you can handle whatever life throws your way like creatively solving your own problem.

So don’t be afraid to think outside of the box or even to use the box in a new and unexpected way. The more you do this, the more powerful you will feel.

These 3 tips are just a starting point to helping you reconnect to your resiliency and become aware of what you might be doing to dull your child’s connection with their own.

In the case of Josh’s mom, her heart was in the right place, yet she was actually causing more damage than the ‘mean kids’ at school were doing. I have no doubt that this was a piece of Josh’s journey in this lifetime, so it’s okay that this happened, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t use it as a way to learn and therefore skip down that piece of our own path.

When you believe in your own resiliency you rise above a lot of the density in life and shift yourself from the role of potential victim into that of the hardy adventurer.

With much respect for you and the journey you are on…I wish you a vibrant and powerful day!

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Quick Tips for Taking Back Your Power

Today I would like to talk about a topic very near and dear to me – standing in your power. This is the name of one of my books and it is something I believe I’ve come here to learn, practice and share with others. When a person is standing in her power she’s tapped in to who she is, what strengthens her, what drains her – even what might be blocking her. She knows how to recharge her batteries and makes a point of doing so!

She is caring, compassionate, flexible, creative – a fierce lioness when needed and more like a gentle kitten when it’s not. When I say standing in your power I’m not talking about a strength over others…but about building and maintaining an inner strength… or strength of self; self-love, self-acceptance, self-confidence, self-care, self-worth…

To me, standing in your power and being a vibrant, powerful mom go hand in hand – so even though in today’s show I’m only going to provide you with 9 quick tips for how to bring more of this beautiful energy into your life, I will be covering all of these topics and many others in much more detail in other episodes.

Standing in your power is a lifelong practice which involves awakening to your true self and then figuring out how to become that best version of yourself so she can shine out into the world. You can never have too many ideas and reminders for how to practice something as big as this.

9 Tips for Standing in Your Power

  1. Know that you are the perfect person to be you – I know this sounds cliché, but it’s such an important thing to really internalize and believe. There is no one out there who is better qualified to be you. You have gifts, talents and challenges that are unique to you specifically and the sooner you understand and accept that, the easier it will be to stand in your power.

It will also serve you to stop comparing yourself to others and thinking it provides a true measure of how well you are doing in life.  It is fine to look to others for ideas, suggestions and support, but always remember you are the hero in your own story and nobody can do a better job of being you.

When you really embrace the idea that you have come into this life fully equipped to deal with whatever life throws your way, you can stop thinking you are missing something and cease your search to find the answers outside of yourself.

When you believe you are broken, defective or missing something, it’s really easy to shift into blame, shame, negative comparison and victim mode. This drains you of your vibrancy and weakens your power.

Embrace your journey – know it is unique to you and that there is no right or wrong way for you to do it.

  1. Become friends with your inner wisdom, learn how it differs from your inner critic and what you can do to hear it better – your inner critic makes you feel bad and eats away at your willingness to take risks. She is that voice in your head that reminds you of every short falling (real or imagined) you have experienced and does her best to keep you stuck (often quaking in fear) in your comfort zone – even when this zone isn’t that comfy! It’s worth it to learn how to change what she is saying.

Your inner wisdom is a natural part of who you are, yet it’s quite possible you aren’t even aware it exists. Although it can be easily confused with the inner critic your inner wisdom is a voice you definitely want to hear. Once tuned in, this wisdom will guide you in making decisions, provide you with direction and allow you to be the vibrant, powerful mom you strive to be.

A quick inner wisdom example – I was backing out a driveway one day from a mastermind meeting. There was a car behind me that I had to swing around and my sister was in the car with me so we were talking. As a carefully backed up watching the car at my side, I suddenly felt the words “look in front”. These words were very calm and accepting (meaning it didn’t feel like a command, but more like a suggestion). I braked and look at the front a couple of inches away from hitting the post that held up the basketball net. I hadn’t even seen it prior to that feeling and because my sister and I were talking and both looking backwards I would have hit it for sure. I was really glad I listened!

  1. Move self-care to the top of your priority list – Self-care is about making sure your needs are met and amazingly, most of us (women especially) really struggle with making this a priority. At a very basic level, self-care involves things like sitting down and actually chewing your nutritious meal, rather than wolfing down junk food or fast food as you race to your next duty. It’s also about going to the bathroom when you need to go rather than forcing yourself to hold it as long as possible so it doesn’t interfere with all the things you need to get done.

It’s about drinking water – not just when you are thirsty – but at regular intervals throughout the day as well as getting enough sleep, doing things to release stress, going to the doctor (or some form of care) when sick and taking time to heal when you come down with something.

Are you guilty of sometimes putting yourself last on your list for true compassion and understanding?

Looking after yourself first is critical to keeping yourself healthy, happy and able to nurture others. This doesn’t have to take a huge amount of your time, but it does need to be a priority if you want to be vibrant and powerful.

  1.  Become intimately familiar with your feelings and how to process them. So many of us have learned how to ignore our feelings. We’ve even been taught that some of them are wrong or bad and that it’s important we don’t allow them to show. This is so unhealthy and it is the number one reason we numb out in life and lose that connection to our wisdom and good health in general.

If you’ve disconnected, which most of us have, you need to start tuning back in to these important messengers in your life and learn ways to process what you feel. The way women process emotion is actually just starting to be recognized as different than how men do it, so it’s quite likely you have not been taught how to do this.

If you want to stand in your power and live life to its fullest potential, it is imperative you tune in and learn how to release your feelings

  1. Learn the difference between your Ego & your Higher Self. Becoming aware of the difference between these two main parts of who you are is key to living the life you crave. Your ego is the human side and it feels, fears and it’s also what makes you an individual. The higher self is your spiritual side and it knows you are connected to something much bigger than your individual experience.

Learning how to teach your ego to sit while still living a full and vibrant life will remove a lot of the energy stealing experiences tied to guilt, blame, shame and judgment. Asking your higher self to be in charge will allow you to access the guidance that you need to live on purpose and will help connect you with your inner wisdom.

Both sides are equally important and need to be allowed in order for you to experience your personal power. Learning the difference between the two and how to get them working together is the answer to living life to the fullest.

  1. Open to the Divine Feminine and get to know how this beautiful energy can help you rebalance – the divine feminine is the balancing counterpart to the divine masculine and it is something both males and females need to learn how to embrace.

In an effort to survive in a masculine model, most women have cut themselves off from a lot of the divine feminine and adopted a distorted energy in its place. Since we require more divine feminine than men do in our lives, this has left us unbalanced, unhappy and feeling incomplete.

The divine feminine is where the dreaming happens – conceiving the idea and growing into something bigger. Creativity, nurturing, opening up to receive, using pleasure to replenish (rather than just the occasional well earned treat) as well as true collaboration are all part of the feminine realm.

It’s the divine masculine that helps us build the structure the dream will be birthed into – the planning, protecting, getting things done – so they are necessary pieces if we want to see things happen. It’s tough to recharge your batteries though and be creative, vulnerable and nurturing, when you are always on the go, getting things done and producing results.

If you want to be a vibrant, powerful woman, you need to uncover how much feminine and how much masculine you need to be balanced and then live it. 

  1. Figure out what fills you up, then top up your tank on a regular basis – In keeping with tip #6 awakening the divine feminine it is critical you figure out what truly brings you pleasure and then bring more of those things into your life. This will raise your vibrational energy wh
    ich in turn makes life more pleasant while also drawing more pleasurable things towards you.

Take a look at the things you really feel good after doing and add those to your self-care regime. In other words, don’t make yourself go jogging just because people tell you that’s the best way to stay in shape. If you get more pleasure from dancing, walking, swimming or yoga, do those things instead.

When you enjoy your exercise you end up with more orexin, a hormone, flowing which means it will have a greater impact on your energy level and speed up your metabolism.

Seek out the things that make you feel awesome and add to your sense of wellbeing. The better you feel when you are done, the more you can be sure it is helping you stand in you power.

  1. Get to know yourself intimatelyA huge part of being self-aware involves getting to know which behaviours come naturally to you and which are learned. The family you were raised in influences the kind of person you are in relationships, your love language helps you feel loved, your personality predisposes you to certain behaviours, and that’s just a snippet of what makes you – YOU.

There are many other aspects to you…so make understanding yourself a life-long goal. Communication modes, genetics, astrological influences, gender differences, numerology (the list goes on and on) all have an impact on who you are. Some are changeable, some are permanent, and all are flexible once you are aware.

Another side to this is getting to know your blocks, like your patterns of self-destruction, limiting beliefs or even karma. Knowing how the learning cycle affects you, understanding your parenting pack and uncovering trauma you might be carrying around with you on a cellular level are all things worth exploring.

Knowing you is a huge task…Make learning all about you part of your daily adventure and you will never run out of things to learn….just be sure to do it with lots of compassion and willingness to allow changes as they arise (in other words, don’t lock yourself into any box just because it sounds familiar to you).

The more you learn, understand and love yourself the more brightly you will shine. Logically, this is when you might move on to understanding those you are in intimate relationships with… although our tendency seems to be a desire to diagnose and ‘fix’ others first.

Bonus: putting effort into being the best version of yourself you can be, will create positive changes in every area of your life. Problem relationships will fall away and others will grow with you.

  1. Create clear boundaries and learn how to assertively stand up for them – This tip is about awareness – what are your boundaries and why – along with being able to enforce them in a way that clearly states what you need without attacking the person who has crossed them.

Being assertive means standing up for yourself or your beliefs in a way that helps you feel good about yourself without putting the other person down or aggressively attacking them.

With assertiveness – when you reflect back on what you did or said, if your ego isn’t clouding the picture, you will see that your actions provided you with a healthy way to vent how you were feeling. It requires a lot of practice though, especially when people are pushing your buttons. An important side note:  being assertive doesn’t always mean you will get your way or the other person will agree with you – it is about you saying what needs to be said.

Some people struggle with being assertive because they don’t want to rock the boat and hurt another’s feelings or be seen as being bossy. Others struggle because they have trouble empathizing and find attack mode to be more quick and efficient.

When assertiveness is done right it strengthens everyone involved. Those who care about you will like to be clear on your boundaries and respect you when you clearly share what you need and why. Those who don’t care aren’t going to change their mind no matter what you say, but are often hoping you will attack so they can get a good fight out of the deal.

Standing in your power means having clarity around what you stand for and why and then knowing how to share that with others.

So there you have it, 9 tips for standing in your power and tapping into your own personal vibrancy. There is plenty more on all of these topics and more that I will continue to share on this show, but for today, that’s all the time we have.

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How to Make Life Easier- Instantly!


Originally posted as: Good or Bad? Only You Can Decide [July 2016]

Today we are going to talk about your reaction to things that happen in your life and what you can do to create less stress and keep an open mind.

This is an important topic for you to be aware of because it’s quite likely (unless you are already aware of this) that you waste a lot of time and energy trying to control things you can’t, such as; how other people behave, the weather, or traffic. A better option is to use this energy to control the one thing that really is up to you – your response! It also influences how much stress affects you and how easy it is for you to regain control in the heat of the moment.

My Favorite Parable…

If you’ve been to any of my presentations then you have a good chance of having heard this story before… it’s about a Chinese Farmer and his son who lived a long time ago and were very, very poor. The only thing they had which basically kept them alive was a stallion that they would breed with the neighbour’s mares in exchange for food, clothing, etc. One day the stallion jumped the fence and ran off.

The neighbours all came over and said, “This is terrible, this is very bad!”

To which the farmer replied, “Maybe good, maybe bad – we’ll see.”

The farmer and son went about their tasks, fixing the fence, cutting the hay and so on. Suddenly one day they heard a whiny (neigh!) and across the field galloped their stallion with a whole herd of wild mares running behind him. The farmer and son opened the gate to the corral and in ran the horses!

The neighbours all came over and exclaimed, “This is good, this is very, very good!”

To which the farmer replied…”Maybe good, maybe bad – we’ll see.”

Well the farmer and son started training the mares and one day, the farmer’s son was thrown off the back of a horse and landed on the fence breaking his femur bone (the main bone of the leg) right in half.

The neighbours all came over, “This is bad, this is very, very bad!”

To which the farmer replied, “Maybe good, maybe bad – we’ll see.”

Recovering from a severely broken leg is not easy, but the farmer and son worked at it and eventually the son was able to walk again with the help of a cane. One day there was a knock at their door. It was the Imperial Army recruiting every able bodied young man to fight in a war they would end up losing. The farmer’s son was spared because of his leg.

I love this parable, because to me it clearly shows a very important point.

There is nothing good or bad about anything that happens in life… in other words events are neutral, WE give them meaning and with that label decide how we feel about them. This is a huge deal, because it means that we have far more control over our thoughts, feelings and behaviours than we might normally believe.

Just for the record, in case you are still thinking about the parable, I want you to understand, allowing events to be neutral doesn’t means everything will go in a positive direction in life. We grow and evolve through adversity so it is a natural part of our journey. If that story had been real, I’m sure there would have been plenty of challenges while the stallion was missing or after the son broke his leg. Even having so many mares to train could have created difficulties.

By allowing events to be neutral you will find it easier to deal with all challenges because you are holding onto your power rather than giving it away to an event.

Making it real…

Think about something that has happened in the last few days in your life VPM podcast labelthat you labeled as bad and still believe was a bad thing. It could be your child throwing a tantrum in the middle of a store; it could be the fender bender you were in or the flat tire that you had; it could be missing the finale of your favorite reality show.

Now think about how that situation made you feel. Angry, embarrassed, frustrated, disappointed…

Take it a step further and try to recall what thoughts came up as a result of those feelings… maybe you even said some of them aloud. “No way! This sucks! &#$%@!”

What other feelings arose as a result of these thoughts? Did your frustration, embarrassment or disappointment turn to anger… or maybe your anger to rage?

The point of this exercise is to show you that it’s your thoughts… which are based on what you believe about the event that are making it worse. If, on the other hand, you felt the initial disappointment the moment you realized you had missed your show (or your PVR hadn’t recorded it properly!), but you took a deep breath and accepted it as reality, you would not escalate into anger and as result would find it much easier to move on. Either way, you missed the show.

In later podcasts we’re going to talk about how your feelings might be misleading you, as well as how all these things influence your vibrational energy, which in turn affects what you’re attracting into your experience… but for now, I just want you to understand that the event itself is always neutral.

3 tips to help you put this skill into practice…

1. Put on your Detective’s hat:

If you recall, back in the intro podcast, I mentioned that my youngest son is a transboy. There are many people out there who want to label this realization as good or bad. When my son told me about it, which was only a few weeks ago, I felt fear in the pit of my stomach. For many, this fear would naturally lead to a label of bad, which could have brought me to tears, caused me to rant and rave at my son and to feel embarrassed about sharing this with other people.

Rather than allow this to happen, I put on my detective’s hat, took a deep breath and asked myself what the fear was about. I realized instantly that I feared for the life of struggle my child could be choosing. This raised a feeling of compassion and with it a strong surge of unconditional love. I realized my son was very brave to tell me and that he didn’t take this announcement (and the decision to transition) lightly. He’d already given it a lot of thought, and decided his life would be filled with struggle either way. By embracing his desire to realign his body he could at least find happiness in his own skin rather than constantly struggling to be someone he was not.

The result, I still have to work at it to see him as my son, but at no point did I feel angry, hurt or betrayed.

Curiosity is a wonderful way to neutralize strong emotions and to see things from a more objective stand point. So get curious rather than defensive and see where it takes you.

2. Shift your perspective:

This tip is similar to the first in that it really is about seeing things in a different way. In this case however, I’m talking about flipping a situation on its head so you can find the good in it. Let me use the wisdom of a coin to help illustrate. We all know that a coin has two sides and even though the tail side might be facing up, the head side is still always there. What this means, is in any situation involving opposites the reverse chance must always be present as well. So, when you flip the coin and heads comes up…you know that tails is right there on the other side.

This means when a situation feels bad… good is also present. The flipside is also true; when a situation feels good… bad is also nearby.

Use this knowledge to seek out what the good is (we don’t have to seek out the bad – it tends to show itself quite easily). Here are some other words to show you what I mean.

On the flip side of negative is positive; awful is awesome; impossible is possible; undesirable is desirable; obstacle is opportunity…

It is our beliefs about something that limits our ability to see both sides at once. I urge you, if you tend to see things in black and white, which most of us have been trained to do, to start searching for the gray. You might actually take out a coin (or even just a piece of paper and write the opposites on either side) then challenge yourself to debate both perspectives. The more you do this, the easier it will be for you to remain objective, to destroy limiting beliefs and to open your mind to a variety of new information.

3. Train your brain to NET the positives:

Dr. Rick Hanson, a psychiatrist, wrote a book called Hardwiring Happiness and in it, he talks about the fact that our brains are actually wired to remember the bad and let go of the good. He says our brains are like velcro for negative experiences (they stick around easily) and like teflon for the positive (they just slide on through).

I was really excited to read this, because prior to picking up his book I had noticed that people seemed to dwell on bad things that happened and just let the good moments sail on by. As a result, I created a system I call NET which is an acronym N-E-T to help people recognize the numerous little pleasurable moments that they experience in a day and NET them so that the positive feelings they create stick around longer.

I want to teach you this process, because the more you focus in on those pleasurable moments, the easier it will be for you to be at your best in life….which includes being able to reserve judgment and view events as neutral.

A simple process:

N = Notice; when a pleasurable moment arises in your day, take a moment to really notice it. These moments can be super tiny…so if you don’t zero in on them, they will simply flit on by. Examples of pleasurable moments for me: sun on my face; laughing with someone; cuddling with my dog; talking with a friend; sitting down with a fresh cup of tea; finishing a presentation; gazing at a flower; eating dark chocolate; hitting a string of green lights; taking a shower …
The trick to noticing, is to allow yourself to become fully present in the moment – forget your ‘to do’ list; block out other distractions and just fully immerse yourself right there.

E = Expand the Emotion… shift your focus to how this moment makes you feel (grateful, content, relaxed, lucky, excited, loved, turned on) locate it in your body and actually help it expand. See it getting bigger. This will be difficult at first if you’ve never done this before, but with practice it gets easier.

T= Tie it down with Thoughts… the thoughts we have about any event, especially when they are coated in strong emotion, help to embed it in our memory, so come up with thoughts that fit the moment and tie them to it in your mind (I picture little kite strings)…”What a great day; I love my life; I’m so grateful for this dog; This is such a precious moment.” Because you’re doing this in a moment of expanded emotion, it doesn’t take a lot of thoughts, so add as many as feel right for you and move on.
The more you do this, the more you will attract these kinds of experiences to you and the easier it will be to hold onto them. This might not seem like a big deal, but in reality it can be the difference between neutralizing a bad day and believing that your life sucks.

So, there you have it, 3 things you can do to help you bring more neutrality into your day and perhaps truly believe the notion, “Maybe good, maybe bad – we’ll see.” They help you to open your mind and be at your best no matter what the circumstance.

So play around with these…have fun with them and let me know how you do. I love feedback and would be thrilled to hear your thoughts on this.

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