Monday, 28 October 2013

Meditation For Those Of Us Who Can't Sit Still

Finding a calm space in a busy world is super important. Mediation can be helpful for sure. I get it. I myself and a big fan of a good mediation. I really am.A quiet moment of release is really cathartic. But sitting still is not always in the cards for me.  When I get really worked up and worried about something I have a super hard time with the sitting still and the releasing of it. No matter how many times I tell myself that its just for now and that if I choose, I can come back to those thoughts later, sometimes I just can't get there. 

Law of Attraction states that where attention goes, energy flows. Well, obviously I don't want to feed my worrisome thoughts. I am hoping to lay them to rest calmly or to starve them out. When I feel that kind of overwhelm, either or would work just fine for me. Whatever will get me out of this state of overwhelm and back to the centered and connected place that I have come to adore. 

So here is what I have discovered.  

When my head feels really full and my LOA training tells me that changing my thought track is super important right now, and that mediation is what I need, I have already put too much pressure on myself.  

When my head feels really full and my LOA training tells me that I need to distract myself and change focus, I react like I do when I try to diet. The moment I am told that I can't have something (a dessert or a certain thought) what I CAN'T do is stop thinking about it. Not helpful. 

When my head feels really full my body feels the same tense energy, which makes sitting still next to impossible. There was a time when this seemed like the perfect time to clean the house. I should make use of all of this energy and release it on the kitchen floors.  Yeah, good in theory, but that one doesn't work for me personally.

So, when I know that I can't sit still... I don't even try. 
When I know that I can't clear my head... I fill it instead.
When my busy head is busy getting creative in ways to beat up on me... I stir the pot and let the creative juices flow. 

I go for a walk
I give myself a task that requires thought. (It's impossible for the brain to have more than 1 thought at a time)
I give creative me a creative task. (I allow myself to start small but focus is now on the beauty I CAN see with my eyes.)

Here is what that looks like.

I see beauty to my left. 
(name and describe what I see to my left) 
I see beauty in front of me.
(name and describe something that I see in front of me)
I see beauty to my right.
(name and describe what I see to my right)  
I see beauty behind me.
(name and describe what I see that is behind me)  
I see beauty above of me.
(name and describe something that I see above me)
I see beauty below me. 
(name and describe something that I see below me)
I see beauty in me.
(name and describe something that I see in me)

Then, sometimes I just walk for a bit. Paying attention to the air. The sun. My breathe. My posture. And then I repeat it all again until I find the shift I am looking for. 

When traditional meditation just isn't working for me, instead of feeling the failure of not being able to follow through with a seemingly simple task like sitting still, I go for a walk and I take my creative head with me. I find this helps me to find my way back to a place where I am emotionally equipped to deal with whatever it is that I need to deal with. And from THAT better feeling place my perceptions change, my energetic self is open and flowing, and my creative brain becomes solution focused. It all works within the context of LOA and it does so in a way that doesn't challenge me but instead sets me up to experience success. (Success is of course an experience that I want to have more of, and so it works in creating a whole new feeling to focus on, to build on, and to take with me as I take on whatever it is that has filled my head.)

What do you do when you want switch it up??  Do you have a go-to vibration shifter??

I'd love for you to try the walking mediation that I described. Go for a walk and take your creative head with you. Then come back here, or check in on Google+ or Facebook, and let me know what you experienced.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Make a Change and Have it Stick

Worry Wart. Control Freak.  Neither of those titles make me feel beautiful. Its not who I would choose to be if I had a choice (You can exhale now. That was my old way of thinking, I have moved WAY beyond that. I know that I have a choice and that I was choosing to be that girl, I just wasn't doing it deliberately).

There were so many long and over whelming years where I felt that "worry wart" or "control freak" was who I was destined to be. When I truly felt out of control in my depression I began controlling all that I felt I could control. My hair was spiked and never out of place ( it changed colours a few times too),  I had my nails done my apartment was clean at all times. Later, my way of working around my feelings of overwhelm was to develop those traits into something awesome and name them as a strength. I became the ultimate planner and a multi-tasker extraordinaire.  I thought that that kind of re-naming and re-framing would make it all better. And it did. Kinda sortta. For a little while.

I have been identifying with those titles with a sort of super hero strength for as long as I can remember now. I have even used those identities in job interviews to sell myself as the exact perfect hardworking and dedicated candidate to take on any task delegated to me. In each job, as well as in my personal life, it became a sort of exhausting mantra to think that no matter how full my plate was I must be the one to take on the extra projects because I could do the best job.  Hmmmm sounds confident. But really - that was me undervaluing myself and being really afraid to be under valued by anyone else. I didn't feel like I would be thought of as enough unless I was your go-to person with all of the exact answers to everything.

I managed in a busy restaurant for almost 10 years and I was good at my job. I am smart and I have common sense and after a while, when the same scenarios would replay, I did in fact have many of the answers at my finger tips. But I still came in early and stayed late. I was the manager who had my schedules posted, my files up to date, and my orders placed but I ALSO took care of uniforms, new hires, guest complaints, daily financials that weren't adding up and staff payroll. I went to the bank for change, I bought flowers for the lobby, I planned the extra curricular and team building events, I made a big deal over you on your birthday and I did it for the entire restaurant staff.  Oh, and I put together one heck of a staff party twice a year. And as exhausted as I was, I didn't actually want anyone's help.

Stepping out of my worry wart, control freak shoes has been a real challenge. Giving up that part of me took some real and conscious efforts but once I realised that those titles were not actually rooted in strength but in fear, making a change seemed the only option for me. The more I dug into my Law of Attraction studies the more I realised the cyclical nature of this beast too. The more I felt I needed to worry or to control, the more the Universe would give me to worry about or control and so on and so on. I could be running on this hamster wheel for the rest of my life if I didn't jump off while I still had the energy to do so.

If you have read this far and are still with me I would guess that you know exactly (or something really really similar to) the experiences and feelings that I am describing and may be inclined to know how I did it/ am doing it (it's always going to be an on-going point of growth for me)

So here is what works for me when I want to make a change,

  • First Find clarity about what I want. - Worry wart and control freak titles were not it. I knew that. So I used those as starting places to decide what it was that I did want. Knowing what you don't want can be helpful in narrowing things down to what you DO want. Then you focus there.
  • Second Re-frame my language. -  I began with "Up until now I have been a bit of a control freak in my life, and now I am in the process of realigning my priorities to create the experience I really want".
  • Third  Allow myself to feel the pleasures I expect to find in those new experiences without any strings and do it ASAP. - I wanted to feel more peace and more confident FOR REAL. I knew I was in charge of making it happen. I started allowing myself to feel that way even for just a few minutes at a time as often as possible (tougher to do than to say but that is a whole other thought to be shared on an other day in an other post)
  • Next  Continue to write my story. -  I try really hard to remember to show gratitude for the bumpy road that has brought to me this place where I am now and that makes it easy to get excited about where I might be headed. I write my story now from the point of view of the heroine, an empowering point of view that reminds me that every good story has events that must be moved through and overcome before the quiet girl transforms into the powerhouse she is.

Not one of those steps works without the others. And not one of them is a one time event. They work together like a recipe for the peaceful mind I have found and have brought to the surface my understanding and true knowing of my own value. Whew. It was buried deep but finding it has been better for me than any other hidden treasure I could have unearthed.

Best news of all, that same personal understanding of our real value and love is each of us. Some of us have buried it a little deeper than others, under our many hurts, limiting beliefs and protective habits, but its there. And when we are able to stop working so hard at pushing down the pieces of us that we don't like we will be able to release the good parts of ourselves that are being hidden underneath. To not have to work so hard at staying on that hamster wheel seemed like a distant dream not so many moons ago but boy o boy does being able to relax a little feel even more beautiful than I thought.

Your turn. Are there titles or identities or habits that you have let go of, are in the process of letting go of, or dream of letting go??  What is working for you and/or where are you getting stuck??  If we each use and share our own experiences and work together we can all find our way back to that value filled place of love and peace. Because seeing as many people as absolutely possible be in that value driven and loving place is my dream of us all, I invite you to openly share your thoughts and experiences here in the comments below, over on the Facebook page or email me directly with your question.  I promise to answer each and every note that I receive.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Picking Traditions

What a great weekend!! There is nothing better than a holiday weekend that is focused on time with my favourite people and sharing good food, except a SUNNY holiday weekend that is focused on time with my favourite people and sharing good food. At my parent's house a family gathering always includes the mixing of everyone's favourite things. That's tradition. That and board games. 

At my parents house there were mushrooms cooked just the way my sister loves them. deviled eggs made two different ways, one way for my brother and his eldest son and the other for the two newest members to our crazy crew. There was pumpkin pie - my Dad, and squash - my Mom. My Grandmother's magic marshmallow salad is my youngest nephew's holiday treat, maple/BBQ salmon for my sister-in-law, and nanaimo bars for my niece  WOW what a feast. We are so truly blessed. 

There is SO much more than great food and great weather to be thankful for. This year I was included in two family's festive feasts. Having been so grateful for the wonderful people that I have in my life has brought me a whole other group of people to love.  Spending time with Dave's family and learning their traditions has been fun (looking forward to Christmas traditions next).

Having multiple family schedules to juggle means that we get to be a bit creative with the calendar. Even though the official holiday day was Monday, our two families got together on Saturday and Sunday. We don't need to wait for any specific day to share time and show gratitude. It feels SO great when we do just that. I get a combination of a cozy feeling, like a big hug from the Universe, and a real rush of energy being in this kind of loving space. 

Q: Why not feed those feeling every day?

A: There is NO reason not to and every reason to do.  

Happy Thanksgiving !
As Canadians we have so much to be grateful for. In southern Ontario this year we are enjoying spectacular weather and brightly coloured trees. We are safe, far from Cyclone Phailin which made landfall as the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane in India this weekend. We are able to walk into any grocery store and shop as we choose, there is a bountiful selection for all. And for those who are not able to experience that at this point in their journey, there were food bank donation baskets over flowing by the exit of our local grocery store and churches providing a feast and a family to anyone who desires. 

But just because something is traditional is no reasons to do it, of course. I prefer to choose which traditions to keep and which to let go. Keeping focused on the things that feel good and that move us forward is of course what will help to grow our collections of those kinds of experiences in life (that's the Law of Attraction in action). Maybe even adding a new something that is in line with the great stuff that you are already doing will become tradition in future. 

The same theory applies to your daily traditions. You can pick and choose a lot of what you keep and what you release. You may have some regular activities that you can't quite figure out how to let go of, but you can definitely choose what feelings about those activities will stay and what can go.  I mean, maybe you would like to release the activity of going to work, and you can't quite figure that one out just yet, but what you can do is go to work and release the stress and tension that has been there in the past. Do that job with as much love and ease as you can while at the same time, focusing on what is there that doesn't suck.  Like maybe the coffee is tasty. Or maybe there is a photo on your desk that you love, a page day calendar that you look forward to, or a person who is always happy to see you. 

There is no reason to wait for any specific day to enjoy the little things or to show your gratitude and to feel good. You can teach yourself to notice the moments each day that feel good. Let those moments feed that cozy feeling or that energetic rush, and grow your collection of good stuff.

What kind of holiday traditions do you have that you look forward to every year? Are there any daily traditions that you have that excite and energize you? I am always looking for new ideas and fun stuff to add to my collection of good stuff. I'd love to hear what you've got going on and growing in your collection. 

PS. Are we running in the same Google+ Circles?? Let's connect there and share ideas.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Sometimes You Just Gotta Try The Dress On

I had a wedding to go to this past weekend.  I LOVE weddings.  Food, flowers, dancing and happy people so full of optimism.  I am a sucker for any occasion that includes any of those elements, but weddings have the complete list. And, being unwed myself, they allow me to get a little dreamy and pick out the little touches that I like best. Super fun!

Less fun for me is often the wardrobe headache. And an October wedding in Canada presented me with a special kind of seasonal challenge. I was determined not to let dress shopping get me down. This was an opportunity for me to spend a few (much needed) quality hours at the mall.  That part, in and of itself, was exciting.  It's been a long time since I did any kind of shopping let alone fun "dress up" shopping.

My body type makes dresses a real challenge. I have been blessed with a pear shape physique. If a dress was made to fit 2 different sizes at the same time (small on top and medium->large on the bottom) it'd be easy.  Alas, I have yet to find the designer who has nailed the needs of the pear shaped woman (if you know one, I beg of you - leave a comment below)

I had spent only a few min as I walked through the mall doors, setting my intention asking the Universe to support me in making this as fun as possible and to lead me to a dress I would love.  I went into a store that I don't usually spend much time in (maybe I could find a blouse there but they never have anything that fits hips) The store was almost glowing, and like a fish in the lake I am always attracted by the shinny objects. Sarah, the sales girl who met me at the door and who felt like my own personal attendant for the next hour, was a gift from angels. She asked me a quick couple of questions and then I watched as she bounced around the shop, returned with an arm load and ushered me towards the fitting rooms. 

Long story short - I tried on A LOT of dresses.  All the ones I was sure would be great left me feeling way underwhelmed.  And so I resigned myself to trying on the one that Sarah had slipped in to the collection.  Style-wise and size-wise I was questioning her skills at that point. "This will never work on me." But over the recent years I have learned that I don't have as much to loose as I had once felt I did, and that the possibility of what could be gained almost always tips the scales. 

This current version of Kate will take a bite (unless its still moving - I draw the line and have made peace with my never being a Fear Factor contender). She will touch it (but with a nervous finger is it looks slimy)  And today, she will leave her ego on the shelf and will try on the dress. What is the worst thing that could happen.....

  • I will look silly and I will know that I am right about what I can and cannot pull off. 
  • It'll be over in a minuet or less. 
  • If it is really horrible I don't have to open the door. 

"I like this style on other women" I do believe were my exact words as I took the dress from its hanger. Huh - not horrible. I opened the door.  Sarah disappeared and returned with a smaller size and a different colour. I was gobsmacked. She TOTALLY knows her stuff. Sarah, laughing and smiling as she was, was the tool the Universe used to make my day fun and to lead me to a dress that I loved. Thank goodness I have learned how to listen when the answer is given to me, and to trust that some times shinny objects are attractive for a real reason.

Dave & I Shine Up All Right 
Things change. Maybe my body changed (except I know that that's not true). Obviously it is my confidence and my perception that have changed. It took some deliberate practise on my part to get this perfectionist girl to let go and just try the dress on or to risk taking a bite, but it was worth the uncomfortable effort. Some of my favourite foods have been ones that were basically forced on me (my daring younger sister calls herself my food boss). This scenario is how my best friend became my best friend, how Thai and Indian became my favourite meals out. Its how I know for sure that I don't like the taste of Scotch or running as an exercise. It's how I learned to rock a pair of skinny jeans, how I fell in love with spin and yoga classes, and it's how I found that the Law of Attraction really worked to pull me from my depression.  

Being open enough to try something new and different can really pay off. Other times, it's a "now you know for sure" experience. Feeling uncomfortable means that you are at the edge of your current box. Stepping outside that box and trying it anyway is how we expand our limits, move the line in the sand and grow our comfort zones. And the theory applies to every current, self imposed, limit, including dress styles.  

What personal limits have you expanded by trying something new? What do you know now for sure because your tried? Have you made any discoveries or found any new favourites that surprised you? How did it feel while you were stepping out of your box? How did you feel after?  I can't wait to hear what you have to share.  Use the comment section below to tell your story or join us over on Facebook and comment in the thread there. If you liked the story or think others you know may enjoy and/or learn too, I would be thrilled to have you share it. 

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Are You Plugged In In The Right Places?

How much time to you spend alone in quiet?? Do you drive without the radio?? Do you take a walk or ride the bus with or without your iPod?? When your lunch companion leaves the table to use the restroom do you reach for your phone to quickly check your email or update your status with a photo of that amazing looking lunch or do you sit quietly and soak in your surroundings??

It seems that there are endless options of convenient technology that has us plugged in for business and or social reasons. Many of us seem to constantly be attached to something or other that is electronically connected and battery operated, and its filling the space that is meant to be for our personal expansion. 

The original idea behind the mobile phone and the laptop was freedom. If your could answer your calls or your emails from the comfort and convenience of home, you wouldn't have to be tied to the office. You could go out and do and live. Some have figured out that balance. (Or at least their Facebook status updates lead me to believe that they have.) While others simply have been tied more tightly to their work. Work has invaded home and we are expected to be able to answer/ reply no matter what day of the week or hour of the day it is. And when it's not work, its Facebook. Oh how we love to use Facebook to fill the gaps and avoid the reality. 

The Internet and mobile technology (a match made in heaven) has brought the world to our finger tips in a quick, get-to-the-point, information heavy way. Hollywood updates, breaking news from across the globe, status updates from across the room, the 140 charter tweet or something called Snap-Chat where words aren't even required.  

We are a global community and we are connected like no other generation has been. But, we also seem to be more disconnected than any other generation has been.

Huge amounts of information can be shared in those 140 characters (especially when language, grammar and spelling are not made factors). Sure a picture can speak 1,000 words but when a Snap-Chat photo lasts for only 10 seconds where is the connection?? Heck we are so attached to our smartphones that there are official road rules required. You know there is a problem when one can't wait to reach a destination before checking the notifications on the tiny screen.

We are incredibly connected electronically speaking and we multi-task a plethora of different apps daily, but we seem to be neglecting the in person, emotional connection to those in the room with us, or even to ourselves.

Its become unconscious habit but our "plugging in" at every opportunity is robbing us of much needed silence. It is in that silence that we are able to be fully present with our world and see what is being shown to us. It is in that silence that we are able to hear our intuitive and emotional side speak to us. It is in that silence that we are able to feel the energy that is our being and find its much sought after balance.

Like anything, the more you practise the more skillful you become. Connecting to that feeling place and practising that connection is no different and is maybe even more important. Our emotions are what guide us through every decision. What sandwich to order, what college to attend, who to date.... Knowing how to understand what you are feeling is the way to know what you are creating in your life. Practising that connection is what builds confidence in following it and in yourself.

It feels good to unplug. We did at one time all survive without Facebook and the like or without being able to Google an answer on the spot. Don't get me wrong, I don't leave the house without my phone, I do spend my fair share of time lost in the News Feed and I have a special relationship w Siri, but I do enjoy the unplugging.  More than that (and that is saying a lot because feeling good is super important), unplugging allows for space in your day. Space that is currently being eaten up status updates that are likely not shaking your world. Remember that

You can't have really awesome stuff show up in your life if you don't have room for it. 

So let's put down the smartphone, step away from the laptop, turn off the radio and
unplug a little, allow the space, open up, pay attention to what is happening actually right in front of you, and make room for AWESOME to show up. 

As always, here is where you get to be involved. If you enjoyed what you read, please do share this post with your friends. Leave a comment below or come on over to my Facebook page (for just a min before you unplug) and leave a comment in the thread there. Tell me what you think? Do you have any tips to share that help you to unplug from technology and plug into your Self and your world? How do you find the balance?