What arises within you when I say happiness is a choice?
It took me a long time to really connect with this truth. To know it in my soul.
It took constant redirection of my thoughts and pushing myself into the behaviors I knew would provide the rewards worth working for.
It feels like two sides of my brain competing for power. Do you ever feel that way?
This struggle for control shows up a lot when creating new, healthy habits. For example, one side says let’s make a change. The other side says let’s stay the same. Or, when deciding where to direct our thoughts; for instance, to focus on a piece of feedback as criticism, rather than as a gift for growth.
I have personally undergone a tremendous amount of interpersonal, emotional healing work. Participated in alternative and complementary therapies to build self awareness. Studied the mechanisms of the mind-body function that we undergo as humans. And it is only now, working both with a coach and as a coach, that I finally see the choice is clearly mine.
I choose to be happy. Healthy. Whole.
What would it take for you to make this choice?
In case you missed it, today I am sharing a presentation I gave last month on my concept Thought Swapping. Thought swapping enables you to become open to new possibilities and replace bad habits with better choices. This process maximizes opportunities for personal and professional growth by allowing you to see how your behaviors are driven by rewards.
The 5 Steps of Thought Swapping are:
- Visualize the possibilities
- Connect to purpose
- Identify barriers
- Replace barriers with rewards
- Engage in a new behavior
Click the link below to watch my presentation and learn how I reversed my negative thinking about dogs to become a bonafide dog person!
Today I am keenly aware that the holidays are coming!!
I am immune to most holiday stress because years ago I made a pact with myself to make my holidays my own.
No more loosing sight of what I want in order to fulfill other people’s expectations.
Of course life includes compromise and holidays bring to light many competing priorities. Seeing family I love includes seeing family that triggers negative emotion. I want to stay committed to my healthy eating and crunch down some Chex mix and cookies. I want to celebrate my own traditions, while respecting invitations to join others.
With compromise and competing priorities comes the potential for stress.
Today’s visualization is a boundary exercise. Creating and maintaining appropriate energetic boundaries is essential for navigating ever changing emotional territory. Practice this in advance of a stressful situation so it’s easily evoked when needed.
I’d like to give credit to John Chitty of Colorado School of Energy Studies for introducing me to this exercise.
- Get comfy.
- Settle into yourself with a few breaths- close your eyes.
- Begin to visual a boundary surrounding you.
- If there is a clear vision of what this is- take note. Maybe it’s an energetic aura of color and vibration. Maybe you are surrounded by a rigid box or there is a fluid, flexible container holding you. If you are not perceiving anything at all and that’s fine too. Just notice if anything comes to mind.
- The purpose here is two fold. The first is to inventory the boundary around you. The second is to create or modify the boundary to best suit your needs. If you have no boundary at all- consider making one. If you feel vulnerable to stress, fortify the space around you. If you feel more openminded consider creating a boundary that allows a bit of a breeze to blow through. The boundary is there to meet your needs for energetic protection or connection.
- Now visualize a collection of boundary building resources and begin work on your boundary. Be systemic as you visualize the repair, modification, or creation of your own forcefield. If you need protection from stress, create something that brings a feeling of safety. If the intention is to remain open, it would probably make sense to shift the quality of your boundary to allow more exchange between yourself and the external environment. Allow all ideas to come to mind including material supplies, colors, textures, vibrations, shapes, emotions, memories and fantasies. Perhaps you need an exterior repellant to ensure pests cannot get through, or you need a magnetic surface that attracts positivity. Bring the spirit of a loved one in to keep you company, and be sure to consider the internal furnishing. It’s completely up to your imagination to create what you need. Experiment and see what sticks.
- Once you have a clear intention (protection or connection) and can visualize your boundary, reinforce your creation for a few minutes with the breath.
Now get out there and enjoy those holidays!
Today I had the most lovely of unexpected experiences.
I was invited by Julie Hackmann, L.Ac. founder and acupuncturist of Oceana Accupuncture to visit her newly opened Wilmington, NC practice. Julie specializes in women’s reproductive issues and is certified to provide fertility and prenatal treatments. Her boutique office near Wrightsville Beach is absolutely gorgeous, second only to her warm and inviting manner.
Julie provided a general wellness treatment which included the needle work as well as tuning forks. I am sensitive to the needles and let her know I was a bit needle phobic as she prepared to treat me. It is therapeutic for me to express my fears while with my providers, and Julie was very receptive, providing immediate education on both the needles and her approach to placement. I continued to provide feedback as she helped me settle in to rest on the table, which allows the treatment to unfold.
As I relaxed on the table I was checking in with my body. I tracked the present sensations occurring in relationship to the needles, the tuning forks, the bodywork table, and my thoughts. While I was lying there I thought what a unique gift it was to check in with myself in such a therapeutic environment. The experience left me feeling grounded, with a heightened sense of awareness.
I highly recommend checking out acupuncture whether for the first time, after a long time, or if you’re a regular, just to experience new providers . A well rounded healthcare team is essential to maintaining balance. Taking care of your health is the gift that keeps on giving. The biggest reward for me is my personal evolution, which is deepened through complementary and alternative therapies.
Is there any gift greater than self awareness?