Friday, February 28, 2014

5 ways to create more good for ourselves - #3 necessary stillness



I have meditated on and off since high school. I think the times I was meditating I was more awake

(it may seem like it is harder to live our lives awake until we think through the alternative : we are asleep and life wakes us up - not like a mother who whispers "rise and shine sweetie" - this mother throws open the blinds and yanks the blanket, tumbling us out of bed and on to the cold hardwood floor, she doesn't even offer up a boo-boo kiss, she just strides out of the room - life is one tough love mama ... ouch)

My usual pattern is I get busy with work and outer stuff (trying to control the stuff I can't control, but I seem firmly committed to not understanding this) and stop meditating. I lose my connection to the big picture. I lose my connection with myself (which is the same thing). Then something happens to wake me up - something challenging happens. Almost always something that slows me down; sometimes something that stops me in my tracks.

Then like the prodigal son I come back.

Meditation is a practice. It's not something that works for other people, but not for us. It's like exercise - it can't work for us if we don't practice, but if we do practice it can't not work for us.

Stillness connects us to our higher self/the Universe/God/the Goddess (pick your comfort zone) - not that we are ever not connected, but sometimes the connection gets foggy.

I also find that stillness allows me to let go of refined flours and sugars. This sounds like a physical thing (and it is partly), but it’s really about vibration. Nothing fogs things up so fast as white flour and white sugar. The first thing that happens to me when I fall off the wagon and stop meditating is I start eating this crap again. I am sure this is a fear reaction to life requiring more of me. It is easier to just play small.

Over the holidays, I was listening to Decisive - the Chip and Dan Heath book about better decision making. It was very good, but made me wonder if they would have come to a different conclusion about the true value of intuition if they had been working with people who meditate regularly.

This is not hard stuff. It is not easy stuff either.

Dr. Wilder Penfield (is this the best name ever?!) is a famous Canadian neurosurgeon. His research discovered the brain's sensory and motor cortex and more. During his studies he found the area in our brains where decisions are carried out. He got very excited. He thought he would next discover the part of our brain where decisions are made. He never found it. Instead, he found there is no part of our brain where decisions are made.

So, how is this possible? We know we make decisions every day, every minute of every day in fact. Apparently our brain and our body are amazing tools for executing decisions, but not making them.

There must be a nonphysical "us" that does the decision making (this is a really powerful thing to know if we beat ourselves up over taking the 'wrong' action and if we are continually searching for that magical set of actions that will make everything work) - this is the part of us we get to meet when we meditate.

Get yourself a timer/stopwatch app for your phone or Kindle, an egg timer or just set your oven timer (start with 5 minutes in the morning and work up to 20 minutes once a day or 15 minutes twice a day - by the time you are up to 15 minutes, you will want to do this twice a day, trust me).

Dedicate a space to this. It's a practice and you need room to practice. Get yourself a yoga mat or sit in a special chair. Make the practice a ritual. Light a candle, darken the room. I have a space in my bedroom and I open the bedroom window while I make the bed to bring in some fresh air. Then I close the window, light the candle and just do it. When you get centered every animal in your house will be climbing all over you - ignore them. If you have young children, you will have to get up before them or they will be drawn to your stillness like a magnet (or a magnetic locket - warning shameless plug ahead - have you seen this). 

I think you can do the Chopra 21 Day Challenge anytime or go to Hayhouse and find a guided meditation you like or go to YouTube and click around until you find something you like. If you are already meditating there is a great 7 Steps to Rebirth meditation by Doris Eliana Cohen.

Most days I just start with relaxing my toes and work my way up to my head - saying to myself "my toes are relaxed", "my ankles are relaxed", etc ending with "I am relaxed" then focus on my breathing until my timer goes off. When thoughts intrude I just let them float away. Some days I do guided meditations.

The more we practice the better we get at listening to our gut and instincts. We will fool ourselves into doing things that make us feel badly much less often because we will be more in tune with our beliefs, our true nature and how we really feel.

We won't be saying stuff like "I don't know what I want to do when I grow up" or "I could have what I want if I could only figure out what I want", anymore. This kind of foggy energy will not be available to us - we will start getting clear (the clarity may not immediately or ever really answer these questions, this is a practice and a process after all, but the thing we should be doing right now will become clear and that's all we need anyway).

So, we are telling our stories in the best way possible, we are focused on how we want to feel, we are meditating ....

next up Part IV - the value of celebrating

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Moon in Pisces, Mercury moves direct, Mars goes retrograde ....

Pisces Magnetic Locket by Polarity
We have a new moon in Pisces on March 1st and this is the last moon in our astrological year!

(Jupiter squares Uranus today so we may each get a little treasure we did not expect - probably within 48 hours before or after - this one has a liberating feel to it - it is up to us to notice and accept that sliver of blue sky being offered up - if we refuse to be liberated, bailed out, unhooked or released then that is up to us - this could be something tiny like an unexpected trip out to dinner and we do not have to cook, thus liberating us from our crockpot or something bigger like our grown son gets off our couch and gets a job, thus liberating our mind from worry and his bills from our wallet)

Mercury starts moving direct in a couple days, but Mars goes retrograde the next day - we have had Venus retrograde followed by Mercury retrograde now followed by Mars retrograde - helping to create the longest winter (not the season but the feeling of winter) in years.

Mars has been in Libra since December (not a place fiery Mars likes to hang out - it's all raw energy vs creative energy with Mars battling Venus) and once he starts his retrograde, things will gets a little more intense. If you know what house Mars is in your natal chart this will be the area where the fiery God of action may be making himself known; the place you will have an itch that needs scratching, the place you can't sit still, but every move you make will feel a little like you shouldn't have made it.

If you have any planets 27 degrees in cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) you will feel this 'lashing out' - the most. Mars retrograde in Libra for artists is like your best friend steals your design and people turn against you for calling her out on it! You gnash your teeth, un-friend the whole lot of them and probably regret it later. On the bright side if anyone decides to sue you now this will likely turn out badly for them.

Now, back to this Pisces new moon. This is an early, early morning new moon, so if you do new moon affirmations and I am hoping your do - try for Saturday morning. This is one new moon that isn't for everyone. Pisces asks us to feels things deeply. There isn't a lot of grounding here. The Pisces new moon is the last moon of the year.

The year only ends on the paper calendar in December, folks. The Universal year ends with Pisces (this is why we always feel a little off about the January new year start - our bodies know we are still in the fallow season of winter!) and Pisces asks us to sacrifice (which is always a sacred act).

Lent starts March 5th and isn't just good practice for Catholics.

This moon is 10 degrees Pisces, affecting those born with planets at about 7- 15 degrees of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) most strongly (high emotions).

Check your natal chart HERE.

You can use the house 10 degrees Pisces resides in your natal chart to see where this new moon's sacrifice could be most effective for you. HERE is a good basic list of what each house of the zodiac is about. For example I was born with 10 degrees Pisces in my 4th house which is all about our family, home, roots, security so my most effective sacrifice (sacred act) to end the year would be a sacrifice related to this ...

This is an excellent time for energetic support to make changes with things ruled by Pisces including our imagination, compassion, releasing victim-hood, spiritual healing, sensitivity, trust, addictions, lymphatic system, colds, feet, toxicity.

Some affirmations I will be using this weekend include:

I easily relax my mind and body deeply at night for a minimum of seven hours of restful sleep.
All debilitating sensitivity is easily lifted from me.
I trust that everything that occurs in my life is working for my higher good.
I easily attract, recognize and begin attending the right yoga class for me.
I easily release the habit of procrastination.
plus 5 more - Jan Spiller advises the power of 10 with this, so what the hell, let's go with 10.

AFFIRMATION TIPS: get into a happy frame of mind - always make affirmations from a  positive place - write your affirmations down by hand in script, speak them out loud - I write my affirmations on strips of paper and burn them, releasing the ashes into moving water - then release your attention from these things knowing that your intention is known. Know these things are already yours. xo

Sunday, February 23, 2014

5 ways to create more good for ourselves - #2 focus on our thoughts and especially on how we want to feel


Candace Pert was a neuroscientist (she passed away a few months ago) whose amazing career included two excellent books "Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel," with Deepak Chopra and "Everything You Need to Know to Feel Good".

In the early 90's while serving as the chief molecular biologist at the National Institutes of Health she made an amazing discovery that thoughts are real, physical things.

She found that every thought we have (and emotion it produces) has a unique neuropeptide associated with it. Our body produces that unique neuropeptide every time we think that particular thought and experience that particular emotion. These neuropeptides are amino acids produced by the hypothalamus (the control center) in our brain.

Every time we think a thought our hypothalamus translates the thought into billions of neuropeptides that are uniquely associated with the feeling we experience by that thought. Our bloodstream is just flooded with this stuff. 

These billions of neuropeptides join with our cells by inserting themselves into a special receptical in each cell's membrane - just like a key fitting into a lock.

Each neuropeptide receptacle on a cell's membrane is designed to fit just that one particular peptide and no other. So once that neuropeptide finds the right receptacle it gets absorbed into the cell (the cell that literally creates our physical body).

Dr. Pert discovered that over time our cells develop more and more unique receptacles based on the neuropeptides they are most frequently capturing. Our cells even begin to crave these familiar neuropeptides (the ones they have built those unique recepticals to receive). Our cells start telling our hypothalamus to produce these particular peptides because we have developed an actual physical need for them.

So, our cells are not craving stuff that feels good (meaning good thoughts and good emotions) - our cells are craving thoughts and emotions that are familiar.

This gives the need for us to "focus on the feelings we want to have" a whole other impetus. It also helps to explain how focusing on how we want to feel rather than focusing on what we want to get actually works.

(also the law of attraction which is much, much bigger than The Secret and operates more like a tuning fork with like attracting like)

Focusing on a goal always brings up resistant thoughts - Why aren't I there yet? Why don't I have that yet? Why does she have that and I don't? What if I don't get it? What if this never happens for me? This is the "what we resist persists" problem with attracting what we want.

Focusing on a goal also requires us to actually have a goal in the first place which means we have to know what we want which is the place we might get stuck because we often don't know what we want in the first place.

Luckily, we don't have to know what we want. We only have to know how we want to feel and all of us, every single one of us already knows that. We just have to get our hypothalamus to start creating the right neuropeptides and our cells to start producing the right keyholes!

Now our cells may have had decades creating all these keyholes for chaos and shame and fear and guilt and grief, but we can start building new keyholes today - right this minute. We can start focusing on how we want to feel (regardless of what is happening in our lives) today.

How might this work? Well, let's say we have a goal of making more money, but we can't really see how we can do this or what this would actually look like. So, we don't worry about that part (worry thoughts will just produce worry keyholes in our cells and we will literally become made of worry).

If we want to attract more money we think about the feelings that extra money would bring us which could be : safety or freedom or joy or peace or being loved or cherished or attention (which I've heard is the number one thing women want from men) or appreciation (which I've heard is the number one thing men want from women) or some other thing or all of these things.

We make a list of the emotions we want to feel.

(always write lists out by hand and use script since there is more energy in our physical makings and more fluid movement with script writing - I have heard some schools are no longer teaching script - maybe they have forgotten we all need to be able to sign our names and our unique signatures come from writing script letters a hundred, gazillion times)

We spend time each day with this list feeling each emotion. 

We think about things we have experienced before or we just make stuff up - our body doesn't know the difference. We just feel what it feels like to be secure - to have enough money that we can take care of everything we need to take care of easily. We feel what it feels like to be happy and joyful. We dance around our studios and bedrooms and kitchens. We breathe deeply from our bellies with this stuff.

We also notice when we feel these emotions throughout the day (and we will start feeling them more and more) and we savor them.We don't wait for something to happen to feel a good emotion, we just feel them for no outside reason at all.

(think about that Meg Ryan diner scene in When Harry Met Sally, you know the one I mean, we need to really savor these emotions that we want to feel - other people will just want some of what we are having)

When we notice a negative thought coming in - we catch it before it produces the negative emotion. We let that thought go - we replace it with another thought - one that produces the emotion we want to build keyholes for-

the kind of emotion we want to feed our body; the kind of emotion we want our bodies, and lives, to be created from; the kind of emotion we want to attract more of.

(yes, I'm dangling participles all over the place - ignore this)

Now, again this isn't about pouring pink paint over our problems and pretending they don't exist (as Marianne Williamson says) - sometimes we are going to get mad or feel overwhelmed or sad or scared - once the thought has brought on the emotion, we let our bodies feel it, then we let it go - breath it out with a pulse breath.

We move on to a better thought and an emotion we want to have. We let our bodies chow down on that.

I turned my entire life around very quickly many years ago with just this step and meditation. I have gotten out of practice but am back on the wagon .. will report on what develops.

next up part #3 necessary stillness

Thursday, February 20, 2014

back step (but not in a fancy "let's tango" kind of way)



OK I had a couple people email me about my post yesterday - they didn't like what I was saying and thought it was the opposite of the stuff I usually say.

Most likely I didn't say it very well. Let me try again - let me say it like this.

I am not saying we shouldn't do the thing that will make us happy. I am only saying we do not know for sure what that thing is.

What I am saying is we should do the thing we want to do.

I am saying the thing we want to do is the thing we should do. There is no thing we want to do and thing we should do that are different. I am saying these things are always the same thing.

The thing we should do is always the thing we want to do - this is how we live authentically.

There is no guarantee this thing will make us happy though ...

also my post on Create and Thrive on How to Get Unstuck is up today and HERE

Happy weekend all - please don't think SNOW ... think GREEN (as in grass and money and sustainable living) ....

(The example someone emailed me yesterday was that she would rather read a book on her Kindle than do her dishes so am I saying she should not do the dishes? My thinking with this is - if we want to read a book on our Kindle we should read a book on our Kindle - at some point the dirty dishes will begin to make us feel yucky and we will want to do them. So, that's when we do them.

If we don't want to get up and go to work in the morning, but we know that not going will make us feel worse than going - then going to work is the thing we should do and it's also the thing we want to do. We are just used to thinking of it as the thing we have to do, but it's really not any less the thing we want to do ... and thinking of it as the thing we want to do instead of the thing we have to do is what changes everything.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

the waning moon, mercury retrograde plus the sun moves into pisces


The sun moves into Pisces on Thursday and the moon is waning now (moving from last weekend's full moon toward the new moon in March), Mercury is still retrograde and next week Jupiter squares Uranus as the Pluto square Uranus we have been dealing with for the last couple years marches on.

So what does this mean and why should we care?

Well, first let's look at the sun in Pisces. What most people know about astrology is their sun sign and of course, astrology is much more than this, but we do revolve around the sun after all - it matters.

Although the space the sun occupied when we drew our first breath isn't who we are. We can't be our sun even if it does make a nice solid box in a world filled with boxes that are leaking, bottomless or falling apart. Our sun sign doesn't so much show us who we are as it shows us our process; the way we create experiences and the way we measure those experiences later.

Pisces are particularly proud of their sun signs. I know a lot of Pisces. I have never known a Pisces who would rather be anything else. Maybe it's because they are the last sign, I don't know. But Pisces really seem to like being Pisces (of course that's really not who they are at all, but we won't tell them that). This time of year when the sun moves into Pisces we all get more sensitive (we are also more likely to have childhood memories pop up to deal with and past life memories, too if you resonate with that).

When I started learning astrology I pretty much ignored sun signs. Now I don't. The sun acts kind of like an engine moving us forward and it makes perfect sense that it rules Leo which in turn rules the heart.

The sun teaches us that doing what is in our heart and doing what is required of us is actually the same thing. 

We get this stuff confused because we think doing what's in our heart will make us happy. That's not always true. The sun's light may be very bright and feel really good sometimes, but the sun's light burns, too.

Following our heart doesn't guarantee a happy life; it does guarantee an authentic one though. At the end of our days in rocking chairs or hospital beds we will be content with what we have done.

But now, hopefully many years before those rocking chairs and hospital beds, we think that living a happy life is what we want, although often we don't know what will make us happy and get ourselves stuck and sometimes we think we do know and then we get the thing we are so sure will make us happy and realize it doesn't make us happy after all, this happiness thing can really muck us up.

(we can't really muck it up though, don't worry, life will find a way to get us to the challenges we came here to meet)

And this is where that value post I never finished should come in, and it will, I just need to wrap my brain around it a bit. Also I need to get back to our nodes and our goddesses. I have been side tracked by the moon for the last year!

While the moon is waning we will be most comfortable (and get the most universal support energetically) releasing. If money is tight this is an easier time to cut expenses than it is to create more money, for example. It's an easier time to let go of a relationship that isn't working than to start a new one. Also we've got that mercury retrograde going on for another week or so.

Some other stuff that is happening - Jupiter is in Cancer until July- he is currently retrograde though so more about expanding inner things than outer stuff (if you have Cancer or Capricorn 10-12 degrees in your natal chart you will be feeling this most strongly now). Saturn is in Scorpio for the rest of this year (this one has been challenging me and anyone else with a Scorpio ascendant or any planets 21-23 degrees Scorpio or Taurus are being clobbered with hard lessons - hold on). Uranus is in Aries for the next 4 years, right now moving through 9-10 degrees so if this is challenging your natal chart you might as well just give in to it and run away for a while, like a long while or maybe forever - I firmly believe in befriending transits like this! How about Hawaii?! We've got Neptune in Pisces, right now she is 12-13 degrees Capricorn so if you have your sun, ascendant or planets 12-13 degrees Capricorn or his Cancer polarity you will probably be doing some major releasing right now or depending where this hits your chart you could be dealing with focus and motivation stuff  - this low-grade depression might hit everyone before Neptune moves on in 10 years or so, of course on the flip side of this (this is the Magician card in Tarot after all) is amazing creativity, manifestations and dare I say, magic ....

You can check your natal chart HERE

Monday, February 17, 2014

5 ways to create more good for ourselves - #1 tell the best possible story ....


Since hubs and my dinner last Christmas when I realized our entire conversation was comprised of problems, bad news and complaints - I have been determined to change the way I am framing the things that are going on and the way I am verbalizing this stuff in conversation with other people and Olive, of course, and especially in my own head.

I deleted the old Whining Wednesday link from my blog header (sniffle) and have been paying greater attention to my language.  

This has resulted in me saying a lot less - probably not a bad thing. Although no one has noticed. I haven't had anyone ask, "hey Cat, cat got your tongue?" ... yet.

I know that my words and thoughts influence my actions and outcomes, but I still find it challenging sometimes to practice what I know.

(There are quantum experiments with accuracy within 1/100 of a decimal point illustrating that there is no such thing as a detached observer. We all grew up with the scientific method where we watched and recorded, but quantum physics tells us that this isn't possible. The observer is actually a direct participant in all that is being observed and outcomes are effected and even created by the observer's expectations.)

The fact that our expectations and beliefs literally create the world around us is a huge shift in the way most of us have been taught to think the world works.

The first tool I have been using in working with my expectations is to tell the best possible story.

This doesn't mean pouring pink paint on problems and pretending they don't exist, but the truth is that while something is happening we can rarely know for certain that it even is a problem. It can be painful, yes, but we have all had events happen that we interpreted as "bad" at the time, but later, in retrospect, we can see things that were actually good about what happened, sometimes even very good and usually we can see things weren't nearly as bad as we thought they were at the time.

Telling the best possible story is easier when you remember the story of the farmer whose horse runs away (I 'm sure you've heard this one, but in case you haven't I'm going to give it a go) and his neighbors all come around and say "this is such bad luck that your horse ran away" and the farmer says "bad luck, good luck, who knows" and then his horse comes back and brings 2 other horses with her and the neighbors come back, too and this time they say "this is such good luck that your horse came back and now you have 3 horses" and the farmer, of course says "good luck, bad luck, who knows" then his son breaks his leg riding one of the horses and you know what the neighbors say next and then war breaks out and his son, the one with the broken leg, is the only young man in town to survive the war ... you get the picture with this.

It is sometimes hard to know what is good or bad while we are in the middle of something, so rather than rushing to label something as bad, rather than judging it - we find a way to tell a good story about things as much as possible. The frame we put around the things we choose to think and talk about is up to us. And the frame matters.

Science is now proving that by looking for ways to feel as good as possible about the people, places, things and circumstances in our life - we are literally creating more good for ourselves. This isn't about pushing down bad feelings, but re-languaging what is happening is very powerful stuff. I have already been seeing myself getting luckier as a result of small changes with this.

So, maybe the next time you go to lunch with someone or out for coffee - choose the direction the conversation flows deliberately - see if there is a way for you to tell the best possible story about the things you are talking about.

#2 focus on how we want to feel, not what we want to get (next post)

One thing I wanted to say about the advice I offer on this blog. I am an expert in exactly one thing - myself (and my expertise is called into question on that all the time ...). I know for certain that each of us is different and each of us is here for different things. One person really needs to step on to the stage and one person really needs to go to the back of the line and these people could be the same person at different points in her life. So, if something here doesn't resonate with you, just let it go. I think, for me, my basic human nature is not so optimistic so this is a learned thing for me; something I have to continually work at. It may be your basic nature to tell the stories with the least amount of judgement already, so just keep telling them ...

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Full Moon in Leo on Valentine's Day!


We have a full moon on Valentine's Day this week!

This is the culmination of the Leo new moon from August and there will be a lot of creativity and playfulness (and I might say courage) in this one - we've got a stressful square tomorrow to get through first when we might feel a bit like our work is never done or we've skipped a step that has caught up with us or some authority figure cannot be pleased, we'll just work with it.

We've got Jupiter squaring Uranus in a couple weeks so changes can happen quickly and Mercury is retrograde so lots of mis-communications, people from our past popping back and groundhog days (the Bill Murray kind) - between now and whatever we are building toward in April/May - most of us are just going to have to expect the unexpected, folks - we've been at this for the last few years, it doesn't always get any easier though.

If we think of the moon cycle as our breath. The new moon and the full moon would be the spaces between our breaths

The new moon is that space when our lungs are empty and the full moon is that split second when our lungs are full and we cannot take in anymore but we haven't started to exhale yet. 

The moment of fullness; the moment we are literally made of everything we are holding onto.

The moon's cycle is all about our emotions. If we are a fixed sun sign (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius, Taurus) or were born during a full moon we might find them more challenging. This one feels like a fun one though. Leo rules the heart, it's playful and larger than life - so thinking about our heart's desire - what we love, what we value - if we are putting enough of our heart in what we are doing, these are the kinds of spaces we can get solid movement with now. There are many ways to experience love, we don't have to be in a relationship for love to manifest deeply.

When we’ve made the choice to be fully alive for the rest of our life, we attract others who have made a similar choice. Everyone needs energy and motivation - our job is to choose our source of supply as if our life depends on it ... because it does.

maybe the biggest roadblock to getting what we want is the fact we don't really want it part IV



So, maybe we're getting better at wearing our heart on our sleeve without forgetting that's where we put it and sneezing into our elbows  

and we are unearthing the stuff we have buried long ago and the stuff we buried yesterday and we are panning the gold from our findings and clearing out the rubble and we are valuing ourselves by setting boundaries with the way we interact with the world -

We are feeling OK with where we are right now.

And we have a sense that it has nothing to do with where we are right now, but everything to do with who we are right now. Some days we love ourselves and watch ourselves show up - some days we watch ourselves show up and love ourselves. Some days we hide and don't show up at all and we still watch ourselves with amazement and still love ourselves. 

In order for the new stuff to stand strong, in order for it to last - anything that doesn't support it - all the self-sustaining parts of us that know change is risky, that know our new supports, like fresh cement, have not had time to properly set yet - work to dismantle it.

(sometimes with little love taps like that jewelry hammer your daughter gave you that just doesn't carry enough weight to really get the job done and sometimes with a sledge hammer - and this isn't anything personal - we can't take this stuff personally - part of our job on planet Earth is to stay alive and that is the job of our fingers and our toes and our DNA and yes, even those parts of us that are programmed with gold standards like "not good enough", "have to" and "should")

*****
Every summer we add a new vegetable to our garden. And every year some new kind of creature comes along to devour it.

It's not that these critters have just arrived. I am sure they have been here for years.

We just never notice them until they start chowing down on our new vegetables.

Last year it was voles. George kept saying voles and I kept hearing moles until one day I actually stopped what I was doing, cocked my head (for some reason hubs has a way of sounding like Charlie Brown's teacher until I tip my head, what is that?) and actually listened to what he was saying. Voles?

The stuff that is coming up in our life now - maybe even coming up faster than voles at a garden party - isn't new stuff. We are only noticing it now because it is so unlike the new stuff.

We didn't trash the new vegetable seeds to eliminate the voles last spring and we don't need to change who we are now just because it makes us (and maybe others) a little uncomfortable.

We don't have to know what will make us happy in order to be happy. We all know what happiness feels like. Maybe we don't have to know what we want in order to get what we want. What do you think? Knowing what we want is the part that gets many of us stuck. I know it gets me stuck. Maybe we only have to know how we want to feel.

We only have to know how we want to feel and be brave enough to let go of all the things that do not feel that way until we are only holding on to the things that do.

Maybe when we feel bad it's not because we aren't living up to life's expectations. Maybe it's not because we aren't being everything we could be. 

Maybe it's because we aren't being who we really are

Maybe the biggest roadblock to getting what we want is the fact we don't really want it ..... maybe getting clear on what we want isn't the part we have to worry about anyway - maybe we only need to get clear on what we value. 

next up part V - how knowing what we value gets us what we want

(and I know this post is a bit all over the place - I have had the flu or some kind of heavy duty cold and may not be firing on all four cylinders - on the other hand why let that stop me)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014

resetting boundaries if you are as thin-skinned as me - part III


Clutter is one of the very common complications of being thin-skinned (thin skinned = thin boundaries) ie someone who lets in too much.

I have been working in this space for years - trying to grow tougher skin (I think I've had some success with this since my elbows look like crocodile this winter), shore up my defenses, not take things so damn personally.

Thin skinned people often have more reactive immune systems. We tend to internalize things, are more easily hurt, more easily affected by outside stuff - we think we are a kinder and gentler form of human, but we are not always being kinder and gentler to ourselves.

There may be a bit of ego involved in internalizing stuff (everything isn't really about us) - there is also a lack of self-value going on with this.

Like our aptitude toward being more right brained or left brained, this probably isn't something we can change and I'm not really sure we should want to. There is a lot of good stuff that can come from being sensitive and open and emotional.

But sometimes it can get in the way. And sometimes it can come at the cost of us not valuing ourselves. Sometimes boundaries can be a thin-skinned girl's best friend.

So, during my year of changing one thing by changing something else I am working on the complications of being thin-skinned by creating stronger boundaries. I will ...

1. wear better skin cream and hats (we should all do this anyway plus I have noticed I can really keep out the negative energy when wearing a hat, makes sense)
2. take daily Vitamin D
3. ask the question of everything new I am about to bring into my space "does this add value?"
4. clear the clutter with the same question
5. hang a curtain between my studio and the rest of the house
6. use high energy aromas and music to create the sensory stimuli I choose
7. make quick decisions about unimportant stuff (note to self - most stuff is unimportant)
8. use boundary meditations - I like Marthe's
9. practice "no" as a complete sentence
10. when I take something too personally I know that it is triggering something else, I will see what I can take from it that adds value to me and let the rest go immediately - hasta la vista baby

If I must be around some trash talking fool - I will remember they are just unskilled; seeing someone as unskilled, knowing they are doing their best but do not having the proper tools - it helps (and it's totally true).

For thick skinned people; people who tend to use boundaries to keep things out - some clutter might actually be a good thing. I would try taking off your hat, taking down your curtains, practice saying yes. Studies show that both thin boundaried people and thick boundaried people feel things equally in their physical bodies (heart rate, pulse, inflammation) - so everyone could probably use a little reset with this stuff. xo all