habits

Try these 5 ways to Breakthrough Challenge

How to find ways toward that bigger expanse!

How to find ways toward that bigger expanse!

Life - the highs, the lows, the challenges.  Let's talk Challenge and our response to challenge. There are many - Maybe a difficult relationship, not feeling vibrant or healthy in our body, overwhelmed by daily demands, or conversely just plain bored and dulled with the daily grind.  Any sound familiar??
 
Most often we will respond in our habitual way, because that is easiest, and when we are under stress - we go for easy.  And I am guessing the popular ways (because I have done them all myself) to respond are; ignore and deny, anger, dipping into self pity, resignation, distractions, or blindly powering through. All of these in addition to not working very well, build up in our bodies and create havoc - headaches, fatigue, unhappiness or worse.
 
Let's look a little more closely at overwhelm and resistance. Overwhelm is a popular predicament - many of us just feel so bogged down and lost in overwhelm. Did you know that overwhelm is a version of being in victim mode? That feeling of powerlessness, giving up, not taking responsibility for life's situation, why oh why is this happening to me?
 
And then there is resistance - my personal favorite. Resistance is an energy zapper, an avoidance scheme, heavy and exhausting. It has a fear base to it and makes everything seem so much harder than it needs to be.  Now that is a challenge!  The poet David Whyte wisely says ~ "The price of our vitality is the sum of all of our fears."
 
What if we were to turn toward this challenge and get really curious, honestly curious? What is going on underneath the layers?  What do we feel in our body?  If you were to take a wild guess, what do you think is feeding this challenge? And then continue diving deep into it from there...so much to uncover !
 
This may sound not so interesting or difficult but the challenge looms! And that in and of itself is uncomfortable or maybe even painful. So breaking through a habitual response might really be worth it.  Recognizing where we really are with a situation and acknowledging the responsibility we hold in this, is the first step to meeting a challenge. 

5 ways to get Started with this process of breaking through.

Try on a different perspective, looking at the issue from a new angle. Perhaps imaging stepping back, way back, so that you get the big picture, as if you were a movie director, or a stranger peering in, What Patterns Do You See?   

Honor what your body is telling you it wants to do.  Listening in for the Clues of tightness, guardedness, deadness, maybe even a sense of nausea - all tell tale signs that there is another, easier way possible. Then trust your intuition on what that might be

Embrace the looseness and Lightness of Being Creative. This could be wearing mismatched clothes, dancing by yourself with the music blaring, coloring out of the lines, whatever your routine is try to do it, approach it, differently.  Hint:  No one does creative perfectly, in fact imperfect is better.  

Ask for Help. There are times when we all need to talk with a friend, a relative, a professional. Pick your confidante wisely so that it feels safe to be vulnerable and genuine. This offers not only support but possibly new views into what feels like a bleak situation.

Make Time to Be Alone out in nature. There is a lot of beauty and wisdom to absorb in those silently present 400 year old oak trees, million year old boulders. Perhaps lie down on the earth, contemplating the ever changing clouds, our expansive blue California skies. Experiencing the innate truth that everything changes, your situation is not fixed.

 So pick one, trying to keep your mind open to new possibilities without going into your habitual pattern. Recently I was lucky enough to expand my training with Lucid Living, an advanced program that helps me help my clients move past what they find challenging into a place that feels better in every aspect of their life. If you are curious, or want to share something about all of this, reach out. I am here for you and believe that our challenges can connect us in this evolving dance of life.

 

Finding Resolve - Simple Tips to Up your Chances

Brave woman scaling the face

If you look carefully, there's a young woman scaling the face of that rock and I can only imagine what brought her there, what will get her to the top.  Inner strength, determination, and courage - we all draw upon our resolve especially at the beginning of the year as we set our resolutions, intentions, and goals. I am not going to be rock climbing at Joshua Tree any time soon although I will need resolve to get me where I want to be with my health, with strengthening my body. I am going to need resolve for changing habits, or more important changing the conditions that set up habits.

Resolve -  n.  a firm determination to do something.  Latin roots of, to loosen, which I love when you think in relation to habits or tendencies.  Our habits can bind us, our resolve can free us!
 
But first things first - did you make a resolution? It's kind of like the lottery - you have to pick your numbers and actually buy your ticket for a chance to win. And you can increase your odds with the following suggestions;

  •  Be specific - describe in detail what your goal entails. The time of day, the duration, the specific result you are seeking.
  •  Write this commitment down, in a way that you can carry It with you, mentally and physically.  Imprint it in your schedule so there is no chance you will forget ... or ignore.
  • Plan for success, Think ahead, plan each day. What is going to create space in my day for this?  Is there anything I need to reprioritize? What might get in the way? And then make the necessary adjustments because you want this - this is your winning ticket!
  • Tell someone - select carefully because you want this person to hold you accountable. You are not going to be tempted by distraction with this person on your side, who is creatively tuned to your personal challenges.
  • Reflect on why this is important for you. What do to have to gain by following through?  What do you have to lose? And what is important about each?

Recent neuroscience studies have made some very favorable discoveries.  The patterns in our brains can be changed, they are pliable and can be shaped into new patterns with repeated effort. Just like a well worn hiking path that for years has directed you from point A to B, you can forge a new path in the brain, literally. The neurons that fire together when you make a choice, or set an action, repeated over time will wire together. With practice your tendency to reach for the sweetest, largest desert falls away and you actually prefer that perfect pear or juicy tangerine.

This year I resolved to have a disciplined training program after 6 months of inactivity. And that first week saying this out loud, imprinting my intention in my mind, did help get me to the gym when I felt the pull to be elsewhere. And then life happened; surgery for the dog, injections for the hip, then that nasty chest cold going around, so I found I did need resolve, a resolve of patience and acceptance. That was my training for January.

It's been just over a month into 2016 and not too late to reset your efforts. This could be the year of the big win.  Is there anything you would like to share about resolve, habits, or making changes?   I encourage you to comment below and go public.  Make your most important aspirations real - now is the time, and you deserve it !