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What Are You Practicing?

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Have you seen that viral video going around with the little kid asking, “what do you practice?”?
Omg. It is so. Good.

So good that I set a couple reminders on my phone to pop up periodically throughout the asking the question, “what are you practicing?”

The idea is this.. what we practice we get very good at. When we practice worry, we’ll be great worriers. When we practice being suspicious of events, people, places, things, we’ll be very good at being suspicious. Etc, etc.


So the lesson I’m getting from this is: to stop throughout the day, check in with myself, & realize consciously what I am practicing at that moment.

Am I practicing being frantic? 
Am I practicing seeing the bad? 
Am I practicing judgment? 
Am I practicing being in fear?

What if I was willing to practice allowance? 
Peace? 
Compassion? 
Being in love?

Not just when I’m in meditation, but always throughout the day.. noticing what I am practicing.

This morning I was trying to “get through” all the emails I’ve been putting off all week. The energy was really “I hate this,” “hurry up” and generally just tight and frantic.

Then the reminder; “what are you practicing?” popped up on my phone, and I realized it. I get the tightness. I felt the resistance. I was literally ‘practicing’ tightness, judgment, & resistance. Whoa!

And because of this little reminder, I was able to ask myself, “how can I practice joy right now?” “How can I practice how I would like to feel, right now?” So that I get really good at it.

I felt my shoulders drop. 
I felt my lips curve up. 
I heard a mantra of mine reverberate in my head, “I am peaceful.” 
And just that like that a miracle happened. 
I was practicing what I want to practice.

So this post is asking you, right now, what are you practicing? And would you rather be practicing something different?

Here’s your chance to shift it. 
I’m with you.

 

 

What to Do When You Feel Out of Control

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I’ve been having one of those weeks where I’m feeling a little lost, a little out of control. I've been traveling for so long and now that I've finally got a significant amount of time in one place everything feels like it's going slow motion. Personally, there's been a slowing down. A refocusing. It's the feeling of a season change. Turning inward. It's melancholy, in a comforting way. 

In the greater world, there are so many things happening right now that feel out of control too. The flooding in Texas and the path of hurricane Irma. The earthquake centered in Mexico, of which the aftershocks woke me up in my bed in Guatemala last night (the date I’m writing this is 9/8/2017, just in case you're reading this later). The last two weeks I was visiting family in Montana and the wild fires left my clothes and hair smelling like a campfire for days. The smoke burning my lungs and darkening the sky.

To say all this in a way that lacks description but also encompasses the entirety I'm feeling is: It's a lot. A very easy time to fall into fear and depression. And when we feel like this, lost, overwhelmed and hopeless it can be really easy and comfortable to fall into the known mindsets of worry, scarcity, distrust, and lack. 

But, I made a decision a long time ago that I wanted to live a life from the other side of those constricting thought patterns.

I live a life that leaves room for the melancholy, hopelessness, and sadness but isn’t defined by them. I made a decision to be a person who Trusts. Even when it feels like I’m floating off into space without any anchor, I Trust that it’s what I need. To feel alone. To feel sad. All feelings are gifts, little guides, brining me home. 

Even when I feel like I’m spinning out of control, I am committed to releasing my grip even further, because who says spinning is bad anyway? Self-love is allowing the feelings, no judgment because we respect ourselves enough to know have feelings for a reason, to guide us towards what we need.  

I want to live in a world where qualities like trust, acceptance, joy, space, allowance, are the default. Where challenges are seen as learning experiences that sharpen our minds, strengthen our characters, and stretch our hearts. Where we see difficult emotions as a sign that we need to do the difficult work of slowing down, turning inward, and giving ourselves space. And how to do we make changes in the world? We “be the change we would like to see,” as Ghandi says.  

So in the midst of a challenge of feeling out of control, let’s not harden our shells, or tighten our grip, but let the change come. Let’s focus on what we CAN do, not what feels impossible. Let’s focus on what is being washed away and let go. Let’s realize that for all new seeds to germinate and bloom there must a period of sowing. 

So let the change come. 

Let the falling away happen. 

Hold the change that's happening like a delicate flower in the palm of your hand, with tenderness, with respect, with love, until it's ready to be released. 

You are always more than enough. I believe you. You can let whatever difficult change is happening to you right now, happen. You can let the world hold you. Soften into it. Blur around the edges. Be swept away. 

As we meet our challenges with love, allowance, and tenderness, we meet ourselves with the same qualities, and self-love changes our lives and we change the world. 

5 Ways to Change Your Bad Attitude Right Now

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As you know if you’ve been following me I'm traveling around the world to write a book and experience true life by design. It’s been amazing. It’s brought on so much gratitude and heart opening and love. But, it’s also been a huge ongoing lesson in stepping out of my comfort zone. Right now, I live outside my comfort zone. 

This past week we’ve arrived in Guatemala, which will be our home base until January 2018. Since my husband already speaks Spanish and I would love to learn it, and since this will be our home for a significant amount of time I decided to sign myself up for Spanish school… 4 hours a day, for three weeks. On top of that, we also decided to live with a Guatemalan family for three weeks so we can be truly submerged in all things Espanol. 

Now, let’s talk about comfort zones. 

As someone who has been obsessed with personal development for the majority of her life, I am pretty comfortable being uncomfortable. You can't develop personally unless you’re willing surrender your ideas about what is and what isn't, and put faith in things outside your current perceptions. Give me lots of meditation practices to do, I’m on it. Tell me to change my limiting beliefs, I know exactly where to start. Put me in a cramped bus in Africa with only standing room, no problem. Put a chicken on my lap and five screaming kids around me, I'll laugh. If, to get to the next level, I need leap into the unknown, I can do it, it won’t always be easy but I can do it. I dig adversity and I know to grow you have to face it. 

However, there is one thing that still makes me super uncomfortable and brings up oodles of resistance and excuses, and that is a situation where I can’t say what I want to the people around me. Sure, it’s OK if I'm checking into a hotel and the desk clerk doesn’t speak English, in this case it's pretty obvious what needs to happen, give me a key and a room number. I don't mind too much trying to explain to a taxi driver in a foreign country where I need to get to. Pull out a map and point usually works fine. But to not be able to communicate with the people I see day after day because I don't know how to ask questions or tell them they look nice, or that I enjoy the food they cooked for me, gets me all sorts of bothered and frustrated. 

So… as you can imagine attending these Spanish classes and living with a family that speaks only Spanish has been something that has the potential to get me really, really uncomfortable. And when I get uncomfortable to this extent, I tend to make excuses as to why it’s 'too hard.' I watch myself starting to develop a shitty attitude toward the whole experience because it becomes everything else’s fault that I don’t feel good. 

I think we’ve all experienced this phenomenon, right? 

It goes like this: We’re upset because things aren’t going the way we would like them to, so we project that out onto the situation and blame the people, the place, or just the whole situation itself for the way we feel. 

But the truth is, we are responsible for the way we feel in any situation. We get to decide how to react to ANY situation that comes our way. We are not victims of this world. We are creative and powerful beings of star dust that get to decide if we will place our loyalty in LOVE or FEAR, during each and every moment. 

So when we are truly struggling to keep our creative power in mind, when the situation is so far outside our comfort zone that our normal methods of bringing ourselves back to the truth don’t work, I’ve come up with 5 things we can do, right this moment, to shift our attitude from one of negativity to one of positivity.  

1. Change your perspective.

I mean literally change the way you are observing the world. Lay on the ground, get a horizontal perspective. Do a handstand against the wall, see the situation upside down. Do a summersault, see the world turning. Spin around in circles until you fall over, see the world spinning. Just do it. It works! 

2. Take a power pose.

In the same way that our thoughts can change our physical body, the position of our physical body can change our thoughts. So if you’re feeling all closed off and salty, stand in a pose that opens you up and makes you feel connected for 5 mins. One of my favorites is seated on the ground with arms and face open toward the sky, receiving. You could also stand with feet wider than hip distance apart, hands on hips and a big fat smile on your face. 

3. Go outside.

If you’re feeling like everything is too hard and everything is just not fair, just go take a walk around the block. Get outside. Even better yet, take your shoes off and let your feet touch the earth. Everything seems a lot less hopeless and frustrating with the sun on your face, earth under your feet, and the wind in your hair. 

4. Just Breathe.

Take 10 deep breaths. Like really, really deep breaths. In through the nose, filling up the lungs from the bottom to the top, and out through the mouth. This may sound like an overused one, but that’s only because it actually works. When we breathe deeply and our diaphragm presses into our intestines this signals to our brain that nothing is wrong and that it is safe to go into the parasympathetic nervous system response (rest and digest). Which means we can think more clearly and more lovingly. 

5. Recite or write down three things you are grateful for

Gratitude is the gateway drug to joy. It's a prerequisite of a happy life. When we bring attention to what we are grateful for it immediately changes our outlook. 

BONUS!

If none of the above work for you and you’re still feeling like your attitude is sucky just stop doing what you’re doing and come back to it later. If you’re all crabby your style is most definitely cramped and you’re not doing your best work, being nice, or bringing good vibes to whatever it is you're working on experience. It’s perfectly acceptable to go take a breather. Change what you’re doing. Watch some Game of Thrones. Eat some dark chocolate. The key is ENJOY what you take a break doing. Don’t take a break and then feel guilty for taking a break. Come back to your frustrating work after you’re feeling less up the wall. 

Leave a comment and let me know if you tried any of these are what you experienced.. 

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