In the last year or so concepts like self acceptance and self love have become more popular in the health and personal growth field. We've gotten a bit tired of the masculine energy of the "push through it", "suck it up" and "Just do it" and now we're starting to realise that with all the fat shaming, mental illness and insane stress in our lives, a little bit of feeling ok just as we are might not be such a bad thing.
I'm the first to pump my pom poms in the air over the fact that we've finally realised that you can't have much fun if you're waiting until you're thinner, richer or "better" in some way before you allow yourself to enjoy your life. Also, you can't make any real change until you accept yourself as you are either. That means being really willing to look at the habits you've cultivated over the years, the decisions you make every day or the reasons why you say you want to achieve a certain goal, but then you sabotage yourself from succeeding.
If you're a Type-A personality, a perfectionist or an overachiever, I can already sense the fear that's bubbling up in you around this conversation about self acceptance. I know because I can totally relate to it. I remember that when I learnt that in order to make change you need to accept yourself first I thought:
"Yeah, but if I accept myself as I am, I'd never make any changes! I'd end up living a mediocre life. I'd never lose that weight, start that business or bother going to Toastmasters meetings. "
At that time in my life the feeling that I was inherently broken or flawed was the only thing motivating me to make any changes. Many of us are functioning the same way. We want to lose weight because we hate what we see in the mirror and we think if we accepted our body right now then we'd never change. That' s actually not how it works.
A client of mine said to me last week "I've learned to approach my health and fitness from a place of much more self acceptance. When I first came to you I felt urgency about wanting to 'fix' so many things that were wrong with me. Now, I'm happier that I feel at peace with myself...but there are still things I want to improve on. I still have goals. But I'm a bit nervous that if I just accept myself, I'll slack off. My motivation will disappear."
This is such a common fear. But wouldn't it be nicer to work towards our goals from a mindset of improving the fantastic and beautiful person you already are? How would that feel compared to slogging it out because you feel you need to fix something that's broken?
Let's be honest: doing something because you're punishing yourself doesn't feel good - so that's why you stop doing it. You call it lack of willpower or motivation and you feel guilty about quitting, but really all that's happened is that some part of you has finally said "I don't like doing this thing that makes me feel crap about myself all the time! I just want to sit on the couch and eat ice cream and watch Game of Thrones!"
Motivation from fear never lasts. On the other hand, inspiration from what's possible is endless. When you ask yourself "How can I feel stronger today? Healthier today? More in love with my body today?" you can easily see action steps that come from a place of excitement rather than punishment.
True motivation comes from that positive feeling, that WHY that you're chasing behind every goal. When you know what your WHY is, and you approach your goal from a place of inspiration and improvement you're much more likely to stick with it. Throw in a support team and there's no stopping you.
How to stay motivated
If you need some help creating goals or accountability in sticking with them, coaching can change your life quickly and powerfully. For more information on the coaching packages I offer, come and visit my coaching page over here
You know all those beautiful, amazing, incredible things you want to manifest in your life? The things you've dreamt of for years, held close to your heart and pinned to your vision board? No doubt you've asked the Universe for them many times, but if they are failing to show up in your life then you might be missing one vital step.
ASKING OTHER PEOPLE! If you're on a spiritual journey, chances are you've gotten pretty good at asking the Universe for things - but the truth is that the universe works through people. Miracles and magic are not performed by a being outside of you waiting in the sky to grant wishes. It is an force that works through you when you live in the energy of what you want to attract. When you're in this space then the law of attraction will send you people and circumstances to help you in manifesting what you desire. But - you need to take some aligned action and start asking the people who can assist you in fulfilling your dreams. We've become pretty good at being a self sufficient society and "asking for help" has often been portrayed as weak or that we must be lacking something if we can't do it ourselves.
Which is total bullshit. "No man is an island", as poet John Donne would say, and with this many people populating the globe it's time to let go of the tired notion that we are not all here to help serve and love each other. Most of us don't ask other people for things because we don't want to seem "less than" or we're worried that they'll say no. Well....if they do, realistically what's the worst that's going to happen? You'll never know if you don't ask and most of us are missing out on so many opportunities by assuming we already know the answer.
The reason asking is so powerful is inherent in the etymology of the name, because although we tend to think of it as a question, the Hebrew origin of the word actually meant to "claim" something, so asking for something was stating your claim to making that request happen. In the Bible it is said "Ask, and you shall receive." Several thousand years later Abraham Hicks wrote "Ask, and it is given." What's my point? When you are in the energy of what you want and you actually ask for it, consider it done. Whatever you want is already on the truck, and on its way to you.
If you want some more insight into the power of asking, check out the book "The Aladdin Factor". It gives so many examples of famous and successful people who have got to where they want to be by asking for what they want. When it comes to manifesting anything in life, this book gives a great blueprint:
"First, you have to figure out what you want. Second, you have to decide that you deserve it. Third, you have to believe you can get it. And fourth, you have to have the guts to ask for it." - Barbara de Angelis, "The Aladdin Factor"
So who you can you share your dream with today and who can you ask for help? There are a lot of genies in the world waiting to make your wishes come true - all you have to do is ask!
Adulting: "to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups."
I particularly like Urban Dictionary's example of usage: "Jane is adulting quite well today as she is on time for work promptly at 8am and appears well groomed."
Most of us know how to do the adult part of life. We've been taught to use our rational, left brain and make calculated decisions, to-do lists and achieve goals. All of which is awesome. But adulting full time can make us feel a bit blah, a bit run down, a bit too serious. We sometimes feel like we're dragging ourselves around, getting everything done but not really having fun.
If this is you, it's time to open up that creative right brain and throw some freedom, fun and creativity into your adult life! Enter the 4 Minute Dance Party.
Intuitive Coach Sonia Choquette refers to this as the "Breakfast of Champions". Choose whatever song lights you up (for me it's been "Don't Worry" by Madcon) and then dance like a spazz for 5 minutes. Change up the moves every 30 seconds or so - do moves you've never done before! This opens up the right brain by asking you to be creative rather than logical. Basically it gets you out of your head and into your heart and has TONS of benefits. Here's just a few.
You get a double shot of natural energy
If you're trying to wean yourself off coffee but desperately need it in order to "adult" every day, try the dance party. It gives you a hit of natural energy.
To be honest, 4 minutes of hardcore crazy dancing is a bloody good workout. If you hate exercising then this could be your dream solution! A couple of these a day and you've boogied your way into better cardio health and probably dropped a few pounds. It also starts your lymphatic system which clears toxins out of your body. This system is motion activated - i.e. if you don't move, it don't work!
It helps alleviate depression and pain
Any exercise helps to increase endorphins, the chemicals that help alleviate pain and feed positivity. You'll be amazed how much better your mood is if start your day with the dance party rather than sitting on your butt watching the news.
It's the shortcut to meditation
If you're interested in meditation but you find the whole "sitting still in silence" thing a bit too hard, the dance party is the short cut to the end result. Meditation (to me, at least) is all about stopping the chatter in your head so you can tap into your heart and get guidance on what's best for you. A dance party takes you into this space immediately, because by the time you sit down your heart is pounding on your clear of any thoughts that were flying around in your head! You're in the perfect situation to really tune in and hear what your intuition is telling you.
Imagine a world where everyone started the day with a dance party...it would be freaking epic!! I'll leave you with some song inspiration for you to test it out yourself.
(to watch my video on this, head over to my Facebook page)
In this generation we have lots and lots of options. Will we get a mortgage or build a tiny home? Will we have babies or use the extra money to travel? Will we get married, or do I really just want an expensive new dress and a big party?
Unlike our parents' or grandparents' generations, nothing is really mapped out for us anymore. Life is no longer a case of getting married, getting mortgaged and getting maternal. For most of us, the world is our oyster and we can create it any way we want to.
Enter the quarter life crisis, paralysis by analysis and massive FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). Sometimes the world is throwing so many options at us it's hard to know whether or not we're making the 'right' decision. That's an impossible question and truthfully you can probably only answer that by altering the question to: "Is this going to be the right decision for me?"
After all, everyone is going to have a different opinion on whether you should save for a rainy day or take that once in a lifetime trip to Costa Rica, but only you will have to live with the decision. Only you will have gained or missed out on experiences and you are the only person who will have to make peace with whatever decision you make. So how do you make the decision that's right for you?
Start having dates with your intuition
"The more alone time you have, the more you'll get to know yourself. The more you get to know yourself, the more you'll know what you really want (vs. what the world wants from you) and obviously, the more you know what you really want, the easier it's going to be to make the right decision for you."
Most importantly, MAKE the decision
I'm going to bust out the University Latin (because God knows, I don't get many opportunities to practice that skill) and fill you in on the root of the word 'decide'. It comes from 'decidere' which means to 'cut off' - so to decide is to literally cut off all other options. Scary? Sure. That's why we often don't want to go there. But also... freeing. Once you have made a choice, all of your focus and resources can go in one direction.
And for the record, I don't really believe that you can ever make the 'wrong' decision. If you have checked in with your intuition and made a choice that doesn't go the way you thought it would, trust that by taking this path you have learned a lot of skills that you'll need later on. You'll have learned about your own capacity and resilience, and you'll also be building far more clarity around what you do and don't want. I believe that we are always internally programmed to have an amazing life, and if we do make a decision that seems to pull us off course, our internal GPS will show us another way of getting there. All you need to start the journey is Trust - trust in yourself rather than the conflicting voices of the world.
If you're like me, you're probably one of those people who gets routinely heartbroken by watching the news. The terror attacks in Brussels, the suicide bombing on Easter Sunday in Pakistan... I wonder when it's ever going to end. I wonder when we're going to start doing things differently, since the way things are being done clearly aren't working.
And it's not just the huge things, like terrorism. It's the little things that are subtly linked to living in a world governed by fear. It's going to the grocery store and realising that no one makes eye contact with anyone any more. It's realising that people don't smile at each other when they pass by on the street. It's seeing litter and shit scattered around beautiful neighbourhoods by people that feel no connection to their own community. It's seeing hundreds of non-recycleable take away coffee cups overflowing from bins that decorate the streets. It's knowing that there's a campaign in NZ to make sure that kids are sent to school with lunch and then having $26 million dollars spent on a flag concept. In other words, it's the feeling that the world has gone crazy and we are focusing on all the wrong things... and no seems to be worried about the important stuff.
When we see all this stuff, we often feel this 'jolt' in our heart, this voice of reason that says "there must be a better way... I don't want to live in a world like this!" But for most of us, myself included, sometimes, we buy into this idea that "that's just the way the world works." "It's too hard to change it", or "people don't want the change" or "the money's not there for it." And let's face it, a big part of why these comments stick is because we've been disempowered and kept small for so long that we think we couldn't possibly be smart enough to have the answer. I'm the first to admit that I don't know much about politics...but I know what feels right and what feels wrong and the kind of world that I want to live in. You don't have to be a political genius to create change, but we've been taught that we're not smart enough / talented enough / whatever enough to make a difference. If we only knew the 'full story' we'd realise that what we are wanting isn't possible. "That's not the way the world works."
Now, more than ever, we need to realise that our thoughts, actions and behaviours dictate how the world works. How the world works is not rigid or set. How the world works is not pre-ordained. How the world works doesn't come from outside us, it takes place from within. How the world works is a decision in the mass consciousness of the people who live in that world. The future of our world, our education, our health, our resources, our environment is always being shaped by the actions we take, and if we don't like what we see in the world, then we need to take positive and loving action against that as well.
We are powerful beings and we can shape every area of our world: our own health, our finances, our communities and our environment. When we don't believe this, we become a victim to ourselves and our world. We give in to bad health or being overweight. We resign ourselves to always being in debt. We accept that neighbours don't get to know each other anymore. We start to think of terrorism as 'normal' because we see it so much.
You're not a victim. You are a creator of the world - no more or less deserving and capable than anyone else. Realise the divine power you carry within you to make change. We need to hear your voice.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."