It’s February 2013. By now the mad rush of everyone trying to live up to their resolutions may be dying off. Now what? Figure out what you want and go get it! It’s all about imagination, honoring yourself and intention (here, too!). Don’t underestimate yourself, there are plenty of people around who will do that for you.
By the way, I’m not talking about resolutions here. I actually don’t believe in them. It’s difficult for me to feel passionate about any statement that is made solely because of a date on the calendar. I do, however, strongly believe in intentions (you may know this by now if you have been following my blog). I also believe that you can consider your intentions at any time!
Given the ubiquitousness of January resolutions and promises, this year I encourage you to trash your grand resolutions and consider what it that you want more/less of? More free time? More sleep? Less anxiety? Deeper relationships?
The best place to start is recognizing the things getting in the way and what would it be like to remove whatever obstacle (or belief) is preventing you from having met your intention. Work it out and watch yourself soar!
Leave a comment | tags: honoring yourself, imagination, intention, new year's resolutions, resolution | posted in empowerment, holidays, inspiration
Happy Fourth of July! Independence Day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, declaring the United States independent from Great Britain. It’s typically a time of celebration, barbecues and the quintessential fireworks.
Today I implore you to create your own personal independence day. Declare your independence from the things that hold you back.
Take time to consider what keeps you feeling stuck. Decide what you would like for yourself.
I will share my opinion.
I will pay down my debt.
I will be kinder to myself.
I will create daily “me time.”
Remember, it’s not about luck or willpower. Set your intention.
I will share my opinion with others instead of going along with decisions made for me.
I will pay an additional $100/month to my outstanding credit card debt.
I will begin each day with a healthy, self-affirming mantra.
I will make sure that I actually take a lunch break instead of working through it.
Get to it and allow today’s fireworks to also be a celebration of YOU!
Leave a comment | tags: celebration of you, empowerment, fourth of july, holidays, independence, independence day, inspiration, intention | posted in empowerment, holidays, inspiration
Robert Frost said that “If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane.” When you consider the many things that laughter does for us, e.g.: relaxes the body, exercises the lungs, reduces stress, improves heart functioning, increases blood flow, boosts the immune system and releases those feel-good endorphins, Mr. Frost was probably right!
There certainly are many serious times and events in life. However, if we take a moment to step back and gain perspective, we may realize that many of the things keeping us from being lighthearted just aren’t that serious!
Did you know that the average person laughs 15 times a day? When was the last time that you really let yourself go and laughed so hard that you cried? Or that you laughed so hard that your belly hurt?
Today, make it your job, your intention, to get silly, to play, to let yourself be tickled and to let out a good laugh. Then, do it again, and again, and again!
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Willpower: the ability to control oneself and determine one’s actions
Motivation: the desire to do; interest or drive
Intention: an aim that guides an action
The Huffington Post published a summary of Northwestern University’s study exploring the energy model of willpower. That is, the impact of mental vigilance, and subsequent depletion of mental resources, on blood glucose levels. The details are interesting so it’s worth a read. Simply stated, they found that when sensing a reward is coming, the brain is motivated to put in extra effort!
To me this reads that we must know why we are doing what we are doing in order to be motivated to do it! So, when thinking about your motivation, you must consider your intention (the ultimate reward) for that motivation. Then willpower happens. Simple, but now it seems that science is backing it up.
The next time you put your mind to something, create a goal for yourself or even begin your day tomorrow, set a clear intention for yourself about what you want to achieve, what you would like to get out of the day, or just the way you want to be in the world that day. Notice for yourself if having a clear intention for your day makes a difference. I bet it will.
Leave a comment | tags: empowerment, energy model, energy model of willpower, intention, mental vigilance, motivation, northwestern university, science, willpower | posted in empowerment, science
Perspective. Outlook. Perception. Is the glass half full or half empty? Consider your answer. It’s a powerful question. Here’s the thing… if you look for something, you are likely to find it. If you view your glass as half full, then it will be. If you view your glass as half empty, so be it.
We’ve all had the experience of waking up on the wrong side of the bed or feeling like we’re wearing our nerves on the outside of our skin. These are precisely the times when it would be most beneficial to pause, breathe and make a choice. “How do I want to go through the rest of my day? How do I want to perceive things? What is my intention?”
I realize that sometimes the glass is truly half empty but we can always grow and learn more about ourselves by moving through those difficult times.
So the next time life gives you lemons, keep ’em! ’cause hey… free lemons!
Leave a comment | tags: empowerment, free lemons, glass half empty, glass half full, intention, outlook, perception, perspective, when life gives you lemons, wrong side of the bed | posted in empowerment
Year-end is a marker of time and offers a natural moment to both reflect and look forward. During this time of year, it seems most people are talking about resolutions. What kinds of decisions, changes, etc. they will be making in their life beginning January first. While these tend to be done with good intention, the truth is that most of these new year’s resolutions are quickly forgotten or broken, leaving behind a feeling of failure. While many remain entrenched in the new year’s resolution cycle, some sway in the complete opposite direction by making no resolutions. And of course, let us recognize that there are those for whom these resolutions stick.
No matter what your experience, I invite you to make this year different by replacing your resolutions with personal resolve.
What is personal resolve? A lifelong commitment to yourself. Knowing your own personal truth no matter what. It parallels the age old existential questions, “who am I?” and “what defines me?” When we know our own truth we become grounded in ourselves. Thus, less likely to become emotionally wiped out by other people or events. When we know our own truth, we make better choices and decisions, as they match our internal value system, ultimately creating more satisfaction in our lives.
This year I challenge you to get to know yourself better and to understand what makes you tick. I encourage you to cultivate your own personal resolve. Begin by noticing your actions and reactions. What gets you excited? Angry? Sad? Passionate? What are your intentions?
Take a moment and consider your own personal resolve. What do you know to be true about yourself no matter what?
2 Comments | tags: empowerment, intention, new year's resolutions, personal resolve, self-esteem, values, who am i | posted in empowerment, holidays, self-esteem
a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, esp. considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action.
the union of elements (as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
the total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual
Through the mere experience of life and living, it is a simple process to get far away from yourself. Disconnecting and paying more attention to that which lies externally than to what is within ourselves is all too commonplace an experience. Especially with the holidays in full swing, we tend to consider what will make others happy, different obligations that we have and the hustle bustle of the season.
When was the last time that you stopped to check in with yourself about what will make you happy, what you need and what your obligations are to yourself? When was the last full breath you took into your body to fully breathe into your whole self? What is your daily intention?
Take back that which is already yours. Occupy your SELF!
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I stepped into my friend’s car and this name tag was on his dashboard. “Wow,” I said. My next thought was that we should all keep these types of notes stored internally so that we can be grounded in “I am enough,” “I am just right,” etc. v the tyranny of the negative internal self that is ever-so-present in those struggling with eating disorders (and too many others).
What are your internal notes? Which do you want to keep? Which no longer serve you? Which are destructive? Today, make a conscious note. What is your note?
Leave a comment | tags: empowerment, inspiration, intention, judgment, mantras, self-esteem | posted in empowerment, self-esteem
intention – \in-ˈten(t)-shən\ – a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
American dancer and choreographer, Martha Graham, said that “first we have to believe, and then we believe.”
Having conscious intention, determination and a belief in ourselves, allows us to align our personal value system with our actions. Why is that important? Because when our actions don’t match our values, we become dissatisfied and distressed.
Conscious intention also allows us to transform our lives into what we envision for ourselves.
Begin with your values. What do you value? Perhaps friends, family, authenticity, honesty, a well-balanced life, honoring your self, honoring your body, unconditional acceptance of your body, self-acceptance…
What actions match these values? Connecting with friends and family, being authentic, balancing work, play, sleep, food, etc., paying attention to your emotional and physical needs, doing away with judgment, showing unconditional positive regard towards your body and your self…
What is/are your intention(s)? To connect with people, to express your feelings, to be compassionate towards yourself… How often do you think about it?
What is your conscious intention today?
1 Comment | tags: conscious intention, empowerment, inspiration, intention, martha graham, play, values | posted in empowerment
Let’s begin with OM. According to Miriam-Webster, OM \ˈōm\ originates from 1788 Sanskrit. OM is a mantra consisting of the sound \ˈōm\ and used in contemplation of ultimate reality. In meditation, it is common to chant this mantra as a way to achieve a state of total awareness of your surroundings and your self, yet absent of any thought. Meditation cannot be done. Meditation happens. Our job is to create the space and consciousness in which it can happen.
Anywhere but here, the opposite of OM. We all have hectic moments, some of us have hectic lives. Perhaps there is a general sense of frenetic multi-tasking and doing everything, literally everything, moderately well instead of focusing on one thing and giving it the time and attention it deserves. Sometimes the “one thing” is another person. Sometimes the “one thing” is yourself. I constantly see people hurriedly walking the streets of New York City chatting on the phone and fiddling with their Blackberrys, trying to squeeze everything they can into every moment of every day. Accumulation of these moments (and days) leads, unavoidably, to emotional and physical depletion, a.k.a. “crashing.”
Finding your OM. If meditation is not for you, then what is for you? What is your own personal OM? What helps you cultivate presence? What about nourishing your soul? Restoring? What does that even mean? I’m talking about finding an internal calm and groundedness. Paying attention to yourself, your full self, without distraction. How frequently do you take a moment (or a few) to breathe fully and deeply, to observe your breath, to meditate, to turn your cell phone off, to allow yourself to just sit and be in the moment. Take the time to check in with yourself and ask “How am I feeling?” “What do I need right now?” Find your inner OM.
Why is this important? For starters, it can decrease hypertension, give your mind a break, sustain a sense of well-being, increase awareness of how you are doing, what you need and what you don’t! Ultimately, it can lead to feeling more grounded in yourself and more satisfied in life.
Create a daily practice of nourishment and restoration. Claim the space to do so and protect it as a way to honor yourself. As you do, begin to notice the subtle shifts in your relationships, your mood, your mind, your soul. What is your practice?
3 Comments | tags: intention, meditation, mind, nourish, om, self-esteem, spirit | posted in empowerment