One Thing Wednesday

It occurred to me, “Hey, today is Wednesday!”  Does that mean anything?  Not really.  It only has the meaning we give it.    This One Thing Wednesday is about our amazing ability to change how we see things.  Like these visual illusions:

 

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Not only do we tend to “see” things a certain way, we tend to think about things in a certain way.  Often limiting ourselves into a small reality when so much more is possible.  The quick fun snippet below gave me a few “Ah Ha” moments…well worth the 11 minutes it takes to watch.     Embrace the challenge:)

What reality are you creating for yourself?

One Thing Wednesday

5 Practical Alternatives to Complaining

This Wednesday I have a question for you…What if you were one powerful habit away from changing your life?  Breaking the complaining habit has me feeling less stressed and more empowered.

I probably wouldn’t pose such a question if it weren’t for a hesitant agreement I made with a co-worker a few weeks ago.  We decided to take on a 21 Day No Complaint challenge together.  I had a few quivers but thought, “Why not?”

I never imagined it would begin to unravel so many tightly knit negatives in my thinking. 

brush and the toilet paper

After one day of watching my mental dialog, I realized, I absolutely had to commit to this challenge.  Some of the thoughts streaming through my head were sneaky little agitators and oh so subtle.  I could do better.

Complaining serves a purpose for us but not without a cost.  There is a flavorful mix of negativity, tension, and victimhood swirling through the words we think and speak.  Complaining and criticizing create an illusion that something is being done to bring about change, when it’s not.

Maybe a real issue started the mind flowing in an unfavorable direction but continuing on that path will only work to keep us stuck.  We bring about rapid results when we take responsibility for how we reply to the sting of a challenge.

What are some practical alternatives?

The 21 day challenge forced me to find some effective and concrete strategies to replace complaining.  Below are five;

  • Talk about what you do want instead of what you don’t want.
  • Connect with others around positive things rather than problems or negatives.
  • Focus on facts and finding solutions rather than on what’s not working.
  • Accept what is happening/has happened and face the uncomfortable emotions.
  • Focus on what is available and/or abundant rather than what is lacking.

And if none of those work, we could always simply allow ourselves to complain for a while.  Then smile at the whole mess and wait for the next round.

The goal isn’t to be perfect after all:)

XO

One Thing Wednesday

A splendid Wednesday to you!  Today I am sharing a quick no-fail practice for finding greater balance. I use it all the time.

Everyday stressors are an opportunity for self-kindness.

IMG_3759Our stress system is set up like a teeter-toter: It only slants one direction at a time.  The energy of our thoughts will either pull us toward fear and constriction OR toward rest and expansion.

When we perceive any threat, even something as small as self-doubt, our bodies respond with tension and our brain activity tips toward the stress center in the mid-brain.  Our energy goes toward the primal activity of safety, even if the attack is simply, “Am I good enough?”  or “Will they be mad at me?”

This holds us back.  It is filled with mental chatter and uncertainty.

To tilt the neural teeter-toter in the opposite direction, shift your attention to notice the present moment.  This moves energy toward the part of the brain that can help you observe and soothe yourself, calming your fears and putting you in a more receptive state.  The neurons in the pre-frontal cortex start firing making it possible to act on what is truly important to you.

You may want to stop everything but you don’t have to.  Just be where you are, feel your body, and look around the room.  Little by little, let go of your thoughts and tension.  You don’t need them.  They don’t help you.

Name what is happening.  “Oh, I got caught up worrying about making that deadline.”  Or, “I think I shouldn’t have said that thing/acted that way/eaten that donut and now I am scared/ashamed/mad.”  Perhaps add a big “Thank you” for the awareness, for your ability to see what is happening and your willingness to address it.  You caught your stress system at work trying to protect you.  How cool is that?  Take charge and let your stress system know…”There really isn’t any danger and so you can rest easy my dear.”

Put your hand on your heart or at your sternum and gently tap or, if you prefer, wrap your arms criss-cross around yourself for a little squeeze.  Still in the moment, allow this physical touch to soak in.  A kind word or two directed to yourself earn extra credit.  Something to acknowledge how you mean well or try hard.  Give yourself the same kind support you would a person you deeply care about. 

Finally, remember this is how we are made.  We all struggle.  You are not alone in your challenges, ever.  Allow yourself to be a beautiful “perfectly-imperfect” human just like the rest of us.

If you try this, click on the comments and let me know what you think or what adjustments you made to make it fit you!  I’d love to hear from you.

All the best,

XO

One Thing Wednesday

Welcome Wednesday…here is your one thing:)


“There is nothing more important to true growth than realizing you are not the voice of the mind-you are the one who hears it.” 

Michael Singer


The wide open sky floats from horizon to horizon, ever present and fundamentally unchanging just like the pure awareness at the foundation of your life.   You are this awareness.

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Clouds come and go filling the sky with movement and dynamic shapes that grab our attention just like thoughts and sensations fill our minds.  We don’t mistake the clouds for the sky.  Yet somehow we “get lost” in thoughts almost automatically.  Habits and conditioning begin to run our lives when we operate solely from the level of thought.

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When we tease ourselves apart from the thoughts and connect with our awareness, we  take back the reins.  We are the thinker, not the thoughts.  We decide how it will go.   Shift your attention to the one who observes and watch how illusion and strife naturally soften.

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Bring your attention back home on purpose so you can see the stories your mind creates and discover the freedom of finding a new story: one that lifts you up towards greater possibility and well being.  It’s there somewhere.  Keep looking.  You’ll know when you find it because it will feel like the freedom of a wide open sky.

May you find peace in this crazy cloudy world.

XO

One Thing Wednesday

If you could carry only one arrow in your quiver, why not make it an arrow that serves you rather than wounds the other guy?  Life is full of bumps and scratches.  We need a way to recover.  

Self compassion offers us a path.  It is a skill that lifts us up off the ground, brushes the dirt from our knees, and sets us on our way with confidence.

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Self compassion untangles lifes messes.

We can increase our self-acceptance and decrease emotional pain by learning to quiet the critical voice with the practice of self-compassion.  Here’s a three part process adapted from the resources section of  the www.self-compassion.org website:

When emotions arrive, greet them with awareness.  Stop and notice…

1. This is a moment of suffering.

Say this to yourself.  Of course, make the language fit you.

•This hurts.

•Ouch.

•This is stress.

2. Suffering is a part of life.

Remember and acknowledge this essential truth in whatever way is right for you.

•Other people feel this way.

•I’m not alone.

•We all struggle in our lives.

 

3. May I be kind to myself.

Finally, actively send yourself kind thoughts and affection.  DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP! It transmutes the emotions.  Again, each person will have a different way to soothe themselves.  Find your way.

I place my hand on my heart and say to myself,”I’m so sorry you have to go through this.  It will be better.”, among other nice things.  Other phrases or well-wishes might be:

• May I give myself the kindness/compassion that I need.

• May I learn to accept myself as I am.

• May I forgive myself.

• May I be strong.

• May I be patient.

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Enjoy whatever your day might bring!

XOXO

One Thing Wednesday

Dance a happy jig, today is Wednesday:)  The One Thing Wednesday treat is a website to help you do nothing.  Yes, absolutely nothing for two sweet minutes.

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Do nothing for 2 minutes

Why? You ask.  Because being able to shut down the mental motor not only increases our productivity and ability to perform it also increases life satisfaction.

If the idea of mental and physical quiet for two minutes has you protesting, then you might want to do it twice:)

Enjoy a tiny pocket of serenity…

One Thing Wednesday

Choose Love

Today’s One Thing Wednesday is devoted to love.  Some great thinkers believe there are only two emotions; love and fear.


“Because we always have a choice, we can choose love.”

Deepak Chopra


 

Today’s problems will be waiting for you tomorrow. Let them wait.  Today, choose love.

Many blessings to you…