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  • Gratitude Is The Opposite Of Complaining

    I’ve been realizing lately that I’ve been finding a lot to complain about. It hit me when I was in a terrible mood and all of a sudden I heard myself speaking. No wonder I’d been in a bad mood. I was constantly finding reasons to be in one! Now, though justified (aren’t we all?!), these things I was complaining about weren’t getting solved by me complaining, instead they were taking up the mental space that could otherwise be used for joyful thoughts. I was shocked when I realized what was happening. I’m generally a happy, cheerful person and this definitely was NOT fitting the vision of my life.

    I woke up the next morning and the first thing that came to mind was gratitude. That was it! That was the key! I knew I had to start small in the morning and build up throughout the day so I began on my morning walk to grab coffee. Instead of letting my mind wander I instead looked around at what was around me and felt gratitude for it. Instead of walking a city block, I walked through a beautiful park on the way to my destination, just taking in everything around me and feeling very grateful to be there. Then it hit me. Gratitude is the opposite of complaining. And all either of them are in terms of ability is habit. So what if every time I went to complain I instead found something to be grateful for? Hmm. This seems like a way more fun way to go about my day! So here is my practice for the next few months (21 days to form a new habit but let’s really enforce it!) I’d love it if you’d join me!

    • When something comes up to complain about - I'll ask myself, “Is this something that is worth the mental toll it will take on me?” 9 times out of 10 it won’t be. Sure, there are times when it is necessary (note: I didn’t say justified) but I'll ask that question first.

    • Wait. Sometimes if we just wait a few hours we wonder why that seemed so important to talk about in the first place. Sure it may still bother you but chances are it will have calmed down a bit. If not, journal about it. And if still not, go ahead and find a trusted confidant who gets you just need to let this one out!

    • Replace complaining with gratitude. Listen, no one is perfect and it's inevitable that we'll catch ourselves complaining at some point (or gossiping...eeks!). When you notice it, don't beat yourself up about it. Actually be proud that you noticed it because that means you're becoming more aware of your habits. Then in that moment find something to be grateful for, this way the new habit is replacing the old and next time the thought will go to gratitude faster! It's just building a muscle!

    We all complain to feel justified but our real power comes when we realize it’s only doing us a disservice. And the funny this is the faster we move out of complaining and into gratitude the more wonderful things will come our way and the less there will be to complain about. Sounds like a better deal, don’t you think? 

    So since this is the week of Thanks, why not utilize this as a time to start flexing our gratitude muscles for the long haul and maybe by 2016 we can be a bit brighter, happier and more gracious human beings!

    Happy Thanksgiving!! xo

  • Ways To Kick Stress You've Probably Never Tried Before

    Stress is something we all know a little too well. It can set itself off even with the smallest of instigators sometimes sending us into needless tailspins in which once we come out the other side, we wonder what we were so worried about in the first place. Since a life without stress, though thoroughly desirable, isn’t quite an option, learning how to manage it when it comes up can be quite helpful. That’s why I want to share with you today 3 things that have really helped me when stress creeps in without me knowing it.

    1. Identify it. Your really freaking out and you don’t know why, you’re a little extra snappy or perhaps you can’t stop looking in your fridge (there must be more food in there somewhere!). Identify that you’re stressed. Just saying it and giving it a little acknowledgement will help take the edge off. Feelings want to know that they’ve been heard so though you don’t have to engage with irrational feeling you do want to acknowledge it’s presence so you can go ahead and move on. Notice it as you would a small puppy doing something totally goofy and irrational. You can even laugh at it if you want. Be objective. Be the observer not the merger.
    2. Drop down to you heart. This one is good. This is the thing that whenever I do it I can always feel an immediate shift. If you’re stressed, you’re living from your head and sh*t can get a little bonkers up there as we all know. Your heart is one of the wisest places you can visit. There are even studies out there now proving that our hearts have brain cells in them. Pretty cool, right? A simple way to drop down to you heart and out of your brain is to just place a hand over it while taking a few deep breaths. Pretend you’re actually breathing with your heart. You don’t have to have actual proof just use your imagination. Feel into it. It can help to think of something relaxing or of something you love unconditionally (like your dog:)).
    3. Stay calm. Sounds easier said than done, I know but just try saying the word “calm” to yourself. Remind yourself that all the best and enlightened decisions come from calm. Keep saying it. Calm. Calm. Calm. Every time you say it try to drop deeper and deeper into your body. From this place take action slowly. Don’t rush into every mundane thing you do. Instead do every thing with intention. The more time in between thoughts the better. This further helps you drop down into your heart and your body and get out of your head.

    Give these a go next time stress tried to take a hold of your day. I pretty confident they’ll help to eliminate at least a little (if not all) of it.

    What do you do to manage stress? Have you ever tried any of the above?

  • What People Don't Tell You About Your "New Story"

    Oh, don’t you just love it when your brain starts to attack you?  (that’s sarcasm) You know what I’m talking about. 

    That nagging voice that tells you you aren’t enough, why are you wasting your time, who are you to do anything or everyone’s favorite - I am unlovable. 

    We humans love to think that we’re broken. We love it so much that even the idea of putting ourselves back together again seems like it’s a waste of time. 

    Who am I if I’m not my story?

    Though we’d never admit it - sometimes doesn’t it feel good (and by good I mean awful yet comfortable) to just wallow in these stories we’ve decided about ourselves? 

    Without our story how would we feel justified for our actions? 

    If we can’t blame things on our story after all, how are we able to slack off or give less than 100% to life?

    Hmm, but what if we started telling a different story? Then what would happen? Would life get better? Oh, you bet your ass it would. 

    But here’s what people who tell you to tell a different story generally forget to mention. IT”S UNCOMFORTABLE. At first that is.

     You are radically shifting your world view to a different frequency and one that feels good. Now, sure you hear this idea of feeling better and you say “Sign me up!” and that is great! Get your name on that page and on your way but don’t expect it all at once. 

    There will be growing pains, you will inevitably fall back into old patterns but THIS TIME you’ll be more aware of them. And THIS TIME instead of going with the old mundane “un-flow” you’ll be able to course correct and get back into YOUR FLOW. So what I’m saying is STOP TELLING THE STORY YOU NO LONGER WANT TO LIVE. 

    And start telling a new & improved one.

    But also realize that it’s not an overnight process and that patience and self-care is needed on this journey.

    And one day you'll wake up and realize your new story is far more the reality of your life than the old. 

    And that my friends, makes it all worth it.

  • Making Decisions

    When you’re faced with a decision (big or small) and you can’t seem to choose, generally one of two things are at play. Either you truly don’t know what you want yet OR anxiety has a hold on you. As a recovered OCD and generally anxious girl I know the latter all too well. Making even the smallest decision could leave me with the fear that my world could come crashing down in seconds. If this fear is something you identify with - read on. If not, well you can read on too or check out this cute dog photo.

    What to do when anxiety has it’s hold on you? One or more of these three things will come in handy:

    1. Call it what it is. When I feel anxiety creeping in or even when my head is spinning so fast I don’t even know what I want anymore, I call anxiety out for what it is. Once I can identify it, it begins to lose it’s power. I’m not trying to push it away or call it names. I’m simply acknowledging its presence. So many of our feelings just want to be acknowledged. It doesn’t mean they’re right, wrong or even sane, they just need to know we’ve heard them. Once you do that you’ll often see it dissipate and you’ll be left wondering what you were so afraid of.
    2. Write about it. Whenever I get super in the throws of an anxiety party I take some time out and write to my Higher Guide about it. Don’t have a Higher Guide or not sure how to access it? Just pull out some paper or a notebook and write to it as you would any letter. You can address it by name or just write “Higher Guide” at the top. For a more comprehensive overview - watch this video. When you can access that all-knowing wiser part of you - anxiety doesn’t stand a chance. Sometimes a quick (or long if you’re feeling it) meditation can help you get deeper into a groove. There are some great tracks to try here that take the question out of how to meditate properly.
    3. Just ask “What do I want?”. When we’re really anxious we stop thinking in terms of simplicity. Everything becomes complicated and intricate generally for no good reason. If you can take a second to pause and ask yourself “What do I actually want?” You’ll be surprised by what may come up. It can be helpful to put a hand on your heart or stomach (gut) when you ask since our deeper knowing comes from these areas. When you get an answer - FOLLOW THROUGH. I know how scary it can be to follow through with a decision in the middle of an anxiety attack but trust me, if you can make it through a few uncomfortable minutes afterwards you’ll come out the other side healthier and more confident in your ability to choose.

    Also know that sometimes you’re not ready for a decision, you may need some more information. In those instances don't be shy, ask for more time. Give yourself an opportunity to really check-in with yourself, do some research and write about it.

    Does any of this resonate with you? How do you deal with anxiety? Leave your comments below. I love hearing from you!