Voices in Our Heads

Mindfulness Can Quiet Down the A**Hole Voice in Our Heads

I have been getting “messages” pretty strongly in the past few weeks to pay closer attention to the voices in my head. We all have them. Some came from parents, others from kids and teachers growing up and still more just by being a living, breathing human interacting in the world. We take in and internalize more than we KNOW!

Through my meditation practice, I am learning to observe those voices and to detach from them because again I am learning those voices are not me! I have conditioned myself on a subconscious level to believe them and then let those thoughts run my life.

I believe this keeps coming back to me so I can get better at taming them. It’s a process I know. One I will need to revisit often.

A take away for me is to be gentle with myself. It means digging in and uncovering the many layers until I can expose these voices to the light and the truth.

Eckhart Tolle said, ” What a liberation to realize that the voice in my head is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”

Psst..The Grass Isn’t Really Greener!

The danger of entitlement, office politics and 'grass is greener' mentality

Contentment.

con·tent·ment/kənˈtentmənt/ Learn to pronounce nounnoun: contentment

  1. a state of happiness and satisfaction.

We have all had periods of unhappiness and stress in our lives. Somehow when we hit those low points we tell ourselves we are the only ones. The “other person” over there has no idea, they are at perfect peace and content with everything and everyone. Why? Why, when we are down do we escalate our own sorrow by telling ourselves these lies?

Remember, maybe, back in high school, you said, “I’ll be happy when I finally graduate.” Then, when graduation day finally comes and goes, you say, “I’ll be happy when I get out of college.” After that, you’re out of college but you’re back in the parent’s house and you just know you’ll be happy when you finally get your own place.

You get a job and get your own place—but you’re not making much. That’s when you just know you’ll be happy once you make a little more money. Then you get a raise, and everything seems to be going well, until you realize that you’re lonely—and if that perfect guy or special lady would come along, you’d finally be happy.

This is a story many of us have lived. What we have here is a contentment problem. A failure to communicate with ourselves on a REAL level. Our world is addicted to a “Bigger is better” and “What’s next?” mentality. So the idea of just slowing down and enjoying what you have right in front of you before moving on to the next thing is foreign to some people.

Contentment is a powerful thing! When you truly realize who you are, you can own stuff without being weighed down by it—and you can finally climb off the “I’ll be happy when …” treadmill and stop comparing yourself to others.

The Bible says God knew us before He even formed us in the womb and that He knows the number of hairs on our head. That’s deep! He doesn’t love us because of our Tory Burch shoes or our Louis Vuitton purse. He loves us because He created us. We were the first of His creations that He called “very good”!

Buddhists believe to find contentment in ourselves and in our lives, we must develop a few skills — known as the Five Faculties in Buddhism which later, with practice, become powers. Through practice and development, we can overcome obstacles on the path to ease and contentment.

The skills we must strengthen, develop and implement are:

  1. Confidence / Faith
  2. Effort/ Energy
  3. Mindful investigation 
  4. Concentration 
  5. Wisdom

So, what IF you still struggling? Well, I have some good news for you. Take time for some introspection. It’s okay. Let go of any FOMO here and go inward. Meditate, journal, ask questions and then see what your intuition tells you. Maybe it’s time for some coaching. Sitting down with someone and have them help you sort out some of the questions.

The grass is not always greener – but sometimes it is… in which case it’s time to make a change. But, more often, I think it’s just a different kind of grass!!!!

Keep it real people and if you think you want an ear to hear you. A coach to ask you some questions I am here for you! Reach out

Soul of a Wanderer

taken in Giverny, France

What’s a girl to do when she loves to travel and can’t grab the passport and hubby and fly?

This pandemic has taught me that I can still nourish my inner explorer even if I can’t get on the plane and be in that exotic location. I can see and experience what is right in front of me and what is around me. I can nourish my soul by taking long walks on the beach and listening wholeheartedly to the waves and the wind. I can nurture relationships with my neighbors and have a meaningful conversation rather than a quick wave and “hello”. I can create fun events to bring people together for a cause even if we are not in the same room. I can stretch myself and learn new things that I never thought were achievable.

Life IS a journey. Are you packed?

Remember, exploration can happen around the block or across the sea. If you still are trying to find that soul of a wanderer, it’s not too late. This evening go out and look at the stars with new eyes. In the morning watch the sunrise and be ready to experience wholeheartedly all that the day has in store.

I hope you will share what you find with me in the comments below!

Enter 2021

Yesterday I chose to spend 5 hours on zoom with people from all over the world – all on a path to better themselves and the communities they live in. A movement to raise the vibration of love and a spirit of giving and service. One of my mentors is Brendon Burchard. I only found him recently – at the start of 2020 in my quest for WISDOM… my word for that fateful year.

Yesterday at the end of our “GrowthDay” summit, Brendon dropped a pearl of great wisdom. He said if 2020 felt like a year of constriction, the equal and opposite reaction would be moving into 2021 as a year of expansion. I loved this and it also fit so well into what God put on my heart as my word for 2021 – ABUNDANCE. Abundance, expansion, that spirit of growing from within is what is motivating me to meet the day no matter what “happens.”

As with so many things I open and read, there was another thread that fit this idea in my prayers and reading this morning. Mark Nepo writes, “We cannot hold on to things and enter. We must put down what we carry, open the door and then take up only what we need to step inside.” Visualizing what I must put down now in order to walk through the door and into this year will be a process for me this week for sure. Things come up all the time and I am grateful for the reminders.

When we learn to fall (and we will), we must remember to get up and only the rare few will then laugh! So let the ego go… let the learning continue because you only learn when you fail but be the person getting up laughing.

The Seeds We Plant

From the Heart: Planting Seeds and Awaiting the Harvest | The Cozy Ap

In my variety of readings this Christmas Eve morning, I read Seth Godin’s blog post about “the seeds we plant.” It resonated with me on many levels. I know many of us feel that 2020 was a horrible, even wasted year, but that may not be true. Yes, schedules were interrupted, goals revised or thrown away, vacations halted and even jobs lost.

My hunch however, is for most of us, we actually DID plant some seeds perhaps without knowing it. And yes, there are those too who did not but the good news there is that there is always today and tomorrow and the day after that to become inspired.

The New Year is about to start and we each have been blessed with a clean slate to work from as 2021 begins. As a yoga teacher and practitioner, a yoga class centered around the this idea of planting seeds that were meant to represent aspects of our life we can plant and watch and work as they grow throughout the year. Moving from pose to pose, with our palms in downward dog, or with our knees and toes in child’s pose, we can visualize planting our seeds.

Picture an enormous garden, or an empty field that was longing to be turned into a forest. Now imagine you are a vessel filled with seeds and every time you touched the ground, a new pod would be planted. Plant seeds of love for family. Plant some in honor of wishes of health for the people you know who are going through physical hardships. Plant seeds that represent your passions and goals in both business and service. As you plant, imagine that the seeds you plant today would grow into a lush forest or beautiful vegetable garden, bearing fruits that you would share with everyone in your life. See the pods growing and in what season – perhaps the early spring or some transformed in the summer’s heat. And some, even with loving care and attention may never take root. The forest and garden you plant represent you and the body you live inside. You are not your body but your authentic and true self – the one that longs to be heard and released resides inside the body. The body houses “you” and helps us live and touch as many people’s lives as possible.

Most believers are familiar with the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8). The emphasis in this parable is usually placed on the soil onto which the seed fell. But if you shift the focus from the different types of soil discussed in the parable what is left is another spiritual truth of great importance… The seed is the Word of God. Again, in faith, we see this idea of planting seeds playing a part in our lives.

When a believer focuses on the Word of God as life-giving seed, having faith becomes much easier. It is the Word that is doing the work to change the situation, not the one doing the speaking. Once we have chosen a scripture to stand on and have declared it concerning our situation, we, from that point on, begin to thank God daily that the seed is in the ground growing. Every time we declare the Word is at work in our situation, it is like watering a seed that has been planted in the ground – it is giving that seed the nourishment it needs to grow. Our praising/thanking God for the harvest of the seed planted is what is needed for the seed to develop to maturity.

Finally, there is another important aspect to the Word being recognized as seed. That is, seed takes time to grow. While we would all like to see instantaneous results to our prayers, more times than not it does not happen in that way. In Genesis 8:22a God established the principle of “seedtime and harvest”; 22 As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest…” (GNT) Stated another way, “seed + time = harvest.” It’s really quite simple (although not always easy). The Word has an answer for any situation we could possibly face. It comes in the form of a seed. All God asks of us is to plant it and keep it watered through praise and thanksgiving until the harvest comes.

So I am going to continue to plant seeds, to water them and to give praise and thanksgiving through my faith. Even if you are not religious, you can still realize this idea of planting seeds to start out the New Year on a more positive and selfless note.

Thanks for reading my ramblings

Wisdom to Abundance Mindset

Each year I choose a word that I live with and really dig into throughout the year. Last year in 2020, my word was WISDOM (discernment) and boy oh boy did I learn A LOT! In a year of huge change and life looking nothing like we are used to, this year gave me ample time to learn and grow. By no means have I figured it all out but as I begin to reflect on the months of this year, I am amazed at what I did accomplish and learn.

I began a journey with a mentor photographer who has rearranged my photography business and my mindset when it comes to my “head trash”. I have joined a local AND worldwide community where I am learning to be a better business woman and human. I have reached out to my church and found a new small group bible study. I have started therapy again (with husband by my side) to better equip myself with boundaries dealing with my adult child. I have read books and books and books (20 in all) AND listened to countless podcasts and audible books. I have shown up on my mat every day at 5 am for meditation, prayer and my miracle morning routine. And I can go on!

Moving into 2021, my word that I have prayed for and that keeps coming back to me is abundance. In a spiritual context, the notion of abundance or plenty is less about material conditions, revolving instead (once basic needs are met), around an appreciation of life in its fullness, joy and strength of mind, body and soul. This is the cultivation of respect for the creative energy of the universe.

As I being I have thought about some ways I can attract abundance. If you have more please share them in the comments!

  1. Begin with gratitude. This is ALWAYS my first go to with everything I do. Thanksgiving and gratitude. I set my feet on the floor and say “thank you” to God for this new day. I believe miracles happen just by beginning there.
  2. Dream big. Everything begins in the heart and mind. Every great achievement began in the mind of one person. Think big. Don’t let negative thinking discourage you. That head trash will never go away so just learn to tame the bully. Dream of the possibilities for yourself, your family and for others. If you had a dream that you let grow cold, re-ignite the dream! Fan the flames. Life is too short to let it go.
  3. Alter the mindset. No more fear-based mindset allowed. Believe you have abundance and let go of limiting beliefs.
  4. Stop making excuses. This one is in NEON for me. I can get lost in my sea of excuses. Decisions lead directly to destiny. Do you believe that? You should. It’s true. Sooner or later, what you do—and who you really are—determines what you ultimately achieve.
  5. Build your empowering reality. You’re creating your reality right now. Being very intentional about the reality that you’re creating is an action step. Reality is subjective; if you realize that it’s a construct, if you realize that you are choosing to believe something, then you can choose to believe that you can do something about it.
  6. Write down the beliefs that you have about yourself. On one side, list the things that empower you and move you forward. The things that make you more confident, that give you the courage and the audacity to move forward. On the other side, list the things that demotivate or demean you and move you away from your goals. You can choose to believe things that empower you, and you can choose to ignore the things that move you backward.
  7. Realize your potential. The wonderful thing about potential is that it can build upon itself. If you can just get the snowball rolling, the energy of motion will take over. Think for a moment about the people you respect. Why do you admire them? You are probably drawn to them because they are full of realized potential. When we see people exerting this kind of energy, it compels us to draw ourselves closer to them and become a part of what they are doing.
  8. Commit to living your dream. Another doozy!!! Once you commit to living your dreams, the lids blinding your eyes will be lifted. A completely new world will be opened to your view. You will notice opportunities that have been in your reach all along, ones your conscious mind simply didn’t pay heed to. The fundamental change taking place is your self- identity. This is the point of no return. Once this shift has happened, your whole world changes.
  • Nothing is impossible to you.
  • Your only limitations are your consciousness, which is quickly expanding.
  • Whatever you want quickly becomes yours because you see what most people don’t.
  • Now that you can see it everywhere, you are sprinting.

9. Be “OTHERS” oriented. When you stand on the beach and watch the waves hit the shore, do you think there’s any end to the water? There is, of course, but we can’t comprehend it, so we think seawater is endlessly abundant. You would never deny a bucketful to a child building a sand castle because you can refill that bucket again and again. That’s how the abundance mindset works. You give away praise, recognition, ideas, knowledge and money because you know there’s plenty to go around. What you give away will come back to you a thousand times over. ( I think this is why I am drawn to the ocean)

10. Make the most of the infinite possibilities born of faith. Explore the unique, endless possibilities within you.

So cheers to a new year and another new chapter….

Please let me know your word for 2021 AND if you can add to my abundance I will add to yours

Blessings

Lea

Marrying Humanness & Spirit

Old Nautical Rope Tied To A Rusty Metal Cleat Close Up Abstract Stock Photo  - Download Image Now - iStock

This morning during my meditation time one of my readings came from Mark Nepo’s Book of Awakening. The title read, “To Marry One’s Soul”.

Even before I began to read, I paused and sat with this idea for several minutes. What can up for me was no only beautiful, but powerful. I would love for you to consider doing the same thing.

Here are some takeaways both from Mark and from me:

  1. “The same commitments we pronounce when embarking on a marriage can be understood internally as a devotion to the care of one’s soul: to have and to hold…for better or for worse…in sickness and in health..to love and to cherish, til death do us part.” MN
  2. Stay committed to your inner path, the part of the soul that wants you to live your purpose; your unique gifts and talents.
  3. To marry your soul means that you show yourself grace, love and compassion just at you would another person.
  4. It means “binding your life with a solemn pledge to the truth of your soul.” MN
  5. To marry to our soul means a commitment not to be torn apart or split. This happens when we want to be “there” rather than “here, or be in the future rather than accepting the present.

I will end with Mark’s last paragraph which reads: “It is interesting that the nautical definition of marry is “to join two ropes end to end by interweaving their strands.” To marry one’s soul suggests that we interweave the life of our spirit with the life of our psychology; the life of our heart with the life of our mind; the life of our faith and truth with the life of our doubt and anxiety. And just as two ropes that are married create a tie that is twice as strong, when we marry our humanness to our spirit, we create a life that is doubly strong in the world.”

Being true to who we are means carrying our spirit like a candle in the center of our darkness. MN

The Benefits of Water

Different Types of Drinking Water

Lately I have been trying very hard to avoid alcohol and to drink more water. It seems that during these stressful times it is easy to look for relief through distractions – television, social media, drinking; just to name a few.

Water may not be very sexy but it’s essential to our health and well-being and so I have chosen to learn a little bit more about water and I will share some things here with you.

Fast facts on drinking water

  • Adult humans are 60 percent water, and our blood is 90 percent water.
  • There is no universally agreed quantity of water that must be consumed daily.
  • Water is essential for the kidneys and other bodily functions.
  • When dehydrated, the skin can become more vulnerable to skin disorders and wrinkling.
  • Drinking water instead of soda can help with weight loss.
  • It cushions the brain, spinal cord and other sensitive tissues.
  • It regulates body temperature and delivers oxygen throughout the body.
  • Water flushes waste and prevents kidney damage.
  • Boosts performance during exercise.
  • Lubricates joints and produces saliva.

The types of water

1. Tap water – Tap water is the water that you get directly from your faucet, it may or may not be suited for drinking purposes.

2. Mineral water – Mineral water is the water that naturally contains minerals. It is obtained from underground sources, which makes it rich in minerals like calcium, manganese and magnesium. The essential minerals give it a reputation of healthy drinking water. The component of mineral water can vary from brand to brand, some may have more number of minerals while others may have lesser. The presence of the minerals also gives the water a characteristic salty taste.

3. Spring water – Spring water can be considered rainwater accumulated underground and tends to “leak” out at the surface as a spring, or puddle. Natural springs are not passed through a community water system and are yet considered suitable for drinking.

4.Well water – When it rains, water trickles down and travels through the inner crevices of the soil, beneath the ground to form underground lakes. This happens over a period of time. In rural areas, one of the primary sources of water is what is dug out from deep wells. Deep wells directly tap groundwater and bring it up.

5.Purified water – Purified water is the water which after deriving from its source has underwent purification treatment in a plant. The act of purifying entails removing contaminants and dissolved solids making it suitable to drinking and other purposes. You can either purchase it from the markets or install a water purifier at home and have pure water to consume. 

6. Distilled water – distilled water is one where the water has been subjected to a treatment that removes all its minerals and salt in a process of reverse osmosis and distillation. It is an absolutely pure form of water but it is not typically recommended for drinking. It can cause mineral deficiencies because it is devoid of all salts and most of the natural minerals in the water are gone as a result of this process. Drinking this water may cause a rapid sodium, potassium, chloride, and magnesium loss. 

7. Sparkling water – Sparkling water is a great alternative to still water. Many times in a restaurant you may be offered a choice of sparkling or still water. Sparkling water is the water that has undergone carbonation which makes your water fizzy just like your sodas.

Tips to Drink More Water

  • Carry a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day.
  • Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
  • Choose water over sugary drinks.
  • Opt for water when eating out. You’ll save money and reduce calories.
  • Serve water during meals.
  • Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.

Now go grab that water! Enjoy

How’s That Head Trash?

Taking Out Your Head Trash: Secrets of Top Performers

2020 has been a year! You are welcome to insert the kind of year it has been for you and it’s perfectly fine to have more than one adjective to describe it. We are on the back end with just a couple of months to go and a new year just around the corner.

Of course, COVID will still be in the picture so much of what we have been experiencing now, we will continue to feel into the new year for sure.

I am not surprised to read about the numbers of people who have found themselves in therapists offices this year. It honestly parallels the people I know in my my small corner of the world who are struggling. The issues are many and some of us who before this pandemic, were on a path to affirming, visualizing, manifesting and doing the hard work to reverse their head trash have only been dumped back in.

There are days my head trash feels like the city dump and I would be grateful for the garbage can. Wading thought ALL the limiting beliefs, the frustrations and fears – where to begin, its beyond overwhelming.

What is head trash?

Head trash is a negative belief you may have about your abilities, your products or yourself. It affects what you do and how you do it. The problem with head trash is that those negative beliefs become behaviors. The behaviors become feelings. The feelings become results (not the results you’re hoping for) For most people, negative beliefs are so deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize we’re doing it. But they may actually hinder you from reaching your goals. Learn to identify and overcome the head trash. Once you stop letting it hold you back, your new, positive scripts can start influencing your behaviors, feelings and results.

What can I do?

A few things that might help, and NO, these are not quick fixes unfortunately, include; identifying the head trash that is holding you back. Make a list of all the responsibilities you have in your role at work or in your personal life. Get help from team members, friends and family. Communicate! Let them know about the improvements you want to make and ask them to call you out when they see you going back to your old scripts. And finding a coach or getting some training might be the only way to get over it when the option of overcoming on your own seems to much.

My head trash right now is overwhelming. It interferes with my sleep, it consumes my thoughts at times. My answer to myself is to honor my feelings but don’t own them. Observe and then inquire. Start to peel back the layers again, one by one. Show self-compassion. Beating myself up won’t help either. And, take a step back. It’s a marathon. Slow down.

I’d love to hear how you deal with your head-trash. Maybe you are doing something that could benefit me or another reader.

Please share~

Santosha

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as in being able to remake ourselves.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Definition. Santosha, sometimes spelled Santosa, is a combination word in Sanskrit, derived from Saṃ (सं, सम्) and Tosha (तोष, तुष्, tuṣh). SaM, means “completely”, “altogether” or “entirely”, and Tosha, “contentment”, “satisfaction”, “acceptance”, “being comfortable”.

I love this word. It is probably one of my top five sanskrit words due to its meaning. The words I visualize together are “complete” and “acceptance”. What does having complete acceptance look like? What does it feel like?

For me living in a state of santosha is being happy in the now. Think about how often we say, “I will be happy when __________.” Well, if we are living in that mode of chasing after that next thing and thinking we will be happy once we get it, we may quickly learn that moment is fleeting and we are soon off on the next, “I will be happy when ______” scenario. So, be happy, be content right NOW. Of course, that doesn’t mean stop planning, working, achieving, dreaming or striving. It means with each step forward or back, with each trip and fall, with each pause: be completely content.

Here a few other ways to practice Santosha today.

  1. Ditch the Assumptions. It’s easy to assume someone is acting a certain way, because of something you’ve done. … Remember when we were taught what assume meant? Making an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. That assumption has to go. Why not listen and ask questions instead. My friend Wendy shared on her Think About it Thursday today on this idea as well as few more great pearls of wisdom. You may like to take a listen. Click the link!
  2. Let Go of What You Can’t Control. Remember that sometimes all you can do to take control is focus on your breath & your energy to stay on track. … That is a lot right there!
  3. Focus on the Good. I try very hard to live my life in complete gratitude. Maybe you’d like to try it. What I have found is when you come from a place of gratitude and an open heart, focusing on the good just happens!

4. Declutter. Think about cleaning and organizing areas of your home, work space or closet. You can declutter your pantry too and throw away food that might not be nutritious or healthy.

5. On the mat practice. There are a few things you can do in your yoga practice around santosha. One simple one is to clean your mat! LOL Then practice pranayama to clean and purify your inside. Nadi Shodana or Nadi Sudi is a wonderful cleasing practice (alternate nostril breathing). Finally meditate. That is the highest form of declutter. I personally meditate three times a day. First thing in the morning, around midday and in the evening.

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