The Plea for the Person Who Hit My Car

First, I'm OK.

Ish.

My car was hit from behind earlier this week in what you would call a minor "fender bender" that resulted in a few dings to my rear bumper and license plate. I was stopped at a red light, looked into my rear view mirror, and saw the oversize SUV behind me come closer and closer until it used my car to stop. Fortunately, it was at a slow speed and I had not yet picked up my son. 

Why did the person use my car to stop? Because she was LOOKING DOWN and not at my car or the red light. 

The "ish" in my OK-ness is that although I am gratefully physically injury-free, I feel mad. I feel mad because someone else used my car to stop their car last Spring (I was definitely not OK for that event, though I am now.) I feel mad because even though when one chooses to drive, there is a warped belief by some that they can also utilize other pieces of equipment while managing a very large piece of machinery which is already using that brain and body to operate it. And is potentially lethal.

(Did you ever see the movie "Seven Pounds" with Will Smith? Need I say more? If you are sensitive like me and intense movies are well, intense, don't see it and take my word for it. The takeaway - don't text and drive.) 

I feel mad because our culture has gotten to such a relentless, frantic, and frenetic pace that some people feel like they have to multi-task while driving so they can catch up with their life. Or have gotten bored doing just one thing. Or are beyond stressed with trying to "stay on top of it all." (Impossible, by the way.) 

All of this then makes me feel sad. I feel sad that our world is so out of sync with our divine human nature: to do and be; work and play; serve and rest. To bring Heaven to Earth. (Actually, the potential is already here, we just need to recognize it.)  

And then...I feel hopeful. And spiritually energized to share my experience and make a plea for the person who hit my car, and anyone else who may engage in distracted driving, or living.

DO ONE THING AT A TIME.

In other words, be present.

Live in the moment.

Take a conscious breath.

It is all we truly have. 

Seriously, the moments you are reading this (and thank you for choosing to do so!) are all that you have. NOW is it.

The potential relief from befriending this reality is that there is actually no "where" to get to. You get to just be. This be-ing state is much less exhausting and so much more fulfilling.

This is a practice. I am constantly practicing. When I forget, my son calls me on it and says,"Mommy, you are not listening to me!" or "Mommy, look what I made!" (He is very wise.)

I also listen to my body. When I start to feel internally driven, impatient, cranky, forgetting to breathe, and/or doing life instead of living it, I know that I have gotten caught up in the too-much-ness and I need to slow my roll.

HOW? I shift my internal reality. I choose restorative activities including: turning off all phone notifications except husband or son related; walking in the woods; looking at the ocean; receiving bodywork; moving my body; enjoying an organic strawberry; breathing...

You have so much opportunity to REMEMBER who you truly are. When you slow down and settle into a moment, you can access inner peace, calm, and lightness of being. Your body's natural capacity to restore can help bring you there when you stop doing and start being. This is really good news! You don't have to go out and find it, get it, or order it online.

You are enough.

Right NOW. 

Breathe. That. In.

Enjoy your moment.

And (if this applies to you) please, when driving, just operate one piece of equipment at a time and drive. This way, you can practice being in the now or see the beauty that exists all around all the time or have a conversation with someone else in the car, or your Soul. Either way, you will be better off and so will everyone else. Thank you.

Using Only Your Head to Make Decisions?

You are missing out on all of your brilliance.
 
The thing with using only your head to make decisions – mundane or profound - is that not all your thoughts belong to you.
 
You – and everyone – are programmed to think certain ways from an early age. Your survival depends on it. Your initial beliefs are from your parents, or significant caregivers, that may or may not support your best self.
 
Other thoughts include influences from societal expectations, cultural norms, and these days, relentless media. Unfortunately, sometimes these external sources warp your potential for greatness. (That is putting it mildly.)
 
What to do?
 
Engage your body.

Your body offers you MANY gifts. One of its’ vast treasures is that it serves as a barometer and lets you know how you FEEL. Your body tells the truth of your experience.

TRY IT! For the sake of practice, bring to mind-body something simple to decide, like what you are going to have to dinner or something that is not filled with angst at the moment.
 
How do you feel? Does it feel like light or heavy? Does is it feel good, or not? Notice your thoughts AND tune into the sensations in your body.
 
If you wish, try on another decision that is perhaps more complex or gnawing at you. Do you feel open or closed? Expansive or contracted? About to throw up or free as a bird?
 
When your body says “yes” or “no,” this is your innate wisdom* speaking through you. It is in your best self’s interest to turn towards what your body is saying and give it attention.

(*Soul, Higher Self, Intuition, Knower, Inner Voice, More...)
 
Even if it doesn’t make sense, logical, or lined up with your 1- or 5-year plan.
 
IMPORTANT: If you are feeling a “no” in your body, it doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are deciding about is a “no.” It may mean there is a part of your decision that needs more support or a skill set to develop or it is currently not aligned with your divine timing.
 
ALSO IMPORTANT: It is possible that after listening to your body you may be more confused. It’s OK. Sorting through what thoughts, as well as sensations and emotions, belong to you – or not – takes intention and attention.

The good news? Your body gives you direct access, so tuning in can actually save you time, as well as unnecessary strife and suffering. 
 
If you would rather not engage your body wisdom and live by default, reactive, and not quite awake, that is an option.
 
However, if you want more out of YOUR life, take the plunge and dive into the wisdom of your sacred resource that houses your internal brilliance.

3 Ways to Experience Freedom in Your Body

In the spirit of Independence Day, I invite you to remember that you can experience freedom from the inside out any day of your life! The wisdom of your body supports this birthright. 

Here are 3 ways to inspire you:

1. TAKE A DEEP BREATH
Try exhaling first and release excess stress and energy. Then allow an inhale. Breathe consciously a few more times. Notice the freedom that gets created within your body. The more you remind yourself that you are not fighting or fleeing a saber-tooth tiger, the more this expansive physiological reality can occur.

2. JIGGLE A JOINT
These wonderful structures allow for your bones to articulate: express themselves in movement. You have over 200 joints in your body. (Some of these cannot be shook, more like shift.) However, freedom is yours! Go ahead and start a jiggle with a wrist or ankle and then keep shaking until you resemble a puppet, marionette, or a playful child. (If you feel silly, you are doing it right!) A simple full body de-stress!

3. INTUITIVE MOVEMENT
Allow your body to move you. Instead of prescribing a movement - often what we do in "exercise" - invite your body to lead the way. HOW: pause; become aware of your body; choose an area that feels tight; begin to move it in any direction; then get out of the way, let your body's instincts take over, and follow the feel-good. This is POWERFUL inside-out freedom.

As you know, your body and mind are connected. In fact, there really is no separation, which is a whole other conversation. For now, play with the perspective that taking a body-centered approach to creating more freedom  - or ANYTHING - translates to how you move,think, feel, and be in your life!

When you claim your body wisdom AND think your thoughts AND feel your feelings, you allow your spirit - whatever you name that - and your soul - whatever you name that - to BE FREE

Happy Independence Day. Every day!

Hiding How Tired (Exhausted) You Are?

I have been there.

One of my clients shared that she is taking two weeks off. Yippee!

I applauded her for two reasons: 1) she created two weeks to restore herself and; 2) she told the truth to herself (finally) that not only is she tired, she is exhausted.

This is BIG.

This is the kind of heart to heart - rather, body to heart - that can save your life. 

In my early days of motherhood, I was hiding my energetic reality most of the time. Because I should have been able to keep up with "it." You know, keeping a new human alive, being deprived of one of the most important sanity-saving practices called sleep, and supposed to be enjoying "the best thing that ever happened to me."

!?!

Until I took charge of my wellbeing and began unhooking myself from the unrealistic external pressures, I couldn't get out of my own way and really come back to myself by taking action with MY real-life awareness.

Your body tells the truth of your experience. 

Without judgment. Without agenda. 

Tune in and listen...

If you are willing and brave enough in this moment, pause. Become aware of the presence of your body. Notice the quality of your energy. Do you feel tight or open? Are you in flow or fighting with yourself? Are you full of radiance or running on empty, or adrenaline? Is this a momentary experience or your default mode?

You don't even have to do anything. Yet. 

Just begin by opening the door, even a crack, into your internal energetic reality and notice YOUR state of being.

You do have the power to set yourself free from the should's, obligations, expectations, and relentless pace of the outside world. If you want to thrive, and really live!, stop hiding from your inner reality and tell the truth to yourself.

I got you.

I get you. 

I applaud you.

All you need to do in this moment is to be willing to come out of hiding and tune into what your body is saying to you. Then, you have more awareness, and internal power, to make your way back to your best self!

3 Steps to Feel JOY

"Feel" is the operative word.

Last week I shared with you 3 modes of quality of life: Survival, Meh, and Joy.

The first step in making any kind of change is awareness, hence the invitation to first just notice what mode you are in most often. Without judgement.

If you want to experience more of the Joy mode, here are 3 steps.

1. Choose Joy. Sometimes life presents joyful moments and other times, you must choose joy regardless of what is occurring around you. 

2. Feel Joy. This experience is just that, an *experience.* Use your brain to come up with thoughts and images; then download how you feeeeeel into your body until you feel the tingles, the sparkles, the raising up of happy vibes! 

3. Practice Joy. Practice makes progress :-) In this world full of toxic media and messages, you must practice. The payoff? Feeling good! Cellular happiness! Living the good life!

Ideas to FEEL joy:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Smile
  • Power Pose (arms above your head standing confidently, check out TED Talks for more)
  • Dance-It-Out
  • Groove to your favorite song in your car
  • Run through a forest
  • Roll down a hill
  • Appreciate a child's laugh
  • Tell a joke
  • Laugh at a joke

Oh, one more: use your imagination!

  • Pretend you just won a million dollars
  • Pretend you won your favorite car on a game show
  • Pretend anything that lights you up!

(Psst...your brain can't tell the difference, so go on and pretend!)

Remember, you are born to feel good. When you give yourself permission to shift out of the stress/fight-flight-freeze/fear response long enough, you can indeed access your built-in ability to feel Joy. Or at least better.

You are here to THRIVE. 

What's Your Go-To Mode: Survival, Meh, or Joy?

Psst...you have a choice. 

Let's break this down.

Survival Mode: An ancient practice when stress really was staying alive amidst the presence of saber-tooth tigers

Meh Mode: A reference to the "Emoji Movie" my son introduced me to - worth watching as it supports the reality that we are indeed multi-dimensional, can live beyond mediocrity, and be capable of...

Joy Mode: Your birthright to be you and be free!

Whether you know it or not, you are always choosing your mode. Sure, life is happening around you all the time AND your ability to respond (response-ability) is one of your greatest powers!

As an energetically sensitive being, I am really good at connecting with the energy around me. (It's a blessing and a challenge.) I used to be really good at merging with, sometimes becoming, the energy too. It was often exhausting, mostly confusing, and definitely perpetuated a survival or so-so existence. 'Cause I forgot I had another option.

Remember.

Remember Joy.

Remember that you can choose Joy.

You have the built-in, hard-wired, physiologically-supported, inside-out capacity to experience Joy, as well as Love, Calm, Relaxation, Peace, Contentment, Ease & Grace, Bliss, and many more life-enhancing states of being. You are born to feel good. You are here to THRIVE. 

How to shift to more Joy? Begin where you are. Tune into your body and assess your go-to mode. Your body will not lie to you. Your should's might.Are you exhausted and running on fumes or settling for being "fine?" Or do you feel energized, vibrant, and alive!?

Give yourself the gift of honest awareness - without judging yourself! Awareness is power. It allows you to get real and be in the now.

Then, you can consider a different choice. For the moment, you do not even have to do anything. Just gently notice from time to time what mode of life you are living in. If it is not of your liking, know that something else, and way better, is possible. Trust me.

Stop Feeling Bad About Being "Selfish"

It could save your life.

In my informal polls with friends, colleagues, and clients, the overall consensus is that "selfish" has a negative connotation. Essentially something that "shouldn't" be done. Otherwise, there are bad or guilty feelings, internal tension, or at minimum, additional stress. None of which are good for you. 

One day I was inspired to look up the suffix, "-ish." Good news; "-ish" essentially means, "relating to."

So, let me get this straight. Somewhere along the way, relating to your self became a bad thing!?!

It doesn't make any sense. However, as you know, words have energetic power and if you are contracting against something that could actually save your life, it is time for a redefinition. 

Is "save your life" a bit dramatic? Yes and no. It depends on your current perspective and corresponding actions. Do you cater to others, external obligations, or should's most of the time even though you are exhausted and depleted? Perhaps there is a simmering volcano of resentment mixed in there too? In this scenario, relating to your Self can save your life - quality for sure, potentially quantity as well.

The human being reality is that if you do not turn towards YOUR needs (and act on them), something is going to break down (body-mind-emotions-spirit-soul) and it will not be pretty. 

A slightly less dramatic example: you - or someone you know - are so tired (a physiological reality being expressed from your body wisdom), want a break/day off/vacation (a very human need to rest), but don't want to let so-and-so down, so you keep going because you want to avoid the bad feelings that come from the warped definition of selfish and end up become more tired, cranky, etcetcetc. Not pretty.

(I am a recovering martyr. I know.)

It is time to up-level "selfish" into this current era, let your Self off the hook from the disempowering brainwashing, and redefine what this life-saving action really means.  

"RELATING TO SELF" IDEAS:
Self-Communicating
Self-Caring
Self-Tending
Self-Nurturing
Self-Loving
Self-Blessing

What is a word, image, metaphor, or other mental placecard that you can insert when you feel the ugh of "selfish?" What will inspire, uplift, and support your birthright to take exquisite care of ALL of you?

If you have any hesitation whatsoever, listen to your body. It tells you the truth of your experience. No one else's, just yours. You get to listen, and respond.

The result? More of the best you to light up the world!

After all, this is what we are here for. 

Do You Appreciate Your Opposable Thumbs?

Not a question you hear every day, if ever.

In our culture full of body criticism, judgment, shame, blame, and more disempowering adjectives not worth naming...it is time for something different.

I'm not going to ask you to love your body (at least not today); I will however lovingly encourage you to find one (or many!) area of your body that you can honestly, sincerely, and easily acknowledge with heart-felt APPRECIATION.

For example, your opposable thumbs. Imagine not having them. What would opening a door or picking up your coffee or tea mug be like? How about texting? :-) 

Play with me. Take a minute - that's it - and locate an area of APPRECIATION and love on it! Own what it does for you and take in how it serves you. Even if it is the size of a postage stamp. All of your 30+ trillion cells are connected anyway, so if you are start loving on one little area, the kindness will spread, in a good way. 

Opposable thumbs! Four fingers separated from each other! Eyelashes! A solid bone (sternum) in front of your heart! Connective tissue! Oxygen! Knees that bend! Your body is AMAZING!!!

Don't just pick an area to mentally check off this experiment from your to-do list. Take a breath, become present in right now, and give yourself the gift of conscious awareness. It can change your life. Choose one area and give thanks. 

How do you *feel in your body* when you do? Take that in.

Imagine your world with body gratitude, acceptance, respect, kindness, love, and many more powerful adjectives that en-lighten you. 

How to experience that kind of world? Play with these 3 "S's." 

The first two: SHORT and SIMPLE. Take a moment (it really can be that brief) and choose an area of your body to APPRECIATE while you are already attending to your body in some way. For example, brushing your teeth. You're just standing there, may as well do something. Or when you are walking down stairs or opening a door. How cool that your opposable thumbs make door opening even easier!

The third "S" is SUPPORT. I didn't always experience my body the way I do now. In this overstimulating and overwhelming world, I didn't know how to feel comfortable in my own skin for a long time. I didn't know that I could! My default mode was living from the neck up, running on adrenaline, and pushing beyond my natural limits until I energetically crashed. I was moving fast, though not sure where I was going...

I knew there was more to life. There had to be! (There is.)

With devotion to rising above mediocrity, "coincidences," and inner wisdom, I was guided to expand my *experience* of my body, as well as my toolbox, in supportive environments. The support was key in holding back the cultural conditioning long enough for me to access my natural state of ease and appreciate all the gifts my body has to offer. 

I learned (learning) to transform my connection with my body from a place of stress to a space of sanctuary

You can too. You are born to feel good, or at least better, in your body.

You do not need to tolerate survival or so-so mode any longer. 

Lose The Weight of Comparison

The act of comparing oneself - including one's body - is human.

Comparison is essentially identifying two or more items to establish similarities or differences. On a basic survival level, it can serve as a safety mechanism. What is similar is known, therefore safe; what is different is unknown, potentially not safe. 

However, when it comes to the betterment of Self, the act of judgment often gets layered on top of comparison with an additional layer of judging yourself for not being fill-in-the-blank enough. 

A three-layer cake gone wrong. 

"Look at their _______. It is so ________. I should be ________."

Be honest. When you are comparing an aspect of who you are with someone else's "aspect," are your truly comparing (just identifying the similarities or differences) - or are you also judging them and/or yourself also?

How do you feel? Inspired or deflated? What do you sense in your body? Positive vibes or ugh?

How much does this kind of comparison weigh on you? How much is it costing your wellbeing?

Now, without judgment, notice that.

The reality is that comparing yourself *in this way* is unnecessary, creates more separation, diminishes your power, and is a learned behavior. The good news? You can lose this weight!

The HOW: take back the true act of comparison and (without judgment) just identify, notice, or acknowledge what is similar or different about you and other. 

Another power tool: CURIOSITY

What is this?
Interesting...
Fascinating!
Hmm... 

Imagine going to the gym, a clothing store, an airport, or looking at a magazine cover! and just notice. What would it be like to be "fascinated" by social media posts? How would it be to simply acknowledge your body or parts of it and say "hi." Like a young child seeing something for the first time, be curious.

This is going to take some practice. Believe me. That's OK. Be kind with yourself as you unlearn the act of displaced judgment.

As an energetically sensitive being, I used to walk around with the weight of other's people's worlds, compare myself with judgments about thoughts, ideas, or energies that didn't even belong to me! Curious questions such as, "What is this?" allows me, as well as my clients, freedom to lighten up.  

Your body wisdom is also here to support you. When you are comparing and feel a contraction, tightening, or some version of "ugh," you may have entered the world of judgment. When you are simply comparing similarities or practicing curiosity, notice feelings of spaciousness, openness, and perhaps even awe or wonder.

This is a practice worth practicing. You not only experience less energetic weight, you also embody a lightness of being that is yours to reclaim. 

But Lisa, I don't want to go to the gym!

Guess what? You don't have to. Unless you *want* to.

This pleading refrain came from a client who wanted to increase her energy, had redefined "exercise," wanted to move, and then felt completely overwhelmed with HOW to do it. In the past, she had joined a gym, didn't really want to go, so she didn't. Then she would feel bad about herself for not using it along with the stress of spending money on something that looks good on paper but in reality, not so much.

Another client was talking about getting back into her physical activity routine for stress reduction. She was describing that she would need to first get her knees and low back in shape, so that she could get back to running. She stated this as much enthusiasm as taking a standardized test. I asked her, "Do you like running?" You can guess her reply: "Nope."

This quandary of feeling overwhelmed of where to begin, underwhelmed by limited choices, or stuck in uninspiring routines is not uncommon. It is a weird, warped experience of begrudgingly moving one's body, yet wanting to check out of it at the same time.

What's missing?

trampolinesocks.jpg

Play! Fun! Joy!

I went to an indoor trampoline park with my son recently. Pure JOY! Do you think I got my heart rate up and engaged muscles that I don't normally? And then after, found new ways to stretch to help those muscles recover?

You betcha!

You do not have to tolerate moving your body in ways that don't feel good. 

Sure, there are times when you are stressing (in a good way) your heart muscle or any of your other 600+ muscles that may not feel comfortable for those last few reps or moments because you are asking your body to change, grow, and evolve; however the ways you are moving can be downright inspiring.

If you are feeling stuck, bored, overwhelmed, or underwhelmed, try these suggestions I offered my clients and use myself:

1. Become a researcher - discover how YOUR body *wants* to move
2. Look to your childhood for inspiration
3. Ask 3 people what they do to move their body
4. Give yourself permission to not like an activity - or LOVE it!
5. Keep trying new activities 

Remember that your body is essentially a walking ocean. This fluid nature calls for diverse expression. There are SO many ways to move and nurture your body - and brain - to evolve your best self.  EnJOY!