KEEP IT SIMPLE


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I stepped out of the shower last week and looked next door at my neighbors’ Christmas lights. I wondered how I could make my life less complicated over the weeks leading up to the holiday.

How I could keep things simple.

I thought about:

Spending time baking cookies with the kids.

Watching holiday movies on the couch.

Devouring a novel by the fire.

It didn’t seem possible.


We crave simple.

We long for fewer commitments.

But on some level it feels unproductive.   

Not good enough.

We compare ourselves to others and resolve to do more, believing complicated is better.

Simple means it won’t all get done.

And if it doesn’t all get done, feelings of inadequacy, insufficiency and “not enoughness” arise.

There’ll always be more. And deep down you know that.

So end the quest.

Let simple be your new standard.



5 WAYS TO KEEP THINGS SIMPLE:

  1. Define what simplicity means to you and aim for that.

  2. Limit the “stuff” you buy. Think twice before buying things you don’t need.

  3. Schedule downtime. Write it on your calendar. Relaxation won’t come to you.

  4. Say “NO.”

  5. Quit comparing yourself to others.



IT’S TIME TO START EXERCISING AGAIN

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You took time away from your exercise routine and now you’re stuck.

Your body needed rest but time’s up—get moving again.


Mojo, where are you?


It’s not easy to find time and energy to exercise on a good day. Even a small break can derail your routine.


I’ve been there.

Last month, after taking two weeks off to nurse a cold, it was time for me to get back into action.


For a few days I thought about exercising.


Then, I thought about it for a few more days.


But thinking didn’t get me off the couch. Because the longer one thinks, the more time there is for self-sabotaging behaviors and thoughts.


Like these:

Life is too short to stop eating Trader Joe’s salt + pepper potato chips while binging on Netflix.

Exercising can suck an hour and a half out of the day. Who has that?

What’s the point of working out? I’ll only be wearing leggings and sweaters for the next 6 months.

Here are five ways to get back out and move your body.

  1. Forgive yourself. It’s okay you haven’t been exercising. We all go through it.

  2. Make a specific plan. Whether you sign up for a yoga class a week in advance or commit to swim every Tuesday/Thursday, come up with a time and date to begin.

  3. Go with what you love. If you feel like walking, walk. If you feel like running, run. Do what makes you happy. There’s nothing worse than forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy. And it’s not sustainable.

  4. Phone a friend. Exercise can be easier when you take a friend along. Not only is it motivating, but you can catch up with each other.

  5. Take action. Mel Robins, author of The 5 Second Rule, suggests physically moving within 5 seconds of having an instinct to act on a goal. If you don’t, your brain will kill it. When you feel yourself hesitate before doing something productive, count backwards 5-4-3-2-1-GO and move towards action.

And as for me? I finally got out and took a 3 mile jog. Want to know my rule? It’s called the baby step rule.

    Step 1. Get off the couch

    Step 2. Walk to my bedroom

    Step 3. Open my drawer

    Step 4. Put on clothes + sneaks

*If you’ve gotten this far, you’re usually set to go. But if not, keep going.


    Step 5. Walk to front door

    Step 6. Step outside

*And usually, you’ll shift into automatic and may even begin to enjoy yourself.

So yes, the cold weather is approaching. And no, the upcoming holidays don’t help.


But you don’t have to wait until the new year to resolve to get moving again.


5 WAYS A LIFE COACH CAN HELP YOU

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5 WAYS A LIFE COACH CAN HELP YOU

What is a life coach?

Several years ago, I asked myself the same question.

I knew all about counseling + therapy.

I'm a counselor and my experience revolves around it.

But life coaching? Nope. Not a clue.

And then I hired one.

And became one.

And now I want to provide you with clarity. 

A life coach helps you:
 

  • Look within yourself for answers. We forget where to look sometimes.


    A good life coach will remind you that you already have all the answers and guide you towards connecting with that inner wisdom of yours (it's pretty damn powerful).

  • Get clear around what you want and what is holding you back. Clarity is key to success.


A good life coach will ask questions to help you discover what you want and why you want its so you can move through obstacles holding you back (think: fear, self-doubt).


  • Hold space for you.  You’ve got to lean in before you can let go.


A good life coach knows the power of creating space for you to process your thoughts and emotions and meets you exactly where you are in the moment.


  • Walk through it all.  With gentle, honest feedback and without judgment.


A good life coach navigates life alongside you, holding you accountable to your bigger goals and visions.


  • Take your power back. Shifts happen when you decide to act on your own behalf.

A good life coach believes in you and encourages you to elevate your life so you can live it as you’ve always wished.

 

Can you read magazines, books, listen to podcasts and do it on your own? Of course, you can.

Do you need a coach? No, you don’t.

Did Michael Jordan need a basketball coach?

He could have played without one—maybe still have been amazing.

But when you think about what you want.

And how you say you're going to make the change and really do it this time.

And you have every. intention. to. do. it.

But life gets in the way and you get in your own way (because you're human).

It's just that much easier (and faster) with a coach by your side.
 

LEANING INTO ANXIETY

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LEANING INTO ANXIETY

I consider myself an expert in fear and anxiety. For much of my life, I battled it.

Whether it was a fear of driving, fear of fainting, health anxiety or generalized anxiety, it was a part of my subconscious mind.

I rarely let fear prevent me from doing things, but there was almost always inner struggles and cautious dread.  And it made living in the moment very difficult.

My fear ran so deep and was so powerful that it physically controlled me.   

 

I tried to run and hide from this fear but it didn’t work. It escalated.


But what did work was:

Confronting it.

Leaning into it.

Breathing through it.

Caring for myself, physically and emotionally.


And guess what happened?

The clouds parted.

I saw myself undefined by fear.

I caught sight of my true potential.

 

These days, fear says to me:

Don’t send the email. Don’t raise your hand. Don’t sign up for that seminar. Don’t apply for that job. Don’t ask for help. Don’t take the risk.

Do all the housework yourself.  Check Facebook one more time. Meditate tomorrow. It’s not perfect. Give up.  Wait longer. You can’t. You won’t. You shouldn’t.

Ahhh!  These words are familiar and comforting.  

But when I listen to them, I realize I'm not evolving at all.  I’m stuck in a place that’s keeping me from jumping and dancing and exploring—from truly living. 

So fear will try to protect me and I'll refuse to let it. Because I don’t need it anymore.

We don’t need it anymore.

Can you toss fear in the trash, banishing it from your life forever? Nope. Nada. Never.

It’ll always be with you. But what you can do and should do—is venture on despite it. You are more powerful, more amazing, more true to yourself than ever before. 

If you think fear may be holding you back from something take a moment to consider what it would be like to stand up to it—to stop pretending it doesn’t exist.

 

And the sooner you do, the sooner you'll begin to fly.

 

 

THE DREADED F WORD

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THE DREADED F WORD

6 WAYS TO BREAK THE FEAR CYCLE AND MOVE FORWARD

 

So you’ve determined that fear is in your way.  And you know this because… 
 

You want a new job.
You’ve been talking a lot about working out and getting in shape.
You’re still holding on to your burning desire to start a photography business.


Yet you’re stuck doing the same ‘ole things.



It’s hard to change habits. 


If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried to change your thoughts, to stop procrastinating, to take action. It lasts a few days, maybe a week or two if you’re lucky, and then you’re back to your old ways, the old patterns. Like clockwork.

 

Well, that’s fear for you. So predictable.
 

And it will remain your default setting unless you do something about it. 


Guess what? Now is the time to do something about it.

 

6 steps to break the fear cycle and move forward.   

 

1. Acknowledge it.
It’s holding you back from something.


2. Notice it.
It might show up as:

  • Procrastination

  • Perfectionism

  • Negative self-talk
     

3. Separate from it.

  • What does it look like?

  • What's its name?

  • What does it sound like?

 
4. Talk to it.

  • What is it trying to protect you from?

  • What’s the worse that will happen if you listen to it?

  • What’s the worse that will happen if you don’t listen to it?


5. Thank it.

  • Appreciate that it’s trying to protect you.

  • Most of the time, you don’t need its help.

  • Come right out and tell your fear you’ve got it covered.  

 

If I left you with these five steps, you’d probably be able to move forward, maybe even get that new job or lose five pounds.


But I’d be leaving out a critical step. 

 

If you don’t lean into your fears and face them head on, they’ll come back as strong or stronger than before.  

 How do you lean into your fears?

  • Look at your old beliefs. Where did the fear originate?
  • Notice where the fear shows up in your body.
  • Breathe through the urge to run and bolt the other way.

 

This is not easy. This is scary. But this, my friend, is the good stuff. The worthwhile stuff.

Fear will continue to return in full force until you allow yourself to stand up to your fears and look them in the eye. A good coach can help with this step.
 

And know this: 

You are not your fear. Your fear is not you.

It is separate from your inner being, your wisdom, your guidance, your truth.

 

This process takes time. Continue practicing.

 

Learn to respect it. Create boundaries around it. Get curious, seek answers. Hold it at a distance, allowing your heart to trump it every time (unless you’re being chased by a bear).

Then run like hell!
 

IT'S TIME TO PUT BABY IN THE CORNER.

This is Baby, my youngest son’s transitional object.  

My son is 9 years old and doesn’t need it anymore, but I find it all over the house.

Most of us when we were little, needed to feel safe. We used a stuffed animal, a thumb, a binkie, anything we could to soothe us.

As we grew, we realized we didn’t need those comforts anymore.

In fact, we learned we could jump, dance, explore and take risks without them.

Now, as adults, part of us still wants this security.

We want to feel safe.

We don’t want to hurt.

And fear protects us, oh so well.

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We carry it around with us like raggedy Baby, counting on it for reliability and predictability—clinging to its every word.

Fear says to me:

Don’t send the email. Don’t raise your hand. Don’t sign up for that seminar. Don’t apply for that job. Don’t ask for help. Don’t take the risk.

Do all the housework yourself. Check Facebook one more time. Meditate tomorrow. It’s not perfect. Give up.  Wait longer.

You can’t. You won’t. You shouldn’t.

 

Ahhh!  These words are familiar and comforting.  

But when I listen to them, I realize I'm not evolving at all.  I’m stuck in a place that’s keeping me from jumping and dancing and exploring—from truly living.

So fear will try to protect me and I'll refuse to let it.

Because I don’t need it anymore.

We don’t need it anymore.

Can you toss fear in the trash, banishing it from your life forever?

Nope. Nada. Never.

It’ll always be with you. But what you can do and should do—is thank it for trying to keep you safe and tuck it back in your closet.

It’ll pop out again, don’t think it won’t.

But when you venture on despite it, you are more powerful, more amazing, more true to yourself than ever before.

I'd love to read from you below. How does fear show up in your daily life?