Every time I sweep, vacuum, and mop the floors in our house, I find other tiny particles of dust, dirt and or dog hair within 5 minutes of being done cleaning.
It drives me nuts. It’s a never ending fact of life. We clean, things get dirty again.
As I was cleaning yesterday, I realized the floor is just like our minds.
Once we get in the habit of being aware of our thoughts, the next step is to be curious about them and tidy up our minds so that our thoughts, beliefs and ideas are in line with our values and our goals. The mind, however, likes to be efficient, so if there’s a pattern of unhelpful thoughts (anxious, negative, doubtful) they need to be swept up, just like dirt on the floor.
This, as well, is an unending process. And it requires more frequent attention at first (like a house that’s never been cleaned), but, just like a room that’s cleaned regularly, it takes less time and effort if you keep it up regularly.
So, if you want crave less stress, more joy, a habit of focus or productivity, start cleaning up your thoughts and beliefs.
A clean mind gets you weight loss, health, organization, time management and balance.
It stung. I was told “why don’t you practice what you preach… positivity no matter what” after I was asked how I was doing and I honestly shared that I was irritated with my homeowner’s insurance regarding a repair from storm damage (as I was just finishing sending an email).
I’m currently practicing staying open and being aware of all of my feelings. And while this stung for a minute, I learned something priceless from what was said to me, and how I interpreted it.
I realized that this person misunderstands my intention, doesn’t fully understand what I’m doing in my coaching, how I’m teaching people to thrive. It’s not about positivity.
The intention of coaching and Thrive Arena is NOT to promote “positivity no matter what”. I don’t want to be happy when someone is in pain or dying or there is injustice in the world. I don’t want to be (or pretend to be) positive about things that sucks, I want to be able to feel and allow ALL emotions and process them in a healthy way to grow and expand my capacity in life.
This is what I focus on with my clients. We do the work to allow ALL the feelings. Life is 50% positive. 50% negative. Often, the thought error (aka belief that is holding us back) IS that we should be happy all the time.
No. Just no. But I get it, because I used to believe this too. Now I don’t – and that’s just one way that coaching has opened up my life.
There is a time and a place for all feelings. Trying to force positivity and happiness in a space where it doesn’t fit is like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. It doesn’t fit. I want to be authentic, vulnerable and allow all of my emotions. THIS is how we feel greater joy, love, and happiness. By allowing the contrasts – the anger, the hurt, the disappointment, the fear. All of the uncomfortable emotions (that we’re regularly trying to avoid or suppress) are the ones that need our attention the most.
So I stopped, explained briefly that I was being authentic and that she caught me in a moment of frustration and then we both went on with our day. I am so grateful for this conversation and the honest expression of my colleague.
When we allow ourselves room for ALL of our emotions, we can stop suppressing, stop spending time avoiding, running from, overeating, overdrinking, overshopping, overspending, and doing all the other things that we as humans do to avoid our true emotions. Processing these in a healthy way (aka not doing all of the above to avoid them or suppress them) makes us both emotionally and physically healthier.
This is especially true when it comes to our mindset and our health. We are born and we are worthy and lovable. And then we are influenced by the world and outside influences… for years. As kids we’re sponges, absorbing the world and opinions and beliefs around us.
Sometimes our lovability is reinforced as we grow up and we learn healthy ways to love ourselves and others. Other times, we’re taught that nothing we do will ever be enough and we set out on a quest for perfection.
Because we’ve lost sight of love.
I believe that we somehow lose track of our love. We are always searching for it – sometimes in the wrong places (like food, careers, relationships, alcohol, drugs, etc). No thing can ever give us our own love or our worth.
You were born enough. You are 100% lovable. Always have been and always will be. You get to choose to believe this. And from this – your life can change.
No matter what you’ve been led to believe in the past or thought was true.
Finding this love and deciding to believe in it will get you where you want to be.
In health, in relationships, in work, in life.
You’re either knowing and trusting that you are worthy and lovable or you’re not. You are the one who creates ALL the love you feel or don’t feel in the world. So why would you choose not to feel love?
When you decide (and that’s truly what it is – your decision) that you are deserving of loving yourself and being loved – your whole world changes. Life becomes calmer, more joyful, happier. You can give love more freely because it’s abundant, and you trust that you will feel that love back again.
So, my friends. Whatever your question is – the answer is more love.
We went camping this weekend. It was a new adventure for us. We planned and executed this idea. My husband was ecstatic. I haven’t camped since I was a kid.
We made a list. We packed. We ended up forgetting our pillows because they weren’t by the front door. We laughed. It happens.
Then we started setting up camp. It was awkward. It was unfamiliar. I think we’ve all had that experience where something is brand new. And going through the process (in this case unpacking and setting camp up) was unfamiliar. And strange. And it’s easy to let the discomfort of this overwhelm you (I did).
And make you cranky. And want to give up. That’s how I felt after my 18th trip through each side of the car looking for 1 thing. Then repeating. Over and over.
This time though…I was consciously aware of the discomfort. And I breathed through it (not perfectly mind you…I felt a tantrum coming on… and luckily my chillaxed hubby talked me down).
And although I was uncomfortable, I also was excited.
I had two opposite feelings coexisting. And I was aware of both. Plus I felt anxious.
The point? Learning new things is uncomfortable. There will be awkwardness. The key to mastery and experience is allowing that obstacle of awkward discomfort and not letting it stop you.
Allow it, expect it, feel it, that’s how you know you’re doing it right and growing.
We had a fantastic time. S’mores and all.
I can’t wait for the next camping adventure.
You can do this with anything you want to try.
Try something new.
Move through that discomfort and see if you can watch your progress.
Change is always a little scary. So how do we change when we feel that paralyzing fear and worry and then god-forbid we start making changes and our brain kicks in… and OMG, the overwhelming anxiety and what if’s creep in…
The question is:
HOW DO ACTUALLY WE CHANGE WHEN THE THOUGHT OF IT IS SCARY?
Fear and doubt and worry hold so many people back; no doubt you’ve considered doing something* and held back out of fear.
*Examples include leaving or taking a job, going on a date, meeting a new person, trying a new sport, lifting a heavier weight, ending a toxic relationship, etc
Consider that fear is your brain’s natural response to ANYTHING new or different. Our brains are trained to seek pleasure, avoid pain and be efficient. Our brain always has our back to protect us from that evolutionary threat… the dangerous animal outside our cave. Now that we’ve evolved? It’s still working all the time, but only has time to flex when we want to do something that most likely ISN’T going to kill us (daredevils, I’m excluding you).
I know there are definitely things you wanted in the past and pushed through the discomfort of fear and the unknown to experience, like a new relationship, job, school, haircut or sport.
We all have, our else we’d never grow or change.
Doing new things may always be slightly scary. If you are willing to accept this and still move forward, you can create whatever you desire in your life.
THIS one skill is the key to freedom from the “what ifs”:
✅ Picture what you want to do
✅ Create a plan that makes it possible
✅ Expect and allow the discomfort and fear and anxiety about trying something new and different (thanks brain!)
✅ Execute plan then evaluate and adjust it as needed until goal accomplished
✅ Repeat as needed
We always think we need to feel comfortable and competent and motivated to take action toward a new goal but all of these emotions come from how we frame what we want – we actually create these emotions with our thoughts and beliefs about our idea.
You can allow your fear and accept it and move through that discomfort to achieve new things. You’ve done it before – you can do it again. So get out there and do it!
What do you change about your eating when you’re on vacation or traveling? Do you ever stop to ask WHY you change stuff?
It’s normal to adjust slightly as you usually don’t have access to all the same foods you have at home, or you may be on a slightly different eating schedule.
This doesn’t mean that you use it as an excuse to say “f it” and go balls out into the foods you’re avoiding or restricting that you didn’t even realize you weren’t allowing yourself. When you’re not restricting or avoiding foods regularly – you don’t have to “be naughty” and eat them when you’re “free” from your normal routine.
Still following me? Okay, so, this goes back to… yup, your thinking.
What do you think when you think about traveling for work or going on vacation? Freedom, escaping…insert your own thoughts here.
I used to plan what I was GOING TO EAT (all the things basically) when I went on vacation.
I used to make excuses why I “had” to eat the muffins at conferences.
Then I would lament that I had gained a bunch of weight!
Round and round I went. My husband used to just shake his head.
Does this sound familiar?
We stand in our own way – we tell ourselves that because of this travel, this work trip, this vacation, this death in the family, all of these circumstances are causing our overeating. Contributing to our inability to lose weight.
It begins and ends WITH YOU.
You always have the choice to eat for your goals.
Whether you’re traveling, whether you’re on vacation, whether you have an off-day, are stuck at home (or at work) during a pandemic, whether you travel for work regularly.
It all comes back to you (wherever you go, there you are, right?).
This is something we love to avoid thinking about (cuz growth ain’t always easy).
If this resonates with you – I want to invite you to schedule a call with me to discuss your goals and where you want to be in your life and how you can make that happen.
You can have the life you want – without restricting, without avoiding all of your favorite foods, without that blame-shame-guilt cycle so many of us know intimately.
I love to learn (I ought to, I have spent half my life learning).
It feels good to know, to be intrigued, to be curious. It also makes us feel like we’re doing something.
Which, we are, unless we’re learning and reading and consuming information about something (like weight loss or changing a habit) that eventually requires us to take action. C’mon, if you’ve been reading, you knew where I was going.
We need to take what we have learned, interpret it for ourselves and then apply it to our lives. Wah, wah, wah…
This is a big place where I see people get stuck (don’t worry, it takes one to know one, I’ve spent plenty of time in stuck-city myself).
It’s so easy to get stuck in the consuming phase.
The reading, learning, gathering information phase.
All under the guise of “learning”.
But at some point, we have to take that first step to applying all of it. And I can tell ya, no amount of learning is going to outweigh the learning of real life experience.
I was thinking about this while running earlier today.
I spent years consuming and learning information, about self-help, about weight loss, about life.
But it was so cozy there, and it felt so productive to keep reading and learning. Like wrapping myself up in a blanket of knowledge.
Then I had that “awww crap” moment (most likely from one of those learning tools). I actually had to do something. Nothing would change if I didn’t take any action.
And it scared the crap out of me. The unknown? To actually take action? Oh geez. Yeah, those warm and fuzzy “this is easy” books left that part out. Dang it.
So I started to take action. Again and again.
And some lessons I had to learn the hard way (by doing), multiple times.
There is a saying that you will continue to be presented with situations, challenges, etc in your life until you learn the lesson that you need to continue to move forward.
Well let me tell you – this was very true on my food journey. I was a champion of overeating. And stuffing myself until my stomach hurt. Of feeding an upset stomach (with carbs and sugary baked goods or ice cream or whatever sounded palatable at that time) and wondering why it got more upset, or why I couldn’t lose the weight that week. Or why I couldn’t eat the same way and lose my weight.
I beat myself up over it. I joked about it (duh, this is why I can’t lose weight… must be genetics… believe me, I had every excuse in the book).
I minimized it. Until one day, something shifted. I started seeing what I was doing for what it was – making excuses.
Because of what I was telling myself. It was all up to me! Those freaking books had been right all along. All that corny, woo-woo, blah blah blah, the power is “within you”… It was true. And my refusal to accept it was holding me back.
Well. That took a while to wrap my head around. But then I started to embrace it. And change my actions to be more in line with all of that learning. And things started shifting! The weight started coming off. And, since then, I have lost all of the weight. I reached my goal (30 lb total). I can maintain it easily now. I don’t worry about it.
Of course I challenge myself to continue to grow and evolve (I like a challenge, what can I say).
Now I teach other people how to find where they are stuck and help them move through it to the body and the life they love.
I know it can take time and I truly believe that everyone has their own path of growth. You may not be ready now. You may still be in your gathering and learning phase.
What I have learned is how to take that knowledge you are gathering and apply it to get to your goal.
To use it to be confident, to feel comfortable in who you are and sexy and awesome in your body. It just takes being open to changing.
You don’t have to fully believe it can happen when you start – you only have to believe it is possible.
I encourage you to ask yourself and check in. Are you learning and consuming or are you taking action toward your goal? It is easy to go down the learning path and feel like we’re changing when we’re really just consuming. It’s okay to learn and apply along the way. Just don’t forget to keep learning by doing. That is where the greatest progress is made.
You’ve got this, my friend. Go out there and believe in your possibility. Believe in yourself. I believe you can do it. If I can, everyone can too.