I Am Enough

From the moment we’re born into this world, many of us immediately begin basing our sense of self-worth on the reflection we see from parents, siblings, family, friends and social systems surrounding us. Much of this confusion around our own inherent value stems from early childhood messaging we receive which tells us we have to work hard to be good enough at something and in order to achieve something (i.e. grades in school, income, social acceptance, etc.) we must act a certain way or reach a certain goal to be worthy of true value. Yet, how often are we told the message that we are ENOUGH just as we are?

If we’re lucky, many of us do have loving parents or family showering us in devotional love and praising the miracle of our birth. Yet, even those lucky ducks have to face the bombardment of messaging generated from outside media and institutional systems that preach a form of validation stemming from an external source rather than encouraging society members to discover this security of self from within. We are constantly judged based on our profession, income level, physical appearance, relationship status or level of college degree.

As a Hypnotist and Life Coach, I have seen countless cases of childhood trauma which hold clients (as well as myself) back from leading fulfilling and happy lives. That voice inside constantly whispers in our ear, “I’m not good enough,” and the excuses for why we aren’t doing what we truly want to do pile up along the way. “Just one more degree and then I’ll be ready…Just one more training…I can’t do that… I’ve never done that StockSnap_FETAZNQOG6before…How could they hire me?” Yet, what if we took the time to understand that actually, the only thing keeping us from reaching our dreams is our self? What if we stepped back to realize that in order to achieve our dreams, first and foremost we must have faith, courage and confidence in our own abilities and ourselves.

I recently decided to explore some deep seeded negative thought patterns in my own mind in order to foster break through in my personal life. Luckily for me, I am actually elated when I discover a root of a negative belief or behavior. Why? Because that means I have the power to transform it. Through self-suggestion and positive affirmations, you can re-wire your brain to establish new belief systems and thought patterns which can positively impact the decisions you make and the effect you have in the world.

On addressing the constant voice in my mind which tells me I’m not good enough, I decided to go for the straight and obvious approach. With firm, strong and loving boldness I state over and over to myself, again and again: I AM ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH. I AM ENOUGH.

When I think or say this statement out loud it reverberates on a psychic level, nourishing the part of my inner child needing validation from…well, ME.

What negative beliefs are you holding on to? How can you transform these ideas or stories into positive, present tense statements? I invite you to review any old beliefs or storylines behind issues in your life no longer serving you and flip them! In just a few days you will notice a positive improvement in the way you feel about yourself and

in your own confidence to make the actions and choices needed to weave a truly incredible life.

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Living the Balance Between Flowing and Rowing

In a country that is focused on production and the “bottom line,” many of us find the action of pounding the pavement in work or studies exhausting. We may even feel burnt out after a time. Whether you find yourself feeling drained and overwhelmed by exams for school, completing that final project before holiday deadlines or getting in last minute sales, there is a pre-holiday energy in our society that can make us feel rushed to get things done. While deadlines may truly be pending and the time crunch may feel very real, it is in these spaces that it is even more important to reclaim your space for inner creativity, play and peace.clipart-children-clip-art-playing-children-318357

When you find yourself saying, “I have absolutely no time for that right now,” to the self-care activities that you know will nourish your spirit, take a moment to check-in. Are you feeling overwhelmed and worn out? Perhaps you can take that as a sign that it is time to put down the pen, the computer or the cell phone and step out on an hour-long nature walk. Take 30 minutes of your day to pull out your favorite adult coloring book or guitar and just play. Let your mind wander and reset. You can even schedule a dinner date with your close friends to just unwind. Planning out this time in your week to let go, relax, play and have fun is a key ingredient in finding the extra boost of energy you need to keep going with whatever you are working on.

Still struggling to put down the electronics? Let’s look at a marathon runner for an example. Imagine you are running a marathon. In the beginning you have plenty of incentive, gusto and motivation to sprint, run and gallop towards the end of the race. However, as time goes by, your muscles begin to ache, your mouth becomes parched and thirsty and you start to slow down and wonder if your body will actually be able to make it. marathon-runnerWhat inspires you to keep going? The part of the race where you see your friends cheering you on from the sidelines and the short pit stop you take to rehydrate and maybe grab a small snack. Once you are refreshed and pepped up by the support of your loved ones, you gain a second wind that propels you to the last lap and finally towards the finish line, feeling elated and joyful at completing what you set out to do.

The point of this whimsical analogy is to help you see that creating spaces of downtime throughout your day or week during periods of intense focus and production can help you to sustain your creative juice and energy. It will help propel you to complete whatever goal or project you are working on.

With that being said, how will you incorporate play, rest and relaxation in to your upcoming weekend and the weeks ahead? What inspires you to let go of thinking and tune into just being and flowing with the world around you? I invite you to take a few moments and identify whatever that might be for you and schedule it in on a regular basis throughout your week. It could be as little as 30 minutes of “playtime” a day but those 30 minutes will be crucial in helping you feel nourished, inspired and ready to take on the world that you have decided to create for yourself.

Ready…Set….PLAY!

Creative Visualization Exercise for 2016

Flowing with the fresh and exciting energy that January has brought, I wanted to offer a meditation exercise to start 2016 off right. This guided visualization is designed to help you open to your unlimited creative potential and to gain greater clarity and insight on the deeper projects and visions you want to bring into the world in this upcoming year. By opening and expanding these natural and creative energies within you, you can be more open to attracting the opportunities and spaces which are waiting for you to make your dreams a reality. So find a comfy pillow, lay out your yoga mat and enjoy!

Resting the Machine

In today’s modern, capitalistic, world so many of us struggle to find the balance in our lives. Rest and relaxation are usually the last things we allow ourselves to be fed with. We hear the call to succeed in life and we storm full speed ahead, thinking that if we push to the brink, to the breaking point, than we will become stronger, wiser, and more effective human beings. We stuff ourselves filled with pills, liquid and food and expect to become like the energizer bunny that never stops moving. However, there is a reason why machines have warning signs. There is a reason why, when you drive your car past the red line, it sputters to a halt on the highway. There is a reason why when we push ourselves beyond what our body is capable of, to feed the hunger of our minds and spirits, our bodies break down and we become sick, depressed and express a variety of other physical and emotional imbalances.

Since as far back as I can remember, I have always been prone to extremes. When I was happy and joyful I was ECSTATIC! When I was sad, lonely or angry I would fall into deep manic depressions. In both situations, I was always catapulted to act out in a variety of quite insane scenarios. What I have come to realize is that life truly is about the balance; understanding that there are times to put your foot on the accelerator and go full speed ahead and times to come to a complete halt. However, if you operate in either of these functions twenty four-seven, your body is surely to break as all of your physical and emotional regulation systems become completely disrupted.

Having worked the last several months in a nutritional health store, I have seen so many people, including myself, purchasing mass amounts of supplements. We are seeking a quick fix to help us regulate our systems that we have decided, ever so kindly, to streamline into overdrive. We spend large sums of money on anything that helps us make mind over body a reality. This disparity and inequality between the spirit and vessel leads to serious disturbances. Where does our want for overstimulation leave our bodies? Why is it that sleep and time are ignored as credible forms of alternative medicine? Our bodies want to heal themselves. They know exactly what they need to create homeostasis and they are constantly striving to maintain this equilibrium.

Thus, when we feel exhausted and depleted, why can’t we just take some time to sleep first? Perhaps take a few days, a few weeks to go somewhere peaceful and just rest? Well, many of us argue that we have jobs that won’t allow for this kind of nonsense or children or families and we just don’t have the time. Yet, if we went to our jobs and our families and told them: “I need this one day to rest. I need this week to retreat and be alone. This is not a selfish need but a serious physical necessity so that I can continue to be a loving mother, an efficient and helpful employee and a caring friend,” what might the results be? How many of us have actually tried asking first before we so boldly assume we cannot give ourselves what we truly need? I’ve come to the conclusion that it is simply our own fear and for many of us, what is endearingly called FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. We are afraid that taking ourselves out of the “game” and on to the sidelines will somehow hinder us from achieving all that we want in this world. Yet, quite the opposite occurs. By taking the time to be in stillness and peace, not only does our mind and spirit have time to heal but our autonomic nervous system has time to balance as well. Constant stress, lack of sleep and stimulation imbalances our adrenal glands, our sympathetic nervous system and negatively impacts both our physical and emotional well-being.

If you have been feeling cloudy, foggy, heavy, sad, weighed down or depressed lately, one suggestion would be to try simply resting and being still for a moment. Turn off the television, the cell phone, the laptop and computer. Ask your partner, a friend or sitter to watch the children for a few hours. Take a personal day from work and just simply REST and RELAX. Let go of the guilt or fear about what might happen if you treat yourself to this peace and know that this is preventive medicine that will save you so much time, money and energy in the future. As I enter into my own personal period of stillness, rest and reflection (perfectly timed with the upcoming holiday season and seasonal cycle) I look forward to the healing and rejuvenation that will come with it. I wish you all a merry rest and much cheer and may your hearts, minds and bodies be restored to wholeness for the beauty of this New Year.

 

The Magic of Cleaning Under Your Bed

Many associate broomsticks with witchcraft, flying and other mystical activities. Whatever esoteric reasoning lies behind this connection, it is challenging to deny the effectiveness with which a good sweep of the broombroomstick-wizards-pty-ltd-canberra-wholesalers-0428-938x704 can alter a space. Over the last several years I have come to realize how important it is for mental well being to keep a clean and organized living space. Physical locations where you spend a majority of your time (home, office, car, etc.) are a reflection of your internal state of mind but they also have the power to alter your emotions and mental clarity.

Have you ever noticed when you are feeling sick, tired, stressed or depressed that your bedroom or home becomes messy and disorganized? This is a mirror of what’s happening inside yourself and understanding this can empower you to change your emotional state of mind. One step towards transformation and healing is actively maintaining a clean and orderly home or work environment. It is remarkable how quickly stress or frustration can dissipate when you are working, eating or sleeping in a clean and structured space.

From moody and emotional teen to joyful, positive and energetic healer, it is quite amusing to see the transformation my bedroom cleanliness standards have undergone. As my mother and college roommates can attest to, growing up it was a rare occasion to find my bed made and clothes folded and put away. However, over the last several years as I’ve dived into mindfulness practices, I have trained myself to make my bed as soon as I wake up in the morning. This practice starts my day and creates a center of order and clearness that carries me to the next activity with peace and focus. I do my best to execute an intensive cleaning of my living space at least once a week. It is astonishing how much dust, cobwebs and piles of things accumulate under the bed, in the closet and in hidden drawers! By actively and regularly sweeping out the dust and ordering our belongings we can prevent buildup of dirt, mold and physical chaos that results from neglect and lack of care.

Hopefully one can begin to see the analogy I’m leading up to with tidying up your room and cleaning out your mind of emotional and mental frustration. Just as it is important to have a daily/weekly cleaning practice, it is equally important to have mindfulness practices in your life that help you move stuck energy and manage stress, anxiety, fear, anger and all the other natural emotions which arise in our daily lives. From sitting meditations, dance, art, sports, EFT, and many forms of therapy, there is a plethora of techniques out there that can help you keep your mind at peace and clean out the negative residue of unwanted stress or strain.

If you find yourself feeling stuck, blocked, sad or angry, I suggest taking a look around your room, pick up a broom and have at it! You will soon discover the magic sweeping, folding and stacking can create for a more calm and balanced way of living.

Meditation on Gratitude

What is Gratitude?

Gratitude is the feeling of knowing that you have been given everything you could ever need or want in this life and being thankful. It is the feeling of knowing that you are whole, you are well, you are alive and breathing and that is enough. It is releasing and letting go of seeking anything beyond yourself and coming in to seeing what is right before your very eyes.

Gratitude is the key to lightening the burden of the soul so that it has space to become what it was meant to be. It creates fertile soil for the heart to open and expand. Gratitude allows for creativity and ingenuity to flow through us as opposed to holding on to any remnants of scarcity fears and projections.

Interestingly enough, many of the worlds richest people are the most miserable. Why is this? Perhaps the plethora of reminders become lost amidst the illusion of comfort and security, making one complacent in honoring the fleeting nature of existence. Perhaps those with less material goods are forced on a daily basis to find joy in what is given to them and needs become less, thus gratitude is more easily attainable.

So where do we find the middle? How can we merge this new world of abundance and prosperity with the lessons learned from living without?

As we move into a sociological and cultural shift of “Present Time” – the notion that all that exists and is of importance is happening right NOW – perhaps we can remind each other to live this daily meditation. Perhaps we can remind each other that physical representations of wealth are only symbols for the ability to be in equal exchange with the world around us and are simply tools for us to share and create as a whole. Perhaps we can remind each other of what gives true meaning to life; Love, unity, connection, harmony and creation. When we find ourselves feeling anxious, fearful, angry or sad regarding our current perceived state of wealth and joy, perhaps we can take a look at what we do have in that moment. For many of us, we will find that we always have everything we need in that instance. Those of us who are being challenged to let go of material attachments can perhaps start to evaluate what it is they truly need in life to be joyful and alive.

There is a wealth that is infinite and it lives within our hearts and minds. Our power to create, to sing, to connect and unite is what makes all the beauty in the world. Money, food, houses, cars, and school – these are all tools used in the process of creation. They aid us in moving from point A to point B. They help us to focus our energies to make things happen in this world. Yet many times we forget that they are simply a gateway for one person to connect to another, for one people to connect with themselves. They are part of a greater arch leading us from the world of individuation into the illumination of unification.

How many times a day do you say thank you for the gift of experiencing your life in this moment? How many times a day do you say thank you for your body’s ability to breathe? To see? To touch? To feel? Perhaps we can all take this number and multiply it times three. Together we can expand our practice of gratitude in a practical and action oriented way to transform the heart of our world. Let’s move from impoverished to nourished simply by saying thank you.

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Diving into the Waves of the Bay

Many of you have seen me praise the healing powers of dance and especially 5 Rhythms®. This spiritual body practice continues to inspire me with its organic, raw, alchemical power. By tuning in to our body and the beat, we free ourselves from our minds and the stories that they generate. Once the mind is turned off and the ego takes a back seat, that is when the true Spirit of life has a chance to enter. Throughout history, many spiritual and medicinal disciplines have advocated for the strong healing power that dance brings. Along with clearing your thoughts, you also free stuck emotions and energy in the body that permits your “Qi”, or life force, to flow more freely.

Today the waters within me were given a chance to be shaken and stirred and parts of myself that had become stagnant began to flow again. This morning I attended my first Sweat Your Prayers® class with the talented Alessandro Moruzzi and Vehllia Tranne. These two teachers bring a deep understanding of their practice that forms a very powerful and supportive container for students to let go and embrace their elemental natures. Demonstrating through movement, music and poetic guidance, they take you on a journey of reconnection to the miracle of the body. Exploring each part – the feet, the hips, the shoulders, the neck, the hands – leads to a transcendence of perception. As I grounded in my feet, feeling the earth holding me, my movements became more fluid or more rapid, depending on where the music took me. Yet, I saw that the more I deepened my focus in my body and my breath, the more space I had to create through my physical expression. Their wisdom and artistry, combined with live drumming, created a sanctuary of healing and liberation.

To those who say they are not dancers or don’t know how or don’t like to dance, I urge you to find a 5 Rhythms® class in your area. Dance is not only part of our nature but it is a fundamental aspect of the rhythm of life. By placing yourself in the right container for such an experience, you can open to so much more than a body practice. This art form teaches you how to connect to yourself and the world around you in a new way. You can allow yourself to be reborn in this space and trust that the waves and rhythms of life will hold you in your process. For many who have difficulty practicing sitting meditations, this is also a space for you to explore connecting to your breath in a joyful, healthy and insightful way.static1.squarespace.com

San Francisco’s City Waves is located at 386 Moraga Ave (at Arguello Blvd). Their classes are Tuesdays from 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($20) and Sundays 10:00am – 12:00pm ($15). I hope to see you all there; sweating, stomping and swaying in this beautiful journey of Self-discovery.