Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Living’

Happy YOUR Year!

January 1st, 2013

2013 Going Forward ListLike every year in your life, 2013 is YOUR YEAR.  It’s sure to bring you multiple opportunities to live with a clear mind, a grateful heart, and look forward to the next steps on your journey with joy-filled anticipation.

The start of the new year is the perfect time for Intentional Reflection.  Purposefully look back on the year that has passed to set the stage for moving forward to the year ahead. Here are a few thoughts to guide your process.

Assess YOUR YEAR – 2012 – by making two lists:  a Grateful For and a Going Forward list

On your Grateful For list, note all the good you experienced, all the goals you accomplished; list everything for which you’re grateful.  Because we sometimes lose sight of how truly fortunate we are and how much good is ours, you very well may be surprised at the content and length of your list.  Your Grateful For list is a reminder of how wonder-full your life is everyday.

On your Going Forward list, include whatever you’re longing to experience; want to try your hand at, improve, strengthen or add to your repertoire and skill set.  Be honest with yourself.  Note only that which speaks to your heart’s desire and is calling for fulfillment.  Jot down one or two things you’re truly committed to adding to your Grateful For list, on or before December 31, 2013.  Let this year – your year – be the year you take steps to satisfy your deepest longings.  These longings are your Spirit and Purpose calling for attention and fulfillment.

As you move into your 2013, empower yourself with the knowledge that you are the creative and defining force in your life.  Through the beliefs you hold, the thoughts you think, the emotions and feelings you experience, and your daily behavior choices, you shape your life.  That being so, you have the uncontested ability and power to make your life more like you want it to be.

Intentional Reflection and Conscious Choice are tools that can help you identify self-limiting beliefs, release outdated patterns of behavior and make more effective choices – choices that result in greater self-awareness, personal power and success.  Intentional Reflection and Conscious Choice lead to Transformational Change that will help you live better, and more effectively interact with the people who look to you for trustworthy friendship and leadership

May your Grateful For list delight you.  May your Going Forward list honor the call of your Spirit and align with your Purpose.  May Intentional Reflection and Conscious Choice help you make your year one that touches your Spirit, speaks to your sense of Purpose and enhances your effectiveness in every area of your life.

You can learn more about the powerful possibilities of Intentional Reflection, Conscious Choice and Transformational Change in LIES That Limit:  Uncover the Truth of Who You Really Are.

Happy YOUR Year!

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Holiday Spirits Bright

December 11th, 2012

We tend to react to familiar situation in familiar ways.  That’s clearly true any time we find ourselves back in a familiar situation – like celebrating a holiday with our family of origin or our in-laws.

Without thinking, old ingrained patterns of behavior kick in.  When the pattern is constructive, the gathering tends to feel like the blessing and celebration of life it’s intended to be.  But, when there is stress and strain in relationships, what could be a joyful time is marred by negativity.

So, if you’re thinking about how you can avoid family dysfunction this holiday season, look no further.  Here are 5 tips for that will help you keep your holiday spirits bright.

1) Make conscious choices about how you react.  If your experience of holiday gatherings is less than peaceful and enjoyable, this year instead of interacting and responding like you usually do to the stressors, make a conscious choice to do all you can to make the gathering you’re part of a positive experience – for yourself and everyone else.

At every turn, when old, familiar negative thoughts and reactions well up, ready to burst forth, before you respond, take a deep breath and remember your decision – your conscious choice – to do all you can to add peace and enjoyment to the gathering.

 2) Set boundaries and share them.  Setting boundaries is not easy.   Your decision impacts others in the family or social group.  It’s helpful to tell them, in advance, that cousin Robin will not be with us this year.  Or what the new house rules are:  a no shoes policy, no smoking in the house or no gifts.  Giving your guests early notice about changes to traditions provides them an opportunity to get used to the idea or to decide they’d rather not join you this year.

When you set boundaries, the dynamics of the relationships may also change.  Be ready to hear and accept other’s reactions.  You don’t have to argue the point, agree, disagree or feel pressured to alter your decision.  Simply acknowledge that you hear and understand how they feel.   Then, be patient as everyone, including you, adjusts to the changes.

3) Remove yourself from caustic situations. If you experience the behavior of another as unkind, abusive or disrespectful, don’t hesitate to remove yourself from the environment.

Go to another room.  Take a walk.  Sit in your car.  Drive around the block.  If need be, excuse yourself from attending the gathering and find another time to connect with everyone.

 4) Wait 2 minutes before responding to anything that infuriates you.  This is a good practice in any situation.  Reflex responses are often defensive and tend to escalate tensions, anxiety or anger.  Take a few deep breaths.  Go get a drink of water. Stand outside.  Do something to clear your mind and allow your breathing to return to normal . . . a sign that you – the grown up, rational you – is back in control.

When you rejoin the setting, since the moment of tension has probably passed, no comment may be necessary.  But, if you feel compelled to say something, remember the conscious choice you made to do all you can to add peace and enjoyment to the gathering.  Respond with that in mind.

5) Use their actions as lessons on how NOT to be.  Family and loved ones offer us a great opportunity to learn about ourselves and the limits we place on our willingness and capacity to demonstrate compassion and love.

Accept your family and friends as they are.  Many holiday fights and frustrations come about because we want our loved ones to be different than they are.  We CANNOT control how others behave so don’t even try.

Remember, at the heart of every individual and family is a real need for love and acceptance.  This holiday season, and every day, consciously decide to bring love, peace, compassion, acceptance and enjoyment to life – yours and everyone around you.

Happy Holiday!

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You Already Have What You Need To Live Your Dreams

September 25th, 2012

I’ve shared over the last few weeks that through the magic of mirror neurons, you can dance like Beyoncéread minds and change the people around you.  After this final installment, you’ll know how to put mirror neurons to use to achieve your goals!

Scientific data suggests you already have within your mind the tools you need be more of what you want to be – more successful, higher performing, purpose driven, inspiring, admired and committed to your personal and professional growth.  Knowing you have these tools and putting them to  use will also have an enormous impact on your self-esteem and sense of confidence.  Need a dose of that today?  Just keep reading.

Mirror neurons, special cells in the brain, allow you to improve your performance by rehearsing an action or scene in your mind.  Whether it’s a sensitive conversation you need to have with a colleague or friend, an important presentation, your golf swing or that new piece of piano music you’re learning, without lifting finger, you can get better.  Professional athletes and others who understand the creative power of their minds have used this technique so successfully that it’s a standard in elite training systems.

Because observation of excellence improves performance, top performers watch those who are the best in their field.  They watch and learn, mirroring in their minds what they’re witnessing.  They perform the act while watching it being carried out by someone else.  In other words, “If I see you do it, I mentally do it, too.”  Imagining your self perfecting a skill is just as effective as observing known experts perform at their best.

If you’re interested in achieving the extraordinary, these findings about mirror neurons confirm the value of giving thought to your vision, daily and moment-to-moment.  Literally rehearse your new skill or improved life circumstance.  Feel it, think about it and act as if it’s real today.  Do it all in our mind.  Doing it internally will help it become your external reality.

Put your mirror neurons to work in service to your dreams and goals.  Mental practice, visualization and imagery are all part of the elite performer’s secret of success and self-mastery.  You can make it a part of yours, too.

Learn more about mirror neurons:

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100% Full Proof Guaranteed Way to Instantly Reduce Stress

July 31st, 2012

Guest Blog by Kyle Ruffin

One day, I found myself, as I often do, staring with anger at a woman in the supermarket who was wearing an outfit that was absolutely inappropriate for her.  Not only was it too tight, it was clearly designed for a girl half her age.   I stared and stared, while my mind devised insults that would put this woman in her place once and for all.  If I could just say the right words to her, she’d thank me, run home and set this outfit, and no doubt other hideous attire in her closet, on fire.  But of course, that was the least likely outcome.  So why was I investing so much emotion in this complete stranger?

How many times a day do you find yourself in this state of mind?  Working yourself up over a total stranger or a situation that you either can’t control or doesn’t concern you?  When you do, your blood pressure goes up.  Your chest tightens.  Your heart starts racing.  The tension in your face and around your eyes intensifies.  Your forehead pinches so much that your eyebrows feel like they might touch.  We ALL do it.  Waste valuable time and expend angry emotion that benefits no one – especially not ourselves.

We live in a society where passing judgment is truly our favorite pastime.  My guess is that’s what makes Reality TV so popular.  We can sit on the couch and legitimately judge the ridiculous actions of someone who will have no impact on our lives what so ever.  Why do we even care if the Bachelorette sleezes her way through the latest batch of men?  Or another has-been TV star has fallen from grace into the clutches of dysfunction.

We’ve been judging others for so long and we do it so often that it’s a reflex.  Experts (and I’m no expert) would probably say it’s a hold-over from the human evolutionary period when we needed to make snap judgments about whether the approaching thing was going to eat us.  In most cases today, it serves no purpose.  Admittedly, there are situations where it’s good to size someone up before they can do us harm.  When it comes to superficial judging, we’re better off without it.

I’ve consciously decided to turn the tide by taking control of my mind and emotions in this area.  In the same way people use Mindfulness techniques to reduce stress, I’m using these techniques to stop judging others.  Since judging is such an involuntary reaction, it’s very hard to head it off at the pass, but as soon as I realize what I’m doing, I just stop.  Instantly, I feel the tension melt away.  My shoulders lower.  My chest unclenches. My disposition lightens and I sometimes even find myself smiling ever so slightly – finding humor in the ridiculousness of self-righteous stance.

Kyle Ruffin

Kyle Ruffin

Give it a shot.  I guarantee you’ll feel the difference.

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to pull out the judgment card.  So, if that heart-racing, brow-squinching feeling is something you crave, just wait a few minutes.  Real danger is bound to present itself.

 

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NEW Website for Spirit of Purpose Community

July 10th, 2012

Today, I’m happy to announce, we’ve launched the new Spirit of Purpose™ website.

This new dynamic website is where our community can come together and learn more about how they can Live Better Now!   It is a place where you’ll find encouragement to make conscious choices that will lead to authentic, lasting growth.

The Spirit of Purpose™ mission is to build a vibrant, active, passionate community of people who are committed to Self-awareness, Self-acceptance and Self-mastery as a path to a better life.  Guided by a process of intentional reflection and conscious choice, we support you in making changes that transform your life – changes aligned with your deeper self.  Your real Self.

You become a Spirit of Purpose™ when you take your blinders off and lift the veil of LIES™ (Labels, Illusion, Excuses and Stories) in your life.  This is the topic of my first book “LIES That Limit: Uncover the Truth Of Who You Really Are” which is the initial step on the never-ending journey to becoming your authentic Self, knowing and embodying your truth.

The new website will host the same great blogs that have been available on the LIES That Limit™ site.  We invite you to subscribe via RSS, Facebook or Twitter so you won’t miss any of the inspiration shared daily.  And we welcome guest bloggers interested in helping others through telling the stories of their life lessons learned.  We invite you to share how you let go of limiting LIES™ and became the Spirit of Purpose you were born to be.

The Spirit of Purpose™ website also offers a toolkit filled with life changing opportunities – the newest of which is “Sacred Circles.”  This one-on-one or group program opens the door to knowing and being your real Self.  Your SACRED Self!  Take advantage of this rare opportunity and join other committed seekers, all walking their path toward Self-realization.

Core Energetics therapy and personal coaching are two additional tools that will help you live and lead with a Spirit of Purpose™.  Contact us at info@spiritofpurpose.com to schedule your consultation and take the next step on your path to wholeness.

Please take a look around our new website and let us know what you like, and how we can improve it to help you reach your goals.  It’s a working, changing site for a growing and thriving community of Spirits with Purpose.  We welcome your feedback!

In honor of your limitless possibilities,

 

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Meditation 101: You’re Too Busy NOT to Try It!

June 19th, 2012

Guest Blog By Kyle Ruffin

If like me, you read the book and/or saw the movie “Eat. Pray. Love.” –  you may have gotten the impression that meditation is a lot of work!   References made to the daily reciting of the ancient yogic text “Bhagavad Gita” made it seem like school work memorization.  It looked very nice and clearly beneficial for Elizabeth Gilbert, but not for me!  Just another to-do list item that I can live without.  Thank you very much!

Then I took a Mindful Stress Reduction class, and meditation was at its core.  There were no mantra’s or memorization.  There was no ancient language.  I learned that at its most basic, meditation is about doing nothing.  It’s about stopping our racing mind long enough for it to clear and function more efficiently.  I can do that.  I can do “nothing.”  Or can I?

The facilitator (shout out to Hope Honeyman) introduced us to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s breath and body scan meditations which – as you might imagine – are all about focusing on the breath and the sensation of being in your body.  The biggest challenge was keeping our minds from going back to our insane to-do lists, our questions about “what if,” and our “Monkey Mind” that constantly chatters away in our heads.  The only learning required was learning how to silence the chatter by focusing, refocusing and focusing again on breath and the task of “being” NOT “doing.”  Each time I pushed my “to do list” out of my head, I could feel the tension melt away with it.  It felt like my brain thawing after a long freeze.

We did outdoor walking meditations – taking slow deliberate steps, feeling the ground beneath our feet and scanning our bodies from head to toe, becoming aware of how each body part felt at that moment.  We did an eating meditation.  Too often we gobble down our food, never taking the time to enjoy the flavors and sensations of the things we crave.  There’s all kinds of evidence that says people who practice mindful eating eat less because they enjoy their food more.

Just closing your eyes and listening to everything within earshot is a great mediation – shutting out everything else is a way to train your mind to focus.

My favorite was Kabat-Zinn’s body scan meditation, which always left me feeling centered, calm and able to complete full sentences in a single bound.  That’s my demon, my mind races so much that I forget my point before I get to the end of my sentence.  We live in a “what’s next” society, rushing ahead in our minds and rarely, if ever, enjoying where we are right now – even when we’re doing something we love.  We wonder why we don’t enjoy life as much — why we need more and more stimulation and stuff to make us happy.  I’m here to tell you there is a cure.  It’s free, non-invasive and requires no prescription.

At the end of the 8-week program, the women along for this great journey raved about how much better life was after incorporating meditation and awareness to their every day existence.  Blood pressure was lower.  Reactions were calmer.  Attitudes were more positive and coping skills were more integrated.

Wanna try it out?  Here’s a little dose. After reading this, get into a comfortable supported position.  Close your eyes.  Relax your face and shoulders.  Then focus on nothing else but the coolness of your breath entering your nostrils and the warmth of your breath as it exits.  Take 20 long breaths.  When your mind starts racing, shut it down. It’s okay — the to-do list will be there when you’re done.  But more importantly, you’ll have restored and refreshed your mind in ways that will put that to-do list in perspective and make tackling it much easier.  I guarantee it!

IF YOU WANT MORE…

Search online for “free guided meditations,” or check out Jon Kabat Zinn’s Guided Mindfulness Meditation – which offers 4 meditations that are great for beginners.

If you’re in the South Jersey area and want to learn more about Mindful Stress Reduction classes, contact Hope Honeyman, LCSW.

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GUEST BLOG: Remember How Good It Felt to Swing?

May 15th, 2012

By Guest Blogger Kyle Ruffin

It felt like you were flying.  There was something about the simple movement of swinging back and forth, somewhat out of control, that brought about amazing joy when you were a kid.  So much so that writing about it is bringing back a little of that sensation.

One day recently, while going about my humdrum routine of tasks and obligations, I walked by a watercolor painting of kids crowded onto one of those 4-person swings.  They had so much joy painted on their faces.  I thought, wow, I remember feeling that way.  A bunch of friends, or maybe even strange kids I didn’t really know, not caring that we were touching and sharing germs as we enjoyed in the simple act of swinging.  It was before all our phobias had kicked in.  Before Dr. Oz showed us how many germs are on the average kid’s toy.  Or before we became obsessed with engaging only in things that would grow our bank accounts.  Before we became afraid of embarrassing ourselves or looking silly.  Before we started experiencing life vicariously through our kids.  It’s just not the same thing.

All the while, we wonder “Where’d the joy go?  Why don’t I get the same excitement out of simple things in life?”   The kids are having all the fun and we’re feeling empty.   I find my excitement these days is pretty limited to sharing a bottle of wine, a meal and good conversation with my friends and family.  I do love that, but it’s time to diversify the things from which I derive pleasure.  All my physical activity is focused on getting or staying fit – not the joy of movement for it’s own sake.

There’s a lot to be gained by engaging the body in fun stuff.  It’s actually good for our precious mind.  It shakes loose all those cobwebs and gets the blood flowing to parts that haven’t seen blood in a while.   It’s hard not to be present and fully in the moment when you’re throwing your body around.  Not to mention how good those endorphins feel.

I applaud you if you’re one of those people Electric Sliding or Chicken Dancing on the wedding reception dance floor?  Or if you ski — wind in your face, moving at a speed that’s just out of control enough to feel exhilarating but not dangerous.   Okay…maybe a little dangerous.   Time for me to join you!

I’m heading down to the playground to see if that swing set my association dues paid for will hold my weight.  If not, I’ll track down a hoola-hoop to throw my body into.   Some simple fun.  I consider it my reward for all the time I’ve focused on my bank account.

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