Posts Tagged ‘Live Better Now’

The LIES That Limit Blog Has Moved!

March 20th, 2013

Spirit of PurposeMy weekly LIES That Limit blog can now be found on my Spirit of Purpose website.  Visit spiritofpurpose.com for the weekly inspirational and motivational blog, as well as beautifully designed sharable quotes.

Office TalkOffice Talk, reports dedicated to surviving and thriving at work, are available at TMGSpeaks.com.

And for daily inspiration, follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

 

Thank you for joining the Spirit of Purpose family!

Be well.

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Life Coach Lesson: Understanding Your Internal Border Patrol

January 29th, 2013

Border Patrol Image - smExcerpt from LIES That Limit: Uncover The Truth Of Who You Really Are

Through conditioning we blind ourselves to the best of who we are.  We become untrusting, too busy, too intellectual, too committed to rules and ideas that, in the end, don’t serve our growth or expand awareness of our Spirit and Purpose. We collude with the internal Border Patrol, limiting our self-expression and access to what is best and right for us.  We become too afraid to touch our core, our Spirit, our own divine nature.

What’s in the way of accessing your true nature?  LIES – Labels, Illusions, Excuses and Stories.  You allow LIES – the cultural story about what’s true, real, and important – to come between you and your Spirit.  LIES dull the connection to your core and your calling.  LIES enforced by The Border Patrol make you afraid to let your Spirit rule your life, guide your actions and decisions, and keep you aligned with the truth of who you really are.

Convincingly, The Border Patrol will say, “If you start talking about this weird, woo-woo stuff, you’ll lose everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve and acquire.”  The Border Patrol will persuade you to stay out of that foreign territory of Spirit and Purpose and keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.  It will tell you to leave all that nonsense alone, and threaten you with, “If you don’t, you’ll become an outcast, ridiculed and humiliated for your beliefs – rejected by the people who love you.”

Adopting the ways of the world, what you mistakenly call life takes center stage.  Your connection with your core Self is lost.  Soon, you forget you’re the creative force in your life.  You give up authorship.  You lose faith in your ability to be sure of who you are, why you’re here, and what’s right for you.  The controlling, self-sabotaging power of The Border Patrol takes the driver’s seat in your mind.

The Border Patrol is expert at generating fear of losing love.  In reality, no one could ever love you less than this internal agent of oppression.  When speaking to you, The Border Patrol’s words seem logical, make sense and sound reasonable and protective.  After all, you don’t want to jeopardize your safety and security.  But, what you don’t understand is its cunning, loveless nature.  Blindly, you yield to the authority of The Border Patrol, agreeing to live LIES in exchange for a false sense of security.

Talk about selling your soul to the devil!

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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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How To Give Yourself the Gift of Change This Year

December 18th, 2012

Catepillar-Butterfly

I was coaching a man recently, and his reaction to the call for change was classic.

To Jack, changing meant he wouldn’t be the person he used to be.  About that, we agreed.  He wouldn’t be his old self any longer.

As he contemplated change, his concerns began to surface. “I don’t want to lose myself.  I mean, I’m me.  I’ve been this way all of my life.  Anything else would feel phony and awkward.”

Jack also admitted that he was concerned about how others would see him and respond to the changes.   He worried that he wouldn’t be seen as credible.  “Who’s going to believe it?”

I offered the thought that changing wouldn’t make him less of who he is.  He’d become more.  He’d have access to more of his whole self which includes parts and behavior patterns he knows well, parts and potential that are less familiar, and skill and abilities that are underdeveloped.

“Jack, any time you want to stop using the new skill, you can.  At will, you can go back to your old way because whatever you change – a behavior, a mindset, a belief – it’s still yours.  You can call it up and begin using it again, any time you choose.  In a very real sense, you haven’t lost anything, you’ve added something.”

Jack breathed a sigh of relief.  “That makes perfect sense.  It seems so simple when you say it that way.  I’m in.  I’ll give it a try.”

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of change.   Become more of who you really are.

Make a decision to let go of LIES That Limit your freedom of choice, your effectiveness at work, your success in relationships, your willingness to take action and make changes for your own good.

Try something you’ve been wanting to do.  Learn a skill that intrigues you.  Give up a habit that no longer serves you.  Adopt a new behavior or perspective that will help you live better now.

When you add new experiences, beliefs and behaviors to your repertoire, you expand your capacity, broaden your range of capability, and deepen your awareness of your limitless potential.  Emboldened with a new skill set and perspective, you’re equipped to do more, to embody more of who you really are.  You take another step in the direction of wholeness.

So, what about you?  What changes are calling to you – changes that might help you gain access to more of your whole self?

My personal answer is simple.  I have two commitments:

  1. I’m going to give myself a morning and an afternoon practice of taking ten deep, conscious breaths with the goals of relaxing, clearing my mind and energizing my body.
  2. At least four days a week this winter (I walk during the summer, happily, but avoid the winter winds), I’m going to walk three miles a day.  Walking helps me to inhabit my body, work out the kinks, strengthen my legs, lungs and heart, build physical energy and facilitate mental clarity.  I deserve these good gifts all year-round.

Embrace your change – be it large or small – and make 2013 the year you become more of who you really are.

Happy Holidays!

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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’re Busy, Busy, Busy! But How Productive Are You?

October 2nd, 2012

Are you among the many people for whom working long hours, multitasking and pressing to meet deadlines have become a way of life?

In the short-term, these are practical solutions.  But, research tells us that this pattern, over the long-term, increases stress levels and results in lower levels of productivity.  Eventually, even though you’re plenty busy, you begin to accomplish less.

To accomplish more, you have to find ways to leverage your time and resources more effectively.  Here are 3 quick and simple strategies that can help you accomplish more, with less stress.

Organize your work life – email, files, drawers and desktop.  Doing so will enable you to more readily find what it is you need, saving valuable minutes, as well as the cost – time and dollars of unnecessary redos and purchases.  Just as physical mail and papers can be placed in project folders, so can email.  That puts their access at the ready.

Tackle your most challenging tasks when you’re at your best.  For example, if you’re a morning person, take on important projects that require thought during those hours.

Activity logs can provide important insight into how you spend your time.  For one week, jot down how you use your time.  Each time you begin a new activity, make a note of what it is and how much time it required.  This will help you get a handle on whether you’re spending your time on high-value, high priority tasks or wasting more time than needed on low-priority meetings, interruptions or other distractions.

Good time management requires self-awareness and self-management.  The payback in productivity will be well worth the effort.

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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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Dance Like Beyoncé. Sing Like Celine Dion.

September 12th, 2012

Mirror Neurons Make It All Possible

Interested in getting better at a particular skill? Want to learn how to do something you’ve never done before? Well, you’re in luck. Here’s the inspiration to encourage you to go for it, and the science that proves you can do it.

New scientific data indicate that whatever you see, you simulate in your mind. Yes! Whatever action and experience you see others engaged in, even though you don’t necessarily move a muscle, you feel the experience as if you were the one doing it. Think about the implications of this information. It could mean that you can dance like Beyoncé, move like Madonna and sing like Celine Dion.

As scientists explored some of the brain’s neurological wonders called mirror neurons, they noticed that when a subject watched another person perform an action, the region of the brain responsible for the action was activated in the subject’s brain.

Studies conducted by University of Washington’s Dr. Andrew Meltzoff suggest we’re hard-wired to imitate what we see. Mirror neurons are thought to be the reason why. Think about it: you yawn when you see someone else yawn. You’re very likely to smile or laugh when someone else does so. You react as if it’s painful when you see someone being punched hard. You probably feel a sense of humiliation when you witness another’s public failure or ridicule. And, if you’re like me, you cry when you see someone else cry. Well, it’s all the work of mirror neurons.

Here are a few instances of constructive mimicking from the world of sports. Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister was the first person known to run a mile in four minutes. After he ran his four-minute mile, many others did so. Until he did it, no one believed it was possible. After he proved it was possible, suddenly others were able to run a mile in four minutes.

Today, Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt, currently said to be the fastest man in the world, knows that Yohan Blake is hot on his trail. Blake watched Bolt break the world record and knows he too can do it. In fact, according to the science of mirror neurons, Blake broke the world record while he witnessed Bolt accomplishing the feat. He did it in his mind. He mimicked Bolt’s actions and achievement, while Bolt carried out the task.

So, what does this mean for you and me? It means we can do just about anything we choose to. All we have to do is watch and learn…and maybe practice, practice, practice, too.

Seriously, whatever your development needs and interests, get to it. Find someone who does well what you want to learn. Watch them in action and let your mirror neurons support your success in learning the desired skill. Then, put the skill to use and perfect it through repeated, committed practice.

If you want to dance like Beyonce, move like Madonna or sing like Celine Dion, watch them at work. Let your mirror neurons take it all in. Then, get up and get busy trying out your new-found skills.

You can learn more about mirror neurons at:

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You Can Read Minds

September 4th, 2012

Here’s a bit of information about yourself you may not have known.  It can support your professional development, up your Emotional Intelligence – and boost your self-esteem.

You can read minds!  Did you know that?  And, in all fairness, you need to know that others can read your mind, too – your thoughts, feelings and intentions.  According to Giacomo Rizzolatti, we’re born with the ability.

In a New York Times article, “Cells That Read Minds,” Rizzolatti and other neuroscientists describe a special class of brain cells responsible for this ability.  They’re called mirror neurons.  Their discovery provides insight into how you learn to walk, talk, smile; why you can understand how others feel and empathize with them; why you like sports and the arts; the intangible way culture gets passed on from generation to generation; and why the kind of media you watch and interact with really does matter.

Dr. Rizzolatti points out what most of us know at a gut level:  understanding the actions, intentions and emotions of others is central to our survival and sense of safety.  We have the ability to understand what others are thinking, feeling and what they may do based not on rational thought, but on feelings.  This fascinates me because, intuitively, I’ve always known this to be true.  In fact, LIES That Limit discusses the constructive and destructive aspects of being tuned in to what others are thinking and feeling, and the impact it can have on the choices we make.    Now, science provides additional evidence to prove the point.

Pay close attention; your psychic ability may just be the by-product of active mirror neurons.  Given your natural ability to anticipate what others are thinking, feeling and are about to do, you can work at better understanding where they’re coming from and why.  Here’s an example:  on a recent flight, squeezing into the seats next to me were two people who I assume to be a mother and her thirteen to fourteen year old son.  From their conversation, it seemed they were coming home from a trip abroad…so lots of time together, in close quarters – airplanes, hotels, restaurants, etc.

As they fell into the seats, the mother began speaking to her son in a way that felt like yelling, to me.

“You always do that.  I told you to stop.  You’re rude and embarrassing.  I told you not to behave that way.  It’s not nice.  I don’t want to have to tell you again.  Don’t push people or push your way through crowds.  Wait your turn.  Have I not told you this before?!  I’m tired of telling you about your behavior.”

On and on, she went.  I felt badly for the young man.  Having been the child of a mother who, out of a sense of responsibility for raising a well-behaved child, had no qualms about public chastisement, I felt for him.  I looked deeply into the pages of my book to avoid his eyes.  I imagined, or sensed, he was feeling humiliated at the public dress-down he was receiving.  Sitting next to me, I was aware of his breathing and, peripherally, his icy, frozen stare, eyes locked straight ahead.  He was doing so to control himself – to not yell back or strike out.

After she quieted down, I thought about the mother and wondered why she felt the need to speak to her son so harshly, and with many strangers bearing witness.  I went into my “Why is she doing this!?!”  The more I pondered the question/judgment, the more I could sense her thoughts and feelings, too.  The awareness that came floored me.  This woman was TERRIFIED that her beautiful son, whom she loved and saw great promise in, would not grow up to be a fine, respectful, courteous man.  She was afraid that he would become another pushy, ill-mannered person who doesn’t know how to live well in the world with others.

Suddenly, I felt empathy for her.  I could clearly relate to the way she was feeling.  It was an anxiety many Moms carry; myself included.  While you and I may not have spoken to our child in that way, and in front of others, the terror would be quite the same.

I believe my mirror neurons helped me empathize with both parties in this situation. At a feeling level, I understood what was going on in each of them.  With that, judgmental thoughts about the mother subsided.  They were replaced by empathy and respect for her genuine concern for the son she loved, and her intentions to raise him well.

Could mirror neurons help you to be more empathic – more emotional intelligence?  Try it and then decide.  Instead of judging them, tune in to the people around you and, even if you don’t agree with them, notice how much of their thoughts, feelings and intentions you can discern.  You’re bound to surprise yourself with how much information you’ll receive.  You really can read minds, thanks to the mirror neurons in your brain!

Learn more at GoCognitive.net and in the American Psychological Association article “The Mind’s Mirror.”

 

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Guest Blog: Why I Journal

August 21st, 2012

By Linda Tabach

Linda Tabach

Linda Tabach

Linda Tabach writes and blogs about health, fitness and wellness at www.lemonslifelove.com.  She is training to become a health coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is looking forward to helping others reach their wellness goals through balanced living.

I began journaling with a computer document at the end of 2008 and I just finished at the end of July when it hit 762 pages. The document was taking too long to load in my computer, so I decided to begin anew. The blank white screen on a fresh journal inspires me to fill the pages.

At first my journaling was a way to chronicle events that were taking place in my life, but I quickly found that as I wrote I was able to express emotions, develop ideas, process conflicts, analyze dreams, and be creative. As I rush through my busy days, with thoughts continually racing through my head, I have little time to do any of those things, but at the end of the day when I can sit at my desk to relax, the words flow freely.

I enjoy journaling on the computer because my handwriting can’t keep up with my thoughts, but I know of others who handwrite in their journals. Still others draw or use photos to express their thoughts and feelings in their journals. Keeping my journal on the computer has the added benefit of allowing me to search for entries which I find helpful when I want to go back and revisit an event or remind myself of how I accomplished a difficult task or resolved a conflict.

I also journal in my head while I run. Long distance running is the perfect time for me to process thoughts and ideas, and when I get home I type them up. I frequently write lengthy emails to friends and family and I will add these to my journal as well, along with emails I receive.

During the last couple of years, blogging has also been a form of journaling for me, one in which I can share my thoughts with whoever finds me and cares to read. I connect with others through my blog, and I can choose to share journal entries with them. The blogging community encourages a sense of unity and belonging through the exchange of journal entries.

It is difficult to balance all of the important aspects of my life – family, friends, career, spiritual growth, exercise – and journaling allows me to see where I need to focus my efforts at any given time. I allow myself time every day to reflect; I consider this an essential element of my self care.

 If you enjoy handwriting journal entries, you can order a “Journal Your Truth” notebook from Spirit of Purpose.

 

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