Releasing Our Attachments: Part 2

We've made it.

We have taken a stroll through the SOAR framework to give you a better understanding of just how powerful it can be to observe and accept what is and to start to release your attachments.

If you missed any of the last five videos, you can find them in my blog stream below.

Today, we explore the second part of the final stage of releasing our attachments as we look at what non-attachment is (again, not what you might think) and how we can practice more of it in our lives. 

This video offers a great visual for you to carry with you that you won't want to miss!

"By opening your heart to all of life—but clinging to none of it—you are participating in life fully." ~ Gay Hendricks

I appreciate you taking time to watch these videos and learn a bit more about my process and how I have gone from "never enough" to "always okay."

It is an ongoing practice that I continue to this day (and expect to for the rest of my life). If you are interested in taking this practice a step further, I invite you to take a look at my virtual course, Being Good with Being You, that is based on this SOAR framework. I would be honored to continue to be a part of your journey.

And, if you have enjoyed these videos and would like to receive more from me like this, be sure to sign up for my inspirational updates

Releasing Our Attachments: Part 1

So, now that we've looked at how to observe more non-judgmentally and start to accept what is without believing that means we need to just give up or stop trying, it's time to put all this practice to use as we enter the third stage of going from "never enough" to "always okay." 

Today, we start looking at the first part of releasing our attachments. In this video, I'll teach you the simplest and most powerful to start releasing anything you might be attached to—it's almost so simple it's silly.

But, I can attest that it works. Once I started putting this into practice, my clinging to outcomes and beliefs and expectations and thinking things would always stay the same loosened dramatically, and I experienced more freedom and lightness in my life.

If you're curious what this simple practice is, watch today's video.

"'I am the awareness that is aware that there is attachment.' That's the beginning of the transformation of consciousness." ~ Eckhart Tolle

Just one more video to go where we will explore part two of releasing our attachments and what this might look like in your life.

Until next time ...

Learning to Accept What Is: Part 2

And, we're back.

This whole idea of acceptance and accepting what is can be a real doozy. We started talking about it in the last video which you can watch here if you haven't already.

In today's video, we take a look at the second part of learning to accept what is. There are a lot of misconceptions of what it means to accept what is and in this video we explore how it's not just rolling over or giving up. 

So, what is it then? Watch the video to find out!

Acceptance does not lead to apathy; acceptance leads to peace.

We have now looked at the first two stages of the SOAR framework and will take a look at the final stage—releasing our attachments—in the next video.

See you then!

The 3 “P’s” for a Happier Life

The 3 “P’s” for a Happier Life

Now that it’s been over two years since I quit my full-time job, I’ve had lots of time to learn what it means to be my own boss. Through the creation of my own business, I’ve gotten to see common themes and patterns emerge that are incredible teachers to me.

Of course, it’s not just in my business that these lessons show up. 

I’m noticing how there are three important things I am consistently being asked to practice more and more often in my business and in my relationship with my partner and with myself.

In today’s video, you’ll learn the three things to practice whether you’re starting a business, in a relationship, or simply looking to live a more expansive and happier existence.

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Curious How to Alleviate Some Pressure?

Even though I know (with a capital K) that there is nothing to “fix,” I still find myself rummaging through my toolbox more often than not looking for “just the thing” to relieve my current predicament. (It’s interesting to observe that I would call it a “predicament”…)

Now, depending on where we are in our journey or what this particular moment calls for, sometimes grabbing a tool is the best thing we can do.

But what I have started to notice is just how often I (and others I know) are all-too-quick to seek out the perfect tool to alter what the current moment presents.

And, I don't know about you, but this can feel like a lot of pressure sometimes.

In today’s video, you’ll learn what is sometimes even more powerful than searching for the latest gadget.

“Sometimes we need to use tools and sometimes we just need to give ourselves permission to BE ourselves.” {Tweet that!}

Once you’ve had a chance to watch the video, I’d love to hear from you.

What do you think about this approach?

Leave a comment below and let me know!

May your week be filled with love, compassion, and gentle curiosity,

A

How to Take Action While Accepting What Is

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I can remember it as if it were yesterday.

My face scrunched up that just screamed “judgment” all over it. I sat in my studio apartment and asked myself, “Now how can I possibly keep moving forward if I settle for accepting what is? Isn’t that just being passive? Won’t I become even more apathetic than I already am sometimes?"

These questions came fast and furious across my mind’s eye.

All I desired was to be at peace and to learn some common principles to experiencing joy and, yet, these questions seemed relentless. I figured there was no hope.

Well, luckily for me, I didn’t give up. I lived in the questions. I continued to inquire and seek answers from my own experience and based on the experiences of others.

Recently, in my Being Good with Being You program, these questions came up again from some of my participants so I figured it was time to share what I’ve learned with a wider audience.

In today’s blog, I share what exactly I learned when it came to resolving these questions and how I came to terms with no longer believing that being at peace is mutually exclusive from taking action.

If you’re anything like me and have found yourself asking one (or all) of these questions at least once, I invite you to read today’s blog and see for yourself how these two desires can live in harmony.

Here are a few of the questions that cropped up for me and for those I’ve been working with along with what I’ve discovered about each.

Isn’t observing really passive?

When we first start becoming a non-judgmental observer (the first step to truly loving what we have and experiencing peace in each moment), it can feel as if we aren’t doing much of anything. And sometimes we even wonder if we will ever take any form of action if we are simply observing.

My perspective (and experience that backs this up) is that observing is quite active. It is a conscientious action made in each moment.

It is by bringing awareness to something that we can shift it. Simply by bringing awareness to something changes it immediately. For instance, when we watch our breath or notice our walk or observe a performance or are observed at work, it changes that thing simply by being observed.

The knowledge of observation changes things and bringing awareness to our thoughts, feelings, or situation can have the exact same effect.

When we are aware in a non-judgmental way, we start to explore our creative possibilities along with our limitations. This isn’t a passive practice. When we are aware of ourselves without placing judgment on ourselves, we can maneuver more flexibly through life.

Don’t we need judgment to propel us forward and motivate us to improve?

This is also a super common belief and one that I definitely had and still catch myself noticing every once in a while.

When we are in judgment, what we do comes from a place of fear or hate. No good can come from that place, no matter how much action is taking place.

When we are in awareness, acceptance, and deep gratitude, what we do comes from a place of love. And, any forward movement we make from this place is in service of those involved.

Thing is, we don’t need to live in judgment to choose a life that is joyful, healthy, and in service to others.

When we are in pure awareness and acceptance, it becomes so much clearer what we want to pursue or how we want to serve, or how we desire to treat our bodies and those around us.

I finally realized that I don’t need judgment to eat better or get more sleep or pursue my passions. I now practice observing what is happening, accepting what is, and then make a decision in each moment that would serve me most.

How can we accept what is and not get lazy or apathetic?

This is a big one. I totally get this. I resisted accepting what is for quite some time. This manifested itself as stress, bi-polar outbursts, and experiencing life as a series of extreme highs and lows.

It was almost as if my ego was saying, “If I accept what is, how will I ever be happy?” or “If I accept what is, how will I ever get anything done?"

Now, I invite you to take a moment and really ponder these questions and ask yourself, is this true? Is it true that by accepting this moment, you won’t do anything? Is it true that happiness only comes by avoiding or resisting this moment?

When we accept what is, we are creating distance from our ego and living in alignment with the reality of the moment. We are honoring the present and seeing things for how they truly are, not how we wish they were.

Acceptance involves acknowledgment of the situation/person/feeling/etc. Acceptance isn’t a “stuffing down” of the situation or ignoring it.

Acceptance does not lead to apathy; acceptance leads to aligned and adaptive action. {Tweet that!}

Just because I accept that I lost my job doesn’t mean I don’t take action and find more work. Just because I accept that I got into a car accident doesn’t mean I don’t take action and fix my car.

Once I accepted that I have a tendency to be perfectionistic, I was able to be more mindful of those moments and choose to respond differently, if necessary. The acceptance didn’t keep me stuck as a perfectionist—actually, quite the opposite thing happened. By accepting those qualities of mine, I was able to get to a place of being less identified with them and see them for what they are non-judgmentally and then make new choices in each moment by responding to what is rather than reacting based on my egoic patterns.

As Eckhart Tolle says, “Egoic patterns, even long-standing ones, sometimes dissolve almost miraculously when you don’t oppose them internally."

Acceptance is the crux from which everything else flows. Once we begin to accept what is, we can let go of the suffering and anything that is no longer serving us, and we can take action in a more clear and aligned way.

Now it's your turn! Let us know how you’ve learned to practice both acceptance and action simultaneously. Leave your thoughts in the comments below this blog.

If you happen to know someone who could benefit from hearing these ideas and feeling more at ease about practicing acceptance and still taking action, please share this with them.

With endless appreciation,

P.S. If you’re curious how to practice acceptance and action at the same time, go ahead and grab a complimentary, no-pressure consultation with me where we can see if my Ready to SOAR coaching program is a good fit for you.

How to Handle Those Pesky Voices in Your Head

As a former actor, I’ve always enjoyed creating characters and learning who they are and what they have to say, and then getting to speak as if I were them.

Over the past few years, as I’ve worked with coaches, mentors, and done more self-discovery, I’ve been introduced to the different characters that play out their drama in my very own mind.

We all have these characters (or voices) that live inside our head and who try to be in constant dialogue with us (and each other). Many times these voices can really get the better of us.

Recently, I noticed that one of these voices of mine (my inner critic) started telling me that I’m not working hard enough and I’m starting to slip into an old pattern of giving up and not seeing something through to the end.

In the past, I would have either believed this voice hook, line, and sinker and gone into total panic or self-loathing, or I would have tried to stifle this voice and pretend it didn’t exist.

Now, after having learned a more effective tool based on my work with Michelle James (a Creative Emergence coach), I have an alternate approach to handling the voices in my head.

If you’re anything like me and sometimes have a hard time knowing what to do when that voice starts yammering on about this fear or that doubt or this concern or that judgment, be sure to watch today’s video where you’ll learn a new approach (and one that has helped many of my clients, too). 

Though they can be pesky, the voices in our head can offer us a lot of wisdom if we change how we interact with them. {Tweet that!}

The next time you hear those voices rattling on and find that simply observing them just isn’t doing the trick, give this tool a try and see if you feel a shift and notice the voice getting a little less pesky over time.

Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite tool for handling the voices in your head? Share in the comments below so we can all have a few more tools in our tool belt when it comes to engaging with our egos.

If you know anyone who could benefit from being free from the grips of the voices in their head and uncover the wisdom that lies within, please be sure to share this with them.

With love & gratitude,

P.S. If you desire to have someone serve as your guide as you experiment with this tool (and many others), go ahead and grab a complimentary session with me here.

How to Make Peace with Uncertainty

Being a nomad brings with it a lot of uncertainty. Of course, uncertainty is not unique to a nomad—all of us experience uncertainty from time to time. 

Having had quite a few experiences with uncertainty throughout my life, I spent some time reflecting on how I have learned to get more cozy with it and feel more empowered than I ever did before.

Here are a few things I’ve learned that might help you make peace with uncertainty.

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What I've Learned about Being Enough

I’ve done a lot of “soul searching” and learning how to “fix” myself over the course of my life and most of this brought me to a realization (or rather a story I chose to believe) that I’m not good enough.

Here’s the thing. Over the last few years, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ve always been enough, and it’s not about “fixing” it’s more about “releasing” that which no longer serves me or the higher version of myself.

Still, that doesn’t mean every day is a cake walk. I still have doubts and the questions, “Am I good enough?” and “Who am I?” still creep in.

If any of this rings true for you, I invite you to watch today's video as I share with you part of my real and raw story of what I’ve learned from not being enough.

Just because certain stories feel real sometimes doesn’t mean they are true. {Tweet that!}

And so even if my life isn’t “perfect,” I still have something valuable to share because I believe we are all lightbulbs shining light on the collective unconscious and the more lightbulbs we turn on, the better we all can see.

Now it’s your turn! What’s your story? What have you learned about being enough?  Leave a comment in the Facebook post or below this blog. I'd love to support each other as we get real and raw.

Shine your light in whatever way you want. Know that you have everything within you. You are enough. {Be a lightbulb and tweet that, too!}

With love & gratitude,

Amanda

PS If you haven't already heard the exciting news, you can now get a copy of my FREE ebook that explores this whole idea a whole lot further. Get your copy today!

Are You Taking a Vacation or a Suitcase Full of "Shoulds"?

Ah, summer vacation. 

Each year, I take a trip to northern Minnesota and spend a week at a lake cabin with my family.

Sometimes vacations stump me a little. Rather than feeling peaceful and relaxed, I feel conflicted and a little on edge.

This year, I mentioned something to my mother and she asked me a very insightful question that immediately helped me change the way I was viewing my time away.

Do you ever feel like your vacations are just another opportunity to “should” all over yourself or live up to yet another set of expectations?

In this video, I’m going to share with you the wise question my mother asked me and how it helped me go from conflicted to confident while on vacation. 

Just because we’re on vacation doesn’t mean we have to take a break from being true to ourselves. {Tweet that!}

Now it’s your turn! How do you stay true to yourself while taking time off?

Head on over to the blog or Facebook page to share your wisdom in the comments below this video. I would love to see what sort of conversation we can drum up.

So many of us look forward to what little vacation we usually take to begin with, yet how many of us actually spend that time without added pressure or expectations of what vacation “means”? Please pass this along to anyone you may know who could benefit from being reminded to stay true to themselves even when taking some much-needed time off.

With gratitude ...

PS If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up to receive my 10 dirty little secrets and be the first to hear about an exciting project I’m working on and excited to share with you soon!

Craving More Freedom? Then Check This Out

Have you ever pondered the question, “What is true freedom?"

Now, there are seemingly many kinds of “freedom” out there—financial, creative, time, sexual, etc.

The other day I was having a conversation with the amazing Tara Tag about what financial freedom means. And it dawned on me that financial freedom isn’t having a certain amount of money—it’s knowing that I am able to make a choice based on what’s true for me instead of what’s in my bank account.

I realized that it’s a perception thing—not necessarily reality. I have a choice. I mean, I literally have a choice to spend money on something or put it on a credit card or find a way to create more money or not.

Then I noticed how this is true in so many other areas of my life. In all of these, I have a choice and can, therefore, experience freedom in all of them in any moment.

If we want to be free, we need to acknowledge (and exercise) the choice we have in each moment. {Tweet that!}

In this video, I’m going to share with you just what freedom means to me and how we can go about experiencing more of it in our lives. 

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What to Do When Someone (Who Isn't a Disney Princess) Says, “Let it Go"

“Let it go! Let it go!!"

Not just the lyrics to any current 5-8 year old girl’s favorite Disney song. This is also a mantra of sorts for most adults. 

The intention is all good, but sometimes the phrase itself can seem dismissive, flippant, or full-on aggravating.

I know for me, when someone says, “Just let it go,” I want to punch them in the face.

Okay. No, not really. That’s not at all my style. But you get my point. It can seem WAY easier said than done.

So, what does “let go” really mean and how do we go about doing it?

The question of learning to let go came up as a response to my survey and is a very common question as we are on this journey of awareness and awakening. (If you are curious to which survey I’m referencing, check it out here.)

In this video, I share my perspective on what “letting go” means to me and just how to go about doing it in a way that keeps most punching unnecessary. (Watch the video if you want to know why I didn’t say “all!”)

By redefining what “letting go” means we can redefine our relationship and experience with it. {Tweet that!}

Now it’s your turn. What is your favorite thing to do when you feel the need to "let it go?"

Hop on over to the blog to share your wisdom in the comments below this video! I absolutely love learning what works for others and your tip might be just the thing someone needs to hear today.

So many of us hear the phrase "let it go" so often—yet how many of us actually practice this in a way that is healthy and supports our expansion into deeper awareness? Please pass this along to anyone who rolls their eyes at or feels disenchanted when they hear "Let it go!" or who might benefit from learning just how to experience less frustration and more ease.

With gratitude ...

PS If you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up here to receive my dirty little secrets to loving the life I have AND be the first to find out about an exciting announcement I’ll be making soon! 

How to Have Your Ego and Beat It, Too

A recurring thought of mine as I’ve been on this journey and started my own business has been: “How do I operate from a place with no ego while building a business centered around letting go of ego?"

First of all, for those of you asking yourselves, “What in the world is she talking about? What is this ‘ego’ she keeps referring to?”

Much of how I think about the ego and what I mean when I talk about the ego is based on Eckhart Tolle’s definition of ego: "Ego is the unobserved mind that runs your life when you are not present as the witnessing consciousness, the watcher."

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How to Get out of Overwhelm

As a world-class list-maker and scheduler, I know all too well just how to fill my calendar with to-do’s, appointments, and deadlines.

For a very long time I actually wasn’t sure if I could function without these things in place.

It’s only been in the last few months that I’ve tried something new. And, during one of my Masterclass calls this week with Jeannine Yoder it became really clear to me just how overwhelming the idea of all of these lists and deadlines are to me now.

I admit that I might have swung a little too far on the pendulum, and I don’t necessarily suggest that everyone rid their life of to-do lists and deadlines.

But I will say that the greatest thing I’ve learned from doing so is that I’m okay without these things and my days feel significantly less overwhelming.

If any of this resonates with you and you’re interested in experiencing less overwhelm in your life, then be sure to check out this week’s video.

In the video, I’m going to share with you some great advice I received on how to assess where we spend our time and develop a deeper sense of true productivity and power.

If you know anyone who tends to create lists or fill their calendar in order to feel productive or accomplished, then please share this with them so that they can learn one simple question to ask each day to stay out of overwhelm and in their truth.

I’m not suggesting that all list-making and deadlines are useless.

Sometimes the best thing we can do in the moment is make a list or move towards a deadline. And other times we use these things simply as a distraction to help us think we are being productive.

There’s an alternative to lists and deadlines to feel productive and empowered. {Tweet this!}

Now I want to hear from you. What are your favorite tips to stay out of overwhelm?

Hop on over to the blog to share your wisdom in the comments below this video! I absolutely love learning what works for others and your tip might be just the thing someone needs to hear today.

Life isn’t about filling our task list and calendar with things to keep us busy and feeling productive. So please pass this along to anyone who might benefit from learning how to stay out of overwhelm and instead focus on those things that matter most.

With gratitude ...

PS I’d love to include you in my updates on the program I’ll be launching later this summer, so be sure to sign up here if you haven’t already! As a gift, you’ll receive my dirty little secrets to loving the life I have.

What I've Learned from the Playground

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who took time to read my announcement and complete my super-short survey! Your responses were fantastic and I look forward to addressing them in the coming weeks. Who knows, your question might even be the next topic for Thoughtful Thursday!

(If you're curious about what I’m talking about, check this out.)

Now, on to this week’s Thoughtful Thursday.

I’ve never been much of a scientist. Or a cook for that matter. The whole idea of experimenting with things has often left me with butterflies in my belly.

I had this belief that I had one shot to get something “right.” So not only would I put pressure on myself to do things perfectly right out of the gate, I also wouldn’t allow myself the freedom to try something else if it didn’t work.

This has either resulted in me not doing anything at all (out of fear that I won’t succeed the first time) or continuing to do something that just isn’t working (because that’s the way I started doing it, so that’s the way I keep doing it).

Can you relate?

I most recently noticed this coming up for me in how I was creating my Thoughtful Thursdays, so I took a spoonful of my own medicine and added a bit more play to this week's video.

If you’re anything like me and find you either take yourself a little too seriously or aren’t even willing to try something in the first place for fear of “making a mistake,” then check out this week’s video.

In this video, I’m going to share a couple of the greatest things I’ve learned from watching kids on the playground and how we can apply this to our grown-up worlds.

Imagine if someone told a chef there is only one way to cook an egg. They’d laugh (or something worse)!

So it is with life. There are many ways to whip up the experience we want so long as we are willing to play and experiment with the ingredients until we get the taste we desire.

It is up to us to create the dish we desire by experimenting with the ingredients of life. {Tweet this!}

Now I want to hear from you. What is your favorite way to keep the play and experimentation alive in your life?

Hop on over to the blog to share your comments below this video and get ideas from others.

Life isn’t about getting it “right” the first time around (or the second or third or fourth). As I heard someone very wise once say, "Life is a playground.” So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from being reminded to keep the play alive and experience more joy in life!

With gratitude ...

PS If you like these reminders and want to stay up-to-date on the exciting announcement I mentioned at the beginning, be sure to sign up here! I’d love to include you in my updates. 

Are You Tired of Experiencing the Same Challenges Over and Over Again?

Recently, I caught myself acting in a way that I am not extremely proud of. I got triggered by something that has triggered me many times before and I reacted in a way that I've reacted many times before.

Have you ever experienced that?

Well, here's what happened next. After this undesirable behavior occurred and when I later told my friend about what happened, I noticed that instead of beating myself up about it (as I have been known to do in the past), I was quite compassionate with myself and recognized it as something that happened and moved on.

This was huge for me!

It was one of the first times I recognized that it's okay that I get triggered or behave in ways that are less than ideal. I'm going to have bad days. 

What I'm learning is that it’s not about living a life without any challenges or stumbling blocks; it’s all about how we now respond to these challenges as they arise.

If you're anything like me and sometimes get frustrated with thinking you've "figured it out" and wonder why the same issue keeps tripping you up, then check out this video.

In this video, I'm going to explore why we experience the same challenges over and over again and how we can go from feeling frustrated to feeling free.

The sign of growth isn't being free of obstacles—it’s responding to them with more love, compassion, and resilience. {Tweet that!}

Now, I'd love to hear from you.

Do you ever find yourself frustrated when you encounter the same challenge because you thought you already had it “figured out”? Instead of focusing on the challenge, share with us how you now respond differently than you did before.

I'd love to see what you discover, so please take a moment and share in the comments' section below this post. What you share might be exactly what someone else needs to hear today.

Challenges are not going to disappear. Once we accept this, we can begin to notice how growth and evolution are indeed occurring. So please pass this along to anyone in your life who you think might benefit from being reminded of how we can experience more freedom and less frustration in order to truly love the life we have!

If you desire more support in experiencing less frustration and seeing where you are already expanding in your life, I invite you to sign up for one of my complimentary discovery sessions.

P.S. I'm getting giddy with excitement to make a big announcement which I don't want you to miss so be sure to sign up if you haven't already!

With gratitude...

How to Have Less Stress by Cleaning up Your Beliefs: Part 2

I have often been tormented by the questions: Do I keep it? Do I throw it out? What if I need it later? As I started cleaning up my beliefs the same way I clean out my closet, the same questions started to come up. Our beliefs, much like our closets, can easily get overtaken by years and years of ignoring the build up and not taking time to pause and question what is really going on.

If you've ever wondered how to start sifting through your beliefs and learn once and for all how to begin to turn them around, then this video is a must watch! You'll learn a simple tool to take charge over your beliefs once again and start making a little more space for the ones you really want.

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3 Paths to Get What We Want — Which One Do You Choose?

A few months ago, I challenged myself to eliminate caffeine from my diet for 2 weeks. The 2 weeks turned into almost 2 months. Initially, I started exploring alternatives like herbal teas and even decaf espresso at times. Then, I started to notice how in my search to expand my possibilities and remove my need for something I actually started to institute a new limitation. All of sudden, I couldn’tdrink caffeine. I was afraid to drink it as it might reignite my addiction. This became its own limitation. Just another extreme. When I noticed this, I consciously ordered a cup of coffee. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as I used to, I appreciated the fact that I permitted myself to know what I do and do not want at any given time.

When we are about to do something or not do something it is because we are going for something we want in life — to relax, fit into our jeans or just feel better.

This may come in the form of making resolutions and choosing to restrict certain things from our lives. Or perhaps by indulging in anything and everything that we want.

Either way, these both limit us from making mindful, purposeful choices in each moment.

There is a third — and much more empowering — way to get what we want in life.

The Buddha once said that “a path of moderation, between the extremes of sensual indulgence and self-mortification … was the path of wisdom."

When we are about to do something to get closer to what we want, there are three ways we typically come to this conclusion.

"I can’t, so I guess I won’t"

When I eliminated caffeine from my diet, I initially did so from a conscious place — choosing not to drink it mainly for health reasons. Then, it became an “I can’t so I guess I won’t” decision which was very limiting and no longer based on the few specific reasons I had originally identified.

When we make decisions based out of self-denial, we lose an opportunity to get to know ourselves and get really clear on why we choose not to do something. We also end up making decisions out of fear, judgment, resistance or attachment.

"I can, so of course I will "

Before I gave up caffeine for those few weeks, I had gotten into a habit of having one or two cups of coffee each morning not because I actually wanted it but because I could … and I always had. It had become just as limiting because I was no longer checking in and making a conscious decision to have it.

When we permit ourselves to indulge in whatever we want just because we can, we miss an opportunity to really check in and see if that is what we want in this moment. We become a slave to ourselves and lose a chance to actively guide our life in the direction we want it to go.

"I can, and I choose …"

… to do it or not. In either case, I empower myself to choose what serves me best in that moment. We can still choose not to do something, in which case it is done from a place of knowledge and acceptance of oneself and not out of fear, laziness or greed.

When we realize we can do something and choose not to, we demonstrate our strength and power in the world. When we realize we can do something and choose to do it, we honor ourselves and have a chance to practice acceptance and letting go.

Living at the extremes of life can ultimately be quite limiting. The joy comes when we live somewhere in the balance of it all.

Striving to live a life in moderation is more than saying “yes” to some things and “no” to others — it is about getting quiet and making mindful decisions in each moment that reflect and uphold our values and principles in the world.

That is how we can ultimately get what we want out of life.

Think of one thing you consistently deny yourself of or indulge in. Is that based in a value or principle and, if so, what is it? If not, think about what it would feel like to empower yourself to no longer live by this limitation and instead consciously choose in each moment what you want to do.

How to Move from Comparison to Self-Acceptance

A friend and I were chatting the other day and she mentioned that she felt discouraged about her yoga practice because she had been comparing herself to how often I was going. I giggled when she said this because I had just that morning felt discouraged when I couldn’t get myself out of bed thinking how she always gets up early and accomplishes so much in the morning. It was so funny to me that both of us saw the other as being better or doing more when in reality we both are amazing and wonderful in our own, unique way.

Have you ever gone on Facebook or Instagram and thought to yourself, “everyone’s life seems so happy and amazing … why isn’t mine like that all the time?"

When we compare ourselves to others, we deny all the beautiful, authentic qualities we possess and think that who we are in this moment is not good enough.

So how do we move from comparison to self-acceptance?

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The practice of mindfulness is about celebrating and cultivating our authentic self in each and every moment. By practicing a few simple techniques, we create more space and opportunity to feel compassion, acceptance and love the person we are in this moment.

When we are about to compare ourselves with others, it is a great opportunity to check in and try a few simple things.

    • Take a moment or two and observe what is going on inside. Is there a feeling or a thought? Just check in with non-judgmental awareness and allow the feeling or thought to exist.
    • Gently remind yourself that every time we look at someone else as being more or having more, someone is most likely saying the same thing about us. This can help us experience more compassion for ourself and for others.
    • Shift the thought from "what others have or do" to “what do I have or do” and celebrate who you are even if in that particular moment there is doubt or anger or fear or frustration. Allow yourself to be reminded of the things you do well.

Especially with social media, it can seem nearly impossible to avoid comparing ourselves with others. It is something I struggle with on an ongoing basis. But, the more often I practice mindfulness, the more often I am aware of when I start to go down that path and how to navigate back out and into my beautiful, amazing, unique self.

When we accept and celebrate who we are in each moment, we experience so much more peace and joy in our lives. Of course, this won’t happen overnight and is an ongoing practice — but each time we remind ourselves to check in and have more self-love, it gets a little bit easier.

What are three wonderful, unique qualities you can celebrate today? Join the conversation by leaving a comment.

Presence Matters Has Been Published Again on Elephant Journal

I am excited to share that Presence Matters has once again been published on elephant journal! This is a really important step for spreading the message of having more peace and joy in life. I invite each of you—my supportive readers—to take a moment to check out my latest article, Soulful Intentions for the New Yearif you didn't get a chance to read it last week.

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The first moments of a New Year present opportunity to set aside some time to come up with our intentions for the year ahead.

Resolutions are the more common as we approach the first of the year. However, these firm decisions do not seem to support a mindful existence as well as an intention, which allows for the ebb and flow that life most certainly will bring.

As we embark on a new year—another 365 days of possibility—I want do so in an intentional way, creating a guide from which to make mindful, soulful decisions in each and every moment. Decisions that support and uphold the life I desire. [click the link to read more]

You can help out greatly by clicking this link and, if the article inspires or resonates with you, re-share it on your personal social media pages.

Thank you for seeking and spreading the art of improving the experience of life!

With gratitude ...