My cookie and brownie diet

I was going to post something else today but with back-to-back snowstorms, I felt the need to take a different approach. Today we were hit again with another snow storm. This is the third one this week. In fact, when a snow storm in Pennsylvania is predicted, a mass exodus to the grocery store is pretty much the norm. Although it’s nothing quite like the one we experienced in March when the whole world shut down, but it’s our reality as the first flake makes its way to the ground. When you have no place to be, a snowstorm seems so cozy, with a pot of comfort food stewing on the stovetop or baking in the oven. For some reason, this time around, making a batch of homemade cookies AND brownies seemed like the right thing to do. With a husband having a never-ending sweet tooth, there was nothing in my way stopping me. When all said and done, I came out of the first storm with a sugar hangover and a few extra added pounds. Lucky for me, I’ve been down this road before. I know what I need to do to get myself back on track. We all slip up. So rather than beat myself up or feel helpless and guilty, I knew that it’s time to do the work. I want to share this weight loss piece with you because it helps anyone who wants to start out and doesn’t know where to begin or for someone who went on a sugar bender for a month and needs to course correct.

Weight loss is not just about calorie reduction and increased activity, if you want to be successful at it, you must include behavioral strategies. I still have the freedom to live a healthy lifestyle but I add these principles to keep me focused.

  • Self-monitor – It’s constant, keeping a sleep journal to track your sleep routine is always the one step people forget, especially if you don’t sleep well to begin with. Sleep plays a huge part in our health and logging our patterns can help us adjust our habits for better sleep hygiene. (Sharing this info is necessary with your healthcare provider too.) Now a days, there are so many great apps to download on our phones to track our water and food intake as well as our activity levels.
  • Avoid tempting situations – I meal prep every Sunday so I’m prepared for the week and not tempted to buy lunch on the go or grab a slice of pizza when there’s a work related pizza party. I also keep a 10-minute timer on all of my social media accounts so they lock me out and I’m not tempted to substitute my workout time with this time waster.
  • Spend time around like-minded people. Having a social support group to lift you up works wonders to achieve your goals. Investing in yourself by hiring a coach or a trainer to help navigate you through those time of momentary relapses and unwanted habits. Not to mention we all can continue to learn a thing or two about something or be reminded of that certain thing we would have overlooked if we went at it alone.
  • Substitute – instead of cooking with butter or fats to improve on taste, use spices. There are a variety of recipes to experience. Salt and pepper are not the only spices in this world. Experiment with fresh spices and learn a different world cuisine. Middle eastern dishes have blends of spices that make your taste buds zing! Not just food but workouts too. If you hate running, then don’t do it. Hiking or biking get the jobs done.
  • SMART goals – Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant. Time Bound. These types of goals have a very specific intention. Write them out and review often. We set goals in other areas, why not for our health,
  • Change your mindset – Stop the all or nothing thinking. Look at this moment differently, it’s not a permanent calorie restriction but a temporary calorie reduction. You can eat all the food you want if they are nutrient dense rather than energy dense. Ask yourself, if the program you are about to start, does the diet support your exercise program?
My lunch includes; 2oz of smoke salmon, 1/4 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup blueberries, raw spinach, roasted zucchini and cauliflower.

And finally, we can’t continue without knowing exactly how active we actually need to be. Bringing your physical activity level up to 150 to 300 minutes of a moderate intensity per week is something we all should aim for. That means, if you do the weekly bare minimum that is only 30 minutes out of your day, for five days a week! Or 22 minutes per day, 7 days per week. Don’t be afraid to do this in three 10-minute intervals to add up to 30 minutes, if that’s what fits into your schedule. So now that you know I even have moments of weakness, I hope these guidelines are enough to get you started. I’m here when you are ready.

(Please see your doctor if you have known cardiovascular disease or have been sedentary for sometime before starting a workout program.)

Toxic Positivity

I was working with my business coach and we had an amazing discussion on toxic positivity. Before this, I could never quite articulate what it was I was experiencing but he seemed to nail it on the head and I wanted to share. A little background on me before I begin. My mindset was, no matter what, just stay positive! Oh, how dangerous this is. Especially when I force my toxic positivity on others; potentially making them feel bad too. Somewhere in life I picked up the belief that I should never let people know I never feel any sort of negativity. When someone asks me how I’m doing, just smile and say fine, no matter what! (I still do this anyway because I don’t want to be that person who shares my grievances and have people running for the hills every time they see me coming.) But every time this happened, I blamed myself for not being well and felt even worse. I denied my state of being and created more negativity on top of already feeling bad.

Trying to be positive makes you even more negative and then you stay stuck in the same old patterns. It’s no wonder it’s hard to make self-improvements when you get into this vicious cycle. Toxic positivity leads to suppressing your emotions, not processing emotions correctly and not letting them surface as they should.

What not to do. We think we need to hype ourselves up to feel better. Find your grit! Man up to do something we are not excited about. Well this is wrong, it doesn’t work. Sure, it’s a quick fix but it’s coming from a place of not feeling good and causing more resistance. Also, you will seem needy or resentful and people pick up on that. Another way we are reinforcing resistance is by convincing ourselves of something that we don’t believe in. We can feel that lack so much more than the belief. In order to believe in something you have to find proof. And old patterns of the past are what is showing the proof. (I hope that makes sense?) Lastly, this is the one thing that gets me every time. I try to force myself into thinking positively. My brain wants to do what it does best. Solve a problem. So, when I feel bad, I try to look at every angle in solving the issue to feel better. This is just another distraction to not feel the feeling you need to feel and creates more resistance.

What to do. First, notice the resistance. Then don’t feel bad about feeling bad about. No matter what it is. Allow yourself to feel the feels. Let it be, and accept the feeling. You will notice that these feelings are then released and your attitude starts to change. Good feelings arise and are not forced. The second thing to do is focus on feeling neutral instead of feeling positive. Feeling negative, neutral or positive is a state of mind. If you see my creation below, picture the line as a road, if you are in a bad place and you want to leave you need to travel through the state of neutrality before you reach the place of feeling good. It’s easier to find proof when you are in neutral. You don’t have to believe it; you just have to try!

________________________________________________________ A. Negative to B. Neutral to C. Positive

The ways I get back on track is by setting myself up for success. I make a list of to do’s and if I only get to cross one thing off that list, I succeeded. If I notice I feel bad and I allow it, give me a gold star! That’s success! You don’t need to be successful in the moment to feel success. Feeling success feels pretty damn good! Look for the blessings in disguise and the validation within, not from others.

Remember, don’t try to make yourself or others feel better with toxic positivity. Stop the fight within and be real with yourself. Finding a way to get neutral is where you want to strive to be. Make success a priority by your standards and not others.

Are you a mouth breather?

In the Yoga culture the saying goes, “Breath is Life.”

We take advantage of breathing. The next time you cannot think of a single one thing to be grateful for, be thankful for your breath. We release tension while we breathe. Athlete’s take advantage of how they breathe to enhance their performance. We don’t have to think about breathing while we sleep or do any other activity for that matter. Not only does it feed every single cell in the body with oxygen rich-blood, it purges the body of waste and carbon dioxide working through our circulatory system and nervous system. It balances the brain activity. Did you know that depending on the time of day, your breath is more dominant through one of your nostrils? Try this: sit up straight, take your index finger and push on your left nostril by closing it shut, breathe in, out, then plug your right, breath in and out. Cool huh? Were you aware of the subtle difference? One nostril may feel like it’s clogged or stuffy and feel that it’s easier to inhale or exhale the air out of one side than the other? Try it in the morning, afternoon and night. You will notice that if the dominate side is left in the morning, it may be your right side that is dominant in the evening.

Do you breathe through your nose or mouth? If you breathe through your mouth, please STOP now! You have to retrain yourself. It will take some focus and conscious effort to breathe correctly through your nose again. It will also take time for your nostrils to stop feeling like they are clogged. Since you stopped using your nose for its purpose, breathing this way will feel unnatural for a bit. Breathing through your mouth is gross. There is no protection from the impurities that enter through the passage way, inhaling contagious diseases. The nose is designed to protect you from this. The nose also warms the air before entering your lungs. Your mouth does not do this, so any cold air that enters the body shocks the system, doing damage to the lungs and other organs.

Where do you breathe into your body? Watch an infant breath when they are asleep, they are born breathing naturally. Before we begin, let’s try this little experiment…Lay on your back, place your left hand on your belly and your right in your chest. Take a deep breath. Does your left hand on your abdomen rise or is it the right hand on your chest?

There are 3 locations in the body where we breathe into and this is called high breathing, mid breathing or low breathing. Starting with high breathing, this is where people breath into the collar bone region and is the worst form of breathing. We breath this way when we are stressed and minimal air enters the body. People tend to be mouth breathers if they commonly breath this way. Even if we aren’t stressed, high breathing make our body think it’s distressed being prone to anxiety issues and chronic diseases. Mid breathing, or in yogi terms, Intercostal breathing. This is where most of us breath. When we take a deep inhale, feeling our chest expand outwards, we think we are doing it correctly when in fact we are not. Low breathing, or deep breathing is the best form of respiration. Pulmonary issues go away, people are less prevalent to colds, the quality of your blood increases with oxygen and healthy lungs begin to resist germs. Going back to laying supine, notice that when inhaling deeply, your abdomen is pushed out all the way along with having a broad chest. When exhaling, your diaphragm becomes concaved. Try your experiment again, where do you breathe into now? You may cough when you begin trying to breathe deeply. That is a great sign!

So, why am I telling you all this? Yes, this is something that comes natural and we are taught the rest of the information in elementary school. I’m telling you this because people do not know how to breathe. We have to be reminded of all the bad habits we picked up along the way and reeducate ourselves so we can correct it. How breathing correctly has improved my life? It has given me mental clarity, I have better control over my anxiety, I have better control over the way I project my voice, I became a better runner and it has made me more aware of being in my body.

Breathing exercise are wonderful ways to strengthen the lungs, cleanse the airway passages and lungs, develop your voice or even recharge. I’m telling you, that you won’t ever need a cup of coffee midday after a breathing technique, you will feel revitalized and energized. If you are interested in learning more, I would love to share my practice.

A yogi mentor of mine, Clara Roberts-Oss recited the following in class that I would love to share…“We have three rhythms in our body. The rhythm of our heart, the rhythm of our breath, the rhythm of our brain waves. If we are able to affect one then we can affect all three. The one we can really manipulate is our breath. By manipulating the breath, by deepening the breath, you slow down the heart, the brain waves and become more present.

Natural Chemicals

There have been significant gains in research regarding the effects that the natural chemicals our brain produces and releases into our body when it comes to our emotions. If you follow Dr. Joe Dispenza’s work, his books Becoming Supernatural and Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself go in great detail on how the human mind body connection works so beautifully in tandem. So it’s normal and our right to feel happy and joy on a daily basis. And it’s alright to feel guilty, boredom, hate and impatience too, but it’s not normal to feel that way for an extended period of time. Constantly feeling bad takes a huge toll on our bodies. It’s amazing that we humans have the capacity to feel such a broad range of feelings but sitting with these negative feelings is like having an inconsiderate house guest over and not sure when they will ever leave. Did you know that our brain releases a natural chemical cocktail into the body every time an emotion is felt? Good or bad? It travels throughout the body for a couple of hours? Kind of like an IV drip coming from our brain. This makes sense because when we’re hurt or catch a cold, it does the same thing by releasing our very own chemical cocktail of antibodies to heal a wound or fight infections. Chemicals specific to our own body.

When you really take the time to think about this, feeling constant anger towards someone or worrying about something is poisoning our system. Why would we do this to ourselves? It’s because we don’t know any better, sometimes feeling anger in a situation that we have no control over feels really good. Our brain wants to stay there in that feeling because it keeps us safe or we need a surge of some sort of stimulation to keep our emotional addictions thriving. Our brain wants to solve logical problems, as well as keep our body functioning and memory storage. Our ego wants to justify why we are right and feel validation rather than take the higher road and let go. When we stay in the state of worry for more than a few hours, days, weeks, months we are putting our bodies through chronic stress every time we start thinking about that certain someone or situation that puts us there.

We experience two types of stress with the body. Positive stress or eustress and negative stress or distress. Eustress is short term, like speaking in front of a crowd or planning a wedding. This is the good kind of stress because our bodies return to our natural self, feeling balanced and possibly even empowered once the situation is over with. Distress is chronic or continuous, experiencing worry or sadness because of a death in the family. These longer term stresses lead to disease, that are possibly incurable. As a side note: I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t take the time to grieve for someone you care for. You take as long as you need. I just don’t want you to dwell in sadness just to dwell in it, that is where things gets serious.

I’m hoping now that you know spending time in negative emotions can truly do damage to our body, looking at it from this perspective may get you to manage your emotions better? That who you spend your anger on won’t be the guy who cut you off in traffic because he is not worth getting ill over. I could tell you to meditate or breath mindfully but this is temporary relief. Getting to know a little more about the reasoning behind all of this gives you the power to make choices on managing your emotions. Striving to be happy is healthy! Take care of yourself.

Winner vs. Average

These last few days I’ve been thinking about how someone becomes successful at life? I’m not talking about how society measures a persons success by how much money someone makes, their education, their IQ, who they know and how many friends they have, what their career is, their material collections, where they’ve been, this all seems insignificant. After all, these are just some of the effects that come into one’s life when practicing this mindset. I’m talking about the things people do on a regular basis to be great at life! We live in a world where we are so attached to our possessions, we put meanings on things that are not important or looking for a quick fix to feel better than the current state we are in. So I made a list of the two traits that differ between a winner’s mindset vs. average mindset. It’s good to see these qualities on paper. I’m sharing this with you not to make you feel bad about yourself, but to move you in a direction to succeed. By no means am I perfect, I’m guilty of having an average mind. I just don’t want to feel trapped there and I definitely do not want to be average. This list inspires me to take better action and make better choices. I hope it inspires you to do the same.

Please share any if I’ve missed. I’d love to hear more examples.

Winner’s MindsetAverage Mindset
DisciplinedSlave to emotions
ForgivingCritical/ Judgmental
PerseveranceProcrastination
Self masteryMotivation or will
Doesn’t let fear take overAfraid to fail
PersistanceLooking for that shiny object
In controlNeedy
Non attachment Attached to people, places, things, ideas
Sees the big pictureLooking for a quick fix
Life is a gameTakes life serious
Has clarity/ focusLots of distractions
VictoriousVictim
Sees wealth around themSees poverty and scarcity
GratefulThankless
Takes 100% responsibility of own life Blames everyone and makes excuses
Internal world shapes external worldExternal world shapes external world
Blessings in disguiseCaught on the details
Conscious -always aware Unconscious – forgetful, going through the motions
ProactiveReactive
Farming or cultivatingHunting or stalking
FascinatingShallow
Makes long term investmentsMakes short term investments for the reward
MeditationMasturbation
NaturalGimmick
Lives in the moment, excited for the futureLives in the past
Sustainable builds in pleasure
skills, builds business
reads a book
Lower life pleasures
coffee, drugs, stimulants, alcohol
binge watches tv

Affirmations

The discussion on why I think affirmations are so important to incorporate into your life is a tricky subject. After reading this, I’m hoping to get you on board with having a set of daily affirmations to read if you aren’t doing so already. I was in a place where I used to think affirmations were phony. When I heard others use affirmations, there seemed to be a disconnect, no substance behind them. Instead of coming from a place of feeling uplifted and confident, they sounded like good catch phrases that were meaningless. Flowery talk to cover up what was festering below the surface. That was until I looked at it from a different perspective. Before we get there, let’s go back a few weeks to catch up.

In this post we discussed mental diet, and how we are talking to ourselves on a daily basis. Do you talk kindly or do you scold and shame yourself like a mother speaks to a child when they are about to do something bad? we all hear that voice of our dear moms every now and then. Now, let’s think about this. There are 86,400 seconds in each day, how many of those seconds can you actually think a positive thought and try to hold that thought for at least 30 or even 60 of those seconds before that thought is turned around and upside down with self-doubt or you are on to your next thought? Try it! If you can hold positive thoughts, especially about yourself continuously, then I think your full of crap.

Think of times when you are the hardest on yourself. I will use the comparison example because that is a sure way to kill any dreams or aspirations you have for ourselves. Comparing ourselves to others is a sure way to take us down the emotional scale and lower our vibration or our state of consciousness feeling the emotion of insecurity. Looking at this scale, it drops us down into the red. You start out with a business idea but you immediately think that so-and-so makes more money than me, is smarter than me, has more education, is better at… You know the drill. As soon as you do this, you want to become awake or conscious that you’ve fallen into this trap. Next, you want to have your affirmations ready. Affirmations are personal to you and are required to be a form of fitted self-talk for when we face doubts and fears. These phrases are relatable and resonate with our own soul. We want to impress our subconscious mind in believing that the affirmations we are reciting is our truth. And we seem to do a better job of it when we are feeling good and flying high! We want to reprogram the subconscious mind and tell it what to think when we affirm. What are we reprogramming the mind from? Negative energy. It is true that someone is better, smarter or richer than us? No! What does that prove? Nothing! Those thoughts divert us from our goals and don’t serve us positively.

I write out affirmations in a notebook and on recipe cards. I change them up every few months. Whenever I hear one I like, I will jot it down, sit with it for a few days to reflect on it before I make sure it is worthy enough to be placed in my stock. I read these affirmations every morning before I start my day and again every night I marinate my brain with these phrases before I fall asleep. There are days I wake up and I know immediately that I need to work a little harder at keeping my thoughts on track.

If you take the time to find them, write them out and read them daily, I promise you that it will change your life. But you have to be consistent for at least 40 days. You may even notice changes in your mood or mental well-being rapidly, or things just working out easily to your advantage in just a day or so. I have affirmations that are related to health, wealth, love and career. You want to get so good at having these that doubts don’t even have time to creep into your daily life.

You can create your own but if you seem to have trouble coming up with any an idea for your own affirmations, you can find them in older books from new thought authors. There are also many terrific writers or yogis to name a few. Florence Scovel Shinn is one of my favorites when it comes to affirmations. She wrote a book called The Game of Life and How to Play it. Some of her phrases may seem a little dated because of the words that were used in the early 1900’s. Here are a few examples of my favorites that came across from others who inspired me that I would like to share that I have used in the past or am using now.

  • Today is going to be a great day! Every day I get better and better at what I do.
  • I always have great opportunities presented to me and that I take them.
  • I light up a room when I walk into it.
  • I am excited for the future!
  • I am healthy, strong and I love the muscles in my arms.
  • I ignore everything that does not serve me positively.
  • I easily communicate with everyone that I come in contact with. I find connections in many people. People know exactly what to say to me and I’m able to respond to them appropriately.
  • Everything I touch turns to gold. I always earn money easily.
  • I always get what I want.
  • I am able to focus on my vision. I attract people and circumstances that are in line with my vision.

So no more feel good catch phrases to cover up what was festering below the surface. When you start to go down that path of self doubt, you will be able to catch yourself quicker and rather than self-deprecate, you will uplift yourself. Still not on board with this whole thing? I get it, I wasn’t either. It seems to out there to try. It’s a small price to pay to feel empowered. It’s here when you are ready and when you take the time to invest in yourself, will see a difference in your feelings and your environment.

Reach out to me if you need help in creating some affirmation for yourself. I hope this helps you! Until next time!

Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Auto Suggestion

In my yoga practice, I like to include a muscle relaxation and auto suggestion technique to help with relaxing the body before the final relaxation of Savasana. For those that don’t practice yoga, Savasana is the final resting pose at the end of almost every yoga practice. Lying on your back, arms at the side, palms facing up and feet are hip width apart. This allows the body to take in all the benefits of your practice into muscle memory, mind and nervous system. It allows the physical body and nervous system to return to your baseline. After an intense class, Savasana is the cherry on top and to be still for a brief moment before starting your busy day or after a long day exhausting day of work.

This piece that I’m sharing with you today takes less than 10 minutes and is particularly a great task to complete before bedtime. This practice lowers blood pressure. When you can control your breathing; your mind will relax, your heart rate will follow. Tensing and releasing your muscles is a great letting go exercise to gauge the significant difference in the way your muscles feel before tensing the body and after. Mentally telling your body to relax is a great way to get your body to listen. So give yourself the gift of relaxation, find a quiet spot and click on this link and listen to these instructions in finding stillness in the body.

Miami, Florida February 2020

If you are still having trouble trying to relax during this piece, for example: your mind races or you start to fidget or have restless legs, try and stick with it until the end. It may not feel like it’s working because your body is trying to fight something new. Give it 40 days. Forty days is what is takes for a new habit to form. Remember this only takes less than 10 minutes. That is not a lot of time. I know you can overcome this quarrel within after a few tries.

What is Reticular Activating System (RAS)?

What is RAS? Is it something you can find in your car? No. It is the Reticular Activating System. Did I lose you? Hang with me, I know this sounds like it might be a boring topic but before you click away, here is a little something to think about that will make big changes. I promise that after hearing more, this will be a game changer on self-improvement, you will have a better understanding on the way you think the way you do. It’s also a foundation to help you in having a better relationship with self and how you can use it to your advantage.

By definition the RAS is a bundle of nerves at our brainstem that filters out unnecessary information so “the important” stuff gets through. The RAS finds information that validates your beliefs. Yes, this is a real thing. The last sentence in the definition is the sentence that I’m particularly interested in explaining, the RAS finds information that validates your beliefs.

I know you’ve experienced your RAS because just this fall it worked for me too. I bought a new car, I always wanted a Volvo. I remember driving around in my friend’s old car that his parent gave to him. Other than that I never really paid attention to the car. In fact, I honestly don’t think I ever really saw one the road. As soon as I purchased mine I see Volvos EVERYWHERE! I think that every 3rd car I pass on the road is a Volvo.

How I can best explain this: 1.) think a thought. 2.) give thought importance or dismiss it. 3.) if thought is important, one starts to look around in environment for proof behind thought for evidence. 4.) once evidence is found, one verifies the thought is true. 5.) now one sees proof everywhere and believes this thought. This process can happen over time or very quickly for anything. So choose wisely what you want to believe about yourself, others, situations or things for it will manifest.

When the RAS and your subconscious mind work together this truly can either be a detriment or a benefit to you. Remember here we talked about the difference between your conscious and subconscious mind? Here is where we learned the subconscious mind is agreeable to suggestions and can accepts thoughts as true and proceed with results. So what happens when you have been thinking a thought for so long, you have proof everywhere but you want to stop the belief in its tracks. For example; let’s just say you hate your job. Finding proof everywhere to back this statement up can be everywhere from the way you see your coworkers and upper management, to the daily tasks. What if you flipped the switch? I’m not saying to tell yourself you love your job if you don’t believe it. Denial doesn’t work out either. Your brain will reject that thought immediately. You can start saying to yourself, “things aren’t so bad. “I like that I have a place to go to and spend my time every day.” “I do like to talk to this person.” These general statements make it easier to find reasons to make situations tolerable and make something more believable.

How about your confidence? What kind of things do you believe about you? Let’s stop believing in your unworthiness or the blocks that are holding you back from your success and start looking for evidence of how amazing you are. You can be, do or have anything you want! This is how you can get affirmations or autosuggestions to work for you. Next time we will talk on finding the right affirmation that is tailored to you and you can easily use the RAS.

If you would like to talk more about this, write to me. There are books you can purchase that discuss the RAS in detail. I truly hope this helps you. Until next time!

Mental Diet

Most people I speak with think they have a positive mindset but in reality, when they start talking, especially about themselves, they don’t talk highly of their character. We can’t help it because we’ve let our self-talk get off track and become careless for too long. By self-talk, I mean the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that enter and exit our mind all day every day and being able to guide them when doubts and fear slink in. These are thoughts you never speak out loud. Your thoughts determine your attitude. Your attitude about oneself shapes your behavior and the lifestyle that you live. Really think about this and ask yourself these questions: “How do I view the world?’ “How do I view myself in it?” “How do I see others and interact with them in this world?”

Have you ever considered a mental diet? This term was first coined by new thought authors, Neville Goddard and Emmet Fox. This is a lifestyle change and with any behavioral change, it’s going to take some persistence. Start by paying attention to how your feel so that you can habitually rewire your brain and choose positive thoughts over the negative. Redirect your thoughts. Self-soothing and constantly check in with yourself throughout the day in how you are feeling emotionally. And finally, allow yourself the time. This shift doesn’t happen overnight. It could take months. In the end, it’s worth the work to get back on track about how you think of yourself and feel fantastic! Let’s get yourself out of feeling like you’re “the victim mentality” to start the process.

Having a daily routine of reciting affirmations when first waking and right before falling asleep reinforces positive self-talk. Keeping a set of affirmations that ring true to you, I happen to keep affirmations on a set of notecards by my bed and continue to read them as I get ready for my day. We will talk about affirmations in the weeks to come. Don’t find affirmations that are empty, lacking or unconvincing. Pick ones that are believable, that really resonate with you, making you feel good. I also made the intention to change these affirmations out every 60 days so that I don’t get bored AND I can take feeling confident to the next level. Somedays if your mood is heavy, you have to be more diligent in the process of positive self-talk until you start to feel a shift within. Having affirmations are like complimenting yourself as you would complement your best friend. Some examples of affirmations I used when I first started were really generic. “Things always work out for me. I always get what I want. Today is going to be a good day. People like me and I like them.” As you grow into them, changing them up to: “People respect me and my time. Everything I touch turns to gold. Money comes to me easily. I light up a room when I walk in.”

Don’t forget that it’s easy to slip back into the pattern of negative self-talk and where you may especially become unaware is when driving, maybe even cooking a meal, taking a shower or possibly right before you fall asleep. Just be aware of these times so that you can catch it quickly and turn it around.

Comparatively speaking to a food diet, we have an endless amount of food to choose from to nourish our bodies but you don’t eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just like we can have an endless bank of thoughts. So why would you allow yourself to have a fearful thought on repeat all day long? What if you hated ice cream but you still ate it for breakfast, lunch and dinner because someone told you that you had to. That would be equivalent to thinking a thought that someone told you were not smart because you didn’t go to college. Sure you could look for reasons to prove this statement true but are you going to actually believe something that dumb? Don’t get off track and put any meaning behind anyone else’s opinion. They are always speaking from their best interest, not yours.

To have a healthy mental diet you have to constantly stay focused in the beginning. Becoming aware of your self-talk can make you hyper focused and that is exhausting. Try to be somewhere in the middle of the two extremes and don’t beat yourself up. In fact, reward yourself when you do catch a negative thought creep in. Don’t become scared of them, just be aware. Look at the bigger picture, the goal is to make these positive changes stay. Take baby steps, don’t run it like a marathon. I believe in you! I know that you will no longer let doubts and fears take hold of you. When you begin to believe great things about yourself, you will invite so may amazing opportunities in to match that. And remember; redirect, redirect, redirect, redirect again.

Processing Our Feelings

How lucky are we humans to feel emotions? We take this ability for granted, especially when feeling negative emotions that are so strong and intense. Our emotions are formed when a feeling comes in contact with a thought because of a circumstance. (check out Brooke Castillo and her coaching model.) A thought is ALWAYS neutral but we begin to attach a feeling to it. That is when the thought becomes charged either + or -. So often people want to stop experiencing negative emotions altogether because it’s so painful to feel them. I even once googled; how can I stop feeling negative emotions forever. It’s impossible, as long as you’re alive and living here on this Earth. I had the belief that if I felt a negative emotion, there was something wrong with me for feeling that way, guilt would creep in. If any of this resonates with you, I’m here to tell you that you are not alone. You’re going to appreciate feeling strong emotions, especially if they feel bad. Why? Because you can and that’s what is so amazing about it all if you think about it. Emotions are indicators to your preferences in life. They are to be felt and then you take that information and make a judgement. You can either keep repeating that situation and get the same negative outcome or you can adjust within yourself (not manipulate) the situation until you get the emotion you want to feel. I am going to tell you the four different ways that we process our emotions. Because of society, we are never really taught how this works and just end up following what everyone else does. I will explain why it’s best to eventually surrender and how to let it all go so you are not stuck with them. If you want to learn more on this, please read the book Letting Go by David R Hawkins, MD. PhD.

Express emotions. We express by venting the situation to someone or acting it out. By doing this, some pressure from the feeling is released but the rest of that emotion gets stored in our unconscious mind. Positive examples to express: write it out and then trash it, going to the gym to work out or talk with a therapist, someone who is indifferent to your circumstance.

Avoid or escape the emotion. So many ways we can avoid feeling emotions are eating, drinking alcohol, drugs, shopping or watching tv to name a few. This is where we fall unconscious to taking our direct attention away from the inside feeling, and directing it outwards by taking out our phones and scrolling through social media for a distraction when we feel anxious. Positive examples to escape: go to a movie, volunteer or help someone in need, give someone a call and ask them how they are doing.

Suppress. We are holding onto our emotions and pushing them deep so no one sees it. We are feeling them but because of the current situation you may be in, you cannot appropriately express or avoid them in that moment. This is considered a conscious choice because we are aware of them but we need to do something so we push them down, way down. An example as to when you might have to suppress: With a group of people and holding back from yelling at them in anger. Or punching someone, no matter how justified it may be.

Repression. This action goes into our unconscious mind. Remember when I said earlier that when you express those feeling and eventually the rest of them get stored? Well, here they are hiding and this is where trauma is built up in the body. When an emotion is not fully expressed, it’s then eventually repressed and shows up in physical ailments such as pain in the body, diabetes or even insomnia. Or another example is when an emotion can also show up at a time when it’s inappropriate. The emotion came from “out of the blue”. You may simply be eating a quiet, peaceful meal at home with family, something may trigger you and the next thing you know you are bawling your eyes out leaving yourself and everyone baffled.

Letting go of our emotion. Surrender, relaxing in to it or better said let it be. Whatever words ring true with you. In Dr. Hawkins book, Letting Go, he discusses our letting go mechanism in full detail. But what is explained by him in his book is doing these 3 simple things: 1.) acknowledge the feeling. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is inside and where this is felt in the body. It’s possible that you may feel guilt for having that particular feeling. You will want to so badly push the emotion away or add guilt on top of that feeling. Don’t do that. Once you feel it and don’t start to put any thought into feeling it, then 2.) let it be and ignore the thoughts or questions that you may ask yourself that you try to attach to the emotion. Finally ask yourself, 3.) “Am I willing to let this (grudge or emotion) go so that I can experience something even better?” There is a good chance your answer will be a no but be okay with that. You will come around to saying yes. You will not want to live in misery forever. We do not like to let things go because it hurts our ego or our identity. But you will know when you’ve released the emotion because it will no longer feel sticky to you or you feel indifferent to what happened. You will feel freer or as if a weight was lifted from you.

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Keep in mind, when an emotionally charged situation first happens, you do not have to use the letting go process immediately. You may feel something so overwhelming like a death or a loss, so trying to surrender in that moment is not expected. It can be done in a time when you are feeling ready to let it go or when the emotion is a little less intense. We process feelings differently, express and avoiding your emotions may be the appropriate way for the moment, just try not to stay there for too long.

If you have any more questions, please email me. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this. I truly hope you are all doing well this week and until next time!