I grew up hearing, “It’s better to give than to receive”. Giving can be a wonderful thing, especially when we give wholeheartedly, not expecting mere things to do the work of love, friendship and caring.
The beauty of aging is knowing that it is not things or experiences that are the gift. It is the love and respect you have for the receiver that becomes the gift. What is between you, family and friends is the gift. The wrapped gifts are symbols, and they are wonderful, especially when wrapped with joy and friendship, shared family, love and memories. Implied in the ribbons and paper is hope for continued meetings and memories. The past, present and future is in any and every gift, wrapped, written or spoken. Enjoy knowing that THAT is the perfect gift.
Over the years, I’ve had so many excuses for not “playing full out” in my life. I could list them—and they are likely similar to a list by anybody who has been stuck in the waiting room with me. (see “oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. suess).
You can stop. Fearing life, fearing change and staying small. It just prolongs the time in the waiting room.
You are enough, you are okay. you are a necessary part of life, no matter what you DO.
Just BE you. Just BE.
At the center of each one of us there is a part that is always connected to life. The universe is always calling, calling each one of us to be who we are. Being YOU is your gift to life and to every person you meet. And I remind myself as well as you, that learning to love and to trust is a practice. When you are willing to surrender to living fully as YOU, your heart will open to allow more possibilities for love and trust. It’s step by step, day by day. We’ll forget. And then we’ll remember. Each time we practice love for others, love for self, the light at the center of our being will shine a little brighter. Your light, your love, felt as much as seen, encourages others to shine. You may never know who responds to your light. I know that the light that has been poured on me by family and friends, someone met in a class, the check-out person at the grocery store, has created a glow for me that it is my pleasure to pass on, with trust in love and knowing that it matters…
I’m inviting grace to thanksgiving, but she never goes anywhere without gratitude.
My coaching friends and I were having a discussion about what grace is, how difficult it is to define. One of my friends said it reminded her of a supreme court justice famously saying about pornography: I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. We agreed that that sounded true for ‘grace’ (and laughed that pornography and grace were in the same discussion).
Grace can be an act; it can be a personality trait, a physical attribute. Grace, a sense of blessing unasked for, is for me indescribable. I don’t think to invite grace, but I know when I experience it; grace shows up right after gratitude is expressed. When I am noticing the beauty and wisdom of life and I am grateful for the noticing, more to be grateful for, and more of a sense of being blessed by life rises up.
But I forget. Then I remember. And it flows again.
At thanksgiving, I am grateful for this past year. Especially for the things I didn’t like, that made me uncomfortable. My fears and weaknesses. Having time to wake up a bit more, to become more conscious of what I want to offer, how I can be of more service: I am grateful for this.
Where gratitude is, grace will follow.
Monkey Mind is a Buddhist term to describe the swinging of the mind from doubt, to fear to worry and back again, like a monkey climbing from branch to branch. I learned about it in Life Coaching training and have found it a life-changing idea. This function of the brain is centered in the oldest part of our brains that was constantly scanning the horizon for danger. It is still with us, and even though we generally are not dodging tigers, it sees danger in anything new or different. This is particularly true when we are considering something that is important and meaningful to us. While everyone has Monkey Mind, the things it says to us are particular to each person. My MM very pointedly tells me I need to think long and hard about whatever it is I am thinking about attempting (a blog, for instance). It tells me I should probably first read another book about it, or take a class, or put it off until I have figured everything out. Plus, this idea will probably get hard and overwhelming and I’ll just quit, so why even start? Until I knew what this voice was, I thought it was a guiding voice and that what it said was true. IT DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING. It is the ancient voice trying to avoid anything that signals change. Once I had been made aware of this voice, I realized that Monkey Mind injected doubt or fear into any dream or goals attached to it. I had let it run things for a large part of my life, much to my regret.
The only way to deal with Monkey Mind is not to engage with it. I was taught to thank it for sharing and move forward. Trying to reason with MM only ramps up the chattering. Being clear on what it is I want to do, and why it matters to me can calm MM for a while. Remember, Monkey Mind never goes away, so don’t waste time in trying. Keep focusing on your goal, however small. Keep focusing on why it matters to you. So many dreams and ideas were put on the back burner or tossed aside because MM was telling me I should be scared, overwhelmed and questioning the whole enterprise of my life. It’s just the ancient brain worrying that I might die of embarrassment.
To move past Monkey Mind, you have to know it exists. What follows is recognizing the hysterical nature of its “voice”. Observing this without engaging with it allows us to hear the calm voice of our own wisdom encouraging the following of the dream.
Out of ignorance, I gave Monkey Mind way too much influence in my life. Listening to the scared and worried voice in my head kept me small. The world needs all of us to live to our fullest, to do what we long to do, be who we most want to be and give what is ours to give. I am willing; how about you?
“Becoming curious about everything might change your life.”
Be curious, be open, be a life-long learner; growth always comes out of these moments of exploration -big or small.
#itsapracticenotaperfect #Growth #LIVEyourBestLife #LifeCoaching #ToolsandPractices #MyCoachingForLife #DontStopExploring #Wonder #Wander #StepOutsideYourself
Positive change in life, body and soul is almost impossible unless we are willing to give up the idea that we need fixing.
#ItsAPracticeNotAPerfect #PositiveChange #LivingLife #LifeCoaching #MindBodySoul #Focus #WhereToStart #Trajectory #Shift #Life #LifeBoost #practicenotperfection #PracticesForWellbeing #LifeCoach #ExpertWithin #PracticesAndTools #SmallStepsCanBeHuge
For those a bit lost of what to do or say, especially in this time of social turmoil and pandemic, practice BEING PRESENT. It is a gift you give to yourself and whoever you are with.
#BeingIsAnAction #JustBe #BeingPresent #Listen #Support #StandTogether #WorkOnSelfToHelpOthers #BeInTheMoment #PracticesAndTools #ItsAPracticeNotAPerfect #MyCoachingForLife
Of all the wonderful qualities to demonstrate which ones would you most like to be?
Do you realize you have a choice in what you are thinking about? At any time, you can choose your focus, change your thinking to something more interesting? Pick a wonderful quality and run with it! Consciously demonstrate something positive. It could change your life! The choice of what you see in the mirror is always there... choose the good.
#MyCoachingForLife #PowerOfPositivity #DemonstrateGreatness #BeYourBestSelf #BeWonderful #LifeCoach #LifeCoaching #Attributes #LiveYourBestLife
I’ll love myself when…
I lose weight. When I stop getting angry and being so judgmental. When my body is perfect. When I find the perfect job or the perfect partner or the perfect place to live. When I finally figure it all out.
And this, more recently: “I’m not getting anything done. I thought I would use this time to get caught up on stuff at home.” “My kids aren’t doing their schoolwork; they’re falling behind.” “I’m eating crap all day long!” “I haven’t exercised for weeks.” “I’m binge-watching tv all day! I should be reading!” I’m noticing how similar all of these comments’ sound. Self-loathing and disappointment, expectations we set up for ourselves, as if we are being graded for how we are doing our own lives, as if we have some unwritten rules we have to follow. No matter what, we can easily judge ourselves as failing on some days and struggling on others. (Oh, yes “we’re all in this together!” I wouldn’t want you to, but you should see my house, my lack of writing, my lack of reading.)
Can we just…NOT? Not keep doing this to ourselves, diminishing our very being with all the judgement of every part of ourselves?
It’s very important to me to make sure that anybody reading this knows that, education and training aside, I often think I’m a mess, unfocused, not using the skills I have learned to help other people. I will not ever offer x steps to the perfect life, the perfect workout, the perfect diet, the perfect anything. It doesn’t exist except as a concept in our own minds, and in some magazines. When I remember “there is no perfect”, I automatically take a deep breath.
I KNOW, from my own experience, that hating myself never led my body or thoughts anywhere I said I wanted to go. Hate begets hate: if I hate myself, the fat on my body, the dirt on my floor, that’s all I will see. The lens of hate makes everything bigger, uglier, darker. The energy of hate keeps life stuck in an ever-widening swirl of despair. When I continue to “grade” myself based on how I think the outside might judge me, the spiral gains speed. Because I have been taught, and I practice, take a breath and shift my thinking, I have a chance to stop this hate in its tracks. This sounds simple, and it can be easy if you are willing to consider that giving yourself some love doesn’t have to be hard. As I practice this, I can smile, even laugh, at how easily I fall into self-loathing. (I’ve practiced it diligently for most of my life!). As soon as I see it, I am out of it: I can’t be in love and in hate at the same time. When I invoke some compassion for mind, body or how I’m doing life, I cannot keep on with hate. Love will always drive out hate, light will always overcome the dark. A deep breath can change a lot.
Mary is a certified Life Coach in Omaha where she enjoys reading and sharing books, taking in nature and exploring all life has to offer with her husband Kurt, and rescue dog "Scruffy".