Holiday Tips to Help You Get Through

The holidays are officially here! Bring on the pumpkin pie! This time is filled with delicious foods, fun gatherings and cozying up by the fire place. It’s also a time to spend with our family and friends.

While we love our family and friends, sometimes getting everyone together can bring out the best and worst in people. You may find tensions bubbling over like gravy on the stove. Don’t worry, here are a few tips to get you through so you don’t boil over:

  • Don’t expect other people to change, it sets you up for disappointment. People are creatures of habit. Eliminate from your thoughts, “hoping,” “maybe,” “hopefully..” Your 70 year old racist Uncle is 70, he’s not changing. Accept him for who he is.
  • You’re the one who has changed. Pat yourself on the back.
  • Laugh at the uncomfortable moments.
  • If you need a breather, excuse yourself to the restroom for a few minutes or get some fresh air. This really helps, especially when things get extra weird. You can go to your car and scream. That sounds liberating.
  • Go easy on the libations. Seriously. Inhibitions go out the window with a little too much vino.
  • Buy pre-made sides, put them in a casserole dish. Act natural. No one will know. Many markets set up holiday dinner packs that you can order ahead of time. You can order something nice for around $200. Costco even sells sides. Cooking, eating healthy and entertaining are my jam but it’s not in me this year. My Dad passed away, work has been crazy and of course with death there is a lot of “extra.” Making all the things just doesn’t sound fun. Honestly if you’re feeling pulled in every direction, it’s not a bad idea to cater your meal. Your kitchen won’t be a mess, you’ll be able to rest and you’ll be able to enjoy your day off. It’s called self preservation my friends. You can sleep in, go for a walk, or do some yoga.
  • Did someone say stretchy pants? Athletisure is really a game changer. Obviously there is a lot of enjoying that goes on with the holidays, why be uncomfortable? But DON’T get into the habit of wearing stretchy pants all winter…..you won’t notice if your skinny jeans become too small. Been there done that.

Hopefully you find the tips to be helpful and a little humorous. Most importantly take care of yourself. Make sure you rest on your days off. Your time is valuable.

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Your End of Summer To Do List

butterflyI think we can all agree that is has been a really odd year. I’ve been feeling pretty stagnate like I want some big change. I sure got some big change when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer in the middle of June and died five weeks later. His death ignited a fire in me and while I’m grieving I also realize I need to make some change happen. Death can ignite change. I’ll write more about grieving in another article. I’m sad and bummed that my Dad died, I really do hate that he died but I’ve accepted it and I’ve also used his death as my fire.

I’ve been writing this blog for awhile now putting down recipes and thoughts so I can express myself and also keep a place for all these ideas I come up with. My Dad’s death in a way was symbolic of a chapter closing and a new one opening up. Shortly after his death we experienced the solar eclipse, I think we can all say the solar eclipse was a metaphor for a chapter closing and another one opening up.

Really we can ignite change and create new chapters every day when we wake up or when we go to sleep. I’ve had a million things buzzing around in my head lately. In particular things that I want out of life. All those thoughts started to make me anxious and made me feel overwhelmed. I looked at those things that I want out of life and simplified it – these are action items. At work, I have an ongoing task list for all my action items. So I decided to write down the things out of life that I want just as I would my task list for work, a to-do list, or a grocery list. While this is a small gesture, I organized my thoughts and only wrote down the things that I want to happen.

Any gesture whether it small or large, symbolic or actionable can ignite change.

Take a few moments to write down some things you would like to do for yourself. It doesn’t matter what it is. These can be work goals, spiritual goals, health goals, savings goals, travel goals, anything and in any order. Do not deny yourself of it. Spend some time with that list, put it on your fridge, save it in your phone or put it in a journal. Come back to it often.

Believe that everything you put down on that list will happen. It may not happen in the exact order you want it to. The timing may seem slow or like it’s never ever going to happen – but keep on believing in that list and above all keep believing in yourself.

You can take it a step further and manifest the list, allowing yourself to feel joyful and fulfilled when you think about all the wonderful things you are welcoming into your life.

 

How do we return to our natural state of grace?

As human beings, we have free will. We have a choice and the ability to return to our natural state of grace. When we are born, we are full of infinite love, no fabricated self-limitations, just pure love. However, for the most part, not by anyone’s fault, we are exposed to all sorts of things, good and bad – it’s part of life’s journey. We have all observed, listened and have heard stories rooted in fear and naturally start to absorb that information and believe it is our truth. Little by little, we move further away from our natural state of grace, rooted in love and for self-preservation, we move closer to survival mode, rooted in fear. A Course in Miracles says, “ If a mind perceives without love, it perceives an empty shell and is unaware of the spirit within.”The mind is a source of information; it is not the source of our spirit.

While on planet Earth, everything has to have a happy ending – or else it will keep happening.  

“Atonement uproots the source of fear,” ACIM. We must make amends in order to stop the cycle and return to our natural state of grace. As we make amends with our self,  the source of fear is uprooted. Making amends returns us back to our natural state of grace, which is rooted in love.

Trust in the magic of the Universe.

Once we trust in the magic of the Universe, and give ourselves permission to make amends, and uproot fear, we have opened up the pathway to let love into our lives and return to our natural state of grace.

Just realizing that disconnected feeling is the first step to returning to our natural state of grace. Second, is realizing we have a choice, third, is making amends, fourth is trusting in the magic of the Universe. None of this happens over night, for a few lucky people out there it might, for the most part it’s a continual practice of self-reflection.

 

Unplugging is Good for You

As ambitious individuals, we want to do our best, earn that promotion, get that raise, close that deal or learn that new skill; but it’s going to be a lot harder to kick ass and take names if you’re burnt out.

If you’re not sleeping, having a tight jaw or your shoulders are pretty much at your ears all day everyday — your body and mind are telling you to unplug. Some other signs telling you it’s time for a break include, making little mistakes you normally wouldn’t make, everything seeming just really difficult, being creatively blocked or you simply hate everything (and everyone).

You may have anxiety about taking time off, or are afraid you’re going to miss out at work (hello FOMO!!). According to an article in Scientific American, “downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance.” And if you’re dealing with an anti-vacation manager, you might want to share the article with them.

So taking a break isn’t a bad thing. Quieting your mind and stepping away from the day to day is advantageous to your success. You’ll come back refreshed with a clear mind and new ideas.

 

What the Funk? How to get out of your funk.

For the past two days I’ve been feeling less than. Kinda like shit to be honest. At first I wasn’t sure why because I went down the vortex and started getting all blue and anxious. Everyone has the tendency to get in a funk. It happens, we’re human. Everyone also has the ability to pull themselves out of a funk.

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When this happens to me, there are a few things I do to get out of it. Not dismiss it, just allow it to happen and move on from it in a healing way.

I sit with the experience, then start to unpack it and make sure to be honest with myself.

So recently I got caught in the comparison game. It happens, I’m human.  I went down the vortex – it was a combo of self deprecation, jealousy, and paranoia. Real dark. Went next level and told myself and believed it for a minute that I’m going to be broke, poor, unsuccessful and my coaching and energy healing business isn’t going to thrive. WHOA!?!? What the Funk?!??!!

Feeling like this kinda feels like a hangover! 

I sat with “it” (aka the funk) for a moment and decided it was time to clear it out. Sometimes with this stuff we can be stubborn and hold on to negative thoughts and feelings for a long time. In this case I went to bed in the funk and woke up in the funk. It was time to get out of the funk.  Taking a few deep breathes, I “looked” around at the funk and visualized what it looked like and where it was in my body.  Being able to sit with it, locate it and visualize it helps unpack the funk, which is ultimately someone else’s story.  Then, I asked myself,  to think about what triggered me. Who around me was feeling like they are broke, unsuccessful, and not good enough?  I asked myself if these feelings I was having were these persons? I asked myself if I wanted to hold onto these feelings? Obviously no! Then I gave myself permission to wash those feelings away and let them go, knowing that they aren’t mine. I then told myself what I needed to hear. I call this the nurturing cup of tea moment.

Throughout the day, I try to do nice things for myself. Listening to music, opening the windows, buying flowers, engaging in a hobby, getting outside, sweating a little bit. It keeps the momentum. I also will give myself permission throughout the day to release the energy that is not mine.

The mind is like a computer, it freezes and needs to be restarted. 

So when this happens to you and hopefully it doesn’t, here are some tips to get through the funk:

  1. Be nice to yourself.
  2. Sit with the funk.
  3. Be honest with yourself – admit if you’re feeling jealous or angry, it’s okay, you’ve gotta be honest with yourself. No one is going to hear your inner dialogue.
  4. Breathe.
  5. Know it’s totally temporary and your mind is a generator of information.
  6. Unpack the feelings. Ask yourself if the feeling was familiar? Ask yourself, who were you around that might have been feeling that way? Don’t feel guilty if it’s your spouse, mom, best friend – it’s okay. Everyone has a tendency to pick up other peoples energy without realizing it. It happens. The key is to ID it and wash it away.
  7. Give yourself permission to wash it away.
  8. Ask yourself how you want to feel.
  9. Give yourself that nurturing cup of tea, the pep talk, the caring words.
  10. Do something nice for yourself – a cup of coffee, a walk, a hobby, listening to music.

You’ve got this! It’s going to be okay!!!!

It’s Retrograde Season

Retrograde season is upon us, which means we’re heading into Spring with longer days, more sunshine and warmer weather (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). In the southern hemisphere, it’s time to nest, go inward and appreciate the shorter days. As the planets move into retrograde, take a look around you and become aware of yourself. Being mindful of your actions or reactions is a step towards upgrading your life.

The Universe has always been in a constant state of change as have we — which makes life so special. Think back to where you were in life 10 years ago, what are you still holding on to, what have you let go of? Personal growth goes beyond the material and the tangible accomplishments, it goes beyond the career, the car, the house, the balance in your bank account or value of your stocks. Sure all that stuff is nice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with setting yourself up. However, in order to fully enjoy all that stuff, you must be okay with you. All that stuff does not define you. You the whole wonderful being that you are, goes beyond the material.

Retrograde is a time of self-reflection, of really paying attention to what’s serving you and what’s not serving you. What seems to be working and what doesn’t. Have you given yourself permission to let go of any feelings that are no longer serving you? If not, have you asked yourself how those feelings are serving you?

Do You Really Like Waking Up Grumpy?

cropped-melissa-cover-e1458245750766.jpgDo you find yourself waking up in a bad mood on a daily basis? Are you making excuses such as  – “I’m a night owl” or “I feel better after I take a shower?” Have your housemates, spouse or family commented commented on this? Do you even like waking up every day in a bad mood? Well you’re not alone. It seems with all the stress in our lives, due to more information, striving, paying bills, getting good grades and a million other things, we can get bummed out pretty easily.

There was awhile I was waking up super bummed, day in and day out, after awhile, I was over it. I noticed waking up depressed or in a bad mood really set the stage for the day and didn’t make it any easier. The outside stressors were controlling my life, I didn’t want that. Not to mention, how could I possibly achieve my dreams by starting off the day with a bad attitude? I was painting a negative picture, projecting and that was keeping me further away from my dreams. So, I decided to take some action and turn it around.

Here’s the thing, you don’t have to wake up grumpy every single day. Plus — if you become more aware of your morning attitude, those who live with you won’t have to work overtime to work around it. You probably didn’t think about how your bad mood affects the people who interact with you in the morning. It does. The energy projects.

What if – instead of waking up wanting to hide under a rock and mope around like Grumplestilskins – you wake up, keep your eyes closed and breathe in some stillness around you? Just allowed yourself to breathe. Breathe. BREATHE. Then what if you allowed yourself to feel that wonderful calm morning air? And experience the cool, still morning light, then listen to the symphony outside your window of birds chirping or if you live in an urban environment, the buzz of the city? That doesn’t sound so bad. It’s calming and very nurtuing. As you really sense it and allow it to be just as it is, start to think about everything you are grateful for, that bed you’re sleeping in, the covers that are covering you, your pillow, your ability to breathe, the fact that you are able to wake up and experience the day and so on. Say some nice things to yourself. Then, set an intention for the day. What ever you do – DON’T LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. Looking at your phone, automatically induces stress hormones. You’re trying to mitigate your stress in this morning routine and stress is the reason you’re waking up in a bad mood.

We’re human and I do not discredit things that come up in life that may cause you to wake up totally bummed out. Especially as we get older, the stressors can get super intense. Trust me — I’m talking from experience here. There are plenty, PLENTY of things that have caused me and cause me to wake up bummed. I sit with it, embrace it, but then I start to focus on gratitude and all the things in my life that are going well.

This is a small way of finding peace and balance in your life. It’s also an opportunity to bring awareness into your life. Think about it, how would you feel if your sig other or housemates were waking up in a foul mood day in and day out? You would dread it. It’s an extra layer no one really wants to deal with in the morning. Spending time with yourself and cultivating a joyful, grateful feeling is a way to minimize the stressful clutter in your life.