Ellen's book will strengthen and guide you in your role as caregiver to an elder parent or relative, and help you understand your own physical, emotional, mental & spiritual needs.
Daily Coaching Practices Category
Previously I’ve written that things seem to be moving faster for most of us now.
Here are some ideas & tips for balancing yourself, to reduce your stress and to limit the amount of tension you develop in your body-mind. You can cherry pick the ones that work for you:
- Breathe in through your nose slowly & deeply. Hold just as long as it’s comfortable, then exhale slowly for as long as you can. Repeat twice.
- Take 5-15 minutes at the beginning, middle & end of your day to sit quietly, simply watching your breath. Brush random thoughts away with an imaginary broom.
- Be in nature as much as possible. Even a 3 minute stroll will make a difference.
- Lie on the grass under a tree. Kids know this is nurturing & healing & it’s actually an Ayurvedic (Indian) Medicine exercise.
- If you feel overloaded, make a list of your chores/duties. Without monitoring, cross off the ones that either:
- Don’t really need to be done
- Can be done later
- Can be performed by someone else.
- Stretch for 3-5 minutes each day.
- Walk for a few minutes daily.
- Find something funny to laugh at as often as you can.
Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyful holiday season.
* Fill yourself with the company of loving family and friends
* Spend plenty of quality time alone
* Soak up nature
* Enjoy your favourite books and movies
* Give of your time or money to those in need
This prayer was sent to me by a friend recently. I’ve found several slightly different versions of it; each one says “Author Unknown”. Hope it speaks to you as it does me.
“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.”
We live in a changing world and we’re all being called on to make significant changes in the way we approach our lives today.
The term “downsizing” is bandied around a lot. In the conventional use of the word, it’s something we do when we no longer need or are able to manage the amount of space we have. Couples do it when the kids have left; our parents may downsize due to physical limitations.
I would like to put a different spin on the word downsizing, to talk about downsizing our lives…making them simpler, more refined, clearer and cleaner.
How to do this? It’s an individual thing, of course; we’re the only ones who can decide how we want to live our lives. If we want simplicity in our life, want to create a life that’s distilled down to what feels closer to our true selves, we can begin by looking at the areas of our lives; our work, our relationships, how we spend our time, and begin to ask ourselves if what we see reflects our integrity.
Many wise people have written and spoken about an idea that’s foreign to many of us: Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. We now have access to a different way of living, an easier way, if we use the new energy that is now available to us.
Two women whose wisdom I respect have spoken of this over the past two days in teleconferences; Judith Onley, a healer and channel for US, United Souls of Heaven and Earth, and Martha Beck, Life Coach, author and my Coaching instructor.
Both say we are adjusting to a new level of energy on the planet. Martha calls it “Up-levels that alternate with periods of exhaustion”, while Judith says we’ve been “shut-off, then on lately”, and yesterday, 11-11 was the day when a new, more powerful energy became available for us to access.
More specifically, Martha speaks of the energy increasing over the past year. She believes we’re all being ‘up-leveled’ in terms of being able to heal ourselves, each other and the planet. She herself and others are experiencing periods of incredible joy, then exhaustion, when they sleep and ‘Dream like crazy’. Then the cycle repeats itself. Martha feels like she’s getting more tuned in each time this happens; I myself would concur with that.
Judith says we’ve been shut off for the past week or more, and yesterday, on 11-11, have been plugged in again at a higher level, a much higher vibration than before; a different energy is being overlaid onto ours. This keeps happening on and off now, she says. In response to a personal question from me, Judith agreed that the shut-off could be like depression.
Here are some simple self-care ideas to help you in this time of transition; they’re a combination of Judith’s, Martha’s and my own:
- The best thing is to Breathe as we tend to constrict ourselves in the shutoff stage
- Take 1-3 deep breaths in through the nose, hold, then push the air out the mouth hard every 15 minutes
- Reconnect with yourself throughout your day – i.e. Check in with yourself, if you don’t feel good, go back to what makes you feel good
- Get fresh air several times each day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes standing on a porch
- Be easy, not rigid with yourself; we don’t need to make things so hard
- We are whatever we believe, so let’s monitor our thoughts
- Jot down what’s working for you, and what you’d like to change about your life, be it your work, relationships or pastimes
- Sleep lots; our rest periods when our minds are not working restore us; this new, lighter energy can uplift us when we sleep
- Lastly, my favorite: there are no right or wrong steps!
We’re all in this together; when we’re happy, at ease and joyful as individuals, we connect with each other more deeply, we pull together, taking our place in the world.
Every moment of every day we’re talking to ourselves – hopefully not out loud! We carry on a running dialogue, constantly thinking, giving ourselves messages every waking moment. Hundreds of words per minute pass through our minds as we go about our day.
Unfortunately much of what we say to ourselves is limiting or even negative
Most of us carry baggage from growing up – things we’ve experienced that cause us to minimize our abilities or beat ourselves up, or perhaps we’ve learned to push too hard. Added to this we have our day-to-day stresses – our careers, juggling family & work, relationship issues, perhaps perimenopause or menopause affecting our energy and emotions, elder care. I could go on and on!
Once we’re able to get these limiting messages down to a dull roar we free up an enormous amount of energy and space in ourselves. It won’t happen overnight of course, but turtle step by turtle step we can make small changes in how we think and what we believe that will, in turn, free us up to live our lives in a different way.
Women’s magazines and blog articles are always telling us to simplify our lives. They give us helpful hints on how to do so. We can simplify our thoughts also– that’s even more important. Then it’s much easier to address the other aspects of our lives.
We can choose what thoughts to accept and which to refuse. Two easy ways to do this are:
Every time we think a thought that is disempowering, limiting, or negative in any way, imagine putting that thought in a large container, then securing the lid on top of it.
Just say “STOP” to yourself when you catch yourself beating yourself up. Saying it out loud works best while you’re first training yourself, later it can be a silent “STOP”. Even if you’re in an environment where you can’t speak out loud, you can forcefully whisper the word “STOP” under your breath; it still works.
What are the limiting things you tell yourself about your life or your abilities most often? Take note of them in writing. There will be 3 or 4 things that come up over and over again. Try using the 2 simple exercises above on these core messages/beliefs.
As women we often take care of others – our families, our friends. It’s our nature and also the way many of us have been trained. Byron Katie has an important concept, that many of us find helpful (The other night when I presented the idea to my business networking group, the women embraced it wholeheartedly.)
It’s called “Whose Business Are You In? - Mine, Yours, or God’s? (To Katie anything that’s out of her control is God’s business). Katie says whenever we hurt it’s because we’re mentally out of our own business, and says: “If I’m living your life, who’s living mine? I’m not present in my own life if I live someone else’s life.”
We often feel that we know what’s best for the people we’re close to. With few exceptions (such as children who do not have the judgment to make decisions yet), thinking we know what’s best for anyone else is being out of our own business Katie says. She calls it pure arrogance, even in the name of love, and the result is tension, anxiety, and fear.
If you’re not sure, stop and ask, “Mentally, whose business am I in?” It’s very freeing. This is something we can all become aware of if we choose to; it makes a difference in our lives. Byron Katie suggests the following:
Count, in five minute intervals, how many times you are in someone else’s business mentally.
Notice when you give uninvited advice or offer your opinion about something (aloud or even silently).
Ask yourself: “Am I in their business? Did they ask me for my advice?”
Most importantly, as, “Can I take the advice I am offering and apply it to my life?”