A Plea for Real Connection on Social Media

A Plea for Real Connection on Social Media

2/2/16 — One of the things I don’t like about social media is that it can be a platform of perfection.

We’re all naturally inclined to share content that shows us in our very best light. On one hand there’s something to appreciate about that—sharing things we’re proud of is beautiful!

But when only share that stuff, it creates a false “perfect” reality. To be clear, I’m not pointing fingers. I do this.

And, I find that even when I’m in a happy place, scrolling through peoples’ feeds can make me feel oddly stalkerish, judgmental, and small. When I’m not in a good place, forget it.

This doesn’t mean I think we should start unleashing our inner demons on Facebook, or stop sharing the good stuff. But it has made me realize that there’s probably room for me at least to be more open and honest in what I post.

So instead of getting all dolled up for today’s video, I’m showing up the way I often look when I’m at home writing. I’m not wearing makeup, and I haven’t brushed my hair.  I still haven’t showered from yoga, and while I obviously like cleaning up and looking nice (that’s real too), this is the way I look quite often. Not my best.

By sharing this, I hope to contribute to making social media more real (and less destructive), and I hope to connect with you. I definitely feel exposed, but it’s said that vulnerability is crucial for genuine connection, and genuine connection is what gives our lives meaning and joy! More and more, genuine connection is the essence of what I want in life–in social media too.

So while we may or may not be real-life friends, I hope this helps you see me. I would like to see you too. Through this incredible platform we can uplift, inspire, and add joy and meaning to each others’ lives from a world away! (It was actually someone else’s post–who I don’t even know–this inspired this!)

Tell me what you think. I can speak from experience that being real isn’t comfortablebut maybe if we all release some of our image consciousness, an ironically more perfect world will appear.

Stop Getting in Your Own Way

How To Get Out of Our Own Way

1/27/16 — A major barrier to feeling like the best version of ourselves is that we tend to get in our own way!

I study a spiritual text called A Course in Miracles which is based on universal spiritual themes. A Course says that our highest potential—the best version of ourselves—is who we naturally are. It says that we were born with gifts…a purpose…perfectly whole… perfectly loving…meant to be happy, but we get in our own way.

We often block that divine potential because of the way we think.

A Course says there are two ways in which we can view the world—through love or fear. On the loving side we withhold judgement (which is inherently negative and erroneous because it’s based on veiled and limited perspectives), we see the glass as half full, and experience happiness and peace. On the fear side there’s judgement, anger, self-doubt, irritation, and all afflictive response. In any given situation we have a choice as to which lens to use, and that choice determines the trajectory of our lives.

A Course in Miracles says that every thought creates form on some level. Loving thoughts produce positive effects. They lead us toward that divine potential where relationships are healthy, we feel meaning, joy, purpose, etc. Fear-based thoughts manifest the other way.

So here’s how we can work with this.

Whenever anything comes up that ruffles your feathers, be mindful, and say to yourself “I am willing to see this differently.” Just that willingness starts to break down barriers and open our hearts; that willingness is a loving choice.

This is a simple point but it’s not easy (to remember or implement in the heat of the moment). It requires faith, but I find faith is always rewarded.

A Course says miraculous things can start to unfold as we move in this direction. I’d say that’s worth a try.

Increa$e your Value

Increa$e Your Value

1/19/16 — Money can be a major source of stress.

It can keep us up at night. It can tear relationships apart. It can impact health.

But money itself isn’t “good” or “bad.” It’s a tool for living our lives, and it can also be a tool for growing more conscious. That’s how I want to talk about it today.

The way we interact with money is the way we interact with everything.

My yoga teacher says all the time: “the way we do anything is the way we do everything.”

If we’re quick to be reactive, stressed, and frantic with money, we are probably quick to be that way in relationships, with work, food, you name it.

This is useful to know because once we see how we show up, we suddenly have a choice. And we can change.

Change can happen fluidly (and in several areas at once) when we remember this one simple but remarkably important point: what we get reflects what we give.

To get more value we have to give more value and to do that, we first have to know that we’re valuable.

A lot of us have moments of this, but we don’t live this way. So to weave it more into my own way of being, I’m doing a new exercise in my journal at night.

I breathe deeply and feel for physically relaxing as I write: “I release my judgments.” Then I write three reasons why I am valuable.

Generally one of my entries has to do with being a child of God and therefore inherently valuable. Then I tend to put a few things that make me proud.

It’s important to be willing to release judgments—about ourselves and others—because those are what block us from recognizing our value (a common example of this is judging others with money, either for how they spend it, how they acquire it, or whether they deserve it; a critical eye is the opposite of an abundant spirit!).

So open your heart, see your value, and do this for 21 days. That’s the number I typically often see when it comes to shifting habits and perspectives.

I hope you will give this a try with me. I’m willing to bet it will add an air of prosperity to our finances, and more.

The Scoop on Poop

The Scoop on Poop

1/12/16 — This isn’t the prettiest topic, but you can’t feel your best if your poop if out of whack!

This came up at a workshop I did over the weekend, so I started doing some research. Here’s the shit that spoke to me most.

First of all, a good poop is light brown, not overly smelly, well-formed/shaped like a snake, comes out easily, makes you feel complete when you’re done, and floats.

Paul Chek, author of How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!, says the average person should pass 12 inches a day.

If your poops aren’t quite there, try this:

  1. Eat fiber. Specifically raw organic fruits and veggies.
  2. Eat healthy fats. Don’t overdo this stuff, but think free-range animals, eggs, wild fish, avocados, and high-quality oils (not heated above their respective smoke points).
  3. Drink water. Chek says when we are dehydrated, our bodies draw water out of our colons (which means poop is diminished and our systems get nourished by what’s essentially poop water–not good).
  4. Consume probiotics to nourish the bugs in your gut that produce those pretty poops.
  5. Relax. Poop gets messed up when we’re stressed. Even a minute of deep breathing can help regulate things (as you do that, be mindful—especially if you have issues with constipation—of where you may be holding onto things mentally and emotionally too. Consider where you could bring more ease or loosen up overall. May as well improve flow all around!).

I hope these tips move you.

 

Take “Just” Out of your Vocabulary

Take “Just” Out of your Vocabulary

1/5/16 — The closest thing I have to a resolution this year is to stop saying “just.”

Unless I’m relaying something that “I just did 5 seconds ago,” I want to stop using the word when it pertains to anything about myself.

After recently watching an old TV appearance where I seemed to say “just” in every other sentence (“this is just some whole wheat pasta;” “just stir this for 5 minutes;” “you just need to shred the cheese…”), it started to feel like nails on a chalkboard.

But it wasn’t just annoying. I realized that I was constantly downplaying what I had to offer. I was minimizing myself.

It reminded me of an old frie who used to leave voicemails saying “Hi, it’s just me…” It’s not the most direct way of saying “I don’t matter” but that’s definitely implied.

So in 2016 my goal is to stop these subtle digs. My fiancé and I make it a priority to speak highly about each other. I want to do that for me too. Words matter. Life reflects what we say.

I hope you will consider making this adjustment with me. It seems small but it represents, and I think can help trigger, a giant leap in our lives.

Let’s make 2016 more than just another year.

Do This When You Lose Stuff

Do This When You Lose Stuff

12/22/15 — This is my dad’s work ID. Now it’s in his man station (think purse in basket form). A few minutes ago its whereabouts was unknown, he was stressed, and everyone in his vicinity was on edge too. IMG_2061-1

Losing stuff sucks. We’ve all been there. As I helped dad retrace his steps, I got to thinking about how best to handle conundrums of this nature. Turns out, it’s just like handling anything else.

It’s natural to get riled up, defensive, frustrated, and even pissed at yourself when you lose your marbles (respectively), but that probably just prolongs the problem. It’s not easy to step out of the emotional abyss, but it’s essential. That can always start with a deep breath. It’s a way to step back, unplug, and immediately become more mindful.

Then take accountability. It can be tempting to blame someone else. Dad insisted mom moved his badge. It’s like when I recently slammed my fiancé’s car door on my fingers and in the heat of the moment I wanted to bite his head off. Not productive. Deep breath.

And one final tip–ask for help. Mainly I mean say a prayer. Ask for the highest form of help there is! Then, assuming you’ve already taken your deep breath and accountability, perhaps consider asking someone to accompany you in retracing your steps. Their prodding and the extra set of eyes can make a difference.

In the end we found Dad’s badge in less than 20 minutes. Not bad for a life lesson.