As I sit here looking out over the mountains from my balcony, on a beautiful and sunny Calgary winter day, I find myself reflecting with love, passion, and curiosity about how our mind's work and, ultimately, how to embrace mindfulness and live your best life possible.
Fresh off a call with a client in Vancouver, I find myself feeling inspired, open, and vulnerable, which is a satisfying reminder of why I love coaching. As I continue on my own journey of growth and further depth into my own psyche, I am struck to write, explore, and play with the flow of energy I experience.
I am introspective, in the practice of observing and noticing, instead of reacting. I notice how my mind attaches to everything it sees with my eyes, but there is also a constant narration dictated with a distracted voice - reflecting on the past and projecting into the future. I also notice that there are two types of voices within this dichotomy; a positive voice and a negative voice. I am fascinated by this.
Another reason I love coaching individual's who truly desire and commit to be their best-self, is that the relationship is about inspiring each other. I am inspired by vulnerability, effort, love, creativity, curiosity, passion, and work-ethic - and I am equally passionate about leading others into this mindset. I am learning daily, moment to moment. I embrace my passion to understand the inner-workings of my mind and what it takes to create a legacy to be proud of, however big or small my ripple-effect ends up being.
I strive for balance, to explore new ventures and possibilities, and to live my life feeling exposed and real as if I am naked strolling down the street. I have found love in my platform to support others to let-go of baggage and actually live life with passion, self-love, and success overall. To do this, I need to continue digging deeper and simplify the process in a way that can be adapted to support anyone at any point in their life. As you can imagine, simplifying this process is not a simple task.
The last few threads in the tapestry have created more clarity and I would be honored to share this in the offering of my words and my experience. Take it or leave it, this practice of letting thoughts flow, connecting with breath, and playing with my philosopher-hat while I flex my happiness mind-muscle, is time well spent.
1. The sense of 'lack' is a signal. When you feel that something is missing, that there is a 'lack' of sorts, but you are not sure why, this is the ultimate distraction and cause of impulsivity, regret, and loss of control. This is a signal that you are lacking a "Happy Chemical", you are lacking clarity in something, or potentially, you just forgot something important and you subconscious is signaling a warning, which we sometimes experience as premonitions or de ja vu. Nothing mystical here, we are simply more perceptive and aware than we even realize.
**See my previous blog post about Happy Chemicals to understand this concept further**
2. The common thread in stress, anxiety, fear, playing small, swinging from one extreme to the other, or feeling victim to an unhealthy habit, is a Monkey-Mind, courtesy of the 'Elephant' (refer to The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt for the 'Elephant and Rider' metaphor). These negative feed-back loops are symptoms of listening to the "negative voice" in your mind for a long time. Your neurons have "superhighways" to cortisol-inducing emotions (cortisol = stress hormone). Which means, regardless of you knowing something isn't good for you, your will-power is "David against Goliath", 'Goliath' being the deep-rooted habit of getting attached to "stories" or stagnant in progress.
**I have a blog post a few months back about the Elephant and Rider, reference that for more details***
At the foundation, frustration arises when there is a lack of clarity or uncertainty of any kind. When we feel threatened, confused, stuck, or unprepared, we react with frustration or anger. When we allow the Monkey-Mind to control our awareness and what to focus on, we are setting ourselves up for a lot of uncertainty.
3. Choice towards change is first found in reactions. How do you react to a new day? How do you react to setbacks? How do you react when someone doesn't offer the attention or support you want? How do you react when you are angry? You get the idea. We so often lose our momentum towards a goal or fall into frustration and guilt which zaps energy that could be used to learn and grow. Choose to get curious about your reactions. Notice your thoughts and notice your actions. Do you think and behave in a way that serves you in the best way possible, whatever that means to you?
4. Let go of the emotional pendulum swing. In order to stay curious, and have energy available to change your reaction in opportune moments, you have to detach from the emotional pendulum swing the Monkey Mind gets caught up in. In these moments you need to remind yourself, "I am not my thoughts", "What makes this truth?", "What else could be true?", "Stay with my breath, in this moment, with whatever IS NOW".
5. Let go of perfection. There is no such thing. We are all perfectly imperfect. What makes us unique and vulnerable is what connects and bonds us. High expectations and a desire for Greatness is a beautiful aspiration, but within that is the understanding that failure teaches and grows us in the best, most efficient, and honorable way. To fail with humility, to commit to growth and showing up better each day, to learn and explore through what is not working, and to see the value in focusing on planting seeds versus rating yourself on outcome alone, leaves no room for perfection.
6. Sometimes what IS NOW, is shitty. That's a signal that you need to face this now more than ever. Don't ignore what needs to be faced. Don't deny what was or what is, in an attempt to avoid its impact. Do the work. Get the support. Trust that life does not have to be shitty. As the wise and wonderful Brene Brown says,
"When we deny our stories, they define us. When we own our stories, we get to write the ending."
7. You have to really dig in to 'limiting beliefs' and the 'stories' you've repeated tirelessly, and recognize what comes from an ingrained reaction that doesn't need to be there. Once you've done that, it's as though you elevate from being trapped inside a ship as it's sinking into balancing on a sturdy row-boat that is floating down a monstrous river.
So which voice do you listen to? The Monkey-Mind on a reckless and habit following adventure, or the voice of reason, purpose, and thirst for sensing 'lack' and expanding to know Self, Life, and Love? You can't control the outcome, but you can control your effort. And effort towards understanding, opening, experiencing, growing, and exploring life, is how I choose to carve out my legacy. What are you waiting for?
**For more support on Change, reach out to register for The Path to Change: Connect, Create, and Clarity. These concepts, ideas, tools for practice, and much more, will be the purpose and direction of our journey together. Check out the 'Workshops Scheduled' tab for more details.