Paddling Against the Current

Standup paddleboarderWhen you change your life’s pattern for the good, it can feel like you are moving against everyone else. That’s because you are adjusting to new patterns, new ways of thinking, maybe even different ways of dressing, eating, or speaking and not everyone is moving in the same new direction as you.

You might find it harder to express your ideas or thoughts because those around you who used to understand you, no longer do. They may give you a hard time, or get frustrated because they can’t fathom why you would want to change. Like paddling against the current, you may feel like you’re not getting anywhere.

Don’t worry. This is just a temporary state and as you as you adjust to the new pattern, things will begin to fall into place. It’s sort of like moving the furniture around in a room. At first it looks like a jumbled mess, but then you move the couch, vacuum under the rug, put the books back on the bookshelves, and buy new pillows for the couch. Before you know it, you have a new living room. Even though no one else could understand why you were rearranging a perfectly fine living room, you knew things needed to change so you did it!

Making life changes is sort of like that. And once it’s been changed, there’s no going back to the way the furniture was before you switched it around. Old patterns, habits, and sometimes even friends, no longer fit into your life.

It’s okay. Change is good and personal growth, moving forward on our path is the ultimate goal in life – even if it is an upstream struggle.

So don’t listen to that little voice in your head that’s says to go back……Listen to your heart. It will always help you move forward.

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The Shoulda, Coulda, Wouldas

The Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Card from Deborah Koff-Chapins Soul Cards deck.

The Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Card from Deborah Koff-Chapins Soul Cards deck.

We spend a lot of time beating ourselves up, thinking we should have handled a situation differently, wondering if things could have been better if we made another choice, wishing we would have taken another path.

Some people call this regret. I call it the shoulda, coulda, wouldas.

I’ve used a bunch of different Tarot decks over the past 25 years, but the ones I use now are called Soul Cards. I love that each image is open to the interpretation of the reader and the person receiving the reading.

One of the cards that comes up a lot during readings is what I call the Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda card. It has three frightful faces that look like they are yelling and admonishing you. When it appears, it tells me  that the person I am doing the reading for is not  living his or her life for themselves, but doing everything they can to meet the expectations of others. These people are prisoners of their own life, seldom doing what they want to do. And when they do try to breakout of their belief system, they beat themselves up  by saying I shoulda done this, I coulda done that, if I woulda have done this.

Try breaking out of your mold more often by taking risks. They don’t have to be big risks – I’m not asking you to tackle Mount Everest – but try taking little ones if you’re afraid of leaving your comfort zone. For example, if you’re shy, try smiling at the grocery store checkout person next time you’re in line. If you are uncomfortable in large groups, seek out another loner, (there’s always at least two at big gatherings,) and say hi. If you want to lose weight, but are afraid of working out in front of others, dance around your house for fifteen minutes.

Take risks! Let go of what you think everyone wants you to be. When you get an idea explore it. Listen to that little inner voice that says “go for it”. At least you’ll know what the outcome was instead of wondering for the rest of your life, if you shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Do You Walk Your Talk?

Sunflowers

Each morning I get up, feed the cat and dog, drink a few cups of coffee, check my email and Facebook, then set my intention for the day. Sometimes, while looking at my friends’ posts on Facebook, I find a saying I like and sometimes I click the Like button.

Which got me thinking. How many also click “like” on the kindness and understanding posts? How many people read them, like them and move on, not giving it a second thought? Facebook is full of positive messages of love, hope, trust, and compassion but how many people really pay attention to them?

When you choose to like a post on Facebook, do you take a moment to really take it in? Do you take a deep breath and tell yourself you are going to practice that idea all day?

Can you even do it for an hour?

Or do you put it out of your mind, get into your car, pull out of the driveway and start yelling and flipping people off?  Maybe you scream at the server in Starbucks because you had to wait more than a few minutes for your coffee.  Are you cross with a co-worker for no reason other than you are irritated that day?

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how your day went if you remembered the post and followed through with practicing that thought for a day?

Try it you might like it!

The Little Voice Inside Your Head

Morning Pond

We’ve all heard it. The little voice inside our head that screams, “be careful, don’t do that,” or “why bother, you’re just going to fail.”

Meet your Inner Critic.

This little voice is responsible for all of the pain, self-doubt and lack of confidence you have ever experienced in your life. It’s the voice that convinces you that you’re not good enough, or pushes you to ask for advice before making a decision – even a decision as seemingly small as “what’s for dinner?”

This is the voice that holds you back.

Your challenge is to pay no attention to that voice. So what if you make a mistake? Mistakes are a part of life, a part of the ever-constant growth process. And some of the best experiences are had when you tell that voice to take a hike and you follow your heart instead.

You are a great explorer by nature so go out there and find your life!

Just Breathe

dandelion

When was the last time you got lost in the beauty of a sunset or an amazing sight in nature? Can you just sit there and breathe in the beauty and the peace? The sense of stillness and relaxation? Or do you pick up your phone, take a picture, pass it on to your Facebook friends and move on to the next thing?

Try sitting there and just being in the moment. Take a deep breath and do your best to clear your mind, focusing only on the sunset, flower or whatever has caught your eye. (I bet you can’t last more than a few minutes before you start to feel uncomfortable.)

But however long it takes before your mind starts telling you to get up and move on – you have things to do – try going beyond that feeling. Take a few breaths to see if you can go totally into the moment to relax and just be silent. Ask your mind to be quiet.

Give yourself this moment in time. Relax, enjoy. This is your gift to you.