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Awakening, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Massage Therapy, Mindset, Pain, Trauma

The Magick of the Mind

“If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay as he is, but if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
 

What role do you think thoughts play in how your day, week, year, life turn out?  Are thoughts just nebulous, harmless wisps that float across your brain pan?  Do they have power in and of themselves?
 
How about intention?   Does the intention with which you do something affect the outcome of that action?  Let’s say it’s a snowy morning and you notice your elderly neighbor’s walk isn’t shoveled.  If you shovel his walk with the intention of wanting to help out a neighbor vs. doing it with the intention of meeting a social obligation that you resent, does it still have the same effect?  Can your neighbor, on a subconscious level, sense the difference in intention and perhaps feel gratitude in one case and shame in another, even though no words were spoken?
 
Likewise, do our thoughts, beliefs, and intentions affect the responses we get from others?  If we believe a person we are interacting with is oafish or narrow-minded, does the person respond to the energy of that belief and respond with oafishness or narrow-mindedness?  What comes first, the chicken or the egg?

“Scientific experiments have repeatedly shown that thoughts can directly influence the rate of growth in plants, fungi, and bacteria.  William Tiller, a physicist at Stanford University, has shown that thoughts can affect electronic instruments.”  The Emotion Code.
 
The importance of intention has been top of mind lately.  In my coaching class, we are taught that we need to have “unconditional positive regard” for our client – complete acceptance and support of the client, no matter what she says or does.  This is a fundamental pre-requisite of providing “safe space” for people, so that they feel secure in opening up to possibilities and potential.
 
Intention is also a fundamental part of a bodywork session.  Sometimes I will invite my clients to set an intention for the session (if you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there?!), and I too take a moment to set an intention for the session.  Usually my intention is to LISTEN in all the ways I can and to trust my hands.  Intention also comes into play with the hands-on work.  It may not be possible to actually massage the psoas, which lies deep, deep, deep in the body, alongside the spine, but if, with my mind, I can visualize the layers of the abdomen, see my hands sinking slowly down through the skin, the layers of muscle, the greater omentum, the small intestine, and then see the psoas resting along the back, then perhaps I can influence the psoas with my intention.  CranioSacral work is very much about intention. It’s very gentle work, but it can be very impactful through the use of intention, meaning it can cause less trauma to the body in the course of a treatment.  As Jill Miller (creator of the Yoga Tune Up® balls) says, “It doesn’t have to hurt to work!”
 
I am working on being very intentional with my intention.  My intention is to bring more fun and enjoyment into daily life instead of having the intention of getting done with a task as quickly as possible so that I can rush on to the next item on my to-do list.  Having an intention of curiosity and exploration sounds like a lot more fun than having an intention of speed and productivity.  I’m a human being, after all, not a computer!
 
What intention do you bring to your work, to your life, to your mindset?  What beliefs do you have about others that might be affecting your interactions with them?  What could shift in your life if you brought an intention of unconditional positive regard into your interactions with others?
 
Space to be Human Lab
Feel Better and Pay Less
If you are experiencing headaches, neck or back pain, stress and tension-related disorders, TMJ syndrome, or general body pain, CranioSacral Therapy (a gentle full-body treatment that can improve the health of the nervous system) could help you!  I am offering unlimited sessions at a $15 discount for the next few months.  Please use code “CRANIO” when you book a 90 minute session or a New Client session to receive the discount. 
 
QCHWP Mixer
Are you a health and wellness practitioner in the Quad Cities?  Join us on February 6th to meet and connect with other like-minded professionals and discover how a rising tide raises all boats.  More details can be found here.
 
The Itsy Bitsy (A catalytic question)
What do you value most about yourself, your relationships, and the nature of your work?
 
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Awakening, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Massage Therapy, Meditation, Mindset, Pain, Trauma, Yoga

The Red Thread

The Red ThreadDo you believe that your future is pre-determined?  Do you believe in dharma – the thought that you were put here for a reason and you have a specific purpose to fill?  Do you believe in free-will?  Do you believe in both fate and free-will at the same time?
 
I believe that we have a purpose and path laid out before us, and I believe that we have the freewill to make choices along that path.  And I believe that no matter what choice we make, we are on that path. 
 
Why do I think that?
 
Because it I find it reassuring that no matter what I do, I am on the right path.   And because I’m human, I don’t want to be told what to do.  I don’t want to have my freedom to choose taken away from my. I want to be free.
 
So I choose to believe in the conundrum of having a designated purpose and in the freedom to choose my path.
 
I will turn 46 next month.  For all intents and purposes, I am 50 years old.  And that is super duper bonkers to me.  I asked Tim last night how old he feels, and he said 35.  I said I feel about 14.  I still feel in many ways like a noob in this world – still figuring things out, still figuring out who I am, what I want, still finding my confidence and roots.
 
But little by little, every step I take clarifies me to myself.  This has become more evident over the past 10 years, and it has escalated over the past 6 months or so.  A through-line is crystallizing.
 
#1 – I took a Cranial Sacral class from Wahneta Dimmer in Cedar Rapids, IA.  The class involved laying my hands on different parts of my client’s bodies and just NOTICING what I noticed.  As I slowed down and focused on my hands and listened to the body, I started to observe so much LIFE under my hands.  I felt pulses, rhythms, flows, heat, vibrations, a sense of connection to something wise and fun.  These were all sensations I totally missed when diving deep and with force into the body.  By changing my intention to one of listening instead of doing, the body’s life energies felt safe enough to come out and say “Hi!  Thanks for noticing us! How can I help you?”
 
#2 – I started the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute’s Master Health Coach Certification class.  I wasn’t sure what to expect.  The class was one of the least expensive I found ($2,300 instead of $8,000 – $21,000), but I was familiar with Dr. Sears’ classes, so I figured it would be worth exploring.   It has blown me away by how thorough and organized it is.  We are learning 3 types of coaching techniques – Motivational Interviewing,  Appreciative Coaching, and Non-Violent Communication.  Guess what all 3 styles have in common?  This is their premise:
 
The client is a mystery to be appreciated, not a problem to be solved.  People are the undisputed experts on themselves.  Coaching is first and foremost about LISTENING and providing space to the client so they can process.  People believe what they hear themselves say.  People don’t want to be told what to do.
 
Again, the through-line of being a compassionate, open witness who provides clients with space to trust their own inner wisdom is showing up.
 
#3 – I am beginning Year 2 of the Somatic Experiencing trauma-resolution training.  Somatic Experiencing is all about providing a safe space and time to enable clients to notice their inner world and see and process what the body wants to show them.  It’s a form of somatic (body-oriented) deep, compassionate, curious listening.
 
#4 – I just finished the Upledger CranioSacral Therapy (CST) Level 1 class last week.  This is a type of gentle touch therapy that uses the power of intention and a listening presence to help unwind restrictions in the body, thereby reducing pain and enhancing well-being.  CST respects the wisdom of the body (referred to as our “Inner Physician).  AGAIN, the theme of deep listening, with a belief in the body’s wisdom, is apparent.
 
My purpose, my path, my work here in this life is to be, in my own small way, a facilitator of reconnection to wholeness.  I am here to offer people the space and opportunity to slow down and reconnect to their inner wisdom and innate healing ability – to appreciate the magic and mystery of being a human being.  I am here to help people (including myself) find space to be human. 
 
What is your through-line?  What theme keeps popping up in disparate areas of your life?  What idea keeps coming for you, no matter where you go, what you do?
 
Space to be Human Lab
If you are experiencing headaches, migraines, chronic neck and back pain, stress and tension-related disorders, TMJ syndrome, or general body pain, and you appreciate (or are curious about!) a gentle touch, CranioSacral Therapy could help.
 
I need to perform 75 CST sessions before I take CranioSacral Level 2 in August, so I am offering sessions at a $15 discount for the next few months.  Please use code “CRANIO” when you book a 90 minute session or a New Client session to receive the discount. 
 
The Itsy Bitsy
Sustainable behavior change starts with making small changes consistently.  A change can be engendered by something so small and isty bity as a question.  In the spirit of Appreciative Coaching, I’m going to start offering a question to you weekly that might spark something – some awareness, some motivation, some curiosity.  Here’s this week’s question: Who are you when you are at your best?

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Awakening, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Massage Therapy, Mindset

The Rabbit Manifesto

So.  It’s 1-1.  That time of year where we usually set goals and figure out what we want the next year to bring.  What I’ve learned from my health coaching class and from personal experience is that goals are meant to be unreached.  Well, not really.  But goals often have a way of setting us up for failure.  Or maybe more accurately put, we have a tendency to set goals in such a way that we set OURSELVES up for failure.  We are too restrictive, we take on too much change too quickly, we set goals based on “shoulds.”
 
How can we improve our chances of effecting the changes that we want in our lives?
 
How about instead of setting a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), we set a topic?
 
Yes
 
A Topic
 
A topic that we would like to focus on for the upcoming year.
 
How does that feel?  As you look forward into 2023, think about a goal you might set.  Maybe your goal is to save $2000, or to lose 20 pounds, or to travel to a place you’ve never been once/month.   Envision yourself taking the steps required to get there.  How do your insides respond to the prospect of executing on those steps? 
 
Now, think about a topic for 2023.  Maybe your topic is Learning, or maybe it’s Self-Discovery, or maybe it’s Connection.  Think about what you would do, how you would live, what choices you would make in service to that topic.  How does that feel in your body? 
 
I’m not saying that having goals is wrong, or that having a topic or a theme is better than having goals.  I’m just saying it’s different.  And sometimes trying something different can make all the difference!  Our brains and bodies thrive on novelty.  We are tremendously adaptable, so we have to keep switching things up in order to keep our minds and bodies awake and alive.  If the idea of determining a 2023 topic gave you a little burst of curiosity/interest/expansion, you could check out One Word That Will Change Your Life. I also have a worksheet you can use to identify your values, and that would be a good starting place.  Shoot me an email if you want a copy of it.
 
My topic for 2023 is:
 
Listen
 
I want to become a better listener in 2023.  I want to listen to my Self better.  I want to listen to my body.  I want to listen with my whole being (my eyes, my ears, my intuition, my nervous system, my hands) to my loved ones and clients.  I want to listen when someone talks to me and decipher the feeling and need that’s being expressed underneath what they are saying.  I want to listen with curiosity and without judgement, comparison, or jealousy.  I want to listen to the silence. I want to listen to the rhythms.  I want to listen more and speak less.  I want to listen when the Universe speaks.  I want to listen and see what I can learn, letting go of the compulsive need to prove my worth and value.  I want to listen and see what healing naturally comes as a byproduct of finally being truly heard.  I want to chill the f@Ck out and just listen.

I did our annual Animal Spirit “Year Ahead Spread” which involves drawing a card for each month of the year and then a final card with the overall “theme” for the year.  For January, I drew The Dragon, which is pretty awesome.  For my overall theme, I drew The Rabbit.  Which seemed slightly less cool.  But I read the text, and I have to say, the Universe sent me the message I needed to hear.

 
What’s on tap for you in 2023?  If you care to share your topic for 2023, I would love to hear it.  The first person to send me their topic (in 1 word) will get a little custom-stamped metal token as a daily reminder. 😊
 
And with that, let me wish you HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Thank you for joining me on this journey of figuring out what it means to be human and how we can best take advantage of that gift.  I’ll leave you with this quote from “Craniosacral Therapy” by Upledger & Vredevoogd:
 
“Remember that the potential of humankind is limited only by its own concept of that limitation.”
 
Space to be Human Lab

  • If you are experiencing pain in your mind-body and would like help finding more space, ease, and room for more positive possibilities, you can book a bodywork session here
  • If you are a health & wellness professional in the Quad Cities, and you would like to meet other local health professionals, let me know.  I’m organizing a mixer for those of us interested in making new connections for the benefits of our clients and ourselves.  It will likely be in late January; more details will be forthcoming.

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Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Mindset, Productivity

The Forgetting & The Remembering

Going through this health coaching program is reminding me of all the things I’ve known and then promptly forgotten about how to take care of this body!  As of late, I’ve been bonked over the head with the reminder to do 150-200 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week.  It was included in the class materials, then Dr. Huberman mentioned it as part of his Foundation Fitness Protocol, then Robb Wolf mentioned it on his recent podcast, and then I listened to a podcast with Dr. Huberman and Dr. Layne Norton where they mentioned it as well.  OK OK – I get it!!
 
So Saturday I went out for a little jog/walk with the intent to stay within my Zone 2 heart rate. I was targeting about 122 (there are several different ways to calculate your Zone 2 HR – here are two sources: Phil Maffetone and MindBodyGreen).  When I walked, my HR was too low, and when I ran for longer than a few minutes, it was too high.  So I used my watch to moderate my pace.  I would speed up when my HR got too low and then slow down when my HR got too high. 
 
As I used my watch to modify my behavior, I realized how difficult it is to always stay on target – whether that is a target heart rate, or if it’s a target level of busy-ness/self-care.  It’s much easier, and probably more human, to go too hard – be too busy – and then realize, “Ugh, this isn’t working for me” and then slow waaaaay down.  And then suddenly you realize you’re watching way too much TV or coddling yourself just a LITTLE too much, and then you start amping up your projects, commitments, and workload.  Back and forth ad nauseum.  It would be so helpful to have a Heart Rate monitor for your life energy!
 
The concept of discovering and rediscovering the middle path is one I’m undergoing always.  Between work (at the bank and at Space to be Human), training (Health Coaching, Somatic Experiencing, and Upledger Cranial Sacral), and life (eating, cleaning, exercising, connecting with people I care about, sleeping, etc.), I realized that I have, indeed, swung too far off center yet again – veering into the overwhelm zone.
 
So I went back to the drawing board.  I wrote a list of things I need to do each week, and alongside it, a list of my core values:  Family/Connection, Learning, Health.  Then I went through my calendar and cleaned it up to get rid of things I cannot do (even though I might really WANT to do them), and then I took my long list of To Dos and either found a spot to schedule them in, or I just crossed them off my list.
 
I have more work to do on this, but at least right now I am feeling as if I have a doable couple of weeks ahead of me.  It helps that we are going to Florida over Christmas break, and my health coaching class is on hiatus. 😊  I’m also going to take the advice of my Business Coach and GUARD MY TIME in January. Wintertime is when Nature rests and lies fallow. I need to follow her good example and figure out where I can let go!
 

“Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”  Rumi
 
Space to be Human Lab
If you are in pain and want to get back to doing what you love, you can book a bodywork session here

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Cooking/Recipes, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Mindset, Pain

Brain Health vs. Mental Health

“You are what you eat.”  It make sense that our bodies are a by-product of the food we eat.  Food goes in the mouth, and our body turns it into skin, hair, muscles, curves, teeth, fingernails. 
 
But did you ever think about your BRAIN being made up the food you eat?  What would a brain made up of Cheetos and Mt. Dew look like compared to a brain grown from blueberries and walnuts?
 
Come to find out, the food that we eat has a HUGE impact on our brain health.  And our brain health has a huge impact on our mental health.
 
I found this out firsthand about 11 years ago when I discovered the “Primal Diet.”  At the time, I was in a scary place.  That sounds dramatic, but when I think of that time, that is the first emotion that jumps to mind.  At the time, my anxiety was super intense.  I didn’t know what was causing it.  At first I thought it was the fluorescent lights above my cubicle.  I googled it and noted that they affected a lot of people negatively, so I asked the maintenance guys to remove some of the bulbs to lessen the intensity.  Yet the anxiety persisted.
 
When I went on lunch-time walks with my friend, I would get a whisper of not feeling “right.”  I would feel as if I was slightly lilting.  I felt a bit of panic. I focused intently on finishing the walk without alarming my walking partner.  “I can make it.  It’s just 5 more minutes; then I can sit down in my cube.”
 
When I was driving and hit a red light, I would have to blast the AC or roll down my window so that I could get a cold breeze on my face.  I kept mint gum with me always – the freshness of it helped me keep my grip on consciousness when I started to feel the panic creep in. I was deathly afraid of passing out while waiting for the light to turn green.
 
The same sensations overtook me while waiting in line at the grocery store.  The lights, the people, the not being able to MOVE if I needed to.  All of these things triggered the anxiety – making me short of breath and overwhelmed with the fear of passing out.  My grip on consciousness seemed way too tenuous.
 
I tried many things to address the anxiety.  My doctor wanted to prescribe meds, but I wanted to try other avenues first.  I got herbs for allergies and acupuncture treatments at Davenport Acupuncture, and that helped quite a bit.  I saw a chiro at  Hampton Health & Wellness, and that helped a lot too.
 
And the thing that helped me the most – the thing that changed my life and provided a huge A-HA! moment, was when I followed the primal 21-Day Total Body Transformation protocol (I really wish the book had a different name because it sounds SO pitchy and “As Seen On TV!”-ish.) But, for me, it really was a transformation.  Within a week of changing my diet (eating only whole foods with lots of meat and veggies, removing gluten, dairy, and excessive sugar, changing up my oils to use olive oil and coconut oil, removing beer & wine, etc.), my anxiety was almost completely gone.
 
This was the huge A-HA!  The food and drinks I was putting into my body was negatively impacting my brain health, and therefore my mental health.
 
The most common mental health disorders in the US (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADD and ADHD, addiction, dementia and Alzheimer’s) are ALL affected by nutrition.  

Research into Nutritional Psychiatry provides so much hope for those of us who suffer from poor brain health, so I wanted to share some highlights from a webinar I watched last week for my Master Health Coach Certification course.
 
What can be clues that our brain health needs attention?

  • Depression, anxiety, brain fog, memory loss, chronic fatigue, multiple sclerosis, neurodegeneration (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), allergies, autoimmune disorders, persistent infections, mood issues, etc. 

What can help us improve our brain health?

  • Adequate sleep
  • Meaning and purpose in life
  • Social connections
  • Proper hydration
  • Physical and mental exercise
  • Strong immune system
  • Quality food
  • Probiotics and prebiotics
  • Learning new things
  • Good gut health (the brain and gut are linked together via the vagus nerve, so gut health has a huge impact on brain health)

I know that can be an overwhelming list to tackle, so here are a few simple action items from the webinar:

  1. Eat food that is GROWN instead of manufactured.
  2. Hydration – The webinar stated that people should drink half their body weight in ounces/day.  Even MILD dehydration of 2% affects brain function!  I fill up a glass jar with 70 ounces of water each day, so I have a visual reminder of how much I need to drink.
  3. Spice it up!  Spices are super good for the brain, and there are 3 that are true superstars – turmeric, cinnamon, and oregano.  These spices help improve blood flow to the brain and have positive effects on blood sugar, memory and attention.

Since I watched the webinar, I’ve been very conscious about eating food good for my brain. This concoction tasted way better than it looks!  It’s made up of coconut yogurt, sunflower seed butter, blueberries, cinnamon, ground flax seed, walnuts, and some Four Sigmatic protein powder.

As always, when considering making dietary changes, check with a qualified healthcare practitioner who is familiar with your individual medical needs and history.

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, here is a book on the subject:  Eat to Beat Depression & Anxiety by  Dr. Drew Ramsey.  I haven’t had a chance to read this book yet, but I listened to a podcast with Dr. Ramsey, and the book sounded great. You can also get a ton of free info just by googling “nutritional psychiatry.”

I hope you’re having a stupendous Sunday!

Space to be Human Lab

  • If you are experiencing pain or if you are interested in how you can just FEEL BETTER in your body, you can book a bodywork session here.

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Uncategorized

How to Time Travel

Have you ever noticed that sometimes a minute, an hour, a day can just WHIZ away?  Yet on other days, the clock actually seems to be moving in reverse?
 
Well, come to find out, time is really not linear!  The past, present, and future all kinda exist simultaneously and can affect each other.  And sometimes time can bulge out and you can accomplish wondrous things in 25 minutes, and sometimes it can cinch up, and all you get done is absolutely nothing of importance.  We all have these experiences of clock time not matching with lived time.  So what’s really going on?
 
Historically, time was viewed as being more cyclical – marked by the cycles of night and day, the cycles of the moon, the cycles of seasons, the cycles of life and death.  However, according to Appreciative Coaching, with the spread of Christianity, the old ways of viewing time shifted – theologians believed that the world has a beginning and an end and that certain events are unique and unrepeatable. 
 
Then Sir Isaac Newton came along with his concept of “Absolute Time,” which became how the world interpreted time:

  1. Time moves along a fixed line from past to present to future; therefore, the past determines the future.  A future event cannot change the past.
  2. Time is absolute – meaning it is experienced the same for everyone and everything and is not dependent or enmeshed with other factors.

But, as is often the case, modern humans are beginning to realize that ancient humans actually DID have it right.  Time is in fact, holistic:

  1. Past, present, and future all exist as a whole and can influence each other, MEANING: Behavior change can be influenced not only by our Past, but by our Future, and our Present!
  2. Time is not objective – people can experience time differently at different times depending on circumstances.  MEANING:  “BECAUSE IT IS SUBJECT TO REINTERPRETATION, THE PAST IS AS DYNAMIC AS THE PRSENT AND FUTURE.” (Appreciative Coaching, p. 64)

But why does all of this matter? 

Because, if time is a bit floaty and stretchy and re-writeable, then we have so much more capacity and autonomy to change!

We can re-tell our past stories to pull out the good bits.  Instead of looking back at the past and seeing our future doom, we can look back at the past and tease out the stories that support us.  We can also look into our future and use that to guide our choices in the present.   

“Holistic social scientists believe that as the present changes, so do the meanings of the past and future, and as the past and future change, so do the meanings of the present – simultaneously.”  Appreciative Coaching p. 66

I know I talk about this stuff like ALL THE TIME, but I’m super jazzed to learn there is science to support this, AND I think it’s important to constantly be reminded that we can rewrite our stories.  I live and breathe this stuff, yet still I often lose touch with the fact that I have so much power in my choices.  I want to add, that re-creating our life stories is not easy, especially if we have unresolved trauma in the body connected to the stories and experiences.  This is why I think it’s so important to work with both the cognitive mind and the feeling body during this process.

If you are willing, I would like to offer you an experiment.  First, I invite you to take a moment and check in with your inner state.  It can be helpful to close your eyes if you feel safe doing so.  What is the level of tension in your body? What is your heart rate?  How fast are you breathing?  Then take 5-10 minutes and do some free-writing on this prompt:

Describe one of your greatest accomplishments to date.  It can be anything in your personal life, your work life, your spiritual life.

Are you done writing?

I am curious, if you take a moment and again reconnect to your inner state, what has shifted?  What do you notice in your levels of tension, your heart rate, and your breath?  How are you now feeling about your past, present, and future?

And with that, I’m signing off! 

Space to be Human Lab

  • If you are experiencing pain in your mind-body and would like help finding more space, ease, and room for more positive possibilities, you can book a bodywork session here
  • Last week I finished up my first year of Somatic Experiencing Trauma Training.  If you are curious about how Somatic Experiencing  (SE) work could help you slow down and tune in to the story your body and your nervous system needs to tell, reply to this email with your questions.  Somatic work can be integrated into a bodywork session, or it can be done on its own either in-person or over Zoom.

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Awakening, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Mindset, Pain, Trauma

Choose Your Own Adventure

How much control do we have over our lives, really?  Is our life dictated by our circumstances – our DNA, our families, where we were born, how much money our parents have?  Or is our life dictated by our thoughts, feelings, and actions – which are all based on choices we can consciously make?
 
I love The Life Coach School podcast by Brooke Castillo.  The podcast is full of mind-bending resets that help me see the world a little differently, at least for a little bit.  In this podcast on handling adversity, Brooke talks about how we NEED adversity to get stronger.  If we stay in our comfort zone, never pushing ourselves, never challenging ourselves, we never grow or get stronger.  We actually get weaker, and our world gets smaller. 
 
We have this innate capacity to blow our own mind with what we can create, but our stories and our desire for comfort and the safety of the known can keep us confined.
 
UNLESS
 
Unless we consciously CHOOSE DISCOMFORT.  If we start to take the harder path, the path with more challenge, the path that forces us to try something different and to learn from it – then we can break out of the comfort bubble (which starts to become stifling and uncomfortable eventually anyway!) and see for ourselves what we are capable of.
 
Here is my crude drawing, trying to illustrate how, by being the Boss of our choices and consciously choosing to pursue challenge, we can touch into that realm of possibility and start to realize just how powerful we really are. 



We don’t have to make massive shifts – just make a slightly different choice.  For example, instead of veering towards ease (watching another episode of Hart of Dixie), veer just a bit towards struggle (which might mean just sitting for 2 minutes noticing how hard it is to resist the urge to watch another episode of Hart of Dixie).
 
While I was out walking and listening to this podcast this morning, the idea of this drawing struck me, and it seemed brilliant.  In execution, well, it may not be AMAZE-BALLS, but it’s out of my comfort zone, so I’m at least heading in the right direction.  POSSIBILITY, HERE I COME!! 😛
 
There will be no blog post next week, as I will be in Module 3 of my Somatic Experiencing class Thursday – Sunday.  I hope you all have a fabulous couple of weeks!  If you get bored and need something to read, you can find prior newsletters here.  😊
 
Space to be Human Lab

  • If you are experiencing pain in your body and want some help unwinding it, you can book a bodywork session here.
  • I am doing market research!  If you could break out of your comfort bubble and lean into challenge, assured that by doing so you would become MORE YOU – more of who you know you can be, more of who you WANT to be, what actions would you take?  What moves would you make?  And what support would you need to have the courage to take that harder and more rewarding path?  If you care to share your thoughts, please respond to this email. <3

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Awakening, Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Massage Therapy, Mindset, Pain

The Poetic Principle

I’m no expert on quantum physics.  Well, really I know very little about quantum physics, But what I gather, is that basically all potentialities exist, and only once something is observed, does it settle into being one thing over another.  So everything around us is kind of EVERYTHING all at once until we look at it, and then it becomes a can of Waterloo, an iPhone, a book, a dark chocolate caramel cream.  It kinda makes reality get a bit wonky and shifty and slippery.  So maybe my understanding is wrong.  Or maybe it isn’t.  Or maybe me believing that this is what quantum physics IS makes quantum physics work that way in MY world. 
 
I was reminded of this weirdness in quantum physics as I dove into the Week 4 reading for my coaching certification.  I have a deep crush on two books in my class:  Appreciative Coaching and Motivational Interviewing.  Both of these books teach us that we can become masterful in our lives.  We are not “problems to be solved but miracles and mysteries to be appreciated.”  We are not slaves to the past.  Small changes can lead to big differences in our life. And this:
 
THE ACT OF ASKING QUESTIONS INFLUENCES THE INDIVIDUAL
(much like how, in quantum physics, being observed changes what’s being observed).
 
Just by asking a question, worlds can shift. 
 
I’ve experienced this many time with my coaches.  They’ll ask a question, and BAM!  I sheepishly realize that I was seeing the situation with blinders on – only seeing the one negative interpretation when literally countless options of reality exist in which I can put my belief.  With that one question, my world view shifted. 
 
Appreciative Coaching introduced me to “The Poetic Principle,” which “suggests that life stories can be rewritten to better fit how clients see themselves in their present or future.”  A person can take poetic license to reframe their story.  We can re-imagine what our life experiences mean. 
 
For example, for many years I was embarrassed by the fact that I didn’t get my bachelor’s degree right after high school like “normal” people.  I went to community college for a bit, got married, worked part-time as a teller, became an admin assistant, then decided I needed to get a 4-year degree, so I went to college at night while working full-time.  Then since all my coworkers were getting their MBAs, I decided I should get one too.  I was already in school-mode, so why not just keep going?  But I really felt as if I didn’t belong with everyone else in that program.  They all had these college experiences of playing sports, living in dorms, partying, being involved in sororities and making amazing life-long friendships.  I sorely regretted that I didn’t have that experience.
 
Now I look back on that time, and with my poetic license, I feel impressed with my drive and tenacity.  I got my bachelor’s and my master’s while working full-time; I graduated with distinction, and I finished school with minimal student debt, as the bank I worked for offered tuition reimbursement.  I kicked off a habit of life-long learning that has kept my mind active and which has taken me on journeys around the county and introduced me to so many brilliant people.  I took the path less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
 
How would you re-write your story, to draw out and highlight your strengths?  How can you discover and celebrate your successes?   You could ask yourself some tough questions about your standard life story –  Is that true?  How do you know it’s true?  What if the opposite was true?  Who would you be if you believed in a different truth?  (For more info on these types of questions, you can check out Byron Kate.).
 
And with that, I’m signing off.  I need to baby myself a bit today because the time change has messed with my temporal existence, and I don’t know if it’s time to go to bed or time to go to lunch (and yes, I realize this is a story I’m telling myself about DST!!).
 
Happy Sunday My Peeps!
 
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Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Massage Therapy, Meditation

The Science of Self-Belief

Self-Efficacy.  What the heck does that mean?  Efficacy means “the power or to produce an effect.” So self-efficacy, is your belief in your power to effect something. 
 
Our belief in what we are and are not capable of doing is the greatest determinant of what we actually are and are not capable of doing!  Our BELIEF, mind you – this can be completely and utterly unrelated to FACT.  The FACT is, we may be super smart, super creative, super gifted.  But if our BELIEF is that we are a bit dim, we don’t have any original ideas, and there is nothing special about us – well, that’s the filter through which we see ourselves, and that’s the belief upon which we’ll make our choices.
 
For school I read a super interesting article on Social Cognitive Theory.  This theory of human functioning states that we as humans have agency (meaning we have power over our actions/response; we are not victims of our circumstances) and “what people think, believe, and feel affects how they behave.”  How we behave affects the results we get in life.  So, humans are “influential in determining their own destiny.”
 
Perhaps you know someone like this (or perhaps this someone is you): 
 
This person is special.  She is brilliant, funny, a natural problem-solver.  Anything broken, she can fix.  She’s a hard worker – someone who won’t give up just because the problem is a tricksy one.  She’s kind, considerate; someone who just naturally inspires respect. 
 
She is presented with a new opportunity, a project that is just outside of her comfort zone – a challenge.  She is afraid.  She thinks she’s underqualified.  She thinks she might fail.  She believes that someone else – someone smarter, someone with more credentials, someone with more experience – would be a better fit.
 
Yet you look at her and go, “OMG.  TAKE IT!!!  DO IT!!! You would be SO awesome at this!!”
 
But her reality, her filter, is that she cannot do it.  She doesn’t see what she’s capable of.  So she doesn’t accept the challenge and learn and grow as a result of working through it. She doesn’t increase her mastery.  She stays in the safe little box in which her self-image confines her.
 
Ugh!  This is all just based on her BELIEF, not FACT.
 
But the good news is, self-efficacy beliefs CAN CHANGE!  We can take on new challenges and improve our mastery.  We can watch others who are similar to us and notice what they are accomplishing and realize, “Hey! She is a lot like me, and she did it!  I could do it too!.”  Our self-efficacy can also improve if we are around supportive people who provide positive feedback on our performance (e.g. a coach).  We can also start to notice our moods and emotions and take steps to deal with stress in more effective ways and learn how to process negative emotional states, enabling us to no longer be completely derailed by stress, fear, and anxiety.
 
There is SO much more to dive into here, but I wanted to share this little intro because I think there is so much room for hope here.  1.  We are not victims; we have power to change our perceptions and therefore our life.  2.  We have the power to change our beliefs about who we are and our abilities.  It requires awareness, support, and willingness to get uncomfortable, but it’s possible!
 
Belief in my own abilities is something that I have struggled with my whole life, but, as I reviewed some of the questionnaires that help you evaluate your self-efficacy, I realized, “Holy Sh!t.  I’m getting better.  I’M CHANGING!!”  Here’s an article with some questions that might help you see where you fall on self-efficacy spectrum. 
 
What is your truth?  Do you believe you can change your behavior and your life by changing your belief about you?
 
Happy Sunday, my friends!  Hope you have a BOO-tiful Halloween (get it??)!
 
Looking for feedback:

  • I am looking for smart women who feel dumb when it comes to taking care of themselves to help me do some market research. I want to hear what you want and need, what you are struggling with, what you would be SO HAPPY to achieve if you were to work with a coach.  If you are interested in sharing your thoughts with me, you can book a 30 minute chat session here.

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Habit Change, Health & Fitness, Massage Therapy, Mindset, Pain

The BEST WAY to Keep Yourself Stuck

Soooooo….. I signed up for another training class.  I know I know!  I need to take my own advice to slow down, to enjoy life, to have fun, etc.  But this is something I’ve been wanting to do for a decade.
 
I started my journey into the health and wellness sphere about 12 years ago, when I did a 21-Day challenge where I followed the “primal” lifestyle.  The immediate results blew my mind and completely changed how I lived my life.  At the time I wanted to TELL EVERYONE IN THE UNIVERSE about how eating whole foods, moving your body daily, being outside, having a good social network, etc. could resolve so many health issues (for me it tremendously reduced my anxiety, and it also helped me maintain a healthy weight – something I had struggled with for 20 years). 
 
BUT.  At the time health coaching wasn’t really a thing.  The programs I found that taught health coaching seemed very pushy and sales-y, and I got a bad vibe from them.  Health coaching was also completely unregulated, so it was hard to know if you were doing a program that would teach you good, evidence-based info.
 
So I diverged.  I did yoga teacher training.  I did Yoga Tune Up® training.  I became a licensed massaged therapist.
 
But, helping people thrive by looking into their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health was, and still is, a central tenet of what I do.  But I want to DO IT BETTER.  Knowing WHAT to do is no good unless you actually do it.  Telling my clients information is not leading to transformation.
 
Enter Coaching.
 
There is an art and science to helping people change.  And I want to learn it!  So last week I started a year-long journey to become a board-certified health and wellness coach.  This means that, if/when you want to shift yourself towards a more joyful, aligned, integrated version of yourself, I will be able to help you figure out what you want and how you want to get there.
 
And THAT – me helping you figure out you – is what this coaching program is all about.  As I’ve dove into the reading for this class, I realized that coaches aren’t supposed to tell you what to do.  They assume you have the answers inside you already, you just need help drawing them out.  I’ve worked with a few coaches and therapists over the past 4 years, and I’ve been annoyed with all of them on occasion because I JUST WANT THEM TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO.  And they won’t.  They ask me questions.  They draw me out.  They make me work for my own answers.  Lo!  They were doing coaching right!
 
To that point, I recently learned about Ambivalence, which is:
“Simultaneously wanting and not wanting something at the same time.” (Motivational Interviewing – Miller, Rollnick).
 
That pretty much describes me when it comes to facing any decision ever.  I talk myself into it. I talk myself out of it.  I talk myself back into it.  Then I get tired of listening to myself in my head and go and numb myself with a drink, or Instagram, or another self-help book.
 
Come to find out, pretty much everyone is like this.  We see the reasons FOR change, we see the reasons AGAINST change, and we can’t decide, so we hang out in indecision, stuck.
 
But this is where a good coach can help.  Motivational Interviewing (MI) points out that “People believe what they hear themselves say.”  So a coach needs to be careful what position she takes when helping a person walk through a decision.  Humans have an interesting tendency – “Argue for one side and the ambivalent person is likely to take up and defend the opposite.” (MI)   So, if a coach takes a stance such as, “You need to quit smoking,”  the coachee will hear himself give the coach ALL the reasons why he should continue to smoke.  Instead, asking the coachee something like, “Why would you want to make this change?  What are the 3 best reasons for you to do it? How important is it for you to make this change?” (MI) could lead the coachee to vocalize his reasons FOR quitting, and maybe he hears himself give those reasons and then actually believes them.
 
It reminds me so much of working with Huehue.  The more I go after him, the more he runs. But If I walk away for a spell, within a few moments he is bopping after me.  That oppositional energy is so powerful!


 
The Plea:
– For my program, I will need 3 primary volunteers and 2 alternate volunteers to do practice coaching sessions.  The coaching sessions will be 5-20 minutes, sometimes as long as 30 minutes depending on the assignment.  Initially the coaching will be about every-other week, and then it will shift into weekly sessions.  If you are interested in being a coaching volunteer, please respond with “I’m interested!” and then I will send you more details.
– I am also looking for smart women who feel dumb when it comes to taking care of themselves.  I want to hear what you want and need, what you are struggling with, what you would be SO HAPPY to achieve.  I would love to chat with you for ~30 minutes and pick your juicy brain.  If you are interested in sharing your thoughts with me, please respond with “Pick my brain!”

That’s it for today.  I hope you’re having an awesome day and thank you for reading my ramblings!
 
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