Health & Fitness, Yoga

On Meeting Your Future Self

Who are you?  What’s your motivation??

Well, I just spent 25% of the time I had allocated for writing this post on searching for a segment from Community where they are trying to capitalize off of Ben Chang’s momentary stardom by creating an absolutely terrible sci-fi movie wherein they use previously filmed clips of Chang, and in those clips, he keeps repeating, “Who am I?  What’s my motivation??” 

Wow.  That was a really impressive run-on sentence.

What’s the point, you’re wondering??

Two points.

  1. If you are hankering for some brilliant TV, and you haven’t watched Community.  Stop reading this right now and go watch Community.  SO GOOD.
  2. That question of “Who Am I?” is kind of an important one.

As I mentioned in a previous email, I recently finished the book Healing Ourselves. This week I also finished Healers On Healing and started on Helping People Change.  Guess what common theme is present in all 3 of these books, written by a whole slew of PhDs and doctors and scientists?

We have tremendous power to heal ourselves.

But, just because we have the power doesn’t mean we know how to use it.  We are not conditioned to look inside ourselves for answers. We’re taught that answers are to be found in Parents, in Teachers, in Books, in The Science, in The Government, in People Smarter Than Us.

But what spiritual teachers and philosophers have taught for decades (and what current research on consciousness and meditation is proving out) is that the answers we seek are found by turning inwards and realizing that we are whole, and while we are One, we are also connected to Many, and that connection to Many (call it God, Oneness, the Universe, Zero Point Field, Universal Consciousness, Spirit, etc.), gives us access to all the answers, support, and guidance that we need – ALL INSIDE OF US.

But HOW?  How do we start to find answers within ourselves??

All of these books, in addition to more secular books like Atomic Habits, and Working With Emotional Intelligence, emphasize the importance of tuning in to the Higher Self/Future Self/Best Self as a way of getting guidance and motivation for lasting behavior change.

But, again. HOW! 

This is where I struggle.  I understand the theory behind “the answers are within” but sometimes The Within is deathly silent and uncommunicative!

This is where I think “different strokes for different folks” can be very helpful.

When I’ve been guided by therapists to “ask your heart” when faced with a question, I’m often met with anxiety.  “Shit.  My heart’s not saying anything.  I must be doing this wrong.  How long will she wait before she gets impatient for an answer??  Why am I paying someone to make me do this?  Ooh!  There’s a thought.  But is it coming from my mind or from my heart?  Am I just projecting what I want my heart to say, or is it really saying it??” 

And sometimes I do get an answer that way, even despite the Ego going into panicked overthinking.

But what I have found more helpful are writing exercises and guided meditations.

Several years ago I took a workshop from Ariel Kiley called Business of Yoga Success.  One of the exercises she did was “Dream Lifestyle – Describe what your most fantastical ideal lifestyle would look like.  What is your schedule?  What’s your home like?  Travel?  Trainings?  Family and friends?  Have fun creating a fantastically comfortable and vibrant life that reflects your highest values.”

And I DID have fun with that.  And the Future Heather I created in that writing exercise has come back to visit me often. 

She came back to me when I did this Future Self meditation, where you meet 5 different versions of yourself and spend time connecting to the one who resonates most thoroughly.  Path 4 Heather is, Man!  SO COOL.

Meeting and tuning it to the energy of your Future Self can provide inspiration, motivation, and guidance.  WWMFSD?? What Would My Future Self Do!  James Clear recommends asking this question when you are trying to shift your behavior.  How can I make a 1% better choice in this situation, aligned with my Future Self?

Your Future Self is a pretty handy mentor, guide, and healer.  If you are interested in seeing what help you can give yourself, you could try out the Dream Lifestyle writing exercise or listen to the Future Self meditation (10 mins), or if you have a chatty heart, you could sit down, spend a few moments watching your breath, put your hand on your heart and ask for help.  We are all unique snowflakes, so try out a few things and see what works for the N=1 experiment that is you!

Space to be Human Updates

  • I’m hosting an Introduction to Mindset class on 1/24/22 from 1PM-2PM Central.  If you feel tortured by your monkey mind (any fellow High Functioning Anxiety peeps out there??), you will find some relief in this class.
    • Please register in advance for this meeting:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrd-ChpjMoEtYpcCkbuZuBn2JXR5S4dDE1
    • After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

That’s all for today, my friends!  Please respond to this email if you have any questions or comments.  I really do love to hear from you; otherwise, I’m all like.. “Bueller…..Bueller….?”

Happy Sunday, My Lovely Readers!!

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Awakening, Health & Fitness, Yoga

On The Hardness of Going Soft

Tim and I took a perfectly timed trip to Florida over Christmas break. We left at 5AM on Christmas day and just positively SAILED down to Destin, FL.  We were there in 15 hours, even with pee and fuel breaks.  There was NO traffic, and the time passed swiftly due to some fascinating podcasts and the audio version of Wheel of Time: Eye of the World.  We returned home on Thursday, right before Davenport got buried in about 6 inches of fluffy white stuff that was most definitely not sand.  On our way back north, we saw so many instances of cars at a standstill going south.  Sometimes it really pays to go against the grain!  😛

We had 4 full days down in Florida.  Our hotel was right on the beach, so our days consisted of waking up (without an alarm), partaking of the free hotel breakfast (the Fairfield Inn hot breakfast is really not bad!  They actually had protein options instead of just bagels, oatmeal and sugary yogurts), grabbing our gear, and heading to the beach.  We sat on the beach, read, watched the waves, actually got into the water a VERY little bit, headed to town for lunch, came back to the beach for more reading, watching, wading, then walked or drove to supper, and then tried to watch TV in the hotel (SO MANY COMMERCIALS), and then went to sleep.

It was so eye-opening how HARD it was to actually let ourselves relax though. 

Should we “make the most” of being there and DO more stuff – go stand-up paddle boarding, go hiking, check out museums, visit Seaside (the town where Truman Show was filmed), find all the best restaurants?? 

We decided that outside the door of our hotel was a gorgeous ocean with soft white, squeaky sand dissolved from quartz ages ago.  That was enough to appreciate for 4 days.

Ft. Walton Beach, Florida

While at the beach I read a really amazing book, Healing Ourselves – Biofield Science and the Future of Health.  The whole book is about our ability to heal ourselves and others via energy practices.  At face value that may sound very woo woo, but there are dozens of studies that show the healing power of our thoughts, attention, and intention (what do you think causes the placebo effect!).  Two things are very clear from the research the author relays in the book:

  1. We are all interconnected.
  2. We have so much more power to heal ourselves that when have been taught. 

I plan to dive in to the practices outlined in the book and will share with you the ones that I love.  In the meantime, to explore the concept of self-healing for yourself, you could start simply by taking a moment to notice your feet on the ground, soften up those soles, think about plugging your feet into the earth like you would plug your charger into a wall socket.  Notice the energy in your feet, calves, and upper legs.  Take a moment and ask yourself, “Who do I want to be today?”  Set that intention for the day (I prefer to write it down to make it more concrete and visible), revisit it often, and see what changes in your experience of your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual self/layer/body.

Space to be Human Updates

  • If you were unable to make it to my Introduction to Meditation class, but you are interested in the topic, you’re in luck!  I recorded the class, and you can watch it here at your leisure.  Feedback and suggestions are much appreciated!  If this class piques your interest, and you would like help in developing a meditation practice, you can book a session with me here.
  • Did you know that the Quad Cities is hosting its very own yoga festival?? The QC YogaCon will be held March 4-6, and guess who is teaching!  Me!  I am teaching a Yoga Tune Up® class (Total Tension Tunedown) on 4/5 at 4PM.  You can find more details here.

That’s all for today, my friends!  Happy 2nd day of 2022!  Please reach out to me at heather@spaceotbehuman.life or book a session with me here if you would like to feel better in your body.

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Awakening, Health & Fitness, Yoga

On #Winning & Secret Desires

We are at the start of new year, which means it’s time to run a Lessons Learned to close out this project that is Life in 2021.  What went well?  What could we do better next time? 

What Went Well

Why should we review “What Went Well?” Oh for SO many reasons!

  • Our brains are wired for negativity, which is a helpful yet annoying survival mechanism.  We downplay our successes, and we latch on to our failures.  Does any of the following sound familiar?
    • We get our annual review.  The boss says, “You did an amazing job this year.  We love you.  You’re awesome.  Next year we would like you to show more leadership on your projects.”  What runs through your brain?  “Shit.  I’m a loser.  I should have been more assertive.  I should have worked more.  I better start looking for a different job…”  So much good feedback, yet we glom on to that little bit of feedback and use it as proof that we are a failure.
    • Here’s a personal example.  A few weeks ago, I co-presented on the topic of Emotional Intelligence for Lead(h)er.  Public speaking is a big trigger of panic for me, but by using some calming techniques and mindset work, I was able to keep my voice from shaking, I logically went through the material, and my face did not freeze into any weird contortions.  But.  Then came the Q&A.  A question popped up that did not compute in my brain.  I stumbled through some answer that I’m not sure made any sense or that even remotely addressed the question.  So – great little presentation where I actually exhibited some poise and overcame something very scary for me  – but the rest of the night I had a pit in my stomach, and my mind kept recycling the core belief, “I suck.”  Fun times!
  • We need about a 3:1 ratio of positivity to negativity to offset the negativity bias.
  • Life moves fast, and we are usually focused ever on the future.  “What do I have to do tomorrow, next week, next month to move towards my goals?”  But, Baby, look at how far you’ve come!!  You’ve grown SO much, accomplished so many of your goals, Past You would look at Current You and be like, “Daaaaammmnnn – that’s me?!”  Take some time to relish this.

What are your Wins, your Successes, your Peaks for 2021?  Don’t be shy!  Write them out.  Send them to me or share them with a friend.  Get them down on paper and DOCUMENT THEM.  Brag!  Don’t let self-judgement hold you back you in this exercise.  When it pops up, say, “Thank you, Sir, for trying to keep me safe and small, but I don’t need you right now.”  And Write.

Here are a few of the things I accomplished in 2021 that make me proud:

  • My therapy practice almost tripled.
  • I worked with a psychologist and a life coach and did a lot of work on learning how to feel what I am feeling (instead of stuffing it down to deal with “later”) and how to question the stories on constant, speedy, reflexive repeat in my head.
  • I asked and was granted a decrease in my hours at the bank, enabling me to put more time into my therapy practice.  And I was able to deal with the, “Oh God, Oh God, how am I going to have enough money?!?!” fairly well.
  • I co-presented 2 Emotional Intelligence presentations, which made me super duper DUPER nervous.  One of the worst case scenarios actually did happen during the first presentation – the network at the presentation location was down, so none of the A/V equipment worked.  We printed out the slides as a fail-safe, only to scramble madly when the network came up minutes before the presentation was scheduled to begin.  But, BIG BREATH, it all ended up totally fine.
  • I put my money where my mouth was and hired a personal trainer, and I’m getting stronger. I overcame one of my most favorite thoughts, “I’ll do it later, when I feel like it.”

What could we do better next year?

I propose a new take on this.  Instead of thinking about things that went sideways and how we could keep them on track next time.  Let’s think about what we want for next year.  What do you desire for next year?  Better yet (and thanks to my coach, Kate Reuter for this question), what do you SECRETLY desire? No one else has to know besides you and your pen and your paper.  If anything was possible, what would you desire?   

Don’t be alarmed if you try this exercise only to find out you don’t know what you want.  You might know what you DON’T want (that one is a lot easier).   Ask yourself, if you DID know what you want, what would that be?  If you are an intuitive, empathic person, chances are you are used to having your feelers attuned to what everyone around you wants.  So when you ask yourself this question, you may just get a blank stare.  But trust me.  You do know what you want.  You just need to practice asking and listening.  Again, bring self-compassion, non-judgement, and a sense of massive curiosity to this.  THERE ARE NO WRONG ANSWERS!  If you do it wrong, you’re doing it perfectly.  😛

To give credit where credit is due, I’m borrowing, mixing, and integrating the work of so many people in this post.  Here are links to my main teachers, should you care to dive into this stuff more:

The Life Coach School Podcast – How To Be Proud of Yourself

Kate Reuter Coaching

Dr. Yoga Momma – Yoga for the Mind program

Lashaun Dale

I hope you can find some time to reflect on the year and appreciate how far you’ve come!

And that is it for today.  As always, if anything I wrote piques your interest, and you want to know more, holler at me.  And if you need help with reducing pain, improving your performance, or with feeling more at home in your body, you can book with me here

Have a fabulous day!

Awakening

Pay Attention to what you Pay Attention to.

Have you ever noticed that you when you’re shopping for a new car, suddenly you see your object of interest everywhere?  Overnight, everyone started driving Hyundai Konas somehow (to use a personal example).  You know why that is?  You see what you look for.

And WOW is that powerful.

One of my favorite movies is The Matrix.  Just the original one.  The sequels are horrible.  HORRIBLE!  But the original Matrix is a piece of art.  It shows you how constrained we are by our thoughts.  They literally, every day, every minute, create the world around us.

  • Do you believe that people are always out to get what they can out of you?  That will be your experience in the world. 
  • Think you don’t have the skills necessary to excel in that job you really, really want?  That’s right you don’t.
  • Think you’ve had this pain for years, so no matter what,  you will always have it.  Yes, that will also come true.

Research actually supports the concept of the power of our thoughts – placebos work because we think they work.  Our body processes food differently, depending if we think it’s good for us or not.  A combination of intention and attention can heal.  More details on the the power of of our thoughts can be found in an article I wrote here and in a podcast about psychoneuroimmunology here.

We have more power than we realize over the results we get in life.  Our thoughts create our feelings, our feelings create our actions, and our actions create our results (and confirm our thoughts to be true).  And our thoughts ARE changeable.  Once we start to take the immense super power of Attention and focus it on the utter craziness our ego is spewing out non-stop, we can start to shift our Matrix.  Little by little, we can watch that voice, question its veracity, and try on some new thoughts that might create better feelings > actions > results.

Here are some fun questions to play with, when you encounter an exceptionally annoying thought such as, “I suck and will never be good at this.  Life is unfair.  This shouldn’t have happened.  He is so successful because he came from money.  I don’t have enough money/power/formal education to be “successful.”  She shouldn’t be so talkative/bold/lazy.” 

  • Is that true?  How do you know it’s true?  What if the opposite is true?
  • What are you making that mean?
  • Why?  Ask this one at least 5 times to get down through some layers.
  • Who would you be without that thought?
  • What feelings is that thought creating in your body?  Where do you feel those feelings?  What sensations are associated with that feeling.
  • How could I rewrite this story I am telling myself?

Once we start to glimpse a different reality, outside of the matrix we have created for ourselves, we start to realize how empowered we truly are to go after what is meaningful to us.

This is HARD and exhausting and uncomfortable work.  And it’s slow.  Decades of patterns of thought take time, loving and compassionate attention, and present moment awareness to start to unwind.  But, man, isn’t it worth it to be able to rewrite your story of what’s possible for you?

If this piques your interest, there are about a zillion resources I could share with you, but here are two that have really helped me on my journey:

The Life Coach School Podcast – search for podcasts on the Self Coaching Model

Loving What Is

As always, if anything I wrote piques your interest, and you want to know more, holler at me.  And if you need some help with reducing pain, improving your performance, or with feeling more at home in your body, you can book with me here

And that’s my quick note for today!  Hope you are having a fabulous day! 

Books, Cooking/Recipes, Health & Fitness, Paleo

Spring Fever Medley

Yet again, it’s been more than a few days since I’ve posted.  I really have no excuse other than I’ve been both really busy, and when I’m not really busy, I’m really lazy and don’t feel like doing anything.  So…yeah.

I’m sure you’re not interested in the stories of me being lazy, so I’ll enthrall you with the stories of me being busy.

I made FOUR new recipes last week – all from the Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals cookbook.

1. Buttery Eggs & Leeks with Bacon p. 17.  This was simple meal consisting of leeks sauteed in butter over scramby eggs (with coconut milk in them), topped with bacon bits.  Very simple and very delicious.

2. Greek Salad with Lamb p.81.  This was a simple romaine salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and ground lamb mixed with spices.  The recipe calls for fresh spices, but they are too expensive this time of year, so I used dried.  It still turned out very tasty.  Tim LOVED this salad.

3. Pork Chops with Shredded Brussels Sprouts p.95.  This was another ultra-simple recipe.  You shred a pound of brussels sprouts in the food processor and then cook them in a sh!t ton of olive oil.  So easy, but so good.

4. Cauliflower “Arroz Con Pollo” p. 109.  This recipe was more work than the other three, but since you can chop everything (onion, jalapeno, garlic, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and cauliflower ) in the food processor, it goes pretty fast.  This made a TON of food, and it turned out really tasty.  The recipe calls for saffron, which was $12.99 for a tiny bottle at HyVee, so I subbed paprika and turmeric for it instead.  From what I’ve read, nothing but saffron will give you the flavor of saffron, but I wasn’t willing to spend $13 to test that out.

That leads me to an observation I’ve had after being paleo for 2 years.  At first, I felt as if I had to go out and buy all these expensive ingredients (ghee, sesame oil, coconut aminos, spices, avocado oil, etc. etc. etc.).  However, as we’ve settled into our pattern of eating healthier, we’ve found that as long as we have olive oil, some meat, and some veggies in our fridge, we can eat pretty good!   Eating this way can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be.

And, as I mentioned on the outset, life is starting to get busy again, so I’m trying to go with the more simple recipes that make leftovers.  On the docket this week is Coffee Ancho Short ribs (which are currently slow-cooking in the Nesco and making our house smell amazing), cowboy breakfast skillet, brats & homemade kraut, paleo meatloaf and salmon with salad (FYI – Target has wild-caught frozen salmon on sale this week for $9.99 – $3 cheaper than normal!).  Oh, and I’m going to be decadent and make Paleo Fudgy Brownies.  I’m kind of scared to make them because I think they are going to be crazy delicious, and then I will have to eat them all.

Now on to what’s been making me busy besides making and eating food.  Let’s see.  Work is busy, which takes away my mental energy to do much of anything else in the evening.  BUT I have gotten some things done.  I’ve been making water kefir, for one thing.  So far it hasn’t been turning out – the water is still too sweet after the fermenting process.  However, the instructions say it can take up to 3 weeks for the grains to really get activated, so I just need to be patient.

I also finished Mindset which was an awesome book that really made me look at myself and my abilities/talents in a new light.  I don’t want to write a review because this post is already getting too long, but take my word for it and read it.  It’s a good perspective-shifter.

I also went to an official yoga class for the first time in 6 years!  I’ve been using the yoga app on my phone, but going to a class is so much better.  It’s great to get teacher feedback. My iPad can’t tell me if my form is bad.  I really enjoyed the class.  Even though it gave me a good workout for my core, legs, and back, it was still very calming.  Maybe it’s just psychological, but after only one class, I already feel as if I stand up straighter!  We are going back on Monday.  We are scheduled for Wednesday too, but Tim and I might try a spinning class instead.

We’ve been trying to swim too, to prepare for the tri in 4 months.  We joined the Y, and it’s been really difficult to find times where there are open lanes.  There are a lot of water walkers at the Y, we’ve found.  It’s getting frustrating.

And, well, that’s about it.  Tim and I are doing a 4 mile run in about an hour, so I should go get ready for that.  Hope you are having a great Sunday!