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What’s Burning You?

February 26, 2015

Dear Life Well Led Community,

I’m leading a stimulating week of trainings and haven’t had the moment to blog this week, so I thought I’d share one of my early blog posts from 2009. It offers a few ideas on how to both resurrect an early passion of yours, as well as identify a thought or feeling that may be holding you back in some way. It’s a blast from the past, this week at Life Well Led. I hope you enjoy it!

It’s your life. Lead it well.
Monique

What's Burning You – Life Well LEDMy husband recently bought an outdoor fire pit for our son’s backyard camping party. Last night, I was enjoying the crisp, cool evening by

the fire and was mesmerized by the stunning flames. Within in a minute or so this question came to me—“What’s burning you?” So, I decided to ponder upon the question for a while.

There are two ways to look at this question—both very useful. The first way provides us with a mechanism to dig down deep inside and discover (or rediscover) what positively ignites us—“lights us up.” A great way to do this is to think back to your childhood (8 yrs old or younger) and try to remember what you absolutely loved doing. What were you doing? Who else was with you? Can you remember your feelings? Why did you enjoy doing this activity so much? How was it meaningful for you?

Don’t you remember the feeling of being a child…carefree with

not much to worry about or fear over? These feelings tend to get tucked away as we grow older and the expectations of others and the world weighs heavily upon us. But, if we can just tap into that fire again (our true colors) and learn to incorporate some of these childhood passions into our lives, perhaps we would feel more fulfilled.

Here’s an example…I recently heard a woman describe that as a child she absolutely loved to dance. Now that she can look back at that experience, she realized that it wasn’t the dancing itself (because she commented that she wasn’t a good dancer), but how she felt when she was in front of an audience, and her interaction with them. So, today, she taps into that passion by making sure that she often has the opportunity to “perform” in front of others in her career, whether it be during a staff meeting, presentation, event, or otherwise. These activities conjure up in her the same emotions she felt as a child dancing. What has resulted for her is that she now feels happier at work. Neat realization, huh?

A second way that we can look at this question is to uncover what negatively burns us inside. You know that feeling when someone embarrasses you in public or doesn’t include you in an activity or gives you criticism you can’t handle? Whatever the “thing” or “things” are that burn us up inside truly provide us with some insights that, if uncovered, can help create new opportunities in our lives that we, ourselves, are blocking.

Let’s take the example of not being included in an activity. I know someone who would “burn up” every time his peers would go out for lunch and not invite him. It would infuriate him, especially because he felt he had a great relationship with all of them. He never spoke to anyone about it though so as not to be seen as a pushover. However, after digging a bit, he realized that perhaps the reason he had not been invited was due to his office door being closed around lunch, which may have given others the impression that he was not interested in socializing or joining them.

So what changed? You got it…he opened his door and the invites poured in! It is amazing how our beliefs and self-doubts can limit us and make us angry in the meantime. And what does anger do? It can affect our stress levels, which can in turn affect our health, sleep habits, etc. Let’s leave this for another blog!!

So, what fires within yourself can you IGNITE or PUT OUT? Sometimes, simple internal shifts can make such a difference in how we feel and how we show up in our lives each day.

This week, I encourage you to light your fire within. As singer and songwriter Jerry Garcia expressed in one of his beautiful ballads,“Inspiration moves me brightly”, may you be inspired and moved this week and brightly shine your light!

Monique

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“The flow experience is good in that it has the potential to make life more rich, intense, and meaningful. It’s good because it increases the strength and complexity of the self.” — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

 

I’ve been blogging a lot recently about goals, probably because I, too, have been trying to find the right mix between “being” and “doing“. Perhaps you’ve thought about this as well. In fact, in addition to a few very focused whole-life goals that I set for myself this year, I also created one over-arching theme for my year, which describes how I want to feel. It goes like this:

FLOW IN ALL THINGS

(You dig it, don’t you?!!) I have to say that because I’m focused on being whatever I need to be in each moment, I’m definitely feeling the flow, while accomplishing a lot more! It’s an interesting phenomena, and quite the opposite of what many of us are used to, which is DO, DO, DO and keep going!

So how does this work? Well, for me, it can go something like this…

1. Look at my to-do list once at work and begin to plow away.

2. Today I am not feeling so well, and I realize that I may not be able to accomplish some things on that list.

3. PAUSE. Become fully aware of how I feel and what I need in this very moment (more self-compassion; less action). P.S. – This is hard for Type A’s!!

4. ACCEPT how I feel and decide what the best use of my time is in this moment. What can I focus on and move forward with the energy I have available to me right now?

5. I choose to BE in that feeling of “not-so-good”, honor it, and identify what I can do in this moment that affirms how I feel and also allows me to act. In this real example, I made the decision to push-off some tasks to later in the day, or worst case, the next day. I decided that I would respond to some communication that I felt well enough to tackle.

6. By consciously choosing this action (and not feeling badly about it!) I was able to focus on just that, let the rest go, and flow– BE and ACT at the same time.

In the book FLOW  by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, this is referred to as The Merging of Action and Awareness.

Now, we can take my reason in #2 above and replace it with any other reason that could have interrupted my plans for the day. Many of us lead hectic careers, where emergencies pop up all the time. I used to work in a hospital, and that feeling of being on your toes all the time was ever-present. You were always looking over your shoulder waiting for that “thing” to happen. Sometimes we can’t change the nature of work environments like this (some people are hard-wired to thrive in these environments!), but we can learn to flow with them and find enjoyment in them. This is the ultimate benefit of flowing, and it can be one of the best ways to be engaged in your life and in your work.

Awareness and choice are really KEY in helping to make this happen. As stated in FLOW, “(It is) An individual’s ability to restructure consciousness so as to make flow happen.” You have to choose it, folks!

Although I know that we can and do achieve flow most often by simply leveraging our strengths, which can create optimal and enjoyable states, we also can consciously create the conditions of flow. Some of these conditions are:

  • Concentrating on the task at hand
  • Having a sense of exercising control
  • Doing something that is not done with the expectation of some future benefit (not of the self!)

So when that “thing” happens, or the other shoe drops, what will you choose? Consider going with the FLOW, and knowing that you can, indeed, find happiness in those moments and love what you’re doing right now.

“Give your fullest attention to whatever the moment presents.” —Eckhart Tolle

 

It’s your life. Lead it well.
Monique

 

 

Light Bringer

June 4, 2012

I guess I love Astrology so much because I really believe in energy. In the push and pull of things. In the shifting of time, space and seasons. It’s all energy. We are energy. And guess what? Our thoughts, dreams and desires are energy too.

Where do they come from? Some would say they come from Source, and perhaps we all define Source differently. I’m cool with that. For me, no matter what you call it or how you define it, Source is energy which connects to us humans via our Soul.

You’ve got one of those, yes?

SIDE NOTE: This is my mind on a cup of hot mint tea. Can you imagine my mind on a glass of wine? (Laughing to myself!!) Watch out! LOL.

So what is your SOUL telling you? What’s the ESSENCE of your Soul, and how are you maximizing that ESSENCE that is uniquely YOU to create the life you desire?

As a coach I know that this is something people really want to understand, define, and ultimately, live by. Well, during certain energetic cycles, this ESSENCE becomes a little easier to tap. One of those times begins tomorrow.

BACK TO ASTROLOGY!

I subscribe to Maya White’s newsletter monthly to see what the planets are doing and what that may mean for us energetically and tangibly. According to Maya, on June 5th something very rare happens…Venus begins its transit across the Sun. During her transit, her energy is said to be one of connection to our soul essence…our purpose…our Dharma. So, why not take advantage of this energy to get EN POINTE  if we haven’t taken the time to so?

For those of you who may already be feeling this energy and wanting to get your groove on, it can be as simple as asking yourself:

  • Who am I when no one is looking?
  • What do my closest friends love and appreciate about me?
  • If I can define myself in one word, what would that be?
  • What do I love about myself?
  • What makes me smile and laugh?
  • Who am I today and who do I wish I could be tomorrow?
After answering these questions can you begin to capture your ESSENCE?
If your energy has shifted up and you catch yourself smiling and dreaming, you are on the right track!
Here are some more details about Venus to kick-start your inspiration this month:
  • Venus is the only planet named after a female, the ancient Roman goddess of love & beauty.
  • Other attributes of Venus include, vanity, the arts, physical love, attraction, affection and validation!
  • Venus was once thought to be two different stars, the evening star and the morning star–that is, the ones that first appeared at sunset and sunrise.
  • Venus is known at the “light bringer” and is the brightest of all the planets and stars.
May you enjoy and benefit from the light, love, and inspiration of Venus and her magnetic energy!
PEACE, LOVE & DHARMA,
Monique

Straying from our Truth

March 6, 2011

c/o Paul Teixeira

Today is my Birthday. And what better a way to celebrate my Birthday then to give birth to something new; something that is a piece of me…a piece of my truth. So here you have it, a new beautiful ranting, a new blog.

On days like today I think back to my childhood and I really try to remember who I was and what invigorated me; made me lose time. For it is my belief that we are living authentically during those moments of simple pleasures, joy and timelessness. Whatever it is we are doing in those moments we can do forever! Ahh…remember those days? Yes, I know who I was, and I make sure to tap into that energy now as a Bigger Child. That energy is still within me; my core self, and I owe it to my child self to stay true to who I’ve always been.

I talk a lot. I talk a lot to lots of people, especially high-achieving women. In trying to achieve so much, many times we lose sight of our truth. It becomes blurry, fuzzy, and seems so far away. We stray. As high achievers we get a HIGH by multi-tasking; getting a lot of things done at the same time, or doing too much to please too many. But do we really get a lot done? Are we pleasing ourselves? How much joy or effectiveness am I getting out of one specific task or activity if I have to drop it to begin another, and another, and another? As a high achiever, what exactly am I achieving?

So today– my day– I focus on the intention and action of living my truth and not straying from it, which as we all know is so easy to do.

I read this today and it cemented the concept for me. Perhaps it will for you too:

“The moment we stray from where we are, we create a tension between two places– where we are and where we are thinking of being. It is this tension that blocks us from the sensation of being fully alive, because being split in our attention prevents us from being authentic– even though managing many tasks at once is considered intelligent. That we stray from the moment is not surprising. The more crucial thing is that we return.

Yesterday, I received so much joy from sitting silently and watching my daughter, age 6, revel in her body, her creativity, her enthusiasm in her new dance class. I closed my eyes and went way back in time and saw myself dancing and singing uninhibited in front of no one, or anyone, who cared to watch. I could care less of anyone’s judgement or lack of it. All I cared about in that moment and for hours on end was the feeling I felt, and the dream in my heart. If anyone wanted to come along for the ride, all the better. It was all about the process, not the outcome; the performance, not the feedback. I LOVE this part of MY TRUTH!

What part of YOUR TRUTH do you revel in?

I also found much joy and laughter in reading an article in O about a busy working mother who had visions of her complicated, messy life turning around completely; of becoming someone other that who she was.

She shares:

“I am not and was never going to be the relaxed, organized, manicured career mom, any more than I was going to be the shiny, elusive cheerleader or the diligent Gap employee or the virginal good girl or the wise young lady who dates only responsible, emotionally available guys. I am a disorganized, melancholy second-guesser who rhapsodizes a little too loudly over the pleasures of a cold beer at the end of a long day.”

And, although she managed to have a few really amazing chaos-free days, she embraces her authenticity by proclaiming:

“This is true…I love this f_ _ _ing clown show of mine! Sometimes, even though my world is in chaos, I see myself braiding my daughter’s hair, drinking my tea, blending up a fruit smoothie and singing and dancing crazily to distract the baby from the blender’s scary, grinding sound, and I think…That woman is weird, but she does seem to be enjoying herself.”

I love that. I love that although her world-ly self tells her how she should be (which is not authentic to her), she honors what her spirit self tells her she is, and what feels right and real.

Today I celebrate me. The child me, and the somewhat developed bigger child me, who always wants to give birth to projections of myself and juicy bits of what I’ve always offered to this world.

Want a piece of me? Well, you have no choice. You’re gonna get it!

Cheers to me, to you, and to living our truth!

Monique

While reading Open by Andre Agassi I couldn’t help but see how clearly his life-long struggles so closely tie to the meaning behind our chakras (energy centers within our body). In fact, while reading his story I also devoured Truth Heals by Deborah King, which clearly depicts for us how the answers to almost every challenge or illness we have in our lives can be revealed for us within our chakras.

For those of you who have absolutely no idea what a chakra is, here is a fairly simple definition:

A chakra is believed to be a center of activity that receives, assimilates, and expresses life force energy.  Chakras are energy centers along the spine located at major branchings of the human nervous system, beginning at the base of the spinal column and moving upward to the top of the skull, through which pass 3 major energy channels. Chakras are considered to be a point or nexus of biophysical energy or prana of the human body.  Prana is the basic component of your subtle body, your energy field, and the entire chakra system…the key to life and source of energy in the universe. It is the six major chakras that correlate with basic states of consciousness.

Each chakra in your spinal column is believed to influence or even govern bodily functions near its region of the spine. Because autopsies do not reveal chakras, most people think they are a fancy of fertile imagination. Yet their existence is well documented in the traditions of the far east.

For the sake of this post, let’s leave the definition at this. I do encourage those of you who are interested in reading more about chakras to visit this link and simply enter “chakras” into the book search category: http://bit.ly/9EuwlC.

Now, back to Andre Agassi and Open. The book is all about his life, and in general, his complete lack of control over his childhood, adolescence, and career. About coming to his TRUTH and authenticity later in life.

Here’s a telling quote from Open, on Agassi being a rebel:

“They say I’m trying to change the game. In fact I’m trying to prevent the game from changing me. They call me a rebel, but I have no interest in being a rebel, I’m only conducting an everyday run of the mill teenage rebellion. Subtle distinctions, but important. At heart, I’m doing nothing more than being myself, and since I don’t know who that is, my attempts to figure it out are scattershot and awkward—and, of course, contradictory. I’m doing nothing more than what I did at the Bollettieri Academy. Bucking authority, experimenting with identity, sending a message to my father, thrashing against the lack of choice in my life. But I’m doing it on a grander stage.”

A dramatic part in the book is when Agassi essentially lies to the world about his “rocker” and rebellious hairdo, which essentially is a wig. At a very young age he is trying to come to terms with losing his hair. It’s a part of the cover up of his whole life. According to Agassi he “hates tennis.” Can you imagine that? If that’s the case, where and what is his TRUTH?

In reading the two books so far it seemed crystal clear to me that his 5th and 6th chakras where blocked. Here’s what Deborah King tells us about these two energy centers:

5th Chakra (Throat)

You’re not being completely truthful. You’re angry; you can’t be who you are. You may look polished and put together, but you feel like a scared child inside. SOLUTION: be authentic. When you can trust yourself to be truthful on the pages of your journal, you can trust yourself to be truthful in the world. Just watch how your whole body relaxes as you express your truth. You’ve given yourself permission to be you—to speak your mind, to give voice to the truth of who you are.

Agassi has done this in Open. A first and HUGE step toward energizing his 5th chakra and healing.

6th Chakra (Third Eye)

You lack higher wisdom for guidance and have no signs that you are on the right path. You’re not tapped in to your internal messages regarding purpose and direction nor visualizing positive or peaceful outcomes. You’re not putting self-interest aside and instead embracing the greater good for all.  SOLUTION:  Expressing the truth about who we are and what we really want is the key to peace and healthy living. Listening to ourselves and acknowledging what we really feel allows us to change what is not working and to live in a more meaningful, purposeful way.

Even more interesting is this ancient description (in the time of Plato) of the 6th chakra and it’s relation to the head, scalp and hair:

The brain is the center of rational thought, the Intellectual center. In both Homer and Plato the psuche (or genos) is considered the immortal part of the Soul. The physical substance corresponding to psuche was marrow (medulla), especially the cerebrospinal fluid of the brain and spine, but also in other parts of the body.

Scalp and facial hair were considered physical emanations of the psuche, and so the hair, scalp and chin were considered sacred.   This center corresponds to Chakra 6 (at the brow), called Ajna, which means “authority or command,” an appropriate name for the rational faculty, which Plato said “controls and restrains” the lower faculties; Onians calls it the Executive function.

Can you see how his loss of hair can be attributed to his feeling that he had no authority or command over his life, or that he had no control or restraint, hence his “rebel” image and actions? Quite extraordinary.

I’m not nearly finished with Agassi’s powerful autobiography, but what I know for sure so far is that he has healed; that writing Open was his “journal”… his pouring out of frustration and a work of art with which to finally reveal his authentic self. I highly recommend his book.

In general, healthy chakras are ones that are balanced and not blocked. With practice and awareness we can identify which ones may be blocked and begin to do the work that is necessary to bring them back in balance. For this knowledge, Deborah King’s book, Truth Heals,  is excellent. Here is the link to find it: http://bit.ly/fdKnu3.

Namaste,

Monique

Happy Anniversary to Me!!

November 19, 2010

Being En Pointe is 2 years old today!

YAY!!

Last night I was  doing homework with my children when the thought came to me… “My blog anniversary must be any day now!” Well, since you may know by now that I don’t believe in coincidences, my timing was perfect; to the day to be exact. And, the timing of things gets even better. Last night I also learned that I was accepted as an affiliate for Hay House, my most cherished publisher of all my gurus!

Since this past year’s theme has been all about reading empowering and thought-provoking books via my Relaxed Book Club, I invite you to continue on this path with me of making the time, even if it’s only one page a day, to read a quality book that allows for that oh-so-amazing aha moment! I just love them. Don’t you?

So, I invite you to peruse Hay House and all of its inspiring offerings. Maybe someone in your life needs a good book to lift their spirits?

I guarantee you’ll find one at Hay House.

(Note: for some reason I’m having trouble attaching links to images/words today, so here’s the link to Hay House:                     http://bit.ly/9EuwlC .)


My Relaxed Book Club will become even more relaxed as I retreat more deeply into my new selections (I already have about 6 of them!) and the new insights that I just know I will share with all of you at just the right time. In the meantime, I will use this very special anniversary to contemplate how I’ve been En Pointe this past “blogging year” and how I will renew my blog’s purpose to passionately thrust me forward for another wonderful year of reflecting, sharing and transforming.

Thanks for your eyes and hearts, and for any LOL moments you’ve experienced via Being En Pointe and my Relaxed Book Club. I hope you will keep coming back for more. 🙂

Keep reading… Monique

Ever feel like others don’t really see who you are? Ever feel like you don’t know yourself either? How strongly would you agree with the belief that you must “know thyself” in order to lead others? Would you agree that we must lead ourselves really well in order to lead others?

This week I have the pleasure of coaching women executives at our Women on the Move program. It’s a pleasure because I am surrounded by powerful female energy; transformative, healing energy. At this retreat we retreat within. We learn to get to know ourselves deeply and understand how appreciating and sharing our authentic selves with all those around us helps us to launch a transformation like no other.

So as women, in particular, where do we begin? For me it begins with awareness and trust…of the self.

It’s no coincidence that we refer to earth as “Mother Earth,” because it is a natural trait of women to nurture, protect, put others first, and many times, say “yes,yes, yes” to anything that will create life, despite exhaustion. It is in our nature to give birth!! In fact, the Tao Te Ching refers to this special female energy of creation in such a beautiful way:

“The spirit that never dies is called the mysterious feminine. Although she becomes the whole universe, her immaculate purity is never lost. Although she assumes countless forms, her true identity remains intact. The gateway to the mysterious female is called the root of creation. Listen to her voice, hear it echo through creation. Without fail, she reveals her presence. Without fail, she reveals her presence. Without fail, she brings us to our own perfection. Although it is invisible, it endures; it will never end.”

Wow. That’s powerful!

If you are eager for a transformation; if you are eager to share with the world your true nature; if you are eager to lead and inspire others to reach their authenticity and greatness….begin with you!

Ask yourself:

-What is the spirit within me that never dies?
-What about me and only me is pure and never lost?
-What do I LOVE to create?
-What would my voice say if I didn’t care about what others would think and say about me?
-What about me can others count on without fail?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, take time away from the rat race, from spinning your wheels and operating from a place far away from your authentic self. Pause to understand that things don’t have to remain the same; that we don’t have to operate on automatic or on auto-pilot. In fact, we can come to know the power of operating on purpose, driving forward from our authentic self.

Imagine what this small step would do for you; for your life. Imagine how you would inspire others to do the same merely by modeling this powerful behavior.

Look in that mirror today. Instead of asking “Who am I?”, take the time to get familiar with the you Mother Earth created; with the you others are craving to experience.

Namaste,
Monique