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“If you want to change your life, you have to change your strategy, you have to change your story, and you have to change your state.” — Tony Robbins


chillout

Ayurveda teaches us how to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilled life by living according to the seasons. One of the primary methods for staying in optimal health is to cleanse ourselves on a regular basis so that we may have greater joy and vitality. Using the natural energy available during each changing season is a huge key for how to cleanse properly and regularly.

You may think of a detox as an intense self-depriving protocol, but in actuality, a gentle cleanse that aligns with your body’s innate forces, done at the right time and in the right way, can be just as effective, if not more effective, than a hard-core rigid cleanse that requires you to stop everything and fast for three days. This gentle and natural approach also requires us to be flexible with our definition of what detoxification actually means.

It is important that we routinely cleanse the mind, not just the body. I will share five easy ways to cleanse ourselves from head to toe during these hot and transformative summer months, using simple self-healing principles passed down for thousands of years through the life-giving science of Ayurveda.

Before we get to the good stuff, it’s important to understand a little about the energetic science of Ayurveda and how it works.

According to Ayurveda, one should follow the cyles of nature in order to live healthy lives. By living in accordance with 3 predominant forces of nature (or doshas) that occur naturally in our environment we have the ability to correct energetic imbalances in the body before they turn into disorders. The 3 doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), are comprised of 5 basic elements that can be found in all of life:
•  Ether
•  Air
•  Fire
•  Water
•  Earth

These 5 elements are found everywhere in varying proportions: our bodies, the foods we eat, our minds, our enviroments, and in the changing seasons. Vata is the energy of movement, which is made of ETHER and AIR. Pitta is the energy of transformation, which is made of FIRE and WATER. Kapha is the energy of structure and strength, which is comrpised of EARTH and WATER.

Understanding the interplay of these 3 doshas is crucial for creating harmony or disharmony. Through Ayurveda, one learns how to prevent dis-ease by bringing the body back into a state of balance by working with the doshas.

Summer is naturally hot and sunny (Fire), and therefore the Pitta energy in everyone increases. Pitta provides an abundance of heat, necessary for metabolism, digestion and making physical and mental changes. But too much heat can cause imbalances in the body. This is why we focus on cooling and soothing activities during the Summer to counteract the intensity of Fire experienced through Pitta.

Here are some ways we can take advantage of this excess fire available everywhere during this time to renew and purify ourselves, plus gentle ways to cool ourselves off to experience greater bliss and harmony throughout the summer:

#1 – Be Outdoors for Vitality & Greater Enthusiasm

Feet in a green grassSummer is the natural time to enjoy the outdoor weather and spend more time outside. When we arephysically surrounded by nature, our body is able to rejuvenate naturally at a much faster rate. Relax under a shady tree, feel the strength of a giant tree, bike to the beach, swim in the ocean or cool off with water activities. You can even walk barefoot on green grass to absorb green energy, good for fertility and prosperity.

Avoid hot Bikram yoga during the summer, especially if you are a natural-born Pitta-type. Plan outdoor exercise in the early morning or evening to avoid direct intense sun.

Your body receives plenty of Vitamin D during this time, and everywhere you look plants and flowers are blossoming. Take your cues from the signs of nature, and get inspired by the world around you. Use this time to make everything in your life shine like the sun, with intense color and vitality.

#2 Wash Your Plate Clean Everyday with Meditation

We must approach each day with a clean slate. Wash your plate daily so that when you wake up in the morning, your plate is clean and you can start anew. An amazing way to purify the mind during the summer is with a cooling breath meditation.

As a breathwork and meditation instructor, I have found Sitale Breath to be completely amazing in many ways. Sitale is cooling, calming and dissipates all anger. It is a tonic for the liver with a dramatic cooling effect, and great for manifesting what you really want in life. During this breath we inhale through the mouth, and exhale through the nose.

Close your eyes to begin.
a) Stick a curled tongue outside your mouth and slowly inhale through the curled tongue (pretend to sip through a straw if you can’t curl your tongue). Count 8 seconds in through one long continuous inhale.
b) Close the mouth and make one long continuous exhale through the nose. Exhale to a count of 8 seconds or more.

Repeat this breath for a minimum of 3 minutes. You can progressively slow down the breath, making each exhalation longer than the one before.

All fire will immediately be cooled. This breath reduces any reactive tendencies in the mind, and creates a neutral space so that your thoughts and internal chatter quiet down. Sitale allows you to find inner calm and realization. Devote yourself to this practice daily. If you are new to meditation, start off with 3 minutes. Gently work your way up to 22 minutes.

Reflect on the positive changes you wish to attract in your life. Know that whatever you have planted by way of thoughts from the past are being harvested now. If you want to change your outcomes, or the fruits of your labor, change the seeds you are planting in your mind right now.

The root of all physical ailments is mental in cause. This is natural law. A disorder cannot manifest in the phsyical plane without first existing in the mind and emotions. To learn how to eradicate the root of disharmonious thought patterns through advanced meditation techniques, contact Naam Yoga South Florida (naamyogasouthflorida.com) to find an array of sacred self-healing tools.

#3 Eat Summer Foods

Fresh tasty fruit saladOne of Ayurveda’s biggest secrets is to eat according to the seasons.

Summer is the time to avoid all hot and spicy foods, tomatoes, excess cheese, yogurt, alcohol, fermented foods and other fiery or red foods. There is enough heat as it is! Focus on cooling and calming foods. Believe it or not, this will also help calm that laser-sharp Pitta mind to make time for relaxation and sweetness in your life, which is what a balanced summer is all about!

Foods recommended for the summer include sweet fruits like coconut, watermelon, berries, mango, pomegranate and peaches; fresh veggies and seaweed; aloe vera juice; grains and ghee (clarified butter). Drink more water, lemonade and iced tea.

Add mint, fennel, cilantro, dill, coriandor, saffron and other cooling herbs to your food.

#4 Remove Toxins with Dry Skin Brushing

Get beach-ready by removing dead skin cells and kick-start an internal detox.
When you dry skin brush, you engage in the transformative forces of nature to get rid of unwanted debris and toxins, including any bad habits you don’t want anymore.

Dry skin brushing increases circulation, encourages the lymph to keep moving through the body and promotes greater immune system function by helping us get rid of the body’s unnecessary toxins.

Find a natural bristle brush at your closest Whole Foods or natural food store. Ask specifically for a “dry skin brush”.

How to Perform Skin Brushing on Yourself:
(1) Before showering, start with your feet and ankles, and brush upwards in long, brisk motions, from your ankles towards your knees and thighs, always in the direction of the heart. By doing this, you are stimulating the fluids to move in the same direction, towards the heart. This is how fluids are properly drained by the lymphatic system.

(2) Brush each arm, from fingertip to shoulder, always in the direction towards the heart.

(3) Brush the chest and abdomen in circular motions towards the heart.

(4) Step in the shower and wash away all dead skin cells.

The Lympatic System does not have a central automatic pump like the heart, which beats automatically on its own. This is why the lymphatic system requires our own movement to function properly.

What else moves the lymph? Walking, regular exercise and massage are all excellent lymphatic movers. Practice dry skin brushing now in the summer, so that you can make this part of your regular routine during the next seasonal cycle of Winter, a time when the body will most need the extra push to avoid sluggishness, exfoliate dry skin and generate a strong and healthy immune system.

#5 Restorative Bodywork for Pacification

The intensity of Pitta is balanced by the opposite qualities of love, compassion, coolness and calmness. With so much heat, we really need to take the time to calm and soothe our own tense and aggravated bodies. What more enjoyable way to relax the Pitta mind and body than with a stress-relieving massage.

An Ayurvedic massage therapist who understands the doshas and inherent energy of each oil, may choose to use a blend of cooling coconut oil or sweet almond oil during the Summer months, and go easy on the Sesame Oil for an indvidual who already has a strong Pitta body constitution. Sesame Oil is warming to the body and will have the tendency to create more heat in that person.

The addition of sweet and uplifting essential oils made of flower blossoms, like Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Rose can have amazing effects on cooling down the entire system during a massage, resulting in total summer bliss.

For authentic Ayurvedic therapies, visit Croydon Rose Spa & Apothecary at croydonrose.com

To understand more about each season, and how the doshas are affected, please continue reading.


Ayurveda vector illustration. Ayurveda doshas. Vata, pitta, kaphSummer is the “Pitta” time of year, spanning from June through September. Pitta (FIRE and WATER) governs all metabolic processes in the body including digestion, assimilation, absorption of nutrients, body temperature, the color of our skin and our mind’s processing center. People who have a Pitta personality tend to be very sharp and process things very quickly. They also anger easily and get more irritated than most. They are decisive and tend to be natural-born leaders. Their face is easily reddened, and a strong Pitta-type may have even been born with red hair.

Pitta’s alchemical fire melts and transforms everything it touches. The Pitta season is a time of transformation, purification, sharpening our tools, and allowing digestion and assimilation of ideas to happen naturally so that new paradigms of thinking can be more easily adopted and accepted.

The cooler Vata Season (ETHER and AIR) follows and naturally pacifies the fire months of Pitta. Vata is the force of movement in nature. It governs our channels of communication in the body, our nerve impulses, the heartbeat, circulation, and all reflexes in the body. Without the space to move, nothing would flow. Through the vast and expansive qualities of the ETHER element, Vata provides the space and environment in which all our bodily processes and communications in the body can occur. It is the channels through which things flow. The subtle and light qualities of AIR provides the force that moves. VATA rules our blood vessels, our lymphatic system, our nerve impulses. Like a hurricane, Vata is a moving force in the body that is necessary to avoid stagnation and toxic build-up.

When there is too much Vata, the body becomes cold and dry from too much space and air. The drying action of Vata removes moisture and lubrication in the body, and eventually the body starts to decompose. In the cycles of nature, we see this start to happen when the air turns cool during the Fall, which sets the stage for Winter. Leaves turn brown and fall from trees, and all green life has been removed and covered by the cold bitter snow.

The arrival of Spring signifies that the forces of Kapha are now dominant. Kapha (EARTH and WATER) brings new life to a decayed and frail winter. Kapha re-energizes and gives new life to the decompising qualities of Vata. Kapha is what provides the foundation for life. Kapha calls upon the energy of all plants and vegetables rooted in the earth, and encourages everything to blossom and grow. Kapha is the energy of newborn babies, and all processes that are giving life and rejuvenation.

Too much Kapha in the body however, and again, stagnation occurs. When the earth hardens and structures become massive, the light and subtle qualities are gone and we have a problem of toxic build-up here as well. Then comes Pitta to melt and dissolve any toxicity with the purifying and transformative qualities of Fire, and so the cycles continue.

As you can see, all three forces are necessary for proper functon of the body and all 3 are necessary to keep the proper flow of energy moving in life. Too much or too little of any of the 3 doshas, and dis-ease starts to set in. Dis-ease is simply a state of energetic disharmony in the body. Bring back the harmony between the 3 doshas, and the body becomes more at ease and balanced again.

Our bodies are continually in a perpetual state of bringing ourselves back to harmony and balance. This is why making a regular practice of cleansing and renewal is so important to maintain overall health.

To learn more about using the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and how to balance your doshas, contact me at: annettefigueredo@gmail.com


SOW bloggers

Annette Figueredo owns and operates a small wellness spa in Miami Beach called Croydon Rose Spa & Apothecary, located on the top floor of the Hotel Croydon on Collins Avenue. Croydon Rose offers rejuvenative Ayurvedic services, yoga, meditation classes and wellness workshops.

Annette is also a Massage Therapist, Harmonyum Energy Healer, Reiki Master and Naam Yoga Instructor specializing in Breath and Chanting Meditation. Annette teaches Prenatal Yoga at Corpo Yoga Studio in Downtown Dadeland, and periodically teaches Preconception Yoga and Post Partum Workshops that focus on the sacred 40-day window following birth. Check with Annette at www.annettefigueredo.com orannettefigueredo@gmail.com for her latest classes and updates.

 

“…We have an infinite number of moments between now and the time we are going to die. That is a lot of time for living. So there is no hurry!” —John Kabat-Zinn

If you’ve been following my recent blogs, and/or you subscribed to our Summer of Wellbeing, you know I’ve been blogging about John Kabat-Zinn’s book, Mindfulness for Beginners. Let’s keep it going for a bit longer.
Although I’ve already discussed a few of these in my previous posts, let’s re-cap what Kabat-Zinn tells us are the 7 Attitudes that are foundational to a mindfulness practice. He describes them as:

  • Non-Judging – Lead with your heart, here, not your mind. There’s nothing to do or be, just sit in awareness and understand what’s happening.
  • Patience – Lack of patience prevents us from being where we are already, the whole point of mindfulness. 
  • Beginner’s Mind – Even Monks and Lamas with decades of experience may say, “I don’t really know anything,” and they mean it! One Zen Master is famous for having described his forty years of teaching as “selling water by the river.”
  • Trust – Trust in the nothingness. Trust in what you discover (or you don’t!). Trust in your senses. Trust your feelings. 
  • Non-Striving – Set aside “human doing.” Boredom can be unbelievably interesting. As you watch it, you might find that it dissolves into something much more interesting, another mind-state. 
  • Acceptance – Has nothing to do with passive resignation – far from it. Ultimately, it means realizing how things are and finding ways to be in wise relationship with them. And then to act, as appropriate, out of that clarity of vision.
  • Letting go – It means letting be. It doesn’t mean pushing things away or forcing ourselves to release what we are clinging to, what we are most strongly attached to. It is non-attachment to outcome. We can let go of both our cravings and our fears, we can let things be as they are. 

I don’t know about you, but when blogging about mindfulness and reading/writing about these 7 attitudes, I catch myself breathing deeply, smiling, and ultimately “being”. I feel that non-judgment, trust and acceptance within me, and it truly does become easier to let go. And then it makes me ponder, these attitudes are not just about being mindful, they are truly about LIVING. How we choose to go through all of our moments. Pondering further, I can’t help but to get excited about contemplating our Beginner’s Mind in particular. In the book, Kabat-Zinn compares beginner’s mind to the beauty and joyfulness of young children, and the WONDER they see and feel in all of their doings and beings. 

This idea took me right back to my childhood and the freedom and freshness I experienced. In fact, while walking our dog this week, my husband led me down his normal walking path. Under a bridge that leads to the other side of the street. In that second I went back in time to my life as an 8 year old. This exact spot (under the bridge) was what I called “Paradise”. It was my paradise, because I would ride my bike there and climb under the bridge to think and dream by myself! Now, I had a huge laugh, because under the bridge was a lot of trash, not-to-enticing smells, and I’m sure some gators lurking under the water. Yet, as a child I didn’t judge the bridge or anything around it. I didn’t see all those “bad” things, because I chose to see a “paradise.” I craved WONDER and created it for myself. 

Why does the WONDER need to stop when we “grow up”? Why does the judgement get stronger, the trust lessen, the lack of patience increase, and our fears falsely lead us to believe that we have to DO to BE?
 

NOPE. I won’t buy into it any longer. Are you with me? How did you WONDER as a child. Were you full of WONDER

My request for you this week is to step back into the past briefly to remind yourself of that WONDER and give yourself permission to bring that energy into your life today. Then, thank your past and LET IT GO and come into the NOW, where you can create a life full of WONDER through this magnificent practice of mindfulness. 

“Challenge for us as adults is to see whether we can meet each moment an recognize it as fresh and therefore interesting – after all, we’ve never seen this one (moment) before. 

“If you take a ‘you’ve seen one moment, you’ve seen them all’ attitude, you’re going to get very bored cultivating mindfulness.” — John Kabat-Zinn



It’s your life, lead it well!
Namaste,

Monique

“Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing.” — Warren Buffett


funny

“One must give value to their existence by behaving as if one’s very existence were a work of art.”

– Friedrich Nietzsche

Bring more creativity, fun and play into your life everyday by implementing 2 simple actions. A little goes a long way! Creating everything you want is FUN and easier than you may think!

The path to creating your best life is a journey of exploration, self- discovery and fun. It’s not going to happen all on its own though. We need to help the universe by telling it exactly what we want. Then it will start co-creating with us in partnership so we achieve our goals faster and with ease.

What if you say, “Dana, I don’t know what I want?” or you could say “I know what I want but have not been able to achieve it yet?” or you may be somewhere in between…wherever you are these exercises are highly effective and will help you to get clear and empowered around your goals. You will experience amazing results, that is, if you do the work.

I want to get you started powerfully, so I am requesting you to please write the words “I am ready to receive!” in the comment line at the bottom of the blog. Please take a second and do this now…

Congratulations! You just took the first step closer to achieving your goals. Thank you for receiving my contribution. Remember nothing is what it seems and every action counts. Most importantly you are now officially out of your head. You successfully transitioned from a fantasy world of “thinking about doing something” to declaring a powerful statement in the real world by doing it!

 

Action 1 – Journaling – Unlocking Creative Energy

Write 3 full pages a day. This 15 minute investment in you is priceless! Here’s why…

 

Untitled This is a 15 minute investment in yourself that will pay out 1000 times over. Journaling is a simple and effective exercise to awaken the creative energy within you. But don’t just take my word for it. Here is what the Harvard Business School has to say about it.

“According to a new working paper from Harvard Business School, setting aside 15 minutes to write at the end of the workday is enough to make you better at your job”. When people have the opportunity to reflect, they experience a boost in self-efficacy,” says HBS professor Francesca Gino. “They feel more confident that they can achieve things. As a result, they put more effort into what they’re doing and what they learn.” The journaling employees had 22.8% higher performance than those that did not journal. “In the field study, we were asking people to work less,” Gino says. “It’s counterintuitive, because you think you want to use those 15 minutes to keep working, but it actually leads to better performance.”

The great news about the journaling I am asking you to do is that all it requires is literally writing the thoughts in your head on paper. You are not telling a story. It does not have to be creative. You could start by writing your grocery list, what happened at work, what you forgot to do today. You could write “I have nothing to say” or you could write about one of the leading questions I have written below to get you started. I promise by the 3rd page you will get something of value for yourself. Just be open, let go of your expectations/criticisms and allow yourself to experience the exercise. The journaling is a vehicle for you to clear out the noise and awaken your inner giant, your creator within, and hear what your heart is trying to tell you.

As humans we have these BIG ideas of goals and dreams we want to achieve and then the brain kicks in with these hardwired 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th thoughts which bring up questions, concerns, fears, past experiences, “logic”, all thoughts that stop you from achieving your goals. The brain does this to “protect” us. However, it is time we learn to outsmart our own thought process and reinvent the way we perceive and create the things we want in our lives. The physical act of writing what we want down so that our eyes can see it is extremely important to your success.

So, get writing! Let whatever wants to come out, come out. Do not judge, access or criticize anything you write. Give yourself FULL PERMISSION to SAY ANYTHING YOU WANT! And I mean ANYTHING! I guarantee you will find things to say and once you get past all the concerns, complaints and judgements of the 1st page of your journaling the brain will open up and you will start to discover some juicy information and insights that will give you clarity and direction in your life. Questions will be answered and new clear actions and opportunities will present themselves to you like magic. Things that you thought were not possible, will now become possible. You will find yourself asking, “Why didn’t I think of that before?”

At first I resisted this exercise and now I look forward to it. Resistance, also known as boredom, is just more of your brain stopping you from achieving your goals, there is nothing to fear. Go for it! Your future is calling and you are ready!

Some questions to get you started journaling:

1. What did “play” mean to me as a child? What does “play” mean to me as an adult? What does it look like to play in a healthy, positive way as an adult? What would it look like for me to bring more play into my life, family, relationships, work, goals, and community?

2. When you are 85 years old what are some goals you would want to have achieved when you look back on your life and say, “What a ride! I played full out and have no regrets”. If you are 100% healthy when you are 85 what are 5 things you would give yourself full permission to go out and experience?

 

Action 2 – Put You First – Create & Receive

Write down 20 things that you love and that bring you joy then do 3 of them every day. Stop saying you don’t have time. No judgement is required for this exercise. Put it in your calendar and just do it!

 

Your list can include small things like taking 30 minutes a week to read that book you have wanted to read for the last year, going to the movies, buying a house or planning a trip to Spain by starting to research flights online. Break down the large items into smaller steps, and allow yourself to fully enjoy the smaller things. Know that the smaller things you do, like get your nails done or play tennis with your friends, are equally as important to your big goals and must be valued and treated with the same care.

I had a client that said she didn’t want to put down exercise because she did not have the full hour or two that she needed to do her workout, so she was not exercising at all. This happened to be an area of her life that was very important to her. I said to her, “Why can’t you start with taking a 10 minute walk around your neighborhood to get the ball rolling and accomplish that goal?  Why does it have to be all or nothing?” This is very important. If you get caught in this trap recognize it for what it is and do something small now and over time you will find ways to expand upon it and create more time. Just start! Taking an action and being in action is the most important thing!

Allow yourself to receive self-love and care. The more you let down your walls and receive your own self-love the more goodies the universe will bring to you, because you have told the universe that you are ready to receive! Receiving is one of the most vulnerable and courageous things we can do as human beings because then we give up all rights to complain about our lives when we create everything we want. I promise you it is worth it. The grass is greener on the other side you just have to keep walking and stay focused. Your brain will throw you curve balls. Do not get distracted. You will start to see the people and things in your life that are distracting you and you will be able to takes actions to reduce or eliminate those obstacles with ease. You will experience a huge sense of relief when you let go of what and who no longer serves you. The path will leave a trail…it’s your job to keep taking the next step.

BONUS:

Register on www.AwakenYourInnerGiant.com to receive a FREE BONUS EXERCISE.

 


 

Awaken Your Inner Giant CREATIVELY!

Imagine your life and your world expanding. Imagine yourself AWAKENING to new levels. Can you see yourself CREATING and MANIFESTING everything your heart desires? Can you then see yourself UNLEASHING that new you to the world?

A new AWESOME one day workshop has been designed for just that purpose. This is not a workshop where you just sit all day listening to people drone on endlessly with information…OH NO!!

Our workshop is perfect balance of peaceful reflection and high energy interactive exercises so you experience the best of both worlds. You will play, reach deep inside, write, create art and you may even do some dancing…but we can’t give it all away. There are many more surprises that you must attend to see. It’s an amazing day I can promise you. When you tap into and explore your creative brain you discover something magical. You will discover new solutions to problems, new opportunities for action, and new results. You will see how you can finally achieve, new dreams and create and a new found confidence. Your light shines bigger and bolder than ever before lighting the way to clarity of purpose and excitement to move forward achieving your goals with ease.

Are you interested? You should be, it’s your life and you only get this one. It’s time for you to make a creative investment in yourself. It’s a day packed full of fun. You can strengthen old bonds, make new friends and connect with a community of people uplifting and supporting each other so that we all rise together.

It’s time! CLICK HERE for more information and join us.

Register now and receive 10% off the

“Awaken Your Inner Giant Creatively” class

for a limited time using coupon code: LWL10

 


Dana DellaCamera — Summer of WellbeingDana DellaCamera holds a Master of Science degree in Management and Human Resources from FIU. She is a Creativity and Professional Development Speaker, Life Coach and Performer. As a performer and a Life Coach Dana is extremely excited to be able to combine both of her loves and launch her first Creativity Workshop in 2015 through FIU Life Well Led. Her goal is to eliminate any barriers to creativity which often go unnoticed because they are so ingrained in us. Once we eliminate these barriers we are able to discover what we are passionate about newly take new actions and dream new dreams. Through this process, Dana encourages her clients to play more, exercise compassion throughout the growth process, make mistakes, draw outside the lines and live life on your own terms authentically.
www.danadellacamera.com
www.awakenyourinnergiant.com

For Summer of Wellbeing this week I continue blogging about John Kabat-Zinn’s book, Mindfulness for Beginners. In the vlog below I explain a key concept from Part 3: that we already possess wellbeing and joy, but too often our heads are stuck in the storm clouds that life brings, that we are not aware of all the goodness in our lives. Watch the video below and share your thoughts!


“I don’t believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive.” — Joseph Campbell


super-mama

 

The superhero cape gets way more credit than it should.

Here’s why: the cape has become a symbol for perfection. We strive to be perfect mothers, sisters and partners. We want to be perfect friends, colleagues, and bosses. We want to have perfect bodies, skin, and hair.

What I have found is that so many of us put so much unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be perfect. To be a superhero. To be what really is a fictional character to begin with.

Our cape is so tightly fastened, it is choking us. And before we know it, we are living our lives without really experiencing it.

So, let’s ditch that cape and release the weight of the world off your shoulders…so you can start to experience the awesomeness we call LIFE!

 

1. Stop feeling guilty.

Ever feel guilty about missing your child’s soccer game or leaving the office early? When we put up this wall of guilt, it negatively affects our relationships and makes it hard to savor our blessings. Confront situations when you feel guilty, put things in perspective and just plain move on.

 

2. Ditch your superhero cape.

Wearing a superhero cape all the time is exhausting. The urge to do it all yourself is really an addiction to perfection. But, guess what? Doing your best is good enough. Remember: the pursuit of perfection prevents progress. I invite you to begin a new pursuit: the pursuit of perspective.

 

3. Don’t compromise yourself.

When you say “yes” to something you know deep down you wanted to say “no” to, you unnecessarily burden yourself. Sometimes, saying “no” to others means saying “yes” to you. It’s as simple as saying no gracefully, and offering a solution or alternative that better suits you. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

 

4. Accept help.

Did you know that you can’t breathe out without taking a breath in first? In the same way, I invite you to accept help, support and love from those around you. Allowing others to help you frees you up to be the best version of yourself. Accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of grace. After all, if you want to be a great giver, you need to be a great receiver first.

 

5. Recruit the right people for your life.

Who’s in your army, and who’s hating on it? Take a good look at the people in your life, and identify those individuals that help bring you up, as well as those who just bring you down. Clean house accordingly and surround yourselves with people who love you unconditionally, support you, and lift you up.

 

6. Be grateful.

Practice gratitude! Shift your perspective to be positive and optimistic, to look at what you have instead of what you don’t have. Every morning when you wake up, think of three things you are grateful for. Release the fear of “what if” and be grateful for “what is.”

 

7. Celebrate YOU!

Work hard, celebrate harder! You deserve to celebrate yourself the same way you’d enthusiastically celebrate a friend’s birthday. What’s all this hard work for, anyway? Celebrate with a dance, a high five, dinner or a trip. You don’t need to land a huge client or a big promotion in order to celebrate your awesomeness.

 

How will you take off your super hero cape this summer? What will you commit to?

 


 

Luly B. — Summer of Wellbeing

Speaker  |  Coach  |  Author

Click here to step into my virtual living room and step into your greatness!

www.lulyb.com

 

“You are never not whole. While we may long for it, the great irony is that it is already here in any and every moment, and it is already ours.”
 —John Kabat-Zinn
mindfulness-purpleI just got through reading section two (Sustaining) of Mindfulness for Beginners by John Kabat-Zinn, and I have a new favorite verb!

AWARENESSING (verb) – The dynamic process of being aware. It has no end state. Life itself becomes the meditation process.

We take lots of action every day. We shower, brush our teeth, read, drive, eat, exercise, talk, listen, yell, cry, laugh, think, cook, watch TV, etc. We do a lot! How often, though, can we say that we are AWARENESSING? If you happen to be one of those individuals who regularly practices mediation or other forms of mindfulness, perhaps you are raising your hand and saying, “Me!! I do awarenessing!” If you do, celebrate, because you’re really onto something. Something that can and will change your life.

If you don’t practice mindfulness, then consider the two points I’ve honed in on below, as darn good reasons to develop a mindfulness practice.

Optimize Your Wellbeing

As we’ve posted in many blogs during this summer so far and during last year’s Summer of Wellbeing, there are many ways to approach and ignite our wellbeing. Kabat-Zinn suggests that mindfulness is highly applicable for us if we want to optimize our own wellbeing. This means that although we may be partnering with doctors, surgeons, therapists or healers to help us feel better or get out of illness, through mindfulness we are taking responsibility for whatWE can do to create the optimal condition of our mental, emotional and physical functioning of ourselves.

Through this optimization, or as I like to refer to it, owning our power, we begin to understand and live from the perspective that WE ARE ALREADY AND ARE ALWAYS WHOLE, even if we have problems or illnesses. I hope you read this sentence a few times! Take it in. Through moment-by-moment awarenessing we can truly live out this truth. There is nothing to fix in mindfulness. Instead, “We pour energy in the form of attention and awareness into what is already right with us—what is usually taken for granted.” I hope you read this a few times too!

 

See Clearly Again

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of seeing a Tony Robbins clip, where he talks about the three steps we need to take to truly get out of our way and experience an incredibly joyful and powerful life— (1) Success leaves clues! ID those strategies that leave clues of success for you. (2) Change your story! (3) Change your state! I won’t go into the details in this post, other than to elaborate on these stories we tell ourselves, the stories that hold us back from moving forward and LIVING in our power. These stories are false stories. They are tall tales. You want the truth? The truth that we know deeply but are not seeing? Awarenessing will get you there!

“Mindfulness is about awareness—it’s capacity to free us from our own habits of self-diminishment and of ignoring what is most important in our lives.
It creates ‘clear seeing’ – knowing the actuality of things rather than being caught in our misperceptions and misapprehensions of reality.It clears us from our habits of self-disctraction.

Want a way out of your life that’s on auto-pilot, where your thoughts make you believe things that you are not? You and I are so much more—so much bigger than stories we are telling ourselves. We can change both our stories and our state through awarenessing – through mindfulness.

Because I love science and data (it supports my woo-woo tendencies!), I’ll share this from the book as well. It’s just too cool not to share! 

A recent study from the University of Toronto has shown that there are different networks in the brain for different kinds of self-referencing of experience. One network, termed the Narrative Focus (NF), is active when we build a story based on our experience. It involves a great deal of  thinking, often coupled with rumination and worry. A second network, termed the Experiential Focus (EF), is active when we are grounded i what is being experienced in the present moment, when we are every much in the body and in unfolding sensory experience – without all the evaluation of the narrative network.

The study found that people who train in mindfulness showed an increase in activity in the EF network and a decrease in the activity in the NF network. This is one example of how training in mindfulness can actually influence how the brain processes experience – in this case, how you experience your life unfolding and what you tell yourself about it. It is not that the EF is superior to the NF. Both are necessary to live an integrated and balanced life. But when the NF predominates, especially out of awareness, it can very much limitour understanding of our selves and of what might be possible. 

So, via awarenessing – this one action that can really change our lives, we pay attention in new ways. We see new things and feel new things. We tap into our true story, which shall set us free.

I’m all about freedom. Feeling free to be me, to live in my WHOLENESS.

How about you? How can awarenessing set you free?

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Namaste,
Monique

“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” — David O. McKay