Tag Archives: present moment

5 Ways to Start Living in the Present Moment

Back in 2010-2011 — before I lived in Korea, before I moved to California — I had a lot of internal distress.  I couldn’t, for the life of me, seem to ever live in the present moment.

Why can’t I ever just enjoy things when its actually happening? I would think to myself.  Why am I so focused on what is yet to come rather than simply enjoy what I’m experiencing now?

Needless to say, a lot has happened between now and then.  And I’m not anywhere near as distressed as I was back then.  While I’m far from an enlightened being that can live in the present moment at all times, it’s certainly something that I struggle with much less than I did years ago.

I managed to make shifts so I can live more in the present, and I know with complete confidence that you can to.  So here are 5 ways you can start living in the present moment:

#1 – Get off your cell phone

Stop playing Candy Crush, solitaire, Words with Friends, or whatever other game you play on your phone.  Stop constantly texting your friend or boyfriend throughout the day.  Stop checking Facebook 50 times a day to catch all the latest news trends.

All of these things make us disconnected from our present moment experience.  When our eyes are glued to our phones, we are disconnected from all of what is going on around us.  We are unable to connect with our colleague at work.  We are unable to really connect with our partner after work.  We are unable to really be present with our friend who is sharing a difficult story.

It’s okay to have a phone, but be mindful about it.  If you see catch yourself mindlessly looking on Facebook, checking e-mail or doing Candy Crush put it away and look at all that is around you.  Put the phone down, and take in the beauty of your present experience.

#2 – Declutter… often!

Do you have a stack of books and notebooks from high school piled up in your closet?  Or how about a stack of CDs that you haven’t listened to a good 10 years?  Or maybe that one top hanging in your closet that your just waiting will be back in style someday?

Well, I’m gonna tell you right now.  If you want to really start living in the present moment, then it’s time to throw it out.

While it’s okay to have a few keepsakes, having too much “old stuff” only weighs us down.  It’s almost like the piles of old stuff that we keep is merely a reflection of all the old emotional baggage that we haven’t quite let go of yet.

Seriously — have you ever walked into the house of someone who has piles and piles of old stuff?  How did you feel walking in there?  I doubt it felt light, free, or gave any sense of renewal.

So let go of the old — both internally and externally — it’ll make it much easier to be in the present.

#3 – Be grateful for what you have right now

One of our habits as humans is that we have a tendency to either live in the past or the future.  We may be nostalgic about the “good ol’ days”, while, on the flip side, we may be caught up in dreaming about how everything is going to be great for us in the future. 

Both of these ways of thinking are distortions created by our ego, and all it does is keep us out of the present moment.

So rather than be wishing that things were as they were 10 years ago or how they could be 10 years from now, be grateful for what you have in your life right now.  Be grateful for that job that’s helping you make ends meet.  Be grateful for that apartment that you’re living in even though it may be smaller than you’d like.

Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily, so start bringing gratitude into your daily practice.

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Click to Tweet: Gratitude brings us back into the present moment quickly and easily. via @jenilyn8705

#4 – Let go of worry

Many of us get so caught up in worrying about things that we can never enjoy what we are experiencing.  We worry about getting bills paid, our love life, our career, and so on.

So when you catch yourself being a worry-wart, stop and take a deep breath.  Take a moment to notice how your body feels.  By getting connected how we feel in our bodies, it helps bring us back into the present moment.

#5 – Meditate… every single day!

If there was only one thing that you could take away from this article and start implementing today it would be this: Start meditating!  It is the easiest tool to help you live more in the present moment and can be the foundation for so many other miraculous changes that can happen in your life. 

If you’re ready to start meditating today and open yourself to love, grab a copy of my free meditation Healing Blocks to Love from my new meditation album Ignite Love from Within.

Take action now!

Out of the 5 listed above, what are you going to start doing this week to better live in the present moment?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

3 Tips to Find Stress Relief Daily

When many of us are working 9 to 5 jobs and doing other activities on top of that, like taking some classes, doing some extra part-time work, raising kids, or whatever, it’s pretty darn easy to get stressed out.

But, despite how busy we may be, being able to find stress relief is not something that we have no control over.  Creating and maintaining a solid self-care practice can help us go from a stressed out mess to peaceful and going with the flow. 

Here are 3 tips that you can start implementing into your life right now to help you find stress relief daily:

#1 – Meditate at least once daily.

Starting the habit of meditating every day has been such a game changer for me when it comes to managing stress.  I’ve managed to not only feel less susceptible to stress, but I’ve also found myself experiencing even more feelings of joy, gratitude, and happiness.

Making the goal to meditate every day can be quite intimidating at first, especially if you’ve never done it before (I know I was!) but it doesn’t have to be that difficult.  Just as little as 3 minutes a day (or even 1 minute!) can really make a difference.

You can start off by sitting in a chair or on the floor with your back straight and to simply focus on your breath.  You can count your breath and breath in for 3 and exhale for 5. 

Another option could be to say a mantra to yourself.  A very basic mantra could be “So hum”, meaning “I am that”.  That you can repeat to yourself as you breathe, with the “so” on the inhale and “hum” on the exhale.

When doing a mantra, you’re going to notice a lot of thoughts from your “monkey mind” popping up.  When you catch yourself getting distracted by the thoughts, then simply go back to the mantra the second you notice. 

Remember that having the thoughts is normal and part of the process.  The thoughts come up so that you can process them and let them go.  You’re still going to benefit from the meditation whether you have the thoughts or not.  This is very important to remember because I think I a lot of beginners can get hard on themselves for it (including myself), so remember that it’s normal.

Finally, if you don’t like those types of meditations you could also do a guided visualization type of meditation as well.  There are many people out there with copies of guided meditations, myself included.  So if you would like to go that route, grab a copy of my Self and Relationship Healing Meditation if you haven’t yet and get meditating!

#2 – Start each day with an intention to let it all go. 

That person that cut you off on the way to work?  Let it go.  That very traumatic story that someone told you?  Let it go.  That person who yelled at you and flipped you the bird?  Let it go.

By holding on to the things that have happened to us we create this inner distress and tension within ourselves.  This doesn’t serve us and it only causes us unnecessary suffering.

One of the keys I think in letting go regularly is to live every day remembering this one main concept: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this very present moment then it doesn’t matter.

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Click to Tweet: If it isn’t happening, right here, right now in this present moment then it doesn’t really matter. via @jenilyn8705

It doesn’t matter that you couldn’t get out of your parking job 2 hours ago, because that was 2 hours ago.  It doesn’t matter that you dropped a jar of spaghetti sauce walking out of the grocery store because that was 20 minutes ago.  And it doesn’t even matter that you need to call your doctor about some test results on Monday because it’s currently Friday night you won’t be able to do it until then anyway.

When we shift our mindsets to focusing on present moment, we can let go of all the stuff we think we have to stress about now — but it truly doesn’t matter in this very moment.

#3 – Move it!

Sometimes stressful things happen that shift us into “fight or flight” mode and it can throw us off for the entire day if we don’t know how to deal with it.

Let me let you in on something when it comes to fight or flight: We all experience it — and I don’t mean just humans, but animals too. 

Have you ever seen two ducks get into a fight?  They’ll beat on each other.  Maybe even look like the one is going to actually kill the other.  But, eventually, they break away.  They go separate ways and fly or maybe flap their wings rigorously a few times and then they’re back to floating around on the water all peacefully, calm and content.

They don’t think about how that other duck pissed them off 2 hours after the fact or the one doesn’t try to “get back” at the other in some way.  They just let it go and get back to their own business.

If you really stop and watch sometime (which I encourage you to do), all animals do this in their own unique ways.  But there’s something you’ll notice across the board:  They all move.

So when someone upsets you, pisses you off, or gets you all worked up then be sure to move.  Take a walk.  Jump around.  Flap your arms.  Stomp your feet.  Do whatever it is that you feel can help you let go of all that tension in your body.

Take action now!

Out of the three tips I’ve listed above, which one are you going to start doing today?  Share it in the comments below!

3 Things to Remember When You Don’t Know What to Do With Your Life

It has arrived: You’ve, once again, reached a point in your life where you are not sure what to do with your life.  Maybe you’ve recently gone through a divorce or breakup. Maybe you’ve recently been let go by your employer or you quit your job.  Maybe school has recently ended or your time studying abroad is coming to a close.

Regardless of what has recently ended, the stress and pressure of needing to figure out what you’re supposed to do next can feel about the same.  Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re not sure what to do with your life:

Nobody has it all figured out — ever.

Here’s a hidden truth for you: Nobody has it all figured out ever — and if they say that they do have it all “figured out” then it’s likely that they are lying to you.

Yes, even that lady with a solid and stable career, with 2.5 kids, a dog, and a husband that makes good money.  Yes, even that friend of yours who recently got married and is moving to Hawaii.

The reality is that even though we may appear to have our lives pretty secure and “figured out” there are always unexpected things that come up along the way.  Someone losing a job or feels forced to quit for whatever reason.  Someone gets a serious illness or has an accident.

Something unexpected is always bound to happen at some point or another because that is the nature of living.  We simply just can’t avoid it.  So if you catch yourself thinking things like “Everyone else has it all figured out except me”, then know that it is totally a false belief.

There is no deadline to “figuring it all out”.

You don’t have to have your entire career planned out before you can get started.  You don’t have to know everything that you want in life in order to able to have your perfect partner for you.

Life is about exploring and discovering.  It’s about allowing ourselves to grow and become better by exploring and testing out new things.  Sometimes things stick, somethings don’t.

The problem is that, for many of us, we take life too seriously.  If something doesn’t work out the way we hoped we beat ourselves up, say we’re no good, throw in the towel, and never try out anything new again.  That is the huge mistake!

The reality is that life is all about practice.  If we make plans that don’t work out or commit to something that fails then so what?  It’s most certainly not the end of the world — it’s a gift!  It is the gift of learning what doesn’t work so we can figure out what will work.

So don’t beat yourself up about not having it all “figured out” right away.  Life is a journey, a process, really, as are any “plans”.

Enjoying the present is key.

The problem with “trying to figure out” our lives is that it causes us to be disengaged with the present moment.  So if there are good things happening in our lives or windows of opportunities opening up around us, we can’t see it cause we’re too busy being caught up in our little mode of “I need to figure out my life”.

So let go of the need to “push” yourself to figure it all out and allow yourself to simply enjoy life right here right now.  Allow yourself to simply be and enjoy the little things in life — a warm cup of coffee with a good book, a cool evening, the sound of birds chirping early in the morning, a dinner with a great friend.

When we just stop and smell the roses and allow ourselves to enjoy where we are we give ourselves the chance to fall into the natural flow of life.  Which, in turn, allows us to better see and know what decision we should make next.

FiguredOut

Look within…

Take a moment now to stop and look within.  How have you been stressing yourself out because you haven’t fully “figured out” your life?  What have you been stressing over?

Once you’ve identified what you’ve been frustrated about, ask yourself:  How can I “let go” this need to “figure it all out”?  What can I start doing daily to release this stress that I’ve been causing myself?

Share your insights in the comments below!

The Mindset Shift that Transformed My Relationships

For years, I was unfulfilled in my relationships.  I felt like I was giving more and trying more then what I was receiving in return.

I was drained and tired.  I kept reading book after book after book about relationships in hopes to find some answers.  I read about every book in the whole “self-help” section in hopes to find the answer as to why love was so difficult for me to find in this world.

I went to a variety of professionals in hopes to find some answer.  Though I realized that the work I had done with them only benefitted me temporarily.

There was something else.  Something that kept holding me back but I could never figure out what it was exactly.

And then, I moved to Korea.  The move caused me a lot of stress and emotional strain to work through.  However, it seemed that the universe felt I had even more that I could manage to deal with, because I found myself in an extremely challenging relationship with a fellow expat.

It was one of those on again off again kind of dating situations.  We’d “breakup”, be back together, fight, “breakup”, get back together.

This roller coaster of a relationship only lasted only 4 months.  But despite the short duration, I continued to suffer through the aftermath of it months later.  I found myself reading book after book after book trying to find answers.  I meditated, I kept a dream journal, I did hypnosis.  I tried just about anything I could just to find a way to break this self-defeating cycle that I had in my relationships.

I was desperate — and I had decided that things were going to shift now.  Not in a few months or a few years, but now.  I did not want to go back to the US without figuring out what I needed to change.

Eventually, I came across one book that seemed to have many insights that resonated with me.

Though there were many insights in that book that I found beneficial, there was one mindset shift that hit me so hard my body shook.  It felt as if a train just hit me and I had to take time get re-centered again.  I didn’t want to accept it.  I didn’t want to acknowledge it.

Eventually I did choose to accept the idea and make the necessarily mindset shift — and it has completely changed the way that I approach my relationships and my life.

My major mindset shift was accepting the idea that:

The people you are in relationship with are guests in your life.

This isn’t an easy pill to swallow — for anyone.  We don’t like or want to digest the idea that every single person in our lives will one day be gone — as well as ourselves.  We like to hold on to this belief that what we have will always be with us.

Many times we tend to seek relationships for some kind of security.  Emotional security, material security, financial security, physical security, etc.

This desperate desire for security comes out of fear.  We’re afraid of being alone.  We’re afraid of needing to support ourselves completely on our own.  We’re afraid of having to rely solely on ourselves.  We’re afraid of acknowledging the reality that the only person who is with us from birth until death is ourselves.

Yet, the irony is that if we don’t learn how to support and rely on ourselves, if we don’t confront our fear and accept that nothing in this world is absolute, then we will only hold ourselves back from true fulfillment and empowerment.  We create unnecessary tension in our relationships and, most of all, prevent ourselves from truly enjoying where we are in the present moment.

The key is to realize and accept that no one person is always going to be there with us throughout our lives.  Even if we do get married, have 2.5 kids, a secure job, a house and a dog, we are still in every single moment running the risk of that all dissipating in a split second.

It is the risk that we take for living and it is unavoidable.  Therefore, by confronting our fears of security head-on we then automatically give ourselves the opportunity to truly stand in our power.  To truly be who we are meant to be in this world.  To truly have what we have always dreamed of having.

We must confront our darkness, before we can truly shine.

ConfrontFearsTrulyShine

Click to Tweet: We must confront our darkness, before we can truly shine. via @jenilyn8705

Take action now!

How are you overly striving for security in your relationships?  Are you striving for financial security?  Emotional security?  Material security?  Or, ask yourself: What is it that I most fear of disappearing from my life?

For me, I most feared not having material stability.  I wanted someone to help direct me somehow.  I also feared being alone.  I was terrified of needing to rely on myself without anyone to help support me emotionally and materially.

Share your answers in the comments below!

Create a More Joyful Life with This Super Simple Technique

 We all want a more joyful life.  But, more often then not, it can feel like an impossible task to achieve.

There always seems to be something in the way… a troubling relationship, the lack of financial security, feeling unsupported, a feeling as if you’re just wandering through life and unable to find your true life’s purpose that will make you feel fulfilled and overwhelmed with joy.

While all of these things are certainly valid concerns and issues to have, we often make these things worse than what they really are.  Having the issue is one thing but holding on to the issue for days, weeks, and months on end while wishing that one day something is going to magically shift and make it disappear is something totally different.

The irony is that, often times, the real problem isn’t what we proclaim is our issue at all.  Instead, the real issue is the fact that we spend too much energy focusing on the problem and not enough energy in actually finding things to be joyful and happy about.

We dwell about the failure of our past relationship and spend hours, days, and weeks replaying the past events in our mind in hopes that somehow that will magically make things better.

We dwell on our financial struggles rather than taking action and some potential risk in order to improve it.

We waste our time thinking about how we don’t feel fulfilled and wondering what our life’s purpose is but we fail to take any sort of action steps in order to give ourselves even the slightest chance in actually discovering what will truly satisfy our heart’s desire.

In a strange kind of way, we are addicted to suffering.  It’s as if there’s a part of us that likes the fact that we have problems.  A part that likes to have something to complain and whine about.

Author Eckhart Tolle of The Power Now and A New Earth, along with Buddhism and other philosophies, would describe this other part of us as the ego.  The part within our mind that is fear-based and likes to keep us in a state of suffering, rather than a state of true genuine fulfillment through our soul and inner spirit.

The ego is the very thing that prevents us from really truly living in and focusing on the present moment.  It distracts us by either living in a place with our nostalgic feelings of the past or hopes that one day things will all work out and become better in the future.

This is a huge discrepancy because by focusing most of our time in the past and future, we prevent ourselves from doing the absolute most important thing: To act in the present so that we can create happiness, joy, and fulfillment in our lives right now.

Not 5 years ago or back in high school.  Not next week or 10 years from now.  None of that jibberish.  Rather is to take control of your life right now so that a life filled with love, joy, and fulfillment in all aspects of our life — relationally, professionally, and personally.

So how can we start taking action today in order to create more joy in our lives right now?

The key here is to place all of your focus on the present moment.  So this is what I want you to do…

Stop thinking about all these other things that might be going through your mind as you are reading this.  Stop thinking about all the things you have yet to do today.  Stop thinking about your failed relationship.  Stop thinking about your financial concerns.

Instead, just stop and focus on every single word that you are reading right now.  Put your full attention into focusing on each individual word as they come up fully and completely.

Take a moment right now to bring that focus to an object in front of or around you.  A cup, a plant, a chair, or whatever.  Stop and focus completely on that one thing.  Do not think about anything else.

If a thought comes up about anything else, simply acknowledge it and let it go.  Resist attaching to it and allowing it to consume you and your energy.

Now look to something else in the room.  Place all of your focus on that one thing.  Look at that one thing with 100% of your attention.

Tell yourself, “This is life right here, right now.”  Ultimately, there is nothing else that exists in this world other than now.  Nothing happens in the past.  Nothing happens in the future.  Everything comes out of this very present moment and everything can only come out of this present moment.

Carry on with this idea and activity for the rest of your day.  Whenever you catch yourself dwelling on a relationship problem, financial concern, work issue, or general life problem stop and draw your focus completely on the present.

With time, effort and practice it will become easier to be fully engaged in the present moment so that you can live a life of genuine happiness, joy, and love.

Joyful Life

Take action now!

Choose one activity that you must do today and do it with the intention of being completely focused and engaged in the present moment while doing it.  This can be while doing the dishes, going for a run, doing yoga, writing a paper or article, talking with a friend or colleague, or whatever.

Just draw your attention completely on the present moment during the activity.  With greater time and practice you’ll eventually realize just how much more joyful life is.  You’ll also gradually begin to feel like so much more can be done in smaller periods of time with less effort on your part.

Do this every day with this one activity for one week and make a note to yourself in a journal of your progress.  Share your progress at the end of this week below.  OR share your experience of intense focus of the present moment that you did while reading the article in the comments below!

Why Embracing Our Inner Child Transforms Our Lives & How to Start NOW

A few days ago I traveled back east to spend Christmas at home. This has actually been a pretty big deal for me because this is the first Christmas that I get to spend back home in three years. The last two years I spent abroad in East Asia where there was virtually no Christmas decorations or “Christmas spirit” to be found.

Not only did it lack in the whole “Christmas spirit” department, but it hardly ever snowed there and, if it did, it was the kind of snow that only lasted for a few hours or a day and melted. It certainly wasn’t anything that anyone could sled on, make a snowman with, or really enjoy in any real way.

So the other night it began to snow and it carried on through the morning. It wasn’t too much or two little – just right. And even if it was less or more I still would’ve felt excited and filled with gratitude for being able to experience snow: the crunch of snow under my boots, the white snow covering the bare tree branches, and the sight and feel of snowflakes falling.

Despite my own elation and appreciation, I quickly began to hear all the natives who haven’t lived in other locations that don’t get snow start the classic complaints of: “Why do people have to drive like idiots in the snow?!” or “Darn now I have to shuffle the driveway!”

I guess that’s just a mere representation of the irony that is our common way of living: We wish we had the things we don’t have rather than to simply accept and appreciate the things we do have. It seems that it is not until we actually experience not having something that we really allow ourselves to genuinely appreciate and enjoy it.

But this was not always case. We weren’t always this bitter. When we were kids seeing snow falling outside the window would make us so incredibly excited. We would run to the coat rack and and try to bundle up as quickly as possible just so we could try to catch snowflakes on our tongue before the snow stopped falling.

As adults, do we ever do that? No, because we are putting so much more energy into disliking what is happening rather than simply enjoying it. We reject what is happening rather than to accept it and move with the flow of what is happening. And to top that off – we may also have an internal inner critic telling us not to do really enjoy it and “play” because we are “adults” and that’s a “childish” thing to do. We tell ourselves that only kids can excited over such little things and enjoy it.

As a result, we don’t really allow ourselves to be joyful and excited or sad. We ignore and repress either emotion, so what we do express is negativity and complaints.

That’s one of the big differences between children and adults. As children, we acted out of impulse. We were present. We accepted the moment and lived out of the present moment. As a result, we were easily excited and joyful and if something upset us we cried right then and there and then let it go.

We didn’t hold on to and repress all these emotions. We expressed them in the moment. As a result, we were more in touch with our true sense of self – all because we were young and we weren’t filled with a ton of unexpressed emotional baggage.

As adults however, we are often rejecting what is happening rather than accepting it. Then we’re wishing that things were like they were in the “good ol’ days” or hoping that things will get better in the future.

Clearly, focusing primarily on the past or future is an illusion that only keeps us trapped in this miserable cycle of unhappiness. It causes us to feel disconnected from our true selves. And so, we are unhappy and we don’t know how to fulfill ourselves. As a result, we fall into habits to gain false short-term satisfactions by becoming consumed with material items, alcohol, drugs, TV shows, our relationships, and so on. In other cases, we may feel the need to have kids because, deep down, we know that our children possess the tremendous amount of excitement, joy, and love that we ourselves are lacking.

So how can we start to truly embrace our inner child and feel more reconnected to our true selves as adults?

Focus on the present moment.

Though it may not make sense right away, everything happens out of the present moment. Nothing ever happens in the past or future – it is always in the present. The present moment is the only thing that is actually real.

Something that happened 10 years ago is over. It’s done. It doesn’t matter because it doesn’t impact the present moment – at least not if you cause it to impact the present. It’s when we allow the past or future to impact the present that it negatively effects us because it takes us away from what is happening right in front of us.

Change can happen only in the present moment. As children, we did this naturally because we had no past or future to think about, so in order to reconnect, we must focus on being present.

Cry.

Seriously – when someone or something upsets you, cry. All of our negative emotions – fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, etc. all stem back to a sense of suffering and sadness. Now, I’m not saying just go off and force yourself to cry over every bad thing that happens to do (that can take you out of the present). Rather, when the emotion comes up to just let it out and cry then cry. As children we naturally did this, but as adults we often don’t let ourselves do this because we tell ourselves it may not be “socially appropriate” (a common thing that we were “shamed” for as children). But the truth is that by expressing it in that moment you’ll feel better.

If you’re concerned about others seeing you, there are ways to cry in public places without really drawing much attention to yourself (sunglasses, bathroom break, etc.). And even if someone does see you, so what?

Also, it’s worth noting that you won’t always cry over bad things. We cry over good and joyful things as well. If that comes up, then allow it to happen. I’ve found that allowing ourselves to simply cry really allows us to process what we need to in order to heal and release what we need to release.

Play!

Be spontaneous. Be creative. Have fun! Take a go dancing or take a Zumba class. Start a new craft. Take a trip. Build a snowman. Go sledding. Paint, color, or draw. Play softball. Sing or play a musical instrument.

Put forth the effort to “play” every day. And if you catch yourself making the excuse of “I don’t have time”, then shut off the TV. Make it a pact that rather than watch any TV, you will “play” instead. When we allow ourselves to “play” we can begin to become more aligned with our inner child’s natural way of being.

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Start Embracing Your Inner Child NOW!

In what ways have you been keeping yourself away from the present moment? In what activities or situations can you start to be more presently engaged?

What kinds of emotions have you been repressing? What kinds of things should you just let yourself “cry” about?

How can you start implementing more “play” into your life? What kinds of activities can you start doing that you’ve always wanted to do but you have never done?

Share in the comments below! I’d love to help you on your journey!

What Every People Pleaser Needs to Realize About Themselves

A few weeks ago I was going through a bit of a rough patch. I was sad and upset over some recent events that had taken place in my personal life. To make matters worse, I also had finals due that same week so I easily felt overwhelmed and stressed by everything thrown at me at once.

One course that I’m taking for my grad program is a group process course, where we basically practice and learn about the group therapy dynamic. Each class begins with an hour of the therapy session or “processing” and then the second half is focused on theory and discussion about those theories.

Since I was going through this rough patch, I brought it up to the group to process what I was going through. I shared the story and explained my frustrations.

Hours and days after class when I was reflecting upon that sharing I finally asked myself: Who was I sharing this for? Me or them? Naturally, when it comes to any sort of therapy one would assume that the person who is sharing their story or their own healing. They want to experience some sort to relief. This is why many people cry when they are sharing a painful event. It helps them to release all those painful emotions so they can let go and move forward.

Well, the thing is… I actually didn’t cry. In fact, when I BEGAN to cry I stopped cause my throat started closing up, got re-centered, and began talking again. My inner critic came up and said “No, you can’t cry here because if you cry then you can’t talk!  You NEED to be able to talk so that you can explain your story to everyone.”

I habitually did the exact thing that so many of us people pleasers do:

In our own moments of suffering, we focus on the well-being of other people rather than ourselves.

How crazy is that?! I AM the one that was going through all these sad emotions and what do I do? I shift my focus to other people’s feelings and act accordingly to what I sense from them.

It’s such a people pleaser thing to do!

So what can we do about it, you ask? Well, there are a few things…

Be aware.

Awareness is the single most important step and the more you challenge yourself to be aware of it the better. Like, we can MENTALLY know and understand our own dynamic but when we challenge ourselves to pay close attention to that dynamic unfolding in the moment it can light-up our eyes in a way nothing else can.

Next time you are associating with a group of people focus on things like: Am I focusing more on this other person or me? What am I feeling right now? Hint: If you don’t know what you are feeling in that moment, then you’re more than likely focused on the people around you.

Focus on “here”.

There was an activity that I did a few weeks ago at a relationship workshop where we were asked to sit with a person and focus on “here” (you yourself are right now), “near” (the other person), and far (the other people, things, and places around you). More than likely, one is going to be MUCH more difficult than the others.  If you’re a people pleaser, chances are the “here” might be the most difficult.

So next time you are associating with someone, in a group, or simply just around people on the street try to focus on where you are. Also try to notice in that situations are more difficult than others.

Do you easily focus on other people when at the grocery store or is it only more difficult when you are talking to someone? Make a mental note of which is easier and which is harder for you.

Focus on your body.

Even if you can’t quite get the first two, don’t fret because this one is the easiest way to help shift your focus back on YOU and YOUR needs! The trick? Focus on your body.

For many of us, this can be very difficult in the beginning because our society has us so focus on our heads. We sit in front of a computer or spreadsheet all day and most of us rarely ever focus on “How does my body feel?”

Well, the great thing about focusing on the body is that not only does it tell us how the body feels health-wise but it also helps us to be more aware of our emotions. We can focus more on OURSELVES rather than other people.

So rather than doing a meditation to help calm yourself down or get re-centered when you’re around people or after you’ve been around many people, a much more grounded approach can be to simply focus on how you feel in the body. Is there tension? Do you feel jittery? Do you feel open? What emotions do you feel are correlated to these body sensations?

If you are never quite sure what you are feeling emotionally, the body can be a gateway to discover exactly what emotions are lingering around.

people pleaser

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Begin to focus more on YOU today!

Stop for a moment and focus on your body. How do you feel? Is there any tension or pain? What emotions are associated with that?

Then focus on how you feel when other people are around. When you’re in a group, take the time to stop and focus on yourself. What am I feeling in this moment? What do I need?

Share your own experiences and what you are planning to work on below!

The Mindset Shift that Will Drastically Change Your Relationships Forever

Relationships are challenging, if not one of the most challenging things we ever experience.

relationships

We can all think of at least one relationship we’ve had where we experienced struggle, heartache, disappointment, stress, and pain in our own unique way.

Though relationships are very complex, there is one realization that I made about a year ago that forever changed the way I viewed and acted in relationships. As a result, my relationships have been much more fulfilling and much less stressful.

The realization?

To completely accept people as they are in that present moment.

So what does that mean? Well, for starters it means to not expect someone to do something that they are not completely capable of. For instance, my boyfriend is much more logical and rational than I am. He is driven for data and using concrete systems. I, on the other hand, am much more driven by emotions. I’m naturally empathetic and I can’t do something if I don’t “feel” a drive to do it. So whenever there is a conflict, should I hold an expectation that he needs to develop his empathy and emotional connection? No. He is at his own unique stage of development and I am at my own unique stage. He has his strengths and weaknesses and I have mine.

Now lets go a next step deeper. Lets say I have a co-worker who is still fairly a new acquaintance but we’re beginning to develop more of a friendship. I bring up a topic that is of interest to me, like going to a yin yang yoga class. He responds with, “Oh, you’re interested in THAT…” and then seems to label me as being some sort of “new age freak” though he didn’t directly say that.

Habitually I feel the urge to do the exact thing that I do in all of my relationships: I feel disappointed, rejected, and maybe a bit of an urge to get defensive and “try to teach him”. I may also feel the need to hide this layer of myself just so I can avoid any future judgement or criticism.

But this time it’s different.  This time I simply recognize the state he is in, accept that in this present moment we are at two different stages and let it be. I don’t expect him to understand or change anything about himself right now. Rather, I may just casually back away from the relationship a bit and act accordingly knowing that, at this point in time, we are not equals.

The struggle many of us have in our relationships, deep down, is that we hope that every person we get relatively close to understands us perfectly 100% of the time and is our perfect equal, but it’s just not realistic. We are all constantly changing, evolving, and growing in our own unique ways. Seasons change and so do people. The moment that can be fully recognized and accepted is the moment when we completely change the course of all our future relationships.

Begin this shift TODAY!

Ask yourself: What have I been expecting in my relationships only to be let down time and time again?  Realistically, what is each person’s strengths or weaknesses at this time?  What ARE they capable of and how can I appreciate that?