Hey Brain – This is What I Think of You!

I love to think about my brain. I love to find metaphors and analogies for how my brain works. Of course, this is all based on the fact that I know that I am not my brain, any more that I am my body. Both my brain and my body are amazing. But they are tools or things that are here to serve me… and I have a big responsibility to take care of them.

My brain is really powerful. (So is yours!) It is amazing. But it isn’t perfect. I use these stories to remind me some of the ways it isn’t perfect. Sometimes….

…my brain is a toddler. It throws a tantrum when it doesn’t get what it wants. Sometimes I have to let it just kick and scream until it’s exhausted. Sometimes I have to distract it. No matter what, I can’t give in, because then it learns that the tantrum works.

…my brain is a five-year old who wants to make me breakfast in bed. It’s trying very hard to show me that it loves me. The mess in the kitchen wasn’t malicious! So well intentioned, but wow, so wrong. And messy – yikes!

…my brain is thirteen and chatty as hell. It says the most ridiculous things because, you know, peer pressure and social media and stuff. And volatile. And loud. And insecure. And inquisitive. And hormonal and all over the place.

… my brain is a seventeen. It really wants to think that it is all grown up and ready to go out on it’s own and be in charge. Which is so cute that I have to hide my giggles. But it’s not. I’m still in charge and I need to remember that. I’m responsible for our welfare, not the other way around.

… my brain is a laptop. It runs on the operating system that’s available. It’s doing what it’s programmed to do.  If I don’t maintain it – empty the recycling, charge the battery, keep the screen and keyboard clean – it’s going to really bog things down. And if I don’t take the upgrades, its going to stop being able to do what I need it to do!

But I really do love you, Brain! Thank you for all that you do. I promise to take good care of you!

So what do you think about your brain?

Love and light,

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

 

A New Take on Resistance

I wrote about your hashtags a couple of weeks ago.  Hashtags are your mental shortcuts, giving your brain quick access to your ecosystem of beliefs.

I was fascinated by one of my client’s hashtags, #TheResistanceIsReal. I realized that resistance was being mighty powerful. Reigning supreme even.

I thought about how we often try resisting resistance. Which, of course, just gives us more resistance. And struggle. Ugh. I don’t think that white-knuckling or powering through are the only ways to do something. So that’s a no to resisting resistance.

I thought about just acknowledging or allowing the resistance, because sometimes that works. Okay, I tried that.  Not quite, because it didn’t pass – it lingered.

So then I landed on this: how is resistance trying to serve me?

Aha! This is helpful. My brain is serving up resistance in order to serve me – protect me, help me, teach me… do something useful.  If I look at resistance as trying to be helpful (even if it’s a bit misguided) then I can process it and move through it.

For example, am I trying to do something new without updating my old beliefs? Am I pushing too hard to make a change, and the effort isn’t really sustainable? Am I trying to do something I don’t really want to do because I haven’t figured out how it’s really going to benefit me? Did I really pick it? Do I need to do some more work to support it?  Have I really faced the impacts? Have I truly decided?

I’m not saying that resistance is a reason to quit! I’m saying resistance can be very helpful in figuring out what else I can do that will support my decision and make me more successful.

I think I can translate the hashtag to #ResistanceIsReallyTryingToTellYouSomething. Okay, that’s not as cute as I thought it was going to be.

Love and light,

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

A Shortcut Out of Being Annoyed

I was talking to an amazing client of mine yesterday (she really is, I’m not just saying that!) and we were talking about how one of her most prevalent feelings is annoyed…and how annoying it is to be annoyed when you don’t really want to be living in annoyance!

We talked about ways to change our thinking so that whatever was annoying wouldn’t annoy us (oh yes, I could totally relate to what was annoying her, which was a loud talker sharing TMI!) and it worked, but it seemed like the long way out.

I started talking a little bit ahead of my brain (or at least before I knew what I was going to say) and I said that my go to thought always starts with something like “I’m glad I’m … on the outside of her head instead of the inside.” We both laughed a little at the semi-snarkiness, and then I realized that it was true. I was glad. I was actually grateful.

And duh – cue the lightbulbs and angel choirs – gratitude is the shortcut. I mean, I know that gratitude is magical. I know it. I just hadn’t made the connection that it was a shortcut out of being annoyed…probably because I was too busy being annoyed.

Of course, I had to try it out again, and I lucked into a couple of annoying situations very quickly so that I could still remember. And guess what! It worked! Try it for yourself and let me know in the comments what you discover. I don’t know if it’s going to work on chewing noises, though…

Gratitude is magic. If you’d like another way to use gratitude for your own good, check out the Abundance Sandwich.

Love and light,

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Your Happiness is Good For the Planet

I’ve seen several quotes recently that are all along the lines of the thought that we are not here to be happy, but to serve and to make a difference in the world. I love the people who posted the quotes, but it got me thinking. This sounds good, but…

—this line of thinking really bothers me for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s based on a belief that we can’t be happy and serve at the same time. Whoa! I know that’s not true. I know that I am truly happiest when I am doing what I am meant to do. By the way, that’s not just one thing – it can be many things in one day. Most of them do make a difference for others, and the rest take care of me.

Which leads me to my second point. I am at my best when I am happy. I do better work, I give more and more freely. As a life coach, this is especially true.

I also believe that we wouldn’t want to be happy if it weren’t something we should have. I don’t believe that happiness is a carrot dangling just outside our reach, torturing us.

There are still remnants of the puritan settlers in the thought that service requires suffering. (BTW, they condemned and burned people like me!) I reject that puritan thinking, because I believe that when we are happy, we are of MORE service to the planet. When we are happy, we bring a totally different level of energy to our work and our being. The world needs lots more service from a place of joy.

This is probably a good time to get a bit more specific on what happiness is and isn’t. Happiness isn’t a string of getting things that you want – although an occasional bit of delight plays a part. Happiness is a symphony of emotions – delight, satisfaction, purpose, connection, selflessness, selfishness, love, connection and so much more – that come together in your unique composition of A Life Well Lived.

Yes, your happiness is good for the people around you, for the planet and maybe even something more.

Love and light,

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Ooh, That Lab Coat is Hot!

That lab coat is seriously hot. I think you should try it on. It would look great on you!

Labcoat

It’s a metaphorical lab coat, of course.

It’s a way of thinking, of looking at yourself and your life. Looking at your life – and your mind – like they are your lab. Like you’re a scientist.

In your lab coat, you can observe, experiment, gather data and research before you draw conclusions.

In your lab coat, you can be objective. There’s no judgment or guilt necessary. You can say, “hmmm, that’s interesting. I wonder why I did that? What could I do differently next time?” instead of blaming and shaming and judging yourself.

Any good scientist worth her STEM knows that blame and shame and guilt are not relevant in the lab. And certainly not productive!

What would your life be like if you didn’t yell at yourself all the time? If you didn’t judge yourself for every little thing you did? If you didn’t bully and blame and shame yourself? What new frontiers could you explore with all the newfound brain power and focus?

So drop the judgment and don the coat. You can even have your name engraved in your favorite color!

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

#WhatsYourHashtag?

I’ve been talking about beliefs a lot lately.

I’ve referenced hidden beliefs. Some of my clients how to find them.  There’s a book for that. But here’s a useful shortcut, if you don’t feel like reading an entire book right now.  Hashtags were created to help us find common threads easily in a complex mass (mess?) of communication. Hey, let’s use them the way they were intended, but in your brain instead of cyberspace

What are your hashtags? Your mental or emotional hashtags? Your “go-to” phrases. Go find them. (Or ask your best friend!)

The phrase itself is not the hidden belief. It’s a short cut. Literally. There’s at least a sentence, maybe a paragraph or even a chapter behind that little phrase. There’s the gold! You’ve found all the thoughts that you don’t have to bother to say out loud to yourself anymore, because you’ve nailed it with a hashtag! There’s a whole bunch of threads there.

Those are the hidden beliefs. Now you can pull them out and look at them and decide what to do: keep, tweak, amplify, update or toss.

Not all hidden beliefs are bad, right? Some are amazing and very helpful. They deserve to come out into the light, too!

I have to admit that I caught on to this when one of my favorite people sent me an email that started out #TheResistanceIsReal. Then a client put #Overwhelm at the top of her food journal. And then #ItWorks popped up.  Yeah, when I see a pattern like this I say Thank You for the message! And definitely have to share it!

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

What’s the Difference?

What’s the difference between something you believe and something you just think about a lot?

Nothing.

Zilch. Zip. Nada. No difference.

A belief is just a thought you have thunk lots of times (to paraphrase Geneen Roth).

A belief doesn’t have to be true. You just think it is.

But beliefs are powerful things, because they are thoughts. And thoughts drive everything: how you feel, how you show up, the actions you do (or don’t) take, and the results you see.

“But what about questions?” you ask. Of course you do, because you’re clever! Questions are still thoughts, and when you repeat them, you underscore the belief that you don’t know the answer, or you’re confused, or don’t know enough yet. See. Still a belief, and one that doesn’t really serve you.

How do you stop believing something you don’t want to believe anymore? Stop thinking it. Stop thinking about it. Stop asking questions about it. Think something else. Think something that feels better and look for new evidence to support it. Choose what you want to believe. Keep thinking it.

Oh, by the way, a belief can be hidden. A hidden belief is something you have thought so many times that you don’t even think it out loud anymore. You aren’t even aware, but these hidden beliefs are what mess you up – because you’re running on autopilot. You don’t even know to question the hidden beliefs, look for new evidence and update them. Because they’re hidden. There’s a book for that.

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

Are You a Serial Polyenthusiast? Or Maybe a Multipotentialite?

I am! I get really interested in something, dive in full force and then….yup, I’m bored. And then I’m off on to another thing that has me totally consumed…and then, bored. Wash, rinse, repeat.  I used to wonder if I just had a shortish attention span. Or maybe I only liked pursuit, not mastery. I love visioning and making and implementing, but HATE maintaining.  Maybe I’m part raccoon, as in “Oh, bright shiny thing…I must take it home.”  Maybe I just like learning, not doing or keeping.  Whatever the reason, I know that I have many interests, but none seem to hold my attention long enough for me to be able to say, “Hey, that’s my main thing.  That’s me! That’s what I’ll be when I grow up.”

I’ve called myself a serial polyenthusiast, which is kinda like a serial monogamist – or maybe more accurately, a serial bigamist, because I rarely have just one true passion going at a time. The thing is that they just don’t last very long, because once I hit that point where I can say, “Okay, I get this. I got it” then the challenge, and therefore the allure, disappears.

Turns out, there are lots more people like me out there. One name for us is “multipontentialites”, and we have a really important role to play in the world.  And that role does not require settling for just one thing! Check out this TedTalk by Emilie Wapnick:

https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_calling.html

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

On Loss and Intuition (a rerun for my mom’s birthday)

I was reading a wonderful blog by Geneen Roth (see blog post). She talked about how she loved her father so much, that when she was a child she thought that if he died, she would, too.

I had a really strong reaction to her post. In my life, I have lost several people, and it was so hard. Getting over the losses seemed like a full time job. I did it, though…without blocking the feelings with alcohol, drugs, food or anything. But I knew that the big one was still coming – my mother. I really did not see how I was going to be able to deal with that one at all. So I did the Scarlet thing – just didn’t think about it.

But one day, about 3 years ago, the thought came into my head, very clearly articulated in words: “What are you going to do when Mom dies? Get ready.” It seemed like a ridiculous thought. She’d just been to the doctor, who had proclaimer her to be as healthy as a horse and to plan on 20 more years – at least! I thought that perhaps I was giving myself a few years to make some “plans”. The thought started waking me up at night. Not every night, but about once a week.

I talked to my mom about it. She said that she had important work to do, people to see, places to go, etc. etc. But she also said that there were times when she sat on her upstairs porch, looking out at “her” field and thought that it wouldn’t be so bad to move on.

About two months later my mom died of an aneurism (at a baseball game! that story will be a post in the future). Of course it was devastating, and I lived through it. I was completely surprised at the time, and yet inside I wasn’t. I had started to prepare myself, because I listened to my intuition. I didn’t harden my heart, or start being afraid. I actually started treasuring my time with my mother more consciously, saying all the things that needed to be said at the time they needed to be said. No big dramatic preparation here, just really being fully with her when I was with her. Maybe I made a little more effort to make the time to do things together, but nothing maudlin.

So when she died, I was as prepared as I could be, I guess. I had no regrets, nothing left unsaid, no petty bickering left unresolved. I still miss her, of course. But ironically, her death – the one I dreaded the most – was the easiest for me to handle.

For me, the message is to listen to my intuition (of course) and to gracefully take the reminders to be more aware of the people we love and to act on them!

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!

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The BS Files: #2 Willpower is a Virtue

The BS Files are kinda like the X-files – full of myths and urban legends and mysterious things. I feel that it is my duty to tackle them (occasionally). Because, you know, the truth is out there…

So here’s  Case #2: Willpower is a Virtue.  Bullsh*t!

And other myths along the same lines: Willpower is a muscle. Willpower is “white-knuckling” or “powering” through a tough situation.

Look, willpower has nothing to do with morality, it doesn’t reflect on your character. Willpower alone will not give you lasting success.

Willpower is the fuel that give you the ability to make decisions and choices that align with your long term goals, instead of choosing instant gratification. It’s the fuel you use to delay the gratification of your impulses.

Willpower – the fuel – is the same energy source that you use to make other decisions, all day long, every day.  It’s used by your brain.

Yes, you can run out of the energy to make “the right choice”, especially if you make a lot of decisions during the day. By the way, they don’t have to be BIG decisions. Could be a lot of micro-decisions. Or wavering back and forth. Or stress. When you run out of fuel, it can look a lot like overwhelm, right?

Great news: Willpower is a renewable energy source. It requires sleep.

You can also minimize the amount of willpower fuel you waste by planning in advance for things like meals, what you’re going to wear, etc. (I know you’re going to say “I can’t plan – everything changes” which could be another BS File, but for know I’ll just say that it takes a lot less energy to change a plan than it does to start from scratch!)

And don’t sweat the small stuff – seriously. Wastes a lot of fuel.

Willpower. Case Closed.

*****

Schedule a free mini session with me (here) and I can help you find a bite of peace, or see if the Tapas for Your Soul Weight Loss program is for you.

*****

Is there a topic you’d like me to address in a blog? Let me know and I’ll give it a go!