New Year Resolutions: The Ultimate Goal To Reaching Your Potential

I have a confession to make…I’m not making New Year’s goals for 2017.  I guess that’s not entirely accurate, I do have one goal and that is to do absolutely NOTHING!  I am going to be the best- don’t do a damn thing nothinger ever—for at least 30 min or hour every day;)

I’m that person that loves planners and making to-do lists for everything so not ‘goal setting’ in a traditional sense is driving me a bit bonkers.  Not to mention, the actual practice of doing nothing is difficult.

webdscf0592When I begin my ‘do nothing time’ my thoughts bombard me with all the things I could be doing, ie. folding the laundry, organizing work notes, hemming the curtains, searching the web for bootcamp ideas…and on and on the chatter goes.  I acknowledge those thoughts and tell myself, ‘you have permission.’

Rewards Of Doing Nothing

Creativity:  When the mind is given permission to wander and shift down it has this uncanny ability to get us unstuck.  Try it!  If a problem has you stumped, take a mental break and notice the difference when you return.

Productivity:  According to Scientific American, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.”

Authenticity:  It’s paradoxical how this do-nothing space is impactful.  It’s here that the heart and mind can align and there is a return to authenticity.  It’s like you remember that you are not all the things you do, you are so much more.

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets, essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times

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Connectivity:  Think about when you’ve been happiest with your life.  Is it during those moments when you’ve been racing and forceful to get things done? Or has it been those moments when you feel connected and present with your work and the people around you?

As you head into the New Year consider creating space in your day to relax.  Go for a walk, listen to some music or just space out:)  What you will find is the world will keep on spinning without you and you will return the better for it. Will you join me in my quest to be the to be the best-damn-do-nothinger in the new year?

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Just Be

My upcoming wedding has prompted me to focus in on what’s really important and what I really want.  You see it’s easy for me to get crazy excited about ideas and put my axe to the grind and go after them.  The thing is, I soon realize I’ve spread myself too thin and all those grand ideas, well, they fall to the ground.🙈  I’m sure many of you can relate to this predicament.  Passion and whimsy are beautiful but if left unchecked, they can lead to our own demise.

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So here is what is helping me to focus—

It seems as though most of my life I’ve been trying to be better, be more, and be different because I’ve felt like until I reach some elusive standard of success, I’m not good enough.  Pushing and pressing have been my MO (I am an Aries; I have the little horns for a reason;) LOL

Lately, I’ve been taking a step back and asking myself, ‘what needs to be different?’

What needs to be different about you and your life right now?

Do you find yourself wanting to be a good wife, friend, employee, dad, Christian, student, etcetera, etcetera?  All these things are good desires, but when you can’t just be you miss out on how perfect you already are right here, right now.  The key is to catch yourself ‘shoulding’ on yourself.  Then step back and ask yourself, ‘What needs to be different?’

Becoming self-aware will allow compassion and clarity to come rushing in to fill the space you’ve created in your heart.

be still

You are good enough without needing to do more good deeds, work harder, get more degrees or titles.

You are enough.

You are a child of God.

Nourishing Our Bodies Through Mindfulness and Gratitude

We are on to Thanksgiving, and if you sneeze or blink you could miss this special holiday. Christmas can overshadow the stillness that Thanksgiving calls us to, so let’s allow ourselves to slow down and appreciate this month.

I thought a great way for me to enter into this season of thankfulness would be to attend a series wellness classes offered at the Women’s Center For Healing & Transformation in Abita, Louisiana.  These classes were taught by some of the community’s most gifted healers and teachers.

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One of the classes I attended was on the topic of mindfulness and how it profoundly effects our health.  Mitzie R. Meyers, RN, MSN, CNE, AHN-BC, presented in one of their cozy rooms in the Women’s Center.  The small group of like-minded women combined with a rainy Fall day made the class that much more wonderful.😊

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As a health coach I have experienced through heart felt conversations how many struggle with not having a good relationship with food.  The fundamental reason is that we’ve forgotten how to be present as we eat.

Have you ever looked down at a plate of food and it has vanished?!  You feel a sense of disappointment that you didn’t even taste your food, and then the internal critic shows up and ruins the pleasure of eating.

It’s time for us to show up for ourselves and put an end to this cycle.

The recipe for mindful eating calls for the warming effect of kindness and the spice of curiosity.  Jan Chozen Bays M.D.

What is mindful eating?

It is much more than eating slowly & without distraction, although that is a big part, it involves so much more.  Meyers shared these definitions:

  • Giving focused attention to your meals (put away electronics)
  • Using all your senses with the process of eating
  • Being aware of your hunger and satiety (see hunger scale http://www.whereineedtobe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Hunger-Scale.jpg)
  • Making choices that support health and well-being
  • Awareness without criticism or judgement.
  • Having intention and attention both internally and externally.  For example, at your Thanksgiving meal think about where the food came from, the process it took to get to your table & allowing that to expand your appreciation😇

Here is a visual to help you practice these ideas:

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Why is mindful eating important?

In her presentation Meyers said,

research shows a slower, more thoughtful way of eating could help with weight problems and reduce the risk for Type II diabetes.  Some other benefits she shared is that it improves digestion, increases the enjoyment of food & reduces over-eating.

After the class I had an opportunity to ask Meyers about how mindfulness can help us enjoy the holidays without gaining 15lbs. in the process-;)  She said, “have an intention for what you want the holiday to mean and make that happen.”

We talked a little bit about how the holidays can lead to depression for some people, but she says, “you can feel empowered to make the holiday what you want it to mean to you.  This openness in the heart will allow gratitude to come in.”  When we are grateful it removes us from walking under a dark cloud, and we realize the abundance that is present in our lives.  “It all starts with intention.”

What will your intention be for Thanksgiving and this time of the year?  What is the reality you want to create?  How will you show up for yourself and your family?