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woman's faceWanna know why it’s so hard to treat yourself nicely? (aka ‘do self-care’)

Self-Care implies that there is something “wrong” or “broken” about a person. Think about it… when you CARE for someone it’s because they are less than 100% in some capacity.

In my world that’s NO-NO #1!

BIG SECRET: There is nothing wrong with you.

The moment we think there is something wrong with us, that we are “incomplete” or “not whole” in someway, we judge ourselves, belittle ourselves, feel guilty.

It may lead us to make changes. But how often do those changes stick? Statistics show…not long.

But then comes a vicious cycle. You fail, you don’t feel good about yourself. You judge yourself and then give up all together. Right? That’s why self-care doesn’t work.

Do this instead…See Yourself As Whole And Complete.

So do that. Right now. Decide to see yourself as completely whole. 100%. If you sit down right now and take a deep breath, you’ll notice that you are alive. You can’t be alive if you aren’t whole.

Congratulations, girlfriend. You are WHOLE!

Now, the second step is to acknowledge this…

Everything is the way it is, NOT because you aren’t complete [read: good enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, smart enough], but simply because the choices you have made so far haven’t served who you want to be.

Let’s recap:
Step 1: Decide to see yourself as WHOLE. You are complete.
Step 2: Acknowledge that up until now a lot of the choices you’ve made in your life haven’t served who you want to be.

If you’ve gotten this far, you might be thinking, Okay, now what?…
The choices you’ve made up until now have served who you think you are. Not who you really are.

Here’s what it might have looked like in the past:

You decide you want to lose weight so you start to eat less and exercise more. Probably you’re also secretly telling yourself “Oh gosh, this is going to be hard. I’ve got too much to lose…it will never come off. I am SO not a healthy eater. I do NOT exercise. I’m going to hate this.”

You do really well for the first couple days…even the first couple of weeks…but then something happens and it all falls to pieces. You blame the holidays, your busy schedule, your family, or whatever. Am I close?

At first glance it may look like you were right… your weight will never come off. But let’s look at it again. Failure is built in from the start.

How? Motive. Most people’s motive to make a change in their life is based on who they are not…instead of who they want to be. We chose to lose weight because we don’t like who we are…

You’re not a skinny super model so you have to lose weight. You’re not the millionaire mommy so you have to make more money. You aren’t this so you have to do that.

No wonder people aren’t making changes that stick!
Here’s the new way…

Start with who you want to be (aka who you truly are) and go from there. Right now. Write down who you want to be.

Go on…I’ll wait right here.

beep…

bop…

boop…

Did you write down who you want to be DESPITE any “you can’t do that”, “it’s going to be too hard”, “that’ll never happen” talk in your head?

Yes? Great!

No? Don’t worry. I’m about to dish it up in bite-size pieces.

It’s important that who you want to be lines up with who you truly are. I learned this last weekend at a super powerful training on finding our Divine Purpose.

If you want to know more about what ‘divine purpose’ means, email me now: lee(at)leesirwin(dot)com

Check your motive before we move on. Is it naughty or nice?

Now… make a list of 10 things you’ll do once you have become that person.

Here’s what I mean…
Motive: “I’m moving toward having a healthy, strong body”
(so I can go on long walks with my husband and feel like going out with my girlfriends on the weekend)

When I’m a healthier, stronger woman, I’ll…
1) Be active 4 times a week with my children
2) Go on long walks with my husband twice a week
3) Play my favorite dance tunes (and wiggle) while I’m cooking dinner
4) Thank my body for all the ways it has loved me over the years
… all the way up to 10

Sweet! Look at the list. Which ones can you already do (be) now? Today? This week? You’ve got a List that has real Self-Care infused into it!

Nice! That’s your Brighten-Up Tip for this week. Pick one thing you’ll practice, based on who you want to be vs. who are think you are.

To knowing there’s nothing wrong with us, and never has been…

Lee

P.S. – Want to know more about “who you want to be = who you truly are”? E-mail me now: lee(at)leesirwin(dot)com

You might be thinking, What the heck is Manic Compression?

Symptoms include>>cramming too much into a day, skipping meals, trouble sleeping, body aches & pains.

Sometimes it gets kinda cray-cray, right?

 

Never fear. Help is here! My friend, Cathy Fisher, is an expert at helping folks GET and KEEP easy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits.

Quick. Easy. Fun. We want that. Right? 

Cathy is the owner of New World Wellness Center in Charleston, South Carolina. She’ll spill her secrets in a private interview with me this week.

Grab your *fr*e audio here on Wednesday, April 9.


** 3 Essential Lifestyle Habits for Optimal Wellness **

 P.S. Take the survey now. Post a question for Cathy in the Comments. We’ll answer YOUR hot-button issues here.

My office makeover, using Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of keeping the ‘chi’ (energy) flowing. Katie Rogers took me by the hand and led me on a fun journey, helping me see the problem areas and the easy solutions.

BEFORE  – Smessy officeee how my desk chair faces into a corner? And the gold ‘earth’ color walls dam the flow of energy and money. Trust me, this is not ideal for a home office!

 

 

 

BEFORE  – I was a stacker.  Office - No creative flowEach project was in a neat pile, but my energy was constantly being pulled from one task to another.  (ugh) So hard to focus. I felt scattered. No wonder I avoided being in my office.

 

 

AFTEROffice - AFTER (2)

See the ‘water’ color walls? The paint is Artesian Well by Martha Stewart Living, at Home Depot. I took everything out of the room and only put back what supports me and brings me joy. Do you like the watercolor I did of an elephant family?

Now my office is like a 3-D vision board.

It feels great to have my desk chair face the front door of our house.  Katie, my Feng Shui goddess, calls this the Command position. And the leafy green tree is in the ‘money corner’ of the room.

I hung a crystal in the window so rainbows dance across the walls all morning. Pretty. Now I love-love-love being in my office and my creativity (and finances) are thriving. Yay for Feng Shui!

Connect with Lee at http://www.girl-friended.com

 

Fearless Living Breakthrough

Fearless Life Breakthrough

If you could wave a magic wand to look and feel as awesome as you know deep down you’d REALLY like to be, would you do it?

Most people “lie” to themselves when they think about how happy they are. They say, “Well, things are okay. I shouldn’t ask for too much.”

What they don’t realize is how much they are tolerating. How little they are settling for. They keep lowering their expectations, without even realizing they are putting a lid on their happiness.

BUT…

If you’d like to finally get allllll the way to your most attracting, energetic, confident self – once and for all

AND…

If you’d like to get my personal support to make it happen, then check this out…

For a limited time I’m offering a New Year’s Resolution special “Fearless Life Breakthrough” Coaching Session (a $297 value) for ZERO COST.

During this powerful, one-on-one coaching session, we’ll work together to…

=> Create a crystal clear vision for the ideal life you’ll be living as your new super-attracting, energized and confident self.

=> Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your efforts and keeping you stuck.

=> Leave this session renewed, inspired, and ready to finally soar into the life you were meant to live.

To claim your 2014 New Year’s special “Fearless Life Breakthrough” coaching session today, simply answer these questions:

  1. How long have you been struggling to feel energetic and confident?
  2. On a scale of zero to 10, how important is it for you to blast through the fears and doubts that have been holding you back?
  3. What have you tried to do to feel more energetic and confident in the past?
  4. What happened with those approaches?
  5. What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) with your energy, confidence and ability to attract what you want?
  6. Your name
  7. Best phone number
  8. Email address

Be sure to include your name and contact info so someone from my team can get back to you within the next 24 hours to schedule your one-on-one “Fearless Living Breakthrough” session.

(Please allow up to 60 minutes for this coaching session).

Send an email now to claim your session today:

To:  lee@nolimitscoach.com

Subject: Fearless Living Breakthrough session

Warmest regards,

Lee Irwin

P.S.  I expect the demand for these sessions to be big. The sooner you send us your answers, the more likely you are to get a session.

Send email now: lee@nolimitscoach.com

P.P.S.  Do you know anyone who could use this free Fearless Living Breakthrough session? Please forward this to them right now.

Same number of hours per dayMassively messy desk.

Blew past the deadline weeks ago.

Outrageous procrastination factor.

How will I ever get this done?

I’ve got it!

  1. Binge-watch The Good Wife.
  2. Pace in circles around the office while gulping coffee and gnashing my teeth.
  3. Keep postponing, waiting for the adrenaline rush to kick in.

Hmmm. Maybe there’s another way?

I’m not a big fan of traditional time management systems because they don’t really get to the root-cause of a lack of time.  You.  Er, Me.

I’ve studied a lot of time management programs. And here’s one idea I’ve used that has actually helped me get myself to do the important things.

Break the task into bite-size pieces.

When I was recently faced with a looming deadline and a wreck of a messy office, I set a timer for 10 minutes only. I did as much as I could. When the timer rang, I stopped.

Left the room. Brewed a cup of tea. Wandered around outside for a bit.

Came back and set the timer for 10 more minutes.  Four mini-cyclones later, I had the desk cleared. Books put away. Papers organized into one of 4 priorities:

Priority 1:   Today – beside computer

Priority 2:   This week – in magazine-type file box on desk

Priority 3:   This month – file folders in cabinet near desk

Priority 4:   Long-term – filed in cabinet in closet

                   

A friend of mine wrote her entire master’s thesis in 5-minute bites a day.

If the thoughts were flowing, she re-set it for another 5 minutes. If she was struggling, she got up and did something else.

Before Timer: Not doing it

After Timer: Done

Some days 20 minutes or 2 paragraphs is the best day.

 

When you find yourself in Procrastination Purgatory, try this.

Play with time.

How many small tasks can you get done in a short amount of time?

***Are you ready to trade overwhelmed, overstressed and overworked for highly productive, totally peaceful and ridiculously fun?***

Start now>>>  http://www.girl-friended.com/timeabundance

  • Texting while driving even though you know it’s dangerous.

    Froggy Mind - jumping to past and future

    Froggy Mind – jumping to past and future

  • It’s hard to remember things.
  • Distracted, even around people you love.

 Sound familiar?

 I know. You’re busy. Crazy busy. Doing 3 things while your mind is mucking around in your endless to-do list.

I’d be loading laundry, cleaning the cat box and making a mental grocery list as I was ruminating about the looming deadline on a project.

One day I passed a store window and wondered who that woman was, rushing by with her chin jutting out. I realized with a jolt it was my own reflection.

I was running through my life instead of actually living it.

 The tension of doing one thing while worrying about the need to do another left me feeling tired and wired. And yes, more than a wee bit cranky.

 In his book Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less, Marc Lesser says:

No matter how mundane the activity, treat everything as important and take pleasure in it.

At bottom, whatever we are doing right now is what we are engaged in and it deserves our full attention and appreciation.”

Quieting our mind greases our mental gears. It actually improves our focus and concentration.

Instead of “body in one place, mind in another” I can notice. I’m. Here. Now.

When I’m washing the dishes, I can feel the warm water. Feel my breath at the tip of my nose. See the colors moving on the bubbles.

No matter what is going on, I can let go of froggy-mind that jumps to any place but the now moment. 

When I quiet my mind, I find I actually have more energy. I’m more alert to the song inside my heart.

And my family will tell you – I’m  a whole lot easier to be around.

Where's the mouse?

Where’s the mouse?

Earlier this month, I decided to convert. To Apple.

Ahhh, Macbook Air. Sleek. Light. It doesn’t heat up in my lap. Oh, and even better — it was free, inherited from my mother-in-law.

I hauled the Mac and my old PC over to my favorite computer geek. He spent two days copying all the files plus piles of emails and photos.

I was so excited when he called and said my new Airbook was ready for pick-up. Yes — my new identity. I was finally a savvy, shiny Apple person.

Now I could travel with my tiny laptop. I’d whip it out of my purse and utterly amaze my seat-mate on the plane.

Not so fast, pardner.

 I tried to embrace the new operating system. Really, I did. I wanted to like the Mac layout that crunched my calendar, emails and task list onto one tiny screen. Tried to keep breathing when my 200 favorite bookmarks got lost in translation.

Sometimes I enjoy change. But this one turned out to be too big a stretch.

About 2 weeks into my conversion experiment, I found myself cheating on Mac.   After all, P.C. understood me.  He had his quirks, but he was familiar. And with the Fall weather, I enjoyed the fact that he was, well, hotter.

Mac and I have broken up. I guess he was a little too slick to ever be the right one for me.

Oh, well. At least my cat likes sleeping on him.

This message from a coaching client came to my inbox today, 

She gave me the go-ahead to share it with you.

Lee, may I sit in the confessional for a minute? No, nothing really horrible, just embarrassing.

CONFESSION:

I’m trying to tie up loose ends before I leave on a long trip. I’ve been going through paperwork.  Straightening, cleaning, organizing, tossing, filing, giving away.

Completing paperwork is not my best habit.

I found three envelopes from American Express. Two looked like bills, and the other one looked like a letter. I was mortified – but not totally surprised.  A part of me wanted to look the other way, to stuff it, ignore it. I couldn’t even remember using that credit card in months. It’s my emergency card.

I was so mad at myself for not opening the envelopes. I didn’t even want to open them up. Didn’t want to face my lack of organization. I decided to get it over with quickly – like ripping off a band-aid.

I got the checkbook, wrote out everything but the amount, got the stamps, then opened the first envelope gingerly. Just enough to see the amount so I could get it over with quickly. The amount was zero.

ZERO.

So, I opened the next envelope. It was negative  $147.10. I guess I had overpaid at some point. Then, with my stomach not feeling quite as bad, I opened the third envelope. Inside I found a check to me for $147.10.

I ripped up the check I’d written, then ripped up the ‘bills’.

Okay, dear ones – there are so many goodies in this story. For starters…

  •         Getting organized has hidden rewards.
  •         Who I am is not determined by the areas I think need improvement.
  •          Stop assuming the worst about myself. If I don’t do that to other people, why do it to myself?

Think for a moment about something you’re blaming yourself for.

Is there any good reason to keep yourself on the hook?

What might happen if you applied a homeopathic drop of forgiveness (aka LOVE) to it?

I want to be freeA dear friend sent me this great story with a surprising twist. He said it’s one of his mom’s favorites.  I hope you enjoy it, too!

A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: “How heavy is this glass of water?”

Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.

She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

She continued, “The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.”

Remember to put the glass down.

How heavy is that (grudge, regret, worry) you’re holding?

How long do you plan to hold it?

BubbleIn yesterday’s post I wrote about Portia Nelson’s Autobiography in 5 Short Chapters. I talked about falling into the same old hole she described in Chapter II. My pothole was putting other people’s needs ahead of my own.

How can I get out of that hole?

Well, if I created this drama, there is a possibility that I can create something different, something less crazy-making. Just maybe I can move on to Chapter IV and V where I walk around the deep hole or choose to walk a new path.

I began to wake up to the idea that I actually do have choices. I can make decisions based on my preferences and needs instead of a sense of obligation.

I have a choice about how I respond to others’ demands. A choice about how I react when the tsunami of items on my to-do list threatens to overwhelm me. A choice about saying “yes” to one more volunteer project or saying “thanks, but not now”.

I’ll offer a handful of strategies that helped me begin to recover from ‘the disease to please’. I hope that you’ll find some of them useful.

Six simple secrets to stop overextending:

  1. Now thyself.

Follow these simple steps and, in one minute, you can get a tiny break from the pushy, critical voice in your head:

·         Find a place of solitude.

·         Sit down.

·         Place your legs in a relaxed but fixed position.

·         Sit up.

·         Set your alarm for exactly one minute.

·         Place your hands in a relaxed but fixed position.

·         Close your eyes.

·         Focus all your attention on your breathing.

·         When the alarm sounds, stop.

 

  1. Stop ‘shoulding’ on yourself. How often do you hear yourself saying the “S” word throughout the day? This is a clue to places you may be unconsciously putting demands for perfection on yourself or others.
  2. Know the payoff. Even the most damaging behaviors have a payoff. If you did not believe the behavior delivered some value to you, you would not do it. If you want to stop behaving in a certain way, you’ve got to stop “paying yourself off” for doing it.
  3. Enlighten up. You can play life full out and at the same time not take it, or yourself, too seriously.
  4. Take your turn. Be bold enough to reach for what will truly fill you up, without being unrealistic. Once you develop the resources and resolve to believe that you deserve what you want, you will be bold enough to step up and claim it.
  5. Get off the psycho path and onto the scenic path. Most of us are conditioned to think things have to be hard to be worthwhile. We habitually choose the hardest method, the most difficult path. How would your life be different if you let yourself off the hook and chose the way that felt easier?

As I look back ten years to that dreadful month when my car burned up and I landed in the ER, I see that my struggle for perfection had left me exhausted, disgruntled and confused. I found the key to greater happiness was allowing myself to embrace my needs and put myself first. Once I started making friends with my perfectly imperfect self, I began to enjoy a sense of relief and calmness.

It may sound counter-intuitive, but putting my needs at the top of the list actually helps me be more present for other people. I’m much more likely to respond to their needs effectively instead of reacting in a way that makes things worse.

I’m grateful to be discovering a way to live in the world where I feel I have a choice in each moment. I am waking up to the reality that I deserve nurturing and compassion from myself. So do you.

 

 

Play for Life: A Feel-Good Guide to Boost Your Brain Power, Spark Your Creativity and Inspire More Fun

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