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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

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Holiday lightsOkay, last week week we decided to change “self-care” to ”brighten-up” and I told you I would tell you why…

Brighten-up? What in tarnation are you talkin’ about?!

 

 

First, it’s important you get what self-care REALLY is so when you learn why I changed the name it all makes sense. (Don’t worry, sistah…I will never leave you in the dark).

We tend to view self-care as massages, weekend getaways, chunks of time away from kids, etc. These are all good, but self-care can happen at any given moment no matter what is swirling around us.

That’s why we should replace the word self-care with something else. (Later in this post you’ll learn my #1 quickest method to rejuvenate yourself…no matter where you are).

You know what? Self-care is simply HONORING YOURSELF. It’s listening to your body, mind, and spirit. When any of those parts feel down we take action to lift it up…or “brighten-up”. Just like the phrase “freshen up” implies, “brighten-up” can happen relatively quickly with minimal effort and produce remarkable results.

Brighten-up, schmighten-up…what’s the big deal?!

All women know what happens when we don’t freshen up… we LOOK run down, exhausted, and overworked. Let’s tell the truth here. When women don’t brighten-up…we FEEL run down, exhausted, and overworked.

Zoikes! Have you ever felt that way? Especially during the holiday season?

Hey, no surprise here. I could go on for days about WHY we do that. But what really matters is HOW to quickly and easily turn it all around. Here’s the HOW…

The #1 Quickest Method To Rejuvenate Yourself…No Matter Where You Are

***This works best if you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, upset, scared, or any negative kind of emotion…

Step 1: No matter where you are, be there. Be fully present to you. Even if you don’t think you can be, you can.
Step 2: Ask yourself “Oh, Honey, it seems you’re getting frustrated (or whatever emotion you are feeling)…what’s happening in your body because of that?
Step 3: Notice any physical sensations that pop up in your body. It may be a heavy feeling in your chest, a knot in your stomach, or something completely different.
Step 4: Be present to the feeling without trying to get rid of it. Just notice it. (you may find yourself “breathing into” the feeling…that’s good too)
Step 5: Stay with it. You’re doing great…even when you feel silly or uncomfortable.
Step 6: Stay with it some more… that’s right. Stay with it just like you would your upset son who fell off his bike and hurt his knee. Just be present to it.
Step 7: Remember: you only think an eternity has passed. It’s really only been 30 seconds.
Step 8: Once the feeling is gone you will find you are much more peaceful, focused, and calm.

**BAM** INSTANT REJUVENATOR!!!

That’s my absolute #1 best “brighten-up” strategy…

Next time, we will be talking about how this can bring more than just peace of mind. I’m talkin’ $$$!!!

Recovering people pleaserThe key to failure is trying to please everybody. ~Bill Cosby

A healthy boundary is like an energy bubble that protects your mind, body, and spirit from negative influences.

Think back to a situation when you felt angry, frustrated, or resentful. Got one? If you’re human, you do.

Now look for clues to the kinds of boundaries you coulda-woulda-shoulda set in the past.

 

Did you feel a bit like a doormat in that situation?

 

To set a healthy boundary with another person you’ll need:
1. A friend to support you before and after the conversation

2. Language to set the boundary gracefully and honestly

3. To make a direct request

 

Remember, when setting boundaries you cannot control another person’s response or behavior.

You can only deliver the message with as much grace and compassion as you can.

 

And don’t forget JADE: You don’t need to justify, argue, defend or (over)explain your position. Your needs are always valid.

Start with the easy boundaries. It will probably feel uncomfortable when you first start setting them. As you get stronger, tackle the more challenging ones.

Back up your boundaries with action. If you relax your boundaries by giving in, you invite people to ignore your needs.

 

Some people think of boundaries as walls. I prefer to think of them as doors with the doorknob on my side.

 

What do you think of boundaries?

Comments welcome!

Have they made your life easier? Or harder in some way?

 

 

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

 

  • 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.

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

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