Being Kind to YOU

I think every now and then we all need a little kindness for ourselves. Who are we usually the hardest on? Who do we usually talk the harshest to? Who do we belittle about our body shape? Who do we starve, pick apart & find flaws with? Who do we say things about that we would never say to someone else…that’s right, ourselves.

So, today I am going to find some great tools that I have come across and share them here with you. I hope you will try them and see how you feel. Do you feel a little calmer? Are you ready to take on work without a great big Ahhh! Do you feel a little more grateful? Do you feel a little kinder to yourself? Hopefully these ideas will awaken something very needed on a personal level. Because when you take better care of you, when you are kinder to yourself—then you are kinder to everyone around you & are able to take better care of those who need you.

I LOVE this…LOVE Letters are always a good thing. I think this is an easy one that every single one of us can try—thanks Soulpancake

Tapping technique with Gabrielle Bernstein—helps to achieve emotional freedomhttp://www.oprah.com/video_embed.html?article_id=54067

3 Minute Guided Breathing Meditation that will calm your body and mind. 

Just-Breathe-imageBetter breathing=Better You. Talking about Breathing–check out these tips by Pam Grout about Taking more deep breaths & how it enhances your metabolism. According to Pam Grout, breathing coach and author of “Jumpstart Your Metabolism,” breathing is the key to sustainable and long-lasting weight loss. Grout, who teaches people how to change their breathing patterns to lose weight, says clients report losing a pound a day. 

And yet nine out of 10 of us aren’t breathing properly, she says. “Put one hand on your chest, the other on your abdomen. Take a normal breath. If the chest hand goes up rather than out, you’re breathing wrong.”

If you don’t breathe properly, you’ll take in a third of the oxygen your body needs. “And when the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can’t burn through fat,” says Grout. 

What’s more, proper breathing can rev your metabolism, lower stress chemicals which cause your body to retain fat, and keep you centered so you’re less likely to binge or stress eat. The goal is to take long, deep breaths into your abdomen. To practice this, lay on the floor with a book on your belly. On your inhale, make sure the book rises. On the exhale, the book should come down. “Slow, deep inhales and exhales are best,” says Grout. 

Once you get the hang of belly breaths, she recommends trying the 1-4-2 breath, which is specifically designed for weight loss. Here, breathe through your nose to whatever count is comfortable. Hold the breath inside your body for four times as long, and then exhale through your mouth for twice as long. So if you breathe in to the count of 4, lock it into your body for 16 (4×4) and exhale for 8 (4×12). “It will get deeper and longer as you can get better at it,” she says. “Do 10 of these, twice a day.” [taken from Totalbeauty.com]

Negative-self-talkTalk to yourself in a loving way. Don’t belittle, judge, criticize. Begin to focus on the little things you like about you. I laugh at myself when I look through pics I have taken & most of them are of my manicured feet. I don’t enjoy taking pics of myself & that is something I am working on. We all have things we may not love, but we can begin small & work on the bigger picture.

PowerofSmallSliderFill your day with FEEL GOOD energy activities. Don’t surround yourself with people who drain you. Do things that make you feel good, whether its 15 minutes of painting, going on a walk with your dogs, listening to good music, gardening, making healthy meals…do things that make you feel good. You will feel the difference in the energy.

timthumb.phpJust ASK. We are such a small part of this universe, so we would be foolish to not just ask for things we need. Whether we need direction, patience, guidance, help, a warm feeling, intuition, an answer…we just need to believe that we are capable and worthy to just ask. Ask and it is given. Have faith and find the kindness for yourself in that. You are so loved.

compass-or-gps-3Love this—Say YES to yourself. Say YES to Yourself. “I love that the word ‘compass’ is nestled in that word compassion. So is the word ‘passion.’ In self-compassion, the compass points to yourself; the passion for self-understanding is part of our mission. Self-compassion is self-love, self-empathy, self-mercy. Self-compassion is the act of saying YES to yourself, of sending the message, ‘I matter,’ and of experiencing self-love even when self-loathing has the louder voice.” – Courtney Putnam [taken from psychology today]

Well, I just wanted to put a few ideas together for you–for all of us. Please be gentle with yourself and create a little more kindness within all you do.   Peace to you.  -H

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Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE?

3044850-inline-i-1-dove-is-really-reaching-with-this-new-stunt-that-forces-women-to-walk-through-doors-marked-aThe following Dove ad was sent to me by my sister and it holds a great question—Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE? I put myself in this situation and asked myself which door I would choose.

We all have different insecurities, we may have things we feel are inadequate or even undesirable, but I believe in the end we all have things we also find beautiful. I think the world puts too much emphasis on the outer, the shell, the cosmetic…but I took this beautiful vs average question & focused on the things that are beautiful about me, within me, the lessons learned, the growth, the talents, the whole. How can you ever make such harsh, cruel judgements about yourself when you only look at a small piece?? It would be like looking at a painting and making a statement about it, but only being able to see one corner of its beauty, its possibility, its brilliance.

So, with that, I ask you to watch the following ad & put yourself there. Ask yourself what you feel is beautiful about you and then walk through the door. Do you still feel average OR beautiful??

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I LOVE these quotes, but this last quote—what a great exercise for all of us. If you could truly take in and believe YOU ARE EVERY LOVELY WORD—what would the world be like? What would that look like? Here are some lovely words to put into practice and exercise them on yourself. Try it…I AM…Beautiful, Unique, Loved, Special, Cared for, Lovely, Precious, Strong, Empowered, Secure, Thankful, Gracious, Stunning, Present, Gifted, Awesome, Charming, Delightful, Extraordinary, Fabulous, Glorious, Heavenly, Incredible, Joyous, Kind, Magnificent, Outstanding, Remarkable, Superb, Fantastic, Terrific, Valued, Wonderful, Caring, Fun, Amazing.    Feel free to add to this list and make it your own.

Now, ask yourself, Do you feel BEAUTIFUL or AVERAGE?    Have a beautiful day -H

You & Your Body Image

ImageI know most people do not like their body. According to an article by glamour magazine that surveyed 300 women of all sizes found…Our research found that, on average, women have 13 negative body thoughts daily—nearly one for every waking hour. And a disturbing number of women confess to having 35, 50 or even 100 hateful thoughts about their own shapes each day.

Psychology Today said, currently, 80 percent of women in the U.S. are dissatisfied with their appearance. And more than 10 million are suffering from eating disorders. 

WOW!! that is some serious stuff. Not too surprising, but I still don’t think that most women understand that the majority feel the same way—there is always something we don’t like in the mirror.

MY BODY IMAGE. When I was in High School I was this little thing (under 100 lbs) and even on my wedding day everyone raved about how tiny my waist was. I grew up with people wondering if I had an eating disorder (which I didn’t) but it definitely didn’t help my self-esteem having people accuse me. I had one of my boyfriends mother’s flat out ask me if I had been throwing up in the bathroom after a meal we had just all enjoyed at a restaurant. Talk about embarrassing. No, just a small bladder. I had camp leaders tell me I exercised too much when I went on a hike with a couple girlfriends. Sure, I was small, but I honestly didn’t have an eating disorder.

I truly didn’t even understand eating disorders until I was in college and it seemed all the boxes of cereal we were buying were gone–quick. One of my room mates would binge and purge and she would spend an hour in the shower, my heart sank for her. Then I began to understand a couple of my younger sisters had the same problem. I ached for their emotional emptiness, but I truly did not understand.

My body issues have evolved over having a daughter and gaining 60 lbs, my husband’s porn problem (that mentally & emotionally messes with you), having people say, “Didn’t you use to be a hottie” , a brother telling me that I “use to be skinny like his wife”, my Mom talking about how skinny she was & then telling me “you’ve gained weight”, never feeling comfortable in a swim suit, not liking pictures of myself and no one taking pictures of me….It can mentally mess with you. But, I also haven’t liked having my picture taken. Who does?

 

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BEGIN TO SEE SOMETHING YOU LOVE. Well, I just recently came across some good info. to share with you about body image, taking a good look at yourself in the mirror and finding the little things you do like and allowing those to shine.  I just listened to a podcast with Vivienne McMaster, she has a blog called “Be Your Own Beloved.” Don’t you just love that name. It just sings to the soul and you want to know more. She has an amazing story of self-loathing, depression and beginning again each day to try and find something beautiful in nature, your surroundings, yourself. Here is her site http://www.viviennemcmasterphotography.com

BEGIN AGAIN. The funny thing is, I just began to take a couple pictures of myself last week. I always frowned at “selfies” as vain, too me.me. but I am slowly beginning to see that just a little picture of your feet, your hands touching a flower, your face at an angle you like—can lead to little bits of self-love. You can find something you like about yourself, so if you have a hard time looking at yourself in the mirror, begin again. Take a little step, a little snap of your camera phone and find a little piece of yourself that you lost. Hopefully, little by little we will all begin to focus on the truly beautiful things we see—in ourselves.

 

BEST BEFORE AND AFTER I recently had this video sent to me from my sister–it is great–check it out.

http://www.upworthy.com/the-story-behind-one-of-the-best-before-and-after-photos-ive-ever-seen?g=2&c=ufb1

 

DOVE BEAUTY PATCH If you haven’t seen this video by Dove–Dove Beauty Patch–check it out. So good!!

 

Here are some final thoughts from celebrities..

.ImageImageImageImageWell, I hope all of this info. will make you take a step in a better direction for yourself. That you may find some little something about you that you can love. When we begin to truly see things we can love—that will spread and that will be a Bea-YOU-tiful thing.

Peace and lots of LOVE to you.  -Heather

 

A few Horses, A lot of Life Lessons

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I had an amazing experience last Friday, I got to spend a day with beautiful horses learning about myself, energy, leadership and finding a deeper part of myself.

I am definitely a follower of my own intuition. I have tried to listen to any prompting, inspiration to try something, a book that seems to keep jumping out at me…there are always gifts and signs that can guide us to situations that will help us grow beyond our current state. I was listening to a podcast of Koren Motekaitis (she has a great podcast show) and she was interviewing someone named Renee Sievert who was a Equus Coach. I had no idea what that was, but I was drawn to her passion and excitement and then she mentioned working with horses. Deal breaker!! my interest was even more heightened, because I have always had a thing with horses, their wild essence, their spirit, watching them run…whenever I have had bad dreams throughout my life, I envision wild horses running and it seems to calm my soul. Not sure why, so a coach who worked with horses was very interesting to me. I listened to the podcast, immediately after I began to scroll my phone for anyone in my local area who did this type of coaching. I was hooked!! I instantly signed up for a class & was scheduled for a week later. Here we go!!!

I wasn’t sure what to expect from my experience, but I went with an open mind and heart, ready for anything. I met up with a great coach, Erin Cutshall who was within about 15 minutes from my home & we began our day with hugs & a walk through the ranch to grab our first horse, Ginger. She was a spirited, cinnamon colored horse that I openly admit was a little intimidating. She entered the round pen and began to kick and neigh, running in circles and bucking with spirit. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with her. Erin began to explain how horses have a “Leader Mare” they follow in a herd. She has to earn the respect and leadership with every horse that is present. Erin ran through some of the steps horses go through when testing one another for leadership and then the signs when they begin to give in and follow the leader—to be friends, to want to have a meal together.

Now, this whole experience was primarily for me to understand myself and seek answers to why I have felt so disconnected to people. I have struggled gaining trust in friendships and have not had the energy to engage with enthusiasm, so I have no friends. I explained how I didn’t like feeling like I was trying to learn and grow spiritually, but everything I read or watched emphasis the need to have close social ties or connections. It was so frustrating to feel so disconnected and not feel a need for others in my life. I did not understand.

She began training me in how horses are able to “mirror” people & will let off the energy they are feeling within the round pen. She explained how if you don’t hold a high energy or an “inviting” energy, the horse will not follow your lead. She talked about how intuitive horses read the energy we carry & if it is not a leadership, or your best self that is being shown—they will not be interested in you. Erin began asking me questions about me, my needs, my disconnection issue, my alone time, if I enjoyed being around people or if it felt like a drain…She helped me to understand that I have a very ‘Introvert’ personality and being alone is very vital to my personal needs. She helped me see that it was okay to not enjoy being around lots of people and that conversations can be very draining. She expressed how I was energized by being alone and social situations were draining to my soul. I cannot tell you what a weight was lifted in truly understanding my feelings. I had felt all those things, but having someone see it outside of me, hearing my needs and allowing me to be—was freeing. Erin helped me see that when you understand yourself, what your needs are and being able to take care of those needs, then you will be your best self—the leader that lies within.

She then invited me into the round pen & began giving me cues of where to stand to make the horse do what I wanted (to move, to run…) it was harder than I thought. I LOVE seeing horses run, so of course I wanted to see the horse run, but when I tried to get her to move, she didn’t listen. My energy wasn’t strong enough for her to listen. It took some practice & finding my playful energy to send her into motion. It was amazing. She ran and ran & then when my energy began to drop she would slow (like me). I stopped & wanted the horse to follow me. Erin walked me through the final steps to win the horse over & she followed me step by step around the round pen.

We worked with three different horses, all with different personalities & it was exhilarating. It was a craft that took time, learning to angle my body, getting over wanting to lead like I would with a dog. That was another aha moment for me. Erin explained how most people are use to leading like they would a dog, but Erin quickly got out in front of the horse and began to say things like, “please come over and love me, follow me, be with me, listen to me.” the visual was so pathetic and disempowering that I instantly imagined how in our own relationships we could be like that with people. BUT, if we learn to be our best self, take care of our needs, then people (horses) will be drawn to us. The energy we carry will free us from the bondages of being small, acting small & will allow us to be who we are meant to be–to shine, to radiate, to be strong, to lead and guide. It was even relevant to parenting. THink of almost begging your children to spend time with you, to listen, to respect you with a tone and action of leadership and love vs begging. You want those around you to admire and love you, to want to be around you because of the good energy you send out.

Watching Erin was even more amazing because she has been able to master the art. She put me in a large arena with one horse & had me try to get it to go through different sets of cones, but the one caveat, I could not get it to follow–I had to lead it. It was harder than I thought. A couple rows near the fence–easy, but when I was determined to get the horse out into the middle and have it go through a isle of cones–no can do!! I tried a couple different tactics, but my reasonable brain couldn’t problem solve because I figured I would have to go one one side of the horse and then run over to guide it the opposite direction. I finally gave in & just walked through the cones and had the horse follow. Erin smiled & was happy that I had at least finished getting the horse to go where I desired. I explained my only reasonable thought of how to get it through the cones & threw her a challenge to see if she could do it. She smiled and agreed to the challenge. She right away led the horse through the cones—I couldn’t believe it. She explained and showed me how when she began to give the horse space, it would then come in closer to her & that ended up putting the horse right where she wanted. It was an art. I couldn’t believe it.

I enjoyed learning the parallels of life and the energy we carry. Horses are definitely a mirror, when I got calm, they got calm, when I got excited they would run, when they were confused by my needs and wants they did not follow, one actually began leading me by sticking her head out in front of me, so I was behind. When you give them space, they want to follow. It’s a balance, a dance, a harmony between two spirits. It was a beautiful experience that I will always cherish.

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You are the greatest Miracle

Last week I got to get away with my husband and just relax and play, just the two of us, it was wonderful!! It is always a good thing to take a break from the normal every day and feed your soul in different ways. We went on long walks in the desert and had a greater appreciation for the beauty that the desert holds. We ate yummy food, relaxed and just talked. We took a morning and did an exercise I would highly recommend to anyone in a relationship—we wrote a eulogy for one another. We called it a ‘Life Eulogy.’ We imagined if something tragic had happened and our life was changed forever what we would say to the other person, about the other person, what we would want others to know, but especially every little detail of what we loved about our life together. This was a great exercise in getting grateful for one another on an even deeper level. It truly made us evaluate what we would miss in one another, what we valued about our relationship and the deep feelings of friendship and love we share. TAKE THE TIME—it is worth it!!

We also spent the trip reading Og Mandino’s, The Greatest Miracle in the World. For some reason this book made me cry deeply with emotion and I knew I needed to make a movie that held some of the beauty this book holds. Here is the movie. Please take the time to watch, read and take in the meaning that is YOU…the greatest miracle in the world. It has beautiful sentiments and thought provoking meaning to who you truly are. I hope you enjoy it and it touches you in some way.

Peace to you.  -Heather

Where is the little YOU??

ImageOn my walk yesterday I came across a mom and her little daughter who was dressed like a cat from head to toe. I commented on the cute costume and her mother smiled, “she dresses up in something different every day!”

What happens to that youthful essence? the part of who we are that yearns to play, to dress up in wild costumes, to show a side of ourselves that shines, the part that yearns to be creative, to risk…

Halloween is a wonderful time to dress up and be anything or anyone you wish to be—even just for the day!! I have a friend that comes to our halloween party every year as his favorite college football fan. He wears the same thing almost every year. It makes me a little sad that he doesn’t take the time to let his inner child play, to find the freedom in the fun!!

I was listening recently to a podcast with Kelly Ray Roberts who is a “artist, author, possibilitarian”—you may have seen her work (smile) here is her link http://kellyraeroberts.com  I LOVE that my computer just underlined “possibilitarian” because that just goes to show you that not EVERYTHING has reason. The very word doesn’t show up, but to me this yells…creator of possibility, I want to be one of those, endless possibilities, the world should be cheering and applauding at the very thought of this existence.

Talking about the essence of youth made me think of something she said—she explained that she looks at herself as someone who has her inner child creating the art (being wild, crazy, youthful, creative), and the adult part of her that runs the business, while there are other parts like mother, wife…I loved the thought that she taps into this essence within herself to let her little child be free, to create, to touch that part of her that wants to be free.

So, where is the little YOU? Is it hiding, have you not talked to them in awhile, is she/he been afraid since you were little? Is there a part of you that wants to forget that little you? Whether you need to nurture or neglect this part of you—it is there, hoping you will tap into that part of you that can help you remember things you love, things you use to enjoy doing, a little part of you that longs to play, create, be alive and remembered.

ImageHere are some exercises, tips and ideas to tap into the little you:

Dawn Breslin, Coach and author of “Power of Zestful Living” http://www.dawnbreslin.com has a great exercise about helping you remember the little part of You (the child within). She has her readers find a picture of them self at a young age and has them hang it somewhere that they can look at it whenever they need inspiration, are making a big life decision, are trying to be creative, etc. When you look at this picture of the little you, you then go back in your mind & ask that little you what you need right now?? and then listen. You may be surprised at what you hear within yourself. Try it.

Children love play, fun, creativity…so be open to this on a personal level. Take time to step away from the “serious adult” part of you and just enJOY!! Find enjoyment in little things: get outside, play in the leaves. The other day I challenged my daughter to lay under a fall tree that was beginning to drop its leaves. She didn’t want to because of the feeling of crunchy leaves, but took the challenge. We watched the tree as one by one a leaf fell and we tried to catch them. True JOY in a small thing!!

Slow down and do something that slows you. Children can play in a sandbox or beach sand for hours just moving the sand to create forms. Sit by a stream and just listen, watch birds,  water plants, play in sand, just sit and take in your surroundings, calming the little one within.

Nature calls to everyone–young and old. Take a walk, stare at the moon and stars, listen to the sounds outside.

PLAY. Sometimes we get hung up on the idea of taking a playful day or break because of all the responsibilities we ‘should’ be doing. But play is so good for us on many levels. Let go of any guilty feelings you may have about doing something fun for yourself. Let go of your adult mindset and allow your inner child to find something fun to do. Whether you have always wanted to try horse back riding, want to parasail, take an art class, buy a record player, have a Star Wars marathon,

Do things you loved as a kid. Did you love baking in a Toy oven, swinging on the playground, dressing up in fun costumes,

Let go of things. My daughter is great at this. She can be mad at me about something and then hugging me the next. I feel like I am spinning a lot of the time. Just this morning I was wishing I could let go of things a little more easily. Feel what you are feeling (anger, frustration, stress…) and don’t judge it. Take a minute and then let it go. Did you know that according to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor anger can only stay within your body for 90 seconds and then it is gone UNLESS you begin to rehash it over and over in your mind. After 90 seconds—let it go. Anything.

Do things your kids enjoy doing. I do love going to the park and swinging with my daughter. Play Legos, build forts, make up songs, paint, draw, color, doodle, read picture books, play ball, climb trees, watch Saturday morning cartoons…enjoy the time with them & let your little you play!

Shock & Awe: Simply JUMP, do a cartwheel, pull out the robot dance move, pull a funny face & make yourself smile. Make your little child within giggle and feel JOY from a simple move. I saw a video of One guy who went around his city and just had people simply jump and spin. Every person smiled or laughed. Here is the link if you want to watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8GsoaUIptY He also did one where he found random people and had them pull a funny face (so child like–smile. smile) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2PQj5lAcew

Think back to when you were little & think of all the things you wanted to be and do. Write down your memories, evaluate which ones still resonate with you & begin to create a fun LITTLE YOU LIFE LIST & begin to do them!!

SMILE. Smile often like children do. Make wishes like children do. Be gentle with yourself. Have fun. Enjoy many things like children do. There is and always will be a part of you that is the little you within, so take the time to give that little one some of the desired attention. You will be better for it—I promise.

Peace out.  -Heather

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What defines YOU?

ImageWho defines who you are? What defines who you are? What do you have to have before you can define the person you desire to be? What do you have to do? Where do you have to go? What do you have to obtain? We all do it!! We all compare, judge, are hardest on ourselves.  Why is it that we talk more cruelly to ourselves than someone we can’t stand to be around? Why is it that 80% of people hate what they do for a living? Why is it that we get lost in defining our right life? The life we are meant to shine!! We are the only ones who have control of anything in our life–it’s your decision what you do with it–good or bad.

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—LIFE ITSELF.”  -Walter Anderson

Step out and do something today that will put your course in a direction you want to go—instead of the shoulda, coulda, woulda, if…when…don’t play a victim in your own life. There is always a choice.

ChrisCapre2ndSkiesForexWhatYouNeedtoDotoTradeSuccessfullyI just had a conversation the other day with my brother who has been stuck in a bit of a victim role his whole life. He is at a critical decision to the rest of his life. He is on the tipping point of losing his family & he doesn’t appreciate anything he has. I looked him in the eye & said, “I have one question for you!” He was a little hesitant, but said “what?”  All I said was, “You are at a point of two roads, which one are you going to take? The one that fights for your family or the one that will lead you to a life without your family? What do you think that will look like?” He merely said, “a lonely existence.” I said, “then fight!!”

We all get to different points in our life where we need to figure out something that will define our needs, our strengths, our directions, our thoughts, our actions, who we are or are willing to become…

What is one little thing you could do to define the life you want to live? What could you do today to be a little more loving to the beautiful person you are? Is there a decision you need to make to propel your world in a better direction? Is there something you need to do on a personal level to lead you to a happier you? Do you need a different job? A different perspective? A different attitude? Different friends? You know what you need.

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On a personal level: I definitely could be gentler on my self. I have struggled with weight & body image for years. I have had family tell me “you use to look like that; you use to be a hottie…”   I know this is an area that I am constantly working on, so when I saw the following ad—it spoke to me. It made me well up in tears. We all truly want to love every part of who we are & SHINE!  I am still a work in progress. Thank God we all are.

I hope this ad touches you in some way. That you will not define yourself by labels–of any kind.

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Be gentle with yourself. Do something today that will make your life a little brighter, lighter and better. What defines you is how you live the life you are given. Be grateful, Be gentle, Be a light and your best life will follow.

-Peace and best wishes for you today.