As I sit here the day before the new year, I am committed to releasing all the old patterns that no longer serve me - or at least the ones I can manage to get out of my system in the next 24 hours before the apple hits midnight!
I've already released 12 in the time between solstice and today, New Years Eve, yet here I sit, recovering achievement junkie just having completed a dance with yet another obsessive thought pattern that from what I can tell does me no good, at least not now at the age of 38. I'd like to leave this old pattern, let's call it Obsessive Thought Pattern #13 in 2009. Maybe you can relate? Or maybe you have an obsessive thought pattern of your own you'd like to throw off the cliff of 2009 before you give your first New Years Kiss.
My Obsessive Thought Pattern #13: It's the pattern tied to my inability to relax without having a good reason -- and it goes like this.
I wake up on this particular morning and I feel tired. I know that I have lots of things 'to do' but my gas tank feels empty. I've been working non stop for three days on a deadline, writing and creating to bring inspiration to the world, a noble but exhausting cause. But really no different than the energy any of us women exude on a day when we are taking care of everyone and everything else.
When I wake up with this feeling, I know that I need the morning 'off.' That it would be for my best good to not even look at my email til after noon and just take the morning to BE. I am beat tired and I need to refuel. So I say, "Ok, you worked hard these last three days so you deserve the morning off." And that starts the entire chain reaction of needing to have a reason to relax.
The Chain Reaction of the Obsessive Thoughts of An Achievement Junkie Who Wants to Relax
Thought #1: I feel so tired. But WHY am I tired? (why is often a warning sign for an obsessive thought pattern emerging!) Followed by: What did I do wrong to be so tired? Did I work too hard? Not get enough rest? Should I have meditated more? What did I do wrong to make myself tired?
(sane note: it is insane that i need a reason to be tired, as if I can't just be tired because i am? as if our bodies don't have natural cycles of high energy and low energy. Am I supposed to be at vibration 100% every day 24/7?)
Then once that circus has finished in my head, the next thought forms...
Thought #2 forms: Well I am tired, but should I relax or should I do something to charge my energy. Maybe I should go for a walk in the woods? Chant? Breathe? Do Something! Followed by: What if just relaxed? After all I am tired, and since I am tired, relaxing would be a good thing to do. Because then once I recharge, I can do more.
(sane note: Why is it that in order to relax, I have to be tired? That I need a reason to relax as if my wanting to take care of myself wasn't a good enough reason? And that I only see relaxing as a means to getting to do more later?)
This is an obsessive thought pattern that I've probably had forever, and I didnt really get it until today when I was talking to my friend Catherine who came over while I was in this circus of my mind, and she said to me something like, "Sometimes I just lay on the floor or in my bed for a whole day or a few hours and watch out the window or listen to the sounds." Wow, I thought. Really? That sounds nice. My achiever would however go into convulsive spasms if I tried to do that! And yet, her words struck me into a middle ground that led me to the place where I could let go of this obsessive thought pattern...
While I won't be laying still for hours anytime soon, if I am tired, I am just tired. Don't need a reason. Just need to ask my body what she needs and do that thing. And while I may be able to do more after I am done relaxing, the reason for relaxing is not just to recharge to do more.... I am relaxing because I am taking care of ME, and taking care of means I am loving ME. And self-love is a good thing that requires no reasoning, even for an achiever like me :)
What's Your Obsessive Thought Pattern #13... the big one of 2009 that You Are Ready to Let Go?
What's the obsessive thought pattern that has been running you ragged or upside down for years? The one that keeps you out of taking care of yourself and into depletion, guilt, exhaustion, shame, berating, or any other self-love dumpster behavior? And are you willing to let it go, drop it off the cliff in 2009 so you can be free of it in 2010?
Here's a few steps for finding a pattern and letting it go...
1. What are the scenarios in which you find yourself having thoughts that lead back into themselves. Where you find yourself asking 'Why' more than once. Or you find yourself going down the rabbit hole making yourself feel worse about yourself. Or you try to find reasons to validate something that doesn't need reasons. Or you find yourself thinking about something all the time, or when something specific happens it triggers that thought and you can't stop it.
2. Articulate the thought pattern by writing down the thoughts that go through your head, just like i did above.
3. Bring in the voice of sanity - either you or someone else, if you can't be that sane voice. And write down what that sane voice, the one full of self-love has to say. And keep writing until he or she makes more sense than you than your obsessive thought pattern.
4. Claim this new thought pattern as your thought pattern for 2010 by saying it out loud and proud!
If you are like me, you probably grew up knowing nothing about Winter Soltice, except for noticing it on a calendar. As you grew up you probably learned that Dec 21st was in fact the shortest day of the year, the darkest day, the date when the days started to get longer again and the nights shorter, and the official first day of winter. Which, while are all nice tidbits of information to know, so don't even begin to scratch the surface of the power of this day... a day, or actually days, that have the power to change everything about how you live 2010.
In the last 8 years, I've been fortunate to learn first hand about Sotlice from many of my teachers from many different traditions. And over these years I taken their ancient wisdom and translated it into my "Modern Girl's Approach to Winter Soltice," or what is also the first step in the super power of PAUSE. This time, right now, gives you access to super powerful energy that has the power to fuel your 2010... but only if you slow down to tap into it. Slowing down to let yourself be emptied and filled up vs. being out there on constant doing mode is an act of self-love, no doubt about it.
So in service to your self-love, and the self-love of all beings on this planet, I offer you access to powerful wisdom and a few structures to help you use Winter Soltice to its fullest.
The Modern Girl's Approach to Winter Soltice (for boys too)
About Winter Soltice The official day of Winter Soltice is Dec 21st, however the energy of Soltice can be felt and used for the three day period from Dec 20-23, the days leading up to Dec 25th which regardless of your religion is what I call "Restart Day".... the day you get to wake up like a new born baby, jump out of bed, in love with the world, and yourself and start with a fresh clean slate, just like the whitest of white snow.
The days leading up to the 25th, the time of Soltice are the darkest days of the year, because it is a time for reflection, for going inward, deep inside yourself to look back at the year that has been, to celebrate and learn from your surprises, successes and failures. It's a time to decide what you want to leave behind in 2009, and what you want to take with you into 2010. It's a time to be quiet and with yourself. It's a time for being grateful for all that you have created in the past year (because let's face it, it is so easy to forget all that you have accomplished).
There are 7 key times during the year when super duper potent energy is available to us, times when it's important to stop, pause and tap in. Times when the earth and the universe actually open up energy streams that we can tap into. Winter Soltice is one of those times. When you choose to stop and plug yourself in, you can stop having to be the energy stream, and you can tap into an energy stream that is 1000x more powerful than your one body (no matter how buff she is). It's the difference between you being a strand of Christmas tree lights and trying to power them with a foot pump vs. plugging them into the wall with a constant energy source from some mega energy plant. Plugging yourself into Winter Soltice lights you up vs. you having to do all the pumping.
What's A Girl to Do On Soltice? If you are an achiever like me, you've probably been conditioned to believe that if you are not doing something, you are not creating value. I beg you girlfriend to girlfriend to let go of that belief today. I've learned the exhausted way, that this demented achiever mentality only leads to working way harder than necessary. Your task during Solitce is to take some time to BE with yourself, and to literally experience the wisdom, the energy and the happiness that becomes available to you when you take the time to BE. It's like rewiring yourself to be a more energy efficient model of you!
During Winter Soltice I take a least one whole day and evening to process the year that has been, to let go of twiggly danglers and to start getting signs for the next year. If you are just getting started, you can do Winter Soltice in 2009 with a few hours of BEING vs a few days - even two hours will start to give you the feel. We all have two hours to give to ourselves, and if you don't, please stop and ask yourself why not. How you end this year will be exactly how you live 2010, and taking care of you is the best thing you can do for everyone and everything in your life.
Winter Soltice / Power of PAUSE steps to get you started:
Pick a time when it will be just you, your thoughts and a journal by Dec 23. Everyone can do a minimum of 2 hours. If you can do more great, if not, give yourself the gift of 2 hours. No cell phones, computers, kids, texting. Just you. Paper and pen or markers, the old fashioned way is the best way to do this, as it connects things inside your brain and body. Go somewhere in your home that is quiet. Light a candle. And move to step 2.
REFLECT. Play back 2009 in your head like a movie and see all that you have done, all of who you have become and all you have amassed. Literally close your eyes and imagine the last year visualizing in your mind. Then get that paper and pen and do a formal reflection process where you write out all of your surprise, successes, failures and learnings for the year. In the super power of PAUSE, I use a process called the Wheel of Reflection, taught to me by Pele Rouge and Firehawk. You can download it here. Also you can download an audio where I teach you how to use it.
Ask yourself the following questions, and write the answers out:
What do I want to leave behind in 2009?
What do I want want to bring with me into 2010? (learnings, perspectives, wisdom, etc)
What one quality do I have today, inside of me, that I didn't have at the beginning of the year? Acknowledge yourself for it and give yourself a big dose of self love for becoming an even better you.
BONUS: Winter Soltice 2009.... Xtra Energy!!
Every year things change, and the specific energy for Solitce time shifts too. This Soltice according to wise woman Ariel Spilsbury offers every one of us a extra super dooper opportunity to let go of any of the patterns that have been holding us back from being our biggest, brightest selves. We all have patterns, ones that we have created in this lifetime and ones that have been passed down from generation to generation from our ancestors. Yes, like it or not, your mothers, grandmothers, great grandmothers, etc. give you both their best qualities and their 'shadow' qualities.
The great news is that this Soltice there is powerful energy available to burn up and let go of any familial patterns or personal patterns that no longer serve yo u. So if you are into tapping into this mega power here's the three step process... (note: I am up to 8 releases so far, and I feel 1000 lbs lighter even after eating all those holiday cookies!)
Look at what single shadow you have carried in your life that is like a "curse" or "spell" that you have "been under", that you are truly ready to take FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS CREATION AND FULL RESPONSIBILTY FOR ITS RELEASE! What pattern has come down your family line that you have felt to be completely unable to be changed, so powerful was its "spell"? Say it out loud or close your eyes and see it in your mind and heart. Close your eyes and see all the people in your family that have had that pattern too.
Say out loud "I release the pattern of XXXX." Pause, and feel it releasing.
Take a vow that is the opposite of this negative pattern, a vow that will fill that void with a positive behavior or belief. Say out loud "I vow to .... " Pause and feel the new vow and pattern forming.
Write down both the curse/spell/pattern and the new vow/belief. And give yourself a few minutes to just BE with the feelings of it. This is a critical part of the process. It allows you to INTEGRATE. So don't go right into moving. BE for at least 3-5 minutes.
Just in case you didn't get the memo last January, Chinese astrology told us that 2009 was going to be the year of the OX. I remember reading about the OX, about how it meant hard, hard work, and I thought to myself, well how hard could hard really be? I don't know about you, but this year was FULL of hard work in every way, even for a recovering achievement junkie, professional do-er like me.
Like most achievers, each year is like a mountain for me. One that I set my sites on, imagine what the top will look like, and then go about doing whatever it takes to get to the top. And for the most part this serves me well. I accomplish a lot. I've reached some fantastic milestones. And most of you achievers I know can relate... most people are probably astounded by what you get done. BUT, before we pat ourselves on the backs too long, I have to share with you a realization I had 6 years ago that brought me face to face with the importance of taking PAUSE. Before which I gave little value to being, and was quite addicted to doing.
So here is the AHA i had ... if every year is a mountain, and I spend the year climbing and climbing it, eventually reaching the top, when do I ever get to enjoy all the hard work I just did to get to the top? If I am always onto the next mountain, when do I get to relax? And hey, don't I deserve to set up camp for a while a take in the view... wouldn't that be the wise thing to do? If the Dali Lama climbed a mountain do you think he would just keep going, or would he pause, meditate, contemplate and become even more enlightened? I am sure he wouldn't do what I had been doing which was stopping for a moment, getting a quick breath in and then get moving again up the next mountain! What I learned when that AHA smacked me in the face was this...
The wise achiever stops to take in the view, to get the lessons learned from busting our butt to get up this mountain, traveling through the crevices, plunging over ravines, and moving through gnarly rocks.
The smart achiever notices what failures happened so she can avoid them the next year.
The happy achiever stops and celebrates all of their successes, and even does a little mountain top dance. Knowing that it is this JOY that will fuel her forward into 2010.
This wise, smart, happy achiever also looks in her backpack, knowing that she has a long journey ahead of her come 2010, and looks at what she wants to leave behind and what she wants to take with her onto her new mountain journey.
Think back over your In the past year, she -- you and I -- have become different, hopefully better people. We've learned to love ourselves more. We've become more patient, nurturing, confident, sovereign, focused, happy, open, insert your particular brand of growth... In the past year, you have become stronger as a person and a spirit, and that strength is something that you get to carry with you, or that actually now gets to carry you, for the rest of your life. Achievers are notorious for thinking they have to be the ones that carry all the weight... wise achievers let momentum carry them!
Too often, we don't stop on the mountain top to recognize the parts of ourselves that have strengthened... the weaknesses that have diminished or transformed... the strengths that have become stronger. And so we don't get to use the momentum we've created to help us fuel are new year. It's way easier to measure our 'success' by $$, accolades or material things. And while these things are fantastic and to be celebrated they are things that get used up. And then you have to replenish them. But the inner parts of ourselves... when you build those, they are with you forever, and you can use them to propel yourself vs. having to be like an OX doing all the hard work!
This year take a PAUSE on your mountain top... look back on 2009 and notice who you have become, acknowledge those parts of you that have grown and shifted, and make a conscious choice about bringing those parts into the new year with you.
Use this PAUSE exercise for a guide:
Close your eyes and take yourself back to the beginning of this year. See the person that you were then. What were you doing, how were you feeling, what were your beliefs, who were the people surrounding you?
Fast forward yourself month by month - Feb, March, April... all the way to today and notice what changes in you as you go through the challenges and triumphs of this past year. Notice your character, your connection, your strengths, your perspectives and understandings, your wisdom
Write down the words, sentences, feelings of what you have amassed inside of you in 2009, qualities, strengths, wisdom, etc. that you want to take with you into 2010.
Acknowledge yourself for your growth. Give yourself a HIGH FIVE! And feel these pieces of you strongly in place, with you now for all of your life.
TWIGGLY DANGLER i couldn't find a picture of one, so I will just have to define it here for you right now. the word comes from the imagination of my teacher Ariel Spilsbury. I think it's fairy language for any kind of bad ju ju or undealt with energy that you would rather sweep under the carpet but no matter how hard you sweep, or how hard you try to ignore it, you know that 'thing' is still there.
TWIGGLY DANGLER EXAMPLES so maybe if i give you a few samples, that will help?
that unpaid bill you haven't dealt with, 401k you haven't transferred, bank account with $5 in it you haven't closed... $$ twiggly danglers cut off your flow in 2010.
that friendship, relative, co-work relationship that hit a bump sometime this year and that you haven't really straightened out. You haven't totally severed the relationship, but you are either not being straight, or you are avoiding them or the issue, or you are harboring negative energy. Let the bump between you go. Twiggly danglers in relationships stop love from coming in.
that romantic relationship that ended but that you are still hanging onto. if you have this twiggly dangler in your heart, you can kiss great love from another goodbye in 2010. Let go of as much of that person you can - old clothes, letters, and dreams.
that unsaid sentiment or feeling. whether its love or hurt, if you have unsaid words between you and another person in your life, say them. Directly, or indirectly. You can write a letter and never mail it. These unsaid words fester and keep truth and peace out of your life.
the truth about twiggly danglers is that there is NO self love present.... the energy feels yucky... and you feel lousy, guilty or drained. You'll have plenty of chances to create more in 2010, so starting the year clear and free can avoid the twiggly dangler pile up!
TWIGGLY DANGLER REMEDIES i think that many people go from one year to the next with this twigglies because let's be honest, dealing with them is uncomfortable. Dealing with twiggly danglers head on can bring up all kinds of icky feelings none of us like - shame, rejection, loneliness, disappointment. Talk about not feeling self-love! But the truth is that self-love is on the other side, if we are willing to untangle the twigglies. So this year, before 2009 ends, meet your twiggly danglers head on, just don't do it in a super public way. No one said you had to splay your twigglies out there for all to see. If it's a bill you've been neglecting, pick it up and send them $10. If it's a friend you've had a falling out with, write them a letter telling them how you feel including how much you love them and are mad at them. You don't have to ever send it. If it's a relationship that has become like an addiction, make the vow to fall in love with yourself this coming year.
You deserve your best year yet this 2010! So take PAUSE and let those twiggly danglers go.
year, it's the same old drill isn't it. We start off with the best intentions,
with gusto, resolved to reach our goals and make this 'the' year. But by
February that gusto has been drained down by the overwhelm, pressure and
realities of day-to-day life. Come October, we're wondering where the year
went, and not feeling quite as successful as we had hoped we would when the
year started. And then without warning, it's Thanksgiving, then December and a
flurry of presents and parties. Before we know it Jan 1 has arrived, and with
it the immense pressure to make this 'the' year.
you are a Type A person, you likely go into New Year's resolution and goal
setting mode. If you are the Type B variety, you're likely more relaxed and
avoid serious goal setting, stepping into the new year with faith that it will
all work out. The truth is that neither of these strategies work. Type A or
Type B, these approaches are insane. They keep you doing the same thing year
after year expecting different results, which by definition is insanity.
lived this way for most of my life. Born as a Type A, I began every year with a
die-hard New Year's Resolution - quit smoking, lose 5 lbs, start jogging - that
I was determined to meet, I never did. By my late 20s I realized that
resolutions don't work, and I turned to another Type A tool - goal-setting. For
the next three years I created elaborate spreadsheets with quarterly S.M.A.R.T.
goals, just like my m.b.a. corporate training had taught me. With specific, measurable, actionable, relevant and timely goals success had
to be imminent, right? Nope. Sure, I met some of my goals, but the only thing I
saw when I looked at my massive spreadsheet was everything I hadn't
accomplished. Another Type A, achiever quality, always more to do. What my
goals did do was make me feel worse about myself.
around the age of 33, I got smart, and decided to set aside my achievement
junkie tools, and find out what people who were really living successful lives
did. What I realized very quickly was that I had three big flaws in how I
approached each year:
didn't stop to reflect on the year that had passed. I went right from one
year into the next, without stopping to recognize all that had happened. I was
living my life as if I was a mountain climber, arriving at the mountain top of
each year, but not stopping to take in the view that I worked so hard to
achieve. Instead, I just took a quick breath, and kept pushing up the next
mountain, the next year, without celebrating my successes or learning from my
failures. No wonder I was exhausted. No surprise that I never felt like I
really accomplished what I wanted, all I could see was the next mountain.
·Truth: In order to grow, we
must stop, celebrate, reflect and learn at the end of every cycle
yourself four questions about this last year before Jan 1st, and
journal the answers: What were my Surprises? Successes? Failures? Learnings?
pressured myself to have my entire year mapped out by the first week of
had created timelines in my head that had to be met so I could get busy doing
what needed doing. One week at the beginning of the year seemed reasonable.
What I failed to realize was that I was working against nature. December is
meant to be a time of slowing down and going inward, not running around like a
maniac visiting people and shopping for presents. People and presents good,
mania not. I should have started my year-end process way before Jan 1. I also
learned that January is meant to be the 'dreaming time' because everything is
frozen and still. It's a month long for a reason... to give us that long to dream
our new year. And here I was trying to stuff 30 days into a week, such an
·Truth. December is for
reflecting. January is for dreaming and setting the intentions of what you will
seed and grow in the coming year.
at the year ahead, ask yourself three questions, "What do I want to do? What do
I want to have? And who do I want to become?"
head wrote my goals.
Trained to think and live from my head, trained to think dreams were fluffy
puffy events that happened when I slept, I wrote goals through the lense of
what would drive my career, bank account and fitness level forward. I focused
on the achievements I believed would bring me success, as I understood success
then. What I failed to realize was that my understanding of success was
extremely limited and that the real goal of it was only one thing: my
happiness. And happiness didn't come from my head, it started in my heart,
which is the place from which I would be better served to write my goals from.
Yes, my mind is extremely valuable but it is only a tool to making my dreams realities.
I had been starting in the wrong place.
·Truth.Goals must start with
the dreams we have for ourselves, which can only be found in our heart.
your goals the 'energy litmus test.' Read them aloud to yourself or a friend
and rate the energy and passion you feel behind it. If it's not at least a 9 or
10, rewrite it until it is. Example: It's the difference between "I will go to
yoga three times a week. I will eat food that is good for me. I will lose 5
lbs." and "My Body is my Moving Temple." That is a real example from my 2009
of these flaws can be boiled down to one thing: my previous failure to
understand the power of PAUSE. I had been trained to hit the GO GO GO button
all my life and while that made me a very good achiever, it also made me a very
busy and exhausted woman that didn't always spend her energy, time and money on
what was most important, and what truly had the power to accelerate my progress
to my dreams... or bring me happiness on a daily basis.
I learned was that PAUSE is like a super power, when we activate it, PAUSE
accelerates our ability to make our dreams realities because it provides us
with something we can't get when we are running through life as a frenzied,
frazzled energizer bunny -- PAUSE gives us wisdom.Alice Walker, Pulitzer prize winning author of the Color
Purple said in a commencement address in 2002 , "Wisdom, however, requires a
pause... it is the pause that gives us clarity...." And, if I look at this woman's
life, witnessing her grace and her success on all accounts, I think to myself,
the Pause has served her well, so I know it can serve me well too.
December and January, I will be taking a set of PAUSEs, using a simple but
powerful structure I created based on the wisdom I found during my last five
PAUSE periods. I'm glad to report that there are no spreadsheets and that this
process makes me feel great about ME at the end of the year, instead of
pointing out my shortcomings. Now that doesn't mean that I am going to cut myself
off from the world for two months. I still have plenty to do these months, but
I will slow down and I will take big blocks of time to be with myself, my
dreams and my thoughts. I invite you this December and January to activate your
super power of PAUSE, to find a structure that works for you, one that allows
you to reflect first and then expand, focus and energize your intentions for
Invited to Pause On December 17th at 12pm PST.
hosting a free PAUSE tele-call on Dec 17 where I will share and teach the
ancient and super energizing system for RELFLECTING. It's the first step in
creating a fantastic 2010. The time between December 21st and
December 25th is the most powerful time of the month for reflecting,
so set aside at least one day during that time to reflect. Register for the
call by clicking here http://www.daretoliveyou.com/christine_events.htm#prepause
and self-love expert, Christine Arylo is a self-admitted, but recovering, achievement junkie and
doing addict. A teacher, writer, coach, speaker, m.b.a., author, and
conversation provocateur,Christine has appeared on E! Entertainment, CBS, FOX and ABC and over
100 radio stations around the country. You can find her online at www.daretoliveyou.com or www.madlyinlovewithme.com, in person teaching her
Feminine Super Powers to women and men, or at home with her partner Noah and
their Husky Nanook.
Take a Pause: If winter is a time for slowing down, but we are feeling the pressure to speed up, how can we fuel our bodies from something other than a caffeinated paper cup?
I was sitting in a cafe the other day thinking about my adrenal glands. Yes, I know, it's not a topic that flies through most peoples heads at 10am in the morning on a Wednesday. But I was preparing for a conversation later that evening on my show Self Love Studio with a woman who had told me that she had almost burned her adrenals out at the age of 38. Not having a clue as to what an adrenal actually was or why I should care, I asked her what that meant. She told me that she had been feeling tired, so she went to her doctor to find out why. What she heard was not what she expected. He told her that she was headed for adrenal burnout. That if she kept pushing herself to do do do, if she kept living on the energy of her adreneline, if she kept fueling her body with 'stop gaps' like coffee and sugar, she was headed for a complete breakdown of her nervous system and other systems by the time she was 50.
Wow! I wonder how tired my adrenals are I thought. I've certainly done all those things as well. I think I have had actually had moments where I felt myself hear my adrenal glands scream, "Christine stop working. We need to rest now!" In my 20s I never listened. In my 30s I learned how. At age 38 I am still learning how ;)
So it got me to thinking as I sat there with my paper cup drinking some energy that I told myself was just for the taste, but in fact I know was for an energy boost... It got me thinking about why during the holidays do we give ourselves more permission to rely on the short-lived energy boosts that are SO easily attainable - cookies, cakes, pies, parties, cinnamon Starbuck lattes. Why do we rely on these boosts to get us through this crazy time of year where nature is telling us to slow down and we are doing the opposite, and then using fake fuel to get us through it.
My husband Noah says I ask "Why?" a lot. He says that the better question is "So What Do I Want to Do About It?" He says that his question actually leads to change, while mine he says leads to more Whys? So for this one time, I decided to try it his way. I took a PAUSE ... being that we are praciting the self-love dare of PAUSE this month, and here is the wisdom the PAUSE brought me. I now share it with you...
The Issue: December is a time for slowing down. We are all feeling pressure to speed up. So we turn to 'fake fuel' like coffee and sugar to keep us going.
So What Do I Want to Do About It? Use the power of the Season vs. the power of Starbucks to keep my energy high and my calorie intake low!
The Wisdom from the PAUSE? 3 ways to fuel yourself from nature vs. a paper cup.
Do what the Native Americans used to do: RETAIN your energy. They survived without Starbucks and they had to survive through some pretty harsh and long winters. So unlike us they weren't running around like crazy people spending all their energy. They conserved their energy and spent it wisely, knowing that they wanted to always have more in reserve. So this December, notice how you spend your energy. Literally feel your body putting it out as you do your day, give to others and take part in the holiday fun. Be consious about how you spend your energy and always make sure you are retaining more than you are giving.
Take a lesson from those smart bears: STOCKPILE your energy. The bears are preparing to hibernate so I imagine Momma Bear getting all her shelves filled with the staples she will need for the winter. Jars of honey, crackers, and the like and then napping in between. Find time in your days, every day when you can stockpile your energy, like jars of honey on a shelf you can use later. Today, I took a 30 minute nap. Set my Iphone alarm and recharged. Power Yoga and SPIN class doesn't count. Winter stockpiling should have a nesting and a replenishing quality to it. Yin yoga good. Naps, reading, taking a bath, chanting, a walk in nature.
If you need an Energy pick me up, use the closest thing you have to you - your breath. If you've done yoga or meditation you've probably learned breath techniques like deep breathing, breath of fire and alternate nostril breathing. Use them. If you do any one of these practices for 5 minutes, you will instantly increase your energy, no calories taken in, in fact you'll burn some off. If you haven't done these breathing techniques you can check out this video for Pranayama breathing which is alternate nostril breathing or search you tube on your own. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCK1jBfRVsE&feature=SeriesPlayList&p=DCD427CFFB5AA38A
I am giving my adrenal glands the gifts of retaining, stockpiling and breathing my energy this holiday season. What are you going to give yours?
Bears never feel guilty about staying home for the holidays, so why should we?
I was thinking again about those self-loving bears and how they spend the holidays. At home, in their cave, probably with a nice fire and some honey. And definitely without the guilt, obligation or pressure so many of us feel laden with at this holiday time.
In our day to day life, we do feel pressure to take care of everyone and everything else and at the holidays this feeling doesn't go away, it usually gets stronger. Whether it's making sure the holiday dinner is cooked perfectly, the holiday party is a smash success, cards are sent out on time, or we've bought presents for everyone so no one feels left out. As women we are naturally giving, and that is a feminine super power that we want to hold onto, for sure. But, sometimes we give so much to others, that we forget to give to ourselves. We put our self-love on hold, especially during the holidays.
Guilt. Stress. Obligation. Our lack of self love and over giving nature can show up in a million ways. Like maybe you don't really want to go visit Aunt Sally or spend the entire day with your husband's family or pack up everything and travel during this crazy holiday time. Maybe you just want to stay home and cook dinner for your close friends and family. Or maybe you want to go skiing in Tahoe or even spend the day doing absolutely nothing. Or maybe something totally different. But you don't feel like you can just say, "NO, I don't want to do 'that' I want to do 'this' instead. Or maybe you don't even feel like you know why you want, you just know it's not that.
We are usually so busy doing the holidays, that we never even pause to "How do I really want to spend the holidays?"
Give Yourself the gift of PAUSE It's Dec 4th, what is the holiday you really want to have? What is going to make YOU happy?
1. What are the activities that make you really really really happy during the holidays? List out your top 5. This is your list of Holiday Happys. And then answer the question, 'Why do these make me happy?"
2. What are the activities that you really really really DON'T like, but that you do because you feel like you should, or because you don't want to let down someone else? This is your list of Holiday Obligations. List out your top 5. Answer the question for each, "Why do I do these if they don't make me happy?"
3. Compare your Holiday Happys to your Holiday Obligations. What's the self-love AHA for you? What can you learn about yourself?
Now for the Self-Love Dare Self Love Dare #12
Give Up the Guilt. This Holiday, Only Do What Makes You Happy
Look at your list of Holiday Obligations, the things you do out of obligation, guilt or some other downer of a reason during the holidays. One by one, either change this into a Holiday Happy, or stop doing it.
Changing Holiday Obligations into Holiday Happys: 1. Get to the core of the reason this is important to YOU. Not to anyone else, but to you. 2. Determine what piece of it you do out of guilt or obligation, which is usually tied to a person or fear. 3. How can you do what is important to you, and do it from your heart with love for yourself and this other person/people? If you have an answer, great, do that. If you have no answer, stop doing it.
My personal self-love dare #12 story:
I took this dare about six years ago when I moved to California and my grandmother, for the first two years, would say, "I wish you would come home for Christmas." I loved my grandmother, she and I were very close, AND I also knew that I wanted to spend my holidays in California in my home. So when she asked me to come, I would have this internal conflict of not wanting to let her down, and also not wanting to let me down.
So on the second year when she again asked me to come home, I took a Pause. What I learned in that Pause was that I really did want to see my grandmother, I loved spending time with her, but I didn't like traveling in December to only get to see her for a few hours at Christmas when the rest of the family was around. So after my Pause, I said to her, "Grandma I love you very much and I know it's important to you for me to come home for the holidays. I really want to spend time with you and during the holidays we just don't get enough one on one time, so how about I come in January for your birthday for a few days." It took her a few minutes to warm up to the idea (she was stubborn like me or me like her I guess), but her heart lit up and like that mine did too, and in January, I arrived in the frozen tundra of Chicago into the warm embrace of my grandmother, who I loved very much. We hung out, ate at our favorite restaurant and watched Dancing with the Stars together. She passed away last year, and I will always have that memory of her and I.
TAKE A PAUSE 3 things self-loving bears can teach us about conserving our energy & money this holiday season, using the Feminine Super Power of PAUSE.
It's December, so what do us crazy humans do? Run around like energizer bunnies gone mad, running from party to party, store to store, gift wrapping to cooking baking. Bright lights, big sales and big pressure to see and be everywhere. It is a season that we spend DOING.
\Now compare that to the animals that live in the forest, that live lock and step with nature, following the natural cycle of living on earth. Take the bear for instance, what is he or she up to in December? Is she out canvassing all the holiday sales hoping to get that DVD player on sale? Is he running around from grocery store to grocery store worrying that he won't have enough food to feed the guests for the party he's planned? No way! This smart four legged creature is getting her house (or cave as the case may be) in order, stocking up on all the goods she will need to get her through the frozen winter. She's not spending her stock, she's savoring and saving it, using it slowly. This wise animal has tuned into a station we too often ignore: nature. And for the entire month of December this station is broadcasting one message: SLOW DOWN!
So what do we humans do? We speed up! The opposite of what the energy of the season is asking for. No wonder we are dead tired come Dec 28th, and then we pep up for one last go around on New Year's and then spend the next two months trying to work off all the excess we sped up to create.
Now to be fair, bears don't face the pressure you do. They aren't bombarded with Christmas advertising campaigns. Or relatives and friends that all want to share in the holiday cheer. Self love comes easier to them. But they do have some behaviors you can use this holiday season that can help you SLOW DOWN and at the same time still enjoy all the love and fun that abounds. I know you may not believe me, but it is actually in your nature to SLOW DOWN... when you tap into your Feminine Super Power of PAUSE.
You've just got to slow down long enough to listen. Try these bear-proven tactics:
1. DON'T GIVE ALL YOUR HONEY AWAY, SAVE SOME FOR YOURSELF The self-loving, smart bear loves to share her gifts, time and energy, with those she loves, especially her prized honey, but she never empties her shelves. And she never feels guilty for keeping honey for herself. So for you... yes, give to the people and things that you love this holiday season, and RETAIN energy for yourself too. Remember to GIVE to yourself. And do it before you run yourself into a cold or a sore neck. When you start feeling that run down sensation or the stress kick in, ask yourself, "Am I giving all my honey away?" And then do something to replenish.
2. SPEND EXTRA TIME IN YOUR CAVE The self-loving, smart bear isn't romping around the forest in December using up all her energy, she is spending extra time loving being in her cave. After all, she's worked hard all year to make it cozy. December is a time of going inward and it's more natural to want to cozy up at home than to flit from party to party every night. Pick your social outings wisely, doing the ones that fill you up the most. Don't be afraid to pass on social obligations that don't totally light you up. Decline politely, wish them holiday cheer, and then create a cozy, warm space inside your home full of self love, magic and holiday beauty. Use that energy to fill you up.
3. DON"T APOLOGIZE FOR DOING WHAT YOU WANT The self-loving smart bear knows that she knows what is best for her and she doesn't waste her vital energy carrying around feelings of guilt or obligation. She does what she needs to do and wants to do, without apologizing to the other bears. She's never rude, always full of love, and she has no qualms about setting healthy boundaries. Make this a holiday that you do your way. Set the intention that you will fill yourself up with energy, love and happiness this holiday, and anything that doesn't ftl those three bills, you can pass on, without guilt or obligation.