January 2011 Archives
What if I told you that you could get more done by doing less? Would you believe me?
Would you nod your head like you did believe me, even agree to try some of the crazy things I asked you to try, yet still fall back into your old busy, over doing patterns... you know the ones that keep you feeling overworked and overwhelmed without a clue about how to attain the peace of mind the women on the front of your yoga magazine seems to effortlessly emanates?
I get it. I am a recovering achievement junkie and doing addict myself, programmed to push and push until I get to my goal. One of the reasons it makes it so hard to change that programming is that I have this Inner Mean Girl inside my head who I call 'Move-the-bar Brenda.' She is always moving the goal right before I get 'there.' No matter if I reach the goal I originally set out for, or that I did more than a team of 10 horses on their best day could accomplish, in her eyes, and therefore in mine, I fall short, and therefore there is more to do. So I have to keep pushing.
In 2011, with the help of my Inner Wisdom, and some inside tips from a few 'telegrams from heaven' I received (and have included here for you), Move-the-Bar Brenda is going on vacation, far far away. And she would like to invite your over doing, over achieving, over responsible Inner Mean Girl to go with her!
All you have to do is read these telegrams for heaven, decide how they apply to your life and then take an inside action - change your internal filter to see that maybe, just maybe, you can have a bigger impact (and be happier) if you do less in 2011.In 2011:
- Select out a few 'seeds' - project, focuses, desires - and really focus on protecting, and nurturing those precious few. 2010 was all about throwing lots of seeds out there and seeing what grows. 2011 is about letting many of those seeds go, and only protecting a few. The best analogy I heard was from Pamela Eakins, Phd, whose said imagine last year you threw down lots of seeds and this garden started to grow, and now this year, the goats have arrived, and they are going to start to eat everything up. If you could only save a few seeds what would those be? Build a fence around those, protect and grow those.
- Narrowing your focus and letting go is okay - trust it. So as you choose your specific seeds, you are going to have to let the goats eat the remaining seeds. Which means you will have to let go of ideas, project, goals, to-dos and more. This of course freaks us overdoers and overachievers out. Just know that this act will bring up some fear, and notice when the fear shows up. Calm your Inner Mean Girl down by closing your eyes, breathing. See how letting go frees you up to have more impact in what you do do. This is about activating your Feminine Super Power of Trust.
- Focus on what you are being called to do, because not everything is yours to do. This should make it easier to trust, if you can let your over-responsible Inner Mean Girl take a vacation, knowing that there are MANY people on this planet who are doing great work, who are here to do the things you can't, and who want to help you. My friend and transformational artist Shiloh McCloud always says: Imagine yourself sitting in a circle of women, passing around a ball of red thread. As each woman holds her piece of the red thread we form a strong circle that is powerful enough to do anything. Now imagine cutting off your piece of the red thread. Look down at this one piece... this is what is yours to do. If we each do our part, we don't have to do everyone else's. Whew!!
- Slow down. Likely you are missing opportunities and working harder than you need to. By letting things go you will automatically slow down, as long as you don't pick more up. Walk through 2011 with a heightened awareness of your pace. As one woman said to me recently, 'Enjoy the nectar of the earth. Eat the nectar of life." What if your life rolled like honey in 2011?
As you sort out which seeds are yours to grow, water, and take care of this year, use these questions to help you:
- What is calling me the most?
- How can I best serve? (your gifts are your service, find those gifts and give those)
- What will provide me the most stabilization? What will create structures that stabilize my life?
- What are my deepest heart's desires for this year?
- What does my fear say I need to do, and what does my heart know is mine to do?
In case you are wondering where these telegrams from heaven about 2011 were delivered from, and you want more, I will share with you some of the wonderful angels on earth who have shared their wisdom with me, allowing me to incorporate these thoughts in my year. Check out Pamela Eakins - intuitive wonder and Phd - at www.pamelaeakins.org
- and the 13 Grandmothers - www.grandmotherscouncil.org/
I leave you with this quote from the 13 Grandmothers...
"It is time for the women of the world to own their innate wisdom"
Listen. Slow Down. Stabilize.
And enjoy the nectar of life!
3 questions to get clear on who you really want to call 'friend'
If you were asked, "What's the biggest challenge you face to create the friendships you really want," what would you say?
I'm going to let you in on a secret, your biggest challenge is not time or the inability to meet new people. Your biggest challenge is you. You determine both the quantity and quality of your friendships based on who you are and how well you know who you want as a girlfriend, regardless of who's in your circle today. Think about it. You wouldn't consider dating or getting married without giving thought to who your mate is. Yet, even though we have close, intimate relationships with our girlfriends, we rarely give conscious thought to the kind of women they are. Instead, we choose friends by chance or duty, and with the busy lives we lead, you can't afford to waste your friendtime on friendships based on obligation or on friendships that take more than they give.
If you've never stopped to ask yourself questions like, "What kind of women do I want in my life? Does my current circle of friends reflect the kind of energy I want to surround myself with?" chances are you are missing out on some great friendship opportunities, and spending too much energy on ones that don't give you what you really want.
If you know who you want as a friend, you're much more likely to attract that kind of person into your life. And she is much more likely to fit the life you are creating for yourself. So do yourself a favor, and take the time to get clear on who you really want to call girlfriend and why. Ask yourself the following questions using the action activities to get you crystal clear on your answers.
3 Questions For Creating Fabulous Friendships
QUESTION 1: Why do I want friends?
It seems like a no-brainer question, who doesn't want friends. right? True, but this is a question worth answering because your response will tell you a lot about what you expect friendships to do for you. We all have different motivations, most of us just don't know what they are.
Action: Play the Why Game. The game is simple, keep asking yourself "Why" over and over again until you get to core of your motivation. Here's how it works: Start by asking, "Why do I want friends?" Say you respond with, "To have people to hang out with." Then ask, "Why do I... want people to hang out with?" Answer. Then again, ask "Why..." to the answer to that question. Repeat at least 4 times. And when you get your final answer, ask "Why is this important to me?"
QUESTION 2: Who are the women I want as friends (regardless of who I am friends with now?)
Paint a picture in your heart of the women you want as friends, as if you were Picasso. Don't think about the women in your life today. Imagine the kind of women you want to make your life even better.
Action: Do a Friendship Visualization. Close your eyes and imagine yourself connected to the energy of this fantastic group of women you want to surround yourself with. Look closely into their eyes and paint a picture in your mind of who they are. Let yourself see them. Are these women self-empowered? Compassionate? Living their dreams? Or are they friends that revel in drama? Play small? Or take more than they give? Feeling into them, see them for who they truly are:
What is important to them?
What are their gifts?
How do they live?
Why is friendship important to them?
Action: Create Your Friendship Story. After you've visualized these women, write a full, juicy paragraph or two describing them... a story that when you read it back to yourself, connects deeply to your heart and soul. Don't just blurt an answer out off the cuff, or create a long list of attributes. Go beyond the surface and into the essence of who these women are. Tell their story. It's the difference between painting a Picasso and drafting a PowerPoint presentation. After you write it out, read it out loud and commit to drawing these women into your life.
QUESTION 3: What Are Your Expectations of Your Friends?
Not all girlfriends are the same - we have different friends for different reasons. Some are closer than others... some you connect with because of work or shared interests while because you've known each other for years. When you understand the different levels of friendships a.k.a. your Friendship Rings, you're empowered to ask for and get what you need from every friend. Unknown, unmet and unexpressed, expectations are one of the major causes of friendships failure.
Action: Define your expectations for each Friendship Ring. On a piece of paper, draw a set of 4 concentric circles, one for each ring. Then list your expectations for each. Your expectations should differ depending on the type of friendship.
Soul Sisters: Your closest circle. You share your lives.
You may all have different mothers but these women are your heart and soul. They're here for you in the best and worst of times. You can expect that they will pick up the phone when you call at 2am with a broken heart; that you can share all of yourself with them - the good and the ugly - and they will love you anyway; and that you can be completely honest about your feelings, even when you're angry, and that they will listen and work with you to create an even deeper friendship.
Good Time Gals. You have fun with these girls. You share a good time.
You chat. You laugh. You never go too deep. You can expect that they will invite you to do things with you and accept the invitations you give; that they follow through on what they say they are going to do; and that when you're together you can share what's going on in your life and get some good advice, but nothing too deep.
Affectionate Aficionados. You work at the same company, belong to the same club, or run in the same social circles, but that's as far as it goes. You share common interests.
You can expect that you will have a good time when you are together; that you will share your enthusiasm for your common interest but maybe not much more; and that they add good energy to your life, not suck it away or create drama. You can also expect that when that common interests shifts, you may no longer stay friends.
The Original Class. You've been friends a long time. But even if you're not really close anymore, there is still a connection. You share a common history.
You may only talk once a year, if even that, or maybe more, but it's not the quantity of time that matters, it's that you can always pick up the phone or email and you will get a response and still feel connected. You can expect that they will be happy to hear from you; that you will keep each other updated on your lives but probably not share the torid details; and that when you hang up the phone they will say nice things about you and not turn your conversation into the gossip of the week.
Every relationship you have in your life is a direct reflection of the honesty, awareness, love, trust and respect you have for yourself. So if it's fabulous friendships you want, start with creating a great relationship with yourself... it's the surest way to attract and keep fabulous women into your life.
About Christine Arylo
A new kind of self-love expert, Christine Arylo, inspirational catalyst, takes a fresh approach to redefining self-love for today's woman as hip, hot and hers. As an author, speaker, and coach, Arylo is an expert at helping women to get the success and happiness they want without exhausting themselves in the process. She is the author of Choosing ME Before WE, Every Woman's Guide to Life and Love (www.mebeforewe.com), the founder of the international Madly in Love with ME™ movement (www.madlyinlovewithme.com) and the co-creator of Inner Mean Girl Reform School www.innermeangir.com She has appeared on national television and syndicated radio shows across the country, and her opinions have been featured in places like the San Francisco Chronicle, Glam.com and Daily Om.
I am a big believer in the phenomenon that how you begin your year is how you will live your year. And as I recently learned from my acupuncturist Dr. Feng, there is an ancient Chinese proverb that says the exact same thing. That is powerful medicine. Think about it, how you decide to step into these first few weeks of January says a lot about the energy you will walk with the remaining 11 months.
To get into the spirit of how I want to begin a new year, I like to imagine myself wearing a new pair of shoes that fits who I want to BE that year, and then see myself walk through the days of the calendar month by month wearing those shoes.
For 2011, wearing red velvet, heeled, rounded toe, 1930s looking beauties, I had a radical thought for how to step into this coming year: "What if I I made a conscious choice to choose LOVE instead of FEAR, in every moment of every day? Like literally input a new decision making tree into myself, so that when fear showed up, I could turn the channel and find my way to happy place vs scary place... what would happen?"
Now I'm not talking about living without fear, because I think that it's natural to feel fear in today's world. I am talking about amping up awareness of fear so keenly that you could see it and smell it as soon as it arrives, and then using all of your self-love and feminine super power muscles, make the choice to move through it to find the truth, to find love for yourself.
So I've put on my red velvets and turned this question into a 40-day self-love practice called "See past the fear into the love." While I don't know how this will all turn out, I do know that in the past 5 days since I started this walk, I am happier, more peaceful and feeling more loved than ever before.
Some of the benefits I've already experienced include:
- The ability to ignore the voices of "You better have a plan. What are your goals for 2011? What do you mean you don't know yet?"
- The ability to enjoy the fact by January 31st I will have clarity on my stake for 2011... and I'm loving being in the not-knowing and discovering in the meantime. Journaling, reading, listening, meditating.
- I am taking naps. When I feel tired, instead of pressuring myself to have it all figured out, I go to sleep. Usually I wake up with some really great insight.
- I have turned the constant churn of my mind off, the mind that is always generating a new idea or angle about how to solve, create or find the answer to what to do. My mind is clear and I am learning to listen with my body.
- I've created less work and more impact - enough said.
This is all one big experiment, and as I learn, I promise to share with you. For now, I share with you 3 of the self-love guidelines my practice of "See past the fear into the love" has given me for starting out the year. I call them Love Starters, because they support you to start your 2011 from LOVE not FEAR, and in today's crazy world, we can all use the support! 1. Revise Your Timeline to have 2011 "Figured out."FEAR
: "Rush, rush, move into action! You must know what you are going to do, accomplish, where you going in 2011, now!" LOVE: "Give yourself the month of January to REVEAL what this year desires to GIVE YOU, vs you being the one to make it all happen. You will be delighted and surprised, promise."
If Rome wasn't built in a day, why the heck would you try to figure out your entire year in a week? The entire month of January according to the Native American tradition is called the 'dream time.' Think about it. The northern hemisphere of the earth is frozen, things are still. We humans would be well served to be still too. The value of the stillness of January is that in the silence we can tune into our Inner Wisdom and see possibilities for our year that we couldn't if we were busy moving into full action. Give yourself full permission to take the pressure off of having to figure it out all of 2011 now (or ignoring it completely). Do like the groundhog does, come out on Feb 2nd with your grand 2011 statements and desires. 2. Let Your Body Tell You What It Needs
: "You have to fit into a bathing suit in a few months you know... all that sugar, fat and alcohol you consumed is sitting right on your hips... work out 7 days a week, diet, and refrain from eating anything and everything that you enjoy, it's what you have to do to get back in shape."LOVE: "What you consumed over the holidays is the past, it's irrelevant to today... and the truth is that while you probably did indulge, you enjoyed yourself! Now your body wants something different. Listen to what she needs, LOVE her in to the shape she wants. And give her some time to get there. Being healthy and fit sounds way better than dieting!"
The tabloids and slew of diet-focused emails you receive in January would have you believing that if you don't drop 5lbs by Jan 31, you are doomed. Did you know that it's a normal winter activity for your body to put on a few extra lbs to keep you warm? Give your temple a chance, she will shed what she doesn't need, if you listen. Maybe it's a cleanse or pulling back on sugar. Drop the militant approach and the focus on all the 'bad' choices you made to get here... focus on listening to where your body wants to go from here.3. Relax, don't do it. Slow down.FEAR:
"The party is over! Holidays are done. Time to get back to work. Look, you are already behind! Better speed it up
: "Slow down, there is no where to speed off too. Practice being present. Enjoy the stillness. Pay attention to clearing out clutter - in your body, mind, emotions and spirit. Slowing down now will help you go faster later."
While your achievement junkie and doing addict may be pulling your arm and pushing you from behind to get a move on it, to propel yourself into action, your Inner Wisdom knows that January, the dreaming time, is a time of stillness, replenishment and clearing. This is the time for inner movement not outer movement. So concentrate your energy on things that bring you internal clarity, that clear your physical and emotional bodies and that replenish you. I for one have been enjoying my naps! The more you can slow down, the more you will be able to hear the wisdom, and fuel up for the work ahead.BONUS LOVE STARTER:
Pick your pair of shoes for 2011 - what and how will you walk through 2011? And if you really want to turn up the self love, go out and buy them! Or find a picture of them and put them where you can see them.
I really encourage you to give yourself the month of January to clear out and listen for what is upcoming in your year. To give yourself the gift of self-love by taking care of the most important partner you will ever have in this lifetime - you.
I understand the pressure to have it all figured out, to move into action, to get that body back in shape today, I notice it all around me, and sometimes, more than I would like it to, it does creep in and catch hold of my emotions, my mind and my spirit. Which is why I chose this 40-day self love practice of seeing beyond the fear into the love. The moment I feel myself moving into rush mode, feeling anxiety about not having my entire calendar planned, or faced with another 15 hour day... I am committed to stopping, noticing my own fear, and seeing past it to love.
I've already found answers, some I have shared here with you. And I know there will be more.
I look forward to celebrating February 13, the international day of self-love, with you so that we can all celebrate the gift of love we chose to start our year with.
For more information on the international day of self love, visit last year's site www.madlyinlovewithme.com
New information will be posted in mid January. For now you can download last year's Madly in Love with ME self-love guidebook... full of lots of self love dares and fun adventures!