Using the Lockdown for your advantage- How to Set and Keep A Goal –

I recently read a post on FB about how now is not the time to keep exercising or learning how to play an instrument, because of anxiety and stress about the coronavirus.

This is, of course, a perfectly valid way to live your life. Give your brain free rein and let it freak you out and hijack how you spend your days. Living in fear, passing on fear to others, and making decisions out of fear (or stress or anxiety).

Or you can clean up your mental hygiene and give yourself permission to not freak out or indulge in your anxiety, even if the REST OF THE WORLD IS.

You simply (simple but perhaps hard to do) change your thinking about the situation. Rather than stress about what you can’t control, allow your mind to tell you what it fears, acknowledge that, and then consciously search out the opposite of the fears of what your brain is telling you. For example, you can say that the economy is tanking and global recession and job loss – feeling the total fear and anxiety from this. You can then look at where there are bright spots; government stimulus, grocery stores and online businesses doing really well. People able to continue working at home, helping neighbors, and more.

You Have 30 (or 60?) Days. What Will You Do With It

You have 30+ more days of this lock down. Do you really want to stress out and over eat and over drink to manage your anxiety? Or do you want to maybe come out of the lockdown with the ability to play the piano? Or having lost 8 lbs? Or having read your full reading list? Or having all of your closets organized and your house finally deep cleaned?

After spending a week coming to terms with our new reality and allowing myself to freak out a bit and come up with a new normal, I’m excited about all that I can accomplish over the next month. I personally have set my goals and I’m looking forward to working on a bit of them each day, until the 30 days is up.

Anxiety Gets You Nowhere

Anxiety will keep your brain laser focused on all the threats outside. Update your thinking by updating your thoughts, whatever that looks like for you. All you have in your control are your thoughts about your circumstances. Get excited about how you can use this opportunity for changing habits and updating behavior.

Set Your Goal

To make it easier, come up with one goal for the next 30 days. Because it’s easy and measurable, I will use the example of weight loss. Many of us are over eating right now, unable to get to the gym or our yoga class, and the fridge is RIGHT THERE every day all day. So you’ve got 30 days, or 4.25 weeks. That’s say, an 8 lbs weight loss for the month. Or you can organize all your closets this month. You’ve got 8 (or 5 or 12) closets, that means two per week of it’s 8 closets.

How to Set and Keep Your Goal

Set out your measurable goal. Break it down into bite sized tasks (no pun intended).

If it’s weight loss, what is your plan of attack? Will you be reducing your carbs? Will you be using intermittent fasting to kick start your weight loss? Get specifics what what will change. Then plan for tomorrow. If you’re doing IF (which I do), plan for your window opening and closing tomorrow and stick with it. Plan your meals (and for your family’s if applicable).

If it’s your closets, look at your closets and really catalogue mentally what’s in there . Allow your brain to start working out what should go and what should stay. Allow your brain to work on how to solve what you’ll do with the stuff that needs to go. Will you trash it? Will you put it in the garage to give away? When do you have time to start organizing? Two per weekend? 1 hour per day? Let you brain loose.

Use visualization each morning and night to keep you motivated and focused. Really imagine the scale at the end of the month showing you the new weight. Feel your body and how much better you sleep and how much looser your clothes will be. Really get into it and allow yourself to feel the buzz. Your brain will get to work while you sleep, helping you come up with ways to solve this puzzle.

Think of the closets and how much lighter you’ll feel being able to use the closets quickly and easily and that you’re no longer burdened with items you don’t want. Picture them as complete neat and tidy. Again, your brain will get to work while you sleep, helping you come up with ways to solve this puzzle.

Keep Changing Your Thoughts to Those That Serve You

If your brain comes up with something about how you can’t get it done, notice your thoughts and upgrade the thought. Allow it to be and allow it yourself to acknowledge it as it really it. And then change the thought to one that will serve and empower you, allowing you to feel better.

Rinse. Repeat. Rinse. Repeat. You have 30 days to use. Use them to serve you.

And then do the work. Open and close your IF window. Use the weekend to clean your closets. No excuse. Just do it. It’s 30 days.

You got this!

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How To Be Happy With What Is- Especially while on lock down at home – Coronavirus edition

Lorne, Australia So many of us are caught up in what is lacking in our lives and we despair. Typically it’s about money, weight, relationship, and career. And we think it’s an external circumstance, something over which we have little to no control.

But this is not the truth. The truth is that what is happening in our lives are just circumstances. It is completely neutral. It’s our thoughts about them that we have control over and that make these neutral circumstances into something good or bad.

[ Side note: None of the following is really original. I’ve synthesized the following from teachers I really admire and follow, Brooke Castillo at the Life Coach School, Martha Beck, Eckhart Tolle, Christine Kane, and Gerald Epstein, MD. I’m writing this by standing on the shoulders of giants and great teachers.]

Example: Feeling A Lack Of Money

Let’s take an easy to understand and nearly universal worry- lack of money- as our example. So you’re in debt, you don’t have enough to pay your bills, and you look around and all you can think about is how much better life would be with more money. Those thought, that you need more money, that you don’t have what you need, that you’re stuck in lack makes you feel something along the lines of feeling angry, scared, and powerless about how to “get” more money in your life. By feelings those feelings, your resulting actions likely aren’t calm, powerful, focused or motivated. You’re likely stressed out and avoiding feeling your feelings and overeating, overdrinking, and using other buffering mechanisms to avoid what you think is your reality. And the result is likely a continuation of the same circumstances because you’re not feeling empowered or peaceful to try to truly address your desire for money.

Another Way To Be With Your Circumstances -Acceptance

So you don’t have enough money to pay your bills. This is truth. This is fact. It’s your current circumstance. The real power you have is how you think about this fact. You can either choose thoughts about your circumstance that empower and serve you or you can choose thoughts that disempower and don’t serve you. This is where your power lies.

Choose Thoughts That Empower You

Instead of feeling stressed and lack about your money, recognize that the outer circumstances in your life often reflect your inner life circumstances and in those circumstances lie gifts to awaken and teach you to greater truths about yourself and how the world operates. Often it boils down to the truth that you’re feeling lack so you’re outwardly experience lack.

And please be clear about what I’m saying. It’s not your “fault”. You’re not to blame and no one is saying you could have done better. Be clear that sometime the universe takes an opportunity to really grind you down and use your worst fears to help you learn a lesson that will ultimately free you and help you grow. But it’s not something you chose and it’s not something you need to feel bad about having in your life And you get to be scared and overwhelmed and worried and horrified as you confront some of your worst fears, that evoke shame, deep seated fears of not being enough, not being good enough, not having enough, and more. This is heavy stuff and not something to be trivialized. Give yourself total permission to feel all your feelings. Take the time you need to allow yourself a full freak out and be compassionate with yourself. The shizzle is getting real. After a bit of time being honest with yourself and your feelings, it’s time to start to use your superpowers to help you change your thoughts and the resulting feelings.

Just realize that your thoughts about your circumstances are all that you can control. it’s not your fault the coronavirus is ravaging the world. It’s not your fault you were raised in a family that taught that money is bad or that only evil people want to earn a lot of money. This is simply where you are. Be clear. Don’t blame and don’t avoid.

Once you can get clear, start to use your own superpower and begin to consciously upgrade the way you think about your outward circumstances. Perhaps you can start to honestly catalogue all the ways this lack of money has been helpful to you. For me, I see that when my cash flow got low, I saw how much power I gave to worry and stress over money and how much I relished being a victim of this. That I didn’t learn about money from my parents, that it wasn’t my fault and I needed to be rescued by someone outside of me. Every thought raced through my head -except the one that this was something I had the power to change.

Lack of money has also helped me be clear about how much fear I had around lack, how much money I was spending on non-essential items, and how much I was using avoidant behavior to not be truthful about how I could actually change my circumstance. And that I would sacrifice my happiness, my time, and autonomy on getting a job to bring in money, even if I hated the job. I gave my deep desire for money a lot of power in my life.

Can You Find Your Way to Being Grateful?

Truly, I’ve also gotten to the place where I’m grateful for when I’ve felt financial lack. (And I’ve definitely had moment of financial lack, big scary thoughts about it.) What can it teach you and how much more powerful are you once you’ve truly learned all that the lack of money can teach you?

For me, I’ve prayed for years for clarity of my mindset and to be shown all of my blind spots. ALL of them. Before my daily morning mediation, I ask the Divine Beloved to tear down the veil of my ignorance so that I can truly SEE. I’ve learned to be so grateful for the lack of financial abundance that can stick around for seemingly forever. I’ve gotten clear about the worst that can happen. I can go bankrupt. I can lose my house. And instead of being the image of financial success to my family and friends, I’d be an example of how to lose it all. I see that I care what people think and I want to considered a success by others in all thing.

I went all the way down the rabbit hole. So I could go bankrupt. What does that look like? How do I feel about it? I could lose my house. What does that look like? What would I do? I go to the worst case scenarios and I get clear about what can happen. And really it’s simply that I’ll have to feel feelings, like shame and fear. But I can handle that. I could handle starting over, if it were ever to come to that. And I’m so grateful for the clarity the truth brings.

Choosing Better Thoughts

After getting clear about how you’ve been thinking and starting to perhaps even be grateful for your circumstances, it’s now time to find better thoughts about what is happening to: empowering thoughts that serve you well. If better, more empowering thoughts initially elude you, then ask yourself empowering questions about the situation.

For example, you can’t think of a better thought around the pile of debt you have. So ask yourself a question that helps your mind do something for you. Your mind is constantly searching for what to do and how to get things done. So send it off to ponder on questions that will help you. Like: How can I think better about this? How can I invite more money into my life? What are things and feelings I can have or do that will help me? And then let your mind go and you likely will have great answers in short order, especially if you sleep on it. Boom, you’re awake and your mind will probably be serving you up answers to your empowering questions.

Better Thoughts Mean Better Feelings

Once you consciously choose different thoughts that serve and empower you around money, then the feelings that result from those thoughts will serve and empower you as well. If you have a thought like: money is just a circumstance and I can make changes in my life in ways I never considered, the feelings that follow will likely be calm, powerful, happy and inspired. This type of feeling will allow you to take more powerful, even inspired action on the issue. And you’ll get ideas about how to change (or accept) your circumstance.

Be Willing To Follow Through

Your mind may serve up thoughts: ideas and inspiration that scare the socks off of you. You’ll have to try something new. You’ll have to put yourself out there and you may get rejected, you may fail, and your family and friends may think you’re nuts. None of that matters. Understand that following through on the power of your inspiration is what will lead you to increasing amounts of joy in your life, a better feeling about your life, and likely to more abundance.

Savor the Journey

In this example, you desperately wanted more money. And you think you’ll only happen once you have all the money you wanted. But in reality, you can start to enjoy the feeling of having the money once you decide that you will have more money and allow it in.

Do you remember, as a child, how much you enjoyed the entire month of December because of the anticipation of Christmas Day? (for those of you who celebrated Christmas- use your memories of your birthday if that works better for you). The whole month, you dreamed of Christmas day. All the presents, the food, the magical day. And it really peaked on Christmas Eve, knowing Santa was riding out that night ready to give you presents. And how was Christmas Day? It was often pretty awesome but it never truly did compare to the anticipation, did it? The same will be when you have all the money you need. Enjoy the build up. Enjoy knowing that you’re going to have a lot of money in the same way you knew that you were going to be getting presents. There wasn’t any fear or desperation around Christmas. It was all joy and anticipation. That’s the feeling you’re going for so cultivate thoughts around money/abundance that give rise to joy and light anticipation.

Don’t Forget to Visualize

Visualization is a powerful tool. Find visualizations that work for you and make you feel light and airy and joyful. Don’t get bogged down in the details of how the money will arrive.

Some examples of visualizations for abundance or prosperity are:

Imagine a body of water so vast it’s all you can see. Feel the water. See it lapping at the shore at your feet. Then slip into the water and float in its vastness. Feel the water slip into your pores and maybe even drink it up. I personally slip under the water and feel it enter into my lungs and ears and my eyes. And then feel that the water is abundance and it is vast and surrounds you at all time. You just have to let it in.

One that really works for me is that I can see a rushing river of cash flowing down from some place in the sky into my left hand and a slightly smaller river flowing out my right hand. For me, I know that I’ll be spending and donating the money so allowing the energy of abundance flow though me. This gives me the joy and anticipation feelings I mention above.

Be sure to get the flutter of emotion that lets you know the visualization is locked in and feels true and exciting to your subconscious. Check out Epstein’s page for some great visualizations.

Call on the Divine Beloved

As always, ask for help and guidance. Pray for it. Ask for it. Follow the inspiration. Tosha Silver has some great prayers on asking for help from the Divine Beloved, if that’s your jam.

Follow the inspiration you get. That’s key. Don’t stay stuck with your statue quo. Be willing to do things differently.

Keep working on your thoughts

Of course, you’ll have to keep working on your thoughts when you notice thoughts arise that are disempowering. It’s natural that your brain will freak out about circumstances without training to think empowering thoughts. Notice when you have thoughts that don’t serve you. Change them up.

You got this. You can do it. It’s what you were born to do: learn from your circumstances and follow your heart.

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Coronavirus and Meditation- keep meditating

Keep up with your meditation practice, especially now. And it is a perfect time to re/start one if you haven’t sat in meditation recently.

Last night I spent a full hour on Facebook, researching the coronavirus, looking at projections and trying to find data on the US infection rate and projections, where I could. An hour.

This morning I woke up and was immediately seized with the obsession to get on social media or my phone to find out what’s changed in the last 8 hours. I thought, “there’s no way I can meditate this morning”. My mind feels like a barrel of monkeys, rather than my normal monkey mind thinking about all that there is to do.

I then realized this is the perfect time to meditate and ground myself. This is exactly the moment to meditate. My mind is trying to spiral out of control in fear, obsession, and worry over things I can’t control.

And so I sat. At first I thought of the R0 figures- what is the R0 of the flu versus Covid-19, the mortality of Covid-19 in Italy and South Korea, and in China. Round and round my mind went until I caught myself not being present. I have long since dropped any shame or surprise at how my mind can get trapped in recursive thinking. I just noticed that I was no longer present and centered myself again.

As I mentioned in this post the other day, there are many techniques to center yourself. I prefer this one. I close my eyes. I then focus with my mind’s eye on my third eye (the space between my eyes, a few inches back) and turn my actual, real eyes up to the third eye (eyes closed). I think feel for my dantian and I’m immediately grounded.

I sat for 57 minutes today. Not my longest by about 15 minutes but I was able to stay for 57 minutes.

Now, after the session, I can still feel how grounding my session was. My obsession to get on my phone has passed and I’m writing this blog now. My stress and compulsions seem to have evaporated.

Don’t panic. Don’t stress. Don’t fear. Instead sit in meditation. Get grounded. Do what you can to plan for a quarantine. Act on what you can control. And then let the rest go.

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How To Manifest a Million Dollars by Inviting in the Sacred

Lotus flower

Want to earn a million dollars? But feel icky about it because it doesn’t feel spiritual? Feeling super selfish about your desire for more money?

This is often a tough one for people who are looking to make the world a better place,who want to slow down and make a soulful connection with others in their community and the world.

But wow, a million bucks would really be helpful. The lure of money continues to pull at you. I get it because it’s true. Money does solve a lot of problems. Need to eat? Money helps you buy food. Need some health care? Money helps you afford the care you and your family needs. I’m sure not many are conflicted about that level of income. It’s the idea of more many than you “need”. But here are a few different viewpoints on money to consider.

New Idea #1: In order to feel selfish and icky about money, you have to believe at some level that money and abundance is a zero sum game. In order words, for you to have a million dollars, someone else wouldn’t have it. This doesn’t have to be the case. By allowing for true abundance, you can intend for all beings to feel and have abundance as well. As they say, you can’t help others be and feel abundant by intending a lack of abundance in your own life.

New Idea #2: Be a conduit for abundance. Recognize that you can earn and give away some portion of your income. Let’s say you decide to give away 20% of your income. The more you make the more you can give away. You can also set up “your number” that you want to make each year and then give away the rest. So let’s say your number is $1M. Each year you will keep $1M out of all you make. And if you earn $10M a year, you’d be giving away 90% of your income. It’s definitely a different perspective.

#3 Commit to being an amplifier of the Divine’s abundance. For me, intending abundance in my life, especially about large amounts of money, feels wonderful when I also visualize all the good I’ll be doing with it. For example, the jobs I would be providing by hiring people to work on my house, hiring people to work with me, giving money away to charity, and following my intuition about how to save and spend it.

I follow Tosha Silver and she has a great book called, It’s Not Your Money. And she helped me to really understand the concept that money is just energy that comes and goes. But it’s not my money, it’s the Divine’s. I can’t take money with me when I do and it’s not something to horde. Abundance comes to me when I’m aligned with it and it falls away when I’m not.

It’s ok to have money. Choose to be a force for good and use it wisely and lovingly.

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How to Manifest – a Short and Quick Guide

What will you manifest?

I know there is a lot written about manifesting so I’m going to be short and sweet to help refine your technique, in case you’re frustrated with your results.

Step #1: Activate your connection to the Sacred. This is the most important step because trying to intend something without the Divine can be counterproductive, hard, or frustrating. And the results are likely as not to be somewhat off the mark of your true intention. There are several ways to active your conscious connection with the Sacred. Use any technique to get into a higher vibration or a vibratingly intense state or stir your kundalini energy.

Here are a few techniques to active this connection. Try them all to see which is the easiest and most effective. All of them should be practiced in silence and without fear of interruption.

Technique #1: Breath work. Breathe out to a count of ten (or as high as you can) to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Breathe in normally and then focus on the out breath, making it as long as you can. Do this one more time and then begin, if you feel the tingling and the weightlessness that can indicate your connection is active and strong.

Technique #2: Breathe in slowly through your nose and then let it out of your mouth. Do this between 3 and 13 times. For some reason, this works as well as the previous one. For me, when I use this one, I feel a vibration in my dantian and my scalp starts to tingle and feel warm and I know I’m connected.

Technique #3: Visualize your spine and the current of kundalini energy that is vibrating up and down your spine. Attach your mind’s eye to the energy and follow it, starting from the kundalini pot at the base of your spine and see it spiral up and around your spine, like a snake spiraling outside the spine, and back down again. Follow this coursing energy for several moments, perhaps up to a few minutes. Begin to feel the tingling somewhere in your body to know that you’re connected to the Divine.

Technique #4: I got this technique from combining Martha Beck‘s and Eckhart Tolle‘s advice. Both are fabulous teachers, btw and definitely check them out if you haven’t. With this technique, you sit in a chair or on the floor in a meditation position, back upright, eyes closed, palms upright on your knees. Begin to sense the energy in your palms. Feel this energy and keep attached to it with your mind’s eye. Then, while holding with your senses the energy in your palm, begin to feel the energy in your dantian or third chakra. Feel the energy flowing between them and through them. And then while holding your sense of the energy in your palms and in your dantian, bring your focus to your 3rd eye (sixth chakra). Now hold them all together and feel the energy flowing through them and between them. You can then feel your connection to the Sacred and the tingling in your body.

Once you feel the connection, continue to the next step.

Step #2: Create a clear intention. Spend some time getting clear on what you want and then perhaps write it out and say it out loud.

You may lose your connection if you write it out and say it out loud so don’t worry if this happens. Either drop back in using any of the techniques above or end your session and sit with what’s happened.

When you’re connected, continue to the next step.

Step #3: Feel and sense the visualized intention in your mind and body. This perhaps may be the next most important step. Your mind and body don’t really respond to words and logic. Instead the language of the spirit and body is visualization and feeling. So hold the intention in your mind’s eye and really feel it being real.

Again this is important so I’ll walk you through it. Let’s use a common intention which is to manifest a million dollars.

If you want to manifest a million dollars, feel the feeling of having the money in your bank, writing the final check to pay off your debt, or on the plane with flight you’re able to purchase because you have this money. Or whatever it is that gives you joy and excitement about this intention. Feel it. See it in your mind’s eye. Sense the joy that comes with it. Continue doing this until you feel a zing. It doesn’t have to take long. Maybe a 30 seconds or a minute. Don’t linger but also know that your intention needs the power of your feeling and sensation to really bring it manifestation.

So if you don’t feel the “zing” or a sense of pure peace and joy from the visualization, then the intention is either created out of fear and anxiety or youre conflicted about the intention.

It’s ok if you’re conflicted. You’ll need to understand the pushing and pulling you’re feeling about the intention and resolve the conflict, otherwise the intention won’t be manifested.

Step #4 – Once you can feel that the intention has been activated, release it back to the Universe to be brought from the Unmanifested through the Mystery, through the Universe’ own way.

How, when and if the intention is manifested isn’t your concern. You keep on with the intention, which is your part.

Still have questions? Lemme have’em

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