The Gratitude Game

“When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears” - Anthony Robbins

 

When you experience the emotions of fear, disappointment, sadness, anger or envy, you lower your energy level. Holding onto such emotions can result as extreme stress, insomnia, anxiety and a feeling of life not working out the way you planned.

Anthony Robbins says that abundance appears when you are grateful. This happens because if you take the time to cultivate an attitude of gratitude you can begin to be grateful for all that happens to you.  Everything in life is made up of bundles of energy and you can exercise choice regarding your actions and attitude. You can cultivate an attitude that is filled with gratitude or you can practice an attitude of constantly complaining and staying stuck in feeling abused. Don’t wait until you have your life all planned out or all your ducks in a row before you allow yourself to be happy.  Allow yourself to enjoy vibrant health and fortune by being grateful each and everyday.

You can open to the flow of energy by learning to increase your awareness of blessings in your life by balancing your charkas. Chakras (a Sanskit word meaning spinning wheel or circle) are energy points in the body that correspond with the endocrine glands. The health of your energy centers, or chakras, may influence your physical health. You need to be aligned to experience and maintain vibrant health, well-being and to live a deeply fulfilling life. The belief in chakras originated in India and was first utilized in Ayuevedic medicine. If you practice yoga, meditate or do body work then you may already be familiar with chakras. Imagine your chakras as circles of energy that support the vitality of your body, mind and soul. Your lower chakras correspond to issues of the material world, while your upper chakras are centered more upon spiritual issues.

Below I will introduce you to the 7 major chakras even though there are many more, and I ask you to choose just one chakra to work with today as you play the Gratitude Game.

The 7 major charkas:

The Root Chakra: This is located at the base of the spine. It is a brilliant ruby-red color. Your root charka is related to issues of physical security and it is affected by your feelings, beliefs and thoughts about survival and your sense of security in the world.

The Sacral Chakra: This is located in the lower abdomen. In Eastern philosophy this center is known as the Hara, and it has a very significant part in the Asian martial arts as a central focus for movement and co-ordination. It is a vibrant shade of orange. The sacral charka is affected by your feelings, beliefs and thoughts about well-being, pleasure and sexuality.

The Solar Plexus Chakra: This is the 3rd  major charka and it is found right behind the navel. It is a shade of canary yellow. The main issues of the solar plexus charka have to do with self-worth, self-esteem and personal power. It is strongly connected to your attitudes about empowerment and decision making.

The Heart Chakra: This is situated in the center of the chest above the region of the physical heart. It relates to issues in your life that have to do with love and joy. The heart charka is a beautiful shade of emerald green. When your heart charka is healthy and balanced you are able to form loving connections with all living beings. The heart chakra is about giving and receiving love.

The Throat Chakra: This is the 5th major chakra and it is located inside the throat where it acts as a bridge between your heart and your mind. This chakra is blue in color and is the center of communication and self-expression. When your throat chakra is balanced you will feel lively and expressive.  If your throat chakra becomes blocked it is usually connected to thoughts and feelings centering on expressing yourself freely.

The Brow Chakra: This is located in the forehead between the eyebrows. It is often called the third eye. This chakra is a lovely rich indigo color. It presides over your capacity to think and discern, to use your imagination and develop your intuition. The brow chakra also helps you gather wisdom from all life experiences.

The Crown Chakra: The 7th major chakra is found at the very crown of the head. This chakra is a magnificent violet color and it links you with beauty, and your spiritual nature.

 

The Gratitude Game: Rainbow Gifts

Have some fun while you practice gratitude and balance your chakras. I invite you to play a game; this game is inspired by my Grandmother, Kathleen Thompson, who loved surprising people with gifts. Make a list of 7 people you appreciate and would like to say thank you to. You may want to consider the people who you may overlook but who add value and ease to your life, such as the postman, the garbage collector or your garden service.

Now decide on 7 inexpensive gifts, one of each color related to the chakras, and make a plan on how to present a small token of love and appreciation to 7 people.

Example:

A Red gift – I have a photo of a red cardinal that I am going to email to my great aunt who loves birds

Orange gift – I can squeeze a glass of fresh orange juice for my husband

Yellow gift – I can deliver a bunch of bananas, some pears, mangoes and golden delicious apples in a basket to the local nursing home

Green gift – I can leave a larger than normal tip at my local coffee shop today

Blue gift – I can take a blueberry pie to the local fire station or police station

Indigo gift – I can pick a bunch of wild flowers and take them to a friend in hospital

Violet gift – deliver a box of chocolate chip cookies with a big violet bow to the local animal shelter to thank them for their dedication and care.

Have fun playing the Gratitude Game. Don’t rush; it may take you a day or a month or even a year to play this game.  Be creative and experience the joy of giving to others and thanking them.

 Count your blessings. A grateful heart attracts more love, joy, beauty and abundance.

 

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Life Coaching can help you Stress Less and Weigh Less

Gail who has been struggling to loose weight for 10 years decided to give Life Coaching a try to help her feel better about herself and to discover new ways to loose those stubborn 25 pounds. Gail had read an article that described how losing weight and finding one’s purpose were connected. Now Gail was intrigued and eager to drop those extra pounds and find more purpose and passion in her life.

Gail spend a lot of time and energy focusing on her weight, on finding the next diet or exercise program that promised rapid results. Like most woman, she found talking about her body made her feel very emotional. Western culture places so much pressure on woman to look good and to keep their youthful appearance instead of honoring the passage of time and the wisdom and soul-beauty that is only earned through living life.

During her first Coaching session, Gail said that she felt so much pressure to lose weight and to fit into a smaller dress size. She felt disappointed with the ways in which her body had changed and no longer looked the way it did in her 20’s and early 30’s. Now in her late 40’s Gail felt like she was on a constant roller coaster ride trying new diets and weight loss pills, hoping to find a solution to a problem that was not going away.

During coaching sessions we discussed how focusing on diet and exercise is important when losing weight but in order to let go of excess pounds and to keep the weight off long-term, it is important to look at what’s going on inside, to delve into the unconscious mind and to become aware of what may be blocking her ability to lose weight. The root of the problem needed to be addressed on a physical, as well as emotional, mental and spiritual level.

Weight loss and self worth are connected and only once Gail understood the connection between her emotions and her weight gain did she begin to notice the surplus weight falling off.

Gail wanted to share her 5 easy steps to weigh less and stress less

1.      Realize that when you feel stressed and anxious your cravings for certain foods will increase. Whenever I felt stressed I would reach for sugary foods such as donuts and cookies. I began to notice that I was eating a lot of foods that were high in fat and sugar. I became a more mindful eater and kept a journal tracking how my negative emotions where influencing my inability to lose weight. I was just adding more weight and more stress to my life.

2.      Learn the value of self-compassion. Dr. Kristin Neff has done some remarkable research on the power of self-compassion, self-kindness and genuine love for self. She offers a short test on her website that can help you get deliberate about your self-compassion. This short test measures the elements of self-compassion (self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness) and the things that get in the way (self-judgment, isolation, over identification). The self-compassion test and other great resources are available on Dr Neff’s website: www.self-compassion.org

3.      Discover your passion.  Over the course of my life coaching session with Bridget it became very clear to me that my purpose and weight loss were connected. Feeling lost and empty I filled myself up with food. With some weekly assignments as part of the coaching I started to notice where my passion was, my purpose started to become clearer and the void I had been filling up with sugary foods, is now filled with actions and activities that fuel my soul and bring a greater sense of peace, clarity and satisfaction to my day. Begin to notice what brings joy to your soul and brings a smile to your face!

4.      Interestingly enough weight loss is not so much about diets, pills or exercise. It is more about achieving a shift on an energetic level. Weight loss occurred for me when:

- I understood my beliefs and values, and how I could create meaning in my life.

- I empowered myself by acting on what I believed was right; I began to express myself freely, and appreciated myself more.

- Resolved and healed the pain of situations and people that had hurt me

 -  I started making new choices about the way to relate to people in the NOW so that my relationships bring me joy.

5.      As you heal and create a life that is based upon your highest values and beliefs, it is important that you become aware of the people, places and things that may be draining your vital life force energy. I had to look long and hard at what was draining me.  I made a note of anything that was draining me. This might be a person that you need to spend less time with or an activity that you need to cut down on. This is about getting clear on what gives you energy/power and what drains your energy and your power. I realized that I was not making enough time during the day to take care of my inner emotions; instead I was so focused on my family and friends and trying to fix their lives. I started to pull my energy back towards myself and focus on what was really important to me, I made time to exercise, to meditate, to cook and prepare healthy meals and snacks. I also carved out time each day to write in my journal as I believe that writing was a great help for me in losing weight and having a safe place to release negative and uncomfortable emotions.

Putting an active self-care routine into place is imperative. It is important that you ensure you don’t burn out or feel overwhelmed. A self-care routine can help you stay on purpose! Know your level of self-compassion (you will discover this by doing Dr Neff’s test.) The kinder and more forgiving you are with yourself, the easier it becomes to make new choices and create a life that supports you. In Gail’s words “My world is expanding as my thighs and butt are shrinking!”

 

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Tarot Reading Back-Log

 

 

Due to a back-log of  Tarot orders please understand that at this time (late June and July 2014) the turn-around for orders is about 2 weeks. We appreciate your business and will get to your order as soon as possible. Thankyou.

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We Appreciate Your Patience

Due to a back-log of orders please understand that at this time (late May & June 2014) the turn-around for ALL orders is about 2 to 3 weeks. We appreciate your business and will get to your order as soon as possible. Thankyou.

 

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Purpose Quest

You may notice that you carry so many things in your mind (including feelings) that you may tend to forget who you truly are. When you become more mindful of your daily purpose and your larger life purpose you can become more present in each moment as it unfolds. Being aware and present may not be a cure-all, but it clearly allows you to expand your being in the world.

As a Life Coach I am often asked by clients “How do I find my real purpose for life?” Larry (not his real name) arrived in my office 2 months ago feeling as if he had missed out on the most important parts of his life. He said “My life lacks meaning! I have a high-paying job; I am fulfilled in my roles as a husband, father, son, brother and friend. I even have some long-term goals that really motivate me, but I still feel as though I have not found the real reason I’m alive, the reason why I exist?”

So how do you find out what your real purpose in life is? A simple way to become clearer on your purpose is to:

  1. Get a blank sheet of paper and a pen or any electronic device of your choice where you can type.
  2. At the top, write the heading “What is my purpose in life?”
  3. Now write or type whatever answers come to you. It is important that you don’t analyze, but instead just write down what comes up for you.
  4. Write for about 15 minutes without stopping (you may want to set a timer)
  5. At the end of 15 minutes, circle 3 words or phases that stand out for you. These 3 words may make you feel a bit emotional or you may feel a deep resonance with them.

 The process of finding 3 words or phrases is very sacred and life-altering for many Life-Coaching clients. It can help you find clarity and a deep sense of purpose and meaning.

Larry sat quietly in my office for about 20 minutes while he wrote on his piece of paper. He mentioned afterwards “I felt like it took about 5 minutes of writing before I could move past the “shoulds” and all the cultural and social conditioning I have been subjected to. I felt tense and wondered if this process would help at all. But as I continued writing something shifted inside me and I began to notice a bit of a pattern emerging in my words and sentences on the paper.”

Larry then circled his 3 words/phrases that he felt a strong resonance with. He said “This is what stands out for me, AWAKENING TO LOVE, ABUNDANCE, and LIVING FEARLESSLY AND MINDFULLY”.

After some time Larry noticed how he was already living on purpose. Larry noted that the career path he had chosen involved helping others live more abundantly, but it also involved some risk-taking and the desire to live fearlessly and with courage. Larry also exclaimed that the workshops he offered to help his clients make wise investments were centered on mindful and conscious-based decisions.

Larry also become aware that the qualities he brought to his relationships with family and friends were also based on his 3 phrases. This was an A-HA moment. He saw the bigger picture of his life and his grander life purpose. When Larry gained clarity and was able to connect with his unique and very personal answer to his question of why he existed, his life took on a whole new meaning. Two months have passed now since Larry first did the exercise that helped him uncover his real purpose and he said “I am very grateful I was able to define my purpose clearly. Now I am leaning into doing more and becoming more of my purpose. The last 2 months have brought about some much needed changes. I’ve become more aware of what made me feel uncomfortable and I've noticed that some things need to shift. I noticed what made me feel good and peaceful and I decided to be and do more of that!”

Some other examples from clients are:

  • To accept my own uniqueness and help others do the same, Fun, Live with courage!
  • Ease, Inspiration, Abundance
  • Adventures, Creating a balanced life, Making conscious-based decisions
  • Simplicity, Trust, Healing
  • To live with Freedom, to live consciously, To live lightly on planet earth
  • Independence, Peace, Enjoyment
  • Courage, Humor, Spontaneity

 When you define your purpose in 3 words or phrases, it makes it easier to stay on track and to make balanced choices that are in harmony with your highest vision and purpose. Write your 3 words on sticky notes and place them in areas around your house so that you are reminded as you go through your day of what is truly important to you.  When you feel drained, tired, or unsettled, or unclear, then meditate on these words and feel inspired to take action that is in alignment with your greater purpose and life purpose blueprint.

There are trade offs for most decisions you make. The question again comes, what are you willing to give up or sacrifice to follow your purpose and to make your dreams come true?

This is where you may find yourself getting stuck because it can feel overwhelming, and most people prefer to stay in their comfort zone. To truly live a life that is filled with purpose and passion you need to keep on expanding, to never settle for something just because it is convenient or comfortable and to not let fear hold you back from owning your true magnificence.

It takes courage. It takes stamina. It is worth it!

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Steps to Happiness

 

Everybody Knows:
You can't be all things to all people.
You can't do all things at once.
You can't do all things equally well.
You can't do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.

So:
You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first, and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,
Because no one else is in the contest of *being you*.

Then:
You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.
And you'll be a most vital mortal.

Dare To Believe:
That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.
And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.
….author unknown

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Put an End to Procrastination the Morita way

“I’m so full, I could pop” says Annabelle as she takes the last bite of her pizza. “I really need to eat healthier, I've got to loose 30 pounds … but I’m feeling so stressed today that I think I’ll order the cheese cake. Across the table, her attorney friend, Avery, orders another glass of red wine, she is so stressed from handling the constant pressure of dealing with clients facing divorce. Meanwhile Sue is complaining about her 17 year-old daughter, Mindy. “If she doesn't get more focused, I'm afraid she won't get into a good college,” she says, “I don’t know what we’ll do then.” Annabelle and Avery know what Sue will do—she’ll continue to feel anxious and worried about her daughter. The next time they all meet for lunch Annabelle will overeat and then feel guilty, Avery will drink too much red wine and Sue will be filled with anxiety over her daughter's life-style choices. 

We all encounter these scenarios, and they continue to repeat themselves over-and-over again until you break the patterns. The challenge is how do you learn to co-exist and embrace uncomfortable feelings, such as, anxiety, depression or illness? How do you co-exist with unpleasant feelings and still live a productive life?  How do you enjoy living? 

Morita Therapy, known as the Psychology of Action was developed by Japanese psychiatrist Shoma Morita in the early part of the twentieth century. Morita was greatly influenced by Zen Buddhism although Morita therapy is not a Zen practice. This treatment method originated from Morita’s observation of his clients who developed a type of anxiety neurosis called shinkeishitsu. Morita’s observations and desire to help people to live a full life regardless of feelings of anxiety, depression, illness, or procrastination helped him to develop Morita Therapy. Morita Therapy or Morita Coaching teaches people how to work with the obstacles that are created internally by focusing one’s own attention on what reality brings in each moment. By learning to simply accept what is, Morita teaches one how to then actively respond to what needs doing. Morita is a reality-based therapy that teaches the value of taking action in creating a meaningful life regardless of your fears, insecurities or uncomfortable feelings.

According to the latest research, one out of four adults reports being a persistent procrastinator.  If your to-do list stirs up uncomfortable feelings and thoughts such as “I don’t feel like it, I couldn't care less, or I don’t want to do it now” don't worry, you are not alone. 

Penny (not her real name) is just one of my clients who experiences these types of feelings everyday.  Penny, noticed that her life was so full of uncomfortable feelings and that these unpleasant feeling were preventing her from living the life she dreamed of. Penny was a procrastinator. Penny decided to come to me for Morita Coaching. Together we explored the ways Penny was procrastinating and we found new ways for Penny to learn how to co-exist with unpleasant feelings and still take action on what was important to her. Many of the excuses Penny used to make have now fallen away and she now find herself looking at what needs to be done instead of only responding to the things she feels like doing.

Penny exclaimed “The awareness of being driven by my purpose instead of being driven by my feelings has resulted in a deeper and richer life experience. I am very grateful for Morita Coaching because it has also taught me about perseverance and to never giving up! Now when I don't feel like doing something, I remember my purpose, and that motivates me to keep going! One of the important parts of doing Coaching was to help me clearly identify my purpose and now I engage in activities that support my purpose. Even when I make a mistake, I know that tomorrow is a new day and I get another chance at living my life in a full and beautiful way.”

Penny says that on "bad" days she reminds herself of the popular Japanese expression “Nana-Korobi, Ya-Oki”, which means,  “seven times down, eight times up”  which reminds her of the importance of determination, taking action, and living life in a meaningful way in the face of frequent failures and to keep on going despite the setbacks she encounters along the way.

 It takes courage and stamina to get up after a knock; it takes will-power and strength to try again. However, this is often what life requires you to do. You need to be able to accomplish your purpose in spite of fears and self-doubt. Always we begin anew!

A jug fills drop by drop – Buddha

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Never, Never Give Up

As we journey through life we encounter many different feelings and emotions. Sometimes we feel happy, sometimes sad, despondent, depressed, shy, lonely, joyful, content, appreciated, or cheerful and so the list goes on. It is easy to live fully when we feel happy and loved as opposed to the times we feel sad or lonely.  In the end, it will be those who never gave up on themselves who will find the true meaning of living a full, rich and abundant life. You will make mistakes along the way that is guaranteed, but always continue with the spirit of knowing you will find your way, no matter how many times you have to start over. Set your mind and heart on your goal, and with discipline and determination, follow through with the necessary action as you continually move closer to your dream life one step at a time. Life can be demanding and difficult at times but you are strong and you are powerful.  Next time life knocks you down – get up and keep going and remember these wise words from Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up!”

 There is something about the human spirit that desires to live a full life and transcend problems. Even if you are experiencing some challenging times right now, such as a financial crisis, contemplating a divorce or separation, or dealing with the loss of a relationship, depression, a career transition, an illness, or searching for more purpose in your life, know that beneath all the chaos, grief, pain or confusion is a budding blossom of hope, grace and reason. Marsha Sinetar is quoted saying, “Life's ups and downs provide windows of opportunity to determine your values and goals. Think of using all obstacles as stepping stones to build the life you want.”  Allow your past experiences to be your greatest teachers and as a spur towards living a life you feel proud of. Stay focused on your priorities and move boldly in the direction of your dreams. Just below the surface something magical is happening. Let yourself explore and discover your true heartsong.

 It is in doing that we find meaning and purpose. Our doing can also become our identity in the world. While living life fully and taking action, we discover who we are and what we are made of.  It is important to take deliberate action and setting an intention can help you to be certain that the actions taken support the choices you have made. Intentions pass into the reality of action and from the action stems the intention again; this interdependence produces the greatest form of living.

Life is always kept in balance, so as you invite a new project or activity into your life, or you consciously decide to change directions,  you will be required to make a choice to release something you no longer need or something that no longer supports your choices and goals. Life is always asking you to make choices. Consider what needs to be done in order to put your intentions into action.

 If you choose to get up early and do an hour of yoga in the morning, then you will need to give up on an extra hour of sleep. If you spend time writing the book you want to publish, then you may need to skip a favorite TV show. You have to choose your priorities and then stick to them.  In the next 3 months you can move closer to living your dream life. Remember that if you make mistakes along the way, tomorrow you can begin again!

 

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Good Advice from Walt Disney

 

“Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil.” 
― Walt Disney Company

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Madiba – In our Hearts Forever

“As we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”  – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela passed away peacefully on the evening of December 5th 2013 at the age of 95. This profoundly good human being inspired us all to reach for what seemed impossible and break through all barriers. He taught us that violence was not the way to achieve freedom. Violence could not unite us.  Following the end of the apartheid era in South Africa, Mandela helped join our hearts and minds, as we created one unified nation which did not discriminate against color, race, gender or religion. He showed us how to forgive one another and to join together as one rainbow nation. 

With the passing of this most beautiful soul, I am sure his light and love will be felt all over the world forever. The world needs more people like Mandela – people who act with love instead of from fear and aggression.

As Madiba said” There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” 

 Let us all continue to pay his legacy forward and love with all our hearts.

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