Friday, July 31, 2015

summer of (self) love: 5 things we can learn from the hippies

I'm doing a little giveaway today on my Facebook page.  I like to give away fun little things to my Dynamic Divorcees -- sometimes it's pixie dust, sometimes it's You Are Beautiful stickers . . . today it's a love bead necklace (plus, a You Are Beautiful gift bag).

Why love beads?

Because I've been wearing multiple strands of love beads all summer long, and, while I never had the pleasure of being a hippie, I've watched enough documentaries to know that this must have been a really fun time to be alive.

Kind of like the fun rebellion phase that every woman can allow herself to enjoy (at least a little bit) following a marriage that seemed mostly work and not much fun.

So, I present 5 things we can learn from the hippies:

1.  Express yourself.  Dance out your emotions; you'll feel better (even if you do it behind closed doors).  That thing you love but people have told you you're no good at?  Yes, it is for you -- no matter how many people have told you that it's not.  Paint with your fingers.  Dust off that guitar.  In the words of Cat Stevens:  If you want to be me, be me.  If you want to be you, be you.  There's a million things to do.  You know that there are.

2.  You do not have to be the poster child for perfection.  At this moment, your job really isn't to worry about what your parents think of you, what your kids think of you, and how you absolutely must hold it all together all by yourself.  Ask for help.  It will come from places you least expect.  Usually from the kindness of mere acquaintances and virtual strangers.  Opportunities will arise to try new things that you've always dreamed of doing.  Find ways to say yes.

3.  Be colorful and have fun with flowers.  Ditch the black yoga pants.  Grab the paisley.  I dare you to buy the $6.99 grocery store bouquet, and hand out single stems to grumpy-looking people on the way to your car.  Why?  It will be fun.

4.  All you need is love.  Self-love.  Make a deal with yourself that you'll be taking a brief break from the sheer weight of everything you're going through.  Step outside and feel the sun (or the clouds) on your face.  Make a list of things that can make you smile (such as daring to act a little bit like a goofy, blissed-out hippie).  All I really need to know I learned from The Beatles:  There's nothing you can do that can't be done.  Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.  Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.  It's easy. 

5.  Give peace a chance.  You may be feeling anything but peaceful, but the old cliche is true.  You're hurting yourself more than you're hurting your ex, who's most likely having a grand old time somewhere.  You don't have to make peace with anyone but yourself.  Light a candle, have a good cry whenever you need it, lean back against some comfy pillows, and slow down your breathing.   You are okay.  It is not all your fault.  You've already blamed yourself far too much.  And thinking about him will not make it better.  Close your eyes and smile to yourself, even if it's just for two minutes.  Sound crazy?  Try it.  You'll feel better.

And, get some love beads.  Just because.

Friday, July 10, 2015

What if it isn't even true?

Today's guest blog post is from my friend and colleague Andrea Friedmann, on the subject of the stories we tell ourselves.  If you love Andrea's perspective and want more, she is offering a beautiful complimentary teleseminar that will help you explore how you may be talking yourself into stories about your life that aren't even true.  

Andrea Friedmann
Recently, I was talking with a friend who had been working really hard to reach a new level professionally. She was almost there, in the last stretch before the finish line, with all kinds of wonderful opportunities opening up for her on all sides. But she wasn't telling me about all that awesomeness coming her way. She was telling me how little balance there was in her life, how much she was working, with no time for play, for her family, herself, or socializing.

She looked drained and dejected. And yet, within a few sentences, still in that slow, tired tone, trying to make a different point, she happened to mention that she had been to the beach with her kids, had managed to do a long meditation she had been wanting to try for ages, and had hosted a big dinner party at her house over the weekend.

I stopped her then, and pointed out that, to me, that all sounded like play, and even socializing. She looked dazed for a moment, then she began to chuckle. And we had a good laugh together. Because it is funny that she could be feeling as bad as she was, when she could let herself feel great instead.

We do this to ourselves all the time: hold a thought that makes us feel down, that affects how we show up in our life and the choices we make -- and it's simply not true!

Even though nothing tangible had changed in her situation, the interruption in her negative pattern of thought created an important shift. Without it, she would have gone on with her day, noticing more instances that fortified the thought that her life is hard, creating a snowball effect with her attention (and her energy, through the law of attraction) confirming her original false thought and generally keeping her down and depressed.

But because of the interruption in her false train of thought, she was able to laugh, experiencing enjoyment as well as appreciation for what IS working in her life, and increasing the likelihood that she will notice more instances that confirm the affirming thought that things are good, feeling lighter and more optimistic.

How we feel moment-to-moment is the thread that makes up the fabric of our life, so the fact that my friend could feel good was important for that reason alone. But if she had had important decisions to make later that day, her frame of mind -- whether depressed or optimistic -- would dramatically affect what those decisions might be. And that, in turn, would affect her level of contentment about her actions.

The untruth my friend was telling herself is pretty obvious here. But sometimes it's harder to notice.

For example, one of my clients who is also struggling with time management was telling me that she is an artist, and that means that she has to run with her ideas; she can't interrupt them or plan her creative time into her schedule. Naturally, being at the mercy of her creative impulses makes seeing customers and having a family life quite stressful.

But what if she is wrong? Is it possible that she could shape her artistic habits? Could she work with her creative impulses, find ways to store her ideas when they come, and then work on them when the time is right for her?

Maybe not. But the real question might be: What is it costing her to refuse to examine this possibility?

 Here is the crux of the matter: What we think affects what we do. And if our thoughts are limiting, then we are limiting ourselves: limiting the possibilities, limiting what we can experience, and limiting the results we see in our life.

So I turn the question over to you. What possibilities are you not examining? What thoughts are you holding that may be based on some untruth? How are you limiting yourself? I invite you to find the courage to take a closer look.  

Andrea Friedmann has been an intuitive life coach at since 2007, uniquely combining her skills in energy work with spirituality and coaching techniques to help her clients get out of their own way, reconnecting to who they really are, changing the limiting beliefs that keep them stuck, and building a life and work they thrive in.