Monday, June 11, 2018

What Do You Believe About Yourself?

As adults, we have had lots and lots of years to form our belief systems. We have so many, even core beliefs, that we are unaware of, and yet our beliefs act as our subconscious autopilot.

Most of our core beliefs are formed when we are children. Our family dynamic, our earliest friendships, our primary school experiences, and for some, trauma, are the instigators to our deeply held beliefs about the world around us, and especially about who we are.

As children we internalize what we see, believe what we are told, and begin assigning meaning to things as a result, including our own strengths and weaknesses. We begin to differentiate between what we believe is good or bad. We begin to decide what we find beautiful and what we see as ugly. What is appropriate and inappropriate. What is worthy and unworthy. We begin to label things and people based on these new beliefs. We begin to label ourselves too.

Our beliefs affect out behavior, our thoughts and our emotions. They dictate our decisions and our responses.

Beliefs can be empowering or they can be limiting. They can build us up and invoke positivity, or the can weigh heavy on your shoulders, making us feel incapable or broken. Beliefs can enable us to share acceptance and compassion, or they can demand we seclude and judge.

Have you ever taken any time to examine your beliefs?  I know that sounds daunting! I mean there are so many, so many. But as with everything, we can start small, start where we are, and just grow from there.

I find catching my own self talk, a good clue into some of my long held core beliefs about myself. We say things to ourselves all day long. When something doesn't go the way we want it to. When something goes smashingly! When we make a mistake. When we are stuck in traffic. When we yell at our kids. When we finish a project. When we walk by the homeless man on the way to lunch. All day, all the time, we are talking to ourselves. I talk to myself out loud often too... at my desk , in the car, but that's another story :)

Becoming aware of that automatic self talk can be a huge light onto your hiding beliefs. And once you shine the light on them, guess what?! You get to decide...is this belief TRUE? Just because I believe this does not mean it's accurate. Or, even if it were true at some previous point, is it still? Is this belief building me up and pointing my in a positive direction? Is it helping me to feel strong and feel worthy? Or is this belief making me see myself as weak or unlovable? Is this belief enabling connection with other people? Allowing me to see them and love them? Or is it pushing me to create distance and judgment?

We get to decide you guys. We get to choose what we want to believe about our world, ourselves and each other. Our beliefs can and will change, as we grow and change. Look at your should and always and never statements and hold them to the light. It's not easy peasy, especially the older we get, but it's work worth doing.

Especially now, with so much attention on mental health, and for good reason, opinions are flying around. Statistics being quoted. Our beliefs rearing their heads and hopefully allowing support of ourselves and others, but possibly building walls instead. Our hearts affect our minds, our minds affect our bodies, our souls are always true and round and round it goes.

And if I may be so bold.......

Believe that you are strong
Believe that you are healthy
Believe that you are beautiful
Believe that you are worthy of every good thing
Believe that you are needed
Believe that you are loved
Believe that you make a difference
Believe that we are all connected
Believe that you are compassionate
Believe that there is always hope












Thursday, June 7, 2018

So Where Have I Been?


It's been a long time since I've written and posted. When I first started this blog everything was pouring out at high velocity. It was like a dam broke and all I could do was write like my fingers were on fire. Last year it slowed down. When I started the blog, I would write and post immediately. No over thinking, no triple checking, just sending the message out trusting it would reach whoever needed to read it.

Looking back at the last year I can see some of what contributed to the dampening of the flow.

My yoga practice became inconsistent. Where the years previous I was engaging at least several times a week in some physical practice (including one on one time with a teacher), and likely every day in some kind of meditation or even just quiet time, I began to allow the busyness to invade. I was not committed to keeping time on the schedule designated to a yoga class or time in the healing hut. I found myself falling back to putting everyone else's "needs" in front of my yoga time. For example, where as before, I would let my man tribe fend for themselves for dinner or order a pizza if I had a class scheduled, I started to feel like I needed to prepare dinner before I left, which inevitably led to me being late, or no longer motivated to go. I began to have "too much going on" to squeeze it in. Instead of it being the highlight of my day as it used to be, I designated it as another thing I had to do. I knew in my heart that this was false, but somehow continued to allow myself to be detoured. Yoga opens me in ways nothing else has. Allows for truth, creativity, compassion and connection to flow unhindered. Lifts the veil and allows me to see me and trust my purpose. It really has played a huge part in my realizing why I am here in this life, this time.

I quit taking the medication that supports me in OCD/anxiety management. I decided I did not need this type of support any longer. That I had built up enough tools to manage these things myself. That I had done enough therapy (specifically cbt/erp), and now had mindfulness tools to add, and medication was no longer necessary. I had not really struggled with symptoms for quite a long time (years really) and figured it would be smooth sailing. I did not notice any substantial recurrence of symptoms for almost a year. Although now I can see there were ways that it was creeping in, even before it made it's presence very known, which of course it did. I began writing and stopping. Questioning whether what I was writing made sense. If it would offend anyone. If it really meant anything or even mattered. I began thinking things like "Who do you think you are? You aren't an expert in mindfulness, yoga, self help...you aren't a trained writer...you didn't even finish college. What is the point in this? Am I making a fool of myself?" For years I would write, and I would post and share and felt like I was doing a part of what I am here to do. No matter if I was an "official writer", no matter if I was some kind of "expert" with street cred. and titles and certificates. But suddenly I had drafts on my blog that never got finished and never got posted.

I wasn't spending as much time in nature. Partly due to season changes. I am one of those people that is pretty much always cold, unless I'm in the sun, and fall and winter are not warm times. Okay, I live on the central coast of California you guys. It's never THAT cold. It doesn't snow, and barely rains. But it's still cold to me (I am admittedly a complete wimp when it comes to being cold). The sun shines less and the days are shorter. It definitely effects my outside time, which is truly a critical part of staying awake and connected to source, which basically feeds creativity and purpose. Without the beautiful medicine nature has to offer being ingested on a regular basis, we dry up. Our eyes, which once spotted beauty at each turn, become less attuned to picking out the little bits of magic that can be found anywhere.

I wasn't "feeling" creative. Ideas weren't keeping me up at night, or coming to me in bursts throughout the day like they were previously. I wasn't playing with paint or wood or pretend. I had lost my juju!

So now what? Here I am, writing today. Not really feeling completely fired up about it, but I am noticing a bit of the pull again. I'm going to post this, even though I am already questioning whether I should. That undeniable force that can't be ignored, is starting to stir. It's getting warmer, the weather is nice and the days are long. Being outside is easy and feels good. I am accepting the reminders that I receive on a daily basis (just looked over and saw 11:11 as I do regularly) and allowing them to guide me, once again, to my path. I'm heading to a yummy yin yoga class tonight and am clearing the energy in my healing hut this weekend. About 4 months ago I decided to go back on medication. I experienced a nice jolt in the form of a good relapse, which did a couple of things for me. One, reminded me that OCD and anxiety, although not always in the forefront, will likely always be there. Reminded me that part of my purpose is to speak out about that struggle and to bring light and encouragement to others. That relapse enabled me to sharpen my tools, to continue to educate myself on the disorders and the multitude of ways that I have to manage them. It brought about a new acceptance. I am able to use the mindfulness I've learned to allow intrusive thoughts and uncomfortable feeling in a way I was never able to do before.

It's all a process, and not a linear one. We ebb and flow. We will have times of health and happiness, and times of real challenge be it physical, mental or otherwise. We will have seasons of truly living our magic and being the light we are meant to be, and times when our light is dimmed and we struggle to know our purpose, or maybe to even find joy. We change. What we are here to do may change, and that is perfect. The things we find delight in will change. We may face illness. We may find ourselves suddenly living the dream, whatever that is. There will be times of exuberance and times of despair. Through all the times, let there be hope and let there be gratitude. Let there be knowing, that it is all part of our soul's growth and education.

I hope this finds you in a good place. And if right now, the day doesn't look so bright and you feel down, know that tomorrow is a new day. And not only that, but that you are here for a very important reason. You have something inside that is needed and is to be treasured and is to be shared. Please reach out if you need help finding it.