Icebergs are Interesting

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Icebergs reveal only about one-tenth of their mass above the water. The remaining nine-tenths remains submerged. This is why they are such a nightmare in navigation, and why they make such an appropriate metaphor for writing about health and wellness.

Our current state of health – be it positive or not – can be likened to the iceberg model because only one-tenth of it is apparent. And, in order to understand the one-tenth of our health that is presenting, we need to look ‘underwater’ and try to understand the 90% that is submerged.

When we’re in a positive state of health, we may have knowledge and understanding of what is underwater – submerged. We may understand that the positive state of health we’re experiencing, is based on our conscious decisions to care for ourselves. For example, nourishing food and beverages along with physical movement and regular moments of stillness and calm could be identified as the main causes of a positive state of health.

On the flipside however, poor food choices along with little or no physical movement and lots of busy-ness versus minimal moments of stillness and calm, may explain a negative state of health.

The reason I’m writing this blog is because I wanted to share my recent health experience and my thoughts behind why it may have manifested, by applying the iceberg metaphor.

Earlier this year I noticed a stiffness presenting in my left shoulder, especially noticeable when I was in a yoga pose that required my arms above my head as in Downward Dog Pose. Generally my health iceberg – the one-tenth that is visible – presents as a state of very positive health, with little to no illness, and lots of vitality. My body is nourished with consciously chosen foods – most of the time, and experiences a variety of physical activities and regular moments of stillness and calmness. Overall, I am confident that my body is taken care of positively.

However, over a period of six weeks my left shoulder slowly began to stiffen and resist any type of motion. Movement that was sudden or outside of its limited range sent shockwaves of hot fire pain down my arm and up my neck. I began ‘hugging’ my left arm close to my side, and adjusting how I used my body, to ‘protect’ myself from any pain possibilities.

Due to my newly developed physical limitation, I was unable to brush my own hair or properly shower myself, I took my daily walk cautiously while pressing my arm and shoulder close to my side – preventing it from swinging – as this was too painful. Sleeping became a series of readjustments through the night and a variety of pillows as support props.

At first I self diagnosed and decided that I must have strained my shoulder while pushing myself beyond my limits at a yoga class. I was sure, that over time, the pain would subside and heal and continued to apply rest and recovery as my solution. My faith in my body, to do its thing and heal my self diagnosed shoulder strain, was unwavering for almost two months.

Eventually the problematic state of my physical situation motivated me to seek advice professionally. The excruciating pain had since been replaced by a dull ache – which was far more comfortable, however my shoulder was completed limited now with zero mobility

After an X-ray and an ultrasound the results indicated that there was no physical injury – there was nothing wrong with my shoulder according to the results! I was referred to a physiotherapist to help improve my mobility and was told at my first appointment physiotherapy appointment that I had what was commonly known as Frozen Shoulder.

Frozen shoulder is simply that, it’s frozen for a period of time. There are three stages, first stage freezing up – with a lot of pain, second stage – frozen, and third stage – unfreezing. Very little is understood about why it happens or what causes it, but it’s more common in women, especially between their 40s – 60s. Also, 20% of people will experience frozen shoulder in both shoulders. And, guess what, I ticked all the boxes, along with eventually getting frozen shoulder in my right shoulder. Good news is it’s a lot less painful in the second shoulder.

Let’s now apply the Iceberg metaphor to the physical aspect of frozen shoulder and ask the question, “If one-tenth of our current state of health is visible – two frozen shoulders for this example – then in what condition is our nine-tenths of health that is submerged beneath the surface?”

I couldn’t accept that I simply ‘got’ frozen shoulder and there is no reason!

To understand all that creates our current state of health, we have to look at the nine-tenths – underwater, and that’s what I began to do.

Underwater refers to the way we operate in our lives, not only the obvious elements of eating, exercising, resting and recovering but also the emotional, psychological and spiritual elements.

I decided that the mind / body connection had to be the reason my frozen shoulders presented in my life. My biggest question was: Why my shoulders?

My shoulders were stuck, immobile – was this an emotional manifestation of something stuck in my life?

My shoulders felt sore and overworked – could this be a psychological or emotional manifestation of doing too much – trying to please others?

My shoulders seemed out of alignment – could this be a manifestation that my life also was out of alignment – out of balance?

To understand these questions I looked deeper in to myself on an emotional, psychological and spiritual level to search for the answers. What was the emotional, psychological or spiritual un-wellness that was causing this physical manifestation?

Interestingly, as soon as I began to turn towards myself and acknowledge my own emotional, psychological and spiritual level of ‘wellness’ I noticed my shoulders beginning to free up and ‘heal’ almost immediately.

It seemed that by acknowledging myself – my Being, and showing love and gratitude towards the ‘whole iceberg’ of myself, my body responded physically in a positive and flourishing manner. The manifestation that occurred as a result of focusing on my optimal health and wellbeing was quite astonishing. My physical therapist was stunned by the shift and pace of my recovery, and by the confidence I exhibited in my own ability to heal and recover.

My confidence and belief in myself had changed – positively – simply as a result of applying the Iceberg metaphor and acknowledging the 90% of my Being.

My shoulders are well – which I believe means that the 90% of my submerged state of health is well, also.

Nicole Trueman  – Professional Life Coach and Career Consultant

For further information please visit my website www.lifecoachtasman.co.nz

 

 

 

 

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Make a Choice, Today!

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Every day, each of us makes a multitude of choices that will impact our lives. Some of these choices are minor and will only impact the next few minutes, hours, or days, while others will completely change the direction of our lives.

Some choices are easy to make; some are more difficult. Some will lead us straight to success, while others will bring us face-to-face with failure. Some will seem earthshakingly important, while others will seem completely insignificant. But what’s imperative for each of us to know is that, no matter how large or small, easy or difficult, each choice that we make, individually or collectively, alters the direction of our lives.

The quality of our we can choose, then we can determine which decisions we will make about our bodies, our health, our relationships, our finances, our careers, our social lives, and our spiritual beliefs. Choice allows us to pick, to select, to decide between paths. To go right or left. To move forward or backward, be happy or sad, loving or hateful, satisfied or discontent. Choice gives us the power to be successful or unfulfilled, to be good or great, to feel pleasure or pain. We can have chocolate or vanilla; we can work or play, save or spend, be responsible or be a victim.

We can keep busy or slow down, be faithful or unfaithful, be disciplined or lazy. We can pursue a path that reflects our highest selves or one that reflects our lowest selves. Ultimately, we are the ones who get to choose.

Consider the follow questions when making choices:

Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?

Will this choice bring me long-term fulfillment or will it bring me short-term gratification?

Am I standing in my power or am I trying to please another? Am I looking for what’s right or am I looking for what’s wrong?

Will this choice add to my life force or will it rob me of my energy?

Will I use this situation as a catalyst to grow and evolve or will I use it to beat myself up?

Does this choice empower me or does it disempower me?

Is this an act of self-love or is it an act of self-sabotage?

Is this an act of faith or is it an act of fear?

Am I choosing from my divinity or am I choosing from my humanity?

I once heard the motivational speaker Tony Robbins say, “Quality questions create a quality life.” The quality of our lives is made up of the sum of all our decisions. To make quality decisions, we need to see clearly. Asking either-or questions heightens our awareness and clarifies the results that we can expect from our actions.

When you ask these questions in the decision-making process, you immediately see whether the choice you are about to make is an expression of your light or your darkness, whether the choice comes from your vision and dreams or from your fears and doubts.

These questions supply you with the wisdom you need to make what was previously unconscious, conscious, so that you can choose with all the power that comes from being fully aware.

So what are you waiting for? Start making some choices today – not tomorrow, not next week – TODAY!

“If you like what you’re reading and would like to talk about choice further then head on over to my website Lifecoachtasman.co.nz and let’s catch up”. Nicole

How aware are you of your thinking?

Have you ever driven somewhere and quite suddenly realised that you’re at your destination and you don’t recall driving there or any of the details of how you got there?

What is it when our mind goes into Automatic thinking mode and manages to take charge of our safety, driving decisions and destination?

What were we doing while we were driving unaware – automatically?

Remember when you were first learning how to drive and how much you had to be completely focused on each stage of the process? Remember the “bunny hopping” stage, when you’re trying to depress the accelerator at the same time as you’re trying to release the clutch, and attempting to be in the correct driving gear, as well as looking in the rear vision mirrors making sure there are no cars in the oncoming traffic. It was incredibly difficult for me when I first began taking driving lessons. I thought it would be impossible to drive confidently and to easily operate a moving vehicle. How could I possibly master this.

Of course, all drivers know this experience, or a similar version of it and they all know that learning to drive eventually becomes quite automatic. We learn to drive to the point where we don’t have to think at all about looking in the rear vision mirror, changing gear, breaking at the right time, staying on the correct side of the road or staying within the speed limit. It’s automatic – and all drivers eventually move in to automatic thinking mode and the focus on each aspect of driving fades to a blur.

As a Life Coach I often think of the relationship between driving and how the process of automatic thinking links closely with the challenges my clients often face when they’re trying to make changes in their lives and their seems to be obstacles that continue to appear. Repeated behaviours that seem to prevent them from achieving their dreams.

We all experience the process of automatic thinking mode, not only when we’re driving but in much of our day to day living. Automatic thinking mode is best explained by considering how many times in a day you are aware of what you are doing – physically – and where your mind is at that time? Is it focused on what you are doing right in that moment?

Try and recall that first driving lesson and how focused you were on the task at hand both physically and mentally. Remember the sensation of holding the gear change, pressing your foot on the clutch, gently lifting your foot of the depressed pedal of the accelarator while looking in the rear vision mirror and holding the steering wheel in the correct direction. It’s usually quite a vivid memory that can be recalled clearly and easily without very much ‘blur’ at all. Why is the memory so easy to recall? It’s because you were completely present in the moment of now. You were fully connected to your body and the physical world around you. You were alert to everything that was happening right then. You were NOT thinking about the past or planning the future. Your mind was directly linked to your body and your awareness was fully engaged – acutely. We are normally NOT present in the moment, usually we are considering the past and thinking about the future and a lot of the time we’re not aware of what we’re thinking about. These are automatic thoughts and we all have them and most of us will not be aware of them.

When I ask my clients to consider what their Automatic thinking may be, it is a challenging process for most to try and stop being automatic in their thinking long enough so that they can ‘hear’ what they actually are thinking. Try it. For 10 seconds – best to time it – just note what your thoughts are. You don’t need to write them down, just ‘hear’ them.

Your thoughts may include:

  • This is ridiculous;
  • I can’t actually ‘hear’ my thoughts;
  • I don’t have any thoughts – I’m not thinking;
  • Has it been 10 seconds yet.

Don’t worry what the thoughts are, it doesn’t matter, the point of this exercise is simply to illustrate the level of Automatic thinking we experience and to help you know a little about what you actually think about when you’re not ‘listening’ and how little time we are present in the current moment – rather than in the past or the future.

Life happens in the moment.

When we’re not ‘listening’ to our automatic thinking, in other words – when we’re in the past or the future and not in the present moment – we risk missing out on important messaging that we’re sending ourselves about ourselves and the world we live in. (Please note it’s sometimes very difficult to hear the messaging if you haven’t been ‘listening’ for a long time.)

It’s a challenge to tune into our Automatic thinking, because it’s so automatic. Quite like when you’re driivng your car automatically without any awareness whatsoever of where you’ve driven to or how you got there. Automatic Thinking generally is exactly the same. We can easily experience Automatic Thinking throughout all of our life – that’s a long time – without ‘listening’ to what we’re thinking or the messaging we’re getting. By tuning in though, we can start knowing more of what we think of ourselves and what we believe about who we are.

So the question begs, how do I tune in to my Automatic thinking? How do I listen to it? And the answer quite simply is this: We need to stop, be still, and listen. It takes a moment to pause and tune in to what is going on in our mind at that very moment. Some people may call it mindfullness or even mediation, but I’m calling it awareness.

Awareness feels just like when you first learned to drive, a total attention to every thing that is going on in that moment. You will be able to hear some of your automatic thinking, sporadically mixed with other chatterings. The point is you’re aware and listening and tuned in to you, right in the moment. Rather than being somewhere else in your automatic thinking mode with no awareness and a dialogue of thinking that may not be true.

As a coach, my clients are asked to tune in to their automatic thinking because as Louise Hay says, “When we change our thinking, we change our lives”.

Tuning in to our automatic thinking is the beginning of learning how to use our thoughts to serve us rather than control us. It helps us be in the drivers seat, fully aware of where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.

Can what you think and believe affect your body shape and health?

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I am convinced, more now than ever before, of how much impact our thinking – known or unknown – can alter how we perceive and experience our bodies and lives.
Deepak Chopra discusses the provable affect of how we think, our level of awareness and our perception of the world around us, impacts on our physical health. In his book ‘Ageless Body, Timeless Mind’, he explains the impact of negative connotations and the direct correlation with negative health experiences. Deepak Chopra refers to a study specifically designed by psychiatrist David Spiegel to disprove the mind-body connection and the unexpected and startling results.
“One of the most publicized medical studies in recent years was conducted by Stanford psychiatrist David Spiegel, who set out to prove that the mental state of patients did not influence whether they survived cancer. He felt, as many clinicians do, that assigning importance to a patient’s beliefs and attitude would do more harm than good, because the thought ‘I cause my cancer’ would cause feelings of guilt and self-recrimination.
Spiegel took eighty-six women with advanced breast cancer (their disease was basically beyond help with conventional treatment) and gave half of them weekly psychotherapy combined with lessons in self-hypnosis. By any measure this represents minimal intervention – what could a woman do in an hour’s therapy per week, time she must share with several other patients, to combat a disease that is inevitably fatal in advanced stages? The answer seemed obvious.
However, after following his subjects for ten years, Spiegel was stunned to find that the group receiving therapy survived on average twice as long as the group that received none. It was doubly telling that only three women were alive by this late date, all of them from the therapy group. This study is startling because the researcher expected no effect at all.”
To further support the mind-body connection Deepak Chopra’s book refers to another study of women with aggressive breast cancer. “What’s even more startling and telling is a study in 1987 from Yale, where M.R. Jenson reported in his research results that breast cancer spread fastest – most aggressively in women who had repressed personalities, felt hopeless, and were unable to express anger, fear, and other negative emotions.”
We know that the body can be ‘tricked’ by creating a belief, telling the patient that they are being given a medicine that will cure them. The simple version is underpinned by the hypothesis that there is a mind-body connection and the mind can alter the sensations and experience of the body by simply ‘tricking’ it.
“By giving a placebo, or dummy, drug, 30 percent of patients will experience the same pain relief as if a real painkiller has been administered. But the mind-body affect is much more holistic. The same dummy pill can be used to kill pain, to stop excessive gastric secretions in ulcer patients, to lower blood pressure, or to fight tumors. (All the side effects of chemotherapy, including hair loss and nausea, can be induced by giving cancer patients a sugar pill while assuring them that it is a powerful anti-cancer drug, and there have been instances where injections of sterile saline solution have actually led to remissions of advanced Malignancy.)”
So, what we think affects our physical health? And if that is the case, as is predominantly represented in the noted studies above, then where to from here? Reading and absorbing the potential impact of how I think about myself and the consequential impact my thoughts, awareness and perception of the world impacts my physical wellbeing sent me in to quite a spiral of fear.
The fear was the realization that I wasn’t quite sure what I thought about myself, and my body to start with, and what negative thinking I had been conjuring up? I do know I have moments of dysfunctional negative thoughts and opinions about certain facets of myself – body shape in particular – but really – is it possible I could create physical un-wellness in my body?
And what about physical aspects of my body, the parts that I don’t like the shape of? For instance, I would like more shapely legs. I would like legs that look fabulous, and don’t swell up at the end of the day. Do I have less shapely legs because of my negative thinking about my body shape?
Is there a cause and affect that relates as the studies above do? If I think negatively, perceive hopelessly, have a distorted and dysfunctional view of the world – will my legs become less shapely???
“When someone’s interpretation changes, a change in his reality also takes place. In the case of children suffering from psychosocial dwarfism, putting them into a loving environment proves more effective than administering growth hormone (their belief in being unwanted and unworthy can be so strong that their bodies will not grow even when hormones are injected into them). However, if loving foster parents can transform the children’s core belief about being unlovable, they can respond with bursts of naturally produced growth hormone, which sometimes brings them back to normal height, weight, and development.”
So, according to the above segment from Deepak Chopra’s book, my thoughts and perception of myself – of my legs not being as good as I want or ‘normal’ in the cultural realm of the accepted leg shape – may have altered at a physiological level the shape of my physical self!
My thoughts and perceptions are based on what I beleive – my core beliefs about myself, life and the world around me. A core belief is defined as something you assume is true about reality, and as long as you hold on to it, your belief will hold you and your body within certain parameters. You identify or perceive something as likeable or un-likeble, distressing or enjoyable, according to how it fits your expectations – expectations that you have learned by your experiences in the environment you grew up in and currently reside in.
As babies we do not have core beliefs, at all. That’s astounding to consider, knowing that every moment we are awake, we are processing thought and discerning what our reality is. I know my reality (my perception) is different to the next person’s. I know this because I have a different opinion and experience of the same factual situation. I have learned responses to the situation and have core beliefs about those situations that create my ‘reality’ of the situation and how I experience it.
In the situation where a car stops suddenly in front of me, I may react in a number of ways depending on my beliefs and the parameters of my expectations. I may acknowledge the sudden stopping logically and be able to explain that the person driving the vehicle in front of me failed to slow down gradually, or I might perceive that the driver is having a medical emergency of some type, or more commonly I might think the driver’s an idiot and doesn’t know how to drive.
Regardless of what is factual about the sudden stop, I will have already interpreted my reality, which is limited to the parameters of my core beliefs.
I’ve known for a long time, and more so in my work as a Life Coach, that a core belief is life changing – or life damaging – if it’s negative, to an individuals existence. Knowing that we have core beliefs to start with, and then uncovering them and identifying what they are, how they feel, and what impact they have is imperative to at least a functioning existence.
The ultimate outcome is a body that I accept, rather than label with core beliefs, that is operating at optimum levels due to a sense of fulfillment, positivity, joyfulness and exuberance for the life I am experiencing as my reality.
I’m still reading ‘Ageless Body, Timeless Mind’, and have begun to note more deeply my understanding of my reality and the level of my thinking and its possible impact on my body (shape) and health. The greatest gift this book has given me is a level of self-awareness that I have not experienced before. The awareness of my thoughts, that are automatic and often not what I would have expected.
Knowing more about how I perceive my world, and my body, and how I am ultimately shaping it based on my core beliefs – which are results of my thoughts, has created a brighter moment by moment experience of life for me.
If you would like to uncover your Core Beliefs then head on over to my Website for more information www.lifecoachtasman.co.nz

Today I say, don’t set goals. Make changes.

What defines us

I seriously considered writing a New Year Blog but couldn’t motivate or bring myself to do it. I had set a goal to write my blogs on more or less the same day of the month – every month, but the day came and went and so did my goal.

And that’s when I realised why I hadn’t achieved my goal.

I’d set myself a goal when the truth be known I don’t actually believe in goals.

In my Life Coaching business I ask client’s what they want to change and how they want their life to be, and in the past I have asked them what their goals are. But I don’t ask that question anymore, what I do ask is what do you want to change.

Which brings me to the topic of this blog and the reason it’s not written on the day I’d planned to. This blog is written today because I want to change the way I write my blog, so that it’s relevant and matters and makes a difference in my life and to those who are reading it.

A goal to write my blog once a month on a certain day doesn’t mean anything to me, it doesn’t change my life or those who read it, unless the blog is useful and relevant.

So my problem is solved and I can say that I don’t set goals, instead I change what is not serving me in my life, what is not working or making my life better.

So, the first change for 2016 for me is to write a Blog when I have something to say.

Today I am saying don’t set goals – make changes.

Making changes will inevitably get you to a goal, no matter what. The advantage, in my opinion of not setting a goal – that can be rigid and unforgiving – is to make a change every day to a habit that is not serving you.

For example, if you eat cake everyday after dinner and you’d like to lose some weight, then the obvious thing to do is take action and change – change the habit. Be brave and courageous and honest and admit that you’re most likely going to lose some weight if you change the habit of eating cake everyday after dinner as a treat, or put on more weight if you continue eating cake.

You don’t have to go without, you can change the habit for a better habit. Remove the cake from the serving plate and put a fresh fruit salad on it instead. The fresh fruit salad can be luscious and yummy and tasty and good for you.

Reduce the struggle, get rid of the guilt and take action.

What about the habit of drinking alcohol, your ‘goal’ might be to stop drinking or reducing your intake. Rather than set a goal, change – change the habit.

A few years ago I had a habit of coming home after work every day focussed on having a glass of wine to unwind. That habit was a big habit in my life and I wasn’t willing to give it up, for the all the reasons I could fathom up. I believed it was serving me, it was helping me unwind – I deserved it, I work hard … etc, etc, etc.

Once I became brave, courageous and honest I was able to admit that the habit wasn’t good for my body, my liver, my stomach or my waistline.

I finally admitted that the habit needed to change, I had to be brave and courageous and make a decision to take the step and come up with a plan to change the habit.

So, I replaced my glass of wine with a glass of sparkling water in a wine glass mixed with a low sugar raspberry and rhubard concentrate and a slice of lemon. It was sweet enough, fizzy enough and in a wine glass. A subtle change that didn’t feel like too much of struggle or punishment. I did this every second day for 66 days.

I read somewhere that 66 days is the magic number to change a habit, start a habit or delete a habit.

After 66 days, I changed my habit from drinking sparkling water every second day to every weekday.

Saturday was my wine day and believe it or not I didn’t hang out for it, I was almost complacent about Wine Day when it arrived.

Three years later and I seldom drink now, and I’ve lost 10 kgs. Not only have I changed my un-serving habit, I have also gained from not drinking alcohol a huge amount of confidence in my ability to change my habits. I know if I want to change a habit that is not serving me I have the experience and the blueprint to do it now.

So, no goal setting for me, just change making.

66 days is all it takes and a bit of bravery, courage and honesty with yourself to change a habit.

If you’ve enjoyed reading about how to Not set Goals and want to take action towards a life more fulfilling life then follow the link to my website lifecoachtasman.co.nz to find the inspiration that will help you towards your better life.

What story do you believe?

Ghandi saying

As a Life Coach my purpose is to share my story and help other’s uncover there’s.

Interestingly I have moments where I know I’m not sharing my ‘true’ story, and I am repeating my ‘old’ story.

My old story is made up of beliefs I have learned, experienced, adopted and inherited by those around me. Those around me include the important adults in my life as a child, and the culture and expectations of the environments I have grown up in and am living in today.

My ‘true’ story is represented by my personal journey of self-discovery. A journey where I have challenged myself by questioning what I believe and think about the world around me.

The techniques I have learned through various ‘teachers’ have helped me habitually tune in to what I am feeling, thinking and discerning about the world around me. My teachers are meditators, spiritual teachers, psychologists, media, authors, counsellors, children, family and friends.

By committing to a daily practice of alertness, I am more connected with my true story. My connectedness is possible through being willing to question my opinions and my reactionary thoughts often. Exercising a mind habit of knowing what I am thinking. The muscle of the mind was weak previously regarding noticing what I was thinking. A daily practice of exercising alertness and noticing of my thoughts has strengthened my mind muscle substantially.

In fact, often I now catch myself thinking a thought about a situation that I truly am surprised by.

Recently I was driving along a busy road and noticed an attractive young lady walking along the side of the busy road I was driving on. She was difficult to ignore as it was an early morning and the air temperature was still warming up, and the young lady was wearing a bikini top and a pair of shorts. I noticed her quite quickly and then noticed my thoughts that were quite judgmental. They were not accepting of the young lady’s choice of attire.

The interesting thing about this situation is I had a belief about myself that I am an accepting person and encouraging of individuals expressing themselves in their own way. I believed that it is the individual persons right to dress themselves as they wish and I often have admired those who have been willing to ‘be their own person’.

The revelation for me of this moment in time, as I was driving along the road observing the attractive young lady in her bikini top and shorts, was my ‘old’ story was present and operating. In fact a story I didn’t know I had was operating and making judgment about the event.

In order for me to notice my ‘old’ story playing out I practice mindfulness and begin to truly know my old story. Tuning in to how the mind is interpreting and judging every moment of my life, and what story is actually being told, requires honesty.

My response to my judgment is not to judge myself or to critisise myself, but to acknowledge my thinking, my opinion, my belief and to notice it enough to question it and challenge it.

The thought – belief – will disintegrate over time as I notice it more. It’s an ‘old’ story that is being told, and has held me back in the past and doesn’t represent the truth of how I want to be now. As I uncover my beliefs with a daily attention and practice of mindfulness I am discovering more and more of who I really am and how I really want to be.

As Mahatma Ghandi says, “To believe in something and not to live it, is dishonest.”

I want to live my life honestly, and be true to the person I am rather than the person my ‘old’ story has created.

For further information about how to become more aware of your thoughts and begin to truly ‘hear’ what you believe about yourself and the life around you, please follow the link below to Jon Kabat-Zinn, renouned neuroscientist and mindfulness practitioner’s, website Mindfulness Stress Based Reduction programme – MBSR Introduction to Mindfulness Programme

Thank you for reading my post and I hope it has been of value to you. If you’d like more information or are curious about how a Life Coach can add to your life or would simply like to browse my website please follow the link below.

Love and Light

Nicole

LifecoachTasman.co.nz

What does it take to believe in You?

I Believe in Me more than I ever have before, and I have gratitude for who I am. I have gratitude for the person I have become as a result of my life experiences and the lessons, pain and challenges I have gone through. Without them I wouldn’t have experienced the truth and knowledge of who I am, and I wouldn’t have the gratitude for that truth. Don’t get me wrong though, the journey isn’t over, I haven’t ‘arrived’ at my destination of truth and authenticity and there are still areas that need work, but I’m grateful that I know Me so much better and am willing to do what it takes to be the truest version of myself.

I have remembered behaviours and situations from my earlier life when I was less aware of who I am, and they’re memories that have often surprised me.

Recently, I remembered a time, over 25 years ago, when I was at a dinner party with a group of women and we were drinking lovely red wine, eating yummy food and having great conversation. Well that’s what I thought at the time. As I started trying to recall the details of the party and I began to see myself and my actions and how I was behaving at that party, I realised I wasn’t having a fun, interactive and enjoyable time.

Far from it. I was pretty much walking around from room to room, with a glass of red wine and I’m sure quite stained red lips from too much red wine. I was wandering from room to room not really knowing who to talk to or what to talk about. I remembered I was feeling quite uncomfortable, and the more wine I drank the less uncomfortable I felt. But of course the more numb I became, too.

I know I was behaving in this way, wandering from room to room, because I had no idea how to be myself, and that’s because I didn’t know who I was, I had no idea.

I didn’t know me and I didn’t believe in me. 

It’s strange for me to recall that memory and truly unstitch ‘how I was’ in that environment. At a dinner party or gathering now – right in this moment of my life – I’m quite comfortable to wander around the rooms of the party but not because I don’t know what to do or who to talk to or how to talk, but because I’m happy to wander from room to room and wonder who I’ll meet up with or ‘bang’ into. I’m happy to be me, to be vulnerable, to be authentic and my true self. I want people to know me; I want to know people – authentic people. I want to feel exposed and vulnerable and aware of who I am. This is how I grow and become more true to myself.

Incredibly though, there are still moments when I realise that I still have work to do. It’s not an easy process to truly look at what you don’t like or you’re afraid of about yourself. You discover more of who you are and with that comes the truth of how you feel about yourself, including the good the bad and the ugly!

The process of uncovering ourselves and truly being authentic requires a few basic steps and a concept that has worked well for me, so far.

START WITH WHAT YOU BELIEVE ABOUT YOURSELF

Take a look at the things you hold to be true about yourself. Do this by completing the following sentences:

  • I am a person who …………
  • The world is a place that …………
  • Relationships are …………
  • Money is …………
  • Love is ……………
  • Life is ………….
  • Work is …………..

AWARENESS OF YOUR BELIEFS

As we go through the world, information around us, passes through an internal filter that either deletes, distorts, or generalizes what we perceive. This has positive and negative consequences. Since we’re hardwired to feel safe, we unconsciously try our best to eliminate any information that challenges the safety of certainty. This is true even when (and especially when) our beliefs are negative.

For example, when I didn’t know me or believe in me, I only saw the negative things people would do or I would do. I was only attracted to people who interacted in an unfeeling and false way. People who weren’t being authentic, who drank too much, who talked about anything but who they really were. And when someone authentic came in to my life, I’d act in a way that ensured my belief about myself was supported and ‘proven’.

I’d act aloof around them and be distant; I would push them away to maintain my un-authentic and un-truthful ways. I would sabotage the situation because I didn’t want them to get too close. I’d eliminate the authentic person from my life.

To change our un-serving behaviours and thinking, one must look at how their beliefs play out from thought to reality, from start to finish.

OWN YOUR LIFE

Accept responsibility for the way your life is. This is usually the part no one likes to hear. To be clear, this does not mean you should blame yourself. Accepting responsibility is THE MOST empowering step because it allows you to take charge of your life.

When we avoid responsibility, we repeat our mistakes over and over again. Nothing changes until we have the awareness to learn from it. Personally, I’d rather make new mistakes rather than repeat the old ones.

CHOOSE YOU

This is where the magic happens. Once you watch your process with awareness (from belief to outcome) you have the power of choice. True awareness makes it nearly impossible to continue behaviors that don’t serve you. Awareness creates vulnerability. And with vulnerability comes change and personal growth. As you begin to grow and change, your beliefs about what you deserve and what kind of life is possible become more real and aligned with your authentic self.

GENTLY, GENTLY

I urge you be kind and gentle with yourself as you go through this process and to acknowledge that this is not a quick fix. It won’t happen overnight, change has a process it must go through and the spaces in between the steps you are making are just as important as the process itself.

Rushing change, will only slow you down. It’s hard to change behaviours and beliefs that have been developed over years, if not decades.

Take care of yourself and enjoy the journey.

 

Lifecoachtasman.co.nz

For more information about how a Life Coach can help you transform your life or move you beyond what is holding you back from the life you want, please click on the link above to go to my Website.

 

Love and light

Nicole