Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Balance: The Key to Happiness

The Keys to Bliss and Balance
By LJ Innes
Balance: The Key to Happiness

They say too much of anything is never a good thing, and it’s really true. Too much work, and even too much play, can throw us off balance and make other parts of our lives feel off and out of sync. What do you do to find balance?

It’s easy to get engrossed in things. Work projects, television shows, working out at the gym. Interests and passions can quickly turn to obsessions when we lose sight of everything else around us. When we know how to balance and prioritize our lives, putting the important things first, that’s when we can find our bliss. Of course life can’t be all bliss; even that would be out of balance, but being happy and fulfilled should be the norm in our lives, so that when the hard stuff comes and takes so much out of us in a short time, we have a reserve of balance and bliss within us to sustain us and get us through.

If you’re in a bad mood because you have to work all the time, and you can’t find time to work out, then you already know that the one thing you need to balance things out is making that time. Working out relieves tension, gives us an outlet for aggression, and the sheer act of putting ourselves first can be what we need most of all.

Being Selfish is a Good Thing

With all the time you give to others, friends, family, bosses, how much of that time do you spend on yourself? It’s a strange paradox, but when you spend time getting in touch with your own needs, people respond differently. If you see yourself as important you change the very mood around you. Your schedule opens up. People respect your space. And because you are balanced and happy, you have that blissful aura surrounding you, making everyone respond differently. People no longer vie to be on top of your list of priorities, because it is clear that you hold the top position. They are in awe of you, your beauty, and your power. If you don’t respect the importance of your time, then no one else will. You set the precedent.

(As Chloe says, “Being clear with yourself about what your boundaries are is the first step to living with dignity and spiritual focus.”)

Eat, Sleep, Exercise

Our bodies need to eat healthy, enjoy long, restful, uninterrupted sleep, and exercise. In the end all we have of any worth is our health. You need to eat, sleep and exercise and not push those aside for other non-nourishing things in our lives. Replenishment and rejuvenation gives you armor to fight disease, depression and a host of other bad things that try to invade your space. Leave them no room to roam. Fight them off before they attack.

(And as Faith says, “Letting go brings you into balance aligning you with your true self. It is the most natural experience on earth to let go of what is hurting you. Letting go frees your mind of the attachment, thereby filling you with peace.”)

Balance and Bliss

Finding the balance in all you do allows you to prioritize sensibly, make good decisions, divide your time wisely and gives you that overall feel of bliss. Reflect on your typical day. Do you have balance and bliss in your life?

It’s as Simple as 10-10-10

Quiz: Are You On the Right Path?
By Holly Allender
It’s as Simple as 10-10-10

Suzy Welch, author of 10-10-10, was not just having a bad day, but lots of things were not going the way she wanted. She needed something to help her make sense of her relationship with her husband, children and her career path. She no longer felt in control of her life or the decisions she needed to make. It felt like life was dictating to her instead of the other way around.

Through her enlightenment, you can find salvation to confusing or overwhelming situations in the following three questions she calls 10-10-10: “What are the consequences of each of my options in ten minutes? In ten months? In ten years?”

As I read this, a light suddenly dawned for me, and I immediately put the 10-10-10 idea into practice. I was unhappy at my job and was confused if I should quit. So as I was making my way home from work, I asked myself those three questions in relation to quitting my job. Here’s what I came up with projecting myself into the future me:

In 10 minutes: I would feel relief that it was over. The hardship and anxiety I had there would be in the past.

In 10 months: I was surprised to find that I felt regret. Regret that I didn’t try a few other things to improve the situation. Also, the pain of having to find another job.

In 10 years: None of it would really matter. I saw myself in a job I enjoyed and myself happy.

But it was that 10 months that stopped me from quitting immediately. I went back to work the next day determined to see the situation differently and find ways to make my life there better.

I really liked this system and thought I would try this with a friend who was very unhappy in her relationship. She had broken up with him many times and always got back together with him. So I asked her the 10-10-10 questions about breaking up with him forever. Here’s what she learned about herself:

In 10 minutes: She felt relief that it was over.

In 10 months: She still felt good that he was out of her life. No more issues or nagging guilt. She felt free from his tangled grip and manipulations.

In 10 years: He was a distant memory and no longer a thought in her life. She had moved on and let it all go.

She surprised herself by her answers, but she had found clarity in a muddy situation. That night, she broke up with her boyfriend. Although the following months after the break up were difficult, she never wavered from her vision and she did feel happy and free.

I have continued to use this in my arsenal of tools against confusion and when I’ve chunked up. Finding clarity allowed myself and others to feel more empowered in our decisions. It also helped make the issues more tangible, and a path was carved showing the next step.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Power of Paradox: Surrender and Prayer

The Power of Paradox: Surrender and Prayer
By Theresa Danna

Asking, Then Letting Go

Some of life’s best results come about through the power of paradox. Consider the solution to escaping from quicksand. When you realize you’re stuck in the sinking sand hole, your first instinct is to thrash your arms and legs to get out. But that strategy only forces your weight to sink further into the pit. The solution to getting out of quicksand is to maneuver slowly into a position that allows you to float on your back, on top of this unusual mixture of sand and water. Surrendering to the situation, rather than reacting in fear, brings forth the desired result.

Action Through Non-Action

In verse 22 of the Tao Te Ching, Lao-tzu explains that if you want to be given everything, then you must give up everything. The Chinese expression “wu wei” describes a non-action way of living through which you accept life, rather than forcing it. In his book Silent Power, Stuart Wilde teaches that non-action requires us to be patient and “wait for things to unfold naturally.”

To be patient, we have to replace fear with faith. Oftentimes when we pray, we have a specific goal in mind that we want spiritual forces to help us achieve. We ask for a certain amount of money to pay for something or for a specific physical illness to be healed.

However, ironically, this sort of directed prayer does not always bring forth the desired results. According to a study reported in Larry Dossey’s book Healing Words, nondirected prayer—meaning an approach to prayer that is more open-ended, without a specific outcome in mind—is more effective. The faith expressed in the style of prayer that says “Thy will be done” or “in the highest good for all” can be frightening at first, because you are saying you will accept whatever God or the Universe gives you. But the paradox is that surrender is actually empowering.

Giving Over, Not Giving Up

Janet Quinn, a nurse who works with people who have AIDS, is quoted in Healing Words as saying that giving up is like saying there’s nothing else to do. The result of giving up is despair. But surrendering is an active choice that results in a higher quality of life, or, in some cases, a higher quality of dying. The result of giving over is peacefulness.

Praying in the spirit of surrender and trust in your spirit guides opens more possibilities for good. As Henri J. M. Nouwen explains in The Path of Waiting, to wait open-endedly allows our lives to be molded “according to God’s love and not according to our fear.”

Sink or Float

It’s easy to get trapped in the quicksand of life, trying hard each day to survive the stressors of work and relationships. To avoid being pulled deeper into the pit, start each day with a prayerful surrender to accept whatever is best, even if what is best might not feel so good at the moment. Simply say whatever words express your willingness to let go and have faith that you will float.

For some, the words, “Thy will be done” work best. For others, a different phrase might feel right, such as, “I accept whatever the world has for me today” or “I begin this day with confidence and faith in whatever happens.” As long as your intention is to faithfully receive rather than fearfully grab, you’ll float peacefully through your life’s journey.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Embrace Change, Take Action!

Embrace Change, Take Action!
By Psychic Yemaya
Procrastination is human, however, it can stall out your life, cause you to miss important deadlines, and affect your self esteem (which also affects your love life)! We can stop sitting in our mess crying for what we “wish” would have been, and take ACTION!

How many of you have thought about a reunion, wedding, or event, where you wanted to be slimmer when you attended, and then suddenly the time flies by, and its NEXT week… and nothing has changed. You meet someone but can’t invite them to your place as it’s dirty and cluttered? It can range from bills, dentist visits, sewing a small rip, all the way to basics of doing dishes, or picking up fresh fruits and vegetables!
You may decide to change something, tell all your friends and loved ones about this project and the “new leaf” you are turning over, and then you get distracted, day after day, and before you know it…. months have gone by and it’s still not done!

So let’s stop. I hear you saying, “It’s NOT that easy!” I do know that, I was the Queen of procrastination, and that is how I learned the difference between talk and ACTION. Here are the tools that I am using to change my life, may they bless yours as well!

1. Sit down and pick ONE project to use these tools on, if it works for you, then feel free to explore doing more, or even multiple tasks. Make sure the goals are realistic!

2. Stop talking about it and set an actual DATE to begin the actions to correct it. That means you get out the calendars (all of them) and mark circle that date in RED. I like to create a journal that starts by listing my intentions, and how long I realistically see it taking to finish.

3. Write what needs to be changed as a topic, with the first 1-3 small steps towards this. It is important to focus on THAT step, not ALL the steps, or the LAST steps, allow this to be broken down to just one simple step or task at a time. I like to create a journal that starts by listing my intentions, and how long I realistically see it taking to finish.

4. Think and speak positively about your commitment! The last sentence of step 2 is an example of step three; watch what you say and how you say it. Your subconscious mind hears negatives and immediately dumps the whole concept, so rephrase things into a positive. Example: “…what it is you WANT TO change” becomes “… what it is you ARE changing.” Another word hint: Remove the word TRY and think WILL instead!

5. Just keep moving forward, even if you slip up, or stall for awhile, start again as soon as you can, get back up on that horse! Remember that failure only applies when you quit trying!

Friday, October 7, 2011

6 Things Everyone Should Leave in the Past

6 Things Everyone Should Leave in the Past
By LJ Innes
Learning to Let Go

Are you holding a grudge over a silly argument you had with a loved one or a former love? Are you stuck in a place of hate and resentment or perhaps trying to hold on to something or someone that doesn’t fit in your present life or your plans for the future? One of the best ways to live your life to the fullest is to put the negative parts of your past in the past and leave them there.

We may not be able to forget our past, and some of it we don’t want to, but when the things you carry with you through life are the negative things from our past, we leave little hope for a life lived to its potential. Take with you, by all means, the lessons your past has taught you, but discard the resentments that those lessons may be borne from.

Negative events from our pasts may shape us, but they don’t define us. To give up our futures to events of the past is to rob ourselves of life and to give away our power to someone or something that isn’t worthy of our pity, let alone our power. Here are a few things to leave in your past that will help you grow and move on:

1. Hurtful words and arguments that made you feel small;
2. The image of yourself as half of a whole; you are always a whole person;
3. Anything you’ve forgiven someone for, making it off limits to bring up again;
4. Physical trinkets that spur on bad memories or make you cry; they’re just “things,” toss them;
5. Grudges; they eat away at you, hold you back, and limit your vision of what could be; or
6. Expectations that your future will be no better than the past; that’s just not so.

People and situations, both negative and positive, are part of what make us into who we are in the present. Luckily, over time, most of the experiences we remember from our past are the good ones. But to keep a negative experience alive is to invite it into your future; it will happily come along and hold you back when you should be moving forward. You could waste years of your life mulling over what might have been or could have been if things had been different, but the past cannot change, it has already happened.

Tabula Rasa

Tabula rasa is a Latin term meaning “clean slate.” Make a conscious effort to leave a negative past where it belongs, in the past. Be it a job or a romantic relationship or whatever, resolve to forgive and forget. If you forgive someone, then don’t bring up their past indiscretion again. If you move on from someone, remember why you did, and leave it that way. It is entirely possible to have a tabula rasa, and a future that looks as bright as the Sun. All you have to do is leave behind the things that no longer serve you.

Welcome to Weight Loss Coach Sherrie's Blog!

I am currently trying a new way of eating (forget about that nasty "D" word!). I am following the "Schwarzbein Principle" and learning ways to focus on creativity and taking care of ME. I am currently in Body Blissmas, a program started by Jill Badonsky. As I learn to focus on healthy eating and being happy and creative, I would like to help you do the same.

Are you currently trying to lose weight?