Thoughts from an Expanding Mind

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20170316

Changing our habits takes effort. It also takes something more.

To truly change, it is not about the external movements we make. It is about something more, something deeper.

All change happens in our hearts first. It’s something we feel on the inside, that then radiates out. If not, then the change does not last.

It is common for us to focus on the external behaviors, not the internal dialogue, not the why we feel about ourselves. Yet, our shifting our feelings first, is the start of a process that carries us all the way.

Making change can be discouraging when we work on the external first.

Let’s choose to work on the internal first. Let’s decide the come into alignment first with the change we want to see in ourselves, then we take action.

When we do that, the action flows. It feels like less effort. It becomes more natural. And then the change we make is long lasting…

20170314

When we hold things inside, especially for a long period of time, and suppress our true feelings, we get wound up like a tight spring.

After a while, we get so used to being tense, on edge, and guarded.

Our bodies hold the tension, and to us it just feels normal. Until we start to do our work and we begin to unwind.

The unwinding process gets messy, awkward, and even painful, yet it is a necessary step to health and healing. We can’t skip that step, as much as we would like to.

Often times, the unwinding looks and feels like a falling apart. Physically, emotionally, and spiritually, as the repressed energy surfaces, it can be a bit scary for us and the people around us.

If we trust the process and stay with it, the other side of that disastrous-looking time emerges, and with it, peace and a new sense of self.

We can’t stop because we feel worse than before. We can’t shortchange ourselves. Life is calling us forth to heal, and if there wasn’t something better on the other side, we wouldn’t be going through the messy times.

Revel in the mess, for the other side is not just relief, but joy.

20170309

You matter in the world.

It may not seem like it some of the time, yet you do.

You matter to your family, your friends, your acquaintances.

You matter to your business, your job, your industry.

You matter to your neighborhood, your town, your city, your state, your country.

You matter because it takes every drop to fill a bucket of water. You matter because your unique expression, your voice, your ideas, your presence enriches life itself.

There is no one quite like you. There is no one who can fully take your place.

There is no one who can be another you!

Share yourself. Speak up for yourself. Let us know you exist and you have something to say. Most of all, let us see your heart, your soul, and your spirit in your message.

Let it inspire us, move us and inform us in a way that no one else can.

You matter.

20170307

We often react to the actions and words of people around us as something to do with us.

We analyze, interpret, make judgments and choices based on what we think the person’s intentions are for us around those words or actions.

The truth we all know, yet often forget, is that what the other person says or does has little to do with us personally. It is almost always about what is going on inside of them.

Our ego has a hard time conceiving that the universe does not revolve around us, yet on a practical, day-to-day level, nothing is further from the truth.

In everyone’s own mind, the universe revolves around them, not us.

So that time that person shouted at you for being rude, it really wasn’t about you being rude. Or when that person in the car cut you off in traffic, it really wasn’t personal. Or perhaps someone yelled at you for no reason at all, that definitely was all about them, not about you.

The thing is, we all do that. That knowledge can help make us more patient, more understanding, and more tolerant of other people’s actions and words. Doesn’t it?

20170302

Being different from others is not always easy.

Thinking differently, acting differently, even speaking differently causes those who are not comfortable with themselves to experience something they are not used to.

We get picked on, made fun of, and even ostracized for just being who we are. It is easy to internalize those experiences and feel like there is something wrong with us.

To be strong means to be steadfast in our commitment to be true to ourselves, to being honest and open, even if those around us don’t understand.

It is important, very important.

For if we do not stand strong in our determination to be who we really are, regardless of whether is makes others uncomfortable or not, then we loose the chance to inspire others to be themselves.

We may not realize it, but their eyes are on us as well. If we allow ourselves to be true, then they know it is okay for them to be true as well.

Each person standing up and not allowing others to bully them is the strongest statement of support for all of us to be authentic!

20170228

Self-care has become a greater part of daily conversations.

In the past, no one really talked about it, or even used the term “Self-care.” Now, you can hear it in many daily conversations either directly or indirectly.

Yet for each of us, what we mean by Self-care can be vastly different.

For some of us, it might be just about pampering ourselves. For others, it is about how we manage our energy. And yet for others, it can just be about how much space we give ourselves in our schedule.

Ultimately, it is not about a specific action or practice, but about what makes us feel better. It’s about how we show love to ourselves, how we show how we care about ourselves.

It is not about being self-centered or egotistical, it is about recognizing how important it is for us to take care of ourselves first, so we can show up as our best selves in the world.

If more of us did that, what kind of world would we be living in?

20170223

We are often told that our past defines our future.

That our experiences and our history shape what we will create.

Yet the flaw in this idea is that we have a choice to create new memories, new experiences, and new histories.

Every day we rise with a clean slate and it is up to us what to do with it. Yes, it is easy to fall back into all habits. Yes, it is easy to repeat past mistakes. Yes, it is hard to do something new, something different, something unknown.

What we imagine, what we envision and what we focus on can take us into new directions and new territory.

Life is about growth, and stepping onto a new field of possibilities is both daunting and exciting. So let’s find really good reasons to be excited and get past the daunting part.

Our vision creates our new history!

20170221

When we look at others who have accomplished more than we have so far, it is easy to feel bad about ourselves.

We compare ourselves and see what we haven’t done while this other person has achieved monetary success, reputation and recognition.

Yet somehow, when we meet someone who has achieved much less than us, we don’t compare ourselves and say “Look how much I have done compared to them.”

Yes, many people have achieved a lot even late in life, though there seems to be something we are missing. Something very important.

When we look at what we have done with our lives as compared to someone else, what we don’t see is how we have affected the lives of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people in small yet profound ways.

Do we know the effect of that one kind word or smile on that person’s life? Do we know the impact of that small bit of positive energy we sent someone’s way?

Perhaps it might serve us better to consider that we have made ripples in an enormous pond, and that we truly will never know what effect that has had on the world.

Accomplishment is not about the accumulation of wealth or fame, but about the energy we spread around us…

20170216

The loss of someone in our lives, particularly someone older, who we’ve looked up for many years, never feels good.

Because they are no longer physically present, we feel like we have lost them. Because we can’t see them or hold them anymore, we think they aren’t in our lives anymore.

Yet they are.

As long we remember them, as long as we still have conversations with them, even if they don’t answer us, they are still present.

In some ways, they are even more present in our lives as they are no longer bound by time and space. Now their energy is free to be with us whenever we choose.

We can still feel them in our hearts. We can still communicate with them in our minds. We can still see them in our dreams.

We have not lost them. They have merely transformed their presence from a physical one to an energetic one.

Perhaps one day we will learn to celebrate them more than we mourn them when they transition. Perhaps one day we will realize that no one is ever lost.

20170214

We often think that we have to be right in order to stand up for ourselves.

Actually, the two have nothing to do with each other.

Being right can be about making someone else wrong. We’re right and they’re wrong!

Standing up for ourselves is about expressing our needs, our feelings, and our desires. We can state how we feel without making the other person wrong.

Yes, someone’s actions may cause us to respond by feeling bad about something. We may feel like they cheated us, they lied to us, or they manipulated us.

Saying No to someone is not making them wrong, it is merely stating that you do not want what they want.

It is also helpful to remember that a person is not their actions. Someone’s actions may be bad, but that does not mean they are intrinsically a bad person. It also means you do not have to put up with those actions.