Posts

fall: creating and starting again

This first week of September always has that feel of excitement of the first day of school. I want new clothes, create fun activities to look forward to, and press the reset button on my commitments. I never really grew out of back to school mode and I feel a real sense of excitement and anticipation for what the rest of the year ahead holds for me.
 
It is also when I like to try on new activities, sign up for classes, and reinvent who I want to be and what I want to do to support that beingness I’m creating for this year.
 
This season in particular always reminds me to recommit to goals I had created yet not followed through on as diligently as I would have liked to through the summer. Can you relate to me at all?
 
To support you in your back to school adventures, here’s a FREE tool I’ve created just for you to design your best fall yet! I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to hear your insights below.
 
If you love this as much as I do, please forward it to a friend, share it on Facebook, or Tweet it out loud! You never know who could use a little help in starting again or pressing the reset button!

Get your workbook now!

Love and Light,
t

labour day and gratitude and why they go together.

I’d like to tell you a story today, it’s a parable of the 3 stone-cutters.

Many, many, years ago a traveler came across 3 stone cutters and asked them what they were doing.

The first one said he was miserable cutting stones. He said it was the hardest job in the world and he barely made enough to eat. The traveler gave him a coin and continued on his way. 

The second one was very focused on his work. When asked what he was doing, he said he was the best stone cutter in the country and although the work was hard he was satisfied and able to make enough to take care of his family. The traveler praised him and gave him a coin.

When the traveler met the third stone cutter, he noticed he was sweaty and dusty but singing a cheerful song. The traveler was stunned and asked him “What are you doing?” The stone-cutter looked up at him with a gleam in his eye and said, “Can’t you see? I’m building a cathedral.”

All of the stone-cutters were doing the same work, but it was how they perceived the value of their work that created their experience of it. If your perception is that it’s a useless crappy task that makes not difference, you will be miserable. If you take pride in what you are doing and see how it benefits those you love, you will be satisfied. If you see yourself in the larger picture of how your efforts are going to affect 100’s if not 1000’s of people to come, you will be inspired!

 “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” 
– Martin Luther King Jr.


At first, you might have not have thought the stone-cutters had a very important job, yet a cathedral would not be possible without them. It is not the architects that create cathedrals, but the men who are cutting the stones and putting the building together.

Our whole existence is built on the backs of those who came before us and those around us. 

From the cloth on our bodies woven in a factory by real people, to the manufacturers, designers, exporters, shippers, shop owners, and clerks that eventually sell us our clothes: it all comes from someone’s work. All of our comforts whether it’s the cars that we drive, the streets we drive upon, the houses we live in, everything was built by someone.

It is noble work and we should be grateful.

We have this myth of independence in our culture, which is of course a lie. We are interdependent.

We didn’t come into the world walking around and taking care of ourselves, and we don’t live in the world without each other either.

A real person graded your street, laid your floor, grew your food, drives your bus, brings your mail. Your life as you know it would not be possible without people doing the jobs that support your very existence.

Although Labour Day is originally a day of celebrating and campaigning for worker’s rights, this is also a day of reflection, and gratitude for all the people who make your life as you know it.

So to you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for cutting my hair, selling me food, clothes, and things I don’t need but really want. Thank you for providing me with safe streets to drive on, sidewalks to walk my puppy on, and pathways to run on. Thank you for trimming my trees, pouring my driveway, changing the oil in my car and its tires twice a year. Thank you for keeping public bathrooms clean, washing floors, fixing computers, and teaching me how to do new things and old things better. Thank you for clearing snow, fixing signs, putting out fires (real and figurative), keeping us safe, and fixing my cranky back. Thank you everyone who makes my life easier, more interesting, and more enjoyable.

I am forever grateful. You make possible the life I lead today.

I’d love to hear from you now! What are you grateful for today that is dependent on other people’s efforts? You can share over here on my blog.

Gratitude is contagious, so I challenge you today to share this on Facebook, or Tweet on Twitter: What are 5 things you are grateful for that are dependent on the work of others? Remember to tag me so I can read them!

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend my friend and I look forward to seeing your gorgeous self very soon!

Love and Light,
t

home wrecking cornflakes and castles built from love

I had this dear friend years ago in Calgary who, when we met, was going through a divorce.

Sam was one of those people who just made you feel good being around them, and had a way about speaking deep truth with a combination of sharp wit and bittersweet poetry.

I’ll never forget what he said when I asked him why he was getting divorced. He said, “Tina, people don’t get divorced because of one big thing that happened. It’s all the little things that add up to be so big that you finally end up getting divorced because of the way your partner eats their Cornflakes.”

I was stunned. How does someone get divorced over Cornflakes?

But isn’t it always the little things that create the bomb?

The one too many times being asked what you are going to do, when you don’t know what you’re going to do. The one extra thing on your To-Do list that brings you to overwhelm. The too many times they said they would call, and then didn’t. The dishes left in the sink after coming home from a long day. The pants that finally really don’t fit, and you can no longer pretend you haven’t put on weight. The fussy copy machine that suddenly brings you to tears.

All of it has become too much and too big to handle.

It’s like you keep chucking all the hurts together into one big hurt pile that is so big, smelly, and wide, that you can’t see any way around it, and all you want to do is run away from it or do something drastic.

Just like it’s the small things that create the BIG problem. It’s the small things that also create a great life.

When my husband Dave and I first met, I had this vision of us building a castle with our love. (Did I mention I’m a romantic?)

Every kindness, every phone call, every bittersweet good bye (we did long distance for a year) was like a brick building the foundation for our life together. The more love-bricks we had, the more solid our castle would be to endure the tests of time.

Castles are also fortresses: they protect what we hold dear, and keep out unwanted invaders.

Castles require a lot of maintenance to patch the holes and build new towers to keep it strong and beautiful, so it’s important to create new bricks daily. I also use this metaphor for how I live my life. I create love-bricks by how I choose to live everyday.

So before you end up wanting to end your relationship because of Cornflakes.

Or quit your job because the copy machine is fussy, or want to run away from your life because it’s become too much to handle, try this and start building yourself a huge love-filled-joy-castle that you can lean into as support when things are challenging.

Here’s how:

  1. Flip it.

This is a game I learned from one of my sweet friends and fellow Soul Strategizer. When something looks challenging, or upsetting: flip it. Look to find the good in the situation. Being able to change your outlook is one of the most powerful things you can learn how to do to change your life.

  1. Practice Gratitude.

I teach gratitude in every single yoga class because it is a scientifically proven way to rewire your brain to be happier. The point of gratitude is not to make sure you are really grateful for a few things, it’s to teach your brain to start looking for the little wonderful things in the moment. Each time you do that, you are reminded how lucky you, are and how good your life is.

  1. Integrity.

Decide what’s really important to you and practice integrity with it every single day. If health is important to you, then make healthy meal choices, get enough sleep, and move every day. If your partnership is important make time to actually hear your partner and connect with them meaningfully every day. If joy is important to you, then do things that make you feel joyous every day. It will feel like effort in the beginning, but eventually it will just be what you do and how you live. It’s totally worth a little bit of effort now to make the rest of your life great.

  1. Create Positive Memories.

Get out and DO stuff! Go outside, meet people, listen to music, learn a new instrument, feel the wind on your skin, volunteer. My favorite memories this summer are walking my puppy Walter with my husband in the evenings. It’s time that we are guaranteed outside together and we have wonderful conversations as we try to teach our puppy to walk in the evening breeze. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you aren’t in front of a screen. Not because I have a problem with screens, I have a problem with the way we check out when we are in front of them, and most of us are in front of them A LOT. Your life is lived, not watched.

You, my friend, are a powerful being. You have the power to create anything that you want for your life, it just takes action. Every day you are creating your life, consciously or not, you are building your castle. So you might as well build it beautifully on purpose so you can aim for what you want and get closer to getting there.

Did you like this post? Then please share it on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, or forward it to a friend. You never know who you might help by sharing the love around!

I’d love to hear from you now! How do you protect yourself from the little things that can bring you down? I’d love to hear your insights below.

gravitrons and your right to be here

This post was born out of a talk I was giving in a yoga class last Monday, and it felt important to share it with you too. It has to do with The Gravitron (yes the fair ride), and your right to be here.

Right now, I’ll invite you to close your eyes and relax into your breath. Take a moment to feel the sensations of your body, and also the sensation of the earth’s gravity gently drawing you into itself.

We don’t often see, or feel the obvious magic of our life. But it’s there and you are in the midst of it and an integral part of it too.

Magic is found in the mundane that we take for granted. Like gravity. Like your breath. Like the fact that no one really knows how you got into this body, but here you are! You are a part of this mystery, and dance of the cosmos.

Do you remember The Gravitron?

If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a ride that resembles a disk like space ship and the interior chamber shaped like a cylinder with rounded walls covered with panels. When the ride starts spinning, it sucks you to the walls for few minutes while the panels go up and down. I only went on it a few times as a kid, and mostly remember kids running out puking afterwards. Spinning crazy fast and fair food don’t go all that well together, I guess.

In a gentler more loving way, the earth holds us dearly to it.

Right now, the earth is spinning and hurling itself through space and you are actually stuck upside down onto it. Think about it, the ground you stand on is actually a ball spinning through space and is holding you tightly to it so you don’t fall off into emptiness.

It actually wants you here.

This spinning ball is also very alive, and breathes through all of its different life forms. The plants on our planet exhale oxygen and breathe in the carbon dioxide we animals produce. We inhale the plants gift of oxygen, and give plants life through breathing out carbon dioxide. 

We are in essence breathing together in symbiotic relationship.

We are each other’s inhales and exhales. It’s quite beautiful really, and we are interwoven into that delicate magical beauty.

I remember one run in particular where I was on the homestretch on a perfect summer morning. The cool morning air was starting to warm up from the heat of the sun on this clear morning. The shadows were long and I could feel the temperature difference sharply from shade to sun with my pace. My breath was steady, and I was keenly present to the sensations of my body, and the feel of the world around me. 

I could feel the earth’s pulse beneath my feet, the earths breath, and I was overcome with a sense of oneness and profound peace. 

I remember having the thought, “I was born for this.” Not in the sense of running, but in a much bigger more meaningful way:

I was born to live…and so are you. 

Here’s something I want you to really get, like right down to the core of your being:

The fact that you are here means that the world already approves of you.

There, I said it: if you weren’t meant to be here, you wouldn’t be.

Also, if you like what I am doing, spread the word! My business depends almost exclusively on word of mouth (or forwarded emails!). Share this on Facebook, tweet it out, or forward this to your friends, you’ll never know how we impact each positively just by sharing good stuff around.

Do you struggle with your right to be here? I love hearing from you, and would love to know how you remember that you are meant to be here on the comment section. Also, how would your life be different, if you really believed that you were meant to be here? Can you embrace that to create freedom for your life?

your dreams are your destiny

Do you have a dream that you would love to realize, but you are waiting for the right time, the right opportunity, or just ‘later’?

Maybe you don’t have a clear enough picture yet to get started, or you are just downright paralyzed with fear because you might not be successful at it? Or even that you might? Then this post is just for you.

Your dreams are your destiny. 

It’s no accident that you love what you love, and that you dream of your “wouldn’t that be nice someday?” vision. All of us have a special calling that is just waiting to be realized, and it is also waiting inside of you. I’m not saying you need to quit your job, or make some drastic change, or maybe you do. What I want you to understand is that if you do have a dream, it is your responsibility to bring that into the world.

Your life is too short to spend it doing things that don’t ignite inspiration, share your best self, and suck your soul. That is not who you are, and it is not what you are meant for.

You. Yes you, are meant for great things. You have been given a unique gift that the world will never have unless you take action to create it or to be it.

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy that is translated through you into action and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor your business to compare it to other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly, and directly, to keep the channel going.” – Martha Graham

Yes.

Here’s how to get started:

1) Passion + skills = your genius.
If you are wondering where your sweet spot of purpose is, the above equation sums it up. Your passion, plus your skills (and you might need to acquire new ones or more) equals your unique genius that is your vehicle to create greatness in the world.

2) Be brave, even if you are scared. 
Being brave doesn’t mean that you don’t have fear. It means that you believe in the beauty of your dreams more than you believe the fear. You are choosing your life and how you want to live it instead of playing small. There are no guarantees in life no matter what you do, so you might as well play big and create something wonderful!

3) Take consistent action.
I personally don’t know of any overnight success stories. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m saying I don’t know of any. What I do know, is that small consistent action will get you in your direction much faster than burning yourself out in the beginning, and then giving up because you didn’t see results immediately. Make consistent action a part of your life’s practice and you will see results before you know it.

4) Figure out who you are serving.
“If you write for God you will reach many men and bring them joy. If you write for men–you may make some money and you may give someone a little joy and you may make a noise in the world, for a little while. If you write for yourself, you can read what you yourself have written and after ten minutes you will be so disgusted that you will wish that you were dead.” – Thomas Merton

Take some time to investigate really who you are serving, and how will they benefit from you living your dream. We are interconnected beings, and if you really want to have meaning and purpose in your life, your vision must include how others will benefit from your dream or you will “be so disgusted that you wish that you were dead.”

We all want to make a difference. We want to feel connected to each other. We can’t help it, it’s how we’re built as human beings. Imagine everyone who would benefit from you actualizing your dream, even if you are reaching, it doesn’t matter. We impact people in ways we will never know, this is being intentional about it.

5) Do it for the love.
Create your dream because you love it, not because it’s on your bucket list. Do it because it makes you tingle inside, and reminds you that you are a part of something bigger. Do it because it makes you feel free, and your hearts doors swing wide open whenever you talk about it. Do it because you love it and you can’t help bringing that love out into the world. Besides, love is what you were born to do anyways, so why not create something beautiful out of it?

If you are ready to start building your dream, I have some great news for you! 

The Soul Strategy Sessions and Fall Equinox Retreat are starting to fill, even though we’re still a month and a half away. If you are ready to start making your life happen, and love working in an inspiring supportive group setting, then sign up fast to save your space! Email me to reserve your space.

The Discovery Session is the best place to start if you would like to experience one on one coaching. This will give you an opportunity to experience me as a coach and see how coaching can specifically benefit you in your life right now. I only have space for 3 more clients right now, and I would love one of them to be you! Email me at tina@tinahnatiuk.com to book your Discovery Session and uncover what beautiful possibilities are there waiting for you!

Now I’d like to hear from you! Do you have a dream that is just waiting to manifest, or one that you are creating right now? What do you do to bring it into reality? What are your fears, and how do you manage them? Please share your insights here.

Did you like this post? Then please share the love! Forward it to a friend, share it on Facebook, or tweet it out loud! You never know whose life you might touch by passing this along.

Thank you for being the light that you are. We are all better for it.

Love and Light,
t

mind the gap and moving through fear

Do you ever have great ideas that leave you frozen in fear?

I was chatting with a beautiful, brilliant, and passionate woman last week and I want to share a bit of her story with you. She’s feeling a stuck in her current position at work, has a side business that is fulfilling, and she has a HUGE dream that she knows is her calling that she talks about yet hasn’t taken any action on it. Her dream is big, bold, and would help so many people in our province that are in her industry…and it totally scares the shit out of her.

Isn’t this the case with so many of us? We have this great idea that we are crazy passionate about and makes us come alive just by thinking about it, but the fear of actually making it happen paralyzes us into inertia.

Want to know how to get moving towards that bad-ass vision and get off your scaredy cat butt? Here’s how:

1)      Don’t take your dreams personally.

This might sound funny, because our dreams our soooo personal to us, but hear me out. When you believe your dreams are personal, you will believe that your success (or lack of) with your dream will subsequently mean something about you. The stakes are then too high, and the fear of failure will become just too painful to actualize your talent. You, yes you, have a unique and special gift that only you have to give to the world, and it is in your giving it that is important not your perceived success at it. If you attach your gift to success, you’re sunk before you’re even started.

 

2)      Realize the vision is the end goal, not where you are starting from.

We don’t start at the finished product. The thought of building a multimillion dollar business with 100’s of employees doesn’t show up as your full blown vision in a matter of months. We start where we start: right here where you are, because that’s where you are. The vision is the direction, here is where we begin.

 

3)      Mind the Gap.

This term started as a phrase in London train stations warning rail passengers to take caution while stepping from the train onto the platform. Now it also means to mind the space in between where you are (see above) and where you are going. The gap can be scary because how do we get from where we are to the big shiny vision in the sky? I use these 2 tools together to do this:

A)     Work backwards and figure out what I would have done in my vision to get there and create my action steps from there.

And/Or

B)      Figure out what would be the most potent first 3 steps I could take to start moving in that direction.

 

4)      Trust and Take action.

The only place to get from A to B is to get moving. I know it sounds simple, and it is truly the hardest part. We’ll talk all day about what we could be doing, but not a lot of us actually make that shit happen. It takes guts, follow through, and a whole lot of heart. If you can do those 3 things, you’ve already done the hard part.

I remember when I was first started coaching 7 years ago and I was taking a course of how to build a coaching business. It was the hardest 6 months of my life. I had to confront all my fears of worthiness, lack of confidence as a new coach, and worries that no one would ever hire me. The mind creates the abyss, and the heart crosses it. I knew I wanted to change lives and I trusted my heart to guide my action to cross the gap.

I’d love to hear from you now! What big juicy dream has been floating around your beautiful heart that is ready to be realized but leaves you shaking in your boots? What is going to be your first step into making it happen? Please comment here, and share share away, you never know who might really need to read this today…

Love and Light,

t

5 things I learned from a life changing moment at 17

First of all, I had written a totally different blog post for you today. Then this morning I just felt moved to share with you one of the most pivotal moments of my life. I’m not going to lie to you, I’m scared and I’m also really excited to let you into my life in a bigger way!


Brené Brown has described the word “courage” to mean: to speak from the heart.

You and I are friends, so I am being courageous with you today by sharing an intensely personal story that my best friend only heard about for the first time today…I’m totally serious.

One thing I get asked all the time is: “How did you get so wise?”

I’ve lived a lot of life in my short time on earth, and got to learn some big lessons early. They’ve taught me to not be afraid of taking risks, how to forgive, and genuinely love myself.

One of the defining moments of my life happened when was when I was 17 years old.

I had moved out, dropped out of high school, and was working at a greasy pizza joint making $800 month.

Doctors had started prescribing me antidepressants from the time I was about 14, and now at 17, I was misdiagnosed with bi-polar disorder so I was also prescribed Lithium. Lithium was terrible. It made me felt nothing. Literally nothing. Nothing was a 100 times worse than depressed, because at least with depression, I felt SOMETHING. At least I could feel what it was to be alive.

We all have moments in our lives where one decision could change our entire future.

The exact day, the exact defining moment happened when I was sitting on the floor looking around my empty shitty apartment. I knew in my soul, that if I didn’t make some serious changes fast, I was on my way down a very dangerous path.

I was embarrassed that I hadn’t managed to finish school and support myself, and I was ashamed of dropping out. I was sick of being broken, and sick of being dependent on pills and being numbed out. I was sick of the partying I was doing to ignore facing the desperateness of my life. I was sick of being a victim of my family’s crazy alcoholic home, and I was done with all of it.

What I understood that day was: no one was going to save me but me, so I better get on with it.

I got up and flushed all the pills down the toilet. Then I called my mom, and said I wanted to come home so I could finish high school and go to university. Even if nothing had changed at home, it didn’t matter. I had changed and that was enough, and fortunately have not experienced depression since.

These are the most important lessons I learned, and continue to live by each day:

1) Take full responsibility for your life. 
Taking responsibility is to stand in your own corner. It is courageously letting go of blame, and to fearlessly act independent of what happened to you. It’s also the only place you can be empowered. Good or bad, you are where you are today because of your choices. The events of your past absolutely happened, and you can choose any possibility for your life in spite of them.

2) Once you decide, commit.
I heard a long time ago Tony Robbins saying something along the lines of: if you haven’t committed, you haven’t really decided. I know this to be true. If I am on the fence about something, or want to do something but don’t have the conviction to back it, it’s not happening. When I flushed those pills I had deeply decided, and symbolically committed, to building a different life and I have never looked back.

3) Be hopeful,
 and know you can, and will handle anything life throws at you. 
I am really lucky to have had the challenges I’ve had in my life, and trust me, I’ve had lots. I have learned how to lean into the discomfort of situations, take stock, and learn a lot about my fear. The biggest take away for me is that I know with every fiber of my being, that I will always be okay. I’ve been through fire, and I will continue to rise from the ashes.

Every time we choose to do the hard work, show up, and deal with the challenges of life, we build our emotional resilience. Resilience is a beautiful thing and its side effect is confidence, and who doesn’t want more of that?

4) Forgiveness trumps all.
I had forgiven my dad a few years before he quit drinking, and I am proud to say that this year he is 13 years sober. I am crazy proud of him, and proud that he is a leader in his community who now supports others on their path to sobriety.

Forgiveness in itself is a path, because there is so much to forgive for all of us. What we can’t forgive in others we can’t forgive in ourselves. I had to let go of the fight and accept my childhood, my family, and myself. If you come from an addicted home, you know everyone participates in the madness. Accepting and forgiving myself was, and continues to be, the hardest and most rewarding work.

5) 
Compassion.
“Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian MacLaren

Through forgiveness I learned a lot about compassion. Everyone is doing the best they can with the skills they have. We all grew up in different homes, with different sets of values and expectations, so we’re not going to understand the world in exactly the same way. Compassion is choosing to connect on a deeper level of the human experience that we all share and understand that everyone is doing the best that they can. Although we may see things differently, all of us want to belong, to love, and to feel like we matter. It is feeling deeply for another human beings struggles because you have been there too.

No one gets out of this life alive, so make something beautiful with it. Let your life be a work of art that you get to bless people with. Love harder, be seen deeply, take risks, don’t worry what other people think so much, be true to yourself, and know that you are free.

I would love to hear your comments on a life changing moment in your own life, and how it has positively impacted you today. If you found this newsletter useful, please share it. We learn about ourselves through each other, so please email it, share it on Facebook, or tweet it out!

how to fall in love with anyone

Do you have a person in your life that makes you nuts?  A person that makes your skin prickle just by the thought of being around them, and sucks all your energy by trying to not lose it on them?

It’s all about you

I’ve got good news and some bad news. The bad news is you can’t change them, so you can quit trying. Falling in love with them isn’t about turning a frog into a prince(ss) it’s about changing our view of them. Our experience of life, and each other, is created by the lens we see through so your annoyance of your “difficult” person all comes from you and your lens. That’s the good news, because you can change how you see things and therefore shift how you see them too!

They are just being who they are

Just like you, they are just living their lives and totally unaware that they might be a difficult person to anyone. You are probably also someone’s difficult person, and you’re just going about your day being you. I promise you that they are not trying to make your life harder, or piss you off.

What we can’t tolerate in others, is what we can’t tolerate in ourselves

This could be a great learning experience for you. If you take a look at what it is about this person that is so grating, intolerable, and frustrating, you will get huge insight into what is intolerable within yourself. Where you deny love to others, is where you deny love to yourself.

To shift experience, you must shift your perspective

Not one person in the world has had your life, or can see the world the same way you do, yet we seem to expect everyone else to see the world the same way we do. Think about it, the values you were raised with, the school system you went to, the life experiences that you had, and all have shaped how you see the world and how you think things should be. No one else in the whole world has lived your life so they can’t see the world in exactly the same way as you. For example, I really like things to be orderly and “in their place” and I’m not overly concerned as much with deep cleaning really often. My husband is less concerned about tidiness, but very meticulous about washing the floors and doing deep cleans quite regularly. Who’s right in their approach? There is no right, we just have different values from our families and we act in the world through those values. And we’re actually pretty lucky because between the two of us we get it all done!

See them as Buddha, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Quan Yin or how their mother would see them.

Next time you know you will be interacting with them, decide before hand how you would like to show up. Visualize an interaction with them. Then imagine the Buddha, Jesus, Mother Teresa, Quan Yin, or even their mom (or anyone you know who is compassionate and understanding) has now taken your place. Notice how the interaction would be different. How would the compassionate body double be seeing your difficult person? How would they be speaking to them? How would it feel for you to seeing them that way? Visualize what that experience could be like so you have a clear picture of what’s possible for your interaction.

Decide to see them for the human being that they are.

Just like you, they have challenges, pain, hard relationships, joy, and are doing the best that they can. When you decide to see them as the human being they are, you are also choosing to let go of your judgement and blame. It doesn’t mean that you agree with everything that they do, you are just choosing to accept them the way they are.

Because you can’t change them anyways.

 “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.”― Thomas Merton

One of the cruelest things we can do to another is to not accept them for who they are. If you’ve been the recipient of this you’ll totally understand what I’m saying. Each of us has some special gift to offer the world, and even if it’s not clear to you what theirs is yet, all you can do is love them anyways.

One last thing…

This is a practice, and you might feel really resistant to doing it because you will have to let go of your current views of this person. Your desire to not be upset and triggered by this person needs to be bigger than the need to be right and making them wrong. But, imagine how much easier your life would be if you weren’t upset by them? Are you willing to take it on and get some freedom for yourself? I hope so!

I’d like to hear from you now. What are your tricks to dealing with difficult people? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Did you like this post? Then please tweet it out, post it on your Facebook page, or email it to someone who might need to read this right now. You never know who you could help just by sharing some helpful tools…

Love and Light,

t

metta meditation

“I am larger and better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness.”
– Walt Whitman

Why do we need to practice metta or loving kindness you may ask? Loving kindness allows us to drop our barriers and see each other for who we truly are: the light behind the eyes and the luminosity of the heart. This may sound hokey, but isn’t that we all want? To see and be deeply seen?

Metta Meditation or loving kindness meditation is a short meditation about 3 to 4 lines that are repeated with the intention to evoke the feelings of loving kindness in our hearts. Metta always starts with ourselves so you repeat these words as well wishing for yourself and your own life, letting the meaning land within your heart. Repeat for 10 to 30 minutes. Here’s an example of one below, but you can choose verses that are meaningful to you. 

May I be happy.
May I be at peaceful. 
May I be safe. 
May I be well. 

Sometimes the practice creates other feelings that are anything but loving kindness, and sometimes it feels mechanical. Be patient and kind with yourself. Let the words land as best as they can and hold yourself with compassion. This meditation can be done anywhere, on the bus, waiting in line, driving your car. The benefits of this practice are huge because it acts like a self psychotherapy by healing our troubled minds, and shifts old habituated negative thought patterns. Pretty great hey? 

So, what do you think? Have you tried Metta before, and what phrases do you like? If you haven’t tried it, are you going to give it a shot? I’d love to here from you! Please post your comments and suggestions below the blog post. I love hearing from you!

Did like this post? Then please share it with your friends and family, on Facebook or Tweet it out!

Love and Light,

t

Gratitude…its all where you place your attention.

Gratitude, in my mind at least, is one of the easiest, most powerful practices we can take on to dramatically increase our feelings of happiness and well-being. And really, we all want to be happier don’t we?

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
― Eckhart Tolle

You’ve probably heard the teaching: whatever you focus on expands. I’m not talking about the law of attraction here folks, but more of the law of the way things are. I don’t personally believe the universe has any desire to bend to my personal needs and wants, but I do believe that my experience of the truth of life itself is influenced by what I perceive and how I perceive it. By focusing on what is the “good that you already have in your life”, you start to notice more of it, more often, and feel the abundance that is already here. Gratitude is a powerful practice to incline your mind to notice all the goodness, beauty, and wonder that is around us all the time…and that is a sweet way to live your life!

Here’s a few ways that you can cultivate your own practice, (because it really is a practice not a one-time thing to work), and make it stick so that you can have long lasting happiness:

1)      Start now.

You don’t have to wait to be grateful. Look around you and notice: the sun shining, the rain watering the grass, the ability to read, and healthy feet. It’s appreciating the little mundane things that go unnoticed that make our life rich. After all, our lives are made up of the little things!

2)      Get specific.

To really “get” the feeling of gratitude it helps to expand on it. Notice your shoes. Not everyone in the world gets to have shoes, and you probably have a few to choose from. Someone designed and made your shoes, and someone else stocked them before selling them to you. There are a whole lot of people to be grateful for that got you your sweet ass shoes! See, it’s not about looking at concepts, like being grateful for your health, or your family. Those are too big for your mind to really grasp and be impacted by. It’s getting intimate with specifically what you are grateful for and letting yourself feel it, get touched by it.

3)      Create ritual time.

No meaningful change happens unless it’s scheduled in. It’s like learning to run, but then only doing it when you feel like it. Good luck, right? Eventually it will become automatic, but first you have to train your brain to want it. One practice I love is to place a hand on my heart and a foot on the earth when I wake up and go to bed, and have a moment of deep appreciation for the day ahead and the day I had. Another one, is to have a gratitude journal and list 3 to 5 things every day that you are grateful for. Keep it in the same place and have a set time to use it. Don’t worry if it challenges you a bit at first. Your brain may not be accustomed to viewing the world this way yet with ease, but it will if you persist. Another ritual I have is to end each yoga class with the invitation to count 3 of your blessings, and I also always count mine too!

4)      Persistence and practice.

Your brain is an amazing machine that is plastic, which means it is malleable. The neuro-pathways in your brain are strengthened by what you think about most. By making the effort to choose gratitude, you strengthen those neuro-pathways to become a more habitual way of thinking. Also just like any practice, it will take effort in the beginning, and less and less as time goes on and gratitude becomes more automatic. All this means, is to make a plan that you can stick to an enjoy practicing.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne

I’m totally with Piglet on this one! I hope this blog post was useful to you and inspired you in your own practice. As always, I’d love to hear from you! What are your practices? How do you use gratitude in your own life? Please feel free to comment below and share your insights.

Love and Light,

t