Put Some Clothes On!

Do you ever have one of those mornings when, before you’re even fully awake, you’re already feeling stressed? Maybe it’s too much on the “DO” list, or bills that have to be paid or a loved one that’s sick or in trouble, or  …. Believe me I GET IT!

Modern life might not involve outrunning velociraptors or saber-toothed tigers but overall it’s no less stressful. Modern life is complex.

So here’s a little hack that can save you hours and even whole days of unnecessary stress.

Put some CLOTHES ON … YOUR … MIND!

Just like we choose to (usually) put clothes on our bodies in the morning we can also choose to clothe our minds in positive thoughts.

Take a moment before you even get out of bed to think of several things you are grateful for – the warm covers, your partner’s breathing, the birds chirping outside, another day of being alive. For just a few moments rap yourself in the silken fabric of gratitude. I call this clothing my mind and it is ESPECIALLY HELPFUL when you’re facing challenging circumstances and need some help stopping the incessant and stressful Monkey Mind.

The thoughts you allow to run through your mind when you are first waking up set the tone for your entire day.

Our thoughts, to a HUGE extent, dictate our feelings and how the we experience the experiences of our lives. And we DO have a CHOICE about the thoughts we choose to focus on. If your thoughts are racing around or bouncing off of unpleasant imaginings and feelings, say to yourself, “Choose Again” and settle on a few things you’re grateful for. Feel your energy shift.

You can revisit this simple practice anytime throughout the day but those first few moments in the morning should never be missed.   Close your mind to fear and negativity and clothe it with gratitude and optimism. This wardrobe choice will be a gift to yourself and everyone you cross paths with.

Cylvia

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You can also SCHEDULE a FREE initial coaching consultation session with Cylvia at https://calendly.com/cylvia/30min.

Thanks and here’s to sporting beautiful wardrobes!

 

#CylviaHayes #Empowerment #ResiliencyMuscles

Who Do You think You Are, Really?

Here’s the video of my recent TEDx talk. I remember every step, from the moment my life blew up to taking the stage to share these experiences and learnings. The times my knees buckled in pain. The times I wasn’t sure I could handle what it was going to take to survive and reinvent. And, the incredible beautiful moments of recovery, expansion, my heart breaking open in between.

This is for all of you who’ve had one of those moments where you knew from one second to the next life was never going to be the same again and moving forward was going to be really hard. I’m here to tell you that not only can you make it but the challenge before you can be the greatest gift you’ve ever received.

PLEASE let me know what you think about this talk and please share it. Thank you so much. You’ve been on this journey with me and I cannot adequately express my gratitude.

Cylvia

https://youtu.be/uI3X9UAaU2U

Slaying the Giant of Limiting Beliefs

It may surprise you but I want to say thank you to the Oregonian newspaper. Without their 3½ years of ongoing attacks I would never have grown and deepened as I have, and am.

I truly would have been surprised if they hadn’t launched another one just on the eve of my TEDxBend talk. They did. And all it’s done is generate a flood of love and encouragement from friends and supporters all across the community. For that too I am grateful.

Someone just asked me if I felt like the Oregonian was my Goliath. I started to say yes and then realized that actually they were just a symptom of my real Goliath, and that is my (up until now) lifelong sense of not being good enough. That giant has caused me some real harm over the years. But in an amazing turn of events, the Oregonian’s nastiness has helped me find liberation. Now, each one of their attacks just becomes another stone in my sling helping me slay the giant of limiting self-beliefs.

As I’ll talk about on Saturday one of the huge upsides of these ongoing challenges has been learning that peace and empowerment is a choice and there are practical ways to grow our ability to stay above the battlefield and in joy despite the crap that might be swirling in the circumstances of day-to-day life.

What’s your Goliath? And what tools, however strangely or perversely disguised, can you use to bring him down?

Huge love to all of you for being there and showing kindness and support. I look forward to seeing a bunch of you this Saturday.

Love,

Cylvia

 

Light is What Transforms Darkness

I lead a regular Course in Miracles study group. Today we did something unusual — instead of studying and discussing the text, we watched the movie, I Am.

There could have been no better way to observe Martin Luther King Day. We hadn’t planned it that way; our group always meets on Mondays. This was one of those beautiful, meaningful synchronicities that happen all the time, even when we don’t notice them.

This day, celebrating a great leader in the movement toward equality, freedom, civil rights and civility, makes even starker our current ugly and divided political and cultural climate. The fact that the divisiveness and othering is being encouraged and amplified by a president who repeatedly demonstrates racism and sexism is beyond the pale.

The movie, I Am, covers the scientific evidence that we are all connected — literally, physically connected at the quantum level. It shows how our misled belief in separation and aloneness harms us on many levels. Along with the science it covers the ideas and words of many of our wisest historical leaders. Martin Luther King is featured.

King’s message of using love to transform hate and honoring the fact that we’re more alike than separate is so profound and so timely. Famously he said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Importantly, the movie also covers scientific evidence that basic human nature is not competition, us versus them and purely survival of the fittest, but is actually cooperation and caring for one another. Primates (including humans) have unique neural systems that include mirror neurons and Vagas nerves that make us hard-wired for compassion. Pull this together and it means that cooperation, compassion and empathy are survival strategies for our species.

As King said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

And, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.” … “We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”

Amen.

We must focus on the love, not the hate, if we want to shift our destructive trajectory and heal the sickness in our cultural consciousness.

As a next step I strongly encourage you to watch I Am.

Please share this post on Facebook.  Thank you.

#CylviaHayes

Make the Best Year of Your Life — Giving is Getting

In honor of our soon-to-be-born New Year I wanted to share a powerful new way I’ve just discovered for setting goals and

My 2018 Vision Board — Giving is Getting

intentions.

you ever done a Vision/ Intentions board? Lot’s of highly effective people do. They are a great way of setting goals in a more imaginative, creative way. It’s all about getting focused on what you really want and then getting out of the old linear, left-brain mode into creative right brain activity.

Usually when doing a Vision Board you spend some time thinking about what you want to accomplish or obtain and then you rifle through magazines, or online pics and find ones that resonate and glue them to a poster board, or you write words or draw images on the board. In whatever way best suits you create a visual representation of what you want to accomplish.

Well just a few days ago, I was inspired to a whole new way to do Vision Boards that sets the intentions at a much more powerful energy level.

I started out as usual, getting quiet, thinking about what I really wanted to accomplish and attract in the coming year – increase my income, have my book become a bestseller.

Why’d I want those things?

  • More money? Well, the obvious answer was I wanted less financial stress, a greater feeling of security.
  • My book becoming a bestseller? Obviously, a whole lot of sales would be great.

But there was something deeper and before I started gluing images and words on my poster board I spent some time really meditating on what it was I was really after. At a deeper level, I want to increase my income because:

  • A year from now I’ll be providing a home for a young family member of mine who will need some help getting established and I want to be able to help in a substantial way.
  • Deeper still I want to be able to make my maximum contribution in my work to slow climate change and bring healing and restoration to Nature. I want to be fully resourced so that I can do my best work on behalf of this planet that I love.

The deeper reason for my book?

  • I’ve been through something extraordinary the past few years and I want to harness those experiences to help people heal, recover and reinvent after adversity, loss and shame. A bestselling book helps me help others who I never could have reached otherwise.

So, it turns out, my deepest intentions weren’t even about what I wanted to get; they were all about what I wanted to give!

And so I set about making a Contributions Vision Board. At the top are the biggies that I want to contribute in this coming year. Underneath are images and words that capture the feelings related to those contributions and below that are the material goals that will fuel those contributions. Of all the boards I’ve created over the years this is BY FAR the one I feel most attached to and most empowered by.

I am a little shy about offering a picture here, since Vision Boards are very personal but here you go.

As we all move forward into a new year my prayer for each of you is that you find clarity of intention and the means to accomplish your deepest goals. And remember GIVING is always GETTING. You gift to others and the world is always a gift to yourself.

Happy New Year! Let’s make 2018 the best year of our lives so far!

 

If you love this post please share it on Facebook.  Thank you!

#CylviaHayes  #ResiliencyMuscles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are ALL Jedis!

WARNING! Spoiler Alert!

If you haven’t already seen Star Wars the Last Jedi, skip this post and come back later after you’ve seen the movie.

So, I only go out to the movies a few times a year. AND, I have NEVER gone out to see the same movie twice in one week. Until The Last Jedi. I first watched it with some very good girlfriends and was so struck I immediately wanted to share it with John.

It’s not that it’s hugely entertaining (it is) that grabbed me.   It’s that it is quite simply one of the most profoundly spiritual movies I’ve ever seen.

Partway through the second viewing I had to pull out a piece of paper and start taking notes! Never done that before either.

One of the clear messages that jumped out at me was the repeated point that Jedis are NOT EXCEPTIONAL! That’s right! Like Jesus they are not exceptions but examples of what we all can be.

Luke tries to bury the Jedi religion. Yoda, impishly but powerfully, seems to destroy it. The whole point is that anytime deep truths become an idolized, organized religion, the true power is lost.

Then, Leia, when nearly all their armies, ships and material resources are lost says, “Everything we need is right here”.

The point is not to try and find religion, to seek special training from “Masters” (not there’s anything wrong with that but it’s not the only answer). The answer is to AWAKEN to the powerful force within and all around us.

So fellow Jedis, Happy Holidays! May the light side of The Force be strong in you and our world in the New Year!

Love and Peace to you all,

Cylvia

#CylviaHayes #ResiliencyMuscles

Dancing with Adversity

Me dancing with my beloved for a good cause. We’re still dancing years later, after the big trauma.

We all face obstacles. Some are big and really painful. These past couple of years I’ve faced some biggies – loss of my business, numerous legal battles, a terrible accident in the family, severe financial challenges – all at once.

As I’ve worked through this adversity here is what I’ve come to see. The times that beat me up the worst were those when I ran head-on, in either fury or terror, trying to destroy the obstacles, to attack my attackers. I fixated on the obstacle, raged against the unfairness. I sacrificed my peace, my sleep, my hope to the problem. In essence I used myself as a battering ram.

The times the obstacles just rolled out of the way were those when I peeled my focus off the problem and turned inward to see what was really going on with me. That process wasn’t always pretty but the end result was stunningly beautiful. The more I plumbed the depths the more I realized how much I’d been missing. I’d worked and strived, planned, crossed things off the “Do” lists, all the while mostly asleep. When it came to the richest, deepest, most beautiful layers of life I’d been moving like when we wake up in a dark room and stumble and shuffle until reaching the light switch.

When we rage against the obstacles we give them more power. Instead of attacking we can began dancing, using each feint from the problematic partner to step into grace-filled new spaces within ourselves. As we detach we begin to see that the obstacle is not a beast setting its will to destroy us but rather, a happening, a process bumping up against us, like two branches in the same stream. We have options. We can feed the beast with attack and fear or we can dance and weave and flow toward truth.

Deep adversity provides a portal through which we can reach our inner light switch. Once we flip it on we see the biggest obstacles we ever face are the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves and this mystical, mystifying human experience.

A few exercises for releasing limiting beliefs:

  • Stop feeding the beast. It is essential to stop focusing on the problem you are struggling with. I’m not saying don’t deal with real issues. Yes, make the appointments, fill out the paperwork, find another income source, etc. What I am saying is don’t let the problem eat your entire life. Every single day find things to be grateful for. Deep adversity is a time for celebrating simple pleasures and noticing small goodnesses. The more you say thanks the more you will have to be thankful for.

 

  • Choose again. There is a wonderful practice in a Course in Miracles that teaches that each time we find ourselves obsessing on the obstacle to just say, “choose again” and shift the thought to something positive. There were times when I had to do this hundred of times a day. I got better at it. It changed both the outcomes in and the quality of my life.

 

  • Develop a presencing practice. One of the most powerful tools I’ve found for managing adversity is learning how to be fully present in the present moment. The simple fact is unless we train ourselves differently, most of us spend the bulk of our lives focused on the past or the future, often in fear. If you’re reading this book you’re likely dealing with some tough, even traumatic situation right now. There are probably a lot of unknowns, worry, angst. But ask yourself this, right now in this very moment, are you basically OK? Are you right now, under direct attack? In this very moment are you warm? Do you have shelter and food? Are you breathing? If you have time to read this sentence your answer is almost certainly yes! I highly recommend reading The Power of Now, by Eckert Tolle.

 

Navigating adversity and clearing out obstacles is every bit as much about managing our minds as it is managing our day to day affairs. Not only will this help you navigate trauma more gently, it will add all sorts of collateral beauty and richness to the good times.

P.S. yep that is me dancing!  That was before the big adversity and yes, John and I are still together and still dancing post trauma — both the tune and the choreography are richer now.

 

#CylviaHayes  #ResiliencyMuscles

 

Wake Up! You’re Too Smart and Valuable Not To

I recently had an incredible “mountain top moment.” Have you ever had one? These are those precious, powerful moments when you transcend the normal human, day-to-day plane and really get a sense of the bigger, spiritual reality behind it all. These are the frickin’ blow-your mind, shake your foundation, open up a whole new reality and way of being moments! I’ve been lucky enough to have a few of these in my life and not all of them have required horrific, life-tearing hard ship.

This last one came while I was out running. I had had a good morning meditation earlier but nothing all that special. That morning the weather wasn’t even anything obviously great, slightly overcast not yet full Fall color, muted. And yet … as I ran, and breathed, I noticed every color in the slowly changing leaves. I noticed the dull blue-gray water of the irrigation canal and the big group of floating geese, many of whom had been tiny yellow fluffballs just a couple months ago. I listened to the wind blowing through the aspen and pine.

AND I felt the I Am.   In that moment I woke up, yet again, after having fallen asleep, again, to what’s real and truly important.

We are so driven to accomplish, to get awards, promotions, positions, wealth – to work hard to reach our goals. And yet, if indeed we are spiritual beings having a human experience and the purpose of this experience is to evolve as spiritual beings then every moment we are actually AWAKE in a spiritual sense is itself a destination, the accomplishment of a goal. That goal is making the most of the time we have in these human bodies.

It was such a profound moment of being fully present. It brought a sense of wonder and a huge sense of relief and relaxation. In that instant I put down the hammer, and the Do List, and just was. I remembered I was not a human doing but a human being, and so much more as well.

Does this mean I stop striving, stop trying to accomplish things in the “out there” world? No way. But it does mean I am ever more aware of something richer and deeper, a deeper purpose behind my desire to strive and achieve. I truly believe the more we live in this awakened inner place the easier the “accomplishments” flow.

I am here to tell you that whether you’re facing a big, painful challenge and want to come out the other side empowered or if you’re in great place and just want to create the very best experience of life possible then one of the single most important steps you can take is to get busy getting still! Yep, start a mindfulness or meditation practice YESTERDAY! It’s not rocket science and it can start with only a few minutes a day. It WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

I got really serious about meditation three years ago when my life blew to pieces. One of the biggest breakthrough tools for me was Eckert Tolle’s book, the Power of Now. This helped me really recognize the difference between being spun around the axel of my own distracted mind and having a truly awake moment. It changed my life.

In a very real sense our thoughts ARE our life. What we think dictates how we feel far more than the other way around. Your thoughts, WAY MORE than the circumstances you are facing, are what give you an awesome day or a shitty one. And the beautiful thing is you CAN learn to control your thoughts!

A Chinese proverb says something along the lines of, “A woman may not be able to prevent birds from flying over her head, but she has a right to determine whether they will make nests in her hair.” Amen! The power of meditation is the ability to separate your thoughts and reactions from whatever situations appear in your life. I guarantee that the better you get at this the better will be the situations you find yourself in.

Resources/Actions:

  • Read Eckert Tolle’s, The Power of Now and A New Earth.
  • Take a class or a coaching session on basic meditation. I offer both one-on-one sessions and a class called Meditation for Smarties! If you’re interested in that just apply through the simple form on my webpage here: https://www.cylviahayes.net/coaching/
  • There’s also a useful book and CD called Meditation for Dummies (I just thought I’d elevate that a bit in my own offerings!).

#CylviaHayes #ResiliencyMuscles #MeditationForSmarties

Re-Learning to Live Beyond Shackles

Have you ever carried a really heavy burden for so long that when it was gone you had to sort of relearn how to be and act without the weight bearing down on you? I’m going through that right now.

Having finally come to the end of an extremely painful and stressful 2½ year ordeal didn’t feel like I expected it would. It wasn’t immediately celebratory.   Instead it was just wildly emotional tinged with disbelief that it was finally over.

It took several days to let the waves of “goodness” of it wash in.   I felt like a totally dried out, hardened sponge that only gradually was soaking in the fact that the trauma had passed and I had been rebirthed on the other side.

I’ve heard that fish who are kept in small enclosures within bigger tanks or ponds for a long time will keep swimming in small circles for a long time after the walls of their prison are removed. I’ve seen something similar in horses and dogs that I’ve helped rescue from terribly confined and chained situations.

A Course in Miracles notes that often when people have been kept imprisoned, in chains, they don’t immediately stand up straight and celebrate — it takes a while to shake off the limiting conditioning. That’s true whether it’s physical shackles or the emotional and psychological bondage that comes from dealing with prolonged challenges, especially those that are largely out of our control.

I now have a whole new appreciation for this phenomenon and it is delicious to feel the shackles falling away.   That is the place to put the focus!

To all of you who have been strong enough to survive through big challenges and long, ongoing uncertainty and demands, I encourage you to take a breath, dive deep and swim a victory lap way outside your own small circle.

Reclaim your place in the big, big pond! Remember WHO YOU ARE!

Cylvia Hayes

#CylviaHayes #ResiliencyMuscles

 

Going Through or Growing Through Our Big Mistakes

As someone who has been through it myself I now work with and support people who get caught in the horror of having their lives and careers blow up in spectacular fashion. For some people this is more public than for others and the public piece is certainly an added trauma – this I know first hand.

There are two really different forms of shaming and trauma experiences. One is when a person gets targeted and bullied for things that really are out of their control – how they look, their family situation or having something they said taken completely out of context and turned into something it wasn’t. Those are really hard circumstances because the person is truly and fully a victim of our cultural mob-mentality.

The other type is a little different in that the person being targeted made a mistake that set the whole thing in motion and the response to that mistake is way overblown and out of proportion due to sensationalist media and anonymous cyber-bullying.

Because I have been through it and because I know how ugly and dishonest media coverage of these kinds of events can be I never weigh in on any of the attacks or accusations. However, some of these more public mistakes and bullying episodes offer valuable insight for any of us going through a life and career altering identity challenge.

In some of the recent celebrity fiascos I actually got a bit angry at the public relations teams advising the person in public hot water. Olympian Ryan Lochte and comedian Kathy Griffin are poignant examples. Both of these people wound up under public assault because they made human mistakes and then they quickly returned to the public stage without taking the time to genuinely address their mistakes.  I suspect this only intensified and prolonged the trauma they were experiencing. It also backfired professionally.

And here’s what I want to stress for those of you facing something similar, whether its in the public arena, the arena of your community or even just among you and your family and friends, one of the most important steps in surviving and eventually thriving on the other side of a costly mistake is to take responsibility for it, for your own piece in the mess. This is important not only for saving your job, career, fan-base, etc., but also for coming through it more whole as a human being. It’s important for helping to heal those you harmed, including yourself.

Steps to doing this include:

  • I always say when your life blows up big you are going to have to go through it. Period. You can’t control that. But you can control whether or not you “grow” through it. Evidence shows that people who choose to learn and grow from traumatic experiences usually heal faster and healthier than those who shy away from the inner work.
  • Once you have a better understanding of yourself and why you made the mistake, apologize, genuinely, to those who were hurt by it.
  • Finally, take responsibility but don’t beat yourself to death. We’re human. We make mistakes. The bigger risks you take the bigger and more spectacular your mistakes are likely to be. Give yourself credit for having the courage to risk.

In my own process of owning and understanding my mistake I had to face aspects of myself I wasn’t very proud of — it was tremendously uncomfortable and unsettling. However, as I moved through it I also found levels of self-forgiveness and appreciation I’d never known before. There is no easy way to handle it when our human mistakes cause big damage to ourselves and others. Those experiences hurt, a lot, and they also offer huge opportunities to grow, improve and become more effective people and professionals.   That choice belongs to us.

If you’re interested in working with Cylvia to heal and thrive fill out the inquiry form here.

You can also download a free gift titled How to Breakthrough Instead of Breaking Down When Life Blows Up.

#CylviaHayes  #ResiliencyMuscles