Mental Flossing

A few days ago I woke up feeling pretty overwhelmed and a bit stressed about my workload, all the things on the Do List for that day, and a couple of looming financial deadlines. It would have been so easy to give in to the sense of pressure and get straight to work, working harder, to try to get things done and push something forward on the financial stuff. However, I resisted that urge and stuck with my habit of morning meditation.

As I pulled focus off my Do’s and projects and financial stuff and turned it inward, the monkey mind settled down. Although I immediately felt better I also began to sense a sort of spiritual restlessness. Then, out of left field, an image of Smith Rocks State Park popped into my mind. Odd, I hadn’t been to Smith Rocks for a couple years even though it’s just half an hour from my house. After a few more minutes in the stillness, the image popped up again.

I said aloud, “OK, OK I’m listening!” Then I rescheduled a business meeting, packed a lunch, grabbed the backpack and overjoyed hound dog and headed off to Smith Rocks.

Spending time and exertion on the rather grueling three hour climb and hike, the wild Nature and the Silence was the most productive thing I could have done that day. By the time I had finished the big loop, my legs were a bit leaden but my mind was much, much clearer. I was inspired with a few ways to improve the flow of my workload including dropping a couple of marketing activities that I’d been resisting because they just didn’t feel authentic to me (even though a lot of marketing experts promoted them).

When I got home I learned that one of the big financial pieces had completely cleared up! The next day I got two new, ideal-fit clients out of the blue, with none of the recommended marketing.

Here is the point I want to share with you all, there is nothing more productive than a solid Morning Mental Hygiene practice. If I had skipped my morning meditation I would have stayed balled up and stressed and I seriously doubt I’d have gotten as much done as I did from letting things clear for a while.

So many times, I have seen my clients reach fast and profound breakthroughs just by changing up their morning routines and adding in some intentional meditation and prayer time before launching into the busyness of the day. I call it “Mental Flossing” because it is literally cleaning out any old, stuck gunk that may be hanging out in our minds and moods. I guarantee it’s one of the most effective practices you can build into your life.

If you’d like some support in getting started feel free to schedule a FREE COACHING BREAKTHROUGH session here.

Happy Flossing!

Cylvia

Releasing Fear

Nearly anytime we are facing major change, especially if it isn’t something we asked for or planned for, there is usually fear involved.  As we head into a weekend I wanted to share a couple of excerpts from my book that are useful for taking our minds back from fear and reclaiming peace even in swirling circumstances:

Fear is learned through the guidance of our parents and through our own falls and hurts and heartaches. Some of it we’re hard-wired for like the fear of abandonment and isolation. Another layer is piled on from the culture of fear we’re experiencing in our current media and political atmosphere. We’re literally saturated with fear which can compound the dread when something catastrophic happens in our personal lives, even to the point of become incapacitating.

Fear is programmed into us. With discipline we can train ourselves to determine which fears merit action and which are just a waste of time, mind, energy and peace. A thing learned can be unlearned. This particular unlearning is liberating beyond imagination. — from When Life Blows Up: A Guide to Peace, Power and Reinvention 

Here are a couple of strategies I outline in the book that have been tremendously helpful to me and to those I work with in releasing unnecessary, unproductive fear:

    • Learn the art of “Presencing”, of practicing being in the Present Moment.

The simple fact is that 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 difficult, 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!

To become present, look around you right now wherever you are. Notice the sights. Take a deep breath through your nose and notice the scents. Listen to the many sounds and the little silences between them. Feel the chair beneath you, supporting you. Focus on the breath gently moving in and out of your body. Feel the rhythm of your beating heart. Run your right hand gently across the top of your left. Notice. Breathe. Say aloud, “I Am here. I Am here. I Am here.”

Let your body release its tensions – loosen the jaw, drop shoulders. Underneath all the noises and sounds feel the deep stillness of the earth and sea. Breathe. Deeply. Look around and feel this moment in time. Release and relax.

Developing a presencing practice takes exactly that — practice. The more times each and every day you bring your focus back to the present moment, even for just a second or two, the calmer and less stressed you will be. Not only will this help you navigate trauma more easily, it will add all sorts of additional beauty and richness to the good times.

Coming into the present moment gives you the space to clarify the fears that are about imagined future happenings, those that are about things you have no control over and those that might actually merit some action. I highly recommend reading The Power of Now, by Eckert Tolle. ….  

    • Do a Fear versus Reality exercise.

Take a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle to make two columns. Recall a time in your recent past when you were really fearful or worried about some potential event or outcome. When you felt frantic over some crisis. Let yourself really feel how the fear was affecting you, your thoughts, your body, your sleep patterns. In the left hand column write down this feared thing and the terrible outcomes you imagined or expected.

Now remember what actually happened and in the right hand column write down what actually came to be. Did the feared event turn out as you imagined? Was it as bad as you feared? Where is that big challenge now? What was the damage done or the loss suffered? Did any positive growth or learning occur? Were there beautiful aspects of it that you didn’t see coming?

Sometimes feared things do come to pass. The loved ones we worried about meet tragedy. Our unwise or misguided decision costs us our home or freedom.   The person we want to be with leaves us. This human experience brings hardship and sometimes we can see the hardship coming. However, most of the time we don’t and most of our modern day fear is based on imagination and speculation about possible future events that may or may not shake out a certain way.  Mark Twain once noted, “I am an old man and have seen many troubles, but most of them never happened”!  Our unmerited fears do nothing except rob us of our power, peace, and wellbeing.  We have the power to release them.

Have a lovely, fear-free weekend.

Cover of Cylvia Hayes’ When Life Blows Up

Love,

Cylvia

To schedule a complimentary Transformation Breakthrough coaching session click here and pick a time that works for you.

Crisis or Awakening?

Are you at that mystifying place called mid-life wondering how the heck you got here and what’s next? Maybe you’re facing some unexpected challenges or just wanting to have more of a sense of purpose and direction. Maybe there’s an urge to hit the reset button.

It might not feel like it but I promise you if you are facing major transition and challenges at this particular turning point in life you are sitting on a gold mine of possibility and potential.

I was devastated and freaked out when my life and career blew up in seeming catastrophic fashion in my late 40s. It felt like everything I’d worked for was destroyed and the best was behind me. Well, believe me, I am thrilled to report that I couldn’t have been more wrong! My unasked for life reset opened up whole new pathways to understanding, self-forgiveness and peace that utterly transformed my way of being in the world and with myself. My crisis turned out to be a mid-life awakening and it was the best gift I never imagined!

Here’s one thing I know, surviving, overcoming and thriving isn’t so much about analyzing and hustling gathering information as it is about remembering what we already know; it’s about coming home. There is no need to become better or more or different; all you need is to remember who you already are.

Here are a few tips for mastering mid-life transition:

  • Learn to question and manage fear.

Mark Twain once said, “I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.” The simple truth is we tend to harbor a lot of fear about future “what ifs?” that may not even come to pass. Learning to release unproductive fear is a key to empowered transition.

  • Do a Can and Can’t Control exercise.

The secret to success and happiness is knowing that there are some things you can control and some things you cannot. Think about the situation or issue you are concerned about and make a list of what you can control and what you can’t. Spend your effort on things you can control and let the rest go.

Most importantly remember, you are more than a body. You are more than a job, a title, a financial status, a role. You are more than you know. You have a choice to make. Every single moment holds the opportunity of rebirth, no matter what is swirling through the circumstances of your life just now.

It’s a damn shame that in our culture there is no mid-life rite of passage and celebration. I mean for goodness sake it’s a big deal making it through early adulthood and getting some seasoning and wisdom under our belts! But we don’t even have a way of pausing for breath and celebrating our success in getting this far.

I encourage you to do that right now. Take a breath. Give yourself a moment to appreciate all that you’ve accomplished up to this point. And remember, in so many powerful ways you are just getting started. After all, in any really great play all the best stuff happens after the intermission!

Something powerful is happening to you because you have something powerful to do.

With love,

Cylvia

 

If you’d like some support launching the next awesome chapter of your life I would be more than happy to talk with you. You can schedule a complimentary Mid-Life Mastery Breakthrough session here.