As someone who reads self help books voraciously, I constantly hear about how powerful meditation is. And there is a lot of research backing the practice. So I felt like I needed to try meditating to reap all the benefits of less negative self-talk and a calmer nervous system.
Yet as a (recovering) perfectionist, it was important that I do it "right." For so many perfectionists just starting with meditation, it's something that feels like it should be easy. That we should be successful at it. But when we're met with the challenges that meditation presents, we get annoyed and often don't continue the practice. If we can't be perfect at it, we'll find something else to excel at.
Though my practice is off and on, I have been meditating for 2 years now. So I want to share some tips that have helped me make meditation enjoyable.
It's easy to think that the only form of meditation is zoning out in silence. But that's not true. There is guided meditation! This is where there is a...
A lakefront rental sounds like the perfect location for your retreat. You love the idea of everyone being under the same roof, but you're anticipating more guests than there are bedrooms. So what do you do?
First, let go of the idea that the only way to accommodate your guests is by sleeping in the same house. With a shift in expectation and some options for when your guests don't want to share beds, you'll have renewed optimism in planning your retreat. Further, your guests may prefer options as well.
In our experience, it's the 30-year old and under demographic that is happy to share a bed or bedroom with someone in the group. So, if your retreat has younger guests, you may be able to have guests sleep in the same house.
For other guest accommodations, here are more options:
Imagine you're sipping coffee while sitting in an Adirondack chair taking in the morning lake views. The lake is like glass and you can see the trees' reflection in the water. There's calming music playing in the background as you breathe deeper and ease into your day.
The retreat playlist is part of the retreat experience. Most homes have Bluetooth speakers available and you can listen to your playlists to set the mood.
This playlist features mostly pop artists and is about 90-minutes long. As the playlist progresses, it gets a bit more upbeat.
Sunrise by Norah Jones
Sacrifice by Elton John
Waiting in Vain by Annie Lennox
Midnight in Harlem by Tedeschi Trucks Band
Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwoole
Alone by Bee Gees
Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
All My Life by K-Ci & JoJo
Goodbye My Lover by James Blunt
Love and Happiness by Al Green
Bad by U2
If You Leave Her (feat. Meghan Trainor) by Forest Blakk
For Your Precious...
There are times in your life when you know you are stressed. Like when the work deadline is 2 days away and you're not even close to being finished. Or when your to-do list is so long that it keeps you up at night.
And there are times when you wouldn't say you're stressed, but there's a nagging unease. You can't put your finger on it, but you're not totally content. Whether you can identify your stressors or not, you need some simple go-to's to reduce stress quickly.
Stress presents in so many ways that sometimes you're not even aware of it. For example, your pet is often a hidden source of stress. Yes, that adorable, furry, unconditional love bug is causing some stress even though you will defend him. When someone comes over to your house, does your dog bark like mad or jump on the guest? Do you approve of this behavior or is it stressful?
Your cat might walk all over you in the middle of the night causing sleep loss or knock things over so you have to clean up the mess first thing...
That's the very first sentence in the book The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest. We read the book for book club and during our discussion I asked the members if they agreed with the statement. 100% answered yes.
One of the hardest things to do in this life is to look within to unravel the mess of stress, fear, and emotions that lurk below the surface. But when you want to heal, when you want to get unstuck, you must do the inner work.
Identifying self sabotaging behaviors is critical to your growth and progress. Knowing how to get out of your own way is powerful fuel for becoming your highest self.
Turns out there are many types of self sabotage. I'm super familiar justification. I often say I'm going to stop eating sugar and then order dessert after dinner. That self sabotaging thought process falls into justification. The little voice in my head says, just this one time.
Which of these types of self sabotage resonate...
I love reading self help books because the insights they provide are like therapy. I find such value in understanding how our minds work. In 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don't Do by Amy Morin, I learned that the negative self-talk that infiltrates our minds actually has categories.
These were a-ha moments for me and I think you'll recognize some of these as well. We all fall prey to chastising ourselves, but it's something we can get better at. It takes awareness first. Having the awareness that you're doing it allows you the opportunity to course correct. You can shift your mindset to more positive.
When you're not as consistent with your goals as you had promised yourself, it's important to say what you really want to happen; not what you don't want. Speaking negatively invites negativity. Speaking positively attracts what you actually want. That's because your thoughts become your reality. And self doubt can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
So when self doubt starts to creep...
I’m the most boring person you’ll ever meet. My idea of a perfect Friday evening is ordering carry-out, vegging in front of the TV, and going to bed by 10pm.
Now you may think that sounds like adulting…so let me clarify. What I’m watching on TV is Cesar Milan’s: Better Human Better Dog. In case you haven't seen it, it’s about the psychology of training dogs. And as further proof of my boring status, I read books about neuroscience for pleasure. I’m a proud nerd!
That’s a glimpse into my personality and for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been this way. My personality is a homebody who loves to learn. In high school, I preferred to stay home and avoided large parties in favor of being with 1-2 friends.
My junior year of high school, my mom came home from parent teacher conferences and told me that my French teacher wanted me to raise my hand more in class. I was getting an A in the class, but apparently that wasn’t...
I recently read the book, I Heart Me - The Science of Self-Love by David Hamilton. Inside, it says that you can't truly be authentic if you can't be vulnerable. Man, that hit me hard.
How can you be real if you're hiding parts of your story? Those experiences have shaped who you are.
We all want to be accepted so we mold ourselves to fit what we think society wants from us. We assume that our negative experiences are unique. And we lock away anything that might make us seem vulnerable.
As a recovering perfectionist, it's taken me years of personal development work to show my vulnerable side. When I started working with my life and business coach 5 years ago, I would only discuss business. No personal stuff. No emotions.
Any topic that might trigger tears was 100% unacceptable in my mind. Crying meant you're weak/incapable. Yet I had hired my coach after experiencing a huge financial loss and business setback. There were definitely emotions that needed to be address, but I would not...
You have to pick your battles.
I heard that expression many times after becoming a mom. And I'd always nod my head in agreement.
On the surface, I understood that sentiment. But in the depths of my subconscious, I picked ALL of my battles. I didn't let any go. I had to win every argument. Always be right.
My intense grip on life wasn't a problem until my child brought it to light. In her 4yr old way, she taught me that I was a control freak. I could deny it no longer. I had to face my demons and change for my family's sake.
It's crazy because control is a basic human need, but too much control becomes problematic. Control freaks have a hard time defining the parameters. You need control in the sense of having agency, yet also need to surrender to the things that are outside of your control.
Being a control freak looks like being fiercely independent; having trust issues; not asking for help; the need to always be right; placing productivity above everything else; avoiding emotions...
We're all guilty of berating ourselves for not sticking to a plan. We loudly critique ourselves for not achieving a goal. The inner monologue goes something like, "You have no willpower! Why can't you just do the damn thing?! You slacked off and are unmotivated."
These horrible things that you say to yourself never provide motivation nor stimulus for improved action. They just make you miserable. So you vow to do better next time and pay lip service to giving yourself grace.
What's really important to make lasting change is to keep your self-talk positive. It's time to show the same compassion you show to your friends to YOURSELF.
Because it's the new year, you're likely focused on your goals. Yet, it's the actions and habits you take consistently that help you achieve your goals. The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi provides guidance on the compassionate way to change your habits. The book outlines "maps" that help you plan for situations where you may be tempted to self-sabotage...