Feeling crippled

The past always plays a part of our future. We can feel the emotion of every motivational quote that says that leaving the past behind and move forward, but those words and pretty pictures will not change the fact that you have a past that makes up everything you are today.

It is true that we shouldn’t allow the past to define our future maybe, but the past is your biggest most formidable tool you have to shape the future, why would you not want to access the true power of that tool? If this tool is missused however, it can be the crippling tool that allows you only to live in the past and that can be oh so detrimental to your future. The past is not something that can be buried, sometimes we think we can will it into submission or possibly forget it, sweep it under a rug or lock it up, but the truth is, we can not. It is the essence of what we are, it is the decisions we make, it is our judgment of others or even ourselves. It is the pathway in the brain that leads to every reaction we have to anything. The cool thing about the past, is it isn’t the future. Just a tool to wield our desires and successes of the future.

The past is a very strong building block. How can we use it to shore up the future? There is so much that we hang onto that we shouldn’t and so much that we should hang onto that we don’t. It is our fears of repeating mistakes and pride in our successes that weaken our ability to see clearly. Everyone has heard the saying that “the grass isn’t always greener” possibly ” everyone has struggles”. It is when we hear these words, we usually react in a manner of disbelief. This reaction is a selfish, self defense thought. Are we to feel sorry for the man with no worries of money? Are we easily drawn to the conclusion that the “perfect family on the corner does not have pain or suffering?”

Why, of course we do! It is only natural, for our own sanity to assume we have it worse and that no one knows how you feel about your defeats, your losses, your struggles. It is a natural chemical reaction in the brain to draw up the pain from past challenges. It is an animal instinct. Our brains are gentically designed to remember the emotion and sensation of everything we experience.These are the eletronic notes that we refer to the next time something makes us feel them again. As a matter of fact, they are the reason you feel them again. They are the past, electronically etched into live tissue. They are ready at all times to react to pain, loss, dissapointment, sadness. But hey, they are also at the ready everytime we feel joy, surprise, happiness, pride, contentment, humility, comfort, pleasure and elation.

The question is now, why is it so easy to access sadness, dispair, anger, loss, disappoinment more so than joy and elation? Well, it’s because we more often access our emotion tied to embarresment. We don’t want others to know of our mistakes and bad choices, so we build a pathway in the brain directly to the negative sensation of dishonesty. Yep, I am calling hiding our past a dishonest act. It’s not the fact that we don’t share it with others, it’s the reality that we don’t share it with ourselves. We don’t appreciate every mistake and blunder that we’ve made for what it is…. we tuck it away in a corner, electronically live wired into a corner,ready to shed doubt on any thought that passes by. ZING!. We feel all the emotions tied to that thing from the past, sadness, shame, whatever it was. Then we dig that deeper hole and the electronic field, well it gets bigger, easier to come in connect with. Damn it!

Now realize, I’m speaking in fairly lamen terms, I’m using words that evoke an emotion I would like to tie to this post. the technically anotomical and physiological description would drive us all to drinking, but in a SENSE, this works.

What emotion did you feel when I called us all dishonest? Did you get defensive? Did you feel like withdrawing or possibly feel aggresive? Did you agree with me and think to yourself that yes, you know people just like that? Did you feel shame? Whatever thought you had was derived from the corner you pack all your hidden past in. That is the nature of the brain. The coolest thing about all of this, is becoming cognizant of the reactions we have to what happens around us, the people around us! By being aware and then focusing on what brought on the emotion attached to it, we can then attach it to something from our past! THEN, if that isn’t exciting enough, we can look at what the past shows us and we can now start to appreciate the role it plays, the opportunity for growth it offers and we can consciously use it as a stepping stone for the future! This is very exciting! Just understanding that we can change the pathway and embrace our past to evolve into a better place and happier place in the future! Can we attach positive emotions to the things we have buried from our past? Yes! Embrace and love everything from the past, because it is these experiences that provide the foundation and powerful beauty that lies ahead.

Have a beautiful day and embrace yourself as you are.

Nikki

Trust the work

Yoga isn’t the only thing that can bring life into focus. As a matter of fact, yoga can’t do anything unless you surrender yourself to the work. Unless you surrender yourself to trusiting the feelings you get with your practice, just as it is with practicing anything in life.

What do you practice everyday that brings your life into focus. If you can’t think of anything, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your time. Do you think you don’t have the time? Is your schedule so full that you think you can’t fit one more thing in? When I mention the idea of adding something valuable for your wellbeing to your schedule, does the thought occur “yeah, right, like I can add something else to my schedule, right, I can take time for me everyday, Ha!” or ” It’s a novel Idea, but the reality is, it isn’t going to happen, I’m to busy doing what has to be done!”

I am going to ask you to take a normal busy day, and try some exercises throughout the day. If you have to write yourself notes and leave them everywhere you go throughout your day as a reminder, that may be the thing that helps you. Maybe set reminders on your phone. Maybe get creative with a way to remind yourself, because I’m telling you, in the beginning of creating the right process and time for your own health and well being, isn’t as easy to remember as onemight think. Over time, yes, but not at first. Find what kind of reminding system works for you and for 1 day, get though this challenge I bring to you.

Our goal here is to remove negative thoughts and/or behaviors that waste time that could be spent creating your true capacity of happiness and wellness. What if you could get to the end of each day accomplishing all of your tasks set before you and feel refreshed and successful instead of exhausted and possible frustrated?

I challenge you, just for a day to take a moment every hour, you can be driving, walking, running, working, watching your childs game, doing the dishes, taking a shower or even sitting on the toilet. Whatever it is, the task doesn’t matter. What matters is to check in with your thoughts. Where are they? Are they on the task at hand? Are you regretting something? Are you thinking about someone else, somewhere else? Check in with your thoughts. Once you check in, ask yourself if this thought process is working for you. Is this a negative or possitive thought? Is what your thinking helping or hindering your emotional state? Is it reducing or increasing stress? Then, just for a moment, think of what you want. Think of a favorite quote, think of something beautiful, think of something funny, think of someone who has influenced you to be better, maybe just focus on the task at hand and bring your breath and full attention to it. Then move on…. Check in again during the next hour. Once your day has finished, check in with yourself when you go to bed. Pay attention to how you feel, how your body feels, how your heart feels. Then start again the next day.

This may sound small and insignificant but this is where TRUST comes into play. Trust the work. Trust that with patience, the significant results will happen over time and may not be the 1st day or even the 1st week. But I promise, if you trust this simple work that you will reap the rewards. Our society makes it easy to put away our needs and stable supports of self. The pressures we bow to are seemingly innocent and worm their way into our thoughts, our actions and our days. They come and go, the days, and somehow another year has passed and we have missed the simple pleasures of time. Be responsible to yourself 1st and your abilities to your tasks and to others with grow expenetially.

Start with this one small challenge. Let the evolution of your growth be the motivator for the next challenge. Get strong and able with the task of changing and guiding your thoughts to better your day and so much around you will seem easier and more usefull. Your ability to perform will increase. Your body will start dealing with stress better, your heart will find more joy and more beauty in the world around you. Trust the work. Trust that the evolution will happen. Learn patience and self love through the process.

Only after injecting these possitive or beautiful thoughts into your day, will you discover how much time you really have. we feel like our days are not our own to control, that our tasks control our time. But, trust the work. Shift your thoughts, one at a time. Find your own way. Listen to yourself and the cues you receive. Be cognizant of yourself, your thoughts, your actions. This doesn’t mean that every day will be stress free, pain free or struggle free. It just gives you the tools to see more of what’s happening and more options to make it better, or even just the patience to make it through having survived the freaking day!

Set your intent and be attentive. For now, try for once an hour, find a reminder system that works for you. Soon , “you can work your way to the grill”(meaning, you will start being able to be cognizant more often, with less effort) “and that’s when the big bucks start rollin in” (meaning that you will reap more rewards more often). I am also glad that I could work a movie quote from Coming to America into my Blog….

If you get a chance during your trust the work exercise, check in with me. Check in here and let me know how you are doing, let me know if you need suggestions or if you have any, it would be great to collaborate!

be cognizant and find your thoughts with you.

Have a beautiful day!

Nikki

#healthandwellness #bewell #cognizantreconstruction #trustthework #findyou #retreat #itistime

Creative Thought Matters

My daughter attends a small liberal arts school in upstate New York. The school has a slogan that is CTM, creative thought matters. We use CTM in many instances around the house. At our house, we use it to motivate finding new solutions for problems or issues. In my work, it has motivated me to find a solution that can better serve my clients. It has opened up new opportunities to expand my services to a wider audience.

This week, I’ve had the opportunity to create a class for my daughters softball team. They have incorporated yoga into thier weekly exercise program. As with any other physical routine that I add to my life, I always wonder how much better I can make my body do what is right. For instance, I have my jacked up lumbar spine. What can yoga do for me that other forms of exercise can not? What could yoga do to allow me to do other things I haven’t been able to in the past? What can yoga do to streamline my body in a way I haven’t been able to in the past? Is yoga the answer for everyone? I believe if I can teach these women to understand and feel what their bodies need, they will be better at achieving their goals on and off the field, they can better serve themselves and their team by simply understanding what it is they need and how they can achieve it.

My answer is yes. My answer to all of the questions above is yes. It is yes for me, but as I work towards teacher training, I practice yoga more and more each day and have come to realize how much yoga can help everyone I work with, Iam understanding what pieces of yoga fit together for each person. There are many different modalities of yoga. Each with intense strengths tied to yoga practices that began so very long ago. The strong belief that the body, mind and spirit come together to create balance, humility and strength is what drives traditional practice. In my many years of body work, I have used these same ideas to draw the mind and spirit into the physical healing of the body. When I began to practice yoga regularly, I was at a very delicate time in my life. Some call it a mid life crisis, I have always called it the awakening, watching others enter this time of life. The moment in life when the mind and spirit have matured to a certain level and they crave movement forward to advance into the rest of life. Our bodies begin to slow reproduction of cells, the chemicals change, the levels of hormones that control everything begin to deminish. It isn’t just the physical body that changes at this time, it is the whole of our existence. If we treat it only as the downhill slide toward the end of what you call life, then I believe you live in ignorance. It is like the convergance of a river, as each section grows and continues forward, it is inevitable that they will cease to stay alone in thier path. They, at some point, run into other flows and then with the power of each colliding with the others, the convergance is a pool of turmoil and upheaval. It turns the sands beneath and the powers of each multiply. As this force moves forward, it begins to widen and smooth atop the surface, and then the flow below begins to follow suit. What is left is an emense, wide and powerful flow. It becomes balanced and flexible, it is used to advance it’s own importance and life forward. What happens next is for another time, because I have CTM’d myself right out of one story that excites me into another! So back to yoga I go, literally.

I can use this convergance as an example of what yoga does under the surface. As the physical properties stretch out and the power of movement becomes more wild and then more controlled, the essence of each flow that came to meet together, begin to play a more crucial part in the big flow picture. Without each individual flow, the bigger flow wouldn’t have all of the character and stength that it can possess. It is crucial to understand each flow and what it adds to the life of what lies ahead.

Yoga does this. I am bringing the focus to the physical, but each flow can play the same powerful part. By repeating physical movements, you are moving that flow towards the convergence. It is a powerful tool to access the mind and spirit, it its a powerful tool to create the turmoil needed when all are joined, and a powerful tool to calm the seas once the turmoil is over.

This is the reason I believe that yoga can help everone, because everyone will have that moment in life when the body, mind and spirit converge. I happen to believe this occures many times throughout our lives. The convergence I have recently experienced happens to be a point in my life when I am physically changing, I’ve lived years and had many lessons that my brain has used to bring itself into the convergence with much more awareness than any before this one, so I , in turn am much more aware of it’s effect and feel each detail much more clearly and defined. And now, this is where I try to tie in CTM, covergence, and yoga. My brain looks at the bodies around me and I feel and know what they have been through. I can see how they got where they are, but I can also see how to unwind and detangle the mess. I tend to manipulate the physical as the mind and spirit join in to create the turmoil, and then follow the turmoil up with the unwinding of the physical to allow the mind and spirit to smoothly take their place of importance, blending with the physical. So as I fully respect the traditional practice of yoga modalities, I have chosen to have creative thought matter. I have chosen to bring people to yoga from a physical aspect, while preparing them for the convergence and the turmoil that attends. I want them to understand each detail of what is physically changing while slowly coming to their own recognition of the powerful flow that is to be. I choose to have them feel what their body is learning, recognize it, and be so very cognizant of thier own reconstruction! So as my clients move through the exercises that I have created from yoga movements, I hope to not stress out any traditional teachers, because isn’t it all about learning more and accepting the evolution of thought? For me it is. I practice yoga. I practice it to get better at using it in my daily life, I practice life like I practice yoga.

There, I finally came back around to that. whew, that was a little longer ride than usual,and I haven’t really even touched the surface so to speak.

As with the bits of information that come when I write, the greater purpose lies beyond the convergence. It’s the flow of lessons, experiences and details of each that have to be brought together before our minds can wrap around the changes that are coming. I pray I can be as patient as I am asking you to be!

Perspective

James Deacon said that “What you see depends not only on what you look AT but where you look FROM.”.

It’s probably something that we ponder off and on when we see a meaningful quote all prettied up on pinterest,( I’m a fan, visit me there too!), but how long do you think of the quote and how much do you focus on what perspective can bring to your life. I have a story.

There was a couple who had spent 26 years together. The husband, early on, had 2 of the coolest jobs known to man. He was a firefighter/paramedic and a flight medic. He had been in the Special Forces in the Army, he had jumped from perfectly good planes for no fun. He was very active in his education and was funnier than most human beings could hope to be. He was active in outdoor sports, and as it turned out was an amazing father. He had a crazy off the norm schedule, so he was home for days at a time and was able to focus on his kids, so that helped. The wife was, early on, was in school and worked with family. Basically business hours, but there was always time for outdoor activities and fun wherever it could be found. She wanted to finish her degree, but fate would have her learning that God may have had different plans. She was pregnant a few months after getting married, and knew life would be changing. They worked together well because their belief systems were the same and they had a down to earth, but out of this world sense of life and humor. As the husband focused on his career and education, he was still available as a partner and father. Another few years and a daughter came into the mix. The wife had only taken a few weeks off of work with the first child, but was able to work around the husbands schedule so that the son was mostly with the two of them. and they were blessed enough that the families around them could help out with both kids after the wife went back to work 2 weeks after the daughter was born as well. The kids didn’t have traditional daycare, and were always around loving family members. The wife was always blessed with jobs that she was appreciated. The husband had great success in his profession too. They had chosen the jobs they have for much of the same reasons, a passion for what they did and also a schedule that allowed them to tag team parent. Neither made fantastic wages, but it worked. They were able to stay focused on the importance of family. 12 years into the marriage, another son had blessed the mix. This was when the first devastating moment happened for the couple. The husband was involved in a motorcycle accident on his way to Sturgis for the bike rally. If it were not for friends that happened to be medics that were traveling with him, he would not have lived. They worked for 45 minutes to bring him back to life and keep him there until help arrived. When the wife was notified, she was grateful that the kids were already with her family on a trip to the lake. She was able to notify them and then be on her way to Wyoming to ensure her husbands safe return home for proper care. Surrounded by friends who took care of the details and supported her in all ways possible, she did what she had to do. She was just so grateful that his life had been spared that she missed many of the upcoming changes in her life. The husband had suffered 3 traumatic brain injuries, broken ribs, lacerated liver, punctured kidneys, torn diaphragm, broken hand, and damaged spleen. Each one of these injuries could have taken his life or changed it forever instantly, but barring the brain injuries, that took about 4 months to return to full memory function , he was fine. They never really talked about the devastation that he must have experienced or the devastation that the family had experienced.

Because things seemed to return to “normal” after 5 or so months, the husband decided he wanted to work on his masters degree. The wife years earlier had gone back to school to help get a job for herself so that her schedule could accommodate the children and the income could allow the husband the time he would be gone to achieve success at school. Shortly after he received his MPA, he applied for another masters program out of state. When he was accepted, he had to travel every other month, this put a financial burden on the family because he was unable to work his second job as much as he used to. But it was so cool and was such a great opportunity and experience, how could they pass it up? The wife was able to juggle schedules, and with such great support from both sides of the family, it worked. The kids excelled at school and sports and socially. They helped around the house some and things were good. The wife, with no regret kept putting off finishing her degree and enjoyed her life as mass organizer, coach, musical director at the school, she enjoyed success being self employed and was making a difference in her clients lives as well. Somehow it seemed easy. Financially, nothing had been easy, but she was always able to make it work. After the accident, she never thought twice about the fact that she had taken over everything when it came to home and family including the finances, the cleaning, the money earning differential requirements, the kids activities. The husband was focused on his career and his school. It was important and fun for all of them. It seemed to work and she was enjoying life and involvement in the kids lives the husbands success.

At 21 years of marriage. Things seemed tougher, but still happy. The wife was always happy. So many memories with the kids and family. So much fun. Except now the husband was always stressed, always tired. The headache he had been suffering from since the accident seemed to be taking its toll. He missed out on more family time. He missed out on the social life he had with his friends at work, he had moved out of the field in the fire service and had taken a position in Emergency Management. His education had made this an easy transition, and he enjoyed much success in the position. But this came at a cost. He traveled more for work, he was always in pain, but kept it to himself. The travel was awesome and he loved the work, but always came home and found his family doing great without him. The wife was always full steam ahead, and rarely noticed his absence, she had become accustom. But she was always so grateful when he was home and could share in family time, was always so excited for him to enjoy his job and his travel. By this time, he had to give up his 2nd job as a flight medic, because he didn’t have the time to invest in the continuing education and training that was required. They were so sad to see him go and he definitely missed flying. He missed the crews. The wife missed the camaraderie of the flight family. This is when the wife’s life would again be effected by another permanent loss. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and died 4 short months later. Save her husband, her mother was her biggest influence and love of her life. But the deep understanding that the wife had of the death of her mother, was displayed in gratitude and understanding, that if her mother lived , she would never be the same woman, so the fact that her mother was no longer suffering, it seemed logical that her daughter shouldn’t suffer either. But the wife was sooooo wrong.

I will touch on this moment some time in the future. It’s kind of a big subject for this moment. For now I will take a deep breath and be grateful for the time I had.

The last 5 years, much has happened. But the story up until now is probably familiar to most. The perspective from which this story is told, is very different than it would have been told by the husband. If you can tell, it was written from the wife’s perspective, maybe with to much objectivity. And what would this story had read like of the children had a chance to tell it? What about the perspective of the wife’s parents? The husbands parents? Friends?

Perspective is crucial. It is crucial to the person seeing it, but maybe it should be more crucial to the person being seen. Maybe if perspective isn’t just the way we see things, but the way we judge our growth and acceptance of others. What if we can be more open the the perspective of others to see ourselves in a different light that has more truth in it than most will want to admit. But it’s these truths that we should embrace.

The human mind is amazing beyond understanding. But each mind is built and functions individually within each of us. The power to share and expand the mind by combining other minds perspective is the true evolution of the human spirit. To never assume others are wrong before we look from their perspective. To never judge another’s reactions or feelings or beliefs, is truly an advanced human trait. We can stay all of our lives only believing our own perspective and reduce our minds abilities to our small 8-10 pound cranium, or we can allow it to expand beyond the physical border into the perspectives of others, that allow a truly humble, kind, open and unlimited understanding of humankind. The intense understanding of ourselves, comes from looking at ourselves from the perspective of those around us. Those people that we effect and affect, their perspective is crucial to our growth. Our minds have unlimited ability to understand and connect, but will stay in its own perspective if we don’t open up the possibilities. Those possibilities are right in front of us in the form of family, friends, co-workers, and sometimes even seemingly strangers. Innocent bystanders. Let’s not be a bystander in our own life and success, especially when we have so many around us that can help us be so active in our own existence.

Be cognizant today of the effect you have on others, enrich another life and you will be enriching your own. Don’t just be a bystander with judgment, make a difference!

Nikki

Anticipation

I find when I begin a new habit or behavior, I instantly know if it will be a crucial part of my routine and something that will keep me moving forward. As with many activities we start, there is the excitement of finding something that brings us joy, or energy, sparks our creativity or possibly relieves pain, helps us move better, feel better.

I believe the tendency is to replace something else in our schedule to be able to do this activity. We make it a part of our day or our week or possibly monthly. We add book club, its fun to feel the need to read and hook up with friends right? We start a new work out or fitness program, we initiate new habits with our eating, we start something that seems to make a difference.

GIVING WAY

After awhile, the tendency is to have some of those things we gave up or rescheduled, start hanging over our head. We maybe start replacing our new habit with an old one. We have our kids or spouses needs and schedules start wrecking havoc on our own. We justify our decision to pause in our own movement forward to accommodate others. This is our excuse. There are thousands of reasons to stop working on our selves and focus on the stagnate past behaviors we had shed just weeks or months ago. But no matter the excuse we tell ourselves, it we are honest with ourselves, it is always coupled with fear.

FEAR

Fear of disappointment, failure, what others will think of us or maybe if we give up time with the kids to take care of ourselves. We justify our choices pretending that we are selfish if we keep up the good work. We justify quitting with the fact that others need us and we must provide. HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE WHAT IS RIDDLED WITH FEAR. There are many ways to talk yourself out of success, how do we change our own mind and talk ourselves INTO success? How much energy will it take to retrain your mind to accept the truth, acknowledge it, possibly appreciate it and move on. What are the steps? The first step for any process should be to recognize and accept what we fear about taking care of ourselves. Accept that we are afraid and maybe discover what we are afraid of. This may sound simple as you read my abbreviated log if this 1st step, and it is. But it is as complex as it is simple. As you recognize your behavior starting to change, as you begin the conversation of self doubt in your head, this is the moment to remind yourself of the success that you have had with the new behavior. Do you walk taller, smile bigger, sleep better, have compassion and forgiveness for others? As you notice the changes emotionally and mentally, do you begin to feel a bit disarmed? You have the desire to change, the desire for certain goals, but as they begin to happen, what thoughts are fighting against your success in your own head? And what if on top of these thoughts, are you not reaching your goal? If this process of reaching your goals feels like it’s not working, what are your thoughts telling you now? At this point, most people give up. They think that the process or the diet or the workout program are failing them. What is failing usually is you. You are allowing fear to talk you into not supporting yourself like you deserve to be supported. Maybe you feel like your family or friends aren’t supporting your process, and the truth is, there may not be clear communications of what you are trying to achieve, they may be seeing changes in you that they don’t understand because it hasn’t been explained to them. Perspective is a powerful ally, or it can wreck havoc like an enemy. Perspective of a specific situation is the power to make it as it should be, and with understanding from not just those around you, but also yourself. We all have projects and desires, but we have to give ourselves the tools to achieve them.

PERSPECTIVE

I believe that once you have acknowledged your fears of failure, you can achieve an evolution in your perspective to change the way you think about your goals.

By including the people in your daily life, you can help them understand what you want out of life and they can better understand your behaviors and words and changes.

With these two perspectives, you can be more open about your goals, your successes, your failures and because you have chosen to share this journey with others, you can now listen to ideas or suggestions that may very well assist you in your journey. The ones around us ultimately want us to succeed, even though it may be a struggle at times, they genuinely want to be apart of the journey. On top of all of that, if they aren’t aware of the whys and hows of your journey, you may end up alienating them and leaving them behind. This perspective might me very harmful to your success and any support they may have to offer.

What I am getting at is that to achieve something might take a little revamping on your part, you need to open yourself to the world, open yourself to others, human thought is an unmeasurable wealth, the more you listen, the more you learn, the more you will have the capacity to become the person you want to be.

Gaining a new perspective on why we sabotage ourselves, why we try so many things that we don’t know much about but they have worked for others, and why we fail can be used as the catalyst that will propel you in the proper direction. Trust. Trust yourself to learn, trust yourself to grow and trust that those around you want you to succeed. Start with Trust. Trust yourself today.

Quote of the day:

“What you are afraid of is a clear indication of the next thing you need to do.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson