Posts tagged #change

Change One Thing

Sometimes it seems like nothing works the way it should. If you’re a human, you have probably hit that point where work is no fun, relationship is a struggle and you don’t even feel comfortable in your body.

At times like these, changing your life can seem overwhelming. There’s so much to do…where do you even start?

It’s quite simple, really…just change ONE thing.

Read a magazine article you would never typically even consider. Try a new type of restaurant. Take a different route to work. Any simple change of scenery can shift your perspective, and has the potential to drastically transform your life.

It’s like a ship at sea…if it changes course even one degree, 100 miles later it’s in completely new waters.

Of course, the most profound shifts are the ones you make on the inside. Annoyance can easily be turned into fascination. Frustration can be flipped to become gratitude. Even anger can be transformed if you simply turn it into a song.

You don’t have to tackle the whole enchilada, just make one simple shift.

And the best part is…it’s all experimentation. If you don’t like your new perspective, you can always go back to your old one.

What “one-degree” shift can YOU make TODAY?

Posted on July 13, 2016 and filed under emotional growth.

How To De-Clutter On All Levels

Clutter interferes with our life in many different ways. Regardless of the type of clutter—physical, mental or emotional—it creates a barrier between us and our natural flow. When clutter clogs up our life, we pay the price. If you’re feeling particularly stuck right now it could be time for a major de-clutter fest.

Types of clutter

1.       Physical

The body. If we have a cluttered body that essentially means that we are stuffing our veins, arteries and other pathways with debris. This can happen with too much alcohol, fried foods, or processed food with chemicals and additives. When we’re cluttered in the body things don’t flow—maybe we’re constipated or we have high blood pressure. Live by the basic rules of health to de-clutter: water, fibre, exercise. These guidelines may seem overly simplistic but if we don’t have the foundation, we don’t have the house, am I right?

What to do?

Drink more water—carry a water bottle or leave water at your desk; always have a reminder that you need to drink water; eat watery foods such as celery, watermelon, cucumber, soups

Eat more fibre—get this from your foods; the best sources are beans, fruits and vegetables (with the skin) and whole grains (whole wheat, kamut, rye, or quinoa)

Exercise—even walking is an excellent way to move the body and help it to process anything that is clogged or cluttering your system

The environment. When your office desk is hidden under ten years of old files and papers, topped off with gum wrappers and broken paperclips you are living in a cluttered environment. If your closet is a health and safety hazard you are living a cluttered environment. This creates anxiety, stress and overwhelm. You look at the mess and are paralyzed. This is clogging your flow.

2.       Mental

When our thoughts are recurring, relentless and negative our mind is cluttered. If you play the same unhappy scenarios in your head over and over again your mind is cluttered. This creates stress, anxiety and a heavy negative tone to your life. It blocks the positive, flowing energy from blowing breezes through your thought passages.

What to do?

Write down the recurring thoughts in your journal. Beside each one say or write—I accept you, I bless you, I forgive you. This level of awareness and acceptance helps to dissolve the need for those thoughts to loop around in your head. You are bringing light to them. Do this for every thought that comes up repeatedly.

3.       Emotional

If we have repeated emotional experiences on a playback loop we may have a cluttered heart. Maybe your goto feeling is frustration or loneliness or anger. Maybe all you can feel is: nothing. This is a sign that your heart is clogged. The myriad of emotional nuances available to you are waiting outside the wall of clutter. The clutter is your old, stale, repeated emotions.

What to do?

In the same way as the thoughts, write down your repeating emotions. Write the same or say the same phrases for each emotion—I accept you, I bless you, I forgive you. You are again bringing light and awareness to them. Sometimes all you need is acknowledgement and awareness. The emotional awareness is more of a process but you may be surprised what you can unclutter in a short period of time.

Try these de-cluttering activities for all aspects of your life and you’ll be amazed at how much lighter, more vibrant and fluid you will feel! During the change of seasons is an excellent time to embark on this journey as the energy of transition is also gently helping the process. Happy de-cluttering!

If you have any tips for de-cluttering comment below so we can all learn from each other.

How to Smash Through Your Happy Ceiling

You may have heard of the glass ceiling (the upper limit of something usually in reference to women’s wages in the workplace), but do you know about the happy ceiling? Perhaps you’ve cracked your head on it a number of times, only to fall backwards to the ground tailbone first onto the cement. Ouch.
 

What is the happy ceiling?

A defense mechanism executed swiftly by our Saboteur when any unauthorized happiness occurs. Unless we get control of this pattern, the Saboteur will cause repeated concussions and will implement an outright ban on increased happiness units.

In other words, if you want to get happier than you’ve been—deal with the Saboteur.
 

Who is the Saboteur?

The Saboteur is an aspect of ourselves (in the form of an archetype) that jumps in when you may feel threatened or afraid. Usually the Saboteur is there to protect you in some way from an imagined enemy. The Saboteur will do it’s darndest to sabotage your well intentioned plans. For instance, there was a time in my life when I was completely out of debt, so my Saboteur got me buying up a storm again until a year later I was back in the same financial position. Why? Because that’s the way the Saboteur rolls. Or mostly because I was probably uncomfortable being financially free and subconsciously I tried to go back to the way I was. In the past, we may have benefited greatly from the Saboteur’s antics, but the practice may be wearing a little thin now.
 

Questions:

  • First let’s take our usual run around the track I like to call: awareness enhancing question period.
  • How good can you stand it?
  • Have you ever been so happy that it hurts?
     

Why do we sabotage ourselves? Three factors:

  1. Uncomfortable—we don’t know how to feel in this new situation even if it’s wonderful. Sometimes we get into a rut where we'd rather stay in the discomfort than change.
  2. Uncertain—the devil we know is better than the devil we don’t. This is where we feel really afraid of the unknown.
  3. Undeserving—do I really deserve to be happy? Who am I to be happy? I’m not really that great of a person to be this happy.
     

How do we smash through the happy ceiling?

  1. Undeserving—ask the Saboteur to come into your awareness.
    You may see an image or sense a feeling. Trust what comes up. Then ask your Saboteur why it’s here or why it shows up when you’re starting to get really happy? Ask what the message is that it wants you to know. Make friends with the Saboteur. Tell them that you are open to co-creating a life of more happiness despite your fears. Ask how you can work together from now on.
     
  2. Uncertainty—acknowledge these feelings of fear and anxiety.
    This is the human condition—the more comfortable we can get with uncertainty the more our lives will expand with joy and happiness.
     
  3. Declaration/intention—make a ceremonial pledge that you intend to move past the happy ceiling and open up to more and more happiness.
    Make it fancy—write a flowery letter or declare it out loud. You can either seal it in a nice envelope and put it in a sacred place or burn it. Whatever you do, the intention is the most important part.

I wish you boat loads of happiness and expansive skies without ceilings anywhere in sight!
 

Inspiration Station: How to Change the World from your Own Backyard

I binge watched Orange is the New Black on Netflix and now I’m perturbed that I have to wait until who knows when for the next season; I admit it. I have unhealthy attachments to my iPhone, Facebook page and emails—full confession.

However, I’m a little bit uncomfortable about ignoring the giant catastrophe that is our planetary reality at the moment. Plastic bottles choke our oceans. Football-sized sections of Rainforest get mowed down every second. Climate change(s). At this point I’m poised for the day when I say oops where’s my electricity? Gone forever (voice in my head).

Which is why my ears perk up when I hear about people making change. I don’t mean those who sit in a boardroom and discuss policies lined up for 2099. I mean the people who take inspired and enlightened action: now.
 

Where does it start? With the Basics.

Allow me to present Back to Basics Social Developments—a not for profit organization with a focus on youth programs that benefit the whole community. In 2009 Executive Director, Andrew Miller and Director of Arts & Music, Shane Dennis manifested their collective vision for change and voila: the Unity Café in Barrie was born.

Part hip hop chic, part farmers with style, Unity boasts a recording studio, bustling café and community kitchen. This uplifting project weaves together a sustainable food and housing system (use of urban, rural and vertical farming) with educational programs on organic cooking, art, and music—all youth and activist friendly. The melding of artistic energy (Dennis) and a love of the land (Miller), seems to be the ultimate synergistic partnership.

So much so that the concept morphed into The Global Unity project; a free franchise business model that uses the principles of sustainable living and equal accessibility to resources. In 2013, The Georgina Island First Nations community developed a store and community gardens based on this model.

And that, folks, is just the tip of the melting iceberg.
 

Where does it grow from here? It’s planetary.

In true activist form, Miller doesn’t rest on his laurels; he’s taking the Unity vision up a notch as Director of New Earth Urban. This enthusiastic, self-proclaimed Executive Tree Hugger (why can’t I think of cool titles like that?) is on a mission. Please note: this is not mission impossible or “drinking the Kool-Aid” (google it).

New Earth is an international organization committed to improving the planet using an entirely new paradigm. The proven sustainable systems and models nurtured at The Global Unity project, will now translate into the New Earth projects.

Let’s face it—our current economic and environmental system is badly broken and a whole new outlook on life is needed. This is where you come in! Here’s what it means to be an activist in today’s world according to Back to Basics Social Developments:

  • Are you like Miller? “I wanted to stop doing things as [just] an individual”
  • Act local, think global; “localize principles while sharing knowledge globally”
  • Focus on sustainability in a peaceful and loving way
  • Inspire others: “Youth have found enough inspiration by this work to completely change their lives, even finding inspiration from being suicidal”, explained Miller when I asked how these projects impact those they serve

So, if this sounds like you, grab a towel and “don’t panic” (hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy reference).

Bring your skills to the virtual table; register here as a New Earth contributor or contact Andrew Miller for the Toronto, Canada area here: back2basics09@gmail.com.

Projects in the works include locations in Southern Ontario starting this summer, but the reach is global. Special thanks to Canadian Organic Grower's Toronto 2014 Conference for highlighting all the wonderful things people are doing to change the world!!

Eleanor Healy

 

Take the Fear Out of Self-Love

I’m not one to reinvent the wheel, so let us stick with the timeless February theme: LOVE. Love takes many forms, but it all stems from how you feel about yourself. Last year gave me plenty of insight into how I treated myself. Frankly, it was a shocker.

You know those strange little behaviours that form the basis of your unique personality? Well, some of them may be outright self-bullying until you take a look at them boldly. Here is an excerpt from Chapter three of my book “What Would Little Red Riding Hood Do? 7 Ways to Face Your Wolf and Live Happily Ever After” in which I explore my fear of facing myself:

“I wasn’t willing to look at myself. I wasn’t willing to look in the mirror and ask what’s wrong. Why are you feeling like this? Why do you have so much anxiety? Why is there so much pain? I didn’t want to ask any of that, so I put on my running shoes and ran.

This frantic hamster wheel motion went on for many years, taking me from one place to another with my suitcase and boxes. I was worn out, exhausted and constantly in a state of anxiety. It felt as if something was chasing me; I now know it was my awareness.

I encourage you to look at yourself in whatever form it may take (the mirror, on paper, with a trusted friend/advisor). Instead of running or jumping or diving into the sand…let’s face ourselves and you'll see that it’s not so bad. You might even like it. In fact you will love it, because deep down there is a part of you that really loves YOU for YOU!”

Here’s to looking full on at oneself in the name of self-love. Happy Valentine’s Day!
 

Take a look at some changes I made last year—you may want to try some of these:

  1. I no longer buy things that make me say: “that's good enough for now”, “not too bad” or “I’ll just ignore the fact that I don’t really like it” (don’t ask me it was just an unconscious habit); I do buy things that make me say: “fantastic”, “holy sh*t that’s awesome”, “I love this for life”. Translation: does NOT mean more expensive.
     
  2. I surround myself with pleasant and beautiful things: aka fresh flowers, new pictures on the wall, and happytastic photos of myself; I got rid of and I’m in the process of exchanging/replacing and burning all items connected to past relationships, hand me downs and anything heavily laden with emotional baggage.
     
  3. I take part in gratitude practices and focus on things/situations/people that make me feel happy (ex. 100happydays.com).
     
  4. I take time to pamper myself: I went for a full body Dead Sea scrub. That was amazing. Not to mention being introduced to disposable underwear—strange concept, but interesting.
     
  5. I find ways to purge negative emotions/feelings/vibes through yoga, walking and journaling.
     

All of the above brings me more joy, confidence, adventurous tendencies and spontaneous bursts of happiness! How will you bring more self-love into your life today?
 

How do You Create True Change? Go LUSH!

Are you eager to make some changes in your life this coming year? Maybe you want to exercise and initiate more while smoking and complaining less. Whatever the change is, there is a way to do it, but how do you ensure that you’ll make True Change?

True Change in my experience is LUSH-lasting, universal, simple and honorable. In other words, if you whip up a quick band-aid solution for your eating habits that includes a complex chart of rewards and schedules, you'll be back to your old ways faster than you can say donut. Why? Because you haven't honored yourself with a simple, loving vision taken from universal principles. You need to keep your vision for change big enough to include age old wisdom in an individually wrapped package just for you.

So, if you’re looking for ways to expand and improve your quality of life, while respecting yourself as an already wonderful being, go for True Change.
 

Here are the four pillars in more detail:

  1. Lasting.
    The changes stand the test of time, moving with ease from one year to the next and flowing from generation to generation. Your specific change starts with you, but can spill out into the community like fresh spring water, cleansing all who dip into it. An example would be the civil rights movement; the world today is building on the principles started during the sixties to include recognition for more and more ideas and groups of people. How can you create lasting change that benefits you and your community?

  2. Universal.
    The changes can be applied anywhere, anytime and to anyone. You will design the change for your own particular situation, but True Change can mold and fit any example. The key principles here include flexibility and openness. The change starts with yourself, but can also be adapted for your neighbor, best friend or relative. Everyone can benefit and no one is excluded. For example, if you change your attitude to notice more things to be grateful for, anyone can make this change and incorporate the specific items/situations/people that they are grateful for. Every one of us can make this change. This pillar also speaks to the ripple effect. As you change your attitude to be more grateful, then all those around you will benefit from your spread of love. In the end, this can spread all around the world, making it a universal change.
     
  3. Simple. 
    You don’t need charts, graphs, systems or steps. You don’t need levels, grading, signposts or assessments. All you need is willingness, intent and desire. In other words, if you have the desire to change something, then intend to change it and go along for the ride. It is no harder than that. Anyone who tells you that you have to go through a rigorous preparation or complete stages to be successful is simply missing the point. Of course, there are things you choose to do in life that have all the elements mentioned above—I’m just pointing out that they are not necessary, they are a choice. If you want True Change, you can make it as simple as smiling more every day. I can’t think of anything more profound than that.
     
  4. Honourable.
    Make sure you hold up your desired change against the background of personal integrity and honour. Is this change coming from a loving point of view or a critical point of view? Are you trying to change something that is inherently part of you? For example, do you want to change your habit of daydreaming that you’re a big Hollywood star because you feel it's foolish? There is nothing foolish about living a healthy internal world of dreaming and musing and play. Dream until you’re 95 about it! Honor your daydreams or any other habit you’d like to label as silly, impractical or a waste of time. Don’t change yourself into misery.

I hope you use these four pillars of True Change to go out there and expand, live and create a better world for you and everybody! I’d love to hear about your aspirations for True Change. Comment below!

Happy New Year—the Best is Yet to Come!
 

photo credit: Leon Civale

Posted on February 5, 2015 and filed under Uncategorized.