4 Ways to Let Go of Your Past Mistakes

Coming to the close of a year is sometimes difficult for people.  Looking back over the year might bring regrets, or worry.  There could be lists of things you haven’t accomplished yet, or things you really wanted to do.  But the truth is, none of that matters except for the present moment.  I know.  It’s shocking.  All that worry for nothing.

We can’t go back and change anything.  Not a damn thing.  All we can do is move forward. 

Each year, I get a shiny new journal and I am ready to start my new goals.  I never say resolutions…nope.  My goals are constantly changing.  My past cannot change.  It really is what it is no matter what.

So how can I move forward even if I know I have made some mistakes or didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to?  Here are a few pointers for you on doing just that.

Let Go of Your Past Mistakes:

  1. Decide to let it go at this very minute.  You have to consciously MAKE this decision in the present moment.  Write it down on a piece of paper, say it to yourself in the mirror, but do it.
  2. It’s okay to express your regret as long as you know your responsibility in the matter.  Take responsibility for what you put out there.
  3. Don’t be the victim.  Please, please, please stop placing blame.  I was talking to someone earlier who might be related to me and was in the same story yet again because blame was being placed everywhere else.  **Sigh**  Here are 3 Tips for Turning Pity into Self-care.  For later…not now.
  4. Learn to focus on the present through mindfulness.  Mindfulness is the here and now.  When we are not here, we are trapped in a story of our past or future worry.  The true way to move forward is with mindfulness.  It is really powerful.

How Can You Be Mindful?

  1. Practice Mindful Breathing by putting your hand on your belly and breathing into your hand feeling it rise and fall.  In your mind just mentally repeat I am breathing in, I am breathing out.  Feel the air expand and contract.
  2. Become aware of your body.  I notice when I am not present or grounded.  My husband will tell me this entire story and I will mumble along.  Ha.  Then he never learns to look at my eyes and see if I am “here”.  I make sure if it’s important I ask him to stop and look at me.  You are most powerful when you are present, but we all zone out.  Learn to be powerful in your conversations by making eye contact and making sure the other person is present as well.
  3. Do a brief body scan and notice where you are holding tension.  Mine is always my jaw.  Ugh.  I clench and I know it.  I try to relax it throughout the day and give myself a break from working to stand up and stretch.
  4. Forgive yourself and stay in the present.  Don’t beat yourself up if you float into the clouds or are trying to practice that breathing exercise, and start to zone out.  Just bring yourself back to the present moment over and over and over.  It is a work in progress that gets more powerful and easier to do the longer you stick with it.

When you learn to be more conscious, you can learn to let go.  When you let go, it opens up new doors to the future you are truly ready to create.  ~Aimee

conscious

What is your Sixth Sense?

For a very long time, we have thought there were little inklings of another sense out there that can only be described as your “Sixth Sense”.  Now, a researcher in the U.S. says he has discovered the ability to detect, in some subconscious way, Earth’s magnetic field.  <<< really cool, huh?

We already know some of us can see impossible colors, pick up on smells before others, and even “read” someone as soon as they walk into a room.

Researchers have been looking into this for a very long time and have even speculated that there was a protein in the human retina that aids in sensing the magnetic fields.  In any event, all this leads up to fun speculation on what your sixth sense would be, right?

Try this quiz and see what you get:

 

What Color is Your Aura?

First, what is an aura?

Since other people have described this way better than I could, I took an excerpt from MindBodyGreen:

The aura has long been described as an electromagnetic energy field that surrounds people—like an egg-shaped ball of energy that encompasses the body. The aura consists of seven levels/layers/auric bodies, also known as the physical, astral, lower, higher, spiritual, intuitional, and absolute planes.

Interesting…and confusing at the same time.  So I then looked up this super cute way to explain it from wikiHow. <<<  But hold on.  Before you read that explanation, take this super fun quiz and then see if it really feels spot on to you!


The aura is an energy field that surrounds humans and ALL living things. It’s believed that the aura reflects a person’s thoughts and feelings! Are you ready to find out the color of your aura?

Relax Into the Moment (try this tip)

Relax Into the Moment

By Leo Babauta  A guest post

You might be surprised how often we’re resisting life.

If you assess your body right now, I bet you can find some kind of tension or tightness. For me, it’s often in my chest, but sometimes it’s in my jaw, face, neck or shoulders.

Where does this tightness come from? We’re struggling against something — perhaps we’re irritated by someone, frustrated by something, stressed or overwhelmed by all we have to do, or just don’t like whatever it is we’re faced with. This causes a resistance, a hardening or tightening. Everyone does it, most of the day.

It’s normal, but it causes unhappiness, an aversion to the present moment, struggles with other people or ourselves, struggles with the task we’re faced with. What I’ve found useful is the idea of relaxing into the moment.

Try this:

  • Notice where the tension is in your body right now.
  • Notice what you’re tightening against — it might be someone else, or whatever it is you’re faced with.
  • Relax the tightness. Just let yourself melt.
  • Face the same situation, but with a relaxed, friendly attitude.

And repeat as often as you can remember, throughout the day. Just use the phrase “relax into the moment” to remind yourself.

What this does is helps us to face the day with less tension and greater contentment. We struggle less with how other people are, and instead might open our hearts to them and see that they, like us, are struggling and want to be happy.

We might face a task with less resistance, and instead do it with a smile. We might just notice the physical space around us and start to appreciate it for the unique gift that it is. And in the end, we’re changing our mode of being from one of struggle and resistance to one of peace and gratitude.

release

7 Ways to Spend Less Money and Have More.

Over the weekend, I tried to clear out my junk mail folder, but more e-mails kept appearing with things I needed that were on sale.  I am going to be honest, what I like to spend money on now is not necessarily more clutter, it is less.  I am buying very introspective gifts, and I am loving it.

I am doing this because I have found in really thinking about the things I want more of, it’s not necessarily more items, it happens to be more of the feeling associated with the item.  Catch my drift?

Last year, I was worried about money.  Worry begets more worry.  This year, I am not worried about money, but I am learning to have a much better relationship with it…so it can last longer and perhaps do that thing in my bank account called multiply.  No matter where you are in your money journey, this lesson is for you.

7 Ways to Spend Less (and really have more):

  1. If money was no object, make a list of things you’d really want.  Seriously.  Now look at that list, and think about what you really need.  Go back and circle those items.  Of the ones circled is there a pattern you can identify?  Like clothes?  Food?  Things to keep you warm?  Do you have lots of things on your list that are far-fetched or is there a feeling behind them that you are trying to reproduce?  Write down the feeling if the word comes to you.  Just let it sit there and marinate for a while.
  2. Look around your house.  What is truly enough for you? Do you have plenty of food in the refrigerator?  Do you have plenty of clothes?  I read the other day that we, in the United States, have so many clothes donated that yearly clothes are being thrown away in landfills…and they don’t magically go away.  It’s not like they are biodegradable.  I know that I am a clothes hoarder, so I listened to what it said about maybe just buying the higher quality items that last a while longer instead of the cheaply made things.  I also thought about all the ways you can reuse items.  If you are crafty, you know those pins where you magically turn your shirt into a vest or a scarf?  I love those ideas in theory, but I am just sticking to buying less.
  3. Save the dough.  There are a few theories about paying for things in cash.  I personally have been paying off credit cards, and trying to get my husband on board with this no credit card thing.  Sadly, he isn’t as on board with this idea, so I make him turn around and pay it right off.  He never looked at the interest really…he was a minimum monthly payment guy.  I said look, there is no point in couponing the heck out of everything when you can save money just by actually using cash.  Seriously.  I mean if you have mad couponing skills, go ahead with your bad self.  I am lucky if they take the one off the package that I buy specifically because it had that coupon attached.  And that’s okay.  Don’t feel guilty, just shop smarter on big purchases if you can.
  4. Bargain hunt…your gyms, yoga, exercise classes.  I admit that it’s probably easier to stay at one place, but how often do you buy a contract for ohhh say $60 a month and not go?  I stopped doing that after I realized I was wasting money.  I even stopped my $10 gym contract.  I now only buy what I need.  Groupon for a month on my local yoga studio is half the price.  Special offers, I will take that.  New people get a week free, oh sign me up.  But the best kept secret is the places that offer 10 class passes as they are cheaper and you are sure to use the number of classes.  Read all the fine print and the expiration date.  Let’s be honest.  In January you are going to think you “need” to join a gym.  Ask for a 10 pack of classes somewhere for your Christmas gift or birthday.  Also, ask for your friend to ask for the same thing so you have an accountability partner.
  5. Create mostly free night outs with your friends.  Do you like to journal, color, or just chat after a long week over some wine?  Well, invite everyone to your house and make it half the price as going out.  Likewise, get your friends in on the deal.  It really can be a nice way to spend time without paying lots of money.  Set up monthly rotations if you want to, but it really does save money!
  6. Circle back around to your list from up top.  Identify where you spend money to feel better.  I used to shop mindlessly because new clothes made me feel better.  Now, I buy a few online courses for around $10 and work on quiet practices.  I buy my friends books off of Kindle when they go for sale for like .99 cents.  If I am feeling restless, I head out the door on a walk or I do yoga outside or at a studio.  I have identified the problems that were making me want to spend money on things I didn’t need.  One of the first things I notice is have I been on the computer too much?  Why is this a problem?  That brings me to my last point.
  7. You are enough.  Your friend is posting about her new car, clothes, expensive bag, trip, hat <<< whatever.  What feelings rise to the surface as soon as you see it?  Observe these feelings for a minute and then be happy for your friend, but know that you are enough.  You have enough.  There is no one out there like you, and that is true.  Comparison, in my opinion, is the root of many woes.  We see the glossy surface of the person…the trips…the selfies they upload every single day, but in reality, it tells you nothing about what is going on underneath it all.  It is just the highs and trust me, everyone equally has their fair share of lows.

In the end, you know that money doesn’t truly make you happy…okay, fine.  It does help.  However, paying it forward to someone in need, donating gently used clothes to a family, collecting food, donating your time to the soup kitchens and making the homeless blessing bags.

Let Alone

6 Practices You Need to Start (Even through grief).

As we go forth with our lives, there are lists and lists of “Things we must do”.  Most of the time, the things we must do, are the things that honestly pay the bills.  We all are very aware of that.  But what if the things that don’t seem to make any difference at all, are really the things that make the most difference to our lives after all?

Just bear with me a minute.  This weekend I attended the service of a friend who quite simply, is gone too soon.  To say that it came as a shock to everyone who loves him, is an understatement.  Note I did not use past tense on the word love.  As we shared stories about our friend, I thought of all the wonderful things people were saying and I thought this.  This is how you want to be remembered.

The practices that you enact in your life daily, that might just seem to be part of your nature, are really what is shaping the whole of your life.  As I pondered the life of my friend, I thought back over his modesty, his great big bear hugs, and the genuine warmth I felt from not only him, but his whole family.  What did he do differently that seemed to make us all so connected?  How can I honor him?

I can enact these 6 core principles in my life and repeat these acts daily.

6 Practices to Start:

1. Smile to release endorphins…the biochemist, Sondra Barrett, says that when you let go of tension, an outcome that can be achieved through smiling, your cells let go of their rigidness.  I have a ginormous smile, but I also can go from happy to sad in a matter of seconds.  I prefer happy as sad takes me a very long time to shake off, but it is important not to block your feelings…or feel bad about being able to smile through sadness.

2. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones…using a journal, list the negative thoughts that immediately come to mind.  Notice when you begin having them and begin to replace them with positive thoughts.  Find the connection to the root cause through this helpful article.  Finding the positive through pain has been my life’s work, so feel free to use the search button on the blog for “positive thoughts”.

3. Practice gratitude…as we celebrated the life of my friend, he gave the pastor who came to visit him a word of thanks and a thumbs up.  I am going to use that mental thumbs up to practice gratitude as much as I can even in the most difficult of situations as this one surely is.  I asked my private gratitude group to share with me some thoughts about finding ways to be grateful even through loss, and they showed me there truly is a way.  As they mentioned grandmothers, sisters, husbands, and children they have lost, they are still able to work through their collective pain, and for that, there is a quiet sense of hope as we know our loved ones are here with us through this process.  Gratitude is truly a healing practice.

4. Laugh with friends.  As we shared stories and laughter, for a minute I thought my heart was going to burst.  How can we share laughter through pain?  I can tell you this my friends, it is quite simply the only thing that kept me sane through the years of invisible diseases and pain I experienced myself.  Why do we need to laugh?  More than just brightening up your day, sharing a good laugh can actually improve your health. The sound of laughter draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, strengthen your immune system, and diminish pain. As children, we used to laugh hundreds of times a day, but as adults life tends to be more serious and laughter more infrequent. By seeking out more opportunities for humor and laughter, though, you can improve your emotional health, strengthen your relationships, find greater happiness—and even add years to your life.  Read more on this at Laughter is The Best Medicine.

5. Express your love.  So it’s no secret that brain research always makes me happy…as if I needed to know the reasons behind everything.  So when you bond with someone, oxytocin plays a big part in that.  The brain signals can actually be helped by a hug or a touch…so my friend was always connecting to others with his big hugs.  Continue on with the expression of love and connection to others…try not to hermit.  << this is coming from someone who hermits, but knows that it is important not to shut down during loss.

6. Don’t stop dreaming about the future.  So I can tell you from experience that loss makes the time stand still.  It is almost like a scene from the Matrix.  But knowing my friends and family, we have to keep moving.  That thing you wanted to do?  Go do it.  Time waits for no one.  My girlfriend who is battling cancer for the second time, her hashtag is #wedontwait and it has shown me so much the past few years.  We can stay in this spot for but a moment, and then we have to move forward.  I love and appreciate all the gifts that pain has taught me, but I think these 6 gifts are the hardest of all to remember through pain.  I hope this has helped you in some small way today.

6 practices

Ways to Spread Kindness Around.

Don’t let the headlines fool you friends.  Kindness exists out there in the world just waiting for you to start the ripples.  I have been a passionate supporter of kindness for many years, but even I drop the ball.

I was going through the archives here, that is the button on the side of the blog that lets you pull up past months, and I found in November I usually give you guys lots of ideas on how to spread kindness.

What exactly is kindness?

Kindness is the spirit of being friendly, generous and considerate.

Can I show kindness even if I don’t like people?

Yes you can.  Even if you prefer not to talk to others, there are many ways you can practice just being kind in everyday life and see what happens; however, is you don’t really like going out or even interacting with others verbally, I still have some idea for you to try.

What do you mean by “ripple effect”?

The results of your effort or action will ripple out and continue on long after you have done your good deed or kind action.

Okay, I am willing to try it.  How do I get involved?

  1. Operation Gratitude would love to have your help.  They actually like to include at least 5 letters in these care packages that they send to deployed troops, new recruits and Veterans.  They have been told these hand written letters of thanks, kindness and love are some of the most treasured items that the people who receive them get.
  2. I really like the above idea ^^^, but I want to send letters to someone who is really down in the dumps.  In fact, I want to nominate someone to get letters!  <<< yes.  That’s a great idea.  How do I do that?  This site is really amazing and they read through the nominations and pick several to post for a 2 week period.  So keep checking back on the site or write to someone who has been nominated already.  The World Needs More Love Letters.
  3. Scan your day for 3 small things you have done to help someone else.  Quite simply, smile at strangers, hold the door for someone, or say thank you by looking someone directly in the eye.  Ask them how their day is, and mean it when you listen.  You might be the only one to ask them that today.  It can be the difference in something thinking no one notices them, to someone realizing they are worthy of notice.
  4. Give a “Shout Out” to one new person daily.  On social media, through e-mail, or a hand written note on a desk without your name if you prefer.  Tell them they are doing a good job and you notice their efforts at x.  If you see a co-worker do something good when no one was looking, surprise them with a coffee or a gift card the next day.  It really does create ripples.
  5. Pay attention to your mind, what you are sharing and what you are promoting out there.  Do NOT mindlessly promote what you hate.  Promote what you love.  It really can be that simple my friends.

kind

Getting to the Root of What’s Bothering You

There’s something just under the surface that you can’t figure out.  You feel very close to making a break through with yourself, but each time you are almost there, another wave crashes over you and threatens to pull you down with it.  You feel alone, but the fact is, you aren’t.

Over the years, I realized what had to happen in order for me to get over a feeling that felt “stuck”.  I actually had to give it a bit of attention and figure out where it was coming from.  It’s uncomfortable as hell, but the fact is, if you ignore it, it will get worse.

Right now, as you are reading this, do a brief inventory on your feelings.  What made you stop and read this?  What feeling is there just below the surface?  As I was writing this, I was happy and content to help others, but now, as I am exploring the feelings someone else might be feeling right this minute, I am anxious.  How do I move forward and really help people get “unstuck” and move forward?

Self-check in time.  Are you running away from your feelings?

If the answer is yes, why? Are you afraid you will reveal too much emotion by facing what is bothering you?  What is the worst thing that can happen?  Sadness?  Tears?  Anger?  Or regret << bingo.  It might be this one that gets stuck.

How to get to the root of the emotion:

  1. Name the feeling and give yourself back the power.  I remember the first time I told someone the root of their problems was ultimately depression.  Depression is a serious thing, but once addressed, we can really get down to business and dissect that bad boy.  It no longer has the power of hiding out in the darkness waiting to overtake you.  You see it coming and you are ready to face it.  Do not freak out over that word.  It is just a word, but if you don’t face it, it can and will destroy your life.
  2. Write about it.  You aren’t a writer.  Heard that before.  You don’t have time.  Avoiding it still.  I have worked with clients who tell me all of this.  I am not a counselor, merely a wellness coach using her gifts to assist others into stepping into the life that was truly meant for them.  Write down every single thought for 5 minutes.  Set a timer.  Then close it.  The next day, re-read it.  Look for a pattern.  A word that emerges.  If you don’t clearly see it, do it again.  Write a stream of thought for 5 minutes.  Is there one word that pops out and your gut says that is part of the problem?  The next day, begin with that word.  Explore it and see what is under it all.
  3. Talk about it with a friend or counselor.  Do the work first as named above, and when you have really explored it, especially if it persisting sadness, do seek professional help.  Private message a friend and ask if they have the name of a counselor.  It is okay to not be okay…but you can’t stay in that place for the rest of your life.  It is not healthy for you and you deserve so much better my friend.
  4. Be mindful of the present moment…constantly.  I watched this inspiring story about a guy who lived after jumping off the Golden Gate bridge.  You might have heard about him, and his story.  He said the second he let go, there was instant regret.  He prayed to be saved, and he was.  One thing he does now is constantly take back control from the “what ifs” and the past thoughts.  He made people realize they have to be honest about their pain.  Here is his post.  It gave me chills to know that this is what he was called to do.  I hope this story as well as these tips help bring a little bit of comfort to your day my friends.

Hope

3 Key Tips to Moving Forward

Have you ever tried something new, but you really didn’t want to?  Think about that experience for a minute.  Well, I love the quote from C.S. Lewis that says:

Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.

It’s time to cross the monkey bars my friends.

I will never forget when I left teaching.  I thought I was slightly mad myself…but I knew in my gut that it was the only way to heal and move forward into what my life was supposed to look like.  I didn’t necessarily know where I was going, but I did it anyway.

As I designed my life around the concept of moving forward, I saw flashes of signs telling me that I was, and still am, on the right path…to go forward without looking back.

Where toI knew that creating a program to heal myself was going to take time…and armed with the knowledge that I didn’t necessarily have all the right answers at that particular moment, I moved forward.

I completed yoga teacher training and went from not being able to move, seriously, almost at all, to moving again.  I finished a sports nutrition course with almost a perfect score on the 100 question exam.  I made myself eat things like parsnip chips <<< that I actually made myself.  All because I kept moving forward.

Throughout it all the 3 key thoughts were as follows.

  1. Wake up with thoughts of gratitude on your mind…no matter how much pain you are in.  This one took me a whole year to work on, and I constantly realigned myself to thoughts of “thank you” as I woke up.  I had to change my thoughts away from the physical pain I was experiencing in order to get away from it.  I know this sounds odd, but try it.  It is necessary to surround yourself with the thoughts you want in your life.  The things you want to wake up to.  I wanted to wake up to thoughts of gratitude that one day, and mind you I had no idea how this would turn out, that one day, I would wake up without thinking about pain first.
  2. Faith.  I was really upset the day someone doubted my faith.  I was allowed to be mad, have bad days, have days I wanted to scream and shout, and ask “why me?”  I was not allowed to stop believing that I could do it.  That I could actually accomplish what I wanted.  We all make mistakes, but it was faith that kept whispering loud and clear, keep going.  It will happen.  I did have to remove the negative people from my life who didn’t support me on this belief…they simply couldn’t grasp that I was not watering their doubts.  I had my own grass to look too.
  3. Vision.  I visualized what the future would look like and stayed away from dwelling on what ifs.  I didn’t have time to look back.  I kept moving by creating vision boards, don’t laugh they work, and vision word boards.  I have one in front of me right this minute.  I was a teacher, remember?  So I took the top 5 words I wanted to embody daily, blew them up really BIG and put them on tag board behind my computer.  Up top so as I am typing, I look up to those words.  If I drift off course, I look back to those.  Am I creating something that is keeping me aligned to my purpose?  Yes.  Okay then, I can keep working on it.  Am I drifting again?  Stop working on that or putting energy into that thought.

These are the keys to my life right now.  I still use all 3 daily and practice keeping myself only looking to where I want to go.  If you are tempted by comparing yourself to others, stop.  That is their stuff, not yours.

Letting go

Save

Save

Tips for Navigating Uncertainty

What is within your power right this very minute?  I will start off with how you navigate the waters of uncertainty.  How is within your power.  <<< Okay, so we go from there.  When we live from uncertainty, we focus on factors outside our control which creates panic and anxiety inside of us.  In order to calm this down, we have to take small steps.

Uncertainty often leads to wild speculation…and many of those things never come true.  What ifs can spiral out of control if allowed to roam free. 

Repeatedly ask yourself what you can do in the moment…not what others can do.  If you were rowing a boat with a bunch of people, and you were rowing the opposite way, would it help?  <<< now hold on before you go anywhere with this.  If everyone wanted to go their own way, would the ship get anywhere at all?  No.  Just pause and think for a minute before wildly rowing the opposite direction and spending all that effort to stay still.

Navigate Uncertainty with These Tips:

  1. Do you recall a time in your life when something was thought to be really bad in your head, but it actually turned out to be okay?  I do.  Quite recently in fact.  I have no idea why I went from A to Z in my head, but I did.  It must have reflected some deep fears for my friends at the time who were going through something similar.  I think I felt powerless to help them.  If you feel this way in your life about something, what is your go to routine?  Do you pray?  Meditate?  Seek comfort of friends?  Journal, reflect on what the deepest fear of the situation really is, and reflect on your anchors to life, love, peace and gratitude
  2. As difficult as it is, listen to the expressions of other people who might be in the same boat with you.  Whether they are rowing the way you want or not.  Try to reflect on their underlying feelings.  What is it they are really afraid of with this uncertainty?  Don’t minimize them.  This part is needed.  They are only human after all and human have feelings that are different from yours.
  3. Life is not certain ever.  I know this one is hard, but really think about how far you’ve come.  Can you do something to lift someone else up?  Can you go out and hug a stranger who looks sad or who you overhear speaking with fear?  Can you pay it forward in line behind you?  Create a desired outcome that you wish to have in your life.  Love.  Hope.  Feeling supported.
  4. Be okay, with not having all the answers, but be willing to explore imperfect fixes to the problem right now.  How often does the perfect solution appear the first time around?  Probably not likely.  Consider something being a bridge, a learning curve, or even a lesson.  Sometimes life gives us what we didn’t ask for or want in order to help us focus on what we need in our lives.

This post is dedicated to my readers, friends, and anyone who is feeling afraid right now.  Your feelings are heard and seen.  We are all navigating the waters as best we can, so let’s go forth and spread some love to one another starting right now.  That is an action we can take all on our own.  Organize a free hug event, volunteer at the food bank, or find some sort of opportunity you didn’t know existed.  You can even create your own spread love movement.  You have more power than you know, so use it in a good way my friends.

uncertaintySpeak to you soon in my newsletter.  ~Aimee