May all your dreams come true

 03408b60d6942626cdae99f067493261Where do you want to be in 2017? You probably have goals and desires that you want to fulfill. With a fresh new year ahead of you, you might make a list of resolutions or intentions, but have you stopped to think whether these dreams are what you really really want?

After all, it is possible that you will set an intention, and see your dream unfold, but you may still not be satisfied after you get what you think you want.  

There is something more, something deeper, that you may miss if you continue to just reach one material goal after another.

Just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz found out at the end of her journey, what she really wanted was inside of her all along. Everything you want, everything you are going for, is already here. It is your point of view, your perception, that needs to change. So if you change the way you think about what you want, you may find that you already have it or that you don’t really want it at all.

Changing your mind is easier said than done, but it will happen if you go within.  Pay attention to sychronicities. Pray. Consider what your subconscious is trying to tell you by remembering the dreams you have while sleeping. And most importantly, meditate.

We want to wish everyone a joyous and meaningful 2017. May you all align with your true desires by going within.

Release Your Essence, Boost Your Performance

mudderOn October 8, 2016, I ran my first Tough Mudder with my friend Cynthia ( a Legionnaire 3X Tough Mudder participant). Due to my fitness level, I hadn’t seriously exercised since I had my third child. I knew that there were going to be a lot of obstacles, especially the ones that require upper body strength, and that I would have to skip those. The distance also worried me. Ten miles is a half marathon and I am not trained for it. I went back to running two to four miles per week in the past few months but not regularly to the point that I can pretend to be trained.

So I’ve been there for the past two months –because it was getting close–thinking, anticipating about where I can fit my training into my busy schedule. The day of the race arrived and I hadn’t done much, probably because I know the most powerful way to get through this. It is what I teach and practice most daily: mindfulness, connecting with the space within yourself where your energy consciousness lies, your essence, and anchoring yourself in the present moment. Plus my unwavering faith that I would do fine.

When you are in that state, you just go with the flow and that is the key to highest performance. Your body has already learned the movement with training.  The brain delivers the messages to your muscles, the mechanics behind the motion and the feeling of gravity to apply the right amount of strength. I also knew that the body follows the mind. Just an example: when I set a goal of running six times around the track, I notice my body gets tired around four to five rounds because I am close to the end and I am starting to battle internally, talking myself into pushing and going a little bit longer. The same happens when I set a goal of running ten rounds.  Around eight times I get the same self talk.

For the Tough Mudder, I decided not to look how long the distance was–it varies from ten to twelve miles–and did not look at the obstacles. So when we registered and they handed us a map, I shoved it into my sport bag. I was not interested in knowing. I will be in the moment and go with the flow of what was coming. The race started and that is exactly what I did. Even in front of the obstacles, I did not think twice about how I was going to get over it. I just went, and grabbed the first hand coming my way, the first shoulder. I was getting this done!

To my amazement, I stayed in that state of mind for the duration of the event. What seemed like a two and a half  hour race was actually four hours. In that state of mind, time took on another meaning. I ran about seven out of ten miles and did twelve out of twenty obstacles, which exceeded by far my own expectations due to my level of fitness. At no point did I feel exhaustion or that I had to stop. I had my mind set on pulling through, one moment at a time.

It’s when I finally passed the finish line, that my body felt heavy again, tired and cold . That cold rinse off outside didn’t help much. The next shower was the best shower I ever had and the two slices of pizza afterward: heavenly. Mindfulness is the secret to high performance and exceeding expectations.

Are you successful?

jacket picMost people want to be successful, but what is success? For many, it is about the things they own, their personal status, or how much money they make.

The Definition of Success

Some measure success as if it should follow an upward path, and improve with each passing year. They see it as perhaps being in the right place financially for their age, or at least having the right title. They feel they should be at a certain level of affluence by a certain point in their lives. Others do not give much credence to the path, but rather see success as equated with assets.

How high on the ladder do you need to climb, or how much do you need to own to consider yourself a success?

We say that you don’t need to climb any ladder, and you don’t need to own a thing. The above definitions of success are flawed. Society has conditioned us to follow our egoic longings and so we continue to want more. When we are in the process of pursuing the American Dream, we do have some satisfaction, but a sense of dissatisfaction often emerges.

Success is Happiness

Instead of thinking about what it will take for you to be successful, think about this: When asked what people really want, they generally say they just want to be happy. They think that society’s definition of success will make them happy, but what they really want is to experience joy as much as possible. Make sense?

So success is feeling joy most of the time. While perhaps easier to attain than something outside of yourself, it does take some practice. To be happy, we have to train ourselves to think differently.

How to be Happy  

We have to unlearn some of society’s programming. But to do this, we only have to do two things. One, we must be grateful each day for what we do have, including the people in our lives.  Two, we must connect with our higher selves so that we become comfortable in that inner space and experience who we really are.  When we are satisfied with our choices, are appreciative of all we have, and are in touch with our true selves, we will move toward happiness and create a very successful life.

The Introvert Myth

imagesThe world wants us to believe that there are two kinds of people: introverts and extroverts. Introverts prefer alone time and extroverts thrive on social contact. But the truth is that humans are social creatures. We all need social contact. And as spiritual beings, we need quiet time, or time to connect with our higher selves.

Every individual is unique and each has different preferences. If you label yourself an introvert as an excuse not to connect with people, you may want to re-examine your thinking. Distancing can thrust you into periods of loneliness and deprive you of human contact that aids personal growth. Similarly, if you label yourself an extrovert and are never alone, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to get to know yourself.

Balance is key to any successful life. Some alone time. Some time with others.  But never feel pressured to shift the balance based on the advice of others or based on what you think you are supposed to do. Get in touch with your inner self, which provides all the guidance you will ever need.

Connecting With Your Inner Self

You meditate or do yoga. You may have a daily spiritual practice. Or maybe you do nothing to connect with your higher self, but have been meaning to do so. Here are some great ways to do just that!

cropped-IMG_0406beach2.jpg

Pay attention to thoughts and belief patterns

Do you think about the same things over and over again? Do you find yourself thinking that your thoughts are re-runs and they only make you angry or sad? These thoughts are attached to beliefs you learned somewhere along the way. Question every thought that goes through your head. Is it accurate? If not, lose that thought and replace it with an affirmation that will make you feel better.

Learn to be and create space

We are often busy and feel we must be doing something or we are wasting time. Well, meditation can help you create space. When you sit and become quiet, you get in touch with your higher self, and this helps to open your mind so you can let go of the angst and the chaos. Doing this clears the slate so you can begin to think more creatively and solve problems rather than letting them fester.

Ask why a situation presents itself

 Many life lessons are not easy experiences, but they can be rewarding when we get to the other side of them. People going through difficult experiences with loss or disappointment may become sad and do not look for the redeeming factors. So the next time something bad happens to you, ask what you are learning about yourself from the situation. How can you grow from the situation?

Go Inside

Connecting with your inner self, or becoming more spiritual, is about self knowledge. It is about questioning your life. It is about looking within and not looking back, because the answers to all of your problems are inside of you.