Category Archives: motivation

Change With Just A Word

In our recent class, “Harnessing The Power of Energy Healing”, we talked a bit about Dr. Emoto and his water experiments. Many of you are probably familiar with his work. He has studied the effects of words, music and prayer on the formation of crystals in water. His work is truly fascinating and you can’t help but pause and think that if just taping the word “Hate” to a glass of water can cause all kinds of weird, irregular and ugly changes to its molecular structure what will thinking hateful and bitter thoughts do to my own body which is somewhere around 80% water.  Conversely, water with words such as “Love” and “Joy” support the formation of beautiful and symmetrical crystals. How must those types of thoughts and actions affect our health?

After the class I was speaking with a woman who was working to find a way to synthesize all of the information we had presented. How could she apply this to her daily life? I suggested that she take a page out of Dr. Emoto’s book and begin with a word. I have done this myself and found it to be an effortless way to create change in a stuck situation. What you do is when you find yourself in a seemingly intractable situation and you cannot think of a way to get through it, just pick a word that matches what you would rather be feeling. For example, you are arguing with your kids again and feeling like they will never listen and respect your rules. Why not choose “Respect” or “Peace”. Maybe you are one of the millions, maybe even billions, of people who spend a lot of time feeling like there is not enough time and money for you to do or have what you want. Next time you catch yourself in that space, try repeating “Abundance” or “Plenty”. You don’t have to do anything more than that to begin to shift how you are feeling about the situation.

I am not sure how or why this works. I just know that it does. I have used it in my own life on countless occasions and it can change my mood almost instantly. Over time I often find that I have begun repeating the thoughts that drop me back to the original level of frustration, fear or sadness and that is okay. I just start repeating my word again until I feel the shift. I saw a cute quote recently that puts a fun spin on this idea,

Words Have Power.

That Is Why It Is Called

Spelling.

I invite you to try this next time you are feeling stuck in the quagmire of life. Then shoot me a comment and let me know how it went.

words are our most powerful form of magic


career dreams

I am in the process of creating and defining a career for myself that feels like the perfect fit for who I am. “Sounds great, how do you do that exactly?” You might be wondering.

I wish I knew! This is me, out here winging it!

winging it

Let me start with what I know I want:

  • The main focus of my work will be connecting people to each other  and themselves in a way that makes them feel more confident, comfortable, safe, and connected.
  • I will hold space for perfection, peace, and joy. I will hold space for all of this even when life looks like everything but.
  • I will use my intuition, training, common sense, and compassion to help you dust off your own inner compass. I will trust that inside of you are all the answers you need to be who you dream of being.
  • I want this career to grow because what I offer is what you want. It will grow because you will tell the people you love about the simple, easy and painless changes you have made that make you feel so different.

What I know I don’t want:

  • Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. where I blast every email I can get my hands on with a glut of promises about life transforming classes, books, formulas which cannot possibly be anything other than a hook into their fears designed to draw them in.
  • Hard work. To be clear, I want to work, a lot. If it is hard work like, “This is a real  struggle, but it will be worth it.” No Thanks.

This week I am beginning a women’s group called Journey Within. It is a four week class on Thursday nights from 7 to 8:30. We will be doing all kinds of talking, writing, drawing,  dreaming and connecting with each other. I am so looking forward to it. If you live in the Boston area you can join us in Reading (pg. 4). Love to see you!!

If you don’t live in the Boston area but think all of this sounds like something you might be interested in just shoot me an email. I am currently taking new clients.

heather@lifeandfriendship.com

 


Bravery In Believing

Is it  just me, or is it hard to have faith in people sometimes? So often I find myself writing some one off as being somehow unworthy of my faith in them because I question their judgement or motives. I can hear myself saying things like, “I wish they would make healthier choices, BUT they don’t have a very good track record.” Sometimes it sounds more like, “She is such a nice person really, BUT she just gets so nasty. I am not counting on her to change.” Sometimes I even go so far as trying to talk others into believing as I do. If a friend is saying how great someone is, I have felt somehow obligated to point out that person’s flaws. Am I trying to make myself look better, that may be part of it. But really I just cannot fathom how my friend could have such faith in this questionable character. I don’t want them to be duped.

This habit of mine has a definite air of arrogance. That some how I know what is best. When I catch these thoughts lately I recognize them for what they are and let them pass on by. I no longer feel the need to distance myself from someone to prove my own good judgement. I can extend my compassion to them, knowing that sometimes life is hard. Understanding that sometimes it doesn’t feel like you have any good choices available, so you just pick the one that seems the least bad or maybe the most fun.

The strange thing is, that the quality I probably admire most in others is the ability to see the good in everyone. This is a quality I really tend to in myself, hoping to help it grow and flourish. I just listened to a story on The Moth storytellers podcast by Ellie Lee about her father Ming Lee. She told how he opened a low cost grocery store in Boston’s Chinatown and grew the business to be almost a living member of the community. How when it burned down, several Chinese women were standing across the street crying because they felt they had lost their home. In Ellie’s attempts to learn more about her father’s life she would often ask him to tell her stories from the grocery store. One story he told was of trailing a 10 year old shoplifter around his store. The boy was blatantly stealing food and stuffing it into his backpack. At one point he even stopped and sat down in the aisle for a lunch break, chowing down on his stolen food right in the store.  Ming Lee approached the boy and asked him if he had enough to eat. The boy said, “Almost” and continued munching away. Then Ming started to work his magic!

He found that the boy’s parents were at work and that the boy had no food at home. Ming told the boy,  “When you take stuff, especially at a store, and you don’t pay for it. That’s stealing.” The boy started getting nervous and began angling for a way to escape. Ming continued, “In the future, if you don’t have any food at home. Please just come find me and ask me for whatever you need. If you ask I will give you whatever you want. Just don’t steal because stealing is wrong.” Ellie knew that her father must have enjoyed the times when the boy came in to the store. That was how he was. He saw the good and met people in that place inside of themselves.

What is a mistake really? A misstep. A decision you made that had a different outcome than you expected, maybe. Acting on the belief that things would go one way and having them go another. Isn’t that how we all learn best?

In other words, life.

I am slowly loosening my grip on the belief that if I can see the weakness or faults in others I can protect myself from harm. I am slowly starting to embrace the belief that life sometimes looks messy and there can be beauty in the mess.


Behind the Mask

Go ahead, take off your disguise and show the world your irresistible true self.

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are

when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved

and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed

and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world

but to unglove ourselves so that the door knob feels cold

and the car handle feels wet

and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being

soft and unrepeatable.”

                                                            –Mark Nepo, Book of Awakening

I heard this beautiful quote this morning on a podcast from Tara Brach. I promise you if you are feeling out of sorts for any reason just listening to her voice will make you feel better. If you focus on what she is actually saying… forget about it!

She says, “The less we’re identified with the hard ego coverings the more we can be touched by life.”

This is so fitting for what is happening for myself and so many people around me right now. As we think about giving up long-held beliefs about who we are or secrets we believe define us, it feels raw and scary. Like we are exposing ourselves to unnecessary pain and ridicule. The potential pay off is so huge. We grow stronger, not weaker by exposing our true selves.  Feeling loved and connected to others is the most basic of human needs and recognizing those flashes when you really feel it and express it, are the first step to figuring out how to live there.  I encourage you to find ways every day to be a little more real, a little more from the heart. Trust in the wisdom of the universe to take care of the rest.

I want to remind you of my offer for 2 free months of Life Script Editing with me. I have a few amazing “clients” who have signed up and would like to start a few more people in the beginning of November. Just in time for the Holidays- get ready to imagine less drama this year! Please email me at: heather@lifeandfriendship.com if you would like to sign up or get more information.


Keep it simple

Stay Awake. Remember to Listen. Breathe.

That’s it. Today I am trying to stay awake. When I come to and realize I have been caught up thinking about something that happened in the past or may happen in the future, I stop and get back to the moment at hand.

I am trying to listen. I can’t learn when I am talking, or when my mind is full of the buzzing chatter that drowns out the present and sends my mind spinning with what if’s and must do’s.

I am trying to breathe deeply and release all that I don’t need. Moving through fear, doubt, anger and anxiety is much more possible with a body and mind calmed by great big inhales and nice slow exhales.

I took a yoga class a few years ago in which I thought I would lose my mind. That was because for the full 90 minutes the instructor kept saying, “Innhhhhhhhhhhhayyyyyyyyyyyle…….Exxxxxxxhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhale.” The bizarre pronunciation and the nonstop repetition were beyond grating. I seriously thought I might have to jump her and toss her down the stairs. But, she was right. When you are in the middle of it you just need to really concentrate on those innhhhhhhhhayyyyyyles and exxxxxhhhhhhhhhhales!


Is your status quo worth maintaining?

“There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept responsibility for changing them.”                                 -Denis Waitley

 

I realized yesterday that I had changed. It was not anything seemingly earth shattering, but it has made me think. Let me start by saying that for a long time my mantra as I stomped around the house was, “I have to do everything myself.” This was accompanied by lots of loud sighing, mumbled curses and tons of self-pity. Let me paint the picture a bit.

I am the handy one in my house so I am automatically the fix it person when anything breaks. Outside of Cheez-Its and frozen pizza, I am the only one who cooks anything. I do the vast majority of the cleaning, household errands, and child related appointments. I could go on, but it’s really not the point. The point is that I alone was the person who had designed this life.

Before

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One day not so very long ago, I decided I didn’t want to play the martyr anymore. It wasn’t a decision I gave a lot of thought to. It was really just something I promised myself I would change and let it go at that. Well… a few weeks ago my husband cleaned out the garage while I relaxed and read a book. Somehow even though I am spending a lot less time cleaning the house is not much worse for wear. The topper was yesterday, while I sat at the computer and did my thing, a professional installer came and put on our new, top of the line and not some low-end piece of crap because what am I a Kennedy, storm door. I feel like a million bucks!

Like I said, it doesn’t seem monumental, but my perspective changed so much. I let go of being miserable and insisting on doing everything myself. Why did I hang on to that for so long? Why would I even choose to do it in the first place? I realized that, at some point in my life, I had decided this was how I could prove I was worth keeping around. What? It was so time for a rewrite.

What kind of crazy ideas have you cooked up? We all have them. I guess they are coping strategies  we put together to get us through our lives. Just like you wouldn’t  have thrown money into a typewriter business when the world had started buying computers, you are allowed to bail on a pattern of behaviors that do not make sense. It’s your life why not make it the way you want it!


Reasons or Results

“Stand up and walk out of your history.”  This is a quote I found somewhere from Dr Phil. I know a lot of people have very mixed feelings about the man and his television show. One thing you have to give him is that he know how to punch line an issue with laser like focus. He cuts through all of the noise about the “stories” that people are telling him and hits at the core of the problem.

I love this quote. To me it is a kick in the pants to stop believing I can’t do something just because I haven’t done it before. At some point you have to choose to hang on to the comfort of your story or choose to change your script. Reasons or results is something my dad used to say to me. How applicable that is in so many circumstances!

What a great challenge


How do teachers know what to teach?

I took a class with one of my favorite yoga teachers this morning.  She is so cheerful and just radiates happiness. Every class you take with her feels like she created it just for you. This morning’s class was very slow, holding the poses for a long time. This can be torture! It’s also one of the things I love most about yoga.  Being in a pose that feels like it could kill you and staying there. I no longer fantasize about being the most flexible or the strongest. I just breathe. Repeated exposure slowly makes you realize you can take this skill out into your real life.

I started thinking about great teachers I have had in my life. It seems like the really good ones understand that you can’t go from A to Z without working your way through the whole alphabet.  Getting lectured on something you’re not ready to hear is not going to do anybody any good. Additionally, just being given the answers is nowhere near the same as actually learning the lessons. Great teachers understand all of this. How is it that  a group of people can experience the same thing and yet each person takes away something different? This is what I thought of this morning, while I was intentionally breathing my way through heinously long Warrior Two’s. YOUR lesson is there for you all the time. The teacher most likely is in the form of some one or something you don’t want to deal with. The more you want to run from it the more you need to hear it. What is it today, right now that is staring you in the face. What are you sick of, pissed off about, or desperately missing right now in your life. Did someone say something to you and it just keeps going around and around in your mind. I’m just guessing, but that’s probably the direction you need to look to figure out what you need to figure out!


Unexpected Inspiration

I see so much positive in the people around me lately. I am not trying to say that I am the cause, I might just be more open to seeing it these days. I have this feeling that starting the conversation I have started within my circle of friends and in my seminars has gotten something rolling. All around me people seem to be starting new businesses, new jobs, “aha” moments abound. I am hearing new conversations about letting go of limiting beliefs and behaviors. How awesome is that?! I am a big believer that you hold magic inside and you are the only one who can decide to let it out. Go for it. Don’t hold yourself back for another minute.

What does that mean for you? Does that mean starting today you are walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or counting to 10 (or 100) before you yell at the kids. For me it means not beating myself up for not finishing the To Do List. I started those darn lists so I wouldn’t forget about important things, or things I wanted to work on if I ever got the time. These days those lists rules my life with an iron fist. I realized in the last few days that I am truly doing this to myself. It is not that the piece of paper with some words I have scribbled on it has some superhuman power to run my life. Uh, No! That’s me. Today I am taking a stand. Not against lists, but against giving away my precious happiness to errands, chores, fix it’s and appointments. Nothing in my life is more important than my happiness and being present for my family. Image

Here is a quote from the journals I made for the seminars which seems to fit today:

Have patience with everything

unresolved in your heart and try to

love the questions themselves…

Don’t search for the answers, which

could not be given to you now,

because you would not be able to

live them. And the point is,

to live everything. Live the question now.

Perhaps then, someday far out in the future,

you will gradually,

without even noticing it,

live your way into the answer.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

I wish for you a day full of patience and happiness!

If you are interested in the upcoming seminar please contact me. I would love to have a few more ladies come down and join the fun!


Vacation Week

This week was winter vacation for us in New England. It was great to have time to relax and hang out with the family.  The mess, noise, and constant interruptions didn’t ruffle my feathers the way they often do when everyone is home. I am hoping this means that my practice  being in the moment and staying grateful for  all my blessings is paying off. It could also mean my give a rip level has plummeted as I have been wrapped up thinking about starting the seminars tomorrow. Either way, it has been nice.

It has slowed down my writing considerably and I have struggled to come up with anything to blog about. I decided to honor my commitment to treat myself to least one yoga class per week and went this afternoon. As we were getting to the end of class I sent out a mental request to the universe for inspiration. As I lay there stretching, all sweaty and tired this old song called  Pictures of You by The Cure started playing:

I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you

That I almost believed they’re real.

I’ve been living so long with these pictures of you

That I almost believed that the pictures are all I can feel.

I’ll take it!

We hold on to images and ideas about ourselves and others believing they are real. We have believed in them for so long we no longer see that they are pictures we have created ourselves. My husband works in education so an education example comes to mind. Let’s say we follow a class of Eighth Grade students around for the day. That same group of kids will behave differently from class to class depending on the teacher. One teacher will have a poorly behaved classroom completely believing that this is an out of control group and there is nothing to be done about it. They show up to work every day knowing that this class is going to be trouble. As this same group enters the next classroom everything about them changes. They move quickly to their seats, get out their materials. They are attentive and engaged with their teacher. What’s different, of course, is that the teacher in the second example has a picture of the class as well-behaved. The second teacher  believes they are in charge and does not expect out of line behavior.  And so it is.

Lets get a little more personal. Your boss treats you like crap but other coworkers are respected. Your kids are mouthy with you but not with your spouse. Your spouse doesn’t respect your wishes, your finances are out of control, you can’t keep friends, you can’t find anyone decent to date, etc., etc. What are your beliefs about yourself and others that is making all of this show up in your life?

Start with something small and decide to change it, OR, start with something big and decide to change it. Either way you are getting momentum. Get the ball rolling and make yourself happier. Grab a friend and tell them you commit to jogging with them twice a week because you want to get in shape and hang out at the same time. Tell your kids if they wash their toothpaste out of the sink for the week you will take them out for ice cream because you are tired of cleaning their spit. Whatever it is that makes you happy, make it happen more often in your life. You deserve it! I know change can be scary and all of that, but isn’t it worth trying for more. Imagine the best picture possible and figure out how you are going to make it happen.

Bob Ross photo

Remember Bob Ross from PBS. He pictured a life teaching others how to paint and boy did it make him happy!

The next seminar in the Brighten Your Light Series is the Dress to be Your Best class on 3/11/12 from 3 to 6 pm.  If you feel you would like more information please contact me at heather@lifeandfriendship.com or call me at (781)367-5751. Also, the seminars will be at the Thompson Memorial Library at 33 Elm Street in North Woburn. Please do not confuse this with the main library in the center.


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