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Posts Tagged ‘direction’

Are you comfortable?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

What are the situations and areas you feel comfortable in?

If you ever watched The Simpsons, you know that Homer loves sitting on his couch, wriggling into the “grooves” that have never failed to support him.

Feeling comfortable is a great thing and something we naturally strive for. However, there is also the other side of that coin. Staying with what you already know, can hold you back from growing or challenging yourself. From doing things differently. From trying something that you don’t know yet.

Think of something you would like to change in your life. It can be something really small. Do you put yourself out there, do you step out of your comfort zone? Or do you stay where it feels comfortable for you?

Doing something new is about taking a risk. However small, it often comes with that nagging feeling of unease. Though, if you never try, how will you be able to change anything?

Ask yourself:
Where do I comfortably sink into? Am I ok with that?
Would I be willing to stretch my comfort zone?
What would be different if I would step out of my comfort zone?

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

John F. Kennedy

Image: Holy455

The power of small steps

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Small actions often seem to be the way out of situations that overwhelm us. This is my experience in working with people who find themselves in dark spaces or in the grip of a strong hold.

Sometimes you might think big gestures are the only way forward. However, when you feel overwhelmed, small actions are really your ticket to change.

Small steps only take a minimum of energy and are easier to maintain. When you are already overwhelmed could you imagine having to do something really big?
All those small changes that you create will spread out and build your path forward.

A daily practice. Integrate your small actions into your daily life. Not the one-off actions, but the things that you do every day are critical to moving forward.

Years ago, I learned to use my breath in order to reduce stress. Back then, I had days where I would wake up and didn’t know where to begin. Breathing only took a few minutes at a time and I practiced daily. Those few minutes a day seemed small and insignificant, but after a few weeks I saw improvements in how I handled stress. Now, using my breath is normal for me and it turned out it was only the beginning of making many small changes that helped me reducing my stress and move forward.

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You, too, can start taking a small step today.
Think of one thing what you would like to change or improve in your life.
Now write down the smallest action that you could take on a daily basis.
Start today and do it. Give yourself a couple of weeks and see what is happening.

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You might also want to read:
Recipe for change
Dream, Dare, Do
Simple ways to go beyond procrastination
3 Things to remember when you face change

A welcome mat for your fears

Friday, August 27th, 2010

august10_embrace-your-fear

It’s time to put the welcome mat out for your fears.

Can you think of a situation where you stopped doing what was making you afraid? The fear probably vanished. Though I am also quite confident that this fear came back when you where faced with the same or a similar situation.

There are so many reasons for us to be afraid of doing something different, new or unknown.

The fear of…
… being rejected, not being loved, being abandoned, failing, not being liked, not belonging, becoming anxious, slipping back into the darkness, saying something wrong, hurting someone, not doing enough, doing too much, not being good enough, the future…

Fear is just as part of us as is joy. How come you push it away and try to deny its existence. Still. Quietly you adjust behaviour and adapt aspects of your life to accommodate this fear.

What would it take to get to know what you don’t want to see. Don’t want to have in your life. I know it is difficult.

I also know, the less you spend time pushing fear out of your life the more you can focus on actually doing what it prevented you from all that time. Give it some space to explain itself. You will see fear will ask less and less attention from you.

You might also want to read:
Fairy tales, monsters and life
Conversations with my pink elephant
Ride that bike

Image: Claudio Matsuoka

Wherever you go, there you are

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

august10_wherever-you-go

Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “Wherever you go there you are” is one of those books I haven’t put back on the bookshelf after I finished reading it. From time to time I just re-read one of its short chapters. Sometimes as a reminder, inspiration or to regain some simplicity in my life.

Over the last few years I have gradually integrated mindfulness in my life. This practice helps me live my life fuller and more aware. It fosters my curiosity and opens a door to all my emotions, feelings, thoughts and visions in my life. The more mindful my way of living becomes the more freedom I feel I create wherein I can make choices and welcome changes.


I want to share with you a few things I have learned

1. Become aware of what is going on in your body and your mind.

2. Get in touch with the many aspects of your life. The dark faces, the pain, the fear, the happiness, the joyous moments, habits, assumptions, judgements, struggles, your beliefs.

3. Acknowledge that what is happening is happening.

4. The more you practice mindfulness the more you will see things clearly and you will be able to position yourself differently in relationship to them.

5. Let go: Holding on to your struggles, your likes and dislikes, hold you back in discovering and expanding your possibilities. Allow things to be as they are for you to find your own way.

6. Find your moments of simplicity: Even in a life where you have to manage family, work, children, friends, etc.
Choose to do one thing at a time. Start with small things. Do them mindfully.

7. Stop what you are doing: From time to time, take time out to observe what you see, hear, feel, what is happening around you.

8. Ask yourself “Where is my mind right now?” Do this a few times a day. You will be surprised how often your mind is not here, but visiting other places.

“You can’t stop the waves but you can learn to surf”

Swami Satchitananda in “Wherever you go there you are”

You might also want to read:
Video: Mindfulness with Jon-Kabatt ZInn

Waiting for …

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

waiting-for

What are you waiting for? For the train to arrive, the dentist to call your name or for things to change so that you can move on.

Do you know that feeling as if you are in a waiting room not knowing what to do, or what decisions to make? No doors or too many doors. In both cases you are in there and don’t go forward, backward or sideward. You are stuck.

When you find yourself in a state of inertia it is often accompanied by low energy and a feeling of being overwhelmed.

For example, you might wish to feel better, to be happier, but don’t know where to start. All seems to be too difficult. “Being happier” is a big and abstract idea that is difficult to grasp.

It is much easier to ask yourself, what are the small things that make you feel better on a daily basis. For one person, it might be going for a walk, for someone else it is meeting a friend. I am sure you can come up with many small things for yourself.

Break down something that is too big, too abstract into small and specific actions. When you do that, you can get yourself out of the waiting room. Because all you have to do is do one small and simple action. You get yourself moving.

One small action, that is all you have to start with.

“Nothing will be attempted if all possible obstacles must first be removed”

Samuel Johnson

You might also want to read:
3 Things to remember when you face change
Dream, Dare, Do

Image: Some rights reserved by Unhindered by Talent
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