Real Acts Of Self Love

Real Acts Of Self Love

It's Valentine's Day tomorrow - a day that we celebrate love. I personally like to think of Valentine's as every day, but this is the day that society honors, so let's talk about love..... self-love. 

There's a ridiculous amount of info out there on learning to love yourself - so much that it can be overwhelming. In my coaching work, I'm a huge fan of action steps. We can read about something, and discuss it until we are blue in the face, but until we apply some action to it, not a whole lot seems to change right? 

I want to share some real acts of self-love that you can work on putting into action....and it's not ALL bubble baths & spa days. 

Here we go! 

1) Yes, bubble baths, spa days, lazy afternoons reading on the couch, taking yourself out on dates are all wonderful acts of self-love. Giving yourself the breaks you need when you need them (or better yet, before you feel like you NEED them) is a really really important part of self-love. Shower yourself with things that nourish you! Know what those things are. Schedule them on your calendar just as you would any other important thing in your life. Allow yourself pampering!

2) Create a habit of positive self-talk. How we talk to ourselves and about ourselves makes a huge difference in how we feel about ourselves, and we tend to be way too hard on ourselves. This habit takes practice. Do whatever you can to remind yourself - sticky notes, daily journaling - anything to keep this at the forefront of your mind. Tell the people closest to you that you are working on this and give them permission to call you out when they hear you putting yourself down. When the inner-bitch pipes up with something to say, engage the inner cheerleader and correct her with loving, positive, encouraging self-talk. Talk to yourself like anyone else you love. Keep practicing this! 

3) Create a life that you don't want to run away from. Yes, spa days & get-aways are amazing, but creating a life that we don't feel like we NEED to run away from on the weekend is key! What does this mean? Work on your list of things you have been procrastinating. Let go of toxic people that drain you. Make lifestyle decisions that eliminate stress. Develop habits that help you to cope with stress. Take charge of your finances. Practice forgiveness & letting go of grudges. Work to simplify your things and your life. Declutter your home & create calming spaces for you to spend your time. Take steps to manage your time well & let go of things that feel like too much for you. 

4) Physically take care of yourself. Create a bedtime routine so that you get yourself to bed and get enough sleep nightly. Create an exercise routine so that you feel physically strong & energetic. Create a meal prep routine so that you are nourishing yourself well even when you don't have time to cook every day. Make the appointments you need to make. Get the massages. Do the things. 

5) Do the work to value yourself & know your worth. Make a list of your best qualities -the things that you love about yourself & the things that those around you love & appreciate. Allow this list to grow! Stop comparing yourself to others (this might mean less time on social media?). Stop saying yes to people and things that you want to say no to so that you can spend your time & energy on what's important to you! KNOW that whatever is a priority for you is worth your time and energy. 

6) Do the work to continually grow. Feeling stagnant sucks. What are the things that you want to learn? The things that interest you? Take the classes, go to the workshops, read the books, join the groups, hire the coach, see the therapist, volunteer, explore & expand life for yourself in whatever ways you feel called to! 

Putting the above into action looks very different for everyone. I'd encourage you to read the above again, and now ask yourself if you were to work on just ONE of these things, which would make the biggest difference for you? How exactly can you put this into action? Make that action your valentines gift to yourself. You deserve it. 

Happy Heart Day!

Shelly

When Is The Best Time To Initiate Some Change?

When Is The Best Time To Initiate Some Change?

January 1st I start going to the gym 3 times a week!
January 1st I'm going to start meal prepping & eating healthier!
January 1st I'm going to start journaling every day to get more in touch with myself!
January 1st.....January 1st......January 1st....January 1st......

Sound familiar? 

While the start of a new year does lend some great energy towards feeling like it's a fresh start and a good time to start implementing some change, I think that there can be TOO much hype around it. The image above I saw online tends to be a common attitude shared as we inch our way into the new year, and lose steam on our intended ambitions. Honestly, January 1st isn't always the best time to implement big changes, as many people are exhausted from the busy holiday season, feeling physically crappy from eating too much sugar and drinking too much champagne, and yet....that date. There's so much pressure on that date! 

So when is the best time to initiate some change? 

RIGHT FREAKING NOW!


ANYTIME Is a good time to initiate change in your life! 
Whenever you are feeling inspired to do so! 
Whenever you are feeling the need for it! 
Whenever you are clear on what it is you want to change & how you can change it! 

I wanted to send this message out today because lately, I've witnessed a lot of comments & memes online similar to the one pictured above. I've had numerous conversations with clients & others in my life around the topic, and I think that it's extremely LIMITING to put such a big focus on January 1st! 

What if we broadened the focus to the whole year? 
The start of each month is a great opportunity to initiate some change!
The start of each week is a great opportunity to initiate some change!
The start of each day is a great opportunity to initiate some change!
The start of each hour or minute is a great opportunity to initiate some change!

RIGHT NOW is a great time to initiate some change. 

So, if you found yourself in the boat of making new years resolutions that fell short sometime last month, or fell short of creating the new year resolutions that you wanted to because you were more focused on the holiday season that you just didn't come up with them....I just want you to know that it's not too late.

Your January 1st can be any day that you choose it to be. It's entirely up to you! 

So, how was your January? Did you set intentions or resolutions & follow through? 
Do you need to readdress? Or address setting some intentions in the first place? 
Do you have clarity on what you really want to change or create? 
Equally as important, do you know exactly HOW to create these changes for yourself in a way that will work for you & your lifestyle? 

I'm SO curious and would LOVE to know your thoughts & experiences on this! 

Wishing you a fabulous & inspired rest of your week! 

Shelly

Even Van Gogh Was A Fan Of Baby Steps!

Even Van Gogh Was A Fan Of Baby Steps!

I came across the Van Gogh quote above recently, and it struck me. 

I work with clients to want to create big change in their life. Whether it's in their health & how they eat, in their social life, their career life, starting over in some way, or working to find balance, happiness, & fulfillment in all the areas of their life. 

It can feel easy to impulsively want to change everything up overnight - Start a new diet, quit your job, or dive right into whatever you want to change. 

While I admire the ambition and energy behind these acts - how often are they sustainable? How often have you started a new diet one fresh morning, and then continued eating healthy the rest of your live long days?!?! How often have you committed to working out 6 days a week starting tomorrow and had it stick? Decided you would keep a clean & organized house from here on out and it magically happened? Decided you're going to act in a self-loving way from now on, and it worked?

Desiring to do things in a different way that increases the quality of your life is a good thing! However, impulsively trying to make these things happen overnight generally is not sustainable. It doesn't stick, and then you once again you find yourself feeling like you've failed and end up having less trust in yourself in the next attempt. It can be a cycle that's not fun to partake in.....even though it starts with the best of intentions. 

This is why I'm a BIG fan of BABY steps towards creating the change you want.

Taking some time to really get clear on what you want to change or create and why is important to you is the first step. 

Choosing to act on the areas of your life that will make the biggest positive difference for you is essential. 

Once you know what you want to change or create, getting clear on the action steps is next. What are the actions you need to take to get there? 

If these steps feel too big, break them down into smaller steps. (baby steps) THEN START! 

Work on the small things - one at a time, every single day.

When you reach milestones, add more.
When you develop a new habit that becomes natural, add another one to work on. 

Rome was not built in a day.
Van Gogh did not create his masterpieces with just a few strokes of the paintbrush.
If you want to REALLY create change in your life in a way that is sustainable and you can carry with you throughout your life, taking one achievable step at a time, and REALLY getting it, learning from it, developing the habit, and then moving on to what is next is key!

This requires patience.
It requires dedication.
It requires wanting what you want, and knowing that you are worth it! 

Having support can be a great help in this process as well. If you find yourself feeling like you are running on a wheel, going through the same motions day after day, and your soul is screaming for you to jump out & start doing things differently, I'm here to help! I love drilling down to what's most important for my clients, and witnessing the change produced slowly and surely as they recreate themselves in a way that sticks! 

Wishing you an inspired week! 

10 ways to increase your energy!

10 ways to increase your energy!

In the depths of winter, it can feel harder to keep our energy levels up. It's dark early, it's cold outside, we might be eating heavier food, and not getting as much exercise, or sun.....

I thought I'd share some solid tips with you this week on keeping your energy levels high! And no, I'm not talking about upping your coffee intake!

There are a lot of simple lifestyle adjustments that can make a world of difference in how we feel and how much energy we have to tackle all we want to in our days! 

10 Ways to Increase Your Energy! 

1) Eliminate or reduce your caffeine intake. I know, I know - not what you wanted to hear. Understand that caffeine addiction is a cycle that keeps you hooked, it can make you crash harder than it picks you up, can cause dehydration, as well as mood swings. Allow your body a break where it's not dependent, and see how you can naturally maintain steady energy. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, try a more gentle version of caffeine, like green tea.

2) Drink more water! Most people are chronically dehydrated. Before you reach for caffeine, sugar, or snacks for energy, drink a big glass of water & wait a bit to see how you feel. And remember that caffeinated drinks can dehydrate you! 

3 )Eat (or drink) your greens! Dark leafy greens are chock-full of vital energy, full of vitamins & nutrients and great for improving circulation & uplifting your spirit & energy levels!

4) Use gentle sweets. If you have a sugar problem (ok, addiction), work on getting your sweet fix in more gentle ways with natural sugars like maple syrup, honey, & brown rice syrup. Eat more sweet root vegetables like roasted yams & carrots. Avoid the sugar crashes and all of the other negative health effects that processed sugar can have on your body

5) Get physical activity. If you regularly get exercise, winter can be a time when you tend to slack off. Pick it up a notch in these months to boost our energy! If you are not in the habit of working out, start small. Even 10 minutes a day, and work your way up! Moving your body is sure to pick your energy up. it can be hard to get yourself motivated when you don't have energy, but push through, knowing it's worth it! 

6) Get more sleep & rest. Know your body, and know how much sleep you need. If you are someone that needs 8 hours a night to really function well, figure out how to make that work. Maybe it means cutting a tv show out of your evening or making some other minor adjustment to your routine. Take time to rest & relax. Take cat naps, & set aside time for really relaxing. When you don't get enough rest & sleep, your body tends to look for energy in other places, and you'll be craving more food than you need as well as sugar and caffeine which can perpetuate the cycle.

7) Evaluate the amount of heavy, rich foods you eat. If you are eating a lot of meat, dairy, carbs, etc, play with your diet, and track how your energy is when you eat less heavy foods & more greens & vegetables. You'll notice a difference!

8) Make time to connect in the ways that fill you. Whether its a walk in the woods, meditation, creating art, dancing, or going to church. How do you connect to what's bigger than you? Make the time for it. It's important and lends a type of energy to us that we can't get anywhere else. 

9) Make time for yourself! What are the things that really light you up? The things that energize & excite you? Make time for them. Schedule them into your calendar! Make them a priority!

10) Let go of draining relationships. Yes, the one that popped into your mind when you read the first sentence. See if you can transform the relationships through communicating or setting boundaries, and if you can not, let go. You have much to do in the world, and your energy is precious! Don't allow someone else to drain it and deprive the world of your wonderfulness! 

There are 10 suggestions here. Which ones resonated with you the most? Which ones do you think would make the most difference for you?  Pick one or two to work on over the next week or so, and see what changes for you! 

Wishing you a fun & energetic rest of your week! 

Shelly

Want More Time Freedom?

Want More Time Freedom?

The above picture I took this past week at Woodard Bay, a favorite little local hike that I take regularly. I arrived at the water just as the sun was beginning to burn the fog away. I sat in awe of this beauty for quite a while. 

THESE are the things that I want time for in life. I wanted the time to linger in the moment that day, and I was able to. When I focus on being efficient in the daily "to-do's" I have much more time for these moments. If you read my newsletter last week, you know that this year I am working on developing a healthier relationship with time.

Today I want to share a favorite tool that can work wonders when it comes to being more efficient at work and the daily tasks in life so that you can create more time freedom for yourself to do the things that really bring joy for you!

Have you heard of Parkinson's Law? Wikipedia defines Parkinson's Law as:
 "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion"


What this means is that we take as much time is allowed to finish tasks. If we begin something with no end time in mind, it can take a hell of a lot longer to complete than if we do give ourselves an allotted time to complete. 

How can this be helpful? Well, take this blog post for instance. I could have sat down at my computer and spent a lot of time writing this post, picking out & plugging in the picture, proofing it, and posting it.. I like to write, so if I allowed myself, this could have taken me all afternoon. However, If I give myself a set time to complete it start to finish, I can do it, no problem. 

Giving yourself a specific set amount of time to finish things, keeps you on track with finishing tasks in a certain amount of time, allowing you more of your day to do other things! Time freedom! 

When I was in my early 20's and living in Minneapolis with a great roommate, we had this routine when it came time to clean the house. At that point in my life, we were much more concerned about having time to throw parties and going to see all the live music we could, that the house would reach the point where we could no longer ignore the dishes, and the messes, and how gross the neglected bathroom was becoming. We would wake up on a Saturday, fuel with some breakfast & coffee, and then we would give ourselves a certain amount of time to clean the house....an hour, 2 hours, 3 hours -  depending on how badly we let it get out of hand. We would crank some good fast music on the stereo, and start cleansing at opposite ends of the house working our way in. We would dance & clean furiously until the time was up. Was everything done perfectly in that time period? Nope. But it was done, it was fun doing it, and we now had the rest of our Saturday to do whatever we pleased. I had no idea how smart I was then! lol! 

There are so many things in life that we can apply this to, household tasks, work, errands, exercise, big projects & little projects. The more I use this tool, the easier it gets, the better I am at applying a correct amount of time, and the more time freedom I seem to have. 

This tool can also help people who tend to lean toward perfectionism. Do you want things perfect, or do you want them done? Trying to make things perfect can lead to spending way too much unnecessary time on projects that could instead be done so that you can get onto the things in life that are more important to you! 

Where in your life can you put this to use? How much more time freedom can you create for yourself by using utilizing this? 

 Let me know how it goes! 

Wishing you a beautiful rest of your week! 

My 2019 Focus

My 2019 Focus

Did you set some strong intentions for 2019?
Some goals? Aspirations?
A word of the year? A theme? 

I thought I would share with you a main focus of mine this year. We can learn a lot from each other.  I hope that by explaining my focus of the year for you here, that you will garner some nuggets of wisdom that will help you too! 

I usually love going out and celebrating on New Year's Eve, and this year, for a few reasons, I felt drawn to staying in that evening and doing the work of really setting my intentions for the new year. I had been brainstorming them for a while, and that evening I spent time writing them all down and plugging the appropriate actions into my planner. It felt really good. Somehow a bit more magical doing these, finishing up, and meditating around them as the clock brought us into 2019. 

I gave up on 'resolutions' years ago, but every year I DO set intentions, some goals, & focuses for the year, and every year I pick either a word or a phrase for the year. This year, I wanted the focus to be around building a healthier relationship with time. So, the phrase I chose for 2019 is "Making Time My Friend".

Why did I choose this? Well, I'm naturally kind of a busy-body. I have tendencies around making myself too busy & feeling too busy which makes it hard to really be in the moment, as well as hard to feel like I have enough time for the many things I enjoy and am not fitting into my days. Days & weeks seem to fly by sometimes.

I want to be able to slow down time a bit. 
I want to be able to be more present, rather than concerned about the next 5 things I'm doing. 
I want to be able to remain busy and active with the things I love in my life, while not feeling overwhelmed about them - truly enjoying them, and feeling like I have all the time in the world for them.
I want to feel good about the balance of how I spend my time at work, socially, alone, with hobbies, rest, etc. 

I'm ready to shift the scarcity mindset that I often indulge in around time to a full-time abundance mindset! 

So...this year, I am focusing on creating a healthier relationship with time. 

HOW? (Here's the juicy part that I'm guessing you can get some great benefit from!)


  • Here's the big one: Changing the language I use around time. Switching any scarcity language I am using to a language of abundance. How we talk about things, deeply affects how we feel about things. I'll stop myself from talking about being too busy. Rather than saying I don't have time for something, I'll say it's just not a priority right now. That's real. When people ask how I am, I will refrain from responding with "busy!". If I adopt more abundant time language, it will affect how I feel about my time. 

  • I will work to be more mindful and present in moments of my days, rather than rushing through some tasks and days. I'll work on this by deepening my meditation practice and setting the intention to do so daily. 

  • I will keep variety in the days of my life! Little things like taking a different route to the office, or stopping at a store I've been wanting to check out on the way home will help the days feel more memorable, and having more memorable days feels like I DO have more time to do the things that I enjoy in life. 

  • I will focus on getting the things done that are most important to me early in the day, ensuring that my priorities are taken care of so that I don't feel like I'm running out of time at the end of the day, and I'll feel more accomplished. 

  • I am making adjustments to my schedule to better suit my needs. 

  • I am planning appointments & sessions in a way caters to an efficient schedule for me, rather than automatically catering to what works better for others. 

  • I'm getting more organized with lists, and errands so that I'll do less running around. 

  • I'll leave more 'free time' in my schedule that is a specific time for me to do whatever I feel like doing.....leading to feeling more time freedom. 

  • I will let go of perfectionism when I'm leaning in that direction and allow myself to finish things in a timely manner, rather than spending too much time on wanting them to be perfect. 

  • I'll work in more focused blocks of time, eliminating distractions. This will lead to more things done in a shorter period of time, which will lead to more free time to do as I choose. 

  • I will start blocking out more time on my calendar for the things I feel like I haven't had time for. This is a way to make them a priority and reserve the time for them. (Ie: I just planned a short trip in March)

  • Whenever I find myself in a scarcity mindset around time, I'll use my mantra "time is my friend" and I'll take some time to meditate because taking time to meditate increases the amount of time I feel I have....every time. 

Any nuggets of wisdom in there for you? I sure hope so. This is something that I have been working on for a while, and I felt like it deserved a strong focus this year!

What are YOUR new year intentions? I'd love to hear from you!

Shelly

A New Years Gift From Me To You!   💜💙💚

A New Years Gift From Me To You! 💜💙💚

Happy New Year!

Now that the holiday festivities have simmered down.....have you taken time to really honor the last year of your life, and clearly set intentions for the new year? 

I have a gift for you today to help you in doing just that! 

Honoring the last year of your life is important. Why? Because we often don't give ourselves credit for all we have accomplished, and sometimes it doesn't even feel like we have accomplished much in the last year unless we really check in with ourselves and review. It can be easy to have the hard times and the things that we didn't follow through with in the forefront of our mind, rather than celebrating all of the goodness! All that we have accomplished.

All that we are grateful for.

All that we have learned.

All the fun we've had.

Taking this time is energizing and helps to keep us motivated in moving forward!

Clearly setting intentions for the new year is important too. Why? Because setting weak, unclear intentions for the new year generally never sticks. Taking some time to really dive into what you want to change, shift, or accomplish and writing these things down in detail along with a plan will help you to keep on track! 

Now, back to the gift that I've created for you! Simply click on the link below to download your New Year 2019 Review and Manifesto! This journaling worksheet I've created will guide you through a thoughtful review of your last year, as well as setting your clear intentions for 2019 in a way that you will actually follow through! 

Here it is: 2019 REVIEW & MANIFESTO

Simply download this PDF, print it out, curl up with something delicious to sip on, and give yourself an hour to work on it. This is some magical time to gift to yourself! 

Wishing you a beautiful new year, abundant in all that makes your heart sing! 

Shelly

PS - Feeling like you could succeed in manifesting all you want in 2019 with some support, rather than going it alone? Drop me a line and schedule a complimentary session with me. You'll likely gain a lot of clarity, and it's your chance to decide if continuing some work with me might be a great fit for you!

One more thing - if you are a woman local to the Olympia area, check out this Group Coaching Experience coming up soon, as well as the New Year New You Day long workshop being offered in a few weeks!

I'm Sharing a Powerful Personal Story With You Today......

I'm Sharing a Powerful Personal Story With You Today......

I want to share a powerful personal story with you today. 

The first time I worked with a life coach, I was in a place in my life where I felt totally stuck in a hamster wheel. I had a decent job I was great at, a cozy home, hobbies, friends, a garden.....all kinds of things that I was grateful for. However....I was restless as all get out. I felt like I was being called for more. I didn't know what. I just knew that I ached for something different...something more.  I knew that I needed to focus on myself & what my dreams were. I was tired of just going through the motions and running in the same wheel. 

After 6 months of working with a great coach, I had grown personally in big ways. I had started living my life differently, and while I can't say I knew exactly what my path was, I knew for sure is that I was very much ready for some really big change, a big break in my norm, and I had mustered up the courage to do something drastic. 

A few months later. I was giving away most of my possessions, and packing up what I was keeping into a mini RV I had purchased. At the start of 2012, I hit the road in my beloved RV (named Tortuga), with best friend (my dog Maliika), and everything I needed to hustle a small side business of making and selling handcrafted jewelry. I gave myself 2 years to live more on a whim than I ever had, to grow, to travel, to experience life outside of the wheel I had been running in, and I had the faith that my little jewelry business would provide what I needed for the time being. Hitting the road like this is something I always wanted to do in my 20's and never had the courage to! My late 30's would have to do.

I traveled. I worked hard vending my jewelry at art festivals and markets. I played hard. I spent quiet time in the forests and deserts of the west. I spent quality time with people that I love all over the country. I learned to slow down. And the biggest lesson of all....I learned to have faith that the universe always has my back so long as I was following my heart.  I grew personally in ways that I could not have otherwise. 

When I was approaching 2 years, I knew it was time to figure out what was next. Spending this time living so differently, really allowed me a fresh perspective and more clarity than I'd had when I was back running in my familiar wheel. I heard a loud intuitive whisper that told me I needed to follow the path of becoming a coach myself. I always knew that I was meant to return to working with people in a meaningful way, and now I felt clear on how. 

Fast forward 2 more years, and I had completed my Transformational Life Coaching Certification, as well as my Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Certification, and I launched my business! 

Since then, the people I have worked with as clients have amazed me....over and over again.
They amaze me with their courage and vulnerability, their tenacity and commitment, their willingness to be open to the process, and dive into the life-changing personal work that they have been craving. 
And mostly, they amaze me as I get to witness them reinvent themselves and create a life that they are so much healthier & happier in. 

Nothing in this world fills my heart more than the work I do with my clients. Really...nothing. 

THIS is why I do what I do.

I do this work.....
Because it fills me up.
Because I know that I was meant to hold the container for people to do their work. 
Because I know that having the support of a coach is a life-changing thing myself. 
Because I know that the clients I work with transform their lives to a much more fulfilling version.
Because I love to dive deep with my clients. 
Because I love to hold my clients up on their journey.
Because I love to provide my clients with the tools and support they need to succeed in creating a life that feels really freaking good for them. 
Because nothing makes me happier than being witness to beautiful, whole-hearted, human transformation. 

We don't have to do this life thing alone. In fact, we weren't meant to. 

Most of us are lucky enough to have the support of friends and family, and having the support of a life coach is a different thing. It's about having a relationship with someone in your life whose sole purpose is to hold you up, to hold your vision and your dream with you, to explore what you really want with you, to navigate the path with you, and to stand by your side as you achieve it. It's all about you, and let me tell you that it's powerful. 

If you are ready to have a personally powerful year, It would be my honor to support you in doing so. 
If you have that itch for something more, I'm here for you. 

Blessings, 

Shelly

What's Your Word Of The Year For 2019?

What's Your Word Of The Year For 2019?

2019 is RIGHT around the corner! 

This brings to mind lots of things...a fresh start, new years resolutions, new goals, new plans, new intentions. 

One thing I've loved doing over the last number of years is picking a word of the year!
(Okay, some years it has been a phrase! This year it was "what lights me up?")

Picking one word for the year can bring clarity and focus to what it is that you want to create in your life!

How to pick a word? Take a little time to reflect: 

What would you most like to set intentions or goals around in the new year? 
What word encompasses the kind of year that you wish to have?
What is one word that could act as a guidepost for what you want?
How would you like to grow? 
What would you like to improve? 
What could you focus on that would positively affect all the areas of your life? 

I invite you to take some time to really envision what you would like to bring into your life in the new year. 
What's a word that encompasses this for you? 

Here are some suggestions for you: 

  • Abundance

  • Patience

  • Gratitude

  • Empower

  • Fun

  • Mindfulness

  • Determination

  • Growth

  • Compassion

  • Communication

  • Ease

  • Purify

  • Simplify

  • Strength

  • Confidence

  • Worthiness

  • Self-Love

  • Connection

  • Spirituality

  • Success

Once you pick your word, there are a few things that you can do to help you follow through with carrying the power of this word throughout the year: 

1) Write about it. Why did you choose that word? What does it mean for you? What will focusing on this word bring for you? How exactly can you implement focusing on this word during the year? (example: if your word is gratitude, one action step could be keeping a gratitude journal or writing daily gratitude on social media.)

2) Speak it out! Tell your close friends & family about the word of the year that you picked and why it's important to you. They can help hold you accountable in keeping your focus with it throughout the year! 

3) Place reminders in places that you will see them. Get out some markers & doodle or print the word out and place them in places like on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, your planner, etc. You can change the background on your phone screen or computer screen. Just be sure that you have some reminders to help hold your intention. 

I'm still working on picking my word for 2019, but I can tell you that I'm feeling extra good about the turn of the year for some reason...anyone else? I'll surely let you know when I pick mine :)

I would love to hear what word you have picked and why! 

Wishing you a beautiful holiday season and a happy new year! 

Shelly

The ULTIMATE Holiday Gift!

The ULTIMATE Holiday Gift!

Are you feeling the extra-busyness of the season? 
Are you spending time finding just the right gifts for the people in your life?
Have a calendar full of extra events, shopping, parties, and get-togethers?

I wanted to take the opportunity today to send out a simple reminder.
We all know this, and it's something that I think is good to be reminded of this time of year.....

What is the ULTIMATE holiday gift?

The gift of your PRESENCE rather than your presents. 


Remember to be as present as possible in this busy season!

This month can go by in a blur if you allow it to...OR it can be a great time to really enjoy yourself, enjoy your family, enjoy your friends, enjoy all of the people around you and the spirit that this season can bring! I'm not talking about the hectic-paced, stress-inducing, shopping and junk food-focused spirit of the season...I'm talking about the quality time together, celebratory, pretty lights, tradition-filled, gifting spirit of the season! 

When you focus on being really present in the moments of this season, you'll find that it is an enormous gift to yourself, as well as everyone around you. 

Life almost always seems to be busy for most of us, so as we make extra time to gather together, breathe deeply, and bring yourself into the present moment as much as possible, really enjoying this quality time. 

Let go of trying to find the perfect gift for people, and focus on being fully PRESENT as the best gift of all. 

Some tips to help your efforts:  

1) Before entering a store, a holiday get-together, or having people over, take a moment to set a strong intention of being as present as you can. Just taking a few moments to set this intention quietly with yourself (or as a family!) can go a long way. 

2) To bring yourself fully present at any moment, take a few deep breaths. Focus on following that breathe as you deeply inhale and slowly exhale. Just this can do wonders. Want to get really present? Take another moment to bring your attention to each of your 5 senses, 1 at a time. Your sense of touch, taste, smell, hearing, & vision. How do the clothes feel on your skin? What can you taste? What do you smell? What can you hear? What can you see?
You can do this in just a minute or two and totally shift your level of presence in the moment.

3) At get-togethers that you are hosting, with your family, or somewhere that you have some influence on speaking up about it, make an agreement to put phones and devices away! (at least for meals or  a portion of the day) You could even go so far as to have a basket out to have everyone put their phones in for part of the day? At a minimum, vow to keep yours put away so that you are present. People may take notice, and follow suit! The best teachers teach by example you know! 

4) At your get-togethers: Play games, cook and clean up as a team, tell stories! Start conversations that really create connection such as what was everyone's favorite part of 2018? What is everyone most grateful for in 2018? What is everyone's new year resolutions or goals?

5) LET GO of wanting things to be perfect. It's a busy season. There are bound to be things that don't go quite as planned:  Gift projects that don't get finished, your recipe not turning out how you wanted it to, inclement weather creating travel difficulties, a family drama that creates some level of uncomfortable-ness....I could go on. It's just life. This is not the season to strive for perfection. (no season is, but especially this one) when things happen, be like a duck is with water, and let it roll off your back. 

6) When you are out and about in your community, driving, running errands, shopping, and what not....make an effort to be present and grateful in the moments so that you are not spending your time sitting in the extra traffic feeling frustrated. When you are out shopping, slow down just a bit, and be present with the people around you. Think of how much sweetness you could bring to the day of your community retail workers by being patient, present and conversational? (these people work their ass off during the season and deal with a lot of people all day that aren't always pleasant.) 

Keeping a focus on this can dramatically shift how much you and those around you really enjoy the holidays. Being mindful and present is a habit and one that can catch on quickly with a little focus. 

Wishing you a beautiful, fun, and fulfilling holiday season! 

Shelly

cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life.

cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life.

Cookie cutters are for cookies. Not your life. 

There's a growing trend in the personal growth realm that I seem to be pondering a lot lately. The trend I speak of is what I call cookie cutter programs. Whether it's diet, personal growth, business growth, fitness, etc. 

You are a human - not a cookie. (News flash! lol!) We are not all the same. We have different body chemistry, different past experiences, different emotional states, different belief systems, different mental states, different operating systems....we are all originals, and we are operating from our own way of being. What works for one person might not work for you. One persons nourishing food could be another person's poison. One persons path to healing may not be the right path for the next. One persons method of organization and productivity might make the next feel scattered. One persons operating system may not be compatible for the next. 

If you are reading this, I'm guessing you are someone that is interested in personal growth, wellness, and continually growing as a person in life. As you peruse books, websites, & online programs how often do you take in very specific 'cookie cutter' systems or ways of doing things?

It's wonderful how much access we have to so many different theories, programs, & personal growth information! It's a huge blessing. I share a lot of this kind of info myself in newsletters & blog posts.

The message I want to get across today is that it still is up to you to figure out what works for YOU personally. Take in all the info. Read the diet plan. Take the course. Read the book... AND - know that exactly what has worked for one person may not work the same way for you. As you are on your own personal journey, allow all of this information to be filtered by you. Try things out. Retain the things that work for you, and let go of the things that don't. Tweak the program. Understand that finding your own way is the only way that will really truly serve you the best. 

As I work with private clients, I sometimes find myself working with someone that wants me to tell them what to do. They want me to give them the road map, when I I don't have the roadmap to their life. I only have the map to mine. What I do in my work with clients is help them to create their own map. That includes suggestions, support, tools, and guidance, but in the end, my clients need to discover what the best path is for them, and when they do - wow - it's beautiful to witness! 

When I facilitate workshops on various topics (handling stress, self care, clean eating, time management, etc) my aim is always to present a lot of ideas & tools. Not every idea or tool is going to resonate with every participant, and I know this. I also know that at the workshops end, each person leaves with at least a few things that really resonate with them, that may work for their life, that works with how they personally operate, and that they can go home and explore implementing to see how they work for them. THAT is what I'm going for!

I know that you are not made from a cookie cutter. I know that you are a unique human different from every other human on the planet. My goal is to always supply useful information, tips, tools, and food for thought. What you do with it, is up to you. Disregard what doesn't resonate or doesn't work for you & your life, and hold onto what does. The more you explore personal growth & wellness in this way, the more you really get to know yourself, and the more you grow & create the life that feels just right for you. No one else can tell you exactly how you 'should' be doing life accurately. You are in charge of that! So I encourage you to explore & have fun with finding your own way. THIS is truly personal growth. 

Design a life for yourself that you love to live, on your own terms. 

Be your own guru. 

With love, 

Shelly

How to get the most benefit from your gratitude practice

How to get the most benefit from your gratitude practice

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I choose to honor this day by focusing on the name: Thanks-Giving. 

Today I want to talk with you about having a gratitude practice, the benefits of it, and creating a practice that actually produces the best of those benefits for you! 

The benefits of gratitude can be huge. It can support you socially in creating deeper & healthier relationships.  It can improve your immune system, sleep, and overall health. It can decrease stress & worry.  It can be personally growth giving in ways like improving self esteem & becoming more of an optimist. It can improve your emotional state - creating a happier, more resilient way of being.  It can even improve how you operate in your career. 

Over all - practicing gratitude can effectively increase your joy! Your over all level of happiness rises, which obviously effects all areas of your life positively. 

I want to tell you a quick story. Some years ago I was going through a rough patch in life. It was suggested to me to start a gratitude journal and write in it daily as a means to help pick me up. So I did. Once or twice a day I wrote down at least 3 things I was grateful for. About 30 days into the practice, I realized that most days I was just going through the motions. I was getting it done, just to get it done. I would search for things i was grateful for to write down, but I wasn't really creating the space to feel them. I knew that just writing a list wasn't really working well for me, so I switched it up. I took time each day to sit in gratitude. I took moments to meditate on it and 'feel it' rather than write it. This worked for me - and I started feeling the positive effects much more than when I was writing a list. It boosted how I felt daily, and it helped me to keep a positive attitude through a trying time. 

Why do I share this story? 
Well - The title today is how to get the MOST out of your gratitude practice. While many articles will suggest a specific practice that they think works best, what I want to suggest to you today, is to find your own way. What works best for one person, may not be the best solution for the next. You are unique, and only you can know what will be most effective for you. Regularly practicing gratitude does have amazing effects for everyone, and I encourage you to find the way that is most effective for you! 

Below is a list of suggestions for bringing a practice of gratitude into your life. There are many different ways to explore. I encourage you to explore. Start with a way that you feel drawn to. Be self-aware as you explore & something isn't feeling effective for you, try something else. Personal growth is really about personal exploration. One person's recipe for happiness is different from the rest. Find your own! 

Suggestions in practicing gratitude: 

1) The most commonly recommended - Journal. Write several things daily that you are grateful for. If daily feels too routine, maybe a weekly journaling session feels better. Stumped on what to write about? focus on different areas of your life weekly. What are you grateful for in your relationships? Your health? Your career? Your social life? 

2) Express gratitude to others. This one is huge. Contact people that have had a positive impact on your life, and tell them how grateful you are for their part in your life. Call them. Write a letter. Have a visit. Send a card with a thoughtful gift. This can be one of the most powerful practices. 

3) Bookend your days with gratitude. Before you get out of bed in the morning, lay there and think of several things that you are grateful for, and do the same at night as you fall asleep. This starts and ends your day on a positive, grateful note. If you have kids, this could be a great thing to practice with them. If you have a partner, this could also be a wonderful thing to speak out to each other as you start & end your days. 

4) Take moments each day to "feel" gratitude rather than writing it or speaking it. It can be helpful to create a cue for yourself until you develop the habit. Perhaps a favorite rock in your pocket could be a gratitude rock. Whenever you feel it in your pocket, you are cued to take a moment to 'feel' grateful for whatever is happening in that moment. a piece of jewelry like a ring, bracelet, or pendant can work the same way. You'll be surprised how quickly you can create a habit from this practice that happens naturally. 

5) Discuss gratitude with a close friend or partner. Maybe you know someone that is also wanting to create a gratitude practice? Discussing what you are grateful for together can be really effective. Speaking things out can make them feel clear and really sink in. 

6) Create a "gratitude Jar". (This can be a fun project to do with kids as well). Decorate a jar or even a small box of some kind, and daily, weekly, or whenever you feel like it, write down things you are grateful for on little pieces of paper and add them to the jar. When you are feeling low, or like you need a boost, get out the gratitude jar and read them. 

7) Gratitude meditation. Make gratitude part of a daily meditation practice. Think of the things in life that make you feel comfortable & safe. Think of the people you love and send them love & gratitude in your practice. Think of the things that bring you joy. 

8) Take a gratitude walk. (this is a favorite of mine) Take a walk and dedicate the first 10-20 minutes to finding things to feel grateful for around you. Treat it like a walking meditation. Take in the beauty around you & find gratitude in the natural world. Find gratitude in the ability to move your body. The more you practice this, the more things will come to you. 

9) Make a gratitude collage. Feeling artistic? This can be a great exercise, creative outlet, and something that you can hang in a place in your home that you will see often. Maybe it hangs next to your bed, where it's the first thing you see everyday. 

10) Watch this video and take a cue from this girl. OMG - this is hands down one of my very favorite viral online videos of all time. THIS little human has her gratitude practice mastered. Take one minute to watch this - I promise of will put a smile on your face! 

Do you have other practices that help you to foster a feeling of gratitude? What works well for you? I'd love to hear from you. 

Wishing you a beautiful day of Thanks-Giving with your loved ones!
Thank YOU for reading and being a part of my journey :) 

Shelly

turning what's broken into something valuable

turning what's broken into something valuable

Let's reevaluate 'broken' today huh? Perspective can be everything.
Let's explore a different perspective than we usually take on things that feel 'broken' in life. 

I had session recently with a client where they referred to something in their life as 'broken'. 

When I heard these words, I Instantly saw the image above in my mind. The image above is the Japanese art of Kintsugi, and I think that it's an amazing metaphor to work with when it comes to things that feel broken in life. 

Kintsugi is a Japanese art form of repairing broken pottery with a lacquer made with gold, silver, or platinum. 

The philosophy of Kintsugi is beautiful. (yes this art form has it's own philosophy!). In Kintsugi, the breaks and the repair is honored as part of the history of the piece of pottery. Rather than decreasing the value of this object, (as we often do with anything broken) it's actually seen as much more valuable & beautiful, for there is not another piece of pottery in the world with these exact same breaks & repairs. The history & story of the piece is unique, and the mended cracks viewed as beautiful. 

Kintsugi teaches us the beauty of scars.

Kinsugi celebrates the damage, because through the damage, beauty happened in the fixing that wouldn't be there without the breaks. 

Kintsugi embraces the imperfect.

Kintsugi does not hide the breaks, but rather highlights them. The breaks add uniqueness, character, and precious metal making the vessel more prized, more valuable. 

When things feel broken in life, it's easy to feel despair. We can have a tendency to be hard on ourselves, angry at others, feel like a victim in life. 

The philosophy of this art form can teach us so much in this area. When a piece of pottery breaks, it maybe shocking. It may crash to the floor. For a period of time the broken pieces might not make much sense. It maybe confusing to put them back together. The vessel may not be functional for a period of time. It may not be able to serve in the way that it did before it was broken. And when the art of Kintsugi is introduced to the broken pottery, and the pieces are fuse back together with precious metal, the vessel is again functional in all of the ways it was before. It looks different. It's more beautiful. it's more unique. It's more valuable. It has a story. The cracks are not hidden, but they are treasured, for they tell a story. They add a history that has value. 

Apply the above to life. Maybe something feels broken right now. Maybe there is something that you are working on - fusing the cracks back together. None of us are immune to feeling broken in life in one way or another. Breaks in life happen to all of us. When it does, remember the image of the art of Kintsugi in your mind. Know that when you assemble the pieces back together, that your experience is not something to hide, but something to be treasured, and celebrated. Your life experiences are part of your story, part of your journey. They are part of who you are. We change through our brokenness. and when we apply self love to our healing, we always come out of it more beautiful, more wise, more precious in ways that we can't always imagine at the time of the breaking. 

Wishing for all of your cracks to be filled with gold, and your vessel to be strong, and beautiful.

Shelly

It's time to start thinking about this!

It's time to start thinking about this!

welcome to November! Yes, it's November already! Crazy right? 

As we approach the end of 2018, do you know what kind of magical, amazing things you want to create for yourself in the new year? 

It's time to start thinking about it!

Intentions are important. Without intentions we tend to wander aimlessly. Living a life with intentions means that we are focusing on what is most important to us instead of the aimless wandering, and you know that that means? A life that feels good, fulfilling, authentic, & joyful! 

I had a birthday this week! I tend to treat my birthday like my personal new year. I take time every birthday to really take stock of what has happened in life in the last year for me, how I've grown, what I've learned, etc. I use it as a time to check in with myself, AND I set intentions. After I have really evaluated my past year, I take some time to think about what I want the next year to look like. Since my birthday falls in November, I usually use this time to begin to set goals & intentions for the actual upcoming new year! And let me tell you....I'm feeling excited about the new year! How about you? Are you thinking about it yet? 

I'd encourage you to take some time to think about what you want 2019 to look like for you. Now is the time to do so! Starting to think about this now means that you are giving yourself time to really get clear on what is most important to you. When you are clear on what's most important, and create a plan, you are much more likely to follow through. Getting clear now allows you time to set yourself up for success!

Maybe you are not the "New Years Resolution" type of person? I'm not either. Why? Because so often a 'New Years Resolution' is something we say we are going to do every day starting in the new year, or something we are never going to do again starting in the new year.....just making a statement & promise like this usually is not successful in the long run.

What IS successful? 

Getting clear on what is most important to you! What would make the biggest difference in your life? What really needs to change? What do you really want? 

Once you are clear, plan a course of action, and think about what you need to succeed! For example - do you want to start eating healthier so you feel better?  Just saying you will do it is not enough. Goals to travel big in the new year? Some planning needs to happen. Setting yourself up for success means thinking about what you need to get ready and to follow through!

Thinking about having some accountability around your new year goals & intentions is important as well. We tend to follow through when we have accountability support outside of ourselves! 

So this is your prompt to start daydreaming about 2019! What is it that you want to change, create, or manifest for yourself in the next year of this wonderful life? I'm guessing that you are not craving aimless wondering.....so start getting clear. Start setting intentions. Start setting yourself up to follow through & intentionally create the life that you love to live! 

Shelly

PS - Want some support? My biggest passion in life truly is my work. There's nothing that fills me more than supporting my clients in creating lives that they love to live. We need to be intentional designers of our life if we want to create this, and there's no reason that you need to do it alone. Creating change is SO much easier with some help. Finding clarity on what is most important to focus on is the first step. Just drop me a line to schedule a complimentary session! I'd love to offer you some of my time to support you in getting crystal clear on what you really want to accomplish, change, or transform in life in the next year, and a plan to follow through! 

A Dozen Of My Favorite Things!

A Dozen Of My Favorite Things!

Happy Halloween!

I prefer treats over tricks, so I've got a treat for you today! 

I'll be honest....I've never really paid attention to ' Oprah's favorite things' list that she puts out every year, but I saw something online about it the other day, and I thought....hmmm.....I've got favorite things to share too! And I think that they're pretty damn good things :) 

I could list a hundred I'm sure, but below is a solid dozen for you. 

All of the things on this list support me in living a cleaner, greener, healthier, & personal growth focused life.
I'm sure there are some gems in here for you! 

Food:

1. The Minimalist Baker. 
This Is hands down my very favorite food blogger. All of her recipes are plant based, and use minimal ingredients that are mostly quality whole foods,. Most meals are ready in about 30 minutes. She makes healthy eating easy, fun, & delicious. I share a LOT of her recipes in newsletters & social media. 

2. Imperfect Produce
I've been using this food delivery service every other week for a few months now, and I love it. They work directly with farmers and sell both overstock produce as well as 'ugly' produce that simply doesn't meet the cosmetic standards of grocery stores, and often goes to waste, even though it's just as tasty and nutritious as 'pretty produce'.  I feel good about doing my part in saving some of this ugly produce from the dumpster. Wasting good food sucks! You can order a box of organic veggies for about 30% less than in the store, You get to pick what's in your box, and they deliver right to your door. Click on the link below to get $10 off your first box:
 http://imprfct.us/kbpux
 

3. Green chef
Mostly for fun, I've tried a handful of the meal kit delivery services, and I love green chef. Why? Mostly because almost all of their ingredients are organic (something very important to me)  costing only pennies more than the others I've tried with non-organic ingredients. The recipes are creative & delicious. For someone wanting to learn to cook healthier with whole food ingredients, this can be a great thing. For someone like me that loves to cook, it's a fun way to try new recipes I wouldn't otherwise. It's also a super easy way to grab a bag of ingredients, and head to a friends house to prepare a meal together, OR something I'll utilize when I head to a cabin on the beach for a weekend so that I don't have to do the complicated food shopping & packing that usually goes with such a trip for me!
Click on this link to get $25 off your first order: http://greenchef.com/invite/xmzwbb
 

Home & Body Products: 

4. EWG Product App
When you are wanting to live a cleaner & greener life, it's hard to know what to shop for! We can't always believe products packages that boast to be green, healthy, toxin free, natural, or any other statements. It's good to remember that these statements really have a lot more to do with marketing than with actual ingredients. It's up to us to really know what's in our food, home products, & body products. That's why I LOVE this app from the environmental working group. You can scan products, review the rating, and then make the best choice possible with ease! Download here: https://www.ewg.org/apps/

5. Beauty Counter
Do you have any idea how many toxins are in the skin care products and make-up that you use? You likely don't want to know. If you are ready to switch over to a line that you know is clean, healthy for you & your skin, as well as healthy for the environment, then this is a great line. (the EWG recommends this line as one of the cleaner ones, and they have done their homework!) I'm also really happy with everything I've ordered. The quality is fabulous, and I'm surprised how long they last! 

6. H2O at home
When it comes to home cleaning products, H2O @ home has my highest praise! I've only just begun to collect their line of house cleaning products, and I love them all. Many of them allow me to do a thorough job cleaning with only water! Everything is extremely environmentally friendly - clean for you, your family, & the planet. Bonus - the items I've acquired so far actually make cleaning a lot easier! They also carry clean personal body products. My lovely friend, Nancy is an advisor, and would be happy to answer any questions for you, educate you on the products, and even do an in home demo if you are local to the surrounding Olympia area! 
Phone: (360)259-5518
Email: ncbroach@gmail.com
Website in the link above.

Personal Growth/Lifestyle: 

7. Inquiry Cards
I LOVE this deck. It's a beautiful deck of cards with personal inquiry questions on them. I use them when I work with clients privately, in groups, and in workshops. I use them at home by pulling a card for the day, or by pulling cards around a topic in life that I'm struggling with or trying to make a decision around. They can be a great way to have intentional conversations around the dinner table, gathering with friends, or as a way to get acquainted & build rapport in a group. Self inquiry is always a great thing. My deck has been used and used to much delight!

8. Insight Timer
This is a meditation app that is fabulous! Thousands of guided meditations for free, as well as a meditation timer with calming sounds. I use this app almost daily. There's now talks available on the app as well as courses you can purchase. 

9. Passion Planner
I LOVE this planner. I received my planner for 2019 recently, and it's the 4th year in a row that I'm using one. It guides you through setting goals for the year & dispersing the steps to meeting those goals throughout the months. There's monthly check ins, and so much more. If you are looking for a planner to not just keep your schedule, but to guide your year to accomplishing all that you want to, this planner is for you. 

Shopping: 

10. Vivobarefoot Shoes
I really don't like wearing clunky shoes...I have sprained my ankles to many times to wear any kind of heels &  I hate how hiking boots make me feel like I've got blocks strapped to my feet. I'm a minimalist when it comes to shoes...I love to feel as barefoot as possible. I feel like I move more naturally, keep posture better, and feel a lot less clumsy. After getting some vibram barefoot shoes, I was sold on the barefoot sole style of shoe. (Not the 5-finger ones. I was never into having my toes separated!) Vivobarefoot sells great quality shoes with barefoot soles allowing you to feel as barefooted as possible, even in hiking boots, or thermal winter boots. I got a pair of their hiking boots recently, and I feel like I'm frolicking in the forest with them, without the weight & clunk of regular hiking shoes. I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes. I've never had a pair of hiking shoes that I feel like I can dance in! And this is a good thing, because I like to dance on the trail sometimes :) 

11. Pact  - Fair Trade Organic Cotton Clothing
I hate how disposable clothing is these days. Also how much of it is made of plastic! Plastic that we are wearing against our skin, and is ending up in our water ways from washing, and filling our landfills. I won't even get into supporting sweat shops in purchases, but I needed to at least mention it. I like to feel good about the source when I'm purchasing new clothing. I also want it to last, rather than show a lot of wear after a few washes. Pact is a fabulous company offering fair trade organic cotton clothing made in small batches. It's quality stuff that you can wash & dry over & over without showing any wear, and it's soft & comfortable as all get out! Their prices are great for the quality of the clothing they sell, and they have good sales. All of my 'basics' are slowing coming from this company....underwear, socks, tanks, bralettes, tights, t-shirts, etc. Click this link to get 20% off your first purchase: http://fbuy.me/kIN89


12. The beach (as pictured above) Just go to the beach. It's so good for you!

Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about any of these, and I'd love to hear about your favorites too! What are your favorite products that help you live a healthy , clean, green, & happy life? 

Cheers to an amazing week! 

Shelly

a very important key to personal growth

a very important key to personal growth

What's one of the most effective personal growth tools? 

Journaling.

Do you journal? Maybe you have in the past? Or maybe it's something that you just never got into?

Maybe when you think of journaling, you have an image in your head of a teenager laying in bed, belly down, feet kicked up in the air, and writing with a glitter pen in a little book that has a lock & key? Ha! If so, know that it's so much more than that! ( I used to be one of those girls by the way!)

I firmly believe it's one of the most effective personal growth tools you can utilize. 

Its free, it takes little time to do, and the benefits are wonderful. 

It's like having a great conversation, only the conversation is  all to yourself, without the outside influence of others,

What are some of the benefits of journaling? 

  • It's a way to check in with yourself. 

  • Self exploration. 

  • It can help alleviate depression, anxiety, & stress. It can help alleviate stress & anxiety by taking the time to think things out, find clarity, identify causes of issues, and help to you come to conclusions on how you really feel or how to best handle a situation. 

  • It can be great for sparking creativity.

  • It can be a fabulous tool for personal check ins & self analysis around any area of life - work, health, relationships, etc. 

  • It allows you a place to describe experiences you've had & to process them. 

  • It gives you a way to hold memories of important happenings in your life. 

  • Journaling helps you to clarify your thoughts & feelings. 

  • It helps you to get to know yourself better, building a stronger relationship with yourself. 

  • Regular journaling can help you to solve problems more effectively and more easily settle disagreements with people in your life.

  • It's really some of the cheapest (okay-free) therapy you can get if you dedicate yourself to it. 


How to journal? 

  • Journaling does not need to follow any kind of particular structure, unless you create one that works well for you of course, then maybe it does! 

  • Always keep your journal private - for your eyes only. This really allows you to easily let go and allow what wants to come out, come out, as you have created a safe space for yourself to do so.

  • As you write, let it flow out, not worrying about spelling, grammar, or punctuation . Just write!

  • Unsure of what to write about? Take a few minutes to close your eyes, check in with yourself & ask yourself some personal inquiry questions. Ask yourself what's most beneficial to write about today? What's up with you today? 

  • If you don't already journal regularly & want to give it a chance to see how you benefit from it, give it a little time. Dedicate yourself to journaling daily for a period of time. You don't need to start with a lot. Even jotting your thoughts down for just 5-10 minutes a day can be helpful . 


If you feel stumped on how to start, or what to write, here are some cues you can use. 

  • Write down 3 things that you are the most grateful for in your day. 

  • Write the following for the day: Something you are proud of, something or someone you forgive, and something you are grateful for. 

  • Write to yourself as if you are giving advice to a friend. 

  • Write a letter to someone that you don't plan to send, simply to express yourself & find clarity in how you feel.

  • Ask yourself one of the following self inquiry questions: 

    • What if I wasn't afraid? 

    • What lessons did I learn today?

    • Am I happy with how I spent my time today? How could I do better? 

    •  What am I ready for?

    • What brought me joy today?

    • What felt like a struggle today, and how can I best support myself here?

    • What needs attention in my life?

    • What is my body trying to tell me?

    • What are my strengths?


If you journal regularly, you already know all of the above, and maybe you could add to the list of benefits? If you are not, are hesitant or plain reluctant to it, I encourage you to give it a try for a period of time. Give it a solid shot, and see how it feels after a while, If you decide it's not the best practice for you, then at least you tried something new, and likely learned something from the experience. It's always good to try new things & explore new avenues of growth!

Wishing you a fabulous rest of your week!

Shelly

What Needs To Change?

What Needs To Change?

Every once in a while, I feel drawn to pulling a card from my favorite deck for my weekly writing. It's one of those weeks. The deck that I pull these cards from is called "Inquiry Cards". Each card asks a personal inquiry question, and a beautiful mandala-like images on each. They are wonderful for personal inquiry. I use them personally, in client sessions, and in workshops quite often. 

On to the inquiry question for the week! 

What needs to change? 

Take a moment, close your eyes, & sit with this question.
What comes to mind for you? 

We tend to spend a lot of time considering what we want, things that we want to be different in life, experiences we want to have, dreams we want to pursue, heath goals, etc. THIS is wonderful work. We need to have clarity in what we want to move forward and create our lives. 

AND sometimes, once we find that clarity the question we need to ask ourselves is the one above.
What needs to change? 

If we want life to look different, feel different, if we want to achieve health goals, travel goals, career goals, create the relationships we want, and do all of the things  we are daydreaming about, it's likely that there's stuff we need to change in order to make those things possible. 

Examples: 

I want to improve my health, have more energy, be more fit, or lose weight:
What needs to change? 
You may need to change how you eat.
You may need to learn how to eat differently.
You may need to give some things up that you indulge in.
You may need to make time in your schedule to exercise. 
You may need to give some less important things up to create this time. 
You might need to find some accountability support.

I want to travel more: 
What needs to change?
You may need to change your habits of procrastination, and work on being a planner. 
You may need to budget and address where you are spending your money on things that are less important to you, prioritizing travel.

I want to create more  healthy friendships. 
What needs to change?
You may need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to attend activities where you can form bonds with people that have similar interests as you. 
You may need to evaluate your current friendships and let go of ones that are not healthy, allowing more energy to feed relationships that are.

I want to feel better about myself. 
What needs to change?
You may need to work on changing habits of self criticism. 
You may need to focus on and do some personal work around self love.  
You may need to make time for the things in life that cause you to feel good, and let go of things that don't. 

I want to lessen the stress in my life. 
What needs to change?
You may need to dedicate yourself to adopting habits that help alleviate stress. 
You may need to learn new coping mechanisms. 
You may need to consider changing jobs. 
You may need to consider the relationships in your life, and give less energy to the ones that include drama and stress. 

I could go on & on....but you get the picture. In order for transformation, growth, & newness in life, things need to change. So, what are you wanting to bring into your life right now? And what needs to change to allow those things in? 

I Invite you to sit with this question over the next few days.
See what answers your inner knowing comes up with. 

If you feel like you could use some support in finding this clarity, creating a plan, or following through, reach out to me. I'd be honored to support you! 

Wishing you a beautiful week! 

Shelly

Your Happiness Challenge For The Week!

Your Happiness Challenge For The Week!

I want to challenge you this week to focus on one simple thing that can really help to boost happiness levels. Read on....

The picture above....it's a common scene, yes?
Our devices keep us connected in a lot of wonderful ways, AND it can be way too much, way to addictive, and also leave us unconnected to the people around us. 

I've really been paying attention lately when I am out & about how often people are on their phones. Every spare minute...while at the bus stop, in line at the grocery store, walking down the street, or waiting to order coffee. It seems like every spare minute between things, it's become habit to have phone in hand, scrolling, texting, perusing. 

We all know this is an addiction. We literally get a hit of dopamine (one of those happy chemicals our brain releases for us) when we pick up our phone and discover a new text, a new comment, a new message. Facebook, twitter, instagram all provide these hits of dopamine as we scroll that we have come to rely on. 

Another side to this that I've REALLY been pondering lately....especially when we are out & about in our communities, is that most people are rarely interacting with the people around them. I'm not just talking about the friends that you see having dinner together while both on their phones, but the cashier at the grocery store, the person next to you in line, the person waiting with you at the bus stop, the people walking by you on the street.  When I pay attention & watch, I see people so distracted with phones & in their own little world while often not even acknowledging the people around them. I see people go through the line at the grocery store all of the time, barely acknowledging the person helping them. 

Sound familiar? I'm guilty of it too. And it's something I'm working on. We need connection as humans. It brings us joy. Being acknowledged & interacting in person is important. Lack of connection can lead to depression, feelings of isolation, and addictions. 

Here's my challenge to you for this week....put your phone away. Make a point to pay attention to those around you and interact! Not only will this bring you joy, but it will be bringing others joy as well. For the next week, make a solid intention to keep your phone tucked away more often, and take opportunities to connect with others, even in the smallest of ways. Perhaps this will feel so good that you want to make it a full time habit!

Having dinner with friends? Leave your phone tucked away. Be fully present in the conversation. 

Out grocery shopping, or grabbing a coffee? Put your phone away. Make small talk with strangers. Hand out random compliments to people. Engage with your cashier or barista. Ask them how their day is going. Acknowledge them & wish them a fun day! 

When you see someone less fortunate outside of the grocery store with a sign, buy some extra food to share with them along with a smile. 

When you are walking down the street, make it a point to smile & say hello to people. 

Make a conscious effort to spread joy, smiles, and love wherever you go. And you know what? Doing these things gives you a hit of dopamine too. You'll feel more connected, happier, and enjoy the everyday errands & activities so much more. 

There's a lot of hard stuff going on in the world and our country right now. People are struggling and divided in so many ways. One of the little things we can do is be conscious about spreading smiles wherever we go. Connect in positive ways. The little ways such as smiling at people on the street, handing out sincere compliments to strangers, and truly listening to your friends & family over dinner can make an enormous difference for all of us. 

It really is about the little things throughout our day. Making some adjustments in how we carry ourself through the mundane tasks of life like grocery shopping can make such a big difference in how we feel, and in how the people around us feels.....with very little effort, simply by connecting. 

Wishing you a beautiful week full of smiles & genuine connections,

Shelly

 

Please Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself!

Please Stop "Shoulding" On Yourself!

Words have power. We know this. There are a lot of words that we are conscious about not using in certain circumstances, words that we are well aware are hurtful, and there are some words that we use by habit without the awareness of what kind of impact they can have. Today I'm going to talk about one of those words. 

I'm talking about the word "SHOULD". 
How many times a day do you think you use this word?

The word should expresses obligation or expectation, often in a negative way when criticizing someone's actions or lack there of (including your own). It's a word that has a lot n common with guilt & shame, and the inability to make decisions. 

For years I've been working to eradicate this word from my vocabulary. It's a word that I have been accustomed to using without a thought for most of my life. I still catch myself using it, and whenever i do, I take the opportunity to correct myself and rephrase. 

Why is the word 'should' on my 'do not use' list? In essence it's a shame based word, and I think that we could all use a lot less shame in this world, both self imposed, imposed on others, and from others. 

Think about how & when you use the word should.........
I should have handled that differently. 
I should have tried harder. 
I should have gone to a yoga class today. 
I shouldn't have said that. 
I shouldn't have eaten that brownie. 
I should have exercised. 


Think about how & when you use the word should to talk to others, or when others talk to you.....
You should have done this instead.
You should see a therapist.
You should come to my party.
You should read this book. 
You should do ...(whatever)....



How are any of those statements helpful? They're not. They ALL have a tone of guilt, shame, or obligation to them. When talking to yourself, you are essentially saying you did something wrong. When talking to someone else, you are telling them that they did something wrong, or you know better what they should be doing with their life, and/or imposing a feeling of guilt or obligation.  

So, when you catch yourself using the word should, ask yourself what you really mean? 
Is there obligation, expectation, guilt or shame attached to it? 

THEN rephrase. 

"I should go to a yoga class today"
Could be changed from a guilty feeling, shaming statement to a clear decision that you own.
"I'm going to a yoga class today"
Or 
"I'm not going to a yoga class today."

"I should have handled that differently"
Could be changed from a shaming statement to a wisdom statement.
"Next time a situation arrises like this, I'll know how to handle it differently."

"You should come to my party tonight."
Could be changed from a statement of obligation to a warm invitation. 
"I'm having a party tonight, and I'd love to have you there if you don't have plans."

"I should really go to the party I was invited to tonight."
Could be changed from a a guilty, obligation statement to one of self empowerment: 
"I have other priorities for myself tonight, so I'm not going to make it, and I'm okay with that." 

"You should read this book."
Could be changed from a 'I know what's good for you' statement to a 'sharing of knowledge statement'.
"I loved this book, and gained so much from it, maybe you would too."

"You should go see a therapist"
Could be changed from a demeaning 'You need some help to get your shit together' statement to a helpful & supportive statement.
"Have you ever considered seeing a therapist?"

Don't those corrections feel SO much better?!?!

So, here is my challenge to you for the week: Pay attention. Bring awareness to how often you hear yourself say this word. When you hear it come out of your mouth, ask yourself what you really mean by it, then rephrase in a way that feels more positive.

Words have power. Take that power & use it for the positive!

Let's all stop "shoulding" on ourselves & the people around us!!!  :) 

Wishing you a lovely rest of your week! 

Shelly

Take A Cue From The Trees

Take A Cue From The Trees

Honoring the seasons as they arrive is a wonderful way to keep life in balance. There's a lot we can learn and ways that we can grow personally, simply by attuning ourselves to the rhythms of nature. 

Would you like to honor the arrival of autumn? Read on.......

The autumn equinox happened this past week.
Fall is officially here.
The daylight hours and dark night hours are in perfect balance.
How balanced is life feeling for you?

Autumn is harvest season. A time of abundance.
It's a time to reap the rewards of the summer season.
It's a time of preservation & preparation for winter. 
It's a time for nesting back into our homes, and finding comfort in sweaters & hot tea.

Embracing the abundance of the harvest season, enjoying the amazing produce of the season, making soups, and sipping tea comes easily to me. I love fall. I embrace it with ease.

What doesn't always come with ease is letting go, as the trees so easily do with their leaves..
Letting go of the things that don't serve us. 
Letting go of the things that keep us feeling unbalanced. 
Letting go of judgements, and grudges. 
Letting go of 'stuff' to declutter our lives. 
Letting go of expectations. 
Letting go of habits that hinder our growth & happiness. 

We can take a cue from the trees right now. 
They do not struggle or question letting go of their leaves. 
They let go with ease. 
They have the wisdom to know that it's time to let go, and begin to venture inward for the season.
They know that after the upcoming darker nights, spring will eventually emerge and new growth will happen. 
And they know that new growth doesn't happen unless they let go in the fall. 

I think that journaling is a wonderful avenue for self exploration & personal growth. If you would like to embrace & honor autumn arriving, I'd like to share some questions for you to journal on, or maybe discuss with a close friend or partner. 

  • Where does my life feel out of balance right now? And what steps can I take to create more balance there? 

  • What can I let go of this fall that is not serving me? How can I 'do' that letting go?

  • What judgement am I holding towards myself or someone else that I can let go of?

  • What expectations can I let go of? 

  • What are habits can I let go of that are hindering my growth & happiness?

  • What steps can I take to declutter my life & my home to create a more calming, simplistic space? What is the 'stuff' that I can let go if? 

Wishing you a beautiful, joyous, & cozy autumn, 

Shelly