Create a new groove...in your brain


By using our attention we can support ourselves to create new habits and stick with them more reliably.

We can actually come to enjoy doing the things that are good for us in the long run. Because we enjoy the behavior, we don’t need to rely on inconsistent motivation...did I just hear a collective sigh of relief??

We can use our attention to re-train our brain, and basically, here's how: 

Step 1. Have the experience of what's good. Notice what you enjoy about your experience and you’ll actually retrain your brain to notice the good more frequently. It's not about rose colored glasses, it's about truly noticing what's already good.

Step 2. Enrich the feeling of the good experience. Stick with it, make the feeling even bigger, help it go deeper, help it linger. 

Step 3. Absorb the good feelings of the experience. Imagine you're a sponge. See if you can notice the goodness soaking in your body. Give yourself a little hug for making a choice that supports your higher good and future self. 

Sure, this takes practice and often some support, but I’ve worked through this with many clients and use it myself…I can easily say, it makes behavior change easier! 

Bonus...you just feel better when you're focusing on the good stuff that's true in your life. 

A snippet of Lea's story

When Lea and I began our coaching, she was interested in simplifying her life, letting go of the things in her home that no longer served her. She also wanted to create habits such as dealing with the mail, keeping her kitchen tidy and completing one task before moving to a new task. 

As she practiced noticing what was already goodenriching these feelings and absorbing them, it became easier for her to appreciate herself for the efforts she was making. Over time, the behaviors that felt so difficult in the beginning, became easier and even enjoyable

You can do this too. Reach out if you want to learn more about how.

Move from "should" to "want to"

You may have noticed…some of us have a much harder time gathering our grit and doing things that don't seem fun. It feels like a tough slog to get to the gym, eat healthy, declutter, deal with our mail, etc...

You might be relieved to know, there are natural differences in the bump of neuro chemicals we get when we do something good for us…so, if you struggle with follow through in several areas of your life, you may need to be more focused on letting the good feeling of making a helpful choice, soak in.

I seen this so many times, (and done it myself) we procrastinate doing these "good for us behaviors” and then, layer on self criticism because we procrastinated. Geez, a super unhelpful, double whammy.

There are ways to shift our attention away from what we're not doing and focus on creating a good life. We can create new habits and routines, leaving procrastination behind, and harsh self judgement behind. 

You can create the life you want...(even it doesn't seem possible right now). 

You can learn to love the things that are good for you. 

You can move important behaviors from the "should" column, to the "want to" column. It’s absolutely possible.

Time together, not material gifts deepen connections.

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We know our connections with each other are more important than stuff, but this time of year many of us give material gifts as a way to show love.

But come to find out, giving material gifts isn't the best way to deepen our connections with each other. 

This is worth repeating....in a 2017 Harris Poll survey found nearly 7 in 10 Americans said they would skip exchanging gifts this holiday season if their friends and family agreed to it. 

AND 60% said they would spend more time with friends and family if they didn't have to worry about gifts.

Our brains are wired to value experiences with others, especially if they are emotionally powerful. Fun and interesting time together like seeing a concert or a day at the zoo are actually better than material gifts at deepening our connections. 

Experiences with a lot of emotion are more easily stored in our long term memory. This means we can recall them and enjoy the experience again and again…the gift that keeps giving. 

Research supports that experiential gifts are more effective than material gifts at improving relationships from the recipient's perspective. If you want to deepen your connection with someone, consider a gift of doing something together.

FYI- Friday morning around 9:00 I'll be having this very conversation with the friendly anchors at Kansas City's Fox 4.

Another Kind of Gift.

Client: "Do you know what I want from my husband for Christmas?"

Me: Ummm, no.

Client: "Our time together has been so helpful that I want my husband to give me your 6-Month Laser Coaching Package so we can continue our work together."

Well, that's about the sweetest thing I've ever heard...for a girl who's whole purpose for being alive is to be helpful, this feels like a big, warm affirmation hug! A true, true gift for me.

I am gathering my watercolors to create a magical little gift card especially for this woman...I might even get out the glitter. 

Trimming $100 off the 6-Month Laser Coaching package (Reg. $897) until Dec. 24th to make it easier to say YES to yourself this season! (If you want a hand made gift card, let me know by the 19th so it will arrive in time.)

If you're looking for the gift of creating an expansive life focused on doing more of what you want and letting go of what you don't, click here and send me a message.

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Let Peace On Earth Begin with You

2017 Harris Poll survey

2017 Harris Poll survey

For most of us, the holidays are a sweet time to revisit traditions that connect us to our home, families, friends and spiritual practices.

At a deep level we know these connections can increase our sense of well-being

But often, we also experience the stress that comes with weeks of shopping for perfect gifts and brace ourselves for the influx of stuff into our already full house.

The research is clear, although our consumption of material goods has doubled in the past 50 years, our happiness levels have flatlined.
 

Here’s an interesting bit of info…in a 2017 Harris Poll survey found nearly 7 in 10 Americans said they would skip exchanging gifts this holiday season if their friends and family agreed to it. 

Did you catch that? Of the 10 sitting around the holiday table, 7 of us would have been all too happy to skip spending time and money on buying gifts.

AND 60% said they would spend more time with friends and family if they didn't have to worry about gifts.

Spending more time with family and friends…a solid alternative to lonely, late night online shopping and crowded malls.

So instead, here are ideas to help you spend time together:

1. Togetherness. Together, research and choose one of the micro loaning non-profits such as kiva.org to support small businesses throughout the world.  
 

2. Find a Good Cause. For those who have everything, check CharityNavigator.org to find a highly rated charity that supports a cause this person is passionate about. Check out local shelters for those who are homeless or offer food to those who are food insecure.

In Kansas City? Don’t forget about our local harvesters.org a community food network; they are happy to have monetary donations and hands-on help.


3. Plan Family Nights. Gather around the kitchen table and create a monthly family night for the year. Maybe a movie night, visit a new restaurant, library event, live theater, local and regional state parks, bike ride to breakfast, streetcar ride or city tour, museum visit, volunteer work, art class, or a family cooking class. Most cities are full of amazing opportunities.

Start a conversation NOW to explore how to create new traditions focused on using your energy to create experiences together.

This new way of living through the holidays may be just the connection and relief and you are looking for. This year, peace on earth can begin with you.
 

Happy Holidays! 

Nikki

Our things, aren't THE thing


We’re looking for something…

We’re looking for something…


And yet it seems that's what I expected. The new cute coat, big house or upgraded I-Phone would fill a longing...make me feel like enough. 

But bless me for trying. It's understandable that I got confused since my brain delivered a bump of feel-good dopamine when I purchased something. And bravo to the sophisticated marketing gurus who have spent the past 70 years getting better and better at convincing us that things make us whole, beautiful, popular, acceptable, trendy, even lovable.  

We have been conditioned to look to things to make us feel safe, peaceful and content. For those who see behind the curtain, it's clear that we are looking in the wrong place. 

A world of stuff will never be able to fill that space of wondering what we're doing here. What our purpose is. How to feel content, peaceful and a sense of enough...the existential puzzle of life.

I've looked in the wrong places plenty of times, accumulating things that can't possibly fill that space. 

Now that I can see the things aren't the thing, I buy less and let go of more. I spend time being quiet in order to hear the next easy, step forward.

What's emerging is more self-acceptance, gratitude, love and deep desire to be helpful. 

What's a way forward for you? What can you let go of? What can you do do more of? Where is your true refuge?

If you would like help discovering your way forward, please click here to contact me.

I feel grateful to have you there...I appreciate your attention and desire to understand.

Thank you ever so much,
Nikki

Easy Listening...Radiate Peace


Earlier this fall I joined Christi Clemons Hoffman, owner of Radiate Wellness for a chat about how letting go of clutter helps us radiate peace.

Show notes:
11:44: You can actually choose which thoughts to believe.

14:45: Feeling overwhelmed?

15:00: Stress hormones and clutter.

17:14: Why we get attached to things. 

19:13: The confidence and bravery that comes from facing what you're afraid to face.

28:45: Fearful thoughts can't actually stop you from doing anything.

34:42: We're all holding on to something

I would love to hear your thoughts about the podcast...what was helpful, what would you like me to explore further

Honey...the kid's don't want our stuff!

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I'll be on Fox 4 in Kansas City the morning of November 8th around 9:00 am to address one of the conundrums I hear regularly..."my parents want to give me their stuff, but I don't want it." 

The early Baby Boomers have entered 70s and are downsizing or moving to assisted living which means there is stuff to get rid of. So what are they doing with the house-full of possessions they’ve curated over the past 50 years?

Many of these folks want to give their things to their adult children who often don’t want it or have space for it. These Items include oak dining room sets, china, crystal, silver, and collectables, none of which are highly valued by the next generation. 

What accounts for this generational difference in values?

In the past these items signaled to friends and family that you had arrived…which was heavily promoted by increased sophistication in marketing and new ways to access credit beginning in the late 1940s. Sometime In the 2000s we started on a more minimalist trend.

Although we still consume plenty, we're not interested in the kinds of furniture and household goods our parents have collected. With easy and cheap access to manufactured goods, we buy what we want without waiting to get the dining room set from our parents. 

Additionally, with many more women in the workforce "homemaking" no longer includes using dishes that can't be put in the dishwasher, silver that needs to be polished or collectable plates that must be dusted. Our priorities have shifted...what we value has shifted. 

What kinds of problems are caused by these shifts?

Because this is the first time in our history there is a kink in this chain of passing down stuff, both parents and adult children are struggling. Aging parents may feel hurt when kids don’t want the items and children may feel a sense of obligation to take things they don’t want and won’t use.

What are some ideas to make this process easier for both parties?

Start the conversation now, before a health or financial crises forces a quick resolution. For many, sorting through possessions feels like a life review; you don’t want to rush this process if you don’t have to.

Consider getting outside support from someone like me. Tomorrow I am meeting with an elderly couple and their adult daughter to have this very conversation.

Or borrow and idea from my own creative mother...a table in the garage with things she is ready to pass on. When we are home to visit, we take what we want and leave the rest, guilt free. 

Please reach out with questions, thanks! Nikki

Bats, Boxes and Bits of the Berlin Wall

Four of the six boxes I donated for a client.

Four of the six boxes I donated for a client.

This has been a beautifully busy week.

  • I've been in several homes helping to dig through boxes and choose what to keep, and what to pass on.

  • I've been on Zoom coaching with my people to figure out the next, few easy steps to expand and clarify their lives.

  • We shot the second half of the special segment for channel 5's Better Kansas City which will air sometime in November.

  • I've been happily supporting those signed up for the 14 Day Clutter Cleanse...they're sorting their accessories (hats, bags, scarves, etc.) for the next few days.

This week I got to see bits of the Berlin Wall, a dried up bat, the joy of stuff being hauled away and be present to the sadness as I confirmed a daughter's suspicions of her elderly parents hoarding.

It has been a beautiful rollercoaster

I witnessed tears, deep sadness and hope, renewed confidence and big shifts in perspective.

Being there while life changes for someone else is an honor... sometimes it's raw and sometimes, just good fun.