Kansas City Life Coach

You're okay

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Stories we tell ourselves: 

  • as soon as my bank account is at the right amount, I’ll be okay;

  • as soon as my marriage is better, I’ll be okay;

  • as soon as this health situation is resolved, I’ll be okay;

  • as soon as I find the right job, I’ll be okay;

…on and on.

We create a “conditional” sense of feeling okay. It seems all of the big deals in our life must be heading in a positive direction for us to feel fundamentally okay and have a deep sense of well-being.

I am in the midst of a tricky health situation which offers me the opportunity to wonder about how I create my experience of conditional well-being. I want to see past the stories I've created about when it's okay, to feel okay.

I want to feel okay, even when my body isn’t!

Here’s what I am playing with to ease the grip of conditional well-being. These are strategies I’ve learned over years of focusing on spirituality…you’ll recognize them.

  • I’ve added contemplation to my day, time to simply be.

  • I mediate each morning for 20 minutes.

  • When I notice my thinking is spinning out of wack, I switch to noticing what’s happening in the moment rather than rehash the past or predict the future.

  • When I notice a strong emotion, I allow myself to feel it. So, if I feel sad, I let it roll through me, and then I move on.

  • I surround myself with wise people who are further down the spiritual road than I.

So far, the most helpful understanding that has come from engaging in these behaviors is...I am not body. I am much bigger than this body, I am (as are you) as vast as the universe! My body is simply where my soul is hanging out to have a human experience…I find this comforting and mind-blowingly exciting.

I am not suggesting you do what I do, you have your own wisdom and spiritual understandings, but I would certainly be happy to have a chat about this if you’d like.

Sending you love.
Nikki

Pockets of Peace

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Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. 

According to a recent Gallop poll, “In the United States, about 55 percent of adults said they had experienced stress during “a lot of the day”, compared with just 35 percent globally”…this makes Americans among the most stressed people in the world. Not exactly the kind of thing we want to excel in. 

Your personal stress meter. 

One way to think about stress is in zones of red, yellow and green. Red, high stress, yellow on guard, and green calm. We likely move in and out of each zone several times a day. As you might guess, it’s good for our bodies and our minds to spend more time in the green zone, feeling calm.

Dr. Rick Hanson explains, “Green is the resting state, the home base, of the brain and body, characterized by activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, repair and refueling of bodily systems, and a peaceful, happy, and loving mind. In Green, we are usually benevolent toward ourselves, others, and the world.” So, more time in the green zone is good for us.

Sometimes we worry that it will take too much time and energy to address stress…another problem to solve…something else on our to-do list. 

Want to feel more green??? 

But here’s some good news, by building in small pockets of peace during the day, you can rest in a state of calm more frequently. Consider adding one or more of these short, easy strategies to create moments of peace each day.

  1. Focus on your breath. Inhale for several seconds then exhale slowly…(twice as long as your inhale), this actually helps your nervous system calm. You only need to do this for about a minute to bring your body back into the green zone.

  2. Pause before launching. Pause before you get out of bed, get out of the car, stand up from your desk, or walk into a meeting. Pause and take a deep, relaxing breath. Create the habit of taking a deep, relaxing breath each time you transition from one activity or place to the next.

  3. Be present…here & now. This is particularly helpful when you find yourself caught in the past or the future. Be in the present moment and remind yourself that everything is OK in this moment. It’s natural to re-hash and regret things you’ve said or done in the past…once you’ve done what you can to repair, there’s little else to do. Similarly, we don’t have much control over the future, and come to find out we’re not so good at predicting what will happen. So come back to now and notice your feet on the floor and the rhythm of your breath. 

BTW ongoing coaching may be a necessary piece of the puzzle to bridge the gap between knowing what to do when you feel stressed and actually regularly practicing what’s good for you. Please email me if you’d like to explore the infinite pathways to creating a more peaceful life.

Coming together and falling apart

Spring…falling apart.

Spring…falling apart.

Hello there,

I want to share with you a paragraph of deep wisdom from Pema Chodron. Pema is a Buddhist nun and teacher who's writing is approachable and very relevant. You needn't be a Buddhist to feel the truth of her message below.

Making Room
"Things falling apart is a kind of testing and also a kind of healing. We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy." https://pemachodronfoundation.org


I am a fixer...from waaaay back and the idea that perhaps there is a rhythm of coming together and falling apart reminds me that not all brokenness needs to be fixed. But rather, there is a grace and peace in allowing what's happening to happen (it's going to anyway) and to notice that perhaps, the most important thing for me to do is to be with the brokenness, because brokenness is part of the whole beautiful cycle. 

Is there something in your life that seems to be falling apart? Reach out if you'd like support to make room for what needs to happen. 

Sending you love,
Nikki