Another story

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Say yes, to you

Four scary things.


I work with many extraordinary people. One of whom has recently committed to doing four scary things each week. Meet Lana who has become a master at ignoring her fearful thinking!

Initially we worked together to help her let go of clutter in her home, having accomplished that, we now focus on other areas of her life where she feels stuck and afraid to take the next step.

Scary things Lana has done recently:

  • Put herself first by saying "No" to friends and family.

  • Became more visible via social media in order grow her business.

  • Cold call to a potential business partner.

  • Said yes to moving in with her beloved...scary and beautiful!

During our coaching sessions Lana tells me how empowered she feels when she takes a step that felt scary.

Our sessions are a shiny spot in my week.

What step can you take to expand your life and empower yourself?

Maybe...

  • Read your poem at an open mic night.

  • Take the next, small step to move toward a new career.

  • Have a difficult conversation with someone you love.

  • Begin to deal with your clutter ;)

Paper Tigers

Image credit: https://queenzcraftfaire.com/stamperia-a4-rice-paper-tiger/

Image credit: https://queenzcraftfaire.com/stamperia-a4-rice-paper-tiger/

You are not your stuff!

(imagine I am standing in front of you, lovingly, but clearly saying these words)

I know it is possible and safe to let go of clutter, even when we feel afraid.

The convincing thing about fearful thoughts is that they FEEL so true and real...my friend, they are not.

Here's the sequence I see with everyone I support:
there's FEAR,
there's LETTING GO,
there's GREAT RELEIF, RENEWED ENERGY AND INCREASED CONFIDENCE.

The majority of fearful thoughts we have each day are not helpful. These thoughts are like paper tigers...at first glance they look real, but of no danger.

Letting go of stuff is not actually dangerous, there's nothing to fear.

We can let things go without putting ourselves in danger of losing ourselves. We are vastly deeper and bigger than our possessions.

You have more important and interesting things to do with your life than be the Keeper of Stuff.

Feel the weight slide off your shoulders.

I can help, click here to send me a message.

A Story of Change


Oh my gosh, what a response we've had to Susan's story aired on Fox 4 Thursday! Her story clearly resonated with many of you. Thank you for your comments.

Watch the segment above if you missed it.

Susan and I began our work together over a year ago. She needed to make a change, a big change in her life.

Susan experienced several big insights during our work together...here are a few:

  1. Realize there is a weight to all of the things we keep, and that we’ll actually be just fine when we let them go.

  2. Consider only keeping a few precious things to have out and enjoy...rather than packed away in a storage unit or basement.

  3. Bottom line, eventually every item in our home must be dealt with by us, or our family. Obviously, we're not taking our stuff with us.

If you feel a longing to finally deal with the clutter that's been a weight on your shoulders, NOW is the perfect time to start…reach out here.

Not on the same page?

When we share space with other people, there are likely to be differences in how much stuff, is too much stuff.

Where do the differences come from?
There is evidence out of UCLA that women are more likely to release cortisol, a stress hormone when they just think about their clutter at home…not always, but often women feel more stressed by clutter. Additionally, how our parents dealt with clutter seems to strongly influence how we deal with it.

When there are differences, how can we more easily deal with the clutter together?

  1. Lead by example.Sometime your beloved just hasn't considered how amazing it feels to let go of the stuff that no longer serves them. Share your good feelings of freedom, ease and relief.

  2. Don’t shame or brag.These have no place in kind, loving relationships. Plus they are not good ways to change behavior over the long term. Stay positive and supportive, acknowledge accomplishments, no matter how small. Authentic comments of appreciation is a powerful way to support behavior change.

  3. Try to understand the other’s point of view. It's more important to understand, than to be right. This isn't about right and wrong, this is about finding a way for you to both feel okay in your shared space.

  4. Negotiate individual spaces.If possible, it's super helpful for you to each have a small bit of space that feels "just right" for you...even if it's a corner of a room, or your side of the bedroom.

    Let me know which of these works for you. If you need additional support, consider coaching or counseling to find common ground.

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

Be your own expert

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Hello there!

I've been out of commission for several weeks and in my downtime I've noticed a couple of things:

  • Sometimes I see myself as a self-improvement project; and

  • Sometimes I outsource my power and wisdom. 

Advice on Facebook, magazine covers, TV, YouTube videos, from friends and colleagues rolls by. 

I read about what foods to eat, how to schedule time, what to wear, how to advance in a career, how to be in close relationships, on and on and on...

It seems my self-improvement tendencies can become a full time obsession. 

Sometimes I grasp. Grasp at the new and improved version of myself. And while changing my own behaviors in order to live a healthier, more spiritual and expansive life is cool...the notion that I need to FIX myself, and perhaps that FIX comes from someone else, doesn't feel enlivening or true.

What's it like for you? Do you feel different when you approach behavior change from a place of internal motivation and nudges...rather than look to an expert for correction?

Maybe it's helpful to recognize that we can be our own behavioral experts. Perhaps we don't need to outsource our wisdom or look to someone else for answers... AND, we've all had the positive experience of an objective partner who will offer new information, reflections and accountability.

So here's my 2-cents if you're considering behavior change: 

  • You can become the expert on how you best learn and integrate new knowledge.

  • You have your own wisdom and sometimes a coach can help you see it more easily.

  • One size does not fit all...we respond to support depending on our specific learning history and perspective.

  • Find a coach who does not position themselves as your savior or guru, but who walks along side and offers support when you ask.

Let me know what you think.