Where Do You Lose Yourself?

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Can you recall when was the last time you just surrendered to the moment and simply lost yourself in that moment; when you felt ageless, timeless—and there was nothing else in the world but right where you were?

These are the moments when you are deeply present where you are and what you are doing. These are the moments when you are in the flow and feel bliss, peace, energized and true happiness. You feel untethered and free.

For some these moments come when alone—when taking a run, turning up a favorite song on the radio in the car, meditating or having a hot cup of coffee in the quiet of the early morning. For some these moments are when in a crowd of people at a concert and being carried away by the music and the group energy of the crowd. For some these moments are when with friends or family.  And they are all unique and special to you.

They are truly precious moments and experiences as they show what we are capable of and provide us with the amazing gift of just being, and more so, of having higher dimensions of consciousness. When we surrender ourselves to the moment or experience, we relinquish our demand that the present be something other than it actually is and we foster a willingness to be present with what is.

Winter Scenery Light Sunlight Shine Red Sun Amazing Slope Orange Dazzling Mountain Sunrise Sunset Sky Nice Nature Scene Trees Bright Beautiful Lovely Snow Rays Sundown Clouds Pretty View Image Gallery

We lose the sense of expectation, of worry, doubt, fear, anxiety and stress. We tune out all the noise and have an ultra focused high frequency—increasing our vibration. In this special place we transcend time and space.

These moments provide a glimpse into our ascension and we experience how it feels to be enlightened. They illustrate that time is simply a measure or coordinates. They go beyond being mindful and present to an experience of not being constrained by perception of time.

When we experience them it can seem surreal and like we are in a dream. We lose our self in that moment since we are vibrating at such a high level and identify with higher dimensions of consciousness that free us from the constraints of space and time. And here we are more fluid.

We should savor these moments and not lose sight of what they really mean. They are a gift from the Universe to show us our potential and ability to let go, be light and to have joy and peace.

Inhale. Exhale.

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By this time of the year it can feel like you have been running a marathon and you are at the last mile before the finish line. You have resolve and find the inner strength to push through to get that final project finished, get the last item checked off the 2017 “to do” list and to find your closure to the year.

Sometimes it is striking how we put ourselves in this mind set—the state of mind that we (per the Merriam-Webster definition of “finish”) have to come to an end or come to the end of a task or undertaking.

For many, this mind set is perpetuated by the work or school schedule, social norms and arbitrary expectations that get ingrained in our psyche. It seems that the years of our lives are approached as if we are in some race. But a race for what? A meaningful relationship, a career, a promotion; to take time off and rest; to be somewhere else, to be someone else? It is time to ask yourself what are you rushing from and what are you rushing toward—and why?

We tend to lose sight of the continuum of our existence. We get caught up in looking well beyond the horizon. We have this constant inner voice telling us that once something is done or checked off the list, once we go through a series of milestones, once we get to the next level that we will have time to rest, be content, try something different or be ready for what is next for us. winter nite bird

But we do so in the mind set of endings—that something has to end before something else can begin. I think as most of us have experienced life is just not that neat and tidy and there is more of evolution then revolution. Life for the most part flows and blends, and often when we are so laser-focused on finishing something or getting to the next thing, we miss the beauty of that flow and the blending.

I recently got back from an intense week of meetings—full of wonderful opportunities. The week was full of preparing for the immediate next session and rushing from point A to point B. As I boarded my flight homeward bound, and sat in my seat and exhaled, there was a sense of relief and calm. I told myself that when I get home I will relax and take some time off—but then I quickly went into making a mental list of the things I will do to relax.

In reflecting on this, I realized all the planning leading up to the event and the intense schedule while at the event was worthwhile, but in running my marathon I missed out on enjoying just being there and meeting some amazing people; and admittedly was probably a bit cranky at times. While at the event, I drew hard lines between one session to the next and actually was checking the sessions off the master list as the days passed. I did not take the time to inhale what I had created and what I was part of, and I did not take time to exhale the stress or pace I put myself at.

This one week sums up how many of us function (at times or generally)—putting ourselves in the mindset of a race with an arbitrary finish line that we drew. Life is a continuum—with many paths for us full of new people and experiences. So as 2017 blends into 2018, remember to inhale what you have created and exhale so you can let your life flow.

Tis the Season

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Here we are once again in December and the year end rush is on. It is quite common to find ourselves feeling a bit stressed, overwhelmed and anxious. And it is not just the approaching holidays. For many it’s year end performance reviews, year end job attrition (layoffs) worries, final exams and papers—and the rush to finish the “to-do’s” that somehow accumulated throughout the year.

Plus, we start putting pressure on ourselves about how we will or should celebrate New Year’s and that post January 1 we will hit the reset button with all sorts of improvements and changes. nyc-holiday-lights

That sure is a lot. For some of us, we push through and try to ignore our symptoms, and for others it can be a daily battle as things seem to pile up and feeling anxious or sad becomes predominant.  Either way, not healthy and time to take action.

As always, it is good to keep tabs on how you are feeling and why. If you are experiencing the following it is time to take some steps to reset and focus on yourself.

  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Being easily tired
  • Feeling sore or achy
  • Having a hard time concentrating or staying focused
  • Being irritable
  • Having a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Over planning
  • Seeking assurance and answers from others
  • Having anxiety attacks

Anxiety can take its toll and if it is really getting to a point where it is inhibiting you and your life, there is professional help and you should never feel embarrassed to seek and get help.

There are some holistic and natural remedies that can help.

  • Exercise, even if a brisk walk around the block
  • Get outside—sunshine and air make a big difference
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat healthier—fresh fruits and vegetables, good protein sources and less sugar
  • Stay hydrated (lots of water)
  • Find time to clear your head—give yourself some mental time-outs
  • Deep breathing
  • Explore herbal tools such as mint tea, chamomile or St John’s Wort (always talk to your doctor before you try herbal anxiety treatment)
  • Learn to think positive—remember the old adage that you create more of what you think about more
  • Explore a creative outlet
  • Change up your routine
  • Let things go—sometimes good is good enough
  • Set boundaries and limits—your time is precious and your health and well-being even more precious

So if you are feeling anxious and stressed, don’t ignore it and think post January 1 it will all dissolve. Start to take some steps that can become part of your daily practice and contribute to your overall well-being.

For You

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We have heard it many times—that we need to take care of ourselves first (emotionally and physically). If we do not, it does catch up with us—from feeling overwhelmed, tired, stressed, less focused and distracted to name a few.  In short, our overall well-being suffers. And even though we may think this only impacts us, it goes beyond us. It also impacts those in our lives.

I often hear people say that they will try to stop smoking, eat healthier, exercise, go back to school, get grounded or be more in-the-moment for others (be it their significant other, children, parent or dear friend). First, this is putting the responsibility on someone else, versus you taking responsibility and ownership of the change you want to make.

An unhealthy expectation can emerge by you onto those for whom you say you are making change. When you do this you are not really getting in-touch with yourself and why you want to make change. Also, when you start out the “taking care of yourself first” journey from this stance, it can be difficult to see it through. Why? Because you did not start from you—understanding yourself. you heart mountaintop

Yes, some people are looking for motivation or inspiration, and they look outside of themselves for this. But when you use others as the motivation or inspiration, it can be easy to find the excuse in those others when you hit a roadblock or a challenge. Taking care of yourself takes hard work, dedication and belief in yourself. Others cannot be responsible for that.

I came across a quote by Jim Rohn that says, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” I think we can extend this to the mind, body and soul as they are all connected. Achieving anything in life starts here.

To get closer to the person we can become, we do not need to do it for others. We start by doing it for ourselves. It is about listening to your collective mind, body and soul and giving it what it needs to feel its best. It is about taking responsibility for your own life—no matter where you are at, no matter your starting point and regardless of your past. Excuses limit and prevent us from growing. Own your life—no one else will.

If you don’t start a change process for you from you, you dim your light. If you play small or shrink so that others around you will not feel insecure or look to others for confirmation or accolades for your progress, you are not letting your light shine, and the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.

If you feel that you want to make a change do it for you.

The Power of Temporary

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Temporary: lasting for only a limited period of time; not permanent.

Ghalib, the Urdu poet, in his verse says, “Raat din gardish mein hain saat asmaan, ho rahega kuch na kuch ghabrayein kya.” – The seven heavens are active every day and night, something new will emerge, then why this anxiety?” Difficulties come and go, just like the day and night. This is a universal law that applies equally to every human being.

But we often lose sight of temporary when we feel like we are lost in the trenches or struggling through some difficult, confusing or frustrating times. It can feel as if there is no end in sight, tiresome and even overwhelming.  What we may think of as dark times or human difficulties are temporary. Every difficulty is bound to fade and disappear. Although it may not feel like it when in the midst of a challenging set of circumstances or situation, those challenges or situations are not permanent.

Further, what prolongs them is when you get so caught up in them that you are refueling them. In short, you put yourself in a vicious cycle with low vibrating emotions by being stuck in worry, resentment, anger, self-pity, etc. The thing that can magnify or worsen what you may be experiencing is that you lose your patience and forget the situation is temporary and not permanent. Leaves in wind

It is best to work at moving yourself away from being upset and to not overly dwell on the circumstances or situation. When you do so you are in a better position to keep your energy intact, and not to fall prey to frustration. Keeping a frame of mind that what you are experiencing is temporary greatly helps.

Think of it this way. Difficulty is a state of mind. It is in the mind where difficulties are created—and where they can be eliminated. Our minds and our thoughts are greater than the difficulties in which we find ourselves.

So when in difficult times, try to focus on your mind (thoughts) rather than on the difficulty itself. Putting yourself in a “gloom and doom” mindset and obsessing on when will the challenging time be over is a distraction—a distraction to your inner voice, to the resolve and strength you have and to the power of your own mind to provide rest and a place of calm and peace for yourself.

When you focus on your mind, you will find that the difficulty has disappeared first psychologically and them physically.  To help with this, think back to time in your life and recall the unexpected changes. You may note that they seemed scary and almost paralyzing at the time they happened, but they all shaped you who are and for the most part brought you to a better understanding of yourself and place. If you are experiencing a difficult and challenging time in your life, make note of this, and change your perspective to embrace the temporary.

Passionate About You

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Passion—any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling

Passion—a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm or desire for anything


Passion is a word that seems to be excessively used and confused with purpose and interestingly paired with work.  It has found its way into all sorts of environments—school, work, places of worship, neighborhood communities, etc. It has become a buzzword-like phenomena since we are told to constantly follow it.

We often hear people say that they are passionate about X or Y, but it always seems like the focus is on some external thing or force. I am pretty certain that if you asked a bunch of people what they are passionate about that you would get a bunch of varying responses. But most likely it would be about work, a hobby, a community, a relationship or an interest or call to something like music, art, learning, science, health, etc. Why does it seem that our passions are drawn to other things and people outside of ourselves?

You will not hear many people say that they are passionate about themselves. Maybe this is because it seems too self-centered or self-serving or just uncomfortable to say that we have a powerful emotion or enthusiasm for ourselves. It is just not in the “norms” of society. Maybe it is because we are not fully comfortable or accepting of ourselves or have not really spent time to know ourselves. Moon moodllow

Or could it be that through being passionate about things or people and pursuing those passions this contributes to our own well-being and happiness. It is sort of the training wheels for being passionate about ourselves. Through the experiences we have in being passionate about other things or people we learn to know how to be passionate about ourselves.

Common lore holds that when you follow your passion, bliss ensues. Which leads me to being passionate about yourself. I came across an informal poll online that asked people what they were passionate about. The one response that stood out for me was “my passion is having happiness within myself no matter what the situation.”

Being passionate about you is not selfish or conceded. It is being in-tune with yourself and thinking about and doing things (taking action) that fuels your soul. Being passionate about yourself leads you to discoveries of purpose, gives you fresh perspectives and new outlooks.

So, it is perfectly fine to have strong interests or emotions for something outside of yourself as these help you learn about yourself and contribute to who you are. Likewise, it is perfectly fine to be passionate about who you are—you—and not defined by those other things or people.

Don’t Rush (to the end of your story)

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You ever notice that we tend to live in a world of rushing—moving quickly to get from point A to point B, to get something done or to hurry to a next “thing” in our lives. Most of us see this everyday and many of us experience it first-hand most days. We are rushing out the door to get to work or school, to make an appointment on-time, to finish a project, take care of housework, etc.

For some it materializes in impatience—minor impatience when having to wait in line somewhere to major impatience such as can’t wait to finish school, wrap up a major project or get through some life event or experience.

There are many variations on the meaning of the word rushing—including trying to do many things or to go to a lot of places in a short period of time. But the one that caught my attention is from Vocabulary.com, which is: the act of moving hurriedly and in a careless manner.

Why it caught my attention was the piece about “in a careless manner.” If you are rushing to be somewhere, get something done, be someone different, etc., you can get so caught up in the action that you are not paying attention to where you are now and you get distracted by or tangled up in thoughts of some future state. That adrenaline surge from rushing around can disrupt your focus (not to mention raise your blood pressure and heart rate, as well a cortisol levels). All in all—not good. Lighted Tree Field

We know that it is not good for us. We tell ourselves to relax, breath and to be patient, but we still do it—find ourselves rushing. We, in a sense, are rushing our life story—somehow thinking that if we can just fast forward to “done” on some things we will be able to move on or forward, relax or be calm or be in some overall better state. We are caught up in a future-focused mentality (and society). But for a moment think about what you are doing to yourself when you rush, and why you are rushing.

Some of it is culture—most of us live in a society that celebrates the overachievers and the high-flyers, and live in environments that expect growth, development and progress to happen overnight. It is instilled in us from a very young age to be on-time (if not early) and that somehow where we need to be or evolve to is more important than where we are right now at any given moment or who we are.

Yes, change and evolution is good (in fact, a constant), but rushing is not healthy. Think about it, when you are rushing around and through life it can be exhausting and draining. You are pushing against time, in a state of resistance and disregarding the present moment.  In short, you are not present when you are rushing.

So why do we do it? Some of it is habit. There is sort of this high or “rush” from rushing. It subconsciously is habitual or even addictive. It could be we are trying to avoid something—if we are not still we are distracted and do not have to address what we need to reflect upon. It could be that we are giving in to other’s judgments. If we are always in a state of urgency we are important and therefore more valued. We may have some ingrained belief that we need to compete and if we get somewhere first we have won, or we rush because we think it will be better where we are going.

When you feel yourself rushing, stop and take a breath and ask yourself “why?” Let go of that inner rush and appreciate where you are, be compassionate to yourself and let yourself get back to the moment. Not everything needs immediate attention. Allow yourself to take in where you are. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “We are always getting ready to live but never living.” Being right where you are is living.

Savor the Season: It’s not too late

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It is about half way through summer in the Northeast US as we are about to turn the calendar page to August. How did that happen? And where did the time go?  For many of us, the excitement about the upcoming summer and the things we resolved to do (or not do) seem to have have melted in the summer heat and humidity.

You know that list — take some time off, go to the beach (lake, mountains), read a good book, get together more with friends and family, have more BBQs or just in general kick back on some nice summer nights.  And here we find ourselves looking at August with the feeling of being a bit defeated that we have not really put into action some items on that list, and may even say to ourselves “next summer will be different,” and “I like the fall better anyway.”

Some of that excitement about summer comes from when we where kids and school let out for the summer—and we stood in front of about 10 weeks of no school commitments and a nice lazy summer. Some of our expectation on summer are also fueled by the fact that it is the popular time to take work vacations and/or it was when you went away with your family and friends when you were young.

With this, we have this built-in mind-set that we have to do something fun and go away in the summer—plus we do look forward to longer sunny days and all the typical traditions (and feelings) of summer. Regardless, we—like we do on 31 December when we make New Year’s Resolutions—set our thoughts, ideas and plans for what we will do or how we will modify our behaviors or routines over the summer. leaning palms

Then it happens. We really don’t do what we set out to do or we don’t follow through on our intentions. We get bogged down in work or extra-curricular activities. We get side-tracked or distracted. We let some noise in and may even make up excuses. Maybe our expectations are set too high. We have some over-inflated series of fond memories of special summers and we are trying to recreate them.

But it is OK. We can start right now. We can do a reset and take some small steps to work in the things we had envisioned for our summers. It is never too late and we can still savor the season.  You can make time and space—even if in small batches or sprints.

Maybe as kids we had the innate thrill of the uncommon or new that the summer gave us and as we got older that thrill somehow faded as we tied ourselves up in “grown up life.” But we can work to remind ourselves of that thrill of the uncommon by simply changing up a few things. Think about that feeling and do a few things that gets you in the mindset.

This can be as simple as eating dinner outside on your patio vs standing over the kitchen sink, stop for a cold sweet treat, find a place to sit even for a few minutes in the summer sun (or shade) or take that vacation day and not use it to clean your house. Go out to the park, the beach, the lake, the county fair, etc.  And while I’m at it, these little treats of the uncommon don’t have to be reserved for the summer or have to be so uncommon. We all can work it a little “summer vacation” into our daily lives!

Cultivating Calm

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Many of us often find ourselves in states where our minds keep racing, we can’t relax, our bodies are tense and tend to be on high alert and we find ourselves on edge more than we like. We wake up frequently over the night or have a hard time winding down and falling asleep.

There will always be stressors and pressures, but we have to remember that how we react and the impact is up to us. As Buddhist monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it.”

We do not have to resign ourselves to feeling on edge or letting outside forces, people or circumstances get to us. This does not have to be an accepted (or even expected) way of living. It is not a badge of honor and it does not have to be chalked up to “this is life.”  We all have the ability to cultivate calm by practicing healthy techniques.

We have all experienced those moments of feeling that everything is right and good in our worlds, where we feel at peace and content and where the constant noise in our heads is silenced. They can be quite fleeting, but they do give us a glimpse into being calm. But through a conscious choice we can learn to emphasize those feelings in our lives. We can teach ourselves ways to achieve peace of mind from the inside, and within ourselves. Here are a few “best practices” that you can incorporate into life. zen landscape

Turn down the stimuli

There is a lot of noise in our world—constant messages and alerts, 24/7 feeds of information, traffic, etc. But you can make a conscious decision to dial it down. Step away from the TV or computer, get off of social media and carve out time to remove yourself from crowds and noisy places.

Get Outside

Getting fresh air and some sunshine does a body and mind good. Take a break even if for five or ten minutes to get outside. Take deep breaths and simply feel the sun and air.

Turn up the Beauty

There are things that are beautiful to us—flowers, a picture, music, etc. Incorporate into your environment some things that capture your senses and lower your blood pressure

Do Something You Enjoy

Finding and doing something you enjoy transitions your thoughts away from the stress. The “something” does not have to be something big or expensive. In fact, the simple things can make the biggest impact. For some it’s baking or cooking, for some reading, for some taking a hike or walk and for others just sitting in a favorite lounge chair in the sun.

Create a Mantra

When you start to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, worried—when you feel that your calm is fading—the combination of deep breathing and repeating a calming mantra can help you reset and bring you back to center.

Smile and Say Thank You

You don’t have to perpetuate (or project) your feeling of anxiety, stress or tiredness. As you move through your day and encounter others be polite, greet people with a smile and say thank you.

Visualize a “Safe Place”

Sometimes it may be difficult to break away, practice your mantra or do a favorite activity. When you are in this position, steal away to the bathroom, your car or an empty room and for a few minutes visualize a place that you love, where you feel safe, peaceful and relaxed. Give yourself permission to stay there for a few minutes to bring calm back.

I’m sure there are other suggestions that may resonate with you. The key is to build your toolbox for cultivating calm and put the tools into practice.

Be Your Own Ambassador

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Ambassador: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment; an authorized representative or messenger.

As we go through life, especially once we hit adulthood, for the most part we get caught up in working for others and doing for others. This is fine, but in doing so we become brand ambassadors for others—our work, our school, our family, our friends—and we lose sight of our own personal brand and being the “authorized representative or messenger” for our sovereign selves or our individual sovereignty.

When countries speak of sovereignty it basically means their right to determine what goes on inside their borders. It is their right to exist as a self-determining, self-governing geographic area. When we speak about our own, personal sovereignty we mean our right to determine what goes on in our own lives based on who we are (our personal brand). It is not about having sovereignty over others—but being sovereign over ourselves, including individual empowerment and freedom.

As we grow into adults we increasingly take on more responsibilities, we conform to the rules and processes of institutions and systems and we get tangled up in an array of expectations. We begin to label or define (brand) ourselves by a check list of accomplishments or milestones that may not be truly ours. We begin to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the world we navigate and find it easier to just go along with the masses, and inadvertently we stop defining ourselves. Clouds Sun Beach

In a way, we get branded by the circles or environments in which we live. Some of us may over time even feel compelled (either consciously or unconsciously) to promote or advocate for others, but not ourselves. With deadlines, commitments and overall just “doing” we forget about our identities. We lose sight of our unique value proposition. We may have a false sense of what is really important to us.

In the business world a brand is defined as a unique design, sign, symbol, words or combination of these that coalesce into an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from competitors. Over time this image becomes associated with a level of credibility and quality.

Using this as a parallel framework for how we define our own personal brand, it would be the combination of our unique thoughts, words and actions coupled with our values, beliefs and intentions that identify us and which differentiates ourselves from others. This is what you take into the world everyday. This is what you have agency over and for which you advocate as the only authorized representative of you.

I encourage you to take some time to think about your personal brand, your identity and overall sovereign self. Ask yourself if you are letting others define you and your life. Think about how much time you may be spending on promoting or advocating for others and by doing so, are you losing sight of yourself in the process. If you want change and to redefine yourself declare your sovereignty and start to be the ambassador of you.

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