Two years ago, almost to the day, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital due to internal bleeding. During my twelve days in the hospital I coded four times! I have often said that at the time of my stay, except for passing out or coding a few times, I generally felt fine. (Other than that, how was the play . . .) While I never had the sense that the “end was near,” a friend of mine remarked: “You may never have felt it, but your body was saying: 10, 9, 8…” Fortunately, the medical team was able to diagnose the problem and through the use of nuclear medicine and Interventional Radiology, they were able to identify the source of the bleed and resolve my health issue.
Upon discharge, I was traveling for business within two weeks and hiking within six! I truly feel fully alive and back to life. Over the years the most common comment people have made about me is picking up on my positive energy. During this time of the second anniversary of my health crisis, I am more aware that I have almost always been blessed with good energy. I feel especially grateful for the continuing gift of life and I am building on the natural energies and opportunities of the new year. I have an abundance of energy to share.
How about you as you begin 2017? You don’t have to wait until you face a near-death experience to do an assessment of your life plan: Got energy? What’s fueling you? What is draining you? What are you tolerating? How goes life for you? What would you like more of/less of? Could you benefit from a boost of energy? Who is on your support team? Do you have someone who is in your corner encouraging you to live your personal best?
I am offering a free webinar, Energize Your Life in 2017, gathering at 4 pm PT this Thursday, Jan. 26. You can register here.
May 18 – My oldest sister who died, a mother of six, at the age of 38, from a brain tumor would be 80 today! My only other sister died six years ago yesterday! Four months ago I had near death experiences and was in the hospital for almost 12 days. The fragility of life – the preciousness of life. So few of us are afforded the opportunity of what we are meant to do and we all have to be about the business of everyday life. I feel that I am returning to life with a feeling of deep gratitude for the abundance of graces and blessings bestowed. This sense of blessing comes with the responsibility to act on behalf of the greater good for the greatest number. What are your thoughts as we approach Memorial Day?
So we just experienced the twice a year ritual of “spring forward or fall back. As I was hiking this weekend the words from the title crossed my mind: Time changes, do you? Change is one of the constants of life. Yet, many peoples’ first reaction is to resist change. What is your attitude towards change? Do you move with it or do you resist, fight, ignore or deny change?
Somewhere along the line I came across the words that happiness comes from learning how life works and working with it. This is easier said than done. I am always much more willing to lose an hour of sleep, while “springing forward,” anticipating more light and life bursting forth in new growth, than gaining an hour,while “falling back.” How about you?
While recognizing that there is still part of me that wishes we were “holding onto the light,” I now breathe into the lessons of what this season has to offer. I open myself to the rhythm of life, taking life on its terms rather than trying to control life. So what is your stance towards changing time and changing life? What is one thingyou can do today to more naturally flow with the changing season?
Many of us know the importance of healthy relationship in our lives. But we often forget to consider our most primary relationship of all: our relationship with ourselves. Chances are that the patterns we develop in this relationship carry over to other aspects of our life as well.
I invite you to take a few moments to answer some questions to evaluate the health of your relationship with You:
- How are you taking care of yourself physically? Are you taking care of yourself with exercise, a healthy diet, getting sufficient sleep, and finding time for recreation?
- How are you taking care of yourself mentally? What is the nature of your ‘self-talk.’ Is it usually positive and life-giving, or negative and life-limiting? Do you make consistent time for reading and reflection?
- How are you taking care of yourself emotionally? Do you try to be aware of your feelings or do you tend to ignore them? Do you take time to listen and learn from them? An important part of the journey to self-knowledge involves befriending the world of emotions. Journal-writing can be a tremendous avenue to discovering and befriending your emotions.
It is so important to cultivate a healthy relationship with ourselves. To replace negative thinking with positive self-talk and self-encouragement. To take care of our bodies, the vehicle of our lives here on Earth. And to explore our inner landscape of emotions and learn healthy ways to express and heal them.
“Anyone who doesn’t talk to themselves, please stand up!” I ask this question in my seminars and, invariably, no one stands up. We all talk to ourselves! The question is: how do you talk to yourself?
What is the nature and quality of your self-talk?
Is your talk accepting and encouraging?
Is it judging and critical?
Is it self and life enhancing or is it self and life limiting?
If we monitor our self-talk and talk in general, we can learn about our self-image and our sense of self-worth. If there is a lot of criticism and negative perspective, then we are beating up on ourselves, and that will have negative consequences on our self-esteem and feelings of value.
You can begin to make headway in improving your feelings about yourself by monitoring your self-talk and trying to steer it in a more positive direction. Think about how you can turn it into positive thoughts and accept yourself as you are.
Here’s an affirmation that many have found useful. Repeat it to yourself, write it down, or even post it around your house to remind yourself.
I will fall off the track from time to time, that’s a given. But when I do, I always remember that getting back on track is one healthy choice or action away. I love myself unconditionally, despite my limitations.
One thing you can do when you find yourself impatient, upset or reactive is to look for your breath. Start with an exhalation, bring your awareness into your body and notice what you feel that is alive within you. For example, you might feel your impatience, reactivity, or a sense of moving too fast. As you follow a couple of cycles of the breath, look inward to see and connect with a broader experience of the situation. For example, are you becoming trapped in judgment? Are you limiting yourself to ‘either/or’ thinking? What else do you notice? Allow yourself to notice what’s there and look at each moving part. Each part has a truth and is part of the whole.
Whenever I find myself under siege by what I call the ‘chatterbox mind,’ I draw my attention to my breathing. I start with an exhalation and follow my breath through at least one full cycle. I’ve done this when standing in line at a check-out counter, in traffic and when going through security at the airport. When my mind starts buzzing about “what’s the matter with these people?” and other judgmental thoughts, I follow my breath and I avoid a negative spiral. Try it the next time you are impatient, angry or in judgment. Since we can really only do one thing at a time, you get to choose to either follow the negative track or focus on your breathing and move into a more life giving place.
A number of years ago I was part of a small group of people who were attempting to climb to the top of Mt. Baker in the North Cascades of Washington State. Mt. Baker stands 10,700 ft. high. On the day we expected to reach the summit, we started out from our camp at close to
7,000 ft. As we began to ascend, I would periodically look back at an increasingly beautiful scenery of peaks below. When we were just a few hundred feet from the summit, I thought to myself that the view from the top probably wouldn’t be much different than this. It was truly beautiful in itself: an expanse of 180º and more than a hundred snow capped peaks stretched for miles and miles. Yet, as I climbed the last steps to the summit, my view suddenly expanded to a full 360º and the number of peaks doubled in number! It was an uplifting and breathtaking sight that I will never forget.
This experience comes to mind to describe the experience of living whole life. As children, we see ourselves as the center of life. Yet, living from our wholeness, we mature beyond that limited perspective and start to engage in the vitality that lies all around us. We benefit from a 360º perspective that allows us to experience part within a dynamic whole. We get to tap into and enjoy the expanded awareness and power that that brings with it.
I have come to believe that a meaningful life consists of journeying to discover who we really are! In the process, we can grow into a whole, conscious, loving person fully developing ourselves and realizing our potentials.
Besides: Who are we, really? Are we just a mind, body, and soul with feelings, thoughts, sensations, a good side and bad side? We must be more than that.
To develop into a whole person means to bring all of our parts into a synergistic, creative whole, with all parts working in harmony. We put the pieces of ourselves together and we find that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. A deeper understanding of ourselves, of our lives and of the Creator begins to flourish.
Where do we find happiness, then? Most of us with a normal ego see ourselves as the center of the universe and are driven by our needs being paramount. Many of us in the West have the unconscious expectation that our daily experiences should align to our wishes and that life owes us something. But when we stop and think, or stop and feel, we notice that we’re not in control. We are only a small part of the universe.
My first encounters with death opened my eyes and brought me great insight into the meaning of life. Before my 23rd birthday and a month before my wedding, my sister died of a brain tumor at the age of 39. Within two years, my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer and died about 19 months later. I loved my sister and my father and I had a number of opportunities to keep vigil at their bedsides in the final months, days, and hours. I was with my father when he took his final breath. These experiences brought me face to face with the reality that I, too, am going to die. I was born into this world, and I will leave it, whether I like it or not, at a time and manner that is not determined by me! I recognized that life works independently of my wishes! And happiness blossoms when we flow with life rather than push against it.
I find this prayer very meaningful and I share it with you:
In a world where so many are hungry,
Let us make the fruits of creation available to us all.
In a world where one billion brothers and sisters do not have safe drinking water,
Let us help the waters run clear.
In a world where so many children die so young, and so many mothers die in childbirth, and so many families are ravaged by disease,
Let us bring health and healing.
In a world where women carry such heavy burdens,
Let us recognize and restore the rights of all.
Let us join together with a new sense of global community,
A new awareness of our need for one another and for this fragile planet,
To meet the clear challenges of this new millennium
To bring hope as substantial as bread,
To make human dignity as visible as wheat in the fields.
Welcome to the world of Living Whole Life! I am very passionate about this work to help people awaken to the Source of the energy, clarity, joy and peace within themselves.
In my work with individuals, groups and organizations, I am reminded over and over again that we are our own greatest resource. Yet I am also struck by the recognition that most of us don’t have an effective plan or even a set of tools for taking care of, investing in and developing this valuable wellspring.
Through the offerings at LivingWholeLife.com, you will learn to access your own greatest strengths more fully and consistently each day. In fact, you will uncover and discover even more of your inner resources than you knew you had! I hope that you are inspired to read more in this blog and in the rest of the website, and allow me to partner with you to create the life you’ve dreamed of. Let me inspire and motivate you to become ever more fully human and alive! With my help, you can create a life of purpose, passion and peace.
Live more fully and effectively