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Coaching InnerYoga Meditation

How to Relate to Yourself with Care Instead of Criticism.

May 4, 2016

Today-I-choose-to

You can be an active participant in your own healing and integration. One big part of that is your attitude towards yourself, it’s learning to drop the critical internal dialogue. When you get stuck in self criticism it’s just a default mode, a habit or programming that’s not actually very useful. No matter how useful you think being self-critical is, it’s REALLY NOT.

WHY you have this habit isn’t the question we need to answer.

See, you could be self critical because your parents were critical of your behavior or appearance, to themselves, to each other. You could be self critical because you think it makes you more productive or more likeable and you could think that you do it because you deserve it. You don’t deserve it!! That’s the belief we actually really need to address, the deserving piece… I invite you to feel deserving, especially when your knee jerk reaction is to criticize, nit-pick and judge yourself.

I invite you to do the opposite instead, to tell yourself ‘Today I Choose to Relate to Myself with Care instead of Criticism’. When you catch yourself being harsh, remind yourself that you deserve care, you might not believe it at first but don’t let that stop you from shifting away from the negative commentary in your head. Keep refocusing, keep telling yourself a different narrative. When we can see our own deservingness of care/kindness, amidst all our trip-up and screw-ups, we can see our fellow humans deservingness of that same quality of attention.

Basically if you beat yourself up, you are more likely to treat others poorly, you’re also more likely to have a hard time with healthy boundaries. You might either find yourself in the pushover/doormat bunch or in the overly angry/emotionally unhinged bunch. You deserve better.

Today I Choose to Relate to Myself with Care instead of Criticism.

-Love Heather

 

Coaching InnerYoga Meditation

Meditation to Melt Away Stress

December 22, 2015

Dear InnerYogi’s,

We are mere days away from the end of the year and that means family, travel and perhaps more feelings of stress than usual.  Don’t worry though, I’ve got your back! I’ve recorded a lovely guided meditation to help you melt away holiday stress.

Whether you’re braving an airport or three, hosting out of town guests or staying home to recharge, I hope this meditation will help you melt away stress.

Quick Tip: Your mind will wander! Gently bring your attention back each time it does. Thoughts will arise and that’s really not a problem. Keep returning to my voice and my guidance, harnessing your intention when it does wander.

 

 

Coaching InnerYoga

Let’s Face it, you’re Going to get Triggered

December 8, 2015

 

It’s a mad dash towards the winter holidays and the end of the year!

Are you spending time with family?  If so, read on. If not you can skip this one.

For most humans seeing family for any length of time means dealing with lots of difficult family dynamics.  Your buttons are probably going to get pushed. Ok they will definitely get pushed, let’s be honest.

 

Here’s the thing that aunt or parent that always drives you bananas is actually reflecting back to you how you feel about yourself.

If “they” are making you feel badly about still working for a company you dislike or “they” make you feel badly about your hoarding tendencies, your weight, your finances or your coffee/tv/wine habit etc.  The Question to ask, isn’t “Why are they always so judgmental and rude?”. But rather what part of me feels badly about my own hoarding tendencies, or badly about the state of my finances or my struggle with weight issues.

 

Shine the light of your awareness on the places that get triggered and bring the soothing salve of compassion to what you find. This is not an exercise in self judgment or self criticism but a good time to align with reality. Even if that reality is unpleasant.

Your triggers highlight the incongruencies in your actions in relationship to our best self. They are clues and should be seen as gifts on the path of awakening and accepting. Gifts that over time, allow us to pivot and choose a better option, choose again, again and again until over time it becomes our new pattern.

 

Resisting and suppressing the emotions that get triggered on the other hand is a lose-lose but unfortunately this is usually how most people handle family issues and the difficult emotions that come with them. If those emotions aren’t met in some way, than you can bet that they’re at work behind the scenes leaving us to do crazy stuff, like over-eat, fly off the handle and/or drink way too much, which again leaves us with feelings of guilt, shame and blame the next day.  Blah!

 

When your buttons get pushed here’s what to do instead:

  1. Feel the emotion, sit with it for 90 seconds without doing anything but feel it
  2. Notice where you feel it in your body
  3. Are you feeling reactive over the comment or contracted?
  4. Ask yourself “What inside me feels badly about this too?” or “What am I avoiding within here?”
  5. Hold what you find like a good friend, no judgment at all, consider shifting the pattern by working with a coach or get counsel around it from another trusted source.

 

Here is an InnerYoga mantra that I use when I’m about to spend long stretches of time with relatives, my hope is that you add the mantra below and these tips to your toolbelt and call upon them as needed.

“May I show up as my best self and my I respond from there, even if nobody else does.”

Coaching

Are you Settling for Less than you Deserve?

June 16, 2015
Blurred view of ocean and horizon

Have you ever wondered if you’re settling for the wrong guy?

The fear of settling is a challenge that I see all the time working with clients. The settling song goes something like this… “He’s really great but…” And that “but” is followed by some version of enoughness. Not funny enough, educated enough, tall enough, fit enough, affluent enough, outgoing enough, available enough… “If he would just be more like X and less like Y”

I get it. It’s not fun to feel like you’re settling, like you’ve chosen the wrong option. And oh boy! Once that fear shows up it permeates the relationship and becomes a huge preoccupation. It sucks because instead of being engaged in the experience and enjoying the relationship for what it is, you’re stuck in your head. Engaged in the mental gymnastics of analyzing, ruminating and keeping score.

Frantically searching for proof that you’re with the right person is sucking the joy right out of your relationship.

If you’re singing the settling song, consider that you might be buying into a belief system that says if you find the right partner, if you choose the right relationship, (or job, or place to live, the right college, etc…) if you just choose the right option than you can finally stop worrying and be happy.

Carl Jung said it best “everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Focusing on your partners not-enoughness is taking up valuable resources that would be better allocated towards your inner-inquiry.

Just because you worry that you’re with the wrong person, doesn’t mean you’re actually with the wrong person. It means you need to unpack the muck that’s showing up. And by “muck” I mean the inevitable anxiety that comes along with the belief that you’ve chosen wrong.

The real issue isn’t that your partner isn’t enough this or that. The real issue is that you’re out of touch with your inner wisdom so instead of being able to relax and enjoy, you’re worrying that you’ve made the wrong decision.

Shift your perspective to see life and love as a series of experiences to be approached with curiosity, some of those experiences are going to be pretty crappy and others are going to be down right spectacular. Challenges are the curriculum of our spiritual evolution. They are our teachers.

Bottom line, the fear of settling isn’t fixed by finding a new relationship but rather by addressing the underlying fear, trusting that this relationship is showing up for a reason and trusting that if/when the relationship has run it’s course you will know exactly how to move forward.

Action Steps
1. Stop collecting evidence that your partner is all wrong for you.
2. When fear/worry/anxiety show up, slow down and tune in to your inner wisdom and trust.
3. Step up and show up fully for your partner

Coaching

People Pleaser

June 15, 2015
Turquoise ocean with island and clouds

Hello, my name is Heather and I’m a recovering people pleaser. For me being a people pleaser has meant, taking a lot of pride in being easy-going and flexible. But it’s a compulsion, it’s neediness, and it’s often a covert maneuver that I hoped would leave me feeling adored, appreciated and indispensable.

My people pleasing clients demonstrate their love by going above and beyond in the hopes of making their love interest feel special. And at first glance it seems harmless enough, or even normal, but the truth is that people pleasing is more complex than just making a little extra effort to make somebody feel special.

It involves putting other’s needs (real or perceived) before your own and then shape shifting into the person who can meet those needs. It’s being accommodating without letting on that you feel that way, and then being surprised that nobody’s thanking you for it.

Sooner or later my dear people pleaser you will start to feel taken for granted, unappreciated, and very resentful of your partner. Here’s the thing, your partner isn’t the problem.

Recently a client shared with me that she was surprised that the guy she was dating wasn’t expressing more appreciation for how often she spent the night at his place, she was confused and resentful that he never came over to her condo, they were always at his place. She was hoping that he would interpret her behavior as going above and beyond and “repay” the favor (her sleeping over) by offering to spend nights at her place more often. Here’s the thing, he had no idea she was doing him a “favor” and didn’t know any of this turmoil and resentment was building below the surface, for the simple reason that she had never mentioned any of it. I encouraged her to speak up and invite him over. This guy isn’t a mind reader and yours probably isn’t either

My Advice (tweet it!): He’s not trying to decode your every action; he needs to hear your preferences in plain English.

So, what’s the relationship fix? Get curious about your patterns of “giving to get”. Stop going above and beyond in order to get what you want from him/her, and start taking care of your own priorities first. And no, this is not selfish! You can’t give what you don’t have, so you can’t truly be generous and loving towards anybody unless you’re generous and loving to yourself.

To start, look at where you’re accommodating his/her preferences at your own expense. For example, do you skip your morning exercise because he’s not a morning person and wants to stay in bed on the weekend? If so, tell him to sleep as late as he wants, but you’re going to spin class! Do you tend to cook the steak, potatoes, and pasta he likes for dinner, instead of the lighter fare you prefer? If so, start preparing the dinners you actually like to eat. Tell him there’s enough for him, too, but if he wants something else he’ll have to make it. Do you wait to have time with your girlfriends until he’s away for the weekend? Stop it! Start doing girl’s night a few times a month, even if he’s in town.

I know this may sound a little scary but trust me: the results are worth it. Once you start taking care of yourself first, you’ll have more to give and you won’t be waiting for him/her to decode your actions and respond accordingly which means you can say bye-bye to confusion and resentment!