A Healthy Expression of You

 

I’m so glad I embraced that new tradition of coming up with a Word of the Year. It has so much more staying power and room for possibility, rather than resolutions for things you’ll jump into whole-heartedly for 3 weeks, then let fizzle out and gather dust with those last few Christmas ornaments you keep forgetting to pack away.

For 2015, I chose Trust. It held a place of honour on my first-ever vision board (unless you count my adolescent bedroom wall). It underlay the decisions I made in work and life. It peppered my parenting. Trust allowed me to take a step back from the worried, need-to-control-every-outcome-in-my-life thoughts that spin around my head at 3 am.

A year based on Trust opened the space for more possibility and best of all, those possibilities showed up!

  • As deep connections with new colleagues and clients;
  • As more clients (aka more income);
  • As fewer stress-based knee-jerk reactions when the shit hit the fan;
  • As fewer inner battles around eating “good” food and steering clear of the stuff that does me harm;
  • As professionals trusting me to be the person they needed to flesh out their projects – a reflection of my own trust in having the ability to step up and be that person;
  • As fewer arguments, more ease and fun, with my sons;
  • As a more honest look at who I am and what I want/need.

As magical as the power of commitment to a word is, there’s magic in the discovery of the word in the first place.

How to Choose a Word

There are plenty of business and life coaches around with tools to help you find your word for the coming year. Some of them are based on core feelings, some on core values…or a combination of the two. (If you want a specific reference, let me know and I’ll send you some links.)

In the end, it comes down to being aware of what you say, what you write, which topics draw you in as you read – notice the words and themes that come up often. It’s the way that your soul gently invites you to explore what’s most important for your growth and healing over the next 4 seasons.

This is how it’s transpired for me in the last few weeks:

I’ve given a lot of attention to stepping away from letting the list of shoulds dictate my day, and moving towards decisive action.

Small moments of dishonesty – “white” lies, omissions, denial – mostly to myself – have been coming out of the shadows and tapping me on the shoulder for appraisal.

I noticed ways in which I held myself back from saying what I fully needed to say to a client, in a supervision group, to my child, to my husband. …Or let it out in a passive aggressive way.

I noticed ways in which I shied away from giving all I could have in a situation – food for a pot-luck, donations, gifts.

During an energetic medicine session, my throat became tight at the same time as the practitioner started coughing.

In part it was all about doing over not doing, saying over holding back. But as I sat with it, really let it all sink in as I journaled about it, the word came out loud and clear.

Expression

Perhaps it could be seen as an extension of the trust I built last year. Where trust required a bit more surrender, expression requires a verb. It’s the movement, the action, the saying of the words that come up when I trust myself. Expression is a fully honest manifestation of me – poured forth into a safe container held by people I trust to receive it.

I have a feeling it’ll prove to be the “master class” for what I learned about over the past year. As I prepare to commit to its development through 2016, I recognize it will also come with a more expanded sense of responsibility, as who I am is more openly expressed.

Regardless, I’m already excited about the magic it will create in my health, my relationships and my life.

What do you need more of in 2016? Would finding a theme word help you achieve it? Let’s find out: write your word here and open the possibilities for yourself!

Want accountability and moral support as you explore? Tell two friends (by using the share buttons below) and get them to join you.

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Forget Resolutions! Do This Instead.

Yes, I’m jumping on the non-resolution bandwagon. Let me tell you why and what I’m doing instead to inspire and focus my intentions for the New Year.

It all comes down to that word: Resolutions.

When I hear that word, it makes me think of solving a problem. It insinuates that there’s something wrong with me that I need to fix. Sure, I might do well to alter my eating habits or step up my exercise routine or line up my financial ducks a little more straightly, but it doesn’t mean that I’ve done anything wrong.

If you’re anything like me, you end up making variations of the same resolutions year in and year out. You start the year feeling like Sisyphus as you re-solve the problem of getting that boulder up the hill.

The sensation that arises when I think about resolving to do something is forced, like it’s coming from the dreaded shoulds. From outside of me.

I feel like I’m smacking my fist into my palm saying, “By gum, I’m gonna do it if it kills me!” Or like a kid who finally gives in to what his mom’s been harassing him to do for hours: “OK, fine!”

I prefer the word Commitment.

commitment glue

Commitment feels like a choice. It’s a decision to say Yes. When the handsome prince asks for your hand, you have a choice.

Commitment doesn’t guarantee happily ever after. Nor does it require perfection. As I said in a post last year, commitment is the glue that holds you to your decision.

Commitment says, “Things may not have worked out as I planned today, but I’ll be here tomorrow to try again.”

Commitment holds forgiveness.

Where resolutions try to rectify the past, commitment looks forward to the possibility of the future.

So, what am I committing to in 2015?

I’m committed to giving back: People, organizations, the Universe have brought me so much this past year – this past decade, really – it’s high time I return in kind more consistently. It may be a favour or a pay-it-forward consultation. It may be a donation – this year 25% of the Whole Health profits will go to organizations that sustain the earth, education and women in need.

I’m committed to Trust: my Word of the Year. I’ve discovered that for me, the opposite of fear isn’t love as many proclaim. It’s trust. Trusting myself as much as trusting others. Trusting Life. Trust is one of the tools with which we nurture and express love.

Update 2019: Having grown so much from committing to a yearly word, I’ve evolved that process by also becoming intimately familiar with how the word feels in my body, to better act as a compass or a touchstone as I navigate through all the year has to offer. Contact me to learn more. (This year’s word is Be your Self.)

Over to you. Did you make resolutions? Choose a word? What do you want to commit to in 2019? When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.

Click on any (or all!) of the pretty green buttons at the bottom of this page to encourage your friends to commit to themselves this year too!

image by bananaism via freeimages.com

The Power of the C-Word

 

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love. *

You can feel it in the heat of the sun, see it in the buds on the trees, hear it in the excited chirping every morning. There’s a charge in the very air. And those thoughts of love soon turn to something more…

That’s right. I’m talking about Commitment.

Now, here’s a word that gets bandied about so much lately, it’s kind of losing its edge. We lose the weight of it, the implications of saying it. We’ve forgotten its power.

A few weeks ago I was at a friend’s wedding. Listening to the words of the celebrant and hearing the vows, drew me back to my own experience of those vows. I reassess what we said at our wedding and ponder how we’ve gained strength (or strayed) from them.

The purpose of marriage, of publicly declaring your commitment to another, is that it provides a container in which to pour your relationship. It’s the safe space where you can sift the good from the bad. It’s the bucket of mortar from which you can start to lay the foundation for the relationship.

commitment bowlAnd this isn’t exclusive to marriage. The idea holds true for any relationship – personal or business, internal or external.

So here I am, weeks later, pondering all sorts of commitments in my life.

It was about a year ago that I made the commitment to show up in this blog every 2nd week to share thoughts, insights and practical advice with my clients & followers. (It took until July to get the actual ball rolling, but the intention was in place last April.)

It’s been remarkable to witness that decision coming into fruition. Despite fears that I’d get tired of it, or the occasional bout of writer’s block, I’ve managed to follow through. Sometimes the results are better than others, but I can feel my own comfort & dedication to both the craft and my audience blossoming with time & effort.

The commitment has been the glue that’s held my decision in place.

Unwavering.

Now there’s a word that always makes me think of my heart. It’s been beating (non-stop!) since 8 months before I was even born…and it’ll continue as long as I do. That amount of dedication fills me with unsettling amounts of awe. I’m completely undone by the idea that the Life Force is driving that action for me.

To go even deeper, a commitment by my spirit to incarnate sparked the driving force of my entire existence. The decision is made, the wheels set in motion, and there’s nothing to do but follow the ride to its completion.

It’s when I think of that steadfast gesture, by my soul and the Universe together, on my behalf, that I understand my own responsibility within that commitment.

I’ve been talking a lot recently about self-love, about self-care as a daily expression of that love. As for any beloved, it’s daily action that solidifies the foundation on which the relationship grows.

I commit to my own self-care & health as necessary to carrying through the intentions my soul has laid out for me in this life.

I’m getting kind of heavy here – are you still with me?

Let me put it another way:

When you take the time & effort to look after your health, you allow the best manifestation of your Self to shine. You afford yourself the strength  & energy to show up fully for your family, your work, your community, your environment.

You’re able to live the most enriched version of your life.

Because that’s the ultimate aim, commitment is one of the first things I require from my clients. I’m working on a contract they’ll sign, but for now, it simply takes the form of payment in advance.

Paying money is a concrete way of saying, “I’m all in!”

This (or any) type of pledge makes a statement to both the psyche and the Universe, so that they can align with your objective, and start working towards the picture of better health you hold.

Making that commitment means there’s a greater chance you’ll follow through.

It’s like when you take a course. You pay your tuition and get ready to work. And sure, who the teacher is will have a certain influence on your success, however, we all learned through high school and college that you get out what you put in.

Your chances of a satisfying experience are greater when you show up, fully present, to the lectures, when you read the required materials, when you apply yourself wholeheartedly to the assignments.

Same with your health. I’m merely a guide. Your chances of improving your health & well-being depend on how present and engaged you are to the process.

Which gets me to one last, but oh-so-important piece:

Commitment is NOT synonymous with perfection.

Like marriage, like school, like any part of life really, there’ll be good days and there’ll be days when you just want to pack it all in and say “F&#* It!”

Like marriage & school, the bad days provide the room for growth. Mistakes show us where we need to learn. Improving your health also requires compassion, kindness and forgiveness as much as any relationship or endeavour.

The commitment keeps you tethered to the path.

blossom path

Back to the charged energy of Spring.

In the spirit of renewal, I’m ready to bolster the walls in my own life by openly stating:

I am committed to stepping up my own self-care with a deep homeopathic detox.

I have a feeling it’ll be a challenge on many levels, but the delicious promise of what it offers on the other side stands taller in my mind’s eye than a few weeks of discomfort.

Your turn! WHAT ARE YOU READY TO COMMIT TO THIS SEASON?
When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.

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* from Locksley Hall by Alfred Tennyson