holistic living

Connecting Physical and Spiritual Energy, Laurel's Monday Message 8-27-12

Today's message calls on you to directly experience the uplifting quality of spiritual energy by tuning into your physical body in stillness. We have the opportunity to experience this enriching aspect of our humanity, but we must be willing to practice stillness in order to receive this amazing energy. I hope today's message will inspire you to learn to get quiet with yourself!

Journeying through Anxiety as a Healing Tool by Dawn Jepson

Publicly sharing my life in regard to anxiety is proving to be an interesting experience. Letting others read about aspects of my life, discussing some of the more personal questing I have done, is meant to offer somewhat of an understanding of not only my journey, but also to encourage others to be brave in more closely investigating anxiety as they are experiencing it. As a professional who helps others in dealing with anxious feelings (among other things), I am also a woman who copes with anxiety. The desire to disclose this truth of my life, along with parts of my life experiences that relate to feelings of anxiety, comes from a call to help others. Bluntly stated, anxiety has wreaked havoc with the quality of my life at times. I want a full and happy life and assume that there are others who also want that quality of life. As I look around me I see that we appear to be in a period of “anxiety explosion.“

There are many people frequently talking about their feelings of anxiousness. This, along with my own discomfort, has led me down the path of discovering the cause(s) of anxiety. In my exploration, I hope to learn what can be done about it and how I can become a source of relieving anxiety rather than being stuck in it. By sharing my personal experiences and thoughts surrounding anxiety I hope to be opening a door of exploration for others.

In my field of work I have always believed in walking my talk. If I recommend self-hypnosis for change, I use self-hypnosis for change. If I suggest eating healthfully and being active, I make sure that I too am following those practices. As the years have passed and my feelings of anxiety have blossomed, and as I have worked with others complaining of anxious feelings, it has led me to clearly realize that I needed to address my own anxiety coping practices, becoming more vigilant about helping myself to heal in regard to this issue. With this shared writing I hope that I can not only be more committed to my own practices of resolving my anxiety experience, but that I can also help others develop their own path of healing.

Oh the longing for sweet relief from the anxiety each early morning. Anxiety has appeared like clockwork to greet me every day for so long now. But before I can hope for relief, I seek an understanding of what is happening to me and what it means. Anxiety has become a fuel to encourage me to look at my life from different angles. What am I looking for as I examine and self-reflect? Change! First, I must make a couple of “trips“ … a visit or two to the past that requires a little honest digging, as well as a truthful viewing of the present.

Do I/Did I need to make amends for past behaviors? Perhaps.

Do I/Did I need to learn to say “yes” when I mean “yes” and “no” when I mean “no“ and not the other way around? For example; Stop saying, “Yes, I’ll do that”, when in my heart I don’t really want to, or “No I can’t go with you this weekend”, when every fiber of my being is begging me to take that step and GO!!! Perhaps this change would be wise.

Ignore what ails me and the anxiety grows and expands to such a loud shouting that I finally have to listen.

Fulfilling the expectations of others to the exclusion of my own personal desires leaves me feeling trapped and anxious. Certainly in life, along the way, we make some sacrifices, we give in, and we do what others enjoy and let go of what we are in the mood to do. But when these become patterns that are repeated chronically, it can become an self-defeating, ingrained habit. The result often becomes the growing, blossoming flower of anxiety.

That is why I mentioned change toward the beginning of this writing. Anxiety can offer us the knowledge, that wonderful wake up call - it is time for change! And then the exciting, and at times scary, exploration begins.

Often I have told clients that the difference between anxiety and excitement is a smile. I believe this to be true in many ways. This is one of the ways: as we discover the cause of our own anxious feelings, making the changes our inner life is craving, we are then able to smile with excitement - excitement at the chance of living life free and filled with all the joy that we do deserve.

To begin this powerful shift, I have had to acknowledge that the anxiety is there, asking for my attention. Then I have had to learn to sit with it. Sometimes this has required help. It has often meant sharing how I feel with trusted others who are willing to listen and tell me; “It’s ok, you can make it to the other side.” They may also offer wise counsel. There have been periods of time when the emotion of anxiety has become so powerful I have consulted with my carefully chosen medical doctor, asking for her ideas about how to cope or lessen the intensity of the anxious emotion. Sitting with strong emotions takes a brave person. Moving clearly and competently through each day with the monkey of anxiety on one’s back can be exhausting. Asking for help holds no shame.

As I move forward each day I am coming to know myself more and more. I am finding that through this journey with anxiety, through the exploration of my past and present, I am designing a life that I love, one that is built on a strong foundation of truth and integrity. I may not be all the way there yet and that’s okay - those are the experiences and stories still to come.

Connecting Mental and Physical Energy - Laurel's Monday Message 8-20-12

Rarely do we realize that thinking creates a particular tension in the body. This Monday's message encourages you to make this connection for yourself, taking steps to practice stilling your mind. Relaxing the body fully means internal quiet and this leads to self-commitment of the highest order. Challenge yourself today to take your self-care to the next level :)

Connecting Emotional and Physical Energy - Laurel's Monday Message 8-13-12

This week's message focuses on connecting your awareness of your emotional energy and your physical energy. During the month of August I will be focusing inwardly on how to make good use of the physical energy in your life - and not in the usual ways! Join me this month connecting the dots between your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energies! Empower yourself with your own inner wisdom.

The Language of the Soul

Perhaps my perspective is a bit skewed, but it seems to me that we, as a culture, are mostly comfortable talking about spiritual consciousness. Even those that are uncomfortable, and uninterested, know that the conversation has merit. They may not choose to get involved, talking the talk - yet. I chose to get involved nearly 20 years ago. A health problem led me into the world of Chinese Medicine, and then on to psychotherapy and I never looked back. Finally there were answers to the imbalance that existed in my life. There were words to put my problems into a context, words like holistic and energy. From the beginning, I accepted and acted on the truth that we are holistic beings whose bodies, emotions, minds and spirits are complex equations with each facet affecting the others. When my difficult to resolve health problem was viewed in this light, my quest to understand myself and humanity began. It has been an incredibly enlivening and enlightening path.

Today I am celebrating that the more I cautiously and carefully speak openly about what I do, working as a holistic Life Coach, people want to know more. As I share that I help people learn to find their way into the happiness that awaits them within, most people become more interested. And I talk about how people come to me frustrated or depressed about the quality of their lives, and I join them on a journey inward. We encounter what seem like big problems along the way, and we take those big problems and turn them into learning lessons about life. Slowly (or occasionally quickly) the clients I work with reconnect to the deeper power that resides within, and they feel ready to make some choices from a place of sensing a new strength, despite the recognition of their vulnerability as well.

My blog this year has been about inviting readers and viewers to connect inwardly. I have been asking you to become more vulnerable to yourself first, by learning to sit still with yourself. My focus has been on informing you that you are the powerful creator of your life. Learning and acting on the truth that I am the powerful creator of my life, continues daily for me. This is not a quick fix prospect. We are not here for a quick fix. We are here to evolve our experience of humanity to a greater knowledge and awareness of ourselves, and what it means to be spirit/soul in human form. And in order to do this well, we need to learn how to operate the machinery well - you know the body, heart and soul within which "you" reside.

Learning to operate the machinery well (I use this term a bit metaphorically), means you need to know where the controls are. They are within. We are mostly conditioned to view life and the way we influence it, by connecting to what is available outside us. You know, get the right job, find the right partner, raise a family, acquire a home (and all those trinkets). When we come up unhappy in any of this, we start changing all this "stuff" and we may or may not, eventually, find some happiness along the way. And, all the time, there is a naturally occurring happiness well that waits within us to be discovered. Often we stay outwardly focused until something about our well-being causes a problem that can't be solved from the outside. That's when the doors to holistic thinking and the language of the soul become interesting.

As a culture, we are sensing that the problems we encounter now are not being resolved by the usual means. I like to think that these self-created problems are leading us further along in our development as a species, to recognize the spirit/soul aspect of ourselves and then to act on this truth. People are becoming more interested in the language of the soul, and holistic thought. Not from a religious perspective, but from a personal perspective. A perspective that says, I am powerful within, and when I act well and kindly on this knowledge, the world becomes a more habitable place. That means solving problems without violence, thinking sustainably since our natural resources are limited, and implementing technology wisely by no longer threatening the natural environment and ignoring the ways we pollute our home, this planet.

Today, may I suggest, that you consider this by starting at home, with and in your individual being. Today, solve each of your individual inner conflicts without violence to yourself or those within whom you are in relationship. Think of your being as a limited resource and do not overextend or misuse any of your resources such as time, health and attention. And consider how you might be polluting your being in thought, word and deed. These are powerful and longer term actions that involve looking inwardly. All effort in the direction of living and choosing more consciously will not be wasted. We are the powerful creators of this world.

Rewrite Your Story Starting with Thoughts - Laurel's Monday Message 7-30-12

When you find yourself feeling stuck or dissatisfied with the direction of your life, rewriting your story begins with your thinking. Starting with the dream of what you want, to imagining how to take the steps to create it, your thoughts will support that dream when you can consistently direct your thinking and impact your feeling state moment-to-moment. It works - but you must commit to yourself and clean up anything that gets in the way. Today's message talks about your flexible thinking!

Committing to Action for Your Growth - Laurel's Monday Message 7-23-12

How ready are you to commit to yourself? Many people want life to improve, change or be filled with dreams coming true. When it comes time to actually create that quality of life, we often get stuck in taking the actions that lead to that reality, blocking our ability to manifest. Today's message shares a simple but powerful tool that can support you in understanding how you are using your mental energy. In this understanding, you become more proficient in focusing and directing this vital energy in life-enhancing ways.

The Opposite of the Need to Control: Trust the Process

How are you with trust? Do you trust in yourself to make good decisions in a moment-to-moment way? Do you trust others to behave well? Have you developed faith in “right” outcomes? Trusting the process of life can be a radical shift in the way many of us live. Trusting in life means letting go of the illusion of control, or ending the habit of falling into the need for control as a pattern of living. Instead of attaching to the outcome and attempting to manipulate others or events, we can trust the process (or life), let go of illusions, and live in the moment.

This entails trusting yourself. Some of the ways to develop self-trust include: • behave well - make it better and change when you don’t • make good judgments without being judgmental of others • align your behavior with your true values and not necessarily those of the culture • make healthy choices in your relationships • learn to set healthy boundaries • be honest and true to your inner self • speak with integrity • acknowledge both your talents and gifts, learn about your limitations, honoring it all without judgment or self-criticism.

Trusting the process (or life) also means trusting others. We learn to trust others in the ways listed above. Consider others in light of those specific behaviors, and learn about them through moment-to-moment, direct interactions. As we learn about others, our level of trust either raises or lowers as we determine the integrity of the individual and the quality of the relationship. Accepting others for who they are by observing their behavior and then setting the appropriate boundaries in relationship with them, is each individual’s responsibility and is a matter of healthy self-care.

Trusting the process (or life), we honor ourselves through self-trust, through honoring others by acknowledging the truth of the relationship as it exists for each individual, and then moving through interactions, in real-time, making each next move or decision based on the immediacy of what is developing rather than a predetermined goal that you attempt to achieve through your own personal sense of control. This is about living process oriented versus goal oriented. We may still develop and work towards goals but without sacrificing the truth that emerges from directly experiencing the process.

When we develop trust in life, our inner need for control naturally diminishes. With this shift, our life path becomes flexible and winding, flowing with the energies of life rather than a rigidly pre-determined path that may not fit with the emerging conditions of life. It is a gentler approach to life that causes us to feel empowered, live respectfully of others and speak honestly as a way of life.

Laurel's Monday Message 2-13-12

Today's Monday message is about love! Click here and consider self-love.

Laurel's Monday Message 2-6-12

Are you paying attention to your life? Most importantly, are you paying attention to what is happening inside - in your inner world? There is a gold mine within, waiting for you to enjoy the treasures. You are the only one who can - the only one who can discover the riches inside. Others will benefit from them when you discover them and live them, because you will naturally express them. Maybe they are buried right now behind fear or anger. Maybe you are afraid to look inside because it feels chaotic or scary. Maybe you need some help to get going. One of the best ways to begin the process is to slow down a bit and starting taking a peek here and there. Let yourself begin to honestly look at what is happening in your inner world. If you afraid to do it, then simply start allowing yourself to feel the fear a little bit, but look anyway. You will build up your courage with practice and also with support.

I hope this message inspires you to pay attention! Looking within is a big step towards creating what you deeply desire.