Viva La Resistance!

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Almost every day, I fight with myself.

It might be resisting getting onto my meditation cushion.

It might be getting out to the gym (probably my most skillful application).

It might be picking up the phone to call a potential business contact or even a family member.

I am pretty sure that you go through the same battles — over food choices, body care, parenting issues, work difficulties. What is most helpful to realize is that we don’t need to beat ourselves up for having this resistance, and we don’t need to figure out how to avoid it either.

What we need to do is meet the clenched fist of resistance with love.

The power of resistance can only be softened when it is met with love.

Here’s a mind-shifting perspective. The central prayer of Judaism is the Shema. It is a powerful declaration of faith that is usually translated as “Hear Oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” But there is another way of translating it that speaks more deeply to our struggle as humans: “Listen, you who wrestle with God (aka truth or reality). There is nowhere God is not.”

That means anything that exists does so only because of an omnipresent source of existence. Therefore, it is in the resistance to action as well as in the force that creates movement.

Trying to kill the resistance is like killing a part of yourself. Opening to and flowing with the resistance is an essential step in the dance of life. It is part of holding yourself in wholeness.

So the next time you find yourself resisting something you know you “should” be doing, take heart. Loosen your fist and open to whatever learning this moment might offer. Allow yourself to caress rather than crush the resistance, and see what shows up on the other side. You just might be surprised by what happens next.

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Ready For The Good Stuff?

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Homemade cookies fresh from the oven.

Cards and notes from faraway friends.

Time with the ones you love, even if they’re the ones that drive you the craziest.

This is the season when we get particularly focused on what we are thankful for. I know a bunch of folks who are posting daily gratitudes on Facebook. And for the past few months, on most nights before I go to sleep, I’ve enjoyed a practice of listing five things I was grateful for that day. I keep a beautiful journal and a pen on my night table so it’s easier to remember to do it.

As someone who has a tendency toward depression, especially as the days grow short, dark and cold, this regular focus on gratitude helps me to keep things real. Since the brain is naturally wired for the negative, maintaining a focus on the positive goes beyond the new-agey or any hint of superficial fluff — it infuses us with the truth that life is never all one thing or another.

Bad days happen — shit, bad months or years can happen! And yet…and yet…any opportunity to slow down and recognize all that is good and working in our lives (roof over the head, food in the bowl, cozy socks on a cold morning, working stove to boil water for tea) is an opportunity for wonder. For awakening. For remembering and taking our place in the mosaic of life.

Take Stock of What You Are Taking Stock Of

What do you want to give your energy to? Where does it make the most sense to focus your precious time and emotional bandwidth?

This month, I have also seen friends on FB protesting stores opening Thanksgiving night to usher in the holiday shopping madness as early as possible. I am not a proponent of this practice, but I have to wonder: what about the people who DON’T have family or friends to be with that day? What about the person who is struggling financially and is thrilled to pick up extra hours, perhaps at a higher pay rate?

Maybe this is something that they are thankful for, along with the people who will have had their fill of family and friends and be happy to do some shopping on their way home.

What I most want to know is this:

  • What are you grateful for and why does it matter to you?
  • Where are you putting your energy, and does it feed you or deplete you?
  • How will you make this holiday season one of meaning, connection and sacredness?

If you want a safe container to explore these questions, please join me for the

Holiday Sanity Solutions — Thursday, November 21, 2013 

 

Mark Your Calendar Now For This {BETTER THAN FREE*} Teleclass!

Gift yourself with simple antidotes for holiday stress. This will be an hour filled with powerful tools and mindset shifts guaranteed to get you through the holiday season with sanity and grace.

  • Learn a simple meditation — even if you think you’re genetically not wired for it!
  • Practice one movement that will release stress from your nervous system instantly.
  • Clarify and embody your intention for the kind of holiday season you want, regardless of external obligations.
WHEN? Thursday, November 21st, 7:30-8:30 pm ET
WHERE? Via phone, from the comfort of your own home! Call-in details will arrive after you’ve helped to share the bounty of the season with some of our less fortunate neighbors.
 
HOW MUCH? Free with your donation of any size to Feeding America. Simply go to their site, make your donation, then email me to confirm at sharon@heartofselfcare.com. This will automatically register you, and the call-in info will follow.
*Why BETTER THAN FREE? This time of year is, more than any other, about caring and sharing. It can also be about busier schedules, greater distractions and emotional surfing on many levels. And in all of this, your natural desire to be generous and share your life’s bounty with others might fall to a back burner, a great idea you somehow never quite get around to (been there, done that).
I got this idea from a marketing coach and was very inspired by it — so much so that I made a more generous donation than I might have otherwise, and still haven’t gotten around to looking at his material! I hope that something in this inspires you too. One of the greatest gifts most of us have is the ability to pretty much eat whatever we want whenever we want it. I feel passionate about helping others to simply have enough food to end the day feeling nourished and satisfied.

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Are You Stronger at the Stressed Places?

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Several years ago while I was going through a “stuck” time, a wise friend told me a story about how bamboo grows. Each of the rings, or fuschi, indicate an area of tremendous stress, withheld energy and exertion before the next level of upward growth bursts forth.

It also creates a thickness that adds strength to the structure.

Much as we all like to dream about a stress-free life, it is neither realistic nor a truly positive goal. We are natural beings, and in nature, stress adds strength to structure. It is an inevitable response to difficulties (and even happy events) in life, and allows us to grow, stretch and reach beyond our usual comfortable levels of growth — or maybe even stagnation.

How you actually deal with and respond to the natural stresses in life? That’s the fun and interesting part! When you feel something “negative” that you don’t want to be experiencing, what do you do? 

  • Do you imagine yourself in a bubble of white light and hope those energies won’t touch you?
  • Do you focus all of your attention on positive thoughts and feelings, hoping that will leave no room for the negative?
  • Do you hide in your room/Facebook/TV and hope that it will all blow over before you re-emerge?
One of the best ways — perhaps truly the ONLY WAY — to deal with stress and unwanted feelings is to do the opposite of what you think. It is to simply be with them. To feel them fully and let them wash through you. To trust that since everything changes, you won’t get stuck here.
To know that you won’t drown if you let yourself ride this wave.
To trust that the force of any stressful event is like fuschi — a momentary contraction of energy, a lull in the action that will naturally lead to your next phase of growth. Trying to push it away only slows nature’s process.
Feel like you could use some support and guidance in being a better surfer? Please join me for the nearly free teleclass described below. Together we will ride the waves of growth through the tight spots.

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Holiday Sanity Solutions — Thursday, November 21, 2013 

A Better Than Free* Teleclass!

Gift yourself with simple antidotes for holiday stress. This will be an hour filled with powerful tools and mindset shifts guaranteed to get you through the holiday season with sanity and grace.

  • Learn a simple meditation — even if you think you’re genetically not wired for it!
  • Practice one movement that will release stress from your nervous system instantly.
  • Clarify and embody your intention for the kind of holiday season you want, regardless of external obligations.
WHEN? Thursday, November 21st, 7:30-8:30 pm ET
WHERE? Via phone, from the comfort of your own home! Call-in details will arrive after you’ve helped to share the bounty of the season with some of our less fortunate neighbors.
 
HOW MUCH? Free with your donation of any size to Feeding America. Simply go to their site, make your donation, then email me to confirm at sharon@heartofselfcare.com. This will automatically register you, and the call-in info will follow.
*Why BETTER THAN FREE? This time of year is, more than any other, about caring and sharing. It can also be about busier schedules, greater distractions and emotional surfing on many levels. And in all of this, your natural desire to be generous and share your life’s bounty with others might fall to a back burner, a great idea you somehow never quite get around to (been there, done that).
I got this idea from a marketing coach and was very inspired by it — so much so that I made a more generous donation than I might have otherwise, and still haven’t gotten around to looking at his material! I hope that something in this inspires you too. One of the greatest gifts most of us have is the ability to pretty much eat whatever we want whenever we want it. I feel passionate about helping others to simply have enough food to end the day feeling nourished and satisfied.