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Posts Tagged ‘zoey ryan’

Fall Days – Sometimes You Just Have to Get Outside!

And, the flip side of rainy days are gorgeous sunny Fall days when the best thing to do is to get outside and go to a park!

Enjoy the weekend friends!

 

 

Rainy Day Reading in Bed

Gratitude

Due to some unexpected cancellations, more than anticipated rain and a slight overuse injury, it appears I have created one of the suggested Self Care activities for myself … a ‘stolen’ rainy day reading in bed! I am so very thankful for this.

I usually have 3-4 books going at one time, one fiction and the rest non fiction and memoirs.

Today, I’ll start with something uplifting and kind of spiritual and plan to finish ‘the mindful path to self compassion’ by Christopher K. Germer and then move on to ‘breathing under water’ by Richard Rohr.

Next, I hope to read a few chapters from ‘Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis’ by J.D. Vance before diving into ‘The Underground Railroad’ by Colton Whitehead. Once I finish ‘The Underground Railroad and if I still have some time left, my next novel is ‘Do Not Say We Have Nothing’ by Madeleine Thien. Ms. Thien’s novel won Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.

Now, if only there was someone to bring me delectable beverages and munchies all day, this day of rainy day reading would be perfect.

Autumn Energy: Use it For Renewal

Even though I don’t have ‘kids’ returning to school, September continues to feel like a time of new beginnings. In nature, Fall is a time of harvest and the beginning stages of renewal.

Some of my favourite Fall memories include walking down tree lined streets and the smell and sound of crispy leaves, recently fallen.

You can use the changing energies of the Autumn season to let go of what no longer serves you and to take time to reflect on those activities that recharge and renew you.

I’m using the Fall season to recharge through an eight week ‘mindfulness and self-compassion’ program similar to what my friends and colleagues at ‘Compassion Inspired Health’ offer.

Summer Holidays Good for the Soul

 

I am slowly feeling re-energized and have been reminded how important it is to take time off for Summer holidays!

Recently, and totally unconsciously, I got back on the treadmill, albeit, a ‘health’ treadmill. I over did ‘life’ by over scheduling and even though it was all activities I love, my energy was depleted.

Life coaches should know better, right?

Now, I feel my energy returning after days of being on the water, rocked to sleep by gentle waves.

I’ve also re-committed to my loving kindness meditation practice which was very easy to do with just two of us on the boat, however, was worried I would have a challenge as numbers on the boat swelled recently with the addition of one of my daughters and my grandson.

These are two people I love dearly, so the loving kindness is actually flowing! No need for worry.

I’m fortunate to live in an area of the world that is breathtakingly gorgeous. Being in Nature, taking long forest walks, beach walks, attending local Farmers Markets, kayaking, these activities spell Summer to me. I can feel by engaging in these summertime activities that I’m slowly beginning to ‘regreen’ the dry and parched areas inside.

While I may at times yearn to live in a perpetual summer holiday, feeling nourished and re-energized allows me to return to daily life.

Wisdom About Our Weird Everyday Lives

Rock Statue

Weird and Everyday

Words of Wisdom from Pema Chodron

Pleasurable vacation time gives an ‘interrupt’ to ordinary life, which allows our inner wisdom to break free. I find that some of my best ideas and intuition about life changes arrive during times in nature.

The following quote from Pema Chodron, in her wisdom, really speaks to me.

 

Awakeness is found in our pleasure and our pain, our confusion and our wisdom,

available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives.’

 

~ Pema Chodron from ‘When Things Fall Apart – Heart Advice for Difficult Times’

Enjoy your wonderful day!

in peace & mindfulness

namaste,

Zoey

 

3 Life Coaching Tips to Help Identify Your Personal Values

Personal Values

Clear Values

Clear Values from Chaos

One of the positive outcomes of going through a time of trouble, dissonance or chaos is that a time of chaos often precipitates a re-evaluation of personal values.

Values are the essence of who we are. Values are principles that you hold to be of worth in your life. Values are those things considered right, worthwhile, and desirable – the basis of guiding principles and standards. Examples of values are: honesty, integrity, freedom, community, social responsibility, authenticity etc. ‘Crystal values’ are those values that are so important that if not present in your life will cause your life to shatter. Think of what would happen if you dropped a crystal ball. ‘Rubber values’ are those values that you can drop for awhile with no problem and will come bouncing back when necessary. Think of what happens when you drop a rubber ball.

Getting really clear on the values that are most important to you, will give you a framework for making decisions, taking forward movement and assessing dissonance in your life.
Let me tell you about a client of mine. Carol had identified that she held ‘social responsibility’ and ‘respect for nature’ as very strong values. She found out that the company she was working for was pumping toxic waste into the local watershed. She decided that she could no longer work for that company and in fact, felt she needed to report the company for the poor environmental business practices. In spite of the fact that being unemployed was not attractive, Carol stayed true to her clear values and resigned. While she had to deal with some short- term financial issues, this decision was worth it to her as she gained so much in the areas of self-honoring and self respect.

Is how you live your life in sync with your personal values? If it is, you likely feel great, in balance and fulfilled. If how you are living your life is out of sync with your values, you may feel discontented, frustrated and not all there, kind of like you are living someone else’s life.

Use these Life coaching tips to give yourself the time to gain or re-gain clarity about your values and how you use your values in your life:

3 Life Coaching Tips to help determine your values:

1. Set aside about 30 minutes and first create a list of value words and then ponder and identify which ones are your crystal values and rubber values.  Most people find that they have about 4 crystal values and about 4-6 rubber values. Let me know if you need help with this exercise!
2. Think of a chaotic time in your life and ask yourself what role values or ‘values out of sync’ played in the chaos.
3. Acknowledge and honour yourself for Doug this exercise. It may seem simple, however having clear values is a foundational Life practice.Treat yourself to something special for doing this exercise with flowers, a candle lit bath, a new yummy book, or something totally unexpected.

Although gaining clarity on your values and how you use them is already a huge gift to yourself, it strengthens your commitment to live by your values if you also add in the treat!

 

 

Book Club: The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

Seldom do I read a book that captures my heart and imagination in the way of The Shadow of the Wind. 

I read it as a multilayered, multifaceted love story with all elements of the ‘human condition’, set in post war Barcelona, Spain.

As my quest is to read all  the Pulitzer Prize winners in fiction, it is not surprising that I found The Shadow of the Wind well written and compelling. What surprised and intrigued me was the depth of character development and insight into the yearning of a great love.

In my personal ‘book club’, The Shadow of the Wind ranks in my top 10 favourite fiction books of all time.

3 Life Coaching Tips to Deepen Self Awareness

Health Tips

Life Coaching Tips

I am currently re-reading ‘Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao’ by Wayne Dyer for my morning meditation and just read the 11th verse of the Tao, which in this translation, goes like this:

Thirty spokes converge upon a single hub;
it is on the hole in the center that
the use of the cart hinges.

Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Carve fine doors and windows,
but the room is useful in its emptiness.

The usefulness of what is
depends on what is not.

I was reminded about some of the previous self-care posts and life coaching tips where I talked about the idea of one’s personal centre and being ‘grounded and anchored’.  This verse of the Tao, adds in the additional concept of ‘emptiness’, how valuable the emptiness can be and in fact how powerful ‘nothingness’ is. This idea feeds into the intersection of ‘being and doing’ and how in our culture, we are very focused on ‘doing’ and are valued for doing lots. It might be fun to explore the theme of ‘being’, your inner self, your personal emptiness, presence and essence.

I would like to offer some definitions in the spirit of creating shared language and common understanding. These definitions are adapted from the Merriam Webster on line dictionary.

Presence: the bearing, carriage, or air of a person; especially stately or distinguished bearing, a noteworthy quality of poise and effectiveness, something (as a spirit) felt or believed to be present.

Essence: the most significant element, quality, or aspect of a thing or person.

Personal Presence & Essence: the above as related to ones self.

The self-care coaching tips are designed for you to feel your way into your emptiness, to explore your personal presence and viscerally experience this.

3 Life Coaching Tips for Self Awareness

1.Re-read the verse above. Using the metaphor of the wheel, spokes and the power of the empty middle, apply this to you, your being, your presence, your essence. Consider the emptiness of the hub, what is in the emptiness, how does it feel to just sit for a moment in your emptiness? Write out what you notice or feel with this exercise, put some words down about your being, presence and essence.

2.Choose a friend who you know cares about you deeply and you feel will be honest and caring in her response and ask her to describe your essence or personal presence.Consider if this feels right for you. Play around with the idea of your essence and presence and tweak what you have already written if necessary. You should now have a short statement about yourself.

3.And now, on the lighter side, see if you can do a ‘180 degree day’ sometime this week. This is a day that you do everything 180 degrees differently all day. If you a very responsible employee, you may take a day off for no reason, or you may wish to eat dessert for breakfast, or exercise in the evening rather than the morning. Just shake it up abit!

These life coaching tips will help you explore ‘what you are not’ and hence will help you to know yourself better and get a sense of your presence and essence.

 

Loving Kindness Meditation

Loving Kindness Meditation

Family Love

Loving Kindness Meditation: 3 Easy Steps

I first learned about ‘loving kindness meditation’ when I read the book “A Path With Heart” by Jack Kornfield. My friend Victoria Pawlowski recommended the book and Victoria and another friend, Carolena Ranger have gone on to found ‘The Center for Compassion Inspired Health’ which incorporate the tenets of loving kindness meditation and self compassion.

Reading “A Path With Heart” was life changing as it was with the reading that I started a daily meditation practice. I found the way Jack Kornfield writes about meditation clear and heartfelt.

For myself, the most effortless way to evoke the feeling of love and good intentions is to bring to ‘mind and heart’ my children when they were little and my grandson Madz. Thinking of Madz never fails to bring a smile to my face and crack my heart wide open. I can then include myself and a wide variety of others in my best intentions for good health, happiness and a life filled with peacefulness and ease.

You can try it for yourself with these three easy steps:

1. Sit comfortably in a quiet space. Take 3 deep in and out breaths.
2. Bring to mind a person, animal or environment that evokes feelings of love.
3. From the ‘feeling place’ of love send out to yourself and others wishes and intentions for good health, contentment, peace, a life well lived.

While this is a very simplistic, basic model, it gives a taste for what can be incorporated easily into one’s life. In addition to Jack Kornfield’s fabulous book, there are other wonderful books to help you with your practice. Another one I would highly recommend is “Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness” by Sharon Salzberg

Why practice Loving Kindness Meditation? In addition to the obvious real time blissful feelings one experiences, research conducted by Barbara Fredrickson at the University of North Carolina found that folks who had done 7 weeks of loving-kindness meditation experienced a significant increase in positive emotions, personal resources and good health.

Like any new behaviour, practicing helps, so try to set aside 10-20 minutes every day for your meditation practice.

Dreams | Inspirational Quote of the Day

Dreams

dream catcher

Dreams …

If your dream doesn’t scare you, it isn’t big enough.”

– book title by Kristine K. Stevens

 

It is very easy to think that dreams are for younger people and I’ll admit, when I read this quote, I get a bit of a knot in the pit of my stomach, perhaps as I’m comfortably ensconced in midlife.

However, current research on neuroplasticity and maintaining cognitive function clearly shows that learning new skills, having new experiences or generally working that gray matter is a very very good idea.

So, it’s time to brush off the ‘virtual vision board’ and start imagining this next phase of life albeit with dreams not quite as edgy as previously held. And fun too!

Many folks get caught up on semantics and in my life coaching practice, I find that if I ask ‘what are your dreams’ rather than ‘what are your goals’, there is a completely different response and almost a relaxing into the answer with a sense of ‘joie de vivre’.

In addition to my family, I have a dear friend I travel with and we are currently planning a trip slightly more ‘exotic’ than usual. Traveling with her is like having my personal life coach continually by my side, even so, this next trip feels a little scary. Great I say!

I’ll have time to ponder and plan as we embark on our annual sailing holiday soon. Hmmm, I wonder what ‘dreams’ I’ll return with!

Life Coaching Tip:

Allow yourself some downtime to ‘just dream’ with no restrictions and ‘as if anything was possible’. It might be fun to see what you come up with! There are many ways to do this, no wrong ways and most require no structure and lots of white space. It might be fun to keep a journal just for your ‘life dreams’ and add pictures, quotes and ideas as these spontaneously arise. If this is a new concept for you or one you haven’t engaged in since childhood, it might help to ‘chunk’ your life into categories and ‘dream’ within a category. Have fun with this and catch some great dreams along the way!

 

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