Thought for Food Blog

Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life!

This seems simple enough, right?  Or maybe over simplified—like it couldn’t possibly be true?  The thing is, this Universe is a creative energy that responds to our thoughts.  Many people know this, experience this, and practice this.  If this isn’t your experience, AND you would like it to be, what can you do about it?

Step 1:  Be willing to consider that life can get better.  Be willing to consider that life circumstances CAN change no matter how much it seems that they can’t, or that they won’t.

Step 2Decrease the negative experiences in your life and increase the positive experiences. This doesn’t mean ignore fear and pain, or pretend they don’t exist.  It means, learn ways of processing fear and pain so that you can clear the way to accessing your greater good. 

You have choices about who you spend your time with and what you spend your time doing.  Ask yourself, "Is this choice bringing more joy into my life or more negativity?"  Sometimes, when you're not sure what TO DO, simply STOPPING what you have always done is a great place to start.  

Step 3:  Be willing to release things, ideas, and people that no longer serve you.  This does not make anyone or anything "wrong" (even though at times this may be true for you), it simply means that as you grow, some things will grow with you and some things you will need to release in order to make room for the new.

Think about updating the furniture in your living room.  If you don't get rid of the old stuff, you won't have room for the new stuff.

Step 4:  Once your thoughts and energy shift, you will be well on your way to experiencing more Love, Abundance, Prosperity, Healthy, and Creativity.

Some change happens quickly and is obvious.  Other times it may be a slower process and less obvious.  Think about a baby growing.  There are aspects of a baby’s growth that are so obvious and amazing.  Other times, the change will go unnoticed until one day something happens and you ask yourself, “When did you learn how to do that?!?”

Don't be discouraged if you find yourself needing to recommit to the new way of thinking on a regular basis as old habits try to sneak back into your thoughts.  It takes time to build new habits.

Whatever YOUR process is, it is perfect for you!  It is the perfect pace for you.  

Try It:

1.      List 1-3 things you have changed in your life.  For each one, what did it take to make the change happen?  How long did it take?

2.     Consider the areas of Health, Love, Wealth, and Creativity.  First, write down one idea for each area that no longer serves you.  Then write one thing you would like to see change in that area.   You might not completely know what it will look like—especially since it’s a new idea--so you can also focus on what it would feel like to have a new experience in that area of your life.  Third, simply observe what happens over the next week as you intentionally change your thoughts.

Tell the Truth, Even When it Hurts

Often, the first person we need to be honest with is our self.  A step in reaching a deeper level of authentic expression is telling the truth about ourselves and our experiences.  Often, in order for change to occur, we have to have a deeper sense of truth to help guide us to live life differently.

In this piece, I want to invite you to take the risk to go to that scary place of being completely vulnerable and honest with yourself and with others.  Sometimes this includes saying and or hearing things we would otherwise want to protect ourselves from.  It is amazing how debilitating our fears can be around telling our truth or hearing someone else’s truth. Some of us are skilled story tellers; we tell ourselves about the horrors of what could happen or what might happen.  We become filled with trepidation and we dread the moment of truth.  Have you ever thought, “If I tell the truth, it will only make things worse.”?

As we summon our courage to tell our truth, it is imperative to remember that we cannot control how another person will respond or feel.  We can only know our sincere and honest truth, and speak it with vulnerability and compassion.  We must speak our truth without expectations as to how the other person will receive it.  At the same time we hold the conviction that by telling our truth, we are reaching a greater sense of wellbeing.  We are creating a space for healing to happen.

For this process, I would like to suggest that we don’t feel sorry for, or worried about hurting the other person.  Remember, if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and completely honest about our selfwhich is different than using the truth to attack someone—healing is the only outcome.  When speaking from the place deep inside all of us, we cannot say the wrong thing or make the situation worse. 

This process necessitates holding a space for the other person that allows whatever he or she needs to feel without taking responsibility for it; without feeling judgmental or without becoming defensive.  This process necessitates learning how to become ok with confusion and/or seemingly contradictory feelings, thoughts, and statements.  We offer a space for this as well.  In this space, we do not try to solve anything.  We simply allow the truth to be what it needs to be.

My challenge to you--if you choose to accept it--is for you to choose one of your truths and tell it.  Start small.  Start with people who love and accept you exactly as you are.  You might notice the fear and anxiety well up inside of you.  You might find your words get caught in your throat.  Take deep breaths, be patient, don’t rush it, allow the truth to come out.

What I know from having this level of honesty with others is that it is intensely healing.  It allows clarification and understanding that cannot be achieved from avoiding such feelings and conversations.

 So take the leap.  See for yourself what is possible!

 Precaution: being honest at this level does have a prerequisite--one must be grounded in a strong sense of self and self-love.

When All the Pieces are Moving

It has been awhile since I last wrote…there have been many significant changes in my life that have required most of my time, attention, and energy.  What I am most grateful for is that the more I trust in myself and what is POSSIBLE, the more things come together.  I used to NEED a plan—I needed to know exactly how things were going to happen before I’d make a move.  I analyzed the possible outcomes and created a plan to move forward.  This approach offered security.  I knew what to expect.  However, rarely did it lead to fulfilment.  I achieved my goal and was left feeling empty, wondering what was next.

Over the past 8 months, I have summoned the courage to take a new approach—LEAP.  Well…I have to be honest and admit they are still somewhat safe leaps, but leaps nonetheless.  I have stepped forward without knowing what the next step would be.  For someone who has lived by a plan her whole life, this was quite scary at times and most definitely unnerving all of the time.  I knew the essence of what I wanted in life but I had no idea what it would specifically look like.  Since trying to figure out exactly what it would look like before making a move was not getting where I wanted to be, I had no other choice then to take a new approach.

What I want you to know is that even though it has been an uncomfortable process, the results have been better than I could have ever predicted.  I never could have imagined to arrange things the way they are right now.  By allowing things to unfold, I can actually achieve what I have always hoped to achieve.  I knew what I wanted.  I never lost sight of the essence, but I allowed life to present opportunities rather than trying to “create” or “plan” for opportunities.

Through allowing, all the pieces of my life are moving to align with this new way of being.  I don’t have the consistency or predictability that I once called security.  What I have gained is a life that reflects who I am.  What I have gained is a respect for my authentic self as I have never known.  The more I honor and respect my own authenticity, the more I find people who do the same (for me and for themselves).

The encouragement that comes from authenticity is paralleled by none.  So, when things are changing in your life, when all the pieces are moving and nothing feels secure or predictable, know that change is on the way.  Remember the growing pains you had as a child?  This is sort of the same.  Change may feel painful or uncomfortable but if it is to honor your authentic self, everything will fall into place if you trust and allow things to unfold. 

Managing Change…Where to Start?

Have you ever started a larger task and became so overwhelmed with obstacles that you didn’t even know where to start?  Have you ever been so focused on the END goal that it felt almost impossible to envision how you would actually get there?  Has the sense of being overwhelmed actually paralyzed you from action?  Once we become overwhelmed, it can be difficult to accomplish anything.  My recent move helped me realize on a very person level-- deeper than an intellectual level--the importance of starting small.  By starting where I could achieve quick success, I gained a stronger motivation to keep going.

I recently moved from a 3 bedroom house to an apartment half the size.  I did most of the packing all by myself and fair enough to say, it felt overwhelming at times.  Because there was so much to do, I often didn’t know where to even begin.  I would walk around in circles from room to room assessing where to start.  Needless to say, I didn’t get very much accomplished. 

Then it hit me.  I needed a plan; I needed to break this huge task into smaller, more manageable pieces.  I decided to work with the smaller/cleaner rooms first and then work my way to the areas that had more to pack, such as my bedroom.  By starting with the smaller areas first, I began to feel success.  This quick success motivated me to continue to the bigger, more daunting areas.  Every now and then I would whittle away at my bedroom; each time I started to lose focus and energy, I would return to my plan of success to reenergize.  I would look for the next area I could successfully finish packing within the least amount of time.  Having the sense of completion helped me keep going with the larger obstacles, my bedroom and the kitchen.

As Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, you don’t have to see the WHOLE staircase, you just have to take the first step.

Easing Through Change

Over the last three years I have undergone many changes.  It has not always been easy, but it has always been well worth it!  There were bumps along the way and many triumphs.  The changes I have experienced have given me the opportunity to put into practices some of the principles that help guide my coaching:

1.      Outward change begins with inner change.

2.      When you truly love yourself, you can love others.

3.      Thoughts are powerful and shape how we experience the world.

I used to face situations believing that if others would change, if “they” would just do it a different way, I would be more happy and more successful.  Through my journey, I have come to realize that the outer world is a reflection of my inner world.  My disquietude with the people I interacted with was a reflection of the uneasiness I was feeling within myself.  I had not yet become comfortable with my most authentic self and it showed up in my interactions with others.  It showed up in the relationships I chose to be in.  When I learned to love and appreciate myself, as my authentic self, the world started to change for the better.

In this journey to become my most authentic self, I have learned some valuable lessons: 

1.  Clarify your goal--it is difficult to move forward if you don’t know where you are headed.  Visualize a version of the ideal that is open and flexible enough so that you can achieve even more than you were able to originally conceive.

2.  Manageable Steps—you cannot scale the whole staircase with one step, no matter how amazing you are.  Break your change into smaller, more manageable steps.  Not only does this allow for success along the way; it also leaves room for redirection as you realize what is possible.

}3.  Allow--once your goal is clarified, allow it to unfold.  You can allow a choice to unfold by seeking information and staying open to what comes your way.  Trust your intuition, your gut, to help guide you to which decisions are the best fit.  If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  Know that a solution is on its way to you and be patient.  Don’t over plan, over think, or try to make something happen.  Trust and allow it to happen.

4.  Grace—give yourself the grace to make mistakes.  Growth comes from trying new things and making mistakes.  If you stay with what you know--if you stay with what is safe—you will not achieve the changes you desire.

 You do not have to go through the change process alone.  Coaching is an excellent way to navigate through change in a safe and supportive way.  I would be honored to coach you through your change.

Finding REAL Love

In this day in age, does anyone really know what Real Love is?  It has taken me many months to finish reading Real Love: The Truth about finding unconditional love & fulfilling relationships, by Greg Baer, M.D., but it was so profound; I had to share it with you!

I think these excerpts sum up the main premise (from pages 245-246):

“When you hide the truth about yourself, you’re lying.  And the moment you lie, you can’t feel accepted by the people you’re with.  We can only feel loved when people accept us as we really are.  They can’t do that until we tell the truth and allow them to see us.  The only way to overcome our fear of telling the truth about ourselves is simply to do it.”

The book begins by explaining the behaviors many of us typically use to get what we want or to protect ourselves; these types of behaviors we learned from a very early age.  The unfortunate part is that these behaviors will only get us “imitation love” which is unfulfilling and unsustainable.  The book continues by explaining ways to begin telling the truth about ourselves so that we might experience “real love” which is unconditional and long lasting.

I can easily see how I used “getting and protecting behaviors” in the past only to end up with empty relationships.  During my current transformation, I stumbled upon the strength of telling the truth about myself.  I now realize, on a deeper level, how important it is to tell the truth about myself.  I am experiencing the miraculous rewards of loving myself and truly loving others.

If you are struggling with finding real love in your relationships—with friends, family, significant other--I highly recommend this book!  It might be just the piece you’ve been missing.  You can find a link to this book on my page “Additional Resources, Books About Love & Intimacy”.

Becoming Comfortable With the Unknown ~Turning Over a New Leaf

As I go through the process of looking for a new career, I am faced with uneasiness, sometimes full on anxiety.  I wonder: Where do I even begin? What exactly do I want to do?  When will I find another career? 

My type A, strategic, organized brain wants an answer!  NOW! Part of me wants the discomfort to go away.  It feels extremely uncomfortable not knowing what I’m going to do next.  I actively resist the urge to create an answer in order to satisfy my NEED to know.  I choose to keep my heart and mind open to what is possible.  Trusting, having faith that it will all work out.  “Change your thinking, change your life.” I must practice what I “preach”. 

I would not have been able to perceive my situation with this new insight a year ago.  In fact, I tried and gave up.  It has been a learning process to trust the beauty of the unknown.  One small step at a time.  Each time I choose faith and honor my inner wisdom, the results are even more amazing than I imagined possible at the onset of my change.

So, by changing my thought process that "needs" a clear and immediate answer to an allowing process that lets life unfold, I have found deeper fulfillment from life.  Right now I’m in the middle of the discomfort but because of past experiences, I KNOW that something amazing awaits me on the other side.  I remind myself to be patient…

Holes in the Heart

This crazy idea occurred to me this week (somewhat inspired by a rock I found awhile back).  Maybe we’re not supposed to block love pains from happening; maybe we’re supposed to allow the hole to form and leave it open.  If we can learn to love without attachment—allow love to flow through us rather than try to hold onto it—perhaps then we have reached the greatest love possible…

Occasionally, love from another person will stay with us for an extended length of time.  Now and again, it will leave us too soon.  But if we allow our heart to stay open, we will be more receptive to the love that surrounds us every day.  The pain from loss can be soothed more easily.

Don’t get me wrong, we will still experience times of sadness during loss.  What I’m suggesting is that these times will pass more peacefully when we can let love flow through us rather than try to keep it locked up inside our hearts.

Next time you feel the need to shut down from the pain of loss, try keeping your heart open (as much as you can) and see what outcomes are possible.  Feel the pain but allow it to flow through you while you keep your heart open.  I’m experimenting with this myself and am excited to see what happens. 

 Feel free to share your experiences and perspectives.

Self Awareness is Key

When something isn't going the way you want it to go, do you tend to blame other people?  Is it someone else’s fault you feel and react the way you do? 

Not intending to over generalize, but it seems common to apply blame when in an unfavorable situation.  You make me mad.  You hurt me.  If only they would …then I wouldn't be so upset right now.

 Ask yourself

  • What about my thoughts is contributing to this situation? 
  • What do I believe about myself or others that might be making this a negative situation? 
  • Am I being true to my values (maybe that’s where the discord is being generated—an incongruence)? 
  • How do my feelings about myself, the people involved or the situation influence how things are playing out? 
  • Do I have uncommunicated expectations that are causing some of the discomfort I’m experiencing?

If we can be aware of our own reactions and the underlying causes for them, we may be better equipped to handle and work through unfavorable situations.  When we are aware enough to know what we really want and what we really feel, then we are better able to make action steps to change the situation.