Do You Get Emotionally “Hijacked”?

The term emotional “Hijacking” was coined by neuroscientist  Dr. Daniel Goleman and describes in simple terms how you can go about your “normal business” and all of a sudden your “thinking brain” (pre-frontal cortex) gets hijacked by your emotional brain (amygdala).

When this survival response occurs, a different part of your brain directs your thoughts. The tricky thing is, you may not find yourself in a survival situation yet your brain just went on “strike”. You may have had the best of intentions to work on something specific and yet your focus was pulled elsewhere by emotional reactionary thoughts. For example this past week I created an intention and set aside ½ a day to craft my 6 month strategic plan, but the time for doing it was “eaten up” by an emotional hijacking experience which prompted me to write about it in this post.

My Story

In light of an incredible week of meditation I made the decision to use my quieted mind to make bigger decisions in my life, clean the “closets” so to speak, prioritize, eliminate the drains and focus on what truly mattered in my work.


I set aside a morning that started with an hour long of meditation, some yoga and a walk in the woods. By 10:30 I was ready to tackle the task at hand and the phone rang.
A really dear friend of mine was having digestive issues, all my friends know that I have been certified as a health coach and love to read and study what improves health. I am sometimes called for advice on what to do when issues arise. Now that particular friend tends to be a little “hypochondriac”, at times I feel that ½ of my work is simply to calm down his fears and my other half is to give simple and tactical advice on how to handle the situation.

After listening and giving my advice the phone call ended, but not my focus on his problem. Even though the conversation was done I remained “involved” in wanting to help more. I began doing more research on the topic, which took me until noon, I then had lunch and started my strategy session but found myself unable to focus.
I had to ask.. what is going on?


I was feeling anxious and as a result unable to focus. Of course, the more I began reacting to my state of being the worse it got.
I decided to take a little break and meditate to see if I could find some inner peace and hopefully get back on track with my intention to create my strategy.

I was so disappointed.. because just a few hours before I was feeling great and ready to tackle the world and bam.. I got “hit” by my emotional brain!


Can You Relate?


Most people I work with can, especially if you have had past experiences that were traumatic, your “fight-or-flight” trigger may be more sensitive than others. At times when your “emotional brain” reacts without warning it simply means that you have now been pulled back in some past memories triggered by your current experience.

What You Can Do About It

In my case as soon as I stopped trying to force my way to continue to focus, gave myself a 15 minute meditation break, I calmed down and things started to make sense again, I was ready to get back on track.

Sometimes it is not that easy.. so here are some tips on what to do if you find yourself emotionally “hijacked”.

1.  Become aware of your state of feeling/being

Identify that you are actually emotionally hijacked. Basically recognize that your emotions have taken over and that they are not relevant to the current situation.

How do you know?
If you get scared, angry or go blank and there is no threat in front of you, your pre-frontal cortex has now relinquished its right to your reptilian brain. As soon as you recognize this fact, you are making your way back to the present moment.

2) Do something to shift the energy

Stop what you are doing. If you are in the middle of a conversation, don’t force yourself to continue talking or try to make decisions. Simply say “I’ll have to get back to you about this” or “let me think about it”.

If you are by yourself, pull away from what you are doing and do something to shift your body. Go outside if you can and take a breath, walk around the block, make a cup of tea, stretch or take 5 minutes to meditate. If the intensity is too much, call someone to sort things out. Do what you need to do to regain a calmer state of body and mind.

3) Focus on doing something simple

If you are in the midst of a complex project or attempting to create something new, don’t go there right away. Begin working on something simple and once your mind is able to focus, go back to the more complex tasks. For example, if you are in the midst of creating marketing copy for a new program, your mind might not be able to be creative yet. Shift your focus on responding to email inquiries or pay bills.

4) Identify the trigger and connect it to its root cause

Once you are able to have some mental space, identify what happened and the place that got triggered inside of you. This may take some time so be patient with yourself. Most people who have had to deal with past trauma are not always able to put words onto things that happened to them. They are at first a “ball of emotions” then eventually with some help- a coach, therapist, friend or anyone who can listen and has insight- can name the emotion that got triggered then see the link to its past inception. This step is important because awareness with acceptance will shift the response you have next time. It may not eliminate it completely but it will decrease its impact once something similar happens in the future like this.

5) Thank yourself for your commitment to personal growth and consciousness

I really mean this! Most people spend their life not wanting to pay attention to what challenges them thus repeating the same patterns over and over. If you are reading this, it truly means that you have made the commitment to make your business and personal growth process one and the same.

I honor your commitment for this! Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Do You Know Who You Are?

Winding Summer Down In The Berkshires

Hello and welcome!

Summer is winding down! September is one of my favorite times of the year here in the Berkshires. We get to experience beautiful Summer days- upper 70’s low 80’s. We get to have cooler nights which helps with sleep.

I always loved September because it was the time to go back to school which I truly favored. Now it’s back to work time.

This past week I attended my yearly meditation/healing session with Lama Migmar. I have attached a guided meditation for you to get the benefits as well!
Soon, the 4th quarter of the calendar year will be upon us. I have included a “mini-business/marketing” plan for you to get back on track during this transitional time period.

If you don’t have a track (yet) let me know, I can help!
As you know, I offer free “burnout and business breakthrough” sessions!
Even if you have been a client in the past, you still can take advantage of this offer to put yourself back on track.

Do You Know Who You Are?

Kinda strange question isn’t it?

Aside from the more obvious stuff like you are a human being, male or female, a family member-son/daughter of somebody, born somewhere with siblings or extended family members, a professional, a business owner etc.
If you are anything like me and like to take “tests”, you may know your Myers-Briggs or DISC profile or have discovered your strengths with the strengthsfinder test or your Enneagram number and the list goes on and on.. trust me I have done it all!

At the end of the day though, all these things tell you one thing.. that who you are exists in relation to something else (environment, job, behaviors, intrinsic motivations) or somebody else (family members, organization, country etc).

We base our identity and sense of self on all these external factors when in fact who we are is much deeper than that!
We are spiritual beings having a temporary human experience.
I am not trying to convince you to join a religion. What I am talking about is the essence of who you are. We are consciousness and our primary goal is to expand our consciousness using our human experience in this lifetime.

Once a year (sometimes more) I attend Buddhist retreats with Lama Migmar Tseten at Kripalu Center. I began doing these retreats when I was dealing with my Epstein Barr onset in the winter of 2010. These “healing Chods” (chod means “cut”) are Tibetan Buddhist sessions held by people who have been given the lineage of healing people through prayers and chanting.
The underlying premise of these healing sessions is that we carry within our body/energy system “karmic energy systems” that create imbalances in our body, emotions, mind and spirit that will eventually cause diseases.

At this point I have attended 7 of them. When I got the breast cancer diagnosis two years ago, my first thought after receiving the diagnosis was “I have to talk to Lama Migmar”.
A few hours after on that same day, someone told me that he was offering one of those healing Chods at Kripalu. I immediately canceled my whole week and jumped into the program 2.5 day after it had started.

Since then have attended 5 more sessions.
Why do I keep going back?
Because every time I come back I have a glimpse of who I am from a deeper state of consciousness! Through those meditations and chanting/prayers sessions I let go of “old conditioning”.

These experiences provide me with a freedom that makes space inside my body, mind and emotions. I can see “my thoughts” and how those thoughts affect my emotions and how my emotions create all kinds of physical symptoms. Most of our thoughts are repetitive and conditioned. Very few times in one day do we have “new thoughts”. We loop around the same loops; these thoughts are based on human conditions, many rooted in fear.

Fear takes on a lot of shape; procrastination, self-limiting beliefs, anger, jealousy, perfectionism, fear of failure, fear of taking risks, fear of speaking, fear of committing, etc.

At the basis of all those fears”, Lama Migmar says “is an intrinsic fear of death”.

Now pause for a moment.
Take a deep breath…
Sit with this statement…

Think about the fears that you have; are you a perfectionist- do you fear making mistakes? What do you think/imagine will happen if you make a mistake?
Are you a procrastinator (underneath every procrastinator there is a perfectionist)?
Are you afraid of public speaking?
Are you afraid of selling yourself, your products/services?
Are you afraid of doing what you truly love- what you know deep in your heart that you are meant to do because of… yet play it safe by reverting to something you know you do well yet are kinda of bored doing?

Imagine if you could get to know and “be-friend” your fear, learn to relax deeply around it, get freedom from it, what would you be able to accomplish?

In the Buddhist tradition, it is said that we are “bound” to suffer.  It is part of the human condition because we grow old, everything changes and we ultimately have no control over any of it (even though we seem to think that we do). The more we try to avoid suffering the more we perpetuate it.

What does this have to do with living with purpose, making money and building/growing a business?
Building/growing a business and making money following your purpose by promoting yourself will push you to your edge, the edge of your comfort zone. Most of us get to that edge and step back and never return to that edge because we are afraid.

One of my clients hired me to help her write a book. She “knew” that she was meant to be a writer yet she cried at the idea of writing because she was so “scared”. Her fear felt “real”. Once we debunked what was underneath the fear, we began taking “baby steps”. It took a few months to gain momentum and as we kept on working through those fears she kept writing.
Today, a year later, I got a text from her saying “I am done!

Now the editing job has started and I have a deadline to present my book at pitch competition on September 22nd.”

I must say that every time I read something like this I feel like a proud mama!
Not because of me.. because I “know” that everyone has the power inside of them to manifest what they want.Iit is simply a matter of releasing the fear that stands in the way.

Meditation has the power to help you see your fear and release it.
It will help you see who you truly are, relax your fears, and “identify” the conversation in your mind that creates that fear and release it.
You will “know” in your heart who you are!
Mindful awareness without judgment is the most powerful tool for transformation!
Are you in?

Free Monthly “in-person” Meditation Class

Join me for a free monthly “in-person” meditation class. Visit me at Healing Rhythms in Lenox MA, the 1st Sunday of the month, 11a.m.-12 p.m. for a hour of “Heart Matters” Meditation and Mindfulness Practices to heal and transform daily life challenges by tapping into your heart’s healing power”.

If you cannot join me for this in person event, feel free to join me by phone for that same monthly session. Pre-registration required.

 

Mindful Awareness Meditation For Daily Living

Years back when I was leading a 6 month program for women who wanted to heal their relationship with food, I introduced the concept of meditation. One of the women participating in the course that I would qualify as a type “A” personality exclaimed point blank “I can’t meditate, I just can’t get my mind to shut off”.

My immediate response was “you are not supposed to shut off your mind, meditation is about learning to deal with the chatter”.

So.. this is the point.. mindfulness meditation can be divided in many partitions and at the end of the day it simply means being mindful of what is happening and learning to relax around it.

Here is a very simple way to get begin harnessing the powers of meditation in your own life.

Plan Your 4th Quarter Strategy For Success

For some of us, since we were children, we view Summer as the time to “chill out” and September as the “going back to school” or “back in business” time of the year. I suggest to my clients to do this review quarterly.

Before you know it, the end of the year will come and with it another year.

I am a proponent of both, planning ahead and “dancing in the moment”.
90% of the time,  airplanes are “off course” and get back on course using their navigation instruments to arrive at their destination safely.
In this case, your instrument(s) are the gage that you put in place to keep track of how your business is growing.

Here’s a planning guide for you to plan your success this fall.

Burnout Buster, Business Breakthrough Bite Sizes

“Burnout Buster, Business Breakthrough Bite Sizes”

News You Can Use!

Happy Mid-August!
Special newsletter announcement this week! I have decided to rename this newsletter and focus on a new “Niche”.
My new niche is working with Entrepreneurs who have had to overcome “Adverse Childhood Experiences”.

The niche is for Heart Centered Entrepreneurs determined to break through the effects of adverse childhood experiences who want to make money doing what they love, attracting their clients by delivering an authentic marketing message while remaining sane and healthy.

You will hear more about this in the very near future but for now, it suffices to say that I am clear that there is a certain “psychographic” profile people possess who have had to overcome adverse childhood experiences and who chose to be in business for themselves.

Based on the conversation that I had below with one of my clients, I decided to create “bite sizes” news. After congratulating me on my weekly newsletter, which I thanked her for, I asked what she got out of it (I always want to know the “specifics”). She said that she scans through it, likes what she sees, and is looking for the “one bite size” piece of information that she can use. So I decided to shorten it and give one piece of advice per column. Let me know what you think!

“One Thing” Per Day Keeps The “Gremlins” Away!

Today I met with a past client to get an update on how her business is going. I always like to know from time to time how my clients are doing. I feel like a proud mamma when their business grows to a place where they feel good about it.

It happened to be a day where she wasn’t feeling so good and neither was I.
We got talking about the ups and downs of running/having your own business.

The “ups” obviously relate to getting clients and making money.
The “downs” relate to not having enough clients or making enough money and getting a “beating” by our own self-critic, because let’s face it, that is where the damage comes from.

When I asked her what makes it difficult for her to get things done, she said “it all depends on my moods”, which I agreed. I concurred by saying that when I teach 3 spinning classes per day (which I do twice per week now), the day after I am really exhausted and can barely carry through the day.
This led me to talk about making and prioritizing our choices.

Most often when people are overwhelmed with too much to do (who doesn’t) and what feels like “too little time” and not getting things done fast enough, I often ask them to set themselves up for success by focusing on doing “just one thing”.
Easier said than done” she said “what is that one thing?” to which I replied “the one that helps you make money or bring in new clients”.
Yes it is the truth!

When we talked about one good client that she has, she remembered that she got that client by teaching a workshop. She then proceeded to say that she needed to create another one. That made me smile! 🙂

So moving forward all her daily actions will be geared towards teaching that one workshop.
As simple as that. This is her one action per day that will keep the “gremlins” away.

Plan your “One Thing a day” with my free guide, click here! 

Of course there are many more other things to do in one day, but this is the one thing that we can do that will help us get directly more in touch with potential clients.

Health Tip – Focus on Service!

Each day I like to draw an “angel card” for the day.


I love this card… it states the following:

“You drew this card because you’ve been called into spiritual service, either as a healer or a teacher. The thought of conducting public spiritual work may trigger nervousness. Don’t worry though, this anxiety has no bearing on your readiness for service. It’s simply the ego wrestling to gain control through fear. The antidote is to focus on your higher self’s mission, which is loving service to the Highest.
(there is more to this but you get the gist) … At the end it says

“To operate out of your higher self, focus on blessing,-instead of impressing-others. Begin each session or seminar by opening your heart to loving everyone involved, and ask the question “how may I serve”? to put your higher self in charge.

Most often as an entrepreneur we get “caught up” in all kinds of things; technology, customer service, sales, making money or not making money and lose track of the reason behind what we do! When and if you are truly aligned with your purpose, money will come! To alleviate the stress of all these “to do’s” ask yourself the following “how can I focus on service instead of focusing on how to build a business”? Of course you need both, and if you truly follow your heart in the name of service, everything will fall into place!

Inner Guidance Versus Inner Gremlins

What Is My Inner Voice Saying?

Let your heart be the CEO of your life and business.

“How do you  know if you don’t want to do something if it is the voice of fear or simply the voice of truth?”

This past week, a client of mine asked me this pointed question after reading my latest articles on fear and which inner voice to listen to. It was a good question, especially when it comes down to starting a creative project or a business.

MY answer at that moment was “if it keeps coming back, if it keep nudging you, it is something that your heart and soul are pointing in the direction of.”

The tricky part about making the choice is knowing where the “voice” is coming from and for most of us that is where we get tripped up.

 

Tapping Into Your Inner Wisdom

Let’s say, to keep it simple that you decide to remove sugar from your diet to stop sugar consumption for a month. You make this decision from a “healthy place”, the place inside of you that wants to be more centered and grounded. Now during your month, you are invited to someone’s house and there is your favorite chocolate mousse cake.

Let’s say that you worked very hard that day and you are tired; you tell yourself that you truly deserve a treat, what in that moment will you choose to listen to?

To me, it all depends on where the decision was made from in the first place. Was it from a place of fear? (aka lose weight in order to be loved) or from a place of love? Self-love that is, because you recognize that sugar makes you dizzy, hyper, unfocused and you choose to be living more from a more centered place inside yourself.

“There is no bad decision.. there is only a decision that will take you down one road rather than the other and it is a matter of choice. Inner wisdom lets you know that when you make your decision. “

To make these decisions it is important to create an “ inner environment” of calm and centeredness through meditation, a walk in nature, journaling or talking to a trusted guide (friend, coach, therapist, consultant). You need to tap into a deeper place within yourself, the place that “knows”.

I have always known that I wanted to be a business owner, and have done so for the past 20 years.
Have I always succeeded at it? No, I haven’t!
Have I learned a ton along the way? Yes!

I often say to my clients that the fastest path to personal growth and development is starting and growing a business.There is no one to turn to except yourself and this, for some of us, is the most challenging thing we do.

I remember years back answering my coach, who was highly skilled and experienced and who could not seem to find a way to help me get unstuck (my gremlins were definitely working extra time). She asked “what do you want” and my answer was “it depends on what “self” you asked that question to”.
I wasn’t trying to be a smart alec, I was simply being truthful. I was aware of the different “voices in my head” and I couldn’t find the answer because there seemed to be a variety of answers.

Today, if someone asked me that question I go straight to my heart and listen for the answer. The answer is always simple, loving and compassionate. My heart “knows” the way through, that is where I get inner guidance from.

Take The Leap” Workshop THIS WEEK!

Take The Leap” From Fear To Faith Workshop
Do you want to know what your heart has to say about what you love and even go deeper and make money doing what you love?

If your answer is YES, join me in person at Healing Rhythms in Lenox on this Tuesday, August 9, at 7 p.m.

Inner Guidance Versus Inner Gremlins

Overcome your inner Gremlins with this simple four step strategy.
Try listening to your heart..
Find a way to get calm.. meditate, go for walk, journal, do something that brings your body, mind and heart together and ask a question.. place a hand on your heart and listen for the answer.. if it comes simply, joyfully, clearly that is your answer. Trust it and move forward with it.Remember “there are no bad decisions”, there are only decisions that lead us down different paths.

As a soul embodied being, born with a mind that can think, remember that the mind is a great servant and a poor master, that is the “small mind” or “ego mind” that I speak of. Once your heart speaks, let your mind help craft the strategy that will help you get to where your heart is guiding you. Remember, the messages of your heart are simple, loving, compassionate, fearless.

Drop me a line and let me know how that goes!

Fun In The Sun With Fido

Weekly Health Tip From Chantal 

Ok, by now you know that I don’t have a “Fido”, I have a Lola and a Chloe!

One of my favorite walks this Summer has been along a beautiful lake called the Stockbridge bowl. I have seen it in all kinds of phases; tumultuous, so peaceful that you could hear a fly, sunny and filled with people having fun on it kayaking or swimming. The best part has been to part in my dogs love, Chloe and Lola walking along.They love swimming and I love watching them play and enjoy the water.

Here are some of the health benefits that pets have on human beings.

Studies have found that:

  • Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with dogs have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with dogs survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/the-health-benefits-of-pets.htm

After reading this, even if you don’t have a pet, let yourself borrow one from a friend or family member; set up a play date. You never know how helpful this could be to them and to you!

Heart As The Healer

Heart As The Healer

A few years back when I was dealing with Epstein Barr and Lyme Disease(for the 2nd time) I “knew” that I had to make changes in my life. None of what I was doing in my life was bad, in fact everything was “right”, I had a healthy lifestyle, ate the “right” food, exercised daily, did yoga almost daily, and lived in the country. Yet when I was hit with this this “double whammy” I began asking myself “why is my immune system struggling despite my lifestyle?”

Somehow I was “guided” by my intuition to begin listening to Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist teacher. I had heard that stress affects the immune system and I wanted to learn more about mindfulness. I wanted to be able to see deeper into my habits and patterns and have tools to release them. At first, I could not understand much about what she had to say, yet I felt the energy that she had as she was speaking (I love listening to audiobooks, especially when read by the author because of the energy that voice carries). I would get very calm inside and become a witness to my own thoughts and feelings. I began to recognize and calm down my judgments. To this day I have kept the habit of listening to her. Especially on my sleepless nights, which I have had a lot of the past few years.

Since then, I have expanded my knowledge of Buddhism by attending multiple healing “Chods” with Lama Migmar the Harvard University Tibetan chaplain. Chod means “cutting through”. This very intense practice involves laying down for the duration of the Chod (sometimes 2 days, sometimes 5 days) and receiving healing. The principles behind a “Chod” is that we carry our “karma” not only from this life but also from past lives in our body, emotions and mind. The person who performs this healing ritual has been embedded by his spiritual lineage to perform the healing practice. Incredibly enough, Lama Migmar started performing this Chod with other Tibetan Lamas and has continued forever since (more than 8 years now) to come to Kripalu Center two or three times per year and perform healing by himself.

I intuitively knew that I carried stress deep in my cellular memory like every human being who has ever been through an Adverse Childhood Experience (read more by taking the ACE test @ https://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score) .
In my case my ACE test score is 8 out of 10. The ACE study done by Keiser was the longest study ever done to establish a correlation between childhood trauma and future ailments on all levels. I was relieved four years ago to actually find a study that confirmed what I already knew, that trauma leaves an imprint on the nervous system that eventually will deplete the immune system. In short, what this means is that you will be more prone to autoimmune disease, heart attacks, cancer and the likes if you have a history of trauma than if you haven’t been exposed to trauma.

Overcoming challenges of health, self-doubt,and ” going at it alone” as an entrepreneur aren’t easy.

Join me at my upcoming workshop August 9th, and Take the Leap” From fear to faith”~ Learn how to live a life and grow a business that reflects your soul’s purpose. 

 

Healing Your Heart With The “Tonglen” Practice

Through the practices I learned from Lama Migmar, I drawn to what is called the practice of “Tonglen” which is a healing practice from the heart.

The goal of the “Tonglen” practice is to imagine taking someone’s pain into your heart (including your own) as you inhale and send light from your heart as you exhale.
I have made this practice part of my daily practice (almost daily ☺) now for the past 6 years.
Within the “Tonglen” there are four rounds, the first one directed towards someone you love (which could be you), someone who is neutral to you (someone you work with or live near), someone you have a conflict with and eventually the world at large to all the people who suffer.
Last Fall I was shocked when my neighbor came over after crossing the line in between our properties. This neighbor and I had had a feud about my two dogs going on her lawn for years. Many times she had called the dog officer complaining about me and the dogs which would really irritate me like nobody else’s business.

Once I learned the Tonglen practice, I decided to make her the person that I had a conflict with and the person I would send healing light to. Mind you, at times it was very challenging! Even if the dogs crossed and went on the street, not in her yard, I would get a phone call from the dog officer, very stressful to say the least!
When I saw her approaching me last Fall, I “knew” that the healing had happened. We spoke for about fifteen minutes, I apologized and we made peace.

Why is it important to find peace? Because when your heart is at peace, your heart waves are “congruent”. The Heartmath Institute (www.heartmath.org) has studied the healing power of a congruent heart. Our heart has its own intelligence, intelligence that develops in utero before the brain actually develops. When we feel love, appreciation, and gratitude the heart waves become harmonious. They show a regular pattern which in returns affect the brain and our ability to think clearly and focus. Our heart waves affect our immune system by regulating the hormonal system (think adrenaline in response to fight-or-flight which directly affects the entire hormonal system.) There is a direct correlation between cortisol, inflammation and autoimmune diseases and other diseases.

So.. how do you get your heart to be the healer in your life?

Manifest A “Congruent Heart

Shift your fight-or-flight mode to the pause-and-plan mode.

1) Begin with an intention
Make the decision that you will become aware of your stress response and shift that response as soon as you are aware of it. Fight, flight or freeze are all “ancient” survival responses”. They are designed to prepare your body and mind to save your life. Very few of us in this day and age are truly in a life or death situation yet the brain interprets certain situations as life threatening situations. For instance my neighbor calling the dog officer threatened my dogs’ ability to roam freely and my peace of mind.2) Breathe
yes that simple.. deep breaths, inhale counting 4-6 counts and exhale counting 4-6 counts for at least 6 rounds. It will slow down your heart rate.

3) Move
Once the hormones are generated, they were created to either have us physically fight or run away, they live in your body and if you don’t move they get stuck in your organs. Go for a walk, walk away from your computer, go up and down the stairs, go to the water cooler.. do something that makes you feel your body.

4) Reflect
once your mind is calm reflect on the triggers, what caused you to react.

5) Be compassionate
This is where the “Tonglen” practice comes into play. Bring compassion to yourself for your response. My guess is that you came at it honestly. Many times the root cause of your reaction is from your past. At some point in time, I am certain that you had good reasons for reacting this way.

6) Love
Send yourself and other loves, if this is too much, because sometimes it is, begin with yourself.

This practice is one of the practices that I will be teaching in my upcoming workshop August 9th, “Take the Leap” From fear to faith”~ how to live a life and grow a business that reflects your soul’s purpose.

Take The Leap” From Fear To Faith Workshop!

Are you ready to take the leap?
Do you want to know what your heart has to say about what you love and even go deeper and make money doing what you love?If your answer is YES, join me in my next in-person workshop at Healing Rhythms in Lenox on Tuesday, August 9, at 7 p.m.

Sign Up For The “Take The Leap” Workshop.

Or by phone, Thursday August 11, at 7 p.m.

Sign Up For The “Take The Leap” Phone Call.

Book Of The Week

There are many books that I recommend from Pema Chodron; the one that pertains to the Tonglen practice is entitled “Opening The Heart” (www.audible.com).
In the audiobook version, you will be guided to learn the practice by Pema herself. I highly recommend it. I personally find her voice very soothing.
Let me know what you think if you happen to listen this upcoming week!

Free Journal Of Gratitude Guide!
The “Health Practice” of the week is to keep a “Journal of Accomplishments” and Gratitude. When I start working with someone I often give them a journal. Not only to keep track of their thoughts, feelings and realizations but also to keep track of their progress.

It is very challenging at times, especially when you work for yourself, by yourself to notice what is getting better. The “survival brain” is geared to remember the bad more than to remember the good. It is designed to keep track of what is not working as an attempt to avoid future problems.

The problem with this part of your brain is that nothing is ever “good enough” which can easily make you feel like you are “never” going to reach your goals.
The antidote to that is the Journal of Accomplishments/Gratitude.

At the end of each day, rewire your brain to a more relaxed, heart-centered place, by reporting what you have accomplished. This includes even smaller steps; like getting unstuck in writing an article, clearing the “air” with a co-worker or someone else, getting things done on your list- even if it is only one thing, especially if you are having a hard day.

Review your day, beginning in the morning and acknowledge everything that worked, that you are grateful for,  the things that got done.
Then look at what got left undone, make the list for the following day and close the day with a pat on the back… Yes You did it again!!

Tell Me Something Your Deep Heart Loves

Connecting To The Deepest Nature Of Who You Are 

These past three weeks, I have been taking a class with my best friend with Miranda McPherson entitled “Awakening to Your Boundless Nature”. This course is a spiritual training that helps us connect to the deepest nature of who we are and helps sort out the “ego” from the part of us that is eternal (we can call it our soul).

The basic premise of this course, like most spiritual practices, is to help people go deeper into themselves, broaden their awareness, and connect with their true nature instead of the “ego mind”.

Our ego mind is the part of us that gets formed as we are born and grow up in the world. It is made from the feelings, feedback, and comments we experience and comes from the people who surrounded us as we grew up.

Because no one is perfect, we receive both the good and the “not so good” views from the people around us. As infants, we are like little sponges who take everything in; we lack the ability to distinguish the truth from someone else’s projections, we “believe” what we are told and act accordingly.

Once we internalize these conversations/comments/feedback they become the conversation that we hold in our own mind. Unfortunately, for most of us, we don’t recognize or make the distinction between those conversations and who we truly are. These internalized conversations become what we call our “ego personality” which in part forms our “self-image”. It becomes the way we feel about ourselves and the world, the way we act and re-act, what we like and don’t like and how we relate to people and the world.

Most people I meet never question what they believe unless it causes them pain.
For example, you desire to create a business, to be successful and make money doing what you love, but it seems to be jeopardized by  “unknown forces”. Despite all your best efforts, the pain you experience building a business is very real. It challenges you to separate your “ego mind” from your soul.

Becoming Conscious 

The process of becoming conscious is the process of making the distinction between the thoughts and beliefs that we have internalized from what people have said to us and who we truly are.
Developing a mindful attitude is a powerful step, along with others to give us the chance to go deeper inside ourselves and observe what we hear, think, and feel. We cannot change what we are not aware of.. therefore the first step is to become aware.

Becoming aware can go both ways, it can liberate us or make us more judgmental and throw us in a negative tailspin if we begin judging what we become aware of.

Now all of this is a lot of “thinking” and at times it can get us deeper into the “rabbit hole” than we need to be. By that I don’t mean that it is not important to look at the beliefs and thoughts that are unconsciously running you, I mean that you can do both. The shortcut to finding who you are truly is to tune into your heart.

In many spiritual traditions it is said that the heart is the seat of the soul. We come from love and return to love once we pass on to the next stage of our existence.The process of soul evolution is to go deeper into our heart and find that place of unconditional acceptance, compassion, and kindness for who we are and for humanity.

Easier said than done I know!

 

Moving With Purpose And Love

In the course of miracles, which I honestly am not well versed, it is said that there are only two emotions, fear and love.
Fear dictates our ego/personality, love reflects the depth of our soul.
Fear makes us act in ways that can be hurtful towards ourselves and others, love makes us see that we are all connected and that we are all doing our best.

What does that have to do with business and life?

Everything!
Your heart will guide you to want to build a business that makes a difference in the world. Your ego will tell you that there are limited resources and that you have to fight to get what you want.
Your heart will guide you towards the “right people” and solutions because it “feels right and good”, your ego will make you believe that you have to manipulate to get what you want.
Your heart will make you look at the big picture, especially when the “going gets tough” and remind you that who you are IS NOT what you do, that you are much more, your ego will tell you are not enough.
Get the gist?

So dear friends, tell me one thing that your deep heart loves…?
About who you are..
About the people around you…
About your life….
About your work/business….
About where you live……
About your purpose in life….
About how to make money doing what you love in the world…. 
Let these questions be like an inquiry that brings you deeper into who you are.
Let yourself journal or talk to a trusted friend about what your heart deeply loves.
There is only one of you and you came here to bring your own unique perspective and to add to this world through that perspective.
Whatever you love, whatever brings you joy, whatever makes your heart sing is your soul speaking to you.

Take The Leap” From Fear To Faith Workshop!

Are you ready to take the leap?
Do you want to know what your heart has to say about what you love and even go deeper and make money doing what you love?

If your answer is YES, join me in my next in-person workshop at Healing Rhythms in Lenox on Tuesday, August 9, at 7 p.m.

Sign up for the take the leap workshop

Or by phone, Thursday August 11th at 7 p.m.

Sign up for the “Take The Leap” Phone Call

Can’t make the “Take The Leap” workshop? Do you still want to know what your heart has to say about what you love and even go deeper and make money doing what you love?

You can always book a FREE Let Your Heart Sing Business Breakthrough session by clicking below.

FREE Let Your Heart Sing Break Through Session

As always… feel free to drop me a line in the comments below to share with me what came up in your inquiry!

With Love,
Chantal

Why Resist what You Love Most?

I have been asking myself that question for quite some time now… Why would I, and my clients, adopt behaviors that are sabotaging our success efforts?
Let’s say that you made the decision to have your own business. Big Step!
Let’s say that you do it for altruistic reasons meaning you really know that what you have to offer will help people (heart centered entrepreneur).
Let’s say that you also do it for personal reasons; because you have mastered a skill that you feel confident offering to others and that makes your heart sing.
Why in Heaven’s name would you hold back from sharing this gift when you know that it will make a difference in people’s life?

Fear. 
The challenge is that fear gets very sophisticated in masking itself. For example, you decide to write a blog every week and the week comes along and you don’t write it. You have all kinds of good reasons yet you don’t write it.
You tell yourself “you need to learn more” and you take a course on blog writing;

OR you feel like writing is not your strong suit so you get someone to edit your draft but this person is doing it on their own time and it takes you 2-3 weeks to put one blog out.

OR You decide to deliver public speeches, you set one up, it doesn’t go as well as you would like and you don’t set up another one for 6 months. As a result your business suffers.

OR You don’t know much about business building and marketing and decide to enroll in a business program, you spend a lot of time learning and not implementing much.

OR You LOVE ideas… which is why you probably got into business for yourself in the first place. creating at its best!!

You have so many ideas that you never get to implement any of them.. because you keep changing your mind!

Sound familiar?

Take Your Big Leap

Many books have been writing on this topic and many techniques have been developed to alleviate your suffering.. YES one more diversion.. read one more book.

I just read (audiobook) a book recommended by one of my clients entitled “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks while I was weeding all the flower beds around the house this past weekend. Aside from highly recommending it, I want to capture some the basic principles in the book.

Hendricks describes what “upper limiting” is and the consequences between working from our “zone of excellence ” (where you can almost sleep walk in what makes you successful) versus our “zone of genius” (how to make every moment an expression of your genius) and how working from our zone of excellence is an upper limiting behavior.

What upper limiting is in very simple words is adopting behaviors that keep you from expanding your capacity for love, abundance and success. Upper limiting behaviors keep you small and comfortable, they don’t challenge your sense of self much and… they also don’t tap into the creative genius that you possess.

Here are some of the upper limiting behaviors that Hendricks names; worry, blame, criticisms, getting sick or hurt, squabbling, hiding significant feelings, not keeping agreements, not speaking significant truths to the relevant people, deflecting or brushing off compliments, etc.

In the world of business they look and sound like; I didn’t have time (as if time was in control of you as supposed to the other way around), I don’t know how to (well this one can be true and can be overcome if you say “let me figure this out” instead of stopping at the first road block), I don’t have money and it takes money to make money.. (that one is a definite myth buster because people start businesses every day with very few resources.. they become resourceful).. what is yours?

Now the way to circumvent your upper limiting behavior is to do what only you can and delegate the rest. Your genius is what you were born to do and be. Your genius is what comes easily to you. The difference between your genius and your zone of excellence is what distinguishes you from others. I see zone of excellence as a series of learned skills and behaviors, something you do so well.. as Hendricks says that you can do it in your sleep.

I see zone of genius, the part of you that comes out even if no one is asking.. I see it as the part of you that kicks in without efforts. For example, when I worked as the training director for a local bank, having been hired without prior experience in banking nor training I “knew” that I could do the job. There are two things that I do effortlessly..

I am a born strategist, I see “big picture” and can connect the dots. I know how to create a strategy that will get people from A to Z.
I also have a “knack” for reading people.. I “sense” when people talk about what they do and who they are what their “gifts and talents” are and I know how to help them make money doing that.
Strange combination.. I am an empath who has a knack for people and business.

What is your genius?
(Discovering this will bring about a great leap in your life and work.)
How can you bring forth your genius in a way that serves yourself and others at the same time?
When you work from your zone of genius you get to climb to unparalleled heights of productivity and life satisfaction.

Take “The Big Leap and send your resistance off the cliff.

Tell me…what is your zone of genius?

Uncover Your Zone of Genius

Here are two exercises to help you identify your “zone of genius.

Discover the Values that Shape You – An invitation to reflect on the values that have contributed to the most fulfilling moments in your life.

Let the Genie Out of the BoxDiscover what you are most passionate about doing and what comes naturally to you.

Feel the fear and do it anyway

A friend of mine fed up with how his boss treats him has been contemplating going into business for himself for the past two years. Every time he came close to it he stepped back. About a month ago as he expressed being tired of doing all the hard work and I asked him “why don’t you go into business for yourself?” He replied “I am afraid, what if it doesn’t work“?

I paused and said “everyone is afraid, don’t think that I’m not, everyone of the clients I work with is afraid, that is the beauty of the whole thing, we get to feel the fear and do it anyway instead of sitting on the sidelines wishing that we could have done it”.

I lead monthly meetings for local business women in an organization called “Femfessionals”. This past meeting’s topic was on the Wealth Mindset. In this round table discussion we talked about what builds the wealth mindset and what deters it.

It was obvious to everyone that fear takes on different names; procrastination, perfectionism (perfection that turns into paralysis), confusion, distraction, forgetfulness, unclear goal setting, the “shiny object syndrome” (always chasing something that seems better), lack of self-confidence, poor self-promotion or lack of, lack of effective time management, fear of failure, and the list goes on.

To quote Nelson Mandela:

“…Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Why are we so afraid of our own light?

Because we have been taught so. None of us were born feeling that there was something wrong with us, or wanting to “play small,” or not believing in ourselves. As infants we are born filled with wonder, joy and desire to take full bites out of life. We were surrounded by people who did their best, yet who may not be fully accepting of who we are. No one is to blame, we all become who we are honestly. Unfortunately no one is perfect and parents will give their children what they have or don’t have. The family lineage gets passed on. I happen to have been brought up in a family that struggled to the point where they had to place their children in foster homes. My brother and I spent 7 years in three different foster homes.

I work with clients who have had similar stories; stories of abuse, alcoholism, abandonment and neglect and most of my clients really want to forget what happened. I did too for years!

I wanted my past to be my past and my future to look brighter than my past and I worked very hard at accomplishing my goals and succeeded for the most part. Most of my clients do too!

When the past creeps up into the present we “know” that we have what it takes to succeed yet something seems to stand in the way. I drove some of the most brilliant coaches nuts when I would show up brilliantly knowing and understanding what to do yet doubting myself, second guessing that I knew what to do, always looking for a better way and especially not trusting my own inner experience. I always thought that there was a better way, more to learn, tools to acquire, experiences to gain before I could launch my business. I was well acquainted with my inner “defeater” aka “inner critic“.

The truth was… I was afraid.

One of my clients said to me yesterday. “I was very scared to start my business yet I decided to take the leap from fear to faith“. After 9 months of being in business she is so busy that she had to hire part-time help.

Growing a business is the most powerful personal growth experience that I have ever encountered. It will trigger you deeply, make you feel emotions that you were not aware of and help you uncover beliefs that you truly didn’t think you had.

The point of this is NOT to drown in your past, the point is to make peace with the past by learning to love yourself in the places where you were not loved. The only way to begin this journey is to notice the places where you are holding yourself back!

So… here is an exercise for you.

Let’s imagine that you truly want something in your life like starting a business, becoming a freelancer or starting a creative project like writing a book.

  1. Describe in writing what you want and why you want it! Let yourself daydream a little and if you can, go for a full picture.
    1. If I had (describe what you want)_____________________________
    2. It would look like (get specific about the details as best you can)_____
    3. Explain why this is important to you? __________________________
      1. Here you get to talk about why it matters so much to you.

  2. Notice your inner response as you describe what you want.
    1. Is there a voice in your head that seems to want to take the energy away from you? Are you at all doubting that it will ever happen OR
      Are you feeling distracted?
    2. Do you notice any emotions rising after you finishing this exercise, emotions like passion, joy, enthusiasm or not trusting, second guessing, sad, angry because you don’t believe that it will ever happen OR
    3. Do you notice physical sensations… elated, high energy, ready to take on the world or on the opposite; dizzy, butterflies in your stomach, lethargic and tired, or do you get a sudden headache. Our body usually gives us clues before our mind can comprehend what we are dealing with.
    4. All these signs; thoughts, feelings, and body sensations are responses from our unconscious to indicate that it is now time to go deeper and heal what prevents you from being the person you are meant to be in this lifetime. When something inside of us is not going along with our intention you better believe that this is something from your past and that you inner wiser self is now bringing your attention to it for you to transform the old into the new.

  3. Bring compassion to your awareness.
    1. Ask yourself: Is it challenging to notice those thoughts/feelings/sensations?
      1. If so, what makes it challenging?
      2. Can you let yourself be present to the experience? Being present means noticing how the feelings, thoughts and sensations actually feel in this moment. Allow your breath to deepen and focus on body sensations.
      3. Notice how things shift as you become more present to this moment than the story attached to the sensation.
    2. Ask: What if I could bring forth inside myself a good coach/mentor/friend, someone who would truly see my gifts/talents/possibilities, what would that person say to me?
    3. Ask: What if my best friend presented me with this situation, what would I say?

  4. Take the first action step and tell someone about it.
    1. When we make the decision to move forward towards something that really matters to us, fear will arise so. By telling a trusted friend, they can help hold your intention for you.
    2. After telling me, my friend moved forward and began buying the equipment that he needs to start his business.

    3. Feel free to tell me about it.. I offer a free 45 min. Business Breakthrough session, where you are guaranteed to walk away with a few steps that will get you started on your journey!

Is fear highjacking your creative power?

What to do when fear strikes!

What to do when fear strikes and hijacks your ability to find solutions.

This past week I have had the same conversation with 3 people, some of them more panicked than others. Fear can really grip you in the guts and make you believe pretty much anything is true, panic sets in and our mind gets “out of control”. We lose our ability to think creatively and react instinctively and focus our attention on the “here and now” and how to save the sinking boat.

Most of us can recognize when fear strikes that our life is not in “danger” (unless we are being chased by a bear, in which case, fear is our best friend).
We can differentiate from a temporary setback to a real life threatening situation and re-calibrate our nervous system, reset our fear gauge to a normal place and get back into business after the initial shock of whatever happens.

For others like me, who had to deal with what is called “adverse childhood experiences”, our nervous system is always in a state of “high alert” which translates into a chronic state of stress that eventually causes wears and tears in our body and mind. We lose our ability to self-regulate; moving from “hyper alert” to a state of numbness that makes us lack “balanced” responses when responses are needed.

In life and business, it translates into apathy (feeling stuck) to hyper alert (shining in a crisis) where we move from one crisis to another or create crisis when there are none in order to feel more alive.
This shows up when we set unrealistic expectations, deadlines, and promises. We rush to make things happen or flip into procrastination, anxiety, forgetfulness and resistance which makes us not show up for ourselves in the places where we say we would.
The reality is that neither of those responses are sustainable long-term.

The 10 point practice

I attended a great session at the local Sangha (Buddhist get together) last week. The presenting teacher studied with Reggie Ray, who is a Western Buddhist teacher who practices a body centered (somatic) form of meditation.
She led a great mindfulness relaxation that made a huge impression on me. I felt more relaxed being led into that experience than I have felt in months. You can download this practice for free on www.dharmaocean.org, titled ”The 10 points practice.” This very slow, mindful relaxation practice is meant to prepare the body and mind for meditation. Most of us Westerners are not able to relax enough when we meditate to enter a space of complete quiet. At best, we calm our mind down, become aware of our thoughts and hopefully create the space necessary between our thoughts and breath to become fully present in the moment.
For some of us, the stress held in our body is so predominant that sitting still for more than 5 minutes resembles torture, at least it was like this for me for years until I had to deal with chronic fatigue and “knew” that my way of life was no longer sustainable.
Our body holds the story of our life. At 24 years old I already “knew” that. I searched for a more relaxed way of living when I began practicing yoga.

I had a sense that my body held a deeper knowledge and memory than my mind when I began studying expressive arts and movement therapy 17 years ago. I intuitively “knew” when I used methodologies such as movement and arts that my body gave me information that my conscious mind didn’t know existed. I would gain access and release stresses and traumas from the past that I wasn’t aware of despite my knowledge of the “facts” aka the history of my life.

Are you suffering from adverse childhood experiences?

It is now recognized in the field of psychology that most of our emotional/psychological imprints happen before the age of 7. Our deepest beliefs systems are imprinted without us ever having a conscious memory of how we came about those beliefs. They happened sometimes before we ever have words to describe what we were feeling. From a psychological level it is called “trauma”, from a Buddhist perspective it is called “karma”.
At the end of the day, the result is the same, by holding chronic tension in our body, our body “locks in” deeper places of knowing. They are places where our consciousness “seals” painful memories, sensations, emotional or physical pain as a protection mechanism. As a result, we find ourselves unable to fully manifest the life, business and relationships that we want or that are fully satisfying. We settle for less than we know is possible because we are afraid.
Our creativity, knowledge and ability to manifest is “locked” into our body and the only true way to enter who we are at a deeper level is is to enter our body with compassion and mindfulness and release the stresses held there.
Unfortunately, in my case I fought a good fight to keep things “intact”. I forever kept pushing hard despite the signs of wears and tears and consequently ended up with chronic fatigue and eventually breast cancer. Those illnesses didn’t happen due to a poor lifestyle. Since I was 16 years old, I have always been conscious of eating an excellent diet and have exercised daily my entire life. I, simply because of my adverse childhood experiences, had chronic stress lodged in my body that created habits of thinking and being that would not let go until I got sick. It is at that point that I decided to enter a deeper place of healing.

Interestingly enough most of my clients qualify on the ACE score (Adverse Childhood Experience) which means that they deal with the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences which means that their chronic stress load is higher than the average people and their coping mechanisms lower.
Because the effect of childhood stress doesn’t show up sometimes until 20 or 30 years later, most people do not make the correlation between their current state of stress and what happened to them in their childhood.
for more information on the Adverse Childhood Experience study or to take the test, you can visit https://acestoohigh.com/got-your-ace-score/

9 Questions to get back on track

In the meantime, know that all is not lost.

We human beings are very resilient. The field of neuroscience has proven that we can create new neuro-pathways despite whatever has happened to us in our life so YES we can overcome the effect of chronic stress in our business and in our lives.
A lot of modalities these days exist to help us alleviate the effect of stress but for now I would simply invite you to notice what your state of stress is currently.

Do you sleep well? (at least 6-8 hours/night)
Do you eat well? (at least 2 balanced meals/day, eaten in a relaxed atmosphere?)
Do you spend meaningful time with people you love?
Do you feel fulfilled by your work?
Do you make time for yourself? (Replenishing time to relax; read, walk in nature, move in an enjoyable way, go on adventure etc.?)
Do you feel that your life force is “well spent”?
If you had only a few months left to live, are you focusing on what truly matters to you now?
Do you include a practice that nurtures your heart and soul (spiritual practice, time in nature, creative time, etc?)
Do you surround yourself with supportive people?
These and many other habits create the foundation for stress resiliency.
If you are in business for yourself, this can make or break your ability to have a successful business.
In the short-term stress gives us the ability to face crisis and respond quickly. In the long-term, it depletes our ability to be truly resourceful and build a sustainable business.

Breakdowns to Breakthroughs

life expandsBreakdowns open door to a deeper power.

Definition of a breakdown; A cessation of proper mechanical functions; an abrupt disastrous failure; a sudden sharp decline in mental, emotional or physical health; the separation of a whole into its parts of study, the condition of being decayed.

I was compelled this morning, while thinking about breakdowns, to look up the definition of ‘breakdown’. It dawned on me that change cannot happen without breakdowns. In fact, breakdowns are the precursor to breakthroughs. In other words, things have to dissolve in order to be reborn. For example, many plants, like trees, enter a dormant state in the Fall/Winter, and then come back in the Spring in a new form. An oak tree drops acorns on the ground which crack open and eventually sprout. The sprout grows into a new oak tree that will then bear more acorns. In order for the sprout to come out, the shell has to crack open and its content has to dissolve/rot and mix with the earth’s DNA to create what will become an oak tree. Nature gives us a powerful lesson in transformation. Nothing is ever lost.Everything decomposes, transforms, and gets reborn. The same happens in life!

Why is it that we as human beings resist change so much? Why is it that, at times, our resistance to change make us dig our heels in the ground so deep that despite the ‘writings on the wall’, it takes an earth shattering event to make us let go and surrender?

All my breakdowns have been physical; Carpal Tunnel syndrome, Lyme disease, Epstein Barr, Breast Cancer. Every single one of those breakdowns made me shift a career that I no longer wanted. It was only with breast cancer that I chose to look deeper into my life’s patterns. I chose to dissolve a 24 year marriage, to no fault of mine or my husband’s. We simply were not able to work out our differences. There were writings on the walls that I chose to ignore as the years passed. I felt ashamed to reveal the truth about certain feelings and ignored important needs that I had.

Why? Fear! Fear of making a mistake, going out on my own, hurting someone that I deeply care about, the unknown…and so on. My wounded ego made me believe that my fears were real and, because of that, I could not make the changes needed to respond to my heart and soul’s calling to grow.

Continuing with the acorn metaphor, the wounded ego is like the shell and the spirit is the life force that pushes through the shell. It wants our soul to expand and soar. Our ego mind can be very convincing, fueled by deeply rooted beliefs that seem to hold a lot of weight, especially if they have been in operation since childhood.
Breakdowns are a push of the soul to expand beyond a space that has become too small to live in. Like snakes who shed their outer skin layer because they have outgrown it, our soul pushes for us to let go of old emotions and belief patterns that no longer serve us.

We differentiate ourselves from the animal kingdom in one way: we human beings have free will. We can choose to resist change and growth. That resistance has a price. It creates tension, which, when maintained over time, causes wear and tear on all levels of our being: physically, emotionally, mentally and even spiritually. It robs us of our basic life force and blocks the pathway for our spirit to guide us, through our intuition, to a deeper knowing.
Sometimes, as happened to me, a life threatening illness will make us stop and go deeper. That is where transformation happens. Transformation literally means moving through forms. We let go of the old form to allow for a more authentic form to emerge. That is the function of breakdowns, to dissolve form.

Let’s face it, it takes energy to hold on to things. It takes energy to resist, yet resistance also has a purpose.It can be the precursor to strength. Butterflies don’t emerge from their cocoon without effort. They push through the envelope that surrounds them and that pushing through resistance makes their wings develop. If someone with good intentions attempts to break the cocoon open, the wings will remain atrophied and the butterfly will never be able to fly.
In nature and in life, everything comes in its own time. We live in a society that wants immediate transformation. We want to move to the breakthroughs without efforts. We want to skip the breakdown process and come out triumphantly flying. Skipping steps may land us with weaker wings, leaving us unable to soar to the heights we are meant to fly.

Is your soul calling you to look deeper? Have you had this gnawing feeling that things don’t feel ‘right’ anymore, yet are afraid of admitting it to yourself? Are you experiencing physical symptoms such as burnout, chronic aches and pain, stress and anxiety? Are you bored, restless, feeling stuck and uninspired?

It takes courage to look deeper.It is uncomfortable to ask questions that challenge the status quo, yet you take the chance of finding an unprecedented source of strength unknown to you. You will take the chance to find an unshakable source of power and wisdom inside yourself in your own heart! As a result, you will not fear change any longer because you will know that, despite the fact that everything changes, your heart and soul are connected to an infinite source of wisdom and knowledge. Only when you choose to let go and surrender do you then realize that there is nothing to fear!

Are you willing to take that ride with me?