Small Changes Today, Lead to Big Change Tomorrow

5 Benefits to Cultivating a Breath Mindset 

If you want to be happy then you have to start acting happy. Every day. Every single day you must take time to separate yourself from the stresses that keep you dwelled up in the past and allow your mind to be free. 15 minutes is a great start. Separate your mind by centering and slowing down. Focusing instead on the inhales and the exhales. 

Our world reflects to us what we are continually thinking about, so separate from the anxiety and allow yourself to breathe. See yourself being joyful and happy. Psychology will tell us that we are damaging our bodies by thinking negatively and actually shortening our lives! If we think about being stressed, overworked, depressed and we are constantly thinking and talking about it, then guess what? 

You’re going to be exactly that. AND! That is what you will see reflected in the world around you. 

15 minutes of calm breathing helps swipe the board clean so you can reset your thinking. 

Below are 5 benefits of how a breath mindset can alter your daily life

  1. Create your own vision

You are responsible for how you show up and interact with the world around you. And how you show up is a byproduct of how you think. If you hold a lot of resentment in your heart and always expect the worst from others then that is what you will see and be attracted to. 

There’s a saying that you will get what you seek when you’re ready to receive it. You might think but I’m ready now! 

  • A healthy relationship isn’t going to find you until you’ve dropped your negative chatter about relationships. 
  • You won’t find yourself in a healthy body if your thoughts about your body are still limited by old beliefs no matter how much you workout. 
  • The six-figure salary you’re after won’t appear while you continue to have poor money management.

When you are ready to see real change you must begin the work of changing your thought patterns. 

Flip the switch to a healthier output. 

The truth is you will never see all of life’s miracles happening around you every day if you don’t take time to see them. 

I think about this every time I go mushroom hunting. It’s always a great time walking in the woods and at first, I don’t see any. Then once I find one I start seeing another and another, and soon I can’t turn around without finding the fungi. My focus is on mushrooms, and once I see one my mind becomes tuned in to them, and more follows. 

Start to catch yourself when you think negatively and immediately ( this takes effort ) separate yourself from the thought. Close your eyes, bring your focus to your breath, and breathe fully and slowly for 5-10 rounds of breath. Now replace the thought with what you’d like to see instead. 

I have trained myself to do this. Whenever I find myself playing out random scenarios that will never happen in my mind and I can feel myself getting emotionally wrapped in them I immediately stop the thought. It takes effort to not continue down the path. But if I don’t then it leads to other confrontations in my head that are unhealthy and ego-driven. When I can, I stop the thought, separate myself, breathe, and imagine myself hugging this person, or seeing them in a moment of pure joy. It reminds me that they are human too and that what I truly want is peace. 

Being happy starts when you short circuit those negative thoughts. It happens when you decide to not engage in gossip or online debates of the ego. It begins by taking time to separate yourself from the drama. 

  1. No more Ruminating

The best antidote for getting out of a poor mindset is to stop ruminating on the what if’s of life. People waste a lot of time and undue energy trying to fix things that are out of their control. 

It’s hard to move beyond a loss in life, like that of a loved one or a broken heart and even being let go from a place of employment. We all have moments we wish we could undo. We all have those times that we wish we would have said or done something differently. Everyone alive has regrets but you are wasting your time thinking about the things outside your influence of change. 

We, humans, tend to ruminate on the things outside of our control and this ruminating gives that thing, that person, that event power over you. It holds you back from living fully in the experiences happening right now. 

I was hurt by someone I love deeply. This hurt led me to ruminate on what I could have said or done differently to make him still love me. It had me analyzing and judging every action between us. I found myself doing things in my life just to prove that I had moved beyond the hurt. I ruminated on it for so long that it became a part of my daily thoughts of unworthiness. This went on for longer than I care to admit, and ended once I realized that the event wasn’t the real issue, it was my thinking about it that did that. I was holding myself, prisoner, to an idea that was all in my head. 

If you find yourself in this ruminating try coherent 5×5 breathing for 15 minutes. Simply inhaling to the count of 5 and exhaling to the count of 5. Set an intention to focus solely on the breath, then when you are done you can revisit your sadness from a clear mind and solutions will begin to reveal themselves to you. This is a great way to break repeating thought patterns and begin to replace them with new more empowering ones.

  1. Expect the Best Possible Outcome

You get what you focus on so train yourself to focus on the best possible outcome. Why not? It’s a lot more fun than constantly dreading some horrible fate. As stated before, you get what you focus on, so try focusing on the best. Plant the seeds in your mind of what you’d like your life to look like, and then water those seeds with reinforcement of thought and behavior. Just like planting a garden, you learn valuable lessons along the way. Maybe your tomatoes grow with ease, but your cabbage skills need work. It’s the same with life, when things don’t go as planned, you take the lesson and try again. Stay focused on it turning out right for you. 

Our brains are designed to seek out the worst-case scenario so there is work to be done here, but you will be amazing at what a little head-clearing can do. We actually need very little encouragement to stay focused and just a little effort daily will do the trick. 

Marisa Peer tells people in her training to state the thing they most need to hear. It could be from your parents, your partner, your children, your boss, whomever. What is it that you most need to hear? Say it. Say it out loud to yourself and say it often. So often we wait to get that validation from the outside when you can start saying what you long to hear right now to yourself. 

Try this: After you eat lunch find a place to sit and be for 5-15 minutes. Close your eyes and bring your focus to your breath. Direct your breath in through the nose and bring it deep into your belly. Then exhale gently out the mouth til all the air is out. Once you got that rhythm down add in what you most need to hear. Say it to yourself as you inhale, and as you exhale let go of any resistance to how it feels or sounds. Let the words fill you. See how this simple exercise affects the rest of your day. See how it helps you to show up more present and sure of yourself. See how it guides you to expect the best possible outcome.

  1. Be a Problem Solver

Learn to tackle problems not run from them. This will keep your head sharp and help your mind find alternative ways out of any circumstance you find yourself in. By nature, we learn to avoid hard things. Or better stated, we learn to avoid things we think are going to be hard. Again this is our brain’s way of protecting us.

When you approach life as a problem solver you start realizing that for every problem a solution will follow. You won’t stay frustrated for long because you know the answer is out there. 

Yes, things will still be hard and difficult somethings but knowing you can and will work your way through a problem takes some of the anxiety away. You will master the art of breaking things down into smaller chunks, and you might even find out that what seemed hard was nothing more than a half-hour phone conversation or a 20-minute online tutorial.

The cool thing about approaching life as a problem solver is that it takes your mind out of the busyness that turns small tasks into big tasks. It frees up space in your mind because it’s not a question of whether or not you will be figuring things out. You just tackle the issue and move along. The more you do it the easier it will become so start training yourself today. 

  1. Get Creative

Do not let life become a hamster wheel of survival. You are a creative being and you were meant to live a creative life. Remember to look around and develop an intuition that keeps you connected to your creative self. 

  • Pick up a notebook and write down the wonderful and inspiring things you hear throughout the day.
  • Go see a play, movie, concert
  • Take a drawing class
  • Learn piano

Our minds thrive when they are inspired and working our minds in new ways is inspiring. Albert Einstein famously would play violin whenever he came up against a problem he couldn’t see through. Then he’s come back with fresh eyes and completes the math problem with ease. 

When you work creatively you are firing new circuits in your brain that connect and wire into new pathways of thinking. This clears your mind to be a better problem solver. 

I hear people say they don’t feel creative all the time for no other reason than that they aren’t good at it. Perhaps you’ve caught yourself saying something like…

  • I can’t draw
  • I have no rhythm
  • I don’t hear the beat

I too have caught myself saying these things. I am not the best cook, but I like to get creative with my food. Am I ever going to be on one of the thousand cooking shows? NO. But I don’t need to, and either do you. No one is expecting you to be the next Picasso, so let that go and have fun. Let your creative life flourish, even if the world (or you) thinks it’s terrible. Not only will it give you a deeper appreciation for the talents of others, but it will also enrich your life in new ways and open the door of your mind to a more healthy balanced palette of experiences. 

What is a breath mindset?

A breath mindset is using your breath to help support your mind in new and healthy ways. 

  • If you are done with feeling miserable or like a victim then it’s time to find your breath. 
  • If you are not interested in taking medication to numb your body of its senses it’s time to find your breath.
  • If you feel like a slave to your anxiety, stress, or depression, it’s time to find your breath.
  • If you have a tendency to dwell on the past and beat yourself up then it’s time to find your breath.

Your breath is your life-long companion and the antidote for what troubles your mind. 

Breathwork is simple, but it is certainly not easy. It takes work, commitment, and courage to decide to look inward. You must be willing to get in touch with what is truly troubling you and seek solutions. 

We are in a world of trouble because we let our troubles go and bury ourselves in distractions. This may be ok for a while, but not when you are ready to live a full rich life. 

Breathwork helps you to see clearly and gives you the strength to stand in your truth. Breath mindset is about calming the breath that affects the heart that sends signals to your brain about what’s going on. Your mind then sends signals out to the nervous system that things are cool, calm and under control. 

It’s called breathwork because it does take work, but really breath play is a better term. Learning to use your breath is fun and feels good. Breath mindset is the method I use to bring balance into my life. 

If you are interested in having some accountability as you begin a journey into Breath Mindset, reach out. I’m happy to coach you or set you up with our online community. 

Breathe Well. 

Creating a Life that is Emotionally Rich by Connecting to Breath

You Are the Source!

Did you know that every single emotion you have has a breathing pattern to match? It’s true. When you’re happy your breathing pattern is different than when you are sad, or angry. We see evidence of this all the time. In fact, breath is so intertwined with our emotions that we’ve created all kinds of figurative language around it. 

  • It took my breath away
  • A breath of fresh air
  • Don’t hold your breath
  • Catch my breath
  • Wind knocked out of me
  • My dying breath

Emotions add richness to our lives. We lean towards joy, elation, and love to keep us healthy and content. But anger, fear, sadness are equally important emotions to understand. When you begin to understand that all emotions have an effect on our breathing patterns, then you can see the power you have to change it.

When you are aware of your emotions you can change how you feel by changing your breathing patterns. 

Emotions are what tie us to the past. They remind us of the love and experience that binds us to another. Emotions can become so intense that we feel controlled by them. Sometimes we get stuck in a certain emotion far beyond the actual experience that caused the emotion in the first place. Because our minds are constantly working to protect us they can begin to drown in sadness and sorrow. Our minds do this to keep us safe. A perfect example would be two strangers fighting over social media to prove their point by being nasty to another. They get stuck in ego and anger, feeding off the intensity. 

Emotions aren’t bad, they are healthy and should be expressed and felt, but what happens is we tend to repeat certain behaviors based on the emotions we feel, and through time we become addicted to these emotions and patterns. Too often we get so addicted to negative emotions and thought patterns that we find ourselves living a life we don’t even like. This leaves us feeling powerless because our emotions are running our life. 

Learning to manage your emotions connects you back to source. 

Managing your breath is the necessary skill to bring your body and emotions back into alignment. 

Scarcity of Breath Vs. Abundance of Breath

Conscious breathing actually shifts the chemistry of your body. It impacts…

  • Our physiology
  • Our state of consciousness
  • Our mental state
  • Our emotional well being

By paying attention and making subtle changes to your breathing habits and patterns you are opening yourself up to access more choices in your life. You begin to pay attention to things happening around you in a new way. 

Using your breath helps you to show up in your life in a responsive way vs. a reactive way. 

When you can respond instead of reacting to all that life throws at you, you move your mind from a place of fear to a place of abundance. When you approach life from a place of abundance your breathing is deep and full. Your body is feeling nourished and your nervous system is in balance. All these things help us to make more productive clear choices in how we respond to the situations of our lives.

Whereas when you feel stressed, depressed, or anxious your breathing tends to be shallow, mechanical, and fast. In turn, your body isn’t going to get the nutrients it needs from the oxygen you breathe and that is reflected in your decision making. You start making quick, reactive decisions based on the idea of scarcity. You act out of scarcity because you are breathing out of scarcity. 

Returning to source

Trauma in the body, family behavior, and lifestyle are all factors in how a person develops their breathing patterns. Everyone has patterns unique to their personal experiences, so the key is to manage our emotional state through our breath.

You can learn to anchor into the present moment using your breath. The more you practice this the more access you will have to witness what is happening around you. The more you are a witness to the world around you, and open to seeing it as it is, free of judgment and old stories the more connected to the infinite source you will be. 

Source is within you. All you seek is within you. 

Algorithms on social platforms like Instagram use your likes as a guide to creating an experience tailored to you. Your mind has the ability to do the same thing. Everything you think and do is creating the reality you live in. The reality you live in is based on emotional cues you have selected and gathered around you to create this experience. Now that you can see this you can use this information to begin breathing into a life you consciously tailor for yourself. 

You are consciously creating your own algorithm all the time. 

Invite conscious breathing into your daily routine and you will start seeing significant changes in how you arrive in your life. Conscious breathing helps you to become more aware of your emotions and return to the source of all that dwells inside of you today. 

5X5 Breathing.

A great way to start becoming aware of your breathing patterns is through 5×5 breathing. 

  • Sit in a comfortable cross-legged position, or if on a chair move away from any back support so you can have a straight spine. Plant your feet on the floor, a hip-width distance apart.
  • Round your shoulders back and let your chest feel open.
  • Tuck your chin slightly.
  • Soften or close your eyes.
  • Bring your attention to your breath. Make no effort to change your breath pattern, simply notice it.
  • Begin to slow the breath by inhaling to the count of 5, and exhaling to the count of 5.
  • Bring your attention to the inhale. Feel the breath flow in through your heart center. 
  • Exhale and notice the breath leaving your heart center. 
  • Do 10 rounds of breathing like this, focused on your heart. If it feels good you can place your hands over your heart to help keep your focus and attention there. 
  • After 10 rounds or so let the 5×5 pattern go and continue to breathe with ease keeping your attention inside. 

Notice how quickly you can change your emotional state just be doing 10 rounds of this simple and effective practice. Notice how it anchors you into the moment. Helping you to be more present with yourself and your surroundings. Notice how much clearer your mind feels. 

Simple breathing patterns like this can have a profound effect on your day. Emotional management begins with the breath. The breath connects you to source, and you begin to breath in a whole new way. 

Begin Today Because Tomorrow May Never Come

Get in the Practice of Starting Now 

The fastest way to learn anything is by doing it. You can plan all your life for a trip that never comes if you don’t start executing steps to get there at some point. It’s easy to get stuck in analysis paralysis. There is always one more book to read, or skill to try before you begin. And even if you did all the right steps none of it matters unless you start doing the thing. 

Two years ago I decided I was going to start writing weekly. I had no previous experience with writing, but I had a thought. If I start writing about the things that matter to me today, then a year from now I will have over 50 blogs that I researched and wrote that will no doubt propel me in the direction of my dreams. 

I had no idea at the time what I was doing. All I knew was that I needed a new direction and knew that the best way to figure that out was to start walking a new path. By writing weekly I am training my brain to stay focused on where I want to go. I am training myself to show up and learn something so well that I can comfortably and confidently write and speak about it. Instead of becoming overwhelmed, I take it one week at a time. 

Learning and doing are two separate skills

As someone who loves to consume information about personal development, I thought why am I not doing half the things I learn about? Why am I reading about developing myself if I’m not doing anything about it? I was only incorporating the things that were easy. The things that already came naturally to me. I was allowing myself to play small in my life and I’m not sure how or when that happened. 

Sound familiar? 

Most of us can think back to a time we jumped into the action of life without a clue what we were doing. Then somewhere along the way, we started taking more precaution, and sometimes with good cause, but this keeps us small. Taking in all the information and waiting for everything to be just right never works out. 

You have to begin today!

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, was asked how he became an expert on habits and habit building in an interview on the School of Greatness Podcast. He began researching and writing about habits and habit building. He started integrating it into his physiology by not only learning about it but writing about it. Dr. Joe Despenza says a similar thing. He says you can consume endless amounts of information but if you can’t articulate that information back to someone then you haven’t learned it. 

Walking the path is a different experience than learning about the path. 

We all know people out there living brilliant lives because they had the gumption to believe in themselves and jumped in. You probably also know a sharp tack who is living a mediocre life because not everything is perfect quiet yet. 

Begin before you are ready!

There’s a quote I love, “Three months from now you’ll wish you started today.” It’s powerful because it’s true. How often have you set out on an adventure after months or even years of talking about it only to say to yourself, I wish I would have started this years ago.

We’ve all been there but we have decided that our cozy comfort zones are a safer route than trying and failing. 

Failure is not the enemy

We forgot that to fail is to succeed. We forgot that we have to be willing to dare greatly if we want to reap the big rewards in life. The good stuff never comes with ease. It comes with commitment and hard work. It comes from times of uncertainty where you push through and do the work anyway. Not just showing up when it feels convenient, but daily. 

Success comes when we commit to starting today!

So what are the things in your life that you are putting off? And why are you putting them off? 

Ask yourself…

  • How am I benefiting from waiting? 
  • Would starting this new project, course, or pathway make my life better?
  • What am I afraid will happen?
  • Why do I feel safer now even though I want something different?
  • What is inside of me that I’m unwilling to change or deal with?
  • Do I tend to shy away from challenges?
  • When was the last time I truly stood up for what I want?
  • Would tackling this right now be any worse than how I feel now?
  • What am I afraid of? 
  • Whats holding me back?

The great thing about asking these types of self-reflective questions is that your mind will start to quickly identify where your work is needed to help you move forward. Which loops you back around to beginning today. Tackling those issues so you can show up in your life more fully. 

So many people are living half in and half out in their own life. So afraid of making the wrong decision or settling for less than they deserve and constantly keeping an eye out for something better. The truth is better cannot be found out there, better is found inside. 

The people you know who have solid relationships, healthy bodies, and sharp minds have worked to make it so. They tackle the hard stuff so they can thrive where they are. 

A new relationship isn’t going to fulfill you. A new job will end up the same as the last 4. You kids won’t suddenly start respecting you, and that health issue you are ignoring isn’t going to magically go away. You must begin to make changes now to see the rewards in life you seek. 

So begin today my friends. Whatever the step, big or small, begin today and a year from now you can look back and think, Wow! Look how far I’ve come. 

I believe in you. 

Master Your Breath, Master Your Life

How Changing Your Breathing Patterns Could Alter Your Experience

Every breath that you take is sending signals from your brain to your body about how you feel. You take over 20 thousand breaths per day and each of those inhales is an opportunity to invite in a different state of being. Each one of those exhales is a gift in releasing and letting go. The trouble is we are mindlessly breathing and our breath patterns are controlling our life.

If you are walking around depressed your breathing patterns are going to look and feel very different than someone who is moving with joy. By learning to breathe properly you can begin to show up in your life differently. 

For instance, it’s hard to maintain a state of depression when you are walking around with a straight spine, shoulders back, and chin up because your breath will feel full and intentional. Your breathing becomes full because your posture is more open, allowing air to travel through your body. Whereas if you walk around with your shoulders slumped forward, head down, and back rounded, it’s going to be harder for air to travel fully into the diaphragm. The poor posture has you breathing short and shallow into your chest, which is a secondary breathing function. Of course you feel depressed. 

Our breath is an integral part of who we are and how we show up in this life, yet we have never been taught how to use it properly. Let me ask you this…When was the last time you noticed your breath? Most people will respond with a time they felt out of breath due to running or crying or some circumstance that forced them to pay attention. 

Breath is essential!

Developing a mindful breath practice is at the heart of any yoga practice. Guiding you to gain greater insight into your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Mastering your breath is essential for any one of these components to meet its full potential.

Each time you inhale your lungs carry fresh oxygen to your blood which works as a bus delivering that oxygen to your cells. This happens every single time you inhale! And it’s an involuntary act so it’s happening whether you’re thinking about it or not. Super cool.

Most people, most of the time are not breathing to their full capacity. 

Each breath has the power to nurture your body. Most people have tight and tired lungs and an underdeveloped diaphragm. Why? Because we have never been taught about how to use our breath to completely transform our lives. 

When you learn to master your breath and develop strong lungs and a fit diaphragm more oxygen is moving to your cells. The more deeply you breathe the more oxygen you take in and the more oxygen you take in the more you are enriching your bloodstream that carries this vital nutrition to your cells and your organs. 

Optimize your mental state

When your body is feeling properly fueled you show up in a better mental state. You feel more centered and focused. Our breath affects our minds and our minds affect our breath. They’re like two peas in a pod. 

Negative thought patterns bring about anxiety, depression, and overwhelm. These thoughts affect our posture and breathing patterns. Positive thought patterns bring about confidence, determination, and joy and these thoughts affect how we show up and breathe in a very different way. 

The trick to becoming a master of your breath is being able to use breath control at any moment to change your energy and thoughts around certain situations. 

Change your breath, change your brainwaves. Chance your brainwaves, change your energy. Change your energy, change your life.

Life is always going to throw you unexpected curveballs. You will always have those challenging relationships and situations that make you feel uncomfortable. You can’t stop that from happening, but you can change how you relate to those situations when they do come up. You can let those times send your mind into a battle of ego or sorrow affecting your thoughts, your breath, and your ability to handle the situation. Or you can guide yourself into the present moment by taking a slow deep breath.

The moment you start to do this you will feel more focused, grounded, and centered in your experience. You begin to observe things around you much more clearly and take a pause to sense what is your next best move instead of reacting. This helps you be in charge of your life. 

Tony Robbins has a saying, “Life is happening for you, not to you.” We all have heard that you get what you focus on and the same is true with breath. The quality of your life can be determined by the quality of your breath.

Mindfulness

Mastering your breath is about mastering your mind. It is at the heart of mindfulness practices. Mindfulness has become so critical today because the world seems to continue to move at a faster and faster pace. We have learned to wear our exhaustion as a badge of honor. We feel the need to be busy at every second of the day and we aren’t functioning at a prime level. 

When we breathe short shallow breaths we are depriving our body of the nutrients it needs to function fully. Mindfulness is about slowing down our minds, our breaths, and our experience to live more fully in the moment. This helps bring more joy into our experience because we are present to recognize the little things and it begins with our breathing. 

Let’s try it right now. 

  • Move to the edge of your seat and let your spine run long and straight
  • Plant your feet firmly on the floor hip-width distance apart
  • Tuck your chin slightly
  • Let your hands come to rest on your thighs
  • Count in your mind as you inhale 1-2-3-4-5
  • Pause for a moment
  • Exhale as you count in your mind 5-4-3-2-1
  • Repeat 5-10 rounds

See how it immediately changes your mental state. Clearing your mind and bringing you into the moment. You can also play with saying other things as you inhale and exhale. 

This is me inhaling, this is me exhaling. Whatever works.

To master your breath you need to have a regular practice of focused breathwork. This trains your mind to notice when you begin to fall into negative thought patterns. It helps you to be aware of how you are holding your body and is a sure-fire way to beat stress, depression, and anxiety once you make a regular habit of it. 

We have learned to give away our control and wallow in our own misery. We know this is unhealthy, but there is a way out and that way is through your breath. Right now you carry inside you the answer to mastering your life. With a little effort (10-15 minutes each day to start) you can begin the take back your life. 

Master your breath, master your life. 

If you want more information about how you can start making profound change and master your breath join me over at Breath Mindset and begin your journey today.

Learning to Love the Work You Don’t Want To Do

Why doing the uncomfortable will help you succeed

Do you ever look at successful people and think, Wow! I can do that. You think to yourself, that’s an easy job, or that you have more skill in the subject? Yeah me too. This might be true, you might be more skilled or passionate about something the pros are doing, but here’s the secret…People at the top of their profession are willing to do the work that most of us aren’t willing to do. 

We have been fed a lie that we can just manifest our dreams into reality. I am a firm believer in the visualization process and agree with the idea that we can speak and act our way into believing certain things to promote a healthier life and mindset. Manifesting is something that can and does happen, but we forget about the work that goes on behind the scenes. 

When you begin to open your life up to new potential you have to put in some work. You must be prepared to dance with the universe in the direction of your dreams. 

A romantic partner isn’t going to find you sitting on your couch, you have to put yourself out there to be noticed and seen. Same goes for that dream job where you are making a real impact in the lives of others, or eating a healthy diet. You can visualize all these things perfectly in your head, but if you aren’t willing to show up for the dance then you will be no closer to your dreams than you are right now. 

Sitting on your couch listening to podcasts and reading about the successes of others is great, but only if it is followed up by action. 

The most successful people in the world are willing to do the work that most people put off until tomorrow. They have learned to love the uncomfortable moments that help them grow. They do not run away from hard conversations or say they’ll start tomorrow. They commit and do it now. They get out of bed and hit the gym, they look at their finances, they take responsibility and they do the work. 

Humans are designed for reward

We live in a society of instant gratification. A dopamine drip that keeps us plugged into social media rewards and endless packages showing up at our door. 

  • Do you really need these mindless likes and followers to justify your existence? 
  • Are the things bought bringing you true satisfaction? 

These are distractions. Distractions that take you off the work you don’t want to do. The work that takes focus, time, research, and work before the reward is given. 

Those leaders you are looking up to have decided that they would learn to love the uncomfortable space of doing the stuff they don’t want to do. They have decided to make the conversation in their head positive about their daily habits so they can focus on the big rewards. The rewards of writing a book, of gaining a platform, or taking charge of their finances, and health. Above all, they have decided that their life is worth it.

Your life is worth pushing out of your comfort zone too. And the only thing holding you back is your unwillingness to do the things you don’t want to do. 

The more you teach yourself to be comfortable in doing things you don’t want to do, the faster your goals will fly towards you. 

Learning to be uncomfortable

It starts with recognizing when you are choosing to shy away from a challenge. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. 

The challenge for me is always sitting down and looking at my finances. This has always been something that makes me uncomfortable. At some point I decided that if I didn’t know what’s going on with my money it was somehow easier to manage. Deciding to get involved and see what I was really spending my money on and what my in and outflow really looked like was super uncomfortable and I did not like what I saw. 

The conversation for me started with turning something I put off for years looking or dealing with to one of acceptance. I say to myself, I am choosing financial freedom by getting my finances under control. This statement reminds me that looking at my finances is more inline with where I want to be than my old way of avoiding the uncomfortable. 

Honestly it felt like a lie at first because of my lifelong avoidance of keeping track of it, but it is inline with where I am headed as an entrepreneur and leader. This is a practice that I choose every time I want to avoid this uncomfortable task. 

Noticing the limits of others

I have an amazing friend who has a talent for building community in her field. She is in high demand, yet she is constantly turning down opportunities because it feels uncomfortable for her to have a schedule. Stating it doesn’t feel organic enough. 

To that I say any leader, high-performer, or master of their field that you can name didn’t just show up when they felt like it. NO! They showed up and put in the work when they didn’t want to, when it didn’t feel organic. They showed up when they would rather be in bed. They showed up when they would rather be at that party. They showed up when they would rather watch their favorite television show. They showed up, they worked, and they gained the skills and knowledge to make every moment feel organic because it was never a question of where their focus was. 

We forget that the successful person has years of hard dedicated work behind them. That the overnight success stories took time and commitment. We don’t see the blood, sweat, and tears they endured to stand in front of us now, polished and with a certain amount of ease. And it will be the same for you. Once you are committed to doing the work and allowing the uncomfortable to be present and a part of your experience, you will fly towards your destination as it will begin to be reflected in all you do. No one will see the early mornings and late nights you put in. No one will see the jet lag you experience from doing too much. 

There will be others who look at you as the success story they judge. They will believe they can easily do what you do and with more skill. They will think these things while sitting comfortably on their couch wandering what’s holding them back. 

Decide to take the leap

It takes only a moment to decide to see and do things differently. Not everything at once, but the next best thing to move you to the dance floor of your own life. The universe is waiting. 

Set the Intention of Your Day with a Breathing Meditation

Live Your Life on Purpose in 10-15 Minutes A Day

We all live by a set of routines so ingrained into who we are that it’s easy to set ourselves on auto-pilot from the moment we roll out of bed. Instead of mindlessly hitting that snooze button and setting into motion your typical morning rituals, what if instead you took 10 to 15 minutes to set an intention for your day? 

When you adopt a breathing meditation into your morning routine you are offering yourself an opportunity to set a clear intention for the day. Taking time to breathe in gratitude and think about the things you care about puts you in a state of awareness.

Distractions Are Everywhere!

There is a lot going on in the world around us and those thoughts of stress, overwhelm, and frustration can bleed into your mindset. All those outside distractions bombard you every day so much so that you can begin adopting them as your own thoughts. We are raised on a diet of fear and this can take over our emotions and affect how we show up and interact with the world IF you allow those things to come into your mind.

According to the Huffington Post, 80% of Smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up!

Waking up to the beeping and sounds of your smartphone brings your mind from a place of rest immediately into the stresses of the day. Almost as though repeating a recording from the day before, your mind then begins to jump into the normal mind chatter that occupies your time about who you are and how you show up in your life. 

You know where this path leads because it’s the endless groundhogs day you’ve been living. Now is the time to figure out a way to start your morning in a more productive way. By sitting intentionally and breathing you create space to allow in thoughts and emotions around how you want to show up and respond throughout your day. 

Taking the Time to Create Your Day

You are no longer allowing your day to take you for a ride. You are setting yourself up by asking the questions that will fuel your day forward. 

  • What is your vision? 
  • What are your goals? 
  • What are your intentions? 
  • What’s the type of energy you want to show up with? 

Things will happen that are uncomfortable. You will still be forced to make micro-decisions from moment to moment that determine the trajectory of the day. 

  • You’re going to make mistakes
  • You’re going to be frustrated
  • You’re going to be triggered by that person
  • You’re going to get cut off in traffic
  • You’re going to be sad, depressed, overwhelmed or angry. 

All of these things will continue to happen. It’s called life! And when they arise they are going to impact the rest of the day. I know because I do it too. And I know how hard it is to get your mind right after a negative encounter. 

That is why it is important to set yourself up.

Set an intention for your day and release it through your breath. Allow it to cleanse the body and mind of negative ego-driven thought. Create an awareness in your life of what you want to see. 

  • If you want a peaceful home life then focus on that and let the nit-picking go.
  • If you want a healthy body then focus on that and let your inner bully go.
  • If you want to go back to school and get a degree then focus on that and let the idea of how old you are go. 

We get what we focus on and most of us are so distracted from moment to moment that we have no idea what we are intending for our day. Sure you might say you want a romantic partner but then spend no time intending that into your life. 

 Jim Rohn has a quote I love: 

“I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change.”

10 to 15 Minutes

A 10-minute breath meditation can begin to open you up to new possibilities in your life. New ways of seeing the world around you and the world within you. Helping you to define the life you want to lead. Once you start to breathe into this new way of being you will be more aware of any thought or experience that happens that does not support your vision. You will start to actively disconnect from the negative and feel more aligned to your true nature and calling. 

Like all new practices and routines, change will begin to appear in unexpected ways. You may want to start writing down and exploring what comes up. Get curious about the thoughts that randomly enter your head when you are breathing with intention. You might surprise yourself at what comes up and what truly is important to you. 

A breathing meditation helps you gain control of your life and the vision you put out into the world. This type of meditation helps you live with intention and get clear on your goals. You will find yourself being able to say no when things are out of alignment. Your energy around things will change and showing up to breathe each morning will become a joy. 

10 to 15 minutes per day is all. 

That’s it. 

10-15 minutes of sitting and breathing intentionally. 

Placing your attention in your body and continually bringing it back to each inhale and each exhale. For 10 minutes allowing nothing to take precedence over this inhale, and this exhale. You might even say to yourself…

“This is me inhaling, this is me exhaling.”

Before you check your phone, before you begin your commute, before you drink that morning beverage, sit and breathe intention into your day. 

Come into your day from a place of action. Get it done first thing. Write out what you are looking for clarity on and then breathe. Create your day with intention. Feel the emotions you want to feel. Visualize the experiences you want to live. Breathe into a new you. 

10-15 minutes each day to allow your life to unfold in a more positive productive manner because you, my friend, are worth it. 

Cutting Ties With Old Self-Limiting Beliefs

Now is the Time to Break Through the Face of Defeat

From a very young age, we are lumped into groups. Groups that help us identify who we are, groups that give us a sense of community, and groups that ultimately shape the world around us. We are put into groups to help the world communicate to us in a particular way and we, in turn, learn how to communicate with the world. This is why breaking old mindset patterns is so challenging. Mindset often goes beyond what we believe. Old beliefs about who we are have been ingrained in us and have conditioned us into the lives we live. 

From as early as I can remember I knew I wasn’t smart. All the tests told me so and teachers told me so. From as early as first grade I remember missing out on recess and schoolwide events because I was behind in my work. I remember getting laughed at for not knowing how to count back change in the second grade, and I remember having to leave the classroom to get extra help with my work along with the mentally challenged kids. 

As I grew up it didn’t get easier, and at some point, I stopped trying. In my mind, I knew I was never going to be good at school. They showed me so, and as my other peers were praised for being “gifted” I began to understand my place in the system. 

I was categorized by how well I performed in the classroom and I slowly conditioned myself to believe it. 

My peers were others, like me, who saw their place and turned to jokes to cover the pain of feeling like a failure. It was no wonder that I ran from our education system the moment I could. Continuing my search for belonging in fields, opportunity, and people outside the normal status quo. 

Ultimately for me, this was a gift in many ways. 

  • It almost forced me to live a more creative life. One I wouldn’t change for anything. 
  • It allowed me to use creative thinking to solve problems in my life.
  • It opened me up to people and opportunities that were less mainstream

All things I am grateful for. 

It also left me with an idea that I would never be good enough. And because I believed that to be true it has been a reflection of many things in my life. 

Now, in my mid-forties, I’m angry because I lost so many years to an idea that was ingrained in me as a child. I’m angry that I live in a world that promotes this idea of categorizing children as “gifted”. I’m angry because I know that a child’s intelligence rarely has anything to do with who they are, and more to do with what they are told they are. 

Fortunately for me, I had parents who told me otherwise. Who encouraged me to think and grow at my own speed, and who continue to show me love even when they are unclear of the paths in life I choose to walk. Even so, the expectations between my sister and I continue to be very different, as families also fall into categorizing each other and lead us into a variety of expectations. 

Perhaps you have experienced a similar experience in school. Perhaps you were lumped into a category that allowed you to pass through the cracks of our education system with little belief in yourself. 

Maybe, like me, you are searching for a way to break through your old limiting beliefs. 

As I grow in my mindset work, I can see clearly that this is the growing edge I have come up with. The edge I must breakthrough in order for my own company Breath Mindset, to truly be successful. 

During my morning breath practices this week I’ve been hitting that edge. I can’t seem to breathe deeply. A blockage has appeared in my mid-back just to the right of my spine. It is painful to breathe deep and I have been approaching my work in this area tenderly. 

The questions I am forced to ask are… 

  • What is causing this blockage? 
  • Why am I not allowing this discomfort to move through my body?
  • Where did this sudden discomfort come from?

In the quiet of my morning routine, the answers have poured out of my eyes through streams of tears as it all became so clear. 

It is time for me to shed this old limiting belief and step into my value. The pain in my back is the result of a lifelong belief that I am ready to let go of. 

Breathwork is my tool, and mindset work is the motivator. 

Only I can choose how I grow from here. It’s not always easy, and it’s important to share. We are all growing through some sort of limiting belief buried inside of us. Preventing us from stepping into our power. Once you can identify where your work is, you must be willing to breathe into it. Expose the truth, the hurt, the anger, and step into the knowledge that you no longer need to identify with it. 

It takes courage to face the beasts of our past. To say I am vulnerable and unsure of what the new version of me will look like. Please know I am in the midst of the work myself. Not a polished product with answers to give, but a working, living diagram of the knowledge I myself am seeking. 

This breath is not always easy, but one must be willing to sit in the rain if you truly want to enjoy the rainbow. 

Every day as I do this work I am not always sure of the path that lay before me. I am not 100% confident that this is going to work out. But I do know that if I continue to show up and do the work it will be rewarding. I know now that I am smart enough to figure this out. I know now that I was never meant for a 9-5 job and the school system just helped ensure that I didn’t end up in one. 

My path continues to be windy and unpaved, but I am smart enough to know that I can leave a map for others to follow. I am smart enough to know that by being alive on this planet today I have something to offer. I am wise enough now to know that my purpose and passion is not to be smart, but to be kind. To offer service to others who struggle with belonging and purpose and to show them that they hold within themselves the power to change their life. And that they, you, can do it one breath at a time. 

Make Routines Not Resolutions

Because We Are What We Repeatedly Do

It’s the start of a brand new year. And just like the snow falling outside my window it feels fresh, clean, and full of peaceful intention. The new year is an opportunity to reflect inward so you can grow outward. There is a collective energy that can be felt as we step into the new year. One of hope, new beginnings, and a chance to close the door on the past. 

I love the promise of the new year, and always question those who resist the idea of making positive change in their life. Proudly pronouncing on social media that they don’t need to change or want to grow. It always fills me with a sense of defeat. Like they have given up on the idea that they have more to offer themselves or the world. I also see a lot of resistance to making resolutions, and this I can more easily wrap my head around. 

The idea of resolutions sounds so finite. A proclamation we share that is often completely unsupported so we get discouraged and fall back into our usual patterns.

In a society that has come to expect instant gratification, resolutions feel like too much work.

What if we changed the conversation? What if instead of focusing on resolutions we moved that focus to make new routines?

That is ultimately what you are saying when you resolve to do anything new. 

If you want to change, you have to make room for that change to come into your life. Routines are a great way to do that.

Give yourself structure

Routines provide structure so you can break up big lofty goals into daily doable actions. Like any routine, the hardest part is to start. But once that momentum is moving you will have put into place a structure to keep you going. It won’t be a question of making time to work out, it will be a part of your routine.

The idea of creating a routine can feel overwhelming on its own, so break it up. Ask yourself these simple questions to get you moving…

  • What are one to two things I can do every day to help me reach my outcome?
  • Who can I enlist to hold me accountable?
  • When can I create time to work on a said goal?
  • Where is a good place to post my vision so I can be motivated by it daily?
  • How am I going to show up every day to make this a reality?

According to healthline, it takes the average person 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. This means that the first 2 months or so are going to require the most work. After that you will start to notice a change. 

Daily habits are what will lead you into a healthier happier life or what keep you stuck in a life you might not even like. 

What makes successful people successful is that they do the stuff that unsuccessful people are unwilling to do. Successful people want to stay curled up in bed under cozy blankets when the alarm goes off too, but they have decided their life is too important so they get up and begin their routine. They get up and get going. 

Just keep swimming!

The wise words of Dori from Finding Nemo are a continual reminder for me to keep going. Much like Dori I often find myself wondering what I was looking for or where I’m actually going. Sometimes I just want to give up because I feel like no one is listening or cares. But her words echo in my ear, just keep swimming, just keep swimming! Momentum comes from movement. Movement helps ward off depression and helps those endorphins to start moving through your body. Movement is progress and progress promotes more focused thinking. 

As Dr. Joe Despenza says, “Move from thinking to doing, to being.”

Routines help you prioritize goals

Knowing what you’re aiming for is a huge part of what will make or break a new routine. It’s important to know why the outcome of doing this new routine is important to you. This sounds simple enough, but I know so many people who set goals based on what they think they should do, or what they think others want them to do. This kind of thinking is not powerful. It is fear-based and it will leave you with a snapshot of your potential future reality that doesn’t empower you to grow. 

Get clear about why you’re choosing to invest in this new routine. 

Set yourself up for success!

I know so many people who never dare write down a goal out of fear of failure. Not even allowing themselves to envision a new and different way of being just in case it doesn’t come true. They feel like a failure before they even begin. Ugh! That’s a lot of pressure. Routines set you up for success. So instead of saying “I’m going to lose 30 pounds” and feeling overwhelmed and pressured and afraid, say “I’m going to prioritize my health” or “I walk 15 minutes every day after work.” 

The key to any successful routine is to prioritize it. This is why it is super important to know your why. Simplify and you too can start moving from thinking about it to doing it, to being it. And come next year you will be empowered and ready to set more life-changing routines into action. 

Let me know what routines you are implementing into your day, and if you need an accountability partner let me know. 

Christmas Doesn’t Come From A Store, and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves

Have We Lost the Meaning of Christmas?

The Grinch is slowly becoming one of my favorite Christmas characters. As a middle-aged woman who is feeling more bittersweet about the holidays the older I get, I feel myself questioning what all the running around is even about. 

This week I found myself, like many of you, rushing to the mall in a shopping frenzy trying to nail down the perfect gift. Weeks leading up to this week I fed myself lies about how I was going to opt-out of gift-giving this year, only to find myself in the holiday rush like I do every year. 

The Christmas spirit is nowhere to be seen at the mall. Big bows and stocking stuffers are thrown in our faces as we walkabout. Looking around for what we can afford, our stress rises and the overwhelm of choices takes control. We try to shop with a conscience while living on a made it china budget.

I get caught in the rush, but like most people, I seek something deeper as I succumb to the pressure of the holiday gift brigade. 

  • Am I going to be the only one to show up without a gift to the holiday party? 
  • Am I the one to be labeled a Grinch? 
  • And what if the Grinch is right? What if someone came and stole everything from your home? 
  • Is that what it would take to see the meaning? A thief? 
  • What if instead you simply decided no gifts this year? Do you think it would ruin the holiday? Or perhaps mean a little bit more?

I watched How the Grinch Stole Christmas this week and found myself feeling like him. Annoyed with the sounds, the facade, the desperate plea to keep the magic alive for the young ones in our lives. I feel more tuned into the stress, depression, and anxiety of pressure to conform. Where have we gone astray?

I have so much to be grateful for and am trying to keep sight of the people in my life who are the real gifts. But just because I’ve hit this milestone doesn’t mean everybody else has. Christmas is the most anticipated time of a young person’s life, yet I am left feeling like we have turned a gift from Santa into a huge array of never-ending gift-giving that is leaving us hollow. 

In a time where it is clear that human life is disposable, where we value things over people, is Christmas really store bought? 

Where is the spirit of Christmas when we walk over homeless people living outside in the cold to arrive at a function filled with an overabundance of stuff? Trees are cut down for our pleasure and outdated rituals control our actions and thoughts. 

What are we celebrating? And what legacy are we teaching our youth by doing so?

As you go about your holiday this year, take a moment to reflect on those unable to find joy in the season. Take a moment and see other humans walking through this world, not just objects we pass on the street or mindless cars traveling about. 

We live in a very challenging time and joy will not be found in the hearts of many. We have become polarized and live in pursuit of showing affection through things because no one has taught us any other way. 

I know this sounds grim, and it’s kind of where I’m at today, but I do believe the Christmas spirit is still alive. I do believe that peace on Earth is possible. I do believe in the kindness of strangers and the unending joy of children on Christmas Day. 

I also believe that change starts with us. I encourage you to stop stressing over the perfect present and offer instead the greatest of gifts… Your presence in the lives of those you love. 

We are living in a time of change, and perhaps now is the perfect time to reel in our long-held Christmas traditions for more meaningful gifts of the heart. I wrote a list, 6 Ways to Gift From the Heart, and am doing my part to bring about the change I’d like to see in my holiday experience. Changes I believe will bring me and those I love most more connection and peace. 

The truth is I see the spirit of Christmas daily. I saw it today when a stranger held the door for me at the grocery store. I saw it in the eyes of a mother watching her child skip down the street. I see it in the affection my honey bun bestows upon our cats. The Spirit is alive and can be drawn out of all of us at any given moment. 

Time spent in the company of love spreads joy faster and can heal deep wounds. It does appear that Christmas is bought in a store, but once you widen your vision, just like the Grinch, you will find that maybe Christmas means a little bit more.

Merry Christmas.

6 Ways to Gift From the Heart

Trade-in Shopping Madness for Thoughtful Thinking

The holiday approached with a mixed bag of emotions. One of joy and gratitude for the opportunity to get together with family and friends after spending last year apart. The other of dread with the obligation of finding that perfect gift.

With so much already on our plate, it’s easy to run to the mall or Amazon and buy a ton of unnecessary gifts in the act of showing others we care, but this mindset has me thinking that there has to be a better way to make the holiday a special one. 

As my family gets older and the need for gifts is less, I want to make a conscious effort to fill my loved ones’ stockings with love. It’s 2021 and we are well aware of the landfill problem that grows by the day. So as you rush to find that perfect gift consider something meaningful both for the person and for our environment. This should be a joyous occasion when we reflect on love, family, and hope, yet this time of year is too often stressful, overwhelming, and exhausting. 

If you’re like me, you are more excited about making the holidays an experience. You may be ready to ditch the traditional abundance of gifts in exchange for something more heart-felt. 

Below are 6 ways to show love and gratitude this holiday that are far more meaningful than any material gifts. 

  1. Give an Experience

Sharing an experience with someone you love is a blessing that lasts for years to come. Not only are you creating memories, but you are building on a bond. After the Christmas rush is over we are often let down by the overwhelm of the day. When you give an experience it gives you more excitement to look forward to. These types of gifts allow the recipient to explore their interest and go experience something in a way that will leave an effect on them that goes far beyond Christmas day. So skip the clutter of a novelty gift and splurge for cooking lessons or tickets to the big game instead. 

  1. The Gift of Time

Make someone feel extra special this year by spending time connecting with them. 

  • Take your kids to a retirement home and connect them with their elderly relatives. Bring a gingerbread house that they can create together. 
  • Have a list of questions that you share to spark conversation. 
  • Invite a friend or a neighbor over for lunch and build a stronger community that stays with them all year. 

Time is one of our most precious resources and we don’t give it consciously to others often at all. We waste so much time on social media or watching trash tv and not enough time listening to our children or parents. The gift of time is a gift of self and the memories could transform someone’s idea of you and the holidays forever. 

  1. Donate to a Charity

A great way to pay it forward is to make a charitable donation in someone’s name to their favorite organization or cause. You could support something local that is dear to someone’s heart or make it more global. Donating to charity lifts everyone up. It shows the recipient that you listen and care about the causes and things important to them, and it makes you feel good too. The organization benefits and might even adopt a new yearly donor. 

If you have trouble choosing a charity start asking your loved one what kinds of issues matter to them. You can always take clues from their life as well. Are they a vegetarian? An animal lover? A civil rights activist? A promoter of women’s rights? Are they always posting about our school system and ways to support it? Or have a tender heart for the homeless. 

We all leave clues to who we are and what things matter to us. Pay attention. This attention and action say a lot about who you are as a listener in the lives of those you love.

  1. Send a Card

Over my lifetime I have seen the number of holiday cards get less and less personal. I love getting pictures of all my loved ones’ families but it is clear this was done on a service where the family has little to no contact with the card at all. When I do still get the Christmas letter from my college friend in California I absolutely love it. It always comes with a sweet hello and a message of gratitude and love. 

One of the most powerful ways to show you care is as simple as saying thank you. A holiday card is a perfect time and place to do such a thing. Say thank you to those who make a difference in your world. Personalize it. How many baristas or bartenders get Christmas cards from customers they serve daily? Not many, and there is no doubt that that simple act leaves a huge impression. When you look around your life there are so many reasons to say thank you and who doesn’t love to get a card in the mail.

If cards aren’t your thing, you can find other ways to send messages of thanks to those that make your life easy. Perhaps it’s a couple of cookies left in the mailbox for the mail person or a box of sweets for the janitor in the office. Small tokens go a long way and the interaction with these individuals will be lasting and improved for years to come. 

  1. Recommended Reading

A couple years ago a friend gave me a used book for Christmas. It was the best. She wrote on the inside about how the book impacted her life and why she chose to share it with me. It was meaningful and impactful. Not only was it one of the most throughout gifts I received that year, but it gave her and me an opportunity to connect later in the year once I had read the book to chat about it. It also inspired me to do the same. The following year I started collecting books I found at the thrift store that I wanted to share and two weeks before Christmas I headed into Half Price Books and picked up a couple more. Everyone got books and it made for great conversation and opened an opportunity for my family and friends to learn a little more about me. 

  1. Give the Gift of Breath

We are more stressed out, depressed, and anxious than at any other time in human history! We have become disconnected from our breath and it’s killing us slowly. My online course, Breath Mindset was made and designed to help people connect with their breath and disconnect from the cycle of anxiety and overwhelm that is running their life. Help someone you love to reconnect to their intuition, confidence, and purpose through the gift of breath. The lasting effects will pour out into their lives in powerful ways which will shape their experience from this moment on. They will be forever thankful for the gift that led them away from depression and into abundance. 

However you decide to give this year I hope it is done from the heart. We all have a unique way of showcasing our love and appreciation for another. Don’t waste an opportunity to open your heart and share your gratitude with those you love. This is the perfect holiday to show someone you care. 

Let me know how you decide to give from the heart.