Did you know that most things are out of our control? In Al-anon, which is a 12 step group for people who have relatives or friends of addicts often say,”We are powerless over people, places and things.”
Have you ever tried to get an alcoholic to stop drinking? How about an overeater to stop eating? What about an acquaintance or friend who has a very difficult personality disorder like narcissism? Not easy and almost impossible, right?
Spiritual teacher Byron Katie ties this conundrum up in a bow when she says, “Arguing with reality is like trying to teach a cat to bark-hopeless.”
People are hardwired by a certain age and trying to change them is like beating your head against a wall or like teaching a cat to bark. It simply is not going to happen unless the other person asks for help and has hit a bottom and decided to make the change.
In Al-anon they teach that you didn’t CAUSE the person’s behavior, you can’t CURE it and you surely can’t CONTROL it. The only thing you can CONTROL is your OWN behavior and your OWN happiness.
The best way to deal with difficult people is to spend as little time as possible with these people, unless you enjoy being left on a plate to be devoured. These people will chew you up and spit you out!
Quit arguing with reality and face the facts that the likelihood of these people changing is like your dog meowing. The odds are against you.
If you find yourself trying to control outside circumstances, know that it’s an inside job! Stop pointing your finger and put down the magnifying glass and pick up the mirror. Focus on your OWN joy, your OWN peace and your OWN happiness! And remember to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS go where the love is!
I was way overdue for my chiropractic adjustment. I have a horrible habit of sleeping on my stomach for eight hours, keeping my head twisted to one side.
When I walked into Dr. Joe’s office he asked me a profound question. What if you had only one pair of shoes for your whole life? How would you take care of those shoes? Good question, I thought.
If I only had one pair of shoes for my life span, I would treat those shoes with kid gloves. Those shoes would be polished, resoled when needed, stored in a safe place, and not thrown around like my jackets when I get home.
I can equate my body with those one pair of shoes. My body is for life. Why do I choose to throw occasional junk food in my mouth, not refurbish my body with prayer, or polish my body regularly with yoga and massage.
Thank you Dr. Joe for reminding me that my body is for a lifetime. I will commit to these steps to take care of my body, because it’s not just for a week; It’s hopefully for many decades to come;
1. Start the morning with meditation and prayer.
2. Walk two miles a day.
3. Be kind to myself and hangout with kind people.
4. Appreciate constantly throughout the day and be of service to others.
5. Eat healthy organic food which include lots fruits and vegetables.
6. Practice yoga 6 days a week.
7. Spend time in nature often.
8. Receive monthly massages
9. Wear this list loosely.
Remember, most of us, not all of us, get one pair of arms, hands, legs and feet! Let's take care of our precious body parts because one pair is all we get without intervention!
Namaste. Please share and let me know how you are going to take care of your precious body? Also, always, always, always go where the love is.
Many of us don't have perfect lives. Some of us have or have had severe to moderate health issues, financial problems or relationship struggles, at one time or another. It is called the human condition! We all have our good and our not so good, times. It is simply just a part of life.
We may compare and despair about how some people have all the luck, while we seem to have no luck. But, we ALL get a turn at the bottom of the barrel! I don't care who you are, if you are reading this you have experienced some form of "the dark night of the soul". Thank goodness we are not ALL at the bottom of the barrel at the same time so we can lift each other up intermittently.
When going through difficult times, remember many have gone before you and have felt as you have. It may feel like you are the ONLY one suffering, but believe me, it is simply not true. Life can be difficult for EVERYONE. Some hide it better than others. Your circumstances may look different from the outside world, but you are not terminally unique in your thoughts, feelings, and situations. Reach out and share your pain with others, because it will not only help you, but it will give someone else the opportunity to help as well. You are actually doing the listener a favor by opening up and being vulnerable.
Balance is the key. It’s not so healthy to keep everything buried inside, and it's not advisable to vomit toxic feeling onto others. Finding supportive and loving people to share fears and faith with, is key.
When you are going through tough stuff, remind yourself to stay in the here and now. Take it one breath at a time. Focus on the colors, smells, and sounds of your environment. Become one with your surroundings. Then rehearse in your mind all the things that you are grateful for. Do you have a roof over you? Do you have a pillow for your head at night? Do you have running water or paved roads? Do you have eyes to read this blog? If so, you have a lot to appreciate.
Our daily bread is all we need. Don’t worry about tomorrow’s bread or yesterday’s bread. It is our DAILY bread. Today is all we have, so make the most of it. Celebrate just this day and this day only! Light a candle, take a walk, fly a kite, dance around your house, or do something for someone else and don’t get found out doing it! Everything is going to be all right. I promise.
PS. Remember to always go where the love is. If you feel alone and at the end of your rope there is always help. Find a counselor, a 12 step meeting or come to Susan Foxley's "F*CKED UP to FIXED UP" workshops.
Did you know the number one remedy for anxiety is action? If you feel like you are about to jump out of your skin here are a few remedies:
1. Take a 1 to 2 mile walk.
2. Clean a closet or throw in a load of laundry.
3. Call a friend and meet for a cup of tea.
4. Clean out a drawer.
5. Put on your favorite song and dance around the house.
6. Do something for someone else and don't get found out.
7. Read some of Susan Foxley's previous blogs to uplift your soul at susanfoxley.com.
If you are feeling anxious, depressed or unworthy get up and move. It is the cheapest and least expensive anti-depressant you can find!
If you rest you rust emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Although, if these tips are not helping please seek professional help to navigate you out of this temporary problem. Remember, you may feel like it will last forever, but I promise it will pass!
Get moving as if you life depended on it, because it does! Action is WD-40 for the soul!
In my “Mixed Up to Fixed Up” workshop the first tool I give my students is a mental diet. It starts with a beautifully decorated elastic band placed on their wrist, in the first five minutes. From that moment on, they have to snap the band every time they have a negative thought and replace it with a positive one.
This mental diet begins to inform the conscious mind of the habitual thoughts that run the mind unconsciously. Since 95% of what shows up in our lives is shaped by our subconscious mind, when we break those nasty habits of chronic negative thinking, the world temporarily becomes upside down. But, that is when the subconscious mind starts changing. Your new thoughts and your new world will reassemble. You begin to change and may be unrecognizable to onlookers who will look at you in amazement.
When you practice this mental diet please keep it as a personal practice and keep it to yourself. This is a sacred and personal practice and when you reap the benefits of this discipline begin to share it with everyone you know.
The last frontier of this diet, and the one that creates the most dramatic change in your life is removing negative judgement. The tendency to judge yourself and others starts to fall away. Get rid of all judgement and find ways to compliment and build up everyone and everything in your life, especially yourself.
When judgement is eliminated your heart will begin to open and everyone around you will begin to soften and start to reveal the most precious and vulnerable parts of themselves. When there is absence of judgement there is only love. That is when the healing can really begin between individuals, neighborhoods, cultures and countries.
So go out to your local drugstore and buy a stretchy band to go around your wrist and snap, snap, snap those negative thoughts away. Replace them with affirmations that melt away division, superiority, ego, elitism, ageism, racism and religiosity. We are all more alike than you know, so let's find our common greatness and awesomeness today. Start YOUR mental diet right now. Today!
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”
Just this afternoon, I was video chatting with four of my siblings on Google Hangouts (all at the same time). It seems as if the Jetson’s cartoon of my youth is becoming more and more like reality. Technology has become a mind blowing experience since my childhood.
Imagination is the key to getting us from the clunky big phone (with all its cords) to now being buried in Facebook, Snapchat and obsessively texting loved ones.
Did you know 95% of what shows up in life is from the subconscious mind, and one way to reprogram it is through imagination! Envisioning the best is the secret to receiving the best. Fantasizing the worst is a great way to sabotage desires.
Instead of imagining the worst-case scenario in the mind, how about changing patterns now and choose best-case scenario thinking. For this is the mystical way to change the subconscious mind and ultimately our future.
It is that easy.
Imagine the universe is on your side and everything works out for your highest good. Attempt to visualize the planet free from pain and suffering. Envision enough food and water for the whole world. Picture your friends falling in love, your acquaintances thriving in business and family members and countries harmonious and joyful now.
If you want to change what is showing up in your life, close your eyes and mentally rehearse using your imagination with intention, attention and love.
Your inherent gift to the world is your personal ingenuity. Dig deep within your subconscious mind and create an invention, particular expression or notion to ultimately make the world a better place.
We have come so far with all our tweets, texts and hangouts! How about putting our heads together and imagining a better political and health-care system? Let’s begin envisioning best-case scenario thoughts and feelings together before it’s too late!
“ IF YOU THINK YOU ARE ENLIGHTENED, SPEND A WEEK WITH YOUR FAMILY" -RAM DASS
Flying back east to see my mother last week, I took the bait and reacted to a family member who was in a bad mood due to some tough personal stuff they were going through. With all the work I’ve done on myself, I should know better than to react to someone’s negative energy, but I did and I took full responsibility for my part and apologized right away.
When visiting family we can often be triggered because our defenses are down due to long flights, fatigue or even childhood wounds that can resurface. It is important when visiting family that we have a buffer like: prayers, mantras, conscious breathing, meditation, exercise or even bringing a friend who could shield or support you.
Make sure when you are going into a tough situation where there is an emotional charge that you have a safeguard . For example, would you want to drive through a rough neighborhood alone? There is tremendous relief when there is someone in the passenger seat during those potholes and dark corners to distract you from spiraling downward.
Lastly, fill up your spiritual tank with some high octane harmony and peace, so when negative individuals throw you a curve ball you can gently move out of the way. You don’t want to play ball with these people, just step off the field and grab a cup of tea or take a deep breath. When you walk away fill yourself up with compassion, and let the compassion spill over onto them from a distance, until things have calmed down. Remember, you don’t want to leave yourself on the home plate to be devoured.
Often in the early stages of life, many of us drop into victim consciousness. We often grow up saying “it’s our parents fault”, or “it’s our boss's fault”or “it’s my partner's fault." It’s fun to throw the blame for our messed up lives onto others, so we don’t have to mature and take full responsibility for our lives.
I invite you to give up blame. Master forgiveness for yourself and those that have harmed you and know that it was ignorance at play. We are all human beings doing the best we can and it's time to be clear and clean from old hurts, wrongdoings, and blame.
Let go of pain that tends to pull you down, and let yourself be lifted up by an amazing vision of abundance and excellence.
You owe it to yourself to not let outside circumstances pull you down. It’s time to take your power back and yield to your personal excellence.
Personally, I overcame a difficult youth, suffered from deep depression, widowed at thirty years of age, and raised a special needs son. These hurdles have taught me gifts and lessons that are beyond measure. Currently (with the many tools I have acquired) I don't let these challenges pull me down. I let them become a major opportunity for me to grow, seek solutions and rise above.
Once you let go of the victim stage there is an opening and you will become a conduit or a channel. You'll understand blame, shame and negativity block your own love and light. Stepping out of the “poor me” victim stage and moving into your own magnificence is your birthright.
After you let go of the pain that is pulling you down, you can be a channel through which something bigger can come through. The veil of pain that separates you from your Source, Higher Power or whatever you choose to call it is dissolved and you are tapped into that spiritual zone of being one with everyone and everything.
Get out of your own way today by understanding when you have a finger pointing at a person, place or circumstance there are three fingers pointing back at you.
Push the pause button. Please wait. Find the space in between your thoughts. Find the pause between your inhale and your exhale. Drop into your silence.
Get into the space between you and the sky. Find the space between you and the person you are talking with. Become conscious of the space around the room.
When teaching yoga, I have my students focus on the empty space between their toes and the space between their fingers. Better yet, how about creating more space between each vertebrae and each rib, while quieting the space between the ears.
This practice quiets the conscious mind, helping you to access the subconscious mind. This meditation breaks up the habitual thought patterns and literally calms down the amygdala (which processes anger, fear, sadness and aggression).
Serenity will become your middle name.
Focusing on the space in your body, the space in your environment and the space in time will transform your life. Dr. Joe Dispenza describes a person becoming, “Less matter and more energy. Less particle and more wave.”
Sign me up!
Don’t get bogged down by the restriction of reaction or the congestion of form. Move past it into the silence between the musical notes. They are just important as the musical notes themselves.
From this empty space you have an empty pot to create whatever soup you desire. Choose your ingredients wisely.
Is your mind like a roller coaster ride or like branches on a stormy windy day? If the answer is yes, how about maintaining some internal coherence?
The secret to achieve congruence is from the inside out, rather than the outside in. To master this internal consistency within yourself make sure you control your thoughts, rather than your thoughts controlling you.
This is easier said than done. How can we achieve and master this coherence when we may be struggling with health issues, lawsuits, single parenting and chronic emotional or physical pain?
Make sure you fill up your own tank first! Remember the flight attendant always reminds you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others. Fill yourself spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally through taking time out for you. Here are some essential examples:
You come first. You cannot give from an empty tank.
I gave and gave from an empty tank for years and it just creates resentment. There is nothing worse than running on fumes!
Fill yourself up first and give from a full tank and that is the key to living with internal coherence. You will no longer have the ups and downs of the emotional roller coaster or feel as if you're the branch that is about to snap. You will have mastered your thoughts by running on the best fuel known to mankind; self-care.
Registered Yoga Instructor Certified Life Coach