Compassion, Space, Grace, Self-Care & HUMOR

Compassion, Space, Grace, Self-Care & HUMOR

COMPASSION

Kristen Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components–self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.

She says self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a difficult time, fail, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now” how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?

Instead of mercilessly judging or criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings-after all, whoever said you were supposed to be perfect?

Please practice cultivating gentle, loving-kindness towards yourself as a way of being more self-compassionate.

SPACE

 A continuous area of expanse, which is free, available or unoccupied.

There have been times in my life I needed some space. A weekend getaway, walk through the woods, riding in the car playing my favorite tunes or just to being in a room all by myself.

Who remembers the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella 1965 song that went like this…In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be. There is such freedom in that chair.

When was the last time you allowed yourself some space?

GRACE

Is the spiritual freedom that arises from living in harmony with yourself, others, and with the entire world. ~Unknown

A virtue coming from God.

Mercy, pardon, favor, privilege, kindness, courtesy, approval, dignity, temporary exemption, honor, beauty, elegance, harmony, charm and divine love.

My 2019 One Word is Grace. I believe grace allows for our Wholistic heart, body, mind, and spirit to all be in full alignment bringing JOY to the world and all those in it.

What does Grace mean to you?

SELF-CARE

The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular, during periods of stress.

I would like to share a blog that I think is well written. I credit Tracie Nichols with these wise words:

Recently I saw a social media post about self-care steps someone was taking after coming through an intense few weeks inviting folks to talk about the way they were taking care of themselves.

Not surprisingly, an impressive list of messages, nature rambles, spiritual experiences and the like followed.

What was surprising to me was the mixed set of reactions I felt when reading them.

There was my usual surge of “go you!” appreciation for people truly caring for themselves. I also felt exhausted and overwhelmed at the thought of trying to attempt any of these truly beautiful self-care practices myself. And then came an ache of aloneness and an alarming pulse of shame. (Shame?)

You see, my life right now is a storm of worry and off the charts stress. There are hard, hard things happening for 2 people I love. 2 people who are inextricably woven into the fabric of my daily life. People for whom I have a foot and a heart in the role of caretaker.

I’ll pause here to let you (deeply kind, so very compassionate and caring folks) no I’m OK. I know you’re all wise in the ways of healing and self-love and I’m not asking you to do the labor of offering advice (with a gentle appreciation for any who had that impulse). I simply offer this snapshot of my life to give you a bit of context So what I’m saying next about self-care makes sense.

Since a lot of my work centers around helping people Cultivate resilience, my aversion reactions to this post gave me this ghostly sense of being an outsider in a space I typically call home.

That pulse of shame? She’s there because “I know this stuff and I should be doing better.” which is hogwash, of course. But As I am sure you know when our resilience is stretched rice paper thin, that’s when our inner monsters stage their coup.

Hello, monsters…  Nope. You don’t get to take over ‘t get to take over…

So right now…

~because it’s all very intense and utterly beyond my control
~because it’s swampy with all the feelings, especially grief
~because my time isn’t my own – or doesn’t feel as if it is
~because the weight of this is bringing me to my knees – sometimes literally
~because massages and painting classes and long walks and silent retreats feel mythical. Unreachable. A climb up Everest in flip flops. 

…my version of self-care looks like

  • Remembering to eat.
  • Breathing a quiet “yes!” when it’s veggies rather than donuts.
  • Wearing the softest, most comfy clothes I own.
  • Embracing unplanned naps.
  • Stopping by a park for 10 minutes between transportation runs, rolling down the windows and breathing. Getting out of the car optional. Walking optional.
  • Wrapping my hands around a warm Cup of tea. Breathing.
  • Letting plans – for my business and life – go dormant for a bit.
  • Holding schedules – for my business and life – gently and loosely.
  • Whispering “I love you. You’ve got this.“ when I catch a glimpse of myself in random reflective surfaces.
  • Kindness and patience when none of these work.
  • Kindness when the patience fails.
  • Retroactive kindness when the kindness fails.

So, here’s my invitation to you this time: take a moment to notice the state of your resilience. And, if it feels nurture nourishing, whisper “I love you. You’ve got this.” when you catch a glimpse of yourself in random reflective surfaces. Saver how that feels. Build yourself a sweet well of self-love to draw on when life gets hard.

HUMOR

The quality of being amusing, comical or funny.

Humor is the gift we give ourselves but one that takes a little bit of work. We must look for the humor in every situation and use it to gain perspective, reduce stress and make others laugh and smile. When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

Be Washed; Girl, Wash Your Face

As an Occupational Therapy Professional, one of the many things we do every day is to help people with their activities of daily living. Things like grooming, bathing, and dressing.

In the upcoming BE WASHED Event, as your Evening Coach, I will be helping you in another activity of daily living…the area of your thinking.

Imagine if you will, that voice that sometimes sits on your shoulder. Is it whispering words of TRUTH and LOVE or FEAR and LIES?

We will begin the evening retreat by exploring the book, Girl; Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Here, we will learn to STOP believing the lies about who we are so we can HONOR and become who we were meant to be our true authentic selves.

Have you ever found yourself saying things like “I’ll start that diet tomorrow.” Then several pounds up on the scale you hear yourself repeating those same words weeks later? Me too! I can’t tell you the number of times I have started my diet tomorrow, Monday, or the first of the New Year. Or how about…I’m going to take that spin class at the Y, or I’ll start walking around the block every day from now on.

WELLLLLLLLLLLL Lies, all lies we tell ourselves. We like to talk about all the things we are going to do, learn about the things we are going to do, but somehow, we never get around to DOING all the things we say we are going to do. Ugh! Can anyone out there relate?

Many of us can. The Be Washed event will expose more of the most common lies we tell ourselves and offer new strategies to help us be honest with ourselves about what we are blowing off.

The second half of the event we will be taking a look at the book Change your Mind, and Your Life Will Follow by Karen Casey. Her book showcases 12 principles that guide us towards LOVE. Who out there doesn’t need more of that?

Thirty years ago Karen Casey wandered into a support group and learned there was only one thing she could change—herself! The result of this change was so profound she dedicated much of her life to teaching others about it.

I, like Karen, believe if we change our minds, our lives WILL follow. I want to use the opportunity I have as an Occupational Therapy Professional and a Coach to help others grow in this area of thought. Let’s face it; it truly is an activity of daily living.

Let’s think better, do better and feel better. What do you say?

Hope to see you there!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Love Over Fear – A New and Growing Superpower!

Love Over Fear – A New and Growing Superpower!

Are you one of the people that have a tendency to be fearful and hard on yourself? It’s like an automatic default to the land of negative thinking and feelings of unworthiness. Others tell you to stop being so hard on yourself, and you wonder how? If you knew how to do that, you would certainly have done that a long time ago to stop the suffering.

Over the years I began to realize this was a real problem for a lot of people and me. I now see it as an opportunity and blessing in the pursuit of wholehearted living. I learned all about distorted thinking and the lies we tell ourselves and automatically believe. It was a real awakening. I read a book titled Ten Days to Self Esteem by David Burns, and there I found a breakdown of the many ways we can distort our thinking.

  • All or Nothing thinking – Looking at things in Black & White
  • Overgeneralizing – Viewing an adverse event as a never-ending pattern of defeat
  • Mental Filter – Dwelling on the negatives and avoiding the positives.
  • Discounting the Positives – Insisting that your accomplishments or positive qualities don’t count.
  • Jumping to Conclusions – Concluding things are wrong without any conclusive evidence. (Mindreading) or (Fortune Telling)
  • Magnification or Minimization – Blowing things way out of proportion or shrinking their importance.
  • Emotional Reasoning – Reasoning from how you feel. You feel like an idiot so you must be one.
  • Should Statements – Criticizing yourself or others with should, shouldn’t, must, ought’s, and have to.
  • Labeling – Instead of saying I made a mistake. You label yourself a loser or stupid.
  • Blame – Blaming yourself for something you are not entirely responsible for or blaming other people and overlooking the ways you may have contributed to the problem.

What I initially believed is that we feel the way we think. So, I thought to myself, just think positive! But as my default would have it that led me back to… I am thinking positive but still feeling negative so this must be my fault. Not knowing if that was self-centered or reality-based, I kept searching for answers.

That’s when I discovered Brené Brown. This quote of hers spoke directly to me:

(Love over Fear and growing a new superpower was in the works but it would require more explanation and understanding).

Brené teaches us YOUR THOUGHTS + ACTIONS + FEELINGS ARE LIKE A THREE-LEGGED STOOL

One leg represents Thinking.

 One leg represents Feelings.

One leg represents Behavior.

Incorporating all three would then equal our wholehearted living and loving selves.

FEAR thinks-I’m not good enough, or I’m no good at this, how frustrating, I’ll numb out with some of my favorite comfort food.

WHOLEHEARTED LOVE thinks – I’m going to work on this, I feel good about having a goal, and I will take it one day at a time and strive to build on that.

Wholehearted living and loving are about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness, being brave, putting love over fear and knowing we are enough.

While some argue that you can change your life by changing your thoughts, Brené has seen no evidence of this in her research. She says, “Real transformation doesn’t happen until we address all three parts as equally essential parts of a whole, elements that are inextricably connected to one another”.

If being wholehearted makes us whole, then the opposite of that is to be broken, fractured, or in disarray. So many of us are moving thru life this way. The irony is that we attempt to disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness actually depends on the integration of All of our experiences.

Remember… the three-legged stool shows the way you THINK affects the way you FEEL which then determines and will have a direct impact on your BEHAVIOR and what you DO.

So what then do we do?

WE GET CURIOUS

Be willing to open a line of inquiry into what’s going on with you, and why?

  • Why am I being so hard on myself? Or others?
  • What is setting me off?
  • How did I get to the point of no return and wanting to punch something?
  • Why am I so overwhelmed?
  • Why can’t I shut my brain off?
  • Why am I reacting so emotionally?
  • What is going on?

Since we respond to EMOTIONS FIRST, and they often direct us to shut down or disengage. This is why we need to train ourselves to get curious about our emotions and develop a desire to learn more about why we feel the way we do. Although we don’t want to feel our feelings, this is the starting point to growing our superpower.

Brené says “The opposite of recognizing that we’re feeling something is denying our emotions. The opposite of being curious is disengaging. When we reject our stories and disconnect from tough emotions, they don’t go away; instead,

“They own us, they define us”!

Our job then is not to deny our feelings in fear of feeling them, but rather to explore them with love, grace (My One Word for 2019) and curiosity, teasing out the distorted thoughts and getting clear on our truth (My One Word for 2018). Being open to the daily Wholistic  (heart, mind, body, and spirit) practice of consciously choosing our thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and living and loving as a whole person, growing and strengthening our Love over Fear Superpower!!

About today’s author: Kat Middleton is an Empowerment Coach who is passionate about her work and advocates for authentic wholehearted living both personally and professionally. She is a Certified Professional Coach and Occupational Therapy Practitioner who loves working with people holistically; helping others to help themselves see things through new filters. Kat joined the Wholistic Woman community in September of 2017. She is very excited to learn, grow, and have much fun with this AMAZING group of women. Kat is available for private one-on-one coaching as well as group workshops, seminars, and speaking events.

Kat’s Holiday Edition of the Miracle Morning

Kat’s Holiday Edition of the Miracle Morning

What is a Miracle Morning? It’s waking up early and going through an intentional self-care routine that provides relaxation, energy, and productivity all before the day even begins. To learn all about the basics of the Miracle Morning, check out my earlier blog. Now let’s dive into the holiday edition!

Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning, studied the best of the best in conscious self-care practices and found six to be the most powerful, especially when they are bundled together. He calls them the Life S.AV.E.R.S! Whether you do 6 minutes or 60 minutes a day, do one, all six, or any combination of the practices that is right for you, It will be like pumping Holiday Wholistic Health and Wellness fuel right into your mind, body, spirit, and heart.

Here are some ways to have a Miracle Morning and celebrate the holiday season:

Silence Start each day with quiet time. The idea is to quiet the mind, block out any chatter, and start the day with calm and loving thoughts, meditations, prayers, and breathing. The bible and an app called Calm are my regulars. Here’s a meditation for the season. There are many more online.

candle Affirmations Encouraging words you tell yourself to achieve your goals, overcome your fears, be healthy and happy, and live out your purpose.

Visualizations Imagine yourself doing each thing step by step that you need to do to accomplish your goals. Then imagine what it will feel like when you succeed. One of my favorites is the Holiday Bubble Technique: Give your seasonal dreams a lift off. Wrap your heart’s desire in an Imaginary Beautiful Holiday Bubble. Then send it out into the universe to be created for you.

  • Start by getting in a comfortable position and breathing.
  • Set your specific intention:
  1. Today what I want to manifest is____________________________.
  2. Now close your eyes, take 2 deep breathes, drop your shoulders, and open your mouth ever so slightly.
  3. Stating, Today I visualize …I see, hear and feel myself…See the scene unfolding in your minds eye, feel the emotion, joy, and elation as clearly and specifically as you can.
  4. Now take your Beautiful Holiday Bubble, and seal your vision deep inside it..
  5. Now let it go, watch it rise and float up, up, up, past the clouds, into the universe where you can no longer see it but TRUST it is there.
  6. Now say, I BELIEVE that this vision or something even better will now manifest for me and BELIEVE it is so!

For more information about the original Pink Bubble Technique, see the book Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain or go to this website: http://www.freemeditations.com/pink_bubble_meditation.html

Exercise It doesn’t have to be power lifting or long distance running. Just do something for a few moments to get the blood and oxygen flowing to the brain.  Why not wear some FUN holiday pants to work off all those yummy cookies while moving about to some holiday tunes? Jingle All the Way! fun pajamas Reading Fill your brain with books! One of my favorite stories at this time of the year is ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Volunteer to read to seniors, the sick, or children. I can tell you they would love it! And so would you! Christmas reading Scribing Holiday journaling or writing is a great way to process your thoughts and reflect on your life. Now is a great time to scribe about all those blessings you have received this year. letters; journal; write Miracle Mornings are an opportunity to start the day anew – a new day, a new page, and a new you, and you get to set the tone. And since that kind of energy is contagious, you will be spreading goodness into the world too. What a Wonderful World that would be. Sending LOVE to you all this Holiday Season and wishing you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2019 and Many Miracle Mornings!

Today’s author: Kat Middleton is a Certified Professional Empowerment Coach and the founder and CEO of WholeHearted Concepts, LLC. She is available for one-on-one or group coaching as well as workshops and speaking events. She offers a FREE 30 Minute Session to anyone who is ready to get started. Learn more about her and what she offers at her website: www.wholeheartedconcepts.com