Is Shame Holding You Back? You are worthy.

heather edwards shameLet’s go alternate reality. Yes, AR. What’s your biggest wish for this year? Five years from now? Or for your lifetime? Tap into the full experience of that image. Be the hero in your own game. One where you make the rules. You tell the story. You determine the outcome.

What’s there? Who’s there? Smell the scents, see the colors, connect to the people, hear the sounds, engage with your surroundings. Notice the energy that fills you up. Close your eyes. Lock it in.

Wait. Did I hear the voice of self doubt? Disbelief? Uncertainty? It’s okay. It’s what we do. Notice it and dismiss it. Shift your focus to what you want. The nasty little self critic gremlin works hard at sabotaging your dreams. It’s his job. In some contexts it’s what keeps you alive. It notices danger and warns you. But sometimes it’s nothing more than insecurity and a sense of unworthiness holding you back in the form of shame.

When the gremlin rears his ugly little head, you stop. You get scared and small. You start replaying the mental tape of negative messages you’ve heard throughout your lifetime. After all, they prove the critic is right. Wrong!

Those sabotaging statements from your family, the mean boss, or the bully on the playground have no merit. They no longer call the shots. You do. The next time you feel stifled, small, or unworthy do this…heather edwards worthy

1. Practice an attitude of gratitude. Identify three things you are grateful for today. Meditate on each of them for 30 seconds. You’ll strengthen the neural pathways responsible for happiness and wellbeing. To boot, Brene Brown’s research has identified gratitude as the antidote to shame and unworthiness.

2. Stretch. Take up space. Literally reach for the sky. BKS Iyengar (the father of Iyengar Yoga) believed that raising your arms above your head stimulates the lymphatic system which builds immunity and can improve mood and coping. Other studies have shown that it increases testosterone production and reduces cortisol (a stress hormone), creating a calm confident feeling.

3. Give yourself a hug. When you place your hand on your heart, you signal the body to release calming hormones. It’s comforting and grounding. Like other pressure points on the body, it shifts your energy from being uncomfortable to being more relaxed and fluid. Pair it with a deep breath and mantra like, “It will be okay.” and you’ll feel like a million bucks again.

This is just the start of managing uncomfortable feelings. Get to the root of what’s keeping you stuck. The only way out of it is through it. When you turn toward them, acknowledge them, and replace them with healthy thoughts and behaviors you narrate the story. For a more in depth exploration, call a mental health professional. Be the hero in your reality.heather edwards counseling psychotherapy

When Did Life Get So Hard? 10 Reasons Why & What to do …

Heather Edwards Inspired

1. When you stopped believing you are worthy – and quit taking inspired action. Tune into what you value about being you and write it out. Give yourself credit. If you don’t see it, who will? Dig deep into your core self and embrace what matters most.

2. When hardship took over – and you stopped leading with your heart. You gave up your power and lost trust that things will get better. Like a Tsunami of overwhelming emotion, things may seem unbearable now but, this too shall pass.

3. When you started avoiding, numbing, or ignoring the pain you dampened the opposite, too – joy, love, & positivity. You must tolerate the darkness to see the stars.

4. When you forgot the glass was beautiful – not half full nor half empty – whole regardless of its contents. Practice open awareness and acceptance. Stop judging yourself and others.

Heather Edwards Inspired5. When you stopped feeling gratitude – and only noticed the negatives. Gratitude creates a mindset of abundance. It changes neural pathways and the attitude you apply to everything. Notice what you would miss if you didn’t already have it. Pause. Reflect.

6. When you stopped cultivating self compassion –  nurture YOU. Soothe yourself. Forgive yourself. Be flexible, patient, and kind to yourself. Treat yourself like a friend.

7. When your expectations weren’t met – you hoped for something different than what you got. Suffering comes from wishing things were different. Enjoy the journey. Every bit of experience changes you and helps you grow. Find the nugget of wisdom in everything.

8. When you stopped claiming your life as your own – everything and everybody else’s needs took priority. You forgot say, “No.” and ended up feeling taken for granted. Know and assert your boundaries.

9. When you stopped noticing the natural beauty around you. Just looking at a tree and experiencing a sense of awe and wonder for a moment takes you out of your head and into the moment. It measurably reduces anxiety and worry.

Heather Edwards Inspired10. When you started believing the cruel things others said about you. We naturally notice negatives in our environment. It’s kept us alive as a species since the beginning of our time. So you have to work harder to consider the positives. Question and refute tired messages. You don’t have to hold onto them.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Aleksa D, Gualberto107, and dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net, and Mark Robert Turner.

 

8 Tips for Combatting SAD – Preserve your energy and spirit

Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapist SADWelcome to daylight savings time! It’s that time of year when days get shorter, darkness grows longer, and your energy and spirit can be eclipsed. SAD abounds.

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, “About 4 to 6 percent of people may have winter depression. Another 10 to 20 percent may have mild SAD. SAD is four times more common in women than in men. Although some children and teenagers get SAD, it usually doesn’t start in people younger than age 20.”

That equals a whopping up to 63,780,000 people in the U.S.A. with SAD and/or mild depression in the winter!

In case you’re wondering if you have S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) here are a few symptoms:

  1. decreased energy
  2. increased appetite (for sweets & starches)  
  3. weight gain
  4. reduced socialization
  5. increased sleep
  6. lower productivity
  7. less enthusiasm

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy Coach SADIt results from a lack of sunlight. The sun provides needed vitamin D which supports calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning. According to NIH (National Institute of Health), sunlight increases blood levels of natural opiates called endorphins, regulates melatonin production – the hormone responsible for sleep, and serotonin – a hormone and neurotransmitter responsible for mood, appetite, sleep, memory, and learning. It’s no wonder we don’t feel our best when the source of these vital functions is waning and real physiological changes are happening.

Here’s what you can do to keep feelin’ the summertime sunshine:

  1. Adjust Your Schedule – Wake up earlier. Go outside. Get more sunlight. The sun’s schedule has changed. Yours should, too! We are diurnal creatures. We need to be awake and active during the daytime. This is how our bodies were designed to thrive.
  2. Sleep in Complete Darkness – It increases melatonin which improves the quality of sleep. Your brain cleanses itself of toxic molecules during sleep by increasing the space between cells and flushing its pathways with cerebrospinal fluid. This helps focus, attention, and memory during the day. When you wake up to light, serotonin production takes over.
  3. Light Therapy – These are white fluorescent lights behind a plastic diffusing screen, which filters out ultraviolet rays. For 25 years, studies have demonstrated success in improving mood with light therapy. Reportedly, 30 minutes in the mornings seem to be optimal for light therapy – it kick starts uplifting serotonin and reduces sleepy melatonin.
  4. Exercise – It increases calming hormones, lowers stress hormones, and keeps your body strong. Go for walks. Take a yoga class. Enjoy winter sports like skiing or snowboarding. To boot, new studies are showing increased capacity for learning following only 4 minutes of increased heart rate prior to study.
  5. Be Social with Those Who Lift You Up – It’s healthy to surround yourself with people who inspire and support you. If you’re noticing your company bringing you down, then reconsider who you receives your valuable time. Your health depends on it.
  6. Stress Management – There are many ways to manage stress. Some of my favorites are reciting positive mantras, daily journaling, practicing gratitude, meridian tapping, and meditation. Anything you can do to shift your attention to the good, will improve your mood. So, slow down, practice positive self care, and honor your needs.
  7. Psychotherapy – If it feels too difficult to handle SAD on your own, find a Licensed Mental Health Counselor to help you through the dark season. The symptoms of S.A.D. can be as severe as Major Depressive Disorder. The only difference is that it lasts about 4 -5 months – the duration of winter and reduced sunlight.
  8. Medication – Consult with your Physician or Counselor if you want to consider an antidepressant. There’s no shame in taking medication for a condition. You wouldn’t think twice if you were medicating a blood, organ, or pain issue. The same applies to your mental health.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapy Coaching SADAwareness and a proactive plan will keep you functioning your best through the winter. Get ready to make adjustments to your routine and combat the dimming days ahead. You can and will preserve your mojo when you take action to keep your energy up.

It’s normal to get tired and go to bed a little earlier in the winter. Your body is programmed to sleep when it’s dark. Don’t fight it. It’s your body’s natural way of adjusting to the environmental changes. Get your 7-8 hours of brain cleansing and body restoring sleep and start fresh the next day. Remember, Spring is just around the corner. Longer days are only six weeks away.

Photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by nenetus, podpad, nenetus.

Start Your Day Right: 3 Tips for the Perfect Journal Entry

Heather Edwards JournalStart your morning right with a journal entry. They say the day is shaped by the tone of your morning ritual. So make it productive, uplifting, and grounding.

There are many benefits of journaling. It’s an emotional cleanse, a refocusing on the positive, and a reminder of your purpose and vision.  Try these tips to maximize the potential for your day and to keep you on target with your goals…

  1. How I’m feeling today: Take a moment to check yourself – emotionally, spiritually, physically.  What are you experiencing in this moment. This keeps you present and grounded in the moment – and real with yourself.
  2. What I’m grateful for: The power of gratitude is mind blowing – and expanding. Studies have shown that positive thinking changes your brain so that it becomes easier to naturally notice the good unfolding around you. Take stock of the many gifts you already possess.
  3. My intention for the day, week, next few months and years: This is where I sort out my to do’s, the nitty gritty, and indulge my dreams. It keeps me on track in a realistic way and allows me the mental space and freedom to explore something bigger.

Heather Edwards JournalJournaling gives you a safe place to express your feelings. We know that internalized emotions cause a variety of problems including inflammation in your body, aches and pains, high blood pressure, migraines, and exacerbation of current illnesses, just to name a few. It can also affect relationships, career, and mood. So release those emotions. Reflect on them objectively when you see them on the written page. Make needed adjustments.

Gratitude and hope affect the neural pathways responsible for a good mood. When we take a moment to reflect on what’s going right, we affect our chemistry in positive ways. It’s motivating, inspiring, and healthy. It distracts us of from focusing on disappointments and frustrations.  Give your brain a break.  Consider those moments of gratitude a stress holiday.

Revisiting your intention refreshes your vision and releases all the things you’ve committed to memory, to the page. The more information we store in our memory, the more stress we create. So free up your mental space and take action on your priorities. Begin closing “open loops”. Unfinished business slowly drains your energy and focus in a similar way open apps on your smartphone drain the battery.

Heather Edwards Journal WritingBeginning the day with a journal entry helps reduce the mind chatter. It sweeps the clutter from your seemingly endless to-do list. It sifts out the dust and presents the essence of what’s most important to you. It allows you time to reflect on what really matters. So grab a pen and paper. It can change your life.

 

photos courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by nuttakit, sira anamwong, tiramisustudio

Psychology Today: 4 Ways to Clear Your Mind

By Heather Edwards – Guest Blogger

As I sit down to write this blog, I’m struck by three common themes in conversations with clients, family, and friends. Most of us have clarity about how we want to feel – happy, free, grounded. But instead, we end up frustrated, overwhelmed, and burdened. We get stuck and confused about how to internalize fleeting positivity in an enduring way.

In the quest for the seemingly elusive states of calm and life satisfaction, several common toxins manifest. But you can change them! Or better, clear them out.

Take stock of your life and notice which ones prevent you from living fully. Here are thetop four culprits. It may be time for a cleanse.

Toxic Relationships:

Let’s face it: Relationships of all sorts – friendships, family, and colleagues – can become toxic. Judgments, opinions, and expectations can kill camaraderie. Is there someone in your life who limits you? Do you feel boxed in when you’re with them?

Mind you, this is their box, not yours. When you notice a constriction rather than expansion of your ideas and actions, you’re probably in a toxic relationship. Your gut feeling can be the purest read of your interactions.

Replace Negative With Positive:

Consider ways to shift the negative energy of unhealthy relationships by setting boundaries, saying what you want, or even cutting ties.

Be with the people who support you, believe in you, accept, and encourage you. Imagine what life would be like if nobody stood in your way.

Toxic Beliefs:

How are you getting in your own way? When you listen closely to your internal monologue you might hear, “I can’t do it. I might fail. It’s too hard. I’m not strong enough, smart enough, or pretty enough.” Move toward your power, not away from it.

Say hello to fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Challenge it.

Replace it with power thoughts. Be a bitch (or the equivalent) and kick it to the curb! You don’t deserve to fall prey to the negative thinking. You can do anything you want to do. It begins with believing you are capable, worthy, and enough.

Toxic Over-Commitment:

Guilty as charged!

I’ve experienced all four of these toxins in my life, but this is the one I struggle with most. We all complain that there’s too much on our plate. We’re over obligated and sometimes over responsible.

C’mon! When you already have a meat, grain, vegetable, fruit, and dash of dairy on your plate, you don’t need more potatoes!

So take a breath. Step back. Evaluate the big picture. Even at the risk of letting someone down, start removing the extra beans. Prioritize. When you’re overextended, you won’t be successful in any of your commitments. Instead, you’ll be bloated and tired.

How many of these four toxins exist in your life? When you mindfully notice the myriad of distractions, limitations, and influences in your life that get in your way, you can honestlyevaluate what serves you well and what doesn’t.

Give yourself permission to say “no”, set boundaries, and make room for change.

You’ll be happy you did.

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This piece was a contribution by guest blogger, Heather Edwards(link is external), MA, LMHC, who is a therapist and life coach located in New York City. She can be reached for consultation at: 347-515-3966

www.NewYorkPsychotherapyandLifeCoaching.com(link is external)

Follow me on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/nyctherapy(link is external)

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10 Tips for Gaining Clarity on ANYTHING

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist CoachIf you’re anything like me you struggle with staying on task.  In this immediate-gratification-digital-world it’s a challenge to sustain focus on anything for any uninterrupted amount of time.

The average attention span is estimated to be about five minutes long for a two year old child, and up to 20 minutes in older children and adults.

Just guessing – but it will probably take you longer than 20 minutes of focused attention to achieve your dreams.  Try out these 10 tips for clearing and clarifying your mind..

  1. Establish a Morning Ritual:  What you do in the morning sets the tone for the day. Begin each day with 10 minutes of nurturing self care.  Stretch, breathe, meditate, or read a few pages of a self improvement book.  See how that “me” time can refocus your mind.
  2. Complete Any Unfinished Business: I LOVE this concept from David Allen in his book Getting Things Done, the art of stress-free productivity.  It applies to any area of your life.  The idea is that “open loops” running in your subconscious mind drain your energy.  Close them by completing unfinished tasks and increase your energy!
  3. Sleep. Eat. Exercise. Repeat.  Yes, you know it!  Get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Eat healthy, balanced meals. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day five days per week. Strengthen your body and mind.Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapy
  4. Create a Peaceful Place in Your Home or Office That Inspires You: When your space is organized and inspired, so is your mind.  Start reducing the clutter and clean up your space.
  5. Try Mind Mapping: This works especially well with creative types. Tony Buzan describes this in his book, The Mind Map Book – How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential. Using a combination of words, colors, diagrams, and pictures you can capture more of what’s on your mind and link it to actionable steps.
  6. Practice Gratitude Everyday: It strengthens the neural pathways responsible for positive thinking and an empowered attitude. Take 30 seconds a day to notice what you’re grateful for. Even better – write it down!
  7. Listen to Music:  A study at Penn State University demonstrated that listening to music improved mood, no matter what type of music was heard. Others have shown that upbeat music calms the heart rate, increases happiness, and reduces depression. A positive mood is a clearer one.
  8. Aromatherapy: Smells reportedly meet over 50,000,000 neural receptors located in the upper part of the nasal septum when inhaled.  They send messages to the limbic system via the olfactory bulb. This is the part of the brain that controls emotions, behavior, and basic thought processes. I use Lavender for relaxation and Wild Orange for feeling uplifted.Heather Edwards Coach Psychotherapy
  9. Structure Your Day: Having a schedule in your calendar reduces the amount of things you’re trying to remember.  The more you rely on your memory, the more psychological stress you create.  Once information is out of your brain and on paper, you can forget it until you need to deal with it. Now you can move onto other things.
  10. Manage Your Actions: Time management is a farce.  You can’t change time, but you can change your actions. Practice one or all of these tips and notice your clarity and productivity rise.  Make a choice each moment to engage with your world in an organized, productive way.  Own your choices.  Be empowered.

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Stuart Miles, samuiblue, Stoonn

5 Tips to Reclaim Your Life.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachIs ego, fear, or someone else’s vision keeping you stuck?

You are the expert, master, and keeper of your life.

What are your guiding philosophies?  Are you functioning from a place of blame, entitlement, lack, fear, and greed? Or from a position of responsibility, abundance, wealth, courage, and charity? And I’m not talking about money – but rather about strength, purpose and meaning.

Maybe your mind is scattered and unfocused, or it seems too late to change course now.

Maybe you forgot to ask questions and push back a little along the way. Perhaps what you want seems unobtainable. Maybe you’ve never been a lucky person, or there’s too much burdening you to see the possibilities.

Our perspective is much like a camera lens.

Sometimes we need to stop to adjust the filter, focus, or breadth of what we see. When the inner critic speaks louder than the voice of reason, self doubt sounds like the gospel truth. When hopelessness reigns as the Queen of your mental castle, it’s time to step back and adjust the lens.

1. Focus. Adjust. Zoom.Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Switch the lens.

If what you want is to be happy, focus your energy and attention on the people, places, and experiences that lead you to feeling happy.  Doing this for just 30 seconds, five times per day, can change your brain structure and chemistry so that it’s easier to see the bright side of things.

If what you want is to be free, adjust the expectations, to-do’s, and beliefs that imprison you. What can you take off your plate, delegate or reprioritize?

If it’s love you seek, look at the bigger picture. Reach for the wide lens. You could be missing something, or someone, who’s right in front of you.

2. When you hear your inner monologue sweetly sabotaging your dreams, question it and correct it.

Ask, “What evidence do I have to support the idea that I can’t do it?” Then, flip it around and ask, “What evidence do I have that I CAN do it?”.  And, “What information do I need to make that dream happen?”.

3. Start with a top ten list.

Name your top ten most enjoyable activities – where you get lost in the flow, 10 people who inspire you – who you’ve learned from or have felt something change in your life because of them, and 10 things you can do so naturally that you can complete them without even thinking about them.

4. Identify your hidden values.

Notice overlapping activities, skills, or interests in your lists.  Cherish this crucial information as the foundation for beginning to reclaim your life. Now you are building, growing, grounding, and changing. Set one micro-goal for each day to get closer to your dream.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach5. Remind yourself you can do this.  Commit to staying THIS course.

When you commit to daily actionable steps toward your dream, you steadily move toward achieving them.  Envision your best self.  Embrace your unique strengths. Trust you have the drive and wherewithal to see them through. Clarify your intentions daily. Watch your life evolve.

“Your field of focus determines what you find in life.” T. Harv Eker

4 Steps to Bump Up Your Life

Heather Edwards, Psychotherapist and CoachWhy is it so difficult, and so important, to know the difference between thoughts and feelings? Sometimes thoughts happen so fast that they go unnoticed.  

Instead, what we experience is a pit in the stomach, a racing heart and mind, or a sense of hopelessness that things will get better.

It’s true that negative emotions seem instantaneous. They’re automatic and natural consequences of events, right?

Wrong!  That’s just not the case!  

Although they can wash over us like a tidal wave, leaving us helplessly drowning in sorrow, fear, or numbnessthere is a choice you can make between stressful events and negative feelings.

Except for those real life fight or flight situations, where your safety or life is in actual danger, or in some post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, there is a thought process sandwiched in the middle. It comes before the overwhelming feelings, and can even be the cause of them!

1. Noticing that elusive thought pattern can change your life as you know it!

It requires slowing down, getting real about your feelings, and retracing the steps that got you where you are emotionally.  Here’s how…Heather Edwards, Psychotherapist and Coach

When you’re feeling angry, identify the situation or event which prompted it.  Then, the belief system attached to that event.

Since events can’t directly cause our feelings, what did you tell yourself about the event that negatively impacted you?

2. Question it.

How well is that belief or thought pattern serving you?  Is it benefiting you? Is it hurting you? Is it energizing you? Or is it inhibiting and alienating you?

When you hold onto idealist views, “should” statements, or perfectionism you keep yourself prisoner of those beliefs. They’re often the source of negative emotions like guilt, regret, and resentment.

Unlock the door to emotional freedom with a careful evaluation of your limiting beliefs.

3. Let go of ego and expectations.

Embrace flexibility, openness, and non-judgement.  Be present now, in the only moment in time you can affect. Focus on letting go of ideas that no longer serve you.  Here, you will find the wiggle room to grow, love, and live.

When I change my thought from, “He shouldn’t have done that!” to “It would be better if he did it a different way.” Or, “I can’t believe that happened, it’s horrible!” to “It’s not what I wanted but I’ll figure this out.” It reduces my emotional reaction significantly.

It reduces my physiological response, too – from a state of alarm including increased heart rate, tightening muscles, and lightheadedness to a generalized feeling of disappointment. It’s much easier to cope with. It keeps my body and mind healthy, and strengthens relationships through more flexibility and less rigidity, more openness and less judgment.

Heather Edwards, Psychotherapist and Coach4. And to boot – on the flip side of the emotional spectrum, when something rockin’ happens to you and you think, “It doesn’t really count ‘cuz I just got lucky.”, change it to “Whoa! I’m so psyched about that. How can I do it again?”.  Don’t rob yourself of positive experiences. Revel in them!

So what beliefs are you holding onto that are harming you? What would life be like without them? Open the door of possibilities and newness. Befriend your errors of judgement and let them go. Or reframe them into productive and supportive beliefs.

 

Notice. Question. Adjust. Reframe. Release. Rejoice.

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Artur84, Master isolated images, & imagerymajestic.

Kung Fu Your Energy – Get Healthy with Open Awareness

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachAs a kid, my sleeping imagination had no limits. My dreams were vibrant, colorful, moving, exciting, emotional, and physical. There were monsters, heroes, allies, and adventures. I could see, taste, touch, smell, and feel the twists and turns of events.  My unconscious mind was free to wander, explore, create, and fantasize.

The governor, censor, parental control, and filter of any sort was non-existent as far as I could tell.  In the morning, the sensations from the intensity of my dreams lingered for a moment, leaving me wondering about the truth of their reality.

Sometimes they scared me.  Sometimes they filled me with joy. Regardless of the theme, their dynamic, flowing, saturated richness left a lasting impression.

And then, KAPOW! Hello, reality. Time for school. That wild imagination was stifled. Even searching for animals and objects in the clouds seemed impossible.  What was happening??

You may have fallen prey to the same trap – even as a full grown adult.  Judgement. Expectations. Insecurity. Fear of failure. Preconceived notions. Ideas about how things should be done dominate. It was no longer about having fun with clouds, or dreaming.

Sure, having structure and frameworks help guide your actions and keep you on course. But what happens when staying the course leaves you stymied, stuck, limited, or confused?

Move with the dynamic interplay of people, circumstances, surroundings, and changing agendas, not against it. Allow room for imagination, change, flexibility, spontaneity, and dreaming. Kung Fu your energy.

Focus on movement, motion, and balance. Here is where you will find the perfect position of readiness. Practice open awareness. Observe your process without commitment to any judgement, expectations, or opinions. Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Embrace your Chi – it’s in your body.  This is the source of your energy and endurance.

The experts in Energy Psychology (the mind-body connection) state that black and white thinking, or all or nothing thinking, creates an impasse in the flowing, changing, expanding experience of the moment. It can stop the flow of emotional energy in your body making it nearly impossible to change unwanted feelings.  It can affect all ares of your life – relationships, physical and mental health, and overall well-being. Spoiler alert – it can be downright threatening to the life you want to live.

Not surprisingly, this chaotic stuck energy can be caused by trauma. But extreme reactions to unmet expectations, judgements, and perfectionism can be connected to this, too. While trauma is typically unavoidable, our opinions and ideas about things are very malleable. Be willing to examine and adjust them.  It allows the body’s flow of energy to continue, freeing our emotional growth, imagination, and coping resources.

Fluid thoughts are healthy thoughts. They are imaginative and open.  They are expansive, explorative, and expressive. There’s no right or wrong, good or bad. They just are. Stop judging your thoughts and feelings. Instead, liberate your creative and tolerant mind. Speak kindly to yourself. Create wiggle room in your psyche through awareness, acceptance, and openness.  Refocus on your breath, your life force.

Release limiting beliefs. Release old messages.  Release ego. Release the inner critic who is masterful at self sabotage. Open your palm wide and unhand negativity, prejudice, and worst case scenarios. Embrace non-judgement. Embrace open awareness.  Embrace you in your entirety…

Back to the dreams and clouds – was that a mermaid, or a unicorn? Who were those heroes and allies? Keep dreaming – this time with your eyes open.

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net by Stuart Miles & njaj.

3 Ways to Make the Law of Attraction Work for You

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach


Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and CoachYou got the inside scoop on The Secret.

You know that horrible dream where you’re in class and its exam day but you forgot to attend school all semester? You’re in a panic because you’re not prepared!  Well, you might feel panic now as you realize The Secret, on its own, doesn’t work. The universe isn’t manifesting your dreams without a little kick.

The Law of Attraction isn’t enough.

Hello, universe! You practice the Law of Attraction everyday – wishing, meditating, praying.  But you’re intentions haven’t manifested!  Well, it’s not surprising. What the experts didn’t tell you is that the Law of Attraction is only part of the better-life-equation.

There is power in positive thinking.

That’s been proven. It helps to restructure our brain and trigger the flow of feel-good hormones. No one can argue that! A positive mindset helps everything you do.

Neuroscience studies show that it prompts your body to function in ways that keep you healthy. Positive Psychology shows that being engaged in positive ways creates a sense of well-being and happiness. Both are necessary for success.

Awesome, right? But – where is your Corvette, book deal, or beach house??  Why isn’t  the universe delivering your intentions? You have clarity.  You called in very specific requests. But no one’s answering!

1. It takes more than belief – The Law of Attraction requires your engagement.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach

Realistic anticipation. Planning. Action. Flexibility. There will be obstacles and pitfalls. Be ready for them. Troubleshoot. Problem solve. Adapt. Consider what could go wrong. Explore those possibilities and prepare.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” William Arthur Ward.

2. Stress keeps you moving forward.

Healthy stress keeps us motivated.  When we visualize our future selves with our goals attained, it feels good but it reduces the drive we need to persevere.  It’s necessary to know the details of exactly what you want and how you’ll feel when it’s manifested – but don’t get too comfortable in your future-self-perfect-life-fantasy. Use that uncomfortable edge to keep focused and choose an action everyday to inch closer to your dream.

“A man who procrastinates in his CHOOSING will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.” Hunter S. Thompson

3. The feeling is the reward.

Instead of focusing on the desired material, focus on the desired feeling. That thing you want might not bring you the feeling you want.

If you want happiness, focus on experiences and ideas that make you feel good. If love is what you want, focus your energy on gratitude for the loving people in your life and in the world. If freedom is what you want, notice when and with whom you can let your guard down and be yourself, completely. Brainstorm ways to manifest those situations and experiences.

Heather Edwards Psychotherapist and Coach“There is no path to happiness; happiness is the path.” – Buddha

You have to believe to achieve.

The song, “When you wish upon a star” was written for Pinocchio.  Here are a few lyrics, “Makes no difference who you are. Anything your heart desires, Will come to you…Like a bolt out of the blue. Suddenly, it comes to you. When you wish upon a star, Your dreams come true…”

The sentiment is genuinely heart-warming.  But few can say they’ve received their heart’s desire by simply wishing.  Even Pinocchio earned his dream through acts of bravery, truth, and selflessness.

Now, back to class and the universe.  You’re not going to pass that exam, make Dean’s list, or get into grad school without preparation. That Corvette won’t manifest without realistic planning and actionable steps.  So get ready to actualize your dreams with the power of intention, persistence, and massive action. Go!

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net. Space by Stuart Miles, Choices by Renjith Krishnan, Countryside by Dan.