You Need to Make Room

make room

  Feeling stuck?

Something not working out the way you wanted, hoped for or planned?

I invite you to consider you're part of the problem--and 100% part of the solution. Before you go there, this isn't about guilt. This is about responsibility. When I learned the distinction between fault and responsibility, it changed my life. Maybe you will find it helpful, too.

When we become responsible for areas in life where we are stuck, we can actually do something about it--which is what we want, right? Have you ever waited on someone or something to provide for your needs? It can be difficult. Now that we are all adults, we don't have to do that. And that either sounds really scary or really exciting to you. Being responsible for ourselves begins with being able to make room, in our heads and our lives, for what we actually want.

It's startling to realize how powerful we are. It's difficult, actually, for many to understand or comprehend our abilities--so we often give over to excuses or reasons to bring our potential back down to a manageable bite-sized snack. And we also sometimes self-sabotage so we can continue to "play small", as Marianne Williamson likes to say.

One way we do this is to fill our time and our lives with things that don't bring us closer to the happiness we want and deserve. This might sound incredibly vague and lofty, which may not be helpful. Let me be more clear: you're probably doing something right now that is depriving you of the very thing you want.

Yes, yes you are.

How do I know? Because I do it every day and I coach client after client who does it, too. It's human. It's something we all do and it may be difficult to swallow, especially if the thing you want is REALLY important to you and you've been wanting it for a long time and have been doing everything in your power to make it happen.

It would be difficult to accept that you're in the way of having it, right?

What if the most powerful thing you could do, in the very moment, is see that? What would happen if you stopped and allowed yourself to admit that you're both part of the problem AND that itself was the key to the solution? Does it meant what you want or need will happen overnight? Probably not. Are there many other variables and factors influencing our lives? Definitely.

But what if, what if, you were able to step outside of your current day-to-day and did things ever so differently and it changed your life forever? Would you do it? Why aren't you, already?

Well, it might be for two reasons, both of which I know because I've studied them personally for about 16 years and academically for the past few years.

1) You don't see where you're stuck.

My favorite Buddhist teacher, Pema Chödrön, talks about being stuck as being "entangled". She says to get disentangled, we first have to KNOW that we are and WHERE we are entangled. Does that make sense? Some people are so focused on the frustration of being stuck, they rarely stop and step back and see themselves as being stuck. They are already in the anger and resistance of it. When we can let go of those feelings, we can just be and hang out with the stuck and, interestingly, we can see it much more clearly. If this all sounds really weird or confusing, just hang out with it for a second. Try not feeling frustrated and just sit with being stuck, without any feelings attached to it. Now, see what I mean?

Now, describe it. Give more details about where you're stuck. Don't get caught in being angry or sad, just say, "I'm stuck in the wrong job" or "I'm stuck on solving this problem with my business". Just try that.

Where are you stuck?

2) The momentum of your conditioning.

Ok, neat. Now you know where you're stuck. Now, you're up against what my therapist calls, "the momentum of our conditioning". He may have gotten that from someone else, but I don't know who. We just talk about it, often, because I have some pretty strong conditioning. We all do, actually. Our conditioning are the habits and patterns and ways of thinking and being that keep us who we are and doing what we are doing--even when we don't like it. Bummer, right? Yes and no. The bad news is, it's painful. The good news, we can change. That's why I write so much about change, because I want to provide people with the tools to overcome their conditioning, especially conditioning that's getting unwanted results. When we get momentum going in the direction we WANT, we get closer to having what we want--in any aspect of our lives.


These two factors are probably causing a lot of your stuckness. To get more of what you want on a regular basis, you'll need to make room for it, in some way--or many ways. That starts with clearly seeing what you're doing that's getting in your way, and not everyone is ready, willing and able to take that on.

Are you ready?

Recently, I was saying how I was really craving time with friends I love who live far away. My conditioning was telling me I was too busy, I couldn't afford it or that I wasn't able to take time away from grad school and my business. This time, I overrode the conditioning and made space in my calendar. I booked a flight to Wisconsin to see one of my best friends I hadn't seen in five years. FIVE YEARS. I went from longing to fulfilled--it was that easy.

Where do you need to make room right now? What do you need to change so you can make space for something you want and need? 




image courtesy of http://www.amandalavergne.com/blog/hot-child-in-the-city-2/



Putting Yourself in the Time-Out Chair


Last month I was given an incredible opportunity: to live my ideal life. It had been awhile since that I was that happy and fulfilled so I decided to give myself a chance to adjust to it. I took a Time Out in a self-imposed Time-Out Chair. Parents do this to calm a child, to help the child relax, be quiet, be with him/herself, have less distraction, and soothe the mind and spirit.

As adults, who does this for us, if not ourselves?

My Time-Out Chair experience was a long time coming and desperately needed. As a health coach, I educate and support my clients around better nutrition: for their minds AND bodies. When it occurred to me that I wasn't being a very good example, I decided it was time for a Time-Out. This is my experience about walking the walk toward better health.

For the past several years I moved from job to job, location to location, partner to partner failing to find inner peace or fulfillment. Recently, things came into more focus. I had kept myself running for a reason, and I was ready to stop. But before I was able to transition from a life of chaos and insecurity, I knew I needed to create intentional time to transition into a life I had once only dreamed to be possible.

When I was offered an opportunity to become part of a community that was aligned with my core beliefs about health for oneself and a community, I CHOSE to take this new opportunity and disappoint my employer; choosing my own happiness in itself a milestone for me.

I found myself marking a successful amount of months in a committed relationship with the woman of my dreams. While challenging, it was only of the best kind: the type that makes each person stronger, more mindful and more compassionate and patient.

My health was improving each day as I nurtured my body with fresh, locally-grown whole foods.

All that remained was the time and work necessary to heal my spirit and mind, from all the chaos and DRAMA that had been my reality for many years. I knew that without that intentional time to grieve, heal and process, I would bring all of that "storyline" into my present and future.

I chose to take a retreat at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Stockbridge, MA. I took that TIME OUT intentionally to create space to heal, center and renew. I am extremely grateful to the Scholarship Committee who provided me a generous scholarship to join their community. I added this gift of abundance to the long list of many gifts I have received since starting to intentionally expect and be grateful for abundance and wealth (often money, but often not) in my life. Make a list and see what happens to you!

While at Kripalu, I enjoyed the time I had created to heal the past and make room for a new happy and bountiful life. It wasn't hard to find the time because I made it. That was my intention, to not live by a clock or calendar dates but instead to set a pace for my life that included all the necessary components to be happier and healthier. Running the rat race wasn't winning me points. It was making me sick and tired, of being sick and tired.

It is definitely worth sharing that, like an upset, overstimulated child in a Time-Out Chair, my first 24-36 hours on retreat were spent in emotional discomfort as I adjusted to the serenity, peace and regulated pace/schedule that was lacking from my own life. A tantrum or two may have occurred. But soon I settled down, as a sobbing child does, and my sobs quieted to whimpers and eventually to serenity. I noticed this. I sat with it. I smiled about it. I embraced it. And then I enjoyed my time on retreat, a gift-wrapped few days of invaluable serenity.

Since returning from Kripalu, I enjoy a daily pace that feels much more manageable and appropriate. I can be more present for myself, my partner and my clients. I eat better, I sleep better and I have more patience. My entire life has changed for the better, all because I stopped, took a time-out and reset my priorities in order to fully appreciate and enjoy the new life that I had created for myself. I mean, that's the point, right?


What is one thing you can do to stop the hamster wheel from spinning?

What have you created to keep yourself sick, tired and unhappy?

What would your life be like if you put yourself in the Time-Out Chair?