Feel FREE and ALIVE

That’s what it means to really feel alive—to be so immersed in the passionate bliss of this moment that you don’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. You just enjoy what you’re doing and love every piece of it.” Lori Deschene

When we touch into our own state of freedom, we experience a deeper sense of Self. It’s the feeling of ease, joy and empowerment all wrapped into one. When we find freedom there are no shoulds or have-tos and the other things that make us feel bound. We let go of the need to know what is going to happen. We let go of the need to control. Freedom means feeling alive.

Dancing

When I dance I smile so much my face hurts . I love to twirl, sway, and jump. Dancing is freedom for me. 

When was the last time you felt free? Freedom is a state of being more than any set of actions but sometimes certain actions help to stir up those feelings. Here are a few freeing actions:

Do something you thought you couldn’t do, meditate, tell someone something that you know will make them smile, reflect on the most amazing parts of your life, dance away the night, play in the ocean, spread your arms wide and breathe deep, stand up for yourself, take a day off, book a trip, rent a jet ski, do the things on your bucket list, put on a pretty dress and twirl in the sunshine, jump up and down on a trampoline, do something that scares you, complete a task that weighs heavily on you, play in the ocean, climb to the top of a mountain, feel the wind whip as you sail into a sunset, star gaze, laugh so hard you fall over, imagine yourself tied up in ropes and then cutting all the ropes easily away, do something where you go fast (safely), or fall in love.

And when it was over nothing defined us, other than the moments that made us feel free.” -R.M. Drake

A Cheat Sheet to Living Without Regret

“I try to live my life where I end up at a point where I have no regrets. So I try to choose the road that I have the most passion on because then you can never really blame yourself for making the wrong choices. You can always say you’re following your passion.”-Darren Aronofsky

Exploring my world...and myself...

Exploring my world…and myself…

I recently stumbled upon this list by Tina Williamson…

A cheat sheet to living without regrets 

Take care of your health

Make time to do the things you love, work less, laugh and play

Say what you need to say

Practice mindfulness

Change your perspective

Let go of the past

Accept the things you can not change

Stop thinking happiness is a future event

Stop chasing money and material wealth

Live authentically

Take off the mask

Follow your instincts

Practice gratitude

Don’t make your decisions based on fear

Love, love love!

I would add explore yourself and your world, let go of judgement, ask for help when you need it (because in my experience you will get to where you want to go so much quicker if you have the right support), and never stop learning. Other than that I think this list is pretty on point. I would love to hear what others think should be on the cheat sheet. If you have an addition please comment!

When the World Spins…

I woke up recently and my room was spinning…well, it wasn’t actually spinning, it just felt like it was. I waited a few minutes for it to pass, it didn’t. I woke up the next day and assumed it would be gone, it wasn’t. I kept dreaming I was on a ship and the seas were rough, I was being pitched all around. Vertigo is an interesting thing, it took me down and out. I could not drive, work, exercise, or even do small tasks. I had to rely on others for support, food, and, transportation. I was dizzy and nauseous, and increasingly irritable.

"Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall" -Salman Rushdie

“Vertigo is the conflict between the fear of falling and the desire to fall” -Salman Rushdie

The lesson for me was around extreme self-care. I was busy at work with patients, traveling, launching products, writing articles, and more and it all felt wonderful. I really felt like I was on a roll. However, during this roll I was skipping meals, getting to bed late, exercising sporadically, and kind-of meditating. Vertigo was a wake-up call!

I truly believe that we get ill as a way for our bodies to get us back on track. If we do not properly honor our physical and emotional needs we get sick so it forces us to rest, re-set, and re-evaluate. The more off track we are and the longer we mistreat ourselves, the more serious the disease.Vertigo

Energetically vertigo is related to not having complete balance in life. Naturopaths have put forth that the people who experience vertigo may suffer unresolved feelings about taking their lives in new directions. As I work towards new goals this resonates with me. The symptoms I experienced made me slow down and practice a lot more self-care.

Self-care is about the simple things…Here is a list of self-care practices that are must dos:

Eat Well – Eat lots of vegetables, eat home-cooked healthy meals, eat mindfully (don’t just inhale your food), eat at regular times, don’t skip meals, avoid processed junk

Rest Your Body and Mind – Meditate at least 15 minutes a day, get to bed before 11pm, get rid of electronics in your sleep space, limit TV time

Move and Groove – Move your body, anyway you can, it will improve your mood, body, and energy level.

Emotional Upkeep – Ditch the emotional turmoil. Harboring fear, worry, anger, resentment, or anxiety can do a number on our physical bodies. Learn to forgive yourself and others, manage stress, hire a therapist or coach if you need to, but do not keep a bunch of feelings welled up inside. Foster joy and happiness and think good thoughts.

Reasons to Look at the Stars

You’re Spinning on a Ball of Dirt and Made of Collapsed Stars

To get some distance from this, you first need to get some perspective. Walk outside on a clear night and just look up into the sky. You are sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Though you can only see a few thousand stars, there are hundreds of billions of stars in our Milky Way Galaxy alone. In fact, it is estimated that there are over a trillion stars in the Spiral Galaxy. And that galaxy would look like one star to us, if we could even see it. You’re just standing on one little ball of dirt and spinning around one of the stars. From that perspective, do you really care what people think about your clothes or your car? Do you really need to feel embarrassed if you forget someone’s name? How can you let these meaningless things cause pain? If you want out, if you want a decent life, you had better not devote your life to avoiding psychological pain. You had better not spend your life worrying about whether people like you or whether your car impresses people. What kind of life is that? It is a life of pain. You may not think that you feel pain that often, but you really do. To spend your life avoiding pain means it’s always right behind you.” Michael Singer

As I think about the coming summer I look forward to being outside on a warm night, laying down in the grass, on a rock, or in a hammock and gazing up. If you have never let yourself get lost in the stars, I think this is the year to start. It creates a sense of stillness and calm, can be relaxing, and puts you in tune with nature.  It encourages us to look at the world around us instead of being so focused on ourselves.

We are always in motion...so we cannot be "stuck"

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.”  ―Carl Sagan

Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
― Marcus Aurelias

Star GazingI think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell

You Will Wish You Had Started Today

“A year from now you may wish you had started today” –Karen Lamb

 Spring is a time for planting seeds. It is the time to begin advancing your dreams. Make the personal changes you have been thinking about. Move your ideas productively and creatively forward. What else can you do right now to get the things you see in your future? Dig into the soil of your fertile mind. Keep planting. Remember that what you plant now, you will get to harvest later. Plant things you truly want. If you plant nothing new, you will harvest nothing new.

"Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can." Arthur Ashe

“Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.” Arthur Ashe

GET STARTED! IT IS TIME TO LEAVE PROCRASTINATION STATION!

Start saving today, book that ticket now, write the first page of your book tonight, apply for that job, clean out the spare bedroom, throw out your ex’s stuff, exercise while reading this, say hi to your crush, learn how to read music on YouTube so you can learn how to play your musical instrument, repair your car and your relationships. Plant perennials in the garden of your life. You, your dreams, and your life will grow. 

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” Mark Twain

Take A Look At Reality

“If you want to be happy, you have to let go of the part of you that wants to create melodrama. This is the part that thinks there’s a reason not to be happy. You have to transcend the personal, and as you do, you will naturally awaken to the higher aspects of your being. In the end, enjoying life’s experiences is the only rational thing to do. You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Go ahead, take a look at reality. You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You’re going to die anyway. Things are going to happen anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy? You gain nothing by being bothered by life’s events. It doesn’t change the world; you just suffer. There’s always going to be something that can bother you, if you let it.”
― Michael Singer

Recently, I lost my happy for a little bit. I got bothered by insecurities, overwhelm, judgement, and fear. These are the gremlins of the mind and they are self-destructive liars. If any of those feelings were real people with real voices we would never let them integrate themselves into our lives. We would call them cruel bullies and tell our kids not to play with them at school. However, because they are invisible we forgot they aren’t real. We let them thrash about inside our body and mind and climb into a vat of goop.

I lost myself in some goop. Goop is gross. It is sticky and yucky and awful.

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We all get lost once in a while. Certain situations or triggers can set us off down a painful, anxious road. It doesn’t matter, we just have to take a step back in those moments and get in touch with reality. Wash off the goop and remember a few good things. We are here, we are alive, we are okay, it will all work out. We are smart, resourceful beings that will figure it out.

I want to be happy. I want you to be happy.

We have nothing to gain by being bothered by life’s events.

That is reality.

Nothing else matters.

The truth is that most of life will unfold in accordance with forces far outside your control, regardless of what your mind says about it.”
― Michael Singer

Authenticity or Safety?

“If you trade your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief.” -Brene Brown

Errrrr….that sentence terrifies me.

If you have experienced even one of the listed consequences of not living authentically (as predicted by the amazing researcher, Brene Brown) it probably scares you too. Also, if you have never experienced them (anxiety, depression, grief…etc) please call me and tell me all your secrets to life. Thank you.

“Authenticity requires a certain measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity” –Janet Louise Stepenson

Being authentic requires a constant checking in with the self. We need to ask ourselves: Why am I pursuing the things I am working towards? Is it for me or someone else? Do I really want this or that or I do I want it because everyone else has it? Am I doing this because it is easy? Am I trying to make it hard for myself? What do I really want? What matters most to me?

Authenticity requires reflection and reevaluation. It requires acceptance. It requires saying Yes! and No! It requires speaking your truth. It requires courage. It means not waiting. Being authentic can mean disappointing others. Many times it requires going against the crowd. It means listening to yourself and following your gut. It means not listening to advice, even good advice (like this). Being authentic means going after dreams, letting go of doubts, and exposure. Being authentic means freedom. If you dare to be authentic, it means you are claiming your freedom to be yourself.

Stop living someone else’s life. You have so much more to offer as yourself.

“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” –May Sarton

This is us having fun and being silly...feels authentic to me... :)

This is us having fun and being silly…feels authentic to me… :)

Fraternizing with Fear

Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”  -Thich Nhat Hanh

Fear fascinates me. I have seen it box myself and others in so we can’t see our way out. I have seen it kill amazing talent, ideas, hopes, and dreams. I have seen completely rational, intelligent people become completely crippled by worry and anxiety. I have felt its paralyzing grip as I tried unsuccessfully to hide from it under the covers.

I have also seen it overcome, it looks AWESOME.

Facing our fears head on is exhilarating, so please do that whenever you can.

Sometimes we can’t so easily get to the other side of fear. I’ve dealt with it in a variety of ways. Once, I decided I was going to conquer fear once and for all by jumping out of a plane…At the time I really thought this would help cure the fear out my life for good. After it was over I was still scared of not being “enough” and public speaking. DIDN’T WORK. So, I don’t particularly recommend the technique unless it is on your bucket list.

This is me signing the death waiver before going sky diving for the first time.

This is me signing the death waiver before going skydiving for the first time…that is my “I’m terrified laugh.”

Here are some things that have actually helped me around fear: Facing it, focusing on how good it will feel to do the thing I am scared of instead of the thing itself, remembering to stay present, laughing, reaching out to supportive people, taking a nap to get back to my rational self, acupuncture to rebalance the insane chemicals it makes the body produce, really good hugs, spending time in nature to gain some perspective, coaches, gratitude, meditation, anything self-nurturing, yoga, and love (giving it wherever I can and accepting it wherever and from whomever is willing to give it.)

“What is needed, rather than running away or controlling or suppressing or any other resistance, is understanding fear; that means, watch it, learn about it, come directly into contact with it. We are to learn about fear, not how to escape from it.” -Jiddu Krishnamurti

Frick “FINE”

Settling – a gradual sinking to a lower level.

“How are you doing?” “Fine.” we answer. Well, I guess it is a better feeling than everything sucks right now, but at least with “everything sucks right now” we know we need to change or do something different.

When we are fine, there can be a slump, things are going okay so we stop pushing ourselves and pursuing other things. Eventually something happens to rattle us out of sleep walking. The rattler could be a new person, a tragedy, a new perspective, new experience, old journal entry, book, quote, blog, event, or sometimes a wake up call from a friend. The rattler is meant to catapult us out of monotony so we can remember that we are not someone that is okay with “fine” or an auto-pilot life, and hopefully, we do something about it.

An incredible life does not happen by accident, it happens on purpose.

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I want to fully pursue my ideas, I want to learn to dance the way my grandmother did, to teach more and more people how to stay well, to have amazing relationships, to give incredibly and whole heartedly, to be fully present, to explore the world and myself, to tap all the potential I can find within myself that could possibly contribute to a better world and a better me. In order to do any of those things I am going to have to keep growing, learning, and risking failure.  At some point I am going to get insanely uncomfortable. Sometimes I am going to have to make myself do crap I don’t want to do so that I can get closer to everything I would like to be and that can be hard. So sometimes I am just going to have to force myself to do those things anyway, because FINE is not fine with me.

What do you want? What are you waiting for? No one is coming and you are never going to feel like it, so go get it now.

“Don’t be afraid to give up the good and go for the great.” Steven Pressfield