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Being in the Flow

Posted by kelly on April 9, 2014 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (2)

"Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity." According to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, flow is completely focused motivation. This is akin to "being in the zone".

Lately, there have been a few instances where I have been in the flow. I usually have these moments when I am being physical or playing tennis. The last few tennis matches I have played, I have felt all of those feelings: energy, focus, full involvement, enjoyment and a sense of being skilled and accomplished. I felt especially in the flow in my hot yoga class today. I think part of that was being surrounded by several very proficient students who make standing bow pose look so effortless and beautiful. They motivated me to lift my leg higher over my head.:) Yesterday, I felt in the flow while I was teaching a spinning class. My students and myself were immersed in the music and the pedaling up the hill sections seemed a bit more effortless.


I imagine musicians and dancers feel in the flow when they are performing and artists feel it when they are painting. Many other professionals I am sure experience flow when they are working with others creatively and have that sense of total immersion and enjoyment.
Nakamura and Csíkszentmihályi identify the following six factors as encompassing an experience of flow:
1. intense and focused concentration on the present moment
2. merging of action and awareness
3. a loss of reflective self-consciousness
4. a sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
5. a distortion of temporal experience, one's subjective experience of time is altered
6. experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience


Bringing that sense of flow into our lives more regularly can be a challenge, but the rewards are well worth it. You don't have to be a master at your skill or profession to feel flow, but it does have to feel challenging. 


How have you experienced flow in your life, and how can you can bring it into your life more often?

Eliminate Excess

Posted by kelly on June 19, 2013 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

"Minds, like bodies, will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort." Charles Dickens

Lately I have been hearing a recurrent theme from many friends and clients. They are downsizing and decluttering. In a society that has been all about "more, bigger, faster, shinier", it is refreshing to hear that some people are wanting to simplify and make space for other things in their lives. Things like being more present with themselves and others.

The extremes are everywhere we look. Supersized meals and drinks to overpriced anti-aging products to take away every wrinkle on your face. Sixty plus hour work weeks to extreme diets and work out regimens. What happened to moderation and balance? Television and news programs are the worst to clutter our minds and instill fear in us. It seems if the program doesn't have violence or sex or something over the top in it, we don't want to watch it. I miss the days of The Brady Bunch and Happy Days.There are a few funny, family oriented shows out there today, but they are overshadowed by the reality programs and TMZ gossip type shows.

Most of us have gotten caught up in all the excess, and just like changing your health for the better takes baby steps, so does eliminating all the excess. 
Not giving into obsession in either direction is a challenge in today's world, but it can be done.I think it is a life-long journey but one that is necessary. Everytime you ask yourself if you are balanced gives you the opportunity to pause and reflect. It allows you to be more conscious of the choices you are making instead of following the herd of sheep off the cliff.


What's one small thing you can do today to eliminate excess in your life?



 


Why I Do What I Do

Posted by kelly on February 2, 2013 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I have always been active since I was a little girl. I loved playing soccer with the boys in Brazil. I almost lost an eye when I was six when one of them tripped me, and I fell and hit the edge of a bench. I went to the hospital, got my stitches, said thank you in Portuguese (Obrigado) to the doctor and went right back to playing soccer. Another time, my mom took her eyes off of me for a second, and I was up on the high board at the swimming pool. I was five. I was pretty fearless like most kids that age. Early on, I realized I was blessed with athleticism. When we moved to Toledo, Ohio, I took up tennis, golf, bowling, basketball, softball and track. My mom had to see me in a tutu though, so she put me in tap dance classes. I would finish class, change in the car and be rushed over for my softball games. Tennis ended up being what I excelled in, and I spent many summers playing for 3-5 hours a day. It was my passion for a very long time.


I ended up playing college tennis and afterwards got my certifications to teach and work at clubs and the United States Tennis Association. After my brother died in 1995, I decided to give tennis, as a profession, a rest. I still play a little, but a chronic achilles tendon injury has kept me from playing competitively anymore. In 1997, I decided to get into the healing field of massage therapy. I did it to partially heal myself, but also felt drawn to healing others. Fifteen years later I am still practicing massage, but I have come back to the teaching/coaching field where I have always felt I can make the most difference in people's lives. 


It breaks my heart to see all these young children becoming obese and sick and more people in general dying of all kinds of diseases and cancers. So much of these diseases can be stopped by eating healthier, being more active and managing stress levels. Education is the key, and as a wellness coach, I help people become more aware of the choices they make and help them develop long lasting healthy changes that work for them. It's not just about eating better and exercising though. It's about implementing a lifestyle that fosters well-being mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. All areas need nurturing or there will always be an imbalance. I have a lot to learn, but I feel like I walk the walk most of the time. I am human and slip off course sometimes. The key is to keep your eye on the ball as much as possible. The ball being health and vitality for a lifetime.

Develop a Habit of Being Quiet

Posted by kelly on September 19, 2012 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)


Noise has been linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, mental health problems, learning disorders, and stress. Alarm clocks, radios, televisions, telephones, computers, copy machines, dishwashers, vacuums, power tools and more invade our lives seven days a week. It’s no wonder we are exhausted and have no idea what’s going on inside ourselves.

You can really connect with yourself and the world around you by surrounding yourself with silence. Once in awhile, try driving in silence. Focus on the experience of driving. When you get home at night, leave the television off. Listen to nature outside. Enjoy the peace and quiet and listen to your feelings. Quiet the noise around you on a daily basis, and you will enjoy quality sounds much more. You will also become a better listener to your family and friends.

How can you be more quiet today?
 

 

Wellness is all about Energy and Awareness

Posted by kelly on August 15, 2012 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

 

All the energies that make up physical human life are fundamentally organized and vibrate according to what we give our attention to and how we feel about what we give our attention to. We all have had destructive thoughts, feelings and emotions. We all have our "stories". If we give attention or awareness to our story long enough, toxic emotions can accumulate in the body and poison it. If we keep reliving our negative experiences, it will make us sick. It is so important to release these emotions by acknowledging them, but then letting them go. My brother once gave me a little wall plate that most of us have seen the saying before, that reads, "Put on your big girl panties and get over it!"


What we are giving our attention to, or our awareness, is the most life-altering form of energy available to us. It is our awareness that has the greatest influence on the body, our perceptions and emotions. Eastern Science says that emotions are attracted to the body's nervous system according to what the person is giving their attention to. Thus the emotional body actually reacts to the consciousness body. Your anger is the emotional body's response to your thoughts; your thoughts do not take their cues from your emotions.


Louise Hay's book, You Can Heal Your Life is all about the mind-body connection.  I highly recommend it if you haven't read it. When it comes to the physical body, the Eastern sciences of self-healing say that more than 95% of all illness and weakness within the body have an emotional origin. The sequence is: thoughts attract emotions that, if unresolved, may cause physical problems. Unresolved emotions build up and become increasingly exacerbated by what we habitually give our attention to. Thoughts fuel the emotional fire.


Awareness can be the gateway to health or illness based on what we are giving our attention to. Since imbalance and disease enter through the doorway of awareness they can also be shown the way out through the same doorway. When we give our attention to things that live in an unlimited, high vibrational realm such as gratitude, acceptance, love and forgiveness, we can heal, overcome and breakthrough life's challenges.


Coaching Inquiry: What toxic thoughts and emotions can you let go of today, and what constructive thoughts can you replace them with?

Taming Your Gremlin

Posted by kelly on July 15, 2012 at 8:20 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the most significant reasons for human suffering is the narrator or inner critic in our heads. It is also known as our Gremlin. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that voice that tells you, “I can’t lose that weight. It’s too hard. I’m too lazy.” Or,” I can’t get that promotion. I’m not smart enough.” Your gremlin is very conniving. It will fabricate fantasizes and draws you into inevitable internal fights that will send you into depressive moods and “poor me” victim mentality and zap the energy and life right out of you. Your gremlin thrives on negativity and will do its best to keep you from your greatness.

The first step in Taming Your Gremlin (A book by Rick Carson) is simply to notice it.  Just observe the thoughts that come up with no judgment. If we can pay attention to when and how our Gremlin shows up and what our habitual responses to it have been, we can open up to the possibility of choosing to think, feel, and act differently to truly create an alternative reality for ourselves. Just “Be in the process.” Being in the process is a way to move toward “true love”, the essence of who we really are, our inner guide that is more powerful than any gremlin. Remember, you have a choice, to believe your gremlin or to re-shape it to be your cheerleader instead.

I can work with you to help tame your gremlin.:) 

 

 

Changing Your Beliefs Will Change Your Life

Posted by kelly on May 13, 2012 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)


 Beliefs create reality.

If you believe something to be true, it will come into your life by putting it into action. Beliefs can be positive or negative and whatever your belief, you will bring it into your life. We all have or have had negative thought patterns in our lives. These negative thoughts can be very deep seated. They are thoughts that are lying underneath and behind your conscious thoughts that you are thinking on an everyday basis.

To change these thoughts you have to be persistent, and you will need a burning desire to train your mind into thinking differently. You will have to do a little brainwash and afterwards a lot of re-learning with your new and healthy thoughts.

Sometimes it can be hard to change a belief; perhaps we really believe it to be true, at other times we cannot see another way to believe.

If you really want something to happen and yet you cannot change your belief system at the moment, just try the mechanical approach.

Each time you catch yourself thinking there is no different way, stop yourself and change the phrase to say that there is a positive way. That is all you need to do in the first phase.

Gradually, the mechanical thought will develop the first step into manifesting your new belief. As time goes on, and you continue to believe and reinforce the new belief by changing every negative thought into a positive one, you will discover that the mechanical approach has been replaced by a real belief and your new habit will have become a part of your life. I am currently “Acting as if” by writing down my top 5 passions as if they are already happening and posting them in strategic places. The mirror, the nightstand, the car dashboard, the fridge, etc…

I also came across these subliminal mp3 recordings to help you change your negative thoughts into positive ones on just about every possible topic.  You can download three free recordings and then it is  $15 for each additional one. Check it out: http://www.subliminalmp3s.com/.

With a little work, you will be the positive, healthy and abundant person you have always wanted to be.

Coaching Inquiries: What negative thought patterns do you want to change and how will you start working on them today?

 

Make it A Great Day!

Posted by kelly on March 15, 2012 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

How often do you allow the circumstances of each day, or even the mood that you are in affect your feelings and thinking about the rest of the day? I’m sure that this occurs way too often. You have probably let the weather, some comment made or even the way someone looks at you affect your mood and your perspective of the day.

You are surrendering your power when you do this. Take your power back. Take back your power of choice – use your initiative and focus your mind – MAKE IT A GREAT DAY.

Can you determine how circumstances affect you? If you’re like the overwhelming majority of people, you simply let them affect you. You’ve gotten into the habit of passively allowing your feelings and attitudes to be shaped by whatever random event happens.

In order to get out of that powerless, weak reaction that has become an ingrained habit grooved into your subconscious, you have to make a decision about what you want out of each day. You will have to literally plan to MAKE IT A GREAT DAY.

Watch Out For Those Little, Annoying Circumstances

Be careful to not allow these seemingly insignificant circumstances erode your path toward making it a great day.

Drag your thoughts away from your troubles…

by the ears, by the heels

or any other way you can manage it

Mark Twain

Make a decision about how you’re going to MAKE IT A GREAT DAY. Take a proactive stance by purposeful and decisive behavior and not just sit back passively and hope you’ll respond to situations in a positive manner. Here are some suggestions: 

Smile as often as possible

Be enthusiastic when you greet people

Shake that hand like you mean it

Find someone to appreciate (and then let them know)

Get your chin up and shoulders back

At day’s end, congratulate yourself for particular ways you made it a great day

Relentlessly practice an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE


"The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness.

You have to catch it yourself."

Ben Franklin

How are you going to catch happiness today?

 

 

The Value of One Hour- Priceless

Posted by kelly on February 10, 2012 at 7:30 AM Comments comments (0)

(Excerpted from an article by John Assaraf)

If you invest one hour each day in understanding yourself and your environment better, you will accumulate nine 40-hour weeks over the course of a year!

Over the course of just five years you will have invested the equivalent of 1825 hours of focus on whatever you desire to accomplish in your life.

Imagine for a minute how incredible you could become at anything you did for one hour each day for the next year.

How physically fit could you get? How much more love could you give and receive? How much more money could you earn?

Let me suggest that one hour is a small price to pay in comparison to the payoff

Just one hour each day may just be the razor’s edge you need to really get the results you want in your life.

Is getting what you want in life worth one hour a day? I certainly hope so.

Please adopt an hour a day for yourself!

Pick one area of your life that you want to improve and commit the next 90 days to that one thing.

I assure you that the results you achieve will be well worth the decision!

 

 

When All Four Energies Come Together

Posted by kelly on February 8, 2012 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

This morning I took a spin class that brought me to a state of true bliss. Martha, a very seasoned instructor I hadn't met yet, was able to activate my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energies all at once. The music was all instrumental, some African drumming with some jazz mingled in. :) I loved it! She took us on a strength ride, some standing and seated climbs and seated flats.


I found that fifteen minutes into the ride, I was totally in the moment. Martha's commanding, yet calming and encouraging words took me to a place I haven't been in awhile. I felt strong, focused, joyful and connected to spirit. I was almost brought to tears half way through the hour long ride.


This was a class that was not only a physical training but a life training. I went up to her after class and introduced myself as a fellow instructor and told her what a wonderful experience that was and asked her how she got into spinning. We had a fifteen minute conversation about how spinning was her way of releasing stress from things that were going on in her life. Riding was a moving meditation for her. That was definitely what it was for me today. Martha has mastered her craft by being able to get us to visualize being in the moment and connecting to our higher self and the greatness we all have inside of us.

 

 


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