positive shift

Life is simply endless troubleshooting.

Life happens for us on a constant basis. We're lucky in this way until we die because it gives us endless opportunities to build our resilience from stretching and growing.

Except most people don't see life in this way at all! They see it as constantly happening TO them and not FOR them. I remember when I viewed my life the same way most of the time, but I can also tell you that it's transformed in big ways since shifting my frame of mind.

And the new frame or mindset I use is this: life is simply endless troubleshooting. No matter the circumstances, life is just choice after choice of "how am I going to fix this or change this or solve this." But most people have this whole other frame of mind that keeps them suffering endlessly. I see it really clearly with my mom pretty much every time I speak to her but I also see it all over the place on social media and listening to people.

People have this constant background narrative of "it shouldn't be like this" or "this shouldn't be happening" and life becomes this constant struggle and inconvenience instead of a series of incidents or opportunities to be solved. Once you notice it, it's hard to turn off. People come from this place of "UGH! IF ONLY this wasn't happening, my life would be going just fine," but the truth is, they'd probably still find something to complain about or be bothered by. Why? Because nothing stays the same ever and the reason for that is because the Universe is constantly growing and expanding outward. Trying to make things stay as they are, either us or another person or a job or something else, is literally fighting the way things are. It's fighting reality.

It's like trying to keep a wave upon the sand [name that tune!]. 

Have you ever tried to keep a wave on the sand? That sounds crazy, right? Think about some other analogy in nature and it's easy to realize how silly it sounds but then we try to make people, places or things or aspects of our lives stay the same when it's just not how things are.

So when cars break down in traffic or mail is delayed or appointments get changed or people die or we get fired or politicians impose bans or men and women harass each other (because they do) or any of the big and small ways that life just shifts and changes, instead of seeing these things as major inconveniences or things that shouldn't be happening, we can just see it as endless troubleshooting. 

Life is just endless things to be solved from moment to moment. It's not personal. You didn't deserve it. It's not happening TO you and it's certainly not wrong or bad. It's just the way things are.

Try using this frame or mindset for one day, ok start with the next five minutes, and see what you see!

See Yourself as the Source

 

You know those people who tell you that you can have/do/be anything you want in your life?

 

Like unlimited power and freedom? Incredible results personally and professionally? Like anything is possible?

For the longest time, I hated those people. HATED. With a fiery rage.

I've come to see why, and it's a little sad but I'll tell you about it.

Basically, I was doing this health coach thing for years and still felt like my life wasn't working. Why wasn't I happy? Why wasn't I feeling fulfilled? I was doing all the right things! Eating good things often, bad things less often, sleeping, exercising, all that. But my relationship was falling apart. Everyone and their mother was up in my business about my transition, asking really intrusive questions. I wasn't losing weight. My business wasn't growing. I wasn't getting opportunities I wanted. 

So, eventually I got angry. I hated those uber-positive people on all the social media telling me to love more. NO. No. I needed money and recognition, not love. Screw that.

Hmm.

Then I hit the wall. 

I'll spare the details and leave that for my book, but basically I came to see that I was holding myself back and getting in my own way. Me. Moi. Those things I craved weren't coming because I was giving the Universe mixed-messages. I was in complete and utter internal conflict with what I said I wanted to feel or have and what I was doing to actually make it happen. 

And the worst part? I didn't even SEE that I was doing this. 

It didn't feel like that at the time. I felt like I was in a hamster wheel doing all the things I could think of to make progress, personally or professionally. But it was the WAY I was doing it all that was the problem. Perspective showed me this, nothing else. Not even the many people who kept trying to tell me. Because I am one stubborn person, indeed. 

Can I share the perspective with you that finally helped me?

Here's the thing: you're smart. You've lived a pretty decent life so far, hopefully. You've done many things. Seen a lot. You have certain skills and strengths and abilities, all that. You've collected things from experiences you've had--either some lessons learned from living your life to literal skill-building in school(s) over the years. And all that has gotten you really far.

But you're stuck right now. Maxed out. At your limit. Something isn't working. Except you might not being seeing yourself as the source of making it work well or better. You might think everyone else is the problem. You might see yourself as doing everything right, but everyone else isn't on board and that's where the breakdown is.

Personally or professionally, you are the source to make or break something.

It's intense that you're that powerful--I know. But you are. It's your life, after all. And it's unfolding according to choices, habits and behaviors you're practicing day in and day out. 

If it's working well, I'm glad! It might mean you're being really effective and perhaps even loving your life. I hope you are, anyway.

If it isn't working well, are you seeing yourself as the source as to why? I'm not saying you are to blame (this isn't a guilt thing) but are you blaming other people? Do you see yourself as doing things "right" and people just can't get on board? Or they don't understand you? Or they aren't listening to you?

Are you coming from the perspective that "if everyone would just _________________" then things would be perfect.

Hmm.

Have you considered this is actually why things aren't working? I mean, it could be those people--sure. But what if, WHAT IF, you chose to see yourself as the source for something working or not working? What if you totally shifted or transformed your point-of-view (POV) and saw things differently? What would be possible for you, in your personal or professional life? (not that they are separate, because wherever you go, there you are)

OK. Enough hypothesizing. You need some actual advice. Here ya go.

Consider these three ways you can see yourself as the source moving forward:

Be Responsible: I don't care whether you're the boss or not. Consider everything, EVERYTHING, is your job. You are responsible. I don't mean you have to actually DO IT ALL but you can consider that you could do anything that's asked or needs to be done. Anything versus everything. There's a distinction. Do you see it? Nothing is above or below you and your capacity. If something you did goes right, you can take credit. If something you did goes wrong, you can step up to make it work better. This goes for conversation, too. That's another blog post coming soon. For now, just sit with this one.

Listen Better: If you're multitasking, you aren't listening. The human brain can only process so much at once. Yes, even yours, as magnificent as it is. As soon as you take your focus away from someone, you cease to listen to them. You might hear them, but I'm not talking about hearing. You can HEAR noise all day. When you want to be the source of something working, you need to listen to people. Otherwise, you're adding to the miscommunication. Here's something else: when someone is talking, are you listening to their voice or the one in your own head? Are you constantly judging and assessing their words? Are you waiting for a chance to speak? To be right? To justify yourself? Get off the hook? Correct, redirect, etc.? Have you even just listened to someone without waiting for your turn to talk? Try it. It will change your life!

Stop with the Shoulds: This is like listening, but it's specifically about your expectations. It's not wrong to have goals. It's not wrong to have aspirations. It's not wrong to have boundaries or ideals. It's not wrong to have hopes, even! But as soon as it goes from COULD to SHOULD, that's you being the source of forcing something to happen. An agenda. Limited possibilities. You're attached. Fixed. Inflexible. You're "right". Someone is "wrong". Yikes! What if your version of right isn't actually right at all? This could show up as "people shouldn't be doing that" or "it should have been done this way". Bringing that kind of energy to personal or professional interactions pretty much guarantees another person will resist, deflect or react in some way. Physics is a thing, after all. 

Give these three ways of being a try for two weeks. Focus on using them in personal relationships and professional ones and see what you're the source of shifting in the next 14 days.

When To Call It

It never ends.

It started in October, right? And it's now January. The stuff on these shelves is for a holiday that is a month away in mid-February.

Same product, different packaging. That's all it is. 

Those companies just want you to keep eating, consuming and buying processed, chemically-produced crap. And because it's already in your bloodstream, it's hard to stop.

When is it time to call it quits? How much is enough?

Each year many of us opt in to this cycle of consumption in October and emerge in May feeling sick, tired, bloated and lethargic.

Since drastically reducing my sugar intake, I have not had one single cold since early September 2011--(knocking on every single piece of wood within arm's reach--and that wasn't even caused by sugar. It was caused by stress from a major life transition. I'm sure of it.)

My nutrition is profoundly different from many years ago, and because of that positive shift, I'm starting to settle into some profound and healing realizations about my body image, my identity as a transgender person living in a female body and how my lifestyle habits and eating patterns affect my wellness inside and out.

I may be 10 pounds heavier than last year, but I haven't been sick once (I can't count on my hands how many sinus infections I had in the past 5 years) and I go to the gym 2-3 times a week so I'm willing to bet a large portion of my weight is muscle. Don't know my BMI but I'll check back in with that but don't know how much I really believe in it. If the price is an extra 10 pounds, I'll take the gifts of

wellness

and

strength

But I'm also willing to see where else I can make improvements...

I eat sugar, yes. I ate a lot of it around the Christmas weekend, making a pact with myself to enjoy what I wanted and needed and then to be mindful after that weekend to make sure I wasn't letting myself get carried away on the roller coaster effects. It happened. I breathed into that experience and now every day when I'm reaching for something I ask myself, "are you eating this because you want and need it or because it's in your bloodstream and it's become a bad habit?"

Ask yourself that question the next time you witness yourself reaching for the sweet stuff.

And then ask yourself that question about something else in your life (job, relationship, exercise routine).

There comes a time to call it and say, "I've had enough."

I have tendonitis in my shoulder because I hit the gym too hard and now I'm resting until it heals.I had a client remove herself from a relationship because her partner always looked at and talked to or complimented other women when they were out together.Whenever we feels ourselves crossing that fine line from "hey, this is fun" to "wow, this doesn't feel good", it's time to assess. Too much of anything isn't good for us. Think of your life in this way.When is it time to call it?