inner wisdom

Forget the past, watch the present and create the future!

We all have regrets, here are a few quick tips to forgetting yours!

Wish you were “feelin’ groovy” as Simon and Garfunkel once sang? You know, able to slow down because you move too fast? It seems as though that plea has been around for as long as mankind, yet the more we create time savers, the busier we become. We watch TV while surfing the web on our iPads, we walk down the street while talking on the phone. We listen to music while driving or tweet and update statuses on Facebook and Foursquare, checking messages at the stop lights.

Now add to that our work can be stressful. The economy, bottom line concerns, fuel us to utilize all of our waking moments trying to be “more productive”. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 41% of the more than 1,700 respondents say they typically feel stressed out on the job.
Workplace stress is not uncommon, but how we deal with it can have a negative impact on mental and physical health, and can cost businesses a lot of money.

So maybe Simon and Garfunkel weren’t so far off, perhaps it is time to slow down and say “Life I love you!” Slowing down is a conscious choice and not always an easy one. It does, however, lead to a greater appreciation for life and a greater level of happiness.

Here are seven quick tips to help you slow down:

1. Do less. It’s hard to slow down when you are trying to do a million things. Instead, make the conscious choice to do less. Ask yourself, is this really necessary? Focus on what’s really important and let go of the rest. Build in time between tasks and appointments, so you can move through your days at a more leisurely pace. 

2. Be present. It’s not enough to just slow down — you need to actually be mindful of whatever you’re doing at the moment. So, when you find yourself thinking about something you need to do, or something that’s already happened, or even something that might happen, bring yourself back to the present moment. Observe how happy our pets are, they aren’t worried about tomorrow’s meal, they just want to play with you now. Focus on what’s going on right now. Be aware of your actions, your environment and others around you. This takes practice but is so very worth while.

3. Disconnect. If you carry around a smartphone or other mobile device, shut it off. Better still, learn to leave it behind when possible. If you work on a computer most of the day, have times when you disconnect so you can focus on other things. Being available all the time means we’re subject to interruptions, we’re constantly stressed about information coming in and we are at the mercy of the demands of others. 

4. Appreciate nature. Many of us are shut in our homes and offices and cars, buses and trains most of the time, and rarely do we take the opportunity to go outside. Often, even when people are outside, they’re on their cell phones. Instead, take the time to go outside and really observe nature, take a deep breath of fresh air, enjoy the serenity of water and greenery. Exercise and play outdoors when you can. Find outdoor activities to enjoy such as nature walks, kayaking, swimming, etc. Feel the sensations of water and wind and earth against your skin. Try to do this daily — by yourself or with loved ones.

5. Eat slower. Instead of cramming food down our throats as quickly as possible — leading to overeating and a lack of enjoyment of our food — practice eating slowly. Take three deep breathes before beginning a meal or snack. Be mindful of each bite, taking time to appreciate the flavors, aromas and textures. Eating slowly has the double benefit of making you fuller on less food and making the food taste better. 

6. Daydream. Let your mind wander. Most of us have been told daydreaming is a bad habit, but research shows that it actually allows us to be more creative. When we reduce stress, our minds are able to access regions of our brain not available when we’re stressed out. So, close your door, turn off anything electronic and close your eyes for five to 10 minutes. Let your mind wander. Who knows, the flashes of insight that come could be your next million dollar idea?

7. Breathe. When you find yourself speeding up and stressing out, pause, and take a deep breath. Take a couple more. Really feel the air coming into your body, and feel the stress going out. By fully focusing on each breath, you bring yourself back to the present, and slow yourself down. Again, notice our pets and how they breathe. Their bellies go up and down, as the air goes in and out of their diaphragms, babies breathe the same way. Try your best to do the same. 

If you want to take a moment right now to slow down and relax, visit my website here for the free audio: Serenity 

Working Women Of Florida hosted a conference on September  5th and 6th at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, FL. I was honored to be asked to speak on the subject of fear. Standing on the stage with 400 women present was an awesome experience. (Notice the picture at the top of this page.) The love and energy of this group of women inspired me to keep doing what I love most. I met some pretty amazing ladies, whom I hope to share with for a long time to come.
The presentation included the 5 “A’s” to remember when you desire to overcome fear. Those include:
  • Acknowledge
  • Awfulize
  • Appreciate
  • Ask (Afform)
  • Act
Acknowledge your fear and what it really represents for you. Is there a deeper reason for the fear? For instance, I once experienced a fear of driving that was more about a fear of success than it was about driving. Once I acknowledged that, I was ready to let that go and move forward!
Awfulize those dreaded experiences. In other words, take it to the extreme. That can help you realize that things aren’t going to be quite what you imagine. If in fact they are pretty bad, you might be surprised at the tools and skills you have in place for handling the situation.
Appreciate that in the past those feelings have served a purpose. Once you can accept and honor that, it is time to understand that you have outgrown other old behaviors (i.e. thumb sucking for comfort).  You no longer need these limiting thoughts and beliefs.
Ask questions that will help you. Rather than continuing to ask questions based in negative programming, begin to ask the questions that a changed you might ask. Instead of asking, “what if this went wrong”, imagine asking, “what if this went right”? (More information on questions that work for you can be found in the works of Noah St. John, originator of Afformations.)
Act on your new beliefs and understandings. To decide you have overcome a fear of elevators is great, to ride in one is real victory. Find someone you trust to support you in taking those first steps and celebrate the new you!

Take steps today to begin creating the life free of fear that you desire. Please, let me know your stories. I’d love to share your successes with others.


Written by:
What qualities would you like to be remembered for?

Loving, friendly, creative, steadfastness, warm-heartedness, reliability, humor … what is it for you? Practice those qualities now. 

  • Monitor your thoughts and be compassionate with yourself. 
  • Take time each day to feel the gratitude for simple pleasures in life. 
  • Breathe deeply. (Just by practicing deep focused, breathing for 2 minutes daily you will discover your body becomes used to responding in a calmer, more focused manner.)
  • Exercise daily, it is as good for your head as it is for your body.
  • Turn off the television, internet or anything else that prevents you from getting good rest at night.
  • Eat healthy foods, taking time to enjoy the taste, smells and textures of each bite.
  • Eliminate clutter, it sticks in your head and to your butt!
  • Forget guilt, it is an after the fact, unnecessary emotion.
  • Find a reason to smile and laugh.
  • Find and follow your Spiritual path.

You can evolve into who you aspire to be.  What you practice is what younger generations will learn. So, what will your legacy be?

Recently I have had the good fortune of being introduced to an incredible author. Fawn Germer is a Pulitzer-nominated author of two best selling books, “Hard Won Wisdom” and “Mustang Sallies”. Fawn has been recommended by Oprah Winfrey, so how much more can I say? When I obtained my copy of her latest book, “The New Woman Rules” (More than 50 trailblazers share their wisdom) I could not wait to sit down and read it. It has been more like devour it!

This book is the personal stories of extraordinary businesswomen who have more than succeeded, they are at the very top! These women vary in background and education, but they are all leaders. In reading their stories, they seem like my friends, sisters and colleagues. So, what makes them so different? Why did they get to the top when so many don’t? Fawn carefully explains the lessons they share from don’t hesitate to raise your hand to ask others for help.

I think what struck me the most however, was the amazing ability that each of these women had to rely on their inner wisdom. They explored their inspirations and allowed whatever was meant to be, be. I am not saying they ran wildly into the night spending foolishly at the expense of the company they worked for. It is just that they also did not over analyze their instincts. Not every experiment was a success, either.

Cathy Green, the COO of Food Lion tells of an experiment to expand a store she was managing early in her career. She was successful in increasing sales and needed more space for product. So, she decided to add a tent outside. The town council required a $15,000 sidewalk installed for this tent, she had the expense of Muzak, lights and shelving. When it was finished, she says it was debatable if they even made $100 from it. Here is her take on it,”Someone looking in might say it was a failure. But it gave me broad learning about working with town politics, driving business and bringing a vision to life. You learn from everything. Failure is not an option.”

Over and over I read those sentiments in the book. Each of these women had the vision to see what lessons they learned and keep on going. Many of them made lateral moves along the way, some even stepped down in order to step up later. These women were able to “re-frame” the events in their lives in a way that benefited them, their co-workers and their companies.

Fawn sums the lessons up so well in her conclusion. To quote her, “Be your true self. You are your greatest asset, so work it.” Later she states,”See yourself as belonging at the top, and you will belong at the top.” In other words, release fear and visualize the life you desire now!

Thank you Fawn for writing this incredible book!