Why do they call yoga and meditation a practice? Well,to me it is because it is ongoing. It isn’t something you are “finished” doing or mastered and done with. You can master it, which to me means that you have committed to it as a consistent and everyday practice. I know that I am better off in every way if I do it. That my day is better, my mind is clearer and I am able to deal with much more. That is what keeps me coming back. Then it becomes just a habit like brushing your teeth or taking out the trash. You just do it. The fight to do it or not do it is gone. It doesn’t mean that you will have less need for it or more or less challenges or issues. It is a tool to deal with all that is. This thing we are in now.
This pandemic, isolation, social distancing, quarantine etc. is a true test for us to master this habit. To master the practice of dealing with ourselves, our minds, our actions and reactions and to come out stronger and more capable of creating new and different ways of being. For the future of this planet, our health and the next evolution. This aligns also with having a coach. A person to support you through your mental stopping points that hold you back, keep you playing small or negative.
During this time, I have decided to teach a short yoga class each weekday at Noon (PT). Please join us -- we'll meet through Zoom so you'll need to register through this link and then we'll send you the link each day to log on. And then at the end of each week, we'll send you a recording of the classes we did.
Now is the time for support and to relax into ourselves. Let’s use this time to go inside like the cocoon so we can emerge a butterfly, ready to live life from our truest self, from what we know to be right for us. That will then affect the whole, the collective and the greater good.
Stay healthy. Sending love.
Hi all!!!! Hope you are doing ok and finding ways to connect with others for support as well as fun. I have heard so many people say they are waking up in the middle of the night, their mind racing and they are having trouble falling back to sleep.
I wanted to share three tools that have helped me get back to sleep. Whether it was marital stress, pregnant hormone sleepless nights, baby brain, having teenagers or menopause, these tools have worked for me. The first one is from my childhood and it still works!!!
1. When you wake up and your mind is off and running lay on your back and close your eyes. Start at your feet. Squeeze only your feet. As hard as you can, hold your breath for a count of 10 (if you can) or 5 and build up. Then release. Move up to just your knees. Isolate and squeeze just your knees. I know it is hard to squeeze just your knees. That is part of the mental challenge, isolating your muscles. Continue isolating each part of your body. Your calves, quads, hamstrings, stomach, chest, hands, bicep, shoulders, neck, face muscles etc. When you have done the whole body part by part then inhale and squeeze the whole body, really tight, hold the breath, count. Release. Do the whole body 3 times. You should be exhausted and relaxed physically. Let yourself drift back to sleep.
2. The second way works for me if I have a specific worry, a worry that has been with me for some time and when it pops in it, likes to take over. I physically get up. Sit on my meditation cushion and do a meditation for 3, 7 or 11 minutes. I am usually ready to easily go back to sleep after that. You can use either of the recent meditations I have shared. The one for the negative mind or the one for the heart. I have used both for middle of the night mental clearing! You will find the negative mind meditation at the end of the yoga class that is attached to this email (we are on day 14 of the practice as of this newsletter). Jump in and join us if you haven’t already.
Do it. Just start! Try to do it everyday!!!! I promise you it is a habit that will serve you for the rest of your life. The meditation for expanding your heart and protection and projection is posted on my Instagram on my IGtv. If you need help finding it please reach out.
3. The third thing that helps me get back to sleep is to write. Keep your journal next to your bed so you don’t have to run around looking for it. Just get it all out on the paper. Everything that is flooding your mind. It doesn’t need to make sense or look good on the paper. Just cough it all up as we say in coaching. Don’t worry about spelling or punctuation. Just let it be stream of consciousness. Whew, it will feel good. You will feel so much lighter and ready to drift back off.
Here’s to better sleep. It is so important. It is fundamental for mental health. We need to rest our mind and body so we stay healthy. Sending you all love.
I know I have said it before but there has never been a more important time to be able to master your thoughts. The only thing we can control is what is going on in our own head. We must take this opportunity, being shut in, to truly go inside ourselves.
Even when things go back to “normal” the ripple effect from the current events will last possibly forever. A new “normal” is being born. Paradigms are shifting in education, healthcare, financial institutions, the environment, politics . . . things that have needed a shift for decades are now going to shift and we must begin with ourselves.
If it is challenging for you to do the meditation that is in the class I taught (posted on home page). Then just do it for one min. A few times a day. Try to build your ability to sit muscle. To focus on your breath. This calms the nervous system down. It calms the amygdala, the primitive part of your brain. Now is the time to uncover and dig deep into your brain to discover those parts that we haven’t tapped into yet. Evolution is screaming at us to evolve, to evolve past the caveman way of thinking into a greater capacity. It starts with just simply being willing to do this. To sit. To bring your right hand into the palm of your left hand at your heart center. To look into your palms. To inhale through your nose bringing in with that inhale all the fear, your negative, catastrophic thoughts and then blowing them out with the exhale through your mouth.
It is like taking your garbage to the curb. If you throw away all your trash but never take it to the curb it will just overflow in your house. All your trash cans will be overflowing. You have to take it to the curb. Here, you have to bring in all those thoughts so you can blow them out. If you keep them hiding, they will grow and get louder.
It is a practice. Not time consuming but something that needs doing every day. Repetition is the key. Just like we have to tell our kids thousands of times before they get it. Our brains are the same. They have been operating like this for thousands of years. We need to practice every day. Small steps, small bits of time but every day!
Life is all things. Good and bad. Up and down. Light and dark. Gorgeous and ugly. It must be so. With everything exists the equal and opposite. The good news about that is that if it is rough going you know the other side to the situation exists. So within all this chaos and turmoil there is calm and quiet.
When we were in Florida it was 85 degrees and when we flew into Los Angeles is was raining. Somewhere it is sunny and somewhere it is raining. Our job is to be able to pull back from the micro to the macro . . . so we can see the situation from above. That enables us to look at it for what it is, maybe see both sides, then choose the way to go. This past weekend when we were traveling back from Florida during the rather chaotic Covid-19 pandemic, I decided to wear a mask. As we drove up to the rental car return we started seeing a lot of people with masks and it was very crowded. We unloaded the car, got our stuff ready to go and I put the mask on. It was very strange. Hiding most of my face it felt very uncomfortable. I like to connect with people as I pass by. I smile or give eye contact. I always have. While I was wearing the mask people wouldn’t look me in the eye or they would and it would be a judgmental glare.
Wow!!! I was shocked. Oh, I wanted to take it off because I didn’t like what I thought people were thinking -- how is that for monkey minded people-pleasing. Risking catching some cold or something because I was worried people were judging me. Wow. I left it on. Took a breath and told myself it was none of my business what they thought of it.
Then I had a question for the airline check in person. As I approached her, she too gave me that look but I just continued on. Excuse me, could I ask you a question? She laughed, “if you get rid of your mask” I was kind of shocked and then started to defend it, “I am wearing it because I am immune compromised and I have . . .” I stopped and realized I didn’t need to defend my choice to wear a mask. I plodded on. I got over it and was grateful to have it as I witnessed so many people coughing.
My take away was to extend even more compassion, kindness and love for those all around us. People are scared and stressed. Most people are helpful and share the same needs: to be safe and healthy. When you see people in masks and you form opinions please remember that everyone is doing the best they can and trying, hopefully, to be smart, safe and stay healthy. On the other side of fear is strength.
For some great tips and tools to help get you through: sign up for the Mom summit. It starts today and it's five days of really helpful presentation -- my presentation is on Wednesday and: "Keeping it simple. Ways to manage your monkey mind with meditation and action." Join here.
And the group coaching membership is starting soon!!! Join in. It will be an amazing way to use this time of isolation and quarantine to breakthrough the fear and jump into our strength, to get coached by me, supported and have community.
The times we are in call for much greater mental discipline. Not less fun or more seriousness which we often think of with discipline. No, I mean mental focus. To keep what is important to us, what we hold sacred (which is unique to each of us) at the forefront of our mind. The reason for this is to not allow the waves of pandemic thinking to take us over. This age of too much information.
The old days of just turning the TV off are over. Information is almost unstoppable. So what to do about that? What can you control? Only your mind. That is the challenge of this time. To do whatever it takes to keep us healthy, mentally and physically and to not be swept off into news, fake or otherwise. Get educated. Yes. Research. Yes. And then shut it down. Close it. Get outside. Connect to what is real. There is a tree, dirt, flowers, snow, sticks and weeds. Please do something to neutralize the energy that is swirling around this planet; the virus, politics, the hate and fighting, the racism, the sexism, the climate crisis and more. Sit and simply breath. Take even one minute when you wake up to focus on your breath. Listen to it. Feel it. Be grateful for it. The more you do this, the easier it will be to redirect your mind when something hits you, an unstoppable piece of information. This is the times we are living in. Mastering your mind has never been more crucial.
Happy Tuesday. Let us rise above the frequency that is swirling so we can see it for what it is. Then we can consciously act and not react. Love you all!!!
When you have this beautiful, juicy idea that you really want to work on what stops you from doing it? That awesome idea is a dream, a thought creation. It is what we call in coaching, “visionary reality”. When we work on bringing it into the physical reality that is where the rubber meets the road. That is where the effort and challenges happen and that is where we can just stop.
Thoughts like this pop up:
Ugh, maybe it isn’t meant to be
This is too hard
I can’t do this
I don’t know how to do this
How will I ever do this
It will take too long
It might never happen so why try.
Looks ridiculous when you list it out but feels so real when it is happening in your brain. So, what can we do to step through this frustration, resignation, or cynicism?
Go girl go!!!!!!
Happy Tuesday !!!
Working on your mindset is just like working on your physical health. You wouldn't go to the gym for a week and say "well, okay, I'm done with that forever". 😉 Because it's a process and as you reach for (and achieve) each new goal, you find new and more exciting things to work towards. And having a coach during that process can make all the difference!
One thing I know for sure: going outside makes you feel better! If you already feel great it makes you feel even better. I know I talk about this a lot. But I cannot stress it enough. While trying to find a great gym or yoga class or meditation practice or this or that is great, what I know is that the simplest thing to do will often get done. Just grab a coat, shoes, jacket, umbrella, hat and go out. There is a listening and a quiet that is around you when you go outside. Even in the freezing cold or the extreme hot, the wind, the rain, the elements.
It will stop your repetitive, redundant, and monkey minded thinking. It will create space and allow for ideas to pop in. I often call this "yoga off the mat" because walking brings it all together just like Yoga; the union, of body, mind and soul. My favorite way to walk is in nature but even if I can’t get to a beach or a park or a hike among trees, just the walking and breathing and moving will do it.
Mastering our mind is the goal. People you look up to, people who inspire you -- they still have worry, fear, stress, anxiety, tension but they have figured it out for themselves. It is personal to everyone. They have figured out what they need to do so they can do what they want to do anyway, even if they are scared to death. That is the goal. To be able to conquer your thoughts that hold you back so you can be what it is you want to be. To quiet the noise in your mind so you can hear your gifts and your contributions and share them.
So take a walk. Try it out this week. When your thinking is getting the best of you. Stop and go outside. See what happens. Share it with me! I would love to hear your experience. Have fun with this.
On another note. Big news in our coaching community:
I will be starting a coaching group in April. If you are ready to bust through your blocks, your mental challenges and allow yourself to get to it then please join our group.
We will meet weekly (on the computer from wherever you are). I will be doing a group coaching call, a yoga and meditation class, coaching exercises and expert interviews and more. Keep an eye out for the info. I can’t wait to get started!
Happy happy Tuesday.
Grief. A feeling we don't usually want to feel but so important to. To go through the feeling and experience it. Makes your heart bigger. Opens you to the reality that is. Not your preference of what you want but what really is.
Grief for me has been so much about the ending of something I still wanted. I wanted someone to still be alive, I wanted our family to still be together, I wanted to still live there, I wanted to get a do over . . . grief occurs because things end. Things change. The ending and changing of things is a guarantee. Sometimes we are okay with it so we don’t really notice grief but sometimes we aren’t and then grief strikes. I have learned to, pain or no pain, step into this. I have no choice.
It is the allowing of this that is the healing. Like self care really because we can’t judge it (oh geez, I shouldn’t care about this or I knew this was going to happen, why do I feel so sad). Death, especially, is a great reminder of so many things. Whether it is the death of an icon like Kobe or someone close to you it reminds us that we have no control on how long we are here, none. When our time is up our time is up.
This isn’t just a quotable quote. This is a way to live. To be fully in your skin, your life, doing what you are choosing to do; living, learning and growing.
If grief strikes you hard, these are a few things that have helped me:
Happy Tuesday, even in grief.
Let me start by saying that if you are frustrated then you are probably ready to do things differently!! So that is great. It sometimes takes frustration, anger and pain to get us to move off the step we have been sitting on. This can be scary but when the agony of where you are is hitting a crescendo then moving forward into the unknown can feel like a relief.
Whether your frustration is mild or tipping on excruciating let’s dig in for a minute. First, notice if is this frustration about something you can or cannot control? We are talking about the frustration that is in your control. When you are in your own way.
In coaching, we often talk about coherence and incoherence. When our actions and what we want are aligned it feels good. When our actions are incoherent then we experience frustration. Bringing your actions into alignment with what you want in your life gives you energy. However, the path isn’t always a straight line. We are often moving up, down, zigging and zagging and yet seeing even a small step forward will give us the feeling that we are on the right path.
For example, if it is important to me to be healthy and physically fit, I make a plan to walk every day for ½ an hour. When I take my morning walk (coherence), I am satisfied and I feel a sense of accomplishment. When I don’t do it (incoherent), I can start telling myself, “ugh, I knew I wouldn’t be able to do this every day, why did I even think I could commit to something like this, and so on” and I feel frustrated.
What is crucial is that we just realign to our plan. Just get back on the horse. If we beat ourselves up when we don’t do what we said we were going to do, it makes it worse. That makes it harder to just start walking again.
So, using this example:
Remember, it is okay to get support when you need guidance to move through a place where you may have a lot of frustration. It can be helpful. Please reach out if you need support or have a question!
Love you all and happy Tuesday!
Courtney Gebhart, Life Coach, Kundalini Yoga teacher, and Human Being.