Posted tagged ‘personal development’

Telling yourself the truth

June 11, 2009

I just had the opportunity to read a great blog about limiting beliefs by Kim de Young of Metromom.  It is worthwhile reading for any of you who know that your subconscious beliefs get in the way of moving forward.  She has a great way of sharing her insights.

Some of the most amazing growth periods in my life and in my business have been because I have taken the time to look at my life, tell myself the truth about how I feel and take some action steps to help me get to where I want to go.  That having been said, sometimes I have to admit, I just don’t want to take a look. Even more than that, I may take a look but I don’t want to tell myself the truth about how I feel. Deep down however, when I do not tell myself the truth, I know that I am kidding myself and eventually it will all catch up with me.

Today, I want you to ask yourself just one question – In this moment – how do I feel about my life. You may be happy, content, peaceful, excited and energized. I hope so.

However, for many people this is not how they feel about their life.  Many people are sad, angry, scared, frustrated or any other negative emotion.  If this is the case

Take an intentional breath

Name that feeling – it helps to name the emotion – angry, sad, scared

Ask yourself – what can I do about this RIGHT NOW

You may want to go outside catch a breath of fresh air, walk around the block,

You may need to Blow off some steam

Tell yourself the truth

Take action

Take another deep intentional breath

Let me know how you do and if you have any questions.

Blog with you later



Celebrate, Celebrate and Celebrate some more

June 8, 2009

Do you give yourself permission to celebrate? We all know about the traditional celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations and even funerals where there is a celebration of a person’s life.  What about the rest of the time?  Do you only celebrate when there is a formal event to commemorate?  Do you ever celebrate and acknowledge the gift that you are, the accomplishments that you have made, the dreams you have conquered?

It can be challenging to celebrate.  I know there are times when I have made a list of things I want to get done in a day, worked hard and achieved 80% of what I intended to only to berate myself for not accomplishing 100% and more.  Sound familiar?  The answer is probably YES. How unfair is that!!! You beat yourself up because you did not get it ALL done but get no acknowledgement for doing 80%.

So my question to you is!!!  When are you enough? When is what you do enough?  Who is setting the yardstick by which you measure yourself?  My goal in writing this blog is to help you recognize how hard you are on yourself, what standards you expect to achieve and how little credit you give to yourself for what you do achieve.  If we only look at what we did not do, how will we ever recognize how hard we work and celebrate who we are.

Take 3 deep intentional breaths

Identify simple achievable, realistic goals for what you want to accomplish today

Set the intention for how you want to feel while working on your goals

e.g. focused, clear, efficient

Set priorities

Break your day and goals into small timed segments

Set the intention before you begin each segment

Breathe deeply and intentionally at the beginning of each segment

Get to work

Take an intentional breath at the end of the segment


If you did not get all that you wanted done in that segment, go back to the steps above and identify simple, achievable realistic goals on how you want to accomplish the remainder of your goal.


Let me know how you celebrate.  How hard is it? What commitment do you want to make about celebrating?

Take care all and I will blog with you later this week.


WHO ARE YOU? Take 5 minutes to begin your journey of discovery

May 26, 2009

Who are you?

Many people answer this question with a description of their various roles. For me I am a mother, coach, workplace consultant, former nurse, wife, sister, aunt, friend etc. With each of these roles I have certain expectations as to how I want to fulfill them.  For example as a mom, I have three adult children whom I love spending time with, imparting my words of wisdom to (always being careful not to overdo the WISDOM part) and for many years my children defined me. By that I mean, everything that they said and did were a direct reflection of me i.e. their accomplishments, their dreams, their sorrows, their joys and their mistakes.  I was totally tied into their stories and their lives to define me as a good mom, an attentive mom, someone who had it handled, someone who makes mistakes or someone who was not good enough or there enough for my kids.  I had many judgements as to how well I fulfilled my role.

How about you?  Are you totally defined by your roles – parent, nurse, teacher, health care worker, daughter etc. Even though it may seem natural to do this, it is not who you really are!!

Behind all of the roles and expectations you have for living your life, who are you really?   What makes you – YOU? If you do not spend any time in relationship with yourself, how will you really know who you are?  When you spend this time you start to get connected with what is at the core of who you are and it is a beautiful journey of discovery.

My challenge for you today is to spend 5 minutes quietly in relationship with yourself.

Turn off all electronics (TV, cell phone, computer etc.),

Sit quietly in a chair,

Close your eyes and breathe deeply and intentionally.

Set a timer so you know that you will be alerted when the time has passed.

Notice what you hear

Notice what you see

Notice how you feel

Notice what you feel

Still your mind chatter


Just notice what you notice and




7 Unrecognized Signs of Early Stress

May 20, 2009

People think of stress as being burnt out, crying alot, feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.   While these are definately signs of stress, they are often preceded by some earlier warning signs that people do not necessarily attribute to stress. These include:

1.  Inability to get a good nights sleep – Many of my clients report that they cannot sleep well because they are  thinking and rethinking about their day as they are trying to get to sleep. Sometimes they wake up in the middle of the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep as they cannot seem to shut off their mind.

2.  Aches and Pains – Research shows that even one stressful thought can lead to changes all the way down to the DNA of our cells.  The aches and pains we experience are like the body is crying out for some relief from the stress that it is facing and it needs to get loud for us to start paying attention to it.

3.  Low Energy – Not only does stress affect the DNA of our cells, it also affects the energy generation of our cells. It is a major energy leak .  Dr. Woodson Merrell in his book “The Source” outlines wonderfully how stress impedes our energy. This is an excellent book to help you develop a plan to return to vibrant health.

4.  Scattered thinking – Have you ever walked into your office and thought “I need to do this today” and 2 minutes later you find yourself on the internet surfing something totally different.  You find yourself starting one project, and then moving onto something else without completing the first.  Not only is this behavior stressful as you do not get your work done, but it is often an unrecognized sign that stress is starting to accumulate.

5.  Foggy Thinking – Have you ever found yourself trying to get a project done but you cannot seem to find the words to write the report or complete the task.  You look at the work in front of you and do not know where to begin.  Once again, with adrenaline and cortisol running through your system at unhealthy amounts we get what is called “corticol inhibition” which means we are not even accessing the brain’s cerebral cortex which is responsible for decision making, problem solving and creativity.

6.  Loss of your sense of humor – Remember when you could laugh at your mistakes, when you did not take everything in your life so seriously, and when you could smile spontaneously at a good memory.  When we have stress starting to accumulate in our bodies, our perspective narrows and we start to take everything way too seriously.

7. Increased negativity – Remember when you could see the good in others, in your children, in your partner and your colleagues.  If you are finding yourself more critical and inclined to gossip or look for what is not working in a situation, this is another unrecognized sign of stress.

Many of these signs are often minimized or ignored. What usually happens when people notice they are acting this way is they get into the negative self talk of the shoulda, woulda, coulda that I spoke about it “How connected are you with you”.

One of the best ways to de-stress “in the moment” is to take 3 Intentional Breaths.  This focuses your attention on the body with the intention of calming it down.

Blog with you later


The Intentional Breath

May 19, 2009

The breath is the most underutilized tool available to us “in the moment”. Research shows that when we breathe deeply into the very base of our lungs that we can calm down our nervous system which is responsible for many of our stress symptoms.

The Intentional Breath brings in life affirming oxygen on inspiration and breathes out stress and tension on expiration.  Take a moment to notice your breathing NOW.


Focus your attention to the middle of your chest

place your hand over this area.

Breathe in deeply through your nose for the count of 5

Imagine your hand moving up and down with the breath.


Blow the air out through your mouth for the count of 5

Notice the sensations running through your body, any warmth or tingling

Breathe normally in between the deep intentional breaths


Place your hand over your solar plexus

(halfway between the belly button and the rib cage)

Breathe in through your nose to the count of 5

(moving your hand up and down with the breath)


Blow the breath out through your mouth for the count of 5

Notice any sensations in your body, warmth, tingling, energy

Breathe normally between the deep intentional breaths


Once again the hand over the solar plexus

Breathe in through your nose for the count of 5

(moving the hand up with the breath)


Blow out through your mouth for the count of 5

consciously blow out any stress or tension you feel in your body

Notice any sensations in your body, how do you feel

Breathe normally

Set up a practice schedule for yourself to do the breathing every morning, every lunch, at the end of the day and before bed. See how you feel and let me know how this works.  Take care all

Blog with you later.


Cortisol – We need you but enough already

May 15, 2009

Cortisol is a hormone that is secreted by our adrenal glands and is a necessary part of our waking and sleep cycles.  We need it to wake us up in the morning but if we have too much cortisol, it can be a problem.

Earlier in the week I spoke about adrenaline, why we need it and what can happen if we have to much. Similarly too much cortisol can have serious health consequences for us. Research shows that people who live in high stress work/home environments with a lot of negativity have excess amounts of cortisol. It is almost like, every time we are confronted with the negativity we need to wake up and be more alert because the stress is arousing us into action. Research also shows that excessive amounts of cortisol can be responsible for increased aches and pains, poor blood sugar regulation, weight gain, poor immune response and other chronic conditions. These facts make it important for us to find healthier ways to combat our stress.

Did you know that we can shift from a negative internal state of high cortisol by shifting what we are focusing on in any given moment? Our body does NOT know if the stories we are experiencing are real or imagined.  When we think of the negative things that happen in our lives and relive the experience of the events, we are sending cortisol into our system just by imaging and reliving the story.

The opposite of this is also true.  When we can relive positive times in our lives and get into how it felt we can shift our cortisol to DHEA (the feel good, anti-aging, vitality hormone).  What this means is, we can make our physiology healthier by focusing on something positive.

In this moment

Think of something that makes you smile and let yourself smile.

Smiling stimulates positive, feel good hormones in your body.

Practice kindness in thoughts and actions

Performing an act of kindness increases our serotonin levels

Observing kindness increases our serotonin levels


Celebrate what is good in your life

We can shift our physiology moment by moment throughout our day.  Remember to breathe and smile.  These simple “in the moment” tools can have amazing results.

Blog with you soon.


Take the Moment-Is Challenge

May 3, 2009

Many of us are WAY TOO BUSY to spend a lot of time on personal development but yet are desperate to find better ways to be more connected with ourselves, our children and our world.  So we at Clare Consulting Group have developed the Moment-Is Challenge.

For the next 30 days we are asking you to set aside 5 minutes each day to be “in the moment“.

1.  Set your alarm for a specific time that you will put aside 5 minutes for you (Some suggestions include a) when you are in the shower, b) when you first get into your office before you start your computer, c) when you are making dinner, d) eating lunch, e) getting the kids ready for bed f) lunch time or coffee break (if you take these).  This does not mean you have to stop everything you are doing, you just set the intention for a specific focus of being in the moment for the 5 minutes.

2. When you are ready to dedicate this time for you, set your timer for 5 minutes. This insures that you are not concerned about going overtime and you can truly focus on the task at hand.

3. Take 3 deep intentional breaths into the solar plexus (half way between the belly button and the rib cage). With your eyes closed

Breathe in for the count of 5,


Breathe out for the count of 5.

When you do this, really focus your attention to the area around the solar plexus and try to envision the breath getting right to the solar plexus.

This takes your attention away from any outside stressors and helps you calm down your body.

4. Now allow your breath to flow easily in and out through your lungs while you continue being in the moment. Notice any sensations in your hands and feet.  Really focus on how your body feels in this moment.

5. Pay close attention to the sounds around you.  It may be the shower water running, the kids playing (or arguing) in the background, your computer hum etc….

6. Pay close attention to the things that you see around you. Breathe in the sights and the sounds.  Be with the sensations of the moment until the timer goes off.

7. When the timer goes off, take a deep intentional breath in for the count of 5 and out for the count of 5. Smile and know you have just taken 5 minutes for you and did it within the busyness of your day.

8.  How did you feel? Each time you make the commitment to take those 5 minutes, you are beginning to develop a habit of taking care of yourself  “in the moment”.

Please let me know what you notice about this exercise.

How you are doing with your 5 minute commitment? The key to remembering to do this is setting your alarm clock and scheduling into your day. If you are doing this when you get up in the morning and are having a shower, put a little note on your mirror to breathe.


Be gentle on yourself if you do not remember

When you realize you are not in the moment – you are

Have fun with this.

I look forward to hearing your comments.