In the past I felt that being stuck was not a good thing, so through the discussion I introduced a couple of different perspectives, one of these being that it may not be such a bad thing to be stuck, to feel like there is nothing that needs to be done right now.
I again shared Jan Lundy’s story about how she wanted to write another book and no matter how hard she tried it just wasn’t happening. It was only when she finally stopped trying to make something happen a particular way that she realised it was actually a course that she needed to write and deliver, not a book. Once this shift in her awareness occured she was off and the course was written and launched within a few months. So sometimes it is not the right time for something to be created, sometimes there needs to be more time and space for the creative process to evolve, or maybe there are other parts to the puzzle which need to be in place before a project can be completed. With different perspectives about what may be going on, it becomes much easier to feel at peace with this feeling of “being stuck”
Here is the link to her recording called In the Meantime where she shares her story and 8 tips to manage these times when there seems to be nothing that can be done.
Another thought I shared was the idea that we may not be stuck at all, that progress is happening, but just at quite a slow pace. This is when the tools of reflection are really useful to take stock of what has changed over the last day, week, month or year to help us recognise what progress has been made.
This also draws our attention to our expectations – we can can often feel that things “should” be happening much quicker or easier than they are. Recognise the “shoulds” you may have around being stuck, practice acceptance with what is, so the resistance can disappear and you can start to feel in the flow of life once again.
Finally some tips from our discussion:
Focus on one step at a time – what is the next step for you to take right now?
If you are tired – do you need rest, water or some good nourishing food?
What do you really want to be doing right now?
Some of the simplest things can shift our energy… moving a piece of furniture in our home, decluttering, cleaning, doing something playful like singing or dancing, reminding ourselves of all that we are grateful for in our lives or going for a walk to fill our lungs with fresh air.
I hope you find something useful here to help change your perspective if you are feeling stuck. As always I am available for coaching to help you create the change you are looking for in your life – just email me or give me a call/ text on +64 (0)21 240 6535 to arrange a complimentary call to discuss your challenge and see if I am the right person to support you. Dates for your diary:
The next Community Call is scheduled for Friday 5th August 2011 at 8.30 am NZ and the next Inspirations Cafe is scheduled for Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 9.00 am in Lower Hutt. (PLEASE NOTE: There will be no Inspirations Cafe in August 2011)
The key to health and well being is to learn how to feel great in motion so you can have uniform and abundant energy levels, feel excited about what is happening to your body, and look forward to your movement sessions rather than dreading them.
The movement, rather than the end result, is the reward. So during a run or walk for example the intention is to focus on the movement, to pay attention to what you are experiencing – what you see, hear and feel around you and within your body. Notice where are you feeling tension and allow it to relax.
Exercising in this way is almost like a meditation – it brings you totally into the moment and brings a sense of clarity and spaciousness to the mind as well as building stamina and energy levels. It really doesn’t have to hurt to be good for you.
So why don’t you give it a go – start experimenting with moving your body to find a way that feels good, that you enjoy and can therefore really look forward to doing.
Stu Mittleman and Dr Philip Maffetone have both written about how the optimum balance of health and fitness can be achieved through training the metabolism to work more efficiently. This can be achieved by monitoring the heart rate to determine the correct level of intensity for your exercise routine.
So what is the optimum heart rate that you need to be exercising at?
Stu Mittleman identifies three levels –
1. MAP – the Mostly Aerobic Pace promotes fat utilisation and is great for releasing tension and stress in the body. It is also the zone you want to work in initially if you do not take part in any regular form of exercise.
2. MEP – the Most Efficient Pace is the most productive zone for developing increased energy and stamina.
3. SAP – the Speedy Aerobic Pace is when you are burning mainly sugar. SAP interval training is really useful when you have built a good fat burning foundation.
So keeping it simple … using, Stu Mittleman’s formula, the upper limit of the MEP zone is 180 – your age and this is the maximum you want your heart rate to be working to ensure that your body is at it’s most productive and efficient level of movement. Working at or below this maximum level also ensures that your workout becomes a pleasure rather than pain, which will steadily increase your level of vitality.
For more information on how to calculate the precise figures for all the zones have a look at the Slow Burn book by Stu Mittleman.
• Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired?
• Does your energy levels fluctuate over the course of the day?
• Do you need to eat to get energy?
• Do you feel famished after working out?
• Are moody, irritable or depressed?
• Do you have a layer of fat that will not shift even after the most diligent of efforts?
• Do you feel aches and pains after exercising?
• Do you have difficulty concentrating or thinking clearly?
So… is your exercise program working for you? This confirmed that whatever I was doing was not working for me and it was time to make some changes…
I have just finished reading “Slow Burn, burn fat faster by exercising slower” by Stu Mittleman, an endurance athlete who completed a 1000 mile race and looked better at the end than he did at the beginning! In Slow Burn he delivers a program for creating energy and endurance so you can go the distance and feel great doing it every day. A useful skill in many areas of life I would have thought!
One of the key points I took away from this book is that there is a huge variety of approaches to exercise programs and diets – the trick is to find the approach that is right for you. This may be one specific program or it may be a combination. Only you will know what works for you by raising your level of awareness and learning what kinds of food energise you, what type of movement brings you pleasure and what activities make you feel youthful, vibrant and full of life?
As a result of what I’ve learned I have completely changed my usual routine of pushing myself around the hills to walking on the flat at a much more steady and comfortable pace. With the use of a heart rate monitor I can have the confidence that I am working within a zone that is stimulating my metabolism and creating a solid foundation of fitness without causing excessive strain on my body. A completely different experience which I look forward to 3- 4 times a week!
Some keys points I have been reminded off just recently…
The importance of doing a few things well versus many things poorly. We seem to live in a world that values busyness where more is better. My challenge to you is to let some of it go.
Have some structure in your day or week – blocks of time that are scheduled regularly for activities that are really important to you e.g an inspirational group, yoga, dancing, work.
Become aware of the activities that energise you and those that drain you. You may discover that something energises you for half an hour and then starts to to deplete you. Use this knowledge to decide how you want to structure your time.
Balance the structure with what I call white space in the calender where nothing is scheduled, free time to follow your intuition, to pause and reflect, to be still. Sometimes you may need lots of white space, sometimes you will need less, so learning how to recognise the signs and to be flexible is crucial.
Focus on completing and clearing commitments – a form of decluttering which clears the space for new passions to come into your life.
Post any thoughts or ideas that work for you so we can all continue to learn new ways to manage our time.
We can waste so much time and energy when we spend our lives resisting what is. Our constant mental activity is a great example. Whether it is filled with positive or negative thoughts our “mental activity is as natural as a hot bubbling spring” (from Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan McMillan).
As this author says we have more control over what we do than over what we think and feel, so use your energy wisely by focusing on your actions and letting the rest be.
Despite all the books and courses I have attended it still surprises me how quickly I can forget the tools that I know work when I am in the middle of a stressful or challenging time. This is why it is so important to have a support network to help you remember (or to learn for the first time) – this can be a coach, a group that you meet with regularly or a really good friend you can call.
Whatever challenges we are facing in life the bottom line is that we are the only ones who can handle it, we are the ones who must take responsibility to manage the difficulties we are being presented with. We can’t change anyone else involved however we can act as a role model when we demonstrate what happens when we take the time to look after ourselves. We become stronger and more resilient. It is easier for us to think clearly and to set the boundaries or make the requests that we need to make. It becomes easier to make the decisions we need to make because we have the energy to do so.
So what can you do to start building your resilience and energy? As always the change starts with self awareness and the willingness to take action. Here are some questions to reflect on so you can choose one area to make the shift…
How high are your energy levels right now? Give yourself a score 1 being empty, 10 being full of energy.
What are you doing to take really good care of yourself right now…
Are eating food that is healthy and makes you feel good?
Are you drinking plenty of water or are you filling up on liquids that are de-energising?
Are you aware of your breathing – is it shallow or is it deep and refreshing?
Are you aware of what your body needs? Does it need to walk, run , stretch, relax. We need to maintain a balance between exercise and rest. Are you resting too much so that everything feels sluggish and slow, or maybe you are exercising too much so you feel frazzled and on edge?
Do you have quiet time and space, or is your life always full of activity, people and noise?
Do you take the time to reflect on your life and how you want it to be – to set clear intentions for yourself and your loved ones?
Choose one of these areas and make the decision today to take action. You will be surprised by how even one small change can increase your resilience and will positively impact whatever challenging situations you may be experiencing in life right now.
So you have decided you want to create a change in your life – to create different results. You start doing something differently or you start to use affirmations to change how you think. Everything goes along really smoothly for a while and you feel great, then out of nowhere you get swamped by challenges or emotions that can throw you into a place of confusion and stop you in your tracks. Why couldn’t you keep it up? What got in the way of achieving your goal? Why is it all so difficult?
This is where a coach is really useful to support you through the emotional roller coaster that you may start to experience with change. It is really useful to have the space and support to reflect on what has happened to throw you off course. Here are some of the reasons that can get in the way of creating your desired results…
There may be some deeply ingrained pattern of thoughts or beliefs that you were unaware of until now and these will need to be acknowledged and cleared.
You may start to experience feelings or emotions that you have managed to avoid before with your old behaviours. We tend to make life even more difficult by making ourselves wrong and beating ourselves up for feeling or experiencing what are considered negative emotions. This just serves to make us feel worse and we can spiral down into even more negative emotions which drain us of the energy we need to fulfill the change we desire.
There are often fears that surface when you start to move into a new way of being in the world. We can feel insecure because we are entering the unknown and don’t know how to respond to the new challenges in our lives – the old ways no longer seem to work, or feel really inappropriate now.
You may be challenged or criticised by people around you who don’t like the new way you are behaving. Again this is new territory when creating change because we don’t know what to say or do and it can be very tempting to go back to our old ways or patterns. Our resolve to stay committed to the change is being tested and we need to learn new ways to respond to those around us.
To help us through these challenges it is really useful to refocus on the outcome, the goal or intention that is driving our desire to change. What is it we are hoping to achieve through making these changes in our lives?
We will also need to call on support to help us through these challenging times and this is why it is really important to build strong support networks around us. We need to know who we can call on at these times when we doubt ourselves and our ability to create lasting change in our lives. If there is no one you can call on I strongly suggest that you fill this gap before you start to make big changes in your life.
Send me an email or give me call – 021 240 6535 if you are experiencing any of these challenges and need some support to make the changes you desire a reality.
A computer is an amazing resource that has the ability to maximize the use of our time – so much can be automated and stored and we have access to an amazing amount of knowledge at our fingertips.
However it can also be a huge time waster – here are some of the challenges we can face…
we can constantly be bombarded by email which we feel we have to respond to immediately
we can get taken off task and lost in the web as we respond to these email and follow links to topics that interest us. Before we know it we have wasted an hour of our time, or more, and have nothing productive to show for it
our energy levels are depleted not just because of the unproductive distractions but from sitting in front of the screen for long periods of time without taking a break.
we can feel overwhelmed from the sheer amount of work that is right there in front of us to be completed – and that can be just the email and our task list, never mind the projects we need to attend to. We don’t know where to start, what to do first, how we are going to handle it all so we end up doing nothing or surfing the web to distract us.
So what is the best way to handle all this? Here are some ideas…
Select a current initiative, a project you have been procrastinating on and choose to focus on this first every day. Do not turn on your computer or open any other programs other than the folder or document related to this project.
At the start of the day brain dump all the tasks that you need to attend to on to a piece of paper or in your diary. Again, do this before you turn on that computer, so when you do turn it on you will be focused immediately on the tasks to be completed.
Discipline yourself to complete these tasks first before opening any other unrelated programs or activities such as checking Facebook.
I don’t enjoy spending excessive amounts of time in front of the computer and I am still learning, as well, how to limit my time here so I have space for other fun and more social activities. I want to come away from my computer feeling energized because of what I have been working on rather than feeling drained. As usual it’s all about balance of what I do with my time and creating a routine or structure that works for me.
I would love to hear your thoughts and how you handle your computer challenges – just click on the word “comment” at the bottom of this post.
And if you are ready to take action on creating a more balanced approach to life, but don’t know how, please email me now or call/ text 0212 406 535 to arrange a time to talk.