Yes! We are living in the single month of the year that is truly dedicated to love in all its simplicity, depth, and glory. Many people anticipate the month of February dreaming of esoteric romantic love. Before we explore romantic partnership, let’s first look at the love you surround yourself with. Think about the love you share and may not necessarily acknowledge as such with the people you see day-to-day. I mean everyone – your fitness instructor, fellow school parents, the neighbor whose name you don’t even know, your kid’s teachers, the local grocer, your work colleagues, and dare I say even your boss.
Oh, the workplace; that’s typically the last place you visualize when you think of love and it’s also the place where you’re probably most in need of love, support, or at a minimum some positive vibes.
Since I've declared this the year of the BRAVE I have a courageous challenge for you to take on. The moment you're talking to someone and feel intense anger, anxiety or frustration in dealing with situation at the office, I want you to say aloud “this is love”. I know! It’s simple, direct and at the same time downright annoying and scary. It's also freeing.
The reason I want you to say, “this is love” is because in doing so it will shift the energy and open up the space for you and the other person to have an actual dialogue. Like most of people, it's likely you don’t openly disclose when you’re feeling hurt or sad. Instead you go into attack mode, and the other person readily counters. The dialogue you create with the other person an give you an internal emotional shift. For example, this project is love, this relationship is love, this job is love, and don't forget the person you’re dealing with has his or her own passion and frustration with you too.
Here’s a little script on how this can play out:
Me: Blah, Blah, Blah, you’re not hearing me.
Other: Blah back to you, my perspective is more important. (Repeat lines 1 and 2 five times…)
Me: Ok, this is love
Other: Say what!!?
Me: This is love. It’s simply a statement for me to say as I take a moment to think about what I am really seeking here…
Other: Well I don’t know about love…I just want my…
Me: Try it, you can feel free too :)
Ok, so that’s how things can play out in a perfect world, nonetheless saying “this is love” will inevitably press pause in a contentious conversation. Test the waters and see where it goes. At the very least you can tell the other person I’m trying this technique from this life coach at Design You Coaching…at least you can laugh together at that!
As we wrap up this month’s focus on self-love there’s one more topic to explore before we move on to next month’s theme on loving others, and that’s forgiveness.
Forgiveness is the act of letting go, choosing to release feelings of anger and resentment and making way for compassion and connection. Very often when we think about forgiveness we think of forgiving others, which is beyond a doubt important. Forgiving others frees up the space in your heart to love and receive love from others. It refuels your energy so you can focus on the things in life that empower as opposed to drain you.
Forgiving others is important in any partnership or relationship because despite your best effort you will inadvertently or even purposefully hurt others with your words or actions. The funny thing is you do the same thing to yourself! Think of all the things you do that hurts you too. What mistakes or transgressions have you made even since the beginning of the year? Maybe you haven’t fully committed to your goals, you’ve fallen short on your promises to others, or haven’t taken time to exercise, change your diet, or get more sleep. Whatever indiscretion you deem most hurtful, forgive yourself. Let go of the guilt, shame and anger toward yourself in exchange for learning, growth and expansion.
The first step in forgiving yourself is to acknowledge the mistake. Pretty difficult to forgive yourself for something you deny or unaware of. The next step is to say it out loud to someone else. Yes, confession is a big part in gaining relief. It helps to remind you and others that you’re human, and in being human you’re beautifully imperfect. The third step is to commit to how you will behave or engage going forward. This may simply mean reengaging your vision and goals for this year or seeking help from others – friends, a mentor or even a life coach.
We’re continuing our commitment to self-love continue to honor what you have released in your life and focusing more on what you want to draw in or expand further. If you’ve worked on your goals or vision board over the past few weeks you have a clear idea of what you want in your life this year. If you haven’t quite yet identified your heart’s desire, consider the things, people, and experiences you want to draw into your life right now. I’m sure there is something you can think of – big or small! Free yourself from debt, change careers, revitalize your marriage, or expand your reach in the community.
Whatever you choose it’s now time to create your personal magnet for attracting exactly what you want into your life. Pick one thing you want and write your own mantra or daily affirmation in you claiming full ownership of the very thing you aspire for. For example, I’m working with my son on manifesting the academic year he desires and I encourage him to remind himself daily that he is an A student. Repeating that mantra over and over again, you start to believe it and you’ll find evidence that it is true! Across medical, science, psychology and religious disciplines numerous theories and prevalent evidence shows that what you believe is what you experience in your life.
Of course you have to also roll up your sleeves and put in the work too! Behavior influences emotion and emotions influence behavior. The mantra helps to remind you that your goals, dreams and desires are truly possible and that the work you need to put is all worth it. Your Magnet Mantra is a positive and powerful statement that strengthens your magnetic field. It can be your favorite poem, passage in a book that reinforces your life goals or dreams, or any statement you feel aligns best with your life. A good litmus test for your mantra is that when you read it you feel energized and ready to mobilize your action life and leadership goals. Here’s one my magnet mantras, be sure to share yours too!
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Our first theme of 2014 is all about LOVE and of course it begins with love of self. Last week I asked you to kickoff your self-love practices by saying farewell to some people, things, and thoughts that no longer serve you and the life you're creating now. Once you clean out your physical, mental, and spiritual closets you will see your life exactly as it is.
The areas of your life where there are gaps, deficiencies, abundance, and overflow will be so evident it may make you anxious, excited, or sick to your stomach, but don’t panic! Wherever you start there’s always room for growth and expansion. As part of your self-love practice I want you to choose ONE area to build further or reboot completely. How will you know which are of life needs the most self-love and attention? Ask yourself where are you spending the most time, money, and energy and does that decision – whether conscious or not – feel good to you? If not there is an opportunity to change, there is always room for more self-love and self-care.
Many of you are leading busy and complex lives where you’re focused on other people and other things (job, money, reality TV!) that you forget to take care of you. For example, if Finances is the area of your life that is suffering most, you may consider adding 1-2 self-love practices in this area. This could include storing $25 monthly in a separate savings account or purchasing your favorite latte when you’ve reached your target saving goal. The goal is for you to feel and trust you are taking care of yourself. That you are gaining momentum toward re-energizing that area.
The most common area of depletion is in Body and Health. That’s because EVERYTHING that happens in every other area of your life impacts your body. If you’re anxious, worried, or depressed your body will know it and show it. When your health suffers you don’t have the energy to address the areas of life that are deficient, and there begins the vicious cycle. Once you take care of your body and health you all have the energy to then revitalize other areas of your life.
While going to the spa is great, there are a number of other Body and Health self-love practices that are low cost and low maintenance, and probably more important. Here are some of my favorites:
In the words one of my all-time favorite TV characters, Whitley Gilbert of A Different World, self-love practices simply require you to Relax, Relate, Release. Relax your body and your mind. Relate and listen to your inner world. Release the things that are not within your control. Be sure the share the ways you Relax, Relate, and Release too.
In a matter of just a few days this New Year has already been a time of growth and expansion. I’ve been called to actualize the words on my vision board – to be BRAVE in designing the woman I choose to be. I've had to brave in releasing some people in my life. It's easy to let go of people you have little or no relationship with. It takes courage to let go of people you love. My breaking up is less about them and more about the love I have for me. I have chosen to listen to my heart, go after the vision I hold for my life and be graceful in saying goodbye with love and care. Like your favorite childhood sweater there comes a time you have to recognize you've outgrown it and cherish the memory you have.
I've also spent time purging things in my home that no longer fit my life - old files, letters, clothes, remnants of life I've been working to transform. The last item on my breakup list is my bad habits - yea I've some of those I need to let go of. For some people their bad habits may be drinking too much, drugs, yelling, shutting down, cursing, or ignoring people in their life. Whatever yours may be, the key to breaking up with bad habits is to first acknowledge and own up to your bad behavior. Confess your bad habits to the people they've impacted. Once you do that focus on the behavior you want to demonstrate, the personality traits that you want to evolve.
As you begin the first month in this New Year I want you to design your own beautiful breakup with the things and/or people you need to release. Appreciate the gifts these people or things afforded you and design a beautiful breakup coming to a place of peace, resound in your purpose, and open to all life's possibilities.
Create peace around the end of those relationships (people or things) by listing the ways you’ve benefited from them, even ways in which you’re now motivated to stretch yourself in learning and doing more in your life. Recognize the relationship had a purpose in helping you become to the person you desire to be. Even if you’re discarding people or things that were hurtful, there’s always a lesson to be gained – so that you won’t repeat the behavior or find yourself being hurt again or your story can be a blessing to someone else hurt by similar circumstance. Lastly, as you release these people or things be open to the possibilities that arise, the one’s you consciously design with your goals and vision board as well as the ones that feel like mistakes or accidents that seemingly make a way for new and exciting adventures.
This is the work I do as I coach. To help you come to peace with the life experiences that block you, to help you find your purpose in the life lessons that knock louder and louder on your door calling for you to open up to the possibilities of everything YOU are and in your heart want to be. Of course, I have to live my work and navigate my life lessons too!
The life we experience is designed to help us grow. My wish is that you learn from me as much as I learn from you. Share your life lessons and let's build together.