Thanksgiving & Your Confidence Tune-Up

Isn’t it curious that there is a designated day of Thanksgiving?

What does this say about our society and culture?

According to a quick Google search, there are 9 countries, in addition to the USA, that have a national Thanksgiving celebration. This, in my humble opinion, is a beautiful expression of graciousness for a nation to its citizens. And, a wonderful reminder for each of us to incorporate thankfulness as a way of being.

Often we gather with family and friends to share the Thanksgiving holiday and this can trigger emotional, mental and physical stress reactions.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, please enjoy Your Confidence Tune-Up…..

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Whether you’re stepping into the family dining room, the boardroom or simply stepping into your day, confidence is the key to feeling great, performing your best, living a great life, and inspiring others to do the same.

But it’s not always easy to find your stride and keep that pep in your step, is it?  Especially if you’ve recently encountered obstacles, losses or challenges that may have knocked you off track.

Fortunately, we humans are surprisingly simple creatures.  As such, we respond well to triggers and cues, especially when it comes to shifting our mindset. So, this Thanksgiving, instead of the same-old sad, bad, or mad story reactions be proactive with positive healthy, uplifting and inspiring tools.

To that end, here are a few quick confidence boosters for you to use any time your confidence needs a boost.

They work. I promise.

1.      Sit Up Straight

Your mom was right, good posture is important. But it’s just not a matter of keeping a hunchback at bay…when you sit or stand tall, you feel better. Slumping or slouching inhibits your breath, slows the function of your organs, and makes you feel cruddy.  Good posture on the other hand, helps more oxygen flow to your lungs, eliminates body aches, and just plain ‘ole feels better.

And try this – today when you talk on the phone, stand instead of sit. Stand tall, walk around. When engaged in conversations with friends and family, smile. And, notice the renewed power and confidence in your voice.

 

2.      Throw Your Hands Up

Declare Victory! In many cultures winning is usually followed by hands thrust into the sky in a wide V. It’s a natural physical reaction.  Who knows which came first, but there’s a direct correlation between throwing your hands in the air and feeling like a winner. Behavioral scientists have identified this posture as “The Power Stance.” Try it right now to get a boost. Hold it for 1 minute and you’ll be unstoppable for the rest of the day.

 

3.      Pump Up the Jams

Cultures all around the world have ritualistic and ceremonial dances.  Sports stars plug in their favorite music before the big game. Professional speakers and entertainers play their ‘pump up’ tunes before they go onstage.

Music has a profound ability to physiology shift your mood, so put together a playlist of your favorite tunes and listen to it daily.  Add in some movement for an even greater impact on your overall well-being. And for an even greater boost, sing your favorite songs loud and proud. You might get a few funny looks from the ones you love, but so what.  Perhaps they’ll join in too!

 

4.      Speak Positivity into Your Day 

As you are getting ready for your day be it work, making breakfast, or driving in the car, speak out loud and with conviction of how good you feel, how much you are going to accomplish, how you are going to make a difference for others, how you will show love for your friends, family and colleagues, and, equally important, how you will receive love from your friends, family and colleagues.  Speak as if you are a coach in the locker room giving yourself a pep talk to go out and win the game. Declare Victory! Remember: Victory for you is uniquely yours as created and defined by you and you alone.

 

5.      Practice Collaborative Humility

Look for ways to help others and be open and willing to receive help from others. As you Pump Up and Declare Victory, remember that does not mean you are better (or worse) than anyone. Release the temptation of believing that in order to win someone must lose. Rise above, with a humble heart, this dualistic competitive attitude and resulting actions. Be amazed at how much you can accomplish and how good you feel.

 

6.      Appreciate Everything

Start expressing your gratitude every day. Practice the spirit of Thanksgiving every day. If you’d like, utilize the Peace Pages (free resource) to keep a gratitude journal and so much more. Even if you don’t grab the complimentary Peace Pages, write down at least 3 things you’re grateful for every morning or evening. Before long, you’ll have more things to appreciate than you can count.

Whatever you do, get out there, BE who you want to be and share yourself with the world. It’s time.

How will you step into your Thanksgiving confidence today?

 

Abound in grace,

 

Karen

 

Don't Hold On So Tight...

"Love is like quicksilver in the hand. Leave the fingers open and it stays in the palm; clutch it, and it darts away."

-Dorothy Parker, author (22 Aug 1893-1967)

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The more we try to control anything or anyone in our life, the greater our stress and anxiety tend to be. It is then that we live more in fear than in love.

Many people live more in fear that unpleasant things of the past will repeat or worry about how the future will unfold, which robs them of the peace and joy to be experience in the present.

Of course - make plans, set goals, dream and think through possible challenges but then…don’t hold on so tight.

Shall we learn from the monkeys…

I love this story to illustrate how getting so fixated on how we think things should be can actually be a trap.

Natives in Asia, African and South America have devised a simple and ingenious method of trapping monkeys. They take a gourd, pot or bowl with an opening just large enough for the monkey’s hand to pass through; they weigh down the vessel with rocks or sand, then put some enticing food, nuts or fruit, inside and place it where the monkeys will discover it.

The monkey discovers the goodies, reaches in and grabs the food but can’t get its hand back out with a clenched fist. Rather than risk losing the treasure, the monkey becomes trapped and sacrifices everything.

By holding on so tightly to the one possible solution of achieving its goal and winning the prize, the monkey gives up its freedom and possibly its life.

Perhaps if the monkey would loosen its hold on the goodies, maybe even let go completely, it could shift perspective and devise another plan.

When we get attached or fixated on the outcome or anything for that matter, we limit and restrict ourselves. It is only by letting go, relaxing that more possibilities and opportunities become available to us resulting in allowing ourselves to experience more love.

What in your life are you holding on too tightly?

What can you just let go of to make room for the treasures you really seek?

In what ways can you let more love in your life today?

Share this with someone you care about and support one another so that you don’t hold on so tightly any longer.

Abound in grace,

Karen

Freedom is But a Flutter Away...

Have you ever just wanted to fly away?

Perhaps you’ve wanted to fly away to escape…

Then again, maybe you’ve felt light and free and as if you are soaring to heights not yet experienced and the view from above is amazing!

Life is often a paradox; a mystery, and sometimes, yes, sometimes, our way of being allows us to hold the paradox and mystery of what otherwise may seem like polar opposites freely and easily in a sea of grace – kindness, mercy, unconditional love.

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A very common theme in people I work with is that they deeply desire a greater sense of freedom – freedom to express, create, and really just be themselves. 

Unfortunately, many people experience the polar opposite. They feel stuck, trapped, and captive to their circumstances and often feel held back by people in their life. Many feel they have little to no options and as if they have no choice but to endure.

Lies. Lies. Lies.

There was a time that I felt such a heavy burden - like the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  The harder I worked; the more things seemed to fall apart. I kept looking for others to solve my problems and often said things like: “If they would just [fill in the blank], then my life would be so much easier.” The more I tried to control others, the situations and circumstances, the worse I felt and the more out of control things seemed.

Freedom, dear friends, is generated from the inside-out. 

I know this is counter-intuitive to our ego or our intellect, yet, I speak Truth.

So, back to the title of this article, “Freedom is but a flutter away…” and paradox. If you do more and more of things you are doing that created the stuckedness, you will keep getting more and more of the same results and over time things will most assuredly get worse. 

To be free, one must think and act free. In other words, one must flutter. You must learn anew to fly and soon you will be soaring to new heights and experiencing life more amazing than you could even imagine.
 
What does freedom mean to you? 

When or at what time in your life have you felt most free? 

In what ways do you express your freedom(s)?

What daily practices, habits and routines are you willing to implement so that you can consistently experience a greater sense of freedom in your life?

Don’t live a mediocre life in captivity or in the shadows of your deepest desires. Learn to flutter so that you may fly and enjoy the wonderful sense of freedom you were born to live. 

It would be my humble privilege to walk along this journey with you as your coach. Schedule your free Thrive-ability session now – simply click here and begin to strengthen your wings. 

Abound in grace,

Karen
 

Happy Independence Day, USA

As I was reflecting on what independence means, I’ve had the pleasure of working with several clients and interestingly, many were seeking more “independence.”

So, now my curiosity and adventuresome spirits are piqued…what are we seeking “independence” from or for? Many of us want more financial independence, or perhaps more independence to express our creativity, and even independence from what we think others think or want from us.

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Take a moment to reflect upon what “independence” means to you.

Take your time on this – it’s wonderful to really explore your inner desires and where you may even be feeling trapped…..got some ideas/thoughts?

Now, as you are ready, keep reading.

Ultimately, I’ve discovered that what we really want – deep down – beneath the surface level, is to be free. To embody a sense of freedom. Freedom to love and be love, express our uniqueness, freedom to experience life and share our joys as well as our sadness, to be free from doubt and worry - about what others think or want or expect from us and freedom from what we perceive are our own limitations and shortcomings that hold us in dependence upon something or someone outside or ourselves.

Our egoic self, the part of us that thinks it’s all up to us, we’re separate from everything and everyone else, no one gets me, so I better figure out what everyone thinks or wants so I fit in and can be appreciated, valued, loved and know that I matter. That part of us is continually seeking “independence” thinking that it’s the them, the those, the thing, situation or circumstance that we must get away from to be free and thus happy and we believe this as ultimate truth. Frankly this approach is exhausting and searching for a lie.

The truth is there is no way we can go it alone. How do I know this. Just look around…..are there others? Yes. Therefore, we’re all in this thing called life together and we need one another (on varying level of course and at different times-reason, season, etc.), otherwise, there would only be an expression as one of us. Yet, just look at all the variety and diversity and beauty each of us bring…yep, we need one another in all our amazing differences that upon close examination, we discover many more similarities just expressing in so many different ways.

Life is beautifully and divinely designed to weave and work intricately together in all its simplicity and complexity - a wonderful paradox. We need others that have gone before to imagine and create tractors to harvest food, automobiles and trucks to deliver our food to stores, our road systems for travel, store owners to provide the location for shopping, the chair, table, plate, utensils, computers, hair stylist, dentist, doctors, teachers, sanitation workers, sales associates, accountants, lawyers, architects, and the list goes on and on. It is impossible to absolutely be “independent.”

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So, what if we embrace our dependence? What might that look like? Well, it could look like living a life of humble gratitude. For example, I am super grateful that I do not have to do all the things that once were required to live and that I have support and dependence upon so many so that I may focus on what is mine to do, what I love doing, so that I may share and offer my gifts and talents freely to others.

True independence is a quality of being generated from within based on your choice of perspective, shaping your perception and creating your reality regardless of situation or circumstance. So many have exemplified this attitude: Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King, Buddha, Jesus to name a few and I’m sure you could come up with others, perhaps role models from your own life. This independence allows a true sense of freedom to just be yourself.

So, on this Independence Day and every day, I challenge you to stretch your imagination as to just how freely you can live because of and with others AND create a lovely long gratitude list as to all those others and all the ways that allow you the freedom to be you.

Please share your current top 3 Freedom Gratitude’s – let’s change the world and truly let freedom ring!

Abound in grace,

Karen