Power Up: Do What Matters

Tis the Season that many of us are trying to survive without crazy stress and family drama. This is totally possible of course. We can do all that AND even have a really good time.
But on the days when you are feeling more edgy and irritable rather than fun and festive,  try one of these in-the-moment quick tip or reminders that I call Power Ups,  before you run screeching from the house. balls-15415_640

Power Up: Stay Close to What You Care About

When what we are doing does not align with the things we most care about — our core values — we feel icky, upset, stressed out. Of course with more activities, demands, and expectations bombarding us over the holiday season we often feel like we’ve got to do it all. But, no way. Huh, uh. Stop right there.

Take a minute to write down the things you care about most this time of year. The must-dos and the traditions you love. If you want, have your family members do the same and then compare lists.

Let go of the things nobody wants to do. Drop the things that add stress rather than joy. And cut the should-do’s.

With the must-dos left on the list, make sure at least a couple of them align closely with your core values.

For example, if you are feeling pushed and pulled for time, and quality time to celebrate with the kids is important this season, you may choose to forgo adults-only office holiday party in lieu of a family Christmas concert or other festive activity.

Deliberately fill your time with the things that you care about most, and you’ll feel happier and more centered this season.

 

Power Up with a Self-Compassion Mantra

Each day there are little things that we can do quickly, in-the-moment, to make the next moment a little better and brighter. I call them Power Ups and over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of these tips, practices, and ideas, here.  

Some I write about in Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People, others are new, things I’ve recently tried or learned. Things I use to keep me moving and positive and engaged even when I feel like whining or crying and complaining. Hope you find value in them too.

Stuck on limiting beliefs

 

 

Self-compassion prompts feelings of safety and security. Instead of getting caught in denial, blame, or bad feelings after making a mistake, self-compassion allows you to admit your error, take responsibility, and then move on to accomplish your goals.

But, after an embarrassing blunder or epic failure we may lean more toward self-criticism than self-compassion. Rather than stay stuck in the bad feelings, try  a self-compassion mantra to move forward.

Kristin Neff, PhD, an expert in self-compassion suggests using a Self-Compassion Mantra to move through the more difficult times.

Try something like: “I’m going to be kind to myself” or “I made a mistake and I’m going to support myself to get through it.”

Repeat the phrase throughout the day. This will remind you to acknowledge your humanity and treat yourself kindly and by doing that, you’ll be free to move on instead of getting stuck in negative feeling.

Power Up by Practicing Courage

Each day there are little things that we can do quickly, in-the-moment, to make the next moment a little better and brighter. I call them Power Ups and over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of these tips, practices, and ideas, here.  

Some I write about in Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People, others are new, things I’ve recently tried or learned. Tips, usually backed by research, that I use to keep me moving and positive and engaged even when I feel like whining or crying and complaining. Hope you find value in them too.

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We become braver, more courageous when we practice by first doing the lower-risk little things that make us a bit uncomfortable.

Each of us possess some degree of courage and research indicates that you can actually build more. One way to do it is to continually take on tasks that feel a little scary or uncomfortable. Trust me, this gets easier with practice.

Today, do something you’ve never done before. Share an opinion when you would otherwise stay quiet, apply for the job you’ve always wanted, leave some unscheduled time to see what comes up, meditate. Do the thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have been to afraid to try.

 

graphic from freeimages.com

Power Up Your Psychological Courage

Each day there are little things that we can do quickly, in-the-moment, to make the next moment a little better and brighter. I call them Power Ups and over the next few weeks, I’ll share some of these tips, practices, and ideas, here.  

Some I write about in Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People, others are new, things I’ve recently tried or learned. Tips, usually backed by research, that I use to keep me moving and positive and engaged even when I feel like whining or crying and complaining. Hope you find value in them too.

Identifying our fearsWe are all courageous, but we limit ourselves by how we define the word. Courage isn’t limited to firefighters or soldiers. Each of us possess some psychological courage. Psychological courage allows us to confront a problem or challenge a circumstance, despite profound discomfort, in order to solve it and create a better future.

Psychological courage is the thing that helps us check into treatment, to call the doctor when we find a lump, try for the dream job, enroll in school, follow our dreams despite risk of failure. This kind of courage allows for forward motion. Movement and growth.

And, it’s all within you. Today, think of a time when you did the difficult and scary thing because it was the right thing to move you forward in your life. Recall the events and challenges you faced and then reflect on how you overcame those challenges to thrive. See, you’ve got this.

Power Ups Make for Better Moments

Musical notesSweet P is playing the piano and it isn’t good.

She’s learning a new song. And, it’s tough going. New notes and rhythms to practice. But she keeps going. Partly because I threatened her. But mostly now, because she’s sucked in, curious, trying to figure it out.

She keeps going, note after wrong note, then again, then the right note, then again. Little by little, but with each little quarter note, she is putting together an entire song. I can hear pieces of it now. The tempo and tones coming together.

This is how it goes for us at work or parenting or healing or loving. This is how it goes in life.

We play a lot of wrong notes. It doesn’t sound pretty or even look good a lot of days. We don’t always notice how all these missed notes are taking us closer to the right ones.

But if we keep showing up and keep practicing one note at a time with humor and determination and commitment we will get better at it and our song will be heard.

Little by little. Baby steps.

But, by making the most of each moments – the little moments and memories in between the birthdays and graduations and first cars and weddings and funerals – we can string together an amazing life.

Life isn’t about accomplishing The Goal, ten years from now. It’s about living well now, taking baby steps toward and making this moment as good as it can be.

Practices & Reminders

There are reminders, practices, ideas that can help us uplift the little moments and transform our experience. Over the next few weeks – give or take – I’ll be offering some of them here on these pages.

I call them Power Ups. Some I write about in Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People, others are new things that I’ve tried or learned. Tips, backed by research, that I use to keep me moving and positive and engaged even when I feel like whining or crying and complaining.

Power Ups aren’t always about feeling good every moment. They are about becoming aware of what it is you are feeling and engaging fully with whatever life tosses out.

Perhaps you’ll find value in them too.

Power Up

If you are feeling tired, slow, lazy, bored, worried – if you are feeling anything other than good — your actions and beliefs are not aligned with your authentic self. Bad feelings are a clue that what we are doing and thinking is separate from what we value. Life becomes easier and more comfortable when our actions align with what we value. When we live authentically.

Today, notice your emotions. Notice what you are giving your attention to, then make sure some of your time and energy is going toward what you value most.