Changing Your Mind Can Change Your Life

This is a guest post from Clint Barr, Raising the Barr Fitness. As a personal coach with additional training in health and wellness coaching, supporting your physical well-being as part of your total well-being is important to me. Today I am pleased to share with you a guest posts from Clint.

If you’re ready to get into shape and really change your life, the first place to start is within your own mind.

Leading a healthy, active lifestyle often calls for taking a mind-over-matter approach. Working out, eating right and making good choices calls for positive thinking to reinforce the actions you know you need to take. When you explore your own thought processes and your “mind chatter,” you will likely find the key to unlock the positive lifestyle you’ve been dreaming of leading has always been there.

The truth is that success is often born from a positive and healthy outlook to everything in life. When you examine your thoughts and the chatter that you “speak” to yourself on a daily basis, you are likely to find you are your own worst enemy. Open your eyes and your mind to the thoughts and really hear what you tell yourself. Learn to eliminate the negative inner-speak. Stop telling yourself you can’t and start saying you can. When you do, some amazing things are going to happen.

While this sounds all well and good, you’re probably wondering how to get from Point A to Point B. There are a few tricks and tips that can help you change your mind and your life. Try:

  • Spend a few days truly listening to yourself – Grab a notebook and a pen. Write down the negative thoughts you have. Listen to what you say to yourself in your mind. Explore what you are saying and consider what triggers your own negative responses.
  • Learn to speak kinder to yourself – Positive affirmations aren’t just New Age mumbo jumbo. They can actually work. Learn to program your mind to believe in yourself. Set realistic goals and keep telling yourself you can attain them. Take that same notebook you used to record your thoughts and write down the positives about yourself. Focus on these positives that you know to be true and use them to build up your life in other aspects.
  • Enlist help – When you’re trying to change your mind so you can change your life, positive influences can go a very long way. Join a group exercise class, get with a personal trainer or coach, ask family and friends to assist. Let them know your goals, what you are doing to reach them and how they can lend a hand by offering moral support. Having a cheering section rooting for you can build your self-esteem and it can give you the motivation you need to keep going even when the road ahead is tough.

When it’s time to effect positive changes in your life, the place to start is within. Look into your mind and learn to reinforce the positives and throw out the negatives. You can do it!

Clint Barr is the owner of Raising The Barr Fitness, Ridgeland’s premier private and small group fitness training studio, and the best-selling author of 3 Steps To Your Best Body.  If you’re ready to begin your fat loss journey please call 601-414-3536 right now to receive a complimentary nutrition and fitness consultation (valued at $87).

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The Case For Compassion

Over the past several months I have been thinking a lot about compassion.  What is it? Why do we need it? Why is easier for us to be compassionate to others than to ourselves? How to be compassionate?

Why I have been Thinking about Compassion

There are some things that are simply incomprehensible. Things that challenge our hearts and soul to respond with a deep pulsing compassion for our fellow man, woman and child, even when your heart and soul is on the verge of cracking completely.

I am thinking about the horrifying shootings in Aurora, CO and in Newtown, CT. They are on a scale that makes it impossible to ignore the incomprehensible.

Oddly, I know people in both Aurora and Newtown.

What is Compassion

Compassion is your conscious concern for an other person’s experiences or feelings. It gives you the grace and breathing room to both delight in your abilities and those of others. You are understanding when mistakes are made or when there is a set back.  This is very helpful when you realize abilities (yours or other’s) are not what you thought they were, and the results in a mess of some sort.

Why do we need compassion

Compassion affords you the ability to bend not break. To consider how to begin to even gently touch the fragile razored edges of pain that someone is feeling when faced with a heartbreaking, embarrassing or painful experience. To leave space for some love and forgiveness, for an other person or for yourself, if not now, then in the future. To strive to do what we can to prevent such horrors. When they cannot be prevented ameliorate the consequences.

Responding to the pain of these gut-wrenching events with compassion is the only way I know how to respond that feels useful- or at least gives me the stuff I need so I can be useful. Even when it seems like an impossibility for find a reason for compassion.  And I find this true for every other act of violence, including those when you berate yourself up for making a mistake.

How to be Compassionate to Yourself and Others

Its simple. See each person as whole and real. Then find a sense of unconditional warm regard for that person, even when that seems highly unlikely.  Like when you are exasperated, hurt or heartbroken.

I have a friend named James Holmes. But not that James Holmes an other man, with same name and who lives in Aurora, CO.  After the events in Aurora he was inundated with hateful messages. He also received an alarming number of new Facebook friend requests. It was awful for this gentle souled man.

What was his response? “I think people just wanted to reach out and express their feelings and I happen to have the same name.”  That’s compassion.

Here is a link to an interview he gave to a local TV station about his experience.

Compassion is Simple Not Easy

A high school friend of mine has lived in Newtown, CT for the past 10 years. He, his wife and elementary school  aged children are safe and warm. His children, who attend a different school than Sandy Hook Elementary, are physically unharmed. But the loss and  pain for them all are very real- they lost friends and acquaintances.

In response to the shooting he has written about the importance of “seeing each other”.  To really “see” each person. Everyday. Whether you are in the store with a stranger or in your home holding your sweetheart close. To acknowledge and respect one and other, purposefully, so complacency does not lead to taking one and other for granted or worse to dismiss one and other. Instead to witness our respective humanity, our joys, and hope, losses and crushing blows. To take up the chance to actively love one and other because we are all human and to find some way to express this affection to each person everyday.

My friend did this through simply making eye contact and smiling at people in his community on the Friday after the shooting.  Simple, elegant and no-cost.

His thoughts, words and actions I think are so wise and a deeply mature compassionate, fully empathic response to a world of pain. My friend now has a sign up that says “We Are Sandy Hook. We Choose Love.”

What a fine undertaking for all of us, to “see” one and other and find some simple, quiet way to communicate this.

How might you take up this charge for everyday compassion?

  • When you screw up at work?
  • For the kid who is embarrassed by falling on the sidewalk?
  • When some one lets you down?
  • Or when you confront the everyday pains and challenges of living?

If we can be compassionate on a small-scale, we can be compassionate on a large-scale when the time comes.

Be strong. Be loving. Be kind. Be gentle. Be compassionate.

Choose love.

 

All rights reserved@2013

Deirdre Danahar works with busy, creative, professionals who are looking to shift from what feels chaotic, disjointed or frustrating to a calm productive, spirited life.  People she works with come away knowing how to do their best work without sacrificing their quality of life. She is the owner of InMotion Consulting & Coaching, LLC, based in Jackson, MS. Reach her at deirdre@inmotioncc.com or 601-362-8288.

Forget Balance Focus on Fulfillment

If work-life balance is on your mind you have a lot of company, 89% of American workers (StrategyOne 2010) say it is a concern for them.

We live in a world where the boundaries between work and home are increasingly becoming blurred.  You likely own a home computer or a smart phone or both. Access to the internet anywhere anytime is very real. As is it’s impact on your sense of work-life balance.

Now the norm is for people to do some work things at home. Like checking your email one more time before going to bed. Or polishing a report at home. If you are an entrepreneur and your phone rings while you are grocery shopping, and could it be a potential client, do you answer? What if your company issued phone rings at 8 pm on Tuesday while you are helping your kids with homework?

We also do life things at work. You might do some on-line banking or shopping, during your lunch hour.

More people telecommute all or some of the time.

If you are worried about the stability of your job, or  are the boss, or if your income is directly tied to sales/commissions frankly it can seem miraculous to not focus on work all of the time.

Making a Life While Making a Living

We all wrestle with questions like:

  • “How do I make a satisfying life while I making a living?”
  • “If work is important, but it’s not everything, how do I make time for everything that is important?”

Ultimately what we all want to do is make a life, as well as a living.  You strive to do your best work, without sacrificing your quality of life, but some times you’re just not sure how to make that happen.

So what get sacrificed first when your work life-balance is off-kilter? The very things you are likely working for, your family and then your own personal time.

Here’s the rub, you can’t be first-rate at work if all you are is work.  Rest and recovery are crucial especially when they feel like exactly the thing you cannot do.  Think of it this way, you can’t keep driving a car without gas, or recharging a battery, or when you are falling asleep the wheel. People are not all that different. We need time too to recover, recharge and refocus.

If you do not have the necessary resources to operate effectively and efficiently that is not good for business at work or at home.

How Do You Do This

To make a life while making a living must focus on fulfillment, not balance. Or certainly not balance as a static perfect equity of time and effort across all the sectors of your life, work, family, community and yourself. There are simply not enough hours in the day. Nor do the laws of physics allow for this- balance is a dynamic not static state.  Different situations at different times in your life require different combinations of what you do and not do.

To shift to a fulfillment focus, try incorporating the 5 strategies below in to your life.

Don’t get overwhelmed by assuming that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Start with 1 or 2, give it a week and see what starts to change. Small shifts can have a significant impact, like leaving the office on time or even better early one day next week.

  • Create your list of non-negotiables for your personal life ( e.g.: time at the gym, play dates with your kids,  reading that book you have been meaning to, learning a language or new skill. . .) and then block out time for them in your calendar. You have to hold these times as sacred as you would a doctor’s appointment that you waited 6 months for or a meeting with the boss. Make setting aside time each day for something you enjoy a non-negotiable.
  • Track your time and what you do with it for a week. See where you are spending your time in such a way you are efficient and getting a good return on your investment. See where you are not. Decide what is necessary and what satisfies you the most.
  • Cut the things (or people) that do not satisfy you to the maximum degree that circumstances allow and delegate from there, which may mean giving up some control on some things. Embrace “The Power of a Positive No”. It is okay to respectfully say no. If you are the go to person for EVERYONE in your life, saying no to a request you normally or automatically would say yes to might feel hard, but it can be done.
  • STOP multitasking on the important things. At first glance this seems like an efficient way to work. It is not.  Multitasking on complex task or things that require your full attention involves switching your “executive functions.”  This means  as you shift from one goal to and other (I am going to do this now) and  have to active the rules for the new goal (here are the rules for this). These little shifts of seconds really add up over the course of a day. Multitasking can cost up to 40% of your productive time (Meyer, Evens & Rubenstine, 2001). Focus on one thing at a time, putting your most important priorities first.
  • Cut yourself some slack. You cannot do it all, and do it all well.

All rights reserved@2013

Deirdre Danahar works with busy, creative, professionals who are looking to shift from what feels chaotic, disjointed or frustrating to a calm productive, spirited life.  People she works with come away knowing how to do their best work without sacrificing their quality of life. She is the owner of InMotion Consulting & Coaching, LLC, based in Jackson, MS. Reach her at deirdre@inmotioncc.com or 601-362-8288.