Productivity pressure and other mindset traps!

What is your biggest reason for putting off self-care?

Self-care being anything that balances out stress or hardship by allowing you to prioritize your health and well-being (physically, emotionally, energetically, spiritually, etc).

Is it not enough time?

In which case, can you be more specific? What is taking up your that time that is more productive than self care? Remember, self-care doesn’t need to happen all day every day. But if you feel overwhelmed, off balance, stressed or fatigued, you need to assess how much self-care (and what kinds of self care) is going to bring you back to equilibrium and health.

My mindset trap tends to be what I think of as Productivity Pressure. I had a habit of pushing aside self-care because I didn’t view it as productive. (I say “had” because I am actively focused on changing my perspective around this issue)

So here is where I needed to pause and ask myself a couple of questions…

1.       “What does productivity mean to me?”

2.       “Why is productivity more important to me then caring for my well-being?”

3.       “How can I shift my perspective to find balance between work and rest, productivity and self-care?”

Whatever your typical reason for not prioritizing your own health and happiness is, I invite you to question it. The answer may go a lot deeper than you might think.

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Momentary backstory: (It comes full circle, I promise!)

My older brother married the one true love of his life on Saturday and the whole weekend was EXTREMELY emotional for me. I was so happy for him and for his new wife and between Friday night and Saturday I cried a LOT of happy tears! Listening to the ceremony, the vows they made to each other, and the speeches and toasts about love that followed, really made me reflect on the love in my own life and how I am treating and respecting, and most of all receiving, that love.

What got to me most was the way they looked at each other. Each glance held excitement and pride, joy and relief, knowing and understanding, devotion and respect, and so many promises. I thought for a brief moment, I wish my husband looked at me like that and in the next moment, I knew… my husband DOES look at me like that, I just don’t let myself see it or bask in it in the same way that these beautiful newlyweds were basking in it.

As always, the question was “WHY?”.

The word that came to my mind first and stuck into my heart the most was PRIDE. I was not allowing myself to see the pride in my husband’s gaze because I wasn’t looking at myself with pride. That realization broke me open enough that I was able to study myself long and hard (and most of Sunday was devoted to me doing just that… and then going to bed at 7:30 to recover)

Somewhere inside, even after all the years of dedicated self-growth and healing work, I still believed that I hadn’t earned the right to be honored or to be looked at with pride. I still felt that I needed to work harder and longer, that I needed to earn more money or pile on more accomplishments; I needed to be MORE PRODUCTIVE to be proud of myself or to be deserving of anyone else’s pride.

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I put off self-care a lot of the time, because I pressured myself to be productive so that I could EARN LOVE from myself and others.

There is a difference between the things we KNOW to be true in our minds and the things that we FEEL to be true in our hearts and bodies.

I know on an intellectual level that I am a being made of love and that I am inherently deserving of love. Sometimes, I feel this truth in my body and when I do I feel wholly and fully myself, completely deserving of love and pride and respect. I know what this feels like and try to go back to that feeling and refocus myself into this truth as often as I can.

When I am putting this productivity pressure on myself to the extent that it is overwhelming my need for self-care, I know that older limiting thought patterns are taking over. Thought habits that are not based in love or in the highest truth of who I am.

I think that looking into WHY we put off our self-care, can give us a deeper look into what we believe about ourselves. When we take the time to ask questions and identify our limiting beliefs around self-care, we can work on shifting our perspective much more quickly, thereby saving ourselves from burnout, overwhelm and other forms of suffering.

Personally, I had to realize that, for me, the word “Productivity” was synonymous to “Earning Love” and that I when I am prioritizing the energy of “Productively Earning Love”, I am viewing my reality through the lens of the limiting belief that I am not inherently worthy of love. So, I need to shift that perspective and change my definition of productivity to something more healthy and balanced.

I am going to try defining Productivity as “actively sharing my love with others” and Self-Care as “Actively sharing love with myself”. Self-care is what allows me to be productive, because it allows me to fill my own cup so that I can share my gifts with others. This, to me, feels much more healthy and balanced.

Sometimes, it takes a wedding, or a big emotional upheaval or a time of being extremely off balance, to make us realize that something isn’t right and that something needs to change. When we get into the habit of questioning ourselves and the way we react to these times, we can shift our perspectives and step into the next day with much more balance and clarity and determination and pride.


I hope you take some self-care time to ask these big questions of yourself and get to know yourself at the subconscious level of limiting belief.

Productively sending my love to you!


Ana

Creating a road-map to your goal so you can always get back on track!

On Monday we talked about how to use your brain to list out your 2019 goals and then how to use your heart (emotions) and your physical body (sensations) to cross-reference those goals and to check to see if they are in alignment with love and your highest good.

When I was speaking on this topic, I had this question pop up in my head and I wanted to spend some time today addressing it. The question was,

“If I’m supposed to feel good to align with my higher self but I also need to feel uncomfortable in order to grow, how do I navigate that? How do I navigate between aligning with good feelings and allowing myself to get uncomfortable enough to grow?”

When we set a goal for growth that is for our highest good, and we practice saying that goal out loud and we notice how good it feels in our bodies, we create a road-map for ourselves that helps us get back to that feeling and to our goal. When you spend time saying that goal out loud and you often imagine what it will feel like to accomplish that goal and describe in detail how that feels in your body and you write it down, you create a new baseline for how you normally feel.

That new baseline for how you feel in your body (or even how you know you want to feel in your body) is going to give you a heightened sensitivity to the changes in your body, emotions and thoughts.  But you are still going to respond automatically from the subconscious to triggers in your environment.  

Don’t you worry about not feeling uncomfortable enough, my friend! As you move through your day to day life, working towards your goal, you are going to be challenged and those challenges are going to be uncomfortable. There are STILL going to be days when you get really down, or feel lonely, or stressed, or frustrated or doubtful. But you are going to notice those changes coming on more quickly and are going to be able to step back into the role of the questioner or observer more quickly as well, because you have practiced observing yourself.

You have also practiced allowing yourself the space for feel into that discomfort on a physical, emotional and mental level. Being in your body with the discomfort and allowing the energy to flow is going to allow that subconscious belief to be uncovered and recognized and identified. Now you get to decide what you are going to do about it and use the body baseline and cross-referencing technique to check and see how aligned your decision is.

Remember that the discomfort we feel occurs when we are looking through our life in that moment, through the lens of a belief that is not serving us and is not in alignment with our goals or highest good.

When we allow ourselves to feel into that discomfort and be in our bodies with our discomfort, that belief surfaces and it becomes clear enough that we can decide how to respond in a loving and aligned way. There does not need to be a forcing or a battle with ourselves. We do not need to get lost in judgment about ourselves.

But what happens when we do start to get a little lost? What can we do to remind ourselves about what we really want?

Okay, so I am not a huge fan of affirmations used for the sake of saying affirmations (especially if they are just said on a thought level and never felt), but I think that they can be applied usefully in this case. The key is to create the affirmation when you are inside of that feeling of alignment.

When you are feeling good. When you are working towards your goal or visualizing your goal and you are in that physical space, that physical feeling that you now know so well, of your goal and of your alignment, create an affirmation around what you are doing and why. One short sentence only.

This affirmation needs to feel like it is anchoring this feeling inside of you and allowing the feeling to elevate and intensify in your body when you say it out loud; It feels so right and so comforting and so encouraging.  This is the statement that you use to remind yourself when you are feeling lost.

Remember that whatever state you are in at the time, whatever belief lens you are looking through is going to affect how you feel when you make this statement, but part of you will always recognize it as truth. If you are feeling totally depressed and lost and in judgement about not achieving your goal and you say this affirmation, it will probably not immediately boost you back into your blissful buzz state of being. But…what it will do is help you set an intention to move back towards. For me, it gives me the strength I need to face what is happening OR just to say, “Today is what it is, but tomorrow I am going to start my day with this intention and focus on feeling it in my body.”

So, use the cross-referencing technique to set aligned goals, but also use it to align your day to day decisions when things get hard. Make that goal-based affirmation when you are fully in alignment and then use it as a reminder and to give you strength when times get tough (and growing into the person you want to become can be tough). Use the description of how your goal feels in your body and practice it as often as you can. Get into your body as often as you can and increase your awareness and sensitivity to what is going on, so you can catch yourself the moment you start move away from your alignment.

Best of luck with all of this my friends. Please always let me know how I can better support you and remember that your first call with me is always free, so we can chat about these tools and how they apply specifically to your life anytime! My goal is to walk this path with you and to support each-other along the way!

 

Sending my love to you as always,

Love,

Ana

If Knowledge is Power, Then Emotions are Superpowers!

This is something that I am super passionate about! I wanted to start by giving you a little background on my story and then the 5 concepts you need to know to turn your emotions into your superpower. If you would rather watch the video, scroll to the end!



Emotions were not always my superpower!

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In fact, they used to be more like my Kryptonite.

I spent many years of my life completely denying the emotional aspect of myself. From a young age, I grew up in a household where mental illness was prevalent and (no matter how loving and nurturing and awesome my upbringing was) I was acutely aware of how seriously debilitating depression, anxiety and PTSD can be. In my mind, I associated all intensely uncomfortable emotions with mental illness, and I was terrified by them. I was terrified of being emotionally overwhelmed and then diagnosed with a mental illness and I was terrified of being put on medication (even though I knew on a mental level that they could be truly helpful) and no longer in control. So instead of feeling my emotions, and accepting them, and learning from them, I stuffed them deep down and tried to throw away the key.

I immersed myself in my masculine energy and focused on developing and valuing my masculine traits. I put my head down and pushed my way through every obstacle. I tried to solve every problem by working harder and longer than anyone else. I avoided friendships with women and worked in male dominated industries (tree work, landscaping, etc).

The problem with pretending not to be emotional, and stuffing down all emotions, is that every once in a while (more like once or twice a month) I would have a full on emotional breakdown. A huge tidal wave of emotion would completely knock me flat and I would barely be able to do anything for days. I would sink into these deep depressions and this would simply reinforce the beliefs I held about emotions.

I believed that emotions were scary, that they were a weakness and an obstacle that needed to be overcome. I believed that if I gave my emotions any leeway, they would completely take control over me and every time I experienced this severe emotional overwhelm, I would “prove” these believes right. I was also terrified to seek help because I was afraid of that diagnosis, of medication and of my fear that something was really wrong with me, being proven true.

Then I found an outlet that allowed me to explore my femininity, aerial circus. I found a way to control my emotions to some extent by using my physical body to turn them into art. I was able to move my body in an emotional and feminine way and then I was able to perform and share that part of myself with other people. This did not “solve” my problems, by any means, but it did begin to relieve some of the pressure.

I started to slowly look at my emotions in a new light and today I have had a complete change of heart. Today, I view my emotions as my biggest superpower! My emotions are my most effective tool for uncovering my beliefs and knowing myself as the deepest levels.

This practice of using emotions as a tool for self growth and self-knowledge has improved my life in so many ways. It has allowed me…

  • to develop a self love practice that felt true and powerful for me

  • to feel like I can confidently solve problems and get to the bottom of what is causing my emotions as they occur

  • rescue my relationships by allowing me to be vulnerable and authentically communicate what is actually going inside of me in a way that others can understand.

  • to develop this amazing tribe of people who love and support ALL of who I am, emotions included!


So let’s get into the 5 “C’s” behind using emotions as superpowers!

  1. CONTROL:

 In order to gain control over our emotions, instead of letting them control us, we need to STOP denying our emotions and start embracing and accepting ourselves as emotional beings. Be open to the idea that emotions are actually here to help us, not harm us. We need to stop hiding our emotions away and shaming ourselves for having this natural, normal, amazing human quality.

Our emotions are our guidance system. Like the pain that comes from leaving our hand on a hot stove, uncomfortable emotions make us acutely and immediately aware when we are creating our reality using fear based beliefs. In the same way, extremely good feeling emotions let us know that we are on the right track and that our beliefs, in that moment, are in alignment with the higher truth of who we are. Our emotions are there to guide and teach us about our beliefs and give us that “warmer or colder” style feedback about the decisions we make (whether that be thoughts or behaviors).

When we decide to view our emotions as an asset and use them as a tool to get to know ourselves at the deepest level we step away from that victim mentality and take our power back.

2. COURAGE & CURIOSITY:

Emotions can be intense. It is easy to develop the fear that if we fully FEEL our emotions, that we will loose all control and sink so deeply into the hurt or sadness or rage or anxiety that we will never be happy again. That may read as a little melodramatic, but to some degree, if you are this far into this blog post, you know what I am talking about!

We are also afraid of taking responsibility for the beliefs that caused these uncomfortable emotions in the first place. We are afraid that something is actually really wrong with us because we have been trained to put so much emphasis on the power of beliefs, instead of the concept that beliefs are just thoughts we keep thinking and they can be changed.

It takes courage to face all this fear, to be willing to actually FEEL your emotions and sit in the discomfort, to acknowledge and accept the emotions as they come up, and to get curious and dig into your own depths to take responsibility for uncovering the beliefs that are causing those emotions. This process can take a little time, especially in the beginning and there is a lot of fessing up that needs to happen and a lot of responsibility that needs to be taken. But this is where your power lies, in your ability to take responsibility for your beliefs, but to believe in your own ability to change.

3. COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY:

A large part of why we communicate is to collaborate on solving problems. However, it is impossible to communicate something effectively, or problem solve efficiently, if we do not fully understand what we are communicating about.

When we do not know WHY we are getting emotional we tend to just blame it on whatever triggered the emotion. We blame instead of taking responsibility. We blame our spouses, our friends, our work, our family member, the weather, the neighbor’s cat (you get the picture), and this means that we end up communicating about problems on a very superficial level and making the other party put up all their emotional defenses in the process. When we neglect to figure out the underlying cause of a problem or an emotional trigger, we are never able to come to permanent solutions because we are not addressing the underlying beliefs that caused the emotions in the first place.

As we develop our courage and curiosity and we become more efficient at uncovering the beliefs behind our emotions, we are able to communicate on a deeper, more vulnerable, more efficient and more authentic level. It is like two doctors discussing “who gave the illness to who”, instead of talking about what caused the illness in the first place and what to do about it!

4. COMPASSION:

The more we know ourselves, the more compassion we have for ourselves and others. As we build up evidence for the idea that we get to choose how we react to our emotions and we get to choose to identify (or not) with the beliefs behind those emotions, we begin to naturally veer towards being more compassionate with ourselves. We realize that it is okay that we feel uncomfortable emotions sometimes. In fact, it’s great, because it’s a new chance to learn about ourselves.

We also begin to have compassion for people who have not done this work and we can step back enough from them to have that compassion because we no longer blame them for our own emotional reactions. When others act out of ignorance and fear, we can empathize and we also know that there will be plenty of times STILL when we will fall back into those same patterns and that is okay. We are all on different parts of the same circular path.



5. CREATE CHANGE:

Training our emotional superpowers gives us a foundation for change. When we know WHO we are and What we believe, we can start to decide what we are going to do with that information!

We can ask ourselves the big questions at anytime, questions like…Who do we want to be, Why are we here, How do we want to feel, What do we want to believe, How do we want to show up in the world? But without a solid foundational understanding of where we are starting, we cannot effectively answer these big questions.

The big questions are great. They give us a compass, a general direction in which to travel, but it is the small, everyday decisions that make up the road-map. Our emotions tell us which way to turn at every crossroads. They are as equally crucial in small scale decision making as they are in answering life’s big questions and we need both to have a successful life-long road-trip!

In other words, using emotions to understand ourselves, is a super important part of creating the reality that we truly want to live!


Thanks for sticking with me through this post. I am still working on articulating my thoughts in a clear and concise manor on video, so I like to write them down in addition to posting the FB lives. But if you want the video version, feel free to click the link below.

Don’t Forget! I want to start a conversation around these topics, so PLEASE leave your comments and questions below and I will be happy to reply!


Love you all,


Ana


Playing With Silence: Gain control of your thoughts and start your silence practice

Hello Loves,

Are you the type of person who HATES sitting in complete silence?

That used to be me!

Sitting in silence meant that I had to deal with my brain going into overdrive. It meant spiraling down a rabbit hole of self judgement and overwhelm. Does this sound familiar at all?

If you have any desire to start a meditation practice or you just want to be able to actually enjoy some peace and quiet, check out this quick FB Live video on how to play in silence!

Please comment below if you enjoyed the video or if you have any questions or ideas for future videos!