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Posts tagged ‘stress’

Happy Holidays or … Not?

A lot of people LOVE this time of year – all the pretty decorations and holiday parties to attend where you can feast in a festive atmosphere among friends, coworkers or family.

However, most of us have a few challenges during this season. Our holidays may not all be happy – there’s the mounting bills created during this month, travel plans, endless shopping, decorating and cooking. Being invited to parties sounds wonderful until you are trying to balance 2-3 events, often occurring in the same week.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed – there’s so much to DO, to SEE and to experience. We want to make this year memorable with special events – don’t we try to do that every year? I know I do.

So how do you keep your “Happy” in the holiday season?

Pace yourself – take it easy. Pay attention to signs from your body that you need a break. Here’s a clue: If you’d rather go take a nap than go to an event, do it. Take a nap. That will give you more focus and energy for the days ahead – believe me, you’re gonna need it. 🙂

Drop the guilt – people often tell me how guilty they feel if they turn down an invitation from a friend or family member during the holiday season. The point of the holidays is LOVE, not guilt. No one who really loves you wants you to feel guilty if you don’t come to their event. If they give you a guilt trip, that’s NOT LOVE, that’s manipulation. The ones who love you will understand. Really. Trust me on this. Go see them AFTER the holidays – you’ll probably have better quality time with them that way.

Remember the joy – I make a point of pacing myself during the holidays so that I can remember the joy of the season. What’s the point if the holidays just bring stress? I don’t need more of that in my life. What I need is JOY – so I make time for it. Simple things like: If I see beautiful lights on someone’s house, I pause and really take it in, letting the colors and designs delight me. When I’m having my favorite hot drink, I pause, close my eyes and savor the warm, steamy scent wafting from my cup before I take a slow sip, allowing myself to embrace the flavor and the moment. These are just simple examples of taking time for joy in every day life – you can apply this to many of your holiday experiences.

The point? Be fully present to enjoy the “Present” of the moment.

Remember to take care of you – both physically through getting enough sleep and nourishment and emotionally, through monitoring your stress levels. As I’ve learned to practice these steps, I’ve begun to enjoy the holidays instead of dreading them. You can too.


Many people will be making New Year’s Resolutions in a few weeks. Having a Life Coach can really help you beat the odds so that you actually achieve your resolutions instead of giving up on them! Give me a call – let’s set a date in January to go over your hopes and dreams for the New Year. I also offer Gift Certificates if there’s someone to whom you’d like to give the gift of Life Coaching – send me an email for details.  Phone: 305-781-6229, destiny.journey@gmail.com

Are You Inside Out?

If you haven’t seen the new animation by Disney called Inside Out, I highly recommend that you watch it. It has some terrific lessons about managing our emotions. You’ll laugh, you may cry and you’ll nod in understanding. The writers did a great job of capturing what it is like to be human.

The primary theme of the movie is that we need ALL our emotions, not just the positive ones. We live in a society that pressures us to “have it all together” which somehow means being happy, successful and never showing sadness, fear or anger publicly. Why? Who decided this standard? Why do we resist expressing negative emotions – does this standard imply they are invalid? Certainly not!

It’s important to validate your emotions – it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be sad and it’s okay to be afraid. It doesn’t make you any less of a person. We can spend so much energy ignoring or pushing down our emotions that it wears us out emotionally. I’ve heard people say, “I’m just so tired.” They are tired of pretending everything is okay. Why not try a different route? VALIDATION

Action step: Give yourself permission to feel your emotions. If they come up in a place where you don’t want to express them (i.e. at work), then give yourself a chance to express them later. Make a point of telling yourself, “It’s okay to be sad.” (or angry or fearful or whatever emotion you may be feeling). Express the emotion and then let it go. Don’t wallow in it until it consumes you. Find the truth in what you are feeling – are you angry because you experienced something unjust? Are you sad because someone disappointed you? Putting words to what you are experiencing can help you get a handle on what to do, if anything, about the situation that caused your emotional reaction. Validating your right to feel your emotions is very freeing and powerful. I challenge you to try it for yourself – let me know how it goes!

Emotional Freedom

Emotional Freedom is my specialty – I’m a Freedom Coach. I help people learn how to manage their emotions and clear out any blocked feelings. Sometimes you can feel “stuck” emotionally – I can help you get unstuck. For years I felt overwhelmed by negative emotions and I didn’t know what to do. I spent a lot of time and money finding answers. Now I have LOTS of Peace and Joy. I’ve learned how to manage fear, anger and disappointment so that they don’t rule my life anymore. If you’d like to learn how to do this, I would love to help you. It’s so much easier to learn this when you have a coach by your side, helping you grow and understand what is happening inside of you. You don’t have to do it alone – I’ll help you! Call me 305-781-6229 or email me at swalker@destinysfreedom.com.

Sandy Walker, Freedom Coach

Sandy Walker, Freedom Coach

Are you really in control?

Take a minute and quickly list 5 things you are in complete control of in your life. No, really – just do it. What comes to mind?

My job – are you in control of how much money you make? who you work with? the amount of time you spend working? whether or not you work there?

My time – did you control what time you got up this morning? how much time you spent in traffic? whether or not you took time to brush your teeth?

My family – are you in control of the choices your children make? how about your spouse’s actions? your parents, siblings or in-laws’ behavior?

The reason I am asking you to list things over which you have complete control is to help you see that VERY LITTLE is really under your control. This is actually GOOD news! Why? Because you are not responsible for things over which you have no control. Did you know that? It makes sense when you think about it. You can only be held responsible for things over which you have control.

Why do we spend so much time worrying about things over which we don’t have control?

mind-and-thoughts

Action step: You can reduce your stress significantly by asking yourself this question whenever you find yourself worrying or thinking about something over and over: What do I actually have control over in this situation? Then focus on the choices YOU can make – the ones you have control over. The rest of it – let it GO! Worrying saps your mental and emotional strength. Focusing on what you CAN control is empowering and gives you peace.

Here are some things you can control:

  • how you use your free time
  • what you allow your mind to focus on
  • how you respond to others
  • the words that come out of your mouth
  • your attitude (yes, that’s a choice, believe it or not)
  • your values and how that drives your behavior

Many of my clients experience a significant shift in their level of stress when they practice this little exercise regularly. Stop and assess each situation and then choose to put your energy where it can best be used – on YOU.

Just BE – Be Still: Your heart will thank you

Q39 Be Still

Just BE – Be Still: Your heart will thank you

You are eternal … what’s your hurry?

Q35 You are eternal

What’s your hurry? You are eternal. You have all the time you need today.

A gentle reminder that you don’t need to be rushing around all the time. Trust your instincts. Trust God to direct your steps … and stop being in such a hurry every day. Slow down, enjoy life – you are eternal. You have all the time you need to accomplish what is essential today.

If you are not in control of it, let it go … your heart will thank you. ♥

Be at peace: Your ♥ will thank you

Q33 Stop Striving

STOP STRIVING! Be at peace: Your heart will thank you!

What you worry about today . . .

Q23 What you worry about

“What you worry about today, YOU WON’T EVEN REMEMBER this time next year.” – Sandy Walker

You know – this is really true. Can you remember what you were worrying about this time last year? Nope, probably not. Most of our consuming worries, the ones that keep us up at night, are really just momentary troubles.

This quote helps keep your perspective – just let it go. It’s not as big a deal as you think it is. Trust me on this. 🙂 ♥

Image

LET GO OR BE DRAGGED

Q14 Let Go
LET GO OR BE DRAGGED

Need I say more? It’s all about control ….
Just let go. Your heart will thank you! ♥

Being Highly Sensitive – What a revelation!

I am learning about the Highly Sensitive Person – a term coined by Dr. Elaine Aron. Wow – what a revelation! It completely reframes my perspective on life.

What is a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)? It is someone who is more aware of stimulation to their senses than the average person. About 20% of the population is highly sensitive. Another 22-27% is moderately sensitive whereas about 50% of the population is not sensitive at all.

How do you know if you are an HSP? Are you very aware of things like the temperature in the room? The lighting – either too harsh or too dim? How about sounds – do you notice things other people don’t notice? Or are you jangled when you hear a siren go by whereas others seem to tune it out? How about smells? Tastes?

Another aspect of the HSP is their “knowing” – they have strong intuition and part of their sensitivity makes them vulnerable to other people’s moods or “vibes”. An HSP can often tell instantly when someone is upset, even when the person pretends to be fine.

This is an excellent trait if you have it. It can also make life especially burdensome if you don’t understand why things bother you so much more than others. You might be considered the “party pooper” because loud music, lots of people and bright lights make your head hurt and you want to go home. You might not “fit in” with the rambunctious dance crowd at the club.

However, an HSP makes a great friend, a good partner and an excellent parent. Their sensitivity means they are more tuned into you and what you need. As a parent, they are attentive and can intuitively sense what a child needs. As a partner or friend, they can connect with you at a much deeper level than some of your shallower friends.

In some cultures, sensitivity is highly respected. In America, not so much. We value those that are loud, bold and ready to take on any challenge. Being out in the busy “marketplace” of ideas may be intimidating to an HSP, especially if they have to present them before a large crowd. So they are not often as acknowledged for their depth of insight and understanding. In the right positions though, they will flourish.

One of the key things I am learning about this trait is how much it can make everyday life overwhelming for an HSP. Being overstimulated by your senses really drains you. After a long day at work or even shopping can make you want to isolate and withdraw from all stimulation.

It’s important to know your limits and try to reduce the amount of stimulation you are exposed to before it becomes overwhelming. For some, this might mean changing their job or moving to a quieter neighborhood. It also means knowing when to say “No” in social situations – you don’t have to go to every party. Maybe meeting with just a few friends at home would be more enjoyable than a night out on the town with a crowd.

Pay attention to what drains you. Schedule plenty of “down time” and find out what recharges your batteries. Is it nature? Being quiet? Being alone? Figure it out and make sure you get what you need during each day or week. In time, this gift can really enable you to flourish. The first step is realizing you have it!

Are you an HSP? Take the test online
Wanna know more about this? Check out Elaine Aron’s book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You
Click the book cover below to find out more:

If you are an HSP, what do you do to cope? Feel free to comment below. You can also contact me privately through my website www.destinysfreedom.com.

Sandy Walker, Freedom Coach

Sandy Walker, Freedom Coach

Can’t is a Four Letter Word

This post comes from a friend of mine who has an uncanny way with words.
Miami Beach view

Recently I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon at the beach, toes dug in the sand, warm water lapping, taking an easy stroll, pondering the intricacies of life with a dear loved one, and watching the sky pulse with beauty as the sun set. Ahhhh. Packing up that splendor along with the tiniest seashell and our mountain of make-the-moment-perfect stuff, we headed to my car.

Locked. Hmmm. Key? Arrgghh! Can you feel the peace begin to leak out of me? Yes, getting into my car should have been a relatively easy task, however on this particular occasion my hands were overflowing with stuff, as was the pocketbook I was digging through to find the keys. And someone was with me, hands equally full, waiting to lay down her burden in that still locked trunk. Oh, the pressure. Somewhere in the digging I called out, “I can’t find the keys.” Defeat.

In just a blink I was reminded of the power of words and immediately corrected the statement to, “Well, I haven’t found them yet, but they’re in here.” And just as quickly my attitude toward the situation changed. I went from the path to dismal frustration to the journey of committed perseverance. I knew the keys were in there and, like a veil lifting, I realized the factors that were interfering with my success were temporary. I knew that the stuff I was carrying were obstacles preventing me from finding them but those could be put down. I recognized the pressure that someone else was struggling because of me could be shifted to the comfort of having someone willing to be in the struggle with me (fortunately this was a grown up with power of choice not my 2-year-old grandson needing a nap or a potty :)). My perception readjusted, my attitude quickly followed, and my outcome had no choice but to join the party. I headed home with the key in the ignition, the sea shell in my pocket, and the sunset in my rearview mirror.

“Can’t” is a statement of defeat, a permanent end. By definition it means “not able to”,” not knowing how to”, “not capable of” . . . what a lie. In just a breath I realized how many of us every day turn temporary setbacks into permanent failure by pledging to the flag of “I can’t”. Well, I’m here to remind you, YOU CAN! Ditch the stuff you are carrying, grab hold of the friend who is willing to share both the sunsets and the struggles, and find the key. It’s in there!
Freedom Key
Pay attention this week to how often and how quickly you give up. When you hear yourself using “the C word” in situations where you could be soaring, immediately restate the situation. Remember, the setback is only temporary so make your words reflect that. Replace it with a powerful, “I am!, I can! I will!”

by Sonya O. Boyne, A Season of Comfort

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