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Archive for the ‘Intentions’ Category

As I sit hear writing this for you, I feel like crying. I’m not even sure why. I think it is a combination of exhaustion from 5 intense, long days and all the emotions that bubbled up from it.


Most of you know that I just finished a five day retreat at the Chopra Center. The retreat name was “Synchrodestiny” and centered around the teachings in Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fullfilment of Desire. This was the last Synchrodestiny retreat after offering it for about 12 years, so the energy of the event was very strong and Deepak’s sessions were particularly intense. There are many things I took away from my five days, but one was Deepak’s incredible intelligence and other-worldiness. He has the ability to blend science with spirit seamlessly. He truly is of another realm.



There are so many things I could tell you about this retreat: give you lists, bullet point main topics, regurgitate mind blowing material. But, instead I think I’ll tell you my story…


I came to the retreat with hopes of getting clarity on what direction to go with my website:


Should I write a book?
Should I pursue an opportunity to develop inspirational products?
Should I think about speaking?
Maybe expand my “Karma Club” idea and take the experiences nationally?


SO many ideas…what should I do?????


I was tired of feeling confused and knew that if I had some direction or intuition, I could commit and take off! I’m good at “doing” things. I excel at trudging forward. I just didn’t know the direction.



So, here I was at a retreat that would help me uncover my path, and the first thing that I notice is how embarrassed I am when people ask, “What do you do?” I felt ashamed at saying, “I stay at home with my kids and have a blog” when engaging with people from across the world with incredible careers and ambitions. Like I had been wasting time.


I tucked that feeling away and keep moving forward, putting my whole heart and soul into each activity and interaction. These sessions were focused on uncovering our true desire – our destiny. So, I keep sensing and feeling around my ideas but I did’t seem to be getting anywhere. Damn. Nothing was presenting itself to me.


Then, in one of the sessions, when the leader asked us to put our hand on our heart and ask ourselves “What do you want right now?” it came to me. I want more than anything to feel totally centered and connected to my children. I want to be excited when they come home! I want to be happy to play with them! I want to look into their eyes and be totally focused on their stories and not distracted by my thoughts and texts and phone calls. I want to be so in the present moment with them that time slows down and I remember all of the details.



What!?! I came hear to find my entrepreneurial path and this is what I come up with! What is the Universe trying to tell me?


So, again, I tucked that feeling away and thought to myself, “Yes, that’s important. I’ll work on my relationship with my kids while I research products and distribution streams.”


That evening, after dinner, we all to came together to play a game called THE WISH. This game would give us clues and guidance through a system of oracle cards. To start the game we each wrote down our desire clearly and succinctly. I thought for a moment about putting, “to be centered and connected to my family” but after seeing the wishes of other players it seamed less-than. How could that possibly stack up with “I open up a substance abuse retreat center in Puerto Rico.”


So, I changed my mind and put down, “I have a company that provides inspirational products” There, now that sounds nice.


The game proceeded and I kept getting cards that I had a hard time connecting to my desire. Things like:


You can only change yourself
You are what you think
To see peace in this world we must first see peace in ourselves
Life if your mirror-it reflects back to you everything you need to learn


One of the teachers came to our table to help us make sense of these clues. She looked at mine and keep prodding and probing and questioning me. “What do you think these are trying to tell you?….What is the message as it relates to your wish?” I was exhausted, my brain was about to explode and I was on the brink of tears. I DON’T KNOW I’M TOO TIRED! I finally said exasperated.


She then said, “I’ve been doing this for some time and what I see is a bunch of cards that are telling you to turn inward and keep working on yourself. It seems like you have some work to do at home before you venture out and start something new.”


Well, I about lost it inside. It felt like a slap in the face…as if everyone had a right to their desires but I had to go back to school. I left feeling defeated and confused.


As I was laying in my bed that night it dawned on me: that was my desire! I did want, more than anything, to feel more peaceful and centered at home. And to achieve that, I DO have to work on myself more! The game WAS telling me my true wish! It wasn’t telling me I can’t do those things in the future, it was reminding me what was important right now.



I have been pushing and struggling for about a year trying to figure out what I was going “TO DO.” I have been DOING things all my life, to the point of losing the present. I am a future addict – I constantly am looking and thinking about the future and how “when I do that I’ll feel more fulfilled.” Noticing that I felt less-than around successful retreat attendees made me realize how distorted my thinking had become. I have been looking for happiness and fulfillment externally and need to find it internally before I will be ready to move to the next adventure.


In many ways, it was quite a relief. It is like I got permission to have fun. The Universe gave me a big green light to be good to myself and good to my family instead of pushing my will and making everyone miserable! I have to trust that things will open up to me in perfect timing. And I am perfectly were I need to be.

With me.

With my Family.

With you.

Thank you for always being there for me when I need to tell my story. You are a Godsend! It’s good to be back home 🙂


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I have said many times on my blog:


I love people that


a) get over their fear
b) to follow their passion
c) which helps and inspires others


I venture to guess that most of the people reading this post are not pursuing the heart’s desire. Usually the excuses are centered around time, security, failure, and risk. But all are about FEAR. The fear of failure. The fear of the unknown.


When you let go of the fear, magic happens


I sat down to interview Darby Brender, founder of Fusion Fitness, and was struck by her passion and energy. Just like us, she had a dream. Her passion was to open her own boutique fitness studio in a time when big box fitness centers dominated the scene. For years, Darby had designed and followed her own workouts, blending high energy moves with poses from yoga and pilates. She would even hold her own “classes” for people on vacation to help scratch her passion itch. She knew the kinds of classes she wanted to take, and there was nothing out there like them.



(Yes, this is her actual body. Come on, stop looking at it and keep reading.)


Finally, in 2008, with a one-year-old daughter and still being relatively new to Kansas City, 28-year-old Darby took the plunge with friend and partner, Shandy Rooney. The two of them worked tirelessly on innovative workout routines, performing them over and over for each other until they were flawless. After finding the perfect spot in Overland Park, Kansas, the two invested their own money and opened the doors on May 5th.


Just four years later, and Fusion Fitness is THE fitness studio in Kansas City. If you see a good body walking around town, Darby probably had something to do with it. Her classes are intense, results-oriented, and FUN. As she says,

If you want to see a transformation, you have to work hard. I want my clients to see results and strive to give them the best work-outs I can. I am constantly changing the routines so the body doesn’t plateau from getting used to it. I always want to keep Fusion Fitness cutting-edge.”

Something special is going on over there, that’s for sure, because classes are packed and they studio has already had to expand twice. Business is booming and it has been virtually all by word of mouth.


That is what happens when you follow your dreams.


The Universe conspires to assist you along the way. And your passion is contagious…better than any magazine add money could by.


After taking over the business when her partner moved, she went right back into innovating. Her next dream was an exercise video. Not just another exercise video…something that has not been done before. Where you feel like you are actually in the classroom. Clients across the country wanted to be able to take her classes anywhere they went.


Darby says deciding to make the video was

One of the scariest things I have done. Much scarier than opening the studio. I really had to work through that fear and ask my supporters to help me keep on track

The project had a huge time committment and much greater financial risk. But, she followed her dream, got over the fear, and went for it.


As with any intention you put out there, if you focus on it, things start falling into place. Darby serendipitously realized a client had a film production company and would be able to produce the video, a friend hooked her up with the perfect music producer, and actual Fusion Fitness customers agreed to star in it. The results are magical.


The first 500 videos have already flown off the shelves, and you can see why…



Not only is this exercise video amazing enough to go crazy viral, I venture to guess it won’t be the last one you’ll see from Darby. She has “trainer to the stars” quality, and that, coupled with her passion, is contagious. She is truly a special spirit who wants nothing more than to help women’s health.


When you follow your heart’s desire, success is inevitable


Check out her website and blog, and if you want a reall a$$-kicking, treat yourself to her video! (disclaimer: every time I have taken her class, I can barely move for 2 days. You won’t be disappointed!)


Start following your dreams, readers! And while you are, let Fusion Fitness get you into shape!


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Everyone is talking about New Year’s Resolutions.


Resolution: determining a course of action. Seems simple enough. You would never start a business without a plan, so why take your life any less seriously? Yes, you will still evolve and grow without a plan. That’s inevitable. Intentions, however, make the trip a little faster and a little easier.


Before looking forward, I find it helpful to take a look back and see what I have done well and when I have come short of my highest good. This helps me realize my progress. I’m always surprised at how much progress I make because it never really feels like much. I also am much more inclined to remember all of the things I didn’t accomplish over the great highlights of the year.


Do you have that tendency too? If so, take some time to think about the lows and the HIGHS of this past year. Pat yourself on the back for all the good things you have accomplished and use that momentum to propel you into an even more amazing 2012!


So, here is my personal review: Five Lows and Five Highs on 2011


I’ll start with My Not-So-Stellar-Moments. Get them over with and end on a good note.


1. I really fell off meditation this year. I have my own meditation room that is collecting dust and that really bums me out! I’m not sure what point in the year it happened, but it did and I completely felt the difference. I have been more snappy, more disconnected, and more stressed. I can’t rely on the 5 minutes of shavasana at the end of a yoga class anymore. I need to make this a habit and priority in 2012.


2. Snapping. I have been unnecessarily snapping at my kids and losing my patience at little things. I’ve slipped into these old habits and I know it is because I have let myself shift out of balance. I have been so busy trying to improve and grow DalaiLina.com (more on that later) that I allowed my regular meditation, energy work and massage to suffer. And it shows. Believe me, just ask my kids and Dalai Dan. And if I want to be REALLY honest on an international platform, when I completely lose it, I swear like a sailor. My potty mouth is as big and colorful as Yankee Stadium restrooms. My poor kids have just about heard it all. God forgive me.


3. This one is a little harder for me to articulate…I have a tendency to try to do everything myself. That coupled with my introspective nature and reluctancy to reach out to others has held me back. I am finally realizing that the more authentic connections I make, the more I offer to help others, and the more I let down my guard and ask for help, the easier this journey will be. This is particularly true for DalaiLina.com – if I want to reach and help more people, then I need to get over my fear of rejection and start making meaningful connections to like-minded bloggers. Collaboration increases creativity and success exponentially: I can’t do it all myself.


4. My evening routine has got to go. With lap tops, iPads, and the television, Dalai Dan and I are totally plugged in to technology instead of each other. We have gotten in a bad habit of finishing up business until right before bed. Dalai D’s sleep is suffering and I am feeling like I’m living with a roommate. We have let it go too long and it has to stop.


5. Nutrition! Lordy, this end of the year has got to be one of the worst in Dalai Lina’s history. I have let things get in the way of me preparing nutritious whole foods and my body is pissed off. I know that it all ties into being too busy and letting my foundation of support (like meditation) crumble. When stress is higher, you are more likely to let yourself be run by old habits and unconscious triggers. I’m starting off 2012 with a beautiful cleanse and follow it with whole food eating!


So, there goes all my blunders. Can you relate to some? But it wasn’t all bad…


The Highlights of 2011


1. 209 posts. Really? I wrote 209 articles in a year? That is definitely something I am proud of. Most bloggers don’t last after the first year, but I am just picking up steam. Many people ask me why I do this (since I make no money…maybe someday) and the answer is because I truly love it and I have a passion and vision of helping others. I want people to leave with a smile, or a feeling that they are not alone, or an inspirational idea. If one person is a little bit happier after reading one of my posts, I have accomplished more than money can show.


2. I am always striving to learn and expand. I love evolving. I love being challenged. And 2011 was no exceptions. From dozens of books, to countless articles, videos, podcasts and seminars, I am in this life to learn and to pass it onto you. You can count on me for that. I am proud of my thirst for information and openness to new ideas.


3. Travel. It is in my blood. I long to explore all the corners of the world. Beyond Disney World and the occasional beach resort. Real, meaningful travel. I had been feeling deprived and made it a goal in 2011 to change that. With a trip to the rainforest and another trip to France, I’d say I nailed it. Now I just have to keep that momentum going.


4. Website development. Yep, big changes are coming to DalaiLina.com. I have been using a free WordPress blog site and its limitations are killing me. Finally, in November, I found and went under contract with Tilpro, a local website developer, to come up with a custom look and more helpful website for you all. I have no clue how long these thing take, but I’ll keep you posted!


5. Connections, connections…I mentioned in #3 above that I was disappointed in my reluctancy to use the tools it takes to make connections. I was never on Facebook. Never on Twitter. I didn’t attempt to make personal connections to fellow beloved bloggers. Well, I have already started turning that around the end of 2011. I met with Cannon Social Media and got the low down. I’m no longer am intimidated (well, I sorta still am, but its getting better) by the social media world and hope to fully embrace it in 2012.


What are you the most proud of? What did you accomplish that you would like to thank yourself for? Don’t be shy, I love to hear from you!


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Mothers and daughters. Such complicated relationships.


Some moms and daughters get along like peas and carrots. Not my mom and I. For years I thought her purpose in life was to make me mad. Every word spoken seemed to make its way underneath my skin.



I wish she was like this. She should say that. I want her more like her mom. Why doesn’t she do it my way?


She just isn’t the mom I thought I wanted. If she would just change, I wouldn’t have to be so pissed off at her. Can’t she see that?



Then, with age came wisdom. With children came greater understanding.


And one day I realized, it wasn’t about her.


It was all about me.



How could I have been so blind? To my participation. Contributions.


How could I not see the woman in the photo, holding her child with complete innocent love, is just like me. Trying her best. Everyday.



So, I took off my glasses – dirty with years of anger, false beliefs, old habits – wiped them off and took a good look at things.


What a beautiful sight! There was that mother I always wanted! Beautiful, kind, loving, generous, sacrificing, honest, open, accepting. Yes, there she was. Hurting, scared, self-conscious, frustrated, overwhelmed, sad.


She was perfect just the way she was. I saw that for the first time.



Now we laugh. What a nightmare daughter I was at times! No piece of cake, that’s for sure.


We can talk. We can laugh. She can cry. She can yell! Yes, she can still yell


Nothing has changed. But everything has changed. Because one day I decided to love all of her. And she loves all of me. God knows, we both have our issues. (I’m a yeller too. SHOCKER. Mom, I’m going to blame that one on you.)



We all come into this life with teachers. Some make us dig DEEP and learn really hard lessons. Usually, our best teachers are the people who drive us the most nuts. Constantly reflecting to us the things we need to work on.


“Here, let me annoy you one more time, because I just don’t think you have grasped patience yet.” Thanks Professor Mom. Or husband, brother, wife, son, daughter. You pick your button pusher.



Yes, it is their job to push your buttons, until they can’t be pushed any more. Then your lesson is complete.


It’s not that they change and stop being a button pusher. No, YOU change. You let go of the old emotions and beliefs and accept them and WHAT IS. It just is, you know. You are the one that makes “is” feel a certain way.



Thank you, mom, for being my teacher and helping me be the person I am today. I love you just the way you are.



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Goal!


For me, it is that time of year again:  time to assess my life and come up with my long-term and short-term goals.  I know many people do this on a true calendar year basis, but with kids in school, my life follows the same rhythm.  It is a new year for me.


So, for the last couple days I have been looking at my old goals, reviewing my progress, and getting a feel for what I want to focus on next.


I discovered a couple interesting things:


  • Somethings take much longer than I thought
  • Somethings happened quicker than I had planned
  • Somethings didn’t happen at all and are no longer important to me


For example, my career goals were to figure out Twitter (DONE but don’t really use it so maybe my goal should have been TWEET REGULARLY), and talk with internet guru about sh** I don’t understand (STILL TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE. ANYONE? HELP.)


My health goal was to do a cleanse ever-other-month cleanses and I knocked that out of the ballpark. Bravo.


I never got to Kripalu, but I did go the the Amazon rainforest, so I’ll call that even.


My family/home goal was go to church more than once a quarter and organize the basement. I’m happy to say that my basement is organized and that I no longer care how many times I have gone to church.


My relationship/recreational goal was to go on week long, exotic vacation with my husband. Trip to France. Check.


My volunteer/charity goal was to participate in a family volunteer activity once a quarter, and almost achieved it by doing 3 family activities. I’m laughing thinking about our first soup kitchen trip where my oldest acted as if being poor and homeless was contagious while Dalai T walked right in and, before I could stop him, had gone through the line and helped himself to a turkey dinner.


So, as you can see, I achieved some goals but not all of them. If you are already in the habit of writing down goals, this would be the perfect time to unearth them and do an end or mid-year review.  If you are new to this concept, this is the perfect time to start!  Can you imagine a business being successful without goals or performance reviews?  How is your life different?


Of course you will grow and evolve without setting goals – that is the beauty of life.  Goals just help you define, focus and achieve your aspirations faster.  Even more importantly, when you DON’T accomplish a goal, it is an excellent way to review and analyze WHY you didn’t.


When you are thinking about your goals for the year, it is helpful to break them up into categories.  You may not have goals in all areas, and that’s ok.  The areas I like to look at are:

  1. Financial
  2. Career
  3. Health/Wellness
  4. Family/Home
  5. Relationship
  6. Recreational
  7. Volunteer/Charity

Write or type these categories on a piece of paper – make sure you date it.  Once you take the time to think and fill it out your goals under each, don’t hide it!  Put it somewhere you will see it.


After you come up with your goals and pin them on your bulletin board, you can refer to them when you are making your daily or weekly “to do” lists.  Most larger goals are achieved by smaller, incremental steps.  For example, if you have a charity goal of working at a soup kitchen, the first step is opening the phone book.  Now you have a few numbers to call when you are ready.  You don’t have to do it all at once!


Don’t procrastinate! Start thinking and writing down how you want this next year to look like – no excuses. Create the framework and watch things start falling into place!


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I have always hated asking for help. It was a sign of weakness. Proof that there is something wrong with me – something that I couldn’t do.


I have worked through a lot of those old beliefs, but there is a shadow of them still lurking in the recesses of my childhood brain. There is still part of me that doesn’t want to admit I can’t do it all myself. Sound familiar?


What a crock! Everyone needs support! As a matter of fact, most successful people have had support in the form of a mentor at least one time in their lives. Life Coaches have become so mainstream in Hollywood that just about every actor, director, producer and executive has one.


The turning point for me came 4 years ago. I was feeling lost. Unfulfilled. I had a great life – everything you could want – yet, I felt confused and lacking. I was yearning for more in my life, but couldn’t articulate what “more” was. I knew that traditional counseling wasn’t what I needed, but what then? Who do you turn to when you need help sorting things out and getting back on track?


For me, the answer was a life coach.


A personal life coach helps identify specific goals as well as develop strategies and action plans that will help you achieve the highest level of happiness and success. A good coach helps you envision your future AND gives you the tools to attain that vision. They encourage you to stretch yourself beyond old, dysfunctional beliefs and patterns so you can accomplish your wildest dreams.


So, I finally gave up trying to solve all of my problems and decided to schedule a meeting with a local life coach, Jill Tupper. My first thoughts were, “OMG, am I REALLY doing this? What are people going to think? I’m crazy? Lame? Maybe just a little weird? And, what am I gong to say to her???”



Well, 4 years later and not a day goes by that I am not thankful I asked for help. When I compare where I was 4 years ago to where I am now, it is remarkable.


Before seeing a life coach, my life was centered around a bunch of “shoulds” that kept me busy doing things that were sucking me dry. My path was being decided by what I thought others wanted me to do, not what fed my spirit.


Through her incredible intuition, life experiences, training, and a wide range of tools, Jill was able to get to the heart of the matter in one sitting. Her sessions are like “working meetings” where you leave feeling like you got a lot done and you have a plan in hand. Without her, who knows how long it would have taken me to realize some simple truths that transformed my life’s path.


Since then, I emptied my plate of uninspiring volunteer work, started my own blog, and write almost every day. I have never looked back. I have never felt guilty. And I have thrived.


What do you need? H-E-L-P? Think about getting a mentor. Maybe start your own business support group? (I’m actually interested in starting a local blog support group if anyone is interested) Or, treat yourself to your very own life coach. It is SOOOO nice to have the support.


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What does “living in the present moment” really mean, anyway? As I’m sitting here typing, aren’t I present with the keyboard? I just washed the dishes, how do I know I was present – they got done, didn’t they?


For a long time, this statement left me feeling annoyed. Confused. Frustrated. Judgmental. I assumed my own thoughts were the enemy and I wasn’t doing a good enough job controlling them. I didn’t know what I was supposed to be thinking when I was being “present.” Surely there were correct thoughts, and I was thinking all the wrong things. Or maybe I wasn’t supposed to think? Yes, that sounds right. Maybe I am supposed to just feel everything. “Oh, yes, the dried cereal stuck to the bowl feels scratchy. Oh, and hard to get off. Damn it, how many times have I told the kids to rinse out their bowls?!” Oops. There I go again.


Byron Katie from her book, Loving What Is


It was actually reading Byron Katie’s work that helped me get a glimmer of what it means to be present. Yes, it does have to do with thoughts, but she has a much kinder way of looking at things. It basically looks something like this:


1. You think.
2. You will keeping thinking.
3. There is nothing wrong with thinking, because that is what we do.
4. So, just try to pay attention to your thoughts.
5. And, if you are feeling negative emotions as you are thinking, it may be an especially good time to pay attention to your thoughts!


Really, just noticing our thoughts IS being present, because most of the time we are thinking the same damn thoughts over and over and aren’t even paying attention! It’s like a audio loop in our brain, triggering emotions, stress hormones, and anxiety, and we don’t even hear it.


When you finally are present with our thoughts, you can ask yourself – who’s business am I in? Byron Katie sees that there is only 3 kinds of business: Gods, Yours, and Mine. And if you are in God’s business, or in your friends business, then who the heck is taking care of your business? If you’re too busy in other people’s business, then we are not present in you own.


So, now when I am washing the dishes, I try to pay attention to my thoughts. I don’t get mad at them. I just notice. And inevitably, they are in my son’s business, or my husband’s business, or if I’m worried about the future, God’s business. And then I take a deep breath and gently let them go… and bring my attention back to MY business: the crusted, dried-on cereal bowl.  And if I start thinking evil thoughts of my children again, I take another deep breath and start all over again.  It’s a process and a practice, not necessarily a state of being. (Maybe some day it will be!)


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