The Value of Perspective

The Value of Perspective:

A month ago during my run, the Fall leaves crunched beneath my feet; a few weeks ago, the Winter snow and ice crunched beneath my feet; and the other day, running in an incredible and unseasonal 64 degrees, all the “could haves, should haves, would haves and what if’s” crunched beneath my feet.

Our circumstances don’t determine our life or our happiness. Our choices do.

Don’t let the puppy mind truck you. Train the puppy mind.

End 2013 with a fresh perspective. Train your mind to see with new eyes. Set the stage for abundance in all ways in 2014. Believe me, if I can run, YOU can do anything!!

PS: Chipped nail polish post run is a sign of victory!

More Lessons from Running

Last week I shared with you some powerful lessons I have been learning as I trained for the 10K. If you missed it you can read more here. Well, the Turkey Trot is complete!  And yes, I learned a few more things:
1. I don’t like the cold and wind. It was very cold and very windy the day of the trot. I ran anyway.
2. I don’t like to wake up early. I woke up early anyway to run in the cold and wind the day of the trot.
3. Sometimes I do what I don’t like because it serves a larger purpose in my life. I become less afraid of the cold, the wind and the early hours of the day. I grow. I build my courage muscle to flex in other areas of my life where I have to deal with things “I DON”T LIKE”. I learn how to meet the discomfort with humor, style and grace.

Lessons from 10K Training: Courage and Discomfort

Lessons from 10K Training…by Steph

Some of you know I’m training for a 10K Run, “Turkey Trot” this coming Sunday. Training for this has been one of the hardest things I have EVER had to do. I am “not a runner” in the sense that it takes EVERYTHING I have to do it. Most of you might not know I pretty much grew up overweight, eating Twinkies and did not participate in sports of any kind. Gym class was torture, girl scout camp, even worse. It wasn’t until I arrived at college that I decided to join the rowing team.

There are 3 lessons I was grateful to be reminded of today during my 6 mile “journey”:

1. The Power of Mantra: Before I run, I remind myself of a quote, which is my mantra: “Inner peace comes from being able to hold the conflict that arises from the tension of opposites”. This helps me stay in the game during the first mile when my heart is pounding out of my chest and I want to quit, SO bad. With my heart racing I recall the day my dad died of a heart attack while driving his car, on his way home to pick up my mother for their Thursday night dinner date. The thought makes me dig deeper, knowing my heart will adjust. If I do have a heart attack, I rather it be doing something that challenges me. You see, I realize it takes courage to feel discomfort. I also know the discomfort will pass. I keep running because I remember this pain will soon turn to bliss. How interesting! Lucky for me it does, yet not without the help of:

2. The Strategic Music Play list: I must start my run with yoga music to help me center & connect to my breath & body. The first song, “Benediction” by Jami Sieber calms my brain as my feet try to catch up with my racing heart. At this point, my mind still wants to quit and thankfully the next song begins to play, “Hallelujah” by Matt Schuler (from The Voice). All of a sudden, I start to feel a slight opening for bliss. As I listen, the song takes me deeper into my body. I start to feel the cool wind on my face along with the warmth of the sun. I hear my heart race against the leaves crushing under my feet. Oh, the beauty of Fall! Suddenly, the opening gets bigger as I begin to rejoice in the beauty of nature all around me. My breath begins to steady. I start falling in love again with this running. The pain starts to balance with the bliss. And then the hill approaches. Once again my mind starts to distract me. Yet because I feel the bliss, I remember all I have to do is:

3. Surrender: As I climb the hill I work with it by adjusting my pace and easing up. I know the downhill is in the distance. As long as I can stay in the present and work with the challenging terrain I will be OK. Small adjustments, letting go, doing my best and trusting is how I will make it.

When I hit the 6 mile mark of my run today I stopped. I didn’t plan it this way but when I stopped I found myself in front of Lawrence Hospital. This was the hospital my father was taken to and where I said my good bye. I immediately burst into tears. Tears of loss and also tears of joy. Loss because I miss him so much and life is so different now. Joy because his leaving gave me the courage to show up for my own life in a way I might never have if things remained comfortable. Yes, courage & discomfort occupy the same space. When I forget this, I suffer. Peace returns when I remember. And I can keep placing one foot in front of the other. On a funnier note, below is the hat I will be wearing on Sunday. Totally lifts me up!

Live Your Life

Do you ever feel you are doing, being, acting, living according to someone else’s plan other than your own? Do you wonder what your life would be like if only you could overcome your fears and do what your heart is telling you? What or who gets in the way? Or maybe you are not even sure what you want? Powerful questions.

Recently our “Get Into Action” Workshop which ended last night has been dealing with these exact questions. With summer in full effect, there is no better time than now to use part of your vacation to slow down, focus and decide if you are truly living your life.  You don’t have to turn your whole life upside down.  You can start with something small.  For example,  running barefoot is something I have wanted to try for a few years. However, when talking to a few running “experts” they would scare me into believing I would destroy my body if I didn’t wear sneakers.  I went along with it out of fear, yet my gut told me otherwise.  So, on Sunday I finally decided it was time to run barefoot on the beach. Guess what?  It felt amazing and totally natural. I loved how the muscles in my feet, ankles and legs worked to support my body.  Very cool.  I am so happy I listened to my heart and tried something I felt was right for me.

What is your running barefoot story?  I would love to know it!!

your future part 2

The second thing which impacts the quality of our future is our thinking, our mindset. There are 2 mindsets we fall into. Some of us believe “I am who I am”. This is a “learned” or “fixed” way of thinking. With this way of thinking, not much change or growth can occur. Others of us believe “I can become..”. This way of thinking leads to growth, change…transformation.

So I ask you: what are your beliefs about your future? What is your mindset? Are you in a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? The great news is you can choose to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. I did!

Here’s how:

I have never been a “runner”. The first time I went running I lasted less than 5 minutes and my shins were on fire. I was in such agony I believed that running was “not for me”. I made all the excuses: too old to start, not thin enough, etc etc. I made the choice not to continue running. Fast forward a few years later and the opportunity to run a 5K with my sister (and super athlete), Christine, came up. I wanted to do it, yet was terrified. Remember, I believed “I am not a runner”. My sister promised she would help me. I agreed and our first practice run was Miserable (yes, capital “M”). Christine is a great coach and very supportive. She pushed me and we completed the 5K. Something shifted in me after that experience. I began to believe that I can become a runner if I choose to.

Based on my new belief that I can become a runner, I have worked hard at it over the years. The other day I ran for 63 minutes!! I had no shin issues, no breathing issues. During the last 5 minutes of my run I saw a group of very fit people running a 10K. Do you know what I said to myself? I said, “I can do that”, “I will run a 10K”. I have decided that this will be my year for running 10K’s. What is truly remarkable about mindset is that prior to the 5K I completed with my sister, I would have looked at those runners and said, “I am not a runner”, “I can’t do that”. Simply by changing my mindset from a “fixed” one to a “growth” one, I altered my future.

Being able to run feeds me. It motivates me to keep on pushing for what I want even when my mind tries to trick me.

My friends, the quality of your future is connected to the quality of your thinking.

I repeat: What is your mindset? Are you in a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? What are your beliefs?

Challenge yourself to overcome your negative mind feed and move into a growth mindset.

Contact me here to support you.