Body Wisdom

Sometimes You Have To Do Something Different

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Ive been sitting with an idea for a while. It’s not new. Thomas Jefferson said it. “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done before”. 

In other words, if you want something different from what you’ve got,  you must do something different from what you’ve been doing. Or doing the same thing will get you the same thing. 

Oh my goodness, that’s a hard one. If you are a creature of habit like me, this means change. Possibly getting out of your comfort zone. 

You simply cannot continue to do the same thing you do over and over again (no matter what it is) and expect your results to be any different from what they are. I believe they call that the definition of insanity. 

We all get into stuck places in our lives from time to time. It’s natural and normal. Staying stuck however, is not healthy. When I feel stuck that always means one thing. Something needs to change. And when I mean “something” I mean “me”. 

Stuckness is just a placeholder for it’s time to move in a different direction. Maybe something was working and now it’s not. Time to move in a different direction. Maybe something that brought you joy doesn’t anymore. Time to move in a different direction. Maybe your same workout routine isn’t getting the same results. Time to move in a different direction. Maybe a belief you’ve held about the world or other people really isn’t healthy anymore. Time to move in a different direction.

And here’s the hardest part of actually moving in a different direction. Our minds get in the way. Our mind wants to know that this different direction we take is going to bring us exactly what we want. We don’t want it to feel hard. We don’t want to struggle. We don’t want it to be uncomfortable. 

And I’m so sorry to tell you this my sweet fellow human beings, that crystal ball to see into the future to know if your different direction is going to work, doesn’t exist. 

But we have something else instead. Since change really is the only true constant, you’ve got to stop wasting your energy fighting it. It’s a losing battle. Every. Single. Time. 

This is why it’s so important to just make little changes. For one, because you don’t have to make a drastic life altering decision all in one fail swoop. You just try little things to see how it goes and course correct as needed. And two, you don’t always need to make big changes to get good results.

So what do you do? You think about the one little change in a direction you want to take and you feel into it. When I say feel into it, I mean does the thought of that shift bring more space, air, freedom, and expansiveness to your chest and shoulder region? Does it make you feel like you can take a big breath of fresh air? Then that is the little shift to try. If the thought of that little change makes your shoulders hunch, your chest tight, and gives you a feeling of prison or smallness, it’s not the way to go. 

This is one way to get the mind part out of the way. Feel into the small change. Let your body’s wisdom lead you. If it says yes, try that way. If it says no, find another option that your body says yes to.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com.

Please share if you know just the perfect person who would love this.

~ Susan

Helping You Live A Slower, Simpler Life

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An Easy Way to Hear Your Inner Voice

I absolutely love to hear new creative ideas and thoughts that others share about life. Which is why I adored Glennon Doyle Melton’s article in the July issue of Oprah Magazine. She’s the blogger who became famous writing her Momastery blog and her book Love Warrior. She’s real. She’s down to earth. She’s done her internal work.

She brings up a sad yet real issue about our society today. Girls and women have been brought up to be selfless. That is how we are seen as successful in the world. We aren’t taught to listen to our inner wise voices, which provide us with the answers we truly need for our lives.

A lot of my clients do hear theirs, but not everyone does. It’s vital to not only hear it, but follow it towards our dreams and goals. Without it, we just show up and react to everything that happens around us and we aren’t really steering our own lives. We’re just deciding to play nice, fit in, and go with the flow. That’s all well and good sometimes, but not when that flow goes against every fiber of your being.

Glennon gives the example in her article about asking a group of teenage boys watching tv in her living room, “Are you hungry?” They all piped in together “Yes”. When she asked the same question to the girls in the room, they looked to each other, smiled, then said, “They were fine.” Big difference.

Boys checked in with their own stomachs as to whether they were hungry. Girls checked in with each other as to whether they were hungry. Wow! THAT is what our society and upbringing has taught us as women. Don’t listen to what you need, or state it. Go with the flow, don’t rock the boat. That was a very clear message I received as I was growing up for sure.

Here’s where a cool trick that Glennon did with her girls to help them start to hear their inner voice comes in. She grabbed a coin and threw it up in the air. Heads she said would be pizza, tails, chicken. The girls had to yell out heads or tails according to what they really wanted as she tossed he coin. No thinking. 

Here’s the big aha! Your inner/wise voice bypasses your thinking mind. Your thinking mind will, well…think you to death. It will keep you mulling over decisions forever. Your inner voice actually already knows what you want and need. It probably whispers at you all the time, because that is often how it communicates. But if you aren’t hearing it or don’t really know how, this coin toss idea is a great way to get re-acquainted with it.

Obviously start small with a little decision, like going to bed early or staying up later to watch a favorite show. Heads for one, tails for the other. Toss it up, let you inner voice pick, then go with it. Maybe you really need some extra sleep. Maybe you would do better with more relaxed down time with your show before bed. Your wise self really does know. Try it, follow it. See what results you get. Write down what happens. See if there’s a pattern.

How does this relate to living a slower, simpler life? Well, you’ve got to slow down often enough to know your patterns. Do you sometimes hear your voice and don’t pay attention? Slowing down helps you become more present to how you show up for yourself and others every day. 

The more you practice hearing what you have to say and what’s important to you, the more you will know that’s your inner voice speaking. 

BTW- All 3 girls yelled heads for pizza at the same time. They actually did know exactly what they wanted.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com.

Please share if you know just the perfect person who would love this.

~ Susan

Helping You Live A Slower, Simpler Life

Image by Pixabay, with permission.

 

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What is Fear Anyway?

One of my super smart newsletter readers emailed me after she received my post last week. It was basically about listening to your body and how it feels to know what’s important for your life. If you missed it, here it is. I’ll call her Ann.

Ann asked me about facing fear. She wasn’t sure if her body could give her an objective answer because it would always contract when she thought about doing something she might enjoy, like meeting in a new group to learn about a topic of interest. 

Even though it was something she wanted to do, being in a group with new people is not comfortable for her and brings up fear.

So what is fear? 

Fear is a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

There are two kinds of fear, primal/survival fear and fear created by thought.

Primal fear for example, is when you are driving along and the car in front of you stops quickly and you have to respond quickly to stop yourself. After that is over you can feel your heart rate is increased, maybe your breathing is shallow and fast, your shoulders or chest are tight, or anything else that you’ve experienced in the past. With primal fear your brain doesn't have time to think or become afraid, it gets bypassed. Your body goes into survival mode and you just react.

Now, facing situations you aren't comfortable with is not primal fear. That is fear that comes from your thoughts about how the situation might go. All the thoughts that say, for example, people won't like me, this will be awkward, I'm going to feel weird the whole time, etc… Those thoughts will cause your body to have the negative response.

I invited Ann to notice if she had an idea about doing something and how that felt in her body before she allowed her thoughts to come in about it. In general, if there is something you actually want to do your body will give you those positive signals, it's only when your mind gets involved a few seconds later that the negative comes in. 

What I think is vitally important in the fear definition, is that fear is felt whether the threat is real and primal, or imagined and created by your thoughts. Whether you are sitting at a traffic light watching a car come up on you fast in the rear view mirror or just imagining that you are going to lose all of your money and be homeless, the body reacts the same way because the brain signals fear, it doesn’t know the difference, and doesn’t discriminate. 

That's why you have to ask your body how it's feeling if you just dropped all those thoughts about the situation, even if for one minute.

I also want to mention that there is fear that comes from various forms of post traumatic stress. That is a different kind of fear that can come up even when you are trying to do something that your body was initially excited about. If that type of fear comes up for you, then a good therapist or coach who has specific training in that area might be an appropriate choice for you. 

Let me know what your experiences are with this and what you think.

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com.

Please share if you know just the perfect person who would love this.

~ Susan

YOUR TRUE LIFE (KNOW IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT)

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Here's How You You Know What's Important

We live in a world where we are constantly being told what’s important. Or what should be important to us. 

What to eat.

How much to exercise.

What color goes with what.

What supplements to take.

Working more.

Working less.

Spend money on A.

Don’t spend money on B.

How much sun you can get before it’s dangerous.

How much insurance you need for certain things.

This is a never ending list.

And I think often when we make these choices, we use our minds. Our minds are fantastic but logic cannot be the only way we decide what’s important for us.

Those really important decisions need to be made from your heart and soul.

What does that feel like when you make a decision from that place?

So many of my clients use similar words over and over again.

Peace.

Contentment.

Joy.

Ease.

Lightness.

Freedom.

Presence.

Energy.

Connection.

All of these words are emotions that can be felt physically. That is why I talk about your body being a true compass for your life. When you think about what’s important to you and the words above come up the body often feels a specific way when your are choosing something that is really, honestly true for you.

My clients always say the same things. My chest feels lighter. I’m not carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t feel so heavy. There is more space. And you might just cry. They are Tears of Truth. They just come. That’s how you know. 

And this is not something any of us learned in school (I’m pretty sure). I wish we had. But you can learn this now.

If something is important to you and right for your life you will feel it physically. You will know it. It will not weigh you down, it will not make you tired, it will not feel like a drag.

It might feel challenging and hard but it will also create space. It will give you a sense of possibility, it will make you sigh with relief.

So think about what IS important to you and check in with your body. Your soul will talk to you through it. 

And here’s what I suggest. If you get a “meh” response or heavy response, or tight response from your body, it’s probably not right for your life. 

Only keep what feels right for you. If you do that, you will start to let go of what isn’t important more easily.

And don’t you only want to hang on to what’s important to you anyway?

Feel free to leave a comment on the blog below, or email me, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com.

Please share if you know just the perfect person who would love this.

~ Susan

YOUR TRUE LIFE (KNOW IT, FEEL IT, LIVE IT)

 

Honor Your Body

I woke up Thursday morning this week from a very deep sleep. The kind of deep sleep where you feel a bit heavy, it takes you a little longer to wake up, and you don’t have quite the same spring in your step. And, for some reason I woke up with quite the kink in my neck and upper back. It was the kind of kink that when you turn your head either direction, all the muscles on the right side of my neck and upper back tightened and pinched. It was quite the unpleasant experience. And it made me feel off, like I just wasn’t right. My energy felt wacky and I almost wanted to cry (from an emotional place) but didn’t know why. I had planned to do some kind of a workout that day, and well, that wasn’t going to happen with my body in this state of affairs.

As luck would have it, or what I would call universal intervention, there was a restorative flow yoga class at our local fitness center that morning. If you don’t know much about yoga it’s the kind of class that is more gentle and stretchy than strong and muscl-ey. I love those classes too but my body wasn’t up for that.

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When I saw that class being offered I “knew” it was what my body needed. It wasn’t what my mind wanted for sure. My mind wanted a more worky outy/strength workout and my body said oh hell no. So off I went to the lighter yoga class.

As class started and we started slowly moving, my neck and right shoulder were not happy campers. Every little motion seemed to irritate things. But as our yoga instructor kept reminding us, I just breathed into that space. Breathing in relaxing, calming energy, and breathing out stagnant energy. I repeatedly did this over and over and over again as we slowly moved from one pose to the next, spending increased time in one place to hold, stretch, and breathe into that pose.

After 60 minutes I walked out into crisp fall air and a blue sky filled with yellow and red leaves blowing in the breeze. I felt lighter, expanded, more awake, less tension, and my muscles felt so much more relaxed. I could turn my neck either direction without sharp pinching. It was almost miraculous.

All because I honored my body. Something was very off when I woke up. I listened. It said it needed restoration so off to the perfect class I went. I gave it what it needed and it sighed a big thank you in return.

Your body speaks, sometimes loudly, sometimes softly. You cannot get through this life without it functioning. It wants to function on a high level. So why not honor it and give it what it needs. Your body will be happy and so will you.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

~ Susan

your true life (know it, feel it, live it)

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Why You Must Do the Icky Stuff

I had a colonoscopy this week. My third. This is not a common thing for a 45-year old woman unless you have some type of colon disorder like Crohn’s Disease or start having them preventatively at 50 per the guidelines. I don’t have a disorder. I just happened to have a mother who died of colon cancer at the age of 58. I started having colonoscopies at 37. If you’ve ever seen anyone die the long, slow, and very painful death from cancer, then you know why screenings are so vital.

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One of the hardest parts of my mother’s death, outside of watching cancer eat away at her body until she was only skin and bones, was that she had symptoms of colon cancer for 6 months before she went to have things checked out. SIX months. And she was an RN. She knew better. All I can think is that she was in denial. Denial that it could happen to her. Denial that it would happen to her. But it not only did happen to her. It took her life.

I don’t have a crystal ball. I have no idea if she’d gone in as soon as she noticed the first symptoms whether they would have caught things early, started treatment, and today’s post might be about another topic entirely, because she would still be on her earthly journey.

What I do know is that the earlier something is caught, the better chance you have of successfully treating whatever needs to be treated, and changing whatever needs to be changed in your life.

This is why you must do the icky stuff. Why if something feels off in your body you go get it checked out as soon as possible. Because denial is not a treatment plan.

Maybe you’re afraid something might really be wrong. And you might be right. My mother said to me not too long after her diagnosis, “This isn’t really a good time for me to be diagnosed with cancer”. And I asked her,”tell me, when would a good time be?” There is never a good time to be diagnosed with cancer. No one ever says, I’ll just put everything on hold and go deal with this, then come back to my normal life. No, it becomes your life, and your fight for it.

What I’m trying to say, is don’t let denial keep you from getting checked out. We all have intuition. We all know when something is “off," even if we don’t know what it is. Yes, you might be afraid a doctor will really find something wrong with you. But you can’t treat something unless you know what you’re treating.

It’s your choice. Maybe you know something isn’t quite right and you’re putting off going to get it checked out. It’s not a good time. You’re too busy. Or afraid. I understand. That’s what my mother did.

I’d let her share her experience with you but she can’t. She’s not here to do that.

Here are the symptoms of colon cancer according to the Mayo Clinic. It is the third leading cancer causing death in women.

I’m not having any symptoms. But it’s been 5 years since my last colonoscopy so it’s time for another preventative screening. It’s not the most pleasant experience, but better than the Dr. telling me I have cancer.

My results showed a perfectly healthy and clean colon.

And now I’m off to continue living my fantastic life.

Please go and nurture your life. Even if it means doing the icky stuff.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you, susan@susancarrollcoaching.com

~ Susan

your true life (know it, feel it, live it)