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Dance. Patience. Dignity.

Dance.

My beloved and I began a beginner’s ballroom dancing class after many years of postponing the activity. It was simple and spontaneous. My text: Honey, do you want to join a ballroom dancing class tonight? His response: Yes.

The basic instructions to the men (or the lead person of the couple) were to follow the sequence of the steps, with timing and to the beat of the music. The basic instructions to the women (or the person following) were clear: follow your partner. From my experience that evening, I could embellish the instructions – under any and all circumstances, follow your partner. Never deviate from his moves even if he is screwing up the steps, loses the timing or has no capacity to follow the music.

We learned the basic steps to the Foxtrot, Waltz, Rhumba and Swing. The introductory segment of the class was moderately calm as we separately learned these moves. When it was time for us to dance together, that’s when our experience offered a glimpse into my lack of patience.

Let me say right off, I was a royal ass. My behavior was contracted, triggered, and on alert. It was not my spouse who triggered me – at first – it was the Attila the Hun instructor who gave me, only ME, feedback on what I needed to improve.

Let me paint the picture.

All nine couples are lined up across from each other Cotillion style. We take turns following one after the other down the middle of the line. With no musical accompaniment, my honey leads me without rhythm, skewing our straight movement to his left. I am trying desperately to follow his lead, while my body is communicating that the movement is off. My body is saying, what are you doing? He’s stepping on my toes, I am stepping on his. We are supposed to be doing the Foxtrot: slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow. We stumble down the lane twice. He is a bit frustrated, and I can feel a montage of feelings inside – humor, horror, perseverance, disappointment, and simmering dread.

Next, all couples are in their own space, practicing putting the steps to music. I forget this is practice and become anchored in the belief that we are supposed to be good at the Foxtrot. I feel frustrated, flipping between following with keen attention, and growing aggravation with his lack of ability.

Then, I take charge. My patience, what little was present, runs out. I begin to lead. He goes limp. His cage droops. I speak out loud, “Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow, slow, quick, quick.” There is slight improvement. But not enough, as Attila the Hun arrives and begins to chastise me for the poor performance. [She was trying to be helpful. She did not chastise me.] I become angry with what I perceive as her less than helpful attention. The once delightful idea of learning to dance with my partner becomes sour. We end the night somber, not angry but disappointed – for different reasons – which led to my exploration of several things, including patience.

Practicing dance, I was able to see: 1) the beauty of somatic intelligence, 2) the strength of the brain to function, 3) the perfection of response to situations out of coherence, and 4) the delicacy of relationships and the importance of patience, openness, light-heartedness and practice.

I appreciate my body letting me know we were off beat. This was the truth of the situation. Not good or bad, right or wrong – just the truth. This is the opening to grow and become a more fluid dance couple.

I appreciate my mind working to learn the dances and at times to take over, to allow me to relax and let go. My frustrated body was able to follow the wrong rhythm when my mind said, “Just let him lead to the wrong beat!” So I did! My body moved with him, letting go of dance precision. And guess what? I had more fun in those moments of connection, trusting that I could follow without having to lead. (These were fleeting moments but moments nonetheless.)

 I appreciate my reactions to myriad situations from the evening. Each reaction pointed to the coherence or lack of coherence in energy. My body moves toward coherence and in that space my mind settles, ease expands, and joy flourishes. Without coherence, a trigger pops to give attention to the lack of coherence. I either move toward creating coherence, or move away to find coherence.  Dancing – perhaps – is ultimately moving with the flow of going in and out of coherence; but I have yet to master that on the dance floor.

This experience relates to money.

Your body knows when the rhythm is off, related to money. However, you have not been taught to listen to the wisdom being offered. The power of the money systems is loud, obnoxious and rude. Our modern world has no respect for a new way to engage money. There are ingrained and rusted rules, regulations, controls, manipulations, structures and systems that have no interest in changing much less considering a better way.

We are taught to engage money from a narrow alley, from concepts. Walk through here and attend as quickly and carefully as you can to this issue. When the body signals something is off and we attempt to articulate what doesn’t seem right, we are shamed, or shoved answers, or glistened over.  In defense of the individuals working in financial organizations who give you these answers, they are not to blame. They simply mirror society and the culture. They have not been given the pathway to learn, and grow, and meet you where you ultimately want to be met.

How it is:

Your body gives you a signal. While you may not know exactly what is being conveyed, you share whatever realization may be available. The money world cannot meet you. It arrives from the rational mind, with answers, solutions, strategies and tools. As your heart aches, information bombards. You close off your heart and body wisdom, shrink in size, and focus on the mental details. As long as I follow these rules, these specific steps, this process, I will be OK. It doesn’t matter that all of you is not being seen or heard, what matters is you address this narrow situation and leave the alley as soon as possible so you can breathe.

In the dancing story, my body knew we were not on track. Yet I did not have the skills – the Patience – to shift the situation and I promise you, the Waltz did not care… just like money doesn’t care. And sometimes you don’t have the skills to shift the situation either.

Money gets shoved to the side – distinctly separate from you and your meaningful life. It is painful to shrink into smallness. It is painful to close our hearts. It is painful to still the passionate energy of the belly that wants to engage with truth and vitality. If money is treated this way, how will we ever abide in the virtuous flow of somatic finance?

Is it up to the rusted money system that has less than zero interest or capacity to change?

Or is it up to you?

Patience.

Patience can guide the way. Patience has been in my field of awareness lately. When I say field, I mean smack in my face. It is burning alive as depicted in my dancing story! One of the six Paramitas in Mahayana Buddhism (or ten depending upon who is talking), Patience is offered as a view to support our capacity to not react (or be less reactive) in the face of challenging situations. Wholehearted practice – meaning with the body and mind – is the way of engaging these principles.  Whether the Buddha is your teacher or not, embodied patience is vital to sustained Dignity.

You are invited to see how patience is the strength that allows us to remain grounded like a mountain, yet uplifted like bamboo, regardless of what is happening in our life. Patience is not giving up, closing down or pushing through. Patience stays in with grace and grit (January’s invitation!). What does patience look like in your situations? Explore. I’ve shared what it doesn’t look like! J

Dignity.

Patience is an essential gateway to developing and strengthening dignity. I imagine dignified dancers perform perfectly, not getting each step, but abiding in integrity with an open heart and genuine joy.

Polishing Patience,

Grace and Grit

Grace comes in the form of staying in bed with a blossoming cold even when scheduled for a workout.

Grit comes in the form of shoveling snow off of a roof for the first time even though heights are terrifying.

Both of these happened within the last five days.

Grace comes in the form of a pause, holding spikey thoughts and allowing words to wash away like a breeze.

Grit comes in the form of expression clear and direct to cut through clouds of lingering false beliefs.

-I’ve held my thoughts and expressed firmly within the last month.

Grace comes in the form of compassionate bridging when systems are now riddled with fear and polarities. Grit comes in the form of action when insanity is so harmful we muscle courage toward the unknown.

Last year I danced and slogged through being and doing – filling the ground of pretty and ugly.

Grace and Grit became familiar to me first when reading Ken Wilber’s 2001 book by the same title. Over the years these two words have been used together – for countless situations and occasions. In October of last year, these bookends held Emerging Women founder Chantal Pierrat’s keynote. Today, this month, as we begin a new year and a new opening for Somatic Finance, I offer Grace and Grit as vital capacities on our fluid map of discovery. Grace and Grit are the pith capacities to embody dignity. Dignity, an essential nutrient of human existence, is the theme offered for 2018. Dignity is energized in our spine connected by the heart and our belly. Grace moves through the heart. The belly holds grit. Grace and Grit enable us to get through the fiery realities we face, today; not yesterday and not tomorrow. Now.

Grace and Grit are both essential skills.

Grace and Grit key into situations quickly – silently – precisely – compassionately.

Grace and Grit are the mother load of feminine warriors.

Grace and Grit are mastered through three centers in the body – head, heart and belly.

The fruition of Grace and Grit is Dynamic Dignity, an ever-flowing ability to be attentive to life with warrior skill, kind attention and an evolutionary nudge. Dignity allows for the tendency to fade and constrict in challenging situations to be strong, clear, and here.

Money consistently presents opportunities for practicing and embodying Dynamic Dignity, whether a “positive” or “negative” situation. Whether seeking answers for accumulated savings, or making a choice for charitable giving, or navigating insurance claims for property loss, or evaluating health coverage options, or holding the pain of financial injustice… Dynamic Dignity reveals fresh truer insights and energy to move in a beneficial direction.

Let’s emphasize these words offered together with clear intention. We’ve covered dignity. Let respect be meaningful to you now and always. Dynamic is moving – forward, pausing, sideways, energized and precise. Dynamic is putting the force into something happening. Dynamic means it is now, time, to get going. Once your insight provides sufficient J clarity, take action. Get moving. Do something.

For your money, this means it is not sufficient to understand where overspending beliefs and behavior originated. Take that new understanding into a practice to heal, be generative, improve money health, and resolve permanently the ticks and tugs that have held you back. Grace and grit will lead and hold the way.

It’s 2018. Put a stake in the ground to integrate money – in all ways – through the body – in your life. Begin by committing to dignity. Then, practice with this month’s 5 minute Try-it – Dynamic Dignity – to feel this precious nutrient come alive in your body.  Practice until your Dynamic Dignity is embodied… in all situations, you remain steadfast, present, clear, compassionate and right action follows.

May Grace and Grit feed our way,

 

 

Celebrating Life

It’s my birthday month. I’m a few years shy of the big six-o. My birthday is not big news and rarely do I call attention to it, but this year feels different.

Upon contemplation, I realize that this year my birthday feels to me to be about otherness. Meaning, I’m feeling the intersection of all beings, and feeling inspired to give rather than to receive. As in, the giving is receiving, and receiving is giving. Despite a phantom list of all of the problems happening in the world, our country, my home, my work, my family…I live a blessed life. (I use the word phantom as a way of noting my view of problems. Problems can just as easily be seen as openings for change, for love, for clarity, for taking action. If you are curious about seeing problems from another vantage point, make “problems” your object of exploration. In a crucible kind of way, problems catalyze new possibilities. How can that be a problem? J) Good fortune surrounds me and fills me. I enjoy more food, material goods, leisure time, intellectual pursuits, healthy activities, meaningful work, and treasured relationships than 99+% of the people walking our earth. On my birth, I had good fortune that has continued to bless me. With each passing year, I recognize the depth of my good fortune, the choices I have made, and the motivation that has held me, clearly highlighting the truth of our collective well-being, or lack thereof.

It feels challenging to celebrate when our environment is suffocating from human pollution, unconscious behavior and lack of care. The vitality of our waters, earth and air is depleting. The very beneficiaries of these nutrients are destroying nature’s life giving essence.

It feels challenging to celebrate when new government policies are severely skewed to the self-interests of those voting in favor of deplorable policies and rules.  I’m distressed that supposed servant leaders have morphed into egotistical power hungry self-grasping leeches. Their actions, limited to benefitting the few, have widened the chasm of “us and them.” The polarized and tension-stretched rubber band is poised to snap. The hit will be fierce and it seems like the cascading aftermath will be ugly. Crowds will be left pointing a finger outward when in actuality, the events are pointing toward a mirror. We are all in this together.

It feels challenging to celebrate when I read the newspaper or listen to the news and another act of violence has left innocent people dead, wounded and with life-altering trauma. How is it we have come to a period in our history where mass gun shootings feel familiar and the initial outcry fades quickly like the outgoing tide?

My celebrating life message is not meant to be dreary. But the truth of present reality is the gateway to celebrating authentically. Life is begging us to open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds, in order to see clearly and where we fall short in nourishing her and where we are causing harm. When we see clearly we are able to act with intelligence, precision, and purpose.

The times feel challenging, and a challenge is a call to action, not resolution. Life doesn’t get resolved. We do not come to a conclusion wrapped in a bow. Life co-exists and co-creates with us. Life is asking for us to take action with our hearts, and move toward something better.

There are three causes that I have chosen for donations for my birthday. If you are moved to give in celebration of Life, please follow the links below the descriptions that follow for my picks, or feel inspired to research a cause that speaks to your own values.

Testing the Waters is the inspiration of Pranav Shikarpur, the son of a longtime friend. I am inspired by the ingenuity, creativity, intelligence and “generativity” of our next generation. The collective impact of this innovation has the potential to benefit the world. Testing the Waters is one of twenty projects selected to represent India at the Intel ISEF Science Fair in 2018. Polluted waters are widespread in Pranav’s native land in India. He and his partners have developed a portable prototype to easily test the purity of water (lakes, ponds, oceans) for public use. Their innovation gives evidence to support necessary actions to clean up the polluted waters and provide clean water for Life. Links to more information and the opportunity to donate are found below.

http://www.testingwaters.co.in/

http://m.thehindubusinessline.com/news/science/from-a-robotic-arm-to-an-app-that-senses-bumpy-roads-young-minds-showcase-innovations-at-the-iris/article9967411.ece

To donate: https://www.impactguru.com/fundraiser/help-testing-waters

TreeSisters is an organization founded by Claire Dubois, “committed to the creation of an evolving system that learns as it goes and continually models itself upon the flows and forms of living systems. Her aim is to reclaim balance, to revel in freedom and health and to be a ‘walking permission’ for those who are fed up of being held back, and just want to have a go.” I was inspired by the engagement and authenticity of Claire as I experienced her presence, care and wisdom at Emerging Women 2017 in Denver, Colorado this October. As well as by Claire herself, I am motivated by the generative mission of the organization for the planet and all people.

TreeSisters exists to elicit collective responsibility for planetary restoration at the grass roots level with a focus on women and tropical reforestation. We are growing a global network of women who donate monthly to fund the acceleration of tropical reforestation as an expression of collective planetary care.

To donate and learn more, follow this link: https://www.treesisters.org/

The Ocean Clean Up attends to the vital waters of our earth and all the beings that dwell in the oceans by cleaning up the world’s oceans of plastic that have entered the ocean from human consumption. From their research, “a significant percentage of this plastic drifts into large systems of circulating ocean currents, also known as gyres. Once trapped in a gyre, the plastic will break down into microplastics and become increasingly easier to mistake for food by sea life. The Ocean Cleanup is developing a passive system, moving with the currents – just like the plastic – to catch it.” CEO and founder, Boyan Slat says, “for society to progress, we should not only move forward but also clean up after ourselves.” I couldn’t agree more.

To donate and learn more, follow this link: https://www.theoceancleanup.com/

As you read and reflect on the above inspirations, you may notice a common theme. I am moved that they each benefit the greater good, the collective, and all beings on earth. Happiness, authentic happiness, comes from realizing we are all in this precious life together AND connecting that realization with kindness in our thoughts, words and actions.  Do you recall these gentle sayings – given during vulnerable learning places in your life?

What goes around comes around.

Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you.

When you point one finger out there are three fingers pointing in.

The Gift, the Giver and the Receiver are all the same.

May these reminders be an inspiration to you and your actions. Even if you are not able to give monetarily, you can be generative in your actions. A few suggestions follow:

  • Eliminate use of plastic (straws, bags) and use only recyclable material.
  • Establish powerful intentions with clear actions to be earth friendly.
  • Plant a tree or water a public tree in the city.
  • Read – articles, real news and studies about our planet; be informed about planetary sustainability.

Celebrating, my birth and yours,

 

5-Minute Try It: Appreciation…

PURPOSE: To become familiar with giving appreciation attention and how to practice spontaneous gratitude for others.

PREPARATION: Make a declaration to expand appreciation space. Then, commit to appreciating others when the inspiration arises.

Minute one: Get willing to appreciate with action. Wonder… hmmm, I wonder how I want to appreciate.

Minute two: Bring your attention to your heart and identify where appreciation lives in your body. What are the movements and sensations that accompany appreciation? Hint: usually tingles, sparky nudges, lightness, and smiles.

Minute three: Turn off your “judger” and begin spontaneous appreciation coming from those body nudges. Express out-loud: “I appreciate _________________” (fill in the blank). There is no formula or right/wrong.

Minute four:  Ramp up your appreciation by letting loose and not holding back. Have fun expressing gratitude and notice how it feels in your body to appreciate.

Minute five:  Self-appreciate doing this practice and notice that appreciating yourself or another has similar effects – generating appreciation space.

Complete your practice by committing to expanding your expression of appreciation in thoughts, words and deeds. Think gratitude. Write gratitude. Speak gratitude. Act with gratitude. Do kind deeds.

5-Minute Try It: Flourishing Feminine

PURPOSE: To release pent up energy-known or unknown-and allow the body to “recalibrate” with more space and flow to serve what matters to you. If you feel stuck and unable to speak your truth, this is a helpful unsticking practice.

PREPARATION: Don’t prepare, unless preparing serves you. Be open to letting it out. State “I am willing to let it out” Then, allow life to happen and when the urge to let it out arises,..let it out.

Minute one: Get willing to express yourself and move energy through your vocal cords. Get willing to look silly!

Minute two: Commit to gentle, easy and friendly expression. Make a few audible sound through your throat and mouth.

Minute three: Inhale through your nose and fill your belly and lungs. Release your energy through your throat, making pleasurable sound.

Minute four: Repeat minute three.

Minute five:Continue to express satisfying sound through your mouth as long as it feels useful and/or you are unstuck.

Complete your practice by noticing the sensations and space in your chest, throat and nexk. Make a declarative statement about your ability to express. For example, “I speak my truth.” “I release my limitations.” “I am liberated.”

Flourishing Feminine

Last month I had the good fortune to attend Emerging Women Live 2017 and to facilitate a coaching circle on Somatic Finance©. The experience, energy + presence + women + motivation, saturated me for four days. My body was electrified with feminine power. I felt juiced and alive with joy, vitality and expansion. Feminine power has that quality. The feminine cares big — wide, deep and high. And when immersed in that space, we reflect that reality. Below I captured a few favorite quotes from the speakers, just for you. There were many more. This is a taste for you to savor. As you read and receive, imagine the intention behind the words. Feel the energy that lights up in you, in your body

Before we begin…
This is not about men versus women. Feminine energy is alive in all beings.
This is about seeing beyond a narrow view.
This is about opening our hearts to a reality beyond our familiar.
This is about the simple ways of life – kindness, joy, and truth – that enable all lives to be better.

My suggestion for reading: pause, turn off disruptive devices, get a favorite beverage, retrieve pen and paper and practice savoring. Enjoy. Relish. Take pleasure in receiving these offerings.

When someone on the other side of the world is doing well, 
we feel it whether we know what was done or not.
Kindness is the greatest tool to recognize a person’s value.
It doesn’t require you to be anything other than you.
~ Orly Wahba, Kindness Boomerang
Achievement of women’s dream is central to our civilization.
Your dreams will have greater meaning when they are tied to the betterment of your community.
If you want to go fast go alone. If you want to go far go with others.
Hospice the death of the old systems that no longer serve us.
~ Dr. Tererai Trent, Humanitarian and Author
Make a shift from being a consumer species to a restorative species.
Let your savings save something.
~ Claire Dubois, Founder of TreeSisters
Behind every criticism lives a wish.
There is no way to live an interesting life and be sure. 
We must be in uncertainty. If uncertainty is not for you, respect it.
~ Esther Perel, Psychotherapist and Author
When we own our stories, we get to write a brave new ending.
Our home zone is the way you find your way to speak. 
The home zone is human and not always comfortable.
Comfortable is forgettable.
~ Gail Larsen, Founder of Real Speaking
Pausing is in service of the doing.
Pause is a feminine value.
~ Rachael O’Meara, Author, The Power of Pause
What comes through me is an answer to someone’s prayers.
Work requires us to be the women we are meant to be.
~ Liyana Silver, Author, Feminine Genius
It’s not personal; it’s physics.
If we don’t resonate with something, it’s just not aligned for our energy.
What if – it’s just physics? – 
allow your internal GPS system to guide you to be the greatest expression of what you are.
~ Suzy Batiz, Founder & CEO Poo-Pourri
Have a mission that is so much larger than you that fuels you from your identity.
The vicious cycle of wealth can be as vicious as the cycle of poverty. ~ Mother Theresa
~ Lynne Twist, Author and Activist, The Soul of Money
In any moment we all have the capacity to lead.
Leadership is created by all conscious decisions made along the way.
~ Cheryl L. Jones, The Mindful Path
Be bold. Your heart already knows what is best for you.
We can be change agents for a kinder world.
~ Shiza Shahid, The Mahala Fund
The one thing we are held accountable for at death: How did you love? Not who you loved.
~ Colleen Abdoulah, Chair of World Pulse
Create the experience you want if you don’t like the present experience.
Create something new in the WE sphere.
A rubber band stretches with tension. Owning the experience means the tension resolves.
~ Chantal Pierrat, Founder of Emerging Women
There is no number.* There is only flow. 
As life changes, numbers change. 
When we embody sufficiency, access to life and flow expands. 
It doesn’t matter what the number is when in flow.
~ Gayle Colman, founder & dreamer of Somatic Finance®

Thank you, Chantal, and all emerging women, for co-creating and nourishing our inner space, for connecting our outer space, … to benefit the world.

Relishing, receiving, respecting,

Practice Practice

Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

The above definition of insanity is most frequently attributed to Einstein. At its core, the message is about the behavior of someone who is not aware, particularly of how specific action relates to results. When we want to improve our circumstances, we need to be aware of the crucial issue, in order to make choices, and, we need to practice, in order to improve our capacity. In short, awareness creates choice, and practice creates capacity. Desiring change, and being aware of change, is only half of the equation required to create change. The second half of the equation is practice.

All too often, we mistake cognitive recognition for capacity. We read information. We gain knowledge. We acknowledge new ideas. We take different perspectives. We experience “aha” moments. We see new choices. These moments of insight brighten our mind. However, they do not build embodied muscles that enable us to perform differently in the world. Taking better action requires practice.

Awareness creates choice. Practice creates capacity.

Being aware and having capacity are two different aspects of development. Being aware ignites the motivation to practice. Engaging in practice is consciously harnessing energy in the service of embodied growth, to cultivate sustainable capacity.

I have a lingering beef with people’s lack of motivation (courage, vulnerability, humility, truth, discipline, heart, determination and choice) to practice, particularly from those who “know” something. Nothing changes unless practice is part of the experience. Nothing changes just because a concept is understood. We need to choose practice and we need to choose practice with awareness, even if the practice is to be here content with what is.

Practice is a conscious activity that allows wisdom to co-emerge with action. Ultimately this action, when coming from pure wisdom, is compassion in action. But most of us are practicing for a long, long time before this realized way of co-emergent wisdom and compassion materializes consistently.

Why do I harp so fervently about practice? Because practice really matters.

Insanity isn’t a healthy state of mind to engage life. Repeating harmful patterns causes unhappiness, frustration and a downward spiral of suffering. When it comes to money, the lack of awareness and practice is pervasive.

The money field is notorious for a lack of embodied intelligence. Housed primarily in the left-brain strategic mind, we know many facts about money and the systems in our modern world. We recognize that many situations need to change to improve – individually and collectively.

Financial professionals are typically taught to discover problems. Define problems; analyze problems; develop strategies to alleviate problems. But as emphasized above, only being aware of the problems does not change the problems. It simply makes the problem evident, in order to make a different choice. Unless there is a skillful practice to engage the situation in a new way, preferably a practice that includes the body, there will be little to no progress. In fact, more suffering ensues because the problem is clearly known, perhaps new choices made, but remedies are stalled. Working with clients and their money limitations requires both an understanding of the issues and focused practices to build muscles to address the issues in an optimal way.

Going deeper and further, practices that only engage an exterior mechanical activity rarely attend to the essential issue because they do not touch the heart of the issue. Unless we access the root, what touches our hearts the most, we will continue to circle with band-aide solutions that look like viable practices.

Here is a common client issue: overspending. Overspending from an exterior practical view is having more cash outflow than inflow. It is a math equation, the amount of money coming in is less than the amount of money going out; it is called deficit spending. A negative balance is created at the end of a period of time (month, pay cycle, accounting period). One way to address this issue is to create a budget, a spending plan that dictates all income sources and where that income will be allocated over the specified period of time. One can call this a practice. However this practice rarely succeeds. There is no connection to the real issue that stands in the way of a balanced cash flow. A budget accesses the rational linear mind; it does not actively engage the body with awareness.

A superior and more successful practice for spending will combine a spending plan with meaning and somatic awareness. Here are a few examples:

  • When you reach for your credit card to make a purchase, pause and bring your attention to your belly. What sensations do you notice? What thoughts are running through your mind? Do you feel tight, warm, agitated, calm, or confused? Our bodies provide accurate information about purchases. For example, do you feel tight, agitated, and are you running a fear-based commentary? Look directly at the purchase: am I satisfying a need, a want or a rush? If it is an unconscious pattern, put the credit card back in your wallet and walk away. Note that refraining from the purchase is in service of saving for a higher priority. Appreciate yourself for shifting unconscious spending. After weeks and months of practice, a new way of being with credit cards emerges that allows you to stop spending before getting to the register.
  • If you are in a depressed emotional state, do you go shopping? If this is a pattern, disrupt the pattern with a healthy alternative choice: a 15-minute walk in nature (or a hallway or the sidewalk or the house) giving attention to your heart with self-acceptance. This practice, multiple times over a period of weeks and months, enables the pattern to shift to a healthy habit of loving kindness and decreased reactive depression spending.
  • At the end of a pay cycle when reviewing your budget, note where your income was allocated. Appreciate conscious spending choices, such as: mortgage/rent, grocery store, gym. Visualize the safety and comfort of home, eating and preparing meals in your own kitchen, a healthy body and mind from exercise, respectively. As the visualization intensifies, feel appreciation in your body. What do you notice and where in your body do you notice it? What does conscious spending feel like to you? Claim and feel your progress.

With each of the above somatic spending plan practices, powerful chemicals in the body get activated as a result of our body’s intelligence letting us know at a cellular level that we are changing in a positive way. We activate calming responses (through the para-sympathetic nervous system) that release dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin.  These powerful natural chemicals feel good and support building new muscles aligned with optimal choices toward what we most want to achieve.  Connecting the somatic response with cognitive recognition reinforces the feedback loop to repeat the practice again. Eventually, the practice becomes embodied – sustainable without needing to think about doing it.

Instead of practicing insanity, disrupt insanity with a powerful practice.

What stands in your way of making progress with your life? Delve deeper into the situation and connect what matters deeply to you with the issue you discover. This connection is the seat of your motivation – typically we are moved when we get to the heart of the matter. Develop a somatic practice (or ask for help from a trusted friend/coach) to bring your awareness to the issue, to see better choices and to engage your body intelligence.

Give generous attention and discipline to your practice over time. Be determined and kind. Allow progress to grow by recognizing the changes in behavior and new insights from those changes.

Practice enables us to grow while having a rich human experience – fully embodied.

Practicing,