The Power of Intention

important“Conscious change is brought about by the two qualities inherent in consciousness: attention and intention,” writes Deepak Chopra in Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. “Attention energizes, and intention transforms. Whatever you put your attention on will grow stronger in your life…. Intention, on the other hand, triggers transformation of energy and information. Intention organizes its own fulfillment.”

When you declare an intention, you gain the support of your subconscious mind.
 
Here are some suggestions for how to work with intentions in order to bring what you need into your life.

  • Get clear on what you want and why. It’s not enough to know what you don’t want. You can’t get what you want until you know what that is. Steven Covey in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, writes that all things are created twice. “There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.”
  • Imagine it. See it as happening. “Your imagination creates the inner picture that allows you to participate in the act of creation,” writes Dr. Wayne Dyer in his best-selling book The Power of Intention. “Your willpower is much less effective than your imagination, which is your link to the power of intention.”
  • Keep yourself receptive. Exercise, eat healthily, play and relax. Stress, exhaustion, anxiety, etc., become “static” that interferes with the “frequencies” of what you’re wanting to bring into your life.
  • Take action. Intention isn’t about sitting back and waiting for it all to come to you. For example, Victoria enrolled herself in a rehab program; Travis became involved with a social organization and took relationship classes to overcome his fear of dating; Doug began working with a therapist to examine the feelings of emptiness that led to his suicide attempt. When we commit to a thing by taking action, it’s often surprising how quickly our intentions are realized.   
  • Surrender control. This means to let go and trust. Let go of the particular way in which things will happen. Let go of fear, doubt, worry and disappointment. Let go of the notion of struggle. Trust that the outcome will be just right.

 

What do you think? Have you experienced the power of intention? Please share with us!

Your intuition plays a key role in strengthening your ability to use intention in powerful ways. Join me for this month’s Group Call – Developing Your Intuition!

Family Stress Test

familyStress is a natural and normal “by-product” of every family’s life. In fact, family stress can bring out the best of us: as we stretch to meet the challenges we face, we become better parents, our children blossom and our families grow. But too much stress can spiral our families in the other direction. Take this Thriving test to see how your family fares.

Set 1

1. There is a lot of bickering in our house. Someone is always angry at someone else.

2. There’s never enough time to sit down together, either to talk or to eat. There’s always too much to do.

3. My spouse and I argue a lot about how to raise the children.

4. It’s like pulling teeth to get the kids to help around the house.

5. Our family has experienced a lot of significant change recently (divorce, death, blending family, job loss, illness, other trauma).

6. Money is very tight. My partner and I have constant conflicts about how to spend it.

7. My child has been having behavioral problems at school.

8. The children get upset when they hear us arguing.

9. I work too much, and it’s really getting to me.

10. We don’t really talk about hard issues; we just try to hold our breath, wait and let them go away.


Set 2

1. We acknowledge feelings, encourage their expression and allow time for dealing with the issues these feelings raise.

2. We plan time for family activities. And we eat together at least once every day.

3. If a blended family, we maintain and nurture original parent-child relationships and let new relationships develop in their own time.

4. I feel confident in my role as parent.

5. Our family easily maintains a sense of humor and playfulness.

6. Family priorities take precedence over work.

7. I know what’s important to my kids.

8. When issues arise that we get stuck on, we ask for help from other family members, support groups, community-based programs, clergy and/or a therapist.

9. We have enough money for the important things.

10. Everyone in the family has responsibilities around the house and does them without being nagged.

If you answered true more often in the first set than in the second set, you may want to seek help lowering the stress level of your family. Families that communicate about problems, who face issues as they arise, who support one another and seek help when it is needed, can build strong bonds among themselves, nurture a healthy and loving family and have a lot more fun doing it!

Have you made some changes in your family that have helped bring you together? Please share with us below!


Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Body Image—It’s Not What You See, but How You Feel

weight“If you can learn to like how you look, and not the way you think you look, it can set you free.” — Gloria Steinem

“A woman’s relationship with her body is the most important relationship she’ll ever have,” says health and fitness expert Diana K. Roesch. How sad that often it is not a loving relationship, but rather a relationship that causes insecurity, fear, self-doubt, shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and all too often, self-hatred. It is reported that in the U.S., at least 5–10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders—anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or compulsive overeating. Too many people starve, diet, purge, binge and exercise to the point of creating serious health problems.

Most people are at least dissatisfied and at worst even hate some parts of their bodies. This is especially true for women, but men have body image issues, too. The odds of finding a person who doesn’t have at least some body image issues are slim.

How to turn the self-loathing into self-loving?  It begins with small, positive steps.

Here are just a few.

• Find at least one thing you like about your body. Write it down. Tomorrow, find another.

• Practice good posture, hold your head high, straighten your shoulders.

• Tell your body how much you appreciate its wondrous abilities.

• Get rid of all the clothes that you don’t like or that make you uncomfortable.

• Challenge the media’s definition of beauty.

• Nourish your body with a healthy diet, regular meals, lots of water.

• Slow down and remember to breathe.

• Move your body; not just exercise, but play, dance, skip, stretch, roll down a grassy hill.

• Pamper yourself with comfortable clothes, soothing beauty rituals.

• Post signs telling yourself how beautiful you are, inside and out.

• Tell your friends how beautiful they are, inside and out.

The way to a positive self-image begins with a conscious choice to make peace with, have gratitude for, and love your body.

The Story of the Koala

Koala-Mar2015If you look at this photo closely you might see it…c’mon, look closer. Yes! It’s a Koala Bear sitting up in that tree! So here’s the story…

Recently in Australia, I had scheduled one day at the end of our trip to go spend some time at a beach (since after all, it is still summer weather there, and when we left our desert of southern Utah we were having an unusual snow day!). So my hubby (Dean the dream) and I went to Noosa National Park, where we got to hike on a beautiful trail that was along the coastline. It’s about a 45-minute walk up to “Hell’s Gate” where we got a gorgeous view of the ocean (oh, and of ‘nude beach’, which was close enough to see, but fortunately far enough away that we couldn’t see anything we didn’t want to).

The woman at the info-booth at the head of the trail told us that occasionally people see koala bears as they walk that trail, and if we looked closely up in the trees, and if we’re really lucky, there is a small chance we may see one. Now I’m the type of person if someone says to me, “If you’re really lucky….this might happen” then I go to work manifesting it.

We’ve been to Australia several times before, so I have visited a koala zoo and have seen them up close, but I REALLY wanted to see one sitting up in a tree in his/her natural habitat.

So my mind immediately decided that we would see one that day. My thoughts were on trusting that we would, but without getting too desperate about it. And of course, I said a prayer in my head and asked God if He could please orchestrate a “koala bear sighting” for us that day. Because I know that He not only gives us what we need, but often what we want, even when it’s just for fun–depending on our faith and gratitude.

On the trail up to Hell’s Gate I was aware, but not overly freaky about having to make it happen. I fixed my mindset on believing it would happen, and from time to time I’d remind myself, “doubting nothing”.

The day was warm and beautiful, and since I was so ready to play in the ocean, I was wearing a swimsuit, shorts, and of course flip-flops – not the best footwear for walking 45 minutes on a trail, even as smooth and undemanding as it was. Early on I developed a blister on my left foot from my rubber flip-flop rubbing against it. I tried going barefoot for a bit, then I figured out that it worked much better to keep my right flip-flop on, and just let my left foot go barefoot. That worked!

Noosa-hike2015Despite the annoyance of the blister, the view the entire way was breathtaking and I loved hearing the rhythm of the ocean waves as we walked, so I concentrated on that to take my mind off my blister. We made it to the top, took some photos, met two cute college girls from Ireland (who were nice enough to snap some pics for us), then headed back down the trail again.

About halfway down, we noticed some people ahead of us looking up at something in a tree –“Yay, this is it!” I thought, but no, it was some kind of huge reptile similar to an iguana, but with a name that I’d never heard before. And I will spare you the photo I took of that, because really, it was was creepy looking.

Finally, when we were near the end of our path, I saw a girl with a fancy looking camera, getting shots of something in a tree, as I got closer I could see the fat little spotted bottom of this most darling koala. Ahh, success! So we stood under the tree and watched this cutie for several minutes. They don’t do much, but I enjoyed watching her open and close her eyes-really.

I said to the koala, “Thank you for letting us watch you today.” And of course said a prayer of thanks in my heart for allowing us this opportunity to even be in this beautiful place, the koala sighting was icing on the cake!

As I’ve thought more about that, I’m not sure if I was more excited to actually see the koala, or the thrill of being blessed with how this unfolded. I know there are skeptics out there who may think, “Big deal seeing a Koala on this trail isn’t highly unusual”, but for me this experience reiterated everything I know to be true about manifesting. Yes, sometimes things show up in your life and it’s easy to think it is just coincidence, but what I know to be true about conscious creation from personal practice is condensed in the bullet points below:

1. You have an idea –a thought – a desire – create your positive mindset around that
2. Decide it’s going to happen, but let go of outcome –don’t’ force it
3. Ask for help (for me that’s prayer, for you it may be another way)
4. You have to start walking – do the leg work –take inspired action
5. Don’t get hung up on distractions (blister!) along the way –stay in gratitude for what is going right.
6. As you move along, don’t get discouraged –have gratitude for all the other
wonderful sightings along the trail
7. Know that you will still be ok and taken care of even if it doesn’t happen in the way you think it needs to.
8. Trust that the timing of the Universe is always impeccable
9. Often, something counterfeit (reptile!) to what you are creating will show-up, don’t let that distract you from your goal
10. Remember: -Doubting Nothing
11. When you reach your goal, GIVE THANKS
12. Breathe – give yourself time to enjoy, ponder, and learn from each experience

Big or small, what do you want to experience next in your life? Share with me down below if you dare!

How Well Do You Practice Empathy?

How Well do you know empathy?  Last month we talked about ways that we can better talk to ourselves. Did you make some break-throughs? I hope so! If you didn’t get a chance to read it, just click here.

This month we’re taking it a step further and finding out if we are empathetic or if there needs to be some improvement there. All of these little steps are getting us closer to BE-ing the kind of person that is opened to all the goodness available to us and using it to help others too – a place of true abundance.

Empathy—that quality of recognizing and understanding another person’s desires, beliefs and emotions—is one of the most important skills we can ever acquire. It fosters meaningful relationships, reduces prejudice and negative assumptions, encourages honest communication and can help avert violence. Studies have found that people high in empathy are more confident, sensitive and assertive, and they enjoy better physical and mental health. Often described as standing in another person’s shoes or looking through the other’s eyes, empathy connects us human-to-human.

Take this quiz to see how well you practice empathy.Answer True or False to each set of questions.

Set 1

1. If I don’t know enough to understand, and empathize with, another’s dilemma, I try to increase my knowledge by asking questions.

2. I recognize and remember that others are different from me and might see and feel things differently from how I might experience the same situation. I try to look at the situation through that person’s eyes, not my own.

3. I don’t need to be right about what I imagine the other person to be feeling. If I’ve misunderstood, I ask the person to help me correct my impressions. Doing so helps me learn more about the other.

4. When I show that I understand the other person’s experience, I notice that the person I’m talking with opens up more.

5. My irritation with another person often dwindles when I understand what’s going on inside him or her.

6. Being a good, active listener helps me “get” what someone else is going through.

7. I try to focus on the other person’s feelings, rather than on actions or circumstances. I know that when people are upset, it’s better to work through and handle their feelings before figuring out how to solve their problems.

Set 2

1. If a friend complains about a boss at work, I’m likely to advise that person to find another job, change departments or speak up. I like to be helpful by offering solutions.

2. I’m always ready to offer a psychological analysis of my friends’ troubles.

3. If a co-worker expresses anxiety about her relationship with her husband, I’m quick to reassure her that all couples have their little problems, and that she shouldn’t worry about it.

4. It seems that I always know better than my friends what’s behind or underneath their problems.

5. When family members are upset about something, I find a way to distract them or change the subject.

6. I’m quick to remind people that plenty of others are a lot worse off than they are.

7. When empathizing with others, I imagine how I would feel in a given situation and assume the same would be true for them. We’re all basically the same, aren’t we?

True empathy can only occur when we have successfully shed all preconceived ideas and judgments about others—and when we’re comfortable with others’ deep feelings. If you answered true more often to the second set than the first, you may benefit from learning more about how to respond with empathy, how to really hear someone. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give another person.

How have you shown more empathy to those in your life? What do you feel you may need to work on? How have you seen empathy in your life? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

Top Ten Things to Say to Yourself

Top Ten Things to Say to YourselfOften the things we say to ourselves we wouldn’t even think of saying to another person. We blame, shame, call names of the meanest sort, nag, belittle and bully ourselves through self-talk.

What if, instead, we were more gentle with ourselves, asked ourselves questions and listened to the responses. What if we treated ourselves as we treat a best friend, someone we love dearly. Here’s a Top Ten list of loving things to say to yourself.

1. What do you feel? Asking ourselves what we feel can help put names to, and identify emotions. Listening for the response and being honest with ourselves is like taking our emotional temperature.

2. What do you need? A need is different from a want. Whereas a want states a desire, a need is usually a statement about nurturing. Pay attention to your needs, they’re about caring for yourself.

3. Good job Congratulate yourself on a job well done whether it’s mowing the lawn, writing a poem or cleaning the bathroom. Give yourself a verbal pat on the back.

4. I apologize Saying “I’m sorry” for all the wrongs we have done ourselves can be the first step in healing.

5. Let’s play Lighten up and be playful. Listen to what comes up when you suggest play.

6. Breathe Reminding ourselves to breathe helps relieve tension, gives us that moment we sometimes need to center and ground ourselves.

7. I forgive you Sometimes it’s easier to forgive others than to forgive ourselves. Yet, to have closure and to move on, often means we have to forgive ourselves.

8. Let go Releasing worries, resentments, anger, fears loosens the grip of resistance and makes room for growth.

9. Be present Staying present, being aware of the physical, acknowledging the moment, this is when we are truly alive. (In case you missed it, I shared with you the top 10 ways to stay present.)

10. I love you We say it to others, why not say it to ourselves. Say it again.

Have you noticed a difference in the way you talk to yourself? Have you made any changes? What have you see happen when you started talking positively to yourself? Share your thoughts with us  below!

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

Holiday Blitz or Holiday Bliss?

Holiday Blitz or Holiday Bliss Top Ten Tricks to Stay PresentTop 10 Ways to stay Present.

With the holidays upon us, life can get busier than usual and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, if we don’t stay present in the moment.

Paying attention and keeping the intention to fully ENJOY this week before Christmas makes all the difference between Holiday Blitz and Holiday Bliss.

Try these ten ways to enhance your enjoyment during the holidays.

1. Be present in the moment. Pay attention to the details: Notice the sound of children’s laughter, the meaning of the words in the Christmas carols, the texture and flavor of the food you eat, literally stop to smell the roses (or the gingerbread in this season).

2. Make a list of what you want to accomplish today. List only the portion of a major project that can be completed today. Include pleasures as well as tasks.

3. Concentrate on the task at hand. Give it your best, most often complete is better than “perfect”.

4. Journal first thing every morning to empty your mind of worry and chatter. Write three pages without stopping; it doesn’t need to be grammatically perfect, just let your thoughts flow.

5. Allow thoughts and feelings come and go without judging them. Neither cling to nor reject them. Just breathe.

6. If you feel yourself getting irritated in traffic, or long shopping lines, or with family members, remember you have the power to change your thoughts and responses in each moment. Find three good things about the situation.

7. Don’t try to juggle everything in your mind. During the day when you think of something you don’t want to forget, jot it down, or put it in a note in your smart phone.

8. Be where you are. When you find yourself drifting off elsewhere, a gentle reminder to “be present” can help.

9. Take a moment to transition yourself from place to place and task to task.

10. This time of year reminds us to let go of the past. Make amends, forgive, grieve. Ask for help if you’re unable to let go.

Do you have other ideas that have allowed you to BE more present in your life each day? Share it with us below!

Author’s content used under license, © 2008 Claire Communications

Are You Too Cautious?

Are you too cautiousHelen Keller, blind and deaf educator, said: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Sometimes it’s wise to be cautious, particularly when physical safety is at stake. However, when we play it safe simply to protect our ego or heart, we may close off possibilities that could bring us greater joy and fulfillment. Life is what we make of it, shaped by our choices. What are you choosing? Answer “true” or “false” to the following statements to discover if you are too cautious.

Set 1

  1. Life doesn’t feel safe. I’m content with things as they are and prefer to stay in my “comfort zone.”
  2. I’m afraid something bad will happen if I veer off my usual course. I feel safer and more confident when I stick to what I already know.
  3. I frequently worry “what if…?” If I can’t be certain of the outcome, I won’t take the risk. Being rejected, looking stupid and failing are not options.
  4. I know there are business and romantic opportunities I’ve missed out on because of being so risk-averse.
  5. My fear of the unknown is paralyzing. When I look at my life, I have many regrets about things I didn’t do.
  6. I feel bad about myself for being so cautious. I think of myself as a coward and I expect that others see me that way, too.

Set 2

  1. I am committed to growing myself bigger than my fears. It’s not that I’m unafraid; it’s just that I am more committed to my goals and know the cost of playing it safe.
  2. Developing courage is like building a muscle. The more I practice taking risks, even small ones, the more empowered I feel.
  3. ­­­­When I have a goal or dream that feels big and scary, I minimize feeling overwhelmed by “chunking it down” into more manageable, short-term steps.
  4. I enlist the support of those who can help me move beyond my comfort zone to a more fulfilling life.
  5. When I take risks, I trust I can handle whatever comes. If I fall, I know that I can get up again. I don’t conclude that I shouldn’t have tried or that I’m a failure.
  6. My biggest successes have come when I’ve taken a big leap of faith.

 

If you answered True more often in Set 1 and False more often in Set 2,  it sounds like you are ready to move beyond your comfort zone to live a more fulfilled life. A great place to start is with my “Fear Busting” group call coming up in Dec. It will help eliminate the underlying reasons why you hold yourself back in many situations, so you can step into your courageous self and create a life that rocks!

Go here for more info and to register.

Top 10 Self-Help Mobile Apps

Top 10 Self Help Mobile AppsI thought we would try something fun this month. I don’t know about you, but I do keep my smartphone with me most of the time. The freedom of being able to keep up with my business while out of my office is so….well….freeeing! Why not make even better use of them!

Use of technology to enhance well-being is on the upswing. Here are some fun apps that you can use on a regular basis to help you take a healthy, refreshing break from the day-to-day.

1. Gratitude Journal Forgetting gratitude? You know that I am always recommending journal time. What an easy way to keep up with it wherever you are! This app offers daily reminders and iCloud syncing. Add photos, share what you’re grateful for.

2. The Habit Factor Yes, an app for breaking annoying habits. Set goals, create new positive behaviors, track your success.

3. iZen Garden 2 A virtual zen garden in your palm­—the tranquility that comes from being in a real one, without the messy sand!

4. myinstantCOACH Advice for big decisions in relationships, finance, career or well-being. Offers specific options and actions you can take.

5. Serenity One of the best relaxation tools. Especially lovely on an iPad. Listen, watch and reee-laaax!

6. Authentic Yoga Easy-to-follow app by Deepak Chopra. Choose your music, and follow the graceful yoga master Tara Stiles.

7. Niroga Manage Your Stress Manage stress with four simple techniques you can use anywhere.

8. Feel Good Tracker Track positive feeling with easy-to-use logs and iCal system; take photos and even tweet or email your entries.

9 . Sleep Machine – Binaural Beats Induce relaxation, creativity and other desirable states. Add to ambient music and produce a lifelike sound environment.

10. Mappiness An iPhone app that discerns how your environment influences your mood. Chart when, where and with whom you’re happiest.

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications

Top 10 Ways to Eat Healthy Every Day

Whether you are dieting to lose weight or changing your food choices to improve your health, making change isn’t always easy.Top 10 Ways to eat Healthy Experts say that we have to stay with a change for at least 28 days to make it “stick.” Here are 10 ways to make your new food habits a solid part of the “new you.”

1. Start slowly and be realistic The reality is that old habits die hard. So don’t try to do too much too quickly. Make one or two changes at first, solidify those new habits, and then when you feel ready, take the next step. It’s better to make a few healthier choices—not drinking sugary sodas or switching from fast food to home-prepared food—than to completely change the way you have been eating all at once.

2. Get support Find a nutrition buddy! It’s easier to make changes when you declare your intention to others out loud. Once you do, select a few supporters to lean on during those times when you feel yourself wavering. Team up with a friend. Ask a sibling or spouse to cheer you on. Get the support of your social circle for when you go to parties or get-togethers.

3. Clean out your kitchen You can’t eat those potato chips if they aren’t there! Working with your nutritionist or healthcare professional, decide what a “healthy” pantry looks like. Then clean out your cupboards and restock them with the healthier alternatives. Grocery stores are changing to meet the growing consumer demand for healthier foods, especially snack choices, so look beyond the brands you are accustomed to buying on automatic pilot.

4. Dare your taste buds Most people eat the same foods over and over again, and tend not to roam too far afield in the culinary world. Seek out tasty new recipes that use the foods you are substituting into your new diet. Dare yourself to be adventurous in your palate. Love burgers? Try a portobello mushroom burger instead. Always wondered what a kiwi tastes like? Now is the time to find out!

5. Plan ahead Temptation tends to strike when we are away from home and can’t control our food choices. So if you are planning to go out to dinner, go online first and see if the restaurant posts its menu on its website. That way you can determine if their culinary offerings support your new dietary preferences. When it comes to work, traveling and on-the-go activities, prepare some healthy snacks and pack them to take with you.

6. Deal with cravings When the craving for a donut strikes, have a healthy alternative available. Better yet, wait out the craving by busying yourself. You will be surprised how quickly a craving passes when you occupy yourself with something else.

7. Go easy on yourself No one is perfect. If you occasionally slip in your new dietary habits, that’s okay. Let go of any guilt, move on, and renew your commitment to the new, healthier you.

8. Set goals Work with your nutritionist or healthcare provider to set realistic goals. Then write them down! By having clear, identifiable goals and tracking your progress, it will be to celebrate your successes, which keeps you motivated, and to alert yourself to problem areas and find solutions.

9. Accentuate the positive Continually remind yourself why you have made the dietary changes you have. Post positive affirmations around your home and workplace, even in your car. The more you remind yourself of the benefits of healthy eating, the more motivated you will be.

10. Reward yourself Changing a habit isn’t easy, so celebrate your decision to do so. Give yourself regular pats on the back. If you have a support person or group, celebrate milestones with them. Doing so on a weekly, or even daily, basis not only will help you stay motivated but also will help you feel good about yourself and your progress.

And finally…

11. Join me for this month’s Group Call “Weight Loss”. Let’s get rid of those pesky little triggers that get in the way of being able to make and keep our weight loss and healthy eating goals!

Author’s content used under license, © Claire Communications