September 2019

MARCH 2019

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A Practical Guide to Mindfulness

  

Mindfulness: The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something; a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts

As a practical matter-How do we achieve mindfulness?  Here is a simple three step guide.

First, by understanding. Second, by committing to a process. Third, by reflecting daily.

Understanding: 

Mindfulness is simply being aware of everyday events as they occur around us and appreciating how it makes us feel; and how we interact, internalize, and respond to those events. 

The Process: 

Identify attributes that are important to you personally. As you set your intensions each day, select just one as your focus. Then throughout the day consciously seek to notice- in situations and in others- that one attribute, with an intension to acknowledge your feelings surrounding it and appreciating those feelings without judgment.

To get you started, here is my current list: Abundance, Blessed, Motivated, Hopeful, Optimistic, Courage, Love, Confident, Dedicated, Positive, Peaceful, Wise, Relaxed, Calm. 

My focus Tuesday was courage. As it was the first day of school, I witnessed touching acts of courage. At the bus stop, students stepping onto the bus for the first time and parents watching. Grand acts of courage, maybe-maybe not. But I allowed myself to be present in that moment-long enough to watch the students take those first giant steps onto the bus, and parents snapping one last photo, as their precious little ones disappeared from sight. For those students and parents at that moment, it felt courageous to me. I allowed myself to feel those emotions; recalling my own experience, appreciating the feelings of fear, pride, anticipation, love … and courage surrounding that event. This is what it means to be in a state of mindfulness. Recognizing & feeling that moment, for ourselves and others

By focusing on one attribute daily, it provides a way to practice mindfulness that is practical yet inspiring. Being present enough to observe in others attributes we admire as they go through their day (often without even realizing we’ve stepped into their world) enhances how we show up in life.  

Reflection: 

Throughout the day consciously remind yourself of the daily attribute; recall and share those moments with others; record those moments, emotions and your response in your journal; or simply feel gratitude for giving yourself permission to notice them. 

This daily practice enriches how I show up in the world and I believe it can for you too – it is a practical way to start your journey of mindfulness. Give yourself permission to start small because mindfulness is not a place you arrive, it is a daily journey. By embracing your journey and daily successes, it builds confidence for you to continue your practice. 

And finally remember, mindfulness is like any other skill, in order to improve, we must first begin and then practice that which we desire to become.

-Amy Garbacz is a wife, mother & former teacher, who turned her passion for helping others achieve into a successful online business. Using her experience and skills, she leads a team of like-minded entrepreneurs -whose passion it is to serve, contribute, mentor, encourage and guide others to live their life by design. 

JANUARY 2019

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Seven Reasons New Year’s Resolutions Fail How to Set Yourself Up For Success

 

“Should Ole’ Acquaintance Be Forgot….” Ah yes, It happens every year, right about now. We are getting close to finishing up all our Holiday preparations. We’ve over spent, over indulged, over committed and basically put ourselves in a state of overwhelm and over-stress.

So we do what we always do, sit down with our self and have a little heart to heart. It usually goes something like this …”That’s it, starting January first, I am going to ……(time to fill in the blank(s)! And by about January 12 (or so), we’ve given up.

Why do we fail, every year? Why do we have the same four or five resolutions every year? Why is it so dang hard to achieve our goals? After all, we REALLY REALLY want to change. Intellectually, we know we should change. Then why do we continue to fail?

What if I told you, it’s not your fault! The problem is, you’ve never been given the tools to succeed. What if I told you, you can succeed if we address these Seven things?

  1. Not Planning Ahead- Two weeks, that’s it. In two weeks time, New Year’s Day will be here. How many weeks does it take to plan a vacation, a holiday meal, an appointment to the doctor or the car garage. How long do we plan for a trip…. And yet, we believe we will wake up January 2 and be ready to jump into our New Year’s Resolutions. We think we are going to make make major life changes overnight without planning. You and I both know, that’s not going to happen! Not without a plan
  2. Unrealistic Expectations- See #1 ! The truth is losing 50 lbs in 2 weeks will not happen, nor will adding six figures to your bank account,  organizing the basement, garage, kids’ toy room & spice cupboard. We end up starving ourselves for a week, killing ourselves at the gym, and pulling college-style all-nighters sorting Lego Blocks and Barbie clothes! Burning ourselves out within the week. Having unrealistic expectations is a one-way ticket to self-sabotage central. And we’ve all been there before. 
  3. Old Habits Die Hard- Our habits & our mind are powerful. We do what we do because it’s become a habit. And habits are comfortable, we don’t have to think too much.  Moving beyond  comfort zone is messy and takes work because we keep being pulled back to our old habits. We our current mindset takes patience, persistence,forgiveness (because we will slip back into our old ways occasionally)
  4. Accountability & Support-  Here’s the truth, some of your friends & family don’t want you to succeed! We can go into all the psychological reasons why, but the bottom line is, you require the right people in your circle that will hold you accountable; support you; and kick you in the butt when necessary. It’s always easier to have someone who’s ready to crush goals with you, because we are more likely to give up on ourselves long before we give up on someone else. And that makes a difference if you’ve decided the only time to get your workout done is 5:00 am and it’s freezing outside. So who do you know that will support you? Who do you know that will do it with you? Who do you think will sabotage your efforts? You areWho are you going to do it with? We are so much more likely to give up on ourselves than onothers. Grab an accountablieity partner, maybe you need one fore eachresolution you really want to achieve, for me I need 10 because I have thatmanyu resolutions all in different areas of my life Ask for their support thenoffer your support. Holding yourself and other’s accountabliieb is key. Havingsomeone you can count on to say “Im in a funk and need a kick in the butttoday” is critcal
  5. New Routine- If sleeping in on saturuday is your“thing” it may be time to find and implement a new routine. But you may need toease into it over time. Chances are you are not going to wake up 3 hoursearlier starting January 2 and hit the ground running (your family may thinkyou’ve fallen off the sanity cart) but you could wake up 30 min earlier tostart. Finding a new rroutine takes time and requires adjustment &reflections. When I began, I tried to get my housework out of the way early,what didn’t work was my family didn’t appreciate hearing the vacuum at 5 am!
  6. Setting short term Goals & Rewarding youraccomplishments- You wont lose 50 pounds in a month, but if you set a goal andachieve it don’t be afraid to reward yourself. 10 pounds is huge! It’s 1/5 ofyour goal and I say reward yourself. I like to comeup with 10-15 rewards. Putthem in a jar and each time I achieve a goal, I pull a “prize” from the jar.Maybe it’s a trip to the spa, a visit to the botanical garden, a special meal,or one of my favorites, an extra donation to my favorite charity
  7. Write it Down & Tell the World- there issomething powerful when you write it down and share it with others. It’s makesit real and it creates a priority. If my goal is to run a marathon, unless Isign up for one, I can put it off…forever. Once I tell my family coworkers& friends, they are sure to ask -over and over- how my training is going,who’s running with me, how far I am running,…..