Aside

Face your shit.

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Photo by Hieu Li via Unsplash

When I sat down to write a blog post about stress management I thought about your typical solutions to relieving stress.  Take a bath, read a book, or go for a walk…

 

But then it dawned on me, those things are just band aids for your symptoms. They don’t get to the root of what is causing your stress so you’ll never see lasting results. If you want to reduce yourself of stress once and for all, there’s really only one option: face your shit.

I know that sounds harsh, especially if you opened this up looking for a nice bulleted list of things to do, but when you avoid your problems they cause lingering stress. At first it’ll be just a little bit to get your attention. You can heed the warning or turn away and watch your stress get louder and louder. You’ll see stress manifest in all areas of your life, maybe with nagging back pain or trouble sleeping. Until you give yourself the opportunity to deal with it and let that energy go, you’ll never rid yourself of the stress.

I’ve learned the hard way in my life. One of my biggest stressors, as with most of us, is

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Photo by Vitoly Taranov via Unspalsh

MONEY. I got to a point where I avoided it like a professional, I’m talking hardcore. I didn’t look at my budget, I didn’t open the mail and I left those bills in stacks. I told myself I’ll get to them later, I’ll check my bank account and budget my bills LATER, but later never came (weird right?). I did the bare minimum to get by, dealing with the absolutely critical bills. I told myself that I had plenty of money, until I was forced to face my shit.

One day getting my much-loved coffee, I swiped my card and it didn’t work. SHIT.

I pulled over into a parking spot expecting to feel a rush of anxiety, fear and frustration as I pulled up my banking app. I had to face that my bank account was negative sixty-two cents and I have a family to take care of. But in that moment I felt very calm, almost a level of peace you can say, which is not the reaction most people have when they realize they have no money! I felt that way because I finally faced my problem, accepted the reality and I literally felt the energy leaving. I LET IT GO!

Accepting where you’re at doesn’t mean that you’re stuck there, once you’ve accepted your reality you can get to work creating what you do want.  You don’t have to wait until you’re forced to deal with what’s causing you stress, pay attention to the many signs along the way and those begin with how you feel. When you think about the area that gives you the biggest stress, how does it make you feel? If the answer is not good, FACE IT. Look at it head on, accept that you’re there and that you can choose in that moment what you do want.

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Photo by Jared Erandu  via Unsplash

Get proactive with your own stress management, don’t wait until it gets out of control. Your body, friends, family members and even strangers will appreciate having a stress free you!

Abby

Abby
Abby Wickersheim

Abby Wickersheim is a life coach on the No Limits Life team.  Her focus is working with people to align their personal energetic vibration with the vibration of what they truly want to create.  She uses her personal coaching program “Positive on Purpose” to guide people from frustrated and blocked to open and positive. Learn more at www.nolimitslife.guru

The Interview by Don Marlette

What would the conversation consist of if the you you want to be interviewed the you were were or are right now?

I am a HUGE advocate for making choices and never looking back.  Much like driving down the road, the minute we start to look into the past, we often start to drive in circles and eventually crash.  My motto has become that of the 19th-century monk, Boniface Wimmer:  “Forward, forward.  Always forward!”

 I also believe that where you are now is always at the perfect time.  Every choice, decision and consequence we experience in life create a blend of experiences and attitudes, with their share of challenges to make us perfectly suitable to life at the present moment.  Even the work we feel an inner pull to follow in later life only makes sense with the bumps and bruises of our earlier self.

 With all that said, I am going to look back at my younger self, and pose some questions – complete with their answers from the less-experienced me.  What would it be like for me to coach my younger self?

 My history is rather involved, so here is a quick description to get you up to speed.  I became Catholic in high school, went off to college seminary then joined a monastery for four years.  I was sent to complete my Master’s degree, and then I left monastic life just before ordination.  After leaving the monastery, I chose to work as a full-time parish worship and music director.  At the time of this interview, I’m doing very well.  I’m well-known as a musician and composer, making a high salary, and I’m quite successful.

 May this interview be a teachable moment for me…and for you.

–Start Interview–

New Self:  Are you happy?

 Old Self:  Honestly, no way.  I dread coming into work each day.  This work has become an albatross on my back for years, stemming from when I started doing it.  You know, I really didn’t want to do this work to begin with, even though I’m becoming well-known for being good at it!  I just needed a job when I left the monastery, and this seemed like a good fit for what I could do.

I’ve felt nothing but frustration, even anger.  I don’t fit.  I don’t feel supported.  Everyone loves what I’m doing, but I hate it.  I get migraines before every rehearsal, and I rejoice on  the days when I’m sick and can’t come to work!  Quite frankly, I feel very disillusioned in all this, and I want out in the worst way.  The problem is that I feel trapped.  I don’t know what else I could possibly do. So I guess I’ll just keep plugging away, put up with the personalities and politics, and look forward to finally retiring.

 New:  It sounds like things aren’t what everyone thinks they are.  Truthfully, I can feel the frustration in your voice, the choices of your words, and even your hunched body posture.  You honestly don’t seem happy, so it’s good that you can be honest about that.

 You also sound like you’ve condemned yourself to this work out of a sense of entrapment.  You say there isn’t another way out of this.  That you are going to just put up with everything until you retire.  But from my end, I think when you retire, you are going to be one bitter old man!  You’re already there, in case you haven’t noticed.  You do know you’re going to die one day?  Is this how you want to be then?

 Old:  No way!  I’ve thought about that a couple of times.  I know that if I keep doing what I’m doing, I’m going to just get worse and worse, and I’m going to end up at my deathbed, wishing I had done something different.

 New:  Like what?

 Old:  I have no idea!  I just want to do something that gives me joy, that makes me happy, that helps me to spread that happiness to everyone else.  I guess I could entertain people, but that’s a hard life.  And it’s too late for me to go back for another degree and start over, though.  I’m married with two children already, so I can’t make time to do all that.  I can’t afford it.  That’s why I feel so trapped.

 New:  What do you like to do, though?

 Old:  I like to entertain people, like I said.  Of course, I also like to talk with people one on one.  I always liked doing that.  I guess I could say that I really like to help people.  That’s all I do here at the parish office: help the staff people with their own problems and stresses.  I usually know what’s on the mind and heart before they say anything, so it’s easier for me to get to the bottom of things.  They like it, and I feel so much more alive – really alive! – afterwards.  But, like I said, I can’t get another degree so I could do that for a living. 

New:  I noticed how you perked up just now.  Did you?  What’s holding you back from doing it – from helping people for a living?

 Old:  I told you already!  I don’t have the time or money to get another degree.  That’s why I’m still doing this job.  I can do it, and it pulls in the money.  True, I never see my family since I work seven days a week – even on vacation!  But that’s the sacrifice I have to make.  I don’t like it, but it’s all I can do.

 New:  Do you really believe that you can’t break out of this?  I don’t think it’s true.  You’ve got some talents you haven’t owned yet, like….

 Old:  Just stop there.  Those “talents” you’re talking about are wrong around here anyway.  No one will ever accept them.  It’s fine to entertain people with, but that’s it.  It doesn’t feed a family.  I can’t do that.

New:  So you’re just going to stay stuck…by choice?

Old:  I just don’t see any other way.  I’m stuck.  Period.

–End Interview–

 I would love to end this interview on a positive note, but it doesn’t.  I chose at the time to remain stuck, to refuse to think outside the box, to live a life of real misery.

 Living my dreams was not an option.  All that changed later, after a lot more suffering, anxiety and intense frustration.  I waited.

What about you?

Don Marlette is, among many other things, a member of the No Limits Life team.  His unique blend of psychic insight, mediumship and practical wisdom guide spiritual practitioners and everyday people through the perils of everyday getting by to build lives that feel like they are singing their heartsong.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

The Art of Living Dangerously Creation Experience

Life on auto-pilot requires very little engagement from you – it’s same day different stuff…

The Art of Living Dangerously means you are the driver, the pilot the one making all the decisions…It’s new day, new experiences, every day.

The Art of Living Dangerously Creation Experience is a full day event in Cedar Rapids Iowa on September 10th with a bonus VIP evening the night prior September 9 (2016).

Here are just a few of things we will do:

Shine a light into the darkest recesses of your consciousness to invite  your true life’s purpose out to play
Mentor you as you create the path to make your purpose much more than a dream and turn it into your reality
Work through mindfulness, meditation and self-awareness exercises to bring you closer to the real you and minimize the impact of the expectations of others in your life
Create an action plan to move you to where you want to be in daily living

You will walk away from this event: 
feeling energized
engaged with your life
in love with your next steps
excited to move into the energy that is really you

Yes, it would be a full day and evening away from family, obligations and more…but you deserve it.  You deserve this time to focus on you, your dreams and take good stock of where you are going and how you will get there.

Here is what that evening and day will look like:

VIP Event September 9, 6-9pm      Main Event: September 10, 10a-4p

VIP Event, held in the No Limits Life Coaching and Glass Studio: Register

6-6:30 – Meet and Greet time, grab refreshments and use the handout provided to meet everyone in the room, find your nest for the evening

6:30-7:00 – Opening meditation and centering with Jennifer Murphy

7:00-8:00 – The No Limits Team Coaches

8:00-9:00 – Face and Erase limits to living the life you crave with Jennifer Murphy

Attendees Receive: A meditation focal object and recorded meditations

 

Main Event, held in the Conference Room, Adam Building: Register

Doors open at 9:30 with morning refreshments

10:00a Opening and Introductions

10:30a Defining Your Callings: 3 paths to identifying what you should be doing with your life

11:30a  Clarifying your Callings:  one on one coaching with peers and professional coaches to help you clarify your calling

12:30p Lunch

1:00p  4 M’s and an S: Mindfulness, Meditation, Manifestation and Self-Awareness

2:30p  The Art of Action: Create a mind mapping style vision board and schedule activities to shape the reality you want.  Coaches will be available for private discussion during this time.

3:30p Closing Exercises: Meditation, Take Away Experiences and Maintenance Recommendations

4:00p The After Workshop discussion

Attendees Receive: Notebook/Workbook

Register for early bird admission thru August 15th

Full admission goes into effect on August 16th

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave.  To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit www.nolimitslife.guru

 

Why Permission is Important

The other day I said, “you have to give yourself permission to do that” and my client looked at me and said, “why is that so important?

Yes, it is a “coachism”, but it is also an important energetic step toward change in many cases. Yet when my client challenged me, I found myself digging deeper for the real answer instead of the safe answer to her question.

It led me to my own journaling on the idea so that I could get really clear on why I tell people to do this, instead of just tossing that out there as a spiritual platitude or to sound like a sage (gag!).

What I came up with was both stabilizing and fresh for me:

  • Permission is important because it opens you up to possibility
  • Permission is important because you are conscious when you GIVE permission – think of it as a permission slip you would sign for a childs’ field trip – this one for a journey of your conscious mind and spirit.
  • Permission is important because of the explicit NO it gives to things you don’t want. By saying yes to something you fill the void waiting – when you implicitly make decisions the void simply gets filled by whatever passes by.
  • Permission is important because by God it is yours to give. No one else gets to say yes or no for you – it’s yours to give: your decision, your right, your choice.

Let’s look at the flip side for a second: Have you ever thought about not being specific and where that gets you?  Not usually where you want to be right?  When you can’t invest in the work to make the small decisions, how on earth would you expect to get to the clarity the big ones need.

Giving yourself permission to explore specific and non-specific ideas, to do or not do something, it is FIRM.  It is unyielding and it is decisive – taking a stance and holding it.  You have drawn the line in the sand with whatever you have given permission to.  It is courageous and will absolutely provide you enhanced clarity in the next step of whatever you are doing.

So yes, you can write this phrase off as something we coaches and spiritualists toss out as woowoo platitudinal mumbo jumbo that is designed purely to assuage your guilt and “move you past” something.  Or you can get serious about intention, about possibility and about what you allow or don’t allow in your life.

Spiritual Platitudes are the band-aids on the sucking chest wounds of our self-inflicted spiritual trauma – they do no good and usually just pile on to the problem.  Permission – intentional decision making – is about proactively engaging in your life, your energetic commitments and your role here in this lifetime.

Grant yourself permission to be courageous and commit to intentional decision making – what do you need to give yourself permission for right now? 

Love? Space? Time? Relationships? Inquiry? Possibility? Money? Health?  the list can go on and on.

Then you want to say something like this:

Today I give myself permission for abundance – to allow in the wealth and security I know I am capable of and to give myself permission to let go of feelings of lack and insecurity. I give myself permission to give no quarter to lack. 

It’s a decision, not a platitude. It’s a position of strength, not weakness.  And permission is yours to dole out to you – go for it.

 

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave.  To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit www.nolimitslife.guru

 

 

From Passenger to Driver

The moment we give power to ourselves, crossing over from the passenger’s seat to the driver’s seat, we can never go back. I spent most of my life in the passenger’s seat: creating by default and wondering what was around the corner that I needed to protect myself from. In fact, I would say that all of my life was dedicated towards avoiding the bad, expecting and enjoying good things never crossed my mind.

It was a big bad world and people were out to get me. My first real job was in a call center. Those of you who have ever worked in one can relate to those people who were so terribly rude. I never knew how I was going to feel, I was a dumping ground for everyone else’s bad days-it wasn’t unusual to be yelled at and called names. I’d leave work feeling miserable, sad and defeated. I felt helpless and at the mercy of others, stuck in a vicious circle of blame.

It wasn’t just isolated to work, I could blame others for making me feel bad at home and in the general public too. I remember vividly wanting a lip ring in my early 20s, I thought it was the coolest thing ever and the day I got it I was so excited to show my family. I was really, really excited, I felt so confident and cool. I’ll never forget the look on my grandpa’s face when he said I “looked like crap”. My confidence and joy plummeted immediately, I began to question my own judgment. How could I have possibly wanted that?! I went from shear excitement to sadness in about 5 seconds.

In those days people made me feel things. If they told me how stupid I was, I felt like shit and surely they were right. They had the power to make me feel bad.

One day I woke up. I woke up to the concept that I own how I feel, no one else has the power to make me feel anything, it’s all my choice. Just because someone had a bad day and called me stupid because they weren’t getting their way, didn’t mean I had to feel bad. I jumped over that middle console right into the driver’s seat. With that jump I was empowered to experience life in the way that I wanted to.

It was an amazing concept that I was able to experience stability in my emotions. The ups and downs I experienced from reacting to everyone else’s behavior simply didn’t exist unless I allowed them to. It is a great power to have back in my hands, control. This power comes with accountability though. In having the power to choose my feelings I still had bad days. I’d catch myself slipping back and blaming the jerk who cut me off in traffic for sending me into rage and I had to push myself to be aware and take accountability for how I feel.

Don’t waste another day living in the passenger’s seat, own your emotions and know that you are the only one that can make you feel anything. You are unique with your own perspective that is just as valuable as anyone else’s.

 

Abby

Abby Wickersheim is a life coach on the No Limits Life team.  Her focus is working with people to align their personal energetic vibration with the vibration of what they truly want to create.  She uses her personal coaching program “Positive on Purpose” to guide people from frustrated and blocked to open and positive. Learn more at www.nolimitslife.guru

 

What is at the Core of You?

A few things got lost along the way as we coaches plunged into the realm of saving all of ourselves from ourselves. Our self righteous battle cry of “listen to me! I can save you from the stuff you are tired of doing/need to overcome/are overwhelmed by” rings true, but wow there is a cacophony of crows crowing it from every treetop. And you know what they call a group of crows right? A murder.

This got me thinking about what we are doing in this exploding industry. Are we murdering the self help industry with our online courses and big ticket coaching programs and formulas and lists of ten things you need to stop or start doing now. I know I get overwhelmed and I have gotten to the point where a lot of that stuff is just noise. And that got me thinking about where I fit in all of this, where No Limits Life fits.

I don’t want to Periscope or Hangout. I want to connect. I don’t want to get so bogged down in dogma, scripts, pipelines, autoresponders and templates that I don’t have time to talk to you. I can’t be that person, and I can’t run that business.

In June I have a strategic planning meeting I am facilitating and a speaking gig at a large corporation here in town, both on top of celebrating the fact that we just passed the 5 year mark of being in business as an integrative life coach seeing clients. I am more excited about those two events and the energy of clients I have been attracting than I am about spending another 5 years putting together online courses for you – courses you all tell me your biggest fear about is that you’ll buy it and not finish it. And guess what – you are right! You don’t finish it! Then you feel guilty and don’t want to connect with me or my team because you fear the judgement. Oh. My. God. That is so not what I want for you.

I want to speak to you. Yes you – the one sitting in the energetic corner knowing he or she wants more and scared of what might change (or God forbid not change) if you go after it.

  • I want to tell you that whatever idea you have brewing within is worth the investment in you.
  • I want to tell you that you deserve to be thorough in your analysis, and you deserve to be bold enough to do it without having all of the answers.
  • I want you to know that you deserve time that is just yours and that you don’t have to wait until your retirement years to do you. Live your life for you.

At my last corporate job I was a strategic development manager. Part of that role was to look at what we were doing, finding the opportunities to make it bigger or better or more profitable and then develop the business case to prove or disprove our idea. It was also about knowing our markets and where we played best. As the company flexed in and out of spaces of growth an oft used phrasing seemed perfectly appropriate for what I am feeling in this coaching business: I want to pull back into my core and do what I do well and do it the best out there.

And what is that? What do I do well?

I inspire you to believe in you, to find your inner warrior and to partner with him or her to kick ass and give you all you deserve in this life. I partner with you to shed the mantle of expectation and unleash your repressed rebel, closet creative or aspiring adventurer upon your life and to let your innermost desires out to play and become your reality. This isn’t fantasy, this is your blessed life. No one will love it like you can, and no one will make it the dream life you want except you –it’s all you babe.

At the very first workshop I did at my former employer after I began coaching full time I shared a technique I call “Aligning Priorities” and over a year later I learned of the impact that workshop had on one of the participants. She shared that part of the way through the workshop as she inventoried what she was doing in her life and what was working and what wasn’t, she found herself in tears. She found herself faced with the reality that life wasn’t what she wanted. Fast forward 12 months and she was thriving in a new job, living a very different life that had her smiling and happy to be her. And I had no idea. I sent her a note on Linkedin after noticing the job change and only then did she share her personal evolution and went on to thank me for the nudge that the workshop gave her.

I will gladly take 100 stories like this over 1 unfinished online course.

My team and I talked about this and we agreed, no more formulas, no more online courses that lack interaction, and we turn our focus to interacting with you live: in person, over webinar and the phone. Because your problems aren’t solved by formula and simple self discipline. If so, you would have solved it already. Your opportunities aren’t explored with a yoga class every week, if so you’d have already set the world on fire with them. These challenges are overcome and opportunities seized when you are inspired and supported through the fear to the action.

For you: What is your core? Some might call it your purpose, your calling or your truth. Whatever. You decide to call it, are you waking up and thinking about it, creating it and doing it every day?

There are two pieces to this evolution:

  1. Identify your core.
  2. Think, create, do everyday.

Start with number 1.

Create a list of the things you are doing and what you love about them. Find the common thread. This is leading you to your core. Keep digging until you find the heart of it – the feeling of being home.

Move to number 2.

Ask yourself every moment, is this aligned to my core? If yes, go with gusto. If no, question yourself.

I am not sure how to make it more simple than that. But what I can say is that if it were easy, you’d have already done it. I wish you the best my friend and I can’t wait to see how you core looks shining brightly to the world.

Jennifer Murphy is a coach, teacher, mentor and leader at No Limits Life where she partners with the closet creatives, aspiring adventurers, and repressed rebels to move beyond expected success to create the kind of fulfilling life they crave. To learn more about Jennifer and her team visit http://www.nolimitslife.guru

 

Spiritual Lessons from Screenworld

I’m a hopeless romantic.

There!  I said it!

I dream of having a life in which the hustle and bustle of modern life is brought to a screeching halt, in favor of a simpler, quieter, slower lifestyle.  So, whenever there is a discussion about computers, technology, phones, or other tech-related subjects, I easily move into my grumpy mode.  I am not a fan of technology, and try to use it as sparingly as possible.

And I’m writing this on a computer!  (Okay…so I’m not a consistent hopeless romantic.)

Back in my monk days, I was taught that everything is useful, if used in moderation.  From pens and paper to books and computers, I was encouraged to discover the meaning of moderation and how it translated into daily life with anything and everything.  This approach startles me out of my grumpy mode to shake me out of a false idealism, and engage everything around me with moderation and wisdom.

I firmly believe that technology has lessons for us with regard to the spiritual path, if only we stop, attentively observe, and uncover those nuggets of wisdom.  Below are a few of the lessons I have gleaned from the “screen world.”

  1. The world – the universe – is HUGE! Yes, this is a “no-duh” thing to say, but technology has really made this a tangible reality.  The sheer amount of information, data and people we can access and influence is truly incredible.  Nearly anything can be understood or studied in depth, with very little time or effort.

The spiritual value of this is sheer awareness; we are part of an immense reality that we are barely conscious of.  If we allow our conscious awareness to expand through mindfulness and meditation, we can begin to see how the immense complexity of life knits itself together into a profound simplicity.

2. We are capable of miracles, once we focus and set our mind to it. I was watching a TV show that first aired when I was a kid, and realized that everyone on the show had corded phones and no privacy.  What a difference a few years made!  Now you can talk, text, email, you-name-it, from anywhere.

 And all of this was possible because of people who dedicated their mental, physical and spiritual energies toward solving problems, and helping the human community become more informed and connected.  If you sit and think about it, these devices we take for granted are truly the stuff of miracles.

 Our own lives are also capable of miracles.  Every time we decide to serve the needs of others; when we choose to change our career path because we desire lives of meaning and value; when we finally leave a toxic friendship or close relationship, in favor of life-giving interactions, we are making a miracle happen.

 3. Comparison kills. Social media is a wonderful way to stay connected to others, and it also contains a potential trap in the mind of the user.  One can compare oneself to others, noting weaknesses and shortcomings in themselves, or in the person they are focusing on at the time.  The result is either a much lower self-esteem, or an elevated, exalted ego trip.

 Regardless of the direction, the ego becomes the primary focus.  Rather than focusing on letting our own heartsong be a guiding force our life, we suddenly become slaves to public opinion and popular trends.

 Rather than spend endless hours in the comparison game (and yes, it does add up to hours!), we can choose to use social media as a tool of connection rather than comparison, and let our heartsong be the driving fire in our lives.

 4. Have quiet spaces, mystery places and eyes for living beings. The technology we have today is wonderful, but it does have its limits.  There is no substitute for silence; not just physical silence, but visual and mental silence as well.  Making time to simply be quiet and alone, unable to be found through the phone or computer, can help us reconnect with our core values, beliefs and attitudes that tend to fall by the wayside in the din of modern life.  We can become fully present to ourselves.

 Make time for other people, too.  When we choose to mute or turn off the phone, decide not to multitask on email while we’re on the phone or talking to someone in front of us, we are making a decision to be fully present to others.  This sheer presence is deeper than any words, and lasts forever.

 5. Tech is a tool, not a life. I can’t tell you how many stories I hear from people who have either lost their phone, or had their phone go berserk, only to discover that they go crazy without the tech with them.  They literally go through withdrawal symptoms!

If you want to lose the “tech DT’s”, choose to look at all of your tech as tools.  They are essentially tools for your self-expression and connection; not internal organs.  Make time every day to simply fast from any technology.  Write a letter.  Go for a run.  Do some yoga.  Meditate.  Be proactive and take charge of your life, rather than be a slave to checking emails and texts every time the phone dings, squawks or plays your favorite music.

You have a life.  Live it to the fullest!

Don Marlette the “Metro Monk” is a medium, coach and teacher on the No Limits Life Staff. You can Learn more about Don, his services and more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

 

My Pal Technology

We complain about technology, yet many of us use it – quite a bit.  For example: If you are reading this, you are using technology. It begs the question, why are we using it if we dislike it so much? And what if we shifted our perspective a bit to stop complaining about it and start embracing it?

That is the focus this month – Technology as our friend, helper and connector. 

A few incidents over the last few weeks have highlighted this point for me in unique ways:

Incident 1.  In a large retailer, I wrote a check. I don’t write many checks, finding them cumbersome, preferring the simpler path of a debit card swipe. When the cashier tried to process the check in his system, there was an error. I watched him struggle, confounded by the system, growing more agitated as time he spent trying to solve it increased.  He finally resolved it with managerial assistance and handed me my receipt with the words “technology sure doesn’t make anything easier!”

Really?  Doesn’t it though?  I mean he just scanned my items and all the prices popped up, calculated the total with tax for him; I handed him my phone with customer loyalty bar code open and he scanned it – no looking up for my account (pat on the back).  All of that could have taken MUCH longer and been much tougher right? But yes, let’s focus on the one part that was hard.

Incident 2. In a college course I teach I lead a segment on generations in the workplace: each of the generations respond based on their experience.  We had one segment with a very derisive attitude toward it “kids don’t know how to play outside anymore” and another generational segment who couldn’t imagine not being connected and could list all the benefits.

Is either wrong?  Isn’t it situational rather than widespread?  Yes, there are kids not getting enough exercise and depending too much time playing games.  But there are also a lot of kids exercising, playing sports and using technology as wind down AND for school (gasp!).  Teachers are referring parents to websites for extra work, homework is being submitted online, e-learning modules are increasing in use and on and on. If we are using it as a tool instead of an escape from life, is it really all that bad?   

Incident 3.  A couple of weeks ago I hosted a webinar called Everyday Spirituality Toolkit – I had teachers dial in from multiple locations, recorded it for replay and have been able to send out implementation support emails to anyone who attend or downloads the replay (go here if you are interested).

This kind of technology allows us to learn from a broader base of people, from across the globe and with amazing perspectives.  And then – if you miss it – you can listen anyway!

The interwoven message for me was that technology is in the very fabric of our lives anymore and we can live in constant conflict with it, we can allow it to teach us or we can get as conscious in our employment of it as we are of the food we put in our body and be in the driver’s seat.  We have a choice.

Technology is like anything, we can let it dominate us, or we can choose to use it as a tool.  I can obsess about anything I want: food, fitness, reading, taking classes; really anything can become binge worthy.  Anyone ever binge watched a Netflix show? I am raising my hand! You can lose yourself to many things, or you can chose to find yourself as you discover new experiences.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather become more centered in myself than spending time giving my power to something outside of me. Just sayin’

So if you have lost hours on social media – feel disconnected if you haven’t judged someone’s overly personal share on Instagram or snorted in derision at a tweet or snapchat or whatever your online viewer of choice is, then I need you to remember you made that decision.  It isn’t the creator of any of those tools’ fault.  It isn’t whoever showed you how to use it, it’s you.  You have decided to let it in to your life, you can decide how big of a role it plays.

Technology isn’t bad.  We can use it to connect: it is how I watch my nephew’s progress from 2000 miles away and how I got to see my niece’s reaction to a surprise Disney trip last week.  We can use it to stay informed: to catch the latest headlines, research information and perspectives, and learn something new.  We can also use it to entertain: jokes, movies, stories and more.

How we use technology isn’t always ideal.  When we shame, bully, attack, overshare or pollute the atmosphere in some other way – yeah it can be ugly.  The unpleasantness can be detached from though.  We dictate our own behavior and choose it and we choose how we engage with others and how much space they get in our feeds and our lives.  Just because they are family, doesn’t mean they are friend material.

Let’s Try it:

  1. Spend some time this week considering how you feel when you are using technology of any kind. Note the kind you use and how it makes you feel.
  2. Where you have a “negative” feeling about a technology, consider what you might change: who, how, frequency, etc.
  3. Make one change. I have spent the last few days spending very little time on social media – only about 15 minutes perhaps. Why?  Because I was tired and the last thing I needed was to tune into drama.  When I did scroll through, I actually unfollowed a few people because what they posted was the final straw in a series of “oh please” reactions I had experienced.
  4. Note how you feel after at least a week of operating differently. Keep what is working, and let go of what isn’t.
  5. Share with me what you learned!

Technology isn’t inherently bad.  How we use it sometimes can be, but that is us – not technology.  We decide.  What decision do you need to make about technology?

Jennifer Murphy is an integrative life coach and founder of No Limits Life.  She loves partnering with successful professionals who are ready to expand that feeling of success to all areas of their life.  Learn more about events, programs and services at www.nolimitslife.guru

13 Years was a Lifetime Ago

My son is just a few years younger than I was when I had my first drink. This occurred to me late last week as I watched him sitting among his stuffed animals giggling at a video he was watching on his iPad. He is so young still, while just beginning to press into young manhood, way too young to be worrying about his first drink right?

I was 12 if I am remembering correctly – though I won’t bet his life on the accuracy of my memory.  My memory has some major disconnects – severed by alcohol or self-preservation. Either? Both?  Who knows? They are simply either not there or jumbled.

At 12, I had the drink that solved the puzzle for me – it was what I had been looking for, the thing to make me feel whole; or so I thought.  I had no concept of how sharply that would turn on me, how severely it would hurt and how wrong I was about the impact it was having on me. 

I was a “good kid” – decent grades, good friends, family who was flawed (whose isn’t??!!) and grandiose visions of a future quite different than the one I was living.  I was angry at a lot of things (real and imagined)  and that anger got no better as time and experience went on into my teen years.

Alcohol became a very important companion in my life – subjugating the anger, dulling it and enabling me to perform acts of greatness (in my mind) on a nightly basis.

I was 28, in the military and deployed to the Middle East working in a US embassy when it all came tumbling down – my “bottom” found.  Whose grand plan it was to drop an alcoholic into the only area of the Middle East that would allow me essentially open access to booze – I was soon to learn.

I had vowed to my soon to be ex-fiance that I would not drink while over there.  He told me that I was not myself when I drank – that he didn’t trust me.  A close friend had once told me that when I drank it was like someone flipped a switch  – I’d be looking at him and I’d be me – the cool chick he adored.  Then I’d look away and look back and crazy me had taken over – the one who would run up hundreds on his bar tab, dance on the table, start fights and run away, forget she was married or engaged or whatever her state was and in general spread chaos in her wake.  I remember shrugging that off when he told me…but also hearing the warning.  When my soon to be ex-fiance asked me to not drink I wholeheartedly agreed – and meant it so completely I was even a little surprised myself.  But a little voice inside whispered, “we’ll see….”.

The night I failed him hurt – and I could no more explain why I had gotten drunk that night than I could explain why the sun rose.  I had no choice.  I just did. When asked why I was drunk, I was honest for the first time in my life and answered “I don’t know”; if you don’t have a “problem” with alcohol that may make no sense.  Who doesn’t have a choice? How can you not know why you violated your word? How is that possible?  Was I weak willed, incapable of committing – what the hell “no choice”?  That’s ridiculous right?

I was stupendously strong willed in many other areas of my life.  I had put myself through college, worked 40 hour weeks, full loads at school up to 27 credits in a semester maintaining a solid GPA.  I had risen out of my small town and humble beginnings to become an officer in the US Army.  I had married and divorced and survived, I had two combat deployments under my belt and was fiercely independent…but I couldn’t NOT drink. 

On the night of April 18th I was handed the reason and the solution – roughly 2 weeks after my failure with my promise.  The reason was I was alcoholic – the solution was to surrender to the Truth.  I knew of alcoholism.  My grandfather was over 50 years sober at his death, my grandmother is approaching 35.  Yet it had never crossed my mind that alcohol was my problem. Instead I blamed people, circumstance, places and anything else; because if it was alcohol…I was lost.  As much as I hated to admit it I didn’t know how to function without alcohol.

But I was about to learn.

13 years after that fortuitous night, I sit reflecting on a completely different life – it was a lifetime ago.  Today I am dependent on nothing except the spiritual direction of my guides and the experiences spiritual connection sends me.

Here are 13 things I am indescribably grateful for since taking that last drink:

  1. I have been without alcohol for 13 years and today have a healthier, more complete experience than I could have hoped for – the very feeling I sought to gain from alcohol.
  2. My son has never seen, nor will ever see me under the influence of alcohol.
  3. I don’t seek connection on inauthentic terms – I am me and I am stoked you are you. If we don’t jive, we can go our separate ways without animosity. Go do you – you rock.
  4. I can see my part in life – when I make a mistake I own it and do my best to make amends, but I also know I am not the sole responsibility holder. We all have free will and choose how we justify it or flow with it.
  5. I can be of support to others without expecting anything in return – and I can detach from their skepticism of that offer.
  6. I always remember my experiences – and can be present for the full spectrum of emotions that come with them.
  7. I can have honest relationships.
  8. I have no idea what fireball whiskey tastes like.
  9. Social Media became a thing AFTER my last drink.
  10. Being able to see that recovery from alcoholism means being able to participate in life fully rather than either crushing it or watching from the sidelines.
  11. Perfection is a myth but progress is a worthy aspiration.
  12. It’s not my job to manage your life – but I can certainly offer assistance when you seek it.
  13. I’m okay.

It’s important to me to pause on occasions like the date of my sobriety and be grateful to spirit, to the people who helped me discover my truth and to learn how to live it.  I dedicate my life to being grateful for the gift of full spectrum living.

If you struggle with alcohol and its impact in your life – there is a solution.  Check out your local Alcoholics Anonymous listings, talk to your doctor, or consult a therapist:  get your questions answered and let your free will guide you to the next choice of needing help, continuing on or some third option.

For those who like to see the negative in every word along the way, allow me to be clear: I am not a prohibitionist.  Alcohol in and of itself is not a problem – there are issues associated with alcohol I morally disagree with that are separate from my inability to drink it – but on the whole I don’t think it’s the devil nor see any reason to lobby for  its demise.  You want to drink – go for it, not my place to judge.

I share this writing from my personal experience only and offer suggestions for those who want them.

 

 

If you’d like to learn more about me (Jennifer Murphy) and my business (No Limits Life) you can visit www.nolimitslife.guru.  We offer online courses, live events and private coaching focused on partnering with you to create the lifestyle you crave but haven’t developed yet. 

 

 

Purposeful Living by Eilynn Dixon

Give yourself the permission to succeed.

Give yourself permission to live the life of your dreams.

Give yourself permission to be passionate and purposeful to have a powerful life.

There comes a time in life we ask the question: is there more to this life, am I living my purpose?

Once the questions begin to formulate you become aware that there is something more that you want. You have realized that you have been going through life just existing and not really living. You are having an awakened moment. When you realize that your life in the current state could be a little bit more in some aspect, and the life quest begins.

You have to be determined that you want to be fully engaged in life and responsible for your happiness. You have to be ready to be that person that you always wanted to be. It is now time for you to give yourself permission to start living the life of your dreams and living on purpose. It is time to start executing the baby steps to accomplish your big goals.

It is crazy to think you would choose to not be successful and not be engaged with your life purpose. But subconsciously we do that! There are times you will see you were faced with opportunities to be able to pursue the things you wanted most – but because there was no level of awareness you overlook them and then ask later why things don’t work out the way you wanted them to. There are always moments to be a success through the little things in life, but when you are asleep you don’t see them.

I am one that knows firsthand how important it is to be actively engaged in your life through living and not just existing:

When I had my awakened moment in 2011 it felt like I had been driving for a long time and arrived to my destination and didn’t know how I got there. It was as though, all the years prior to that moment were almost a blur because of my lack of living and only existing. I had raised children, gotten married, had successful positions and still all I was doing was existing. I was not living from who I really truly was, my authentic self. I didn’t remember because I took more time worrying about everything else instead of enjoying each moment and staying engaged in life and active in my happiness.

There were times I would be happy and ecstatic about all the greatness of life but those moments seemed to be brief and began to be spaced further and further apart until I did not even recognize the little moments of happiness. These moments that were important didn’t cost a dime, the little moments that matter most. Once I awakened and begin my journey of a purposeful life I begin to recognize happiness, I begin to see the moment and savor in the present. I begin to understand the importance of gratitude through doing things that I enjoyed that made my heart smile. Now don’t get me wrong, it is an everyday life long process to always to try to be a little bit happier or do something a little bit better to make your heart smile to always feel success.

It is important that we really smell the flowers and that we smile at a baby in the grocery store. It is also important to live on purpose through a work that is filled with passion.

When you are able to live every day doing what you love through purposeful and passionate living you feel awesome, it really is what we all aspire to have. We want to wake up each moment and skip out of bed excited to start the day, we all want to be able to have that hearty laugh that makes our belly ache, and we also want to be able to support, give things and experience the things in life that we so deserve. Life is meant to be full of many experiences through meeting new people, eating new things, seeing new things, and just being you! When you are able to start taking the baby steps to do this you will begin to live a life of living and not just existing!! Live your best life, my friend, you deserve all the greatness that you aspire for and oh so much more!!

Is this you? Are you looking to move your life from “ugh” to “oh heck yeah!!”. Then let’s talk about how you can learn more about Eilynn and how she helps people do this! Schedule a free session with Jennifer at No Limits Life to discuss what is up with you, what you are seeking and how the team at No Limits Life can support you!