How Are You Feeling?

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I spent most of my life wanting to feel good. Because…I didn’t. I felt awful.

About my circumstances.

About my life.

About myself.

I had little to no self awareness. I didn’t know that I had the power within me to change the way I was feeling.

And then I had kids. Wow! Having kids was like holding a magnifying glass over all that was “wrong” with my life. It was painful but it was the kick in the butt I needed to make some significant changes.

My kids were depending on me to dig in deep and BEcome the mom they deserved.

In the process I learned how to notice what I was noticing.

THE key to feeling good.

I learned how to check in and ask myself: How am I feeling? Am I feeling contraction or am I feeling expansion. 

A contractive feeling is the way fear, anger, frustration or the like feels.  For me, a contractive feeling almost feels like I want to protect myself.  Shoulders come in, I may cross my arms in a protective way.

An expansive feeling is the way joy, abundance or gratitude feels. For me, my heart feels open.  I feel expansion in my heart space.

If I am feeling expansive then I bask in the goodness.

If I am feeling contractive I ask myself this question: What thought am I having that is giving me this feeling? 

Maybe I am feeling the contraction of overwhelm and the thought I am having is “I have so much to do and so little time.” 

This is a great opportunity to change the thought.  To shift the thought from contraction to expansion.  The easiest way to shift from contraction to expansion is gratitude. 

Gratitude is the back door to abundance. 

Simply replace the contractive thought with something you are grateful for.  And, feel into it.  Feel the gratitude throughout your entire body.

You may even stand up taller and roll your shoulders up, back and down again.  Maybe even get into a power pose like Wonder Woman with your hands on your hips.  Take a deep, grateful breath.  Ahhh! 

How are you feeling?

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help feeling better? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in feeling better one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


Photo by: Taylor Ann Wright


Patterns in Motherhood

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Have you ever seen the movie Groundhog Day? The main character, played by Bill Murray, relives the same day over and over and over again. Each day is exactly like the day before. Many of us do the same thing in our own lives. 

We often unknowingly create patterns in our lives and in our families.  Patterns of thinking, patterns of behavior and patterns of how we relate to each other and our surroundings.  The mind loves patterns because patterns are easy.  True thinking is work for the mind so it tends to refer to the default setting of the patterns that are already in place.

We’ve practiced them.  We’ve perfected them.  They have become comfortable in an uncomfortable way if that makes sense.  I have a friend who told me flat out that even though her life was painful, she liked the comfort of the darkness because it was familiar.  She knew what to expect.  She is not alone.  Many, if not most of us choose to stay with what we know. 

The Groundhog Day Effect, as I like to call it, can also be seen on a broader scale.  Whether we mean to or not, we often create the same life over and over again even though we are trying to make change.  We may give our circumstances a “facelift”, a new house, a new job, a new relationship, but in essence, we stick with the pattern that has been ingrained in us and create the same life in a different place.  Wherever you go, there you are.

I had a woman come to a vision board workshop once who said that she looked through her journals over the past 10 years and realized that she had been living the exact same life for 10 years.  It was a sobering realization for her.

The good news is that we have complete control over our thoughts.  In fact, it is the only thing we do have complete control over.  It takes constant practice.  Like working a muscle.  But it is as simple as replacing old, dis-empowering thoughts with new, empowering ones.  Simple but not easy, that is.

It helps to have a list of replacement thoughts.  A list of thoughts we can turn to when the old, dis-empowering ones creep in, as they are prone to do.

Try this:

  • WRITE:  Fold a piece of paper in half the long way.  On the left side make a list of 10 dis-empowering thoughts that you consistently have and on the right make a list of positive, empowering, replacement thoughts

  • PAUSE: When you notice a negative thought, pause, take a breath and re-frame it.  Insert one of the new, empowering thoughts instead.

  • PRACTICE, practice, practice

It’s all about noticing what you’re noticing.  Noticing that you are having a negative thought is progress, my friends!  It’s the first step in changing a habit.  So celebrate it and keep noticing.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help changing old, dis-empowering thoughts? I’ve created a FREE Daily Affirmation E-course to support you in changing your thoughts one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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FREE Daily Affirmation E-Course


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Going With the Flow of Life

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Have you ever thought about why life seems to be easier for some and not for others?  I contemplated this question A LOT in my “former” life.  I related mostly with the latter.  I would look at the lives of others and wonder “Hey, what do they have that I don’t?”

It took me many years of paddling upstream to realize that I have everything I need to go with the flow.  I just wasn’t allowing it.  And, let me tell you, if you are not allowing yourself to go with the flow you will get tired.  You will get discouraged.  You will feel as if everyone else has the keys to the kingdom except you.  Well, that’s how I used to feel anyway…   

I had the opportunity, thanks to a beautifully generous friend, to learn how to paddle board recently.  The surface of the lake was smooth as silk for most of the day and it was easy to position myself on the board and even do a downward facing dog (and plank to show off!). 

It took some getting used to but with my friend’s guidance, I was able to maneuver easily and quickly learned that when I allowed myself to go with the flow (with the wind and the current) it was easy to cross the lake.  And, when I turned in the other direction it was as if I was paddling upstream.  It became more difficult and took longer for me to get where I wanted to go.

This is how life can be.  This is the difference between natural and normal.  Natural is going with the flow.

  •  The flow of your own life. 

  • The flow of your own desires. 

  • The flow of what lights you up.

Normal is the way we are trained to think.  And, it is usually with a lack mind set. We are trained to think that life is challenging and difficult. We are trained to think that it must be a certain way.

Because of social conditioning, we often choose the hard way, the way of lack, the way of struggle, paddling upstream instead of going with the flow and riding the current of abundance that is right there at our fingertips. 

We will experience challenges at times. This is a given in life in this human form.

We will have to work hard at times. This is how we reach our goals.

In those in between times, I invite you to begin aligning yourself with the flow of your own life.

  • Decide for a vision of a life that lights you up

  • Believe that you will BEcome the woman in your vision

  • Take action in the direction of your vision

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help going with the flow? I’ve created a complimentary series of beautifully simple daily affirmations to remind you of who you are, all that you are capable of and just how much you rock.


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Life by DesignDaily Affirmations


Photo Credit: Matt Zhou on Unsplash

What makes YOU come alive?

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What kind of life would YOU love living?  YOU.  Not your family.  Not your friends.  Not society.  YOU!

  • What would YOU love?

  • What brings YOU life?

  • What do YOU want to be or do or create in this life?

Think about it…really…let your imagination run wild...

Most of us, when we think about what we really want, start with what we think we could do, what we should do, what our present circumstances allow, what the economy is doing, what our bank account says…

It’s time to start asking different questions, bigger questions.

Howard Thurman said Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it it.  Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.

Your life is an example to everyone you encounter.

  • Of possibility

  • Of hope

  • Of life

Imagine how your children would benefit from a mother who is truly alive…

  • What would YOU love?

  • What brings YOU life?

  • What do YOU want to do or be or create or experience in this life?

What would a wealthy life look like to YOU?  Wealth is not just about money.  Merriam-Webster defines wealth as abundant supply.  We can have wealth in any area of life. 

  • Wealthy in health

  • Wealthy in time

  • Wealthy in love

Designing a wealthy life begins with knowing what you really want

What is it for YOU?


Try this:

  • Take a few deep breaths and center yourself

  • Ask yourself this question:  If it all worked out, what would I love to be or do or have or experience in this life?

  • Grab a pen and paper and let your imagination run wild.

  • And what else and what else and what else...


Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help imagining what you would love?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo by Kevin Schmid on Unsplash


Cultivating Worthiness

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At the end of a talk I gave recently, one of the participants asked me what I did to begin changing my life.  On my ride home that night I realized that I never really answered the question.  I answered the why – my son showed me that he needed me to be an empowered role model.  Not the what. 

After giving it some thought it was clear to me that the very first place I started was by increasing my sense of worthiness.  Hands down.  I HAD to believe I was worthy of a better life or I would never have been able to make the changes necessary. 

  • I would not have been able to let go of what no longer served me. 
  • I would not have been able to put myself and my self-care first. 
  • I would not have been able to establish boundaries and teach others how to treat me. 

It was uncomfortable. It was painful.  It upset my loved ones who had been so used to me being a certain way. 

Saying yes when I really wanted to say no.  Putting everyone else first. 

Holding my tongue when I had something important to say.  Being what others wanted me to be instead of being authentically me. 

Eventually the dust settled.  I became more comfortable in my new way of being.  My loved ones became more comfortable with my new way being. 

Once I changed my inner world, my outer world began to change.  I noticed books on my husband’s book shelf that I never thought he’d choose.  My mother, who I had been badgering to make a move, decided to move to town.  My dad and I began a new relationship with each other.  My tribe began to show up. 

It all began with this daily affirmation:  I AM Worthy. 

I read this affirmation day and night.  Night and day.  Until I believed it.  Until I understood that my worthiness comes from inside and that I didn’t need anything to be more worthy than I already was.

I still use affirmations.  All day.  Every day.  Because I am human and sometimes I forget that I am worthy just the way I am. 

And so are you.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help cultivating worthiness?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Aki Tolentino on Unsplash

 

True Power

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True Power is living from possibility.

True Power is loving yourself warts and all.

True Power is shifting into greatness.

True Power is knowing your absolute yes and your absolute no.

True Power is celebrating yourself.

True Power is creating new patterns.

True Power is self-awareness.

True Power is taking inspired action.

True Power is living from gratitude.

True Power is knowing and honoring who you are.

True Power is filling your cup first.

True Power is listening to and acting on your inner wisdom.

True Power is allowing abundance.

True Power is making time for laughter.

True Power is committing to yourself.

True Power is recommitting to yourself.

True Power is recommitting to yourself again.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

What does true power mean to you?


Do you need help realizing your true power?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Austin Schmid on Unsplash

Complete Control

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Did you know that we have close to 60,000 thoughts a day?  Some of them are just bizarre, most of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday and most of those are negative.  They are the very thoughts that create our human suffering.  The deadly trio...fear, doubt and worry. 

Negative thoughts are patterns really.  Habits.  The mind loves patterns.  They run deep grooves in our minds.  These patterns eventually become limiting beliefs that can rob us of our joy if we let them. 

Thoughts create Feelings.

Feelings create Actions.

Actions create Results.  What our life is like.

Good news!  We have complete control over our thoughts.  In fact, it is the only thing we do have complete control over.  It takes constant practice.  Like working a muscle.  But it is as simple as replacing the negative thoughts with positive, empowering ones.  Simple but not easy, that is.

We become good at what we practice.  We've had so much practice in thinking limiting thoughts that we have gotten really good at them.  Imagine what our lives would be like if we took up empowered thinking.  Practicing every day.  Exercising the empowered thinking muscle.

It helps to have a list of replacement thoughts.  A list of thoughts we can turn to when the negative ones creep in, as they are prone to do.


Try this:

1.      WRITE:  Fold a piece of paper in half the long way.  On the left make a list of 10 negative thoughts and on the right make a list of positive, empowering thoughts that you can use to replace the negative ones.

2.      PAUSE: When you notice a negative thought, pause and re-frame  it.  Insert one of the new, empowering thoughts.

3.      PRACTICE, practice, practice


It’s all about noticing what you’re noticing.  Noticing that you are having a negative thought is progress, my friends!  It’s the first step in changing a habit.  So celebrate it and keep noticing.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help practicing empowered thinking?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Photo by Jen Loong on Unsplash

Shining the Light on the Dark

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Life is interesting isn’t it?  The yin and yang of this human experience.

Light and dark

Good and bad

Possible and impossible

We are conditioned to believe that it has to be one way or another.  But, what if what we are telling ourselves is not true?

It was Henry Ford who once said “whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right.”

What if we could see the good in the bad?

Shine the light on the dark?

Create the possible out of the impossible?

As rigorous as life becomes at times, we can always count on the fact that the sun always rises.

What if we were to clear our limiting beliefs simply by changing our thoughts about any circumstance that comes our way?

Think about the power in that.  And, realize that you have that power within you.


Try this:

  • Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise
  • Write an “impossible” situation in your life across the top
  • Write a list of the possible negative outcomes on the left side
  • Write a counter list of possible positive outcomes on the right side
  • When your mind turns to the negative, replace the thought with all that could go right

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help shining the light on the dark?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Alex on Unsplash


BE Her Now

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There is nothing quite like living a vision driven life.  Creating a vision and BEcoming the woman you are envisioning.  Bearing witness to the metamorphosis within yourself.

It starts with a vision.  3 years from today.  Something that lights you up.  Has the YES! factor.  An absolute YES!  I would love this life.

And, then, there is the contrast.  The space.  The gap.  Between the life you would love to live and the life you are living today. 

It is natural.  The feeling of this gap.  The fear.  The uncertainty.  The unknown.  The “how the hell am I going to get from here to there” feeling.

That woman.  The woman you are envisioning 3 years from today.  She is already within you.  You are BEcoming her.

It’s not an arrival.  A place to get to.  It’s a BEcoming.  YOUR BEcoming.

And, in order to BEcome her, you need to BE HER NOW.

Let’s say that in your vision.  3 years from today.  You are a loving, caring, patient mom.  This is what you desire.  You want this more than anything.  BE HER NOW in your current circumstances.  Not waiting for things to change first.

If, in your vision 3 years from today, you are working in an amazing work environment where you are respected, fulfilled and challenged.  Then, you are BEING HER NOW in the workplace you are in today.

How about that radiant health and well-being in your 3 year vision?  You feel well-rested, vibrant and energetic NOW.

  • How would you hold yourself?
  • What kinds of conversations would you have?
  • How would it feel to be you?

BE HER NOW.  And you will find.  That when you are that loving, caring, patient mom or in a work environment where you are respected, fulfilled and challenged or experiencing radiant health and well-being, you already know what it feels like.  Because you had been rehearsing.  You created future memory.  Cells of recognition.

You had been BEING HER NOW.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help BEing Her Now?  START HERE with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations.  These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Ruby Slippers

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For most of my adult life I searched for inner peace outside of myself. I looked for it in relationships, in education, in jobs, in books, in workshops, in exercise, in food, in alcohol, in this, in that, in the other thing.  Did I mention baked goods…???

I searched and searched for the magic bullet, the ruby slipper that would take me home to my essence, my joy, the happy life I so desired.

Although I often felt like I was on the verge of greatness, my paradigms (those pesky buggers) always managed to keep me stuck in my story, in my circumstances, in my regrets from the past and my fears about the future.

There was a shadow or two residing deep inside of me that held me back. That kept me from experiencing the peace, joy and happiness I sought and now know I deserve.  There is an odd comfort in staying in the darkness.  We know it, it is familiar, we can relate to others because of it.  And, honestly, it may be an epic story.

My first born, my greatest teacher, taught me a lesson about staying in my story. That staying in my story kept my loved ones in the story as well.  He taught me that I really did have the Ruby Slippers I so desired.  All I needed to do was put them on.  Trust in the magic and I’d be on my way back home.

I am not perfect.  I am human. I am perfectly imperfect.  I sometimes lose track of my Ruby Slippers.  Think that I’ve lost them.  But now I know that they are always there for me.  They always fit. 

You have a pair too! Try them on.  They may feel a bit awkward at first, but I promise you will find your own way of wearing them.

Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


* Do you need help finding your ruby slippers?  Start here with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations. These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of who you are, all that you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  © Sergey Kishan

Creating Time

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Sometimes I feel as if I am in constant motion.  My body.  My mouth.  My mind.

Moving.

Moving.

Moving.

Waking my children (sometimes 5 times), breakfast, morning chores, moving everyone out the door for school, going to work, returning to school for pick up, activities, homework, dinner, bathing and bedtime.  And that doesn't include the unexpected.  At the end of the day, if I don’t take the time for self-care, I collapse in bed only to do the same thing again the next day.

I have found that the most important time in my day is the ME time I give myself.  Through a lot of trial and error I have found 3 key ways to create more time in the day.


Try this:

  1. Rise and Shine - Are you constantly searching for more hours in the day?  Good news!  You can find instant hours.  Any number you’d like.  In the wee hours before your family wakes.  Getting up before your family may sound like an impossible feat.  But, I promise, you can do this too.  And, once you experience the beauty of an early morning by yourself, you will wonder why it took you so long to begin.  Luxuriate in a morning ritual created just for you.
  2. Use Your Calendar - Schedule your big rocks, the most important activities, first.  You can then fill in the open spaces with other activities.  Self-care is a big rock.  It is more important than anything else on your schedule.  You cannot give from an empty vessel...  *Take 10 minutes at the end of the day to review your calendar and schedule anything that needs to be done so it doesn’t sit in your mind and keep you awake at night.
  3. Go to bed - As much as you would like to stay up and watch mindless tv some nights, make a commitment to yourself.  Get to bed in time to give yourself 7-8 hours of sleep.  Sleep is one of the best ways to fill your cup and a good night sleep will be incredibly helpful in getting up before the rest of the household does in the morning.  *Create a new evening ritual.  Before turning out the lights for the night, take the time to unwind, reflect on your day, read and/or write in a journal.

I bet you never knew you could Create Time!  What will you do with yours?  Please share with a comment below.

Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


*Do you need help creating time?  Start here with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations.  These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of who you are, all that you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first affirmation is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Breaking Patterns

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It’s here!  A brand new baby year.  A new beginning.

The gyms are packed.  Resolutions are in place.  Change is in the air.

Promises. Promises. Promises.  To make positive changes for ourselves and our families.

And, very soon, the momentum fades.  Our minds drift back to our old ways.  Our old patterns of being.

Changing habits is serious business.  It takes much more than a resolution to break through the patterns that have run deep grooves in our minds.

The good news is that it is absolutely possible to break those pesky patterns.  One of the tools I use is called a trigger.  A trigger is basically a reminder to change a thought or perform an action. 


Try one of these or create your own:

  • Door frame triggers can be set up to remind you to take a pause before entering a bedroom, your home, your office or for making any other transition.  In an effort to cultivate more patience with my daughter I have created a door frame trigger for myself.  Before I walk through the door frame of my daughter’s room I silently say to myself “I Am kind, caring and patient”.  This sets the tone for what I may find on the other side of the door.  Re-framing the old reactive pattern of “omg, I can’t see the floor” or “it’s been 30 minutes and she’s still not ready for school” to I AM kind, caring and patient. I AM says that this is happening now.  Not I want to or I plan to or I should.  I AM means that I am presently kind, caring and patient.
  • An audio trigger is an easy way to create change.  I have an audio notification on my phone that reminds me 3 times a day to breathe.  To stop what I am doing and take 3 deep, belly breaths.  I’ve been doing yoga for over 25 years, teach breath work each week and still find that I forget to breathe.  
  • A visual trigger is a lovely way to create a new habit.  I have a talisman that I made at a workshop several years ago made of crystals, a heart bead and a bead that says love on it strung on fishing wire.  It hangs on my bathroom mirror and reminds me to look myself in the eyes and say “I love you”.  It is a constant reminder to be kind to myself by changing my self-talk.

What kind of trigger will you incorporate into your life?  Please share with a comment.

Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


*Do you need help changing patterns?  Start Here with this complimentary series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!