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What is stopping you

This is something I have been thinking about lately. We make so many excuses for not reaching our goal or for not trying to do something etc. I see this in the boys, but also in myself. I had a rotator cuff repair back in June. Before my surgery I wasn’t able to do all the things I like to do, and with my recovering I was limited as well, of course there were a lot of things I still could do, and I still was teaching my Zumba and yoga classes with my arm in a sling, but I didn’t work out for me, I let my recovery come in the way and be an excuse not to be as active as I was before. This of course translated into weight gain. So now I am on a mission to loose that weight again. Guess what, it is so much easier to gain then loose, ok at least for me. Of course I can tell you that I am over 40 and on hormone treatment and use those as excuses as well, yes it might make it harder, but I know from personal experience that it is not impossible.

Why do we make excuses

So why are we so freaking good at making excuses. For me it is not just my weight loss journey, but also my own business. For my youngest it is not wanting to try something new he thinks doesn’t come that easy. He is very smart, and subjects in school come very easy, but other things in life or in sports not as easy, so he makes excuses. Why are we so freaking afraid to try, to just make that jump, to let go and dive right in. What stops us from reaching our goals that we set for ourselves, assuming the goals are realistic.

For my business part, for the most past it is fear, what if I don’t succeed, etc, but also how can I charge for things I would do for free, teach people about exercise, spirituality, yoga, meditation, breath work, or for my card readings. On top of that there is self doubt, there are people more fit then me, why would someone come for a workout to me, or there are people way more spiritual then me, what do I have to teach. To much in my head. But then when I look and see what happens in my yoga class, I know I have something to offer. In the end I want to offer so many more services to cancer survivors and be a beacon of hope and guidance.

So the question is still, why all these excuses, how do we stop our self doubt, our self sabotage, our insecurities, and how do we fully embrace our talents, and truly believe that we can achieve what we want to achieve. Why is it so hard to step out of our comfort zone, and we know outside of that bubble is where we grow.

How to stop making excuses

We need to stop comparing ourselves with other people, yes someone may be fitter then me, but that doesn’t mean that person is a better trainer, not saying that person will be worse either, but not everyone will relate or connect well with that person. I may just bring something to the table that person X needs, which person Y doesn’t provide, because that person walked a different path and journey.

We need to stop fearing the unknown. Yes things might go wrong, but it can go right. What if I fall, but honey, what if you fly….. Think back about a time you stepped past your fear, what happened. For me I moved from the Netherlands to Maui and so many wonderful things happened, and yes there were heartaches and headaches as well. Makes you wonder, if I did that, why am I still fearful and holding myself back, good question, I’ll let you know the answer when I figure it out.

We also tend to blame others or our circumstances for why we can’t do something or why something is not working out. I would love to blame my shoulder surgery for my weight gain, but guess what!!, I could have gone walking everyday or gone to the gym and do leg day each and every day, ok maybe not every day, but at least every other day, but no I used my surgery as an excuse.

Set small attainable goals, this is good in a fitness/health journey, but also in starting something new like a business. If you want to loose 30 lbs, it might seem very overwhelming, but when you start by walking more each day, or cut out sugar, or something attainable, it will be less overwhelming.

An other good one is to stop focusing on our weakness. We are so good at pointing out our own shortcomings, and others if I may add. But focus on your strengths. I might not be very good at book keeping, but I am good at guiding my students in my yoga classes. When you start a business and it is too overwhelming because there are tasks involved that you’re not good at, then you can also delegate. Note to self: find someone to do your website.

Visualization is very powerful as well. You can write your goals out in detail into a journal. And then be very specific, how will you feel, what will your success look like. If it is about starting your business, what kind of people will you help, who are your customers. If you’re wanting to get healthier, how will it feel, how will your skin glow, will you have lost some weight and fit in that cute outfit, or is your bloodwork better and you can stop some of your medications. Go in detail, feel it, experience it while you write it down.

And you know what? It is ok to fall down, but you want to get back up, don’t allow negative thoughts to take over. If you don'[t succeed the first time, doesn’t mean you should just throw in the towel and give up. You know that it is perfectly fine that you are not perfect, that you make mistakes, and then you learn from them, so next time you won’t make that same mistake again. You have the power to change, you have the power to succeed, so what is still stopping you?

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Do we need to be right

Not to long ago I had a conversation with my bonus son about being right. In his 11 year old mind, when 2 people have a difference of opinion, or a different point of view, someone is right and someone is wrong. So then I tried to explain that when two people don’t see eye to eye, that no one has to be right or wrong without making him feel he was wrong, but giving him a different point of view. Of course he said he was wrong, and I tried to explain that his experience in life up to that moment didn’t make him wrong or me right, which is hard without making it sound that I was right. This boy keeps me on my toes. He questions a lot, which is good and what I encourage.

Why do we feel the need to be right?

The way I see it, it is all an ego thing. And yes my ego gets in the way as well and I just want to be right sometimes. Being brutally honest here. And yes with certain things there might be someone right or wrong. But when it comes to our lives experience, believe system, etc, I don’t believe there is a right or wrong.

So my bonus son did want to be right in saying that it is not always a difference of opinion. He, of course, came up with this wonderful example: “Mom, if there is an atomic bomb that drops within 3 feet of these two guys and one believes they are going to die and the other one believes they won’t, one is clearly going to be right.” To witch I responded:”maybe one person doesn’t believe in life after death or reincarnation and thinks that bomb will mean the final end, and the other one believes in after life or reincarnation and knows that his soul will continue to exist after the bomb.” To witch he responded: “mom, they don’t believe in that stuff, one is a scientist and the other an atheist.” I just had to shake my head and tell him in that case both guys would know they’re going to die.

But why do we need to be right? Why does it make us feel so good? Does it really make us better then the other person? Like I said, it has a lot if not all to do with our ego. If we could get our ego’s out of the way, would being right about things be still so important?

Is there a better way?

Back to my family, and me trying to explain to my bonus son (who only lives every other week with us) about not always having to be right. In my household, I am the spiritual person and my other half is the scientific person. So there are many things we don’t see the same way. But we both respect each others opinion. My bonus son thought that people don’t agree that it would turn into an argument, and that’s when I tried to explain that people can have difference of opinions without anyone being right or wrong, but still respecting each others point of view.

I didn’t get to this point over night, in my younger days I loved to be right, I was a know it all. But over time I learned, with lots of practice to let the ego get out of the way, and patience to see other peoples points of view and that I could actually learn from that as well. That by listening to other people and how they see things I got a broader perspective and learned things or saw things in a different light that I had never seen before. Can I say that it made me wiser?

How do we practice this

So how can we practice ” the not wanting to be right thing”. We need to learn to set our ego aside. This is what you can practice with mindfulness and meditation. Is it an over night thing? No, it takes practice to be able to see and listen with more then your ego. An other thing is to listen with an open heart and mind, without feeling the need to respond and/or defend your own point of view. When you feel like you want to defend because you think you are right, try to catch yourself, be mindful, and take a few deep breaths and tell yourself that it is the other persons opinion, and try to think about the fact that you might have never looked at it from that persons perspective.

This of course can be practiced when your in a fight or argument as well, because those can come from misunderstandings or differences of opinions, but when it starts to get heated like that already, it is way harder to take that step back and breath and really truly listen to the other persons opinion.

Life would be so much more beautiful if everybody learns to listen with an open heart and an open mind. That we can value and respect each other opinions. After all we are here to lift each other up as well, not just ourselves.

Affirmations

Affirmations…. They can be such a powerful tool. They can change your mindset, change your mood, change your believes about yourself.

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Do you say affirmations to yourself? If so, what do you say and how do you say it. Does it come from your heart, do you say it with power and kindness? Or do you just mumble them because you think you have too….

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You can make saying affirmations a beautiful daily routine. You can light some candles and look at yourself in the mirror and say the affirmations. Or while you take a shower and you’re mindfully soaping your body, feeling the touch of your hands on your body, and say the affirmations. It is important to be mindful and present.

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The beautiful thing about affirmations is that it can and will shift something in the mind. For me personally it works best when making a little ritual so I am most present and mindful. And when you do this everyday, start noticing the changes, start noticing the shifts within you.

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If you never practiced affirmations I challenge you to try them for at least a week and let me know how you feel. If you practice affirmations already, let me know your favorite ones and if you make a ritual around it as well.

Going bald, a memory…

This morning in my Facebook memories, I got the reminder that 9 years ago today I was going bald due to chemo treatment. First I had noticed my hair falling out in the shower a few days earlier. The day of this post was the say I decided to just shave the remaining hair off.

I really struggled with my hair loss. It felt like people then would be able to tell that I was battling cancer, and I wasn’t waiting for “pity” looks. It was hard to loose my breast, but people couldn’t tell I only had 1 left, you couldn’t see at first glance that I was battling this battle, but with losing my hair I thought that I got “cancer” stamped on my forehead. It was a struggle, I admit it was hard. Some people take it easier then others, I was one of them that struggled with it.

I remember that the next day, or maybe was it the week after, that I had to fly to Oahu for an appointment…. I was wearing a scarf, and a facial mask at the airport. On Maui TSA was really nice, they just asked me to lower my mask for a second and that was it. The mask was to protect me from other people’s germs etc while my blood count was low. I felt uncomfortable and insecure with my scarf and mask.

On my way back, the TSA on Oahu was not as nice. I hadn’t put my mask on while in line for TSA, but ofcourse I was wearing my scarf. They asked me if I could remove my scarf, I declined explaining that I had just lost my hair due to chemo and that I still felt very uncomfortable and insecure about my bald had. Next I know they pull me to the side, in everyone’s view, to pad me down. I felt so uncomfortable, I was shocked, I understand they have to do their job, but couldn’t they ask if I was comfortable there out in the open? I wasn’t. I would have been ok pulling my padding out of my bra to ask if they wanted to check that, but my bald head?!……

But guess what, I survived, I rocked my scarfs, I was never really comfy to rock my bald head outside, but as soon as I had a little hair I retired the scarfs. This also passed, like many things in this journey, and then there are things that dont pass, like lymphedema, and that’s ok.

I remember that I still had to shave my legs while I was bald, not as often, but that didn’t stop growing. Don’t ask me why, seriously, if you take my hair, please take that too next time. And my eyebrows and eye lashes didnt fall out till my hair started growing back. One morning I was trying to put on mascara, and was wondering why nothing was going on (wasn’t wearing my glasses or contacts) then a grabbed my 3x mirror and noticed only 1 eyelash. That explained……

When you go through any journey, it’s ok to struggle, it’s ok to be sad, or what ever you need to feel, but know that it will pass.

Thank you for allowing me to share my experience with you.

What stories are you telling yourself

I went to see a nutritionist this past week, I have been struggling with my weight, it’s not as easy to loose as I gain it. I am a big believer in health in body, mind, and soul, and nutrition plays a big part in that. So I went to see her just to get some feedback. Technically a lot of what I need to do and how to eat I know, but sometimes putting in to practice is a different story. It was very informative this meets my, and she was a good mirror, and there were things I came to realize while I was talking about it. I knew already I have been making excuses about why I put on some weight. It’s because I had rotator cuff repair surgery, so I couldn’t do as much for a while. But I know that is just a story I’m telling myself to feel better, and probably less guilty about the weight gain. I know I could have done leg day, be more mindful of what I eat and how I eat, etc.

and it’s not just those stories. Have you ever thought about the stories you tell yourself, and are they all your stories and beliefs. Most common stories we tell ourselves is about why we can’t loose weight, r why we are not wealthier, in a financial way. Most of us have a negative money story. So what kind of stories are you telling yourself and are they helping you or holding you back.

I remember a few years back that Nate told me I am a cool mom because I stay in shape, and I posted that on Facebook. One person commented on that that not everyone can workout and stay in shape. Being in shape in our family just means doing some kind of movement and working on our health, it doesn’t mean to be skinny. But yes she believed in her story that not everyone can work out. She didn’t realize that walking her two dogs a few times a day is also a form of working out.

How can we change the story

Ok, so how can we change the stories we tell ourselves, some are so ingrained, and sometimes we don’t even realize we tell ourselves some of these stories. I found that out during my meeting with the nutritionist.

Can we change the negative stories that hold us back to positive ones and how do we do that. First we need to realize that we have those stories. If you don’t know or realize that, you can’t change anything. I’m on a journey to find my stories, I am sure there are some that I am not aware of yet. But when you are aware, how do you change them. Become aware of where those stories came from, did they come from you, or from something that has happened in the past. I had a story that I had a terrible accent while speaking English (Dutch is my first language), and also that I’m an horrible singer. Why did I believe that story? Because my English teacher in Highschool told me I had an horrible accent. So when I first met my ex online and we started chatting, I was so scared to skype, for him to hear my horrible voice and accent. How did my story change? First of all, it helped that my now ex didn’t laugh about the way I spoke English, and neither did his friends, so I started getting a little bit more confident, that down the line I started believing that I didn’t sound all that bad, now when I speak, I don’t hear an accent anymore (I still have one according to my boys)

My point being is first realizing what story you’re telling yourself, then finding out where it came from and if it is truly your story. Then try to imagine a future where you don’t hold on to this story, does this story serve you, or not. Think about what you can change now at this very moment about that story. A story that has been ingrained for many years, doesn’t change over night, it take time, but is there one thing you can do right now to start making that change. Support your new story with facts that you believe. And don’t beat yourself up when you fall back into the old habit of your old story, remember it took most likely many years of that story running on repeat in your head, so it will take some time and effort to break it and change the story. But I believe any story you tell yours of can be rewritten. We are the writers of our own stories, and the stories we tell ourselves. I know, easier said then done and yes I am still learning and working on it as well. We are never done growing and learning. Figuring out who we truly are….

So some of my stories right now have to do with weight loss, but I also have some financial stories to break free from, and I am sure there are more that I am not aware of at this moment. Feel free to share with me what stories you tell yourself, which ones are holding you back. We are here to lift ourselves and each other up, to realize the love and light is within us and that we are meant to shine, shine bright, be a light for ourselves and for others. Yogi Bhajan said:”be the lighthouse.”

Sat Nam