The Secret Sauce to Savoring the Holidays for Busy People

by Debbie Lyn Toomey Speaker, Author, Trainer

2 Key Ingredients (2)-53277

How many times have you heard yourself or others say any of these statements recently?

“I cannot believe the holidays are here already!”

“What can I do this year so that I can enjoy myself for a change?”

“How am I going to get all my work done and still have time to shop for presents?”

Yes, folks it’s true! It’s the middle of November and it’s officially the holiday season. While it may seem like Father Time sprinted through 2015 (instead of marching), there are ways to have him slow down so we can relax, reflect, and rest and enjoy the end of the year before the new one begins. My “secret sauce” will help you can gain more time to cherish this wonderful season.

Bitter-Sweet

If you’re like many busy people, you’re probably still trying to remember what you did last month! Realizing the fact that the holidays are suddenly upon us can be enough to make some people cringe and even cry. Although traditionally this is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” some people find it difficult to be happy for various reasons such as: having too much on their plate from work- life responsibilities, lack of financial stability, and lack of support from others. Unfortunately, the holidays can be a bitter sweet time of the year where it can feel like salt has been added to deep unresolved wounds.

Too much!

Time does have a way of escaping us because of our busy work and life schedules. It’s becoming more and more difficult to stop and slow down. I’ve coached many busy people who fall into the same old trap of doing and planning. The mere thought of sitting and reflecting takes a back seat because it seems like an unproductive use of our time. As mentioned in my forthcoming book on living a productive and positive life, “Our time management skills are constantly being challenged because of the compounding distractions that are coming from all directions as well as our shortening attention span. Our lives are filled with so many distractions both external and internal multi-sensorial stimuli. The external stimuli come from two main sources: technology and team. Our techie toys are so distracting that even the mere presence of them on our desk tempts us to touch them and use them when we don’t need to. The teams of people in our personal and professional lives can be a source of support or stress. As if those distractions are not enough, we also get internal distractions that bombard and overload us with negative thoughts that ruminate and keep us from feeling good and proud of ourselves. These inner distractions add to self- sabotage, keeping us from producing easily and effectively.” We have so much to contend with in our daily lives that for some the holidays can become more of a burden instead of a blessing.

Special for Everyone

Yes, the holidays are upon us and with them come their own sets of stressors such as shopping for “that perfect gift,” having a reasonable financial holiday budget, decorating, and going to parties. While some love this time of the year, studies have shown that there is an increase in depression, suicide attempts, and drug and alcohol use for others. No one is safe from the stress that happens during this time of the year.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), women experience a higher level of stress than men during the holidays. It is because women tend to take on the work burden to ensure the best possible holiday traditions are celebrated.

The Secret Sauce for a Health & Happy Holiday Season- Gratitude & Mindfulness (6)-11180

What’s in that Sauce?

Although stress is unavoidable, there are two ways of adding sweetness to the holiday season that will get even the busiest CEO whistling his favorite holiday tune as he greets his team. These two ingredients create such a rich combination that they can’t help but awaken all the senses. The two special ingredients that make up the secret sauce are: gratitude and mindfulness. When added together they can: turn bitterness into sweet, make the tough into tender, and heavy into something light. This secret sauce combination is the easiest and most practical way for today’s busy professionals to relish and savor the holiday season so that they have more time to celebrate, communicate, and connect with those they care about.

Yummy Moments

Gratitude and Mindfulness are great ways to bring purposeful awareness, attention, and appreciation to your holiday experience. Together they will give you: more time to be productive, an increased sense of purpose in your actions, and greater positivity in your day. Practicing gratitude is a heart-centered practice that can make you feel connected, blessed, and special. Practicing mindfulness can make you feel more alive, awake, and allowing. Both of these two techniques combined have hundreds of studies that prove their ability to improve health, boost happiness, enhance relationships, and increase productivity during the holiday season. The beauty of these two practices happens during the millions of micro-moments throughout the day. The “practice” happens when we purposely remember what is happening within us and around us—without judgment. Exercising these new habits will deepen your neural pathways and ensure sustainable success in creating positive experiences in your life.

Recipe for a Sweet Holiday Season

Directions:

  1. Ask yourself what you want this holiday season to look and feel like for you. Just like with any recipe that you’ve never made before you might first have to look at the picture so that you will have an idea of what the dish will look like.
  2. “Prepave” your holiday festivities with the feeling and images of what you would like it to be for yourself. “Prepaving” is a way of creating and attracting what you want through visualization and positive emotions. Feel as if it is happening now. Have fun using your imagination to visualize and tune into what your holiday celebration is going to be like. There’s no right or wrong way of doing this. Picture yourself purposefully being aware and appreciative of what’s going on around you so that you will experience the beauty of the season so much more.
  3. Practice and play with the secret sauce ingredients throughout your days and nights.
  4. Enjoy adding other quality ingredients to this special sauce such as: creativity, courage, and self-compassion.

Key Ingredients:

1. Gratitude:

According to gratitude expert, Robert Emmons, gratitude is defined as a “felt sense of wonder, thankfulness, and appreciation for life.” In other words, it’s more than just saying “thanks.” This year instead of sitting in traffic just to shop from place to place, save yourself some time and lots of misery by staying at home. Instead of shopping for gifts why not make them in a form of a gratitude letter to those you care about. This practice has been proven to boost levels of happiness for a weeks and weeks for both the writer and the recipient.

Here’s how to get started. Think of that special someone in your life that you need to get a gift for. Get a piece of paper (preferably a nice stationary) and write down how they have impacted your life in a positive way. Write from your heart and elaborate as much as you can. When you are done put it in an envelope and personally deliver it to that person and ask them to read it in front of you. Notice their expression. Notice yours. Notice how this loving practice can turn your holiday into a magical one. Try to do this to for as many people as you can. Schedule a time every evening during this holiday season to write out one letter to deliver in person. If you allow yourself to do one letter at a time, you’ll notice what may seem like a burden in the beginning will become a blessing in the end. The practice of gratitude will make you feel blessed and blissful. Once you get into your gratitude letter writing routine this holiday season notice how you look forward to doing it each day or night. This delicious ritual will gift you the special time to relax, reflect, and remember so many golden moments that you’ve shared with your loved ones. You’ll thank yourself for doing this!

2. Mindfulness:

According to mindfulness expert, Jon Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness is “paying attention in a particular way on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” Any activity when done purposely and with a beginners mind is considered a mindfulness activity. In other words, activities such as washing the dishes, walking, or watching can be a mindfulness activity as long as the person purposely aims to notice and experience that particular activity fully and without judgment.

Here’s how to begin this practice. During this holiday season, purposely gift yourself about 20 minutes of mindfulness by focusing on one of the five senses at a time. Start with mindfulness seeing and purposely notice all the shapes and colors that you see around you. Once you see something that catches your eye, look even closer. What do you see? Do you see any intricate patterns that make up that particular object? Notice the different shades of colors that meld together to make the colors that you see. Is that object manmade? If so, think about how that particular item made it there in front of you. Look with a beginner’s eye and notice as much as you can in that period of time. The next time you plan your mindful sit, try another sense like taste. Practice savoring when you are eating all the delicious food during your holiday festivities. Imagine as though it was the first time you’ve tasted that food. Notice how long it took you to chew it and swallow it. Try to figure out the flavors that were used in that particular dish. Notice how slowing down and savoring your food helps you stay on track with your diet because you are appreciating each bite and notice when your stomach is full. Practicing mindfulness during this holiday season might just be one of the easiest ways to keep the extra pounds off by mindfully noticing what goes in to your body. Imagine going into the New Year without having to add “lose holiday weight” in your New Year’s Resolution!

Adding gratitude and mindfulness will surely add more richness to your holidays. This delicious combination of ingredients will kick up your festivities a notch so that you can have your cake and eat it too– without guilt. Once you begin practicing these techniques, you will notice that you have more time for more important things and people in your life. Cultivating gratitude and mindfulness in your busy life will not only make you healthier and happier but also add more harmony to your life. Begin today and look around you. Challenge yourself to find something new that you haven’t seen before. Have fun and have yourself a healthy and happy holiday season!

Do you have a way of making this holiday season fun and stress-free? Please share your suggestions with me below. Thank you in advance!

New Normal

I don’t know about you but this summer has been a roller coaster of incredible and intense emotions. It has been filled with some endings and wonderful beginnings. Between my wedding anniversary, my two oldest sons’ graduations, birthdays, and new opportunities, this has been an unforgettable summer. It’s a summer that emphasizes having appreciation for those you love and how much they have impacted your life.

New-Normal
There’s a “new-normal” that’s unfolded for me. I learned about this description after spending an afternoon with a friend just days after losing his 84 year old father from cancer. As I sat with him in the park, he told me that now that his father has passed, both he and his mother had to get use to a “new normal” way of living.

Bittersweet
As for me and my family our “new-normal” takes on many bittersweet forms. Our “new normal” consists of adjusting to my oldest son living at home and working in Boston with a prospect of being relocated to Chicago. Another “new normal” change is getting used to not having my middle son home. This week kicks off his 1st week of living at college and away from home. Lastly, my other “new normal” is supporting my youngest as he starts a new school. In the grand scheme of things, my “new-normals” are all great news and certainly something that my husband and I are both proud of. It still does not help with the feelings of longing for the good-old-days of having everyone at home, all together, safe and sound, and silly-at-times. No matter what you call it – separation anxiety, the “new-normal” or simply life, is still painful. It hurts when you no longer have the person that you love near you to talk with and sit with like before.

Life
As a Health & Happiness Specialist™, I often share my own experiences in my programs. Happiness is nothing without pain or sadness. Life will deliver each of us good and not-so-good times. This is what makes life very interesting. Nothing good lasts forever and nothing bad lasts forever too. There a dynamic motion that propels us forward to become better than before if we allow it. The secret is to feel the negative emotions and allow them to surface so that we can move on. It’s when we hold on to our negative emotions that we start suffering in many ways that can manifest as severe depression, insomnia, gastro-esophageal reflux, chest pain, anger, over eating, and so much more.

3 Ways to Feel Better
Fortunately, with the increase in positive psychology research there are so many effective ways to help people cope with life’s challenges. The science of happiness has many solutions that help people grow and thrive so that they can be the best version of themselves.

Here are 3 ways to feel better:

1. Do something kind for others. When you think outside of your own situation and do kind deeds for others, you begin to feel happier.
2. Physical activity. Doing any type of physical activity is a positive way of releasing your sadness and stress.
3. Contact someone. Whether it is going to church to pray or calling up a friend. Connecting with others enhances relationships which often lead to greater happiness.


How about You?

If you are struggling with life’s ups and downs right now, trust that where there is darkness there also is light. If you need a coach to help you reach your personal or professional goals please contact Debbie Lyn at debbie.ultimatehealingjourney@gmail.com

Easy Motivation Tip

Have you ever had a day off that you filled with lots of activities?

I recently had one of those days and I had such a fantastic time doing everything on my list, including a task that I have been putting off for the last 3 weeks.  That task was switching my winter wardrobe to my summer one. I don’t know what it was about this particular task, but I always feel like I have to be in the right mood to do it, otherwise I’ll be spending half the day trying on all the clothes, losing track of time and feeling guilty for not making any progress.

On my day off, I challenged myself to get as many things checked off my list and completed as possible. And that was exactly what I did. I checked everything off including my long awaited wardrobe switch that I had been neglecting.


WOOP

Here’s what I did. I applied Dr. Gabrielle Oettingen’s technique called WOOP (Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan.)  Dr. Oettingen’s and her fellow researchers found that when positive plans are visualized along with the obstacles, people are more likely to become motivated to take action towards the direction of their goals. They found that positive visualization was not enough and that adding the perceived obstacles into this equation allows the person to become more prepared to overcome the obstacles they felt were keeping them from going forward.

woop

I did it!

Here’s how I applied WOOP to help me tackle my wardrobe switching task.

  1. I determined my “wish.” It was to switch my winter wardrobe over to my summer wardrobe. I visualized what it would be like when it was done.
  2. My “outcome” was to have my favorite summer clothes ready to wear and to donate a bag of clothes that I hadn’t worn in a long time. I also visualized what this would look like and got very excited about it.
  3. My “obstacle” was lack of time. I challenged myself and decided to make it easier and fun for me in order to make the task less monumental.
  4. My “plan” was to make a game out of it. I decided to just spend 1 hour doing this and to try to get as many clothes donated as possible during that time. I did this so that I was less likely to try on clothes after clothes after clothes and lose track of time.

I decided to give it a go and it worked! Not only did I get motivated into doing this seasonal task, I had fun doing it.  It felt good knowing I was doing something that I’ve been meaning to do, and lastly I was able to get 2 bags of clothes instead of one ready for donation.

The WOOP technique is easy and effective. Next time you just can’t get started doing something that you’ve been meaning to do, I suggest you try the WOOP technique.

If you feel you need extra help to reach your goals, contact me for coaching so that we can create solution-focused plans to make your dreams come true.  Email me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com today.

Forgiveness is…

This week I had the pleasure of teaching about forgiveness in my mindfulness class with 5th and 6th graders. I was amazed at how well they understood the concept of forgiveness and the way they approached hurtful incidences. While some said they cried and talked about it, others used sheer determination to prove the other person wrong, and the rest confronted the others and stood up for themselves. The common thread that I noticed in the 3 approaches was the courageous and self-compassionate choices that were taken to let go of their pain.

 

Let’s Learn from the Kids

Whether through tears or talking, the kids naturally had a way of taking action to feel better.  We can learn so much from them. We adults tend to have such a difficult time at forgiveness that it’s costing us our mental and physical health.  According to the 2011 study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, people who hold on to hard feelings have been shown to live a shorter life compared with those who make the choice to forgive. As a stubborn and proud person, I know that I am not perfect and can hold on to a hurt feeling like there’s no tomorrow. What I’ve came to realize, though, was that I was the one suffering and not the other way around. I was the one losing sleep, waking up with bags under my eyes, feeling cranky, and being miserable all day. It was I who was using this pain as an excuse to sabotage my diet or to use this ugly state to pick on the little things that I would normally tolerate. Practicing self-compassion has helped me tremendously. It’s helped me heal old wounds and made me healthier and happier.

 

Permission to be Human

As mentioned in previous newsletters I am certified in Positive Psychology, the science of happiness. One of the greatest techniques that I learned while studying this amazing field is self-compassion. Self-compassion has a way of helping us feel the pain while also giving ourselves a break. Self-compassion doesn’t mean that we are weak and the other is strong. It doesn’t mean that we don’t feel any pain—it’s quite the opposite. Self-compassion is all about awareness, forgiveness, and self-love. It gives us the time to make the best choice that will make us feel better. It also reminds us that we have the choice to take the control back into our lives by letting go of what no longer serves us.

 

Forgiveness


Forgiveness is the Best Call to Make

While forgiveness may not be the easiest thing for many of us to do, it is important to remember that it can possibly be one of the best acts of kindness and love that you can do for yourself. In other words, forgiveness is a choice that can set you free — it is the best call that you will make to become healthier and happier. Nobody can do this work for you. This is something that you and you alone must do to become happy.

 

Healthy Dose of Forgiveness

Just think about how much brighter and beautiful our world would be if people took a healthy dose of forgiveness daily. I bet that if people were to commit to a daily practice of forgiveness many pharmaceutical companies would be put out of business and doctors’ visits would go down drastically. Basically, forgiveness can put more money into your pocket and add more years to your life. Still not convinced? Here are some facts about people who tend to hold on to grudges. They tend to have higher:

  • Blood pressure
  • Facial muscle tension
  • Heart rate
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Loss of control
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

 

The Call is Yours

In a nutshell, the call is yours to make when it when it comes to forgiveness. Hopefully, I’ve shown you that holding onto grudges is detrimental to your health. Let’s start learning from the kids and not hold onto the grudges so that we can feel better right away.

 

Try this!

Next time you feel this frustrating feeling come on, try the following:

  1. Take a deep breath
  2. Go for a walk
  3. Allow yourself to feel the hurt
  4. Notice what your body is doing
  5. Say to yourself, “Permission to be human.”
  6. Repeat 1-5 until you feel better.

 

Remember to love yourself enough to make this courageous and self-compassionate choice.

Need help?

If you need coaching to help you with forgiveness and self-compassion, contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com so we can work together to get you to your winning state of mind.

 

Simple Stress Reduction Technique

Here’s a simple stress reduction technique that is perfect for any age, I call it the Dirty-Water-in a-Plastic-Bottle technique.

I recently demonstrated this technique to a group of 6th graders that I’ve been teaching mindfulness based learning to in Boston, MA. It was actually great timing that I did this because the school had just finished their first week of standardized testing. All the kids’ (and the teachers’) energy levels were so high from preparing and performing, that the stress level in the school was palpable. Needless to say, the last thing that my students wanted to do that day was to sit down and learn about mindfulness from me. Those kids were “done” with learning that day. That’s why it took me some time to get them to listen to my lesson, which incidentally was on stress. Between you and me, I was getting stressed too because I could not get them to simmer down. I felt my level of control over the class slipping out of my hands quickly!

Super-dee-duper Contraption

Just when I thought it was hopeless, I changed my lesson plan by taking out my super-dee-duper stress reduction contraption sooner rather than later. I needed a way to hook them onto my lesson and it did the trick! When I took out the plastic drinking bottled filled with a water and soil mixture the class stopped and asked what I had in my hand.

I thought to myself, “Yes, you got their attention!”

“Don’t stop and keep talking!”

I told them what it was and why I brought it. Some of the kids were “grossed out” while others were intrigued. I explained to them that this murky bottle of water was like our minds sometimes. It is filled with the mixture of positive and negative thoughts making it difficult for us to pay attention and to feel calm and in control of our actions. Furthermore, I told them that the key to decreasing our stress and seeing solutions more clearly is becoming mindful to our present state and knowing how we are feeling. I reminded them that mindfulness was all about paying attention and being aware of what’s in front of us, around us, and within us. Moreover, I emphasized that the best way to start feeling better, especially from the week they just had, was by allowing things to settle down (like the dirt in the bottle) and using the power of our breath to reduce our stress.

Letting It Settle

With this in mind, I shook the bottle of muddy water while the whole class watched the muddy vortex swirl around in the bottle. While we watched it swirl around and around, I had them participate in a deep breathing exercise. I encouraged them to continue the deep breathing exercise until we noticed that all the dirt had settled at the bottom and that the water had become clear. This became a powerful visual aid because they were able to see that by becoming aware of their stress, they could stop engaging with the stressor and start deep breathing exercises to regain their sense of self control. This Dirty-Water-in-a-Plastic-Bottle technique that I taught them made them feel relaxed, and they were able to concentrate more on the rest of the class. It really worked!

This technique is perfect for anyone as a way to reduce stress.

Mindfulness is...

Cheap and effective reminder

The Dirty-Water-in a-Plastic-Bottle technique is a great recycling project to do and possibly one of the simplest stress reduction techniques to use.

Here’s what you will need:

1. Empty clear 16 oz plastic bottle (remove label)
2. 16 oz of water
3. Soil (glitter or small plastic confetti would be a great substitute for the dirt if you don’t have any around)
4. Super Glue (permanent strong glue)

Directions:

Add items 2 & 3 into the empty plastic bottle. Dry the opening of the bottle, apply super glue, and twist cap tight. Allow the glue to dry for about 1 hour.
It’s that easy! You now have a homemade stress reduction tool that will surely help you and others feel better during those chaotic and overwhelming days.

Enjoy!

How about you?

Is stress leaving your feeling stuck and unable to move towards the life of your dreams? Contact me at Debbie.ultimatehealingjourney@gmail.com for coaching to help you gain more clarity, and confidence to move towards the life of your dreams.

 

Spring Clearing Detox

Happy spring week!

I love this time of the year because it symbolizes new life and new beginnings. One of the best activities to do this season is a Spring Clearing Detox. This will surely help you shed some old heavy habits that have  been weighing you down and keeping  you from moving faster towards the life of your dreams. Unlike the standard detoxification formula that cleanses the impurities from our physical bodies, my Spring Clearing Detox technique clears out the impurities from our energetic bodies. In a nutshell, this technique gets rid of old limiting beliefs and thought processes that are making us feel overweight, overwhelmed, and overly tired carrying our work-life burdens. It’s that simple.

I started doing this many years ago when my old New Year’s Resolutions were not lasting and resulted in me feeling frustrated. It made me become more critical of myself and created a ripple of poor choices and not-so-happy moments in my life.  I felt terrible! That’s when I decided to make simple and small changes.  I started evaluating what wasn’t working right and the patterns that created those not right moments. Once I identified them I made a conscious effort to do one thing that would stop the pattern. Pretty soon I started to see my life turn around and my dreams manifest. It was great and my Spring Clearing Detox exercise was born!

Ground Hog Day

It’s not too late to honor your 2015 promise to yourself to look good and feel good. The best way to start doing this is to take inventory of some old habits that are just making your life like the movie Ground Hog Day. Every day is the same and you can pretty much predict what people are going to say and when things will happen.  I tell my coaching clients to just start with one habit and work towards eliminating it. It’s amazing to witness them as they move from feeling stressed and stuck to successful. New habits start to form and pretty soon the habits become natural and simple for them to be incorporate into their lives.  Eventually the new habits allow them to create a happier and healthier life.

4 Steps to begin your own Spring Clearing

Here’s how to begin a clearer approach to living an abundant and awesome life.

  1. Ask yourself what habit has been keeping you from moving towards your true happiness.
  2. Determine what it is. (Key here is to start with one habit.)
  3. Ask yourself what one small thing you can do to start bringing more awareness to that habit.
  4. Determine a simple positive habit that you can replace it with that will add more joy and meaning into your life.

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Ready to give it a try?

Spring clearing is tossing out an old habit that’s keeping you from growing. This technique is perfect for anyone who has been feeling stuck in one area of your life and want a way to start moving things forward. This technique has been one of my secrets to automatically manifesting and creating my heart’s desire. Not sure of what habit to get rid of and need coaching for consistent support and guidance to reach your goals? Contact me at Debbie.ultimatehealingjourney@gmail.com today so you can start moving towards the direction of your dreams.

Cheers,

Debbie Lyn

Let’s get physical

 

Healthy and Happy March to you!

I don’t know about you but I am so excited that this new month has finally arrived. It’s been such a cold and snowy winter in the Boston area that it seems like everyone, including me, has gotten “cabin fever.” It really made me appreciate the warmth of the sun and being outside for just a few minutes so I could clear my winter blues away.

Physical activity can boost our mood

Did you know that experts say that doing any physical activity can actually help boost your mood? It’s true and it does work. Every time I would start feeling low or down, I would start doing a physical activity such as de-cluttering my workspace, walking to the post office, or even walking on the beach. Of course your physical activity (notice I am not saying the “e” word that ends with “cise”) will depend on your health and activity tolerance.

An inspiration

I coached a group from the Boston Senior Home Care’s Stronger for Life Program recently and they were a wonderful inspiration to me! They are so determined to reach their goals to lose weight and to increase their endurance. They do their physical routine in their apartments, hallways, and stairs. They did not let the cold harsh winter ruin their goals of becoming stronger for life.

What an inspiration they were!

As for me, walking around my neighborhood, shoveling, making snowmen has become my winter sport. I’ve also found snowshoeing to be a wonderful way of getting out and having fun in the cold weather.

Debbie snow-62596

How about you?

What have you been doing this winter to help you lift your spirits? Please share it with us. Just remember, anytime you start feeling the blues coming on, it’s always best to recognize it so that you can make the choice to shift from that state to be better one. What better way to make a positive shift than to start getting…physical. Have fun!

Need coaching?

Have you been feeling stuck and stressed not knowing what to do to move closer to your dreams and goals?

Has there been a goal that you have been wanting to achieve but just don’t know how to start?

Are you finally ready to serve your own needs instead of others for a change?

Contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com so  we can get you moving towards the direction of your dreams.

 

Bueller…Bueller…Bueller!

 

Happy February, and I hope that 2015 is being kind and gentle to you.

Here in Massachusetts, we have just been visited by Juno, the blizzard that gave us over 30 inches of snow. My teenager and 4th grader have been celebrating their “no school” days. Do you remember being young and finding out that there was no school that day because of severe weather conditions? Those were the days when we got a “free day off” from our usual routine. Ahh…

I think that we, as adults, deserve to give ourselves a “Ferris Bueller’s day off” day to just kick back, relax, and be care-free.

When was the last time that you did this for yourself?
How did you feel when you did it?
What did you do that made it fun and fantastic for you?

“Life moves pretty fast.” ~ F. Bueller

Yes, I know that you’re busy, but who isn’t these days? It’s all the more reason why we need to take off our ‘grown-up’ hat and just be a kid again! It’s one of the ways we can slow down to enjoy life! Work will always be there and our schedules will always be full of activities. It’s important to be more proactive in setting aside time for ourselves for self care. We need a mental break so that we don’t have a “mental breakdown.”

ferris bueller

Here’s your “hall pass.”

Many people get so stuck on the hamster wheel of their work-life schedule that they forget that they have the choice to get off it. So, here’s my suggestion for you. Create a virtual “hall pass” for yourself to get out and do something that you love. You don’t have to have someone with you do to this. In fact, it might be better for you to just go ahead and take your “pass” and run with it without having to think and talk yourself out of it.

You get an A+

You will find that when you do this, you will want to do it regularly. Why not? It’s very important that you work yourself into your own unique schedule in order to truly have the productivity, positivity, and prosperity that you strive for. Routinely giving yourself much needed time off from life is a self-loving and self-nurturing way of ensuring that you do live a healthy and happy life. In other words, giving yourself permission to enjoy life will result in more success in both work and life than you can ever imagine. You will get an A+ for the effort that you put into this routine break. Danke Schoen! <wink>

If you need support in ways to help you reset time so that it’s on your side in order to live a healthy and happy life please contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com

Thank Your Stress Away

Hello there!

Here’s a quick guide to use anytime you feel stressed throughout the day.

My mother’s recovery from her double cancer surgery inspired me to create this technique.  Two years ago—just about one month after celebrating being breast cancer free for 5 years—my mother was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and lung cancer. It was one of the worst years of my life, seeing my mother undergo so much physical and emotional stress from her diagnosis and myriad of hospital tests and surgeries.

As a nurse, I knew how extensive and painful her surgeries were going to be. As a daughter, I was afraid of losing my mother and worried about my father who always relied on my mother. While I did my best to be supportive and strong, “the nurse,” for the rest of my family and relatives, I had moments where I would just break down and cry. Ironically, that year the source of my strength, besides God, was my mother. I felt so much better every time I saw my mother. I recall how she would laugh at herself when her hair was growing back and I remember the countless of times I heard my mother say “thank you.” One of the most memorable times that we as a family said “thank you” was when she got the results from her endometrial, lung, and thyroid biopsy (yup, they found a suspicious area there too) that all of her cancers were not related. This meant that they were not a metastasis from her breast cancer.

During each of her surgeries that summer, I would hear her say, “thank you” when she woke up and was able to get up from her bed by herself. She would say “thank you” when she would have enough strength to walk from her bed to the bathroom all by herself. She would say “thank you” when she had a restful night of sleep without bone pain that was caused from her chemotherapy. Her days were (and still are) filled with thankful moments from morning to night. She uses gratitude to fuel every action and every thought.

My mother naturally used gratitude as a way to become resilient and to thrive after that long, hard summer.

Next time you feel stressed or scared, try this technique that I call, Thank Your Stress Away.

thankyourstressaway

I hope you enjoyed this technique. Please share it with friends who might benefit from it.

Need extra support in managing your work-life stress? Contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com.

Cheers!

Debbie signature

2015 Game Changer

Healthy and Happy 2015 to you!

This year instead of having a New Year’s “re”solution why not try a “solution” instead? Retire the past, ineffective New Year’s resolution and try something simple and effective. Use a one-word-mantra that best describes what you want for yourself this year—it worked for me and I know it can work for you too. Still not convinced about trying out this easy technique? Maybe these facts can help sway you towards adopting a new solution for a healthier and happier year.

1. 45% people make New Year’s resolutions
2. 8% of people are successful in achieving their resolutions
3. Top 4 areas of resolutions: #1 Self Improvement or education related resolutions, #2 Weight loss, #3 Finances, # 4 Relationships

Source: University of Scranton’s Survey conducted January 1, 2014 and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

The solution focused.

I actually stopped doing New Year’s resolutions 10 years ago because I got tired of being too hard on myself for failing to accomplish my long list of personal and professional goals. That year I vowed to create ways to be kinder and more self-compassionate to myself. I decided to let go of the list and just go with a one-word mantra that would make me feel the way I wanted to feel. The word that kept coming to me was “spirited.” To me this word was perfect for that year because it embodied all the feelings that I wanted to have at work and in my life. That year “spirited” meant feelings of: joy, authenticity, play, fun, creativity, courage, and vibrancy that I craved so deeply.
To my amazement this word became the solution that I was looking for in all areas of my life. What I found was that it instantly gave me access to the wonderful blend of positive emotions that I wanted when I would think about it. This helped me maintain a positive outlook that allowed me to get more done in less time, leaving me with more time for self care and time with those I care about. My mantra helped me become more mindful and productive in all areas of my life.

A game changer!

This one-word-mantra technique became a game changer for me, and I have been doing it ever since. My one-word-mantra has: reminded me of my promise to myself, instantly given me clarity when I felt overwhelmed, energized me when I was feeling low, empowered me when I felt insecure and scared, and uncovered some hidden gifts and strengths that I didn’t know I had. This one-word-mantra technique contains many magnificent surprises for those who choose to practice it.
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7 Steps to your very own One-Word-Mantra:

1. Breathe: Take 3 deep breaths.
2. Ask: How do I want to feel this year?
3. Notice: What word keeps coming up?
4. Smile: Did the word make you smile inside and out? If yes, then go with it. If no, keep going.
5. Pick: Decide on the word. There is no such thing as making a mistake here. The only mistake is not deciding and not trying it out.
6. Reminder: Keep your word in plain sight. Put it on a post-it note and place in on your desk top, refrigerator, a door, a mirror, a head board, on the car dashboard, etc. Find quotes that contain the word and the energy that embodies that word. Use the word as part of your new password for the year. Create a vision board with it.
7. Have fun with it and be prepared to be amazed!

I hope this one-word-mantra technique will help you make this year one of your best years ever!

If you are looking for a more intensive 1:1 coaching support to help make 2015 the best year of your life, contact me at info@ultimatehealingjourney.com today. I am excited to discuss ways that I can help you live the life you deserve.